Direct sales of meat to Colorado consumers may come slowly after fast approval

In the two months since Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate Bill (SB) 21-079 to deregulate direct to consumer meat sales, there’s not been any sign of a new industry taking off.  Work on writing rules and drafting animal share agreements may be holding things up.

Polis, a “Food Freedom” advocate since his days representing Colorado in Congress, signed the “Ranch to Plate Act” on April 29 and the new law became immediately effective with his signature. It’s possible that direct sales to consumers are not obvious because the paperwork is taking some time.

The new law allows a person to sell, without licensure, certain animals or animal shares to informed end consumers without regulation or inspection by any public health agency. The scant role for the state, pretty much limited to the State Board of Stock Inspection, does not mean the needed share agreements don’t take time and expertise.… Read more

Organic, raw farmer found in contempt by federal court for eastern Pennsylvania

Federal Judge Edward G. Smith Wednesday found farmer Amos Miller in contempt of court in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The judge is discussing with counsel how to resolve the issue of sanctions for the seller of unpasteurized, raw milk and uninspected meat and poultry products.

Miller is the owner of Miller’s Organic Farm in Upper LeacockTownship.    He’s long resisted federal food safety laws, recently saying his actions are intended to make it possible for his children to stay on the farm. “I am willing to take the stand to make sure that we preserve our culture,”  Miller told a local newspaper.

Miller’s Organic Farm is associated with a private membership group of as many as 2,000 food buyers. The farm fulfills orders for unprocessed meat and unpasteurized, raw dairy products.

On behalf of the USDA and FDA, the Department of Justice has filed numerous actions … Read more

Another patient confirmed in E. coli outbreak linked to local, organic yogurt

Another child has been added to the list of patients in an E. Coli outbreak linked to local, organic yogurt. Some production at the implicated dairy, Pure Eire, remains shut down.

The Washington Department of Health reported to Food Safety News that the state has confirmed 16 people are sick. Eight have had such severe symptoms that they had to be admitted to hospitals. Four of the patients have developed Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can be fatal.

There are two confirmed patients in Arizona who became infected after contact with visitors from Washington state. They are considered secondary cases and are not included in the Washington state count.

Health department inspectors and investigators from the state’s Department of Agriculture are continuing their investigation into the outbreak. Most of the sick people report eating organic yogurt made by the Pure Eire Dairy in Othello, WA. … Read more

Studies highlight Brucella outbreaks linked to raw milk

Researchers have provided details on a Brucellosis outbreak in Israel linked to commercially sold, unregulated camel milk.

Brucella infection traced to a single brand of unpasteurized, raw camel milk was diagnosed in 19 patients during a four-month period.

From July to November 2016, the Israeli Ministry of Health noted an increase in brucellosis cases in non-Arab patients in central and northern parts of the country, according to the study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The suspected vendor got milk from a Bedouin camel farm in southern Israel. A total of four female camels had positive serologic test results for Brucella. Scientists sampled six bottles of camel milk from a natural food store carrying the suspected brand and recovered a few colonies of Brucella melitensis from three bottles. They were bought on a single day and represented just one batch.

The outbreak resulted from online commercial sales of an unregulated food … Read more

Arizona tackles power cutoffs; food safety an important issue

Knowing how harmful, or even deadly, extreme heat can be, the Arizona Corporation Commission last month approved tentative rules that would protect customers who haven’t paid their bills from having their electricity disconnected during periods of extreme heat or cold.

The draft rules, which were approved 3-2, added a temperature threshold of 95 degrees to the current calendar-based moratorium, which extends from June 1  to Oct. 15.

The emergency calendar-based shutoff ban was adopted in June 2019, following the heat-related death of an Arizona Public Service Co. customer whose power had been turned off for nonpayment.

Under the approved amendments offered by Commissioner Anna Tovar, electric utilities would be prohibited from shutting off electricity either when the temperature is above 95 degrees, or between June 1 and Oct. 15 each year.

The draft rules likely won’t be finalized until next year because the state wants to gather more information on … Read more