Face the face: USDA to pay Tyson Foods $1 million settlement

Tyson Foods has, according to KATV, negotiated a settlement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for $1 million.

The settlement is linked to a lawsuit in which the meat processor said a federal meat inspector lied about inspecting hogs at its Storm Lake, Iowa, plant, forcing the company to destroy 8,000 carcasses and resulting in $2.4 million in losses and expenses.

Tyson Foods filed suit against the government agency in May after an inspector signed inspection cards for 4,622 hogs at the Storm Lake facility. The antemortem inspections were never actually conducted by the agency in person as the report stated.

The meat giant was able to show the courts the inspector never left her car but signed the cards without seeing the hogs.

Tyson Foods said it incurred losses of $2.48 million from the false reports. By the time it learned of the alleged actions, the negligently inspected hogs had been intermingled into a larger group of some 8,000 hog carcasses and therefore could no longer be positively identified and the entire group had to be destroyed.

“This was an unfortunate situation and we appreciate the USDA for working with us to address our losses. We take our commitment to food safety very seriously and look forward to a continued partnership with the USDA,” Tyson Foods spokesman Worth Sparkman told Talk Business & Politics in an email statement.

Poland sick cow slaughterhouse: Meat from closed abattoir ‘sold to nine EU countries’

Secret filming by broadcaster TVN revealed the unwell animals being killed at a slaughterhouse situated 112km east of Warsaw.

Chris Harris of Euronews reports meat from the abattoir went to Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sweden.

“The priority today is to trace and withdraw from the market all the products originated from this slaughterhouse,” Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU commissioner responsible for food safety said in a statement.

“I call on the member states affected to take swift action.

“At the same time, I urge the Polish authorities to finalise as a matter of urgency their investigations, taking all the necessary measures to ensure the respect of the EU legislation including effective, rapid and dissuasive penalties against the perpetrators of such a criminal behaviour that could pose risk to public health and portrays an unacceptable treatment of animals.”

Polish police are investigating after the secret footage appeared to show sick cows dragged into the slaughterhouse and sold with little or no veterinary inspection.

Authorities reacted to the scandal by imposing controls in Polish abattoirs.

“This is the problem of just one company. It is unpleasant, and it is worth stigmatising.

“Fortunately, it is a small slaughterhouse and the other 99.9% of meat processing plants are good,” said Janusz Rodziewicz, head of meats lobby SRiWRP.

But Patryk Szczepaniak, the reporter who uncovered the scandal, said it was a nationwide problem.

Poland produces about 560,000 tonnes of beef a year, with 85% exported to countries including Britain, Spain, Italy and Germany.

Developing official control in Finnish slaughterhouses, 2018

From a PhD dissertation by Jenni Luukkanen of the University of Helsinki. Here’s hoping the defence last week went well.

Official control in slaughterhouses, consisting of meat inspection and food safety inspection, has an important role in ensuring meat safety, animal health and welfare, and prevention of transmissible animal diseases. Meat inspection in the European Union (EU) includes the inspection of food chain information, live animals (ante-mortem inspection), and carcasses and offal (post-mortem inspection).

Food safety inspections are performed to verify slaughterhouses’ compliance with food safety legislation and are of the utmost importance, especially if slaughterhouses’ self-checking systems (SCSs) fail.

The aim of this study was to investigate the prerequisites for official control such as the functionality of the task distribution in meat inspection and certain meat inspection personnel-related factors. In addition, needs for improvement in slaughterhouses’ SCSs, meat inspection, and food safety inspections, including control measures used by the official veterinarians (OVs) and their efficacy, were examined. In the EU, competent authorities must ensure the quality of official control in slaughterhouses through internal or external audits, and the functionality of these audits was also studied.

Based on our results, meat inspection personnel (OVs and official auxiliaries [OAs]), slaughterhouse representatives, and officials in the central authority were mainly satisfied with the functionality of the present task distribution in meat inspection, although redistributing ante-mortem inspection from the OVs to the OAs was supported by some slaughterhouse representatives due to perceived economic benefit.

Ante-mortem inspection was assessed as the most important meat inspection task as a whole for meat safety, animal welfare, and prevention of transmissible animal diseases, and most of the respondents considered it important that the OVs perform antemortem inspection and whole-carcass condemnation in red meat slaughterhouses.

In a considerable number of slaughterhouses, OA or OV resources were not always sufficient and the lack of meat inspection personnel decreased the time used for food safety inspections according to the OVs, also affecting some of the red meat OAs’ post-mortem inspection tasks. The frequency with which OVs observed post-mortem inspection performed by the OAs varied markedly in red meat slaughterhouses. In addition, roughly one-third of the red meat OAs did not consider the guidance and support from the OVs to be adequate in post-mortem inspection.

According to our results, the most common non-compliance in slaughterhouses concerned hygiene such as cleanliness of premises and equipment, hygienic working methods, and maintenance of surfaces and equipment. Chief OVs in a few smaller slaughterhouses reported more frequent and severe non-compliances than other slaughterhouses, and in these slaughterhouses the usage of written time limits and enforcement measures by the OVs was more infrequent than in other slaughterhouses.

Deficiencies in documentation of food safety inspections and in systematic follow-up of corrections of slaughterhouses’ non-compliance had been observed in a considerable number of slaughterhouses. In meat inspection, deficiencies in inspection of the gastrointestinal tract and adjacent lymph nodes were most common and observed in numerous red meat slaughterhouses. Internal audits performed to evaluate the official control in slaughterhouses were considered necessary, and they induced correction of observed non-conformities. However, a majority of the interviewed OVs considered that the meat inspection should be more thoroughly audited, including differences in the rejections and their reasons between OAs. Auditors, for their part, raised a need for improved follow-up of the audits.

Our results do not give any strong incentive to redistribute meat inspection tasks between OVs, OAs, and slaughterhouse employees, although especially from the red meat slaughterhouse representatives’ point of view the cost efficiency ought to be improved. Sufficient meat inspection resources should be safeguarded in all slaughterhouses, and meat inspection personnel’s guidance and support must be emphasized when developing official control in slaughterhouses. OVs ought to focus on performing follow-up inspections of correction of slaughterhouses’ non-compliance systematically, and also the documentation of the food safety inspections should be developed.

Hygiene in slaughterhouses should receive more attention; especially in slaughterhouses with frequent and severe non-compliance, OVs should re-evaluate and intensify their enforcement.

The results attest to the importance of internal audits in slaughterhouses, but they could be developed by including auditing of the rejections and their underlying reasons and uniformity in meat inspection.

‘Turds’ flow through NZ bistro-days after $150,000 fit-out

Hamish McNeilly of Stuff reports a new bistro in Otago that opened less than two weeks ago has been forced to close because of “turds, toilet paper, and p….”.

The word is poop.

Tap & Dough owner Norma Emerson is unsure when, or even if, the fledgling Middlemarch business will open its doors again.

Business had been “going well” until Tuesday night, Emerson said.

Otago bistro Tap & Dough opened on November 10, but was forced to close after floodwater and sewage flowed through the building.

“We expected to see, at the most, a little water in. What we did not expected was the sewage.”

Just metres from the business at the corner of Mold St and Snow Ave, raw sewage overflowed in the rising waters.

Floodwater and raw sewage flowed through The Tap & Dough.

Emerson and her brewer husband, Richard, spent about $150,000 fitting out the leased property, which opened on November 10.

But on Wednesday, decontaminating contractors were removing carpets, wall linings and wood panelling.

“This is a major job. We had turds in here, and all over the carpet.”

When she realised raw sewage was “lapping” at the doors on Tuesday, she called for help.

“I did what any reasonable citizen would do, and rung emergency services”.

Emerson said she was upset by a comment from local Strath Taieri board chairman Barry Williams as volunteers from the fire brigade helped pump water from the bistro.

“He went to the fire brigade and said ‘why are the Emerson’s getting preferential treatment?”‘

“Do I not have a right to protect my property, I’m furious about that.

“It is an emergency when s…., turds, toilet paper, and p…. flow through your door at an eating establishment, at which you have just spent $150,000 on refurbishing.”

The word is shit.

Williams told Stuff he did not recall the incident unfolding that way.

“That’s bloody strange,” he said.

He maintained he asked the volunteer firefighters to pump the excess water into an open ditch, rather than the side of the street.

Williams said he hoped to clear the air with Emerson, “or she could call me”.

It was one of several businesses impacted by sewage in the town, a popular start/finishing point for the Otago Central Rail Trail – about 80km from Dunedin.

On Tuesday a Dunedin City Council spokeswoman said three streets in Middlemarch were closed due to surging from the wastewater network, with a pump used to provide extra capacity.

Improving food inspections through effective scheduling

To properly assess a food establishment for compliance with local food safety regulations is a science and an art. They take time and energy.
The science is applying risk assessment to determine the severity of the public health violation and the art is being able to effectively communicate the findings to the operator or Person-in-Charge. On-site training of the cited violations is an additional effort conducted by inspectors time permitting.
A recent study “How Scheduling Can Bias Quality Assessment: Evidence from Food Safety Inspections,” co-written by Maria Ibáñez and Mike Toffel, looks at how scheduling affects workers’ behavior and how that affects quality or productivity. In the study the authors suggest reducing the amount of given inspections during the day as fatigue will negatively affect the quality of successive inspections . As such a cap on inspections should be implemented to correct this issue. As much as I agree with this statement, the problem stems from inadequate resources to hire more staff to conduct inspections. Many inspectors are generalists meaning that on any given day they may be required to inspect a restaurant, on-site sewage system, playground, pool and deal with any environmental health issues that arise. Unfortunately, quality is sometimes sacrificed by quantity simply due to a lack of staff.

Carmen Nobel reports:

Simple tweaks to the schedules of food safety inspectors could result in hundreds of thousands of currently overlooked violations being discovered and cited across the United States every year, according to new research about how scheduling affects worker behavior.

The potential result: Americans could avoid 19 million foodborne illnesses, nearly 51,000 hospitalizations, and billions of dollars of related medical costs.

Government health officers routinely drop in to inspect restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and other food-handling establishments, checking whether they adhere to public health regulations. The rules are strict. Food businesses where serious violations are found must clean up their acts quickly or risk being shut down.

Yet each year some 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die due to foodborne illnesses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The research is detailed in the paper “How Scheduling Can Bias Quality Assessment: Evidence from Food Safety Inspections,” co-written by Maria Ibáñez, a doctoral student in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School, and Mike Toffel, the Senator John Heinz Professor of Environmental Management at HBS, experts in scheduling and in inspections, respectively.

“The more inspections you have done earlier in the day, the more tired you’re going to be and the less energy you’re going to have to discover violations”

“This study brought together Maria’s interest in how scheduling affects workers’ behavior and how that affects quality or productivity, and my interest in studying the effectiveness of inspections of global supply chainsand of factories in the US,” Toffel says.

Timing is everything

Previous research (pdf) showed that the accuracy of third-party audits is affected by factors such as the inspector’s gender and work experience. Ibáñez and Toffel wanted to look at the effect of scheduling because it’s relatively easy for organizations to fix those problems.

The researchers studied a sampling of data from Hazel Analytics, which gathers food safety inspections from local governments across the United States. The sample included information on 12,017 inspections by 86 inspectors over several years; the inspected establishments included 3,399 restaurants, grocers, and schools in Alaska, Illinois, and New Jersey. The information contained names of the inspectors and establishments inspected, date and time of the inspection, and violations recorded.

In addition to studying quantitative data, Ibáñez spent several weeks accompanying food safety inspectors on their daily rounds. This allowed her to see firsthand how seriously inspectors took their jobs, how they made decisions, and the challenges they faced in the course of their workdays. “I’m impressed with inspectors,” she says. “They are the most dedicated people in the world.”

Undetected violations

Analyzing the food safety inspection records, the researchers found significant inconsistencies. Underreporting violations causes health risks, and also unfairly provides some establishments with better inspection scores than they deserve. According to the data, inspectors found an average 2.4 violations per inspection. Thus, citing just one fewer or one more violation can lead to a 42 percent decrease or increase from the average—and great potential for unfair assessments across the food industry, where establishments are judged on their safety records by consumers and inspectors alike.

On average, inspectors cited fewer violations at each successive establishment inspected throughout the day, the researchers found. In other words, inspectors tended to find and report the most violations at the first place they inspected and the fewest violations at the last place.

The researchers chalked this up to gradual workday fatigue; it takes effort to notice and document violations and communicate (and sometimes defend) them to an establishment’s personnel.

“The more inspections you have done earlier in the day, the more tired you’re going to be and the less energy you’re going to have to discover violations,” Ibáñez says.

They also found that when conducting an inspection risked making the inspector work later than usual, the inspection was conducted more quickly and fewer violations were cited. “This seems to indicate that when inspectors work late, they are more prone to rush a bit and not be as meticulous,” Toffel says.

The level of inspector scrutiny also depended on whatever had been found at the prior inspection that day. In short, finding more violations than usual at one place seemed to induce the inspectors to exhibit more scrutiny at the subsequent place.

“This seems to indicate that when inspectors work late, they are more prone to rush a bit and not be as meticulous”

For example, say an inspector is scheduled to inspect a McDonald’s restaurant and then a Whole Foods grocer. Suppose McDonald’s had two violations the last time it was inspected. If the inspector now visits that McDonald’s and finds five or six violations, the inspector is likely to be particularly meticulous at the Whole Foods next on the schedule, reporting more violations than she otherwise would.

That behavior may be because inspectors put much effort into helping establishments learn the rules, create good habits, and improve food safety practices.

“It can be frustrating when establishments neglect these safety practices, which increases the risk of consumers getting sick,” Ibáñez says. “When inspectors discover that a place has deteriorated a lot, they’re disappointed that their message isn’t getting through, and because it poses a dangerous situation for public health.”

On the other hand, finding fewer violations than usual at one site had no apparent effect on what the inspector uncovered at the subsequent establishment. “When they find that places have improved a lot since their last inspection, they just move on without letting that affect their next inspection.”

Changes could improve public safety

The public health stakes are high for these types of errors in food safety inspections. The researchers estimate that tens of thousands of Americans could avoid food poisoning each year simply by reducing the number of establishments an inspector visits on a single day. Often, inspectors will cluster their schedule to conduct inspections on two or three days each week, saving the other days for administrative duties in the office. While this may save travel time and costs, it might be preventing inspectors from doing their jobs more effectively.

One possible remedy: Managers could impose a cap on the maximum number of inspections per day, and rearrange schedules to disperse inspections throughout the week—a maximum of one or two each day rather than three or four.

In addition, inspectors could plan early-in-the-day visits to the highest-risk facilities, such as elementary school cafeterias or assisted-living facilities, where residents are more vulnerable to the perils of foodborne illnesses than the general public.

On the plus side, tens of thousands of hospital bills are likely avoided every year, thanks to inspectors inadvertently applying more scrutiny after an unexpectedly unhygienic encounter at their previous inspection.

“Different scheduling regimes, new training, or better awareness could raise inspectors’ detection to the levels seen after they observe poor hygiene, which would reduce errors even more and result in more violations being detected, cited and corrected,” Ibáñez says.

The authors estimate that, if the daily schedule effects that erode an inspector’s scrutiny were eliminated and the establishment spillover effects that increase scrutiny were amplified by 100 percent, inspectors would detect many violations that are currently overlooked, citing 9.9 percent more violations.

“Scaled nationwide, this would result in 240,999 additional violations being cited annually, which would in turn yield 50,911 fewer foodborne illness-related hospitalizations and 19.01 million fewer foodborne illness cases per year, reducing annual foodborne illness costs by $14.20 billion to $30.91 billion,” the authors write.

Lessons for inspections

While the study focuses on food safety inspections, it offers broad lessons for any manager who has to manage or deal with inspections.

“One implication is that bias issues will arise, so take them into account as you look at the inspection reports as data,” Ibáñez says. “And another is that we should try to correct them. We should be mindful about the factors that may bias our decisions, and we should proactively change the system so that we naturally make better decisions.”

 

Raw is risky: At least 40 sick linked to 2 Canadian oyster farms

Two B.C. Vancouver Island oyster farms have been closed following an outbreak of norovirus associated with eating the raw shellfish.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control says about 40 cases of acute gastrointestinal illness have been connected to the consumption of raw oysters since March. Testing has confirmed some of the cases were norovirus.

Federal officials with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) confirmed the affected farms are located on the east coast of Vancouver Island at Deep Bay and Denman Island.

While the two farms are no longer harvesting oysters for consumption, no recall of oysters has been issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

While the precise sources of contamination have not been identified, human sewage in the marine environment is currently believed to be the most plausible cause of shellfish contamination, according to BCCDC epidemiologist Marsha Taylor.

In late 2016 and early 2017, more than 400 norovirus cases associated with raw or undercooked B.C. oysters led to the closure of 13 farms.

The outbreak was declared over in April 2017. Human sewage was also suspected as the cause.

In order to kill norovirus and other pathogens, the BCCDC recommends consumers cook oysters thoroughly, to an internal temperature of 90 C for 90 seconds. Consumption of raw oysters is not encouraged.

Use a tip sensitive thermometer and stick it in.

And stop eating raw: It’s just a put on.

(The video is from The Who’s farewell concert in Toronto in 1982, which I watched in my girlfriend’s residence in 1982 at uni, but they’re still around to make a buck, just like food hacks. At least Towsend had tales to tell)

Everyone’s got a camera: UK meat industry under review

The UK Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland have published details of a major review into the sites where meat products are processed and stored in the UK. 

Food Standards Scotland and Food Standards Agency announced:

  • Launch of comprehensive review of hygiene controls
    • Review includes unannounced inspections and audit regimes

Food Standards Agency announced:

  • Work with industry to implement CCTV across cutting plants
    • Increased intelligence gathering through audit data sharing pilots across industry
    • Improved insight into circumstances and factors leading to non-compliances and ability to anticipate them

Jason Feeney and Geoff Ogle, Chief Executives of the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland respectively, jointly commented:

“We are concerned about recent instances of companies breaching hygiene rules. People rightly expect food businesses to keep to the rules, rules designed to keep consumers safe and to sustain public trust in food – and food businesses have a duty to follow the regulations. Our review will be far reaching and thorough and we will announce our initial findings in June.”

The review will aim to:

  • Increase public and stakeholder confidence in the meat industry and its regulation
    • Improve the ability to identify non-compliance and take prompt action to minimise the risk to public health and food safety
    • Assess how the industry currently operates across the whole supply chain.
    • Increase awareness of circumstances and factors which can lead to non-compliance

Assurance bodies, 2 Sisters Food Group and the FSA have also responded to recommendations made by the Parliamentary inquiry into poultry cutting plants. We have also published the outcome of FSA’s investigation into allegations of food hygiene and standards breaches at 2 Sisters.

In response to the inquiry the FSA will work with industry on a voluntary protocol for adoption of CCTV in meat processing plants and will consult on legislating to implement them if necessary.

FSA will also be running pilots to improve data and intelligence sharing across the industry and is pursuing increased investigatory powers for the National Food Crime Unit.

The investigation into 2 Sisters Food Group has been extensive and thorough and looked across their poultry sites.

500 hours of CCTV from the site were examined along with audit information from major retailers. The company voluntarily ceased production at one site whilst changes were made and staff re-trained. The FSA have had a permanent presence at their cutting plants for the last four months.

Jason Feeney, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency said:

“Our investigation found some areas for improvement but the issues were resolved promptly by the company, who co-operated fully, and at no point did we find it necessary to take formal enforcement action.”

“The business has made a wide range of improvements across all their sites to improve processes. They are already publishing the outcomes of all their audits and are in the process of installing high quality CCTV across their estate that we will have full access to. These are measures we would like the whole industry to adopt.”

Restaurant closed due to a cockroach infestation

I have always been curious to see what others thought on the following:
How many chances should the Health Department give a food service/retail establishment that has been chronically shut down before permanently having their business license rescinded?
I’m not talking about the minor violations that are encountered during a routine inspection, more of the deliberate critical infractions that can severely impact public health. As practicing food safety professionals, where do we draw the line? Inspections are a snap shop in time and food safety resonates upon behaviors for positive change. But what do we do with those select few places that simply don’t care and abide by the mentality that if I am fined, well it’s the cost of doing business? I’ve heard this and I’m sure others have as well. I would love to hear what Barfblog readers have to say regarding this matter.

A vile cockroach-infested restaurant has been shut down after revolting insects were discovered throughout the dilapidated building.
The pests were found hiding in the fridge door seal, preventing it from closing properly, and crawling around exposed foods, food containers and over kitchen surfaces.
Guildford Magistrates’ Court heard stomach-turning evidence of how owner Amjad Parvez Butt had been seen coughing over food, then failing to use soap when washing his hands.
Mr Butt was charged with seven counts of food safety and hygiene regulations contravention, all of which he pleaded guilty to.
Under routine inspection on June 27 last year, an environmental health officer from Rushmoor Borough Council visited the Lali Gurash Nepalese restaurant in Aldershot.
In the initial report, read to the court on Wednesday (February 14), the officer said: “When I arrived, I witnessed Mr Butt coughing while preparing food – he then washed his hands without using soap.”
The general first impression was that Mr Butt was not preparing food safely and an in depth inspection began.
After examining the fridge, it became apparent the door would not close properly due to a number of cockroaches living within the door seal.
The officer also noticed the building had structural damage, including a hole in the wall, through which clear daylight could be seen and gaps in the flooring near the waste pipes.
Further evidence of insect activity was discovered in the basement, around food preparation areas and in the proximity of exposed onions and potatoes.
During the inspection it also became apparent that Mr Butt had not been filling in the mandatory safer food, better business (SFBB) checks that RBC enforces, with the last entry filed more than five weeks prior to the visit.
The restaurant was closed and Mr Butt was ordered to arrange for a pest control team to install traps throughout the building.
A few days later, officers returned to discover a full life cycle of cockroaches in the traps, indicating that they had been present in the area for a minimum of six weeks.
Officers consistently monitored the progress of the restaurant until July 20, when, in the absence of any infestation, it was deemed acceptable for re-opening.
During the scheduled three-month re-visit, Mr Butt was asked to produce his SFBB documents, which he was unable to do, and the restaurant was once again closed.
In court, with the assistance of a translator, he explained that he was unable to read and write and claimed that his daughter was going to complete the checks for him but was away on holiday at the time.
The 53-year-old said: “When I first noticed the cockroaches I bought some spray and contacted pest control but they never got back to me.
“When I was told to close the restaurant and destroy the food, I did.
“I have lost a lot of profit and it is the first time this has happened – I ask for forgiveness.”

The rest of the story can be found here

Science, or poetry in motion: Modern pig inspection

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced its continued effort to modernize inspection systems through science-based approaches to food safety. USDA is proposing to amend the federal meat inspection regulations to establish a new voluntary inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments called the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), while also requiring additional pathogen sampling for all swine slaughter establishments.

The proposed rule also allows innovation and flexibility to establishments that are slaughtering market hogs. Market hogs are uniform, healthy, young animals that can be slaughtered and processed in this modernized system more efficiently and effectively with enhanced process control.

For market hog establishments that opt into NSIS, the proposed rule would increase the number of offline USDA inspection tasks, while continuing 100% FSIS carcass-by-carcass inspection. These offline inspection tasks place inspectors in areas of the production process where they can perform critical tasks that have direct impact on food safety.

There will be a 60-day period for comment once the rule is published in the Federal Register.

To view the proposed rule and information on how to comment on the rule, visit the FSIS website at fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/proposed-rules.

 

Audits and inspections are never enough: French inspectors missed Salmonella at baby milk plant

French food safety inspectors failed to detect salmonella contamination at a plant belonging to dairy giant Lactalis, three months before the company carried out a major recall of baby milk, a report said Wednesday.

Lactalis, one of the world’s largest producers of dairy products, discovered the bacteria at its factory in Craon, northwest France, during tests in August and November.

It did not however report the find to the authorities.

Officials from the food safety department carried out a routine inspection of the site in September and gave it a clean bill of health, the Canard Enchaine investigative weekly reported.

It was only three months later, after around 30 infants being fed Lactalis powdered milk fell sick, that the health ministry sounded the alarm.

Officials from the national anti-fraud bureau swooped on the site on December 2 and found the assembly line where liquid milk is transformed into formula to be contaminated.

Lactalis issued two major recalls covering all production from the site from February 15, blaming the contamination on renovation work.

The plant has been at a standstill since December 8.

Lactalis is under investigation over the affair.

It could face charges of causing involuntary injuries and endangering the lives of others.

Market food safety at retail so consumers can choose.

Audits and inspections are never enough: A critique to enhance food safety

30.aug.12

Food Control

D.A. Powell, S. Erdozain, C. Dodd, R. Costa, K. Morley, B.J. Chapman

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713512004409?v=s5

Internal and external food safety audits are conducted to assess the safety and quality of food including on-farm production, manufacturing practices, sanitation, and hygiene. Some auditors are direct stakeholders that are employed by food establishments to conduct internal audits, while other auditors may represent the interests of a second-party purchaser or a third-party auditing agency. Some buyers conduct their own audits or additional testing, while some buyers trust the results of third-party audits or inspections. Third-party auditors, however, use various food safety audit standards and most do not have a vested interest in the products being sold. Audits are conducted under a proprietary standard, while food safety inspections are generally conducted within a legal framework. There have been many foodborne illness outbreaks linked to food processors that have passed third-party audits and inspections, raising questions about the utility of both. Supporters argue third-party audits are a way to ensure food safety in an era of dwindling economic resources. Critics contend that while external audits and inspections can be a valuable tool to help ensure safe food, such activities represent only a snapshot in time. This paper identifies limitations of food safety inspections and audits and provides recommendations for strengthening the system, based on developing a strong food safety culture, including risk-based verification steps, throughout the food safety system.