Tag Archives: FOOD SAFETY

New Poll Shows Consumer Confusion Abounds Over Date labels

As previously covered on this blog, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) launched an initiative this past February to streamline and standardize the wording accompanying the date labels on packages to offer greater clarity regarding the quality and safety of products.  The new voluntary initiative calls for the use of just … Continue Reading

Pew Study Assesses Food Safety Efforts from Farm to Fork

A Pew Charitable Trusts study released this month examines “preharvest” food safety control measures currently used on farms and feedlots and concludes that efforts to reduce contamination of meat and poultry products from harmful pathogens requires a comprehensive “farm to fork” approach. The study specifically examined food safety control measures designed to limit exposure on … Continue Reading

CFIA Launches New Online Consultation to Streamline Regs Between Canada and U.S.

The Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) is a joint initiative between Canada and the United States that facilitates regulatory cooperation between the two countries and aims to enhance economic competitiveness. The RCC was created in 2011 to facilitate closer cooperation between Canada and the United States to develop smarter approaches to regulations and to make both economies stronger and more competitive, while … Continue Reading

FDA Increasingly Using Whole Genome Sequencing to Achieve Food Safety Goals

As background, whole genome sequencing (WGS) essentially provides insight into the genetic fingerprint of a pathogen by sequencing the chemical building blocks that make up its DNA.  Since 2012, FDA has regularly turned to WGS to better understand foodborne pathogens, including identifying the nature and source of microbes that contaminate food and cause outbreaks of … Continue Reading

FDA Launches “Organ Chip” Project to Support Food and Dietary Supplement Safety Research

“Organs-on-Chips” technology has been the focus of a public-private collaboration between FDA, the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  “Organs-on-Chips” essentially involves creating miniature-sized human organ systems on micro-engineered chips about the size of an AA battery.  This technology has revolutionized the manner in which scientists can study the … Continue Reading

Brazilian Meat Regains Access to Key Markets Amid Recent Scandal

As previously covered on this blog, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers earlier this month for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella. A number of jurisdictions – including China, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Hong Kong, South Africa and the European Union – responded by halting the … Continue Reading

FDA and Federal Partners Issue New Food Safety Analytics Strategic Plan

Created in 2011, The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) is a partnership of three federal agencies—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (FSIS). IFSAC aims to enhance the coordination of federal food … Continue Reading

Congresswoman Calls for Halting the Importation of Brazilian Meat

By way of background, Brazilian federal police raided several meat producers last Friday for allegedly doling out bribes to inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with Salmonella. The raids uncovered that a small number of companies and inspectors have allegedly been using “carcinogenic acids” to mask rotten meat, switching out labels on expired … Continue Reading

FSIS Issues Updated Guidance Concerning Beef and Veal Slaughter Best Practices

As our readership is well aware, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of meat, poultry, and egg products.  To help achieve its enumerated food safety goals, FSIS works with industry to develop and promote best practices at slaughter that may be used to prevent, eliminate, or reduce levels of potential microbiological … Continue Reading

More Calls for a National Food Safety Strategy

More Calls for a National Food Safety Strategy  A month after four senators asked the Trump administration to implement the food safety recommendations in a General Accounting Office (GAO) report calling for a national food strategy (see our February 21, 2017 blog for more details), researchers at Vermont and Harvard law schools released the results … Continue Reading

New Date Labeling Initiative Launched to Reduce Consumer Confusion

Supermarket shelves are overflowing with food and beverage products sporting a dizzying array of date labels.  The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) report (here and here) that, as it stands, at least 10 different date labels on packages – such as Sell By, Use By, Expires On, Best Before, Better … Continue Reading

FSIS Sets Public Meeting on Food Allergens for March 16

As our readership is well aware, under current law, establishments regulated by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) are required to declare all ingredients, including allergens, on their products’ labels.  If FSIS determines that a product under its jurisdiction contains undeclared allergens, the Agency requests the establishment to recall the product.  FSIS recently reported that since … Continue Reading

Four Senators Ask Trump to Implement GAO Food Safety Recommendations

Four democratic senators wrote President Donald J. Trump on February 13, the same day that the General Accounting Office (GAO) released a report on federal oversight of food safety, asking that the Administration work with Congress to implement the recommendations in the report. The report is titled, Food Safety A National Strategy Is Needed to … Continue Reading

FDA Denies Methylmercury Labeling Petition for Seafood

FDA has denied a petition seeking to require methylmercury labeling on seafood. (subscription to Food Chemical News is required) Mercury exposure via seafood consumption has been a health concern for years, so much so that FDA has an entire section of its website dedicated to the topic. By way of background, airborne mercury, produced from … Continue Reading

Canada Proposes Implementing Regulations for Safe Foods Act

Canada has proposed regulations to implement the Safe Foods for Canadians Act (SFCA), which was adopted on June 7, 2012. A pre-publication copy of the proposed rules is available in the Canada Gazette – Part I, Vol. 151, No. 3 (January 21, 2017). The three key elements to the proposed Safe Foods for Canadians Regulations are … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Revised Draft Guidance for Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Foods

As our readership is well aware, Listeria monocytogenesis is a pathogen that causes the infection listeriosis and is the source of numerous food recalls.  See examples of recent recalls caused by Listeria monocytogenes contamination here and here.  Listeria monocytogenes can grow in various settings, including cold, refrigerated environments, and is particularly harmful to the elderly, pregnant … Continue Reading

Sampling Survey

FDA shares interim data from ongoing sampling program. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and industry are continually seeking innovative ways to curb foodborne illness outbreaks.  As covered previously on this blog, over the past several years, FDA has been executing a robust surveillance sampling program intended to promote food safety.  More specifically, in 2014, … Continue Reading

FDA Issues Updated MFRPS

FDA has issued an updated Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) for state regulatory programs that oversee food facilities. Since May 2007, FDA has issued regulatory program standards, known as the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS), for state regulatory programs that oversee food facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold foods. FDA touts the … Continue Reading

Sampling Survey

FDA releases data from food sampling program. As covered previously on this blog, since 2014, FDA has been developing a robust surveillance sampling program intended to promote food safety.  The Agency’s sampling approach involves the collection of a statistically determined number of samples of targeted foods over a 12- to 18-month period and the testing of samples … Continue Reading

Salmonella Sampling

FSIS implements new Salmonella sampling “fix.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) regulates the production of poultry products.  As part of its regulatory activities, FSIS conducts testing for Salmonella.  In this context, concerns arose regarding whether the use of antimicrobial sanitizers in poultry facilities may be masking the presence of Salmonella … Continue Reading

High-Tech Illness Investigations

FDA highlights its use of whole genome sequencing to track foodborne illness outbreaks. FDA has a host of tools at its disposal to help track the causes of foodborne illness outbreaks.  In recent years, the Agency has been relying more and more on whole genome sequencing as an investigative technique. In a recently-issued constituent update, … Continue Reading

Recalls Revisited

HHS OIG issues early alert criticizing FDA’s food recall procedures. Under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), FDA now has mandatory recall authority over conventional foods.  However, FDA has only threatened the use of this authority twice.  In reality, firms continue to work voluntarily with FDA to recall risky foods under the Agency’s recall … Continue Reading

RFR Retrospective

FDA issues 5th annual Reportable Food Registry report. Since 2009, FDA has operated the Reportable Food Registry (RFR), an electronic portal to which instances of “reportable food” must be submitted.  A “reportable food” is a food (other than dietary supplements and infant formula) that has a reasonable probability of causing serious adverse health consequences or … Continue Reading

Risk Reduction: Arsenic Limit for Infant Rice Cereal

FDA proposes limit for inorganic arsenic in infant rice cereal. Arsenic is a naturally-occurring element that can be found in water, soil, and air.  Long-term exposures to one type of arsenic — “inorganic arsenic” — have been associated with higher rates of certain health risks, such as cancer and heart disease.  Rice is suspected to … Continue Reading