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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

Enough With the Gefilte Fish. I’ll Have Sushi

June 16, from the NY Times:
The NY Times just figured out what I noticed a long time ago when I saw most kosher restaurants selling sushi. Sushi is poputlar in the kosher community. They said that 80 to 90 percant of kosher restaurants sell sushi. It is popular because it is a pareve item that is easy to make kosher.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W444

Spate of recalls doesn't mean food is more risky: expert

June 8, from the CBC Canada:
Recently there have been a lot of "recalls have involved a range of foods, including granola and other grain products, frozen vegetables and salad greens."
Martin Wiedmann, a professor of food safety at Cornell was intereviewed by the CBC:
"And he says we really are seeing far more food recalls and outbreaks these days. "But that doesn't mean our food is less safe," he noted.
"It's the opposite. What happened over the last 20 years and really accelerated over the last two years is the use of completely new DNA fingerprinting tools to detect disease outbreaks," he said.
"Today, we are 100 times more likely to detect an outbreak than we were 20 years ago."
Salad is not more 'risky' than raw milk because fewer people consume raw milk than lettuce.
"Most recalls are precautionary and the products haven't actually made anyone sick."
" 148 shares Canadians have seen a spate of food recalls lately, thanks to possible Listeria and E. coli contamination. The recalls have involved a range of foods, including granola and other grain products, frozen vegetables and salad greens. Quaker Harvest brand granola bars recalled over Listeria concerns Listeria recall: frozen foods list for Canada Listeriosis outbreak in packaged salad highlights risk of lettuce If it seems to you like these recalls are a dime a dozen these days, you're not imagining things, says Martin Wiedmann. He's a professor of food safety at Cornell University's food science department. And he says we really are seeing far more food recalls and outbreaks these days. "But that doesn't mean our food is less safe," he noted. "It's the opposite. What happened over the last 20 years and really accelerated over the last two years is the use of completely new DNA fingerprinting tools to detect disease outbreaks," he said. "Today, we are 100 times more likely to detect an outbreak than we were 20 years ago." Cornell University's Martin Wiedmann Cornell University food safety expert Martin Wiedmann says we're seeing more food recalls thanks to better testing. (Jason Koski/Cornell University) Health officials have developed a system to track the genetic makeup of salmonella, Listeria and E.coli. Once a food-related illness outbreak is identified, scientists can match the DNA from contaminated food with the bacteria making people sick, and potentially trace it to the originating food processing plant. Is salad more 'risky' than raw milk? A lot of the recalls we're seeing now seem to apply to foods that aren't traditionally associated with bacterial contamination, like granola. But traditional wisdom, and modern public health rules, steer at-risk consumers (including children, older adults, pregnant women, and those with a weakened immune system) away from unpasteurized cheese. Pregnant women are told to avoid sushi. And hold off on pre-sliced deli meat, health officials say, because it might be tainted with Listeria. In light of that long list of recalls, and the fact that we're detecting more outbreaks, shouldn't they also be steering us away from salad and cantaloupes? After all, based on the recalls, they might sound like risky foods. Wiedmann says that's not really so. He points to the reason we see few cases of issues arising from raw milk consumption as an example of why. "Much, much fewer people consume raw milk," he said. "So we don't hear much about raw milk outbreaks. But we hear about outbreaks with lettuce, so [people think] lettuce must be less safe. Quite the opposite, because you need to consider the total amount of the food produced — what is your chance of getting sick from eating one of these servings." Most recalls precautionary Wiedmann also points out tha. A recall isn't the same as an outbreak. In most cases, food recalls are precautionary, and the products haven't actually made anyone sick."
"We call them outbreaks now because we can easily link a specific product in California, for example, with a handful of sick people in separate provinces or states, thanks to the DNA fingerprinting Wiedmann mentioned."
"The bottom line, he says, is that those high-risk products health officials advise against, like unpasteurized cheese, are actually riskier than the products making news headlines."
"It's just not like 'risk' or 'no-risk.' There's a gradation... And then somewhere in the middle, someone puts a line," he said.
"And that line is arbitrary, because no food is risk free."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W443

NY State Started the Process to Overrule NYC Plastic Bag Fee

June 10, from the SpecialtyFood.com and Crains:
"New York State’s Senate has voted to forbid New York City’s five-cent fee for disposable plastic bags."
"The plastic bag fee was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio in May as part of an effort to reduce plastic waste. The state responded by approving a bill 36-22 that prohibits taxes, fees and local charges on carryout bags of any kind throughout New York state."
"The measure would still need to pass the Assembly—a possibility that Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has not ruled out—and be signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to become law."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W442

Starbucks Testing Kosher-Certified Dairy at 10 Stores in NY, NJ in Bid to Attract Jewish Customers

June 8, from the JPupDates.com:
Starbucks is testing using Cholov Yisrael Pride of the Farm Milk Milk in the following 10 stores in the New York, New Jersey area:

  • 6 Rockaway Turnpike, Cedarhurst, NY
  • 1344 Broadway, Hewlett, NY
  • 4701 Route 9 Space T1B, Howell NJ
  • 2100 Highway, Oakhurst, NJ
  • 1865 Route 70, Lakewood, NJ
  • 2860 Lakewood RD, Toms River, NJ
  • 1927 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
  • 341 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
  • 166 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
  • 164 Park Place, Brooklyn, NY
The stores are not certified but will use Cholov Yisroel Milk.
From the editor: The consumer should always to their own checking of the products that they purchase, since these stores are not certified.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W441

New Donkey Milk Products in Pipeline in Europe

June 8, from the FoodNavigator.com:
Eurolactis, a Swiss donkey milk is planning on the first large scale production of a chocolate bar made with donkey milk. They also produce Onalat, a tetra pak donkey milk. Their milk comes from 1000 donkey mostly in Italy. They are hoping to expand with milk from the Balkans. People are willing to pay a premium for donkey milk because it is similar to human breast milk. "donkey milk is the only naturally hypo-allergenic milk, and has a good balance of omega-3 and omega 6" and can be given to people with food allergies.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W440

USDA’s new take on the daily grind

May 18, from the FoodSafetyNews:
"The new rule-79 FR 42464 will be in full effect starting on June 21 2016." "Retail-exempt facilities regularly mix cuts of beef from various sources to make ground beef products. This FSIS rule will require such facilities to maintain clear records identifying the source, supplier, and names of all materials used in the preparation of raw ground beef products. All pre-operation, mid and post sanitation work will also be recorded on a lot-by-lot basis."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W439

Congress Unlikely to Finish GMO Labeling Law by July

June 6, 2016 from the SpecialtyFood and Huffington Post:
"When Vermont passed a law in 2014 that required all genetically engineered food sold in the state to be labeled by July 1, 2016, it likely had no idea it would force disclosure beyond its own borders."
"Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate blocked an industry-backed bill that would have preempted state laws, specifically Vermont’s, by establishing voluntary standards for labeling genetically modified foods."
"Under the labeling law in Vermont, companies that fail to comply will receive a $1,000 fine for each day a product is incorrectly labeled beginning in 2017."
"Some big companies have already decided to comply with the Vermont law on a national scale. General Mills, Mars, Kellogg and ConAgra Foods are among that manufacturers that will add GMO labels to their packaging."
Grocery Manufacturers Association is still working on "passage of the federal bill that would protect consumers, farmers and small businesses from a costly patchwork of state labeling laws,” even as individual member companies are 'deciding how they will comply with the Vermont law."”

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W438

Israeli High Court rules private kashrut is illegal

May 26, 2016 from the Arutz 7:
The Israeli Supreme Court accepted the Israeli Chief Rabbinate's position over the position of the attorney general.
In a rare move, the judges decided to accept the position of the Chief Rabbinate as the correct position, as opposed to the position of the attorney general that had been presented to them.In a rare move, the judges decided to accept the position of the Chief Rabbinate as the correct position, as opposed to the position of the attorney general that had been presented to them.
"Business owners had petitioned against having the law banning misappropriation of kashrut being enforced against them."
"Former Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein had opined that establishments can present themselves as kosher even if they only have a private kashrut certificate and not a certificate from the rabbinate."
"That opinion opposed Israeli law, which mandates that the Chief Rabbinate or local rabbinate are the only sources that can determine the kosher status of a business. That law was meant to create uniformity in the kashrut process, ensuring that no false certificates are given to institutions that actually do not meet the requirements of Jewish law and serve non-kosher food."
"However, due to Judge Rubinstein's position the application of the ruling was limited to two years, during which the Chief Rabbinate will need to organize the kashrut branch so as to get rid of problematic ties between kashrut supervisors and business owners."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W436

Debco Bag Recalls Ceramic Mugs Due to Burn and Laceration Hazards

June 2, 2016: The CPSC

Debco Bag Distributors, Canada is recalling Ceramic Mugs because the mugs handle can break, posing a burn or laceration hazard to consume.
This recall involves four models of Tonal Thirst ceramic mugs. The 12-ounce mugs have a glossy two-tone finish with a white exterior and colored interior with matching colored handles. The mugs were sold in white/black, white/blue, white/lime and white/red color combinations. Some mugs can have promotional logos printed on them when distributed as giveaways.
Sold at ad Specialty Distributors as a promotional item from August 2015 through April 2016 for about $3.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ceramic mugs and contact Debco Bag for instructions on receiving a replacement mug.
Consumer Contact: Debco Bag toll-free at 844-730-5005 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at CM6531recall@debcobag.com or online at www.debcosolutions.com and click on recall for more information.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W437

NYC gets OK to issue salt fines during appeal

May 26, 2016 from the FoxNY:
"New York City plans to start enforcing a first-of-its-kind requirement for chain restaurants to use icons to warn patrons of salty foods after getting an appeals court's go-ahead Thursday to start issuing fines. But it's not the final word on whether the regulation will stand."
"But penalties have been in limbo as the National Restaurant Association fights the measure in court. That clash is ongoing, but an appeals court Thursday lifted a temporary hold on issuing the fines while the case plays out. Fines can be up to $600."
"The city will start enforcing the rule June 6."
"New York City officials say the warnings help make diners aware of how much sodium they're consuming."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W435
Older news

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