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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.

Newer news

GSK Consumer Healthcare Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Children's Robitussin® Honey Cough and Chest Congestion DM and Children's Dimetapp® Cold and Cough Due to Dosing Cups Missing Some Graduation Markings

June 18, 2020 from the FDA:

GSK Consumer Healthcare is voluntarily recalling to the retail level two lots (listed below) of Children's Robitussin® Honey Cough and Chest Congestion DM and one lot of Children's Dimetapp® Cold and Cough, due to the inclusion of incorrect dosing cups. During the review of the packaging documents for these products, GSK discovered that the dosing cups for the Children's Robitussin® Honey product are missing the 5 mL and 10 mL graduations, while the dosing cups for the Children's Dimetapp® product are missing the 10 mL graduation. The dosing cups packaged with both products only have the 20 mL graduation.

There is a potential risk of accidental overdose if caregivers dispensing the syrup do not notice the discrepancies between the graduations printed on the dosing cups and the indicated amounts to be administered (as directed in the instructions for use). Children's Robitussin Honey Cough & Chest Congestion DM contains 10 mg dextromethorphan HBr USP and guaifenesin USP 100 mg per 10 mL, and is labeled for children 4 and older, as well as adults. Children's Dimetapp Cold & Cough contains 2 mg brompheniramine maleate USP, 10 mg dextromethorphan HBr USP, and 5 mg phenylephrine HCl USP per 10 mL, and is labeled for children 6 and older, as well as adults.

The recall is limited to the three lots listed below:

Children's Robitussin® Honey Cough and Chest Congestion DM (4oz) NDC 0031-8760-12 Lots: 02177 (Exp. Jan. 2022) 02178 (Exp. Jan. 2022) Children's Dimetapp® Cold and Cough (8oz) NDC 0031-2234-19 Lot: CL8292 (Exp. Sep. 2021)

These lots were distributed nationwide between February 5, 2020 and June 3, 2020 within the United States. GSK Consumer Healthcare has notified wholesalers, distributors and retailers to arrange for return of any recalled product. Wholesalers, distributors and retailers with an existing inventory of the lots being recalled should stop distribution and quarantine these lots immediately. Wholesalers, distributors and retailers that have further distributed the recalled product should notify any accounts or additional locations which may have received the recalled product from them.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall or to report an adverse experience please call 1-800-762-4675, Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 6:00pm EST.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1037

As lockdowns lift, new hazards lurk in the water - PLEASE FORWARD TO THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBEL FOR BUILDING OPENING as the lockdowns ease

April 28, 2020 - from Nature:

"Stagnant water in unused buildings can harbour infectious bacteria and heavy metals. Scientists point out that guidance on reopening is limited. "

"As some regions prepare to lift the lockdowns in response to COVID-19, scientists who study water are worried about the potential for a secondary health crisis waiting in the dormant plumbing of offices, gyms, restaurants and schools."

"Because of the threats from heavy metals leaching out of pipes, and bacteria and parasites growing in stagnant water, researchers are studying locked-down water systems in an attempt to understand how people can safely reoccupy buildings."

"The longer a building sits unused, the more potential there is for harm. That’s because the length of time between water treatment and use is one of the key factors determining bacterial regrowth.""One of the main concerns is Legionella, a genus of bacterium that causes Legionnaires’ disease."

" The most common advice after a period of dormancy is to run all taps at full flow for a set amount of time — usually 5 or 10 minutes — to flush the stagnant water from the pipes."

"And the complications don’t stop there. For large complexes such as universities, there might not be enough staff to routinely flush every building. Already-struggling small businesses could baulk at the increased water bills that would result from proper flushing. And without sufficient masks and respirators, staff carrying out flushing operations are at risk of inhaling Legionella and other pathogens that might be growing in the pipes."

"The most important things that building owners and managers can do right now" "are to flush taps regularly, carry out low-cost testing and start to build up a water-management plan."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1021

Bonnsu Recalls Miniware Teething Spoons Due to Choking Hazard

June 11, 2020 - from CPSC :

Miniware Teething Spoons have been recalled because the teething spoon can break in a child’s mouth when being used as a teether, posing a choking hazard to infants.

The recalled Miniware teething spoons are made from food-grade silicone designed for infants to use during the teething phase, approximately 4-24 months of age. The spoons were sold in a set of two and came in gray, aqua, peach, key lime (green), cotton candy (pink), and lavender colors. “Miniware” is stamped in raised letters on the handle of the spoons.

Bonnsu has received one report of an infant who bit through the silicone teething spoon, resulting in a piece separating inside the infant’s mouth.

Sold At: Online on Miniware.com, Amazon.com, and in stores including Dillard’s, The Tot, Turquoise, The Mellowland, Mom Loves Me, and Bitte nationwide from December 2017 through March 2020 for between $14 and $42.

The spoons were also sold in Meal Kit Configurations. The kits were “First Bites” that included spoons, bowl, suction foot, and lid. The spoons colors came in key lime, aqua, cotton candy, lavender, gray and peach. The “First Bites Travel Kit” included a spoon, bowl, suction foot, and travel bag. The spoons came in lavender and aqua color. The “Sip and Snack” kit included a spoon, bowl, suction foot and drinking cup. The spoon came in peach and gray color.

Consumers should stop using the recalled teething spoons immediately and contact Bonnsu for a free replacement product.

Consumer Contact: Bonnsu toll-free at 855-334-8129 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, email at hello@miniware.com, or online at www.miniware.com and click on “Recalls” located at the bottom of the page.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1036

Israeli rabbis in Argentina give US kosher meat market a boost too

June 8, 2020 - from JTA:

"Remember that flight that brought nearly 100 rabbis to Argentina to certify kosher meat that was held up because of the coronavirus pandemic? It wasn’t only a boon to the Israeli market: The visiting rabbis also certified over 420,000 pounds of kosher beef that will be shipped to the United States."

"Despite Argentina’s ban on incoming travelers, the country arranged for a special flight for the rabbis last week. The country is one of the world’s top meat producers, and thousands of tons of meat had been held up without kosher certification because of travel restrictions. Normally, rabbis visit the country throughout the year and stay for a few months to certify meat."

"On Friday, President Alberto Fernández visited a kosher meat facility in Santa Rosa, the capital city of the La Pampa province, 370 miles west of Buenos Aires."

"'The plant located in Santa Rosa is already working to sell to the United States, increasingly interested in buying these meat cuts with added value,' a government statement read."


98 Israeli rabbis fly to Argentina to certify thousands of tons of kosher meat and save a growing market

June 3, 2020 - from JTA:

"A special flight from Tel Aviv to Buenos Aires brought 98 rabbis to certify thousands of tons of meat as kosher and help preserve the South American country’s Israeli kosher meat market amid the coronavirus crisis."

"Under typical circumstances, as many as 15 Israeli rabbis travel to Argentina twice a year and stay for a few months because there aren’t enough local rabbis with expertise in kosher slaughter to handle the volume of meat that is exported to Israel. But Argentina has banned all incoming commercial flights since March 20, and only Argentine citizens are currently allowed to enter the country."

"Also, two of Argentina’s foremost kosher slaughter experts, father and son Roberto and Gabriel Yabra, died after contracting COVID-19 in April."

"The team of Israeli rabbis will work in six industrial facilities."

"Argentina is the world’s fifth largest beef exporter and Israel is one of its largest buyers. In the first three months of the pandemic, 8,500 tons of meat have been exported to Israel, but a shipment of 15,500 tons is pending for a total of some 24,000 tons this year. The export in its entirety is valued at approximately $170 million."

"It’s only the third-ever direct El Al flight between Israel and Argentina."

Despite closed borders, Argentina to fly in rabbis to certify kosher meat

May 21, 2020 - from Reuters:

"Argentina, which has enforced one of the world’s toughest travel bans against the coronavirus, plans to help charter a private flight to bring in rabbis from Israel to certify meat at the country’s packing plants for kosher markets around the world."

"The trip is key to Argentina being able to maintain beef exports to key buyer Israel, which has become increasingly important with exports stalled to the European Union and sharply down to major buyer China."

"The global lockdown meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus has snarled this year’s plans with borders closed and air travel paralyzed worldwide. "

"Argentina is the world’s fifth largest beef exporter and Israel is the No. 3 buyer of its famed cuts, snapping up over $100 million each year."

"The rabbis normally make the trip twice a year and stay for a few months, as many as 15 rabbis in plants at a time. They ensure the cattle are slaughtered and the meat processed in accordance with Jewish law."

"Lisandro Sabanés, an Argentine foreign ministry spokesman, confirmed the government was helping to make arrangements for the rabbis. "

"Argentina has banned commercial flights until September, allowing only citizens and residents to enter on special flights and has imposed a strict national quarantine. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1032

Microbe with Taste for Stale Bread Finds Its Calling

May 26, 2020 from Foodt Dive:

"An Agricultural Research Service (ARS) team in Peoria, Illinois, has devised a procedure for using bacteria to convert glucose from bread waste into value-added products such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is used in everything from food and beverages to pharmaceutical and personal-care products, a U.S market valued at over $1 billion in 2018."

"By one estimate, 12.5 million tons of bread, rolls, croissants and other baked goods go uneaten worldwide each year. Some of this food waste is fed to livestock as a source of carbohydrates and protein; however, the remainder can pose a disposal problem."

A team at ARS "devised fermentation procedures that encourage the species to gobble up glucose in bread waste and convert it into 2-keto-D-gluconic acid (2KGA)." "2KGA is a so-called "platform chemical" that helps synthesize bulk quantities of erythorbic acid, ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid salts, and other substances with wide-ranging food and industrial applications. 2KGA itself can also be used as a detergent builder, cement plasticizer and precursor chemical for herbicide compounds."

"Initially, the microbe was considered an unwelcome contaminant in fermentation procedures. Now, that same fondness for fermentation conditions could prove key to making substance that not only improve the quality and shelf-life of food, but also keep it out of the trash bin."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1035

FDA allows ingredient swaps without label changes

May 26, 2020 from Foodt Dive:

"A plain reading of the guidance basically shows that the regulations only allow manufacturers to make swaps that many consumers might not care about or even notice — like unbleached flour for bleached flour, or leaving green peppers out of a quiche that contains four other vegetables. The FDA notes this is necessary because the pandemic has strained supply chains everywhere, and specific ingredients may see shortages as time goes on. This guidance doesn't allow a manufacturer to make big changes, like leaving raisins out of cinnamon raisin bread, or swapping alternative flours for whole wheat in a muffin recipe."

"However, these new regulations don't require any public disclosure of these changes." "Instead of just making a swap in the factory, manufacturers could publicize the changes on social media, their brand website, by information displayed at the point of sale or through stickers on packaging alerting consumers of a potential change."

"Consumers are more likely to be understanding about changes as long as they are informed. And highly sensitive consumers, including those with food allergies, will continue to place trust in the brands that take care to let them know that manufacturing practices during the pandemic will keep them safe — or that temporary changes may result in new risks."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1034

United Arab Emirates: Largest Meat Shipment In History To Jewish Community

May 26, 20120 - from Yeshiva World:

"A large shipment of kosher meat was sent recently from the United States to the Jewish community in the United Arab Emirates."

"Members of the Jewish community in the UAE told Kan News that the state of Israel has no connection with the delivery from the US, adding that this is the first time that such a large amount of meat was delivered to the community."

"The meat delivery may be a result of the growth of the Jewish community in the UAE. In the capital city of Abu Dhabi, there is a small community and a few months ago, a mohel from Beitar traveled to the city to perform a bris on the son of one of the community’s members, the first bris ever performed in Abu Dhabi."

"According to a Ynet report, there is also a small Jewish community in the city of Dubai which established a small shul and officially inaugurated it about nine months ago."

"The community is estimated to number about 150 families or up to 2,000 – 3000 people, with most residents originally stemming from the US, Europe and South Africa. There are also many Jews who visit the city for business reasons."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1033

Prices Spike at the Grocery Store

May 20, 20120 - from Food Processing:

"Grocery prices have experienced their highest month-to-month jump since 1974 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest Consumer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics."

"Grocery increases averaged out to 2.6% more for April than for March. The steepest increases were for meat, poultry, fish and eggs, which collectively saw a 4.3% increase in April over March. Individually, eggs had the biggest jump, at 16.1%, although prices have gone back down again, due in large part to relaxation of federal regulations that allowed eggs to shift more easily from foodservice to retail distribution."

"Other items facing high increases were apples, 4.9%; bread, 3.7%; and cookies, 5.1%."

"On the other hand, the overall Consumer Price Index was down 0.8%, thanks to sharp drops in energy, transportation and other costs."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1031

Heatwave In Israel Causes NIS Millions In Damage To Crops, Fruit & Veggie Prices To Shoot Up

May 20, 20120 - from Yeshiva World:

"The agricultural damage caused by the current heavy heatwave in Israel is expected to amount to tens of millions of shekels, a spokesperson for the KANAT Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture said."

"The agricultural damage caused by the current heavy heatwave in Israel is expected to amount to tens of millions of shekels, a spokesperson for the KANAT Insurance Fund for Natural Risks in Agriculture said."

"Most of the damage is due to heat damage affecting fruits and vegetables, which will lead to a significant decrease in the volume of future crop yield, including tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, avocadoes and watermelons."

"The damage will lead to an increase in prices at the supermarket, with fruit and vegetables expected to increase by 30%, specifically cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers and possibly watermelons."

"The report also said that the heat has already caused a shortage of nectarines and the price of apricots and loquats has risen. On the other hand, peaches and cherries are now cheaper because the heat caused them to ripen faster."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1030

Perfect Day’s animal-free dairy protein earns Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status

May 13, 2020 - from Ingredients Network:

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “no objections” letter for the animal-free dairy company Perfect Day’s β-lactoglobulin protein. The letter certifies that the protein has attained Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status. "

"This whey protein is a flora-based replication of the bovine-based β-lactoglobulin protein. It is made from the fermentation of the genetically modified trichoderma reesei yeast strain. After the yeast ferments, the protein is extracted via the aid of a centrifuge and then combined with water and fat to create a milk-like product for use in dairy products."

"Though GRAS is a voluntary designation for companies to pursue, this status is a milestone for companies with novel ingredients or lab-based formulations that companies want to assure consumers through government backing that there is a reasonable certainty that it won’t cause harm."

"According to Perfect Day, 'β-lactoglobulin produced by fermentation is identical to commercially available bovine-produced β-lactoglobulin.' By issuing the notification with “no questions,” the FDA is signaling that it agrees with the company’s assessment."

"The company will likely look toward expanding its animal-free dairy products." "The company will only be able to expand so far. In the FDA approval letter, the governmental regulatory agency specifically prohibits some uses for the protein. The letter said lab-fermented β-lactoglobulin is 'not intended for use in infant formula or in products subject to regulation by the United States Department of Agriculture.'"

"With infant formula off the table, the company will likely focus on more mainstream dairy products like cheese, milk, yogurt and ice cream. Last summer, the company’s first commercial product - animal-free ice cream - appeared on its website. The ice cream came in three flavors: Milky Chocolate, Vanilla Salted Fudge and Vanilla Blackberry Toffee. Despite a $20 per pint price tag, the lab-grown ice cream sold out in 24 hours. "


Dairy Proteins are being created by microbial fermentation

July 15, 2019 - from Specialty Food News and Crain's Chicago Business:

"Lab-made dairy is beginning to catch the eye of investors." "he key to making it is synthetic whey, which can be incorporated into a range of foods from yogurt to ice cream. Companies like Perfect Day, founded by Ryan Pandya, are creating dairy proteins like whey and casein without having to use any animal-made products" using microbial fermentation.

"With the help of investors like Archer Daniels Midland, Perfect Day has grown into a 60-employee operation with $60 million in funding."

"Perfect Day contends its proteins require 98% less water and 65% less energy than that required to produce whey from cows. The company said it hopes to one day license its ingredients so they can be used by food manufacturers in a range of products—but those involved concede that scaling the effort won’t be easy.

"New Culture wants to make the end product: cheese from its own lab-grown casein, another protein derived from dairy. In the lab, New Culture has crafted a super stretchy, believable version of mozzarella—the most consumed cheese in the U.S. A third startup, Motif Ingredients—a spinoff of Gingko Bioworks—is using $90 million in funding to focus on lab-grown dairy proteins as flavor and texture ingredients."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W916
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