Listeria

The Netherlands is losing confidence in meat consumption …

Photo of the front page of the “Eindhovens Dagblad” dated 5 October 2019. Several publications have been published in the newspaper about the current Listeria scandal in the Netherlands.

It has been 2 years since the strategic partnership PP4C (Professional Partners for Controlled Environment), an initiative of the undersigned, decided to have a study carried out among the Dutch and Belgian food industry. Everyone spoke about the great future expectations that this industrial segment had to offer in the market of controlled environment. As specialized companies, creating safe and clean workspaces with a working climate in which dust and microbiological contamination is controlled, we were interested in whether and to what extent this industry was familiar with the concept of ‘hygienic construction’ and whether the high expectations were justified.

Among approximately 1,000 food manufacturers with more than 5 employees, the question was asked whether they were familiar with the concept of “hygienic construction” and the application of “High Care facilities” in high-risk areas. The results were not really reassuring! Netherland Response

Of course it was clear that the really large industries in this sector are best acquainted with the legislation and guidelines for a safe production and storage process. Nevertheless, we found it staggering to find out that many companies had no or clearly too little knowledge about this subject.

In the past 2 years I have regularly given lectures on developments in the field of food safety. I have also published a number of White Papers on this theme. There are many developments in the global food market and there is sufficient news gathering in this regard. A new White Paper will soon be published on the theme of gowning and the latest developments in this regard.

June 7 of this year is the first global “FOODSAFETY” day organized by the World Health Organization (WHO). There are a number of reasons why the Food Safety theme is receiving increasing attention from, among others, the WHO and the UN. An important reason was the results from the report that the WHO commissioned in 2015 on this theme. This showed:

• 600 million registered cases of disease involving contaminated food.
• 420,000 casualties. (Estimated carefully)
• Of these, 125,000 were children <5 years old.

Problems with Food Safety are now recognized as a global threat:
• 200 diseases are caused by 31 polluters. (Bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites, etc.)
• Disruptions in the digestive system can lead to cancer.
• Diseases are the cause of morbidity and mortality.
• Significant obstacle to the national socio-economic development of a country.

Where can you find the cause of this increasing threat?
• Basically the enormous growth of the world population. (10 billion 2050?)
• Globalization causes more international traffic of food.
• The food chain is becoming longer and more international.
• Less control over the causes of food safety issues and recall actions are becoming increasingly difficult.

On balance, the WHO sees deficient Food Safety worldwide as one of the greatest health dangers.
Colleagues or listeners with the comment that the results from the report would be debatable or that it would “not as bad as it likes” have sometimes approached me. Trust me on my word: the PP4C research has been professionally carried out by a specialized external agency and when one reads the content one is quickly convinced of its authenticity.

My wife and children who always read my blogs and White Papers appeal to me more often in these days and tell me that they now understand even better why we as an organization are so interested in this theme and the potential market within this sector.

The newspapers are full of the current Listeria crisis in the Netherlands and even today there was an interesting article in the regional newspaper “Eindhovens Dagblad”. The journalists Sanne Schelfaut, Ellen van Gaalen and Sebastiaan Quekel deserve to be mentioned here. It is fantastic to be able to establish that people are now able to determine the origin of a food contamination with the help of the latest DNA technology. It is very important to read that in this case there are three deaths and that of course you can take the necessary measures as quickly as possible to avoid further casualties. It is also staggering to read in the aforementioned article that two victims are to be regretted in Spain following the bacterial epidemic this spring, in Germany a manufacturer had to stop its activities after it could be determined that two elderly people had died after eating his sausage. In England, five people died in June after eating contaminated sandwiches and salad, not to mention in the restaurant of a hospital…

On balance, I note that it is certainly worthwhile to draw attention to the theme of food safety and I am pleased to be able to continue working with our partners within the PP4C (E) organization within this interesting market segment, in addition to our activities in the cleanrooms for the semi-conductor and, for example, the pharmaceutical market. For those who have been triggered by this blog and would like to know more about our activities on this theme, please refer to the PP4C (E) and White Papers sites for download.

Until the next opportunity and…. eat safe and healthy!

Greeting Geerd Jansen

The PP4CE (Professional Partners for Controlled Environment) organization is familiar with the EHEDG guidelines for hygienic construction concepts! We guide the engineering process and offer turnkey solutions for your production facilities, also in the food sector! A combination of specialists is at your
disposal, with only one contact person and coordinator during the entire process. Check our site
www.pp4ce.com ore for Holland www.PP4C.nl and download our White Papers about the various food safety topics and / or legal obligations if you are active in the Food sector! Or just contact us if you have any questions!

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