In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.
If it seems food safety issues are on the rise, that's because they are. About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At any given time the FDA is responsible for watching over some 167,000 domestic food facilities or farms, and another 421,000 facilities or farms outside the United States, according to FDA officials. But there are only about 1,100 inspectors to oversee these facilities, officials told CNN in 2012.
There is a third party audit system, where farms or facilities hire auditors to inspect their premises and provide scores. But some say the audit system is full of conflicts of interest. For instance, shortly before Jensen Farms in Colorado caused a listeria outbreak that killed 30 people, a private inspection company’s auditor gave them a “superior” grade, even after noting that they had no anti-microbial solution in place to clean their cantaloupes.
Sometimes, food slips through the cracks and makes it to the consumer marketplace, as in the recent case of the 8.7 million pounds of meat from Rancho Feeding Corporation (and their associated products like Hot Pockets) that were recalled due to "adulteration." Here's what that means.
Nestlé USA has issued a recall of two varieties of Philly Steak and Cheese Hot Pockets because they may contain meat that has already been recalled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The two brands are Hot Pockets brand Philly Steak and Cheese in three different pack sizes, and Hot Pockets brand Croissant Crust Philly Steak and Cheese in the two pack box.
Some 8.7 million pounds of meat from a Northern California company have been recalled because they came from "diseased and unsound" animals that weren't properly inspected, a federal agency announced Saturday.
The recall affecting Rancho Feeding Corporation products - as detailed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service - marks a significant expansion of one announced January 13, when just over 40,000 pounds of the company's products were recalled.
According to the U.S. agency, Rancho Feeding "processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit of federal inspection."
Tyson Foods has announced a recall of nearly 34,000 pounds of chicken on fears of salmonella contamination.
The United State Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service was notified of a Salmonella Heidelberg cluster of illnesses on December 12, 2013. Together with the Tennessee Department of Health, the FSIS discovered a link between mechanically separated chicken products from Tyson Foods, and an outbreak of illness in a Tennessee correctional facility. Seven people were sickened, and of those cases, two were hospitalized.
Salmonellosis is a nasty illness. People infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, a fever and abdominal cramps that usually last for four to seven days.
The dangerous bacteria is found in the food we eat, usually chicken, beef or eggs that have been contaminated with animal feces. And a new report from Pew Charitable Trusts says the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) isn't doing enough to keep our food Salmonella-free.
"When more than 500 people get sick from two outbreaks associated with chicken that meets federal safety standards, it is clear that those standards are not effectively protecting public health," Sandra Eskin, director of Pew's food safety project, said in a statement.
Every year, approximately 42,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the actual number of infections may be much higher. The majority of outbreaks over the last two decades have been linked to live poultry.
Salmonella causes an estimated 1.3 million illnesses each year in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service hopes to tackle that toll with the help of a new "Salmonella Action Plan."
The ten-point strategy, announced Wednesday, outlines the steps the agency will take to address issues in meat and poultry production, which it considers "the most pressing problem it faces."
Glass Onion Catering has recalled more than 180,000 pounds of ready-to-eat salads and sandwich wrap products with fully cooked chicken and ham that may be contaminated with E. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
The Richmond, California, company products, which were shipped to distribution centers in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington, may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, according to the USDA.
They were produced between September 23 and November 6, and have "P-34221" inside the USDA inspection mark.
You may inadvertently be getting more than you bargained for when you put paprika in your chicken paprikash.
A new Food and Drug Administration report, "Pathogens and Filth in Spices," says that 12% of U.S. spice imports are contaminated with bug parts, rodent hairs and other ingredients more appropriate to a witches' brew than your mother's favorite recipe.
The FDA study also found that 7% of spice imports the inspectors examined were contaminated with salmonella. Salmonella are toxic bacteria that can trigger diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps.
Taylor Farms has recalled more than 5,000 pounds of broccoli salad kit products because of possible Listeria contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
The kits were shipped to distributors and delis for consumer purchase in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. They contain dressing in packets that are the subject of a Food and Drug Administration recall.