News

August 7, 2019
Despite having a strong food safety management system in place, food-borne illness continues to be a problem in Australia. Food poisoning affects an estimated 4.1 million Australians each year. In April 2017, the Australia and New Zealand Ministerial Forum on Food Regulation (the Forum) identified three priority areas for 2017–2021 to further strengthen the system. One of these priorities is to reduce food-borne illness, particularly related to Campylobacter and…
July 10, 2019
A Queensland native recently took to Facebook to share his “upsetting experience” after eating a raw chicken burger from a McDonald’s in Upper Coomera, Queensland.  Joseph Kim had eaten half of the burger by the time he realised something was wrong. “I didn’t taste anything at first but I felt something soft and tender in my mouth,” Kim reported. “At about half way [sic] through the burger, I glanced at the inside of the burger and saw chicken patty and became i…
June 24, 2019
Food safety officials in New Zealand are urging people to cook raw mussels thoroughly after a recent spate of food poisoning cases caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus. According to a spokeswoman from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, one third of those affected have been hospitalised, but no deaths have been reported. “Of the 26 cases acquired in New Zealand, 20 are known to have eaten raw, smoked or partially cooked mussels during the incubation period,” she sa…
May 4, 2019
Up to 30 diners at an exclusive Anzac Day AFL luncheon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) were left distressed and light-headed, some fainted and several were taken to hospital with suspected food poisoning. AFL boss Gillon McLachlan, who was in attendance but managed to avoid contracting the illness, told 3AW radio: “It happened very quickly and people … were being affected at the same time … I didn’t see vomiting. I saw people fainting and I saw people dis…
April 19, 2019
An urgent recall has been announced for a popular brand of eggs over potential microbial Salmonella Enteritidis contamination fears. Steve’s Farm Fresh Eggs were sold through butchers, cafes and independent stores in New South Wales (NSW), primarily in western Sydney, according to the NSW Food Authority. The affected products include Fresh Eggs From My Farm 12 Free Range Eggs 700g and Fresh Eggs From My Farm Cage Eggs 700g with a best before date of May 6, 2019…
March 15, 2019
A woman has died and thousands of people are at risk of Listeria infection after the bacteria was detected in food from I Cook Foods, a south-east Melbourne catering company which supplies food to hospitals, aged care homes and Meals on Wheels. The catering service has been shut down after the woman, who was in her 80s, died in Knox Private Hospital on February 4. According to a health department spokesperson, the woman contracted a Listeria-related illness whi…
September 15, 2018
The Australian Food Safety Information Council announced this week their theme for food safety week – food poisoning. The council is calling on all Australians to share their stories of food poisoning. By sharing our stories we help to increase awareness and educate each other. Whether it be your story or the story of a family member or friend, the FSIC wants to hear from you. They are inviting you to tell your food poisoning story. Although helping all Austra…
July 11, 2018
Australia has been the latest country to be hit by mass recalls of frozen vegetables, following the recall of hundreds of products across the UK and Europe last week. These recalls follow the deaths of 9 people in the UK from listeria thought to be linked to the consumption of frozen vegetables. Australian supermarkets affected include Woolworths, Aldi and IGA stores. About ten frozen vegetable products have been recalled in total including frozen corn, carrots…
May 14, 2018
Food safety for pets has been in the news recently after 74 dogs across Australia were struck down with an incurable illness called megaesophogus. Megaesophogus is an incurable and sometimes fatal condition that causes the oesophagus to become enlarged and restricts the ability of food to move through the animals stomach. Whilst no definitive link has been proven as yet, all of the dogs are thought to have consumed pet food called Advance Dermocare, made by glo…
March 7, 2018
The prestigious Southport School based on the Gold Coast in Queensland is set to end the current school term three days early following a recent norovirus outbreak that’s already affected over 400 students and staff. The school, which teaches both day pupils and boarders, will close on March 23rd to allow time for a ‘complete and thorough antiviral clean’. This is deemed necessary as new cases of infection continue to arise five weeks after the start of the out…
January 22, 2018
In a bizarre social media trend, people are biting into capsules of laundry detergent in order to impress followers. The craze called the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ involves biting into a Tide Pod (a popular US brand of laundry detergent) that is bright blue and green in colour and looks somewhat like a hard lolly. Clearly this is a bad idea. The capsules contain high levels of dangerous chemicals, as well as ethanol, polymers and hydrogen peroxide, that are highly…
January 7, 2018
A new trend in the USA is seeing demand for “unfiltered, untreated, unsterilised spring water” – or “raw water” – increase at an alarming rate. Companies such as Live Water, Tourmaline Spring and Liquid Eden are selling the water for up to AUD $76 for 9.4 litres of untreated water. Other companies such as Zero Mass Water sell technology that enables consumers to collect raw water from the atmosphere from near their homes. Furthermore, people following the “wat…
November 17, 2017
Virgin Australia passengers flying from LAX to Australia are being given vouchers to purchase food prior to boarding following a listeria scare with the airline’s food provider. The in-flight catering company used by Virgin, Gate Gourmet, has had a number of airlines stop using it’s services after a recent inspection found traces of listeria at it’s facilities. Airlines response to situation Airlines that are known to have stopped using the Gate Gourmet servi…
October 3, 2017
A man in southern Germany has deliberately slipped poison into baby food and other supermarket food items in an attempt to extort millions of euros. The man contacted police by email to alert them to what he’d done and threatened to target other supermarkets in Germany and across Europe if his demands weren’t met. He said that he’d poisoned the food with ethylene glycol, a colourless, odourless liquid used in the manufacture of antifreeze, which can be deadly…
September 29, 2017
Raw oysters and shellfish harvested in Tasmania have been banned from import and sale into Hong Kong according to a directive issued this week. The announcement was made by the food safety authority of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) after a batch of oysters were identified as containing the Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) toxin. The affected oysters were from Blackman Bay Lease 44 however all oysters and shellfish from the region a…