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Study: Antibiotics May Help Spread Salmonella Between Animals

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An estimated 80 percent of all antibiotics in the U.S. are given to livestock, which raises concerns among some scientists about the fostering of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. But a study on antibiotics just published by researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine might introduce a whole new concern to the equation. Mice given antibiotics to… Continue Reading

Dietary Supplements Contained Banned Drugs After FDA Recalls

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A new study finds that a high percentage of dietary supplements still contained banned drugs at least six months after being recalled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Approximately half of all FDA class-I drug recalls since 2004 have involved dietary supplements adulterated with banned pharmaceutical ingredients. Previous studies have found that dietary… Continue Reading

What U.S. Can Learn From Other Countries About Meat, Poultry Inspection

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As the new Modernization of Poultry Inspection rule went into effect Monday, the Pew Charitable Trusts and Center for Science in the Public Interest released their review of global meat and poultry inspection systems. They recommended that U.S. policymakers begin a broader, data-driven effort to update the Department of Agriculture’s inspection system. Traditional slaughter inspection methods for beef, pork and… Continue Reading

The Role of Cooperative Extension in Food Safety

Opinion

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(This article by Ellen Thomas, a Ph.D. candidate in Food Science at North Carolina State University, and Ben Chapman, Ph.D., an associate professor and food safety specialist at NCSU, was published in the October/November 2014 issue of Food Safety magazine and is reposted here with permission.) Land-grant universities in the United States were established with the Morrill… Continue Reading

Documentary Explores Use of Antibiotics in Food Animals

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On Tuesday night, PBS aired FRONTLINE’s two-part documentary exploring the increasing prevalence of antibiotic resistance. The first half of “The Trouble with Antibiotics” focused on the science and politics behind the widespread use of antibiotics in food animals, presenting the history of the practice and attempts to link human illnesses back to animal antibiotics. Highlighted… Continue Reading

Microbial Testing of Fresh Produce: Where is the Value?

Opinion

Summary Product testing is an inefficient tool for enhancing the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The probability of finding a contaminant is very low at the bacterial population densities likely to be found. Product testing is wasteful of resources because of the time and expense of the testing itself, but also because all tested… Continue Reading

Test Uses Low-Tech Litmus Paper to Detect E. Coli

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Litmus paper, long known as a low-tech method of testing substances for acidity, might have a new use as a cheap, quick way to test for E. coli, according to researchers at McMaster University in Ontario. The researchers correlated levels of E. coli bacteria with pH values represented by the colors to which the litmus… Continue Reading

USDA: U.S. Foodborne Illnesses Cost More Than $15.6 Billion Annually

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New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service attempt to put a price on the cost of major foodborne illnesses in the United States. Rather than interpreting the data, USDA’s economic unit has released spreadsheets for 15 major pathogens in the U.S. that are together responsible for more than 95 percent… Continue Reading

WHO Study Measures Global Burden of Listeria

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In 2010, Listeria monocytogenes was estimated to infect 23,150 people worldwide. It killed 5,463 of them, or 23.6 percent, according to a new study by European researchers in the World Health Organization (WHO) published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The researchers say that an urgent effort is needed to fill in information on Listeria infections… Continue Reading

EPA Study: Fish Still Contaminated With Phased-Out Scotchgard Chemical

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(This article by Brian Bienkowski of Environmental Health News was originally posted Sept. 26, 2014, and is used here with permission.) A persistent chemical formerly used in Scotchgard still contaminates most fish in U.S. rivers and the Great Lakes despite a phase-out a dozen years ago, a new federal study shows. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency researchers… Continue Reading