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USDA beefs up scrutiny of Brazilian beef amid bribery scandal

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None of the slaughter or processing facilities targeted by the Federal Police in Brazil have shipped meat products to the United States, according to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Nevertheless, FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw and ready-to-eat beef products from Brazil once it heard a scandal was brewing…. Continue Reading

Three things to expect during unannounced FDA inspections

Inspectors from FDA collect a sample of seafood for testing.

It’s not a question of if, but when, officials with the Food and Drug Administration will show up at any given food company for an unannounced inspection, with any violations outlined in a Form 483 that is handed off to company representatives as inspectors head out the door. While the Form 483 itself is essentially… Continue Reading

Dozens sick from soy nut butter; FDA mum on manufacturer

Almost 90 percent of the victims in the ongoing E. coli outbreak traced to a soy substitute for peanut butter are children.

With the victim count at more than two dozen and expected to increase, lab reports show little doubt that I.M. Healthy brand soy nut butter products are implicated in an ongoing E. coli outbreak, but corporate and government officials are still not saying what other products might also be contaminated. Three states — Oregon, Washington… Continue Reading

Sonny Perdue set to face Senate ag committee Thursday

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Secretary of Agriculture-designate Sonny Perdue will finally get his hearing tomorrow before the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. President Trump nominated the former Georgia governor to serve as America’s 31st Secretary of Agriculture nine weeks ago. It is not clear why there’s been such a delay in getting the Committee hearing scheduled. The Senate… Continue Reading

Multi-drug-resistant Salmonella outbreak from bull calves over

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The multi-state outbreak of multi-drug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections that was linked to contact with dairy bull calves is over. Since its last update Nov. 28, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an additional 15 confirmed cases were added to the outbreak. Five of those required hospitalization. Final counts for the outbreak are 36 confirmed… Continue Reading

More delay for Produce Safety Rule as industry balks over water testing

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Water testing standards that are a key part of the produce safety requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are undergoing a quiet review that could extend the compliance date for the Produce Safety Rule beyond January 2018. Produce industry leaders learned  in mid-February during a meeting with U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials… Continue Reading

Still time for the 9th and 10th justice to weigh in on DeCoster appeal

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Getting your case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court is a lot like winning an Academy Award for your latest movie.  You need to take advantage of any time you have and then go about creating “a buzz” just ahead of the voting. Whether Austin “Jack” DeCoster, son Peter DeCoster, and their prestigious legal team… Continue Reading

SD jury trial in BPI v ABC to start June 5, but without Diane Sawyer

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ABC Broadcasting and on-air reporter Jim Avila are being ordered to face a Union County, SD jury over a $5.7 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Beef Products Inc. (BPI). ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer, however, was released from the litigation over the Disney-owned network’s depiction of a beef product that came to be known as… Continue Reading

Food industry wants Congress to fund FSMA enforcement

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Food safety appropriations for last year are like the high water marks for the next fiscal year budget and congressional appropriators are now being urged not to back off just as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) just as it is being implemented. A couple dozen major food companies and trade associations Wednesday dropped a… Continue Reading

USDA Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by the Northeast Storm

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As a winter storm impacts northeast states, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service shares food safety tips to keep in mind when preparing for a weather emergency. During Snow and Ice Storms: During a snowstorm, do not place perishable food out in the snow. Outside temperatures can vary and food can be exposed to unsanitary… Continue Reading