Archive | Food Safety

EFSA to Give Advice on the Intake of Sugar Added to Food

EFSA will provide scientific advice on the daily intake of added sugar in food by early 2020. The Authority aims to establish a science-based cut-off value for daily exposure to added sugars from all sources which is not associated with adverse health effects. The work will be carried out following a request from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Added sugars from all sources comprise sucrose, fructose, glucose, starch hydrolysates such as glucose syrup, high-fructose syrup, and other sugar preparations consumed as such or added during food preparation and manufacturing.

The adverse health effects under consideration will include body weight, glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity, type-2-diabetes, cardiovascular risk factors, as well as dental caries. In its assessment, EFSA will look at the general healthy population, including children, adolescents, adults and the elderly.

The advice will guide Member States when establishing recommendations for the consumption of added sugars and in planning food-based dietary guidelines.

Sweden is coordinating the request to EFSA on behalf of the five Nordic countries. Annica Sohlström, the Director General of the Swedish National Food Agency, says: “We welcome EFSA’s acceptance of the mandate which reflects the need to scientifically evaluate the links between added sugar and health at a European level.”

EFSA will establish an ad-hoc working group with expertise in dietary exposure, epidemiology, human nutrition, diet-related chronicdiseases and dentistry. The five Nordic countries that initiated this mandate will be invited to the working group as observers.

EFSA will use its established methodology to develop a protocol on how to carry out the assessment. Known as Prometheus – PROmoting METHods for Evidence Use in Scientific assessments – the method shows how EFSA selects evidence, how this evidence contributes to the risk assessment and how EFSA reports on the entire process and it results.

In line with its commitment to openness and transparency, EFSA will engage with stakeholders throughout the assessment process. It will hold two public consultations, inviting feedback on the draft protocol in the first half of 2018 and on the draft opinion in late 2019, which will also involve a face-to-face meeting with stakeholders.

In 2010, EFSA published its Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for carbohydrates and dietary fibre, which also included sugar. At this time, the available evidence was insufficient to set an upper limit for the daily intake of total or added sugars. New scientific evidence has come to light since then. There has also been growing public interest in the impact of the consumption of sugar-containing foods and beverages on human health.

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Tougher EU Food Inspections From Farm to Fork

Plans to tighten up official food inspections, from farm to fork, have been adopted by the European Parliament. The new rules, already informally agreed by MEPs and the Council, aims to improve food traceability, combat fraud and restore consumer trust in the integrity of the food chain.

The legislation will provide a comprehensive, integrated and more effective control system in the areas of food and feed safety rules, veterinary and plant health requirements, organic production and protected geographical indication rules.

“After the horse meat scandal, consumers had serious questions about the traceability of food, and the integrity of the meat supply chain. The European Parliament strove to address these concerns and to end up with a text that allows competent authorities to effectively combat fraudulent practices,” says rapporteur Karin Kadenbach (S&D, AT).

She adds: “I am also proud that Parliament managed to have the chapter on enforcement strengthened, in particular regarding the penalties to be applied in the event of intentional violations of the rules. I trust that really deterrent penalties will be a key tool to combat fraud in every area.”

The new rules provide for:

* a comprehensive scope, encompassing the whole agri-food chain: controls on food, feed, plant health, pesticides, animal welfare, geographical indications, organic farming,

* unannounced, risk-based controls in all sectors,

* better enforcement against fraudulent or deceptive practices,

* import conditions for animals and products imported from third countries, and

* European Commission controls in EU member states and in third countries.

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Flowcrete UK’s New White Paper Explores HACCP and What it Means for the Food Industry

Implementing an effective Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) food safety management system is a central priority for today’s food and beverage producers, as it is critical to complying with the standards of domestic and international regulatory authorities, governments and consumers.

Flowcrete UK has produced a white paper entitled What is a HACCP Food Safety Management System and How Does it Relate to Flooring?to help food and beverage businesses learn about this preventive risk assessment tool and ensure that all facilities comply with its guidelines.

Flowcrete UK’s Managing Director, Kevin Potter, said: “We’ve worked with some of the world’s largest food producers at their most challenging plants and we’ve always ensured that the knowledge, experience and skills we’ve built up have been put to use creating floors that effectively meet the industry’s multifaceted demands.

“This white paper has been produced as part of our commitment to advise the food industry on best practice flooring, as it is essential to follow HACCP’s rules in order to ensure that the finish underfoot will provide the necessary properties for a food facility.”

As the white paper explains, being HACCP compliant is vital to fulfilling the increasingly strict requirements of industry regulators. This is exemplified by the Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 which reiterates Article 5 (1) of Regulation 852/2004 of the European Parliament: “Food business operators put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure or procedures based on the HACCP principles.” Parallel legislation is also in force in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

When combined with the fact that many nations will require food to have been produced according to the same or similar principles, this means that failing to meet the HACCP benchmark can stop businesses from trading both domestically and internationally. 

The HACCP process involves analysing food safety hazards and putting in place appropriate controls to eliminate or reduce contamination. Getting the floor area right is central to this, as failing to do so could put the facility at risk from unwanted and difficult to eradicate bacteria build-up which could easily infiltrate and spoil produce onsite. 

In the white paper readers will be able to find out what flooring characteristics and certifications they need to look out for in order to ensure that floors within production, processing and storage areas live up to the HACCP standard.

The white paper also examines how HACCP came to be created, the role it plays in the UK’s regulations as well as the product certification scheme HACCP International, which evaluates materials, equipment and services used within the food industry.

Getting ahead with HACCP is not an option, as the future of the food industry is towards ever more regulated use of due diligence programs. For example the FSA’s Foodborne Disease Strategy, a compliance and enforcement plan, aims to secure major improvements in public protection and health through an overall better and more efficient risk-based regulatory system.

If you’d like to learn more about this increasingly important topic then click here to download and read the white paper. To discuss specifying a HACCP International certified floor for a specific food and beverage facility then get in touch with Flowcrete UK’s expert team.

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Simpler Food Safety Rules Proposed For Small Retailers

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has proposed a simplified approach to food safety management in small retail businesses such as grocery shops, butchers, and bakeries. The approach includes guidelines on how to identify the most relevant biological, chemical and physical hazards at each stage of the food production process, the activities or practices that make hazards more likely to occur and appropriate control measures.

A combination of managerial, organisational and technical hurdles means that many small food retailers have difficulty complying with the requirements of existing food safety management systems (FSMS). In particular, applying often complex hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) plans can be beyond the capacity of establishments that may employ only a handful of staff.

To help overcome this problem, EFSA has developed simple FSMS for five types of small food business – a butcher’s shop, a grocery, a bakery, a fishmonger and an ice cream shop – that are easy to understand and implement.

The new approach uses flow diagrams to summarise the stages of production, an accompanying questionnaire, and simple tables to take retailers through the food safety management process from hazard identification to control measures.

Marta Hugas, head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants unit, says: “Some aspects of current food hygiene regulations can be challenging for small businesses, particularly where resources are tight or expertise is lacking. This simpler approach, which the European Commission asked us to develop, would make it easier for such operators to identify hazards and take action to counter them. It’s a practical response to a known problem that could benefit consumers and food businesses alike.”

The streamlined system means, for example, that retailers are not required to have detailed knowledge of specific hazards. They need only to be aware that biological, chemical and physical hazards or allergens may be present and that a failure to undertake key control activities – such as correct chilled storage or separation of raw from cooked products – could increase exposure of consumers to a hazard.

The classical approach of ranking and prioritising hazards, which is usually required before decisions on control measures can be taken, has been removed.

Experts from EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards, who developed the Scientific Opinion, recommend that butcher, grocery, bakery, fish and ice cream shops apply the simplified approach. They add that it would also overcome many of the issues encountered by other small food businesses when attempting to implement effective food safety management systems and should therefore be considered for wider application within the food industry.

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Antimicrobial Resistance in Europe Remains High

Bacteria found in humans, animals and food continue to show resistance to widely used antimicrobials, says the latest report on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The findings underline that AMR poses a serious threat to public and animal health. Infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobials lead to about 25,000 deaths in the EU every year.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, says: “Antimicrobial resistance is an alarming threat putting human and animal health in danger. We have put substantial efforts to stop its rise, but this is not enough. We must be quicker, stronger and act on several fronts. This is why the Commission will launch a new Action Plan this summer that will give a new framework for future coordinated actions to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance.”

The report shows that in general multi-drug resistance in Salmonella bacteria is high across the EU. However, experts note that resistance to critically important antimicrobials used to treat severe human cases of Salmonella infection remains low. Salmonellosis, the disease caused by these bacteria, is the second most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU.

Mike Catchpole, Chief Scientist at ECDC, says: “It is of particular concern that some common types of Salmonella in humans, such as monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium, exhibit extremely high multi-drug resistance. Prudent use of antibiotics in human and veterinary medicine is extremely important to address the challenge posed by antimicrobial resistance. We all have a responsibility to ensure that antibiotics keep working.”

The report also highlights that antimicrobial resistance levels in Europe continue to vary by geographical region, with countries in Northern and Western Europe generally having lower resistance levels than those in Southern and Eastern Europe. Marta Hugas, Head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants unit, says: “These geographic variations are most likely related to differences in antimicrobial use across the EU. For example, countries where actions have been taken to reduce, replace and re-think the use of antimicrobials in animals show lower levels of antimicrobial resistance and decreasing trends.”

This year, the publication of the report is accompanied by a data visualisation tool, which displays data by country on antimicrobial resistance levels of some bacteria found in foods, animals and humans.

Explore the data: Antimicrobial resistance in Europe

The report also includes the following findings that may have a public health impact:

* Resistance to carbapenem antibiotics has been detected for the first time as part of EU-wide annual monitoring in animals and food. Carbapenems are usually the last remaining treatment option for patients infected with multi-drug resistant bacteria to other available antibiotics. Very low levels of resistance were observed in E. coli bacteria found in pigs and meat from pigs.

* Extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing E. coli has been detected in beef, pork, pigs and calves. Bacteria that produce ESBL enzymes show multi-drug resistance to β-lactam antibiotics, which include penicillin derivatives and cephalosporins. The prevalence of ESBL-producing E. coli varied across countries, from low to very high (find out more from our data visualisation tool).

* Resistance to colistin has been found at very low levels in Salmonella and E. coli in pigs and cattle. Colistin may be commonly used in some countries for the control of infections in animals, especially in pigs. In some circumstances it may be used as a last-resort antibiotic in humans.

* More than 10% of the tested Campylobacter coli bacteria in humans showed resistance to two critically important antimicrobials (fluoroquinolones and macrolides), which are used to treat severe cases of Campylobacter infections in humans. Campylobacteriosis is the most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU.

Scientific Report: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2015

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Draft Guidance on Substances in Food For Infants Below 16 Weeks – Open For Comments

EFSA is launching a public consultation on its new draft guidance on the risk assessment of substances present in food intended for infants below 16 weeks of age.

From birth up to 16 weeks, infants are exclusively fed on breast milk and/or infant formula and safe levels set for the general population do not apply. EFSA’s Scientific Committee proposes a new approach for assessing the substances found in infant formula that can better support EU decision-making on the safe use of infant formula.

EFSA invites its stakeholders and other interested parties to submit written comments by 31 March 2017, using the electronic template provided. All the correctly submitted comments will be assessed and, if found to be relevant, taken into consideration by the Scientific Committee in finalising the Guidance. A report on the consultation will be published together with the final Guidance.

Public consultation on the draft EFSA guidance on the risk assessment of substances present in food intended for infants below 16 weeks of age

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EFSA to Live Webstream Open Scientific Meetings in 2017

EFSA is increasing its transparency to stakeholders by introducing video streaming of open meetings of its Scientific Panels. This is intended to boost the number of observers by allowing remote attendance. Online submission of questions to EFSA’s scientists will also be possible.

Following a pilot phase in Brussels, which did not significantly increase attendance, all open plenary meetings will move back to Parma in 2017. Registered observers will still be able to attend the meetings but now they also have the option of following open sessions of the meetings on EFSA’s website and taking part in the question and answer sessions with EFSA’s experts while online. For observers following the meetings via the web, the cost of attending is effectively removed.

The calendar of open scientific meetings in 2017 is now available. Updated guidelines for observers will be provided in the coming weeks on EFSA’s website. Anyone wishing to attend – whether in person or remotely – should consult the updated guidelines and apply as soon as registration for the relevant meeting opens.

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Expanding Your Export Horizons With the Use of High Pressure Processing (HPP)

Brexit has definitely focused the minds of food processors and manufacturers on the risks that will have to be faced in the coming years. Since the United Kingdom voted on the 23rd of June 2016 to exit the European Union, food and beverage exports to the UK have been and still are extremely volatile. In addition, given that the process for the UK to leave the European Union has not even begun yet, it is safe to say that the road ahead is one of uncertainty. If everything goes extremely well from the Irish point of view and Ireland and the UK maintain all the current arrangements that we currently share after their exit from the European Union, we still have to deal with the elephant in the room which is the exchange rate.

According to Bord Bia, approximately €570m was wiped off the value of Irish food and drink exports last year due to the fall in value of Sterling following the UK’s Brexit vote.  Food and Drinks Industry Ireland point out that the UK is our largest trading partner for food and drink and that 41% of our food and drink exports go to the UK which has a value of €4.4bn. This reinforces the severity of the €570m wiped off the value of those exports which was close to 13%.

Increasing efficiency and taking smaller margins is not going to be enough to fix this very real problem. Perhaps in the longer term increasing our prices may also help and the exchange rates will change back in our favour. However, there must also be a reasonable chance that the value of Sterling will actually fall further, which will result in more Irish food and beverage producers, who export to the UK being put under increasing financial pressure and possibly forced out of business through no fault of their own! Or perhaps it will be their own fault because they did not plan ahead and reduce their exposure to the volatile UK market by expanding their horizons and exporting to mainland Europe.

The benefits for Irish producers exporting into Europe are immense and include the following:

  • Over 400 million inhabitants not including the UK.
  • Same currency.
  • Free access to the market, no tariffs or indeed the possibility of tariffs.
  • Huge demand for Irish food and beverage products.
  • Stable market place.
  • Possibility to grow a sustainable business.

Food safety and shelf-life are often the issues that producers say prevent them from entering the market on mainland Europe.  This is because fresh food in particular tends to have a short shelf-life so the UK is the preferred destination, however with the development of new technologies such as High Pressure Processing (HPP) this issue can in many cases be easily overcome. By using cold water and extreme pressure, HPP will kill all the harmful bacteria, yeasts, moulds and viruses in the foods and will also extend the shelf-life of the product. It is a clean, natural, non-additive process. Typical shelf-life extensions that one would expect to achieve are as shown on the following table.

Category Shelf Life Today Expected HPP Shelf Life
Sausage 10-15  Days 25-35     Days
Deli Meats 30-90  Days 80-120   Days
Cured Meats 30-90  Days 70-90     Days
Poultry 8-13    Days 20-30     Days
Ground beef/turkey 3-8      Days 20-30     Days
Seafood/Shellfish 3-8      Days 25-35     Days
Marinated Meats 10-15  Days 25-35     Days
Chilled Ready Meals 7-10    Days 25-35     Days
Chilled Soups 10-20  Days 70-90     Days
Hummus 10-20  Days 70-90     Days
Salsa 10-20  Days 70-90     Days
Dressings 10-20  Days 70-90     Days
Fresh Fruit and Veg Drinks 3-8      Days 28-90     Days
Fresh Cheese 7-10    Days 25-35     Days

HPP technology is available, approved and used throughout Europe, America and Asia. The cost of the technology is high and therefore not an option for the majority of producers to purchase for their own individual use; however the technology is available on a pay as you go basis in Ireland through a company called HPP Tolling Ltd. Their facility is open to all producers, so producers can avail of the technology and their expertise without having to invest any capital in the equipment. Their service allows producers to investigate the process and determine whether the process can add value or reduce the risk to their business by helping producers to open up new markets for their products and at the same time reduce their exposure to the UK market where for the next couple of years at a minimum, the only certainty that the UK market can offer is its uncertainty.

If you would like to further investigate how HPP can help expand your export markets, you can send a mail to hpptolling@gmail.com or contact Liam Murphy directly on (085) 8700228 all enquiries are treated in the strictest of confidence.

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New Categorisation of Food Scares Will Help to Prevent Food Chain Being Compromised

Researchers from the University of Surrey have developed a new comprehensive categorisation of food scares, a new study in the British Food Journal reports. The food sector is now a world market with products sourced from all over the globe to meet the growing demand of consumers for diverse food stuffs regardless of seasonality. Fulfilling such demands has led to the creation of complex food supply chains which have limited traceability and accountability mechanisms, increasing the likelihood of food scares.

Researchers in this study found that a single, comprehensive and useable categorisation of food scares did not exist. Such categorisations are useful in developing strategies for reducing the frequency and severity of scares. However, those in existence were deemed to be too simplistic as they did not allow for cross categorisation of factors which could compromise the food chain.

To give greater clarity and consistency to the sector, researchers from the University of Surrey worked with industry experts to develop a new categorisation system. Unlike previous systems, this new categorisation structure enables a food scare to be classified according to both its physical manifestation (chemical/physical or biological contamination) and the origins of the scare (wilful deception and/or transparency and awareness issues).

By highlighting where and how the nature of different types of food scares overlap, this classification will enable risk management teams to address categories of potential scares in a systematic way and develop effective strategies to avoid future occurrences.

Co- author of the report Professor Angela Druckman from the University of Surrey says: “With food scares becoming more frequent, it is important that we have a categorisation system which enables efficient development of strategies to tackle such compromises to our food supply.”

Dr Elizabeth Whitworth from RSK ADAS, and formerly of the University of Surrey, says: “The salient feature of the new categorisation is that it distinguishes between scares caused by wilful deception, and those that are caused by transparency and awareness issues.”

During the study researchers also found current definitions of the term ‘food scare’ to be inadequate as they fail to acknowledge consumers’ lack of trust in the food chain. Researchers pointed to the 2013 horse meat scandal, which although was not harmful for human consumption, created a wariness amongst consumers of the food and supply chain.

Hence a new definition of a food scare was developed: “A food scare is the response to a food incident (real or perceived) that causes a sudden disruption to the food supply chain and to food consumption patterns.”

This new recommended definition takes into account that it is the response of consumers in their purchasing decisions that elevates a food incident to a food scare.

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SonoSteam Technology Tackling Campylobacter in Poultry

SonoSteam is an innovative technology that is proving highly successful at tackling the pressing problem of Campylobacter in fresh poultry. Developed by Danish company Force Technology, SonoSteam uses a combination of steam and ultrasound to kill microorganisms such as Campylobacter on the skin and internal cavities of chicken. Force Technology has installed SonoSteam at Faccenda Foods and Cargill, two of the UK’s leading poultry processors.

The SonoSteam disinfection system also has wider use within the food industry including meat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products as well as non-food products such as conveyors, food boxes, crates and cutting knives.

Advantages of SonoSteam Technology

SonoSteam technology offers users a number of efficiency, food safety and environmental benefits along with other advantages. “This technology has proved itself capable of working day in and day out in a production environment and is not only cost effective but has been proven effective at reducing Campylobacter in an environmentally friendly way without chemicals, only water and a modest amount of energy,” explains Niels Krebs, Vice President of Force Technology.

He continues: “Delivering the best possible food safety to the customers is an important part of consumer relations. Customers can’t verify the microbiology of a product, so they have to trust the manufacturer. Complaints and products being recalled have severe consequences for the trust between consumer and manufacturer.”

Environmental Impact

Steam and ultrasound have minimum negative impact on the environment and consequently provide a cheaper, green alternative to chemicals. By using force instead of chemicals, SonoSteam will not cause bacteria to become resistant, leading to the formation of ‘superbugs’. Of course, an increased level of food safety improves public health and well being.

Niels Krebs points out: “The potentially increased shelf life caused by SonoSteam reduces food waste, an important problem concerning the environment, hunger, and increasing population. The use of force instead of chemicals makes post-treatment washing unnecessary, which ultimately saves water. Overall the whole process has a minimal impact on our environment.”

Showing Results

The installation of SonoSteam at poultry processing plants in the UK is already showing the effectiveness of the technology at tackling Campylobacter levels in fresh chicken, according to figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

During the October-December 2015 period, which was covered by the most recently published FSA Retail Survey for fresh whole chickens, all poultry sold through Morrisons was SonoSteam processed by Cargill in Hereford. Half of all poultry in ASDA was processed by SonoSteam, as Faccenda Foods only supplies 50% of whole birds sold in the grocery group. The FDA results showed that ASDA dropped from 24% to 10% on birds having a Campylobacter level higher than 1000 cfu/g, while Morrisons decreased from 25% to 5% to achieve the best position in the whole survey.

So what scale of businesses within the poultry industry can benefit from installing SonoSteam technology? The current SonoSteam equipment has been designed for production lines higher than 8,500 birds per hour. “However, many producers with smaller and slower production capacities have been making enquiries for a system running at 6,000 birds/hour,” he says. “Our coming equipment to process cut parts will be more suitable for any scale of business.”

Other Applications

SonoSteam technology has applications beyond the poultry industry and is proving to be a valuable tool for other types of food processors. SonoSteam can be applied on non-food surfaces.

Niels Krebs comments: “We are currently conducting the final testing of food boxes and conveyor belts, and it’s showing great potential. Boxes and conveyor belts constitute a potential risk in cross contamination in clean environments. Microorganisms and their biofilm can build up very quickly on the surfaces, if routine cleaning is inadequate or neglected. Disinfection with certain chemicals can cause selection of dangerous ‘superbugs’ that are able to outlive standard cleaning procedures. At worst case, the bacteria can end up on food products, where it can cause illnesses and even deaths. Listeria is a well-known example of this.”

Non-food surfaces can endure more intense and consequently more efficient treatment, which takes only two seconds for each box to reach a 100% disinfection rate on all surfaces and at lower cost than chemicals.

SonoSteam is also being applied within the health sector. For example, Force Technology is currently working on cleaning boxes that have been used for transporting sterile surgery equipment. Furthermore, the company’s mattress disinfection system is now being used in Danish hospitals.

Fact Box

Five facts about SonoSteam:

1 SonoSteam is a minimal process that applies the combined effect of steam and ultrasound for effective and fast disinfection within seconds.

2 The technology is a cost effective and chemical free.

3 Four SonoSteam units are currently installed at two different poultry plants in the UK, processing nearly 4 million birds per week.

4 Ongoing trials have shown more than 80% Campylobacter reduction on birds tested positive for the highest infection levels of higher than 1,000CFU.

5 SonoSteam has many applications and is besides poultry used for disinfection of conveyer belts, food trays and even hospital mattresses.

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Formation of Gluten Free Industry Association

In response to the significant growth of the market for gluten free products, the Gluten Free Industry Association (GFIA) has been formed in the UK to support companies involved in the manufacture and trade of gluten free products. The UK market for gluten free products has grown rapidly, with annual free from sales currently worth £585.6 million, a 26.7% increase on the previous year. Sales are projected to reach £673 million by 2020. Within the free from market, the gluten free market accounts for nearly 60% of the category and increased by 36% over 2015.

In this climate of growth and opportunity, leading producers of gluten free foods have come together under the GFIA to ensure consistent high standards and to provide additional consumer confidence. GFIA priorities for 2017 will include the development of best practice guidelines on ingredient sourcing and gluten-testing methodology in order to deliver the highest quality of products to their consumers.

GFIA founder members include Bells of Lazonby, BFree Foods, Delicious Alchemy, Dr Schar, Genius Foods, Mrs Crimbles, Nairns Oatcakes, Northumbrian Fine Foods, and Warburtons.

The GFIA is a full member Association of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) and FDF will provide the secretariat for the Association.

Simon Wright, Founder of OF+ Consulting and GFIA Chair, says: “We are very pleased to be launching the Gluten Free Industry Association. The GFIA provides a single point of contact for this fast-changing sector whilst encouraging the major suppliers to come together and share best practice to deliver the high quality their consumers expect.”

Sarah Sleet, Chief Executive of Coeliac UK, says: “As the national charity for people with coeliac disease, it’s great to see this latest step in the maturation of the gluten free sector. A new association devoted to gluten free manufacturing will help the industry work together to tackle consistency and safety for the benefit of consumers and keep growing this vibrant new market. We look forward to working with the GFIA to ensure the needs of people with coeliac disease continue to be met.”

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Avian Influenza – Biosecurity Measures Key to Protecting Poultry Farms

Strict enforcement of high levels of biosecurity measures is the most effective way to prevent the introduction of the highly pathogenic influenza virus A (H5N8) into poultry farms, says EFSA.

EFSA experts have identified and ranked a set of biosecurity measures that can be implemented in different areas of a farm that are classified as high or low risk – such as, respectively, a poultry house or places where feed is stored. These measures include preventing contact between wild birds and poultry, indoor housing of birds, and keeping geese and ducks separate from other poultry.

EFSA recommends the development of biosecurity guidance tailored to the needs of   individual farms, preferably before an outbreak.

The European Commission asked EFSA to deliver urgent scientific advice on the effectiveness of protection measures currently in place to prevent further spread of the H5N8 virus. This request follows the outbreaks of the virus reported among wild birds and poultry across Europe since the end of October 2016.

Other findings of EFSA’s Statement are:

  • When affected wilds birds are detected, monitoring of poultry should be applied to a geographical area defined by the habitat and flight distance of the affected birds. Moreover, competent authorities should raise awareness among farmers of biosecurity measures in such areas.
  • Passive surveillance – reports of dead birds – is the most effective way to detect the virus in wild birds and poultry.
  • Testing samples from species of wild birds previously not known to be affected by the virus and from areas where the virus has not been yet reported is useful to determine the geographical spread of the virus in wild birds.

Next Steps

EFSA experts will deliver a scientific opinion on avian influenza in 2017.  The scientific opinion will assess the risk of other avian influenza viruses entering the EU, analyse biosecurity measures for turkeys and ducks and evaluate the mechanisms responsible for the mutation of low pathogenic avian influenza to high pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

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Zoonoses Report – Listeria Infections Stable But Frequently Reported Among the Elderly

European experts have noted an increasing trend of listeriosis since 2008, but they highlight that the number of affected people stabilised from 2014 to 2015. Infections were mostly reported in people over 64 years of age. These are some of the findings of the latest annual report by EFSA and ECDC on zoonotic diseases, which also includes the latest trends on salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, and foodborne outbreaks in the European Union.

Listeriosis affected about 2,200 people in 2015, causing 270 deaths – the highest number ever reported in the EU. The proportion of cases in the over 64 age group steadily increased from 56% in 2008 to 64% in 2015. Additionally, in this period, the number of reported cases and their proportion has almost doubled in those over 84 years.

“It is concerning that there continues to be an increasing trend of Listeria cases which mostly occur in the elderly population. ECDC is working together with Member States to enhance surveillance for food- and waterborne diseases, starting with Listeria, as earlier detection of relevant clusters and outbreaks can help prevent further cases,” says Mike Catchpole, Chief Scientist at ECDC. “This is a public health threat that can and needs to be addressed.”

Dr Marta Hugas, Head of Biological Hazards and Contaminants at EFSA, says: “Listeria seldom exceeded the legal safety limits in ready-to-eat foods, the most common foodborne source of human infections. However, it is important that consumers follow manufacturers’ storage instructions and the guidelines given by national authorities on the consumption of foods.”

In 2015, there were 229,213 reported cases of campylobacteriosis. This disease remains the most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU, showing an upward trend since 2008. Campylobacter is mostly found in chickens and chicken meat.

The number of cases of salmonellosis, the second most commonly reported foodborne disease in the EU, increased slightly – from 92,007 in 2014 to 94,625 in 2015. The increase observed in the past two years is partly due to improvements in surveillance and better diagnostic methods. However, the long-term trend is still declining and most Member States met their Salmonella reduction targets for poultry populations.

Salmonella is mainly found in meat (poultry) intended to be cooked before consumption.

Foodborne Outbreaks

There were 4,362 reported foodborne outbreaks in 2015. The most common cause of outbreaks was Salmonella associated with consumption of eggs. However, the number of Salmonella outbreaks has fallen by 41 % since 2010.

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Hygiena to Acquire Food Safety Diagnostics Business From DuPont

Hygiena, a company that specializes in rapid food safety and environmental sanitation testing, is acquiring DuPont’s global food safety diagnostics business. The acquisition includes all of DuPont Diagnostics business assets, including the BAX® and RiboPrinter® Systems and associated test kits; a global and technically trained sales, R&D and manufacturing organization; and in-house production capacity. The business was formed by DuPont in 1992 as Qualicon, and Hygiena will retain the Qualicon name. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, pending customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.  Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

DuPont Diagnostics provides innovative, science-based microbial detection and monitoring products that identify and characterize pathogens and other unwelcome organisms in food ingredients, finished products and production environments. Shortly after the formation of the business, DuPont pioneered Nobel-prize-winning PCR technology in commercial food safety testing with the BAX® System for pathogen detection.  Today, the BAX® System has been adopted as the leading detection method by food manufacturers, food quality laboratories and governments around the world. Hygiena plans to invest behind new product development to continue the DuPont Diagnostics history of market-leading innovation.

“The combination of DuPont Diagnostics and Hygiena will create a broad food safety diagnostics company that can better serve our customers,” says Steve Nason, chief executive officer of Hygiena.  “The combined company’s microbiology products will cover the full manufacturing process, from in-process environmental tests to finished product tests. In addition, the combination increases our customer service presence in the United States and internationally, which will allow us to further enhance our research and development efforts and support to our combined customer base.”

“This transaction is a strategic business decision that will allow DuPont Nutrition & Health to focus on growth opportunities that are more closely aligned with our core portfolio of specialty food ingredients,” explains Matthias Heinzel, president, DuPont Nutrition & Health. “We believe that the Diagnostics business is an excellent strategic fit with Hygiena.  Together they will be better able to offer greater opportunities for growth and investment in innovative solutions for the global pathogen testing industry.”

Hygiena is a microbiology and life science company that serves industrial food processors, healthcare institutions, life science researchers and other industries. Hygiena manufactures and sells a broad range of rapid hygiene monitoring systems, environmental collection systems and rapid dilution devices, including its market leading ATP (adenosine triphosphate) testing system.  Its products are distributed in over 80 countries worldwide. Hygiena is committed to the mission of providing customers with innovative technologies that are simple, easy to use and reliable, with excellent customer service and support.

In 2016, Hygiena received an investment from Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, to help further this mission. Warburg Pincus’ investment in Hygiena was driven by the firm’s thesis that the company represents an excellent platform to consolidate the highly fragmented food and life sciences testing and environmental sanitation industry.

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EFSA and BfR to Work Jointly on Global Food Safety Tools

Trace-back and predictive modelling tools for use during food safety outbreaks and created by scientific teams led by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) will be further rolled out under a new funding partnership agreed between EFSA and BfR. The framework agreement makes available grants totalling up to Eur1.2 million. The two agencies will be able to further benefit from each other’s research efforts and avoid duplication of future work programmes.

BfR’s software tool, called Food Chain Lab, has helped to trace outbreaks in Germany and at European level with EFSA. Thanks to the new agreement BfR will be able to make the software available to other EU Member States for future outbreak investigations. Experience gained using the tool will feed into new EFSA guidance for tracing back and forward in food and feed-borne incidents.

A new BfR programming language for predictive modelling can also help to make computer models available more widely via a single dedicated EFSA platform.

Joint testing of BfR’s and EFSA’s respective approaches to uncertainty assessment will help to define synergies in time for a 2018 workshop aimed at sharing the results with the risk assessment community.

The two agencies will also share experiences of coordinating communication strategies – in the German Federal States and among European states, respectively – and results of risk perception research. EFSA training for neighbouring Member States on communication in crises will be tried out in Germany.

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Low Incidence of TSEs in the EU, Says EFSA Report

EFSA has published its first EU summary report on the monitoring of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) in cattle, sheep and goats. Previously, the annual reports on TSEs were compiled by the European Commission.

TSEs are a group of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of humans and animals.  With the exception of Classical BSE, there is no scientific evidence that other TSEs can be transmitted to humans.

A low number of BSE cases in cattle were detected in EU Member States, none of which entered the food chain.

Some of the main findings of the report are:

* Five cases of BSE in cattle have been reported in the EU, out of about 1.4 million animals tested.

* 641 cases of scrapie in sheep (out of 319,638 tested) and 1,052 in goats have been reported (out of 135,857 tested) in the EU.

This report provides results on data collected by all EU Member States, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland for 2015 on the occurrence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle and scrapie in sheep and goats – two forms of TSEs.

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Loma Increases Focus on Convenience Food Market

Driven by busy ‘time poor’ lifestyles and an ageing population, the convenience food market continues to flourish. With growing demand for products that have longer shelf life, can be eaten on the move, are simple to use and boast more innovative packaging formats, Loma Systems is highlighting the suitability of its high performance combination X5c X-ray and Checkweighing unit for inspecting frozen and chilled ready meals and food-to-go options. The two integrated ‘detect and weigh’ technologies ensure food safety for brand protection, and consistency in weight, size and shape.

As well as ready meals, there is an increasing trend for portable meal options that are normally consumed off premises, with retailers continuously developing new food products that make eating on the move easier, but that also offer authenticity, premium quality and healthier choices.

Ready meals and food-to-go products often contain multiple elements or ingredients packaged in different compartments, include additional items like cutlery or condiments, and have high salt content. Plus many snacks such as nuts and cereals fluctuate in density which can make it difficult to find foreign bodies. All of these variants can create inspection challenges for convenience food manufacturers.

Capable of weighing products while simultaneously inspecting for foreign bodies in one compact and easy to use format, Loma’s X5c X-ray combination system (pictured) has been specially developed with ready meal and food-to-go processors and packers in mind. The technologically advanced machine detects physical contaminants whilst ensuring perfect product presentation and quality assurance with fill level and seal inspection, mass measurement and component counts. It can also identify lumps of product including seasoning or powder.

Loma’s X5c X-ray combination system can be easily integrated where production space is limited and helps manufacturers adhere to the latest British Retail Consortium (BRC) standards and meet major retailers’ codes of practice. The X5c X-ray machine can be bolted on to an existing CW3 Checkweigher as one unit for truly effective Critical Control Point (CCP) detection.

Built to Loma’s ‘Designed to Survive’ specifications, the X5c X-ray combination unit, including reject facility, measures just 2.5 metres in length. Produced from stainless steel, the complete combination unit is lead free and offers an unrivalled IP55 wash down design. Capable of running at speeds up to 150 packs per minute, it is operated using two independent control panels and has separate reject bins for out of weight and contaminated products.

Convenience foods packaged in foil and metallised film, as well as changes in product temperature and moisture content have no effect on the sensitivity of the foreign body inspection capabilities of Loma’s X5c.

The X5c reduces the cost of ownership of X-ray technology by 30% when compared to the company’s other X5 models, making it ideal for food companies keen to make the switch to X-ray for the first time or to replace lower performance ferrous-in-foil twin head metal detectors. This fully specified system offers good quality contaminant inspection using a reduced number of well-proven subcomponents and streamlined design.

The X5c is multilevel password protected for improved data management, which means the system can log events against individual operators. It is ideal for the detection of all metal types, glass, calcified bone, rubber and stone in various packaging. The machine is capable of handling products up to 100mm (height) x and 300mm (width) and weighing no more than 6kg – making it ideal for a wide range of inspection applications.

With significant energy saving benefits and providing the best balance of processing power to inspection, the X5c X-ray machine incorporates a detector array with 0.8mm diode pitch

offering a low 80 watt power consumption and self-contained high efficiency X-ray generator. A simple, effective cooling mechanism ensures long tank life and maintenance-free operation.

Loma’s range of CW3 checkweighers offer peace of mind that every packed product leaving the production line will have the correct weight and meet strict legal or retailer requirements.

Like the X5c, the CW3 checkweigher is designed for operation in the toughest of production environments. It boasts quick change conveyor parts and powerful AC motors plus the tubular framework delivers a hygienic design but is flexible if transport or reject systems need to be changed.

For further information visit www.loma.com.

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SORTEX F Optical Sorter For the Frozen Fruit and Vegetable Industry

Scrutiny of hygienic processing practices in the frozen fruit and vegetable sector hasintensified, following several high-profile food contamination outbreaks. Bühler, a global leader in optical sorting technology for the removal of foreign material (FM) contamination, has addressed this and claims to have developed the most hygienic optical sorter available today, to help reduce the risk of microbial contamination.

As part of its research to understand the root causes of contamination, Bühler experts undertook extensive analysis of food safety risks, based on recalls in Europe and the USA. In most cases, they found that the problem could be traced back to the accumulation of food in certain locations within the machinery, particularly hollows, crevices and other areas with poor accessibility for cleaning.

Bühler product manager, Stephen Jacobs, explains: “The past couple of years in particular have seen some very high profile cases of product contamination. For instance, earlier this year there was a major listeria outbreak in the United States[1] that was traced back to a frozen fruit and vegetable processing plant. A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report said inspectors found chipped and cracked plastic on parts of the plant equipment, which also did not allow for proper cleaning and maintenance.

“Thorough and regular cleaning of food processing facilities and equipment is the cornerstone of good manufacturing practice and one of the key pre-requisites for maintaining hygiene standards. To ensure that the SORTEX F meets the highest possible hygiene specifications, Bühler’s food hygiene team has worked closely with institutions such as EHEDG and Campden BRI.  This included the testing of machine materials for long-term robustness and its design for trouble-free cleaning and maintenance.”

The SORTEX F features a pioneering retractable chute that can be repositioned to allow operators to physically step inside and access internal areas of the machine.  Sloped surfaces ensure that all product residue runs off, eliminating the risk of product build up.  The finish of all metal surfaces complies with the recommended requirement for safe food contact and all polymer materials are resistant to high pressure washer jets and compliant to FDA regulations.  Attention has been paid to the smallest details, such as the use of spacer brackets, to create access for cleaning between components, where bacteria could otherwise harbour undetected.  The resulting machine is an unrivalled convergence of innovations, to improve hygiene standards in the food industry.

For food processors, it has never been more important to have state-of-the-art hygienic equipment to help meet the most stringent food safety specifications. The SORTEX F optical sorter, with its innovative open access, for quick, easy and thorough cleaning, has been designed to prevent the build up of pathogenic bacteria that can induce food-borne diseases such as Salmonella, E. Coli, Listeria and Norovirus.

Well designed hygienic equipment such as the SORTEX F also brings tangible benefits for food manufacturers and processors. Not only does it reduce the risk of contamination – and, thereby, minimise the possibility of costly product recall – it also increases productivity, as less water, chemicals, time and people are needed for cleaning. Unquestionably, product changeover is shorter due to faster cleaning and so too is inspection and maintenance, due to good accessibility and easy dismantling.

Adds Jacobs “Overall, hygienic design contributes to more consistent product quality with less out-of-spec products, lower risk of spoilage, a better shelf life and thus less waste. By helping to reduce the risk of contamination, whether FM or bacterial, we are making food safer and, ultimately, saving food.”

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/23/us/listeria-outbreak-frozen-fruits-and-vegetables-recall.html?_r=1

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Whyte & Mackay Works With Ideagen to Boost Quality, Safety and Compliance

Whyte & Mackay, the global drinks brand company, is working with leading software vendor Ideagen to improve quality, safety and compliance management at its bottling operations. Ideagen’s Q-Pulse software has been rolled out across Whyte & Mackay’s plant in Grangemouth, Scotland, to improve document and audit management and ease compliance with standards such as BRC.

Q-Pulse, an electronic quality management system, has replaced a series of paper based processes helping the organisation improve all aspects of its operations, including enhancing levels of safety reporting.

Norman Elliott, Compliance Manager at Whyte & Mackay, says: “The management of document control and easing of compliance were huge drivers for us ahead of this project. Previously we had been using a series of manual systems and processes which were becoming dated and at times a hindrance to what we were trying to do in regards to both quality and safety.

whytemackaylogo“After choosing Q-Pulse and implementing the software, everything we require is now in one system and for document management and control that is excellent. It means we no longer need to check if the correct processes are being followed or the most up-to-date documentation being used as the system does that for us automatically.”

He continues: “Q-Pulse has encouraged more ownership of the quality system across the entire bottling plant and also makes it easier to comply with standards such as BRC and ISO45001 (OHSAS 18001). Now, when we are audited, it’s a case of quickly and easily finding the information the auditor requires and also presenting them with the history of our actions. The auditor can historically see what we have done and why we have done it – quickening audit times and simplifying the compliance process.

“Previously, we would have been under pressure trying to prepare for those audits. But Q-Pulse is a one stop shop for us to go and find any quality, safety or compliance information that is required – whether that’s for our own internal staff or external auditors.”

Whyte & Mackay, based in Scotland and founded in 1844, produces single malt and blended Scotch whiskies, liqueurs and vodkas with brands including Whyte and Mackay Blended Scotch, The Dalmore, Jura and Fettercairn single malts; Glayva liqueur and Vladivar Vodka.

ideagenlogoSince implementing the Q-Pulse software within its bottling plant, the company has extended the system to adopt processes linked with health and safety, near miss reporting and safety improvement programmes.

Norman Elliott adds: “As well as the improvements from the quality side, Q-Pulse has helped us improve our investigations into safety incidents. Now, to get to the root cause of an incident, we can record corrective and preventive actions through the Q-Pulse incident management functionality, known as IMS, and this fits very nicely with our overall health and safety management. One of our major successes was in encouraging staff to come forward with safety improvement suggestions using Q-Pulse and its IMS functionality.  Our staff are taking more ownership in overall safety around the plant. By tackling safety in this proactive way, and because everything is recorded in the Q-Pulse system, we can show inspectors exactly how we have tried to prevent accidents.With Q-Pulse, we have been able to become more proactive in terms of risk and safety management.”

Ideagen’s Q-Pulse is used by over 2,200 organisations globally including some of the biggest names in the Manufacturing, Aviation, Rail, Energy and Life Science industries.

 

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UK Teenagers Drink a Bathtub of Sugary Drinks a Year

Teenagers, aged between 11 and 18, drink almost a bathtub full of sugary drinks on average a year, according to new calculations from Cancer Research UK*. The figures, calculated from National Diet and Nutrition Survey (link is external) data, shed light on the extreme sugar consumption of UK teenagers and children.

Worryingly, four to 10 year olds are drinking the equivalent of almost half a bathtub full of sugary drinks each year. Adults and young children consume twice the maximum recommended amount of added sugar. And 11 to 18 year olds eat and drink three times the recommended limit, with sugary drinks being their main source of added sugar.

Obese children are around five times more likely to grow into obese adults, and carrying too much weight increases the risk of cancer as well as other diseases.

A recent Cancer Research UK report showed that a 20p per litre sugar tax could prevent 3.7 million cases of obesity over the next decade.

Alison Cox, director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, says: “It’s shocking that teenagers are drinking the equivalent of a bathtub of sugary drinks a year.

“We urgently need to stop this happening and the good news is that the Government’s sugar tax will play a crucial role in helping to curb this behaviour. The ripple effect of a small tax on sugary drinks is enormous, and it will give soft drinks companies a clear incentive to reduce the amount of sugar in drinks. When coupled with the Government’s plan to reduce sugar in processed food, we could really see an improvement to our diets.

“But the Government can do more to give the next generation a better chance, by closing the loop hole on junk food advertising on TV before the 9 pm watershed. The UK has an epidemic on its hands, and needs to act now.”

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Novel and Traditional Food Guidance Finalised

EFSA has published two guidance documents on novel food and traditional food from third countries to help ensure that these foods are safe before risk managers decide whether they can be marketed in Europe. EFSA developed the guidance following the adoption of the new European regulation on novel food in November 2015. The regulation, which replaces the previous one from 1997 and comes into effect in January 2018, introduces a centralised assessment and authorisation procedure. EU risk managers will decide on the market authorization of novel foods and may ask EFSA to conduct a scientific risk assessment to confirm their safety.

What are novel and traditional foods?

Novel food refers to food that European citizens have not consumed to a significant degree prior to May 1997. It includes food from new sources (e.g. oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids from krill), food obtained through the application of new technologies (e.g. nanotechnology) or by using new substances (e.g. phytosterols or plant sterols).

EFSALogoTraditional food is a subset of novel food. The term relates to food traditionally consumed in countries outside the EU. It includes foods made from plants, microorganisms, fungi, algae and animals (e.g. chia seeds, baobab fruit, insects, water chestnuts).

Guidance on requirements

The new guidance documents explain in detail the kind of information applicants need to provide for risk assessment. They also clarify how to present this information before EFSA can assess the safety of the novel or traditional food.

Applicants submitting novel food applications need to present data describing the product. Dossiers should include data on the compositional, nutritional, toxicological and allergenic properties of the novel food as well as information relating to the production process, and the proposed uses and use levels.

EFSA addresses traditional food from third countries (non-EU countries) in a separate guidance document. Applicants need to present evidence of safe use of the traditional food in at least one country outside of the EU for a period of at least 25 years. EFSA and Member States will assess the evidence in parallel procedures.

Engaging stakeholders

EFSA involved stakeholders closely when developing the guidance. In addition to a two-month public consultation, stakeholders had the opportunity to give feedback on the drafts at a meeting in Brussels.

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The Importance of Food Safety in the Hospitality Sector

Maintaining excellent food safety standards in the hospitality industry is a major issue and left unchecked, it can cost companies thousands of pounds in fines. Financial repayments aside, the damage to a company’s reputation and brand loyalty can take years to rectify, if at all.

One Irish company, Kelsius is providing a digital solution to this problem by revolutionising the way food is stored and cooked. With offices in the UK and Ireland and a network of partners in Europe, Middle East, Australia and the USA, it is quickly becoming an integral part of the food safety ecosystem for companies that have facilities to serve food.

Its in-house bespoke product, FoodCheck uses wireless temperature monitoring technology and digital HACCP Management system, which ensures the highest levels of food safety are adhered to by staff and management, while also guaranteeing maximum product safety for complete food safety control. In addition to the safety element, it also massively reduces the costs associated with time required for maintaining these standards – in some instances up to 30 hours per week.

Major Deal

The company recently landed a major six-figure deal with Five Guys UK to provide the premier global burger chain FoodCheck. It is now supplying 50 Five Guys locations across the UK as well as other global sites such as Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Spain.

Five Guys using Kelsius FoodCheck.

Five Guys using Kelsius FoodCheck.

With no freezers on site, everything in Five Guys is cooked from scratch, so food must be delivered and stored at exact temperatures. UK IT Director for Five Guys, William Day says: “The FoodCheck paperless HACCP system is easy-to-use allowing staff to concentrate on the quality of food we provide. Records are easily and securely accessed for each location and the reporting is what really sets the system apart. This makes life much easier for a HACCP audit or inspection.”

Public Sector

The FoodCheck solution also operates extremely well in the public sector, even if the customer has multiple locations. One example is a recent contract Kelsius secured with Reading University to install the largest single deployment of its FoodCheck Paperless HACCP system. The deal is for 17 individual FoodCheck systems covering every element of food production and food service rolled out across the entirety of Reading University, which is comprised of three separate campuses.

Reading University team trying FoodCheck.

Reading University team trying FoodCheck.

Neil Stafford from Reading University says: “The new Kelsius system is fantastic. I am able to add staff, tasks, vendors and products within minutes an get instant alerts on fridge and freezer issues. My aim was to provide the staff with an easy system to use, that they would not be nervous to use. I have a full tractability on everything within the system and again so easy to gain reports.”

Kelsius Chief Executive, Andrew Logan, who is championing the use of FoodCheck technology across public and private sector operations, comments: “Both the Five Guys deal and the Reading University contracts are a massive boost for our company and a real testament to the strength of our product within the foodsafety sector. In both these instances, FoodCheck has proven its ability to monitor the safety of food from the moment it arrives on the premises, during the storage and cooking process and ultimately until it is purchased by the customer. The importance of this chain cannot be overstated, and companies that does not take food safety seriously are very foolish considering the massive long-term financial implications.”

Find out more about how Kelsius can help your business at www.kelsius.com, www.facebook.com/paperlessHACCP and @KelsiusRealTime.

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Clean in Place (CIP) – Process Safety With the CombiLyz Conductivity Meter

By Stefan Blust, Business Manager Food & Beverage, Baumer

baumernovember2016The food and beverage industry is faced with continually rising quality standards, increasing cost pressure and strict hygienic regulations. As a result, requirements for processing systems and their efficient cleaning are growing. With an accuracy of 1% and a measuring range of 500 μS/cm to 1000 mS/cm, together with fast and accurate temperature compensation, the innovative CombiLyz conductivity meter has the ideal technical properties to support CIP safely and cost-effectively.

In order to guarantee food safety, production and filling facilities must be cleaned regularly. This is usually done using an automated CIP process (the cleaning of a process engineering system without dismantling it) and is part of a fully automated production process. In the food industry, the correct settings for a CIP process are very comprehensive, since the final CIP processes can often only be defined after the systems have been set up and meaningful tests have been carried out. There are as many requirements as there are cleaning programs. Some systems are cleaned with water only, while chemical cleaning agents like acidic or caustic solutions are used in others. Some systems recover the water from the last rinsing cycle and use it for the first rinsing cycle of the next CIP sequence in order to keep overall running costs low.

Optimum Interaction of Physical Parameters

For all cleaning processes, however, the optimum interaction of different physical parameters is critical. The exact concentration of cleaning agents, while taking into account flow rate, pressure, temperature and time, defines a reproducible process in which the CombiLyz clearly illustrates its superiority.

While the concentration of the acid or alkali is increasing, the conductivity meter controls the specified concentration of the relevant cleaning media. With precise measurements, it ensures no more chemicals are used than necessary. This saves resources and protects the environment. During the phase separation in the CIP return flow, the CombiLyz with its good temperature compensation quickly recognizes different media, even when temperatures fluctuate enormously. This reduces the losses of stored cleaning agents. After one cleaning cycle, the CombiLyz accurately measures the concentration of the remaining chemicals in the rinse water. With this information, the PLC can control the predefined media circuits exactly and reliably using valve nodes. This reduces the risk of food being contaminated by residual chemicals.

Robust Hygienic Design and User-friendliness

The robust sensing element of the meter is made completely of PEEK. In order to meet the requirements of different installations, it is available in lengths of 37 mm, 60 mm and 83 mm. Its compact design reduces the flow resistance in the line, since the pipe cross-section is only minimally influenced. Deposits and impurities can be more easily transported out of the system. The hygienically designed sensing element itself can also be cleaned very easily, which is confirmed by the EHEDG certification and conformity with the 3-A standards. Furthermore, its design is exceedingly durable, and is specially made for use in applications with frequent temperature shocks. This guarantees a long service life, reduces unnecessary downtime and thus increases system availability.

Thanks to its very user-friendly operation by touch screen and its modular housing, the CombiLyz is outstanding in its class.

The conductivity meter is available with or without CombiView. This large, illuminated display can be rotated 360° and can thus be read easily from all directions, even from a great distance. It allows different view options, for example the simultaneous display of conductivity and concentration values as well as fully customizable text (water, alkali or acid etc.). Alarms and configurations can be visualized on the device and can also be transmitted to the higher level controller. With its integrated relay, the conductivity meter can carry out simple control tasks, for example in microbreweries with a low degree of automation, where food safety is of great importance and where valves are to be addressed directly without a process control system. The same applies to retrofitting of systems being upgraded from manually controlled to partly automated processes.

The CombiLyz sensor is available as a compact and as a separate version. The latter is available with cable lengths of 2.5 m, 5 m and 10 m. If required in the application, the display and the sensing element can be installed separately. This offers maximum flexibility for optimum mounting positions.

A wide range of adapters allows hygienic installation in most standard process connections. This makes it the ideal solution for many CIP systems.

Further information visit www.baumer.com/CIP.

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Risk to Consumers of Pesticide Residues in Food Remains Low

Ninety-seven per cent of food samples collected in the European Union are free of pesticide residues or contain traces that are within legal limits. The conclusion is part of EFSA’s latest annual report on pesticide residues in food, which analyses the results of almost 83,000 food samples from the 28 EU Member States – including Croatia for the first time – as well as Iceland and Norway.

Jose Tarazona, Head of EFSA’s Pesticides Unit, says: “The high compliance rates recorded for 2014 are in line with previous years, which means that the EU is continuing to protect consumers by controlling the presence of pesticide residues in food. Our annual report is a major undertaking that is rooted in the data we receive from Member States. It would not be possible without the commitment and expertise of our European partners, and we thank them for their contribution.”

Main findings:

* 97% of samples analysed were within legal limits.

* Of these, 53.6% were free of quantifiable residues and 43.4% contained residues that were within permitted concentrations.

* Of the samples originating from EU/EEA countries, 1.6% contained residues exceeding legal limits; the corresponding figure for samples from third countries was 6.5%.

* No quantifiable residues were found in 91.8% of baby food samples.

* 98.8% of organic products were either free of residues or contained residues within legal limits.

* EFSA used data from the report to assess whether current dietary exposure to pesticide residues presents a risk to the health of Europeans in the long term (chronic) or short term (acute). In both cases, the Authority concluded that exposure is unlikely to pose a threat to human health.

EFSALogoDr Tarazona adds: “We are always looking at ways to improve the annual report – this year, for example, thanks to the efforts of the Member states we have significantly improved the harmonisation and integration of the data submitted to EFSA. This year’s report also contains suggestions that we believe could make pesticide control programmes more efficient.”

For the 2014 report, EFSA has made a number of changes in response to requests and comments from stakeholders. For example, the report now includes greater detail on organic products and baby food, a specific section on glyphosate, and more comparisons with results from previous years.

Recommendations

EFSA has made a number of proposals to improve the effectiveness of monitoring of pesticides in the EU. These include:

* Extending the scope of the monitoring programme to food products such as small fruits, berries and tea, which were frequently identified as containing residues.

* Reducing analysis of animal products and shifting the monitoring focus to animal feed e.g. soya bean, rapeseed and barley.

* Including mandatory analysis of glyphosate in the above crops.

* Including honey in the “basket” of samples to improve understanding of exposure of bees and inform possible revision of legal limits of residues in honey.

* Improving communication of changes to permitted residue levels to importers of food from outside the EU.

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MEPs Call For EU Limit on Industrial Trans Fats in Food

The EU should place mandatory limits on industrially-produced trans-fatty acids (TFA) which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, infertility, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and obesity for consumers, says a resolution by the European Parliament. TFA intake is mostly linked to consumption of industrially produced, partially hydrogenated oils.

MEPs mention the fact that, according to the European Commission, only one in three consumers in the EU knows about TFAs which shows that labelling measures are not enough. The Commission should therefore propose an EU legal limit on the industrial TFA content of all foods as soon as possible, and preferably within two years, say MEPs.

MEPs say that there is evidence that Denmark’s introduction of legal limits for industrial TFAs, which brought in a national limit of 2% on trans fats in oils and fats in 2003, was successful, significantly reducing deaths caused by cardiovascular disease.

TFAs tend to be used in cheaper foods,  which means that people on lower incomes are most exposed to foodstuffs with a higher TFA content. This in turn increases the potential for widening health inequalities, MEPs say. The resolution was passed by 586 votes to 19, with 38 abstentions.

 

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Foodborne Viruses – Identifying Research Needs to Tackle Public Health Risks

EFSA has published a scientific report on the outcomes of a scientific workshop on foodborne viruses organised jointly by EFSA and the UK Food Standards Authority.

The workshop took place earlier this year in London, and brought together academics, clinicians, veterinarians, food industry specialists and regulators with expertise in research, clinical settings and food producing/processing operations.

Against the background of an increasing number of outbreaks caused by foodborne viruses, the participants assessed the state of knowledge in this field. They focused on norovirus, the hepatitis A virus and the hepatitis E virus, which are of great public health concern in the EU. Knowledge gaps and research needs were identified and are summarised in the report.

The report, by the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), also lists five priorities for further research.

The workshop was organised following a proposal to EFSA’s Advisory Forum by the UK in 2015.

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Health Risks of Materials in Contact With Food – Tighter EU Safety Rules Needed

EU-wide safety rules are needed for more materials in contact with food, such as those used in packaging, kitchen utensils and tableware, say MEPs in a recent non-binding resolution. They note that only some of these materials, such as plastics and ceramics, have been fully tested for safety for human health. Others, including varnishes and coatings, inks and adhesives, have yet to be fully tested.

“This is how we ensure that the materials that are in direct contact with our food are safe. The current regulation allows for arrangements concerning 17 substances, but only four of these, at the moment, are harmonised at EU level. The rest are up to the member states to work out,” says rapporteur Christel Schaldemose (S&D, DK). Her report was approved by 559 votes to 31, with 26 abstentions.

“The lack of harmonised rules causes problems for consumers, for companies, and for the authorities. In reality, it means that the single market is not a single market: some countries have high standards, other low standards. We know from various studies that it is what is in the packaging that is causing health problems. The EU should therefore revise the current legislation. Food safety should mean the same thing across the EU,” she adds.

Chemicals leaching from food contact materials (FCMs) into food could endanger human health or change the composition of the foodstuffs, say MEPs.

Only four out of 17 EU-listed FCMs are currently covered by specific safety measures foreseen in existing EU legislation: plastics, ceramics, regenerated cellulose and ‘active and intelligent’ materials.

Given the prevalence of FCMs on the EU market and the risk that they could pose to human health, the EU Commission should prioritise the drawing up of specific EU measures for paper and board, varnishes and coatings, metals and alloys, printing inks and adhesives, MEPs say.

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SKF Corrosion Resistant Bearings: Full Menu Option For Food Safety and Reliability

In response to the food and beverage industry’s changing needs, SKF has developed a comprehensive range of bearings meeting safety requirements, designed for reduced maintenance and long life in a wide range of production environments. Product safety is the top priority for food and drink manufacturers, consumers and regulators alike. The latest industry requirements, like the US Food Safety Modernization Act and ISO 22000, require companies to place increased emphasis on equipment and processes designed to prevent product contamination during manufacture.

Bearings used in food production machinery present multiple challenges in this context. The wide temperature variations, high humidity and chemically aggressive environments found in food production can lead to accelerated corrosion and wear. That challenge is compounded by wash-down protocols involving pressurized water jets and chemical cleaning agents. Even maintenance and bearing replacement procedures create risks of contamination from dropped parts or spilled lubricants.

The foundation of SKF’s offering is the Food Line range of deep groove ball bearings, which feature industry standard stainless steel rings, rolling elements, cages and seal backing plates. For the most demanding environments, meanwhile, the MRC Ultra corrosion resistant range uses proprietary high nitrogen corrosion resistant (HNCR) stainless steel rings and ceramic rolling elements for dramatically improved fatigue life.

As standard the bearings in both ranges are pre-lubricated with NSF in category H1 grease suitable for incidental contact in food production environments. In accordance with FDA recommendations, the synthetic rubber seals used in the bearings are coloured blue for optical detectability. In addition the SKF Food Line stainless steel deep groove ball bearing seals have EC approval.

An alternative to conventional grease lubrication is SKF’s Solid Oil technology, a polymer matrix saturated with food grade lubrication oil that keeps contaminants out and resists wash-down chemicals and water without emulsifying. Solid Oil completely fills the internal space within the bearing, encapsulating the cage and rolling elements. The resulting lack of internal voids eliminates “breathing”, where temperature changes between operation and cleaning cycles can allow conventional bearings to draw in moisture, causing corrosion. The Solid Oil matrix also contains two to four times more oil than conventional greased bearings, meaning lubricant life is extended, reducing routine maintenance requirements and a particular benefit in hard to reach areas.

SKF can use its extensive experience of the food and beverage production environment to develop custom solutions for the most demanding applications. One major ice cream producer, for example was suffering premature bearing failures in its hardening tunnels, as a result of corrosion due to moisture ingress in the bearings. The problem was exacerbated by breathing during cleaning cycles when bearing temperate rises rapidly from -45°C to +25°C.

SKF replaced the conventional bearings use in the machine’s 32 hubs with MRC HNCR units, lubricated with food grade Solid Oil and further protected by a custom machined, FDA approved optically detectable secondary seal. The new design has extended expected bearing life for the customer from one year to six[1], and eliminated the need for periodic relubrication with traditional grease, significantly reducing the risk of product contamination and also providing further productivity benefits.

Find more information on SKF’s corrosion resistant bearings for the food and beverage industry onhttp://www.skf.com/group/industry-solutions/food-and-beverage/product-news.

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Food Colours – Titanium Dioxide Marks Re-evaluation Milestone

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has completed its re-evaluation of all food colours permitted for use in the European Union before 2009. For the final re-evaluation, EFSA’s experts concluded that available data on titanium dioxide (E 171) in food do not indicate health concerns for consumers. But they recommended new studies be carried out to fill data gaps on possible effects on the reproductive system, which could enable them to set an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI).

Over the past seven years, EFSA’s Panel on Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS) has re-assessed the safety of 41 food colours, taking into account all available scientific studies and data. Where possible, the Panel has established or updated an ADI for each substance.

Ruud Woutersen, Vice-Chair of the ANS Panel, says: “The completion of the food colour re-evaluations is an important milestone for EFSA, but our work does not stop here. There are still a considerable number of other food additives to be re-evaluated by 2020. And, of course, we are prepared to respond to any additional requests from the European Commission to review colours and other additives in the light of newly available scientific information.”

Available toxicological data on titanium dioxide do not indicate adverse effects via oral ingestion. While the ANS Panel was unable to set an ADI for titanium dioxide because of data limitations, using the margin of safety approach, they concluded that dietary exposure does not pose health concerns. The experts highlighted, however, the need for new research to fill data gaps on potential effects of titanium dioxide on the reproductive system.

Titanium Dioxide

Titanium dioxide is a pigment commonly used to provide a cloudy effect and white background colour. Its main food uses are in confectionery, bakery and sauces but it is also found in cosmetics and has many industrial uses.

EFSALogoFollowing ingestion, most titanium dioxide passes through the body unchanged in the faeces but a small amount (maximum 0.1%) can be absorbed by the gut and distributed to various organs.

Food-grade titanium dioxide is not considered a nanomaterial under the current European Commission Recommendation on the definition of nanomaterial but it may contain up to 3.2% nanoparticles (less than 100 nanometres in size) by weight. EFSA’s experts, therefore, evaluated studies with food-grade and non-food-grade (including nano-sized) titanium dioxide. A small number of studies with some non-food grade titanium dioxide suggest possible adverse effects on the reproductive system.

Margin of Safety

In the food additives area, when there are insufficient data for establishing an ADI, risk assessors calculate a margin of safety to determine whether current exposure might be of potential concern. Generally, a margin of safety of 100 or more is not considered to be a concern for public health.

In the most realistic scenario for food-grade titanium dioxide, the margin of safety for high-consuming children (the most exposed population) would be 150, but for most scenarios the margins were several times higher.

More Data Needed

Additional testing on food-grade titanium dioxide – an extended 90-day study or a multi-generation or extended one-generation reproductive toxicity study according to current OECD guidelines – would help to clarify possible reproductive effects and provide more comprehensive data for deriving an ADI.

EFSA’s experts recommend taking animal welfare into consideration when deciding on testing approaches for generating new toxicological data.

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UK’s Food Standards Agency to cut antibiotics

E_ ColiThe UK’s Food Standards Agency has pledged to cut the use of antibiotics on farms following the discovery of drug-resistant E.coli on UK supermarket chicken and pork meat. The testing was commissioned by the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics. The FSA has acknowledged the ‘significant threat’ to human health from antibiotic-resistant superbugs, and pledged to cut the use of antibiotics on farms.

“It’s fantastic the FSA has pledged to work with food businesses and retailers to reduce farm antibiotic use,” said Emma Rose from the Alliance to Save our Antibiotics. “With antibiotic resistance predicted to kill one person every 3 seconds by 2050, the FSA must commit to ending the routine mass medication of groups of animals. Such practices are putting our health at risk – and should have no place in the supply chains of responsible UK supermarkets.”

“Worryingly and in contrast to the FSA response, the British Retail Consortium said yesterday that “Mass treatment of animals is not legally permitted.” This is, of course, incorrect. In fact, mass medication accounts for about 88% of UK farm antibiotic use, and is likely to be par-for-the-course within supermarket supply chains. Upon learning that they are mistaken in their assertion, I expect the BRC to call for a ban on the routine mass medication of groups of animals immediately.”

The Alliance to Save our Antibiotics is calling on people to write to all major supermarkets asking them to ban the routine use of antibiotics in their meat supply chains, and support farmers to make changes to their systems. Following the study, Waitrose updated its antibiotics policy to state that it is working towards significant year on year reductions in usage of all antibiotics, and have pledged to end the use of all ‘critically important’ antibiotics as soon as possible.

“For too long we have permitted the systematic overuse of antibiotics in our livestock systems,” said Zac Goldsmith MP. “The recent findings of E.coli resistant to multiple key antibiotics on supermarket meat is yet another sign of the consequences of this complacency. Antibiotic resistance is now predicted to kill one person every 3 seconds by 2050. Supermarkets, as the cornerstones of much of the UK meat and dairy supply chain, must now ask themselves whether they are doing everything in their power to avert this crisis.”

The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics is made up of 58 supporting members which represent a further 500+ organisations. Members span a wide range of medical, health, agricultural, environmental, consumer and animal welfare sectors from across the EU. The Alliance was founded by Compassion in World Farming, the Soil Association and Sustain and supported by the Jeremy Coller Foundation.

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Food Standards Scotland Launches First Healthy Eating Campaign

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched a thought-provoking healthy eating campaign aimed at encouraging people in Scotland to reduce the number of unhealthy snacks eaten. The campaign addresses the country’s diet-related poor health and obesity record by drawing attention to the uncomfortable truth that people in Scotland are potentially damaging their future health by over-indulging and ‘treating’ themselves and their children too often with unhealthy and unnecessary snacks.

Around one-third of children and around two-thirds of adults in Scotland are currently overweight or obese. It is forecast that, unless things change 40% of adults in Scotland could be obese by 2030.

An FSS survey shows that the average child in Scotland aged between four and 10 years old consumes an average of around 24.5 kg of unhealthy, unnecessary snacks each year which equates to over 110,000 calories. In addition, the average intake of sugary drinks is around 145 cans or 48 litres per year, which is equivalent to 4.6 kg of sugar or 19,400 calories. Over the year an average seven year old child eats more than their body weight (23 kg)4 in unhealthy snacks alone and consumption of unhealthy snacks and drinks equates to around a quarter (129,749 kcal) of their yearly calorie requirement.

FSS’s recent report highlights that people in Scotland get half of their total sugar intake and one-fifth of all calories from unhealthy snacks and treats, such as cakes, biscuits, chocolate, sugary drinks and sweets which have little, if any, nutritional value.

Ross Finnie, FSS Chair, says: “Scotland’s poor health and obesity record cannot continue on its current path. Many people in Scotland think they have a healthy diet, however a significant number of people either forget or are simply in denial about the amount of calories they consume via unhealthy snacks. Too many treats and habitual unhealthy snacking soon add up and can have a long-term detrimental impact on an individual’s health. This campaign will encourage consumers in Scotland to make small changes every day to protect theirs, and their children’s health in years to come.”

foodstandardsscotlandlogoGeoff Ogle, FSS Chief Executive, says: “We all, as parents and carers, want the best for our children, and for Scotland that now means taking action on our children’s diets. And we can’t do that without setting them a good example and taking action on our own diets and unhealthy snacking habits too. It’s an uncomfortable truth that the amounts of ‘treats’ and unhealthy snacks we are feeding ourselves and our children could impact our long-term health. Our healthy eating campaign may not be the easiest to digest for some because it’s designed to hit home but we believe it, combined with our package of recommendations to Scottish Ministers will go some way in addressing Scotland’s deep-rooted diet related issues.”

The campaign encourages people to drop unhealthy snacks or swap them for healthier alternatives and share their top tips for avoiding bad snacking habits on the FSS Facebook page.

Further ideas and advice are available on the FSS website and social media pages.

In addition to the advertising campaign and website, FSS will also run a series of roadshows across the country during September offering the public access to advice and support on how to make simple but meaningful changes to their diets.

The campaign is one strand of FSS’s five-year strategic plan in which improving the nation’s diet and health is a major focus.

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Rapid Alert System For Food and Feed – More Efficient than Ever

The Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) 2015 annual report, just published, demonstrates the increased efficiency with which RASFF exchanges information on issues posing a serious health risk. The network thereby enables authorities to act swiftly on many food safety risks before they could become harmful to European consumers.

Last year, the European Commission received 3049 notifications of food or feed risks via this EU-wide alert system, 775 of which concerned a serious health risk. The response rate to such alerts increased by 23% to reach 4030 follow-up notifications. Among the most notified risks were mercury in fish, aflatoxins in nuts and Salmonella in fruits and vegetables.

RASFF’s round-the-clock information sharing service is a key tool to ensure quick cross-border reaction when risks to public health are detected in the food chain. The system – which originated in 1979 – has evolved to keep pace with a growing and increasingly complex global market and changing consumer habits. New challenges such as global trade, food fraud, e-commerce and emerging risks require further enhancing cooperation between RASFF and other systems governing food safety and public health. Work on dealing with these challenges has already begun.

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EFSA Publishes Advice on Choline

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has set dietary reference values for choline as part of its review of scientific advice on nutrient intakes. Choline plays an important role in the human body, in particular for the maintenance of normal liver function.

The Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) defines daily adequate intakes (AIs) for choline as follows:

* 400 mg for adults and adolescents aged 15-17 years.

* 140 to 340 mg for children aged 1-14 years.

* 160 mg for infants aged 7-11 months.

* 480 mg for pregnant women and 520 mg for lactating women.

The findings of the NDA Panel are based on consumption data from national surveys conducted on healthy people in the European Union. The Panel also considered data on the amounts of choline needed to replenish the body in case of a deficiency.

Choline deficiency can have adverse effects, including fatty liver, and liver and muscle damage. Food sources of choline include eggs, meat, fish, whole grains, vegetables and fruit, as well as fats and oils.

EFSA received comments and input on the draft opinion during a four-week public consultation in early 2016.

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Traceability Systems Live in La Rousse Foods

news_larousse1With operations located in Dublin and Belfast, La Rousse Foods specialise in the supply of fine foods to premium food establishments since 1992. Acquired by the Swiss-based food group Aryzta in 2015, the company has more than 1,300 corporate customers in Ireland, and have their own catering butchery, cheese-maturing room and chocolate lab. La Rousse offer a wide range of fresh, seasonal and innovative premium produce from a network of local and international producers.

La Rousse approached Emydex in 2014 with a requirement to implement a robust factory floor Traceability and Production management system to replace manual operations in both their Cheese Processing and Butchery Operations. La Rousse were looking for a factory floor IT system that would provide them with real-time, accurate reporting on production, yields and Stocks, with full forwards and backwards food chain Traceability from factory door to door.

They were previously operating a paper based Traceability and Quality Assurance recording and reporting system, which was time consuming to both administer and report on. Stock control was also a manual operation which was labour intensive and time consuming. Previously the Cheese Operations area operated with a Microsoft Dynamics Nav system, whereby Purchase Orders for Intake were keyed directly into a Nav form running on an office PC located at Cheese Intake.

Weights and traceability information were later keyed in manually against the purchase orders. La Rousse identified a requirement for a software system that fully integrated with Navision in real time and replaced the manual in-put of weights and traceability information, as well as to manage the processing, packing, order picking and dispatch of cheeses to end-customers.

In parallel, La Rousse we planning the doubling in size of their existing catering butchery operations by building a new purpose-built state-of-the-art butchery on a site adjacent to their existing operation in Dublin. For this new operation, La Rousse also needed a factory floor system capable of production managing this new production facility from factory door-to-door.

Cheese Processing Software

Phase one of the project saw the rollout of Emydex’s Production Management Software to the Cheese Operations covering intake, processing & packing, picking & dispatch, returns both to/from suppliers and customers and QC Hold.  Due to the flexible nature of the software, Emydex were able to integrate to la Rousse’s existing Microsoft Dynamics NAV ERP system, providing a seamless real-time interface between both systems.

Packing and Processing Software

Phase two was a much more substantial project seeing the rollout of Emydex’s Packing & Processing software module to the new catering butchery operation running on fifteen industrial terminals, most connected to Industrial Weighing scales and printers covering operations such as Intake, Debagging, Deboning, Dry Aging, Preparation Lines, Metal Detection and Packing. Emydex’s Warehouse management module is also installed, running on a number of intelligent handheld scanning terminals covering Internal stock movements as well as sales order picking and dispatch.

Today La Rousse now have a comprehensive Production management software system that is fully integrated with their back-office ERP system.

Commenting on the Emydex project, David McMahon, Emydex CEO said “La Rousse Foods were the dream customer for Emydex to work with. A totally professional company from the outset, the La Rousse Foods project team had a clear vision as to their system needs, with defined project objectives and requirements. They were insistent in seeking to understand the precise inputs and outputs to each and every stage of their production processes, with the result that today they have an Emydex system that provides both bullet-proof traceability processes, as well as accurate and real-time accurate reporting on Production, Yields and Stocks.”

Stuart Campbell, General Manager with La Rousse Foods added “Emydex have provided us with a robust Factory Floor Traceability and Production Management system for both our Cheese Processing and Butchery Operations. Our Management team now have accurate real time reporting on production, yields and stocks as well as full forwards and backwards food chain traceability from factory door to door.”

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Nestlé Investing in Product Safety

Nestlé is investing SFr30 million (€27.6 million) in the Nestlé Quality Assurance Centre (NQAC) in Dublin, Ohio, US, improving its capacity to test products and ensuring they meet the highest standards. This latest investment makes NQAC Dublin Nestlé’s largest and most sophisticated testing facility worldwide.

The centre has almost doubled in size, and allows us to test almost every Nestlé product, ingredient and manufacturing environment. Every year, Nestlé tests more than 3 million samples across the globe to ensure that the quality of our products is never compromised.

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SORTEX® PolarVision™ – New Foreign Material Detection System Redresses Safety Concerns

downloadThe Bühler Group has announced two significant industry innovations to help frozen fruit and vegetable processors achieve the highest standards yet in food safety and hygiene. SORTEX PolarVision™, the new advanced FM detection technology, will make it easier for processors to meet the most stringent safety specifications demanded of them, and Bühler’s SORTEX F optical sorter, featuring multiple developments for hygienic processing.

SORTEX PolarVision™ technology – actively targets difficult-to-detect FM

The SORTEX PolarVision™ technology platform is a sophisticated FM detection system delivering outstanding results, in a wide array of frozen produce. From single products, such as peas or raspberries, to more complex vegetable mixes that may contain seafood and spices, it operates from one simple set-up, with a substantial sorting improvement on the difficult-to-detect defects.

It works by combining two dedicated FM detection technologies – the SORTEX PolarCam™ and high definition InGaAsHD™, both developed in response to industry demand for cutting-edge technology to tackle difficult-to-detect, defects,  including snails, dark and light plastics, wood, cardboard, cigarette ends, glass and stones.

SORTEX PolarCam™ is an advanced FM camera that has been designed to see the difference between vegetable and non-vegetable matter, regardless of its colour. It is therefore possible to process different products or mixes, with little or no change to settings and still detect non-vegetable material such as dark FM,  black plastic, stones, snails and insects.

High definition InGaAsHD™ technology has double the resolution of standard InGaAs and can recognise smaller pieces of hazardous material, half the size previously detectable.

These combined technologies offer a complete FM solution that reduces the need for adjustment between products as visible cameras are not required.  Dedicated FM controls improve the usability of the system, making life easier for the operator.

The launch comes at a key time when safety is high on the industry agenda. Processors face a constant challenge to detect and remove FM and keep pace with a food industry that is continuously innovating to create often complex, value-added products that must adhere to rigorous safety standards.

Bühler’s existing technologies already offer leading-edge solutions within the processing industry, such as its unrivalled PROfile shape system for the removal of extraneous vegetable matter (EVM) and its in-house, custom built, visible cameras for detecting gross and subtle colour defects, to enhance product quality and uniformity. SORTEX PolarVision™ now takes optical sorting to the next level.

All-New SORTEX F –  dedicated optical sorter based on hygienic design principles

To maximise the full potential of the SORTEX PolarVision™, Bühler has developed a dedicated sorting platform – the SORTEX F optical sorter.

Developed by in-house specialists, using current best practice and hygienic product design guidelines, it features a stainless steel frame, sloped surfaces, hygienic conduits, stainless steel air set and hygienic grade fixings, to deliver an unrivalled solution with no tolerance for product build-up, thereby lowering the risk of contamination.

The machine also sets a new standard in ejection technology, with its EJECTOR+ feature, which uses 25% more force to eliminate denser contaminants. Together with SmartEject™ technology, the technology removes unwanted and hazardous materials, from fine wood shavings to heavier pieces of glass and stones.

SORTEX PolarVision™ is available on the SORTEX F and as an upgrade option for processors, currently operating Bühler’s SORTEX E1D Optical Sorter.

Bühler R&D specialist Ben Deefholts explains how the leading-edge technology was developed: “Based on our understanding of the issues processors were facing with existing technologies, in detecting a cross-section of FM, we put together an in-house research project to analyse spectral data from a wide range of vegetable material, typical FM and samples of other FM that customers were finding difficult to detect using existing technology. We used the results of the research to create a combination of cameras and optics, including a revised InGaAs™ HD technology and a new IR camera with active background.

“F&V processors often run many different products down a packing line in one day, so they need to be able to switch easily between them. This means they normally need generic FM removal, with additional specific programmes for colour defects or EVM based on shape. The SORTEX E and SORTEX F with PolarVision makes adjustment of the sorter much more intuitive and will better suit the busy life of the packing line.”

Stephen Jacobs, Global Product Manager at Bühler, added: “We are very excited by the development of this new technology. We believe SORTEX PolarVision™ is the first – and only – system on the market which can deliver such superior FM detection, across multiple products, with complete ease. Combine this with the SORTEX F platform, and you have a revolutionary solution which addresses two of the biggest issues in the food industry today – safety and hygiene.”

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FSA Urges Public to ‘Face Freezer Fears’ in a Bid to Tackle Food Waste

Misconceptions about how to freeze food safely are contributing to food waste in the UK, according to new research by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The research identified a number of freezing ‘myths’ that are preventing people from using their freezers to make food go further. 43% of those interviewed think that food should only be frozen on the day of purchase to be safe; 38% incorrectly said it is dangerous to refreeze meat after it has been cooked; and 36% wrongly believe that food can become unsafe to eat while in the freezer.

Over two thirds (68%) of the people surveyed have thrown food away in the past month, with bread (36%), fruit (31%), vegetables (31%) and leftover meals (22%) topping the list. The most common reason given for throwing food away is that it is past its ‘use by’ day, cited by over a third (36%) of respondents. 30% admit to throwing food away as they had bought too much and didn’t eat it, and over half (54%) say they feel guilty when they throw food away. However, the reasons given can all be avoided by making better use of the freezer.

In response, the FSA is focusing on helping people to understand how to waste less food safely by making more of their freezers. Furthermore, the FSA, working with Defra and WRAP, has announced that it will be launching a review of the guidance provided to the food industry on date marking on food. This will include consideration for whether the remit of the guidance should be expanded to cover food storage and freezing advice for consumers.

FSALogo2The research also found that 90% of people say there are foods they would never freeze. Almost a quarter (23%) of those surveyed would never freeze meat that was cooked after defrosting, with 73% of these people saying this is down to worries about food poisoning.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA, says: “Every year, we throw away seven million tonnes of food and drink from our homes. Much of this waste is unnecessary, and a better understanding of how to freeze food safely could go a significant way towards tackling the problem. Our research shows that many of the fears the public has about freezing food are unfounded and we need to ensure they know the facts. 31% of the people we spoke to said that more information about how to safely freeze food would help them to reduce their food waste.”

He adds: “The freezer is like a pause button, so you can freeze foods right up to the ‘use by’ date. While food is kept safe in the freezer, it’s the quality that deteriorates over time, so we recommend eating it within three to six months and checking for any freezing instructions on the packaging. Once defrosted, the pause button is off, so defrost food as and when you need it and eat it within 24 hours of it being fully defrosted.”

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EFSA Advises on Meat Spoilage During Storage and Transport

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has assessed the impact of time and temperature on the growth of spoilage bacteria in fresh beef, pork, lamb and poultry. Its experts used predictive models to compare the growth of spoilage bacteria with the growth of disease-causing (pathogenic) bacteria and concluded that spoilage bacteria grow faster under the same conditions.

EFSA had previously advised on the implications for meat safety if these two parameters – time and temperature – varied and provided several scenarios for ensuring safety of meat during storage and transport of meat. The Commission subsequently asked EFSA to consider what implications such scenarios would have for the growth of bacteria that cause meat to spoil.

“If the sole consideration was safety, policy makers would have more options on the table to pick from. However, scenarios that are acceptable in terms of safety may not be acceptable in terms of quality,” says Dr Marta Hugas, Head of EFSA’s Biological Hazards and Contaminants unit.

Current legislation requires that carcasses are chilled to no more than 7C and that this temperature is maintained until mincing. The European Commission wants to revise this legislation to provide industry with more flexibility and asked EFSA’s scientific advice on safety and quality aspects.

Experts also said that effective hygienic measures during slaughter and processing help control contamination with spoilage bacteria.

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Fruit Stays Fresh For Longer in Corrugated Trays

Corrugated trays keep fruit fresher and safer than reusable plastic crates (RPCs) and can significantly reduce contamination from pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, according to scientific research. The research by the University of Bologna found that corrugated trays ensured better quality packed fruits and a longer shelf-life, reducing fruit microbial cross contamination. This decreases the risk of food-borne illnesses and increases fruit shelf life, contributing to the fruit’s freshness, scent, appearance and taste.

Microbiological contamination of fruit and vegetables is a major concern for retailers. Contamination can have two characteristic effects. In case of pathogen bacteria, food safety is at risk. In the case of spoilage bacteria, it will have an impact on shelf life. In both cases, the role of packaging can be critical.

The research was led by Professor Rosalba Lanciotti at the University of Bologna’s Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences. It looked at the exchange of microbes between produce and packaging and vice versa. The study was particularly interested in how differences in packaging materials can influence the cross contamination.

The results revealed statistically significant differences in the microbiological quality between produce packed in (RPCs) and corrugated trays.

The researchers packed peaches in deliberately contaminated packaging, both corrugated trays and RPCs, with the same number of Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Pseudomonas spp. and they then measured the transfer of the microorganisms to packaged fruit. The tests showed that the fruit reached contamination levels generally associated to fruit spoilage 48 to 72 hours earlier in plastic crates than in corrugated trays.

All peaches were washed with tap water, then sterilised with a sodium solution, rinsed with sterilised water and then air dried before entering the tests. Contributing factors such as the temperature during storage, the length of time before sale, and the superficial damage on each peach were also taken into consideration. The results of the tests showed that all of them influenced the microbial transfer from packaging material to fruit, but the transferring of the spoilage microorganisms considered was always lower for corrugated trays.

The tests also showed that in some conditions during the trials (i.e. high storage temperature) up to 95% of the peaches packed in RPCs were contaminated with E. coli after 48 hours when packaged in deliberately contaminated plastic crates. By contrast, the E. coli contamination level never exceeded 25% of the peaches packed in corrugated contaminated with the same levels of microorganisms.

The tests enabled Professor Lanciotti and her team (mainly Dr Francesca Patrignani, and Dr Lorenzo Siroli) to conclude that peaches packed in corrugated reach consumers in a safer and fresher state than those in plastic crates.

Jan Gramsma, FEFCO’s Market and Environment Director, says the tests were just one of the many confirmations that corrugated is cleaner and safer. “When it comes to preventing microbiological contamination, the science is in no doubt: corrugated board is far superior to RPC,” he points out. “Both the European Food Safety Agency and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention say fresh produce can be a source of contamination leading to foodborne Illnesses. Until now, we did not have undeniable proof that packaging was a factor. Our message to retailers is simple and clear: corrugated keeps produce fresh and safe.”

The research comes as other concerns have been raised recently over the hygiene of RPCs. Last November, the Department of Food Science at the University of Arkansas showed that typical industry cleaning procedures failed to sanitise RPCs. The research team led by Dr Steven Ricke found Salmonella cells on the crates even after cleaning. He noted that bacteria hide in the cracks and crevices of the crate’s surface, making it harder for industrial sanitisers to reach them. Dr Ricke said industry claims that crates are “99.5%” clean after sanitisation sound impressive, but that the missing 0.5% could hold millions of cells.

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Labcell Supplies Decagon Devices AquaLab 4TE Water Activity Analysers to McVitie’s

Labcell has supplied five Decagon Devices AquaLab 4TE water activity analysers to McVitie’s Cake Company for end-of-line quality assurance of Chocolate Cake, Jamaica Ginger Cake, Lyle’s Golden Syrup Cake and other products from the McVitie’s range of cakes. These five AquaLab Series 4TE analysers replace earlier models of AquaLab that have been in use for over 20 years.

Upgrading to the newer models with temperature equilibration has benefited McVitie’s through more stable measurements, plus the improved data handling means readings can be tracked easily and the information can be downloaded, stored andanalysed. With the instruments being used hourly on four different lines, a great deal of data is generated and improved data management is a significant advantage for traceability and specification reviews. Because batches of cakes cannot be released unless satisfactory water activity measurements have been obtained, a fifth analyser is retained as a spare to avoid delays.

Water activity influences a cake’s taste, texture and shelf life, but the most important reason for McVitie’s using AquaLabanalysers is to ensure the safety of its cakes because maintaining water activity below a critical limit inhibits bacterial growth. One of the key features of the AquaLab 4TE is that it makes laboratory-grade measurements in five minutes or less, yet it is robust enough to be installed and operated in a production environment. For McVitie’s, this means batches of cakes can be tested and released very quickly.

When McVitie’s decided to replace its existing AquaLab analysers, the company considered the track record of over 20 years of reliable operation, backed up by first-class support from Labcell, and did not hesitate to request a quote for five new AquaLab Series 4TE analysers. The price was felt to be very fair for high-quality, accurate and fast instruments that are easy to use, easy to clean and, most importantly, ensure the safety of the cakes being tested. In fact the operators have already remarked on the AquaLab Series 4TE’s improved ease of use and cleaning compared with the older model.

During the quotation stage of the project, Labcell provided full support to McVitie’s, answering questions and making sure the McVitie’s staff were entirely happy with the quotation and the AquaLab Series 4TE. When the analysers were delivered, Labcell’s specialist visited McVitie’s and spent a day ensuring that operatives on all four production lines knew how to use theanalysers, answering questions about operation, calibration, cleaning and data management.

Lynda Wilczynski, a QA Technologist with McVitie’s Cake Company, comments: “Labcell have been very helpful from start to finish, they have answered every question we have asked, and support for the manufacturing side was excellent – they could not do enough for us. I would recommend Labcell and their products.”

Labcell is the sole UK distributor for the Decagon Devices AquaLab Series 4TE water activity analyser. Customers interested in upgrading from another model of AquaLab analyser should contact Labcell to ask about trade-in options. Contact Labcell for more information about the AquaLab 4TE or to request a demonstration by telephoning 01420 568150, emailingmail@labcell.com or go to www.labcell.com.

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New ISO Standard to Validate Microorganism Testing Methods For the Food Industry

By Sandrine Tranchard

Having access to safe and nutritious food is essential. Meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, shellfish, etc., contain significant microbial flora and this can affect our health. Therefore, it is important to identify the microorganisms to maintain food safety but the microbial flora can also affect, if not controlled, the quality of food and its shelf life. Whether you are a manufacturer or user of microbiological test methods, you want to ensure that your methods are fully tested, validated and fit for use.

ISO 16140:2003 for the validation of alternative (proprietary) microbiological methods has just been revised. The new multipart standard provides a specific protocol and guidelines for the validation of methods both proprietary (commercial) or not. Proprietary methods are generally cheaper to use, produce results faster than traditional culturing methods and are simpler to perform as they require fewer technical skills. What’s more, most are partly or completely automated, so easier to use in less experienced laboratories, such as factory and commercial laboratories and with less technical human resources.

Two Parts of ISO 16140 Series Now Published

ISO 16140-1:2016Microbiology of the food chain – Method validation – Part 1: Vocabulary, describes the terminology used in microbial testing, while ISO 16140-2:2016Microbiology of the food chain – Method validation – Part 2: Protocol for the validation of alternative (proprietary) methods against a reference method, is dedicated to the validation of proprietary microbiological methodsThey are designed to help food and feed testing laboratories, test kit manufacturers, competent authorities, and food and feed business operators to implement microbiological methods. ISO 16140-2 includes two phases, the method comparison study and the interlaboratory study, with separate protocols for the validation of qualitative and quantitative microbiological methods.

New Validation Insights Included

Over a hundred alternative methods have been validated based on the previous version of ISO 16140, and the standard was updated to provide new insights on the validation of microbiological methods and experience gained from conducting validation studies across the world. Today, many alternative (mostly proprietary) methods exist that are used to assess the microbiological quality of raw materials and finished food products and monitor the microbiological status of manufacturing processes. The developers, end-users and authorities need a reliable common protocol for the validation of such alternative methods. With this new protocol, the data generated will also provide potential end-users with performance data for a given method, thus enabling them to make an informed choice on the adoption of a particular (alternative) method. This data can also serve as a basis for the certification of a method by an independent organization.

Development of ISO 16140 Series

“The validation according to ISO 16140-2 will lead to a higher reliability of the alternative method test result and the users will benefit from having microbiological test results available sooner. Most likely, this will contribute to greater food safety,” explained Paul in ‘t Veld, the Convenor of Working Group 3 on method validation (ISO/TC 34/SC 9/WG 3 whose secretariat is held by NEN, ISO member for the Netherlands) that is responsible for the development of the ISO 16140 seriesThe other four new parts of ISO 16140 are still under development with the following topics:

  • Protocol for the verification of reference and validated alternative methods implemented in a single laboratory (Part 3 of ISO 16140)
  • Protocol for single-laboratory (in-house) method validation (Part 4 of ISO 16140)
  • Protocol for factorial interlaboratory validation for non-proprietary methods (Part 5 of ISO 16140)
  • Protocol for the validation of alternative (proprietary) methods for microbiological confirmation and typing (Part 6 of ISO 16140)

WG 3, Method validation, is part of the subcommittee ISO/TC 34/SC 9, Food products – Microbiology, whose secretariat is held by AFNOR, ISO member for France. The standard is available from your national ISO member or on the ISO Store.

 

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Nearly 20,000 UK Restaurants Risk Losing Customers Due to Poor Food Hygiene

Restaurants with low food hygiene ratings are risking their survival, with 61% of consumers saying they’ll boycott such establishments, according to research from Checkit (http://www.checkit.net/). 18,379 restaurants, takeaways, sandwich/coffee shops, hotels and pubs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are at risk, as they currently have a Food Standards Agency Food Hygiene Rating of two or below, meaning they require improvement to their practices and processes.

The study, carried out by food safety technology company Checkit, found that London is the city with the largest number of food businesses at risk (5,092), while Birmingham has the highest percentage (17%) of restaurants scoring two or below. It is followed by Leicester (14%), London (14%) and Manchester (11%). Overall, 7% of cafes, canteens, restaurants, mobile caterers, pubs, takeaways, sandwich shops and hotels in England, Wales and Northern Ireland fail to meet the hygiene standards that consumers demand.

Across the UK takeaways and sandwich shops are the sector in most danger of being shunned by diners, with 14% of themhaving a food hygiene rating of two or below. This figure rises to 28% of Birmingham and Manchester takeaways, and over half (52%) of those in the London borough of Newham. Given that 64% of consumers say they’d avoid takeaways with low food hygiene ratings, this will have a major impact on the sector’s revenues and individual business survival.

Also in the Checkit research, three quarters (75%) of consumers said they wouldn’t risk dining at a restaurant that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust. Customers would even rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants. 66% of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to a restaurant. Just 16% cited slow or poor service and 32% said rude or unhelpful staff would stop them coming back to a restaurant.

“The food business is incredibly competitive, with nearly 60% of restaurants failing in their first three years of operation,” says David Davies, Managing Director, Checkit. “Our research shows that good food hygiene is the number one factor in wherediners choose to eat – and that they simply won’t return to places where there has been a food hygiene incident. Yet ouranalysis finds that nearly 20,000 restaurants require improvement to meet basic Food Standards Agency standards. Owners of food businesses are risking their revenues and survival, as well as the health of their customers, by not taking hygiene seriously.”

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Milk exposed to LED is bad news

Milkpouring into glassCornell University researchers in the Department of Food Science found that exposure to light-emitting diode (LED) sources for even a few hours degrades the perceived quality of fluid milk more so than the microbial content that naturally accumulates over time.

Their study determined that milk remained at high-quality for two weeks when shielded from LED exposure, and that consumers overwhelmingly preferred the older milk over fresh milk stored in a typical container that had been exposed to LED light for as little as four hours.

As sellers adopt these light-efficient energy sources in dairy cases and point-of-sale locations, merchants might be unwittingly sabotaging the product they are trying to sell.

“For some reason we love to look across the store and see this glowing case of milk that’s shining bright,” said Robin Dando, senior author on the paper and Assistant Professor in Cornell’s Department of Food Science.

“It’s attractive to look at, but we might actually be damaging the quality of the product.”

It’s well understood that milk sensory quality and nutritional content are adversely affected by exposure to the sun and artificial light sources. Riboflavin and other photosensitive components in milk are activated when struck by light energy, releasing a cascade of electrons that can degrade proteins and oxidize fats.

The resulting taste is commonly described as that of cardboard or plastic. All current popular milk packaging allows for certain light exposure to occur; even opaque plastic jugs have potential to compromise the highest quality milks by allowing the off-flavors to develop.

“Milk drinkers want the freshest, highest quality milk they can get,” said Nicole Martin, the study’s lead author and supervisor of Cornell’s Milk Quality Improvement Program laboratory. “For most consumers the idea of freshness is in inverse relationship to the expiration date on the package. This study shows that light exposure is a much greater factor explaining deteriorating milk quality than even age.”

LED lighting produces a pattern of wavelength that differs from the fluorescent bulbs that have been used to illuminate display cases. LEDs typically emit in the blue spectrum, around 460 nanometers, and produces a broader emission peak than fluorescents. That peak in LED light is near the narrow band where riboflavin absorbs light, a fact the researchers surmise could be selectively destroying the nutrient and damaging the perceived quality of the milk.

“We found that without LED exposure, most pasteurized milk remains at high quality for 14 days; importantly this study now provides new information that can be used to further improve the quality of milk, for example through light shielding packaging,” said co-author Martin Wiedmann, the Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety.

LEDs are becoming more common as stores install the lights to boost energy-efficiency. The researchers suggest manufacturers could turn to better light-blocking packaging to reduce the damaging effect of all light types.

The study “Exposure of fluid milk to LED light negatively affects consumer perception and alters underlying sensory properties” was selected as an editor’s choice in the June edition of the Journal of Dairy Science.

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TOMRA Launches New Russian Website and Video Platform

TOMRA Sorting Food has announced the launch of its Russian language website, which will provide a dynamic online resource for its customers across Russia.

The launch of the website, which can be found at www.tomra.com/ru/food, further demonstrates the importance of the region to TOMRA’s global business strategy and has been specifically customized for the requirements for Russia’s food sorting industry.

The new website provides visitors with an insight into TOMRA’s product innovations, latest news and event updates. As well as this, product brochures can also be downloaded at the touch of a button via the site’s online download center.

Björn Weyts, Marketing Manager at TOMRA Sorting Food, says: “The launch of the Russian language site provides a valuable update to the wide range of international resources that TOMRA offers as well as highlighting our ongoing commitment to servicing customers across the world and our continuous focus on innovation.”

Alongside the launch of the Russian language website, TOMRA has also revealed its easily accessible new video platform which hosts over 200 videos, allowing users to browse, share and embed videos produced by TOMRA.

Björn Weyts explains: “The functionality of the platforms provides users with the fantastic option to be notified when new content is added to the platform as well as being able to pick and choose topics that are of a particular interest, ensuring users receive relevant and up-to-date information.”

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OmegaVeritas develops 3rd-party authenticity test for salmon oil

omega3OmegaVeritas has developed an independent third-party test for determining the authenticity of salmon oil.

The recently established test, described as “the first of its kind”, is able to verify both ingredients and end-products, OmegaVeritas said. A substantial research and development effort, partly funded by The Norwegian Research Council, formed the basis for the test.

Together with Norwegian salmon oil producers Biomega, Marine Harvest, Nordlaks and Nutrimar, OmegaVeritas has optimised and validated analysis protocols and software algorithms, and has created a reference database for salmon oil. The aim was to build a system that is efficient and valid, the Norway-based company said, while also ensuring integrity and transparency.

“To have the salmon oil producers join us as partners has been crucial in order to ensure a successful build­‐up of the reference database. We greatly appreciate the time and effort they have put into the project. This shows that there is an interest and a need to protect the salmon oil category, and a need for the services we are providing,” said OmegaVeritas CEO Svein Erik Haugmo.

The system has been thoroughly tested to validate that the analysis is efficient and accurate, with results confirming that each salmon oil product contains exactly what is printed on the label.

“Following the recent successful launch of krill oil authentication, salmon oil was a natural next step for us,” continued Haugmo. “Salmon oil is a high-priced product category and we now have a validated system, which can help the honest and responsible players in the market protect their category.”

And Ulf Oldenborg, CEO of Natural Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures the OmegaMarine Forte+ brand of salmon oil and claims to be the first company to have brought salmon oil to market, added: “For the first time we are now actually able to verify through a third party test that our product is based on authentic salmon oil and in correct amounts. We have never had doubt in our suppliers – rather, [the test] confirmed that we are using the best suppliers, but this is obviously valuable for us as a company and our customers, who can now be even more certain that they are getting premium quality salmon oil when they buy our products. We are convinced that, with the introduction of this third party test, Natural Pharmacuticals are, together with OmegaVeritas, setting a new international level of quality control for omega-­3 products containing salmon oil.”

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FSA Publishes Latest Campylobacter Results

The UK Food Standards Agency has published the latest results from its survey of campylobacter on fresh shop-bought chickens. The results for January to March 2016 continue to show a decrease both in the number of birds with campylobacter on them and those with the highest level of contamination from the equivalent quarter last year.

The latest data show 9.3% of chickens tested positive for the highest level of contamination in this quarter, down from 21.8% for the three months from December 2014 to February 2015. Campylobacter was present on 50% of chicken samples, down from 71% in the equivalent quarter of the previous year. We tested 1,009 samples of fresh whole chilled UK-produced chickens and packaging this quarter.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the FSA, comments: “These results are moving in the right direction and I am delighted with progress. It shows what can be done by a real commitment to tackle this bug and I am encouraging industry to go even further, more quickly, to continue to get the numbers down.”

He adds: “One of the reasons the survey results are lower this quarter is because of the decision taken by a number of retailers and their suppliers to remove neck skin from the bird before it goes on sale. This is good news for the consumer because the neck skin is the most contaminated part of the chicken. However it is also the part of the bird that we have been testing in our survey and this means that comparisons with previous results are not as reliable as we would like.”

For this quarter, the FSA is giving an overall figure for the amount of campylobacter on chicken and not breaking the figures down by retailer as it normally does.

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Loma Installs Compact Combination Inspection System at Long Clawson Dairy

Loma Systems – a leading manufacturer of metal detection, checkweighing and x-ray inspection equipment for the global food industry – has recently installed a high performance CW3 compact combination (Compact Combo) checkweigher and metal detection unit at long-standing customer, Long Clawson Dairy located in Melton Mowbray. Chosen for its reduced footprint and ability to meet the stringent quality standards of the UK’s major retailers, this latest machine is inspecting different size packs of speciality Stilton cheeses.

Long Clawson Dairy was established in 1911. The company source local milk from 43 farms in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to create its cheeses, which are cut into small wedges weighing 60g–650g for supermarkets up to bulk cheese weighing from 1kg–8kgs for deli and wholesale customers.

A user of Loma IQ3 metal detectors for some 15 years, including two bulk machines, and a standard combination checkweigher and metal detection system, Long Clawson Dairy did not hesitate in approaching the company again when it needed a replacement inspection system as part of the packing process on a Stilton production line.

With space at a premium, Loma recommended a CW3 Compact Combo, which was launched by the company just over a year ago, and offers some 30% reduced footprint in comparison to standard combination units. It also ensures quality assurance and meets all retailer standards.

David Branston, Packing Manager, Long Clawson Dairy says: “While we consider our cheese production process quite low risk in terms of potential contamination, we use cutters with expensive blades to slice the Stilton into small portions. This makes it vital to have an adequate inspection system in place, not only for our own quality control purposes, but to also meet retailers’ increasingly stringent codes of practice.”

The OIML R51 and EC TA (MID) accredited CW3 Compact Combo has been built to Loma’s ‘Designed to Survive’ specifications, utilising heavy duty components and offering best levels of performance. The modular design saves valuable line space and ensures continuous operation. The system can adapt to a wide variety of different products because of its true variable frequency metal detection and versatile checkweighing capabilities.

David continues: “When we needed to replace an old metal detector in an area where space was at a premium, Loma recommended the CW3 Compact Combo as the ideal solution for meeting size, compliance and efficiency requirements. Like our other Loma equipment, it was easily installed as part of the packing process where it meets all end-of-line HACCP standards in line with our due diligence procedures.”

Handling pre-packed Stilton ranging from 60g up to 1kg, the Loma CW3 Compact Combo is operating at speeds up to 20 packs per minute.

Offering low lifetime cost of ownership and significant cost-savings, the system features the superior performance and accuracy of a CW3 checkweigher with the high detection performance of an IQ3 metal detector. The checkweigher measures products weights quickly and precisely; with a specially developed diverter rejecting out of tolerance products, while the metal detector consistently detects and rejects contaminated products.

“We continue to choose Loma for its service and support, as well as its market-leading inspection technology,” David adds. “For us, service delivery often takes precedence when purchasing production machinery. Minimising downtime is essential and Loma will endeavour to send a service engineer to site on the day an issue is reported, but their specialist personnel often provides a resolution remotely, by telephone.

David concludes: “We have a great relationship with Loma. Their contaminant inspection technology continues to lead the field – helping protect our business and reputation.”

For further information contact Loma Systems at www.loma.com,+44 (0) 1252 893300.

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Process Contaminants in Vegetable Oils and Foods

Glycerol-based process contaminants found in palm oil, but also in other vegetable oils, margarines and some processed foods, raise potential health concerns for average consumers of these foods in all young age groups, and for high consumers in all age groups.

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) assessed the risks for public health of the substances: glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE), 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD), and 2-monochloropropanediol (2-MCPD) and their fatty acid esters. The substances form during food processing, in particular, when refining vegetable oils at high temperatures (approx. 200°C).

The highest levels of GE, as well as 3-MCPD and 2-MCPD (including esters) were found in palm oils and palm fats, followed by other oils and fats. For consumers aged three and above, margarines and ‘pastries and cakes’ were the main sources of exposure to all substances.

Glycidyl Fatty Acid Esters – Genotoxic and Carcinogenic

EFSA’s expert Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) considered information on the toxicity of glycidol (the parent compound of GE) for its risk assessment of GE, assuming a complete conversion of the esters into glycidol following ingestion.

Dr Helle Knutsen, Chair of the CONTAM Panel, says: “There is sufficient evidence that glycidol is genotoxic and carcinogenic, therefore the CONTAM Panel did not set a safe level for GE.”

When assessing genotoxic and carcinogenic substances that are unintentionally present in the food chain, EFSA calculates a ‘margin of exposure’ for consumers. In general, the higher the margin of exposure is, the lower the level of concern for consumers.

The Panel concluded that GE is a potential health concern for all younger age groups with average exposures, and for consumers with high exposure in all age groups.

“The exposure to GE of babies consuming solely infant formula is a particular concern as this is up to ten times what would be considered of low concern for public health,” says Dr Knutsen.

The Panel’s review revealed that levels of GE in palm oils and fats halved between 2010 and 2015, due to voluntary measures taken by producers. This has contributed to an important fall in consumer exposure to these substances.

Exposure to 3-MCPD Over Safe Level – Insufficient Data on 2-MCPD

“We have set a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (µg/kg bw/day) for 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters based on evidence linking this substance to organ damage in animal tests,” explains Dr Knutsen. She adds that, “the toxicological information is too limited, however, to set a safe level for 2-MCPD.”

Estimated average and high exposures to 3-MCPD from both forms for young age groups including adolescents (up to 18 years of age) exceed the TDI and are a potential concern for health.

Palm oil is a major contributor to 3-MCPD and 2-MCPD exposure for most individuals. Levels of 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters in vegetable oils were largely unchanged over the last five years.

What Happens Next?

This risk assessment will inform risk managers in the European Commission and Member States who regulate EU food safety. They will use EFSA’s scientific advice to consider how to manage the potential risks for consumers from exposure to these substances in food. The Panel has also made several recommendations for further research to fill data gaps and improve the knowledge on the toxicity of these substances, particularly 2-MCPD, and on consumer exposure to them through food.

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No Flies on Rentokil – Innovative Trap Designed to Combat Pesky Flies at Commercial Food Premises

Rentokil has launched its latest innovation in pest management – the Rentokil Fly Box. Designed to be installed in or outside commercial food premises, the box contains a mixture of pheromones and insecticide to attract and eliminate flies from waste and refuge areas.

The Rentokil Fly Box’s unique design is underpinned by research from Rentokil’s Global Science Centre, which revealed that flies are attracted to areas of high colour contrast. Trialling several colour combinations, scientists found the contrast between black and white to be most effective, with 90% of flies migrating to a black box when set against a white background. Beyond attracting flies visually, the Rentokil Fly Box contains a mixture of appealing sugar-rich foods and lethal insecticide, which will extinguish most flies on entry. The box also replicates the pheromones produced by other flies to entice them.

Flies pose significant hygiene and reputational risks to food retailers and manufacturers. Their presence is off-putting to customers, and they are one of the most common causes of food poisoning, particularly the salmonella infection. To avoid falling foul of flies, food retailers and manufactures should have a comprehensive pest strategy in place, with numerous lines of defence. The new Rentokil Fly Box provides a business’ first line of defence, combatting flies before they even enter the premises.

Dr Colm Moore, Area Technical Manager UK, Ireland and The Baltics, describes the Rentokil Fly Box’s benefits: “Previously fly treatments for refuse areas have relied on insecticide sprays. The problem with this method is that removing the waste ends the treatment. The Rentokil Fly Box enables us to effectively fix insecticide to commonly affected areas, ensuring that flies are constantly being eradicated. Businesses will save money through reduced infestations, while ensuring their reputation for impeccable hygiene remains intact.”

Dr Moore continues: “It is vital that food manufacturers, retailers and restaurateurs take appropriate due diligence when it comes to flies. Typically, we see significant increases in fly populations during the summer months, as they enter the most prolific period of their breeding cycle. This year we can expect to see larger increases, and earlier, as we have had very little cold weather, which suppresses breeding activity and fly populations.”

“While the presence of flies can inflict reputational damage, it’s equally important that businesses are environmentally responsible in their pest control strategies. The Rentokil Fly Box presents a way of eliminating unwanted fly species while ensuring that unnecessary chemicals do not enter the ecosystem or impact non-target species.”

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Mettler-Toledo Safeline Wins Second Queen’s Award For Enterprise

Mettler-Toledo Safeline Ltd has been awarded a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise, this time in the Innovation category. The 2016 award follows The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade presented to the company in 2012. The leading supplier of metal detection systems for food, beverage and pharmaceutical production lines has received the highest award for businesses in the UK for developing its family of Profile metal detection products.

The Queen’s Award for Enterprise is a prestigious awards programme for British businesses and organisations that excel at trade, innovation or sustainable development and has been presented each year since 1966. To be awarded the honour in the Innovation category, a company must demonstrate outstanding commercial success as a result of innovation over multiple years.

“This Award recognises the deep expertise of the SAFELINE team and its reputation for design and manufacture of technologically advanced metal detectors. With over 100,000 systems installed globally, we have accumulated thousands of man-years of experience, which allows us to continuously improve our products and processes.  On behalf of the global network of Mettler-Toledo employees, I am proud that the company has received this prestigious award in recognition of its high performance products and commitment to innovation,” says Alan Purvis, Managing Director, Mettler-Toledo Safeline Ltd.

Mettler-Toledo Safeline has been manufacturing metal detection systems for global food, beverage and pharmaceutical producers since 1988. It works in collaboration with international standard bodies and multinational retailers to develop guidelines for food and pharmaceutical safety in order to protect consumer welfare and brand reputation. The company’s most recent innovation – and the primary focus of The Queen’s Award – is the launch of the Profile Advantage metal detection system, which overcomes product effect to detect more metal in challenging applications. The new detector delivers up to 50% improved detection capabilities, and use of these improved metal detectors allows customers to meet or exceed food safety standards whilst avoiding inefficient and costly false rejects.

The industry standard is to use detectors tuned to a single radio frequency; Safeline has developed signal generation and processing techniques to deploy tuned, variable and dual frequency detectors.  The development effort to achieve this has been significant, with five granted patents and five further disclosures going through the patenting process. The company collaborates closely with the University of Manchester, sponsoring several PhDs to underpin its technology.

Quality standards governing the food, beverage and pharmaceutical industries are becoming increasingly stringent within the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative) framework, such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) Version 7, International Featured Standard (IFS), and the USA’s 2015 Food Safety Modernisation Act.

Mettler-Toledo Safeline’s metal detection technologies enable manufacturers to ensure compliance with best practice and due diligence to protect consumers from metal contamination whilst minimising the risk of reputation-damaging product recalls.

The company forms part of Mettler-Toledo’s Product Inspection Division, which supplies metal detection, x-ray inspection, checkweighing and vision inspection solutions. All solutions can be linked through the company’s bespoke Prod-X data management software, allowing manufacturers to control their entire product inspection management process from a single point or multiple remote locations, eliminating the need for time-consuming production line controls.

For further information visit www.mt.com/metaldetection.

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ICS Cool Energy Launches New NSF Glycol For Compliance in Food and Beverage Applications

Leading temperature control specialist, ICS Cool Energy, has launched an important new development in food processing safety with the introduction of FlowCool-FS. It is a food and beverage glycol fluid that’s fully accredited by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) for use within secondary refrigeration systems, where accidental contact with food is a possibility.

The new FlowCool-FS glycol is a non-toxic mono propylene glycol (MPG) with a temperature range of -35°C to 120°C. It uses non-toxic additives designed in line with NSF and US FDA criteria. If there is any incidental direct or indirect contact with food during processing or production applications, there is minimal risk to human health.

MPG and mono ethylene glycol (MEG) are the most commonly used glycols in secondary refrigeration systems. MPG is used by food manufacturers due to its suitability for food processing as it has very low toxicity levels compared with MEG.  However, MPG is often supplemented with harmful additives – a key problem that’s avoided when FlowCool-FS is used.

Brent Hall, Technical Manager at ICS Cool Energy, says: “This is an important development and a new product with NSF approval that brings extra peace of mind for food and beverage manufacturers. FlowCool-FS is a high performance concentrated, multi-component MPG-based heat transfer fluid, with low oral toxicity that will help to minimise the risk of contaminated food and protect corporate reputations. It has been developed by a team of skilled chemists, and is independently tested and fully accredited with NSF approval, meaning that FlowCool-FS gives food and beverage manufacturers one hundred per cent confidence for use in any application where accidental contact with food is a possibility.”

“ICS Cool Energy’s new addition to the glycol range means the food and beverage industry can easily avoid the potentially toxic and harmful additives that have traditionally been used in the sector,” adds Brent Hall. “MPG has long been the go-to glycol for food manufacturers but they are often supplemented by additives which combat potentially corrosive effects on the wider cooling system.”

“Unlike the organic inhibitors in FlowCool-FS, many traditional additives can be toxic to humans and damaging to systems and components. Worryingly, this fact is not always reflected in the safety data sheets.  So by using the wrong additives, there’s still the threat of contamination if any incidental contact with food occurs,” he says.

FlowCool-FS is tested to ASTM D1384 test standards, mitigating any potential corrosive effects on metals commonly found within secondary refrigeration systems, while still providing high levels of heat transfer efficiency.

For more information on ICS Cool Energy’s new FlowCool-FS range of NSF-approved glycols, please visit www.icscoolenergy.com  emailinfo@icscoolenergy.com or call 0800 774 7426. Follow ICS Cool Energy on Twitter @icscoolenergy.

Posted in Chilling & Refrigeration, Food Safety, ProcessingComments Off on ICS Cool Energy Launches New NSF Glycol For Compliance in Food and Beverage Applications

Alternative Application of Steam Treatment Can Potentially Replace Chemical and Physical Disinfections

Steam is a well-known decontamination method with a wide range of utilization. Steam processes are generally considered as highly cost-effective, easy to use and free from chemicals. Nevertheless, focus on this subject seems to be declining due to several process limitations, encountered in several cases. Cases with food products that possesses high infections risks, such as fresh or raw meat products, poultry, fish and berries do not respond well to steam processes. Long treatments cause thermal damages, while short treatments are inadequate for achieving appropriate microbial kill on such surfaces. The reason is due to a well-known phenomenon, referred to as the laminar sublayer. Laminar sublayer is a layer of stagnant air, present around any given object. This layer takes up much energy and delays heat transfer to the surface of the product. By the time the heat reaches the surface, the overall temperature of the product has increased and the product undergoes thermal damages.

Steam Combined With Ultrasound Offers New Possibilities

What if you could apply steam disinfection to heat sensitive food products and avoid the thermal changes? What if you could do this in a super-fast process with minimal costs and what if you could apply this same process to non-food products as well?

SonoSteam® combines steam with ultrasound to create a strong and intensified treatment. While the ultrasound waves rapidly disrupts the stagnant air, temperate steam gains instant access to the surface as well as inside microstructures where microorganism may hide. The ultrasound is like a “catalyst” which intensifies and accelerating the steam process. SonoSteam processes are therefore able to kill high loads of bacteria within just a second, before heat can penetrate and thermally damage the organic material.

Adjustable Processes Allow For a Wide Range of Application

Sonosteam disinfection processes offer a wide range of application – everything from meat, fruits, vegetables and dairy products to non-food products such as conveyors, food boxes, crates, cutting knives and etc. SonoSteam disinfection can be adjusted to existing working parameters (line speed, product quantity, product quality) and performs efficient decontamination without stalling main processes or production lines. The technology have demonstrated more than 7 logs microbial reductions on solid materials in just a quarter of a second, illustrating the efficiency of this technology.

A Case of SonoSteam Box and Tray Disinfection For Industrial Application

Whether they are used as a means of transportation or as storage, boxes or trays constitute a potential risk of cross contamination in clean environments. Microorganisms and their biofilm and toxins can built up very quickly on the surfaces, if routine cleaning is inadequate or neglected. Disinfection with certain chemicals can cause selection of dangerous superbugs that are able to outlive standard cleaning procedures. At worst case, the bacteria can end up on food products or sterile medical devices, where it can cause illnesses and even deaths.

One way of solving these problems would be the addition of more time consuming and costly cleaning steps. This would require more chemicals and extensive water rinse, including both hot and cold water to remove chemical residues. Another way is to apply SonoSteam disinfection. The SonoSteam disinfection for boxes and trays is a custom made unit, which can be integrated to the existing washing processes. The treatment time for the Sonosteam disinfection is adjusted to the existing line speed and the disinfection does not require any post wash. This technology removes the need for chemical disinfection and reduces large amount of water, without affecting the disinfection process.

Posted in Food Safety, Processing, Quality AssuranceComments Off on Alternative Application of Steam Treatment Can Potentially Replace Chemical and Physical Disinfections

Food Hygiene is Number One Priority For Consumers When Eating Out

UK consumers are united in not tolerating poor food hygiene ratings and simply will not visit businesses that have had food safety issues. Three quarters (75%) said they wouldn’t risk dining at an establishment that had been implicated in a food hygiene incident, even if recommended by someone that they trust, whilst 61% would not eat at a restaurant, takeaway, coffee shop or pub that has a low Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating.

These are the headline findings of UK consumer research carried out by Checkit.net, which also found that diners would rather put up with poor service from rude and unhelpful staff than eat at dirty restaurants. 66% of respondents rated unclean or dirty premises as the first or second reason for not returning to an eatery. Just 16% cited slow or poor service and 32% said rude or unhelpful staff would stop them coming back.

The impact of being implicated in a food hygiene incident can be catastrophic for any food service business. Of the 75% of consumers that wouldn’t risk a visit, 43% said they’d never dine there, no matter what, while 32% would only return if it had closed down and reopened under new ownership. A further 22% said they’d only return if the food hygiene rating improved dramatically – illustrating how difficult it is to rebuild consumer confidence and attract diners back, once trust is lost.

“It doesn’t matter if you are a Michelin starred restaurant or a local takeaway – consumers will not tolerate poor food hygiene and will vote with their feet if you’ve been implicated in a food hygiene incident,” says Dee Roche, Marketing Director of Checkit.net. “This demonstrates the enormous impact that poor food safety has on a business’ survival – how would you cope with 61% of your customers boycotting your premises? These findings are a wake-up call to any operator that thinks that food safety is not a customer priority – diners rate hygiene as the number one reason, above service or rude staff when it comes to choosing whether to return for subsequent visits.”

The research found that consumers had the highest expectations of fine dining restaurants, with 69% saying they would not visit any that had a low food hygiene rating. This was followed by takeaways (including Chinese, Indian or kebab sellers), with 64% of people avoiding any with low food hygiene ratings. In contrast, they were slightly better disposed to cafés and coffee shops (55%).

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland helps consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving them information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways and food shops. The scale runs from 0 (urgent improvement necessary) through 1 (major improvement necessary) to 2 (improvement necessary) up to 5 (very good). Ratings are available from the Food Standards Agency’s websites and are normally displayed within the premises as well.

Checkit is a leading provider of next generation, cloud-based automated monitoring and digital work management solutions across the food, hygiene, healthcare and facilities management sectors.

Posted in Food Hygiene, Food SafetyComments Off on Food Hygiene is Number One Priority For Consumers When Eating Out

Addmaster Awarded Best New Idea Accolade at Foodex 2016

An antibacterial Bag for Life from Addmaster (UK) Ltd has been awarded the Best New Idea accolade at this year’s Foodex 2016 exhibition. The Biomaster Bag for Life is treated with technology proven to prevent the growth of most common types of bacteria.

The award was presented to Sandrine Garnier, Sales Director at Addmaster (UK) Ltd by Foodex Event Director, Dan Dixon and Nigel Barden, a prominent critic, journalist and broadcaster.

Sandrine Garnier says: “It is fantastic recognition for our product and really great timing as a major UK retailer is due to launch this product from the end of April/beginning of May. It is our first big customer but other companies are lined up for it as well. It started in the UK but will soon be international with one company due to introduce it in South Africa.”

In 2011, food safety researchers in the US discovered that 51% of reusable shopping bags contained harmful bacteria. In a UK study, nearly half of reusable bags tested fell into the ‘heavily contaminated’ category. With one of the most common causes of food poisoning resulting from cross-contamination during the weekly shopping trip, Biomaster is a reusable shopping bag that can be used for life, safely.

The active bacterial agent is built into the bag during the manufacturing process so the protection lasts for the useful lifetime of the bag. It does not affect the taste or smell of the bag contents in any way, and in independent tests it was proven to inhibit the growth of most common types of bacteria by more than 99%.

The Great New Idea competition, which invited exhibitors to put forward their best innovations of the last six months, saw over 70 entries, with the winner announced at a presentation at the NEC during the show. A shortlist of three finalists was chosen, voted for by visitors to the show, as well as other members of the industry, ahead of the event.
Recognised at the event alongside the Biomaster Bag for Life from Addmaster (UK) Ltd, exhibitors MCA process and ITS Europe Ltd were announced as runners up. MCA process was acknowledged for its Automatic Hamburger Assembly Line and ITS Europe for its eXact iDip app, which harnesses the power of smart devices and the simplicity of design to handle the heavy lifting of complex water testing.

Foodex – the UK’s premier trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging, ingredients and logistics industries – offered the ideal forum for members of the industry to network and gain insight and inspiration. The biennial exhibition showcased the latest trends across the food manufacturing sectors from traceability to new ingredients spanning the bakery, beverage, dairy, fresh, ingredients, logistics, meat and seafood sectors.

Foodex 2016 was co-located with the Farm Shop & Deli Show, National Convenience Show and Food & Drink Expo.

Posted in Conferences & Exhibitions, Food Safety, InnovationComments Off on Addmaster Awarded Best New Idea Accolade at Foodex 2016



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