FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

 

11/16. Food Safety Coordinator - Amite, LA
11/16. Food Safety Mgr - South San Francisco, CA
11/16. FS Reg & Tech Services Admin - Andover, MA
11/14. Food Safety Manager - Mesquite, TX
11/14. Food Safety/QA Director - Sumner, WA
11/14. Food Safety QA Tech - Minneapolis, MN
11/12. Food Safety, Qual & Reg Assoc - Dayton, OH
11/12. Food Safety Auditor - Livingston, CA
11/12. Quality Assurance Technician - Clarion, IA

11/19  2018 ISSUE:835

 

Food Safety Scares Ahead of Thanksgiving Dinner
Source : https://www.porkbusiness.com/article/food-safety-scares-ahead-thanksgiving-dinner
By Sara Brown (Nov 21, 2018)
First it was turkey, now romaine and ham. Ahead of the holiday week, consumers are being warned by government watchdogs about food safety and disease traceability. Here’s a quick run down on how to keep your holiday menu safe:
Romaine Lettuce
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Tuesday to avoid romaine lettuce because it might be contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria. Retailers began pulling the product immediately.
The CDC advised throwing away any remaining lettuce in refrigerators and sanitizing shelves and drawers where it was stored. The Packer reports 32 cases of sickness in 11 U.S. states and 18 in Canada.
While it’s not genetically related to the Yuma outbreak from earlier this year, U.S. officials say they are unable to pinpoint any specific source.
Turkey
Yes, Thanksgiving’s centerpiece is a risk. As of Nov. 5, 2018, 164 people say they’ve been infected with a strain of Salmonella Reading from turkey products in 35 states. Of those affected, 63 have been hospitalized and one death has occurred.
In interviews, ill people report eating different types and brands of turkey products purchased from many different locations.
To date there is only one product recall.
On Nov. 15, Jeannie-O Turkey Store Sales in Barron, Wis., recalled 91,388 lb. of raw ground turkey products. The recalled ground turkey was sold in one-pound packages labeled with establishment number “P-190”. This is found inside the USDA mark of inspection. The following products were recalled:
“Jennie-O Ground Turkey 93% LEAN | 7% FAT” with “Use by” dates of 10/01/2018 and 10/02/2018.
“Jennie-O Taco Seasoned Ground Turkey” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
“Jennie-O Ground Turkey 85% LEAN | 15% FAT” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
“Jennie-O Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey” with a “Use by” date of 10/02/2018.
The CDC reminds all consumers to handle raw turkey carefully and cook it thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165°F to prevent food poisoning. Raw turkey products can have germs that spread around food preparation areas and can make you sick. Clean food prep surfaces, cutting boards and utensils with warm soapy water.
Ham
If you circumvent the turkey, be careful which ham products you select.  Earlier this year, Johnston County Hams recalled 89,096 lb. of ready-to-eat ham products for a listeria monocytogenes contamination.
The ready-to-eat deli-loaf ham items were produced from April 3, 2017 to Oct. 2, 2018. The following products subject to recall are:
Varying weights of 7-lb. to 8-lb. plastic-wrapped “JOHNSTON COUNTY HAMS, INC. COUNTRY STYLE FULLY COOKED BONELESS DELI HAM.”
Varying weights of 7-lb. to 8-lb. plastic-wrapped “Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
Varying weights of 7-lb. to 8-lb. plastic-wrapped “Padow’s Hams & Deli, Inc. FULLY COOKED COUNTRY HAM BONELESS Glazed with Brown Sugar.”
Varying weights of 7-lb. to 8-lb. plastic-wrapped “Premium Fully Cooked Country Ham LESS SALT Distributed By: Valley Country Hams LLC” with Sell-By dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019.
Varying weights of 7-lb. to 8 lbs. plastic-wrapped “GOODNIGHT BROTHERS COUNTRY HAM Boneless Fully Cooked.”
These items were shipped to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia, and bear establishment number “EST. M2646” inside the USDA mark of inspection.
Read more from Farm Journal’s PORK.

Striking’ lack of safety data on flowers in food
Source : https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/11/striking-lack-of-safety-data-on-flowers-in-food/
By Joe Whitworth (Nov 21, 2018)
There is a “striking” lack of safety data on wild flowers used at restaurants, according to a review in Denmark.
Of 23 flowers reviewed, nine contained compounds with toxic or potentially toxic effects if eaten, two had unidentified toxic compound(s) and four were flowers from plants with potentially toxic compounds present in other plant parts or related species.
As part of a control campaign, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) visited 150 restaurants and local producers from May to October 2016 and investigated use of plants picked from the wild, cultivated in private or market gardens.
The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Food), said in recent years, restaurants, smaller food producers and consumers have shown an increasing interest in using wild or cultivated flowers in cooking. However, there is no history of using these plants in food in Denmark or internationally.
The institute helped the DVFA do a risk assessments of 50 plants. Researchers reviewed the literature to find knowledge on potentially toxic compounds in the 23 flowers, descriptions of poisonings or other toxic effects in humans and animals following consumption, and evidence of traditional use as food in Europe. Findings were published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal.
Most of the toxins in the flowers do not make people acutely ill but may cause harmful effects in the long term. Some of the identified substances are known to be carcinogenic or may cause cardiovascular disease, while others may damage the nervous or reproductive systems.
Yarrow contains the neurotoxin thujone, which is also found in the alcoholic drink absinthe. Borage and viper’s bugloss contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which may cause liver damage after longer exposure and are suspected carcinogens. There is also evidence that high doses of yarrow flowers impact the testicular tissue in mice and rats – an effect that must be caused by substances other than thujone, according to DTU Food.
Researchers were not able to set a limit for safe consumption of the flowers due to limited data on the toxic substances in the 13 plants. Despite there being no evidence that the remaining ten flowers contain toxins, only a few chemical studies of them have been carried out.
Under European novel food legislation, all plants not traditionally used as food must be approved for consumption before they can be sold commercially. For most flowers, the researchers did not find evidence they were traditionally used in cooking in Denmark or other EU member states before the regulation came into force in 1997.
Glycoalkaloids in potatoes, cyanogenic glycosides in cassava or lectins in red kidney beans have been associated with acute human toxicity when ingested through foods not properly processed or prepared.
One recent case in Hong Kong involved a man who developed tongue numbness and a sore throat after consuming a wild plant at home. The Centre for Health Protection investigated the suspected food poisoning and reminded the public to beware of vegetables containing calcium oxalate raphide.
RIKILT, part of Wageningen University & Research, has developed a database to find which plant genera contain which plant toxins and vice versa. It contains more than 700 plant species and associated toxins.
The joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) is responsible for evaluating the health risk from natural toxins in food.
The Emerging Risk Exchange Network (EREN), established in 2010, involves the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and member states. A total of 17 potential emerging issues were discussed in 2016 and new consumer trends were the predominant driver, according to the network’s annual report.
Issues included increased use of seaweed/algae, pyrrolizidine alkaloids in different teas on the Croatian market and use of aloe in food.

Food safety by design
Source : https://www.newfoodmagazine.com/article/76094/food-safety-by-design/
By Andy Buchan (Nov 21, 2018)
The European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group World Congress takes place in the UK for the first time in November. Hygiene expert speaker and group member Andy Buchan explains why hygienic design could help save you from a food safety-related product recall.
Hygienic design is a poorly understood concept, and one that is often not fully integrated into the food and drink processing environment by manufacturers, both large and small. The big players, such as Unilever and Nestlé, recognised that food contamination resulting from poorly designed or utilised food processing equipment was likely to result in food safety issues and product recalls as long as 30 years ago. However, too many firms still don’t understand the relevance and impact of hygienic design and are leaving themselves at risk.

The Importance of a Good Food Safety Program to Control Norovirus
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/the-importance-of-a-good-food-safety-program-to-control-norovirus/
By GOJO Industries, Inc. (Nov 20, 2018)
The Importance of a Good Food Safety Program to Control Norovirus
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), norovirus is responsible for over 50 percent of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. In recent years, a majority of foodborne norovirus outbreaks occurred in restaurants, often related to an infected employee practicing poor personal hygiene and subsequently handling food.[1]
In addition to negative health impacts for employees and patrons, a norovirus outbreak can have significant financial and public confidence consequences. It’s essential to understand this virus, its potential effect on your restaurant, and how you can help reduce the likelihood of an outbreak.
What Is Norovirus?
Sometimes called the “stomach flu,” norovirus only infects humans. It is the most common cause of acute viral gastroenteritis around the world and the most common cause of foodborne illness in the United States.[2] Unlike some other infectious diseases, we can get norovirus time and again, and the average person will experience a norovirus infection five times in their life.
Norovirus symptoms usually appear 12 to 48 hours after first exposure, lasting approximately 1 to 3 days. Common symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and stomach pain. People with norovirus are most contagious when they are sick, and for a few days after they feel better.
How Is It Spread?
Norovirus is shed in the stool and vomit of infected people. It can quickly spread to hands and surfaces and is easily transmitted by close contact with infected individuals. However it reaches a person, the virus must be taken in by mouth to infect them.  
Food and water can become contaminated when prepared or served by an infected food worker or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Outbreaks often occur in places where people gather and/or share food, such as in restaurants, healthcare facilities, and schools.
Foods often associated with foodborne norovirus outbreaks include fruits and vegetables, molluscan shellfish (oysters and clams), and ready-to-eat (RTE) foods, which require a lot of human handling just prior to eating. RTE foods (e.g., salads, hand-sliced deli meats) are the most common cause of illness, usually contaminated by an infected food handler practicing poor personal hygiene. Foods may also become contaminated through contact with a surface that harbors the virus and before or during harvest—for example, oysters harvested from water contaminated with human sewage, or vegetables irrigated with contaminated water.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
Looking at the last few years, foodservice establishments were the main source of norovirus outbreaks.[3] In fact, when a source was found, 70 percent of the time, it was an infected food worker, and in over half of these cases, the person was touching RTE foods with bare hands.
One in five foodservice employees reported working while sick with vomiting and diarrhea, and in general, foodservice employees fail to wash their hands as frequently as recommended.[4]
Norovirus cannot be completely inactivated by many common sanitizers and disinfectants used at manufacturer recommended concentrations and/or contact times. It is possible for the disease to recur even after thorough cleaning and disinfection.[5]
Preventing the Spread of Norovirus
Food safety managers and other staff members play important roles in controlling the spread of norovirus.
For food safety managers:
1. Design a food safety plan that considers norovirus. For example:
• Ensure handwashing stations are readily available and stocked at all times
• Clean all restrooms frequently and regularly
• Have written guidelines for the cleanup of vomiting or diarrhea episodes
• Select disinfectants with anti-noroviral claims but be aware that efficacy claims do not always mean the product eliminates the virus completely. It is best to clean first, sanitize next. Ensure employees applying these products are knowledgeable in their safe use, effective concentrations, and contact times
• Consider the whole facility in food safety planning—how people come and go in food preparation areas, what surfaces are most touched, etc.
• Consider unintended consequences, such the potential for virus spread with improper cleaning or disinfection, or how to respond to unexpected customer behaviors that might promote contamination
2. Educate staff in good food safety practices, norovirus symptoms, and ways to control the virus. Having a certified kitchen manager and other staff members certified in food safety was found to protect against foodborne outbreaks in general, when researchers compared restaurants that had and had not experienced foodborne outbreaks.[6] Train new employees before they begin to work and provide refresher training to assure continued good practices.
3. Observe what food safety procedures employees are performing, making adjustments and providing guidance when problems are identified. For example, make sure employees are washing their hands properly as often as they should be, and are disinfecting surfaces correctly, with the right product, using recommended practices.
4. Exclude sick employees for at least 24 hours after their symptoms resolve. A work environment that provides paid employee sick leave and promotes employee reporting of symptoms is important for U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code compliance. Since the virus can still shed after symptoms have subsided, temporarily reassign employees to jobs with no direct food contact.
For staff members:
1. Stay home if you have norovirus symptoms and for at least 24–48 hours after symptoms have ended. Always let supervisors know when you are ill.
2. Practice regular hand hygiene consistent with the FDA Food Code and CDC guidelines. For example, avoid bare-hand contact with RTE foods and always wear gloves, changing them frequently. Wash hands for at least 20 seconds. Scrub hands for 10 to 15 seconds under clean, running water with an appropriate amount of cleaning compound advised by the product manufacturer. Rub hands together vigorously—paying attention to fingertips, areas between fingers, and under nails—before rinsing and thoroughly drying.[7]
3. ALWAYS wash hands after using restroom facilities.
4. Clean and sanitize utensils and surfaces properly and regularly.
Being prepared with a good food safety plan, an educated workforce, and a focus on good hygiene and sanitation will not only go a long way to controlling norovirus, but other microorganisms causing foodborne illness as well.
GOJO Industries, Inc. is the inventor of PURELL® hand sanitizers and the leading global producer and marketer of skin health and hygiene solutions for away-from-home settings.
References
1. www.cdc.gov/norovirus/php/illness-outbreaks.html.
2. journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001999.
3. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6322a3.htm?s_cid=mm6322a3_w.
4. www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/norovirus/.
5. www.cdc.gov/Mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5646a2.htm.
6. www.cdc.gov/nceh/ehs/ehsnet/plain_language/differences-restaurants-linked-to-outbreaks.htm.
7. www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/ucm374275.htm.

The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Advancing Food Safety
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/the-safe-food-for-canadians-regulations-advancing-food-safety/
By Paul Glover, M.B.A. (Nov 20, 2018)
The Safe Food for Canadians Regulations: Advancing Food Safety
In my work, I have the good fortune to meet and talk to people from around the world with a deep-seated interest in the food sector.
When I ask them what are the big issues they’re seeing in food production and safety, they never fail to provide fascinating insight that adds to the global picture we’re piecing together at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as we chart our course forward.
What does that global picture look like? We see a food sector that is innovative, highly competitive, and becoming more international in scope all the time. We also see that the speed, volume, and complexity of food production have produced new risks and challenges—including new threats to food safety, plant and animal health, changing consumer preferences, and international standards that are focused on prevention.
As these risks and challenges continue to evolve rapidly, the CFIA is becoming more agile to continue protecting Canada’s food safety system while also supporting industry’s ability to compete globally. Under our framework Responding to Today, Building for the Future, we are on a course of continuous improvement to modernize every strategic area of our organization, from regulations and risk management to inspections, digital tools, and global leadership.
A Strong System…Made Stronger
Canada is widely regarded as having one of the strongest food safety systems in the world. In the face of change, we are taking steps to further strengthen it. And it all begins with having a single set of modern regulations to govern food safety.
In June 2018, the Government of Canada finalized the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR) which will replace 14 sets of regulations with one. The SFCR are several years in the making and the result of careful, informed policy development supported by extensive consultations with food businesses, food experts, everyday Canadians, and our trading partners abroad.
The public consultations on the SFCR underline the Government of Canada’s commitment to make our country’s regulatory system more agile, transparent and responsive. This open approach to regulatory development serves as the foundation for public trust both in Canada and beyond our borders.
The new consolidated act and regulations, which come into force on January 15, 2019, will protect Canadian families by making the food system even safer by focusing on prevention and allowing for faster removal of unsafe food from the marketplace. They will also position Canadian food businesses to act on new opportunities, be more competitive, and grow new markets.
Some requirements of the SFCR will have to be met immediately upon coming into force on January 15, 2019, whereas other requirements will be phased in over a period of 12 to 30 months based on food commodity, type of activity, and business size.
Supporting Innovation and Competitiveness
The SFCR will include outcome-based regulations, which specify the result that regulated parties must meet without prescribing the way it should be achieved. This will enable industry to innovate and respond to new challenges and developments in a competitive global marketplace while strengthening high food safety standards.
They will also allow for current regulatory requirements, such as grades and compositional standards, to be incorporated by reference where appropriate, making the regulatory system responsive—for example, making changes to grades and standards will be faster to implement when there is consensus that the changes will facilitate trade. With access to new technologies that are proven to be effective in controlling hazards, industry will have the ability to innovate and compete globally.
Every day, thousands of metric tons of food and beverages arrive in Canada by sea, land, and air.
In just 10 years from 2006 to 2015, the value of fresh fruits, vegetables, and processed foods being imported annually into Canada nearly doubled to $22.8 billion.
Consistent Standards for Food, including Imported Products
The SFCR are based on international food safety standards and align with the regulations of our key trading partners.
The new consolidated regulations will require businesses that import food into Canada or prepare food in Canada for export or to be sent across provincial or territorial borders to have licenses, as well as preventive controls that address potential risks to food safety. They will also be required to maintain traceability records, which will result in more efficient and effective recalls and investigations, and potentially minimize economic losses for affected businesses.
Imported food will be required to be prepared with the same level of food safety controls as food prepared in Canada. Canadian food importers will need to identify in their preventive control plans all potential risks to food safety, and explain how their international suppliers will be taking steps to control those risks. Importers will have to:
• Understand the supply chain for the product they are importing
• Understand how their foreign supplier is addressing all hazards associated with the food
• Know if the food will need further processing or labelling after it arrives in Canada, so it will meet Canadian requirements
• Demonstrate that the food is manufactured, prepared, stored, packaged, and labeled under conditions that provide at least the same level of protection as provided by the SFCR.
A Good News Story across the Board
The new requirements will ensure consistency with global approaches to food safety and boost the competitiveness of Canadian food businesses across the supply chain—from farm to retail, at home, and on the world stage. From reducing food safety risks to spurring innovation, the SFCR are a good news story in every way, for Canadian families, food businesses, and people outside Canada.
Food safety is a global business, an evolving business. We all have a role to play in it. With the SFCR, Canada is taking action to advance food safety and continue building on our global leadership in this critical sector as we respond to today and build for the future.
Learn More about the SFCR
The CFIA has tools and plain-language resources available to help businesses understand and prepare to meet the requirements of the SFCR—including multilingual fact sheets and guides to developing a preventive control plan with helpful templates and information on how and what to consider to be prepared for a smooth enrolment. Businesses can also use the CFIA’s guidance finder to search for the latest SFCR technical and regulatory information. For more information, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca/safefood.

Senate finally moves to fill USDA’s long-vacate top food safety post
Source : https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/11/senate-finally-moves-to-fill-usdas-long-vacate-top-food-safety-post/
By Dan Flynn (Nov 20, 2018)
The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will finally conduct a public nomination hearing on Nov. 28 for Mindy Brashears to become USDA’s under secretary for food safety.
Six months and 24 days after President Donald J. Trump nominated Brashears for the post, the Senate committee will hear public testimony on her nomination.
Nomination hearings are generally the prelude to a committee vote that, if positive, results in an up or down confirmation vote on the Senate floor. By scheduling the nomination hearing on Nov. 28, it’s just possible that Brashears could be confirmed and take office by mid-December, roughly five years since someone has been in the Under Secretary for Food Safety job.
Trump nominated Brashears on May 4 to fill the federal government’s top food safety post. After Dr. Elisabeth Hagen stepped down from the job in mid-December 2013, the previous administration held off on finding a replacement. It left Al Almanza in charge of both the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and USDA’s Office of Food Safety.
Then it took Trump well into his second year to nominate Brashears. And since the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry got the assignment to review the Brashears nomination on May 10, until now it’s been fixated on Farm Bill spending, not food safety.
But on Nov. 28, all that history will be put aside to focus on Brashears and two other Trump appointees who are up for top USDA jobs. The other two are Naomi Earp who is nominated as assistant secretary of agriculture for civil rights, and Scott Hutchins as under secretary of agriculture for research, education, and economics.
Brashears is a professor of food safety and public health and the director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University. Since her nomination, Brashears won the American Meat Science Association’s (AMSA) 2018 Distinguished Research Award.
Since 1965, the award has recognized members with outstanding research contributions to the meat industry. The goal of the AMSA is bringing together the commercial, academic, government and consumer audiences of the American meat sector. The organization has more than 1,000 members dedicated to improving all aspects of meat science.
Her research program focuses on improving food safety standards to make an impact on public health. Her acclaimed work evaluates interventions in pre- and post-harvest environments and on the emergence of antimicrobial drug resistance in animal feeding systems.
Brashears’ work resulted in the commercialization of a pre-harvest feed additive that can reduce E. coli and Salmonella in cattle. She’s led international research teams to improve food safety and security. She is past chair of the National Alliance for Food Safety and Security and the USDA multi-state research group.
Her international research teams to Argentina, Belize and Mexico have helped establish sustainable agricultural systems in impoverished areas.
Brashears is also a faculty member for the Texas Tech Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy at the Texas Tech School of Law. Throughout her career, Brashears has received more than $22 million in research grants and obtained 21 U.S. patents.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has urged the Senate to confirm all of the USDA nominees, saying this specifically about Brashears:
“Food safety is at the core of USDA’s mission because it directly affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans every day. President Trump has made an excellent choice in Dr. Mindy Brashears, and I am excited to have her join the team. Dr. Brashears has spent decades finding ways to improve food safety standards through innovation, invention, and leadership on research missions across the globe.
“I look forward to her bringing that wealth of expertise and track record of results here to USDA.”
The Secretary of Agriculture and 12 other top jobs at USDA require both a Presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. The Senate has only confirmed seven of USDA’s top 13 posts.
But that isn’t usual. Observers say Senate Democrats have worked to delay confirmation of Trump appointments. The process can be slowed down if senators demand the maximum time for floor debate before votes occur.
According to the Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service, the Senate has confirmed only 377 of 702 “key” presidential appointees. Currently, 182 Trump appointees are waiting for a Senate confirmation vote. The president has not yet nominated people for 134 of the “key” jobs.
At next week’s nomination hearing, the success Brashears and Hutchins have had in business endeavors is likely to come in for scrutiny. Hutchins, nominated as USDA’s chief scientist, has spent his career at Dow AgroSciences with the sort of expertise in pesticides that some activists don’t like much.

Enhancing the Arab Food Safety Regulatory Environment
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/enhancing-the-arab-food-safety-regulatory-environment/
By The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Nov 20, 2018)
Enhancing the Arab Food Safety Regulatory Environment
The Arab Food Safety Initiative for Trade Facilitation (SAFE) was strongly represented at this year’s edition of the Dubai International Food Safety Conference (DIFSC12), which took place from October 29–31, 2018. SAFE’s contribution to the scientific and technical program showcased the progress accomplished to date towards strengthening the convergence of food safety regulatory requirements in the Arab region.  
The Egyptian National Food Safety Agency (NFSA), Egypt’s newly created competent authority responsible for food safety and consumer protection, a key actor in the implementation of SAFE, was also strongly represented at the meeting.
SAFE enabled the organization of several high-level meetings between senior Arab food safety regulators and their counterparts of international food safety agencies around the world such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and China’s National Centre of Food Safety Risk Assessment. Arab regulatory agencies were represented by their senior leaders who attended the meeting in numbers with participation from Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Lebanon, Sudan, Egypt, and Kuwait, enabling effective information exchange and discussions of collaborative action within SAFE and beyond.
SAFE’s achievements and its future directions were presented during the session dedicated to “Changes in the Arab and International Food Regulatory Environment: Towards More Sustainable Capacity Building Efforts” where the project’s efforts to achieve a more convergent food safety regulatory environment in the Arab Region was highlighted. NFSA also showcased its recent accomplishments and future plans, as part of the vision to transform the food safety regulatory landscape in Egypt, in accordance with international best practices.
Arab food safety regulators contributed with their counterparts to a panel discussion which focused on:
• Reviewing major developments in the food regulatory landscape of the Arab region and internationally
• Discussing opportunities for enhanced collaboration between Arab and international food safety regulators, as well as sustaining capacity building efforts
• Discussing avenues to sustain the investments made to date in enhancing the food regulatory system in the Arab region, country support efforts, and progress in the convergence of food safety regulatory measures adopted by Arab food regulators
SAFE officials also contributed to another session entitled “Arab Symposium on Food Safety Regulatory Issues in the Middle East.” In this session, SAFE and NFSA presented challenges of food safety regulations in the region and its impact on intraregional trade. The NFSA executive director presented the steps that led to the creation of the national agency and the future directions it intends to take in response to emerging issues and to strengthen consumer protection along with increased trust in food and Agri-food products produced in Egypt and destined to domestic and export markets.
Bilateral meetings were also organized on the margins of DIFSC12 between regulators and other stakeholders. In particular, NFSA’s leadership interacted with key representatives of the food production sector present in the Middle East and headquartered in Dubai. 
NFSA’s dedicated promotional booth witnessed a large crowd from food safety authorities, private sector, and other DIFSC12 participants, who showed strong interest in NFSA’s ongoing and future work.
SAFE’s contributions to the enhancement of the Arab food safety regulatory environment and its vision to enhance the convergence of food safety measures in the Arab region, in line with international standards, were identified by stakeholders and international food safety officials as key initiatives, warranting support for a continued and sustainable investment.
Since its inception in 2017, SAFE has been providing technical assistance to NFSA under the Country Support Program in Egypt, a SAFE-led initiative, with the aim to build its capacity and support its mandate to advance the food safety agenda in Egypt. The initiative will contribute to an improved ability of the NFSA and its partners to contribute to regional efforts of enhanced coordination and harmonization of food safety interventions, improved consumer protection, and a more efficient implementation of a national food control system in Egypt. To read more about SAFE, please visit the official SAFE website. You can also follow the initiative on Facebook and Twitter.
NFSA is an independent authority, reporting directly to the office of the Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is responsible for the protection of consumers health and consumers interests by ensuring that food products consumed, distributed, marketed or produced in Egypt meet the highest standards of food safety and hygiene. The NFSA is also responsible for the oversight and control of licensing, certification, inspection, import/export control, as well as the supervision and regulation of food stuffs. To learn more about the NFSA, visit the official NFSA website.
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization is the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive globalization, and environmental sustainability.

Basic guidelines for getting your turkey to the table safely
Source : https://www.freep.com/story/life/food/recipes/2018/11/18/food-safety-guidelines-turkey/2002287002/
By Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press (Nov 18, 2018)
Here are turkey safety tips and recommendations from the Free Press Test Kitchen and the United States Department of Agriculture.
Before you start cooking:
Thaw the turkey, if frozen. If you haven’t yet taken it out of the freezer, do it today. Thaw it in its original package on a tray. Allow almost 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. A 12- to 16-pound turkey will take 3 to 4 days to thaw in the refrigerator.
If you forget to thaw your turkey in advance, place it in a sink in its original wrapper and fill the sink with cold water. Change water every 30 minutes. A 12- to 16-pound turkey will take 6 to 8 hours.
The USDA does not recommend rinsing or washing your turkey first, which is a step in many recipes. Why? The splashing water can contaminate nearby foods and utensils.
Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered the safe cooking temperature for the overall turkey to 165 degrees.
Invest in an instant-read thermometer. Make sure the thermometer you have is working properly. You can buy thermometers at grocery stores, hardware stores,  warehouse clubs, kitchen supply stores and retailers that have kitchen tools. They range in price from $5 to $50.
Roasting your turkey
To roast your turkey, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the turkey in a shallow roasting pan. Below are the USDA’s recommended roasting times for a stuffed or unstuffed turkey. It's important to note, that stuffing a turkey isn't generally recommended because the center of the stuffing may not reach a safe temperature.
Approximate hours of roasting time needed for a whole turkey:
Serving size guidelines
Here are amounts to consider per person when you planning your holiday meal:
Turkey: 1 pound per person or 1 ½ pounds per person if you want generous leftovers. For 12 people, you will need either a 12- or 18-pound turkey.
Stuffing (or dressing):  ½ to ¾ cup per person. A 1-pound loaf of bread will yield 10 to 12 cups of bread cubes. But you will need to factor in your other stuffing ingredients: onions, celery, sausage, etc.
Mashed potatoes: ½ pound of potatoes, which is generous, per person.
Gravy: cup gravy per person.
Casseroles: ¾ to 1 cup person.
Vegetable side dishes: ½  to ¾ cup per person.
Cranberry sauce: ½ cup per person

 

 

 

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