As we reported Tuesday, the government shutdown is pushing the nation's food safety system to its limits.
For instance, there is normally a team of eight people overseeing the critical foodborne illness tracking database PulseNet. This team identifies clusters of sickness linked to potentially dangerous strains of pathogens such as E. coli or salmonella.
By Robert Holly and Midwest Center For Investigative Reporting
The USDA headquarters in Washington D.C.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture was forced to send home tens of thousands of employees because of Tuesday’s government shutdown. As a result, the agriculture department and its nearly two dozen agencies are operating at limited capacity – or not at all.
Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 11:45 am
Brent Gentry of Underground Meats rotates a coppa. Underground Meats is behind a new project that aims to lower the barrier to entry for would-be artisanal meat producers by making it easier for them to craft food safety plans.
Credit Emily Julka / Courtesy of Underground Meats
With the current bloom of artisanal small-batch producers across the country, you'd think that all you need to start up a new food business is a good idea and a lot of gumption. And for the most part, that's true. But when it comes to artisanal producers working with meat, you also need something else: a Hazards Analysis and Critical Control Points plan. Or, if you will, a HACCP.
These pigs in Iowa, newly weaned from their mothers, get antibiotics in their water to ward off bacterial infection.
Credit Dan Charles / NPR
Here at The Salt, we've been following the controversies that surround antibiotic use on the farm. Farmers give these drugs to chickens, swine and beef cattle, either to keep the animals healthy or to make them grow faster. Critics say it's contributing to an epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria not just on the farm, but among people, too.
The Chobani Greek yogurt company says the mold that caused some of its products to bloat or swell is not normally harmful to people. On Thursday, Chobani said, "To be extra cautious, we have moved from a voluntary withdrawal to a voluntary recall."
Credit PR NEWSWIRE
After concerns over its product led the Chobani Greek yogurt company to issue a voluntary recall of some packages earlier this week, the New York-based foodmaker now says the mold that was identified as the culprit is not dangerous.
"Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides," the company says. "Mucor circinelloides is not considered a foodborne pathogen."