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Food News


THIS SECTION IS FOR NEWS AND INTERESTING STORIES RELATED TO FOOD, NUTRITION AND FOOD PROCESSING. THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY RELATED TO KOSHER BUT MAY BE OF INTEREST TO THE KOSHER CONSUMER, MANUFACTURER OR MASHGIACH.

Staff of life can pose food safety dangers

September 23, 2016: The FoodSafetyNews:

"Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria. So if an animal heeds the call of nature in the field, bacteria from the animal waste could contaminate the grain, which is then harvested and milled into flour." "The previous use of cropland is part of the food-safety equation."
The wheat cleaning process "involves removing unwanted objects, such as stones, pieces of metal, and kernels with color differences. It is, however, not designed to remove foodborne pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella."
"In fact, nowhere in the milling process does that happen, although food safety standards are followed when it comes to keeping equipment and trucks clean, training employees, abiding by good manufacturing practices, and conducting an analysis of possible contamination points in the process."
"Milling is a simple, mechanical process." "It doesn’t address microbial pathogens."
"Even though CDC warns the public that flour is actually a raw, uncooked food, most people don’t see it that way."
"Flour, especially white flour, doesn’t look raw. It looks processed. And the very process of milling wheat into flour can spread contamination from a few wheat kernels to large quantities of flour."
"It’s extremely rare for people to become ill from eating flour for one simple reason: Flour is rarely eaten raw. Instead, it’s added to other ingredients and baked, fried, boiled or microwaved, which generally kills pathogens. But with raw dough, there is no kill step."

Myths from Ardent Mills Flour food Safety

  • "MYTH: Pathogens such as Salmonella are not of importance to low-moisture ingredients such as flour simply because these ingredients do not support its growth."
    "FACT: Salmonella does not need to grow to cause illness. In some instances, infection has occurred from consuming low-moisture products contaminated with less that 1 cfu/g. It’s also important, says Akins, to note that flour may be added to ingredients such as batters and mixes that are more conducive to growth."
  • "MYTH: Sample testing is a reliable way to assure food safety."
    "FACT: Microbiological testing of a production lot of a food product does not guarantee that the entire lot is pathogen-free. Production lots of flour are usually very large, so only a fraction of a lot can be tested. Pathogens generally are not homogeneously distributed throughout the lot; they tend to clump together in groups.
"This means that a sample tested for a pathogen can test negative when other areas in the same lot may contain pathogens. Considering how much testing would be needed, is not realistic because it’s cost prohibitive."


Recall & Advice to Consumers & Retailers from the CDC on the Multistate Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli Infections Linked to Flour

A link tinformation on the multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections linked to flour from the is here. (posted September 28, 2016).

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W474

Israel Envoy Wants Kosher Food at UN Cafeterias

September 26, 2016: The The Forward:

Danny Danon, Israel's Ambassador to the United Nations has written the UN Secretary-General that the U.N. cafeterias offer halal, vegetarian and vegan selections but not kosher. "He also requested that the institution act to lower the high cost of kosher catering at the United Nations by allowing more kosher caterers to work at its headquarters. Danon said that the Israeli diplomatic mission, which only orders kosher food, is limited by the U.N. to one supplier and pays about 40 percent more than other missions who have a choice of caterers."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W473

10 sick: Unpasteurized, this time ‘green for life’ camel milk in Israel

September 13, 2016: from Barfblog

"Ten additional people have come down with brucellosis after consuming camel milk,". The Israeli "Ministry of Health extended the administrative closure of a business dealing with this product." "The Acting DMO’s decision stated that the closure order was extended because during an inspection/control visit to the enterprise, performed about 2 weeks ago, it was found that — in breach with the previous order — camel milk was encountered in the premises. Even worse, since the decree was issued last month, information on 10 additional brucellosis patients, infected by the consumption of the milk, has been obtained."


Brucellosis linked to unpasteurized camel milk in Israel

August 18, 2016: from Barfblog

A number of people including children in Isreal have been hospitalized "suffering from brucellosis linked to the consumption of unpasteurized camel milk produced by the dairy company 'Genesis'." Following this, four tons of camel milk was distroyed.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W464

Report Finds 20 Percent Fraud Rate In Global Seafood Labeling

September 12, 2016: The FoodManufacturing.com, FoodNavigator.com and Oceana:

Oceana reviewed more than 200 published studies from 55 countries and found that about one in five seafood samples tested worldwide were found to be improperly labeled.

"About 65% of the studies included evidence of economically motivated adulteration of seafood products. Cheaper or less desirable fish were mislabeled as more expensive varieties.

In 141 instances, pangasius was swapped for 18 different types but mostly perch, grouper and sole.

Seafood fraud includes species substitution often a low-value or less desirable item swapped for a more expensive or desirable choice, improper labeling, including hiding the origin of seafood products, or adding extra breading, water o

More than half of the mislabeled species could pose a health risk to consumers, and the report also found said that mislabeling could affect endangered species and could be caught or processed using slave labor.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W472

Researchers Debunk “Five-Second Rule"

September 12, 2016: The FoodIngredientsFirst and Barfblog:

"Rutgers researchers have disproven the widely accepted notion that it's OK to scoop up food and eat it within a "safe" five-second window. Donald Schaffner, professor and extension specialist in food science, found that moisture, type of surface and contact time all contribute to cross-contamination. In some instances, the transfer begins in less than one second. Their findings appear online in the American Society for Microbiology's journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology
The type of surface is also a factor. Carpet has very low transfer rates compared with those of tile and stainless steel, whereas transfer from wood is more variable.
"So while the researchers demonstrate that the five-second rule is 'real' in the sense that longer contact time results in more bacterial transfer, it also shows other factors, including the nature of the food and the surface it falls on, are of equal or greater importance." The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an enhanced funding partnership with Israel to better leverage new agricultural research for mutual scientific benefit. The updated agreement is administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD)."
"Beginning in early 2017, Israeli scientists can align their research with fiscal year 2016 NIFA-funded competitive grant research projects of mutual benefit to both nations. This new opportunity builds on an existing 2013 NIFA-BARD agreement to promote joint research, which has already resulted in the development of a model wastewater reuse program and analysis of hydrophobic soil in dry climates."
"Through this agreement, U.S. scientists have two ways to collaborate with Israeli researchers either through new joint research projects or by coupling Israeli scientists’ new projects to NIFA projects on the same topic. In both cases the Israeli scientists will receive funding through BARD, and the U.S. scientists will receive funding through NIFA. The resulting research will amplify both the funds and knowledge base to strengthen research outcomes. Some of the research areas of interest for this U.S.-Israel collaborative initiative include food security, water for agriculture, food safety, sustainable bioenergy, and bioproducts."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W471

USDA to partner with Israel on agricultural science

September 6, 2016: The USDA and IFT:

"The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has announced an enhanced funding partnership with Israel to better leverage new agricultural research for mutual scientific benefit. The updated agreement is administered by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD)."
"Beginning in early 2017, Israeli scientists can align their research with fiscal year 2016 NIFA-funded competitive grant research projects of mutual benefit to both nations. This new opportunity builds on an existing 2013 NIFA-BARD agreement to promote joint research, which has already resulted in the development of a model wastewater reuse program and analysis of hydrophobic soil in dry climates."
"Through this agreement, U.S. scientists have two ways to collaborate with Israeli researchers either through new joint research projects or by coupling Israeli scientists’ new projects to NIFA projects on the same topic. In both cases the Israeli scientists will receive funding through BARD, and the U.S. scientists will receive funding through NIFA. The resulting research will amplify both the funds and knowledge base to strengthen research outcomes. Some of the research areas of interest for this U.S.-Israel collaborative initiative include food security, water for agriculture, food safety, sustainable bioenergy, and bioproducts."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W470

Swine Brew: New Jersey Beer Celebrates Pork Roll

September 9, 2016: The FoodManufacturing

Flying Fish Brewing Co. released a Pork Roll Porter beer made with pork roll and spices in the brew kettle. The beer's aroma features cocoa and hints of maple and smoke.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W469

Israeli Police Seize 30,000 Eggs Unfit for Human Consumption in Arab City

August 26, 2016: from JewishPress

30,000 unsupervised eggs were found by Israel Police, the Poultry Council and the Income Tax Authority in a private home in Shfar’am. A.k.a. Shefa-‘Amr, is an Arab city in Israel’s northern district. "The owner of the illegal eggs was detained on suspicion of storing and trading eggs that are unfit for consumption. The eggs were seized and destroyed by the Poultry Council." "Over the summer, Israel has experienced an outbreak of salmonella that was related to the effect of the unusual heat conditions on poorly stored food, including eggs."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W468

Don't have a cow? Perfect Day animal-free milk bids for slice of multibillion-dollar global dairy market

August 22, 2016: The FoodNavigator-USA

Perfect Day is using synthetic biology to engineer yeast to produce proteins found in milk using "Cellular agriculture."
"It is taking food grade yeast, and adding DNA sequences (which can be 3D printed using synthetic biology techniques) which effectively instruct that yeast to produce the proteins found in milk – predominantly casein (Perfect Day is making four different caseins that make a micelle) but also lactoglobulin and lactoalbumin, the two proteins that form the bulk of whey protein in milk. It then throws them into big fermentation tanks with corn sugar and other nutrients to feed on and sits back while they get to work. When the microbes have done their work at the bio-refinery, the proteins are harvested via a mechanical process and added to water, minerals, and plant-based fats and sugars to make dairy milk." Gaalactose is added instead of lactose to make the milk lactose free.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W467

Milk, Not Plastic, Will Protect Food in the Future

August 22, 2016: from YeshivaWorldNews

"U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers have discovered that a milk protein called casein can be used to develop an edible, biodegradable packaging film. The casein-based film is up to 500 times better than plastic at keeping oxygen away from food because proteins form a tighter network when they polymerize, the researchers found. It’s also more effective than current edible packaging materials made from starch and protects food products that are sensitive to light."
"To produce a more practical packaging material, the team added glycerol and citrus pectin to the casein film, which is made by spreading a mixture of water and commercially available casein powder. Glycerol made the protein film softer, and citrus pectin added more structure to the film, allowing it to resist humidity and high temperatures better."
"Because the casein film dissolves in water, one of the main drawbacks to single-serve pouches is that they would need larger, nondissolving plastic or cardboard containers to keep them clean and dry. Bonnaillie said many packages already have an outer layer, however, so in a multi-layer system with secondary packaging, casein would still help the environment."
" Casein in liquid form can serve as packaging and food. It can be sprayed onto cereal flakes and bars. Many cereals currently maintain their crunch because of a sugar coating but could achieve the same goal without sugar using the milk protein."
"It could even be used to line pizza boxes. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned perfluorinated chemicals, which used to coat the cardboard surrounding your pepperoni, sausage, and extra cheese pie, a sprayed-on casein coating could serve as an alternative product to prevent grease and stains."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W466
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