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News: FDA Spares Food Inspections from Sequester Chopping Block

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Expanded Recall Includes Food Products Distributed to Schools

News: Expanded Recall Includes Food Products Distributed to Schools

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

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: High Levels of Resistant Organisms Found in Meat

News: High Levels of Resistant Organisms Found in Meat

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FSMA and the Peanut Butter Industry

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Requests Budget Increase to Ensure Safety of Food Supply

News: FDA Requests Budget Increase to Ensure Safety of Food Supply

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.  

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Nanotech-Based Biosensor Can Detect Listeria in Food

News: Nanotech-Based Biosensor Can Detect Listeria in Food

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Food & Beverage Manufactures Still Unsure Regarding FSMA Guidelines

Features: Food & Beverage Manufactures Still Unsure Regarding FSMA Guidelines

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Mutation That Increases Listeria Survival Identified

Features: Mutation That Increases Listeria Survival Identified

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.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: Pest Threats: Keeping the Enemy Out

Features: Pest Threats: Keeping the Enemy Out

If facility managers are going to be successful in their battle against pests, not only do they need to be aware of proper prevention and detection techniques, but most importantly, they must know their enemy. Here are the most common pests found in and around food processing plants.

thumbnail image: thumbnail for: FDA Releases Report on Traceability Pilots

Features: FDA Releases Report on Traceability Pilots

On March 4, the FDA released its report on two product traceability pilot projects launched in 2011 as part of the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The two pilots, carried out by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), focused on foods recently linked to foodborne illness outbreaks—tomatoes in one pilot and chicken, peanuts, and spices in processed foods in the other. The goal: To identify potential methods of improving product tracing of foods in the supply chain and of...

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December/January 2015

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