Food Safety

Children seeing, touching, and tasting produce

European Food Safety Authority (European Union).

July 2011

Assesses the risks of the pesticide imazapic. Describes the methods of analysis, mammalian toxicology, nature and magnitude of residues in plant crops, and conclusions.

Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (Food and Agriculture Organiztion of the United Nations and World Health Organization [United Nations]).

January 2012

At the seventieth meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), the Committee discussed a hypothesis-driven decision-tree approach for the safety evaluation of residues of veterinary drugs in foods (FAO/WHO, 2009a). This approach had been developed by a small working group, in response to recommendations of the sixty-sixth JECFA (FAO/WHO, 2006b), and considered the output of a workshop on maximum residue limits (MRLs) in pesticides and veterinary drugs (FAO/WHO, 2006a). As part of the discussion, the Committee identified that further work was required on approaches for exposure assessments for veterinary drug residues in foods, in particular for chronic and acute exposures, for integration into the decision-tree approach.

Food Safety Working Group (United States).

December 2011

American consumers deserve to trust the safety of the food they purchase for themselves and their families. While we enjoy one of the safest food supplies in the world, it requires constant monitoring. We need to be able to rapidly identify and address risks to our food supply as a result of new disease agents, new food technologies, changes in U.S. demographic and dietary patterns, and an abundance of food imports resulting from an increasingly globalized food supply. In recent years, consumers and industry alike have been impacted by illnesses associated with food products, such as ground beef, peppers, peanut butter, spinach, shell eggs, and cookie dough, among others. While regulatory and industry efforts have over time improved food safety considerably, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently estimated that 1 in 6 Americans suffers from foodborne illness annually, resulting in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths per year, most of which are preventable.

Food Safety and Inspection Service (United States Department of Agriculture).

December 2011

In September 2011, FSIS published the FSIS Strategic Plan for 2011-2016. The Plan, as a part of FSIS' goal to ensure that food safety inspection aligns with existing and emerging risks, identifies the Agency's commitment to develop an annual sampling report that comprehensively identifies and describes the Agency's sampling programs. This report was developed to address that commitment and is being released now, subsequent to the release of the Strategic Plan, to reflect FSIS' commitment to transparency and provide information on the Agency‘s sampling programs in a timely manner. This report was developed with input from all FSIS program areas and includes information on how the Agency's sampling programs were carried out in fiscal year (FY) 2011. Specifically, with the publication of this report, FSIS is documenting its current approach to microbiological and residue sampling. This report includes information on the historical basis, design, statistical/policy basis and limitations of FSIS' current sampling programs.

Food Standards Agency (United Kingdom).

April 2012

This Food Surveillance Information Sheet reports the results obtained over the period November 2010 -April 2011,which is the fourth year of a rolling programme to measure the levels of the process contaminants acrylamide and furan in a range of UK retail foodstuffs.

Government Accountability Office (United States).

March 2012

Since 2006, the U.S. beef industry has recalled over 23 million pounds of beef owing to contamination from pathogenic strains of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)bacteria. These strains do not harmcattle but may contaminate meat during slaughter. If humans eat contaminated meat without properly cooking it, STECcan cause illnesses, including bloody diarrhea and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which is characterized by kidney failure and can be fatal. The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and ofAgriculture (USDA) play a role in reducing STEC. USDA stated that interventions to reduce STEC before slaughter offer a significant opportunityto improve food safety.

European Food Safety Authority and European Centre for Disease Control (European Union).

March 2012

The European Food Safety Authority and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control analysed the information on the occurrence of zoonoses and food‐borne outbreaks in 2010 submitted by 27 European Union Member States. In 2010, 99,020 salmonellosis cases in humans were reported and the decreasing trend in case numbers continued. Most Member States met their Salmonella reduction targets for poultry, and Salmonella is declining in these populations. In foodstuffs, Salmonella was most often detected in fresh broiler and turkey meat. Campylobacteriosis was the most commonly reported zoonosis with 212,064 human cases. Campylobacter was most often detected in fresh broiler meat. The number of human listeriosis cases decreased slightly to 1,601. Listeria was seldom detected above the legal safety limit from ready‐to‐eat foods at retail. A total of 4,000 confirmed verotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) infections were reported and this number has been increasing since 2008. VTEC was also observed in food and animals. The numbers of human yersiniosis cases have been decreasing in recent years and, 6,776 cases were reported in 2010.Yersinia enterocolitica was isolated also from pig meat and pigs; 133 cases of Mycobacterium bovis and 356 cases of brucellosis in humans were also reported. The prevalence of bovine tuberculosis in cattle increased, and the prevalence of brucellosis decreased in cattle, sheep and goat populations. Trichinellosis and echinococcosis caused 223 and 750 confirmed human cases, respectively. These parasites were mainly detected in wildlife. The number of Q fever cases in humans decreased to 1,414. In animals Q fever was found in domestic ruminants. There were two human cases of rabies in 2010 and the number of rabies cases in animals slightly increased. Most of the 5,262 reported food‐borne outbreaks were caused by Salmonella,viruses, Campylobacter and bacterial toxins and the main food sources were eggs, mixed or buffet meals and vegetables.

International Life Science Institute (ILSI) Europe (International).

April 2012

Thermal process technologies have been widely adopted commercially in food manufacturing throughout the world, and non-commercially in the domestic and catering sectors. The primary objective of such processes is to render foods safe from microorganisms likely to impair food safety or to cause spoilage, while retaining the good eating and nutritional qualities of the product