FoodHACCP Newsletter



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10/01 2018 ISSUE:828

 

Food safety course offered for small producers
Source : https://kiowacountypress.net/content/food-safety-course-offered-small-producers
By kiowacountypress.net
Colorado State University Extension is offering a three-hour course for small producers interested in bringing their home-made foods to market.
The class is offered by CSU Extension in Pueblo County and covers the food safety training required by Colorado's Cottage Food Act.
Extension Agent Laura Krause will instruct the course November 16 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the CSU Extension office located at 701 Court Street, Suite C, in Pueblo.
Participants will learn which foods are permitted under the Cottage Foods Act, requirements for listing ingredients on labels, as well as basic food safety needed for a home business.
Registration is available online at https://cottagefoodsnovember.eventbrite.com. A $40 fee is charged.
Additional information is available by calling 719-583-6566.

E. coli levels in private water supplies in Scotland deemed ‘unacceptable’
Source : https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/09/e-coli-levels-in-private-water-supplies-in-scotland-unacceptable-dwqr/
By News Desk (Sep 29, 2018)
Findings of E. coli in more than one in 10 tests on private water supplies in Scotland is “unacceptable,” according to the body that regulates water quality.
A report from Scotland’s Drinking Water Quality Regulator (DWQR) found that in samples taken last year for E. coli from regulated private water supplies, 11.5 percent, or 260 samples, did not comply with drinking water standards.
DWQR said this indicates they are not receiving the necessary treatment to make water safe. The regulator added the figure has not changed for the past three years suggesting limited progress has been made.
Discussions with local authorities on private water supplies with E. coli failures for a number of years in succession identified fluctuating raw water quality, inadequate or inconsistent treatment processes and poor or no maintenance of treatment systems are common causes of failure.
Where there is a need for immediate action to safeguard health in the short term, users are advised to boil water or to use an alternative supply, including bottled water.
Coliform and metals
A total of 46,470 tests were taken from regulated private water supplies in 2017 and 95 percent met the required standard. The number of supplies sampled for at least one parameter was at its lowest level in the past five years.
DWQR found 22 percent of 2,256 samples were not compliant due to coliform bacteria. This means the disinfection process may not be operating effectively or water was contaminated after disinfection.
Many private water supplies did not comply with standards for metals. Iron (10.8 percent of samples failing), manganese (6.3 percent failed) and aluminum (2 percent failed) are mainly naturally occurring and many private water supplies have no treatment process capable of removing them.
Regulated private water supplies provide more than 10 cubic meters per day, serve more than 50 people or a commercial or public activity.
Around 3.6 percent of the Scottish population receive water from a private supply and not from Scottish Water. It is estimated that around 200,000 people rely on a private supply for drinking water, with thousands more using them occasionally, typically in holiday accommodation.
Sue Petch, from Drinking Water Quality Regulator, said a grant is available towards the cost of improvements.
“I am concerned with the poor quality of private water supplies, particularly the number that tested positive for E. coli and the health risks that its presence indicates. There is much that people responsible for a private water supply can do to protect water sources and ensure that there is an appropriate and robust treatment process in place together with a plan to ensure that this continues to be the case under all circumstances,” she said.
The rules governing the quality of regulated private water supplies came into force in October 2017 and an increase in formal enforcement action is expected.
Based on the report for public water supplies in 2017, there were 22 detections of coliforms at treatment works, representing an improvement on 2016’s performance but more than in 2015.  One sample contained E. coli compared with two in 2016. Cryptosporidium was reported in 49 final water samples of which five were subject to ultra violet light treatment and inactivated. This figure is almost half that of the previous year.
Five samples from service reservoirs contained E. coli and 68 samples contained coliforms, compared with 53 in 2016.
Devolved powers after Brexit?
Meanwhile, Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell has voiced concerns on EU withdrawal plans for food safety and standards.
Speaking at the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland Food Update conference this week he said more power and resources must be transferred to the Scottish Parliament to guarantee food safety and standards after Brexit.
“Public health protection is a priority in Scotland and I am deeply concerned by any suggestion that Brexit could compromise food safety,” he said.
“Staying in the EU is the best way to protect Scotland’s high food standards but, if that is not possible, then all powers in devolved areas like food law must transfer directly to the Scottish Parliament. This must be matched by sufficient resources so we can continue to keep food safe – as well as our economy, jobs and living standards.”

 

 

 


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Vibrio Outbreak Linked to Fresh Crab Meat From Venezuela Ends; Lawsuits Possible
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2018/vibrio-outbreak-fresh-crab-meat-venezuela/
By News Desk (Sep 28, 2018)
The Vibrio outbreak that was linked to fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela has ended, according to the FDA. As of September 27, 2018 26 lab-confirmed cases in seven states and the District of Columbia were reported in people who ate this product. Nine people were hospitalized. Illness onset dates ranged from April 1, 2018 to July 19, 2018.
Fresh Crab Meat Vibrio Outbreak Venezuela
The FDA’s Bacterial Analytical Manual states that ““A heat-processed product should not contain viable V. parahaemolyticus and if so, would indicate a significant problem in manufacturing practices or post-process contamination.” The notice states that “Consumers and restaurants may want to consider using pasteurized crab meat or fully recooking (bringing to an internal temperature of at least 165°F) fresh crab meat, particularly for items that will be served cold.”
The crab in this Vibrio outbreak was labeled “fresh” or “pre-cooked” and is a ready-to-eat product.
Bacterial isolates from twelve patients were analyzed using whole genome sequencing (WGS), and it was confirmed that all twelve isolates are genetically related to each other, which means they are likely to have a common source.
FDA collaborated with state partners in the traceback investigation. They found that there were multiple Venezuelan processors that supplied multiple brands of crab meat during the outbreak. Traceback did not identify a single firm as the source in this Vibrio outbreak.
Because of this outbreak, FDA increased testing of fresh crab meat from Venezuela. While they did not find Vibrio in any tested samples, they did find Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes in some crab meat samples collected at import. Those products were not allowed into the country.
The symptoms of Vibrio food poisoning include diarrhea that may be bloody or watery, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, and stomach pain. People usually get sick about 24 hours after eating food contaminated with this bacteria.
Vibrio bactéria live naturally in coastal waters. The bacteria occur in higher concentrations between May and October when water temps are warmer.
Anyone who eats raw or undercooked shellfish is at risk of this infection. Unfortunately, this product was a pre-cooked food that is usually served chilled or lightly re-heated. For that reason, consumers and restaurants may want to consider using pasteurized crab meat or recooking fresh crab meat. It’s a good idea, when ordering shellfish in restaurants, to ask that they be fully cooked unless they have been treated such as with pressure treatment to reduce bacterial contamination.

Food Safety: Why Water Filtration is Important
Source : https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/food-safety-why-water-filtration-is-important/
By Tim McFal (Sep 28, 2018)
Food and beverage processing requires a lot of water. Whether it’s steam in the preparation or cleaning of dishes and flatware, or as an ingredient in food or beverages, water comes into contact with just about every edible or drinkable item in the food industry. That means the quality of the water used in food preparation or service must be monitored and managed to ensure not only that it tastes good, but also that it is safe for employees and customers.
Making sure water is safe to consume often requires the installation of a water filtration system. The quality of tap water greatly varies depending on where you are located. In some areas, there are higher levels of sediment, chemicals or organic matter in the water, which means that there is a likelihood that not only is the water not ideal for consumption, but it’s also damaging to equipment. Filtration systems will improve the lifespan of equipment that uses water.
How is Filtration Used in the Food Processing Industry?
Water filtration systems are typically used on any type of food processing equipment that uses water. This can include everything from the machinery in large food processing plants to smaller equipment in restaurants and school cafeterias.
When equipment or machinery that use water is run, over time it will develop a build up of scale (mineral deposits), which can lead to equipment breakdowns, malfunctions or even contamination of the food or beverage that is being processed. Using water filtration systems on food processing equipment will help prevent the scale build-up as it filters the water that is used in the equipment.
Water filtration removes sediment, chemicals, minerals and organic matter from water, improving the taste and smell, and safely eliminating contaminants that may be dangerous for the people who will consume the products being processed.
Which Areas are At Risk in Food Processing?
There is a presumption of both quality and safety in the American food and beverage industry by consumers. That is due to, in large part, the fact that there are standards and regulations by which food and beverage processes must abide. The quality burden often rests on the machinery or equipment that are used in processes. Thus, the need for water filtration systems is more than simply wanting to provide consumers with quality products—it is also crucial for the continued operation of manufacturers.
Improved water quality has highlighted filtration in recent years, and rightfully so. Water is a prevalent ingredient, cooking method and means of cleaning. Additionally, air power is used to operate pneumatic machinery, move food products, and sometimes add texture to those products. Water (liquid or steam) and air can easily transfer microbials or other contaminants into the food products, packaging or surfaces on which food comes into contact.
While every process is different depending on the equipment being used, there are generally three areas in the food and beverage process where filtration is critical:
1.Prefiltration: In areas of the facility where water, air or steam sources are first brought in or are generated.
2.Intermediate filtration: During the process when water, air and steam move through piping or other equipment prior to making direct contact with food or a surface in which food comes into contact.
3.Final filtration: At the end of processing, where there is a last opportunity to manage surviving contaminants.
How Strainers Help Water Filtration Systems
One of the most common ways food and beverage processers ensure that there are no unwanted solids in the water or equipment they use is by installing sanitary strainers in the water piping in the above-mentioned areas. One such type of strainer is the y-strainer.
What Are Y-Strainers?
Y-strainer, water filtration
A y-strainer is a pipe fitting that has a filter that intersects the main channel to remove impurities from liquids or gas that flows through piping.
Y-strainers are pipe fittings that work to remove impurities from liquids or gas flowing through the piping via a filtering component that intersects the main channel. These fittings are called y-strainers because they have a “Y” shape. As the water, other liquid or steam flow through the pipes, it is forced through the y-strainer. Inside the leg of the y-strainer, there is a screening element that catches unwanted debris, preventing it from continuing through the pipes where it could eventually end up in food or liquid intended for consumption.
The y-strainer is a popular tool for liquid and steam applications. It is able to handle high pressures—up to 6000 psi is not unusual. It can be installed in either a vertical or horizontal position, depending on the configuration of the pipes. In either of those cases, the screening element has to be on the downside of the structure so that it can catch debris.
Y-strainers must be cleaned manually, but there are many benefits that offset this small task.
Benefits of Y-Strainers
•Some y-strainers have automated systems that are called blow-off valves, which make the clean up easier. They pump out the debris that is collected, so there is less manual labor.
•Whether they have a blow-off valve or not, cleaning is easy, and it doesn’t interrupt the process.
•Y-strainers protect the equipment that is downstream from contaminants that could cause damage.
•They can handle high pressure from liquids or steam and are considered standard for steam applications.
•Various perforations, mesh or perforation mesh combinations are available to meet process requirements.
Applications of Y-Strainers
Y-strainers are used in numerous applications—far more than simply in the food and beverage processing industry. They are used in all kinds of liquid straining applications in various industries including:
•Diesel engines
•Cosmetics manufacturing
•Chemical processing
•Petrochemical and Petroleum industries
•Air or natural gas applications
•Power generation
•Steam applications
•Marine applications
•Pharma industry
They are also commonly used in pipelines to protect motors, steam traps, pumps, regulators, control valves and other similar equipment.
Y-strainers play a vital role in keeping water used in food and beverage processing and service clean and safe for consumers.
Final Thoughts about Why Water Filtration is Important for Food Safety
Water filtration systems are essential for every food processing company. They will ensure that water quality meets or exceeds standards set by regulating agencies. Using filtration systems will also ensure that consumers receive safe food and beverages that are free from contaminants and taste great.

Nation’s Top Food Safety Law Firm commends FDA’s New Transparency Commitment
Source : https://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-policy-regulation/nations-top-food-safety-law-firm-commends-fdas-new-transparency-commitment/
By Bill Marler (Sep 28, 2018)
SEATTLE, Washington – Marler Clark, the food safety law firm, commends the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recent statement committing to disclose retailer information to improve consumer safety. This commitment to transparency is especially important where the source of the specific contaminated product is not easily identifiable to consumers, as in the recent Romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 or in the  Pre-cut fruit Salmonella Outbreak. Releasing retailer information increases consumer knowledge for all parts of the supply chain.
Marler Clark represents 100 people sickened in the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak and has represented victims of every major foodborne illness outbreak for the past 25 years. In addition to working with health departments to collect information, Marler Clark conducts its own traceback investigations to help hold companies accountable to providing contaminated food to consumers.
“Greater transparency from the FDA not only increases consumer safety by providing more information to consumers about foods to avoid, it also increases accountability to insure similar outbreaks do not happen again,” said Bill Marler, Managing Partner ad Marler Clark.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, has represented thousands of individuals in claims against food companies whose contaminated products have caused life altering injury and even death. Managing partner, Bill Marler began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the historic Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, in her landmark $15.6 million settlement with the company.  For the last 25 years, Marler Clark has represented victims of nearly every large foodborne illness outbreak in the United States, filing lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, Chili’s, Chi-Chi’s, Chipotle, ConAgra, Dole, Excel, Golden Corral, KFC, McDonald’s, Odwalla, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Sizzler, Supervalu, Taco Bell and Wendy’s. The firm has secured over $650,000,000 for victims of E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria and other foodborne illnesses.

US food safety: FDA draft guidance calls for releasing retailer lists during recalls
Source : https://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/us-food-safety-fda-draft-guidance-calls-for-releasing-retailer-lists-during-recalls.html
By foodingredientsfirst.com (Sep 27, 2018)
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued new draft guidance that will help determine when it is necessary and appropriate for retailers to be publicly identified when a food recall or outbreak is underway. Agency policy has prohibited the release of such information, citing considerations for “confidential” business relationships.
Consumers, businesses, and others can comment on a draft of procedures for industry and the agency, The draft says retailers’ names and locations would be released to the public only under certain circumstances, a continuation of the agency’s practice of protecting Confidential Corporate Information (CCI).
“FDA will primarily focus on those recalls where there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, the food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals, which are also referred to as Class I recalls,” according to the draft guidance.
“The draft guidance outlines the circumstances when the FDA intends to make public the retail locations that may have sold or distributed a recalled human or animal food. These circumstances will particularly apply in situations associated with the most serious recalls, where consumption of the food has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals,” reads a statement issued by Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
“The agency has not traditionally released lists of specific retailers where recalled foods may have been purchased. This is because certain supply chain information is confidential between the supplier and retailer. Moreover, in most cases, information publicized by the recalling company is sufficient to allow consumers to identify and avoid the recalled product,” Gottlieb says.
“But there are some cases where additional information about the retailers selling a potentially harmful product may be key to protecting consumers such as when the food is not easily identified as being subject to a recall from its retail packaging and the food is likely to be available for consumption. It is particularly important in situations where the product has already been linked to foodborne illness. In these situations, providing retailer information can help consumers more quickly and accurately recognize recalled product and take action to avoid the product or seek assistance if they’ve already been exposed,” he adds.
Based on this new policy, moving forward the FDA intends to publicize retail consignee lists for food recalls when the food is not easily identified as being subject to a recall from its retail packaging, or lack thereof, and if the food is likely to be available for consumption. Some examples of this may include foods sold directly to consumers with no universal product code or UPC, or bar code. This might include deli cheese, nuts, rawhide chews, or pet treats sold in bulk and fresh fruits and vegetables sold individually.
Availability of this new draft guidance is the second in a series of policy steps that the FDA is taking as part of a broader action plan to further improve our oversight of food safety and the recall process. “Earlier this year, I committed the agency to further improve our recall processes because I believe that consumers should have actionable information for protecting themselves from recalled FDA-regulated products,” says Gottlieb.
“As part of these commitments, we took an important step in January when we released a draft guidance on public warnings for consumers. It outlined situations where the FDA and firms would publicize public warnings to help carry out a recall. All of these actions are a part of our overall efforts to ensure more comprehensive and timely information reaches consumers. The agency has since been communicating sooner and more often on food safety issues that pose serious threats to the health of consumers. For example, the FDA issued a public warning earlier this year on imported crab meat from Venezuela as soon as we knew there were Vibrio illnesses in several states associated with that product,” he notes.
The move was welcomed by Sarah Sorscher, Deputy Director of Regulatory Affairs at the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
 “This information, long advocated for by CSPI, is necessary for consumers to understand whether they have purchased food that may be dangerous. Until now, the FDA has only released retailer information rarely and without a clear policy,” she says.
“The US Department of Agriculture has long made retailer names available for all recalls involving meat and poultry that pose a health hazard, but the FDA has traditionally resisted releasing this information in all but the rarest cases. Last summer, FDA denied a request for retailer information on a specific outbreak as confidential commercial information. We hope this new guidance by the agency represents a significant change in policy moving forward and will lead to the publication of retailer names in all cases where this information will be helpful to consumers,” she noted.
“While the new policy is a step forward, it is also essential that the FDA devote the needed resources to obtain retailer information swiftly from industry during high-risk recalls, so consumers can receive notice in time to protect themselves from foodborne illness,” Sorscher concluded.
Food safety monitoring is on the rise amid this current marketplace. Just today we reported that Walmart is lauding the benefits of tracking lettuce and spinach through the supply chain using blockchain. The move is aimed at seriously ramping up food safety following US outbreaks of E. coli in romaine lettuce and salmonella in a number of products from eggs to breakfast cereal.

Food scientists profile microbes at a fermented vegetable facility
Source : https://phys.org/news/2018-09-food-scientists-profile-microbes-fermented.html
By David Sela, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Sep 25, 2018)
University of Massachusetts Amherst food scientists have mapped and characterized microbial populations in a vegetable fermentation facility and report that its microbiome was distinct between production and fermentation areas and that the raw vegetables themselves—cabbages destined for sauerkraut—were the main source of fermentation-related microbes in production areas rather than handling or other environmental sources.
Writing in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, UMass Amherst Commonwealth Honors College student and co-first-author Jonah Einson, with research fellow Asha Rani and senior investigator professor David Sela, say this study helps to resolve the question of how microbes are transferred within a food fermentation production facility.
The UMass Amherst team collaborated with scientists from two units of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and another in Winchester, Mass.
Real Pickles is a worker-owned cooperative in Greenfield, Mass. and makes pickles, sauerkraut, and other fermented vegetables the old-fashioned way, by natural fermentation and without starter microbial cultures or other media. Nutritional microbiologist Sela notes that very little is known about the microbiomes of these facilities. Fermented foods are increasingly popular internationally, he adds, because of their enhanced nutritional properties, cultural history and tastiness, so the new information from this study should be of interest to food scientists, microbiologists and manufacturers around the world.
Sela says, "We're grateful for the cooperation and collaboration we received from the management and employees at Real Pickles for the opportunity to carry out this interesting research. We're thrilled that they were so open to working with the FDA. Not all companies would be comfortable having government regulators come in to assist with scientific research. This was a great academic-government-industry partnership. Also it reflects the exciting explosion of interest in fermented foods and beverages we are experiencing locally in western Massachusetts and beyond."
Company founder Dan Rosenberg says, "It's fascinating to learn about the influence of fresh vegetables in establishing our facility's microbiome and suggests that our use of organic vegetables is important to contributing a diverse microbial community to support fermentation. It raises interesting questions about how we can further improve our production practices to be producing fermented and probiotic foods of the highest quality. We're excited to participate in research that improves understanding of fermented food production and nutrition."
Sela notes that he, Einson and Rani used a state-of-the-art approach to this survey, using high-throughput sequencing and genomics to identify microbial species present instead of culturing the microbes. This allowed the team to quickly identify more microbes than conventional methods, to estimate their relative numbers, predict their likely function and determine the flow of microbes into and within the facility.
He adds, "For the first time, we built a map of the facility and how it was transformed over time during fermentation, which has given us a more complete picture of the population in a real vegetable fermentation facility. Both cheese and beer have been done to a certain extent, but we feel that fermented vegetable facilities could be better characterized. And because we are using these new genomic tools, we have a better understanding of what is there and how they got there. Using the traditional approach, we couldn't possibly culture everything, so we'd have a far more limited picture."
The researchers report that Leuconostoc and Lactobacillaceae dominated all surfaces where spontaneous fermentation occurs. Also, they found that "wall, floor, ceiling and barrel surfaces host unique microbial signatures."
Sela says Einson, now a graduate student at Columbia University, took the early lead in this study as an undergraduate. He swabbed surfaces in the plant's fermentation room, processing area and dry storage surfaces to collect microbial samples, identify microbes present before and after cleaning, and in linking specific microbes to certain food processing stages. After he graduated, Rani took over and completed the project.
Sela says next steps might be to see if similar findings may emerge in other vegetable processing plants around the world, whether seasonal changes might be observed and whether microbial populations change with different cleaning protocols.
"It's not as important when making traditional sauerkraut," he notes, "but some other food processing facilities might face more risk of spoilage and it would be interesting to see what microbes are present at various stages. Batches of food do get spoiled and we never see that as consumers, but it costs a lot when a whole batch is lost. We might be able to find a way to predict when that might happen by understanding the microbiological communities that surround the processes."

It’s time to bring food defence to the table
Source : https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/its-time-to-bring-food-defence-to-the-table/
By Rebecca Hoile and Paul Barnes (Sep 26, 2018)
Food contamination has been a regular feature in news headlines over the past fortnight.
The discovery of needles in strawberries and other fruit has been the main cause of concern, with incidents spreading across the country and overseas.
The food industry has long focused on food safety and assuring the quality of its products. These assurance systems primarily use Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles which are accepted and used globally to reduce the incidence of major food-borne disease outbreaks and have proven effective against accidental contamination.
Yet food safety practices are not sufficient to protect the food chain from deliberate contamination. Food defence is the protection of food and drink from deliberate contamination with chemical, biological, radiological substances or other hazardous materials—including foreign bodies like needles—and requires additional safeguards, procedures and controls to mitigate potential risk. Food defence is different to food safety.
Recognition of this difference is well established internationally. Deliberate contamination of food was the focus of the Food Defense Symposium organised by INTERPOL and the FBI in May 2016.
At the meeting it was acknowledged that ‘insider threat’ is one of the biggest challenges to overcome to prevent intentional tampering and contamination of food systems. While external security measures and HACCP practices generally work well to protect against lapses in food quality and unintentional food contamination, vulnerabilities inside the ‘food chain’ system were noted as significant issues.
Food defence strategies focusing on assessing vulnerability as part of broader risk management plans were one of the key topics covered during the food defence conference held in May in Minneapolis.
Deliberate acts against food and the supply chain can take on a few different forms including extortion, where a threat to contaminate a product may be made; economically motivated adulteration, which may include the addition of a contaminating substance; and malicious contamination, where a product has been contaminated with the intention to cause harm to the industry or human health.
A contamination crisis involving Fonterra, a global dairy company based in New Zealand, is a relevant example. In late 2014, the company received threat letters, accompanied by small packets of milk powder, which subsequently tested positive for the widely-used agricultural pesticide 1080. The letters contained implied threats of wider contamination of baby formula by a declared date unless the use of 1080 ceased.
The likelihood of widespread contamination of milk products was deemed very low but the incident triggered the recall of products and extensive testing to secure the food chain, at a cost of $A25 million. The scare also threatened dairy industry exports—particularly to China—and New Zealand’s food security reputation. In an interesting twist, the perpetrator was found to be a producer of an alternative pesticide and stood to benefit financially if 1080 was banned.
In 2016, reports surfaced in relation to adulterated Italian olive oil, with investigations demonstrating that well-known brands of Italian extra virgin olive oil were neither of Italian origin nor virgin and instead used low-grade oils and food colouring to pass off as the real thing.
A lucrative business, backed by criminal networks, was dismantled by Italian authorities who arrested 33 men and seized a total of $42 million in assets. At the time the profit margin in fake olive oil was higher than cocaine.
It’s no surprise that concerns were raised at the INTERPOL symposium about the increasing threats from criminals and terrorists to food products, grocery stores and other ‘soft’ targets, and the need for developing comprehensive risk-based strategies.
The recent strawberry tampering incidents have been described as ‘food terrorism’ by Strawberries Australia. This view seems a reflection not only of the criminality of the act but also the consequential impact on local and export markets and the wellbeing of consumers.
Food defence is regarded internationally as a specialised risk management framework that works alongside established food safety practices. Its convergence of techniques and practices from policing, applied science and national security perspectives may be a relatively new preventive focus for Australia but it’s one we need to consider implementing.
Product tampering is not new but we are facing the new reality of attacks on our own food supply that may have taken us into deeper water, beyond reliance on tried and proven ‘food safety’ standards and into a murkier world of food insecurity. It seems time to bring ‘food defence’ to our tables.

Food Safety Matters Podcast Interviews Food Industry Attorney Shawn Stevens
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/food-safety-matters-podcast-interviews-food-industry-attorney-shawn-stevens/
By Staff (Sep 25, 2018)
Food Safety Matters Podcast Interviews Food Industry Attorney Shawn Stevens
Shawn Stevens is an attorney and founding member of the Food Industry Counsel, a law firm that provides food safety legal and regulatory consulting services exclusively for food industry clients, ultimately helping them anticipate, navigate, and resolve their most pressing food safety challenges.
As a food industry consultant and lawyer, Shawn works throughout the U.S. and abroad with food industry clients (including the world’s largest growers, processors, restaurant chains, distributors, and grocers) helping them protect their brand by reducing food safety risk, complying with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture food safety regulations, managing recalls, and defending high-profile foodborne illness claims.
Shawn also speaks regularly to audiences on a wide variety of emerging scientific, regulatory, and food safety legal trends. He authors columns for food industry publications, and he is quoted regularly by national media publications such as TIME Magazine, the New York Post, and Corporate Counsel.

 

 

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