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Food Safety News

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whole genome sequencing (WGS)

Most labs use or plan to adopt WGS in Europe, says the survey

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is being used in the food safety laboratories of more than half of countries surveyed in Europe. By the end of 2016, the technique was present in labs in 17 of 30 countries, according to results of a survey by the European Commission and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). They found… Continue Reading

Beach Beat: Why wasn’t canal water tested months ago?

Romaine-related outbreak announced in March; canal water samples not collected until this month

Opinion

We’ve been reporting on the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce since federal officials first announced it on April 13. Actually, though romaine hadn’t been connected to it yet, we started reporting on the outbreak April 4. A day earlier New Jersey health officials had alerted the public to a cluster of E. coli… Continue Reading

WGS could be WMD in global battle against foodborne illness

Opinion

Editor’s note: This column by FDA’s Steven Musser and Eric L. Stevens was originally published on the agency’s blog. FDA is laying the foundation for the use of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to protect consumers from foodborne illness in countries all over the world. We recently traveled to Geneva to join a meeting of the Codex… Continue Reading

Feds waited 8 months to reveal cucumber Salmonella outbreak

The fourth Salmonella outbreak linked to fresh cucumbers since 2013 sickened people in at least eight states and spurred a national grocery chain to pull mini cucumbers from shelves this past spring — but federal officials didn’t go public about it until this week. In a report dated today, eight months after the outbreak, scientists… Continue Reading

Federal investigation of raw milk farm expands to buying clubs

Miller’s Organic Farm is not having a good year. In March, it was associated with a raw milk Listeria outbreak involving one fatality. A judge then approved USDA’s request to inspect the farm, which led to requests for sales records. Now, Amish owner Amos Miller has been ordered back to court on Nov. 1 where he… Continue Reading

Conquering this enemy is increasingly a matter of choice

Opinion

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of three guest opinion columns by Jim Mann in recognition of September as National Food Safety Month. The more we learn about norovirus, the clearer the choices are in changing current behaviors. Foodservice operators know a lot about norovirus, especially in how to cope with an outbreak. What… Continue Reading

The flywheel of conventional hand-washing

Opinion

(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of three guest opinion columns by Jim Mann in recognition of September as National Food Safety Month.) Hand-wash tracking technologies have arrived on the restaurant scene, exposing the stark reality of compliance and noncompliance. The new tools are being ignored by many, who are serving as guardians of the… Continue Reading

The outbreak breakthrough of whole genome sequencing

Opinion

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of three guest opinion columns by Jim Mann in recognition of September as Food Safety Month. Whole genome sequencing, WGS, is a new motivator for enhanced hand washing in all locations where people are preparing and/or serving food. More broadly, it is a robust laboratory procedure for… Continue Reading