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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
Source: NBC Chicago
The FDA and the Illinois Department of Public Health have issued a public notice after Del Monte recalled veggie trays that were sold in Illinois and Indiana stores.
June 15, 2018 Kellogg's voluntarily recalls Honey Smacks cereal over possible salmonella contaminationSource: CBS News
Kellogg Company announced Thursday it is voluntarily recalling certain boxes of Honey Smacks cereal for what it's calling a possible health risk because the product may be contaminated with salmonella. The recall comes after...
Canadian authorities have admitted that a patch of an unapproved, genetically modified strain of wheat has been found in the wild, well outside of old Monsanto test areas, but hope the unfortunate discovery won’t hamper exports.
June 13, 2018 WHAT FOOD IS SAFE? AFTER LETTUCE, MELON AND FROZEN CHICKEN RECALLS, HERE’S A LIST OF OTHER FOODS FLAGGED BY THE GOVERNMENTSource: NewsWeek
The U.S. experienced a nationwide romaine lettuce recall earlier this year after E.coli contamination led to the hospitalization of 89 and the death of five. However, lettuce is by far not the only food that has been recalled in...
Source: Carbon Brief
In a new paper, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, my colleagues and I show that climate change will heighten the risk of production shocks across the world’s biggest crop producers.
June 12, 2018 USDA CROP RATINGS BLOW YEAR AGO GRADES OUT OF THE WATERSource: Successful Farming
DES MOINES, Iowa — The U.S. corn crop condition rating is surging double-digits over last year’s grade, at this same time
June 11, 2018 Tyson Recalls Over 3,000 Lbs. of Frozen Chicken ProductsSource: Snopes
The frozen, uncooked and breaded chicken tenderloins being recalled may be contaminated with blue and clear soft plastics
June 6, 2018 Close to 10' children hospitalized for E. coli; 'raw' milk, farm animals may be sourcesSource: KNOX News
East Tennessee Children's Hospital said Tuesday it's treated "close to 10" children, all younger than 4, for a "serious outbreak" of E. coli-caused illness over the past 10 days.
May 25, 2018 ICO hosts sustainability workshop in MilanSource: Global Coffee Report
The International Coffee Organization (ICO) held a coffee sustainability workshop on 21 May as one of the highlights of the 1st Milano Coffee Festival – a new event in Italy focusing on coffee in all its forms and across the...
Source: Science News
By the end of this century, rice may not deliver the same B vitamin levels that it does today. Protein and certain minerals will dwindle, too, new data suggest.
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