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Rather than eliminating the 10-year-old Microbiological Data Program, which tests about 15,000 samples of produce such as sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes, and cantaloupe for pathogens annually, the USDA should expand the program, said Alfredo G. Torres, PhD, associate professor in the departments of microbiology and immunology and pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in Texas.
Electron-beam irradiation can inactivate rotavirus and poliovirus on lettuce and spinach, says a new study from researchers at the National Center for Electron Beam Research at Texas A&M University in College Station
Features: FDA User Fees Face Pushback
The Obama administration is asking for an additional $253 million in the FDA’s 2013 budget for the Transforming Food Safety Initiative, which is designed to help the agency implement the Food Safety Modernization Act.
A new standard from the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) sets out up-to-date requirements for food irradiation using ionizing radiation to control pathogens, reduce spoilage, and extend shelf life.
Features: FSMA Regulations Delayed
In January, anyone with an interest in food safety was watching their press releases from the FDA expectantly, figuring that the first in a series of regulations designed to implement the FSMA would be coming out at any moment.
Features: More MRSA Appearing in Meat
Nearly 65% of supermarket pork products labeled “antibiotic-free” contain some form of Staphylococcus aureus, and more than 6% harbor the drug-resistant strain known as MRSA.
With new rules for the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act expected soon, at least two states are signaling their resistance with proposed legislation that would limit the ability of the federal government to enforce food safety laws in those states.
Features: 1,000 Inspectors Slated to Lose Jobs
A proposal by the USDA to phase out about 1,000 government inspection positions at poultry slaughter plants across the U.S. is a sensible move, said poultry experts interviewed by Food Quality.
With $3 billion slashed from its operating budget since 2010, the USDA has announced it will close 259 offices beginning this year—including FSIS sites in Lawrence, Kan., Minneapolis, Minn., and Madison, Wis., along with 15 of the nearly 600 U.S. offices of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Features: Extend Meat Shelf Life with LED Lights
Replacing fluorescent lights with light-emitting diode units in refrigeration units yields the double benefit of energy and cost savings, along with extended shelf life for some meat products, according to new research from Kansas State University.