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Articles by Topic - Safety
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Safety-minded consumers want to know where their produce comes from, and now software engineers at international technology company from NEC have developed a smartphone app that will let them track the pedigree of a melon, mango, or apple, right down to where it was picked, simply by snapping a photo.
In an effort to shift its approach to foodborne illness from a fragmented process to a coordinated, prevention-oriented safety program, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will create a 40-person multidisciplinary team dedicated to foodborne disease outbreaks.
In recent years, the focus on the environmental quality of the food production landscape has increased. Although far from being a new problem, high-profile cases resulting in sickness and death traced back to the manufacturing process have caused the industry to reassess contamination control strategies, an issue currently under discussion in the Senate and inherently linked to food safety. Some level of contamination control naturally already exists and, given the diversity in environmental production...
Departments: The Microbiology of Cereals and Cereal Products
Bacteria are frequent surface contaminants of cereal grains. For bacteria to grow in cereal grains, they require high moisture or water activity (aw) in equilibrium, with high relative humidity. Generally, bacteria are not significantly involved in the spoilage of dry grain and become a spoilage factor only after extensive deterioration of the grain has occurred and high moisture conditions exist. However, bacterial pathogens and spoilage bacteria, such as spore-forming bacteria that cause ropiness in...
Columns: Red, Yellow, Green, Go
Cultivating behavior change requires a specific communication strategy. The objectives of this strategy are to ensure that food employees and managers throughout the facility are familiar with food safety standards, their role in maintaining these standards, and the consequences of not maintaining these standards.
The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 was signed into law in January after months of wrangling– but now the law and other food safety enforcement efforts face new challenges. House Republicans aim to slash the federal budget, and two of their targets for spending cuts are the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Current proposals would cut $88 million from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and $241 million overall from the...
Features: Chinese Poultry Rule Stirs Controversy
As signs point toward a move by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to permit importation of Chinese processed poultry products to the U.S., some question whether this would be a good idea.
Features: Swifter Salmonella Test
The first commercially available real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) in poultry eggs provides results in just 27 hours, ten times faster than the 10-day turnaround available with conventional testing methods, according to the manufacturer, Life Technologies Corp.
Features: BSE in the Air?
Prions, the infectious proteins that cause lethal neurological diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cows and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, can be transmitted in aerosol form, according to new research conducted by a team of scientists from the University of Zurich in Switzerland and the University of Tübingen in Germany (Haybaeck J, Heikenwalder M, Klevenz B, et al. Aerosols transmit prions to immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice. PLoS Pathog. 2011;7(1): e1001257.)
Features: Speeding Safer Shellfish
A new test for dangerous shellfish toxins, developed by scientists at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland, speeds up the usual process for detecting these toxins from about 48 hours to 30 minutes.