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Food Safety News

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Back to School: Resources for Safe Lunches and Snacks

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The nation’s school children are returning to classrooms in droves this week. Kids and parents pack millions of school lunches daily, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released information about how to keep those lunches safe. In addition, the folks from the partnership for Food Safety Education are hosting a “Home Food Safety Mythbusters”… Continue Reading

Back to School? Keep Kids’ Lunches Clean, Cooked and Cool

school lunch safety

September is here, and with it comes a new morning routine. A lot of kids are heading back to school this week, so instead of packing the car to go to the pool or the beach, it’s time to pack lunches. Coincidentally, September is also Food Safety Education Month (be sure to check out our… Continue Reading

Insecticide Blamed for Deaths of 21 Children in India


The last meal of rice, beans and potato curry for 21 primary school children in India’s northeastern state of Bihar was likely contaminated with an insecticide, according to government officials trying to explain their deaths. In addition to the 21 children who died, another two dozen children were admitted to hospitals in the Patna area,… Continue Reading

USDA Issues Rules for Competitive School Foods. Yes!



At long last the USDA released Interim Final Rules for competitive foods—the snacks and sodas sold from vending machines and carts outside of federally supported school lunches. They were worth the wait. The new  standards are tough and will change the food landscape in schools much for the better.  They are summarized in a handy flier.  The… Continue Reading

Schools May Have Served 300,000 Pounds of Food Recalled for E. coli O121


The ongoing Rich Products Corp. recall, which has been expanded to include more than 10 million pounds of frozen food after being linked to a 15-state E. coli O121 outbreak may have impacted schools.  According to an Associated Press report on Monday, the New York-based company estimates that as many as 3 million pounds of… Continue Reading

Ridding Schools of Fast Food, Junk Food, and Soda Pushers



With the passage of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010, in addition to improving school meals, Congress required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update nearly nonexistent nutrition standards on so-called competitive foods. These are foods sold outside the school meal program, including fast food items sold alongside the reimbursable lunches, and soft drinks… Continue Reading

Internal Emails Reveal FSIS Was Divided on ‘Pink Slime’

A look at the lean finely textured beef firestorm, one year later


By Helena Bottemiller and Gretchen Goetz By March of last year, lean finely textured beef (LFTB) had reached celebrity status under the unfavorable moniker “pink slime.” The product—which is made by centrifuging slightly heated fatty beef trimmings to separate out lean meat bits and then treating that meat with ammonia gas to reduce foodborne pathogens… Continue Reading

Salmonella Outbreak Among Chicago-Area School Kids


Illinois public health officials announced that they are looking into the possibility that a Salmonella outbreak among students who attend 5 different schools outside Chicago, including a school in southwestern Lake County, was caused by school lunches. According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, students from a southwestern Lake County school and 3 schools… Continue Reading

Rebellion in the Heartland Over School Lunch Calorie Reductions

For the first time since it subjected conscientious objectors to severe calorie restrictions during World War II, the federal government is again experimenting with diet restrictions for schoolchildren. Changes in school lunch programs to get more fruits and vegetables on the menu – and cut the fat and salt – have gained much attention in… Continue Reading

Report Says Tuna Could Be Dangerous for School Kids

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Tuna-loving school kids are at risk for mercury poisoning, according to a new report sponsored by several public health, consumer and environmental groups. “Most children are already consuming only modest amounts of tuna and are not at significant risk,” said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project (MPP). “So the focus really needs to… Continue Reading