• Is transparency dead?

    Posted on Nov 07, 2018

    Capturing a consumer’s trust (and, therefore loyalty), is the objective of many a food company’s marketing division; and, to do so, they have bandied around the notion of transparency. We have all heard it (and some of us have uttered it), ‘supply chains must be transparent’. From a superficial perspective it is an easy concept to grasp – if the consumer thinks that we, the food producer, have nothing to hide, they will trust us more. If they trust us, they will purchase from us. Simple market-driven ethics.

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  • Reflections from Food on the Edge, Part 2

    Posted on Nov 06, 2018

    Musings from the second day of Food on the Edge: zero waste, sustainability, front-of-house, revolutionising food for institutions and a compelling argument for food education in schools

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  • Hashtag Foodie: social media and the rise of the everyday expert

    Posted on Nov 02, 2018

    You only need to take a brief look at social media to see the rise in the number of people who claim expertise. In any topic. Take #foodie – nearly 105 million posts; that is, in nearly 105,000,000 cases people have tagged an image with a hashtag that classifies them as someone as sees themselves as a ‘foodie’.

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  • Reflections from Food on the Edge, Part 1

    Posted on Nov 01, 2018

    Food on the Edge is a philosophically-based conference; it has a mission and manifesto. Run as a not-for-profit event, it brings around 50 chefs to speak about the future of food and the role (guardianship) required by chefs

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  • The anatomy of an outbreak

    Posted on Oct 30, 2018

    Speak to any food safety specialist and they will tell you that no two foodborne illness outbreaks are the same. That being said, they do tend to follow a pattern (food is contaminated, people get sick, authorities investigate, food products are recalled, investigation into cause and then legal action, if appropriate). How do authorities know when something is an outbreak and not just a coincidence that a group of people have become ill?

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  • Sumfood explains foodborne illness outbreaks

    Posted on Oct 29, 2018

    Sumfood explains what happens where there is a foodborne illness outbreak

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  • Misalignment

    Posted on Oct 25, 2018

    In one image, the clash of the conferences and perhaps a metaphor for why food systems will struggle for connection and cohesion: raw oysters available to taste at the Food on the Edge (FOTE) conference in Galway, where the quality and diversity of food available in Ireland is celebrated by chefs and food enthusiasts alike. In contrast, you would never find a raw oyster at a food safety conference (in fact, raw oysters have the dubious honour of making food safety stalwart Bill Marler’s list of foods to never eat).

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  • Fraud: when something is not what it promises

    Posted on Oct 17, 2018

    There is something quite disappointing about ordering a coffee only to be served something that does not meet our expectations. Anticipation and then unmet expectations. A first world problem and one that we can shrug off as a quirk of our indulgent western lifestyle; it is not something that will impact our health, our work, nor our future. It’s a quality issue not a food safety one. But, what if the factors or inputs are different? Instead of a mid-afternoon coffee, the item is malaria medication or a bowl of rice for a hungry child? Circumstances that do have severe consequences.

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  • The cost of a recall

    Posted on Oct 10, 2018

    Food recalls happen for a myriad of reasons with contamination, failure to declare allergens, and mis-labelling as the usual culprits. The consequences of these human errors (or system failures) are both a risk to human health, and food wastage, as food, unfit for human consumption, is withdrawn from the supply chain.

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  • Why would someone want to mess with food?

    Posted on Oct 08, 2018

    As long as food has been traded there have been those who have sought to gain more out of the trade equation that their trading partners ... but, it's time to talk about something different, something far more dangerous, and dark. Something that threatens all of us who eat... food terrorism - deliberate tampering with the food system to cause harm.

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