Header graphic for print

Food Safety News

Breaking news for everyone's consumption

Contributing Writers

Cookson Beecher

Cookson Beecher

A journalist by trade, Cookson Beecher spent the past 12 years working as an agricultural & environmental reporter for Capital Press, a four-state newspaper that covers agricultural and forestry issues in the Pacific Northwest. Before working at Capital Press, she was the editor of a small-town newspaper, the Courier Times, in Skagit County, Wash. She received her B.A. in political science from Hunter College in New York City, and before moving West, she worked for publishing companies in mid-town Manhattan. In the 1970s and 80s, she and her family lived in North Idaho, where they built a log home and lived a “pioneer life” without running water and electricity for almost ten years. She currently lives in rural Skagit County of Washington State.

Articles Written by Cookson Beecher

Subscribe to this author via RSS

Food Safety to Play Important Part in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-woman-buying-fruits-vegetables-farmers-market-candid-portrait-young-shopping-healthy-lifestyle-multiracial-image32259490

What should we eat to be healthy? That’s an important question, because, according to the recently released Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, what we eat has a lot to do with how healthy we are. It’s as simple as that. But on a national level, it becomes more challenging, especially when… Continue Reading

Washington Floats Proactive Plan to Make Raw Oysters Safer

Oyster guys

Why wait for people to get sick from a foodborne illness when you can prevent it from happening in the first place? Sounds logical enough. At least that’s the thinking behind a plan focusing on the pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which can infect oysters in some growing areas during the summer. If adopted, the proposal will govern when… Continue Reading

Lesson From WA Ice Cream Recall: Don’t Let it Happen to You

snoqualmie-ice-cream-dairy-farmers-of-washington

No doubt about it, food recalls can be hell. “I’ve never been through anything like this before,” Barry Bettinger, co-owner of Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream in Snohomish, WA, told Food Safety News, as he described the mental and emotional anguish that comes with a recall. Not only do you worry about the people who have become… Continue Reading

Starbucks to Require More Humane Animal-Welfare Standards From Suppliers

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-starbucks-coffee-shop-shopping-mall-image27631587

The humane treatment of farm animals won a huge public show of support last month when Starbucks announced plans to require dairy, meat, and egg products served in its coffee shops to come from suppliers that follow certain animal-welfare standards. For the coffee giant’s customers, the take-home message comes down to this: When you sip on… Continue Reading

Small-Scale and Organic Farmers Facing FSMA Comment Deadline

fresh-produce-406

Small-scale and/or organic farmers are being alerted to the impending deadline of Monday, Dec. 15, for submitting comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s revisions to the proposed food-safety rules in the Food Safety Modernization Act. Signed into law on Jan. 4, 2011, FSMA focuses on preventing foodborne illnesses instead of merely reacting to them…. Continue Reading

Will Lactose-Free Fairlife Milk Be Coke’s Next Cash Cow?

Fairlife milk containers

Soft-drink giant The Coca-Cola Company will soon be launching a new version of milk branded as Fairlife. The launch is planned for later this month, with sales to begin nationwide next year. “Purely nutritious milk” states the slogan under Fairlife’s name on the containers. The company’s optimism is riding high for this new lactose-free product, which… Continue Reading

The Search for Alternatives to Antibiotics

ResistantSalmonellaFeatured

Ask any doctor or veterinarian to rate the important medical discoveries of the past century, and antibiotics would surely be at or near the top of the list. In this century, too, antibiotics are expected to remain an essential tool for treating animal and human diseases. But the “miracle of antibiotics” is being threatened. There… Continue Reading

Food Safety to the Rescue

The Key to Donations of Fresher, More Nutritious Food

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-volunteers-collecting-food-donations-warehouse-image29349990

Who doesn’t love a good rescue story? But now imagine one that involves rescuing millions and millions of pounds of nutritious foods from being taken to landfills and sending them to hungry people instead. Welcome to Grocery Rescue, a program that redirects perishable foods that stores identify as unmarketable but still safe for people to… Continue Reading

Farmworker Housing Linked to Consumer Demand for Safe Food

Farmworkers

When a farmworker and her children were discovered living in a decommissioned walk-in freezer due to lack of housing, Marty Miller, executive director of the Office of Rural Development and Farm Worker Housing in Yakima, WA, was dismayed — but not surprised. “Unfortunately, not surprised,” Miller told Food Safety News. “I had already heard or… Continue Reading

Controversy Erupts Over Process of Allowing Non-Organics in Organic Agriculture

NOSB

Rumblings over a new USDA policy about which synthetic (non-organic) materials can be used in organic agriculture sparked heated blowback on legal and political fronts during a four-day meeting late last month of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) in Texas. Those against the new policy believe it could make it more difficult for the… Continue Reading