Food Safety

Potential Salmonella/Listeria contamination

US salad recall includes Whole Foods 365 brand

A California-based grocery chain is recalling almost half a ton of ready-to-eat salads, including the 365 brand sold by Whole Foods, because they contain corn from a third-party supplier that is under recall for potential contamination from Salmonella and Listeria bacteria. GH Foods CA LLC of Sacramento initiated the…

NAFDAC Nigeria warns:

“Consumption of rotten tomatoes causes cancer”

This weekend, the Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), warned its countrymen against the consumption of rotten tomatoes, claiming…

Yellow leaf curl virus found

Egypt discusses to stop import tomato variety due to TYLCV

This Sunday, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture proposed a ban on  the import of a hybrid tomato variety after the infection of thousands of acres with yellow leaf curl virus…

Michel Witmer:

“I’m surprised by the number of recalls”

Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, incorrect labels: in recent months, the number of recalls has been considerably higher than in previous years. Michel Witmer of Groen Agro Control is surprised by this. “How is it possible these things still happen?” he wonders. As a product manager of food, he sees a…

Official bodies ensuring that recalled lettuce not allowed back in Malaysia

Malaysia will monitor all checkpoints to ensure exported vegetables pulled off the shelves in Singapore are not allowed back into the local market. The Agriculture and Agro-based Industries’ enforcement body, the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) is responsible here. It all started when iceberg lettuce from a…

Food safety conference delivers key learnings to the fresh produce industry

The theme of this year’s Fresh Produce Safety Conference, hosted by the Fresh Produce Safety Centre Australia & New Zealand in Sydney, was ‘Food Safety: It’s Your Responsibility’. Bringing together over 150 food producers and manufacturers, packers, distributors and retailers, students and researchers, the event…

US (FL): Recruiting insects as allies for plants in food security project

A University of Florida lab spearheaded a campaign to recruit insects as allies that can aid in reducing plant stress to enhance food security. The initial, 12-month “recruiting” effort by Jane Polston, a professor of plant pathology at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, successfully completes the first…

Fresh Produce Safety Conference

Listeria in fresh produce: Are we any the wiser?

‘The role of food safety staff must go beyond compliance and keeping the regulatory guys happy,’ said Suresh DeCosta, Director of Food Safety, Lipman Family Farms (USA) and…

Australia: A preliminary wash-up of the strawberry tampering issue

It has not been an easy period for the Australian horticulture industry with the strawberry tampering crisis dominating headlines and political agendas and causing significant angst for growers. by Growcom CEO David Thomson Queensland health continues to maintain that only three brands were affected and that consumers can manage…

Walmart will use blockchain to stop the spread of E. coli and other diseases in lettuce

Grocery giants Walmart and Sam's Club are requiring their lettuce suppliers to get into blockchain technology. Those providing leafy greens to the grocery chains will need to upload data about their foods to blockchain within a year, the companies announced to its suppliers Monday. The companies highlighted an E.…

Twelve retailers from China join GLOBALG.A.P.

China Ants Alliance (CAA) was established by twelve retailers from six provinces in China. It is operated and managed by Zhengzhou Ant Hezhong Business Management Co. Ltd.,…

GlobalGAP and GIZ collaborate to facilitate export of horticulture products from Central Asia

The objective of the collaboration between GlobalGAP and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) is…

Australia: Queensland Government commitment to strawberry industry welcomed

Growcom and the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association have welcomed the Queensland Government’s commitment to help restore the sector's reputation for safe and delicious berries. Growcom CEO, David Thomson said the entire horticultural industry takes great pride in what they grow and to have some malicious person destroy…

Australia: Best practice scheme ‘BioSecure HACCP’ gets tick of approval

Ten years of dedicated work to develop a robust and certified on-farm biosecurity program for the nursery industry has resulted in the announcement of BioSecure HACCP as the first ever ‘approved’ third-party biosecurity scheme under the Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014. Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) have…

US: Commodities primarily sourced domestically face lowest compliance costs for Produce Rule

The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new and comprehensive authority to issue rules for the improvement of food safety, including the Produce Rule, which regulates fresh fruit and vegetables that are minimally processed and frequently consumed raw. Using detailed data…

Young boy arrested by police

Australia's strawberry needle scare spurs proposal for 15-year jail term

Police in Australia have arrested a young boy who admitted to inserting needles into strawberries as part of an apparent prank. New South Wales Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Stuart Smith would not release further details. "Obviously in the last few days we found a young person that admitted to playing a prank,…

Foodstuffs and Woolworths NZ halt all Australian strawberry distribution

Last week, sewing needles were found in punnets of strawberries purchased in five states or territories - the latest in Tasmania. Australian police believe a disgruntled farm worker is to blame for the cases in Queensland, but said copycats may be responsible in other states.           Foodstuffs said it was confident there was no product in its stores that have been affected by the Australian action. But the company said for added reassurance it elected…

Why the tomato was feared in Europe for more than 200 years

In the late 1700s, a large percentage of Europeans feared the tomato. A nickname for the fruit was the “poison apple” because it was thought that aristocrats got sick and died after eating them, but the truth of the matter was that wealthy Europeans used pewter plates, which were high in lead content. Because tomatoes are…

Strawberry sabotage in Australia has widespread consequences

The devastating impact of Australia’s strawberry sabotage story has been revealed as growers are forced to throw out truckloads of perfectly good fruit. Stephanie Cheans…

Australia: Strawberries found with sewing needles inside

The Queensland Strawberry Growers Association suspects a disgruntled ex-employee was behind the sewing needles found in a number of strawberries sold by Woolworths. In a statement, the association said it had "reason to suspect" it was a former employee and was waiting on more information from Queensland…

Romaine, blockchain and the future of food safety

Romaine lettuce dominated headlines this spring, when nearly 100 people became ill after eating romaine tainted with E.coli. This particular strain of bacteria was especially…

CAN (ON): Listeria prompts Greenbelt Greenhouse to recall microgreens

A Canadian greenhouse is recalling microgreens from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled products described below. Greenbelt Greenhouse Ltd. from Ontario distributed the recalled microgreens in Ontario, according to the recall…

Murdoch University - Australia

Scientists find a way to zap fruit & kill mould

Scientists at Murdoch University have developed a low-energy, chemical-free process that can zap fresh produce, stopping mould spores from germinating and extending its shelf life for weeks. This innovation is causing great excitement among growers in Western Australia and around the world. The…

US (GA): Food scientist receives award for salmonella research

University of Georgia food scientist Xiangyu Deng has been awarded the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award by the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP). The award recognizes excellence in food safety and was presented to Deng at the IAFP meeting held July 8-11 in Salt Lake City. The IAFP…

Russian food watchdog to inspect Belarusian apple & tomato growers

Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance of Russia ‘Rosselkhoznadzor’ will inspect a number of Belarusian companies growing apples and tomatoes, on 20-24…

US: Panel formed to combat Cyclospora parasite

John P. Olivo, President, Fresh Express, announced the formation of a Fresh Express Blue-Ribbon Panel to be chaired by world-renowned epidemiologist and infectious disease…

US: Growers who conduct third-party audits spend more on food safety

In an effort to understand produce grower food safety practices before the phased implementation (beginning in 2018) of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Rule (PR), ERS and USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service teamed to conduct the 2015/16 Produce Grower Food Safety Practices Survey.…

US: Greater shares of larger produce growers use food safety practices

The Produce Rule (PR) of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requires specific disease-preventive practices be used by U.S. growers of produce that is consumed raw. Finalized in 2015, the rule began to take effect this year. An ERS survey covering 2015 through 2016 found that a significant share of…

USDA GAP audit now recognized by GFSI and FDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Plus+ audit program for specialty crops is now accepted as…

US: Estimated costs to comply with Food Safety Modernization Act

In an effort to improve food safety by reducing foodborne illnesses, the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA) empowered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to impose new regulatory requirements on food producers and handlers, to expand requirements for and inspections of food imports, and…

New Zealand: Australian irradiated tomatoes must be labelled

Irradiated Australian tomatoes are on the shelves of fresh produce stores now, and TomatoesNZ is reminding retailers and the hospitality sector to ensure that produce is…

Europe’s cucumber salmonella outbreak reminds manufacturers to stay current

Annually Europe is experiencing a rise in cases of Salmonella poisoning linked to the use of cucumbers in ready-to-eat foods. Without a clear source of contamination, SGS is…

Data shows Germany and UK reported nearly half of E. coli infections in EU

When combining all the recent reports of STEC/VTEC cases in 2016, it appears almost half of those reports originate from Germany and the United Kingdom, according to European…

Greece: Tomatoes seized and destroyed in Piraeus

On Thursday July 19, Food and Nutrition inspection teams have confiscated and destroyed 2.3 tons of tomatoes that were unfit for consumption, said Greek authorities. After…


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