There is a cheese in Italy which is actually banned but is still found in some homes. What is it about this cheese which means that it has been banned?
The cheese is made and then allowed to be infested with maggots. Then it is ready to eat. Doesn’t it make you wonder why someone all those years ago thought why not eat this cheese which is covered in maggots? Maybe the only reason was that there was very limited food available, so people ate whatever they could, but to still choose to do it now – the things we do!!!!!!!
Then there is the risk of the Fugu or blowfish or pufferfish, which is more toxic than cyanide. If there is even the slightest error in the preparation, death is inevitable. Yet still people take the risk of eating this fish and pay a lot for the privilege. It may first have started as some sort of test of courage, and in some ways it may still be seen as that today – but still the things we do!!!!
What about oysters and mussels, they are not something that speaks eat me when you first see them are they? To those who love them they are delicious indulgences with a variety of ways to eat them. They are definitely one of those love them or hate them foods. The things we do!!!!!!
What about insects. These are an essential part of the diet of many peoples around the world as they are a brilliant source of protein and easily caught or harvested. To many in the west, this is not even a food source they would consider. However there is an increasing number of restaurants in this country which are now serving gourmet insect based dishes and there are now insect meals being used in some food manufacturing. It is expected that in time insects will also form part of the diet of those in western country. The things we do.
There is a fad happening right now in the USA of people deliberately eating rotten raw meat, because they are after the buzz after eating it. Some claim that they don’t get sick because they are building up immunity to any potential bacteria. It is thought this fad may have started from someone betting or daring someone else to do it and it has caught on. The risk they are taking in doing this is coming close to that of those eating Fugu. The things we do!!!!!
Doesn’t it make you wonder about the things we do when it comes to food?
Consumers simply expect that the food they buy will be safe for them and their families to eat. It is just an intrinsic belief and faith in the food industry.
So food businesses are required to meet certain food safety controls to ensure that food is always safe for people to consume, right?
Generally this belief is well founded as the vast majority of food businesses of all types make food safety one of the priorities and do what they can to ensure that their food is safe.
The truth is that no matter what controls a food business puts in place and how well they maintain them, there is always a risk that food will not be safe for consumption.
The only way to make sure that all the food a business supplies is safe to eat is to test everything that is made and not actually allow the food to be sold or eaten. That would not make business sense, as it would mean no sales and the business would rapidly go out of business.
So in manufacturing we have intensive tailored food safety programs in operation and then sample according to our sampling plan and test for the micro-organisms or chemicals or other substances we have worked out we need to test for, and then release the production based on that testing program and hope that we have sound results which reflect what is in the whole batch.
However if our sampled container does not contain the specific microbe, but it was in the next container, we will never know until we find out about the case of food poisoning and all that comes with it.
In the hospitality and retail sectors we should have our required food safety controls and training in place and monitor these stringently, however anything can happen and sometimes does. At the end of the day the owners of these businesses can only hope that everything they have in place with the staff they have are enough to protect them, their business and their consumers. However even that great café with brilliant food safety can still have a food poisoning problem.
Yes, HOPE based on scientific principles and recognised food safety controls is what we rely on to ensure that the food we make is safe for people to eat.
So as it is now becoming much clearer to all in the industry, there is no such thing as absolutely no risk when it comes to food safety. This is now one of the big focuses in the food industry in trying to find ways of continuing to minimise the risk and allow the consumer to continue to believe that their food is safe to consume, whilst doing it in ways that means businesses don’t go out of business doing it.
The world’s largest dry – mixed recycling facility is opening in Sydney. When it reaches full capacity in July 2021 it is expected to process up to 300 tonnes of materials a day.
It has cost $100 million and employed around 400 during it’s construction. It will employ around 100 people when fully operational. The New South Wales waste levy has provided some of the funding for the project.
The Eastern Creek facility will process a variety of materials including those from the construction and demolition industry and the commercial and industrial sectors which make up a large proportion of our waste.
This facility is good news for New South Wales and Australia as it will reduce some of the need currently to export material to be recycled in other countries.
If businesses can increase their recycling, the amount of material going into facilities like this one at Eastern Creek will be reduced.
Planet Ark has just released it’s new “ A Simple Guide to Workplace Recycling Stardom”.
This guide will help all types of businesses significantly increase their recycling and reduce their waste.
The Guide can be downloaded at https://businessrecycling.com.au/research/workplace-stardom-guide.cfm?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Planet%20Ark%20News%20May%202021&utm_content=Planet%20Ark%20News%20May%202021+CID_87738e519cfca273005ae59c39e33e37&utm_source=Campaign%20Emails&utm_term=Download%20now
The following is a media release about an application about a processing aid from a genetically modified source from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission. It is also interesting because the purpose of the new processing aid is to reduce lactose content in dairy products, so that those who have lactose intolerance may be able to consume these products.
With Winter rapidly approaching, Norovirus is often more commonly found. So following is a media release from the Food Safety Information Council about it and how to prevent it being a problem this Winter. The media release is included here with permission.
Handwashing not hand sanitiser best way to stop gastro causing norovirus
The Food Safety Information Council today warned that good handwashing rather than using hand sanitiser was more effective in reducing the risk of catching the gastro causing norovirus.
Cathy Moir, Council Chair, said not all viruses are the same and although hand sanitisers are very effective against reducing the spread of COVID-19, they have little effect on the spread of norovirus. To effectively remove Norovirus you must wash your hands using soap, rubbing for 20 seconds and rinsing with running water then drying thoroughly.
‘Norovirus causes vomiting and diarrhoea. Cases occur all year round but they peak during winter possibly because that is when we tend to be in closer contact indoors allowing the virus to easily spread. Norovirus outbreaks are also common where people are in close living spaces, such as aged-care and child-care facilities, hospitals, cruise ships and community sporting events.
‘Norovirus is highly contagious. A single infected person can easily spread it to many others, especially if they don’t wash their hands properly or prepare food or drink for others while they’re sick,’ Ms Moir concluded.
Following these 5 simple tips can greatly reduce the chance of you getting norovirus and spreading it to others:
- Wash your handsto prevent spreading norovirus – you will reduce your risk of getting norovirus (or spreading it to others if you already have it) by frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds and drying for another 20 seconds. The most important times to wash hands are after going to the toilet, vomiting, changing nappies, cleaning up vomit or faeces (poo) or attending to a sick person who has vomited, and before eating and preparing food. Don’t put your fingers in your mouth as they may have picked up a virus from an infected surface. If you have gastro don’t share hand towels with others; use paper towels or your own separate hand or kitchen towel.
- Don’t prepare food or drink for others if you have gastro – as you can easily make the rest of your household sick as well. Do not handle or prepare food for the family or household for at least 24 hours after symptoms have stopped. The safest thing to do is to arrange for someone else in your household to prepare food and drink. If no one else is available to cook then try to prepare food that needs minimal handling such as frozen food that can be cooked in the microwave – or treat yourself and your family to a take away that someone else can serve up.
- Stay at home if you or your child have gastro – don’t go to work, visit your friends or loved ones in care facilities or send your child to school or childcare because norovirus can spread rapidly. Most schools and childcare have exclusion periods and will let you know when your child can return. Remember, that if you work in a food business, if you have gastro you must tell your supervisor and not handle food
- Don’t share plates, utensils or drink bottles with others – as this is an easy way to spread a virus.
- Take care when you can travel overseas again – where sanitation is suspect drink bottled water and remember to use it for brushing your teeth and avoid food buffets, uncooked foods or peeled fruits and vegetables, and ice in drinks. Outbreaks of norovirus have occurred on cruise ships so wash your hands regularly and follow the instructions of the crew so your holiday isn’t spoiled.
Lydia Buchtmann, Food Safety Information Council, 0407 626 688 or email@example.com
The following are the details of a webinar from the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology
Food Recall Workshop – Online interactive webinar
When: 6 May 2021 1pm – 5pm AEST
Having policies and procedures in place for a food or beverage product recall is one thing, executing them is another.
AIFST is pleased to be hosting a comprehensive workshop to help you develop the skills necessary to implement a program to evaluate and test the recall policies and procedures in place in your business.
This workshop will help you to understand how even the simplest oversights can derail an otherwise sound procedure. You will learn to evaluate the who, what, where, when and why of recalls and how a properly handled recall not only effectively protects the consumer, but also allows for the public image of a company to improve.
- How to maintain a recall plan that is relevant to your business
- That a mock recall is more than just a traceability exercise
- Whether you have the resources to manage a recall
- The common pitfalls of recall execution
- What to look for in a product recall insurance policy
The workshop will also feature a recall simulation exercise designed to challenge and provide opportunities to learn.
This workshop is suitable for food and beverage business owners, Managers, Food Safety and Quality Assurance Managers, Technical Managers, Food Recall Coordinators and Recall team members.
AIFST members will receive a membership rate.
Registrations at https://aifst.asn.au/event-4195596
The following is a Recall notice from the New South Wales food authority and is included here with permission.
Recall: Naturally Good Super Paleo Breakfast Biscuits 150g
23 April 2021
The NSW Food Authority advises:
Naturally Good Products Pty Ltd is conducting a recall of Naturally Good Super Paleo Breakfast Biscuits. The affected flavours are Lemon Chia, Maple Hemp and Vanilla Flax. The products have been available for sale at independent food retailers including IGA & health food stores in NSW, ACT, QLD, VIC, TAS, NT and SA.
- Naturally Good Super Paleo Breakfast Biscuits 150g
- All best before dates from 26-08-2021 up to and including 15-03-2022
Problem: The recall is due to potential for an increase in moisture which may lead to microbial growth.
Food safety hazard: Food products may cause illness if consumed.
Country of origin: Australia.
What to do: Consumers should not eat this product and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For further information please contact:
Naturally Good Products Pty Ltd
(03) 9460 8050
The following is a recall notice from Food Standards Australia New Zealand and is included here with permission.
Bondi Protein Co Vegan Protein Bar 60g
Date published: 23 April 2021
Yours Truly Chocolates is conducting a recall of Bondi Protein Co Vegan Protein Bar Chocolate Flavour 60g & Salted Caramel Flavour 60g. The products have been available for sale at Chemist Warehouse nationally.
Chocolate Flavour: Best Before 040222 & 140322
Salted Caramel Flavour: Best Before 290122
The recall is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (peanut).
Food safety hazard
Any consumers who have a peanut allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.
Country of origin
What to do
Consumers who have a peanut allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return the products to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For further information please contact:
Chemist Warehouse Customer Service Team
(03) 9462 9111 / customerService@amsolutions.net.au
With the source of the SARs-COV2 virus being suspected as animal to human transmission in a wet market in China, there is a call by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to stop the sale of live wild animals in food markets around the world, with the exception of aquatic species like fish.
There are significant reasons why not having live wild animals in wet / food markets is necessary, including food safety, hygiene and reducing animal to human transmission. Holding animals in these environments creates waste issues, as well as blood and other bodily fluid when these animals are slaughtered on site.
Guidance has been issued by the WHO and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to make these markets much safer and to reduce the likely public health risks.
It is being recommended that sale of live wild animals in these markets should be temporarily put on hold until local authorities implement practices and monitoring to ensure that the guidance for food safety, hygiene, sanitation and environmental standards are met.
The difficulty is that in many of these markets around the world, the capture and sale of live wild animals is often the major income source for low income populations, so even halting these sales for a short time is going to have massive implications.
This is another situation where there are two competing and equally important issues, the livelihood of thousands of people around the world and the health of them and their customers, and by extension, as COVID-19 has shown, the population of the world. It has to be carefully managed and supported by local authorities and governments generally.
The following is a recall notice from the New South Wales Food Authority and is included here with permission.
Byron Bay Pizza Co Pty Ltd ATF Ross Family Trust is conducting a recall of Byron Bay Pizza Co. BBQ Birdie frozen pizza 500g. The product has been available for sale at independent food retailers including IGA in NSW & QLD.
· Byron Bay Pizza Co. BBQ Birdie frozen pizza 500g
· All Best Before dates up to and including 02/07/2021
Problem: The recall is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (fish).
Food safety hazard: Any consumers who have a fish allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed.
Country of origin: Australia.
What to do: Consumers who have a fish allergy or intolerance should not consume this product and should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
For further information please contact: