May 21, 2019

Oskri Sells Nut Butter Plant After Listeria Monocytogenes Recall

Oskri Organics Corporation at 528 Tyranena Park Road in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, sold the building where they made nut butters and snacks after all of their products were recalled in January 2019. In addition, the brands Inspired Organics and Thrive Market nut butters were recalled in December 2018 and January 2019 for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Oskri made the nut butters for those companies. All 19 of the company's nut butters were included in that January recall. No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem. The company now uses a facility in Ixonia to produce the nut butters, but City Manager Steve Wilke told the Lake Mills Leader that the company "is looking for other uses of the building." Listeria monocytogenes bacteria is … [Read more...]

EPA Wants to Spray Antibiotics to Stop Citrus Greening Disease

Advocates from environmental and public health groups have delivered a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency asking them to delay a proposal to spray antibiotic on citrus fields to treat a pathogen that causes citrus greening disease, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Advocates think that this action could make bacterial antibiotic resistance worse. Citrus greening is a bacterial disease. Florida citrus trees are being destroyed by this pathogen and have been for more than 10 years. The pathogen is spread through an invasive insect. The bugs move through the tree's vascular tissue under the bark. Steven Roach, a senior analyst at Keep Antibiotics Working, said of the plan,"They are doing a huge experiment with limited monitoring." Officials estimate that … [Read more...]

New Dates For Implementing Agricultural Water Produce Safety

FDA's Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas have addressed advancing new tools and science for produce safety via agricultural water, and have set new dates for implementation. The two E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that were linked to romaine lettuce in 2018 were allegedly caused by contaminated agricultural water. In early 2018, 210 people were sickened in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region of the country. Ninety-six people were hospitalized, and 27 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure. Five people died. This outbreak was the largest of its kind since 2006. The outbreak strain was found in canal water in the area. And in late 2018, romaine lettuce grown in … [Read more...]

Safe Recipe Style Guide Launched To Improve Cookbooks

A new tool for cookbook authors that is intended to improve  consumers' food safety behaviors at home has been launched. Safe Recipe Style Guide was issued by the Partnership for Food Safety Education. It will be used for any recipe writer and provides specific recipe text to address food safety issues in home kitchens. The Safe Recipe Style Guide addresses the four major areas of food safety violations that occur in home kitchens, including temperature, handwashing, cross-contamination, and produce handling. Studies have shown that when consumers follow recipes that incorporate these basic instructions, they increase food safety behaviors. For instance, when a recipe writer wants to address doneness tests, they could write, "Cook until internal temperature reaches XX (fill in … [Read more...]

FDA Warns Nutra Pharma Group For Illegally Marketed Unapproved Products

The FDA posted a warning letter to Nutra Pharma Corporation for illegally marketing unapproved products that were labeled as homeopathic and made medical claims. More specifically, the claims were about ability to treat addiction and chronic pain, including pain that is associated with cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and other serious medical conditions. The targeted products include Nyloxin Oral Spray, Nyloxin Topical Gel, Nyloxin Topical Roll-On, Nyloxin Topical Roll-On ES, Nyloxin Professional Size Pump Topical Gel and Regular Strength Sample Pack. These names are similar to other FDA-approved drugs and may confuse consumers. The claims on these products include "treats conditions that cause chronic pain," and "Cobra venom saw its primary use in the treatment of cancer and … [Read more...]

USDA Guidance For Responding to Customer Complaints Issued

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a best practices guideline to help the meat and poultry industry respond to customer complaints about adulterated and misbranded products, in particular, reports of foreign materials in these products. This document is not regulatory. Since the beginning of 2019, there have been seven recalls of USDA-regulated food products for foreign material contamination. Those recalls have included ground beef chubs, breaded chicken products, chicken nuggets, frozen pork, and deli ham products. Corporations that have recalled these foods include Pilgrim's Pride, Johnsonville, Tyson Foods, and Bellisio. These recalls usually start because a consumer has found a material, such as glass, plastic, or … [Read more...]

GAO High Risk List Report Finds Food Plans Partially Met

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has released its 2019 report on federal oversight of food safety, and the results are mixed. Food safety remains on the High Risk List, which is updated every two years. The safety of the U.S. food supply is covered by a system that includes 30 federal laws administered by 15 federal agencies. Federal oversight of food safety was added to the high risk list in 2007. The list is used to set agendas of agencies that are charged with oversight. The report states, "For more than four decades, we have reported on the fragmented federal food safety oversight system, which has caused inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources. As of November 2018, two of the three recommendations to this high-risk area had … [Read more...]

New Study Shows Neighborhood Antibiotic Use Increases Resistance

A new study, published in Israel and published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, found that increased use of antibiotics in certain neighborhoods is associated with an increased risk of acquiring an antibiotic-resistant infection. The scientists looked at fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli bacteria found in urine cultures of Israelis in more than 1700 neighborhoods. The authors say that this may mean that individual personal consumption of antibiotics isn't the only way that antibiotic resistance is being spread. There may be a selective mechanism for resistance at the community level too. The researchers collected medical records and demographic date on 2.4 million patients, and analyzed almost 5 million urine-culture specimens sent to Clalit Health Services from 2010 … [Read more...]

Raw Dog Food Can Be Risky For Humans and Pets

According to a new study published in Veterinary Record, raw meat based diets for dogs pose a threat to humans and the dogs because they can be contaminated with pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Clostridium, and Enterobacteriaceae.  The study showed that some of these raw products have high levels of pathogens. Many recalls of frozen raw pet foods have been issued in the United States over the past few years. Those products have also been linked to human illnesses. In 2018, one person was sickened with a Salmonella infection after feeding a family pet Darwin's Natural raw ground chicken pet food. That product tested positive for  E. coli O128, Salmonella, and/or Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. And in January 2019, a Salmonella patient in Minnesota prompted a recall … [Read more...]

FDA Plans to Modernize Oversight of Imported Food

The FDA's Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb and Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas are announcing a new strategy to modernizing government oversight of imported food. This country imports about 15% of its food supply from more than 200 countries or territories around the world. Other countries supply 32% of our fresh vegetables, 55% of fresh fruit, and 94% of our seafood. And there have been quite a few food poisoning outbreaks linked to imported food in the past few years. Last year, a Salmonella Concord outbreak was linked to tahini imported from Israel. In 2017, a Salmonella outbreak linked to papayas imported from Mexico sickened at least 255 people with nine different strains of the pathogen.  And in 2016, almost a thousand people were sickened across the country with Salmonella … [Read more...]

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