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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.

Global Food Safety Initiative Releases Food Safety Auditor Competencies
December 2, 2013
Global Food Safety Initiative Releases Food Safety Auditor Competencies

The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) has released the first edition of its Food Safety Auditor Competencies on the GFSI website, which are freely available for download by any interested stakeholders. The framework is the culmination of three years of work by the multi?disciplinary GFSI Auditor Competence Working Group, which was mandated by the GFSI Board to define generic food safety auditor competencies underpinning GFSI-benchmarked schemes, and the mechanisms by which they can be assessed and verified.

FDA Releases Biennial Report on Food Emergency Response Network
December 2, 2013
FDA Releases Biennial Report on Food Emergency Response Network

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today made available its Second Biennial Report to Congress on the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN), as required by Section 202 (b) of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

Food Recalls Double in Consecutive Quarters
November 26, 2013
Food Recalls Double in Consecutive Quarters

Third-quarter food recalls enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have doubled compared to the second quarter. Supporting data were reported by Stericycle ExpertRECALL in its quarterly ExpertRECALL™ Index.

FDA Offers Materials from Recent Public Meetings on FSVPs, Accreditation
November 22, 2013
FDA Offers Materials from Recent Public Meetings on FSVPs, Accreditation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the availability of presentations from two recent public meetings about proposed rules on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs and the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies, pursuant to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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