Each week, we’re scouring the headlines for the stories and trends changing the food safety landscape.
In this week’s round up: Norwegian researchers lead the charge to a common food fraud language; a horse meat fraudster gets his day in court; papayas get deadly in Maryland; and the CDC draws a line in the sand on unsafe antibiotic use.
New Standard to Combat Food Fraud
The first step to combating food fraud is agreeing on concepts and a common lexicon so businesses and regulators can fight together. Norwegian research firm Nofima is leading the charge – and will work with leaders to create a European standard of terms related to this criminal activity. The standards will be published in February 2018 and available to the public.
“…many countries have put a lot of effort into combating [food fraud], which requires us to cooperate well across national borders. Several similar words and terms are in use, and we must ensure that we use the same word for the same thing.”
Nofima thinks it is time for a consensus on food fraud language. Read the announcement here:
Horsemeat Trial Shines Light on International Fraud
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) released a report in 2013 that put the spotlight on the massive scale of an alarming problem – hidden horse and pork meat in food products. This week, one retailer identified in the report was convicted of selling mislabeled horse meat to unsuspecting customers.
‘During the gruesome job of defrosting and examining [the suspect meat], police found the microchips of three registered riding horses.’
This article outlines this horse meat investigation, trial, and resulting conviction with the detail of a true crime novel. Fascinating stuff from the U.K’s Guardian newspaper.
Importer Posts Recall of Papayas Linked to Deadly Outbreak
Following one death and 46 confirmed cases of salmonella across 12 states, an importer of Mexican papaya finally issues a recall of the exposed fruit. Twelve cases resulted in hospitalization.
The Food and Drug Administration and retailers such as Wal-Mart and Aldi have issued recall notices via their websites.
“Maryland officials collected papayas from a grocery store in Baltimore where some sick people said they shopped. Laboratory tests showed the fruit was contaminated with the same strain of Salmonella isolated from the sick people.“
Read on for details on this recent salmonella outbreak, including suggestions if you suspect you’ve been exposed.
Antibiotic Resistance in the Food Industry and Animal Agriculture
Antibiotic resistant bacteria in the food chain are making us sicker than ever. These pesky bacteria are causing more hospitalizations and deaths than non-resistant bacteria. The CDC has issued best practice recommendations for food production and preparation to protect consumers.
“All humans and animals have bacteria in their gut. When they are given antibiotics, many of these bacteria are killed, but the resistant ones may survive and multiply. This is why the responsible use of antibiotics is so important in both humans and animals”
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