Top 5 Food Safety Stories of 2019

From new strains of food poisoning bacteria to changes to the Food Standards Code, these are the top food safety stories of 2019.
December 20, 2019

There’s always something going on in the world of food safety, and 2019 was no exception.

With events such as food poisoning outbreaks; new strains of pathogenic bacteria; upcoming changes to the Australian Food Standards Code; court cases; and a sobering new study from Purdue University, there were plenty of options to choose from.

The top 5 events in food safety in 2019

mosaic of fresh fruits and vegetables

1. Australian Food Safety Standards are due for an update, says FSANZ.

To ensure the consistent application of food safety management requirements across Australia, including the requirement for food businesses to employ at least one Food Safety Supervisor, FSANZ is reviewing Chapters 3 and 4 of the Food Standards Code.

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young woman with disgusted expression eating food

2. Diners struck down with food poisoning at Anzac Day luncheon.

Up to 30 people became ‘violently ill’ within minutes of eating at an exclusive Anzac Day luncheon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The rapid onset of symptoms points to bacterial toxins in the food.

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gavel

3. Salmonella outbreak sends bakery owners to court.

Owners of family-run business Angkor Bakery are facing multiple charges related to the salmonellosis outbreak that sickened dozens of Australians in February 2019. According to one, the true cost of the outbreak was the loss of public confidence in the brand.

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cockroach on a dirty plate

4. A new study reveals cockroaches are getting even harder to kill.

Researchers from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, found that cockroaches are developing rapid immunity to multiple classes of insecticides through a phenomenon known as 'cross-resistance'. This spells bad news for the food and beverage industry — and anyone struggling to eradicate these disease-spreading pests.

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carton of brown eggs

5. New and rare strains of Salmonella in the Australian egg supply.

The appearance of rare and new strains of Salmonella bacteria in Australian eggs have caused more than 200 cases of food-borne infection and more than a little alarm among farmers, governments, consumers and the agricultural industry at large.

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Other food safety events from 2019 include food business fines and penalties; new technologies; pest infestations; more food poisoning outbreaks; and ‘major concerns’ about Australia’s food safety record.

Read all the food safety news from 2019 here.

The future of food safety in Australia

These stories demonstrate the very real consequences of non-compliance with food safety laws and regulations and for failing to handle food safely. They also highlight the challenges that exist and are likely to increase in the food supply chain.

A serious commitment from every corner of the food supply chain will be required to meet these challenges in the new year. This will require:

  • strictly adhering to and continuously improving Food Safety Programs
  • staying up-to-date on industry news, changes to food business legislation and food recalls
  • investing in food safety training for everyone who handles food in your business or related organisation

About the Australian Institute of Food Safety

At the Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS), our mission is to decrease food-borne illness in Australia by educating, advocating and promoting food safety.

We provide thousands of Australian food workers, business owners and operators with the food safety training and resources they need to protect their customers and businesses from serious incidents like food poisoning and food allergies.

To learn more, contact the Australian Institute of Food Safety.