Thursday, November 16, 2006

Authorised Butchers to remove vertebral column

Agency lists butchers authorised to remove vertebral column in 24 – 30 month old cattle
Thursday 16 November 2006
Following harmonisation of UK specified risk material (SRM) controls with those applicable in other Member States, the UK has taken up a derogation, available under EU legislation, to allow specifically authorised butchers' shops to handle carcases of 24 – 30 months cattle containing SRM vertebral column (SRM VC).
As a result, butchers who have been granted authorisations by their local authority are now allowed to remove SRM VC from 24-30 months cattle on their premises.
The Food Standards Agency is now publishing lists of butchers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland authorised to remove SRM VC from 24 – 30 months cattle.
The lists (available at the link below) are incomplete, as not all local authorities have responded to the Agency’s request for information.
Therefore, before despatching carcases and part-carcases containing SRM VC to butchers, slaughterhouses and cutting plants should obtain a copy of the authorisation from the butcher concerned, or check with the relevant local authority.
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Butchers authorised to remove vertebral column in 24-30 months bovines

Friday, November 03, 2006

Food Microbiology

Tuesday 31st was the latest Food Microbiology course run in central Scotland at the Livingston Training Centre. The course was attended by delegates from the Food Manufacturing sector. The course lasted the full day with a number of workshops and included a practical workshop also. The feed back indicated that all the delegates that attended found the course enjoyable and informative.
Comments included:- 'I now know what to accept from labs', 'I learned about pseudomonas', 'found it very informative' and 'I understand the process within Microbiology'.

The course will be running again in the near future, so let us know if you or a colleague would like to attend.
Other course running are:-
RIPH Intermediate HACCP
REHIS Introductory HACCP
BRC awareness course
Internal auditing course
REHIS Food Hygiene.

Contact us on or visit our web site

Oatcake recall

Oatcakes recalled because they may contain glass
Friday 03 November 2006
Simmers of Edinburgh has recalled certain batches of Nairn’s Organic Herb Oatcakes because they could have been contaminated with glass. The Food Standards Agency Scotland has issued a Food Alert for Information.
Simmers of Edinburgh, which manufactured the oatcakes, has been working with the relevant retailers to make sure that potentially affected products are withdrawn from sale. Product-recall notices will be placed in the national press from 6 November 2006, and are being displayed in stores to tell customers about the problem and what to do if they have bought the product.
Product details
Nairn’s Organic Herb Oatcakes, 250g, with the following ‘best before’ dates:
8 April 2007 (Production Code 4066)
25 March 2007 (Production Code 3836)
25 February 2007 (Production Code 3446)
No other batch codes or products are known to be affected.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Health Claim legislation

A new European regulation aimed at increasing consumer protection in relation to nutrition and health claims made on food, will require such claims to be on a Community list of permitted claims.

Under the new legislation, Member States will be responsible for compiling those health claims eligible to be considered for the Community list. Although this legislation is yet to come into effect, the Agency has already opened its list for food businesses to submit eligible claims.
To be eligible for consideration, the claim must be based on generally accepted science and relate to the role of a nutrient or other substance in growth, development and functions of the body, psychological and behavioural functions, or slimming and weight control. Full details can be found at the link below.
To maintain consistency, claims must be submitted using the required template and must be accompanied by references to scientific justification and conditions of use. Once submitted, the Agency will add eligible claims to the UK list, which will be maintained on this website. Development of the list will therefore allow food businesses to check if the claims they wish to make have been included, and take action if not.
Although Member States will have 12 months to complete this list once the final Regulation is in force, the Agency has set a target date of nine months for food businesses to submit claims for inclusion. This will allow time for the Agency to compile the UK's proposed list. The final Community list will depend on assessment of the scientific justification by the European Food Safety Authority and agreement of Member States in Standing Committee.
Claims that are not eligible for inclusion on the UK list, such as claims based on emerging rather than generally accepted scientific evidence, may be authorised via other routes. Contact the Food Standards Agency for more information at:
Further information about the list and how companies should go about submitting claims for inclusion can be found at the link below.
UK list of health claims

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Allergen related recall

Sainsbury's recalls tortilla chip product Thursday 12 October 2006 Sainsbury's has recalled 150g packs of its own-brand ‘Taste The Difference Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips’ because a packaging error has led to them having the wrong allergen labelling information. The Agency has issued a Food Alert for Information.

Product recall details
Taste The Difference Lightly Salted Tortilla Chips 150g
Best Before: 24 February 2007
Some packs may contain ‘Spicy Multigrain’ instead of ‘Lightly Salted’ variety. This means they contain whey protein and oat gluten, which are not labelled as ingredients, so they aren't safe for people who are allergic to dairy and oats, or are gluten intolerant.
The company is recalling the product and has issued product recall notices in all its stores and in the national press on 12 October 2006. No other products are known to be affected.
Sainsbury's has also contacted the Anaphylaxis Campaign and Allergy UK. These organisations are informing their members who are allergic to dairy and oats of the recall via their websites and a mailshot.

Food Safety Training

Food Safety Traning

The next course running is Food Microbiology ( for non microbiologists). This course is running on the 31st October at the Livingston Training Centre. Please contact us if you would like more information at the email address below. In addition, the next RIPH Intermediate HACCP course will be running before the end of January in Scotland, again at the Livingston Training Centre. The date has not been set yet so if you have delegates you wish to send and have preferential dates please let us know. We would be delighted to forward these course details as well as information on our other courses.

Our contact details are email ph 01506 631254 or visit our web site on at our Food Training Solution section.

Friday, October 06, 2006

New case of botulism

10/02/2006-In response to a fourth case of botulism being linked to Bolthouse Farms, Bakersfield, California brand carrot juice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers not to drink Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, 450 ml and 1 liter plastic bottles, with "BEST IF USED BY" dates of NOV 11 2006 or earlier. Consumers should discard this product. FDA is also reiterating its advice to consumers to keep carrot juice including pasteurized carrot juice refrigerated. The fourth case of botulism poisoning involves an adult female in Florida who is currently suffering from paralysis. To date, one link between the illness and the consumers appears to be that the juice they drank was not properly refrigerated once it was in the home, which allowed the Clostridium botulinum spores to grow and produce toxin. Clostridium botulinum is a bacterium commonly found in soil. Under certain conditions these bacteria can produce a toxin that if ingested can result in botulism, a disease that may cause paralysis or death. Cases of botulism from processed food are extremely rare in the U.S. Symptoms of botulism can include: double-vision, droopy eyelids, altered voice, trouble with speaking or swallowing, and paralysis on both sides of the body that progresses from the neck down, possibly followed by difficulty in breathing. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention. Adequate refrigeration is one of the keys to food safety and is essential to preventing bacterial growth. Refrigerator temperatures should be no higher than 40¡ÆF and freezer temperatures no higher then 0¡ÆF. Consumers should check the temperatures occasionally with an appliance thermometer. Consumers should look for the words "Keep Refrigerated" on juice labels so they know which products must be kept refrigerated. FDA is looking into whether industry's current juice labels provide clear refrigeration instructions.
Quaker Oats batch withdrawn Thursday 05 October 2006 Quaker Oats Ltd has withdrawn 750 of its 1kg cartons of 'Quaker Oats with free measuring cup' due to the presence of moth pupae and larvae. The Agency has issued a Food Alert for Information.

Product details
Quaker Oats with free measuring cup 1kg cartons
Best before 11/08/2007 221 (time stamp between 23:40 and 00:10 inclusive) W
No other Quaker Oats Ltd products are known to be affected.
The product was distributed in the north of England to Tesco stores via its distribution depot in Middlewich, Cheshire, and Sainsburys stores via its distribution centre in Haydock, Merseyside. Cartons from the affected batch have been removed from the shelves of both store chains.
Quaker Oats Ltd has also issued point-of-sale notices in the relevant stores advising customers not to eat the product and call its consumer care team on Freephone 0800 0324490.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

19.1 Microbiological data is often recorded using log numbers (see table below):
Log 10 0.1
-1: 1
0 :10
1 :100
2 :1000
3 :10,000
4 :100,000
5 :1,000,000
6 :10,000,000

; In order to record graphically the wide range of numbers of bacteria which may be encountered, and to permit statistical analysis, microbiologists customarily record results in terms of log to the base 10 (Iog10) of the number:

Log 10
6: 0.8
20: 1.3
32 :1.5
63 :1.8
316: 2.5
631 :2.8
2,000: 3.3
3,160 :3.5
20,000: 4.3
An increase or decrease of log 10 1 (often referred to as 'one log') represents a 10-fold change.
Log mean results are calculated by taking the arithmetical mean of numbers for each carcase and taking log 10 of the result:
e.g. 5 carcases; 4,500, 3,400, 4,800, 800, 10,900 cfu/cttl2
Arithmetic mean
= [4,500+3,400+4,800+800+10,9001/5 = 24,400/5 = 4,880
= Log10(4880)
Log mean
'ISO' is the International Organization for Standardization (see footnote 5). UKAS (see footnote 8) (

You can use a scientific calculator (on most PCs - go to accessories /calculator
/view /scientific) to calculate logs (enter the number then 'log')________ or to Inverse logs (enter the number then 'inverse' then 'log').______

A result of 2.3X 10E4 = 23000 = 4.37 log
This can be calculated on a calculator using the log function. They can be converted back by the inverse log function. This as indicated above can be found on your PC calculator.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

US: Unilever issues allergy alert over mislabelled product
4 October 2006 Source:
In cooperation with the FDA, Unilever has announced the voluntary recall of its Knorr – Lipton Pasta Sides Chicken-Fettuccini in a Savory Chicken Flavored Sauce because it may contain undeclared milk.
The affected product is packaged in 4.3 oz pouches marked with “UPC # 4100002246” on the bottom right-hand side of the back of the pouch, and Best If Used By dates of SEP11 2007, SEP12 2007, SEP13 2007, SEP14 2007 or SEP20 2007.
The company warned that consumption of the product could represent a health risk for people with an allergy or sensitivity to milk. The affected product was distributed throughout the US, and reached consumers through retail stores, club stores and dollar stores. One adverse reaction has been reported to date.
Unilever initiated the recall after it received a consumer complaint and it was discovered that the product contained milk but was being distributed in packaging that did include milk on the ingredient list on the label. Subsequent investigation is ongoing, Unilever said.
Trust confirms 49 superbug deaths

C difficile causes severe diarrhoeaAt least 49 people have died after catching a superbug at three hospitals in Leicester in the past eight months, an NHS trust has confirmed.
A spokesman for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said the coroner was investigating a further 29 cases.
The superbug Clostridium difficile (C-diff) is a common cause of diarrhoea although one in every 33 adults carries it without side-effects.
The trust has already set up a task force to fight the infection.
The trust said 28 patients had died after catching the superbug and in 21 other cases it was found that C Diff was present but another disease may have been the primary cause of death.
Bluetongue virus found in 4 Member States – Commission takes action
The Bluetongue virus was discovered in cattle and sheep in four Member States during August. An outbreak was confirmed in the Netherlands on 18 August and in parts of Belgium and Germany close to the border with the Netherlands on 21 August. A further outbreak was discovered in the French Ardennes region on 31 August.
The authorities in the four countries have stopped all trade of live ruminants (hoofed animals) and their live products within a 20 km zone around the outbreaks. This is in line with EU Directive 2000/75/EC laying down specific provisions for the control and eradication of bluetongue.
On 21 August, a Commission Decision on protection measures was backed by Member State veterinary experts in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health. A 150 km surveillance zone was formally defined - covering most of the Netherlands and Belgium, all of Luxembourg and areas in the German Lander of North Rhine Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Hessen. Ruminants and their live products produced after 1 May 2006, cannot be moved out of the listed areas.
Virus identified
The European Commission was informed by the Community Reference Laboratory for Bluetongue in Pirbright (UK) on 28 August that the virus responsible for the recent outbreak was virus serotype 8. This strain of virus has never been reported in Europe before. First results suggest that virus serotype 8 is of a sub-Saharan lineage, although the precise origin and how it came to Europe is not yet known.
Bluetongue is an insect-borne viral disease which affects domestic and wild ruminants. It does not affect humans and there is no risk of the disease being contracted or spread through meat or milk. Bluetongue disease in sheep is characterised by a fever that may last several days. The virus can lead to reddening and swelling of the lips, mouth, nose and eyelids.

Further information:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Food Safety
20th and 21st September saw our RIPH Intermediate HACCP training course running. The course was held at the Livingston Training Center and had delegates from 3 different companies. Learning outcomes appear to have been fulfilled with comments made including:-
'Increased theoretical knowledge'; 'clear understanding of HACCP'; 'understand procedures in HACCP'. Other comments included:-
'Well structured + paced'; 'Thorough and effective'.
The next Intermediate course will be running in November with the dates yet to be set.
Other courses include REHIS Introductory HACCP, REHIS Food Hygiene, Internal auditing, Food Microbiology and BRC awareness.
Contact us on or visit or web site at where you will find a feed back form.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Food Safety
28th September sees Outsource Solution Ltd joining with the Scottish Association of Master Bakers in delivering an Internal Auditing Course. The course is based on the requirements of the BRC Global Standard Food Issue 4. The venue is the new SAMB training facillity within the new build Matheisons factory. The course, at the last count, will provide training for 12 delegates and demonstrates the industries commitment to training and the support that SAMB delivers. Outsource Solution provides both certifcated established training courses as well as originating relevant training courses which add value and competance to delegates and their businesses.

31st October is the date set for the Food Microbiology Course and the next RIPH Intermediate HACCP course will be running in early November.

For more information, please email or visit our web site at where you can find additional information and a feed back form.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Food Safety
30th August:- The Internal audit course at the Livingston Training Centre:-

was attended by 7 delegates from 5 different companies. The feed back was both welcome and complimentary and all seemed to fulfill their training objectives set out at the start of the course.

The course was structured to initially discuss the theory and background of auditing and the BRC Global Standard Food. This was followed by the specific elements of internal auditing and fulfilling the standards requirements in a practical way that promotes compliance, preventative action and continuous improvement.

During the afternoon session the theory was broken up by 5 workshops which were received very well. Comments included " Interesting thought process when identifying issues in case studies" and "I enjoyed doing the case study tasks, they helped me to see how observant I was"

The development of the audit trail seemed to be well received, in particular, when presented with certain information, what further information should the auditor be requesting to 'unfold' the audit to realise maximum benefit from the audit process.

And of course the Livingston training centre did a sterling job. Comments received included- 'Good coffee, good food + comfortable chairs!'

Overview of the course:- ' A wothwhile, informative and enjoyable day.' , 'Very informative. Learnt alot but always on these courses a lot of information to take in'

Thanks to those who attended and glad you got value from the course.

Duncan Perry

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Food Safety
RIPH Intermediate HACCP training course is running at the Livingston Training Centre on the 20th and 21st of Sept. It is a full 2 day course which is certificated by RIPH.

Intermediate HACCP Course, Central Scotland, 20th & 21st September

The Intermediate course is the Royal Institute of Public Health. The course runs over 2 days and there is a 2 hour exam at the end. It is a well recognised course that is marked and certificated by RIPH.

The next course will be run in the Livingston Training Centre, Livingston.

The course Includes:-
2 Full days training
Registration and Certification by RIPH (Royal Institute of Public Health)
Course Book- Intermediate HACCP by Carol A Wallace and other resource materials
Training using the Full Highfield HACCP resource materials and power point projection slides
Workshop Activities in all Principles
RIPH examination paper

Your Trainer:-
Your trainer is a food microbiologist who is a BRC qualified 3rd party auditor and carries out BRC Certification audits, approved under UKAS EN45011. In addition, he is an ISO 9001:200 Lead auditor and HACCP qualified certificated trainer at Intermediate and Introductory levels.

The cost for the course is £350.00 per delegate.

If you require any further information, please let me know.

Kind regards

Duncan Perry,

Monday, August 28, 2006

Wednesday 30th August sees Outsource Solution Ltd providing a training course in Internal Auditing. The course is designed to fullfil the requirements of the British Retail Consortium Global Standard Food Issue 4 section 2.9. It is a days training that gives delegates a great in sight into what is required in this Fundamental section of the standard. The trainer is a microbiologist and a BRC auditor with 18 years experience in the food industry. Courses are set to run at frequent intervals in many locations so get in touch if this is a course that you require.
Other courses are also run at frequent intervals or for specific Company requirements. These courses cover
  • Food Hygiene
  • HACCP introductory
  • HACCP intermediate
  • Food Microbiology
  • Internal Auditing


Duncan Perry