June 18, 2019

Center For Food Safety Forces FDA to Designate High Risk Foods

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) has forced the FDA to complete the high risk food designations and reporting requirements that were part of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). CFS filed a lawsuit against the FDA in October 2018 for delaying those requirements. Now, the FDA must designate "high risk" foods by September 2020 and establish the reporting requirements for those foods by November 2022. The settlement was decided in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Ryan Talbott, CFS staff attorney, said in a statement, "This is a major victory for public health. FDA has sat on its hands for years, neglecting to make these high-risk designations, while outbreaks caused by Salmonella, E. coli, and other pathogens have sicken and killed … [Read more...]

With Warm Weather Here, Learn How to Handle Food Safely Outdoors

With warm weather finally here, many people are planning barbecues and picnics. But warm weather presents special challenges to keeping food safety. Bacteria grow rapidly at temperatures above 40°F and food needs to be handled carefully. The FDA has some advice about how to handle food safely outdoors. First, pack food safety. All cold food should be kept cold. Put child food into a cooler that has ice or frozen gel packs. All cold food should be stored below 40°F to prevent and slow bacterial growth. You can pack meat, poultry, and seafood while it's still frozen so they stay colder longer. Organize the cooler contents carefully. Put beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in a second. That way, when you open the cooler to get beverages, perishable foods won't be exposed to … [Read more...]

CSPI Calls on FDA to End Sales of Unwashed Poppy Seeds After 12 Americans Die

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on the sale of unwashed poppy seeds and seed pods after at least 12 Americans have died after consuming these products. The agency sent a letter to the FDA in April 2019. Those deaths are associated with a type of tea that is made from poppy seeds or pods. CSPI President Dr. Peter G. Lurie said in a statement, "Poppy seed teas are responsible for numerous cases of addiction, overdose, and death. This little-known aspect of the opioid epidemic does appear to be worsening in terms of its toll. The FDA and the Department of Justice are aware of the problem but have failed to fully exercise their authorities." One man, Stephen P. Hacala, died after he drank tea made … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Velvet Ice Cream Company About Listeria Monocytogenes

The FDA has sent a warning letter to the Velvet Ice Cream Company of Utica, Ohio, that Listeria monocytogenes has been found in their facility during inspection. The company makes ready-to-eat ice cream. There is zero tolerance for Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in ready-to-eat products, including deli meats and cheeses and ice cream because the consumer does not heat the food before eating, which would kill the pathogen. Once Listeria is introduced into a facility, it can become persistent and be very difficult to eradicate. In fact, there have been several issues with Listeria contamination in ice cream plants for the past few years. In April 2019, the FDA stated they were taking steps to improve ice cream production after finding the pathogen in 19 of the 89 ice cream … [Read more...]

FDA Addresses Consumer Confusion Over Use By Dates

Frank Yiannas, who is Deputy Commissioner of Food Policy and Response for the FDA, wrote a letter to the food industry on May 23, 2019, addressing consumer confusion over "Sell By," "Use By," and "Best If Used By Dates," as they probably contribute to food waste in the United States. The USDA's Economic Research Service estimates that 30% of the food in this country is lost or wasted at the retail or consumer level. That translates to 133 billion pounds of food lost, that is worth $161 billion. Every year. The use of these phrases is voluntary, and are used to describe quality dates, not spoilage dates. In a 2007 survey of U.S. consumers, less than half were able to distinguish between the meanings of these commonly used phrases. The FDA has found that food waste by consumers … [Read more...]

FDA Investigating Raw Oyster Shigella Outbreak That Sickened Five

The FDA is investigating a subset of the Shigella, Vibrio, E. coli, and Campylobacter outbreak that is linked to raw oysters harvested from Estero El Cardon in Baja California Sur, Mexico. That agency is looking at the five people sickened with Shigella infections. Patients sickened in this raw oyster Shigella outbreak got ill in early 2019. The outbreak notice states that restaurants that sell raw oysters in California, Nevada, New York, and Arizona are part of the investigation. The oysters were sold to wholesale distributors with direct sales to restaurants and were not sold to consumers through grocery retail stores. Consumers should not purchase oysters marketed as being harvested from Estero El Cardon, in Baja California Sur, Mexico from restaurants. If you are not sure … [Read more...]

CDC Study: Antibiotics Used as Pesticides Facilitate Antibiotic Resistance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have conducted a study that finds that medically important antibiotics that the EPA wants to re-approve for expanded pesticide use on crops can facilitate antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Those pathogens pose "urgent" and "serious" threats to human health. The results of this study were obtained by the Center for Biological Diversity under the Freedom of Information Act. Those dangerous antibiotic resistant-bacteria include MSA, nightmare bacteria (Cabapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus. Those pathogens cause more than 100,000 infections and 13,000 deaths every year in the United States. Nathan Donley, a senior scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement, "It’s … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Homeopathic Product Manufacturers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning five homeopathic product manufacturers for significant violations of current good manufacturing practice regulations (CGMP). Warning letters were sent to those companies. Four of the letters target companies who jointly produced a product labeled as homeopathic that was not sterile. The fifth outlines a company's failure to have a system in place that makes sure there is proper design, monitoring, and control of the manufacturing process. FDA Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless said in a statement, "It’s our public health obligation to protect consumers from unsafe products. Our manufacturing requirements are designed to ensure the quality and safety of drugs distributed to American consumers, and the FDA expects companies to … [Read more...]

Food Safety Myths: The Truth and the Rumors

Food safety is a complicated issue. But there are some facts, and some myths about this topic. Unfortunately, many of the myths, if believed, can cause some serious problems and may mean hospitalization for some people. Foodsafety.gov has compiled a list of food safety myths and the facts that debunk them. Some of these myths arise from old wives' tales; others have been spread over the internet. These are the top 10 food safety myths. Food poisoning isn't that big a deal. Actually, food poisoning sickens 48,000,000 Americans every year. At least 128,000 people are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. Food poisoning is much more than a stomach upset and some vomiting or diarrhea. People can develop sepsis and dehydration and need hospitalization. In addition, some pathogens can … [Read more...]

FDA Sampling Frozen Berries For Hepatitis A and Norovirus

The FDA is sampling frozen berries for both hepatitis A and norovirus, in the wake of three hepatitis A outbreaks and one norovirus outbreak linked to those products from 1997 to 2016. Two of those hepatitis A outbreaks, one in 2013 and the other in 2016, sickened more than 300 people in this country. The 2013 outbreak was linked to Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend, a mix of frozen berries, and sickened at least 162 people in 10 states with hepatitis A infections. The source of the virus was eventually determined to be pomegranate seeds that were imported from Goknur Foodstuffs Import Export Trading in Turkey. The 2016 outbreak, which sickened at least 143 people in 9 states, was linked to frozen strawberries made into smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Cafe restaurants in … [Read more...]

Report Your Food Poisoning Case
[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
×
×

Home About Site Map Contact Us Sponsored by Pritzker Hageman, P.A., a Minneapolis, MN law firm that helps food poisoning victims nationally.