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The Packinghouse: Safety and Uses of Process-Water

Opinion

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(This is Part 1B of a five-part series on produce safety by Roy E. Costa, R.S., M.S., a registered professional sanitarian and founder/owner of Environ Health Associates Inc. Part 1A was posted here on Feb. 25, 2015, and the series introduction was posted here on Feb. 10, 2015.) Packinghouse operations use process-water to cool and clean… Continue Reading

Current Issues in Produce Safety: The Packinghouse

Opinion

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(This is Part 1A of a five-part series on produce safety by Roy E. Costa, R.S., M.S., a registered professional sanitarian and founder/owner of Environ Health Associates Inc.  The series introduction was posted here on Feb. 10, 2015.) The purpose of this series on produce safety is to explain the nature of the produce industry from… Continue Reading

Introduction: Current Issues in Produce Safety

Opinion

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(This is the introduction to a five-part series on produce safety by Roy E. Costa, R.S., M.S., a registered professional sanitarian and founder/owner of Environ Health Associates Inc. )  Many nutritional experts consider fresh fruits and vegetables to be a vital part of a healthy diet, and the American public shares this perception. As a result, there has… Continue Reading

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

FDA to Issue Two Revised FSMA Rules Next Summer

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will propose revised rule language and open another comment period on two of the proposed rules affecting farmers under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). FDA plans to issue revised language for the proposed rules on produce safety and preventive controls for human food by early… Continue Reading

Understanding Small Farm Exemptions Under FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule

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With the comment period finally closed on the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is one step closer to implementing FSMA. FDA must now review the comments as it considers final changes to the proposed rule, which sets standards for the safe production and harvesting of… Continue Reading

Proposed Rule for Food Processors Alarms Some, Confuses Many

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“Coming down like a ton of bricks.” “Complicated and interwoven.” “Costly.” “The end of many small- and mid-size farms and food processors.” “Never heard of it.” “A work in progress.” When asked about FDA’s new proposed rule for food processing facilities, that’s how a sustainable-agriculture advocate, a food-safety expert for a large fresh produce association,… Continue Reading

Publisher’s Platform: Cucumbers, Salmonella and Budget Cuts

Opinion

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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

FDA to Extend Comment Deadline for Produce Safety Rule

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Responding to multiple stakeholder requests, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is planning to extend the comment period on the produce safety rule beyond May 16, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said on Thursday. “We appreciate that these are complex rules to go through and we do intend to extend the comment period so we can… Continue Reading