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Foodborne Salmonellosis: A Persistent Challenge Far Beyond Ground Turkey

Human salmonellosis has remained a considerable challenge for the U.S. food industry, regulatory agencies (both USDA and FDA), and public health agencies over the last decade. The latest estimates on the prevalence of human salmonellosis suggest that foodborne Salmonella infections cause around 1 million domestically acquired disease cases a year in the U.S., including 350–400 cases that result in deaths.

There are a number of reasons why it has been so difficult to reduce Salmonella transmission in the U.S. Keep Reading

Fighting to Get Caramel Color Ingredient Off Prop 65 List

A group of plaintiffs—the California League of Food Processors, the American Beverage Association, Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the National Coffee Association—filed a lawsuit against the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) for its wrongful listing of 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) under Proposition 65. On Jan. 7, 2011, based on a technical report from the National Toxicology Program (NTP), OEHHA listed the compound as a carcinogen. Nevertheless, NTP does not identify 4-MEI as even “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Keep Reading

Does Being ‘Small’ Mean Less Food Safety Risk?

Being a small business person myself, I am all for helping my peers who are working hard to make our businesses successful.  The order that comes with rules and regulations intended for Wall Street can be onerous and difficult to manage for those found mostly on the local main streets.  However, is it correct for FDA to require less food safety controls for smaller food manufacturers than for the larger ones?  I can’t agree that such a principle for regulation is in anyone’s best interests. Keep Reading

We Need More Practice at Being Dummies

Years ago when my mother was in the hospital we met a nurse named Barb, who told us about one of her patients—Charlie. Upon leaving the hospital, Charlie presented Barb with a card that read “Official member of the Dummy Club – Member # 172.” Charlie explained that while most people think they know everything, Barb was a “dummy.” She knew that she did not know everything and was thus open to all possibilities. When Charlie finds open-minded people, he rewards them with membership in the dummy club.

Recently, I have been talking to many people about the FDA’s hearings on genetically modified salmon. I have not found many dummies. People’s opinions on genetically modified (GM) food are so diverse—and so rock solid. Keep Reading