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Food Safety News

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Drew Falkenstein

Articles Written by Drew Falkenstein

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Spring 2010: A bad stretch for produce

Certain times of year are associated with increased prevalence of foodborne disease–most notably, E. coli O157:H7 during summer months.  Springtime, to the author’s knowledge at least, has not had any such specific association with a particular pathogen or particular food problem, which is why it was so striking to watch the events of April and… Continue Reading

‘Team Diarrhea’ Funding Jeopardized

Last week, in the wake of the State Supreme Court’s ruling in Brayton et al. v. Pawlenty et al., Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty issued Executive Order 10-07, which seeks to prioritize core government functions in anticipation of shutting down non-core government functions to save money for the state’s significant budget deficits.  The detection of communicable… Continue Reading

Raw Milk: An Issue of Safety or Freedom?

One need not look far to grasp the scope of this country’s food safety problems, and the personal devastation that can happen when somebody is infected by E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, or any other foodborne pathogen. Stephanie Smith, who, at the time of her illness, was a 19-year-old dance instructor from Cold Springs, Minnesota, suffered… Continue Reading

Prevent Outbreaks: Send Sick Foodhandlers Home

Sick foodhandlers.  It’s a problem nationally at many restaurants, and is the source of many outbreaks of foodborne disease.  Currently, in the Shigella outbreak linked to a Subway restaurant in Lombard, Illinois, sick foodhandlers are believed to have been the cause of the outbreak.  As in the Lombard Subway outbreak, when sick foodhandlers are, in… Continue Reading

A Call for Uniform Model Food Code Application

We cannot rely on beef and fresh produce companies to police themselves.  Restaurants are sometimes inept, caring more about customer count than safety.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are ill equipped to do it all alone.  And the 50 states, which… Continue Reading

Pesticide Salsa Sickens 20 in Kansas

In late August 2009, patrons of Mi Ranchito restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas, began falling ill. Their symptoms included severe nausea and vomiting. Part of the mystery surrounding the outbreak of illnesses was that the victims’ symptoms came on so quickly after dining at the restaurant–sometimes just after eating the meal. The reason, as investigating health… Continue Reading