European Food Safety Authority

More research has been released by the United States National Toxicology Program (NTP) as part of a landmark study on the safety of bisphenol A (BPA).

The Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on BPA Toxicity (CLARITY-BPA) program is studying a range of potential health effects from exposure to the chemical.

It was initiated by NTP, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide data for regulatory decisions.

The draft CLARITY-BPA core study research report was reviewed by an external expert panel in
Continue Reading More data published from BPA study; results ‘support the safety of BPA’

A House of Lords sub-committee in the United Kingdom has called for clarity on post-Brexit food safety decisions.

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee wrote to Steve Brine, the minister responsible for the Food Standards Agency, following an inquiry in July.

It invited answers to whether the government supports a model by the FSA for making decisions post-Brexit and when the agency would get the required legal powers as well as if the UK would be ready to take on responsibility for food safety risk management decision-making in March 2019, if there is no transition period.

Under the FSA model,
Continue Reading House of Lords committee wants details on post-Brexit food safety plan for UK

Seventeen food isolates matching the Salmonella outbreak strain linked to 147 illnesses were detected earlier this year in four plants of one company and the site of a different firm in the United Kingdom.

The Salmonella Agona food isolates were found to be closely genetically related to the human strains.

They were from cucumbers sampled during processing, before and after washing (11 isolates) and six were found in ready-to-eat food (RTE) products containing cucumbers.

Production continued at both companies as the affected cucumbers and associated RTE items containing them were no longer being produced.

Cucumbers used in all final contaminated
Continue Reading Cucumber Salmonella outbreak strain isolated from four sites of UK company

The government in Catalonia has decided to allow the direct sale of raw cow’s milk from producers to consumers.

The regulation sets production, sanitary, transport, labelling, handling and packaging requirements that must be met when selling unpasteurized milk. Authorities from the region in Spain said it applies to livestock farms in Catalonia that directly sell raw cow’s milk.

Sales can be on the producing farm, in a vending machine or at a retail establishment.

The Catalan government said the dairy industry had undergone restructuring in recent years with livestock in good condition and this move would help boost the sector. 
Continue Reading Catalonia OKs sales of raw milk; all of Spain may follow suit

European officials have linked ready-to-eat products containing cucumbers to a multi-country outbreak of Salmonella that has sickened 147 people.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said five countries are affected: Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Behind the UK, which has 129 of the Salmonella Agona outbreak cases, is Finland with 15 cases. Denmark, Germany and Ireland have had one case each. The confirmed Irish case had a travel history to the UK prior to onset of symptoms.

A total of 122 cases have been recorded since January 2017.
Continue Reading UK hardest hit in Salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers

Some academics have argued an “additional, unnecessary risk” is being created by the Food Standards Agency’s decision to continue major reform of UK food safety regulation during the Brexit negotiations.

One part of the briefing paper looks at the significance of the Regulating Our Future reforms.

The reform program is intended to modify how food is regulated in the United Kingdom, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Implementation of some of the program is to be before March, 30, 2019 – the date when the UK will leave the European Union.

The report calls on the FSA to provide
Continue Reading UK food safety reform during Brexit creates ‘additional risk’

Production is on hold at the Hungarian plant of the company linked to a deadly outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes from frozen vegetables in five European countries.

A spokesperson for Greenyard, a producer of fresh, frozen and prepared fruit and vegetables, told Food Safety News that the company is awaiting more data, information and analysis from the local authorities and EFSA (the European Food Safety Authority). The company is looking into alternative sourcing possibilities to supply customers.

“We have decided to put production on hold and are determined not to restart or release the freezing lines until we have
Continue Reading Company stops production at frozen vegetable, fruit facility

Relatively minor gastrointestinal illnesses can be serious, even fatal, for people from risk groups including small children, pregnant women, very old people or people with weakened immune systems, prompting a reminder that kitchen hygiene is of vital importance.

In an effort to reduce the number of foodborne infections, the Member States of the European Union submit data on foodborne outbreaks every year to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The agency reports that food consumed in private homes was the source of 40 percent of the European outbreaks in 2016.

The recently released EFSA report on zoonoses — diseases that
Continue Reading EFSA: Home kitchen hygiene crucial to fight foodborne illness

Three European agencies concerned about the impact antibiotic use on the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria are reporting new data on antibiotic consumption and antibiotic resistance across the continent.

The new report comes from the European Food Safety Authority, the European Medicines Agency and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

“To contain antibiotic resistance we need to fight on three fronts at the same time: human, animal and the environment,” says  European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis. “This is exactly what we are trying to achieve in the EU and globally with our recently launched EU
Continue Reading Increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria blamed on use

The recent upward trend of human listeriosis cases in Europe is behind the European Food Safety Authority’s opening of a new round of “public consultation” on its scientific opinion regarding the contamination of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods with Listeria monocytogenes and the related human health risks.

Experts on an EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards investigated the trend of human listeriosis in different age and gender groups between 2008 and 2015. They reviewed the recent information available on L. monocytogenes in RTE foods and identified factors that may have impacted on the worsening trend.

The “public consultation” includes a public comment period,
Continue Reading EFSA seeks comments on draft about Listeria risks in RTE food