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Posts tagged ‘Food (Safety) Standards’

Supermarkets step up unannounced supplier audits

Food and Drink Manufacturing News: Unannounced hygiene audits of supermarkets? food and drink suppliers are becoming increasingly common, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Professor Chris Elliott, who carried out the investigation into the 2013 horsemeat contamination scandal.

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Changes to the MRLS for Blueberries and Raspberries – FSANZ

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has submitted an application to request consideration of maximum residue limits (MRLs) for agricultural chemicals concerned with individually quick frozen (IQF) blueberries and raspberries imported from Chile.

The request is made to address a need for sourcing competitively priced ingredients in a convenient format for consumers wishing to incorporate blueberries and raspberries into their diets.

The chemicals for which the MRLs are requested are Azoxystrobin (blueberry); Fenhexamid (blueberry); Fludioxonil (blueberry) and Bifenthrin (raspberry).

These chemicals are already permitted to be used in Australia for other commodities.

Read the executive summary here.

Read about the submission in more detail.

Center for Produce Safety Research Findings Now Online

New resources translating current research from the Center for Produce Safety (CPS) into practical applications for individual food safety programs are now online and openly available to all industry members. These tools distill the 16 CPS-funded research programs discussed at the 2013 Center for Produce Safety Produce Research Symposium held June 25-26 and the 2013 Fresh Connections: Food Safety Highlights event that followed June 27, both at the Wegmans Conference Center in Rochester, N.Y.

“Translating science-based research on produce safety into real-world application for industry members’ own food safety programs is what the CPS, its annual symposium and these online tools are all about,” said Dr. Bob Whitaker, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Chief Science & Technology Officer. “By making this information widely available in everyday language, we are able to more effectively leverage data to improve food safety programs and close gaps in industry’s food safety efforts.”

Online tools available at PMA.com include:

  • 2013 CPS Symposium: 10 Lessons Learned – an insider’s guide on the symposium’s key findings authored by Dr. Whitaker and PMA Vice President of Food Safety & Technology Dr. Jim Gorny.
  • 2013 Fresh Connections: Food Safety Highlights presentations – eight recorded PowerPoint presentations led by Drs. Whitaker and Gorny. In addition to outlining the basics behind current CPS data, these presentations also look at some of the research’s implications relative to the Food Safety Modernization Act and current pending proposed rules.

Many of the key lessons noted in the guide and presentations will also be the subject of a series of podcasts PMA will be adding to its resource library over the next few months. The podcasts will feature Drs. Whitaker and Gorny along with PMA Director Food Safety & Technology Johnna Hepner and will be available through www.pma.com. The full technical reports for the 16 research programs presented during the 2013 CPS Produce Research Symposium can be found on the CPS website at www.cps@ucdavis.edu

10 Lessons Learned at the 2013 CPS Symposium

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) held its fourth annual research symposium in Rochester, NY at the Wegmans Conference Center on June 25-26, 2013. The symposium featured sixteen CPS-funded research programs and discussions on what the research means. While the full technical reports for these research programs can be found on the CPS website, PMA’s Dr. Bob Whitaker, chief science and technology officer, and Dr. Jim Gorny, vice president food safety and technology, translated the research to identify ten key lessons learned from the symposium.

2013 CPS Symposium: 10 Lessons Learned

2013 CPS Research Symposium resources now available

A number of resources from the 4th annual Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium have now been made available via the CPS website:

  • Symposium presentations including one by Bill Marler – “The Evolving Legal and Financial Realities of Produce Food Safety: What it means for you”- CPS website. See the full list of Resources
  • Final reports, CPS funded research – CPS website; Awards list . Reports are noted on right hand side of the page.
  • CPS 2013 Research Posters – CPS website; Poster Sessions

Stay tuned for the key learnings from the event.

‘What it takes to instill a food safety culture in your business’ new presentation

Food Safety in our industry is a consumer-right, requiring a collaborative effort from all sectors of the industry. Dr Douglas Powell, Professor of food safety at Kansas State University was at PMA Fresh Connections 2013 Conference last week to challenge businesses not to rely on regulation, but to rely on their staff to deliver safe food.

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Irradiation of Tomatoes and Capsicums Approved by FSANZ.

Tomatoes and capsicums have recently been added to the list of produce permitted to receive irradiation as a phytosanitary measure by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ).

This change comes following application by DAFF Queensland, in association with the New Zealand Fresh Produce Importers Association (NZFPIA), who requested the variation be made to Standard 1.5.3.

In the past, chemicals such as dimethoate and/or fenthion have primarily been used as the phytosanitary measures however these chemicals have been restricted for this purpose and other options need to be considered. Permitting irradiation of tomatoes and capsicums will allow the increase of domestic and international trade due to the rigorous requirements in place for quarantine purposes against fruit fly.

FSANZ has reviewed the application and the scientific evidence on the safety of irradiated tomatoes and capsicums as well as the effect irradiation has on their nutritional composition. The approval has been submitted to the Council Of Australian Governments (COAG) and awaits their decision.

For more information about this approval, go to the FSANZ website.

Ministry for Primary Industries, NZ, releases study on Residues on Fresh Produce

Last month, the Ministry for Primary Industries, New Zealand, released the findings from the annual Food Residue Surveillance Program which targeted locally-produced and imported crops prone to exceeding the maximum residue limit (MRL) set for agricultural chemicals.

The study looked at chemical residues in fresh, unwashed produce and results indicated that most growers are using pesticides responsibly in the recommended manner with only a few exceptions. This year’s focus was on asparagus, eggplant, feijoas, hops, lemons, olive oil, persimmons, pumpkins, spring onion, sweet corn, tamarillos and walnuts.

Produce is sampled over the 12 month period so as to allow for seasonal variation in the food. The results are reported on after each quarter of testing. This differs from previous studies where sampling produce occurred twice over a short period of time.

Read the full article.

Find out more about the Food Residue Surveillance Program at the Ministry for Primary Industries | Manatu Ahu Matua, New Zealand.