FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

02/09. Food Safety & Quality Specialist - Fremont, NE
02/09. Food Safety and Quality Manager - Gresham, OR
02/09. Quality Assurance Manager - Anacortes, WA
02/07. QA Tech Services Product Spec - El Segundo, CA
02/07. Retail Food Safety Consultant - New York, NY
02/07. Food Safety Supervisor – Eden Prairie, MN
02/06. QC Manager – Rockville, MD
02/05. QC Laboratory Technician - Georgetown, KY
02/05. Quality Control - Fresno, CA
02/05. Quality Control – South Brunswick, NJ

02/12 2018 ISSUE:795

 

Letter From The Editor: Return Trip
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/02/letter-from-the-editor-return-trip/#.WoDsJs-6xbU
By Dan Flynn (Feb 11, 2018)
They let me back in the country this past Thursday night in Houston. My return is from two weeks of not thinking about food safety while visiting Chile and Argentina.
It’s not easy to put aside Job 1. Nor was my attempt at it entirely successful.
The re-entry line for citizens at the border has much improved over the past few years. I especially like those passport scanners that allow you to answer those arcane questions mostly about agricultural products that at one time you had to fill out with a pencil and paper on your incoming flight.
Now after the passport scanners, you still have to present yourself to a live border agent before stepping back into the USA. After crossing international borders something like four times in two weeks, I knew enough to keep my answers short and sweet.
“Why were you in Argentina?” he asked
“Tourism,” I said.
“Anything else?” he asked.
“No,” I said.
“What is your occupation?” he continued.
“I am a writer, editor,” I replied.
“What do you write about?” he followed.
“Food safety,” I said, not thinking.
“What kind of food and agricultural products did you bring back with you?” he then asked.”
“None,” I said. “It does not work that way!”
I then found myself explaining how writing about recalls or outbreaks does not involve my taking possession of any of the involved products. After more of this, the agent did permit my re-entry to the United States after telling me he was “just interested.”
Being gone for two weeks specifically to not think about food safety does not mean I did not notice things. Both Santiago and Buenos Aires are known for their food and meat markets. I visited the public markets in both cities with professional guides.
My guide in Buenos Aires wanted to know if the Argentina meat market was doing anything that would not be allowed in the United States. He had googled me before I got there, so he knew what might interest me. At first, I did not think so.
Then I noticed the meat cutters had paused their work while remaining at their stations to drink from something I did not recognize. In the states consuming food or drinks while processing raw food or meat is verboten.
But the meat cutters and others this morning were doing what they always do — taking mate tea from traditional gourd cups. Mate is a herbal tea famous throughout Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Mate is another word for the gourd, and the tea is drunk through a metal straw called a bombilla.
Mate tea breaks at the workstation might not be best for food safety, but the tradition likely helps with production. The high caffeine content is good for that back-to-work buzz.
Argentines drink 5 kg of mate per person, per year. Mate’s reputation is also one of a health drink for antioxidants and cholesterol-lowering properties and inclusion of vitamins C, B1, and B2 as active compounds. They say the Argentine cowboys, known as gauchos, were known for living on nothing more than meat and mate.
The gourd cups are sold just about everywhere you look in Argentina. And the mate tea makes Argentina the world’s ninth largest tea producer. It exports about 50 million kilograms of tea to the U.S., U.K. and Europe.
There are rituals for sharing mate, but that did not appear to be occurring at the market on the morning we visited  Not a big deal perhaps, but another example of how food safety occurs inside traditions and cultures, not apart from them.
Except for those two instances, however, I really did not think about food safety for two whole weeks.

Top 5 Safety Food Safety Violations Given By The FDA
Source : http://www.unsafefoods.com/2018/02/08/top-5-safety-food-safety-violations-given-fda/
By Keeba Smith (Feb 08, 2018)
When proper food safety principles and procedures are not followed, the risk of foodborne illness and other dangerous consequences can occur.  Restaurants and other places that serve food to the public are held to a higher and stricter standard when it comes to food safety.  Health inspectors from local regulatory authorities visit various establishment and grade each facility according to food regulations and standards.  Health inspectors have the power to enter premises; inspect and investigate; take measurements, samples and photographs; require an area or machine to be left undisturbed; seize, render harmless or destroy dangerous items; and obtain information and take statements.  They also have the power to issue improvement and prohibition notices, and can bring prosecutions against any persons contravening a relevant statutory provision.
Inspection violations can result in warning letters, placement on import alert, suspension of facility registration, and other enforcement actions.
Below are the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2017 top 5 most commonly cited food safety violations:
1. Pest Exclusion/Screening: (303 violations) Pest control citations are the most frequent citations given.  The FDA issues violations to food companies for not taking effective measures to exclude pests from processing areas and failing to prevent the contamination of food by pests.
The agency requires food manufacturers to have a detailed pest management policy and program that is documented and conducted under the supervision of a licensed pest control contractor.
2. Sanitation Monitoring: (211 violations) If given a citation, it means the sanitation conditions and practices are not monitored frequently enough to satisfy Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs).  The agency noted in the past, common errors involved water contact with or food contacts surfaces; cross-contamination from insanitary objects; poor hand washing, hand sanitizing, and toilet facilities; improper labeling, storage and use of toxic chemicals and more.
Under Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) provisions, all registered facilities must comply with CGMPs and have preventative controls in place.  These controls include training, audits, documentation and validation.
3. Plant Cleanliness: (203 violations) All manufacturing plants must be constructed in a manner that allows all floors, walls and ceiling to be adequately cleaned.  A citation means the facility either failed to maintain cleanliness of the premises or cannot do so due to its construction.  A written procedure and documentation for cleaning practices should be available as well.
4. HACCP Plan Implementation: (176 violations)  In 2017, seafood or juice processors failed to implement certain procedures in its HACCP plan, such as critical control points of food hazards or verifying the adequacy of the plan’s hazard control.  The FDA issues citations to food manufactures that do not fully implement or commit to their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans.  If processes, such as monitoring, record keeping or verification, were not performed, a violation was cited.  While organizations can use existing food safety programs as part of their preventive controls, HACCP plans need to be consistently updates, reviewed and implemented.
5. Reasonable Precautions: Precautions must be taken to prevent production procedures from contaminating food, including not monitoring time and temperature of processed foods or not monitoring operations, such as freezing or heat processing.  Violation of this procedure will warrant a citation.
FDA 2017
Each year, the FDA issues out hundreds of citations to food companies in the form of warning letters (Form 483s), and each subsequent year publishes the data on the FDA website.  The list of violations occurred during routine food facility visits made from October 2016 to September 2017.  The top five cited violations for the Fiscal Year of 2017 are the same as the Fiscal Year 2016.  The list is compiled for food manufacturing operations to keep these in mind and pay particularly close attention to before a FDA inspection.
To protect the public health, FDA monitors domestic firms and the food that they produce.  FDA also has multiple initiatives for monitoring imported products and foreign firms exporting to the United States.  The FDA protects consumers from unsafe food.
The FDA believes the Fiscal Year 2018 list of violations may look quite different than the previous years.  The FDA is now in the process of implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Before most companies weren’t subject to food safety rules that were implemented in September.  They predict more FSMA violations in 2018.
FOOD SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act is based on preventing problems before they happen, rather than solely responding to outbreaks of foodborne illness.  They will use data and other information to help identify hazards that need to be addressed and minimized.
The Food Safety Modernization Act requires the FDA to perform a certain number of domestic and foreign inspections per year.  The FDA has to conduct more than 19,200 foreign inspections per year which is up from the previous 2,400 required inspections per year.  Importers never had to be inspected before, but food safety regulations have changed that.  Importers have until March 19 to comply with the new food safety regulations.  Importers must have a Foreign Supplier Verification Program for their suppliers.  The FDA predict most violations will come from importers failing to comply with the program plan.
PUBLIC SAFETY SHOULD BE #1 PRIORITY!
Resources:
https://worksmart.org.uk/work-rights/health-and-safety/rights-and-responsibilities/what-rights-do-health-and-safety
https://www.foodengineeringmag.com/articles/97165-fdas-top-5-most-commonly-cited-food-safety-violations

 

 


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4 Food Safety Issues to Watch in 2018
Source : https://www.ecowatch.com/food-safety-issues-2018-2532442480.html
By Sandra Eskin (Feb 08, 2018)
Three days before 2018 arrived, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they were investigating a foodborne E. coli outbreak that ultimately resulted in one death and sickened at least 25 people in 15 states. "Leafy greens" were identified as the likely source, but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to work with state and local partners to determine the specific products that made people ill and where they were grown, distributed and sold, all with the goal of finding points where the E. coli contamination might have occurred.
This outbreak highlights the importance of the ongoing implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Food safety—overseen by FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture—should remain a priority for federal policymakers this year. We already saw a major step forward in produce safety in January as FDA's first enforceable food safety standards for fresh fruits and vegetables took effect on large farms.
Here are four other food safety policy developments expected in 2018:
1. Enhancements to FDA Recalls
The same week that the CDC announced its E. coli investigation, the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, of which FDA is a part, released a report that concluded the agency "did not always have an efficient and effective food-recall process." These faults at times translated into delays in the removal of unsafe products from the marketplace. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb responded, in part, with a pledge that the agency would act in 2018 to speed up recalls, including the release of new guidance on recall communications with consumers. One change under consideration is publicly disclosing information about the retail and food service locations that sold or served recalled products. Currently, the agency often considers these details exempt from disclosure. The Pew Charitable Trusts and other public health advocates have urged FDA to adopt a clear and consistent policy to provide such facts so Americans can more easily determine if they may have bought or eaten contaminated foods and can take steps to protect their families.
2. Hog Slaughter Modernization
On Jan. 19, USDA released a proposed rule that would shift how certain hog slaughterhouse duties are divided between employees of the department's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and the companies that own the hogs. Similar to a 2014 USDA rule covering poultry plants, the proposal would allow FSIS inspectors in hog slaughter establishments that opt into the program to perform more duties away from the animal processing line, such as overseeing a facility's compliance with sanitation and prevention-based food safety regulations. The facility's employees would take on some of the duties previously handled by FSIS employees, such as carcass sorting and removal. Pork industry groups have expressed strong support for the USDA's intent to make these changes, although some members of Congress and consumer advocates have raised concerns that the proposal would jeopardize food safety, as well as the welfare of animals and slaughterhouse workers.
3. Food Safety Funding
In his fiscal year 2018 budget request, President Trump proposed a change in how meat and poultry inspections are funded from appropriated dollars to user fees collected from businesses overseen by FSIS. Congress rebuffed the idea in its fiscal 2018 spending bills, but the administration may again advance the proposition in the president's fiscal 2019 budget, scheduled for public release on Feb. 12. For many years, lawmakers, meat and poultry companies and consumer advocates have strongly objected to any shift in the funding mechanism from a taxpayer-supported, general good to a program funded directly by the regulated industry. Meanwhile, with bipartisan support in Congress, FDA's food safety program has received funding increases for six years running as it implements FSMA. However, this portion of the budget could be targeted for cuts in fiscal 2019.
4. Reauthorization of the Farm Bill
Congress typically takes up a broad package of farm legislation that includes everything from crop insurance to nutrition assistance and conservation programs about every five years. The current law—the Agricultural Act of 2014—expires Sept. 30. In limited instances, a farm bill has included policies related to meat and poultry safety. That last happened in 2008, when the law created a program that allows facilities inspected by state authorities (rather than by FSIS) to ship products across state lines. At this time, it is unclear whether the next iteration of the federal law will contain meat and poultry safety-related provisions.
Sandra Eskin directs The Pew Charitable Trusts' work on food safety.

Five years of data show bacteria-related food recalls increasing
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/02/five-years-of-data-show-bacteria-related-food-recalls-increasing/#.WoDpZahl-Ul
By CORAL BEACH (Feb 6, 2018)
For five years the Stericycle Recall Index has been tracking product recalls in the United States. With numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017 in, the food and beverage category shows the largest increase in recalls since 2012.
“The food and beverage industry experienced the most dramatic spike in units recalled over the past five years,” according to the report released today.
“Food products recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration skyrocketed 92.7 percent since 2012, and recalled pounds regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which largely oversees meat production, jumped 83.4 percent in the same period.”
Bacterial contamination, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes, was the most consistent culprit, and it worsened over the years. About 28 percent of FDA food recalls were for bacterial contamination in 2012. By the end of 2017 that number had grown to 31.3 percent.
Undeclared allergens were the top cause of recalled pounds of food by the USDA in 2012 at 35.4 percent. That number increased to 41.2 percent during the past five years.
Bacterial contamination and undeclared allergens continued to be the main causes of food recalls in Q4 of 2017. Of all the food and beverage recalls in the last quarter of 2017, 44 percent were for bacterial contamination and 30.8 percent were for undeclared allergens.
However, FDA recalls declined 5 percent to 150 in the last quarter of 2017 — the lowest since Q1 of 2016. And while the number of USDA recalls increased slightly in the 2017’s Q4, the volume of recalled pounds dropped 92 percent to the lowest since Q3 of 2013.
Major drivers behind the increases in recalls include technological improvements in food testing, factory farming and growing automation in food production, Stericycle reported.
The big picture
In addition to food and beverage recalls, Stericycle Expert Solutions also tracks recalls of medical equipment, automotive, pharmaceutical and consumer goods.
Overall, recalls for all products covered by the index increased by 33 percent in the five years since Stericycle began tracking the data. From 2012 through 2017, the biggest year for recalls overall was 2016, with Stericycle reporting a total of 3438 recalls that year.
An improving economy, globalization, and growing consumer awareness are some of the contributing factors for increased recalled units, Stericycle reported today.
“One thing didn’t change over the past five years: Consumers, manufacturers, regulators, and lawmakers remain concerned about the safety of products,” Stericycle Vice President Mike Good said today in a news release marking the fifth anniversary of the recall index.
“What has changed is the public is paying more attention to the recall process and how effectively brands manage product recalls and notifications.”

Food safety training set for fresh produce growers
Source : http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/news/20180206/food-safety-training-set-for-fresh-produce-growers
By Arlene Enderton / Iowa State University Research and Extension / Mary Lou Peter / K-State Research and Extension (Feb 6, 2018)
OLATHE — When Dan Brooks and Kelsey Mai were first contacted by Cal Jamerson, a produce safety extension associate with Kansas State University, they didn’t really have food safety on their minds. Dan and Kelsey had just completed their first year operating Roots Revival Farm, a small vegetable farm near Sharon Springs, in western Kansas near the Colorado border
 “I honestly wasn’t thinking of (The Food Safety Modernization Act ) because we are so small,” Brooks said.
The farm is not currently required to be in compliance with FSMA, because of its small scale, but Brooks expects sales to rise to the point where they will be required to comply
FSMA was signed into law in 2011 with the focus on preventing foodborne illnesses rather than reacting to them.
Brooks and Mai sell vegetables at farmers markets in Sharon Springs, Goodland, and Colby, Kansas, and also through the High Plains Food Cooperative, an online food co-op that connects local farmers with consumers and wholesale opportunities. High Plains introduced them to Jamerson, who in his role with K-State Research and Extension, was conducting on-farm food safety reviews for produce growers.
Jamerson, who is based in Olathe, reviewed their farm and conducted an Introduction to Produce Safety workshop that other farmers attended as well. As a result, Brooks and Mai made changes to improve their food safety practices.
“I stopped washing my greens,” Brooks said. Previously, they had washed salad greens and spinach in a bin of water and then spun them dry. During the on-farm review, they learned that washing their greens using the same tub of water can spread contamination.
Jamerson suggested that they sell their greens unwashed, if possible, or rinse them over a grate. In this way, water washes through, so that if something is contaminated it does not contaminate the whole bin
They also learned that raw manure should be applied at least 120 days before harvest, so now they spread manure only in the fall, and use compost if necessary during the season.
The release of FSMA regulations came at a good time for Roots Revival Farm. “It’s good for us because we’ll be able to get food safety taken care of from the start,” Brooks said. “As we build more infrastructure, I’ll keep produce safety in mind.
Brooks and Mai said they will continue to receive FSMA training from Kansas State University. “We’re lucky in the position we are in, to have so much help starting out,” Brooks said
To keep vegetable and fruit growers in the region up to date on FSMA regulations, K-State is offering FSMA Produce Safety Rule Grower Workshops in several locations in Kansas.
— Feb. 23 – Olathe
— March 9 – Wichita
— March 15 – Colby
Separate workshops focused on training for growers interested in attaining U.S. Department of Agriculture certification in Good Agricultural Practices or GAPs are planned for Feb. 16 in Olathe and March 16 in Colby.
Kansas farmers attending any of these workshops are eligible to receive free water testing, funded by a USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture grant. K-State Research and Extension’s produce safety work is also supported by the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
More information and registration for all workshops is available at www.ksre.k-state.edu/foodsafety/produce or by contacting Jamerson at agri@ksu.edu or 913-307-7394.

EFSA’s Advisory Forum calls for more investment in food safety research
Source : https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/news/64478/efsas-advisory-investment-food-safety/
By George Smith (New Food) (Feb 6, 2018)
After meeting in the Netherlands today, the EFSA and the EFSA’s Advisory Board have issued a joint statement calling for more public investment in food safety research, including the formation of strategic partnerships such as European Joint Programmes and European Research Infrastructure Consortia (ERICs).
N ational food safety authorities from all 28 EU Member States, Iceland and Norway have called for more public investment in food safety research and committed to support European research through partnership building and training.
In a joint statement with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the Advisory Forum, tasked with providing EFSA with strategic advice on scientific issues, also stressed the benefits of increased interaction between funders, EU agencies and national partners on food safety research.
The statement comes the day before EFSA’s first Risk Assessment Research Assembly (RARA) in Utrecht, an event that brings together national research organisations, funders and EU policy makers to share ideas and explore opportunities for research in food safety.
Speaking before the event, EFSA’s Executive Director Bernhard Url said: “There is a compelling case to be built for public funding in food safety research. We must not forget that research and innovation among and within Member States ultimately feeds into the risk assessments that we carry out at an EU level, which are the basis for public health policies in Europe.
“The first Risk Assessment Research Assembly is a great opportunity for researchers to share their proposals, discover others working on similar projects, and meet with funding bodies that can help turn their ideas into reality.”
The joint statement reads: “Recent discussions and statements call to actively drive the development of research and innovation in the EU, align better EU/national R&I investments and facilitate collaborative approaches, also globally with reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
“There is a shared responsibility of policy makers, researchers, businesses and others in ensuring research is a real priority in EU policy making and in increasing trust in research.
“Numerous recent issues around food integrity and authenticity call to invest more in the public control, assessment and preparedness functions to ensure the safety of the food system and safeguard consumer confidence in the food supply.”

10 Food Safety Myths & the Truths Behind Them
Source : http://www.unsafefoods.com/2018/02/06/10-food-safety-myths-truths-behind/
By Pooja Sharma (Feb 06, 2018)
One of our favorite food safety myths is the “5 Second Rule” or eating something within 5 seconds of it dropping on the floor. Sadly, the myth has been debunked. Did you know there are still other commonly held food safety myths that should be talked about? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular myths and understand the truth behind them.
Myth #1: I am a vegan or a vegetarian, so food safety isn’t that big of a concern for me.
It’s true that chicken and seafood are the first to blame for in an event of food poisoning but there is a high and an equally likely chance of the culprit being your salad. Cross contamination of fresh produce in the fields or during food handling is possible too. There have been an increase in cases of lettuce, celery, tomatoes, etc. becoming contaminated with E. coli, Salmonella etc. Anything that grows on or in the ground has a chance of contamination as the soil is the source of these pathogens. Therefore, it is advised that you wash your veggies and fruits properly before consuming them. Do not use bleach, as the produce will not be safe for eating.
Myth #2: To make sure that meat, poultry, and seafood are free from any bacteria, it is important that you rinse off any juices with running water.
This should NOT be done at any cost. The only way to make sure that meat, poultry, and seafood you are consuming are safe is to thaw properly and cook at a safe temperature. When you run water on the meats that you are eating, you are splashing the liquid all over the kitchen. This liquid can contaminate your kitchen surfaces and any other food lying around quite easily. And let’s not to forget how fast the pathogens can multiply at room temperature.
Myth #3: Leftovers can be eaten until they smell bad.
Well, not necessarily. Sometimes, the pathogen in a food has already reached to levels where they can easily cause infection without causing any fishy odor. Within 2 hours of cooking or keeping the food hot, it is necessary that you store the leftovers in the fridge. All leftover food even in the fridge has to be consumed within 3-4 days. You have to reheat them again to the proper temperature though. Any packaged meat or salads will have the storage instructions written on them.
Myth #4: It is okay to marinate on the counter as marinades are acidic which can kill the bacteria.
Acidic nature of marinades play no role, whatsoever, in killing the bacteria. Pathogens can go very easily at room temperature. Therefore, it is quite important that you marinade all the meat, poultry and seafood in the refrigerator. Use food safe plastic bags, stainless steel or glass containers to safely put the food inside the refrigerator so that the fluids do not leak out of the containers. You can store the marinated poultry for up to 3 days. Beef, lamb roasts, steak etc. can be marinated for up to 5 days.
Myth #5: You can still have the food if you pick it up from the ground within 5 seconds.
Sadly, the “5 Second Rule” is not true. And the germs do stick to the food even within that time. According to a research conducted by Dr. Ronald Carter from Queen Mary, University of London the germs stick on the food almost instantly. He dropped samples of toast, apple and pizza onto different surfaces. All the samples that were dropped were covered in germs as compared to those that were not dropped.
Myth #6: Food poisoning by rice is not possible.
Bacillus Cereus is found in soil and found in foods that are grown in soil like legumes, spices etc. The spores are present in rice and are generally dormant. But, it can grow when given the needed moist and warm conditions. Therefore, it is advised to eat the rice as and when it is cooked. It should not be kept at room temperature for more than 2-3 hours. You need to refrigerate the rice as soon as possible. You can reheat and have the rice no later than 24 hours.
Myth #7: Plastic chopping boards are much safer to use than wooden chopping boards.
There is actually no difference in the boards. None of them is safer than the other. In fact, a study published by University of California found that even though bacteria did seep into the wooden chopping board, the bacteria could not multiply further. Since the juices from raw meat can get absorbed into the wooden chopping boards, they were considered unsafe. But, that is now being debunked. Both the boards are safe to use as long as you clean them properly. Although, you should make sure that you do not use the same cutting board for meat, poultry and seafood as you do for vegetables and fruits.
Myth #8: Cross Contamination cannot happen in the fridge as it is too cold.
That is not true at all. Cross contamination can easily happen in the fridge between raw juices of raw meat, poultry and seafood and fruits, veggies or any other ready-to-eat food. If there is any raw chicken in the fridge that is not properly packed, then the juices from it might drip down and contaminate other foods.
Myth #9: I do not need to wash fruits that I am going to eat after peeling them.
It is true that you are not going to eat the outer skin but it is also true that you might contaminate the edible portion due to the outer skin. This is because knife or your hands might pass on the pathogen from the outer skin to the inside part of the food. Therefore, it is advised that you wash all the produce properly before eating it.
Myth #10: I don’t need to clean this refrigerator bin because I only put fruits and vegetables in there.
A study has proven that the refrigerator produce compartment was the germiest area of the refrigerator. It is recommended to clean all the areas of your refrigerator thoroughly from time to time to avoid food poisoning. You should use liquid soap and water and then, use clean cloth to dry all the areas before starting to rearrange the items.
Sources:
https://www.highspeedtraining.co.uk/hub/food-safety-myths/
http://www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/home-food-safety-mythbusters/top-10-myths/
https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/basics/myths/index.html

 

Studies Find Sea Salt is Contaminated with Plastic
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2018/studies-sea-salt-contaminated-with-plastic/
By News Desk (Feb 5, 2018)
According to The Guardian, sea salt around the world is contaminated with tiny bits of plastic. Research was conducted at the State University of New York at Fredonia.
Sherri Mason, a professor at that facility told the Guardian, “Not only are plastics pervasive in our society in terms of daily use, but they are pervasive in the environment. Plastics are ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use – plastics are just everywhere.” Researchers think the plastic in sea salt comes from microfibers and single-use plastics such as water bottles.
Scientists studied 12 kinds of salt purchased in U.S. grocery stores. They found that Americans could be eating more than 600 particles of plastic every year in sea salt, and that’s if they follow the recommended 2500 mg of sodium consumed every day. Since most Americans eat far more salt than that, we are probably consuming far more plastic than that.
Scientists and doctors do not know the effect of ingesting plastic on human health. One of the problems with plastic is that they are made with bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor, which has been found in the urine of most won the adult population in this country.
Food Poisoning Bulletin has told you about possible health effects of bisphenol A over the year. This compound could cause increased blood pressure, prostate cancer risk, problems in the brain,and other reproductive cancers. BPA has been tentatively linked to weight gain, heart disease, thyroid issues, liver abnormalities, and diabetes in many studies.
Back in 2012, the FDA refused to eliminate BPA from food packaging and the National Resources Defense Council objected to that. Several corporations have since stopped using BPA in their products, including the Campbell’s Soup Company.
Scientists in other countries around the world have come to the same conclusion. A study published in Scientific Reports in Nature by Spanish researchers found that “sea products are irredeemably contaminated by micro plastics.”
Sea salt seems to be more vulnerable to plastic contamination because it is made by dehydrating sea water. And eating ordinary table salt instead may reduce your plastic intake from that specific product, but plastics are also found in drinking water and beer and other products. Mason added, “We have to focus on the flow of plastic and the pervasiveness of plastics in our society and find other materials to be using instead.”

 

 

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