News

BfR asks for EFSA opinion on microplastic particles in food

BfR asks for EFSA opinion on microplastic particles in food

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) has presented a request to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asking for a scientific opinion on the occurrence of microplastic and nanoplastic particles in food. The BfR is concerned mainly about secondary microplastic particles (ranging from 0.001 mm to 5 mm in diameter) produced through chemical […]

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One in three people at risk from Campylobacter infection

One in three people at risk from Campylobacter infection

According to new figures from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), up to a third of the population risk being infected with the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter at some point during their lifetime. The estimate is based on the current incidence of about 280,000 cases each year. The publication of the figures marks the start of […]

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Mixed news from preliminary 2014 FoodNet surveillance data

Mixed news from preliminary 2014 FoodNet surveillance data

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published preliminary data for 2014 from the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), which monitors the incidence of laboratory-confirmed foodborne infections in 10 different geographic areas. A total of 19,542 infections were recorded over the year, with 4,445 hospitalisations and 71 deaths. The most common […]

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FDA releases Blue Bell Creameries inspection notes

FDA releases Blue Bell Creameries inspection notes

In the wake of recent cases of listeriosis in the USA linked to ice cream manufactured by Blue Bell Creameries, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published “inspectional observations” from their most recent inspections at three of the company’s production sites. As of April 20, 2015, a total of ten patients infected with several […]

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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

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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Researchers develop meat spoilage nano-sensor

Researchers develop meat spoilage nano-sensor

A team of chemists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the USA has developed a new portable sensor based on chemically modified carbon nanotubes, which is able to detect the volatile chemical by-products of microbial meat spoilage. The MIT researchers modified the carbon nanotubes with a metalloporphyrin containing a central cobalt atom bound […]

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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

Sliced apples recalled over Listeria contamination

Sliced apples recalled over Listeria contamination

| May 5, 2015

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a Food Recall warning relating to sliced apples and products containing sliced apples produced by Sun Rich Fresh Foods Inc., of Brampton Ontario, because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall applies to six products sold in Canada and some US states under the Sun Rich […]

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Listeria outbreak reported in Denmark

Listeria outbreak reported in Denmark

| May 5, 2015

According to press reports, the Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) has announced that five cases of listeriosis were recorded within a single week during April. Two of the people infected subsequently died. Typically, only one case of Listeria infection would be expected during a seven-day period in Denmark. So the SSI considers five cases in […]

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Botulism cases linked to home-canned potatoes

Botulism cases linked to home-canned potatoes

| April 29, 2015

Public health officials in the US state of Ohio have identified potato salad made with home canned potatoes as the most likely cause of an outbreak of botulism that has affected people who attended a “church potluck” in Lancaster on 19 April. As of 27 April, there were 21 confirmed cases, including one death, associated […]

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