The 2023 Food Safety Summit's kick-off workshop will demystify the root-cause analysis process by breaking it down into easy-to-understand steps, shed light on the regulatory expectations for the investigative process, examine the due diligence needed for investigations, and provide insight on best practices for successful implementation used within industry.
This article presents the key findings of outbreak investigations from 2014–2021 that have been linked to the consumption of fresh, soft queso fresco-type cheeses in the U.S. The authors outline some of the specific circumstances that small manufacturers of all cheeses may encounter in an effort to provide lessons learned and highlight available resources.
In this article, the authors discuss the mechanisms by which food safety can be improved on the farm, along with some of the treatments that are effective today and likely will be available in the near future.
Food safety auditing has progressed a great deal in the last three decades, but it is clear that it has yet to keep up with changing needs, expectations, and technological developments. This article explores the envisioned future of auditing, including how to develop talent and retain auditors, the qualities of a successful auditor, the importance of calibration among auditing teams, developments in technology and tools for auditors, and changes in processes with certification bodies, among other aspects.
Risk-based approaches for food allergens offer a path forward for both allergen management and precautionary allergen labeling decision-making. After many years of research, a clearer picture has emerged of the population-level, threshold-dose distributions for major food allergens using data generated in double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge studies. If the food allergen management field is headed for a shift toward quantitative, risk-based management strategies, however, then several method considerations and important data gaps must be addressed.
Innovative packaging technologies that contribute to food safety include, but are not limited to, antimicrobial packaging, controlled-release packaging, nanotechnology, and biosensors. These technologies can aid in the control of not only spoilage microorganisms, which make the food product undesirable (but not necessarily unsafe), but also pathogenic organisms, which can cause illness and even death in humans. In the current economy, it may be difficult to make the decision to transition from a traditional packaging solution to an alternative; however, when product food safety is jeopardized and consumers are at potential risk, the food industry must do everything it can to prevent adverse scenarios.
Meal kits use a direct-to-consumer model of delivering perishable, pre-measured ingredients for pre-selected recipes that are then used to prepare and cook meals at home. Meal kits are likely to contain a variety of foods that may grow or be contaminated by pathogenic bacteria. Meal kit manufacturers also often repackage ingredients into plain or branded packaging, which can result in the consumption of unexpected ingredients or allergens.