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Opinion & Contributed Articles

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FDA Seeks to Mesh Public and Private Food Safety Accountability

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(This article by Tom Karst, national editor of The Packer, was first published Oct. 19, 2014, and is reposted here with his permission.) ANAHEIM, CA—The last word on food safety regulations for the produce industry won’t be written next year, even though the Food and Drug and Administration (FDA) has committed to publish final versions of the… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Merrigan Does the McGovern

Opinion

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I think I am qualified to say that my friend Senator McGovern would have liked the George McGovern Lecture delivered last week in Rome by former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan. The lecture named for the former South Dakota senator is an annual event for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome…. Continue Reading

Here Comes the Cold Weather — and Mus Musculus

Opinion

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For much of the country, as the temperatures drop, there is increased activity of mice to find a harborage area. For any food operation, or homeowner, for that matter, this means an increased potential of infestation if some proactive measures are not taken to eliminate entry. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Think like a… Continue Reading

The Role of Cooperative Extension in Food Safety

Opinion

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(This article by Ellen Thomas, a Ph.D. candidate in Food Science at North Carolina State University, and Ben Chapman, Ph.D., an associate professor and food safety specialist at NCSU, was published in the October/November 2014 issue of Food Safety magazine and is reposted here with permission.) Land-grant universities in the United States were established with the Morrill… Continue Reading

The Seven Worst Things to Find in Your Refrigerator or Ice Machine

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Health inspectors get to see the worst of the worst when it comes to commercial kitchens. They see the little extras that are left behind the refrigerator, they notice the smells in the walk-in freezers, and they notice the slime inside of the ice bin. We’ve taken our cues from the health inspectors and compiled… Continue Reading

Part 2: History of Food Safety in the U.S.

Opinion

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(This article by Michelle Jarvie of Michigan State University Extension was originally posted here on Oct. 2, 2014, and is reposted with permission. Part 1 is here. Part 3 in her series will be appear later this month.) Welcome to the second installment of the history of food safety in the U.S. This time we’ll take a look… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: The ‘New’ School Lunch

Opinion

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For anyone who still gets the printed version of The New York Times, the pretty magazine among all those advertising inserts is worth a read today. It contains a smartly illustrated story entitled, “How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground,” by Nicholas Confessore. It can also be found online here. Confessore, who was part of… Continue Reading

Microbial Testing of Fresh Produce: Where is the Value?

Opinion

Summary Product testing is an inefficient tool for enhancing the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The probability of finding a contaminant is very low at the bacterial population densities likely to be found. Product testing is wasteful of resources because of the time and expense of the testing itself, but also because all tested… Continue Reading

Controversy Over Raw-Milk Cheese May Come to a Head

Opinion

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(This article by Lincoln Broadbooks was originally published Sept. 29, 2014, on the Kansas City Star’s Chow Town site and is reposted here with his permission.) Raw-milk cheese has been in the news over the past couple months. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been reviewing its raw-milk standards for cheese for the past… Continue Reading