Salmonella in Papaya Sickened 47 People in 12 States

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Jul 23, 2017

An outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu in yellow Maradol papaya has sickened 47 individuals from 12 states and is being investigated by the CDC, FDA and public health officials in multiple states. Whole genomic sequencing shows that the Salmonella Kiambu isolated from the infected people is genetically closely related, and therefore, are more likely to share the same source of infection. More than third of the affected people were hospitalized, and one death was reported in New York City.

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FSMA and Pathogen Environmental Monitoring (PEM) Programs: Where are we?

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Jul 18, 2017

Environmental monitoring required under CFR 21 section 117.165 and the FDA Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food. Its purpose is to verify the implementation and effectiveness of the preventive controls put in place. Most food companies need to comply with these rules now or in the very near future. The reason for having a PEM program is to identify problem areas in the manufacturing facility where pathogens can harbor and become a source of contamination (“niches”) and assess the effectiveness of the sanitation programs. It may include pathogens or indicator organisms, depending on the products being manufactured. The program should encourage finding locations that will yield positive pathogen results.

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Recalls due to Labeling Mistakes – The #1 Reason for Food Recalls

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Jul 11, 2017

Although there was an extremely high number of recalls due to Listeria monocytogenes in the past three months, the majority of the FDA recalls were due to allergens many caused by mislabeling.  Undeclared allergens accounted for about 90% of labeling related recalls. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 requires that packaged food labels include declarations of the eight major food allergens: eggs, milk, wheat, peanuts, soybeans, tree nuts, fish and crustacean shellfish.   Allergens are unique in food safety as they...

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Recalls and Outbreaks due to Food Pathogens: Is there a connection?

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Jul 7, 2017

Most food recalls in the U.S. are due to Listeria. Food Safety Tech has reported that in 2016 about 550 food products were recalled in the US. Of the recalled products, 275 were due to microbial contamination. Of the recalls, due to microbial contamination, 65% were due to Listeria monocytogenes. Salmonella accounted for 21% of the recalls, while E. coli accounted for only 3% of the recalls. However, there were more Salmonella outbreaks in 2016 than Listeria outbreaks.

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Use of Crowdsourcing in the Food Industry and Food Safety

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Jun 26, 2017

An interesting article was just published entitled “Crowdsourcing: A new conceptual view for food safety and quality”. According to Merriam-Webster:” Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers”. Our website can be a source of answers by the registered users, and as such can be a venue for crowdsourcing. There is a trend for manufacturers of consumer goods for sourcing creative ideas from consumers. Ten Years after the birth of crowdsourcing there seems to be still untapped potential for innovation in food safety and quality.

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In the last few days, (6/14-6/16) there have been several more recalls due to Listeria

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Jun 17, 2017

In the last 3 days, six more recalls due to Listeria monocytogenes occurred. All are due to finding Listeria in the environment of suppliers. June 16, Chic-a-Peas LLC voluntarily recalled Chic-a-Peas Baked Crunchy Chickpeas 2 oz. packages because the product has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. This recall has been initiated because one of their manufacturing companies notified them that Listeria monocytogenes was found in the production environment  June 16, NOW Health Group, Inc. (NOW), of Bloomingdale,...

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More Recalls Caused by Fear of Listeria monocytogenes Contamination

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Jun 15, 2017

Listeria monocytogenes was a major reason for recalls according to “Summary of Recall cases in Calendar Year 2016”, by the FSIS/USDA, accounting for over 80% of the total cases. Food Safety Tech reported that in 2016, in the US close to 550 food products were recalled, and around 275 were recalled due to microbial contamination. Listeria monocytogenes was the cause of 65% of the microbiological recalls. In the last few weeks a number of products were recalled due to fear of Listeria monocytogenes contamination

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Hepatitis A is in the News due to Raw Tuna Fish

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Jun 7, 2017

In the last couple of months, more and more cases of Hepatitis A were in the news. In the most recent recall, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled frozen tuna steaks and cubes, after finding out that some tuna sold in California, Texas, and Oklahoma had been contaminated with hepatitis A. On May 1 the Hawaii Department of Health has alerted the FDA, that a sample of frozen tuna cubes originating in Indonesia tested positive for hepatitis A. The initial FDA recall started on May 18, when Hilo Fish Company began recalling tuna obtained from Sustainable Seafood Company and Santa Cruz Seafood, Inc. On June 6 a revised recall was issued by the FDA

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Consumption of Unpasteurized Cow’s Milk and Cheese and its Impact on Outbreaks and Diseases

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Jun 1, 2017

Introduction Despite of everything we learned about the danger of raw milk and its products, the sales of raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products are still legal in at least 30 states in the United States.  Raw milk and milk products from cows, goats, and sheep continue to be a source of bacterial infections attributable to a number of virulent pathogens, including Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella species, Brucella species, and Escherichia coli O157. A report published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 23,...

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Another FSMA Rule Takes Effect: Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP)

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May 25, 2017

Compliance date for FSMA rule on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals is begins on May 30, 2017. This rule imposes far-reaching changes on food importers and requires review of the food safety practices of foreign suppliers and their compliance history. Foreign suppliers must be approved in advance and have a written program before they can be used. The rule also requires new information to be submitted for customs entries: the FSVP importer must now be declared for each importation of FDA-regulated food (including dietary supplements) unless exempt

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