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The organic food industry is experiencing growing pains as it attempts to gain market share and assume a more prominent place among U.S. foodgrowers, processors, and consumers.
The use of HACCP systems to guarantee the production of safe food products for consumers has become very popular over the past few decades. The HACCP technique is a logical, straightforward control system based on the prevention of problems; in other words, the HACCP program uses common sense to manage food safety.
Within the next few days or the next few months—depending on whether or not industry challenges to implementation of the rule are successful—U.S. beef producers will be required to test their meats not only for the well-known pathogenic strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7, but also for six other strains of the bacteria known to cause illness in humans.
The most notable factors that will influence the health of the food industry in 2012 include food demand, outbreaks, recalls, regulation, and safety.
Features: FSMA Regulations Delayed
In January, anyone with an interest in food safety was watching their press releases from the FDA expectantly, figuring that the first in a series of regulations designed to implement the FSMA would be coming out at any moment.
Features: More MRSA Appearing in Meat
Nearly 65% of supermarket pork products labeled “antibiotic-free” contain some form of Staphylococcus aureus, and more than 6% harbor the drug-resistant strain known as MRSA.
With new rules for the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act expected soon, at least two states are signaling their resistance with proposed legislation that would limit the ability of the federal government to enforce food safety laws in those states.
Features: 1,000 Inspectors Slated to Lose Jobs
A proposal by the USDA to phase out about 1,000 government inspection positions at poultry slaughter plants across the U.S. is a sensible move, said poultry experts interviewed by Food Quality.
With $3 billion slashed from its operating budget since 2010, the USDA has announced it will close 259 offices beginning this year—including FSIS sites in Lawrence, Kan., Minneapolis, Minn., and Madison, Wis., along with 15 of the nearly 600 U.S. offices of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Features: Extend Meat Shelf Life with LED Lights
Replacing fluorescent lights with light-emitting diode units in refrigeration units yields the double benefit of energy and cost savings, along with extended shelf life for some meat products, according to new research from Kansas State University.