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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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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

Very Small Number of Dairies Found Illegally Using Antibiotics

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A very small number of dairy farms have been found using animal antibiotics in ways not approved by law, according to a new study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Because antibiotic residues immediately appear in milk, dairy cows are only supposed to receive drugs when they’re known to be sick. Regardless,… Continue Reading

Study: Infection Rates Correlate with Public Health Spending

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Local government spending on food safety and sanitation programs may significantly influence the number of illnesses occurring in the surrounding areas, according to a new study led by researchers from the University of Washington School of Nursing. The study examined 11 years of data collected from county health departments in the states of Washington and… Continue Reading

Study: E. Coli Vaccines Are Effective But Economic Incentive Needed

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Despite the proven effectiveness of vaccines designed to decrease the presence of E. coli bacteria in cattle by as much as 98 percent, beef producers are not likely to widely adopt the practice of vaccinating their herds until there is a clear economic incentive, according to a new study by economics researchers at Kansas State University. Often… Continue Reading

Study: Reusable Plastic Produce Containers Harbor Bacteria Even After Being Cleaned, Sanitized

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Reusable plastic containers used to transport large amounts of fruits and vegetables to grocery stores can continue to harbor potentially harmful bacteria directly on their surfaces, even after undergoing industry-standard cleaning and sanitizing, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Arkansas and WBA Analytical Laboratories. The study took a microscopically close look… Continue Reading

Seattle’s King County Venturing into Uncharted Territory with New Restaurant Grading System

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When Sarah Schacht walked through the doors of an Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle in February 2013 to grab a meal with a friend, the only accessible information she had about the place was its Yelp score: It had the highest-rated Ethiopian cuisine in the city. What Schacht didn’t know was that the restaurant, Ambassel, also… Continue Reading

Study Finds Persistent Rates of Listeria in Retail Delis

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Rates of Listeria monocytogenes in retail delis suggest that standard cleaning procedures don’t sufficiently eliminate the potentially deadly bacteria, according to a new study by researchers at Purdue University. During one phase of the study, researchers found 9.5 percent of samples taken from retail delis to be contaminated with Listeria. That includes numerous samples taken from grocery… Continue Reading