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FDA ‘pauses’ non-toxigenic E. coli tests for cheese, including raw milk cheese

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The Food and Drug Administration has temporarily suspended its cheese testing program for non-toxigenic E. coli, partly in response to complaints from proponents of raw milk and related products. “Recently, cheesemakers have raised concerns suggesting that the FDA is applying safety criteria that may, in effect, limit the production of raw milk cheese without demonstrably benefitting… Continue Reading

Rancho boss Jesse “Babe” Amaral sentenced to a year and day

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The elderly Petaluma, CA, man who ran a scheme to sell cattle condemned by USDA because of diseases like cancerous eyeballs was sentenced Wednesday to one year and one day in federal prison to be followed by two years of supervised release including assignment to a “half-way” house for the first year. Federal Judge Charles… Continue Reading

Another search for elusive answers in Roswell, NM

The West is full of monuments from Tucson to Mountain Meadows of famous shoot-outs and massacres that usually brought nothing more that pyrrhic victories for one side. On that basis, it’s time to erect another of those roadside plaques at the site of the former Valley Meat Co. outside of Roswell, NM. It’s the location… Continue Reading

Obama’s 2017 budget not enough for a food safety legacy

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Food safety is spread throughout various departments and programs in the federal budget and the document President Obama proposed Tuesday for fiscal 2017 is no different. The policy wonks who know how the federal budgeteers work go to one place when they want to know how food safety is doing in the budget. It’s the… Continue Reading

GMO labeling gets another look in two New England states

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Today and tomorrow the Rhode Island House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare and the House side of the New Hampshire General Court will hear bills about labeling food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). A bipartisan majority of the New Hampshire Environment and Agriculture Committee led by Rep. John O’Connor, R-Derry, has recommended against… Continue Reading

Violations with spinach, catfish cited in FDA warning letters

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A Harbor City, Calif., food manufacturing facility and a Bronx, N.Y., seafood importer received warning letters that were recently released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Environmental samples taken inside the California food processing facility owned by Flying Food Group LLC revealed the presence of the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes near food and food contact surfaces. In the… Continue Reading

Safer wings than yesterday’s for the big game next year?

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Standards to prevent 50,000 illnesses through reductions in Salmonella and Campylobacter set by USDA last week might just work. If they do, Americans who yesterday are said to have dined on 1.3 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl 50, are likely to take notice. And one year from now, it’s also likely Secretary of Agriculture… Continue Reading

Beach Beat: Nuggets of news from recent days

Opinion

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Welcome to Beach Beat — I figure when your mom gives you a great byline at birth, you should use it every chance you get. I couldn’t be happier about my byline being added to the list of journalists at Food Safety News. In case you missed it, or ICYMI as the millennials say, I… Continue Reading

Sentencing in Halal food case continued to Feb. 25

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In three hours court action Friday, Chief Judge Linda R. Reade heard from witnesses and lawyers over objections and exhibits. Reade did not, however, get to the purpose of the hearing — the sentencing of William B. Aossey Jr. for his jury convictions from last July. Instead, the federal judge continued the sentencing hearing to… Continue Reading