March 19, 2018

Food & Water Watch Finds Privatized Inspection System Produces More Contaminated Chicken

Food & Watch Watch has analyzed the USDA's regulatory sampling for Salmonella bacteria in the country's poultry slaughter plants, and has found that more contaminated chicken is being produced. Thirty percent of plants operating under the new privatized system have failed the performance standard for that pathogenic bacteria. The New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) removes USDA inspectors from slaughter lines. Company employees are now responsible for inspections, under this system. Just one USDA inspector is on each line, and that person must inspect three birds per second. The final rule, proposed in 2012, was published in 2014. USDA argued that this inspection system would reduce the incidence of Salmonella contamination. Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & … [Read more...]

CDC Offers Tips to Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

During the winter months when more people are indoors and in close quarters, norovirus cases, a type of food poisoning, increase; more than 80% of norovirus outbreaks occur from November to April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering tips to help you protect yourself and others against this virus. Norovirus is the name for a group of viruses that cause inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which is also known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms of this illness are abdominal and stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Officials think that this pathogenic virus causes about 20 million illnesses in the United States every year, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations, and about 700 deaths. Many people call this illness the "stomach flu." But it is not … [Read more...]

USDA Guide to Hosting a Safe Super Bowl Party

The Super Bowl is this Sunday; if you're hosting a party, take advice from the USDA to make sure the food you are serving is safe. These tips and rules will help ensure that your guests are happy and don't get sick. Begin by washing your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. This will remove any bacteria from your hands before you start preparing the food. And make sure that dishware and utensils are clean and sanitized before you use them to prepare, warm, cook or serve food. Make sure that you separate raw foods such as raw meat and poultry and foods that are eaten uncooked such as crudités and dips. Use clean and different utensils for each dish. Never use your own spoon or fork to serve yourself foods from the buffet, or you could contaminate the food. Use … [Read more...]

What Happens to the FDA, CDC, and USDA During the Government Shutdown?

The United States government is under a shutdown as of January 20, 2018. What does that mean to the work done by the FDA and USDA to help keep our food supply safe? The FDA has posted a statement saying that "only some of our work is permitted to continue during a lapse in funding." Agency operations will continue in areas that address "imminent threats to the safety of human life and activities funded by carryover user fee funds." The FDFA will still monitor for and respond to food poisoning outbreaks; will support high-risk food and medical product recalls when those products endanger consumers; pursue criminal and some civil investigations when they believe the public health is at risk; screening food and medical products imported to the U.S.; and address "other critical pubic … [Read more...]

Sixty-One Vendors at the New York State Fair Cited for Critical Violations

Sixty-one vendors at the New York State Fair were cited for serious violations, according to The violations were for problems and issues that can cause foodborne illness. That paper submitted a request for the violations at the New York State Fair with a Freedom of Information Act request. Two complaints of ill persons were investigated at the fair last year, but were "unsubstantiated," according to the report. The 100 violations were rated as "critical." These types of violations involve cooking, storage temperatures, the condition of food, or the source of the food. They may also be linked to water and sewage, presence of pests, use of toxic materials, and the sanitary practices of food workers. Officials also found 371 non-critical violations at the New York … [Read more...]

Study Finds Recurrent Salmonella and Campylobacter Food Poisoning Infections May Cause Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A new study published in Science has found that recurrent Salmonella infections may cause inflammatory bowel disease and they may have found the mechanism. Researchers studying mice found that these infections progressively disable protection against intestinal inflammation. Foodborne illnesses are a serious human health problem. Doctors are seeing increasing cases of colitis and inflammatory bowel disease. Scientists have long believed that environmental triggers of these conditions are possible. For instance, bacterial infections are associated with seasonal increases in intestinal inflammation diagnoses; in other words, during the months that Salmonella infections are most common, more people are diagnosed with intestinal inflammation. The researchers think that common … [Read more...]

New Study Finds E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella in Raw Pet Foods

Raw pet foods can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria such as E. coil O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes, according to a new study published in the journal Veterinary Record. These findings show that raw meat-based diets (RMBDs) "may post a risk to both animal and human health," according to the study. The study was conducted at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Raw pet foods have risen in popularity in the past few years. Humans are at risk for possible illness by handling the food, and by touching or petting animals fed this food. Pathogens can also be passed from pet fed raw diets to human by the dog or cat licking people. The researchers analyzed 35 commercial products from eight different brands. They found E. coli O157:H7 in 23% of the samples, … [Read more...]

For a Safe New Year’s Buffet, Follow FDA Suggestions

Plan a safe New Year's buffet with suggestions from the FDA. Many people have open houses for this holiday and offer food buffet style. The first tip is to keep serving portions small. Instead of putting out all the food at once, divide the food among some small platters and dishes ahead of time. As the food is eaten, replace those serving dishes with clean ones with fresh food. Store cold back up dishes in the refrigerator, and keep hot dishes in a crockpot, or in the oven set at 200 to 250°F. Later arriving guests can safely enjoy the same food as early arrivers. Make sure that you take the temperature of the food as it sits out. Hot foods should be at least 140°F. Some warmers only hold food at 110°F to 120°F, so make sure that your warmer will keep foods at the correct … [Read more...]

FDA Responds to OIG Report Criticizing Recall Response

The FDA has responded to an Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report stating that the agency is slow to respond to critical food recalls. The final version of the report looked at recall practices from October 1, 2012 to May 4, 2015. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, "Making sure the FDA has effective recall practices in place, and that we take immediate action to address unsafe foods, are high priorities of mine. Our recall authorities – and how we deploy them – are a cornerstone of our vital, consumer protection mission." The FDA response stated that the most efficient way to ensure unsafe foods are quickly recalled is to work directly with the companies and giving the public information about the recall. The FDA is going to issue guidance on recall communications in … [Read more...]

FDA’s Recall Process Did Not Always Ensure Nation’s Food Supply Safety

The FDA's recall process did not always ensure the safety's of this country's food supply, according to a report released today by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reviews of the recall process oversight were conducted previously. According to the repot, "At the time of those OIG reviews, FDA did not have statutory authority to require food manufacturers to initiate recalls of most foods.." Enactment of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011 gave the FDA new authority to order a mandatory recall to force firms to recall potentially harmful foods. The review of the OIG was conducted to determine whether or not the FDA is fulfilling its responsibility to safeguard America's food supply. The objectives of the report … [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.