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Codex annual meeting adopts new standards

Codex annual meeting adopts new standards

The Codex Alimentarius Commission held its 37th session in Geneva from the 14th to the 18th July and adopted a number of new international standards, including maximum levels for inorganic arsenic in rice and lead in infant formula. The Commission – originally set up by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation […]

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EFSA launches ‘Open Science’ initiative

EFSA launches ‘Open Science’ initiative

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched a discussion paper setting out its policy and plans to become an ‘Open EFSA’ for public consultation. The Authority aims to open up its scientific processes and become more transparent and accountable. The discussion paper is the latest step in a transparency initiative launched last year and […]

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Foster Farms recalls chicken products linked to Salmonella outbreak

Foster Farms recalls chicken products linked to Salmonella outbreak

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that Foster Farms of Livingston, California, is recalling an “undetermined” amount of chicken products that may be contaminated with a particular strain of Salmonella Heidelberg. The recall comes in response to an FSIS request after the discovery of direct evidence that Foster farms chicken is […]

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Editors blog

Foster Farms chicken recall – why now?

Foster Farms chicken recall – why now?

I seem to have been writing about an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg associated with Foster Farms raw chicken for a year or more now. That’s probably because that’s how long it has been going on, with 621 people having been affected as of 2 July. The likely source was identified a year ago, but despite […]

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The dating game

The dating game

Date codes on food packaging perform a variety of different tasks. They give the consumer a rough idea of the food’s shelf life and they also help manufacturers and retailers manage their stock control so that the oldest products are always at the front of the shelf, reducing the potential for waste. Unfortunately the date […]

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Salmonella in Foster Farms chicken – more than an outbreak

Salmonella in Foster Farms chicken – more than an outbreak

Food poisoning outbreaks can go on for quite some time. For instance, a UK outbreak of listeriosis associated with pâté in the late 80s lasted for about three years, affecting at least 350 people and killing about 90 of them. The usual reason for a protracted outbreak is a failure to find the source and […]

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New Research

Cinnamon oil kills pathogenic E. coli strains

Cinnamon oil kills pathogenic E. coli strains

A newly published study by researchers at Washington State University in the USA has found that an essential oil from cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia) is an effective antibacterial agent against several strains of non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). The researchers tested the oil, the major component of which is cinnamaldehyde, for antibacterial activity against […]

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Study suggests fungal contaminant in recalled yoghurt is pathogenic

Study suggests fungal contaminant in recalled yoghurt is pathogenic

Researchers at Duke University in the USA have been examining the genetics of a fungal isolate obtained from a sample of recalled Greek yoghurt and have concluded that it could be a foodborne pathogen. The Greek yoghurt, produced by Chobani Inc. of Twin Falls, Idaho, was recalled in September last year after complaints of swelling […]

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Peaks in Campylobacter infection linked to fondue dish

Peaks in Campylobacter infection linked to fondue dish

A newly published study by scientists at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (TPH) in Basel has established a link between an unusual increase in human cases of campylobacteriosis over Christmas and New Year and the consumption Fondue chinoise with chicken. Campylobacter is the commonest cause of foodborne disease in Switzerland, with between 7000 […]

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Feature Articles

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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NAMING THE GUILTY – identifying the causes of food poisoning outbreaks

NAMING THE GUILTY – identifying the causes of food poisoning outbreaks

When an outbreak of foodborne infection is reported, one of the most important tasks facing investigators is to identify the microorganism responsible. But determining the species is often not enough. Outbreak strains of bacteria or viruses need to be characterised (typed and subtyped) in much greater detail, both to confirm that suspected cases are linked, […]

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Other Recent Posts

New web tool for smoked fish producers

New web tool for smoked fish producers

| July 8, 2014

The UK Food Standards Agency has launched a free web tool designed to help producers of smoked fish ensure that their products are safe for consumers by reducing the risk of Listeria contamination. The tool can assess production processes for their effectiveness in controlling Listeria by asking a series of questions to determine whether current […]

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EFSA confirms acrylamide in food a public health concern

EFSA confirms acrylamide in food a public health concern

| July 3, 2014

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is launching a public consultation on a draft Scientific Opinion, which confirms previous assessments that acrylamide in food potentially increases the risk of developing cancer for consumers of all age groups. Acrylamide is generated in certain foods during high temperature cooking processes such as baking and frying. It is […]

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CDC warning over antibiotic resistance in foodborne bacteria

CDC warning over antibiotic resistance in foodborne bacteria

| July 3, 2014

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a new report containing data from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), which contains both good and bad news. The data, for the year 2012, tracks resistance in humans, retail meats and food animals and reveals that multi-drug resistance in Salmonella decreased over […]

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