Selvarani Elahi's Posts (255)

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10604752891?profile=RESIZE_710xThis report describes the key changes in food standards from 2019 to 2021, a period when the UK’s food system was affected by our departure from the EU and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food standards, of course, mean different things to different people. For the purposes of this report, The Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland looked at standards in two ways:
1. Food and feed safety (including allergen management) – that is, ensuring the product is safe to consume, or, in the case of feed, safe for introduction into the food chain. A number of factors are taken into account when proposing safety standards, including advice from the FSA and FSS risk assessors and wider experts as well as other aspects such as the principles that may determine consumer
acceptability of risk. 
2. Other standards that support consumers and provide assurance – this includes provenance and authenticity, production standards (for example, animal welfare and sustainability), composition and nutritional content, labelling and advertising of food, and other information that enables consumers to make informed choices based on the values that are important to them.

Key Findings
The evidence set out in this report suggests that overall food safety standards have largely been maintained during 2021. However, this is a cautious conclusion. The pandemic disrupted regular inspections, sampling and audits across the food system, reducing the amount of data we can draw upon in assessing business compliance against food law requirements. It also changed patterns of consumer behaviour. While food safety standards have largely been maintained, both organisations recognise there are significant risks ahead.

The report highlights two particular areas of concern:

  1. Firstly there has been a fall in the level of local authority inspections of food businesses. The situation is in the process of being repaired – in particular in food hygiene inspections of cafés and restaurants – but progress is being constrained by resource and the availability of qualified professionals.
  2. The second is in relation to the import of food from the EU. To enhance levels of assurance on higher-risk EU food like meat, dairy and eggs, and food and feed that has come to the UK via the EU, it is essential that improved controls are put in place to the timescale that the UK Government has set out (by the end of 2023). The longer the UK operates without assurance from the exporting country that products meet the UK’s high food and feed safety standards, the less confident we can be that we can effectively identify potential safety incidents. It is vital that the UK has the ability to prevent entry of unsafe food and identify and respond to changing risks. Although we have considered these challenges carefully and put other arrangements within our control in place, they are not, in our view, sufficient. We are therefore committed to working with government departments to ensure that the introduction of these improved import controls provides high levels of protection for UK consumers.

Read full report

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10585238691?profile=RESIZE_710xTo better understand our current position and capability within this exciting new space, a cross-sector workshop was held in February to
identify opportunities and challenges to establishing a competitive UK industry over the short, medium and long term. The workshop was taken forward by UKRI’s Transforming Food Production (TFP) programme and the Growing Kent & Medway Strength in Places Strategic Priorities Fund.                                                                               
A series of roadmaps have been developed as an output from the workshop which identify key priorities for the sector towards 2030. The TFP programme is already supporting a number of projects developing novel technologies and innovations to establish new industries across this sector, from insect and algal proteins, to advanced fermentations for single-cell proteins, and lab-cultured meat.

This report provides an initial blueprint for how the sector can come together and work collaboratively for mutual benefit, helping to unlock the global market opportunities that are emerging across the alternative protein sector.

Read report.

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10571571277?profile=RESIZE_400xFood Standards Scotland (FSS) is currently in the process of finalising an online risk profiling tool and guidance to support industry in preventing food crime. FSS is looking for businesses to be involved in the review stage of this initiative to ensure it supports industry and achieves its purpose.

Please see an invitation from Ron McNaughton, Head of the Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit:

Food Crime Risk Profiling Tool (foodauthenticity.global)

Please contact foodcrime@fss.scot by 24th June if you would like to be part of the review.

 

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10571004701?profile=RESIZE_710xA haul of counterfeit chocolate bars has been seized in raids on American candy shops on Oxford Street.

The "Wonka Bars" were confiscated on Tuesday by trading standards staff, who took merchandise worth about £100,000, according to Westminster Council.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) warned: "If you have bought these knock-off bars, do not eat them."

The council has been targeting US-themed sweet shops amid claims nearly £8m of business rates are owed.

It says it has netted about £475,000 of counterfeit and illegal goods in the past six months.

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New IFST President Elect

10566719876?profile=RESIZE_400xWe are delighted that the Chair of the Food Authenticity Network's Advisory Board, Sterling Crew, has been elected as the new President-Elect of the Institute of Food Science and Tecnology (IFST).

Sterling’s election was formally noted during IFST’s Annual General Meeting on 31 March 2022. Of his appointment, Sterling said: ‘It is a great pleasure and privilege to be elected to be the next President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, especially as the selection was by my professional peers. The IFST is a fantastic organisation with a marvellous membership at its very heart. I pledge to play my part in adding further value to membership and promoting the organisation’s worthy charitable aims. This is an exciting time for IFST as we approach our 60th Diamond Jubilee and with chartership potentially on the horizon. Food science and technology has a major part to play in our country’s future in these very challenging times. The food sector has responded by developing innovative solutions and creative products. The role our members play has never been more important.’

Read the full edition of IFST News.

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10566574865?profile=RESIZE_400xDefendants are accused of participation in supply of horsemeat unfit for human consumption across Europe

18 people, including two veterinarians, are appearing in court in Marseille on Monday accused of involvement in a vast illegal trafficking network across Europe that allegedly supplied horsemeat unfit for human consumption to wholesalers and butchers.

The defendants, from France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, are thought to have bought and sold thousands of retired draft horses and racehorses, and even ponies, that were exported to Belgium where they were allegedly given fake identification and tracking documents before being sent back to abattoirs in the south of France.

They have been charged with fraud as part of an organised gang, or supplying false and deceptive goods liable to be a danger for human health, and face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Eight of the accused have been in custody since 2015 after European police smashed the continent-wide network.

More than 150 horse owners were victims of the alleged scam, of which around fifty have filed civil suits.

The national council of the order of veterinarians, the municipality of Alès and the National Interprofessional Association of Livestock and Meat (ANBV) have also brought civil action.

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Government food strategy published

10565937089?profile=RESIZE_710xThe UK government has today published its food strategy.

This food strategy sets out government ambitions and priorities to deliver the following objectives:

  1. a prosperous agri-food and seafood sector that ensures a secure food supply in an unpredictable world and contributes to the levelling up agenda through good quality jobs around the country.
  2. a sustainable, nature positive, affordable food system that provides choice and access to high quality products that support healthier and home-grown diets for all.
  3. trade that provides export opportunities and consumer choice through imports, without compromising our regulatory standards for food, whether produced domestically or imported.

To achieve these objectives government will seek to:

  • broadly maintain the current level of food we produce domestically, including sustainably boosting production in sectors where there are post-Brexit opportunities including horticulture and seafood.
  • ensure that by 2030, pay, employment and productivity, as well as completion of high-quality skills training will have risen in the agri-food industry in every area of the UK, to support our production and levelling up objectives.
  • halve childhood obesity by 2030, reducing the healthy life expectancy (HLE) gap between local areas where it is highest and lowest by 2030, adding 5 years to HLE by 2035 and reducing the proportion of the population living with diet-related illnesses; and to support this, increasing the proportion of healthier food sold.
  • reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the environmental impacts of the food system, in line with our net zero commitments and biodiversity targets and preparing for the risks from a changing climate.
  • contribute to our export strategy goal to reach £1 trillion of exports annually by 2030 and supporting more UK food and drink businesses, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), to take advantage of new market access and free trade agreements (FTAs) post-Brexit
  • maintain high standards for food consumed in the UK, wherever it is produced.

 

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10565846492?profile=RESIZE_584xThe FSA has shared its first science newsletter.

These quarterly newsletters will update you on FSA funding opportunities, latest research publications, areas of research interest, and will highlight FSA science job vacancies and peer reviewer opportunities.  

In this first issue, FSA highlight the recent launch of the new FSA 5-year strategy and the new Food Safety Research Network, and the publication of household food insecurity reports

Highlights

FSA 5-year Strategy Launch
We recently published our strategy for improving food over the next five years and recommitted to our mission of food you can trust.

The five-year strategy reflects the FSA’s greater responsibilities now that the UK is outside of the EU and takes into account growing public concern about health and climate change. Read our full FSA strategy 2022 to 2027: Food you can trust.

FSA research shows growing concern around the cost of food

Research published by the Food Standards Agency today shows the cost of food is a future major worry for three out of four of people in the UK.

FSA announces appointment of two fellowships to the PATH-SAFE programme
We're delighted to announce the appointment of two fellowships to the Pathogen Surveillance in Agriculture, Food and the Environment programme (PATH-SAFE) team. Data Fellow Professor David Aanensen and Science Fellow Dr Ed Haynes will play a key role in driving forward our scientific innovation. You can read our blog post Making food safer with two PATH-SAFE fellowships.

Food Standards Agency takes next step to regulate CBD market
FSA takes next step to regulate CBD market
We have confirmed the list of CBD products that are now one step closer towards being authorised. The CBD Public List shows which products have a credible application for authorisation with the FSA.

Food Safety Network

We’re pleased to launch a new Food Safety Research Network, co-funding with UKRI-BBSRC. Hosted by The Quadram Institute, the network will help tackle the UK’s annual 2.4 million cases of foodborne illness by bringing together experts from government, industry and academic to address issues of food safety. 

FSA Scientific Advisory Committees welcome twelve new members

The Chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Professor Susan Jebb has announced the appointment of 12 new independent experts as members of the FSA’s Scientific Advisory Committees (SACs)

Speak Up For Allergies Campaign
We have launched the next phase of the Speak Up For Allergies campaign. The campaign encourages young people to support friends with allergies when eating in restaurants and the important role of front of house staff to provide allergen information effectively.

Improving School Food Standards
Following the publication of the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper, our Chair, Susan Jebb, welcomes plans for a pilot aimed at improving school food standards.

 

Recent Publications

We collaborate with a range of stakeholders on research projects to ensure our work is underpinned by the latest science and evidence. Our publications are available on our Research and Evidence pages

 

If you would like to receive this newsletter directly or in an alternative format, or if you would like to chat about any of the information provided within this newsletter, FSA would be happy to hear from you. Please get in touch by emailing Science.Communications@food.gov.uk.

 

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10527307657?profile=RESIZE_710xThis is Tenet's quarterly publication helping in house counsel and those from a science background assessing food safety keep up to date with current and emerging fraud related risks.

If you work in the food and drinks industry and take an interest in fraud and financial crime impact in the sector, please take a look at the Issue 4 of The Secret Ingredient.

 

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10525141686?profile=RESIZE_400x

May 2022

Disruptions in the food supply chain are no doubt the ‘new normal’, whether that is labour shortages, wholesale energy prices, shortages of carbon dioxide (CO2), more friction with border documentation and checks, or supply chain restrictions related to Covid-19 and EU Exit. The conflict in the Ukraine has caused even greater concerns over food supply restrictions over the short to medium term.

Pressures on labour availability means that the practical, managerial and leadership skillsets, required across the food sector, vary from business to business being readily available in some sectors to being niche and in short supply in others. The economic, environmental and social challenges we have seen in the last two years are causing businesses to reconsider their reliance on people for tasks and decision-making and to turn to automation on manufacturing lines, and artificial intelligence and machine learning, to reduce their vulnerability to labour issues. These supply chain disruption issues singularly, or in combination, create multiple challenges that businesses need to address by embedding mitigation strategies in their business planning. This means that business approaches to risk identification, assessment and management need to be reviewed and revised as the world becomes a more uncertain place to do business. 

As a result, business continuity planning has never been more important for all food businesses, from multinational corporations operating across the world, to micro food businesses developing food products and meeting the needs of local customers. Every food business has its unique continuity challenges, whether associated with particular food ingredients, packaging or materials, used in their processes, location, relationships with its supply chain or final market or consumer trends.  

Horizon scanning is a systematic approach to considering evidence of particular trends, and then actual and potential scenarios, in order to determine whether an organisation is adequately prepared for established and emerging threats, has appropriate risk identification, assessment and management procedures in place and if suitable controls are implemented, can readily adopt adequate measures for threat elimination, mitigation or control.  Pinch point mapping and analysis is one form of horizon scanning to determine business and supply chain vulnerability and measures to reduce such vulnerability.  

Read IFST's guide to Pinch Point Mapping and Analysis

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10482284266?profile=RESIZE_400xA Peer reviewed papaer of an interlaboratory comparison of a Liquid Chromatography-Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (LC-IRMS) method for the determination of 13C/12ratios of saccharides in honey has been published.

This paper is based on a European Comission Joint Research Centre report, which was previosly reported on the Food Authenticity Network: EC Publishes report on the Interlaboratory Comparison of LC-IRMS applied on honey - News - FoodAuthenticity

Stable carbon isotope analysis of sugars in honey by LC–IRMS is a useful tool for detecting adulteration of honey with extraneous sugar.

Syrups that mimic the composition of honey that are produced by chemical and/or enzymatic modification of starch or sucrose are difficult to detect (10). If the starting product is obtained from a C4 plant, such as maize or sugar cane, stable carbon isotope ratio analysis (SCIRA) using a combination of an elemental analyzer (EA) and an isotope ratio mass spectrometer (IRMS) offers a possibility to detect additions down to a level of 7% (11).

Sugars originating from C3 plants such as beet root or generated from rice or wheat starch escape detection by SCIRA. Combining LC with IRMS (LC–IRMS) offers new possibilities for detecting honey adulteration with sugars derived from C3 plants and increases the sensitivity for detecting C4 sugars (1213).

Addition of 1% C4 sugars and 10% C3 sugars can be reliably detected using the LC–IRMS approach. Another benefit is that, as the method determines the 13C/12ratios of saccharides in honey, it moves away from reliance on external databases.

The method has gained popularity (14–20) but has never been subjected to multilaboratory validation, until now, which is a prerequisite for further developing it into a standard by a standards-developing organization. This peer reviewed publication reports on an interlaboratory comparison of this method. Read open access paper.

This method has now been accepted as a work item for standardisation by Working Group 6 (Stable Isotope Analysis) of CEN Technical Committee 460 (Food Authenticity).

 

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10449250084?profile=RESIZE_584xThe FSA has issued a final call for evidence linking products to applications on the public list. The CBD public list shows which products have a credible application for authorisation with the FSA.

Businesses have until 26 May 2022 to submit evidence that their products are linked to a credible application and were on the market before February 2020.

CBD Public List: Register of CBD products linked to novel food applications

Read full article.

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10449178488?profile=RESIZE_400xThis newsletter is intended to keep you informed of what the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) believe to be the current issues that are affecting the food industry. It aims to improve awareness of significant or new trends in the food industry in order to strengthen the overall response to food crime.

The newsletter is available to FoodAuthenticity members by kind permission of the FSA National Food Crime Unit, but is not intended for onward dissemination. Please contact the NFCU Outreach Team if you would like others to receive this newsletter at: NFCU.Outreach@food.gov.uk.

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10449173091?profile=RESIZE_400xAs part of its mission to tackle the plastic pollution challenge and help advance a world where no plastic ends up in nature, The Consumer Goods Forum's (CGF) Plastic Waste Coalition of Action (the Coalition) is pleased to announce the publication of a Vision and Principles Paper, entitled "Chemical Recycling in a Circular Economy for Plastics" which encourages the development of new plastics recycling technologies that meet six key principles for credible, safe and environmentally sound development.

In support of this position paper, the Coalition has also published a new independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study, that demonstrates that the chemical recycling of hard-to-recycle plastic waste could reduce the climate impact of plastic when compared to waste-to-energy incineration.

Read non-technical executive summary of "Assessing the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of Post-consumer Plastic Film Made from Plastic Waste Through Pyrolysis-based Chemical Recycling Technologies"

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In response to many questions posted in the chat of the Webinar on the Global Honey Supply Chain that took place on 19 January 2022, the page on the Government Chemist website has been updated with work in progress on honey authenticity:

"This webinar and the consequent e-seminar is part of a suite of activities Defra, FSA, FSS and the Government Chemist are jointly working on to address some of the underpinning scientific issues that have emerged on the subject of honey testing and a number of workstreams are in progress.

Two further e-seminars, which will assist in disseminating information on honey authenticity testing, are in production. These cover using NMR testing for the determination of exogenous sugars in honey and best practice in establishing and curating databases for food authenticity. Work is also underway to develop guidance on applying a weight of evidence approach for food authenticity analysis, to pilot accreditation of non-targeted authenticity testing methods, to improve consistency and confidence in testing and reporting and to explore a data trust framework to share information on the honey supply chain and testing between interested communities. This will be followed by activity to standardise a protocol for the collection of authentic honey samples and to establish a framework for the scrutiny of authenticity databases. We are collaborating with key stakeholders on all these initiatives to secure the best outcome for all.

FSA’s blog on the complexities of honey authenticity, includes links to the recently published Government Chemist independent review of methods for honey authenticity testing and of the analytical reports underpinning recent allegations of honey fraud."

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This e-seminar, by Cathal Henigan, Purchasing Director at Valeo Foods UK, will provide an introduction to the subject of the global honey supply chain.

Topics covered in this short presentation include an overview of the role of beekeeping, honey extraction and honey processing. In addition, key aspects of relevant legislation are described, such as the control of pests and diseases, honey composition, and control of the export and sale of honey. Details of the global market for honey are also described as well as an assessment of the risk to the supply chain through criminal activities such as food fraud.

The e-seminar is intended for individuals currently working within the food testing arena, the food industry, and those involved with the UK official control system.

The production of this e-seminar was co-funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, via the Government Chemist, under the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis.

This e-seminar has also been added to the Food Authenticity Network's Training section.

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The e-seminar provides guidance and best practice on establishing an in-house NGS capability, including Instrument selection and placement, supporting equipment, and staffing requirements. The e-seminar also considers other factors in setting up an NGS facility, such as the need for adequate data storage and data streaming capabilities.

The information presented will equip the viewer with the necessary knowledge and skills to broaden their scope of food safety, authenticity, and quality testing, and is essential viewing for any molecular biologist working in the area of foods analysis, who is considering extending their knowledge into this technique.

The e-seminar is intended for individuals currently working within the food allergens testing arena, the food industry, and those involved with the UK official control system.

The production of this e-seminar was co-funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, via the Government Chemist, under the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis.

This e-seminar has also been added to the Food Authenticity Network's Training section.

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10441799297?profile=RESIZE_710x

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published its March 2022 Food Fraud Monthly Summary reporting food fraud incidents and investigations from around the world.

Food fraud cases reported involved:

  • wine
  • alcoholic beverages
  • milk and milk products
  • cereals
  • meat products
  • eggs
  • olive oil
  • seafood
  • soft drinks
  • nuts
  • honey
  • spices
  • pet food
  • vegetables.
Thanks to our Members Riccardo Siligato PhD LLM and Bruno Sechet for creating the monthly summary and infographic respectively.
 

You can download the March 2022 Summary here.

 

 

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10390258488?profile=RESIZE_710xAn investigation, conducted by the carabinieri of the Nas of Ancona and coordinated by the magistrates of Ascoli started from a report of non-compliance of the milk carried out by the expert who has been working in the field of the milk industry for years as a quality "controller". The tanker involved had a double bottom that was invisible to the human eye and could be operated by the haulier who presses that button at the most appropriate time to bypass any checks and carry out his plan: mix milk with water. 

For the leaders of Trevalli the fact was considered as "isolated" and immediately denounced. But according to the expert, it should be seen as a "system" as it is "unthinkable" that a similar investment, with the transformation of the vehicle into a complex system of retractable hatches, is made by the individual haulier without periodic gain. 

Read full article.

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10346791061?profile=original FDF has updated the ‘Product Labelling Requirements’ section of its Ukraine webpage as follows:

"80% of global sunflower oil exports originate from Ukraine or Russia and many manufacturers will need to switch to alternative vegetable oils and certain other ingredients (e.g. emulsifiers). This has implications for information included on product labels. Based on our initial work with Government, pragmatic enforcement has now been advised in order to help minimise any supply disruptions. This includes a specific derogation for the substitution of sunflower oil with refined rapeseed oil. The FDF are in ongoing discussions to broaden out this derogation to other ingredients. Companies are strongly advised to have conversations with their Local/Primary Authorities for these case by case and temporary enforcement flexibilities to be permitted."

The Food Security page on the Food Authenticity Network has also been updated accordingly.

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