January 2022 Food Safety News and Industry Round-up
Public dashboard from Reportable Food Registry for easier analysis of agency data published by the FDA
The Reportable Food Registry (RFR) Data Dashboard provides faster access to data about hazards and dangerous food product was recently released by the FDA.
Dubbed FDA-TRACK, the initial launch contains 10 years of data (currently from September 2009-2019), and will continue to be published annually.
Congress established the RFR to assist the FDA in effectively tracking food and feed adulteration in an efficient manner.
FDA continues scaled back inspections on foreign food through March
In interest of employee safety with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA is extending temporary changes to its inspectional activities, limiting domestic surveillance. The temporary changes were originally slated to run through February 4th.
The agency is conducting foreign and domestic critical inspections using a variety of tools including remote assessments and surveillance. The FDA’s goal is to return to regular foreign surveillance in April.
More information on the temporary changes
FDA releases report on Salmonella update in leafy greens
Believed to be the first outbreak amongst packaged leafy greens grown in a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) operation, the outbreak occurred between June-August 2021 and resulted in 31 reported illnesses and four hospitalizations.
Although the strain was traced to a storm water retention basin close by, the agency identified certain conditions, factors and practices that could lead to contamination.
The report lists eight requirements and recommendations that apply to facilities using CEA that address these conditions.
Read the Investigation Report from FDA
More Information on the Salmonella Outbreak
EU & UK Updates
New EU animal and food export regulations came into effect
Under the new Animal Health Law (AHL), exporting food and animal products to the EU require updated certification. The new law consolidated the EU-wide framework previously in place in order to control the spread of animal diseases.
The new regulations enables effective and efficient responses to outbreaks by embracing new technologies in the animal health industry.
More information on the new regulations
Food labelling in a post-Brexit world
According to Jessica Burt, Associate of Food Law at Mills & Reeve, UK-based food operators now create challenges while presenting opportunities in food labelling.
The UK courts no longer need to adhere to EU court regulations, however, there should be a push towards consistency. The difference in food labelling can give both entities the power to showcase their products locally and abroad.
Learn more about the opportunities and challenges
New FSA study shows differing food safety attitudes throughout the UK public
Recent research by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) presents findings on how different attitudes and behaviors towards food safety differs between different audiences.
Through a “Food and You” survey, data created seven groups showing how approaches to food safety differ, who is more likely to take risks, and what types of effective communication are needed.
Learn more about consumer segmentation
Learn more about food safety messaging
Norway and Germany fund food safety in developing nations
The Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) is receiving funds from Germany and Norway to support food safety regulations in developing countries. The STDF is managed by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Through the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), Norway has pledged nearly $2.75 million between 2021-2023 to help these countries comply with international standards and develop and implement projects around safe trade.
Germany also contributed more than $3 million between 2021-2024 to the STDF to enable these countries to meet SPS standards.
Norovirus linked to contaminated packaging while 120 illnesses are reported in Slovenia
In the town of Illirska Bistrica, the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ), the Administration for Food Safety, Veterinary Sector and Plant Protection (UVHVVR) and the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food (NLZOH) came together to investigate the December 2021 outbreak.
The investigation concluded hat the outbreak was most likely sourced from storage packaging after contact with surfaces previously touched by infected customers.
Download our Norovirus datasheet for more information
EU bans use of titanium dioxide (E171) in food
Following an EFSA opinion that titanium dioxide was not safe for human consumption in May of 2021, the European Commission has moved to ban the additive in the use of foods.
The ban will come into place following a six month transitory period, that will be gin this summer.
Netherlands sees decline in foodborne illness during COVID-19
Experts claim the COVID-19 lockdown, with closures of food establishments, decrease in social events, travel restrictions and social distancing, led to a decrease in foodborne illness.
Experts show the reduced one-on-one time between people limited cross-contamination and spread of pathogens by contact.
More than 1,100 food and beverage acquisitions in 2021
A recent report published by Zenith Global has indicated that the global food and beverage industry saw 1,116 mergers and acquisitions in 2021.
At an average of 21 per week, the results were 34% higher than the same period in 2020 and represent an 8th consecutive year of continued increase.
‘Free-from’ businesses were the largest category of acquisitions making up 13% of the total with health, wellness and plant-based businesses all surging in valuations compared to previous years.
Product fraud impacts Australian agricultural and food sectors
Significant to the Australian economy, Australia’s agricultural and food sectors are now seeing a rise in product fraud across industries.
With an estimated cost of $2-3 billion and potentially causing harm to Australia’s reputation in producing high-quality goods, new technologies are becoming more readily available to to mitigate fraud.
Read the report from Deakin University
Egg fried rice linked to Chinese Salmonella outbreak
This past year, more than 220 people were affected in China due to a Salmonella outbreak linked to egg fried rice according to researchers.
Scientists conducted a food hygiene survey collecting samples from patients, food and the environment to isolate the cause of the outbreak – a cause showing not cooking the egg thoroughly.
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