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Posts tagged ‘On-Farm Food Safety’

SURVEY RESULTS: Does the Industry need a Fresh Produce Safety Centre?

A primary objective for FPS A&NZ was to scope out the feasibility for a dedicated body to identify research needs and provide appropriate food safety solutions for the Australian fresh produce Industry.

FPS A&NZ has made strong progress towards this objective and it was decided to survey the industry to determine the level of support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre. The survey was sent to the entire list of individuals who have registered to receive regular newsletters from FPS A&NZ, representing a large range of sectors in the fresh produce industry.

The survey contained questions aimed at gauging  industry’s in-principle support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre; whether the University of Sydney was an appropriate ‘base’ for the Centre; what should be the overarching role of the Centre; and what were the priorities for food safety research.

From the responses, there was overwhelming support, in principle, for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre (98%) and for it to be “housed” at the University of Sydney (95%).

The survey also revealed that the role of the proposed Centre was to call and manage research in food safety and importantly to provide industry wide education and information and news on fresh produce safety, while representing the industry on regulatory matters was the most unpopular role for the Centre.  Results like this provide information that will assist in ensuring that the roles of other organisations will not be duplicated.

Research priorites needed to address the gaps in knowledge in food safety covers a wide variety of areas, but the top three topics as chosen by the respondents were Microbial contamination on-farm followed by topics Pathogens in the postharvest supply chain and Water – Postharvest.

The survey unequivocally indicated that there is widespread support for the establishment of a Fresh Produce Safety Centre for the whole fresh fruit and vegetable industries that will identify and conduct industry-driven research projects and provide valuable information, education and outreach on all aspects of fresh produce safety.

Download the full survey report here.

FRESHCARE WORKSHOP: Summary from the Freshcare team.

The recent Freshcare Workshop, held in Sydney, brought together experts from grower organizations, research institutions, retailers, wholesalers, auditors and trainers for two days of presentations, workshop sessions and networking opportunities.

Presentations from Horticulture Australia (HAL), University of Sydney and Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) provided the latest information about the new US food safety regulations, food safety research priorities and the direction of food standards here in Australia.

The biennial Freshcare Workshop brings together our stakeholders and experts from many fields to provide a forum for both professional development and for the exchange of ideas and information; helping us improve the certification programs we provide to industry.” said Clare Hamilton Bate, National Program Manager, Freshcare.

Over the two days, the delegates also received highly valuable and detailed updates  on all aspects of the Freshcare Codes of Practice, including:

• Freshcare Food Safety and Quality

• Freshcare Environmental

• Freshcare Environmental – Viticulture

• Freshcare Environmental – Winery

“We covered a huge amount in the two-day workshop and feedback from delegates has been very positive.” Clare said. 

 Freshcare are making many exciting program developments, including discussion on the accreditation and international benchmarking (Global Food Safety Initiative – GFSI) of the Freshcare Food Safety and Quality Code and the development of online training resources.

Clare added, “Now the hard work begins, converting all the plans and ideas into practical tools, to benefit our most important stakeholder group – the growers, packers and wider industry for whom Freshcare is the key to compliance in both food safety and environmental assurance”.

Presentations and session overviews will be made available shortly.

For more information on any aspect of the Freshcare Program contact:
Freshcare Ltd
Web: freshcare.com.au
Email: info@freshcare.com.au
Tel: 1300 853 508

“Whats new in food safety for you?” presentation now available.

At the recent Freshcare Workshop 11-12 April 2013, Associate Professor Robyn McConchie (USyd) delivered a presentation on "Whats new in Food Safety for you?"

The presentation was based on information provided by Dr Bob Whitaker (PMA) and Ms Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli (CPS) and summarises some of the food safety research made available at the Center for Produce Safety 2012 Research Symposium.

Read more

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.