12 January - 20 June 2016

Food safety

12 Mar 14

Too many food business have no corporate allergen strategy in place

An SGS survey has highlighted serious issues in allergen management across the food industry. The Current Industry Practices on Allergen Control and Management survey found that 29% of respondents in food business across 46 countries had no corporate allergen management systems in place and 25% relied solely on supplier claims. The survey also found, however, that actions taken by companies showed little variation between those with policies and those without - suggesting that specific actions could still be taken without a wider system. One negative effect that SGS particularly noted was that a knowledge gap about allergen thresholds means that the industry as a whole tends to lean more than necessary on over-cautious "may-contain" labelling.

FSA's large-scale testing for campylobacter in retail chicken begins

The FSA is conducting testing for campylobacter on raw chickens purchased from a range of British shops. The aim is to test 4000 or more chickens over a 12-month period, reporting on results at three-month intervals. Part of the motivation for this initiative is that there has been little to no change in the proportion of highly contaminated chickens since 2008, when this was measured at approximately 65%. Campylobacter has been marked as the FSA's top food safety priority, as the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. [FoodSafetyNews]

Less inorganic arsenic exposure than previously thought

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced that it has lowered its estimates of the average exposure to inorganic arsenic in food. By using a more detailed classification of foods than that used in previous estimates, and incorporating newly available consumption and occurrence data, EFSA has refined its measurements of dietary arsenic in 3000 data samples. [FoodNavigator]

More research needed into risks to humans from silver nanoparticles

A recent Danish study has looked into the potential health risks from using silver nanoparticles in food - a practice that has become much more common over the past decade. Researchers concluded that the size of the particle was a key factor in how it might affect cells, with smaller particles able to enter a cell, and larger ones instead interacting with the plasma membrane outside it. The authors stressed that much more research was needed - both into the quantity of nanoparticles people are exposed to and their effects. [FoodQualityNews]

Calls for food safety improvements from Food Standards Agency working group

FoodManufacture reports that The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) working group of the Food Standards Agency has produced a draft report calling for improvement in several areas of food safety. Topics covered include food contamination caused by sewage, improved methods of decontaminating produce, better investigation of foodborne disease outbreaks and better communication to consumers surrounding good food preparation practices. [FoodManufacture]

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