Experts create models to assess Listeria risks in some foods

Scientists have developed formal risk assessment models for Listeria monocytogenes in certain foods.

The models need to be tested and reviewed before being made public, said experts at a meeting organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

Findings come from a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Microbial Risk Assessment (JEMRA) of Listeria monocytogenes in foods in October. The focus was on leafy greens, frozen vegetables, cantaloupe, and ready-to-eat (RTE) seafood. A summary has been released but a full report will be published later as part of the FAO and WHO Microbiological Risk Assessment (MRA) series.

Outbreaks of listeriosis continue to occur globally, with some linked to previously unreported food vehicles, such as leafy greens, melons, frozen vegetables, and ready-to-eat fish.

Data needed for models

Following recommendations from JEMRA in 2021, Codex — an organization that determines international food safety … Read more

Letter From The Editor: New Products

Sometime during the pandemic, I found myself at the Apple store in Austin. I needed a replacement for my MacBook Air and nice lady helping me suggested I add a $400 Apple watch to my purchase.

“Why would I need a watch,” I asked. Little did I know then about the watch that I’ve come to rely on for checking my heart, logging my exercise and sending my calls to voice mail. How did I live without an Apple watch?

What I never saw before that day in Austin was any hype about the Apple watch. I am both pretty immune and pretty resistant to hype. All those Apple projects in the Steve Jobs era were not sold to us on hype but on their actual performance in the marketplace. They filled needs we did not know we had.

Food Safety News gets a contstant stream of new product pitches. … Read more

Temporary Restraining Order extended in child labor case involving large meat company

A preliminary injunction that prevents a labor contracting firm from providing child labor to JBS in Grand Island, NE, has been extended to Dec. 7. The preliminary injunction is against Wisconsin-based Packers Sanitation Services Inc. Ltd.

Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh on Nov. 9, 2022, sued Packers Sanitation alleging the labor contractor is violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by employing “oppressive child labor” used in overnight shifts by the JBS Grand Island plant. The Secretary of Labor sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction pending further investigation of the matter.

Judge John Gerrard of the U.S. District Court for Nebraska granted the temporary restraining order under a preliminary injunction on Nov. 10, 2022. It was originally set for hearing on Nov 23, 2022, but was continued to Dec. 7, 2022, by an amended order from the judge on Nov. 17, 2022.

The amended order says additional evidence … Read more

Raw milk dairy sets up shop in Western Washington

Aspen Bokor had grown up around cows so now that she and her husband Nick had a farm in Western Washington, they thought about getting one. 

As she went searching through CraigsList, she spotted a post for a dairy cow. Good idea, she thought, since Nick loves milk — to the tune of up to one-half gallon or so a day. It looked like a good cow and was advertised as being healthy.

In addition to buying Peaches, the Guernsey cow posted on Facebook, she bought 2 more cows, both Guernseys. She’s currently milking 2 cows, Peaches and Delilah. She gets an average of 10 gallons a day. Peaches are due to have a calf in March. 

Two years ago, Bokor launched Peachy Keen micro-dairy. She was on her way. But there was more to come.

On Sept. 9 this year, Peachy Keen micro dairy was licensed to sell raw … Read more

Technology in food driving FDA’s announcements during the past week

During the same week that the Food and Drug Administration re-affirmed its approval of Atlantic salmon with an intentionally altered genome, the agency also permitted the growth of chicken from animal cells in laboratories.

The approval went to a specific company, UPSIDE FOODS. The company is a leader among those wanting to harvest cells from animals and then use the cells to grow meat and poultry in lab settings.

The federal government’s dual regulatory system for cell-grown meat and poultry means UPSIDE next must pass inspections by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

UPSIDE’s David Kay says the company is “thrilled” with FDA’s decision. “This historic step paves the way for our path to market,” he said.

The additional steps required mean FDA’s decision falls short of approval and at this point applies only to UPSIDE’s products. In the announcement, the FDA said it was prepared to work with others … Read more