Food safety activist: ‘There will always be a risk’ with recycled plastics
Source : https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy-environment/interview/food-safety-activist-there-will-always-be-a-risk-with-recycled-plastics/
By Frédéric Simon | EURACTIV.com (Sep 3, 2018)
The risk of toxic substances contaminating food already exists with virgin plastic, so it will only be higher with recycled packaging coming from old plastics that may contain banned chemicals, says Floriana Cimmarusti.
Floriana Cimmarusti is Secretary General of Safe Food Advocacy Europe (SAFE), a non-profit organisation based in Brussels. She spoke with EURACTIV’s energy and environment editor, Frédéric Simon.
•Some 140 new recycling processes will soon be formally authorised for use in ‘food contact applications’ such as packaging
•Upcoming EU decision will protect companies against potential litigation
•Risk assessment procedure used by EFSA doesn’t give full certainty about safety
•European Parliament should be involved so consumer’s health can be properly protected
Companies like Tetra Pak have stayed away from using recycled plastics in food packaging until now because of safety concerns. Now, they seem ready to reconsider their stance ahead of an EU decision to authorise more than 100 “safe” recycling processes for food contact applications. So, what’s changed? Have recycling processes now become safer?
No, it’s just that those recycling processes will now be formally authorised for use in food contact applications. So Tetra Pak and other companies will be legally protected if they use recycled plastics which have been produced using those authorised processes.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) already gave a favourable opinion on those recycling processes, so as soon as the European Commission will approve them using the comitology procedure, it will become law. Legally speaking, food packaging companies will then be able to use as much recycled plastic as they want. And in case something goes wrong, they will be protected by EU law against potential litigation by consumer groups.
So I think the reason is a legal one. Without such kind of clearance, it would be very risky for companies to use recycled plastics.
Food packaging companies have no interest in seeing a scandal erupting about the safety of their products. So they must have confidence that at least some of these processes are indeed safe.
Yes, I’m sure they believe the system is safe. But as soon as the EU approves the process, they won’t face any legal risk, which is a key point for them.
Recycled plastics can come from very different places and contamination can happen very easily, for example when people mix up the trash that goes into their recycling bags. Can a standard process approved at EU level actually guarantee that no contamination takes place?
PET is the one kind of plastic which is easiest to clean up in the recycling process, and therefore considered the safest after recycling.
But there will always be a risk. Many types of plastics absorb chemicals during waste management, and it is very difficult during recycling to eliminate them. For instance, it is a challenge to introduce sorting systems that separate food contact materials from non-food grade plastics. The risk of toxic substances contaminating food is already there with virgin plastic, so it will only be higher with recycled plastics made of old plastics which may contain extremely toxic and banned chemicals.
For example, the levels of oligomers (unintentional byproducts of plastic that migrate into food) are higher in recycled plastic than in virgin plastic. Some tests have also shown that levels of migration into vegetable oils are higher with recycled plastic than with virgin plastic.
Moreover, a lot of non-identified contaminants have been found in recycled plastics which we do not find in virgin plastic. Those contaminants come from cross-contamination during waste management.
Finally, a lot of additives are found in recycled PET which are absent in virgin plastics or present in much lower quantities, and those additives have been proven to have higher migration rates in recycled plastics than in virgin plastics.
So, the contamination risk with recycled plastic is clearly higher than with virgin plastic.
The European Commission is preparing to approve 140 new recycling processes for use in food contact applications like packaging. EFSA has already given a favourable opinion to all but 3 of them, where the assessment was inconclusive. What do you know about these 140 recycling processes? Are they really safe?
I don’t think the risk assessment procedure used by EFSA can give us full certainty that recycled plastics are safe.
As I said, many types of plastics absorb chemicals during use and waste management, which are difficult to remove during recycling. Furthermore, what’s important to remember is that EFSA’s risk assessment focusses on the start of the recycling process, not on the finished product that comes out at the end of it. So there is no serious analysis of the chemicals at the end of each recycling process. And this data is currently lacking. Moreover, cumulative exposure is not taken into account by EFSA when exposures are estimated.
Now, most of those recycling processes concern PET plastic, which is one of the few exceptions that allow a rather thorough cleaning during recycling. However, even in PET, the polymers in plastics often degrade during use and recycling. And this can result in oligomers that may migrate into food.
There are also some examples showing the deliberate recycling of non-food plastics into new food packaging. Brominated flame retardants have regularly been found in plastic items intended for food contact materials, which is a clear indication that waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) has been used in the process. And this is clearly not allowed. So better enforcement is needed to improve this situation.
Has there been a sufficient amount of scrutiny on these 140 recycling processes cleared by EFSA?
No, because of EFSA’s questionable risk assessment procedure. We should not forget that some of the data submitted to EFSA by applicant companies are trade secrets covered by confidentiality, like for glyphosate.
In the case of glyphosate, part of the data – the important one – was redacted from the text and was showing in black. I’m afraid that the same is happening with those recycling processes. So we cannot read all the data. And there is no scientific review of the data submitted done by an independent laboratory.
Clearly, there is not enough research to tell us whether recycled plastics are dangerous or not for consumers. So I think it’s a bit too fast to adopt 140 methodologies in such a short time. We just don’t know how much chemicals will still be there at the end of the recycling process and which kind of migration will happen in food.
In an ideal world, how would a safe recycling process for food contact applications work?
An independent research centre should conduct the risk assessment. And the data required for this assessment should also be collected by an independent organisation, not by the industry applying for the approval of the recycling process.
An independent laboratory should do the research, and the applicant companies could pay for it. We shouldn’t just trust the research done by companies, which is what is currently happening.
We believe there should be no trade-off between consumer safety and economic profit.
The Commission wants to use a fast-track approval procedure for those 140 recycling processes, meaning the Parliament and Council will not have the opportunity to scrutinise the decisions before they are adopted. How does that make you feel?
We do not feel comfortable about this. The European Parliament should be involved so consumer’s health can be properly protected. It’s really a pity that the Parliament will have no say on this.
Plastic is light and cheap, which makes it a convenient option for food packaging. So what are the green alternatives?
One alternative could be glass because it causes no migration of chemicals into food. With aluminium or plastic, there is. Of course, it wouldn’t be practical to pack everything in glass – it’s heavy, it can break, etc. And the problem with bio-based alternatives is that they are not strong enough.
But there are some alternatives. We’re doing a campaign with restaurants and bars to encourage them to use alternatives to single-use plastic cups for coffee and tea, for example bamboo. When you put something warm into plastic, there is more migration of chemicals so the campaign raises awareness about alternatives.
You can also use reusable steel containers or try to sell as many products as possible in bulk. More and more shops sell products like pasta, nuts, sweets or rice in bulks that customers put in cotton bags which they bring to do their groceries.
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Drive to teach food safety to housewives
Source : https://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/abu-dhabi/drive-to-teach-food-safety-to-housewives
By Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi (Sep 2, 2018)
The Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) has launched a community initiative 'Salamat Zadkom', to teach housewives and housemaids the basic skills and practices of preparing and handling food so as to prevent contamination and promote food safety at homes.
The course, a part of the Year of Zayed initiative, will be offered at eight accredited training institutes specialising in preparing housewives for the labour market.
Through a six-hour intensive course, the trainee will be introduced to the most important safe practices while handling food at home, which promotes community awareness on food safety issues.
Thamer Rashed Al Qasemi, ADFCA's spokesperson, said the initiative comes within the ADFCA's activities and efforts for achieving food security and sustainable agricultural sector.
"By finding innovative and effective ways for spreading sound food practices, the initiative reflects the authority's role in serving the society."
Al Qasemi added: "Through this initiative, the ADFCA seeks to reach the last element in the food chain, to raise his awareness about the sound food practices to get safe and healthy food. It also aims at helping consumer to avoid contamination and damage of food while handling it at home.
According to the ADFCA, all who wish to participate in the course should register at one of the accredited institutes distributed across the three regions in Abu Dhabi.
"The course will be available in eight different languages - Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi, Malayalam, Bengali, Ethiopian, and visual language," explained Al Qasemi.
Aisha Mohammed, 27, an Emirati resident in Abu Dhabi, said: "This is really a good initiative and I believe it would promote good safety in homes. I will register my housemaid for this course so she learns the relevant skills on handling food."
Egyptian housewife, Aminah Zainab said she would talk to her husband and see if she can enroll for the course. "Food safety is an important aspect in homes and many people have no professional skills on handling and storing food," said Zainab. "And if such an opportunity for learning good safety practices comes, I would definitely want to be part of the beneficiaries."
Through its close partnership with the private sector, the ADFCA has trained more than 270,000 food handlers at its licensed training centres across the emirate. It coordinated with a number of institutes and training centers and provide them with specialised training materials in several languages, to ease the process of communicating information to all trainees of different nationalities and cultures.
Opinion: Food for Thought: Copenhagen World Food Summit
Source : https://news.cgtn.com/news/3d3d774e3255444f79457a6333566d54/share_p.html
By Peter Chi (Aug 30, 2018)
Editor's note: Peter Chi is a research fellow at the National Image Research Center of Tsinghua University and the CEO of Beijing Lucky Earth International Culture Co., Ltd. This article reflects the author's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.
Copenhagen is hosting the 3rd World Food Summit on August 30, 2018. The theme for this year’s two-day summit is “Better food for more people”.
As the world's population grows, it has become more and more difficult to match with the demand for safe food and clean water. According to the population forecast by the UN, the world's population will grow to 8.4 Billion by 2030. Not only will it have a big impact on the agricultural industry, but also on restaurants as well.
Despite of our current farming technologies and efforts, we are still unable to eradicate hunger on our planet. On the one hand, we have starving children around the world, and on the other hand, we waste a lot of food in industrialized countries. Not only do food shortages exist but also food safety is a big concern, as one out of ten people still get sick as a consequence of eating contaminated food. We have been facing these problems for decades, but there is no perfect solution yet.
China has done an amazing job of lifting millions of its people out of poverty during the last decade alone, not to mention since the founding of the People's Republic of China. By increasing the living standards of its people, China has also increased its demand for better and more healthy food. Chinese people are getting more aware of food quality and food safety, especially because of incidents regarding food safety in restaurants.
There is a growing trend in China of more people consider buying organic food, even if it’s more expensive. The word “organic”, gives them the guarantee that no pesticides, fertilizers, irradiation or synthetic food additives were used during the farming process.
As China has the largest population in the world, it is a gargantuan challenge to provide safe and healthy food for everyone. Even with its huge agriculture industry, China is still very dependent on imports from other countries. The demand is just too big, and it seems certain to get even bigger in the future.
One possible solution for creating safe crops in China, is to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and organic pesticides, like essential oils from plants, in farming. Flying drones and an AI system will be responsible of monitoring fields and the use of natural organic pesticides, but only on crops which are infected by pests. Even if it will be more costly, most people are willing to pay the price for safe food.
Another big problem in China, aside from contaminated crops, is food safety in restaurants. With incidents about reused ingredients like oil and recurring hygiene problems, it has become a big concern for the people to eat outside their homes. Compared to the West, China is lenient when it comes to restaurant owners.
Because the punishments are weak and ineffective, some owners do not abide by the health and sanitation regulations and are content to pay small fines if caught. By increasing the punishment, such as closing down restaurants and imposing large fines, restaurant owners are more likely to abide by the health and sanitation regulations.
China has one of the most diverse and complex cuisines in the world, and almost every city has its own special way of preparing food. It’s a shame not to feel comfortable eating outside the home and missing out trying these delicacies.
To summarize, with our growing population, it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide safe and healthy food for everyone. By using new technologies and organic pesticides, we can prevent contaminated crops and increase the amount of safe food. Also by increasing the punishment for restaurant owners who do not abide by the regulations, we can create a safe environment for people to eat.
Countries around the world are aware of these issues and, through these summits, they are trying to find new ways and solutions to make our world a better place.
What's your food safety IQ?
Source : http://www.hpj.com/general/what-s-your-food-safety-iq/article_9dfbcd82-b907-5d26-bc7b-f2cdc2422c96.html
By Barbara L. Ames, Kansas State University Research and Extension (Sep 1, 2018)
September is National Food Safety Education Month. How much do you know about protecting yourself and your family from foodborne illness?
Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths in this country can be traced to foodborne pathogens. Even though the U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, organisms that you can’t see, smell, or taste—bacteria, viruses, and tiny parasites—are everywhere in the environment and some of these can make us sick. Foodborne illness costs Americans billions of dollars each year, but there are simple precautions you can take to help protect yourself and your family.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education shares these tips to help keep you safe:
Suds up for 20 seconds. Wash hands with soap under warm, running water before and after handling food to fight bacteria.
Start with a clean scene. Wash cutting boards, dishes, countertops and utensils with hot water and soap.
Keep foods separate. Separate raw meat, seafood and eggs from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, grocery bags and in your refrigerator.
Don’t rinse meat or poultry. It is not a safety step and can spread germs around your kitchen.
Keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees F or below. Refrigerate leftovers in shallow containers within two hours.
Rinse fresh fruits and veggies under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
Read and follow package cooking instructions. The instructions may call for a conventional oven, convection oven, toaster oven or microwave, and it’s important to use the proper appliance to ensure even cooking.
Place meat and poultry in plastic bag provided at the meat counter, and keep it in the plastic bag in your refrigerator at home.
Never defrost at room temperature. Safely defrost food in the refrigerator, in cold water or in the microwave.
Use a food thermometer. Food is safely cooked when it reaches a high enough internal temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that causes illness.
Clean out your fridge. No leftovers past 3 to 4 days. If foods will not be eaten soon, consider freezing them instead of refrigerating.
Following these simple precautions takes just a few extra minutes, but can protect your family from serious illness.
You can learn more about food safety and view the “Story of Your Dinner” video at www.fightbac.org/food-safety-education/the-story-of-your-dinner/.
Make food safety a part of your Labor Day activities
Source : https://lancasteronline.com/features/food/make-food-safety-a-part-of-your-labor-day-activities/article_e713c918-ab6f-11e8-8194-cfd832f752d1.html
By MARY ELLEN WRIGHT | Staff Writer (Aug 29, 2018)
If your Labor Day weekend activities take you outdoors to a park or campground where you’ll be both cooking raw food and serving food you’ve prepared ahead, there are some simple precautions that will help keep you and your family safe.
These tips can keep illness-causing bacteria from growing in your holiday-weekend food.
Stacy Reed, an educator with Penn State Extension in Lancaster specializing in food safety and nutrition, says you want to keep food out of the temperature “danger zone.” That’s between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
“We really don’t want food out for more than two hours,” Reed says, “or one hour if the temperature outdoors is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.”
“So, keeping food in coolers or keeping food on ice is really important to make sure we can keep it cold during the time at the outdoor event,” she says.
“Also keeping food covered would be a good tip to keep away pests, like flies, and storing food in the shade instead of in direct sunlight,” she says.These rules apply to the main dishes you’re cooking, to side dishes like potato or chicken salad or to desserts with such perishable ingredients as dairy products in them, she says.
Pre-prepared foods you’re serving chilled can be kept in shallow containers filled with ice, Reed says. But, Reed says, you should drain off any water formed when the ice melts, in order to keep only ice in that container.
Meat, poultry and seafood
It’s important to keep your fully pre-prepared picnic foods separate from the raw or partially cooked meat or poultry you’ll be cooking on the grill, to avoid cross contamination, Reed says.
Transporting these two food groups to your event in separate coolers will help keep any bacteria from the raw meat or its juices from getting into the ready-to-eat food you’re serving, she adds.
When you go to your outdoor cookout, don’t leave the meat thermometer on your kitchen counter at home.
“Make sure you are taking a thermometer with you so you can make sure that your meats are cooked properly before serving,” Reed says. “You need to hit that minimum internal temperature.”
Those safe minimum cooking temperatures vary by the type of meat, poultry or seafood you’re cooking, she says. You can find some of the cooking temperatures below, and visit bit.ly/GovFoodSafety for further information.
Make sure you have a water source — or bring a portable one, or individual hand towelettes, with you — to wash your hands while handling food during your picnic or cookout, Reed says.
And, she adds, be sure to have enough utensils and platters for your cooking and serving needs.
“Make sure you have a utensil (to serve) each object,” she says, “so you’re not sharing utensils” among the different foods.
In addition, you’ll need two separate plates or platters for the food you’ll be cooking at your picnic site.
“You don’t want to put the cooked food back on the platter where you had raw food,” Reed says. “That can create an issue with cross-contamination.”
Also, Reed says, be sure you’re being careful with those popular marinades in which you’re prepping your meat, poultry or seafood before cooking.
“You want to keep marinated food cold and in the refrigerator while marinating or while you’re transporting it somewhere,” Reed says. “Marinades can be a breeding ground for bacteria.”
Also, she notes, “if you’re going to be using the marinade as a sauce to eat with, you’re going to want to have made either a separate batch” or reserve some of the marinade before putting it on the raw meat, she says.
Don’t use any of the marinade in which you soaked the raw meat as a serving sauce, Reed cautions. Throw it away, since it can contain bacteria from the raw meat it flavored.
USDA FSIS Clears Up Inaccurate Media Reports Regarding Poultry Sampling Results
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/usda-fsis-clears-up-inaccurate-media-reports-regarding-poultry-sampling-results/
By Staff (Aug 29, 2018)
USDA FSIS Clears Up Inaccurate Media Reports Regarding Poultry Sampling Results
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), in a letter authored by Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Carmen Rottenberg, is clearing up faulty information that was disseminated last year regarding poultry sampling test results.
The information was released in March 2017 in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The information, which FSIS calls “unconfirmed, preliminary test results for samples taken from poultry”, continues to be passed around as truth. USDA says this information is false.
The agency is specifically referring to a Consumer Reports story “claiming that the poultry and meat you purchase in the grocery store and feed your families could contain harmful drug residues.”
“This story is sensational and fear-based infotainment aimed at confusing shoppers with pseudoscience and scare tactics. Consumer Reports admits in their closing paragraph that the real agenda behind this piece is to convince Americans to eat less meat. Shame on Consumer Reports for attempting to advance a rhetoric that lacks scientific support or data, at the expense of American producers and the 9,000 food safety professionals who ensure the safety of meat and poultry in this country every day.”
FSIS goes on to explain in detail how their meat and poultry sampling process works.
USDA has been ensuring the safety of meat and poultry since 1906, with inspectors, scientists, and experts making food safety determinations daily. FSIS has a rigorous drug residue testing program and has been conducting drug residue testing since 1958. When FSIS tests for residues, USDA inspectors collect meat and poultry samples at multiple points in the process, including in the final packages, before they are shipped to grocery stores. The samples are sent to FSIS labs, where we test for more than 200 veterinary drug and chemical residues as well as numerous harmful pathogens. Our intensive testing process includes a preliminary test, or screening test, followed, when positive, by confirmatory testing. The screening instrument very often produces a response, which is why the agency completes the screening process, using controls and other evidence, to determine if the responses are confirmed and reproducible. The results of this initial screen, without the further testing layers, are the data that was released in error. FSIS scientists spoke with Consumer Reports multiple times to explain this information, but Consumer Reports scientists failed to evaluate all the scientific results and methods objectively.
FSIS performed the complete screening and testing process on all the samples represented. The final, confirmed and validated test results show are that there were no drug residues in the chicken. If violative drug residues are found in any meat or poultry product, FSIS does not allow that product to be sold for human food.
In fact, all meat and poultry products that are being tested for drug residues are not allowed to leave the company’s control until FSIS labs determine that the product is safe and wholesome. If samples are violative, the company is not permitted to ship any of these meat and poultry products to the grocery store.
FSIS also revealed that two of the consulting scientists featured in the Consumer Reports story were former senior managers at FSIS.
Despite the spread of inaccurate information, FSIS says the agency will continue to share its data and results with the public in the name of transparency.
See Rottenberg's letter in its entirety at USDA.FSIS.gov.
To Ensure Food Safety, Train and Train Again
Source : https://progressivegrocer.com/ensure-food-safety-train-and-train-again
By Kathy Hayden (Aug 29, 2018)
Whether the issue is cleaning sharp, crevice-filled equipment or preparing ready-to-eat foods, the biggest piece in preventing foodborne illness outbreaks is staff training.
This best practice needs to happen on the store level and under the guidance of well-trained managers, asserts Julie Heinrichs, product line manager for food machines at Troy, Ohio-based Hobart.
Often with bigger chain operators, equipment manufacturers will provide on-site training, as well as training videos or YouTube links. Safety reminders posted near the equipment are also helpful, as are cleaning schedules, checklists and visual instructions for disassembly.
“We recommend as many layers of training as possible to minimize any risk of injury,” stresses Heinrichs.
The final layer of training is consumer education, which Arlington, Va.-based Food Marketing Institute offers through its work with the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE) to ensure that consumers employ best food safety practices once they bring home their groceries.
Food Fraud Quick Bites: A Look at the Latest Targets
Source : https://foodsafetytech.com/column/food-fraud-quick-bites-a-look-at-the-latest-targets/
By Karen Everstine, Ph.D. (Aug 28, 2018)
Recent food fraud news includes the seizure of a million bags of fraudulently labeled and expired rice in Kenya, fraudulent spices found in a warehouse in India, and a U.S. grocery store chain sued for selling manuka honey that wasn’t 100% manuka. In Spain, tuna intended for canning was dyed and diverted to be sold as fresh and in China, 8,000 bottles of counterfeit wine were seized by the local food and drug administration. In Greece, 17 teenagers became ill after drinking alcoholic beverages containing methanol. Recently published journal articles on detection methods have looked at adulteration of honey with sugar syrups, meat adulteration with other species, authentication of products containing truffles, and Arabica coffee authenticity. One group of researchers evaluated a method to authenticate the botanical and geographic origin of hops.
Vanilla prices have been high, increasing the incentive to substitute natural vanilla extracts with similar flavors. A search of the Food Fraud Database shows a range of fraudulent adulterants associated with vanilla extract: Coumarin, ethyl maltol, ethyl vanillin, maltol, vanillic alcohol, and vanillin (natural or synthetic). Recently published authentication methods include GC-VUV and analysis of stable isotopes of carbon and hydrogen (with GC-IRMS).
In 2004 (another period of high vanilla prices), a company that sourced vanilla beans from Indonesia for use in manufacturing vanilla extract identified mercury contamination in two lots of beans they had received. Mercury was presumably added to increase the weight of the beans. The company quarantined all beans and products that had been manufactured from them. They also had to shut down flavor production to clean and decontaminate the processing equipment.
Due to their high value and physical form (they are often sold in ground or liquid extract form), herbs and spices have a long history of fraudulent adulteration. Many countries have publicly reported being affected by food fraud in herbs and spices over the past 10 years.
Mitigation measures for products at high risk for fraud include putting in place raw material specifications that include authenticity criteria, implementing analytical surveillance, establishing strong supplier relationships and audit programs, and increasing supply chain transparency.
The Decernis Food Fraud Database is a continuously updated collection of food fraud records curated specifically to support vulnerability assessments. Information is gathered from the scientific literature, regulatory reports, media publications, judicial records, and trade associations from around the world and is searchable by ingredient, adulterant, country, and hazard classification.
Food Safety Matters Podcast Interviews Frank Yiannas, Walmart's VP of Food Safety
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/food-safety-matters-podcast-interviews-frank-yiannas-walmarts-vp-of-food-safety/
By Staff (Aug 28, 2018)
Food Safety Matters Podcast Interviews Frank Yiannas, Walmart's VP of Food Safety
Frank Yiannas is the vice president of food safety at Walmart—the world's largest food retailer. In that role, Frank oversees all food safety—as well as other public health functions—for Walmart, serving over 200 million customers around the world on a weekly basis. His scope of responsibilities includes food safety oversight of Walmart’s stores, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Clubs. He is also charged with training and education of associates, food safety oversight of thousands of food suppliers, and a number of critical regulatory compliance issues.
Prior to joining Walmart in 2008, Frank was the director of safety and health for The Walt Disney Company, where he worked for 19 years. In 2001, under his tenure, Walt Disney World received the prestigious Black Pearl Award for corporate excellence in food safety by the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).
As a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, Frank is known for his ability to build partnerships. He is also known for his innovative approaches to food safety. In 2008, Frank was given the Collaboration Award by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He is the 2007 recipient of the NSF International Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Food Safety, and the 2015 Industry Professional Food Safety Hero Award by STOP Foodborne Illness. Frank is also a past president of IAFP and a past vice chair of the Global Food Safety Initiative. He is also an adjunct professor in the food safety program at Michigan State University (MSU), and in 2017 was awarded the MSU Outstanding Faculty Award.
Frank has authored two books—Food Safety Culture, Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System, and Food Safety = Behavior, 30 Proven Techniques to Enhance Employee Compliance.
Frank is a registered microbiologist with the American Academy of Microbiology and holds memberships with several professional associations. Frank received his B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of Central Florida and his Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida.
Demand for Imported Food Growing Steadily
Source : http://www.thecattlesite.com/news/53260/demand-for-imported-food-growing-steadily/
By thecattlesite.com (Aug 28, 2018)
CHINA - Chinese consumers' demand for imported food has been growing steadily as the standard of living in China improves, according to a statement from the General Administration of Customs.
China's total food imports amounted to $58.3 billion last year, up by 25 per cent year-on-year, while the annual average growth rate over the previous five years was 5.7 per cent, data from the administration showed.
The European Union remained China's largest supplier of food, followed by the United States, New Zealand, Indonesia and Canada. Meat, oil, dairy products and seafood were among the most popular food imports in China.
Chen Weinian, purchasing director at Shanghai's City Shop, says foreign food used to be consumed mainly by foreign expatriates but is now favored by many more Chinese.
A separate report from the National Development and Reform Commission said the country's Engel's coefficient, which measures food expenditure as a proportion of total household spending, dropped to 29.3 per cent in 2017 - below the benchmark of 30 percent set by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations for the first time and falling into the range for a wealthy life.
Although the proportion of income spent on food fell, Chinese have become increasingly picky about their food consumption and want diversity and exotic tastes.
For instance, over the past few years, China has increased its fruit imports from Latin America. The country's avocado imports from Mexico, Chile and Peru in 2017 alone reached 30,000 metric tons.
China announced a series of measures to reduce tariffs and expand imports at the 2018 Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, including a 55.9 per cent average decline of the most-favored-nation treatment rates for various sectors, including food and beverages.
In addition, with the development of cross-border e-commerce and custom transportation, buying imported food is becoming more convenient and efficient.
China has identified 22 cities, including Beijing, Nanjing in Jiangsu province and Wuhan in Hubei province, as venues for comprehensive cross-border e-commerce pilot zones.
The growth rates of imports and exports in these pilot zones remained above 100 per cent in the past two years.
Platforms for cross-border e-commerce are also thriving. As of May, more than 400 third-party platforms and 20,000 transnational e-commerce enterprises had been newly established in the first 13 pilot zones.
Cainiao, a cross-border e-commerce network of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has built 110 global warehouses and 74 cross-border logistics lines, and offers services in 224 countries and regions.
As a crucial part of food imports, Chinese customs authorities have been striving to accelerate transportation and strengthen surveillance to ensure the quality and freshness of imported food.
"We have opened 'green channels' for imported food and simplified the import procedures for food products to limit the process from arrival to release to just one hour," says Zhang Xin, vice-chief of Zhengzhou customs in Henan province.
Zhang adds that in the first half of the year, they reduced the average time for an imported product to go through customs to 6.69 hours, down 45.8 per cent year-on-year.
Safety is a priority for China's booming imported food sector. As a watchdog of food safety, the General Administration of Customs prevented several major imported food safety problems in 2017.
The administration further bolstered the regulation of imported food and facilitated cooperation with international counterparts to ensure food safety, according to its report released in July.
In 2017, a total of 49,000 metric tons of substandard imported food products from 94 countries and regions was seized by China's customs, according to the administration.
The administration also makes regular reports on the quality and safety of imported food to promote communication and mutual understanding between the government, enterprises and consumers.
Food Safety Tips to Keep Foodborne Illness Out of the Classroom
Source : https://www.tapinto.net/towns/hackensack/sections/food-and-drink/articles/food-safety-tips-to-keep-foodborne-illness-out-of-the-classroom-3
By USDA (Aug 27, 2018)
It’s the start of the new school year, which means new teachers, a bunch of homework assignments and the never-ending dilemma of what to include to make a healthy and safe school lunch. The USDA has provided a common sense list of ways to protect students and teaching faculty.
“As a mother, I understand the stress that comes with the start of a new school year, but preparing a safe lunch doesn’t have to be a challenge,” said Carmen Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA. “Simple steps like washing your hands and keeping food at the correct temperature can stop the spread of bacteria and keep your children safe from foodborne illness.”
Handwashing is the first and easiest step to avoid foodborne illnesses. A recent study by USDA found that 97 percent of the times participants should have washed their hands they did not do so correctly or at all. This poor hand hygiene caused participants to cross-contaminate other spice containers, refrigerator handles, even ready-to-eat foods and other areas of their kitchen with a harmless tracer bacteria.
Because bacteria can live on surfaces for up to 32 hours, it’s easy to contaminate sandwich bread and lunch meat when preparing your child’s lunch. But this can be avoided by following a few basic food safety tips.
Back to School Food Safety Tips
•Make sure lunch bags and coolers are clean before packing. Pack moist towelettes so children can clean hands before and after eating.
•Use an insulated lunch bag or cooler and at least two cold sources, such as freezer packs, for lunches that contain perishable food items like luncheon meats, eggs, cheese or yogurt. This will help keep food safely cold at 40°F or below until lunch time.
•If packing a hot lunch, like soup, chili or stew, use an insulated container to keep it hot. Fill the container with boiling water, let stand for a few minutes, empty, and then put in the piping hot food. Tell children to keep the insulated container closed until lunchtime to keep the food at 140°F or above.
•For safety, instruct children to discard all leftover food and used food packaging.
Food Safety Basics
Keep these basic food safety steps in mind when packing lunches, making dinner and preparing food all year round.
Clean: Wash hands with soap and warm water, and surfaces with soap and hot water before and after handling food. Rinse raw produce in water before eating, cutting or cooking.
Separate: Avoid spreading bacteria from one food product to another. Use two separate cutting boards — one for raw meat and poultry, and one for produce or ready to eat foods.
Cook: The only way to make sure meat and poultry is safe to eat is to ensure it reaches the safe minimum internal temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria. If sending soups, stews or chili to school, be sure to heat the food to 165°F, as measured by a food thermometer, before pouring it into an insulated container.
Chill: At room temperature, bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes. To avoid this, make sure to chill all perishable foods within two hours (one hour in temperatures above 90°F). Discard any perishable foods that were left at room temperature longer than that.
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