Jan 28, 2009
Two food-safety vets are on the short list to head up the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).
Caroline Smith-Dewaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and former FSIS administrator Barbara Masters are the final contenders, unidentified union officials, reps from the food industry and experts in food safety told the Washington Post. (Thanks to the Marler Blog for alerting us to the story.) Masters, who is in her 40s, is now a senior policy adviser at the Washington law firm Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz PC.
Dec 1, 2008 | 2
In the wake of melamine and high-profile food poisoning cases, the embattled Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that it's taking steps to ensure food safety.
In a report released today, the FDA says that it's beefing up its inspection staff by at least 130 people, that it's developing a tomato-safety plan to reduce the risk of infection-causing salmonella bacteria, and that it is drafting enforcement rules to prevent listeria bacteria (which causes fever, muscle aches and digestive symptoms) in prepared food. It also approved irradiation technology to kill E. coli and salmonella, and announced that it's opening satellite offices in Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East The FDA opened an international station in Beijing last month after Chinese baby formula and pet food sold in the U.S. was found to contain the industrial contaminant melamine, which was used to artificially boost the alleged protein content in the products.
Nov 26, 2008 | 13
The Food and Drug Administration has found trace amounts of the industrial poison melamine in baby formula and nutritional supplements sold in the U.S. The chemical is the same one that sickened at least 50,000 babies in China this year who drank contaminated formula.
“The levels that we are detecting are extremely low,” Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told the Associated Press, adding that parents should not stop giving their tots formula (though they may want to check with their pediatricians). “They should not be changing the diet. If they’ve been feeding a particular product, they should continue to feed that product. That’s in the best interest of the baby.”
Nov 6, 2008 | 2
Some 79 people in 21 states have been sickened with a bacterial infection linked to contaminated pet food — the first time human Salmonella enterica illness has been traced to a contaminated animal food plant.
None of the cases were fatal, and no pets became ill, according to this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The manufacturer of the dry dog and cat chow food linked to the outbreak, Mars Petcare US, recalled the 105 products in September and closed its Everson, Pa., factory where the tainted kibble was made, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientists say. But they warn that some of the food may still be on consumers' shelves and shouldn't be fed to pets. Among the tainted brands: Pedigree, Country Acres, 'Ol Roy and Paws & Claws.
Sep 24, 2008 | 21
According to the latest report from the Associated Press, dairy products made in China and contaminated with a chemical called melamine have sickened at least 54,000 babies and killed four. In the wake of the outbreak, first reported two weeks ago, a dozen countries, mostly in Africa and Asia have banned import of Chinese dairy products, including powered milk, baby formula, ice cream and yogurt. New Zealand authorities are now warning its citizens not to eat White Rabbit Creamy Candies; the international supermarket giant Tesco pulled the product from shelves (in groceries from from Britain to Malaysia) after the sweets were found to contain high levels of melamine.
So what is it?
Sep 17, 2008 | 4
Chinese state television reported yesterday that an industrial contaminant was found in samples from more than 20 companies that manufacture baby milk powder. One of these companies exported its formula to Bangladesh, Myanmar and Yemen, according to the Associated Press; tainted powder may also have entered Gabon and Burundi. Chinese officials launched a probe of 175 baby-formula makers last week, after more than 6,000 babies fed the stuff became ill and three infants died.
The Food and Drug Administration says it's unlikely that any of the poisoned baby formula is on U.S. stores shelves. "There is no known threat of contamination in infant formula manufactured by companies that have met the requirements to sell infant formula in the United States," it said in a statement. But the agency added that officials were investigating further to make sure that it was not being sold in " specialty markets which serve [the U.S.'s] Asian community."
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