FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

09/29. Global Food Safety Manager – Jackson, MI
09/29. QA, Food Safety Mgr – St. Petersburg, FL
09/29. Quality Assurance Manager – Honeyville, UT
09/27. VP, Food Safety – Oak Brook, IL
09/27. Food Safety & Quality Manager – Toledo, OH
09/27. Food Safety Coordinator-HACCP – Seattle, WA
09/25. Food Safety Coordinator – Salinas, CA
09/25. Safety & Quality Manager – York, PA
09/25. Quality Assurance Director – Hauppauge, NY

10/02 2017 ISSUE:776

 

Fall salmon and food safety
Source : http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/fall_salmon_and_food_safety
By Michelle Jarvie, Michigan State University Extension (Oct 2, 2017)
When I think of fall and the leaves start to turn, I think salmon fishing. September often marks the beginning of the fall pacific salmon migration in the Great Lakes. Depending on where you are, there are three species available- king (or chinook), coho, and in some places, pink. These fish have spent the majority of their lives out in the big lakes feeding, and are now returning to rivers and streams for reproduction. Males and females migrate into the rivers and look for ideal gravelly areas to spawn. Once they spawn, their life cycle is complete and they die.
What does any of this have to do with food safety? Well, it turns out that almost as soon as these salmon enter the river systems, their bodies start breaking down. They stop feeding, and all of their energy is put into the reproduction process. Sometimes you’ll see fish laying on redds (the term for where they lay their eggs) that have large portions of their body already “rotting” away, but their drive to reproduce is so strong that they will try until the very end. If you are fishing and catch one of these “rotters,” and decide to take it home to eat, it can cause some food safety concerns.
Michigan State University Extension recommends the following tips to keep your catch safe this fall
Avoid keeping fish that have visible decay, as their flesh may contain a higher number of bacteria than a fresher fish.
Keep the fish alive as long as possible. These salmon, especially if they are showing any visible signs of decay, are covered in bacteria, including their mouths (keep hands away from their teeth). Two hours or less between catching and cleaning is preferable to reduce additional bacteria growth.
Clean and cool the fish as soon as possible. The flesh will continue deteriorating as soon as the fish leaves the water. Have a cooler of ice ready to store your cleaned fish.
Make sure to use clean, potable water for rinsing cleaned fish. Keep cleaned fish on ice until further processing.
Use clean utensils when preparing fish.
If you’re not eating the fish right away, properly can, freeze or smoke your catch to preserve it. For more information on these processes, visit the MSU Extension website.
When cooking fish, always make sure to cook to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Never eat raw or undercooked fish. While freezing or cooking fish kills most harmful pathogens, there are still a few bacteria and parasites that can survive the freezing process.
Always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before and after handling fish.
Fall is a great time to get out there and stock up on healthy proteins found in our local fish populations, but be sure that the fish you catch is handled safely along the way to prevent foodborne illness.
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

Salmonella Prompts Raw Milk Recall: Pride and Joy
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-recall/salmonella-prompts-raw-milk-recall-pride-and-joy/
By Bill Marler (Sep28, 2017)
POSTED IN FOOD RECALL
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is advising consumers not to drink Pride & Joy Dairy organic retail raw milk because it may be contaminated with salmonella, an organism that can cause serious illness.
This public health notice was initiated after routine sampling by WSDA found salmonella in bottled organic retail raw milk collected from the Pride & Joy Dairy in Toppenish. The product has a best-by date of October 4 (OCT 4). WSDA and the company continue to investigate the source of the problem. Currently, there are no reported cases of human illnesses associated with this product.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in humans. Young children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk. Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should immediately contact a health care provider.
The company sells its products in pint, quart, half-gallon, and one-gallon plastic containers. This public health notice includes all container sizes.
According to Pride & Joy Dairy’s website, the firm distributes their products to the following locations in Washington state:
Eastern Washington:
Pride & Joy Dairy farm store (Granger)
Bear Foods (Chelan)
Better Life Natural Foods (Ellensburg)
Settler’s Country Market (Ephrata and Moses Lake)
Sage Mountain Natural Foods (Leavenworth)
The Mazama Store (Mazama)
Yoke’s Fresh Market (Richland)
Glover Street Market (Twisp)
Lemongrass Natural Foods (Wenatchee)
Rhubarb Market (Wenatchee)
Wenatchee Natural Foods (Wenatchee)
Mill Creek Natural Foods (Union Gap)
Rosauers Supermarkets (Yakima)
Drop-off group locations:
Cle Elum
Ellensburg
Leavenworth
Selah
Wenatchee
Western Washington:
Marvel Food and Deli (Auburn)
Battle Ground Produce (Battle Ground)
The Family Grocer (Duvall)
Sno-Isle Food Co-op (Everett)
Marlene’s Market & Deli (Federal Way and Tacoma)
San Juan Island Food Co-op (Friday Harbor)
Nature’s Market (Kent)
Sunshine Corners Nutrition (Kent)
Skagit Valley Food Co-op (Mount Vernon)
Central Co-op (Seattle)
Arnada Naturals (Vancouver)
Chuck’s Produce (2 locations in Vancouver)
Drop-off group locations
Auburn
Bellevue
Bothell
Issaquah/Tiger Mountain
Kenmore
Kent/Covington
Kirkland
Lake City
Lynnwood
North Bend
Puyallup
Sammamish
Seattle/Seward Park
Shoreline

Shared values are the foundation for a culture of food safety
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/09/shared-values-are-the-foundation-for-a-culture-of-food-safety/#.Wdwwm2i0OUl
By FRANCINE L. SHAW (Sep 27, 2017)
OPINION
To create a food safety culture in any organization, there first must be understanding of what this means.
I frequently discuss the importance of having a food safety culture with operators of a variety types of companies, and they all tell me the same thing: “my company has a great food safety culture.” But when I ask what that means, their answers are not as confident.
So, how do you build a good food safety culture and make sure your employees embrace it? Understanding the value of food safety is where it begins. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 6 Americans contract a foodborne illness each year.
When food safety policies and procedures are created, correctly implemented, and instilled as part of a business culture, mistakes that can lead to foodborne illnesses are significantly reduced.
As a result, in addition to boosting food safety, profit increases, employee morale soars, employee turnover is reduced, absenteeism is minimized, and the company’s reputation remains secure. If food safety is neglected, food contamination can cause outbreaks, which not only critically damage a company’s reputation, but can also result in criminal negligence lawsuits and bankruptcy.
A food safety program that works for one organization may not work for another. It is necessary to find what works best for each organization, and then be committed to continuously reviewing the processes, evaluating them based on feedback and measurable results from team members and, when necessary, making changes.
If possible, company leaders should create a food safety team to collect data that can be used to analyze results. Use key performance indicators to study what is happening within your company – this is how you will determine what, where, and when changes need to be made.
Using feedback and data, a culture of food safety can be built on a set of shared values that management and employees follow to produce food in the safest manner. Establishing and maintaining a food safety culture means that management and employees recognize the risks linked with the products or meals they produce, understand why controlling the risks is important, and successfully manage those risks in an evident way.
In an organization with a good food safety culture, employees are expected to enact practices that represent the shared value system and point out where others may fail. By using a variety of tools, consequences and incentives, corporations can show their staff and customers that they are aware of current food safety concerns, that they can learn from others’ mistakes, and that food safety is important within their organization.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were eating at a restaurant that is part of a large organization. I am certain this company would say they have a good food safety culture.  Yet as we were eating in the dining room, I observed the cook eating food and drinking a beverage with her single use gloves on while preparing food for customers. She didn’t wash her hands or change her gloves the entire time we were there!
Such behavior has the potential to cause a foodborne illness outbreak. Clearly, somewhere in the company there was a breakdown in the value system, and this employee wasn’t following proper food safety protocols.
While there are many exceptional operations that have great food safety cultures, I have walked into establishments on many occasions to conduct health inspections or third-party inspections only to see employees and management tripping over each other to fill buckets of sanitizer, put on aprons, date product, etc., because they knew an inspector was in the building.
Building a food safety culture involves activities that go beyond grabbing a broom and sweeping up dirt.
When I see employees scrambling to “catch up” on the food safety protocols because I’m visiting and inspecting their facility, I know – and they know – that they have been neglecting tasks that they should have been doing on a regular basis.  Witnessing them scramble indicates that these people do not take food safety seriously. In a company with a good food safety culture, the standards are the same every day, regardless of whether there is an executive or a health inspector visiting. Because the health of your customers and the reputation of your company are, ultimately, your biggest concerns.
As you are creating and implementing your food safety plan, some important items to remember are:
make training fun
lead by example
explain why
follow up
use job aids
Creating a food safety culture takes more than discussing it at an occasional staff meeting or industry conference. It takes commitment by every level of management and staff, every second of every day.  And when you have that level of commitment, employees will be more inclined to take their jobs seriously and less likely to take chances that put the company at risk.

 

 

 

 


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FDA Updates King Soopers Chicken Sandwich Recall for Listeria
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2017/fda-updates-king-soopers-chicken-sandwich-recall-for-listeria/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 27, 2017)
The FDA has updated the vague recall Kroger posted about King Soopers Deli Chicken Sandwich Listeria recall. The recall was posted on the Kroger website earlier this week.
The sandwiches were sold in King Soopers and City Market stores in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Wyoming. No confirmed reports of illness have been reported to date, but listeriosis can take 70 days to manifest.
The recalled item is a prepackaged 6.8 ounce Deli Chicken Salad Sandwich sold in the deli department. The UPC number is 663209-02050 and the sell by dates are 9/20/17 through 9/28/17. King Soopers has removed the item from store shelves and has initiated its customer recall notification system. King Soopers was notified on September 21, 2017 by the manufacturer, Journey Cuisine, that the product may be contaminated.
If you bought this product do not eat it. Throw it away in a sealed container or take it back to the store for a full refund. Wash your hands after handling this product. And clean out your fridge with a mild bleach solution to kill any bacteria.
If you ate this sandwich, watch yourself for the symptoms of listeriosis for the next 70 days. Symptoms include high fever, stiff neck, severe headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Pregnant women may only be mildly ill with what seems like the flu, but listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature labor, and infection in the newborn. If you do feel sick, see your doctor.

Contaminated soy butter still on sale 6 months after recall
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/09/contaminated-soy-butter-still-on-sale-6-months-after-recall/#.WdwxR2i0OUl
By CORAL BEACH (Sep 27, 2017)
Identified as the cause of an E. coli outbreak — and recalled in March — I.M. Healthy “SoyNut Butter” was still on the shelf yesterday at a Luckys Market in California, according to the mother of an 8-year-old outbreak victim.
“We have friends all over the Bay Area who have been watching the situation since Trevor got sick in January,” Erin Simmons said Wednesday. “I couldn’t believe it last night (Tuesday) when a friend sent me the photo of it on the shelf at the Luckys in Redwood City.
“I just can’t imagine another family having to go through what we did because this was still on sale and could make people sick.”
Officials with Luckys did not immediately respond Wednesday to a request for comment.
Earlier this month a similar situation was discovered when a food safety researcher from the University of California-Davis, Linda Harris, noticed the recalled peanut butter substitute was still available for purchase on Amazon. Harris bought the recalled product and it was delivered in less than 24 hours.
FDA and recall enforcement
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating the Luckys incident — as it did the Amazon situation — an agency spokeswoman said Wednesday, after Simmons filed a consumer complaint.
“Thanks for bringing this to our attention,” the spokeswoman said in an email response to questions from Food Safety News.
“The FDA is investigating and can confirm product has been removed. We continue to follow up with online retailers and businesses as we become aware of recalled products being offered for sale. It is the responsibility of a recalling firm to ensure that a recall is effective.”
It is a violation of federal law to sell recalled products, whether in retail or wholesale settings, thrift stores or yard sales, or any other venue. The recalled soy butter has been linked to 32 illnesses across a dozen states, with additional victims possible because the recall has not been completely effective.
Simmons said her friend returned to the Luckys Market at 200 Woodside Road in Redwood City, CA, on Wednesday to find that the I.M. Healthy brand soy butter was no longer on the shelf. Which, Simmons said, surprised them both.
“He told me he went to the store four different times, talked to four different employees, and they didn’t do anything. They just left it on the shelf for people to buy,” Simmons said.
Betrayed by ‘them’
Simmons said she feels betrayed as a consumer and a taxpayer; betrayed by the food industry and betrayed by the government. She said she’s learned more than she ever wanted to know about foodborne pathogens, food laws and gaping holes in the safety net that is supposed to protect the public.
“As consumers, most moms don’t think that the food in the grocery store will make their kids sick,” Simmons said. “We trust that there are rules and that the public good is protected. The most concerning thing about this still being for sale six months after the recall is how can we ever trust what we buy?”
Before her son’s life-threatening bout with E. coli, Simmons didn’t think much about the FDA or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, with her post-E. coli perspective, the California mom wants to know not only how poison food gets on the market, but why the government won’t release specific distribution details about food recalled because of pathogens.
Agency policy prohibits the FDA from releasing information about what wholesalers or retailers received foods when a recall is initiated. The policy is based on a clause in federal law that protects trade secrets, referred to as “confidential corporate information” (CCI).
Simmons said that’s just not good enough.
“How can people go to the grocery store and buy food for their families with any trust,” she asked.
Things will never be the same
Simmons youngest son, Trevor, is 9 now. He’s back in school full time this fall after basically missing the entire spring semester because of his E. coli infection and complications.
His doctor visits are down to once every three months instead of once a week. He spent 25 days in the hospital, went into kidney failure, endured dialysis and could have permanent damage — it’s too early to tell.
One thing Trevor’s parents do know now, and have known for months, is that their little boy is changed forever. He wrestles with post traumatic shock syndrome because one of his favorite foods almost killed him. He must overcome fear every time he eats now, his mother said.
“This has bruised our whole family,” Simmons said. “We’ve practically become OCD because we don’t know what’s safe. I don’t want my kids to be OCD about food. They shouldn’t have to worry about the food we buy in the store.”
Editor’s note: Erin Simmons and her family are represented by Seattle attorney Bill Marler of Marler Clark LLP. Bill Marler is publisher of Food Safety News.

Food safety advocates speak out as MEP attacks acrylamide regulation
Source : https://www.euractiv.com/section/agriculture-food/news/food-safety-advocates-speak-out-as-mep-attacks-acrylamide-regulation/
By Samuel White | EURACTIV.com (Sep 26, 2017)
The European Parliament’s environment committee will vote on Thursday (28 September) on a resolution which seeks to stop a Commission proposal to regulate levels of carcinogenic acrylamide in food, amid continuing pleas from food safety advocates to endorse the original proposal.
Acrylamide forms naturally when certain foods, particularly, potatoes, cereals and coffee, are processed at high temperatures. First discovered in food in 2002, acrylamide was confirmed as a carcinogen by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in 2015.
Processors and vendors already follow a voluntary set of guidelines to reduce the presence of acrylamide in their food products but regulators have consistently found that levels are not falling. This year the European Commission proposed binding benchmark levels for the substance, which were adopted by member states on 19 July.
Yet critics fear the legislation will place an unnecessary burden on small businesses. Centre-right MEP Elisabeth Köstinger (EPP group) tabled a resolution objecting to the Commission’s draft regulation, which she described as “excessively prescriptive”.
The European Parliament’s environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) committee will vote on the resolution on Thursday.
For the Austrian People’s Party MEP, the requirements set out by the EU executive, which would have to be followed by both food industry giants and SMEs “such as small restaurants, bakeries and local retailers, are considered impractical and disproportionate”.
Instead, Köstinger argues that an awareness and information campaign for consumers and businesses would yield better results with less disruption.
“Prescribing colour guides or detailed frying processes for French fries is disproportional and excessive,” the MEP wrote in her draft resolution. The darker the surface of a food product after cooking, the higher the levels of acrylamide it contains.
She also said the regulation would undermine the single market as member states implement the legislation differently and accused the Commission of “not paying attention to traditional cooking and baking methods”.
Consumer group hits back
Consumer protection organisation Safe Food Advocacy Europe (Safe) published a detailed reply to Köstinger’s resolution, saying it was based on poor science and exaggerated the impact the legislation would have on SMEs.
The fact that small and large businesses receive differentiated treatment under the draft regulation means it “does not generate an excessive bureaucracy or an enormous burden” for SMEs, Safe said.
Under the Commission’s proposal, small businesses such as bakeries or chip shops will not be bound by sampling rules and will only have to meet simplified requirements on the storage and handling of food.
Safe also disagrees with Köstinger’s assertion that the acrylamide regulation would lead to different levels of enforcement and distort the single market. Rather, an EU-wide set of rules would break down “differences and barriers and thus allow fair competition in the single market”, the organisation said.
Speaking after the adoption of the draft regulation in July, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis described it as “an important step in protecting the health and well-being of citizens”.

Egg scare prompts EU to consider national food safety officers
Source : https://euobserver.com/environment/139161
By PETER TEFFER (Sep 26, 2017)
Member states have agreed on Tuesday (26 September) to consider appointing a single "food safety officer" to improve communications in the case of food contamination.
The ministerial conference was held to look back on the fipronil crisis that took place in the EU over the summer.
Eggs were sold by Dutch and Belgian farmers, who had bought insecticides that illegally contained fipronil. The incident was marked with conflicting reports by authorities. Millions of eggs were destroyed, and millions of chickens were culled preemptively.
The incident saw the Belgian agriculture minister, Denis Ducarme, accuse the Netherlands of having been aware of the problem as early as 2016. On the other hand, Belgium was accused of not informing its neighbours on time.
But according to Dutch caretaker minister for agriculture, Henk Kamp, Tuesday's meeting took place in a "constructive" atmosphere.
The question of who knew what (or when) was not discussed, he told EUobserver and Dutch media after the conference.
"Not once was there any finger-pointing towards countries or the European Commission," he said.
"There was the strong feeling that this is a common problem and that we have a common interest to make sure if something similar happens, [the response] is better," said Kamp.
"Today's dialogue allowed us to identify several strategic and systematic actions needed at member state and European Union level," said Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU commissioner in charge of food safety.
The ministers adopted a declaration, which said the commission should develop a "management plan for food and feed incidents" and to define "the criteria when the coordination at EU level should be triggered by member states".
They also agreed that there should be procedures "to ensure a rapid common risk assessment that can serve as basis for a co-ordinated risk management approach at EU level".
Dutch minister Kamp said that, during the fipronil crisis, member states gained experience with dedicated liaison officers.
"We agreed that we would continue that by setting up points of contact in each country," he said.
The official conclusions, and Andriukaitis, suggested the agreement was slightly more tentative.
"We will consider how to establish a food safety officer in each member state to make sure information flows as fast and efficiently as possible," said the Lithuanian commissioner.
The conclusions tread carefully, saying that establishing such an officer should be "considered".
It said the follow-up plans will be "further discussed" in an EU working group.

Seafood processor warned by FDA for lack of hazard plan
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/09/seafood-processor-warned-by-fda-for-lack-of-hazard-plan/#.Wdwy12i0OUl
By NEWS DESK (Sep 25, 2017)
A seafood processing facility in Colorado is on notice from the Food and Drug Administration for serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control point (HAACP) regulation.
Officials from the FDA’s Division IV West Office of Human and Animal Foods inspected the Gypsum, CO, location of Eagle Smoked Salmon Inc. on July 13 and 17. According to an Aug. 23 warning letter recently made public by the FDA, the facility’s vacuum packed, cold smoked salmon; hot smoked salmon, not vacuum packed; and smoked salmon spread may be injurious to health as they were prepared, packed or held under insanitary conditions.
The report cited several significant violations in relation to HAACP plan for fish or fishery products:
The firm failed to conduct, or have conducted, a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product that they produce, to determine whether there are food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur;
The firm failed to have a HACCP plan that lists monitoring procedures and their frequency for each critical control point, and specifically, the firm’s HACCP plan for “Cold Smoked Salmon Vacuum Packed” lists a monitoring procedure and frequency at the storage CCP that is not adequate to control the growth of Clostridium botulinum;
The firm did not follow the monitoring procedure of “Thermometer Logger” and frequency of “Throughout the Process” at the smoking critical control point; and
The firm did not follow the monitoring procedure defined as “Time in Cure,” “Salt content of cure,” and “Weight of fish and salt,” each with frequencies of “Each Batch,” which is intended to control “C. bot, Staph, and Listeria Production (sic) in finished product” as listed in the firm’s “Cold Smoked Vacuum Packed” HACCP plan.
According to the warning letter, the firm previously submitted a proposed HACCP plan in July for the “Smoked Salmon Spread.”
“However, the plan does not include steps to control pathogenic bacteria growth in the raw materials and finished products,” according to the warning letter. “Additionally, the plan does not include control measures to ensure the allergens, egg, milk, and fish are properly declared on all finished product labels.”
The FDA acknowledged the firm’s submitted letter, but noted that, “However, you did not provide any records which demonstrate this observation has been corrected.”
Under FDA regulations, all facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are responsible for ensuring that their overall operation and the products they distribute are in compliance with the law.
The FDA’s 4th Edition of the Fish and Fisheries Products Hazards & Controls Guidance, the Hazards Guide, “provides our recommendations regarding identification and control of food safety hazards reasonably likely to occur for your fish and fishery products”.
The Hazards Guide states that, “This guidance is intended to assist processors of fish and fishery products in the development of their Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans. Processors of fish and fishery products will find information in this guidance that will help them identify hazards that are associated with their products, and help them formulate control strategies. The guidance will help consumers and the public generally to understand commercial seafood safety in terms of hazards and their controls.”
The FDA allows companies 15 working days to respond to warning letters. If companies fail to properly correct violations, legal action can result in seizure of products and injunctions stopping operations. FDA has not yet posted a closeout letter on the case.

New Advice for Parents of Children at Risk for Peanut Allergies
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2017/new-advice-for-parents-of-children-at-risk-for-peanut-allergies/
By Linda Larsen (Sep 25, 2017)
A new qualified health claim from the government advises that some parents of babies who are at risk for developing a peanut allergy could introduce them to peanut butter at a young age. This seemingly contradictory advice comes after a clinical trail at the National Institutes of Health found this practice reduces the number of people who develop this serious allergy.
Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies, and is one of the most dangerous. Reactions to peanuts is the leading cause of death related to food-induced anaphylaxis in this country. Most people who are allergic to peanuts develop the allergy early in life and never outgrow it. The prevalence of peanut allergies has more than doubled in children from 1997 to 2008. About 2% of all people in this country are allergic to peanuts.
The author of the study, Dr Gideon Lack of King’s College London said, “Parents of infants and young children with eczema or egg allergy should consult with an allergist, pediatrician, or their general practitioner prior to feeding them peanut products.”
Up to this year, guidelines stated that parents should not give any peanut-containing foods to children until they were three years old. This new landmark study, called Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP), which was conducted in 2015, found that early introduction of peanuts actually prevents peanut allergies in many children. Infants who are at high risk for developing a peanut allergy usually have an egg allergy and/or severe eczema, which is an inflammatory skin disorder.
In that study, more than 600 high-risk infants under the age of 1 were assigned either to avoid peanuts entirely or regularly include at least 6 grams of peanut protein per week. These regimens were continued until the children reached the age of 5. Researchers found an overall 81% reduction of peanut allergy in the children who ate peanuts.
The National Institutes of Health then issued Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy. The first addendum is that infants who have severe eczema and/or an egg allergy should first be evaluated with peanut-specific IgE measurement using skin prick testing before peanuts are introduced to their diet. Depending on the results, peanuts may be added into the child’s diet. Some of these children should only have a supervised peanut feeding at a specialist’s office. And the addendum states that children who have a wheal diameter 8 mm or greater should be evaluated and managed by an allergy specialist rather than be introduced to peanuts.
Addendum 2 addresses infants who have mild or moderate eczema. Since the trial didn’t target those children, the study’s authors concluded that infant with mild-to-moderate eczema would “likely benefit from early peanut introduction,” but the confidence in this statement was low.
Finally, the Addendum 3 guidelines suggest that infants without eczema or any food allergy should have age-appropriate peanut-containing foods “freely introduced in the diet together with other solid foods.” The NIH says that “No evidence exists for restricting allergenic foods in infants without known risks for food allergy.”
However, 14% of children with peanut allergies at ages 12 to 18 did not have any known risk factors. Experts think that the early introduction of dietary peanut in children without risk factors for a peanut allergy is “generally anticipated to be safe.”
Of course, before you do anything that may affect your child’s health, you should ALWAYS consult with your pediatrician and an allergy specialist. They will determine whether feeding your child peanuts is beneficial, and whether an allergy test and a doctor’s supervision are needed.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb says that new labels on foods that contain ground peanuts and are suitable for infants will contain advice about this issue. The qualified health claim on the labels will state, “For most infants with severe eczema and/or egg allergy who are already eating solid foods, introducing foods containing ground peanuts between 4 and 10 months of age and continuing consumption may reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy by 5 years of age.” This is the first time the FDA has recognized a qualified health claim to prevent a food allergy.
The label will also say that parents should check with their infant’s healthcare provider before introducing these foods. And it will note that this new qualified health claim is based on one study.

USDA’s temporary food safety administrators are in demand
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/09/usdas-temporary-food-safety-administrators-are-in-demand/#.WdwxpWi0OUl
By DAN FLYNN (Sep 25, 2017)
If Carmen Rottenberg and Paul Kiecker are feeling just a bit like Lucy and Charlie Brown, it’s understandable.
During the first month of holding down USDA’s top two food safety jobs on an acting basis, Rottenberg and Kiecker have taken 19 meetings with people outside the federal government.
By taking on the jobs of USDA’s acting deputy undersecretary for food safety and administrator of Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Rottenberg and Kiecker, respectively, attracted a line as long as Lucy had when she put our her shingle.
Rottenberg and Kiecker were both named to succeed longtime FSIS boss Al Almanza, who was acting deputy undersecretary for food safety and FSIS administrator. He retired on July 31 after three decades at FSIS to take over food safety at meat producer JBS USA.
Rottenberg, who took her first meeting as acting deputy undersecretary for food safety on Aug. 11, with Oscar Garrison, vice president for food safety and regulatory affairs, with United Egg Producers and the United Egg Association. Eggs in the Netherlands was the topic, which was likely about the recall over chemical use in Dutch henhouses.
Rottenberg and Kiecker joined forces for five meetings on Aug. 16 and 17. Their first was with Thomas Gremillion, director of food policy for the Consumer Federation of America. James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council was up next. The discussion involved scheduling “challenges” involving Iraq’s audit of the U.S.
The next two meetings, first with consumer group representatives and then with industry, continued Almanza’s tradition of conducting such meetings on a near monthly basis.
The busy two days ended with Rottenberg and Kiecker meeting with Lisa Wallenda Picard, vice president for science and regulatory affairs, and Victoria Ahlmeyer with the National Turkey Federation.
The pace continued during the following week, beginning with a session with a delegation from the Food Marketing Institute about retail food safety and the FSIS strategic plan.
Labeling for non-meat products and cultured meat were on the agenda for a meeting with a delegation from the American Meat Institute with Rottenberg and Kiecher on Aug. 22.
Ending the third week in the July, Rottenberg and Kiecker huddled with Chandler Keys of the Keys Group about “foreign materials.” Keys runs a communications and consulting shop.
The final week of August began with a visit from a delegation representing the Embassy of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Rottenberg met alone on Aug. 29 with Ashley Peterson, vice president of the National Chicken Council, about poultry line speeds.
Kiecker and two other FSIS staffers did a follow-up meeting with Daniel Miller, CFIA’s executive director, on audit issues between the U.S. and Canada.
On Aug. 30, Rottenberg and Kiecker were together again for two meetings with some House and Senate committee staffers about the catfish inspection program. In between, they did a “meet and greet” with the Humane Society’s Tracie Letterman.
USDA’s new catfish inspection program was the subject of the last four meetings in the month, on Aug. 30 and 31. One was with staff from Florida’s Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and another was with North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
The other two were with a delegation headed by the McLean, VA-based Allen F. Johnson & Associates, a trade group, and another gathering of congressional staffers, mostly from agriculture and appropriations committees.
Siluriformes, including both domestic and imported catfish, became subject to inspection and full enforcement as of Sept. 1, 2017, by FSIS under the Federal Meat Inspection Act.
Rottenberg will likely remain in her job until President Trump nominates and the Senate confirms a new permanent undersecretary for food safety. A permanent FSIS administrator won’t likely be named until the Undersecretary is on board.

On a clear day you can see omnichannel biz forever with IOT
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/09/on-a-clear-day-you-can-see-omnichannel-biz-forever-with-iot/#.WdwzQmi0OUl
By LAURA MUSHRUSH (Sep 25, 2017)
Editor’s note: This is the final installment of a four-part series sponsored by Par Technologies. For Parts 1 through 3, please see the links below.
About one in four households —23 percent to be exact — in the United States purchase groceries online, according to research by the Nielsen Company and Food Marketing Institute that shows the percentage is on its way up.
“We expect that household penetration will continue this rapid growth over the next 10 years. Overall, 72 percent of shoppers surveyed expect to buy groceries online in the future and that number jumps to 80 percent for millennials,” FMI says in “The Digitally Engaged Food Shopper” report.
“Furthermore, of those who will buy online, 60 percent expect to spend over a quarter of their food dollars online in 10 years. By comparison, today only 30 percent of online shoppers expect to spend more than a quarter of their food dollars online. So, the number of online grocery shoppers and the share of food spend happening online will grow significantly over the next decade.”
As food retailers evolve to keep up with a changing market place, many are implementing the omnichannel approach, a multi-market platform to give consumers the ability to shop seamlessly, from online to in-store.
However, with additional channels come additional challenges, including the need for a transparency. Three of those challenges involve food safety, customer expectations and transparency with inventories.
Food safety
In order to be in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), food retailers with yearly revenues surpassing $1 million must keep two years worth of food safety records on hand, and produce them in a reasonable amount of time in the event of an unexpected inspection.
As Internet of Things (IOT) technology becomes more prevalent, many food retailers are ditching the mountains of paper documents for data storage in a centralized online location, aka “the cloud.” IOT, which connects sensors tracking real-time data, such as location and temperatures, to a storage base is not only giving companies essential food safety information right at their fingertips, but the ability to make better business decisions with the data collected.
Customer expectations
You know the saying, “the customer is always right?” Well, omnichannel shoppers are no exception. If anything, they are a bigger challenge for food retailers to please while juggling a cohesive shopping experience from online to storefronts. A common challenge in handling customer expectations is delivery of products.
Not only is a company responsible for the food safety challenges of transporting fresh food products to a customer’s doorstep, but cumbersome challenges of cancelled orders and changed order times. Food retailers using IOT to monitor food safety conditions are able to use the real-time tracking data to record information such as who and when the order was accepted, product temperature at the point of exchange and route of delivery to the customer.
Transparency
Another challenge in managing customer expectations is delivering on promises to consumers by having adequate inventory on hand. While a shopper in store can physically see if products are no longer on shelves, online shoppers expect a product to be available when they click the “checkout” button.
And, while having inventory in stock is important, avoiding food waste due to inventory surplus adds another variable to an already complicated equation. For many food retailers radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags can be an asset in keeping inventory transparent by providing current stock locations and amounts.
To read the first three parts of this series, use these links:
Part 1: Alexa, order my online grocery list
Part 2: Delivering on your promise
Part 3: Omnichannel ops and IOT

HACCP vs. HARPC: A Comparison
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/haccp-vs-harpc-a-comparison/
By Remco Products
HACCP vs. HARPC: A Comparison
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) and HARPC (Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls) share more than just four letters. They’re both food safety standards based on prevention, but they do differ on execution. Their differences and the similarities aren’t as important as the way they fit together for most food processors. A HARPC plan shouldn’t be considered as a replacement but as a necessary upgrade to the conventional HACCP plan. Understanding how the systems fit together is the first step toward implementing both.
HARPC as an Upgrade to HACCP
HACCP is already widely used due to requirements from retailers, auditing standards, and inspectors, though USDA and FDA only mandate it for meat, seafood and juice products. As a global standard conceptualized the 1960s, HACCP has been continually developed and updated. HACCP requires a multi-disciplinary team for implementation and follows prescriptive steps.
HARPC covers food safety concerns beyond CCPs and is mandated by the FDA for most facilities, with some exemptions. Instead of only looking at process steps where controls can be applied (as in HACCP plans), HARPC relies on the applicable FDA regulations, standards, and guidance documents to develop a Preventive Controls Plan.
How HACCP Works
HACCP is a globally recognized risk-based preventative approach recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (or the ‘Food Code’) and the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods.  It commonly focuses on controlling the three main food safety hazards: biological, chemical and physical. The primary goals (in order of priority) are to prevent occurrences of the hazard, or eliminate, or reduce the food safety hazard to acceptable or safe levels.
The HACCP plans are developed, implemented, and maintained by a multi-disciplinary team and the entire process is facilitated by a HACCP Coordinator, a person who is sufficiently knowledgeable and skilled in food safety concepts and principles and has undertaken a training program that has preferably been accredited by the International HACCP Alliance. The responsible person must review the HACCP plan at least annually, or whenever there are significant changes in food safety design layout, processes, product composition or technology.
The HACCP program is legally mandated for meat and poultry establishments (under USDA jurisdiction) and juice and seafood processing establishments (under FDA’s jurisdiction). Even though the HACCP program for several food establishments may be voluntary (unless specified by regulations, industrial standards, or by customers), it does not absolve a facility from implementing Current GMPs (as provided in the 21 CFR 110 legal document) and other relevant prerequisite program requirements necessary to maintain the safety and legality of the food products. In the Food Code, prior to HACCP recommendation, there are General Principles of Food Hygiene (provided in 10 sections) that have to be followed. Auditors, inspectors, customers and other stakeholders may inspect the HACCP or food safety plan.
12 Steps of HACCP
1.    Assemble the multidisciplinary HACCP team
2.    Describe the product
3.    Identify its intended use
4.    Construct a flow diagram
5.    Conduct on-site confirmation of the flow diagram, and draw up the plant schematic
6.    List all potential hazards associated with each step, conduct a hazard analysis, and consider any measures to control identified hazards (Principle 1)
7.    Determine Critical Control Limits (Principle 2)
8.    Establish Critical Limits for each CCP (Principle 3)
9.    Establish a monitoring system for each CCP (Principle 4)
10.    Establish corrective actions (Principle 5)
11.    Establish verification procedures (Principle 6)
12.    Establish documentation and record-keeping (Principle 7)
How HARPC Works
In brief, this preventive control system mandated by FSMA is to be implemented by all food establishments unless specifically exempted. Thus, it applies to food facilities in the U.S. that manufacture, process, pack, distribute, receive, hold or import food, and for those firms exporting foodstuff to the U.S. FDA has issued implementation deadlines for each of the different facility types (kindly refer to updated guidelines on the FDA site, www.fda.gov). Within a HARPC plan, the food safety hazards assessment is broader; generally, the following risks are considered:
•    Biological, physical, chemical and radiological hazards
•    Natural toxins, pesticides, drug residues, decomposed material, parasites, allergens and unapproved food and color additives
•    Naturally occurring hazards
•    Unintentionally introduced hazards
•    Intentionally introduced hazards, including acts of terrorism
Preventive controls are science-based and shall be adequate to significantly minimize or prevent identified hazards “known or reasonably foreseeable” for each type of food subject to the relevant FDA regulation. The HARPC plan is developed, implemented, and maintained by a team of “preventive controls qualified individuals” as defined in FSMA, who have been trained or are sufficiently conversant with the Preventive Controls for Human Food rule, and any other relevant rulemakings, such as the final rules on Animal Food, Produce Safety or Foreign Supplier Verification Program (for more information, refer to the FDA site, www.fda.gov). The responsible person must review the HARPC plan at least once every 3 years (if no significant changes occur in the plan) or whenever there is a significant change at the facility that might increase a known hazard or introduce a new one.
7 Steps of HARPC
1.    Assess the hazards—This includes the normal product-specific hazards, along with a broad range of other hazards (listed above) and facility-specific concerns such as food defense and emergency management issues.
2.    Institute Preventive Controls—These include sanitation procedures for food contact points, staff hygiene training, environment monitoring, supplier verification and more.
3.    Monitor effectiveness of the controls—Not all controls are measurable by critical limit numbers, but these Preventive Controls can be evaluated on a routine basis.
4.    Establish corrective action measures—Recall plans may not seem preventive, but the critical steps between knowing something is wrong with a product and keeping it away from consumers’ hands should involve identifying and correcting the weak spots within the controls. The objective is to prevent occurrences of unsafe and nonconforming food product.
5.    Establish verification measures—The process of verification ensures that the facility is effectively meeting its food safety standards on a consistent basis.
6.    Follow proper and required recordkeeping—As with any FDA ruling, nothing is properly done until it’s recorded.
7.    Reanalyze the plan once every 3 years, or when needed—When changes in process or product happen, HARPC plans should be reevaluated.
Recap of Some Key Differences
Hazard Analysis Method
The three conventional types of hazards that are addressed in the HACCP plans—physical, chemical and biological—are accompanied by many more concerns in HARPC plans.
Radiation, natural toxins, pesticides, drug residues, decomposition, parasites, allergens, unapproved food or color additives, naturally occurring hazards and intentionally and unintentionally introduced hazards round out the list of HARPC-related hazards.
Critical Control Points Versus Preventive Controls
CCPs during process steps are central to HACCP. Each control point must include measurable critical limits—the temperature and length of time a sauce must be held at, for example, as a kill step. The objective of each control step is either to prevent, eliminate, or reduce food safety hazards to a safe and acceptable level. Food safety measures that aren’t specific to the process, such as personnel hygiene, are covered under Standard Operating Procedures.
HARPC focuses on Preventive Controls that are science- or risk-based, and should be adequate to “significantly minimize or prevent” known or foreseeable hazards for each type of food subject to the federal regulations.
To Learn More about HACCP
Download our whitepaper, “HACCP Planning for Food Safety,” or contact our knowledgeable customer service representatives at cs@remcoproducts.com or at 317.876.9856. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary on-site consultation regarding HACCP and HARPC plans.
To view more information about this and other sanitation topics, visit www.remcoproducts.com/knowledge-center.

 

 

 

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