Posts from the "Research & Development" category

US: Consumers are more afraid of food

Food Business News: The thrill is gone — that is, for 40% of consumers who reported in a recent survey they no longer enjoy the foods they eat due to safety and quality concerns. Nearly twice as many parents as non-parents shared these fears, said Daymon Worldwide, New York.

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US: Survey of food safety practices – Small farms and farmers markets

Journal of Food Protection: This study evaluated current food safety practices used by farmers on small to medium-sized farms and managers of farmers markets in Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina based on responses to surveys. Data were collected from 226 farmers and 45 market managers. Responses from farmers indicated that more than 56% of them use manures. Of those who use manures, 34% use raw or mixtures of raw and composted manure, and over 26% wait fewer than 90 days between application of raw manure and harvest. Over 27% use water sources that have not been tested for safety for irrigation, and 16% use such water sources for washing produce. Over 43% do not sanitize surfaces that touch produce at the farm. Only 33% of farmers always clean transport containers between uses.

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US/AU: Treatments may speed vegetable replanting of Salmonella-contaminated soil

Center for Produce Safety: Simultaneous field trials are being conducted half way around the world to determine whether cover crops, soil or bed solarization, or a combination of both can help remediate Salmonella enterica-contaminated soil.

The research is being led by Trevor Suslow, University of California Extension Research Specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, Davis, California; along with co-investigator Robyn McConchie, Associate Professor in the Department of Plant and Food Science and department head, University of Sydney, Australia.

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Provider announced to conduct “understanding the gaps” food safety literature review project

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre (FPSC) has announced that a joint proposal – from TQA Australia Inc, RMCG, and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research in New Zealand, in concert with the Food Safety Centre at the University of Tasmania – has been selected as the successful bid for the “Understanding the Gaps” literature review of fresh produce safety research.

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US: Researchers tap GIS to help predict on-farm foodborne pathogen risks

US Center for Produce Safety: Growers may soon be able to log onto a website, note their farm’s location and view the relative risks from foodborne pathogens as different color gradients on a map. They could then make more informed planting and management decisions that would help minimize potential contamination. That scenario isn’t too far off and is one of the next steps in research that melds geographic information system (GIS) mapping with mathematical equations to create foodborne pathogen risk-prediction models.
“People want guidelines in terms of high risk areas and how far to stay away in terms of planting,” Wiedmann said. “How many meters is that magic cutoff? Risk is never yes or no. It’s a gradient.”
Click here to read the full article from the US Center for Produce Safety.

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AU/NZ: Submissions close soon for comment on Guidelines discussion paper.

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre is seeking comments on the content, presentation structure and format of the Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety. Please submit your comments by 13 April 2015.
Click here to download the discussion paper and upload comments.
The Guidelines for Fresh Produce Food Safety has been sponsored by these organisations:

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NZ: Food safety ‘key to new Chinese research agreement’

Fuseworks media writes: Lincoln University continues to develop its interests in China with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South China University of Technology, from Guangdong Province.
As well as offering exchange opportunities for academic staff and students, the MOU aims to establish joint research projects between the two institutions. Most significantly, the requirements for developing a joint research centre for food safety and processing will also be discussed.
“At the heart of this MOU is a desire to form research collaborations more specifically around food safety, food processing, and nutrition,” says Lincoln University Professor of Food Science, Charles Brennan.
Click here to read the full article from Fuseworks Media.

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AU: Price, fat and appearance … are more important than country of origin, production methods or other labelling claims

Shoppers may claim they are interested in how food is produced and its effect on the planet, but in the end it is looks and cost that matter most. Research from the University of Adelaide shows there are two standards to the way people shop.
The first is called their "public values", which is where they talk about things like being hormone free, carbon neutral, low food miles and ethically farmed.
The second are their "private values" – how much does something cost? Does it look good? How much fat is in it? Will my children be safe eating it?
Dr Wendy Umberger, from the University of Adelaide, told the ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra that fewer than one in 20 shoppers back up their public values at the checkout.
Click here to read the full article from ABC News.

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EU: Journal Dedicates Issue to Climate Change and Food Safety

Food Research International has published a special issue dedicated to the impacts of climate change on food safety.
The collection of research examined issues such as pesticide use, parasite transmission, mycotoxin production on tomatoes, paralytic shellfish poisoning, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, and the relationship between flooding and leafy greens contamination.
Click here to read the article in Food Safety News.
Abstracts of the various papers are available here.

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ES: Reported Foodborne Outbreaks Due to Fresh Produce in the United States and European Union: Trends and Causes

This study addresses the occurrence of reported foodborne outbreaks associated with fresh fruits and vegetables consumption in the United States and European Union during the period 2004 – 2012, where data are available. Special attention is paid to those pathogens responsible for these outbreaks, the mechanisms of contamination, and the fresh produce vehicles involved. [T]he pattern of fresh produce outbreaks differed in the United States and European Union by the type of microorganism and the food vehicle involved.
Click here to access the full report in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease.

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