August 15, 2011 |
At a time when foodborne outbreaks are in the headlines, a restaurant's health score may seem even more important than its reviews. A big C on the front door won't exactly whet the appetite, but an A gives you a sense of security. Cleanliness matters. A single rag dripping with E. coli bacteria could ruin a beef Wellington, and it only takes one unwashed hand to turn pasta primavera into a norovirus surprise. Restaurant inspections have definitely helped prevent outbreaks across the country, says food safety expert Margaret Binkley, an assistant professor in the department of consumer sciences at Ohio State University in Columbus.
August 4, 2011 |
It's easy to be the Monday-morning quarterback, but credit the Center for Science in the Public Interest for asking why federal regulators didn't warn consumers sooner about the possibility that turkey from a Cargill plant in Arkansas might be tainted with salmonella. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledged Thursday that they may have had hints that the strain of salmonella that has caused one death and more than 20 hospitalizations was tied with the Arkansas plant.
July 2, 2011
When safety is last Re "Dine at your own risk in China," Column One, June 27 The horrors of Chinese food safety abuse, in which companies put profit before consumer welfare, are harbingers of what can happen in the U.S. if for-profit corporations are allowed to self-regulate. Here in the U.S., we constantly have to fight conservatives' efforts to underfund agencies that protect the public from the kinds of horrendous practices found in China: soy sauce made from hair clippings, melamine-tainted baby formula, steroids in pork and recycled oil from sewers.
June 26, 2011 |
It was a wedding the guests would never forget. Everybody of consequence in the village had been invited to a banquet to celebrate the marriage of the son of one of the wealthiest families. Fifty tables groaned under a lavish spread of dumplings, steamed chickens, pork ribs, meatballs, stir fries, all of it exceptionally delicious, guests would later recall. But about an hour into the meal, something seemed to be wrong. A pregnant woman collapsed. Old men clutched their chests. Children vomited.
June 2, 2011 |
When a team of activists wearing white hazmat suits showed up at a Chicago grocery store to protest the sale of food containing genetically modified ingredients, they picked an unlikely target: Whole Foods Market. Organic foods, by definition, can't contain genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. But genetically modified corn, soy and other crops have become such common ingredients in processed foods that even one of the nation's top organic food retailers says it's been unable to avoid stocking some products that contain them.
April 29, 2011 |
Three years after China was rocked by a scandal over deadly tainted milk, the country is once again grappling with concerns over food safety. In recent weeks, reports of tainted food have surfaced throughout China. The list includes diseased pigs used for bacon; noodles made of corn, ink and paraffin; rice contaminated with heavy metals; sausages made of rotten meat and fertilizer; and pork described as "Tron blue" because bacteria made it glow in the dark. The central government implemented a sweeping food-safety law in 2009 after at least six infants died and tens of thousands of people were sickened by milk adulterated with melamine.
April 4, 2011 |
The task of finding consumer information about recalled food products grew a bit easier Monday with the launch of a Food and Drug Administration website that compiles recall notices in a searchable table. The Web page displays information on recalls since 2009 by date, product brand name, product description, the reason for the recall and the firm doing the recalling. It also includes an image of the product label and links to the press release on each recall -- which generally contain additional information.
March 21, 2011 |
Japan halted some food shipments Monday as officials from the World Health Organization warned that radioactive milk, spinach and other items posed a greater health threat than radioactive materials in the air. Tainted agricultural products turned up over the weekend, with some exceeding government standards for allowable radiation levels. Here's some information on radiation and food safety: How does food become tainted by radiation? Plants can become poisoned when radioactive material enters the soil and is taken up by root systems.
March 17, 2011 |
The Japanese economy is showing increasing signs of disarray, with the world's third-largest economy struggling with shortages of fuel, questions of food safety, and scarce electricity supplies that are forcing stores and restaurants in Tokyo to close early. The problems come as the toll of the missing and dead rose above 15,000, the National Police Agency said, according to Kyodo News Agency. The toll included nearly 5,700 deaths and 9,500 missing. Quoting police, the news agency said 380,000 people had been dislocated, and were staying in 2,000 shelters.
February 15, 2011 |
Even as he proposes cuts to rein in spending in 2012, President Obama is calling for strategic increases in areas like cancer research and food safety that highlight a vision of government in sharp conflict with the Republicans who have gained power in Congress. By proposing billions of new dollars to educate children, regulate financial markets and develop cleaner fuels, Obama has drawn battle lines that will require congressional Republicans to publicly fight him over services widely considered important government functions.