Regulatory

 

FSA issues warning over Czech bootleg liquor

The Food Standards Agency is advising anyone travelling to, or recently returned from, the Czech Republic to steer clear of locally produced hard spirits. This follows a recent spate of alcohol-related cases of methanol poisoning in the country, including 19 deaths. The poisonings are associated with bootleg spirits that have been tainted with industrial methanol […]

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New counterfeit booze-busting test

With reports of counterfeit alcohol increasing in parts of Europe, demand for testing for dangerous and illegal alcohol additives such as methanol is on the up too. Although methanol, a potent toxicant in humans, can occur naturally in very low levels in some alcoholic beverages, dangerous amounts of methanol may occur in or be added […]

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‘Further studies on toxoplasma needed’

A risk profile on toxoplasma in the food chain by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) has recommended that further studies are needed to establish the importance of foodborne routes of infection and identify the highest risks. The suggested studies include work to assess the prevalence of toxoplasma in UK livestock […]

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EFSA boss welcomes findings of independent report

EFSA boss Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has welcomed the findings of an external evaluation that say the safety authority ‘continues to demonstrate its value as the cornerstone of risk assessment for food and feed in the EU, and fulfil its obligations to operate in an independent manner’. However, the review also makes a number of recommendations on […]

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Using technology to fight foodborne disease

Advances in molecular biology could revolutionise the way in which foodborne disease outbreaks are investigated, according to the Food Standards Agency, enabling faster and more accurate identification of the organisms responsible. Some of the UK’s top public health officials have hailed DNA sequencing techniques, such as next generation sequencing, as one the most powerful laboratory […]

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Fish freezing requirements relaxed

The Food Standards Agency has announced that certain farmed fish destined to be eaten raw in dishes like sushi no longer need to be frozen before use to protect consumers against parasites. Fish parasites are mainly a problem in certain species of wild fish and can cause illness in humans if eaten. All fishery products […]

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Call for new EFSA management board member

The European Commission has launched a call for a new member of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Management Board. The Commission is organising a selection procedure for one position of the 15-member board whose term will expire on 30 June 2014. A member of the authority’s management board has resigned and is to be […]

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New FSA chief executive revealed

The new chief executive of the Food Standards Agency has been named as Catherine Brown. Catherine, who is currently the chief executive of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), will take up the post in October. She succeeds Tim Smith, who has been chief executive since March 2008. “The Board and I are […]

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RSSL to carry out FSA allergen survey

Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL) has been chosen by the Food Standards Agency to carry out a survey of allergen advisory labelling in the UK. The survey aims to provide a better understanding of whether this type of labelling relates to the actual level of allergen present in foods sold on the UK market. It […]

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FSA welcomes EFSA poultry inspection opinion

The European Food Safety Authority’s recent scientific opinion on poultry meat inspection, which suggested that traditional inspection may not be enough to fully address the most relevant biological hazards to public health, has been welcomed by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA). In 2010, the European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to […]

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Report reveals increase in number of food ‘incidents’

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) says it saw an increase in the number of food incidents it investigated last year, including reports of contaminated or illegal food entering the food chain, with some potentially harmful to the public. According to the Annual Report of Incidents 2011 published this week, 1,714 food incidents were investigated by […]

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FSA launches FoP labelling consultation

The Food Standards Agency in both Northern Ireland and Scotland has launched a consultation on front-of-pack (FoP) nutrition labelling in a bid, it says, to help consumers keep track of what they eat and choose healthier foods. The consultation opens discussions with FSA’s key partners over how it can achieve this through FoP nutrition labelling. […]

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EFSA announces BPA re-evaluation

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has started work on its new risk assessment of bisphenol A (BPA) used in food contact materials, focusing in particular, it says, on exposure of vulnerable groups. The new opinion will complement earlier scientific advice provided at the request of the European Commission. EFSA will review all the available […]

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