General public concern about food safety has shown a marked increase over the past two years, according to a recent survey by Chicago-based consultancy Technomic. In a poll conducted in mid-July, Technomic found that 40 percent of consumers were “extremely concerned” about food safety issues in restaurants.
FSIS on August 15 published Directive 9000.8, Audits of the U.S. Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products Inspection System by Officials of Foreign Countries. The document provides instructions to FSIS personnel for planning, organizing, and working with officials of foreign countries when they audit the U.S. inspection system for meat, poultry, or egg products establishments.
Now available from Reportlinker.com is the new market research report, "Global Food Safety Testing Market Analysis," published by the Indian firm RNCOS. The report concludes that regulatory amendments and technological developments bode well for prodigious growth in the market.
The attorney general of New York State has subpoenaed a former Herbalife employee to produce internal documents about a 2011 food safety problem — fine shards of metal were detected in the company's Formula 1 nutrition shake as it left the production line at a California processing plant.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) scientific experts have provisionally concluded that for all population groups, diet is the major source of exposure to bisphenol A (BPA). The agency added that consumers' exposure to BPA is lower than EFSA estimated previously.
This news is no red herring — the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported on July 26 that Zip International Group LLC of Edison, NJ, is recalling 400-gram plastic packages of herring fillet in oil (marketed under the brand names Fosforel and Atlantika) due to Listeria contamination.
Rival companies dropped their competitive guard momentarily to discuss food safety and changes in wash systems as Earthbound Farm opened its doors to them. Representatives of SmartWash Solutions, Taylor Farms, Ready Pac Foods, Field Fresh Foods, Club Chef and Yum! Brands attended a plant tour and meeting July 25 at the San Juan Bautista, CA-based organic grower-shipper.
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on July 30 commended the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) for the new CIFOR Foodborne Illness Response Guidelines for Owners, Operators and Managers of Food Establishments.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on August 2 published a new regulation defining the term "gluten-free" for voluntary food labeling.
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.
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.
Life Technologies Corporation today announced that it has signed a five-year agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to accelerate and advance food safety testing of E. coli and Salmonella, two foodborne contaminants commonly associated with outbreaks and/or recalls.
The 2013 conference for the International Association of Food Protection kicked off in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday night, with 2,700 attendees from around the world convening to share the latest advancements in food safety technology and philosophies. The keynote address was delivered by Dr. David Acheson, former Associate Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and current director of the Food and Import Safety Practice at Leavitt Partners.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland on July 29 published research into the impact of the horse meat contamination issue on Irish consumer confidence and trust in the food they purchase. The survey reveals significant changes in consumers’ purchasing habits with over half (51%) of people who purchased frozen burgers in the past now buying less of these products (48% buy the same amount).