October 16, 2017

Archives for April 2013

New Gum Prompts FDA to Rethink Caffeine Food Safety Rules

The rollout of Alert Energy Caffeine Gum by the William Wrigley Jr Co. this week has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rethink the impact that caffeine as a food additive could have on children and teens. One piece of the gum, which is sold in eight-piece bubble packs, has about as much caffeine as a half a cup of coffee, according to information on the product’s webpage. The product is the latest in a string of foods to which caffeine has been added including jelly beans, trail mix and other gums. Now that coffees and soft drinks aren’t the only source of caffeine on the market, the agency is revisiting caffeine’s health impact. "The only time that FDA explicitly approved the added use of caffeine in a food was for cola and that was in the 1950s. Today, the … [Read more...]

Consumer Reports Finds Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria on Ground Turkey

An investigation by Consumer Reports has found that more than half of raw ground turkey meat and patties sold at retail stores in the U.S. tested positive for fecal bacteria. Ninety percent of all samples tested had one or more of the five bacteria the organization tested for, including Enterococcus, Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, and Campylobacter. In addition, almost all of the pathogens were resistant to one or more of the antibiotics used to fight them. This, once again, raises the alarm about giving factory farmed animals sub therapeutic doses of antibiotics to encourage growth and prevent illness. The study found that 69% of ground turkey had Enterococcus, and 60% had E. coli, the two bacteria associated with fecal contamination. More than half of the E. … [Read more...]

Smart & Final Recalls Tortellini for Undeclared Allergens

Smart & Final of California is recalling La Romanella Tri-Color Cheese Tortellini because it may contain undeclared wheat, eggs, and milk, three of the major food allergens. No reports of illness have been received to date in connection with the consumption of this product. The product is sold in 2.5 pound plastic bags. The UPC number is 728920130026 and the lot codes are 020713, 022513, 031113, 031813, 031913 and 040313. The tortellini was sold at Smart & Final stores and Cash & Carry stores in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada. The label does not have an ingredient statement. If you purchased this product and are allergic to wheat, milk, and/or eggs, return it to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement. For questions, call Smart & … [Read more...]

More Farmers Markets Going Wireless With SNAP Benefits

In an effort to expand access to healthy foods for recipients who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be using $4 million to put wireless point-of-sale equipment at farmers markets that don’t have them. Funding for the expansion came from the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012. “These grants increase the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables to SNAP customers and further encourage them to purchase and prepare healthy foods for their families using SNAP benefits,” said Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon, in a statement. “In general, research shows that about 20 cents of every SNAP dollar spent on food ends up in the pocket of American farmers. Installing wireless … [Read more...]

Maple View Farm Recalls Ice Cream For Undeclared Allergens

Maple View Farm is voluntarily recalling several varieties of ice cream because some or all of the products contain wheat, soy, almonds and peanuts, which can cause serious allergic reactions. No complaints of allergic reactions have been reported to date. The recalled flavors are Cookies & Cream, Carolina Crunch, and Cookie Dough ice cream. The recall affects 2,650 points of ice cream distributed between September 5, 2012 and April 24, 2013. The product was sold in grocery stores and specialty shops in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Hillsborough, Mebane, Morehead City, Morrisville, Pittsboro, Snow Camp and Wilmington. If you have an allergy to wheat, soy, almonds, and/or peanuts, throw away the product. For questions, contact Jim Melvin of the North Carolina Department of … [Read more...]

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Reviving Beef Irradiation Request

The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is planning to submit a plan to the Canadian government to irradiate beef in the wake of last year's huge XL Beef recall and E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. The group submitted the request back in 1998, but the plan was not completed. The CCA announced the news on Earth Day, April 22, 2013 after the Consumers Association of Canada stated that the benefits of irradiation are beginning to be accepted and recognized. Irradiation has been studied at the University of Minnesota Food Policy Research Center. The CDC and WHO recognize the potential of food irradiation to prevent infectious diseases that are transmitted by meat, poultry, and fresh product. The process has been approved by the FDA to kill harmful and spoilage bacteria and pests on fruits, … [Read more...]

Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Recalled for Undeclared Milk

Orville Redenbach's Classic Kettle Korn Ready-to-Eat Popcorn manufactured by ConAgra Foods is being recalled because it may contain undeclared milk, one of the major food allergens. The problem was discovered when a consumer found white cheddar flavored popcorn in a Kettle Korn package and contacted the company. The recalled product was shipped to retailers and distributors nationwide. The popcorn is packaged in 5.0 ounce packages with Case UPC number 27000 52321 and Unit UPC number 0 27000 52321 6. The Lot Codes are 5486234100, 5486234200, 5486234300 and the Best By Dates are SEP 02 2013, SEP 03 2013, and SEP 04 2013. The popcorn is also available in 1.5 ounce packages. The Case UPC number for that product is 27000 52325 and Unit UPC number is 0 27000 52325 4. The lot codes … [Read more...]

Salmonella Outbreak Launches Search For Rogue Cheesemaker

A few years ago in Utah, people started getting sick with Salmonella poisoning from unpasteurized cheese. Some of them bought it from a deli, some of them got it from a woman in a parking lot, but lab tests showed all of the illnesses came from the same source. After a three-year investigation, Utah health authorities found the source- a man dubbed “Mr.Cheese,” who managed to sicken 2,100 people with his homemade queso fresco before being apprehended. This week in Minnesota, health authorities announced that 13 people had contracted Salmonella poisoning from cheese made with raw milk, eight of whom were so sick they were hospitalized. Now, health authorities are searching for the cheesemaker who, like Mr. Cheese, made the product in a private residence, without a license and without … [Read more...]

FDA: Third Party Audits To Play A Bigger Role in Food Safety

During a budget hearing before a House subcommittee Friday, FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said that food inspections were just one of many activities that will comprise the agency’s strategy to protect the nation’s food supply in the next budget cycle. But one element that she described as being “very, very important to our program” will give some in the food safety world pause: third party audits. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses third party audits of food manufacturing facilities and farms to supplement the inspections it performs. But, as two high-profile food poisoning outbreaks have illustrated, there are serious problems with the way the third-party inspection system works. Chief among them is that growers or companies that make food are often required … [Read more...]

Ag Gag Bill Fails in Indiana

The Indiana legislature failed to pass S.B. 373, a bill which would have criminalized whistleblowers who expose animal abuse. These so-called "ag gag" laws have been introduced and passed in several states in the past year, after exposes by groups such as the Humane Society have informed the public about animal cruelty and unsafe working conditions. The bill passed in the Senate on Friday, April 26, 2013, but when the measure was sent to the House, Democrats said that the Senate version was a "gag all" bill. Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma pulled the bill from the calendar and did not allow another vote. That evening, Senator David Long said that the Senate would not vote on "ag gag" in 2013, killing the bill. The Senate version also made it a crime for someone to text damaging … [Read more...]

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