Tag: Food Safety

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.

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Tag: Food Safety

Traceability set to improve with the GS1 DataBar

GS1 have launched the new GS1 DataBar, to be implemented globally from January 2014.
This in an important development and will impact retailers both locally and internationally.
The GS1 DataBar is a family of seven barcodes, four of which can be read by omnidirectional scanners at Point-of-Sale. The smaller size will provide several advantages to anyone working in the supply chain and specifically for the fresh produce industry, allowing products that have not been previously barcoded to be quickly and accurately scanned at Point-of-Sale. The benefits of the new GS1 DataBar include:
•              Improved Traceability – with more information input into the barcodes
•              Enhanced and wider category management
•              Product authentication
•              Global variable measure product identification
•              Increased shrink control through more effective markdown management
As an example, the GS1 DataBar provides for the automated markdown of products approaching expiry date. This saves time and resources in manual markdown and gives retailers the scope to improve product rotation and eliminate non-sales from expired products.
This will increase the level of confidence in the safety of fresh produce and aligns with goals of the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI).
Furthermore, the long-anticipated report produced for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) (report), was recently released and fits also with the PTI and the developments GS1 are making for traceability of fresh Produce. The recommendations in the IFT report including: encouraging current industry-led initiatives, not excluding commodities; accepting electronic traceability data/records during product tracing investigations; and requiring all organizations that handle food in the supply chain to identify and maintain records of traceability related information.
It is recommended that anyone working in the supply chain, no matter what size, understand the GS1 DataBar.
For more information on the GS1 DataBar, download the brochure.

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Tag: Food Safety

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.

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