European meat plants posing 'avoidable risk' of disease
EWFC is calling for food safety regulations at slaughterhouses to be “re-evaluated in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic”
Consumers are being exposed to an “avoidable risk” of disease after a reduction of official controls in food inspections of pig and poultry carcasses across the EU, European meat inspectors have said. Diseased meat is being eaten by consumers in the UK and EU, including pus from abscesses and tuberculosis lesions from pigs’ heads, said the European Working Community for Food Inspection and Consumer Protection (EFWFC) this week. The EWFC represents EU meat inspectors in Europe.
In response to the claim, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the regulations for food safety had been developed to prevent meat that could be diseased or contaminated from reaching consumers. “If the FSA was aware of any breaches of these regulations it would be treated very seriously and we would take immediate action in response,” said a spokesperson.
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Modified Reference Point Index (mRPI) and a decision tree for deriving uncertainty factors: A practical approach to cumulative risk assessment of food contaminant mixtures
Risk assessment of chemical mixtures remains a challenging task in all areas of food and consumer safety. So far, no general method has been developed that is best suited to several subject areas (e.g. food contaminants, additives and supplements, plant protection products). Especially for mixtures of food contaminants sophisticated methods are typically not applicable due to a general lack of complete toxicological data sets.
We developed a new approach, the modified Reference Point Index (mRPI), that combines the advantages of the Hazard Index and the Reference Point Index. Furthermore, we developed a decision tree for the determination of specific uncertainty factors that makes the mRPI an easy to use method for cumulative risk assessment even in a data poor field such as food contaminants. To further characterise the estimated cumulative risks, the Maximum Cumulative Ratio (MCR) was adapted to be applied on the mRPI, and the modified Maximum Cumulative Ratio (mMCR) was established to identify whether the risks are dominated by a single substance.
We present two case studies assessing the nephrotoxic and neurotoxic risks for the Austrian population originating from food contaminant mixtures. Calculations could not rule out potential cumulative risks, yet, they seemed to be dominated by single substances.
risk assessment EU contaminants AGES
Commission: No mandatory front-of-pack labelling in the Farm to Fork
Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides scaled back the ambition of the EU’s new food policy during a meeting with agriculture MEPs on Monday (11 May), revealing that it will not provide a compulsory EU-wide nutritional food label scheme.
“The Farm to Fork (F2F) will be promoting harmonised labelling, but will not be mandating the type of labelling,” she told the agriculture committee (COMAGRI). She did added though that the upcoming Commission report on front-of-pack nutrition labelling will provide evidence on the need for harmonisation in this area, as under the current EU rules it is only voluntary.
According to Kyriakides, the considerable interest in foodstuff nutrient profiles has delayed the Commission’s action, but in the context of the F2F, the EU executive will come forward with a concrete response.
official controls nutri-score europe
Belgium food safety agency: Checks continue despite Coronavirus control measures
Almost 4,500 kilograms of food has been confiscated by the Belgian food safety agency (FASFC). The agency stressed it has continued efforts to protect public health since control measures for coronavirus were put in place in mid-March.
Vehicle inspections by a unit of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) have led to four vans being seized and the destruction of 4,450 kilograms of food such as meat, fish and cheese in the past week.
Most of the violations were because of non-compliance with temperatures required by the regulations. Transporting food in excessively high temperature conditions can lead to contamination and food poisoning for consumers, said officials.
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Listeria in frozen vegetables: how to reduce risks
EFSA has assessed the risks to public health from Listeria contamination of vegetables that are blanched – scalded in hot water or steam for a short time – before they are frozen. They conclude that the risks associated with the consumption of these products is lower than for ready-to-eat foods such as smoked fish, cooked meat, sausages, pâté, soft cheese – which are usually associated with listeria contamination.
Food business operators often blanch vegetables before freezing them because this stops enzyme actions which can cause loss of flavour, colour and texture.
EFSA’s experts identified relevant control activities that food business operators can implement to lower the risks of contamination of frozen vegetables. These range from cleaning and disinfection of the food producing environment to water, time and temperature control at different processing steps, and accurate labelling.
official controls listeria EFSA ECDC