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 where a firm of interest was identified in the U.S. The authors outline some of the specific circumstances that small manufacturers of all cheeses may encounter, particularly smaller manufacturers of fresh, soft queso fresco-type cheeses, in an effort to provide lessons learned from these outbreaks and highlight the available resources for these cheese manufacturers.
This article looks back at the events of the 1993 E. coli outbreak associated with hamburgers served at Jack in the Box restaurants along the U.S. West Coast, examining the regulatory changes inspired by the fatal outbreak and its impact. Also discussed are the corporate and industry changes, spearheaded by Dr. David Theno, that set new standards for leadership and management in foodservice and food safety.
An increasingly critical element of food safety and defense planning is assurance of data integrity—the ability to keep data unchanged as it is communicated or stored. Information that is used for decision-making or reporting cannot be compromised, altered, or manipulated by unauthorized users. Threat information is best shared through the establishment and voluntary participation of an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC). Food and agriculture is the only sector that lacks an ISAC. With security threats against the sector increasing and cyber threats against the global supply system also on the rise, it is imperative that a food and agriculture ISAC be formed.
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.
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.
Small food manufacturers, defined as those with less than 500 full-time employees, have experienced significant challenges to operate and supply food during the COVID-19 pandemic. To better support small manufacturers in Georgia, the University of Georgia Marine Extension and the Georgia Sea Grant conducted free, onsite COVID-19 assessments at seven seafood processing/distributing facilities through the first five months of 2021. Completed assessment reports and recommendations are summarized in this article. Manufacturers demonstrated remarkable adaptability to protect workers and avoid closing, despite supply shortages and continually changing public health guidance.
By approaching food safety culture (FSC) as organizational culture, a recent study funded by the Danish Agriculture Food Council has developed a Change Agent Model for FSC. The model illustrates the important underlying mechanisms that an individual or group can work through to become culture change agents and drivers for FSC development.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CIFA) recently provided insight into how whole genome sequencing (WGS) and international data-sharing helped trace a 2020 multinational food safety outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes to enoki mushrooms, enabling countries to rapidly recall the affected products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a new video series, titled, Into the Dataverse, which focuses on how the agency is modernizing its use of data, part of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety blueprint. The first video provides an overview of 21 Forward, a data analytics tool that monitors the food supply chain.