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.
Esther doesn’t want much. She just wants to buy some yogurt that hasn’t expired. It seems that’s too much to ask of her local Safeway near Baltimore.
Back in 2007, a man in Northern Ireland opened up a loaf of bread and found a whole, mercifully dead, rat. (The BBC is reporting that it’s a mouse, but it’s either a giant mutant mouse or a rat.) A judge heard the case this week, and fined the bakery ÔøΩ1,000 ($1,653) “plus costs.”
Back at the beginning of May, Consumerist broke the story of a man who discovered a decomposing snake head in his side order of broccoli at TGI Friday’s. We even had charming pictures. The next week, Albany, NY-area news media reported that the snake wasn’t steamed with the broccoli, but the restaurant and police still don’t know who the herp perp could be. What they do know is that the notoriety from the snake incident has hurt business.
The Food and Drug Administration might actually be able to protect us from dangerous food if Congress passes a bill recently circulated by six powerful members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The draft legislation would finally empower the FDA to quarantine suspect foods and slap violators with both civil fines and criminal charges.
The FDA is set to receive $3.2 billion next year but they don’t yet have a plan to make our food any safer. That doesn’t sit well with Congressional appropriator Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who at a recent hearing told Acting FDA Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein: “A lot sounds to me like buzzwords from a past administration.”
National Journal has an interesting article about the intersection of free trade and globalization with increased food safety abroad and at home. Rather than reject shipments of Chinese fish for being raised in disgusting environments, the US should require trading partners to set and enforce their own strict food safety standards and use globalization as a way to promote better standards worldwide, instead of a race to the bottom.
Raw alfalfa sprouts have been linked to salmonella outbreaks across the country, according to the FDA. Recent salmonella cases have been diagnosed in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia, and the FDA is linking this outbreak to salmonella infections a few months ago in other states, including Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. (Photo: Erin Collins)
Reader David was eating his dinner of Trader Joe’s Chimichurri salmon when he found an unexpected garnish: a rather dead and fully cooked worm. It was brown and roughly an inch long. He e-mailed the company, then brought the fish (and worm) back to the store for a refund. While the store supervisor’s handling of the situation was stellar, the reaction from Trader Joe’s corporate has been…nonexistent.
The pistachio recall has been expanded after FDA inspectors found salmonella contamination in “critical areas” of Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella, Calif.
There have been quite a few “salmonella pistachio” recalls in the past few days, so the FDA has set up pistachio HQ on their website. You can search and/or browse the Pistachio Recalled Products List, learn about salmonella, and generally freak out about contaminated pistachios.
The long-awaited country of origin labeling or COOL will be enforced beginning today — so you can expect to see a “COOL” on “muscle cuts and ground beef (including veal), pork, lamb, goat and chicken; wild and farm-raised fish and shellfish; fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables; peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts and ginseng.”