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Food Policy & Law

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Report: FSIS Hazards Analysis Regulation Still Lacking in Key Areas

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Almost 20 years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) introduced a food safety program called Pathogen Reduction/Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points (PR/HACCP) aimed at verifying the effectiveness of the food safety systems at meat and poultry facilities. That program, however, has at least two ongoing problems, according to a new report… Continue Reading

DOJ: Wilkerson’s Move for Acquittal in PCA Trial Isn’t New and It’s Too Late

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Government attorneys have roared back at the former quality control manager for a Blakely, GA, peanut processing plant who claims she was wrongly convicted of obstruction of justice. Mary Wilkerson wants a federal judge to grant her an acquittal for the crime a jury convicted her of last September. But U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys… Continue Reading

USDA, Salmonella, and the Cowardly Lion: A Profile in the Lack of Courage

Opinion

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Dorothy: “Don’t you know the Wizard’s going to give you some courage?” Cowardly Lion: “I’d be too scared to ask him for it.” In an article that will soon be published in the Seattle Law Review, I take a look at food safety through the lens of the “pink slime” controversy and question whether the… Continue Reading

Listeria Victims Address FDA, Food Industry Officials in D.C.

Brad Frey holds his phone while a video plays of his parents dancing in their driveway two years ago. His mother, Shirlee Jean, died from a Listeria infection in December after eating a contaminated caramel apple. Frey and other victims shared their stories with federal lawmakers last week in Washington D.C.

A year ago, Brad Frey never would have imagined he’d be standing in front of officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and urging them to do more to prevent outbreaks of Listeria monocytogenes. Despite living in the middle of “crop country” outside Santa Cruz, CA, he had never heard of Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne bacteria less well-known… Continue Reading

China Toughens Up Food Safety Laws By Adopting New Amendments

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In the wake of several high-profile food safety scandals, China’s lawmakers have adopted tougher amendments to bolster the country’s existing food safety law. The changes, effective Oct. 1, 2015, will add 50 new articles, or about half again what the previous law contained. Many of the new amendments address infant formula regulations and the online… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports: Tests Find 60 Percent of Frozen Shrimp Contaminated With Bacteria

Raw, wild-caught shrimp from U.S., Argentina had lowest bacteria levels of all samples tested

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A new Consumer Reports (CR) study released Friday found that 60 percent of 342 samples of frozen shrimp it tested contained Salmonella, Vibrio, Listeria, or E. coli, and 2 percent tested positive for the superbug MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). For its new report, “How Safe is Your Shrimp?,” CR researchers bought 284 raw and 58 cooked… Continue Reading

Chicago Judge Signs Injunction Against Wholesome Soy Products

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Thursday’s scheduled hearing before U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel over the future of a Chicago soy products manufacturer was canceled because the judge had already signed the consent decree preventing Paul and Julia Trinh from getting back into the food business unless they comply with a long list of conditions. The federal judge for the Northern District… Continue Reading

FDA Kicks Off the ‘Year of the Food Safety Modernization Act’

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In front of hundreds of food industry and trade association representatives in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) presented its unified plan to roll out and implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Signed by President Obama in January 2011, FSMA will bring about the most sweeping changes to the U.S. food… Continue Reading

Coming USDA Catfish Inspections Raise Question: Could Shrimp Be Next?

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If food safety put catfish under USDA inspection, can shrimp be far behind? That question is coming into focus this week after one of USDA’s top two food safety officials told a gathering of food policy wonks on Tuesday that the final rule for the agency’s takeover of catfish inspections is coming “a little into… Continue Reading

A Look Back at Food Safety During Obama’s First Six Years

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Since the Obama administration took over the executive branch more than six years ago, foodborne illnesses from meat, poultry and eggs — products regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — has been falling. In fact, just from fiscal year 2013 to 2014, illnesses from meat and poultry has fallen by 10 percent, according to… Continue Reading