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The following news is from the CPSC on October 15, 2104.

Michael's Stores, Irving, Texas is recalling folding tables due to a fall hazard. The folding tables can collapse under excessive weight, posing an impact or falling hazard.
The Ashland Summer Living Vintage Wood Folding Table has a 14-inch round tabletop made of red medium density fiberboard. The table legs are brown metal, and the table stands about 22.5 inches high. A latch on the underside of the tabletop secures the table in an upright position when the table legs are separated forming an “X” position. When the table leg is released from this latch, the legs fold together and the tabletop folds down against the legs in a flat position. SKU 309950 and UPC 886946388804 are printed on a hangtag on the tables. Phase MDF and 01276 are printed on a black and white label under the table.
Michaels at (800) 642-4235 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT Saturday, or online at www.michaels.com and click on "Contact Us."
There have been four reports of consumers sitting on the tabletop and falling when the tables collapsed, resulting in injuries to the back, leg or hip. Remedy
Consumers should immediately stop using the tables and return them to any Michaels store for a full refund. These were sold exclusively at Michaels Stores nationwide from April 2014 to May 2014 for about $30.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W252

The following news is from the PreparedFoods.com on October 20, 2104.

Worldwide, the olive oil harvest in 2014 was significantly smaller than previous years. The harvest of 2.56 tons was less than lst year's consumption of 3 million tons. There is an on-going concern about fraud in olive oil. Consumers should be wary of prices that are too good to be true and look for quality certifications.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W251

The following news is from the Foodnavigator.com on October 9, 2104.

Over half of the food inspections in mainland China have failed in the first two thirds of this year according to a Chinese food inspection company Asianinspection (AFI). New laws in China are requiring companies to prove that their products are safe.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W250

The following information for travelers on Sukkot to the US is from the TSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the MK posted on September 16, 2013 and re-posted on October 6, 2014.

"TSA’s screening procedures do not prohibit the carrying of the four plants used during Sukkot - a palm branch, myrtle twigs, willow twigs, and a citron - in airports, through or security checkpoints, or on airplanes. These plants or agricultural items are not on TSA’s Prohibited Items List. However, all persons and property will undergo security screening at the checkpoint." (TSA)

U.S. Customs and Border Protection service has stated the following:
"Items carried by observant Jewish travelers entering the United States during the Sukkot holiday are regulated to prevent the introduction of invasive pests and diseases; however, these items might be allowed into the United States after inspection by CBP Agriculture Specialists. These items include ethrogs, palm fronds, twigs of willow and myrtle.

The following guidance is provided for travelers:

  • Ethrogs: Personal shipments of ethrogs are allowed entry through North Atlantic and Northern Pacific ports of entry after inspection by CBP agriculture specialists. North Atlantic ports are defined as Atlantic ports north of and including Baltimore; ports on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway; Canadian Border ports east of and including North Dakota; Andrews Air Force Base and Washington, D.C. (including Dulles) for air shipments. Northern Pacific ports are defined as Pacific ports north of California including Alaska, Canadian Border ports west of and including Montana, excluding Hawaii.
    Travelers will be asked to open the container with the ethrog and unwrap it. The agriculture specialist will inspect the ethrog. If either insect stings or pests are found, the ethrog will be prohibited from entering the United States. If neither is found, the traveler will be allowed to rewrap and re-box the ethrog for entry into the United States.
  • Palm Fronds: Single palm fronds, for religious purposes, will be inspected by agriculture specialists and released if no pests or symptoms of disease are found.
  • Twigs of Willow: If the twigs of willow are from Europe, they will be prohibited from entering the United States. If they are from other than Europe, they will be inspected by agriculture specialists and released if no pests or symptoms of disease are found.
    Also, if the twigs of willow are green in color, have soft tissue present, or have buds that sprouted, then they are capable of being grown and are prohibited from entering the United States.
  • Twigs of Myrtle: Twigs of myrtle will be inspected by agriculture specialists and released if no pests or symptoms of disease are found.
    If travelers have any concerns resulting from the inspection of their religious items at a port of entry, a CBP supervisor is always available to answer questions and address their concerns."

The MK has reported that extra inspectors will be at the Champlain Border (Lacolle) and at the Montreal International Airport.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W181

The following news is from the Foodmanufacturing.com on October 1, 2104.

"Wednesday, Oct. 1 marks the beginning of the second U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) registration renewal period."
"All domestic and foreign food facilities that manufacture, process, pack or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States must renew their FDA registrations by December 31, 2014."
"The registration renewal requirement was established by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011 and requires that food facilities renew their FDA registrations between October 1 and December 31 of every even-numbered year. FDA considers registrations that are not renewed by the deadline to be expired, and distributing food in the U.S. without a valid registration is a prohibited act that can lead to prosecution in Federal court."

More information can be found at www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FoodFacilityRegistration/default.htm

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W249

The following news is from the jta on September 29, 2104.

On Sunday Ben Weyts, Belgium’s minister for animal welfare, proposed a bill forbidding the slaughter of animals in temporary slaughterhouses as of next year throughout most of the federal monarchy. Weyts’ ban was seen as designed to stop the killing of thousands of sheep in provisionary slaughterhouses that Muslims operate annually for other Muslims ahead of the Eid al Fitr holiday.
Some members of Belgium’s Jewish community said it would not affect Jewish slaughter, or shechitah, which is performed at licensed and permanent abattoirs.
"Belgium’s far-right Vlaams Belang party said it will submit a bill proposing a blanket ban on ritual slaughter.
In addition to seeking to curb immigration into Belgium, Vlaams Belang is also a supporter of independence for the Flemish Region, one of the three autonomous parts that comprise Belgium.
The party won 3.7 percent of the vote in the federal elections earlier this year and 5.9 percent of the vote in the elections for the Flemish parliament. But in 2007, Vlaams Belang emerged as the country’s third largest party with nearly 12 percent of the vote in federal elections.
Virtually all other Belgian political parties consider Vlaams Belang a pariah movement and will not enter in power-sharing agreements with it, making it impossible for the party to enter the government. Political analysts say the party has lost many votes to the center-right movement of Weyts, the New Flemish Alliance.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W248

The following news is from the GlobalMeats.com on September 29, 2104.

The Lithuanian Parliament has overwhelmingly passed a bill legalizing religious slaughter without stunning for kosher and halal meat. They are hoping to stimulate export of meat to Israel and the Middle East and develop new export markets to compensate for the Russian ban on the import of Lithuanian meat to Russia.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W247

The following health alert is from the JerusalemPost on September 21, 2104.

The Israeli Health Ministry closed Sushi Garden, 21 Rehov Yirmiyahu, Jerusalem. "Inspectors found that it was operating without a license and had very bad hygienic conditions. An epidemiological investigation by the ministry uncovered the case of a pregnant woman who miscarried after suffering from listeriosis. The ministry said there is a possibility that the source of the bacterial infection was food made in the Sushi Garden restaurant."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W246

The following news is from the Barfblog.com and Sciencedirect posted on September 22, 2104.

A study was done on the safety of donkey milk in Italy. A number of small farms sell the milk is directly sold at the farm to people whose children have cow milk alergies. They found one contaminated sample. The mean milk yield was around 1 L/day/donkey.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W245

The following news is from the FDA on September 19, 2104.

The FDA has released updated proposals to FSMA which is designed to help prevent food-borne illness. "Since FSMA was signed into law in January 2011, the FDA has proposed seven rules to implement FSMA. The four updated proposed rules include: produce-safety; preventive controls for human food; preventive controls for animal food; and the foreign supplier verification program." The changes are the following:

  • The FDA has revised water testing provisions.
  • The rule would not apply to farms with $25,000 in produce sales.
  • Rule revised for spent grains
  • Revisions to the foreign-supplier verification proposed rule give importers more flexibility to determine appropriate supplier verification measures based on risk and previous experience with their suppliers.
Comments can be submitted to the FDA starting Sept. 29, 2014,

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W244
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