ABC News Jason Om 5 December, 2013
Infectious disease specialists are demanding a more rigorous system of testing Australian and imported foods to halt the spread of drug-resistant bacteria.
Currently there are no Australian food standards covering so-called superbugs and while imported food is inspected, it is not tested for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
BBC News Lucy Townsend 2 December 2013
Twenty-five years ago minister Edwina Currie sparked a scare over salmonella in eggs and had to resign amid outrage from farmers and plummeting sales. The panic has shaped the way we think about food safety.
There are foods that people instinctively associate with the risk of poisoning – raw chicken, raw egg, shellfish.
At the time of Edwina Currie’s remarks – which were perceived to have dramatically exaggerated the prevalence of the disease in eggs in the UK – there were 12,302 cases of the salmonella PT4 strand most commonly found in poultry.
It dropped by 54% in the three years following the introduction of the British Lion scheme in 1998, which saw hens vaccinated against salmonella, and last year there were just 229 reported cases.
But people are still mistrustful.
BBC News 26 November 2013
The first case of MRSA in poultry in the UK has been found in turkeys and chickens on a farm in East Anglia says the Department of Health (DH).
A spokesman said that two thirds of the turkeys on the farm, which hasn’t been named, were found to be infected.
It is thought that hundreds of turkeys have already been sold to local retail outlets and farm gate sales. The farmer is cooperating.
Experts say the risk to the public is very low.
The Conversation Gary Sacks, Helen Trevena, Shauna Downs, 14 November 2013
As part of efforts to improve the healthiness of the nation’s food supply, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasproposed regulations to classify partially hydrogenated oils (the major source of trans fats in the United States) as generally not safe to include in food.
Australia has few specific regulations around trans fats, and the US move prompts the question: should Australia be doing more to remove trans fats from its food supply?
Brisbane Times Amy Remeikis November 14, 2013
A batch of bad eggs has been blamed for a salmonella outbreak linked to the death of one elderly woman and sickness in hundreds of others.
At least 220 people have reported being sick and a 77-year-old woman’s death has been linked to the food poisoning outbreak.
Included among those 220 people were 11 departmental staff members from the office of Premier and Cabinet.
News.com.au November 14, 2013
A 77-year-old woman has died and at least 220 people have reported falling ill amid a widespread outbreak of salmonella poisoning linked to a series of Melbourne Cup functions.
Queensland Health is investigating whether a Brisbane catering company was responsible for the outbreak.
The company is understood to have catered for up to 40 Melbourne Cup functions attended by people who later became ill.
About 700 people could have been exposed by attending the functions affected.
Metro North public health unit director Susan Vlack said an investigation was underway into whether salmonella was a contributing factor in the elderly woman’s death.
The Conversation Clare Collins 12 November 2013
The evidence that smoking causes lung cancer is definitive. It took a few decades, but cigarette packs now carry prominent health warnings to alert us to this risk.
When it comes to dietary patterns, convincing evidence collated by the World Cancer Research Fund also shows that regular consumption of some foods and drinks increases the risk for specific cancers.
It’s time to begin making consumers aware of the cancer risk associated with regular consumption of particular foods and drinks, through front-of-pack warning labels.
Science Alert Australian Soil Consortium 12 November 2013
A call for a national plan to capture, recycle and make better use of scarce nutrients has been made by a group of leading farmers and scientists.
Australia’s food security may depend critically on finite sources of nutrients which are expected to run short in the mid-century as world demand for food explodes, the Australian Soil Consortium (ASC) said.
The Sydney Morning Herald Amy Corderoy November 8, 2013
Australian experts are calling for a ban on harmful “trans fats” after US authorities announced the artificial fats, which are found in some fried and processed foods, would be phased out.
Public Health Association of Australia chief executive Michael Moore said there was no reason Australians should still be subjected to the fats, which increase levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
“Trans fats have not been as big a problem in Australia as the US, as the industry moved reasonably quickly to withdraw them,” he said. “But from our perspective that’s even more reason to move to ban them, to stop those [companies] that haven’t done the right thing”.