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.

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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Paris prosecutors launch probe into dairy’s Salmonella problem

Food Safety News, December 27, 2017

French prosecutors are investigating a Salmonella outbreak associated with baby formula sold by Lactalis, one of the world’s largest dairies, which is based in Western France. The outbreak has affected 31 infants, and though all have recovered, 16 of the children did require hospital care.

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EU committee votes against the use of formaldehyde as feed additive

Feed Navigator, December 20, 2017

The EU has rejected formaldehyde as a feed additive for use as a preservative and hygiene condition enhancer after a vote from its Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF). Primary concerns about the use of formaldehyde center around possible dangers to workers handling the material.

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USDA-FSIS Develops Food Safety Research Priorities

Quality Assurance Magazine, December 19, 2017

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has put together a list of the top food safety research areas of interest. Included in the list is a focus on emerging technologies for testing for higher levels of contamination before slaughter.

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Four Pathogens Cause Nearly 2 Million Foodborne Illness Cases a Year

Food Safety Tech, December 18, 2017

A new report from the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) estimates that Salmonella, E. coli 0157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter are responsible for 1.9 million sicknesses in the U.S. each year. Researchers used data from 1998 to 2013 to make the estimation, investigating over 1,000 outbreak cases.

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Europe’s Salmonella decline stalls with increased egg contamination

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy – University of Minnesota, December 12, 2017

A new report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) shows that the decade-long drop in Salmonella infections linked to food has stopped, with numbers rising in 2016. The report also noted that Campylobacter continues to be the most reported foodborne pathogen in humans, with infections from Listeria monocytogenes rising as well.

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Antibiotics Sales for Use in U.S. Farm Animals Dropped in 2016

Food Quality & Safety, December 10, 2017

In the first year-to-year decline since the FDA began collecting data in 2009, sales of antibiotics for use in food-producing animals dropped by 10% from 2015 to 2016.

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Tests point to turkey in Salmonella outbreak in Georgia

Food Safety News, November 27, 2017

Turkey served as part of a catered pre-Thanksgiving dinner at a tire factory in Georgia is being blamed for a Salmonella outbreak that’s sickened dozens and hospitalized at least five people. The Georgia Department of Health Northwest Health District is investigating the outbreak to confirm the test results.

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Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Strains Emerging in United States

Infectious Disease Advisor, November 22, 2017

New research shows that Salmonella strains that are circulating in swine primarily in the US Midwest are part of a growing group of multidrug-resistant phenotypes that are similar to Salmonella typhimurium found in Europe.

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Campylobacter uses Trojan horse infiltration technique

Food Processing, November 17, 2017

New research shows that Campylobacter jejuni uses a strategy similar to the fabled story of the Trojan horse to survive in the digestive system. Researchers from Kingston University found that Campylobacter infiltrates amoebae to avoid harsh digestive conditions and multiplies before breaking out in higher numbers.

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CDC Links Salmonella Outbreak to Contact with Dairy Calves

Dairy Herd Management, November 16, 2017

The outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella Heidelberg tied to dairy calves in Wisconsin is continuing to progress, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak has infected 54 people in 15 states, with eight new cases having been reported since the agency’s last update in August.

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FDA Tool Uses Genomics to Track Resistance Genes

AgWeb, November 14, 2017

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a new tool designed to help track antimicrobial resistance in pathogens. The Resistome Tracker uses genomic information from the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) public databases which are uploaded on a weekly basis, allowing users to track resistance quickly.

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NASA Will Launch E. Coli into Space to Study Antibiotic Resistance

Space.com, November 10, 2017

In an effort to better understand how bacteria respond to varying stress levels, NASA will launch E. coli samples to the International Space Station (ISS). The scientists will expose naturally occurring and mutant strains of E. coli to varying concentrations of antibiotics while controlling their stress levels using software. NASA hopes that the experiment could lead to the development of more effective antibiotics.

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WHO Urges End to Routine Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals to Stem Rise of Superbugs

Huffington Post, November 7, 2017

The World Health Organization has recommended that farmers severely limit their use of antibiotics in animals to quell what the agency says is the growing threat of antibiotic resistance.

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More food safety industry articles:  In the News Archive »

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