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Coronavirus and food safety: what the studies say

US – The Conversation: When the COVID-19 pandemic began, not much was known about SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus) and its survival in food, on various materials and on surfaces. Since then, several food safety agencies have assessed the risk of potentially acquiring the virus from contaminated food or food packaging. The consensus is that currently, there’s no evidence it’s a food safety risk. More

Researchers seek insight into Cyclospora risk

US – Center for Produce Safety: A handful of Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreaks tied to U.S.-grown produce since 2018 have prompted several researchers to begin looking at possible domestic sources of the pathogen and potential industry risks. Read more.

See a short video on this research, Investigating Sources of Cyclospora in the Southeastern US, here.

Assessment of microbial controls in apple production

AU – A recent study by a team from the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry, the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture and the Food Quality and Design Group (at the University of Sydney, the University of Tasmania and Wageningen University, respectively) explored industry interpretations of food safety guidelines by describing the application of controls in Australian orchards and packhouses.

The assessment, published in the journal Food Control, found that an inconsistent application of water sanitation resulted in variable control of wash water quality and hygiene, and that the industry “could benefit from a better understanding of effective risk mitigation strategies, consistent industry application of food safety controls and improved evidence of controls achieving desired food safety outcomes.” More

FPSC A&NZ monthly newsletter out now!

The February 2021 edition of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand newsletter has just been released!

Click here to view the latest newsletter.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in the Fresh Produce Safety community by signing up for the monthly newsletter.

Pathogen persistence paper published in Agriculture

AU – The paper ‘Persistence of Human Pathogens in Manure-Amended Australian Soils Used for Production of Leafy Vegetables‘ is now available online in a special issue of the journal Agriculture. The paper, authored by Dr Jenny Ekman and others, has been published as part of the research undertaken for the Hort Innovation project ‘Pathogen Persistence from Paddock to Plate’. Hort Innovation, together with the vegetable industry, completed a study on the survival of human pathogens in soil and irrigation water, and on leafy vegetables. The project was led by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre, in conjunction with Applied Horticultural Research, Freshcare and the University of Sydney. Read more about the project here, read the project report on the Hort Innovation website here and read the full journal article here.

Foodbank streamlines food relief efforts

AU – Produce Plus Magazine: Seattle-based iFoodDS teamed up with Foodbank to implement its Disposition feature, which allows retail distribution centres and suppliers to collaborate and donate products to Foodbank.

The technology speeds up the donation process, resulting in extended shelf life, reduced operational costs for suppliers and increased donations. More


FPSC A&NZ monthly newsletter out now!

The December 2020 edition of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand newsletter has just been released!

Click here to view the latest newsletter.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in the Fresh Produce Safety community by signing up for the monthly newsletter.

Fresh Produce Safety Centre announces two new FPSC Directors

The Board of Directors of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand (FPSC) today announced the appointment of two new Directors, confirmed at its AGM held on 25 November 2020.

The Chairman of the FPSC, Mr. Michael Worthington, said: “From a strong field of applicants, we are delighted to welcome Dr. Andreas Klieber (Managing Director of Quality Associates) and Deon Mahoney (Head of Food Safety at PMA Australia-New Zealand) to the Board.  Their extensive experience and skillsets will fit in extremely well with the existing Board members as we continue FPSC’s important role in further enhancing food safety in the fresh produce sectors in Australia and New Zealand.”

Dr. Andreas Klieber

Deon Mahoney

The Board thanked the applicants for the two Board vacancies and the outgoing FPSC Directors, Darren Keating and Dr. Anthony Kachenko.

Mr. Keating was replaced by Mr. Mahoney as the director representing PMA and Dr. Kachenko retired by rotation and elected not to re-stand due to other commitments.

Chairman, Mr. Worthington, said: “We thank both Darren and Anthony for their significant contributions over recent years to the FPSC and their involvement in the reset of FPSC’s strategy in 2019.”

Further information about the Board of the FPSC A&NZ:


Review of the Audit Process – Industry Online Workshop

Main image credit: J. Ekman

Date/Time: Tuesday 1 December 2020, 9.00am-11.00am AEDT via Zoom

Purpose: The workshop followed the release of the FPSC’s 2025 Innovation Agenda Review on the Audit Process report. Industry stakeholders submitted comments on the report and provided their views on the top five areas ripe for innovation in the world of auditing.

The interactive workshop explored these top areas for innovation and prioritised areas for action.


Objectives of the meeting, Michael Worthington, Chairman FPSC and Overview of FPSC Report and Recommendations, Emma Walters, Executive Officer, FPSC

Technology Panel:

Use of technology to offer blended or remote audits, Todd Redwood Global Food and Retail Supply Chain Operations and Compliance Director, BSI Group

AI and audit integrity algorithms, Jochen Kleboth, Head of Data and Business Analytics, Intact (Note that Jochen was unable to join on the day, but has kindly agreed for his slides to be shared.)

End-to-end automation of the audit process, Dr Harry van Enckevort, Science & Technology Advisor, AsureQuality


Risk and Culture Panel:

Unannounced audits – value and challenges, Fiona Grime, General Manager Compliance, Freshcare

Food safety culture, Dr Sharon Jones, General Manager Technical, OneHarvest


Interactive prioritisation sessions:

Break into two groups (technology / risk and culture) to determine priorities and next steps.

Breakout Group Report-backs, summary and action items.

Find the workshop outcomes report here.


Todd Redwood

Todd has been helping food-related businesses deliver safe, sustainable and socially responsible food around the world for 30 years. Originally a chef and adult educator, Todd joined BSI Group in 2013 serving various general management roles in Australia, covering food, supply chain and operations. As the Asia Pacific Director of Food based in Singapore, he was responsible for driving BSI’s food sector market entry and growth strategy as well as relationship and resource management across the region.

Having returned to Sydney as Global Food and Retail Supply Chain Operations and Compliance Director, Todd is responsible for leading all operations, compliance and governance aspects relating to the Food Sector assurance and training business of BSI. Todd is the Chairman of the IIOC Food College acting as a representative on various international committees and groups.

Dr Jochen Kleboth

For more than 15 years, Jochen has been a noteworthy contributor to the food certification analytics space. Jochen holds a degree in food safety and biotechnology and works and researches at the intersection of food audit management and the use of artificial intelligence (AI). Jochen works at Intact GmbH (Austria, Vienna) as Head of Data and Business Analytics with key players in the food safety certification market like SQFI and IFS. In his work, he develops software solutions to analyse audit data for risk-based audit management and integrity management for food business operators, standard setters, and certification bodies. He has published and continues to publish academic work in the field of risk-based audit management and has been honoured with academic awards for his contribution to risk-based audit management.

Dr Harry van Enckevort

Dr Harry van EnckevortDr Harry van Enckevort is a Science and Technology Advisor to AsureQuality Ltd, leading the process to identify and bring relevant new science, technology and digital applications into the organisation, its strategies and planning.

Harry takes a futuristic horizon view.   He has a science background, scans and reads broadly to keep abreast of innovation and venture capital flow, and has an extensive network of science, tech and digital partners.

A diversity in previous roles and networks across diverse geographies, sectors, industries and regulators, underpins his “What’s needed?” and “What’s possible?” views of customer solutions in a transforming world.

Fiona Grime

Fiona GrimeFiona Grime is the General Manager – Compliance for Freshcare Limited. Freshcare is the largest Australian assurance program, specialising in food safety, quality, environmental and sustainability certification and Standards development. Freshcare is industry owned and established to meet the needs of Australian producers in fulfilling both domestic and global market requirements. Freshcare Food Safety & Quality certification provides the evidence that the Australian horticulture industry actively operates to a robust, globally benchmarked food safety program.

Fiona’s background is varied, having held roles through FMCG, certification and food safety auditing. She holds a bachelor of Applied Science (Food Technology) and Master Business (Quality Management), as well as a number of other qualifications.

Dr Sharon Jones

Dr Sharon JonesSharon Jones has broad global experience with over 25 years in the Food Industry.  Developing, implementing & maintaining Food Safety Management Systems supported by commercial understanding and focus on the demand of changing legislation and customer expectations. Servicing clients including the United Nations, British Ministry of Defence, Australian and International retailers.

Dr Jones graduated from University of Queensland, with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Food Technology) and PhD (Food Science Management), graduated from Deakin University with a Master of Business Administration and the University of New England with Graduate Diploma in Education (Science). Currently working with OneHarvest, who are the leaders in fresh produce in Australia. OneHarvest are a third generation family owned company who have been serving Australian families with fresh salads for over 35 years.

More information:

For more information about the workshop, fill in the form below:

Australian Food Safety Week: Food Safety – it’s in your hands

FPSC, PMA-ANZ, AIFST Seminar – 17 November 2020

To celebrate Australian Food Safety Week, 14-21 November 2020, the FPSC, PMA A-NZ and AIFST are jointly presenting a one-hour webinar on “Food Safety – it’s in your hands” on Tuesday 17 November 2020 at 2pm AEDT. Presenters are Julian Cox, Associate Professor of Food Microbiology at UNSW and Robyn McConchie, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Sydney. More information and to register, visit here.