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thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Could Olive Powder Kill <I>E. Coli</I>?

News: Could Olive Powder Kill E. Coli?

Plant-based compounds such as olive powder may have the power to shut down pathogens like E. coli in food, according to reports from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Research chemist Mendel Friedman, PhD, has been studying olive powder and other plant compounds (such as apple, onion, and garlic) for many years. In a recent study, Dr. Friedman and colleagues loaded up ground beef patties with E. coli O157:H7, and then mixed in either olive powder or one of the other plant compounds before...

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Whistleblower Case Filed in Federal Court under FSMA

News: Whistleblower Case Filed in Federal Court under FSMA

A complaint against Brothers International Food Corp., brought by a former employee, alleges that the company fired the plaintiff in retaliation for raising safety and health concerns about its products. The June 6 complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, is the first to be filed in a federal court under the employee protection provisions of the FSMA, according to a public interest advocacy organization.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: USDA: Label Mechanically Tenderized Meat

News: USDA: Label Mechanically Tenderized Meat

The use of sharp needles or blades to tenderize meat by breaking up muscle fiber can push pathogens on the meat’s surface deep into the interior, where they are less likely to be reached and eradicated by cooking or surface cleaning. It’s fairly common practice; the USDA estimates that 37 percent of meat processors use at least some mechanical tenderization.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Frozen Berries Recalled after Hepatitis A Outbreak

News: Frozen Berries Recalled after Hepatitis A Outbreak

An outbreak of hepatitis A that has sickened 87 people in eight U.S. states prompted the recall of an organic frozen berry mix, according to federal agencies. Townsend Farms Inc., of Fairview, Ore., on June 4 announced a voluntary recall on the product, which was sold at Costco and Harris Teeter stores, “out of an abundance of caution.”

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Salmonella’s Protection Switch

News: Salmonella’s Protection Switch

The elusive foodborne pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium has developed a unique self-protective mechanism that responds to changes in the environment during its infective period, which may protect it from harm, according to new research from scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: False Negatives for Common Pathogens Frequent in Food Laboratory Assessment

News: False Negatives for Common Pathogens Frequent in Food Laboratory Assessment

The accuracy of food microbiology laboratory testing for common pathogens “remains problematic,” according to a review of proficiency test results over a period of 14 years. The average percentage of false negative results in the review of almost 40,000 results was more than 5 percent for several common pathogens, researchers reported at the American Society for Microbiology meeting, May 18-21, in Denver.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Seed, The Ultimate Weapon

Features: Seed, The Ultimate Weapon

Over the past 30 years, the seed industry has experienced considerable consolidation. Now, according to The Farmer to Farmer Campaign on a Genetic Engineering, only 10 U.S. companies account for over two-thirds of the world’s seed for major crops, including corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton. The top four biotechnology or biotech companies in the industry alone account for approximately 43 percent of the global seed market, which notably includes both genetically modified (GM or GMOs) and...

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Inorganic Arsenic Detected in Cooked Chicken

Features: Inorganic Arsenic Detected in Cooked Chicken

Use of arsenic-based drugs in poultry production increased the level of inorganic arsenic in chicken meat, posing a potential increase in the lifetime risk of bladder and lung cancer in consumers, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Keeping Deli Food Listeria-Free: New USDA/FDA Report

Features: Keeping Deli Food Listeria-Free: New USDA/FDA Report

Nearly one in every 10 cases of listeriosis caused by retail deli products could be prevented if all refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods were stored at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below, as the FDA Food Code recommends.That’s one of several key findings from a major new study on food safety in retail delis issued by the FDA and the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Anti-Bacterial Technology for Stainless Steel

Features: Anti-Bacterial Technology for Stainless Steel

Given that visual inspection remains the first line of defence in many food preparation facilities and serveries, it is not surprising that there has been intense interest in developing a way of conferring inherently bactericidal properties on stainless steel surfaces and utensils—making them in effect “self-disinfecting.”

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August/September 2014

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