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
BBC: US stores are recalling onions over contamination fears amid a salmonella outbreak that has caused over 600 people to fall ill. On 1 August, Thomson International recalled their red, yellow and white onions that had been shipped across all 50 US states and Canada since 1 May. Salmonella cases have been reported in 43 states as well as Canada. More here.
Food Safety News: The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified key priorities to improve food safety in the next five years in South East Asia.
The Framework for Action on Food Safety in the WHO South-East Asia Region covers 2020 to 2025 and has guidance for authorities across the food chain and those involved in food safety emergencies, preparedness and response. Several countries are included. More here.
The Center for Produce Safety in the US has prepared key learnings summaries of its Annual Research Symposium, with five sessions held over June and July 2020.
The full set of Key Learnings from the CPS Research Symposium is here. The following text is drawn from the CPS Key Learnings:
During Session 1 held on June 23, 2020, the Symposium explored the use of computer-based modelling to help address two burning issues for the produce industry: understanding potential Listeria growth and persistence in whole produce commodities and the development of sampling strategies to support the validity of assumptions surrounding microbial testing needs and design of acceptable protocols (Key Learnings Session I).
In Session 2, the Symposium expanded the knowledge base on Listeria monocytogenes and its persistence and growth on specific commodities and fresh-cut products and examined novel methods to control Listeria growth on food contact surfaces (Key Learnings Session II).
In Session 3, the Research Symposium explored projects that took wholistic, systems approaches to solving challenges with pest intrusion into leafy greens fields, pathogen transference on co-managed farms and the impact of traits associated with concepts of soil health on pathogen persistence. It also examined Cyclospora presence in the irrigation canal systems in the Yuma, AZ production region (Key Learnings Session III).
Session 4 featured the use of genomics and metagenomics to address challenges in identifying new or revisited indicators and index testing-targets of human viral pathogens that may ultimately be used in the produce industry, the distribution and relatedness of Listeria species in the U.S., and the use of that information to better understand source-risk related to facilities and product, identification of competitors of Listeria monocytogenes that might control that organism in composts, and build our knowledge base of bacterial pathogen persistence and rates of genetic diversification in the Yuma and Salinas vegetable production regions (Key Learnings Session IV).
Session 5 featured research describing the “die-off” rates of human pathogens in agricultural water from three locations around the world, the persistence of pathogens in shade-house production environments, pathogen persistence in wash water systems and the potential role
of damaged cells to contaminate washed products, the efficacy of irrigation water sanitation and the potential role of sediments in canal systems as reservoirs of human pathogens (Key Learnings Session V).
The Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC) today announced that ALDI has joined the FPSC as a Gold supporter.
The Chairman of the FPSC, Mr Michael Worthington, said: “We are thrilled to have ALDI join the FPSC and we warmly welcome them on board. Having ALDI as an FPSC supporter expands our industry engagement, particularly in the all-important fresh produce retail space. We now have support from a very high percentage of the retail sector, providing us with strong platform to ensure that food safety in fresh produce is paramount from the farm right through to the consumer.”
“The support that ALDI is providing the FPSC demonstrates that the industry values the work we are doing. It also demonstrates the high importance that the fresh produce industry places on food safety,” Mr Worthington said.
ALDI’s Quality Assurance Director, Mr Scott Tyler, said: “ALDI’s emphasis is on providing safe, high quality fresh produce. We see the value that the FPSC is providing to the whole industry in promoting and enhancing food safety. We also believe that the FPSC has an important role to play in increasing business emphasis on promoting a culture of food safety across the board – from mum and dad growers right through to the major retailers like ALDI.”
“We are looking forward to working with the team at the FPSC on a range of issues relating to fresh produce safety. What the FPSC is striving for aligns with our own ethos: safe fresh produce, 365 days a year,” added Scott.
ALDI Australia opened its first stores in January 2001 at Bankstown Airport and Marrickville, with a core range of 600 products supplied by 174 business partners. Today ALDI operates more than 550 stores in six states and territories, directly employing more than 13,000 people and working with Australian business partners each day. Since opening in 2001, ALDI has contributed an estimated $23 billion to Australia’s gross domestic product. Find more about ALDI here.
ALDI will be joining the Fresh Produce Safety Centre at the Gold supporter level.
foodmag.com.au: Putting in place an effective Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety management plan has become a central priority for any facility involved in the production, processing or storage of food and beverage produce.
This preventive risk assessment system ensures that all food safety hazards are assessed and that appropriate controls are put in place to eliminate or reduce contamination.
Read the full article at the Food & Beverage magazine website
NZ Herald: Kiwi companies are developing and using cutting-edge technologies to ensure their food products are trusted within a discerning Chinese market where millennials are extensively researching brands before making purchases.
Read the full article at the NZ Herald website
Food & Beverage: Do you have a country of origin label on your food? Do you have “Made in Australia” or something similar on your packaging? Or is your food product imported? You need to be aware that as of 1 July 2016, new laws were introduced requiring a lot more information to be included on food packaging. There is a two-year transition period before the laws become mandatory.
Read the full article at the foodmag.com.au
Fresh Plaza: The laser technology for fruit and vegetables has more and more product applications. The cost price of lasering fresh produce is now equal to the use of stickers or plastic packaging.
The Packer: Seeing benefits for both the agency and for importers, officials at the Food and Drug Administration expect to soon begin accepting applications for the Voluntary Qualified Importer Program (VQIP). The program is voluntary and fee-based, to allow for quicker reviews and importation of foods into the U.S. for approved applicants who achieve and maintain a high level of control over the safety and security of their supply chains.
Read the full article at The Packer