In the news

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France cheese manufacturer of Reblochon cheese recalled products after E. coli outbreak

French food retailer Leclerc recalled Reblochon products, produced from raw milk, by cheesemaker Chabert. The recall includes Reblochon made at the production facility in the French Alps and sold by various retailers, including Carrefour and Intermarché. The recall in France involves about 350 tons of cheese. The cheese was recalled after seven children in France have been confirmed with E. coli O26 infections linked to the recalled cheese. Six have developed hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). The outbreak in France has prompted Canadian officials to initiate a recall of imported Reblochon cheese. @ https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-cheese-ecoli/france-extends-cheese-recall-after-e-coli-cases-in-children-idUSKCN1IF23Y

All Reblochon cheese coming from a factory in the French Alps should be removed from the market after young children were found to have been infected by a E.coli bacteria linked to the raw milk based product, the French agriculture ministry said on Monday.

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To test (for food pathogens) or not to test?

An intriguing piece by Shawn Stevens
To date this year, approximately 20,000,000 pounds of packaged food products have been recalled for the presence of pathogens. This number does not include the nearly 20,000,000 pounds of eggs that have been pulled off store shelves as a result of the recent egg recall, or the millions of pounds of romaine lettuce that is no longer being processed, purchased or plated as a result of the ongoing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. Could more testing have prevented these products from making it into consumer’s homes? The logical answer is yes, more testing would likely have identified many, if not virtually all, of these issues. With that said, I also know from experience that many naysayers will argue that you can “never test to zero,” and more testing “is worthless” and “a waste of money and time.” Well, perhaps, given the massive amount of product recalled so far this year, that attitude is the root cause of the problem. @ http://www.meatingplace.com/Industry/Blogs/Details/79599

Meatingplace.com is the online community for North American beef, pork and poultry processors.

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Secretary Perdue Appoints New Members to National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the appointment of 18 new members and 12 returning members to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF). “Food safety and ensuring public health continue to be at the forefront of USDA’s mission,” said Perdue. “The committee members represent a diverse group from academia, consumers, the food industry, laboratories, consultants, and government agencies all of which play an important role in providing scientific advice and expertise to USDA on food safety and wholesomeness.” NACMCF is a discretionary advisory committee that provides impartial scientific advice and peer reviews to food safety agencies on public health issues related to the safety and wholesomeness of domestic, imported and exported foods. @ https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/05/14/secretary-perdue-appoints-new-members-national-advisory-committee

https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/05/14/secretary-perdue-appoints-new-members-national-advisory-committee

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Chinese scientists design meat “freshness sniffer”

Researchers at China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp developed a handheld device for food market shoppers, China Daily reported. The small “freshness sniffer”, is an electronic device that determines the freshness of meat. Niu Ye, an engineer at the institute who is in charge of the product’s development, said: “You open the device and an application on your mobile phone and then place the device very close to the meat for about 10 seconds.”The “freshness sniffer” is connected with the mobile phone via Bluetooth. It detects and measures the presence of ammonia and volatile organic compounds to determine bacteriological activity in uncooked meat. The gadget can be used with almost every kind of meat — including pork, beef, mutton, chicken and even fish — Niu said. The first version of the device is 80-90 percent accurate, and further upgrades of the hardware and app will increase the accuracy. @ http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-05/07/c_137161711.htm