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The FDA has at last released iRISK, a free, online risk assessment tool for chemical and biological hazards to food safety. Under development for nearly 10 years, in partnership with Risk Sciences International of Ottawa, Canada, the tool’s design is based on input from an expert panel of the Institute of Food Technologists.
New legislation designed to improve protections for whistleblowers employed by the federal government, including food safety inspectors, was passed by the U.S. Senate on November 13 and now awaits President Obama’s signature.
While most voters were following the presidential and U.S. Senate races on November 6, those interested in food safety were keeping a close eye on a ballot measure in California. Proposition 37, an initiative that would have mandated the labeling of most foods containing genetically modified ingredients, was soundly defeated, with 53% of initial votes rejecting the measure.
A consumer group that supported the passage of FSMA is calling on the Obama Administration to more broadly implement the act after finding that food safety remains a problem in the nation.
Following the recent massive beef recall in Canada, the Conference Board of Canada has issued a new report calling on all companies in the country’s supply chain to improve product traceability.
If you’re violently ill after eating a restaurant hamburger on a Friday night, you might not remember to call a consumer complaint hotline when it reopens the following Monday. As of September 27, you don’t have to: The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service now has an online consumer complaint form to take reports 24/7 about problems with meat, poultry, and egg products.
A mapping tool developed by government scientists to aid adversarial risk assessment—predicting areas of the food chain where malicious contamination resulting from sabotage might occur—could also assist public health officials and industry in pinpointing the sources of contamination when an accidental outbreak of foodborne illness occurs.
Features: Industry Observers Predict Delays in FSMA Implementation Likely in Current Political and Economic Climate
Cost is a key impediment to widespread compliance with of the Food Safety and Modernization Act of 2010, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg recently said, according to Reuters. Hamburg predicted that the regulations will be released “very soon” but added that the agency would need industry cooperation to fully adopt all provisions of the law.
Features: Massive Canadian Beef Recall Puts Pressure on CFIA and Raises Questions on Timing of Plant Closing
The massive recall of E. coli-contaminated beef from Canadian processor XL Foods in Alberta now encompasses more than 1,700 beef products and is considered the largest in the country’s history.
As more and more antibiotic-resistant pathogens appear in livestock, it seems logical that eliminating antibiotics from animal feed might reduce the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.