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Letter From the Editor: Better a Civil Action

Opinion

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It was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis who said that “a state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” He meant that various state legislatures, especially over a period of years, may try different solutions to the… Continue Reading

Memorial Day Weekend Food Safety Tips From USDA

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Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start to summer, and many Americans will celebrate with cookouts, camping, road trips and other activities that involve food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is reminding families to take extra care not to let foodborne bacteria, which grows more quickly in hot weather,… Continue Reading

Blue Bell and the Very Real Impact of the Food Safety Modernization Act

Opinion

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(This article by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, was originally posted here on May 20, 2015.) Could the deadly outbreak of illnesses tied to contaminated ice cream have been prevented? It’s an important question, one that is on the minds of many in… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Mechanically Tenderized Steaks

Opinion

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We’ve let the news spoil several holidays and many a Friday night. Christmas 2009 comes to mind, probably because it was the first. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was chasing down a cluster of E. coli O157:H7 cases just hours before the holiday. We wanted the story. Then, on Christmas Eve, National… Continue Reading

What Makes Antibiotic Resistance a Food Safety Issue?

Opinion

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Over this past weekend, I attended the American Society for Microbiology’s fourth conference on Antimicrobial Resistance in Zoonotic Bacteria and Foodborne Pathogens. In addition to hearing some fascinating presentations, I also had some thought-provoking conversations with my fellow attendees. Something that came up in our chats was what we mean when we call antimicrobial resistance… Continue Reading

A Proactive Plan: The First Step to FSMA Compliance

Opinion

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It’s been four years since Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and the time has finally come for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement its requirements. FDA declared 2015 “the year of FSMA” at the agency’s “FSMA Kickoff Meeting” for food industry stakeholders on April 23, 2015. The first court-ordered… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Ban Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Dihydrogen Monoxide?

Opinion

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The former USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety, Dr. Richard Raymond, lives just down the road a piece. He’s always good for pointing out something we’ve missed, or setting us straight, or both. He recently called out the latest Food Demand Survey conducted by Food and Agriculture Economist Jayson Lusk at Oklahoma State University. As a… Continue Reading

Current Issues in Produce Safety: Growing Areas

Opinion

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(This is Part 2A of a five-part series on produce safety by Roy E. Costa, R.S., M.S., a registered professional sanitarian and founder/owner of Environ Health Associates Inc. Part 1B was posted here on March 18, 2015, Part 1A was posted here on Feb. 25, 2015, and the series introduction was posted here on Feb. 10,… Continue Reading

Coffee, Tea, or Diarrhea? How to Handle Food on Flights

Opinion

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(This article by Sydney Ross Singer was originally posted on his blog May 1, 2015, and is reposted here with his permission.) Airplane food has been under scrutiny for food safety breaches. But even the best prepared food can become a vector of disease when it is consumed using contaminated hands. Airline travel exposes people to extremely germ-infested conditions,… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Missing Riots, Crab Cakes in Baltimore

Opinion

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Street protests that turn into riots are among my least favorite forms of lawlessness. Usually the crowd is either the patsy or the willing dupe. When the World Trade Organization met in Seattle in 1999, a peaceful march by about 35,000 union members provided cover for maybe 100 self-styled anarchists who smashed up downtown retailers and… Continue Reading