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12/07. EHS Food Safety Coordinator - Aulander, NC
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12/04. Vice President of Quality – Northfield, IL
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12/03. Regional Food Safety Mgr - Westborough, MA
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12/01. Document Control Specialist - Portland, OR


FoodHACCP Newsletter
12/08 2014 ISSUE:629

Will Sprout Grower Face Criminal Charges After Listeria Recalls?
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/will-sprout-grower-face-criminal-charges-after-listeria-recalls/
By Carla Gillespie (Dec 7, 2014)
After two Listeria recalls in two years, bean sprout grower Henry’s Farm of Virginia may face criminal charges, according to a report in The Packer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating the company for 32 months, but Listeria problems have persisted even after a fire destroyed the facility and it was rebuilt.
After the recall in 2012, FDA investigators inspected the facility and found “numerous insanitary conditions and practices that may have contributed directly or indirectly to contamination of your sprouts with pathogens and filth.” There were rodent droppings in bags of mung beans, and gnawed marks on bags of soybeans in the refrigerated seed storage area. Inspectors also noted a “foul odor consistent with rodent infestations.”
In late November 2014, a second recall was linked to Henry’s sprouts. Virginia’s agriculture department confiscated and destroyed the product and production at the facility was halted. An official from the department told The Packer that because compliance was voluntary, all options, including criminal charges, were being considered.
Listeria can cause serious, sometimes fatal illness. Symptoms include fever, stiff neck, headache, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Among pregnant women  listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and infection in the newborn.
No illnesses have been linked to sprouts from Henry’s Farm, but earlier this year a Listeria outbreak linked to sprouts produced by Wholesome Soy Products of Chicago sickened five people, two of them died.

Rare Salmonella Strains in Bean Sprout Outbreak
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/rare-salmonella-strains-in-bean-sprout-outbreak/
By Carla Gillespie (Dec 7, 2014)
There are two Salmonella strains involved in the outbreak linked to contaminated bean sprouts that has sickened 87 people in 11 states. And both of them are rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
To solve and track this outbreak, public health investigators are using PulseNet, a national subtyping network of public health agencies that is coordinated by CDC.  When patients are diagnosed with a foodborne bacterial infection, a DNA “fingerprinting” test, called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE),  is performed on the bacteria and the “fingerprint” is shared on the network.
The two strains associated with this outbreak have rarely surfaced on PulseNet, according to the CDC.   “On average, less than 10 Salmonella bacteria with these PFGE patterns are reported to PulseNet each year.”
The rarity of the strains may have something to do with the high percentage of hospitalizations associated with this outbreak. About 27 percent of those sickened have been hospitalized. On average, 20 percent of people sickened in a Salmonella outbreak require hospitalization.
Salmonella poisoning symptoms include fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare cases, the infection can travel to the bloodstream producing more severe illnesses.
This outbreak has been lined to mung bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods Inc. of Brooklyn. Many of the contaminated sprouts were served at Asian restaurants on the East Coast. The names of those restaurants have not been disclosed by health officials.  By state, the most recent case count is as follows: Connecticut (7), Maine (3), Massachusetts (35), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (14), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island (6), Vermont (3), Virginia (1).

Food safety experts: Make inspections public
Source : http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2014/12/07/food-safety-experts-make-inspections-public/20064537/
By Tracy Loew, Statesman (Dec 7, 2014)
Oregon officials have a responsibility to make grocery and food processing inspections publicly available, leading food safety experts say.
"The more information you give them, the more consumers are able to make really good decisions to keep themselves safe," said Bill Marler, a Seattle food-safety lawyer and founder of Food Safety News. "If a grocery store has a bad track record of safety, the public has a right to know that."
On Sunday, the Statesman Journal reported that while the Oregon Department of Agriculture aims to inspect grocery stores, bakeries, food storage warehouses, dairies and other food establishments once a year, it misses that target by a third.
Grocery stores, in particular, are being neglected. More than half have not had an inspection in the past year, and five percent haven't had an inspection for more than three years.
Oregon doesn't give retail food and food processors scores or letter grades. And, consumers who want a copy of their store's last inspection must file a formal public records request and pay a minimum $15 search fee.
It's a stark contrast to Oregon's restaurant inspections, which are conducted by county health departments and overseen by the Oregon Health Authority. OHA reported 95 percent of restaurant inspections were completed on time, and it complies a yearly report with results. Most large counties also make restaurant inspection results easily available.
"There are two issues here – the inspections and the disclosures. Oregon is lacking in both," said food safety expert Doug Powell, creator of barfblog.com. "What you're talking about is things that make people sick."
Powell, a former Kansas State University food safety professor who has published a number of peer-reviewed papers on the subject, said restaurants are the focus of the public attention because it's easier to pinpoint outbreaks when everyone reporting illness has eaten the same meal.
"It's a farm-to-fork problem," he said. "There are vulnerabilities all along the system. Everyone has a responsibility all along the system to provide safe food. (Oregon regulators) should have a responsibility to make that data publicly available."
The newspaper has reached out to legislative leaders on the issue.
In an email response Sunday, Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli didn't address funding or transparency.

But, he said, "Any system so complex and with so many players inevitably fails on occasion. That's where the educated consumer comes in. The person in the family who prepares and serves meals is ultimately responsible for making sure that all foods, even pre-packaged foods are washed before storing, kept under proper refrigeration, cooked hot enough to kill food-borne pathogens and served warm."

 





 

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Jimmy John’s and Cucumbers and E. coli O157:H7
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/jimmy-johns-and-cucumbers-and-e-coli-o157h7/#.VIUI0k1WHs1
By Drew Falkenstein (Dec 6, 2014)
Friday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (“CDPHE”) and several Denver metropolitan area public health departments released a report of their investigation of an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7) that occurred in October 2013 at Denver Jimmy John’s restaurants.
Nine cases were identified, including 1 probable case and 8 laboratory-confirmed cases with matching pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and multiple-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) patterns from E. coli O157:H7 isolated from stool. All 9 cases reported eating sandwiches at Denver-area Jimmy John’s locations in early October 2013.  At least one developed severe hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
The outbreak investigation consisted of case finding and interviews, 2 separate case-control studies, environmental investigations, produce traceback, and laboratory testing. The results of this investigation indicate that consumption of Jimmy John’s sandwiches containing cucumbers imported from Mexico was the likely cause of the outbreak. As of the date of this report, no other cases of E. coli O157:H7 with the PFGE pattern combination seen in this outbreak were reported in Colorado.  See PowerPoint PDF.
And, its not like Jimmy John’s has not been in this position – BEFORE.
E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $600 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.
If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

E. coli In Yuba City Elementary School Well Does Not Cancel Classes
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/e-coli-in-yuba-city-elementary-school-well-does-not-cancel-classes/
By Carla Gillespie (Dec 6, 2014)
E. coli BacteriaSchool administrators at Barry Elementary School in Yuba City, California notified parents that E.coli had been detected in the school’s well but that classes would continue. The well has been shut off,  portable hand washing stations and bottled water have been brought into the school, and all meals are being prepared offsite. But the toilets will still be used.
Under the circumstances, not all parents were comfortable with the idea of sending their kids to school. Kari Bush told CBS13 that, knowing the risk that E.coli poses for small children, she was uncomfortable with the idea of sending her three kids to school.
E.coli can cause serious sometimes fatal illness. Young children are at elevated risk for E. coli poisoning and the serious complications that it can trigger such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Officials say they don’t know how the well became contaminated. The school is considering a new water treatment system.

Jimmy John’s 2013 Colorado E. coli Outbreak Linked to Imported Cucumbers
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/jimmy-johns-2013-colorado-e-coli-outbreak-linked-to-imported-cucumbers/
By Carla Gillespie (Dec 6, 2014)
A 2013 E.coli outbreak that sickened nine Jimmy John’s customers in the Denver area has been linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico. Health officials in Colorado have released a 27-page report detailing the investigation into the October 2013 outbreak, which they believe is the first E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with cucumbers in the United States.
All nine people who were sickened reported eating sandwiches containing cucumbers at three Denver-area Jimmy John’s shops in early October 2013. Lab tests confirmed that they were all sickened by the same E.coli strain.
Contact an E coli LawyerHow the cucumbers became contaminated isn’t clear, but it’s likely that the three store received contaminated cucumbers, health officials say. “It is very unlikely that contamination occurred within the 3 implicated Jimmy John’s locations, as no major food handling violations were noted during the environmental assessments and no ill food handlers were discovered.”
Because Colorado health officials are only authorized to investigate within the state, they “were unable to investigate if or how the cucumbers became contaminated prior to arriving in Colorado.” The report does not mention why investigators from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who were involved in the investigation, were unable to clarify that point.
What is does say is that contamination could have taken place during growing, harvest, transport, or distribution and that, going forward, food safety officials must consider cucumbers as a possible vehicle for E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks.

As another Salmonella “Sproutbreak” Grows, Marler Calls for Sprout Warning Label
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-policy-regulation/as-another-salmonella-sproutbreak-grows-marler-calls-for-sprout-warning-label/#.VIUkc01WHs1
By Bill Marler (Dec 05, 2014)
William Marler, an attorney specializing in food safety, warns about the danger of sprouts and that they are not as “healthy” as they seem – Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania hardest hit.
Another sprout-related Salmonella outbreak earlier this month has prompted the attorneys of the Seattle law firm, Marler Clark, to call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require warnings on packaging of all raw sprouts. Marler Clark specializes in cases involving foodborne illness.
As of December 4, a total of 87 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 11 states. The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Connecticut (7), Maine (3), Massachusetts (35), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (14), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island (7), Vermont (3) and Virginia (1). The one ill person from Montana traveled to the Eastern United States during the period when likely exposure occurred.
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. of New York are the likely source of this outbreak.
“According to the FDA’s own 1999 advisory, Recommendations on Sprouted Seeds, sprouts have been increasingly implicated in foodborne outbreaks. The time has come to label sprouts as potentially hazardous,” says William Marler, the firm’s managing partner. He suggests this labeling mirror the requirements now found on unpasteurized juices:
WARNING: This product may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
Perhaps we even need on a bit clearer:
As far back as September 1998, the FDA and CDC issued a warning against sprouts urging, children, pregnant women, and the elderly that they should not eat alfalfa sprouts until growers find a way to reduce the risk of E. coli. They also warned that any people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating sprouts as well.
Although sprouts are often considered a “health food,” the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria can grow to high levels without affecting the appearance of the sprouts.
Researchers have treated both seeds and sprouts with heat or washed them in solutions of chlorine, alcohol, and other chemicals. Some of these disinfectants reduced the levels of bacteria, but a potential hazard remained, especially for persons with weak immune systems. High temperatures that would kill the bacteria on the seeds would also keep them from sprouting.
“Until an effective way is found to prevent illness from sprouts, they should be eaten with caution, if at all,” says Marler. “Most people don’t understand the risks. The reality is most assume that something so “natural” is healthy, but the opposite is true—people who eat sprouts are gambling with their health each and every time they add them to a salad or sandwich. A warning label would go a long way towards explaining the real risks of sprouts.”
My friends at Barf Blog document at least 55 sprout-associated outbreaks occurring worldwide affecting a total of 15,233 people since 1988. A comprehensive table of sprout-related outbreaks can be found HERE.
Bill Marler is an accomplished food safety advocate and attorney. He began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he successfully represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. Over the years, Bill and his firm, Marler Clark, have become the leaders in representing victims of foodborne illness. Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of hepatitis A outbreaks.
Bill spends much of his time traveling to address food industry groups, fair associations, and public health groups about foodborne illness, related litigation, and surrounding issues. He has testified before Congress as well as State Legislatures. He is a frequent author of articles related to foodborne illness in food safety journals and magazines as well as on his personal blog, www.marlerblog.com. Bill also recently founded Food Safety News (www.foodsafetynews.com) as a one-stop resource for global food safety news and information.

Avian Flu in Canada “Highly Pathogenic”
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/avian-flu-in-canada-highly-pathogenic/
By Linda Larsen (Dec 4, 2014)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has just released a statement saying that testing has confirmed the avian influenza outbreak on two farms in Fraser Valley is the highly pathogenic H5N2 virus. And preliminary testing has bound that two other farms in British Columbia are “presumptive positive” for H5 avian influenza. Those two farms have been quarantined. Those two new farms received birds from one of the original farms that is infected.
When raw poultry is properly handled and cooked, there is no risk to humans. In addition, avian influenza only rarely affects people who do not have consistent contact with infected live birds. Still, cook any poultry thoroughly to 165°F as measured by a food thermometer and be careful to avoid cross-contamiantion between raw poultry and uncooked food.
This subtype of bird flu, H5N2, affects wild and domestic birds. It causes severe illness and death in birds, especially poultry. A low-pathogenic strain of H5N2 caused outbreaks in Manitoba in 2010 and British Columbia in 2009.
The birds on the farms will be humanely euthanized, and the farmers will receive compensation. Poultry farms are “reminded to practice a high level of biosecurity to reduce the risk of disease spread, and report any suspicious symptoms in their flocks to the CFIA.”

Avian Flu is Back in Asia and Canada
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/avian-flu-is-back-in-asia-and-canada/
By Lnda Larsen (Dec 4, 2014)
The avian flu is making a comeback as winter approaches. An outbreak of the bird flu in Korea last spring resulted in the culling of half a million birds. In Egypt, a seventh person has just died from an H5N1 infection. And the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed that avian influenza has been found in birds on two farms in Fraser Valley.
ChickenHuman cases of the bird flu are rare, and usually only affect people who have close contact with live poultry. Egypt’s cases have been localized in poor areas where people keep and slaughter poultry in their homes. The bird flu has also been reported in the Netherlands, Germany, Britain, India, and southeast Asia.

In Canada, the two farms have been placed under quarantine. The actual subtype and strain of the virus is not known; testing is underway to determine these factors. The pathogenicity and infection rate of the virus is also not known at this time.
The two farms are a turkey farm in Abbotsford and a broiler breeder farm in Chilliwack. Both facilities had more than 6,000 sudden bird deaths over the weekend. All of the birds on those farms will be humanely euthanized and disposed of. A surveillance zone will be established around the farms and testing will commence in those areas. When the birds are gone, the CFIA will oversee cleaning, disinfection of the barns, vehicles, equipment, and tools, and required repopulation.
The virus does not pose a serious risk to humans through eating poultry products. But to be safe, properly cook all poultry to at least 165°F, as measured with a food thermometer. Be careful to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, and thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, surfaces, and cutting boards after contact with raw poultry.

Feds may revise new food safety rules for irrigation water
Source : http://today.agrilife.org/2014/12/04/irrigation-food-safety-rules/
By Rod Santa Ana (Dec 4, 2014)
Complaints from farmers nationwide have encouraged the Food and Drug Administration to take the almost unheard of act of revising landmark food safety laws that were scheduled to take effect soon, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service food safety expert.
Dr. Juan Anciso, a horticulture specialist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Weslaco, said the new rules on food safety are part of the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act designed to reduce food-borne illnesses.
The act was signed into law by President Obama in 2011, but growers now have a second opportunity to provide input that might change the language on specifics before it is enacted.
“The new federal regulations would set standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce for human consumption,” Anciso said. “Of great concern to producers in the Lower Rio Grande Valley were those rules that dealt with irrigation water, because they irrigate from the river and there are microbes in it.”
According to the proposed rules on irrigation water, the FDA wanted to set an upper limit of 235 colony-forming E. coli cells per 100 milliliters of water, he said. Irrigation water sampled to have more than that would render the produce inedible and trigger a mandatory remedy for the water source.
While such rules might be workable for well water, they could not be fairly applied to surface water from the Rio Grande and canals that deliver it to fields, Anciso said.
“The levels of microbes go up and down constantly,” Anciso said. “A lot would depend on when and where the samples were taken.”
Anciso and others argued at FDA hearings that the rules would unfairly punish South Texas growers, especially those whose fields are designed such that water does not always make actual contact with the produce.
“And that number, 235 units, was almost just pulled out of thin air,” he said. “Actually, FDA was using the World Health Organization’s standard to establish that water is safe for swimmers, which has no scientific connection to irrigation and food safety.”
But instead of arguing whether 235 units made for good or bad irrigation water, Anciso and others from Texas and California presented scientific research showing that E. coli counts varied widely in water, but most importantly that after five days in a field, those E. coli counts dropped dramatically.
“We argued that five days after irrigating, E. coli on produce dropped by an average of 25 times,” he said. “Regardless of what the cell count was in the water, a reduction that great dropped it well below their 235 cells, every time.”
The tests were done on spinach, which Anciso said naturally carries a higher bacterial load than other vegetables, likely because of its coarse texture.
“If waiting five days after irrigating to harvest works on spinach, it will work on other vegetable crops, including cantaloupe, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and others,” he said. “And it should work for growers throughout Texas, based on our climate, soils and grower practices.”
While it’s not known what the final rules and regulations will look like, Anciso said growers have the rare opportunity of a second comment period.
“Growers who irrigate with river and other surface waters have a golden opportunity to voice their opinions about this revised irrigation rule that, if approved, will make production much less restrictive,” Anciso said. “They have only a few days to comment, so, because this is all about their livelihood, I strongly encourage them to do so as soon as possible.”
He said when final rules become law, they will be adopted over time with smaller farms having more time to comply.
“This latest comment period ends Dec. 15,” he said. “The law should become effective in late 2015.”
The FDA has fact sheets for the 550-page proposed regulations at http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm247546.htm . Comments can be made at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home . All comments already submitted can be viewed there as well.

Hepatitis A Vaccination Clinic for Hamilton, NJ Residents
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/hepatitis-a-vaccination-clinic-for-hamilton-nj-residents/
By Linda Larsen (Dec 3, 2014)
Mayor Kelly A. Yaede has announced a hepatitis A vaccination clinic for Hamilton, New Jersey residents after an employee at Rosa’s Restaurant and Catering was diagnosed with the illness. The restaurant is located on South Broad Street in Hamilton. Anyone who ate at the restaurant between November 10, 2014 and December 1, 2014 is urged to attend.
Hepatitis AA hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination is only good for two weeks after exposure, so if you visited that restaurant before November 19, 2014 they will not work. You need to monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A, which include fever, nausea, diarrhea, light colored stools, dark urine, yellow eyes and skin (jaundice), tiredness, loss of appetite, and abdominal cramps.
If you do experience these symptoms, see your doctor. Anyone with this infection is highly contagious. The first symptoms usually appear 15 to 50 days after exposure. Most people recover within a few weeks, but some people, particularly those with liver disease, become so ill they must be hospitalized.
The clinic will be held at the Colonial Volunteer Fire Company at 801 Kuser Road in Hamilton on Thursday, December 4, 2014 from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. It is open to Hamilton residents only. ID is required. Anyone above the age of 1 year can visit the clinic, but anyone below the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The cost of each vaccination will be $35. For questions, call the Hamilton Township Division of Health at 609-890-3884.

Know your rights: Right to safe hygienic food
Source : http://tribune.com.pk/story/800933/know-your-rights-right-to-safe-hygienic-food/
By Ali Usman (Dec 3, 2014)
LAHORE:
It smells and tastes great but how can you be sure that the ingredients used to make a perfect-looking dish haven’t gone bad. That it was prepared in a hygienic manner? Will it make you sick later and what are you supposed to do about it? This week The Express Tribune looks at the laws governing food safety and means of redress.
Punjab Food Authority was established through the promulgation of the Punjab Food Authority Act 2011.  The Act empowers the Authority to ensure the consumers’ right to hygienic food, to establish a mechanism to ensure quality of food and to prescribe punishment for those violating the Act.
“It is expedient to protect public health, to provide for the safety and standards of food,” the Act says. Food is defined as beverages and eatables other than drugs consumed by people. “Adulterated food” is defined as food of quality not in congruence with how it is presented to be; which is processed, mixed, coloured, powdered or coated with a substance in contravention of rules and regulations; the purity of which does not conform to prescribed standards; and which is prepared and packed under unhygienic conditions.
Mechanism and penalty
The Act empowers a food safety officer to seize food from any commercial outlet in the province and check for quality at the authority’s food laboratory.
The maximum punishment suggested for a person or owner of an outlet selling adulterated food is six months imprisonment and Rs1 million fine.
This punishment could also extend to whoever sells substandard, wrongly-branded or unsafe food or whoever describes or labels the food incorrectly.
Under the Act, if a person manufactures, sells, offers for sale, stores, distributes or imports food without valid registration or licence, he or she could be imprisoned for a maximum of one year and could be fined Rs500,000.
In the event that a consumer is injured or passes away from consuming unsafe food, in addition to the penalty prescribed under the Act, the court hearing the complaint will direct the suspect to pay the consumer Rs0.5 million in case of an injury and in case of a death, a compensation not less than Rs1 million to the deceased’s family.
Process of redress
The next time you get an upset stomach after eating at a restaurant or have suspicions about the food being sold at a certain outlet, file a complaint on the website: www.punjabfoodauthority.gov.pk/ecomplaint.php or at the Authority’s office at 40-AB-1 Gulberg III, MM Alam Road, Lahore. The Authority is supposed to initiate action on it.
A PFA official said the Act was a comprehensive piece of legislation that covered the rights of consumers in the Punjab. People can file their applications on a plain paper at the office and mention their name and address, he said.

Corporate Greed and Disregard for Food Safety and Biodiversity: Food Sovereignty Should Not be Handed Over to the GMO Biotech Conglomerates
Source : http://www.globalresearch.ca/corporate-greed-and-disregard-for-food-safety-and-biodiversity-food-sovereignty-should-not-be-handed-over-to-gmo-biotech-conglomerates/5417483
By Colin Todhunter (Dec 03, 2014)
After a four-year legislative battle, the European parliament has granted member states the ability to decide for themselves whether or not they want to allow crops of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their soil. Writing in The Parliament Magazine, Member of the European Parliament Marc Tarabella notes that the wishes of several pro-GMO lobbies, led by several multinationals and Britain, did not prevail [1].
A legal basis was obtained for allowing member states to ban the implementation of GMO crops and an extension of the list of motives for this. The goal to avoid contamination of traditional crops by GMO crops was also strengthened.
In 2010, a Eurostat study found that 59 per cent of Europeans think GMOs are dangerous [2]. It is the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority to therefore address such concerns and properly assess the dangers of GMOs. However, as Tarabella notes, the EFSA’s track record is worrying. Several former members of food-processing industry lobbies have been nominated as EFSA officials.
Between 1998 and 2010, out of the 125 import authorisation requests submitted to the commission, other than six applications that were withdrawn by manufacturers themselves, none were denied. Tarabella states that as the EFSA is responsible for the food safety of half a billion citizens, it is perfectly within our rights to expect it to be neutral, upright and trustworthy. The EFSA is though riddled with conflicts of interest [3].
He argues that studies on GMOs have been left in the hands of multinationals for too long and writes that these companies are merely motivated by greed and the promotion of single-crop farming, with a complete disregard for food safety and biodiversity.
What Europe needs is neutral and transparent research. The evidence shows we have anything but [4].
A new high level report on GMOs in India
On the back of India sanctioning the open-field trials of GM crops, similar concerns are being echoed there too. The biotech regulator, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, has approved field trials of 13 GM crops, including those of mustard, cotton, brinjal, rice and chickpea.
An Indian parliamentary committee and the technical committee of India’s Supreme Court has already stressed the need for caution and has recommended bans on GM field trials until stronger regulatory controls can be put in place. Now another high level committee chaired by T.S.R. Subramanian, a former cabinet secretary of India, has drawn similar conclusions [5].
T S R Subramanian has warned that the government should exercise caution and seek:
“… greater assurance (given that the) potential for medium/long-term adverse affects through unprepared introduction of Genetically Modified (GM) food crops…. I am not against GM crops but we need to take appropriate caution. All I am saying is that don’t take chances that you cannot undo… Keep your eyes open and check carefully the possible consequences (of field trials) on our biodiversity. European countries are not allowing field trials and they are not idiots.”
The report states:
“The potential consequences of mindless use of science and technology could possibly be illustrated by referring to the potential for medium/long-term adverse effects through unprepared introduction of Genetically Modified food crops… the average Indian farm is of very small size (which could lead to severe adverse impact on biodiversity through gene-flow)… there are no independent expert agencies in the country.”
Through a series of recommendations, the Committee seeks to improve rather than merely maintain the environmental standards and biological assets of the country.
The Committee’s report comes at an apt time given that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pitching a Make in India campaign that wants to make India a potential investment destination for GM crops.
The Make in India campaign’s website states that India has the potential to become a major producer of transgenic rice and several genetically modified or engineered vegetables. As reported in Business Standard [6], the website also states GM food crops are an investment opportunity for foreign players as they will offer “new business opportunities” in the country. It states that “Hybrid seeds, including GM seeds, represent new business opportunities in India based on yield improvement.”
Business Standard notes that this is the first time the National Democratic Alliance government has made public its stance on allowing field trials for GM food crops.
It is revealing that Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar last week stated in parliament:
“The Union government is of the view that research in GM and confined field trials for generating bio-safety data with all due precautions should be allowed to continue in the national interest.”
The implication is that GMOs are in the ‘national interest’. They are clearly not. Quite the opposite in fact (see here and here).
Does this also mean that those who are legitimately resisting the introduction of GMO’s are thus working against the ‘national interest’? This is not merely implied by officialdom but has been stated (see here and here).
Before coming to power, certain commentators feared Modi would be beholden to foreign interests [7]. India can feed itself without GMOs but the Make in India campaign appears to include handing over food sovereignty to foreign corporations and is itself based on a fallacious and increasingly outdated notion of ‘development’ and ‘growth’ [8].
From India to Europe, there is a drive to push GMOs into countries at all (health, environmental and social) costs. This is in part being driven by profit-hungry agritech corporations. As with the big-dam, water intensive, oil-dependent, dollar boosting, debt-inducing, chemical-industrial model of agriculture we have seen over the last 50 years or so, the GM version is also a tool to further subjugate nations to the hegemonic needs of the US [9,10].
Notes
1] https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/opinion/eu-needs-stronger-food-safety-authority
2] http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_341_en.pdf
3] http://corporateeurope.org/efsa/2013/10/unhappy-meal-european-food-safety-authoritys-independence-problem
4] http://gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2014/15519-the-glyphosate-toxicity-studies-you-re-not-allowed-to-see
5] http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/high-level-committee-urges-caution-on-genetically-modified-food-crops/article6648794.ece
6] http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/modis-make-in-india-bats-for-gm-food-crops-114112800933_1.html
7] https://www.facebook.com/notes/shelley-kasli/mechanics-of-narendra-modis-pr-agency-apco-worldwide-orchestrating-our-future/500231493335095
8] http://rinf.com/alt-news/editorials/menace-menu-globalization-servitude/
9] http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-political-subjugation-of-india-rests-on-monsantos-overriding-control-of-agriculture/5411336
10] http://www.prosper.org.au/2014/10/10/think-tank-times/

World Health Day 2015 to Focus on Food Safety
Soruce : http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/world-health-day-2015-to-focus-on-food-safety/
By Staff (Dec 02, 2014)
World Health Day 2015 to Focus on Food Safety
The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced plans to focus on food safety for World Health Day––April, 7, 2015. WHO has pinpointed this particular topic due to the increasing globalization of our food supply, which requires additional and improved systems both in and between all countries.
According to WHO, food safety is increasingly threatened by a number of factors––food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens and antimicrobial resistance. The spread of contamination is also made possible with increases in travel and trade.
In conjunction with their food safety campaign, WHO will also release estimates of how much foodborne diseases––the cause of 2 million deaths annually, mostly children––cost on a global scale. This will be the first time such numbers are published.
WHO’s overarching goal is to provide various sectors within the food industry––farmers, health practitioners, farmers, government agencies––with the food safety knowledge they need in order to ensure safe food for all. In fact, WHO developed its own Five Keys to Safer Food for both vendors and consumers:
Key 1: Keep clean
Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food
Key 3: Cook food thoroughly
Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures
Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials
Visit WHO.int for more information.

It is Time to Vaccinate Food Service Workers for Hepatitis A
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-policy-regulation/it-is-time-to-vaccinate-food-service-workers-for-hepatitis-a/#.VIUMYU1WHs1
By Drew Falkenstein (Dec 2, 2014)
Hepatitis A is more than a “tummy bug” – it can be life altering – See Link.
Hardly a month passes without a warning from a health department somewhere that an infected food handler is the source of yet another potential hepatitis A outbreak.  Yet another one was announced last night from New Jersey.
Absent vaccinations of food handlers, combined with an effective and rigorous hand-washing policy, there will continue to be more hepatitis A outbreaks. It is time for health departments across the country to require vaccinations of food-service workers, especially those who serve the very young and the elderly.
Hepatitis A is a communicable disease that spreads from person-to-person. It is spread almost exclusively through fecal-oral contact, generally from person-to-person, or via contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is the only foodborne illness that is vaccine-preventable. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since the inception of the vaccine, rates of infection have declined 92 percent.
CDC estimate that 83,000 cases of hepatitis A occur in the United States every year, and that many of these cases are related to food-borne transmission. In 1999, more than 10,000 people were hospitalized due to hepatitis A infections, and 83 people died. In 2003, 650 people became sickened, four died, and nearly 10,000 people got IG (immunoglobulin) shots after eating at a Pennsylvania restaurant. Not only do customers get sick, but also businesses lose customers or some simply go out of business.
Although CDC has not yet called for mandatory vaccination of food-service workers, it has repeatedly pointed out that the consumption of worker-contaminated food is a major cause of foodborne illness in the U.S.
Hepatitis A continues to be one of the most frequently reported, vaccine-preventable diseases in the U.S., despite FDA approval of hepatitis A vaccine in 1995. Widespread vaccination of appropriate susceptible populations would substantially lower disease incidence and potentially eliminate indigenous transmission of hepatitis A infections. Vaccinations cost about $50. The major economic reason that these preventive shots have not been used is because of the high turnover rate of food-service employees. Eating out becomes a whole lot less of a gamble if all food-service workers faced the same requirement.
According to CDC, the costs associated with hepatitis A are substantial. Between 11 percent and 22 percent of persons who have hepatitis A are hospitalized. Adults who become ill lose an average of 27 days of work. Health departments incur substantial costs in providing post-exposure prophylaxis to an average of 11 contacts per case. Average costs (direct and indirect) of hepatitis A range from $1,817 to $2,459 per case for adults and from $433 to $1,492 per case for children younger than 18. In 1989, the estimated annual direct and indirect costs of hepatitis A in the U.S. were more than $200 million, equivalent to more than $300 million in 1997 dollars.  A new CDC report shows that, in 2010, slightly more than 10 percent of people between the ages of 19 and 49 got a hepatitis A shot.
Vaccinating an employee make sense.  It is moral to protect customers from an illness that can cause serious illness and death. Vaccines also protect the business from the multi-million-dollar fallout that can come if people become ill or if thousands are forced to stand in line to be vaccinated to prevent a more serious problem.

All People Should Have Access to Safe Food and Water: Updated Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Source : http://www.newswise.com/articles/all-people-should-have-access-to-safe-food-and-water-updated-position-of-the-academy-of-nutrition-and-dietetics?ret=/articles/list&category=science&page=1&search%5Bstatus%5D=3&search%5Bsort%5D=date+desc&search%5Bsection%5D=20&search%5Bhas_multimedia%5D=
By newswise.com(Dec 02, 2014)
Newswise — CHICAGO – Ensuring a safe food and water supply is the responsibility of consumers, health professionals, government and industry alike, according to an updated position paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The position paper recommends that registered dietitian nutritionists be active participants in creating a “global food safety culture.”
The position paper “Food and Water Safety,” published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, states:
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that all people should have access to a safe food and water supply. The Academy supports science-based food regulations and recommendations that are applied consistently across all foods and water regulated by all agencies and incorporate traceability and recall to limit food and waterborne outbreaks. Registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered, are encouraged to participate in policy decisions, program development and implementation of a global food safety culture.
The Academy’s position paper notes that the country’s food safety system “is challenged by changing demographics, consumer preference for convenience and variety and issues of concern in the commercial food chain and in regulatory systems.” The authors emphasize that the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act mandates development and implementation of preventive measures across the food chain, including on farms, in production facilities and at retail establishments to create and sustain a culture of food safety.
Amid a flood of food safety misinformation, registered dietitian nutritionists are a reliable source of credible, timely information. Their training integrates food and health messages in preventive and therapeutic settings. RDNs are leaders in delivering food safety messages to patients, pregnant women, seniors, children, clients in public venues and to the media. Delivering effective communication during and after outbreaks and recalls, providing credible information and educating consumers on good food safety practices are needed to make consumers a part of the food safety culture.
The Academy has a consistent and longstanding tradition of supporting food safety education, providing resources and information for its members and the public, including Home Food Safety®, a unique partnership with ConAgra Foods (www.homefoodsafety.org). The program raises consumer awareness about the seriousness of food poisoning and provides solutions for easily and safely handling food. Home Food Safety also provides tools, presentations and other downloadable professional resources for RDNs and educators.
The Academy’s updated position paper was written by registered dietitian nutritionists Mildred M. Cody, PhD, RD, LD, and Theresa Stretch, MS, RD, CP-FS.
The position paper is available to the public on the Academy’s website. Interviews with registered dietitian nutritionists with expertise in food safety can be arranged by calling 312/899-4769 or emailing media@eatright.org.
###
All registered dietitians are nutritionists – but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians. The Academy’s Board of Directors and Commission on Dietetic Registration have determined that those who hold the credential registered dietitian (RD) may optionally use “registered dietitian nutritionist” (RDN) instead. The two credentials have identical meanings.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.

FAO provides $495m for national food safety policy
Source : http://thenationonlineng.net/new/fao-provides-495m-national-food-safety-policy/
By Frank Ikpefan (Dec 02, 2014)
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has provided $495 million to support the implementation of the National Food Safety policy.
Its Representative in Nigeria, Ms Louise Setshwaelo who spoke on Strengthening Nigeria National Food Control System and Safety  at a workshop in Abuja said the aim was to reduce incidences of food borne illnesses and strengthen consumer confidence and greater contribution of food trade to economic development.
She said: “It is within this framework that FAO and the government have decided to support the implementation of the National Food Policy on Food Safety.
“Through the project being launched today, a total of $495 million has been provided by FAO to support the efforts of government.”
She said the national food control system was an area where improvement was needed to ensure the safety of food throughout the value chain.
Ms Setshwaelo underscored the need for an updated regulatory framework in place to facilitate enforcement of food safety, hygiene and quality standards.
She said FAO had been working with relevant institutions to improve on food quality as a means to improve public health and promote economic development.
Mrs Setshwaelo  said food security was at the centre of FAO’s mandate, adding that access to adequate safe and nutritious food was a fundamental human right.
The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr Linus Awute, said there was no other greater frontier to enforce food safety than a patriotic commitment and will of both leaders and followers.
He said it was wrong to blame the government at the centre when things go wrong, noting that it was a collective responsibility to make the nation great.
Awute said though food safety was an international phenomena, the ministry was taking it as a matter of public health.
Awute recalled that in 2007, a total of 90,000 cases of food poisoning was recorded across 56 tertiary health institutions about 200,000 cases of dyrgorr.
He said: “Food control system is therefore necessary to protect consumer.”

Pregnancy and food safety
Source : http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/pregnancy_and_food_safety
By Jane Hart (Dec 1, 2014)
Listeria and pregnancy: Foods to avoid.
During pregnancy, it is important to be aware of what you eat. You should learn what is safe and what is not safe to eat. Listeria is bacteria that can be found in some contaminated foods that can harm both you and your baby. Although Listeriosis is uncommon, pregnant women are more likely to be contaminated compared to non-pregnant, healthy adults. The percentage of cases of Listeriosis in pregnant women is about 17 percent.
What foods grow Listeria? Foods such as uncooked meats and vegetables, unpasteurized milk and processed foods are a few common sources. Usually Listeria bacterium is killed by cooking and pasteurization. There is a chance however, that contamination may occur in ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats, due to contamination in the factory after cooking and before packaging.
Symptoms of Listeriosis occur two to 30 days after exposure and include flu-like symptoms, headaches, muscle aches, fever, nausea and vomiting. If the infection spreads to the nervous system it can cause a stiff neck, confusion or spasms. If you are pregnant and are infected with Listeriosis, you are at an increased risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, infection and your newborn deceasing. Early treatment may prevent fetal infection. Not all babies whose mothers are infected will have problems related to Listeriosis. Luckily, if caught early enough, it is treated with antibiotics during the pregnancy. These antibiotics, in most cases, will prevent infection to the fetus or newborn.
Are there guidelines? Yes, you can go onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Listeria Prevention website. Here are just a few of their guidelines:
•Eat hard cheeses instead of soft cheeses
Pregnant women should keep away from soft cheeses such as feta, Brie and Mexican style cheeses such as queso fresco and queso blanco that do not state they are pasteurized. Hard cheeses such as cheddar and semi-soft cheeses such as mozzarella are safe to eat. Pasteurized processed cheese slices and spreads such as cream cheese and cottage cheese can also be safely eaten.
•Be careful when eating hot dogs, lunch meats or deli meats to be sure they are properly reheated to 160 degrees Fahrenheit
Eating out at certain restaurants that provide deli meat sandwiches is not recommended for pregnant women since they do not reheat their deli meats. Restaurants, such as Subway recommend that pregnant women eat the following non-luncheon meat items such as meatball, steak, roasted chicken and tuna.
•Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is contained in a cooked dish, such as a casserole.
•Practice safe food handling
•Cook meats to their minimum cooking temperature.
The health of you and your baby are very important. Michigan State University Extension recommends you follow the guidelines in this article. If you aren’t certain a food is safe to eat, don’t take the risk, throw it out and grab something you know is safe to help you and your baby stay healthy.

In Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak, Farmer Could Face Penalties
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/in-raw-milk-campylobacter-outbreak-farmer-could-face-penalties/
By Carla Gillespie (Dec 1, 2014)
The farmer who supplied raw milk that sickened dozens who attended a football team’s potluck dinner in Durand, Wisc. could face penalties or other enforcement actions, according to a local news report. The farmer, whose name has not been released by health officials, did not tell attendees that the milk was not pasteurized.
At least 38 people, many of them high school students, contracted Campylobacter infections from the raw milk. Some students and athletes were so sick they were hospitalized. Two football games were canceled because so many players were seriously ill.
After students recovered from the initial illness,  families were left with medical bills and worries about long-term complications that Campylobacter infections can trigger such as reactive arthritis which causes painful swelling of the joints and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, (GBS) which is characterized by the sudden onset of paralysis that can last weeks, months or years.
“People who develop GBS as a result of ingesting Campylobacter often have life-long complications,” said Fred Pritzker, national food  safety attorney and publisher of Food Poisoning Bulletin.
Campylobacter is a pathogen that is transferred via the fecal-oral route meaning those who develop infections have had food or beverages contaminated with microscopic amounts of animal feces. Pasteurization kills Campylobacter and other bacteria that cause disease. Because young people are especially vulnerable to food poisoning infections,  public health officials recommend that they only consume pasteurized milk.
Contact a Campylobacter Lawyer - Free Case Evaluation
Lab tests that identify the genetic “fingerprint” of bacteria showed that the Campylobacter strain found on the farm that was a match to the strain that sickened pot luck attendees.
The state health department is expected to release its final report about the outbreak soon. The agriculture department will use information in that report to determine what, if any, enforcement action should be taken with the farmer.

EU needs stronger food safety authority
Source : https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/opinion/eu-needs-stronger-food-safety-authority
By Marc Tarabella (Dec 01, 2014)
Parliament has prevailed against lobbyists in the battle against GMOs, but Europe is still struggling to effectively protect its citizens' health, argues Marc Tarabella.
A four year legislative battle has finally come to an end. The European parliament has won its case. Member states now have the ability to decide for themselves whether or not they want to allow crops of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their soil.
In the end, pro-GMO lobbies, led by several multinationals and Great Britain, did not get their way.
In addition, we were able to obtain a legal basis allowing member states to ban the implementation of GMO crops and an extension of the list of motives for this. We also demanded restrictive measures for coexistence - in other words, the goal is to avoid contamination of traditional crops by GMO crops.
Currently, the real problem is that citizens have no way of having a clear idea of what exactly the consequences of consuming GMOs are. A recent Eurostat study showed that 59 per cent of Europeans think GMOs are dangerous.
For every study slating GMOs, a counter-study pops up saying the exact opposite. We are faced with a constant clash between pro- and anti-GMO advocates, and this is no way benefits consumers. Therefore, it's up to Europe to take matters into its own hands, especially the commission, through the European food safety authority (EFSA).
But is EFSA really qualified to handle the issue of GMOs? Its track record is somewhat worrying. Several former members of food-processing industry lobbies - including their president, who has since resigned - have been nominated as EFSA officials.
Between 1998 and 2010, out of the 125 import authorisation requests submitted to the commission, other than six applications that were withdrawn by manufacturers themselves, none were denied.
EFSA also allowed Bisphenol A, which is found in baby bottles, before several member states banned it and the commission itself backtracked on its agency's decision.
Furthermore, the authority kept mum through the deadly E. coli crisis.
This organisation is responsible for the food safety of half a billion citizens - it is perfectly within our rights to expect it to be neutral, upright and trustworthy. However, for this to happen, the agency needs the means to succeed, and this includes reviewing its ridiculously small budget so that it can carry out its duty properly.
We recently called for stricter risk evaluation methods used by EFSA and for enhanced transparency in the banning process. Meanwhile, multinationals have argued that we must not hold up science.
I am in favour of the principle of precaution. As MEP in charge of consumer safety, I cannot let citizens consume foods whose consequences on health in the medium term are still unknown.
Studies on GMOs have been left in the hands of multinationals for too long. These companies are merely motivated by greed and the promotion of single-crop farming, with a complete disregard for food safety and biodiversity. We need public and neutral research on the topic.

FDA Food Safety Tips for the Immune Compromised on World AIDS Day
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/fda-food-safety-tips-for-the-immune-compromised-on-world-aids-day/
By Carla Gillespie (Dec 1, 2014)
Today is World AIDS Day and because those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk for food poisoning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  has compiled some food safety tips for those with HIV/AIDS or those who prepare food for them.
Avoid high-risk foods. Raw foods and beverages such as raw dairy, raw shellfish, raw meat and poultry and raw fruit sand vegetables are can all carry harmful viruses and bacteria. Other high-risk foods include deli salads, lunch meat that is eaten without being reheated, smoked fish and sprouts which have been linked to three food poisoning outbreaks this year.
When dining out, make sure to avoid high risk foods including rare hamburgers and runny eggs. If your food isn’t hot when it is served ask that it be heated up before you eat.
At home, the Clean, Cook, Separate, Chill rule is especially important. Start with a clean kitchen, clean work area and clean hands.  Wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before you begin to prepare food.
Keep raw raw meats separate from other foods. Cross-contamination can occur when bacteria from raw meat or poultry come into contact with other foods. Use separate plates an utensils for raw and cooke foods.
Don’t let food sit at room temperature for longer than two hours, one hour if it is warmer than room temperature. Put leftovers in a sealed container a sealable bag and refrigerate them. Bacteria grow rapidly in “The Danger Zone” temperatures 40F- 140F.

Canada ranks high in food safety
Source : http://www.newsoptimist.ca/opinion/columnists/canada-ranks-high-in-food-safety-1.1635939
By Sylvain Charlebois (Nov 29, 2014)
According to the latest global report on food safety published by the Conference Board of Canada, in partnership with the University of Guelph's Food Institute, Canada, along with the United States, is a top-tiered country in terms of the performance of its risk managers.Over the years, such major food-safety-related incidences as mad cow in 2003, listeria in 2008 and the XL Foods recall in 2012 have compelled us to rethink our practices. However, considering the future of global food safety systems, there is still much to learn.Simply put, Canada's ranking in the global survey is largely due to the consistency of the number of cases of food-borne illnesses and recalls that were reported. Alternatively, the survey indicates that other nations dealt with far worse situations. Canada's new policy on allergen labelling, as well as an enhanced focus on transparency, also contributed to our high ranking.The most fascinating data point found in the survey is Canadians' overall perception of food safety. Public trust is way up - 67 per cent of citizens believe their food to be safer than it was five years ago. Aside from Ireland, whose citizens have a commensurate level of trust, there is nowhere else in the industrialized world where you can find a higher threshold of consumers who so trust their food. In other words, Canadians judge the risks to be lowest in the world.In survey after survey, and in comparison to other countries, consumer confidence in our country remains strong. This should reassure domestic-based regulatory bodies, at least for now.On the opposite end of the spectrum, data show that consumers in the United States and Australia are the world's most skeptical about food safety. Barely 27 per cent of American and Australian consumers believe their food to be safer than it was five years ago. As a result, public authorities are walking on a much finer line than in Canada; this is a situation that often leads to the creation of problematic policies, since the emphasis is on managing fear, not factual risks.After numerous recalls and international food safety crises, we have now entered the era of risk intelligence and accountability. Proactive behaviour, including learning from incidences outside our borders, is the new normal for all public food regulators, including Canada's. Following Europe's horsemeat scandal last year, they are focusing on taking learning outcomes from other countries to heart, which is why benchmarking our food safety performance with other nations is so critical.Despite our regulator's will to mitigate risks to the best of their abilities, given the scope of modern food systems, their capacity to do so will always be limited. The recalibration of the public sector around the world compels many countries to seek more effective, sustainable, affordable and long-term options in order to mitigate risks, such as greater self-reporting.Without succumbing to a self-regulatory regime, industry should become more accountable to itself in order to better serve consumers. Traceability, which remains one of Canada's most significant weaknesses, will need to improve to protect our supply chains' integrity, thus preventing such issues as food fraud. Food integrity will likely be our most significant supply chain challenge.With a rising consumer appetite for more information concerning the origins of their food, of production conditions and hidden ingredients due to a growing number of allergies and dietary intolerances, data in the future will need to flow freely from farm to fork. As Europe copes with the aftermath of the horsemeat scandal, Canada should take note before some of its own consumers discover horsemeat in beef lasagna; or worse, in vegetarian lasagna.Sylvain Charlebois is a professor at the University of Guelph's Food Institute and Jean-Charles Le Vallée is a Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Food in Canada at the Conference Board of Canada. - See more at: http://www.newsoptimist.ca/opinion/columnists/canada-ranks-high-in-food-safety-1.1635939#sthash.duazG8Sy.dpuf

 

 

Internet Journal of Food Safety (Operated by FoodHACCP)
[2014] Current Issues

Vol 16.59-67
Antimicrobial action of essential oils against food borne pathogens isolated from street vended fruit juices from Baripada Town, India
Chandi C. Rath and P. Bera

Vol 16.53-58
Conventional Microbiology, Salmosyst Method and Polymerase Chain Reaction
: A Comparison in the Detection of Salmonella spp. in Raw Hamburgers
Jorge Luiz Fortuna, Virginia Léo de Almeida Pereira, Elmiro Rosendo do Nascimento andRobson Maia Franco


Vol 16.45-52
Impact of Traditional Process on Hygienic Quality of Soumbala a Fermented Cooked Condiment in Burkina Faso.
Marius Kounbesioune Somda, Aly Savadogo, Francois Tapsoba, Cheikna Zongo,
Nicolas Ouedraogo, Alfred Sabadenedyo Traore

Vol 16.36-44
Prevailing Food Safety Practices and Barriers to the Adoption of the WHO 5-Keys
to Safer Food Messages in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities in Ghana
Rose Omari, Egbert Kojo Quorantsen, Paul Omari, Dorothy Oppey, Mawuli Asigbee

Vol 16.29-35
Microbiological Quality of Meat at the Abattoir and Butchery Levels in Kampala City, Uganda
Paul Bogere and Sylvia Angubua Baluka
Vol 16.26-28
Microbial Contamination of Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Ankita Mathur , Akshay Joshi* , Dharmesh Harwani


Vol 16.17-25
Consumer Food Safety Awareness and Knowledge in Nigeria
Olasunmbo Abolanle Ajayi and Taiwo Salaudeen
Vol 16.12-16
Microbiological Quality of Selected Meat Products from the Canterbury Region of New Zealand
Rui Huan, Christopher O. Dawson, Malik Altaf Hussain


Vol 16.9-11
NUTRITIVE COMPOSITION OF CHANNA STRIATUS FISHES AFTER 2,4-D PESTICIDE TREATMENT
Anusuya, S.Hemalatha


Vol 16.6-8
Effect of 2,4-D Pesticide on Fish Physiology and its Antioxidant Stress
Anushiya, Hemalatha

Vol 16.1-5
Edible Coatings of Carnauba Wax ??A Novel Method For Preservation and Extending Longevity of Fruits and Vegetables- A Review.
Puttalingamma .V

 


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