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Sept. 12 marked the first training session held at the International Food Safety Training Laboratory at the University of Maryland in College Park, the world’s first and only permanent food safety lab to offer hands-on lab training in detection methods, along with lessons on regulatory standards.
Outbreaks of foodborne illness reported in 2008 declined by about 10% when compared with the annual average for 2003-2007, according to the latest annual report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on surveillance of foodborne disease outbreaks. The average number of outbreaks reported for 2003-2007 was 1,151, compared with 1,034 for 2008.
Features: USDA Bans Six More Strains of E. Coli
Ground beef tainted with any of six additional strains of E. coli. besides the already-banned 0157:H7 will be banned from sale in the U.S., according to a new rule issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on September 13.
Process control drives almost all food safety measures, with the exception of handwashing and hand hygiene. These remain a frontier without meaningful, measureable, and manageable standards.
Features: Eye on China
Glow-in-the-dark pork. Exploding watermelons. These recent oddities from China might seem comical were it not for the country’s abysmal food safety record, which includes deaths and illnesses caused by melamine-laced baby formula, Salmonella-tainted seafood, and clenbuterol-treated pork.
Features: Unusual Lawsuit May Pose Hazards
In the wake of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ban on cantaloupe imports from Guatemala after a Salmonella outbreak earlier this year, Florida-based Del Monte Fresh Produce has filed suit against the FDA in federal court to get the alert lifted.
Features: Kids Get Call to Fight for Food Safety
The next foodborne illness outbreak may be solved or thwarted by a 12-year-old.
If produce is tainted with contaminated soil or water, pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella may be present throughout the tissues of the plant, rendering ineffective traditional sanitation methods that focus on the outside of produce.
Features: Food Safety Funding Progresses
The Senate Appropriations Committee on Sept. 7 approved several appropriations bills for fiscal year 2012, including bills to fund programs overseen by its Agriculture Subcommittee, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).
At least one person has died and more than 110 in 31 states have been sickened as a result of this summer’s outbreak of Salmonellainvolving two distinct but closely related strains.