Discover more from The Rotten Apple
News and Resources Roundup
26 June | Food Safety News and Free Resources |
🐔 ✓ Cell-cultivated chicken has been approved by the USDA ✓ 🐔
Approval for the manufacture and marketing of cultivated meat in the USA falls to two agencies, the FDA and the USDA. The USDA has just given their approval for cell-cultivated meat. More specifically, two companies that produce cultivated meat, UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat have been awarded Grants of Inspection from USDA, which means the USDA can inspect their meat-making operations, a prerequisite for selling the meat.
💥 🦠 Cyclospora outbreak(s) – USA 🦠 💥
There are multiple illnesses from Cyclospora, a parasite that is food-borne and water-borne, in the USA, with at least 97 people sick in 16 states. No food source has been identified for most of these recent cases. Past outbreaks were caused by contaminated leafy greens, vegetables and berries.
💦 🦠 Listeria in drains and floors can contaminate food contact surfaces 🦠 💦
New research that used real world sampling in processing facilities showed that although facility employees believed that pathogens like Listeria were entering their facilities on the raw materials, in fact many of the pathogens were persisting in drains, floors and ceiling areas. The researchers showed that pathogens could and did move from those areas to food contact surfaces like conveyor belts.
🧪 Molecules from PET food packaging can migrate into foods 🧪
A new literature review has revealed that some oligomers (bigger than monomers, smaller than polymers) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are capable of migrating into food. Their toxicity is mostly unknown.
🐝 New Risk? Mycotoxins in commercial bee pollen 🐝
Bee pollen is a food or dietary supplement that is recommended by complementary medical practitioners for helping with disease and to enhance sports performance. A survey of commercially available bee pollen from 28 countries found that 100% of tested samples (n = 80) contained mycotoxins. The mycotoxin deoxynivalenol was present at levels above the safety limit in 28% of samples and aflatoxin B1 was present at concerning levels in 84% of samples.
🧪 Human safety from phthalates and bisphenols in food packaging 🧪
A new review explores endocrine modulating chemicals in food packaging.
“This review article has two goals: (1) discuss the utilization, toxicology, human exposure routes, and occurrence levels of phthalates and bisphenols in FCMs and associated legislation in various countries and (2) discuss critical understanding and updates for detection/quantification techniques.”
📌 Food Fraud News 📌
This week’s food fraud news includes
A very strange meat fraud involving ‘fake’ meat made from an unusual raw material;
Rice adulterated with soybeans;
Non-food-grade bottles used by fraudsters selling carbonated drinks;
More scrutiny on the way for claims like “grass-fed” and “raised without antibiotics” in the USA.
Become a paid subscriber to access The Rotten Apple’s food fraud news.
🎓 Free Webinar - Indicator Organisms and Food Grade Air, 30th June 🎓
This free webinar, hosted by IFSQN, will discuss the most concerning types of microorganisms and explain how testing and identification can assist manufacturers in enhancing the quality of their end products.
Register here: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/317/lv7wohpn
🎓 Free webinar: Achieve Sanitation Effectiveness with a Robust EMP, 13th July 🎓
This free webinar, hosted by FoodSAfety Magazine will teach you about pathogen environmental monitoring programs (PEMP), and environmental monitoring programs (EMPs), plus best practices in environmental monitoring as a component of sanitation verification; how to tell when your EMP is working—and when it is time to reexamine its effectiveness and regulatory requirements and guidance for sanitation verification using an EMP.
The Rotten Apple is a reader-supported publication. Become a free subscriber to get ad-free food safety news every week.
19 June | Food Safety News and Free Resources |
⚠ 🦠 Listeria survives in peanut butter for at least 6 months 🦠⚠
A new paper which examined the survival of L. monocytogenes found that it can survive in “nut, seed and legume” butters, such as peanut butter, for one year if kept in the fridge and at least 6 months if kept in the cupboard (except pecan butter).
📋 The (UK) Food Standards Agency Updates Practices for Food Safety Inspections 📋
The UK Food Standards Agency has published a revised Food Law Code of Practice for local authorities in England and Northern Ireland. The Code of Practice describes a new model for enforcing food safety regulations and will be rolled out in phases. Inspections are expected to be scheduled on an “intelligence-driven approach” and risk-based decision-making so that businesses that pose the greatest food safety risks are inspected more frequently.
🤔 Do you know The (UK) Centre for Food Policy? 🤔
The UK Centre for Food Policy wants your thoughts on their strengths and priorities.
Do their survey here:
Allergen Labelling Guidance for Enforcement Officers (USA)
The US FDA has released a draft guide for enforcement of allergen labelling. The guide is for FDA staff and is said to “more accurately reflect FDA’s thinking on major food allergen enforcement policy”.
Allergen measurement challenges – a new concept proposed
A new paper aims to ensure that quantitative food allergen measurements can be compared, by using a commonly agreed reference. The concept is outlined in the paper and used in an example to demonstrate the approach.
Microplastics – Polystyrene microplastics in the food chain
A new paper reviews the presence, characteristics and toxicity of polystyrene microplastics in the food chain.
Checks for ethylene oxide have been loosened for some foods imported to EU
Foods that were previously problematic for ethylene oxide residues such as locust beans from India, and which were subject to very tight import controls at European borders have had their oversight reduced because compliance has improved. For a full list of affected foods, check out the second part of the story at this link:
Listeria and Salmonella found in refrigerated dips and spreads (USA) – duh 🤷
The US FDA performed surveillance on refrigerated dips and spreads, testing 747 samples for Salmonella species and Listeria monocytogenes and found four samples contained one of the pathogens.
🍃 Pesticide residues in Californian fruit and veg 🍃
Regulators have released results from the testing of 3444 samples of fruit and veg collected from 500 businesses including retail, wholesale and markets, in California in 2021. Only 3% of the samples contained any detectable pesticide residue. The proportion of samples that contained pesticides above allowed thresholds was not reported but imported produce was said to account for 77% of illegal pesticide residue samples.
💥🌰 Mycotoxins in nuts and nut products 💥🌰
A new study, which looked at EU border notifications for mycotoxins in nuts and nut products has been published. The frequency of notifications increased from 2011 to 2017/18 and then decreased until 2020/21, which is the latest date for the data studied.
Figure 1B from the paper: Number of RASFF notifications for mycotoxins per year in nuts and nut products during 2011–2021. Note that ground nuts usually means peanuts. Source: Owolabi, I.O., Karoonuthaisiri, N., Elliott, C.T. and Petchkongkaew, A. (2023). A 10-year analysis of RASFF notifications for mycotoxins in nuts. Trend in key mycotoxins and impacted countries. Food Research International, [online] p.112915. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2023.112915.
Live Panel Discussion – the Resilience of Food Systems, 29th June
This free online discussion, hosted by New Food Magazine and Sponsored by Foods Connected has the following aims:
To identify the strategies needed to fortify systems against future shocks
To explore diversification and what it means to the supplier pool
To understand the benefits of a digital infrastructure and how it can anticipate when issues may arise
To engage with the steps needed to move towards a sustainable, less impactful food system
To analyse the importance of transparent supply chains in building resilience
Food Safety Management Systems for Emerging Brands – Free Webinar 22nd June
This free 2 hour webinar hosted by the standards owner SQFI and a partner shows “Emerging brands” the benefits of getting a SQF-certified food safety management system and how to get started with one. Includes case studies and break-out discussions.
12 June | Food Safety News and Free Resources |
💀 Multiple cases of botulism in Vietnam – different sources 💀
There were so many cases of botulism in Vietnam in May that a major hospital ran out of antitoxin. Four people who ate pork sausages in Ho Chi Minh City, and three people in another city who ate street food became ill and needed antitoxin. One person who got botulism from fish sauce died.
🦠 New insights into how Vibrio parahaemolyticus is able to infect gut cells 🦠
This new paper is for proper food/microbiology nerds only. It describes how researchers discovered the mechansim by which V. parahaemolyticus is prompted to build a syringe-shaped virulence mechanism on its cells after it is exposed to bile acid in the gut of its victims.
🔍 Investigation into Salmonella melon outbreak reveals… not much 🔍
The investigation into a Salmonella outbreak in melons in the USA has been published. The traceback investigation was not able to determine which melon type was the source of the outbreak, nor find an exact genetic match to the outbreak strain from environmental sampling.
📋 New information for USA regulatory equivalency in food safety systems 📋
Equivalency is the process of showing whether a foreign food safety regulatory system is aligned with the USA system and includes technical assessments of food safety systems, audits and administrative processes. Equivalency can be used to support international food trade.
🐟 Seafood found to contain PFAS (USA) 🐟
Forty-four percent (n = 186) of seafood samples tested by the US FDA were found to contain PFAS chemicals, though none had levels high enough to warrant a recall.
⚠ New levels set for inorganic arsenic in juice (USA) ⚠
The US FDA has published new guidance explaining ‘action levels’ for inorganic arsenic in apple juice. The level is set at 10 parts per billion. It is non-binding.
The standard (code of practice) for British Lion eggs has been updated
Britain’s comprehensive egg safety standard has been updated.
Data sharing initiative among food analytical labs in Central and South America
A new initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean will allow labs to share information on food contaminants between countries to help with risk assessments.
PFAS in food and feed, including testing methods (a paid webinar) 27, 28 July
This paid webinar, hosted by Affidia Journal aims to:
explain PFAS get into feed and food;
human exposure and sources;
Approaches to PFAS detection and
the degree of reliability of analytical services for PFAS quantification.
Food Safety Culture in Restaurants and Grocery Stores – Free Webinar 20 June
In this webinar hosted by Food Safety Magazine, attendees will learn:
The current state of food safety culture and FSMSs in restaurants and grocery stores, as surveyed by AFDO
How their own brands might be either superior to or deficient from the behaviors revealed by their colleagues
Strategies to immediately improve food safety culture at their organizations
Why cybersecurity should be part of your safety culture – free live event 14th or 15th June
This live event, hosted by Global Food Safety Resource on LinkedIn explains why cybersecurity should be part of your safety culture.
The Rotten Apple is a reader-supported publication. Sign up now to get food safety and food fraud news straight to your inbox every week.
5 June | Food Safety News and Free Resources |
✨ 🎈 4 Free Webinars to Celebrate Food Safety Week 🎈 ✨
To celebrate food safety week, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is hosting 4 free webinars this week:
🎉 Good News from the US FDA: New Chemical Safety Reviews 🎉
Until now, food chemical safety assessments have usually been done once and then forgotten. This means that additives and food packaging chemicals that were considered safe decades ago, but for which new information has become available have not had a process for formal re-assessment.
The US FDA is now proposing a new framework for conducting ‘post-market’ safety assessments of chemicals in food and food contact materials. This would allow them to check the safety of chemicals like additives after they have been approved for use in foods, using new information and new scientific techniques.
[Note I don’t usually share news about things that might happen, but this proposed system could be quite big for food safety in the USA. The framework is likely to be many (many) years in development, and the process has not started yet.]
🦠 A new Staph aureus-like food pathogen emerges 🦠
A species which appears similar to the foodborne pathogen enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus, but which can be differentiated using whole genome sequencing (WGS) has been studied and declared as an “emerging foodborne pathogen”. It is Staphylococcus argenteus and it has been implicated in two independent foodborne illness outbreaks in France.
📋 Free webinar – FSSC 22000 version 6, June 14, 2023 📋
This webinar, hosted by Eurofins, aims to give a brief introduction to the latest version of the food safety management system standard FSSC 22000 version 6.
Want to know what’s new in the Food Fraud Section of Version 6?
Check out my e-book. It explains the food fraud requirements of all the food safety standards and is updated with every new issue.
🔍 🦠 Six year long Salmonella outbreak linked to a single mystery source 🦠 🔍
Hundreds of people across at least seven countries over six years have all been sickened by the same strain of Salmonella virchow (ST16), which researchers believe could be coming from a single supplier of chicken kebab meat.
The sick people’s bacteria have been linked using whole genome sequencing (WGS), which also showed that the strain has been circulating for multiple years in the European meat production chain. The exact source has not been found and scientists warn that new infections are likely to continue to occur.
🧬 Rules for gene-edited seeds change (Canada) 🧬
Seeds made with gene editing that does not include the use of DNA from other species and that are not designed to be pesticide-resistant will soon be allowed to be used in food production without having to first go through a safety assessment – Canada
⚠🦌 Deer meat flagged as a prion risk for humans 🦌 ⚠
Authorities in Texas are warning of a possible risk to humans from eating deer affected by Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), a prion disease similar to ‘mad cow disease’ that is becoming prevalent in deer in that state. The disease is fatal to deer but has a long incubation period, meaning that infected deer do not show any visible signs of infection for “several years”.
There are no known cases of CWD infecting a human, but the Texas Animal Health Commission says that recent research cannot rule out that possibility. It recommends that all deer meat harvested by hunters be tested for CWD and not eaten if the animal is infected.
🧪 Cultivated meat safety update 🧪
🥩 The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has published a 146-page book on the Food Safety Aspects of Cell-based Food: https://www.fao.org/documents/card/en?details=cc4855en
🥩 European Food Safety Agency held a public meeting about the safety of lab-grown meat: https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2023/05/efsa-holds-a-two-day-public-meeting-on-food-safety-of-lab-grown-meat-schemes/
📌 Food Fraud News 📌
This week’s food fraud news includes
A €1 million fraud conducted by an organised crime group who altered expiry dates;
Threats to mushroom production, which could raise fraud risks;
Meat fraud detection methods (comprehensive review);
A $46 million organic fraud scheme guilty plea.
Become a paid subscriber to access The Rotten Apple’s food fraud news.
Want The Rotten Apple delivered straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe now. We don’t use your email address for anything else.