The following is the latest media release from the Food Safety Information Council and is included here with permission.
Do you have everything you need to run a successful Australian Food Safety Week 9-16 November 2019?
Australian Food Safety Week, 9 to 16 November 2019, is less than 2 weeks away. The theme will be ‘Excellent eggs – handle them safely!’
During AFSW19, with thanks to Australian Pasteurised Eggs our Gold Sponsors, we’ll be releasing our latest research on consumer knowledge about safe egg handling and launching video material and radio and TV community service announcements.
Thanks to everyone who has donated to our Indigenous fundraiser, as well as our creative agency Mediaheads, we’ll be able to distribute our Indigenous radio community service announcements too.
Don’t forget you can still download a range of material for Australian Food Safety Week from this link where you can:
- Download and use our Australian Food Safety Week 2019 logos and a range of posters, share on social media or your newsletters and add our email banner to your email address.
- Plan an event like a BBQ, morning tea or display at your local library and use this form to enter details of when and where so we can promote it
- Use our Sample media release to let the local media know about AFSW19 and to promote your event
- Take our Egg Safety quiz and share with your friends
- Print out our Excellent eggs fact sheet
Don’t forget to get out on social media using #AFSW19
We would particularly like to thank our Gold Sponsors Australian Pasteurised Eggs for making AFSW19 possible by funding our TV and radio announcements, videos, posters, artwork and consumer research.
Please note if you do have any enquiries about AFSW19 please email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you.
The latest figures from the Australian bureau of Statistics are showing that us Aussies are bucking the international forecast and are drinking less alcohol than at any time in the last 55 years. This downward trend in Australia has been happening for more than 40 years. We are now moderate consumers per capita.
The global market for alcoholic beverages is valued at more than $1 trillion and the International Wine and Spirit Record (IWSR), is predicting a growth of seven percent. The driver seems to be higher quality products.
Beer is the biggest seller, but international sales have been decreasing since 2014. China is the leading country in this decline but Mexico and Germany are increasing beer consumption. The reason for beer being the big drink in the market is the increasing preference by consumers for the premium and craft brews. The other mover in this market are the low or no alcohol beers, with a nearly nine percent increase in sales per year expected up to 2023.
The alcohol of choice is now Gin, with sales increasing by eight percent since 2017. This is due to the massive innovation within this market, with pink gin, and other botanical products becoming increasing popular.
The other spirits (rum, whisky, tequila) have had solid growth and IWSR expects that there will be continued growth through ubntil 2023. The Ready to Drink market has also grown rapidly with a five percent increase since 2018.
The industry is reacting to the consumer interest in more plant based and healthier products, often with premium prices, and this is likely to be a driver of much of the growth happening in alcohol internationally.
The following is a Recall Notice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
Core Powerfoods frozen meals
Date published: 19 October 2019
Core Ingredients is conducting a recall of Core Powerfoods frozen meals, 310g or 350g – Going Nuts, Deep South Chilli, Muay Thai Meatballs, Holy Meatballs, Naked Chicken, Seismic Chicken, Old School, and Smokey Mountain Meatballs.
The products have been available for sale at IGAs in NSW, ACT, VIC and NT; Independent retailers in NSW, ACT, QLD, VIC, SA, NT and WA; and Coles nationally.
Best Before from 26/08/2020 – 4/10/2020 inclusive
The recall is due to potential microbial (Salmonella Weltevreden) contamination.
Food safety hazard
Food products contaminated with Salmonella Weltevreden may cause illness if consumed.
Country of origin
What to do
Any consumers concerned about their health should seek medical advice and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For further information please contact:
1300 133 278
There have been several Listeria outbreaks in Australia over the last two years, which have included several deaths.
It is the elderly, people with low immune systems and pregnant women which are most at risk from Listeria and it this group that are most likely to die if they contract Listeriosis.
The foods involved in these outbreaks include; smoked salmon, rockmelons catering foods, and pastrami and ham containing products.
It is also a common source of product recalls.
There are several types of Listeria monocytogenes which may be involved in food poisonings, and researchers at the Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) have just identified a new highly virulent form. It was identified from an outbreak with sheep in China.
The work was published in the journal Nature Communications.
The study involved scientists from the State Key Laboratory of Zoonosis of the University of Yangzhou in Jiangsu, China, the Laboratory of Food Microbiology of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, and JLU, Germany.
The Director of the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the JLU and research scientist at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Professor Trinad Chakraborty, said “Only by combining resources and expertise can we rapidly identify newly emerging threats to food safety from highly virulent strains worldwide. These isolates are unique in the sense that they combine the virulence characteristics of various highly pathogenic Listeria species that infect animals or humans into a single strain. Since listeriosis is a foodborne infection, measures to identify such highly virulent strains are extremely urgent.”
A recent study in the UK is giving insight into the reason that humans infected with E.coli generally suffer serious symptoms.
E.coli produces toxins and one of these has been found in cattle to help the bacteria to colonise the gut and this seems to increase the transmission into the cattle herd.
Cattle do not have any symptoms from these toxins, but in humans the symptoms can range from diarrhoea with or without blood to kidney disease, which can be severe and life threatening.
The research was done at the Moredun Research Institute, Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh), Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland and was funded by Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. It was published in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O157 is the subset of E.coli which is primarily responsible for the severe symptoms.
The study has found that it is the specific Shiga toxins from this type of E.coli which encourage the bacterial fgrowth in the intestinal tract of cattle. The most dangerous toxin subtype is Stx2a.
Dr. Tom McNeilly, from the Moredun Research Institute, said; “Our study shows for the first time that Stx2a toxin plays a key role in allowing E. coli O157 to colonize the cattle gut, increasing the ability of Stx2a positive bacteria to transmit between animals and shed at high levels into the environment. This matters because most human infections are thought to originate from cattle, and infections with E. coli O157 strains containing Stx2a are associated with more severe forms of human disease.”
The study found that STx2a is a quicker producer than other toxins, which allows the bacteria to survive longer in the gut. This means that they are more likely to be shed by the cattle into faeces, which increases the opportunity for other cattle and potentially humans to come in contact with the bacteria.
The following is a recent media release from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
Call for submissions on proposed pregnancy warning labels on alcoholic beverages
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for public comment on the proposed design and implementation of a mandatory pregnancy warning label for packaged alcoholic beverages.
FSANZ CEO Mark Booth said the draft warning label reflects a significant amount of work and research carried out by FSANZ over the last year.
“The draft warning label features a pictogram and a statement to alert women to the risks of drinking alcohol during pregnancy as well as to raise awareness in the broader community,” Mr Booth said.
“The design process involved a review of existing evidence on the design of warning labels, including features that attract consumer attention.
“We also undertook consumer testing of the warning statement, specifically targeting women of child-bearing age in Australia and New Zealand to provide input.”
Mr Booth said the labels are intended to become a mandatory requirement on all packaged alcoholic beverages containing more than 1.15% alcohol by volume to promote the health and safety of unborn children through pregnancy.
“I encourage all interested stakeholders to provide comments by 6pm (Canberra time) 27 October 2019,” Mr Booth said.
When preparing proposals to change the Food Standards Code, FSANZ follows legislated requirements set out in the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991. All FSANZ decisions on proposals are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.
More information on this proposal including the study findings from the consumer testing are available on
The following are a few interesting food facts:
Figs are the flower of the Fig Tree
Ovaltine was invented in 1904
Black-eyed peas are really beans
Carrots started purple
Cherries are a member of the Rose family
Juicy Fruit chewing gum was first sold in 1893
Pears ripen from the inside out
Strawberries are the only fruit with their seeds on the outside
Cornflakes have been with us since 1894
There are more than 120 species of Asparagus
Asparagus is a member of the Lily family
Oreos were first baked in 1912
Blackberry leaves were once used to dye hair black
Bananas are a member of the Herb family
Popsicles have been around since 1905
Cashews are also called Wilberts
Buckwheat is a member of the Rhubarb family
Chives are a member of the onion family
LifeSavers were first sold in 1912
1/3 of the world population relies on coconuts
Carrots are native to Afghanistan
Food fraud is essentially the sale of an inferior product being represented as a more valuable one. According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, food fraud costs at least $A65 billion globally each year.
There are seven types of recognised food fraud;
Adulteration – a food is impure, unsafe or unwholesome as it fails to meet the legal standards. Typically this involves the addition of another substance to a food to increase it’s quantity, which may then reduce it’s quality.
Tampering – deliberate contamination of foods during or after manufacture, often done to cause alarm or for blackmail. The Australian penalty is now 15 years in prison. Examples include;
- 2003 – Water bottles with bleach and acetone in Italy
- 2016 – Sweets with pesticide in Pakistan
- 2017 Baby food with ethylene glycol in Germany
- 2018 – Bread with pins in Germany
- 2018 Strawberries with needles in Australia
Overrun –inclusion of air to increase the volume of a food. This is a key process in making ice cream but not done for other foods.
Theft – food taken without authorisation
Diversion – food sent to somewhere other than where ordered or authorised
Simulation – the creation of a likeness of an approved food
Counterfeit – misrepresenting, altering or mislabelling food at any point in the food chain.
There is a big four state recall happening in Australia due to Listeria. This time it is products supplied for Meals on Wheels.
A NSW company is recalling eight of it’s products in NSW, Qld, ACT and SA – 6000 frozen products for Meals on Wheels.
Traces of Listeria were found in routine testing.
There have been no reported illness and the recall is a precaution, due to the expectation that the products will primarily be supplied to high risk groups.
The eight meals involved in the recall are;
Chicken Schnitzel with Gravy, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 17/07/2020, 24/07/2020, 25/07/2020, 05/08/2020, 06/08/2020, 18/08/2020, 13/08/2020, 27/08/2020, 03/09/2020
Lamb Chop, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 17/02/2020, 18/07/2020, 25/07/2020, 30/07/2020, 06/08/2020, 18/08/2020, 20/08/2020, 22/08/2020, 27/08/2020, 09/09/2020, 12/09/2020
Honey Mustard Beef, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 28/07/2020, 25/08/2020
Pork in BBQ Sauce, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 25/07/2020, 18/08/2020
Apricot and Fig Chicken, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 15/08/2020
Vienna Schnitizel, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 22/07/2020, 05/08/2020, 18/08/2020, 29/08/2020, 10/09/2020
Pork Apple and Cranberry Casserole, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 12/08/2020, 01/09/2020
Roast Beef, 360g, Cardboard container clear film seal, Use By: 21/07/2020, 25/07/2020, 01/08/2020, 06/08/2020, 18/08/2020, 22/08/2020, 29/08/2020, 05/09/2020, 12/09/2020
The factory involved has been checked by the NSW Food Authority after a full clean, and has been cleared.
Customers will be provided with either a full refund or a replacement meal.
With the Hepatits A recall on imported clams happening right now in Australia, it is worth knowing a bit more about the virus.
The following is from the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website (http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/safety/Pages/FSANZ-advice-on-hepatitis-A-and-imported-ready-to-eat-berries.aspx) and is included here with permission
What is hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A affects the liver and is a disease caused by the hepatitis virus. Unlike hepatitis B and C, it doesn’t cause chronic (long-lasting) liver disease. In most hepatitis A cases, a person’s immune system will clear the infection and the liver will completely heal.
Many infected people, particularly children under the age of five, often do not show any symptoms. However, for older children and adults the following symptoms may indicate a hepatitis A infection:
- abdominal discomfort
- dark urine
- pain in the liver (under the right rib cage)
- loss of appetite; and
- yellow skin and eyes (jaundice).
After catching the virus it usually takes about 28 days to become ill, but it can take anywhere from 15 to 50 days in some cases. People with hepatitis A can pass it on to others from two weeks before they show symptoms to one week after they become jaundiced.
How does food become contaminated with hepatitis A virus?
The most common sources of contamination are:
- food being grown in contaminated water
- produce being picked or packed by a person infected with hepatitis A; and
- produce being washed in contaminated water.
The virus can survive for several hours outside of the body and can persist on people’s hands and in food. It is resistant to heating and freezing.
Hepatitis A factsheet (Commonwealth Department of Health) https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdna-song-hepa.htm