FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

 

12/07. Quality Assurance Manager - Anniston, AL
12/07. QA Manager Operations - Portsmouth, NH
12/07. QA Manager - Morgan Hill, CA
12/05. Mgr, FS & QA (Suppliers) - San Diego, CA
12/05. Sr Dir, Food Safety Operations - Bentonville, AR
12/05. Sr Mgr, QA & Food Safety - Sulphur Springs, TX
12/03. QA Specialist - Food Industry - Nashville, TN
12/03. Food Safety & Quality Coordinator - Fairfield, CA
12/03. Food Safety and Compliance - Bozeman, MT

12/10  2018 ISSUE:838

 

TALKING TURKEY ON FOOD SAFETY
Source : https://ajp.com.au/news/talking-turkey-on-food-safety/
Experts are warning that up to one in three Christmas guests could be at risk of the potentially deadly Listeria infection
Ahead of the silly season, the Food Safety Information Council says its research has found that one in three Australians are either at risk of getting the Listeria infection themselves, or live in a household with someone at risk.
The Council has advised people to check if any of the family or friends they are entertaining over the Christmas and summer period are at risk from the infection.
Rachelle Williams, FSIC Chair, said that although Listeria is a comparatively rare form of illness, it can be a very serious for the following groups of people:
pregnant women and their unborn babies;
people who have diabetes, cancer or suppressed immune systems due to other chronic diseases such as leukaemia, HIV, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, cirrhosis or ulcerative colitis;
older people (generally considered to be over 65 to 70 years) depending on their state of health and especially if they have an underlying health issue like those above;
people taking a medicine that suppresses their immune system e.g. prednisone or cortisone; and
organ transplant patients.
Ms Williams listed a number of foods to avoid serving – or, where possible, cook – for guests who are at risk.
These include:
unpackaged ready to eat meats from delicatessen counters and sandwich bars; packaged, sliced ready-to-eat meats; cold cooked chicken purchased ready to eat, whole, diced or sliced and refrigerated paté or meat spreads;
all soft, semi soft and surface ripened cheeses e.g. brie, camembert, ricotta, feta and blue (pre-packaged and delicatessen), unpasteurised dairy products (e.g. raw milk or cheeses) and soft serve ice cream;
pre-prepared or pre-packaged cut fruit and vegetable salads e.g. salads sold in bags or containers or from salad bars, shops or buffets, etc; pre-cut fruit and vegetables that will be eaten raw; frozen fruit or vegetables that may not be further cooked (e.g. berries, peas, sweet corn); rockmelon/cantaloupes (whole or cut); and bean or seed sprouts;
raw seafood (e.g. oysters, sashimi or sushi); smoked ready-to-eat seafood; ready-to-eat peeled prawns (cooked) e.g. in prawn cocktails, sandwich fillings; and prawn or seafood salads; and seafood extender.
She also listed a number of food safety tips to help prevent Listeria, as well as other forms of food poisoning:
Always wash your hands with soap and running water and dry thoroughly before handling food and keep food utensils and cooking areas clean.
Unlike most other food poisoning bacteria, Listeria can grow at refrigeration temperatures, so ready to eat food or leftovers should never be stored in the fridge for more than 24 hours. Since Listeria grows slowly in the fridge, it will do so only very slowly at cold temperatures so make sure your refrigerator is keeping your food at or less than 5°C.
Avoid refrigerated foods that are past their ‘use by’ date.
Refrigerate leftovers promptly and use within 24 hours or freeze.
Always look for cooking and storage instructions on the food package label and follow them when provided.
Cook high risk foods such as the turkey and other poultry, minced meat, sausages, hamburgers and leftovers to 75°C.
Cook egg dishes, such as quiche, to 72°C in the centre (or until the white is firm and the yolk thickens).
Cook frozen fruit and vegetables.

FDA Testing of Domestic and Imported Fresh Produce Finds Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and Cyclospora
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/fda-testing-of-domestic-and-imported-fresh-produce-finds-salmonella-e-coli-listeria-and-cyclospora/
By Staff (Dec 10, 2018)
FDA Testing of Domestic and Imported Fresh Produce Finds Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and Cyclospora
Two new reports on the sampling of whole, fresh avocados and hot peppers were released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week. The purpose of the sampling is to determine how frequently harmful bacteria are found in each commodity. These sampling studies are part of an ongoing effort by the FDA to help ensure food safety and prevent contaminated product from reaching consumers.
Hot Pepper Sampling Assignment
Types of peppers collected, tested, and analyzed: domestic and imported
Number of samples: 1,615
Tested for: Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and other types of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)
Result: 46 (2.85 percent) were positive for Salmonella
Result: 1 was positive for STEC, but further testing revealed that the STEC strain could not cause severe illness.
Whole Fresh Avocado Sampling Assignment
Types of peppers collected, tested, and analyzed: domestic and imported
Number of samples: 1,615 (For Listeria testing, 1,254 were pulp samples and 361 were skin samples)
Tested for: Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes
Result: 12 (0.74 percent) tested positive for Salmonella
Results of pulp testing: 3 (far less than 1 percent) were positive for Listeria monocytogenes
Results of skin testing: 64 (17.73 percent) were positive for Listeria monocytogenes
When the FDA found positive samples of hot peppers or avocados in domestic product, the agency worked with the responsible firms to conduct recalls as indicated, and followed up with inspections of growers and packinghouses to ascertain their adherence to recommended good agricultural and manufacturing practices. When the FDA found positive samples of hot peppers or avocados in imported product, the agency refused entry to all product in lots associated with the positive(s), and placed the firms on import alert to stop additional product from entering the U.S.

FDA’s release of these two reports also included an update on the agency’s ongoing testing of fresh herbs, guacamole, and processed avocado. FDA has been monitoring the potential pathogens associated with these products. The data is valid as of October 1, 2018.
Fresh Herb Sampling
Samples collected and tested: 407 domestic and 276 imported
Result: 9 tested positive for Salmonella (4 domestic, 5 import)
Result: 6 tested positive for STEC (2 domestic, 4 import) (the STEC were incapable of causing severe illness)
Result: 4 tested positive for Cyclospora cayetanensis (2 domestic, 2 import)
Result: The FDA did not detect 0157 in any of the fresh herb samples it tested.
Processed Avocado/Guacamole Sampling
Samples collected and tested: 474 (386 domestic and 88 imported)
Result: 11 tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes (9 domestic, 2 import)
Result: The FDA did not detect Salmonella in any of the samples of processed avocado or guacamole.
See FDA’s Microbiological Survey Sampling page for more information.

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Winter Storm
Source : https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/news-releases-statements-and-transcripts/news-release-archives-by-year/archive/2018/nr-120718-01
By fsis.usda.gov (Dec 7, 2018)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for those who may be impacted by a severe winter storm moving through the southern U.S.
The National Weather Service reports that a strong storm system crossing the Southwest early Friday morning will likely take a southerly track across the southern plains to the South and then to the southeastern U.S. coast through the weekend. Snow and freezing rain is forecast in eastern New Mexico and the Texas/Oklahoma panhandles by late Friday, and continuing into early Saturday.
Heavy rain is forecast across southeast Texas. The rainfall rates are expected to be high at times, increasing the threat of flooding. Flash flood watches are in effect for this region. A slight risk of excessive rainfall exists through Saturday night for the central Gulf Coast region.
Through late Sunday, a swath of accumulating snow and ice is expected to extend from eastern Oklahoma to the southern Appalachians. Winter storm watches are now in effect from the Texas panhandle to the Ozarks of northern Arkansas, and also for the southern Appalachians and adjacent Piedmont region.
Winter storms present the possibility of power outages and flooding that can compromise the safety of stored food. Residents in the path of this storm should pay close attention to the forecast. FSIS recommends that consumers take the following steps to reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness during this and other severe weather events.
Steps to follow in advance of losing power:
Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes, so don’t overfill the containers.
Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo’ effect helps the food stay cold longer.
Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.
Steps to follow if the power goes out:
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination from thawing juices.
Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.
Food safety after a flood:
Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water—this would include raw fruits and vegetables, cartons of milk or eggs.
Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard, or those with screw?caps, snap lids, pull tops and crimped caps. Flood waters can enter into any of these containers and contaminate the food inside. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home-canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel?type can opener.
Food safety during snow and ice storms:
During a snowstorm, do not place perishable food out in the snow. Outside temperatures can vary and food can be exposed to unsanitary conditions and animals. Instead, make ice by filling buckets or cans with water and leave them outside to freeze. Use this ice to help keep food cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers.
Steps to follow after a weather emergency:
Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
When in doubt, throw it out.
FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe. The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. Infographics on FSIS’ Flickr page outline steps you can take before, during and after severe weather, power outages and flooding. FSIS provides relevant food safety information during disasters on Twitter @USDAFoodSafety and Facebook.
If you have questions about food safety during severe weather, or any other food safety topics, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888MPHotline or chat live with a food safety specialist at AskKaren.gov. These services are available in English and Spanish from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday. Answers to frequently asked question can also be found 24/7 at AskKaren.gov.

 

Time Flies When Temperatures Rise
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/december-2018january-2019/time-flies-when-temperatures-rise/
By Nancy Dobmeier, CQA, CHA, and Balasubrahmanyam Kottapalli, Ph.D., CQE
Time Flies When Temperatures Rise
Are there any steps in the processing of your food product where it is in a high-moisture state before baking, cooking, or freezing? Perhaps it is a batter or component of a finished product. Making microbiologically safe food does not rest solely on having a validated kill step. Even in systems that include a lethality step, food may cause illness or trigger a recall if manufacturing conditions allow or could allow toxin-producing microorganisms to grow to levels at which heat-stable toxin is formed.[1–12] The Code of Federal Regulations, 21 C.F.R. Part 117.8 (c)(3), states, “Food that can support the rapid growth of undesirable microorganisms must be held at temperatures that will prevent the food from becoming adulterated during manufacturing, processing, packing, and holding.”[13] During manufacturing, however, it is not always possible to hold components at refrigerated temperatures. Thus, to prevent foodborne illness or recalls, it is important to tailor residence time for high-moisture components or raw work in process (WIP) such as slurries, doughs, or blanched vegetables to the warmest temperature found in the matrix occurring before the kill step. This article will focus on the risk assessment and management strategies for minimizing the potential for growth of undesirable microorganisms leading to toxin production in a food matrix/manufacturing system.
Perform a Risk Assessment
Determine whether the matrix and conditions meet the criteria necessitating time/temperature control. Ingredients, pH, water activity, salt concentration, and temperature can impact the potential for the growth of microorganisms to levels of concern in high-moisture matrices.[14,15] Buildup or residual material can present a risk when a continuous batching process is used by allowing greater time in these areas for microbial growth. These factors need to be considered when conducting a risk assessment to assist in determining allowable residence times, hold times, or time between cleanings.
1. Matrix parameters
If the water activity of the food/ingredient matrix under consideration is less than 0.85, it would not be considered “high moisture.”[16] For materials with a water activity of 0.85 or greater:
•    Determine pH. Is the pH greater than 4.0 and less than 9.8? If the answer is yes, continue.
•    Determine the percentage of water-phase salt (WPS). Is the maximum percentage WPS of the material less than 10? If the answer is yes, then time/temperature controls are probably necessary for the high-moisture slurry during manufacturing. Continue with the risk assessment.

The minimum pH for Staphylococcus aureus or Bacillus cereus growth is 4.0 or 4.3, respectively. S. aureus will not produce toxin, and B. cereus will not grow if the WPS is 10 percent or greater.[14] Therefore, if the answer to either of these questions is “no,” then the assessment may be discontinued.
2. Organisms of concern
As part of your Hazard Analysis, consider available scientific literature to understand specific microbiological hazards associated with incoming ingredients. Engage a subject-matter expert as necessary. Although it might not be associated with any ingredients, S. aureus must still be considered since humans are known carriers of this microorganism.[17] Examples of steps where direct or indirect inoculation of product may occur are reassembly of equipment after sanitation, weighing of ingredients, or tasks conducted near or over open equipment.
Consider in the risk assessment competing microflora such as yeast or lactic acid bacteria either added as an ingredient or naturally occurring. If at adequate levels in the food, these microorganisms may suppress the growth of S. aureus or B. cereus.[18,19] A lab study is essential to confirm growth suppression and should be verified at some frequency, especially when there is a change to the process or formulation. If the competitive microorganisms are indigenous to an ingredient or added as part of the formulation, inhibition also should be confirmed when there is a change in ingredient supplier because indigenous microflora and strain characteristics can differ, depending on the source of the ingredient.
3. Temperature
Review temperatures (if there is monitoring, continuous or otherwise) or collect temperatures of the material in the flow. Identify areas or process steps (including known or potential hang-up points) where product is held at temperatures that would support the growth of microorganisms.
4. Potential growth and toxin production
If the temperature of your material or WIP at its warmest area in the system can be maintained at temperatures below 50 °F, then toxin formation by S. aureus is not likely.[14] If temperatures cannot be controlled below 50 °F, then use predictive pathogen growth modeling programs such as ComBase Predictor or the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pathogen Modeling Program to help assess risk over the temperature range of concern. Use worst-case scenarios for your product parameters and temperature. If predictive modeling (typically based on broth studies) indicates that growth of these organisms exceeds the food safety limit at which toxin production is typically initiated (e.g., 105 CFU/g), then an inoculated challenge study using your specific matrix may be needed to define the potential for growth of the target organism over time at various temperatures. These results can help determine acceptable residence times at specific temperatures during manufacturing. Once modeling or a challenge study is complete, a table may be constructed with temperature ranges and the allowable hold time for those ranges. An example is illustrated in Table 1. Findings from published literature may be useful to aid in the design of control limits for your process. However, caution must be exercised to ensure that matrix parameters and process parameters described in the literature apply to your specific product.
5. Document
Document your findings in the food safety plan. If risks do exist, construct a strategy for mitigation and management. An example can be found in Table 2. Develop procedures and training for personnel.
Management Strategies
The following are example strategies for managing the potential risk of pathogenic microorganism growth and subsequent toxin production. Strategies may vary with the type of matrix, sanitary design of the equipment, manufacturing practices, sanitation frequency, or other factors. Work with an expert microbiologist to formulate an effective control strategy tailored to your manufacturing facility. Examples include:
1. Control of residence time
Establish allowable maximum residence time based on the highest occurring temperature in the matrix. If the temperature of the material at its warmest area in the system can be maintained at 50 °F or lower, then residence time will most likely depend on other factors such as quality. Do not allow the high-moisture matrix to remain at a temperature longer than results from modeling or a challenge study dictate. Remove material from production before that occurs. If the process for the matrix is continuous, then the maximum length of time between full sanitation cycles will be determined by the results of modeling or the challenge study unless interdictive cleaning is implemented.
2. Sanitation and interdictive cleaning
Interdictive cleaning is a step that may be taken between full sanitation cycles. It refers to simple scraping to remove product from the specific locations identified as hang-up points in the initial risk assessment. A food manufacturer needs to tailor sanitation practices to the holding time allowed for high-moisture WIP based on the warmest temperature of the material. So that growth cannot reach the food safety limit for toxin production (e.g., 105 or 5 log CFU/g), interdictive cleaning should occur at a time point where theoretical growth is less than the theoretical level for toxin production for the organism of concern (e.g., 5.0 × 104 or 4.6 log CFU/g). If surfaces can be rinsed, the equipment must be visibly clean after rinsing. Determine whether growth can occur in dried-on product by collecting a sample and testing the water activity. If it is less than 0.85, toxin production cannot occur.
3. Equipment modification
Partner with your engineering department to determine whether modifications can be made to the equipment that holds the high-moisture material so that it is shielded from hot temperatures or jacketed to maintain reduced temperatures. An alternative is to cool the room and maintain temperatures that slow the growth of target microorganisms. While equipment or room modification might sound like the easiest approach, it may prove difficult and expensive. Unintended outcomes may occur such as condensation or increased viscosity, leading to reduction in flowability. If you are installing a new line, it is recommended to use information from microbial growth modeling or a challenge study to optimize the food safety design of the equipment, room, and run schedules.
4. Foundational food safety programs
Foundational food safety programs probably will not be the sole controls for preventing the presence or growth of B. cereus or S. aureus, but they are important components of a food safety plan. Examples of foundational elements to consider are:
a. Ingredients. Build stringent ingredient specification and supplier verification programs. Set the specifications or target values for microorganisms of concern as low as reasonably possible to help allow the greatest run time. All certificates of analysis of incoming ingredients must be verified at the plant and any deviations escalated.
b. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs). Ensure that the manufacturing facility’s food safety plan includes GMP requirements for employees when they are handling ingredients or slurries. These GMPs should be used to prevent the opportunity for inoculation by human carriers of S. aureus (e.g., wearing of gloves, face masks). In addition to line employees, these GMPs should apply to all employees in the plant, including personnel from maintenance, sanitation, quality control, and management.
5. Unplanned downtime
Care must also be taken when unplanned downtime occurs to ensure that growth in the matrix does not approach the limits for food safety. When a line goes idle, the temperature from the warmest area of idle WIP must be measured and recorded throughout the idle time. A previously constructed table based on modeling or a challenge study will facilitate efficient decision making regarding when the material must be destroyed and equipment rinsed or cleaned. Alternatively, modeling that reflects real-time progression in temperature may be conducted to determine disposition of material using the “dynamic” option in ComBase Predictor.
Conclusion
Recalls or outbreaks relating to S. aureus and B. cereus contamination of food are of major public health concern, specifically due to their ability to produce heat-stable toxins that cause foodborne illness. Once formed, these heat-stable toxins cannot be eliminated with currently available chemical or physical decontamination treatments. Hence, controlling the residence times of temperature-dependent, high-moisture matrices during manufacturing becomes an important consideration for food processors. This article proposes a risk assessment framework and several management strategies for minimizing the potential for growth of undesirable microorganisms leading to toxin production in a food matrix/manufacturing system. Following this approach will help meet regulatory requirements and give the food manufacturer confidence that the products they are making are wholesome and safe for consumption.  
Nancy Dobmeier, CQA, CHA, is working as a principal microbiologist, Food Safety and Microbiology, at Conagra Brands.
Balasubrahmanyam Kottapalli, Ph.D., CQE, is working as a senior principal microbiologist, Food Safety and Microbiology, at Conagra Brands.
References
1. www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2013/recall-074-2013-release.
2. www.foodnavigator-asia.com/Article/2013/01/14/Update-to-tofu-recall-from-FSA.
3. www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2013/ucm344588.htm.
4. www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2015/recall-100-2015-release.
5. www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/importedfoods/Documents/Bean%20curd%20and%20Bacillus.pdf.
6. foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/mighty-taco-outbreak-caused-by-bacillus-cereus/.
7. pennstatefoodsafety.blogspot.com/2017/05/canadian-firm-recalls-frozen-breaded.html.
8. www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2018/recall-027-2018-release.
9. www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/03/slim-fast-was-recalled-for-bacillus-cereus/#.Wv5C8aPfO3A.
10. www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/staph-contamination-found-in-bakery/#.Wv5ByaPfO3A.
11. www.eater.com/2013/8/27/6381149/cronut-burger-illnesses-traced-back-to-maple-bacon-jam.
12. Schelin, J, et al. 2011. “The Formation of Staphylococcus aureus Enterotoxin in Food Environments and Advances in Risk Assessment.” Virulence 2(6):580–592.
13. www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ353/pdf/PLAW-111publ353.pdf.
14. Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance, 4th ed. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Food Safety, 2011).
15. Jol, S, et al. 2006. “Issues in Time and Temperature Abuse of Refrigerated Foods.” Food Safety Magazine December 2005/January 2006.
16. www.gmaonline.org/downloads/technical-guidance-and-tools/SalmonellaControlGuidance.pdf.
17. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 2000. “Staphylococcus aureus.” The Bad Bug Book: Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook.
18. Kottapalli, B, et al. 2013. “Microbiological Profile of Dough Systems During Pita Chips, Pretzel and Pretzel Products Production.” Poster presentation at the 2013 IAFP Conference, Charlotte, NC.
19. Stecchini, ML, I Sarais, and M Bertoldi. 1991. “The Influence of Lactobacillus plantarum Culture Inoculation on the Fate of Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella Typhimurium in Montasio Cheese.” Int J Food Microbiol 14:99–110.

Study: Listeria and Antimicrobial Resistance
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/study-listeria-and-antimicrobial-resistance/
By Staff (Dec 5, 2018)
Study: Listeria and Antimicrobial Resistance
A recent study conducted by the University of Surrey’s BioProChem group looks at how Listeria grows in food when novel, milder processing techniques are used.
Housed within the institution’s Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, the BioProChem group collaborated with the university’s School of Biosciences and Medicine and KU Leuven in Belgium. The research paper is entitled, “Modelling the microbial dynamics and antimicrobial resistance development of Listeria in viscoelastic food model systems of various structural complexities”.
The study, summarized by Physio.org, is described as the following:
In the project, researchers have remodeled food products to enable them to thoroughly examine how bacteria develop antimicrobial resistance in a highly controlled chemical and structural environment – and in particular how Listeria responds to nisin (a natural antimicrobial produced by lactic acid bacteria present in dairy products) and to heat in such a controlled environment. They found that in food models containing both proteins and polysaccharides (a type of carbohydrate), the bacteria grow exclusively on the protein, suggesting that Listeria has a mechanism which decides on where growth will take place.
This research could be useful for food processors who continue to face challenges with antimicrobial resistance.
When cells are exposed to environments that are mildly stressful – such as a gradual increase in temperature – they develop resistance not only to this particular factor but to others as well, via a mechanism called 'cross-protection'. As a result, by 2050 it is estimated that more people will die from bacterial infections than cancer.
However, at the same time, conventional sterilisation techniques are being abandoned because consumers demand foods that undergo minimal processing and have high nutritional value and sensory characteristics, which are lost during sterilisation. Food manufacturers are therefore looking at alternatives such as processing with natural antimicrobial compounds, ultrasonic treatment, hydrostatic pressure or milder heat treatment.
Dr. Eirini Velliou, who has led the recent project at Surrey, explains: "Our research could enable manufacturers to tailor products and processing techniques more effectively. The long term aim is to ensure safety from 'farm to fork' and to find out how bacteria can develop resistance throughout the food chain as a result of a food's specific chemical and structural properties."
The BioProChem’s study was published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology in July 2018.

Food Safety Testing Market Expected to Grow at 7%, Report Says
Source : https://www.qualityassurancemag.com/article/food-safety-testing-market-report/
By qualityassurancemag.com (Dec 4, 2018)
The food safety testing market is anticipated to surpass $16 billIon in the forecast period, says a new report from Market Search Engine.
The food safety testing market is anticipated to surpass $16 billon in the forecast period.
NEW YORK — The food safety testing market is anticipated to surpass USD 16 billion in the forecast period. The market is expected to show a healthy growth at a CAGR of 7%.
The scope of the report includes a detailed study of global and regional markets for various types of food safety testing with the reasons given for variations in the growth of the industry in certain regions.
The report covers detailed competitive outlook including the market share and company profiles of the key participants operating in the global market.
Key players profiled in the report include:
SGS S.A.
Intertek Group Plc.
Eurofins Scientific
Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.
DNV GL
Bureau Veritas S.A.
DuPont
Lloyd's Assurance Ltd.
Silliker Inc.
Ifp Institut Fur Produktqualitat GmbH
Romer Labs Inc.
Asia Pacific is a leading market with highest growth rate globally. Increasing demand of food safety is a boosting the food safety market in Asia Pacific regions. China is at the top in terms of rapid growth in APAC.
You Can Browse Full Report: https://www.marketresearchengine.com/reportdetails/food-safety-testing-market
The major driving factors of food safety testing market are as follows:
o Rising in outbreak of food borne infections
o Execution of several food safety policies
o Food safety globalization
 o Availability of superior fast technology
o Media pressure on customer alertness for food safety
The restraints factors of food safety testing market are as follows:
o Lacking in food control infrastructure
o Lack of resources in many countries
o Missing alertness on food safety policies among food companies
This report provides:
1) An overview of the global market for food safety testing and related technologies.
2) Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2015, estimates for 2016 and 2017, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2022.
3) Identifications of new market opportunities and targeted promotional plans for food safety testing.
4) Discussion of research and development, and the demand for new products and new applications.
5) Comprehensive company profiles of major players in the industry.
The Food safety testing Market is segmented on the Basis of Technology Segment Type, Contaminant Analysis, Application Analysis and Regional Analysis. By Technology Segment Analysis this market is segmented on the Basis of Traditional and Rapid. By Contaminant Analysis this market is segmented on the Basis of Pathogens, Pesticides, GMOs, Toxins and Others (residues, allergens).
By Application Analysis this market is segmented on the Basis of Meat & poultry, Dairy, Processed foods, Fruits & vegetables and others. By Regional Analysis this market is segmented on the Basis of North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Rest of the World.
Food safety is a technique in which management, preparation and storage of food in different way to protect and prevent food borne. Food safety is handle, store and prepare food to avoid infectivity and provide nutrients to food for us to have a healthy diet. Unsafe food and water have been exposed to dirt and germs which can cause infection and diseases. Disease can transmit among people through food and microorganism can originate food poisoning, to avoid this different food safety principles are available. Storage of different food at suitable temperature and use secure raw material and water. Managing of microbiological food safety is mainly based on high-quality plan of procedures, foods and actions.
Request sample Report from here: https://www.marketresearchengine.com/reportdetails/food-safety-testing-market

 

Food Sanitizer Efficacy and Validation Overview
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/food-sanitizer-efficacy-and-validation-overview/
By Bill Bremer and Roberto Bellavia (Dec 4, 2018)
Food Sanitizer Efficacy and Validation Overview
The food safety industry has focused heavily on sanitation through the growth of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certifications and more recently the Food Safety Modernization act (FSMA). These efforts have intensified over the past 10+ years, resulting in the mandatory development of much more formalized programs, including programs for sanitation. 
Background
FSMA’s sanitation requirements, both embedded and highlighted in the Section 117 Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs), came as a result of key findings by Eastern Research Group’s study in controls determined necessary to reduce the incidence of outbreaks in the U.S. The response to this, as well as continued food outbreaks, led to heavy requirements for sanitation management within the FSMA food safety plans, CGMPs, and preventive controls. In basketball terms, this equates to a “full-court press” when it comes to addressing sanitation in the food industry.
The sanitation requirements not only stress the environmental monitoring requirement, but also ensure that the plans include a qualified sanitation manager within food operations to oversee this critical area. (It should be noted that in previous years, industry has had a track record of eliminating such positions. More experienced internal sanitation managers were replaced with outsourcing to chemical supplier programs.)
Independently, FSMA has also set in motion significant increases in requirements for recorded evidence, including that effective sanitation be mandated within the supply chains of each food processor. Ultimately, each customer receiving product from another company must ensure that they meet the FSMA and customer sanitation requirements.
On top of this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is very focused on swabbing for bacteria and other microbes and matching findings to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's PulseNet database. The database represents known strains of bacteria that can be identified by genome sequencing at the molecular level, linking past outbreaks to a new swab finding.  This provides enough evidence of sanitation issues at a site for a criminal investigation by FDA.
The Issue: Outbreaks
Even with this increased emphasis and more stringent sanitation requirements, food outbreaks continue. Recent outbreaks in both the news and on the FDA website include the following:
• Escherichia coli contamination of ground beef from a major retailer
• Salmonella infections linked to pasta salad from a major regional grocery change
• A multistate Cyclospora outbreak from fresh salads at a leading fast food chain
• Crab meat imported from Venezuela due to Vibrio parahaemolyticus
• A multistate outbreak of Cyclospora linked to vegetables from a major processor
• Salmonella Mbandaka outbreak from cereal
• A multistate Samonella Adalaide from outbreak of pre-cut melons
What has gone wrong—or simply not right—to lead to these continued outbreaks? Some key question to ask include the following:
• What are the underlying reasons for the continued contamination and outbreaks?
• Have the root causes possibly been missed?
• Have better sanitation programs failed at “significantly reducing” the incidence of microbial contamination of the food supply? 
• Have sanitation programs been improved but is a common cause still not fully addressed?  
On the positive side, the physical evidence of sanitation programs is more heavily audited and tested than ever before. Additionally, the mitigation of corrective actions required by certification standards and the law leads to a sustained process to take actions, when necessary.
However, many sanitation programs are consistently lacking proper development, implementation, and management. Most have not been subjected to a complete review versus limited modification and/or are historically established programs that tend to evolve at a more deliberate (versus urgent) pace to prove compliance is met. Rarely is a complete review of sanitation programs and sanitizers conducted unless absolutely necessary. The challenges of cost control and limited resources continue to be an issue for much of the industry, leading to less aggressive steps. And the complexities of the types of bacteria and microbes just may be staying ahead of the of the higher sanitation standards. 
Focus on Sanitizers
The adequacy of the sanitizers themselves is vital. Are they adequate to support the program’s ability to reduce or eliminate the level of microbial pathogen risk to safe levels? Have you assessed and approved your sanitizers based on their legally proven capability? 
The use of ineffective and unverified sanitizer chemicals is a key issue not only for your operations, but for the entire supply chain—extending from growing to harvesting to pre-processing to washing to packaging to processing to final packaging to distributing to serving and to consuming. The quality and capability of the sanitizers being used for various food risks and operations are likely sources, leading to continued outbreaks in the market.
Greater emphasis must be placed on the sanitizers and their use. The sanitizer used must be proven effective at all levels of use, food products, and conditions. If not, the risk of microbial contamination will not be eliminated. The confidence level of your sanitizers cannot be overlooked—and many issues may impact their effectiveness, including the following:
• Proper selection for the food safety risk of the product/processes of an operation
• Proper selection and verification of the sanitizers approved for the operation type
• Safe storage, handling and control of sanitizers, as verified by sufficient testing
• Use factors, including water quality, especially for sanitizers requiring dilution of potency of metering systems
• Use of only sanitizer products that are in-specification to their registrations, approved use, and handling instructions
• Less effective sanitizers or dilutions to possibly reduce cost
• Bait-and-switch by chemical distributers of less potent sanitizers to increase sales and profits
• Any other factor of misuse or lack of full proper use of sanitizers
Validating and Verifying Sanitizer Efficacy
Many companies overlook the selection and approval of the right sanitizer for the intended use. This must include:
• A “fit” of the surface being sanitized, and
• The potential risk of the food products and environment. 
When looking at the requirements for an approved sanitizer, it is critical to review the technical and use information. Be aware that in the U.S., approval of labels is highly regulated at the formula, use direction, and claim levels. Significant testing for validated and verified efficacy must be conducted prior to marketing a product labeled for food. This means the product is approved for sanitation of various microbials and specific surfaces. Food companies must ensure their chemical suppliers can prove the efficacy of the sanitizers they provide or recommend, or face the outcome of a failed sanitation inspection.
For these purposes, efficacy is defined as data showing that the pesticide is effective in controlling the pests for which control claims are made on the product label. Efficacy data are routinely required to be submitted to support products that control pests of public health significance, including but not limited to products to control pathogenic bacteria and viruses.[1]
Validation based on product use and both U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) require environmental and product testing that ensures the sanitizer product being used is effective:
EPA Regulations
EPA regulations outline the testing requirements for registered sanitizers for the food industry (typically hard surfaces that include disinfection, as well as sanitization). The approval for use by EPA and FDA requires registration (registered use, labeling, advertising)—providing and supporting testing that validates efficacy requirements.
For those products that fall under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as hard surface sanitizers for food contact (without required rinse or requiring rinse based on development), testing and approval must be registered. Additionally, these products may include claims as cleaner, detergent, deodorizer, virucide, mildewstat, or fungicide. All may have a necessary application in controlling contamination in food processing.
The general requirements of approved and registered pesticides under FIFRA must be supported by an approved EPA registration number and from an approved EPA establishment. The approved labeling must include active ingredient statements, intended use (as described under background), manufacturing company and location, and use directions.
Efficacy is based on the registered active ingredient under FIFRA, while the manufacturing testing must follow the registered use, dilution, and delivery. The primary test information resides with the company and establishment manufacturing and distributing the registered active ingredient. Downstream manufacturers that must meet the same labeling requirement may repackage or reprocess the active ingredients into direct intended use products manufactured, according the technical and labeling information from the registered active ingredient manufacturer. The technical use and labeling information needs to reflect the registered active ingredient of the original manufacturer.
USDA Regulations
In addition, USDA may provide requirements for use of sanitizers that are not EPA-registered under programs for National Organic Programs. Up until 1998, USDA issued letters to confirm that the efficacy and labeling requirements were met according to the food use (sanitizer no-rinse/rinse).  Products must be registered by a pesticide manufacturer of approved active ingredients that can be used in formulations of various dilution and delivery based on the intended use.
Comprehensive Process Review
Ultimately, the food supply chain is expected to have “fail-safe” sanitation at all levels. Legal requirements mandate proper sanitation though the entire supply chain and require processors to determine the risks within their operations prior to releasing products for the next level. Releasing product processed without mitigating these risks can fall under food fraud based on the current description of pure and unadulterated food.
FDA data have shown that inadequate sanitation exists in all types of food operations, including food processing, meat/protein, ready-to-eat, produce, foodservice, commissary, and retail. Our assessment of a broad range of food processing and handling operations further shows that virtually all have inadequate sanitation programs, even though they may pass audits on a regular basis. The lack of qualification of approved and registered sanitizers presents significant gaps. The quality and use of these sanitizers are weak areas when it comes to proper use and correct implementation of registered and approved products.
While many companies are starting to show improvement, most still have gaps when it comes to effectively meeting complete sanitation requirements. These companies, particularly organizations that have experienced outbreaks, need to conduct or commission a complete process review of their sanitation programs. This will serve to validate acceptable programs prior to audits and inspections.
Like quality, you cannot inspect in sanitation. Sanitation must be proven by scientific evidence that can be fully verified. The standards are in place to conduct a comprehensive process review and to take sanitation to new levels to significantly reduce the incidence of potentially lethal outbreaks.
Bill Bremer is a principal with Kestrel Management and leads the company’s food safety consulting group. Roberto Bellavia is a principal with Kestrel Management, where he manages food safety-related projects and supports clients of all sizes in developing and implementing GFSI schemes, complying with FSMA requirements, and creating supplier approval programs.
Reference
1. www.epa.gov/pria-fees/pria-glossary.

Walking on Eggshells: Do You Know the Risks?
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/december-2018january-2019/walking-on-eggshells-do-you-know-the-risks/
By Jory D. Lange Jr., Esq., and Candess Zona-Mendola
Walking on Eggshells: Do You Know the Risks?
Tap. Tap. Crack.
It’s the early morning sound that, together with the coffee pot’s gurgling, makes us immediately hungry. The egg is the ultimate American food staple. Along with bread, milk, and water, it’s one of the first foods to sell out in grocery stores during an extreme weather warning. And there is no question about it: With an impressive range of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and good fats, eggs are nature’s perfect food.
Despite Americans’ familiarity with eggs, many do not know their secret: Eggs are one of the most dangerous foods that we eat. So dangerous that in the last few years alone, hundreds of millions of eggs have had to be recalled. Why all the fuss? Because all too often, those innocent-looking eggs that we buy in the store are contaminated with Salmonella.
And Salmonella is not just trapped inside the eggs. Salmonella can also be on the egg’s shell. When you buy eggs at the grocery store, do you open the carton to make sure they aren’t cracked? Most people do. Do you ever touch the eggs? Millions of Americans do each day. Few Americans realize that those innocent-looking eggshells they have just touched may be contaminated with Salmonella.
It All Starts with the Hen
It’s dawn. A hen is sleeping in her community coop. Shafts of light from the rising sun peek through the holes of her coop, and she begins to stir. The hen lays an egg.
Thus begins the egg’s epic journey to your plate.
It does not stay in the nest for long. As the hen moves about her nest and begins to peck at the feed brought to her on the conveyor belt, the egg slowly rolls down to its own conveyor belt. Along with the other eggs that have been laid that day, the egg gradually makes its way to a processing room.
The egg rolls from one belt to another as it continues through a series of sizing equipment. Next is another conveyor that takes it through a cleaning machine. The egg then is dumped into a water bath to continue the drying and candling process. Next, it is rolled back onto yet another conveyor belt to its next destination. As the egg begins to dry, a processing worker inspects the egg and its compadres, carefully removing any eggs that appear to be broken, malformed, or dirty, essentially any that have not already been removed during the candling process.
As the egg continues on its journey, it passes inspection and moves to the next part of the process: stamping and packaging. A special machine gently suctions the egg and others of its size into an appropriately sized egg carton. It is wrapped and placed in cold storage. From here, the egg could travel to any number of places. It may be distributed to the nearest grocery store. It may be loaded onto a truck and driven to another state. Or it may be exported to another country. Most likely, it will change hands at least three or four more times before arriving at its final destination, the breakfast plate.
But what does the egg’s journey have to do with Salmonella?
Many Americans don’t realize that from before the egg is even laid until the moment when the egg is packaged into its carton, there are repeated opportunities for the egg to become contaminated with Salmonella. And not just on the inside of the egg but on the shell, too.
Herein lies the problem. Egg safety begins with the chicken, or rather, the chicken farmer. In well-run egg farms, farmers are ever vigilant in identifying and then eliminating any possible routes of Salmonella contamination at each step in the egg’s journey from hen to fork. But in poorly run egg farms, eggs may become contaminated during their journey. And if hens become infected with Salmonella, their eggs may be contaminated with Salmonella even before they are laid.
How Salmonella Can Get into (and onto) Eggs
There is nothing new in the link between Salmonella and eggs. When we were children and our mothers told us not to eat raw cookie dough, they were trying to protect us from the danger of Salmonella hidden inside eggs.
But what is the real danger? How can something as small as an egg send someone to the hospital, let alone cause a multi-state outbreak?
There are four main ways that eggs become contaminated:
1. Biosecurity failures that introduce Salmonella into chicken coops
2. Pest infestations
3. Lack of proper cleaning and sanitization procedures
4. Improper holding temperatures   
Let’s take a look at each of these factors individually.
Biosecurity Failures
Infected chickens may not show any signs of Salmonella infection. In fact, they rarely do because certain species of Salmonella do not make chickens sick. That is why it is important for egg producers to routinely test their chickens—especially because Salmonella infections in the ovaries can transfer into the egg.
Chickens are messy. They are animals, after all. Unlike us humans (and the more pampered house cats we know), chickens really do not care too much about cleanliness, especially where they walk, eat, or do the other things that nature intends them to do. This means that chickens will pick up any pathogens they encounter in their environment. If an animal, for instance, gets into a coop and exposes the coop to bacteria, the entire coop may become infected. If an infected chicken is introduced to the coop, the infection can spread. This is why it is so important to keep coops clean and free of any potential contaminants.
Pest Infestations
Rodents and flies are not just annoying, but like the spread of plague by fleas on rats, they also cause a huge problem when it comes to pathogens. Again, an entire coop of chickens can become infected through just a cluster of flies. Pests also can leave their own natural elements behind, creating another opportunity for more bacteria to colonize.
Improper Cleaning and Sanitization
The egg’s journey from hen to fork is littered with opportunities for bacterial contamination. As with any food processing facility, proper cleaning and sanitation are crucial. All the more reason why it is not surprising when Salmonella outbreak investigations unearth basic breakdowns in cleaning and sanitation programs. In this year’s Rose Acre Farm outbreak, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspectors observed that the facility’s cleaning procedures were “not being implemented by management and followed by sanitation employees,” that maintenance and sanitation employees were placing food contact equipment “onto floor, pallets, and equipment that was visibly dirty with accumulated grime and food debris, before placing the equipment into service,” and that “production and maintenance employees were observed touching non-food contact surfaces (i.e., face, hair, intergluteal cleft, production equipment with accumulated grime and food debris, floor, boxes, trash cans, inedible transport cans) and then touch[ing] shell eggs and food contact surfaces…”[1]
Improper Holding Temperatures
Say it with us now: “Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.” You know the mantra. For those of us in the food safety field, it is ingrained in our brains. We are pretty sure most of us say it over and over during dinner parties when we have that one friend who just has to push the limits of the 2-hour rule.
But when it comes to eggs, proper holding temperatures are more than just a spoilage concern. Holding temperatures are an exposure concern, too. We all assume that eggs are pretty well protected, that their shell is their armor. People often assume that the egg inside will always be OK, despite any environmental exposures the shell may endure.
Dead wrong. The egg’s shell is porous. Bring yourself back to your ninth-grade biology class for a moment. Do you remember learning about cell structure and a little thing called osmosis? Well, eggs do that. When a cold egg is left out at room temperature, the water inside the egg will cause the egg to sweat—or rather transfer to the outside of the egg. This means that whatever pathogens may be lurking on the outside of the egg can do the reverse and pass through the shell into the inside of the egg. And what do we all know about pathogens? They like to grow and colonize. Something as minor as leaving an egg out at room temperature can lead to creating one’s own food poisoning bomb.
Salmonella Outbreaks
Time and again, Salmonella outbreak investigations reveal basic breakdowns in biosecurity, pest control, cleaning and sanitation, and holding temperatures. When it comes to Salmonella egg outbreaks, there really is nothing new under the sun.
These failures are why we repeatedly see outbreaks linked to eggs. The link between Salmonella and eggs is not new. We knew about it back in 1987,[2] when 500 people became sick from eating raw eggs that had become contaminated by Salmonella transmission from the chicken’s ovary to the egg. We saw these same types of food safety violations during the Wright County Egg/DeCoster Farms outbreak in 2010—where FDA inspectors arrived to discover chicken coops teeming with flies, maggots, scurrying rodents, and overflowing manure pits. Wild birds were allowed free run of the coops, infecting laying chickens. Chickens that were obviously sick were allowed to mingle with healthy birds. And that is just a little about the laundry list of food safety violations in that outbreak. Investigations later revealed that these critical food safety violations went back decades.
But that was 8 years ago; surely the egg industry has learned from its mistakes. Surely after the DeCoster catastrophe, egg producers are always doing the right thing. Some are. But others still are not.
We don’t have to look any further than the 2016 Good Earth Egg outbreak and this year’s Rose Acre Farms outbreak to see that there is still a problem. Good Earth Egg failed to test their hens for Salmonella. Their biosecurity measures, or rather lack thereof, failed. Equipment was moved from the coops to the processing areas without first sanitizing it. Cleaning and disinfection systems failed. And don’t even get us started on the rodent infestation.
As for Rose Acre Farms, this latest tale of egg woe is like comparing Romeo and Juliet to Pyramus and Thisbe. Same story, different names. FDA’s investigation revealed pest infestations: “unacceptable rodent activity within a poultry house” and “flying insects throughout the egg processing facility…landing on food, food contact surfaces, and food production equipment”; biosecurity failures: “condensation dripping from the ceiling, pipes, and down walls, onto production equipment” (remember Peanut Corporation of American’s leaking ceiling?); and improper cleaning and sanitation: “insanitary conditions and poor employee practices observed in the egg processing facility that create an environment that allows for the harborage, proliferation, and spread of filth and pathogens throughout the facility…”[1] This year’s Salmonella egg outbreak (and ensuing recall of 207 million eggs) is just the latest of its kind. It’s a tale as old as time.
We are seeing the same violations lead to Salmonella outbreaks over and over. It makes you wonder: Do over a billion eggs need to be recalled and thousands more people become sick before the egg industry wakes up and follows the rules?
A Cage-Free Future
As the egg-producing industry moves toward a cage-free future, many consumers, regulators, producers, and even food safety advocates like us are wondering what this change will mean for food safety and Salmonella.
We are seeing some mixed emotions.
At one end of the spectrum, some egg producers have claimed that going cage-free will open up their chicken flocks to a new laundry list of environmental exposures and potentially lead to a greater risk of illness. But that assumes that cage-free means getting to go outside like free-range chickens. It doesn’t. In most cases, cage-free means just that. No cages. The birds are still cooped up in an indoor coop. They are still packed together. It is like having a seat at your favorite concert hall versus the same concert hall being standing room only. When it rains, there’s still a roof over your head.
Those in favor of the shift cite research showing cage-free production practices improve food safety, specifically studies like the 2009 Huneau-Salaün study[3] (which concluded that the prevalence of Salmonella was found to be higher in caged flocks) and the 2015 Penn State meta-analysis[4] (which concluded cage housing for chickens increases the risk of Salmonella contamination). A 2010 British paper went on to essentially say the same thing—that eggs from caged hens had 7.7 times greater odds of harboring Salmonella bacteria than eggs from noncaged hens.[5]
There are others in the debate who do not necessarily care either way, because they believe that a cage-free shift will not do anything to benefit food safety but will rather appease the customer with a (perhaps misleading) sense that their eggs are now more humanely produced.
Will going cage-free allow for a more sterile environment? Or will it just make things dirtier? Will environmental conditions for laying hens actually be better? Will going cage-free mean more or fewer antibiotics? Or will it have no effect whatsoever? We will just have to see.
The critical question for egg-producing corporations will be: How strong is their food safety culture? Are corporations willing to pay for necessary testing? Are they willing to invest in quality equipment and training of their employees on food safety practices? With a huge investment in new equipment and facilities to allow for cage-free hens, coupled with a concern that the consumer market won’t pay the high premium prices for eggs, will more corners be cut? Will sanitization and cleaning practices be adhered to? These are the pressing questions, whether or not a cage-free shift is in the future of the egg industry.
Food Safety Culture
Ultimately, it all boils down to the egg producer’s food safety culture. You can have the best, most expensive processing equipment the industry has to offer and allow your free-range chickens to frolic in fields of beautiful St. Augustine grass. None of that will be enough to keep the consumer safe from foodborne illness if you have a poor food safety culture. Does your egg processing facility have sound biosecurity controls, pest controls, proper cleaning and sanitizing, and proper temperature holds? Without these, nothing else matters. In the end, there really is no mystery. The industry has had the tools to make our eggs safe all along.   
Jory D. Lange Jr., Esq., is a national food safety lawyer in the Lange Law Firm, PLLC, who helps families who have been harmed in food poisoning outbreaks.
Candess Zona-Mendola is a food safety advocate and the senior trial paralegal of the Lange Law Firm, PLLC. She works closely with Jory to advance the firm’s food safety cases and is the editor of MakeFoodSafe.com, a food safety website.
References
1. www.fda.gov/ucm/groups/fdagov-public/@fdagov-afda-orgs/documents/document/ucm604794.pdf.
2. Telzak, EE, et al. 1990. “A Nosocomial Outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis Infection due to the Consumption of Raw Eggs.” N Engl J Med 323:394–397.
3. Huneau-Salaün, A, et al. 2009. “Risk Factors for Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Contamination in 519 French Laying Hen Flocks at the End of the Laying Period.” Prev Vet Med 89(1-2):51–8.
4. Denagamage, T, et al. 2015. “Risk Factors Associated with Salmonella in Laying Hen Farms: Systematic Review of Observational Studies.” Avian Dis 59(2):291–302.
5. Snow, LC, et al. 2010. “Investigation of Risk Factors for Salmonella on Commercial Egg-Laying Farms in Great Britain, 2004–2005.” Vet Rec 166:579–586.

 

 

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