Category: Microbiological Testing

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3 New Ways FDA Will Access Your Records and 5 Things You Can Do About It

The Food Safety Modernization Act ("FSMA") significantly expands the FDA’s ability to access a food company’s records. The expanded authority is found in three places in the statute: FSMA § 101 amends 31 USC § 350c(a) and allows the FDA to obtain records related not only to a product that the FDA believes "will cause … Continue Reading

How Regulatory Changes Affect Litigation Risks

On February 24, 2011, Lee Smith and I presented "How Regulatory Changes Affect Litigation Risks" to the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s food litigation conference. A link to the slide-deck can be found here. We discussed ways that the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are affecting litigation now and can be … Continue Reading

Listeria Recall Toolkit

The FDA recently took the relatively unusual step of obtaining a court-issued warrant to seize all cheese products at Estrella Family Creamery, a small, family-owned artisan cheese maker in Washington State. According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington, "the FDA asked Estrella to recall all cheese products. The company … Continue Reading

CDC Sees “Sustained Decline” for 2009 in Reported Rates of Food-Borne Illness, but Is This Real?

A somewhat surprising report out this week by the CDC reports for 2009 "sustained declines in the reported incidence of infections caused by Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, Shigella, and Yersinia." Only Vibrio seems on the rise. For E.coli O157:H7 infections, the CDC claims its "Healthy People 2010 target" was met. … Continue Reading

Assessing Risks of Chemicals in Foods with Limited Scientific Information

An important study was released this month by the Institute of Food Technologists addressing the challenge of responding to food contamination with limited scientific information. Ricardo Carvajal at Hyman, Phelps & McNamara wrote about this on the FDALawBlog last week. You can read the summary by Rosetta L. Newsome here. Ms. Newsome summarizes the three main sections of … Continue Reading

Next Generation Sequencing for the Food Industry

More and more, it is becoming true that nothing drives detection and prevention of food-borne illness than technology (and, of course, with advancements in detection come potential increases in exposure to legal liability). No technological advancement may be more significant than Next Generation Sequencing ("Next Gen Sequencing").   I’ve recently had the opportunity to spend time learning about Next Gen Sequencing with Dr. Andrew Benson, a genetic microbiologist at the … Continue Reading

What Is the Utility of Microbiological Testing Data in Litigation?

As microbiological testing of products in the field or in processing plants becomes more frequent (even ubiquitous), there are questions about its usefulness.  Microbiologists say that the utility of microbiological sampling as it is currently done is marginal at best.  Current testing looks at only a small sample of a product for a small range … Continue Reading
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