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Food Safety News

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Contributing Writers

Cathy Siegner

Cathy Siegner

Cathy Siegner is a Montana-based freelance journalist and the former managing editor of Food Safety News. She has degrees in journalism from the University of Oregon and Northwestern University.

Articles Written by Cathy Siegner

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Board nixes use of carrageenan in organic food production

Sends 'bioponics' controversy back to subcommittee

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The National Organic Standards Board has voted 10-3, with one abstention, to remove carrageenan from the list of substances approved for use in food items labeled “USDA Organic.” The vote came Thursday afternoon during the board’s three-day fall meeting in St. Louis. NOSB members were tentatively scheduled to make a decision Friday on whether to approve the continued… Continue Reading

Salmonella presumed cause of 77 illnesses, 12 hospitalizations

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UPDATE: According to a statement posted Thursday by the Alabama Department of Public Health, “presumptive Salmonella gastroenteritis” caused at least 77 people to become sickened and 12 to be hospitalized following a private event in Colbert County this past Saturday. All patients are recovering from what was described as vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and some fever, according to… Continue Reading

Controversies loom for National Organic Standards Board

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When the National Organic Standards Board meets this week in St. Louis, its 15 members will confront some particularly controversial agenda items involving whether certain substances and production methods are acceptable for use in food items certified as organic. The NOSB is an citizen advisory group responsible for considering and making recommendations to USDA on a… Continue Reading

FDA finds Listeria in California fresh fruit processing facility

Simply Fresh Fruit logo

Listeria monocytogenes has been found in three of 100 environmental samples and in one product sample taken this past spring at a fresh fruit processing facility in Vernon, CA. The samples were collected by U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors who visited the Simply Fresh Fruit Inc. plant in April and May, and Whole Genome Sequencing analysis… Continue Reading

Indiana restaurant reopens; link to illnesses remains unclear

Fiesta Cancun

Following at least 10 reported illnesses, plus a temporary closure, health department hearing and fine — all after being in business for less than a month — a Mexican restaurant in South Bend, IN, is back in business. While county health officials can’t be sure what caused the recent sicknesses linked to Fiesta Cancún, they levied a… Continue Reading

CDC study attempts to assess outbreak risk from organic food

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A newly published study of outbreaks linked to organic food concludes that while more data are needed to assess whether the risk is greater than for conventionally grown food, consumers should practice safe food handling in any case to avoid being sickened. The study, from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published online… Continue Reading

Shigella investigators in Michigan bring in help from CDC

Shigella bacteria

With 177 shigellosis cases reported between March 1 and Oct. 26 from Michigan’s Genesee and Saginaw counties and no source yet identified, state and county health officials have called on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for help. CDC investigators are now on the scene in Flint, MI, to help track what caused the outbreak of this highly contagious… Continue Reading

Egyptian firm recalls some frozen strawberries for Hepatitis A

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The International Company for Agricultural Production & Processing (ICAPP), based in Ramadan City, Egypt, is voluntarily recalling frozen strawberries in response to the ongoing investigation into a multistate outbreak of Hepatitis A in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration’s recall announcement, dated Sunday, stated that the company’s action was taken in consultation with FDA because… Continue Reading

Survey reveals food safety perceptions of fast casual restaurants

TrendSource food safety study cover

A recent survey of attitudes toward food safety in so-called fast casual restaurants found a majority of respondents prefer to see their food prepared in front of them by workers wearing gloves, would complain if they saw unsanitary behavior or conditions, and might return under certain circumstances to a restaurant that had faced a foodborne illness…. Continue Reading

Norovirus outbreak closes shellfish beds in Cape Cod town

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After receiving reports last week of about 75 norovirus cases, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries closed down shellfish beds in the Town of Wellfleet on Cape Cod. State food protection officials also notified businesses to recall any affected shellfish harvested in the area on or after Sept…. Continue Reading