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Farm practices meant to improve food safety should rely on science-based management approaches in order to conserve biodiversity in surrounding areas, a recent study suggests. Pressure from produce buyers to adopt additional precautions not mandated by government or industry may damage local ecosystems without clear increases in food safety, the study’s authors say.
Electron-beam pasteurization could reduce the risk of infection with viral pathogens from raw shellfish by 26 percent to 91 percent, depending on the pathogen, according to new research from scientists at Texas A&M University.
Since Irish food inspectors detected horse meat in beef burgers at the end of last year, similar incidents have occurred in 13 European countries. Retailers have removed beef products from their shelves as concern over the contamination and the origin of the horse meat has escalated.
The Chinese government has arrested 904 people in a crackdown on food safety violators, according to news reports. Those arrested include 63 people involved in an operation that bought rat, mink, fox, and other meat that had not been tested for quality and safety, added gelatin, nitrates and pigment, and sold it as lamb, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported.
Pulling back from an April 25 report that as many as 2,100 food inspections—or approximately 18% of the total conducted by the agency—would be eliminated this year as a result of the government sequester, FDA officials announced on May 5 that it would reconfigure its budget to avoid reducing inspections.
A recall encompassing 10.5 million pounds of frozen food products includes some items that may have been served in schools, according to the manufacturer of the recalled products. Rich Products Corp., of Buffalo, N.Y., recalled all products produced at its Waycross, Ga., plant with “best by” dates of January 1, 2013 through September 29, 2014 due to possible contamination with Escherichia coli 0121 bacteria
More than half the samples of ground beef, ground turkey, and pork chops tested by a national health surveillance program contained one or more bacteria resistant to at least one antibiotic, according to an analysis of the test results. The analysis, released April 15 by a nonprofit group, has raised alarms about these findings, but a FDA spokeswoman says the analysis “oversimplifies” the surveillance results.
Online Exclusives: FSMA and the Peanut Butter Industry
One of the largest recalls in the U.S. involved a supplier’s peanut products that were contaminated and distributed to more than 200 companies. This resulted in the recall of more than 3,900 products containing peanuts, tarnishing the images of many popular brands. The industry lost an estimated $1 billion and eventually forced the supplier to shut down operations...The introduction of FSMA brought greater insight into how peanut butter was being produced to ensure product safety.
The proposed budget for the FDA would total $4.65 billion for fiscal year 2014, which begins Oct. 1, 2013. The budget seeks a 21.4 percent increase of $821 million over the baseline fiscal year 2012 enacted budget, and an 11.2 percent increase of $470 million over the fiscal year 2013 (continuing resolution) budget. However, virtually all of these increases (about 94 percent) would come from user fees from the food, drug, and cosmetics industries as opposed to federal appropriations.
A nano-biosensor capable of detecting Listeria monocytogenes in food has been developed by researchers in Maine. The assay detected L. monocytogenes artificially inoculated on wild blueberries with specificity over other pathogens, the researchers reported.