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Gretchen is a Seattle-based reporter covering issues ranging from child nutrition to local agriculture to foodborne illness outbreaks and global food safety issues. In June of 2011 she reported from Hamburg on the European E. coli outbreak. Gretchen graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in English and French before moving to the pacific northwest. She delved into the world of food safety after being a lifelong foodie in order to find out what issues compromise the security of her favorite pastime — eating, and what can be done about them. Gretchen is excited to be part of the diverse and passionate Food Safety News team.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Wednesday announced its plan to assess the risks of Salmonella contamination associated with tree nuts. The aim of the risk assessment, described in a filing by FDA, is twofold: to determine the current risk to public health associated with eating tree nuts and to evaluate the success of…

While the case count in the multistate hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen pomegranate seeds has been leveling off over the past week, new information on illnesses continues to trickle into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today that included a report of one more hospitalization, one less case in New Mexico, and one…

In addition to cameras, a group touring Yellowstone National Park last month brought an unwanted visitor to the area in the form of a foodborne virus. Many members of the group arrived complaining of gastrointestinal symptoms, which were later determined to have been caused by norovirus. The virus, which is transmitted via the fecal-oral route…

Between 1998 and 2008, poultry, fish and beef were consistently responsible for the greatest proportion of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to a new government analysis. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the 13,405 food-related outbreaks reported during this time period, identifying 3,264 outbreaks that could be attributed to a specific…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration must publish all of the regulations required under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act by June 30, 2015, a federal judge ruled Friday. Judge Phyllis Hamilton of the U.S. District Court of Northern California rejected FDA’s proposed timeline for completion of the regulations, which outlined “target timelines” of 2015…

Nutrition labels on items in the produce section tend to be short, if not absent altogether. While cereals, soups and sauces come with long lists of ingredients on their packaging, an apple doesn’t need an ingredient list for consumers to know what they’re buying (although it arrived at the grocery store in a labeled package),…

California’s cantaloupe producers will face a new set of food safety rules this season — rules they are imposing on themselves. In an unprecedented move for the state’s produce industry, California cantaloupe handlers have elected to adopt a mandatory food safety plan as part of an effort to restore consumer confidence in the cantaloupe market,…

The levels of bacteria in broiler chickens at the processing plant appears to be related to the amount of bacteria found among birds on the farm, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Georgia, Athens looked at the prevalence and loads of Salmonella and Campylobacter in 55 flocks at a large chicken…