The recent Listeriosis outbreak linked to caramel apples at the end of 2014 serves as a reminder that outbreaks of foodborne illness, like death and taxes, are an inevitable part of life. Events like these put pressure on food manufacturers to monitor product safety at all points of the processing chain, from acquisition, handling, processing, packaging, storage, and distribution. A recent paper titled “Better Food Safety Practices” written by Dr. Y. Martin Lo for the Journal of Food Science and Nutrition discusses these challenges.
As our portfolio of InstantID™ Seafood Identification test kits continues to grow, offering more tools to the industry, it seems the selected target species of the first test we developed in the InstantID™ seafood line is undeniably relevant. Highlighting the relevance is Oceana’s just-released report outlining the egregious extent of seafood fraud present in the Blue Crab industry. This report is a companion to the groundbreaking 2013 report titled “Oceana Reveals Seafood Fraud Nationwide”, detailing the amount of seafood fraud concerning numerous seafood selections in the nation’s grocery stores and restaurants.
As the release date for InstantLabs’ new InstantID™ species identification test kits nears, I can’t help but notice how often instances of seafood fraud have been in the press lately. From yellowtail to catfish to shrimp, it seems you can’t open a newspaper and not read about another case of mislabeled seafood.
We get calls all the time from citizens who feel that they may have contracted food poisoning asking if we can test the food they ate. Unfortunately, that’s not what we do here at InstantLabs. We help food producers ensure that their food is safe before it even hits the consumer market. However, the Baltimore City Health Department helped us to put together an action plan for those who feel like they might have food poisoning.