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thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Curbing Antibiotic Use in Food Animals

News: Curbing Antibiotic Use in Food Animals

A guidance document issued by the FDA in December aims to phase out the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs for food production purposes. The document asks companies that make animal pharmaceuticals to voluntarily revise the labels of these products to remove production uses—such as enhancing animal growth or improving feed efficiency—and restrict these antimicrobials to therapeutic uses under veterinary oversight.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FSIS Gives Canadian Meat Inspection System Barely Passing Grade

News: FSIS Gives Canadian Meat Inspection System Barely Passing Grade

An audit from the USDA’s FSIS has given the Canadian Food Inspection Agency a grade of “adequate” in the wake of a review of its meat inspection system. That’s the lowest acceptable rating it could receive and still be permitted to import food to the U.S. The audit report, issued in December, was based on tours of seven processing facilities, two labs, and five CFIA offices conducted in October and November of 2012.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: New Tools to Help Detect Melamine in Skim Milk Powder

News: New Tools to Help Detect Melamine in Skim Milk Powder

A newly proposed standard and associated supportive reference materials for authentication of skim milk powder were posted December 31 by the USP for public review and comment. Development of the proposed tools, aimed at preventing economic adulteration of skim milk powder with melamine and other nitrogen-rich materials, was prompted by the reports of melamine contamination of milk products in China, according to a USP official.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Biocides in Food Industry May Strengthen Pathogens’ Resistance

News: Biocides in Food Industry May Strengthen Pathogens’ Resistance

Biocides used at sub-lethal doses in the food industry, with the goal of enhancing hygiene and food safety, may be having precisely the opposite effect—instead increasing pathogens’ resistance to antibiotics and promoting their ability to form biofilms (a major virulence factor for human infections), according to new research from Spanish scientists.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: New Approaches Needed in Reducing <I>Salmonella</I>-Related Illnesses

News: New Approaches Needed in Reducing Salmonella-Related Illnesses

Current federal performance standards for Salmonella contamination in chicken “do not adequately protect public health” and should be improved, a report released last month by the Pew Charitable Trusts asserts. The document suggests changes that could improve the control of Salmonella contamination in chicken and strengthen federal regulators’ responses to outbreaks.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Reviews Mixed on FDA’s Proposed Food Defense Rule

News: Reviews Mixed on FDA’s Proposed Food Defense Rule

The FDA’s release in December of a proposed rule that would require the nation’s largest food businesses to take steps to prevent intentional food adulteration met with little surprise, though some in the food industry feel the guideline is both too specific and too broad.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FSIS Releases Strategy to Reduce <I>Salmonella</I>

News: FSIS Releases Strategy to Reduce Salmonella

The USDA’s FSIS recently released its "Salmonella Action Plan" that outlines the steps it will take to address what it calls the most pressing problem it faces: Salmonella in meat and poultry products. In fact, FSIS’ efforts started back a few years ago when it made reducing incidence of Salmonella the priority goal of its 2011-2016 Strategic Plan.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Global Food Contract Testing Lab Revenues Exceed $3 Billion in 2013

News: Global Food Contract Testing Lab Revenues Exceed $3 Billion in 2013

Food companies around the world are sending an increased amount of quality and safety testing to third-party contract testing laboratories, according to a new report from Strategic Consulting, Inc., a provider of market research to food safety diagnostics companies. Total revenues for food contract test labs are estimated to reach $3.05 billion in 2013, up from $1.95 billion just five years ago, at a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent worldwide.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: New Prevention Tools to Improve Food Safety in Restaurants

News: New Prevention Tools to Improve Food Safety in Restaurants

Increased awareness and implementation of proper food safety in restaurants and delis may help prevent many of the foodborne illness outbreaks reported each year in the U.S., according to data from the CDC. Researchers identified gaps in the education of restaurant workers as well as public health surveillance, two critical tools necessary in preventing a common and costly public health problem. 

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Consumer Organizations Against Proposed USDA Poultry Rule

News: Consumer Organizations Against Proposed USDA Poultry Rule

Last year, the USDA FSIS proposed a new regulation that would allow poultry processing plants to increase line speeds from 32 turkeys per minute to 55 turkeys per minute. Although the rule was designed to improve food safety by automating some aspects of the inspection process, consumer organizations feel the proposed changes do not account for the expected adverse impacts that a faster line speed will have on worker health and safety.

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