July 25, 2016

Food Safety Issues Prompt FDA Warning Letter to Whole Foods North Atlantic Kitchen

Food safety violations at the Whole Foods North Atlantic Kitchen in Everett, Mass. are serious enough that food made there is considered adulterated, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the company in a warning letter dated June 8, 2016. Among the agency's finding at the facility was a positive tests for non-pathogenic Listeria on food contact surfaces.  The finding shows conditions inside the facility would support the presence and growth of Listeria monocytogenes, a pathogen, the agency said. Under the Food and Drug Act, foods are considered adulterated if they "were prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health." In addition to finding non-pathogenic Listeria, the agency found: food was … [Read more...]

Before Listeria Outbreak, CRF Uncooperative with FDA, Documents Show

Updated June 15 Before being linked to a multistate Listeria outbreak that includes eight illnesses and two deaths, CRF Frozen Foods was reluctant to cooperate with inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and was advised of legal sanctions available to the agency if the firm did not correct serious deficiencies, documents released this week by the agency reveal. On April 23, CRF Frozen Foods issued a recall of 11 frozen vegetables for possible Listeria contamination. On May 2, 2016, CRF expanded the recall to include all organic and traditional frozen vegetable and fruit products processed in its Pasco, Washington facility since May 1, 2014. The expanded recall, includes 358 consumer products sold under 42 separate brands. On May 3, the company was linked to a … [Read more...]

Flour and Other Contaminated Foods: Food Defect Action Levels

The recall of Gold Medal flour for possible E. coli O121 contamination and the outbreak that is associated with those products reminded me of my food safety classes at the University of Minnesota. The CDC stated tonight that "collaborative investigative efforts indicate that flour produced at the General Mills facility in Kansas City, Missouri is a likely source of this outbreak." While E. coli bacteria in flour may seem unlikely to many, it does happen. And foods do contain "icky" ingredients in addition to bacteria. Most people don't know that there are allowable levels of "unavoidable defects" in food and that the FDA has set these levels to below what would make an average person ill. Those "defects" include the presence of insect filth, maggots, insect eggs, mold, grit, rust, and … [Read more...]

FDA Issues Final Food Defense Regulation

The FDA released the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) final rule for mitigation strategies to protect food against intentional adulteration last week. This rule is intended to prevent public harm by requiring companies in the U.S. and abroad to take steps to prevent adulteration of the food supply. These facilities are required to complete and maintain a written food defense plan that assesses their potential vulnerabilities to deliberate contamination. They must also establish food defense monitoring procedures and corrective actions, verify that the system is working, and ensure that personnel assigned to these areas receive training and maintain records. Before 1982, most food and drug products did not have tamper-proof packaging or tamper-resistant seals. In 1982, seven … [Read more...]

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...]

Issues Found at CRF Frozen Foods Linked to Listeria Outbreak

The FDA has released a 483 inspection report about the conditions at CRF Frozen Foods plant in Pasco, Washington. That report, released on May 12, 2016, gives more information about the conditions at that plant. Food produced at that facility has been linked to a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that goes back to 2013, and has led to dozens of frozen produce recalls. At least eight people in three states have been sickened in this outbreak. Damaged equipment described as being "impossible to clean" could be a factor in this contamination. The inspection, conducted March 14 to March 17, 2016, may provide some insight into how the produce was contaminated. The company was told on April 25, 2016 that a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak going back to 2013 was linked to its products by whole … [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...]

Food Poisoning Bulletin Breaks Story: Dole Knew About Listeria

On March 10, 2016, Food Poisoning Bulletin broke the story that Dole knew about Listeria contamination in its plant long before this year's deadly listeriosis outbreak that was linked to its salad products. Carla Gillespie submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Food and Drug Administration in February 2016, asking for reports of inspections at Dole facilities, particularly the company's plant in Springfield, Ohio. We were the first news outlet to do so. Now the Justice Department is opening an investigation into that outbreak and how Dole handled it. In the documents we received, the company found Listeria in the plant in early 2014 and "infrequently" in the years before that. In fact, in 2014 Dole recalled many of its bagged salads for possible Listeria monocytogenes … [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...]

National Drug Take Back Day is April 30, 2016

The FDA is bringing attention to an event called National Drug Take Back Day on April 30, 2016. This is a day to take unused prescription medications to a disposal site to safely get rid of them. This event has removed more than 5,000,000 pounds of unwanted, unused, or expired drugs from circulation. Any medications that are no longer being used pose unnecessary dangers to others. In the last twenty years, FDA has received more than 30 reports of accidental exposure to the pain medication in fentanyl patches. Most of those poisoned were children under two years old. Twelve of those people sickened were hospitalized, and twelve died. This program also helps stop drugs from entering the environment, either through solid waste disposal or from flushing unused medicines. The EPA is … [Read more...]

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
×
×

Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by PritzkerOlsen, P.A. Law Firm