Thank God it’s Friday! Quick news from the food world (Week 46)

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


– Experts respond to food safety amendment, by Ted Chen on The China Post.


– ECDC publishes 2013 surveillance data on antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption in EU, by K. Weist and L. Diaz Hogberg, on Eurosurveillance: on the occasion of the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EEAD) on 18 November 2014, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has released 2013 data on antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial consumption in Europe.

– M&S rolling out action plan to combat campylobacterby Vince Bamford on The Grocer: Marks&Spencer is putting in place a five point action plan to reduce campylobacter in poultry.

– UK bird flu strain confirmed as H5N8, by Georgi Gyton+, on Globalmeatnews: the recent outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the UK has been confirmed as the H5N8 strain of the disease – the same as the outbreaks in the Netherlands and Germany this month.


– CSPI asks FDA to add sesame to list of allergens, mandate labeling, by Elizabeth Crawford, on Foodnavigator-USA: FDA should protect the estimated 300,000 to 500,000 Americans who are dangerously allergic to sesame by mandating the ingredient be labeled clearly when in foods and when products are made on the same machinery as foods with the ingredient, the Center for Science in the Public Interest argues.

– General Mills settles ‘100% natural’ Nature Valley lawsuit; does not admit liability, by Elaine Watson+, on Bakeryandsnacks: General Mills has agreed that it will not use the term ‘100% natural’ to describe Nature Valley bars that contain certain ‘artificially produced’ ingredients in order to settle a long-running false advertising lawsuit.

EFSA helps investigate the source of hepatitis A outbreaks

EFSA is working closely with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and Member States to help identify the origin of the recent outbreaks of Hepatitis A virus infection in humans.

The outbreaks occurred in Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Just today the Italian Ministry of Health announced a new case on its website (only available in Italian).

The last update on the epidemiological situation in the European Union by our Ministry (30 September 2013) stated that:

– In 4 countries in Northern Europe (Denmark , Sweden, Norway and Finland) from October 2012 to April 2013 were reported 71 cases , of which 28 confirmed (strain HAV genotype IB sequence KC876797 ) . The source of infection was identified in epidemiological frozen berries, they are still under investigation to determine origin / brand.

– In 6 countries (Denmark , England , Germany, Holland , Norway and Sweden) from November 2012 to April 2013 there were 80 cases of hepatitis A in 15 confirmed (strain HAV genotype IB different from that isolated in the previous outbreak). No specific source of infection has yet been identified , but all cases have traveled to Egypt during the exposure period .

– There were 11 cases of hepatitis A in foreign tourists who stayed in Italy, where, in line at the time of incubation of the disease, could be of exposure.

– Ireland , the Netherlands and France have reported cases of hepatitis A associated with consumption of berries, caused by a virus identical to that of the epidemic Italian, with no history of travel in Italy.

In particular, EFSA will analyse information on the outbreaks provided by Member States. Hepatitis A is an infectious disease that can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or water or direct contact with an infectious person.

Mandate: Request to EFSA on scientific assistance in a multinational outbreak of Hepatitis A

See also: EFSA-ECDC joint technical report

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