News

National E. coli outbreak investigated

National E. coli outbreak investigated

Public Health England (PHE) is currently investigating a national outbreak of Escherichia coli infection that has so far affected more than 80 people in England Scotland and Wales. The source of the outbreak has yet to be identified. To date, 75 primary cases of infection with the same outbreak strain of E. coli have been […]

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Dairy products recalled over Listeria risk

Dairy products recalled over Listeria risk

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that Oasis Brands Inc., of Miami, Florida, is recalling certain lots of various Lacteos Santa Marta brand cheeses and other dairy products because of possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. The recall affects 16 products, including several types of cheese, fresh curd, dairy spreads and creams, with […]

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EFSA assesses risk of Ebola transmission through bushmeat

EFSA assesses risk of Ebola transmission through bushmeat

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has carried out an assessment of the risk of the Ebola virus transmission through bushmeat illegally imported into Europe from Western and Central Africa. The Ebola virus has been found in certain native forest animals in Africa, including fruit bats, great apes and duiker deer, which are killed and […]

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Macadamia nuts recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination

Macadamia nuts recalled due to possible Salmonella contamination

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that Marathon Ventures, of Bellevue, Nebraska, is voluntarily recalling certain retail and bulk packages of raw macadamia nuts as a precaution, because of possible contamination with Salmonella. The recall affects raw macadamia nuts sold under a variety of brand names and in various pack sizes since […]

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Editors blog

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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Food crime cannot be prevented on the cheap

Food crime cannot be prevented on the cheap

In my last post I called on the UK Government to publish the final version of Professor Chris Elliot’s report on the implications of the 2013 horsemeat scandal for our food supply. According to newspaper reports, publication was to be postponed until at least the autumn, but to the surprise of many, the report appeared […]

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Is Frederick Accum’s legacy being squandered?

Is Frederick Accum’s legacy being squandered?

In 1820 a little book was published in Britain and the USA that shocked its readers and arguably began the process that led to modern food law in Europe and North America. A Treatise on Adulterations of Food, and Culinary Poisons was penned by a German-born chemist called Frederick Accum, who lived and worked in […]

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New Research

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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Study sheds light on Clostridium botulinum spore germination

Study sheds light on Clostridium botulinum spore germination

A newly published research study by scientists at the UK Institute of Food Research (IFR) has identified part of the mechanism by which the resistant endospores of the dangerous foodborne pathogen Clostridium botulinum (the cause of botulism) are able to germinate. It is known that spore germination is initiated when certain small molecules (germinants) are […]

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Feature Articles

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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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

Unpasteurised apple cider recalled over E. coli contamination

Unpasteurised apple cider recalled over E. coli contamination

| November 4, 2014

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has issued a Food recall Warning relating to unpasteurised apple cider processed by Rolling Acres Cider Mill in Ontario because of possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination. The recalled apple cider was sold in 2 and 4 litre containers at a farmer’s market in Waterloo, Ontario, and from Rolling Acres […]

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Recalled chicken products linked to illness cluster

Recalled chicken products linked to illness cluster

| November 4, 2014

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that the Aspen Foods Division of Koch Meats, of Chicago, is recalling 28,980 pounds of chicken products because of possible contamination with a specific strain of Salmonella Enteritidis. The recalled product is identified by FSIS as “Single 5-ounce plastic packets of Raw Stuffed Chicken Breast […]

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Source of New Zealand yersiniosis outbreak still unclear

Source of New Zealand yersiniosis outbreak still unclear

| October 14, 2014

According to press reports from New Zealand, public health and food safety authorities are continuing to investigate a suspected foodborne outbreak of Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection, but have yet to identify its source. A total of 127 cases of infection by this unusual pathogen have now been confirmed since mid-August and 38 people have been admitted […]

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