Every hour of every day people around the world are living with and working to resolve food safety issues. Here is a sampling of current headlines for your consumption, brought to you today with the support of Alchemy Systems.

Marijuana edibles contaminated with mold
Alaskan officials revoked the facility manufacturing license of Frozen Budz and fined the company $500,000 for a variety of violations, including selling products that were contaminated with mold.

The company also failed to test its edibles for E. coli, Salmonella, mold and other contaminants, according to state officials. In addition to the fine and license revocation, Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board also seized all products made by Frozen Budz from a manufacturing facility and retail stores.

“The licensee disregarded marijuana industry regulations and put the public at significant risk by selling products that were not safe, tested, or tracked,” according to Peter Mlynarik, chair of the Marijuana Control Board.

Other Frozen Budz violations reported by the state included: Making edibles without tracking the source of the marijuana; Manufacturing products that were not approved by the Marijuana Control Board; Operating out of compliance with their board-approved operating plan; Allowing onsite consumption and delivering marijuana products directly to consumers; and Improperly labeling marijuana products transferred to retail stores.


Drug residues found in PepsiCo cheese
The Russian news agency TASS reports that inspectors found antibiotic residues in raw milk used for cheese production at PepsiCo’s Altia-based Rubtsovsky Dairy Plant. The Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance suggested the contaminated milk was used deliberately.

In November, regulators identified tetracycline group antibiotics in the plant’s Lamber cheese, prompting an unscheduled field inspection of the plant by federal inspectors.

“The analysis of the log of antibiotics presence in milk showed that the test system in use recorded over 20 cases of antibiotics presence in tested lots of raw milk,” TASS reported.

Although the plant was not able to confirm “return of raw materials” that contained antibiotics, “the possibility of flowing of these raw materials into processing cannot be excluded” government inspectors reported, according to TASS.

Rattlesnake pills linked to Salmonella infection
At least one person in Kansas contracted salmonellosis recently after taking pills made from dehydrated rattlesnake meat, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

In a statement posted Tuesday, the CDC cautioned consumers against using such products, noting that reptile meat is often contaminated with Salmonella and other bacteria. The pathogens can survive the dehydration and processing used during production of such supplements.

“Rattlesnake pills are often marketed as remedies for various conditions, such as cancer and HIV infection,” according to the CDC. “These pills contain dehydrated rattlesnake meat ground into a powder and put into pill form.”

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicated that the person in Kansas became sick after taking rattlesnake pills purchased in Mexico. Whole genome sequencing showed that the Salmonella that made the person sick matched the Salmonella found in rattlesnake pills from Mexico collected in an earlier, unrelated investigation.

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