In the News

Food safety up and down the food supply chain

A product recall can be catastrophic for the food company and its customers and hurt farmers and other suppliers up the food supply chain. Big recalls usually make news in consumer and business media, with follow-up reporting on medical reports, public health notices, and company apologies.

However, other important food safety news occurs both up and down the food supply chain. Food safety, food security, and food animal nutrition and health science and technology connect in many unexpected ways.

GAO: Some USDA food safety standards outdated

Meat+Poultry, April 19, 2018

Some of the USDA’s food safety standards could use improvement, according to a new review from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The report points to products such as turkey breasts and pork chops as examples of items that the agency has not developed standards for, while also pointing out that the process for deciding which products to consider developing new standards for could be more transparent.

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22 illnesses prompt largest shell egg recall since 2010

Food Safety News, April 14, 2018

More than 200 million eggs have been recalled due to potential contamination with Salmonella Braenderup, the largest shell egg recall since 2010, when an Iowa-based producer was forced to recall 550 million eggs. Potentially contaminated product reached ten states, including Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, new York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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Salmonella Prevention Techniques

Food Quality & Safety, April 2, 2018

Dry surrogate organisms and a faster test for Salmonella are two of the highlights of this story covering emerging strategies to minimize the pathogen’s harmful effects.

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CDC says some FoodNet Salmonella infections rising

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) – University of Minnesota, March 22, 2018

A new report from the CDC using information from the FoodNet surveillance network says that while infections from E. Coli 0157 and some Salmonella subtypes have been dropping for the past decade, other Salmonella subtypes have seen an uptick in recent years. The report also shows that Campylobacter and Salmonella had the two highest incidences per 100,00 population among the pathogens studied.

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Vaccine protocol developed against Campylobacter jejuni

Poultry World, March 22, 2018

Scientists from the French Agency for Food, Environment, and Occupational Health and Safety, Ploufragan, have discovered an avian vaccine protocol that shows success against Campylobacter jejuni. The protocol used a DNA prime/protein boost regimen to induce an immune response in chickens.

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The Government of Canada is working with the poultry industry to reduce the risk of Salmonella illness from frozen raw breaded chicken products

Business Insider, March 13, 2018

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is leaning on industry to help reduce the threat of salmonellosis from frozen raw breaded chicken products. The agency is looking to implement measures for manufacturers and processors to reduce Salmonella to below a detectable level in frozen raw breaded chicken products.

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Foster Farms responsible in Salmonella case, court says

Food Business News, March 12, 2018

An Arizona federal court jury concluded that Foster Farms was negligent when they produced chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg, awarding $1.95 million to the family of a child who was sickened by the pathogen. The jury found the company 30% at fault, with 70% of the fault being attributed to the family for improper preparation of the chicken. The outbreak, which occurred between 2013 and 2014 sickened 639 people according to the CDC.

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South Africa traces deadly listeria to sausage meat, issues recall

Reuters, March 4, 2018

A sausage meat known as “Polony” has been blamed for South Africa’s yearlong Listeria outbreak that has killed 180 people. South Africa’s Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi advises that members of the public avoid processed meat products that are sold as ready to eat.

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Antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic bacteria still high in humans, animals and food, say ECDC and EFSA

European Food Safety Authority, February 27, 2018

Bacteria from humans and animals is still showing resistance to antimicrobials, says a new report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The report also notes that the data from 2016 shows bacteria with resistance to carbapenems found in poultry, notable because the antibiotic is not authorized for use in animals.

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Death Toll from Listeria Outbreak in South Africa More than Doubles to 172

Food Quality & Safety, February 23, 2018

172 people have now lost their lives as part of the ongoing Listeria outbreak in South Africa. The country’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) agency says that 915 cases have now been confirmed since January of last year, though the source of the outbreak remains unknown.

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Chicken salad Salmonella outbreak nears 100 cases in 2 states

Food Safety News, February 16, 2018

Nearly 100 people have been sickened by Salmonella in chicken salad sold by Fareway grocery stores. All but one of the cases has occurred in Iowa, with one person in Minnesota also affected. According to the Iowa health department, of the 94 sick people implicated, 28 have laboratory-confirmed Salmonella typhimurium infections, with the other 66 being probable cases.

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Pew identifies four food safety issues to watch in 2018

Food Quality News, February 12, 2018

Pew Charitable Trusts has highlighted key food safety issues that the group says will be major developments in 2018, including the FDA’s changes to the recall process, FSIS’s New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS), and funding sources for food safety inspections of meat and poultry.

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2018 Winter Olympics norovirus toll reaches 177

USA Today, February 11, 2018

The Winter Olympics in South Korea have run into an issue, as 177 people have come down with norovirus during the event. Many of the infected are part of the Olympics’ security staff and none of the athletes have yet contracted the virus. Officials are still unsure as to the source of the outbreak.

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South Africa’s Listeriosis Outbreak Death Toll Exceeds 100

Food Safety Magazine, February 8, 2018

The record-setting Listeria outbreak in South Africa continues to grow, as 107 people have now lost their lives. Authorities are still unsure of the source of the outbreak that began over a year ago in January 2017, as victims have come from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

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Five years of data show bacteria-related food recalls increasing

Food Safety News, February 6, 2018

New data shows that the 4th quarter of 2017 saw the largest increase in recalls since 2012. Food products recalled by the FDA climbed nearly 93%, with USDA recalls rising by about 83% compared to 2012. Bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli were the most consistent issue and one that continued to grow, comprising about 28% of FDA recalls in 2012 before rising to 31.3% in 2017.

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New USDA, FDA Joint Venture to Improve Food Safety Oversight and Inspection Process

Food Safety Magazine, January 30, 2018

The USDA and FDA have announced a new partnership in an effort to help make food safer. The joint agreement will help improve efforts to increase interagency collaboration, and drive efficiency and effectiveness on produce safety and biotechnology activities.

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National School Lunch Program aces ground beef safety review

Food Safety News, January 24, 2018

The strict standards employed by the National School Lunch Program are working, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Connecticut and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The scientists examined data from mandatory food safety inspections of ground beef used for the School Lunch Program as well as data from random USDA inspections, finding no evidence of outbreaks from Salmonella or E. coli in school lunches between 2005 and 2014.

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Proposed rule will modernize swine inspection – USDA

Food Quality News, January 23, 2018

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is looking to change swine inspection regulations, allowing sites to reconfigure evisceration lines and eliminate maximum line speeds. FSIS says the new system, called New Swine Slaughter Inspection System (NSIS) could lead to a lower prevalence of Salmonella on market hog carcasses.

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British supermarket chickens show record levels of antibiotic-resistant superbugs

The Guardian, January 15, 2018

Broiler chickens in British supermarkets have record levels of pathogens resistant to strong antibiotics, according to new research from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The researchers note that resistance associated with Campylobacter has “significantly increased” since 2007 and 2008.

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USDA drafts rules for eggs, egg substitutes used in many foods

Food Safety News, January 10, 2018

A new draft rule from the USDA requires egg production plants to use Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) planning in an effort to reduce food safety risks. The proposed rule would also require egg facilities to use Sanitation SOPs consistent with existing meat and poultry requirements.

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More food safety industry articles:  In the News Archive »

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