Food Safety

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Strengthening Canada's response to food safety issues

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-27 Fri 10:02
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The Government of Canada has officially launched the Canadian Food Safety Information Network (CFSIN), a new food safety platform that will help food safety experts from across the country work together to better anticipate, detect and respond to food safety issues and foodborne illness incidents.

📅 Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program: Additional Funding

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-26 Thu 13:42
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On May 14, 2020 the ministry announced the launch of the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers.   The government has recently announced an additional $11.6 M in funding.

Many in the greenhouse made pro-active improvements to workplace safety in light of Covid-19, which is why the program accepts applications for changes made as far back as March 15, 2020.

The program has also been simplified to provide faster assistance by eliminating pre-approval. Growers can now submit eligible expenses up to the farm maximum ($7500). 

The program includes accommodation and/or transport costs related to outbreak prevention, as well as workplace modifications and purchases of personal protective equipment. More program details can be found below and on the OMAFRA website.

 

Temperature meter added for extra secured access control

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-26 Thu 13:22
2252

Nowadays, you often can't just walk into a greenhouse or food processing company. First, you have to pass a turnstile or go through a hygiene sluice to get disinfected, and then you can access the company. LETS has added a new product to their hygiene equipment line: a body temperature meter. This


FDA conducts another study about contamination of leafy greens

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-25 Wed 11:18
2239

The FDA, along with growers, researchers and other entities in California, have announced a multi-year study to enhance food safety through better understanding of human pathogens in the environment. Among the participants are the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the University of


‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind?’ Researchers Explore Produce Distribution Centers as Contamination Sources

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-20 Fri 08:52
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When looking at possible sources of contamination, far less attention has been put on produce distribution centers (DCs). “I think the DCs are a little out of sight, out of mind,” said Laurel Dunn, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of food science & technology at the University of Georgia in a release from the Center for Produce Safety (CPS). “We have been so focused on foodborne outbreaks and what’s happening at the field level or packinghouse wash water and employees and hand hygiene.” As such, in an announcement from CPS, Dunn discusses a project that seeks to understand the contamination issues happening at the DC level, namely vented produce in breathable containers or stored in coolers. Examples of the items being examined are berries, tomatoes, and onions in mesh bags.

Cracking the code of seasonality in leafy green outbreaks

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-20 Fri 08:33
2188

This week’s PMA virtual town hall looked at leafy green outbreaks and research that is being conducted on the factors contributing to these outbreaks  The panel was led by Trevor Suslow, PMA’s Vice President of Produce Safety, and featured Jim Brennan, President of SmartWash Solutions, Michele Jay-Russell,


Building trust in CEA food safety

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-17 Tue 10:51
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In early 2019, after the Thanksgiving 2018 romaine recall, numerous leading CEA producers of leafy greens came together with a thought – what if we treat food safety as a pre-competitive issue? We could work together to develop a strong and credible approach to food safety for CEA leafy greens, whilst


SmartWash Solutions’ Boost reduces E. coli risks on lettuce

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-11 Wed 08:20
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A U.S. Department of Agriculture study on SmartWash Solutions’ Boost, a patent-pending treatment for iceberg and romaine lettuce before washing, shows the treatment is effective in killing E. coli.

Boost, which combines Pure BioScience’s Silver Dihydrogen Citrate technology and SmartWash Solution’s chemistry, effectively boosts the ability of established free chlorine washes to kill E. coli, according to a SmartWash news release.

"This tool provides the additional incremental lethality needed to drastically reduce the potential for foodborne illness when coupled with SmartWash Solutions’ industry-leading wash system’s cross contamination control,” Steven Swarts, director of business development, said in the release. “This is a huge win for companies seeking to prevent recalls, protect their brand and assure consumer trust and safety."

USDA-Agricultural Research Service scientists presented a poster on the research at the virtual 2020 International Association for Food Protection’s virtual meeting in late October. The study seeks to gauge the effectiveness of Boost and evaluate the quality and shelf-life of treated fresh-cut vegetables.

Singapore firms fined for illegal food imports

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:23
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Four Singapore companies have been fined in the past month, being accused of illegally importing food products. All of the firms had penalties set in court. In October, CCL Impex Pte Ltd. was fined S$3,600 (US$2,700) for illegally importing fresh fruits, vegetables and processed food for sale. In


Micro and nanoplastics not absorbed by plant cells, but do attach to the root cap

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-10 Tue 12:21
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500Foods shared this story from FP.com. Like a toxic Trojan horse, microplastics can act as hot pockets of contaminant transport. But, can microplastics get into plant cells? Recent research shows that they can't.  Over the last decade, scientists have been scrambling to understand the impacts of microplastics. With the breakdown of plastic bottles,


Leafy green veg are often the source of E. coli outbreaks

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-07 Sat 21:48
2076

🍃 Leafy green veg are often the source of E. coli outbreaks – but vertical farming is completely dirt-free, meaning your food is cleaner and safer.

Visit us at iagri-tech.com

8 Reasons Sustainability is Critical in Food and Beverage Manufacturing

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-04 Wed 13:43
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Sustainability pushes a lot of our hot buttons—it’s a political issue, an economic concern, and a social conversation. Some people even see it as a moral matter. Sometimes it’s on the back burner, but then it blazes back into the headlines. Sustainability is, arguably, an industry unto itself, since the economic impact on companies trying to adhere to government guidelines or react to consumer preferences can be in the billions of dollars across a wide range of markets. Sustainability demands are hitting a variety of industries, not just food and beverage. For example, the move from the internal combustion engine to the electric vehicle can be called a “sustainability” issue.

The Eight Elements of Sustainability 1. Consumer preferences 2. Climate change 3. Food insecurity 4. Food waste 5. New foods 6. Packaging 7. Regenerative agriculture 8. Transportation and regulatory restrictionsIn light of the many disruptors in the food and beverage industry and most recently, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainability is now front-page news. This article will discuss eight reasons why sustainability is now one of the defining issues in food and beverage manufacturing. Future articles in this series will examine each issue in more detail.

Food Fraud With Nasty Results

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-21 Wed 01:18
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Global food supply chains are complex and therefore quite vulnerable to errors or fraudulent activity. A company in Chile repackaged and falsely labeled cheap raspberries from China, reselling them as top-level organic Chilean raspberries in Canada. These raspberries were linked to a norovirus outbreak in Canada, sickening hundreds of people. A whistleblower complaint helped to uncover this fraudulent scheme that posed a significant risk to human health.

All New Food Safety Compliance Platform from FSSAI will Become Operational Pan India from November 1

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-20 Tue 09:44
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FoSCoS is developed with a thought to provide a common point towards all commitment of a food business administrator (FBO) with the division for any regulatory compliance exchange.

Listen To Your Elder(berries)

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-13 Tue 23:56
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As a tasty source of Vitamin C, B6, antioxidants, iron and more, elderberries have been a growing part of the latest health, immune boosting and wellness trends. Currently, the demand exceeds the supply for elderberries. For the past four to five years, this growth in popularity has been inviting adulteration of elderberry with other dark berries such as blueberries, as well as dyes, black rice and other materials. According to the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program, such fraud can be detected by a variety of chromatographic methods.

The Importance of Metal Detection in Preventing Food Contamination

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-13 Tue 01:13
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Foreign object detection is a critical step for food processors, with inspection personnel experiencing increased pressure to ensure food safety regulatory compliance without hindering productivity. This pressure has only increased as food processors are faced with accelerated timelines to meet changing supply chain demands for more at-home meals, including frozen and processed, shelf-stable foods as buying habits have changed during the COVID-19 crisis.

2020 FSC Episode 6 Preview: Sanitation Issues

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-12 Mon 12:36
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The integration of sanitation is a critical part of the food manufacturing process. This week’s episode of the 2020 Food Safety Consortium Virtual Conference Series will focus on effective approaches, best practices and lessons learned. The following are some highlights:

Sanitation Methods, Day-to-Day Operations and Applying It to a Pandemic (Now and Future Outbreaks), with Elise Forward, Forward Food Solutions; David Shelep, Paramount Sciences; and Bill Leverich, Microbiologics, Inc. The Critical Nature of a Good Environmental Program: The Story Behind Sabra’s Recall, Experience with the FDA, and Environmental Monitoring Journey, with Rob Mommsen, Sabra Dipping Company Surrogates & Emerging Applications: Their Role in Validation, Verification and Compliance, with Laure Pujol, Ph.D. and Vidya Ananth, Novolyze Tech Talks from Sterilex and Romer Labs.

Canadian officials tell California growers to test their lettuce for E. coli

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-12 Mon 12:31
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Extensive federal import restrictions on romaine lettuce and salad mixes from California’s Salinas Valley are an indication of problems in the U.S. agricultural system that supplies British Columbians with more than half their fresh vegetables. Lawrence Goodridge, director of the Canadian Research


Listeria found in 25% of frozen vegetables in England

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-12 Mon 12:29
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Listeria was detected in almost a quarter of frozen vegetable samples in England. Between December 2018 and April 2019, 1,050 frozen fruit and vegetable samples were collected for a health study. Listeria monocytogenes or other Listeria species were detected in 167 samples of vegetables, with Listeria


Canadian romaine requirement could be a costly precedent

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-09 Fri 13:45
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New Canadian food safety import requirements for U.S. romaine lettuce could cost the Canadian industry between $11 million and $13 million per week, and the mandate to test Salinas Valley romaine for E. coli add to costs for California shippers. 

Even more concerning, industry leaders say, is the precedent the testing mandate will have on future trade between the two countries.

“CPMA will continue to work with both industry and government to endeavor to mitigate this impact as much as possible; our goal is to avoid a similar situation as we all move forward,” said Ron Lemaire, president of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association.

Jane Proctor, vice president of policy and issue management for CPMA, said CPMA is developing a task force made up of approximately 10 industry food safety experts from both Canada and the U.S.

"The intended task is to review the CFIA requirements for romaine imports from the U.S., as currently written, to identify issues including with sampling and testing as included in the requirements, including how the current requirements will affect the supply chain," Proctor said.

The task force will also provide suggestions back to CFIA on how to make the procedure workable for industry, she said in an e-mail Oct. 9.

Mexico and the United States sign a new alliance for food safety

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-07 Wed 08:44
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The health agencies of Mexico and the United States have signed the Declaration of Intent to build an Alliance on Food Safety in order to strengthen the safety of food that is produced, marketed, and consumed in Mexico and the United States. This document will replace the Declaration of Intent signed in


How a Chilean raspberry scam dodged food safety controls from China to Canada

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-07 Wed 08:43
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In January 2017, Chilean Customs inspectors acted on a tip from a whistleblower: The country’s prized crop of raspberries was under threat. Inspectors raided the offices of Frutti di Bosco, a little-known fruit trading company on the second floor of a tower block in downtown Santiago. The files, company


The New Hygiene Standard: Building Trust Through Employee Safety

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-05 Mon 23:28
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The pandemic has heightened the need for a new hygiene standard at food manufacturing sites. On August 19, OSHA and FDA released a health and hygiene checklist for food manufacturers to increase employee safety and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at sites. This checklist reinforces the importance of elevating hygiene standards, but it can be difficult to know where to start—especially for food manufacturers aiming to maintain productivity while maximizing hygiene compliance and safety.

For food manufacturers seeking to navigate OSHA and FDA’s new guide, it’s important to remember that no matter the environment, the basics of hygiene remain true. You can kick-start your updated hygiene plan by implementing simple hygiene best practices and establishing comprehensive and clear protocols to achieve compliance on the road ahead. Remember, employee health and productivity begins with a safety-first mindset. Start by establishing a strong foundation with these tips that will help you maintain your food manufacturing site’s hygiene checklist amid COVID-19 and beyond.

CFIA tightens restrictions on romaine lettuce imports following E. coli outbreaks

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-03 Sat 14:00
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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is instituting stronger restrictions around the import of romaine lettuce. Starting Wednesday, importers will have to prove that their product does not come from California's Salinas Valley or that their lettuce has "below-detectable" levels of E. coli.

How to Enhance Your Food Safety Culture, Now More Important than Ever

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 09:06
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I don’t have to tell you that COVID-19 is a crisis, and the consequences have been immediate and difficult. But as I speak to clients and look beyond the immediacy of the problems the food industry is facing, I am seeing positive insights that can help us now and in the future.

Food safety culture hasn’t always been clearly defined, nor has it been a “must” in many food safety systems. But the reality is that food safety culture—and the buy-in that needs to happen in your entire organization—is a direct and important element for staying up to date with new rules and being consistent and compliant at every location.

Pest Management and How Technology Is Transforming Business

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-02 Fri 09:06
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Last week we were joined by experts in pest management for Episode 2 of the 2020 Food Safety Consortium Virtual Conference Series. Although pest management may not be seen as the most exciting topic, all food plants are required to have an integrated pest management program. In addition, the digital transformation fast-tracked by COVID-19 is also driving innovation in the remote monitoring of pests.

Barney Debnam, global agriculture strategy lead at Microsoft kicked off the conversation with some key themes driving change within the global food system, which have also been accelerated by COVID: Geopolitical forces, consumerization, democratized biology, sustainability, shifting economics and food security. As technology continues to evolve and is adopted at a faster pace (think artificial intelligence and how accessible it is now), businesses will be able to transform their outcomes by becoming more predictive. The key technology enablers in the process include:

Internet of Things and edge computing Advanced analytics Artificial intelligence and cognitive computing Graph technology Blockchain Digital workplace Mixed reality

The most significant benefit of implementing technology such as remote monitoring into an IPM program is its ability to provide visibility and the data to back up what is happening in a facility.

After harvest care and handling of crops

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-30 Wed 09:30
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At the end of the season, there is relief in sight and the promise of a reward for the hard work and care given to a crop. If crops are not handled properly all the hard work put into growing the crop will be in vain. Improper storage and handling of horticultural crops can lead to major loss in product


The importance of food safety

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-29 Tue 09:41
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Nature Fresh Farms takes food safety very seriously. "We believe that our overall success depends on our ability to supply food to our customers that meets or exceeds the highest standards for product quality and safety. Now more than ever, people are acutely aware of the foods they eat, where those foods come from, and the