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Avian influenza viruses continue to pose threats to human and animal health, and vigilance is necessary to prevent their spread through the food chain, officials at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations say in a warning issued last month in advance of the upcoming flu season.
The Institute of Food Technologists officially launched its new Global Food Traceability Center with a press conference on September 11 that featured representatives from four of the main stakeholder groups that will be involved in the center: Government, industry, consumers, and the international sphere. “Our vision is to become the global resource and authoritative voice on food tracing,” says William Fisher, IFT vice president of science and policy initiatives.
The “sell by,” “use by,” and other types of dating on food products are poorly regulated, and the dates are widely misinterpreted by consumers, leading to false confidence in food safety, a new report suggests. More consistent nationwide standards for these dates are needed, as well as clearer, more transparent definitions for the terms used, the report authors indicate.
The author of the first peer-reviewed study on the implications of hydraulic fracturing for the health of farm animals has warned U.K. planners to halt plans to expand fracking in Britain until the food safety implications of the practice can be assessed. Robert Oswald, PhD, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, previously published a report that linked dozens of cases of illness, death, and reproductive problems in livestock to gas drilling...
An FDA analysis has found no short-term health risks from the presence of arsenic in rice and rice products. Comprehensive analysis of potential health risks from long-term exposure is ongoing. Simultaneously, the U.S. rice industry is undertaking its own investigations to better understand whether and how levels of arsenic in rice can be impacted.
According to the CDC, Campylobacter cases in 2012 reached their highest level in more than a decade. The infections, most commonly associated with poultry, rose by 14 percent last year compared with the 2006 to 2008 period. Now, researchers at Ohio State University have added another potential poultry vaccine to the list of candidates aiming to tackle this troublesome pathogen, this one involving nanoparticles.
Some consumers with celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities have objected to the standard, saying they experience reactions at exposure levels lower than 20 parts per million of gluten. However, support organizations for people with gluten intolerances, including the Celiac Disease Foundation and the Gluten Intolerance Group, have supported the FDA’s labeling rule.
The edible-coating market for food products—particularly fresh fruits and vegetables—has grown from a small cottage industry in 1985, when only 10 companies were in the business, to more than 1,000 companies that exceed $100 million in annual sales today. One of the gurus of the edible-coating industry, Attila Pavlath, PhD, said that the next big challenge he is working on is an edible coating that will stave off the unattractive white film that appears on baby carrots after several days.
Mercury levels in fish that feed deep in the North Pacific Ocean are likely to rise in coming decades, a recent study suggests. The mercury found in these fish appears to come from coal-fired power plants in industrializing countries in Asia, highlighting the international dimension of the issue.
News: Don’t Wash That Chicken!
About 90 percent of home cooks believe that they should be washing raw poultry before cooking it to help reduce the risk of foodborne illness, according to scientists at Drexel University in Pennsylvania.As most food safety experts know, washing poultry may actually increase the risk of cross contamination in the kitchen.