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Food Safety News

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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

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

NIOSH Director Says FSIS Administrator Misinterpreted Line-Speed Study

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John Howard, director of the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), is concerned that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has misinterpreted the findings of a recent study evaluating worker safety at poultry-processing plants. At the request of FSIS, NIOSH evaluated the effects of waivers of line-speed restrictions… Continue Reading

House Subcommittee Airs Out FSIS Controversies During Budget Hearing

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At Thursday’s hearing with Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety Brian Ronholm, members of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee addressed many of the controversies currently dogging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Most discussed was the proposed modernization of the poultry inspection rule. While several House members, including Chairman Robert Aderholt… Continue Reading

Senators Request ‘Robust’ Funding for Food Safety

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Ahead of Thursday’s coinciding congressional hearings on budgets for the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter to their colleagues, asking them to support “robust” food-safety funding. “We ask that the [Senate Appropriations] Subcommittee provide robust… Continue Reading

WA Egg Processor Responds to FSIS Request With Partial Recall

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Nutriom LLC of Lacey, WA, has agreed to a partial recall of six production lots of its processed egg products in response to a request last week from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service. The family-owned business had initially declined to comply with the FSIS request last week, prompting that agency to… Continue Reading

Controlling Pathogens: Options and a Recommendation

Opinion

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My previous articles have outlined that certain strains of Salmonella are virulent and pathogenic to humans. As such, they are adulterants by definition of the Meat and Poultry Inspection Acts, even in raw meat or poultry products. These pathogenic strains can be identified by their pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) profile or other genetic assays…. Continue Reading

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hears Testimony on Poultry Worker Safety

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights heard testimony Tuesday that worker safety in the U.S. meatpacking and poultry industries could be compromised by pending rule changes at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), along with the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights and the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the… Continue Reading

Prosecutions for Falsely Using USDA’s Stamp of Inspection Don’t Come Easy

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Paul and Kelly Rosberg, who once owned Nebraska’s Finest Meats in Randolph, NE, put up a vigorous defense for many months against charges that they had sold to Omaha Public Schools 2,600 pounds of ground beef falsely presented as inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In court documents, they referred to themselves not as… Continue Reading

FSIS Issues Public Health Alert After WA Firm Declines to Expand Recall of Processed Egg Products

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a public health alert on Wednesday because Nutriom LLC of Lacey, WA, declined to expand its Feb. 15, 2014, recall to include an additional 118,541 pounds of processed egg products for which there is reason to conclude that they are unfit for human… Continue Reading