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.

The ABCs of Milwaukee restaurant grades
Milwaukee residents will soon be seeing letter grades that reflect the number of health code violations at local restaurants. The report card approach has been adopted in a number of cities to raise awareness and encourage foodservice operators to step up food safety efforts.

Restaurants in Milwaukee will receive an A, B, or C. If they earn a C it doesn’t mean what some might think. The C grade is not considered “passing” and most likely will result in temporary closure.

According to a recent post on Barf Blog “In 2018, letter grades will be given to restaurants inspected by the city but posting them will be voluntary. Then in 2019, all restaurants will need to put those grades up for the public to see.”

Regarding a lack of foodborne illness as “the goal” of the grades, Commissioner of Health Bevan Baker said that posting the letter grades will let everyone know exactly where a restaurant stands, and allow them to dine in confidence.

Gate Gourmet back in air after Listeria finding
After Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in November 2017 in its catering facility, the Gate Gourmet kitchen at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has returned to full service for Delta, and partial service for American.

Followed by Delta, American halted food deliveries from the Gate Gourmet kitchen on Nov. 1 until the kitchen’s food safety and public health issues could be resolved.

According to American, “During this period, we have been working extensively with outside food safety experts to ensure that any re-entry to their kitchen at LAX maintained our highest food safety standards,” further, “We also enlisted the support of a third-party expert, who inspected and substantiated the safety of their facility.”

Spokeswoman Nancy Jewell of the Gate Group said Sunday, “Food safety is our highest priority.”

“We reaffirm that our LAX facility is operating without restriction and continues to comply with all local and federal regulations as confirmed by independent food safety experts and agencies.”

Produce pesticide report shows high compliance
The most recent test results available show low or no pesticide levels in most fruits and vegetables in California, according to a report from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR)

Specifically, produce collected by  DPR was tested for about 400 types of pesticides, and showed results indicating that the vast majority of fruits and vegetables available for sale in California meet the state’s stringent pesticide safety standards.

Director of DPR Brian Leahy said “Once again this report shows that California consumers can have high confidence in the fresh fruits and vegetables available to them at stores,” and “A strong regulatory program gives guidance to the proficient farmers and pesticide applicators that grow the fruits and vegetables that are part of a healthy diet.”

If illegal residues are found in testing, the DPR immediately removes the illegal produce to prevent it from reaching consumers. The department also attempts to trace it to its source, then verifies that the produce is either destroyed or returned to its source.

Consumers can view the DPR’s 2016 Pesticide Residues in Fresh Produce report here.


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