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Food Safety News

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pathogen testing

FSA Chastises UK Retailers for Resisting Release of Campylobacter Stats

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The United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) Monday criticized British supermarkets for not wanting to be named in the results of its Campylobacter testing program, set to be released this this week. The second round of findings, due out on Wednesday, will reveal which stores had the highest and lowest number of positive tests for… Continue Reading

Lab Testing: Hunting for Pathogens on Poultry

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The mishandling or undercooking of raw chicken meat associated with the recent Foster Farms Salmonella outbreak has sickened nearly 340 people across 20 states and Puerto Rico since March and has caused concern among consumers, consumer groups, and food-safety advocates about the safety of our food system and the efficacy of testing systems designed to… Continue Reading

Food Testing: Labs Test for Pathogens at Different Rates in the U.S. and Europe

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Microbial testing can be a helpful way to identify pathogen risks for fresh produce, but it’s not a guarantee of safety. That’s why this one option in the toolbox is used differently by Americans and Europeans. Testing in the U.S. varies somewhat from company to company, but it follows similar procedures that were standardized in… Continue Reading

Safety of the National School Lunch Program’s Frozen Ground Beef Products

Opinion

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The government’s Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Commodity Procurement Staff purchases a variety of food products for use in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and other food assistance programs. One of these commodity items is frozen ground beef. All ground beef that is generated for the NSLP is further processed and cooked at other USDA… Continue Reading

3M Salmonella Detection Gains Worldwide Certification

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A Salmonella detection technique developed by Minnesota-based conglomerate 3M has been determined to be as effective or more effective than standard methods of detecting Salmonella in seafood and vegetable products, and in environmental samples taken from food processing sites, the Paris-based AFNOR CERTIFICATION expert committee has found. This follows AFNOR CERTIFICATION’s validation in December of… Continue Reading

Campylobacter Screening Method Holds Promise for Detecting Outbreak Source

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In a new study, a team of California-based scientists shows that by targeting and analyzing a specific gene in Campylobacter, labs can screen dozens of isolates of the bacteria to find the handful most likely to be the source of an outbreak. Unlike other enteric bacteria, such as E. coli O157:H7, Campylobacter is so diverse… Continue Reading

MDP Shuts Down; USDA Testing of Produce for Pathogens Halted

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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

Rapid Tests Less Effective in Identifying Foodborne Illness Sources

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New tests that detect common foodborne pathogens more rapidly are less likely to trace contamination to the source, since they provide less specific information than older, slower tests, say public health officials. As a consequence, sources of foodborne illnesses outbreaks will not be identified as quickly, state epidemiologists told the Scientific American in a report… Continue Reading

Cornell’s New Test Spots Salmonella in Cattle

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Veterinarians may now test for a certain Salmonella strain affecting cattle populations in the  United States thanks to a test developed by researchers at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the Ithaca Journal reports. The new test tracks antibodies in cattle to help identify asymptomatic carriers of Salmonella Dublin, a strain that causes disease in… Continue Reading

STEC Derived HUS: Infection or Toxemia?

Opinion

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For some time now, the worldwide food supply has been under attack by a bacterium we know well as a generally non-trouble-making resident of the human colon (Escherichia coli), which has lately been possessed of a terrible “new” weapon in the form of Shiga toxin. We call this beast “Shiga toxin-producing  E. coli” (STEC). We… Continue Reading