News in Food Safety

Food banks across the country increasingly focusing on food safety

Food Safety news - October 8, 2018 - 9:05pm

We get our food from all sorts of places — grocery stores, restaurants, farms, relatives, our own gardens — and sometimes community food banks. In each and every case, food safety plays an important part in protecting us from getting sick from contaminated food. But nowhere is that more important than at food banks.

Why food banks? The answer can be seen in who turns to community food banks and pantries for help in obtaining enough food to get through the week or month.

Unlike the general population, people who receive food from such programs include a large proportion of what health officials refer to as vulnerable or high-risk individuals. Some estimate say they account for up to 60 percent of food bank recipients.

Photo illustration

Children and the elderly are vulnerable because their immune systems are either not developed enough to protect them from foodborne pathogens or too fragile to offer much protection.

High-risk groups also include sick people and those with immune systems weakened from medical conditions, such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, organ transplants, HIV/AIDS, or from receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Add to that group, pregnant women and the malnourished.

In short, these people are more likely to come down with food poisoning if they eat foods containing dangerous bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella or foods containing viruses or parasites such as Cyclospora. Worse yet, they’re the ones likely to suffer the most severe symptoms when they do get sick from these microscopic foodborne pathogens.

The statistics are grim. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevent estimates that each year 48 million people, which is more people than the entire state of California, get sick from a foodborne illness. The CDC estimates 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die.

However, many cases of foodborne illnesses are not reported, with some people mistakenly referring to their gastric distress as “the stomach flu.”

The most common symptoms of food poisoning are an upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. It may take hours or days before these symptoms develop.

According to CDC, while most people don’t take long to recover, some people need to be hospitalized, and some foodborne illnesses result in long-term health problems or even death. Infections transmitted by food can result in chronic arthritis, brain and nerve damage, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney failure.

“Our food safety guidelines are very important because the last thing a person coming to a food bank needs is to get sick,” said Julie Humphreys, community relations manager for Second Harvest, a Feeding America member food bank. “We want them to be assured that the food they’re getting is safe. Our job is to handle and provide a basic need and feed people today so they can have a better chance of going forward tomorrow.”

With centers in Spokane and the Tri-Cities in Washington state, Second Harvest provides more than 2.5 million pounds of donated food each month throughout the Inland Northwest, which includes Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho. It supplies the food to 250 community food banks/pantries, meal centers, and other programs. The network feeds 55,000 people each week.

Second Harvest enjoys an exemplary reputation for food safety. It has received the highest rating every year for 8 years in a row in its annual audits by AIB International, which focuses on food safety when it comes to food handling and distribution. Each of Second Harvest’s 250 partner agencies, which include member food banks, pantries, and feeding programs, are also audited for such things as cleanliness, food storage, refrigeration and distribution.

“Documentation is an important part of this,” said Humphreys. “We have procedures for all of the food that comes in, goes out, and how it’s managed.

Brandon Fullerton, a grant writer at Helping Hands Food Bank in Sedro-Woolley, WA, said food safety is paramount.

“Our job is to feed people,” he said, “and because many of the people who come to food banks are vulnerable, we could actually get them sick if we don’t pay strict attention to food safety.”

Patti Yount, a volunteer at the Helping Hands Food Bank in Sedro-Woolley can attest to how important food safety is to “the vulnerable.” That’s because she was one of them. Before being diagnosed with cancer in her 70s, she was what she would describe as a “healthy” person. But when she began chemotherapy, her doctor told her not to eat any fresh vegetables or fruits — not even from her own garden — only those that were frozen or canned.

She was also told not to pet any animals or change any kitty litter, and not to come into contact with any feces whether animal or human. She was even told to wear a mask and gloves when changing grandchildren’s diapers.

That advice highlighted just how vulnerable she was to E. coli and other foodborne infections. Yet despite all of the care she took to follow her doctor’s advice, she got an E. coli infection anyway and had to go through additional medical care. They never figured out where she was exposed to the bacteria.

“My immune system was so weak that I couldn’t fend anything off,” she said.

Not surprisingly, she’s passionate about the need for food banks to follow good food-safety practices.

“We have to be twice as careful,” she said.

“You can do what you want at home but if you’re serving the general public and vulnerable people, it’s a different kind of responsibility,”said Mitzi Baum, managing director of Food Safety at Feeding America. “You can’t be too careful.”

Steve Davis, chief operating officer for Harvesters Community Network, which serves a 26-county area of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas, agrees.

“What people do at home is their business,” he said.“But it might not be OK when you’re serving vulnerable people, and therein lies the difference.”

The big microscopic 3
Microscopic pathogens can be lurking in all sorts of foods: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and surprising to many, fresh fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens. Here’s a quick rundown of three of them:

E. coli
E. coli,  which is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms, is associated with undercooked ground beef, typically used for hamburgers; vegetables grown in cow manure or washed in contaminated water or cross-contaminated with already contaminated produce; and milk and fruit juice that hasn’t been pasteurized to kill germs such as E. coli.

Salmonella bacteria typically live in animal and human intestines and are shed through feces (poop). Humans become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food. While it is commonly associated with eggs and poultry, it has also contaminated cucumbers, pistachios, raw tuna, sprouts, fruits, pork, sprouts, vegetables, and even processed foods, such as nut butters, frozen pot pies, chicken nuggets, and stuffed chicken entrees and many other foods.

Listeria bacteria  can live in soil, water, dust, animal poop, and other substances. .According to the CDC, Outbreaks of Listeria infections in the 1990s were primarily linked to deli meats and hot dogs. Now, Listeria outbreaks are often linked to dairy products and produce. Investigators have traced recent outbreaks to soft cheeses, celery, sprouts, cantaloupe, and ice cream.

Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than other people to get a Listeria infection. Many times, this leads to a miscarriage.

Bottomline, there are many foods that can cause food poisoning and no one is immune. That’s why it’s so important for food bank managers and volunteers to be diligent about keeping an eye on the food that’s being given out and about keeping foods at proper temperatures. For example, leafy greens, which includes spinach and lettuces that have been cut, need to be kept at 41 degrees F or colder.

The reason for that is that once a leaf has been cut, allowing in bacteria that might be on the uncut greens. If the holding temperature is not cold enough, the bacteria begin to multiply rapidly. This, in turn, leads to the dangerous situation in which the bacteria hangs on tight and can’t be dislodged. No matter how many times you wash it, you can’t remove all of the bacteria.

volunteers at the Sedro-Woolley Helping Hands Food Bank helping to set up a fundraiser. From left to right Tina Craig, Isaac Aguilar, Paula Haner, Brandon Fullerton, and Dan Newman.

Who are the volunteers?
Volunteers — often called the “lifeblood” of food banks— make up a diverse group. Some are old, some are high school and college students. Some have their Ph.Ds; others never finished high school. Some are business people, community leaders, veterans and even politicians. Many are retired people happy to be helping their community.

Many volunteers come to the job with only a smattering of information about food safety, although they’re usually required to get a food handlers license, which gives them basic information relevant to restaurants.

Go here for information about getting a copy of  ServSafe Food Handler Guide for Food Banking. This easy-to-implement program has been tailored to meet the unique needs, quality and spirit of Feeding America’s network of food banks and agencies.

While some volunteers show up on a regular basis, some might show up only once and others only now and then, sometimes with a large gap of time between.

“Volunteers come and go,” said Joe Corby, immediate past executive director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials. “That why there’s such a need for continued food-safety education.”

Harvesters’ COO Davis said his organization makes sure the local food banks and pantries and other feeding programs understand the food safety requirements.

“We give them tools they can use with their volunteers,” he said. “If there are problems, we’ll take the chance to retrain volunteers and help them be successful. We do a lot of point-in-time training.”

He said he believes that food safety has to be part of your DNA and culture.

“Anything you want to be good at, you need to do all the time,” he said.

For older volunteers, it’s hard to throw out produce just because it has come nicks or cuts or mold on it. “Waste not, want not,” was a maxim they grew up with. Sometimes the phrase, “Beggars can’t be choosers” also comes into play.

In fact, many who turn to food banks are people you might know. It could be neighbor or relative who lost a job because of an accident or a cancer diagnosis. Others may be too old to work and yet only get a small Social Security check each month. Others might be homeless, struggling to get back on their feet. Some, in their younger years, were pillars of the community.

And some are employed. In fact, 36 percent of client households served by the Feeding America network have one or more adults working.

“It’s important to serve recipients with respect,” said Harvesters’ Davis. “This is one of the things we talk about a lot with agencies in our network. You wouldn’t want to give food out that you wouldn’t want to eat yourself or serve your family.”

Feeding America’s Baum agreed. “Dignity is always an important issue” she said.

“Making our clients feel respected and at ease,” is how Helping Hands staff member Fullerton put it on his food bank’s website.

Photo illustration

Let them know why
Feeding America’s Baum said that telling someone to do something can go in one ear and out the other.

“It works best when people understand why the food safety requirements are so necessary,” she said.

For example, telling someone to throw out a cantaloupe because it’s got nicks or dents or mold on it is one thing. But explaining that because cantaloupes grow on the ground and have a netted exterior, they’re more likely to have bacteria on them. To cut through the exterior can take some of the bacteria or mold into the sweet flesh, where the bacteria will multiply. When that happens, people can get sick, or worse.

In 2011, more than 30 people died from eating cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria.

Berries with mold on them is another example. According to the USDA, in the case of soft foods such as berries, it’s very easy for the roots or tentacles of the mold to penetrate deeper into the food. By the time mold has moved in, other harmful kinds of bacteria associated with food spoiling may have also infiltrated the food.

Then there’s the question of green potatoes. While some people say, they won’t hurt you, others caution that the green, which is a sign that solanine, a toxin, has developed in the potatoes, can be harmful to children and other vulnerable people. Peeling off the green skin won’t remove the solanine in the potato.

“When in doubt, throw it out.” That’s was food-safety experts say when it comes to questionable fruits and vegetables.  No need taking the chance of getting someone sick.

So much has changed
AFDO’s Corby  remembers that back when he was the director of the Division of Food Safety and Inspection in New York City, food banks were just starting up.

“We had field people go out to the food banks,” he said. “But since then, things have changed. Now everyone relies on the regional food banks to do the food-safety training. New people are coming in all of the time so there’s always a need for continued  training.”

He’s also seen some changes in what the food banks are giving out. Whereas in the past, a lot of it was canned foods, now there’s a lot more perishables, including fresh produce.

Second Harvest’s Humphreys can confirm that, saying that 70 percent of the food given out is perishable, including meat, cheese and milk. And almost one half of it is fresh produce.

“It’s a huge portion of what we distribute,” she said.

At Second Harvest, volunteers do about 14 food sorts a week in three-hour shifts. Before each shift, the volunteers watch a food-safety video and also one about who comes to the food banks.

“When you have a vision of the people you’re sorting the food for, you get a good understanding of why food safety is so important,” said Humphreys.

Humphreys also said that volunteers need to know what to look for when sorting produce.

“We manage this with both a video clip and a personal demonstration,” she said. “For example, if a group comes in and we are sorting apples that day, they will watch a video on sorting apples and what to look for in removing the ‘bad’ apple. Then our volunteer supervisors will hold up examples of a good and bad apple. They give a ‘live look’ at an apple that may have a small soft spot, but is perfectly good and also show an apple that is too bruised or moldy to pass on.”

Humphreys said that the overriding marker volunteers are asked to consider is

“Is this piece of fruit or this vegetable one that you would like on your table?”

The unsalvageable produce goes in a bin that is then donated to area hog farms so nothing is wasted.

“We get a significant amount of produce, and we have to work with volunteers to understand what’s good and what’s bad, said Harvesters COO Davis. “It’s takes a lot of work and training and identifying to look for problems. We do a lot of point-in-time training.”

Poster photos worth a thousand words
Davis believes posters showing which produce is good and which should be tossed can be very helpful.

“The value of a poster is that anything visual is easier for people to learn and remember,” he said. “You get a higher level of adoption, especially when there’s a lot of volunteer turnover. Posters make volunteers more comfortable so they’re not as nervous to dispose of bad produce. The posters give them approval to do that.”

Corby agrees. 

“We’re talking about making posters and getting them to food banks and government agencies,” he said. “ What would be ideal is to get the produce industry in on this.”

What about liability?

Under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act, a federal act that blankets all of the states, donors and recipients are protected against lawsuits as long as they’re acting in good faith. Each state also has its own Good Sam act.

Feeding America’s Baum said that the foundation of the Good Samaritan Act is that the donor is protected as long as there is no evidence of malicious intent or gross negligence.

“It wold be up to a court of law to determine whether inadequate adherence to basic food safety principles is consistent with gross negligence and therefore not protected under the Good Samaritan Law,” she said.

She said that in her 22 years of working at the organization, it has never had a complaint regarding a case of foodborne illness associated with products that were distributed by Feeding America or its partner agencies  that she’s aware of.

What about the recipients?
The people getting food from the food banks are often the forgotten part of the food chain. Yet even if everything is done right at the food bank, if someone puts a box of food containing meat, eggs, and produce in the car’s trunk and then goes to watch a kids’ soccer game, leaving the car parked in the hot sun, all of the efforts of the food bank can go for naught.

Feeding America’s Baum said she thinks it’s a good idea to hand out information to recipients, pointing out that there are plenty of resources available such as one (, highlighting the four core food-safety basics: clean, separate, cook and chill, put out by the Partnership for Food Safety Education. However, she pointed out that this sort of information is only useful if it’s in the appropriate language of the people it’s being given to.

Setting the tone
Feeding America’s Baum said that the  most important advice she would give to a community food pantry manager is that she or he needs to be educated in food safety.

“Lead by example,” she said. “If you understand the basic concepts of food safety and discuss them, you will influence the staff and volunteers. Teach them that feeding the public is different than feeding people in their homes; the risks are greater and we must be more diligent that foods are safely handled. Ensure that food safety practices are followed by observing and empowering staff and volunteers with knowledge and information. And don’t just train someone, educate them and train them. If people understand the ‘why’ they will execute the appropriate practices.

“You can’t be in your office all day. You have to be out there because you’re managing people as well as doing administrative work. You need to be providing constructive advice. It’s important for leadership to know they’re setting the tone when it comes to food safety.”

One common theme among food bank recipients is appreciation. It’s what the volunteers and food bank staff members hear on a regular basis. It’s what makes their work so satisfying.

A video shown to volunteers at Second Harvest in Spokane and the Tri-Cities about who gets food from the food banks features Edwin and Debbie, the head of a a multi-generational family that pulled together under one roof to help make ends meet after Edwin, a concrete finisher, had to leave his job because of a disability.

“With me on disability and Debbie working full time and our daughter working, we get so close to getting over the hump, but we just don’t quite get there,” Edwin says in the video. There’d be times that Debbie and I would have to skip meals in order to make sure the grandkids eat every day. Without the food bank and Second Harvest, we’d struggle. We’d have to spend a lot more of what little money we do have on food. The food bank and Second Harvest just supplements us tremendously.”

“It helps us by feeding us food we might not have,” said one of Edwin and Debbie’s grandsons during a food-bank cooking class.

The big food-bank umbrella

In the “food-bank world,” a “food bank” is the term used to describe a large- scale, logistically complex distribution center. On the local level, what most people call a food bank is referred to in the food-bank world as a “partner agency” — a smaller community partner that distributes food directly to the end consumer.

Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief agency and its third largest charity. It oversees a  network of more than 200 food banks that feeds more than 46 million people through community food banks, food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies. Among the recipients are 12 million children and 7 million seniors.

Thirty-six percent of client households served by the Feeding America network have one or more adults working.

Food banks and partner agencies in the Feeding America network receive funding through many different channels. These include, but are not limited to: foundation and community grants; Feeding America; and donations from individuals, businesses and organizations. The food is donated by grocery stores, food clubs such as Costco and Sam’s Club, food manufacturers, retailers such as Starbucks and Quik Trip, online retailers such as Amazon, retail deliveries such as Instacart and Peapod, restaurants, farmers, the USDA, and individuals.

Community food drives are also an important source of food for food banks. While they might not necessarily bring in a huge volume of food compared to other food sources, they give everyone in the community an opportunity to help their hungry neighbors by donating even one can of food.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Brucella in raw mare’s milk rare in Germany, but heat treatment still advised

Food Safety news - October 8, 2018 - 9:03pm

Officials are advising that mare’s milk should be heat treated to kill Brucella, despite the low risk of brucellosis in Germany.

The joint opinion from Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) assessed to what extent brucellosis infection can occur in horses in Germany and other brucellosis-free countries. They looked at if it is excreted by infected horses through milk and how to classify the risk of infection from non-heat treated horse milk.

BfR and FLI said the risk of brucellosis from consuming non-heat treated horse milk is low. Because other pathogens can be present, the BfR advises people to heat horse milk to 72 degrees Celsius for two minutes before consumption. Unpasteurized, raw milk and cheese made from raw milk is the major source of brucellosis in humans.

The agencies said the causative agent of brucellosis may be excreted in the milk of infected mares but there is currently no reliable epidemiological or animal data available. Common test methods for cow’s milk cannot be transferred to mare’s milk, said BfR and FLI.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease caused by Brucella species, which mainly infect cattle, swine, goats, sheep and dogs. Horses can become infected if in close contact with such animals. Humans generally acquire it through direct contact with infected animals or by eating or drinking contaminated animal products.

Risk of horse brucellosis is low in countries that are officially free of sheep, goat and bovine brucellosis, but infected animals could be imported from risk areas. Since 2014, a significant increase of imported infections caused by Brucella melitensis have been observed in Germany. Patients predominantly originated from the Middle East, including Turkey and Syria.

The sales volume of non-heat-treated mare’s milk in Germany or how many farms produce mare’s milk is not known, but it is known to be a niche product sold by farms via the internet.

In central and northern Europe, brucellosis has been controlled in production animals and is rarely found. In Germany, cattle, sheep and goat populations have officially been deemed free of brucellosis since 2000; only in pigs are outbreaks sporadically reported.

Brucellosis must by law be reported in Germany and in 2013, officials recorded eight. Most patients had contracted the infection during a stay in an endemic area abroad. In most cases, consumption of raw goat milk or raw sheep milk was the cause of the infection.

In 2016, there were 534 confirmed brucellosis cases reported in Europe, with the highest rates in southern EU countries Greece, Portugal and Italy. Almost 72 percent of 150 brucellosis cases with known information were hospitalized and one person died.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Latin American, Caribbean, USDA experts discuss the future of food safety

Food Safety news - October 8, 2018 - 9:01pm

Experts from 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries have met to discuss food safety ahead of upcoming Codex Alimentarius meetings.

Mary Frances Lowe, manager for Codex Alimentarius at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said countries need to participate to achieve future collaboration, ensure integrated decision-making and raise the profile of science.

“We must strengthen the participation of the countries and the regional organizations of the Americas and the Caribbean in this process, and cooperation as well, as there are big challenges we need to tackle with regard to the communication of science,” she added.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in Brazil sponsored the event, with support from the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (CCLAC). Food hygiene, nutrition and food for special dietary uses, and antimicrobial resistance were some topics on the agenda.

Participants also discussed Codex’s Strategic Plan, differences between countries and Codex in risk management, and the role of science and the best way to disseminate it to reach a wider audience.

Guilherme Costa, chair of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, said the conference addressed technical know-how to enable countries to reach a consensus, despite the different viewpoints, on application of fair trade and food safety practices.

Diego Varela, CCLAC coordinator, said the discussions ensured a clear understanding of the process involved in drafting Codex standards and trade facilitation.

Delegates from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and the U.S. attended.

Robert Ahern, leader of Agricultural Health and Food Safety (AHFS) at IICA, said the meeting ensured a better understanding of the most important issues addressed by Codex Alimentarius. He added countries were also able to share experiences and strategies to guarantee citizens access to healthy food.

The following meetings are scheduled to advance Codex objectives:

  • The Codex Committee on Food Hygiene from Nov. 12 to 16 in Panama;
  • The committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses from Nov. 26 to 30 in Germany; and
  • A task force on antimicrobial resistance from Dec. 10 to 14 in South Korea.

Codex Alimentarius is a United Nations standards-setting body working under the U.N Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Codex Alimentarius  establishes food standards to protect public health and ensure fair trade of safe food worldwide. Many countries incorporate Codex standards into their laws. Codex standards are also used by the World Trade Organization (WTO) in settling trade disputes.

Recent Codex workshops
Meanwhile, a workshop organized by the European Union “Better Training for Safer Food” initiative took place last month in Cape Town, South Africa, for Codex members of the African Region. It covered different perspectives on Codex priorities, practical experiences on participation in the standard setting process and national implementation of Codex standards.

In line with the message of Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, Barbara Moretti, of the EU Codex Team, said it was an opportunity to reinforce cooperation and communication in Codex between the EU and Africa.

“It’s so important for us to support and participate in events such as this workshop for countries in the Africa region,” said Codex vice-chair Steve Wearne.

Another workshop in Delhi in September focused on boosting the national capacity of 17 Asian countries to operate in the Codex Alimentarius standard-setting environment. The sessions looked at electronic systems and tools including the Online Commenting System (OCS) digital platform for Electronic Working Groups (EWG) and the tool to collect information on member countries’ food safety control systems.

National Codex committee staff based in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand took part.

The next Codex tools workshops will be in Vanuatu and Kazakhstan later this month and in November.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Multiple recalls to chase down ham responsible for Listeriosis outbreak in South

Food Safety news - October 7, 2018 - 9:05pm

The country hams that some say are the quintessential dish of the South became, during this past weekend, suspects in a deadly listeriosis outbreak.

Four people, three in Virginia and one in North Carolina, have been confirmed as being infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes. All four required hospitalization. One in Virginia died.

The public first learned of the outbreak on Oct. 3 when Johnson County Hams announced a recall of 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products.

Epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback evidence indicates that ham products from Johnston County Hams Inc. are the likely source of the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That finding led to at least three other food recall announcements by late Oct. 5,

The CDC said public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Listeria and other pathogens that have been isolated from ill people by using a technique called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC’s PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks. WGS performed on Listeria monocytogenes isolated from ill people showed that they were closely relatedly genetically. The CDC says this means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

Related recalls

Callie’s Charleston Biscuits has recalled the last 17 months of its production of Cocktail Ham Biscuits and Country Hames Biscuits.

Ukrop Homestyle Foods has recalled 18,296 pounds total of its 12 different wraps, pinwheels and salads that contain the ham.

Ladyfinger Caterers has recalled all Signature Shaved Country Ham Rolls it has on the market.

At this point, the Callie’s, Ukrop, or Ladyfinger products have not caused any illnesses, but Johnson County Hams is one of their suppliers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said the Johnson County Ham recall was for production from April 3, 2017, through Oct. 2, 2018. The company shipped the ham to distributors in Maryland, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina and Virginia. The FSIS notice did not say whether the distributors sent the products to other states.

The recalled hams weigh between 7 and 8 pounds (3.1 kg and 3.6 kg) and have the establishment number “EST. M2646” printed inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The CDC warns consumers, stores and restaurants not to eat, sell or serve recalled Johnson County Ham ready-to-eat products including:

  • Johnston County Hams Inc. Country Style Fully Cooked Boneless Deli Ham
  • Ole Fashioned Sugar Cured The Old Dominion Brand Hams Premium Fully-Cooked Country Ham with sell-by dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019
  • Padow’s Hams & Deli Inc. Fully Cooked Country ham Boneless Glazed with Brown Sugar
  • Premium Fully-Cooked Country Ham Less Salt Distributed by Valley Country Hams, LLC. with sell-by dates from 4/10/2018 to 9/27/2019
  • Goodnight Brothers Country Ham Boneless Fully Cooked

In addition to its voluntary downstream recall, Charleston-based Callie’s Biscuits announced the bakery was changing ham suppliers. Owner Carrie Morey says the bakery is switching back to the Edwards Virginia Smokehouse, its ham purveyor until an Edwards fire two years ago.

Morey says her bakery has tossed the ham inventory from Johnson County Hams and sanitizing its kitchen. Ham used in making biscuits is also heated to a sufficient temperature to kill the pathogen.  In her recall announcement, Morey said Callie’s had a plan in place “that we were hoping never to use,” but the business acted immediately “to ensure the safety of our customers.”

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Categories: News in Food Safety

FSIS posts partial list of retailers that sold beef linked to Salmonella outbreak

Food Safety news - October 7, 2018 - 9:03pm

Federal officials have begun releasing names of specific grocery stores and other businesses that received some of the 6.9 million pounds of recalled ground beef and non-intact beef products that are linked to a Salmonella Newport outbreak.

Public health officials have confirmed that 57 people across 16 states have been infected, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). JBS Tolleson Inc. of Tolleson, AZ, shipped the beef nationwide.

The recalled beef is packaged under a variety of names, including Showcase, which is sold by Walmart, and the Kroger brand. Other brands affected by the recall include:

  • Cedar River Farms;
  • Comnor Perfect Choice;
  • Gourmet Burger;
  • Grass Run Farms; and
  • JBS Generic.

JBS Tolleson initiated a recall Oct. 4. All of the recalled products had the establishment number “EST. 267” printed inside the USDA mark of inspection when JBS sold them, but portions of bulk quantities that were repackaged by retailers and other JBS customers likely do not have any establishment numbers. 

The JBS records show the company shipped the beef to retail locations and institutions — such as schools, hospitals and other foodservice operations —  nationwide, according to the FSIS. The country’s largest foodservice supplier, US Foods, is on the list of companies that bought the beef now under recall.

Yesterday the FSIS posted a partial list of specific stores that received the recalled ground beef and non-intact beef products. The agency will post more lists when investigators have determined additional store names and locations. As of Oct. 7 the retailer list included some locations of the following grocery stores:  

  • Savemart
  • FoodMaxx
  • Lucky
  • Harveys Supermarket
  • Winn Dixie Supermarket
  • Sprouts
  • S-Mart
  • Maxx Value
  • Lucky California
  • Super King Market
  • Jons Market Place
  • Lucky’s Market
  • Save Mart

 A list of products shipped by JBS Tolleson that are included in the recall are listed on the FSIS website. Some are bulk packages that are not available to consumers.

Company records show JBS packaged the recalled beef products from July 26 through Sept. 7. There is concern that consumers, restaurants and institutional kitchens may have some of the implicated beef in freezers. Freezing temperatures do not kill Salmonella.

As of Oct. 4, eight of the infected patients had provided sales receipts or shopper loyalty card numbers that assisted outbreak investigators in their traceback efforts.

“FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and state public health and agriculture partners have now determined that raw ground beef was the probable source of the reported illnesses. Traceback has identified JBS as the common supplier of the ground beef products,” according to the recall notice. 

Anyone who has eaten any of the recalled beef and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about the possible exposure to the pathogen. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms usually lasts 4 to 7 days in otherwise healthy adults. In some cases, however, the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. Older adults, children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.

Greeley, CO-based JBS USA is the American food processing company that is a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A., a Brazilian company that is the world’s largest beef producer.

JBS SA is the world’s largest protein producer. It has 36 Brazilian production facilities. The multi-national company has annual sales of more than $30 billion, of which half were generated by the JBS USA subsidiary, according to a 2017 financial report. It has a dozen feedlots in the U.S. and Canada with capacity for almost one million head. JBS USA also processes 90,000 hogs daily, and 6.6 million birds a day through its 25 Pilgrim’s Pride processing facilities.

A food safety bribery scheme in Brazil resulted in seven executives of JBS SA, including Chairman Joesley Batista, admitting to making illegal payments to Brazil’s three most recent presidents, including incumbent Michel Temer. In 2017 the seven executives negotiated a plea bargain with prosecutors and agreed to pay a fine of $225 million reals — $67.93 million in U.S. dollars.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

FDA cites botulism risk at seafood plant, filthy conditions at condiment plant

Food Safety news - October 7, 2018 - 9:01pm

The FDA recently sent warning letters to officials with a seafood processing plant in Brooklyn, NY, and a company in Puerto Rico that makes seasoning mixes for shipment to the U.S. mainland.

Both companies are on notice from the Food and Drug Administration for violations of the federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act. The agency sent the warning letters in August and September, making them public in recent days.

Companies are given 15 working days to respond to FDA warning letters. Failure to promptly correct violations can result in legal action without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.

Vinill Inc. — Brooklyn, NY
Inspectors found serious violations at the Vinill Inc. seafood processing and distribution operation when they were at the facility on Aug. 29 and Sept. 4, according to the FDA warning letter sent to owner Leonid Kats. The letter, dated Sept. 21, says the company’s efforts to bring the operation into compliance were insufficient.

The warning says failure by Vinill Inc. to comply means Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation is reasonably likely to occur. The toxin causes botulism, which is sometimes fatal. It frequently requires patients to be placed on ventilators because breathing muscles become paralyzed, as do other muscles in the body.   

“We acknowledge receipt of your electronic response email dated Sept. 6, 2018, responding to the Form FDA-483, Inspection Observations (FDA-483), issued to you on Sept. 4, 2018,” the letter states.

“… your response is inadequate because you did not provide any information that indicates you have conducted a hazard analysis and implemented an adequate (hazard control plan) for your refrigerated, ready-to-eat, vacuum packaged, smoked paddlefish.”

Federal law requires food businesses to conduct Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) reviews to asses food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur. Companies must also have and implement a written HACCP plan to control such hazards. 

Companies that are subject to the HACCP regulations must complete the HACCP process for each kind of fish or fishery product they handle. 

“Once you have conducted a hazard analysis for your seafood products, your HACCP plan must, at a minimum, list the hazards that are reasonably likely to occur, and include appropriate critical control points, critical limits, monitoring procedures, recordkeeping activities, etc., to ensure that the food safety hazards are controlled to comply,” the warning states.

Don Julio Tropical Food LLC, Ponce, Puerto Rico
FDA officials sent a warning letter to company president Ernesto Vázquez Borrero citing repeat violations including dead roaches “too numerous to count;” filthy, dilapidated equipment, buildings and grounds; improper and infective cleaning and sanitizing of utensils; and ingredients being stored in filthy, uncovered containers.

Inspectors were at the Don Julio Tropical Food manufacturing facility on May 21 through June 1. They found seasoning mixes, raw garlic and other food products were prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth, or may have been rendered injurious to health.

The FDA warning listed the following violations:

1. You failed to take effective measures to exclude pests from the processing areas and to protect against contamination of food on the premises by pests, as required by 21 CFR 110.35(c). Specifically, on 05/21/2018 and 05/22/2018 our investigator observed dead roaches’ parts too numerous to count in your firm’s warehouse floor next to ambient temperature raw materials such as sodium benzoate, dry onions, garlic granules, and oregano. You were previously cited for the same or similar violation during the 2009 and 2015 inspections.

2. Your firm failed to take all reasonable precautions to ensure that production procedures do not contribute to contamination from any source, as required by 21 CFR 110.80. Specifically, during the inspection our investigator observed while manufacturing various products with Lot No. 9450, such as “Sofrito Excelencia” (Condiment Mix) and “Ajo Puro” (Raw Grounded Garlic) the following:

  • Employees in the manufacturing area where re-using disposable items as utensils. These were at least five (5) empty plastic bleach containers that were cut in halves and were being re-used as scoops and funnels for collecting and/or dispensing ingredients, processing water, and finished products filling step.
  • Air extractor screen in the production area was filthy and dusty, potentially allowing the falling of dust and dirt into in-process products and uncovered raw ingredients.
  • A pair of rubber gloves used for cleaning purposes were hanging right above exposed “Ajo Puro” (Raw Grounded Garlic) finished product. Repeat observation from our 2009, 2012, and 2015 inspections.

3. You must store raw materials in a manner that protects against contamination, as required by 21 CFR 110.80(a)(1). Specifically, on 05/21/2018 and 05/22/2018, our investigator observed:

  • Ingredients such as dry onions, garlic, oregano, citric acid, and sodium benzoate stored in the ambient temperature area on top of soiled and dirty pallets. Additionally, the area was observed dusty, which could potentially contaminate ingredients.
  • Ingredients such as red peppers and green peppers stored in the refrigerator area on pallets against the foam type walls. These foam type walls had missing sections and were soiled with what appears to be mold. In addition, the foam type ceiling was missing sections and soiled with what appears to be mold.
  • Packaging cardboard boxes were stored inside your non-functional and dirty refrigerator and it had soiled walls and damaged ceiling areas.
  • Preservatives ingredients such as salt, sodium benzoate, and citric acid placed in your manufacturing area were not properly labeled. In addition, these ingredients were stored in filthy containers and were kept un-covered while not in use. Repeat observation from our 2010 and 2015 inspections.

4. You failed to properly store equipment, remove litter and waste, and cut weeds or grass within the immediate vicinity of the plant building that may constitute an attractant, breeding place, or harborage for pests, as required by 21 CFR 110.20(a)(1). Specifically, our investigator observed your firm’s warehouse area, where packaging plastic bowls, plastic lids, and glass jar containers were stored, was also used to store waste material, had at least forty (40) not-in-use refrigerators, one (1) not-in-use forklift, one (1) not-in-use 300 gallons’ stainless steel tank, and old carton boxes. In addition, our investigator observed that an approximately 100 square feet area of the ceiling panels installed in your firm’s warehouse were detached from the ceiling leaving openings that provide a potential breeding place for pests. Repeat observation from our 2009, 2012, and 2015 inspections.

5. The procedures used for cleaning and sanitizing of utensils must provide adequate cleaning and sanitizing treatment as required by 21 CFR 110.35(d)(5). Specifically,

  • The three (3)-compartment sink used to wash and sanitize glass jars re-used from returned products was not set up in the correct sequence of wash-rinse-sanitize. In addition, your firm manufacturing cleaning area does not have a three (3)-compartment sink and utensils are not properly cleaned while manufacturing is in progress.
  • On 05/21/2018 and 05/22/2018, our investigator observed that plastic utensils were kept inside this single compartment sink and were being cleaned with water and soap alone. Repeat observation from our 2015 inspection.

6. Your firm failed to provide adequate screening or other protection against pests as required by 21 CFR 110.20(b)(7).  Specifically, our investigator observed windows in processing area did not have any type of screening and doors leading to the receiving and/or dispatching of raw materials and finished products have a gap of approximately four (4) inches wide at the bottom. A second door connecting the exterior of the firm with this warehouse had a gap of approximately two (2) inches wide at the bottom. Repeat observation from our 2009 and 2015 inspections.

7. You failed to maintain buildings, fixtures or other physical facilities in a sanitary condition as required by 21 CFR 110.35(a). Specifically, our investigator observed that the floors in your processing area are not constructed from a material that could be easily cleaned and kept clean. Gaps in between floor tiles had accumulated dirt and black stains that appeared to be mold. In addition, walls in the processing area had sections of missing tiles and showed presence of what appeared to be mold. During the inspection, your firm was formulating “Sofrito” (Condiment Mix) and “Ajo” (Raw Grounded Garlic) finished products. (Repeat observation from our 2009, 2010, and 2015 inspections).

The FDA warning letter noted that the company has not provided a written response to the Form FDA 483, Investigator Observations, issued to it on June 1. 

Also, the facility is not current with regulations requiring biennial registration renewal, which mandate submission of a renewal registration during the period beginning on Oct. 1 and ending on Dec. 31 of each even-numbered year. FDA records indicate that, as of the date of the warning letter, the facility had not been re-registered.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Coca-Cola recalls iced tea due to ‘quality issue’

Food Safety news - October 6, 2018 - 9:09pm

Coca-Cola Deutschland has recalled certain bottles of one of its ready-to-drink iced tea brands due to a product quality issue.

Fuze Tea Pfirsich in a 1 liter PET plastic bottle with expiry dates Aug. 28 and 29, 2019 is affected. The peach-flavored tea can be exchanged or refunded at the place of purchase.

The company said its own controls showed that some bottles do not meet quality standards. It added although no health risk is expected, further delivery of the product was stopped.

Coca-Cola Deutschland told Food Safety News that “foreign matter” in the product prompted the recall.

A spokeswoman said: “Product quality and the well-being of our consumers is our highest priority. Incidents like the one in question are very rare. The distribution of the affected products was limited and if an affected product is consumed, we have no indication of any health risk.”

The recall warning covers only Germany but was also reported on by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES). Other flavors or packs of the Fuze Tea brand are not affected.

“We received the information from our toll filler in Germany. The learnings from the root cause analysis will be applied, therefore we plan to continue to work with the toll filler,” added the spokeswoman.

The Coca-Cola Company only launched Fuze Tea in Europe this year. It was previously available in 52 countries worldwide including the United States and was brought to 37 additional countries across Europe from 2018.

When asked about the potential impact of the recall, Coca-Cola Deutschland said it does not disclose sales figures for its products in general.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Chicken tenders recalled for misbranding and undeclared allergen

Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 9:03pm

About 1,778 pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken tender products that may contain milk (whey), a known allergen that was not declared on the finished product label, were subjects of a recall Friday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The recall for misbranding and undeclared allergens is for breaded chicken tenders with barbecue sauce and hot sauce items were produced and packaged from Sept. 7 through Oct. 4. The manufacturer is Canteen/Convenco located in Middletown, PA.

The recalled products are:

  • 6 oz. clear plastic pouches containing “FRESH TO YOU, Breaded Chicken Tenders w/ BBQ Sauce,” case code 1077 and “Fresh Thru” dates ranging from 09-14-18 to 10-05-18.
  • 6 oz. clear plastic pouches containing “FRESH TO YOU, Breaded Chicken Tenders w/ Hot Sauce,” case code 6141 and “Fresh Thru” dates ranging from 09-16-18 to 10-07-18.

The recalled chicken products bear establishment number “P-40088” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail stores, specifically vending machines, in Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

FSIS discovered  the mistake on Oct. 4 during a routine label review.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider. Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that recalling firms are notifying their customers of the recall and that actions are being taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Seven sick in UK from Salmonella in liquid egg whites

Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 9:03pm

Authorities in the United Kingdom and Ireland are investigating Salmonella illnesses linked to a brand of liquid egg whites.

Seven confirmed cases of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported in the UK and one suspected infection is under investigation in Ireland. One batch of Dr. Zak’s Barn Farmed Liquid Egg White 970 ml from France with raw material from Spain was recalled on Sept. 17 followed by other batches on Sept. 21.

Salmonella was found in two batches — the first with the use-by date Dec. 12, 2018, and lot number 18163BN2A, the second with a use-by date of Dec. 29, 2018, and lot number 18180BN2A. A precautionary recall was made for batches with a use-by date of Dec. 29, 2018, and lot number 18180BN2B and use-by date of Feb. 2, 2019, with lot number 18228BN2A.

A high count of Enterobacteriaceae at 9,500 most-probable-number per gram and high aerobic plate count with 6,700 colony forming units per gram were also found in the product.

Public Health England told Food Safety News that it is investigating the outbreak of Salmonella affecting people who consumed the nationally distributed liquid egg white product that was recalled by the Food Standards Agency.

Illnesses have been reported in different parts of England since Aug. 17, with the most recent case having an onset date of Sept. 3. Cases linked to the outbreak strain have been confirmed through whole genome sequencing.

Three cases have reported consumption of Dr. Zak’s Barn Farmed Liquid Egg White while four infections are still under investigation.

“Most of those affected have now recovered. However, Salmonella can cause a serious infection in those with weakened immune systems or in vulnerable groups including babies, the elderly or pregnant women,” said Dr. Nick Phin, deputy director of the National Infection Service at PHE.

“Anyone who has purchased this product is encouraged to check the recall notices issued by the Food Standards Agency. We’re aware that the affected batches could have a use-by date up to February 2019.

“If you’re storing the product from the recalled batches at home, do not consume the product, but return it to the store where purchased for a full refund, as advised by the FSA and manufacturer. We’re aware that the high protein product may be purchased by people for bodybuilding purposes.”

A spokeswoman for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said the agency was made aware by the FSA in the UK as there was distribution of an implicated batch to Ireland.

“We are not aware of an outbreak in Ireland linked to the consumption of the Dr. Zak’s Barn Farmed Liquid Egg. There is one suspected case in Ireland that we are investigating,” the spokeswoman said.

Following the recall, British Lion eggs called for the EU to raise egg processing safety standards across Europe. Ian Jones, chairman of British Lion egg processors, said the gap in safety standards between British Lion egg products and non-UK produced egg products is clear.

“It is time to put in place more stringent egg safety standards. If manufacturers and retailers do not want to act on government advice and recognize the additional food safety standards of the Lion, then the British government should use Brexit as an opportunity to prevent the import of egg products produced to lower food safety standards,” he said.

Food safety expert, Dr. Lisa Ackerley, said: “Pasteurization alone has been shown not to give the assurance we all need; the raw product needs to be of a high standard as well, and that’s why British Lion egg products stand apart.”

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Categories: News in Food Safety

9.1 tons of meat and poultry deli products recalled for possible Listeria

Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 6:38pm

Richmond, VA-based Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods late Friday recalled approximately 18,296 pounds of ready-to-eat meat and poultry deli-sliced products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The ready-to-eat meat and poultry deli-sliced products items were produced and packaged from Sept. 14, 2018, through Oct. 3, 2018.

Recalled products include:

  • 5.03 lbs. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Roasted Turkey and Bacon Wrap 4CT Tray,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 13.5 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Buffalo-Style Chicken Wrap,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 13.5 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Turkey & Bacon Cobb Wrap,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 42.5 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Meat & Cheese Tray,” with a Sell By date from 9/19/18 – 10/08/18.
  • 9.75 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Roasted Turkey & Colby Jack Pinwheels,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 9.95 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Roasted Turkey and Bacon Wrap,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 9.25 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Angus Roast Beef & Cheddar Pinwheels,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 9.25 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Black Forest Ham & Provolone Pinwheels,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 12.6 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Chef Salad,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/07/18.
  • 4.8 lbs. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Combo Wrap Turkey & Bacon, Chicken Ceasar, Buffalo Style Chicken, & Veg,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 43 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Honey Turkey & Honey Ham Pinwheel Tray,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.
  • 8.1 oz. in clear plastic rectangular containers of “Ukrop’s Italian Style Pinwheels,” with a Sell By date from 9/17/18 – 10/06/18.

The recalled products bear the establishment number “EST.19979” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The Listeria was discovered on Oct. 4, 2018, when FSIS received notification from the establishment that they had received and processed products implicated in the Oct. 3rd Johnson County Hams recall, FSIS Recall 084-2018.

There have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about an injury or illness should contact a healthcare provider.

Consumption of food contaminated with L. monocytogenes can cause listeriosis, a serious infection that primarily affects older adults, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women and their newborns. Less commonly, persons outside these risk groups are affected.

Listeriosis can cause fever, muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions sometimes preceded by diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. An invasive infection spreads beyond the gastrointestinal tract. In pregnant women, the infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery or life-threatening infection of the newborn. In addition, serious and sometimes fatal infections in older adults and persons with weakened immune systems. Listeriosis is treated with antibiotics. Persons in the higher-risk categories who experience flu-like symptoms within two months after eating contaminated food should seek medical care and tell the health care provider about eating the contaminated food.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. When available, the retail distribution list(s) will be posted on the FSIS website.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Ladyfingers Gourmet to Go Voluntarily Recalls Signature Shaved Country Ham Rolls Due to Possible Health Risk

CDC Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 4:35pm
Ladyfingers Caterers is voluntarily recalling its Signature Shaved Country Ham Rolls as a result of the Johnston County Hams recall. The rolls were made with ham produced by Johnston County Hams, which recently initiated a recall of its ham products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Ukrop's Homestyle Foods Recalls Ready-To-Eat Meat and Poultry Products Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, a Richmond, Va. establishment, is recalling approximately 18,296 pounds of ready-to-eat meat and poultry deli-sliced products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Ukrop's Homestyle Foods Recalls Ready-To-Eat Meat and Poultry Products Due to Possible Listeria Contamination

CDC Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 4:10pm
Ukrop's Homestyle Foods, a Richmond, Va. establishment, is recalling approximately 18,296 pounds of ready-to-eat meat and poultry deli-sliced products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Consumer Alert: Sprout Creek Farm "Margie" Cheese Batch Recalled

CDC Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 12:55pm
Today the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets alerted consumers to a pasteurization problem with one of Sprout Creek Farm's pasteurized cow's milk cheeses, "Margie," made on 8/28/2018. Sprout Creek Farm is located in Poughkeepsie, NY. The reason for the recall is the air temperature at the start and end of the pasteurization process is required to be above 150deg F per the Grade "A" Pasteurized Milk Ordinance; the batch in question did not meet that standard. The recall pertains only to "Margie" cheese with a Made Date of 8/28/2018 and Best By date of 11/12/2018. To date, no illnesses have been reported to the Department in connection with this product.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Canteen/Covenco Recalls Ready-To-Eat Breaded Chicken Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

Canteen/Convenco, a Middletown, Pa. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,778 pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken tender products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Canteen/Covenco Recalls Ready-To-Eat Breaded Chicken Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

CDC Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 12:10pm
Canteen/Convenco, a Middletown, Pa. establishment, is recalling approximately 1,778 pounds of ready-to-eat breaded chicken tender products due to misbranding and undeclared allergens.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Callie's Charleston Biscuits Issues Voluntary Product Recall for Country Ham Biscuits and Cocktail Ham Biscuits Produced Using Johnston County Hams

CDC Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 10:23am
Johnston County Hams, Inc. issued a voluntary recall on October 3, 2018 for approximately 89,096 pounds of ready-to-eat ham products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. In response, Callie's Charleston Biscuits, LLC is issuing a voluntary product recall for two products that may contain the potentially affected Johnston County Hams.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Working Cow Homemade, Inc. Recalls Product Because of Possible Health Risk

CDC Food Safety news - October 5, 2018 - 10:19am
Working Cow Homemade Ice Cream, Inc. of St. Petersburg, FL is conducting a voluntary recall of No Sugar Added Vanilla and No Sugar Added Chocolate ice cream manufactured in three-gallon tubs during the month of May 2018. The recall is being conducted due to a potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria monocytogenes infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Bella Pupa Launches Silkworm Powder Snack

Quality Assurance Mag - October 5, 2018 - 4:14am
Shanghai, October 4, 2018 - The edible insect industry is growing rapidly with many new healthier and sustainable products. The makers of processed food containing bugs mostly use crickets and mealworms from farms in Canada, U.S., Netherlands, and Thailand. Now Bugsolutely introduces food made from silkworms. Silkworms are a byproduct of the silk industry, and they are fed only with leaves from mulberry trees. The 500,000 tons produced every year in China (75% of the worldwide production) are highly underutilized, the company said, explaining that they are mostly used as feed for animals after the silk is reeled from the cocoon. This is despite silkworms being a superfood like crickets and mealworms. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein, it added.  

Bella Pupa snack products contain silkworm powder (20%) and is the first edible insect product to be made in China, the company said.  “We are really excited: after one year of R&D, we have a yummy snack with very good nutritional values. The product won the Innovative Award from the Food and Beverage Innovation Forum,” said Founder Massimo Reverberi.
To create the new snack, Bugsolutely engaged the food-design firm Mill Food Intelligence. After 48 prototypes, and a number of consumer panel tests, the snack was born. Beginning October 15, 2018, the product will be available in two flavors, Original and Angry Sichuan, in selected online and offline stores in China. It also is available for export. For more information, visit

Bugsolutely China.




Categories: News in Food Safety

6.5 Million Pounds Of Beef Have Been Recalled Due To Salmonella Risk

Huffington Post Food Safety news - October 4, 2018 - 6:23pm
At least 57 people have become ill following a possible outbreak of salmonella stemming from Arizona-based meat producer JBS Tolleson Inc.
Categories: News in Food Safety


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