Richard Lawley

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THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

THE HEPATITIS A VIRUS – an overlooked cause of foodborne disease

| April 21, 2015

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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The spice trade under scrutiny

The spice trade under scrutiny

| February 24, 2015 | 1 Comment

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

| January 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

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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Food safety in 2014 – the good, the bad and the politics

Food safety in 2014 – the good, the bad and the politics

| December 16, 2014 | 2 Comments

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

| December 2, 2014 | 1 Comment

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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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

| November 18, 2014

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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Food safety in a shrinking world

Food safety in a shrinking world

| November 4, 2014 | 3 Comments

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

| October 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

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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HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

HOW CLEAN IS CLEAN? – Rapid food hygiene monitoring methods

| September 16, 2014

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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Food crime cannot be prevented on the cheap

Food crime cannot be prevented on the cheap

| September 9, 2014 | 0 Comments

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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