September 22, 2020

FDA Proposes New Rule For Food Traceability For High Risk Foods

The FDA has proposed a new rule for food traceability to help control food poisoning outbreaks. The proposal is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011. The additional traceability record keeping requirements may help "prevent or mitigate foodborne illness outbreaks and addresses credible threats of serious adverse health consequences or death." The rule is a key element of the FDA's New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint. The key part of this rule is the requirement that food manufacturers, processors, packers, and distributors must establish and maintain records that contain Key Data Elements (KDEs) associated with different Critical Tracking Events (CTEs). The requirements only apply to foods on the Food Traceability List (FTL), but are designed to work for all … [Read more...]

What You Need to Know About Chicken and Food Safety

Most people know that raw poultry, as well as raw meat and eggs, are potentially hazardous foods. These foods are often contaminated with pathogens that can make you very sick. If not handled and cooked properly, the risk of foodborne illness with these foods is quite high. This is what you need to know about chicken and food safety. Americans eat more chicken than any other meat. Outbreaks linked to chicken are common every year. The bird is often contaminated with Campylobacter and Salmonella bacteria, which is why about 1,000,000 people in the U.S. get sick from contaminated poultry every year. First, when shopping, buy chicken last. Double bag it at the store, then go home right away and refrigerate or freeze any chicken product. Don't make other stops or delay going … [Read more...]

Climate Change Increases Foodborne Illness Outbreak Risk

The effects of climate change are stark and worrying. Most people have heard about rising sea water levels, more wildfires, and more extreme weather events. But did you know that climate change increases foodborne illness outbreak risks? A study published in Scientific Reports by Kuhn et al looks at the relationship between Campylobacter outbreaks and climate in Northern Europe. The researchers used national surveillance data of campylobacteriosis infections in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. They found that temperature, rainfall, and snowfall have a predictable effect on infection rates. Higher temperatures and heavier rainfall led to more infections, while shorter heatwaves and winter rain and snowfall reduced the number. Global climate change will change temperatures and … [Read more...]

FDA Issues the First Injunction Under the Produce Safety Rule

The FDA has issued its first injunction under the Produce Safety Rule against a company that makes sprouts and soy products. That Rule, which was part of the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 and was finalized on January 26, 2016, gives the FDA power to issue consent decrees of permanent injunction against corporations for violating safety standards. The Produce Safety Rules mandates that sprout operations take measures "to prevent the introduction of dangerous microbes into seeds or beans used for sprouting; test spent sprout irrigation water (or, in some cases, in-process sprouts) for the presence of certain pathogens; test the growing, harvesting, packing and holding environment for the presence of the Listeria species or Listeria monocytogenes; and take corrective actions … [Read more...]

ICMSF Opinion on Coronavirus and Food Safety: Not a Hazard

The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF) has released an opinion paper on the relationship of the novel coronavirus to food safety. In brief, the ICMSF opinion on coronavirus and food safety is: "SARS-CoV-2 should not be considered a food safety hazard since a true food safety hazard enters the human body with food via the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract, where it can infect organs/tissues elsewhere in the human body." SARS-CoV-2 is the technical term for the novel virus. COVID-19 is the name of the illness it cases. The "19" is used as an identifier since the virus was first discovered in 2019. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets and infects humans through the respiratory system. Many billions of meals have been consumed, and … [Read more...]

September is National Food Safety Education Month

September is National Food Safety Education Month. There are about 48,000,000 cases of foodborne illness that occur every year in the United States, which leads to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. You can help reduce these numbers by following basic food safety tips provided by the FDA. Food Poisoning Bulletin has written many pieces to help cooks learn about these tips and protect themselves and their families. These are the most important articles to help you during National Food Safety Education Month. Beginning Cooks: Learn About Potentially Hazardous Foods This collection will tell you about basic food safety in the kitchen, who is most at risk for complications from food poisoning, and the different foods that are most risky from the point of pathogen … [Read more...]

Keeping Food Safe During Severe Storms and Hurricanes

Hurricane season is here, and while the summer severe weather season is slowing down in the rest of the country, power outages and severe storms are common in the fall and winter. The USDA offers the Consumer's Guide to Food Safety during severe storms and hurricanes. The key to keeping food safe at any time of the year and during any severe weather event is preparation. Keep up to date on watches and warnings and start getting ready as far in advance as you can. First, keep an appliance thermometer in your fridge and freezer. The freezer should be set at 0°F, and the fridge should be set at 34 to 39°F. Freezers work best when they are at least half full. Group foods together in the freezer to help the food stay cold longer. It's a good idea to freeze container of water both … [Read more...]

Learn to Prepare Safe Lunches For Back to School By Following Rules

The USDA is helping parents learn to prepare safe lunches for back to school. Many schools are opening next week, so it's time to start planning for what your child will eat. While cafeteria workers take food safety training classes, parents do not. So it's important to learn the basic rules of safe food preparation: Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill. First, always wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food. Make sure the countertop is clean and that all of your utensils and surfaces are clean. Make sure to remind your children to wash their hands with soap and water before eating. And learn how to wash your hands correctly. Always keep raw meats, poultry, eggs, and seafood away from foods that are eaten raw. Using a separate cutting board for raw meats and … [Read more...]

Gastrointestinal Outbreak at Saigon Vietnam Deli in Seattle

King County Health Department is investigating a gastrointestinal outbreak at Saigon Vietnam Deli, which is located at 1200 South Jackson Street in Seattle, Washington. Eight people are sick with symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, body aches, headaches, and fevers. The illnesses are associated with a takeout meal from Saigon Vietnam Deli that was eaten on July 25, 2020. Officials have not identified a specific food or drink item that may have caused these illnesses. No specific pathogen has been identified. There are no lab results for people who got sick. Symptoms suggest a bacterial illness. The eight patients ate takeout food together from Saigon Vietnam Deli. Other food was also ordered for takeout from another food establishment, but since only half of the ill people ate the … [Read more...]

FDA Recalls Certain Hand Sanitizers with 1-Propanol as Toxic

The FDA is recalling certain hand sanitizers with 1-propanol as toxic, adding to the  list of hand sanitizers that contain methanol, or wood alcohol. These hand sanitizers are labeled to contain ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, which are the correct ingredients, but have tested positive for 1-propanol contamination, which is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizer. Scroll down in the linked document to find the long list of recalled hand sanitizers. Ingesting 1-propanol can cause central nervous system depression, which can result in death. Symptoms of 1-propanol exposure include confusion, decreased consciousness, and slowed pulse and breathing. Animal studies have shown that the central nervous system depressant effects of 1-propanol are two to four times as potent as … [Read more...]

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