Study detects toxic chemical in food from McDonald’s, Chipotle

U.S – A new study by researchers from George Washington University, the Southwest Research Institute (San Antonio, Texas), Boston University and Harvard University  has shown that phthalates, chemicals linked to health problems, have been detected in food from popular chains like McDonald’s, Chipotle and more.  The peer-reviewed analysis which was published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, includes items from McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Taco Bell and Chipotle locations in San Antonio, Texas. Researchers obtained 64 food samples of hamburgers, fries, chicken nuggets, chicken burritos…

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Researchers underscore importance of harmonization of agricultural regulations

AFRICA – Research experts have underscored the importance of harmonization of individual country regulations as well as the close coordination of government approaches for the long-term benefit of agricultural innovation in the African region. The experts explored the policy implications for seed systems in the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region where genetically modified (GM) crops are being approved by different countries in the area. Good seed quality is important to a country’s agricultural productivity and much more to a continental sub-region. The availability of these seeds, on the other hand, is…

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French agency ANSES publishes guidance on nanomaterials assessments

FRANCE – The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has  published a scientific guide on conducting risk assessments for engineered nanomaterials used as food additives and ingredients with a nutritional function. This move follows the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)’s latest safety assessment for the food additive titanium dioxide (E171) – also labeled as TiO2  – which deems the potentially carcinogenic white colorant unsafe. According to ANSES, a singular approach to assessing the health risks of engineered nanomaterials across food and nutraceutical ingredients is not…

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Foodborne illness outbreak data identifies 4183 outbreaks

U.S – The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has  identified 4,183 outbreaks that occurred from 1998 through 2019 and that were confirmed or suspected to be caused by Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria or Campylobacter, including 198 outbreaks that were confirmed or suspected to be caused by multiple pathogens or serotypes. IFSAC is a tri-agency group created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), to improve data and…

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Neogen partners with Hendrix Genetics to boost poultry quality in Africa

AFRICA – NEOGEN Corporation, a developer of food and animal safety products has partnered with Hendrix Genetics, a leading multi-species animal breeding, genetics, and technology company to support the implementation of genomic selection into Hendrix’s Sustainable Access to Poultry Parent Stock in Africa (SAPPSA) program, aimed at ensuring the supply of high-quality parent stock to African smallholder farmers. This addition will help accelerate the company’s existing recurrent test program by genotyping the elite animals across the breeding program, ensuring the SASSO breeds they cultivate are adapted to the local needs…

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FDA publicizes study results on E-coli occurrence in romaine lettuce

U.S – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has publicized the findings of a sampling assignment it conducted on romaine lettuce in Yuma County, Arizona between February and March 2021 to determine the presence of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC), specifically enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC), and Salmonella spp. This assignment was part of the FDA’s ongoing surveillance following multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks of foodborne illness in recent years linked to or potentially linked to romaine lettuce. Helping to ensure the microbiological safety of leafy greens continues to be…

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Tanzanian agricultural research institutes evaluate different rice hybrids for yield levels

TANZANIA – The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF),  the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI), and Hybrid East Africa Limited (HEAL) have conducted a second season on-farm multilocation trial (MLT) to evaluate four rice hybrids for adaptability and performance in comparison to the three best commercially released rice inbreds in Tanzania. The trial will be conducted  across five locations namely, Babati, Ukiriguru, Kilombero, Morogoro and Mombo.  The four rice hybrids were among six hybrids evaluated during the first season MLTs concluded in December 2020. Data from the trial indicated that the…

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Study reveals contamination of UK prawns with Vibrio

UK – A study by Quadram Institute researchers has revealed that a majority of UK prawns surveyed are contaminated with Vibrio, a gram-negative bacterium associated with consumption of undercooked  seafood, with shell-on prawns more likely to be contaminated than peeled prawns. The researchers have conducted the survey in an effort to understand the bacterium’s potential contribution to human disease and its resistance to antibiotics. They discovered that whilst 46 percent of prawns were contaminated with Vibrio, the specific strains of bacteria identified found pose no immediate risk to food safety…

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AFDO releases 2021 State Food Safety Resource Survey

U.S – The Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) has in its 2021 State Food Safety Resource Survey highlighted that 1,262,668 inspections, 37,731 compliance actions and 355,772 laboratory analyses were undertaken by state food safety regulatory programs. The survey looked at inspection work done by state food safety regulatory programs which ensure the safety of the food supply in the areas of manufactured food, retail food, milk, produce, meat/poultry, and shellfish. AFDO periodically conducts a resource survey of state human and animal food regulatory programs over a 12-month period,…

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