Each week, we’re scouring the headlines for the stories and trends changing the food safety landscape.
In this week’s round-up: Colorado seafood producer reprimanded by FDA; US Dept of Health and Human Services finds FDA needs efficiency improvements; and food processor beware – Listeria genetics found to block cleaning and disinfectant with genetics to survive.
Multiple violations put Colorado processor Eagle Smoked Salmon on notice.
The FDA published a report regarding the salmon processor’s multiple violations of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control point (HAACP) regulation. Infractions noted included a lack of hazard analysis, failure to follow monitoring procedure, and submitting a plan which does not include pathogen control or proper allergen labelling.
“Under FDA regulations, all facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States are responsible for ensuring that their overall operation and the products they distribute are in compliance with the law.”
The company has 15 days to respond or legal action may be taken by the FDA.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues 35 page report on FDA, recommends changes
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the HHS reviewed domestic food inspections and noted that the FDA is “on track for now” but must improve efficiency for the Food Safety Modernization Act. The OIG noted delays and inconsistencies and made four clear recommendations to improve including; better use of resources, improved timelines, and appropriate actions against facilities with significant violations.
“As for correcting violations, FDA said its goal is ‘to conduct timely follow-up inspections to ensure that significant violations are corrected.’ The food safety agency [is creating] a ‘multi-programmatic oversight group’ to make sure food makers correct violations.”
Genetic mechanisms give Listeria adaptability in stress situations
Researchers at the Institute of Milk Hygiene in Vienna studied pathogens in stress situations and the adaptations they develop, particularly in food processing environments. Hypervariable (easily changeable) regions have a genetic insert that helps them survive.
“Knowing the genetic mechanism allows you to think about new strategies for food safety,” Katherin Rychli, study director said.
Their research expanded on previous knowledge that bacteria with a similar stress adaptation developed a tolerance to bile, acidity, salt and gastric stresses. The new discoveries present new challenges for those in food safety roles.
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