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Food Safety News

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Contributing Writers

Gretchen Goetz

Gretchen Goetz

Gretchen is a Seattle-based reporter covering issues ranging from child nutrition to local agriculture to foodborne illness outbreaks and global food safety issues. In June of 2011 she reported from Hamburg on the European E. coli outbreak. Gretchen graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in English and French before moving to the pacific northwest. She delved into the world of food safety after being a lifelong foodie in order to find out what issues compromise the security of her favorite pastime — eating, and what can be done about them. Gretchen is excited to be part of the diverse and passionate Food Safety News team.

Articles Written by Gretchen Goetz

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FDA Establishes Definition of ‘Gluten-Free’ for Food Labels


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday issued a set of standards for food manufacturers wishing to label a product “gluten-free.” The agency set a limit of 20 parts per million for the amount of gluten that may be present in foods marketed as gluten-free. The rule also extends to foods labeled “free of gluten,”… Continue Reading

Preventive Controls: Daunting for Some, Standard Procedure for Seafood


The concept of “preventive controls” is an anxiety-producing one for many FDA-regulated food companies right now as the agency prepares to issue a final rule that will make hazard-prevention measures mandatory for processing facilities. As Food Safety News reported last week, trepidation is especially high among smaller firms, which are balking at potential costs of meeting… Continue Reading

Cyclospora Case Count Rises to 418


At least 418 people in 16 states are now known to have been sickened with cyclospora infections between mid-June and mid-July, according to updated numbers from state health departments as of the end of the day Thursday. This latest case count marks a 40-case jump from the 378 illnesses reported by the Centers for Disease… Continue Reading

FDA Lifts Ban on Mexican Cucumbers Linked to 2013 Salmonella Outbreak


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will no longer detain cucumbers from the Mexican growers whose products were linked to an outbreak of Salmonella earlier this year. The agency removed the two cucumber suppliers from its import alerts list this week, meaning that their products can no longer be “detained without physical examination.” The cucumbers… Continue Reading

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to N.C. Holiday Inn Sickened 100, Final Report Says

The Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak linked to a Holiday Inn in North Carolina ultimately sickened at least 100 people this May, the North Carolina Division of Public Heath reported this week. The bacteria was linked to the All American Grill at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux in Fayetteville, NC, according to the final outbreak report, issued by… Continue Reading

FDA to Evaluate Risk of Salmonella in Tree Nuts


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Wednesday announced its plan to assess the risks of Salmonella contamination associated with tree nuts. The aim of the risk assessment, described in a filing by FDA, is twofold: to determine the current risk to public health associated with eating tree nuts and to evaluate the success of Salmonella interventions… Continue Reading

Another Hospitalization Linked to Multistate Hepatitis A Outbreak

Outbreak 'tapering off,' according to CDC


While the case count in the multistate hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen pomegranate seeds has been leveling off over the past week, new information on illnesses continues to trickle into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today that included a report of one more hospitalization, one less case in New Mexico, and one… Continue Reading

Norovirus Outbreak in NW Wyoming ‘Tapering Off’ After Sickening over 200


In addition to cameras, a group touring Yellowstone National Park last month brought an unwanted visitor to the area in the form of a foodborne virus. Many members of the group arrived complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms, which were later determined to have been caused by norovirus. The virus, which is transmitted via the fecal-oral route… Continue Reading

11 Years of Data Show Poultry, Fish, Beef Have Remained Leading Sources of Food-Related Outbreaks


Between 1998 and 2008, poultry, fish and beef were consistently responsible for the greatest proportion of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to a new government analysis. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the 13,405 food-related outbreaks reported during this time period, identifying 3,264 outbreaks that could be attributed to a specific food category…. Continue Reading

FDA Must Complete FSMA Rules by Mid-2015, Judge Says


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must publish all of the regulations required under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act by June 30, 2015, a federal judge ruled Friday. Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the U.S. District Court of Northern California rejected FDA’s proposed timeline for completion of the regulations, which outlined “target timelines” of 2015… Continue Reading