October 19, 2017

Archives for February 2012

FDA Warning Letters for Week Ending 2/29/2012

Just as we're now telling you about the FDA's weekly Enforcement Report, we're going to add information about the Warning Letters the FDA sends out every week. In case you buy the foods referred to in the letters, you're now informed. 1. Wa Hen Dou Fu Soy Sauce Corporation. On February 21, 2012 a warning letter was sent to this manufacturer of soy sauce. The FDA found the presence of Salmonella species Poly B in the facility, including on a direct food-contact surface. There were also violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations for foods, including an employee touching a bucket bottom that was sitting on the floor, then touching a food container without washing her hands. There were also doors propped open and left open, letting pests into the … [Read more...]

Campylobacter Raw Milk Cases Linked to Family Cow Rise Again

The number of cases of Campylobacter food poisoning linked to the Family Cow brand raw milk produced by Shankstead Ecofarm in Pennsylvania has risen to 80 people in four states This is the case distribution as of February 29, 2012: Maryland (5) New Jersey (2) Pennsylvania (70) West Virginia The Maryland Department of Health found Campylobacter bacteria in closed bottles of the milk taken from the farm on February 2, 2012. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has yet to release the results of its tests. … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Farmer Faces Jail Time

Vernon Hershberger of Loganville, Wisconsin, has been charged with four misdemeanors and, if convicted, could spend up to three years in prison. The raw milk producer has been in the news before for leasing his cows to a private food club. The sale of raw milk is illegal in Wisconsin. Food Poisoning Bulletin reported on  a "milk-in" that was staged last month on the steps of the Sauk County courthouse in support of Mr. Hershberger. That group is planning another rally at the courthouse. One supporter allegedly said he hoped the jury would acquit, "no matter what the facts and the law of the case are." Hershberger does not have a license to produce or sell dairy products. He claims that the lease agreement exempts him from state licensing. But the current charges precede the food club … [Read more...]

California Gets Tough on Cantaloupe (Growers, That is)

The California Cantaloupe Program is going to undergo some changes, more specifically, a detailed food safety program. After last years' Jensen Farms cantaloupe Listeria outbreak, the market took a huge hit, even though the cantaloupes that caused the outbreak were grown in Colorado. More than 30 people died in that outbreak. Two public hearings are planned next month to discuss changes in the California Cantaloupe Program. The changes include: Establishing and enforcing best agricultural practices specific to the fruit Setting up procedures for mandatory food safety audits Set disciplinary actions for non-compliant handlers Expanding the program to include all cantaloupe handlers in the state Changing the number of board members The first meeting is taking place on March … [Read more...]

UBC Study Finds Listeria in RTE Fish Products

A study conducted by the University of British Columbia and published in the journal Food Microbiology has found Listeria bacteria in 20% of ready-to-eat (RTE) fish products sold in Vancouver, British Columbia. The products were not named, nor were the stores where they were purchased. The researchers tested smoked tuna, candied salmon, lox, and fish jerky. Five of the products had the variety Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause serious illness and death. While the levels of bacteria meet Canadian federal guidelines, the bacteria can multiply in food while it's being shipped and while it sits on store shelves and in consumer's homes. This can be especially problematic toward the end of a product's shelf life. The Canadian guidelines limit Listeria in food to 100 cells per … [Read more...]

Iowa Legislature Passes Ag-Gag Bill

Last night, the Iowa House and Senate passed legislation protecting the food industry against whistleblowers. The law would hamper the efforts of people who try to expose problems and wrongdoing in the food industry. The House version of the bill would have added criminal penalties against those who record undercover video at agricultural facilities, such as the video that exposed animal abuse at Butterball turkey farms. But that part of the bill would most likely have been unconstitutional, since the U.S. Supreme Court has found that "films exposing animal cruelty represent the exercise of free speech." In fact, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) filed a lawsuit against Whole Foods last year under the Food Safety Modernization Act. That company fired an … [Read more...]

France Bans BPAs in Packaging; What’s All the Fuss About?

The French caused a stir last year when they proposed a ban on BPA (Bisphenol-A) in their food packaging. The law will take effect on January 1, 2014. This change is going to have quite an effect on food manufacturers who export their product to France. If you haven't yet heard about BPA, you will. This chemical is used to make plastics found in products such as baby and water bottles because it makes them shatterproof. It also is used for can linings, since foods, especially acidic foods, must be shielded from metal. The compound is controversial because it's an endocrine disruptor. That means it mimics your body's hormones. Some studies have found BPA causes weight gain, insulin resistance, excessive breast development, and prostate cancer in rodents. The pros and cons of BPA … [Read more...]

Jimmy John’s E. coli Outbreak Trickles Down to Chain’s Facebook Fans

The Jimmy John's E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 14 people in six states prompted the fast-food sandwich chain to pull raw sprouts from its menu after federal and state health investigators implicated raw clover sprouts as the likely cause. While it's no secret in food safety circles that sprouts are a familiar vector of food poisoning -- including in previous outbreaks at Jimmy John's -- numerous visitors to the Jimmy John's Facebook "Wall" don't seem to be aware of the issue or just don't care. They miss their sprouts. "I'm sad because I was just thinking about a turkey tom and now everyone is sayin the sprouts are gon seriously?! )-: best part,'' one posting said. "WUZZZZ UPPPPPP !!!!!!!!!!! Just got a turkey tom with no bean sprouts Called the store back and was told … [Read more...]

Consumer Products Safety Commission Recalling Mugs

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission is recalling certain melamine mugs and cups because they can break when hot liquid is poured into them, making them a burn hazard. About 111,000 mugs and cups imported by Carlisle FoodService Products of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma are being recalled. There have been three reports of the cups and mugs breaking; no injuries have been reported so far. The nine models of the cups and mugs were sold in sizes ranging from 7 ounce to 16 ounce. They are about 2 to 3 inches tall and were made in these colors: bone black brown green honey yellow ocean blue red sand sunset orange white The name "Carlisle OKC, OK" and model number are on the bottom, along with "Made in China" and "NSF". Some may also have the model name and size … [Read more...]

Sprouts Safety Alliance Created by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Illinois Institute of Technolgy's Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH) has created the Sprouts Safety Alliance to help sprout producers follow best practices. This Alliance is going to develop core curriculum, training, and outreach programs. It will be made up of FDA members, local and state food protection agencies, the food industry, and academia. In early 2012, the FDA will issue a proposed rule that is going to establish science-based standards for production and harvest of high-risk produce, under section 105 of the Food Safety Modernization Act. Sprouts have a unique level of risk because the warm, dark and moist environment they grow in encourages bacterial growth. And seeds often have bacteria encapsulated … [Read more...]

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