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WakeUp® drink targets the US market

WakeUp Drink Offsets Post-Lunch Dip Syndrome (1)

The “WakeUp Post-lunch Waker”® drink was announced the winner of the SupplySide West CPG Editors’ Choice Awards 2014 in the Energy Drink category.

Unlike other energy drinks, “WakeUp Post-lunch Waker” is a patented, safe and clinically tested beverage formulation with no added caffeine, chemicals or any stimulants that can impact heart rate or blood pressure. WakeUp drink is not a typical energy drink; rather it opens a revolutionary new product category, scientifically proven to overcome fatigue after lunchtime (known as “Post-Lunch Dip Syndrome”) embedded in everyone’s biological clock.

“The out-of-the box thinking displayed by the companies on the short list in each category made selecting just one winner a challenge for our editorial team,” said Heather Granato, vice president, content, in Informa’s Health & Nutrition Network. “We’re excited to celebrate their innovation and market vision as CPG industry leaders.”

“After we won the ‘Best Functional Drink’ award last year in Europe, we consider the CPG Editors’ Choice Award to be our ‘admission ticket’ to the US beverage market,” says Eli Faraggi, CEO of Inno-Bev and founder of “WakeUp post-lunch waker.” “Consumer awareness of an inner biological clock, and growing recognition of Post-Lunch Dip Syndrome as part of it, has increased dramatically, especially in fast-paced economies. WakeUp is uniquely positioned to address this rapidly growing tiredness crisis.

WakeUp is now actively seeking to partner in the U.S. with leading retail, Internet and MLM nutritional beverage brands. “We believe our innovative, scientifically-supported approach will revolutionize the American energy category,” adds Faraggi. “We should remember that children who grew up on caffeine energy drinks are now in their late 30s and still struggle to keep pace with the demands of home and work, all while maintaining an active, healthy life.”

Why are we always tired?

  • Physiology – the 24-hour circadian cycle is a natural biological process in which the body is controlled by a seven-hour cycle: fatigue, elevation, and peak again. About 7-8 hours after waking, our systems slow down and decrease their rhythms. Blood pressure decreases, blood glucose rises and we have a slight drop in body temperature.
  • Nutrition – Post-lunch dip occurs whether we eat or not. However, a heavy meal can increase the symptoms, especially if it is rich in carbohydrates.

WakeUp is backed up by strong research and provides a healthy, flavorful alternative to energy drinks in the market today. It designed to combat tiredness after lunch time. The Inno-Bev Ltd. business model offers different options for licensing the patented science and formulation.” By drinking just 100ml of WakeUp drink, you, your managers, and employees can improve performance and awareness without impact on your blood pressure,” notes Faraggi.

FVO report – Croatia – Meat and milk products compliance to EU legal framework

pouring milk in a glass isolated

The first report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in Croatia from 24 March to 4 April 2014.

The main objective of the audit was to evaluate the official controls related to production and storage of food of animal origin, in particular meat and meat products. This is the first audit in Croatia in the meat sector since the accession of Croatia to the European Union.

The report concludes that the CA has set up a control system covering official controls related to production and storage of food of animal origin within the scope of this audit. The CA has delegated specific tasks to authorised veterinary organisations.

While a system of controls in the meat sector has been put in place, the system for verification of effectiveness of official control is not adequate, since shortcomings can remain unnoticed for a long period of time despite the implementation of the verification system. The FVO audit team
noted significant discrepancies in control results between all levels of controls. Many of the deficiencies identified by the FVO audit team, which were obvious, remained unidentified during recent official controls.

The Central Competent Authority (CCA) has established procedures for the registration and approval of establishments and the review of compliance with the conditions of approval and for the withdrawal of approvals. The procedures for approval and its review showed weaknesses as certain establishments were approved whilst not meeting all the relevant requirements and a review failed to identify non-compliances. The upgrading of temporarily approved establishments is monitored and the deadline of compliance by the end of 2015 seems to be realistic.
Although planned, the CCA has not yet established rules allowing flexibility for certain establishments which are permanently or temporarily approved although some establishments, in particular, those with a low throughput or located in a remote area, could benefit from this.
Certain national rules have been established and implemented but were not yet notified to the Commission Services.

The second describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in Croatia from 24 March to 4 April 2014. The main objective of the audit was to evaluate the official controls related to production and storage of food of animal origin and in particular milk and dairy products.

The report concludes that there is a system in place for official controls in the dairy sector, which, however, is not fully adequate. Significant discrepancies in control results between all levels were noted. Similarly, the system for verification of effectiveness of official controls is not adequate, since shortcomings can remain unnoticed for a long period of time despite the implementation of the verification system.

Although planned, the Central Competent Authority (CCA) did not yet establish rules allowing flexibility for certain establishments (establishments with small capacity, – in remote areas,-supplying the local market and for traditional methods) which are permanently or temporarily approved although some establishments, in particular, those with a low throughput could benefit from it.

National measures are in place for small cheese producers that can either be approved under special conditions (retail sale only) or registered (for local markets) based on requirements that are stricter than European Union (EU) requirements.

The upgrading procedure followed in the milk sector should be adequate to ensure compliant establishments by the end of the transitional period. The quality of raw milk has improved further and is now up to 95 % compliant raw milk altogether.
Milk collection centres are only registered and not approved as required by EU legislation. In one fully approved establishment potential risks for public health were identified and the CCA was requested to take corrective measures and provide guarantees. Similarly, guarantees were
received for all other major non-compliances detected.

 

Food recalls in EU/Week 42

organic-whole-free-range-chicken

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have five recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in chilled salads, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium and Luxembourg;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Indiana in chilled and frozen whole chicken, chicken cuts and chicken liver, following company’s own check. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Australia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom;

Pesticide residues: chlorothalonil and dimethoate in fresh endives, following an official control on the market. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Netherlands;

Allergens: undeclared gluten and egg in baby food, following company’s own check. Origin Poland, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Ireland.

Between the information for attention, followed by a recall from consumers:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Bacillus cereus enterotoxigenic in gnocchi, following an official control on the market. Origin Italy, notified by Germany.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Industrial contaminants: too high content of hydrogen peroxid in chocolate & vanilla desert, following a consumer complaint. Origin Czech Republic, notified by Germany;

Mycotoxins: Ochratoxin A in whole emmer wheat pasta, following company’s own check. Origin Italy, notified by Italy, distributed also to Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp in smoked sausages, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg;

Residues of veterinary medicinal products: diclazuril unauthorised in chilled equine carcasses, following an official control on the market. Origin Portugal, notified from Portugal, distributed also to Italy.

Amongst border rejections we have:

aflatoxins in pistachio nuts, raw pistachios in shell from Iran and from Iran (dispatched from Turkey), in sweet shelled almond kernels from Afghanistan (via Turkey), in almonds from the United States, in crushed chillies from India, in whole nutmegs from Indonesia and groundnuts from Brazil;

sulphite unauthorised in apple drink from Lebanon;

- unsuitable organoleptic characteristics of nutmeg from Indonesia infested with moulds;

Salmonella spp in paan leaves from India;

methomyl in peppers from Turkey;

carbendazim and unauthorised substances hexaconazole and isoprothiolane in fresh celery from Cambodia;

methamidophos and acephate in red chili peppers from Vietnam;

- prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) nitrofurazone (SEM) in frozen catfish  and Pangasius fillets from Vietnam;

- tuna chunks in brine from the Seychelles with defective packaging;

benzo(a)pyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in unrefined soybean oil from Ukraine;

- unauthorised substance molybdenum chelate in food supplement from the United States;

E 363 – succinic acid unauthorised in vodka from Russia.

For feed, we have an alert notification, followed by the withdrawal from the market of the product:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: possible presence of Bacillus anthracis in beef bones for feed, following an official control on the market. Origin Slovakia, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Germany.

and border rejections for Salmonella spp. in fish meal from Mauritania, unauthorised genetically modified cotton seeds from Côte d’Ivoire, aflatoxins in birdfeed from India and too high count of Enterobacteriaceae in dog chews from Thailand.

For food contact materials we have an alert notification, followed by a recall from consumers for:

Migration of lead from springform heart shape, following an official control on the market. Origin China, notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia;

and border rejections for migration of manganese from grill plate and of formaldehyde from kitchenware from China.

Related articles

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 42)

Weekend-Edition-Image

Here’s my article’s selection of the week:

EU

EU project seeks to improve GM food safety testing, by Caroline Scott-Thomas+, on bakeryandsnacks.com: an EU-funded project that aims to improve safety testing for genetically modified (GM) foods has published its first results.

UK

FSA promises probe after sheep’s milk protein found in UK goats’ cheese, by Mark Astley+ , on dairyreporter.com: the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) has promised an investigation after several samples of goats’ cheese sold in Britain were found to contain up to 80% sheep’s cheese.

Venomous spider strikes again, in Waitrose bananas, by Rod Addy+, on foodmanufacture.co.uk: a Waitrose shopper got the shock of his life when he uncovered the world’s deadliest spider in a bunch of bananas just delivered by the upmarket supermarket chain.

USA

Are Recalls an Effective Element of Food Safety?, by James Andrews, on foodsafetynews.com: given that recalls are often not issued until after the damage has been done, the question has regularly been raised in the food industry as to whether or not recalls are an effective tool in food safety. The question was the topic of a debate at this year’s International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) conference in Indianapolis.

FDA to hold public meeting on key FSMA proposed rules, by Heidi Parsons, on foodproductiondaily.com: the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced it will hold a public meeting Nov. 13 to discuss potential changes to four proposed rules associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

- WTO Rules Against Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat in U.S., by James Andrews, on foodsafetynews.com: the World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in an ongoing dispute with the United States over country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat.

Making Sense of Seals of Approval, by Michele Simon, on foodlawfirm.com: “These days health-conscious consumers are increasingly seeking out food products not only with fewer ingredients and a “clean label”, but also foods produced in a manner that minimizes harm to the environment, among other ethical business practices. And it’s not enough to claim your product is healthy or sustainable with just words; to get that much-needed boost in a highly competitive marketplace, many food companies are spending the extra money to obtain third-party certification for various claims. But before jumping on the “seal of approval” bandwagon, it’s important to understand the legal implications of various types of certification. For example, some seals are legally defined and require third-party certification while others are just voluntary.”

EU Food Law Hanbook

EU Food Law Handbook

edited by: B. v.d. Meulen

ISBN: 978-90-8686-246-7
Price:  € 75.00  (excluding VAT)

Today I want to focus your attention on this really amazing “handbook”, that – despite the name – is really  a complete manual about the fundamentals of EU food law (692 pg.). It touches any argument of interest for practitioners and academics and its multidisciplinary approach grants a broad view on the topics.

The book is edited by Prof. Bernd Van der Muelen and see the participation of really good friends and gifted professionals like Martin Holle (Nutrition policy in the European Union), Cecilia Kuhn and Francesco Montanari (Importing food into the EU), Rozita Spirovska Vaskoska and many others.

The twenty-first century has witnessed a fundamental reform of food law in the European Union, to the point where modern EU food law has now come of age. This ‘EU Food Law Handbook’ presents the most significant elements of these legal developments with contributions from a highly qualified team of academics and practitioners. Their analysis is based on a shared vision of the structure and content of EU food law. The book takes the perspective of food law embedded within general EU law. It highlights the consequences of this combination and provides insights into both substantive and procedural food law.
Taking the General Food Law as a focal point, this handbook analyses and explains the institutional, substantive and procedural elements of EU food law. Principles are discussed as well as specific rules addressing food as a product, the processes related to food and communication about food to consumers through labelling. These rules define requirements on subjects like market authorisation for food additives, novel foods and genetically modified foods, food hygiene, tracking & tracing, withdrawal & recall. The powers of public authorities to enforce food law and to deal with incidents are outlined. Attention is given to the international context (WTO, Codex Alimentarius) as well as to private standards.
In addition to the systematic analysis, the book includes selected topics such as nutrition and health policy, special foods, food import requirements, food contact materials, intellectual property and animal feed.
The ‘EU Food Law Handbook’ is produced in co-operation with the European Institute for Food Law. It is relevant for practitioners and academics both with and without a background in law. It is ideal for education purposes.
To buy the book: link.

Food recalls in EU/Week 41

prosciutto-cotto-primo-fiore

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have five recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Biocontaminants: histamine in canned anchovies in olive oil, following an official control on the market. Origin Spain (via Netherlands), notified by Malta;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes in organic cooked ham and mortadella, following company’s own check. Origin Italy, notified by France, distributed also to Austria, Germany and Hong Kong;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes in organic soft white cheese, following an official control on the market. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Germany, Sweden and United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Campylobacter in mixed baby leaves, following company’s own check. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Germany;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Dublin in raw milk cheese, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by Denmark.

Between the information for attention, followed by a recall from consumers:

Pathogenic micro organisms: Salmonella enteritidis in chicken breast fillets, following an official control on the market. Origin Poland, notified by Denmark.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Heavy metals: mercury in frozen swordfish, following an official control on the market. Origin Spain, notified by Spain, distributed also to Italy;

Organoleptic aspects and food additives and flavourings: abnormal smell of and undeclared sulphites in desiccated coconut, following consumer’s complaint. Origin Malaysia (via Romania), notified by Hungary, distributed also to Slovakia;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: too high count of Escherichia Coli in live clams, following an official control on the market. Origin Italy, notified by Italy, distributed also to Spain;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: possible presence of Bacillus anthracis in beef, following an official control on the market. Origin Poland (raw materials from Slovakia), notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria monocytogenes in pate with riesling wine, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Luxembourg;

Pathogenic micro organisms: Salmonella enteritidis in chilled yellow chicken, following company’s own check. Origin France, notified by France, distributed also to Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom.

Amongst border rejections we have:

aflatoxins in groundnuts from China and India (via Egypt) and in whole nutmegs from Indonesia;

cadmium in frozen mussels from Chile;

Norovirus in in frozen cooked whole white clams from Vietnam;

poor temperature control – rupture of the cold chain of frozen jumbo squid from Peru and of frozen fish, crustaceans and molluscs from Mozambique;

- prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) furazolidone (AOZ) in frozen shrimps from India and nitrofurazone (SEM) in frozen catfish from Vietnam;

E 452 – polyphosphates unauthorised in preparation of surimi with Pacific Pollock from the United States;

dithiocarbamates in vine leaves in brine and vine leaves from Turkey;

dithiocarbamates and iprodione in dragon fruits from Vietnam;

- unauthorised substance permethrin in mint from Morocco;

monocrotophos and acephate in frozen okra from India;

omethoate and dimethoate in fresh peas from Kenya;

- unauthorised substance dichlorvos in dried beans from Nigeria;

triazophos in yardlong beans from Cambodia;

- high content of iodine (3200 mg/kg – ppm) in dried seaweed from China;

- chickpeas from Argentina infested with insects.

For feed, we have border rejections for Salmonella spp. in roasted guar meal 40% from India and dried beet pulp from Ukraine infested with moulds.

For food contact materials we have a border rejection for migration of manganese from barbecue plates and grids of enamelled iron and strainers, and migration of nickel from corkscrew from China

Related articles

RASFF recurrent alerts notified by Italy – Mercury in fish

sb10064750i-001

During 2014 the EU Rapid Alert System (RASFF – Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) recorded a relevant number of 62 notifications – sent only from Italy – for large size fish containing heavy metals, mercury in particular.

The countries of origin of the fish are different, but with a clear predominance of Spain, closely followed by Portugal and Vietnam.

This is a useful information for food business operators which purchase fish products from these countries: in order to avoid contaminated lots and the potential sanctions from the controlling authorities, it is strongly suggested to adopt reinforced sampling and testing activities.

Swordfish, tuna and mako shark, are among the main species involved and the values ​​of mercury found by the authorities were very different from one case to another (from 0.7-0.8 mg / kg to 5.4 mg / kg and above): from this risk are exempted canned foods, usually derived from fish of medium size, less exposed to this kind of contamination. It must also be pointed out that the risk arising is not of immediate/acute type, but is more likely a cumulative toxic effect.

Following a request from the European Commission, in 2014 EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) released a Scientific Opinion to assess health benefits and risks associated with the consumption of fish and the potential presence of mercury. The Panel concluded that consumption of about 1‑2 servings of seafood per week and up to 3‑4 servings per week during pregnancy has been associated with better functional outcomes of neurodevelopment in children compared to no consumption of seafood. Such amounts have also been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease mortality in adults and are compatible with current intakes and recommendations in most of the European countries considered. These associations refer to seafood per se and include beneficial and adverse effects of nutrients and non-nutrients (i.e. including contaminants such as methylmercury) contained in seafood.

So, there is no need to panic, but certainly the high number of RASFF notifications is suggesting to be a bit careful in consuming too much of those species and to strengthen the official controls in this sector. Despite the presence of a real risk for human health, however, it is quite strange the total absence of news about this situation in the main newspapers, often very quick to raise excessive awareness in cases where there is not any risk (i.e. blue mozzarella).

The Italian Ministry of Health advised through its website a moderate consumption of predatory species of large size (1 serving per week of about 100 g, 2 servings for tuna), especially with regard to children and pregnant women, and pointed out that a reason for the peak of notifications to the RASFF is a consequence of the reinforced controls on the market.

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 41)

Weekend-Edition-Image

Here’s my article’s selection for the week:

CHINA

They’re Making a List, They’re Checking it … 200 times ? : AQSIQ’s Imported Food Blacklist, by Paul O’Brien: China will strenghten official controls on imported foods by implementing a blacklist of food business operators with an history of violations.

EU

Bluetongue disease halts Romania’s live cattle, sheep exports to EU, by Jaroslaw Adamowski, on globalmeatnews.com: the Romanian government has decided to halt exports of live cattle and sheep to the EU following the outbreak of bluetongue disease in a number of the country’s counties.

EU on charm offensive as Asean gears up for regulatory harmonisation, by RJ Whitehead, on foodanddrinkeurope.com: to a backdrop of the Asean regulatory harmonisation process, a number of European Union officials have descended on Kuala Lumpur to attend a forum designed to apply the older bloc’s knowledge on the subject.

EFSA backs non-digestible carbs for sugar reduction, by Lynda Searby, on backeryandsnacks.com: EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has delivered positive opinions for two non-digestible carbohydrate ingredients based on their ability to improve blood glucose response.

INDIA

Top retailers pasting labels with new dates & selling expired products, by Abhitash Singh on FnBnews.com: some issues in India regarding not authorized extended expiry dates.

TAIWAN

Ma announces new food safety office, by Catherine Wei on The China Post: A food safety office will be established in the near future as part of President Ma Ying-jeou’s most recent bid to combat the tainted food scares that have shaken the nation over the past few months.

USA

FDA Asked to Ban Certain Chemicals Used in Pizza Boxes, Other Packaging, on foodsafetynews.com: the petitions target perchlorate, which is added to sealing gaskets for food containers and to reduce static in dry food packaging, and a family of chemicals known as long-chain perfluorocarboxylates (PFCs) that keep grease out of paper and paperboard, such as pizza boxes and sandwich wrappers.

Written Q&A to EU Commission – Suspension of GM MON810 maize cultivation in France

Corn

Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Marc Tarabella (S&D)

25th August 2014

Subject:  Suspension of MON 810 genetically modified maize

On 1 August, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued an opinion dismissing the use by the French Government of the safeguard clause to ban the cultivation of MON 810 genetically modified maize in France. The EFSA concluded that, in view of the documents provided by France, there was no specific piece of scientific evidence in terms of risk to human or animal health or the environment that would justify the adoption of an emergency measure in respect of the cultivation of MON 810 genetically modified maize.

In Paris, the General Association of Maize Producers (AGPM), affiliated to the National Federation of Farmers’ Unions (FNSEA), has noted that the European Food Safety Authority has for the third time invalided the government’s argument invoking the risk of serious and irreversible damage to the environment.

1. Does the Commission intend to follow the EFSA’s opinion (given that it has not always done so in the past)?

2. What about the precautionary principle?

3. If the French Government continues to invoke the safeguard clause, might it take enforcement measures?

Answer given by Mr Borg on behalf of the Commission – 10th October 2014

1. Under currently applicable legislation, cultivation bans of maize MON 810 enacted by Member States must be justified by evidence demonstrating that the use of this product is likely to constitute a serious risk to health or to the environment (Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003). The Commission requested EFSA to examine the scientific elements provided by France to justify their MON810 cultivation ban, and EFSA concluded on 31 July 2014 that there is no specific scientific evidence that would support that emergency measure.

2. Provisions such as Article 34 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 constitute an implementation of the precautionary principle into the GMO legislation. Against this background, it should be underlined that the application of the precautionary principle presupposes that, following an assessment of available information, the possibility of harmful effects on health or on the environment is identified, even if scientific uncertainty persists. This possibility has not been confirmed by EFSA in its scientific opinion.

3. The legal developments in France concerning the ban of the cultivation of maize MON 810 illustrate the need to provide in the legislation other ways to give Member States more flexibility in deciding on GMO cultivation on their territory. That is precisely the objective of the Cultivation proposal made by the Commission in 2010 and which is currently in second reading before the European Parliament and the Council.

(Source: European Parliament)

Hepatitis A in frozen berries: the “silent outbreak” – My article on Meyerlegal newlsetter

Berries

First of all, I have to thank Prof. Alfred Hagen Meyer to give me the chance to publish this guest article on his law firm’s newsletter. He is definitely one of the most well recognised specialist in food law and his achievements, as well as his publications, are absolutely impressive both in quality and number. I strongly advise you to visit his website and check regularly for his newsletter and other free publications.

Here you can find a direct link to the current issue of the newsletter, with the full article.

Abstract

On 8th September 2014, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published the final results of its study on the epidemic of hepatitis A (HAV) that, last year, hit Italy and, to a lesser extent, several other European countries and that is thought to have been caused by some mix of frozen berries of Eastern-European origin.

The study, which has been realized also with the support of the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) and of Member States’ experts, has meticulously reconstructed the traceability of the berries that were considered as potentially carriers of the infection. However, as it will be shown, these efforts have not shed light on the causes and on the origin of the contamination.

This seems, to say the least, an undesirable conclusion for one of the biggest and most violent foodborne outbreaks that Europe has witnessed over the last few years (1.444 cases, of which nearly 1.300 in Italy). It also leaves us with two unanswered questions:

  • Why was this outbreak almost ignored by media and risk managers/communicators altogether?
  • Why was it impossible to trace back all the lots involved and, ultimately, identify the source of the contamination?

By trying to answer these questions, we will also try to highlight the reasons why this very outbreak should be considered an important stress test for the European food safety system as a whole.

EU Conference on food frauds

INFLUENZA: MIGLIAIA CHIAMATE A NUMERO VERDE,CONTROLLI NAS

On 23-24 October 2014 I will be in Rome, at the Italian Ministry of Health (via Giorgio Ribotta, 5), to follow a fundamental two days event about the food fraud issue, organised with the joint effort of the Ministry and the EU Commission.

The prime objective of this conference is to raise the profile of Economically Motivated Violations (EMV) of food law as a major global challenge and to promote and expand interdisciplinary collaboration and communication by providing a platform to those parties involved in fighting EMV, ranging from leading food control and judicial authorities to industry and consumers stakeholders.

Here you can find more information about the event: link.

The program and the speakers’ level are absolutely impressive:

Thursday, 23rd October 2014:

13:00 – 14:00 Registration and Buffet lunch
14:00 – 14:30 Opening remarks Italian Minister/E Poudelet – Director, Safety of Food Chain, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers
Session 1 – Food Fraud Overview – EU and National Perspectives
14:30 – 14:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Marabelli/Borrello (Italian Ministry of Health)
14:40 – 15:404 Speakers – 15 minutes for each presentation to address the following topics:

  • What is food fraud? – (An overview of the concept of fraud, laws and regulations; extension of the problem, etc. Could also include an overview of major incidents and current threats to brand and consumer protection, financial implications, etc.) – Francesco Lo Voi (Eurojust)
  • The EU perspective (An overview of European Commission’s policy initiatives) – Carmen Garau (Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers)
  • Glenn Taylor (Hampshire County Council, UK )
  • Stefano Vaccari (Ministry of Agriculture, IT)
15:40 – 16:10Debate with speakers – Q&A
16:10 – 16:30Coffee break
Session 2 – Industry and Consumer Perspectives
16:30 – 16:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Eric Poudelet (Director, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers)
16:40 – 17:102 speakers, 15 minutes each to present industry and consumer experience and views:

  • Global Food Safety Initiative’s (GFSI) cutting-edge information and experiences on food fraud – Yves Rey (Corporate Quality Manager Danone)
  • The European Consumer Organisation’s (BEUC) expectations and views
17:10 – 17:30Debate with speakers – Q&A
17:30 – 17:40Closing first day of conference
————————————————

Friday, 24th October 2014:

Session 3 – Needs and Options for a Collaborative Approach / Case Studies
9:30 – 9:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Eric Marin (Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Health and Consumers)
9:40 – 10:253 speakers, 15 minutes each to present, including 2 case studies to take a more in-depth look at the food fraud challenges and explore new ideas to expand the experts’ connections/network:

  • Collaborative approach – Professor Chris Elliott (Queen’s University, Belfast, UK)
  • 1st case – Michael Rosenmark (Danish Flying Squad)
  • 2nd case – C.P.M. de Bouter (Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority)
10:25 – 10:55Debate with speakers – Q&A
10:55 – 11:10Coffee break
11:10 – 11:20Chair/Moderator Introduction- Silvio Borrello (Italian Ministry of Health)
11:20 – 12:053 speakers (15 minute each) – Continuation of previous session

  • 3rd case – Gen. Cosimo Piccinno (NAS)
  • 4th case – Andreas Rossa (German Prosecution)
  • 5th case – Cathérine Collinet (French Brigades)
12:05 – 12:35Debate with speakers – Q&A
12:35 – 14:30Buffet lunch for participants
Session 4 – Improving Methodologies
14:30 – 14:40Chair/Moderator Introduction – Joao Onofre (European Commission, DG Agriculture)
14:40 – 15:253 speakers, 15 minutes each, on the following topics:

  • Cooperation between laboratories and validation of techniques. – Elke Anklam (Joint Research Centre)
  • Vulnerability assessment and approaches to Food Fraud prevention – John Spink (Michigan State University, USA)
  • The EU FOODINTEGRITY Project – Paul Brereton (Food and Environment Research Agency, UK)
15:25 – 15:55Debate with speakers – Q&A
15:55 – 16:05Conference Close
16:05 – 16:20Conclusions – Italian Presidency
16:20 – 16:40Closing remarks
——————————————-
I hope to meet some of you there!

US – Food service company recalls 150 products for potential Listeria contamination

Listeria

Next time a firm does not want to activate a recall  for Listeria contamination, I will try to bring this case as an example of the different behavior US firms have towards food recalls and respect for consumers. Anyway, it won’t be a joke managing such a recall!

A food service company in North Carolina issues a recall for products of several brands currently on the market.

SunBurst Foods of Goldsboro is voluntarily recalling all of its SunBurst, Fresh Bites and Private labeled products because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The products being recalled were sold in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia.

This recall was initiated as a result of sampling and testing performed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.

Listeria cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. To date, SunBurst is unaware of any illnesses related to these products.

Products not manufactured but distributed by SunBurst such as cakes, burritos, and chips are not part of this recall.

All codes, all sell-by dates and sizes of SunBurst and Fresh Bites brands are being recalled.

Private label products are identified by the following brand names: River Edge Farms, CFW, Southern Zest, CJ’s Vending, Binford Street Deli, Middle Georgia Vendors, Roanoke Foods, Select Foods, and Jesse Jones (Double Chili Dogs).

Consumers who have purchased the affected products are urged to destroy them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company between 8AM and 5PM EST at 1-919-778-2151.

MFG Code Description UPC Wt. (oz.)
1038 Bologna & Cheese 7-01248-00302-9 3.00
1563 Chicken Salad on Wheat 7-01248-00809-3 4.00
105 Chicken Salad on White 7-01248-00104-9 4.00
638 Combo Sandwich (Ham, Bologna & Cheese) 7-01248-00532-0 4.00
117 Egg Salad 7-01248-00116-2 3.30
1035 Ham & Cheese on Wheat 7-01248-00827-7 3.00
1034 Ham & Cheese on White 7-01248-00301-2 3.00
115 Pimento Cheese 7-01248-00114-8 3.50
101 Shaved Ham & Cheese 7-01248-00100-1 4.00
258 Thick Bologna & Cheese 7-01248-00913-7 4.50
637 Turkey & Swiss On Wheat 7-01248-00531-3 4.00
111 Turkey on Wheat 7-01248-00110-0 3.40
1712 Chicken, Egg and Cheese Biscuit 7-01248-01003-4 6.10
121 Country Link Sausage (on bun) 7-01248-00120-9 3.50
652 Fried Bologna & Egg on Bun 7-01248-00804-8 5.40
607 Jumbo Breakfast (Sausage, Ham, Egg & Ch. on bun) 7-01248-00507-8 5.25
131 Sausage & Egg (on bun)                 7-01248-00130-8 3.75
623 Sausage, Egg & Cheese Croissant 7-01248-00523-8 5.00
125 Twin Ham Biscuits 7-01248-00124-7 2.50
125 Twin Ham Biscuits 7-01248-00124-7 3.00
127 Twin Sausage Biscuits 7-01248-00126-1 3.50
1049 Cheese Cubes with Crackers (Vac Pack) 7-01248-00160-5 3.50
618 Deli Ham and Cheese 7-01248-00518-4 6.00
166 Ham & Turkey Hoagie 7-01248-00148-3 5.30
237 Philly-Style Cheese Steak 7-01248-00194-0 5.75
1648 Two 1/2 Foot Ham & Turkey Sub 7-01248-00939-7 11.30
1659 Two 1/2 Foot Turkey & Cheese Hoagies 7-01248-00950-2 11.50
1761 Bacon Cheese Burger 7-01248-01049-2 3.50
294 Barbecue Beef 7-01248-00176-6 4.30
162 Barbecue Chicken (on bun) 7-01248-00144-5 4.60
1037 Cheeseburger 7-01248-00306-7 3.50
168 Chicken Fillet w/ Swiss Ch. (on bun) 7-01248-00150-6 5.50
158 Double Cheeseburger 7-01248-00140-7 5.20
650 Double Chili Dogs 7-01248-00802-4 6.40
275 Fried Bologna Sandwich (on bun) 7-01248-00329-6 3.80
1758 Fried Chicken Leg Quarter w/ Bone on Bread 7-01248-01046-1 7.00
284 Fried Chicken w/ Bone Sandwich 7-01248-00333-3 9.50
1760 Fried Red Hot Link w/ Cheese on Bun 7-01248-01048-5 3.50
1048 Gourmet Sub (Ham, Bologna & Cheese) 7-01248-00307-4 4.00
1590 Grilled Cheese 7-01248-00883-3 1.65
270 Grilled Ham & Cheese Sandwich 7-01248-00156-8 3.00
1591 Hamburger 7-01248-00884-0 3.00
1762 Ham and Cheese on Bun 7-01248-01050-8 3.70
1769 Hot Smoked Sausage on Bun 7-01248-01057-7 4.00
653 Pork Ribette (on Bun) 7-01248-00805-5 6.00
1042 Sausage Dog 7-01248-00337-1 4.25
286 Single All Beef Hot Dog 7-01248-00172-8 2.50
285 Single Hot Dog w/ Chili 7-01248-00800-0 3.10
283 Single Plain Hot Dog 7-01248-00837-6 2.10
1597 Skippy Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly w/ White Bread 7-01248-01114-7 1.50
123 Smoking Joe (Smoked Sausage on bread) 7-01248-00122-3 5.25
1649 Spicy Chicken Sandwich 7-01248-00940-3 5.10
1655 Deluxe Caesar Salad 7-01248-00946-5 3.25
1653 Deluxe Chef Salad 7-01248-00944-1 5.10
1654 Deluxe Garden Salad 7-01248-00945-8 5.80
1596 Deluxe Italian Salad 7-01248-00927-4 5.50
1792 BBQ Chicken on 100% Wheat Roll w/ Baby Carrots                          7-01248-01077-5 7.80
1619 Chicken Finger Sub w/ Potato Wedges 7-01248-00903-8 8.75
1632 Chicken Salad Croissant 7-01248-00918-2 5.75
1664 Ham & Cheese Omelet on Toast w/ Hash Brown 7-01248-00955-7 7.25
1630 Ham & Swiss on Sourdough    7-01248-00916-8 6.10
1666 Ham & Swiss on Sourdough w/ Baby Carrots                    7-01248-00957-1 10.30
1620 Jumbo Chili Cheese Burger w/Potato Wedges 7-01248-00904-5 9.75
1636 Potato Wedges 7-01248-00924-3 5.50
1670 Sausage & Egg on Croissant w/ Hash Brown Patty 7-01248-00961-8 7.00
1740 Caesar Salad                      7-01248-01028-7 3.25
1719 Chicken Finger Sub w/ Honey Mustard Sauce 7-01248-01015-7 5.35
1716 Deluxe Chicken Salad on Toast 7-01248-01019-5 5.00
1739 Garden Salad 7-01248-01027-0 5.80
1715 Ham & Cheese Club 7-01248-01018-8 6.50
1728 Ham & Turkey on Multi Grain 7-01248-01016-4 10.00
1714 Turkey & Swiss on 12 Grain 7-01248-01017-1 6.75
1821 Bologna and  Cheese on White 7-01248-01106-2 4.80
1818 Chicken Salad on Wheat 7-01248-01102-4 4.30
1817 Chicken Salad on White 7-01248-01101-7 4.30
1819 Egg Salad on White 7-01248-01103-1 3.30
1811 Ham and Cheese on Wheat 7-01248-01095-9 3.80
1812 Ham and Cheese on White 7-01248-01096-6 3.80
1815 Pimento Cheese on White 7-01248-01099-7 4.30
1807 Turkey and Cheese on Wheat 7-01248-01091-1 3.80
1806 Turkey and Cheese on White 7-01248-01090-4 3.80
1803 All American Hoagie w/ Turkey, Ham, Bologna & Cheese 7-01248-01087-4 7.75
1587 BBQ Pork on Bun 7-01248-00880-2 5.35
1823 Bologna and Cheese Sub 7-01248-01108-6 6.75
1775 Buffalo Chicken Salad on 100% Whole Wheat Roll 7-01248-01061-4 5.50
1810 Deli Ham and Cheese on Marble Rye 7-01248-01094-2 5.55
1777 Deluxe Chicken Salad on 100% Whole Wheat Roll 7-01248-01063-8 4.30
1814 Grilled Chicken on Croissant 7-01248-01098-0 6.00
1822 Grilled Chicken on Pretzel Roll 7-01248-01107-9 7.50
1774 Ham and Cheddar on 100% Whole Wheat Roll 7-01248-01060-7 5.30
1813 Ham and Cheese Croissant                         7-01248-01097-3 5.50
1798 Ham and Cheese Pretzel Roll 7-01248-01082-9 7.00
1824 Ham and Cheese Sub 7-01248-01109-3 6.75
1827 Oven Roasted Turkey and Cheese on Wheat Sub 7-01248-01112-3 6.50
1797 Oven Roasted Turkey Breast on Pretzel Roll 7-01248-01081-2 6.75
1773 Sunrise Sandwich (French Toast, Sausage & Egg)     7-01248-01059-1 3.60
1804 Turkey and Provolone on Marble Rye 7-01248-01088-1 4.55
1820 Turkey and Provolone on Whole Wheat Sub 7-01248-01104-8 8.00
1776 Turkey and Swiss on 100% Whole Wheat                       7-01248-01062-1 5.25
1808 Turkey and Swiss on Croissant 7-01248-01092-8 5.50
1809 Turkey and Swiss Sub 7-01248-01093-5 6.75
1780 Blazing Sausage Dog 7-01248-01065-2 5.50
1825 Fried Chicken Strips Hero 7-01248-01110-9 5.80
1793 Ham and Cheese Omelet on Toast     7-01248-01078-2 5.25
1795 Jumbo Bacon Cheeseburger 7-01248-01080-5 5.20
1794 Junior Bacon Cheeseburger 7-01248-01079-9 3.40
1787 Turkey Breast & Bacon on Wheat (Wedge) 7-01248-01072-0 4.80
1729 Apple Cobbler 7-01248-01041-6 3.75
1749 Blueberry Crunch Cake 7-01248-01037-9 4.50
1750 Cherry Crunch Cake 7-01248-01038-6 4.50
1738 Jello with Fruit 7-01248-01026-3 7.50
659 Peach Cobbler 7-01248-00848-2 5.10
648 Strawberry Shortcake   7-01248-00549-8 5.25
1752 Strawberry Yogurt & Granola 7-01248-01040-9 8.50
1784 Broccoli & Cauliflower with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing 7-01248-01069-0 2.50
1785 Carrots with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing 7-01248-01070-6 2.50
1786 Celery with Peanut Butter 7-01248-01071-3 2.50
1783 Grapes 7-01248-01068-3 4.50
1789 Honeydew Melon 7-01248-01074-4 3.75
1788 Pineapple 7-01248-01073-7 3.75
1782 Strawberries 7-01248-01067-6 2.50
1790 Watermelon                     7-01248-01075-1 3.75
1518 Cheesy Eggs w/ Link Sausage & Dinner Roll 7-01248-00619-8 7.50
1506 French Toast w/ Sausage 7-01248-00607-5 4.00
1582 Ham Omelet w Dinner Roll 7-01248-00855-0 5.80
1528 Pancake w/ Sausage 7-01248-00628-0 4.50
1508 Sausage & Egg w/ Rice 7-01248-00609-9 7.50
1551 Western Omelet           7-01248-00650-1 8.25
1522 Caesar Salad 7-01248-00623-5 3.25
1502 Chef Salad 7-01248-00603-7 5.10
280 Garden Salad 7-01248-00323-4 5.80
1651 Chicken Tenders 7-01248-00942-7 8.00
1537 Chili Mac                                                                 7-01248-00639-6 7.50
1572 Lasagna 7-01248-00818-5 10.00
1717 Macaroni & Cheese w/ Smoked Sausage 7-01248-01020-5 7.50
1560 Robust Spaghetti w/ Meat Sauce 7-01248-00806-2 8.00
1562 Zesty Chicken Parmigiana w/ Spaghetti 7-01248-00808-6 9.50

Food recalls in EU/Week 40 – 2014

116_soia

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have five recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

- Allergens: undeclared soia in pasta e wholemeal pasta moose-shaped, following company’s own check. Origin Sweden (via Germany), notified by Spain, distributed also to Australia, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, United Kingdom and United States;

Allergens: traces of egg in chocolate fudge cake kit, following a consumer complaint. Origin United Kingdom, notified by Ireland;

- Biotoxins: Diarrhoeic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) toxins – okadaic acid in canned mussels, following company’s own check. Origin Spain, notified by France;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in soft white brie cheese made from goat milk, following company’s own check. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Sweden;

Pesticide residues: fenamiphos in red grapefruits, following company’s own check. Origin Zimbabwe (via South Africa and the Netherlands), notified by Denmark, distributed also to Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Norway.

Between the information for attention, followed by a recall from consumers:

- Food additives and flavourings: undeclared sulphites in soup stocks, following an official control on the market. Origin China, notified by United Kingdom.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Composition: unauthorised substance 1,3-dimethylbutylamine (nor-DMAA) in food supplement, following company’s own check. Origin Canada (via the Netherlands), notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Austria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland;

Foreign bodies: glass fragments in potato starch, following a consumer complaint. Origin Poland, notified by Poland, distributed also to Germany;

- Heavy metals: mercury in frozen blue shark slice, following an official control on the market. Origin Spain, notified by Italy;

Heavy metals: mercury in food supplement, following an official control on the market. Origin Hong Kong (China, via the Netherlands), notified by Sweden.

Packaging defective/incorrect: bulging packaging of canned olives, following company’s own check. Origin Spain, notified by Italy:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Listeria Monocytogenes in camembert cheese, following company’s own check. Origin Denmark, notified by Denmark, distributed also to Germany and Sweden;

- Pesticide residues: carbendazim, omethoate, dimethoate and thiophanate-methyl in grapes, following company’s own check. Origin Tunisia, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Poland and Russia.

Amongst border rejections we have:

aflatoxins in peanuts from China and in apricot kernels from Uzbekistan, via Afghanistan;

- too high content of sulphite in dried apricots from Turkey and in sliced coconut from Lebanon;

- unauthorised substance dichlorvos in dried beans from Nigeria;

- cinnamon from Indonesia and salted horse casings from Argentina infested with moulds and insects;

- residue level above MRL for oxytetracycline in frozen seafood mix and frozen squid and shrimps skewer from Vietnam;

-  triazophos, acetamiprid, and imidacloprid in tea from Hong Kong;

benzo(a)pyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in non-refined soybean oil from Ukraine;

- prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) nitrofurazone (SEM) in frozen catfish from Vietnam.

For feed, we have border rejections for aflatoxins in birdfeed groundnuts from Brazil and Salmonella spp. in fishmeal from the United States. 

For food contact materials we have a border rejection for migration of primary aromatic amines from nylon serving tongs from China.

Related articles

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 40)

Weekend-Edition-Image

Here’s my article’s selection for the week:

ASIA

Sri Lanka suspends sale of Fonterra milk powder batches over illnesses, by Mark Astley+ , on foodnavigator-asia.com: Sri Lanka has suspended the sale of three batches of Fonterra-made Anchor milk powder after complaints of illness in children. The company is heavily criticizing the testing methods adopted by Authorities.

CHOCOLATE

Chocolate for the summertime: Hershey develops heat resistant chocolate, by Oliver Nieburg+, on confectionerynews.com: Hershey has developed its own method to produce chocolate that can withstand hot climates following similar moves from Mondelēz, Mars and Nestlé.

EU – UK

UK’s traffic light label is ‘negative’, says Commission, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , 06-Oct-2014, on foodnavigator.com: the UK’s traffic light label has incited more objections than the Nordic keyhole system because the former is more negative in its nutrition guidance, says the European Commission.

Horsemeat rears its head again, as firm is fined £5,000, by Laurence Gibbons+, on foodmanufacture.co.uk: Horsemeat has reared its head again after food import firm Expo Foods Ltd was fined £5,000, yesterday (October 2), after its pork sausagemeat was found to contain nearly 50% horsemeat.

Does ‘history of safe consumption’ mean foods are safe?, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on foodnavigator.com: proposals to create a separate process for novel food approval from countries outside of the EU will not see the market flooded with unsafe foods, a European Commission official told a concerned audience at a European Parliament workshop.

Hot political potatoes: DG SANCO head talks suspended caffeine and bowel botanical claims, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on nutraingredients.com: the pending health claims for caffeine and bowel-function botanical hydroxyanthracene are the “hot potatoes” being dealt with by EFSA and the European Commission, according to the head of the Commission’s unit for nutrition, food composition and information (DG SANCO).

JAPAN

McDonald’s Japan forecasts big 2014 loss after food safety scare, on fortune.com: facing tough competition from domestic convenience stores, McDonald’s Japan had been suffering from weak demand even before the food safety scare, in which a major Chinese supplier of chicken meat was found to be in breach of safety standards. Now the company is also under pressure in Russia, where McDonald’s it is under the aim of retorsive measures for the economic sanctions imposed by Western countries.

RUSSIA – ASF CRISIS

MEPS demand more action to stop spread of ASF, by Méabh McMahon, in Brussels, on globalmeatnews.com: the European Commission’s response to Europe’s African swine fever (ASF) crisis was criticised at the European Parliament yesterday (Tuesday 7 October) for being too weak.

USA

Is a new organization to define “natural” a good idea?, by Michele Simon, on foodlawfirm.com: a point of view about the discussed and abused term “natural” in US:

 

Written Q&A to EU Commission – Admissible ethyl ester levels in extra virgin olive oil

oliveoil

Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
David Borrelli (EFDD) – 5th September 2014

Subject:  Admissible ethyl ester levels in extra virgin olive oil

Under Regulation (EC) No 2568/91 of 11 July 1991, most recently amended by implementing Regulation (EU) No 299/2013 of 26 March 2013, the maximum admissible ethyl ester content of extra virgin olive oil is 75 mg/kg.

However, Italian legislation stipulates a maximum ethyl ester content of 10-15 mg/kg, i.e. seven times lower than EU limit.

Clearly the higher EU upper limit is detrimental to the quality of extra virgin olive oil, making it possible to market even a substandard product as prime quality oil, mixing it with recycled oil, while still meeting the generous upper limit for ethyl ester content.

1. Does the Commission agree that the upper limit for fatty acid methyl and ethyl esters for the marketing of extra virgin olive oil is excessively high?

2. What measures will it take to have the regulation amended so as to reduce these limits?

Answer given by Mr Cioloş on behalf of the Commission – 26th September 2014

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2568/91 defines the chemical and organoleptic characteristics of olive and olive-pomace oil and lays down methods of assessing those characteristics.

The above Regulation was last amended by Regulation (EU) No 1348/2013 which mainly introduced new limit values for the characteristics of oils on the basis of the opinion of chemical experts and in line with the work carried out within the International Olive Council (IOC).

Thereby, former limits of fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) and fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) (75 mg/kg) have been replaced by limits for fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE) only, based on the crop year and which are the following:

FAEEs – 40 mg/kg (2013-2014 crop year)
FAEEs – 35 mg/kg (2014-2015 crop year)
FAEEs – 30 mg/kg (after 2015 crop year)

These limits are binding in their entirety and directly applicable in all Member States as from 1 March 2014.

(Source: European Parliament)

FVO report – India – Contaminants and residues

Shelled-Fresh-Shrimps

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in India, carried out from 3 to 14 March 2014, as part of the published programme of FVO audits.

The objective of the audit was to evaluate the performance of competent authorities and other officially authorised entities in their implementation of official controls concerning residues and contaminants in live animals and animal products, in order to assess whether these controls offer adequate assurance that the products and animals concerned, eligible for export to the European Union (EU) do not contain residues of veterinary medicinal products, pesticides and contaminants at concentrations in excess of EU maximum limits. Since the authorisation, distribution and use of veterinary medicinal products and feed additives have an impact on the monitoring of residues, the national rules governing the control systems in these areas were also part of the audit. In addition, attention was paid to examining the implementation of corrective actions promised in response to recommendations made in the report of the previous FVO residues audit in India (DG(SANCO)/2011/8861 MR-Final) in May 2011.

Overall, it is concluded that guarantees provided by the residue control system for aquaculture products in India are, with some exceptions, broadly equivalent to those foreseen by EU legislation. The residue monitoring plan is implemented in accordance with planned arrangements and in line with EU rules and meets minimum requirements laid down in EU legislation (for testing of aquaculture shrimp but not finfish). However a relatively narrow range of substances is tested for and no account is taken of the range of substances actually used in fish and shrimp production in the country. As such, guarantees on the residues status of aquaculture products rely to a large extent on the additional pre-harvest and pre-export testing programmes in place and these mitigate to a certain extent the long-standing deficiencies in official controls on farms, and in particular, an almost total absence of official controls on the use of veterinary medicinal products. Nevertheless, the relatively narrow range of substances tested for in those additional programmes also weakens the reliability of those guarantees. With regard to the follow-up of non-compliant results, some improvements have been noted relative to 2011 (for example progress made on the registration of farms), nevertheless, it remains the case that follow-up at primary producer level to identify the root cause of the non compliance is ‘delegated’ almost fully to export establishments which is not in line with EU requirements.

Concerning laboratories, improvements in performance have been noted relative to 2011, though certain deficiencies in quality control and ensuring the analytical integrity of samples have the potential to undermine the effectiveness of the residue monitoring plan.

With regard to veterinary medicinal products, the system for authorisation of, and controls on veterinary medicinal products is deficient in many respects compared to the EU system. Improvements have been made relative to 2011 (introduction of labelling legislation) however, the many non-compliances identified by the audit team in this respect and overall poor awareness and enforcement of the legislation collectively weaken the effectiveness of the residue control system.

Rome – 27th October 2014 – Practical Seminar on FIC Regulation (Reg. EU 1169/2011)

On 27th October I will be in Rome for the following practical seminar on Food Information to Consumer Regulation, organized in cooperation with Certiquality.

The course will be at CENTRO CONGRESSI CAVOUR – VIA CAVOUR 50/A – 00184 Roma, a five minutes walk from Termini Railway Station and Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.
 Roma Chiesa SantaMariaMaggiore facciata
The program will be the following:
9.15 The Regulation EU 1169/2011:

- main principles and changes to the food labelling regimes;

- possibility for Member States to adopt national measures;

10.45      coffee-break

11.00   Mandatory information and presentation

- allergens and cross-contamination issues

- legibility and presentation

- other mandatory information

- origin: the state of art

12.30   brunch

13.30  Nutrition declaration and voluntary indications (Claims):

- nutrition declaration: UK traffic light case study

- nutrition and health claims: a brief explanation of the two different regimes

15.15   coffee-break

15.30   Art. 7-8 Reg. EU 1169/2011, responsibilities, fair information practices and controls:

-  Responsibilities (art. 8 Reg. 1169/2011)

- Fair information practices (art. 7 Reg. 1169/2011)

- sanctions and official controls structure

16.30   Practical exercise (label compilation)

17.30   Final test

18.00  End of the course

CERTIQUALITY is a Certification Body, accredited to provide enterprises with certification services covering Quality, Environmental and Safety Management Systems, as well as Product Certification. CERTIQUALITY also operates on Food Safety, on auditing Data Security in the EDP systems, and on Professional Training.
Certiquality partakes IQnet(International Certification Network) and issued certifications across Europe, as well as in many other non-European countries.

I hope to see you there!

Food recalls in EU/Week 39

Green-Carrot-Stuffed-B

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have one recall from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

- Allergens: undeclared fish in canned stuffed green olives, following a consumer complaint. Origin Spain, notified by United Kingdom, distributed also to Bermuda, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Isle of Man, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Foreign bodies: glass fragments in frozen ratatouille, following a consumer complaint. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Norovirus in raspberries, following food poisoning. Origin Serbia, notified from Denmark, distributed also to Germany;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella typhimurium in frozen burgers, following company’s own check. Origin Ireland, notified by Ireland, distributed also to Denmark, France, Sweden and United Kingdom;

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella spp in chicken burgers, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified by Belgium, distributed also to Netherlands;

Residues of veterinary medicinal products: prohibited substance nitrofuran (metabolite) nitrofurazone (SEM) in frozen pangasius, following an official control on the market. Origin Vietnam, notified by Germany, distributed also to Austria and Sweden.

Amongst border rejections we have:

live insects (worms) in dried apricots from Uzbekistan and in raisins from Turkey;

- too high content of sulphite in dried apricots from Turkey;

shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli in chilled beef from Argentina;

pirimiphos-methyl in chickpeas from Argentina;

absence of health certificate(s) for white rice vinegar , rice and rice products from China;

aflatoxins in blanched groundnuts from Brazil;

Salmonella Weltevreden in frozen banana leaves from Thailand.

For feed, we have a border rejection for Salmonella spp in roasted guar meal 40% from India.

For food contact materials we have an alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market of:

- Nylon turners for migration of primary aromatic amines, following an official control on the market. Origin China (via United Kingdom and Slovakia), notified by Poland;

and a border rejection for migration of manganese and of bisphenol A and too high level of overall migration from carbon steel with non-stick coating baking trays from China.

Related articles

Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 39)

Weekend-Edition-Image

Here’s my selection of article for the week:

WHO Study Measures Global Burden of Listeriaby James Andrews on foodsafetynews.com: in 2010, Listeria monocytogenes was estimated to infect 23,150 people worldwide. It killed 5,463 of them, or 23.6 percent, according to a new study by European researchers in the World Health Organization (WHO) published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

EU

Incoming EU food safety commissioner wants deal over meat labelling, by Carmen Paun, in Brussels, on globalmeatnews.com: the European Commission should review the issue of country-of-origin labelling (COOL) for meat in processed food and assess who would pay for such a measure, the health and food safety commissioner-designate Vytenis Andriukaitis said today.

Current rules on GM crops ‘create conflict’, says European Commissioner-designate, by Caroline Scott-Thomas+; the European Commissioner-elect for health and food safety has said he intends to review rules on GM crop cultivation and broker compromise on animal cloning, among other top-priority topics.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong to toughen cooking oil Regulation, by Li Jing: the proposed changes to the laws would include provisions that substandard or recycled cooking oil must not be used as an ingredient for oil manufactured in Hong Kong. Importers of edible oils will also need to get certificates issued by the place of origin to prove their  products are up to standard. At the same time, food manufacturers and restaurants will be required to pass on their used cooking oil to a designated recycler.

ITALY

Papaya liar? Italy issues €250,000 fine over ‘distorted’ health claimsby Shane Starling+, on foodanddrinkeurope.com: an Italian botanical supplements manufacturer has been given 30 days to pay a €250,000 fine after local authorities busted it for grossly exaggerated and unsubstantiated web-based health claims around immunity, diabetes, HIV, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

UK

Commission opens infraction proceedings against UK’s ‘traffic light’ label, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , on dairyreporter.com: the European Commission has formally opened infraction proceedings against the UK for its ‘traffic light’ food labelling system, giving the state two months to defend itself against business complaints.

 

Australia – FSANZ recalls – Undeclared allergens and Salmonella in cheese

peanuts_tree-nuts-actually-decrease-child-allergy-risk-in-pregnancy-2

IKEA Pty Ltd has recalled PASTAÄLGAR and PASTAÄLGAR FULLKORN (Elk-shaped pasta products, in white and wholemeal) from IKEA stores in NSW, QLD, SA, VIC and WA due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (soy). Consumers who have a soy allergy or intolerance should not consume these products and may have a reaction if they are consumed. They can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Date notified to FSANZ: 1/10/2014

Food type: Pasta. Elk-shaped pasta products, in white and wholemeal

Product name:

  • PASTAÄLGAR
  • PASTAÄLGAR FULLKORN (wholemeal)

Package description and size: Plastic packaging, 500g

Date marking: all best before dates

Country of origin: Germany

Reason for recall: the presence of an undeclared allergen (soy)

Distribution: IKEA stores in NSW, QLD, SA, VIC and WA

Consumer advice: consumers who have a soy allergy or intolerance should not consume these products and may have a reaction if they are consumed. They can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Contact

IKEA Pty Ltd

NSW: (02) 8020 6641, VIC: (03) 8523 2154, QLD: (07) 3380 6800, WA: (08) 9201 4532, SA: (08) 8154 4532.

www.ikea.com.au

—————————————————————-

Fresh Fodder Pty Ltd has recalled their Blue Cheese & Pistachio dip from independent outlets such as IGA supermarkets, fruit shops and delicatessens in the ACT, NSW and VIC. The recall is due to Salmonella contamination. Food products contaminated with Salmonella may cause illness if consumed. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Date notified to FSANZ: 30/09/2014

Food type: Chilled dip, dairy based.

Product name: Blue Cheese & Pistachio dip

Package description and size: Round container, 200g

Date marking: Best Before 11.11.14

Country of origin: Australia

Reason for recall: Salmonella contamination

Distribution: Independent outlets such as IGA supermarkets, fruit shops and delicatessens in  the ACT, NSW and VIC

Consumer advice: food products contaminated with Salmonella may cause illness if consumed. Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Contact

Fresh Fodder Pty Ltd

0263625815

www.freshfodder.com.au

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Woolworths Ltd has recalled a variety of Macro Natural and Macro Organic nut spreads (Almond Spread, Cashew Spread and Peanut Butter) from Woolworths and Thomas Dux stores nationally due to the presence of undeclared allergens. Peanut allergens are present in the Almond Spread and Cashew Spread; tree nut allergens are present in the Peanut Butter products. Consumers who have a peanut or tree nut allergy or intolerance should not consume these products and may have a reaction if these products are consumed. The products can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Date notified to FSANZ: 30/09/2014

Food type: Nut spreads

Product name:

• Macro Natural Almond Spread 250g

• Macro Natural Cashew Spread 250g

• Macro Organic Peanut Butter Crunchy 375g

• Macro Organic Peanut Butter Smooth 375g

• Macro Organic Peanut Butter Crunchy 800g

• Macro Organic Peanut Butter Smooth 800g

Package description and size;

• A clear glass jar with a metal cap (250g and 375g products)

• Plastic tub with lid (800g products)

Date marking: All best before dates currently in the marketplace

Country of origin: Australia

Reason for recall: The presence of undeclared allergens. Peanut allergens are present in the Almond Spread and Cashew Spread; tree nut allergens are present in the Peanut Butter products.

Distribution: Woolworths Supermarkets and Thomas Dux stores nationally

Consumer advice: consumers who have a peanut or tree nut allergy or intolerance should not consume these products and may have a reaction if these products are consumed. The products can be returned to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Contact

Woolworths Ltd

1800 103 515

(Source: FSANZ Website)

USA FSIS Recall warning – Foreign bodies in ground beef chubs

Sam Kane Beef Processors, LLC, a Corpus Christi, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 2,633 pounds of ground beef chub product that may be contaminated with foreign materials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The following product is subject to USDA recall:

  • 10 lb. chubs of “HEB Ground Beef 73% Fine 6/10”

The ground beef chubs were produced and packaged on Sept. 11, 2014. The product bears the establishment number “EST 337” on the package box. The product was sent to retail establishments in Texas for further processing.

The problem was discovered by the retail company. A store clerk noticed pieces of small blue plastic inside the packages and alerted the company to the problem. The company stated the likely source of the plastic is a rubber glove. FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumers and media with questions about the recall should contact Alfred Bausch, General Manager, at (361) 241-5000.

Canada – Gelato recalled due to undeclared almonds and wheat

almonds_1401747410

Food Recall Warning (Allergen) – Gelato fino brand Tartufo products recalled due to undeclared almonds and wheat

Recall date: September 26, 2014 
Reason for recall: Allergen – Tree Nut, Allergen – Wheat
Hazard classification: Class 3
Company / Firm: Rich Products of Canada Ltd.
Distribution: Ontario
Extent of the distribution: Retail
Reference number: 9287

Recalled products

Brand Name Common Name Size Code(s) on Product UPC
Gelato fino Tartufo – Chocolate/Cream 3 x 125 ml 13248 6989217730
Gelato fino Tartufo – Amaretto/Cappuccino 3 x 125 ml 13248 6989217732
Recalled products should be thrown out or returned to the store where they were purchased.

If you have an allergy to almonds or wheat, do not consume the recalled product as it may cause a serious or life-threatening reaction.

This recall was triggered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) inspection activities. The CFIA is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled products from the marketplace.

There has been one reported reaction associated with the consumption of these products.

FVO report – Fishery product from Estonia

Itano_ITAN0_IMG_1073

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office audit in Estonia carried out from 10 to 20 June 2014, as part of its programme of audits in Member States.

The objectives of the audit were to verify that official controls of fishery products are organised and carried out in accordance with the relevant provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 and to evaluate whether the control system in place for the production and placing on the market of
fishery products is in compliance with EU requirements.

The report concludes that there is an organised and documented official control system in place which is in accordance with the relevant provisions of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004. In general, this control system is consistently and adequately implemented and covers the fishery products production chain.

Some shortcomings were identified in the establishment approval process.  Official controls are generally implemented in accordance with EU requirements. Nonetheless, certain weaknesses were identified in the control of fishing vessels and landing conditions (including organoleptic checks), HACCP evaluation and verification of food business operators´own-checks for some microbiological criteria.

Furthermore, although steps have been taken by the competent authority to strengthen the system of controls over Baltic Sea fish which may contain dioxins and PCBs above the EU maximum limits, some gaps remain in measures put in place and their implementation by some food business operators.

In the laboratory visited, methods used for official analyses are included in the scope of accreditation. However, deficiencies in validation and internal quality controls were noted in method for histamine analysis.

USA – Recent FSIS food recalls warnings

organic-whole-free-range-chicken

Indiana Firm Recalls Uncured Beef Corn Dogs Due To Possible Temperature Abuse

Class I Recall
Health Risk: High Sep 23, 2014

Monogram Comfort Foods, a Bristol, Ind., establishment, is recalling approximately 607 pounds of uncured beef corn dogs because they may have experienced temperature abuse in the distribution chain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The products subject to recall include:

  • 10 oz. cartons of “Applegate Naturals Gluten-free Uncured Beef Corn Dogs” with a “Best By” date of 04/21/15

The products were produced on April 21, 2014, and bear the establishment number “EST. 2512” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. The products were distributed in Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

The problem was found during a routine check by a warehouse that received the product. The product had been stored at the warehouse in a dry storage area instead of in the freezer.

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Media with questions about the recall should contact Gary Brooks, Vice President of Technical Services, at (901) 259-6201.

Consumers with questions about the recall should contact DeWayne McVeigh, Director of Customer Service, at (901) 259-6642.

For inquiries concerning Applegate, consumers with questions about the recall should contact Gerry Clarkson, Applegate Consumer Relations Specialist, at (800) 587-5858. Media inquiries for Applegate should contact Maria Balice at (312) 543-6630.


Louisiana Firm Recalls Frozen Chicken Breast Strips For Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination

Class I Recall
Health Risk: High Sep 25, 2014

Foster Farms, a Farmerville, La., establishment, is recalling approximately 39,747  pounds of frozen pre-cooked chicken products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The frozen Chicken Breast Grilled Strips product was produced on August 5, 2014, and then shipped to retail warehouse locations in California, Texas, Utah, and Washington state. The following product is subject to recall:

  • 3.5-lb. Plastic resealable bags containing frozen “Chicken Breast Grilled Strips.”

The affected product packaging will bear the establishment number “P-33901” as well as a Best by Date of 08-05-15.

The problem was discovered during the company’s routine in-plant inspection.  While some of the product was set aside and held, the product subject to this recall was inadvertently shipped.  FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

FSIS advises all consumers to reheat ready-to-eat product until steaming hot.

Media with questions regarding the recall can contact Ira Brill, Foster Farm Marketing Director, at (209) 394-7901 ext. 6891.

Consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Teresa Lenz, Foster Farm Consumer Affairs Manager, at (800) 338-8051.

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Texas Firm Recalls Beef Products Due To Possible E. Coli O157:H7

Class I Recall061-2014
Health Risk: HighSep 25, 2014
 Caviness Beef Packers, a Hereford, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 23,100 pounds of Beef Trimmings products that may be contaminated with E. coliO157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.The Beef Trimmings products were produced on August 14, 2014 and August 20, 2014. The following products are subject to recall:

  • Combo bins containing “Beef Trimmings, BNLS, 90 L”
  • Combo bins containing “Beef Trimmings, BNLS, 84 L”

The products subject to recall bear the establishment number “EST. 675” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These products were sent to establishments for further processing and will likely not bear the establishment number “EST. 675″ on products available for direct consumer purchase. These products were shipped to fast food restaurants and retail distribution locations in Texas.

The problem was discovered during a food safety assessment. The products subject to recall are lots that tested negative, however were produced consecutive to the positive lots and were subsequently processed into raw ground products and distributed to retailers.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause dehydration, bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps 2–8 days (3–4 days, on average) after exposure the organism. While most people recover within a week, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can occur among persons of any age but is most common in children under 5-years old and older adults. It is marked by easy bruising, pallor, and decreased urine output. Persons who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume beef that has been cooked to a temperature of 145° F or 160° F for ground meat. The only way to confirm that beef is cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food thermometer that measures internal temperature, http://1.usa.gov/1cDxcDQ.

Media and consumers with questions regarding the recall can contact Trevor Caviness, President, at (806) 372-5781.

————————————————————–

New Mexico Firm Recalls Beef Jerky Products Incorrectly Produced and Shipped With The Mark Of Inspection

Class I Recall062-2014
Health Risk: HighSep 27, 2014

Delicious Beef Jerky, LLC, an Albuquerque, N.M. establishment, is recalling 8 pounds of beef jerky products because they were marked and shipped without the benefit of inspection when they were produced under a retail exemption, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The products subject to recall are: [View Labels (PDF Only)]

  • 2.5 once and 5 ounce plastic bags of DELICIOUS BEEF JERKY Lemon Pepper Seasoned Beef Jerky with a use-by date of 0911155

The products, which contain the establishment number “EST. 34408” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection, were sold in small retail stores in the Albuquerque,      N.M. area.  All 2.5 once and 5 ounce plastic bags with a use-by date of 9-11-15 are being recalled.

The problem was discovered when a friend of an FSIS inspector purchased the product at a liquor store in Albuquerque, and the inspector recognized that the product should not bear the mark of inspection..

FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions or illness due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.  When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/recalls.

Media or consumers with questions about the recall should contact Mr. Theodore Baca at (505) 344-9221.

 (Source: FSIS website)

FVO Report on Myanmar – Risks from sprouting seeds

Lentil Sprouts

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) in Myanmar from 24 February to 06 March 2014.

The objectives of the audit were to evaluate the official controls related to production and processing of seeds for human consumption (in particular, seeds for sprouting eg. mung beans and other seeds for sprouting) intended for export to the European Union (EU) in the framework of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and to evaluate procedures in place for the certification for imports into the EU of seeds for the production of sprouts as required by Regulation (EU) No 211/2013. The objectives of the audit were met.

Myanmar was selected to be audited as part of the 2014 FVO audit programme due to a number of outbreaks in the EU connected with the consumption of sprouted seeds and the volume of imports from Myanmar.

Official food safety controls on primary production, collection and processing of seeds for human consumption (in particular, seeds for sprouting) do not take place. This was acknowledged by the Myanmar Competent Authorities.

The CAs of Myanmar are aware of the requirements of EU legislation on sprouts and seeds for sprouting. There are currently no official controls carried out to attest the implementation of general hygiene requirements as laid down in Annex I to Regulation 852/2004. However, in the regions visited the above-mentioned requirements were implemented by primary producers. The hygiene practices in the processing facilities and collectors visited by the FVO audit team were generally in line with the relevant EU requirements.

The system of official food safety controls currently in place cannot ensure that the seeds for human consumption (in particular, seeds for sprouting) were produced under conditions which meet the general hygiene provisions for primary production and associated operations as set out in Part A of Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and therefore the CA is not able to certify conformity with these requirements as required by Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 211/2013.

Thank god it’s Friday – News from the food world – Week 38

Weekend-Edition-Image

Here’s my article’s selection of the week:

BIRD FLU

New bird flu strain causing concern for poultry producers in SE Asia, by RJ Whitehead on foodnavigator-asia.com: a recently-emerged strain of avian influenza virus (H5N6) in poultry in Southeast Asia represents a new threat to animal health and livelihoods and must be closely monitored, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned;

FAO issues warning over new strain of avian ‘flu, by Georgi Gyton+ on globalmeatnews.com: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has said a new strain of avian influenza, H5N6, needs to be closely monitored in order to avoid a major threat to animal health.

DATE MARKING

“Expiry date” between Codex Alimentarius and European Commission, by Corrado Finardi: Codex Alimentarius General Standard for the labeling of Prepackaged Foods is currently debating the Date Marking.

GMOs vs. ORGANIC

Organic farmer viewpoint: Has the “Food Movement” become a religious cult?, by Rob Wallbridge on geneticliteracyproject.org: an interesting article about the necessity to go beyond the dicotomy GMOs/Organic.

US

Tomato Growers Lose ‘Takings’ Lawsuit Against FDA, by Dan Flinn on foodsafetynews.com: tomato “growers, packers, and shippers” in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have lost the claim they made for federal reimbursement after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration mistakenly named certain tomatoes as the likely cause of a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that later turned out to be caused by Mexican-grown jalapeño and serrano peppers. It is really an interesting topic because reflects a situation which is very well known also to EU producers;

Regulatory roadblocks to AquaBounty’s GE salmon ‘seriously damage the global credibility of FDA and its objective, science-based approval process’, warn scientists, by Elaine Watson+, on nutraingredients-usa.com: 90 scientists have written to President Obama urging him to press the FDA into making a decision, one way or another, on whether AquaBounty Technologies should be allowed to introduce the first genetically engineered (GE) animal to the human food supply.

FDA Seeks to Make FSMA Proposals More Flexible, TargetedU.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing changes to four rules proposed in 2013 to implement the FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA): Produce Safety, Preventive Controls for Human Food, Preventive Controls for Animal Food, and Foreign Supplier Verification Programs.

Food recalls in EU/Week 38

Chocolate-Bar-cc-search

This week on the RASFF database (Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed) we have two recalls from consumers in EU in the alert notifications:

Pathogenic micro-organisms: Salmonella Rissen in chlorella powder, following company’s own check. Origin China (via United Kingdom), notified by Netherlands;

- Foreign bodies: plastic fragments in chocolate bars, following a consumer complaint. Origin Finland, notified by Finland, distributed also to Sweden.

Between the alert notifications, followed by a withdrawal from the market of the product, we find:

Foreign bodies: glass fragments in quorn cordon bleu, following company’s own check. Origin United Kingdom, notified by Belgium;

Industrial contaminants: benzo(a)pyrene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in cocoa bean powder, following an official control on the market. Origin Spain, notified by Slovakia;

Pathogenic and non-pathogenic micro-organisms: Clostridium perfringens and high aerobic plate count in beans and chickpeas, following company’s own check. Origin Germany, notified from Norway;

- Pesticide residues: omethoate and unauthorised substance carbofuran in fresh aubergines, following company’s own check. Origin Malaysia, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Austria, Finland and Germany;

Pesticide residues: pyraclostrobin in fresh scarole, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified from Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg;

Pesticide residues: chlorpyriphos in turnips, following company’s own check. Origin Belgium, notified from Belgium, distributed also to Luxembourg;

Pesticide residues: methomyl in papaya, following company’s own check. Origin Malaysia, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to France and Germany;

Residues of veterinary medicinal products: prohibited substace chloramphenicol in frozen shrimps, following an official control on the market. Origin Vietnam, notified by Germany, distributed also to Netherlands.

Amongst border rejections we have:

aflatoxins in pistachios, shelled pistachios and in pistachio kernels from Iran, in shelled almonds from Australia, in blanched groundnut kernels from China, in blanched runner groundnuts from Brazil and in ground chilli powder from India;

Salmonella spp. in betel/paan leaves from India;

- peanuts from China infested with insects;

chlorpyriphoscyhalothrin and unauthorised substance dichlorvos in oil seeds from Nigeria;

abnormal smell of black pepper from Vietnam infested with moulds;

difenoconazole in broccoli from China;

improper import declaration for frozen fish filets tilapia from China and absence of health certificate(s) for fish oil Omega 3 from the United States;

mercury in chilled sea bream from Egypt;

anthraquinone in green tea from China.

For feed, we have an alert notification, followed by a withdrawal from the market:

Composition: high content of selenium in complete feed for piglets, following company’s own check. Origin Netherlands, notified by Netherlands, distributed also to Germany.

and a border rejection for high count of Enterobacteriaceae in fish meal from Mauritania.

For food contact materials we have a border rejection for migration of primary aromatic amines from slotted spoons from China.

Related articles

FVO report – India – Fishery products

Itano_ITAN0_IMG_1073

This report describes the outcome of a Food and Veterinary Office audit in India carried out from 3 to 14 March 2014, as part of its programme of audits in third countries.

The primary objective of the audit was to evaluate the public health conditions for the production of fishery products intended for export to the European Union. The audit covered the relevant EU legislation for the public health sector.

The report concludes that the competent authority has implemented an official control system for fishery products intended for export to the EU which adequately covers processing activities.

However, official controls in relation to primary production, landing and first sale have only started very recently and are at a very early stage of implementation. To date, very few aquacultures farms and fishing vessels have been approved and only a small percentage of those approved have been subject to official inspection. Furthermore, the two recently approved landing and first sale facilities visited were not fully in line with EU requirements. Consequently, the situation has not significantly changed since the fish sector was first audited in 2005.

From a general point of view, processing establishments visited during the audit were found to be in good condition regarding structure, equipment, maintenance and hygiene. In general, own-check programmes reviewed during the audit were in line with EU requirements and were adequately implemented by food business operators at landing and first sale site.

Official controls of fishery products intended for EU export are implemented in line with EU requirements, except for organoleptic checks.

The laboratories responsible for official analyses on fishery products have put in place measures aimed at ensuring a satisfactory level of analytical performance. However, with regard to cadmium, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, some shortcomings have been identified, which undermine the ability of the competent authority to ensure that fishery products with contaminant levels exceeding EU maximum levels are not exported to the EU.

Finally, the lack of official controls over primary production also undermines the ability of the competent authority to guarantee that non-eligible fishery products are excluded from export to the EU.

USDA Raises Tomato Lycopene Limit for Meat

LycoRed - USDA approval for lycopene levels in meat (1)

In a game-changing move, the USDA approved a five-fold increase in the level of tomato lycopene allowed as a colorant in ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products.

This increase allows tomato lycopene colorants from manufacturers like LycoRed Ltd., Israel, to effectively replace FD&C Red #40 and carmine in a wide assortment of deli meats, sausage and hot dogs. LycoRed’s Tomat-O-Red® produces red hues similar to those from artificial and insect-based colors.

Natural food-color applications for global meat product launches, as tracked by Innova Market Insights, showed a 21% increase in product launch activity in 2012 over 2011, and a further 5% increase in 2013 from 2012.

“The USDA decision changes the ballgame for us,” says Roee Nir, Colorant Business Unit Manager at LycoRed. “We now may offer RTE meat manufacturers dramatic color options that previously were only attainable with artificial or insect-derived colors.” Both of the LycoRed clean-label colorants are acceptable for use in RTE beef, pork and poultry products, as well as RTE meats for the fast-growing kosher and halal markets. Kosher and halal rules forbid products colored with carmine.

The heat- and light-stable colorants are based on lycopene, a carotenoid highly valued for its antioxidant health benefits.

Tomat-O-Red® is sourced strictly from non-GMO tomatoes. LycoRed oversees production from the farmer’s fields to the finished product. This dependable tomato supply also translates into stable pricing for the processed meat manufacturer. Soon, LycoRed will be launching new, natural tomato-based ingredients for clean-label use.

USA – M&M’s Theater Box recalled for undeclared peanut butter

natural-peanut

Mars Chocolate North America Issues Allergy Alert Voluntary Recall On Undeclared Peanut Butter In M&M’s® Brand Milk Chocolate Theater Box

Contact
Consumer:
1-800-627-7852

Media:
1-973-691-3536

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 19, 2014 – Today, Mars Chocolate North America announced a voluntary recall of its M&M’S® Brand Theater Box 3.40 oz UPC #40000294764 with the following lot numbers:

417DH4JP09 417EM4JP10 417FM4JP09 418AG4JP10 418BG4JP10 418CG4JP10 418DM4JP09 418EG4JP10 419AM4JP09
417EG4JP09 417FG4JP09 417FM4JP10 418AM4JP09 418BM4JP10 418CM4JP10 418DM4JP10 418EM4JP09 419AM4JP10
417EG4JP10 417FG4JP10 418AG4JP09 418AM4JP10 418CG4JP09 418DG4JP10 418EG4JP09 418EM4JP10 419BM4JP10

This theater box item within these lot codes may contain product containing peanut butter without listing on the ingredient label on the outside cardboard box.  The inside package is correctly labelled with ingredients and allergy information.

People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if their theater box contains an inner M&Ms Brand Peanut Butter bag and they consume the product.  No adverse reactions have been reported to date.

The issue was identified after a consumer notified us of a M&M’S® Brand Peanut Butter package containing peanut butter M&M’S® inside a M&M’S® Brand Milk Chocolate Theater Box.

These specific lot codes were shipped and distributed to our customers’ warehouses between May 8 and July 1, 2014, located in:  NC, TX, MN, IL, FL, KY, MS, AZ, GA, AI, CA NJ, PA, WA NY, CO, MO, MI, NH, CT, TN, MD, SC, OH, ME, VA, RI, WI, WV, IA, LA, OK, MA, NE, OK, AR, VT, ID and IN .   These customers then redistribute products for retail sale nationwide.

The M&M’S® Brand Milk Chocolate Theater Box comes in a 3.40 oz brown, 3 inch x 6.5 inch cardboard box  stamped on the right-hand side panel with the lot number and best before date.

Mars Chocolate will work with retail customers to ensure that the recalled product is not on store shelves.  In the event that consumers believe they have purchased this item and have allergy concerns, they should return this product to the store where they purchased it for a full refund.  Consumers with questions or concerns may call our toll-free number:   1-800-627-7852. This number will be operational Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (EST).

(Source: FDA Website)

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