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Rancho Feeding Facility to Reopen in April Under New Ownership
March 28, 2014
Rancho Feeding Facility to Reopen in April Under New Ownership

San Francisco-based Marin Sun Farms has obtained approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to take over the Rancho Feeding Corp. slaughterhouse in Petaluma, CA. The company plans to reopen the shuttered facility early next month.

EFSA Issues Scientific Opinion on Risks Posed by Salmonella, Norovirus in Leafy Greens
March 27, 2014
EFSA Issues Scientific Opinion on Risks Posed by Salmonella, Norovirus in Leafy Greens

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) today released a Scientific Opinion on the risks to human health posed by Salmonella and Norovirus in leafy greens eaten raw as salads.

CFIA Seeks Authority to Fine Meat Plants that Break Food Safety Rules
March 26, 2014
CFIA Seeks Authority to Fine Meat Plants that Break Food Safety Rules

The [Canadian] federal government is proposing to give itself the power to fine meat-processing plants that break hygiene and other operating rules meant to protect human health.

FDA Invites Input on Reportable Food Registry, Extends Comment Period on Two Proposed Rules
March 25, 2014
FDA Invites Input on Reportable Food Registry, Extends Comment Period on Two Proposed Rules

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that seeks input to assist the Agency in implementing section 211 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which added new provisions to the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The agency also extended the comment periods on its proposed rules, “Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration” (and the Draft Qualitative Risk Assessment associated with that rule) and "Draft Methodological Approach for Designating High-Risk Foods."

Mangopack Selects SafetyChain Software to Automate QA and Food Safety
March 25, 2014
Mangopack Selects SafetyChain Software to Automate QA and Food Safety

SafetyChain Software yesterday announced that Mangopack, a fresh-cut fruit processor focusing on extended shelf-life products, has selected SafetyChain as its partner to automate Mangopack's food safety and quality assurance (FSQA) programs.

AOAC Gives PTM Approval for Invisible Sentinel's Rapid Salmonella spp. Test
March 25, 2014
AOAC Gives PTM Approval for Invisible Sentinel's Rapid Salmonella spp. Test

Invisible Sentinel Inc. yesterday announced that its first-in-class rapid diagnostic for the detection of Salmonella species has received Performance Tested MethodsSM (PTM) certification from the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC).

New Survey Finds GM Crop Contamination Disrupts Global Food Trade
March 18, 2014
New Survey Finds GM Crop Contamination Disrupts Global Food Trade

Increased production of genetically modified (GM) crops worldwide has caused a sharp rise in the number of incidents where low levels of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been found in food and feedstuffs traded between nations, disrupting trade.

Food Standards Agency Issues Call for Research on Removing Norovirus from Oysters
March 24, 2014
Food Standards Agency Issues Call for Research on Removing Norovirus from Oysters

The UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) today issued a call for proposals to design and execute a research study to identify and evaluate possible enhancements to norovirus removal from live oysters during shellfish depuration.

FDA Scientists in Puerto Rico Seek Faster Screening for Foodborne Pathogens
March 21, 2014
FDA Scientists in Puerto Rico Seek Faster Screening for Foodborne Pathogens

A team of scientists in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's San Juan (Puerto Rico) District Office is using funds awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services to adapt traditional chemistry methods to speed detection of foodborne pathogens.

FDA to Extend Comment Period for Proposed Rules on Intentional Adulteration, High-Risk Foods
March 20, 2014
FDA to Extend Comment Period for Proposed Rules on Intentional Adulteration, High-Risk Foods

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday issued an update on proposed rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), stating that it will extend both the comment period on the proposed rule on mitigation strategies to protect food against intentional adulteration and the accompanying draft qualitative risk assessment, and the comment period on the designation of high-risk foods for tracing.

FSIS Pushes Back Against Claim that Inspector Shortage Will Mean More Recalls
March 20, 2014
FSIS Pushes Back Against Claim that Inspector Shortage Will Mean More Recalls

Yesterday in the USDA Blog, a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) offical posted a strong response to a recent New York Times article that claimed an inspector shortage at FSIS would "[raise] the possibility that contaminated products could reach consumers."

Congressmen Urge Ag Secretary to Drop Poultry Inspection Overhaul Plan
March 18, 2014
Congressmen Urge Ag Secretary to Drop Poultry Inspection Overhaul Plan

Nearly 70 House members on Monday urged Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to abandon plans to overhaul the nation’s poultry inspection system with a slate of new regulations.

Suspected Norovirus Outbreak Closes Virginia Elementary School
March 17, 2014
Suspected Norovirus Outbreak Closes Virginia Elementary School

An Alexandria, VA elementary school closed last Friday after more than 200 students and 30 staff members came down with gastroenteritis symptoms that local health officials said were likely caused by norovirus. The school was slated to reopen today.

New Zealand's Fonterra Pleads Guilty to Food Safety Violations
March 13, 2014
New Zealand's Fonterra Pleads Guilty to Food Safety Violations

New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra pleaded guilty Thursday to four food safety violations related to a 2013 botulism scare.

PrimusLabs Boosts Capabilities with Roka Bioscience Atlas System
March 12, 2014
PrimusLabs Boosts Capabilities with Roka Bioscience Atlas System

PrimusLabs, a Santa Maria, CA-based provider of microbiological and pesticide residue testing services as well as auditing services, data management, and training and education to the fresh produce industry, announced Monday that it has begun using the Roka Bioscience Atlas System at its American microbiology laboratories.

FDA Shuts Roos Foods Plant Linked to Multistate Listeria Outbreak
March 12, 2014
FDA Shuts Roos Foods Plant Linked to Multistate Listeria Outbreak

Kenton, DE-based cheese manufacturer Roos Foods, Inc. has been shut down by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration after an investigation linked a multistate Listeria outbreak to the processor of Hispanic-style cheeses.

Study: Children at Greater Risk of GI Illness from Untreated Drinking Water
March 11, 2014
Study: Children at Greater Risk of GI Illness from Untreated Drinking Water

Researchers have found that children living in central and northern Wisconsin communities that don't disinfect their drinking water systems have a greater likelihood of contracting gastrointestinal illnesses than children who rely on other water systems.

FDA to Host April 4 Public Meeting on Environmental Impact of Produce Safety Proposed Rule
March 11, 2014
FDA to Host April 4 Public Meeting on Environmental Impact of Produce Safety Proposed Rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday that it will hold a public meeting on April 4 in College Park, MD, to discuss the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed rule to establish standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce for human consumption (“Produce Safety Proposed Rule”). FDA also said it is extending the public scoping period for the EIS to April 18.

Food Safety a Part of USDA Support for Small, Mid-Sized Farmers, Ranchers
March 10, 2014
Food Safety a Part of USDA Support for Small, Mid-Sized Farmers, Ranchers

Today in remarks at the National Farmers Union National Convention in Santa Fe, NM, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new and expanded efforts to connect small- and mid-sized farmers and ranchers with U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) resources that can help them build stronger businesses, expand to reach new and larger markets, and grow their operations. Several of those efforts are focused on enhancing food safety.

Silliker Adds Process Authority Services for Acidified Foods Manufacturers
March 10, 2014
Silliker Adds Process Authority Services for Acidified Foods Manufacturers

Silliker Food Science Center announced today that it now offers process authority services to support manufacturers of acidified foods.

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