Tag Archive: Recalls


Food Safety

ABC Slams USDA’s Poultry Inspection Plan

USDA tells ABC it will delay HIMP plan to respond to critics

by Helena Bottemiller | Apr 19, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will delay a proposed rule to expand a controversial poultry inspection system, ABC World News reported in a scathing segment Wednesday.

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The decision was made “to give the agency more time to respond to critics,” according to the report by ABC’s Jim Avila, who was a key figure in the recent “pink slime” firestorm.

The rule in question would broadly expand the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) beyond the 20 poultry plants already participating. The HIMP model reduces the number of Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors on duty and largely turns over physical inspections to company employees, while allowing plants to speed up their lines to 175 birds per minute, over the current 140 bpm limit. FSIS says the proposal will modernize an outdated inspection system, save taxpayers around $90 million over three years, and prevent 5,200 foodborne illnesses, mostly from Salmonella, annually.

The National Chicken Council has been strongly in favor of the proposal, which would save the industry $250 million each year, according to USDA estimates.

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Missouri House Moves Ag-Gag Bill to Senate

by Dan Flynn | Apr 19, 2012
Missouri could become the third state this year to impose criminal sanctions, including jail time, against the practices animal welfare groups have used to expose both animal agriculture cruelty and food safety violations.

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In a 124-29 vote, Missouri’s lower house adopted a House Bill 1860 amended to include a section on “Agricultural Production Facility Fraud” with the same sort of ag-gag provisions that were signed into law in Iowa and Utah earlier this year.
If the state Senate agrees before it adjourns May 12, Missouri’s new agricultural crimes will be production “facility fraud” and “interference.”

Anyone recording the image or sound at an ag production facility without the consent of the owner could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.  Conviction of a Class A misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to one year and a $1,000 fine or

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Food Poisoning Strikes 250 Inmates at Michigan Jail

by News Desk | Apr 19, 2012
About 250 inmates being held at the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids, MI suffering with food poisoning symptoms since Sunday still do not know for certain what ails them.
None required hospitalization and all are said to be recovering.

E. Coli Case Count in Missouri Rises to 14; Raw Milk Implicated

by News Desk | Apr 19, 2012
Fourteen people have been sickened by E. coli O157:H7 in central Missouri, and seven now report consuming unpasteurized milk from the same farm before becoming ill, according to Gena Terlizzi, office of public information, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

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Investigators at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Service (DHSS) have not yet identified a definite source of the outbreak, but a farm in Howard County is under investigation.

‘Food Wars’ in Post-Soviet Space: New Episodes

by Volha Samasiuk | Apr 19, 2012
Opinion
Food safety and technical standards and regulations are traditionally viewed as effective tools for public health protection. However, they can also be used as protectionist measures aiming to shield domestic producers from competition. The weak legal framework for implementing these measures may lead to trade disputes between countries. Here are the several examples of such conflicts among post-Soviet countries that are not uncommon at the present time.
A Bit of History
In the Soviet era, the economy of former Soviet republics developed as an integral part of USSR’s single national-economic complex. Russia, a country with huge natural, financial and human resources, dominated and tended to be the center for political and economic decisions. Other republics were mostly considered as raw suppliers for Russia.
The Soviet Union’s breakup resulted in sharp economic contraction as traditional trade ties collapsed. The agricultural and food production sectors of newly independent states come under significant pressure. Each former republic faced the necessity of protecting its own food producers and at the same time providing its population with food.

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Recalls

Listeria Concern Prompts Expanded Deli Sandwich Recall

by Julia Thomas | Apr 19, 2012
M.E. Thompson of Jacksonville, FL is expanding the recall of its Anytime Deli Turkey & Ham Footlong to include the Italian Footlong and Classic Cuban, sold under the brand names Anytime Deli, Sandwich Central and Dandee, because the sandwiches may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

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The recall was the result of routine sampling by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which revealed that the finished products contained Listeria monocytogenes.  According to the recall news release, since the original sampling no other finished products have been shown to contain Listeria, but the latest recall is a precautionary measure.
No confirmed illnesses have been reported to date.

Hong Lee Trading Recalling Preserved Apricots for Undeclared Sulfites

April 19, 2012 By

Hong Lee Trading of Brooklyn New York is recalling Peacock Brand Preserved Apricots because the product may contain undeclared sulfites.

Product details:

  • Peacock Brand Preserved Apricots
  • Un-coded, 300 gram (10.6 ounce) clear plastic container
  • Sold nationwide
  • Product of Vietnam
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Allergy Alert

Canada Rescinds Allergy Alert for BioX Xtreme Power Products

April 19, 2012 By Leave a Comment

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has rescinded a March 2012 allergy alert for BioX brand Xtreme Power Whey Isolate Powder and Protein Shot Recovery Blue Raspberry Drink. The products do not contain egg.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

First lawsuit filed in salmonella outbreak tied to sushi

Courtesy of Amy Karfonta

Amy Karfonta, a 22-year-old from Wisconsin, came down with salmonella symptoms days after eating a tuna roll at a sushi restaurant.

By Bill Briggs

The first lawsuit spawned by a salmonella outbreak that appears to be linked to sushi — which has now sickened 141 people in 20 states plus the District of Columbia — was filed late Wednesday against Moon Marine U.S.A. Corp, a Cupertino, Calif., seafood importer.

The suit alleges that two Wisconsin women, ages 22 and 33, were hospitalized and still are recovering from salmonella poisoning contracted six to nine weeks ago when they dined, separately, at the same local restaurant, both consuming tuna rolls originally sold by Moon Marine.

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USDA Makes Grants Available for Farm to School Programs

by Gretchen Goetz | Apr 19, 2012

Farm to school food programs are set to receive a boost this October in the form of $3.5 million in federal grant money.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan announced Tuesday that the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service is now accepting applications for a series of grants – each one to be no more than  $100,000 – to fund programs that bring locally produced foods to school cafeterias.

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The money was earmarked by the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010 championed by First Lady Michelle Obama. The act aims to improve child nutrition nationwide in order to combat the dual problems of overweight and obesity and food insecurity. In the United States, approximately 17 percent of children ages 2-19 are obese and, according to Merrigan, 18 million are food insecure, meaning they do not always know where their next meal will come from.

“We know for some many children school meals are the only real meal they get in the day so it’s very important that these meals be top notch and farm to school can play a very important role there,” said Merrigan at Tuesday’s press conference.

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Lawsuit Claims KFC Store Directed Workers to Serve Rotten Chicken

April 19, 2012 By

A former KFC store manager in Oregon has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit in state Circuit Court in Multnomah County saying he was fired for refusing to cook and serve rotten chicken. The suit by James Macneal was filed this week and is partly based on an Oregon health and safety whistleblowing law.

Macneal alleges in a complaint against the local owners of a KFC outlet in Seaside, Oregon, that he and another employee were repeatedly told to use raw chicken that was past expiration. His refusal, resistance and threat to call the Oregon Health Department resulted in his firing last May, the lawsuit alleges.

 

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

 

HSUS Reports ‘Deplorable’ Conditions at Large PA Egg Farm

 

The group urges Congress to act on industry-backed egg standards legislation

The animal agriculture industry is facing another round of unflattering headlines. The Humane Society of the United States on Thursday released video and photographs of alleged abuse and insanitary conditions at a large egg farm that supplies the mid-Atlantic region.

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HSUS, an animal rights group loathed by the livestock sector, last year struck a historic deal with the egg industry to seek federal legislation for alternative housing for egg-laying hens, and now the group says the latest undercover investigation at Kreider Farms in Pennsylvania should propel Congress to act on the bill.

“The egg industry in the United States now supports legislation to provide legal protection for hundreds of millions of egg laying hens. Kreider Farms is one producer that disagrees,” said Paul Shapiro in the HSUS’ investigation video. “In fact, its standards are even less than the voluntary standards that the industry has right now.”

HSUS is alleging that Kreider Farms not only treats its 7 million birds inhumanely — the released video shows chickens packed in cages (which is how the vast majority of egg laying hens in the United States are kept) and dead birds stuck in caging — but keeps them in filthy conditions, which helps bacteria like Salmonella spread. The investigation found some manure and eggs testes positive for Salmonella.

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FDA Warning Letters: April 10, 2012 Update

From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning letters posted since our April 3, 2012 update:

Lucky Taco, Inc. of Hustisford, WI was warned by the FDA that a December 2011 inspection of the company’s facility revealed significant violations, including that its Java Mint flavored Lucky Cruncher Cookie contained a coffee liquer flavor with color additives not declared on the label and that its Lucky Taco Mexican Fortune Cookie containued milk, an allergen not declared on the label. The FDA also challenged the company’s “low calorie” claims for some of its products.

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Recalls

 

Heineken Recalls Certain Beers Due to Bottle Defect

 

Heineken USA is recalling certain Mexican beers because the bottles may be defective, so there is a potential for small particles of glass to separate from the inside lip of the bottle and fall into the beer. The pieces may vary in size and some may not be easily visible, the company said in its recall announcement.

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The problem affects certain 12-ounce brown bottles of Carta Blanca and Dos Equis Ambar, as well as “Beers of Mexico” and “Best of Mexico” pack varieties. Indio 12-ounce bottles, which are only in the “Best of Mexico” pack (available only in Texas), are also affected and being recalled.
Dos Equis Lager green bottles and draught; Dos Equis Ambar draught; Tecate; and Carta Blanca 32-ounce bottles are not impacted nor are any other Heineken USA brands.
According to the company’s news release, the number of defective bottles is less than one percent, and the recall is a precautionary measure.
“There have not been any reports of consumer injuries, and while the likelihood of a possible injury to a consumer is very low, the presence of small particles of glass in the bottle could pose a health risk,” the company stated in its recall announcement.

Read Full Article Here

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Allergen Alert

 

Allergen Alert: Peanuts in Caramel Cob

 

Kathy Kaye Foods is recalling certain Classic Caramel Cob Junior because it may contain peanuts, an allergen not included on the label.

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No adverse reactions have been reported.
Routine sampling and analysis by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets revealed the presence of peanut allergen at 34 parts per million in packages of Classic Caramel Cob Junior with a best-by date of Dec. 23, 2011….

Allergen Alert: Nuts with Soy, Milk

John B. Sanfilippo and Son are recalling Fisher Vanilla Bean Almonds and Fisher Cocoa Mocha Almonds because they contain soy ingredients not declared on the label, and a snack nut blend because it contains soy and milk ingredients not listed on the label.

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There have been no reports of adverse reactions.

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Articles of Interest

The Rise to Fame of ‘Pink Slime’

In the news since 2008, why no LFTB backlash until now?

Last week, Iowa’s Gov. Terry Branstad and U.S. Rep. Steve King called for a congressional hearing on the media coverage that fueled a public backlash against ‘pink slime,’ Beef Products Inc.’ s Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB). Among other things, King accused journalists and activists of perpetrating a “smear campaign” against BPI and suggested they should go under oath to explain why they “could not base their allegations on facts.”

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Coming from top-tier lawmakers, the demands for a hearing were a testament to the significant influence of media and social networking on the national perception of LFTB. Since the backlash ignited last month, concerned parents and grossed-out burger lovers have spoken out in droves, demanding it be labeled or altogether removed from store shelves and school lunches.
But LFTB isn’t new. It’s been marketed since 2001, when the Food and Drug Administration OK’d the ammonia treatment process, and it had been in McDonald’s hamburgers and on school lunch trays since at least 2004. The Washington Post wrote about it in 2008, the documentary Food, Inc. showed BPI’s process on camera, and a 2009 story discussing BPI’s product earned journalist Michael Moss and the New York Times a Pulitzer Prize. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver railed against it on primetime television in 2011.
So, after roughly four years in the popular media, what sparked the sudden, forceful public rejection of LFTB?…

Canada’s Food Inspectors Nervous About Federal Budget

Since the Conservative government led by Stephen Harper has been in power in Ottawa, the Canadian Food Safety Inspection Agency (CFIA) has seen annual increases in its inspector ranks.

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Also there is a yearly scare about food safety jobs that gets pushed along by government unions with speculation about cuts that might occur as Canada goes through its budget process.
This year, Canadians are being told 100 food inspector positions might be cut from the federal government’s budget. Might the scare tactics this year be for real?  Maybe.
To understand Canada’s budget ritual as it affects food safety, it’s important to know the numbers to begin with.  As of March 2011, CFIA employed a total of 7,544.  Its ranks have increased in every year since 1999…..

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

FDA Issues Voluntary Plan to Limit Antibiotics in Agriculture

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is taking its biggest step yet to rein in the indiscriminate use of antibiotics that help food animals grow bigger, faster. The agency said Wednesday it is asking veterinary drug makers to voluntarily phase out medically important drugs from being available over the counter in the hope that the shift will help combat growing antimicrobial resistance.

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Under FDA’s proposal, these antimicrobials will still be allowed in animal agriculture but, if veterinary drug companies agree to change the labels, farmers will be allowed to use the drugs only to prevent, control, or treat diseases and under the supervision of a veterinarian and not for promoting growth or improving feed efficiency.

The agency said it was taking the voluntary action to “preserve the effectiveness of medically important antimicrobials for treating disease in humans.”

According to the most recent estimates, around 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the United States are given to animals. FDA said it doesn’t know what percentage is used for growth promotion or so-called production uses, which the agency is trying to limit.

The reaction in the public health, veterinary pharmaceutical and animal agriculture community was mixed, but mostly negative.

The Pew Charitable Trusts, which has been lobbying for limiting antibiotic usage in food animal production for years, gave the move a tepid thumbs up.

“This is the most sweeping action the agency has undertaken in this area, as this covers all antibiotics used in meat and poultry production that are important to human health,” said Laura Rogers, director of the Pew’s Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming. “There are some gaps in these measures that we will urge FDA to address and, because this is voluntary, we will have to monitor antibiotic usage and resistance rates carefully. If these measures do not bring down antibiotic use and drug-resistant bacteria, then FDA will have to take additional steps.”

The Animal Health Institute, which represents veterinary pharmaceutical companies, also said it supports the FDA’s voluntary stakeholder approach, but has reservations.

“We strongly support responsible use of antibiotic medicines and the involvement of a veterinarian whenever antibiotics are administered to food producing animals,” said AHI. “While we agree with this direction and the collaborative, stakeholder process, there are details that must be addressed to make this approach practical and workable.  We will continue to work with FDA through the comment process to address these details.”

Most consumer and pubic health groups expressed disappointment that the proposal is voluntary and seems toothless. ….

Read Full Article Here

Two More Illnesses Confirmed in Missouri E. Coli Outbreak

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has confirmed two more illnesses in an ongoing outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 reported from counties in central Missouri, bringing the total number of cases to seven. Raw milk has been cited as a common link among some of the illnesses, but state public health officials have not determined a definite source.

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Illnesses have been reported in four counties: Boone (3 cases), Cooper (2), Howard (1) and Camden (1)…..

Outbreak Potentially Linked to Sushi Expands to 116 Cases

A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly that had previously sickened 100 has expanded to include at least 116 victims across 20 states, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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In this latest outbreak report, released Wednesday, CDC reports that, “The investigation has not conclusively identified a food source,” however evidence suggests that sushi may be the contaminated product.
Last week CDC announced that an unusually high percentage of those sickened reported eating sushi, sashimi, or “similar foods” in the week preceding the onset of symptoms. An internal e-mail from FDA – which is collaborating with CDC to investigate the outbreak – reported that CDC thought sushi was the likely source, with spicy tuna rolls “highly suspect.”
Cases are largely centered in states along the Eastern Seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico, but also extend up into the Midwest. The number of sickened individuals in each state is as follows:
Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (5), District of Columbia (2), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Illinois (10), Louisiana (2), Maryland (11), Massachusetts (8), Mississippi (1), Missouri (2), New Jersey (7), New York (24), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (5), Rhode Island (5), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5) and Wisconsin (12)…..

California Company Will Keep Seafood Off Market

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says a California seafood importer and processor has agreed to shut down its operations while it corrects conditions in its processing facility, which is alleged to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

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The FDA said in a statement Wednesday that Yamaya USA of Torrance, CA and its president, Daigo Irifune, agreed to terms of a consent decree on April 5. Under the agreement, the company must destroy all foods being processed or ready for shipment and clean and sanitize the facility. It cannot resume marketing its seafood until laboratory results confirm no further L. mono contamination…..

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Recalls

Imported Fish Recalled

Two Minnesota companies – Import Foods Wholesale and Seng Ong Wholesale – are recalling various types of imported fish because they may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores, which can cause botulism.

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In each case, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Laboratory personnel confirmed that the fish were not properly eviscerated prior to processing.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with either company’s products.
The sale of improperly eviscerated fish, 5 inches in length or greater, is prohibited because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish has been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning, which may pose a potentially life-threatening health hazard….

E. Coli Tests Spur Recall of Tenderized Beef in Maine

Town and Country Foods of Greene, ME, is recalling about 2,057 pounds of ground and mechanically tenderized beef that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday.

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The company’s own lab testing confirmed a positive result for E. coli O157:H7, according to the news release, but FSIS said the firm had already distributed the beef before the test results were received.
FSIS said it has received no reports of illnesses associated with the beef.
The potentially contaminated beef was produced between April 4 and 10, 2012 and shipped to wholesale and retail establishments in Maine…..

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Articles of Interest

Beijing Looks to Stiffen Food Safety Penalties

Those convicted of a food safety-related crime in Beijing will soon be barred from investing in or running a food business, according to new proposal.

chinafather-iphone.jpgBloomberg News reported that the draft rules would “regulate the use of edible additives in the catering industry, and crack down on the illegal use of inedible substances and mislabeling of production and sell-by dates.”

Under China’s new food safety regulations, which took effect in 2007, businesses that violate food safety laws have their licenses revoked for three years; the Beijing rule would extend that ban to five years. Individuals convicted of crimes would be banned from the food industry for life…..

Read Full Article Here

Consumer Advocate Seeks Poultry Inspection Gig

After sharply criticizing a proposal to expand the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) pilot to more poultry plants, Food & Water Watch is asking for unfettered access to a HIMP plant to better evaluate the idea.
chickeninspection-iphone.jpgIn a letter to the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food & Water Watch, asked that he be permitted to work as a company sorter on a slaughter line in the HIMP program.

“I would like for you to start making arrangements so that I may work in a HIMP plant for at least one week,” wrote Corbo. “As you know, Food & Water Watch has been especially critical of HIMP and the proposed rule to expand this inspection model to all poultry plants…We do not support the privatization of inspection. However, both FSIS and the poultry industry claim that the HIMP inspection model is superior to the one that is used in the non-HIMP plants.”….

Read Full Article Here

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Flashback: USDA ‘Doesn’t Know’ if You Are Eating Cloned Meat

Anthony Gucciardi
NaturalSociety
It may come as a surprise, but you may be consuming cloned meat on a regular basis. In fact, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (head of the USDA) says that he has no idea whether or not cloned meat has been sold inside the United States — or even how much. But instead of investigating or setting up parameters, the USDA asserts that it is safe in their view so there is no cause for alarm. It is currently forbidden by the agency itself for any producer to distribute or sell cloned meat.The news came back in August of 2010, when U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack went on record saying that he really doesn’t know whether or not cloned meat is being put on dinner tables nationwide. The announcement was made after the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency told consumers that meat from descendants of cloned animals had alreadyentered the food supply. Of course the agency made the statements a year after the cloned products leaked into the food chain. Still, just like the USDA, the UK’s FSA stated that they believe cloned meat poses no risk, so citizens should not panic. The reason? They say that cloned meat has ‘ no substantial difference’ to traditional meat, and therefore it is safe.

Hawaii Focuses on Food Safety and Local Ag

More locally grown food and safer growing methods are the goals of a couple of bills close to passing the final hurdle in the Hawaii Legislature.
Small farmers appear split on the bills. They like House Bill 2703, which sets out to double the locally grown food supply by 2020. They have doubts about HB 1947, which would give the Hawaii Department of Agriculture the power to conduct audit and certification programs.
Both measures are waiting for a final vote in the Hawaii Senate before they will likely land on Governor Neil Abercrombie’s desk.
A sign that changes may be in the works came over the weekend when the Diamond Head Farmers Market, held on Saturdays, told farmers that in the future they’d have to be “safety certified” to have a place to sell their products. The Diamond Head is considered Oahu’s leading farmers market.
It’s run by Kapiolani Community College (KCC), which opted to get the word out early to farmers.  It expects to lose only a couple of vendors.

New SE Test Kits for Eggs, Environmental Samples

Applied Biosystems TaqMan ® is a new Salmonella Enteritidis detection kit used on eggs that is now also able to take environmental samples at production houses involved in handling and packaging.
The kit previously received an “interim” approval for environmental sampling from the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), the unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that governs safety standards at poultry houses .
Life Technologies Corporation, the NASDAQ traded company that makes the kit, will now be able to use the method to test for SE in both eggs and poultry houses….
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Recalls

Ceramic Wine Goblets Recalled

An Illinois-based company is recalling ceramic wine goblets sold nationwide because they may contain more leachable lead and cadmium than federal regulations allow.

Enesco, LLC of Itasca, IL has announced a voluntary recall of 300 of its “Any Wine Will Do” wine goblets because internal product testing revealed levels of leachable lead and cadmium beyond those considered safe by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance.

Read Full Article Here

Berry Cookies Recalled for Undeclared Milk

Biscomerica Corp. is recalling 4 types of berry cookies because they may contain milk that is not listed as an ingredient.

The California-based company is voluntarily recalling cartons of its Knott’s Berry Farm brand Boysenberry Cookies, Blueberry Cookies, Raspberry Cookies and Strawberry Cookies, citing a risk that the products may contain undeclared milk.

Vegetable Biryani Recalled for Undeclared Allergen

A New York-based company is voluntarily recalling packages of frozen Vegetable Biryani because they contain an undeclared nut allergen.

Rajbhong Food of Flushing, NY has issued a recall of packages of frozen, ready-to-eat Vegetable Biryani because they contain cashews – a potential allergen – that are not listed as an ingredient.
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Articles of Interest

Raw Milk: A Mother’s Story

by Mary McGonigle-Martin

My interest in health and nutrition began some 30 years ago.  At 19 I quit smoking and for the first time in my life put on some extra pounds. (I’m sure it had something to do with the Hershey chocolate bars I consumed to ward off each and every cigarette craving.)  Anyway, these extra pounds motivated my investigation of weight loss diets and I was horrified to discover that everything I’d been consuming my entire life was in essence a physiological time bomb. Processed foods are bad for you?  Who could have known? And how could this be?  I mean, if processed foods hurt people, why are they allowed to be sold?
Having always been an avid reader I was amazed to discover a world replete with nutritional information regarding diet and how to eat healthy.  I slowly transformed my bad habits.  I quit my job at a fast food restaurant and went to work in a vitamin store. Running replaced my affinity for cigarettes and my former assortment of junk food was nowhere to be found in the health food store I now regularly found myself.
Studying food labels became the rule, and I shunned any artificial flavorings, colorings, chemicals or preservatives. I juiced, ate fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, yogurt and baked chicken and fish. Raw eggs, milk and cheese also became part of my new diet after I came across encouraging literature regarding their benefits. (Raw milk is legal in California, so its purchase only required a quick trip to the health food store.)
My fervent dedication to eating well lasted for several years. When my husband entered my life, it became very difficult to maintain the purity of my diet. As time passed, I continued to eat healthier than most of my peers, but not as strict as I had for those few years in my late teens and early 20s…..

Dairy-Related Outbreaks, Illnesses, Recalls: 2010 to Present

In February of this year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study which found that raw milk is 150 times more likely than pasteurized milk to sicken those who drink it. The study took into account all dairy-related outbreaks between 1993 and 2006.
Since that time, a number of outbreaks linked to dairy products have occurred, expanding the data set on dairy outbreaks beyond what the CDC was able to take into account.
The following line list was compiled by Real Raw Milk Facts through searches for government and dairy industry press releases, reports and newsletters announcing dairy-related outbreaks and recalls.
The data precede official statistics from the CDC, which have an approximately 2-year time lag before being available to the public.

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

The Genetically Modified Food You Eat Every Day

GMO crops have infiltrated 80% of all the packaged food in the United States, and no one has told you. Here’s why.

Genetically modified food is in a store near you today. In fact, it’s been there for years. You may not know it, but in all the fracas over genetically modified food, one point is often left out: You’ve been eating it for a long time and no one has told you. This infographic from Nature’s Path–which makes organic cereals, bars, and waffles that contain no GMO ingredients, they’d like you to know–shows where you’re getting your genetically modified treats, and why no one has told you:

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Debate Heats Up Over Poultry Inspection Proposal

 

By Helena Bottemiller

 

If you listen to both critics and proponents of a new U.S. Department of Agriculture proposal to expand a pilot poultry inspection program, you might wonder if they’re talking about the same thing. In January, the USDA’s Food Safety and…

 

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Has Salmonella Sushi Sickened 3,000?

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that for every reported case of Salmonella, an additional 29.3 infections go undiagnosed and unreported. Undiagnosed Salmonella victims are never counted in official Salmonella outbreak case-counts. There may well be nearly 3,000 sickened.

In the wake of an April, 2012 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcement that at least 100 people have become ill in a Salmonella outbreak linked to Sushi, the attorneys at Marler Clark are distributing a FAQ list for consumers who may have been exposed in the outbreak. The CDC has identified cases in the following states: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (5), District of Columbia (2), Georgia (4), Illinois (9), Louisiana (2), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (4), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (7), New York (23), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (3), Rhode Island (4), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (9).

What do consumers need to know in a Sushi Salmonella Outbreak?……

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

7 Food Ingredients Most Prone for Food Fraud

 

ROCKVILLE, Md.—Olive oil, milk, honey, saffron, orange juice, coffee and apple juice are the seven most likely food ingredients to be targets for intentional or economically motivated adulteration of food, or food fraud, according to analysis of the first U.S. public database created to compile information on risk factors for food fraud published in the Journal of Food Science.

The database was created by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and provides baseline information to assist interested parties in assessing the risks of specific products. It includes a total of 1,305 records for food fraud based on a total of 667 scholarly, media and other publicly available reports.

Food fraud is a collective term that encompasses the deliberate substitution, addition, tampering or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients or food packaging, or false or misleading statements made about a product for economic gain. A more specific type of fraud is the fraudulent addition of nonauthentic substances or removal or replacement of authentic substances without the purchaser’s knowledge for economic gain of the seller.

According to the authors of the paper, food fraud may be more risky than traditional threats to the food supply because the adulterants used in these activities often are unconventional and designed to avoid detection through routine analyses.

“The vast majority of food fraud is primarily technical and economical,” said John Spink, associate director with the anti-counterfeiting and product protection program at Michigan State University. “However, there are some cases where there can be serious health consequences as illustrated when melamine was added to infant formula and pet food in order to falsify the level of protein content in these products.”

 

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Recalls

 

Some Planters Cocktail Peanuts Recalled

 

By News Desk

 

Kraft Foods Group, Inc. is recalling about 3,000 cases of Planters Cocktail Peanuts because there is a possibility that the product was exposed to water not intended for use in food during the production process.Consumers who purchased the affected code…

 

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Articles of Interest

 

BPI and ‘Pink Slime’: A Timeline

 

By James Andrews

 

The story of Beef Products Inc.’s Lean Finely Textured Beef isn’t new, and neither is the nickname “pink slime”. Yet after more than 10 years on the market, the beef additive had never received the level of attention it did…

 

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A Question of Origin

 

By Alli Condra

 

Dear Reader: Where did your last meal come from?Given our globalized food system, this is a difficult question to answer. The question of food origin breaks down into several parts. Do we care where it originated? Or, do we care…

 

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

100 Ill in Sushi-Suspected Salmonella Outbreak

By Mary Rothschild

One hundred cases of Salmonella Bareilly poisoning have been reported from 19 states and the District of Columbia while investigators still have “not conclusively identified a food source,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.The CDC’s earlier…

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BPA in Food Packaging is Safe, Researchers Say

By Gretchen Goetz

It started in 2008 with plastic bottles. After a report suggested that bisphenol A – used as a sealant in food and beverage containers – might be toxic to humans, some bottle manufacturers cut the chemical out of their products….

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BC Issues Warning About Pomeberry Frozen Berries

By Mary Rothschild

Eight cases of hepatitis A over the past two months in British Columbia may be linked to frozen berries, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) said Thursday as it warned consumers not to eat Pomeberry Blend frozen berries…

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Missouri Investigating 5 E. Coli O157:H7 Cases

By News Desk

Five cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection have been
in Central Missouri, according to Margaret Donnelly, director of the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services.The source of the infections has not been identified, according to the health advisory…

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Recalls

Odwalla Recalls Chocolate Protein Monster Drink

By News Desk

Reports from consumers who said they had allergic reactions to Odwalla Chocolate Protein Monster have prompted the company to issue a nationwide allergy alert and recall 12- and 32 oz. bottles of the drink. In a news release Friday, Odwalla said…

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Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Dog Food May Contain Salmonella

By News Desk

Diamond Pet Foods is recalling its Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.According to a recall notice posted by the company Friday, no illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond-manufactured pet food products…

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Allergen Alert

 

Allergen Alert: Cookies with Milk and Almonds

By News Desk

TWI Foods of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada products is recalling Crispy brand cookies and rusk, a hard crisp bread, because they may contain milk and almonds, allergens not declared on the label.There have been no adverse reactions reported.The Canadian-manufactured cookies were…

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Allergen Alert: Pan de Torta With Milk

By News Desk

Los Olivos LTD of Farmingdale, NY, is recalling certain packages of “Pan de Torta” bread because they may contain undeclared milk allergens.Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent lab analysis revealed the…

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Allergen Alert: Biscuits with Egg

By News Desk

Threeline Imports of Brooklyn, NY, is recalling Kypoyka Bisquits because they may contain eggs, which are not listed on the packaging as ingredients.Routine sampling by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors and subsequent lab analysis revealed…

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Disease Outbreaks Tied to Imported Foods Increasing according to the CDC

 

By Dr. Mercola

 

The more steps your food goes through before it reaches your plate, the greater your chances of contamination becomes.

If you are able to get your food locally, directly from the field or after harvest, such as directly from a farmer or farmer’s market, you knock out numerous routes that could expose your food to contamination.

So it is not surprising that new research released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that foodborne disease outbreaks linked to imported foods are on the rise.

As Food Imports Rise, so do Foodborne Disease Outbreaks

Foodborne disease outbreaks linked to imported foods rose in both 2009 and 2010 (data for 2011 is still being analyzed).

In all, 39 outbreaks and 2,348 illnesses were linked to imported foods from 15 countries.

However, nearly half of the outbreaks occurred in 2009 and 2010 …

Most of the outbreaks were due to fish (17 outbreaks) and spices (particularly fresh or dried peppers), which are also among the most commonly imported foods.

For instance, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service (ERS) reveals that 85 percent of seafood eaten by Americans is imported! As rates of food imports rise (ERS data shows that U.S. food import has nearly doubled from 1998 to 2007), it’s likely that disease outbreaks will become increasingly common. As it is, the numbers are thought to be a serious underestimate, as food-borne disease outbreaks are commonly under-reported.

 

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IOM: FDA’s Inspection Approach to Imports is ‘Impractical’

 

by Helena Bottemiller

 

An increasing portion of the food on our plate is coming from beyond our borders, but how do we know that it’s safe? A new study by the Institute of Medicine looks at the “daunting” task of ensuring safe food across the globe and comes to the conclusion that it’s going to take lot more than random, infrequent inspections.

The flood of imported food and drugs is putting a lot of stress on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agency charged with overseeing the safety of food, drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. The volume of imported FDA-regulated products has tripled over the last decade, increasing by 13 percent each year since 2002. Now an estimated 40 percent of fruits and nuts and 85 percent of seafood consumed in the United States is imported.

The IOM suggests that FDA’s traditional method of trying to keep a handle on food and product safety by making periodic inspections is impractical because 20 million types of FDA-regulated foods arrive from more than 300,000 factories in 150 different countries.

 

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Recalls

 

Salmonella Concern Spurs Tahini Recall in Canada

 

By News Desk

 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume Ayyam Zaman brand Extra Fine Tahina it may be contaminated with Salmonella.There have been no reported illnesses.The affected product, Ayyam Zaman brand Extra Fine Tahina, is sold…

 

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Cryptosporidium Spurs Parsley Recall in Canada

 

By News Desk

 

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume Boskovich brand fresh parsley imported from the U.S. because it may contain Cryptosporidium.There have been no reported illnesses.The affected product was sold only on March 19, 2012…

 

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Allergen Alert

Allergen Alert: Coconut Candy With Milk

 

By News Desk

 

Fung Shing International Corp. of Maspeth, NY, is recalling Star Light Coconut Candy because it contains milk not declared on the label.People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions…

 

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Articles of Interest

 

Tiny Turtles Poison 72 in 17 States With Salmonella

 

By Mary Rothschild

 

Drop that tiny turtle. Now please wash your hands.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting more cases of vomiting and diarrhea from a multistate outbreak of Salmonella poisoning caused by handling small pet turtles.In three overlapping outbreaks, at…

 

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Pitcher Strains Oblique Muscle From Severe Vomiting

 

By News Desk

 

Food poisoning is bad when it causes vomiting so severe that it strains an oblique muscle.The Colorado Rockies say that is why 28-year old Josh Outman has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (DL), meaning he will not join…

 

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Researchers Find Banned Antibiotics in Feather Meal
Study finds flouroquinolones, raising questions about illegal usage

 

by Helena Bottemiller

 

New research raises questions about whether poultry producers might still be using an antibiotic that was banned in 2005 after being linked to increasing antibiotic resistance.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) and Arizona State University tested feather meal — a byproduct made of ground-up poultry feathers commonly added to chicken, swine, cattle and fish feed — and found a surprising variety of drug residues, including fluoroquinolones, a class of antibiotics critical for fighting infections in humans.

The findings surprised scientists because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the class of drugs, which includes cipro, in poultry production in 2005 in response to rising fluoroquinolone resistance among Campylobacter bacteria, a leading cause of foodborne illness.

 

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

 

CDC: No Source Confirmed in Outbreak That Has Sickened 93

Sushi or sashimi suspected

 

by Mary Rothschild

 

Ninety-three illnesses linked to an outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly have been reported from 19 states and the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday, but CDC officials said a specific food has not been identified as the source of the infections.
However, many of those infected recalled eating sushi, sashimi or a raw dish such as ceviche, in the days before they became ill, according to the public health agency.

In an investigation report released Wednesday afternoon, the CDC revealed the states reporting illnesses: Alabama (2), Arkansas (1), Connecticut (4), District of Columbia (2), Georgia (4), Illinois (8), Louisiana (2), Maryland (8), Massachusetts (4), Mississippi (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (6), New York (23), North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2), Rhode Island (4), South Carolina (3), Texas (3), Virginia (5) and Wisconsin (8).

The CDC’s message follows an internal U.S. Food and Drug Administration email on the outbreak investigation that was inadvertently circulated beyond the agency. That emailed summary did not list all the affected states.

And although the FDA email said investigators were looking at sushi as a possible source of the illnesses, and singled out spicy tuna roll sushi as “highly suspect,” the CDC said no food item has been conclusively identified.

 

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Iowa Leaders Seek Congressional Hearing on Pink Slime Critics

 

by Helena Bottemiller

 

Congressman Steve King (R-IA) and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad are pushing for a congressional probe into what many in the meat industry are calling a “smear campaign” against Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), a formerly obscure component commonly used in ground beef now known to the public as “pink slime.”

King has asked Frank Lucas (R-OK), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee to host a hearing that would bring in witnesses to testify on the media firestorm and consumer backlash over the product, which has led to three plant suspensions and sidelined 650 workers in Texas, Kansas, and Iowa — including some 200 workers in King’s district.

“Witnesses would be under oath and they’re of course obligated by law to tell the truth, those who have been the ones who have perpetrated this smear campaign against one of the stellar companies in the country,” King recently told an Iowa radio station. “I think they’ll have an obligation then to explain themselves why they could not base their allegations on facts and what they’ve done to damage an industry.”

The congressman said he believes the campaign is also an “assault” on meat. “I’d like to look at that further,” he said. “Right now, I’m focused on helping BPI get their brand back and their market share back.”

 

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BPA is FDA’s Latest Gift to Food Industry

 

By Michele Simon

 

In a long-awaited decision, last week the Food and Drug Administration disappointed health advocates once again by allowing Bisphenol A or BPA, a known endocrine disruptor, to remain approved as a chemical additive in food containers such as plastic bottles and metal cans.While the agency says it’s still studying the matter, a number of groups say the science is clear enough. Indeed, in the four years since the filing of a legal petition asking for a ban (a court order was needed to force FDA to respond), evidence of potential harm from BPA exposure has only increased. Of particular concern are young children, as the chemical often lines infant formula containers and baby bottles. Ironically, some of the more alarming research is funded by the federal government. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is spending $30 million to study BPA, with much of it published already and more to come. Not surprisingly, the chemical industry claims the additive is perfectly safe.

But with the scientific studies piling up to show how BPA increases the risk of everything from cancer to heart disease to fertility problems, and more recently, even obesity, this latest industry-friendly move by FDA is especially troubling. Meanwhile, without a hint of irony, FDA also maintains several web pages with helpful information for parents and others wishing to avoid BPA, such as: “What You Can Do to Minimize Your Infant’s Exposure to BPA.”

So if FDA admits the chemical is scary enough to avoid and previous independent scientific advisory panels have derided the agency for ignoring the mounting evidence, why did the agency back down yet again?…..

 

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Recalls

 

Tomme d’Or Cheeses Recalled in British Columbia

 

By News Desk

 

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is warning the public not to eat Tomme d’Or cheese made by Moonstruck Organic Cheese on Saltspring Island because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.Currently there are no illnesses linked to…

 

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Articles of Interest

 

Lawsuit Claims Some Store ‘Honey’ Brands Are Deceptive

 

by Gretchen Goetz

 

A series of class action lawsuits has been filed in Florida against major food retailers who allegedly sell honey that may not be “honey” because it does not contain pollen.

Five Florida residents are bringing suits against four different grocery chains – Publix Super Markets, Inc., Target Corporation, Walgreen Co. and Aldi, Inc. – that all reportedly carry ultra-filtered honey under their own house brands.

Ultra-filtration is a special process by which honey is heated and then forced through tiny filters that don’t let pollen through. This process is different from traditional honey filtration, which uses bigger filters and is designed only to weed out visible contaminants such as bee parts, wax and debris.

In removing the pollen from honey, ultra-filtration essentially removes its footprint. The resulting product cannot be traced back to its source to determine whether it came from a legitimate supplier or one with a reputation for adulterated products.

When Food Safety News investigated ultra-filtration last year, it found that over 3/4 of honey sold in U.S. grocery stores lacks pollen.

Florida is one of a handful of states that has set a honey standard dictating what qualities a product needs in order to be called honey. Anything labeled as “honey” must contain pollen, says the standard. This rule gives legal clout to those who want to see pollen-free honey labeled as something other than honey.

The same clout does not exist at the federal level, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue a set of standards for honey, despite demands from both industry and Congress that it do so.

 

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FDA Warning Letters: Update

 

by News Desk

From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warning letters posted since our March 27, 2012 update:

– Prospect Enterprises of Los Angeles, CA was warned that a January/February 2012 inspection of the company’s seafood processing facility, American Fish & Seafood Company in Sacramento, CA revealed violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation so that its chilled, histamine-forming fish such as tuna, chilled, vacuum packaged Hamachi and tuna, as well as refrigerated ready-to-eat products such as vacuum packaged smoked salmon and trout, and pasteurized canned crabmeat, would be considered adulterated.

The FDA said the inspection also revealed deviations from the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods, including inadequate monitoring of cooler storage to control pathogen growth and toxin formation including Clostridium botulinum toxin.

– Plenus Group of Lowell, MA was warned that a February/March 2012 inspection of the company’s seafood processing facility revealed violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation so that its refrigerated clam chowder in reduced oxygen packaged bags would be considered adulterated.

– Meherrin Agricultural & Chemical of Severn, NC was warned that a November/December 2011 inspection of the company’s Hampton Farms Industrial peanut butter processing plant revealed violations of the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulation for foods, such as using a band saw to cut the bottoms off customer-returned 18 oz. plastic jars of peanut butter.

 

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

 

Salmonella Outbreak May Be Linked to Sushi

 

By Mary Rothschild

 

An outbreak of illnesses caused by Salmonella Bareilly poisoning, possibly linked but not confirmed to be associated with sushi, had sickened 90 people in 19 states and the District of Columbia as of Monday, according to sources within the U.S….

 

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Recalls

 

Raw Milk and Cheese Recalled from Pennsylvania Dairy

 

By James Andrews

 

The Pennsylvania State Departments of Agriculture and Health on Monday announced the recall of raw milk and raw milk cheese from Jersey Hollow Farm in Kutztown, Pennsylvania after an independent lab confirmed products from the dairy tested positive for Salmonella.The…

 

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Final Report on Jimmy John’s E. coli Outbreak: 29 Ill in 11 States

 

By Gretchen Goetz

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a final report on the multistate outbreak of E. coli infection linked to sprouts in Jimmy John’s sandwiches. Between late December 2011 and early March of 2012, 29 individuals were infected…

 

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Allergen Alert

 

Allergen Alert: Soy, Milk in Beef-Stuffed Potatoes

 

By News Desk

 

Al Baghdadi Food of Hazel Park, MI is recalling approximately 5,400 pounds of a stuffed potato product with beef filling because of misbranding and undeclared allergens. The product contains soy and milk, allergens not declared on the label, the USDA’s…

 

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Follow the Money: BPA Makers to Gross $8 Billion Thanks to FDA Rejecting Ban

By Anthony Gucciardi

Producers of toxic BPA are now boasting $8 billion in sales for 2012 thanks to the FDA rejecting a potential ban on the cancer-linked chemical on March 30th. According to GlobalData, manufacturers will produce 4.7 million metric tons of BPA this year to be dispersed into the daily lives of millions worldwide. BPA now goes into everything: plastic bottles, canned foods, DVDs, plastic wrap, and much more. Despite being linked to about as many serious health conditionsas the amount of products it contaminates, the FDA has decided once again to side with mega corporations over protecting the health of the people.

Even Campbell’s Soup and the Heinz corporation are removing BPA from their products in an effort to reclaim consumers who are fully aware of the issues surrounding BPA. California is also banning the substance from baby bottles and sippy cups in attempts to protect newborn babies whose developing bodies are majorly affected by the estrogen-mimicking chemical. But the FDA?

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Slimegate: Should USDA Require Labeling for LFTB?

by Helena Bottemiller

Over the past several weeks, thousands of articles, blog posts, tweets and even Facebook statuses have weighed in on the debate over Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), now commonly known as “pink slime.” One place you won’t find any mention of the product, however, is on a ground beef label — or any meat label, for that matter.

That may be about to change.

As the nation’s largest manufacturer of LFTB, Beef Products Inc., reels from the consumer revolt against its product and state and local politicians work to help the company recover, the national discussion has turned to labeling.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it would approve requests from ground beef product makers who want to voluntarily label products containing LFTB.

Last Friday, U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and 10 co-sponsors introduced a bill that would require beef products that included LFTB to be labeled, and Reps. Sam Farr (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) urged USDA to update beef labels “to note whether or not the product contains processed meat filler, and, if so, which filler(s) are in the product.”

So, why isn’t “LFTB” or “ammoniated beef” or “centrifuge-separated ammonia-treated beef” already labeled when added to ground beef?

(Were it up to satirical news anchor Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, LFTB might be labeled “ammonia-soaked centrifuge separated byproduct paste.”)

In a USA Today Op-Ed, former USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service administrator Dr. H. Russel Cross declared that “There is no need for labeling LFTB — because nothing is being added that is not beef.”

Likewise, in a recent video to help combat “a frenzy of misinformation” about LFTB, American Meat Institute spokeswoman Janet Riley added a similar justification for not labeling LFTB: “Both citric acid and ammonium hydroxide are natural processing aids, not additives or ingredients because they don’t remain in the product.”

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CDC Offers Favorable Snapshot of Nation’s Nutrition Status

by Mary Rothschild

With its focus on disease outbreaks and other generally gloomy reports, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rarely seems to dispatch good news.

So it was heartening to see Monday’s CDC press release announcing that the U.S. population, for the most part, is getting enough essential vitamins and nutrients – specifically vitamins A and D and folate — even though some groups need to address dietary deficiencies.

“Research shows that good nutrition can help lower people’s risk for many chronic diseases. For most nutrients, the low deficiency rates, less than 1 to 10 percent, are encouraging, but higher deficiency rates in certain age and race/ethnic groups are a concern and need additional attention,” said Christine Pfeiffer, Ph.D., lead researcher, in the Division of Laboratory Sciences in CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

Less than optimal vitamin and nutrient levels have been associated with myriad health risks, including cardiovascular disease, stroke, impaired cognitive function, cancer, eye diseases and weakened bones.

The CDC’s favorable, although limited, review is the most comprehensive biochemical assessment ever of the nation’s nutritional status, drawn from analysis by the Division of Laboratory Sciences of blood and urine samples collected during the 1999 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The last such report was published in 2008. This Second Nutrition Report establishes blood and urine reference levels for 58 biochemical indicators; more than twice as many as before. And the new report includes first-time data for a new indicator of iron deficiency and for 24 healthy and unhealthy fatty acids.

Measurements of nutrient levels in blood and urine are critical, according to the CDC, because they show whether the total nutrients from foods and vitamin supplements are too low, too high or sufficient.

In very brief summary, the positive findings in the Second Nutrition Report include that:….

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Poultry Inspectors Protest Inspection Proposal at USDA

by Helena Bottemiller

Around 100 poultry inspectors gathered outside the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, right under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s window, to protest a proposal to expand an inspection system that shifts federal inspectors away from inspecting for quality defects and allows slaughter lines to speed up.

chicken-protest-350.jpgThe USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is responsible for examining all poultry carcasses for blemishes or visible defects before they are further processed. Under the proposed rule, the agency would transfer much of this quality-assurance task over to the poultry plants so that it can devote more of its employees to evaluating the companies’ pathogen-prevention plans and bacteria-testing programs.

It basically moves the federal inspector further down the line, to right before the chiller, to make sure there’s no fecal material on the birds before they take the plunge into the cooling tank.

FSIS argues that the system, formally known as the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project, or HIMP, will improve food safety and save taxpayer dollars. The consumer group Food & Water Watch, and the inspectors at the rally, take issue with the entire proposal, arguing that it privatizes inspection and puts consumers at risk. A handful of plants have been a part of the HIMP pilot program for 12 years.

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Recalls

Quebec Sausage Recalled Due to Listeria Risk

by News Desk

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is warning the public not to consume certain La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no reported illnesses.

The recalled La Vecchia Fattoria brand Cacciatore Dry Cured Sausages were sold in packages of 2 units each (approximately 300 g), with the UPC 8 81248 33336 1 and a best-before date of 12 23 JL.

The sausages were distributed in Quebec.

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Articles of Interest

Rocky Relief Pitcher Down With Food Poisoning, Club Says

by News Desk

Josh Outman, 28-year-old relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies, is reported by the club to be suffering from food poisoning.

Rockies Manager Jim Tracy did not specify what type of food poisoning is involved, but said if the left-handed pitcher is still not well enough on opening day Friday in Houston, another relief pitcher will be called up.

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Sugar Is Not Poison, But We’re Getting Too Much of It

by Dan Flynn

Sugar is the toxin responsible for most of today’s health problems, a California endocrinologist who conducts research for the American Heart Association, told the television magazine program 60 Minutes Sunday.

poptart-boy-350.jpg
The University of California’s Dr. Robert Lustig said obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension and heart disease can all be blamed on Americans consuming too much sugar.

The 60 Minutes segment, with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta playing the part of the on-air reporter, said new research is “starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is toxic and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.”

An ongoing, five-year research project at the University of California – Davis, by nutritional biologist Kimber Stanhope, also got mention because it appears to be showing that high fructose corn syrup intake is linked to heart disease and stroke. Midway through, the research also suggests calories from added sugars differ from other calories.

Gupta said the belief that a calorie is a calorie is a “mantra” of nutritionists. He also said the scientists involved in the research are personally eliminating all added sugar from their diets. Added sugars are sweeteners added to processed and prepared foods and beverages.

Examples of added sugars include white sugar, brown sugar, raw sugar, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, high fructose corn syrup, malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, honey, molasses, anhydrous dextrose, crystal dextrose and dextrin…..

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Is sugar toxic?

Sugar and kids: The toxic truth

Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer.

(CBS News) If you are what you eat, then what does it mean that the average American consumes 130 pounds of sugar a year? Sanjay Gupta reports on new research showing that beyond weight gain, sugar can take a serious toll on your health, worsening conditions ranging from heart disease to cancer. Some physicians go so far as to call sugar a toxin.

The following script is from “Sugar” which aired on April 1, 2012. Dr. Sanjay Gupta is the correspondent. Denise Schrier Cetta and Sumi Aggarwal, producers.

The chances are good that sugar is a bigger part of your daily diet than you may realize which is why our story tonight is so important. New research coming out of some of America’s most respected institutions is starting to find that sugar, the way many people are eating it today, is a toxin and could be a driving force behind some of this country’s leading killers, including heart disease.

As a result of these findings, an anti-sugar campaign has sprung up, led by Dr. Robert Lustig, a California endocrinologist, who believes the consumption of added sugars has plunged America into a public health crisis.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is sugar toxic?

Dr. Robert Lustig: I believe it is.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Do you ever worry that that’s– it just sounds a little bit over the top?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Sure. All the time. But it’s the truth.

Dr. Robert Lustig is a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco and a pioneer in what is becoming a war against sugar.

Motivated by his own patients — too many sick and obese children – Dr. Lustig has concluded that sugar, more than any other substance, is to blame.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: What are all these various diseases that you say are linked to sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease itself.

Lustig says the American lifestyle is killing us.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: And most of it you say is preventable?

Dr. Robert Lustig: Seventy-five percent of it is preventable.

While Dr. Lustig has published a dozen scientific articles on the evils of sugar, it was his lecture on YouTube, called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” that brought his message to the masses.

[YouTube Video: I’m standing here today to recruit you in the war against bad food.]

By “bad food” Dr. Lustig means the obvious things such as table sugar, honey, syrup, sugary drinks and desserts, but also just about every processed food you can imagine, where sugar is often hidden: yogurts and sauces, bread, and even peanut butter. And what about the man-made, often vilified sweetener, high fructose corn syrup?

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Is it worse than just table sugar?

Dr. Robert Lustig: No. ‘Cause it’s the exact same. They are basically equivalent. The problem is they’re both bad. They’re both equally toxic.

Since the 1970s, sugar consumption has gone down nearly 40 percent, but high fructose corn syrup has more than made up the difference. Dr. Lustig says they are both toxic because they both contain fructose — that’s what makes them sweet and irresistible.

Read Full Transcript Here

http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/cbsnews_player_embed.swf