After the tumultuous past month in the world of food safety, namingly in China, Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA), the University of Sydney, the Horticulture Australia Limited and other associations funded and helped the launch of Fresh Food Safety Centre Ltd.
The new centre is industry led and non-profit. Its aim is to protect Australia and New Zealand from the food borne illnesses outbreaks, like the ones that have plagued overseas consumers and in the worst scenarios, leading to death. One example would be the outbreak of listeriosis in the United States that killed 33 people and put around a hundred victims in the hospital. Listeriosis is carried on rockmelons (as a result of their bumpy skin).
However, for Bob Whittaker, the chief science officer from Produce Marketing in the U.S., this was not the first signs that was enticed. In 2006, an outbreak of e-coli came from spinach. This outbreak caused an entire industry to shut down and it caused three fatalities. Consumers were scared since ‘leafy greens’ are considered to be a healthy option.
Taking from the U.S.’ experience, Australia and New Zealand are getting their food safety issues ready early and have already began looking into fresh cut salad industry.
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