August 2021 Food Safety News and Industry Round-up
Higher food prices predicted by USDA
New data from the USDA predicts a rise in food prices across categories for the remainder of 2021 and 2022.
This follows significant increases already in 2020, with the price of food consumed at home now expected to increase between 2.5 and 3.5%, while food consumed away from the home is likely to rise by 3.4 to 4.5% in 2021 over 2020.
With regard to specific product categories, the largest increase seems to be in fresh fruit, which is up 4.9% while the smallest increase is expected to be in fresh vegetables, which is rising only by 0.4%, with meat prices likely to continue to climb.
Codex Committee encourage paperless food safety
A Codex Committee has recommended that the next Codex Alimentarius Commission pursue draft guidance for paperless use of electronic certifications when it meets in November.
Although work on this document began in 2017, the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems has said that the coronavirus pandemic has made it more important to pursue this strategy which will follow a framework from the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business.
European food fraud task force release results
Additional details of the success of Operation Opson X have been revealed by authorities in Spain and Germany.
The annual initiative against food fraud is coordinated by Interpol and Europol and involves the input of national food authorities, police, customs, and private sector companies.
With a specific focus on wine, alcohol, honey, horse passports, seeds, and plants, the success led to the seizure of more than 600 tons of seeds, 116,000 liters of spirits, 25,000 bottles of wine, numerous arrests, and more than €120,000 in cash.
EPA will stop pesticide chlorpyrifos from use on food
In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency has said it will stop the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in order to preserve the health of children and farmworkers.
Commonly used in corn, soybeans, and other food crops, the use of chlorpyrifos on food has been contested under previous administrations and its use was already in decline due to restrictions at an individual state level.
FSE issues recommendations ahead of EU supplement legislation
Food Supplements Europe have released a guide to help manufacturers prepare for new legislation on pyrrolizidine alkaloid levels beginning in July 2022.
The guidance is intended to help supplement companies ensure they follow best practices to reduce the presence of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in supplements and promotes a collective responsibility for all supply chain parties to implement the measures but promotes final responsibility for compliance with the operator who completes the product as sold.
UK Salmonella outbreak leaves almost 200 ill
Almost 200 people in the UK have fallen ill due to a Salmonella outbreak that has been linked to pork scratchings.
The UK Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland have reported 179 cases of Salmonella Infantis since September 2020, with more than two-thirds of those sick being reported since June 2021.
Ethylene Oxide dominates in RASSF annual report
An annual report published from the European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASSF) showed that although the number of food and feed risk notices dropped by 6% in 2020, the number of alert notifications rose by 22% to almost 1,400.
Although declines in risk notices and border rejections were attributed to COVID-19, this is the sixth year of continuous increase for alert notifications which imply a serious health risk from a product.
While notifications for unauthorized pesticides were expected to rise in line with the new Farm to Fork Strategy for more sustainable ways of producing food, occurrences related to Ethylene Oxide dominate the report due in part to Belgium’s discovery of high levels being found in imported sesame seeds from India.
Proposals sought for IAFP 2022
The International Association for Food Protection is seeking applications from interested individuals who wish to contribute to its annual conference program next year.
Taking place in Pittsburgh, PA from July 31st to August 3rd, applications are open for the Symposium, Roundtable, and Workshops, with a deadline for contributions set for October 5th.
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