June 24, 2017

Minnesota Lutefisk Manufacturer Gets FDA Warning Letter

Day Fish Company in Braham, Minnesota was inspected by the FDA from January 17 to January 23, 2017 and received a warning letter. The firm makes lutefisk from imported dried cod distributes pickled herring cutlets. According to the letter, the inspection revealed "serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), Part 123. hat means that fish or fishery products are adulterated. The refrigerated, ready to eat seafood products are adulterated "in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health." The firm must conduct a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product they produce along with a … [Read more...]

Lawsuit Against EPA Over CAFOs Settled

According to Food & Water Watch, a federal court approved a settlement agreement, ending years of litigation over the Environmental Protection AGency's (EPA) release of concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This will protect the public's access to information about factory farm pollution. Industry groups sued the EPA for this information in 2013 when the agency gathered basic information about CAFOs from state agencies. A coalition of advocacy and consumer groups, including Food & Water Watch, the Environmental Integrity Project, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, wanted to protect access to this data. The settlement will require the EPA to withhold some information from the records collected from states, … [Read more...]

Most Cookbooks Give Readers Bad Food Safety Advice

A new study published in the British Food Journal has found that most cookbooks give readers poor food safety advice. Researchers looked at 29 cookbooks that have been on the New York Times bestseller list for food and diet books. Past research has found that poor and incorrect food handling practices can cause foodborne illness, which sickens millions of Americans every year. The study's purpose was to evaluate communication of food safety guidelines in the books. The researchers wanted to know if the recipe tells the cook to heat the dish to a specific internal temperature, if it includes a safe final temperature, and if the recipe perpetuates food safety myths. Those myths include cooking poultry until "the juices run clear" or until a hamburger is no longer pink. Other … [Read more...]

Listeria Monocytogenes Can Hide Inside Lettuce Leaves

A new research study from Purdue University that was published in the Journal of Food Protection has found that Listeria monocytogenes bacteria can hide inside the leaves of romaine lettuce. That suggests that traditional post-harvest sanitation practices "may not be sufficient to kill the potentially lethal pathogen." The Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to recalled Dole salads last year was the sixth largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of 2016. That was the first Listeria outbreak linked to leafy greens, although that type of produce is  the most common culprit in food poisoning outbreak according to a National Institutes of Health study. Other Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning outbreaks have been linked to celery, cantaloupe, raw sprouts, and apples. In that … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Closes Dietary Supplement Makers

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado has entered a permanent injunction against EonNutra LLC, two related companies, CDSM LLC and HABW LLC, and their owner, to prevent the distribution of "adulterated and misbranded dietary supplements and unapproved and misbranded drugs." The Department alleges that the defendants, who sell about 150 dietary supplement products, violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Several of those products were labeled as dietary supplements, but were marketed as drugs. The company claimed that the product could help treat or prevent diseases such as "heart disease, diabetes, depression, hypertension, osteoporosis, and liver and kidney disorders." According to the complaint, the defendants offered these claims to the public without … [Read more...]

Permanent Injunction Entered Against Valley Milk Products

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia entered a consent decree of condemnation and permanent injunction against Valley Milk Products LLC on March 15, 2017. The decree orders the condemnation of seized milk powder products and prevents its distribution.   The seizure action was filed in the Western District of Virginia on November 18, 2016 at the request of the FDA. The complaint alleged that milk powder products were manufactured under insanitary conditions "whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, and/or whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health. That complaint sought to seize and condemn certain adulterated milk powder products at Valley Milk Products’ Strasburg, Virginia facility." Valley Milk Products nonfat dry milk … [Read more...]

USDA Institutes 100% Testing of Brazilian Beef Imports

The USDA announced this week that they have instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil after a scandal erupted in that country. It is alleged that beef company officials paid bribes to Brazilian government inspectors to ignore adulterated meat that was put into commerce. Company officials are accused of influencing the government to assign these inspectors to their plants. Health certificates were also allegedly falsified. Brazil is one of the countries that has inspection equivalency from the USDA, which means the U.S. considers their beef inspection programs equivalent to ours. The press release states that "none of the slaughter or processing facilities implicated in the Brazilian scandal have shipped meat products … [Read more...]

Food & Water Watch Demands Revocation of Brazil Beef Equivalency

Food & Water Watch has written a letter to Acting Agriculture Secretary Michael Young, urging him to revoke the meat inspection equivalency determination for beef exported from Brazil. There have been recent revelations of massive corruption in the Brazilian meat inspection system, and chronic problems with past equivalency audits. Equivalency determination means that the USDA considers the meat inspection system in another country to have the same standards as the U.S. system. China and the EU have already suspended imports of Brazilian beef. Among the meatpackers involved in the scandal are BRF and JBS. JBS operates Brazilian plants that are certified to export meat and meat products to the United States. Until recently, Brazil was restricted to exporting only processed … [Read more...]

Steam Makes Melons Safer

After the huge and deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupes in 2011, scientists and researchers have been trying to find ways to make this product safer. The heavily webbed surface of melons is perfect for bacteria to hide and thrive. In that outbreak linked to melons, 147 people in 28 states were sickened, including seven pregnant women. One woman suffered a miscarriage, and three infants were born with listeriosis. In total, 33 deaths from outbreak-associated listeriosis in this outbreak were reported to the CDC.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment isolated Listeria monocytogenes bacteria from cantaloupe samples collected from grocery stores and from ill persons' homes. And the FDA isolated Listeria monocytogenes outbreak … [Read more...]

USDA Offers Advice for Those Affected by Winter Storm

Winter storm Stella is hitting the northeastern United States. The USDA has food safety tips to keep in mind when you are preparing for a severe weather emergency. Many people think that storing food outside when it's cold is safe, but it isn't. Outdoor temperatures can vary, and food can be exposed to unsanitary conditions and animals. Instead, make ice by filling buckets and cans with water. Leave them outside to freeze, then use this ice to keep food cold in coolers or your refrigerator or freezer. If the power goes out, keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible A refrigerator will keep food cold at safe temperatures (below 40°F) for four hours. And a full freezer will keep temperature below 0°F for 48 hours; 24 hours if it is half-full. Put meat and … [Read more...]

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