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Posts from the ‘Food (Safety) Standards’ Category

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 Australian 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Timing

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.

Partners

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.

 

 

USA: Researchers confirm flies can transfer E. coli from feedlots to produce fields

 

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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Review of Food Standards Code

Review of Food Standards Code chapters 3 and 4 – Food Safety Management Requirements

FSANZ is reviewing chapters 3 and 4 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) to ensure a consistent and current approach to through-chain food safety management in Australia. Requirements in chapters 3 and 4 only apply in Australia.

In June, the FPSC A-NZ submitted a response, in summary, below.

  • The Review is limited to discussion in the foodservice sector and the possibility of a primary production and processing standard (PPPS) for high-risk horticultural products.
  • We welcome the current approach that applies a risk-based approach to clearly define the product scope for a possible standard.
  • The industry released new Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety 2019 in June.
  • Need for caution about concentrating on products rather than the processes used to produce them.

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Understanding Good Food Safety Culture

A strong food safety culture will prevent further outbreaks, says Dr Pieternel Luning, visiting from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. However, it is unlikely we will ever reach zero.

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Food Safety Culture Top Tips

  1. Take an assessment of your current food safety culture – what’s happening, what isn’t
    1. Employee characteristics (food safety attitudes & values, food risk perceptions)
    2. Organisational characteristics (leadership, commitment, communication style, food safety/hygiene procedures)
    3. Food safety management system (design & operation)
    4. Facilitative technological resources (protective clothing, food safety/hygiene tools)
  2. Look at what you can actually see within an organisation
    1. Values on display
    2. Hygiene facilities
    3. Understanding of procedures
  3. People, process, purpose, practicality – think about these four areas when creating the right food safety culture in your organisation.

AEON First Asian Retailer to Label GGN

GLOBALG.A.P.: The Japanese AEON Group will become the first retailer to sell products in Asia with the GGN consumer label, thus showing that the products are supplied from farms that have obtained GLOBALG.A.P. certification for good agricultural practices. As of October 2018, AEON and AEON STYLE general merchandise stores, MaxValu supermarkets, and other AEON Group stores across Japan have begun selling GGN-labeled bananas, potatoes, and onions under AEON’s private brand “Topvalu”.

[news; food standards]

US: Trump’s new plan to consolidate federal food safety efforts won’t work. Here’s why

Timothy D. Lytton / The Conversation: The Trump administration on June 21 unveiled an ambitious plan to consolidate federal food safety efforts within the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Currently, 15 agencies throughout the federal government administer 35 different laws related to food safety under the oversight of nine congressional committees. The administration calls this system “illogical” and “fragmented.”

Concern about this state of affairs has been fueling similar consolidation proposals for decades. But my research for a forthcoming book on the U.S. food safety system suggests…

Read the full story at The Conversation

US: Ensuring the safety of food contact materials: GMPs and beyond

George Misko / Food Safety Magazine: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in January 2018 that it was exercising enforcement discretion with respect to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP) requirements for importers of food contact substances (FCSs).

The news was met with a sigh of relief by the industry. The reasons for FDA’s decision centered on the vastly different hazard profiles and risks presented between FCSs and traditional food.

Read the full article at the Food Safety Magazine website

UK: What bacteria don’t want you to know about food safety

Dominic Cuthbert / Food and Drink International: Business standards company BSI has published the revised international standard for food safety management.

ISO 22000:2018 Food safety management systems – requirements for any organisation in the food chain provides a framework based on best practice for any organisation, from a small, family-owned farm to a multi-national food service outlet, to implement a comprehensive food safety management system.

Read the full post at fdiforum.net

NZ: HortNZ Food Act Update

HortNZ: The Food Act 2014 and its regulations apply to a range of horticultural growing and post harvest food activities. The only current exceptions are  growers who are not selling their produce, and those that sell all of their own product direct to consumers eg. growers who sell all of their product through “gate sales” or personally take their product to a farmers’ market where they sell to consumers.

There is recognition that existing  Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) programmes provide an excellent avenue for growers to meet Food Act requirements and discussions are well underway with MPI on how to ensure growers will be able to demonstrate their compliance as part of their standard GAP programme. While the details of exactly how GAP systems can be recognised for the Food Act are still being finalised, it is important that growers understand that options are being developed and details will be available in the near future.

Growers who are not currently covered by a recognised GAP programme will need to ensure their growing practices are safe and they will need to arrange for their own registration and verification. As previously stated, HortNZ recommends growers become certified under a GAP scheme to meet market and Food Act requirements.

What do growers need to do?

Growers are required to apply for registration under the Food Act 2014 by 30 November 2018 in order to be registered for the Food Act by the final deadline  of 28 February 2019.

Read the full post in the HortNZ newsletter

FR: Introducing the latest version of the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements

Global Food Safety Initiative: Over the last 17 years the GFSI Benchmarking Requirements have evolved considerably. As the food industry adapts and changes, we’re always looking to keep up to date and reflect best practices. If I had to sum up the key additions to this latest version in a few words, I’d say “improved auditor competency” and “covering the supply chain from farm to fork”.

Read the full article at the Global Food Safety Initiative website