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Within the next few days or the next few months—depending on whether or not industry challenges to implementation of the rule are successful—U.S. beef producers will be required to test their meats not only for the well-known pathogenic strain of E. coli known as 0157:H7, but also for six other strains of the bacteria known to cause illness in humans.
The most notable factors that will influence the health of the food industry in 2012 include food demand, outbreaks, recalls, regulation, and safety.
In September, when Steve Patricio learned of the Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes from a farm in Colorado—an outbreak that killed 29 people as of Nov. 9, sickened dozens, and caused one miscarriage—his mind immediately raced back two decades to a similar outbreak.
Features: Manage the Extreme Cold Chain
Increased globalization and remote sourcing in the food industry have brought options and convenience closer to home for many consumers. Yet the boost in imports and exports of commodities has created new challenges for suppliers, shippers, and retailers. With the perishables industry constantly expanding, physical distances and shipping conditions are critical considerations in the supply chain.
News: Key Points of FSMA
The FDA has been given the authority to issue a food recall directly, without the requirement for hard evidence of contamination. The agency is now empowered to seize food that it has any reason to believe is contaminated, adulterated, or misbranded. This change was designed to focus the FDA on prevention, moving away from its current reactive role. If the FDA issues a food recall, it also has power to suspend any food facility’s production should the agency decide that there is an associated health...
News: Nuts and Bolts of FSMA
Because a breakdown at any point in the farm-to-table food supply chain can threaten the health and safety of consumers and cause serious financial repercussions for food manufacturers, the FSMA integrates with and expands the FDA’s currently established safety practices for poultry, seafood, juice, produce, and eggs, making prevention easier throughout the domestic and international food system.
Under FSMA, enacted in January 2011, the FDA is responsible for mitigating food safety problems by using science- and risk-based approaches to oversee about 80% of the nation’s domestic and imported food supplies. The plan includes establishing minimum produce safety standards, exercising the authority to order mandatory recalls of suspected food products, conducting a broad range of food facility inspections, establishing a comprehensive product tracing system, holding imported food products to the...
Process control drives almost all food safety measures, with the exception of handwashing and hand hygiene. These remain a frontier without meaningful, measureable, and manageable standards.
Features: Eye on China
Glow-in-the-dark pork. Exploding watermelons. These recent oddities from China might seem comical were it not for the country’s abysmal food safety record, which includes deaths and illnesses caused by melamine-laced baby formula, Salmonella-tainted seafood, and clenbuterol-treated pork.
Features: Germany's E. coli Nightmare
With at least 40 dead and thousands sickened in more than a dozen nations, food investigation methods are once again under close scrutiny