Posts from the "Food (Safety) Standards" category

Sponsorship Prospectus for the Fresh Produce Safety Conference 2021 – available now

The Sponsorship Prospectus for the 2021 Fresh Produce Safety Conference is available now.
The Fresh Produce Safety Conference will be held in Sydney and online on 18 August 2021. Themed Future Directions for Produce Safety, the conference brings together key industry professionals to explore issues and research around fresh produce food safety.
Click to view the Sponsorship Prospectus

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Vale Robert Taylor

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.
Words by
Bruce Gormley
General Manager, AUS-MEAT & Industry Standards

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SEA: WHO framework targets improved food safety in South East Asia

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.


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Key learnings from the CPS 2020 Research Symposium

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 roleof 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).

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FIAL & AIFST: Food Safety Governance For Directors

FIAL and AIFST are hosting a Food Safety Governance for Directors workshop on 15 September 2020.

The workshop, run via Zoom, is designed to provide a governance overview for Directors, Executives and senior management of food manufacturing and supply businesses based in Australia to support the production and sale of safe food both domestically and overseas.

The workshop will help directors to understand the importance of food safety governance, their responsibilities and role in assuring food safety performance. It will also discuss the tools to monitor and verify food safety system performance and the essentials of good food safety governance. More here.

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FSANZ: Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-Risk Horticulture

FSANZ extends submission deadline to 25 MarchFood Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has extended the deadline for the call for submissions on primary production and processing (PPP) requirements to address food safety for high-risk horticultural products to 25 March 2020. More information is here. To make a submission to FSANZ, visit here.PPP standards are incorporated into Chapter 4 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code and apply to Australia only. Chapter 4 Primary Production and Processing Standards do not apply in New Zealand. FPSC is asking the wider fresh produce industry to feed-back information and suggestions on this proposal to FPSC. If you would like to discuss your submission or issues raised, please contact the FPSC Chairman Michael Worthington on +61 409 181 034 or FPSC Executive Officer Emma Walters on +61 419 204 454.

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AU-NZ: Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-Risk Horticulture

A reminder to the fresh produce industry that the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) call for submissions on primary production and processing requirements to address food safety for high-risk horticultural products closes on 18 March 2020. More information is here. To make a submission to FSANZ, visit here.The Fresh Produce Safety Centre is on the Standards Development Advisory Group convened by FSANZ for information and advice on this issue.  FSANZ is seeking submissions, particularly around the questions in the call for submission document. FSANZ is also seeking advice if there are any relevant area(s) that should be addressed which may be missing from the information provided in the call for submissions.FPSC is asking the wider fresh produce industry to feed-back information and suggestions on this proposal to FPSC. Please do so by COB 16 March 2020. If you would like to discuss your submission or issues raised, please contact the FPSC Chairman Michael Worthington on +61 409 181 034 or FPSC Executive Officer Emma Walters on +61 419 204 454.

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AU-NZ: Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-Risk Horticulture

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has called for submissions to consider primary production and processing requirements to address food safety for high-risk horticultural products. Submissions are now open and close on 18 March 2020. More information is here.FSANZ: “FSANZ has raised a proposal, Primary Production and Processing Requirements for High-risk Horticulture (P1052) to consider the development of a primary production and processing (PPP) standard for high-risk horticulture as part of a broader review of chapter 3 and 4 of the Food Standards Code.

We are currently seeking comment from the community, growers, industry and other interested parties on a first call for submissions. The period for comment closes at 6pm (Canberra time) Wednesday 18 March 2020.

This call for submissions will seek information on the current environment and potential options for regulatory and non-regulatory measures to manage high risk horticulture.”

FPSC encourages industry to review the documentation provided by FSANZ, and to make submissions as appropriate, by the deadline of 18 March. To make a submission, visit here.FPSC will provide updates on this issue over the coming weeks.

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2025 AGENDA: The 2025 Fresh Produce Food Safety Innovation Agenda

Five years on from the inception of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand, we’ve achieved strong collaboration by bringing together, in a non-competitive space, the key influencers and networks from across the globe in fresh produce food safety.
With rich online resources of interpreted leading research, articles and tools, we have actively developed partnerships beyond our networks to bring to the fresh produce sector the best opportunity to tackle emerging food safety issues.
The Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety continue to represent the most recent research-based evidence and thinking in food safety. As the custodians of the Guidelines, we ensure they are readily available as a practical resource for growers, packers and along the supply chain.
We have also developed research partnerships – ARC Training Centre in Fresh Produce Food Safety, Freshcare Limited and Applied Horticultural Research – to undertake Australian based research that provides local evidence to inform domestic and export requirements such as withholding periods for animal manures, composts and irrigation water. These findings are segue directly into the biennial updates of the Guidelines.
Key Food Safety Challenges
An emerging food safety issue is the effect of climate change. It is a theme that is gaining momentum with growers, industry bodies and the research community who are starting to delve into the ramifications on food safety of unpredictable weather patterns and climate conditions.
Without the historical intelligence and records growers rely upon to enforce their decisions, we are racing to create the knowledge bank that will allow safe fresh produce to flourish in this new and changing era.
We are responding to this challenge by undertaking global desktop research in partnership with The University of Sydney to better understand the food safety risks associated with a range of climatic conditions. Initial findings from this research are due to be completed in November 2019.
Consumer scrutiny about fresh produce traceability and food safety are increasingly a challenge for the fresh produce sector in Australia and New Zealand. With incidences from listeria to needles to frogs and spiders in packaged goods, consumers are uncertain about the robustness of the supply chain from farm to retailer.
2025 Agenda: The 2025 Fresh Produce Food Safety Innovation Agenda is our response to this challenge.
2025 Agenda
In June 2019, we hosted 30 key influencers from Australia and New Zealand’s horticultural and innovation sectors to a one-day Innovation Forum. The result was a mandate that FPSC A-NZ lead the conversation and activities to investigate opportunities.
Tasked with empowering the Australian and New Zealand fresh produce industry with novel and innovative systems and processes that leads to safer fresh produce for consumers, the 2025 Agenda focuses on transformational risk management in fresh produce food safety by tapping into indigenous and global talent within fresh produce, the research community, and the technology and innovation experts outside our natural space to help find solutions.
This style of thinking is our opportunity to delve into what the future of fresh produce food safety looks like beyond 2025. We are at the start-line of the opportunity to write the future for fresh produce and reaffirm consumer trust in our systems and processes.
The initial scope (Stage One) of the 2025 Agenda is to undertake:

A desktop analysis to produce a review of food safety compliance systems across the globe with an understanding of what components can be used in A-NZ that are transformational.
A study of the food safety audit to map a typical compliance system leading to the identification of process improvements at each stage, both as a technology solution and best practice human input.

The initial scoping activities will be completed by March 2020.
Upon completion of these activities, broad-spectrum industry engagement to peak industry bodies and growers, scheme owners, and government will occur to allow for full transparency of the process to-date, consultation on the findings and further opportunities for involvement.
Stage Two of the 2025 Agenda is set to begin in mid-2020.
Key stakeholders involved in the 2025 Agenda are: Perfection Fresh, Costa Group, T&G Global, RockIt, Amazon Web Services, Vodafone, IBM Food Trust, CHEP, Escavox, HarvestMark/Trimble, Intela Data Science, Merieux Nutrisciences, Freshcare Limited, GS1, HARPS, Optimum Standards, University of Queensland, and New Zealand Food Safety Science & Research Centre.
Download a copy of the 2025 Agenda here. For further information about involvement and opportunities please complete the form below.
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USA: Researchers confirm flies can transfer E. coli from feedlots to produce fields

By Coral Beach on July 31, 2019

Along with feedlot dust blowing in the wind and surface irrigation water flowing adjacent to feedlots, flies captured in leafy greens plots near feedlots are capable of transferring E. coli from animal operations to produce fields.
Set for publication in August in the “Journal of Food Protection,” new research from a team of experts links contamination of leafy greens with E. coli from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), also referred to as feedlots, via “pest flies.”  
“Most fly isolates were the same predominant pulsed-field gel electrophoresis types found in feedlot surface manure and leafy greens, suggesting a possible role for flies in transmitting E. coli O157:H7 to the leafy greens,” according to the research abstract.

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