There can be unintended additional contents, also known as physical contaminants and foreign objects, in fruit and vegetable purchases. Growers aim to eliminate these from the fresh produce sent to retailers and processors. Most retail and food service specifications have a zero tolerance for pests, dead or alive, or other physical contaminants. Consumers also have a low tolerance of additional contents.
Physical contaminants is a broad category that includes but is not limited to soil, stones, sticks, weeds, insects, frogs, glass, nails, plastic and rubber, pens, pins, paper clips and jewellery. Some are a social media novelty while others have genuine injury potential. Some come from the environment and others are from harvest, handling and packing. Some can result in withdrawals, recalls and negative media coverage.
A series of Q&A’s below address the topic of contamination of pests and objects.
Global Food Safety Resource: More than half of the secret to recovering from a pathogen-related product recall lies in being prepared before it even happens, according to Keith Warriner, a professor of food science at Canada’s University of Guelph. “Have a recall team that includes someone with decision-making authority,” he says, noting that, depending on the company, the team should also have staff from quality assurance, production, marketing and distribution.
Food Safety Australia: There was a product recall in Australia around 10 years ago which is now taught in Universities around the world on how it should be done. The company involved immediately put its Product Recall Program into operation and shut down production in the affected plants, retrieved all the suspect product and then went into a very carefully managed public relations campaign.
Read the full article at Food Safety Australia
25 July 2016
‘We are fortunate to have secured Mr William Marler as a speaker for this year’s Fresh Produce Safety Conference,’ said Fresh Produce Safety Centre Chair, Michael Worthington.
Mr Marler is a well known personal injury lawyer and expert in foodborne illness litigation at Marler Clark, a major force in food safety policy in the United States and abroad,’ Mr Worthington said.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand: Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has developed a Food Recall Plan template to help food businesses manage recalls. FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Steve McCutcheon said every food business needs to be able to quickly remove unsafe food from the marketplace to protect the health and safety of consumers. “The template developed by FSANZ is particularly aimed at helping smaller businesses ensure they have a food recall plan in place and know what to do if something goes wrong,” Mr McCutcheon said.
Food Processing: GS1 Australia’s electronic product recall notification management system has received certification from HACCP Australia. The Recall service — designed to minimise the impact and cost of food and beverage products recalled and withdrawn from the supply chain — has been certified as ‘effective and suitable for businesses that operate a HACCP based Food Safety Programme’.
The Business Continuity Institute: As product recalls increasingly dominate the headlines, Vince Shiers explains why careful planning is critical to ensuring companies are primed to respond no matter what the circumstances.
Product recalls are never far from the headlines. In our experience, if a company doesn’t have a recall plan before a recall incident, they will make sure they have one afterwards.
New York Times: Frozen peas that could make you sick. A water heater that might explode. Cars with steering wheels that were prone to fail and cause a crash. Those are just a few of the thousands of products that manufacturers have recalled this year — and the deluge shows no sign of slowing. Across almost every product category, the scope and complexity of recalls are on the rise.
The Business Continuity Institute: Farzad Henareh explains how an effectively managed product recall event can serve to enhance brand loyalty, but preparation and constant communication are key.
In the past, companies have been reluctant to enter the recall process, worried that their brand will suffer by being associated with a problem. In fact, the opposite is now true, and if a recall is handled efficiently and quickly customers will understand the situation and may even be impressed by the quality of customer service.
Fortune.com: Is anything safe to eat these days? The regular flow of news on how pathogens in our food are making us sick—or, in the most extreme cases, even killing us—might make it seem like we’re taking a big risk every time we sit down for a meal or a snack.
But all those headlines—stay with me here—might actually be a good thing. Yes, it seems counter-intuitive. But in reality, we may not be facing more cases of food-borne illness but instead getting better at finding them and tracing them back to the source.