Nobody's home and there's no one to ask for directions.

Why Is The USDA Hiding Its Safety & Recall Information?

Here’s the thing: We know why the United States Department of Agriculture took its site down — like many other agencies during the government shutdown, it’s closed for business. But while other agencies have opted to simply stop updating their sites and keep information available, the USDA is making it awfully hard to find any of its information on safety and recalls. [More]

(NBC Bay Area)

USDA Investigating Food Giant Sysco After Report Claimed It Kept Meat, Dairy In Dirty Sheds

Where do you keep your raw meats, dairy and produce at home? In an old, dirty, rusted and unrefrigerated container? No, you put them in a properly cooled refrigerator, which is more than what food giant Sysco was doing, claimed a San Francisco news station’s investigation back in July. Now the United States Department of Agriculture is looking into Sysco after it received a complaint from a local meat trade association. [More]

Diethylstilbestrol is not something you want in your lunch.

Do Food Regulators Care If Foreign Farmers Use Veterinary Drugs Banned In The U.S.?

Later this week, the United Nations food standards agency will be meeting in Minneapolis to discuss, among other things, standards for ten veterinary drugs that are banned for use in the U.S. but not globally. Fearing that continued use of these drugs by farmers in other countries could result in these banned chemicals still reaching the American market, a group of consumer advocates have called on federal regulators to not only take a tougher stance, but to stop encouraging the use of these drugs elsewhere. [More]

(your friend shauna)

Big Meat Sues USDA Over Country-Of-Origin Labeling Requirement

In May, new USDA regulations went into effect that require meat processing plants to label not just the original country of origin for each item sold, but also which countries that product might have stopped at along its way from farm-to-store. The rules also prohibit the commingling of meats from various international sources. But now a group of meat industry associations have sued the USDA, claiming that this rule violates their Constitutional rights. [More]

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USDA Approves Label That Will Identify Products From Animals Fed A Non-GMO Diet

There will be a bit more transparency in the grocery aisle soon, at least for some products. The United State’s Agriculture Department has given the go-ahead to a label that will tout meat and liquid egg products as being free of genetically modified ingredients. This doesn’t mean, however, that the USDA is requiring all meat and poultry processors to do so, but it’s the first time the department has approved a non-GMO label. [More]

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Why Should I Care If The Beef I Buy Has Been Mechanically Tenderized?

Whether you actually read the labels on food or not, they exist to inform consumers of exactly what they’re about to eat. But that isn’t much help if you don’t understand why something is labeled a certain way in the first place. For example, the United States Department of Agriculture is planning on requiring beef that’s been mechanically tenderized to be labeled as such. Okay, great! But why should you care either way? [More]

(rockman057)

U.S. To Ramp Up Species Testing Of Food Imports Because Eating Horse Is Gross

For anyone who’s been terrified, grossed out or otherwise disturbed by the horsemeat scare over yonder in Europe, take heart: After assuring U.S. consumers that we’re not facing the same tainted food scenario, federal regulators are pledging to ramp up “species testing” on imported meats just to be absolutely sure Mr. Ed doesn’t land on the dinner table. [More]

(Muffet)

USDA Workers Will Eat What The Department Preaches With New Fryer-Less Cafeteria

Do you want fries with that? If you work for the United States Department of Agriculture, even if you do want a side of fries to go with your meal, you’re not gonna get it. The department’s cafeteria launched a new, healthier look today, which includes a menu devoid of deep-fried items. After deciding last year to go healthy, the USDA nixed deep fat fryers in both its cafeterias and will offer more healthful options for its employees. [More]

California Slaughterhouse Gets The Okay To Reopen After Cattle Controversy

California Slaughterhouse Gets The Okay To Reopen After Cattle Controversy

The California slaughterhouse accused of abusing cows has apparently gotten the go-ahead to resume operations, after a temporary shutdown last week by the United States Department of Agriculture. When a controversial video reportedly showing ill treatment of cows hit the media, including footage of some cows that seemed unable to walk, big customers like the USDA itself, McDonald’s and In-N-Out Burger announced they weren’t using beef from that plant any longer. [More]

Beef Plant Accused Of Abusing Cows Supplied Meat For In-N-Out, U.S. School Lunch Program

Beef Plant Accused Of Abusing Cows Supplied Meat For In-N-Out, U.S. School Lunch Program

A California meat plant that was temporarily shut down this week had some pretty big name clients, including In-N-Out (if you aren’t familiar, just ask any one who has ever been to California and will swear up and down that “oh, man, they have the best burgers in the whole entire universe”) and the U.S. school lunch program. From what an animal rights group is alleging, it sounds like cows were having an awful time at the plant. [More]

USDA Upsets Meat Lovers By Posting Internal Memo Pushing “Meatless Mondays” On Its Website

USDA Upsets Meat Lovers By Posting Internal Memo Pushing “Meatless Mondays” On Its Website

Encouraging your employees to go vegetarian one day a week might not seem like that big of a deal — unless you’re the United States Department of Agriculture, the agency tasked with promoting all agriculture products, including meat. The USDA said a post about “Meatless Monday” on its website was from an internal newsletter that went up without proper clearance. [More]

USDA Declares Natural Disaster Situations In 26 States Hit By Drought

USDA Declares Natural Disaster Situations In 26 States Hit By Drought

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared a state of natural disaster in more than 1,000 counties spread across 26 states, as drought and fires have hit the country hard this season. That covers about a third of all the farmers in the country. [More]

What Is "Pink Slime" And Why Is It In 70% Of Supermarket Ground Beef?

What Is "Pink Slime" And Why Is It In 70% Of Supermarket Ground Beef?

Earlier this year, McDonald’s made headlines when it said it would stop using ammonia-treated beef trimmings lovingly known as “pink slime” in its burgers. Now the former USDA scientist who coined the phrase is speaking out against the widespread use of the stuff — not because it’s unsafe, but because he feels like consumers are being deceived into paying for cheap filler. [More]

Should The FDA Inspect Non-Meat Food Plants More Than Once A Decade?

Should The FDA Inspect Non-Meat Food Plants More Than Once A Decade?

Back in the day, slaughterhouses were the ones grabbing the attention when it came to health concerns and the need for inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on a regular basis to ensure food was safe. Now, the Food and Drug Administration checks in on most of what we eat — and they only inspect plants around once a decade, says one report. [More]

Political Commentary On A Pizza Hut Sign?

Political Commentary On A Pizza Hut Sign?

As you’ve probably heard, the longstanding rule that classifies 1/8 cup of tomato paste as a serving of vegetables in kids’ school lunches — thus allowing a slice of pizza to qualify as a serving of veggies — was set to be changed, but political maneuvering recently scuttled that change. And not everyone is thrilled with that. [More]

6 E.Coli Strains Added To Beef Ban List

6 E.Coli Strains Added To Beef Ban List

The government is adding six more, relatively rarer, strains of E.coli to the list of banned beef. Meat mongers are balking. [More]

Company Recalls 36 Million Pounds Of Possibly
Salmonella-Tainted Ground Turkey

Company Recalls 36 Million Pounds Of Possibly Salmonella-Tainted Ground Turkey

Salmonella-tainted turkey has killed one person and sickened dozens of others, leading Arkansas-based Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation to recall 36 million pounds of possibly dangerous ground turkey. [More]

German Sprouts Not Deadly E.coli Culprit, Initial Tests Show

German Sprouts Not Deadly E.coli Culprit, Initial Tests Show

German sprouts are not the cause of the deadly e.coli outbreak that has killed 22 and sickened over 2,000, according to initial tests of samples from a farm that a German agriculture minister had earlier named as the epicenter. The retraction is only the latest in a series of confusing finger-pointings and “cucumber slurs,” and has left European consumers afraid to eat a salad. [More]