Hydrolyzed vegetable protein is a flavor enhancer, similar in composition and tastiness to the much-maligned monosodium glutamate, that is seemingly unavoidable. Thanks to salmonella contamination in the HVP paste at Basic Food Flavors, Inc. in Las Vegas, the FDA has recalled every food containing the product, ranging from salty snacks to salad dressings to soup and gravy mixes. The list of recalled foods containing the product is still growing, and encompasses familiar brand names ranging from Walmart’s Great Value brand to McCormick to Trader Joe’s. Now we now get to find out exactly how complex our food supply is and how widely used an additive HVP is. [More]
It may seem like a minor inconvenience when you’re home sick with some kind of foodborne illness, but the overall cost of these illnesses to our economy is huge–and staggering when you consider how many foodborne illnesses are preventable. A new study from the Produce Safety Project, a Pew Charitable Trusts initiative, shows that foodborne illness costs $152 billion nationwide each year in medical care and quality of life. [More]
If you’re eating a hot dog, or thinking about eating a hot dog, you may want to know this. The American Academy of Pediatrics thinks your frankfurter is a choking hazard and it should be packaged with a warning label. They also want some brainpower invested in redesigning the tasty treats so as to make them less deadly. [More]
Last week the Senate cooked up a Scooby Snack for the FDA. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee unanimously approved a bill that will make the FDA run around all hyper and bestow it with super strength and ghost-catching ability, the LA. Times reports, though not in those words. [More]
Nick didn’t notice the label on this package of ground beef until after he brought it home. Seeing how he bought it on November 20, 2009, and the label claims that it was packaged on August 8, 2004, he’s a little confused.
This list of the 10 riskiest foods might surprise you at first, because there’s no mention of any sort of meat or poultry. But that’s because it’s from the FDA, which doesn’t regulate those two food categories. When it comes to produce, dairy, eggs and seafood, here’s what to watch out for, listed in order from most outbreaks to least.
The USDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) today unveiled a new website focused on food safety at foodsafety.gov. It’s got lots of info on how to keep food from spoiling, but better still it’s a good launching pad for filing complaints, or keeping track of what’s going on in your state (check the “state agency” widget in the bottom right column).
The House of Representatives just passed the bipartisan Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. If enacted, the legislation would strengthen the FDA, increase inspections of food facilities, and hopefully ensure that tragedies like the Peanut Corporation of America salmonella outbreak become a thing of the past.
China is itching to sell their processed chickens directly to the U.S. market, an idea that doesn’t exactly thrill our regulators or representatives. Congress banned the import of processed Chinese chickens in 2007, ruffling Beijing’s feathers to the point where they’re now considering a retaliatory ban on U.S. chickens. Since we’re in a recession and Congress doesn’t want domestic chicken exporters to lose over a half-billion dollars next year, they may let the Chinese chickens come here to roost.
Yesterday, we reported that production at the ConAgra facility where Slim Jims are manufactured will not resume until fall due to damage from the horrific explosion in June. This information is incorrect. Employees will return to work on July 19, and production will resume on July 27. [WRAL] (Thanks, Lon!)
The FDA has issued a new ruling that says egg producers must “test regularly for salmonella and buy chicks from suppliers who do the same,” and that eggs “will have to be refrigerated on the farm and during shipment” as well as by wholesalers and in the store. The rule is meant to cut down on the number of egg-related salmonella cases nationwide, which currently are around 142,000 a year. [Washington Post] (Photo: Andreas Kollegger)
Is it any surprise that after the past few years of outbreaks and recalls, almost no one trusts products from food manufacturers anymore? IBM recently completed a survey of shoppers in the 10 largest cities, and found that a lot of consumers want more information than they currently can get about their food choices.
The decomposed snake head that a Clifton Park, NY man discovered in his side portion of broccoli has reached the end of its strange, unappetizing journey—for now. Since Consumerist broke the story back in May, there have been no leads.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee just approved comprehensive food safety reform, setting it up for consideration on the House floor in the coming months. The Food Safety Enhancement Act was approved by voice vote, indicating bipartisan support and suggesting a relatively smooth passage through the entire House.