European Food Safety Authority warns resistance levels still high in foodborne bacteria

EUROPE – A sizeable proportion of Salmonella and Campylobacter bacteria is still resistant to antibiotics commonly used in humans and animals, as in previous years, according to a new report released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The report was based on antimicrobial resistance monitoring data collected by Member States as part of their EU regulatory obligations and jointly analyzed by EFSA and ECDC with the assistance of external contractors.  “In humans, high proportions of resistance to ciprofloxacin, an…

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Uganda Coffee Development Authority’s lab upgrades to new ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation

UGANDA – The Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has announced that it will be transitioning its Coffee Testing Laboratory in Lugogo to the new ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 standard issued by the International Standardization Organization (ISO) under the European Union funded Market Access Upgrade (MARKUP) project for the coffee and cocoa value chain development in Uganda. The International Standard ISO/IEC17025 is used for the accreditation of competence of testing and calibration laboratories worldwide. According to ISO, all accredited laboratories in the world are supposed to transition to the new standard which…

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World Animal Protection raises alarm on superbug contamination on meat sold in Kenya’s retail stores

KENYA – Nearly two years after an expose by a Kenyan media outlet on the rampant use of chemicals and preservatives by some butcheries and retailers to extend the shelf life of meat products, UK-based World Animal Protection has revealed that, a significant portion of chicken and pork meat sold in supermarkets is contaminated with bacteria or superbugs. Superbugs according to WHO are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi resistant to most antibiotics and other medications commonly used treat the infections they cause. The World Animal Protection conducted a…

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CBD safe for use in food as it does not cause liver damage- Validcare

US – A new study conducted by Validcare at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed that Cannabidiol (CBD) products do not cause liver damage when taken orally. The seven-month analysis which evaluated the impact of CBD on liver health through clinical trials involving 839 participants comes on the heels of a summer 2019 study involving mice that suggested that there may be a link between CBD and liver damage. Its results allay a lot of fears by food industry players who may have feared…

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Kenya launches digital platform to automate agricultural service delivery

KENYA – Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives has launched the AFA Integrated Management Information System (AFA-IMIS) that automates its service delivery and business processes. The online system developed by Agriculture and Food Authority of Kenya (AFA) with US$1.37 million funding from Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) through TradeMark East Africa was launched by Kenya’s Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya. The platform aims at providing efficient and transparent service to farmers and its stakeholders by reducing both the time and cost of acquiring services or products from the…

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Kalsec launches new antimicrobial solution to improve shelf life and food safety

US – Kalsec, a US manufacturer of food ingredients and preservatives, has unveiled a new antimicrobial solution that targets to improve both shelf life and food safety in a variety of applications, including meat and poultry, deli salads, dips, sauces, and dressings.  “Kalsec’s DuraShield Natural Food Protection Blends protect against microbial growth that causes spoilage, off-flavors and common foodborne pathogens including but not limited to Listeria and Salmonella,” says Jane Quartel, executive director of product management – Food Protection, Kalsec. The solution, according to the company blends traditional antioxidant products…

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UK delays post-Brexit border checks on certain foods, beverages to aid COVID-19 pandemic recovery

UK – A number of foods and beverages from the European Union will be exempted from border checks in the latest efforts by the UK government to assist its food and beverage sector to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Food Ingredients First reported that health certificates on imports such as meat and milk will be pushed back from next month to October to ensure smooth cross-border movement as the country acclimatizes to a new post-Brexit normal. “Physical checks have the potential to be among the most troublesome and cause the…

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Kenya raises concerns on safety of maize imported from Tanzania, Uganda

KENYA – Kenya has with immediate effect banned the importation of maize from Tanzania and Uganda citing safety health concerns. This comes after the Kenya Agriculture and Food Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives undertook a study on produce from the two neighbouring countries, which revealed that the maize contained high levels of mycotoxins beyond safety levels. “The Authority has been conducting surveillance on the safety of food imports to Kenya. Test results for maize imported from Uganda and Tanzania have revealed high levels of mycotoxins…

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COMESA, EU champion development of National Sanitary and Phytosanitary System for Comoros

COMOROS – Africa’s regional economic organization, COMESA has partnered with the European Union (EU) to support the development of an efficient national Sanitary and Phytosanitary System (SPS) for Comoros with €3.2m (US$3.8m) funding. According to COMESA, the support has been provided to the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Environment (INRAPE), through its Adjustment Fund (CAF) under the Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) programme. Its aim is to address the regulatory deficit within the national sanitary and phytosanitary system and further ensure food safety and quality control within…

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Kenyan food production, supply chain operators to be guided by new KEBS protocols

KENYA – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has announced new COVID-19 hygiene and safety protocols for food business operators, to guide their undertakings as the fight against the pandemic continues. The new standard KNWA 2931:2021 provides guidelines on use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), management of staff sickness at premises and physical distancing to curb the spread of the virus. In addition, the protocols also stipulate the identification of high touch points and good personnel hygienic practices such as hand washing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfection of…

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