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February 10, 2014
FDA Investigating Illnesses Linked to Uncle Ben's Rice; Recall Under Way

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local officials have been investigating a cluster of illnesses associated with Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice Mexican Flavor sold in 5- and 25-pound bags. The manufacturer, Mars Foodservices, is recalling all bags and all lot numbers of its Uncle Ben’s Infused Rice products produced in 2013.

February 18, 2014
IFT Global Food Traceability Center Receives Research Grant

The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Global Food Traceability Center (GFTC) has received a grant to conduct research into the impacts of traceability on consumer attitudes and business performance in the seafood industry from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

February 20, 2014
New Zealand Creates Working Group to Boost Dairy Product Traceability

New Zealand's Minister for Primary Industries (MPI) Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye on Feb. 18 announced that a working group will be set up to improve dairy product traceability. according to AgriHQ.co.nz.

February 18, 2014
GFSI Names New Board Chairman, Two Vice Chairs

The Paris-based Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) today announced that Cenk Gürol, group chief SCM officer, Aeon Co., Ltd., and president, Aeon Global SCM Co., Ltd., Japan, has been appointed as its new Board chairman. The newly elected vice chairs of GFSI are Mike Robach, vice president, food safety, quality and regulatory affairs, Cargill, USA, and Neil Marshall, global director, quality & food safety strategy, policy and programs, The Coca-Cola Company, USA.

February 13, 2014
FDA Schedules Third Public Meeting on Sanitary Transportation Proposed Rule

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced that registration is open for the third public meeting on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Proposed Rule, to be held Thursday, March 20, in College Park, MD.

February 13, 2014
NACMCF Subcommittees to Hold Public Meetings on Norovirus, Microbiological Criteria

Two subcommittees of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold public meetings next month in Washington, DC. The subcommittee on Control Strategies for Reducing Foodborne Norovirus Infections will meet March 18-20 and the subcommittee on the Study of Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary Conditions will meet March 25-27.

February 13, 2014
FSIS Aids Industry Food Defense Efforts with Scenario-Based Exercise Tool, Webinars

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has developed a new tool for use by FSIS-regulated companies, known as Food Defense and Recall Preparedness: A Scenario-Based Exercise Tool. FSIS is hosting webinars for industry on Feb. 19 and March 14 to explain the tool's purpose and to demonstrate how to use it.

February 11, 2014
Study: Consuming Raw Milk Unsafe; Illness Incidence at 17 Percent

Research conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health has concluded that consuming raw milk is unsafe and that illnesses from the product are more prevalent than previously realized, with 17 percent of those consuming the product falling ill.

February 11, 2014
AOAC Grants PTM Approval to Invisible Sentinel's Listeria Assay

Invisible Sentinel Inc. announced Monday that its rapid diagnostic for the detection of Listeria species has received Performance Tested Methods certification from the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC).

February 10, 2014
Indian Health Minister Mute on Food Safety in Talks with FDA Commissioner

Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is in India this week "to further strengthen cooperation between the FDA and its Indian regulatory counterparts" on matters of food and drug safety, according to the Agency. An Indian food industry publication reported that Hamburg's meeting today with India's health minister focused on pharmaceuticals, and suggested that Indian authorities are reluctant to discuss food safety.

February 7, 2014
Canada Debuts Online Tool to Help Processors Prevent Foodborne Illness

Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister of Health and the head of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), today announced the launch of a searchable database to help the food industry identify and address food safety hazards. The online database, known as the Reference Database for Hazard Identification (RDHI), provides a vital resource to assist the food industry in developing preventive food safety control plans.

February 7, 2014
President Obama Signs Farm Bill into Law

President Obama today signed into law H.R. 2642, the “Agriculture Act of 2014,” which extends, expands, or modifies Federal agriculture and nutrition programs, including farm income support, crop insurance, conservation, credit assistance, trade, research, international food assistance, rural development, and other programs through the fiscal year 2018 crop year.

February 7, 2014
Food Industry Coalition Advocates for a Federal GMO Labeling Solution

American farmers and representatives from a diverse group of 29 industry and non-governmental organizations yesterday announced the formation of the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF) and urged Congress to quickly seek a federal solution that would establish standards for the safety and labeling of food and beverage products made with genetically modified ingredients (GMOs)

February 7, 2014
Consumer Pressure Prompts Subway to Remove Azodiacarbonamide from Bread

Subway, one of the world's biggest bread bakers, is about to remove azodiacarbonamide —  a foaming agent used in both bread and yoga mats — from its breads in response to a campaign by an influential health activist and food blogger.

February 6, 2014
FDA Issues Interim Final Rule on Infant Formula Standards, Seeks Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released an interim final rule that sets standards for manufacturers to produce safe infant formula that supports healthy growth. The interim final rule applies only to infant formulas represented for use by healthy infants without unusual medical or dietary problems.

February 6, 2014
EFSA Proposes Procedure to Identify Chemical Risks in Food/Feed Chains

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) yesterday proposed a new process for identifying emerging chemical risks in the food and feed chain using a variety of databases that log the incidence of industrial chemicals and environmental chemical contaminants in the European Union (EU). The framework would enable risk assessors to anticipate contamination of the food/feed chain by chemical hazards that have not yet been assessed by the EFSA or other similar bodies.

February 5, 2014
Poll: Nearly Three-Quarters of Americans Looking to Government for More Food Safety Oversight

Strong majorities of U.S. adults say food recalls have them at least somewhat concerned (86%, with 58% somewhat concerned and 28% seriously concerned) and believe there should be more government oversight in regards to food safety (73%), according to a recent Harris Poll.

February 5, 2014
Public Meeting Tomorrow on Agenda for Codex Committee on Fish/Fish Products

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are sponsoring a public meeting tomorrow, Feb. 6, to provide information, receive public comments on agenda items and draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the 33rd Session of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fish Products (CCFFP).

February 5, 2014
FDA Reopening Comment Period for Foods Portion of Guidance on Human Research Studies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today that it is reopening, for 60 days, the comment period for specific portions of its final guidance entitled “Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) -- Determining Whether Human Research Studies Can Be Conducted Without an IND,” which was announced in the Sept. 10, 2013 Federal Register. The comment period is reopening only for subsections of the final guidance that address the applicability of the IND regulations to clinical research studies involving cosmetics and foods (including dietary supplements).

February 5, 2014
AMI Foundation Issues Updated Sanitary Equipment Design Principles

The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) on Feb. 3 released an updated version of its Sanitary Equipment Design Principles: Checklist & Glossary. The Principles have been a leading factor in food safety advances in meat and poultry plants including the reduction of Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.

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