FDA proposes a new rule for FSMA food traceability as part of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a proposed rule for traceability and recordkeeping requirements for the most vulnerable foods. The goal of the proposal is to track the foods at every step of the supply chain. Comprehensive traceability, with more inclusive records associated with critical tracking events, can help the FDA identify the exact sources of foods involved in outbreaks. Better traceability will allow the fast removal of unsafe products from the market, thereby preventing illnesses and death. Recent outbreaks of foodborne disease tied to fresh leafy greens and papayas emphasize the importance of better traceability. Complete records...


COVID-19, Washing Hands, Alcoholism and Sacred Cows

Scientists agree that exposure to COVID-19 has different outcomes for different people, such as young vs. old, men vs. women, and people residing in different countries. It is also in general agreement that infection rates and resulting death rates are related to the amount of exposure to the number of viruses a person encounters. Some factors that might impact the severity of the results are explored. While washing hands is essential in this era, it may not justify our lifetime practice of isolating ourselves from environmental viruses, bacteria, and allergens. The wisdom of our “scientific” practice of lifetime isolation from...


FDA recalls 150 brands of hand sanitizers: How can consumers keep track?

With the need to clean hands frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizers became a hot commodity. The familiar brands such as Purell disappeared from the shelves and consumers needed to resort to buying unfamiliar brands. However, we all quickly discovered that many of the hand sanitizers contained poisonous, undeclared compounds. Early on during the public health COVID-19 emergency, the FDA issued temporary policies to provide flexibility to meet the demand. The guidelines were updated in April, indicating that at least some of the ethanol-based products had harmful chemicals, including gasoline and benzene, known as human carcinogens.  Two months ago,...


The Smarter Safety Of Food Science-

How nice would it be for the FDA to be able to track the source of a food poisoning illness?  To track the origin of the outbreak within seconds versus months? Where is the culture and technology of food safety headed?  The FDA will be implementing a plan called New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint as revealed on July 13th, at the virtual SHIFT20 show hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy, and Response Frank Yiannnas outlined the vision behind it. I sat in on the webinar, and here is what I learned