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The following information is from the foodmanufacturing.com on May 24, 2113.

Investigators in New Jersey collected 1,000 open bottles of vodka, gin, rum, scotch, whiskey and tequila from the wells of the bars because the restaurants were accused of substituting cheap booze or worse for the good stuff while charging premium prices. One bar has a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch and in another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with dirty water. "In January and February, investigators went to 63 establishments they suspected were scamming liquor customers. They ordered drinks neat that is, without ice or mixers and then covertly took samples for testing. Of 150 samples collected, 30 were not the brand as which they were being sold."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W142

The following information is from the JewishPress.com and vosizneias.comon May 20, 2013.

Jerusalem District Court on Monday will hear arguments over the validity of a consumer class action suit against Tnuva Central Cooperative for the Marketing of Agricultural Produce in Israel Ltd., based on the claim that Tnuva misled consumers regarding the humane treatment of animals in its Beit She’an beef slaughterhouse and meat-packing plant, where its Adom Adom (“very red”) top quality brand is produced. A December 6, 2012 expose on Israeli TV consumer advocacy program "Colbotech" showed shocking details of the way animals are being treated in the Beit She’an slaughterhouse. A group of consumers, headed by a Haredi woman named Ruth Kolian, is looking to sue Tnuva for consumer anguish. "The issue at hand is whether the fact that the animals had undergone inhumane treatment in itself justifies a claim for monetary compensation for the plaintiffs, and whether it is sufficiently broad to justify a class action suit. According to Haaretz, Israeli food giant Tnuva Food Industries admitted to causing great "suffering" to animals, calling it an unavoidable part of a process that is, by nature, brutal.
The court's ruling will be about the validity of the class action suit and not the suit itself.

ed. note: OIE specifically recognizes kosher and halal as humane.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W140

The following information is from the FoodNavigator.com on May 20, 2013.

Fish gelatin is used in kosher and halal products and when meat products are avoided because of BSE. A problem with fish gelatin is that it melts at a lower temperature than beef gelatin. The melting temperature is dependent on the fish species, with warm water fish melting at a higher temperature than cold water fish. Malaysian researchers also researched various combinations on fish gelatin and hydrocolloids.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W139

The following safety alert from the CPSC, on May 16, 2013.

Avon Products, Inc., New York, N.Y. is recalling Microwave Popcorn Makers because when cooked too long, the popcorn can overheat in this popcorn maker and ignite, posing a fire or burn hazard to consumers.
This recall involves Avon’s Microwave Popcorn Maker sold in the U.S. with item number 474-105 in Avon’s brochures and website. The recalled plastic popcorn maker consists of a clear tub and a yellow vented lid. The tub is 6 inches high and measures 7.5 inches in diameter and has three feet at the base. “DO NOT REMOVE WITH BARE HANDS. HOLD UNIT WITH GLOVES” is molded into the plastic of the lid and “USE IN MICROWAVE OVEN ONLY” is molded into the underside of the bowl. “Made in Taiwan” is printed on an adhesive label located on the underside of the bowl.
Consumers should stop using the popcorn maker immediately and contact Avon to receive a copy of the updated instructions on how to safely use the microwave popcorn maker. The new instructions can also be obtained from independent Avon representatives and on Avon’s website under the Product Recall section. This product was sold through independent Avon sales representatives and online at www.avon.com from October 2012 through February 2013, for about $13.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W138

The following news is from the FoodQuality.com on May 14, 2013.

FDA officials announced on May 5 that it would reconfigure its budget to avoid reducing inspections. An April 25 report that as many as 2,100 food inspections—or approximately 18% of the total conducted by the agency—would be eliminated this year as a result of the government sequester. Instead travel and training will be two of the targets for budget decreases that otherwise would have hit inspections.

The following news is from the FoodProductDesign.com on April 29, 2013.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told the editorial board of USA TODAY that the sequester will delay the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) implementation of the 2-year-old Food Safety Modernization Act and result in fewer food-safety inspections.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W129

The following news is from the Salon.com on May 12, 2013.

The EU banned the export of Baltic salmon from Sweden back in 2002 due to the fact that they were found to be heavily contaminated with dioxins. But that didn’t stop Swedish firms from selling 200 tons of the fish to companies in France, Denmark and the Netherlands.
A French firm that bought 103 tons of the Baltic salmon in 2011 and 2012 said they did their own tests which did not reveal dioxins in the fish.
Domestic sales of the salmon in Sweden, Finland and Latvia were exempt from the ban, but even in those countries, sales must adhere to guidelines regarding safe limits of consumption. The Swedish National Food Agency recommends consumption of Baltic Sea salmon and herring no more than once a week. Children and babies are most vulnerable to dioxins, so for those under 18 and women of childbearing age, the limit is much lower, about two to three times a year.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W137

The following news is from the Jewishtelepathicagency.com on May 8, 2013.

Tel Aviv Rabbinate has reversed its decision to introduce mobile barcode scanning at kosher restaurants after pilot tests revealed that haredi [ultra-Orthodox] Jews did not own smartphones. The rabbinate had begun issuing QR or Quick Response bar codes to kosher establishments last week.
"The codes allowed religious customers to access detailed information such as the stringency of the kashrut certification, its expiration date, and the type of cuisine (milk, meat, pareve or treif)." The Haredim, who would be most interested in the information, don’t use smartphones and don’t know what a QR code is.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W136

The following news is from the FoodNavigator.com on May 7, 2013.

The European Commission has proposted to streamline legislation and increase fines to reduce food fraud after the recent horse meat scandal. The EC has proposed to reduce the current 70 pieces of legislation covering food safety to 5. The legislation will increase the number of unannounced inspections and increase fines to a level equal to the economic gain from the fraud. In addition, the EC would have authority to require testing by member states.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W135

The following news is from the FoodManufacturing.com on May 6, 2013.

Hosam Amara, a former manager at Agriprocessors appeared in a U.S. courtroom Friday to face charges that he conspired to exploit immigrant workers for profit after being extradited from Israel where he had fled to with his family shortly after federal agents raided Agriprocessors in May 2008. "In addition to Amara, the indictment charged Rubashkin and former plant managers Brent Beebe and Zeev Levi with taking part in the conspiracy. Prosecutors say that Levi has also apparently fled to Israel and remains a fugitive. Beebe reached a plea agreement in 2010 in which he pleaded guilty to a document fraud charge and was sentenced to 10 months in prison. Rubashkin was convicted in 2009 on separate financial fraud charges and sentenced to 27 years in prison. After his conviction in that case, prosecutors dropped the immigration charges against him rather than go through with a second trial."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W134

The following news is from the FDA dated April 19, 2013.

Kosher Foods Unlimited, Los Angeles, CA has been sent an FDA Warning Letter due to serious violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation. The warning states that refrigerated ready-to-eat tuna salad products, including tuna salad sandwiches and other tuna salad products, which are manufactured with scombrotoxin-forming finfish tuna, are adulterated in that they have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: http://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W132
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