Clear food safety strategies in place, claims UK food industry survey
Source : http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/campden-bri-survey-identifying-challenges-of-food-safety-training.html
By foodingredientsfirst.c (Jan 19, 2018)
Campden BRI and Alchemy in partnership with BRC Global Standards, SGS, SQF, TSI, NSF – Latin America and GMA – SEF has released the results of the fifth annual global survey of food safety training. The survey questioned food and drink manufacturers and processors worldwide to identify the needs, effectiveness and challenges of food safety training in the industry.
The survey revealed some interesting developments:
Survey responses indicate that companies are highly committed to building strong food safety cultures and are investing to continually improve their programs. Specifically:
74 percent believe they have a clear vision for improving food safety.
55 percent responded that their company is a leader in food safety.
83 percent believe they are able to provide the food safety training needed to drive behaviors.
The top three food safety training challenges identified by the survey respondents are:
Scheduling the time for training employees.
Verifying the effectiveness of training.
Organizing refresher training.
And the top three challenges to developing a strong food safety culture:
Negative employee attitudes.
High staff turnover.
Lack of effective communication.
The survey, which is the only one of its kind, questioned food and drink manufacturers and processors worldwide to identify the needs, effectiveness and challenges of food safety training in the industry. There were over 1,400 responses from 20 food industry sectors globally.
Bertrand Emond, Head of Membership and Training at Campden BRI said: “The survey shows a strong management commitment to food safety, but there are execution gaps that need attention like ensuring all employees are consistently following safety procedures on the production floor. It also highlighted the need for the technical and food safety team to work closely with the HR and senior management team to optimize the effectiveness of the training and engagement programs. It was interesting to note that over the last five years, very little progress has been made on improving the effectiveness of training and the take-up of more novel learning and training delivery methods has been slow. The survey is a great tool for companies to benchmark and continuously improve their own food safety training programs.”
FDA to Expedite Food Recall Notifications
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/fda-to-expedite-food-recall-notifications/
By Staff (Jan 18, 2018)
FDA to Expedite Food Recall Notifications
Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Enforcement and Import Operations director, Douglas Stearn, issued a notice stating plans to expedite public notification of products being recalled, including food products.
Typically, FDA works closely with food manufacturers and distributors to identify and recall products that pose a public health risk. Now, the agency’s goal is to notify the public sooner than it has in the past.
Part of the hold up has been the time it takes to classify recalls, a process that can take weeks or even months when a complex evaluation is warranted. FDA digs into the source of outbreaks, illnesses, hazards and identifies vulnerable populations—information that often needs confirmation to ensure the public is provided with the most accurate information.
Now, FDA agrees that the public would benefit from knowing about recalls as soon as possible instead of waiting for the agency’s formal method of investigation into a potentially dangerous food product concludes. Food products still being investigated will now be categorized as “not-yet-classified” so that FDA can notify the public and still continue its investigation in the meantime. Such classifications will be included in the agency’s weekly Enforcement Report.
Current recall classifications are as follows:
Class I - Highest Risk
Reasonable probability that use/exposure will cause serious adverse health consequences or death.
Example: Food contaminated with Salmonella or another pathogen.
Class II - Intermediate Risk
Use/exposure may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health consequences; remote probability of serious adverse health consequences.
Example: Failure to declare the presence of monosodium glutamate (MSG) in a food product.
Class III - Lowest Risk
Use/exposure is not likely to cause adverse health consequences.
Example: Undeclared colors on food product label.
According to FDA, posting “not-yet-classified” recalls will not affect current FDA protocols for working with companies to ensure that they quickly alert entities in the supply chain as soon as they have identified a problem with their marketed product. Also, FDA will continue to monitor the recalling company’s actions to correct or remove products held by retailers, grocery stores, and other entities.
The public should recognize that recalls are almost always voluntary. Sometimes a company discovers a problem and recalls a product, while at other times a company acts after the FDA raises concerns. Whether FDA or the company discovers the problem, in every case FDA oversees a company’s recall strategy and assesses the adequacy of the recall.
Study: Raw Pet Foods Pose Health Risks for Animals and Humans
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/study-raw-pet-foods-pose-health-risks-for-animals-and-humans/
By Staff (Jan 17, 2018)
Study: Raw Pet Foods Pose Health Risks for Animals and Humans
A new study by Utrecht University in the Netherlands and published in Veterinary Record— a British scholarly journal—says that raw pet foods (available in fresh, frozen and dried varieties) can be contaminated with a plethora of pathogens—Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. The raw meat in these pet foods are a danger not only to animals but human health is at stake as well.
The human health risk is made possible during the act of touching or handling raw pet food, or even when petting animals who consume raw foods. The pathogens can also be spread when a human is licked by a pet.
After analyzing 35 store-bought products made by eight brands and containing primarily beef, chicken and lamb, researchers discovered the following:
•Listeria was present in 54 percent of the raw pet food samples
•E. coli was present in 23 percent of the raw pet food samples
•Salmonella was present in 20 percent of the raw pet food samples
Other pathogens detected included Sarcocytis Cruz, Sarcocytis tenella and Toxoplasma gondii. Some of the bacteria detected in the study were also antibiotic-resistant, which does not bode well for human health.
Despite the growing popularity of raw pet food among consumers, the study appears to debunk the myth that these pet food products— often marketed as “natural”—are somehow better than more conventional pet foods. In terms of nutritional value, the study reveals that raw pet foods tend to be “deficient in several nutrients and may, therefore, lead to serious health problems, especially in young animals that are growing.”
Researchers suggest that these raw pet food products should be affixed with labels warning consumers of the possible health risks, along with instructions for safe and proper handling.
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CDC says contaminated coconut could still be in homes, stores
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/01/cdc-says-contaminated-coconut-could-still-be-in-homes-stores/#.WmF8Hs-6zct
By Coral Beach (Jan 17, 2018)
There is an ongoing public health threat from frozen, shredded coconut linked to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened people in the United States and Canada.
In the U.S., 25 people from nine states have been confirmed with infections from two outbreak strains of Salmonella. In Canada, one person has salmonellosis from a strain matching one of the outbreak strains identified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Six of the U.S. victims had symptoms so severe that they required hospitalization.
Evershing International Trading Co. recalled all Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut packaged in 16-ounce plastic bags on Jan. 3, but the product’s long shelf life prompted a warning from the CDC on Tuesday.
“The frozen shredded coconut linked to this outbreak was used as an ingredient in Asian-style dessert drinks served at restaurants. The product was also sold in grocery stores and markets in several states,” according to the CDC in its initial outbreak notice.
“Frozen shredded coconut can last for several months if kept frozen and may still be in retail stores or in people’s homes. CDC recommends that retailers not sell, restaurants not serve, and consumers not eat recalled Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut.”
The outbreak, which began in May 2017, could be ongoing. As of Jan. 12, the CDC had confirmed outbreak cases in nine states. The most recent U.S. victim’s symptoms began on Nov. 4. The confirmed outbreak serotypes are Salmonella I 4,,12:b:- and Salmonella Newport.
However, additional product testing since the first of the year by Massachusetts public health officials has identified “several” other strains of Salmonella in packages of Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut.
“Laboratory testing of other several types of Salmonella bacteria, including Salmonella Javiana, Salmonella Rissen, and Salmonella Thompson. These samples were from unopened packages of Coconut Tree Brand Frozen Shredded Coconut sold before Jan. 3,” the CDC reported.
“CDC is reviewing the PulseNet database to determine if the other Salmonella isolates from the frozen shredded coconut are linked to any illnesses.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health identified the outbreak in December 2017 while investigating a single case of Salmonella infection. Investigators collected food items from a restaurant where that ill person had consumed Asian-style dessert drinks. Tests showed Salmonella in the coconut used in the drink.
State and federal disease investigators have interviewed 16 of the outbreak patients. Of those, 10 reported eating or maybe eating coconut. Of those 10 people, 8 reported having an Asian-style dessert drink that contained frozen shredded coconut before becoming ill.
In addition to linking coconut used in the dessert drink to the salmonellosis patient, the department’s epidemiologists also identified a strain of Salmonella that is new to the CDC’s PulseNet database.
“The fact that we have detected this strain of Salmonella that caught the attention of the U.S. government is a testament to the work of our dedicated staff, whom I applaud,” said Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel in a news release.
Advice to consumers
The CDC recommends that retailers not sell, restaurants not serve, and consumers not eat the Coconut Tree brand recalled frozen shredded coconut.
“If you have recalled frozen shredded coconut in your home, you can return it to the place of purchase for a refund,” according to the CDC’s outbreak consumer advice page.
“If you aren’t sure if the frozen coconut you bought is Coconut Tree brand frozen shredded coconut, you can ask the place of purchase. Restaurants and retailers can ask their supplier. When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve it. Throw it out.”
Consumers who have had the recalled coconut in their homes should wash and sanitize countertops as well as drawers or shelves in refrigerators or freezers where frozen shredded coconut was stored.
Anyone who has eaten the recall coconut, or foods or beverages made with it, and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should immediately seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop symptoms within 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria. Symptoms can include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
In severe cases, the infection can be fatal. Infants, young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system are at greatest risk.
Prerequisite programs ensure food safety
Source : https://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/97211-prerequisite-programs-ensure-food-safety
By Richard F. Stier, Contributing Editor (Jan 17, 2018)
In 1995, the seafood HACCP regulation was enacted in the US and marked a major milestone in the history of food safety.
First, it established that prerequisite programs could be used as a means to address potential food safety hazards. Persons working with HACCP programs in the ‘80s and early ‘90s undoubtedly remember plans that had 10, 15 or even 20 critical control points (CCPs). There were things in the plans that seemed essential for ensuring the production of safe foods: operations like product identification, cleaning and sanitizing, handwashing in ready-to-eat (RTE) operations and more.
These large plans were prone to failure and experienced regular deviations that, in reality, were probably not food safety failures. But remember, whenever there is a deviation at a point in the process that is deemed to be a CCP, the product is deemed potentially unsafe. In fact, the following statement from the preamble of the seafood HACCP regulation summarizes how this issue evolved:
“Sanitation, especially those issues related to cleaning and sanitizing and routine maintenance aimed at assuring safe operation of equipment, should now be included in the prerequisite program and not be considered to be CCPs.”
The regulation itself defined six categories of prerequisite programs (PRPs). These were preventive maintenance, product identification, product recall and traceability, establishment of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), development of the necessary sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOP) and education and training. The regulation also defined eight specific areas (which apply to all processors) where seafood processors needed to establish programs:
•Safety of water used in process or for manufacture of ice
•Condition and cleanliness of food contact surfaces, including utensils, gloves and garments
•Prevention of cross-contamination
•Maintenance of handwashing, hand sanitizing and toilet facilities
•Protection of food, food contact surfaces and packaging from adulteration
•Proper labeling storage and use of toxic compounds
•Control of employee health
•Exclusion of pests from the plant.
This enactment also made this approach to food safety go beyond just simply establishing CCPs. HACCP plans really evolved into food safety management systems (FSMSs), since all of these elements had to be integrated into them.
This system approach to food safety is part of all the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) audit schemes, the ISO 22000 food safety standard, regulatory mandates for HACCP and FSMA.
So, even though utilizing prerequisite programs to ensure the production of safe food has been around for more than two decades, it is still something that creates confusion around the world. Prior to the release of the GFSI standards and the enactment of FSMA, the number one cause of product recall was the failure of PRPs. Even though food processors took care to meet the HACCP requirements, there were holes in their food safety systems when it came to PRPs.
ISO 22000 addressed this issue by ensuring sites verified the PRPs. In addition, prior to the release of the standard in September 2005, the committee debated not only how to address PRPs, but what to call them.
The standard specifically addressed this subject and established definitions for PRPs and for PRPs that one determines to be essential for food safety based on the hazard analysis. The latter were called Operational Prerequisite Programs or oPRPs. The definitions for the two types of prerequisite programs are:
PRP: Basic conditions and activities that are necessary to maintain a hygienic environment throughout the food chain suitable for the production, handling and provision of safe end products and safe food for human consumption.
Operational PRP: A PRP identified by the hazard analysis as essential in order to control the likelihood of introducing food safety hazards to and/or the contamination or proliferation of food safety hazards in the product(s) or in the processing environment.
This subject has been a bone of contention since the standard was issued in 2005, and the committee is working to clarify the distinction for potential users, in part by using the chart shown. The objective is to develop a standard that allows potential users to meet its requirements in a variety of ways depending upon their products, processes and facilities. There is simply no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” standard in the food processing industry.
One possible clarification for this table might be to explain how each PRP, oPRP and CCP is measured or reported. A CCP generally has a value of some sort, such as time and temperature, flow rate, belt speed, etc. The PRPs or oPRPs often have a yes or no answer to them: Did you clean and sanitize? Is the proper label being applied to a product containing an allergen?
This clarification can even be applied to Preventive Controls (PCs) in the Preventive Controls Regulation (21 CFR Part 117). A CCP or a process PC has a value that must be validated according to the regulation.
Insight: Food safety
Source : http://www.euronews.com/2018/01/16/insight-food-safety
By Euronews (Jan 16, 2018)
The Lactalis baby milk recall scandal, the affair over contaminated eggs and the contentious debate over renewing the license of glyphosate, the main ingredient in a widely-used weed killer, have been shaking consumer confidence. How safe is Europe's food?
The food industry, one of Europe's largest manufacturing sectors, has hit the headlines recently. But not in a way corporate communications would like.
The Lactalis baby milk recall scandal, the affair over contaminated eggs and the contentious debate over renewing the license of glyphosate, the main ingredient in a widely-used weed killer, have been shaking consumer confidence. How safe is Europe's food?
Euronews correspondent Stefan Grobe sat down with Bernhard Url, Executive Director of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
Euronews: Let me start with a personal question. Do you buy and eat organic food?
Url: Yes, I do. I buy organic food, I eat organic food, but not exclusively. I mix it.
Euronews: Do you recommend that to people?
Url: I think it's a good quality differentiation. So it's not about food safety, but it's about quality and the way food is produced. And I think there organic food makes a difference in the way plants are grown, in the way animals are treated. It makes a difference and it's good to have organic food.
Euronews: So obviously, people talk a lot about food safety these days. We had the glyphosate controversy a few months ago, we had the scandal over contaminated eggs and now we are seeing the Lactalis affair. In light of these issues, how confident can the European consumer be that what they eat is not damaging to their health?
Url: Well, there I think we can really give good news to the European consumers. They can be very confident in what they eat. Food safety is high on the agenda of the menber states, of the food producers, of the European institutions. And together, if you look back 15 years now to the new general food law in Europe, it was brought into place in 2002, it has really made a difference. And whether you eat your apple in Parma or in Lisbon, you can be sure that the saftey of these products is guaranteed.
Euronews: In the headlines right now, of course, the Lactalis issue. I want to ask you about this. Your academic background is in milk hygiene and milk technology, which I found very interesting. From your perspective, is the crisis mechanism working, is it strong enough in the EU to deal with issues like Lactalis?
Url: There is nothing like zero risk. It can happen. It will most likely be an environmental contamination and then the task and the art is to be fast in detecting it, to be fast in communicating and to do a fast recall. And all of this happened in France, done by the company but also by the competent authorities in France. We have in Europe a rapid alert system where one member state informs all other member states about food incidents. This was also done with this Lactalis case in December. So the system in Europe is strong and it works.
Euronews: Your agency routinely examines dozens of products and substances, but only one made headlines last year and that was, of course, glyphosate. Your office was part of a very controversial decision-making process. In retrospect, what are the lessons learned from glyphosate?
Url: Glyphosate is a case where we worked very carefully together with the member states. All 28 member states came to the same conclusion together with us. And the European Chemicals Agency came to the same conclusion, and WTO and Switzerland and the U.S. and Canada... So scientifically, the case is, so to speak, clear. Politically, I think, it's a complete different discussion. It's about what way of agriculture, what production model do we want to have in Europe, what about the use of agrochemicals in agricultural production.
Euronews: One of the issues that was raised during that entire debate was transparency. People said the process is too opaque, it's not transparent enough. What are you saying to this?
Url: EFSA has published about 6,000 pages of background documents about glyphosate. But there is one issue, and I think this needs a political answer. And this tension is between full transparency of all data we use for coming to an assessment, and we would love to publish all these data; it's about science and science means openness and scrutiny. But there is also a legitimate interest of industry for business confidentiality. And there is a tension between full transparency and protecting intellectual property rights of industry. This is not a scientific question. This needs a political answer.
Euronews: You have repeatedly urged for increasing the budget of your agency. If you got all the funds in the world you wanted, what would you do with that money? Where would you invest, where would you improve things?
Url: We would need more money in preparedness because one of the tasks of EFSA is to look at emerging risks. What will be the future risks because of globalization, because of migration, because of climate change, because of new technologies, new plant breeding technologies, nanotechnology? What new hazards, new risks will come up and how can we prevent these risks from becoming damaging? And there we should invest, in this preparedness.
New DNA technique suggests Salmonella took out the Aztecs
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/01/new-dna-technique-suggests-salmonella-took-out-the-aztecs/#.WmF8sc-6zct
By Kelsey M. Mackin (Jan 16, 2018)
Research, published Monday in the journal Nature, reports DNA analysis has unmasked Salmonella enterica bacteria as the cause of a 16th century epidemic that affected large parts of Mexico and wiped out an estimated 800,000 people in the Aztec Empire.
The study, by Germany’s Max Plankc Institute for the Science of Human History, discovered the introduction of Salmonella in the Americas; which is believed to have been brought to the continent by Europeans. The identification of S. enterica bacteria, which causes typhoid, supports the theory that typhoid fever was the killer.
Before the researchers identified the pathogenic possibility, a 2000 study in the American Journal of Tropical Diseases concluded that the cause of the epidemic was some type of viral haemorrhagic fever. Prior to 2000, studies blamed measles and pneumonic plague. Salmonella was never considered a culprit.
Working with 24 corpses from a cemetery in the town of Teposcolula-Yucundaa, the Max Plankc researchers were able to extract biological material found between teeth. Based on historical and archaeological evidence, the cemetery was linked to the 1545–1550 epidemic, that was locally known as “cocoliztli,” the pathogenic cause of which has been debated for more than a century.”
Salmonella was a preveleant pathogen in Europe during the Middle Ages. Without prior exposure to Salmonella bacteria, indigenous populations of the Americas were highly vulnerable to infection, which could explain the high mortality rates of cocoliztli.
“This pattern is mirrored in the exchange of multiple diseases such as smallpox, flu and measles between Americans and Europeans in the centuries following first contact,” the researchers concluded.
Pathogens that cause infectious diseases are a notorious challenge when it comes to identification in archaeological human remains for one big reason; they don’t leave skeletal traces. However, a new screening technique known as ‘MALT’ (Megan Alignment Tool) is proving promising for identifying the DNA of viruses and bacterial pathogens that caused ancient outbreaks.
The major advancement was an algorithm, offering a method of “analyzing many, many, many small DNA fragments that we get, and actually identifying, by species name, the bacteria that are represented,” according to the report.
Salmonella may have caused a massive Aztec epidemic, study finds
Source : http://www.barfblog.com/2018/01/salmonella-may-have-caused-a-massive-aztec-epidemic-study-finds/
By Doug Powenll (Jan 16, 2018)
Rebecca Hersher of NPR reports that in 1545, people in the Mexican highlands starting dying in enormous numbers. People infected with the disease bled and vomited before they died. Many had red spots on their skin.
It was one of the most devastating epidemics in human history. The 1545 outbreak, and a second wave in 1576, killed an estimated 7 million to 17 million people and contributed to the destruction of the Aztec Empire.
But identifying the pathogen responsible for the carnage has been difficult for scientists because infectious diseases leave behind very little archaeological evidence.
“There have been different schools of thought on what this disease was. Could it have been plague? Could it have been typhoid fever? Could it have been a litany of other diseases?” says Kirsten Bos, a molecular paleopathologist at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, and an author of a new study published Monday in Nature Ecology and Evolution.
The study analyzes DNA from the teeth of 10 people who died during the epidemic and pinpoints a possible culprit: a type of salmonella that causes a deadly fever.
A new algorithm allowed Bos and her team to identify fragments of ancient salmonella DNA with extreme specificity.
“It was an analytical technique that was really the game-changer for us,” Bos explains. While scientists have been able to extract ancient DNA from bones and other tissue, until recently it was impossible to compare that extracted DNA to a wide variety of potential matches.
But a new computer program called MALT allowed them to do just that. “The major advancement was this algorithm,” Bos says. “It offers a method of analyzing many, many, many small DNA fragments that we get, and actually identifying, by species name, the bacteria that are represented.”
Bos and her team used MALT to match up the DNA fragments extracted from teeth of epidemic victims with a database of known pathogens. The program didn’t entire save them from mind-numbing work — at one point PhD student and study author Ashild Vagene had to go through the results of the program by hand.
In the end, they found evidence of the deadly Salmonella enterica Paratyphi C bacteria.
The study does not pinpoint the source of the bacteria, which is an area of great interest for biologists and archaeologists alike. The authors note that many epidemics of the period are believed to originate with European invaders who arrived in the region in the early part of the 16th century, but the new research doesn’t present biological evidence for or against that.
Salmonella enterica gemones from victims of a major sixteenth-century epidemic in Mexico
Nature Ecology and Evolution, Published online 15 January 2018, Åshild J. Vågene, Alexander Herbig, Michael G. Campana, Nelly M. Robles García, Christina Warinner, Susanna Sabin, Maria A. Spyrou, Aida Andrades Valtueña, Daniel Huson, Noreen Tuross, Kirsten I. Bos & Johannes Krause, doi:10.1038/s41559-017-0446-6
Indigenous populations of the Americas experienced high mortality rates during the early contact period as a result of infectious diseases, many of which were introduced by Europeans. Most of the pathogenic agents that caused these outbreaks remain unknown.
Through the introduction of a new metagenomic analysis tool called MALT, applied here to search for traces of ancient pathogen DNA, we were able to identify Salmonella enterica in individuals buried in an early contact era epidemic cemetery at Teposcolula-Yucundaa, Oaxaca in southern Mexico. This cemetery is linked, based on historical and archaeological evidence, to the 1545–1550 CE epidemic that affected large parts of Mexico. Locally, this epidemic was known as ‘cocoliztli’, the pathogenic cause of which has been debated for more than a century.
Here, we present genome-wide data from ten individuals for Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Paratyphi C, a bacterial cause of enteric fever. We propose that S. Paratyphi C be considered a strong candidate for the epidemic population decline during the 1545 cocoliztli outbreak at Teposcolula-Yucundaa.
Salmonella contamination raises question over food safety in France
Source : http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/16/c_136900303.htm
By Chengcheng (Jan 16, 2018)
A salmonella contamination affair has put food safety in the lime light in France and raised questions over how to avoid another health scare wave.
Thirty-five infants, who had consumed infant milk products manufactured by Lactalis' factory in Craon in northwest France, have been confirmed with salmonella infection. Lactalis is a family-owned dairy group based in Laval in west of France.
French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire on Monday admitted that "there was abnormal failure."
He said consumer safety was "not negotiable." "We have to take time to make the diagnosis with all the concerned actors."
The country's consumer protection agency the DGCCRF on Dec. 10 ordered the suspension of the sale and export of several baby food products made at the Lactalis Craon plant.
"All these elements led ... to consider that the measures taken by the company were not likely to control the risk of contamination of products intended for young children's feeding," the agency said.
In an interview with a local newspaper, Lactalis chief executive Emmanuel Besnier rejected critics of the contamination's mismanagement.
"We have never ignored the risk of salmonellosis. Recall is a maximum precaution. Our job is to put healthy products on the market ... But we consider that there were no failures on our part on the procedures," Besnier told the weekly Le Journal de Dimanche.
He also proposed to pay damages to the families of 35 infected babies.
Quentin Guillemain, the president of the victims' families association, said, "families want the truth. They are not waiting for compensations but that such a scandal is not renewed."
The food safety affair worsened after France's retailers including Carrefour, Auchan and Leclerc admitted they sold the products recalled in December.
On Tuesday, Le Maire is scheduled to meet the National Consumer Council to discuss ways to improve withdrawal and recall procedures.
The salmonella agona bacteria is dangerous for young and elderly people and can provoke severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps and vomiting.
Blockchain: Why the technology behind bitcoin has the potential to save millions of lives
Source : https://www.verdict.co.uk/blockchain-will-bring-unprecedented-advance-food-safety/
By verdict.co.uk (Jan 15, 2018)
While cryptocurrencies have soared in value in recent months, ground-breaking developments in other blockchain applications have slipped by almost unnoticed.
Blockchain technology will enable consumers to make more informed decisions when purchasing groceries, reduce food waste, and has the potential to halt the spread of illness by contamination and save millions of lives.
A blockchain is a publicly shared, transparent, decentralised ledger for recording the history of transactions within a system.
Data can only be added to the ledger, the historical data is unalterable, and the integrity of the data is achieved by consensus among distributed parties, rather than a central administrator.
The verification process is randomised which means that no one participant can force a particular entry onto the blockchain without the agreement of others.
Tackling the issues concerning food safety is pertinent to everyone, regardless of background, financial status or geographical location.
The World Health Organisation estimates that one in 10 people around the world fall ill after eating contaminated food each year, resulting in 500,000 deaths.
Meanwhile, people are becoming increasingly conscious of fertilisers, pesticides, antibiotics and animal welfare when choosing which groceries to buy.
Information regarding each stage of production will be added to a decentralised database, and as the ledger is easily auditable, they will be able to gain an understanding of exactly what was required to produce goods.
Taiwanese e-commerce company OwlTing recently unveiled OwlChain, a platform based on the Ethereum blockchain network, which registers each stage of food production.
Before purchasing pork ribs, people can view the ledger that traces back to the day of the piglet’s birth, and comprises all the details of the food it consumed and the vaccines it received during rearing, along with the slaughter, processing and transport path.
Tech giant IBM, US retailer Walmart and JD.com, a Fortune Global 500 Chinese retailer, have announced a Blockchain Food Safety Alliance collaboration to improve food tracking and safety by making supply chains more transparent, traceable and accountable.
State legislative season underway with food bills on the table
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/01/state-legislative-season-underway-with-food-bills-on-the-table/#.WmF9uM-6zct
By Dan Flynn (Jan 15, 2018)
At least 30 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, are already open for new legislative business. Most others will join the legislative season by next month.
They are essential to food safety if for no other reason than state legislatures provide all or partial funding for many of the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. Those departments are responsible for surveillance of foodborne illnesses and other vital public health responsibilities.
In addition to budgets, state lawmakers are sure to introduce policy bills including some involving food safety. Last season, Maine, Wyoming and North Dakota all advanced measures promising a less regulated world with “Food Freedom” legislation.
Since 2010, state legislatures have been tilted relatively dramatically toward the GOP. According to the Denver-based NCSL, Republicans control 32 of 50 state legislative chambers and share control of three others. Republicans currently hold 1,019 more state legislative offices than do Democrats.
Democrats picked up about 25 state legislative seats in 2017, mostly in Virginia. Some states — Montana, North Dakota and Texas — are among those opting not to meet during election years.
The 2018 legislative season in Colorado got underway with a little double-entendre. State Rep. Kimmi Lewis and Sen. Vicki Marble introduced a General Assembly bill entitled “Beef Country of Origin Recognition System,” which they call the Beef COORS bill. It’s their answer to the country of origin labeling (COOL) question.
The Beef COORS bill has nothing to do with the world’s largest single brewery in Golden, CO, now owned by Molson Coors Brewing Co.
Whatever confusion there might be between Beef COORS and Coors beer probably won’t be around long. If passed, the bill would require Colorado retailers to post a placard in the area where beef products, including ground beef, are being sold. The purpose is to inform consumers on whether the products are from animals born, raised and slaughtered in the United States, as opposed to meat that is imported or derived from foreign animals.
Where’s the beef from?
The Billings, MT-based Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, otherwise known as R-CALF USA, is behind the Lewis-Marble bill. R-CALF, a producer-only cattle trade association, has a significant presence in Colorado.
The Beef COORS bill targets the nation’s major beef suppliers, especially Greeley, CO-based JBS USA, part of Brazil’s JBS that is known as the world’s largest protein producer. Current federal regulations permit the sale of beef products in Colorado with the “Product of the U.S.A.” label when, for example, a multinational meatpacker like JBS imports beef from Australia and subsequently unwraps and rewraps the meat before selling it to a retailers.
The “Product of the U.S.A.” label can also be used in Colorado on beef derived exclusively from cattle born and raised in Mexico and Canada and then imported into the U.S. for immediate slaughter.
“The Beef COORS bill corrects the federal government’s deceptive labeling scheme by reserving the “USA Beef” placard only for beef exclusively derived from animals that were born, raised, and slaughtered in the United States,” said Lewis who also owns and operates the Muddy Valley Ranch in Kim, CO.
“The public will finally be able to distinguish between beef produced exclusively under the United States’ production and food safety standards versus beef produced in countries with different production standards and food safety systems that are not identical to ours.”
Lewis and Marble introduced a similar bill during the 2017 General Assembly session. They believe support dried up after JBS made a $12.5 million gift to Colorado State University. Lewis says the JBS gift had a “chilling effect” on the Legislature.
“We think our chances for a fair hearing this year will be far better than we had last year and because our bill is a no-nonsense bill that gives consumers important information about where their beef was actually produced, we think most Colorado legislators will enthusiastically support it for their constituents,” she said.
Meanwhile next door in Utah, a bill has been introduced to make it illegal to use drones, all-terrain vehicles, and dogs to harass farm animals. An attorney for the Animal Legal Defense Fund said the drown bill is a first of its kind.
Some animal activists have threatened to use drones to spy on animal agriculture, making the Utah bill worth watching.
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