In the December ‘23/January ‘24 issue of Food Safety Magazine, our cover story examines threats to food safety posed by climate change, focusing on cross-sectoral solutions to adapt to multiple emerging risks. Additional features explore the food safety questions around plant-based foods and sustainable packaging materials, the intersection between cannabis and food safety regulations, and lessons to be learned from FDA’s investigation of a 2022 salmonellosis outbreak caused by cantaloupe.
This article discusses the work being done by the Federal Regulatory Framework (FRF) Working Group, a collaboration between the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS) and the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), to advocate for and develop a comprehensive and relevant roadmap for the federal regulatory framework of cannabis-infused edibles and beverages to address critical challenges and enhance consumer confidence.
The added microbial risks that come with eating more plant-based foods can usually be mitigated by adjusting recipes or process parameters, although hazard considerations regarding the chemical safety of a diet richer in plant-based materials is more complex. Also, introducing reusable packaging may come with its own set of issues.
This article examines FDA's investigation of the 2022 regional outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium on cantaloupe from the Southwest Indiana growing region, which caused 87 reported illnesses and 32 hospitalizations between July and September of that year, and discusses several themes and conclusions related to the outbreak, such as how "business as usual" will continue to produce the same results.
General cleaning/sanitizing elements of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should not be integrated into the "regulatory" requirements of Sanitation SOPs (SSOPs), but should be maintained as a separate plant operational set of documents. To further explain this the rationale for keeping these separate, this article reviews SSOPs to define their requirements and how these differ from general SOPs.
Sampling is part of a process that has two functions. It can be used to sample a process during operations or to sample the output of a process, such as a product lot. During sampling, the measurand (the object being measured) must be properly selected, properly transported to a location where the object or objects will be analyzed, and the results must be reported to the appropriate individuals. This article covers the systematic development of a sampling plan.
This article sheds light on some critical components of successful voluntary third-party assurance (vTPA) program implementation, particularly from an accreditation and certification service perspective. It discusses the role of accreditation and certification services and the prerequisites for successfully implementing the vTPA approach with the aim of supporting competent authorities in this process.
This article takes a look at how whole-being competencies support technical leaders to shift culture through daily interactions and behaviors. As we head into 2024, it is time to move from checking boxes to doing the work of creating and implementing a solid food safety culture improvement plan. Organizations are taking this opportunity to map out how to improve food safety culture in the next year—and, hopefully, over the next several years, as culture shifts are known to take several years to see the impact.
Ongoing debates about the use of rapid test methods in food safety have led to the rise of the question: Has the vast increase in outsourcing testing to contract labs made rapid methods less useful, or is the ease of use and speed of the methods still important (if not essential) for better management and decision-making in food safety? Food Safety Insights asks food safety professionals their opinions on this question.
This article provides a future-oriented perspective on comprehensive food safety programs that harness multi-layered sensor technology and artificial intelligence (AI). The program described begins with biosurveillance at the producer level and seamlessly extends to the retail food sector.
Brands, retailers, and post-consumer package handlers are focused on adding value with PFAS-free packaging. This article discusses how PFAS alternatives are gaining prominence, with PFAS-free packaging entering the food packaging industry ahead of schedule.