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Nutrition & Public Health

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Training Teachers Helps Students Learn Food Safety

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One way to teach kids about food safety and nutrition is to teach their teachers. That’s the idea behind a training program the Food and Drug Administration has been running for the past 15 years. “Science and Our Food Supply” is a week-long program held in the summer that brings together teachers from all over… Continue Reading

Overuse of Antibiotics Nearly Doubled Clostridium Difficile Infection Rate

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The October issue of the American Journal of Infection Control reports on a new study about a topic nobody really wants to think about — deadly diarrhea. It’s what happens when the otherwise harmless Clostridium difficile (C. difficile, or C. diff) digestive tract bacterium grows out of control, releasing toxins that attack the lining of the… Continue Reading

Online Channel Examines the Intersection of Tradition and Food Safety

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The global youth media company Vice has launched a new documentary series about how politics and policy affect what we eat. “The Politics of Food” is available through Vice’s online food channel, Munchies, and the first 20-minute episode investigates the underground trade in a West African delicacy called “smokies” that has been banned in the… Continue Reading

Salmonella Strains Linked to Live Poultry Sicken 344 People in 42 States

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As of Sept. 23, 344 people in 42 states and Puerto Rico have been sickened by one of three outbreak strains of Salmonella linked to contact with live poultry, according to the latest update released Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). No deaths have been reported, although 32 percent of those… Continue Reading

U.S., China FDA Officials to Speak at Shanghai Food Safety Conference

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Xu Jinghe, director of legal affairs for the China Food and Drug Administration, holds a position pretty much equivalent to Michael R. Taylor, the deputy commissioner for foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Xu, who earlier this week announced that high-risk food industries in China will soon be required to obtain liability insurance,… Continue Reading

FSMA Rule Revisions a ‘Huge Win’ for the Organic Sector

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Organic food producers are very pleased with the Food and Drug Administration’s revised provisions for the produce safety rule of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). “It’s a huge win,” says Gwendolyn Wyard, regulatory director of Organic Standards and Food Safety with the Organic Trade Association (OTA). These changes are about making sure the rules… Continue Reading

What Parents Need to Know About E. Coli

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September has proven to be a tragic month in terms of E. coli infecting children. At the beginning of the month, two young girls in the Pacific Northwest died from unrelated E. coli O157:H7 infections. First, the bacteria took the life of 4-year-old Oregonian Serena Profitt on Sept. 8, and then, days later, 3-year-old Brooklyn… Continue Reading

Senators Call on Obama for Increased NARMS Funding

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Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are urging the president to include $15 million in his fiscal year 2016 budget request for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), which tracks antibiotic resistance in foodborne pathogens. The letter, which was sent Monday, stated that the increase would “significantly improve our… Continue Reading

Tomato Growers Lose ‘Takings’ Lawsuit Against FDA

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Food safety warnings are not “regulatory takings” by the government, and, therefore, Uncle Sam does not have to compensate tomato growers who lost big money when the public was warned about a 2008 Salmonella outbreak. Tomato “growers, packers, and shippers” in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina have lost the claim they made for federal reimbursement… Continue Reading

Crest’s Parent Company Plans to Phase Out Microbeads in Toothpaste

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A dental hygienist’s concern about the tiny blue dots she kept seeing in people’s mouths has led to an announcement from the parent company of Crest toothpaste that it will start phasing out the controversial ingredient over the next six months. Trish Walraven said she wondered what the little blue specks could be that she… Continue Reading