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Showing posts from March, 2008

Dioxin scare with mozzarella cheese

Dioxin has been found in the milk of 66 herds of buffalo around Naples. The Guardian reports that Brussels is asking for further information from Italy about the extent of the problem. Japan and South Korea have already banned imports of the cheese. The BBC report that in a statement, the European Commission said the measures introduced so far were not adequate: "No recall of product potentially contaminated has been carried out, and the surveillance programme on the farms of the Campania region is still too limited". The BBC suggest that a potential source of contamination is currently being investigated i.e. that industrial waste has been illegally dumped on agricultural land used for pasture.Why is dioxin a problem? Dioxins are highly toxic and carcinogenic (cause cancer). Dioxins are a by-product of industrial production in industries such as chemical and pesticide manufacture, paper bleaching. We have had food safety incidents in the past with this chemical. In 1999, di…

Cantaloupes and Salmonella

Although I linked to two reports on Salmonella and cantaloupe melons on the last post I felt that I should write another post to highlight the ongoing issues. There have been alerts and recalls all over the US and Canada over the potential link between Salmonella food poisoning and central American melons. The Salmonella concerned Salmonella Litchfield has been tracked by the CDC in the US over the last few months. The CDC report that between January 18 and March 5, 2008, state health departments have identified 50 ill persons in 16 states who have been infected with SalmonellaLitchfield with the same genetic fingerprint. Interviews with individuals highlighted Honduran cantaloupes as a potential source. The FDA issued an alert on March 22nd which contained further details.

Food safety series of e-books

The first in a series of e-books on food safety, food manufacture and processing has recently been published on Lulu. This book outlines the issues surrounding food allergens and food intolerance and the precautions that need to be taken during food processing, preparation and manufacture to assure same food. Follow the link on the site for more details.

Wholesnax recalls chocolate coated snacks

The UK Food Standards Agency has reported that "Wholesnax has recalled some batches of its chocolate coated brazils, peanuts, raisins, peanuts and raisins and mixed nuts and raisins because they contain soya lecithin which is declared as lecithin in the ingredients list". The products are unsuitable for people with a soya allergy and the FSA has issued an Allergy Alert.

Food safety and quality policy

This week I wrote a post about management commitment and driving continuous improvement in an organisation. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standard for Food, along with other quaIity management system standards also requires that the organisation has a food safety and quality policy. I have written posts before about quality planning and the development of a quality policy. This really is a key policy document where the organisation outlines its commitment to providing safe products and meeting the quality requirements of its customers. The BRC Standard requires that the organisation defines thestrategic aims and objectives of your organisation and this information is often contained in the food safety and quality policy. The policy is a concise document that defines: goals and objectives with regard to quality and food safety; a commitment to meeting stated requirements of internal and external customers;who in the organisation is responsible for implementing the food…

Management Commitment

The new version of the British Retail Consortium Global Standard (BRC) for food safety includes some changes in the section on senior management commitment and continual improvement. Management Commitment has been described as the “Direct participation by the highest level executives in a specific and critically important aspect or programme of an organisation”. In the development of a food safety and quality management system this encompasses: The establishment of the senior management team with the appropriate level of knowledge, skills, and competence; The development, documentation and implementation of a food safety and/or quality policy as combined or separate documents; The establishment of the organisations “mission” in terms of food safety and quality and the associated organisational goals and objectives. These objectives must be formally established (written down), communicated with the associated awareness programme, monitored to determine whether performance standard…

Bart spices recall organic product

The UK food Standards Agency report that Bart Spices Ltd has recalled all batches of its Organic Purple Cornmeal. This is due to the level of fumonisins which are a type of toxin which is naturally produced by moulds. The levels are above the legal limits, but the FSA state that there is unlikely to be any immediate risk to people's health. For more details follow the link.

Marks and Spencer withdraws tomato and chili pasta sauce

The Food Standards Agency report that Marks & Spencer has withdrawn some of its Speciality Tomato & Chilli Pasta Sauce (350g) because it contains anchovies and sulphites. These are not identified on the label so this could prove a potential health risk for anyone with an allergy to fish or sensitivity to sulphites. For more details follow the link.

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