April 26, 2017

Banzai Sushi Receives FDA Warning Letter

The FDA has sent a warning letter to Northwest Frozen LLC, doing business as Banzai Sushi, in Seattle, Washington. That seafood processing facility has serious violations of seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations and Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for food. The facility must conduct or have conducted a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product produced. And an HACCP plan that lists the food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur. The firm's HACCP plan for "Frozen IQF Sushi Pieces" does not list the following food safety hazards: Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation; pathogenic bacteria growth and toxin formation; and undeclared allergens. The letter states that intact vacuum-packaged seafood … [Read more...]

Ten Common Food Safety Mistakes

EatRight.org has published the 10 common food safety mistakes mosts people make. Since millions of Americans contract food poisoning every year, and most are not part of an outbreak, it's important to recognize these mistakes to stop making them. The first mistake is tasting food to see if it's still good. You can't see, taste, or smell pathogenic bacteria in food, and the texture is not affected by any toxins. It takes just 10 E. coli bacteria to make you sick; that number is invisible in the tiniest bit of food. The second mistake is putting cooked or ready-to-eat foods on a plate that held raw meat. This cross-contamination can make you very ill. Always use separate plates, cutting boards, and utensil when you are handling raw meats, eggs, poultry, and seafood. The third … [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...]

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...]

Cornell Develops Processor to Destroy Pathogens in Food

Cornell food scientists have developed a new high pressure food processor to destroy food pathogens. This is the nation's first commercial scale validation facility for a technology that kills bacteria and extends the shelf life of fresh, ready to eat foods. It can be used on juice, baby foods, meats, and salads. The device is a Hiperbaric 55 high-pressure food processor at Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. It works by surrounding completed ready to eat foods in their packages with water. The machine applies isostatic pressure up to 87,000 pounds per square inch. According to Cornell, "that's more than six times the pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean trench on Earth." More and more consumers want fresh, packaged, ready to eat … [Read more...]

FDA Releases 2016 Food Safety Survey Report

The FDA has released the 2016 Food Safety Survey Report. This is a periodic national telephone survey of adults in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This survey has been conducted since 1988 and is used to help the FDA and USDA make regulatory and education decisions. The 2016 survey was the first time cell phone users were sampled in addition to landline phone users. The survey interviewed 4,169 respondents between October 2015 and January 2016. The key findings are below. The survey found that consumers are somewhat concerned about getting a foodborne illness from how they prepare food, but think that people are more likely to get sick from food prepared at a restaurant.  It is true that more outbreaks (defined as two more more unrelated people sickened with the same … [Read more...]

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering 14 tips for a safe and healthy Valentine's Day dinner, whether you eat out at a restaurant or at home. About 65% of food poisoning outbreaks are traced to food prepared in a restaurant. When you go into a restaurant, first look at the scene. See if certificates are posted that show food safety practices, such as a health inspection score.Make sure that the glasses, silverware, napkins, and tablecloths are clean. Watch out for unlikely sources of sodium. Most sodium comes from breads and rolls, cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes, and snacks. Look up nutritional information in advance, since most major restaurant chains post this information online. Always … [Read more...]

Food Safety on Super Bowl Sunday

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. No matter how you celebrate, you need to keep your food safe so you and your guests don't get sick. Foodsafety.gov is offering tips to keep the food for your bash safe. Americans eat more than a billion chicken wings on that day, and many other foods that have the potential to be contaminated with bacteria. If you plan on frying chicken wings, make sure that the frying oil temperature is at least 375°F, measured with a food thermometer, before you start. Never fry frozen chicken wings; they should be completely thawed. Do not rinse the chicken wings before you cook them; that will only spread bacteria around your kitchen and onto you, since the spray from the water can spread up to 3 feet away from the faucet. Pay the wings dry before you put them … [Read more...]

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