The guys start the show talking about electric bikes, foot pain and backyard (and front yard) chickens. The conversation goes to FoodNet statistics and how COVID-19 might impact foodborne illness tracking, reporting and recalls. In the second half of the episode Don and Ben are joined by Gordon Hayburn of Trophy Foods and Andrew Clarke from Loblaws (briefly) to talk about inspections, virtual audits. The show ends on a discussion of Gordon’s experiences in managing COVID-19 issues as a food manufacturer.
You can find the episode here or on iTunes (or elsewhere)
Nick Hall of Franchise Business reports fast food chain Red Rooster has made the drastic decision to shut two Perth outlets after leaked photos raised concerns over food safety.
Images posted on Facebook appear to show cooked chickens piled into the back of a Red Rooster delivery vehicle; unwrapped, unrefrigerated and in seemingly unsanitary condition.
Furthermore, reports suggest the chickens were being transported on day when the Perth sun was at its deadliest.
Social media users slammed the outlet for its unsanitary practices, with many questioning why the chickens were placed in the back of the car in the first place.
“To me this looks like a store has ran out of chicken and someone has transferred these from one store to another,” one user speculated.
In response to the alleged food safety breaches, Red Rooster quickly moved to close Forrestfield store, along with another in Waypoint also under the same franchisee’s direction.
In a statement, Red Rooster confirmed that the stores would remained closed until investigations were finalised.
“These stores will remain closed while detailed investigations are conducted, required actions are taken and we are satisfied that the operating standards of these locations meet the high expectations of our strict brand standards,” the brand said.
“We have alerted the relevant authorities and are working with them closely while our local staff on the ground undertake the investigation and actions required to meet our brand standards.”
In a previous life I was the scientific advisor for the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors.
We would meet a couple of times a year, and I would provide my food safety thoughts on what was going on at retail, but what struck me was that the first three hours of every meeting were like a self-help therapy session.
These heads of food safety at major Canadian retailers would bemoan their diminishing status at the corporate level: No one cares about food safety until there’s an outbreak. Twenty years later, the song remains the same.
Alexis Morillo of Delish writes that Chipotle workers claim that food safety practices are at risk at the fast casual restaurant due to managerial procedures that cause workers to “cut corners.”
A total of 47 current and former Chipotle workers from New York City locations came forward about the malpractice in a report to Business Insider. This news follows recent allegations that the company has been violating child labor laws.
In the report obtained by Business Insider, workers outlined concerns about the way things are done behind the scenes at Chipotle. It said that many incentives like pay bonuses let other responsibilities like cleanliness audits and food safety fall to the wayside.
Workers said in the report that working at Chipotle is “highly pressurized environment” with goals that include “minimizing labor costs.”
It was also said that managers are often told in advance when a restaurant will be inspected for cleanliness so they can be prepared. Meanwhile, when an inspection isn’t taking place the cleanliness standard is much more laid back. In the past, people have questioned Chipotle’s safety standards because of the E. Coli outbreak a couple years back. The chain also has an interesting sick day policy, where there are on call nurses for workers to check if they’re actually sick.
Chipotle said in a statement to Delish that the company is committed to safe food and a safe work environment and that the pay bonuses actually incentivize workers to be even more precise when following company policies.
Jose Bolanos of the UK Food Standards Agency writes in Organizations, culture and food safety, 2020that FSA has a longstanding interest in organisational culture and its impact on the capability of a food business to provide food that is safe and what it says it is.
However, while there has been some work carried out on assessing organisational culture in some regulatory areas, there has been limited progress in the development of a regulatory approach specifically for food safety culture.
And on it goes in bureau-speak.
Can’t take an agency seriously when they still recommend that meat be cooked until piping hot.
The topic of food safety culture and climate is growing attention from industry, researchers, standards owners and certification bodies. Authors use the terms food safety culture and climate, however, there are no unified definitions to provide clarity on the meaning of these terms.
The objective of this study is to analyse the similarities and differences in current definitions and statements of Food Safety Culture and Food Safety Climate, and provide suggested clarifying definitions for both concepts, to bring a consistent approach to the field. The study evaluates the types of organisational cultures, climates and employees’ behaviours which provide important differences and further insights into each of these.
Looking back at the origins of safety culture following the Chernobyl accident in the 1980’s provides an understanding of how this laid the foundation for safety culture and climate in the UK. Reflecting on the increasing trend in Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) breaches due to the increasing number of incidents reported to authorities, the study suggests an increased focus is needed on culture, climate, and behaviour in food businesses. A critical analysis of previous definitions, statements and common words currently used to describe culture and climate in published definitions is provided. New definitions for food safety culture and climate based on factors shown to be important and are recommended for use by industry and researchers are proposed. The study assesses different types of culture, climate and employees, and suggests different employee behaviours impact the culture and climate of an organisation.
Terminology and the understanding of culture, climate, and behavioural change—impact of organizational and human factors on food safety management
Trends in Food Science and Technology, vol. 96, pg. 13-20
I try to be optimistic, but as Kurt Vonnegut wrote, maybe I just have bad wiring.
It’s been one hell of a challenge to take on the falls and the life changes, and would be easier if I didn’t fall and currently have 8 broken ribs and a broken collarbone, but no worse than anyone else.
Jane Brody of the New York Times writes, my husband and I were psychological opposites. I’ve always seen the glass as half-full; to him it was half-empty. That difference, research findings suggest, is likely why I pursue good health habits with a vengeance while he was far less inclined to follow the health-promoting lifestyle I advocated.
I’m no cockeyed optimist, but I’ve long believed that how I eat and exercise, as well as how I view the world, can benefit my mental and physical well-being.
An increasing number of recent long-term studies has linked greater optimism to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other chronic ailments and to fostering “exceptional longevity,” a category one team of researchers used for people who live to 85 and beyond.
Admittedly, the relationship between optimism and better health and a longer life is still only a correlation that doesn’t prove cause and effect. But there is also now biological evidence to suggest that optimism can have a direct impact on health, which should encourage both the medical profession and individuals to do more to foster optimism as a potential health benefit.
According to Dr. Alan Rozanski, one of the field’s primary researchers, “It’s never too early and it’s never too late to foster optimism. From teenagers to people in their 90s, all have better outcomes if they’re optimistic.”
I project pessimism, but am eternally internally optimistic.
I’m trying to share that instead of sharing the asshole bit.
Tom Karst of The Packer writes that teasing the details of a new era of smarter food safety, Food and Drug Administration deputy commissioner for food policy and response Frank Yiannas spoke Sept. 18 at the United Fresh Washington Conference.
Before coming to FDA last December, Yiannas was vice president of food safety at Walmart from 2008 to 2018.
And Disney in Orlando before that.
Yiannas said the FDA’s work on produce safety has been front and central to his work since he joined the agency.
He praised the industry for its contribution to food safety and said the public-private partnership on food safety efforts must strengthen even more in what he called a new era of smarter food safety that is set to begin in 2020.
“I was asked by the Commissioner to continue to lead our efforts on modernization,” Yiannas said. “We’ve come a long way since 2011, but there’s still work to be done.”
Tech-enabled traceability and tech-enabled outbreak response will be one area of focus for the new era of smarter food safety, Yiannas said.
While produce has an impressive safety record overall, he said there are weak points in the supply chain.
“What I have learned over the years, and especially from my vantage point with the world’s largest company, is that I do believe the food system’s Achilles heel is traceability and transparency,” he said.
He noted that in both the spinach-related foodborne illness outbreak in 2006 and the romaine-related outbreak in 2018, traceability was an issue.
“It seems eerily similar almost a decade later,” he said. “And we still are having to do these overly broad consumer advisories.”
Distributed ledger or blockchain technology can be part of the solution, he said, but that isn’t the focus.
“It is not about the technology— it is about solving some of our many public health challenges,” he said.
Helping efforts to create a culture of food safety among growers, food marketers, and consumers is another element of the new era plan, he said.
“What I’ve learned over the years, is that it’s impossible to make progress without changing and influencing behavior,” he said, noting the importance of “digital prompts” to encourage right behavior.
Assif Majid of BBC News writes that Watchdog’s reporter was given no training on keeping delivery crates and vans clean.
The reporter witnessed spillages, but was told by senior drivers that there was no need to clear it up during the delivery round.
Asda says it has a “clean as you go” policy and staff get full training.
Both Asda employees and customers have contacted the consumer programme with allegations about the cleanliness of the store’s delivery crates.
One driver told the programme: “There’s no cleaning process in place. The crates are used over and over again, even after spillages. Most, if not all, are dirty, from food, and things like smashed eggs.”
Another driver told the programme they are so concerned about poor hygiene, they are worried about their own family eating food from the crates.
Asda said the findings were “isolated examples and the opinion of individual colleagues”.
It added: “The findings do not reflect the extensive policies and training they have in place, which are supported by independent third party audits.”
The supermarket also says Watchdog’s researcher did not receive the full role-specific training because he didn’t do enough shifts.
Chartered environmental health practitioner Barrie Trevena said: “Even if the food you’re putting in is wrapped, the packages then become contaminated and then when the customer handles the cans and the packages, then that’s going to contaminate their worktop and fridge.”
The company said it delivered almost half a million orders each week, using their totes more than 2.5 million times, and it was inaccurate and misleading to suggest that it did not have policies or training in place at a business level.
According to Produce Retailer, online grocery shopping remains an option that most people do not use, according to a new poll.
Gallup found that 81% of U.S. consumers never order groceries online, while 11% do so at least once a month, according to a news release.
I remember a line from a Kurt Vonnegut novel about how increasing technology would be silly because he wouldn’t be able to go to the bank and chat with his favorite teller.
I’m back home now after almost 3 weeks away, and it’s a shock.
Sure there’s booze and genetics, but there’s other stuff going on in my brain that we mere mortals just can’t diagnose at this time.
My brain will go to the Sports Bank in Sydney when I die.
But that may not be for a long time.
And I can’t imagine life without going to my Commons and laboratory – the supermarket – at least every other day.
I am fortunate to be surrounded by people and professionals who love and care for me. It’s quite humbling, but as Chapman has said, I’ve done my time and don’t owe anyone anything.
Ben, that’s not how it works.
I decided to change things up while my partner and daughter went to the U.S. for two weeks and I tried out a new mental health facility.
After almost three weeks I am revitalized, passionate, and engaged.
I’m writing, I’m exercising, I’m eating well, I’m heathy. These are the cornerstones of on-going functioning.
And I’m finally starting – if not to love myself – to better understand who I am, what’s actually important, and the awful, awful damage that alcohol and the pursuit of being important has done to myself and those around me.
And all those pucks to the head, the PTSD from the car crash, the four years of playing linebacker in football, and the numerous concussions from just falling down.
If it gets to on-line grocery shopping, cart me away.
Every year, studies about food handlers’ food safety knowledge, attitudes, and practices are published. Some results of these papers have been rather controversial, especially those related to food safety practices.
The two most common methods for evaluating food safety practices – self-assessment and observation – are generally treated as interchangeable, but they can have different meanings. The objective of this study was, therefore, to differentiate between the observed and self-reported food safety practices of food handlers, verifying the effect of different variables in these food safety indicators through structural equation modeling, and examining the relationship between cognitive factors and these practices.
A questionnaire with 37 questions was given to 183 food handlers to evaluate their food safety knowledge, attitudes, self-reported practices, and risk perceptions. For the observed assessment method of evaluating the food handlers’ practices (observed practices), a checklist was developed, and food handlers were observed during one workday.
Two models were developed based on the results of these two assessment methods. In the first model a significant positive effect of knowledge and a negative effect of risk perception on self-reported practices were observed. Food handlers with high risk-perception about their practices reported less adequate practices. Positive food safety attitudes acted as a moderator dampening the positive effect between knowledge and self-reported practices. In the second model a significant positive effect of knowledge on observed practices. Attitudes strengthened the positive effect between knowledge and observed practices.
A direct effect of attitude on observed practices was not observed. In conclusion, self-reported practices and observed practices are different and should be used and discussed properly.
The differences between observed and self-reported food safety practices: A study with food handlers using structural equation modeling 23 August 2019