The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is sponsoring a public meeting to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items and draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the first session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex). The session will be held in Kochi (Cochin), India from February 11–14, 2014.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Jan. 16 issued the 2013 Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (Retail Program Standards). These standards are intended to help reduce foodborne illnesses associated with retail food and foodservice establishments by promoting continuous improvement of food safety inspection programs, the agency said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Jan. 17 warned consumers not to eat oysters harvested from Copano Bay in Texas, as those oysters have been linked to an outbreak of norovirus in Louisiana.
Life Technologies Corporation today announced that the AFNOR Certification system of France has issued the sector-leading NF Validation quality mark for the Pathatrix® 10 Pooling Salmonella spp. Kit linked to MicroSEQ® Salmonella spp. Detection Kit. Company officials said the approval provides further validation of the alternative cost-effective solution for the accurate detection of Salmonella in a variety of sample matrices, noting that the Pathatrix® 10 Pooling Salmonella spp. Kit received AOAC PTM approval earlier this year.
Covance, Inc. today announced that it will expand its nutritional chemistry and food safety (NCFS) services by opening a new 10,000-square-foot laboratory this summer within its existing facility in Harrogate, England. The new lab will complement existing laboratories in Madison, WI; Battle Creek, MI; Greenfield, IN; and Singapore.
The UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) reported today that it has acted on recommendations from a government review by making it easier for businesses to appeal against food safety and food standards decisions and advice issued by local authorities. The recommendations were part of the government’s Focus on Enforcement Review that considered enforcement of regulation in small food manufacturing businesses.
Fourteen elementary schools in Hamamatsu reopened on Jan. 22, about a week after they were closed because some 1,000 children and teachers developed symptoms of food poisoning from norovirus-tainted bread.
Yesterday on its website, Consumer Reports published a Special Report titled, "Caramel color: The health risk that may be in your soda." Noting that "some types of this artificial coloring contain a potentially carcinogenic chemical called 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI)," the article went on to explain that Consumer Reports had run tests on 12-ounce samples of several different cola drinks. The organization found that two products, Pepsi One and Malta Goya, had more than 29 micrograms of 4-MEI per can or bottle, and has asked the California Attorney General to investigate whether these sodas should carry a warning label as per Proposition 65.
On Jan. 20, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) implemented a streamlined import document review process. The CFIA is removing the requirement for pre-clearance of the FSIS Form 9135-3, Certificate for Export of Meat and Poultry Products to Canada. This change will also apply to FSIS 9060-7 and FSIS 9060-18 issued for natural casings. As of Feb. 17, the implementation of this change will be complete and the CFIA will no longer process pre-clearance review requests of export certificates or documentation.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today reported that a Royal Caribbean cruise ship ended a 10-day Caribbean cruise yesterday after 577 passengers and 49 crew members came down with gastrointestinal illness symptoms. The cause of the outbreak is yet to be determined, according to the CDC.
The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) yesterday released a report, based on documents obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), concluding that the FDA has allowed livestock and poultry growers to continue to use antibiotics in production even though they posed a "high risk" of exposing humans to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
U.S. lawmakers from both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees announced yesterday evening that they have reached a bipartisan agreement on a new five-year farm bill, officially known as the Agricultural Act of 2014. Final votes are expected in both the House of Representatives and the Senate later this week.
Police in Oizumi, Japan, said on Jan. 25 that they have arrested a 49-year-old plant worker on suspicion of poisoning frozen food products with a pesticide last October. Earlier this month, it was reported that several hundred people fell ill after eating food produced by Aqlifoods Co., a subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro Holdings.
A federal court judge sentenced two Colorado farmers on Tuesday to six months of home detention and five years probation for their role in a deadly 2011 listeria outbreak linked to contaminated cantaloupes.
The UK's Food Standards Agency today released its latest quarterly report on its testing of beef products for horse meat or horse DNA. The report covers 6,069 test results, none of which found horse meat/DNA at or above the one percent (1%) reporting threshold.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that it will hold two more public meetings regarding the Proposed Rule for Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration that is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). In addition to the previously announced meeting on Feb. 20 in College Park, MD, the FDA plans to hold public meetings on Feb. 27 in Chicago and on March 13 in Anaheim, CA.
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York have discovered that a toxin made by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens — responsible for a million cases of food poisoning in the U.S. each year — appears to attack the cells associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and could be a trigger for the disease.
PURE Bioscience, Inc., creator of a patented silver dihydrogen citrate (SDC) antimicrobial, on Jan. 28 announced progress in its development of a SDC-based antimicrobial for direct food contact. The company is testing formulations to be used as a rinse or processing aid on produce, poultry, and meats.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today proposed a rule that would require certain shippers, receivers, and carriers who transport food by motor or rail vehicles to take steps to prevent the contamination of human and animal food during transportation. Part of the implementation of the Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005, the proposal marks the seventh and final major rule in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) central framework aimed at systematically building preventive measures across the food system.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a de facto antibiotic “smart bomb” that can identify specific strains of bacteria and sever their DNA, eliminating the infection. The technique offers a potential approach to treat infections by multi-drug resistant bacteria.