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Food Safety News

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USDA

Critics Call White House Antibiotics Action Plan a ‘Missed Opportunity’ on Farms

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The White House released its National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria on Friday, but some critics say it doesn’t do enough to tackle antibiotic use on farms. “Antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing public health issues facing the world today. It causes tens of thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses every year —… Continue Reading

Consumer Reports Guides Shoppers Through Produce Pesticide Residues

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Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases guides to help shoppers pick fruits and vegetables with the fewest pesticide residues. Consumer Reports’ Food Safety and Sustainability Center has now released similar guidelines. According to the organization’s survey conducted in November 2014, pesticide exposure in food is a concern for 85 percent of Americans. For its… Continue Reading

Don’t Rely on the Luck of the Irish to Guarantee Food Safety

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Those of us on the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline can always tell when St. Patrick’s Day approaches. Starting in early March, we begin to receive lots of questions about corned beef: How do you prepare it? How can you tell when it’s safely cooked? How long can you store it? While a traditional dinner… Continue Reading

Group Seeks to Reverse Slight Upward Trend in E. Coli in Ground Beef

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Once a major threat to the beef industry, the levels of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef have been on a historic decline since peaking in the mid-1990s. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), levels of E. coli infections today are less than half of what they were in 1996, and beef companies have… Continue Reading

FSIS Report: Man Sentenced for Selling Pork Despite Temperature Abuse During Transport

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A plea agreement has led to the sentencing of José Suarez for the knowing distribution of wholesale meat that was unfit for human consumption and adulterated in violation of federal law. Suarez, owner of Joshua Enterprises Inc. of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty to one federal felony count of offering 52,859 pounds of pork shoulder… Continue Reading

Undeclared Allergens Behind Half of FDA’s Fourth-Quarter Recalls

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Food recalls in the final three months of 2014 ticked up to 136 events, up from the previous lowest quarter of the year. The total includes recalls overseen by both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The count comes from government records monitored and reported by… Continue Reading

USDA May Move Mechanically Tenderized Beef Labeling to 2016

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While appearing before the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said USDA will work to introduce labels for mechanically tenderized beef within the next two years. New labeling laws are implemented in two-year increments so that new label rules made in 2013 or 2014 will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2016. When the… Continue Reading

Savings From a Single Food Safety Agency Appeal to Some House Republicans

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Some House Republicans appear to be considering proposals for a single food safety agency. In January, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced bills to establish such an agency independent of any federal department. In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2016, President Obama proposed the consolidation of the Agriculture Department’s Food Safety… Continue Reading

Agencies Develop New Model for Foodborne Illness Sources

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Understanding which foods are most commonly responsible for certain foodborne illnesses helps in developing effective prevention measures. Today, the three federal agencies involved in the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) released details of their new method for estimating the sources of Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. IFSAC is a partnership between the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: We’re Back!

Opinion

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Shortly before Food Safety News was temporarily unable to post — a maintenance period imposed by our techie handlers from late Thursday to mid-day Saturday — the long-awaited proposed “2015 Dietary Guidelines” were dropped by the group that exists to advise USDA and HHS. The group took more than 500 pages to complete its assignment…. Continue Reading