Every hour of every day people around the world are living with and working to resolve food safety issues. Here is a sampling of current headlines for your consumption, brought to you today with the support of Alchemy Systems.

Food Safety Summit discount deadline
Focusing on the importance of food safety through the entire supply chain, the 20th annual Food Safety Summit is scheduled for May 7-10 in Rosemont, IL, at the Donald Stephens Convention Center.

“It is vital to understand not only your roles and responsibilities but also those in the rest of the process,” summit organizers said when they announced the agenda for the 2018 event.

A wide range of the food community’s needs and situations will be explored through case studies, educational sessions, peer-to-peer discussions, and demonstrations of new technologies.

View the “Schedule-at-a-Glance” for the Food Safety Summit’s agenda. Early registration discounts are still available, but only through Dec. 31. The code “20for20” can be used for 20 percent discounts until the Dec. 31 early registration deadline. Discounted student pricing and group discount pricing are also available.

Australian bakery fined after 200 fall ill
The two owners of the Box Village Bakeryin New South Wales, Australia, each pleaded guilty to five breaches of selling unsafe food, and five breaches of failing to meet food safety standards and were fined $61,000 each for their roles in an outbreak that sickened more than 200.

The Australian bakery owners’ shop was found to be the source of a Salmonella outbreak in January 2016. The bakery in south Sydney closed after customers complaints of Salmonella began.

Customers who became ill reported having eaten chicken rolls, salads and other items from the bakery.

According to Dr. Lisa Szabo, CEO of the NSW Food Authority, the fines served as a reminder to all food businesses and individuals as to why food safety systems are crucial.

CSPI condemns faster poultry line speeds
Production line speed limits for the processing of slaughtered chickens are up for review and consumer watchdog groups say demands by the National Chicken Council are dangerous.

Having no limit on line speeds could compromise food safety, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The CSPI urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reject a poultry industry lobbying group’s petition, submitting comments in opposition to the faster line speeds.

Currently, the pace of chicken slaughterhouse lines are allowed to move at 140 birds per minute, which is “a speed set to allow federal inspectors adequate time to assess chicken carcasses for fecal contamination and other problems under traditional inspection procedures,” according to CSPI.

If the USDA grants the request to implement a waiver system that would allow operation of indefinite, or “any line speed at which they can maintain process control,” then a single federal inspector could be asked to observe more than 200 chicken carcasses per minute, meaning three carcasses per second. No USDA program has ever tested speeds like this.

“We question whether a third of a second is adequate time for an inspector to see much of anything, let alone evidence of fecal contamination on a chicken carcass,” according to Sarah Sorscher, CSPI deputy of regulatory affairs. “The faster line speeds have the potential to increase fatigue and injury on the part of workers and raise the probability of a human error that compromises food safety.”

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