Afreximbank boosts capacity of food safety compliance in Africa with establishment of first quality assurance centre in Nigeria

NIGERIA – African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), a Pan-African multilateral financial institution mandated to finance and promote intra-and extra-African trade, has commenced the construction of an Africa Quality Assurance Centre (AQAC) in Ogun State, Nigeria. Construction of the state-of-the-art facility commenced on 25th February 2021 and is expected to kick-start operations by the second quarter of 2022. The Ogun State AQAC is strategically located on a 5-hectare plot of land allocated by the Ogun State Government along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The project site is 65km from Lagos, Nigeria’s main port city…

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WHO launches new handbook to help countries enhance effectiveness of their food safety systems

SWITZERLAND – As the world celebrates the World Food Safety Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed a new handbook to help countries address food safety challenges in their respective jurisdictions. According to a statement from the WHO, the new handbook will provide a guideline on how countries can measure their foodborne disease burden. Additionally, the handbooks provide countries with information on how they can identify food safety system needs and data gaps so they can strengthen national infrastructure and better protect people’s health. “Food should sustain and support human…

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Upfield Kenya joins band of manufacturers driving food safety agenda by obtaining FSSC 22000 Certification

KENYA – Upfield, the global leader in plant-based nutrition has marked the World Food Safety Day in style, as its Kenyan operations obtained the coveted Food Management System Standard certification, FSSC 22000. The maker of the blue band brand has received the certification indicating that it has implemented the most robust food safety management system while manufacturing and handling the food products. “Our Nairobi based Blue Band manufacturing plant meets the requirements of an internationally recognized best practice approach and has been able to implement a robust food defense and…

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Developing countries urged to uphold food safety measures adopted during pandemic period

AFRICA – The world cannot over emphasis on the importance of ensuring the adoption of food safety practices and technologies in the entire agriculture and food value chain. This year, the globe has turned its focus on ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’, as the theme of the World Food Safety Day 2021, stressing that production and consumption of safe food has immediate and long-term benefits for people, the planet and the economy. However, according to a flagship dialogue hosted by EatSafe, developing countries have not yet made gainful…

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Sesame becomes ninth food allergen requiring plain-language labelling in the US

US – Sesame has become the ninth food allergen for which the US Food and Drug Administration requires plain-language labelling following the signing of a new law by US President Joseph Biden. With the new law, food manufacturing companies making foods formulated with Sesame will be required to clearly label Sesame as an allergen from 1 January 2023. The legislative milestone marks the first time since 2004 that a new allergen has been added to the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act. Sesame will join peanuts, tree nuts, fish,…

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Kenya gets US$6m from EU to boost sanitary and phytosanitary standards of fresh produce

KENYA – The European Union (EU) has granted Kenya €5 million (US$6 million) to support its horticultural sector achieve sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) as required by the export markets. Under a four-year plan dubbed New Export Trade (NExT), EU aims at increasing the contribution of the horticultural sector to household income. Deputy Head of Delegation, EU to Kenya, Katrin Hagemann, said this will be achieved through the generation of employment opportunities and foreign currency. She said to improve food security safety and nutrition there is need to increase the…

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Food safety certification for indoor-grown leafy greens launched

GLOBAL – A new food safety certification program specifically designed for leafy greens grown using controlled environment agriculture (CEA) has been launched by the CEA Food Safety Coalition (CEA FSC). According to a press statement, the CEA FSC’s Leafy Green Module uses science-based standards to assess an operation’s food safety practices in areas including water and pesticide use, site control and hazard analysis. CEA FSC’s module will assess hazards associated with water, nutrients, growing media, seeds, inputs, site control and more. Systems using recirculating water will require continuing hazard analyses…

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Kenya adopts new standards to govern fast-growing food additives market

KENYA – Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), the government standards agency has approved five new standards aimed to boost the safety and quality of food additives in the market. The adopted guidelines are aimed to provide a basis to ascertain the quality, purity, and safety of the food additives, which according to KEBS Managing Director, Ltd. Col. (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini, it’s the first step to ensure safe use as guided by the General Standard for Food additives. “As a matter of fact, the use of food additives in food processing…

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Study shows many consumers don’t know what ‘Best If Used By’ and ‘Use By’ dates mean

US – A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has revealed that consumers are confused by what “Use By” and “Best If Used By” labels mean on their food. Results of the study involving 2,607 U.S. adults revealed that only 64% could correctly explain what the “Best If Used By” label meant while only 44.8% of the respondents were able to describe what the “Use By” label meant. Of consumers who said they understood what the “Use By” label meant, nearly 55% could not correctly…

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European Food Safety Authority flags titanium dioxide as “non-safe” whitening food additive

EUROPE – The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) has, in its latest safety assessment, flagged titanium dioxide (E171) as a “non-safe” whitening food additive. Titanium dioxide is commonly used as a pigment to bring a bright and smooth white appearance to pastries or confectionery or to opacify yogurt or ice cream. The compound is also used in candy, chewing gum, cake icing and white sauces. Its whitening power and the chemical inertness has made it an almost unchallenged whitening pigment in F&B for many years. EFSA finds E171 unsafe Questions…

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