Posted on Nov 12, 2018
National and international regulatory bodies set guidelines for food production, storage, transportation and sale. As part of these regulations, they identify what the allowable amount of contaminants are for different food groups and it may come as something of a surprise to know that the food we eat is not ‘sterile’.
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.
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’.
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?
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).
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.
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.