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Articles by Topic - Safety
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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: Predict Safety
Predictive food microbiology, a well-established subdiscipline of food microbiology used for nearly 100 years, is reemerging. Its progress and impact on food safety practices and hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) systems will require the cooperation of industry, academia, and regulatory agencies.
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?
Departments: Put Pest Birds in the Cage
When it comes to pests, cockroaches, rodents, or flies generally spring to mind. Birds are often considered a mere nuisance, although these feathered critters can jeopardize food safety and employee health; they may even affect audit scores at food manufacturing facilities.
Departments: Pathogen Can't Hide From Biocides
Over the past 10 to 15 years, industry and the government have sought intervention strategies to reduce general microbial numbers and, specifically, to reduce or try to eliminate all produce pathogens. The most notable recent produce pathogen outbreak, which involved bagged baby spinach from California, was caused by E. coli 0157:H7. This occurrence resulted in a multistate outbreak, leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to draft the “Guide to Minimize Microbial Food Safety Hazards of...
Features: The Long, Hard Road to Beef Safety
The beef industry has long been in a race to keep up with its nemesis, Escherichia coli O157:H7. In 2007, it seemed as if the bacterium was winning. Compared with recent years, 2007 saw a colossal jump in the number of recalls due to beef products tainted with E. coli O157:H7.
Departments: Crack the Food Chemicals Code
The Food Chemicals Codex (FCC) is a compendium of monographs for food ingredients from the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations specify that food and color additives must receive pre-market approval and that other food ingredients must be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). For clarity, we use the term food ingredients for both food and color additives and GRAS materials. FCC began in 1961 following passage of the 1958 Food Additive Amendments...
Departments: Sample Prep Standards Ensure Safety
Consumers have never been more aware of food safety issues. A quick Google News search for “food safety” turns up headlines from around the world. In addition to the usual suspects such as botulism, E. coli, and Salmonella, consumers worry about pesticides and other chemical contaminants in their foods. Another fear is food bioterrorism. Just the mere suspicion of a contaminated product has far-reaching consequences for a food supplier. Because testing food samples (whether it is to look for...