A Review on the Rising Prevalence of International Standards: Threats or Opportunities for the Agri-Food Produce Sector in Developing Countries, with a Focus on Examples from the MENA Region
2. Sources of Data
- Fresh produce-associated food outbreaks, fresh produce contamination
- The evolution of the food safety standards, in terms of applications and development
- The different types of food safety standards
- The international regulatory framework for food safety
- Fresh produce safety, requirements, and guidelines (with search focus on the EU and US)
- Challenges in food safety control systems in the MENA countries
- Data on rejected goods from the MENA countries and import ban
- Impact of food safety standards on fresh produce trade
- Integrated agri-food chains, in the context of standards implementation and food export programs
3. Food Safety Concerns and Standards Are Growing Globally
3.1. Fresh Produce-Related Foodborne Illnesses and Health Risks
3.2. The Rise in Prevalence of National and International Standards: Current Requirements and Risk Factors at the Primary Production Stage
- The risk from VTEC in seeds and sprouted seeds (urgent request after VTEC crisis)
- The risk from Salmonella and norovirus in leafy greens eaten raw as salads
- The risk from Salmonella and norovirus in berries
- The risk from Salmonella and norovirus in tomatoes
- The risk from Salmonella in melons
- The risk from Salmonella, Yersinia, Shigella, and norovirus in bulb and stem vegetables, as well as carrots
- Keep clean and where necessary, after cleaning, disinfect in an appropriate manner, facilities, equipment, containers, crates, vehicles and vessels
- Ensure hygienic production, transport and storage conditions for, and the cleanliness of plant products
- Use potable or clean water whenever necessary, to prevent contamination
- Ensure that staff handling foodstuffs are in good health and undergo appropriate training
- Prevent, as far as possible, animals and pests from causing contamination
- Store and handle wastes and hazardous substances so as to prevent contamination
- Take account of the results of any relevant analyses carried out on samples taken from plants or other samples that have importance to human health
- Use plant protection products and biocides correctly, as required by the relevant legislation
- Take appropriate remedial action when informed of food safety and hygiene problems identified during official controls
- Worker health, hygiene, and training
- Agricultural water, both for production and post-harvest uses
- Biological soil amendments (e.g., compost, manure)
- Domesticated and wild animals
- Equipment, tools, buildings, and sanitation
- Production of sprouts
4. The Current Status of Food Safety in Developing Countries and the Burden of Compliance Costs
- Serious lack of knowledge about SPS requirements and regulations
- Absence of quality control laboratories in the region to monitor hazards, mainly chemical residues
- High cost of infrastructure needed to meet SPS conditions
- Absence of modern packing and grading facilities
- Lack of inspections to control domestic production and qualified laborers
- Non-existence of local legal bodies responsible for the implementation and monitoring of SPS and other agreements regulations
5. Food Safety Standards as a Catalyst to Food Trade
Conflicts of Interest
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|Most Recent Fresh Produce-Related Outbreaks/Country||Number of Cases||Type of Produce/Origin||Remarks|
|2012–2015: annual outbreaks of Cyclosporiasis (Cyclospora cayetanensis) in the US||154 people infected||Cilantro from Mexico||Investigations in July 2015 found that poor hygienic conditions for farm workers were most likely the cause of those outbreaks .|
|2015: Salmonella Poona outbreak||767 people infected from 36 states||Cucumbers from Mexico|||
|2014: Salmonella Newport outbreak in 2014||257 people infected in 29 states and the District of Columbia||Cucumbers/unidentified source||The pathogen was assumed to be linked to the application of manure .|
|2012: S. Typhimurium and Salmonella Newport in 2012||261 people infected in 24 states, 3 deaths and 94 hospitalizations.||Cantaloupes||An inspection found unsanitary conditions in the farm’s processing shed .|
|2011: Major EHEC O104:H4 outbreak in Germany||3000 cases with bloody diarrhea, 852 cases of haemolytic uremic syndrome, and 53 deaths||sprouted fenugreek seeds/traced to shipment of seeds from Egypt to Germany|||
|2008: Salmonella Saintpaul||1442 people infected in 43 states.||Jalapeño and serrano peppers and pepper products (e.g., salsa) from Mexico||Contaminated irrigation water was suspected .|
|2006: Multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7||205 sickened and 3 deaths||Spinach||Contaminated fields by swine feces .|
|2005: S. Typhimurium in Finland||60 people infected||Lettuce/iceberg imported from Spain|||
|2005: one outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Sweden||120 people infected||Lettuce/iceberg||Irrigation from a stream was suspected .|
|2005: one outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in USA||more than 12 sickened||Parsley|||
|2004: Salmonella Thompson in Norway, some cases in Sweden||20 sickened||Rucola/Rocket imported from Italy|||
|2004: Salmonella Newport in UK||375 sickened||Lettuce imported from Spain|||
|2001: Listeria||147 people infected in 28 states and 33 deaths||Cantaloupes||The outbreak was linked to unsanitary conditions at the packing facility on the farm .|
|2000: two S. Typhimurium outbreaks in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany and Netherlands||392 people infected||Imported lettuce/Iceberg|||
|2000: Cyclospora cayetanensis outbreak in Germany||34 sickened people||Imported lettuce (unidentified)||Probably contaminated through fertilization with human waste or fecal contaminated water used to irrigate crops |
|Country||Country Standards in Conflict with EU Standards|
|Brazil||Types of permitted veterinary medicines1|
Use of ractopamine—an additive banned in the EU—in feedstuffs for pigs
Approved genetically modified plants not (yet) approved in the EU
Lack of enforcement of compliance with legislation concerning pesticide use, maintenance and sanitary issues in poultry and beef slaughterhouses and processing plants, and traceability of pigs
|Morocco||Officially approved self-control systems in vegetable and fruit production are not necessarily based on HACCP|
Lack of maximum residue levels for residues of pesticides
Types of authorized pesticides in Morocco are not allowed in the EU
|New Zealand||Identification and registration of sheep is not legally required|
Lack of enforcement of compliance with legislation concerning record keeping of medical treatment of cows and sheep
|Ukraine||Obsolete food safety legislation based on mandatory standards, lack of integrated food control system in line with international standards and WTO, and obsolete enforcement of compliance with legislation|
|USA||The use of growth promoters in beef cattle3 |
The use of lactic maximum limits and maximum residue limits for mycotoxins and food safety hazards are higher than those in the EU
Approved genetically modified plants not (yet) approved in the EU
The use of lactic acid as a decontamination step for beef 2
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Faour-Klingbeil, D.; Todd, E.C.D. A Review on the Rising Prevalence of International Standards: Threats or Opportunities for the Agri-Food Produce Sector in Developing Countries, with a Focus on Examples from the MENA Region. Foods 2018, 7, 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7030033
Faour-Klingbeil D, Todd ECD. A Review on the Rising Prevalence of International Standards: Threats or Opportunities for the Agri-Food Produce Sector in Developing Countries, with a Focus on Examples from the MENA Region. Foods. 2018; 7(3):33. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7030033Chicago/Turabian Style
Faour-Klingbeil, Dima, and Ewen C. D. Todd. 2018. "A Review on the Rising Prevalence of International Standards: Threats or Opportunities for the Agri-Food Produce Sector in Developing Countries, with a Focus on Examples from the MENA Region" Foods 7, no. 3: 33. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods7030033