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Preparing for Food Safety and Quality Audits – a practical approach.
An interactive Food Safety Management Workshop.
14th and 15th November 2018, at University College Cork
Food safety and quality audits are a fact of life for all food business operators. Multiple audits are a frequent occurrence in a single production year, as companies need to demonstrate compliance with requirements from different customers, regulatory inspectors, and standards bodies.
Food Process Engineering Principles Workshop 25 October 2018 University College Cork
A working knowledge of engineering principles is invaluable in the design and optimization of food processes, yet this topic is increasingly now receiving less attention on food science degree programmes.
To address this growing knowledge gap we are providing an engaging and lively Food Engineering workshop. The workshop is presented by experts with vast experience in the application of engineering tools to solve relevant problems in the food industry.
Dr Mark Tamplin the manager of ComBase has issued an update. This is summarised below.
- A new search feature has been added to the Browser - now, instead of sorting through hundreds of records to find a specific food type, simply add Food name as a search field and enter the food that you are interested in. For example, type ' lettuce' in the Food name field.
- Each record now indicates the date that the record was added to ComBase.
- An improved and simpler data donation template, plus instructional videos, have been added to the Data Submission page.
- ComBase will award $1000 to the person who authors/co-authors the largest number of data donations. The award can be used to attend the IAFP Annual Meeting in the USA, or the IAFP European Symposium. The eligibility period for data donations is 30 March 2018 - 1 April 2019. ComBase will announce the winner on 1 May 2019.
ComBase can be contacted at booth #208 at the IAFP Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City.
Recent data donations to ComBase include:
- Listeria monocytogenes in cut cantaloupe, honey dew and water melons (Danyluk)
- Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli in cheddar, gouda, feta and brie cheeses (Kocharunchitt)
- Listeria monocytogenes on frozen-thawed corn, peas, shrimp and snowcrab (Kataoka)
- Variability of thermal resistance of Listeria monocytogenes strains (Aryani)
- Bacillus cereus in reconstituted infant formula (Buss da Silva)
- Clostridium perfringens in cooked-cooled beef-pork sausages (Tilkens)
- Clostridium perfringens in cooked-cooled turkey breasts (Kennedy)
- Effect of pomegranate powder on heat inactivation of Escherichia coli O104:H4 in ground chicken (Juneja)
- Salmonella spp. reduction in meat jerky with temperature, potassium sorbate, pH, and water activity as controlling factors (Juneja)
- Listeria monocytogenes in broccoli, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, yellow onions, green olives-fresh, green olives-canned, black olives-canned, cantaloupe-flesh, cantaloupe-rind, avocado, cucumbers, and button mushrooms (Salazar)
- Listeria monocytogenes in blue crab (Parveen)
For tutorials on how to use ComBase, refer to their YouTube channel and Combase sites on LinkedIn Group, LinkedIn Company, Facebook, and Twitter.
A Data Wizard will be released in a few months that will greatly simplify data donations
If you have suggestions for how ComBase can be improved, please contact Dr Tamplin at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Ireland has a well-deserved reputation as a global leader in food innovation and it is fitting that a new world food resource, bia-biz.com, was recently launched by Michael Creed, the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
bia-biz.com is a comprehensive online directory of valuable technical content and free training for food producers, entrepreneurs, scientists, technologists and advisers.
Reflecting the complexity and knowledge needed in today’s food and beverage industry bia-biz.com has 13 pages, 130 sections over 2000 web links, 73 free online trainings, a global events calendar and a national regulations and support page for 112 countries. The layout, site-plan and search functionality is intuitive and user friendly.
There have been several updates to the Dairy Science and Food Technology website in May, 2018.
- An article on how to use Excel to make a calculator for determining the F value of a heat process has been added and can be accessed at https://www.dairyscience.info/index.php/thermal-processing/304-excel-spreadsheets.html .
- A range of Excel Spreadsheets for calculating F, B*, C* values of thermal processes and thermal processing indicators can be downloaded. These can be accessed at https://www.dairyscience.info/index.php/thermal-processing.html .
- The article "Dry heat sterilisation and depyrogenation" has been updated to reflect the biphasic nature of the destruction of pyrogens particularly at temperatures below 180 °C. Access is available at https://www.dairyscience.info/index.php/thermal-processing/238-dry-heat-sterilisation-and-depyrogenation.html .
Ian Mullan who joined DFST as an Associate Consultant over a year ago has resigned. I am delighted to acknowledge Ian's contribution and wish him well in his new position.
The article "Factors affecting plaque formation by bacteriophages" has been updated to reflect research by Luhtanen et al., 2018* on cold-active phages.
*Luhtanen,A.-M.,Eronen-Rasimus,E., Oksanen,H.M., Tison,J.-L., Delille,B.,Dieckmann,G.S.,Rintala,J.-M. and Bamford,D.H. (2018). The first known virus isolates from Antarctic sea ice have complex infection patterns. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, 94, 4, 1-15. (available from https://doi.org/10.1093/femsec/fiy028).
The author with chemist colleague Ronnie Irvine visited The Echlinville Distillery at Rubane, just outside Kircubbin, in the Ards Peninsula. A brief account of our visit to Ireland's newest whiskey distillery is given here.
Six new site calculators have been added.
Three are concerned with determining holding tube length, average holding time and Reynolds number:
• Calculator for determining Reynolds number
• Calculator for determining average holding time in a pasteurizer or UHT holding tube
• Calculator for determining holding tube length in pasteurizing and UHT plant
Following feedback from users of data loggers a unique highly flexible F value calculator designed to work with thousands of pasted values of time -temperatures has been added. This calculator allows users, for perhaps the first time, to compare F values obtained by numerical integration using the industry standard method, the trapezoid rule with the more accurate Simpson's 1/3 and 3/8 rules:
A calculator for predicting the concentration of HMF, lactulose and furosine in heated milks (whole, semi-skim and skimmed milk) that also calculates the F0, B* and C* values and the destruction of thiamine has been added. The calculator has been designed to work with thousands of pasted values of time -temperatures. The values are integrated using the industry standard method, the trapezoid rule, and are compared with the more accurate method of numerical integration, Simpson's 1/3 and 3/8 rules:
• Calculator for predicting the concentration of HMF, lactulose and furosine in heated milks (whole, semi-skim and skimmed milk). It also calculates the F0, B* and C* values and the destruction of thiamine. The values are integrated using the industry standard method, the trapezoid rule, and are compared with a more accurate method of numerical integration, Simpson's 1/3 and 3/8 rules.
A generic F calculator for UHT and similar high temperature processes has been added. The calculator has been designed to work with thousands of pasted values of time-temperatures. The values are integrated using the industry standard method, the trapezoid rule, and are compared with the more accurate method of numerical integration, Simpson's 1/3 and 3/8 rules
• Calculator for determining the lethality (F, B* values) and chemical changes (C* value) for UHT processes using the trapezoid and Simpson's rules. Applicable to all UHT processes and designed to take thousands of pasted values.
IFST is inviting young scientists in their first post-doctoral position, first academic position, age 35 or under, based in the UK, to apply for financial support to attend and participate in the World Congress.
IFST is the UK’s adhering body to IUFoST, the International body representing Institutes like IFST from around the world. The World Congress this year in Mumbai, India and runs 23-27 October 2018. This is a great opportunity to be involved with the world-wide community of food scientists and technologist and to showcase your research.
IFST will make a £1500 contribution to the selected candidate towards the costs of travel and attendance at this important international event.
Additionally, if IUFoST selects you as one of its Young Scientists, you will have the opportunity to address a global audience on your research following a plenary speaker. You will then join over 2000 other food scientists and technologists to experience this global event. As an IUFoST Young Scientist, local expenses and World Congress fees are also covered by IUFoST.
Closing date for entries: 27 March 2018.
A free article, "Ultra-high-temperature (UHT) processing of milk. Process lethality, chemical effects and use of temperature-time-integrators (TTIs) to predict heat treatment and over-processing" has been added to the Dairy Science and Food Technology website.
This article investigates how to calculate the lethal effects of UHT treatment and the usefulness of TTIs for differentiating sterilised, direct and indirectly processed UHT-treated milk. The importance of accessing accurate temperature time-data and knowing holding tube dimensions, flow rate, average and minimum holding time and the flow characteristics (Reynolds number) are discussed. The reliability of a model developed by Claeys et al. (2003) to predict the effects of UHT-processing on hydroxymethylfurfural, lactulose and furosine concentrations in milk is discussed. Free On Line calculators for calculating holding time, average flow rate, holding tube length in UHT and HTST plants are provided. A free On Line calculator programmed using the thermal constants calculated by Claeys et al. (2003) is provided to calculate hydroxymethylfurfural, lactulose and furosine concentrations following heat treatment in skim, semi fat and full fat milks. This calculator also calculates F0, B*, C* and % destruction of thiamine. Two methods of numerical integration are used to measure the cumulative lethal and chemical effects of UHT treatment, namely the Trapezoid and Simpson's rules.
The article can be viewed at https://www.dairyscience.info/index.php/thermal-processing/325-uht-processing.html .
This website gets a lot of Email and occasionally one connects.
According to the Daily Mail as many as 9.75 million people - 15 per cent of the UK population - are believed to have been hit by flu symptoms this week. Some 120 flu deaths have been recorded in England, 21 are known to have died in Scotland and eight in Northern Ireland.
It was against this background that a reader who works for a major food processing company sent me a picture of unpackaged bakery-items completely exposed to the environment at a food retailers with a global reputation for producing safe food. She was surprised that the retailer was not taking action to prevent contamination of their bakery items with airborne viruses and from customers with virus-contaminated hands.
The article on "Factors affecting plaque formation by bacteriophages" has been updated and can be accessed at
Plaques of phage D29 produced by Mycobacterium avium spp paratuberculosis assayed using Mycobacterium smegmatis. Image courtesy of Dr Irene Grant, Queens University Belfast.
On March 24 and 25, 2017 researchers and clinicians from around the world met at Temple University in Philadelphia, USA to discuss the current knowledge of Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) and its relationship to human disease.
The conference participants reached consensus on several issues relating to MAP. A majority of the conferees (78%) concluded that the accumulating information now strongly supports the theory that MAP is a zoonotic bacterium. A majority of the conferees (72%) noted that MAP present in dairy products and meat causes disease in some humans and thus poses a public health threat (Kuenstner et al. (2017).
Fat agglomeration is affected by the process parameters used in gelato and ice cream manufacture, the emulsifer stabiliser system and ingredients. Fat agglomeration has a significant role in dryness of extruded ice cream, slow meltdown, good shape retention and resistance to shrinkage during storage. Too much protein can result in an over stable fat emulsion and insufficient fat agglomeration.
A calculator to determine the maximum MSNF compatible with normal fat agglomeration has been added and can be accessed here.
The Food Standards Agency announced a recall of Marks and Spencer chicken soup on the 24th March 2017. The affected soup has a chemical taint and has been withdrawn as a precautionary measure.
The product details follow:
Product: Chicken and Vegetable Soup
Pack size: 600g
Use By date: 30 March 2017
Unique Product Code: 00711135.
The product should not be eaten and should be returned to the nearest M&S store.
The latest forum post concerns raw milk and A2 milk. The posts can be viewed at http://www.dairyscience.info/forum/nutrition-and-health_forum14.html .
Professor Jack Pearce died suddenly in 2016.
The IFST have organised a Memorial Lecture to recognise Jack's work and the esteem in which his students, colleagues and friends justly regarded him.
The lecture will be held on Friday, the 24 February, 2017 - 18:00 to 20:00, in the David Kier Building, Stranmillis Road, Queens University, Belfast, Lecture Theatre OG 012.
There is a legislative requirement in most developed countries for food companies to have validated-HACCP plans for all products. The current E.coli 01507:H7 outbreak in Scotland has been linked to raw milk cheese and the death of one child has been reported. Note there are few examples of well validated HACCPs even from large companies!
There are a number of published risk assessements for raw milk cheeses. One of the most comprehensive, "Microbiological Risk Assessment of Raw Milk Cheese", has been produced by Food Standards Australia /New Zealand using quantitative models developed by the University of Tasmania. The assesment can be downloaded from https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/proposals/documents/P1007%20PPPS%20for%20raw%20milk%201AR%20SD3%20Cheese%20Risk%20Assessment.pdf .
Congratulations to Gary Andrews, who has been awarded "Food Hero of the Year" at the Grow Make Eat Drink Awards 2016.
Gary Andrews, a Dairy Technologist at CAFRE, was nominated for the award by Paul McClean, the owner of Kearney Blue Cheese, for his contribution towards the development of the artisan cheese sector in Northern Ireland.
Kearney, Blue, a full fat, mould-ripened hard cheese, was developed by Paul McClean in the village of Kearney, near Cloughy, Co. Down in Northern Ireland and is a cheese connoisseur’s delight. Gary has worked with Paul McClean and many other entrepreneurs to help make their product concepts commercial successes and is a well-deserved winner.
Recent deaths associated with the consumption of lettuce and other salad vegetables have been well publicised in the media. How do you advise parents to respond to the risks associated with eating salads and maintain consumption of healthy foods? And would this advice differ if they had an immunocompromised family member? Perhaps you have a view on my response to a query from a parent? Please see http://www.dairyscience.info/forum/preparing-salads_topic432.html .
Launch of new dairy course
Dairy processing is a very significant pillar of the Irish economy. In 2013 export values for Irish Dairy products and ingredients exceeded €3 billion making an enormous contribution to the domestic economy. The industry exports 85% of all output produced, making Ireland the 10th largest dairy export nation globally. The strongest performing category areas were butter, cheese, infant formula, milk and cream and whole milk powder and whey powders, while fat-filled milk powders, also accounted for 80% of growth in the prepared foods export category.
Is Thermus thermophilus the causal agent of pinking in cheese?
“Pinking” the development of a red / pink colour in many cheese-types has been known for many years and has been the attention of significant research interest for decades. Much of this research has been inconclusive although some association with lactobacilli has been suggested.
Recently Quigley et. al. (2016) used shotgun metagenomic sequencing to reveal the presence of bacteria corresponding to three phyla, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Deinococcus-Thermus in 8 ‘continental’ cheeses exhibiting pinking. The phylum Deinococcus-Thermus was absent in control cheese.
I purchased one pot of fat-free-natural yoghurt produced by a major dairy company from the Asda supermarket in Cookstown a few days ago. I opened it this lunchtime today (12th June). It had a use before date of the 24th June 2014 (see below).
I noticed the lumps, clumps of curd on the lid immediately. See below.
Looking at the inside of the container the top part of the yoghurt was less viscous than the bottom, syneresis was starting and grains/lumps/nodules were clearly visible.
The grains / nodules can be clearly seen on the spoon images below.
It is always interesting to see how companies respond to problems. No one answered the contact phone number given on the carton. I also completed a web form on the company website and attempted to contact their PR company using the information on their website. The contact information was not correct however I managed to get the correct information from their website. I eventually got a response of sorts from the website form.
This is the second time in a month that I have bought a stirred yoghurt with this fault. The first time was from a local company in Northern Ireland and it was a natural yoghurt made with whole milk.