Each week, we’re scouring the headlines for the stories and trends changing the food safety landscape.
In this week’s round-up: Pathogens a major risk after hurricane floods; Survey reveals consumer fears and attitudes about food fraud; and FDA offers resource for small businesses.
When flood waters recede, dangerous pathogens remain – FDA recommends disposal of flooded produce.
Florida is a top producer of US grown fruits and vegetables – second only to California; and the top producer of US grown tomatoes. Unfortunately, recent hurricane floods may have brought dangerous pathogens that can’t be washed away when flood waters recede. The FDA recommends any produce that has come into contact with flood water in Texas or Florida be separated from uncontaminated food and disposed of. Public health officials also offer tips on when to throw away or keep shelf stable foods like canned goods, boxed food, and sealed pouches.
“There is no practical method of reconditioning the edible portion of a crop that will provide a reasonable assurance of human food safety.”
A recent survey of consumers says it’s retailers and producers they blame for food fraud.
A slew of food fraud cases have weakened consumer confidence in retailers and food producers. A survey of more than 2,000 shoppers found that only 12 percent of consumers have confidence in the European food supply. The majority of those surveyed (77 percent) felt they could not identify a counterfeit food product, but 27 percent believed they had experienced fraud. Frank Woods of NFU Mutual, the firm who conducted the survey, says retailers are under pressure to keep costs down – but this must be coupled with good supply strategy.
“Our research exposed the damaging effect that various influencers have had on consumer confidence over time, and the responsibility many people place on retailers to thoroughly assess the produce they sell”
New rules for small businesses from FDA
The FDA has released guidelines for small and very small businesses to aid compliance with the Produce Safety Rule. The Small Entity Compliance Guide (or SECG) is designed to help farmers understand if they qualify for exceptions and to understand those requirements.
Worried about post-flooding pathogens entering the food chain? Want to protect your brand and offer your retail clients added assurance? Instant Labs provides in-house testing solutions for food fraud and food safety. We offer accurate and fast results that help you stay ahead of the curve. Request a demo today!