Notes from the Field

Hello GFSR Reader and pleasure to meet you,

I’m your managing editor, Alexandra Emanuelli. You should be seeing some exciting changes come to this space soon, including interactive content, panel discussions, new ebooks and more. We’re planning the 2022 calendar and looking ahead to a more dynamic and reader-focused year. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Volume 12, Issue 8

We’re taking up the second part of Keith Warriner’s fascinating article on low moisture foods and how to control, prevent and test to enhance food safety. While low moisture foods have the perception of being safe, this group of foods has one of the highest risks for contamination, so this is an essential read.

Writer Lauren Solar takes up the issue of food safety and the changing way that we eat. From take-out, delivery and meal kits, many service workers just haven’t been trained in temperature control and other vital measures to protect health and hygiene. A fascinating look at how data can aid in predicting and preventing supply chain issues from Alina Petri, who discusses how technology can help manage the current unpredictable landscape.

Volume 12, Issue 5

This month, our featured content focuses on a piece considering the three crucial steps to kickstart your food safety culture by Austin Welch, a renowned food safety culture expert. Learn about the strategies and techniques Welch has perfected in his time working with small to medium size businesses to build safer food systems.

Writer Andrea Tolu dives into how food recalls can have a cascading effect on other aspects of a business, from supply chains to additional costs. Understanding the impact of food recalls is essential to preventing them in the future. Finally, Keith Warriner explains how low moisture foods cause numerous outbreaks. This is the first article in a series on the subject matter of low moisture foods, a subject of great interest to Warriner.

Volume 12, Issue 4

Safe pesticide management isn’t often spoken about, but it is vital to protecting the crops that are ultimately grown. In this month’s feature article, Dr. Suzanne Osborne considers novel methods of dealing with pests, including micro algae. This fascinating piece explores the circular bio-economy. Be sure to check out Akhila Vasan’s work on the ROI of food safety training, information every food business owner is sure to want to know. She suggests three key methods to ensure on-the-job training is effective. Finally, learn about preventing a cybersecurity breach of your company’s infrastructure.

Volume 12, Issue 3

Novel foods are increasingly a subject of concern in the realm of food safety, as we try to feed a growing planet. This month, Keya Mukherjee tackles the issues surrounding food safety and insects as a food source.

Writer Andrea Tolu discusses how to prevent foreign materials ending up in our food supply and the novel ways that companies are working to do that. Lauren Solar steels us for the upcoming changes to allergen labelling and why the “may contain” statement falls short of it’s intended use. Finally we have an excellent article on the application of pulsed electronic field, the new non-thermal food preservation technique.

Volume 12, Issue 2

Dr. Matthew Moore discusses the need for effective upstream sample techniques. He argues that these methods are often overlooked in the fight for pathogen detection. Read his fascinating piece in this month’s paid subscription.

Learn how to use root cause analysis, a problem solving method that can identify core issues and prevent food safety incidents from occurring. This hands-on article is an essential read for any food safety expert. Finally, Dilia Narduzzi walks us through supply chain food safety issues that can arise in meal kits.

Volume 12, Issue 1

We are so excited to share that we are launching a subscription offering premium content. Kicking things off we have a virtual conference on Feb 24th hosted on our own Safe-Food Training Hub platform. The conference is titled: The Age of Modern Food Safety Training – Discover why leveraging technology for training is essential. (hyperlink the word conference). With Keynote presenter Austin Welsh, presenter Darin Detwiler and many other contributors its a day you won’t want to miss.

This month we’re tackling edible insects and food safety. As insects become more readily available in our diets and the diets of animals, pathogens and food safety concerns becoming increasingly pressing concerns. Our premium content is a piece by Darin Detwiler, who looks at how social media and online culture can keep us safe from foodborne illness outbreaks.

Austin Welch covers how to motivate employees to create better food safety cultures and NSF looks at how to build quality management training systems.

Volume 11, Issue 11

Our feature piece covers the looming threat of climate change and with it, the danger of mycotoxins. Author Suzanne Osborne tackles the methods for limiting mycotoxin contamination in this fascinating article. Dilia Narduzzi covers maximum residue limits and pesticides, explaining how each is set and ensures the ultimate in food safety. Finally we look at the hot topic of advancements in automation technology.

This month’s video interview we speak with food fraud expert Chris Elliot. He shares some of his lab’s latest technology on ensuring food’s authenticity.

Volume 10, Issue 11

New contributor Austin Welch dives into the psychology behind empowering food workers to speak up and how this could prevent more disasters and safety incidents. This enlightening piece is worth the read. Next we have a gripping piece by Louise Manning on the increasing food safety risks that are caused by climate change. Finally we look at the ongoing international regulatory challenges incurring in the plant-based and cell-based alternative meat space.

Our video interview highlights the work of Dr. Matthew Moore and his team’s work on pathogen detection and prevention.

Volume 9, Issue 11

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois shares with us his take on how COVID-19 has and will continue to impact food safety. His insights into risk management, data science, analytics and supply chains are required reading. Expiration date fraud is a growing concern the world over, and Karen Constable shares her top tips for preventing your business from being subjected to it. Finally Dilia Narduzzi looks at the growing concerns regarding ransomware attacks and food safety.

This month, we interview Marin Pavlic on food safety and hospitality, especially related to how to handle large events.

Volume 8, Issue 11

New regulation regarding baby food safety has made the news, as well as the congressional investigations spurring the legislation. Suppliers, manufacturers and retailers should heed the new thresholds and act accordingly to update their products. Subject matter expert Dr. Alun James digs into the thorny topic of bio-pesticides and whether they help ensure safer and more sustainable food. Jayne Roth investigates the novel food cell-based meat, exploring the regulatory and labelling challenges.

This month, we speak with Keya Mukherjee on the subject of climate change and it’s impact on food safety.

Volume 7, Issue 11

This month, we cover the bourgeoning topic of CBD and cannabis in the food space. Author Dilia Narduzzi tackles our feature article inquiring into the lack of federal regulation on the compound and what that means for food and beverage producers. Subject matter expert Jackie Bowen shares the challenges of producing hemp-based food products, including sourcing uncontaminated materials, designing compliant packaging and embracing cGMP standards. It’s an essential read for any small or medium business owner in the CBD or cannabis space. Finally, Lauren Solar dives further into testing and extraction issues surrounding cannabis for food production.

This month’s video interview is with Nasir Mundh of Schneider Electric. Nasir chats with us about the importance of cybersecurity as a part of your overall food safety plan.

Volume 6, Issue 11

As warmer weather (and the widespread roll out of the vaccine) encourages us back out of our homes, so too the re-emergence of normal life with the slow down of the coronavirus. This month we look at a range of topics including the importance of building a food safety culture in order to retain staff.

The second part of Keith Warriner’s piece on pathogen detection looks into sample preparation, bacterial dormancy and future directions of the detection. Finally, we look at the issues surrounding food safety in the plant-based product sector.

Check out this month’s video interview with BSI’s Neil Coole who shared with us the new standards that have been developed in response to the pandemic.

Volume 5, Issue 11

Big news, eye on Food Safety readers! We have a new member of the team joining us this month, with the arrival of our editorial intern Julia Soumas. We are so pleased that she will be joining our team and helping bring you the best food safety coverage around.

This month, our feature article covers the fascinating world of pathogen detection, covered by Keith Warriner. Warriner explores the history of biosensors and other devices that help food scientists uncover microbial and bacterial issues. Susie Hoeller revisits her topic from the beginning of the pandemic, updating us on the topic of essential workers and their safety. Finally, Kathy Knutson shares her insight into preparing for an FDA audit.

Volume 4, Issue 11

This month we dive into the world of packaging, a favorite topic for our GFSR readers. Our featured article looks at innovations in the dissolvable packaging space. This environmentally friendly solution is starting to make waves. Our subject matter experts examine the regulatory factors that could slow down the roll out process. Karen Constable resumes her investigation of organic food fraud, in this issue providing insight into the ways in which governments and organizations are working to reduce these criminal acts in the supply chain.


The blog takes up the issue of packaging, with our freelance writer Lauren Solar considers innovations in the world of shelf-life, including new design, new additives and new food treatment methods. Subject matter expert Kim Stuck shares her frustrations with the lack of regulations and inspection occurring in the CBD industry. This piece is our first jab at covering this important topic, so watch this space for more reporting.

Volume 3, Issue 11

Nanocomposites has the potential to change the packaging game, with the possibility to improve quality while maintain compostability, but Suzanne Osborne posits that it’s not quite ready for prime time in her latest feature article. In it she discusses the lack of research and safety concerns around this newest technological advancement. Karen Constable explores a growing area of concern in food fraud, that of organic fraud.


Our blog this month explores trust and corporate responsibility with two fascinating pieces. The first examines how and when to blow the whistle. Discussing some important facets of building an inclusive and supportive workplace culture while also ensuring speaking up about critical issues are done. Industry and consumer trust is another huge issue that contributing writer Lisa Jo Lupo tackles for us, demonstrating some key examples of companies that have made use of the pandemic to improve consumer trust.

Our video interview this month is with former GFSI chairman, Yves Rey.

Volume 2, Issue 11

The world has become consumed by the threat of COVID-19 and the myriad of ways we could prevent the spread. Freelance writer Jayne Roth considers the possibility that the food we are eating could be a vector for transmitting COVID by looking into the available evidence. It’s a gripping read, I encourage your thoughts and feedback on our social media channels, especially as we learn more about this disease. Our second article takes emerging data from Foodakai research to analyze the declining number of recalls over 2020.

Our blog contains an informative piece by Victor Muliyil on the benefits of considering a career in product safety systems, a lucrative and engaging career path. For another instructive blog, we dive into some issues to be aware of when training virtually, coming from our own experience hosting a virtual training platform.

This month we chat with Dr. Brita Ball, who will be chatting with me about the changes to food safety culture that have been occurring due to the pandemic and how those changes have impacted business for the better.

Volume 1, Issue 11

Welcome back GFSR readers! We hope you had a safe and healthy holiday season. Our feature article this month considers a radical new technology that could change the way that could change the way we treat pathogens. Suzanne Osborne digs into CRISPR technology and considers the implications of bringing it into the food safety sector. Our second article considers how COVID-19 is changing consumers’ fears around food shortages and driving interest toward food nationalism. It’s a telling piece about where we are in the pandemic and what the implications are from a food safety perspective.


Our blog takes a look at new cannabis safety and quality standards, new regulations aiming to ensure best practices and improve safety for cannabis and cannabis-infused products. Lauren Solar also explores the latest in new technology that is ensuring a safe supply chain. You won’t want to miss her ground-breaking examples. Finally, my interview this month is with Cesare Varallo on global standards and food safety.

Volume 11, Issue 10

Virtual training has become increasingly popular due to the pandemic, but just because you’re a subject matter expert, doesn’t mean you know how to teach. In this month’s feature article, Jayne Roth covers how to make virtual training engaging by interviewing the experts in the field. Cameron Prince and Rich Simmons tackle the contentious issue of the GFSI audit, and question whether it can allow for a thorough audit.

Our very own, Tina Brillinger shares her experience of encountering nuts while eating foods labelled as “plant-based” and questions whether there needs to be more oversight and regulation. Finally, considering supply chain strategies in the EU, Liz Neumark makes the connection to North America and how suppliers here can learn valuable lessons from the European Union’s experiences.

Volume 10, Issue 10

Bacteriophages are an incredible new method being used to destroy viruses, especially relevant now that so many viruses are becoming antibiotic resistant – one of our only methods for fighting them. Author Suzanne Osborne delineates this new treatment option and lays out the science as to what we know it can do, and what we’re hoping to still learn. Our second article focuses on the impending second wave, and depending on where you are in the world, you could be in the thick of it already. Covid-19 is never far from our minds, or reporting, and Dr. Keith Warriner relays how we can better prepare for and prevent upcoming Covid waves.


Our blog this month starts with a fascinating piece by Lisa Jo Lupo examining the counter-measures taken by the meat industry and how while hit the hardest, might be the model to help other areas of the food industry create sustainable and healthy working environments. I tackle the issue surrounding traceability and technology in regulation.

We will be attending the SQF and the IAFP conference the last week of October. We are so looking forward to hearing the speakers and meeting with industry experts. Please reach out and introduce yourself. We will be reporting on our experiences next month!

Volume 9, Issue 10

This month, we begin with a fascinating piece by Suzanne Osborne, who explores the misconception and the areas of concern around farmers markets and food safety. Digging in, she examines where these gaps emerge and what needs to occur in order to fill them. Looking post-pandemic, Dr. Brita Ball inquires how companies can manage risks and what has been learned due to the devastation caused by COVID-19. She highlights the importance of cooperation between human resources, health and safety and risk management personnel in dealing with the virus, and the necessity of these collaborations in the future.

Discussing an often forgotten yet equally important aspect of hand hygiene is Frederic Perreault who considers the science behinds hand drying. Author Judy Sebastian delves into consumer culture and how the pandemic is shaping that in new and unique ways.

Volume 8, Issue 10

The impact of COVID-19 on the agriculture industry has been an especially challenging subject, whether it be from the perspective of essential workers who harvest produce to the individuals who stock our shelves to the auditors who inspect our food and keep it safe. In this issue, we turn our attention to part two of Susie Hoeller and Ben Theryl’s article on the importance of legally defining essential workers, as they grapple with the laws and protections that need to be put in place in order to ensure that our food system remains safe. Jeff Hall shares his perspective on how primary growers have managed during the pandemic, especially due to it’s reliance on temporary foreign workers.

I look at the FDA’s newest policy launch, the Era of Smarter Food Safety, which explores updates in methods to handle traceability and contamination, to name a few. Finally, Heather Gale and Amelia Balsillie consider how Canadian growers have been supported and helped during the Coronavirus. Our interview this month is with DNV GL’s Kathleen Wybourn about helping companies and individuals understand the US regulations and laws surrounding FSMA.

Volume 7, Issue 10

Industry experts are now asking big questions about how the food industry was able to be so directly impacted by COVID-19 and why it wasn’t better prepared. In our featured article this month, authors Susie Hoeller and Ben Theryel write about the need to legally define essential workers in order to secure the food supply chain and ensure workers safety. Following that, author Dyanne Parnell considers how the legal cannabis industry has been employing excellent preventative and proactive measures to protect customers as well as employees from spreading COVID-19 and how those measures can be applied to the industry as a whole.


Audits have been an increasing challenge for many food manufacturers with governments still encouraging social distancing and a small but significant number of auditors falling ill to COVID-19. Donald Brewer considers some alternatives such as GMP audits and virtual HACCP verification audits. Finally, Gordon Hayburn questions why more manufacturers weren’t better prepared for the pandemic and what manufacturers should be doing now to prevent further issues.

This month’s video interview is with Stephanie Lopez, the Vice President of Operations with AIB International, she shares with us how the industry is adapting to training challenges through innovations and training technologies.

Volume 6, Issue 10

As we continue to learn more about the novel Coronavirus that continues to both ravage human and economic health, our systems begin to feel the impact. Dr. Giannis Stoitsis shares with us the impact of COVID-19 on supply chains, explaining that limits on internal audits as well as delays in shipping food have created serious safety concerns. Addressing those concerns by enacting new policies and enabling new technological tools could provide solutions to these issues. Another recent issue that has been presented due to the pandemic is the increase in food fraud, as illustrated by Mitchell Weinberg in his article on the subject.


Taking a more positive approach to pandemic, Brita Ball penned a fascinating piece on the potential lessons that the industry can learn. Finally, Aaron Soudant considers the food safety implications of a fly infestation and why it’s crucial to consider these tiny pests as they can cause the spreading of numerous pathogens. This month’s video interview is with the CEO of Agroknow, Nikos Manouselis, sharing with us data can be extracted from supply chains to predict potential food recalls. Finally, this month we celebrate World Food Safety Day, which holds even more import this year with international focus on hygiene and sanitation due to the pandemic.

Volume 5, Issue 10

As the food industry continues to be ravaged by the Coronavirus, we shift our coverage to include more content addressing the specific concerns related to the industry and the impacts of the pandemic. Keith Warriner contemplates some methods by which the industry can reduce the impact of the threat of the virus, including encouraging us to remain vigilant to foodborne pathogens. Considering the key techniques for clear and consistent communication for companies during the pandemic is Judy Sebastian in her latest article.


We also covered the importance of food safety certification in this issue, provided by BRCGS’ Paula Parejo, with a fascinating piece highlighting the unique protective aspects that the step provides. This month’s video interview is with BRCGS’ John Kukoly on the value of claim validation, a great follow-up to this article. Highlighting the importance of standards in the digital age, Sara Walton shares with us the integral importance of standards, especially in this digital age.

Volume 4, Issue 10

Coronavirus has become a worldwide pandemic, and this month we focus some attention on the potential ramifications for both employees and employers in the food industry. I spoke with international business attorney, Susie Hoeller, on how businesses in our industry can prepare their workforce in light of social distancing guidelines. We will continue to cover COVID-19 in our coming issues, so watch this space.


The theme of the issue is technology. Suzanne Osborne explores the expanding use of virtual reality as a means to modernize and create hand-on learning experiences for training. Picking up on that theme, I explore Alchemy’s innovative new app, Playbook, that makes use of on-the-job training. Diving into digital technology further, Jacki Ross expands on the importance of digital monitoring technology for food businesses. Finally, Louise Grinyer highlights some key means for retailers to reduce their food waste. The next issue’s theme is certification.

Volume 3, Issue 10

This month I attended my first GFSI conference. It was such a wonderful experience to meet and connect with industry insiders. We interviewed a number of them and we will be disseminating those interviews in the coming weeks and months.

March’s theme is packaging. Our feature piece looks into the rise of flexible food packaging as a means to provide lightweight, space-saving solutions for both consumers and retailers. The author, Jaan Koel, digs into the innovative use of nanotechnology as a means to preserve and detect changes in packaged foods. Jaclyn Bowen considers the next big trend in the “free-from” claim that is sweeping the market, as consumers are wary of chemical additives in product containers and packaging that can leach into food and drinks.


On our blog, Lois Harris examines the safety implications of vertical farming and the current legislation (or lack thereof) regulating the industry. Finally, we share innovative work coming out of Campden BRI on the subject of AMP technology and its ability to understand shelf-life.

Stay tuned for April’s issue on innovation and technology.

Volume 2, Issue 10

February’s theme is auditing. Judy Sebastian shines a light on how to digitize food safety audits effectively, providing some key tools for companies to consider when transitioning from paper to paperless. A different perspective on the audit question comes from Baharak Chegeni who eschews the question of when is the audit, for perpetual audit preparedness. Her four-step approach is something to consider for any company. On the blog we have a piece by Steve Hather encouraging engagement with a lesser considered side of mock recalls, external engagement. Finally, Lois Harris tackles the timely subject of meat recalls in the US and the report written by PIRG comparing the FDA and the USDA systems.


I hope you enjoyed this issue of eye on Food Safety. Next month’s issue is on packaging.

Volume 1, Issue 10

This month, the theme of our Journal is an exploration of industry trends. We have four fascinating articles on the subject, starting with John Keogh’s piece presenting Dubai’s Food Watch food safety management system, a platform that is using blockchain, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and more to modernize and digitize key information. Next we have profile on a Genome Canada award-winning company that can visually identify pathogenic species in real time.

One massive trend of 2020 is the plant-based product, author Paula Parejo dives into the important reasons behind to certify products with the plant-based certification. Finally, food safety training is always on trend, and we explore some of the latest techniques for ensuring your company retains that knowledge.

We hope these articles and blog posts resonate with you. If they do, share and like them and tag us @GFSR on social media and continue the conversation. We appreciate your feedback!

I’ll see you in February for our issue on audits.

All the best,


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GFSR is a leading educational resource for food safety professionals across the globe. Through our online media channels plus Safe Food Training Hub (SFTH) platform, we deliver perspectives, knowledge and training on the latest food safety trends, regulatory compliance, industry standards, and more.

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