State disease detectives share details of investigation practices

ROSEMONT, IL — Three panelists from two different states discussed the investigations of romaine lettuce outbreaks and generated wide-ranging questions during a session at Food Safety Summit 2020.

For the first time, a summit is a virtual event, out of precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event, which began Monday, runs through tomorrow and features, among other things, a forum for vendors similar to the traditional trade show plus dozens of live educational sessions.

During a session, Tuesday afternoon three panelists and a moderator talked about specific timelines and investigation methods related to two E. coli outbreaks traced to romaine lettuce this past year. The session, “Foodborne Outbreaks in the News,” was moderated by Laura Gieraltowski, the Lead of the Foodborne Outbreak Response Team in the Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She led the conversation with:

  • Polakshee Gogoi of the Wisconsin
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Chemicals in food are a main safety concern for majority of Americans

Seven in 10 Americans are concerned about the presence of chemical products in food, according to a survey.

The poll by Mérieux NutriSciences and bioMérieux found 70 percent of respondents were troubled about this topic that covers pesticides, antibiotics and additives. Two thirds were concerned about bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria in food and 61 percent were worried about food fraud.

Viruses in food were the main concern for 59 percent of people, the use of new technology such as GMOs and nanotechnology worried 58 percent and traces of allergens or intolerance provoking substances in food was mentioned by 55 percent of respondents.

The Odoxa survey was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 9 this year with a representative sample of 1,000 people in the United States aged 18 and over.

Steps for healthier and safer food
In the United States, 85 percent of people said they have confidence … Read more

2020’s Food Safety Summit gets underway virtually today

ROSEMONT, IL — The Food Safety Summit education program, the leading interactive forum on food safety, begins virtually today and runs through Thursday. Registered attendees can explore, learn, and interact with other participants by logging into the virtual atmosphere. Click here to register and gain access.

We are looking forward to bringing the industry together virtually for four days to learn from leading subject matter experts, find new products and services from our exhibiting companies, and network with their peers, said Scott Wolters, chief events officer, BNP Media.

Exhibitors and attendees can begin interacting, setting their agendas, making appointments, and accessing the list of attendees. Although we cannot be physically together, the Virtual Food Safety Summit will feature all of the aspects the industry has come to expect from this leading industry event.

Free General Admission provides registered attendees access to the virtual exhibit hall and the following general sessions

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Half of consumers believe food safety is one of main global issues

More than half of respondents, including people from the U.S., to a survey feel food safety is a top three global issue.

The study from the Mars Global Food Safety Center (GFSC), that surveyed people in the United States, United Kingdom and China, found 77 percent of people think food safety is a top 10 worldwide problem.

KRC Research conducted the survey online with 1,754 adults aged 18 to 65 in mid-September. Respondents include 502 each from the U.S. and UK and 750 in China.

Food safety threats
Almost three quarters of respondents believe coronavirus will impact the viability of the global supply chain and 71 percent believe it will impact access to food. These consumers think about food safety and security as much as climate change (39 percent) and pollution (38 percent).

The “rising generation”, or people aged 18 to 34, are particularly attuned to food safety through technology … Read more

Nearly 400 people sick from Salmonella in UK; nearly half are children

Almost 400 people have fallen ill with Salmonella since the start of the year in the United Kingdom after eating frozen chicken products.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Public Health England (PHE) are investigating a rise in patients with two strains of Salmonella Enteritidis linked to frozen raw breaded processed chicken products.

Cases of Salmonella linked to raw breaded chicken products have been identified in previous years, however there has been an increase in 2020.

There have been 327 people sick in England, 32 in Scotland, 26 in Wales and five in Northern Ireland.

For cases where information is available, 36 percent needed hospital treatment and four people have died. However, it is not known whether Salmonella infection was a contributory factor in the deaths, and one fatality was attributed to COVID-19.

There is a high proportion of children sick as 43 percent of cases are aged 16 years … Read more