June 20, 2012
Under a proposed change in federal food safety rules, up to 175 chicken carcasses a minute would whiz by a single government inspector as he attempted to check them for signs of contamination or other problems. Talk about poultry in motion. The U.S. Department of Agriculturehas been testing a system, with promising results, under which it could cut the number of government poultry inspectors by 800 and have the employees of processing plants take over much of the inspection and sorting work earlier on in the line.
June 13, 2012 |
It's Philly, all right, but hold the Philly cheese steak - at least from the menu for the homeless. The ACLU has sued the City of Brotherly Love for not being loving or brotherly enough with its ban on the outdoor feeding of the homeless, which took effect this month. The Philadelphia Weekly points out that the ban grew out of the Occupy movement, which began giving food to the homeless without benefit of food safety standards. Philadelphia joins the list of municipalities that have banned or restricted feeding the homeless in public, at the very moment when public funds for homeless services are going on a starvation diet.
June 6, 2012 |
As part of President Obama's push to streamline regulations on businesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to let chicken slaughterhouses run production lines faster and with fewer federal inspectors, angering food safety advocates and poultry plant workers. Under the proposal, production lines would be allowed to move 25% faster, while the government would cut by as much as 75% the number of line inspectors eyeing chicken bodies for defects before they are packaged for consumption.
May 20, 2012 |
Go with a guide who knows local street food and, if possible, can help you find relatively clean stalls. According to customers I talked with, quality street-food vendors can often be found near universities and railway stations. For the sake of food safety, choose hot snacks. Try to get them when they've just come out of the griddle or fryer. It's best to avoid eating meat, even if it's well cooked. I failed to follow this last rule: It's usually smart to avoid chutneys and juices and to discard raw items such as onion and tomatoes . firstname.lastname@example.org
March 26, 2012 |
Beef Products Inc. told the Associated Press on Monday that it'll shut down operations at three of the four plants where it makes the meat product that critics have nastily taken to calling “pink slime.” But some food industry experts say that the company's trip through the grinder is unfair. BPI could have done more to inform consumers of the process it used to make what's known as “lean, finely textured beef,” said Seattle food safety lawyer Bill Marler. The company takes fatty meat trimmings, heats them and runs them through a centrifuge to take off the fat and then treats the remaining lean beef with ammonium hydroxide gas to eliminate bacteria such asE. coli.
January 30, 2012
E. coli O157:H7 is one of the biggest villains in food safety circles, made famous by the 1993 Jack in the Box hamburger outbreak and by later food poisoning cases, including the 2006 spinach outbreak. But even as bagged-greens companies perfect their new washes, E. coli is turning out to be a moving target, presenting new challenges for safety surveillance. Scientists are increasingly worried about six lesser-known E. coli strains known as the "big six. " One of those strains is blamed for a 2010 outbreak spread by Romaine lettuce that sickened 26 people, largely on the East Coast.
January 30, 2012 |
For millions of Americans, bagged salads are a miracle food, the perfect mix of health and convenience. Time-pressed cooks can rip open a bag and pour the leaves right into the bowl, reassured by the "triple-washed" label that some wondrous process has rendered these greens squeaky clean and ready for dinner. They don't want to think about E. coli O157:H7 . And the salad industry doesn't want them thinking about it either. That's why the safety of bagged greens has emerged as one of the most pressing issues in today's fresh produce business.
January 30, 2012 |
The salad chefs I know fall into two camps: Some serve pre-washed bagged leafy greens straight from the bag. The others insist on washing them first, even though the bag label promises that the contents are "triple-washed. " Over the years, I've ignored those labels too. I typically dumped bagged greens in the salad spinner, added plenty of water and spun strenuously. After writing too many stories about food recalls, I vowed that family and friends were not going to swallow E. coli along with their spring mix and lemon vinaigrette.
November 17, 2011
EVENTS And you thought playing with Legos was just a constructive way to spend a rainy afternoon. Turns out some children have been building them into fierce robots and will square off in a First Lego League Robotics Qualifying Tournament for a spot in the regional competition come December. This round hosted by California Lutheran University will feature 24 teams from local schools and their Lego minions, who will somehow carry out a task associated with this year's theme: food safety.
September 26, 2011 |
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday afternoon warned consumers not to eat oysters harvested from Washington state's Hood Canal Area 4 between Aug. 30 and Sept. 19. The oysters are suspected of carrying vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria, and are believed to be the cause of an outbreak of illness in as many as five consumers to date. The oysters that are subject to the warning have been distributed to 23 states and several countries. The states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Utah and Washington.