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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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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

CDC Shares Data on E. Coli and Salmonella in Beef

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A widely held belief among food safety experts is that the U.S. beef industry has made enormous strides in the past two decades to reduce outbreaks and recalls associated with beef. One of the many measures initiated by industry to help reduce illness associated with beef has been the Beef Safety Conference, held each year… Continue Reading

Dung Beetles: Future Heroes of Organic Food Safety?

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In 2011, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Oregon killed one person and sickened more than a dozen people. The outbreak was eventually traced back to organic strawberries grown at an Oregon farm, but how E. coli had managed to contaminate the strawberries remained a mystery for some time afterward. Eventually, state health officials… Continue Reading

Are Recalls an Effective Element of Food Safety?

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Consumers have grown accustomed to the routine of food safety recalls: A food company announces a recall after releasing a product into the market that later turns out to be contaminated with a harmful pathogen, or is otherwise faulty. The company advises customers to check the identifying numbers on the product to see if theirs… Continue Reading

WTO Rules Against Country-of-Origin Labeling on Meat in U.S.

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Canada and Mexico in an ongoing dispute with the United States over country-of-origin labeling (COOL) on meat. The latest U.S. labeling rules, put into effect in 2013, require meat sold in grocery stores to indicate the country, or countries, where the animal was born, raised and… Continue Reading