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Employees at retail food facilities in California are prohibited from coming in direct contact with exposed, ready-to-eat food, due to a January 1 update to the California Retail Food Code (CalCode). Previously, restaurant workers were directed by the CalCode to “minimize” bare hand and arm contact with ready-to-eat food. Restaurants will have until July 1 to comply with the change to allow local health authorities time to get up to speed for enforcement.
The outbreak of norovirus that sickened nearly 700 people—630 passengers and 54 crew members—on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas cruise ship in January was caused by a newer strain of the virus known as the Sydney strain, the CDC reported. The strain first emerged in 2012 in Sydney, Australia.
Treating peanuts with heat and pressure might help reduce allergic reactions to proteins in this popular legume, recent research suggests. Autoclaving peanuts for 30 minutes resulted in a significant decrease in the capacity of peanut allergens to bind to immunoglobulin-E (IgE), an international team of researchers reported.
"This proposed rule will help reduce the likelihood of conditions during transportation that can lead to human or animal illness or injury," said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA's deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. "We are now one step closer to fully implementing the comprehensive regulatory framework for prevention that will strengthen the FDA's inspection and compliance tools, modernize oversight of the nation's food safety system, and prevent foodborne illnesses before...
Since the first identification of the PEDV in the U.S last spring, the disease has posed significant challenges to the nation’s swine industry. PEDV is not a zoonotic disease and does not affect food safety, according to the USDA. However, infection with this highly transmissible virus can cause tremendous financial losses to pork producers, the National Pork Board says.
A new test developed by scientists in China claims to be the first comprehensive method available to detect genetic modifications in food. The test, called MACRO, is a combined microchip-PCR and microarray system that the investigators say can monitor 91 DNA targets in a single test.
A guidance document issued by the FDA in December aims to phase out the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs for food production purposes. The document asks companies that make animal pharmaceuticals to voluntarily revise the labels of these products to remove production uses—such as enhancing animal growth or improving feed efficiency—and restrict these antimicrobials to therapeutic uses under veterinary oversight.
An audit from the USDA’s FSIS has given the Canadian Food Inspection Agency a grade of “adequate” in the wake of a review of its meat inspection system. That’s the lowest acceptable rating it could receive and still be permitted to import food to the U.S. The audit report, issued in December, was based on tours of seven processing facilities, two labs, and five CFIA offices conducted in October and November of 2012.
Labeling and duty-to-warn cases continue to emerge as a key area of risk for food and beverage companies. These companies should understand the nature of these claims, the extent to which their insurance policies may cover these claims, and steps they may need to take to secure coverage if a claim arises. One of the fastest growing risks in this area stems from cases alleging violations of California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986—better known as Prop 65.
A newly proposed standard and associated supportive reference materials for authentication of skim milk powder were posted December 31 by the USP for public review and comment. Development of the proposed tools, aimed at preventing economic adulteration of skim milk powder with melamine and other nitrogen-rich materials, was prompted by the reports of melamine contamination of milk products in China, according to a USP official.