Oregon Legislature may open data spigot to the public

Today, the Oregon Legislative Assembly will again consider whether more sunshine might be the cure for some murky COVID-19 reporting.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA)  and local public health administrators would be required under Senate Bill 719 to disclose aggregate data from reportable disease investigations to the public.

Outbreaks of foodborne illnesses would be among reportable disease investigations covered by the new law. The state and local health agencies would be required to make public all aggregate data without disclosing an individual’s identification.

The Oregon Senate Health Committee carried SB 719 over from its schedule last week to 1 p.m. today.

So far, SB 719 has stirred up enough interest that it has existed outside of the regular deadlines and cutoffs that kill most bills. Most bills not clearing their house of origin in Oregon were declared dead by mid-March.

In earlier testimony in favor of the bill, Tom Holt, … Read more

Hard boiled Easter eggs don’t last forever; store safely and eat soon

 After boiling eggs, decorating them, hunting them, and adding them to candy baskets, families need to make sure leftover hard boiled eggs are handled properly so no one gets sick.

 Eggs can cause food poisoning because salmonella is a common bacteria found in uncooked and unbroken eggs. Salmonella can be present on both the outside and the inside of eggs.

 The FDA has put regulations in place to help prevent contamination of eggs on the farm and during shipping and storage, but consumers also play a key role in preventing illness linked to eggs.

With Easter comes more egg handling, especially for children. This means it is important to follow safe handling tips when preparing, storing and serving eggs — or foods that contain them.

Here are some important food safety tips to remember after the Easter eggs festivities:

Inspect the eggs

  • Cracked eggs should not be consumed, as dangerous
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FSA survey finds high confidence in food safety

More than nine in 10 people surveyed in three UK countries have confidence that the food they buy is safe to eat.

Food and You 2 is a biannual survey which covers self-reported consumer knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to food safety and other issues amongst adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Fieldwork for the survey was between late July and early October 2020 by Ipsos MORI and findings were published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). A total of 9,319 adults from 6,408 households in these three countries completed the survey. Topics included trust in the FSA and the supply chain, concerns about food, food security, food shopping and food safety in the home.

More than three quarters said they had confidence in the food supply chain. People were more likely to have confidence in farmers, and shops and supermarkets than in takeaways, and food delivery services.

Six … Read more

Remote audits in the spotlight at GFSI

There is a lack of trust in remote audits from some in the food industry, according to an expert who looked into the subject for the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

Solely remote audits are not GFSI recognized but a blended audit, which involves virtual and onsite checks, is accepted. Certification program owners such as BRCGS and FSSC22000 are offering fully remote food safety audits.

Alan Gillies, managing director of AGLC, helped produce a report for the GFSI on remote audits but this has not yet been made public.

“GFSI started us off with a simple question: Is there valid science evidence out there to show we can deliver the same level of assurance by a video facilitated remote audit as by a site visit? The simple answer is no,” he said at the 2021 virtual GFSI Conference.

“We did find, because of what’s happened and industry response, there was … Read more

Colorado animal share scheme will circumvent USDA inspections

If dividing the cow works to share the milk, why not divide the animal to share the meat outside concern about any niceties about regulations or inspections?

Colorado Senate Bill 21-079 will do just that once the state’s “Food Freedom” Gov. Jared Polis signs it into law. Any notion that all meat sold in Colorado is licensed and inspected will be a thing of the past.

People, instead, will get to buy shares of animals to be butchered at facilities not inspected by the USDA. Purchase of animal shares will require money upfront. And if deadly pathogens like E. coli )157:H7 make you sick or dead, SB 21-079 eliminated rights to sue under the program.

Polis, who began his partisan political career in Congress as a member of the “Food Freedom” caucus, says deregulation will make locally sourced meat more available.

Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R- Sterling, sponsored the bill. A … Read more