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thumbnail image: thumbnail for: China Compensates Food Safety Whistleblowers

Features: China Compensates Food Safety Whistleblowers

In the U.S., the Food Safety Modernization Act includes specific protections for whistleblowers who report food safety violations, but China has taken that one step further. On January 15, China’s State Food and Drug Administration announced that individuals who report food and drug safety violations could receive a reward ranging from 1% to 6% of the value of the products involved—up to 300,000 yuan (about $50,000).

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Using Microsphere Technology to Speed Pathogen Screening

Features: Using Microsphere Technology to Speed Pathogen Screening

Australian researchers are fine-tuning a new, more efficient genotyping platform for pathogen screening, leveraging microsphere bead technology to carry out multiplexed PCR assays to simultaneously test multiple gene variants without the need for unique internal probes customized for each target.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Produce Safety Rule Leaves Lingering Questions

Features: Produce Safety Rule Leaves Lingering Questions

Introduced nearly a year after it was first due, a new FSMA safety proposal regulating produce has already led to perhaps as many questions as answers.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Novel Disc-Based Assay Reliably Detects <em>E. Coli</em> in Ground Beef

Features: Novel Disc-Based Assay Reliably Detects E. Coli in Ground Beef

A new disc-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay called GeneDisc reliably and reproducibly detects E. coli serotypes in ground beef, according to new research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that was published in the December issue of Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Finally Releases Proposed FSMA Rules

Features: FDA Finally Releases Proposed FSMA Rules

Nearly a year after they were originally anticipated, two of the rules needed for full implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act have finally been released by the FDA: the produce safety and preventive controls — considered by many to be the most important of the five awaiting release.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Operations Resume at Peanut Plant Linked to <em>Salmonella</em> Outbreak

Features: Operations Resume at Peanut Plant Linked to Salmonella Outbreak

Sunland Inc., the New Mexico company whose peanut butter was linked to a 20-state Salmonella outbreak last fall, has resumed operations after a federal judge signed a consent agreement dictating conditions under which the company will be allowed to process or distribute its products.

Features: OMB Confirms Food Safety as Key Priority in Obama Administration’s New Term

With Election 2012 in the rearview mirror, can everyone in the food supply chain—breeders and growers, processors and sellers, regulators and consumers—finally expect to see the long-awaited regulations needed to enforce the Food Safety Modernization Act?

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Sequencing the Watermelon Genome Reveals Flaw in Breeding

Features: Sequencing the Watermelon Genome Reveals Flaw in Breeding

Today’s juicy, sweet, giant watermelons were bred at a cost: They lost much of their disease resistance. That’s one key insight revealed by an international consortium of more than 60 scientists who recently published the genomic sequence of watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

Features: Congress Passes Food Safety Whistleblower Protections

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Releases Free Online Risk Assessment Tool

Features: FDA Releases Free Online Risk Assessment Tool

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.

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June/July 2014

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