Tag archives: USDA

USDA Report: foodborne pathogens cause $15.5 billion economic burden annually

A USDA report published earlier this month estimated that foodborne pathogens impose a $15.5 billion burden on the U.S. public annually. The report notes that there are 9.4 million foodborne-pathogen caused illnesses in the U.S. annually, despite the fact that government and the food industry “expend considerable resources in trying to prevent the foodborne illnesses.” … Continue reading

DeCosters of Quality Egg LLC sentenced

On April 13, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett sentenced Peter and Austin (Jack) DeCosters to three months in jail, one year probation, and a $100,000 fine for their role in causing a salmonella outbreak in 2010. The sentencing had been left to the court’s discretion as a result of a plea agreement … Continue reading

Legislation introduced to give FSIS mandatory recall authority

Recent legislation proposed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand would require USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to recall meat and poultry found to be contaminated with pathogens. The Meat and Poultry Recall Notification Act would require that FSIS recall unsafe meat, poultry, and some egg products that are currently under its jurisdiction. Currently, FSIS can … Continue reading

California AG fowls out on foie gras ban

Restaurants across California may no longer need to find creative ways to put foie gras on their menus, as a California federal court has ruled that federal law preempts California’s ban on the sale of the delicacy and enjoined the California Attorney General from enforcing the law. The ban In 2004, California enacted SB 1520, which banned the use of gavage (force-feeding) … Continue reading

Genetically engineered potatoes to lessen acrylamide potential no longer regulated

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), US Department of Agriculture Administrator, Kevin Shea, recently sent out a notice that J.R. Simplot Co.’s (Simplot) potatoes designated as InnateTM potatoes are no longer subject to APHIS’s regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms under title 7, part 340 of the Code of Federal Regulations. … Continue reading

USDA approves poultry processing from four Chinese plants

On November 5, 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) issued a constituent update approving four Chinese poultry processing plants’ ability to export cooked chicken into the United States.  The USDA also announced the names of the four plants that have been approved: Shandong Delicate Food Company, Ltd.; Qingyun Ruifeng … Continue reading

USDA data indicate foodborne illnesses result in $15.6 billion in annual costs

The Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) compiled data that indicate foodborne illnesses in the United States may result in $15.6 billion in annual costs. The data were compiled from estimates of foodborne illnesses or deaths gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), peer-reviewed data regarding medical … Continue reading

USDA announces additional food safety requirements in new final rule

On July 31, 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) announced additional food safety requirements for chicken and turkey products. Specifically, the Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection final rule will work to control Salmonella and Campylobacter and hopefully prevent 5,000 foodborne illnesses each year by implementing the optional New Poultry … Continue reading

Food Safety and Inspection Service promulgates proposed rule to mandate beef grinding records

To improve the safety of ground beef, the US Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) issued a proposed rule on July 16, 2014 entitled “Records To Be Kept by Official Establishments and Retail Stores That Grind Raw Beef Products.” FSIS proposes to amend the current recordkeeping regulations (9 C.F.R. §320(a)-(b)) to … Continue reading

4 Goals, 4 Years And 1 Budget: The FDA’s Ambitious Plan

Despite today’s challenging fiscal climate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a draft of its ambitious strategic goals and objectives for keeping patients and consumers safe, the “Food and Drug Administration Strategic Priorities 2014-2018,” which will be used to justify its request for a more robust FY 2015 budget. This four-year plan is intended … Continue reading

Group petitions USDA to revoke equivalency status from meat inspection programs

On June 6, 2014, Food & Water Watch, a non-profit consumer advocacy group, sent a letter to the Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) of the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) requesting that FSIS revoke the equivalency status determinations for four meat inspection programs.  The programs include the Australian Export Meat Inspection System, the Alternate New … Continue reading