New USDA rule limits salmonella bacteria allowed in raw breaded chicken

Raw chicken will be rejected as an ingredient in making breaded, stuffed chicken products if there is too much salmonella bacteria in the meat — a step to protect consumers from food-borne illness, said the Agriculture Department. The rule, which would take effect in a year, is the first to name salmonella as an adulterant in a class of raw poultry products.

USDA ‘framework’ intended to reduce salmonella-related illness

Poultry processors could be required to test birds for salmonella bacteria before slaughter and for so-called indicator organisms during processing under a USDA proposal aimed at reducing food-borne illnesses in raw poultry. Under the framework, the Food Safety and Inspection Service might create an enforceable standard to prevent sale of poultry with high levels of the bacteria.

USDA will seek improvements to salmonella controls

Pointing to the tens of thousands of salmonella illnesses linked to poultry products each year, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday that the USDA would mobilize "a stronger and more comprehensive effort" to reduce the risk of the disease-causing bacteria in raw poultry meat. The process could include pilot projects that encourage "pre-harvest controls" on the farm, an area not directly under USDA jurisdiction.

USDA may enlist farmers in its efforts to reduce salmonella in poultry

The USDA's food safety agency is considering new approaches to reduce salmonella bacteria in poultry that could include "pre-harvest interventions" on the farm, said Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Saundra Eskin on Tuesday. "We know that most salmonella contamination enters the facility with the birds and the more we can do to reduce contamination at the point of slaughter, the less contamination and cross-contamination we have in an establishment."

Are foodborne-illness outbreaks getting worse, or is detection getting better?

From lettuce to cookies, avocados to cheesecake, the last few years have seen a number of high-profile food recalls. According to the CDC, an estimated 48 million Americans get sick each year from foodborne illnesses. But the question of whether such outbreaks are getting worse is complicated, due to a combination of improved detection technology, a looser approach to regulation, and growing consolidation in the food industry, as Leah Douglas reports in FERN's latest story, published as part of Time magazine's special issue on the Science of Nutrition.(No paywall)

French dairy giant recalls 7,000 tons of baby formula

Lactalis, the biggest dairy company in France, has recalled over 7,000 tons of baby formula and powdered milk products across 80 countries, reports the New York Times. The recalls, which were implemented over the course of several weeks, amounted to one of the biggest such recalls in history. At least 38 children were sickened by salmonella found in the recalled products.

More samples of salmonella in humans show resistance to multiple types of antibiotics

Federal researchers say multi-drug resistance has increased to 12 percent of salmonella bacteria found in the digestive systems of ill people, up from 9 percent in the previous year. Salmonella is a common type of food-borne illness estimated to affect 1 million Americans annually and to cause 380 deaths a year.

Supreme Court refuses to review length of sentences for salmonella outbreak

The Supreme Court assured prison time for Austin DeCoster, once believed to be the largest U.S. egg producer, and his son, Peter, by refusing a petition filed by their attorneys for a review of their sentences.

Montana senator would ban Brazilian beef for four months

With a scandal clouding Brazil's meatpackers, Montana Sen. Jon Tester announced legislation for a 120-day ban on U.S. imports of meat from the South American country. The ban will give USDA "time to comprehensively investigate food safety threats and to determine which Brazilian beef sources put American consumers at risk," said Tester's office.

New EU data on antibiotics contain warning for U.S.

New data on antibiotic resistance in agriculture, released Friday by agencies of the European Union, demonstrate how complicated it is to control all the uses of antibiotics on farms and to prevent all the side effects of antibiotic use.

FDA finds 1 percent of cucumbers and 3 percent of hot peppers carry salmonella

Two years ago, the FDA began testing foods for the presence of disease-causing bacteria as a way to learn how prevalent they are and how to prevent food-borne illness. In its latest round of tests, the agency said 1 percent of cucumbers and 3 percent of hot peppers, such as jalapeños and serranos, carried salmonella bacteria, said Stat, the medical news site.

DeCosters lose bid to avoid prison time for food-illness outbreak

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals refused to reconsider a ruling that gave Jack DeCoster and his son, Peter, three-month prison sentences for the 2010 outbreak of food illness linked to their egg farms, says Food Safety News. At the time, the DeCosters were believed to be the largest egg producers in the country.

Undercover video shows ‘cruel and inhumane conditions’ at Maine egg farm

The Humane Society of the United States is calling for state and federal investigations after it released undercover video, from one of New England’s largest egg producers, that shows chickens caked in feces and packed in tiny cages, in some cases with dead and mummified birds.

CDC blames backyard poultry flocks for salmonella outbreak

Seven separate outbreaks of salmonella this year have been linked to backyard chicken flocks, resulting in 66 hospitalizations, the CDC said. One person who was hospitalized also died, though salmonella was not considered a factor in the death.

FSIS extends deadline for new pathogen-reduction standards

The USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will grant poultry processors more time to comply with the agency’s new salmonella and campylobacter standards, giving fowl farmers until July 1 to implement the stricter guidelines.

USDA finalizes rules to reduce bacteria in ground poultry meat

New federal standards are in effect to reduce illnesses caused by campylobacter and salmonella bacteria in ground chicken and turkey meat, said the USDA.

Peanut exec sentenced to 28 years for salmonella outbreak

A federal judge sentenced Stewart Parnell, owner of the now-defunct Peanut Corp. of America, to 28 years in prison in connection with a salmonella outbreak that killed nine people and sickened hundreds, said the Associated Press.

CDC says 77 new cases of salmonella linked to cucumbers

An additional 77 cases of salmonella were reported in the past week in a outbreak of food-borne illness linked to cucumbers imported from Mexico, said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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