The All-Too-Human Causes of Food Safety System Shortfalls

Moving from knowledge-based to behavior-based training might be key to culture change An article published in the Food Safety Magazine, August 12, 2021 Given the continued growth of trade agreements and exchanges between countries and the evolution of production methods to meet international market needs, our food supply has developed significantly over the last several decades. A wide array of

COVID-19 Preparedness in the Food Industry

On 11 March 2020, the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization as the virus has spread to many countries. It’s the first time the WHO has called an outbreak a pandemic since the H1N1 “swine flu” in 2009. What is confirmed is that the virus is transmitted through direct contact

Temporary COVID-19 Policy for Receiving Facilities in Meeting FSMA Supplier Verification Onsite Audit Requirements

As the global pandemic of COVID-19 continues to bring about turmoil and health threats, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidance to communicate the temporarily drop of the supplier verification onsite audit requirements for receiving facilities and importers under the  FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) provided other supplier verification methods are used instead. The Preventive Controls for Human Food (PC Human Food) rule requires receiving facilities to

Microbiological quality of ready-to-eat fresh vegetables and their link to food safety environment and handling practices in restaurants in Lebanon

The increased consumption of ready-to-eat (RTE) salads outside homes as a result of a fast paced lifestyle, awareness on their nutritional attributes and enhanced processing technology is well documented. Outbreak investigations often indicate that food service establishments greatly contribute to food-borne illnesses involving fresh produce. Fifty small and medium sized (SME) restaurants in Beirut were surveyed for their food safety

The transfer rate of Salmonella Typhimurium from one contaminated parsley to other consecutively chopped batches- Modeling “Tabbouleh” preparation

It is becoming more evident that Salmonella-associated outbreaks are not limited to contaminated foods of animal origin; they are periodically linked to consumption of fresh produce, including parsley and lettuce and S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium have been commonly isolated from fresh vegetables. Salmonella spp. can be transferred to the food chain directly from human or animal faecal sources, run-off of nearby farms, untreated manure, or

The Microbiological Safety of Fresh Produce in Lebanon-A holistic “farm -to-fork chain” assessment approach

The consumption of unsafe fresh vegetables has been linked to an increasing number of outbreaks of human infections. In Lebanon, although raw vegetables are major constituents of the national cuisine, studies on the safety of fresh produce are scant. This research employed a holistic approach to identify the different stages of the food chain that contribute to the microbiological risks

UAE ban on import of fruits and vegetables: the national standards is a priority

Translated version (brief) of my column in the arabic Al-Akhbar newspaper الحظر الإماراتي لاستيراد الفواكه والخضار: سلامة المعايير الوطنية أولويةhttp://www.al-akhbar.com/node/276723 Recently, the UAE banned the importation of vegetables and fruits from Lebanon and other countries because they contain high levels of pesticide residues that exceed the permitted levels according to their own standards. According to Al Bayan newspaper published in

من يعالج الأمراض الناجمة عن تلوث الليطاني والمزروعات؟

موضوع تلوث مياه نهر الليطاني ليس بالجديد. لطالما تردّد أن الأسباب الرئيسية لتلوّث مياه نهر الليطاني هي غياب النظم الفعّالة لمعالجة مياه الصرف الصحي والنفايات الصناعية السائلة غير المعالجة التي تصبّ كلّها في التربة والمياه وقطع طريق النهر بسد القرعون. وقد تكثّفت الاجتماعات التي كان آخرها أمس للمعالجة، ولكن ما هي المخاطر التي تشكلها تلك الملوثات على الصحة والتي كانت

COVID-19 Preparedness in the Food Industry

On 11 March 2020, the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization as the virus has spread to many countries. It’s the first time the WHO has called an outbreak a pandemic since the H1N1 “swine flu” in 2009. What is confirmed is that the virus is transmitted through direct contact

Avoid the mistake of assuming HACCP and GFSI compliance will meet the FSMA requirements

I have met recently with few representatives from the food industry and it appeared from our discussions that many were still unaware of the difference between the GFSI certification and FSMA compliance. For them, both equate, and the only steps required to export foods to the US market is to go through the registration process. There was some confusion about the mandatory

How Does HARPC system differ from HACCP

“What is the difference between the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and the Hazards Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls (HARPC)?” is a question we often hear from professionals working in the food industry and expected to be raised more often having been involved in managing the food safety systems based on the HACCP concept which is universally accepted

Prevalence of antimicrobial – resistant Escherichia coli from raw vegetables in Lebanon

Fresh produce has been implicated in a number of documented outbreaks of foodborne illness caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) have been detected on vegetables, raising concerns about the prevalence of E. coli contamination in produce, which can take place at various points from farm to fork. The prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli and potential transmission from soils and
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