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Showing posts from August, 2007

ASQ Food Safety Statement

The American Society for Quality (ASQ), has submitted a written statement on US Food quality and safety to the Congressional Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. The subcommittee recently held hearings entitled “Diminished Capacity: Can the FDA Assure the Safety and Security of the Nation’s Food Supply?”

The ASQ determined that the Subcommittee should address many issues including:

System and process control i.e. quality assurance rather than quality control
Supply Chain Management and a need to evaluate supply chain and market mechanisms for ensuring food safety as well as concentrating on key critical control points.
International Data System for Traceability. and the development of traceability systems as a pre-requisite to food safety.

Carbon monoxide Transparency of labelling all foods that have been treated with carbon monoxide.
Implement recommendations of the Institute of Medicine’s 2003 report, “Scientific Criteria to Ensure Safe Foo…

E. coli 0157

Following last week's post about E.coli 0157 the USDA has announced that they are going to give $5.5 million towards research at the University of California on developing food safety management practices and seeking to control contamination of fresh produce E. coli O157:H7.

E coli 0157

There are hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most E. coli are harmless, E. coli 0157:H7 produces a toxin that can cause severe illness.
In 1982 E. coli O157:H7 was recognised as the cause of an outbreak of severe bloody diarrhoea. This outbreak was traced to contaminated hamburgers. Kidney failure can also occur this is commonly called haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Outbreaks have been associated with the following eating undercooked or contaminated minced (ground) beef or beefburgers made from the meat; leafy salad vegetables such as lettuce, and spinach; or milk that is either unpasteurised, not pasteurised properly or contaminated with bacteria after pasteurisation. Cases have also been linked to handling or touching infected animals or people, poor hygiene by infected people leading to cross contamination or through contact with animal faeces.
The following websites/blogs are good sources of information on E. coli 0157:
Ecoli blog: (http://www.ecoliblog…

2006 UK Food Safety Incidents

In May 2007, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) published its first annual report on food safety incidents. The FSA handled 1,342 investigations into food incidents in 2006, including the national outbreak of Salmonella in chocolate and the contamination of US long-grain rice with an unauthorised genetically modified organism. The report stressed the need for all stakeholders to work in partnership to improve incident handling systems and encouraged more comprehensive reporting. The major categories of incidents in 2006 were:
environmental contamination (fires and spills/leads) 28%, natural chemical contamination (mycotoxins, algal toxins and others) 13%, microbiological contamination (salmonella, Listeria, E.Coli etc) 11% and physical contamination (pieces of plastic, glass, metal etc) 10%. In addition, there were on average one to two food recalls and withdrawals every week due to incorrect or missing allergy labelling or other allergy risks. The 50 allergen incidents resulted in 20 Foo…


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