12 January - 20 June 2016

Food Safety and Other News

2 December 2015

The European Commission set to propose new regulations on bisphenol A (BPA)

The European Commission is set to propose new regulations on BPA from next year in an effort to improve consumer confidence and reduce uncertainty created by individual Member State laws. It highlighted the need for a new specific migration limit (SML) of 0.6 mg/kg after the Tolerable Daily Intake was lowered from 50 to 4 μg/kg bw.

The commission is considering five options which include: no policy change, modifying legislative restrictions in plastic food contact materials, introduce measures for BPA in coatings and varnishes, modifying legislative restrictions in plastic food contact materials and introduce measures for BPA in coatings/ varnishes and other food contact materials as well as a ban on BPA in food contact materials.

Native tobacco plant's unique genes 'opens new world' in food research

Researchers from Queensland University of Technology have discovered that an Australian native tobacco plant Nicotiana benthamiana (Pitjuri) lacks an ‘immune system’ in favour of rapid reproduction and over-sized seeds. It is hoped that the discovery offers potential for research in medicine and food production.

The researchers have sequenced the plant’s genome and are keen to test the discovery on other plants for the possibility for biotech research for the rapid development of human antibodies as well as increased food production.

Research on reusable plastic containers reveals safety issues

Research from the Center for Food Safety at the University of Arkansas’ Department of Food Science has shown that there are still barriers to ensuring that reusable plastic containers (RPCs) do not contain microbial contamination and are clean. The study found that failure of cleaning procedures can lead to spoilage and development of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella before the food is packed and stored (including eggs, fresh produce and meat).

Shigella outbreak traced to imported coriander

A recent cohort study has found that fresh coriander imported from Southeast Asia was a likely cause of the recent shigellosis outbreak which affected many people in Sweden.

The coriander was a common denominator at all of the affected restaurants where the cases had eaten. The analysis of the Shigella of people who had fallen ill showed the bacterial strains making this the common source of infection.

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