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News: FDA Spares Food Inspections from Sequester Chopping Block

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Expanded Recall Includes Food Products Distributed to Schools

News: Expanded Recall Includes Food Products Distributed to Schools

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

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: High Levels of Resistant Organisms Found in Meat

News: High Levels of Resistant Organisms Found in Meat

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Requests Budget Increase to Ensure Safety of Food Supply

News: FDA Requests Budget Increase to Ensure Safety of Food Supply

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.  

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Nanotech-Based Biosensor Can Detect Listeria in Food

News: Nanotech-Based Biosensor Can Detect Listeria in Food

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.

News: Food Quality Award Winner Selected

Hans Kissle, a manufacturer of prepared foods, salads, and desserts, has been named the winner of the 11th annual Food Quality Award. This annual award, which recognizes companies for exceptional contributions to food safety and customer satisfaction with a positive impact on business results, will be presented April 18 at a special reception sponsored by DuPont Qualicon during the Food Safety Summit Expo and Conference at the Washington, D.C., Convention Center.

News: FDA Cautious in Rolling Out Food Safety Moderization Act Provisions

The proposed rules for fresh produce and preventive controls, which reportedly number in the hundreds of pages, have been held up under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. They were expected during the first quarter of 2012 but, as of this issue of Food Quality, had not yet been released.

News: The Cantaloupe Crisis: What’s Next?

In September, when Steve Patricio learned of the Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes from a farm in Colorado—an outbreak that killed 29 people as of Nov. 9, sickened dozens, and caused one miscarriage—his mind immediately raced back two decades to a similar outbreak.

News: Hold It There

Under FSMA, the FDA has increased authority to use administrative detention as an enforcement tool. For this reason, companies that manufacture, prepare, pack, or hold food should maintain strong record-keeping practices.

News: LIMS Benefits Beverage Sector

For a long time, the food and beverage industry has relied on manual processes and a paper-based system. The introduction of FSMA has introduced the need for greater scrutiny of data, however. Regulation and legislation are pressing companies to use a secure electronic data environment, increasing the need for laboratory information management systems. Many food and beverage companies are wary of this change due to potentially high costs; however, the cost of an electronic management system can generally...

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