May 26, 2016

FDA Releases Year 5 Reportable Food Registry

The Reportable Food Registry is released by the Food and Drug Administration every year. It is a synopsis of a one-year reporting period from the Registry. The current edition is the 5th Annual Report: September 8, 2009 through September 7, 2014. The FDA is required to establish an electronic portal. Reports about instances of reportable food must be submitted to the FDA within 24 hours. A reportable food is an article of food or feed for which there is reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to people or animals. The RFR is considered an early warning tool for public health risks and helps the government remove contaminated foods from the marketplace. The RFR covers all human and animal … [Read more...]

Does Antimicrobial Spray Used by Poultry Industry Kill Salmonella or Just Hide It?

Does antimicrobial spray used by the poultry industry kill Salmonella or just temporarily hide it? A new study suggest the latter. The study, Effect of Simulated Sanitizer Carryover on Recovery of Salmonella from Broiler Carcass Rinsates, published in the May edition of the Journal of Food Protection suggests that antimicrobial sprays and rinses may create false negatives in Salmonella testing. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) dipped broiler carcasses into one of five sanitizer solutions and tested them at  0-, 1-, and 5-minute drip-time intervals. At the 0- and 1-min drip time equivalents, no Salmonella was found in three of the five sanitizers studied. But at the 5-min interval, one of the sanitizers had … [Read more...]

New Labels and Instructions for Mechanically Tenderized Beef

The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service is unveiling their new labeling and cooking requirements for mechanically tenderized beef. Starting this week, meat processors are required to tell consumers if the steak or roast they are buying has been tenderized with blades or needles. This process can push pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella from the surface of the meat into the interior. Then, if the cut is cooked to a temperature of rare, bacteria that cause illness can survive and make people sick. The final rule establishing the label identification was published on May 18, 2015. The product name for these products must contain this description: "Mechanically Tenderized" or, if needle tenderized the product can be described as "Needle Tenderized," or if blade … [Read more...]

FDA: Salmonella in Eggs Sickens 79,000 Annually

Salmonella in eggs sickens 79,000 Americans every year, killing 30 of them, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To help prevent illness, the FDA has compiled some food safety tips for consumers when handling, buying, storing, preparing, and serving eggs. Salmonella can cause an infection in the intestinal tract called salmonellosis. Symptoms, which include nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody, usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure. Those most at risk are seniors, children and those with compromised immune systems.   … [Read more...]

Many Recalls of Products Containing Sunflower Seeds for Listeria

There are going to be quite a few recalls of sunflower kernels and products made with them in the next few days. SunOpta has informed several retailers that their sunflower seeds may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Since these products are almost all ready-to-eat, including protein bars, snack mixes, and shelled nuts, the government has established zero tolerance for this bacteria. Check back frequently to our site. We will keep you informed with all of the latest recalls. One of the reasons these recalls are so serious is that listeriosis, the illness caused by this bacteria, can take up to 70 days to appear. Most people can't remember what they ate for lunch last week, let alone what they ate two months ago, so people could become sick and not identify the … [Read more...]

FDA Releases NARMS Report for Salmonella in Meat

The FDA has released the NARMS (National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System) Retail Meat Interim Report with data from January 2014 through June 2015. This report focuses on Salmonella, including serotype distribution, prevalence by food source and state, selected resistance patterns, and a list of all the identified antimicrobial resistance genes. The "encouraging trends" in the report include finding that the prevalence of Salmonella in retail poultry is at its lowest level since testing began in 2002. In ground turkey, the prevalence of Salmonella has declined from a high of 19% in 2008 to 6% in 2014. In retail chicken during the same time period, it dropped from 15% to 9%. Salmonella resistance to ceftriaxone, a medically important antibiotic from chicken sources declined … [Read more...]

Soy May Be Natural Antimicrobial Agent

Research conducted by Professor Suresh Neethirajan at the University of Guelph in Canada has shown that soy isoflavones and peptides may inhibit the growth of pathogenic microbes that cause food poisoning. The study, published in Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports for the July 2016 issue, tested soy peptides against bacterial biofilms for antimicrobial activity. The researchers found that the soy peptides had an inhibitory effect on Listeria monocytogenes. Another peptide was effective against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Listeria monocytogenes. This could make these compounds an alternative to antimicrobials and antibiotics currently used. Pathogenic bacteria can develop biofilms in different conditions, which enable them to emerge as resistant strains. There is always a need to … [Read more...]

CDC Informs About Cronobacter in Infant Formula

Last week, the CDC issued a new report informing consumers about the possible presence of Cronobacter, formerly called Enterobacter sakazaki, a pathogen found in the environment that can survive under very dry conditions. Bacteria usually need a certain amount of free water in food products to survive. This bacteria has been found in the past in powdered infant formula, powdered milk, herbal teas, and starches, which are foods not usually associated with bacterial contamination. The government is especially concerned about infants, who are more susceptible to serious complications from bacterial infections. In fact, Cronobacter infections are often deadly in young infants. Three are only about 4 to 6 cases from Cronobacter every year in infants, but reporting this illness isn't … [Read more...]

Study Finds GMO Labeling Won’t Cost More

A study conducted for the U.K. Food Standards Agency has found that GMO labeling would increase a family's food costs by 33 cents to $5.58 a year. And a study by Consumers Union reviewed research on GMO labeling and found the annual median cost per person would be $2.30. Food & Water Watch says that Americans deserve to know what is in the food they buy. Groups like the Corn Refiners Association have claimed that Americans will spend more than $1,000 per year on groceries because of the costs associated with adding GMO labeling to products. The CRA study number is so high because they include increases in distribution costs and the costs of switching ingredients in processed foods to organic or non-GMO, even though labeling laws set to go into effect do not have those … [Read more...]

Groups Urge FDA to Withdraw Approval of Ortho-Phthalate Food Additives

Consumer and public health groups, including the Consumer Federation of America, are urging the FDA to withdraw approval of ortho-phthalate food additives used in food packaging and food handling equipment. The groups filed a citizen's petition with the government. Those chemicals are used as plasticizers, binders, coating agents, defoamers, gasket closures, and slimicide agents on machines used to process and package food. Any chemicals that are "reasonably expected" to get into food from their use in materials are considered food additives. The government lets food producers use these compounds in cellophane, paper, paperboard, and plastics that come into contact with food. Studies have linked these compounds to developmental, reproductive, and endocrine health problems. In fact, … [Read more...]

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