News on food poisoning prevention, allergens, COVID-19 and more in our roundup

Fight against food poisoning: South Korea mandates label safety information for fresh packaged foods

South Korea implements new food labeling regulations to force the inclusion of food safety instructions on the labels of all packaged fresh food products, in a bid to prevent further outbreaks of food poisoning .

The country has struggled with food poisoning outbreaks, especially during the summer season, for the past few years. This year alone, more than 300 people were victims of a series of food poisoning mainly involving gimbap (seaweed rice rolls) made with various ingredients, including vegetables, eggs, mushrooms or processed meat. .

South Korea’s National Agricultural Product Quality Management Service has issued a statement to revise local food labeling regulations to include mandatory food safety phrases on packaging in the hope of ‘avoid such incidents.

“To ensure that food is safe for consumption and to prevent food safety events such as food poisoning, the inclusion of food safety phrases on the outer surface of packaging materials for vegetables and other fresh produce will be made compulsory from 14 October 2021. ” Service Chairman Lee Ju-Myeong said via the official statement.

Food poisoning allergens and fears: is Australia’s food system as safe as government assurances?

Australia’s food system is touted as one of the safest in the world, but continuing reports of key safety issues such as allergens and microbial contamination beg the question of whether more needs to be done to protect consumers.

The Australian government has continuously advertised its food supply as’reliable, safe and nutritious ”, And the results of its 26eThe Australian Total Diet Study – which interestingly only looked at persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in this edition – seems to confirm this.

PCBs have been shown to be carcinogenic, while dioxins are also highly toxic compounds that can cause health problems such as cancer, damage to the immune system, and hormonal interference.

“We looked at 33 foods typical of the Australian diet, taking 600 samples from all Australian states and territories. [and tested these for POPs], “Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) said in an official statement.

Infant Formula Tactics in Vietnam: Industry Slammed for Allegedly Bypassing Marketing Rules

Vietnamese breastmilk substitute (BMS) companies have been accused of circumventing marketing restrictions on infant formula by using products intended for pregnant and breastfeeding women as an “entry point” to influence the purchase of infant formula , according to academics.

In Vietnam, national laws restricting the promotion of infant formula have been adopted in recent years.

Using data from a survey conducted between May and July last year, researchers say BMS companies circumvented restrictions by promoting commercial milk for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers (CMF-PW) – such as first step in reaching mothers.

“The BMS industry uses commercial milk for pregnant and lactating women as an entry point to access women and promote BMS, justifying the presence of representatives in health facilities by promoting products that are not regulated by the Code.

“CMF-PW promotion is used as an entry point for BMS promotion, as part of an overall strategy to build brand loyalty, cross-promote products and drive sales throughout life cycle: “from the womb to the grave”, and through the generations “,the researchers wrote in their article published on Nutrients.

Making a comeback: Thailand hails food industry growth after COVID-19 crisis – but urges businesses to remain vigilant

Thailand’s food industry has seen growth in both manufacturing and export sectors so far in 2021 after overcoming last year’s pandemic crisis – but authorities are urging domestic food companies to don’t let your guard down yet.

Thailand’s Ministry of Industry (MOI) reported earlier this month that the local food industry had performed impressively in the first seven months of 2021 (January to July) despite continued challenges from COVID-19 , particularly in the export and food manufacturing sectors.

“The Thai food industry has now returned to a state of growth and expansion after experiencing a downturn last year,”Interior Ministry minister Suriya Juangroongruangkit said via an official statement.

“Food production and manufacturing as measured by the Manufacturing Production Index (MPI) increased 2.9% year-over-year, primarily due to the use of ‘Bubble and Seal ”implemented by companies to control risks and prevent epidemics in factories [whilst] allowing most factories to operate production lines as usual.

School food scandal in Iran: more than half of products do not meet national and regional standards

Much of the food and drink sold in school canteens in Iran does not comply with national and regional guidelines.

According to a study of 64 primary school canteens in Tehran province, around 54% of food was considered unauthorized food based on the National Healthy School Canteen (HSC) policy.

Cakes, sweet cookies and pastries were the top-selling food category in school canteens.

Based on the HSC Directive, all schools in Iran are required to comply by banning the sale of crisps, cookies, crackers, ice cream, fried foods, sugary drinks, burgers, pizzas, and sweets in school canteens.

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