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Salmonella. Escherichia coli. Listeria. These words strike fear in the hearts of in-house counsel and executives in the food industry. Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses—and other incidents involving tainted food—have received a great deal of attention in recent years. In 2007, they reached a new peak: an outbreak of botulism infections caused by canned chili, a recall of more than 21 million pounds of ground beef and hamburger patties due to fears of E. coli contamination, a peanut butter recall...
Features: Food Safety in the Retail World
You could say everything old is new again when it comes to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and food security. In 2003, the FDA issued a set of five food and cosmetic security preventive measures guidance documents designed to help participants in virtually all sections of the food chain minimize the risk of malicious, criminal, or terrorist actions involving products under their control. Their target audience: operators of food and cosmetic establishments, along with businesses that produce,...
Features: It's Not Easy Bein' a Green
What can be a problem for an amphibian also pertains to produce. Consider this: The famous muppet Kermit the Frog appears to have it all—notoriety, popularity, and tremendous professional success. Yet, he sings, “It’s not easy bein’ green.”
The next time you make a quick stop for a hamburger, take the family out for dinner at a nice restaurant, or run into the supermarket for salad greens and a pre-cooked chicken for dinner on a busy day, think for a moment about the food on your table. How safe is it to eat?
Features: Ground Avian Flu Fears
The year 2007 marks 10 years since the H5N1 avian influenza virus (often called bird flu) was first reported, and it is getting more difficult to contain with every passing year. The virus has killed 202 people, and more than 50 million chickens infected with the virus or suspected of being infected have been killed or culled in more than 50 countries.
Features: Break the Chain of Outbreaks
Public restrooms and home bathrooms are the dominant sources of virus, and the primary transmission route is fecal-hand-oral. Today’s restaurateurs risk their livelihoods with anything less than an all-out aggressive attack. The port-of-entry to restaurants for norovirus and hepatitis A is split between the back door and the front door. The battleground covers nearly the whole footprint of the food service establishment. Interventions are needed at key viral intersections, with special attention...
Features: Supply Chain Safety
An estimated 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths are attributable to foodborne illness in the United States each year. Ensuring safe food remains an important public health priority for our nation. A critical link in the farm-to-fork food chain is the food service industry. It is a diverse industry encompassing hospitals, schools, retail stores, and restaurants that range from fast food to full service and from family run to multinational chain.
Ensuring safe food is an important public health priority for our nation. For years, regulatory and industry food safety programs have focused on reducing the incidence of foodborne illness. Despite these efforts, however, the 1996 report, “Reinventing Food Regulations: National Performance Review,” concluded that foodborne illness caused by harmful bacteria and other pathogenic microorganisms in meat, poultry, seafood, dairy products, and a host of other foods is a significant public health...
Features: Safety at Your Fingertips
The food service industry has been hit hard by foodborne illness outbreaks such as E. coli in spinach and hygiene mishaps that threaten customers’ health and company reputations. The solution to many of these food-handling problems is at employees’ fingertips.
Features: Cool Technologies
Most of us can recount opening a recently purchased food product, only to find it spoiled. This firsthand experience underscores ongoing problems within the food supply chain that new technologies can solve.