News

EFSA publishes draft assessment on caffeine safety

EFSA publishes draft assessment on caffeine safety

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released a Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine for public consultation. Caffeine is a common constituent of energy drinks and similar products and concerns have been raised about the safety of high doses. After reviewing the available scientific data on caffeine the EFSA Opinion concludes that single […]

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EFSA assesses raw milk health risks

EFSA assesses raw milk health risks

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a Scientific Opinion on the public health risks associated with consuming unpasteurised milk in response to growing consumer interest in drinking raw milk for its perceived health benefits. The Opinion, compiled by the Biological Hazards Panel, concludes that raw milk can be a source of pathogenic bacteria […]

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Fatal listeriosis outbreak linked to caramel coated apples

Fatal listeriosis outbreak linked to caramel coated apples

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies are investigating a serious multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection linked to caramel-coated apple products. The outbreak has so far affected 32 people in 11 states and 31 of those have been hospitalised. Seven deaths have been recorded and listeriosis is thought to […]

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EFSA develops toolbox to help rank microbiological risks

EFSA develops toolbox to help rank microbiological risks

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a Scientific Opinion on the development of a risk ranking toolbox designed to help risk assessors prioritise the most significant risks from microbiological hazards in food. The toolbox was developed by EFSA’s Biological Hazards Panel, which assessed eight different tools appropriate for risk ranking biological hazards in […]

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Editors blog

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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Food safety in a shrinking world

Food safety in a shrinking world

When I read that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had been looking at the risk of Ebola transmission through bushmeat illegally imported into Europe from Africa I was a bit surprised. It seemed such a parochial thing to be doing when the three countries in the grip of the current Ebola outbreak in West […]

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Learning from the mistakes of others

Learning from the mistakes of others

It is almost always instructive to read the detailed reports of investigations into food poisoning outbreaks, especially when the specific causes of the outbreak are clearly identified and properly explained. Often, the problem will have been traced to a systemic flaw or human error and the findings can be very helpful for other food manufacturers […]

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New Research

‘Chicken juice’ helps Campylobacter survive in biofilms

‘Chicken juice’ helps Campylobacter survive in biofilms

Researchers from the UK Institute of Food Research have been investigating how the comparatively fragile cells of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni manage to survive in poultry processing environments outside of the avian intestinal tract. Specifically, they looked at the role of a chicken meat exudate (chicken juice) from defrosted frozen birds by investigating its […]

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EFSA announces new research funding opportunities

EFSA announces new research funding opportunities

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is to provide a new funding stream for research into microbiological and chemical hazard assessment, two areas that it considers crucial for current and future risk assessment work. The new funding is available to eligible scientific organisations from EU Member States and calls for research proposals in two specific […]

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Report highlights hepatitis A risk in Europe after 2013 outbreaks

Report highlights hepatitis A risk in Europe after 2013 outbreaks

Researchers from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and Maastricht University Medical Centre have published a report into three multi-country foodborne outbreaks of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection reported in 2013 and their implications for the EU. The three outbreaks concerned were reported between March and May 2013 and affected more than 400 […]

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FDA launches food safety challenge

FDA launches food safety challenge

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a prize competition to search for a potential breakthrough idea for the rapid detection of pathogenic microorganisms in food – particularly Salmonella in fresh produce. The 2014 Food Safety Challenge carries a total prize pool of $500,000 and is looking for innovative ideas and technologies designed […]

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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

Chocolates recalled over Salmonella contamination

Chocolates recalled over Salmonella contamination

| January 13, 2015

The UK Food Standards Agency has announced that supermarket chain Aldi has recalled 200g packs of Choceur Treasures (whole hazelnuts wrapped in waffle and milk chocolate) because Salmonella has been detected in a single batch of the product. The recall includes Choceur Treasures with a best before date of 1September 2015 and the affected batch […]

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Baby foods recalled over contamination with plant toxins

Baby foods recalled over contamination with plant toxins

| December 16, 2014

Holle Baby Food GmbH Serviceburo is recalling all batches of certain baby foods in some European countries because of the presence of the undesirable natural plant toxins atropine and scopolamine. The recalled products are four varieties of Holle brand organic porridge in 250g packs, plus a single Lebenswert brand porridge. All batch codes and best […]

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Trichinellosis outbreak reported in Belgium

Trichinellosis outbreak reported in Belgium

| December 16, 2014

Health officials in Belgium have reported that at least 14 people have been infected with the parasitic nematode worm Trichinella after eating wild boar meat at three different restaurants in early November. So far, seven patients have shown antibodies to the parasite and first stage larvae have been found in muscle biopsies from three of […]

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