Archive of December, 2021

FSMA and Pathogen Environmental Monitoring (PEM) Programs: Where are we?
Environmental monitoring is required under CFR 21 section 117.165 and under the FDA Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food. Its purpose is to verify the implementation and effectiveness of the preventive controls put in place. Most food companies need to comply with these rules now or in the very near future. Purpose of the PEM Program The reason for having a PEM program is to identify problematic areas in the manufacturing facility where pathogens can harbor and become a source of contamination (“niches”), and assess the effectiveness of the sanitation programs. Environmental monitoring may include pathogens or indicator organisms, depending on the products...
Recalls and Outbreaks due to Food Pathogens: Is there a connection?
Most food recalls in the U.S. are due to Listeria Food Safety Tech has reported that in 2016 about 550 food products were recalled in the US.  Of the recalled products, 275 were due to microbial contamination. Of the recalls, due to microbial contamination, 65% were due to Listeria monocytogenes. Salmonella accounted for 21% of the recalls, while E. coli accounted for only 3% of the recalls. As we reported, earlier this trend in continuing this year (More Recalls Caused by Fear of Listeria monocytogenes Contamination and In the last few days, (6/14-6/16) there have been several more recalls due to Listeria) with much more recalls due to Listeria. CDC...
Salmonella in Papaya Sickened 47 People in 12 States
Findings of the Papaya Outbreak  An investigation of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu has being conducted by the CDC, FDA and public health officials in several states. As of last Friday (7/21/17), 47 individuals from 12 states have been infected with Salmonella Kiambu, the outbreak strain. Whole genomic sequencing (WGS) shows that the Salmonella Kiambu isolated from the infected people is genetically closely related, and therefore, are more likely to share the same source of infection. More than third of the affected people were hospitalized, and one death was reported in New York City. The epidemic chart below shows the number of people who became ill each day. Illnesses that...
Recalls due to Labeling Mistakes – The #1 Reason for Food Recalls
Although there was an extremely high number of recalls due to Listeria monocytogenes in the past three months, the majority of the FDA recalls were due to allergens many caused by mislabeling.  Undeclared allergens accounted for about 90% of labeling related recalls. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires that packaged food labels include declarations of the eight major food allergens: eggs, milk, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, tree nuts, fish and crustacean shellfish. Allergens are unique in food safety as they are not contaminants like Salmonellaor Listeria, but can be still dangerous to susceptible individuals.  The sole protection for allergic individuals is the...