The following is an interesting and unusual recall notice from Food Standards Australia new Zealand and is included here with permission.
Food product recalls are done when there is a potential for harm from that product.
In most cases this is from consuming the product and the reasons include inclusion of food allergens when not declared on the label, some form of contamination, and high or unacceptable microbial types or levels.
In this case the product is a cider and the reason for the recall is that it is has undergone excess fermentation and the alcohol content is higher than declared so does not comply with requirements and extra gas has also been produced and therefore more pressure in the container, so is likely to cause harm.
Date published: 20 October 2020
Funk Cider Pty Ltd is conducting a recall of Perth Cider 375ml product. The product has been available for sale individually and as part of the Drink West Drink Best mixed carton at liquor stores, hotels, restaurants and cafes in WA.
Best Before 03 APR 2021
The recall is due to the potential for alcohol to exceed marked alcohol content and possibility for can to pop open due to secondary fermentation.
Food safety hazard
Food products containing excess alcohol and carbonation may cause illness/injury if consumed.
Country of origin
What to do
Consumers should not drink or open this product, and should dispose of it safely. Please contact Funk Cider Pty Ltd for safe disposal instructions and to arrange compensation, including if the product was purchased as part of the mixed carton.
For further information please contact:
Funk Cider Pty Ltd
0477 788 787
The following is a notice from the Food Safety Information Council to announce that their support resources for the upcoming 2020 Australian Food Safety Week. Community resource package for Australian Food Safety Week 2020 is now available.
It’s just under 4 weeks until Australian Food Safety Week 2020 from 14 to 21 November 2020. The theme will be ‘Food Safety – it’s in your hands’ where we will be building upon consumer behaviour established during the COVID-19 pandemic so we can continue to reduce the amount of foodborne disease.
In particular we want to help young people better understand about food safety for both their health and for helping their future employment opportunities.
We recognise that Australian Food Safety Week events will be more of a challenge this year with possible restrictions on community events and social distancing requirements. There is still a lot the community, schools and local councils can do to publicise Australian Food Safety Week. Why not put up a poster in your local library, set up a stall at your local farmers’ market (often free for community events) or share information in newsletters or social media #AFSW20
Our community package of info you can use for AFSW2020 is now available to download
- use this sample media release to publicise your event
- download the Food Safety Week poster and social media poster
- advertise Food Safety Week using this Food Safety Week 2020 email banner
- share our online quiz.
To get the community interested in learning more about food safety we have partnered with our member Highfield e-learning to make online food safety basic training courses affordable and available as well as meeting our long term aim of getting course material into schools. Highfield e-learning will be making a charitable donation of 10% of course sales to the Food Safety Information Council to help us keep our important work going. Click here for more information www.highfieldelearning.com.au or contact email@example.com
We would particularly like to thank our Gold Sponsors First for Training for making AFSW20 possible by funding our TV and radio announcements, videos, posters, artwork and consumer research. Also thanks to Australian Pasteurised Eggs who have made a major contribution to our indigenous campaign.
If you would like more information please contact us on 0407626688 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
So we have all been hearing about coronavirus and COVID-19 for over six months now, what do these terms mean.
OK, so Coronavirus is a group of viruses with similar characteristics, the common cold and the annual flu are members of this group
COVID-19 is a disease which is caused by one of the Coronaviruses.
So all of these COVID Safety Plans and requirements we now have to have to be able run our food businesses, are all about stopping a specific virus from spreading.
So what is this virus – it is called SARS-COv-2. It is related to the previously well known SARS virus because it also causes sudden acute respiratory symptoms, amongst others issues.
So one of the major controls for stopping the cross infection of this virus is cleaning. So a question that obviously needs to be asked when thinking about what cleaning is required, is how long can this virus survive on surfaces in food businesses?
A recent study published in the Virology Journal gives us some clear ideas on the answers to this important question.
In summary the survival time on a surface is directly connected to, as would be expected, the temperature of the surface.
The higher the temperature the lower the survival. It is good to know that this basic food safety principle also applies to this virus.
Interestingly, this study has shown that in the reverse of what would be expected, it is porous surfaces like cotton, which have the lowest survival rates of this virus, whereas the key food business surface materials of stainless steel and glass have high survival rates.
The study shows that on stainless steel and glass surfaces at 20 degrees Celsius SARS-COv-2 can survive for up to 28 days.
This means that as food businesses we have to ensure that cleaning and sanitising is thorough and especially the multitude of touch points in our business, particularly if we have public access into any part of our business.
For more information, here is the link to the article
The following is a recent media release from the Food Safety Information Council about research they have done in the lead up to Australian Food Safety Week 2020. It is included here with permission.
The Food Safety Information Council today released Omnipoll national research for Global Handwashing Day, showing there has been no major increase in Australians washing their hands since this time last year.
As handwashing was a major component of the national campaign to reduce the risk of catching COVID-19, this lack of improvement was a considerable surprise, according to Lydia Buchtmann, the Council’s Communications Director.
‘This year the greatest improvement was a 4% increase in the number of people who said they always wash their hands after going to the toilet (up from 79% to 83%) but that still means almost 1 in 5 Australians don’t always adhere to this most basic of hygiene messages!’ said Ms Buchtmann.
‘The research indicated that more people are putting themselves at risk of foodpoisoning, as there was a 5% drop in the number of respondents (from 63% to 58%) always washing their hands before handling food.
‘Men were less likely than women to always wash hands after going to the toilet (80% of men versus 85% of women) and before touching food (53% of men versus 62% women).
‘This year Omnipoll also asked how often people washed their hands and used hand sanitiser on the previous day. While 1 in 5 people couldn’t recall how often, the others reported that they washed their hands an average of 7.5 times a day and sanitised them 3.9 times a day. There was also a strong correlation between people’s use of hand sanitiser and concerns about catching COVID-19.
‘While the Food Safety Information Council’s major concern is to reduce the estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning each year, we recognise that good hand hygiene can also reduce your risk of COVID-19 and other viral infections. Health and handwashing go hand in hand, after all. A study by University College London recommends that people should wash their hands 6 to 10 times a day to reduce their risk of catching viral infections such as colds, influenza and COVID-19.
‘You can easily reach this recommended 6 to 10 times a day handwashing recommendation (and reduce your risk of food poisoning) by always washing your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds and drying thoroughly (or using hand sanitiser if hand washing facilities aren’t available) on these occasions:
- before handling, preparing and eating food
- after touching raw meat, fish, shell eggs or poultry
- after using the toilet, attending to children’s (or others) toileting and changing nappies
- after blowing your nose
- after touching a pet
- after gardening
- after returning home
‘To remind Australia of the importance of good hand hygiene, the Food Safety Information Council has re-launched an education package today including a video and posters for adults and children that give 4 simple tips for hand washing correctly. The package can be downloaded from our website here and we encourage people to watch the video and to put up the posters at home, in their workplace, or at school,’ Ms Buchtmann concluded.
The Food Safety Information Council would like to thank their members Ecolab and Accord Australasia who made this research possible through charitable donations.
Jan Pacas, Managing Director at Ecolab comments, ‘As a manufacturer of soap, hand sanitisers, and the dispensers that hold them, Ecolab has long been a champion of hand hygiene across many industries and hand-washing is essential to food safety, as well as protection from a range of viruses, including COVID-19.’
A trusted partner at nearly three million commercial customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services. With annual sales of $13 billion and more than 45,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions, data-driven insights and personalized service to advance food safety, maintain clean and safe environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies and sustainability for customers in the food, healthcare, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. www.ecolab.com
Accord Australasia is the peak national industry association representing manufacturers and marketers of hygiene, personal care and specialty products, their raw materials suppliers and service providers. Their industry’s products are used every day across the nation in homes, public places, commercial premises, institutions, industry and farms. https://accord.asn.au/
The research was conducted nationally online over the period August 27-31, 2020, among a sample of 1232 people aged 18 years and over. To reflect the overall population distribution, results were post-weighted to Australian Bureau of Statistics data (Census 2016) on age, sex, area and highest level of schooling completed.We recognise that there are limitations to this research and it may not reflect completely the Australian population, but we did ask the same questions as in 2019.
Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688
Carrie-Ann Jeffries, Ecolab, 0418 518 903
Craig Brock, Accord Australasia, 0422 363 646
The following is the most recent media release from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
|Call for comment on a new type of genetically modified corn
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for comment on an application to allow the sale of food in Australia and New Zealand from a genetically modified (GM) corn.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said the corn line (DP23211) has been genetically modified to give the plant the ability to protect itself from the herbicide glufosinate and the insect pest, corn rootworm.
“If approved, this type of GM corn could be used to make starch, grits, meal, flour, oil and sweetener.
“When assessing this application, our safety assessment is a critical part of the approval process.
“We looked at key safety aspects including the process used to transfer the gene into the plant, potential unintended changes, the nutritional content compared to non-GM corn and any potential allergic or toxic effects in humans.
“Our assessment found no potential public health and safety concerns with this variety of corn. It is as safe and healthy as non-GM corn varieties.
“To help people make informed choices about the food they buy, food from this corn would need to be labelled as ‘genetically modified’ if there was any novel DNA and/or novel proteins from the corn in the final food,” Mr Booth said.
To have your say, see our call for comment page. Submissions closes at 6pm (Canberra time) on 12 November 2020.
What happens to my feedback?
We will publish all submissions to our website as soon as possible at the end of the public comment period.
All feedback will be considered by FSANZ before making a decision on whether to approve the application.
Our decision will be notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree to include the amendment in the Food Standards Code.
So there is this hugely popular dish eaten by many Australians – a crumbed chicken breast with a nice tomato and garlic sauce on top sprinkled with a thick layer of parmesan cheese, then put under the grill and often served with chips and salad.
The question is this – what is this delicious pub and club staple actually called?
According to research done recently by Arnotts, before the release of their new Shapes flavour,
34 percent of those surveyed nationally call it a Parma, 45 percent call it a Parmi / Parmy and then there is 21 percent who call it something else entirely. However in Victoria there is a strong preference for Parma with 64 percent of those surveyed preferring this to the 20 percent wanting to have it known as Parmi / Parmy. Interesting 50 percent of those surveyed in the Northern Territory do not want it abbreviated at all and prefer Chicken Parmigiana (they also do not want Parma at all).
Ok, so whether it is a Parma or a Parmi/Parmy is obviously still open for debate and it also looks like that depends upon where we are.
Surely we can at least agree on how to spell the whole name?
The research shows that 45 percent of people surveyed are spelling it different ways and 11 percent are way more interested in how it tastes than how to spell it. The following are some other ways that people are spelling it; Parmigana, Parmegiana, Parmegana and Parmajana
Ok, so we seem to be more interested in the taste than the spelling. So does everyone know what is actually supposed to go into making the perfect Chicken Parmigiana?
In the Arnotts research the people were asked what are the essential ingredients and beside the crumbed chicken, tomato / garlic sauce and parmesan cheese, the following were the responses;
Red wine (4%)
Of those surveyed in the Northern Territory 50 percent said that having an egg on top was the right way to serve it.
So how popular is this menu item?
The research showed that just under a quarter of Aussies eat at least two Chicken Parmigianas a month and over a quarter of those Victorians involved in the survey have chosen this pub favourite as the meal they want first when they get out of the COVID lockdown.
So the other big question is – where did this obvious Aussie favourite originate from?
It started as a baked type dish in Italian immigrant families in the North Eastern states of the USA around the 1950s.
So the health departments starts to receive notices of food poisonings and initiates an investigation to determine how many cases, what food, and what has happened to cause the outbreak.
This has traditionally meant inspectors visiting suspected premises and doing much testing and reviewing of processes to try an determine if all the cases are linked.
A tool which is starting to make this process easier is a technique called Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS). This is a process which breaks down the cells of identified micro-organisms to determine their genome – DNA sequence.
By matching the genome from different micro-organisms which may have been involved in a food poisoning, it can be determined which microbe actually caused the outbreak. This then allows Inspectors to identify which food and location was involved.
Recently a technique has been developed at the University of Scotland which uses a method called the Minimal Multilocus Distance (MMD) method, which involves training a computer, with high accuracy, to identify the source of a food poisoning outbreak.
Although more research is required to develop the method to a point where it can be consistently used by health protection officials, like the Inspectors, it has successfully identified human cases to specific animals.
So bacteria like Campylobacter, Salmonella and other pathogens can potentially now be traced to a specific source by using specially trained computers.
The findings for this research were published in Scientific Reports and can be found at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-68740-6?proof=t
This sort of testing has the potential to greatly increase the likelihood of the source of food poisoning outbreaks being identified and as a result better actions can then be taken to ensure such outbreaks are reduced or prevented.
A new version of CODEX HACCP is on it’s way and should be available by the end of 2020.
The following are some of the changes expected;
1. Chapter One – Good Hygiene Practices
Still includes all the supporting programs but no specific inclusion of Allergens as a food safety hazard. However a Draft Cod of Practice for allergen Management for Food Business Owners is being released shortly.
2. The HACCP Preliminary Steps – remain as previously
3. HACCP Principles
a. Principle One – now reads as Conduct a Hazard Analysis and Identify Control Measures
b. Principle Two – remains as previously, however there will be an updated version of the Decision Tree being released shortly
c. Principle Three – the Critical Limits must now be “validated critical limits”
d. Principle Four – no change
e. Principle Five – now reads as …monitoring indicates a deviation from a critical limit …..
f. Principle Six – now reads Validate the HACCP Plan and then establish procedures for Verification to confirm that nthe HACCP System is working as intended.
g. Principle Seven – no change
4. Principle Six – changes mean that there needs to validation done before the HACCP Plan is implemented and Verification is to be done aqfter implementation and is evidence that shows consistency of the controls under production conditions.
5. Food Safety Culture – now embedded into HACCP with the requirement to establish and maintain a positive food safety cuture within the business,including each of the following;
a. Commitment by all
b. Leadewrship to set the right direction and ensure engagement
c. Awareness of all of food safety
d. Open and clear communication
e. Availability of sufficient resources to ensure food safety requirements are met consistently
6. Definition changes
a. Disposition instead of disposal or disposing
b. Deviation instead of loss of control
c. Validation is gone except for “validation of control measures” – which is about looking at the future of the process to ensure it will comply with requirements
d. Food Business Operator (FBO) is what we would call a Proprietor in Australia
e. Verification is about using evidence from the past to ensure that processes remain in compliance.
7. There is still no intergration with Food Fraud and it only deals with unintentional contamination, so HACCP will remain separate to and running alongside TACCP and VACCP.
The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) has recently confirmed that in it’s opinion COVID-19 cannot be considered as a food safety hazard.
There is no evidence to this point that there is any link between eating or handling food and COVID-19 infections, so the ICMSF considers that this virus should not be seen as a food safety risk.
There are certainly food safety issues associated with COVID-19, particularly in relation to potential staff absences due to testing, isolation or illness, and new infection control practices and the impact these may have on production and operations.
The ICMSF is recommending that food businesses,especially those dealing with the public, build the required COVID-19 Safety plans into their current food safety programs and systems.
Although food businesses should already be good at handwashing and cleaning, new controls like the social distancing and, now, masks in workplaces need to be included in everyday management.
Local council Environmental Health Officers and Food Safety / Quality System Auditors will now be including checking of COVID-19 Safe Plans as part of their audits and inspections of food businesses.
To read the full ICMSF opiniongo to https://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-09/ICMSF%202020-COVID-19-final%20opinion.pdf