Category: Avoiding and Mitigating Recalls

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Beyond Statistics: What the FDA’s RFR Report Means for Food Manufacturers

Last week, the FDA issued its first annual report on the Reportable Food Registry (RFR). The report provides statistics on the first year of the RFR (2240 entries, 229 "primary reports," a breakdown of the report by hazards, etc.). Beyond the statistics, the FDA report should be noted by food companies for two reasons: Food … Continue Reading

It’s Official: The Food Safety Modernization Act Is Law. What Food Companies Need to Do Right Now

President Obama signed into law today the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Companies with facilities subject to FDA jurisdiction should  take immediate steps to review and, where necessary, modify SOPs, policies and procedures. For example, given the FDA’s expanded access to business records, companies should set SOPs that anticipate (before a crisis occurs) what records they may … Continue Reading

Unintended Consequences of FDA Mandatory Recall Authority?

For years, a debate has raged on the merits of vesting the FDA with mandatory recall powers. Mandatory recall is part of the food safety legislation that may or may not pass in this Congress, so it’s worth discussing. At present, the FDA lacks any power to order a recall. Its only legal authority is … 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

The OchocincO’s Misprint: This Wouldn’t Happen with Flutie Flakes

There is a niche market out there for celebrity-endorsed food products that benefit charities. PLB Sports out of Pittsburgh appears to be a market leader in this niche, labeling products ranging from beef jerky to salsa to mustard with images and slogans relating to both individual sports figures and teams. Probably the most famous of these were … Continue Reading

A Reportable Food Registry Toolkit

This article was first published on August 27, 2010 in Food Chemical News as part of its "On the Front Burner" series. In its first year, the FDA’s Reportable Food Registry has proven itself to be a high-stakes game changer. The ticking of the RFR’s 24-hour reporting deadline forces a company to make snap decisions … Continue Reading

Take-Aways from November 3 Webinar: Making Good Marketing Claims: Product Labeling Pitfalls, Third-Party Certification and “Green Washing”

Tuesday, November 3, we held our second webinar in a three-part series on bringing sustainable food products to market. Thanks again to our presenters and attendees. The recorded webcast was archived and is accessible at this link. Click here to access a PDF copy of the presentation slides. Take-aways from the second webinar include: • … Continue Reading

Marketing Missive: FDA Issues Warning Letter to Procter and Gamble for Unlawfully Marketing Cold and Flu Medications Containing Vitamin C

By Guest Blogger Tyler Anderson On October 29, 2009, the FDA issued a warning letter to Procter and Gamble notifying the company that its “Vicks DayQuil Plus Vitamin C” and “Vicks NyQuil Plus Vitamin C” are illegally marketed combinations of drug ingredients and a dietary ingredient. Both of the over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, which contain Vitamin … Continue Reading

Some Take-Aways from ACI’s 3rd National Forum on Food-Borne Illness Litigation

American Conference Institute (ACI) recently held its latest conference on food-borne illness litigation. The conference has been a fairly intimate gathering of the nation’s lawyers, insurers and experts involved with food-borne illness litigation. This year, I had the privilege of moderating an in-house counsel “think tank.” The panel was composed of lawyers from a nice … Continue Reading

Why Are Food-borne Organisms Associated with Beef?

 USDA’s Be Food Safe Twitter Feed circulated its Fact Sheet titled “Beef . . . from Farm to Table.” First published a few years ago, this might be of interest to businesses involved in the sale, marketing, labeling, and/or packaging of beef. The article is a helpful primer on the history of beef, current industry practices, USDA’s … Continue Reading

Sustainability and Consumer Confidence in Food Safety

For food sellers interested in promoting a “sustainable” brand and inspiring food safety confidence in their consumers, meet Food Alliance. Food Alliance “is a nonprofit organization that certifies farms, ranches and food handlers for sustainable agricultural and facility management practices.” It bills itself as “the most comprehensive certification program for sustainably produced food in North … Continue Reading

Ivar’s Turkey Soup Recall

Ivar Haglund was a Seattle legend.  In these parts, he was known only by his first name, the way you can refer to "Michael" when you’re discussing basketball and people know you mean Michael Jordan.  His food is at Sea-Tac Airport, Safeco Field and Qwest Field.  From 1964 until it was discontinued for this year, he sponsored … Continue Reading

Yes, We Have No Tomatoes

By Guest Blogger Richard Goldfarb Sunday, at a local restaurant, I saw a sign saying that there would be no fresh sliced tomatoes on my burger. Although it is quite clear that there are safe tomatoes available, the FDA has encouraged restaurants simply to cease selling them. This makes a lot of sense: rumors fly … Continue Reading

CDC Believes That Risks Associated with Leafy Greens Have Been on the Rise

Following the high-profile leafy greens E. coli outbreaks in 2006, CDC started studying the trends. It concluded that “during 1996 2005 leafy green consumption increased 9% and leafy green-associated outbreaks increased 39%,” according to a recent article on ScienceDaily. Therefore even taking into account the increase in leafy greens consumption, associated food-borne outbreaks are on … Continue Reading

Importance of Experts At Outset of Outbreak

A few weeks ago, I gave a presentation at a CLE seminar about how to use and challenge expert witnesses in a food case. One of the interesting discussions that occurred during my talk was about the importance of retention of experts at an early stage, even before health department officials finalize their findings. Given … Continue Reading

Loyalty Cards and Product Recalls

  Last week, a supermarket chain, Wegmans, learned that an employee working in the produce department contracted Hepatitis A. Like many supermarket chains, Wegmans, based in Rochester, New York, maintains a customer loyalty card system.  According to the Buffalo News, , “the store plans an outreach to its customers they know purchased potentially affected produce … Continue Reading
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