Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Boil notice as cryptosporidium discovered

Anglian Water instructed more than 200,000 people in Northamptonshire to boil tap water before drinking it because traces of Cryptosporidium were found. Cryptosporidium can cause sickness and diarrhoea and the scare has closed 17 schools.

M&S recall fish product for undeclared allergen

The Food Standards Agency have issued an allergen alert for M&S Cook! Haddock & Hake Fish Cakes because some of the packs contain a sachet of soya sauce (instead of the intended tomato sauce). The soya ingredient is not declared on the label and is a potential health risk for soya allergic individuals. Follow the link for more details.

Tesco recalls beans and sausage product

The Food Standards Agency report that Tesco Stores Ltd has recalled its own brand of Beans & Sausage in various sized cans, due to the presence of small pieces of plastic in the products. Follow the link to find out about the range of products affected

Another SMA milk recall

The Food Standards Agency report that SMA Nutrition has recalled a further two batches of SMA milk. The product concerned is SMA Progress Follow-on Milk Powder 900g cans. It has been recalled due to some of the product forming compacted lumps. For more details follow the link.

Salmonella incidents

There have been a number of Salmonella incidents reported this week around the world - these include:

Italian outbreak of Salmonella - A British man has died and a further 19 holidaymakers have been linked to a food poisoning outbreak at their hotel in northern Italy.

Guernsey outbreak of Salmonella - A Salmonella outbreak linked to raw eggs has affected 18 customers and staff linked to a catering establishment.

Salmonella Saintpaul and Tomatoes - the numbers increase

It is now nearly two weeks since I first wrote a post about Salmonella and Tomatoes. In the fortnight the number of confirmed cases continues to increase. 613 people have now been shown to be linked to this outbreak and there are probably hundreds if not thousands more who have been unwell and not been formally identified. The CDC confirm that only 3 people were identified as having been infected with this strain of Salmonella during the same period in 2007.

There have been no reports as to the source or indeed cause of the contamination - but the problem for consumers appears to be geographically widespread. Whilst investigations continue there will be the ongoing discussions over traceability or "trace-back" in the supply chain and whether the cost of implementing robust systems outweighs, or not, the net benefit to organisations and consumers. However ultimately the food supply chain and food brands rely totally on consumer trust and confidence.

Abraham Lincoln once said that "if once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem." I think this is particularly true with regard to food safety and brand value. Maybe with the ongoing focus on food safety issues more global food businesses will see traceability as a valuable asset and a means to manage, maintain and enhance brand value.

First posted at The Human Imprint

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Fudge Brownie Slice recalled

The UK Food Standards Agency report that Peacock Bakeries have recalled a range of batch codes of Chewy Fudge Brownie Slice because the product contains walnuts, milk and sulphites as ingredients that are not declared on the label, resulting in incorrect allergen information. The product is, therefore, a potential health risk for individuals with sensitivities to nuts, milk and/or sulphites. Follow the link for more details.

Salmonella Saintpaul and Tomatoes - update

I wrote a post on June 10th about the Salmonella incident linked to tomatoes. The number of reported cases has risen to 383 people in 30 US States. The Washington Post reports that 48 people are in hospital. Fast food restaurants are now beginning to sell tomatoes again after they stopped selling tomatoes last week. The source of the infection has not yet been identified.

First posted in The Human Imprint.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

E.coli 0157 and lettuce

It is just over a week ago that blogs started posting about the E.coli incident in Washington State. Nine cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection were confirmed and traced back to bagged, commercial romaine lettuce. Marler Blog has posted a excellent time line on the recent E.coli outbreaks in the US.

Salmonella and Seeds - again

There have been ongoing issues with Salmonella and seeds and the FSA report that Golden Saffron Ltd has recalled a batch of Khakshir seeds, due to the presence of Salmonella. Follow the link for more details. This brings the number of FSA reported recalls for Salmonella and seeds to eleven so far this year.

Friday, 13 June 2008

SMA Nutrition recalls baby milk

The Food Standards Agency has reported that SMA Nutrition has recalled one batch of SMA Gold ready to use liquid infant milk as a precautionary measure following reports of curdling of the product. Follow the link for more details.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Salmonella and Tomatoes - ongoing issues

Tomato-associated Salmonella outbreaks caused 1,616 reported illnesses in nine outbreaks during 1990—2004. During 2005--2006, there were four outbreaks of Salmonella infections associated with eating raw tomatoes at US restaurants. The outbreaks resulted in 459 confirmed cases of salmonellosis in 21 States. These were Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Braenderup and Salmonella Typhimurium. Suggested sources were irrigation water, and drainage ditch water. The pH of many varieties, especially when they ate overripe, is not sufficiently low to inhibit the growth of this pathogen (food poisoning organisms). The pH of canned tomatoes is often modified by the addition of citric acid in order to inhibit pathogens.

Salmonella and tomatoes have been back in the news again. The FDA has warned against eating raw plum, round or Roma red tomatoes unless they are from specific sources. McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell have stopped serving these types of tomatoes. The CDC reports that since mid-April, 167 people have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul in 17 states. At least 23 have been hospitalised. I have been reporting in my blogs over the last couple of months the rise in the number of raw foods recalled as a result of possible or actual Salmonella contamination both in the UK and the US. There is a lot of research about incidents with Salmonella Saintpaul in the southern hemisphere in fact in one report it has been argued that this organism accounts for 12% of all typed human isolates in central Queensland. One source described is stored rainwater.

So, where does that leave consumers, for health reasons we are being encouraged to eat raw food, but we rely on there being good agricultural practice and then good hygienic practice throughout the supply chain and food service. Food Safety is not negotiable - food is either safe or unsafe.

“Don't learn safety rules simply by accident” Anon

First posted at The Human Imprint

Chorizo products recalled due to the presence of Salmonella

Salmonella continues to be in the news. The Food Standards Agency has issued a food safety alert to state that Creative Ingredients Ltd has recalled two batch codes of two D'elitte branded chorizo products, due to the presence of Salmonella. For more details follow the link

Sandwich recalled due to undeclared egg

The Food Standards Agency has reported that BP Retail UK has withdrawn Wild Bean Café Ham, Cheese & Pickle Sandwiches due to the presence of undeclared egg. For more details follow the link.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Salmonella and Tomatoes in the US - again

Salmonella and tomatoes are back in the news in the US again. Over 80 people have been diagnosed with Salmonella Saintpaul and the common link is tomatoes.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also identified an issue with Salmonella and Cantaloupes. The products are being recalled.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

UK Incidents report 2007

The UK Food Standards Agency has published its Annual Report on Incidents in 2007. Follow the link to find out more. In 2007 they investigated over 1300 incidents - lots of interesting data - worth a look

Waitrose allergen recall

Waitrose have recalled a batch of Waitrose Richly Fruited Loaf that contains walnuts, which are not declared on the ingredients list. Nuts are an allergen which must be declared on the label. Follow the link for more details.

Salad and Salmonella

There is a lot of ongoing discussion about Salmonella and salad products. Follow the link to read this interesting article on recent research into the problem.

Listeria recall with sweetcorn

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that as a precautionary measure, Supreme Cuts LLC is voluntarily recalling 87 cases of Off the Cob Fresh Kernel Corn in 12 oz bags. The product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This organism can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail and elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. Follow the link for more details