Experts dissect on food safety concerns in fresh produce sector for local & export markets

AFRICA – Panelists during the recently held Africa Food Safety and Quality Summit have underscored obliviousness on food safety importance, misuse of agri-inputs and microbiological hazards as the major fresh produce sector food safety concerns in Africa. The panel was addressed by Cyprian Kabbis, District chief executive, Eastern Africa, Bureau Veritas; George Akida, Exports Manager, Africado Tanzania; Frank Obure, General Manager, Packhouses, AAA Growers; Jane Musindi, CEO, Society of Crop Agribusiness Advisors of Kenya (SOCAA); Mercy Chatyoka, Business Development & Innovation Lead, Armlead and Molly Abende, Production Manager, Burton &…

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Government calls for safe handling of fresh produce by roadside sellers

KENYA – The Agriculture and Food Authority (AFA) has placed a ban on ground display of fruits and vegetables by highway and roadside sellers as part of its efforts to heighten food safety of fresh produce. Agriculture CS Peter Munya had earlier pointed out on the increased food hazards awareness and demand for safe food among consumers, which has resulted in setting up measures to safeguard food and feed imports by national and regional agencies. Kello Harsama, the AFA director general, informed that produce clumping done on the ground along…

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Kenya launches horticulture mark of quality KS 1758 to enhance food safety, quality

KENYA – Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has launched the horticulture quality mark ‘KS 1758’, that will be attached to all fresh produce in the supermarkets before the end of the year, to enforce standards applied on exports so as to curb high level of toxic substances blamed for rising cases of cancer. The Directorate of Horticulture has partnered with the Retail Traders Association of Kenya (Retrak), Kenya Fresh Produce Association and other stakeholders in the horticulture sector to enforce this regulation. This follows the establishment of Kenya Standards (KS)1758…

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New Zealand, Australia to sign off on importation of irradiated fruits, vegetables

AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND – Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) is set to amend the country’s historic stance on irradiation permitting the import of irradiation treated fresh fruits and vegetables. The process involves exposing products to ionizing radiation, either gamma rays, a high-energy electron beam, or x-rays.  FSANZ has concluded after a review by the Food Safety NZ, that except for the minimal reduction in nutritional value of products, irradiation is a safe and effective biosecurity tool. Still, the Food safety New Zealand (NZ) has encouraged that irradiation levels in…

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