Friday, January 13, 2012

Food Safety News: Unsafe Honey?

Sorry, no sweet news for honey. This November, Food Safety News reported the surprising finding that the honey sold and consumed in homes and food establishments across the United States may be unsafe. This time though, the food safety issue does not involve the usual suspects—food handlers, food safety handling storage, food safety management, and food safety processing—but an unlikely, unsuspected element.

In its report, Food Safety News said that one of the nation's leading melissopalynologists (pollen specialists) discovered that pollen was frequently filtered out of honey products. "The removal of these microscopic particles from deep within a flower would make the nectar flunk the quality standards set by most of the world's food safety agencies. Without pollen there is no way to determine whether the honey came from legitimate and safe sources."

Earlier, Food Safety News had reported that at least one-third of all the honey consumed in the United States was likely smuggled from China and possibly contained illegal antibiotics and heavy metals. The report pointed out that the lack of an applicable FDA regulation makes it possible for potentially tainted honey to be slipped into the country.

In the meantime, reports such as this has only sharpened public awareness and heightened industry responsibility in food safety. At, a full line of online training programs in food safety manager license training and food handlers card permit serves to address the current needs of a food industry that every day must thwart the threat of food-borne pathogens and toxins.

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