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With food contamination on the rise, even food companies that maintain strict quality control mechanisms and perform extensive due diligence on their suppliers may face the prospect of a recall or product liability claims...even problems experienced by small ingredient manufacturers can lead to, and recently have resulted in, widespread recalls causing millions of dollars in recall costs and potential tort liability for numerous other food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers.
The Chinese government has arrested 904 people in a crackdown on food safety violators, according to news reports. Those arrested include 63 people involved in an operation that bought rat, mink, fox, and other meat that had not been tested for quality and safety, added gelatin, nitrates and pigment, and sold it as lamb, the Associated Press and other news outlets reported.
Pulling back from an April 25 report that as many as 2,100 food inspections—or approximately 18% of the total conducted by the agency—would be eliminated this year as a result of the government sequester, FDA officials announced on May 5 that it would reconfigure its budget to avoid reducing inspections.
A recall encompassing 10.5 million pounds of frozen food products includes some items that may have been served in schools, according to the manufacturer of the recalled products. Rich Products Corp., of Buffalo, N.Y., recalled all products produced at its Waycross, Ga., plant with “best by” dates of January 1, 2013 through September 29, 2014 due to possible contamination with Escherichia coli 0121 bacteria
More than half the samples of ground beef, ground turkey, and pork chops tested by a national health surveillance program contained one or more bacteria resistant to at least one antibiotic, according to an analysis of the test results. The analysis, released April 15 by a nonprofit group, has raised alarms about these findings, but a FDA spokeswoman says the analysis “oversimplifies” the surveillance results.
Online Exclusives: FSMA and the Peanut Butter Industry
One of the largest recalls in the U.S. involved a supplier’s peanut products that were contaminated and distributed to more than 200 companies. This resulted in the recall of more than 3,900 products containing peanuts, tarnishing the images of many popular brands. The industry lost an estimated $1 billion and eventually forced the supplier to shut down operations...The introduction of FSMA brought greater insight into how peanut butter was being produced to ensure product safety.
The proposed budget for the FDA would total $4.65 billion for fiscal year 2014, which begins Oct. 1, 2013. The budget seeks a 21.4 percent increase of $821 million over the baseline fiscal year 2012 enacted budget, and an 11.2 percent increase of $470 million over the fiscal year 2013 (continuing resolution) budget. However, virtually all of these increases (about 94 percent) would come from user fees from the food, drug, and cosmetics industries as opposed to federal appropriations.
A nano-biosensor capable of detecting Listeria monocytogenes in food has been developed by researchers in Maine. The assay detected L. monocytogenes artificially inoculated on wild blueberries with specificity over other pathogens, the researchers reported.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law two years ago, however most food and beverage regulations were just released this past January. A new study by iRely has found that while the guidelines have been pending for some time, many process manufacturers are still either uncertain or unaware of how the new regulations will affect their production processes.
A single-point mutation newly identified in the genome of Listeria monocytogenes increases the pathogen’s ability to withstand temperature-related and osmotic stress, researchers in Ireland reported. The same group also described a previously unidentified twisting of L. monocytogenes cells into a corkscrew shape in response to increased stresses.