The Beaker

Hantavirus infection confirmed; mice can contaminate food

July 27, 2017

The California Department of Public Health is reporting that a Northern California man has been diagnosed with hantavirus after rodent exposure. The warning, posted Tuesday, reminds the public that rodents and other animals can easily contaminate food and food preparation surfaces with the...



Foodservice: Front lines of food safety require sacrifices

July 24, 2017

His day had just begun but already he was headed back home. The look of defeat in his eyes, the slight grimace on his face, and the sweat on his brow gave it all away: He was going home sick.During the past several months...


Scientist Develop Plastic Pouches to Make Produce Safer

July 17, 2017

The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is assisting a company developing a small plastic pouch that is designed to make produce safer. Many food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years have been linked to contaminated fruits and vegetables. Plant pathologist Jinhe Bai and his...


Food safety threat in plain sight

April 27, 2017

A chronic disease with no known cure. An emerging epidemic that affects up to 15 million people in the United States, including 1 in 13 kids, and more than 17 million people in Europe. No, this isn’t about an unknown disease that has suddenly emerged out of nowhere,  but rather one that has been here all...


Handwashing's Corrective Action Shortfall

March 17, 2017

The diligent foodservice operators are the majority but their years of collectively working without handwashing standards has left a scar of complacency. They see themselves as doing everything possible regarding handwashing and have a track record to prove it. We have inservice training using the...


Dispelling the Myth that Food Safety is Not a Competitive Advantage

March 10, 2017

“Food safety is not a competitive advantage” is one of the barf-worthy “feel good” messages you hear from food industry executives during speeches and public forums. Last week at the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) conference in Houston, an audience of more than 1,150 from 54 countries...


CDC Takes Action toImprove the Reporting ofEnvironmental AssessmentData

February 13, 2017

When a foodborne illness outbreak is detected, food safety officials work quickly to collect as much information as possible to determine the cause and prevent more people from getting sick (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). Environmental assessments are an essential...


EFSA’s new one-click tool for information on chemical hazards

February 9, 2017

OpenFoodTox is the new EFSA database that provides instant access to a wealth of information from over 1,650 EFSA scientific outputs about the toxicity of chemicals found in the food and feed chain. An editorial...


Why Paying Attention to your Environmental Control Program is so Important

January 13, 2017

Over the last year, we have written a number of articles about environmental monitoring and controls, including our recent 2017 predictions that the year would bring continued, or increased, focus on this area by...

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