December 7, 2016

Senator Schumer: FDA Needs to Fix Recall Process

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is calling on the federal government to improve the FDA's ability to recall contaminated foods. He uses the recall of millions of pounds of General Mills flour for potential E. coli contamination as an example. The E. coli O121 and O26 outbreak linked to that flour began in December 2015, but the flour itself was not recalled until May 2016. Meanwhile, more American consumers got sick. The Senator called for major changes, to make sure the FDA is doing everything it can to prevent future foodborne illness. The Senator is responding to a recently released report by the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which suggested that the FDA is taking far too long to initiate food recalls, putting consumers at … [Read more...]

FDA Too Slow To Issue Recalls, HHS Audit Says

The FDA is too slow to get food companies to recall contamianted products, according to an audit by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In some cases, firms waited for months before they recalled their products that caused many illnesses. The HHS Office released a report that states "we found that the FDA did not have an efficient and effective food recall initiation process that helps ensure the safety of the Nation's food supply. Specifically, FDA did not have policies and procedures to ensure that firms or responsible parties initiated voluntary food recalls promptly. This issue is a significant matter and requires FDA's immediate attention." FDA relies on firms to recall food that can be harmful to the public health. The government did not have the authority to … [Read more...]

Food Recall Roundup For June 26, 2016

Here are all of the recalls for the week ending June 26, 2016. Since there have been so many recalls over the past weeks for serious issues, including Listeria monocytogenes and undeclared peanuts, we are gathering the recalls in one place for easy referral. The peanut recalls are secondary, triggered by the discovery at GrainCraft that their flour contained peanut residue. The Listeria recalls are also secondary, triggered by SunOpta sunflower seeds that were recalled, and CRF Frozen Foods frozen vegetables recalled because they may be contaminated with the pathogenic bacteria. Please check your home to see if you have any of these recalled products. If you do, discard them or return them to the store where you bought them for a full refund. The recalls are listed in reverse … [Read more...]

Weekly Food Recall Roundup: June 5, 2016

This week's food recalls included a General Mills recall of 10 million pounds of flour for E. coli that was triggered by a 20-state E. coli outbreak; the expansion of SunOpta's sunflower seed recall for Listeria which triggered a number of secondary recalls and a number of recalls for foods with undeclared allergens. Food Recalls in the U.S. Pathogens The Meadow Gold Dairy plant in Boise is recalling Meadow Gold brand Old Style Whipping Cream and Meadow Gold Dairy Pure brand Whipping Cream and Half and Half due to insufficient pasteurization. Because of this problem, it is possible that the products could be contaminated with pathogens present in raw milk, including Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria or E. coli. An E. coli outbreak that has sickened 38 people in 20 states has … [Read more...]

Weekly Food Recall Roundup: May 1, 2016

Our weekly roundup of recalls features products recalled for undeclared peanuts, some for Salmonella, and others for misbranding. This weekly feature will help you keep abreast of recalled products so you can protect yourself and your family. No illnesses or adverse reactions have been reported in connection with any of these recalled products. Food Recalls CVS recalled Gold Emblem Abound Organic Spiced Herbal Tea for possible Salmonella contamination. The recalled product is packed in 1.4 ounce cartons, with a best by date of 18 Mar 2018. The UPC number for that product is 0 50428 541043. This product was sold at CVS Pharmacy stores nationwide. Matlaw's Raw EZ Peel Deveined Shell on Shrimp was recalled for possible Salmonella contamination, as revealed in the weekly FDA's … [Read more...]

Recalls of Organic Foods and All Foods on the Rise

According to a new report from Stericycle, recalls of organic foods for microbial reasons has increased in the past year. In fact, recalls of all foods is up significantly from the first quarter of 2015. That company analyzed data from the FDA and USDA for their study. According to the USDA, 70% of consumers think that food is safer or of high quality if it is labeled organic. But organic food is just as susceptible to bacterial contamination as conventionally grown food. There were 178 FDA food recalls in the second quarter of 2015, which is an increase of 47% from the previous quarter. Sixty-two percent of those recalls were for bacterial contamination, mostly for Salmonella and Listeria. Vegetables were 61% of the recall activity. Foods recalled by the USDA, which include meat, … [Read more...]

FDA Publishes Draft Guidance on Mandatory Recall Authority

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published draft guidance for industry on mandatory food recall authority. The draft contains nonbonding recommendations. The mandatory food recall provisions are part of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA). Section 423 of the FD&C Act gives authority to the government to order a responsible party to recall food when FDA determines there is a reasonable probability that the food is adulterated or misbranded, and that use of the food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. Before FSMA was enacted, FDA had to rely on corporations to voluntarily recall food products. This authority lets FDA force a recall when the responsible party chooses not to conduct a voluntary recall. The items that fall … [Read more...]

Fourth Quarter 2014 Recall Results

According to Stericycle, products recalled by the FDA were down, although units recalled were up, and the USDA recalls were the highest since Q1 2012. The company keeps track of food recalled in the U.S. for allergens, foreign material contamination, and bacterial contamination. The FDA recalls numbered 105 in the last three months of 2014, which is the lowest number all year. But 13.8 million units of product were recalled, which is a 142% increase from the third quarter. Undeclared allergens were the main reason for recall, at 50% of the total number. Manufacturers need to be more aware of ingredients sources and the supply chain to keep track of these ingredients. USDA issued 31 recalls for meat, poultry, and processed egg products, which is an increase of 48% from the third … [Read more...]

USDA Recalls Increased in 2014

The number of food recalls issued by USDA-FSIS increased in 2014 over previous years. Ninety-four recalls were issued, compared to 75 in 2013. Pounds of food recalled also increased, from 13.1 million pounds in 2013 to 18.7 million pounds in 2014. USDA oversees the safety of meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products. But there were fewer recalls overall for pathogenic bacteria and more recalls for undeclared food allergens and labeling issues. Most recalls were for undeclared allergens (6.15 million) and "other" reasons (9.64 million). The "other" reasons were lack of inspection, labeling problems, or failure to present import inspection paperwork. Most of the recalls last year were Class I. The government defines that class as "a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable … [Read more...]

Undeclared Allergens the Leading Cause of FDA Recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is using a three-pronged approach to reduce the number of leading cause of food recalls it requests: undeclared allergens.  Ingredients such milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts, and soybeans cause serious, sometime life-threatening reactions for those with allergies. The agency says that by researching the source of labeling errors; working with industry to develop best practices; and exploring new allergen testing methods it can improve the labeling process and minimize the problem. All food regulated by the FDA is required by federal law to have labeling that identifies major food allergens. Products that don't  are considered misbranded and can be seized by FDA, but most companies recall such food products … [Read more...]

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