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.

Researchers say pre-sliced vegetables are pathogen repositories
Research published this month concludes pre-sliced vegetables should be considered a standing threat in terms of foodborne pathogens.

“It also underlines the importance of appropriate cooling, transport, re-heating and distribution of meals,” according to the research abstract published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

The scientists reviewed information from a foodborne outbreak of VIM carbapenemase-expressing Citrobacter freundii (CPC) that occurred between February and June 2016 at a major university hospital in Germany. The hospital identified 76 “mostly unrelated” cases in different wards.

Pre-sliced vegetables were found to be the culprit. Repeated testing of pre-sliced vegetables ultimately showed a high degree of contamination “with C. freundii without a carbapenemase,” the researchers reported.

“This report demonstrates that an explosive increase in carbapenemase-expressing Enterobacteriaceae contamination (can) be caused by a foodborne source, and suggests that pre-sliced vegetables have to be taken into account as a putative pathogen repository.”

Mars issues do-over recall of candy
Mars Inc. is again recalling certain candy bars and malted milk balls because they were distributed after being  recalled this past summer for Salmonella contamination.

The recalled Galaxy Milk Bars and Maltesers Fun Size Bags were supposed to be removed fro the stream of commerce in the United Kingdom in June 2017. Mars Ireland initiated the recall of “a range of its products” because of possible Salmonella contamination.

However, two pallets of the recalled candy went out to retailers.

“Food businesses are requested to remove the affected batch of the two products from sale and clearly display a point-of-sale notice informing customers not to eat them,” according to the renewed recall notice.


New York posting grocery store grade cards
The New York State Agriculture Department plans to begin posting inspection ratings for retail food stores. The letter ratings are an attempt by public health officials to help consumers better understand the sanitary conditions of a location while educating store owners about food safety rules.

After sanitary inspections, stores will receive an “A,” “B,” or “C” letter grade:
  • A = No critical deficiencies found, food safety program is working;
  • B = Critical deficiencies found and corrected during inspection, room for continuous improvement; and
  • C = Critical deficiencies found and were not or could not be corrected during inspection, needs immediate corrective action.
According to a news release from the agriculture department, retailers will be required to post the “Notice of Inspection” in an obvious location near each public entrance. Consumers can request copies of the inspection notice from the retailer. Retailers who do not follow the posting requirement face a $600 fine.


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