The implementation of a new traceability rule is more than a year and a half away, and the FDA won’t start enforcing the requirements of the rule until 2027, but a former agency leader says companies should begin making changes now.

Frank Yiannas, the former deputy commissioner of food policy and response at the Food and Drug Administration, recently gave Food Safety News insights into Rule 204 of the Food Modernization Act. Yiannas helped draft the rule and is now consulting with companies beginning to take action to meet its requirements.

One method some companies are planning to use —

Continue Reading New technology can help companies meet intent of food safety traceability rule

A recent review assessed how technology can play a role in early warning and emerging risk identification systems.

The review covers the existing applications of artificial intelligence, big data, and internet of things (IoT) in developing early warning and emerging food safety risk identification tools and methods. Information comes from 40 original studies and 57 reviews published from 2013 to 2022.

It is important for national authorities and international organizations to be able to identify emerging food safety risks and provide early warning signals. The use of AI for food safety surveillance and hazard source tracking purposes enables the identification

Continue Reading Scientists review early warning tools for food safety

Two examples showing the benefits and challenges of agencies moving from paper-based to digital systems have been published by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The first covers how the country of Georgia developed a digital system for food control data.

The National Food Agency used to receive control results from the regions on spreadsheets and text files. Collection of the data was ineffective, cumbersome, and prone to mistakes. Authorities experienced problems receiving timely data throughout the supply chain, including information on registrations of food businesses, inspection results, and other relevant food safety data. This impacted the understanding of

Continue Reading Two agencies share the journey of using digital in food control systems

The FAO is attempting to raise awareness and understanding of early warning tools and systems in food safety to support their wider use.

Early warning systems play a role in reducing the potential risks from various hazards, said the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in a recent report.

The capability to identify emerging food safety risks and to provide timely warnings to allow for mitigation measures to be taken is useful for national and international authorities dealing with food safety.

There has been a shift from reactive to proactive systems for issues that may require targeted monitoring, surveillance

Continue Reading FAO raises the profile of early warning systems

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) by companies in Norway will likely be used for certain samples or in particular situations instead of all the time, according to a report.

The report looks at the legal rules that may affect WGS implementation of bacterial pathogens in the food industry, using Listeria monocytogenes as a case study.

Work was part of the PathoSeq project that began in 2019 and ended in 2023. It involved Nofima, the University of Oslo, the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria and companies in the meat and salmon sector.

The EU legal framework distinguishes between ready-to-eat

Continue Reading The project assesses potential WGS use for Listeria in Norway

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) plans to publish reports on cell-based food, precision fermentation, and whole genome sequencing (WGS) in 2024.

FAO and the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) held a meeting on cell-based food production and precision fermentation in Shanghai in November 2023. A report on the event will be published next year.

Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) and FAO are compiling a report on precision fermentation including definitions; an overview of the production processes and common input materials; and regulatory frameworks relevant to food safety. This synthesis is planned for release towards the end of 2024.

FAO organized

Continue Reading WGS and cell-based food on FAO’s 2024 agenda

Use of food irradiation in Europe has continued to fall, according to recently released figures.

More than 5,000 tons of foodstuffs were irradiated in EU member states in 2020 and 2021 compared to 7,832 tons in 2018 and 2019.

Data was forwarded from member states to the European Commission for January 2020 to December 2021.

Food irradiation is the treatment of foodstuffs by ionizing radiation. It does not make food radioactive. Irradiation is used for sanitary and phytosanitary purposes to kill bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli that can cause food poisoning and to eliminate organisms harmful to

Continue Reading EU food irradiation data shows a continued decline

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a guide for use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) in food safety.

The guidance comes in three parts. The first explains the minimum capacity requirements in the foodborne disease surveillance and response system prior to considering implementation of WGS.

The second discusses how WGS can help to support outbreak investigations and the third describes the usage of WGS in routine surveillance of foodborne diseases.

A related webinar was organized in June 2023 where lessons learned, opportunities, challenges and national examples were highlighted. The event featured Dr. Eric Brown, from the Center for Food

Continue Reading WHO unveils WGS guides to help tackle foodborne disease

If self-driving cars can identify objects like other cars or traffic lights, why not use artificial intelligence (AI) to identify harmful bacteria in food.

Turns out that this is not such a far-fetched idea.

“People are using AI to change people lives,” said Luyao Ma, a researcher with the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis.   “As food scientists, we can bring this knowledge into the agricultural food system.”

This optimistic look into the future of food safety is highlighted in a recent report (https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/aem.01828-22) based on research out of the university that explores

Continue Reading Does artificial intelligence open up promises for food safety?

By Paul Damaren

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been dominating headlines for its explosive growth, the rise of ChatBots, and the way it’s elevating the way businesses operate. In the food industry, specifically, AI is optimizing food safety, quality control, supply chain management, and so much more. 

Food businesses face many significant safety and quality challenges, including inconsistent quality control, operational inefficiencies, rising labor costs, and inadequate traceability. But, in today’s fast-paced world, where quality and safety standards are paramount, AI has emerged as a game-changer in modern quality management. This innovative technology not only maximizes quality and minimizes risks

Continue Reading AI has advantages in quality management