FoodHACCP Newsletter



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06/15. Food Safety Document Spec - Louisville, KY
06/15. Sr. Dir Food Safety & QA - Ludington, MI
06/15. Food QA Manager - Coronado, CA
06/13. Food Safety Team Leader - Ayer, MA
06/13. Food Safety & QA Compliance Mgr - Taylor, MI
06/13. Global Food Safety Specialist - Barrington, IL
06/11. Quality Assurance Specialist - Rochester, NY
06/11. QA Specialist - Inver Grove Heights, MN
06/11. Food Safety and QA Manager - Fremont, CA

 

06/81 2018 ISSUE:813

 

Break up with paper; commit to digital; embrace food safety
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/06/break-up-with-paper-commit-to-digital-embrace-food-safety/#.WyiMCk66zct
By Laura Mushrush (June 18, 2018)
Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a four-part series on electronic record keeping to enhance companies’ food safety efforts. The series is sponsored by PAR Technologies.
Whether it be for improved business management, safeguarding against food safety compromises or ticking all the boxes to keep the FDA at bay, record keeping is the backbone to a food company keeping the lights on and remaining in operation.
Paper is still the norm… for now
According to Matthew Botos, CEO of food safety software company ConnectFood, although paper-based records are still standard within the food industry, there has been a “slow but steady movement” to digital platforms.
“The food manufacturing industry is one of the oldest verticals. Once populations started growing and products were shipped over longer distances, there was a need for more regiment to how we told the story of why our products are safe. The food safety instructor’s mantra is: ‘if you have not documented it, you have not done it,’” explains Botos.
“Paper was the natural way to record times, temperatures, and other metrics that show a company is delivering a safe food product. It has always seemed to be the easiest medium to scribble notes of the product onto and sign off quickly. Given the age of the food industry, we find it’s only now starting to think about investments in technology.”
Digital antidotes for headaches
To stay in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act, a company must be able to turn over at least two years of its food safety records to the FDA upon request. This is to prove activities such as monitoring and verification within a food safety plan have properly occurred. On condition that records are legible and organized, the FDA will accept them in digital or paper formats. According to Botos, the ability to search for specific information with ease and identify patterns makes digital a more efficient system.
“Think about finger printing – comparing old paper records to data taken from a crime scene was so much more difficult prior to having digital records that can be searched and produced in seconds,” he explains.
“It is the same concept with digital recordkeeping: we will now be able to produce reports and adjust manufacturing on the fly to have a safer and more secure food supply. Digital records are the future of food safety documentation because they are quicker, more accurate, and more efficiently searched in the case of an inspection.”
While keeping track of years’ worth of records to hand over to FDA inspectors in a timely manner comes with its own unique challenges when navigating paper-based filing systems, it also limits accessibility. This is one area food companies find digital records stored on the cloud much more beneficial. 
“At the end of every day you can use technology to automatically review your manufacturing reports to make sure that everything was within tolerances,” adds Botos. “You will be able to easily compare lot codes to times of manufacturing and be able to compare many data points such as flavours, pH levels, times, temperatures, and many other factors to assure product safety and quality.”
Paper does have its uses
Before buying a shredder and going completely paperless, companies need to recognize the benefits of utilizing paper records in conjunction with digital, advises Donna Kristine Manley, president of Food Safety Advisor. Manley is a food safety auditor and consultant with a specialty in records management.
“In my experience, both hard copy and electronic records are good to have. I don’t believe in just having all electronic records because of computer problems, i.e., computer crashes,” explains Manley. According to her, paper records are especially useful when reviewing temperature logs. “You can always recognize through hand writing who documented temperatures and there is more accountability.”
Making the transition
One of the reasons the movement to digital records has been steady is due an unwillingness to step out of comfort zones, concludes Botos.
“There are several reasons for this hesitation from food companies. The first being that once you are comfortable with a certain way of doing things, it is often difficult to transition to a new way of doing them. What is tried and true is what you innately want to stick with,” says Botos.
“Who would have thought that texting would be such a powerful tool twenty years ago?  Digital record keeping is a similar trend that I am confident will take over. We all carry small, powerful data recorders and super computers on our person every minute of every day. I guarantee you that we will continue to increase their use in recordkeeping.”

Food Safety Warnings Are Making Eating More Dangerous
Source : https://www.technologynetworks.com/applied-sciences/articles/food-safety-warnings-are-making-eating-more-dangerous-305109
By technologynetworks.com (Jun 18, 2018)
California judges recently ruled that coffee must henceforth come with health warnings. This is definitely a landmark – but not quite in the way its proponents imagine. Rather, it underlines how food safety issues are at heart political.
Yes, coffee contains a chemical – acrylamide – which has been associated with cancer in rats. But you have to look pretty hard to find a food which doesn’t have some associated risk. Meanwhile, the EU database of “dangerous” chemicals looks more like an A-Z of everything food-wise rather than a few bad guys you might conceivably start to avoid.
Take bromate, which many baked goods contain. It is a notorious carcinogen that comes in several flavours, as it were, such as calcium, potassium, and sodium. Speaking of sodium, everyone knows that too much salt causes heart disease - but did you know that too little also increases the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes?
But let’s start with “A” and acrylamide, which can be found not merely in coffee but in fried potatoes and baked goods like crackers, bread and cookies, breakfast cereal, canned black olives and prune juice. The last of these I’d be prepared to give a miss, but otherwise for me, acrylamide is where the precautionary principle (that says chemicals are “guilty” until proved safe) becomes untenable. This is because the risks are tiny and the costs seem too high.
Nonetheless, in 2008, Heinz, Frito-Lay and others all settled lawsuits over the chemical with the California attorney general, promising to reduce the levels of acrylamide in their products. For the last decade, fast food restaurants in California have been obliged to post acrylamide warnings and pay penalties for not having done so.
The streetlight effect
For me, this story illustrates a wider problem about not only food science but the scientific method in general. This is that “facts” are not quite as objective as we dearly love to believe and science is not quite so, well, scientific. This issue boils down to issues with experimental method and the purchasing by governments, lobbyists or corporations of the research results they desire.
Take that first aspect: experimental method. Most toxicity studies rely on the results obtained by giving vastly higher doses of a chemical to mice. With acrylamide, the studies showing potential cancer links in rats and mice used doses “1,000 to 100,000 times higher than the usual amounts, on a weight basis, that humans are exposed to,” one research review noted. Even water is toxic in great excess. What is dangerous at vastly higher doses may not be harmful in moderation.
Then there’s also the fact that the response of mice offers no definite information about the response of human beings. Indeed, even the response of a study group of humans will not reveal definitively how all humans may react (I can eat peanuts all day). Yet it’s difficult to test chemicals on people, so mice are made to serve instead. This is what social scientists call the “streetlight effect” – the coin was dropped in another street but it’s dark there so we’re looking for it in this lit one instead.
And there’s another reason why some questions get asked and some get quietly shelved: corporate lobbying. Take the currently hot issue of biphnol A (BPA), which most of us unwittingly get regular doses of via tinned foods. It’s been linked to diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and is considered an endocrine and hormone disruptor.
BPA has been the subject of much debate. For example, when the European Food Safety Authority concluded in 2015 that it was far less risky than some advocacy groups had suggested, they were accused of being in the pockets of the lobbyists. Maybe they listened because, not long after declaring it safe, they proposed classifying it as a reprotoxin; a substance presumed to have adverse effects on sexual function and fertility in men and women, as well as problems in children. This finding could pave the way for the chemical to be phased out in consumer products. This might sound like a good thing, but the alternatives aren’t necessarily safer.
On the contrary, the case illustrates a risk averse culture that leads to mismatches between “real hazards” and sensible policy.
Paying the piper
In this way, foods with trivial health risks (like unpasteurised dairy products) are hounded out of the market while others like red meat or high fructose corn syrup, which are far more dangerous, with risks of cancer or heart disease, remain immune. And there is little effort or interest to address foods like soya and rapeseed which are intimately part of the current system of billion dollar industrialised food production. Instead, the staples of small and medium scale producers, fish, olive oil, cereals, and anything unpasterurised, has been the subject of research that insists they must be avoided.
There is little method in this food safety madness, unless it’s that of the increasingly important role of lobbyists. These are smart people. They know that science must be obeyed. But on which point, when and for how long? The food industry has learned to co-opt scientific pronouncements for its own purposes, to power a Galbraithian manipulation of the mass market. We perceive the safety agencies as a brake on the food industry, but in reality they have become one of their tools – as the “revolving door” of senior appointments maybe indicates.
New discoveries about food risks are seamlessly incorporated into marketing strategies – “high in trans fats”, “low in salt”, “gluten free”. It really doesn’t matter what the exact finding is any more, as long as the end result is increased profits. Even at the cost of declining public health.
This article has been republished from materials provided by The Conversation. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Enjoying summer barbecues? Keep basic food safety in mind
Source : https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/enjoying-summer-barbecues-keep-basic-food-safety-in-mind/
By  Carrie Dennett (June 14, 2018)
On Nutrition
Summer’s here, which means more meals and get-togethers will move outdoors. Unfortunately, most of us don’t give food safety quite the attention it deserves when we’re picnicking by the lake or barbecuing in the backyard. Headlines about foodborne illnesses traced to a specific restaurant or food — like the recent romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak — grab our attention, but the fact is that many cases of food poisoning are simply caused by food that’s been left out for too long.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness each year, and thanks in part to warmer temperatures, rates of food poisoning go up in the summer. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and healthy while enjoying eating al fresco:
Keep it cool
Use an insulated cooler filled with ice or frozen gel packs — a full cooler stays cold longer than one that’s partially filled. Keep it out of direct sunlight, and consider packing beverages in their own cooler so the food cooler is opened less frequently. (When you do open the food cooler, close the lid quickly.) For long trips to campgrounds or vacation rentals, take two coolers — one for the food you’ll need that day, and the other for perishable foods you’ll use later in the vacation. If you have frozen food in the cooler, it also works as a cooling source.
Serve cold food in small portions, and keep the rest in the cooler or refrigerator: If you’ve made a huge vat of potato salad, don’t set it all out at once. No perishable food should sit out for more than two hours — but that time drops to one hour when the weather tops 90 degrees. And remember: You can’t tell by looking or sniffing if a food is safe to eat.
Foods that especially need to be kept cold include raw meat, poultry and seafood, along with any dishes containing eggs, mayonnaise or perishable dairy products. But you probably knew that. What you might not know is that you also need to be particularly careful with deli meats and sandwiches, along with any salads — not just mayonnaise-based salads, but any pasta or grain salads with vinaigrettes.
It also pays to play it safe with cut-up fruit and vegetables, as it’s easier for cut surfaces to harbor bacteria. That goes double for whole melons, as the knife can transfer any bacteria on the rind to the surfaces of the cut fruit. If you’re slicing a melon, first scrub it with a clean produce brush under running water. Then cut into it with a clean knife on a clean cutting board.
Grill safely
Marinate meat and poultry in the refrigerator, not on the countertop — it’s a myth that acidic marinades kill bacteria. Keep cold until ready to cook, then use a food thermometer to make sure those burgers and chicken breasts are heated thoroughly to their safe minimum internal temperatures — 145 degrees for beef, pork and lamb, 160 degrees for ground meats, and 165 degrees for poultry. When the food’s done, keep it hot until served (140°F or warmer to stay in the food safety zone) by setting it to the side of the grill rack. Finally, use fresh, clean tongs, cutting boards and plates for serving cooked food. Happy grilling!

Food Safety In-Depth Focus 2018
Source : https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/article/67647/food-safety-in-depth-focus-2018/
By New Food (June 14, 2018)
In this issue, Simon Wood takes an in-depth look at the vital role LIMS play within laboratory testing, while Bernd van der Meulen and Maria Antoinetta Ruggiero evaluate the current picture regarding food irradiation and discuss the direction in which they’d like to see legislation move within the EU.
The Importance of LIMS in Food QC and Safety Testing
From providing analytical data on the quality of a product or production process to providing critical information for research and development, laboratory testing is an intrinsic component of compliance with food regulations to promote public health and the safety of consumers. Simon Wood takes an in-depth look at this vital process.
Food irradiation legislation in the EU – an evaluation
Bernd van der Meulen and Maria Antonietta Ruggiero look at the current state of play, and discuss the direction in which they’d like to see the current framework evolve.

New HACCP Online Courses from Alchemy Academy Meet Food Safety Compliance Requirements
Source : https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180614005691/en/New-HACCP-Online-Courses-Alchemy-Academy-Meet
By businesswire.com (June 14, 2018)
Alchemy Systems, the global leader in food safety training, now offers three HACCP online courses that are all approved by the International HACCP Alliance. The Basic HACCP, Advanced HACCP, and a Juice/Beverage HACCP course are available now on Alchemy Academy, the largest professional development training portal for food safety leaders.
“Alchemy’s online HACCP courses are ideal for food safety professionals interested in a better understanding of the development, implementation, and maintenance of Food Safety HACCP programs,” said Jeff Chilton, Alchemy vice president of professional services. “However, finding the time and budget to travel away from their facility for an instructor-led course is a challenge. Now, they can take Alchemy Academy’s all-online courses whenever it’s convenient to them and their company.”
Alchemy Academy’s HACCP course instructors and instructional design team have decades of experience working in the food processing industry, with hands-on experience managing food safety and quality assurance plans. All four of the major GFSI-approved food safety standards – SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000, and IFS – require facilities to implement an effective Food Safety Plan based on CODEX HACCP requirements.
“One reason I recommend Alchemy eLearning courses is that the self-paced training lets you go back and actually absorb the information, instead of having it thrown at you once, forcing you to rapidly take notes,” said Phalone Clayton of Red Diamond Coffee and Tea.
The Basic HACCP course topics include USDA and FDA regulatory requirements, the five preliminary steps and seven principles of HACCP, validation and reassessment processes for HACCP systems, the 14 key elements of HACCP implementation, and measuring success and effectiveness of HACCP implementation.
The Advanced HACCP course is designed for food safety professionals who want to build on their understanding of basic HACCP principles and learn how to sustain and continuously improve their HACCP program. The course is also ideal for anyone who wants to refresh their HACCP training.
The HACCP courses complement Alchemy Academy’s food safety library that includes:
The only all online Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCQI) course approved by the FSPCA;
SQFI’s official Implementing SQF and Quality online courses with exams offered in English and Spanish; and
The only online food safety Internal Auditing courses.
Learn more about Alchemy Academy’s online HACCP courses.
About Alchemy Systems Alchemy is the global leader in innovative training and communications solutions that help companies engage their workforces to drive productivity and safety. Alchemy Academy provides high quality online training for food safety and operations professionals.
Contacts
Alchemy Systems
Libba Letton, 512-949-9491
libba.letton@alchemysystems.com

CPMA supports Canada’s new food safety regulations
Source : https://www.thepacker.com/article/cpma-supports-canadas-new-food-safety-regulations
By Tom Karst (June 14, 2018)
Canadian produce industry leaders expressed support for the final regulations for the Safe for Canadians Act, published June 13.
The regulations are effective Jan. 15.
The Ottawa-based Canadian Produce Marketing Association said in a news release that the association has worked with industry and government officials to support the government’s objective of a safe food supply chain while maintaining the competitiveness of industry.
“The federal government has shown tremendous leadership in developing these new food safety regulations,” CPMA president Ron Lemaire said in the release. “The new (regulations) present Canada’s most significant overhaul of food safety regulations in its history.”
CPMA said in the release it will review and monitor the new regulations and will support industry implementation and compliance. The association said it will also continue to advocate for regulatory harmonization, where appropriate, between the Canadian food safety regulations and the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act.
DRC provision
Besides addressing food safety and traceability, the regulations also include a provision about membership in the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation, according to a news release.
Canadians who buy, sell or negotiate the sale or purchase of fruits and vegetables inter-provincially, intra-provincially and internationally will be required to be a member in good standing of the DRC, unless excepted from the regulations, according to the release.
“This is an important milestone for DRC,” president and CEO Fred Webber said in the release. “When the DRC opened in 1999, one of the founding principles was to work toward single ‘body’ licensing in Canada to integrate the CFIA Licensing and Arbitration Regulations requirement for a Produce Licence with the requirement for a DRC Membership. The new regulatory requirement fulfills that objective.”
DRC offers members a common set of trading standards and member responsibilities that promote the fair and ethical trading of produce entering the North American marketplace as well as a full range of mediation and arbitration services, according to the release.
Webber said in the release that it will be important for non-Canadians to ensure when they are purchasing from or selling to an entity in Canada they only transact with a DRC member in good standing.
The release said a part of the DRC website http://fvdrc.com/sfcr/ is dedicated to the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations and includes background information, a list of exceptions as well as a self-assessment tool to assist in determining if one is subject to the regulatory requirement.

Changes to food safety rules could lead to faster recalls, federal agency says
Source : http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/food-safety-regulations-recalls-1.4703844
New regulations tighten rules around tracking, importing and exporting foods
By CBC News (June 13, 2018)
Canada is introducing new food safety regulations that the agency involved says could lead to faster recalls at the grocery store.
The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations, which were published in the Canada Gazette Wednesday morning, tighten the rules around tracking, importing and exporting foods and largely bring Canada's laws in line with the U.S.
The regulations, which come into force early next year, will require suppliers, importers and exporters to keep documents to trace food one step forward and and one step back — forward to the immediate customer and backward to the immediate supplier.
SECOND OPINIONWhy the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak may remain a mystery
U.S. has 'significant questions' about Canadian meat inspection
Officials with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency told reporters that could lead to quicker recalls of unsafe food.
The government estimates 238 Canadians die every year from food-borne illnesses, and 11,600 are hospitalized.
"The increasingly global marketplace for food commodities has created more opportunities for the introduction and spread of contaminants that may put Canadian food safety at risk," reads the regulations.
Some businesses that import food, prepare food for export or send food across provincial borders will also be required  to have a licence and a create a preventative control plan. In the plan, they'd have to detail steps on how to mitigate potential food risks.
While the regulations come into force Jan. 15, 2019 some requirements will be phased in depending on food commodity and business size.
The Safe Food for Canadians Act was passed back in 2012 and the CFIA began consultations on regulations in 2013.
The regulations combine 14 different sets of food regulations into one.

The Sprout: New food safety regulations unveiled
Source : https://ipolitics.ca/2018/06/13/the-sprout-new-food-safety-regulations-unveiled/
By Kelsey Johnson (June 13, 2018)
Good day and welcome to the Sprout, where the sun is finally shining in Edmonton and the gale-force winds we’ve been having for the past two days appear to have died down — at least for now. Thank goodness!
Here’s today’s agriculture news.
The Lead
Six years after the House of Commons passed the Safe Foods for Canadians Act — a major overhaul of this country’s food safety regulations — the legislation’s final accompanying regulations have been formally released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The regulations were published in Canada Gazette Part II this morning.
CFIA officials told reporters Wednesday morning the new regulations — including mandatory licensing and traceability requirements — should lead to product being removed from store shelves faster during times of recall. A transition period has been set for the regulations, which will not take effect until January 15, 2019.
Lyzette Lamondin, the agency’s executive director for food safety and consumer protection directorate, said Wednesday CFIA expects it will take two and a half years for the regulations to fully come into force, with the agency primed to start with regulated commodities like dairy, meat, and eggs. Lamondin also said the agency has a “high-level of confidence” Canada will maintain its food safety equivalency status with the United States.
You can find the complete regulations here. You can find today’s news release from CFIA here.
Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor were scheduled to hold a joint media announcement in Ottawa’s Byward Market today to discuss the Safe Foods for Canadians Act. The event was planned for 11 a.m. EST. Those not in Ottawa can find the announcement here.
Around Town
Caucuses meet in Ottawa.
International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne has put the legislation needed to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership on notice. The legislation, which the minister had promised to introduce to the House of Commons before its summer recess, is expected to be tabled in the Chamber as early as tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance is urging the federal government to pass the legislation before it rises for its summer recess.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is headed to Washington, D.C. where she will hold a closed door meeting with the members of the U.S. Senate foreign affairs committee. Freeland will be awarded a Foreign Policy award this evening where she is expected to give a speech on international relations. The minister told reporters in Ottawa Tuesday she is also hoping to meet with her U.S. trade counterpart Robert Lighthizer during the two-day trip.
The House of Commons agriculture committee kicks off its study looking at the mental health challenges Canadian farmers, ranchers and producers face. MPs will hear from Agriculture Canada and Farm Credit Canada officials this afternoon.
The Alberta government is looking for people to sit on its new billion-dollar local food industry council. You can find more information here.
In Canada
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with Canadian dairy farmers Tuesday afternoon. According to Dairy Farmers of Canada President Pierre Lampron, the prime minister committed to defend this country’s supply management system.
“I want to thank Prime Minister Trudeau for today’s meeting. We had a very candid conversation with him, and he clearly understands our concerns,” Lampron said in a statement. “He stated that not only does he support supply management, he is also committed to our dairy farmers, and a robust dairy sector, right here at home.”
Earlier in the day, the prime minster and the federal agriculture minister stopped by the sector’s downtown dinner where they met with producers and industry staff.

How pop-ups can maintain food safety this summer
Source : https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/article/67599/pop-up-food-safety/
By  George Hand | Sales Manager for Cleaning; Hygiene and Catering | Office Depot (June 13, 2018)
Summer is the season of al fresco dining and many caterers will be looking to take advantage of this taste for fresh air. George Hand, Sales Manager for Cleaning, Hygiene and Catering at Office Depot, tells us how food businesses that choose to venture boldly outdoors can avoid coming to regret their decision.
As temperatures rise during the summer months and more people head outdoors, the UK’s pop-up restaurant scene will be poised to take advantage of an influx of customers. However, in order to prevent damaging outbreaks of food poisoning and similar illnesses, it is essential to maintain a focus on food safety.
With Food Safety Week taking place from 10 – 16 June, there is no better time to for owners of pop-up restaurants and stalls to consider how a meticulous approach to cleaning and the right cleaning products can help them to keep customers healthy and happy, avoid reputational damage and encourage repeat business throughout the summer months.
While some people may believe that opening a pop-up restaurant is a quick way to increase profit margins and raise a business’ profile, the reality is that running a successful pop-up requires a great deal of forward planning, organisation and hard work. There is a lot to be considered when setting up a catering business and health and hygiene should be the number one priority.
With a lack of space and often limited facilities, cross contamination and general food safety can pose a significant risk to pop-up food stalls. The most common cause of food poisoning, campylobacter, can easily be spread through improper handling of poultry, meat and dairy products. Similarly, bacteria such as listeria and E.coli can be found on the most unlikely foods, including mixed salad leaves. With this in mind, efforts should always be taken to ensure that proper food hygiene procedures are followed, whether that be using the correct chopping board, keeping raw food away from ready-to-eat products or washing fresh produce before it is served.
Likewise, perishable foods must be kept at the correct temperature to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Temperature control is likely to be one of the biggest challenges in a pop-up scenario, however, methods such as ensuring chilled food is kept outside the fridge for the shortest time possible, using a thermometer to record fridge temperatures and not overfilling the fridge can minimise the risk of bacteria multiplying.
As a small customer-facing business, poor hygiene standards within pop-up restaurants will be noticed by the public and can quickly cause irreversible reputational damage. Therefore, it is vital to ensure not only that stalls comply with all food hygiene regulations, but also that worktops are kept clear and tidy – not always an easy task in the fast-paced, high-pressured environment of the hospitality industry. Educating the workforce is key to ensuring high levels of health and hygiene. Regular training should be used as an opportunity to cover new procedures as well as recapping the basics.
Hand hygiene is particularly crucial in the hospitality world, with unclean hands posing a significant threat to levels of customer safety. While the process of washing hands before and after handling food is second nature to most, many people do not realise that hands must be washed for at least 20 seconds to kill germs. Alongside training, signage can also be used to remind employees of the importance of following a thorough handwashing procedure.
In order to promote good hygiene, employers should aim to provide the best available quality of soaps and cleaning agents for the environment. Yet, it should be noted that hygiene products are not a one-size-fits-all solution and the specific needs of the environment should be considered before purchase. It is also necessary to manage stock levels so that cleaning and hygiene products are always available, especially around peak times such as bank holidays where demand may increase.
Where space is a premium, businesses may wish to consider switching from pre-diluted chemicals to concentrate alternatives and utilising a dilution control system to ensure that the correct amount of concentrate is used. Not only will this approach save space, it will also mean that products last longer than their pre-diluted counterparts, helping to cut costs and reduce environmental impact.
Maintaining a thorough approach to food safety is a full-time role and businesses should be aware that an environmental health officer may pay an impromptu visit to make sure that high standards are being maintained. By introducing policies and procedures early on and ensuring the cleaning essentials being used are fit for purpose, pop-ups can ensure that they are more than just a flash in the pan this summer.

Food Safety Matters Podcast Interviews Cargill's Mike Robach About GFSI
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/food-safety-matters-podcast-interviews-cargills-mike-robach-about-gfsi/
By Staff (June 12, 2018)
Mike Robach is vice president, corporate food safety, quality, & regulatory for Cargill based in Minneapolis, MN. Mike joined Cargill in January 2004 to lead the company’s corporate food safety and regulatory affairs programs. Since then, Mike has increased the department’s scope to include animal health and quality assurance. He continues to refocus the department toward global efforts in line with Cargill’s vision of being the global leader in nourishing people.
Mike began his career with Monsanto Company. Prior to joining Cargill, he headed up technical services for Conti Group’s meat and poultry businesses.
Mike is the past president of Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a member of the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Council Executive Committee for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and a member of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association’s Research Advisory Committee.
Mike has worked with the World Organization of Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization on harmonized animal health and food safety standards. He has worked closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding food safety policy, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, and regulatory reforms based on science. From 1995 through 2000, Mike was a member of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria in Foods.
Mike is a graduate of Michigan State University and Virginia Tech.
It was recently announced that Mike will be retiring from Cargill on August 1, 2018, but will be continuing his term as chairman of the GFSI board.
You can listen to our Food Safety Matters Podcast any time right here on our website. You can also listen and subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play or Android.

USDA to streamline Good Ag Practices with food safety rule
Source : https://www.farmanddairy.com/news/usda-to-streamline-good-ag-practices-with-food-safety-rule/493648.html
By Other News (June 11, 2018)
WASHINGTON — In an effort to streamline federal food safety requirements, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration recently announced the alignment of the USDA Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices Audit Program with the requirements of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule.
Specialty crop farmers who take advantage of a USDA Harmonized GAP audit now will have a much greater likelihood of passing a FSMA inspection as well. This means a single stop at USDA helps producers meet federal regulatory requirements, and continue to produce safe, American-grown food.
While the requirements of both programs are not identical, the relevant technical components in the FDA Produce Safety Rule are covered in the USDA H-GAP Audit Program.
Aligned topics
The alignment includes areas such as biological soil amendments; sprouts; domesticated and wild animals; worker training; health and hygiene; and equipment, tools and buildings. The alignment is intended to help farmers by enabling them to assess their food safety practices as they prepare to comply with the federal rule.
However, the USDA audits are not a substitute for FDA or state regulatory inspections.
“We’re committed to working with USDA to pursue our shared goal of advancing food safety in a way that is efficient and helps farmers meet our regulatory standards,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “(This) announcement will help FDA and states better prioritize our inspectional activities by using USDA H-GAP audit information to prioritize inspectional resources and ultimately enhance our overall ability to protect public health.”
More data
Inspections are key to helping to ensure that produce safety standards are being met, but they only provide a snapshot in time. Leveraging the data and work being done by USDA will provide USDA with more information so that the agency can develop a clearer understanding of the safety and vulnerabilities on produce farms, the commissioner said.
The Produce Safety Rule, which went into effect on Jan. 26, 2016, establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption.
The rule is part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to implement FSMA. Large farming operations were required to comply with the rule in January 2018. However, the FDA had previously announced that inspections to assess compliance with the Produce Safety Rule for produce other than sprouts would not begin until Spring 2019.
Small and very small farms have additional time to comply.
Good practices
The USDA Harmonized GAP Audit Program is an audit developed as part of the Produce GAP Harmonization Initiative, an industry-driven effort to develop food safety GAP standards and audit checklists for pre-harvest and post-harvest operations.
The Initiative is a collaborative effort on the part of growers, shippers, produce buyers, audit organizations and government agencies, including USDA.
The USDA Harmonized GAP audit, in keeping with the Initiative’s goals, is applicable to all fresh produce commodities, all sizes of on-farm operations and all regions in the United States. For more information visit: www.ams.usda.gov.

FOOD SAFETY WARNINGS ARE MAKING EATING MORE DANGEROUS
Source : https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/food-safety-warnings-dangerous-carcinogens-coffee-eu-food-standards-a8377006.html
By MARTIN COHEN (June 11, 2018)
California judges recently ruled that coffee must henceforth come with health warnings. This is definitely a landmark – but not quite in the way its proponents imagine. Rather, it underlines how food safety issues are at heart political.

Yes, coffee contains a chemical – acrylamide – which has been associated with cancer in rats. But you have to look pretty hard to find a food that doesn’t have some associated risk. Meanwhile, the EU database of “dangerous” chemicals looks more like an A-Z of everything food-wise rather than a few bad guys you might conceivably start to avoid.
Take bromate, which many baked goods contain. It is a notorious carcinogen that comes in several flavours, as it were, such as calcium, potassium, and sodium. Speaking of sodium, everyone knows that too much salt causes heart disease – but did you know that too little also increases the risk of death from heart attacks and strokes?
But let’s start with “A” and acrylamide, which can be found not merely in coffee but in fried potatoes and baked goods such as crackers, bread, biscuits, breakfast cereal, canned black olives and prune juice. The last of these I’d be prepared to give a miss, but otherwise for me, acrylamide is where the precautionary principle (that says chemicals are “guilty” until proved safe) becomes untenable. This is because the risks are tiny and the costs seem too high.
Nonetheless, in 2008, Heinz, Frito-Lay and others all settled lawsuits over the chemical with the California attorney general, promising to reduce the levels of acrylamide in their products. For the last decade, fast food restaurants in California have been obliged to post acrylamide warnings and pay penalties for not having done so.
The streetlight effect
For me, this story illustrates a wider problem about not only food science but the scientific method in general. This is that “facts” are not quite as objective as we dearly love to believe and science is not quite so, well, scientific. This issue boils down to issues with experimental method and the purchasing by governments, lobbyists or corporations of the research results they desire.
Take that first aspect: experimental method. Most toxicity studies rely on the results obtained by giving vastly higher doses of a chemical to mice. With acrylamide, the studies showing potential cancer links in rats and mice used doses “1,000 to 100,000 times higher than the usual amounts, on a weight basis, that humans are exposed to”, one research review noted. Even water is toxic in great excess. What is dangerous at vastly higher doses may not be harmful in moderation.
Then there’s also the fact that the response of mice offers no definite information about the response of human beings. Indeed, even the response of a study group of humans will not reveal definitively how all humans may react (I can eat peanuts all day). Yet it’s difficult to test chemicals on people, so mice are made to serve instead. This is what social scientists call the “streetlight effect” – the coin was dropped in another street but it’s dark there so we’re looking for it in this lit one instead.
And there’s another reason why some questions get asked and some get quietly shelved: corporate lobbying. Take the currently hot issue of bisphenol A (BPA), which most of us unwittingly get regular doses of via tinned foods. It’s been linked to diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease, and is considered an endocrine and hormone disruptor.
BPA has been the subject of much debate. For example, when the European Food Safety Authority concluded in 2015 that it was far less risky than some advocacy groups had suggested, they were accused of being in the pockets of the lobbyists. Maybe they listened because, not long after declaring it safe, they proposed classifying it as a reprotoxin; a substance presumed to have adverse effects on sexual function and fertility in men and women, as well as problems in children. This finding could pave the way for the chemical to be phased out in consumer products. This might sound like a good thing, but the alternatives aren’t necessarily safer.
On the contrary, the case illustrates a risk-averse culture that leads to mismatches between “real hazards” and sensible policy.
Paying the piper
In this way, foods with trivial health risks (such as unpasteurised dairy products) are hounded out of the market while others, such as red meat or high fructose corn syrup, which are far more dangerous, with risks of cancer or heart disease, remain immune. And there is little effort or interest to address foods like soya and rapeseed, which are an intimate part of the current system of billion-dollar industrialised food production. Instead, the staples of small and medium scale producers – fish, olive oil, cereals, and anything unpasterurised – have been the subject of research that insists they must be avoided.
There is little method in this food safety madness, unless it’s that of the increasingly important role of lobbyists. These are smart people. They know that science must be obeyed. But on which point, when, and for how long? The food industry has learned to co-opt scientific pronouncements for its own purposes, to power a Galbraithian manipulation of the mass market. We perceive the safety agencies as a brake on the food industry, but in reality they have become one of their tools – as the “revolving door” of senior appointments maybe indicates.
New discoveries about food risks are seamlessly incorporated into marketing strategies – “high in trans fats”, “low in salt”, “gluten free”. It really doesn’t matter what the exact finding is anymore, as long as the end result is increased profits. Even at the cost of declining public health.

Lawyers Retained for Melon Salmonella Lawsuit For Woman Who Purchased Melons at Walmart
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2018/lawyers-retained-melon-salmonella-lawsuit-walmart/
By Linda Larsen (June 11, 2018)
Pritzker Hageman lawyers have been retained for a Salmonella lawsuit against Walmart. A 73-year-old woman from Ohio allegedly contracted salmonellosis in May 2018 after eating precut melons purchased from a Walmart store in Findlay, Ohio. Melons and salads containing melons produced by Caito Foods have been recalled in Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio. Outbreak patients live in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri.
Their client needed surgery after she developed an abdominal aortic aneurism. She was hospitalized for days and is recovering in a nursing home. The Salmonella lawsuit will be filed today or tomorrow.
She is allegedly part of a multistate Salmonella Adelaide outbreak that is associated with those products that were recalled on June 9, 2018.  The fruit that is part of the recall includes cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, and fruit salads that contain those products.
Attorney Fred Pritzker, President of Pritzker Hageman, said, “Many outbreaks in the past few years have been linked to contaminated produce, more specifically, melons. People can become seriously ill and even die after contracting Salmonella infections and other types of infections from pathogens on produce.”
Fred, who is a food safety expert, said, “We have had hundreds of clients sickened in this way and have filed and won many Salmonella lawsuits over the years. Our clients have had to undergo surgeries and have spent time in intensive care units. Many have been hospitalized for days and weeks. They have suffered a great deal of pain and their families have been put under great strain. One of our clients, a child, needed brain surgery after salmonellosis. We believe these outbreaks can be prevented if growers, producers, and processors follow basic sanitation practices.”
The recalled melon products have also been sold at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon stores. In this outbreak, 66% of patients have been hospitalized.
Fred added, “That is a very high hospitalization rate for a Salmonella outbreak. Typically, about 22% of patients need to be hospitalized after they contract this infection. We don’t yet know the rate is so high. It’s possible that the fruit is contaminated with a large number of bacteria. Or this strain of Salmonella, Adelaide, could be especially virulent. People who need hospitalization usually develop sepsis, a blood infection, or become dehydrated. Others, like our client, need surgery because of serious complications such as meningitis, endocarditis, or osteomyelitis.”
And after a patient recovers, they may suffer from long term health consequences. “Some of our patients have developed Reiter’s syndrome, which can lead to reactive arthritis and eye problems,” Fred said. “Others developed high blood pressure or irritable bowel syndrome. And research has shown that Salmonella could damage DNA.”
If you or someone you know has eaten precut fruit purchased from the above retail outlets and has been experiencing illness, especially vomiting and diarrhea, see your doctor. This illness should be recorded on your medical chart in case complications arise in the future.

 

 

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