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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

Small plus local doesn’t equal a free pass on food safety

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There’s a revolution going on in a grocery store near you. Fueled by consumer demand, it has been dubbed the “fresh revolution” by industry heavyweights such as the United Fresh Produce Association. It’s all about fresh produce — fruits and vegetables that nutritionists are praising as “healthy foods” and that shoppers are increasingly seeking out…. Continue Reading

Mustard relish recalled because of botulism concerns

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Mustard relish from HardyWares Preserves in Nova Scotia is under recall by Canadian authorities because of possible contamination with the bacteria that causes botulism poisoning. The recalled relish, sold in 250 ml jars, can be identified by the HardyWares logo on the label and a “Packaged on” date of Dec. 3, 2015, according to the… Continue Reading

Vermont bill would extend on-farm slaughter exemption

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A bill to extend on-farm slaughter privileges for small farmers in Vermont is set for discussion and a possible vote in the state Senate’s Agriculture Committee next week. Proponents include small farmers and fans of local food. They say allowing small animal farm operations to slaughter on site is better for the animals, the farmers… Continue Reading

Pasteurized goat milk, cheese ruled out as E. coli source

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An E. coli outbreak traced to a Connecticut goat dairy is not linked to milk, cheese, soap or other products produced there, state officials said Wednesday. Additional victims are still being identified in the outbreak, though, with 41 people confirmed to have been sickened by the outbreak strain of E. coli O157. The majority of… 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

Michigan’s S. Serra Cheese accepts permanent injunction

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During much of the 18 months it was in court, it appeared that the Clinton, MI-based S. Serra Cheese Co. was going contest an injunction against it brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court in August 2014. But a permanent injunction has now been entered against the Macomb County company and its co-owners… Continue Reading

Officials seek public’s help as E. coli outbreak count doubles

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Confirmed E. coli cases linked to a Connecticut goat dairy more than doubled in the past week as health officials renewed calls for public assistance with their investigation. Of the 34 victims confirmed by the state, 28 are children ranging in age from 10 months to 14 years. Eighteen of them are less than 5… 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

CDC declares end to E. coli outbreak linked to fresh sprouts

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An outbreak traced to fresh sprouts appears to be over, according to federal officials who say 11 people in two states were sickened by E. coli bacteria in Jack & The Green Sprouts alfalfa sprouts. Eight people in Minnesota and three in Wisconsin were confirmed with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157, with symptom… Continue Reading