USDA food safety agencies announces plan to reduce Salmonella

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Food Safety (OFS) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has a plan to decrease Salmonella, one of the leading causes of foodborne illnesses.

The Roadmap to Reducing Salmonella: Driving Change through Science-Based Policy outlines programs and policies that are science based, data driven, and promote innovation to reduce Salmonella in meat, poultry, and egg products.

“This roadmap represents FSIS’s commitment to lead with science and data in all that we do. It puts us on a course to aggressively target Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens,” said USDA’s Under Secretary for Food Safety Mindy Brashears. “I look forward to a continued partnership with the food safety community in driving a science-based approach to protecting public health.”

OFS and FSIS will discuss the Salmonella roadmap at a virtual public meeting next week. Also scheduled to participate  in the meeting are the … Read more

Survey identifies main food safety concerns for consumers

Six in 10 people said they would never go to a restaurant again if they contracted a foodborne illness while eating there, according to a survey.

Surveyed consumers said their top food safety concerns included restaurant kitchen and wait staff hygiene, foodborne outbreaks, illness from contaminated food, and recalls.

Findings come from the food safety supply chain vision study by Zebra Technologies. It details the views of consumers and food and beverage companies on safety, traceability and transparency.

Slightly more than 80 percent of consumers said companies have an important role to play in food safety and an ethical responsibility to ensure safe handling of food. Seventy percent of consumers said it is important to know how their food and ingredients are manufactured, prepared, and handled.

Less than a quarter of consumers said they have complete confidence in the safety of their food, based on information currently available to them. … Read more

Misinformation poses ‘severe test’ in Asia Pacific

So called fake news about food safety and COVID-19 has had a negative impact on consumption patterns and created anxiety among consumers in Asia Pacific.

Ahead of World Food Safety Day on June 7, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), organized a webinar called: Food safety in the new normal.

The event dealt with the negative impact of what was described as fake news and rumors, which have particularly impacted the meat and dairy sectors due to an incorrect association with COVID-19. In some countries, dumping of imported fruits and vegetables has been observed. This was led by misinformation and caused unnecessary food waste.

Junshi Chen, chief scientific advisor to the China National Centre for Food Safety Risk Assessment, told listeners misinformation was posing a severe test … Read more

Tesco and Asda improve Campylobacter in chicken results

The percentage of chickens at Tesco and Asda testing positive for Campylobacter at the top level of contamination in the second quarter of 2020 has fallen below the FSA target.

The two supermarkets had recorded levels above the Food Standards Agency (FSA) threshold of 7 percent of birds with more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) of Campylobacter in the first quarter of this year.

Tesco reported 9 percent of 132 samples in 1Q 2020 had the highest level of Campylobacter contamination while Asda recorded 9.2 percent.

The figures for 2Q from April to June show Tesco had 3 percent and Asda had 3.6 percent above the top level of contamination.

Results from other retailers
Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the United Kingdom and the infectious dose can be as low as a few hundred cells.

FSA used to compile figures from … Read more

Plant-based food producers sue state in federal court to block disclaimer requirement

Burgers, hotdogs, meatballs, jerky, sausage, chorizo, bacon and corned beef are among the products that will be defined as meat in Oklahoma on Nov. 1 when the Sooner State’s “Meat  Consumer Protection Act” becomes law.

The Act prohibits sellers of plant-based foods from using “meat terms” to describe their foods without disclaimers in the “same size and prominence” as their product name that their product is plant-based.

Illinois-based Upton’s Naturals Co. and the Plant-Based Foods Association (PBFA) Wednesday sued the state of Oklahoma in federal court, seeking an injunction to prevent the labeling law from taking effect. Making Upton Naturals the top Plaintiff is a strategy as the company markets to vegans and its smart packaging labels say everything “100% Vegan.”

But come Nov. 1, it will be illegal to sell “vegan” bacon or other products that will be defined as meat without what is called the “Compelled Disclaimer” that … Read more