Despite rising food prices fruit and vegetables are still cheap
We are all advised to eat five portions of fruit and veg every day, but due to the recession and rising food prices people may be struggling to afford the recommended extras.
However, a charity has found that we can all enjoy our ‘five-a-day’ for as little as 42 pence every day.
After hearing people were choosing not to buy fruit and veg during the recession, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) carried out an in depth analysis of food prices.
Previously, research has shown that eating a variety of fruit and vegetables has numerous health benefits, in particular reducing the risk of cancer.
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Kate Mendoza, head of education for the WCRF, said: “They probably reduce risk of a number of types of cancer, including cancers of the oesophagus and mouth, pharynx and larynx.”
“People who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables are also less likely to be overweight, which is an important cancer risk factor.”
The WCRF found that we could enjoy a daily diet which included red cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, apples and bananas for a very minimal cost.
The study looked at fresh food bought from leading supermarkets in the UK, but it is thought that if people integrated a couple of servings of frozen fruit or veg into their diet, it could be even cheaper than 42p.
The list that the experts were able to buy for 42p included:
• Tesco red cabbage (64p for 650g or 8p per portion);
• Sainsbury's Basics carrots (50p for 1k, or 4p per portion);
• Sainsbury's Basics tomatoes (72p for 450g or 13p per portion);
• Asda bananas (7p per portion) and
• Asda Smart Price apples (10p per portion).
Kate said: “We understand that rising food prices mean many people feel they have little option but to buy fewer fruits and vegetables.”
“But while some fruits and vegetables are very expensive, our review shows that this is not the case across the board.”
She added: “Even if you were to only buy fresh produce, there are many where a portion is available for under 10p.”
“This means that with a bit of planning it is possible to buy plenty of fruits and vegetables on even the tightest of budgets.”
Kate elaborated: “We have developed a list of five portions for 42p to illustrate the point that if people shop smartly then eating enough fruits and vegetables does not have to mean putting a strain on your finances.”
“This is not to say, of course, that it will be possible to get five portions for under 50p every time you go to the supermarket, or that people should eat the same produce every day.”
“But we hope our list of five portions does inspire people to think about creative ways they can eat fruits and vegetables less expensively.”
A guide to labelling compliance for medical devices
Small medical device manufacturers often find themselves scrambling to achieve the necessary compliance and validation, risking costly mistakes.
Validating systems and processes including labelling, to ensure they are compliant with stringent regulatory standards is tough and can be expensive. Indeed, compliance with the EU’s Medical Device Regulation (MDR) will cost more than 5% of annual sales, according to 48% of 101 companies polled by the German company Climedo Health, in July and August 2020 about their MDR-readiness.
But if companies bungle the software validation process or put incorrect and uncompliant data on the labels themselves, the penalties are likely to be more severe than just making corrections. Health and safety may be put at risk and fines imposed for failing to comply. When it comes to compliance, they may become overwhelmed with regulations in other geographic regions that focus on device traceability, each with a unique device identifier (UDI-like) component to it.
On the validation front, companies may not be familiar with the software validation process and the multiple tests and documentation necessary for validation are demanding if companies only have a small IT team that is very busy.
Putting a plan in place
MDR-compliant labelling, however, brings with it certain requirements which differ from what is demanded under the FDA’s Unique Device Identification (UDI) system rules. Under MDR, for example, manufacturers must ensure the label specifically states the device is a medical one using an MD symbol in a box. This is only one of many stipulations that usually require redesigned labels.
Small medical device manufacturers who rely on time-consuming and error-prone manual or legacy labelling processes to facilitate these label updates run the risk of mislabelling which can lead to non-compliance. They may have limited staff and no structured processes around roles and responsibilities when it comes to label design, changes and approval. As project leads work toward a compliant labelling process, it is therefore important to establish defined roles and access for each stage of the process.
When dealing with a compliance initiative, up to date, correct and compliant labelling is imperative. This involves having all the relevant label design elements in place to comply with the EU MDR or FDA regulations. Many times, label templates are hard coded, meaning IT must be involved in making changes. And with IT staff often being tasked with multiple mission-critical projects in the organisation, labelling projects can be delayed. For many small medical device manufacturers who have limited resources, finding a solution can be a challenge.
Why labelling in the cloud offers a roadmap forward
Validation-ready cloud labelling solutions have now emerged to ease compliance with regulations and time-consuming validation requirements. These solutions, built with the needs of regulated companies in mind, digitise the quality control processes and facilitate compliant labelling with role-based access, approval workflows and electronic signatures. Outside of compliance, carrying out labelling in the cloud drives scalability and productivity for small medical device manufacturers and boosts overall efficiency.
The latest cloud labelling solutions integrate with other cloud solutions, allowing for seamless functionality and minimising the need for local infrastructure resources and cost.
When it comes to validation, as with many labelling systems, those hosted in the cloud have vendor-supplied documentation that streamlines the process and significantly eases the burden when it comes to installation qualification (IQ). The manufacturer itself has a much lighter burden and a streamlined path to a validated system and process.
A more relaxed software release schedule eases the validation burden on life sciences companies because the software is updated once a year rather than multiple times. This gives them a continuously updated and maintained labelling solution without increasing the validation workload on their IT staff.
The manufacturer would of course need to work closely alongside the vendor and review the documentation, but, if needed, the vendor is able to do much of the work for them, providing not only the full validation acceleration pack but also professional services to assist with the validation process.
While some medical device manufacturers choose to tackle validation on their own, the vendor supplied validation acceleration pack or documentation helps to simplify the process. Consultancy and advice around validation is usually available from the vendor, tailored to the business’s specific needs.
Given the immense hassles of compliance for small device manufacturers, cloud-based labelling systems offer the benefits of a full label management system while easing compliance and validation. This is a future-proof technology. With a cloud-based labelling system, medical device manufacturers can be confident that they are running the most up-to-date software, enabling them to address the fast-changing new regulations and cope with whatever comes their way. And especially in the current pandemic, when face-to-face meetings are still problematic, it is a perfect way to keep labelling operations moving forward.