US – The Conversation: When the COVID-19 pandemic began, not much was known about SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus) and its survival in food, on various materials and on surfaces. Since then, several food safety agencies have assessed the risk of potentially acquiring the virus from contaminated food or food packaging. The consensus is that currently, there’s no evidence it’s a food safety risk. More
Posts from the ‘Topics’ Category
US – Center for Produce Safety: A handful of Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreaks tied to U.S.-grown produce since 2018 have prompted several researchers to begin looking at possible domestic sources of the pathogen and potential industry risks. Read more.
See a short video on this research, Investigating Sources of Cyclospora in the Southeastern US, here.
AU – A recent study by a team from the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and the Food Quality and Design Group (at the University of Sydney, the University of Tasmania and Wageningen University, respectively) explored industry interpretations of food safety guidelines by describing the application of controls in Australian orchards and packhouses.
The assessment, published in the journal Food Control, found that an inconsistent application of water sanitation resulted in variable control of wash water quality and hygiene, and that the industry “could benefit from a better understanding of effective risk mitigation strategies, consistent industry application of food safety controls and improved evidence of controls achieving desired food safety outcomes.” More
AU – The paper ‘Persistence of Human Pathogens in Manure-Amended Australian Soils Used for Production of Leafy Vegetables‘ is now available online in a special issue of the journal Agriculture. The paper, authored by Dr Jenny Ekman and others, has been published as part of the research undertaken for the Hort Innovation project ‘Pathogen Persistence from Paddock to Plate’. Hort Innovation, together with the vegetable industry, completed a study on the survival of human pathogens in soil and irrigation water, and on leafy vegetables. The project was led by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre, in conjunction with Applied Horticultural Research, Freshcare and the University of Sydney. Read more about the project here, read the project report on the Hort Innovation website here and read the full journal article here.
AU – Produce Plus Magazine: Seattle-based iFoodDS teamed up with Foodbank to implement its Disposition feature, which allows retail distribution centres and suppliers to collaborate and donate products to Foodbank.
The technology speeds up the donation process, resulting in extended shelf life, reduced operational costs for suppliers and increased donations. More
Having gained his Bachelor of Science from La Trobe University (majoring in Microbiology and Biochemistry) in 1983, Rob spent the first year of his career working as laboratory assistant with Carlton and United Breweries prior to further honing his skills as a Microbiologist for four years with Kraft Foods Limited. In 1989, he moved to Brisbane and worked alongside his brother with the establishment of Biotest Laboratories. Rob was Laboratory Manager, a position he held for 12 years before deciding on a sea change.
A sabbatical of approximately 12 months saw Rob and his young family travel around and explore Australia with their caravan prior to returning to Brisbane.
Seeking a change in career direction, in early 2003 Rob joined AUS-MEAT Limited as Program Manager for the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme. Whilst Rob’s livestock industry experience was limited at the time, he took on the challenge of this new role: a role he held for six years prior to becoming involved with the management of a range of other food safety programs across the meat and horticultural industries serviced by AUS-MEAT/AUS-QUAL.
Rob’s technical expertise resulted in him being appointed as Horticulture Technical Manager. Rob’s technical skills and general food safety experience enabled him to serve as a valuable reference for auditors, clients and his peers in this role for several years up until mid-2020, when he departed AUS-MEAT/AUS-QUAL due to an internal restructure.
Without doubt one of Rob’s most endearing qualities was his genuine interest in people. Rob always took the time to engage with his friends and work colleagues. He was highly regarded by his peers and industry alike. He could always easily engage in conversation with people of all ages and all walks of life. He had a wicked sense of humour, a wonderful laugh and was one of nature’s gentlemen: an all-round nice guy.
Rob enjoyed the outdoors, travel, and most of all adventure. He was a keen cyclist, motorcyclist and enjoyed the thrill of paragliding – a sport he taken up in more recent years. Many of his cycling activities were associated with a cause for his fellow man – whether it be raising funds for organ transplant research or mental health. Rob was a regular volunteer with his time when it came to supporting his community.
As a Victorian through and through, he enjoyed the game of AFL and was a long-standing supporter of the Brisbane Lions.
He was a family man and was immensely proud of his two boys who have grown into fine young men; both having inherited the best traits of their Mum and Dad.
Rob’s passion for adventure recently resulted in his unexpected passing whilst doing what he loved – the wind in his hair and the freedom of flight – paragliding.
Rob’s attitude to life is an inspiration to many. He often said “live your best life” – a motto that he actively followed. He is missed and will always be fondly remembered – a caring son, a great dad, a loving partner, a wonderful work colleague and a true friend.
General Manager, AUS-MEAT & Industry Standards