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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.
Your next tweet could help track a Salmonella outbreak to a restaurant source if a new computer program from researchers at the University of Rochester enters common use. The system, called nEmesis, combines machine-learning and crowdsourcing techniques to analyze millions of tweets to find those from restaurant patrons discussing foodborne illness after eating at a particular location.
Cases of the illnesses caused by the single-celled Cyclospora parasite have been reported in 22 states to date, but the FDA and CDC say that it is not yet clear whether all cases are part of the same outbreak. A source has been confirmed for cases in only two states, Iowa and Nebraska. In those states, a traceback investigation linked the infections to a salad mix supplied to Olive Garden and Red Lobster restaurants by a Mexican supplier.
The crystal structure of melamine cyanurate, the chemical thought to be the culprit in the 2008 contamination of milk that sickened some 300,000 Chinese infants, has been described by scientists in the U.K. The publication, which corrects a previous report on the crystal structure, may allow the design of better tests to detect melamine in food products.
In late July, the FDA issued guidance for Salmonella prevention measures involving eggs from free-range hens, the last of three groups to come under 2009’s Egg Safety Rule. According to the guidance, which is still in a comment period, producers who keep outdoor-access chickens (including those certified as organic by the FDA) are required to take steps to keep wild birds, cats, rodents, and other animals that can be vectors for disease, out of the indoor sections and porches of poultry houses.