News

Child-care centre outbreak investigation finds toxin in food samples

Child-care centre outbreak investigation finds toxin in food samples

The Alabama Department of Public Health has announced that laboratory tests have identified Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin in several food products served at a child-care centre in Montgomery, where at least 86 children became ill last week. More than 300 children attended one of two facilities operated by the Sunnyside Child-Care Centre and those who became […]

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Alerts help detect multi-country foodborne outbreaks

Alerts help detect multi-country foodborne outbreaks

The European Food and Waterborne Diseases Study Group has published a report on “event-based surveillance of food- and waterborne diseases in Europe” based on an examination of Outbreak Alerts issued during the period from 2008 to 2013. Outbreak Alerts, referred to as ‘urgent inquiries’ (UI), are an agreed procedure for sharing information about outbreaks amongst […]

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Concerns over MRSA in pork

Concerns over MRSA in pork

Livestock-associated strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) have been isolated from samples of pork on retail sale in the UK by two recent studies, prompting concern over the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the human food chain. The first study, commissioned and reported by the Guardian newspaper, tested 100 packs of pork chops, bacon and […]

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FDA acts to take artificial trans fats out of processed foods

FDA acts to take artificial trans fats out of processed foods

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has “finalised its determination” that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the main source of artificial trans fats in processed food, are no longer ‘generally recognised as safe’ (GRAS) for use in human food. The step follows a 2013 proposal and a period of public consultation and is based on […]

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Editors blog

Antibiotic resistance in the food supply chain – time to act

Antibiotic resistance in the food supply chain – time to act

The issue of antimicrobial resistance in pathogenic bacteria is at last being taken seriously at a high level, with calls for more funding for the development of new drugs and action to prevent the overuse of clinically important antibiotics. This is very much a case of ‘better late than never’ – it’s about 45 years […]

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Food safety off the radar for UK politicians

Food safety off the radar for UK politicians

Polling stations open for business on Thursday morning in the UK and the country is firmly in the grip of election fever as I write. With the electorate poised to deliver its verdict on who should be entrusted with running things for the next five years it seems like a good time to examine the […]

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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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New Research

Optical method can identify individual bacteria

Optical method can identify individual bacteria

A team of researchers from the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea have developed a new optical method that is said to be capable of identifying bacterial species at the single bacterium level. The new method works by directing a laser onto bacterial cells under a modified microscope to […]

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Phages in chicken could help spread antibiotic resistance

Phages in chicken could help spread antibiotic resistance

Newly published research by investigators at the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria revealed that many samples of chicken meat on retail sale contained phages (viruses that infect bacteria) capable of transferring antibiotic resistance genes between bacterial cells. The research team analysed 50 samples of chicken meat purchased from supermarkets and butchers in Austria […]

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FDA Food Safety Challenge finalists announced

FDA Food Safety Challenge finalists announced

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed the names of the five finalists in its Food Safety Challenge to develop promising new approaches for achieving big improvements in the speed of detection methods for Salmonella in fresh produce. The finalists are as follows: A team at Auburn University with a method combing magnetoelastic […]

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Oregano oil nanoemulsion could help control pathogens on fresh produce

Oregano oil nanoemulsion could help control pathogens on fresh produce

Researchers at Wayne State University in the USA have been investigating the use of nanoemulsions of antimicrobial essential oils from plants as an alternative to chlorinated water for decontaminating fresh produce. The research team looked at essential oils from plants such thyme, oregano and clove as natural antimicrobials that could potentially reduce levels of bacterial […]

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Feature Articles

THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

Bacteria are by far the most common and best known causes of foodborne illness in the developed world and the food industry is well aware of the risks presented by Salmonella, E. coli O157 and other bacterial pathogens. But there are also a small group of disease-causing viruses that can be transmitted by contaminated food. […]

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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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Other Recent Posts

Concern over inorganic arsenic levels in rice products

Concern over inorganic arsenic levels in rice products

| June 12, 2015

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is recommending that methods to minimise the levels of inorganic arsenic in rice products should be investigated in the light of recent dietary exposure studies in the German population. Analyses of rice and rice products in Germany have shown that many contain relatively high concentrations of carcinogenic […]

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EFSA confirms that acrylamide in food is a public health concern

EFSA confirms that acrylamide in food is a public health concern

| June 8, 2015

Following a comprehensive review of the available evidence, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) expert Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain has published a scientific opinion reconfirming previous evaluations that the food processing contaminant acrylamide is potentially carcinogenic. Acrylamide is produced in a variety of starchy foods that are cooked at high temperatures as […]

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Agency publishes annual food incidents report

Agency publishes annual food incidents report

| June 8, 2015

The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has published its latest Annual Report of Food Incidents, providing details of all the food, feed and environmental contamination incidents it investigated and managed in 2014. The report reveals that the Agency was notified of 1,645 incidents during the year, a number similar to those seen in recent years. […]

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