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Foodborne Illness in Australia Sickens 250, Hospitalizes 24

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At least 250 people attending a convention for school principals last week in Brisbane, Australia, were reportedly sickened with a foodborne illness and 24 were hospitalized. Dr. Jeannette Young of Queensland Health said the conference participants had fallen ill after returning home, so the total number of those reported as hospitalized and their individual conditions… Continue Reading

Denmark’s National Food Institute Says Europe’s BPA Safe Levels Need Work

BPA Ban Introduced in North Carolina

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Those epoxy resins used to line metal food cans and some plastic containers are safe at current permitted levels, with some European bickering still going on about where lower limits should be placed. They may not have gotten that memo yet in North Carolina, where a “Toxic Free Kids Act” has been introduced on the… Continue Reading

Nestlé to Remove Artificial Flavors, Colors From Its Chocolate Candy

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By the end of 2015, Butterfinger, Crunch and Baby Ruth candy bars will be free of artificial flavors and colors. Nestlé USA announced this week that it plans to remove ingredients such as Red 40, Yellow 5 and artificial vanillin from all of its chocolate candy brands in the U.S. — more than 250 products. The… Continue Reading

Hepatitis A Cases in Australia Linked to Frozen Berries Increase to 14

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At least 14 people in Australia have been sickened in a Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries. The illnesses have been linked to two brands of frozen berries: Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries and Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries, both distributed by Patties Foods in the state of Victoria. The following products are subject to recall:… Continue Reading

Founder of Iowa’s ‘Halal’ Beef-Exporting Businesses Gets Trial Postponed

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The first to be charged might now be the last to be tried in the Iowa cases involving the allegedly falsified sale of “Halal” beef to markets in Southeast Asia. The trial in U.S. District Court for Northern Iowa of 73-year-old Cedar Rapids businessman William B. Aossey Jr., which was to begin March 9, has… Continue Reading

Foreign Markets Cautious on Canadian Beef Pending BSE Investigation

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Foreign markets are being extra cautious about Canadian beef until an investigation into an Alberta cow found to be infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) — or, as it is commonly called, “mad cow disease” — runs its course. In the meantime, South Korea has temporarily banned imports of Canadian beef as a precaution. None… Continue Reading

UK Restaurant Manager, Chef Jailed After Deadly Food Poisoning Incident

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Following a 2012 Christmas Day turkey dinner at a London-area pub that sickened approximately 33 people and may have killed one of them, the manager and chef were recently sentenced to jail terms. Chef Mehmet Kaya and Manager Ann-Marie McSweeney of the Railway Hotel in Hornchurch, Essex (east of London) were convicted of lying to… Continue Reading

Hepatitis A Outbreak in Australia Prompts Recall of Frozen Berries

Contamination reportedly traced to supplier in China

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Two brands of frozen berries are subject to nationwide recalls in Australia now that at least five people have been sickened with Hepatitis A virus. The illnesses have been linked to two brands of frozen berries: Nanna’s Frozen Mixed Berries and Creative Gourmet Mixed Berries. Health officials have connected the products to at least three… Continue Reading

Aussie Health Officials Want Consistent Approach to Raw Milk Ban

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Doug Powell, the former Kansas State University professor who reports from Down Under on his popular Barfblog, says that while raw milk is legally sold in Australia as “bath milk” in stores alongside pasteurized milk, those days may be drawing to an end. Michael Baird, premier of New South Wales and leader of the New… Continue Reading

Industry Consortium Begins Enormous DNA Sequencing Project for Food Safety

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Mars Inc. and IBM Research have teamed up for an ambitious food safety whole-genome sequencing project. The Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain will study the the microbial ecology of foods and their processing environments. Having a much deeper understanding of the populations in these ecologies — bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms — and… Continue Reading