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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 Victims Address FDA, Food Industry Officials in D.C.

Brad Frey holds his phone while a video plays of his parents dancing in their driveway two years ago. His mother, Shirlee Jean, died from a Listeria infection in December after eating a contaminated caramel apple. Frey and other victims shared their stories with federal lawmakers last week in Washington D.C.

A year ago, Brad Frey never would have imagined he’d be standing in front of officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and urging them to do more to prevent outbreaks of Listeria monocytogenes. Despite living in the middle of “crop country” outside Santa Cruz, CA, he had never heard of Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne bacteria less well-known… Continue Reading

FDA Kicks Off the ‘Year of the Food Safety Modernization Act’

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In front of hundreds of food industry and trade association representatives in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) presented its unified plan to roll out and implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Signed by President Obama in January 2011, FSMA will bring about the most sweeping changes to the U.S. food… Continue Reading

A Look Back at Food Safety During Obama’s First Six Years

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Since the Obama administration took over the executive branch more than six years ago, foodborne illnesses from meat, poultry and eggs — products regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — has been falling. In fact, just from fiscal year 2013 to 2014, illnesses from meat and poultry has fallen by 10 percent, according to… Continue Reading

Top Food Safety Officials Weigh in on Key Issues

Q&A session at National Food Policy Conference

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At the risk of sounding naive, Michael Taylor said Tuesday that he’s still feeling “great” about the progress made on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). As Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Taylor knew he was in front of a tough audience since he said it during a question-and-answer session with a… Continue Reading

As Online Sales of Breast Milk Rise, Experts Warn of Dangers

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With information abounding on the health benefits of breast milk for infants, a growing number of under-producing mothers are eschewing formula and instead turning to online marketplaces to buy breast milk directly from other moms. In the past year, somewhere around 55,000 women sold their excess breast milk online, up from 13,000 in 2011. Business… Continue Reading

Could a Norovirus Vaccine Become Reality?

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If you’ve ever suffered through food poisoning, odds are that the bug you caught was norovirus, the most common foodborne illness in the world. Just in the United States, norovirus causes an annual estimated 19 to 21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for… Continue Reading

CDC: Source of Cucumber-Linked Outbreak Determined Too Late to Alert the Public

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In late February, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a detailed report describing a summer 2014 outbreak of Salmonella linked to cucumbers grown in the Delmarva region of Maryland. The outbreak resulted in 275 confirmed illnesses and the death of one man. Considering that CDC estimates only one in 30 Salmonella cases are confirmed, the outbreak is… Continue Reading

UW Study Digs into Consumer Perceptions of Restaurant Grading Systems

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In recent years, numerous cities around the world have adopted systems that require restaurant health inspection scores to be communicated clearly at the restaurant. In New York City, prospective diners see an A, B, or C grade in the restaurant’s front window. Elsewhere, customers see a percentage score out of 100. Communicating a satisfactory amount of… Continue Reading

Study: Peanuts May Help to Ward Off Some Foodborne Illnesses

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Eating the skinless inner kernels of peanuts may improve a person’s gut biota and its ability to ward off E. coli and Salmonella, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland published in the Journal of Food Science. The findings suggest that skinless peanuts could be a beneficial promoter of gut bacteria that will outcompete… Continue Reading

New Food Safety Protocols Published for Reusable Grocery Containers

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Reusable plastic containers used to transport fruits and vegetables have proliferated across the grocery industry in recent years despite recent warnings from university research studies suggesting the containers may harbor and spread harmful pathogens over time. Responding to critics, the Reusable Packaging Association (RPA) has issued comprehensive, science-based protocols for the use of grocery containers for produce, while at… Continue Reading