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FDA Will Tweak Food Safety Rules to Be More Farmer-Friendly
December 20, 2013
FDA Will Tweak Food Safety Rules to Be More Farmer-Friendly

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will revise sweeping new food safety rules proposed earlier this year after farmers complained the rules could hurt business

FDA Proposes New Food Defense Rule to Tackle Intentional Adulteration
December 20, 2013
FDA Proposes New Food Defense Rule to Tackle Intentional Adulteration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today proposed a rule that would require the largest food businesses in the U.S. and abroad to take steps to prevent facilities from being the target of intentional attempts to contaminate the food supply. The FDA will hold a public meeting on the proposed rule on Feb. 20, 2014, in College Park, MD.

CDC: Drug-resistant Salmonella Outbreak from Foster Farms Chicken Affected 416
December 19, 2013
CDC: Drug-resistant Salmonella Outbreak from Foster Farms Chicken Affected 416

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today posted an Investigation Update on the multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to Foster Farms brand chicken that was initially reported in early October. To date, 416 individuals have been affected, from 23 states and Puerto Rico.

FSIS Issues Directives on Recalls, Horse Inspection, Ingredients Used in Meat/Poultry
December 18, 2013
FSIS Issues Directives on Recalls, Horse Inspection, Ingredients Used in Meat/Poultry

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced that new Directives are available on Verifying Compliance with Requirements for Written Recall Procedures; Ante-Mortem, Postmortem Inspection of Equines and Documentation of Inspection Tasks; and Safe and Suitable Ingredients Used In the Production of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products.

European Commission Issues Draft Bans on Animal Cloning, Clone-derived Food
December 18, 2013
European Commission Issues Draft Bans on Animal Cloning, Clone-derived Food

The European Commission on Dec. 18 adopted three draft laws on animal cloning and on novel food "to provide legal certainty in this field." The proposals seek to prohibit the use of the cloning technique in the European Union (EU) for farm animals, importing of animal clones, and marketing of food from animal clones.

FDA / CDC / FSIS Webinar to Discuss Progress on Attribution of Foodborne Illness
December 18, 2013
FDA / CDC / FSIS Webinar to Discuss Progress on Attribution of Foodborne Illness

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced that on Friday, Jan. 10, from 2 to 3 p.m. (EST), they will present a webinar on progress toward attributing foodborne illnesses to food sources. The webinar is open to the public at no charge.

EFSA Evaluates Molecular Typing Methods for Foodborne Pathogens
December 18, 2013
EFSA Evaluates Molecular Typing Methods for Foodborne Pathogens

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) today published a scientific opinion paper, written by the agency's Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), which reviews various molecular typing methods for the four major foodborne pathogens (Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Listeria and Campylobacter) and evaluates the effectiveness of those methods.

Charm Sciences' Aflatoxin Quantitative Test for Feed, Grain Earns GIPSA Approval
December 18, 2013
Charm Sciences' Aflatoxin Quantitative Test for Feed, Grain Earns GIPSA Approval

Charm Sciences announced Dec. 16 that its ROSA (Rapid One Step Assay) WET (Water Extraction Technology) XR Aflatoxin Quantitative test has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) for the detection, in a single five-minute assay, of 0–100 ppb aflatoxin in feed and grain.

FDA Extends Comment Period for Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens in Spices
December 18, 2013
FDA Extends Comment Period for Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens in Spices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec.17 extended the period for submission of comments, scientific data and other information related to its draft document titled, “Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens and Filth in Spices.” The new deadline is March 3, 2014.

Rapid Pathogen Identification System Evaluated for Food Industry Testing
December 17, 2013
Rapid Pathogen Identification System Evaluated for Food Industry Testing

A new agreement between Marshfield Food Safety, LLC, and PathoGenetix, Inc., provides for independent testing of the RESOLUTION Microbial Genotyping System for use in pathogen confirmation and identification for food industry applications.

FDA Extends Comment Period on Proposal to Deem PHOs Unsafe
December 17, 2013
FDA Extends Comment Period on Proposal to Deem PHOs Unsafe

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided to extend the comment period by 60 days, to March 8, 2014, on its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food.

December 13, 2013
New Blog Provides Discussion Forum on Science of Food Safety

InstantLabs, a Baltimore-based molecular diagnostic device company, is launching a food safety blog on its website, www.instantlabs.com/blog. The blog will focus on issues related to food safety, micro and molecular biology, lab technique and other topics.

FDA Implements Plan to Phase Out Antibiotic Use in Food Animal Production
December 11, 2013
FDA Implements Plan to Phase Out Antibiotic Use in Food Animal Production

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today is implementing a plan to help phase out the use of medically important antimicrobials in food animals for food production purposes, such as to enhance growth or improve feed efficiency. The plan would also phase in veterinary oversight of the remaining appropriate therapeutic uses of such drugs.

December 11, 2013
EFSA Risk Assessment Deems Aspartame Safe at Current Exposure Levels

Aspartame and its breakdown products are safe for human consumption at current levels of exposure, EFSA concludes in its first full risk assessment of this sweetener.

Sysco to Acquire US Foods for $3.5 Billion, Creating Foodservice Behemoth
December 10, 2013
Sysco to Acquire US Foods for $3.5 Billion, Creating Foodservice Behemoth

Sysco Corp., the nation's biggest foodservice distributor, announced yesterday that it will acquire its largest competitor, US Foods, for $3.5 billion.

CDC: Raw Ground Beef in Seasonal Delicacy Caused 2012 Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7
December 6, 2013
CDC: Raw Ground Beef in Seasonal Delicacy Caused 2012 Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7

A report released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention details how an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Wisconsin during the 2012 winter holiday season was related to consumption of raw ground beef in specialty items known as "tiger meat" or "cannibal sandwiches."

USDA Terminates Proposed National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
December 5, 2013
USDA Terminates Proposed National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has terminated the proposed National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, according to an announcement in the December 5 Federal Register.

December 4, 2013
China Food Safety Testing Industry Report, 2013-2015

China Food Safety Testing Industry Report, 2013-2015 — Market Development, Competitive Pattern, Opportunities and Trends

FDA & AFDO Partner to Award Regulatory Retail Food Program Grants
December 4, 2013
FDA & AFDO Partner to Award Regulatory Retail Food Program Grants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) have announced the availability of funds for completion of projects and training to enhance conformance with the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (VNRFRPS or Retail Standards).

FDA Issues Final Guidance for Seafood Processors On How to Avoid Ciguatera Fish Poisoning
December 2, 2013
FDA Issues Final Guidance for Seafood Processors On How to Avoid Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 21 issued final guidance recommending that primary seafood processors who purchase reef fish such as grouper, amberjack, snapper, lionfish, king mackerel, and barracuda take steps to minimize consumers’ risk of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) from the fish they distribute.

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