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thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Sets Definition of ‘Gluten-Free’ for Labeling

News: FDA Sets Definition of ‘Gluten-Free’ for Labeling

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: What’s Next for Edible Coatings?

News: What’s Next for Edible Coatings?

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Levels of Mercury Likely to Rise in Some Pacific Ocean Fish

News: Levels of Mercury Likely to Rise in Some Pacific Ocean Fish

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Don’t Wash That Chicken!

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Twitter Entering Food Safety Realm?

News: Twitter Entering Food Safety Realm?

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Number of Cyclosporiasis Cases Still Growing

News: Number of Cyclosporiasis Cases Still Growing

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Structure of Chinese Milk Contaminant Determined

News: Structure of Chinese Milk Contaminant Determined

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Guidance on Preventing <I>Salmonella</I> in Free-Range Chicken

News: FDA Guidance on Preventing Salmonella in Free-Range Chicken

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Meat, Livestock Groups Seek Injunction Against Country-of-Origin Labeling

News: Meat, Livestock Groups Seek Injunction Against Country-of-Origin Labeling

Following up on a lawsuit filed in early July, a group of meat and livestock trade organizations asked a federal court on July 26 to grant an injunction against the implementation of the USDA’s country-of-origin labeling (COOL) regulations...The rule is “arbitrary and capricious, offering little benefit to consumers while fundamentally altering the meat and poultry industry,” according to a statement.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Publishes 2 FSMA Rules; Asks for Extension on 2 More

News: FDA Publishes 2 FSMA Rules; Asks for Extension on 2 More

The foreign supplier verification rule requires that imported foods meet the same safety standards as domestically-produced foods, and put the burden of meeting those standards on the importing companies, which will have to prove their foreign suppliers have adequate controls in place...But some hurdles still stand in the way of full FSMA implementation.

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October/November 2014

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