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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In response to concerns over the effectiveness of current control measures to reduce or prevent illness from consumption of spices in the U.S., the FDA released its report "Draft Risk Profile: Pathogens and Filth in Spices" on October 30th. What followed was a string of media coverage alerting the public that their spices can contain anything from whole insects to rodent feces.
The preventive controls in the proposed regulations would apply to domestic and imported animal food, including pet food, animal feed, and raw materials and ingredients. The CGMPs, while similar to the proposed human food CGMPs, are not identical; they do not address certain practices that do not pertain to animal food, such as allergen cross-contact, according to the FDA.
The guide was developed jointly by GS1 US, the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association, and the International Dairy Foods Association. It applies to all types of dairy, deli and bakery products, and includes detailed instructions on product identification, use of batch/lots numbers, barcodes, and other traceability standards. A step-by-step recall guide is also included.
Samples of human breast milk purchased through Internet milk-sharing sites were frequently contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and exhibited high overall bacterial growth, a recent study found. Consumption of milk obtained from these largely unregulated websites can introduce risks for infants, especially those born preterm or with immunecompromised status, the lead researcher says.