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Articles by Topic - Safety
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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...
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: Protect the Food Supply Chain
The past year has not been a good one for food safety. There have been a number of high profile recalls traced to imported tainted ingredients and contaminated seafood, domestically produced fresh vegetables, and ground beef contaminated with E. coli O517:H7. Imported consumer items, such as toys and toothpaste, have also been recalled. Many of the food recalls have been linked to safety and quality problems in the supply chain, and media attention has focused mostly on the international supply.
Features: Lock Out Food Supply Threats
For several weeks in September and October 1984, residents in the town of The Dalles, Ore., went about their business: they went to work, attended school, cleaned up their backyards, and followed the upcoming county elections. When it was time for dinner, many of them went to one of nearly a dozen local restaurants or purchased food from an in-town supermarket.
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...