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Food safety

Organic sanitizer kills bacteria on fresh veggies

Food scientists have found that a combination of lactic acid with food grade sodium hypochlorite is an effective sanitizer to process fresh organic vegetables. Organic foods like vegetable sprouts are getting more popular as people become more aware of the potential benefits to their health and well…

Netherlands: Residues of pesticides on fruits and vegetables continued to decrease between 2013 and 2017

The number of fruit and vegetable products with more pesticides than legally allowed has continued to decrease. In the period between 2003 and 2010, a decrease was seen, and…

Ministry bans Jordanians from bringing Syrian fruits & vegetables into Jordan

The Jordanian Ministry of Agriculture has banned Jordanian sailors from going back and forth from Syria and Jordan to bring their cars loaded with Syrian fruits and…

US: Frozen fruit recall for norovirus for Walmart and Save A Lot

Starting last Thursday, frozen berry products sold under the store brands of Walmart and Save A Lot were recalled, after FDA testing found Norovirus in the frozen blackberries. Walmart Pulled from Walmart freezers in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Puerto Rico, Virginia and…

Alma Pak recalls frozen blackberries due to possible health risk of norovirus

Alma Pak of Alma, Georgia is recalling specific lots of product containing frozen blackberries (noted below) due to the potential of their being contaminated with Norovirus. FDA testing of frozen blackberries was reported to have tested positive for Norovirus. Norovirus is a highly contagious virus.…

Canada: Calgary woman finds dead mouse in spinach

An unwelcome addition to her packet container of spinach has a Calgary woman rethinking her approach to pre-packaged produce. Hayley Huskinson purchased a sealed package of Dole's 'thoroughly washed' baby spinach from the No Frills store on Elbow Drive Southwest on Sunday evening and proceeded to use it…

India: Encephalitis costs litchi trade Rs 1 bln

With experts holding litchis responsible for aggravating encephalitis deaths in Muzaffarpur, the summer fruit, mainly produced in this Bihar’s district, is facing the heat as its industry is estimated to have suffered losses of around Rs 1 bln (€12.8 mln). The price of shahi litchi has dropped by 50 per…

Texas researchers study super-repellent surfaces for safer fruit & veg

Recently, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, TEES, were awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National…

UNFI recalls Woodstock Frozen Organic Grilled Red Peppers

UNFI is recalling its 10-ounce packages of Woodstock frozen Organic Grilled Red Peppers because they have the potential to be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes. The product comes in a 10-ounce plastic package marked with a UPC code 4256301714, lot #60B, and a best by date of April 2020 stamped on…

Potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination is the reason

Nature's Touch Frozen Foods (West) Inc. recalls Signature Select Avocado Chunks

Nature's Touch is voluntarily recalling Signature Select Avocado Chunks, with a best before date of Oct 11, 20, due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes (the "Product"). Nature's Touch is issuing this voluntary recall based on strict precautionary measures after the company was informed…

Karl Shackleton - White Air Solutions

Air purification system kills pathogens, reduces waste and removes Ethylene

White Air Solutions, which was established in 2015 have developed an air purification system using photocatalytic oxidisation which extends storage capabilities and reduces waste by removing Ethylene and other VOC gases as well as viruses, pathogens, bacterial and fungal spores. “We have been working on…

Small fruits, lettuce and IQF products are at risk

Intensified checks put in place to prevent virus contamination

When it comes to IQF products, like small fruits and salads it is essential that companies pay particular attention to the hepatitis A and norovirus GI and GII viruses, which are responsible for gastrointestinal infections. These viruses are highly contagious even in small amounts and are transmitted…

US: WinCo recalls frozen raspberries from 10 states because of norovirus test

WinCo Foods LLC is recalling frozen red raspberries because of potential contamination with the norovirus. The Food and Drug Administration found norovirus in a sample of WinCo brand raspberries and informed the Boise, ID, company, according to the recall notice. Rader Farms of Bellingham, WA, produced…

Sprouts Farmers Market recalls frozen cut leaf spinach and frozen organic cut leaf spinach because of possible health risk

Sprouts Farmers Market of Phoenix, AZ is recalling Frozen Cut Leaf Spinach conventional and organic 16oz bags, manufactured by National Frozen Foods of Oregon, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections…

India, state of Bihar

Litchis may not be responsible for child deaths in Muzaffarpur

As children have died of an unexplained mystery disease in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, people are looking at the litchi. Muzaffarpur, India’s “land of litchis,”…

Excessive sulfite levels

US: Florida date recall

Last Thursday Longwood, Florida-based Shivam Distributors has recalled a fruit product with too high a sulfite contents. The recalled product is 14-ounce packages of “Dry Dates.” The high sulfite…

Costco recalls frozen berries due to hepatitis A concerns

Costco follows the Kroger company in recalling frozen berries from Townsend Farms after the FDA found hepatitis A in a product sample. Costco said the recalled product involves its Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend sold in California and Hawaii. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a…

Microbiological quality of vegetables in focus

Cucumbers, carrots and mushrooms good, mixed salads and sprouts problematic

In a three-year research project, the Max Rubner Institute has examined the microbiological quality of fresh, plant-based products. It has now presented its report. It focused…

Norovirus risk

Canada: Recall on Chilean raspberry products sold in Quebec

A norovirus risk in foods containing raspberries from Chile are part of an expanded Quebec government recall. The provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food…

Interim report on prevention of Cyclospora outbreaks released

John P. Olivo, President of Fresh Express has announced the release of an Interim Report by its Blue-Ribbon Panel on the Prevention of Foodborne Cyclospora Outbreaks and the…

Kroger recalls select frozen Private Selection Berries for possible health risk

The Kroger Co. said today it is recalling Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley (48 oz), Private Selection Frozen Triple Berry Medley (16 oz), and Private Selection…

PEI potato farmers observe World Food Safety Day

The inaugural World Food Safety Day is today June 7, 2019 and that gives the PEI potato farmers reason to be proud, as they shared they are very committed to growing the safest food possible. Island potato farmers have a very high enrolment in CanadaGAP, which is the nationally recognized food safety…

North-east India: Fear of Nipah virus in mangoes

With mango varieties like the Banganapalli, Malgova, Totapuri and Sindhoora from Tamil Nadu and Kerala flooding the north-east Indian markets, the fear of Nipah virus is becoming more prevalent. A 23-year-old youth in Ernakulam has been tested positive for the deadly Nipah virus, that killed 17 people…

Study of mycotoxin contamination in Italian and Tunisian aromatic herbs and spices

Spices and aromatic herbs can be contaminated with mycotoxins due to their pre-harvest, post-harvest and storage conditions. Researchers from the University of Messina assessed the mycotoxin content of 112 samples from different species and aromatic herbs from Italy and Tunisia to highlight their…

Updated online PrimusGFS3 Training launched

The Produce Nerd has launched an online PrimusGFS Version 3 Training. The company said this online training is garnered towards auditees that are: In need of a full PrimusGFS…

"Our new 30,000 square meter plant will soon be up and running"

In the fruit and vegetable industry, there are two main developments going on. For the international market, more investment is being put in obtaining better growing technology, post-harvest techniques and cooling systems. For the imported products, more is invested in developing a better cold chain.…

Complete EU ban over leafy vegetable exports looming

Ghana bans chilli pepper exports

The authorities in Ghana have banned the export of some vegetables, including chilli peppers and aubergines, over fears they are contaminated with pests. Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture has…

Urging consumers to buy their greens

New Jersey farmers still feeling the effects of E. coli recalls

The unofficial start to summer also means the beginning of a season full of Jersey Fresh produce but romaine lettuce growers there say they’re struggling to sell the crop. They claim they are still feeling the effects of two recalls due to the discovery of E.coli, even though the bacteria strain was…

Denmark and Sweden: Ongoing Yersinia outbreak traced to fresh spinach

An outbreak of Yersinia in Denmark and Sweden with more than 50 cases has been linked to fresh spinach. Statens Serum Institut, a public health research institute in Denmark,…

Ghana: Government places indefinite ban on export of leafy vegetables

Starting Saturday, June 1, 2019, Ghana will not be exporting any more of leafy vegetables. According to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the move to place a ban on the…

CDC warns against pre-cut melon and tahini used in hummus

The Centers for Disease Control had some gloomy warnings to kick off Memorial Day Weekend. Pre-cut melon and a popular type of tahini –used in summer salads and hummus– are…

Foodborne illness advisory:

US: Del Monte vegetable trays pose Salmonella risk

An investigation into an ongoing multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis in Minnesota and Wisconsin that is linked to consumption of certain Del Monte vegetable trays led to a public health warning. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer…

“Mix Spicy Microgreens”

Canadian officials recall microgreens

Canadian officials are warning the public to avoid eating certain microgreens because they could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. In a recall notice posted May 22, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported that Pousses et Cie brand “Mix Spicy Microgreens” that were distributed in Quebec…

South Tyrolean organic industry takes on today's challenges

"At the moment we are struggling with sales difficulties in the organic sector"

In South Tyrol there is a great variety of agricultural crops and a careful handling of pesticides. This was underlined by the Südtiroler Bauernbund with regard to the protest…

India: €6,500 fine or jail if Mumbai mango sellers artificially ripen fruit

Mango sellers caught selling artificially ripened fruit will now have to pay — they may either be fined Rs 500,000 (€6,500) or will be arrested, the Food and Drug Administration has warned. This comes after the FDA conducted raids at Vashi APMC market on May 1, where they seized mangoes that were being…

United Fresh: Food Safety workshop to discuss outbreaks

Disease outbreaks and subsequent food recalls are not new to the produce industry. However over the last few years, it has witnessed more damaging outbreaks in terms of…

Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

Australian researchers trying to fix ugly fruit

For people, grossed out by brown spots in apples and the like: researchers at the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture have found a way to make some cosmetically “ugly” fruit…

China: Stricter import rules for Vietnamese fruits

Hung, a farmer who owns 3 hectares of VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices) certified durian in the central highlands province of Lam Dong, said that two years ago,…

Canada: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce caused death of two-year-old child

The outbreak of E. coli related to romaine lettuce, which broke out in North America last fall, caused the death of a two-year-old boy in Ontario. In the fall, the Bell family…

US: FDA states that unannounced testing of frozen berries will help prevent illnesses

Federal officials are collecting 2,000 samples of frozen berries produced in and imported to the United States as part of an effort to develop preventive controls against…

US: Number of food recalls down

Food and beverage recalls initiated by the Food and Drug Administration during the first quarter of 2019 fell 36.5% to 99, the second lowest quarter since the third quarter of 2015 and the third lowest total since at least 2010, according to Stericycle Expert Solutions’ Recall Index. Stericycle Expert Solutions attributed the…

USDA Gain Report

France continues ban on US cherries over dimethoate use

On April 18, France published its fourth emergency decree banning fresh cherry imports from countries where the use of the chemical dimethoate is permitted in cherry…

Hong Kong: Pesticides found in organic vegetables

More than 7 out of 10 samples of the vegetables sold in Hong Kong markets have tested positive for pesticide residues, says the Hong Kong Baptist University. The university’s…

Dates from Iran linked to Hepatitis A outbreak for second time in two years

Officials are investigating an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Sweden that is related to dates from Iran that are suspected to be the source of the infections. Since the end of February, nine cases of the viral infections have been linked to the outbreak, with the last infection reported on April 16. Eight of…

Officials expand coconut recall after more positive Salmonella test results

Canadian officials expanded a coconut recall Wednesday after conducting additional product tests that returned positive results for Salmonella contamination. The initial recall notice posted April 14 for FeedingChange Canada brand “Young Thai Coconut Meat” affected only packages with a date code of May…

NZ: Biosecurity review recommends changes to protect borders

An independent review of biosecurity controls at New Zealand borders has recommended changes to systems and technology. The review was commissioned by MPI Director-General Ray…

US: Caito Foods sanitation problems extending back to at least 2016

The US Food and Drug Administration found multiple sanitation issues during a 2016 inspection of the Caito Foods fresh produce facility that prepared pre-cut melon products. The same facility is currently implicated in a Salmonella outbreak. The September 2016 FDA inspection was undertaken following…

Higher MRL for clothianidin in import of Canadian potatoes raises questions

The European Commission proposes to increase the maximum residue limit for clothianidin in the import of potatoes to the EU from 0.03 milligram to 0.3 milligram per kilo. This proposal was made because clothianidin is allowed in the production of potatoes in Canada. The Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare…

Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

“Recalled pea shoots sent to more retailers than initially reported”

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports that pea shoots recalled for Listeria monocytogenes contamination were distributed to more provinces and retailers than originally reported. Freshplaza reported on the recall in an article from 23 April. Golden Pearl Mushrooms Ltd. recalled its GPM brand Pea…

RAAV Techlabs

Indian gadget detects chemicals in your fruits and vegetables

As a predominantly agricultural economy, India produces 275 million tonnes of food every year, according to a report published by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Unfortunately, a whopping 67 million tonnes of food, valued at Rs920 billion, goes to waste every year during harvesting,…

Promoting the value of EU food safety: #EUandMyFood

EFSA, the EU Member States and the European Commission are jointly launching a campaign called #EUandMyFood. Their aim is to remind EU citizens how everyone benefits from the European food safety system that was created in 2002 under the General Food Law. Everybody loves food. It contributes to the…

California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board

New, more stringent food safety practices adopted to prevent outbreaks

The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Board met April 19 and voted to strengthen mandatory food safety practices required on farms. This means that every box of…

US: Fruit linked salmonella outbreak tops 117 in 10 states

Marler Clark, the food safety law firm, is investigating the Salmonella outbreak linked to Caito Foods LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana. The CDC, public health and regulatory…

UK: Bühler wins Queen’s Award for innovative food safety and recycling

Bühler UK Ltd has won the ‘2019 Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation’ in recognition of its pioneering research into camera technology used in sorting machines. The technological breakthrough is being used to drive up food safety controls in the nut and frozen vegetable sectors while also helping to…

Golden Pearl Mushrooms Ltd.

Canada: Pea shoots recalled after Listeria contamination

Golden Pearl Mushrooms Ltd. is recalling GPM brand Pea Shoots from the marketplace due to possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Golden Pearl Mushrooms distributed the raw pea shoots to retailers in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Consumers should not consume the recalled products…

California and Arizona’s Yuma Growers:

"New water rules mean safer romaine"

For the second time this year, romaine lettuce growers are imposing measures they hope will end the recent string of E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks, associated with their products…

Exporting substandard vegetables and chillies

Uganda bans chilli exports to European Union

The European Union has welcomed the Ugandan government's self-imposed ban on the export of chillies and substandard vegetables to Europe, saying it was beginning to spoil the…

Canada: Salmonella leads to coconut meat recall

Feeding Change Canada is recalling Feeding Change brand Young Thai Coconut Meat from the marketplace because of a risk of possible Salmonella contamination. According to the recall notice posted on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) website, the recall was triggered by CFIA test results. “The…

93 people infected

Salmonella linked to pre-cut melons

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Carrau…

Dr. John Isemede:

“Nigerian produce still not accepted globally”

Despite concerted efforts by the government towards weening the nation’s economy from the oil-sector and turning to agriculture, local agro produce has continued to suffer rejections from the international market. According to Dr. John Isemede, an expert in export and international markets, it is…

EU audit: Limited progress in Austrian control system

According to DG Sante, only limited progress has been made in Austria on improving the system to reduce microbiological contamination of food of non-animal origin (FNAO). The…

Fruit fly species stopped at border

NZ: MPI imposes temporary hold on citrus consignments from the USA

Biosecurity New Zealand officers have stopped an unwanted fruit fly species from entering the country. Officers detected spotted wing drosophila larvae in a single fruit from…

Banana growers want Philippine & Japanese officials to resolve protocol issues

The Mindanao banana industry wants the Philippine government and Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) to meet and resolve protocol issues surrounding the…

US: Vermont produce growers awarded $60,000 to make food safety improvements

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets (VAAFM) awards $60,000 to 13 Vermont produce growers making on-farm improvements that prevent or reduce produce safety…

Australia reviews Philippines’ banana safety standards

Canberra is now reviewing the documents submitted by Manila to resolve the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) concerns of Australia in importing Philippines’ Cavendish bananas.…

FDA sampling of fresh herbs, guacamole and processed avocado

As of January 1, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tested 747 fresh herb samples (441 domestic, 306 import), and 526 processed avocado or guacamole samples (435…

Food safety actions by produce industry have moved food safety practices forward

The produce industry and commercial buyers (retailers, foodservice buyers, and produce processors) have been instrumental in pushing food safety practices forward. Retailers…

Food Safety Requirements for Produce Growers:

Retailer Demands and the Food Safety Modernization Act

Foodborne illness linked to contaminated produce is a public health concern. The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 is the Federal Government’s most recent effort to reduce…

Audit sees insufficient controls for exports

Chile: Lack of official controls for EU exports

An audit in Chile has found there is no official sample system to verify compliance with European standards to control microbiological contamination in the food of non-animal…

What controls do avocados undergo in Spain?

The California-based grower and distributor Henry Avocado started voluntarily withdrawing its avocados from the United States on Monday, March 25, after a routine inspection…

Australian strawberry industry continues to suffer from tampering crisis

Australian strawberry growers have shut down their farms, as fallout from the fruit tampering crisis continues. In January, the Brisbane Times revealed the strawberry industry was forecast to be worth $148 million in 2018-19. This is 14% lower than the average for the past five years. This was about 8%…

NZ technology boosts Aussie mango operation

FreshPack software developed by New Zealand fresh produce software specialist, Radfords Software Limited, for Australian mango producer Piñata Farms, was instrumental in streamlining ripening and distribution operations during the 2018-2019 season. Radfords' product owner - multi produce, Bobby Barnes,…

Increasing cases of bacteria in IQF vegetables restraining market growth

The commercial advantage of keeping individually quick frozen (IQF) vegetables in stock continues to drive their demand among retailers, grocery stores and independent…

Swiss and Finnish checks detect Listeria

Independent testing in Finland and Switzerland of a variety of products detected Listeria monocytogenes last year. However, no samples contained the pathogen at levels above…

"Deeper scrutiny of plant and microbe interactions key for food safety"

The complex landscape of plants and microbe interaction means that food safety specialists should consider fine detail and cannot generalise when carrying out risk assessments, new research by James Hutton Institute scientists has shown. Fresh produce is an important vehicle for transmission of…


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