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Posts tagged ‘fresh produce’

Listeria in fresh produce. Are we any the wiser?

‘The role of food safety staff must go beyond compliance and keeping the regulatory guys happy,’ said Suresh DeCosta, Director of Food Safety, Lipman Family Farms (USA) and Technical Committee, Center for Produce Safety (USA), at the 5th Annual Fresh Produce Safety Conference in Sydney last week.

The number of deaths from the 2017 listeriosis outbreak in South Africa reached 216, making it the most lethal outbreak in history. The source was cured meats.

On a much smaller scale, Australia recently experienced lethal outbreaks traced to cheese and rockmelons. While the number of recorded hospitalised cases in Australia is low – around 70 a year – Listeria continues to be a major problem for the food industry, and a priority theme for the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand.

Microbiologist Dr Robert Premier explained there are 17 species of Listeria but most are harmless and only two are implicated in human infections. Read more

UK: Red Tractor fresh produce to be recognised by two major food assurance schemes

Farminguk: Tesco has announced that from the beginning of April 2018 it will recognise Red Tractor’s standards as equivalent to its Nurture scheme. International assurance body GLOBALG.A.P. also confirmed that as a result of its own benchmarking exercise the requirement for a further farm assessment has been removed.

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AU/NZ: FPSC professional development event hits the mark

The Fresh Produce Safety Centre’s professional development event at Melbourne Markets focused on the latest in chemical and microbial testing issues, providing attendees with extra resources and knowledge to help them make better decisions and get the greatest value from their testing dollar.

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US: Wal-Mart weighs in on food safety

Good Fruit Grower: Illnesses caused by foodborne pathogens are becoming much easier to track and investigate, and new science — whole genome sequencing — is enabling outbreaks to be traced to the source of the investigation. That means apple growers and packers need to up their game, according to Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety and health for Wal-Mart. “What you did for food safety last year is no longer good enough, and you’re going to have to do something different this year and next year,”

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AU: Chemical and microbial testing for customer and consumer confidence

Attend the half-day professional development workshop for produce QA managers, trainers, auditors, students of food safety, risk managers and others, being delivered by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre at Melbourne Markets Conference Centre, Epping, on Wednesday 12 October, 10am to 2pm.

Speakers from wholesale, retail, growers and regulatory organisations will update participants on the latest techniques and requirements for testing fresh produce.

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US: Supermarkets’ pre-prepared food boom raises safety concerns

WSJ / The Australian: Supermarkets in the US are starting to look a lot more like takeaway restaurants, but the explosion of prepared meals has brought new food safety issues that even leading chains are racing to manage.
Whole Foods Market, a trailblazer in the sale of fresh-cooked items, was recently forced to temporarily close one of its commercial kitchens producing fresh meals for stores.

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US: The human element of food safety

Food Business News: Frank Yiannas, author and vice-president of food safety for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said he believes the “soft sciences” outlined in his newest book, “Food Safety = Behavior: 30 Proven Techniques to Enhance Employee Compliance,” hold the answer to changing the face of food safety for the better.

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US: Finalised US sanitary rule requires more scrutiny from food shippers

Journal of Commerce / Lara L. Sowinski: On April 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule establishing requirements for shippers, loaders, carriers by motor vehicle and rail, and receivers engaged in the transportation of food, including animal food, to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure the safety of the food they transport. The final rule is part of the FDA’s larger effort to focus on...

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AU: Vegetable sector works to standardise food safety and quality assurance

ABC Rural / Sarina Locke: The horticulture sector is hoping to save $40 million by streamlining quality assurance on farms and in the supply chain. A trial of the more standardised process is happening at Coastal Hydroponics, which produces green leafy salad vegetables from its base on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

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AU: Top ten reasons why a cold chain fails

Silvia Estrada-Flores / LinkedIn: Cold chains are extremely important to safeguard any perishable product, be [it] perishable food or temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. Sadly, even though there are technologies and knowledge out there that could avoid loss of temperature control during storage and transport of goods, we continue to see spoilage and food safety issues that could have been avoided with better temperature control solutions.

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