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News: Street Food, Safe Food?
With more food trucks popping up all around the nation, the question of whether or not their food is safe to eat has become more important. A study researched over 260,000 food and safety inspection reports in seven cities and found that in all cities, food trucks and carts did just as well as, or better than, restaurants.
Revised provisions to four proposed rules in the FDA’s FSMA surprised few industry experts, but they say the changes clarify the original rules, first proposed in 2013, and could give them more teeth. The four revised rules cover preventative controls of human food, produce safety, preventive controls for animal food, and foreign supplier verification programs.
Electronic “tongues” or e-tongues have been the focus of research for several years, with applications for sampling wine, screening for bacteria and contamination in production, distinguishing between different varieties of beer, or evaluating milk and dairy products. The National Science Foundation recently awarded a grant to University of Massachusetts Lowell for continued development of an e-tongue to test water and beverages for lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic, as well as heavy metals.
A few weeks ago, the USP pre-released the “Guidance on Food Fraud Mitigation” document that offers a framework for the food industry and regulators to develop and implement preventive management systems to deal specifically with economically-motivated fraudulent adulteration of food ingredients.
Two different lawsuits have been filed by groups that include the Center for Food Safety and the Humane Society of the United States against the U.S. FDA for approving several controversial drugs used in food production without fully examining how they affect people, animals, and the environment. The products targeted in the lawsuits are based on ractopamine, which is fed to farm animals to cause rapid weight gain.
The U.S. should require meat and poultry slaughter facilities to collect better information on the status of animals and flocks, and regularly monitor data on plant performance, says “Meat and Poultry Inspection 2.0,” a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts and the CSPI that compares U.S. meat and poultry inspection practices with those in five other countries that recently made changes to their meat and inspection programs.
On October 20, the World Trade Organization released its compliance panel report regarding the revised U.S. Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rule. The results from the report found COOL to indeed be in violation of global trade rules that require imports to be treated no less favorably than domestic products.
The U.S. FDA uses class I drug recalls to remove dietary supplements adulterated with pharmaceutical ingredients that can cause potential health risks. However, researchers recently analyzed 27 recalled dietary supplements and found that one or more pharmaceutical adulterants was identified in approximately 66 percent of these products that were still available for purchase at least six months after initial recall.
For centuries, silver has offered an alternative use as an antimicrobial—an agent that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms. Specifically, Silver Dihydrogen Citrate (SDC) has the capability to usher in a new era of effectiveness in killing germs on hard surfaces and opening a range of opportunities for which silver and SDC-based products can be used.
Could that omnipresent tool of high school chemistry labs—litmus paper, which indicates if a liquid solution is acidic or basic—be harnessed as perhaps the simplest assay yet for foodborne pathogens? Researchers were able to correlate levels of E. coli bacteria with pH values represented by the changing color of the litmus paper.