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August 14, 2013
Chicago Health Authorities Monitoring Tweets that Report Foodborne Illness

Since April 2013, the Chicago Department of Public Health has been using an automated application, called Foodborne Chicago, to search Twitter for posts that include the words "food poisoning" by people who identify themselves as Chicagoans. The health department then contacts some of those people to obtain more information, which in some cases triggers restaurant inspections; in turn, some of those inspections have uncovered violations.

August 8, 2013
FDA Prolongs Public Comment Period for Proposed Rules on Food and Produce Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug (FDA) Administration published Federal Register notices on August 8 to extend the comment periods on the proposed rules for Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food and Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption by 60 days — until November 15, 2013. The extension of the comment period also applies to the information collection provisions associated with the proposed rules.

August 13, 2013
Codex Alimentarius Seeks Data on Deoxyynivalenol, Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid

The international standards group Codex Alimentarius has established two new Electronic Working Groups — one to address Deoxyynivalenol (DON) Maximum Limits and another to develop a Code of Practice to prevent and reduce contamination in food and feed by Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid — both of which have issued Calls for Data.

August 12, 2013
Salmonellosis Outbreak Affects 307 People; CDC Names Live Poultry as Source

A total of 307 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 37 states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on August 9.

August 9, 2013
NSF Int'l Study Finds Kitchen Tools Hold onto Foodborne Pathogens

NSF International's Applied Research Center (ARC) has released the 2013 NSF International Household Germ Study, revealing that many common kitchen items harbor unsafe levels of E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, yeast and mold.

August 9, 2013
Harmonized Food Safety Standards Revised for Produce Field Operations and Harvesting

The Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative Technical Working Group (TWG) has approved changes to the Field Operations and Harvesting Harmonized Food Safety Standards. The new version of the Harmonized Standards will become obligatory on November 1, 2013. The new version is now posted on the Produce GAPs Harmonization Initiative webpage.

August 2, 2013
FDA Defines “Gluten-Free” for Food Labeling

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 2 published a new regulation defining the term "gluten-free" for voluntary food labeling.

August 5, 2013
Alliance for Food and Farming Launches New Food Safety Guide

On August 5, the Watsonville, CA-based Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF) launched a shoppers’ guide that is part of the AFF’s continuing efforts to provide consumers with quick and accessible food safety information about produce.

August 7, 2013
Study Finds Widespread Conflicts of Interest in Food-Safety Decisions

More than 35% of the food additives deemed harmless between 1997 and 2012 were evaluated by employees of food manufacturers or by consultants the companies selected, researchers reported August 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

August 6, 2013
Scientists Determine Crystal Structure of Chinese Milk Contaminant

A team of scientists at the University of Hull has uncovered the crystal structure of melamine cyanurate, the substance thought to be responsible for the 2008 Chinese milk scandal, which caused around 300,000 babies to fall ill.
 

August 2, 2013
FDA IDs Taylor Farms de Mexico As Source of Cyclospora Outbreak

On August 2, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V. — a processor of foodservice salads — as the source of the cyclosporiasis outbreak in Iowa and Nebraska. The agency said its traceback investigation found that illness clusters at four restaurants were linked to a common supplier: Taylor Farms de Mexico.

August 2, 2013
FSIS Names Grocers that Received Ground Beef Now Being Recalled

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on August 2 reported that it has identified a number of grocery stores in the Southeast as likely recipients of ground beef that has been recalled due to possible E. coli contamination. The beef was processed by Liberal, KS-based National Beef Packing Company and was sold in 10-pound chub packs under the National Beef, NatureSource, and NatureWell brands.

August 2, 2013
Cyclospora Outbreak Tops 400 Cases; Louisiana Joins Affected States List

The number of people sickened in a multistate Cyclospora outbreak pushed past 400 on August 1, at least unofficially, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 397 cases, and Iowa and Texas added another 22 cases to that figure. In addition, on August 1 Louisiana reported its first cases, raising the number of affected states to 16, according to the CDC.

July 18, 2013
FSM EAB Member Jim Gorny Appointed Center For Produce Safety Technical Committee Chair
July 11, 2013
BPA No Longer Authorized for Use in Infant Formula Packaging: Decision Not Based on Safety
February 15, 2013
Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Linked to Foster Farms
February 15, 2013
Extension of Comment Period for Two FSMA Proposed Rules
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