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GAO: Federal Food-Safety Oversight Needs Better Coordination

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The federal government could be doing more to achieve the goals of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and other food-safety efforts, according to a 46-page report published Thursday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The amount of food-safety oversight reported by the federal government varies between the nation’s two major food-safety agencies,… Continue Reading

Walmart Working on New Safety Protocols for Poultry Suppliers

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Walmart and Sam’s Club are apparently leaving it to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to talk about the actual food-safety problem the corporation is now out to solve. On Thursday, the giant Arkansas-based retailer issued a statement about “enhanced poultry safety measures” it plans to implement. “The new guidelines are in… Continue Reading

Caramel Apples Linked to Multi-State Listeria Outbreak

4 illnesses and 2 deaths reported in MN

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The Minnesota Departments of Health and Agriculture are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a multi-state outbreak of Listeriosis linked to eating caramel apples. Four people in Minnesota have become ill as part of this outbreak. All were hospitalized, and two died…. Continue Reading

Caffeine Powder Concerns FDA, Energy Drinks Concern Denmark

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Last week, the parents of two young men who died earlier this year after ingesting caffeine powder met with Food and Drug Administration officials to deliver a citizen petition urging the agency to ban the sale of powdered caffeine. In a blog about the meeting, Michael Landa, director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied… Continue Reading

Food-Safety Advocates Applaud Increased FSMA, NARMS Funding

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Food-safety advocates were pleased to see increased funding for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS) in the $1.1-trillion spending bill President Barack Obama signed on Tuesday. The bill provides almost $2.6 billion in discretionary funding for the Food and Drug Administration, including $903 million for… Continue Reading

Three Senators Have Questions for Interagency Antibiotics Task Force

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Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter Tuesday to Secretaries Chuck Hagel, Tom Vilsack and Sylvia Burwell, co-chairs of the newly formed Interagency Task Force for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, to ask how this task force will address gaps in how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently addressing… Continue Reading

Recipe for Better Seafood Safety Opened to Public Comments

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Seafood safety, legal fishing, and proper labeling of fish might all benefit from presidential task force recommendations now open to public comments. Scheduled for publication on Dec. 18 in the Federal Register, the “Recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on Combating Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Seafood Fraud” cover four general themes: International: Combat… Continue Reading

Spending Bill Bans ‘Chinese Chicken’ From Federal Meal Programs

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A provision included in the $1.1-trillion spending bill Congress passed last week and which is now headed to the president’s desk prevents poultry processed in China from being used in the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program (Section 736 of Division A). Four Chinese poultry-processing plants have… Continue Reading

Research: Ordering Raw Meat or Seafood Online Can Be Unsafe

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If you’re thinking about ordering a foodie gift basket online to send to a loved one this holiday season, you might want to reconsider. Research funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that there are some serious food safety risks associated with ordering raw meat, poultry, game and seafood online. Online sales of these… Continue Reading

FDA Warning Letters: Dairy, Juicer, Exporter, Seafood Processor

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The most recent batch of warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were sent to a dairy in Ohio, a juice manufacturer, an acidified foods facility and a seafood processor. Big Prairie, OH, dairy Hyland Acres Jerseys sold a bob veal calf for slaughter in June that FDA considered adulterated because there… Continue Reading