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    So much food history in Chicago's West Loop. A cool neighborhood to stroll to see the homes of past - and current - food businesses! #meatpacking #meatpackingdistrict #westloop #chicago #meat #fultonmarket How does someone with a journalism background get into #FoodScience? Meet Liz Bloyd, member of IFT's Marketing & Management Division! Read her interview at www.sciencemeetsfood.org. The September issue of Food Technology is headed your way! 📬 #foodscience #cleanlabel #wellness #ingredients #innovation All IFT webcasts are now FREE for IFT members! Go nuts! www.ift.org/learnonline

Listeria Presents a Very Rocky Road

icecreamListeria continues to make headlines and cause death, hospitalizations, and numerous food recalls. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been 16 different recalls since March of this year due to Listeria found in food products including hummus, frozen spinach, smoothie kits, and most notably ice cream.

What is unusual about Listeria bacteria is that they can grow and multiply under refrigerated conditions. Therefore, they can be present in cold, wet environments as commonly found in many packaging areas. Listeria niches have been detected in drains and areas of condensation within a plant, such as the ceiling or light fixtures. Listeria monocytogenes has contaminated ready-to-eat deli meats and hot dogs, refrigerated meat spreads, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk, refrigerated smoked seafood, cantaloupes, coleslaw, and raw sprouts. Keep Reading

Single Food Agency: Theory vs. Reality

The Obama Administration’s recent budget proposal for FY 2016 endorsed the concept of establishing a single federal food safety agency—reviving discussion on what has been a long-standing issue. This initiative has generated many of the same talking points that have surrounded this topic for decades, including everyone’s favorite reference to the absurdity of a system in which the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) maintains processing oversight of a cheese pizza until pepperoni is added, at which point the oversight shifts to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety & Inspection Service (USDA FSIS).

There is near universal agreement that no one would design such a system if they were working off a proverbial clean sheet of paper. While this is undoubtedly correct, it forces us to juxtapose this theoretical point against the 100+ years of oversight, policy, and paperwork generated by the FDA, FSIS, and its predecessor agencies, not to mention other relevant players such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and countless other state, local, and private parties. This history raises enormous practical and political barriers to change. We have a status quo maintained by a dizzying array of interests, both public and private, scattered through various government, departments, agencies, congressional committees, trade associations, labor unions, etc.  Keep Reading

Can Meta-analysis Help Biosafety Research?

Santa Clara University Biology Professor Michelle Marvier and her colleagues have recently published a meta-analysis of field studies that concluded that Bt crops are generally more benign for non-target invertebrates than chemical insecticides. A second meta-analysis of lab studies found no harmful effects of Bt proteins on honeybees. Although these reports will probably fail to convince skeptics, they raise an important question: Can meta-analysis be used to tease meaningful results out of a series of studies that, taken individually, are inconclusive? Given the cost and methodological complexity of ecological studies, it’s an important question. Keep Reading


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