FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

04/13. Produce Safety Field Outreach Specialist - Texas
04/13. QC Manager- Washington Courthouse, OH
04/13. Produce Insp, Food Safety QA, Cedar Rapids IA
04/11. Quality Assurance Technician - Dinuba, CA
04/11. Food Safety QA Manager - San Gabriel, CA
04/11. Director, QA & Food Safety - Whitehall, WI
04/09. QA & Sourcing Specialist - Oakland, CA
04/09. Produce Insp, Food Safety QA - Cedar Rapids IA
04/09. VP of Food Safety and Quality – Seattle, WA

04/16 2018 ISSUE:804

 

Marrying Food Safety and Sustainability
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/aprilmay-2018/marrying-food-safety-and-sustainability/
By Tom Egan
Marrying Food Safety and Sustainability
Consumers, manufacturers, and brand owners require a lot from packaging. We need packages to promote and protect products, provide necessary information on ingredients, instructions, and safety, and enhance supply chain efficiency to ensure products reach consumers while maintaining the highest safety and quality standards.
Over the last decade, as sustainability has become a priority, we have asked even more of our packaging materials. Companies are spending more on packaging made of sustainable materials, including recycled corrugated cardboard, high-density polyethylene, and recycled polyethylene film.[1]
When considering sustainability and thinner materials, food companies must look for solutions that allow the package to do what it needs to do: protect the product. Part of the sustainability of food packaging is the use of lightweight materials. The other part is keeping food fresh and protected throughout the supply chain.
Safety is nonnegotiable for every food manufacturer and retailer. Packaging innovations like oxygen scavengers and temperature indicators offer solutions to extend shelf life of food products. These technologies provide an ideal solution for food manufacturers prioritizing safety and working to reduce their ecological footprint.
Innovations in Sustainability
Recent years have seen great advances in technology and nanomaterials for tracking products throughout the supply chain, verification of the authenticity of products, and brand protection. Supply chain traceability in particular has seen significant growth. Some companies offer software that allows full farm-to-fork traceability when combined with packaging serialization. As consumers, we trust that our food supply moves through the supply chain safely. Supply chain traceability technology makes it easier for food companies to ensure their products remain safe and to react quickly to product recalls.
Perishable food products can benefit from the use of temperature indicators to ensure customers are receiving products at their optimal quality. These indicators track a food’s temperature history and change color, showing how long food is still edible. For example, there are temperature indicators that change color faster at higher temperatures. There are also mobile apps that consumers can use to determine the remaining shelf life of their product. This helps ensure consumer safety and also prevents disposal of food that is still edible.
Oxygen absorbers and scavengers are another solution for companies that want to boost sustainability. A variety of companies produce oxygen-absorbing technologies that protect food products from spoilage, mold, color and flavor change, and loss of nutritional value. Oxygen absorbers have applications across food categories—some work well with dry packaged foods, while others are better suited for retort packaging applications. By extending shelf life and preserving the fresh look and taste of food, oxygen absorbers do their part to decrease food waste.
Making Sense of Expiration Dates
Confusion over “use by,” “sell by,” and “best by” dates is a major contributor to food waste. With more than 10 different date labels on packages, consumers often find it difficult to discern when and for how long a food product is OK for consumption, and they end up discarding perfectly safe products.
In September 2017, the Consumer Goods Forum, a network of 400 of the world’s largest food and consumer goods companies, announced an initiative to fight food waste. By asking retailers and food producers to simplify food date labels, the Consumer Goods Forum aims to harmonize expiration dates around the globe.
The voluntary initiative calls on food manufacturers to use just two standard phrases for expiration dates—“BEST if Used By” and “Use By.” “BEST if Used By” will convey the quality of the food product, meaning that the food might not taste or perform its best after the date but is still safe to eat. In contrast, “Use By” will apply to highly perishable products, which should be eaten by the date listed on the package and discarded after that date.[2]
Be Safe, Not Sorry
When it comes to food safety, there is no room for negotiation. Whether by keeping food fresher for longer or informing consumers on when food is safe to eat, modernization in packaging technology and initiatives from industry organizations offer solutions that both protect food and move the industry toward sustainability.  
Tom Egan is the vice president, industry services, at The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.
References
1. pmmiprod3ebiz.personifycloud.com/PersonifyEbusiness/Default.aspx?TabID=251&productId=21443165.
2. www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/09/20/552116399/global-plan-to-streamline-use-by-food-labels-aims-to-cut-food-waste.

European Commission moves to boost transparency in food safety studies
Source : https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/news/66070/commission-transparency-food-safety/
By  George Smith (New Food) (Apr 13, 2018)
The announcement comes in response to a request brought forward in a European Citizens’ Initiative concerning glyphosate.
The European Commission has issued a proposal that aims to make information about food safety more transparent to citizens living in the bloc.
Drawing on concerns expressed in a European Citizen’s Initiative as well as the Commission’s Fitness Check of the General Food Law, it was put forward on Wednesday April 11.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “Today we are addressing citizens’ concerns, to improve transparency about decision making, to offer better access to relevant information and to ensure that trustworthy, science-based risk assessment remains at the heart of decision making in this sensitive area of food safety.”
Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “The EU’s science-based risk assessment for food safety is one of the most stringent in the world. We are now making it even stronger through clearer transparency rules and more effective risk communication throughout the process. With this reform citizens will have immediate access to scientific studies supporting applications for authorisation. I call on Member States and the European Parliament to quickly turn this proposal into law, so we can deliver results for citizens before the European elections next year.”
The Commission is proposing a targeted revision of the General Food Law Regulation coupled with the revision of eight pieces of sectoral legislation, to bring them in line with the general rules and strengthen transparency in the area of GMOs, feed additives, smoke flavourings, food contact materials, food additives, food enzymes and flavourings, plant protection products and novel foods.
The key elements of the proposal:
Ensure more transparency, by allowing citizens to have automatic and immediate access to all safety related information submitted by industry in the risk assessment process;
Create a common European Register of commissioned studies, to guarantee that companies applying for an authorisation submit all relevant information, and do not hold back unfavourable studies;
Allow additional studies to be requested by the European Food Safety Authority, upon request of the Commission and financed by the EU budget;
Require consultation of stakeholders and the public on studies submitted by industry to support product authorisation requests;
Increase Member States’ involvement in the European Food Safety Authority’s governance structure and scientific panels;
Strengthens risk communication to citizens, with common actions to enhance consumer confidence by promoting public awareness, understanding and explaining in a better way the scientific opinions expressed by the European Food Safety Authority, as well as the basis of risk management decisions.

 


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











 

 

 

Grocery stores could be donating way more food
Source : https://newfoodeconomy.org/harvard-food-safety-code-report-grocery-store-waste-donations/
By Jessica Fu (Apr 12, 2018)
rocery stores could be donating way more of the food they don’t sell. What’s stopping them? A patchwork of inconsistent and unclear food safety laws.
A new report conducted by researchers at the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic has found that very few states give businesses any instruction on how to donate food safely. Confusion reigns supreme over everything from how to transport donations, to whether food needs to be kept cold, to interpreting best-by dates. Bottom line: Businesses get very little official or consistent guidance and ultimately, are discouraged from donating at all.
Emily Broad Leib, director of the clinic and the study’s lead author, wanted to find out exactly where companies were getting hung up.
“We kept hearing from businesses that they weren’t allowed to donate certain things, or being told that they had to follow really strict rules. Sometimes there’d be a business that said different parts of the country or even different cities in the same state have different rules.”
Broad Leib’s team interviewed food regulators in every state. They found that only 12 states have formal regulations for food donations, six of which pertain only to wild game meat.
Regulators want to make food laws more robust. They just don’t know how.For example, in Connecticut, rules regarding the donation of wild game are codified in Title 26 of the Connecticut General Statutes, which govern fishing and hunting: “Hunted game may be donated to, and possessed, prepared and distributed by, a charitable or nonprofit organization which serves or distributes food without cost to poor or needy persons.” There is no additional guidance on what to do with food other than game meat.
Meanwhile, in California, there are no legal regulations regarding food donations. However, businesses can find general guidance from the Safe Surplus Food Donation Toolkit, a set of recommendations by three California-based public and environmental health groups.
Most other states offer nothing in the form of regulation or guidance at all.
But don’t write an angry letter to your governor just yet. The researchers also found that regulators want to make food laws more robust. They just don’t know how.
“Often, health inspectors themselves are afraid to allow certain practices without having anyone telling them that that’s a safe practice,” said Broad Leib.
As it turns out, businesses aren’t alone. The confusion may actually start a little further upstream.
Very few states give businesses any instruction on how to donate food safely. Confusion reigns supreme.While states have jurisdiction over food safety and handling for retail businesses and restaurants, many of them model their guidelines off of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Code. This federal document is published every four years and offers states an example of what their food laws should look like. Local regulators adapt the their own regulations from the code.
And therein lies the issue: The Food Code says nothing about food donations.
The dimensions of America’s food waste problem have been repeated ad nauseam: We waste up to 40 percent of our food (though, that number is disputed). And that’s particularly troubling given that 13.4 percent of our population is food insecure, according to the non-profit food bank network Feeding America. That includes more than 13 million children living in families who regularly don’t get enough to eat.
Could adding clear guidance to the Food Code on how companies can donate food safely really do much to change that? Broad Leib thinks so.
“When things are added to the Food Code, they make their way into state and local law,” she says. “We spoke to at least one head of food safety in every state. Across the board, they said that having some guidance would be helpful for them in order to provide better guidance and regulations for business.”
But, Broad Leib says, we also have to make sure states understand what role they’re playing in the food waste dilemma.
“Even if this were added, there’s still more work to do on educating states on why they should adopt that.”

Preventing outbreaks in the food safety system
Source : https://www.foodbusinessnews.net/articles/11634-preventing-outbreaks-in-the-food-safety-system
By Susan Reidy (Apr 12, 2018)
Investigating outbreaks of foodborne illnesses can play a key role in preventing future outbreaks and identifying unsuspected gaps in the food safety system, said a Center for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) investigator during a keynote address at the International Association of Operative Millers’ (I.A.O.M.) Annual Conference & Expo.
Investigations also help people identify how and what went wrong, how the contamination occurred, identify new pathogens and new foods linked to outbreaks, said Karen Neil, Ph.D. epidemic intelligence service officer.
“The immediate aim of any foodborne outbreak investigation is to identify the cause of the outbreak so we can stop it,” she said. “Overall, this can help reduce foodborne illness by stimulating better practices, potentially better regulations, and better consumer education and understanding.”
This has been the case in investigations of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections found to be caused by flour.
Flour first got on the C.D.C.’s radar as a possible source of a 2009 outbreak with 77 illnesses across 30 states, Dr. Neil said. While flour was suspected, no root cause for contamination was identified.
“This outbreak really put flour on the map for us regarding STEC outbreaks,” she said.
Flour was the suspect in two more outbreaks in 2012-13 and 2015, but it was first confirmed in a 2016 outbreak which made 56 people ill in 24 states, Dr. Neil said.
A General Mills facility in Kansas City was identified as the likely source of the outbreak. Overall, 45 million lbs of flour was recalled.
There were additional downstream recalls of products made using that flour, for a recall that included more than 200 products and 30 brands, Dr. Neil said.
As a result of the outbreak investigation, several steps were taken to reduce the risk of future illnesses.
“We identified that the risk of eating raw dough is not limited to Salmonella from raw eggs; it also includes flour,” Dr. Neil said. “It highlighted behaviors of consumers and restaurants that could make it more likely to get sick.”
It stimulated the food industry to modify package labeling to make warnings against consuming raw dough even more prominent and some moved toward the use of heat treated flour.
Addressing food safety concerns is also on the mind of several equipment suppliers exhibiting at the sold-out I.A.O.M. expo.
Food safety is the top request from customers, said Ricardo Fontenelle, technical sales adviser of Brazil-based Sangati Berga. The company is addressing that concern with plansifter sieves and frames made from polymer. The frames stack on top of each other without any connecting elements.
“Eliminating all those connecting elements like wood and rubber gaskets, which can be harmful, is a huge improvement for the industry,” Mr. Fontenelle said.
Along with the plansifter technology, Sangati Berga also was highlighting its new alliance with Kice Industries, Inc., based in Wichita, Kas.
The businesses complement each other since Sangati Berga supplies milling equipment while Kice specializes in pneumatic conveying, dust control and filtration applications.
“The market needs someone local for anything related to support and spare parts,” Mr. Fontenelle said. “Kice is a very high-quality company; they have the contacts and they have the established markets.”
Together, the companies can offer a competitive, high tech turnkey mill, said Andy Forrester, director of sales, Kice.
“Our local support and service complements their manufacturing capabilities in Brazil,” he said. “Culturally, the companies are the same and we have the same goals and values.”
There’s a big opportunity to modernize and update the grain and milling industries’ aging infrastructure, Forrester said.
“There are a lot of requirements that are driving modernization in the mills,” he said. “It’s a great time to be starting a partnership like this.”
Satake is seeing significant growth in Africa and Asia, said Peter Marriott, sales manager, Satake Europe.
Africa is experiencing dietary changes, with a move toward flour-based products. There is also demand from niche markets for products that answer allergy issues, and ancient grains.
“We’re using some of the current day technology to mill the ancient grains into new old products,” Mr. Marriott said.
New innovations are being introduced for remote access, he said. With that technology, Satake’s engineers can tap into a machine and help with issues an operator is having.
“Rather than jumping on a plane, we can give advice from a distance,” Mr. Marriott said. “It’s about getting machines up and running.”

Kentucky food handler with hepatitis A exposes customers
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/04/kentucky-food-prep-worker-may-have-hepatitis-a/#.WtRIp8vr3Dd
By News Desk (Apr 11, 2018)
The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is investigating a case of Hepatitis A in a food preparation worker at a convenience store in Ashland, a Kentucky city on the southern bank of the Ohio River.
Hepatitis infection can cause a yellowing of the eyes and/or skin, which is referred to as jaundice. Photo illustration
Health officials say the employee prepared food at Ken’s Express Mart in the 900 block of 29th St. and worked from March 22 through April 7 while contagious. Generally, people who are infected with the liver virus can spread it before they begin having symptoms.
It can take as many as 50 days for symptoms to develop after exposure to hepatitis A, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is a two-week window for people who are exposed to get the hepatitis A post-exposure vaccine. If the vaccine is given more than 14 days after exposure to the virus, it is not considered effective in preventing the disease.
The last day for customers exposed April 7 at Ken’s Express Mart to receive the post-exposure treatment is April 20. For people exposed between March 30 and April 6, there are fewer days left to obtain the post-exposure vaccine. It is past the two-week window of opportunity for customers who ate food or drank beverages from Ken’s convenience store between March 22 and March 29.
Often food handlers and foodservice workers are not confirmed as being infected until after they have developed symptoms and stopped working. The lag time from diagnosis to confirmation and finally reporting to public health officials frequently results in no opportunity for consumers to seek the post-exposure vaccine.
Erin Crace at the county health department said this case was identified quickly because local hospitals “do a wonderful job about getting us reports really quickly.” The area has seen an increase in cases, recording 23, since the outbreak was confirmed in November.
To prevent infection from future exposure, people should seek immunization. The hepatitis A vaccine was not available until recent years, so most adults have not received it.
Ken’s Express Mart is allowing employees to work there only if they have received the hepatitis A vaccine. In addition, Ken’s Express Mart has been notifying customers of the potential exposure, according to the health department. Local media quoted the owner as saying he began notifying customers of the possible exposure before the virus was confirmed in the employee.
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route, which includes consumption of contaminated foods or beverages, according to the CDC.
Most adults have symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice that usually resolve within two months of infection. Most children younger than 6 do not have symptoms or have unrecognized infections, but they can spread the virus.
Hepatitis A can live for months outside of the human body.  It can surviving freezing. It is very difficult to kill and most common cleaning fluids are not effective against it. Hand washing with soap and water is a strong defense. Waterless hand sanitizers are not effective at killing the virus.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should immediately contact their doctor or seek other medical attention.
Anyone with possible exposure and not experiencing symptoms is encouraged to contact their health care provider or the health department for a post-exposure hepatitis A vaccine.
Kentucky has been hit hard by a Hepatitis A outbreak, logging more than 100 cases and at least one death since November 2017.

Six more states identify victims after NJ detects outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/04/six-more-states-identify-victims-after-nj-detects-outbreak/#.WtRI9svr3Dd
By News Desk( Apr 11, 2018)
Disease detectives from state and federal agencies are investigating an E. coli O157: H7 outbreak identified by New Jersey officials in recent days. The CDC reports people in seven states have been infected.
To see a larger version of this outbreak map, please click on the image.
Of the 17 confirmed victims, six have had symptoms so severe that they required hospitalization. One has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can have devastating life-long implications. No deaths have been confirmed, according to the outbreak announcement posted April 10 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some officials in New Jersey have told news media in the state that Panera Bread is part of their outbreak investigation, but, they said a link has not been confirmed. The CDC’s statement stressed that a source has not yet been confirmed.
“The investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections,” according to the federal agency. “CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid any particular food at this time.Restaurants and retailers are not advised to avoid serving or selling any particular food.”
Much of the information from New Jersey’s Department of Health and the CDC is very similar, but the state is reporting different numbers than the federal government.
New Jersey’s undated outbreak update, posted in recent days, states that eight infected people have been confirmed, with all eight requiring hospitalization. The state reports five of those people have been discharged.
“Laboratory testing is ongoing to link their illnesses to the outbreak using DNA fingerprinting,” the CDC reported Tuesday. “Some people may not be included in CDC’s case count because no bacterial isolates are available for the DNA fingerprinting needed to link them to the outbreak.”
The CDC reports that illnesses started on dates ranging from March 22-31. Victims range in age from 12 to 84 years. Among ill people, 65 percent are female. People who became sick after March 26 likely are not yet included in CDC’s outbreak statistics because it takes two to four weeks from initial diagnosis to confirm infections and report them to federal officials.
In addition to the CDC and state public health officials, staff from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are working on the outbreak investigation.

Scott Gottlieb keeps FDA office hours while growing star power
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/04/scott-gottlieb-keeps-fda-office-hours-while-growing-star-power/#.WtAXvYhuaUl
By DAN FLYNN |(Apr 11, 2018)
The Wall Street Journal’s May 22 Health Forum at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington D.C. will feature 22 speakers, including several CEOs for big pharmacy and giant insurance companies.
But in a full-page advertisement, which WSJ has been running at the expense of its paper and ink, the top billing goes to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Gottlieb will complete his first year as FDA Commissioner on May 11. He returned a year ago to head FDA, where he’d earlier served as deputy commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs. The 23rd FDA commissioner, Gottlieb was previously a practicing physician and clinical assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan.
In addition to medicine, Gottlieb studied economics and was a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His history includes work on the Medicare drug benefit and medical records technology.
The WSJ Health Forum is not the only indication that Gottlieb likes a big stage. In January he attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He reported going to Davos on the FDA public calendar of “significant meetings” with people outside the executive branch of the federal government. Gottlieb reported, “healthcare professionals, government, academia, industry representatives, media and other registered guests” as among those he met in Davos.
Gottlieb was at FDA headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, during most of the first 11 weeks of 2018. And according to FDA’s public calendars, the two topics getting most of the commissioner’s attention were tobacco and opioids.
However, his public calendars continue to show Gottlieb is involved in all facets of FDA, including food safety.
In January Gottlieb had a series of meetings about menu labeling, discussing the controversial topic first with industry and consumers groups, and then separately with the National Restaurant Association. Just before he took over as commissioner, FDA extended the compliance date for menu labeling from May 5, 2017, to May 7this year.
The Affordable Care Act contains language calling for menu labeling. Federal menu labeling precludes state and local requirements, and restaurant chains like that.  In getting federal menu labeling underway, however, Gottlieb has to deal with less enthusiastic pizza restaurants, convenience stores, and the like. He met with those groups on Jan. 3
On Jan. 8, he invited in health and consumer groups, including representatives of the American Heart Association, Center for Science in the Public Interest, National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the American Diabetes Association.
On the same day, Gottlieb met with the NRA’s Cicely Simpson and Steve Danon. They are all-in for federal menu labeling because national restaurant chains do not want to deal with a maze of state and local regulations.
Dr. Stephen M. Ostroff, deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, and other FDA staff attended the menu labeling meetings with Gottlieb.
While Gottlieb was at the economic forum in Switzerland, Ostroff addressed the Jan. 26 meeting of the Safe Food Coalition and the Make Our Food Safe Coalition in Washington D.C. He took several FDA staffers with him, according to the agency’s public calendar.
The FDA commissioner was back in time to address the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s Winter Policy Conference on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and State and Local Collaboration and Partnerships. Ostroff and other FDA staffers also attended the policy conference. FDA contracts some FSMA activities out to state departments of agriculture.
Ostroff led a meeting on Feb. 20 involving FDA staff and federal officials from Mexico about fresh produce and Mexico’s National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA), which regulates the produce industry. Personnel from the Embassy of Mexico and SENASICA participated.
Ostroff also led a meeting, with the agenda simply stating “food safety,” with Mike Liewen of PepsiCo; Rob Mommsen and Shali Shalit-Shoval of Sabra Dipping Co. LLC; Don Zink of IEH Laboratories & Consulting Group; and Randy Russell and Tyson Redpath of The Russell Group. Several other FDA staffers attended the meeting.
Ostroff and three other FDA staffers traveled to Tokyo from March 4-7 to attend the Global Food Safety Conference. While in Japan, the FDA delegation met on the side with representatives of the Food Standards Agency of the United Kingdom and Food Standards Scotland.
Upon return, Ostroff and others from FDA met with representatives of the European Medicines Agency, European Commission for Food and Safety and Consumer Health, and the European Union about shellfish equivalence. The meeting was about the food safety systems recognition that might result in shellfish trade between the U.S. and Europe.
Gottlieb and Ostroff met on March 14 with Elizabeth Fawell, Gregory Pritchard, Matthew Carpenter, Maxine Blanck, Molly Fogarty, Rafaela Carvalho, Sarah Sunday, William Cooper, all apparently from Nestle, about the FSMA’s Intentional Adulteration Rule. Several others from FDA also attended.
Finally, on March 16, Ostroff attended a committee meeting of the U.S. Apple Association in Washington D.C. to talk about the FSMA.

Kentucky food handler with hepatitis A exposes customers
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/04/kentucky-food-prep-worker-may-have-hepatitis-a/#.WtBGt4huaUl
By NEWS DESK (Apr 11, 2018)
The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department is investigating a case of Hepatitis A in a food preparation worker at a convenience store in Ashland, a Kentucky city on the southern bank of the Ohio River.
Health officials say the employee prepared food at Ken’s Express Mart in the 900 block of 29th St. and worked from March 22 through April 7 while contagious. Generally, people who are infected with the liver virus can spread it before they begin having symptoms.
It can take as many as 50 days for symptoms to develop after exposure to hepatitis A, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There is a two-week window for people who are exposed to get the hepatitis A post-exposure vaccine. If the vaccine is given more than 14 days after exposure to the virus, it is not considered effective in preventing the disease.
The last day for customers exposed April 7 at Ken’s Express Mart to receive the post-exposure treatment is April 20. For people exposed between March 30 and April 6, there are fewer days left to obtain the post-exposure vaccine. It is past the two-week window of opportunity for customers who ate food or drank beverages from Ken’s convenience store between March 22 and March 29.
Often food handlers and foodservice workers are not confirmed as being infected until after they have developed symptoms and stopped working. The lag time from diagnosis to confirmation and finally reporting to public health officials frequently results in no opportunity for consumers to seek the post-exposure vaccine.
Erin Crace at the county health department said this case was identified quickly because local hospitals “do a wonderful job about getting us reports really quickly.” The area has seen an increase in cases, recording 23, since the outbreak was confirmed in November.
To prevent infection from future exposure, people should seek immunization. The hepatitis A vaccine was not available until recent years, so most adults have not received it.
Ken’s Express Mart is allowing employees to work there only if they have received the hepatitis A vaccine. In addition, Ken’s Express Mart has been notifying customers of the potential exposure, according to the health department. Local media quoted the owner as saying he began notifying customers of the possible exposure before the virus was confirmed in the employee.
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route, which includes consumption of contaminated foods or beverages, according to the CDC.
Most adults have symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice that usually resolve within two months of infection. Most children younger than 6 do not have symptoms or have unrecognized infections, but they can spread the virus.
Hepatitis A can live for months outside of the human body.  It can surviving freezing. It is very difficult to kill and most common cleaning fluids are not effective against it. Hand washing with soap and water is a strong defense. Waterless hand sanitizers are not effective at killing the virus.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should immediately contact their doctor or seek other medical attention.
Anyone with possible exposure and not experiencing symptoms is encouraged to contact their health care provider or the health department for a post-exposure hepatitis A vaccine.
Kentucky has been hit hard by a Hepatitis A outbreak, logging more than 100 cases and at least one death since November 2017.

Six more states identify victims after NJ detects outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/04/six-more-states-identify-victims-after-nj-detects-outbreak/#.WtBHEYhuaUl
By NEWS DESK (Apr 11, 2018)
Disease detectives from state and federal agencies are investigating an E. coli O157: H7 outbreak identified by New Jersey officials in recent days. The CDC reports people in seven states have been infected
Of the 17 confirmed victims, six have had symptoms so severe that they required hospitalization. One has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can have devastating life-long implications. No deaths have been confirmed, according to the outbreak announcement posted April 10 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some officials in New Jersey have told news media in the state that Panera Bread is part of their outbreak investigation, but, they said a link has not been confirmed. The CDC’s statement stressed that a source has not yet been confirmed.
“The investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections,” according to the federal agency. “CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid any particular food at this time.Restaurants and retailers are not advised to avoid serving or selling any particular food.”
Much of the information from New Jersey’s Department of Health and the CDC is very similar, but the state is reporting different numbers than the federal government.
New Jersey’s undated outbreak update, posted in recent days, states that eight infected people have been confirmed, with all eight requiring hospitalization. The state reports five of those people have been discharged.
“Laboratory testing is ongoing to link their illnesses to the outbreak using DNA fingerprinting,” the CDC reported Tuesday. “Some people may not be included in CDC’s case count because no bacterial isolates are available for the DNA fingerprinting needed to link them to the outbreak.”
The CDC reports that illnesses started on dates ranging from March 22-31. Victims range in age from 12 to 84 years. Among ill people, 65 percent are female. People who became sick after March 26 likely are not yet included in CDC’s outbreak statistics because it takes two to four weeks from initial diagnosis to confirm infections and report them to federal officials.
In addition to the CDC and state public health officials, staff from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are working on the outbreak investigation.

Triple play: EWG posts ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of fresh produce items
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/04/triple-play-ewg-posts-dirty-dozen-list-of-fresh-produce-items/#.WtAX_IhuaUl
By ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (Apr 10, 2018)
OPINION
Editor’s note: This opinion piece by Sonya Lunder, senior analyst for the Environmental Working Group, is part of a three-piece presentation today by Food Safety News. To read views on the same topic from an independent nutritionist and the Alliance for Food and Farming, please refer to the links at the bottom of this column.
Many shoppers don’t realize that pesticide residues are common on conventionally grown produce – even after it is carefully washed or peeled. EWG’s analysis of tests by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nearly 70 percent of samples of conventionally grown produce were contaminated with pesticide residues.
The USDA tests found a total of 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on the thousands of produce samples analyzed. EWG’s analysis of the tests shows that there are stark differences among various types of produce. The EWG’s “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” lists the trademarked “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues, and the trademarked “Clean Fifteen” for which few, if any, residues were detected.
Twenty-five years after the National Academy of Sciences issued a landmark report raising concerns about children’s exposure to toxic pesticides through their diets, Americans still consume a mixture of pesticides every day. While vegetables and fruits are essential components of a healthy diet, research suggests that pesticides in produce may pose subtle health risks.
A recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association, found a surprising association between consuming high-pesticide-residue foods and fertility problems among participants in the Harvard University EARTH study.
Women who reported eating two or more servings per day of produce with higher pesticide residues were 26 percent less likely to have a successful pregnancy during the study than participants who ate fewer servings of these foods. A previous study of male participants found similar associations between consumption of high-residue produce and reproductive health. Both studies drew from couples seeking treatment at a fertility clinic, and found that the frequency of eating fruits and vegetables with fewer pesticide residues was not associated with fertility outcomes.
The findings from the EARTH studies raise important questions about the safety of pesticide mixtures found on produce, and suggest that people should focus on eating the fruits and vegetables with the fewest pesticide residues. Importantly, the studies’ definition of higher and lower pesticide foods mirrors EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. So, when buying organic produce is not an option, use the Shopper’s Guide to choose conventional foods lower in pesticide residues. With the Guide, you can have the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while limiting your exposure to pesticides.
For the 2018 Dirty Dozen list, EWG singled out produce with the highest loads of pesticide residues. This year the list includes, in descending order, strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, potatoes and sweet bell peppers.
Each of these foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other produce.
Key findings:
More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.
Spinach samples had, on average, 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
Again this year, EWG has expanded the Dirty Dozen list to highlight hot peppers, which do not meet our traditional ranking criteria but were found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system.
The USDA tests of 739 samples of hot peppers in 2010 and 2011 found residues of three highly toxic insecticides – acephate, chlorpyrifos and oxamyl – on a portion of sampled peppers at concentrations high enough to cause concern. These insecticides are banned on some crops but still allowed on hot peppers. In 2015, California regulators tested 72 unwashed hot peppers and found that residues of these three pesticides are still occasionally detected on the crop.4
EWG recommends that people who frequently eat hot peppers buy organic. If you cannot find or afford organic hot peppers, cook them, because pesticide levels typically diminish when food is cooked.
EWG’s Clean Fifteen list of produce least likely to contain pesticide residues includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbages, onions, frozen sweet peas, papayas, asparagus, mangoes, eggplants, honeydews, kiwis, cantaloupes, cauliflower and broccoli. Relatively few pesticides were detected on these foods, and tests found low total concentrations of pesticide residues.
Key findings:
Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest. Less than 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four pesticides.
Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. Only 5 percent of Clean Fifteen vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.
The Shopper’s Guide ranks pesticide contamination on 47 popular fruits and vegetables based on an analysis of more than 38,800 samples taken by the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration. The USDA doesn’t test every food every year, so EWG generally uses data from the most recent one- or two-year sampling period for each food. The USDA doesn’t test two fruits, honeydew melons and kiwis, so EWG uses data from the Food and Drug Administration’s pesticide monitoring for these crops. Additional details from the Environmental Working Group on its website.
Please also see: Triple play: AFF says rest easy and eat your veggies and fruits
Please also see: Triple play: ‘Pro-choice nutritionist’ calls out produce guides.

Heat-treated flour addresses food safety
Source : https://www.foodprocessing.com.au/content/ingredients/news/heat-treated-flour-addresses-food-safety-1226466177
By foodprocessing.com.au (Apr 10, 2018)
Children have often been caught trying to pinch a bit of raw cookie dough from the mixing bowl, only to be reprimanded and told it was unsafe. This may be about to change with Page House launching heat-treated flour for American households.
Food products containing raw ingredients pose the risk of E. coli and other harmful bacteria, but once they are killed in the cooking process the product becomes safe for consumption. While the danger of getting Salmonella from raw eggs is well known, raw flour is often wrongly assumed as being safe to eat.
In 2016, 63 people from 24 states became ill from an outbreak of E. coli linked to raw flour. This resulted in 10 million pounds of flour being recalled, as well as baking mixes and foods containing this flour.
The outbreak of illnesses prompted the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to warn consumers against eating raw dough or batter in any form, including cookies, tortillas, pizza, biscuits, pancakes or crafts made with raw flour.
Food manufacturers have avoided these food safety risks with the use of heat-treated flour, but households have previously not had access to these products. With the popularity of raw recipes increasing, this has highlighted the need for safer food options. Page House recognised the gap in the market and has responded by offering consumer-packaged heat-treated flour.
The flour is exposed to heat through a treatment process which eliminates harmful bacteria. In the interest of food safety and transparency, each batch of flour is tested and the results are published publicly for review.
Page House's heat-treated flour will be available in mid-April and will help ensure the safe handling and eating of raw recipes, especially around children who fail to understand the dangers of raw ingredients.

Insulting’: British Poultry Council responds to US assessment of food safety standards
Source : https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/news/65960/insulting-british-us-safety-standards/
By George Smith (New Food) (Apr 10, 2018)
The European Union’s ban on importing hormone fed beef and several pathogen reduction treatments have made a list of barriers to trade drawn up by the U.S. Government.
The British Poultry Council has described as “insulting” claims made in a United States Government report that a number European food safety standards are unnecessary and unscientific.
Over 491 pages, the report, the 2018 National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers, presents an inventory of the regulatory differences that the author, Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, feels hobble the free flow of exports and imports between the USA and its global partners.
Among these barriers, Mr Lighthizer described several examples of European food safety standards, saying many unnecessarily restricted trade “without furthering their safety objectives because they are not based on scientific principles, maintained with sufficient scientific evidence, or applied only to the extent necessary”.
Webinar: Using electronic laboratory notebooks in the foo d and beverage industry
Electronic Laboratory Notebooks (ELNs) have been used for a long time in the Pharma and Biotech industries. While certain aspects may be industry specific, the need to document and share information is clearly applicable also within Food and Beverage (F&B).This webinar will discuss the key aspects of how the F&B lab can benefit from an ELN, with examples of successful customer deployments. You will also learn how BIOVIA Notebook works. This easy to use, easy to scale solution helps labs to improve documentation and share information between sites globally.
He said: “The United States believes there are instances where the EU should recognise current U.S. food safety measures as equivalent to those maintained by the EU because they achieve the same level of protection. If the EU recognised the equivalence of U.S. measures, trade could be facilitated considerably.”
He included the EU’s ban on growth hormones in beef and several pathogen reduction treatments (PRTs), such as chlorine washing, in the list of measures that negatively affected trade between the two markets.
Responding to the report, the Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, Richard Griffiths, said: “It is insulting of the U.S. to offer trade products that do not meet British food production standards and to suggest that our world-class animal welfare and food safety standards unnecessarily restrict trade.
“British poultry producers don’t dip their chicken carcase in chlorine as we do not believe in ‘cleaning up at the end’ or taking any short-cuts when it comes to producing safe food. Using chemicals to disinfect food at the end of a production process can hide a multitude of sins, but what it can’t hide is the need for their use in the first place.
“British farmers have worked incredibly hard to build a food system that speaks to the public good, that enhances British food values and that ensures high standards of production from farm to fork.
“We know that British consumers are unwilling to accept lower standards as part of a trade deal with the U.S. One of the recent polls commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research highlights that Britons are willing to cancel a post-Brexit deal with the US in order to protect UK’s animal welfare and food safety standards.”

 

 

 

 

 

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