News in Food Safety

Hy-Vee Recalls 12 oz. Hy-Vee Garden Salad Product After Supplier Notes of Potential Cyclospora Contamination

CDC Food Safety news - June 21, 2020 - 10:00pm
Hy-Vee, Inc., based in West Des Moines, Iowa, is recalling its 12 oz. Hy-Vee Bagged Garden Salad product across its eight-state region due to the potential that it may be contaminated with Cyclospora. The potential for contamination was brought to Hy-Vee's attention when Fresh Express - which manufa
Categories: News in Food Safety

Flagstone Foods, LLC. Issues Voluntary Recall of North Star Sweet & Salty Caramel Trail Mix Due to Undeclared Allergen

CDC Food Safety news - June 21, 2020 - 10:00pm
Flagstone Foods LLC, of Robersonville, NC, is recalling its 14-ounce packages of North Star Sweet & Salty Caramel Trail Mix because they may contain undeclared cashews. The product comes in a 14-ounce, plastic stand-up resealable package, marked with UPC Code 0- 80948-63064-4 and lot code # 05M042
Categories: News in Food Safety

Jewel-Osco Voluntarily Recalls Bagged Signature Farms Garden Salad Due to Possible Cyclospora Contamination

CDC Food Safety news - June 18, 2020 - 10:00pm
In cooperation with the Fresh Express recall of bagged salads potentially linked to an outbreak of Cyclospora infections in the Midwest, Jewel-Osco is voluntarily recalling bagged Signature Farms Garden Salad sold in its stores in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa.
Categories: News in Food Safety

H-E-B Voluntarily Issues a Recall Hill Country Fare Juice Drinks are Being Voluntarily Recalled from H-E-B, Joe V's and Mi Tienda Stores for Potential Milk Allergen

CDC Food Safety news - June 18, 2020 - 10:00pm
H-E-B is voluntarily issuing a recall for gallon-sizes of Hill Country Fare Pink Lemonade, Citrus Punch, Fruit Drink and Grape Drink for the potential presence of a milk allergen.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Fresh Express Announces Precautionary Recall of a Limited Quantity of Southwest Chopped Kit Due to the Presence of Undeclared Allergens

CDC Food Safety news - June 18, 2020 - 9:42am
Fresh Express is voluntarily recalling a limited quantity of Fresh Express 11.5-ounce Southwest Chopped Kit with production codes G163B10A and G163B10B, UPC code 0 71279 30602 5 and use-by date of June 29 due to the presence of undeclared wheat, soy, cashews, and coconut. In some individuals the
Categories: News in Food Safety

La Bodega Meat LLC Recalls Beef Products Distributed Without Benefit of Import Re-Inspection

La Bodega Meat LLC, a Farmers Branch, Texas establishment, is recalling approximately 83,038 pounds of raw beef products that were not presented for import re-inspection into the United States.
Categories: News in Food Safety

Solution Providers Confirm Interoperability of Multiple Traceability Systems

Quality Assurance Mag - June 16, 2020 - 5:23am
GS1 US, in collaboration with FoodLogiQ, IBM Food Trust, ripe.io and SAP, has confirmed that multiple traceability systems can interoperate to transmit and exchange information about a product’s journey throughout the supply chain to support end-to-end food traceability. The first phase of a multi-phase proof-of-concept focused on supply chain visibility and included solutions that leveraged blockchain, cloud and other traceability technology from the solution providers.

The proof-of-concept participants defined and simulated seafood supply chain data sharing across four traceability systems leveraging GS1 Standards, which provide one consistent way for businesses to communicate information in food recalls. The group determined that the interoperability between solutions was possible when leveraging the GS1 System of Standards for the unique identification of products and locations, as well as GS1 Electronic Product Code Information Services (EPCIS) as a standardized data model. EPCIS provided a consistent format for sharing event data and transmitting key information from production to sale by uniformly facilitating the transmission of critical tracking events, such as whether a product had been shipped, received, packed or transformed.

In the next proof-of-concept phase, GS1 US will work with the four solution providers and industry partners, including suppliers, distributors, retailers, and foodservice operators, to implement EPCIS and determine how it can be further extended in real-world product tracing. The proof-of-concept will focus on defining and validating industry data requirements before moving on to a phase exploring use cases that leverage traceability standards and any industry-specific requirements to enable interoperability at that stage.

In the next phase, the goal will be to understand data requirements and determine if there is a new technical standard or protocol required for interoperability to enable permissioning, privacy and access controls. Subsequent phases will explore the value of distributed ledger technology in more advanced use cases. This type of collaboration will ensure a consistent direction moving forward as traceability standards and their supporting technologies, such as blockchain, scale and mature.

For more information on GS1 US blockchain resources, visit www.gs1us.org/blockchain.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Eriez ProGrade Line of Magnetic Separators Now Offer More Power

Quality Assurance Mag - June 16, 2020 - 4:59am
Eriez ProGrade Tubes, Grates and Liquid Line Traps are now available with the new and improved Xtreme RE7 Rare Earth Tube Circuit, which proved to be 13 to 40 percent stronger than other magnets on the market today in head-to-head pull tests. Items offered through the ProGrade Program are economically priced, in stock and ready for quick shipment. 

“Our recently-introduced RE7 Rare Earth Tube Circuit is the strongest technology available today, far surpassing competitive models in terms of pull testing, gauss rating or both,” says Eric Confer, Product Manager-Separation. “Greater separation efficiency directly and positively impacts product purity and plant productivity.”

Eriez ProGrade Xtreme Rare Earth magnetic separators remove weakly magnetic fine ferrous contamination to ensure ultimate product purity and equipment protection. Eriez continues to offer ProGrade products in lower-powered models for customers with less stringent separation requirements.

Eriez designed its ProGrade line of magnetic separators for budget-conscious customers who need quick solutions to their toughest processing challenges. Confer says, “Like all items in our ProGrade line, Xtreme RE7 models offer unbeatable protection at rock-bottom prices.  Customers will be glad to learn that although the power is now amplified, the price remains the same as our previous Rare Earth products.” 

For more information about the Eriez ProGrade Program, visit erieznews.com/nr370  or contact an Eriez magnetic separation specialist at 814-835-6000.

 

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Categories: News in Food Safety

PestWest Introduces New Fly Control System

Quality Assurance Mag - June 15, 2020 - 8:00pm
PestWest recently introduced its latest innovation, flyDetect, a 24/7 fly control remote monitoring system. The fly trap has a built-in wide-angle camera, which takes a high-resolution image of the entire sticky board daily or on demand.

Using the latest data capture and analysis technology, the flyDetect system alerts the pest control professional either via the dedicated flyDetect mobile app or the web-based app when a fly capture threshold is reached. Capture thresholds can be tailored to the sensitivity of the situation in which the flyDetect is being used. The alerts are based on a traffic light system of green, amber and red.

flyDetect images can also be reviewed in high resolution, allowing the pest control professional to make informed and proactive decisions in real-time when a threshold alert has been triggered.

Fred Hurstel, sales director for PestWest said, "We are very excited to be launching flyDetect. It has been years in the making and the first of its kind in the pest control industry. Many industries that have highly sensitive areas such as food, packaging, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries will be amazed with the new technology."

For more information about flyDetect, visit www.flydetect.com

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Categories: News in Food Safety

IFCO introduces New RPC Mini Series

Quality Assurance Mag - June 15, 2020 - 7:47pm
MUNICH - IFCO SYSTEMS, a leading supplier of Reusable Plastic Containers (RPCs) for fresh food, today announces the launch of its new RPC Mini Series. The Mini Series RPCs are the smallest reusable containers on the market specifically designed for the transportation of fresh food. The size of the RPCs allows retailers, growers and suppliers to efficiently use the available space when transporting convenience food and fresh, pre-packed food for immediate consumption.
                    Increasing transportation volume by one third per pallet With the development of the new RPC Mini Series IFCO is responding to changing customer needs. More and more consumers are buying healthy snacks prepared for immediate consumption, such as sandwiches, ready-to-eat salads, carrot sticks or apple slices. As retailers have adapted their product ranges to this demand, the need for reusable packaging in which convenience food and fresh snacks prepared for immediate consumption can be transported efficiently and, in a space-saving manner has been continuously increasing. Due to the special shape of these products, for example triangular packaging for sandwiches, a lot of unused space remains during transport in conventional returnable packaging. The IFCO RPC Mini Series is designed to save space when transporting pre-packed, ready-to-eat snacks and convenience food. As a result, the transportation volume increases by one third per pallet compared to the use of conventional reusable containers. Mini Series RPCs are also suitable for the compelling presentation of fresh food and snacks in retail outlets and the products can be placed so that the label with all important product information is visible. "With our RPC Mini Series, we offer our customers future-oriented reusable packaging. The consumption of convenience food and healthy snacks prepared for immediate consumption will continue to increase in the coming years. With our Mini Series RPC, which has been specially developed for the transport of these products, we enable our customers to make optimum use of the limited space available and deliver the goods fresh and cost-efficiently to their destination," explains Wolfgang Orgeldinger, CEO at IFCO SYSTEMS. RPC Mini Series allows more efficiency, sustainability and space gains The RPC Mini Series offers the same quality as all other IFCO RPCs. The stable and well-ventilated reusable containers cool the transported food optimally, increasing the shelf life of the goods throughout the entire supply chain and reducing product damage by up to 96 percent compared to disposable packaging. With the RPC Mini Series, IFCO now offers retailers, growers and suppliers the opportunity to transport convenience food and fresh food prepared for immediate consumption in a sustainable, space-saving and efficient manner. The RPCs are cleaned and disinfected according to the proven IFCO SmartCycleTM before being put back into circulation. IFCO repairs damaged RPCs, allowing them to be reused up to 100 times, and only granulates the RPCs when they are irreparably damaged. In this case, IFCO uses the granulate to produce new reusable plastic containers. As the use of IFCO RPCs protects natural resources and leads to significant decreases in CO2 emissions and solid waste, retailers, growers and suppliers can dramatically reduce their ecological footprint. The Mini Series RPCs are a quarter of the size of conventional RPCs, and compatible with IFCO Green Plus RPCs. The first of the new reusable containers were launched in the UK in February. In the few months since then, the pool of IFCO’s Mini Series RPCs has already grown to 250,000 units.  ]]>
Categories: News in Food Safety

Kogniz Health Launches Comprehensive, All-in-One AI Platform

Quality Assurance Mag - June 15, 2020 - 7:39pm
SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. -  Kogniz, an innovator in security and machine learning, is launching the most comprehensive AI platform available today to help get people back to work and keep them safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The Kogniz Health Response Platform is the only automated system that offers no-contact, high-volume temperature screening, contact tracing, social distancing enforcement, mask detection, and more.

"People are eager to resume work," said Daniel Putterman, Co-founder and Co-CEO, Kogniz. "As we slowly start to reopen communities around the world, employers have an ethical obligation to safeguard employees, guests and their communities. Our solution enables organizations from big box stores to campuses to operate as safely and efficiently as possible."

The Kogniz Health Response Platform includes:

• No-contact, multi-person, real-time temperature monitoring. The platform continuously measures body temperatures of large groups of people entering a building from up to sixteen feet away and provides accurate results even when it is cold or hot outside.• Social distancing enforcement. An optional extension enables existing surveillance cameras powered by the Kogniz Health Response Platform to send alerts to designated personnel when too many people are in a space, enabling organizations to swiftly enforce social distancing protocols.• Contact exposure detection. An optional extension enables existing surveillance cameras powered by the Kogniz Health Response Platform to identify those who come into contact with people displaying symptoms.• Mask detection. Ensures that employees and guests follow protective gear policies.

• Minimal hardware. Small, user-friendly footprints and flexible topologies enable most companies to install and begin using the platform in ten minutes or less.

Prior to launching the Kogniz Health Response Platform, the Kogniz AI researchers spent years developing the cutting-edge detection algorithms and customizable rules that form the nexus of the Kogniz platform, deploying the resulting Kogniz Security Platform in Fortune 500 security installations around the world. Those algorithms and intellectual property enabled the Kogniz team to quickly extend their security solution to the Kogniz Health Platform that now protects food processing plants, warehouses, government centers, office buildings, and more.

"Companies are extremely cautious and concerned as they plan to reopen. Employees should expect significant changes, including wearing masks, greater distances between desks, and rotating office time," Putterman explained. "Powerful yet unobtrusive technology like ours provides an additional layer of protection that will make the return to work safer and healthier for everyone."

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Dot’s Pretzels Purchases New Building in Logistics Park Kansas City

Quality Assurance Mag - June 15, 2020 - 7:35pm
EDGERTON, Kan. – Dot’s Pretzels, LLC has selected Logistics Park Kansas City in Edgerton, Kansas for their new manufacturing facility. The premiere pretzel brand in North America plans to begin operations later this year in the new facility that will increase Dot's production capacity to meet the ever-increasing national demand for their signature snacks.

"We are making significant investments in our technology at the new facility to keep the company on an aggressive growth trajectory," said Randy Johnson, CEO of Dot's Pretzels. "Not only will we be able to produce more pretzels but do so with greater consistency and ability to expand our product lines."

Dot’s Pretzels purchased a 186,107 square-foot building at 32180 W. 191st Street, in Edgerton, Kansas as part of a deal with Copaken-Brooks.  The new facility will be the largest manufacturing plant for Dot’s Pretzels. The company is investing $15 million and creating 22 new jobs.

“Food manufacturing is an industry on the rise, and we are excited to diversify the offerings at LPKC with the addition of Dot’s Pretzels,” says James Oltman, President of ElevateEdgerton! “A big thank you to our partners at Copaken Brooks, CBRE, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas City Area Development Council, KC SmartPort, Kansas Manufacturing Solutions, Evergy and the City of Edgerton for their hard work to make this project happen.”

“I’m happy to welcome Dot’s to Edgerton,” says Mayor Donald Roberts. “We look forward to having a great partnership for years to come.”

“We are so pleased to see Dot’s Pretzels’ plan for growth in Edgerton, and proud that Dot’s is making Kansas home to its largest facility in the nation,” Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “To help with Dot’s planned expansion, Commerce worked with our partners at KCADC, Evergy, ElevateEdgerton! and the City of Edgerton every step of the way. Collaborations like this are absolutely critical to helping Kansas companies grow.”

Career opportunities will be available in maintenance, machine operation, and quality assurance roles, starting this summer. Interested candidates can visit the Careers tab at www.dotspretzels.com.

EDGERTON, Kan. – Dot’s Pretzels, LLC has selected Logistics Park Kansas City in Edgerton, Kansas for their new manufacturing facility. The premiere pretzel brand in North America plans to begin operations later this year in the new facility that will increase Dot's production capacity to meet the ever-increasing national demand for their signature snacks.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

Agricultural Research Scientists Honored for Their Federal Service

Quality Assurance Mag - June 15, 2020 - 7:17pm
WASHINGTON D.C. — Heather Allen and Jo Anne Crouch, both scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), have received the 2019 Arthur S. Flemming Award for their outstanding scientific achievements in the fields of antimicrobial resistance and plant health, respectively.

Allen was a research microbiologist with the ARS Food Safety and Enteric Diseases Unit in Ames, Iowa. Crouch is a research molecular biologist with the agency's Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland.

They were among 13 total award recipients from across the federal government who were to be honored today during a recognition ceremony hosted by George Washington University (GWU). However, that ceremony has been cancelled due to the impacts of COVID-19. Together with the Arthur S. Flemming Awards Commission, GWU's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration presents the awards annually in recognition of the outstanding achievements of Federal employees with three to 15 years of service.

"We're honored to announce that, for the second year running, two of our researchers received this prestigious award. It's also with sadness we note Dr. Allen received the Flemming award posthumously," said ARS Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young. "Both she and Dr. Crouch embody the ARS commitment to putting the best and brightest minds to work tackling today's most pressing agricultural and food challenges."

Allen, who passed away on March 7, conducted pioneering research on the sources, prevalence and dynamics of antibiotic resistance genes in the swine gut microbiome—namely, the community of bacteria, viruses, bacteriophages and other microorganisms that inhabit the animal's intestinal tract. Allen's findings filled critical knowledge gaps about the swine gut microbiome and helped inform regulatory policies guiding agricultural practices to counter antibiotic resistance in both animal and human pathogens.

Among her accomplishments, Allen showed that bacteriophages (viruses which infect bacteria) can play a key role enabling the exchange of antibiotic-resistance genes among gut bacteria when certain in-feed antibiotics are administered to pigs. Her findings expanded the understanding of how antibiotic resistance develops in bacteria associated with food-producing animals including bacteria of clinical importance like Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, a leading cause of foodborne illness in humans.

Allen's cutting-edge investigations also set the stage for discovering beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract of swine. An example is Allen and colleagues' discovery of 15 different types of bacteria in swine that make butyrate, a fatty acid that promotes gut health. Their development of an automated screening procedure, using high-throughput sequencing, and specialized DNA probes to characterize the bacteria and their butyrate-encoding genes contributed to improvements in pre- and probiotic formulations made by commercial feed companies.

Crouch was recognized for her excellence in establishing a comprehensive research program on the causal agents of emerging plant diseases, particularly fungi and oomycetes, fungus-like organisms also known as "water molds."

Crouch took an "outside the box" approach to determining the evolutionary relationships, host range, genetic diversity and other characteristics of the pathogens that challenged what science thought it already knew about them. She also led the use of advanced molecular techniques to not only detect and describe fungal and oomycete pathogens, but also mitigate the harm they inflict on cereal and specialty crops, as well as turf grasses.

Among her notable achievements, Crouch discovered that "dollar spot"—the costliest disease of turfgrass worldwide—is caused by four unique fungal species rather than a single pathogen, solving a puzzle that had eluded plant pathologists for 83 years prior to her molecular systematics studies and datasets. Crouch's overturning of long-held views on the cause of downy mildew in black-eyed Susan and impatiens opened the door to developing resistant cultivars of these specialty crops, valued at nearly $10 million (2014) and $131 million (2018), respectively.

Additionally, her use of preserved specimens from the ARS-administered U.S. National Fungus Collection for molecular studies of fungal and oomycete pathogens is a rarely used but productive approach for investigating sources of crop disease outbreaks. To date, there are only a few publications that discuss research conducted with these types of samples.

Flemming awards are presented to winners in one of five categories. Allen was recognized in the Basic Science category, while Crouch was honored in the Applied Science and Engineering category.

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Categories: News in Food Safety

USDA-ARS Turns Food Waste into Edible Wraps

Quality Assurance Mag - June 15, 2020 - 12:03pm
The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Albany, Calif., is in the business of turning potentially wasted fruits and vegetables into good-tasting, healthful products. As director of the Western Regional Research Center (WRRC) in Albany, which focuses on solving food-manufacturing problems by using cutting-edge processing technologies, Tara McHugh said, "Adding value to specialty crops and plant-based waste materials by developing novel, healthy ingredients and functional foods is one of the main focuses of the unit's research.” The first objective is to increase the commercial value of plant-based, postharvest waste materials, high in dietary fiber and/or polyphenols, by reprocessing them into healthful foods and food ingredients. The fruits of the team's labors can be found on grocery shelves throughout the country – one of which is edible wrappers.

Edible Wrappers. To get more people to eat fruits and vegetables, McHugh and her team invented a way to cast fruit and vegetable purees into edible films that can be used as wrappings and coatings for other foods. The films are excellent barriers to oxygen and moderate barriers to moisture. They also exhibit superior color, flavor, and aroma and have excellent flexible properties and good nutritional value. Furthermore, through the addition of natural antimicrobials, the films can improve food safety.

Working with Origami Foods, which later became NewGem Foods, McHugh co-led the commercialization of fruit and vegetable-based edible films. The patented films are exclusively licensed and sold by NewGem Foods, located in Fife, Wash. The company has more than $8.5 million in product sales to date, which equates to more than 15 million servings of fruits and vegetables, McHugh said, adding, the new technology has created 56 new jobs in a rural area of high unemployment.

The main uses for the edible films are as alternatives to nori on sushi, gluten-free bread and tortilla alternatives, and glaze sheets for hams. These products are sold in retail grocery chains in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, and are also used in foodservice operations.

McHugh used the same technology in collaboration with East-West Medical Research Institute to develop the first edible fruit straw. In addition, they found that incorporating natural essential oils from oregano, thyme, cinnamon, allspice, clove and lemongrass into apple- and tomato-based films and coatings helped to fight against E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella enterica, and Listeria monocytogenes.

Other innovations include:

  • In the early 2000s, McHugh developed the world's first all-fruit bar using a novel processing technology she and her team invented. Each bar is packed with 100% fruit and has no preservatives, fillers, or other artificial ingredients. The bars are made of unmarketable fruit that would normally be discarded. The technology allowed fruit growers to add value to their crop and create new markets, while helping people meet their daily fruit requirements. Each bar provides two servings of fruit.
  • McHugh's team also developed an infrared blanching and dehydration technology, which recently received a patent. The company Treasure8 saw this as a golden opportunity and licensed a suite of ARS patents on the technology for fruit and vegetable snacks. Treasure8 has an exclusive license for the patented process to make 100% fruit and vegetable snacks, using the infrared blanching and dehydration technology. Part of the company's success is due to McHugh and her team, according to Timothy Childs, Treasure8 cofounder and CEO. "The successful public-private partnership Treasure8 has formed with the USDA is a testament to Dr. McHugh's ability to help bring clarity and vision to complex, revolutionary applications, such as those that we at Treasure8 are now commercializing," he said.

ARS scientists continue to develop novel technologies to address manufacturing needs for nutritious, value-added, shelf-stable products. "We are constantly working on new ways to improve healthfulness in processed foods through science and partnerships with different companies, universities, growers, commodity organizations, government, and other stakeholders," McHugh said. The research supports small businesses and U.S. growers, and reduces waste and increases consumption of healthy foods.

For more information, visit USDA-ARS.

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