FSAI using new DNA technology to identify food ingredients

This month, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) disclosed that it now has a new scanning tool that can identify the entire DNA content of a food.

It is now possible to scan the entire DNA content of a food without any prior knowledge or suspicion of what may or may not be present in that food

A statement released by FSAI says that The analytical scanner tool can “proactively identify all the ingredients and their biological sources in a food.” Now, Irish food regulators believe they can thwart instances of food fraud and easily identify foods that have been improperly labeled.

The way the tool works is that it compares actual ingredients in a food–ingredients identified by their DNA profile–versus the ingredients that are displayed on the label. The relatively new DNA sequencing technology is known as next-generation sequencing.

Read entire post FSAI using new DNA technology to identify food ingredients | Food Safety Magasine

Year 2018 at ISO

  • 2018 was marked by the publication of some very important standards, in particular ISO 45001 on Health and Safety at work, and the revisions of ISO 22000 on Food Safety and ISO 50001 on Energy Performance & Management.
  • Gathering almost 600 people, #ISOWeek2018, held in Geneva, focused on how International Standards can advance the 2030 Agenda.
  • If you are wondering how ISO standards help meet the SDGs, check out the ISO SDG tool: for each Goal, ISO has identified the standards that make the most significant contribution.
  • For the Standardization Community there is no greater celebration than the World Standards Day, this year’s theme was #4thindustrialrevolution.
  • We engaged block chain expert Dr. Phillipa Rayan #ISOchat.
  • If you thought standards had no business around poop, think again! We were present at the #ReinventedToiletExpo, held in Beijing, China. Our Secretary General Mr. Mujica shared the floor with Bill Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.
  • The MENA STAR Project saw 8 of our members in the Middle East and North African region members work with our Capacity Building Unit to help business and industry apply key standards for sustainable development.

Chemical mixtures and Food Safety

EFSA has already developed some approaches for assessing combined exposure to multiple pesticides and contaminants in humans and multiple pesticides in bees. Our scientists are developing new approaches and tools for harmonising how we assess risks to humans and the environment from multiple chemicals in the food chain: “chemical mixtures” and their “cocktail effects”.

January 2019 EFSA’s Scientific Committee addressed how to assess the genotoxicity of substances in chemical mixtures. Genotoxicity refers to a chemical’s ability to harm DNA. Our top scientific experts explain how to deal with mixtures containing known genotoxic substances, and also what to do when “unidentified” substances present in mixtures need assessing for genotoxicity.

This work complements EFSA’s guidance on genotoxicity testing strategies from 2011 and also the broader guidance on assessing combined exposure to multiple chemicals, which is called “MixTox”. The draft MixTox guidance underwent a public consultation in 2018 and following up on the high volume of comments we received has put back publication to early-mid 2019. The statement on genotoxicity of mixtures was also subject to public consultation in 2018.

Read entire post Chemical mixtures and food safety | EFSA

Most significant food safety change in 25 years?

In 1993, 25 years ago, we had what the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) still calls the “Western States E. coli outbreak.” Most of us call it the Jack in the Box outbreak, the one that sickened 723 victims, most of them under 10 years of age.

Four kids died and 178 persons were left with permanent kidney and/or brain damage. This was a significant food safety change in that it shocked the world into realizing that what was felt to be safe food could, in fact, be very dangerous.

It also taught us that undercooking hamburger could sicken your customers. It also resulted in E. coli O157:H7 being determined to be a ground beef adulterant, to be followed later by six more strains of non-O157:H7 STECs being added to the adulterant list.

But in my mind, while outbreak was not, in itself, a food safety change, it did result, in addition to the above, one more new tool in the tool kit of food safety that has changed the land scape forever.

Read entire article Most significant food safety change in 25 years? | Dr. Richard Raymond | Feedstuffs

Feeding the world with ISO standards on World Food Day

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 815 million people in the world go to bed hungry while 1.9 billion people are overweight1). Yet achieving a world with zero hunger by 2030 is not only possible, it is the theme of this year’s FAO World Food Day, celebrated annually on 16 October.

ISO has more than 1 600 International Standards for the food production sector that directly help to end world hunger by creating confidence in food products, improving agricultural methods and promoting sustainable and ethical purchasing.

These include nearly 850 standards from one of ISO’s most established technical committees, ISO/TC 34, Food products, that encompass everything from animal welfare to food products, such as cereals and milk, and ingredients testing. It is also responsible for the recently updated ISO 22000 series on food safety management that covers standards related to food manufacturing, farming, packaging, catering and animal foodstuffs and feed production.

> Read entire Feeding the world with ISO standards on World Food Day | Katie Bird | ISO.org

Top 10 misconceptions about sanitation

For many of the people with whom I’ve conversed, the mere mention of the word “sanitation” conjures up images of garbage trucks, mop buckets, janitors, the lack of clean water, and toilets. The general public has little knowledge of sanitation as an operation or a field of work, and its deeply intertwined relationship with the food we eat every day.

Sanitation is in fact the most important function that will happen in every single factory, packinghouse, deli, or restaurant every single day. It is the one safeguard between food and contaminants. Sanitation, then, is the entire set of activities, operations, and products used to produce food hygienically.

Similarly, there is an overwhelming impression that using a sanitizer is all that’s needed to eliminate health risks. This, moreover, is a fallacy shared by more than the general public. Even some workers in the food industry have misconceptions about the purpose, proper use, and appropriateness of sanitizers.

Let’s clear up some of these misunderstandings, shall we?

> Here is a nonexhaustive list of some of the top misconceptions around sanitation | Food Safety Magazine

The key ingredient in Food Safety

Thanks to innovative food solutions – such as substituting common proteins used in dairy and confectionery with potato starch solutions – food manufacturers can make cheaper, healthier and less controversial products.

With its production sites and headquarters in Denmark, KMC has grown from being a provider of potato starch and potato flakes to a company that also supplies special ingredients to customers around the world. As a result, KMC has enjoyed successful growth and, as the company’s Quality Manager, Marianne Dam says ISO 22000 plays an important role – indeed an essential one – in its future expansion.

ISOfocus: What does your company see as the main benefit of having food management systems in place such as ISO 22000?

Marianne Dam: KMC is an ingredients company and we deliver products to the global food market. We are dependent on having a reliable food management system in place – first of all, because of our responsibility to our customers (typically B2B) when food safety issues arise and, ultimately, because we owe it to our global end users. Our management system helps us to be safe, focused and efficient in our production set-up.

There are clear benefits to having a Food Management System certified by a third party. These certificates are the first valid evidence of the systems implemented in our company and many of our customers use them as an important part of their supplier approval process. We believe we could not manage our existing business without such recognition.

> Read entire article The key ingredient in Food Dafety | Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis | ISO.org

Taking Food Safety to a higher level

Some of the specialists involved in the revision of ISO 22000 explain why the new version of the standard is a timely response, for humans and animals, to the growing global challenges to food safety.

Technology has transformed our lives – from how we live to what we eat. Indeed, technology has transformed global food production, lifting people around the world out of poverty and starvation. That is the good news.

The not so good news is that the use of fertilisers, agrochemicals and sophisticated irrigation techniques has resulted in a growing dependence globally on high-yielding crops, such as wheat, maize and rice, leaving us vulnerable to any failure in their supply chains.

More than seven billion people rely on these crops and with the United Nations projecting that figure to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, the pressure on our food systems will also grow. According to Prof. Sayed Azam-Ali, CEO of Crops for the Future, demand for food and animal feed is set to at least double over the next three decades. As we go deeper into the era of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, we will need to leverage its new technologies – such as drones, artificial intelligence, robotics – to feed the world in a sustainable and affordable way and protect the planet’s natural resources.

> Read entire article Taking food safety to a higher level | Ann Brady | ISO.org

Set the Standard – ISO 22000 – Food Safety Management Systems

When you eat or drink do you ever wonder about the long road from farm or factory to your kitchen? Millions of people become ill or die from unsafe food – global standards are needed.

The ISO 22000 family of International Standards addresses Food Safety management.

The consequences of unsafe food can be serious and ISO’s food safety management standards help organizations identify and control food safety hazards. As many of today’s food products repeatedly cross national boundaries, International Standards are needed to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain.

Who is it for?

ISO 22000:2005 sets out the requirements for a food safety management system and can be certified to. It maps out what an organization needs to do to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe. It can be used by any organization regardless of its size or position in the food chain.

It is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, which are involved in any aspect of the food chain and want to implement systems that consistently provide safe products. The means of meeting any requirements of ISO 22000:2005 can be accomplished through the use of internal and/or external resources.

Source https://www.iso.org/iso-22000-food-safety-management.html

Related readings

Food Safety for the 21st Century

Farmers and manufacturers are turning to automation for prevention-based control throughout the supply chain.

The technology will help them comply with the looming deadlines of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

On a little farm in Peterborough, N.H., students are using advanced sensor instrumentation in a greenhouse growing tomatoes to collect valuable data around the taste and quality of the fruit.

It is also a chance to educate students on how crops can be managed throughout the agricultural supply chain to support food quality, sustainability, traceability and nutrition.

Indeed, this is no ordinary farm. It is the Cornucopia Project, a non-profit farm-to-fork organization that is teaching next-generation farmers about 21st century agriculture and how to harvest tastier, more sustainable—and safe—food.

It is so advanced that it is even using blockchain technology, a distributed ledger and unalterable peer-to-peer recordkeeping system that enables the secure sharing of information in the supply chain.

Read complete article Food Safety for the 21st Century | AutomationWorld

Is NAFTA 2.0 the place for a US-Canada joint food safety agreement?

Dive Brief:

  • Two Canadian think tanks are advocating a cross-border cooperative food protection system between the U.S. and Canada. The proposal was released to coincide with the third round of talks of NAFTA negociations, which opened Sept. 23 in Ottawa.
  • The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute and the Canada Institute of the Wilson Center said it is a critical time for a conversation on protecting and improving the shared food supply chain.

An eight-page position paper laying out the idea came from Rory McAlpine, senior vice president of government and industry relations for Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto, and Mike Robach, vice president of corporate food safety and regulatory affairs for Cargill in Minneapolis.

We do things better when we do them together

Dive Insight:

There is already a Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council to coordinate on food safety, meat inspection and animal/plant health matters, but this new proposal claims that even though the council was “a good start,” tangible benefits have been few. They say more progress would come by combining the risk assessment functions of both countries’ food safety regulatory agencies into a formal institutional partnership to deliver the best possible science at the earliest stage of decision-making and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and duplicative effort.

Read complete article: Is NAFTA 2.0 the place for a US-Canada joint food safety agreement? | FoodDive

ISO Standards and agriculture – Do you trust the food you eat?

From tractors and trailers to methods for testing soils and even fish-farming, ISO Standards play an essential role in feeding the world.

As pressure on land and resources increases alongside population, and the demand for high-quality food, efficient farming is more important than ever.

ISO Standards enable efficient use of fertilizers and fuel, delivering substantial reductions in global emissions. Consumer health, and quality food, are also priorities addressed by ISO Standards. Precision agriculture and accurate application of chemicals help protect consumers and get the most from the land.

Below you can find out more about the most commonly-used food-safety standards, who develops them, and new projects in the pipeline

How to use ISO 22000 Food Safety Management Systems

Specially written for small to medium sized businesses that are considering ISO 22000, including specific information about certification.

ISO 22000 FSMS: An easy-to-use checklist for small business. Are you ready?

Practical management processes for all food businesses, from Farm to Fork

ISO and Food

Ensuring quality and safety in the food industry

Source: ISO.org