USDA denial of poultry handling rule is subject to Administrative Procedures Act review

A federal judge in Rochester, NY, has ruled he can review the denial of a rulemaking petition that suggests USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service should prohibit behavior that has the potential to cause birds to die other than by slaughter.

The FSIS denied the petition in 2019, saying its humane handling authority does not extend beyond poultry slaughter establishments. The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and Farm Sanctuary, represented by Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Clinic, appealed the denial of the rulemaking petition in August of 2020.

The USDA asked the U.S. District Court for Western New York to dismiss the complaint, but District Judge Charles J. Siragusa opted to keep the case alive.

“Consistent with the Supreme Court’s reasoning, the Court finds in the present case that FSIS’ denial of plaintiffs’ rulemaking petitions was not an agency decision that has been precluded from judicial review as an … Read more

Bright, Spicy Marinated Mussels and Tomatoes Make the Best Kind of Seafood Salad

Dina Ávila/Eater

A dish that gives the last tomatoes of the season a place to shine

As another tomato season comes to an end, I find myself reaching for recipes that make the most of what remains of it. End-of-season tomatoes may not shine quite as brightly as those picked at its height, but they still have the power to bring a dish together, and to make summer last a little longer even as the evenings grow cooler.

One of my favorite ways to use tomatoes is this marinated mussels and tomatoes salad. Inspired by my love of both seafood and salads, it’s a summertime staple for me, and a star of many picnics with friends. I love working with seasonal ingredients and playing off their strengths with the right combo of acidity, spice, and textures, something I do here with the help of habanero pepper, chili de arbol, and … Read more

Face egg shortage or adopt national standard are choices for Massachusetts

The country is ready to panic over all sorts of shortages, but Massachusetts has something specific to fear: an egg shortage. It is so bad a possibility that some call it an “Egg Armageddon.”

And unlike some of the shortages causing empty shelves around the country, the possibility of an egg shortage has Massachusetts politicians taking it seriously.

All this stems from the popular 2016 ballot measure that some saw as supportive of food safety by mandating space requirements for certain farm animals.

Egg-laying hens got 1 and 1/2 square feet of floor space under the 2016 law that was to become effective this month as regulations drafted by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey went live.

But during the summer, it became clear that few egg producers could meet the Massachusetts standard. State lawmakers jumped in with another law to reduce the minimum required for each laying hen to one … Read more

Retailer’s Campylobacter test results in maximum FSA category

Marks and Spencer has recorded the highest Campylobacter in chicken results in the most recent quarterly figures reported in the United Kingdom.

The newest data covers April to June for nine retailers on Campylobacter in fresh, shop-bought UK-produced chickens.

For Marks and Spencer, 5 percent were in the maximum category in April, 9 percent in May, and 9 percent in June based on a sample of 376 chickens taken from store shelves across the United Kingdom. This compares to 2 percent above 1,000 CFU/g in January, 3 percent in February and 4 percent in March based on tests of 292 chickens.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) maximum level is 7 percent of birds with more than 1,000 colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) of Campylobacter.

Waitrose has not updated its results from the first quarter of this year or provided them to Food Safety News when asked to do so. … Read more

Government gets extra time to reply to Michael Parnell’s post hearing response

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Q. Langstaff is giving the government until Oct. 22 to reply to a post-hearing brief for Michael Parnell. Department of Justice (DOJ) trial attorney Speare I. Hodges for wants an extra week “due to the complexity of the issues and scheduling conflicts..”

Arguments will be closed when the government files its reply to Parnell’s post-hearing statements. Parnell, 62, prepared and submitted his Motion 2255 on Nov. 13, 2019, from his federal prison cell at Fort Dix, NJ. He is seeking to vacate his conviction and sentence.

Parnell has a little more than ten years remaining on his 20-year sentence and a projected release date of Sept.30, 2032.

A jury convicted Parnell, his brother Stewart and Mary Wilkerson in 2014. All three were associated with the now-defunct Peanut Corporation of America, and PCA’s peanut processing plant at Blakely, GA. It was the source of a multistate Salmonella … Read more