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Fake olive oil in Brazil, Czech’s check honey and Spanish seizures

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We are back with what will be a monthly round-up (GFSI and Pittcon got in the way!) from food safety agencies wider than the English-speaking ones.

The second of this series takes us to Poland, Mexico, France, Spain, Brazil and Czech Republic.

Salmonella caused an outbreak in a nursery in Chotomowie, Poland at the start of April with a link to pasta with egg and croquettes with meat.

Local media reported 100 people had been sickened, mostly children and many of them hospitalised.

More than 50 people fell ill after eating at a rotisserie chicken site in Zapotlanejo, Mexico.

E. coli was detected in the accompanying sauce, said health officials.

The Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Supply (MAPA) has identified irregularities in 45 brands of olive oil among 140 collected in the last two years.

They inspected 279 samples from 214 lots and 38.7% of the lots had problems and 79% of the irregularities were related to low quality. 

The most common fraud practiced was the use of vegetable oil with lampante oil.

Analysis was done by the National Agricultural and Livestock Laboratories (LANAGRO) of Rio Grande do Sul and Goiás.

Spanish authorities have seized 18 tons of food and 6,000 litres of beverages in Melilla.

Five inspections were carried out in shops and warehouses and found breaking of the cold chain, expired or unlabelled products and food and beverages in languages other than Spanish.

Controls at border crossings with Morocco were responsible for some of the seizures.

French customs officers at Hendaye seized 53kg of cocaine when checking a truck from the Netherlands with two men on board.

The driver presented documents covering the transport of 1,370 cartons of infant formula to a company in Spain.

However, officials discovered a fitted cover along the trailer ceiling containing the drug packages.

Státní veterinární správa (SVS) found two consignments of salted chicken fillet from Brazil which contained Salmonella.

Stricter supervision of Brazilian supplies is in connection with the suspicion that meat imported into the EU from Brazil could be unsafe.

Státní zemědělská a potravinářská inspekce (SZPI) found 12 of 25 honey samples breached regulations during a sampling exercise.

Irregularities included misleading labeling of botanical origin, presence of other sugars and caramel E150d (adding of colourings by which light honey or colourless sugar solutions are coloured).

The Moroccan food safety agency (ONSSA) seized and destroyed 478 tonnes of products unfit for consumption in March. This included 320 tonnes of red and white meat, 152 tonnes of fishery products, two tonnes of milk items and four tonnes of various other food products.

SENASA has destroyed 15 tons of grapes in Argentina transported in three trucks without the required documentation proving origin.

INVIMA (Instituto Nacional de Vigilancia de Medicamentos y Alimentos) in Colombia was part of a joint operation that seized more than 2,700 kilos of beef in Neiva.

The agency said it was not possible to establish the name of the plant where the cattle were slaughtered and the site did not have the relevant authorization.

Invima urged citizens to buy meat in legal and recognized establishments.

A program developed by Penn State scientists helped to train students in Armenia on food safety practices and procedures.

Catherine Cutter, professor of food science and Siroj Pokharel, postdoctoral researcher in food science, partnered with Virginia Tech to bring the Food Safety Systems Management Professional Certificate Program to the International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education in Yerevan, Armenia.

The certification program covered introduction to food science, microbiology, sanitation, thermal processing and acidification, hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) and food defense.

Students visited Armenia Wine, Noyan Juice, Marianna Dairy and Biella Meat processing facilities.

Cutter and Pokharel became involved after a request for qualified food safety educators in Armenia came via the Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education program (InnovATE), a USAID-funded initiative run by Virginia Tech with Penn State, Tuskegee University and the University of Florida.

Montenegro and Slovenia have signed an agreement to cooperate on areas including food safety.

The Action Plan defines activities the two sides will carry out in accordance with the needs of Montenegro and the challenges toward EU membership.

Montenegro aims to complete accession negotiations during the term of the current government.

Milutin Simović, deputy Prime Minister and minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Dejan Židan, Slovenian deputy Prime Minister and minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, signed the deal.

Židan said that Slovenia recorded growth in food processing and exports and supports agricultural producers with schemes for young farmers aimed at attracting young people to agriculture.

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