Officials in the Czech Republic have revealed poultry meat from Ukraine and Brazil has tested positive for Salmonella.

The State Veterinary Administration (SVS) has carried out more than 20 inspections as part of a control campaign aimed at shipments of poultry meat and eggs from countries outside the European Union.

In total, 21 inspections, 18 on poultry meat and three on eggs, have been undertaken since early April. A total of 43 samples were taken and results are available for 29 of them.

Samples of poultry meat from Ukraine, Brazil and the United Kingdom have been tested so far. As

Continue Reading Salmonella detected in chicken meat from Ukraine and Brazil

Cereals and grains have topped a food safety risk ranking assessment by FAO and WHO.

Based on a request from the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) ranked the foods of greatest concern from a microbiological food safety perspective.

Low-moisture foods (LMF) were defined as having a water activity (aw) of 0.85 or below. They typically have a long shelf life and have been perceived for many years to not represent a microbial food safety risk. However, in recent years, a number of outbreaks linked

Continue Reading Cereals and grains top of FAO and WHO’s risk ranking

The government of Uganda has started a campaign to tackle the high levels of aflatoxin in food.

The call, supported by Oxfam, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), the Grain Council of Uganda and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, came ahead of World Food Safety Day this year.

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins produced by molds and can affect produce that is not well-dried. High levels can also contaminate food crops like cereals, legumes, oil crops and others, posing a serious health risk to humans and livestock. Based on past research, consuming foods with high aflatoxin levels increases the risk

Continue Reading Uganda sets sights on reducing aflatoxin burden

Food safety needs to be considered in situations involving food aid and limited availability, according to the FAO.

A case study by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations presents two scenarios — heavy metal (lead) in corn and fungal toxins (fumonisins) in cereal grains — showing food safety issues in food insecurity situations.

Both situations identified a health risk despite the foods meeting current international safety standards.

“Food aid is consumed for only a relatively short time, and is the main or even sole form of nutrition for beneficiaries,” said Markus Lipp, FAO senior food safety
Continue Reading FAO assesses food safety role at times of food insecurity

The greatest risks of serious health effects from contaminants in food are associated with arsenic and certain mycotoxins, according to an analysis in Finland.

The Finnish Food Authority (Ruokavirasto) wanted to identify the important chemical contaminants covered in legislation or monitoring recommendations.

Prioritization of contaminants is based on data on the dietary exposure of consumers as well as the toxicity. They were put in order by seriousness of the health effects and level of risk for high users. Onset of cancer or fetal harm was assessed as more serious than, for example, diarrhea.

Contaminants with chronic effects were divided into
Continue Reading Arsenic and some mycotoxins at top of health risk ranking in Finland

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants data on certain mycotoxins in different food products.

The first call for information covers aflatoxin in cereals and cereal-based products. This includes maize grain; flour, meal, semolina and flakes derived from maize; husked and polished rice and sorghum grain destined for further processing.

Data is also wanted on total aflatoxins in cereal-based foods for infants and young children.

A session of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Foods agreed to establish an electronic working group led by Brazil to establish maximum levels (MLs) for aflatoxin for these items that will be debated at the
Continue Reading WHO calls for mycotoxin data in some peanuts, cereals and spices

Officials in Germany and Denmark have reported low levels of pesticide residues in food.

A report, published by the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL), is based on results from 20,283 food samples as part of official controls in 2019. Selection of samples was largely risk-based, which means local authorities looked more at food that had caused issues in the past.

In 2019, Germany issued 38 Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notifications because of pesticide residues. Twelve of them were alerts.

For cereals, the proportion of samples examined with detected residues fell
Continue Reading Germany and Denmark record low pesticide residue findings on food

Ochratoxin A in food poses a health concern for most consumer groups, according to a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessment.

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin naturally produced by molds that can be found in foodss such as cereals, preserved meats, fresh and dried fruit, and cheese.

Data available since an opinion in 2006 suggest that OTA can be genotoxic by directly damaging the DNA and experts confirmed it can be carcinogenic to the kidney. OTA causes kidney toxicity in different animal species and kidney tumors in rodents.

The European Commission asked EFSA to update the 2006 opinion. In
Continue Reading EFSA: Ochratoxin A in food likely poses health risk; licorice cited

Nature’s Path Foods, a privately held, family-owned company, producing USDA and Canadian Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified breakfast and snack foods sold in grocery and natural food stores in over 50 countries around the world recalled a specific production run of EnviroKidz Choco Chimps, Gorilla Munch and Jungle Munch cereals for they may contain undeclared gluten (wheat and barley).

People who have a wheat allergy, celiac disease or sensitivity to gluten and wheat should not consume the cereals with the BEST BEFORE DATE listed below due to potential adverse health effects. Nature’s Path is also removing any affected cereals
Continue Reading Nature’s Path Foods recalls cereals containing undeclared gluten