June 24, 2018

Food Safety and Consumer Groups Want FDA To Establish Rapid Traceability Of Produce

Food safety groups and consumer groups are calling on the FDA to establish requirements for rapid traceability of produce within the next six months. Nine organizations sent a letter to the FDA on May 24, 2018, after government officials have not solved the deadly multistate E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. The groups that signed the letter include Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, Food and Water Watch, STOP Foodborne illness, Consumers Union, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and three others. They want the FDA to implement "long overdue provisions of the 2011 FDA Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA)" that require the FDA to establish record keeping requirements for high risk foods that will enhance … [Read more...]

Will Washing Romaine Lettuce Remove E. coli O157:H7?

The multistate E. coli O157:H7 HUS outbreak that is linked to romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region has sickened at least 121 people in 25 states. This is a serious outbreak. More than 50 people have been hospitalized. Fourteen of those people have been diagnosed with HUS, a complication of this infection that can cause kidney failure. And one person in California has died. Consumers are asking questions about this outbreak; namely, how can they protect themselves and their families? One of the questions is: will washing romaine lettuce and other produce eliminate the pathogenic bacteria? The answer is, unfortunately, no. There are several reasons for this. First, it only takes 10 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria to make a person very sick. That tiny amount … [Read more...]

Salmonella Newport Outbreak in WA and OR: Why is Precut Fruit a Food Poisoning Risk?

A Salmonella Newport outbreak in Washington and Oregon has been linked to precut fruit sold at QFC, Fred Meyer, Rosauers, and Central Market stores. How is this possible? How can fruit, which doesn't naturally carry pathogenic bacteria like meats and poultry do, be contaminated? Most people don't know that eating produce is the most common way people get food poisoning. In fact, Salmonella is the most common pathogen found on produce. The fruits and vegetables can be contaminated in the field by animal feces or by contaminated irrigation water. They can be contaminated during harvest, or during processing or transportation before they even get to the stores. And cutting fruits and vegetables at those stores or at distribution centers can multiply the problem. Whenever a piece of … [Read more...]

How to Buy and Serve Produce Safely

Many food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years have been caused by contaminated produce. They range from the deadly Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Jensen Farms cantaloupe to the Salmonella outbreak in Minnesota linked to tomatoes served at Chipotle restaurants. In fact, a study conducted by Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2005 found that produce is the most common food source for food poisoning. So the FDA has produced a video and tips on how to select and serve produce safely. Bacteria in the soil or water can contaminated fruits and vegetables, or it can become contaminated during harvest, during transport, or storage. To protect yourself and your family, be careful when selecting produce at the grocery store or farmer's market. Choose produce that … [Read more...]

$21.8 Million to Help Implement FDA Produce Safety Rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that $21.8 million in federal money will go to 42 states for use in implementing FDA’s new regulation, “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption" (commonly called the Produce Safety Rule). The FDA Produce Safety Rule was finalized in 2015 and became effective in January of 2016. "It establishes science-based minimum standards for the safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption" stated the FDA in its announcement. The FDA created the Produce Safety Rule as part of its implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. The purpose of FSMA is to prevent … [Read more...]

Learn How to Select and Serve Produce Safely

Summer is a time when everyone enjoys eating more fresh produce. But there have been many foodborne illness outbreaks in the past few years linked to fresh fruits and vegetables. Some of the pathogens in those outbreaks include Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and cyclospora. The FDA is offering tips to help you choose and serve fresh produce safely. Harmful bacteria can be in the irrigation water used in the fields. Animals can poop on the plants, transferring pathogenic bacteria onto the fruits and vegetables. Product can also be contaminated during harvest, processing, or transport. When you buy produce, always choose products that are not damaged, cut, or bruised. Those injuries are open doorways to pathogens. Once the pathogens are inside the fruit or vegetable, … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Commodity Sampling Test Results on Raw Milk Cheese

The FDA released test results of commodity sampling last week. The products sampled were raw milk cheese aged 60 days, cucumbers, and hot peppers. This sampling program is part of an effort to help ensure food safety. This program was adopted in 2014 to learn more about the prevalence of disease-causing bacteria in foods and to help the agency identify patterns to help prevent future contamination. Raw milk cheese aged 60 days was one of the commodities selected for the first year of testing. Evidence indicates that aging this product for 60 days may not eliminate or adequately reduce disease causing bacteria, posing a hazard. People may still get sick with E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria monocytogenes infections if they eat these cheeses. And they can suffer serious complications, … [Read more...]

Safety of Raw Manure Questioned Under FSMA Rule

The safety of raw manure under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) final rule on produce safety is being questioned by the FDA. Submissions on assessing the risk of raw manure as fertilizer are requested. Manure from cattle, chickens, horses, and other farm animals can be, and usually are, contaminated with E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. The FDA is going to conduct a risk assessment to find out how much consumer health is put at risk by the use of raw manure as fertilizer in growing crops covered FSMA's produce safety rule. The agency wants helps of stakeholders, the animal agriculture industry, academia, and members of the public. Produce is the most common food source linked with food poisoning outbreaks. Recent outbreaks just in the past few weeks linked to raw produce … [Read more...]

Jack and the Green Sprouts MN and WI E. coli Outbreak: Protect Yourself

The FDA has released information on how to select and serve produce safely, which is timely considering the two current outbreaks linked to raw sprouts. An E. coli O157:NM outbreak in Minnesota and Wisconsin has sickened at least 9 people, and a Salmonella Muenchen outbreak in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania has sickened at least 13. It's worth noting, however, that raw sprouts are an inherently risky product, and your selecting and handling this food may not have any effect at all on their safety. Sprouts can be contaminated from within, so no amount of cleaning on your part will ever make them safe. For other produce, you can follow safe handling tips to protect yourself and your family. And if you choose to eat raw sprouts, these tips may help reduce the risk of … [Read more...]

FDA Finalizes FSMA Rules on Produce Safety

The FDA finally finalized the rules on produce safety last week. Michael Taylor, the head of that agency said in a statement, "Its been a long and arduous task, to say the least. Finalizing the rules is just one part of building a modernized food safety system." The Food Safety Modernization Act was passed in 2011. The major rules in that Act have been slowly finalized by the FDA and the Office of Management and Budget. This latest new rule targets produce grows. They must ensure the safety of water in irrigation, since some outbreaks have been caused by produce contaminated by irrigation water that contains Salmonella or E. coli bacteria. They must make sure workers practice good hygiene in the field and while packing. A Cyclospora outbreak linked to imported cilantro lead to a ban … [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.