safefood Knowledge Network 's Posts (574)

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Pest Control (PC) companies have become so good at controlling insects, birds, rodents, and other pests that facility oversight of pest management programs often falls by the wayside. This neglect can cause huge issues when pest management plans are dusted off by an auditor or inspector or when there is an unexpected infestation. Here are a few, easy methods to help you improve your Pest Control Program and validate the efforts of your third-party PC provider.

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The number of food incidents, recalls and cases of four pathogens went up over a 12-month period, according to the latest published data.

The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) annual report and accounts covers performance and activities in 2021/22 across England, Wales and Northern Ireland at a cost of £130.5 million ($160.2 million).

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EFSA is looking for Seconded National Experts (SNE) to join the Communications (COM) Unit of EFSA in Parma, Italy. The person selected will work on EFSA’s scientific publishing programme as the EFSA Journal embarks on an exciting phase of development, including the launch of a new channel that will host the publications of national food safety agencies (Food Risk Assess Europe) and the roll-out of plain language summaries of its scientific assessments. EFSA produces ca. 600 scientific outputs per annum and the successful candidate will work on all aspects of the publishing programme in collaboration with the publisher Wiley VCH.

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Western Brand is recalling expired batches of raw chicken products listed in the table below due to the detection of Salmonella Typhimurium. These products were sold as fresh and are past their use-by date, however, the labels state they are suitable for home freezing. Recall notices will be displayed at point-of-sale.

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Supermarkets in the United Kingdom have reported their Campylobacter in chicken results for the third quarter of 2022.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) maximum level is no more than 7 percent of birds with more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram (CFU/g) of Campylobacter.

Data from the retailers covers July to September 2022 on high findings of Campylobacter in fresh, shop-bought, UK-produced chickens.

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More than 30 people fell sick with hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in a complex outbreak in England involving dates, a school, a bakery, and different transmission routes, according to a study.

In June 2019, Public Health England (now the United Kingdom Health Security Agency) Yorkshire and Humber were contacted by Outwood Academy, a secondary school, with concerns over the illness of three employees.

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Abstract


The impact of dry-ageing of beef and wet-ageing of beef, pork and lamb on microbiological hazards and spoilage bacteria was examined and current practices are described. As ‘standard fresh’ and wet-aged meat use similar processes these were differentiated based on duration. In addition to a description of the different stages, data were collated on key parameters (time, temperature, pH and aw) using a literature survey and questionnaires. The microbiological hazards that may be present in all aged meats included Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), Salmonella spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, enterotoxigenic Yersinia spp., Campylobacter spp. and Clostridium spp. Moulds, such as Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp., may produce mycotoxins when conditions are favourable but may be prevented by ensuring a meat surface temperature of −0.5 to 3.0°C, with a relative humidity (RH) of 75–85% and an airflow of 0.2–0.5 m/s for up to 35 days. The main meat spoilage bacteria include Pseudomonas spp., Lactobacillus spp. Enterococcus spp., Weissella spp., Brochothrix spp., Leuconostoc spp., Lactobacillus spp., Shewanella spp. and Clostridium spp. Under current practices, the ageing of meat may have an impact on the load of microbiological hazards and spoilage bacteria as compared to standard fresh meat preparation. Ageing under defined and controlled conditions can achieve the same or lower loads of microbiological hazards and spoilage bacteria than the variable log10 increases predicted during standard fresh meat preparation. An approach was used to establish the conditions of time and temperature that would achieve similar or lower levels of L. monocytogenes and Yersinia enterocolitica (pork only) and lactic acid bacteria (representing spoilage bacteria) as compared to standard fresh meat. Finally, additional control activities were identified that would further assure the microbial safety of dry-aged beef, based on recommended best practice and the outputs of the equivalence assessment.

Full report here

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Aged meat does not pose any additional risks compared to fresh meat if it is aged under controlled conditions, EFSA experts concluded in a scientific opinion released today.

Meat ageing is a process during which microbes and enzymes act upon the meat to break down the connective tissue, thereby tenderising the meat and giving it a richer flavour. This can be done through two main methods: wet ageing and dry ageing. Wet ageing is used for beef, pork and lamb that is stored and refrigerated in a vacuum package, while dry aged beef is refrigerated without packaging which results in a dry surface that is cut off before preparation.

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More than 20 people have fallen ill in Sweden with the source of their infections suspected to be eggs.

The Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak involves 22 people from 11 different regions. Patients are aged between 7 and 90 years old. A dozen of the patients are women and illnesses occurred between early December and the start of January.

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In 2013, the horsemeat scandal rocked the nation, forcing widespread change inside the food industry. But has it been enough to stop another incident?

It was a scandal that rocked the food industry. The discovery of horsemeat in certain beef products in January 2013 caused a national outrage and led the national news agenda for weeks. Tesco, Asda, ABP Food Group and Findus were among those implicated in an adulteration scam that cost an estimated £850m due to recalls, lost sales, and tumbling share prices (Tesco’s market value alone fell £300m). But the fallout went beyond just the financial. Perhaps the highest cost of the horsemeat scandal was the breakdown of trust between brands and shoppers.

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Italian researchers have looked at botulism trends over two decades including a large outbreak in 2020.

Italy has one of the highest botulism rates in Europe with one factor being a strong home canning tradition in the country. From 1986 to September 2022, 406 botulism incidents involving 599 people were laboratory confirmed.

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Germany has donated almost €3 million ($3.2 million) to boost safe trade in developing and least-developed countries (LDCs).

The €2.85 million ($3.1 million) sum until 2025 will help such nations meet international food safety, animal and plant health standards.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Trade Organization (WTO) director-general, thanked Germany for supporting developing countries in strengthening their compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures.

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It is exactly ten years ago this week that the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) alerted the world to one of the largest food scandals in recent times after we found horsemeat in beef burgers sold in some Irish supermarkets. When I received the first results of the authenticity survey of beef products on the Irish market that we conducted in late 2012, I initially thought that there was some kind of error in the analytical testing. Extensive retesting, however, in accredited food laboratories both in Ireland and abroad showed that the results were correct. In January 2013 the horsemeat scandal took off at a gallop.

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It’s cruise season and that means it’s norovirus season for vacationers who opt for trips on the high seas.

The most recently reported outbreak of the highly contagious virus, which often starts as a foodborne situation, was on P&O Cruises ship the Arcadia. People were sick during the voyage which ran from Dec. 29, 2022, through Jan. 3, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The outbreak sickened at least 84 passengers on board the Arcadia, with additional illnesses likely among people who did not seek treatment. Ten members of the crew were sickened in the outbreak. People exposed to the virus late in the voyage could have started exhibiting symptoms after disembarking.

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Iceland has been advised to improve official controls on shellfish and fish products.

An audit in May 2022 looked at hygiene controls of fishery products and fish oil for human consumption. Another in August and September covered live bivalve mollusks, including blue mussels.

Iceland is a substantial producer of fishery products. The biggest export markets are the United States, United Kingdom, China, and some European member states.

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Two academics have looked at the scale of declared conflicts of interest (COIs) in UK food policy-making agencies.

Erik Millstone, from the University of Sussex, and Tim Lang, of the Centre for Food Policy, City University London, assessed COIs at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). They said if the FSA is to eliminate and avoid corporate capture, its board and advisory committees should not include anyone with COIs that deserve to be declared.

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This in-person conference, which will be held in the morning or 26 January, will examine the way forward for food regulation and standards in the UK, and the evolving role of the regulators. Attendees will examine the proposals for a new food standards delivery model as part of the FSA’s consultation for updating the Food Law Code of Practice in England - with an expected focus on how resources can be improved and utilised to manage food safety risk. There will be keynote sessions with Professor Susan Jebb, Chair, Food Standards Agency; Geoff Ogle, Chief Executive, Food Standards Scotland; and Helen Munday, President, Institute of Food Science & Technology.

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