Salmonella outbreak linked to BrightFarms’ salad greens, Green Dining Table Inc. recalls frozen pork dumplings

U.S – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in collaboration with Center for Diseases and Prevention Control (CDC), state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections concomitant to the consumption of BrightFarms’- an indoor farming company that specializes in providing locally grown packaged salads – Sunny Crunch packaged salad greens manufactured in the firm’s Rochelle, IL facility. Interview data and shopper card records indicate that six people ate or bought manifold types of BrightFarms brand salad products before they got sick. FDA’s traceback investigation identified…

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FDA publishes draft guidance on Systems Recognition Arrangement

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a notice of a new draft guidance document on FDA Oversight of Food Products Covered by Systems Recognition Arrangements, specifically adjustments to activities that include inspections, screening and sampling to enhance the safety of imported foods.  A Systems Recognition Arrangement (SRA) establishes a regulatory partnership between FDA and another food safety authority, in countries with systems the regulatory body has concluded operate comparable regulatory programs that yield similar food safety outcomes. It is not only an efficient way to…

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FDA releases Cyclospora Prevention, Response & Research Action Plan

U.S – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released the Cyclospora Prevention, Response and Research Action Plan as part of their ongoing efforts to combat foodborne illnesses, aligned with the New Era of Smarter Food Safety initiative. Rising case numbers and the emergence of Cyclospora contamination in domestically grown produce impelled the FDA to create the Cyclospora Task Force in 2019. The task force is comprised of multidisciplinary experts across the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with the goal of reducing the public health…

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FDA finds undetectable levels of PFAS in food, shifts focus to occurrence in seafood

U.S – The FDA has determined in a recent analysis that there are no detectable levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a diverse group of human made chemicals that have the ability to remain intact in the environment, in food. The 94 samples of a variety of food products collected found only one sample of cod to have detectable levels of two types of PFAS – perfluoro octane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluoro nonanoic acid (PFNA). The agency tested the samples as part of a broader effort to better comprehend…

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FDA releases list of draft, final guidance topics for Food Program

U.S. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and Office of Food Policy and Response (OFPR) have released a list of draft and final guidance topics that are a priority for the FDA Foods Program to complete during the next 12 months.  FDA guidances are documents that elucidate the agency’s interpretation of, or policy on, a regulatory issue. The FDA formulates guidances primarily for industry, but also for other stakeholders and its own staff. It uses them to address such matters…

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FDA declares Threshold of Regulation exemption for metal carbides, alloys

U.S. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a Threshold of Regulation (TOR) exemption for the use of metal carbides and metal carbide alloys as a component or ceramic coating in repeat-use applications such as parts in food processing equipment. A TOR exemption is based on evidence that the dietary exposure level from the intended use of the food contact substance (FCS), is below 0.5 parts per billion (ppb) and the FCS itself is not a known carcinogen. An FCS is any substance that is intended for use…

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FDA modifies standard identity of yoghurt to allow innovation

U.S. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final rule to amend and modernize the standard of identity for yoghurt, as part of its Nutrition Innovation Strategy aimed at improving public health. The action responds, in part, to a citizen petition submitted by the National Yogurt Association, which is now part of the International Dairy Foods Association. FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy seeks to improve nutrition in order to lessen the burden of chronic and preventable disease. Standards of identity establish requirements related to the content and…

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FDA links Salmonella outbreak in U.S. to frozen cooked shrimp

U.S. – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), state and local partners, are probing a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Weltevreden infections linked to the consumption of frozen cooked shrimp manufactured by Avanti Frozen Foods of India. Avanti frozen foods is a subsidiary of the Thai Union and a manufacturer and exporter of shrimp products to the United States. A positive import sample collected earlier in the year combined with epidemiological and traceback evidence have affirmed this. Currently six cases in Nevada and Arizona…

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FDA identifies improper holding times, poor personal hygiene as prominent risk factors in retail food store

U.S. – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified improper holding time/temperature, poor personal hygiene, contaminated equipment,inadequate cooking and unsafe sources of food as the risk factors in retail food store deli departments in the United States . This is according to a study they had conducted to investigate the relationship between Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS), Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) and the occurrence of risk factors and food safety behaviors/practices commonly associated with foodborne illness in United States in retail food store deli departments (delis) from 2015-2016.…

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