February 26, 2017

Cornell Develops Processor to Destroy Pathogens in Food

Cornell food scientists have developed a new high pressure food processor to destroy food pathogens. This is the nation's first commercial scale validation facility for a technology that kills bacteria and extends the shelf life of fresh, ready to eat foods. It can be used on juice, baby foods, meats, and salads. The device is a Hiperbaric 55 high-pressure food processor at Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. It works by surrounding completed ready to eat foods in their packages with water. The machine applies isostatic pressure up to 87,000 pounds per square inch. According to Cornell, "that's more than six times the pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest ocean trench on Earth." More and more consumers want fresh, packaged, ready to eat … [Read more...]

FDA Releases 2016 Food Safety Survey Report

The FDA has released the 2016 Food Safety Survey Report. This is a periodic national telephone survey of adults in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. This survey has been conducted since 1988 and is used to help the FDA and USDA make regulatory and education decisions. The 2016 survey was the first time cell phone users were sampled in addition to landline phone users. The survey interviewed 4,169 respondents between October 2015 and January 2016. The key findings are below. The survey found that consumers are somewhat concerned about getting a foodborne illness from how they prepare food, but think that people are more likely to get sick from food prepared at a restaurant.  It is true that more outbreaks (defined as two more more unrelated people sickened with the same … [Read more...]

Tips for a Safe and Healthy Valentine’s Day Dinner

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is offering 14 tips for a safe and healthy Valentine's Day dinner, whether you eat out at a restaurant or at home. About 65% of food poisoning outbreaks are traced to food prepared in a restaurant. When you go into a restaurant, first look at the scene. See if certificates are posted that show food safety practices, such as a health inspection score.Make sure that the glasses, silverware, napkins, and tablecloths are clean. Watch out for unlikely sources of sodium. Most sodium comes from breads and rolls, cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, poultry, soups, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, meat dishes, and snacks. Look up nutritional information in advance, since most major restaurant chains post this information online. Always … [Read more...]

Food Safety on Super Bowl Sunday

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. No matter how you celebrate, you need to keep your food safe so you and your guests don't get sick. Foodsafety.gov is offering tips to keep the food for your bash safe. Americans eat more than a billion chicken wings on that day, and many other foods that have the potential to be contaminated with bacteria. If you plan on frying chicken wings, make sure that the frying oil temperature is at least 375°F, measured with a food thermometer, before you start. Never fry frozen chicken wings; they should be completely thawed. Do not rinse the chicken wings before you cook them; that will only spread bacteria around your kitchen and onto you, since the spray from the water can spread up to 3 feet away from the faucet. Pay the wings dry before you put them … [Read more...]

Kansas State U Study: Celebrity Chefs Have Poor Food Safety Practices

According to a study conducted at Kansas State University, celebrity chefs have poor food safety practices. Edgar Chambers IV and Curtis Maughan from KSU, with Sandria Godwin from Tennessee State University, wrote "Food safety behaviors observed in celebrity chefs across a variety of programs" which was published in the Journal of Public Health. The study was sponsored by the USDA, FDA, and CDC. Researchers looked at 100 cooking shows that were hosted by 24 celebrity chefs and found problematic food preparation behaviors. Chambers said, "twenty-three percent of chefs licked their fingers; that's terrible. Twenty percent touched their hair or dirty clothing or things and then touched food again." The most common food safety hazards observed on these shows included lack of hand … [Read more...]

Learn About the FoodKeeper App

The USDA has developed an app for your phone to help you keep your food fresh. It's called the FoodKeeper app. It provides advice on how to store foods and beverages and minimize food waste. It's available for Android and Apple devices. In 2016, the government updated the app to include more than 400 food and beverages items available in an online data feed. Every time you open the app, it will check the data feed for updates. If you don't have an Android or Apple dev ice, you can find this information at FSIS.gov and at Data.gov. The data feed is downloadable. The feed has specific storage and cooking guidelines and information on items such as baby food, dairy products, egg, meats, poultry, produce, and seafood. Storage timelines for the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry are … [Read more...]

Undercooked and Raw Eggs Can Make You Sick

Every year, about 79,000 Americans get sick from Salmonella in eggs. And about 30 people die, according to the FDA. While the government has regulations to hep prevent contamination of eggs on the farm and in transit, they have not been unable to eliminate this risk. The pathogenic bacteria can be on the inside of the egg, so eating raw or undercooked eggs puts you at risk of a serious foodborne illness. Here's what you need to know about eggs and food safety. Salmonella is a bacteria that is a common cause of food poisoning in this country and around the world. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Most symptoms begin 12 to 72 hours after infection, and people are usually sick for about a week. But … [Read more...]

FDA Risk Assessment Explained

The FDA is one of the government agencies charged with keeping our food supply safe. One of the ways they do this is something called "risk assessment." Food facilities are inspected and government officials figure out where the risks of contamination are. There are many steps between the farm and your table. And each can pose a risk of contamination by pathogenic bacteria. Scientific evidence and calculations used by the FDA predict the best ways to preventing contamination by specific substances in specific foods. First, scientists learn about the conditions under which a bacteria or virus can grow and thrive. A food likely to contain the pathogen is then studied, and information about how the food is grown, transported, received, processed, stored, shipped, and sold is … [Read more...]

Prevent Clostridium Perfringens Illnesses This Holiday Season

Clostridium perfringens food poisoning cases tend to spike around the holiday season. This bacteria causes almost 1,000,000 cases of food poisoning every year. The bacteria grows when large pots and containers of food are not kept from the danger zone of 40°F to 140°F. Restaurants, nursing homes, potlucks, and large parties are usually the sources of this type of outbreak. So FoodSafety.gov is offering tips to help stop this type of food poisoning. The bacteria is found on raw meat and poultry, in the environment, and in the intestines of people and animals. Some strains produce a toxin as the bacteria grows. This type of food poisoning has a sudden and fast onset, usually within a few hours of exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Diarrhea is the main symptoms. This type of … [Read more...]

Pig Roasting and Food Safety

If you want to roast a whole pig this holiday season, FoodSafety.gov has tips to make sure that the pork is cooked properly and is safe to eat. There was one large food poisoning outbreak this year linked to whole roasted pork that was produced by Kapowsin Foods. Those pigs were linked to a Salmonella outbreak last year and this year. In 20156, 192 people in five states were sickened with an antibiotic resistance strain of Salmonella I 4,[5],12:i:-. Thirty of those patients were hospitalized. This year, three people were sickened with Salmonella infections after eating whole roast pig at the Good Vibe Tribe Luau in Seattle. The pigs were produced by Kapowsin Meats of Graham, Washington. Whole pigs can be difficult to roast correctly, whether they are grilled, cooked in a … [Read more...]

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