Each month we bring you the key concerns affecting food safety and compliance from around the world.
This month brings updates from the FDA exemptions, USDA funding, EU foodborne illness declining, UK trade, South Korea digitalization and Campylobacter insights from Denmark, among others.
Read on for more on each of these stories and sources for further reading.
FDA issue Threshold of Regulation exemption for metal carbides in food processing equipment
The FDA announced a Threshold of Regulation (TOR) exemption for metal carbides and their alloys when used in food processing equipment.
Upon reviewing their use, the FDA concluded that metal carbines are stable, intact, chemically inert and pose little to no likelihood of migrating to food other than in insignificant amounts.
USDA increase meat and poultry funding by $55.2 million
The USDA announced more than $55 million in funding through a new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant program.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has said that the program is intended to build “capacity and increase economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country”.
Applications must be submitted before August 2nd, 2021.
EU foodborne outbreak alerts decline in 2020
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control saw foodborne illness outbreak reports noticeably fall in 2020.
Salmonella inquiries, the main cause of outbreaks accounting for almost half of queries, fell from 88 queries in 2019 to 72.
Free trade agreement with Australia
The UK has agreed a trade deal with Australia which will remove tariffs on all UK goods.
The deal will effectively protect British farmers from tariffs for 15 years and paves the way for the UK to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a £9tr free trade area.
While the deal has been welcomed, some criticisms concerning the lack of details for animal welfare and environmental standards have questioned whether it may negatively affect trade.
Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein
The UK has secured a new trade deal with Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein worth a potential £21.6bn.
The new agreement will cut tariffs for exports of various cheese, wines, spirits, poultry, and pork products and will also affect digital sectors like mobile roaming.
South Korea announce funding for digitalisation of nation’s food systems
The South Korean government has announced a new scheme worth over $70m which will create a ‘fund of funds’ to improve sustainability and digitalization across the nation’s food system.
Part of its food and agriculture business plan announced earlier this year, the new endeavor will see the creation of smaller funds focusing on specific verticals such as Smart Agriculture and Green Bio.
Denmark gets insights into Campylobacter through Whole Genome Sequencing
A project in Denmark using whole genome sequencing has revealed that many Campylobacter infections are not sporadic and that roughly half of human infections were attributed to genetic clusters.
Almost a third of clinical isolates matched with a chicken source, and large clusters can be linked to poultry through WGS.