November Food Safety News and Industry Round-up

November 2019 saw significant market changes between China, Canada and the United States, calls for increased sustainability from the UK government and significant moves from Malayasia to ensure palm oil exports remain compliant ahead of predicted EU changes in demand, as well as important news from the FDA concerning FSMA accredited laboratories and Co-Manufacturer Supplier Verification.

The video industry round-up contains more on each of these stories and more, or refer to sources in the transcript below for more detailed reading.

FDA Updates

  • FDA to recognize accredited laboratories for FSMA compliant testing

The FDA released a proposed rule on November 1st under which they will recognize accreditation bodies, who will, in turn, accredit laboratories to conduct food testing.

The proposed program incorporates elements of ISO/IEC 17011:2017 and ISO/IEC 17025:2017 as requirements for accreditation bodies and laboratories.

It is proposed that the accredited laboratory will send results directly to the FDA and a full test report will be required unless the testing laboratory has been approved for abridged reports.

Comments are open until March 3rd, 2020 and the program will be effective 60 days after a final rule is published, however, the FDA has reserved an unspecified period of time to allow itself to prepare for the changes and ensure sufficient laboratory capacity.

This means there is al likelihood that mandatory testing by accredited laboratories may still be a few years away.



  • Pathogen testing for romaine lettuce to begin

The FDA has announced it will utilize microbial testing for pathogens in romaine lettuce following several outbreaks in the last two years.

These tests will focus on salmonella app and E.Coli and is intended to take a full year, concluding next November 2020.

More information

  • FSMA Co-Manufacturer Supplier Verification enforcement discretion continues

The FDA has said it will maintain its enforcement discretion for certain supply-chain program requirements that are applicable to contract manufacturers.

The discretion is in place in response to brand owners performing certain supply-chain requirements on behalf of their co-manufacturers and was due to expire earlier this November.

Currently, the FDA have not announced the length of this extension.

Read more

Germany gives CBD novel food classification

Germany has followed in the week of the European Commission’s ruling earlier this year to classify cannabidiol as a novel food.

This new classification means no CBD-containing product can be marketed within the country without authorisation.

Read more

German officials admit fault in Listeria outbreak

German authorities have admitted mistakes were made in its investigations into a Listeria outbreak between 2014 to 2017, only identifying it as such last year in 2018 due to whole-genome sequencing.

They have since agreed to increases in food monitoring and unannounced inspections with technical supervision, as well as a review of businesses’ self-control systems.

The company at the source of the outbreak ceased production in early October, and has since filed for bankruptcy.

Full story

Malaysian palm oil to meet potential EU standards by 2021

Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest producer of palm oil behind only Indonesia, have taken measures to ensure its palm oil output will meet potential new EU food safety standards by 2021.

The EU is currently considering new limits on food contaminants in refined fats and oils, which would affect 3-MCPD esters found in palm oil.

Learn more

WWF calls on UK government to eliminate deforestation from the food chain

Following the same trend of environmental concern, elsewhere, the World Wildlife Fund has called on UK political parties to pursue legislation which will aim to eliminate deforestation in the food and drink supply chain.

The call follows the release of findings which show Brazilian Amazon deforestation has risen 29.5% in year on year comparisons.

Further reading

Meat and Poultry processing injuries at all-time industry low

The US Department of Labor research has revealed that injuries and illnesses among workers in the US meat and poultry processing industry is at all-time industry low, having fallen to just 4.3 cases per 100 full-time workers per year.

More information 

China lifts bans on US poultry and Canadian beef & pork

China has lifted its ban on importing US poultry which has been in place since an avian influenza outbreak in January, 2015.

The lifting of the ban was quickly followed by news that 172 US poultry processing plants have been approved for export to China.

The final full measure of US poultry exports to China, taken in 2013, shows that the market was worth $500m to the US economy, and speculators now claim that the renewed trade could be worth up to $2bn USD following a perceived meat protein deficit due to African Swine Fever.

China has also lifted its temporary suspension on imports of Canadian beef and pork products.

The ban was in place while an investigation was carried out into potential counterfeit certifications, and its lifting has been welcomed by the Canadian Meat Council.

Read more on the lifting of the US poultry ban

Which companies have been approved

Learn more about the approval of Canadian beef and pork trade

Cases of listeriosis in China underestimated

New research claims that the number of people affected by listeriosis in mainland China has been underestimated.

The study reports that 562 infections are said to have occurred between 2011 to 2017 opposed to a total of 229 cases between 1964 and 2010.

As of yet, there is no evidence of an outbreak, though there is a potential risk of listeriosis in the Chinese population.

Scientists have called for the introduction of a comprehensive monitoring system for Listeria infections, saying that it is urgently needed.

More information


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