Gardens and GardeningPosted on Jan 31, 2013 in Ag Resources
Food quality and safety is of growing interest to consumers and thus to regulators. The United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration are leading the way with on-farm and processing guidelines. Here are some links to bring you up to speed on these issues.
Read our new On-Farm Food Safety Frequently Asked Questionspage. Click here !
Food Recall and Safety Notices
- FDA recall and safety notices
- USDA – Food Safety Inspection Service – Recall Notices
- Food recalls at SafetyAlerts.com – up-to-date info on food and product recalls.
- FoodNet - “The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) is the principal foodborne disease component of CDC’s Emerging Infections Program (EIP).”
- ProMED - Program for monitoring emerging diseases by the Federation of American Scientists.
- PulseNet - “is a national network of public health laboratories that performs DNA “fingerprinting” on bacteria that may be foodborne. The network permits rapid comparison of these “fingerprint” patterns through an electronic database at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The DNA “fingerprinting” method is called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). “
Regulations every food producer and processor needs to be familiar with.
State of Hawaii
Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations – HIOSH standards
Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division HIOSH standards may be found athttp://hawaii.gov/labor/hiosh.
- Information on labor law in Hawaii may be found here at the University of Hawaii Center for Labor Education and Research.
US Government’s Gateway to Food Safety Information
- This site is a central information system for food safety
- National Food Safety Database - Managed by the University of Florida
US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
US Department of Agriculture
- Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) effort to discover ways to manage food safety problems – recent article. Their main related area is Crop Production, Product Value and Safety - a national research initiative.
- Agricultural Marketing Service’s - Quality Through Verification (QTV) program for processors of fruits and vegetables.
- Foodborne Illness Education Information Center - in cooperation with FDA, this site offers information about food borne illness prevention including HAACP information.
- Food Safety Inspection Service - good site to food inspection of various types.
- National Food Safety Database – a collection of food safety resources that can be searched via a database.
US Department of Commerce
US Department of Defense
- U.S. Army Veterinary Command (VETCOM) - Listing of approved food suppliers by State and Product. The United States Army Veterinary Command (VETCOM) provides military veterinary services in support of United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) and Department of Defense (DOD) missions in their areas of responsibility. The responsibilities of VETCOM include food safety and quality assurance, care of government owned animals, and animal disease prevention and control.
US Environmental Protection Agency
- Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996 - EPA regulates pesticides under two major federal statutes. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA registers pesticides for use in the United States and prescribes labeling and other regulatory requirements to prevent unreasonable adverse effects on health or the environment. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), EPA establishes tolerances (maximum legally permissible levels) for pesticide residues in food. Tolerances are enforced by theDepartment of Health and Human Services/Food and Drug Administration (HHS/FDA) for most foods, and by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA/FSIS) for meat, poultry, and some egg products.
- Office of Pesticide Programs - Regulations that have a lot to do with farming.
- Worker Protection Standard - EPA’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a regulation aimed at reducing the risk of pesticide poisonings and injuries among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers.
US Food and Drug Administration
- Can your kitchen pass the Food Safety Test? Q & A at FDA.
- National Food Safety Initiative (FDA, USDA, EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Link to html file: Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables The Handbook for Growers and Processors! This document details the use of water, manures, chemicals, harvesting practices among others. So called “GAPs”.
- Download the PDF version by clicking here.
- Code of Federal Regulations 21CFR110 Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Human Food. So called “GMPs”.
- Retail food safety resources at FDA
US Institutes of Medicine
- U.S. Institutes of Medicine has issued, “Food Safety Policy, Science, and Risk Assessment: Strengthening the Connection” (2001) A report of a workshop that was held to determine what actions have been taken in the past to address food safety issues, to consider what influences led to the policies that were put in place, and to explore how improvements can be made in the future.
Links and publications of interest
- American Medical Association - factsheets written for doctors on how to identify and treat food-borne illness.
- Agriculture Law - daily updates on what is happening in agriculture law, including the U.S. Congress. Site includes a good list of food safety links.
- Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) - Watch dog group that deals with food safety among other issues.
- Center for Food Safety - “Center for Food Safety (CFS) is a public interest and environmental advocacy organization which works to address the impacts of our food production system on human health, animal welfare and the environment. CFS works to achieve its goals through grassroots campaigns, public education, media outreach, and litigation.”
- Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (U of Maryland and FDA)
- North Carolina State University Food Safety Site (this site covers food safety for all types of products — a MAJOR resource)
- Partnership for Food Safety Education - the Fight BAC! site offers some great educational tools.
- Produce Food Safety Information - good index of sites at the National Agricultural Library.
- Safefood.org (sponsored by the National Food Producers Association – very consumer-friendly!)
- The Food Safety Site - non-governmental site developed by Dr. Donald Zink. Great links page.
- University of California at Davis’ safe food webpage
- University of Florida’s Food Safety page - some good information and PSA.
Food Irradiation and Biotechnology
- Alliance for Better Foods - a trade group promoting bio-tech foods.
- Center for Consumer Research (UC Davis) “The Center focuses on consumer attitudes toward food safety and quality. Increased information on consumer attitudes and perceptions can increase the exchange between those who provide goods and services and those who utilize them. Questions and answers about food irradiation and biotechnology.”
- Council for Biotechnology Information - “Biotechnology Information has been founded by leading biotechnology companies to create a public dialogue and share information about biotechnology that is based on objective scientific research, independent expert opinion and peer-reviewed published reports.”
- Most often asked questions about food irradiation and other valuable links on the subject (Univ. of Michigan)
International Organizations Working on Food Safety
- Australia New Zealand Food Authority - joint project to these two countries.
- Canada’s Food Net - food safety for Canada.
- EUREPGAP- Euro-Retailer Produce Working Group (for fruit and vegetables) in 1997. The objective of the EUREP group, which is made up of leading European food-retailers, is to raise standards for the production of fresh fruit and vegetables.
- European Food Information Council (EUFIC) - “…is an independent, non-profit organization. It has been established to provide consumers, nutrition and health professionals, educators, opinion leaders and the news media, with science-based food information. “
- FAO – Codex Alimentarius - The Codex Alimentarius, or the food code, has become the seminal global reference point for consumers, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and the international food trade.
- Food Navigator - European-Driven Portal on Food Ingredients.
- Food Safety in Australia - National site with links.
- Food Science in Australia - research and private industry website. Great little newsletter.
- European Commission on Food Safety - main focal point for food safety in Europe.
- International Food Information Council - as the name suggests.
- International Fresh-cut Produce Association (the leading industry association for fresh-cut produce). Great publications including information on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) and Voluntary Food Safety Guidelines for Fresh Produce.
- UK’s Food Standards Agency - To “protect public health from risks which may arise in connection with the consumption of food, and otherwise to protect the interests of consumers in relation to food.”
- WHO - Food Safety from the international perspective.
- National Sanitation Foundation - “NSF has earned the Collaborating Center designations by the World Health Organization (WHO) both for Food Safety and for Drinking Water Safety and Treatment.”
- World Health Organization’s (WHO) report on Surface Decontamination of Fruits and Vegetables Eaten Raw (PDF file from March 98)
Food Safety in Food Processing Establishments and Trade Associations
- AboutProduce.com - excellent site brought to you by the Produce Marketing Association. Food safety, biotechnology, recipes, produce descriptions – the works!
- American Egg Board - food safety and eggs from the national industry group.
- American Food Safety Institute - The American Food Safety Institute (AFSI) is the nation’s leader in food manager training and certification.
- American Meat Institute (AMI) - AMI is the nation’s oldest and largest meat and poultry trade association. AMI is dedicated to increasing the efficiency, profitability and safety of meat and poultry trade worldwide. Has food safety info for meat!
- Association of Fruit and Vegetable Inspection and Standardization Agencies (AFVIS)
- Fresh Produce and Floral Council - has some very interesting data under “Issues in Food Safety.”
- Food Code of the US - “The Food and Drug Administration publishes the Food Code, a reference that guides retail outlets such as restaurants and grocery stores and institutions such as nursing homes on how to prevent foodborne illness.”
- Food Marketing Institute (FMI) - “The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) is a nonprofit association conducting programs in research, education, industry relations and public affairs on behalf of its 1,500 members including their subsidiaries-food retailers and wholesalers and their customers in the United States and around the world.”
- Foodservice & Packaging Institute (FPI) “is the material-neutral trade association for manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of single-use foodservice products, as well as others associated with the industry. It has numerous resources available on the environment, sanitation, public health, safety, solid waste, recycling, composting or other issues involving the manufacture, use and disposal of foodservice disposables.”
- Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management (HITM) - “More than ever, hospitality operators are realizing that satisfying customers with zero defects in terms of customer needs, wants, and expectations is the key to market success. The Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management (HITM) is a food science-based company for the retail food industry dedicated to” [quality information programs].
- Institute of Culinary Arts - food safety for chefs.
- Institute of Food Technologist (IFT) - Founded in 1939, the Institute of Food Technologists is a nonprofit scientific society with 28,000 members working in food science, food technology, and related professions in industry, academia and government.
- Milk Safety References - at the US Food and Drug Administration.
- National Food Processors Association - Trade group of food processors – they are following food safety very closely.
- National Food Service Management Institute - Their mission is to provide information and services that promote the continuous improvement of Child Nutrition Programs, including food safety.
- National Restaurant Association - Good advice on how to prepare for a food safety audit.
- Produce Marketing Association (PMA) - trade organization site.
- National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) - “A not for profit organization known around the world for the development of voluntary consensus standards, product testing procedures, and certification services in the areas of public health, safety, and the environment.”
- NFS’s listing of certified cleaners and sanitizes
- Seafood Network Information Center (SeafoodNIC) - Managed by UC Davis.
- United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association - industry organization heavily involved in food safety.
- Vessel Sanitation Program - The CDC works to make shipboard food safe.
- Western Grower’s Association - large industry group who is working on food safety.
Postharvest Handling Advice
- GAIN’s bookstore listing (of books on postharvest management)
- GAIN’s postharvest guides (most are links to other sites, but they are good)
- FAO’s International Postharvest page (lots of exotics)
- Postharvest and Cooling (technology information site at North Carolina State University)
- UC Davis’ Postharvest page (the page for post harvest info)
Home and Kids Food Safety
- FDA’s - site for Kids, Teens and Educators.
- Food Marketing Institute - food safety advice.
- KidsWorld Food Safety - A fun site for kids brought to you by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.