September 18, 2020

Consumer Reports Letter to USDA Outlines Recommendations For Safety

Consumer Reports letter to USDA outlines recommendations to ensure the safety of food products during the COVID-19 pandemic. This emergency has put pressure on the food chain, and personnel numbers have dwindled as more shelter in place orders have been put in place.   The agency wants the USDA to commit to several points that Consumer Reports thinks will ensure the safety and availability of food during this time. First, the USDA should publicize the number of USDA-FSIS personnel testing positive or getting sick with the symptoms of COVID-19 as they occur. Consumers deserve to know that the number of inspectors may be dwindling as the pandemic continues. Second, they want USDA to ensure that food inspectors and workers are safe. Many food production jobs are … [Read more...]

USDA Increasing Chicken Slaughter Line Speeds, Granting Waivers

According to Food & Water Watch, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service granted another regulatory waived to a chicken plant to increase its chicken slaughter line speeds up to 175 birds per minute with only one FSIS trained inspected at the end of the line. The plant in question is the Foster Farms slaughter and processing plant in Kelso, Washington. Last year, the USDA allowed many chicken slaughter plants to increase their line speeds under the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). One of those plants failed the FSIS Salmonella performance standard and is in violation of the new criteria established by USDA to qualify for line speed waivers, according to Food & Water Watch. Chicken carcasses are put onto lines and moved past inspectors who check them for obvious … [Read more...]

Supermarkets Are Failing To Post Food Recalls, Says U.S. PIRG

A new report by the U.S. PIRG (public interest research groups) has found that most supermarkets are failing to post food recalls and don't make it easy for consumers to find out about recalled products. The report is titled, "Food Recall Failure: Will your supermarket warn you about hazardous food?" It gave a failing grade to 84% of the nation's 26 largest supermarket chains. Some of the chains that received a failing grade include Aldi, Publix, Whole Foods, Safeway, Albertsons, HEB, Meijer, Stop & Shop, Trader Joe's, Food Lion, and Walmart. Those supermarkets are failing to post food recalls. U.S. PIRG Education Fund Consumer Watchdog Adam Garber said in a statement, "Supermarkets should be our best recall notification system, but instead, we found that shoppers must go on … [Read more...]

Super Bowl Food Safety Tips From the USDA

The USDA is offering Super Bowl food safety tips. There are things to think about if you are hosting a party for the big game. Start with party prep, and learn about serving food and what to do when the party is over. First, wash your hands well with soap and water immediately before and after handling food. A recent USDA Food Safety Consumer Research Project study showed that 99% of handwashing attempts were not done correctly. So, wet your hands with water, lather with soap, and scrub for 20 seconds. Remember to clean under your fingernails too. Rinse and dry with a paper towel or clean towel. Always use a food thermometer when cooking meat, fish, poultry, and egg. Make sure that foods reach a safe final internal temperature when you're cooking (use this chart), and always … [Read more...]

How to Report a Problem With Food to the FDA and USDA

Most Americans have had food poisoning at one time or another, giving that 48,000,000 Americans contract this form of illness every year. Most people think they have the "stomach flu" or a "24 hour bug" when they actually have food poisoning. How do you report a problem with food? What do you do if you think you have food poisoning? First, know the symptoms of food poisoning for various pathogens: E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella. You can report your illness to the government if you think that a problem with food (such as the Northfork Bison E. coli outbreak) purchased from a store is the problem. First, call your doctor to get necessary treatment. Many foodborne illnesses can have long term health complications and this should be noted on your medical … [Read more...]

Back to School Food Safety For Bag Lunches From the USDA

It's back to school time, and that means kids are going to be bringing bag lunches to school. Did you know that if those bags contain perishable foods, they must be handled and stored properly? The USDA has tips to help you keep your child safe.   Harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, multiply quickly in the Danger Zone temperature range of 40 °F and 140°F; that includes room temperature. Perishable foods that are held without an ice source, or without refrigeration, won't stay safe to eat for long. So here's what to do. First, all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, must be kept cold at all times. When you're at the store, buy those foods last, go home immediately, and refrigerate them immediately. No perishable … [Read more...]

American Beef Packers Beef Recalled: Unfit for Human Consumption

American beef Packers of Chino, California, is recalling about 24,428 pounds of raw beef products that are "deemed unfit for human consumption," according to a notice by the USDA. FSIS inspection personnel retained the carcass and collected a sample for analysis. Before the test results came back, the carcass was released and processed into raw intact and non-tact beef products which were distributed to federal  establishments in California and Oregon. The recalled beef items were produced and packaged on August 21, 2019. The recalled products, which have the establishment number "EST. 34741" are: Bulk pack combo bins containing “AMERICAN BEEF PACKERS 85 BONELESS BEEF CHUCKS” with LOT NO.110 and BIN No. 85 and BIN No. 86. Bulk pack combo bins containing “AMERICAN BEEF PACKERS 90 … [Read more...]

Keep Your Backyard Barbecue Safe From Staphylococcus With Tips

The USDA is offering tips to help keep your backyard barbecue safe from Staphylococcus aureus bacteria this summer.  Cooking outdoors presents special challenges, including grilling food to a safe internal temperature, and higher ambient temperatures. The press release focuses on Staphylococcus aureus, which sickens about 240,000 Americans every year. About 1,000 of those patients need to be hospitalized, and about six people die every year. A USDA scientist developed a test that detects the pathogen in foods, which is faster, more sensitive, and less expensive than other standardized tests. Reuven Rasooly, a chemist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) said in a statement, "The current test detects active toxin only 50 percent of the time compared to the test, … [Read more...]

Stericycle: Recalls Declined in First Quarter 2019; Shutdown to Blame?

According to Stericycle Expert Solutions, which releases a summary of recall trends every quarter, recalls of food, pharmaceutical, and consumer products declined "significantly" for the first time since 2012 in the first quarter of 2019. The press release states that "The declines were largely due to reduced oversight from the government shutdown earlier this year which stopped or limited many government safety inspections for food, pharmaceutical, automotive, medical device, and consumer products, the industries tracked in the Stericycle Recall Index. When the shutdown ended at the end of January, it took several more weeks for the regulatory agencies to ramp safety inspections back up to normal levels." The shutdown lasted for 5 weeks from December 2018 to January 2019. FDA … [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...]

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.