July 19, 2018

FDA Releases Two Year Plan for Program Priorities

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its two year Plan for Program Priorities. It is designed to meet the issues of the globalization of the food supply chain, changing industry processes, and consumer preferences for fresh and minimally processed foods. The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is implementing the plan. There are six program objectives detailed in the plan, taking into account new authorities established by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The first goal is to reduce foodborne illness rates every year by publishing guidance for egg safety, manufacturing process changes, and record keeping for high-risk foods to facilitate traceback. Rules on infant formulas, guidance on arsenic in apple juice and other foods, and rules for "gluten … [Read more...]

German Researchers Look for New Ways to Make Safer Salads

Dr. Herbert Schmidt is the head of the University of Hohenheim's Department of Food Microbiology. His work focuses on foods and E. coli contamination, particularly the virulent enterohemorrhagic strain of the bacteria called EHEC. These bacteria are also known as Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, or STEC, and they cause serious illness that can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). After the 2011 E. coli O104:H4 outbreak in Germany that sickened more than 3,800 people and killed 54, more research has been conducted into ways to make ready-to-eat foods safer. That outbreak was linked to raw sprouts. Dr. Schmidt's project is part of a collaboration between the Research Association of the German Food Industry, the German Federation of Industrial Research Association and the German Federal … [Read more...]

Missouri Issues Alert About Raw Milk and E. coli Outbreak

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is issuing a health advisory about consumption of locally produced, raw dairy products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103. This bacteria is Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) that can cause serious illness and death. Several cases of the illness in northwest Missouri have been reported to public health authorities, including one confirmed case of  E. coli O103. Anyone who has the symptoms of a STEC infection, including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, which may be watery and/or bloody, and vomiting, should see a doctor immediately. Most people get better within a week, but some can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and death. This is a reportable illness, so all health care … [Read more...]

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