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Food Safety News

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Letter From the Editor: A ‘Herculean Accomplishment’


Mike Taylor

Only two more Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules remain to be finalized. Final rules for Sanitary Transportation and Intentional Adulteration are due out next spring. But with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) release last week of final FSMA rules on Produce Safety, Foreign Supplier Verification, and Accredited Third Party Verification, long-sought reform… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: They’re Not Thinking About It



Back from Portland, OR, where the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) annual meeting was held this year, it’s natural to be thinking about the big things. This time of year, one that comes to mind is the safety of all the fresh fruit and produce we are scooping up. As “grown at altitude” Rocky… Continue Reading

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


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

Publisher’s Platform: Cucumbers, Salmonella and Budget Cuts



The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that a multi-state Salmonella outbreak was likely caused by the consumption of cucumbers imported from Mexico.  The announcement came one day after USA Today reporter Liz Szabo reported that the FDA would be conducting 18 percent fewer food inspections this year due to a loss… Continue Reading

Can Social Media Enhance Food Safety?



Consider the following hypothetical scenario: Working together, a public health authority, a health management organization and some major food processors have set up a non-profit food safety monitoring center. This center has created a website that invites members of the public to report possible food-related illnesses, and has widely distributed a free smartphone app for… Continue Reading

MDP Shuts Down; USDA Testing of Produce for Pathogens Halted


The Microbiological Data Program, which used to conduct 80 percent of all federal produce testing for pathogens like Salmonella and Listeria, officially shut down on December 31, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed. The $4.5 million program had been in shutdown mode since mid-November. State agriculture departments, which tested samples of leafy greens, melons,… Continue Reading

Top Ten Most Important Food Safety Stories of 2012


Editor’s Note: We continue today with our look back at what happened in 2012 with the Top Ten Most Important Stories of 2012 as selected by the writers and editors of Food Safety News. Like yesterday’s Reader’s Choices, the stories that drove Food Safety News’ readership to new heights, the Top Ten is a way… Continue Reading

Letter From The Editor: “The Blob” in 2012


The 1958 science fiction movie “The Blob” remains a classic because it introduced the great Steve McQueen in a leading role. Probably because the horror flick about a giant amoeba-like space alien landing in Pennsylvania continues to entertain audiences on our many movie channels, an academic debate of sorts comes and goes. “What did the… Continue Reading

Cutting 80 Percent of Pathogen Testing for Produce, USDA Begins Shutdown of MDP


After months of uncertainty over the future of the program, the Agricultural Marketing Service’s Microbiological Data Program, which tests produce for disease-causing pathogens like E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria, has officially gone into shutdown mode, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official confirmed Tuesday. Department officials told states that participate in the $4.5 million program… Continue Reading