Category Archives: Food science

Food composition and contamination, Bacterial and physical contamination, General pollutants (heavy metals), Food labelling, food trace metals, compliance with Foods Standard Code, food forensics and/or contamination, toxins in shellfish or seafood.

UNH researchers discover new method to detect most common bacteria contaminating oysters

(University of New Hampshire 22 April 2015) In a major breakthrough in shellfish management and disease prevention, researchers at the University of New Hampshire have discovered a new method to detect a bacterium that has contaminated New England oyster beds and sickened consumers who ate the contaminated shellfish. The new patent-pending detection method – which is available for immediate use to identify contaminated shellfish — is a significant advance in efforts to identify shellfish harboring disease-carrying strains of Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

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Food additives and chronic disease risk: what role do emulsifiers play?

The Conversation Melinda Coughlan Nicole Kellow 23 April 2015

Have you ever wondered what those food additive numbers in the ingredients list on your food packaging meant and what they were really doing to your body?
A recent study suggests emulsifiers – detergent-like food additives found in a variety of processed foods – have the potential to damage the intestinal barrier, leading to inflammation and increasing our risk of chronic disease.
The research was done on mice, so it’s too early to say humans should stop eating emulsifiers, but let’s examine the mechanisms involved.

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Link to Nature abstract

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Sink plug found in Hog’s Breath Cafe salad

Brisbane Times | April 22, 2015 | Kristian Silva

The Hog’s Breath Cafe has apologised to a Brisbane customer after she found a sink plug in her salad during the weekend.  Continue reading…

Rats, roaches found in Brisbane’s filthiest restaurants

Brisbane Times 20 April 2015

During the 2014 calendar year 21 businesses were prosecuted by Brisbane City Council for alleged breaches of the Food Safety Act, resulting in $435,800 in fines and 15 cancelled food licences.

Patties Foods tests fail to find any hepatitis A

The Australian Eli Greenblat April 15, 2015

The food manufacturer at the centre of the hepatitis A outbreak earlier this year linked to frozen packets of Nanna’s mixed berries claims the integrity of its quality-assurance systems has been vindicated after its own testing failed to find any trace of the disease.
However, testing by the federal government’s health officials has detected some traces of hepatitis A, delivering a mixed result for the company as it strives to fend off claims its food was contaminated.
Patties Foods said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange this afternoon that government health department testing of eight randomly selected Nanna’s packs taken from supermarkets revealed that for seven samples hepatitis A was not detected. One packet did show up a trace amount of hepatitis A, however.
Furthermore, of two packets recovered from shoppers who caught hepatitis A one sample tested positive for the virus. But Patties Foods said the Health department noted the positive sample taken from the open pack could have been open to contamination.
Patties Foods reputation and brands took a battering nearly two months ago when four cases of hepatitis A were discovered in Victoria and New South Wales with the initial, and still only, suspect Patties Foods’ Nanna’s brand of frozen mixed berries.
The outbreak triggered a wave of debate and calls for action over food safety with Patties Foods’ frozen berries products picked and packed in a factory in northern China, causing consumers to grow increasingly anxious over the source of their food.
Within days of the first sufferers being diagnosed the number of victims quickly increased and Nanna’s, the nation’s most popular brand of frozen berries, was stripped from supermarket shelves along with the company’s Creative Gourmet berries line.
Since then the total number of victims has grown to 32 with all claiming to have consumed Nanna’s mixed berries.
Patties Foods said this afternoon that its own testing, across four labs, did not detect any hepatitis A. It has also failed to detect any traces of e.coli in frozen berry stocks.
“Based on the scientific test results to date there is no evidence to indicate the presence of a systematic quality assurance failure of Patties Foods supplier program, microbiological testing regime or compliance with its Australian Food Import Compliance Agreement,” the company said.

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Australian Academy of Science – Nominations for the 2016 honorific awards for scientific excellence are now open

Honorific Awards

Most honorific awards are open to any scientist normally resident in Australia. Nominations may be made by anyone in the scientific community, with the exception of the Macfarlane Burnet or the Matthew Flinders Medals and Lectures for which nominations may only be made by Academy Fellows.

Criteria and nomination forms are available under each individual award.  Awards are available for a range of disciplines including chemistry, physics, human genetics, and women in science, and include early and mid-career awards.

View the full-list of awards


The frightening facts about food outlets

Courier mail Damon Guppy, Rose Brennan 13 April 2015

A FRIGHTENING number of southeast Queensland restaurants, cafes, bakeries and caterers are operating below legal safety standards, risking outbreaks of food-borne diseases.

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