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September 17, 2013
CDC Says Worst Drug-Resistant Bacteria Come from Hospitals, Not Farms

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."

September 13, 2013
FDA Extends Comment Period for Proposed “Action Level” for Arsenic in Apple Juice

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extended by 60 days the period for submission of comments, scientific data and other information in connection with its draft guidance for industry titled “Arsenic in Apple Juice: Action Level.”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.

September 12, 2013
Sysco Food Corp. Employees Claim Food Sheds Commonly Used Throughout U.S. and Canada
September 11, 2013
UK Food Standards Agency CEO Discusses Campylobacter Control Plan

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.

September 10, 2013
FDA to Hold Food Defense Workshops Throughout the U.S.

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.

September 10, 2013
IFT's Global Food Traceability Center Debuts Sept. 11

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.

September 10, 2013
FDA Investigating Illness Claims from Consumers of Chobani Yogurt

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.

September 9, 2013
FSIS Revises Directive on Recalls of Meat and Poultry Products

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.

September 9, 2013
One Year After XL Foods Recall, Canadian Beef Regaining Its Footing
August 27, 2013
GFSI Launches Retail/Wholesale Technical Working Group

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.

September 9, 2013
Study Ties Mercury in Fish to Coal-Fired Power Plants

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.

September 5, 2013
FDA's CFSAN Reveals 2013-14 Program Priorities

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).

September 6, 2013
Leafy Greens Marketing Group OKs Changes to Food Safety Standards

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.

September 6, 2013
UK Food Standards Agency Issues New Plan to Tackle Campylobacter

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.

September 6, 2013
For National Food Safety Month, Restaurants Focus on Food Allergens

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.

September 6, 2013
FDA Finds Low Levels of Arsenic in Rice, Provides Extensive Info on Studies

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.

September 6, 2013
Judge Approves FDA Consent Decree with Idaho Dairy Farm

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.

September 6, 2013
WHO Spotlights Foodborne Diseases Caused by Trematode Worms

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.

September 6, 2013
Produce Packers Query FDA Officials about FSMA Proposed Rules

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.

September 5, 2013
FSIS Spotlights Objectives, History of Its E. Coli Testing Program

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).

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