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Food Safety

"Risk of E. coli in hydroponic and aquaponic systems may be greater than once thought"

A spate of foodborne illnesses in leafy greens and other produce in recent years has sickened consumers and disrupted growers and supply chains. It’s been thought that hydroponic and aquaponic systems could reduce these issues since there is little opportunity for pathogens like E. coli to contaminate…

Handling COVID-19 on produce farms and in packinghouses

While there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is a food safety concern, it is a worker health concern as it spreads via close person-to-person contact or by contact with contaminated surfaces. Food does not appear to be a likely cause of COVID-19 transmission, but many of the same practices used to…

New web portal to help Canadian growers as first foreign workers could be arriving next week

In order to ensure grocery store shelves remain full and families have food on the table during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government of Ontario is launching a new web portal, connecting workers with employers looking to fill positions in the agri-food sector. This new online tool will make it easier to…

Jan VanderHout

"International workers need to get here quickly for spring planting"

"Now more than ever, we know how important it is for Canadian farmers to be able to continue to grow their crops and raise their livestock. A safe, consistent food supply is an essential service, especially during a global crisis like this when other countries around the world are facing the same…

Naktuinbouw and measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

In an interview, John van Ruiten, director at Naktuinbouw (the Dutch inspection service for horticulture), explained in an interview what the Naktuinbouw does to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and what it means for testing samples in the laboratory.  Their inspection activities at companies are scheduled…

LSU AgCenter posters show safe produce handling for producers, consumers

Hand-washing, social distancing and avoiding touching any part of the face are among the most prescribed recommendations across the globe for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Another practice that has become an important part of that public mantra is following proper cleaning practices to limit the…

Series of salad recalls in Australia due to Salmonella

In Western Australia, a number of salad products have been recalled because of Salmonella contamination. These recalls involve the Loose Leaf Lettuce Co., Supreme Salads, Fresh Frontier and Quality Produce International. There have been no reports of illness associated with the products. The Loose Leaf…

What should growers do? COVID-19 considerations

How do I maintain social distancing in my food production facility where employees typically work within close distances? It is one of the questions growers have to deal with…

Alternative sales options for farmers

Although the NC Department of Health and Human Services has recently clarified that farmers markets are classified as groceries and may remain open, many markets in the state or other parts of the country will see decreased traffic or choose to remain closed until the threat of COVID-19 has passed. This…

Buying from local farmers during COVID-19 outbreak

When you connect with farmers and buy their goods, you help protect those who rely on sales for their livelihoods and who have already invested in supplies, seed and seasonal operating costs. Here's how to safely buy products from your local farmers.  CommunicationThanks to social media and other digital methods…

Considerations for food processing facilities during novel coronavirus pandemic

Food processors are always required to operate under sanitary conditions and abide by sanitation regulations regardless of their licensed regulatory agency. It is important to continue these practices and increase the frequency of wiping down and disinfecting common surfaces in areas that are in high…

Produce pick-up and deliveries during the COVID-19 outbreak: Keeping things safe

Produce buyers and shippers are essential in keeping produce department shelves stocked for consumers. Questions have come into the Rutgers On-Farm Food Safety Team regarding best practices for the shipping or receiving of produce. Communication is key, and prominent signage is the best way to convey…

European fresh produce sector guarantees continuous supply of safe & high quality fresh fruit & vegetables

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak across Europe the European fresh fruit and vegetable sector has increased efforts to ensure a continuous and diverse supply of safe, high quality…

"Don’t fear eating your fruits and veggies"

Modern supermarkets with their many open displays of fruits and vegetables are truly a marvel and a reminder that the U.S. enjoys a safe and abundant food supply. However, in the face of the current nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, many questions about the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables have arisen.…

Canada: Sobeys recalls vegetable mix due to possible salmonella contamination

Sobeys Inc. has recalled Sobeys and Foodland brand Asian Vegetable Mix due to possible salmonella contamination. Ctvnews.ca reported that, according to a notice from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the recall affects products with an expiration date of March 15 that were distributed in…

California LGMA shares food safety facts

US: EPA expands COVID-19 disinfectant list

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is releasing an expanded list of EPA-registered disinfectant products that have qualified for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list contains nearly 200 additional products—including 40 new products that went through the…

"Natural habitat around farms a win for strawberry growers, birds and consumers"

Conserving natural habitat around strawberry fields can help protect growers’ yields, their bottom line and the environment with no detectable threat to food safety, indicates a study led by the University of California, Davis. In the study, published in the journal Ecological Applications, researchers…

Coronavirus: no evidence that food is a source or transmission route

EFSA is closely monitoring the situation regarding the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that is affecting a large number of countries across the globe. There is…

Space lettuce found to be safe and nutritious

Astronauts in space generally live on processed, pre-packaged space rations such as fruits, nuts, chocolate, shrimp cocktails, peanut butter, chicken, and beef to name a few. These have often been sterilized by heating, freeze drying, or irradiation to make them last and a key challenge for the US Space…

FDA’S 2020 Leafy Greens Action Plan

The leafy greens farming communities in California and Arizona welcome any action that helps prevent future foodborne illness outbreaks associated with our products. We value the support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as detailed in its 2020 Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan. by April Ward FDA’s Action Plan…

UK survey shows slight rise in concern about British food safety

The concern of consumers about food safety in the United Kingdom has gone up based on results of a survey by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Findings from late last year show that 45 percent of respondents had concern about food safety in U.K. restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways and 40 percent were concerned about…

US: FMI Food Safety Priorities for 2020 include leafy green safety

In the wake of recent foodborne illness outbreaks linked to produce items like leafy greens, food retailers and wholesalers continue to prioritize the health and safety of their customers. The FMI recently issued its Food Safety Priorities for 2020. by April Ward The LGMA is pleased to see certification in…

US: Paul Kiecker to lead Food Safety and Inspection Service

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the appointment of Paul Kiecker to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Mr. Kiecker will be assuming the role following the departure of Administrator Carmen Rottenberg, who is…

Detecting Salmonella in less than eight hours

Germany: Researchers developing rapid Salmonella detection tester

A team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Branch Bioanalytics and Bioprocesses are working with the German microbiology and food analysis…

Food safety and aquaponics

At the Aquaculture America Conference, Aquaponics Association Members Charlie Shultz and Dr. Nick Savidov delivered a presentation on aquaponics food safety: Good Agricultural Practice for Aquaponic Produce and Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) Certification, 2020 Update. The presentation reviews the current state of Good…

March 4, Las Cruces & March 19, Albuquerque

US (NM): NMSU Extension to host two food safety trainings for produce growers

Two training sessions will be held in New Mexico to help fruit and vegetable growers meet the regulatory requirements included in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service and the Southwest Border…

How did a frog end up in a pepper?

A Canadian couple got quite a shock when they wanted to enjoy a fresh green pepper they had just bought, CBC News reports. Inside, they found a frog... alive. It's not the first time live animals have ended up in food, but an amphibian growing inside a vegetable and surviving is quite a feat. If you're…

Michigan State University research

US: Lettuce research and pathogen control are paramount

American leafy greens growers, including romaine growers, are exploring food safety mitigation for lettuce and other greens grown in open fields. However, the USDA has also…

GlobalGAP updates Integrated Farm Assurance standard

For GlobalGAP, 2020 is the year of major revisions to its flagship Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard. A world-wide series of outreach events called the World Consultation Tour will gather input and feedback for the new version from farming communities in several countries. Simplification for…

Santa Cruz County - Arizona

Nogales to witness stepped-up tomato inspections

In about two months, much heavier inspections of imported Mexican tomatoes will start. In Nogales, Arizona’s massive produce import business has 60 days to prepare for those…

International partnership for new certificate for CEA-grown produce

The FarmTech Society and GlobalGAP recognize each other in their membership programs, initiating a new open partnership to develop and implement a certification specifically for new “indoor” high tech systems with natural and artificial lights. The partnership is open to all industry stakeholders small…


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