FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

03/03. QA Lab Assistant - Mooresville, IN
03/02. Res Staff Member, Microbiology – San Jose, CA
03/02. Global Food Defense Specialist – Wayzata, MN
03/02. Quality Control Supervisor – Camarillo, CA
02/28. Factory Quality Specialist – Springville, UT
02/28. QA, Food Safety & Reg - St. Petersburg, FL
02/28. Food Safety Specialist - Los Angeles, CA
02/26. Quality & Food Safety Mgr - West Chester, PA
02/26. Sr Food Safety/Microbiologist Mgr - USA
02/26. Food Safety and QA Manager – Corona, CA

03/05 2018 ISSUE:798

 

Supply Chain and Food Safety Culture – Sector Leaders Sharing Their Challenges and Recommended Practices
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/februarymarch-2018/supply-chain-and-food-safety-culture-sector-leaders-sharing-their-challenges-and-recommended-practices/
By Lone Jespersen, Ph.D.
Supply Chain and Food Safety Culture – Sector Leaders Sharing Their Challenges  and Recommended Practices
Over the past year, we asked industry leaders across the food supply chain (Figure 1) to share their perspectives on food safety culture specific to their sector in the supply chain. Before sharing a summary of the learnings, I want to thank the following individuals—Primary production: David Barney, Andrew Francey, Megh Bhandari, Ph.D., Laurie Beard and Robert J. Whitaker, Ph.D.; Distribution: Jorge A. Hernandez, Larry Keener and Veny Gapud, M.Sc.; Processing: Jeff M. Taylor, Gordon Hayburn, M.Sc., LLM, and John Butts, Ph.D.; Foodservice: Andrew Clarke, M.Sc., William L. Weichelt and Hal King, Ph.D.; and Food retail: Ray Bowe, Katherine Di Tommaso, Gillian Kelleher and Nicole Sharman, M.Sc.—for taking the time to participate in this article series to help all of us fortunate enough to be part of feeding the world every day learn more about the popular topic of food safety culture.

Culture—organizational, food safety, etc.—is the new black. Once it was Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), then the Food Safety Modernization Act; at the moment, we all talk about culture as the key to improving food safety performance. As we ride this wave of enthusiasm, we must remember the science behind the maturing of culture and the lessons learned by practitioners who have been concerned with culture for longer than most. I want to highlight Salus—The Food Safety Culture Science Group—chaired by professor Carol Wallace. This group consists of 17 scientists, all with a proven track record in researching aspects of organizational culture, food safety culture and food safety climate. Parallel to scientific developments, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) founded a technical working group in December 2015 to formulate the GFSI position on food safety culture and to offer advice on appropriate content for the GFSI benchmarking document. Recently, the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) organized a professional development group on the topic and will be complementing both Salus and GFSI in its future work on sharing learnings to help food safety professionals in their development. As these organized groups debate food safety culture, industry leaders continuously seek to understand how their specific company culture helps or hinders food safety performance.
We asked each of our industry leaders the following questions:
1) How would you rate your company’s and your sector’s food safety maturity?[1]
2) What challenges does your sector face related to culture?
3) What are your recommended practices for others to strengthen their food safety culture?
In this article, we look at how each sector responded to these questions, with specific attention to differences and similarities. What follows are some of the learnings from the leaders.
Sector Maturity
There appears to be a difference in how leaders rate their sector’s food safety maturity. Acknowledging that this was not intended as an exact measurement, I trust each of the leaders we spoke with for their in-depth understanding and experience in their particular sector. All leaders mentioned that there is significant variation across the organizations in their sector. This progressive maturity from primary producer to retailer could be an indication of an organization’s distance to the end-consumer, that is, the shorter the distance to the consumer, the more mature is the food safety culture. Food safety is relatively new to primary producers and distributors, and those hard-learned lessons from, for example, processing and foodservice, should be shared and adopted at a quicker pace to avoid repeat failure in other sectors.
Why not? If this is correct, what can retailers do to support primary producers and distributors to change this, aside from a traditional audit? Can retailers partner with organizations like STOP Foodborne Illness to create educational materials for other sectors that connect consumers to food safety? We need to help tell the story and make the story available for use in a particular sector’s and company’s education and training materials.
Achieving Full Senior Leadership Ownership
Leaders come and go in companies, and it is an ongoing challenge for food safety professionals to educate and engage senior leaders to take ownership of food safety. A distribution leader said that there have not been many recalls connected to the distribution of food, so how do you create a reason for leaders to change or acknowledge their ownership of food safety? This is a complex question to answer; perhaps one way to answer it is by helping food safety professionals speak the ‘leadership’ language. We must learn to probe for what drives senior leadership priorities and how to incorporate food safety messages into these priorities. We should not assume that leaders know how to speak “food safety,” and we should therefore help them with simple messages and connecting food safety risks and costs of mitigation to business success.
Why not? Engaged organizations like the National Association of Corporate Directors help us better understand what drives C-suite behaviors and how to use this knowledge for ongoing and consistent engagement in food safety strategies, measures and professional development.
Food Safety Professionals
Across the sectors, leaders spoke of the need for more competent food safety professionals. There are simply not enough people doing this important work, and it hurts the depth and consistency of food safety performance. As food safety professionals, we are tasked to blend complex science with the psychology of driving engagement and change within our organizations; this exciting space must be better communicated to young people seeking to find their passion. Through organizations like IAFP, new college graduates have the opportunity to put their mark on the future of the food industry, and we must use organizations like this to market and attract more talent into the food safety professions.
Why not? We should partner with marketing firms, universities and associations to create awareness campaigns to attract more talent to the food safety space. We must tell the stories of our colleagues who have chosen to become food safety professionals—the why and how.
Turnover
All leaders across the food supply chain mentioned the impact of employee turnover and the struggle with consistent food safety performance as colleagues leave for new opportunities. I am not sure this will change, and we therefore have to look at what systems we can put in place to minimize this impact. As food safety professionals, we are sometimes guilty of making procedures or one-point lessons (OPLs) complicated and hard to understand. One retailer spoke of ‘making food safety simple,’ and I believe this to be one of our opportunities: to ensure that all employees know exactly what is expected for the specific tasks for which they are responsible. One foodservice leader said that food safety must be built into every role in the company, but it must be made simple.
Why not? Can we show what is expected for a food safety task in three photos or less? In 30 seconds of video or less?
Consistent Food Safety Learning for All Employees
Across the sectors, leaders called for better education and training at all levels. The Campden BRI training survey suggests that as an industry, we have not really improved our commitment to effective education and training. It is still hard to find the time for training and education; arguments still persist about their value. As food safety professionals, we must let go of the detailed, 70-page PowerPoint and seek help from our marketing colleagues to find critical learning points and how to best reach individual learners. Some commercial systems are great for a 5-minute training session, on the floor/in the store, and provide a means for consistent delivery and follow up. But systems like these only work if the message is simple and consistently delivered, independent of the ‘trainer.’
Why not? We should develop OPLs, coach leaders in other functions to deliver these and follow up with behavioral observations to check for effectiveness.
Recommended Practices
Our sector leaders shared a wide range of their personal favorites. Some of these might seem simple but are great reminders to get back to basics and remember these in times of change, when running extra fast or starting a new role.
•    Build partnerships
•    Connect food safety to business performance
•    Define food safety as a core value
•    Provide training ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’
•    Audit the entire food supply chain
•    Build food safety into every job, every function and at all levels of the organization
•    Create ownership and accountability by clarity and measurable performance indicators for food safety
•    Drive for good, valid and reliable data to maintain a strong and respected connection between food safety indicators and customer value
•    Develop a company food safety vision statement and help employees connect food safety to your company vision
•    Remember that food safety culture requires continuous improvement
•    Enable peer-level accountability
•    Have a rigorous hiring process
•    Make food safety a core value and top-level message that ‘food safety’ is business critical at par with people safety, productivity and efficiency
•    Communicate food safety expectations and activities during hourly line huddles
•    Empower employees by setting clear expectations
•    Connect your food safety programs and personnel through your food safety and quality written requirements and
    audit programs
•    Prioritize food safety as an enterprise function to achieve a culture of food safety that cost-effectively manages risks and directly influence sales and profits
•    Lead by example
•    Walk the talk
•    Simplify food safety: Make it simple and straight forward
Conclusion
The sectors across and within the food supply chain vary in food safety maturity. This is to be expected, and the importance of knowing this is to drive the need for you and your company to understand your maturity stage and the implications for the safety of the food you handle, produce, serve or sell. Leaders have shared their thoughts on best practices, and I encourage you to select what works for your company to make a change! I also encourage all of us fortunate enough to be part of this fantastic industry to continue collaborating to find industry solutions to challenges such as ensuring ongoing leadership, lack of food safety talent, tools for dealing with turnover and better food safety learning for all.   
Lone Jespersen, Ph.D., is a principal at Cultivate, an organization dedicated to helping food manufacturers globally make safe, great-tasting food through cultural effectiveness. She has recently joined the Editorial Advisory Board of Food Safety Magazine.
Reference

  1. www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/aprilmay-2017/the-supply-chain-and-food-safety-culture-primary-production/.

 

Warning: Organic, raw goat milk cheese positive for Listeria
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/03/warning-organic-raw-goat-milk-cheese-positive-for-listeria/#.Wp4gT-jFJbV
By NEWS DESK (Mar 5, 2018)
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball warns consumers not to eat The Maiden’s Creamery “Wild Meadow” raw goat milk cheese made in South New Berlin because of possible Listeria contamination.
So far, no illnesses have been reported in connection with the goat cheese made by by Mark Harvey, 1277 Copes Corner Road.
The product is sold in various sizes of sealed flexible plastic packaging, displaying the plant number 36-1315, with a code of 101. The state’s  consumer warning affects all packages with this code. The goat cheese  was sold at the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market in Cooperstown, NY, in late December 2017 and early January 2018, and at the Sunflower Natural Foods Market starting on Jan. 10.
A routine sample of the cheese taken by an inspector from the Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services on Feb. 20 was tested by the New York State Food Laboratory and discovered to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. On Feb. 23, the manufacturer was notified of a preliminary positive test result and voluntarily recalled the product.
Test results were confirmed March 2, and the cheese will be destroyed by the manufacturer.
Anyone who has eaten any of the cheese and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should immediately contact their doctors and tell them of the potential exposure. It can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms to develop, so people who have eaten the unpasteurized cheese should monitor themselves for symptoms.
Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhea. In high-risk groups the pathogen can cause serious infections leading to complications including meningitis, blood poisoning and death. High risk groups include pregnant women, newborns, children younger than 5, adults older than 65 and anyone with impaired immune systems, including cancer patients, diabetics and HIV/AIDS patients. It can also cause stillbirths.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a standing warning about the dangers of contracting infections, viruses and parasites from raw milk and raw milk products such as cheese. Its data particularly supports the finding that children younger than 5 are a high-risk group because their immune systems are not fully developed.
Consumers with questions about the recalled goat milk cheese can call Mark Harvey at 607-859-2227.

 

 

 


This certification fulfills all USDA/FSIS and FDA regulatory requirements for HACCP Training. The certification is also accepted by auditing firms who require HACCP Training as a component of the audit. Our training has encompassed a multitude of industries from the farm to the table.
We are so proud that more than 400 attendees successfully finished Basic and Advanced HACCP Trainings through FoodHACCP. All attendees received a HACCP certificate which fulfills all USDA/FSIS and FDA regulatory requirements for HACCP Training











 

LETTER: Concerns on food safety
Source : http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/16055766.letter-concerns-on-food-safety/
By dorsetecho.co.uk (Mar 02, 2018)
It should come as no surprise that right wing Brextremists and the US dairy industry are conspiring together to weaken food safety and environmental standards post-Brexit.
Lower quality American milk and dairy products from cows with udder infections could be forced on British consumers, if the US industrialised mega-farm dairy industry get their way.
Meanwhile a coalition of conservative think tanks, pushing for a free trade agreement which adopts weaker US standards, could result in chlorinated chicken and hormone-reared beef finding their way onto our menus.
For many right wing conservatives Brexit has always been about tearing up EU standards on food safety, environmental protection and animal welfare, under the guise of freeing the UK from ‘red tape’.
Which is why farmers are right to be sceptical of Michael Gove’s pledges on retaining high food, environmental and animal welfare standards.
Any trade agreement with the US which allows for the import of food and drugs produced without current EU standards and protections will threaten the viability of our small-scale farmers and food producers; they simply could not compete with the mega-farms and giant corporations of the US.
As the risks of a Tory Brexit become ever more apparent, Greens are stepping up our demand for a final say; a referendum on the deal between the UK and EU, with the option to retain all the protections that membership of the EU offers.
MOLLY SCOTT CATO MEP
Agriculture Committee European Parliament, Brussels

Supply Chain and Food Safety Culture – Sector Leaders Sharing Their Challenges and Recommended Practices
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/februarymarch-2018/supply-chain-and-food-safety-culture-sector-leaders-sharing-their-challenges-and-recommended-practices/
By Lone Jespersen, Ph.D.
Over the past year, we asked industry leaders across the food supply chain (Figure 1) to share their perspectives on food safety culture specific to their sector in the supply chain. Before sharing a summary of the learnings, I want to thank the following individuals—Primary production: David Barney, Andrew Francey, Megh Bhandari, Ph.D., Laurie Beard and Robert J. Whitaker, Ph.D.; Distribution: Jorge A. Hernandez, Larry Keener and Veny Gapud, M.Sc.; Processing: Jeff M. Taylor, Gordon Hayburn, M.Sc., LLM, and John Butts, Ph.D.; Foodservice: Andrew Clarke, M.Sc., William L. Weichelt and Hal King, Ph.D.; and Food retail: Ray Bowe, Katherine Di Tommaso, Gillian Kelleher and Nicole Sharman, M.Sc.—for taking the time to participate in this article series to help all of us fortunate enough to be part of feeding the world every day learn more about the popular topic of food safety culture.
Culture—organizational, food safety, etc.—is the new black. Once it was Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), then the Food Safety Modernization Act; at the moment, we all talk about culture as the key to improving food safety performance. As we ride this wave of enthusiasm, we must remember the science behind the maturing of culture and the lessons learned by practitioners who have been concerned with culture for longer than most. I want to highlight Salus—The Food Safety Culture Science Group—chaired by professor Carol Wallace. This group consists of 17 scientists, all with a proven track record in researching aspects of organizational culture, food safety culture and food safety climate. Parallel to scientific developments, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) founded a technical working group in December 2015 to formulate the GFSI position on food safety culture and to offer advice on appropriate content for the GFSI benchmarking document. Recently, the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) organized a professional development group on the topic and will be complementing both Salus and GFSI in its future work on sharing learnings to help food safety professionals in their development. As these organized groups debate food safety culture, industry leaders continuously seek to understand how their specific company culture helps or hinders food safety performance.
We asked each of our industry leaders the following questions:
1) How would you rate your company’s and your sector’s food safety maturity?[1]
2) What challenges does your sector face related to culture?
3) What are your recommended practices for others to strengthen their food safety culture?
In this article, we look at how each sector responded to these questions, with specific attention to differences and similarities. What follows are some of the learnings from the leaders.
Sector Maturity
There appears to be a difference in how leaders rate their sector’s food safety maturity. Acknowledging that this was not intended as an exact measurement, I trust each of the leaders we spoke with for their in-depth understanding and experience in their particular sector. All leaders mentioned that there is significant variation across the organizations in their sector. This progressive maturity from primary producer to retailer could be an indication of an organization’s distance to the end-consumer, that is, the shorter the distance to the consumer, the more mature is the food safety culture. Food safety is relatively new to primary producers and distributors, and those hard-learned lessons from, for example, processing and foodservice, should be shared and adopted at a quicker pace to avoid repeat failure in other sectors.
Why not? If this is correct, what can retailers do to support primary producers and distributors to change this, aside from a traditional audit? Can retailers partner with organizations like STOP Foodborne Illness to create educational materials for other sectors that connect consumers to food safety? We need to help tell the story and make the story available for use in a particular sector’s and company’s education and training materials.
Achieving Full Senior Leadership Ownership
Leaders come and go in companies, and it is an ongoing challenge for food safety professionals to educate and engage senior leaders to take ownership of food safety. A distribution leader said that there have not been many recalls connected to the distribution of food, so how do you create a reason for leaders to change or acknowledge their ownership of food safety? This is a complex question to answer; perhaps one way to answer it is by helping food safety professionals speak the ‘leadership’ language. We must learn to probe for what drives senior leadership priorities and how to incorporate food safety messages into these priorities. We should not assume that leaders know how to speak “food safety,” and we should therefore help them with simple messages and connecting food safety risks and costs of mitigation to business success.
Why not? Engaged organizations like the National Association of Corporate Directors help us better understand what drives C-suite behaviors and how to use this knowledge for ongoing and consistent engagement in food safety strategies, measures and professional development.
Food Safety Professionals
Across the sectors, leaders spoke of the need for more competent food safety professionals. There are simply not enough people doing this important work, and it hurts the depth and consistency of food safety performance. As food safety professionals, we are tasked to blend complex science with the psychology of driving engagement and change within our organizations; this exciting space must be better communicated to young people seeking to find their passion. Through organizations like IAFP, new college graduates have the opportunity to put their mark on the future of the food industry, and we must use organizations like this to market and attract more talent into the food safety professions.
Why not? We should partner with marketing firms, universities and associations to create awareness campaigns to attract more talent to the food safety space. We must tell the stories of our colleagues who have chosen to become food safety professionals—the why and how.
Turnover
All leaders across the food supply chain mentioned the impact of employee turnover and the struggle with consistent food safety performance as colleagues leave for new opportunities. I am not sure this will change, and we therefore have to look at what systems we can put in place to minimize this impact. As food safety professionals, we are sometimes guilty of making procedures or one-point lessons (OPLs) complicated and hard to understand. One retailer spoke of ‘making food safety simple,’ and I believe this to be one of our opportunities: to ensure that all employees know exactly what is expected for the specific tasks for which they are responsible. One foodservice leader said that food safety must be built into every role in the company, but it must be made simple.
Why not? Can we show what is expected for a food safety task in three photos or less? In 30 seconds of video or less?
Consistent Food Safety Learning for All Employees
Across the sectors, leaders called for better education and training at all levels. The Campden BRI training survey suggests that as an industry, we have not really improved our commitment to effective education and training. It is still hard to find the time for training and education; arguments still persist about their value. As food safety professionals, we must let go of the detailed, 70-page PowerPoint and seek help from our marketing colleagues to find critical learning points and how to best reach individual learners. Some commercial systems are great for a 5-minute training session, on the floor/in the store, and provide a means for consistent delivery and follow up. But systems like these only work if the message is simple and consistently delivered, independent of the ‘trainer.’
Why not? We should develop OPLs, coach leaders in other functions to deliver these and follow up with behavioral observations to check for effectiveness.
Recommended Practices
Our sector leaders shared a wide range of their personal favorites. Some of these might seem simple but are great reminders to get back to basics and remember these in times of change, when running extra fast or starting a new role.
•    Build partnership
•    Connect food safety to business performance
•    Define food safety as a core value
•    Provide training ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’
•    Audit the entire food supply chain
•    Build food safety into every job, every function and at all levels of the organization
•    Create ownership and accountability by clarity and measurable performance indicators for food safety
•    Drive for good, valid and reliable data to maintain a strong and respected connection between food safety indicators and customer value
•    Develop a company food safety vision statement and help employees connect food safety to your company vision
•    Remember that food safety culture requires continuous improvement
•    Enable peer-level accountability
•    Have a rigorous hiring process
•    Make food safety a core value and top-level message that ‘food safety’ is business critical at par with people safety, productivity and efficiency
•    Communicate food safety expectations and activities during hourly line huddles
•    Empower employees by setting clear expectations
•    Connect your food safety programs and personnel through your food safety and quality written requirements and
    audit programs
•    Prioritize food safety as an enterprise function to achieve a culture of food safety that cost-effectively manages risks and directly influence sales and profits
•    Lead by example
•    Walk the talk
•    Simplify food safety: Make it simple and straight forward
Conclusion
The sectors across and within the food supply chain vary in food safety maturity. This is to be expected, and the importance of knowing this is to drive the need for you and your company to understand your maturity stage and the implications for the safety of the food you handle, produce, serve or sell. Leaders have shared their thoughts on best practices, and I encourage you to select what works for your company to make a change! I also encourage all of us fortunate enough to be part of this fantastic industry to continue collaborating to find industry solutions to challenges such as ensuring ongoing leadership, lack of food safety talent, tools for dealing with turnover and better food safety learning for all.   
Lone Jespersen, Ph.D., is a principal at Cultivate, an organization dedicated to helping food manufacturers globally make safe, great-tasting food through cultural effectiveness. She has recently joined the Editorial Advisory Board of Food Safety Magazine.
Reference
www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/aprilmay-2017/the-supply-chain-and-food-safety-culture-primary-production/.

Antimicrobial resistance in food animals threatens people
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/03/european-agencies-say-antimicrobial-resistance-in-zoonotic-bacteria-remains-high-in-humans-animals-and-food/#.WpisZKhl-Ul
By NEWS DESK (Mar 1, 2018)
Bacteria from humans and animals continue to show resistance to antimicrobials, which is one of the world’s biggest threats to public health and often involves the food chain according to a new report from two European public health agencies.
The report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) highlights the impact of the reduced effectiveness of treatment options for people and animals raised for food.
According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and parasites to block the effectiveness of antimicrobial medicines, which include antibiotics, antivirals and antimalarials. As a result, standard treatments become ineffective, infections persist and can easily spread.
The new report from EFSA and ECDC focuses on zoonotic resistance, which involves infections and diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people or, more specifically, a disease that normally exists in animals but that can infect humans. There are many zoonotic diseases, including anthrax, rabies, tularemia and West Nile virus. Much of human exposure to infectious disease has been zoonotic. Bubonic plague is a zoonotic disease, as are Salmonellosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and Lyme disease.
In the wake of the report’s release, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis reaffirmed his commitment to tackle antimicrobial resistance.
“Levels of antimicrobial resistance still differ significantly from one EU country to another,” Andriukaitis said.
“To win the fight, we need to join our efforts and implement stringent policies on the use of antibiotics across sectors. It is vital that we all renew our commitment to fight antimicrobial resistance by focusing on the key areas set out in the EU One Health Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance.”
Among the new findings, based on data from 2016, is the detection of resistance to carbapenems in poultry. The class of antibiotics is not authorized for use in animals.
“The detection of resistance to carbapenems in poultry and to linezolid in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in pigs is alarming because these antibiotics are used in humans to treat serious infections,” said Marta Hugas, EFSA’s chief scientist. “It is important that risk managers follow up on these findings.”
Mike Catchpole, ECDC’s chief scientist also expressed concern and said progress is not being made in the fight against the super bugs.
“We are concerned to see that Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria in humans show high levels of antimicrobial resistance,” Catchpole said.
“The fact that we keep detecting multidrug-resistant bacteria means that the situation is not improving. We need to investigate the origins and prevent the spread of highly resistant strains, such as ESBL-producing Salmonella Kentucky”.
In humans
One out of four infections in humans are caused by Salmonella bacteria that show resistance to three or more antimicrobial medications commonly used in human and animal medicine. The proportion is significantly higher in Salmonella Kentucky and Salmonella Infantis, 76.3 percent and 39.4 percent respectively.
For the first time, ESBL-producing Salmonella Kentucky with high resistance to ciprofloxacin has been detected in four countries, according to the report. These bacteria cannot be treated with critically important antibiotics.
Campylobacter bacteria, which cause the most common foodborne illnesses in the EU, show high resistance to widely used antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin resistance in 54.6 percent of Campylobacter jejuni and in 63.8 percent of Campylobacter coli; and tetracyline resistance in 42.8 percent of Campylobacter jejuni and in 64.8 percent of Campylobacter coli.
In some countries at least one in three Campylobacter coli infections were multidrug-resistant to important antibiotics, leaving very few treatment options for severe infections.
In animals and foods
Resistance to carbapenem antibiotics was detected at very low levels in poultry and in chicken meat in two EU member states. Carbapenems are used to treat serious infections in humans and are not authorized for use in animals.
Two Livestock-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria found in pigs were reported to be linezolid-resistant. Linezolid is one of the last-resort antimicrobials for the treatment of infections caused by highly resistant MRSA.
Combined clinical resistance to critically important antimicrobials was observed at low to very low levels, ranging from 0.2 percent to 1 percent, in Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli in poultry. Resistance to colistin was observed at 2 percent in Salmonella and E. Coli in poultry.
Prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli in poultry varies markedly between the EU member states, from less than 10 percent to more than 70 percent. Bacteria that produce ESBL enzymes show multi-drug resistance to β-lactam antibiotics – a class of broad spectrum antibiotics that includes penicillin derivatives, cephalosporins and carbapenems. This is the first time the presence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli was monitored in poultry and poultry meat.

Perfecting food safety: How China does it with IoT and blockchain
Source : https://technode.com/2018/02/28/food-safety-blockchain-iot/
By technode.com (Feb 28, 2018)
Editor’s note: This was contributed by Chew Wei Chun. He works at Y3 Technologies and is based in Shanghai and Singapore. He researches the applications of technology in China and you will often find him engaged in deep conversations about the tech innovations that China has adopted.
Food safety has haunted China over the decade, from the 2008 Chinese milk scandal where milk formula is adulterated with melamine to the 2014 tainted meat scandal when expired meat is supplied to fast-food joints such as KFC and McDonald’s. China’s size, population, and lack of regulations have made fake food an even more pervasive problem than in any other country. Despite the Chinese citizens being wary of it, many are still passive about the solutions.
The supply chain in the food industry is surprisingly complex and involves multiple transactions, processes, and transfers. Many areas can go wrong but predominantly most problems occur in two areas: food processing and distribution. In unregulated environments such as rural areas of China, unscrupulous suppliers are known to take shortcuts such as adding adulterants to be more cost-competitive and create more appealing products. The mishandling of food during distribution is another area of concern, including temperature discrepancies during transportation and poor hygiene practices. As such, Chinese food producers are adopting technological innovations to prove the value of their product and regain confidence among consumers.
The advent of IoT and Blockchain is set to empower the Chinese consumer with the ability to track and understand the provenance of their food by providing the following abilities:
Create an audit trail of transactions from farmers and food processing firms to consumers
Provide transparency and visibility in the farming, handling and distribution process
Collect previously untapped data to carry out analytics to improve farming methods
Smart contract enforces contractual terms and accountability among parties involved.
Food producers who actively promote the provenance of their produce are giving themselves a competitive edge and validating a price premium over similar products. By weaving technology into their produce, it enhances their credibility of social elements (such as organic or free-range) and builds a reputation and brand loyalty among consumers.
In 2016, Walmart launched its Food Safety Collaboration Center in Beijing in collaboration with IBM and Tsinghua University to improve the tracking of food using blockchain technology. A traceability test conducted in May 2017 traced the origins of a package of mangoes in 2.2 seconds; this would take 6 days and 18 hours using traditional methods. In late 2017, the collaboration expanded to include JD.com, forming the Blockchain Food Safety Alliance that aimed to achieve greater transparency across the food supply chain.
“By recording the identity of those who input the data into the chain, the technology removes the anonymity that has help food-fraud to thrive,” said Frank Yiannas, Wal-Mart’s Vice President for Food Safety.
JD.com, China’s second-largest e-commerce platform has been exploring the capabilities of blockchain in empowering food producers to provide information about their produce. Their most recent venture with Kerchin, an Inner Mongolia-based beef manufacturer, allows consumers to track the production and delivery of frozen beef. Recorded on the blockchain, information such as the cow’s breed, weight, and diet as well as the farm location can be retrieved by scanning the QR code on the package. More than 10 brands from the alcohol, tea, and pharmaceutical industries have joined this blockchain project since December 2017.
ZhongAn Technology, the tech subsidiary of Chinese Insurtech giant ZhongAn Online, has built a blockchain-powered platform to track the whole process of chicken farming. In partnership with Wopan, a IoT company in Hangzhou, IoT-enabled anklets are attached to chickens and every aspect of their lives are tracked, from the age and distance walked to the slaughterhouse and logistic providers employed. All data are recorded on the blockchain and viewable to consumers from a mobile application. Data collected from the anklets also allow farmers to carry out analytics and improve their rearing methods; a significant breakthrough in farming technology was never possible until the popularization of IoT.
Alibaba’s recent blockchain project with PricewaterhouseCoopers and food suppliers in Australia and New Zealand to provide greater product integrity at its platform is evident of the growing popularity of blockchain to improve food safety.
Another company that is worth mentioning is KaoPu (Kao?), a food catering company that attempts to improve food safety through blockchain initiatives. By deploying a blockchain network into every point of its supply chain system (production, procurement, logistics) and incentivizing suppliers through the issuance of its own cryptocurrency Sharecoin, KaoPu hopes to attract potential suppliers to join the network and form an ecosystem of trust and food safety.
Moving ahead
With McKinsey & Company forecasting China’s middle-class to hit 550 million by 2022, its growing consumer class is demanding higher quality produce and better food safety. Research from Pew Research Center in 2016 reports that 40% of the Chinese public sees the safety of food as “a very big problem,” up from 12% in 2008. A 2015 survey on a pork producer in Jiangsu found that the annual revenue of farmers, meat producers and retailers increased by 38.2%, 28.6% and 33.2% respectively since the implementation of a traceability system. As China heads toward a “Quality Revolution,” organically-grown produce and “traceable” food will see an increasing demand from consumers who are less price-sensitive and more health-conscious.
Food giants such as Walmart and JD.com have achieved notable success in the deployment of blockchain and IoT due to their scale and investments in R&D, but the same cannot be said for smaller food retailers who lack the resources and capability. Nonetheless, China has been beefing up its regulations and implementing strategies to help these food producers and retailers. The revision of the Food Safety Law in late 2015 imposed stricter controls and supervision on the production and handling of food. In October 2017, China’s State Council released a set of guidelines on promoting innovation to establish a smart supply chain that covers major industries by 2020. Coupled with the rapid commercialization of IoT and blockchain in China, it is without a doubt that we will see a lower cost of adoption of these technologies in the coming years.
Blockchain and IoT is set to disrupt major industries worldwide and the food industry would undoubtedly be part of the technological wave. As China leads the world in improving food safety, countries worldwide ought to adopt a learning or perhaps, a “copycat” mindset as the tables are now turned.

Company recalls raw chicken, salmon dog food for Listeria risk
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/02/company-recalls-raw-chicken-salmon-dog-food-for-listeria-risk/#.WpitM6hl-Ul
By NEWS DESK (Feb 27, 2018)
Northwest Naturals of Portland, OR, is recalling its frozen, raw chicken and salmon dog food chubs from retailers after random government testing showed Listeria monocytogenes contamination.
Pets that eat the food and pet owners who handle it are at risk of Listeria infection. Also, utensils, pet bowls and counters or other surfaces or cloths that come into contact with the dog food can become contaminated with Listeria bacteria.
The recalled dog food is no longer in the hands of distributors, according to the the company recall posted on the FDA’s website. However, inspectors in Michigan were able to buy some of the raw pet food recently at a “specialty pet store.”
“The product passed lab testing on Dec. 22, 2016, and was sold over one year ago to distributors (in six states) on or before Jan. 23, 2017,” according to the company’s recall notice.  Those states were California, Washington, Texas, Michigan, Georgia, and Rhode Island.
Because the 5-pound packages of raw food were sold frozen, there is concern that people and retailers may still have unused portions. The best-by date is Aug. 22 this year and is displayed on the dog food packages as “082218” printed in a white square on the label.
The recalled Northwest Naturals raw chicken and salmon dog food can be identified by the date code and the UPC number 0 87316 38440 6.
As of the posting of the recall notice, no pet or human illnesses had been confirmed in relation to the Northwest Naturals dog food.
Anyone who has handled the recalled dog food and developed symptoms of Listeria infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen.
It can take up to 70 days for symptoms of Listeria infection to develop after exposure, so people should monitor themselves and their pets in the coming weeks for symptoms of infection.
In people, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Listeria infections are particularly dangerous for pregnant women, the elderly, children and people with compromised immune systems.
Anyone who has had the recalled product in their homes is urged to clean and sanitize any freezers, refrigerators, containers or utensils that may have come into contact with it. Listeria monocytogenes can live on surfaces and survive freezing temperatures for long periods of time.

USDA food safety tips for areas affected by flooding
Source : https://www.farmanddairy.com/news/usda-food-safety-tips-for-areas-affected-by-flooding/473068.html
By Other News (Feb 27, 2018)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by flooding in the central U.S.
The National Weather Service reports that heavy rain that began last week and continued through the weekend has brought widespread flooding to a large swath of the central U.S., from the gulf coast to the great lakes and Ohio River valley. Numerous river systems are expected to remain in flood stage well into this week. The National Weather Service expects another round of rainfall across the mid and lower Mississippi valley Tuesday into Wednesday, which will exacerbate the ongoing river flood threat.
Flooding can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the areas affected by these floods should pay close attention to the forecast. FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.
Food safety after a flood
Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water — this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard or those with screw?caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel?type can opener.
Steps to follow after a weather emergency
Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
When in doubt, throw it out.
The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during severe weather events. An infographic is also available outline steps you can take before, during and after severe weather, power outages and flooding. FSIS provides relevant food safety information during disasters on Twitter @USDAFoodSafetyand Facebook.
If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov.These services are available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.

 

HACCP Principles: No. 1 conduct a hazard analysis
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/02/haccp-principles-no-1-conduct-a-hazard-analysis/#.WpitW6hl-Ul
By LAURA MUSHRUSH (Feb 26, 2018)
Editor’s note: This is the first of five articles on Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points sponsored by PAR Technologies. There are seven HACCP principles outlined by the FDA to serve as a guideline to creating a systematic approach in the identification, evaluation and control of food safety hazards.
Since the early ’90s, meat, egg and high-risk food product companies have been mandated to use hazard analysis critical control points, best known as HACCP, to create cohesive food safety plans.
“HACCP is comprised of seven principles as a structured way for food companies to go through the process of creating a food safety plan to identify which things are most important to keep products safe,” explains Donna Schaffner, independent HACCP consultant microbiologist and the Associate Director of Food Safety, Quality Assurance and Training for Rutgers Food Innovation Center.
“Now, with preventative food regulations put into place through the Food Safety Modernization Act, things that aren’t considered high risk now must have a food safety prevention plan which includes HACCP.”
Principle 1: Conduct a hazard analysis
When going through HACCP, the first step is to identify which areas along the entire production chain are at risk of causing injury or illness if not controlled properly.
“This requires a close look at the flow diagram of a company – from receiving, storage, preparation, processing, packaging, storage and shipping out,” explains Schaffner. “Within this analysis, you’re looking for physical, chemical and biological hazards.”
For example, physical hazards in a ground beef plant, may include metal shavings off worn grinding equipment or pieces of bone fragment.
“Things like plastic and metal can contaminate meat from something as simple as an ink pen falling from behind an employee’s pocket while leaning over a container or a screw coming off a piece of grinding equipment,” explains Schaffner. “But the utilization of metal detectors and scanners can be used to ensure foreign objects don’t end up in the product.”
According to Schaffner, while chemical hazards are typically viewed as food that has been exposed to substances such as machine cleaning disinfectants, they can also include allergens and food exposed to radiation.
“If a ground beef plant is processing plain hamburger patties, but also using the same equipment to make meatloaf which includes allergen ingredients, there must be strategic controls to keep allergen containers in a place where they won’t accidentally contaminate the plain beef, and properly clean and swab test equipment between uses,” says Schaffner.
It’s also important for food companies to pay attention to the events surrounding their ingredient sources, adds Schaffner. For example, in the event of a radiological disaster, an animal being raised for human consumption may have high levels of radiation.
“It’s not just food products that may be contaminated,” she explains. “If companies are buying in packaging which have been sterilized with radiation, they need to make sure the packages haven’t been overexposed.”
Schaffner says the hardest hazards to identify are biological due to opportunity for pathogen growth to occur at anytime during the processing chain.
“Even if the entire ground beef processing facility is following protocol to control pathological growth, the incoming beef product may have been contaminated in the slaughter facility. There are several steps taken to minimize contamination, such as rinsing bigger pieces of meat before going into the grinder and keeping temperatures a low enough level to inhibit bacteria growth,” she explains.
“Biological hazards have the ability to quickly compromise the safety of a food product and must be monitored.”
Create a HACCP team
One of the biggest challenges Schaffner sees food companies face when conducting a hazard analysis is lack of expertise to adequately assess all the components along the processing chain. To overcome this, it is essential a company form a HACCP team with representatives in each sector of the processing chain working together to develop, implement and maintain HACCP.
“The plant engineer is going to pick up on a potential hazard that someone in shipping would have missed. And if a company doesn’t have someone in-house to adequately assess a portion of a company, like a microbiologist for recognizing biological hazards or sanitation specialist, they need to bring someone in,” she explains.
“It’s also important to note it’s legally required that at least one person on the HACCP team has a HACCP training certificate to ensure they are adequately trained in developing a HACCP system.”

Study Provides Industry Guidance in Determining the Safety of Oats and other Grains
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/study-provides-industry-guidance-in-determining-the-safety-of-oats-and-other-grains/
By Laura Allred (Feb 20, 2018)
Study Provides Industry Guidance in Determining the Safety of Oats and other Grains
The Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFCO) has published a study titled “The Use of Visual Examination for Determining the Presence of Gluten-Containing Grains in Gluten Free Oats and Other Grains, Seeds, Beans, Pulses and Legumes” in a special section of the Journal of AOAC International, focusing on food allergens and gluten.[1]
While oats are a cereal grain with a very high risk of contamination from gluten-containing grains (GCGs), it is now generally accepted that pure oats uncontaminated with GCGs can be safe for persons who have celiac disease. For this reason, many oat suppliers now make gluten-free labeling claims based on their ability to control GCG cross-contamination.
The purpose of the GFCO study was to identify and provide industry guidance in determining the safety of oats and other whole grains for the gluten-free market. The use of visual examination to determine if oats and other whole grains are gluten-free avoids many of the problems encountered with antibody-based testing methods, including sampling limitations and the uneven distribution of gluten in ground flours. The study describes a visual examination sampling plan for determining the number of GCGs per kilogram of whole commodities, as well as a proposed threshold for meeting the GFCO requirement of 10 ppm or less.
The proposed threshold set by GFCO takes into account the special circumstance of whole grain products, wherein a GCG in a product like oatmeal may be eaten in one serving, rather than being spread out over the entire product package or lot.
The GFCO study determined that a threshold of 0.25 gluten-containing grains per kilogram of whole grains sold as specially processed gluten-free product met GFCO’s 10 ppm standard.
Prior to GFCO’s study, the industry interpreted GFCO’s 10 ppm standard in different ways when applied to whole commodities. The new gluten threshold and sampling plan outlined in the study provides valuable guidance to processors and enhances the safety of whole grain products certified by GFCO for consumers.
The study also reports that two major processors of gluten free oats were able to meet the proposed threshold using their current processing methods, which differ from one another. However, it is important to note that this study was not designed to compare the performance of the two processors in meeting the threshold, and the data in the study cannot be used to compare processing methods.
The threshold and sampling plan provided in the study will help consumers of GFCO-certified products by enhancing the safety of whole grain foods.
Laura Allred is the regulatory and standards manager for the nonprofit Gluten Intolerance Group. Allred’s experience includes a background in immunology and eight years of directing a food testing laboratory and test kit manufacturing operation.
Reference
1. www.gluten.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Oat-Study.pdf.

 

 

 

 

Copyright (C) All right Reserved. FoodHACCP.com. If you have any question, contact to info@foodhaccp.com
TEL) 1-866-494-1208 FAX) 1-253-486-1936