The hottest Food Safety Substack posts right now

And their main takeaways
Top Food & Drink Topics
The Rotten Apple 283 implied HN points 15 Jan 24
  1. Food fraud perpetrators do not aim to harm consumers, as that increases the risk of getting caught.
  2. Accidental harm can occur from food adulteration, like plaster of Paris being mistakenly used instead of a harmless substance.
  3. Allergen cross-reactivity can lead to serious consequences for allergenic individuals and cause issues in food testing.
The Rotten Apple 241 implied HN points 08 Jan 24
  1. Contaminated cinnamon had lead levels over 2000 times the safe limit, prompting food fraud vulnerability assessment recommendations
  2. Ecuadorian cinnamon supply chain was affected by contamination, possibly due to adulteration with lead chromate
  3. Understanding verification vs validation in food safety: Check procedures vs. ensuring procedures deliver the required results
Vittles 141 implied HN points 05 Feb 24
  1. Hospitality industry heavily relies on blue tissue paper for hygiene and cleaning purposes.
  2. Blue roll became popular in kitchens post-1990 due to food safety outbreaks and hygiene regulations.
  3. Blue roll's blue color is chosen for its association with cleanliness and hygiene, reflecting a shift towards disposable products for sanitation.
The Rotten Apple 73 implied HN points 19 Feb 24
  1. Alzheimer's disease may have a link to foodborne pathogens, such as _Helicobacter pylori_, found in raw milk, vegetables, and meat, potentially transmitted through contaminated food practices.
  2. Corruption in food supply chains poses serious risks to consumer safety and the environment, illustrated by cases like the China melamine milk scandal and the Brazil 'weak meat' scandal.
  3. Corruption in food supply chains comes in various forms like bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of functions, impacting food safety compliance and fair trade practices, highlighting the importance of transparency and strong enforcement measures.
Force of Infection 94 implied HN points 22 Jan 24
  1. Influenza-like illness activity decreased across all age groups and regions, with improvements in hospitalizations as well.
  2. COVID-19 activity is starting to decrease, supported by various indicators like hospitalizations and test positivity.
  3. RSV trends are showing improvement with a decrease in positivity rates, especially in vulnerable age and ethnic groups.
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The Rotten Apple 21 implied HN points 18 Mar 24
  1. Food safety training exercise available for front-line workers to enhance food safety practices.
  2. Updates on FSSC version 6 standards include focus on food safety culture, quality control, and reduction of food loss and waste.
  3. Packaging industry updates: PFAS phase-out in the US, impact of packaging colors on consumer perception, sale of a packaging factory confiscated from a Russian oligarch.
The Rotten Apple 21 implied HN points 11 Mar 24
  1. Downloadable back issues are available for readers to catch up on past content.
  2. Improper handwashing and contaminated food led to a man in the US developing tapeworm larvae in his brain, highlighting the importance of food safety practices.
  3. The chocolate supply chain is facing a crisis due to rising cocoa prices caused by global supply pressures from climate change, impacting chocolate production and potentially leading to product frauds.
The Rotten Apple 31 implied HN points 12 Feb 24
  1. Food safety breaches and frauds are being detected and individuals or companies involved are facing prosecution, sentencing, and significant fines.
  2. The business allegedly involved in lead contamination of cinnamon is no longer operational, showing the severe consequences of such actions.
  3. The global report on food recalls provides insights into the main causes of recalls in different regions such as the USA, Canada, UK, EU, Australia, and New Zealand.
The Rotten Apple 31 implied HN points 29 Jan 24
  1. The tragic case of a person dying from an allergic reaction to a 'vegan' dessert highlights the importance of food safety regulations and diligence in manufacturing processes.
  2. Some food businesses do not adequately communicate allergen risks, leading to preventable deaths and possible legal actions.
  3. Confusion between 'vegan' and 'allergen-free' labeling poses risks for allergic consumers and highlights the need for clearer regulations and diligent practices in food production.
The Rotten Apple 10 implied HN points 04 Mar 24
  1. Insect-based foods face high food fraud risks due to complex supply chains, high prices, and potential adulteration with allergenic or non-nutritive substances.
  2. Stay updated and navigate changes in food safety audit standards by following a roadmap that includes gap analysis, action lists, internal audits, and incorporating extra resources if needed.
  3. Attend food safety meetups, like the one on March 14th, to engage with industry professionals, discuss emerging issues, and stay ahead in the food safety field.
The Rotten Apple 10 implied HN points 04 Mar 24
  1. Probiotic supplements containing Clostridium butyricum should be prescribed carefully especially for hospitalized patients to avoid blood poisoning.
  2. Be cautious of food recalls like meat contaminated with non-food grade mineral oil and consider their implications on public health.
  3. Raw cheese recalls should be taken seriously as they can be linked to severe illnesses like E. coli infections, even if recalls are lifted prematurely.
The Rotten Apple 10 implied HN points 04 Mar 24
  1. The post discusses a team training exercise for front-line workers in food service to identify food safety issues.
  2. The activity aims to get team members thinking about food safety, engage in a risk assessment, and learn about food safety principles such as hygienic design and hand hygiene.
  3. The exercise involves showing an image of someone slicing bacon and asking team members to identify potential food safety problems, errors, or non-conformities.
reedmolbak 39 implied HN points 15 Nov 23
  1. Diet Coke is considered fine by various governmental and health agencies around the world, with extensive studies showing aspartame to be safe for consumption.
  2. The classifications by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of aspartame as 'possibly carcinogenic' do not directly translate to policy recommendations, and practical guidelines from agencies like JECFA are more relevant.
  3. Drinking Diet Coke in moderation is generally safe, with concerns about its safety largely unfounded based on current scientific evaluations and regulations.
The Rotten Apple 10 implied HN points 26 Feb 24
  1. Quantitative risk assessments for Listeria in meat products suggest that properly controlled refrigerator temperatures are more effective at reducing risk than shorter storage durations.
  2. Reusing plastic food packaging poses challenges like hygiene risks, chemical migration, and microplastic generation, highlighting the importance of proper cleaning processes.
  3. New methods like paper spray mass spectrometry help detect contaminants like PFAS in food packaging, emphasizing the need for advanced detection techniques in food safety.
The Rotten Apple 10 implied HN points 28 Jan 24
  1. Recalls of contaminated food products like spinach due to _Listeria_, and moth larvae in crispbreads show the importance of food safety in preventing health risks.
  2. New resources from the FAO provide valuable insights into the impacts of contaminants like pesticide residues and microplastics on the human gut microbiome.
  3. Upcoming webinars offer opportunities to learn about topics like allergen risk assessment, food import regulations, and FSSC 22000 compliance for enhancing food safety management.
The Heart Attack Diet 19 implied HN points 18 Oct 23
  1. Maraschino cherries labeled as such may actually be cocktail cherries flavored with chemicals and heavy in sulphites, potentially causing adverse reactions for those with allergies or intolerances.
  2. Fake maraschino cherries contain sulfur dioxide, chemical dyes, and other additives, making them significantly different from genuine maraschino cherries preserved in sugar syrup.
  3. Authentic maraschino cherries preserved in sugar syrup are recommended as a healthier alternative to the chemically treated cocktail cherries, despite being a bit pricier.
The Rotten Apple 42 implied HN points 12 Jun 23
  1. Mystery toxin in tara flour was possibly identified by toxicologists after causing numerous illnesses.
  2. Food scientists may contribute to making highly processed foods addictive, but the blame lies with the profit-driven food industry.
  3. Cleaning and sanitizing harvest equipment, especially for raw vegetables, is crucial for preventing foodborne illness outbreaks.
The Rotten Apple 42 implied HN points 24 Apr 23
  1. Risk management in food safety is more of a political process than a scientific one.
  2. Most wasabi paste we consume is fake, made with horseradish, but still has antibacterial properties.
  3. Synthetic biology in food production and the term HFSS (high in fat, salt, sugar) are emerging concepts in food science.
The Rotten Apple 42 implied HN points 15 May 23
  1. Watch out for ochratoxin A in your food - it's a complex concern with potential health risks.
  2. Food fraud comes in various forms with different motivations, from financial gain to deception.
  3. Learn how to spot food fraud perpetrators through red flags like previous convictions and suspect certificates.
The Rotten Apple 31 implied HN points 03 Jul 23
  1. Food document fraud comes in different categories and can have serious consequences for food safety.
  2. Key attributes of a good food safety auditor include appropriate training, experience, and a detail-oriented mindset.
  3. Commercial bakeries, wineries, and breweries rely on specialized yeast suppliers to provide pure yeast products for their production processes.
The Rotten Apple 31 implied HN points 08 May 23
  1. Some molds are safe to eat and even deliberately added to certain foods for their desirable properties, while others can produce harmful mycotoxins and are considered unsafe for consumption.
  2. Food fraud perpetrators can be categorized as opportunistic or organized, with organized criminals often operating across different industries and committing more complex and long-term frauds with significant impacts.
  3. Child labor violations in the food industry are a major ethical concern, even in developed countries like the USA, where violations have been increasing, and companies within the food industry are found to be the main offenders.
The Rotten Apple 31 implied HN points 13 Mar 23
  1. Botulism is a deadly foodborne illness caused by toxins, challenging to detect but with severe symptoms and potentially fatal outcomes.
  2. Cacao and cocoa are terms often used interchangeably in the food industry, but have slight differences in meaning and implications.
  3. DNA barcoding is a powerful tool for food safety and fraud investigations, offering a quicker and cost-effective method for species identification and verification.