Monday, 23 December 2013

EU court annuls GM potato approval, dealing blow to Commission

Europe's second-highest court on Friday (13 December) overturned a decision by the European Commission to allow the cultivation and sale of a genetically modified potato developed by German chemicals group BASF.

The General Court of the European Union said the Commission had failed to follow the bloc's rules when approving the Amflora potato, which is genetically modified to produce extra starch for use in the paper industry. While Amflora is no longer grown in Europe - BASF withdrew the product in 2012, citing opposition to the technology - the ruling raises new concerns about the EU's complex and much-criticised approval system for GMO crops. "Because the Commission significantly failed to fulfil its procedural obligations, the General Court has annulled the contested decisions," the court said in a statement.

The Commission and BASF were not immediately available for comment.

Source: Euractiv

FDA issues proposed rule to determine safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposed rule to require manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate that their products are safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections.

Under the proposal, if companies do not demonstrate such safety and effectiveness, these products would need to be reformulated or relabeled to remain on the market. Today’s action is part of a larger, ongoing review of antibacterial active ingredients by the FDA to ensure these ingredients are proven to be safe and effective. This proposed rule does not affect hand sanitizers, wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings. Click on the link to read the full report.

Illegal horsemeat allegations lead to raids and arrests in France

The Guardian reports 21 people arrested in south of France over claims horses used in medical research were illegally sold for human consumption. Follow the link to read the report.

EFSA evaluates molecular typing methods for food-borne pathogens

Molecular typing methods are laboratory techniques, such as whole genome sequencing, that enable the classification and comparison of strains of disease-causing bacteria. EFSA’s Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) has reviewed the methods for typing the food-borne pathogens Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Listeria and Campylobacter, and has evaluated the effectiveness of these methods for:

  • Detecting and identifying food-borne outbreaks; 
  • Estimating the contribution of various sources to food-borne illnesses; 
  • Predicting which strains of food-borne pathogens may potentially cause epidemics.
EFSA’s BIOHAZ Panel recommends that public health and veterinary authorities strengthen their cooperation on the use of molecular typing for food-borne pathogens.

Source: EFSA

FDA proposes new food defense rule

As required by the bipartisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed a rule that would require the largest food businesses in the United States and abroad to take steps to prevent facilities from being the target of intentional attempts to contaminate the food supply. The FDA is unaware of an event where the food supply was adulterated with the goal of inflicting massive public health harm. While such events are unlikely to occur, mitigating strategies proposed in the rule can continue to ensure the safety of the food supply. The proposed rule is intended as a preventive measure, and the FDA seeks public comment on the proposed approach.

The proposed rule is the sixth issued under the landmark FDA FSMA law, which focuses on prevention and addresses the safety of foods that are produced domestically or are imported to the United States. “The goal is to protect the food supply from those who may attempt to cause large-scale public health harm,” said Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. “Such events, while unlikely to occur, must be taken seriously because they have the potential to cause serious public health and economic consequences.

The FDA’s goal is to devise an approach that effectively protects the food supply in a practical, cost effective manner.” The FDA is proposing a targeted approach focused on certain processes within a food facility that are most likely to be vulnerable to attack. Under the proposed rule, a food facility would be required to have a written food defense plan that addresses significant vulnerabilities in its food production process. Facilities then would have to identify and implement strategies to address these vulnerabilities, establish monitoring procedures and corrective actions, verify that the system is working, ensure that personnel assigned to the vulnerable areas receive appropriate training and maintain certain records.

This is the first time the FDA has proposed a regulatory approach for preventing intentional adulteration of the food supply, and the agency is seeking public input to refine our approach and further focus the scope of the rule. Since Sept. 11, 2001, and the subsequent passage of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, the FDA has developed a variety of guidances and other tools to help industry protect the food supply against intentional adulteration.

This rule builds on those efforts, as well as the steps industry has taken. The FDA has proposed exemptions to the rule based on size of business, sales and certain types of operations such as holding and repacking food, with certain exceptions. The proposed rule does not apply to farms and food for animals. Also in the proposed rule, the FDA describes its current thinking and is seeking comment on other issues, including economically motivated adulteration. The FDA is seeking comments on its evaluation of what the agency considers to be low-risk activities for intentional contamination at farm mixed-type facilities, with a specific focus on the risk presented by acts of terrorism. The FDA is proposing staggered implementation dates for the proposed rule based on business size, ranging from one year to three years after publication of the final rule. The proposed rule is available for public comment until March 31, 2014.

Source: FDA

FDA and FSIS recalls this week

Megabusiness LLC Issues Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Del Campo Papa Seca / DRY Potato 24x14 oz.

California Firm Recalls Dried Sausage Products Due To Possible Contamination With Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxin

Concertos in Chocolate Issues Allergy Alert on Milk in Solid Milk Chocolate Santa

Spokane Produce, Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Victor™ Toasted Sesame Hummus Because Of Possible Health Risk

Hawaii Firm Recalls Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature Abuse

Potentially Harmful Bacteria Found on 97% of Chicken Breasts Tested in US

About half of samples tested had at least one bacteria resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics; bacteria were more resistant to antibiotics approved for use in chicken production.

While Consumer Reports has consistently been testing chicken for more than 15 years, this is the first time it has looked at the contamination rates for six different bacteria – enterococcus (79.8 percent), E. coli (65.2 percent), campylobacter (43 percent), klebsiella pneumonia (13.6 percent), salmonella (10.8 percent), and staphylococcus aureus (9.2 percent). It also evaluated every bacterium for antibiotic resistance and found that about half the chicken samples harbored at least one multidrug-resistant bacteria.

The judicious use of antibiotics in livestock production is an important subject discussed in Europe as equally as in the US.  Do read this article in Food Politics about the steps the FDA is taking to address antibiotic use.

Some concerning results which underline the reason that raw meat should be handled correctly during preparation, kept separate from cooked ready to eat meat during storage and always cooked thoroughly.

Source: Marler Blog

416 Sickened in US By Foster Farms Salmonella

An update on this outbreak by Salmonella Blog

Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese given official EU protection

No cheese-maker outside designated area will be able to call their product Yorkshire Wensleydale under new rules. Follow the link to find out more.

Source: The Guardian

Recall of Clarke’s Irish Oak Smoked Salmon (Farmed) Due to Presence of Listeria monocytogenes

As a precautionary measure, Clarke’s Fish Exports Ltd. is recalling batches of the above farmed oak smoked salmon due to the detection of Listeria monocytogenes in some batches. The affected smoked salmon was supplied to distributors, on-line customers and retail shops. Batch codes FN47700 / FN47800 / FN47900 with a use by date of 11/01/14 are not implicated in the recall. Clarke’s Organic Farmed Smoked Salmon is not affected by this recall. and Clarkes's Smoked Salmon.

Source: FSAI

VTEC Detected in Some Batches of Kilshanny Farmhouse Cheese

Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) has been detected in several batches of gouda cheese produced by Kilshanny Farmhouse Cheese using raw milk. The company has been ordered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to withhold placing any further batches on the market. Consumers are advised not to eat the implicated cheese.

Turkey butterflies produced in an unapproved establishment (Update 1)

Eighteen tonnes of turkey butterflies, processed by Severnside Provisions Ltd, Newport, South Wales were supplied to independent butchers and catering outlets throughout South and Mid Wales, South West and South Central England. You will also wish to be aware that Severnside Provisions is approved not only for bacon slicing but also for cold storage, rewrapping of raw, cooked and ready to eat dry products.

Whole turkeys produced by Severnside Provisions Ltd. are not affected by this alert. Further investigations have established that ANY turkey butterflies supplied by Severnside Provisions Ltd may have been produced in an unapproved establishment and in conditions that do not meet the required hygiene standards for food production.

Source: FSA

FDA warns consumers not to use muscle growth product

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers to immediately stop using a product called Mass Destruction, marketed as a dietary supplement for muscle growth. The product is labeled to contain at least one synthetic anabolic steroid and has been linked to at least one reported serious illness.

The FDA was alerted by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services of a serious injury associated with use of Mass Destruction. The report described a previously healthy 28-year-old male with liver failure requiring transplant after several weeks of product use. Liver injury is generally known to be a possible outcome of using products that contain anabolic steroids and steroid-like substances.

The product’s ingredients are undergoing further analysis by the FDA. Mass Destruction is manufactured for Blunt Force Nutrition in Sims, N.C. and sold in retail stores, fitness gyms, and on the Internet. An investigation is underway to identify the product’s manufacturer. Consumers who suspect they are experiencing problems associated with Mass Destruction or other body building products should consult a health care professional, especially if they have experienced unexplained fatigue, abdominal or back pain, discolored urine, or any other unexplained changes in their health. 

“Products marketed as supplements that contain anabolic steroids pose a real danger to consumers,” said Howard Sklamberg, director of the Office of Compliance in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA is committed to ensuring that products marketed as dietary supplements and vitamins do not pose harm to consumers.” In general, anabolic steroids may cause other serious long-term consequences in women, men and children. These include adverse effects on blood lipid levels; increased risk of heart attack and stroke; masculinization of women; shrinkage of the testicles; breast enlargement; infertility in males; and short stature in children.

Source: FDA

CFIA recalls this week

Candy Sweet Spots recalled due to undeclared egg

Aurora brand Corn Gnocchi and Rice Gnocchi recalled due to undeclared gluten

Super Candy Buttons recalled due to undeclared egg

Undeclared cashews in Sicilian Ice Cream brand Pistachio Nut Ice Cream

Sainsbury's onion rings and garlic dip products withdrawn

Sainsbury's is withdrawing all date codes of By Sainsbury's Onion Rings & Garlic Dip and By Sainsbury's Share Onion Rings & Garlic Dip because a small number of products contain egg, which is not mentioned on the label due to a packaging error. This makes the products a possible health risk for those who are allergic or have an intolerance to egg.

Source: FSA

Annual report on UK Multi-Annual National Control Plan published

The FSA has published the sixth annual report on progress towards implementation of the UK Multi-Annual National Control Plan, which covers progress in 2012.

The UK Multi-Annual National Control Plan (MANCP) details the roles, responsibilities and strategies of the different authorities and organisations involved in the monitoring and enforcement of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and welfare rules and plant health requirements in the UK. Based on the data collected for 2012, the overall level of compliance in all sectors in the UK was satisfactory when assessed against expectations.

The report informs the European Commission on progress in achieving the objectives of the MANCP, summarises the results of official controls and associated activities carried out by the competent authorities and associated bodies, and outlines the findings of performance audits. It will be used by the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Commission in planning audits of UK control arrangements. The report will also contribute, together with reports prepared by other member states, to a report from the Commission to the European Council and European Parliament on the overall operation of official controls across the European Union.

The report satisfies a requirement of Regulation (EC) No 882/2004, and has been prepared jointly by the FSA, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and its agencies, the Health and Safety Executive’s Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD), Scottish Government Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities (SG AFRC), the Welsh Government Sustainable Futures (WG SF) and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (Northern Ireland) (DARD).

Source: FSA

Chen Ji Fish Balls produced in an unapproved establishment

Fish Balls purporting to be manufactured by Chen Ji Foods Co. Ltd appear to have been manufactured in an unapproved establishment Despite enquiries by investigating officers, it has not been possible to obtain information relating to the manufacture, distribution or product traceability records for this product. The ID mark of the originating establishment does not appear on the product packaging. This issue may be associated with a similar product called Fu Zhou Chan Kee Fish Balls, which was the subject of a Food Alert For Action last year (ref: 06/2012).

Source: FSA

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Food Safety Recalls - Australia

General Mills Australasia—Old El Paso Hot Chunky Tomato Salsa 300g The recall of the product is due to the potential presence of foreign matter (glass).

Sakata Rice Snacks Australia Pty Ltd—Sakata Paws Original 6 Pack Multipack - The product is labelled as Sakata Original flavour, which does not have milk listed as an ingredient. However, the packet actually contains Sakata Paws Pizza Supreme flavoured rice snacks, which do contain milk as an ingredient.

Tek Shing Trading—Sesame Paste - The recall of the above product is due to the presence of an undeclared allergen (peanut) resulting from a labelling error.


CFIA recalls this week

Organic Traditions Brand Dark Chocolate Hazelnuts and Dark Chocolate Almonds Recalled Due to Undeclared Milk

Edelweiss Brand Fine Dark Chocolate Recalled Due to Undeclared Milk

Aurora Brand Corn Gnocchi Recalled Due to Undeclared Gluten

Undeclared mustard in St-Hubert brand À La King Sauce

Undeclared mustard in Prepared for Normandin brand Marinated Chicken Souvlaki (Continental Sauce)

Undeclared milk in Sir Charles brand Schoko Bananen

Undeclared almonds in Your Fitness Dish brand Quinola Quinoa Granola

Undeclared mustard in certain Comeau brand salmon products


US Recalls this week

Washington Firm Recalls Chicken Noodle Soup Due To Misbranding and Undeclared Allergen - StockPot, Inc., an Everett, Wash. establishment, is recalling 1,864 cases (approximately 22,368 pounds) of chicken noodle soup due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The Classic Chicken Noodle Soup product is formulated with wheat, a known allergen. However, the product was released with a Loaded Baked Potato Style Soup side label, which does not declare this allergen.

Bee International Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Egg in "Sweet Spots"

Health Matters America Inc. Issues Allergy Alert On Undeclared Milk In Organic Traditions Brand Dark Chocolate Hazelnuts, Dark Chocolate Hazelnuts With Chili, Dark Chocolate Almonds, And Dark Chocolate Almonds With Chilli

Whole Foods Market Mid-Atlantic Region Recalls Spinach Dip Due to Undeclared Egg

Blooming Import Inc. Issues an Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Golden Lion Brand Dried Ziziphus Jujuba Mill (Dried Dates)

Pin Hsiao & Associates, LLC. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Walnuts in Gluten Free Blueberry Mini Muffins - 12 pk.

Canada Firm Recalls Prosciutto Ham Product For Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination



Yauk’s Recalls More Meat Due to Rodent Activity

Yauk’s Specialty Meats, a Windsor, Colo., establishment, is expanding its recall to include an undetermined amount of various meat and poultry products that were produced under insanitary conditions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced.

The products being recalled today are in addition to the approximately 90,000 pounds of various meat and poultry products that were recalled on Dec. 9, 2013 and carry different brand names. Products subject to this recall and expansion may be identified by the following brand names and bear the establishment number “Est. 20309” or “P-20309” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection. Products that do not bear the establishment number “Est. 20309” or “P-20309” inside the USDA Mark of Inspection would not be included in this recall.

Follow the link for product details.

Source: Marler Blog

Village Park Meats Ltd recalls batches of its vacuum packed, cooked, sliced meats due to inadequate controlling factors to prevent growth of Clostridium botulinum

During an inspection it was established that an extended shelf-life was being applied to all vacuum packed cooked meats, despite the fact that production records indicated a 10-day shelf-life was being applied. Due to inadequate controlling factors to prevent growth and toxin production of Clostridium botulinum, a recall is being carried out as a precautionary measure.

Village Park Meats Ltd has recalled all affected batches follow the link for details.

Source: FSA

Cocaine found in bottle of Caribbean soft drink

The Food Standards Agency is warning the public about a soft drink that has been found to contain high levels of cocaine. The product has been linked to the death of one person in Southampton and is the subject of an ongoing investigation by Hampshire Constabulary.

 he product is labelled as ‘Cole Cold Pear-D’ and the packaging bears the manufacturers name as S.M. Jaleel & Co Ltd, Otaheite, Trinidad. However, the company has said they do not export Pear-D to the UK. Investigations are ongoing to find out whether more bottles of the product have been distributed in the UK. Members of the public should not consume this product and, if found, should take it to their local police station.

Source: FSA

Mencia Luna Beberide 2011 vintage withdrawn

E H Booths is withdrawing all batch codes of Mencia Luna Beberide 2011 vintage, because a labelling error means sulphites are not mentioned on the label. This makes the product a health risk for those with a sensitivity to sulphites. The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert.

Follow the link for product details.

Source: FSA

FSA statement on the Elliott Review interim report

The Food Standards Agency welcomes the interim report from the Elliott Review.

The report, which can be found via the 'External sites' link on this page, recognises the high standards of food safety standards in the UK food industry. However, the need for a more coordinated and proactive approach to food crime is the principal theme of the report and Professor Elliott is right to highlight that there is a role for central government, local authorities and the food industry to play in this area. We know from the horse meat incident that food supply chains are complex and international. We support the European Commission in its work to establish a European Union food fraud unit, to which the FSA has seconded staff, so we are better able to protect consumers from fraud along the whole food chain across the whole of Europe.

The FSA is already working with Defra and local authorities to detect and deter food fraud. For example, we are carrying out a study to test that products which are labelled from the UK are in fact from the UK; we have introduced unannounced inspections of meat cutting plants; and we have increased to £2m the funding to local authorities to support their own testing programmes. We look forward to the discussion on the interim report’s recommendations over the coming weeks.


Saturday, 7 December 2013

OUTBREAK OF SALMONELLA ENTERICA GOLDCOAST INFECTION ASSOCIATED WITH WHELK CONSUMPTION, ENGLAND, JUNE TO OCTOBER 2013

An increase in the number of cases of Salmonella enterica serotype Goldcoast infection was observed in England during September 2013. A total of 38 cases were reported, with symptom onset dates between 21 June and 6 October 2013. Epidemiological, environmental, microbiological and food chain evidence all support the conclusion that this outbreak was associated with eating whelks processed by the same factory. Whelks are a novel vehicle of Salmonella infection and should be considered when investigating future outbreaks.

A SHIGELLA SONNEI OUTBREAK TRACED TO IMPORTED BASIL

On 9 October 2011, the University Hospital of North Norway alerted the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) about an increase in Shigella sonnei infections in Tromsø. The isolates had an identical ‘multilocus variable-number tandem repeat analysis’ (MLVA) profile. Most cases had consumed food provided by delicatessen X. On 14 October, new S. sonnei cases with the same MLVA-profile were reported from Sarpsborg, south-eastern Norway.

An outbreak investigation was started to identify the source and prevent further cases. All laboratory-confirmed cases from both clusters were attempted to be interviewed. In addition, a cohort study was performed among the attendees of a banquet in Tromsø where food from delicatessen X had been served and where some people had reported being ill. A trace-back investigation was initiated.

In total, 46 cases were confirmed (Tromsø= 42; Sarpsborg= 4). Having eaten basil pesto sauce or fish soup at the banquet in Tromsø were independent risk factors for disease. Basil pesto was the only common food item that had been consumed by confirmed cases occurring in Tromsø and Sarpsborg. The basil had been imported and delivered to both municipalities by the same supplier. No basil from the specific batch was left on the Norwegian market when it was identified as the likely source. As a result of the multidisciplinary investigation, which helped to identify the source, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, together with NIPH, planned to develop recommendations for food providers on how to handle fresh plant produce prior to consumption.

Source: Eurosurveillance

Smoked fish products processed in an unapproved establishment

Smoked mackerel, catfish, barracuda, and tilapia have been processed in an unapproved establishment, trading as Lloyds & Sons. Investigations at the establishment found that Lloyds & Sons were smoking fish products without approval from the competent authority and a remedial action notice has been served to stop this operation.

Some of the implicated products may still be available on sale at food premises in the London area. Despite investigations by the enforcement authorities, it has not been possible to obtain full distribution details. There is known distribution to some specialist retail establishments in London, however, it is possible that distribution may have taken place to other establishments outside of London.

Source: FSA

Cleveland Meat Company prosecution

The FSA has welcomed the successful prosecution of the Cleveland Meat Company Ltd for breaches of food safety regulations. The company has been ordered to pay more than £27,000 in fines and prosecution costs after being found guilty on 12 charges. It entered a guilty plea on a 13th charge during the course of the hearing.

The FSA brought the prosecution against the Cleveland Meat Company after FSA staff identified breaches of the regulations, which are in place to prevent potential consumer exposure to BSE. These breaches included the failure to remove specified risk material (SRM) from a sheep carcass. SRM are the parts of the animal most likely to carry infectivity.

Andrew Rhodes, Chief Operating Officer of the FSA, said: 'We are pleased with the successful conclusion of this prosecution. These regulations are in place to keep the public safe and the FSA’s job is to ensure they are enforced properly across the country. Where companies are not meeting their responsibilities we will take action.'

Source: FSA

Asda withdraws four breakfast cereals

Asda has withdrawn four of its own-brand 'Chosen By You' breakfast cereals because there is a risk the products could be cross-contaminated with peanuts and nuts. Peanuts and nuts are not mentioned on the product labels, which means the products are a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy to peanuts or nuts. The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert.
 
Follow the link for product details.

CFIA recalls this week

Undeclared sulphites in certain Premium brand champanades

Undeclared sulphites in certain Naturo Fruit to go! brand Blueberry & Pomegranate fruit bars

Certain Healthcare Food Services brand Chicken Rice Soup may contain pieces of plastic

Undeclared milk in certain Organic Traditions brand dark chocolate hazelnuts

Edelweiss Brand Fine Dark Chocolate Recalled Due to Undeclared Milk

Organic Traditions Brand Dark Chocolate Hazelnuts and Dark Chocolate Almonds Recalled Due to Undeclared Milk

Food recalls in Austrailia

ALDI—Brannans Butchery Thai Style Chicken Breast Kebabs 450g undeclared allergens (soy and sulphite) due to an incorrect label applied to the product. The product inside the tray is actually Thai Style Turkey Sausages.

Lion-Dairy & Drinks Pty Ltd—Dare Cold Pressed Coffee. The recall is due to the potential for bottle failure. If Dare Cold Pressed bottles are left unrefrigerated, the bottles may burst. Follow the link for product details

Coles Corned Beef Silverside (raw / random weight) contains undeclared sulphites. The product is being recalled due to incorrect labelling. Products with other date codes are not affected. Follow the link for more details.

Yumis Quality Foods—Deli Originals Mediterranean Style Spinach Dip - The recall is due to microbial (Listeria monocytogenes) contamination.  Listeria may cause illness in pregnant women and their unborn babies, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

Asahi Premium Beverages Pty Ltd—Vodka Cruiser Pomegranate & Guava 275ml bottles. The label on the bottle and consumer packs do not include the Mandatory Warning Statement to the effect that the product contains phenylalanine. Any consumers who have the rare genetic disorder ‘phenylketonuria’ may have a reaction if the product is consumed.

FDA recalls this week

Huxtable’s Kitchen Issues Voluntary Allergy Alert on Undeclared Allergens in Butternut Squash & Creamed Spinach Gratin - it may not list wheat and egg in the ingredients

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Product Recall – Marks & Spencer: Mussels in Garlic, Mussels & Clams and Mussels in White Wine

Following reports of illness in the UK and as a precaution while investigations are taking place, Marks & Spencer are removing from sale and recalling the following own brand products:

Mussels in Garlic - All date codes- Unique Product Code 00604819 and 00929189
Mussels in White - Wine All date codes- Unique Product Code 00720618
Mussels and Clams - All date codes- Unique Product Code 00667104

Consumers are advised not these products. Any customers in possession of these products can return them to their nearest store where a full refund will be given.

Source: FSAI

CFIA recalls this week

Hazella brand Chocolatey Hazelnut Spread recalled due to undeclared almonds

Sacla UK Ltd withdraws a batch code of its Coriander Pesto due to the undeclared presence of cashew nuts

Due to a packaging error, Classic Basil Pesto has been incorrectly labelled with Coriander Pesto ingredient information, resulting in the undeclared presence of cashew nuts. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with allergy to cashew nuts. Follow the link for product details.

Source: FSA

Livestock-associated MRSA found at a farm in East Anglia

It has been announced that livestock-associated meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (LA-MRSA) in poultry has been found on a farm in East Anglia.

Steve Wearne, Director of Policy at the Food Standards Agency, said: 'Any risk of contracting MRSA through meat from animals with these bacteria is very low when usual good hygiene and thorough cooking practices are observed. All poultry should be handled hygienically and cooked thoroughly to destroy any bacteria that may be present.'

MRSA found at poultry farm

Sainsbury's recalls its own brand Kids 20 Pork Cocktail Sausages as the product is labelled with an incorrect 'use by' date

Sainsbury's has recalled the above product as a small number of packs may be labelled with an incorrect 'use by' date of 25 December 2013. This product should have been labelled with a 'use by' date of 25 November 2013. Consumption of products past their 'use by' date could present a risk to health. Follow the link for product details.

Source: FSA

FDA recalls this week and other US news

Jayone Food Issues Voluntary Alert on Undeclared Peanuts in Dried Seaweed Salad

McBee Dairy Farm Raw Milk is Confirmed E. coli Link to Five Hospitalized Children

California Firm Recalls Bolognese Sauce Products Due To Undeclared Allergen (Milk) And Misbranding

Utah Firm Recalls Fully-Cooked-Not-Shelf-Stable, Ready-To-Eat Pork Roast Products Produced Under The Wrong Haccp Plan And For Mislabeling

Wisconsin Firm Recalls Frozen Chicken Products Due To Misbranding and Undeclared Allergen (Egg)

Texas Firm Recalls Various Raw Poultry Products Produced Without the Benefit of Inspection

California Firm Recalls Grilled Chicken Salad Products Due To Possible E. Coli O157:H7 Contamination

Wycen Foods Inc., a San Leandro, Calif., establishment is recalling approximately 809 pounds of Chinese style chicken sausages, a dried snack food, because they are misbranded and contain monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is not declared on the label.

A Bakersfield, Calif., food company has agreed under terms of a court order not to process or distribute food until after it cleans up the unsanitary conditions found by U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors.

Mary Ann’s Specialty Foods, a Webster City, Iowa, establishment, is recalling approximately 3,536 pounds of Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Uncured Petite Ham because the establishment number was not included on the label.

Zip International Group LLC Recalls Herring Fillet in Oil Due to Potential Health Risk from Listeria

A rather long list this week.....

Saturday, 23 November 2013

FDA recalls this week

Blount Fine Foods Voluntary Recall of “Wegmans New England Clam Chowder” Due to Possible Undeclared Crab Allergen

Marina's German Bakery Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Almonds, Walnuts, and Hazelnuts in Pastry Products

CFIA recalls this week

Undeclared milk in certain Lotte brand Milkis Soft Drink

Undeclared almonds in certain Takovo brand Eurocrem Spread

Undeclared milk in certain Caissie Meat & Grocery brand bakery products

Undeclared wheat in certain Forever Health brand products

Suraj brand Garlic Powder recalled due to Salmonella

Ground Beef From Viandes Lauzon (EST. 111) Recalled due to E. coli O157:H7

Dried fishery products packaged in an unapproved establishment

Various dried fish products have been packaged in an unapproved establishment, trading as Africa Choice. Some of the implicated products have been found on sale at a number of food premises in the London area and may have been distributed by Afro Food Centre Ltd. Despite investigations by the enforcement authorities, it has not been possible to obtain information on the origin of the packaged products or the full distribution details. There is known distribution to some specialist retail establishments in London and Manchester, however, it is possible that distribution may have taken place to other establishments outside of these areas. Some of the products have been labelled with unapproved ID mark – UK OL026EC, and with 'packed by African Choice' information on the label. Other products may be labelled with only the unapproved ID mark.

Follow the link for full product details.

Edna May Christmas puddings recalled

Matthew Walker is recalling, as a precautionary measure, some of its Edna May brand Christmas puddings because of signs of mould growth. The FSA has issued a Product Recall Information Notice.

Follow the link for product details. 

Sainsbury's withdraws Goats' Cheese and Beetroot Bakes

Sainsbury's has withdrawn packs of its Taste the Difference Goats' Cheese and Beetroot Bakes with Roast Beetroot Salsa, which have a 'best before' end date of August 2014. This is because a packaging error means some packs may contain a product with egg as an ingredient, which is not mentioned on the label. The product is a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy or intolerance to egg. The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert. If you have an allergy or intolerance to egg, do not to eat this product. You can return it to your nearest Sainsbury's store for a full refund.

Follow the link for product details.

Source: FSA

Saturday, 16 November 2013

CFIA more recalls

Schwartz's At Home brand Smoked Meat recalled due to Listeria monocytogenes

Ethnoscience brand Dark Chocolate GOJI Berries recalled due to undeclared milk

Undeclared milk in certain La Petit Charcutier brand turkey breast products


More FDA recalls

3 Fellers LLC Issues an Allergy Alert for Undeclared Allergen (Almonds) in Chocolate Cream Pies

Crunch Pak Issues Voluntary Recall of Limited Quantities of Crunch Pak Brand Apple Slices Because of Possible Health Risk from Listeria Monocytogenes

S&M Enterprise Issues Allergy Alert for Fruit of Wolfberry, 12 Oz Plastic Bag due to Undeclared Sulfites

La Boulange Cafe & Bakery Issues an Allergy Alert for Undeclared Allergen (Hazelnut) in Product Inadvertently Mislabeled as Soft Caramel Jam

Tennessee and Maryland Firms Initiate Recall Based on Reser's Fine Foods Recall due to Listeria Monocytogenes

BI-LO Issues Recall Of Spinach Antipasti Salad In One Store due to Listeria Monocytogenes

Palmer Candy Company Voluntarily Recalls HyVee Chocolate Caramel Clustersand HyVee Chocolate Covered Caramels Due to Undeclared Peanut Allergen

Whole Foods Market Recalls Ready-To-Eat Grain Salads due to E. coli 0157


Tesco recalls its own brand 4 Chocolate & Nut Ice Cream Cones due to pain relief tablets being found within the product

Tesco has undertaken a precautionary recall of this product as 2 individual Tesco Chocolate & Nut Ice Cream Cones have been found to contain a tablet (for pain relief).

Product details:  Tesco 4 Chocolate & Nut Ice Cream Cones Pack size: 4 x 110ml 'Best before' date: All date codes up to and including July 2014

Action taken by the company:  Tesco has recalled all date codes of the product listed above and have displayed product recall notices in stores. These notices will alert consumers to the recall and advise them of the actions to take if they have purchased the product.

No other Tesco products are known to be affected.

Source: FSA

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

CFIA recalls this week

Sani brand cakes recalled due to undeclared milk

Updated Food Recall Warning (Allergen) - Bella Tavola brand pastas recalled due to undeclared milk

Forever Health brand Imitation Ham recalled rue to undeclared Wheat

FDA recalls this week

Whole Foods Market Recalls Ready-To-Eat Grain Salads - Whole Foods Market’s Northern California region is recalling ready-to-eat Artichoke Wheatberry Salad and Southwest SooFoo Salad in response to a recall issued today by Glass Onion Catering. The salads are being recalled as a preventive measure because they have the potential to be contaminated with E. coli O157:h7, a bacteria that may cause illness.

Athertone Foods, Inc. of Richmond, CA is voluntary recalling “Best Buy” dates 9-23-13 through 11-14-13 of ready to eat salads and wraps because they may be contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 bacteria (E. coli O157:H7).

Palmer Candy Company Voluntarily Recalls HyVee Chocolate Caramel Clustersand HyVee Chocolate Covered Caramels Due to Undeclared Peanut Allergen

FDA takes step to further reduce trans fats in processed foods

Ausfoodnews reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognised as safe” for use in food. The FDA said its preliminary determination is “based on available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels”.

The FDA has opened a 60-day comment period on this preliminary determination to collect additional data and to gain input on the time potentially needed for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain artificial trans fat, should the determination be finalised. “While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decade in the US, current intake remains a significant public health concern,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, FDA Commissioner. “The FDA’ action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat,” she said. “Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year — a critical step in the protection of Americans’ health,” Dr Hamburg said.

The FDA said consumption of trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. The Independent Institute of Medicine (IOM) has concluded that trans fat “provides no known health benefit and that there is no safe level of consumption of artificial trans fat”. Additionally, the IOM recommends that consumption of trans fat should be “as low as possible” while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet. Voluntary reductions by industry have already reduced consumption In recent years, many food manufacturers and retailers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in many foods and products they sell. Trans fat can be found in some processed foods, such as certain desserts, microwave popcorn products, frozen pizzas, margarines and coffee creamers.

The FDA said numerous retailers and manufacturers “have already demonstrated that many of these products can be made without trans fat”. According to the FDA, these efforts by industry, along with public education, have seen the consumption of trans fat in US diets “significantly reduced”. Since trans fat content information began appearing in the Nutrition Facts label of foods in 2006, trans fat intake among US consumers has declined from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about 1 gram per day in 2012. “One of the FDA’s core regulatory functions is ensuring that food, including all substances added to food, is safe,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. “Food manufacturers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in many foods in recent years, but a substantial number of products still contain partially hydrogenated oils, which are the major source of trans fat in processed food,” he said. Following a review of the submitted comments, if the FDA finalises its preliminary determination, PHOs would be considered “food additives” and could not be used in food unless authorised by regulation.

If such a determination were made, the FDA said it would provide adequate time for producers to reformulate products in order to minimise market disruption. The FDA’s preliminary determination is only with regard to PHOs and does not affect trans fat that naturally occurs in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products.

Vegetable and meat dumplings produced by an unapproved establishment: Everest Foods

Everest Foods has produced various 'Momo' vegetable and meat-based dumpling products in an unapproved establishment. Due to the nature of the activities at the unapproved establishment, it has not been possible to obtain full distribution details or product traceability records for products supplied from this establishment. There is known distribution to some retail establishments in Hampshire, Kent and London, however, it is possible that distribution may have taken place to other establishments outside of these areas.

Follow the link for product details.

FSA updates warning on OxyElite Pro

The FSA is warning people not to consume a food supplement product called VERSA-1. This is in addition to the previous FSA advice not to consume another supplement called OxyElite Pro. 

VERSA-1 is produced by the same manufacturer of OxyElite Pro, which has been potentially linked to a number of cases of hepatitis in the US. Although VERSA-1 has not been associated with hepatitis, both supplements contain the unapproved novel ingredient aegeline.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised consumers to avoid both OxyElite Pro and VERSA-1 on a precautionary basis as aegeline cannot be excluded as a cause of hepatitis. Investigations are ongoing. OxyElite Pro and VERSA-1 are produced by USP Labs LLC of Dallas, Texas, and sold in the UK on the internet.

The FSA was alerted to warnings by the FDA on OxyElite Pro after a number of people became ill in Hawaii from acute non-viral hepatitis, a type of hepatitis not caused by viral infection and lasts up to six months. The FDA has reported 56 cases, with one death and two people requiring liver transplants. No cases of illness have been reported in the UK, but the FSA advises consumers not to take these products.

Source: FSA

Plum Baby Foods recall

Plum Baby Foods is recalling some ready-to-eat baby food products that have a manufacturing defect which may cause food spoilage. As a precautionary measure, Plum Baby Foods is recalling the batches of the products affected. The FSA is issuing a Product Recall Information Notice. Follow the link for product details.

Sainsbury's withdraws Chicken Paella Meal Soup

Sainsbury’s has withdrawn its Chicken Paella Meal Soup with a ‘use by’ date of 18 November 2013 because the product contains milk, which is not mentioned on the product label. This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to milk or its constituents. The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert. Follow the link for product details.

Source: FSA

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Tainted Melons Bring Harsh Penalties for Colorado Farmers

Scientific American reports that last week two brothers plead guilty to federal criminal charges related to the United States’s worst foodborne illness outbreak in the past 25 years. The unusual charges indicate that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is gearing up for an era of tighter food safety regulations and more serious consequences.

 The Colorado farmers, Eric and Ryan Jensen, were charged with counts of introducing adulterated food to interstate commerce. They face penalties that could include up to six years in jail and $1.5 million in fines. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for late January 2014. The brothers are the former owners of Jensen Farms, which sold cantaloupes contaminated with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes in 2011. The melons killed 33 people and sickened 147 in 28 states. The outbreak began when seven cases of listeriosis—food poisoning caused by L. monocytogenes—hit Colorado hospitals in late August 2011. Typically, the state would have seen one or two cases in the entire month.

Follow the link to read the full report

FDA takes step to further reduce trans fats in processed foods

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. The FDA’s preliminary determination is based on available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels.

The agency has opened a 60-day comment period on this preliminary determination to collect additional data and to gain input on the time potentially needed for food manufacturers to reformulate products that currently contain artificial trans fat should this determination be finalized. “While consumption of potentially harmful artificial trans fat has declined over the last two decades in the United States, current intake remains a significant public health concern,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “The FDA’s action today is an important step toward protecting more Americans from the potential dangers of trans fat.

Further reduction in the amount of trans fat in the American diet could prevent an additional 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year – a critical step in the protection of Americans’ health.” Consumption of trans fat raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. The independent Institute of Medicine (IOM) has concluded that trans fat provides no known health benefit and that there is no safe level of consumption of artificial trans fat.

Additionally, the IOM recommends that consumption of trans fat should be as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet. In recent years, many food manufacturers and retailers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in many foods and products they sell. Trans fat can be found in some processed foods, such as certain desserts, microwave popcorn products, frozen pizzas, margarines and coffee creamers. Numerous retailers and manufacturers have already demonstrated that many of these products can be made without trans fat. Thanks to these efforts, along with public education, the consumption of trans fat in American diets has been significantly reduced. Since trans fat content information began appearing in the Nutrition Facts label of foods in 2006, trans fat intake among American consumers has declined from 4.6 grams per day in 2003 to about 1 gram per day in 2012. “One of the FDA’s core regulatory functions is ensuring that food, including all substances added to food, is safe,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine. “Food manufacturers have voluntarily decreased trans fat levels in many foods in recent years, but a substantial number of products still contain partially hydrogenated oils, which are the major source of trans fat in processed food.” Following a review of the submitted comments, if the FDA finalizes its preliminary determination, PHOs would be considered “food additives” and could not be used in food unless authorized by regulation.

If such a determination were made, the agency would provide adequate time for producers to reformulate products in order to minimize market disruption. The FDA’s preliminary determination is only with regard to PHOs and does not affect trans fat that naturally occurs in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products.

Source: FDA

EFSA helps investigate the source of hepatitis A outbreaks

EFSA is working closely with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumers, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and Member States to help identify the origin of the recent outbreaks of Hepatitis A virus infection in humans. The outbreaks occurred in Italy, Ireland, and the Netherlands. In particular, EFSA will analyse information on the outbreaks provided by Member States. Hepatitis A is an infectious disease that can be transmitted through consumption of contaminated food or water or direct contact with an infectious person.

FDA recalls this week

Vega Issues Voluntary Withdrawal of Vega One Nutritional Shakes and Vega Sport Performance Protein Product Due to Traces of the Antibiotic Chloramphenicol

Garden-Fresh Foods, Inc. Expands Recall Due to Potential Contamination with Listeria Monocytogenes

Ghiringhelli Specialty Foods Issues Voluntary Alert on Undeclared Allergens in Caesar Salad

Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc. Voluntarily Expands Recall of Refrigerated Ready-to-Eat Products Due to Potential Health Risk with Listeria Monocytogenes

Gourmet Express LLC. Voluntarily Recalls 32 Ounce Packages of "Fusia Chicken Lo Mein" and 21 Ounce Packages Of “Bremer 3 Cheese Chicken” and “Bremer Garlic Shrimp" Due to Possible Undeclared Eggs



CFIA recalls this week

Forever Health brand Imitation Ham recalled rue to undeclared wheat

Undeclared mustard and fish in certain Les Aliments Rose Hill Foods Inc. brand Bouillon Mix

Bella Tavola brand pastas recalled due to undeclared milk

Various Minuet brand snack products recalled due to undeclared egg and milk

Undeclared almonds in certain Takovo brand Eurocrem Blok

Hot Dog Relish recalled due to potential presence of dangerous bacteria - Orange Blossom Farm is recalling Hot Dog Relish from the marketplace because it may permit the growth of Clostridium botulinum. Follow the link for more details.

Various Clic brand flavoured marshmallows recalled due to undeclared milk

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Patak's recalls a batch of Patak's Jalfrezi 450g Cooking Sauce due to 'hard plastic' material contamination

Hard plastic material has been detected in some jars of the product. As a precautionary measure, Patak’s is recalling the batch of the product affected.

Product details:  Patak's Jalfrezi 450g Cooking Sauce Date Code: 'Best before' end: December 2014 Batch code: 3178 (printed on the jar lid)

Action taken by the company The company is recalling the affected product from consumers. Product recall notices have been published in national newspapers, explaining to customers the reason for recall and the actions they can take if they have bought the affected product. No other Patak’s products are known to be affected

Source: FSA

Boots recalls its Delicious Chocolate Brownie

Boots has recalled packs of its Delicious Chocolate Brownie with a 'best before' date of 19 November 2013, because they have been packed with Boots Delicious Caramel Shortbread, which contains milk. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy or intolerance to milk or milk constituents. The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert.

Follow the link for product details.

Horse DNA detected in canned beef from Romania

The FSA has been informed that a batch of canned sliced beef that was found to contain horse DNA has been withdrawn from sale. Horse meat is not identified in the ingredients list and therefore it should not have been present in the product.

 The canned beef was manufactured in Romania in January 2013 and supplied to Home Bargains (TJ Morris Ltd) and Quality Save stores in the UK. The 320g packs are described on the label as ‘Food Hall Sliced Beef in Rich Gravy.’ The presence of horse DNA in the product was identified during routine testing carried out by Lincolnshire County Council trading standards officers. The product was found to contain horse DNA at a level of between 1 and 5%. It also tested negative for the presence of the drug phenylbutazone, known as 'bute'. The affected batch has been withdrawn from sale. If you have this product stored you are advised to return it to where you bought it. The affected batch has a ‘best before’ date of January 2016 and a batch code of 13.04.C.

Source: FSA

CFIA recalls this week

Undeclared sulphites in certain Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Champagne

Undeclared milk in certain Glosette brand Raisins

Various Clic brand flavoured marshmallows recalled due to undeclared milk

Tiffany brand Strawberry Banana Sandwich Cookies recalled due to undeclared milk

Undeclared gluten in certain Aslan Chocolate brand Golbon Hazelnut

Certain salad products from Reser's Fine Foods (Topeka, KS) may contain Listeria monocytogenes

Undeclared milk in certain Clic brand strawberry flavoured marshmallow

Preventive Recall of Québon Milk from Montreal Plant (Code AGRT 2889)


FDA recalls this week

World Class Distribution Issues Voluntary Allergy Alert On Undeclared Soy In Southwest Salad

Winn-Dixie Issues Recall on Pre-Prepared Broccoli Crunch Salad - may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Winn-Dixie Expands Recall to Include Spinach Antipasta Salad - may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

Dutch Treat Salads, LLC Voluntarily Recalls Mexicali Dip Due to Possible Health Risk may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

BI-LO Issues Recall Of Spinach Antipasti Salad In One Store may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

NATUREMOST LABORATORIES ISSUES ALLERGY ALERT ON UNDECLARED ALLERGENS IN PRODUCT

Kashmir Crown Baking LLC Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Eggs on KCB Pista Khatie




Saturday, 26 October 2013

FDA recalls

Boston Salads and Prepared Foods Recalling Ready-To-Eat Products Because of Possible Health Risk from Listeria Monocytogenes

NATUREMOST LABORATORIES ISSUES ALLERGY ALERT ON UNDECLARED ALLERGENS IN PRODUCT

Sunny Pine Farms Recalls Chevre Cheese Because of Possible Health Risk

Asda withdraws ground almonds

Asda has withdrawn all packs of its own-brand ground almonds because the product contains traces of peanuts, which is not mentioned on the product label. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy to peanuts. The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert.

Product details The withdrawn product is: Product: Asda Chosen By You Ground Almonds Pack size: 150g 'Best before' date: All date codes The company has withdrawn the above product from sale. Customer notices have been displayed in stores, explaining to customers why the product has been withdrawn. In addition, the company will be contacting the relevant allergy support organisations, which will tell their members about the withdrawal.

No other Asda products are known to be affected. If you have an allergy to peanuts, do not eat this product but return it to the nearest Asda store for a full refund. Customers can also phone the Asda Customer Relations on 0800 952 0101 (free to call from a UK landline).

Source: FSA

CFIA recalls this week

Certain Reser's Fine Foods brand Cheesy Macaroni Salad may contain Listeria monocytogenes

Undeclared egg in various KCB and RFP brand baked goods

Updated Health Hazard Alert - Certain Frozen Beef Burgers may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria

Undeclared gluten in certain Ottenbreit's Meats brand sausages

Undeclared Milk in Certain Clic Brand Strawberry Flavored Marshmallow

Updated Health Hazard Alert - Certain salad products from Reser's Fine Foods (Topeka, KS) may contain Listeria monocytogenes

Preventive Recall of Québon Milk from Montreal Plant (Code AGRT 2889)Dated November 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2013 Agropur cooperative advises consumers not to consume the Québon brand white and chocolate milks produced at the Montreal plant (AGRT 2889) in all below indicated formats, with the November 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2013 expiry dates. These products do not meet Agropur's quality standards. Although complaints have been filed and products have been consumed for a few days, there have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

FSA publishes further beef product test results

The FSA has published the second quarterly report industry results from the testing of beef products for horse meat or horse DNA. No results found horse meat/DNA at or above the 1% reporting threshold. The report includes 9,588 new results, of which 7,402 were submitted by ABP Food Group. These figures include all test results submitted since the compilation of the first quarterly report, which was published in mid-June.

Catherine Brown, FSA Chief Executive, said: 'We have continued to work with industry and local authorities since the previous set of results were published, and there has been ongoing cooperation from the food industry. This second report finds that all results are negative for horse meat/DNA at the 1% level.'

Source: FSA

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Salmonella Illnesses Prompt Costco to Recall Chicken

Food Poison Journal reports thatCostco’s El Camino Real store in South San Francisco, Calif., is recalling 9,043 units (approximately 39,755 lbs.) of rotisserie chicken products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The products subject to recall are: 8,730 “Kirkland Signature Foster Farms” rotisserie chickens 313 total units of “Kirkland Farm” rotisserie chicken soup, rotisserie chicken leg quarters, and rotisserie chicken salad The products were sold directly to consumers in a Costco located at 1600 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, Calif., between Sept. 11 and Sep. 23, 2013.

This recall was initiated due to concerns about a group of Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that may be associated with the consumption of rotisserie chicken products prepared in and purchased at the Costco El Camino Real store. The PFGE pattern (0258) associated with this outbreak is reported rarely in the United States. FSIS, working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the California Department of Public Health and the County of San Mateo Public Health Department, determined through epidemiologic and traceback investigations that there is a link between the Costco El Camino Real rotisserie chicken products and this illness outbreak. FSIS is continuing to work with CDC, public health partners in California and Costco on the investigation. FSIS will continue to provide information as it becomes available. This group of illnesses is part of a larger cluster of Salmonella Heidelberg illnesses that are known to be multi-drug resistant.

For more information about the larger cluster, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/index.html

Vaisyaa brand frozen fish products recalled

United Cater Ltd is recalling all date codes of a number of frozen fish products under the Vaisyaa brand, because they were produced in an unapproved establishment and do not comply with food hygiene legislation. The Food Standards Agency has issued a Product Recall Information Notice. Follow the link to find out more.

Cook 4 Portion Braised Beef in Brandy & Mushroom Sauce recalled

Cook Trading Ltd is recalling a batch of Cook 4 Portion Braised Beef in Brandy & Mushroom Sauce, because it has been labelled incorrectly with beef bourguignon ingredient information. This makes the product a possible health risk for those with an allergy or intolerance to milk or milk constituents, or an allergy to mustard. The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert. Click on the link for more details.

Ontario Corp. 1511759 Operating as S&A Grandma's Food Inc. Fined for an Offence under the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations

October 15, 2013, Guelph (Ontario): On August 22, 2013, a conviction was registered in the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto against Ontario Corp. 1511759, operating as S&A Grandma’s Food Inc. of Toronto, Ontario. This conviction resulted in a total fine of $45,000. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) received several complaints that Ontario Corp. 1511759 was importing, producing and selling meat perogie product in Toronto without a provincial or federal license.

On three separate occasions between May 2011 and May 2012, CFIA inspectors conducted inspections at Ontario Corp. 1511759. The company was unable to provide product distribution records, as requested by the CFIA. Ontario Corp. 1511759 was found guilty of three counts of failing to make available product distribution records in a readily accessible location to an inspector, which is contrary to Section 60.2(4) of the Meat Inspection Regulations and an offence of Section 21(3) of the Meat Inspection Act. The perogie product, seized during a search warrant executed by CFIA investigators, was ordered disposed of by the court. All other charges against the company and directors were withdrawn by the Crown.

The CFIA is responsible for enforcing a variety of federal legislation, including the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations. A food safety requirement of the Meat Inspection Regulations requires that all imported meat products into Canada must be accounted for through product distribution records. Inspectors rely on the product distribution records to trace back affected products when food safety concerns occur. The product distribution records must be accurate and readily available to inspectors.

Source: CFIA

CFIA recalls this week

Undeclared gluten in certain Floating Leaf brand mixes

Certain Kirkland Signature brand Organic Lean Ground Beef, Product of USA, may contain pathogenic E. coli bacteria - sold through Costco

Undeclared milk in certain Kujawianka brand Raisins in Chocolate

Undeclared egg in certain KCB brand Pista Khatie

Undeclared egg in certain Lounsbury and Cedarvale brand Extra Hot Prepared Horseradish

Undeclared sulphites in certain Shwartz brand Apricot Mixed Fruit Preserves

Undeclared milk in certain Norma's Wholesome Bakery Goods brand banana bread and certain The Goodyman brand cookies

Undeclared egg and milk in certain Sanritsu brand products 

Certain Nirapara brand Chutney Powder may contain Salmonella bacteria

Undeclared milk in certain Pringles* brand Salt & Vinegar potato chips

Certain frozen beef burgers may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria -
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Belmont Meats Ltd. (Est. 112) are warning the public not to consume the beef burgers described below because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This recall is the result of an ongoing food safety investigation initiated as a result of a recent outbreak investigation. There may be recalls of additional products or best before dates as the food safety investigation at this facility continues. The manufacturer, Belmont Meats Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, is voluntarily recalling all affected products from the marketplace. The CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.

FDA recalls this week

Yoder's Country Market, Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Gift Boxes Containing 11 oz. Bags of Honey Roasted Peanuts Distributed in December 2012 due to undeclared milk and wheat

Barrel O’ Fun Snack Foods Co. Issues Allergy Alert and Recall of Safeway SnackArtist BBQ Potato Chips Due to Mislabeling and Undeclared Milk

D.F. Stauffer Biscuit Co., Inc. Issues Allergy Alert and Voluntary Recall on 44 oz. Market Pantry White Fudge Coated Animal Cookies Due to Mislabeling and Undeclared Allergens

Orange County Produce, LLC Recalls Bell Peppers Due to Possible Health Risk from Salmonella

Turkey Hill Dairy Issues Voluntary Recall of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Premium Ice Cream,Fudge Ripple Premium Ice Cream, and Moose Tracks Stuff’d Frozen Dairy Dessert as some products may contain metal shavings

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Big Blue Fisheries, Llc Recalls All Smoked Products From All Lots, Various Sizes, in Vacuum Packaging Because of Possible Health Risk

Big Blue Fisheries is recalling ALL smoked products from all lots and codes, various sizes, in vacuum packages because the products may not have been properly cooked and have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled. Because the products may not have been fully processed, product contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens could lead to illness if consumed.
 
Follow the link for product details.

Tesco recalls certain batch/date codes of its Frozen Classic Turkey Dinner due to the undeclared presence of egg

Due to a manufacturing error some packs may contain a Tesco Classic All Day Breakfast meal, which contains egg. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with allergy or intolerance to eggs.

Follow the link for product coding details.

OnTime Distribution Inc. Recalls PRAN brand Spice Powder TURMERIC Due To Excessive Levels of Lead

OnTime Distribution Inc. of Brooklyn, NY, is voluntarily recalling PRAN brand Spice Powder TURMERIC because it was found to contain high levels of lead that could cause health problems to consumers, particularly infants, small children, and pregnant women if consumed. Recent analysis of the product found that it contained lead levels as high as 28 and 42 parts per million (ppm). Lead can accumulate in the body over time. Too much can cause health problems, including delayed mental and physical development and learning deficiencies. Pregnant women, infants and young children especially should avoid exposure to lead. People concerned about blood lead levels should contact their physician or health clinic to ask about testing. PRAN brand Spice Powder TURMERIC was distributed in New York and New Jersey through retail stores and direct delivery. This product is packed in two different size clear plastic jars with yellow plastic lids: Net Wt. 8.82 oz./250 gm with UPC 8 31730 00551, and Net Wt. 14.1 oz./400 gm with UPC 8 46656 00209 4. The affected date codes are: BEST BEFORE: 26 OCT 14 and BEST BEFORE: 15 JAN 15.

One illness complaint has been received to date. The recall was initiated after it was discovered that product contained high levels of lead based on sampling by New York State Health Department and private laboratory testing.

Source: FDA

Tesco recalls certain date codes of its Finest Sweet and Zesty Side Salad due to the undeclared presence of soya

Due to a manufacturing error some packs may contain edamame (soya) beans. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with allergy to soya. Follow the link for product details.

Source: FSA

Withdrawal of Walkers Sensations Chutney Poppadoms

Walkers Snack Foods has withdrawn a batch of Walkers Sensations Lime and Coriander Chutney Poppadoms with a 'best before' date of 21 December 2013, because the product contains egg and shrimp that have not been declared on the label. The product may be a health risk to people who have an allergy to or an intolerance to egg or shrimp (crustacean). The FSA has issued an Allergy Alert.

CFIA recalls this week

Undeclared sulphites in certain Dublin's Pub brand Irish Pub-Style Apple Cider

Undeclared egg and milk in certain Sanritsu brand Sesame Cookies

Undeclared almonds, milk and sulphites in certain Sensations brand Asian Supreme Salad Kits

Gluten in certain Frontera brand Classic Fajita Skillet Sauce

Certain Original brand Original Halloween Kiss Candies sold in bulk may contain harmful pieces of metal

Undeclared Mustard in certain Baldwin St. Kosher brand Frankfurters

Certain Compliments brand Super 8 Beef Burgers may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria

Undeclared mustard in Kraft brand Shake'n Bake Cajun Coating Mix

Certain Grimm's Fine Foods brand Pizza Pack may contain Listeria monocytogenes

Undeclared almonds in Armella Duo brand Hazelnut Spread with Milk and Cocoa

Undeclared egg in certain Saman Bakery brand crackers

A large number of recalls this week...

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Undeclared Sulphites in certain Super 3 Produce brand lychees

Follow the link to the CFIA website to find out more.

Bagged Spinach Recalled Over Salmonella Fears

Food Poison Blog reports that Ippolito Fruit and Produce Ltd. is recalling an unknown volume of bagged spinach because of possible salmonella contamination.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Ippolito Fruit and Produce Ltd., are warning the public not to consume the Frisco's, Queen Victoria and Metro brands spinach described below because they may be contaminated with Salmonella. These products have been distributed in Ontario and Quebec. These products may also have been distributed to other provinces. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products. Follow the link for product details.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

U.S. Marshals seize food products at two Virginia food companies

FDA acts to prevent food distribution from rodent and insect-infested facility 

U.S. Marshals seized food products at Gourmet Provisions, LLC and Royal Cup, Inc., after U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigators found widespread and active rodent and insect infestation on the premises.

The FDA initiated seizures of food products manufactured by Gourmet Provisions, LLC and stored by the two companies on September 16, 2013, under warrants issued by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. During the most recent inspection, FDA investigators found widespread rodent and insect activity, unclean equipment, and structural defects. Effective measures had not been taken to exclude insects and rodents from the facility and to protect food products and food contact surfaces from contamination. “These companies have a responsibility for the safety and quality of their products,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “When firms do not uphold this responsibility, the FDA will take actions that demonstrate its commitment to assuring consumers that foods they buy are prepared, packaged, and held under sanitary conditions.” 

Some of the seized goods had been under an embargo by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The two businesses are located on the same premises in Waynesboro, Va. Gourmet Provisions manufactures and packages ice cream cones and stores other finished food products in its warehouse. Royal Cup stores coffee service items in a separate area within the Gourmet Provisions warehouse. Gourmet Provisions does business as Matt’s Supreme Cones. To date, no illnesses have been associated with these products.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Tackling cadmium in crabs

The Food Standards Agency has organised a working group to look at ways to reduce cadmium levels in brown meat from crabs through different processing methods. The group will develop guidance for the crab processing industry to achieve this reduction of levels.

The first meeting will take place in October. The working group has been set up, following a request from the European Commission for each European Union member state to produce guidance on the consumption of brown meat from crabs, as it can contain high levels of cadmium.

Follow the link for more details.

Certain Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm brand raw milk cheeses may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm (EST 4478) are warning the public not to consume cheese products described below because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. This recall is the result of an ongoing food safety investigation initiated as a result of a recent outbreak investigation. There may be recalls of additional products as the investigation at this facility continues. All sizes of the raw milk cheeses listed below are affected by this recall. These affected products were sold at the manufacturer's outlet, at retail stores in Alberta and British Columbia, and through internet sale from May 27 to September 14, 2013, inclusive. Lot codes 122 to 138 are affected by this recall. Some product packages may not bear a lot code or indicate that the cheese was made with raw milk. These products were also sold clerk-served from deli counters with or without a label or coding. Consumers who are unsure if they have purchased the affected product are advised to contact their retailer. There have been reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

19th September Update on Mild Gouda may contain E. coli O157:H7 bacteria

Sunday, 15 September 2013

New research on allergy information

Research, published by the FSA, provides insights into the provision of information on food allergens used as ingredients on foods that are not prepacked The findings from the research will help the FSA to support businesses and consumers with food allergies or intolerances.

True Foods Ltd recalls certain date codes of its Steak Diane Sauce due to the undeclared presence of barley

The product contains barley, which has not been declared on the label. This means the product is a possible health risk to anyone with allergy or intolerance to barley or gluten. Follow link for product details.

Source: FSA

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd recalls six pre-packed bagged salad products containing watercress due to a possible link to a national outbreak of E.coli O157

As a purely precautionary measure, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd is recalling all date codes of six pre-packed bagged salad products containing watercress due to a possible link to a national outbreak of E.coli O157. Such incidents in the past in the US, where a link to spinach or leafy salads has actually been demonstrated, have been linked to water contamination, or soil contamination. Farm assurance standards have protocols in place to manage these risks.

Salmonella outbreak in England and Wales investigated

An outbreak of an unusual type of salmonella infection, Salmonella Typhimurium, across England and Wales is being investigated by Public Health England, Public Health Wales, the FSA and local authority environmental health officers.

A total of 21 confirmed cases in Wales and 36* in England have been reported, with 9 cases known to have required hospitalisation. Other potential cases are being investigated in both countries. The outbreak was first detected in Wales in August and centred mainly in North Wales (Conwy and Gwynedd), with additional clusters being investigated in England in the Thames Valley, Leeds, Cumbria and Stoke-on-Trent* areas. Cases are widely geographically distributed in patients aged 7 months to 87 years. The spread of cases might suggest it is a nationally distributed product.

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Source: FSA