September 20, 2014

Maggots in School Lunches in KY and TN

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High school students in Kentucky and Tennessee found maggots in their school lunches this week. A student at Overton High School in Tennessee made an Instagram video of the maggot wiggling around on the plate, WMC Action News 5 reported. Other students also reported finding maggots in their food. Shelby County Schools sent a statement to the station that read; "It has been reported on some news outlets that multiple students are now claiming to have found maggots in their lunches this week at Overton High School. It is true that we have confirmation of one student finding an insect in a single meal. This is certainly regrettable; however, we do want to be very clear that there have been no maggots found in any meals this week. The temperatures at which our food is prepared and served … [Read more...]

Utah’s Raw Milk Campylobacter Outbreak is Largest in 5 Years

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Outbreaks of Campylobacter infection in Utah have been linked to raw milk consumption 14 times in the past five years, sickening more than 200 people. The largest of those outbreaks began in May of this year and was announced one week ago when the Utah Deparment of Agriculture and Food announced that it had suspended the Raw Milk for Retail distribution permit held by Ogden's Ropelato Dairy. As of August 26, state health officials had traced 45 illnesses to the Weber County raw milk operation. Of the 14 Utah raw milk Campylobacter outbreaks, two have been associated with the Ropelato farm, located at 4019 W. 1800 South, Ogden, state records show. The previous outbreak was recorded in May 2010, sickening a smaller cluster of people  in three counties. Regardless, Utah agriculture … [Read more...]

Back to School Lunch Safety Tips for Parents

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The USDA is offering back to school safety tips for parents. Children are at high risk of contracting food poisoning because their immune systems are still developing. Children under the age of 5 have the highest incidence of Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter infections of any age group in this country. The four food safety tips of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill must be followed in the kitchen. USDA recommends that before school starts, parents and kids try a food safety experiment to ensure that home-packed lunches are safe to eat. Pack the lunch and store it as they would at school. After the normal time between packing and lunch time has passed, test the temperature of the food. Cold items should be below 40°F and hot items should be above 140°F. Any foods in between those … [Read more...]

CFIA Suspends Operating License of Beef Slaughter Plant

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has suspended the operating license of Northern Natural Processing, Establishment 659, effective July 10, 2014. the slaughter plant is located in Neudorf, Saskatchewan. The license was suspended because the company did not implement corrective measures as required by law to ensure the safety of meat products produced at that facility. There is no word on what the problem is or what the food safety violations were. There is also no word on whether or not any illnesses have occurred relating to these alleged violations. The CFIA has determined that adequate controls for food safety were not being implemented on a insistent basis. The plant will not reopen until the "necessary corrective measures" have been taken and the government is … [Read more...]

Keep Picnic Food Out of the Danger Zone

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Lots of folks like to have a picnic during the summer months and keeping food at safe temperatures is the key to making sure no one gets sick, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Cooking, storing and serving food at the proper temperature is key to food safety whether you are eating inside or out. Remember that food can spend a maximum of two hours in the “danger zone” of 40˚F to 140˚ F, or one hour if the outdoor temperatures are above 90° F.  In the danger zone,  bacteria such as Salmonella, E.coli and Listeria multiply rapidly elevating the risk of food poisoning. If  you're cooking food on the grill, use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to its proper temperature. Then keep it warm until serving by moving to the side of the grill, just away from the … [Read more...]

Best and Safest Fish to Eat in the Summer

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The Center for Food Safety is offering tips on the best and safest seafood to eat this summer. Most seafood sold in the U.S. is imported, and less than 2% of those products are inspected for contamination. Moreover, those fish are often caught in places where environmental and health standards are weak or non-existent. By eating locally caught, sustainable seafood, you are protecting your family from foodborne illness as well as potential problems from other contaminants such as PCBs and mercury. Buy local if possible, and choose wild over farmed. If the seafood is farmed, choose that produced in the U.S. Favor fish caught by hook, line, handling, jig, or speargun. Avoid trawl fishing, which is destructive to the environment. Avoid fish high in mercury, PCBs, or farmed fish that are … [Read more...]

Study Identifies Risky Home Food Safety Practices

A new study at UC-Davis has identified many risky practices of consumers in their homes. The study looked at the preparation of raw poultry. The two most common mistakes were cross contamination and insufficient cooking. Christine Bruhn, director of the Center for consumer research at the university, who authored the study said in a statement, "the most surprising aspect of these findings to me was the prevalence of undercooking. We are now in summer, the peak season for foodborne illness, and these results come at a time when more consumers can benefit from being aware of better food safety practices." Those good practices include always washing hands with soap and water before cooking and after handling raw meat, poultry and eggs, never rinsing poultry in the sink, and always using … [Read more...]

Food Safety Tips for Hurricane Arthur Victims

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The USDA is offering food safety recommendations for those affected by Hurricane Arthur. If you lose power, food could spoil and pathogenic bacteria can grow. Keep appliance thermometers in the fridge and freezer. Safe temperatures are 40°F in the refrigerator and 0°F in the freezer. Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or containers before a storm. Water expands when it freezes, so don't overfill. Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry to keep them at a safe temperature longer. Know where you can get block or dry ice. Fifty pounds of dry ice will keep an 18-cubic-food freezer cold for two days. Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerated food cold if the power is out for more than four hours. Group foods together in the freezer for an … [Read more...]

USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Fourth of July Celebrations

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The USDA is offering food safety tips for Americans celebrating Independence Day. Salmonella infections can happen if you serve unsafe food that is not handled or prepared correctly. First, make sure you separate raw meat products from ready to eat raw foods in your shopping cart and on the way home. Put raw meat into bags and containers separate from produce, snack foods, and breads. Keep them separate in the fridge and as you prepare the food too. Always cook hamburgers to 160°F as measured by a food thermometer. Wash your hands before preparing food and often while working in the kitchen. And keep food cool; always refrigerate perishable foods within 2 hours at room temperature; one hour if the ambient air temperature is above 90°F. The only way of ensuring doneness of meats and … [Read more...]

The Care and Eating of Fruits and Veggies

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June is Fruits and Vegetables Month. And because fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and the most common source of food poisoning in the U.S., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has compiled some food safety tips. According to a study published last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  produce was the implicated in 46 percent of all illnesses stemming from outbreaks where a food source could be identified, with leafy greens accounting for 23 percent. Produce can be contaminated by pathogens in the soil or water where it is grown, but also by those who handle, prepare and serve it. For example, norovirus, the most common pathogen source identified in food poisoning outbreaks, is almost always spread by an infected food … [Read more...]

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