Researchers find lettuce from low-income communities to be contaminated

U.S – Researchers from the University of Houston have established that Houstonians living in low-income and urban neighborhoods are at a higher risk of contracting gastrointestinal illnesses, possibly linked to the lettuce they purchase from grocery stores in their community. The findings, published in the Journal of Food Protection, focus on loose-leaf romaine lettuce. According to the study, loose-leaf romaine lettuce, when purchased from supermarkets in low-income communities in Houston, was found to be contaminated with disease-causing microorganisms. Researchers said the discovery raises questions about quality and safety. “Looking at…

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Scientists discover cronobacter in RTE foods of plant origin

POLAND – Scientists in Poland have uncovered the presence of cronobacter in samples of nuts, seeds and dried fruit during a study aimed at determining the microbiological quality of commercial ready-to-eat food (RTE) products of plant origin. Analyses were carried out on 64 samples of nuts, dried fruits, candied fruits, seeds, and mixes of seeds, dried fruits and nuts. Samples were tested for the total plate count of bacteria (TPC), counts of yeasts and molds, and the occurrence of cronobacter. Cronobacter bacteria are ubiquitous organisms often linked with life-threatening infections…

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Vietnam’s giant noodle makers Acecook, Thien Huong face products recall

VIETNAM – The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has recalled some batches of Vietnam’s leading noodle maker, Acecook’s Hao Hao and ‘Good’ branded noodles owing to the presence of ethylene oxide, an illegal pesticide. Ethylene oxide is a chemical used as a pesticide or sterilizing agent, and classified as a mutagen, carcinogen and reproductive toxicant by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It has been banned in the European Union (EU) since 1981 and Ireland is a member. Although the chemical is banned in the EU, it’s still used in non-EU…

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KEBS bans maize meal and composite flours in crackdown that leaves unanswered queries

KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has issued a ban on several maize meal and composite flours from being sold to the public in Kenya, a move that has seen some of the leading flour milling companies as well as smaller players in the country getting caught up in the dragnet. In a letter addressed to the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) CEO Wambui Mbarire, the standards regulator has sought the industry body’s support to inform its affected members in the milling sector to recall the affected…

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Scientists come up with National Genomic Atlas to aid in Listeria tracking

U.S – Cornell University food scientists have created a new genomic and geological mapping tool that may soon prove Listeria monocytogenes, one of the most noxious foodborne pathogens, easier to track down in food recalls and other investigations. The national atlas will inform scientists on the residence of listeria and other related species within the contiguous United States, which could help them trace and pinpoint sources of listeria found in ingredients, food processing facilities, and finished products, according to research published in Nature Microbiology. “As we’re trying to figure out…

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FAO/WHO publishes review of Vibrio risk assessment tools

GLOBAL – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) have published a review of risk assessment tools for Vibrio in 2020 that covers an expert meeting  held at the Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in the United Kingdom, in order to provide an update on the state-of-the-art advice regarding risk assessment for Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus in seafood. The discussions on Vibrio in seafood have revealed a number of developments in recent years. Contributors included Erin Stokes, of…

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Yet another frozen shrimp recall from Avanti Frozen Foods as salmonella infection spreads

U.S – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that Avanti Frozen Foods, a subsidiary of the Thai Union and a manufacturer and exporter of shrimp products to the United States, has issued another recall that will now apply to various sizes of frozen cooked, deveined, and peeled shrimp, some of which were packaged with cocktail sauce, distributed nationwide between November 2020 to May 2021. The company had earlier in the year called for a recall after a positive sample collected by the FDA combined with epidemiological and trace-back…

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Namibia recalls Tiger Brands products as other affected countries follow suite

SOUTH AFRICA – Namibia’s health ministry has instructed local environmental health practitioners to withdraw various KOO canned products, Hugo’s Baked Beans and Helderberg Peas, produced between 1 May 2019 and 5 May 2021, from Namibian shelves. Canned products forming part of this recall cover various KOO canned vegetable products, excluding all KOO canned fruit products, KOO pilchards and KOO products packaged in glass. South African manufacturer Tiger Brands recently issued a recall of some 20 million KOO and Hugo’s canned vegetable products, as they may have a defective side seam…

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Mars, Nestle recall several ice cream batches thanks to Ethylene Oxide contamination

SPAIN – Nestlé, the world’s largest food and drink company, and Mars, a family owned multinational food manufacturer, have recalled ice cream products after an ethylene oxide (ETO) contamination scare. According to a list drawn up by FACUA, the Andalucian consumer watchdog for market abuses, in the scare involving different ice creams possibly being contaminated by the presence of traces of ethylene oxide, there could be as many as 46 varieties of products made by Froneri, a Nestlé ice cream maker. The company’s brands in Spain include Milka, Toblerone, Nuii,…

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Tiger brands recalls canned products over faulty cans

SOUTH AFRICA – Tiger Brands, South Africa’s largest food manufacturer, has announced the urgent recall of about 20 million KOO, its rainbow brand, and Hugo’s canned vegetable products manufactured between 1 May 2019 and 5 May 2021 over safety concerns due to potentially defective cans.  The company’s Groceries division first discovered the defective products in May 2021, prior to the final labelling of the finished product, linking them to a deficient side seam weld that could cause the cans to leak. They were traced back to three different batches of…

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