Uncategorized

2ND MEETING

The second meeting of our National Agency-supported project, Increasing the Qualifications of the Employees in the Food Industry Sector in Occupational Health, Safety, and Food Safety Project, was held on the online platform on 20.04.2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The project aims to prepare training materials on occupational health and safety and food safety and to share them on digital platforms. The training program, the training videos based on the e-platform will be the idea outputs of the project.

Projects Unit Coordinator Aybüke Bengü Özmutaf and project experts Sinan Özenç Dalgıç and Ekin Mutlu on behalf of Öz Gıda-İş Union, Janja Luznik and Danijel Davidovic from Slovenia on behalf of Maribor University, Cecilia Bolognesi, Chiara Dell’Amico and Davide Orlandini from Italy on behalf of IFOA attended the meeting.

The main topics of the meeting were the views on the literature review, how to prepare the questionnaires for focus groups, ideas for the dissemination of the project, the up-to-dateness of the website and other studies to be carried out until the next meeting.

It has been decided to send the interim report to the coordinating organization by 1 June 2020. In addition, it was reported that the project was extended for six months due to the pandemic, and it was agreed that the date of the third meeting would be decided depending on the conditions of the future process.

3TH MEETING

The third meeting of our National Agency-supported project, Increasing the Qualifications of the Employees in the Food Industry Sector in Occupational Health, Safety, and Food Safety Project, was held on the online platform on 07.07.2021 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Projects Unit Coordinator Aybüke Bengü Özmutaf and project experts Sinan Özenç Dalgıç and Ekin Mutlu on behalf of Öz Gıda-İş Union, Janja Luznik and Danijel Davidovic from Slovenia on behalf of Maribor University, Cecilia Bolognesi and Davide Orlandini from Italy on behalf of IFOA attended the meeting.

The project aim was to fix details about the e-learning platform, website and disseminations activities.

About e-learnign platform, partners discussed about technical aspects of the its draft, about the front-end design and the quality of the new educational materials being prepared. About the latter, all partners agreed on the creation of animated videos to highlight specific topics for each training module, in order to make the training more efficient and appealing. A Turkish food expert will be also involved for the preparation of video content.

Concerning the Project website , it will be enriched with new articles about food safety on national and international levels; in addition, video shoots will be available for all visitors, while an external link will be accessible for training learners.

Last but not least, LinkedIn page about the project has been added to broaden the dissemination and reach a larger number of potential interested parties.

Food Safety in Food Production

Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra – Slovakia
Food Safety in Food Production
Most food is now produced by large farms, processed industrially, and sold in supermarkets and multinational food outlets. Modern food production has reduced the cost and increased the variety of food available, but this centralisation of the food supply presents an opportunity for foodborne pathogens and toxins to infect and poison large numbers of consumers. Furthermore, the globalisation of food trade means that food can become contaminated in one country and cause outbreaks of foodborne illness in another. Modern food production is so complex that a systematic approach is needed to identify the hazards at each point in the food chain. Food safety refers to routines in the preparation, handling and storage of food meant to prevent foodborne illness and injury. From farm to factory to fork, food products may encounter any number of health hazards during their journey through the supply chain. Safe food handling practices and procedures are thus implemented at every stage of the food production life cycle in order to curb these risks and prevent harm to consumers (Balkir et al., 2021).

Occupational Health and Safety in Food Production
Occupational safety and health (OSH) problems of the food industry have not been generally perceived as a serious issue in the same way as other industries such as healthcare, transportation, mining, and construction sectors. Statistics from various countries show that OSH issues from the food sector have one of the worst records in the manufacturing industries. There are also evidences that some OSH aspects in the food industry are getting worse. Despite global economic declines in the recent years, the food and drink businesses have continued to expand in response to the growing worldwide demands for processed foods and drinks. In this context of expansion and intensified competition, the food industry has experienced rationalization, restructuring, and a high level of mechanization, in both the industrialized and developing countries (ILO, 2007).
As a result, the overall worldwide employment levels in the sector have continued to expand, particularly in the highly capital-intensive drink industry has suffered. Moreover, mechanization has often had the effect of increasing the work volumes and the resulting stress levels of workers, as well as increasing the number of monotonous and repetitive tasks, with a consequent rise in the incidence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Increased automation has also been accompanied by higher noise levels, which has led to more workers suffering from hearing impediments. Other common OSH problems in the food industry arise out of handling sharp cutting tools, exposing dusts in the air, contacting with infected animals, and increasing use of hazardous chemicals (www.who.int).

References
Balkir, P., Kemahlioglu, K., Yucel, U. 2021. Foodomics: A new approach in food quality and safety. Trends in Food Science & Technology, vol. 108, p. 49-57.
International Labour Organization (ILO). 2007. The impact of global food chains on employment in the food and drink sector. International Labour Organization (ILO) Sectoral Activities Programme, TMFCE/2007.
https://www.who.int/health-topics/occupational-health

SAFETY OF FOOD SECTOR EMPLOYEES DURING THE PANDEMIC

University of Maribor – Slovenia
SAFETY OF FOOD SECTOR EMPLOYEES DURING THE PANDEMIC
Gregor Sok (MS Food Safety)
Danijel Davidovič (MS Geography, MS Philosophy)
Ddr. Ana Vovk Korže (PhD Geography, PhD Environmental Protection)
The food industry is part of the economy affected by the pandemic, but much less so than some other industries. One of the main reasons for this is also the need for food, which is eternal among people and essential for survival. Although there is currently no evidence that food workers can transmit the infection to the consumer through food, the exposure to the risk factor for COVID-19 infection among food workers is similar as in other industries. Recommendations for prevention of contamination are regular and thorough cleaning of premises and surfaces, regular ventilation, disinfection of employees’ and customers’ hands as well as compliance with basic general recommendations (interpersonal distance, wearing a mask, cough hygiene). Just as we emphasize the importance of space hygiene, equipment hygiene and personal hygiene (especially hand hygiene) in food sector in general, we also stress the importance of hygiene in current situation. In addition to hygiene, precise instructions from the company, a contingency plan in place, compliance with instructions from all employees and the personal responsibility of each employee to their colleagues and the wider society are important. Only in this way will we be able to meet the challenges that will surely await us in the future as well.
In addition to adequate hygiene, some emphasize the importance of local and sustainable food systems that would ensure greater safety for food workers and consumers, so that global supply networks are at least partially replaced by local ones.
Literature:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021: Food and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/food-and-COVID-19.html
National Institute for Public Health: Recommendations for the implementation of activities (COVID-19). https://www.nijz.si/sl/sproscanje-ukrepov-covid-19

What are the anti-contagion measures in the catering sector? (Short Extract)

IFOA – ITALY
What are the anti-contagion measures in the catering sector? (Short Extract)
Author: Tiziano Menduto
Date: 10/07/2020

Topic: Indications on the containment of the COVID-19 emergency in catering and food administration. Focus on catering with administration: local kitchen, food preparation, organization of seats and information for customers.
Catering: the kitchen and food preparations
In addition to various general information for the catering sector, the report – by the ISS Public Health Veterinary and Food Safety COVID-19 Working Group, coordinated by Umberto Agrimi and Luigi Bertinato – contains indications on hygiene rules and specific precautions in catering with administration (Nace 56.10.11).
These are the indications for the organization of the kitchen area and the activities to be carried out during food preparation:
• Measure the body temperature, which must not exceed 37.5 ° C, for all staff before accessing the exercise.
• Ensure, where possible, the safety distance between staff by rearranging the workstations, and use masks.
• All staff must adopt strict hygiene measures such as washing their hands very often and never touching their eyes, nose and mouth.
• Staff should wear glasses when handling irritating foods (onions, chilli, etc.).
• Before and after food preparation, food preparers must clean the kitchen surfaces and other surfaces (eg cutting boards, worktops, utensils) frequently.
• Before preparation and administration, carefully wash fruit and vegetables intended to be eaten raw, rinsing them repeatedly under running water; where chlorine-based food disinfectants are used, carefully follow the instructions on the product (concentrations, times of use and rinsing methods).
• For foods that are served without being cooked in the administration exercise, the employees must scrupulously respect good hygiene practices in the preparation of dishes, in particular proceed with adequate cleaning of the hands, even if using the gloves, whenever you come into contact with anything other than food and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• For foods that are served after being cooked, this phase must be carried out carefully “in order to” inactivate any microorganisms present, including viruses.
• After cooking food, do not use, for their handling or storage, tools and containers that have been used for the same operations on raw foods “.
It is also underlined that “do not use disinfectants or detergents not approved for food use for the disinfection of food”.
Tiziano Menduto
Full article is available in Italian, on: https://www.puntosicuro.it/sicurezza-sul-lavoro-C-1/coronavirus-covid19-C-131/quali-sono-le-misure-anticontagio-nel-settore-della-ristorazione-AR-20230/ – Copyright © All Rights reserved 1999-2019 – All Rights Reserved.
Download the document from which the article is taken: Gruppo di lavoro ISS Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria e Sicurezza Alimentare COVID-19, “Indicazioni ad interim sul contenimento del contagio da SARS-CoV-2 e sull’igiene degli alimenti nell’ambito della ristorazione e somministrazione di alimenti. Versione del 27 maggio 2020”, Roma: Istituto Superiore di Sanità – 2020, Rapporto ISS COVID-19, n. 32/2020 (formato PDF, 1.92 MB).
Poster allegato al rapporto (formato PDF, 2.11 MB).
Reference legislation:
DECRETO DEL PRESIDENTE DEL CONSIGLIO DEI MINISTRI 11 giugno 2020 – Ulteriori disposizioni attuative del decreto-legge 25 marzo 2020, n.19, recante misure urgenti per fronteggiare l’emergenza epidemiologica da COVID-19, e del decreto-legge 16 maggio 2020, n.33, recante ulteriori misure urgenti per fronteggiare l’emergenza epidemiologica da COVID-19.
DECRETO-LEGGE 19 maggio 2020, n.34 – Misure urgenti in materia di salute, sostegno al lavoro e all’economia, nonche’ di politiche sociali connesse all’emergenza epidemiologica da COVID-19
Protocollo condiviso di regolamentazione delle misure per il contrasto e il contenimento della diffusione del virus Covid-19 negli ambienti di lavoro.

Turkish Government Mobilizes for Food Safety with Inspections

Öz Gıda İş Trade Union – TURKEY
Turkish Government Mobilizes for Food Safety with Inspections
Date: February 17, 2020
Thousands of employees of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry joined simultaneous inspections across the country Monday for food safety inspections. Some 7,000 workers will carry out unannounced inspections for six days in the fight against harmful alterations to food, an issue plaguing the sector.
Speaking before commencing the inspections, Minister Agriculture and Forestry Bekir Pakdemirli pledged not to let rest “those involved in food fraud.” “The first stage of inspections is dairy producers and supplementary food producers. No fraud or alteration in food production will be tolerated,” Pakdemirli told reporters in the capital Ankara. The minister also informed the public about 174, a hotline to report food crimes, and announced that they would soon launch a WhatsApp hotline to report complaints. He said they received more than 2.3 million complaints through the hotline and they have run more than 1.2 million inspections in one year.
Food safety is high on the agenda of the government despite all of the new measures it has taken. As public complaints mount over companies fined for violating the food safety code, some companies are resorting to changing their names and executives to continue operations. To deal with this, lawmakers are preparing a new, more efficient bill that includes prison sentences up to five years for people and businesses involved in the production, sale and import of food deemed dangerous to public health. The bill also calls for a mandatory recall of food violating safety from the markets and their destruction. If the same person or business repeats the violation within two years of the first violation, they will be banned from working in the food sector for a period of up to 10 years. The bill orders fines between TL 5,000 and TL 250,000 for businesses involved in the production of counterfeit food products or deliberately mislabeled food products, like pork packaged and sold as cow meat.
Meatpacking Industry Pushes for Worker Vaccinations
Date: January 21, 2021

Author: Nikki Johnson-Bolden
As COVID-19 cases rise within the meatpacking industry, top meatpacking companies and unions are advocating for meatpacking workers to be a priority vaccination group, according to Bloomberg Government.
Various meatpacking facilities have been cited by OSHA for COVID-19 violations. The Food Environment Reporting Network reports 53,620 positive coronavirus cases and 269 deaths among meatpacking employees as of Jan. 15.
Companies such as Tyson Food, JBS and Cargill Inc. are attempting to get workers vaccinated. Tyson has partnered with Matrix Medical Network, a clinical services company, as part of the company’s effort to vaccinate its employees. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union also wrote a letter on Dec. 23 asking governors in each state to give meatpacking workers “very high priority” for the coronavirus vaccine.
Another common sentiment in the meatpacking industry is the desire for President Biden to mandate an emergency temporary standard that enforces social distancing in meatpacking facilities and supplies ventilators to workers.
References
“Turkish Government Mobilizes For Food Safety With Inspections”. Daily Sabah, 2021, https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2020/02/17/turkish-government-mobilizes-for-food-safety-with-inspections.
Johnson-Bolden, Nikki. “Meatpacking Industry Pushes For Worker Vaccinations — Occupational Health & Safety”. Occupational Health & Safety, 2021, https://ohsonline.com/articles/2021/01/21/meatpacking-industry-pushes-for-worker-vaccinations.aspx?admgarea=ht.FoodSafety.