Food Safety for Chronic Disease Prevention Through Product Reformulation

This topic was moderated by Hui-Yu Sheu, M.S., R.D. and Angela H. Lu, Ph.D., R.D and featured three lectures.

 

Elizabeth Dunford, Ph.D., Food Policy Division, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia discussed challenges and opportunities in monitoring changes in the global food supply. In 2010 The Food Monitoring Group established a global branded food composition database to track the nutritional content of foods and make comparisons between countries, food companies and over time in an effort to observe whether companies were adhering to their reformulation commitments. Dr. Dunford shared lessons learned from establishing this database and discussed challenges and opportunities arising from ongoing change in the global food supply. Dr. Dunford noted that data from Australia and the United Kingdom were used to define baseline levels of sodium in major food categories to enable monitoring of changes over time. Comparisons of sodium levels between years exposed the limited progress with sodium reduction in Australia and New Zealand, with data presented at the individual company level.

 

Wen-Han Pan, Ph.D., Researcher, National Health Research Institutes, Taiwan gave a lecture entitled, “Product Reformulation Embracing Whole Foods and Cultural Needs for Better Health.” Dr. Pan discussed the prevalence of processed foods in the modern diet, and the health-related reasons why processed food products may be reformulated to include higher amounts of whole foods. Dr. Pan shared options for enriching ingredient lists further with the benefits of increased amounts of whole foods, including nuts, seeds, whole grain products, low-fat dairy products, and dairy products supplemented with calcium, fiber, vitamin D, and probiotics.

 

Rutger Schilpzand, Executive Secretary, Choices International Foundation, Belgium discussed product reformulation driven by front-of-pack logo systems. Mr. Schilpzand shared experiences from the implementation of a front-of-pack logo used in several European countries. The implementation of this logo led to product reformulation in some sectors, and as such has had a positive impact on consumer health and consumer knowledge. Due to its positive effect, this front-of-pack logo has been implemented in several countries and is also being used as a model for the development of national logo systems in others. Mr. Schilpzand cited a study done at VU University of Amsterdam Kroonenburg that found the logo system to have been a strong driver for product reformulation.

Food Traceability Systems

This topic was moderated by Kenneth Yeh-Lin Chan, M.S. and Fuu Sheu, Ph.D. featured four lectures.

 

Kenneth Yeh-Lin Chan, Chairman, Taisun Enterprise Co., Ltd., Taiwan discussed food safety management challenges. Mr. Chan emphasized that communication between the government, regulatory authorities, and the food industry is essential in order to be able to quickly respond to a food safety incident. Mr. Chan noted that the implementation of food safety and food regulatory compliance processes must recognize the need for clear and ongoing communication between these entities, and stated that industry compliance is not just important to help the food industry avoid fines or shutdowns, but also to ensure the safety of food across the entire supply chain. Mr. Chan noted that compliance with food industry regulations and food safety protocols requires capturing information, accurately organizing and retaining the information, and quickly and efficiently analyzing and presenting it. Mr. Chan also emphasized that accurately capturing and recording this information can be challenging and time-consuming, and the food industry should consider implementing data-collection methods that lower time and costs involved.

 

Bev Postman, Ph.D., Executive Director, FIA, UK shared insights regarding global food safety regulatory alignment and discussed the work of Food Industry Asia (FIA) which was formed in 2010 in order to enable major food and beverage companies to collaborate on non-competitive issues such as food safety, food security, and nutrition. The organization acts as a pan-Asia hub for industry associations such as the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) to share best practices and engage with public bodies and other stakeholders at a regional level. Dr. Postman cited the example of the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) created by the World Bank in 2012, the first public-private partnership dedicated to improving global food safety, focusing on middle income and developing countries.

 

Christie Lin, MBA, Consultant, Taiwan Food Industry Development Association Taiwan gave a presentation entitled, “Data Management Best Practices for Your Food Traceability Program.” Ms. Lin noted that food traceability programs require documentation that 1) identifies products; 2) provides one-step-back (one down), one-step-forward (one up) and internal traceability; and 3) supplies periodic internal checks of suppliers’ business to ensure traceability between raw material received by the supplier and final products.

 

Hiroshi Agehara, CEO & President, AgeTech & Brains Co., Ltd., Japan discussed business message standards for food traceability. Mr. Agehara cited recent food safety incidents in Japan originating from food hygiene concerns, and highlighted the importance for public health in Japan of having established a traceability system for beef and rice. Mr. Agehara shared several examples of how Japanese companies in the food industry share accountability information and discussed distribution methods of food safety and food hazard information to consumers. Mr. Agehara also noted the importance of clear roles, responsibilities, and relationships between government and industry actors in order to have clear plans for action in place in the event of a food safety incident. Mr. Agehara also discussed successful examples of food traceability infrastructure such as the standardization of EDI protocol in Japan.

 

FDA to tighten inspections after banned products found

Source: The China Post

By Sun Hsin Hsuan, The China Post
December 13, 2016, 12:22 am TWN

Food products imported from Japan will be inspected individually, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Monday, following the discovery of banned products in the market.

Radiation inspections at customs will be tightened to include small packages of sauce that are often sold along with larger food items, FDA Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said on Monday.

Food products from Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi prefectures were banned in Taiwan over fears of radiation contamination in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukishima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown.

Small packages of soy sauce originating from Ibaraki were recently discovered in Taiwan, leading to an emergency recall of these products by the FDA on Sunday. The packets of soy sauce were sold as part of a set that contained a fermented soybean product, which came from another region.

Despite the Atomic Energy Council’s assertions that the soy sauce imported from Ibaraki was not contaminated, concerns about the FDA’s inability to ensure food safety made headlines in the news.

Package-by-package Inspections

Chiang said on Monday that the FDA had increased inspection standards at customs starting in November by examining every batch of imports.

Starting Monday, the FDA will increase the level of scrutiny on products with more complex packaging and will reject all products that contain components — such as soy sauce — that were manufactured in the five specified regions.

Those without labels will be asked for proof of their place of origin, Chiang said.

Food importers must check their own products and report to the FDA if any are found to have originated from nuclear-affected regions, Chiang said. Importers are subject to fines of between NT$30,000 and NT$3 million for selling banned food items.

The FDA launched a massive investigation on Monday, deploying inspectors from 22 health bureaus across the country to examine Japanese food products currently on the market.

The results of the investigation should be available within one week, Chiang said.

 

NCFSER NEWS »

Food Safety for Chronic Disease Prevention Through Product Reformulation

This topic was moderated by Hui-Yu Sheu, M.S., R.D. and Angela H. Lu, Ph.D., R.D and featured three lectures.   Elizabeth Dunford, Ph.D., Food Policy Division,...

 

Food Traceability Systems

This topic was moderated by Kenneth Yeh-Lin Chan, M.S. and Fuu Sheu, Ph.D. featured four lectures.   Kenneth Yeh-Lin Chan, Chairman, Taisun Enterprise Co.,...

 

FDA to tighten inspections after banned products found

Source: The China Post By Sun Hsin Hsuan, The China Post December 13, 2016, 12:22 am TWN Food products imported from Japan will be inspected individually, the...

 

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