Recently identified risks and signals

The identification of emerging risks is an ongoing process. The external communication of emerging risks is a complex task, with the methods, timing and target audience being determined on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature of the issue, the target group may be the authority (in particular the National Food Chain Safety Office – NÉBIH), senior managers, the professional community, food businesses or the wider community, consumers interested in the issue, etc. Not only emerging risks requiring action may be communicated, but some issues may also help to promote research or be important due to their educational character, and therefore may be communicated through communication channels such as the DFI's website.

Microbiological risks of plant-based products

The market for plant-based meat and dairy substitutes has grown significantly in recent years, thanks to increasing consumer demand. First seed milks appeared on the shelves, followed by plant-based alternatives to cheese. These new products differ in terms of composition and production, and can therefore pose a variety of risks when consumed.

Potential health impacts of quaternary ammonium compounds

Quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) are a diverse group of chemicals discovered in the 1940s, primarily used in antimicrobials, disinfectants, sanitizers, and surfactants. Studies indicate increased human exposure to QACs and environmental releases in recent years, partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japan releases wastewater from the Fukushima plant into the sea

The management of radioactive wastewater from the 2011 tsunami and the subsequent nuclear accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is a long-term challenge for Japan.In 2021, the Japanese government announced that nuclear-contaminated wastewater would be discharged into the sea.

Understanding antimicrobial resistance – new evidences

This post will only cover the latest scientific results, reports, and evidence regarding the AMR. It is just intended to be a short summary of recently published, sometimes quite surprising findings and scientific topics all connected to the antimicrobial resistance.

Nitrosamines in food raise a health concern

In March 2023, EFSA's new evaluation of the nitrosamine content of foods was published, according to which the dietary intake of these substances generated during the preparation and processing of foods raises health concerns for all age groups.

Glyphosate risks and its reevaluation

Glyphosate has been the most widely used herbicide throughout history, both in America and the rest of the world. One of the most well-known products containing glyphosate is the Monsanto company Roundup, which has been used for more than 40 years. Below is a summary of the latest research results on the pesticide and news on its reevaluation.

Pesticides found on flowers, posing pollination threat

A recent study by Trinity College and DCU reveals that pesticides are present in flowers that were not treated with chemicals, posing a threat to pollinators. The research, which is the first multi-field survey of pollen and nectar from crops and wild plants in Ireland, evaluated the residues of fungicides and herbicides in nectar and pollen.

Some Italian regions ask to use Chlorpyrifos

Some wine-growing regions of northern Italy requested an exemption from the chlorpyrifos ban, as they claim that it is the only solution capable of fighting the leafhopper Scaphoideus titanus, which is the vector of the vine disease Flavescence dorée.

Feline coronavirus outbreak in Cyprus

Veterinarians have started administering molnupiravir, an anti-Covid drug known as Lagevrio, to cats in Cyprus to address an outbreak of feline coronavirus (FCoV-23) that began in January 2023.

Food and feed from waste

The reduction of food waste and the transition to circular food production are receiving increasing attention worldwide. One of the goals is to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on minimising food waste and recycling. Initiatives and innovations are helping to make full use of agricultural products, recycle food by-products, and develop conscious consumer habits to reduce losses in the food chain and promote planet-friendly practices.

The true nature of tricalcium phosphate used as food additive

French researchers investigated the physicochemical properties of the food additive tricalcium phosphate (TCP) (E341(iii)) in an article published in June 2023. The additive is used in powder-based foods, e.g. in baby formula, mainly because of its anti-caking properties and as a source of nutrients.

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