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Columns: Send a Strong Message

Last week a colleague forwarded an eNewsletter to me that jogged my memory. I just can’t believe it’s true. During a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions food safety hearing on October 22, Freshman Senator Al Franken asked Margaret Hamburg, MD, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) commissioner, about the status of the criminal prosecution of Peanut Corporation of America (PCA).

News: Contaminated Chicken Linked to Urinary Tract Infections

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have found new evidence that eating Escherichia coli-contaminated chicken can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs).

News: Canadian Food Safety Fragmented, Researcher Says

Although the Canadian food safety program is ailing, the government can fix its problems with substantial effort and investment, according to one researcher.

Features: ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Toxicological Safety of Irradiated Foods

This article is excerpted from a chapter in “Food Irradiation Research and Technology,” which was edited by Christopher H. Sommers, PhD, and Xuetong Fan, PhD. The book was published in 2006 by Wiley-Blackwell, which also publishes Food Quality magazine.

News: ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Raw Poultry Prime Suspect in L. monocytogenes Outbreaks

Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service and the University of Georgia have identified the primary source of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in commercial chicken cooking plants: incoming raw poultry.

Departments: Intelligent Safety Design Improves Productivity

Ask any food production line manager about the importance of safety, and he will likely tell you about the critical role it plays in protecting personnel, reducing injuries, and meeting compliance demands. These are all valid objectives, but food processors, packaging companies, and machine builders are missing opportunities to respond to the challenges of global consolidation and changing consumer preferences if they only focus on avoiding negative consequences. Instead, they should view safety as a...

Columns: A Realistic Approach to Food Safety Regulation

The United States is often said to have a two-pronged food safety regulatory system, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) responsible for inspecting meat, poultry, and eggs, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the other fresh and processed foods that make up 80% of the food supply. This system leads to frequently cited inspection gaps and overlaps that critics say contribute to food safety problems: The FDA oversees fresh eggs, but the USDA inspects processed egg products;...

Departments: Detect Melamine With ELISA Assays

With common industrial uses, melamine is frequently mixed with formaldehyde to produce melamine-formaldehyde resin, a type of plastic known for its flame retardant properties. Used in the manufacture of countertops, dry-erase boards, laminates, glues, adhesives, paper and textiles, melamine has more recently been identified in some food products. Investigations have identified raw materials suppliers who have been illegally adding this nitrogen-rich chemical to food sources in order to increase its...

Departments: Leverage the Power of Information

The proliferation of new information technologies has brought numerous benefits to the food processing industry, including improvements in overall productivity and efficiency. At the same time, the industry continues to experience major lapses in safety and quality, magnified in recent months by several highly publicized product recalls.

Departments: LIMS in Food Safety Traceability Efforts

Globalization of the food supply chain is a driving factor behind the increasing number of food safety incidents. Producers and importers must perform precise, real-time product safety testing at all stages of production, processing, and distribution to ensure quality and compliance with food safety legislation. Each step in the food chain has its own challenges. Laboratory information management systems (LIMS) play a critical role in the workflow of food producers, ensuring that test data from all parts...

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December/January 2015

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