Category Archives: Food Toxin

New Zealand – Shellfish biotoxin alert (extended) – North Island West Coast region

MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today extended the public health warning against collecting shellfish on the west coast of the North Island in the Taranaki, Waikato, Wanganui, Manawatu, and Horowhenua regions. The warning now extends from the mouth of Port Waikato southward to Te Horo Beach in the Wellington region.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from this region have shown levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

MPI today also removed the public health warning against collecting shellfish in Nydia Bay Pelorus Sounds

Warnings remain in place for the Bay of Islands and Akaroa Harbour.

Mussels, oysters, tuatua, pipi, toheroa, cockles, scallops, catseyes, kina (sea urchin) and all other bivalve shellfish should not be eaten.

Note: cooking shellfish does not remove the toxin.

Pāua, crab and crayfish may still be eaten if the gut has been completely removed prior to cooking, as toxins accumulate in the gut. If the gut is not removed its contents could contaminate the meat during the cooking process.

North Island West coast

Research – Evaluation of food safety knowledge and microbial status of food contact surfaces in schools

Wiley Online Library 

Staph

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the hygiene of food contact surfaces in 37 high school kitchens in order to identify the factors involved in the deficiencies found. The microbial status of kitchen surfaces (mesophilic aerobic bacterial count) and the hygienic sanitary knowledge (assessed by a questionnaire) of 158 food handlers were evaluated. The microbial count was determined by conventional plating methods and by a redox potential‐based testing method. Large differences regarding microbial count on food contact surfaces were found among the kitchens. In connection with the unfavorable results, the food hygiene knowledge level of kitchen workers was unsatisfactory. The microbial profile assessment of a catering unit largely depends on the efficiency of the food safety management system used, therefore the level of microbial contamination can be used as an indicator. The results showed that the hygienic‐sanitary knowledge of food handlers highly affects food safety standards in public kitchens.

Practical applications

The microbial profile of food contact surfaces is a suitable indicator of a food safety management system with objective results that are easily interpreted. Recurrent unsatisfactory results can indicate failures in some or all areas of the food safety management systems. This study shows that in most cases these failures are related to the food handler’s knowledge. The improvement of food handler’s professional knowledge is an effective way to improve food safety levels in catering units.

RASFF Alerts – Aflatoxin – Brazil Nuts – Almonds – Pistachios

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-aflatoxins (B1 = 34; Tot. = 74 µg/kg – ppb) in brazil nuts from Bolivia, via Germany in France

RASFF -aflatoxins (B1 = 8; Tot. = >24 µg/kg – ppb) in unshelled almonds from the United States in Spain

RASFF -aflatoxins (B1 = 19; Tot. = 21 µg/kg – ppb) in roasted and salted pistachio nuts from Belgium, with raw material from the United States in Belgium

RASFF Alert – Stpahylococcal Enterotoxin – Sprouts

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-Staphylococcal enterotoxin (presence /25g) in sprouts from Hungary, via Austria in Slovenia

New Zealand -Amended shellfish biotoxin warning for the Kenepuru and inner Pelorus Sound

MPI

The Ministry for Primary Industries today reduced the area subject to a public health warning against collecting shellfish in the Kenepuru and inner Pelorus Sound.  The warning now includes only Nydia Bay in the inner Pelorus Sound.

Routine tests on shellfish samples taken from this region still show levels of Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxins above the safe limit of 0.8 mg/kg set by MPI. Anyone eating shellfish from this area is potentially at risk of illness.

RASFF Alerts – Aflatoxin – Almonds – Groundnuts – Pistachios

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-aflatoxins (B1 = 10.1; Tot. = 12.4 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled almonds from the United States in Spain

RASFF-aflatoxins (B1 = 2.8; Tot. = 3.4 µg/kg – ppb) in groundnuts from China in the UK

RASFF-aflatoxins (B1 = 39.0; Tot. = 44.9 µg/kg – ppb) in raw pistachio kernels from Turkey in Greece

RASFF -aflatoxins (B1 = 23.6; Tot. = > 24 µg/kg – ppb) in shelled almonds from the United States in Spain

RASFF Alerts – Histamine -Tuna – Mackerel

kswfoodworld food safety poisoning

RASFF-histamine (>2500 mg/kg – ppm) in thawed tuna fillets (Thunnus albacares) from Spain in France

RASFF -histamine (570 mg/kg – ppm) in chilled mackerel (Scomber scombrus) from Denmark in Italy