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September 25, 2013
Concern over Antimicrobials in Food Animals Leads FDA to Consider Adding Data to Report

In an effort to improve transparency about the amount of antimicrobials sold or distributed for use in food-producing animals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced a proposal to provide additional data tables in its annual summary report of this information. The proposal is available for public comment until November 25, 2013.

September 24, 2013
FSIS Chief Addresses Concerns about Safety of Processed Chicken from China

FSIS Administrator Al Almanza today posted a blog entry discussing the results of the agency's recent verification audit of China’s poultry processing inspection system. Almanza's blog seeks to answer many of the questions that have arisen among the industry and the public since FSIS's audit reaffirmed the equivalence of China’s poultry processing system with that of the United States.

September 24, 2013
Science Student Wins Favorite Poster at NACRW Meeting

In July, eighth grader Liesl Krone won favorite poster at the North American Chemical Residue Workshop (NACRW), an annual meeting for scientists particularly interested in trace level analysis of pesticides, veterinary drug residues and other chemicals in food, feed and environmental samples.

September 23, 2013
Study: Composting for Mushroom Production Kills Pathogens in Manure, Eliminating FSMA Issues

Strict requirements on the use of animal manures in fresh produce production imposed by the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) threatened to adversely impact the mushroom industry, which relies on horse and poultry manure for a specialized growth substrate. But a new study shows that heat generated during the traditional composting process — originally developed to kill insect and fungal pests of mushrooms — is adequate for eliminating human pathogens that might be present, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

September 20, 2013
One Dead, Eleven Ill in Canada after Consuming E. coli-Tainted Cheese

One elderly woman has died and 11 other individuals have fallen ill from after consuming raw milk cheese from a small artisan cheese farm in Salmon Arm, BC, that may have been contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

September 13, 2013
UK Grocer Recalls Watercress After E. coli Outbreak Sickens 18

Sainsbury's is recalling all of its own-brand watercress due to an E.coli outbreak that has made 18 people ill. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the supermarket giant was also recalling salads containing watercress. It said the move was a precautionary measure due to a possible association with an outbreak of E.coli VTEC O157.

September 19, 2013
Study: Vaccinating Cattle against E. coli Could Radically Curb Human Infections

Vaccinating cattle against E. coli bacteria could cut the number of human infections by 85 percent, far higher than previous estimates, British scientists say.

September 20, 2013
Agilent Technologies to Split in Two; Diagnostics Biz Retains Agilent Name

Agilent Technologies Inc. on Sept. 19 announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies: one in life sciences, diagnostics and applied markets that will retain the Agilent name, and another — to be named later — that will be comprised of Agilent's current portfolio of electronic measurement products.

September 19, 2013
FDA Provides Update on Food Safety Concerns Related to Fukushima Nuclear Plant Incident

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has posted an update on its website stating, "To date, no evidence that radionuclides from the Fukushima incident are present in the U.S. food supply at levels that would pose a public health concern. This is true for both FDA-regulated food products imported from Japan and U.S. domestic food products, including seafood caught off the coast of the United States."

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.

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