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Focus on Food Safety
Updated January 2011 -
The year 2010 saw incidents of food-borne illness from common foods such as eggs, spinach, tomatoes, ground beef, peanut butter, candy, pet food, and cookie dough The nearly weekly investigations and recalls of various foods items from the USA and abroad created ever- mounting pressure on the US Congress to take action and revise the nation’s food safety laws.
In December 2010, the first major overhaul of the food-safety system since the1930s was adopted by the Congress and then signed into law by President Barack Obama in early January 2011. The law calls for increasing government inspections at food-processing facilities and, for the first time, gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to order the recall of unsafe foods.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that each year 1 out of 6 Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from food borne diseases. 12/2010
With increased regulation opposed by many family-owned and organic farmers, the legislation still needs to be funded and with the change in the control of the US House of Representatives funding might be a huge problem. The law does set standards and now shifts the focus to other countries that export food stuffs into the United States. A January poll of consumers in China indicated that more than 70% did not have confidence in the safety of their [nation’s] food supply. China is a large supplier of food to North America. It remains to be seen if food exporting countries will raise the bar on food safety in the future as a result of the US’s action.
Food Safety will continue to be a focus of interest of corporations, Congress and the public and AC subscribers will be able to read about it all here under the Hot Topic of Food Safety.
Food…trust – and provider accountability -- the three terms clearly go together. We consume food hundreds, even thousands of miles from its origination. Trust is everything! Anything we put in our bodies every day should be “trustworthy,” in terms of where it came from -- and everyone involved in the food supply chain should be accountable for their actions (or inaction in certain cases). From grower / farmer / planter / rancher to food processor to retailer or food service or restaurant…and then to each of us – there is a clear chain of accountability. Trust is the important foundation all along the human food chain – preserving trust should be an imperative for every player. And yet, accidents do happen. Each year in the United States tainted foods cause an estimated 75 million illnesses resulting in more than 300,000 hospitalizations and as many as 5,000 deaths or more. (World-wide food hazards kill more than 1.8 million people each year, mostly affecting children.)
The impact on the U.S. economy in medical costs alone top $6.5 billion with maybe two or three times that number in financial losses to business, industry and government. More and more of the food items that we in the U.S.A. consume come to our shores from foreign and third world production and processing sources, where there can be a lack of adequate sanitation or proper food handling procedures and oversight.
Even here in America, numerous food processing issues arise each year, typically involving incidents of food-borne illnesses originating from such biological hazards as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, and these and more continue to be significant public health threats. Those at greatest risk are children, senior citizens, pregnant women and their unborn children, and those with impacted immune systems.
There is heightened interest in food safety issues on the part of consumers and their advocates; government officials at the federal, state and local levels; the healthcare community; media; and food, retailing and restaurant industries. The nation has made great progress in identifying harmful food production technologies, ramping up safety procedures, and adopting rules and regulations and to promote safer methods of handling and preparing foods.
Food Safety is all about Accountability – and trust. The AC Hot Topic – Food Safety section is designed to present timely and useful news and information, a range of commentary, and reports on research on food safety topics. The objective: To improve and expand the public dialogue and contribute to the goal of safer food sources, processing and monitoring for all citizens. As always, we are interested in your comments on this important topic.
Latest on Focus on Food Safety
February 16, 2018 McDonald's Move To Make Happy Meals Healthier Is The Right Thing To DoSource: Forbes
An announcement by McDonald’s today that it is implementing new nutritional standards for its Happy Meals could not come at a better time, both for the chain and for Americans' health and wellness.
February 15, 2018 Ultra-processed foods 'linked to cancer'Source: BBC
A link between highly processed foods and cancer has been suggested by French researchers.
February 14, 2018 Chipotle taps Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol as new top executiveSource: Fox Business
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) on Tuesday tapped Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol as its next chief executive as the struggling fast casual chain attempts to reverse its recent slump.
February 13, 2018 4 Food Safety Issues to Watch in 2018Source: EcoWatch
Three days before 2018 arrived, officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced they were investigating a foodborne E. coli outbreak that ultimately resulted in one death and sickened at least 25...
Chipotle Mexican Grill has a trust problem and its finally addressing it.The burrito chain has struggled to regain customer confidence since a se ries of food-borne illness outbreaks caused diners to flee the restaurant chain two...
February 7, 2018 A massive food poisoning scandal has hit an infant formula companySource: Quartz
Lactalis—an 85-year-old dairy company based in Laval, France—is recalling more than 7,000 tons of contaminated infant formula from its markets, which span nearly 80 countries around the world. At least 38 babies have fallen ill...
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Top U.S. food distributors Sysco Corp and US Foods Holding Corp have joined retailer Winn-Dixie Stores [BILODW.UL] and other poultry buyers suing the country’s biggest chicken processors for allegedly...
Source: Globe Newswire
While there have been no reported illnesses, out of an abundance of caution, Panera Bread is conducting a nationwide preemptive, voluntary recall of all 2 oz. and 8 oz. cream cheese products sold in its U.S. bakery-cafes.
January 25, 2018 7 foods a food safety expert never eatsSource: Today.com
The alarming food recalls keep coming: Romaine lettuce, packaged vegetables, chicken, frozen fruit, cheeses, potato chips and many more products in just the last couple of years. All were feared to be contaminated by harmful...
January 19, 2018 Lactalis' contaminated baby food, a global scandal?Source: DW
French firm Lactalis is recalling 12 million baby food items globally following a major scandal. There are growing fears that more infants could get infected with salmonella, not only in France. Lisa Louis reports.
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