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More local food, more food safety risk, more federal grants

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With industry reporting that sales of “local foods” more than doubled from 2008 to 2014, concerns about public safety also increased, spurring the U.S. Department of Agriculture to offer almost $5 million in new food safety grants. The money is to help smaller operations comply with new food safety guidelines established by the Food and… Continue Reading

Lawmaker seeks increased access amid raw milk warnings

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As Louisiana lawmakers consider whether to allow on-farm sales of raw milk, health officials in Utah and Tennessee are echoing last month’s federal warning about the dangers of drinking raw milk, citing outbreaks and deaths. As many as 3 percent of the people in the United States drink raw — aka unpasteurized — milk, according… Continue Reading

Meat substitutes: Safer and just as tasty as the real thing?

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Portland, OR — On a recent rainy evening, Native Foods Cafe in Bridgeport Village was bustling. Customers crowded around the counter to order burgers, nachos, chicken wings and other dishes, and people were happily digging in after being served. The “Soul Bowl,” a mélange of beans, rice and veggies, had what looked and tasted like… Continue Reading

New Jersey standoff on homemade food sales continues

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A New Jersey state senator is standing firm on his opposition to legalizing direct-to-consumer sales of certain foods not produced in commercial kitchens, citing food safety and fair competition concerns. Only the Garden State and Wisconsin have 100 percent bans on “homemade” food sales, often referred to as the cottage food industry by proponents. New… Continue Reading

California warns against soft cheeses, cites Salmonella uptick

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California health officials issued a warning Thursday about the dangers of eating illegally manufactured Mexican-style soft cheeses, which are often sold by street vendors, because of a “dramatic increase” in Salmonella infections since late 2015. At least 50 people have been confirmed with three different strains of Salmonella since November, according to a statement from Dr. Karen… Continue Reading

UPDATE: Restaurant’s house-made mayo implicated in outbreak

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UPDATED CONTENT 3:30 p.m. EST A Dayton, OH, micro brewery and restaurant will remain closed until further notice, its owner said Monday after health officials reported house-made mayonnaise at Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery tested positive for Salmonella. At least 20 of 80 people reported sickened in an outbreak linked to the restaurant have been confirmed by… Continue Reading

State says Organic Pastures raw milk caused outbreak

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California officials say a January E. coli outbreak was caused by unpasteurized raw milk from Organic Pastures Dairy Co. because laboratory analysis shows the victims’ infections match a “very unusual” type of E. coli found at the dairy and in its products. Ten people, mostly children, are confirmed to have been infected with the outbreak… Continue Reading

Organic Pastures recalls raw milk

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A California dairy that sells USDA certified organic raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products is voluntarily recalling its whole milk — that expired on Jan. 23 and 26 — in collaboration with state officials. Fresno-based Organic Pastures Dairy Co. posted the recall on its website and Facebook page Thursday. The dairy has recalled products… Continue Reading

Idaho defines cottage foods; food safety unaddressed

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Idaho activists have won their fight to “unchain the cupcake” gaining approval from two state legislative committees that agreed this month to define cottage foods and require such home cookin’ to be labeled when offered for sale. The OK from the Health and Welfare Committees in the Idaho House of Representatives and Senate keeps homemade… Continue Reading

USDA says pesticide levels in produce, other foods not a threat

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Just as in the Sherlock Holmes story “Silver Blaze,” there is significance to the non-barking dogs when it comes to a major data dump by a government agency. There’s been scant reaction to USDA’s release Monday of its annual Pesticide Data Program report. The report again confirms that pesticide residues are not a food safety… Continue Reading