Fresh Produce Consortium tackles salmonella risk in herbs

Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) is beefing up its advice on hygiene following a survey on salmonella and herbs.

The FPC would update guidance and host a technical presentation, said communications manager Sian Thomas.

Food poisoning outbreaks linked to ready-to-eat herbs were extremely rare in the UK, said researchers who found 0.5% of samples contained salmonella bacteria.

The study was by the Health Protection Agency and the Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services, LACORS.

The Fresh Produce Consortium responded that good agricultural practices, hygiene preparation and packaging minimised the potential for contamination.

"The fresh-produce industry has stringent standards in place to ensure the UK consumer can enjoy healthy, good-quality fresh produce," said Thomas.

"The risk of ill-health associated with poor diets and rising obesity levels far outweighs the minute risk of contamination of ready-to-eat herbs."

But to ensure guidance to firms was up to date the FPC was revising its Food Hygiene Guide in January.

The Health Protection Agency will give a presentation at the FPC's technical group meeting on 21 January.

For more information on the Food Hygiene Guide and the technical group meeting please contact info@freshproduce.org.uk.


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