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November 14, 2013
FDA Publishes 2013 Food Code

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 13 announced that it has published the 2013 Food Code (eighth edition). The Food Code establishes practical, science-based guidance for mitigating risk factors that are known to cause or contribute to foodborne illness outbreaks associated with retail and foodservice establishments.

November 14, 2013
Food Safety Training on Tap for 2014 at Rhode Island College

The head of food safety at a Rhode Island sausage company at the center of a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2009 has helped design a new food industry training program at Rhode Island College.The program, to begin in fall 2014, will combine food chemistry and microbiology with practical training in areas such as designing an emergency response plan and managing a food safety crisis.

November 13, 2013
Feathers Fly in Senator-vs.-FSIS Flap over Status of China's Poultry Slaughter System

On Nov. 10, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) publicly denounced what he described as USDA's plan "to allow chickens that are raised and processed in China to be sold [in the U.S.]" Yesterday, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a statement denying that the agency has found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent

November 12, 2013
E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Linked to RTE Salads; Multi-Agency Investigation Under Way

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 10 announced that it is collaborating with public health officials in California, Washington, and Arizona; USDA-FSIS; and the FDA to investigate a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections. The infections have been linked to ready-to-eat salads produced by Glass Onion Catering, a business of RIchmond, CA-based Atherstone Foods.

November 11, 2013
GlobalG.A.P. Names VP of Technical Services

Robert Mills, an experienced food safety and quality expert, recently joined GlobalG.A.P. North America as vice president, technical services and training. G.A.P. stands for Good Agricultural Practice, and Baltimore-based GLOBALG.A.P. is the worldwide standards organization that assures Good Agricultural Practice.

November 7, 2013
FDA Seeks to Revoke GRAS Status for Trans Fats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. The FDA’s preliminary determination is based on available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels.

November 6, 2013
IAFP Issues Call for 2014 Award Nominations

The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) today began accepting nominations for its 2014 Association Awards. IAFP also encourages people to submit applications for the IAFP Travel Award for State or Local Health or State Agricultural Department Employees (U.S. only) and for the IAFP Travel Award for a Food Safety Professional in a Country with a Developing Economy. Students may apply for a Student Travel Scholarship.

November 5, 2013
New U.S. Beef Import Rules Meet Global Mad Cow Standards

The United States on Nov. 1 issued new import rules for cattle and beef that will comply with international standards for the prevention of mad cow disease, saying the step could ultimately boost U.S. beef exports. The European Union said the U.S. move would bring a welcome re-opening of a market closed to its beef since January 1998.

November 5, 2013
Tennessee Officials Warn of Possible E. Coli in Raw Milk from One Farm

The Knox County Health Department and the East Tennessee Regional Office have issued an alert, advising people not to consume raw milk or dairy products from McBee Dairy Farm in Mascot due to possible E. coli infection.

November 4, 2013
Food Traceability a Growing Concern for Global Food Supply

Food traceability is a growing concern for both businesses and consumers who want to know exactly where their food is coming from, but the path of the global food supply is a winding one and the increasing complexity of the world's food system can make it difficult to trace products back to their source.

November 4, 2013
AFDO Opens Food Protection Program Portal for Regulatory Officials

The Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) announces the implementation of a newly developed “Food Protection Program Portal” that is available to all food safety regulatory officials.

November 4, 2013
FDA Proposes Regs to Ensure Safety of Food for Pets and Farm Animals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed rules on Friday that would govern the production of pet food and farm animal feed for the first time. The regulation would help prevent food-borne illness in both animals and people.

November 1, 2013
Former USDA Official Decries 'Outbreak of Misinformation on Salmonella'

The recent outbreak of food-borne illnesses from Salmonella Heidelberg linked to three California Foster Farms chicken processing facilities has created a rash of misinformation from some media and activists, creating misperception by the public. The fact that so many were sickened, and an increased number hospitalized, speaks to the virulence of the strains found in the outbreak, not to antibiotic resistance.

October 31, 2013
FDA Releases Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens and Filth in Spices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed a draft risk profile on pathogens and filth in spices. This science-based document describes the current state of knowledge related to spice contamination, describes mitigation and control mechanisms currently available, and identifies critical knowledge gaps. The risk profile was initiated in response to recent outbreaks of human illness caused by the consumption of Salmonella-contaminated spices in the United States.

October 30, 2013
Potato Council Releases Guidelines on Food Safety for Growers, Packers

The National Potato Council recently released its Commodity-Specific Food Safety Guidelines for the Production, Harvest, Storage, and Packing of Potatoes and will host a media briefing about the document on Friday, Nov. 8, in a 30-minute webinar from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. ET.

October 17, 2013
FSIS Posts FAQ Page about Foster Farms' Salmonella Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on Oct. 16 issued a notice that it had posted on its website a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page regarding the recent Salmonella outbreak that has been traced to raw chicken products from three Foster Farms processing plants in California.

October 24, 2013
Watchdog Group Blasts EFSA for Experts' Conflicts of Interest

Almost 60% of experts sitting on the European Food Safety Authority's (EFSA) panels have direct or indirect links with industries regulated by the agency, according to an independent screening performed by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and freelance journalist Stéphane Horel.

October 23, 2013
Jerky Treats Linked to Thousands of Pet Illnesses; FDA Solicits Consumer Input

A mysterious jerky treat-related illness that has killed more than 500 dogs and cats and sickened thousands more has prompted to U.S. Food and Drug Administration to request the help of pet owners. On Tuesday, the FDA asked pet owners and veterinarians to contact them if their dog or cat has become ill after eating jerky pet treats — packaged snacks made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes or dried fruit.

October 21, 2013
SDSU Opens Center for Agribusiness and Food Systems Management

South Dakota State University (SDSU) last Thursday announced the launch of its new Center for Agribusiness and Food Systems Management. An SDSU news release said the center will focus on nutrition, food safety, food processing and business management, and will draw on collaborative, interdisciplinary and intercollegiate partnerships to provide guidance and solutions to challenges facing the food and agriculture industries throughout the Northern Great Plains.

October 21, 2013
Australian Retail Consumers Value Food Safety over Other Store Attributes

Food safety at the supermarket is important to more Australian grocery buyers than proximity to home, good value, trading hours, or the quality and range of fresh fruits and vegetables, according to a recent study from Australian market research firm Roy Morgan.

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