FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

03/17. Quality Supervisor - Vineland, NJ
03/17. Food Safety Auditor – Des Moines, IA
03/17. Sanitation Manager - First Shift – Industry, CA
03/15. QA/QC - Food/HACCP/SQF – Perris, CA
03/15. Food Safety Tech - North Sioux City, SD
03/15. Food Safety & Quality – Twin Falls, ID
03/13. Food Safety and Quality Mgr – Germantown, MD
03/13. Food Safety Technologist - Kinston NC
03/13. Food Safety Specialist - Waukegan, IL

03/20 2017 ISSUE:748

UK’s food crime fighting unit doing some public outreach
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/03/uks-food-crime-fighting-unit-doing-some-public-outreach/#.WM9kG_mLSUl
By NEWS DESK (Mar 20, 2017)
The United Kingdom’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) is doing a bit of outreach this year.   The 2-year old unit for busting food crimes is inviting people to fill out public surveys and then maybe consider filling out an intelligence report about “any suspicions or information about food crime/fraud…”
The NFCU is the police department of the Food Standards Agency (FSA)
In the UK, food crimes are said to involve dishonesty at any stage of production or supply of food, drink or animal feed.  It is seen as more complex than food safety mishaps.   Further food crimes are seriously harmful to consumers, businesses, and the general public.
Food Crime Confidential is a reporting facility where anyone with suspicions about food crime can report these safely and in confidence, over-the-phone or online. The facility is particularly targeted at those working in or around the UK food industry.
The NFCU says it  “would like to receive any information relating to suspected dishonesty involving food, drink or animal feed. In addition to identifying and being able to tackle specific instances of food crime, such information will help us learn more about the circumstances that make offending possible.”
Food crime in the UK is defined as “financially motivated dishonesty relating to food production or supply, which is either complex or results in serious detriment to consumers, businesses or the overall public.”
The National Food Crime Unit would like to hear from anyone with suspicions about:
food or drink that has potentially been adulterated or substituted
methods used in workplaces for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food that appears illegal or substandard
companies or businesses that are selling items of food or drink that purport to be of a certain quality, suggest health benefits or claim to be from a specific place or region, but do not appear genuine or are suspected to be fake
More specifically, the crime unit is looking for information on “DNP,” an industrial chemical sold as a “fat burner” that is highly toxic and potentially deadly.   It is sold in capsules and powdered forms.
DNP is not illegal to own in the UK because it has industrial uses. However, selling it for human consumption is a criminal offense.  NFCU leads national operations against people who sell DNP for human consumption and work with international and law enforcement partners to bring them to justice.
“We would like to hear from you if you have information about people selling or importing DNP as a ‘fat burner’ or for any type of human consumption,” says NFCU.
Anyone with  suspicions or information about food crime/fraud in the UK is asked to forward this to the NFCU at foodcrime@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk by completing a standard intelligence report form.

Federal court shuts down powder milk producer
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/03/federal-court-shuts-down-powder-milk-producer/#.WM9kQPmLSUl
By NEWS DESK (Mar 20, 2017)
Additional U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enforcement against Valley Milk Products LLC was taken last week. In  civil action, the government and Valley Milk Products LLC entered into a consent decree of condemnation, and U.S. District Court for the Western Division of Virginia issued an order for a permanent injunction against any distribution of adulterated milk powder products.
At FDA’s request, the U.S. Department of Justice last Nov. 18 filed a seizure action to allow the food safety agency to take possession of certain milk powder products that Valley Milk Products had manufactured under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth and been rendered injurious to health.
Earlier government action permitted the seizure and condemnation of powdered projects from the Valley Milk facility at Strasburg, VA. The company, along with employee defendants Michael W. Curtis, Robert D. Schroeder, and Jennifer J. Funkhouser are all prohibited from making any additional powdered milk without complying with “certain specified remedial provisions” set forth by FDA.
In a statement, a DOJ spokesman said the government attorneys will work with FDA two “ensure the food facilities employ proper precautions, so that our food is safe for consumption.”
Valley Milk Productions LLC is a manufacturer of Grade A and non-Grade A milk product, including milk powder products, condensed milk, and butter.
FDA found Salmonella meleagridis in the Strasburg facility in 2016, 2013, 2011 and 2010. The discovery last year led to recalls by Valley Milk and others using their milk products as ingredients.
The permanent injunction further prohibits Valley Milk from  disposing of any of the condemned food until FDA determines if it can be reconditioned. Only then can it be destroyed by a method approved by FDA.
Valley Milk cannot resume manufacturing unless correction actions are taken under FDA supervision. In addition to the presence of Salmonella inside the facility, FDA inspectors found insanitary conditions, including dripping brown fluids and old residue in the processing equipment.

More delay for Produce Safety Rule as industry balks over water testing
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/03/more-delay-for-produce-safety-rule-as-industry-balks-over-water-testing/#.WM9kb_mLSUl
By DAN FLYNN (Mar 20, 2017)
Water testing standards that are a key part of the produce safety requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are undergoing a quiet review that could extend the compliance date for the Produce Safety Rule beyond January 2018.
Produce industry leaders learned  in mid-February during a meeting with U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials led by acting FDA Commissioner Stephen Ostroff that they’d be getting the review with the likely delay in compliance.
Attendees at the meeting included: Lance Jungmeyer (Fresh Produce Association of the Americas); Alice Gomez, Bob Whitaker, Jim Gorny (Produce Marketing Association); Sonia Salas (Western Growers); Kate Woods (Northwest Horticulture Council); Jennifer Dougherty, Leanne Skelton (United States Department of Agriculture; Beth Oleson, Charles Hall (Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association); Jill Dunlop, Martha Roberts, and Mike Aerts (Florida Fruit and Vegetables Association).
Also present were: Bob Ehart, Joe Reardon (National Association for the State Departments of Agriculture); Scott Horsfall (Leafy Green Marketing Agreement); Jeff Hall, Sally Blackman (Canadian Produce Marketing Association); Sophia Kruszewski (National Sustainable Coalition); Bret Erikson (Texas International Produce Association); Jennifer McEntire (United Fresh); and Chris Valadez (California Fresh Fruit Association).
Sean Gilbert, general manager of Gilbert Orchards in Yakima, WA, told the Capital Press, an agricultural news service, that the January 2018 compliance date for the Produce Safety rule  will likely be extended because of the review of the water quality requirements.
FDA’s review is apparently going to extend beyond the water quality section of the Produce Safety rule due to industry opposition.  In addition to water quality, the produce industry has registered concerns about packing house regulations being too vague and confusing in addition to being unclear about which rules apply to certain operations.
Gilbert recently testified in front of the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture and Research. The Yakima grower said water testing requirements should be risk based and reasonable. As written, he said water testing requirements are “burdensome.”
Up until now, FDA has defended the water testing included in the rule while pricey, has  a big payback in food safety. Samir Assar, Ph.D., director of the Division of Produce Safety, has responded to questions about the rule that are published on FDA’s website. Here’s how Assar responded, before the review got underway, on the cost question:
“We believe that the cost of testing is justified based on the significant risk that agricultural water poses as a source of contamination and foodborne illness. FDA estimates that agricultural water provisions, as written in the final rule, will cost approximately $37 million dollars annually, which represents an average cost to a single farm of approximately $1,058 per year.
“The agency anticipates the final rule will bring about a reduction of over 60 percent in the risk of contamination from agricultural water, or a reduction of about 20 percent in the total number of foodborne illnesses associated with produce, with a corresponding reduction of $477 million in the costs of foodborne illnesses.”
The review and subsequent delay means growers likely will be tapping into a $60 million fund before they have to comply with FSMA.   That’s because compliance is slowing down, but USDA’s Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) is anxious to get moving on its new Specialty Crop Block Grant  Program.
The deadline for the states to apply for the money was moved up one month to June. 7.   The money “is available” to support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts and nursery or specialty crops.
USDA says grants (money that does not have to be paid back) “are managed cooperatively with state departments of agriculture and support projects including research, agricultural extension activities, and programs to address the needs of America’s specialty crop industry.”

 

 


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Food Safety Testing Market Report 2017-2027
Source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/food-safety-testing-market-report-2017-2027-616332644.html
By prnewswire.com (Mar 16, 2017)
Forecasts by Contaminant (Pathogen, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Pesticides, Toxins, Other), by Food Tested (Meat & Poultry, Dairy Products, Processed Foods, Fruit & Vegetables, other) by Technology (Traditional, Rapid, Others) and by Region Plus Examination of Top Companies Developing Technologies Such as PCR, Biosensors & Chromatography
Visiongain's comprehensive new food industry report reveals that the food safety testing market will achieve revenues of $13.1bn in 2017.
Are you involved in the food supply chain of more specifically the food safety testing market? If so, then you must read this report
It's vital that you keep your knowledge up to date. You need this report.
Market scope: The Food Safety Testing reports provides insight into the large and ever growing food testing market and also examines the different testing technologies adopted worldwide. With outbreaks and contaminations such as salmonella, E. coli, listeria, and many more, the food testing market has grown at a rapid pace. Testing concerns as well as the rapidly growing international trade in food has stimulated the demand for more food safety testing all over the world and has led to technological innovation in areas such as rapid testing and new test technologies such as PCR, Biosensors and Chromatography, etc.
The Food Safety Testing Market Report 2017-2027 responds to your need for definitive market data:
To see a report overview please email Sara Peerun on sara.peerun@visiongainglobal.com
• Who are the leading food safety testing companies?
- See analysis of competitive positioning, capabilities, product portfolios, R&D activity, services, focus, strategies, M&A activity, and future outlook.
- 3M
- AsureQuality Ltd
- ALS Ltd
- BioMérieux SA
- Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc,
- Bureau Veritas SA
- Eurofins Scientific
- Intertek Group PLC,
- LabCorp Holdings
- SGS SA
• Where are the food safety testing market opportunities?
- 100 tables, charts, and graphs reveal market data allowing you to target your strategy more effectively
• When will the food safety testing market grow?
- Global, regional and food safety testing submarket forecasts and analysis from 2017-2027 illustrate the market progression
• Which food safety testing by contaminant type will evolve from 2017-2027?
- Pathogen
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
- Pesticides
- Toxins
- Other
• Which food safety testing submarket by food tested will flourish from 2017-2027?
- Meat & Poultry
- Dairy Products
- Processed Foods
- Fruit & Vegetables
- Other
• Which food safety testing submarket by technology will thrive from 2017-2027?
- Traditional
- Rapid
- Others
• Where are the regional food safety testing market opportunities from 2017-2027?
- Focused regional forecasts and analysis explore the future opportunities
North America food safety testing forecast 2017-2027
- US forecast 2017-2027
- Canada forecast 2017-2027
- Mexico forecast 2017-2027
Europe food safety testing forecast 2017-2027
- France forecast 2017-2027
- Germany forecast 2017-2027
- UK forecast 2017-2027
- Italy forecast 2017-2027
- Spain forecast 2017-2027
- Rest of Europe forecast 2017-2027
Asia Pacific food safety testing forecast 2017-2027
- China forecast 2017-2027
- Japan forecast 2017-2027
- India forecast 2017-2027
- Australia forecast 2017-2027
- Rest of Asia Pacific forecast 2017-2027
Rest of the World (RoW) food safety testing forecast 2017-2027
 Brazil forecast 2017-2027
- South Africa forecast 2017-2027
- Others forecast 2017-2027
• What are the factors influencing food safety testing market dynamics?
- Porter's Five Forces Analysis explores the factors.
- The evolving challenge of food safety risks and threats
- Technological issues and constraints.
- Supply and demand dynamics
- Advances in testing speed
- Growing consumer demands for safer food
• Who should read this report?
- Anyone within the food supply chain including
- Food testing equipment companies
- Specialist food testing laboratories
- Ingredients suppliers
- Agricultural companies
- Food manufacturers
- Food wholesalers
- Food retailers
- Food standards agencies
- Food scientists
- CEO's
- COO's
- CIO's
- Business development managers
- Marketing managers
- R&D staff
- Technologists
- Investors
- Banks
- Other government agencies
Get our report today Food Safety Testing Market Report 2017-2027: Forecasts by Contaminant (Pathogen, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), Pesticides, Toxins, Other), by Food Tested (Meat & Poultry, Dairy Products, Processed Foods, Fruit & Vegetables, other) by Technology (Traditional, Rapid, Others) and by Region Plus Examination of Top Companies Developing Technologies Such as PCR, Biosensors & Chromatography. Avoid missing out - order our report now.
To request a report overview of this report please email ara Peerun at sara.peerun@visiongainglobal.com or call Tel: +44-(0)-20-7336-6100
Or click on https://www.visiongain.com/Report/1818/Food-Safety-Testing-Market-Report-2017-2027
List of Companies Mentioned
3M
ABC Research Laboratories
ABL Inc
Accugen
Aegis Food
AES Laboratories Ltd
Agilent Technologies
ALS Ltd
Andes Control S.A.
Aquionics Inc
ASI Food Safety
AsureQuality Ltd
Bio-Cide International, Inc
BioControl Systems, Inc.
BioFire Diagnostics, Inc
BioMérieux SA
Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc
Biotecon Diagnostics
Biotest Laboratories Ltd
Bureau Veritas SA
Campden BRI
CDS Analytical
Celsis
Charlie River Laboratories International Inc.
Charm Sciences Inc
Chromagar
Cooper Atkins
Covance Inc.
Det Norske Veritas
DTS Food Laboratories
DuPont Qualicon,
Ecolab Inc
ESI Qual International Eurofins
Eurofins (Europe)
Eurofins Scientific
Exova
Fera Science Ltd
Food Hygiene & Health Laboratory
Food Test Laboratories
FOSS
FSNS
Genetic ID NA Inc.
Genevac
Genon Laboratories Ltd
GLS Lab
Halma plc
Hardy Diagnostics
Hygiena LLC
IDEXX Laboratories, Inc
IFP Institute Fur Produktqualität Gmbh
ILS Limited
Institut Mérieux
International Laboratory Services
Intertek Group (U.K)
Intertek Group PLC
Intertek India Pvt. Ltd
Keysight Technologies
Kraft Foods
LabCorp Holdings
Life Technologies Corp
Marshfield Food Safety
Maxxam
Medallion Labs
Mérieux Développement,
Mérieux NutriSciences
Metrohm USA Inc
Michelson Laboratories Inc
Microbac Laboratories, Inc.
Microgen Bioproducts
Minerra Scientific
Neogen Corporation
Northland Laboratories
NSF International
Primus Labs
Roka Bioscience
Romer Labs Inc.
Roshen
RTech Laboratories
SGS India Pvt. Ltd
SGS SA
Shield Safety Group
Spectro Analytical Lab Ltd
Silliker Inc.
Solus Scientific
SP Scientific
Thermo Electron
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
Transgene
Valley Meat Company
Vanguard Sciences
Vicam
VWR International
Weber Scientific
Zemco Industries
To see a report overview please email Sara Peerun on sara.peerun@visiongainglobal.com

HPP: Achieve High Standards of Food Safety Without Compromising Food Quality
Source : https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/hpp-achieve-high-standards-food-safety-without-compromising-food-quality/
By Mark Duffy (Mar 16, 2017)
As food companies analyze and modify their production processes to ensure FSMA compliance, many are finding that traditional food processing technologies aren’t ideally suiting their needs. Conventional pasteurization technologies like heat pasteurization have been relied on to protect the safety of the food supply over the years, but they aren’t without their downsides. For example, sometimes they negatively impact the flavor, texture, nutrients and color of food products. Additionally, many traditional food processing methods require chemical additives to be integrated to preserve quality and taste. In a market where consumers are more frequently appreciating, if not demanding, cleaner labels with simple ingredients, these solutions are often becoming less attractive options for some companies.
This new demand for a higher level of food safety combined with an emphasis on food quality has led some producers of refrigerated foods to turn to an increasingly popular alternative: High pressure processing.
How HPP Works
High pressure processing, or HPP, is an effective technique that uses pressure rather than heat or chemicals to disable pathogens in food. After packaging, food products composed of some degree of water activity (Aw) are placed into a machine that applies incredibly intense water pressure to food—sometimes as much as 87,000 psi.
This process interrupts the cellular function of the microorganisms both on the surface and deep within the food and can serve as a critical control point (CCP) in a HACCP program. Research studies on a wide range of refrigerated food products and categories confirm that HPP technology inactivates vegetative bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7, and Campylobacter as well as yeasts and molds. Additionally, because pressure is applied after the food is packaged, HPP drastically reduces any chance of recontamination.
Besides its food safety benefits, HPP offers food producers added benefits over traditional methods. Because the pressure inactivates spoilage organisms along with pathogens, many foods see a substantial increase in shelf life after undergoing HPP, sometimes even twice as long. Processors use this shelf-life extension to increase their distribution reach and reduce food waste.
In a recent survey, 57% of respondents in the food and beverage industry characterized their companies’ use of HPP as substantial or growing. Survey respondents also scored HPP’s ability to make food safer by eliminating pathogens above a 4 on a 5-point scale, one of the highest of any food processing technology.
However, HPP isn’t right for every product. It isn’t effective on some enzymes and bacterial spores, like Clostridium botulinum. Producers need to tap into other techniques to address concerns not affected by HPP. The process also requires foods to be packaged in fairly flexible packaging to allow for an even application of pressure. Glass bottles or particularly hard plastics will not be suitable.
HPP can also be daunting to implement for some companies. Purchasing an HPP machine is a major investment, typically seven-figures, without factoring in specific facility requirements or staffing needs. In the same survey of food and beverage producers, the most commonly cited concerns had nothing to do with the efficacy or value of the technology, but rather with the cost of purchasing and staffing the equipment.
For businesses that don’t want to make that kind of capital expenditure commitment but want to take advantage of high pressure processing, HPP outsourcing providers offer a more affordable solution. These companies own and operate HPP machines on behalf of clients. That way, food brands don’t have to purchase expensive HPP machines and regularly maintain their own equipment.
Is HPP right for you? The answer and the nuances are highly variable, but HPP is a fast-growing food preservation technology offering many benefits, including food safety benefits, across a broad product spectrum.

USDA’S FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE SHARES FOOD SAFETY TIPS FOR WINTER STORM IMPACTED NORTHEAST STATES
Source : http://eprretailnews.com/2017/03/15/usdas-food-safety-and-inspection-service-shares-food-safety-tips-for-winter-storm-impacted-northeast-states-6754312345678/
By EPR RETAIL NEWS EDITORS (Mar 15, 2017)
As a winter storm impacts northeast states, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service shares food safety tips to keep in mind when preparing for a weather emergency.
During Snow and Ice Storms:
During a snowstorm, do not place perishable food out in the snow. Outside temperatures can vary and food can be exposed to unsanitary conditions and animals. Instead, make ice by filling buckets or cans with water and leave them outside to freeze. Use this ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers.
Steps to follow if the power goes out:
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days. 
Steps to follow after a weather emergency:
Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
When in doubt, throw it out.
FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “Preparing for a Weather Emergency” can be downloaded and printed for reference during an emergency. FSIS also has an infographic covering what to do before, during and after a power outage.
If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, can call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, in English and Spanish. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.

City sees drop in food safety crimes
Source : http://www.shanghaidaily.com/feature/ideal/City-sees-drop-in-food-safety-crimes/shdaily.shtml
By Liu Ya (Mar 16, 2017)
Shanghai Food and Drug Administration and other local watchdogs handled 7,240 suspicious food safety cases last year, down 19.4 percentage points from 2015.
The cases involved illegal food processing and adulteration, using illegal additives such as poppy shells in crawfish and beef soup and sildenafil. There was also the issue of growing cross-regional online sales of fake and inferior food, which is more covert and posed major challenges to the investigations.
A total of 320 suspects were captured by police in 159 cases. So far, 129 suspects have been charged and 63 sentenced to jail.
As high as 14,147 licenses of food production companies were canceled or revoked. Violators were fined 163 million yuan (US$23.7 million), up 131.6 percentage points from 2015.
Shanghai FDA has worked with Shanghai Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision to punish 49,000 enterprises that had violated food safety rules, up 58.1 percentage points from 2015.
With a revised reward system for food safety tip-offs and improved services, Shanghai FDA received 106,942 food safety complaints, tip-offs and consultations last year, up 28.2 percentage points from 2015, of which 96.1 percent were closed.
Of the total, 41.8 percent were complaints and tip-offs that involved bad food served in unsanitary restaurants, restaurants that failed to control indoor smoking, bad meat products and unlicensed meat vendors, mildewed rice and baked goods, as well as some aquatic products with banned additives and unlicensed aquatic products processing.
A total of 766,300 yuan were handed out as rewards.
About 69.3 percent of the cases were received through the 12331 hotline, a channel for receiving food safety questions and tip-offs. About 21 percent were received through another hotline 12345. Foreigners also called the hotlines to report and file complaints, the authority said.
In general, food in the city is safe and the food quality has improved in recent years, according to the FDA’s annual spot check data. The supervision and monitoring will be further stepped up year by year, officials said.

Food safety laws 'need a total clean out'
Source : http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/326630/food-safety-laws-%27need-a-total-clean-out%27
By radionz.co.nz0 (Mar 15, 2017)
"Incompetent" Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) officials unable to interpret new food safety laws have made life "extremely stressful", nearly killing off a fledgling Northland tea start-up, its owner says.
Kaye van der Straten has been trying for nearly a year to register her Haruru Falls fermented tea business, K4Kombucha, with the ministry.
She said MPI told the the firm it needed to do a full food safety report, which she said was akin to writing a thesis in three months, then a fortnight ago an official told her it could have simply used the national safety plan.
Ms van der Straten said she was about $380,000 out of pocket because of capital costs and lost trading.
Her experience made the government's aim of making it easier for businesses to deal with officials "laughable".
The government set this goal in 2012 and initially made headway but it has since slipped, and many firms blame health and safety legislation and the Food Safety Act.
She said she had found the ministry entirely unable to navigate the new food safety laws that came into force a year ago.
MPI was "incompetent" and did not have a clue what was going on, Ms van der Straten said.
"They need a total clean out, the whole thing needs to be turned upside down on its head, it's not making sense."
"And I really worry about other small food businesses across New Zealand."
She said K4Kombucha had backing from the regional development body Northland Inc, and from Callaghan Innovation. Massey University was doing research into the technology their kombucha making used.
"On one side we've got these guys who are saying, you know, you're doing great, you're entrepreneurs ... and then in the other department ... [MPI] have no real feel for what's happening at the coal-face.
"There's not even a case manager on our project so I can't tell you how many different people I've dealt with."
Her partner, Freddy Loov, would be forced to return to his former job as a ship's captain before winter to tide the family over now their cash was gone, she said.
"This has been extremely taxing and extremely stressful for our business, our finances, and our relationship."
New business may find new rules difficult - MPI
The Ministry for Primary Industries said it would get better at managing the new laws.
MPI's manager of food and beverage, Sally Johnston, said businesses were now scaled from low to high risk foods and those in the latter category might find it difficult to adjust.
"If they are a new business, in particular, sometimes it can be a little bit difficult for them to get their heads around exactly what's required."
She said MPI would listen to criticism from businesses and adapt accordingly.

Foreign meat, poultry, eggs, and catfish with “equivalence status”
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/03/foreign-meat-poultry-eggs-and-catfish-with-equivalence-status/#.WM9mEPmLSUl
By DAN FLYNN (Mar 14, 2017)
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) updated its “Equivalence Status Chart” yesterday.   It’s a helpful guide for those who want to know where their food may be coming from.  It includes country specific footnotes.
“Equivalence Status” is a grade assigned to foreign countries with a food safety inspection system that achieves a protection level for public health that is equivalent to that applied domestically in the United States for the FSIS-regulated product they wish to export.
Americans now spend almost  20 cents of each food dollar on foreign products.  Currently there are 46 countries cleared to export at least one FSIS regulated products to the U.S.
Like its domestic responsibilities, FSIS is charged with determining the “Equivalent Status” for meat, poultry, eggs and egg products, and catfish species.
According to the agency’s instructions for foreign governments,  a country’s food safety inspection system is to provide standards equivalent to FSIS to ensure other non-food safety requirements are met, such as humane handling, accurate labeling, and assurance that meat, poultry, or egg products are not economically adulterated.
It says “equivalence does not mean” that the country is required to develop and implement the same procedures that the U.S. does, but rather the country must objectively demonstrate how its procedures reach   the U.S. level of protection.”
Countries wishing to become eligible to export meat, poultry, or egg products to the U.S. are responsible for  demonstrating  that they have a regulatory food safety inspection system that is equivalent to that of the U.S.
FSIS is this country’s Central Competent Authority (CCA) responsible for regulating and inspecting meat, poultry, and egg products.  The CCA is a country’s national government authority that is responsible for ensuring the safety and truthful labeling of the food supply.
The U.S. is a party to the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), which also is a FSIS responsibility as the international agreement  sets out the basic international rules for food safety, animal, and plant health standards.
The largest group of countries that have met “equivalence”  to export meat to the United States.  They include:
Argentina
Australia
Belgium
Bulgaria
Colombia
Croatia
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
Estonia
Finland
Germany
Greece
Guatamala
Ireland
Italy
Korea
Latvia
Macedonia
Panama
Paraguay
Poland
Romania
Samoa
Spain
Switzerland
Countries on the “Equivalence Status Chart” for exporting poultry to the U.S.  include:
Brazil
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
El Salvador
Honduras
Japan
Mexico
Morocco
Poland
South Africa
Ukraine
The next largest group of countries may export eggs and egg products to the United States.  They are:
Argentina
Brazil
Bulgaria
Denmark
Germany
Greece
Italy
Lithuania
Mexico
Poland
Romania
The final group includes countries cleared for exporting Siluriformes (catfish species) to the United States.    This group includes:
Vietnam
Thailand
Nigeria
Jamaica
India
Guyana
El Salvador
Bangladesh

How is DNA Sequenced?
Source : https://foodsafetytech.com/column/food-genomics-dna-sequenced/
By Sanjay K. Singh, Douglas Marshall, Gregory Siragusa (Mar 14, 2017)
Here is a prediction. Within the next year or years, at some time in your daily work life as a food safety professional you will be called upon to either use genomic tools or to understand and relay information based on genomic tools for making important decisions about food safety and quality. Molecular biologists love to use what often seems like a foreign or secret language. Rest assured dear reader, these are mostly just vernacular and are easily understood once you get comfortable with a bit of the vocabulary. In this the fourth installment of our column we progress to give you another tool for your food genomics tool kit. We have called upon a colleague and sequencing expert, Dr. Sanjay Singh, to be a guest co-author for this topic on sequencing and guide us through the genomics language barrier.
The first report of the annotated (labeled) sequence of the human genome occurred in 2003, 50 years after the discovery of the structure of DNA. In this genome document all the genetic information required to create and sustain a human being was provided. The discovery of the structure of DNA has provided a foundation for a deeper understanding of all life forms, with DNA as a core molecule of genetic information. Of course that includes our food and our tiny friends of the microbial world. Further molecular technological advances in the fields of agriculture, food science, forensics, epidemiology, comparative genomics, medicine, diagnostics and therapeutics are providing stunning examples of the power of genomics in our daily lives.  We are only now beginning to harvest the fruits of sequencing and using that knowledge routinely in our respective professions.
In our first column we wrote, “DNA sequencing can be used to determine the names, types, and proportions of microorganisms, the component species in a food sample, and track foodborne diseases agents.” In this month’s column, we present a basic guide to how DNA sequencing chemistry works.
DNA sequencing is the process of determining the precise order of four nucleotide bases, adenine or A, cytosine or C, guanine or G, and thymine or T in a DNA molecule. By knowing the linear sequence of A, C, G, and T in a DNA molecule, the genetic information carried in that particular DNA molecule can be determined.
DNA sequencing happened from the intersections of different fields including biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.1,2 The critical breakthrough was provided in 1953 by James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wlkins and Rosalind Franklin when they resolved the now familiar double helix structure of DNA.3 Each helical strand was a polynucleotide, which consists of repeating monomeric units called nucleotides. A nucleotide consists of a sugar (deoxyribose), a phosphate moiety, and one of the four nitrogenous bases—the aforementioned A, C, G, and T. In the double helix, the strands run opposite to each other, commonly referred as anti-parallel. Repeating units of base-pairs (bp), where A always pairs with T and C always pairs with G, are arranged within the double helix so that they are slightly offset from each other like steps in a winding staircase. On a piece of paper, the double helix is often represented by scientists as a flat ladder-like structure, where the base pairs (bp) form the rungs of the ladder while the sugar-phosphate backbone form the antiparallel rails (see Figure 1).
The two ends of each polynucleotide strand are called 5′ or 3′-end, a nomenclature that represents the chemical structure of the deoxyribose sugar at that terminus. The lengths of a single- or double-stranded DNA are often measured in bases (b) or bases pairs (bp), respectively. The two polynucleotide strands can be readily unzipped by heating, and on cooling, the initial double-helix structure is re-formed or re-annealed. The ability to rezip the initial ladder-like structure can be attributed to the phenomenon of base pairing, which merits repetition—the base A always pairs with T and the base G always with C. This rather innocuous phenomenon of base pairing is the basis for the mechanism by which DNA is copied when cells divide and is also the theoretical basis on which most traditional and modern DNA sequencing methodologies have been developed.
Other biological advancements also paved the way towards the development of sequencing technologies. Prominent amongst these were the discovery of enzymes that allowed a scientist to manipulate the DNA. For example, restriction enzymes that recognize and cleave DNA at specific short nucleotide sequences can be used to fragment a long duplex strand of DNA.4 The DNA polymerase enzyme, in the presence of the deoxyribose nucleotide triphosphates (dNTPs: Chemically reactive forms of the nucleotide monomers), can use a single DNA strand to fill in the complementary bases and extend a shorter rail strand (primer extension) of a partial DNA ladder.5 A critical part of the primer extension is the ‘primer’, which are short single-stranded DNA pieces (15 to 30 bases long) that are complementary to a segment of the target DNA. These primers are made using automated high-throughput synthesizer machines. Today, such primers can be rapidly manufactured and delivered on the following day. When the primer and the target DNA are combined through a process called annealing (heat and then cool), they form a structure that shows a ladder-like head and a long single-stranded tail. In 1983, Kary Mullis developed an enzyme-based process called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Using this protocol, one can pick a single copy of DNA and amplify the same sequence an enormous number of times. One can think of PCR as molecular photocopier in which a single piece of DNA is amplified up to approximately 30 billion copies!
The other critical event that changed the course of DNA sequencing efforts was the publication of the ‘dideoxy chain termination’ method by Dr. Frederick Sanger in December 1977.6 This marked the beginning of the first generation of DNA sequencing techniques. Most next-generation sequencing methods are refinements of the chain termination, or “Sanger method” of sequencing.
Using technologies available in the mid-1990’s, as many as 1 million bases of sequence could be determined per day. However, at this rate, determining the sequence of the 3 billion bp human genome required years of sequencing work. By analogy, this is equivalent to reading the Sunday issue of The New York Times, about 300,000 words, at a pace of 100 words per day. The cost of sequencing the human genome was a whopping  $70 million. The human genome project clearly brought forth a need for technologies that could deliver fast, inexpensive and accurate genome sequences.  In response, the field initially exploded with modifications to the Sanger method. The impetus for these modifications was provided by advances in enzymology, fluorescent detection dyes and capillary-array electrophoresis. Using the Sanger method of sequencing, one can read up to ~1,000 bp in a single reaction, and either 96 or 384 such reactions (in a 96 or 384 well plate) can be performed in parallel using DNA sequencers. More recently a new wave of technological sequencing advances, termed NGS or next-generation sequencing, have been commercialized. NGS is fast, automated, massively parallel and highly reproducible. NGS platforms can read more than 4 billion DNA strands and generate about a terabyte of sequence data in about six days! The whole 3 billion base pairs of the human genome can be sequenced and annotated in a mere month or less.
Our objective here is to provide a brief introduction to aspects of the technologies that are used for NGS. Execution of a sequencing project using any of the NGS technologies involves three steps:
Library preparation: Generating small pieces of DNA so that they can be read in parallel
Sequencing and imaging: Determining the sequence of the bases in immobilized DNA molecules in a massively parallel manner
Data analysis a.k.a. bioinformatics: Piecing together the bits and pieces of the sequence collected in the second step into one logical, massive and contiguous sequence.
Before going much further, we have constructed a table of some important terms for your reference (see Table 1).
During library preparation, genomic DNA is randomly broken into pieces typically <1,000 bp long, followed by ligation of adaptors (synthetic double stranded (ds) DNA fragments of known sequence) to the ends of the sheared DNA. A common theme across the NGS technologies is that millions of these adaptor-flanked DNA templates are attached to solid supports using different methods. This spatial distribution of immobilized templates allows for millions to billions of sequencing reactions to be run simultaneously. For example, in the first next-gen sequencers launched by the company 454 Life Sciences, tiny beads are used that contain several DNA strands complementary to a segment of the added-on adaptor, where the attachment of one template (piece of DNA to be sequenced) to one bead is achieved. Using PCR, multiple copies (millions) of each fragment of DNA tied to a bead are then generated on the surface of each bead.
While different NGS technologies use different sequencing chemistries to determine the sequence, all NGS protocols use smaller quantities of reagent per sequencing reaction than Sanger techniques and allow for multiple orders of increase in the amount of sequence data collected. Each of these advancements helps lower the cost of sequencing. Since sequencing reactions are performed using immobilized DNA fragments, the features of the recorded signal (typically fluorescence or light emitted during the extension of the primer) are on the scale of microns (i.e., smaller than the thickness of a human hair). Therefore, an image of reasonable surface area can provide information on millions of sequencing reactions being run in parallel. Picture a screen with many different colored dots appearing/disappearing in all parts of the screen, each representing a nucleotide base being detected and recorded into a sequence.
In case of the 454 Life Science sequencers, sequencing is conducted by a process called pyrosequencing, where a clever use of the luciferase enzyme makes every base incorporated give off a burst of light. In a single run, the 454 instrument can obtain around 400,000 reads at lengths of 200 to 400 bp. Several NGS platforms have emerged and have further reduced the cost of sequencing a genome (see Table 2).
In the end, all of these instruments spit out a result that is generally in the form of a file type known as a FASTA or FASTQ (refer to Table 1). These files contain the sequence of ATCG’s in a sample and are the start of the bioinformatics process to be covered in a forthcoming addition to this column.
For the food safety professional, genomics investigations require accurate sequence information for reliable interpretation. Professionals are urged to consider certified sequencing providers that offer strong customer orientation, impeccable quality, fast service and high reliability. Poor quality sequence information can lead to poor quality species assignments in public databases. Faulty assignments lead to wrong bioinformatics interpretations. Recent highly sensationalized food genomics press releases showing the presence of difficult-to-believe contaminants, such as human or rat DNA in highly processed foods, may be due to analysis of poor quality sequence information. It is also recommended that professionals consult with organizations that know something about food science and technology to make sure sequence-based conclusions are based on a foundation of real and sound data.
References
Hutchinson, C. A. III. (2007) DNA sequencing: bench to bedside and beyond. Nucleic Acids Res. 35, 6227–6237.
Lee, T. F. (1991). The Human genome project; Cracking the genetic code of life.
Watson, J. D. and Crick, F.H. (1953). A structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid. Nature. 171 (4356): 737–738.
Smith, H. O. and Wilcox, K. W.(1970) A restriction enzyme from Hemophilus influenza I. Purification and general properties. J. Mol. Biol. 51, 379–391.
Kaiser A D, Wu R (1968) Structure and function of DNA cohesive ends. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol 1968;33:729-734.
Sanger, F. et al. (1977) Nucleotide sequence of bacteriophage phi X174 DNA. Nature 265, 687–696.
Additional Resources
Smith LM, Sanders JZ, Kaiser RJ, et al. (1986). “Fluorescence detection in automated DNA sequence analysis”. Nature. 321 (6071): 674–9.
Ewing, B.; Hillier, L.; Wendl, M. C.; and Green, P. (1998). Base-calling of automated sequencer traces using Phred. I. Accuracy assessment. Genome Res. 8, 175–185.

4 ways IOT is supporting the food industry
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/03/4-ways-iot-is-supporting-the-food-industry/#.WM9navmLSUl
By LAURA MUSHRUSH (Mar 13, 2017)
This is the last in a four-part series brought to you by Par Technology Corp.
A sensor, internet connection and the ability to communicate: These are the three ingredients that make up the Internet of Things technology. IOT is gaining rapid steam, with companies such as global communication giants, Ericsson and Cisco, making projections of as many of 50 billion devices connected by IOT by 2020.
While estimations vary to the extent of which IOT will be relied upon in the future, one thing is certain – the food industry is not about to get left behind.
Here are four ways food companies are utilizing IOT technology:
Food safety efficiency:
Perhaps the biggest payout for investing into IOT is the ability to closely monitor food safety data points, which in turn helps reduce the risk of a food illness outbreak. Topping the list is the use of real-time temperature tracking sensors that have the ability to monitor a product’s temperature from the time it leaves a farm to the moment it leaves the grocery store shelf.
This type of technology is beneficial as shippers, receivers, loaders and carriers all work to become compliant with the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Final Rule on temperature control and tracking requirements. It also carries over into assisting the tracking of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, and the ability to provide food companies with automated HACCP checklists for more coherent data collection and reporting that paper-based logs are not able to monitor as efficiently.
Less waste:
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one-third of human food production is lost or wasted globally each year. While some of this is food waste on the consuming end, food waste due to compromise during the transportation and distribution portion of the supply chain contributes to this whopping 1.3 billion tons per year waste estimation. However, with a centralized cloud data base tracking real-time control points for food safety, companies have the ability to integrate it into their business management decisions. For example, if a load of broccoli from Mexico experienced a temperature compromise during shipment, a company can use that knowledge to decrease the shipment’s shelf life so a retailer can act accordingly to get it on a consumer’s plate before it spoils.
Coherent records:
To stay in compliance with FSMA, food companies exceeding $1 million in revenue each year is mandated to keep at least two years of food safety records on file.
It doesn’t stop there, with shippers and carriers required to have on hand 12 months of transportation and training records.
While paper-based records are still industry standard, companies have a lot to gain by moving towards a cloud-based portal with sensors automatically streaming into the online data base to not only cut down on labor, but also human error.
Interconnected data analysis:
While the three previous points all revolve around specific information points, IOT technology has opened the door to endless data analysis by companies.
Consumer trends, logistic data and anything else that can be measure automatically can all be combined together to make more calculated and grounded business decisions.

 

 

 

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