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Posts tagged ‘microbiological contamination’

US: Romaine crisis creates anxiety for local farmers, but false claims about food safety hurt the industry

Fresh Fruit Portal: Very often the produce industry can be its own worst enemy. Because the crop is perishable and few growers are national or global producers, there is a constant desire to differentiate various growing regions.

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AU: Salmonella and rockmelon – Q&A

Food Standards Australia & New Zealand: Why has a warning about consuming rockmelons been issued?

Salmonella has been detected on the surface of some rockmelons that were sampled from a retail outlet in South Australia by South Australia Health.

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US: Listeria/caramel apple outbreak forces a shift of priorities

Produce Retailer: The listeria outbreak connected to caramel apples in late 2014 and early 2015 gave the produce industry a slap to remind it to remain vigilant about food safety. Discussion of the outbreak dominated the first day of the seventh annual Center for Produce Safety Research Symposium on June 28-29.

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US: Modern outbreak detection challenges produce food safety

The Packer: DNA fingerprinting and other scientific methods — as well as social media — are changing the face of food illness outbreaks.

Panelists participating in an Oct. 23 food safety workshop at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit learned that and as scientific methods which can link foodborne illness cases in Oregon to one in the middle of the country, social media can link rare and sporadic spoilage issues.

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Infections diseases and biosecurity colloquium at the Marie Bashir Institute

6 November 2015
The Marie Bashir Institute Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) is hosting a colloqium at the University of Sydney on Friday 6 November.

The colloquium is open to anyone with an interest in the areas of emerging/re-emerging infectious diseases and biosecurity, with a particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.

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AU: Good manufacturing practice key to reducing listeria risk

Foodmagazine: Between 2005 and 2014 more than 586 product recalls were initiated by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), with 198 due to Listeria Monocytogenes contamination, writes Bonnie Tai.

With meat and dairy more susceptible to contracting the potentially-lethal pathogen than any other food product, FSANZ spokesman Raphael May told Food Magazine that it’s important that plant managers and staff gain a good understanding around the risks associated with Listeria. “Basic principles for controlling listeria in food include equipment and facilities that should be designed, constructed and laid out to ensure clean-ability, minimisation of harbourage sites and prevention of cross-contamination,” he says.

Click here to read the full article from Foodmagazine

UK: A large Great Britain-wide outbreak of STEC O157 phage type 8 linked to handling of raw leeks and potatoes

Epidemiology & Infection: Between December 2010 and July 2011, 252 cases of STEC [Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli] O157 PT8 stx1 + 2 infection were reported in England, Scotland and Wales. This was the largest outbreak of STEC reported in England and the second largest in the UK to date. Eighty cases were hospitalized, with two cases of haemolytic uraemic syndrome and one death reported.

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Food safety and foodservice – an unavoidable relationship, writes Richard Bennett

The question was posed: Is food safety the weakest link in the foodservice sector? That was the question requiring an answer at the recent PMA A-NZ Fresh Connections Foodservice Forum in May. Is food safety the most critical aspect of foodservice, or are issues like raw material supply, product innovation, packaging, shelf life and logistics, higher priorities?
Sadly, the facts speak for themselves, and food safety has to be right at the top, even if it’s not alone. “From 2007 to 2009, annual OzFoodNet data has consistently indicated that, on average, approximately two-thirds of all reported foodborne illness outbreaks in Australia involved food prepared in retail/food service settings e.g. restaurants, takeaways, commercial caterers, camps, cruise/airline, national franchised fast food restaurants and delicatessens” (Office of Best Practice Regulation 2011). That’s a sobering quote to start with.

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AU: Food-borne illness a major health threat

Nine News: Food-borne illnesses now pose one of the greatest threats to the health of Australians, warns a communicable diseases expert.

Changes to the way food is grown and distributed across the globe have been blamed for the increased risk of serious illness from the consumption of contaminated food.

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US: Current issues in produce safety: growing areas

Food Safety News: There is nothing more iconic than the image of the farmer plowing his field, and anyone rubbing shoulders with these hard-working individuals enters a world of timeless traditions.

Food safety in any application may seem quite simple, and so it appears to be in agriculture, at least on the surface. If the growing area is free of contamination and workers are in good health, and the environment, water and overall growing conditions do not negatively impact operations, consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables should be considered a low risk for causing foodborne illness.

The evidence, however, points strongly in the other direction. Produce-borne outbreaks caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses are all-too-common events and, in many instances, investigation reveals unsanitary conditions in the growing area as the initial source of the pathogenic agent.

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