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U.S., Mexico Enter Formal Produce Safety Partnership

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Mexico’s National Service for Agro-Alimentary Public Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) and Federal Commission for the Protection from Sanitary Risks (COFEPRIS) signed a statement of intent last week forming a partnership to promote the safety of fresh and minimally processed agricultural products. Each country’s agencies will work together… Continue Reading

Why Most Americans Refrigerate Raw Shell Eggs and Europeans Often Don’t

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American travelers to Europe may have noticed that people “across the pond” often store raw shell eggs at room temperature. They can safely do that because of the way eggs are produced in Europe, but it can’t be safely done in the U.S. because of Salmonella. Salmonella bacteria, discovered in 1885 and named for the… Continue Reading

As More Imported Foods Reach the Dinner Table, Holes Remain in the FDA Safety Net

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(This report by Rick Schmitt was first published June 26, 2014, by FairWarning, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit news organization focused on public health, safety and environmental issues, and related topics of government and business accountability.) In April 2012, a team of inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a seafood company in… Continue Reading

UC Davis, Chinese University to Establish Joint Food Safety Center in China

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Officials with the University of California – Davis, and a China agricultural university in Shaanxi province signed an agreement this week to establish the Sino-U.S. Joint Research Center for Food Safety in China. The signing ceremony was held Wednesday in the city of Yingchuan, China, during a meeting that also included officials from the U.S. Department… Continue Reading

Aussie Listeria Tests Led to Recall of Likely Already Consumed California Fruit

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Back in the day, before the fresh fruit and produce industry managed to kill it, the Microbiological Data Program (MDP) came under fire from growers for not providing timely results, sometimes resulting in recalls of fruit that consumers had already eaten. That was 18 months ago and MDP — the joint venture of about 10… Continue Reading

Canada Introduces Fines for Meat Safety Failures

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has amended its regulations so that it can fine meat processors for violations of food safety programs such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and non-food safety issues such as labeling and consumer protection. The new Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) apply to 84 provisions of the Meat Inspection… Continue Reading

Chinese TV Report Prompts McDonald’s and KFC to Drop U.S.-Owned Supplier

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China’s Dragon TV has thrust a Chicago-area meat supplier into the arms of its crisis communications team with public apologies and promises for quick corrective action. But Aurora, IL-based OSI Group could not act fast enough to stop McDonald’s and Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC from cutting business ties with its Shanghai Husi Food Co. Ltd…. Continue Reading

Codex Adopts Limits on Lead in Infant Formula, Arsenic in Rice

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At the its annual meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, last week, the Codex Alimentarius Commission adopted a number of new standards, including maximum acceptable levels of lead in infant formula and of arsenic in rice. The commission was established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health… Continue Reading

Snails Seized at LA Airport for Threat to Public Health, Agriculture, Economy

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U.S. officials confiscated 67 giant African snails at the Los Angeles International Airport on July 1, citing a triple threat to public health, agriculture and the economy. The snails, weighing 35 pounds total and coming from Nigeria, are prohibited in the U.S. because, among other things, they carry parasites that can lead to meningitis in… Continue Reading

Study Finds Organic Foods Have More Benefits

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A new international study suggests that organic foods contain higher levels of antioxidants than conventionally grown versions. The research, led by Newcastle University and published last week in the British Journal of Nutrition, found concentrations of antioxidants such as polyphenolics that were 18- to 69-percent higher in organic food. “Many of these compounds have previously… Continue Reading