Food Compliance Made Easy
Hello and welcome to our September 2023 compliance update for the food industry. I want to firstly start with apologising for missing last month’s (August) newsletter. Sometimes life gets in the way of our best intentions so I am excited to catch you up on what I have been up to.
July was busy month with a variety of projects, including speaking at the IFSQN Food Safety Friday event on Food Safety Validation. You can watch a recording of the webinar here if you are interested. I also headed away for my very first face-to-face industry conference in 3 years. I had forgotten how lovely it was to catch up with old and new colleagues and give the wine bottle a good shake. On this occasion it was a pleasure to share my insights on ‘Intentional Adulteration’ at the AIFST conference in Melbourne, Australia.
Another online course development project got crossed of my list with the finalisation of the new BRCGS START! programme training for Auditors. Now that project is finished I can get in and put the finishing touches to a new ‘Food Safety Fundamentals’ online training which will be launched in October. Stay tuned for more updates and exciting news in the coming months!
On the home front, my husband Richard and I took some time off to recharge with an overseas holiday to Singapore and Bintan Island, Indonesia. We were booked to visit there with friends in 2020 to celebrate us turning 50 but the COVID travel restrictions stopped that. It was very relaxing and warm – I really could of stayed for another two weeks!
That is it from me this month but make sure to keep scrolling to get our latest free tools to help with your food safety compliance, our upcoming virtual training dates, food fraud cases and compliance news.
If there are any topics you would like us to cover in our newsletter, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Thank you for your continued support!
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Food Safety Validation for your business
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Codex HACCP Revised Edition Available
The Codex Alimentarius General Principles of Food Hygiene (CXC 1-1969) has been officially released. One of the main changes in the revised 2022 edition was to move information on the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) system from an annex into the main body of the document and to separate the document into two parts – one on good hygiene practices (GHPs) and one on HACCP.
The revised text clearly lays out eight general principles to address food safety and suitability and provides discussion to clarify the relationship between GHPs and HACCP.
Jenny Scott, from the United States of America, and a long-standing delegate at the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene, worked on the revision of the General Principles of Food Hygiene (GPFH) discuss some of the changes to this foundation Codex Code of Practice in this post.
Food Poisoning Cases Summary
Here are a handful of food poisoning cases that caught my eye this month.
Assam: 45 people, including children suffer food poisoning: 45 people, including several children, fell seriously ill after consuming ‘Prasad’ during a religious function held at Baganpara, Dhamdhama Tehsil in Baksa district on September 11. The affected individuals reportedly partook in ‘Prasad’ that included chickpeas and mung beans, distributed as a religious offering during the function. Soon after consumption, they began experiencing severe symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting and diarrhea. [Source]
Rare food-borne botulism poisoning: Seven people who all reportedly ate at the same restaurant in the south of France have been hospitalised for the rare food-borne botulism poisoning, with three in serious condition. The seven were hospitalised in Bordeaux after contracting a rare form of botulinum toxin poisoning, connected to food eaten at a local restaurant, according to reporting by the French regional news outlet, Sud Ouest. [Source]
Food authority seizes over 3000 kg harmful tea leaves: Food Safety and Halal Food Authority seized over 3,000 kilograms of substandard and harmful tea leaves during the raid on a local factory in Bashirabad. According to details, the food safety team in its ongoing campaign against food adulteration mafia handed over the seized substandard and harmful tea leaves to the authorities. The food authorities said that the owner of the factory was arrested and legal proceedings were initiated with the seizure of the factory and machinery. Adulteration involving tea leaves, non-food grade color, used tea, and chemicals. The tea leaves were intended for supply to Punjab. [Source]
Dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria found in China’s ready-to-eat foods: In a recent study published in Zoonoses, researchers evaluate the prevalence, virulence, antimicrobial resistance, and molecular features of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from ready-to-eat (RTE) food products. [Source]
Burgers suspected as source of E. coli outbreak in Norway: Norwegian officials have named the suspected source of an E. coli outbreak that affected 15 people. The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) said the same type of E. coli O26:H11 had been detected in all those infected. Two hamburger products that are the likely source of the ongoing outbreak have been recalled. [Source]
Caffeinated energy drinks recalled
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently recalled some caffeinated energy drinks for a variety of reasons including too much caffeine and improper labelling such as missing cautionary statements.
Caffeinated energy drinks are beverages or mixes that contain added caffeine, usually along with other ingredients, such as, vitamins, minerals, taurine and/or herbal ingredients. These products can also contain guarana and yerba mate, which are natural sources of caffeine. In Canada, caffeinated energy drinks can contain up to a maximum of 180 mg of caffeine per serving.
The CFIA have published compliance information for importers, distributors and manufacturers that you might find interesting – I know I did ?
Food Industry Guide to Allergen Management and Labelling
With the PEAL deadline looming in Australia and New Zealand, FIGAML continues to be one of Industries most utilised resources. In response to enquiries, relating to the information regarding the mandatory declarations of foods in Table S9-3 of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, the information around the declaration of cereals has been expanded to include more information on gluten and due diligence principles to determine if gluten is present or not.
Other minor edits include an amendment to the section on molluscs (sea cucumbers were removed as they are not a mollusc) and minor changes to language within the document. This is a fantastic resource to have in your toolkit regardless of where you are located.
Upcoming Live Training
We have a few live virtual courses running in September/October that may interest you. Enjoy the benefits of small group training with access to a global food safety compliance specialist.
$266 million in loans and grants
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA is awarding $266 million in loans and grants to agriculture producers and rural small businesses to make investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency improvements that will lower their energy costs, generate new income, and strengthen the resilience of their operation.
If your business is located within the USA, it is worth seeing if your business can apply.