The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sept. 16 released a report [Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013] on the epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria in the United States. For the first time, the agency came up with a ranking of the threats posed by different drug-resistance microbes, listing them as "urgent," "serious," and "concerning."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended by 60 days the period for submission of comments, scientific data and other information in connection with its draft guidance for industry titled “Arsenic in Apple Juice: Action Level.” The new deadline is November 12, 2013.
BBC News today reported that the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a strategy aimed at reducing the number of illnesses from Britain's most common cause of food poisoning — campylobacter.
This fall, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be convening a series of Food Defense Workshops around the country. The goal of these full-day workshops is to provide members of the food industry with an understanding of food defense, the tools and resources available, and to walk participants through a series of exercises on how to create a food defense plan for their facilities.
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) will hold a press conference tomorrow, Sept. 11, to introduce its new Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC). The conference, which is slated from 1–2 p.m. Eastern Time, will be webcast live for those who cannot attend.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing 89 complaints from consumers who say they fell ill after eating the recalled Chobani Greek yogurt, the Journal Sentinel learned Monday. However, a food safety expert said the mold that caused the yogurt to spoil before its expiration date does not cause foodborne illnesses. That means either Chobani hasn't yet identified or publicized everything that caused the yogurt to spoil, or consumers must have eaten something else to cause them to vomit or have diarrhea, said Randy Worobo, a professor of food science at Cornell University.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today published Revision 7 of FSIS Directive 8080.1, Recall of Meat and Poultry Products. This new version of the directive cancels and replaces Revision 6, which was published Oct. 26, 2010.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) today announced that a Retail/Wholesale Technical Working Group has been formed to review the role of retailers and wholesalers in the food supply chain. The group will subsequently draft key requirements for inclusion in the GFSI Guidance Document, so that existing food safety management schemes that cover this scope can be benchmarked against them.
As if you needed another reason to cringe at the number of coal-fired power plants operating on our fragile Earth, a new study published in Nature Geoscience links power plants in China and India to the ever-increasing mercury levels of fish in the Pacific Ocean. According to the Los Angeles Times, scientists from the University of Michigan and University of Hawaii traced the chemical “fingerprint” of mercury found in nine species of fish present in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, the largest ecosystem on the planet (also home of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch). They concluded that the mercury contamination originated from coal-fired power plant emissions in Asia.
The FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) today announced its Plan for Program Priorities, 2013-14. The Plan, which aims to help CFSAN focus its highest priorities for protecting and promoting public health, acknowledges developments in the food and cosmetic sectors, and incorporates new responsibilities, tools, and authorities established by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Last month, the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) Board approved changes to its rigorous food safety standards, or metrics, with respect to animal intrusion and composting practices, according to an Aug. 28 blog post by LGMA board chairman Ryan Talley. These actions represent a significant step forward in the evolution of food safety standards for leafy greens and will provide an improved system to assess and reduce potential risk in leafy greens fields while reducing the impact of food safety metrics on the environment.
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) last week outlined a refreshed strategy to reduce the number of people getting ill from campylobacter. The strategy will be discussed by the FSA Board at its meeting in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Sept. 11, 2013. Campylobacter is estimated to be responsible for about 460,000 cases of food poisoning in the UK each year, with a significant proportion of these cases coming from poultry.
The National Restaurant Association, in supporting the industry’s commitment to practicing and promoting food safety, is focusing on food allergen awareness during National Food Safety Month. Throughout September, the NRA’s National Food Safety Month campaign will showcase several aspects of the ServSafe Food Safety program, especially the recently launched ServSafe Allergens online course, designed to help front- and back-of-the-house employees better serve the growing number of restaurant customers that have food allergies.
The Associated Press today reported on a large study just released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the presence of arsenic in rice and what consumers should do to minimize their risk of arsenic exposure. Well beyond saying rice is safe to consume in moderation, the FDA's website provides detailed explanations of and data from its research.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho has entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against owner Gregory T. Troost, doing business as T&T Cattle and T&T Cattle Pearl, and manager Mark A. Mourton of Parma, Idaho, for violations including illegally administering animal drugs for uses that are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ingesting food containing excessive amounts of antibiotics and other drugs can cause severe adverse reactions among the general population even at very low levels and can harm consumers who are sensitive to antibiotics.
The World Health Organization (WHO) today released an updated fact sheet (N°368) on foodborne trematodiases, diseases that affect at least 56 million people worldwide, primarily in Southeast Asia and South America. These illnesses, which are caused by trematode worms (also known as flukes) that infect humans who consume raw fish, crustaceans or vegetables that harbor the parasite larvae, result in severe liver and lung damage.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials provided insight on proposed rules for foreign supplier verification programs and the accreditation of third-party auditors during a Sept. 4 web seminar hosted by the United Fresh Produce Association, The Packer reported Sept. 5.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Sept. 5 called attention (via Twitter) to a page on its website that illuminates the history and objectives of its Microbiological Testing Program for E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).