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Cold plasma proving to be hottest new food safety treatment

cold plasma blueberry research

Described as a “purple blow torch” by food safety scientists, cold plasma treatment can kill 99.9 percent of norovirus on blueberries without damaging the delicate fruit, giving a food safety boost to the so-called superfood. Brendan Niemira, a microbiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, PA, and a team… Continue Reading

Cancer warning labels sought for processed meat and poultry

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A nine-page petition filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to begin requiring colorectal cancer warning labels on certain meat and poultry products. The petition claims “scientific research has led to the conclusion that processed meat and poultry increases the risk… Continue Reading

UK study: Juices from bagged salad can encourage Salmonella

Salad greens

A recent study by researchers at the University of Leicester found that traces of salad green juices released when the leaves become damaged can significantly encourage the growth of Salmonella enterica. The researchers reported that they concentrated on Salmonella because it is “an aggressive pathogen that has been implicated in salad-associated infections.” Their work was posted online… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: Another speech, another ‘shake down’

Opinion

Marler Mao

Over the past 20-plus years I have given close to 400 speeches around the world on “why it is a bad idea to poison your customers.” My “chats” have been in front of industry and governmental groups on every continent, except South America. I’m somewhat popular in China. Most of the audiences are receptive to… Continue Reading

Beach Beat: A little dab’ll do ya when it comes to Listeria

Opinion

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Those nerds at the FDA and CDC have been at it again, thank goodness. They took a crazy close look at the Listeria outbreak traced to Blue Bell Creameries ice cream and found evidence supporting the long-held assumption that very small amounts of the pathogen can lead to serious infections in some groups of people. Though… Continue Reading

Extension project targets contaminated water risk to produce

UT water disinfection system

A multistate research and outreach project designed to assist produce growers with reducing food safety risks from contaminated surface water is taking shape at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Besides helping to mitigate these risks, the project is also meant to help growers better understand and comply with requirements under the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Final Rule… Continue Reading

CDC study attempts to assess outbreak risk from organic food

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A newly published study of outbreaks linked to organic food concludes that while more data are needed to assess whether the risk is greater than for conventionally grown food, consumers should practice safe food handling in any case to avoid being sickened. The study, from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published online… Continue Reading

Three new GMO spuds earn permission from USDA

Simplot logo with seedlings

Two companies have green lights from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for their non-browning potato varieties that have had their genes altered. Calyxt, a company based in New Brighton, MN, got the go ahead for its cultivar known as “PPO_KO” and the J.R. Simplot Co. of Boise, ID, has permission for its “X17” and “Y9”… Continue Reading

Norovirus isn’t rocket science: Wash your freakin’ hands

Opinion

hand-washing-illustration

It’s estimated that the average person will get norovirus five times during their lifetime. Globally, there are 685 million cases of norovirus each year, with approximately 20 million of those cases occurring in the United States. Norovirus is the number one foodborne illness – and the leading cause of foodborne illness outbreaks – in the… Continue Reading

Complacency kills: Challenging the protectors of the status quo

Opinion

A company representative (above) discusses how the measurement of cleanliness is a reassuring reward to workers tasked with deep cleaning. After a simple spray and wipe procedure, workers can  swab surfaces and use the scanner to measure, document and report successful cleaning. The system uses  of each and a documented report of success. The system measures Relative Light Units using ATP, Adenosine TriPhosphate. (Photos by Jim Mann)

CHICAGO — Rob O’Neal, former Navy Seal and keynote speaker at the International Sanitary Supply Association meeting here this week, reminded the audience of food safety and away-from-home wellness professionals that “complacency kills,” a message that really hit home with those leading the charge to use new technologies in the war waged in the darkness of the… Continue Reading