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Food Safety News

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Contributing Writers

James Andrews

James Andrews

James Andrews is a Seattle-based reporter covering science, agriculture and foodborne illness outbreaks. He holds degrees in Environmental Journalism and English and has previously worked as a science writer for the National Park Service. His reporting for Food Safety News has won a number of journalism awards, including first prize for consumer affairs reporting at the Washington Press Association.

Articles Written by James Andrews

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Listeria Outbreak Linked to Caramel Apples Catches Experts by Surprise

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Foodborne illness investigators know to expect a bacteria like Listeria monocytogenes on just about any food product. But even so, caramel apples were not on anyone’s radar when it became clear they were linked to a Listeria outbreak that has been associated with five deaths and at least 28 illnesses in 10 states. The U.S…. Continue Reading

Whole-Genome Technology Solving More Outbreak Investigations

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A common disclaimer supplied by public health officials while in the midst of a foodborne illness outbreak investigation goes something like this: “We’re doing our best to find the food source of the outbreak, but it’s important to remember that the majority of outbreaks are never traced back to a source.” In other words, most… Continue Reading

CDC: Raw Milk-Related Outbreaks on the Rise

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During the three years from 2007 to 2009, 30 foodborne illness outbreaks in the U.S. were connected to raw milk consumption. Yet, in the next three years, from 2010 to 2012, that number rose to 51, according to a new study published in the January issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a peer-reviewed monthly journal published… Continue Reading

Congressional Hearing Looks at FDA’s Role in GE Food Regulation

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The question of how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should approach the regulation of genetically engineered (GE) food — and particularly its labeling, or lack thereof — was the topic of a hearing by the House Energy & Commerce Committee on Wednesday. The biggest question of the day: Should a federal law be passed… Continue Reading

Studies Find Reusable Produce Containers Often Contaminated

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Reusable plastic containers used by farmers to ship fresh produce from farms to grocery stores have gained wide usage in the last decade, effectively replacing corrugated boxes with a more environmentally friendly alternative. But two studies — one in Canada and one in the U.S. — have found serious problems with the general sanitation and… Continue Reading

DNA Spray-On Technology Could Revolutionize Food Traceability

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It sounds like something straight out of agricultural science fiction: a liquid solution containing unique bits of DNA that gets sprayed on foods in order to easily identify information about where it came from and how it was produced in the event of an outbreak or recall. DNATrek, a Bay Area startup, is hoping to… Continue Reading

Will Mechanically Tenderized Beef Labeling Be Pushed Back to 2018?

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Long-planned efforts to place a label on mechanically tenderized beef may be delayed another two years — until 2018 — if they are not finalized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by the end of this year. For more than a decade, consumer groups and the… Continue Reading

FDA’s Taylor Visits China to Strengthen Food Safety Ties

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Today, 15 percent of America’s food supply is imported from other countries, including 80 percent of seafood and 50 percent of fresh fruit. An increasing amount of that food is coming from China, a country with a food safety track record that leaves many American consumers uneasy. Part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act… Continue Reading

New App Shows Health Inspection Records for Nearby Restaurants

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As a trained chef, Matthew Eierman doesn’t have a lot of forgiveness for health inspection violations at restaurants. As a diner, he’d prefer to avoid establishments with poor health records. “When I go to a restaurant, I’m worried about problems that cause illness,” Eierman said. “Cross-contamination, proper holding temperatures — things like that.” But for… Continue Reading

Europe’s Three Hepatitis A Outbreaks in 2013: What Can We Learn?

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In the first half of 2013, Europe dealt with three simultaneous outbreaks from the hepatitis A virus. Knowing that at least two of those outbreaks were connected to frozen berries, Europe’s Centre for Disease Prevention and Control set out to describe what could be learned from those outbreaks in an article published in Eurosurveillance. Those… Continue Reading