Posts Tagged: food safety

An apple a day . . . or not

Almost every day I put an apple in my son’s lunch because it’s one of the few fruits he eats.  While I worry about his limited palate, I’ve always thought, “well, at least he’s eating an apple a day,” as the saying goes.  So the USDA’s announcement that apples contain the highest concentration of pesticide residue of any produce – and are ranked number one on the Environment Working Group’s list of the “dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables – was a punch to the gut. (more…)

Some recalled beef hit store shelves 10 months ago

Another day, another food recall. A California slaughterhouse is voluntarily recalling 1 million pounds of ground beef after seven people sickened by E.coli contamination had their illnesses traced to the meat.

According to an Associated Press brief in The New York Times, the recalled ground beef was processed by (more…)

Better regulation needed because oil and water don’t mix

Ever wonder why more aggressive government regulation makes sense?  Read Ian Shapira’s minute-by-minute account in the Washington Post about seafood buyers for major supermarkets who are trying to make sure Americans have fresh, safe fish to eat.  Just the hint of petroleum in the fish Americans buy every day is enough to force seafood purchasing overseas, where suppliers don’t maintain as high food safety standards as U.S. companies.  The money goes abroad.  The fish may be worse in quality and come from rapacious fish harvesting practices. (more…)

U.S. Senate Hasn’t Got Around To Caring About Salmonella

The Food and Drug Administration claims that the company Basic Food Flavors has knowingly sold vegetable protein laced with salmonella. The Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton reports that a food maker who purchased products from Basic Food Flavors tipped off the FDA and the agency subsequently inspected the Food Flavors plant. But why did federal regulators wait until after the dangerous vegetable protein was discovered to inspect the offending plant?

Well, because of the U.S. Senate. “Legislation that would require companies to take measures to prevent contamination was overwhelmingly passed by the House last year,” Layton writes,  “but has been held up in the Senate.” (more…)


Jane Zhang of the Wall Street Journal reports on the Obama administration’s plan to improve food safety:

A White House panel, led by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, is shifting the focus of food regulation to preventing outbreaks from reacting to them after they occur. The federal government will establish a command system to respond to outbreaks of food-borne illnesses and develop industry guidelines that will help the government track contaminated products, the panel said.

What the panel specifically has in mind, for now, is empowering the Food and Drug Administration to reduce salmonella contamination in raw or uncooked eggs by 60 percent or 79,000 cases each year. Egg producers will now be required to test for salmonella.

It will be interesting to see how far Obama will push for a better-inspected food supply before the food industry starts, ahem, crying foul. Right now the reputation of the FDA is at such a low that the industry is actually calling out for stronger regulations in order to boost consumer confidence.-MB