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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.

The following news is from liebertpub.com on December 18, 2014.

A microbiological study of raw "organic" or "antibiotic-free" or conventional chicken breasts purchased at grocery stores found that "commonly contaminated with enteric pathogens associated with foodborne illness and commensal bacteria harboring genes conferring resistance to critically important antimicrobial drugs."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W272

The following news is from Barfblog on December 14, 2014.

"The $35 billion U.S. organic-food industry has nearly tripled in size in the past decade, challenging the Agriculture Department’s ability to monitor the more than 25,000 farms and other organizations that sell organic crops and livestock."
"There are currently 81 accredited 'certifying agents,' or groups that stamp food as organic in the U.S. But of the 37 that had a complete review this year, 23 were cited for failing to correctly enforce certification requirements on farms in audits, according to an internal Agriculture Department report. The 23 firms didn’t properly conduct onsite inspections or correctly review applications for organic certification."
A Wall Street Jounal investigation found that "40% of these 81 certifiers have been flagged by the USDA for conducting incomplete inspections; 16% of certifiers failed to cite organic farms’ potential use of banned pesticides and antibiotics; and 5% failed to prevent potential commingling of organic and nonorganic products."


The following news is from Foodmanufacturing.com on December 10, 2014.

"For a farm to be certified as “organic,” it must comply with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 and the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) rules and regulations. 7 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq.; 7 C.F.R. Part 205. An operator who makes a false statement or knowingly sells or labels a product as organic that does not comply with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 or the NOP regulations may be subject to criminal prosecution and fined up to $10,000 per violation." The govenment is also using criminal prosecution as a tool. "Criminal prosecutions generally receive significant press attention and have a strong deterrent effect, which could make them a powerful tool for ensuring the integrity of organic food labels." Companies must ensure their supply chain and if they see a problem, contact the appropriate authorities and seek restitition.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W266

The following news is from Foodnavigator.con on December 15, 2014.

Mintel has reported that "Non-GMO, Kosher, gluten-free, ethical, environmentally-friendly, lactose-free, vegan, no additives/preservatives, and on-the-go claims are all gaining more traction on US food labels; while growth in ‘all-natural’- antioxidant- and low/no/reduced sugar/sodium/fat claims has been pretty flat over the past six years.
Mintel found that the label mention of kosher was 2014 (40.6%), 2013 (36.3%), 2012 (26.8%), 2011 (27.4%), 2010 (29.3%), 2009 (26.6%). This was the highest label claim. They found that vegan or no animal ingredient claims are low but on the rise.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W271

The following news is from phys.org on December 15, 2014.

"Researchers in Chapman University's Food Science Program and their collaborators at University of Washington have just published a study on the presence of Salmonella and E. coli on certain herbs sold at farmers' markets. The study focused on farmers' markets in Los Angeles and Orange counties in California, as well as in the Seattle, Washington, area. Specifically tested were samples of the herbs cilantro, basil and parsley. Of the 133 samples tested from 13 farmers' markets, 24.1 percent tested positive for E. coli and one sample tested positive for Salmonella."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W270

The following news is from BaltimoreSun on December 11, 2014.

The Baltimore Sun is reporting on a decline in the number of special investigative agents and enforcement cases at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). "The number of NOAA special agents who specialize in complex investigations has been cut by more than a third, from 147 to 93, since 2008, with further cuts in the works. Enforcement cases nationwide have fallen even further." "the number of NOAA special agents who specialize in complex investigations has been cut by more than a third, from 147 to 93, since 2008, with further cuts in the works. Enforcement cases nationwide have fallen even further." This is during a time when there is lots of mislabeling, species substitution and short-weighting of seafood products which harms the fishing industry and cheats consumers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Seafood List of acceptable market names is never enforced at the restaurant level where two-thirds of all seafood is consumed and where a vast majority of these bait-and-switch schemes uncovered by DNA tests are found.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W269

The following news is from Thisfish.info on December 11, 2014.

On December 13, 2014 " new European Union regulations (No. 1379/2013) come into force that will require seafood to be labeled with detailed information on its harvesting and production. That’s in sharp contrast to the minimal and convoluted requirements in the United States and Canada." "Mandatory information on consumer labels will include:

  • Commercial and scientific species name;
  • Production method such as "caught," "caught in freshwater" or "farmed;"
  • Catch Area that includes the FAO area, sub-area or division for marine fisheries, body of water for freshwater fisheries and country of production for farmed species;
  • Fishing gear including one of the following types: seines, trawls, gillnets and similar nets, surrounding nets and lift nets, hooks and lines, dredges, and pots and traps;
  • Defrosted, if a product was previously frozen;
  • Best before date or “Use by” date regarding the durability or shelf life of the product; and
  • List of allergens"
"The E.U. requires the scientific name, along with a common species name, to be labeled on fish.
" The U.S. Food and Drug Administration manages 1,827 acceptable common names of species while its Canadian counterpart manages 876. Oddly, only 579 names overlap between the two agencies, creating a convoluted naming system in North America that can leave consumers confused."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W268

The following news is from NY Times on December 9, 2014.

As nutrition science is evolving, the experts now are allowing moderate amount of saturated fats. The New York Times reported that schmatz is now finding a new, younger audience.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W267

The following news is from JTA and INNon December 10, 2014.

A 5-4 majority of the Polish Constitional Tribunal ruled on Wednesday that the ban on ritual slaughter is unconstitional. The ruling stated that "religious freedom is a supreme value in accordance with the Constitution of Poland and stands above any other law and is not restricted." This overthows a January 1, 2013 ban based on a 1997 Polish law that banned slaughter without prior stunning.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W265

The following news is from modernfarmer and Bioengineers Create Vegan Milk on November 25, 2014.

Muufir is using bioengineering to create a vegan milk. "To make it, they add chemically synthesized cow DNA to yeast cells, then harvest the cultures the yeast grows. (It’s kind of like a sourdough starter.) From there, they added things like calcium and potassium and emulsify the mixture into milk. They tinkered with the ratios to create something that tastes and feels like cow’s milk, but left out lactose, using a different sugar instead to make it drinkable for the lactose intolerant."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W264

The following news is from True Source Honey on November 25, 2014.

"The True Source Honey Certification Program, whose mission it is to protect consumers, retailers and manufacturers from illegally sourced honey, has issued an alert concerning honey labeled as coming from Turkey." Poor quality honey has been trans-shipped to other countries and labeled as if they come from that country to avoid anti-dumping duties. Currently honey from Turkey is being sold at below market prices which is similar to what has been done in the past with other trans-shipped Chinese honey. The volume of Turkish honey imported into the US has increased 10-fold in three years.
US companies can be procecuted if it has been shown that they knowingly purchased illegaliy imported honey. In the past Chinese honey has been presented as having originated in Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Thailand and Vietnam, instead of China.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W263
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