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Stepping up to the Plate: The NEW Fresh Produce Safety Centre hosted by the University of Sydney Robyn McConchie Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.

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Presentation on theme: "Stepping up to the Plate: The NEW Fresh Produce Safety Centre hosted by the University of Sydney Robyn McConchie Faculty of Agriculture and Environment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stepping up to the Plate: The NEW Fresh Produce Safety Centre hosted by the University of Sydney Robyn McConchie Faculty of Agriculture and Environment University of Sydney

2 Fenugreek Sprouts in Europe 2011 May 2011, Germany had a massive epidemic of bloody diarrhoea and the hemolytic–uremic syndrome caused by Shiga-toxin–producing Escherichia coli O104:H4 Over 3 months illnesses, 800 cases hemolytic– uremic syndrome, 65 deaths 2 Spanish fruit and vegetable exporters estimate they lost 200m euros per week

3 Listeria in Melons in the USA 2011 ›In 2011, cantaloupes were contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes ›Caused one of the deadliest foodborne illness outbreaks in U.S. history ›147 people sick in 28 states and killed 33 3

4 Consumers expect food to be safe Produce industry – “on the side of the angels” Healthy, nutritious – no limit The produce industry want to do “right” thing: Yet… product recalls and outbreaks 4

5 QA Systems in Fresh Produce Food Business Regulators protect public health Food businesses must ensure no hazard is introduced e.g. supermarkets, food services, restaurants QA Systems Pressure on all members of the supply chain Fresh produce growers to join food safety standards e.g. Coles and Woolworths QA, SaladG.A.P., Freshcare etc Growers Training, Best Practice Documented, Audited regularly Minimises risk and access to buyers 5

6 What are the Risks with Fresh Produce? ›Microbial – raw fruit and vegetables, unpasteurised juices, fresh cuts e.g. Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria, Shiga- toxin–producing E. coli ›Pesticide contamination ›Allergens e.g. peanuts, gluten, plant defence compounds ›Mycotoxins e.g. aflatoxins, fumonisin, alternariol, patulin, ochratoxin 6.

7 BUT Can we rest on our reputation? ›Australia - safest food supplies in the world…. but 5.4 million cases of food- borne illness a year costing est. $1.2 billion (DAFF 2013) ›Gap between food production and consumption ›Consumers have to rely on the food regulation system for the provision of safe food ›They do a good job… but need continuous updating of stakeholders. Australia has a clean, green image for food production 7

8 Past Record in Australia An unofficial listing of recalls and reported illnesses over 10 years in horticultural produce (n=45) Microbial contamination the most prevalent category Salmonella the most prevalent individual Residues not as significant as expected Nuts also prominent, particularly almonds Source: Richard Bennett 2014 PMA Technical Manager

9 Microbial contamination 2012 ›Recall of almonds due to Salmonella contamination ›Wet season almonds lay on the ground ›Vacuum steam pasturisation and processing minimises risk

10 Action to Minimise the Risks 10

11 Fresh Produce Safety Centre 11 FPSC founding supporters: This project has been funded by HAL using voluntary contributions from industry and matched funds from the Australian Government.

12 Fresh Produce Safety Centre ›Call for and oversee food safety research projects that are highly relevant to industry ›Provide food safety information, news, education and outreach to the industry ›Engage with regulatory and other organisations for effective and efficient food safety management leading to enhanced food safety outcomes. 12 Goals of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre

13 Fresh Produce Safety Centre 13 Engaging with industry, regulatory & research bodies on fresh produce safety

14 Call for Research 14 ›Single call for research per year. ›Research will be industry-supported and industry-focused. ›Technical Committee will advise on research priorities and evaluate research proposals.

15 What are the gaps in research? 15 Irrigation water Composting Wildlife Washwater sanitation

16 What are the gaps in research? 16 Hygiene in the Packhouse

17 Invitation to Get Involved 17 1 st Conference on 11 th August 2014 ›Launched by Vice-Chancellor University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence ›Timothy York from US foodservice company, Markon, ›Dr Bob Whitaker from Center for Produce Safety ›17 other speakers on fresh produce safety throughout Australia and New Zealand.

18 Invitation to Get Involved 18 Subscribe to the e-Newsletter: › anz.com ›Pledge your support: bronze to platinum ›Contact: Emma Walters Interim Executive Director Fresh Produce Safety Centre, hosted by the University of Sydney Become a supporter of FPSC: Attend an FPSC event: ›Conference 11 August in Sydney ›Visit anz.com/category/events/

19 Acknowledgements ›Michael Worthington CEO PMA A-NZ ›Emma Walters Executive Director FPSC ›Stephen Fujiwara Administrative Assistance FPSC ›Erin HartCommunications CEO PMA A-NZ ›Bonnie Fernandez-Fenaroli Executive Director CPS USA ›Bob WhitakerFresh Produce Safety Technical Manager PMA USA ›Erika WatsonPast Administrative Assistant 19

20 Thank you 20


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