USDA’s proposed rule with new regulatory requirements to better align the voluntary “Product of USA” label claim with consumer understanding of what the claim means appears to have collected a lot of support.

The recent March through June public comment period has resulted in 3,358 individual filings with support for the rule being dominant.

Posted last March, the proposed rule allows the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” label claim to be used on meat, poultry, and egg products only when they are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the United States. 

“American consumers

Continue Reading ‘Made in the USA’ or ‘Product of USA’ favored by the public during comments

Researchers have proposed a radical shift in how food safety is looked at in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

They said the top-down focus of efforts to build food safety capacity in LMICs has largely failed when it comes to the informal sector. Instead, interventions, both regulatory and facilitative, should primarily be implemented at the municipal level and the focus to build capacity needs to be local.

The report, commissioned by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the CGIAR Initiative on One Health, highlighted the need for strategies to address food safety risks in the informal sector of developing

Continue Reading New approach needed to improve food safety in informal markets

Local authorities in Missoula, MT, are warning people to not consume raw milk sold at a farmers market because it came from a herd where cows tested positive for Coxiella burnetii, which is the bacteria that causes Q fever.

The unpasteurized, raw milk was sold at a farmers market in Missoula County, according to the Missoula City-County Health Department. The department did not specify what farmers market is involved.

“We don’t know if the cow was shedding the bacteria at the time it was milked, or if that cow’s milk was sold at the farmers market,” said Environmental Health Director

Continue Reading Local officials in Montana issue public warning about contaminated raw milk

On the final day of the state’s legislative session, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill to make some sales of raw, unpasteurized milk legal.

The Iowa State Dairy Association opposes the sale of unpasteurized, raw milk direct to consumers. The association says raw milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms, such as salmonella, E coli, campylobacter, and Listeria, which can pose serious health risks. Raw milk can be especially dangerous for infants and young children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems.

Most state health departments and departments of agriculture, as well as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Continue Reading Raw, unpasteurized milk can now be sold by farmers directly to consumers in Iowa

Dear Editor,

I saw your story regarding the “Dirty Dozen” list and would appreciate your consideration of updating your content to include some additional facts and information for your readers so there is a balanced perspective and inclusive of peer reviewed studies, not just claims from Environmental Working Group.

Peer reviewed research published in the Journal of Toxicology found that the recommendation in the “Dirty Dozen” list to substitute organic forms of produce for conventional does not result in any decrease in risk for consumers because residues on conventionally grown are so low, if present at all. 

The research also

Continue Reading Letter to the Editor: ‘Dirty Dozen’ requires a second look

The sale of unpasteurized milk got a boost from the North Dakota House of Representatives with the overwhelming approval of a bill that is now headed to the state’s Senate

House Bill 1515 would allow dairy owners to sell so-called raw milk at their farms. It was approved by North Dakota’s lower chamber with an 83-10 vote.

The bill has public health advocates butting heads with supporters of raw milk. Raw milk advocates say that exposure to pathogens such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Listeria is less important that their perceived benefits of unpasteurized milk.

Rep. Dawson Holle, R-Mandan, sponsored

Continue Reading North Dakota House sends raw milk bill to Senate; would OK on-farm sale

As chemicals fill the air and seep into the ground in eastern Ohio, resident farmers and consumers worry about the long-term effects on food safety. 

“The big issue is what I am now going to be producing, is it safe?” a local farmer told WKBN27.

On Feb. 3, a train derailed in East Palestine, OH, resulting in the leaking of toxic chemicals. Ten of about 50 of the derailed cars were carrying liquid vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate. On Sunday evening, Feb. 5, residents of the small town were urged by authorities to evacuate over the risk of an explosion.

Continue Reading Questions raised about food safety in Ohio in wake of the train wreck

AMERSTERDAM — A recent trip to Europe showed the streets of Krakow, Budapest, and Prague are all very different except for the bicycles making endless food deliveries. Anyone with a food safety mindset has to wonder about the thousands of deliveries in those boxes that are carried by two-wheelers.

They clearly are not cleaned and sanitized between deliveries. Some of those boxes are quite large, a box that’s the size of a small coffin, and rests over an axel is popular in Amersterdam.

What they call “post-pandemic” food delivery trends are being closely monitored in Europe. The Stockholm-based Dometic, which

Continue Reading Online food deliveries in Europe are off a bit, but you cannot tell from street traffic

It’s prime mushroom hunting time in much of the United States, but foragers need to have a keen eye or an expert opinion to avoid serious consequences.

A recent mushroom poisoning case in Massachusetts has illustrated again how people who forage mushrooms can find themselves carrying home a basket of toxins, especially if they are not well-versed in local species.

Mushroom poisoning can range from an upset stomach to death. 

Common symptoms of the poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weakness or lethargy. Illness and death can come quickly in some instances.

A death cap mushroom foraged in a backyard
Continue Reading Misidentification increases the risk of poisoning as mushroom hunters head out to forage

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County is investigating a death related to a Vibrio vulnificus infection.

Public health officials did not release any other information about the death. They did not say where the patient lived or the patient’s age.

The officials are urging residents to take precautions against infection and illness by avoiding eating raw or undercooked oysters and other shellfish or exposing open wounds to seawater and estuarine water. 

Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that usually lives in warm, brackish seawater. These bacteria typically grow faster during warmer months. People with open wounds, cuts, or scratches can be exposed

Continue Reading Florida officials report death of vibrio patient