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Independent Ranchers Still In Limbo From Rancho Beef Recall

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Last August, James Baker took a job as the warehouse manager of BN Ranch after receiving an offer from the owner, Bill Niman. Baker had worked with Niman at another ranch several years prior, and he quickly jumped at the opportunity to work with him again now that Niman had his own ranch. “Bill is… Continue Reading

TX Restaurant Tied to E. Coli Outbreak Last Year Has More Troubles

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Less than a year after it was named the source of an E. coli outbreak that sickened 10 people, Coco Loco at A&M, a Mexican restaurant in College Station, TX, has made the news again for a bad health inspection report. Regional publication The Eagle listed Coco Loco at A&M among recent area restaurants with health… Continue Reading

‘No Bare Hands’ Rule in California Sparks Opposition

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Some chefs and bartenders in California are miffed about a new regulation restricting them from handling ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands. At the beginning of January, language in the state’s food code changed from directing food employees to “minimize bare hand and arm contact” to strictly requiring them not to: “Except when washing fruits… Continue Reading

U.S. Catfish Farmers Emerge As Big Winners in 2014 Farm Bill

They Get USDA Inspection and Crop Insurance Coverage

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The USDA catfish inspection program, first authorized in 2008, is continued in the 2014 farm bill, which also includes a first-of-its-kind “crop insurance” program for catfish farmers. Most of the so-called political experts were predicting it would go the other way. One paid prognosticator went so far as to suggest that “Southern catfish farmers” were… Continue Reading

Texas Issues Fish Consumption Warning for Neches River Basin

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Texans have received a warning from the state department of health about six species of fish caught in portions of the Neches River Basin due to fish testing for heightened levels of mercury and dioxins. The area of concern is a portion of the Neches River Basin that includes Sam Rayburn Reservoir and B.A. Steinhagen… Continue Reading

NJ Restaurant Inspections Hard to Find for Super Bowl Fans

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New Jersey’s Health Commissioner is out with advice for fans attending Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. And, while some food safety tips were included, Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd was silent about finding restaurants with good inspection records. Her spokeswoman, Donna Leusner, told Food Safety News that’s because restaurant inspections in New Jersey are strictly a… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Temperance Over Time

Opinion

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Recreational sales of marijuana will be legal under state and local governments in Colorado come New Year’s Day, including so-called pot-infused food such as brownies. There’s been nothing like this since the end of Prohibition. For consumers in Colorado, it means there is a new food safety cop to deal with for those marijuana-infused foods… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Produce Growers Get Early Christmas Present

Opinion

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Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and his name is Mike Taylor. Produce farmers and processors got an early Christmas present on Dec. 19 when Taylor, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, made it official. The produce safety and preventive control rules to implement the Food Safety… Continue Reading

Costco Played Major Role in Bankruptcy of Nation’s Largest Organic Peanut Butter Maker

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Federal court records show that the Oct. 8 bankruptcy filing by the nation’s largest organic peanut butter processor was sparked by Issaquah, WA-based Costco, a membership-based warehouse club, when it unilaterally terminated a deal it had with Portales, NM-based Sunland, Inc. It’s left a side dispute for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New Mexico to… Continue Reading

Indiana, Kentucky Win Prestigious Public Health Award

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The Indiana State Department of Health and the Kentucky Department of Public Health have been awarded the John J. Guzewich Environmental Public Health Team Award for their combined response to the multi-state Salmonella outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms in 2012. Using food questionnaires, epidemiologists in Kentucky and Indiana traced the infections to melons…. Continue Reading