Tag: listeria

Listeria Outbreak/FSMA Produce Regulations

The FDA confirmed this week that Listeria matching the strain that has caused health effects, was found on equipment and fruit at the Jensen Farms packing facility in Colorado.FDA Link..The recall that was announced on September 14 apparently actually began several days earlier and according to press reports included shutting down operations, the harvest and calling … 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

Preserving the Brand and Avoiding Media Backlash During a Crisis

I’ll be moderating and speaking on a panel at the upcoming ACI’s Advanced Summit on Food Safety Regulatory Compliance in Chicago, June 28-29. Scott Rickman from Del Monte, public relations professionals and I will be presenting on  "Effectively Responding to Negative Media Coverage: How to Avoid the Backlash" (If you plan to attend, register soon and contact … 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

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

Food-Borne Illness: Glass Half-Empty or Half-Full?

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a study of the incidence of food-borne illness in ten states.  The study, by the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, known as "FoodNet", in general concludes that food-borne illness has not significantly either increased or decreased in the United States since 2004, after substantial gains in food safety … Continue Reading

Maple Leaf Foods: A Case Study in the Persistence of Memory

Maple Leaf Foods is Canada’s largest food processor, and as the name implies, it traces its history a long way with our neighbor to the north.  It has always prided itself on its food safety procedures.  Last year, as was widely reported, more than 20 people all across Canada died from listeriosis traced to one … Continue Reading

Is It Really A Food-Borne Illness?

At a recent presentation, Dr. Alan Melnick, a public health officer in both Oregon and Washington, provided a useful list of alternative causes of symptoms to consider when someone claims a food-borne illness. Other causes of symptoms that might be confused for food-borne illness include (but may not be limited to): Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) … Continue Reading

2009 Priorities for USDA in Food Safety

I just returned from ACI’s Second National Forum on Food-Borne Illness, which included several interesting presentations and discussions. One was by Dan Engeljohn, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Office of Policy and Program Development at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”). Mr. Engeljohn spoke about FSIS’s priorities for “2009 and beyond.” Takeaways from this … Continue Reading

Forest Through the Trees: Lessons from a Crisis Management Case Study

There was a nice article in the Canadian legal publication Law Times about the aftermath of the Maple Leaf Foods recall. The article praises Maple Leaf Foods for taking quick steps to salvage consumer confidence in the face of a Listeria outbreak across Canada. Specifically, the article discusses how Maple Leaf Foods CEO Michael McCain “immediately … Continue Reading

Dos and Don’ts for Executives Managing a Crisis

As discussed frequently in this blog, management of an outbreak at its inception determines the course of the crisis (and, in some cases, the fate of the company). The Globe and Mail, in its ongoing coverage of the Maple Leaf Foods Listeria outbreak, today published a helpful punch list of 15 dos and don’ts for … Continue Reading

Raw Milk Debate: Ground Zero For The Conflict Between Consumer Rights and Consumer Protection?

First a disclaimer: Personally, I’m not convinced of the health benefits of raw milk, though I’m told many exist. I’m also not convinced of the argument that raw milk is less safe than pasteurized milk. After all, foodborne disease continues to be transmitted by pasteurized milk, despite its pasteurization. Two weeks ago saw a significant … Continue Reading
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