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Features: Beef Industry Releases First Best-Practice Guidelines

The Beef Industry Food Safety Council (BIFSCo) released best practice guidelines for sampling, lotting, and testing beef products at the Beef Industry Safety Summit in early March

Features: Government Agency Recommends Consolidation of Food Safety Oversight

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends the consolidation of food safety oversight into a single agency, which it says could save money and improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Departments: Get a Documented Food Safety Plan

Get ready to meet your new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspector. On Jan. 4, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act, S. 510. The bill essentially takes provisions from the House-passed H.R. 2749 and combines it with S. 510 (Senate) to make one bill. The new bill will impose stiff penalties for known violations. To ensure enforcement, the House bill includes a minimum $1,000/year registration fee to be assessed to all food facilities to help pay for mandatory FDA...

News: The Obama Administration and Food Safety

Two years into it term, the Obama administration gets a solid grade of B for overall food safety from a range of interest groups that includes consumer advocates, growers, processors, and manufacturers. But consensus is lacking on specific efforts, such as the conducting inspections, since different groups are impacted very differently by these activities. For instance, consumers applaud more frequent testing of fresh produce, but growers complain that the process takes too long and can hold up and even...

Features: USDA Approves Genetically Modified Sugar Beets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will permit the planting of genetically modified (GM) sugar beets under certain conditions, while continuing to prepare a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the beets under a ruling from a U.S. district court judge.

Features: FDA Releases First Reportable Food Registry Report

Salmonella accounted for 37.6% of the reports submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Reportable Food Registry (RFR) Annual Report between September 2009 and September 2010, according to the first annual release of the report in January. Undeclared allergens and intolerances made up nearly as many reports, at 34.9%, with Listeria monocytogenes making up 14.4% of incidents.

Columns: Insure Against the Inevitable

If you think a recall is unlikely, or that you’ll be covered in the event it happens, think again. From a food safety standpoint, we are living in a dynamic and fast-changing world. Because microorganisms exist naturally in our environment, they will continue to find their way into many of our foods. Given recent improvements in national foodborne illness outbreak surveillance, more illnesses are identified and more outbreaks are reported.

Departments: Regulations, Market up the Ante for Food Safety

If you subscribe to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts, you’re well aware that food recalls occur almost daily. Few of these product issues receive nationwide publicity like this summer’s recall of 380 million infected eggs or last year’s Salmonella-tainted peanut butter.

News: Researchers: FDA Transgenic Salmon Review Flawed

The review process being used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assess the safety of a faster-growing transgenic salmon fails to weigh the full effects of the fish’s widespread production, according to analysis by a Duke University-led team in a recent issue of Science.

Columns: Food Safety Legislation: It's Alive!

Talk about bad timing. In last issue’s letter, which I wrote the day after the GOP spanked Democrats in the recent mid-term election, I pronounced food safety legislation, specifically the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), effectively dead.

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