Food Safety & Traceability Update - Core Food Safety Issues -November 2020

5 November 2020

Food Safety & Traceability Update - Core Food Safety Issues -November 2020

Life does not stand still even when something as drastic as COVID-19 affects us. Within the wider Food Safety landscape, we would like to draw your attention to an emerging risk, related to the behaviour of pathogens, and especially the learning that is occurring on how some pathogens are adapting to different environmental conditions in the open world. One specific example is Salmonella on lettuce. Professor Nigel French, the Research Director of the NZFSSRC, presented on this topic to United Fresh members in March 2020.

Some of his identified learnings for horticulture include (

  • Rainfall and seasonal temperatures in New Zealand are going to change in the coming decades, significantly altering what can be grown and where.
  • Water demands for growing crops will be higher due to more drought like conditions.
  • Pests and diseases are likely to become more of an issue in many areas.
  • Insurance costs are likely to rise.
  • Warmer soils will require more food safety practices, to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.
  • Increased risk management is becoming a business necessity for horticulture.