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Posts from the ‘Regulation & Protocols’ Category

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.

 

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 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).

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.

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

FSANZ extends submission deadline to 25 March

Food 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.


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.

Webinar – Innovation Agenda: Opportunities to Improve the Audit Process

Date and Time: 10-11am (AEDT), Tuesday 10 March 2020

Webinar – Innovation Agenda: Opportunities to Improve the Audit Process – a view from Lucy MacLennan from Red Tractor

Presented by the FPSC A&NZ and Freshcare.

Register here.

This webinar will be in two parts: the first part will be an overview of the UK’s Red Tractor and its assurance scheme for fresh produce. The second part will be Lucy’s personal views about the opportunities to improve the audit process, as part of a project she is undertaking for a Nuffield Scholarship.

About the Speaker: Lucy MacLennan is a specialist consultant to the food industry having worked as a food technologist for more than 20 years. Her work has taken her around the world improving the quality and safety of fresh produce as well as ambient grocery products and high care chilled prepared foods.

She is currently a 2020 Nuffield Scholar, having previously obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Agrifood from the University of Nottingham, an MBA from Cranfield University and her undergraduate degree BSc (Hons) in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Surrey.

Lucy’s career has seen her work for leading UK retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, as well as working extensively throughout their supply bases. Her consultancy work has led to the development of the Marks & Spencer Select Grower standard which has step changed food safety standards within the fresh produce industry.

As well as her consultancy work, Lucy is Chief Executive of The Organic Research Centre, an organisation which seeks to redesign and deliver better farming practices based on organic and agroecological principles. She is also Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Fresh Produce Board Committee at Red Tractor Assurance.

This webinar will be in two parts:

Part A – Red Tractor Assurance is the leading farm assurance scheme in the UK.  It is one of the biggest brands in the UK, with its logo appearing on almost £15bn food sold.  The scheme covers 6 industry sectors: beef and lamb, poultry, dairy, crops, pigs and fresh produce.  Lucy is Chairman of the Fresh Produce Sector Board and Non Executive Director for Red Tractor and will provide an overview of the state of the fresh produce sector in the UK and how Red Tractor has responded and shaped its strategy accordingly.  In addition she will provide an overview of how the fresh produce standard is managed and implemented.

Part B – Lucy has built a wealth of experience developing GAP standards for UK retailers and has seen first hand where they work well but also the issues associated with audit and assurance schemes.  Her perception is that food safety audits are currently viewed as something of a necessary evil within supply chains – certification is a market entry requirement so the process is tolerated rather than really used by anyone to improve standards on farm.  But auditing on one day of the year can provide a false sense of year round compliance particularly regarding food safety.  She believes that there is an opportunity farm businesses to take more responsibility for their own continuous improvement of agricultural practices and that with improved attitudes, ownership of the challenge and building knowledge, ultimately the need for external audit could be reduced – or even eliminated and instead more emphasis should be placed on internal audit and leadership culture.  It is this opportunity that Lucy is exploring as part of her studies for her Nuffield Farming Scholarship.  In the course of her studies she will explore different fresh produce food safety standards around the world but in addition she will explore how audit has developed in other industries such as medicine, finance and the military in order to see whether there are opportunities to learn from their experience.

Register here.

 

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.

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.

Read more

Foreign object contamination of fresh produce

This fact sheet addresses the issue of physical contamination of fresh produce. It is divided into two sections: part 1 addresses pests and part 2 covers other physical contaminants.

View: Fact sheet: Foreign object contamination of fresh produce

Fruit and vegetable purchases may occasionally contain unintended additional contents, such as physical contaminants or foreign objects. 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.

FPSC has produced a fact sheet to address the topic of contamination of pests and objects.

Read more

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