Friday, October 20, 2006

Health Claim legislation

A new European regulation aimed at increasing consumer protection in relation to nutrition and health claims made on food, will require such claims to be on a Community list of permitted claims.

Under the new legislation, Member States will be responsible for compiling those health claims eligible to be considered for the Community list. Although this legislation is yet to come into effect, the Agency has already opened its list for food businesses to submit eligible claims.
To be eligible for consideration, the claim must be based on generally accepted science and relate to the role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and functions of the body, psychological and behavioural functions, or slimming and weight control. Full details can be found at the link below.
To maintain consistency, claims must be submitted using the required template and must be accompanied by references to scientific justification and conditions of use. Once submitted, the Agency will add eligible claims to the UK list, which will be maintained on this website. Development of the list will therefore allow food businesses to check if the claims they wish to make have been included, and take action if not.
Although Member States will have 12 months to complete this list once the final Regulation is in force, the Agency has set a target date of nine months for food businesses to submit claims for inclusion. This will allow time for the Agency to compile the UK's proposed list. The final Community list will depend on assessment of the scientific justification by the European Food Safety Authority and agreement of Member States in Standing Committee.
Claims that are not eligible for inclusion on the UK list, such as claims based on emerging rather than generally accepted scientific evidence, may be authorised via other routes. Contact the Food Standards Agency for more information at:
Further information about the list and how companies should go about submitting claims for inclusion can be found at the link below.
UK list of health claims

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Allergen related recall

Sainsbury's recalls tortilla chip product Thursday 12 October 2006 Sainsbury's has recalled 150g packs of its own-brand ‘Taste The Difference Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips’ because a packaging error has led to them having the wrong allergen labelling information. The Agency has issued a Food Alert for Information.

Product recall details
Taste The Difference Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips 150g
Best Before: 24 February 2007
Some packs may contain ‘Spicy Multigrain’ instead of ‘Lightly Salted’ variety. This means they contain whey protein and oat gluten, which are not labelled as ingredients, so they aren't safe for people who are allergic to dairy and oats, or are gluten intolerant.
The company is recalling the product and has issued product recall notices in all its stores and in the national press on 12 October 2006. No other products are known to be affected.
Sainsbury's has also contacted the Anaphylaxis Campaign and Allergy UK. These organisations are informing their members who are allergic to dairy and oats of the recall via their websites and a mailshot.

Food Safety Training

Food Safety Traning

The next course running is Food Microbiology ( for non microbiologists). This course is running on the 31st October at the Livingston Training Centre. Please contact us if you would like more information at the email address below. In addition, the next RIPH Intermediate HACCP course will be running before the end of January in Scotland, again at the Livingston Training Centre. The date has not been set yet so if you have delegates you wish to send and have preferential dates please let us know. We would be delighted to forward these course details as well as information on our other courses.

Our contact details are email ph 01506 631254 or visit our web site on at our Food Training Solution section.

Friday, October 06, 2006

New case of botulism

10/02/2006-In response to a fourth case of botulism being linked to Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, California brand carrot juice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to drink Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, 450 ml and 1 liter plastic bottles, with "BEST IF USED BY" dates of NOV 11 2006 or earlier. Consumers should discard this product. FDA is also reiterating its advice to consumers to keep carrot juice including pasteurized carrot juice refrigerated. The fourth case of botulism poisoning involves an adult female in Florida who is currently suffering from paralysis. To date, one link between the illness and the consumers appears to be that the juice they drank was not properly refrigerated once it was in the home, which allowed the Clostridium botulinum spores to grow and produce toxin. Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium commonly found in soil. Under certain conditions these bacteria can produce a toxin that if ingested can result in botulism, a disease that may cause paralysis or death. Cases of botulism from processed food are extremely rare in the U.S. Symptoms of botulism can include: double-vision, droopy eyelids, altered voice, trouble with speaking or swallowing, and paralysis on both sides of the body that progresses from the neck down, possibly followed by difficulty in breathing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Adequate refrigeration is one of the keys to food safety and is essential to preventing bacterial growth. Refrigerator temperatures should be no higher than 40¡ÆF and freezer temperatures no higher then 0¡ÆF. Consumers should check the temperatures occasionally with an appliance thermometer. Consumers should look for the words "Keep Refrigerated" on juice labels so they know which products must be kept refrigerated. FDA is looking into whether industry's current juice labels provide clear refrigeration instructions.
Quaker Oats batch withdrawn Thursday 05 October 2006 Quaker Oats Ltd has withdrawn 750 of its 1kg cartons of 'Quaker Oats with free measuring cup' due to the presence of moth pupae and larvae. The Agency has issued a Food Alert for Information.

Product details
Quaker Oats with free measuring cup 1kg cartons
Best before 11/08/2007 221 (time stamp between 23:40 and 00:10 inclusive) W
No other Quaker Oats Ltd products are known to be affected.
The product was distributed in the north of England to Tesco stores via its distribution depot in Middlewich, Cheshire, and Sainsburys stores via its distribution centre in Haydock, Merseyside. Cartons from the affected batch have been removed from the shelves of both store chains.
Quaker Oats Ltd has also issued point-of-sale notices in the relevant stores advising customers not to eat the product and call its consumer care team on Freephone 0800 0324490.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

19.1 Microbiological data is often recorded using log numbers (see table below):
Log 10 0.1
-1: 1
0 :10
1 :100
2 :1000
3 :10,000
4 :100,000
5 :1,000,000
6 :10,000,000

; In order to record graphically the wide range of numbers of bacteria which may be encountered, and to permit statistical analysis, microbiologists customarily record results in terms of log to the base 10 (Iog10) of the number:

Log 10
6: 0.8
20: 1.3
32 :1.5
63 :1.8
316: 2.5
631 :2.8
2,000: 3.3
3,160 :3.5
20,000: 4.3
An increase or decrease of log 10 1 (often referred to as 'one log') represents a 10-fold change.
Log mean results are calculated by taking the arithmetical mean of numbers for each carcase and taking log 10 of the result:
e.g. 5 carcases; 4,500, 3,400, 4,800, 800, 10,900 cfu/cttl2
Arithmetic mean
= [4,500+3,400+4,800+800+10,9001/5 = 24,400/5 = 4,880
= Log10(4880)
Log mean
'ISO' is the International Organization for Standardization (see footnote 5). UKAS (see footnote 8) (

You can use a scientific calculator (on most PCs - go to accessories /calculator
/view /scientific) to calculate logs (enter the number then 'log')________ or to Inverse logs (enter the number then 'inverse' then 'log').______

A result of 2.3X 10E4 = 23000 = 4.37 log
This can be calculated on a calculator using the log function. They can be converted back by the inverse log function. This as indicated above can be found on your PC calculator.