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Metal cans are often coated with a resin barrier to prevent contact between food and the can. Components from these coatings can migrate into the food affecting its safety and quality. Polyepoxyphenol coatings on the inside of cans based on bisphenol A epoxy resins can release the epoxy monomer bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE) into food. Bisphenol A and its derivatives are considered as endocrine disruptors. Both E.U. and U.S. have set regulations on the limit of BADGE migration into food at 1 mg/Kg.
An audit of the inspection and enforcement activities of the USDA’s FSIS at swine slaughter plants identified multiple deficiencies, according to a recent report released in May. Among the report’s findings: FSIS’s enforcement actions do not deter repeat violations, inspectors do not always follow inspection protocols, and inspectors do not always take enforcement actions against humane handling violations at slaughter plants.
Plant-based compounds such as olive powder may have the power to shut down pathogens like E. coli in food, according to reports from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Research chemist Mendel Friedman, PhD, has been studying olive powder and other plant compounds (such as apple, onion, and garlic) for many years. In a recent study, Dr. Friedman and colleagues loaded up ground beef patties with E. coli O157:H7, and then mixed in either olive powder or one of the other plant compounds before...
A complaint against Brothers International Food Corp., brought by a former employee, alleges that the company fired the plaintiff in retaliation for raising safety and health concerns about its products. The June 6 complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, is the first to be filed in a federal court under the employee protection provisions of the FSMA, according to a public interest advocacy organization.
The use of sharp needles or blades to tenderize meat by breaking up muscle fiber can push pathogens on the meat’s surface deep into the interior, where they are less likely to be reached and eradicated by cooking or surface cleaning. It’s fairly common practice; the USDA estimates that 37 percent of meat processors use at least some mechanical tenderization.
An outbreak of hepatitis A that has sickened 87 people in eight U.S. states prompted the recall of an organic frozen berry mix, according to federal agencies. Townsend Farms Inc., of Fairview, Ore., on June 4 announced a voluntary recall on the product, which was sold at Costco and Harris Teeter stores, “out of an abundance of caution.”
The elusive foodborne pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium has developed a unique self-protective mechanism that responds to changes in the environment during its infective period, which may protect it from harm, according to new research from scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Wash.
A look back at some important events in food safety and a glimpse forward at what the next 20 years might hold
The accuracy of food microbiology laboratory testing for common pathogens “remains problematic,” according to a review of proficiency test results over a period of 14 years. The average percentage of false negative results in the review of almost 40,000 results was more than 5 percent for several common pathogens, researchers reported at the American Society for Microbiology meeting, May 18-21, in Denver.
Features: Seed, The Ultimate Weapon
Over the past 30 years, the seed industry has experienced considerable consolidation. Now, according to The Farmer to Farmer Campaign on a Genetic Engineering, only 10 U.S. companies account for over two-thirds of the world’s seed for major crops, including corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton. The top four biotechnology or biotech companies in the industry alone account for approximately 43 percent of the global seed market, which notably includes both genetically modified (GM or GMOs) and...