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.
More than 22,000 pounds of chicken, ham and beef products are being recalled because of possible Listeria contamination, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
The products were sent to retailers and distributors in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, the USDA said in a statement Tuesday.
The potential contamination was discovered by testing at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, officials said. "A traceback investigation and follow-up testing by (the Food and Drug Administration) at the facility determined there was potential cross contamination of products with Listeria monocytogenes from product contact surfaces."
The National Beef Packing Co. products, which were shipped nationwide, may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday.
There have been no reported cases of illness.
In an online statement Wednesday, National Beef Packing Co. reported "a voluntary recall for NatureSource Natural Beef, Naturewell Natural Beef and National Beef commodity ground beef." It said the meat was produced on July 18 and has a use by/freeze by date of August 7.
"We are working closely with authorities to investigate this matter and are contacting our customers who have purchased this product," the company said.
The United States Food Safety and Inspection Service announced Tuesday that 22,737 pounds of ground beef products are being recalled on fears that they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
The recall is categorized by the FSIS as "Class I": a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
When you shop for turkey burgers for dinner tonight, you may be buying more than meat.
Nestle is suspending deliveries of all its products that include beef from a German supplier because "traces of horse DNA" were found in the meat, the Swiss-based food giant said on its website Monday.
Nestle also is recalling two chilled pasta products, Buitoni Beef Ravioli and Beef Tortellini, from store shelves in Italy and Spain, the news release said. A lasagna product sold to French catering businesses will also be recalled.