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Food Safety News

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USDA

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

CSPI: Eating Out Linked to Nearly Twice as Many Outbreaks as Eating In

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A report released Monday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) revealed that, over a 10-year period, there were about twice as many foodborne illness outbreaks linked to restaurants than to private homes. The 17-page report, entitled, “Outbreak Alert! 2014, A Review of Foodborne Illness in America From 2002-2011,” looked at “solved… Continue Reading

Country-of-Origin Labeling Challenge Gets a Rehearing Before Full D.C. Appeals Court

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A meat industry effort to stop USDA from implementing its May 2013 country-of-origin (COOL) labeling regulations has come back to life. A March 28 ruling that favored USDA was vacated April 4 by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, opening up a possibility for the American Meat Institute to still… 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

USDA ‘Confident’ About COOL at WTO, Congress May Want a Backup Plan

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Members of Congress are feeling antsy about the World Trade Organization decision on country of origin labeling (COOL) expected this summer. During a House budget hearing on Wednesday, Edward Avalos, the Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, responded to questions about the case. U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS)… 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

‘Historic Wins’ for Organic Industry in New Farm Bill

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“Like being thrown under the bus” was how organic farmers and others in the industry described their fate a little more than a year ago when Congress failed to agree on a new farm bill and instead extended the 2008 version. Gone were some previously funded programs — among them research, marketing, certification cost-share and data-collection… 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