June 19, 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...]

Spray-on DNA Bar Codes May be Coming to Produce

A California company called DNATrek is marketing a spray-on DNA barcode that could help track the origins of pathogenic bacteria during a food poisoning outbreak related to produce. Discovering the origin of the contamination is key to preventing further illnesses and alerting the public who may have purchased the contaminated product. The technology was developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and is licensed to DNATrek. Grocery stores get shipments of produce from all over the country and the world. Many distributors are involved in the supply chain, so traceback can be very difficult, especially since packing boxes with identifying information are quickly thrown away after the produce is shelved in the store. The contamination could have occurred in the field, during … [Read more...]

Canada Works To Improve Food Traceability

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is working to improve food traceability on a national level by creating partnerships with provincial governments.  On  Tuesday, the CFIA and the Prince Edward Island Department of Agriculture and Forestry signed an information sharing agreement that will make it easier to track livestock. "The ability to zero in on an animal that may be sick or a risk to food safety is important to protecting consumers and animals," Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, said in a statement. "Locating animals faster and more efficiently can help lessen the impact of these types of events at the farm-level." "This system will provide valuable information to help emergency responders take precautionary measures to protect human and animal health," said Prince Edward … [Read more...]

Chefs: Something’s Fishy About Imported Seafood Traceability

Despite our growing demand for information about where the seafood we eat comes from, Americans seldom get answers when it comes to imported fish and seafood. That’s why a group of more than 500 chefs and restaurant owners are calling on government leaders to require that all seafood in U.S. markets can be traced. Improving traceability will prevent fraud and keep seafood, which is sometimes illegally mislabeled out of U.S. markets, the group says. “Recent studies have found that seafood may be mislabeled as often as 25 to 70 percent of the time for popular species like red snapper, wild salmon and Atlantic cod, disguising fish that are less desirable, cheaper or more readily available,” the group’s letter to government leaders says. “With about 1,700 different species of seafood from … [Read more...]

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