Formaldehyde is added illegally to food to extend its shelf life due to its antiseptic and preservation properties. Several research has been conducted to examine the consequences of adulteration with formaldehyde in food items. These findings suggest that adding formaldehyde to food is considered harmful as it accumulates in the body with long-term consumption. In this review includes study findings on food adulteration with formaldehyde and their assessment of food safety based on the analytical method applied to various geographical regions, food matrix types, and their sources in food items. Additionally, this review sought to assess the risk of formaldehyde-tainted food and the understanding of its development in food and its impacts on food safety in light of the widespread formaldehyde adulteration. Finally, the study would be useful as a manual for implementing adequate and successful risk assessment to increase food safety.
ABSTRACT: Social media offers numerous advantages for personal users and organizations to communicate, socialize, and market their products. When used correctly, social media is an effective tool to communicate and to share food safety news and good practices. However, there have been reports of fake food safety news shared via social media, fueling panic and resulting in a loss of revenue. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the consumers' awareness, trust, and usage of social media in communicating food safety news in Malaysia. A questionnaire divided into five sections-(i) demographics, (ii) reaction to food safety news, (iii) consumers' awareness, (iv) social media truth and level of trust, and (v) social media uses and content creation-was created and shared online. A total of 341 questionnaires were returned of which 339 surveys were valid. This study revealed that less than one-third of the study group (27.1%) knew which of the food safety news were fake. Most respondents (67.8%) were less likely to purchase the affected foods if the foods were featured in social media as problematic, although no differences were made between true and fake news and how that would influence respondents' willingness to purchase affected foods. Overall, 62% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed about the usage of social media and its ability to prevent food poisoning cases, while more than 50% of the respondents were in total agreement that social media allow consumers to act more responsibly by sharing food safety news. Respondents tended to trust information shared by scientists (67.5%) and family members and friends (33%). Respondents would most often share the news after verifying its authenticity (46%). If respondents experienced a personal food safety issue (e.g., discovered a fly in their meal), they seldom or never took photos to post online (56.1%). It is possible that the respondents preferred to inform the food handlers and/or shop owners about the affected products rather than post the photos online. It is suggested that targeted food safety information and media literacy be provided to improve consumers' awareness and to positively influence self-verification of the food safety information before sharing. This study provides crucial insights for a range of stakeholders, particularly public authorities, food bloggers, and the public, in using social media effectively to build consumers' awareness and trust in food safety information.
ABSTRACT: Umai is a popular, traditional, native dish of the Melanau ethnic group in Sarawak. It is prepared using thin slices of raw marine fish marinated with calamansi juice and seasoned with other ingredients. The local people believe that the acidity of the citrus juice, along with the use of salt and spice, can slightly cook the fish and remove the fishy smell. The aim of this study was to investigate (i) the different umai handling and preparation practices and (ii) the personal experience of umai consumption among respondents. A purposive sample of 100 umai makers, divided into two equal groups, professionals and nonprofessionals, participated in the study. We found that Spanish mackerel and hairfin anchovy were ranked first and second in the list of species chosen for making umai, with the former mostly preferred by the professional group, as opposed to the latter, which was preferred by the nonprofessional group. Black pomfret was ranked third, where it is equally preferred by both groups. About 20% of respondents would freeze the raw fish chunks prior to preparing umai, as opposed to 26% who would sun dry their fish. Other techniques, such as salting and marinating (using calamansi juice), were also used during the preparation of umai. Most of the respondents indicated that they would consider the umai ready to eat soon after marinating (with all ingredients) the raw fish. One-third of both respondent groups indicated that they would chill the umai dish at 4°C for 30 min before serving. The respondents could not provide any rationale behind these food preparation practices. Overall, this study provides evidence of the different preparation methods for umai. These practices can thus be considered important targets for public health education campaigns seeking to improve food safety surrounding this food group.
Food contamination is a crucial health problem as it could result in food-borne illness. This research aimed to evaluate the microbiological quality of ready-to-eat (RTE) fried rice dishes sold at different type of food premises in Kuantan city, Pahang. Total Plate Count (TPC), Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus and Aeromonas spp. bacteria were used as microbiological contamination indicators. About 52 samples were collected stratified randomly from four types of food premises (restaurant, cafeteria, food stall and night market) where about 13 samples were respectively collected from each type of the food premises. The results showed that TPC had medium mean count (6.30x105±1.47x105 cfu/g), S. aureus and B. cereus had high mean counts (7.70x104±2.22x105 cfu/g and 3.85x105±1.67x106 cfu/g respectively), while Aeromonas spp. had medium mean count (7.13x104±2.42x105 cfu/g). The mean counts of TPC in the samples collected from cafeteria were highest compare to other food premises.
The burden of food contamination and food wastage has significantly contributed to the increased prevalence of foodborne disease and food insecurity all over the world. Due to this, there is an urgent need to develop a smarter food traceability system. Recent advancements in biosensors that are easy-to-use, rapid yet selective, sensitive, and cost-effective have shown great promise to meet the critical demand for onsite and immediate diagnosis and treatment of food safety and quality control (i.e. point-of-care technology). This review article focuses on the recent development of different biosensors for food safety and quality monitoring. In general, the application of biosensors in agriculture (i.e. pre-harvest stage) for early detection and routine control of plant infections or stress is discussed. Afterward, a more detailed advancement of biosensors in the past five years within the food supply chain (i.e. post-harvest stage) to detect different types of food contaminants and smart food packaging is highlighted. A section that discusses perspectives for the development of biosensors in the future is also mentioned.
Sufficient knowledge on food safety and diligence during food handling are crucial to food safety and hygiene practices. A casual approach to handling food in the kitchen on a regular basis may link to foodborne pathogens, contaminations, and adverse health effects. The purpose of this study is to identify the right practices and behaviour among culinary students in terms of food hygiene practices and food safety perspectives. The methodology employed includes observations on 18 food culinary students in an actual kitchen setting. Effective food hygiene and food safety implementation are needed to improve the effectiveness of health education programmes for food handlers. The results suggest that transmission reduction of food pathogens, knowledge transfer and food safety training in selective industry criteria with proper guidelines should be introduced to produce a competent workforce.
Insect consumption is a traditional practice in many countries. Currently, the urgent need for ensuring food sustainability and the high pressure from degrading environment are urging food scientists to rethink the possibility of introducing edible insects as a promising food type. However, due to the lack of the standardized legislative rules and the adequate scientific data that demonstrate the safety of edible insects, many countries still consider it a grey area to introduce edible insects into food supply chains. In this review, we comprehensively reviewed the legal situation, consumer willingness, acceptance, and the knowledge on edible insect harvesting, processing as well as their safety concerns. We found that, despite the great advantage of introducing edible insects in food supply chains, the legal situation and consumer acceptance for edible insects are still unsatisfactory and vary considerably in different countries, which mostly depend on geographical locations and cultural backgrounds involving psychological, social, religious, and anthropological factors. Besides, the safety concern of edible insect consumption is still a major issue hurdling the promotion of edible insects, which is particularly concerning for countries with no practice in consuming insects. Fortunately, the situation is improving. So far, some commercial insect products like energy bars, burgers, and snack foods have emerged in the market. Furthermore, the European Union has also recently issued a specific item for regulating new foods, which is believed to establish an authorized procedure to promote insect-based foods and should be an important step for marketizing edible insects in the near future.
Food safety has received unprecedented attention since the COVID-19 outbreak. Exploring food safety regulatory mechanisms in the context of cluster public crises is critical for COVID-19 prevention and control. As a result, using data from a food safety regulation survey in the Bei-jing-Tianjin-Hebei urban cluster, this paper investigates the impact of food safety regulation on the prevention and control of COVID-19. The study found that food safety regulation and cluster public crisis prevention and control have a significant positive relationship, with the ability to integrate regulatory resources acting as a mediator between the two. Second, industry groups argue that the relationship between regulatory efficiency and regulatory resource integration should be moderated in a positive manner. Finally, industry association support positively moderates the mediating role of regulatory re-source integration capacity between food safety regulatory efficiency and cluster public crises, and there is a mediating effect of being moderated. Our findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying the roles of regulatory efficiency, resource integration capacity, and industry association support in food safety, and they serve as a useful benchmark for further improving food safety regulations during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Consumption of repeatedly heated oil can be detrimental to health. The objective of this study was to determine the level of knowledge, attitude and practice of night market food outlet operators in Kuala Lumpur regarding the usage of repeatedly heated cooking oil. The quality of cooking oil was also investigated. A cross-sectional study involving pretested questionnaire was undertaken in April 2009. The questionnaire was designed as a tool to collect data from the respondents (n=100) by face-to-face interview. The results showed that majority of respondents had only moderate (53.0%) or low (18.0%) level of knowledge regarding this issue. Most respondents (67.0%) agreed that it is not a good practice. The majority (69.0%) agreed that the usage of repeatedly heated cooking oil is detrimental to health. Despite that, most respondents (63.0%) admitted that they had used cooking oil repeatedly. Most (62.0%) of the cooking oil samples taken from the night market food outlets were considered fit for human consumption. In conclusion, the level of knowledge of night market food outlet operators in Kuala Lumpur regarding this issue needs to be improved in order to ensure the safety of fried food purchased from such establishments.
In recent years, paper-based point-of-care testing (POCT) has been widely used in medical diagnostics, food safety and environmental monitoring. However, a high-cost, time-consuming and equipment-dependent sample pretreatment technique is generally required for raw sample processing, which are impractical for low-resource and disease-endemic areas. Therefore, there is an escalating demand for a cost-effective, simple and portable pretreatment technique, to be coupled with the commonly used paper-based assay (e.g. lateral flow assay) in POCT. In this review, we focus on the importance of using paper as a platform for sample pretreatment. We firstly discuss the beneficial use of paper for sample pretreatment, including sample collection and storage, separation, extraction, and concentration. We highlight the working principle and fabrication of each sample pretreatment device, the existing challenges and the future perspectives for developing paper-based sample pretreatment technique.
Safety and quality aspects of food products have always been critical issues for the food production and processing industries. Since conventional quality measurements are laborious, time-consuming, and expensive, it is vital to develop new, fast, non-invasive, cost-effective, and direct techniques to eliminate those challenges. Recently, non-destructive techniques have been applied in the food sector to improve the quality and safety of foodstuffs. The aim of this review is an effort to list non-destructive techniques (X-ray, computer tomography, ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, hyperspectral imaging, infrared, Raman, terahertz, nuclear magnetic resonance, magnetic resonance imaging, and ultrasound imaging) based on the electromagnetic spectrum and discuss their principle and application in the food sector. This review provides an in-depth assessment of the different non-destructive techniques used for the quality and safety analysis of foodstuffs. We also discussed comprehensively about advantages, disadvantages, challenges, and opportunities for the application of each technique and recommended some solutions and developments for future trends.
Microplastic pollution is a global issue that has a detrimental impact on food safety. In marine environments, microplastics are a threat to marine organisms, as they are often the same size range as prey and are mistaken as food. Consumption of microplastics has led to the damage of digestive organs and a reduction in growth and reproductive output. In this study, microplastic pollution was assessed across three commercially available shrimp species that were obtained from the supermarkets of Singapore. A total of 93 individuals were studied from the Pacific white leg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, the Argentine red shrimp Pleoticus muelleri and the Indian white shrimp Fenneropenaeus indicus. Microplastic fibers, fragments, film and spheres were identified from the digestive tract of these organisms. Microplastic abundance ranged from 13.4 to 7050 items. F. indicus exhibited the highest number of microplastics. Microplastic film was the most abundant in L. vannamei individuals (93-97%) and spheres were the most abundant in P. muelleri (70%) and F. indicus (61%) individuals. This study demonstrates that microplastic contamination is evident in commonly consumed shrimp and highlights the role of shrimp in the trophic transfer and accumulation of microplastics in seafood. The consumption of microplastic-containing seafood is a route of exposure to humans and has implications on human health and food security. Capsule: Microplastics were examined in three shrimp species from the supermarkets of Singapore. Microplastics ranged from 13.4 to 7050 items of shrimp.
The recently emerged coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been characterised as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is impacting all parts of human society including agriculture, manufacturing, and tertiary sectors involving all service provision industries. This paper aims to give an overview of potential host reservoirs that could cause pandemic outbreak caused by zoonotic transmission. Amongst all, continues surveillance in slaughterhouse for possible pathogens transmission is needed to prevent next pandemic outbreak. This paper also summarizes the potential threats of pandemic to agriculture and aquaculture sector that control almost the total food supply chain and market. The history lesson from the past, emerging and reemerging infectious disease including the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2002, Influenza A H1N1 (swine flu) in 2009, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012 and the recent COVID-19 should give us some clue to improve especially the governance to be more ready for next coming pandemic.
Disease outbreaks due to the consumption of contaminated food and feedstuff are a recurring problem worldwide. The major factor contributing to contamination are microorganisms, especially fungi, which produce low-molecular-weight compounds as secondary metabolites, with confirmed toxic properties referred to as mycotoxins. Several mycotoxins reported to date are cosmopolitan in distribution and incur severe health-associated risks (including cancer and neurological disorders). Hence, creating awareness among consumers, as well as developing new methods for detection and inactivation is of great importance for food safety. In this review, the focus is on the occurrence of various types of mycotoxins in food and feed associated with risks to humans and livestock, as well as legislation put forth by various authorities, and on presently practiced detoxification methods. Brief descriptions on recent developments in mycotoxin detection methodology are also inlcuded. This review is meant to be informative not only for health-conscious consumers but also for experts in the field to pave the way for future research to fill the existing gaps in our knowledge with regard to mycotoxins and food safety.
Although the Halal concept has not been a major element among non-Muslim consumers living in an Islamic country, whether the non-Muslim consumers are aware of the underlying advantages that come with Halal food products or their viewpoints arising from their religious belief, are some intriguing questions that need to be answered. Thus the objective of the study explore the underlying determinants that are likely to influence non-Muslim consumers’ perceptions and attitudes towards Halal concept and Halal food products in Malaysia in lieu of new paradigm in emerging global issues on sustainability, environmental, food safety and animal welfare. A survey was conducted in the Klang Valley where 400 non-Muslim respondents were interviewed via structured questionnaires to gather information on their awareness and attitude towards Halal food products in the Malaysian food market. Descriptive statistic was used to identify the socio-economic/ demographic characteristics and attitudes of the respondents toward the Halal food principles. The logit model
was used to determine the extent to which selected socio-economic/demographic characteristics influenced
the respondents’ attitude and understanding on Halal principles and Halal food products. The results of this
study suggest that non-Muslim consumers are aware of the existence of Halal food, Halal principles and the
advantages of Halal way in slaughtering the animals. This can be shown by their significant awareness that
Halal is not only the way Muslim slaughter their animals but also relates to environmental, sustainability,
animal welfare and food safety. In general, various socio-economic/demographic factors such as education
level, older generation, those who are more religious and the urban dweller seem to more likely to be aware of the advantages of Halal principles.
The term ‘sustainable’ has become a buzz word in today’s business world. Consumption of green food is just one facet or ‘trip’ to the whole journey of sustainable development. This paper explores and synthesizes the findings of research on green food consumption in Malaysia. The already conducted studies in Malaysia have revealed various demographic and psychographic factors contributing to consumers’ intension to buy green food. This study revealed that majority of Malaysians consider food safety and health issue to be their prime reason for buying green food. To ensure the long term sustainability, the green food as well as the broad food industry in Malaysia must evidently understand the consumers’ buying motives of green food. Although mentionable limitation of the paper is the reliance on only published literature, this can be used as input for further large scale empirical research. The paper concludes with implications and suggestions for further research.
As Malaysian economies grow, Malaysian per capita income is likely to increase. From economics point of view, it is expected that better-off consumers will move to better quality of food attributes such as freshness, food safety, quality and healthfulness in their food intake. This study aimed to investigate the demand for eggs attributes by Malaysian consumers. The study considers the conjoint analysis technique as a method for acquiring insights into preferences for eggs product. The technique was applied to establish the trade-offs that Malaysian consumers make between size, colour, size of packaging, functional attribute and price in the purchasing of eggs for 202 respondents. Least squares regression was utilized to estimate the relative importance of attributes for eggs. The results revealed that the ideal characteristic of egg was one with large size (grade A), omega eggs, brown, and ten per packs. We also found that consumers were also willing to pay more for their preferred attributes. The results found in the study provide valuable inputs to producers or marketers to improve their marketing efforts as well as market positioning, in line with the demanded eggs attributes.
This cross sectional study aimed to explored the pattern of socio-demographic distribution, to assess the level of KAP of food safety; and the relationship with the level of premise cleanliness in the food courts at Putrajaya. Distribution of food handlers socio-demographic profile was Malaysian (62.0%), male (70.4%), working experienced in food industry (82.0%) and attended food handler training (85.0%). The mean age was 28.7 years and 85.4% having income not less than RM 1,500 monthly. 78.5% of the food handlers at educational level were found as primary/secondary school. 15.0% of the respondents had not attended the food sanitation training. The findings reveal that food handlers’ KAP were high with a mean percentage score more than 79.0%.The majority of the food courts in Putrajaya had consistently moderate level of cleanliness (63.5%) with the mean of 83.03%. Only 27.4% of the food courts were in the level of clean situation (>89% of premise cleanliness score) and 9.1% were not in the clean condition (
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally 600 million people suffer
from food-borne diseases (FBD), and 420,000 people die as a result. The European Food
Safety Authority (EFSA) has stated that FBD are linked to the food industry, with the
most common means of transmission being due to poor food handling and hygiene by
food handlers working in the food industry. The aim of this research was to investigate the
effectiveness of mandatory food handler training programmes (FHTP) to prevent FBD in
Malaysia and Ireland. To do this, the FHTP existing in Malaysia and Ireland were
analysed, in addition to the legislation they fall under in each respective country.
Effectiveness was determined by investigating the level of food safety knowledge (FSK)
and food safety practices (FSP) of food handlers in Malaysia and Ireland. A systematic
literature review (SLR) and a narrative literature review (NLR) were conducted for this
research. The SLR was based on the PRISMA diagram, using the Confidence in the
Evidence from Reviews of Qualitative research (CERQual) approach to evaluate the
studies used for this research. A total of 8 Malaysian studies and 1 Irish study were used to
determine the level of FSK and FSP of food handlers in each respective country, to
examine the effectiveness of FHTP. The results of the studies used for this research have
depicted overall good FSP and FSK of food handlers in Malaysia and Ireland; yet trends
continue to show that food handlers are one of the biggest contributors to FBD,
demonstrating that FHTP are not effective in preventing FBD. The findings from this
research highlights that although these trainings can be an effective tool to prevent FBD, if
they are not executed correctly, food handlers will continue to contribute to FBD.