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Contributing Writers

Lydia Zuraw

Lydia Zuraw

Lydia Zuraw is a graduate of Northwestern University with a bachelor’s from the Medill School of Journalism.  She was born and raised in the suburbs of Baltimore and lived in Illinois, Scotland and Washington state before returning to the East Coast.  In the past, she worked for NPR’s Science Desk, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and The Pacific Northwest Inlander.

Articles Written by Lydia Zuraw

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Budget Subcommittee Zeroes in on FDA’s Request for More FSMA Funding

Dr. Margaret Hamburg

The increased funding the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested for implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in fiscal year 2016 was one of the key topics of discussion Wednesday during a House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee hearing. Outgoing FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg made her last appearance before the committee since she is… Continue Reading

McDonald’s Plans to Phase Out Chicken Fed Medically Important Antibiotics

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Fast-food giant McDonald’s announced Wednesday that, within two years, all of the chicken served at its 14,000 U.S. restaurants will come from farms which raised the birds without medically important antibiotics. The move could help limit the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture which contributes to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bugs that sicken humans. “Our customers want… Continue Reading

USDA May Move Mechanically Tenderized Beef Labeling to 2016

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While appearing before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said USDA will work to introduce labels for mechanically tenderized beef within the next two years. New labeling laws are implemented in two-year increments so that new label rules made in 2013 or 2014 will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2016. When the… Continue Reading

Savings From a Single Food Safety Agency Appeal to Some House Republicans

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Some House Republicans appear to be considering proposals for a single food safety agency. In January, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced bills to establish such an agency independent of any federal department. In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, President Obama proposed the consolidation of the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety… Continue Reading

Agencies Develop New Model for Foodborne Illness Sources

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Understanding which foods are most commonly responsible for certain foodborne illnesses helps in developing effective prevention measures. Today, the three federal agencies involved in the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) released details of their new method for estimating the sources of Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. IFSAC is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety… Continue Reading

Most Consumers Don’t Use Food Thermometers Despite Importance to Food Safety

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A couple of weeks ago, I was having dinner with my parents. My dad was making chicken and asked me what temperature he needed to cook it to. After all, working for Food Safety News does qualify me as the food-safety expert of the family. “165 degrees F,” I told him. “What if it’s barely… Continue Reading

FSIS Would Have Mandatory Recall Authority Under Proposed Bill

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is proposing legislation that would require recalls of meat and poultry contaminated with pathogens. “As it stands now, if foods like ground beef and sliced turkey are found to be unsafe, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lacks the authority to issue a mandatory recall,” Gillibrand said. “As a result, it becomes… Continue Reading

Obama’s 2016 Budget: $1.6 Billion for Food Safety, Single Food-Safety Agency

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President Obama’s $3.99-trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, released Monday, would allot $1.6 billion to food-safety work. With all of the major Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules set to be finalized by the end of FY 2016, a lot of the focus is on Food and Drug Administration’s requests. Overall, the agency is… Continue Reading

Industry Consortium Begins Enormous DNA Sequencing Project for Food Safety

Metagenomics

Mars Inc. and IBM Research have teamed up for an ambitious food safety whole-genome sequencing project. The Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain will study the the microbial ecology of foods and their processing environments. Having a much deeper understanding of the populations in these ecologies — bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms — and… Continue Reading