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Industry Actions Needed to Reach UN Sustainable Development Goals

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At the halfway point to reach UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), CEOs from the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) are encouraging accelerated action to reach the 2030 deadline.

On June 20, CGF and the EY organization published a new report outlining urgent priorities the sector must act upon to help meet the SDGs. The report brings together opinions from 13 consumer industry leaders, who are all optimistic that faster progress can be achieved through five actions. The five priority areas identified to help CGF members and other businesses across the industry to accelerate progress are:

Partner for success. Profitability and revenue competition are part of a healthy economy but solving sustainability’s systemic challenges requires collaboration. Only by pulling together can consumer businesses rise to the scale of the challenges ahead—from combating climate change to reducing global inequality.

Measure for progress and impact. Businesses can’t manage what they don’t measure, and there is a clear need to integrate the SDGs with other frameworks and for consistent international or regional standards. The CEOs note that the growing number of frameworks makes this difficult, yet convening bodies such as CGF have the power to consult and advocate for consistent standards.

Embed sustainability into your company DNA. Companies that embed the SDGs into their working culture—potentially through rewards and incentives—are far more likely to achieve them.

Bring the consumer on the journey. Consumer companies occupy a privileged position that confers great power and great responsibility in shaping consumption. They can incentivize better consumer behavior and raise awareness of the SDGs in ways that other stakeholders cannot. Consumers are rewarding businesses that do the right things to improve the health of their communities. If businesses fail to act on urgent environmental and social issues, they will get left behind.

Prioritize the areas where you have the power to make the biggest difference. Whether it is malnutrition, sanitation or waste, certain companies can make a greater contribution to some SDGs than others. Setting material targets will help companies make a tangible difference in the areas most appropriate to them.

The report, developed in collaboration with EY teams, features interviews with leaders from 13 of the largest global consumer goods companies: Ahold Delhaize; Alibaba Group; Ajinomoto Group; A.S. Watson Group; The Coca-Cola Company; DFI Retail Group; Grupo Éxito; Kerry Group; Kirin Holdings; Musgrave Group; Procter & Gamble; Unilever; and Woolworths Holdings.

The post Industry Actions Needed to Reach UN Sustainable Development Goals appeared first on FoodSafetyTech.

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500Foods
4 days ago
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Mitigating Listeria Monocytogenes Risks in the Retail Food Environment

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Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous pathogen with a high mortality rate that can become persistent in the retail food environment, says Janet Buffer, MPH, of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention, Ohio State University. During her presentation “Listeria monocytogenes and sanitation in the retail environment,” at the at the “Food Safety Hazards Series” virtual event, she discussed areas in retail food service environments most likely to harbor the pathogen as well as the best-proven methods to reduce the prevalence of listeria in your facility.

View the full “Food Safety Tech Hazards Series: Listeria” virtual conference on demand.

Areas that are more likely to harbor listeria monocytogenes in the retail food environment include:

  • Cracks and crevices in the floor
  • The floor/wall juncture, especially under sinks
  • On touchpoints of cooler handles and deli slicers
  • In front of deep fryers
  • In front of deli slicers and on slicer blades
  • Drains
  • Sink interiors
  • Areas where raw chicken is stored or transported

Listeria monocytogenes is hardy. It tolerates salt, grows in cold environments and is moderately resistant to acids,” said Buffer. “It is also ubiquitous. We find it in soil, water, silage, manure and sewage. We bring it in on our shoes. We can carry it on our clothes, and it can become a persistent pathogen in our retail spaces.”

A recent study by Briana C. Britton, et al, published in Food Control Journal, identified the most effective sanitation and customer service strategies correlated with lower listeria prevalence in retail delicatessens. These include:

  • When the deli is cleaned two-to-three hours/day
  • Changing gloves after touching nonfood surfaces
  • Keeping sanitation records
  • Using foam to clean and sanitize

“All chemicals work and all work very well,” said Buffer. “But, they must be used at the correct concentrations and they will require some elbow grease.”

The post Mitigating Listeria Monocytogenes Risks in the Retail Food Environment appeared first on FoodSafetyTech.

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500Foods
4 days ago
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Adani and TotalEnergies unveil plans for the largest green hydrogen ecosystem

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Adani and TotalEnergies have launched a new partnership to jointly create the world's largest green hydrogen ecosystem.

TotalEnergies will have a 25% minority interest in Adani New Industries (ANIL) by Adani Enterprises (AEL).

Through this cooperation, the energy landscape is expected to be transformed both in India and globally.

ANIL aspires to invest more than US$50 billion over the next decade in green hydrogen and related ecosystems. In the initial phase, ANIL will develop a capacity of 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year before 2030.

"In our journey to become the largest green hydrogen player in the world, the partnership with TotalEnergies adds several dimensions that include R&D, market reach and an understanding of the end consumer. This fundamentally allows us to shape market demand," said Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani Group.

"TotalEnergies’ entry into ANIL is a major milestone in implementing our renewable and low carbon hydrogen strategy, where we want to not only decarbonise the hydrogen used in our European refineries by 2030, but also pioneer the mass production of green hydrogen to meet demand, as the market will take off by the end of this decade," noted Patrick Pouyanné, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

Adani will bring its in-depth knowledge of the Indian market, fast execution capabilities, operational excellence and capital management philosophy to the partnership, while TotalEnergies will offer in-depth understanding of the global and European market, credit enhancement and financial strength to reduce financing costs.

The largest green hydrogen ecosystem in the world will offer the lowest cost of green hydrogen to the consumer and help accelerate the global energy transition.

ANIL aims to be a world leader in green hydrogen with a presence throughout the value chain, from the manufacturing of renewables and green hydrogen equipment (solar panels, wind turbines, electrolysers, etc.), to large scale generation of green hydrogen, to downstream facilities producing green hydrogen derivatives.

The post Adani and TotalEnergies unveil plans for the largest green hydrogen ecosystem appeared first on Container News.

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500Foods
7 days ago
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B.C. beekeepers grapple with 32% winter colony loss, according to survey

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The province's annual voluntary survey of beekeepers has found nearly a third of B.C. bee colonies died over the winter, marking another difficult year for the industry and hobbyists.

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500Foods
10 days ago
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Free Food Safety Culture Toolkit Launched by Alliance of Advocates, Food Safety Pros

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The Alliance to Stop Foodborne Illness (Alliance) is offering a free food safety culture toolkit tailored for small and medium-sized food businesses. Stop Foodborne Illness (STOP) is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting those affected by foodborne illness and advocating for food safety.

The kit, which is a guide to help manufacturing workforces find the ‘why’ behind their company’s food safety measures, is the result of a collaboration between STOP and Fortune 500 food safety practitioners at Amazon, Costco, Kellogg and more.

“Every year, one in six Americans are sickened by a foodborne illness. This toolkit helps companies shift away from ‘have to be safe’ to ‘want to to safe’ in order to protect overall public health,” says Dr. Vanessa Coffman, director of the Alliance. “Sharing our Alliance members’ best practices help smaller companies build a path toward stronger food safety cultures.”

The post Free Food Safety Culture Toolkit Launched by Alliance of Advocates, Food Safety Pros appeared first on FoodSafetyTech.

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500Foods
10 days ago
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How Data Analysis Supports Food Safety

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Data analytics can reduce the risks of foodborne illness, improve collaboration among food processing and service teams and help identify food fraud. As technology has advanced, researchers, policy-makers and food safety professionals are finding new ways to collect, use and analyze data. Following are some of the latest advances in the field of data analytics and food safety.

Improving Risk Assessment Strategies

Data and tracking have long been integral components of food safety risk assessment. Today, researchers are combining big data, machine learning and microbial genomics to create next-generation quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA).

Researchers at the University of Maryland received funding from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to support work that combines machine learning and computational analysis with genomic sequencing and data about foodborne pathogen characteristics. They intend to take advantage of big data available in the agriculture and food sectors and integrate data from food production, processing, food safety risk factors and genomic data to inform—and potentially transform—public health strategies to prevent foodborne diseases and speed response to outbreaks.

QMRA can be used to: predict the behavior and transmission of pathogens across food production, processing and supply chain; identify areas in the chain that could lead to contamination; and estimate the probability and consequences of adverse public health effects in the event that tainted products are consumed.

Abani Pradhan, associate professor in Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland and lead investigator on this project, explains that this data analysis project should lead to better accuracy due to the inclusion of AI and genomics. “The sheer abundance of information by including molecular and genomic data available should increase the robustness of disease risk estimates by reducing the sources of uncertainty and variability in the QMRA model,” said Pradhan. “This is important because there are so many different species of each foodborne pathogen, and even within the same species, there are different variations or types called serovars.”

Pradhan’s team are starting with Salmonella, because it has more than 2,500 serovars, all of which have highly variable characteristics. How resistant a pathogen is to heat stress or antimicrobials, how infectious it is and how quickly it grows and spreads are all characteristics of the pathogen that can be partially explained by genomic data.

“The idea is to connect that genetic information with the characteristics of the pathogen to bridge the gap between the genes and the food safety aspects for consumers,” said Pradhan. “If we can use machine learning tools to understand the linkages between genotypes and phenotypes, based upon that we can determine which serovars are the most concerning so that we can focus our experimental work on those types and further strengthen our models to create a risk assessment that provides a more robust and complete picture of the risk for risk mitigation.”

Using Online Data To Detect Safety Issues

The U.S. has a robust regulatory and oversight system to identify foodborne threats. In 2019, researchers led by Adyasha Maharana of the Department of Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education, University of Washington, wanted to see if online consumer reviews might contain safety clues that could identify unsafe food products before official inspections or recalls occurred. They created a database linking Amazon food and grocery product reviews to product recall data from the FDA, and analyzed more than 1 million Amazon reviews featuring words like “sick,” “ill” and “foul.” The results showed that only 0.4% of the Amazon reviews containing those words were for recalled products.

The researchers also found synonyms for terms linked to FDA recalls in 20,000 reviews, although those products were still on the market. The researchers concluded that this “might suggest that many more products should have been recalled or investigated” and note their work could be used to aid regulators in determining which items to investigate.

A similar project, Google’s machine-learning algorithm FINDER (Food-borne Illness Detector in Real Time), uses search and location logs to identify restaurants that could be making people sick in real time. FINDER pulls data from people’s Google search queries for terms or symptoms that suggest they may have food poisoning. It then matches that information to Google location data logs to figure out which restaurants those individuals may have visited.

They tested this approach in Las Vegas and Chicago for four months in each city. The data analysis application helped food inspectors find 25% more unsafe restaurants compared to the previously used inspection method.

Neither of these case studies suggests regulators should do away with their more established procedures. However, combining this type of data analysis with existing strategies could further enhance safety.

Reducing Food Fraud

Many of today’s consumers want to know that the food they are eating comes from organic farms or was otherwise produced to certain standards. That’s why many restaurants now list which supply chain partners they use for specific menu items. This type of data reporting and sharing also offers improved food traceability. Having accurate information about where a food or beverage originated makes it easier to address and track problems when they do occur.

End-to-end traceability and real-time monitoring technologies continue to evolve, bringing new, more powerful tools that help providers at every link of the farm to table chain identify loss, theft and potential safety issues.

At the University of Adelaide, researchers improved upon current methods of detecting wine fraud by combining fluorescence spectroscopy and machine learning to determine a beverage’s molecular fingerprint. The team looked at Cabernet Sauvignon from three different wine regions. They found that their method could correctly authenticate the geographic origins of wine with 100% accuracy.

It is impossible to remove all food and beverage safety risks from the supply chain. However, successful applications of data analysis that help keep people safer are undoubtedly steps in the right direction. As more companies in the food and beverage industry adopt new data analysis tools, other interesting possibilities will become apparent. Even as things stand, the applications are full of promise.

The post How Data Analysis Supports Food Safety appeared first on FoodSafetyTech.

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