Category Archives: food safety training

Research – Annual report on the food safety situation in Catalonia, 2020


Based on the available data collected in the 2020 Report, we can conclude that the situation in this matter remains, in general terms, stable. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated significant deviations in some parameters such as, for example, food poisoning outbreaks that have deviated widely from the usual data of the historical series of the last twenty years with a drop of more than 50% compared to previous years.

Click to access Memoria-anual-seguretat-alimentaria_2020-Final1.docx.pdf

Research – Alerts involving global food safety network climb; frozen berries linked to multi-country outbreak

Food Safety News

The number of food safety incidents involving an international network has gone up in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous three months.

The International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) was part of 58 alerts from July through September compared to 46 in the second quarter of 2022.

Thirty-two incidents fell into the biological hazard category which was dominated by Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella with 10 each. E. coli was behind with six, Clostridium botulinum and hepatitis A caused two each, and Bacillus cereus and Coxsackievirus one each.

Research – Joint FAO/WHO Expert meeting on microbiological risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes in foods


kswfoodworld Listeria monocytogenes

The Joint FAO/WHO Expert meeting on microbiological risk assessment of Listeria monocytogenes in foods was convened in response to a request by the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) at its fifty-second session1to undertake a full farm to table risk assessment on Listeria monocytogenes in food in order to inform a possible future revision of the Guidelines on the Application of General Principles of Food Hygiene to the Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Foods (CXG 61-2007)2.This document summarizes the conclusions and recommendations for the development of microbiological risk assessment of L.monocytogenes in specific foods; namely, leafy greens, frozen vegetables, cantaloupe melon and ready-to-eat (RTE)seafood, in the light of new data and approaches. This document has been prepared to facilitate the deliberations of the upcoming CCFH. The full report will be published as part of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)and World Health Organization(WHO)Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) Series.

Research – Listeria monocytogenes in the Food Processing Environment



Purpose of Review

Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis, a relatively rare but potentially fatal disease with a 19% mortality rate and a 99% hospitalisation rate. It affects mainly elderly and immunocompromised individuals.

Ready-to-eat (RTE) foods are particularly dangerous with regard to L. monocytogenes as there is no further anti-microbial step between production and consumption. The purpose of this work is to review the importance of Listeria monocytogenes in the food processing environment.

Recent Findings

Cross-contamination from the processing environment to the food at production or at retail level is the most common route of RTE food contamination. If present on a food matrix,L. monocytogeneshas a remarkable ability to survive andcan grow during refrigeration to sufficient numbers to cause disease.SummaryWhile hygiene processes and awareness can help control ofL. monocytogenesin food processing environments, newmethods such as bacteriophages and bacteriocins are being applied to control it in food, reducing public healthissues.

Research – Combined Pulsed Electric Field with Antimicrobial Caps for Extending Shelf Life of Orange Juice


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of combined pulsed electric fields (PEF) and antimicrobial packaging treatment in maintaining the quality and stability of orange juice stored at 10 °C. Orange juice was treated by PEF and stored in glass jars with antimicrobial caps coated with 10 µL of carvacrol essential oil (AP). Microbial reductions and physiochemical properties of juice samples were determined after treatments and during storage at 10 °C. Orange juice samples subjected to the combined treatment (PEF+AP) had the lowest yeast and mold populations after 14 day-storage at 10 °C. There were no significant differences in pH, acidity, color, total soluble solid contents, total phenol compounds, and Vitamin C among all samples after treatments. Storage studies showed that PEF, AP, and PEF+AP treatments maintained the quality and stability of orange juice stored at 10 °C for 5 weeks but lost Vitamin C. This study provides valuable information to juice processors for consideration and design of nonthermal pasteurization with antimicrobial packaging of juice products. View Full-Text

Research – Guidance for Controlling Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) in Retail Delicatessens – Best Practice Tips for Deli Operators


This guidance document provides specific recommendations for actions that retailers can take in the delicatessen (deli) area to control Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) contamination of ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products. This document is also available in PDF format. These materials highlight recommendations that are based on an evaluation of retail conditions and practices in the Interagency Risk Assessment–Listeria monocytogenes in Retail Delicatessens (Interagency Retail Lm Risk Assessment). In addition, FSIS has included information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, scientific literature, other guidance documents, and lessons learned from Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) verification sampling and review of sanitation programs for Lm in meat and poultry processing establishments.

This version of the guidance document replaces the previous version of the document which was issued and announced in the Federal Register (79 FR 22082; April 21, 2014). FSIS updated this guidance based on comments received during the public comment period, which closed on June 20, 2014. FSIS made the following changes in response to comments:

  • Clarified that food processing equipment should be disassembled during cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Added a recommendation that retailers scrub surfaces during cleaning to prevent biofilm formation.
  • Clarified that retailers should rotate (change) sanitizers to help prevent Lm from establishing niches in the environment and forming biofilms.

LISTERIA – Action Plan for Retailers


LISTERIA Action Plan for Retailers
Listeria control is an ongoing challenge for retailers in the deli and any department where fresh foods are stored and foods are prepared. FMI and our members are committed to finding ways to control the growth and if possible, eliminate the presence of Listeria at retail to reduce the risk in the retail environment. Retail delis provide an ideal environment for Listeria growth due to the type of food (ready to eat [RTE] meats, cheeses, and salads), the moist environment, and temperatures that support the growth of Listeria. As retailers increase the RTE and prepared foods they offer to customers, Listeria control plans need to be in place to offer the appropriate food safety controls. For the purposes of this document, the organism we are concerned about is Listeria monocytogenes which we will abbreviate as Listeria. It is commonly found in the environment and when ingested, it can cause serious disease in humans and has been associated with a significantly higher hospitalization and fatality rate than other foodborne pathogens. FMI Food Protection Committee have expanded upon the advice and recommendations of the Listeria Action Plan for Retail Delis to include additional recommendations in order to assist retailers in developing food safety plans to help control the growth of Listeria beyond the deli.

Research – Looking at edible insects from a food safety perspective. Challenges and opportunities for the sector


The release of the pioneering FAO publication,
Edible insects. Future prospects for food and feed security in 2013 spurred considerable interest in insect farming . While insects have been part of the normal diets of many cultures in various regions through the centuries, the practice is not widespread in the Western world .
However, with growing concerns about the environmental effects of food production, sustainable agriculture is garnering increasing support within our food systems . This has led to an increased interest in using insects as an additional source of nutrition in human food and animal feed, propelling research activities as well as business opportunities worldwide .Until recently edible insects have been collected mainly from the wild but farming insects for human as well as animal consumption is now on the rise .
Their high fecundity, high feed conversion efficiency, and rapid growth rates make insects viable and attractive candidates for farming . In addition, they can be reared in small, modular spaces, making it feasible to raise them in rural as well as urban farm settings .The low carbon, water and ecological footprints associated with insect production, as compared to those of other livestock species, make them attractive from an environmental sustainability standpoint . In general, edible insects are a good source of protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, though the nutritional profile is insect species dependent .
This makes them a potential food source for healthy human diets .Insects can also be a nutritionally beneficial and sustainable source of feed for animals . These factors make insects a good prospect to help address food insecurity issues related to a rising global population, without simultaneously harming the environment .

However, the benefits of this emerging food source must be weighed against all possible challenges: for instance, any food safety issues that could pose health threats to consumers . As with other foods, edible insects can also be associated with a number of food safety hazards .
This publication covers some of the major food safety hazards that should be considered, including biological agents (bacterial, viral, fungal, parasitic) as well as chemical contaminants (pesticides, toxic metals, flame retardants) . Safe and successful insect production must include efforts to prevent, detect, identify and mitigate such food safety concerns . Food safety risks can be higher when insects are harvested from the wild and consumed raw .
Farming insects under controlled hygienic conditions and implementing sanitary processing techniques should reduce some hazards, such as microbiological contamination .An important area of food safety consideration is the quality and safety of the feed or substrates used for rearing insects . The use of raw materials that are alternative to conventional feed are being explored as potential substrates for mass production of insects .Some of these raw materials include food side streams such as food waste, agricultural by-products or manure from livestock farms .
The high nutritional content and low cost of such side streams provide a means to enforce circular economy in the process, in addition to further reducing the environmental footprint and economic costs associated with insect farming . However, as the nutrient content and food safety aspects of reared insects depend on the substrate, further studies and monitoring will be needed to determine the quality and safety of such side streams as well as the insects that are produced .Insects and crustaceans (shrimp, prawns, etc .) belong to the arthropod family . While allergic reactions to shellfish are well-known, the potential allergenic risks associated with consuming edible insects needs further investigation .
Individuals already allergic to crustaceans are particularly vulnerable to developing allergic reactions to edible insects, due to allergen cross-reactivity . The immune systems of shellfish-allergic individuals are sensitized to certain proteins from crustaceans .Recognition of similar proteins in insects upon consumption can trigger the immune system to initiate an allergic reaction .
In addition to cross-reactivity, there is also a risk associated with developing de-novosensitization to yet unidentified allergens from insects . Research in this area must be broadened to gain a better understanding of this risk .Other challenges facing this emerging sector are also discussed in the publication . These include the general absence of insect-specific regulations governing the production and trade of insects as food and feed, issues related to upscaling the production of insects, and overcoming the negative attitude associated with insect consumption among some consumers .


USA – Stay Food Safe this Thanksgiving Holiday


Keep your stomach full of turkey and free from foodborne illness this Thanksgiving holiday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds us all that it’s important to remember the steps to food safety during America’s biggest meal.

“While the four steps to food safety — clean, separate, cook and chill — are important every day and at every meal, they are particularly significant on Thanksgiving,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary Sandra Eskin. “There will likely be many guests and many delicious dishes at your holiday table, but you don’t want to invite any foodborne pathogens. Follow those four steps — in particular remember to use a food thermometer — and your Thanksgiving dinner will be a safe one.”

Keep your Thanksgiving celebration food safe by following the tips below.

Clean and Sanitize

Handwashing is the first step to avoiding foodborne illness. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water before, during, and after handling food. In a recent study, 97 percent of participants in a USDA test kitchen failed to wash their hands properly. Make sure to follow these handwashing steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water.
  • Lather your fingers with soap.
  • Scrub soapy hands and fingers thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Rinse your hands under clean, running water.
  • Dry hands off with a clean towel or air dry them.

Clean and sanitize any surfaces that have touched raw turkey and its juices and will later touch food such as kitchen counters, sinks, stoves, tabletops, etc.

Avoid Cross-Contamination

Cross-contamination is the spread of bacteria from raw meat and poultry onto ready-to-eat food, surfaces, and utensils. One way to avoid this is by using separate cutting boards — one for raw meat and poultry, and another for fruits and vegetables. Our recent study found that sinks are the most contaminated areas of the kitchen. USDA recommends against washing your raw poultry due to the risk of splashing bacteria throughout your kitchen. Clean and sanitize any areas that will come into contact with the turkey before and after cooking.

Thaw the Turkey Safely

Never thaw your turkey in hot water or leave it on a countertop. There are three ways to safely thaw a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave.

  • Refrigerator thawing: Turkey can be safely thawed in a refrigerator to allow for slow and safe thawing. When thawing in a refrigerator, allow roughly 24 hours for every four to five pounds of turkey. After thawing, a turkey is safe in a refrigerator for one to two days.
  • Cold water thawing: The cold water thawing method will thaw your turkey faster but will require more attention. When thawing in a cold-water bath, allow 30 minutes per pound and submerge the turkey in its original wrapping to avoid cross-contamination. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. The turkey must be cooked immediately after thawing.
  • Microwave thawing: To thaw a turkey that fits in the microwave, follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the thawing process, bringing the food to the “Danger Zone.”

It’s safe to cook a completely frozen turkey; however, it will take at least 50 percent longer to fully cook.

Cook Thoroughly

Your turkey is safe to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. Insert a food thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the wing and the innermost part of the thigh to check its internal temperature. USDA recommends using a food thermometer even if the turkey has a pop-up temperature indicator to ensure it has reached 165 F in the three previously stated places.

Stuffing your Turkey

USDA recommends against stuffing your turkey since this often leads to bacteria growth. However, if you plan to stuff your turkey, follow these steps:

  • Prepare the wet and dry ingredients for the stuffing separately from each other and refrigerate until ready to use. Mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the bird’s cavity.
  • Do not stuff whole poultry and leave in the refrigerator before cooking.
  • Stuff the turkey loosely — about 3/4 cup of stuffing per pound.
  • Immediately place the stuffed, raw turkey in an oven set no lower than 325 F.
  • A stuffed turkey will take longer to cook. Once it has finished cooking, place a food thermometer in the center of the stuffing to ensure it has reached a safe internal temperature of 165 F.
  • Let the cooked turkey stand 20 minutes before removing the stuffing.

For more information on turkey stuffing, visit Turkey Basics: Stuffing.

The Two-Hour Rule

Don’t leave your food sitting out too long! Refrigerate all perishable foods sitting out at room temperature within two hours of being cooked, or one hour if the temperature is 90 F or above. After two hours, perishable food will enter the “Danger Zone” (between 40 F and 140 F), which is where bacteria can multiply quickly and cause the food to become unsafe. Discard all foods that have been left out for more than two hours. Remember the rule — keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

  • Transporting hot foods — Wrap dishes in insulated containers to keep their temperature above 140 F.
  • Transporting cold foods — Place items in a cooler with ice or gel packs to keep them at or below 40 F.

When serving food to groups, keep hot food hot and keep cold food cold by using chafing dishes or crock pots and ice trays. Hot items should remain above 140 F and cold items should remain below 40 F.


Store leftovers in small shallow containers and put them in the refrigerator. Thanksgiving leftovers are safe to eat up to four days in the refrigerator. In the freezer, leftovers are safely frozen indefinitely but will keep best quality from two to six months.


For Thanksgiving food safety questions, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), email or chat live at from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

Do you have any last-minute turkey day questions? The Meat and Poultry Hotline will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. EST.

Italy – Mortadella supergigante in slices with pistachio distributed by Rialto – Listeria monocytogenes


Brand : Veroni

Name : Mortadella supergigante in slices with pistachio distributed by Rialto

Reason for reporting : Recall due to microbiological risk

Publication date : 8 November 2022