Each week, we’re scouring the headlines for the stories and trends changing the food safety landscape.
In this week’s round-up: The papaya/salmonella outbreak continues to grow; Judge upholds rules to protect consumers from seafood fraud; and everything you needed to know about GenomeTrackr.
Salmonella papaya outbreak continues. As scope widens, more victims expected.
We’ve been following this story for a few weeks. Papayas from Mexico have now infected more than 200 people with salmonella, and this week, two more farms were implicated in the outbreak. There are seven salmonella serotypes identified thus far. It has affected consumers in 23 states, with one death in New York.
“If anyone has these papayas in their home, they should dispose of them immediately.”
Federal court backs Obama-era seafood anti-fraud rule.
Imports make up nearly 90 % of American seafood consumption. However, a study by advocacy group Oceana found that fish labeled as one type are often a different, less costly species. This led to new government requirements to label species and origin of fish. The rule was ratified by Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, but The National Fisheries Institute and eight seafood companies sued, arguing that tracing fish from source to table was too costly. In his ruling, Judge Mehta cited the estimated costs were far outweighed by the overall gains, and determined the rule could move forward as planned in January 2018.
The ruling judge stated “It is well documented that, at each stage, opportunities seek to game the system, largely by circumventing laws or norms that regulate the manner in which the world seafood market operate. Such activities — have had profound global and domestic economic and non-economic consequences.”
How will the judgement affect you? Food Safety Network reports on the case.
What’s so special about the GenomeTrackr?
Food Safety Tech dives into the FDA’s GenomeTrackr tool with Dr Eric Brown and Dr. Marc Allard from the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The GenomeTrackr database contains 120,000 genomic sequences and up to 4,000 new sequences are added each month. In the interview, they explore topics that affect food producers and processors such as: What’s the difference between FDA’s GenomeTrackr & CDC’s PulseNet? If an outbreak happened and a specific genome type was traced as a causative agent, could a company be liable? How do whole genome sequences (WGS) help investigators determine outbreak origins? This interview answers some tough questions about the purpose and uses of GenomeTrackr.
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