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Posts from the ‘Microbial Contamination’ Category

US: Industry members, food safety veterans urge companies to invest in traceability

Produce Retailer: Panelists at the Center for Produce Safety Symposium described better traceback as essential to containing foodborne illness outbreaks and urged companies to invest in that infrastructure. The somber and frank discussion, moderated by Produce Marketing Association CEO Cathy Burns, started with a review of the recent spate of E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce. Burns asked each member of the group to share his biggest takeaway from the romaine debacle.

US: Recovering From A Pathogen-Related Recall

Global Food Safety Resource: More than half of the secret to recovering from a pathogen-related product recall lies in being prepared before it even happens, according to Keith Warriner, a professor of food science at Canada’s University of Guelph. “Have a recall team that includes someone with decision-making authority,” he says, noting that, depending on the company, the team should also have staff from quality assurance, production, marketing and distribution.

NZ: Yersinia infection still a mystery after 2014 outbreak in NZ

Stuff.co.nz: New Zealanders were surprised to learn that those forces for good in human health – lettuce and carrots – were identified as a common link in the outbreak of Yersinia infections that made at least 220 people sick and sent 70 to hospital in 2014. [T]he source of the New Zealand outbreak was never proven, and this was mainly because of the difficulty of tracing all the ingredients of a mixed salad.

AU: Dump the dumps to avoid listeria potential, rockmelon growers told

Queensland Country Life: Converting water-holding “dump tanks” to dry dumps has emerged as a common recommendation for rockmelon growers in order to prevent another listeria outbreak. Growers have also been advised on correct cleaning practices and encouraged to embrace automation to further avoid a repeat of the listeria outbreak which crippled the industry a year ago.

US: FDA says poor records stalled outbreak work; feedlot likely source of E. coli

Food Safety News: Federal officials won’t say definitively that contaminated canal water was behind this year’s deadly E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, but they are saying they “found no evidence in support of alternative explanations.” Another point made clear in an outbreak investigation report released yesterday puts the FDA firmly on record when it comes to antiquated shipping and receiving recordkeeping used by many in the leafy greens industry.

AU: Paper towels or air hand dryers: Which is better for the environment and hygiene?

ABC News: Given a choice, what do you use: a paper towel or an electric hand dryer? Or do you wipe your hands on your jeans and walk out the door? The paper-towel-vs-hand-dryer debate makes headlines whenever a study comes out in favour of   one or the other. Look at who doles out the money for these studies, though, and you’ll see it’s usually the “winning” side. Still, universities and research institutions do (hopefully) conduct the research independently, even if they receive industry funding. So let’s take a look at what they say.

US: 4 Million Pounds of Food Part of Massive Recall

WebMD: A massive recall involving nearly 4 million pounds of salads, wraps, and other products has been traced to a common supplier of onions and other vegetables. McCain Foods, headquartered in Canada, announced that its fire-roasted, caramelized, or sauteed frozen vegetables and fruits made at its Colton, CA, facility may have been contaminated. The products were sold in Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Walmart, Kroger, and Target stores across the country.

US: Austrian Hepatitis A cases match strain in Swedish outbreak

Food Safety News: Austria has become part of a multi-country Hepatitis A outbreak with 31 confirmed cases linked to frozen strawberries imported from Poland. The outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) is connected to the one recently declared over in Sweden which affected 20 people in six counties. Of these cases, 17 were confirmed and three were probable. Dates of symptom onset ranged from May 30 to July 10. Ages ranged from nine to 92 years and 13 out of 20 were women.

US: America’s enduring failure to prevent food-borne illness

Emily Atkin / The New Republic: The CDC’s green light to eat romaine again may have marked the end of the lettuce crisis in consumers’ minds, but the situation is far from over. The agency and the FDA are still investigating why and how a dangerous strand of E. coli wound up contaminating lettuce in Yuma. No single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor has been blamed, and investigators are still unsure whether contamination happened during the growing, washing, chopping, or bagging process.

Read the full article at The New Republic

AU: Frozen vegetables recall over fears of potential contamination not expected to generate consumer backlash

NSW Country Hour: Simplot, the largest Australian manufacturer of frozen vegetables, is confident consumers here will not be put off buying the local product in the wake of the recall of imported frozen vegetables announced on Monday.

Read the full article at the NSW Country Hour website