Higher fridge temperatures in the homes of older people could be putting them at greater risk of Listeria infection, according to a study.

Researchers looked at the temperatures of domestic refrigerators in the Netherlands and the impact on listeriosis cases related to ready-to-eat (RTE) cooked meat products.

A survey among 1,020 Dutch consumers assessed their knowledge and behavior regarding refrigerators.

The mean temperature of 534 domestic refrigerators on the bottom shelf was 5.7 degrees C (42.2 degrees F). The 24-hour profiles of an additional 50 refrigerators showed temperatures on the upper shelf were higher at 7.7 degrees C (45.8 degrees F). In

Continue Reading Dutch study looks at fridge temperatures and Listeria risk

Authorities in Iceland have issued a warning after six people were diagnosed with Listeria infections.

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) wanted to increase awareness of the disease among at-risk groups and of preventive measures that food companies can take.

Risk groups are people with a weakened immune system, those on immunosuppressive drugs or undergoing cancer treatment, pregnant women, young children, and the elderly.

The source of the foodborne infection has not yet been identified. Officials did not say if cases were sporadic or part of an outbreak.

In recent years, two and five sick people have been reported

Continue Reading Listeria cases prompt warning in Iceland

Data showing the scale of pesticide residues on food have been published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

110,829 food samples were collected in the European Union in 2022. Results show that 96.3 percent were within legally permitted levels. Of these, 65,374 samples did not contain quantifiable residues, while 37.3 percent had residues not above the limits.

Overall, 4,148 exceeded the maximum residue level (MRL), of which 2,383 were non‐compliant after considering measurement uncertainty and triggering legal sanctions or enforcement actions.

In 2021, 96.1 of the samples were within permitted levels. The MRL exceedance rate was 3.9 percent, and

Continue Reading EFSA shares 2022 data on pesticide residues in food

New Zealand Food Safety has issued new import rules for frozen berries that aim to help keep citizens safe and improve processes at the border.

Changes will come into effect on Aug. 1, and importers have 18 months until Jan. 31, 2026, to transition to the modified requirements. 

From 2022 to 2023, there was an outbreak of hepatitis A virus associated with frozen berries from Serbia, affecting 39 people.

Changes to requirements
Vincent Arbuckle, New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general, said several countries have recalled frozen berries in the past because of concerns about hepatitis A, which is not killed

Continue Reading New Zealand sets revised frozen berry import rules

The number of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) O157 infections remained steady but non-O157 cases increased in England in 2021 according to recently released data.

Overall, 1,151 confirmed cases of STEC were reported in England during 2021. This included 365 cases of STEC O157 and 786 cases where non-O157 was isolated. For another 443 patients, samples were confirmed as STEC by testing positive by PCR for Shiga toxin genes, but E. coli was not cultured.

Fourteen confirmed cases were infected with multiple serogroups, according to data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

In 2020, 365 O157 cases were recorded

Continue Reading E. coli O157 cases stable; non-O157 infections rise in England

The Food and Drug Administration continues using import alerts to enforce U.S. food safety regulations for food from foreign countries. The agency updates and modifies the alerts as needed.

Recent modifications to FDA’s import alerts, as posted by the agency, are listed below. 

Click here to go to the FDA page with links to details on specific alerts. See chart below for list of alert modifications.

Click on chart to enlarge. Use link above to go to FDA page with links to specific alerts.

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Continue Reading FDA steps up enforcement on imported shrimp, mahimahi, papayas

A dozen people have fallen sick in recent weeks in a Salmonella outbreak in Denmark.

During March and April, 12 cases of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported, said the Statens Serum Institut (SSI).

People were infected with the same type of Salmonella. Patients are between 5 and 80 years old with a median age of 35. Six are males and six are females. Patients have been reported from different parts of the country.

The SSI, Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen), and DTU Food Institute are investigating the outbreak.

SSI is performing whole genome sequencing of patients’ Salmonella isolates and interviewing

Continue Reading Salmonella outbreak sickens 12 in Denmark

Singapore held the fifth meeting of an international food safety network this past week.

The annual meeting of the International Heads of Food Agencies Forum (IHFAF) took place from April 16 to 20, under the theme “Food Safety for a Resilient and Sustainable World”.

Heads of food agencies from 17 countries and 22 organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), The U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Codex Alimentarius Commission, attended the event.

National perspectives
Dr. Hisham bin Saad Aljadhey, CEO of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), headed the agency’s delegation. Aljadhey chaired two sessions on

Continue Reading Singapore hosts latest meeting for food agency leaders

The number of Salmonella cases in England has returned to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels and 11 outbreaks were reported in 2022.

Salmonella Enteritidis went back to being the most frequently reported serovar and Salmonella Typhimurium infections also increased, said the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

In 2022, there were 8,125 Salmonella cases in England, compared to 5,033 in 2021, 4,712 in 2020 and 8,398 in 2019.

Salmonella Enteritidis reports jumped from 747 in 2021 to 2,044 in 2022. Salmonella Typhimurium infections rose from 1,219 in 2021 to 1,731 in 2022. Salmonella Infantis was in third place with 310 reports, followed by

Continue Reading Salmonella infections return to pre-pandemic levels in England

Scientists in Europe have updated the knowledge around parasites in fish based on available surveillance data.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific opinion also evaluated methods for detecting and killing parasites in fish.

European data indicates that many species of farmed fish are free from parasites that can infect humans. These include Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, gilthead seabream, turbot, meagre, Atlantic halibut, carp, and European catfish.  

However, Anisakis pegreffii, Anisakis simplex and Cryptocotyle lingua were found in European seabass, Atlantic bluefin tuna and/or cod, and Pseudamphistomum truncatum and Paracoenogonimus ovatus in tench, produced in open offshore cages or flow-through ponds

Continue Reading EFSA evaluates parasites in fish and related control methods