News

Improvements needed to control Campylobacter in German poultry

Improvements needed to control Campylobacter in German poultry

The latest annual report on zoonoses (infections transmissible from animals to humans) in Germany, prepared by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), reveals that neither the detection rate for Campylobacter in food nor the number of reported infections fell in 2013, despite extensive efforts to control the pathogen. The BfR report is compiled from […]

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World Health Day focuses on food safety

World Health Day focuses on food safety

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is dedicating its annual World Health Day on 7 April to the issue of food safety under the slogan “From farm to plate, make food safe.” WHO has also released the first findings from an on-going analysis of the global burden of foodborne disease. World Health Day focuses on the […]

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Expert committee publishes review of foodborne viruses

Expert committee publishes review of foodborne viruses

The UK Food Standards Agency Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) has published an extensive review of viruses in the food chain. The report focuses on the most important viruses involved in foodborne infections – norovirus, hepatitis A and hepatitis E. The ACMSF set up an Ad-Hoc group in 2010 to revisit […]

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EFSA examines risk of Ebola transmission through food

EFSA examines risk of Ebola transmission through food

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a new report assessing the risk of Ebola virus transmission from consumption of raw foods – notably plants, fruit and vegetables – legally imported into the EU from countries in Africa. To date there have been no reports of human infection with the virus from consumption of […]

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Editors blog

The spice trade under scrutiny

The spice trade under scrutiny

Undeclared nut protein in herbs and spices is a hot topic and a developing food safety problem. The issue first surfaced in the USA and Canada in December last year, when samples of cumin began testing positive for peanut protein, triggering a series of recalls and prompting the FDA to issue advice to consumers with […]

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Raw milk – EFSA wades in

Raw milk – EFSA wades in

What is it about raw milk that rouses such passions? A few minutes spent researching the subject on the Internet soon turns up all manner of individuals and organisations promoting the supposed health, nutritional and taste benefits of drinking milk fresh from the cow, while deriding the pasteurised version as a pale shadow of the […]

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Food safety in 2014 – the good, the bad and the politics

Food safety in 2014 – the good, the bad and the politics

Looking back over the last twelve months it is possible to see several positive developments in the world of food safety. Firstly, the implications of growing levels of food fraud have now been recognised in the wake of the 2013 horsemeat in beef scandal and in the UK this has resulted in the setting up […]

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Campylobacter hits the headlines

Campylobacter hits the headlines

Campylobacter has been the commonest cause of foodborne disease in the UK for nearly ten years. Yet until quite recently, comparatively few people had ever heard of it. That is changing rapidly as the mainstream media begins to focus much more attention on this rather unusual pathogen. The latest flurry of coverage was generated last […]

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New Research

Agency publishes aspartame study findings

Agency publishes aspartame study findings

The UK Food Standards Agency is publishing the findings of a study carried out by Hull York Medical School comparing the reactions to aspartame of people who have previously reported symptoms with those of people with no history of symptoms. The researchers recruited a group of individuals who had reported having adverse reactions after consuming […]

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Survey highlights ochratoxin A risk in oat-based breakfast cereals

Survey highlights ochratoxin A risk in oat-based breakfast cereals

Researchers from the University of Idaho in the USA have tested samples of various breakfast cereals on retail sale for the presence of the fungal toxin ochratoxin A (OTA) and found that some oat-based products contained undesirably high levels. The researchers analysed 489 samples of cereals made from corn, wheat, rice and oats using a […]

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Study suggests biofilms can form on reusable plastic containers

Study suggests biofilms can form on reusable plastic containers

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas and WBA Analytical Laboratories in the USA has revealed that bacterial pathogens may persist on the surfaces of the reusable plastic containers (RPC) often used to transport fresh produce and other foods even after standard cleaning and sanitising. The researchers, led by Dr Steven […]

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Study links food additives with inflammatory bowel disease and obesity

Study links food additives with inflammatory bowel disease and obesity

A newly published study led by researchers from Georgia State University in the USA suggests that emulsifiers in processed foods may affect the gut microbiota, causing intestinal inflammation and leading to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and metabolic syndrome. The researchers fed mice with two commonly used food emulsifiers, polysorbate-80 and carboxymethylcellulose, at doses designed to […]

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Feature Articles

A QUESTION OF CONFIDENCE – how food microbiology labs can ensure their results are reliable

A QUESTION OF CONFIDENCE – how food microbiology labs can ensure their results are reliable

Supply chains have become ever longer and more complex as food production has developed into a truly global industry. The need to monitor the safety of food at every stage means that microbiological testing remains a key weapon in the fight against food contamination and the volume of testing undertaken continues to grow. Today’s laboratories […]

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HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

The HACCP-driven hygiene procedures in place in modern food production facilities are an essential part of ensuring safety and quality in the food supply chain. Clean food handling and processing equipment is a prerequisite for good hygiene, but the effectiveness of cleaning must also be monitored and recorded.

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ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE – a global food safety problem

ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE – a global food safety problem

The development of antibiotics in the 1940s led to a revolution in the treatment of infectious diseases. But after more than 60 years of use and misuse, many antibiotics have lost much of their effectiveness as bacteria develop resistance to them. This situation has arisen partly as a result of overuse in clinical medicine, but […]

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CONTROLLING FOOD ALLERGENS

CONTROLLING FOOD ALLERGENS

The issue of food allergy has become an increasingly important one for the food industry over the last ten years. The prevalence of allergic reactions to certain foods seems to be increasing in the population and legislation has been introduced requiring food businesses to label foods containing major allergens. This has created a significant new […]

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Other Recent Posts

Listeria cases linked to contaminated ice cream

Listeria cases linked to contaminated ice cream

| March 20, 2015

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections associated with certain Blue Bell brand ice cream products. Five cases have been included in the outbreak investigation to date, all in the state of Kansas and all patients in the […]

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Irish survey confirms raw milk risk

Irish survey confirms raw milk risk

| March 10, 2015

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported the results of a microbiological survey of bacterial pathogens in raw milk and in-line filters used in milking equipment. The results show that 7% of raw milk samples contained Listeria monocytogenes, while 3% were contaminated with Campylobacter. However, detection rates in the milk filters were much […]

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EFSA makes food safety data available

EFSA makes food safety data available

| March 10, 2015

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced that it aims to provide public access to the food safety data it has collected and stored in the course of its risk assessment and exposure studies by launching a new “data warehouse”. EFSA’s scientific data has been collected both by the Authority itself, by EU Member […]

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