Food Safety Regulator Frames Safety Standards For Alcoholic Beverages
Source : http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/food-safety-regulator-frames-safety-standards-for-alcoholic-beverages-1423559
By All India | Press Trust of India (June 26, 2016)
Food safety regulator FSSAI has approved standards for alcoholic drinks like whiskey and beer and finalised a list of additives to be used for making these products, a top official said.
This is a first for all major alcoholic drinks in the country for which standards and the additives list have been finalised.
"The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has finalised a list of food additives and standards with respect to alcoholic beverages...," FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal told PTI.
He added that these standards are in alignment with International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) standards. The file has been moved to the Union Health Ministry, and the standards will be operationalised soon after a notification.
"With this, FSSAI has crossed a major landmark in setting of standards for almost all food categories available in the country," he said.
Earlier this month, the regulator has operationalised the list of 11,000 food additives provisions that can be used by food businesses in various categories.
This assumes importance because food products which have been manufactured by using these approved additives may not require product approval.
FSSAI was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consolidates various Acts and orders that have hitherto dealt with food related issues under various ministries and departments.
The regulator was in the spotlight after it banned Maggi noodles in June last year, which was later lifted by the Bombay High Court.
Activists get timely crack at making CAFOs report pollution data
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/06/activists-get-timely-crack-at-making-cafo-report-pollution-data/#.V3B6604eaUl
By Dan Flynn (June 23, 2016)
Hanor Companies is moving its headquarters to Enid, OK, from Wisconsin and several activists groups would like to see the pork producer pull out of North Carolina soon, too. They may get their wish as a federal court in North Carolina has decided to let a potentially game-changing lawsuit against an 8,000-pig farm go forward.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Sound Rivers Inc. brought the legal action against the pork company regarding the reporting of ammonia emissions, which they argue are harmful to animals, humans and the environment.
It means a high-profile challenge in an election year, and in a swing state, to what activists call “factory farms” and what the government refers to as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Anyone passing by would likely describe such operations as one big passel of pigs.
As the word came down about the lawsuit going forward, two other environmental groups released a report “mapping in great detail the widespread footprint of factory farms in North Carolina.” The Environmental Working Group and Waterkeeper Alliance released the report.
“Animal factories like this one harm millions of animals by forcing them to live with dangerous levels of air pollution that are also damaging the health and quality of life of those living in rural communities,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel for Animal Protection Litigation for HSUS.
The case apparently comes down to whether a CAFO must report on its air pollution, not whether it has to address it.
In a news release, HSUS said that enforcement of federal air pollution laws is sorely needed because the approximately 20,000 CAFOs in the U.S. inhumanely confine billions of chickens, pigs and other animals, resulting in the emission of dangerous air pollutants, including ammonia.
Animal agriculture, according to HSUS, is the nation’s leading source of ammonia emissions, which can cause nasal, throat and eye irritation, coughs and even death among humans. Ammonia damages air and water quality and endangers wildlife and their habitat, HSUS contends.
With more than 8,000 pigs, Hanor produces excrement on a scale matching that of a small city. Unlike a city, though, the facility’s waste is not carefully piped and treated. Instead, it piles up and putrefies in giant open pits.
The company could not be reached for comment, but industry spokesmen have long argued they employ a kind of organic or green approach by allowing bacteria to naturally take care of potential pathogens and in time turning the manure back into fertilizer that is sprayed onto fields.
The court rejected Hanor’s argument that an 11-year-old agreement with the Bush administration’s EPA allows more than 13,000 CAFOs to continually violate key air pollution laws while the Environmental Protection Agency studied CAFO air pollution. Notably, EPA never completed the air studies at issue.
The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requires emitters of large amounts of dangerous substances such as ammonia to report those emissions to local authorities. The Hanor facility has not reported its ammonia emissions under this law since 2011.
Epic food recalls: What’s the deal with that?
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/06/epic-food-recalls-whats-the-deal-with-that/#.V3B7cU4eaUl
By Jim Gorny (June 22, 2016)
Anyone who has been following news lately is aware of two epic recalls prompted by concerns that two firms may have produced and distributed foods contaminated Listeria monocytogenes: CRF frozen organic and traditional fruits and vegetables and SunOpta sunflower kernels. These recalls have been massive in scope because these foods were used as ingredients by other food manufacturers and in the case of CRF the firm recalling all products it produced since May 2014.
Food recall basics
FDA classifies food recalls into three distinct categories with Class I being the most severe and Class III the least severe.
•Class I: Dangerous or defective products that predictably could cause serious health problems or death. Examples include: food found to contain botulinum toxin or food with undeclared allergens.
•Class II: Products that might cause a temporary health problem, or pose only a slight threat of a serious nature.
•Class III: Products that are unlikely to cause any adverse health reaction, but that violate FDA labeling or manufacturing laws. Examples include: a minor container defect and lack of English labeling in a retail food.
It is important for food companies to contact FDA recall coordinators, whom are located throughout the country (contact information can be found here), when they decide to pull the trigger on a recall of food products they have produced, because FDA is responsible for classifying the recall based on relevant information provided by the firm.
Additionally, if it is determined that the firm is in a Class I recall situation, it is likely that a firm will be obliged to inform FDA via the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) that adulterated food products have left their control and has entered commerce.
Recently the FDA published “A five year overview of targeting inspection resources and identifying patterns of adulteration” which recaps FDA RFR reporting from September 8, 2009 – September 7, 2014. This report recaps RFR data by food group, and hazard on a yearly basis and is an instructional read if you are wondering where FDA will be placing increased regulatory scrutiny in the near future.
All things considered
So what are some things that public health officials and food companies may consider when with the possible need to recall a food produce occurs due to concerns based on epidemiological, sample positive and/or traceability investigation evidence.
1) Protect Public Health by Stopping Consumption of Potentially Contaminated Foods: The first and most obvious reason that FDA or other public health officials request that recall notices be sent out by a firm is to protect public health by alerting consumers to the fact that specific food products may be contaminated and may be capable of causing illness.
An interesting aspect to the aforementioned CRF foods frozen fruit and vegetable recall is the recall involved some not ready-to-eat foods, to which implicated CRF fruits and vegetables were added as an ingredient. The issue of how FDA should deal with not ready-to-eat foods contaminated with pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes was recently discussed at the December 2015 FDA Food Advisory Committee meeting and was discussed in a previous blog post.
However for most fresh fruits and vegetables this argument is irrelevant as FDA considers most fresh fruits and vegetables ready-to-eat foods so this consideration does not apply. An addition reason that firms may wish to consider once they are informed that their products may be adulterated is product liability considerations as the firm now has been explicitly advised that their products may cause serious adverse consequences or death. Therefore, whenever presented with such evidence it is wise to consult with a food and drug law attorney whom can not only advise you on your rights and responsibilities from a regulatory perspectice but on your product liability vulnerabilities.
2) Inform Consumers That They May Have Consumed A Contaminated Food: Another reason that FDA or other public health officials request that recall notices be sent out by a firm is to inform consumers that they may have been exposed to a contaminated food. As an FDA Class I recall involves food products which may cause severe adverse health consequences or death, it is important to let consumer know that they may have been exposed to such an agent.
It is also important for consumers to understand what the symptoms are for a specific agent and that symptoms may not occur for days, weeks or months after consumption and to seek appropriate medical care if symptoms to appear. For example, in the case of Listeria monocytogenes the invasive form of the illness can have a very long incubation period that is estimated to vary from three days to three months.
3) Inform Food Handlers That They May Have Handled Contaminated Food: Yet another reason that FDA or other public health officials consider when requesting that recall notices be sent out by a firm is to inform food handlers whether they be at home or in food service operations that foods they handled may have been contaminated.
This information is important to food handlers who may wish to undertake extra cleaning and/or sanitizing of food contact surfaces that may have been used to prepare potentially contaminated food or ingredients. Special care and extra attention may be needed to prevent secondary contamination events from occurring via food contact surfaces on cutting boards, slicers or refrigerator surfaces.
4) Inform Food Preparers That They May Have Incorporated A Contaminated Food Ingredient Into Stored Foods: Finally, it is possible that potentially contaminated food ingredients may have been incorporated into complex foods which may have an extended shelf-life by for example freezing. As freezing alone does not kill most human pathogens it is important to let food preparers know that they may have a potentially contaminated prepared food in their freezer and to let them know to take appropriate action and discard such foods.
While these are all very good reasons to discard foods and prevent illnesses and even death, it still makes me sad from a sustainability perspective to see all this food going to waste, especially in cases when thorough cooking would almost certainly reduce, control or completely eliminate the risk of contracting a foodborne illness.
However, when in doubt throw it out and follow the Partnership for Food Safety Education dictum to cook, clean, chill and separate for safe food handling.
About the author: James Gorny, Ph.D., is the vice president for food safety and technology for the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) in Newark, DE. Prior to joining PMA Gorny was the senior advisor for produce safety at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
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Whole Foods macadamia nuts recalled after Salmonella test
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/06/whole-foods-macadamia-nuts-recalled-after-salmonella-test/#.V3B70U4eaUl
By News Desk (June 22, 2016)
Marin Foods Specialties Inc. is recalling packaged raw macadamia nuts sold in Whole Foods Market stores because of possible Salmonella contamination.
Routine testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration detected Salmonella in the raw macadamia nuts, which are labeled as “Whole Foods Market Raw Macadamia Nuts,” according to the recall notice.
Based in Byron, CA, Marin Foods distributed the raw macadamia nuts to Whole Foods Market stores in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. The recalled macadamia nuts are packaged in clear plastic tubs. Label information on the recalled nuts include “best by” dates of Aug. 21 through Nov. 6 and the UPC number 99948200132.
“Customers who have purchased this product at Whole Foods Market stores in the affected states should discard it and may bring in their receipt for a full refund,” according to the recall notice. “Consumers with questions may contact Marin Foods Specialties Inc. at 925-634-6126.”
Salmonella is a microscopic organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea that may be bloody, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as infected aneurysms, endocarditis and arthritis.
Food safety lab tests for bacteria
Source : http://www.wilx.com/content/news/Food-safety-lab-tests-for-bacteria-383858861.html
By Rilwan Balogun (June 21, 2016)
Every day, researchers at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development test hundreds of bacteria.
"We take it and put it into a liquid media that is specific for whatever bug we're looking for" said microbiologist, Dr. Karen McWilliams.
One of the most common bug they're testing for recently, is listeria.
"It causes a lot of problems because it can survive and actually grow in cold temperatures in your refrigerator even" said Justin Henderson with the Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
There have been more and more recalls related to listeria. Nearly 400 products were recalled last month alone.
And the department says we're seeing more recalls because the bacteria adapts to both cold and warm temperatures like soil.
"It's got all the right genetics to be able to survive and grow in the soil" Henderson said. "Then a whole different set of genetic factors that it allows to infect people."
He tells News 10 that most people have likely been infected by listeriosis and not known it, "there's probably a lot of cases of listeria that we never know about" said Henderson. "It can happen and people don't get sick enough to go to the hospital and get tested."
Symptoms for listeria range from feeling like a flu and then could sometimes be fatal.
People with impaired immune systems like kids, the elderly and pregnant woman are more at-risk.
"It's a tricky one and the fact that it has the potential to cause very serious illness too, sort of makes the whole thing a little more important" Henderson said.
It's common in meat and dairy products but since the department has started doing more testings they've seen it more often in other products.
"We've seen it in sprouts and leafy greens and frozen foods. It's the kind of thing where now we're not really sure where we might find it so we just keep looking" said Henderson.
While they keep looking for the disease they say the public should still keep food safety in mind.
Wash your hands before handling and food. Then make sure you properly cook it doing that can kill the bacteria fast.
Shippers Bear Primary Responsibility for Safe Transportation of Food
Soruce : http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/shippers-bear-primary-responsibility-for-safe-transportation-of-food/
By Kathy Hardee, Esq. (June 21, 2016)
Sometimes referred to as the “weakest link” in the food safety system, many responsible for the transportation of food feared that the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) would be particularly harsh on the transportation industry. For all of the trepidation and foreboding, the initial 2014 proposed regulation was surprisingly benign, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually praising the transportation industry’s current best practices. If the draft regulation was a surprise, the final regulation for the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food, published April 6, 2016, is worthy of cartwheels as it further dials back even the provisions in the draft regulation.
What may not automatically occur to those in the food industry is that the rules applying to the safe transportation of food apply not only to transportation carriers, but also to shippers, receivers and loaders. In fact, under the final regulation primary responsibility for nearly all safety risks during transportation falls to the shipper. It is the shipper who must determine appropriate transportation operations. The shipper must develop and implement written procedures to ensure that equipment and vehicles are in appropriate sanitary condition. Shippers of bulk food must develop and implement written procedures to ensure that a previous cargo does not cross-contaminate. Shippers of food which require temperature control for safety must also develop and implement written procedures to ensure adequate temperature control during transport. These responsibilities may be contractually assigned to other entities, such as the carrier or loader, if they agree to accept the responsibility. FDA’s logic is that it is the shipper who is in the best position to know the appropriate specifications for the transportation of its food product.
The general categories within the transportation regulation can be divided as follows:
A. Coverage: The transportation regulation generally applies to shippers, loaders, carriers by motor vehicle or rail vehicle, and receivers engaged in the transportation of food, including food for humans and for animals. Transportation is defined as any movement of food in commerce, including both interstate and intrastate commerce.
Excluded from the definition of “transportation operations” are foods completely enclosed by a container, except foods that require temperature control. Also excluded are all transportation activities performed by a farm and the transportation of live food animals (with limited exceptions). The transport of human food byproducts for use as animal food without further processing is also excluded.
The transportation rule does not apply to transportation by ship or air within the U.S. It does not apply to food imported, transported through the U.S. and then exported, if the food does not enter U.S. distribution. Conversely, food manufactured in the U.S. for export is covered under the rule until transported to the U.S. point of export. The rule would not cover shippers, receivers or carriers engaged in food transportation operations which have less than $500,000 of total annual sales. FDA also has the authority to waive the rule in part or altogether if such waiver will not result in unsafe food conditions. FDA has already announced it will publish the following waivers:
• Shippers, carriers and receivers subject to the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments for Grade A milk and milk products.
• Shippers, carriers and receivers in operations in which food is relinquished to customers after being transported from a food establishment. Examples include restaurants, supermarkets and home grocery delivery operations. Such transportation operations are regulated under the Retail Food Program, with state, territorial, tribal and local enforcement, and FDA oversight.
B. Vehicles and Equipment: Vehicles and transportation equipment used in the transportation of food must be made so that they are usable for their intended purposes and maintained in such a way as to be suitable and adequately cleanable to prevent the food they transport from becoming unsafe, that is, adulterated. The shipper must specify to the carrier, in writing, all necessary sanitary requirements for the carrier’s vehicle and equipment, including any specific design requirements and cleaning procedures deemed necessary by the shipper to ensure that the vehicle and equipment are in appropriate sanitary condition for the particular food product. The shipper also must visually inspect the carrier’s vehicle for cleanliness and compliance with its written sanitary specifications prior to loading the shipment
Bulk tankers are of particular concern as they are more difficult to both clean and to inspect. The regulation will require a carrier operating a bulk vehicle to provide information to the shipper that describes the most recent cleaning of the vehicle. The regulation will also require a carrier operating a bulk vehicle to provide information to the shipper that identifies the three previous cargoes transported in the vehicle.
C. Temperature Controls: One of the biggest risks to foods in transit relates to the transport of foods that require temperature controls to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation. In the regulation, FDA has clarified that the shipper is the one with the knowledge and responsibility to establish all preventive controls, including the temperature controls required during transport. The shipper is responsible to communicate those necessary temperature controls in writing to the carrier. The shipper must also verify prior to loading that the vehicle has been precooled in accordance with the shipper’s written controls.
The regulation requires that vehicles and transportation equipment used to transport temperature sensitive foods be designed, maintained and equipped to be able to maintain the food under temperature conditions identified by the shipper as necessary to prevent it from supporting microbial growth. Although the proposed regulation required the use of a temperature indicating or recording device during transport, the final regulation is much more flexible. The shipper and carrier can agree to any temperature monitoring mechanism for foods that require temperature control for safety.
D. Transportation Operations: After temperature control, cross-contamination is the second leading biological abuse of food during transport. A concern of many food safety groups has been the practice of transporting certain combinations of food cargo with either raw food and/or non-food cargo, either as co-cargo or subsequent cargo. The Sanitary Transportation regulation requires that effective measures be taken to protect food from exposure to raw foods or non-food items in the same or subsequent loads. Appropriate protective measures must be designed by the shipper and may include segregation, isolation or packaging of the subject food and/or sanitation measures.
E. Training: The regulation requires that carriers provide training to all personnel engaged in transportation operations. That training must provide an awareness of potential food safety problems which may occur during food transportation, basic sanitary transportation practices to address those potential problems and the responsibilities of the carrier under the various regulations. This training is required to occur upon hiring and on an as-needed basis thereafter. FDA is developing an online course that would meet these training requirements. The agency anticipates that the course will be available before the first compliance dates.
F. Records: The regulation contains certain record keeping requirements. Shippers must retain records demonstrating that they provided specifications and operating temperatures to carriers for 12 months after the termination of the contract with the carrier. Carriers must retain training records for 12 months after the person identified in the records stops performing the duties for which they were trained.
G. Compliance: Small businesses other than motor carriers who are not also shippers and/or receivers employing fewer than 500 persons and motor carriers having less than $27.5 million in annual receipts must comply within two years after the publication date (April 6, 2016). All other covered businesses not otherwise excluded from coverage must comply within one year after the publication date.
For particular questions, FDA’s FSMA Food Safety Technical Assistance Network is already operational to provide informational support to the industry in understanding and implementing FSMA. Questions submitted online or by mail will be answer by FDA personnel.
Food safety tips to help you and your family stay healthy
Source : http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/food_safety_tips_to_help_you_and_your_family_stay_healthy
By Eileen Haraminac, Michigan State University Extension (June 20, 2016)
Follow these important tips to minimize the occurrence of foodborne illness.
Michigan State University Extension and Food Safety.gov along with food safety experts and researchers are committed to helping consumers stay healthy and not experience foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses affect millions and causes thousands of deaths each year. It also costs billions of dollars each year and can result in legal action. Consumers can do their part by following these important tips.
•Wash your hands. Handwashing is easy to do and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent many types of infection and illness from spreading to our food. Germs on your hands can contaminate the food that you or others eat. So wash hands the right way—for 20 seconds with soap and running water.
•Don’t thaw food on the counter. Thawing food on the counter exposes it to harmful bacteria as it defrosts, as harmful germs can multiply extremely rapidly at room temperature and these bacteria could potentially cause a foodborne illness. To thaw food safely follow these practices: thaw in the refrigerator, in cold water, in the microwave with immediate cooking afterward or thawed as part of the cooking process.
•Don’t wash meat or poultry. Washing raw meat or poultry can spread bacteria to your sink, countertops, and other surfaces in your kitchen. It is important to note that Campylobacter germs (a type of bacteria) are commonly found in raw meat, particularly raw poultry such as chicken and turkey.
•Don’t undercook meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs. The common approach of looking at the color and texture of meat, poultry, seafood or eggs to see if they are cooked properly is not safe. To prevent foodborne illnesses use a food thermometer to check for accurate temperatures. Cooked food is safe only after it’s been cooked to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Use the Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart and a food thermometer to make sure you always reach the correct temperature.
Following these food safety practices can help to minimize the occurrence of foodborne illnesses. Remember to share these tips with family and friends to keep you and your family safe.
This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).
FDA warning letters: Rodents, bugs, seafood HACCP violations and drug residues
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/06/fda-warning-letters-8/#.V3B8VU4eaUl
By News Desk (June 20, 2016)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently sent warning letters to a food distribution warehouse in Minnesota, a bakery in California, and a beef operation in Iowa.
AMJ Distribution Company Inc. of Brooklyn Park, MN, had its warehouse and food product distribution facility, which handles corn, millet, seeds and ready-to-eat dried/smoked seafood products, inspected by FDA from March 24 to April 13, 2016.
In a warning letter dated June 7, 2016, the agency told the company that the inspection “revealed serious violations” of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations.
“The violations included significant evidence of rodent activity and insanitary conditions throughout your facility,” the letter stated, including the demonstrated presence of rodent excreta pellets and rodent hair, rodent gnawing and rodent urine, and also the adult head of a sawtoothed grain beetle and the presence of a merchant grain beetle and Chalcid wasps.
The failure to take effective measures to exclude pests as required by federal law renders the company’s products adulterated, FDA stated. Also cited as problems at the facility were rubbish and piles and bags of non-food items in and around stored products.
FDA’s warning letter also noted “significant” seafood HACCP violations due to the lack of a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product the company produces, which is required under federal regulations.
“However, your firm does not have a HACCP plan for your ready-to-eat smoked/dried pike and catfish, dried boney fish, snails, and fish powder to control food safety hazards which may include allergens, pathogen growth, and toxin formation, e.g. Staphylococcus aureus,” the letter stated.
Douce France Inc. (dba, Douce France Bakery) in Redwood City, CA, was told in a warning letter dated May 19, 2016, that FDA’s inspection on Feb. 3-5, 2016, revealed violations of CGMPs at the company’s facility, which manufactures bread, dessert pastry and other bakery products.
Specifically, FDA stated that an employee was observed making a type of eggless bread with a mixer previously used to make products containing egg, an allergenic ingredient. Also, a knife used to cut cake was taken from a bucket apparently containing unclean water, the letter noted, and a metal sifter with “protruding fraying pieces of metal mesh” was used to sift powdered sugar.
“Although this observation was brought to the attention of management on February 3, 2016, the same sifter was observed sitting on top of a powdered sugar container the next production day. Additionally, investigators observed that your firm does not have a metal detector,” FDA’s letter stated.
Cleaning and sanitizing operations at the facility were found to be inadequate, and employees working in direct contact with food and food-contact surfaces “did not conform to hygienic practices” while on duty sufficient to protect against contamination, according to the warning letter.
The bakery was also told that its tart shells were not labeled in accordance with FDA regulations in that the finished product fails to declare a major food allergen, milk, which FDA noted is in the butter used to make the product.
A June 3, 2016, warning letter sent to Scott and Eric Cherne of Guttenberg, IA, noted that investigators from FDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship had visited their beef cow-calf operation on April 20-21, April 26-28, and May 2 and 4, 2016, and found violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
The letter stated that a “Cherne Angus” cow was sold for slaughter as food on or about Feb. 22, 2016, and that analysis of tissue samples from this animal identified the presence of 3.91 parts per million (ppm) of Desfuroylceftiofur, a marker residue of certain drugs used to treat bacterial respiratory diseases in cattle and swine.
Since FDA has established a tolerance of 0.4 ppm for residues of Desfuroycleftiofur in the edible tissues of cattle, the presence of this drug in edible tissue from this animal in this amount causes the food to be adulterated …,” FDA stated.
Recipients of these warning letters have 15 working days from receipt to outline specific steps they have taken to come into compliance with the law.
Food Safety 101: Dos And Don'ts For Summer Eating
Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/rose-reisman/summer-eating-safety_b_10533324.html
By Rose Reisman (June 20, 2016)
The summer heat means heading outdoors for barbecues, picnics and patios. Having meals outdoors is one of the best parts of summer, but improperly prepared foods can affect our health. Health Canada states that between 11-13 million people have food poisoning yearly. Ensuring the safety of food can be especially challenging this time of year because of the rising temperatures.
Be smart when it comes to outdoor eating with these tips on how to cook, keep and clean up when it comes to food in the summer!
1. Keep It Cool
Food needs to be kept at the proper temperature, especially when you add the summer heat into the mix. When transporting food to the beach or to a picnic, bring two cooler bags -- one for raw meat and another for other perishable foods; never mix raw meat with other items, unless the meat is in a spill-proof container. If liquid from the meat leaks into the cooler bag, it will contaminate the other food.
Make sure your cooler bag is filled with ice packs to store your food on the go. The temperature inside the cooler should be at or below 4°C (40°F). Use a portable thermometer to place inside the cooler to ensure that the proper temperature is kept. When travelling, keep the bags in your car where the air conditioning can help keep them cold. Don't store your cooler bags in the hot trunk.
Foods that are at the biggest risk when overheated are meat and dairy, so avoid the mayo-based salads like egg and potato when you're packing your sides, unless they are kept on ice and not exposed to the sun or heat. It's best to cook your raw meat sooner than later when you arrive at your destination.
Always remember to keep food out of the temperature danger zone of 4°C to 60°C (40°F to 140°F). Harmful bacteria can grow in as little as two hours in this temperature range, so don't keep food out for longer than two hours during the summer.
2. Get Cooking
No such thing as enjoying Beef Tartar when eating outdoors! It's best to cook any ground beef and poultry thoroughly and use a digital food thermometer to ensure food has reached a safe internal temperature to avoid foodborne illnesses. You can still enjoy a medium rare steak if eaten immediately. Colour alone is not a reliable indicator that meat is safe to eat. Meat can turn brown before all the bacteria -- such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter -- are killed by heat.
Safe temperatures for food are:
Ground meat - 165°F (74°C)
Medium done steak - 145°F (63°C)
Fish - 145°F (63°C)
Poultry - 165°F (74°C)
Pork - 145°F (63°C)
Remember to always clean your digital food thermometer in warm, soapy water between temperature readings to avoid cross-contamination.
3. Burn, Baby, Burn
While that charred taste of something straight off the grill is delicious, you don't want to burn your food, as it can cause carcinogens. Marinating meat creates barrier from heat and helps to prevent flare ups, which reduces carcinogens. Other ways to prevent flare ups include keeping a water bottle on hand to douse flare ups, trimming excess fat from meat before cooking, and moving meat to indirect heat (the part of the grill where the flame is off) to cook.
4. Keep It Clean
Not only do we have to be careful how we cook; we also need to ensure there is no cross-contamination.
It seems basic, but it makes a big difference -- always wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before and after handling food. If you're eating outdoors, at a campsite, or somewhere without running water, make sure you keep a large water bottle, hand soap and paper towels on hand. Don't use dish cloths -- they spread bacteria. Be careful with hand sanitizer if cooking near flames -- the alcohol in it can be a hazard!
Use a clean plate when taking food off the grill. Never put ready-to-eat or cooked food on a plate that was used for raw meat, poultry or seafood; always use a new plate, otherwise you run the risk of getting ill from cross-contamination. Also, keep several sets of clean utensils, cutting boards, and plates on hand -- assigning different colours for raw and cooked food helps!
Also, many of us are unaware that other foods like fruits and veggies can spread bacteria which can be found on the skin of the produce. Ensure you wash at home before bringing to the beach or on your picnic.
5. Foods To Pass Or Pack For Your Picnic
1. Potato and egg salad, or creamy coleslaw
2. Ice cream-based treats
1. Pasta or Bean Salad (no mayonnaise)
2. Hard cheeses and crackers
3. Veggie and Hummus (or other non-mayo-based dips)
6. Leave The Leftovers
Cool food by using shallow containers, so that it cools quickly. Err on the side of safety when it comes to leftovers -- discard any food left out for more than one hour.
Don't ruin your day in the sun with food poisoning this summer. Take your food safety seriously when eating al fresco!
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Combined Effect Of Disinfectant And Phage On The Survivality Of S. Typhimurium And Its Biofilm Phenotype
Mudit Chandra, Sunita Thakur, Satish S Chougule, Deepti Narang, Gurpreet Kaur and N S Sharma
Quality analysis of milk and milk products collected from Jalandhar, Punjab, India
Shalini Singh, Vinay Chandel, Pranav Soni
Functional and Nutraceutical Bread prepared by using Aqueous Garlic Extract
H.A.R. Suleria, N. Khalid, S. Sultan, A. Raza, A. Muhammad and M. Abbas
Microbiological Assessment of Street Foods of Gangtok And Nainital, Popular Hill Resorts of India
Niki Kharel, Uma Palni and Jyoti Prakash Tamang
Assessment of the Microbial Quality of Locally Produced Meat (Beef and Pork) in Bolgatanga Municipal of Ghana
Innocent Allan Anachinaba, Frederick Adzitey and Gabriel Ayum Teye
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