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E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Raw Clover Sprouts Sickens 17
June 17, 2014
E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Raw Clover Sprouts Sickens 17

Seventeen people in five states have been sickened by Escherichia coli after eating clover sprouts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Regulator-Oriented Food Safety Training Now Available to Food Industry Pros
June 17, 2014
Regulator-Oriented Food Safety Training Now Available to Food Industry Pros

The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) announced Monday that it now offers food industry professionals more than 50 food safety courses that were designed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Office of Regulatory Affairs University (ORAU).

FDA, Industry Square Off over Use of Wooden Boards in Artisanal Cheesemaking
June 16, 2014
FDA, Industry Square Off over Use of Wooden Boards in Artisanal Cheesemaking

Last week, after a letter from an U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official stating that the use of wooden shelves for cheese ripening "does not conform to cGMP requirements" went public, cheesemakers passionately defended the age-old practice. Then on June 11, the FDA clarified that it does not intend to ban wooden boards from being used in cheesemaking.

Food Industry Groups Sue Vermont to Overturn Mandatory GMO Labeling Law
June 13, 2014
Food Industry Groups Sue Vermont to Overturn Mandatory GMO Labeling Law

Four food industry associations whose members would be affected by Vermont's new mandatory labeling law for genetically engineered foods filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court challenging the measure's constitutionality.

Case Count Climbs to 55 in Chia Seed-Linked Salmonella Outbreak
June 13, 2014
Case Count Climbs to 55 in Chia Seed-Linked Salmonella Outbreak

The number of reported illnesses has risen to 55 in an outbreak of salmonellosis linked to chia seed-based products in both the U.S. and Canada, and several product recalls have been announced and extended. The outbreak has been reported in 12 states and four Canadian provinces, and infected persons have been found to have one of three distinct Salmonella strains: Salmonella Newport, Salmonella Hartford, or Salmonella Oranienburg.

FDA Issues Final Rule on Manufacturing Standards for Infant Formula
June 9, 2014
FDA Issues Final Rule on Manufacturing Standards for Infant Formula

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced a final rule setting standards for manufacturers of infant formula to help ensure that the formulas made for the U.S. market continue to be safe and support healthy growth for infants who consume formula.

McNamara to Receive Food Safety Magazine Distinguished Service Award
June 9, 2014
McNamara to Receive Food Safety Magazine Distinguished Service Award

Food Safety Magazine has chosen Ann Marie McNamara, vice president of food safety and regulatory compliance for Jack in the Box, to receive the magazine's Distinguished Service Award at the 2014 annual meeting of the International Association for Food Protection.

CDC Confirms Fourth U.S. Death from 'Mad Cow' Disease
June 6, 2014
CDC Confirms Fourth U.S. Death from 'Mad Cow' Disease

"Mad cow" disease has caused a fourth death in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lab tests confirmed that a patient in Texas who recently died had Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, a fatal brain disorder linked to eating beef from cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

United Fresh, IFS Roll Out Streamlined Certification for Produce Packers
June 6, 2014
United Fresh, IFS Roll Out Streamlined Certification for Produce Packers

The United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) yesterday announced that it has collaborated with international standards body IFS to offer fruit and vegetable producers and packers a streamlined solution to achieve GFSI-benchmarked certification with IFS Food and the United Fresh Harmonized Standard, as well as a one-stop approach using GLOBALG.A.P. for primary production.

FDA, CDC, FSIS Offer Web Resource on Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration
June 6, 2014
FDA, CDC, FSIS Offer Web Resource on Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have developed a Web resource about the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC). The site highlights the collaboration's work and creates a vehicle for sharing information with the public.

As Chia Seed-Linked Salmonella Outbreak Expands, U.S. and Canadian Agencies Investigate, Cooperate
June 6, 2014
As Chia Seed-Linked Salmonella Outbreak Expands, U.S. and Canadian Agencies Investigate, Cooperate

U.S. and Canadian health agencies continue to report increases in the number of cases of salmonellosis linked to sprouted chia seed products, with current totals at 27 in Canada and 17 in the U.S. Two strains of SalmonellaSalmonella Newport and Salmonella Hartford — have been associated with the outbreaks in both countries.

MSU Scientists Urge Opening Vacuum-Packed Fish Before Thawing
June 3, 2014
MSU Scientists Urge Opening Vacuum-Packed Fish Before Thawing

Michigan State University Extension scientists on May 31 published an article urging consumers and foodservice employees to "open your vacuum packed fish before thawing." The reason? Both Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes can survive in reduced oxygen packaging at refrigerator temperatures, and thawing the fish before opening the package may promote the growth of those pathogens.

FDA Releases Compliance Policy Guide on Food Facility Registration
June 3, 2014
FDA Releases Compliance Policy Guide on Food Facility Registration

The FDA on June 2 published the final version of “Compliance Policy Guide Sec. 100.250 Food Facility Registration – Human and Animal Food,” which provides guidance for FDA staff on enforcing the food facility registration provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. They include the requirement that certain food facilities register with FDA, the requirement that registered facilities biennially renew their registrations with FDA, and FDA’s authority to suspend a food facility’s registration.

Egg Firm Implicated in 2010 Salmonella Outbreak to Pay $6.8 Million Fine
June 2, 2014
Egg Firm Implicated in 2010 Salmonella Outbreak to Pay $6.8 Million Fine

Iowa-based Quality Egg has agreed to pay $6.8 million in fines for crimes that include selling the tainted eggs that caused a nationwide Salmonella outbreak in 2010.

UK's Food Standards Agency Offers Web-Based HACCP Guidance
June 2, 2014
UK's Food Standards Agency Offers Web-Based HACCP Guidance

The UK's Food Standards Agency last week unveiled MyHACCP, an online tool designed to guide UK food and beverage companies — especially small businesses — through the process of developing a food safety management system based on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, as required by EU Food Hygiene rules.

Salmonella Linked to Chia Powder Sickens 12 in Multistate Outbreak
May 31, 2014
Salmonella Linked to Chia Powder Sickens 12 in Multistate Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced May 29 that it is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to organic sprouted chia powder distributed by Navitas Naturals of Novato, CA. On Twelve cases have been reported in seven states, and one of those people has been hospitalized.

CDC Reports 50 New Cases in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Foster Farms Chicken
May 29, 2014
CDC Reports 50 New Cases in Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Foster Farms Chicken

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced May 27 that it has received reports of 50 new Salmonella Heidelberg infections likely related to Foster Farms chicken since April 9. The agency said it is continuing its investigation of this outbreak, in which 574 persons infected with Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 27 states and Puerto Rico since March 1, 2013.

Australia / New Zealand Food Safety Agency Issues Food Recall Protocol
May 27, 2014
Australia / New Zealand Food Safety Agency Issues Food Recall Protocol

The food safety agency Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) this month issued a Food Industry Recall Protocol, which provides information on recalling food in Australia and guidance for food businesses on developing a written food recall plan.

FDA Extends Comment Period on Sanitary Transportation Proposed Rule
May 27, 2014
FDA Extends Comment Period on Sanitary Transportation Proposed Rule

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the comment period on a food safety rule intended to prevent contamination during transit.

Sprouts Linked to E. coli Outbreak in Washington and Idaho
May 23, 2014
Sprouts Linked to E. coli Outbreak in Washington and Idaho

U.S. health officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) O121 infections linked to raw clover sprouts that have sickened as many as 10 people, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced May 22.

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