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Food Safety News

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FDA

FoodNet Report: Pathogen Infection Rates Still ‘Well Above’ Government Targets

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest report card on the trends in foodborne illnesses on Thursday, and, in general, not much has changed from previous years. According to the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), there were a total of 19,056 infections, 4,200 hospitalizations and 80 deaths reported in 2013…. Continue Reading

Former Michigan Farmers’ Coop COO Faces Felony Involving ‘Adulterated’ Soy Products

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The former chief operating officer of a rural Michigan farmers’ cooperative has been charged with one felony count of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. According to a story published Thursday in the Huron Daily Tribune, JoAnn Rutkowski of the former Thumb Oilseed Producers Cooperative in Ubly, MI, was indicted for causing the introduction of… Continue Reading

Why Brewers Worry About FSMA

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Spent grains have made a lot of headlines in the past couple of weeks. The byproduct of the brewing process that remains after the mashing and lautering stages is commonly sold or given to farmers to feed to their livestock. But brewers have been worried that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) will impose regulations… Continue Reading

Ackee Products Can Be Seized or Refused Entry for Toxin Levels, Says FDA

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing final guidance on enforcement criteria for ackee products containing the toxin hypoglycin A. Ackee is a fruit native to West Africa but is also found in Central and South America, many Caribbean countries, and Southern Florida. Canned, frozen and other ackee products are marketed in the U.S., largely… Continue Reading

FDA Allows Irradiation in Crustaceans for Foodborne Pathogen Control

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will allow irradiation on crab, shrimp, lobster, crayfish and prawns to control foodborne pathogens and extend shelf life. After a safety assessment considered potential toxicity, the effect of irradiation on nutrients, and potential microbiological risk, the agency decided to amend current food additive regulations to allow “the safe use… Continue Reading

Tribes Still Troubled by FDA’s ‘Inadequate’ Consultation Policy

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With less than 30 days notice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally set a date for face-to-face consultation with American Indian tribes and pueblos on its proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). On March 27, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor sent a letter to tribal… Continue Reading

FDA Warning Letters: Six Addressed to Seafood Facilities

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The bulk of the nine warning letters released last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration were addressed to seafood processing facilities for violations of seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulation. HACCP failures at Portland Fish Exchange of Portland, ME, led FDA to declare the company’s seafood products – including histamine-producing… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: The Bogus Honey Story Won’t Die

Opinion

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Foodborne disease outbreaks and recalls usually dictate the foods we cover. We usually follow the pathogens without any other discriminating factor. So, if we are focused on beef, or spinach, or sprouts, or cantaloupe, or whatever, we just follow the story. Of course, there are always exceptions to rules. Food Safety News has been fortunate… Continue Reading

FSMA Questions Dominate Town Hall Session With Top Food Safety Regulators

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Michael Taylor, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, told the audience at the Food Safety Summit’s Town Hall on Thursday to expect a document explaining the principles guiding the agency’s internal work for implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Taylor was joined at the event in Baltimore… Continue Reading

Report Identifies Chemicals ‘Quietly Added’ to Food Under GRAS

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The “generally recognized as safe,” or GRAS, determination for food additives has been getting a lot of attention lately for being a regulatory loophole. The main issue is that GRAS allows companies to decide whether a substance meets the definition of GRAS without mandating a review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before being… Continue Reading