Friday, October 28, 2016

FSMA Draft Guidance for Notifying Customers of Hazards That Need to be Controlled

FDA issued a draft guidance that applies to food containing a hazard that must be controlled by a customer that is a further processor (not a consumer). This applies to the FSMA rules for Human Food, Animal Feed, Produce, and FSVP. The guidance titled "Describing a Hazard That Needs Control in Documents Accompanying the Food, as Required by Four Rules Implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Guidance for Industry " (Link) details how to make a disclosure in documents accompanying food that certain hazards have not been controlled by that entity.  

For example, if Company A is selling pepper to Company B, and that pepper had not been treated to eliminate Salmonella (which Company A has identified as a potential hazard), Company A would need to disclose on paperwork / documentation that "the pepper was not processed to adequately reduce the presence of microbial pathogens". 

So what are the documents of the trade? It has to be something the manager in charge of food safety is likely to read: "documents accompanying the food, in accordance with the practice of the trade." See 21 CFR 117.136(a)(2)(i), (a)(3)(i), and (a)(4)(i). This allows for the disclosure statement to be provided using a wide variety of types of documents that accompany the food, such as labels, labeling, bill of lading, shipment-specific certificates of analysis, and other documents or papers associated with the shipment that a food safety manager for the customer is likely to read."   " It is permissible, for the purposes of the requirements of the part 117 disclosure statement, to use labeling that includes a disclosure statement such as "not processed to control microbial pathogens" and then directs the recipient to a website for additional information about those microbial pathogens."

How does it need to state the hazards?  "For biological hazards, we will consider a manufacturing/processing facility that describes the "identified hazard" using a general term (e.g., "microbial pathogens," "microorganisms of public health significance") rather than a specific biological hazard (e.g., Salmonella or Listeria" 

For a chemical or physical hazard, the statement must be more specific.  "For chemical and physical hazards, a manufacturing/processing facility that chooses to not control chemical and physical hazards and to rely on its customers to do so, would be subject to the requirements of the part 117 disclosure statement. We expect such a facility to describe the identified chemical or physical hazard using a specific term (e.g., "mycotoxins," "aflatoxin," "stones") that adequately communicates the key safety information regarding the chemical or physical hazard that needs to be controlled."

Again, this is only needed when the supplier identifies a hazard and is relying on their customer (non-consumer) to control that hazard.
 

Are Cookbooks a Food Safety Biohazard in the Kitchen?

 Okay, because someone asked....are cookbooks a biohazard in kitchen?  Some food safety guy in the UK, who works for a firm that recovers costs if you get sick on vacation, stated that cookbooks are a food safety biohazard in the kitchen.  I was not able to find any scientific support to back this claim, but I guess, if your hands are nasty as you finger through the cookbook, you can potentially transfer pathogens to your cook book.  But is it a high risk...probably not.  Just clean your hands after handling raw meats before you go rifling through your cookbook.  And don't put your cookbook in a an area where it can get raw meat droplets on it.

In general, bigger risks occur through cross contamination from contaminated food contact surfaces to prepared foods or from undercooking.  Hopefully, people follow directions in the cookbook, and those directions presented in that cookbook are based upon sound scientific principles.

 The Sun (UK)
https://www.thesun.co.uk/living/2053079/cook-books-should-be-banned-from-the-kitchen-for-carrying-food-poisoning-bacteria/
THE HIDDEN DANGER IN YOUR KITCHEN
Cook books ‘should be BANNED from the kitchen for carrying food-poisoning bacteria

Bacteria clinging to the pages of cookbooks could cause crippling bouts of sickness, leading food scientists have warned
Exclusive
By BRITTANY VONOW
26th October 2016, 1:56 pm     

Frozen Strawberries from Egypt Linked to 134 Hepatitis A Cases

In early September, an outbreak of Hepatitis A linked to frozen strawberries was identified.  As of October 20th, there are 134 cases identified all linked to frozen strawberries served in smoothie drinks (fresh blended fruit and vegetable drinks) served at Tropical Smoothie Cafes.

The frozen strawberries were sourced from Egypt.  FDA issued an import alert for detention without physical inspection of frozen strawberries from Egypt, even though the Egypt Ministry of Climate Change and Environment "claimed Frozen Egyptian strawberries are free from Hepatitis A..".
 
FDA Release
FDA Investigates Outbreak of Hepatitis A Illnesses Linked to Frozen Strawberries
October 20, 2016

Rancidity of Tortilla Chips Leads to Outbreak of Gastrointestinal Distress

Approximately 77 people became ill in a correctional facility in Wyoming after eating rancid tortilla chips.  Rancidity is the breakdown of oils and fats that occurs when fats and oils were extensively heated.  Debris and moisture in the oil facilitates that breakdown.  This oil breakdown impacts flavor and quality, and as seen here, can lead to gastrointestinal distress.   In this case, the tortilla chips were probably fried in oil that had been used too long.

Generally indicators of rancidity are measured to detect the level of rancidity, in this case, hexanal and peroxide.  By measuring these indicators, firms know when oil is beginning to go bad and then replace the oil.  For smaller firms without the capability of conducting measurements, they replace oil after a certain time or amount of usage.  Others replace oil when the oil in the fryer begins to darken, smoke or smell 'off'.  Continuing to use oil after it goes rancid leads to off-flavors in the food, and more importantly, illness.

As noted in the MMRW article, this is one of the first documented cases of illnesses related to rancid oil.  But a good guess would be that this happens more frequently than reported.  How many times have you gone to a fair or a greasy spoon burger joint and ate fried food that had an off-flavor?  Then a hour or two later your stomach starts to roll.  Too often, purveyors try to use oil longer than it should be used.  In some cases, the consumer notices the flavor and throws the food out, but in other cases, when really hungry, they choke it back.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/wr/mm6542a4.htm?s_cid=mm6542a4_w
Gastrointestinal Illness Associated with Rancid Tortilla Chips at a Correctional Facility — Wyoming, 2015
Weekly / October 28, 2016 / 65(42);1170–1173
Tiffany Lupcho, MPH1; Alexia Harrist, MD, PhD1,2; Clay Van Houten, MS1

 Summary

What is already known about this topic?
Although consumption of rancid food can cause gastrointestinal illness, few outbreaks have been documented.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Free Range Chickens and Bald Eagles - High Cost of Organic Farming

An interesting read in Audubon Magazine about the impact of bald eagles on a free range chicken farm in Georgia.  Each year, this farm has an increasing number of bald eagles overwintering around the farm and feasting on high priced organic chicken.  There are now approximately 75 eagles, eating 3 or 4 chickens per day and costing the farm about $1000/day.  (Don't worry too much for the farm, the taxpayers pick up a good portion of that bill...and many of them don't even eat organic / free range chicken).

In addition to the loss by the eagles, free range farming has higher mortality rates...usually about 18% compared to 4% for conventional chicken farming.  "Even discounting the three or four chickens each eagle takes every day throughout the winter, Coady thinks the farm’s chicken-mortality rate is too high. It’s roughly 15 percent throughout the year, though some weeks it’s higher and some weeks it’s lower. He’d like it to be somewhere around 10 percent—far below the estimated 18 percent mortality rate the USDA expects for free-range chickens (for comparison, it’s 4 percent for confined chickens)." 

 The farmer's solution - "Harris has his own ideal solution, and it has nothing to do with noise-makers or reimbursement programs or tourism. If everyone farmed in the nature-first way he does, he says, eagles wouldn’t concentrate on his farm. Flocks of chickens scattered across the Georgia countryside would naturally cause eagles to disperse into smaller, healthier populations."  I guess I am missing something here...so yes the eagle population would spread out..for now, but what would limit eagle population growth if farms all over became raptor dinner tables?  And with an unchecked eagle population explosion, what else will be on that dinner table....little Sparky and Mr. Tibbs?

Audubon Magazine
http://www.audubon.org/magazine/fall-2016/an-organic-chicken-farm-georgia-has-become-endless
An Organic Chicken Farm in Georgia Has Become an Endless Buffet for Bald Eagles
By Susan MatthewsFall 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Bacillus cereus in Refried Beans Responsible for Mighty Taco Outbreak

A NY taco chain has been connected to over 160 people becoming ill with Bacillus cereus toxin.  Cases have occurred in two counties  and it appears that a 'handful' of the Mighty Taco locations have been involved.  The symptoms are nausea and vomiting.

The source of the illness was refried beans.  Bacillus cereus is a sporeforming organism and these spores can survive the cooking process.  If that food is then temperature abused, the organism will sporulate and grow in the food if that food is at elevated temperatures.  As the organism grows to high numbers, it produces a toxin.  So we would expect that the beans would have been temperature abused somewhere along the supply chain, including distribution down through store level.  (This is where the FSMA Sanitary Transport rule becomes important).

Cooked rice is another product often associated with Bacillus cereus related illness.  In a similar fashion, the cooked rice is left at room temperature for an extended period, allowing growth of the organism which produces toxin.

WGRZ Channel 2 News
http://www.wgrz.com/news/toxic-bacteria-identified-as-likely-source-of-mighty-taco-outbreak/337094922
Toxic Bacteria Identified As Likely Source Of Mighty Taco Outbreak
Steve Brown, WGRZ 8:33 AM. EDT October 19, 2016

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pulsenet - Tracking of Foodborne Disease

The US surveillance system for tracking foodborne illnesses, or PulseNet, is 20 years old.  Through time, the technology has improved and its reach is now global. 

In the US, the system is comprised by a network of 83 laboratories linked to the CDC in Atlanta.  Using genetic identification technology, including Whole Genome Sequencing or WGS, it can identify outbreak clusters through matching bacterial isolates involved in cases.  This information is then used to help identify the source of the outbreak.

This article in EMBO is a nice summary of Pulsenet and how it has impacted food safety.

EMBO Reports
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.15252/embr.201643128/full
Future challenges for tracking foodborne diseases

PulseNet, a 20-year-old US surveillance system for foodborne diseases, is expanding both globally and technologically

Authors - Efrain M Ribot and Kelly B Hise
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
First published: 19 September 2016Full publication history

Turkey Products Recalled for Unidentified Black Substance

A Michigan establishment is recalling 54000 pounds of turkey products after a customer complaint was received for a black substance.  This is a foodservice item so likely this was discovered by a retailer or foodservice operator.  The black substance has not yet been identified.



USDA / FSIS Recall Notice
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-097-2016-release
Michigan Turkey Producers Recalls Turkey Products Due To Possible Foreign Matter Contamination
Class I Recall 097-2016
Health Risk: High Oct 15, 2016

Popcorn Chicken Recalled Because of Foreign Material

Tyson Foods New Holland, PA facility is recalling popcorn chicken nuggets packed due plastic pieces.  According to the report - "The problem was discovered when the establishment received a consumer complaint from a school regarding foreign material, specifically hard plastic, found inside a bag of Tyson brand whole grain popcorn chicken product."

USDA News Release
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-096-2016-release
Tyson Foods Recalls Frozen Popcorn Chicken Products Due To Possible Foreign Matter Contamination
Class I Recall 096-2016
Health Risk: High Oct 15, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Venture Capitalist Start-Up, Soylent, Recalls Meal Replacement Due to Illnesses

A venture capitalist start-up nutrition company, Soylent, is recalling their nutrition snack bar after complaints of vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.

First, who is buying this stuff?  One look at the website and it looks like something a bunch of computer hipsters came up with.  With all these real food companies with flat or decling sales, I am not sure why people feel that a bunch of techno-geeks can make a better product.

Second, the name....didn't they see the movie?  Yeah, Soylent Green...that was a meal replacement too.  But we all know what that was.  And in case you don't, we'll let Charlton Heston tell you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IKVj4l5GU4


LA Times
http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/
Soylent stops selling nutrition bars after customers report diarrhea, other illnesses
by Paresh Dave
October 12, 2016

Meal replacement start-up Soylent halted sales of its new nutrition snack bar Wednesday and advised customers to discard any in their possession.

Michigan Cheese Company Recalls Cheese Due to Supplier Listeria Issues

 A Michigan company, Kuster's is recalling its institutional sized shredded, sliced and cubed cheese after the company was notified by their supplier, Farm Country Cheese, that there is the potential for Listeria contamination.
 
Farm County Cheese is no large industrial processor, quite the opposite.  From the Farm County Cheese website:
Tradition ~ Heritage ~ Community

For over 25 years, Farm Country Cheese House has worked in partnership with our local Amish community to create fresh, antibiotic-free, artisanal cheeses. Located in Lakeview, Michigan (northeast of Grand Rapids), we are proud of the “family” of Amish farmers and workers who make up the majority of our staff. Our culture is supportive and kind, and we work together to bring the highest-quality and freshest cheese to you, our consumer.

Our cheeses are pure, simple, and clean. We use milk made by cows on our local Amish dairy farms, and follow Amish traditions and practices. Because the health and comfort of the cows is a top priority, the small dairy farms that we work with raise herds of only 4 to 20 cows, where each cow is hand-milked twice daily. In the operation of our equipment and business, we use minimal amounts of electricity, which is supplied to us by an electric cooperative.
Sounds great, but if this is your supplier, are they controlling for Listeria?  How about a FSMA required Supplier Preventive Control.
 
FDA Recall Notice
Kuster's, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Product Because Of Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release
October 12, 2016

Warning Letter Issued to Company for Not Verifying That Corrective Measures Worked

FDA issued a Warning Letter to a California company after that company did not adequately respond to a 483 Report issued during inspection.  The inspection was performed after the company's product was involved in a Salmonella outbreak.  During the inspection, Salmonella was found during FDA environmental sampling and this was included as a finding on the FDA 483 that was issued.  From the FDA website: "An FDA Form 483 is issued to firm management at the conclusion of an inspection when an investigator(s) has observed any conditions that in their judgement may constitute violations of the Food Drug and Cosmetic (FD&C)".  The company is then expected to send a written response to the 483 report.  "Companies are encouraged to respond to the FDA Form 483 in writing with their corrective action plan and then implement that corrective action plan expeditiously."
When a company does not properly respond and/or take appropriate corrective action, FDA will issue a Warning Letter.  From the FDA website: "When it is consistent with the public protection responsibilities of the agency and depending on the nature of the violation, it is the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) practice to give individuals and firms an opportunity to take voluntary and prompt corrective action before it initiates an enforcement action. Warning Letters are issued to achieve voluntary compliance and to establish prior notice. (Prior notice is discussed in Chapter 10.) The use of Warning Letters and the prior notice policy are based on the expectation that most individuals and firms will voluntarily comply with the law."

As we have seen in a number of other recently issued Warning Letters (Examples 1, 2, 3, 4) companies are failing to properly address the elements of corrective action.  As with this case, measures are taken, but the company fails to verify that those measures have worked.  From this report: "However, you did not provide us with documentation demonstrating the effectiveness of these changes and any other changes you have made to prevent a reoccurrence of an outbreak."   The verification that corrective measures worked is especially important after the company has had an outbreak and/or was found to have pathogen contamination issues.

 FDA Warning Letter
http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2016/ucm524491.htm
WARNING LETTER
 October 7, 2016
 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Colors and Printing on Food Packaging

An article in Food Safety Magazine, Colorants in Food Packaging: FDA Safety Requirements (Oct/Nov 2016), reviews the FDA safety requirements of food packaging colors and printing.   In summary, "The rules of thumb for determining the regulatory status of a pigment or dye are as follows: A substance that colors the food, even if it is in a packaging material, is a color additive and may be used only as permitted by an applicable FDA color additive regulation. Substances that color only a packaging material, and do not impart color to the food, are regulated as food additives if components of the substance are found to migrate into food. No premarket clearance by FDA is required, however, if the substance is not reasonably expected to become a component of food, is GRAS or is included on the list of “pre-1958 colorants.”

There are always questions about printing on the primary packaging and what is the concern.  So, the primary question is whether that printing material can migrate to the food.  If it can, then that color needs to be approved for use.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blue Bell Expands Recall After Supplier Expands Recall of Cookie Dough, Blue Bunny and Others Also Issues Recalls

Blue Bell is expanding its recall of cookie dough ice cream after its ingredient supplier of cookie dough expanded its recall for Listeria.   Just over two weeks ago, Blue Bell issued a recall for 5 lot codes of two flavors that contained the cookie dough ingredient.  That recall now includes all product made from February 2, 2016 through September 7, 2016.
Along with this, Blue Bunny is recalling its Hoppin' Hollidoodle ice cream because it also contains the suspect cookie dough.

 We have come to expect expansions of recalls when there is Listeria contamination issues.  These recalls get expanded because the facility finds that there are underlying issues which indicate that Listeria could have been around for some time in the facility.

Other recalls affected by this supplier of cookie dough.

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Company Recalls Select Products Containing Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pieces Purchased From Outside Supplier Aspen Hills Due To Possible Health Risk

Publix Recalls Publix Premium Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Due To Possible Listeria monocytogenes Contamination From Aspen Hills, Inc. Cookie Dough Pieces

Nutrisystem Retail Division Voluntarily Recalls One Product Containing Chocolate Cookie Dough Pieces Purchased From Third Party Supplier Due To A Possible Health Risk
FDA Recall Notice
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm524749.htm
Outside Supplier Aspen Hills Expands Cookie Dough Recall; Blue Bell Recalls All Products Made With Aspen Hills Cookie Dough Due To Potential Health Risk
For Immediate Release
October 10, 2016

NY Taco Chain Linked to Over 150 Cases of Foodborne Illness

A NY taco chain is being linked to over 150 people becoming ill.  Cases have occurred in two counties  and it appears that a 'handful' of the Mighty Taco locations may be involved.  The symptoms are nausea and vomiting.  After removing suspect food, including refried beans, the number of cases looks to be subsiding.

An update was provided on 10/20/16.

WKBW News

http://www.wkbw.com/news/142-reported-illnesses-after-mighty-tacos-refried-beans-caused-concern-in-erie-county
142 reported illnesses after Mighty Taco's refried beans caused concern in Erie County

Cesar Brand of Pet Food Recalled for Small Plastic Pieces

Mars is recalling a limited number of Cesar Brand Filet Mignon Flavor wet dog food products due to small pieces of plastic that may be a potential choking risk.  According to the release, the small pieces of plastic entered the food during the production process.

Mars Corporate News Release
https://www.cesar.com/notice#

Monday, October 10, 2016

Micro Greens Recalled in CO for Salmonella Positive Sample

A Colorado company is recalling Organic Micro Greens sold at Whole Foods.  The recall was issued after FDA tested and found Salmonella is a sample of the product.

So what are microgreens?  They are very young plants of various vegetables, such as kale, spinach, beets, lettuce, etc, that are 7 to 14 days after germination.  Similar to bean sprouts, although sprouts are harvested 2 days after germination, so microgreens in comparison will have leaves and roots whereas sprouts will not.   However like sprouts, micro greens can be a higher risk for organisms like Salmonella.  The reason is that the conditions for growth of the micro greens will support organisms such as Salmonella.

FDA Recall Notice
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm524638.htm
Osage Gardens Inc. Recalls Osage Gardens Organic 2oz Micro Greens Because of Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release
October 7, 2016

Chicken Salad Linked to Salmonella Outbreak in WA

Costco Chicken Salad, purchased on August 26, August 31 and September 2, 2016 in one Washington state Costco store may be linked to a Salmonella outbreak.  While the product is past the expiration date, concern would be for anyone who may have frozen the product and still have it in the freezer.

The concern still has to be how the product became contaminated.  Was the chicken undercooked?  Or was it a case of cross contamination after cooking?


FSIS Recall Notice
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/news-releases-statements-transcripts/news-release-archives-by-year/archive/2016/pha-100916
FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Chicken Product Due to Possible Salmonella Contamination

Limited Amount of Lunchables Recalled Due to Allergen Mislabeling

Kraft Heinz is recalling a limited amount of Lunchables product due to a mismatched label that resulted in allergens not being declared.  According to the release  "Lunchables Ham and American Cracker Stackers” products were incorrectly labeled with the back label for a “Nacho Lunchable” product. The back label contains the product ingredient statements and as such, the “Lunchables Ham and American Cracker Stackers” products that were mislabeled do not declare wheat and soy on the label.

FSIS Recall Notice
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-093-2016-release
Kraft Heinz Recalls Ready-To-Eat Lunchables Ham and American Cracker Stackers Product Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens
Class I Recall 093-2016
Health Risk: High Oct 9, 2016

Drumstick Sundae Cones Recalled Due to Positive LM Product Contact Surface

Nestle is recalling its ice cream treat, Drumstick cones, from Best before June 2, 2017 to June 19, 2017 after testing found the food contact surface positive for Listeria monocytogenes.  No product had tested positive.  No illnesses have been reported.

In the notice, it states "The products impacted by the voluntary recall were put into distribution inadvertently."  This may suggest that the product was on a test-and-hold and was released prior to the finalized test results.   Even though the positive was found on a surface that is classified as product contact, there is a risk that the product may have been contaminated as well, at least one has to consider it.


FDA Recall Notice
http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm524634.htm
NestlĂ© USA Initiates Voluntary Recall Of NestlĂ©® Drumstick® Club 16 Count Variety and 24 Count Vanilla Pack Due to Possible Health Risk
For Immediate Release
October 7, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Vermont Drops Enforcement of GMO Labeling

As part of an agreement, Vermont announced that it would not enforce its law requiring the mandatory labeling of GMO foods. Put best by Pamela G. Bailey, president of GMA, the group who fought the law, “.......the Vermont law opens the door to states creating mandatory labeling requirements based on pseudo-science and web-fed hysteria......If this law is allowed to go into effect, it will disrupt food supply chains, confuse consumers and lead to higher food costs.”

Agricultural Law Weekly Review—September 8, 2016
http://www.pennstateaglaw.com/2016/09/agricultural-law-weekly-reviewseptember_8.html
GMO Labeling: GMA and Vermont Agree to Voluntarily Dismiss Litigation
Written by M. Sean High – Staff Attorney

On September 1, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Vermont signed an order of voluntary dismissal in the state GMO labeling case Grocery Manufacturers Association v. Sorrell (Case No. 5:14-cv-117-cr, Document 161). According to the order, the parties agreed to voluntarily dismiss the action without prejudice because: (1) on July 29, 2016, President Obama signed into law S.764 which established a “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard;” (2) on August 1, 2016, USDA stated that S.764 preempted states from requiring the labeling of any genetically engineered food or seed in interstate commerce; and (3) on August 2, 2016, Vermont’s Attorney General (Sorrell) announced that the state would no longer enforce Vermont Act 120 which required the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering.

Webinar, 'Play FDA for a Day', Drives Paranoia to a New Level

The webinar, "Play FDA for a Day: Criminalization of foodborne illness and what you can do to protect your company", is presented by a lawyer and a testing company and directs companies to do testing for outbreak-related pathogens before the FDA does.  And if FDA finds an outbreak-related pathogen in your food facility, you are as good as going to jail.  And for these outbreak-related pathogens, there is 1 million unsolved outbreaks in the FDA database just waiting to get solved.  So get a lawyer and get the test kits ASAP.  Because FDA 'investigators' are going to be busting down your door and swabbing the heck out of your facility.

A little paranoia is good, but this presentation is over the top.   There is no doubt that companies need to keep their facilities in order, including ensuring the environment is under control,  doing environmental monitoring with effective corrective action especially when there is risk (product exposed to the environment).  But to date, there have been very few cases where the Department of Justice has gotten involved in outbreak investigations.  The investigations cited were ones where pathogens were found in food and linked to outbreaks through epidemiological investigation.  Subpoenas were issued when wrongdoing was suspected.  

Testing and advice for free or just the hook?  What is an over-the-top lawyer going to tell you when you have an organism in your drain?

(Don't have the time or the will to watch the video, you can read the white paper.)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

RTE Bacon Recalled After Testing Finds Listeria

A Utah establishment is recalling ready-to-eat bacon "during the company’s routine internal third party testing when a product sample collected tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm). There have been no confirmed reports of illness or adverse reactions due to consumption of these products."
 
USDA News Release
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/FSIS-Content/internet/main/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2016/recall-092-2016-release
Daily's Premium Meats, LLC Recalls Bacon Products Due to Possible Listeria Adulteration

Researchers Find Low Income Individuals Willing to Forgo Produce

In a study published in Nutrition Today, researchers investigated opinions of  low-income individuals about organic versus conventional fruits and vegetables and found that their choices are impacted by the amount of messaging they are receiving, such as EWG's Dirty Dozen.  These people felt that organic was better, but because of the cost, were more willing to forgo fruits and vegetables because of cost even though there were lower cost conventionally grown produce.

This is a topic that has been addressed from a health standpoint,  where organic was found to be no more nutritious than conventional, and more importantly from a safety standpoint, whether biological contaminates or those that can lead to cancer.  USDA testing has continually shown that pesticide levels in produce are within established limits.

The issue is that many are missing the health benefits of having produce in their diet for the sake of avoiding some infinitesimal risk.

Nutrition Today
http://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/Fulltext/2016/09000/Low_Income_Shoppers_and_Fruit_and_Vegetables__What.6.aspx
Low-Income Shoppers and Fruit and Vegetables: What Do They Think?
Huang, Yancui MS; Edirisinghe, Indika PhD; Burton-Freeman, Britt M. PhD, MS
Abstract

Eggs from Small Producer Recalled After Link to Salmonella Infections

Good Earth Egg company is issuing a recall of shell eggs after they were linked to a Salmonella outbreak.  In this outbreak, 8 individuals have become infected with Salmonella Oranienburg 
 
 Good Earth had also issued a recall in January of this year, again for Salmonella.   A warning letter issued by FDA in February indicates that the company did not have a Salmonella control program in place and faced sanitary issues including rodent control.
 
If Salmonella is not controlled within the flocks and the facility, the eggs will have Salmonella. It would be fine if eggs were handled and cooked by the consumers, but consumer don't.  Eggs are often served undercooked such as sunny side up.  They are not handled in a way that protects against cross contamination.  As studies have shown, eggs from small producers are more likely to have Salmonella present.
 
 
CDC Outbreak
Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Oranienburg Infections Linked to Shell Eggs
Posted October 3, 2016 5:45 PM ET
  
At A Glance
Deaths: 0
Hospitalizations: 2
Recall: No
Highlights