Air and water monitoring involves the monitoring and testing of air and water quality in the processing line of a facility. Test results help determine if acceptable standards are being met for a range of parameters that influence food safety and quality.
Allergen testing seeks to determine the presence of foods or food residues that are classified as allergens in foods or beverages that are not labeled as containing those foods. Class 1 allergens, which encompass the Big 9, are of the greatest concern in allergen testing.
Environmental testing involves the microbiological sampling of food contact surfaces or nearby areas to test for the presence of pathogens or indicator organisms. An environmental monitoring program (EMP) includes pathogen swabbing to detect risk in the sanitary conditions of the processing environment and is a verification of the effectiveness of pathogen controls in place at a facility.
Microbiological testing seeks to identify the presence of bacterial pathogens, viruses, and parasites on food contact surfaces, in agricultural water and soil, and in food products. Frequent swabbing to determine if pathogens are present on food processing equipment is an important part of a sound environmental monitoring program (EMP) at a facility.
Sampling programs for food examine a certain portion or product units of a particular lot of the same food as a representative of the quality and safety of the food. Sample prep for laboratory testing involves the preparation of samples for testing.
More than 200 food safety experts across 14 countries in Asia and the Pacific have been trained in the use of the use of nuclear techniques to test for microbial and chemical hazards, through a project led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will be reevaluating the health risks posed by phthalates and replacement plasticizers used in food contact materials, and has recently published its scientific protocol for the hazard assessment of the substances.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has released its first Science and Technology Advisory Group (STAG) Report, which focuses on four themes impacting food safety: “Big Data,” the role of the microbiome, emerging foodborne pathogens, and food system resilience.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) has announced upcoming changes and expansions to its beef sampling and testing programs for Escherichia coli and Salmonella.
Sixth Wave Innovations Inc. recently announced that its Accelerated Molecularly Imprinted Polymer (AMIPs™) technology has expanded its library of detectable pathogens, which already includes Escherichia coli, to encompass Salmonella, Listeriamonocytgenes, and Sarcina.
The Investigations Operations Manual is the standard for FDA field investigations. It explains how FDA investigators are taught to act, what to look for, and what to do when they find a noncompliance at a food facility. The latest version, which came out in June 2022, contains an important update on environmental monitoring.
This article covers U.S. regulatory oversight in establishing pesticide residue tolerances, testing for residues in domestic goods and imports, and the importance of science-based standards for global trade and food safety.