Food Safety and Inspection Service

Omaha, NE, United States

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Omaha, NE, United States
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News Article | May 23, 2017
Site: www.foodprocessing-technology.com

John Morrell and Co recalls ready-to-eat hot dog products in US over contamination concerns US-based John Morrell and Co has recalled 210,606lb of ready-to-eat hot dog products over concerns that they may be tainted with extraneous materials, particularly metal. According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) statement, the beef franks items were produced on 26 January. "The contamination issue was discovered following three complaints of metal objects in the beef frank products." The products being recalled include 14oz sealed film packages containing 'Nathan’s Skinless 8 Beef Franks' with a use-by date of 19 August, and 16oz sealed film packages containing 'Curtis Beef Master Beef Franks', with a use-by date of 15 June. These products bear establishment number 'EST. 296' on the cover. The items were shipped to retail outlets across the country. The contamination issue was discovered following three complaints over finding metal objects in the beef frank products. John Morrell and Co notified FSIS on 19 May. The company so far has not received any reports of adverse reactions or injury due to consumption. John Morrell and Co has urged customers who have bought these products not to consume them and either return them to the place of purchase or throw them away. This recall is considered to be Class II, which indicates that there is a health hazard situation where there is a chance of adverse health risks due to product consumption.


News Article | May 26, 2017
Site: www.foodprocessing-technology.com

Kansas-based Armour Eckrich Meats has recalled 90,978lb of ready-to-eat sausage products as they may be contaminated with pieces of metal, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The issue was identified on 15 May when Armour Eckrich Meats was informed by another FSIS-regulated establishment that pieces of metal were found in the fully cooked sausage products. "The products that have been recalled bear establishment number ‘EST. 3JC’ inside the USDA mark of inspection." Armour Eckrich Meats noted that its cooked pork, turkey and beef breakfast sausage items were produced and packaged from 26 April to 28 April this year, and were shipped to various distribution centres in Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. The products that have been recalled bear establishment number ‘EST. 3JC’ inside the USDA mark of inspection. The company further added that it has not received any confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, and urged customers not to consume them and either throw away or return the products to the place of purchase. FSIS continuously conducts routine checks to verify that firms notify their customers of the recall and steps are taken to ensure the product is no longer available for purchase.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Mott’s is being sued because Beyond Pesticides says the chemicals were found in its “natural” applesauce, and that should disqualify it from using labels making that claim. The problem here is there’s no clear definition on what “natural” means, and proving that Mott’s, manufactured by Dr Pepper Snapple, is being misleading could be problematic for the plaintiffs. The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service approves approximately 100,000 product labels each year, but that job has grown tougher because of new phrases like “natural,” “humanly raised” and “grass-fed” becoming more the norm. The government has yet to classify an official designation for these terms, and so it’s like the wild, wild West when it comes to companies using these words on their products. It very well could be that a trace level of a pesticide could be found and the product still be considered natural, but it's hard to know. Other lawsuits against companies making similar claims haven’t yet come to any clear consensus, either. Lawsuits against  Nature Valley and Naked Juice on similar claims are still in the courts, and many others haven’t been decided yet. General Mills also is facing several consumer lawsuits due to claims of "misleading" messaging on cereal packaging. These lawsuits show the complexities manufacturers face when they try to make nutrition or health-related claims for their products to gain an edge with consumers in a competitive market place. Shoppers have certain expectations for claims like "natural" and "healthy," terms that don't always have officially regulated definitions. It remains to be seen what happens with the Mott's or other lawsuits, but a standard definition would go a long way in helping to clear things up for companies, consumers and critics.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.foodprocessing-technology.com

Ford Brothers Wholesale Meats to recall beef products in US US-based Ford Brothers Wholesale Meats is set to recall nearly 4,015lb of beef patties over misbranding and undeclared allergens. According to the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the products contain elements of soy, a known allergen, which has not been declared on the product label. The problem was identified by FSIS personnel at the time of conducting label review verification activities. Produced on 26 August last year through 4 May this year, the frozen raw beef patties were shipped to wholesale locations in New York. The products that were subject to recall bear establishment number ‘EST. 4625’ inside the USDA mark of inspection. "The problem was identified by FSIS personnel at the time of conducting label review verification activities." Products subject to recall are 5lb boxes containing four, six, eight and ten patties a pound of ‘MINEO & SAPIO BEEF PATTIES’. Ford Brothers has not received any confirmed reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. FSIS urged consumers not to consume these products and advised them to throw away or return the products to the place of purchase. Ford Brothers is a wholesale distributor of beef, pork and poultry products in West Valley, New York. FSIS conducts recall effectiveness checks routinely in order to see that appropriate steps are in place to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers. Image: Various cuts of beef meat. Photo: courtesy of KEKO64 via freedigitalphotos.net.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Scientists and packaging companies have been working for years to develop technology that indicates spoilage in food and beverage products. Several years ago, researchers at the University of Rhode Island came up with heat-sensing UPC codes that would change color when a fresh product became too warm, indicating contamination. In 2014, Chinese researchers developed corn kernel-sized tags that could attach to packaging and change color when spoilage was present. These efforts, along with others, have yet to reach commercial viability since special sensors can be difficult to replicate in mass quantities, and at a cost that’s agreeable to manufacturers. For now, food and beverage companies rely on various “best by” and “sell by” claims to indicate product freshness. But these claims have proven to be a headache for consumers who have a hard time figuring out what many of them mean. What does a “better if used by” date indicate? Does a “sell by” date point out when a product will spoil? In fact, these dates indicate product quality rather than product safety; federal law only requires that baby food contain a spoilage date. In the absence of clear instructions, many consumers simply throw out food that’s nearing or has reached its on-pack date. This creates vast amounts of food waste, according to organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, which estimates that people throw out a billion pounds of food each year due to label confusion. Developing clearer labels, organizations estimate, could reduce food waste in the U.S. by as much as 8%. Regulators and industry groups are working towards this goal. In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Food Safety and Inspection Service recommended that manufacturers only use a “best if used by” label on meat, dairy and other fresh food packaging. The Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, meanwhile, recommend two labels: “BEST If Used By" to signify product quality and "USE by" to indicate the safety of perishable products. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of these illnesses, likely caused by eating spoiled food, could be prevented with packaging that alerts the consumer.


News Article | May 14, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced on May 13 that Green Chile Food Company is voluntarily recalling several of its frozen meat and poultry burrito products due to possible listeria contamination. The product recall comes after a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) inspector did a routine testing on a Beef and Potato Burrito and found evidence of Listeria monocytogenes in the items. More than 252,000 pounds of frozen burritos were made from the contaminated batch so USDA has classified this case as a Class I recall for the serious and adverse health risk it poses. The affected Green Chile frozen products were manufactured and packaged on different dates from March 8 to May 10, 2017 and have the establishment number "EST. 21740" printed inside the USDA mark of inspection. According to the company, the affected products were shipped to retail outlets, institutions, and distribution centers located in Illinois, California, Oregon, and South Dakota. Here is the list of affected pre-packaged ready to eat frozen products: Visit [pdf] the USDA website to view the product labels. The USDA strongly advises that contaminated burritos should not be consumed because listeria is a serious infection that can affect people with weaker immune systems and can even lead to death. As of writing, however, there have been no confirmed reports of illnesses caused by the recalled Green Chile products. Consumers who purchased a contaminated product should throw it away or return the item to its place of purchase. The company also set up a website to address the massive product recall at burritorecall.com. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Mott’s is being sued because Beyond Pesticides says the chemicals were found in its “natural” applesauce, and that should disqualify it from using labels making that claim. The problem here is there’s no clear definition on what “natural” means, and proving that Mott’s, manufactured by Dr Pepper Snapple, is being misleading could be problematic for the plaintiffs. The Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service approves approximately 100,000 product labels each year, but that job has grown tougher because of new phrases like “natural,” “humanly raised” and “grass-fed” becoming more the norm. The government has yet to classify an official designation for these terms, and so it’s like the wild, wild West when it comes to companies using these words on their products. It very well could be that a trace level of a pesticide could be found and the product still be considered natural, but it's hard to know. Other lawsuits against companies making similar claims haven’t yet come to any clear consensus, either. Lawsuits against  Nature Valley and Naked Juice on similar claims are still in the courts, and many others haven’t been decided yet. General Mills also is facing several consumer lawsuits due to claims of "misleading" messaging on cereal packaging. These lawsuits show the complexities manufacturers face when they try to make nutrition or health-related claims for their products to gain an edge with consumers in a competitive market place. Shoppers have certain expectations for claims like "natural" and "healthy," terms that don't always have officially regulated definitions. It remains to be seen what happens with the Mott's or other lawsuits, but a standard definition would go a long way in helping to clear things up for companies, consumers and critics.


News Article | May 10, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

Scientists and packaging companies have been working for years to develop technology that indicates spoilage in food and beverage products. Several years ago, researchers at the University of Rhode Island came up with heat-sensing UPC codes that would change color when a fresh product became too warm, indicating contamination. In 2014, Chinese researchers developed corn kernel-sized tags that could attach to packaging and change color when spoilage was present. These efforts, along with others, have yet to reach commercial viability since special sensors can be difficult to replicate in mass quantities, and at a cost that’s agreeable to manufacturers. For now, food and beverage companies rely on various “best by” and “sell by” claims to indicate product freshness. But these claims have proven to be a headache for consumers who have a hard time figuring out what many of them mean. What does a “better if used by” date indicate? Does a “sell by” date point out when a product will spoil? In fact, these dates indicate product quality rather than product safety; federal law only requires that baby food contain a spoilage date. In the absence of clear instructions, many consumers simply throw out food that’s nearing or has reached its on-pack date. This creates vast amounts of food waste, according to organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council, which estimates that people throw out a billion pounds of food each year due to label confusion. Developing clearer labels, organizations estimate, could reduce food waste in the U.S. by as much as 8%. Regulators and industry groups are working towards this goal. In December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Food Safety and Inspection Service recommended that manufacturers only use a “best if used by” label on meat, dairy and other fresh food packaging. The Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, meanwhile, recommend two labels: “BEST If Used By" to signify product quality and "USE by" to indicate the safety of perishable products. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some of these illnesses, likely caused by eating spoiled food, could be prevented with packaging that alerts the consumer.


News Article | May 9, 2017
Site: www.foodprocessing-technology.com

Perdue Foods has recalled 2,148lb of chicken sausage products over contamination due to extraneous materials. The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) noted that the 24oz plastic packages containing eight links of fully cooked ready to eat Perdue Harvestlandland Italian Style Organic Chicken Sausage products were produced on 27 March. The company shipped these products to a retail distributor in Connecticut and Maryland, and the recall is confined to only those products with establishment number ‘P-2617’ inside the USDA mark of inspection. "We determined the source was plastic from a pair of safety goggles that was inadvertently introduced into the raw material before the sausages were stuffed." Perdue Foods notified FSIS after receiving three complaints from its consumers with regard to presence of blue plastic in the products. Perdue Foods quality assurance vice-president Jeff Shaw said: "We determined the source was plastic from a pair of safety goggles that was inadvertently introduced into the raw material before the sausages were stuffed. “This would have resulted in a minimal amount of consumer packages potentially containing sausages with the plastic. However, out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to recall all packages of sausages produced in the same product run." The company said that they have not received any reports of injury due to the consumption of these products. FSIS has urged consumers not to consume these products and to return them to the place of purchase. Image: Sausages placed on a plate. Photo: courtesy of SawBear via freedigitalphotos.net.


News Article | May 12, 2017
Site: www.fooddive.com

While uncertainty swirls about how the Trump administration will affect U.S. policy from national security to climate change, food safety regulators remain confident. “For me, I believe food safety is going to be one of the best worlds to be in these next four years,” said Alfred Almanza, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) acting deputy undersecretary for food safety and administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Almanza shared the stage at the Food Safety Summit in Chicago on Thursday with Dr. Robert Tauxe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) director of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases; Dr. Stephen Ostroff, the deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); and Joseph Corby, executive director of the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO). All four regulators gave updates on their agencies — what's coming next and what the future may hold. While Almanza was the most confident, they all seemed to have faith that policy and funding — at least in the areas of food safety they oversee — will go in the right direction. Corby, whose organization supports streamlining local, state and federal food regulations, said he has seen an unprecedented amount of collaboration between all levels of food safety officials. Before taking the helm of AFDO, Corby spent 37 years in the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets — and he’s seen his fair share of policy fights. “We knew that to create an integrated system would take a while,” Corby said. “It’s a long process and people have to change cultures. But there are things going on right now that have never been done before. That I never thought would happen.” Among those unprecedented acts of collaboration, Corby pointed out the FDA and state authorities in Wisconsin have come up with a sharing agreement: A federal inspection also counts as a state inspection, meaning that food facilities don’t have to be scrutinized twice by different regulators. Meanwhile in New York, the FDA is using state-level reports to prepare federal import alerts. Ostroff said this collaboration is key to achieving food safety. As more agencies work together, they advance a common — and nonpartisan — goal. “In the food safety arena, I think we have a pretty good story to tell,” he said. “It’s a pretty good story in terms of what we’re about, where we’re going, and what the impact will be in public safety and health. I haven’t heard anything to indicate that doesn’t resonate with the administration.” Ostroff did not go into specifics about FDA leadership under the Trump administration; the agency’s commissioner Scott Gottlieb was just confirmed to his position on Tuesday. FDA is a part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is now run by former Congressman Tom Price. Almanza had nothing but positive things to say about USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. The former Georgia governor is a veterinarian, which is making Perdue’s transition incredibly smooth, according to Almanza. His education and background are critical to understanding the need for food safety measures, and he is familiar with threats like salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter. Almanza, who has worked under four new USDA secretaries in his career at the agency, said he normally has to explain more about why these bacteria are important. “I would say that that’s the reason that food safety is going to really have a lot of safety over the next four years, just because we have that foundation of having a veterinarian in that position,” Almanza told Food Dive after the panel. Both former politicians from Georgia, HHS Secretary Tom Price and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue already had a working relationship before joining Trump’s Cabinet. Almanza said that Perdue promised him USDA would be working “closer than ever before” with FDA on food safety and regulations as the administration goes forward. Both agencies are responsible for different aspects of food safety. Even before Perdue was confirmed, Almanza said he received nothing but support from the Trump transition team. The administration placed a government-wide hiring freeze on all agencies, but Almanza was able to get exceptions to fill vacancies in lab and field positions within 24 hours. USDA’s food safety budget so far has also been fully funded. Meanwhile, the CDC does not have a director yet and Trump has yet to name a nominee. However, the CDC's Tauxe felt positive that the agency will move in the right direction. The CDC is also under HHS, and Tauxe said he is confident that Price — who used to represent the area near CDC’s Atlanta headquarters in Congress — understands the importance of food safety. Although the Trump administration has been criticized by many in the scientific community, Tauxe said there are many young scientists who want to work with the CDC to make a difference. “I’m very optimistic that the future of science is alive and well,” Tauxe said. For regulators, science is the reason behind every action, Almanza said. In this administration — and any before or after — science is of the utmost importance. “I think it’s incumbent upon ourselves to be able to explain why it is we do what we do — and give them the tools to justify it,” he said.

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