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

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


– Sri Lanka suspends sale of Fonterra milk powder batches over illnesses, by Mark Astley+ , on 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 for the summertime: Hershey develops heat resistant chocolate, by Oliver Nieburg+, on Hershey has developed its own method to produce chocolate that can withstand hot climates following similar moves from Mondelēz, Mars and Nestlé.


– UK’s traffic light label is ‘negative’, says Commission, by Annie-Rose Harrison-Dunn+ , 06-Oct-2014, on 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 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 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 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).


– McDonald’s Japan forecasts big 2014 loss after food safety scare, on 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.


– MEPS demand more action to stop spread of ASF, by Méabh McMahon, in Brussels, on 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.


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


FVO report – Italy – Dioxin testing of oils, fats and products derived thereof for use in animal feeding

The report it is quite interesting because, beside the overall good result the audit stressed the long turnaround time needed for having analysis results. This fact impedes often to adopt corrective actions in a timely manner and to stop potential crisis at their earliest stage.

This report describes the outcome of an audit carried out by the Food and Veterinary Office in Italy from 18 to 27 February 2014.

The overall objective of the audit was to evaluate the implementation of the specific requirements concerning the production, storage, transport and dioxin testing of oils, fats and products derived thereof for use in animal feeding introduced in Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 through its amendment, Regulation (EU) No 225/2012.

Overall the report concludes that the system of official controls is largely effective in verifying that operators along the feed chain comply with the requirements concerning production, storage, transport and dioxin testing of oils, fats and products derived thereof. However, it is at an early stage of development and, although some good practices were noted, it is not applied in a consistent way throughout the country. The main reason for this situation is linked with a general delay in the process of development and adoption of comprehensive check-lists that would facilitate a structured and systematic verification of relevant requirements, in particular during the approval of establishments.

Moreover, although some measures to reduce the turnaround time for analyses of dioxins have been taken, these are still not sufficient to ensure that corrective actions are taken in a timely fashion.