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Food News


USDA Now Pursuing Privatized Beef Inspections

June 10, 2019 - from the Food and Water Watch:

"For years, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been steadily working to privatize many food safety inspection functions in poultry and pork slaughter facilities. Now, documents obtained by Food & Water Watch via the Freedom of Information Act confirm that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is pursuing deregulation of the inspection system for beef slaughter plants, in spite of recent denials made by agency officials."

"This change to inspection in beef slaughter follows on controversy about similar changes in the poultry and pork sectors, which have put consumer safety at risk. In 1998, the agency launched the HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP), a pilot program in two dozen poultry plants and five hog slaughter plants. In those pilot plants, the number of FSIS inspectors is reduced and their jobs are performed by company employees. Until now, the beef industry had never expressed an interest in setting up a similar pilot in beef slaughter. But in March, Tyson Foods filed a regulatory waiver request with FSIS to set up a HIMP model project in one of its beef slaughter plants located in Holcomb, KS."

"In 2014, FSIS finalized the rule for the New Poultry Inspection System, which expanded this privatized inspection system to the entire poultry industry. Even though FSIS has embarked on this privatized inspection system in poultry, it will not have an evaluation completed on the food safety impact of changing the inspection scheme until 2022."

"'The previous attempts at privatized inspection have led to weaker food safety performance and are a ploy by the industry to increase line speeds,” said Tony Corbo, a senior lobbyist with Food & Water Watch. “The Tyson plant in Holcomb, Kansas is approved to operate at the current maximum line speed allowable, 390 head per hour. FSIS management has had difficulty meeting its inspection staffing requirements in the past in western Kansas, which has contributed to beef slaughter plants not being able to maintain maximum line speeds. Tyson’s solution seems to be to get rid of the government inspectors.'"

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W900

New Federal Standard to Improve Safety of High Chairs Takes Effect

June 19, 2019 - from CPSC :

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a new federal mandatory safety standard to make high chairs safer for both home and restaurant use. The new mandatory standard, which aims to prevent deaths and injuries to infants and toddlers, applies to any infant high chair manufactured or imported on or after June 19, 2019.

What are the new rules? High chairs must meet requirements for stability and restraint systems, as well as include warning statements printed on high chairs about how to avoid fall hazards.

What the Data Show: In a recent 2-year period, there were an estimated 18,500 high chair-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, according to CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). Most of the incidents were due to falls when a child tried to climb into or out of the high chair; when the chair tipped over as a child pushed back, or rocked back and forth while seated in the high chair; or when a component (such as the restraint, tray, or lock) of the high chair failed.

Safety Tips for Using High Chairs
CPSC recommends the following tips for parents and caregivers:

Note: This standard does not include booster seats or hook-on high chairs.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W899

Owner of Liverpool deli accused of selling nonkosher meat found dead

June 20, 2019 from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency:

Robert Kaye, the owner of Roseman’s Delicatessen, was found dead in Manchester, England days after his store was accused of selling nonkosher meat and poultry in the main outlet for kosher food in Liverpool, England.

Liverpool’s main kosher deli caught selling non-kosher meat

June 18, 2019 from the Jewish News:

"Liverpool’s Jewish community has been rocked by the news that the city’s main kosher food outlet has been selling non-kosher meat and poultry."

"In a letter to residents Rabbi Natan Fagleman of the Liverpool Kashrut Commission, which incorporates the Liverpool Shechita Board, outlined how 'serious breaches of kashrut have taken place at Roseman’s Delicatessen'. "

"Jewish residents were urged not to use “all utensils that have ever been used to cook meat/poultry bought at Roseman’s” and that “all food bought under the LKC licence should be discarded,” with the exception of chickens with a Manchester Beth Din label and pre-packed sealed meat products from other suppliers. "

"'From Tuesday morning Roseman's will only be licensed to sell pre-packed with an existing reliable Hechsher (certification)… No fresh products will be produced at Roseman’s. We believe that in this way the community will have access to fresh meant and a retail kosher outlet which is crucial to its survival.'"

Link to letter is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W898

Orthodox Union Establishes Kosher Food Lifeline, A New National Food Pantry Resource Center

June 17, 2019 from the Matzav.com:

"The Orthodox Union (OU) – the nation’s oldest and largest umbrella organization for the North American Orthodox Jewish community – has established Kosher Food Lifeline (KFL), a new division created to help existing food pantries, Tomchei Shabbos programs and related social service agencies throughout the United States to provide nutritious kosher food to Jews in need. The new division offers need-based food programs assistance with procurement, kosher food distributor relationships, government grants and other logistical support that will improve their ability to meet the needs of their constituents."

"Kedem, a leader in the specialty food world with a focus on kosher, gluten free and all-natural foods, provided a $200,000 grant to launch the inaugural program in advance of Passover 2019. More than 150,000 pounds of Kosher-for-Passover food were distributed to 53 partner organizations who delivered it to communities in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois, Rhode Island and the New York tri-state area, supporting over 17,000 Jewish families in need."

"There are upwards of 215 food agencies in 24 states across the country that provide low-cost or free kosher food to individuals and families who have food access challenges. Reasons for food access challenges vary. Some individuals have serious economic barriers; some live in “kosher food deserts,” where there is an extremely limited supply of kosher food and high prices; some have limited mobility and require food delivery or manage some combination of all three."

"For more information about the Kosher Food Lifeline for kosher food pantries, please contact Allison Deal at 212-613-8336 or go to: https://www.ou.org/kfl."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W897

Milk Price Hike In Israel Begins

June 13, 2019 - from Yeshiva World:

"Israelis are facing a price hike as the cost of dairy products increased on Thursday, June 13, 2019. The approval for the price hike was signed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon two weeks ago."

"This is an increase of 3.5% on dairy products under government price control. For example, Tnuva’s milk in liter bags will increase by 17 agorot. On the face of it, this is a minor increase, but in the simple calculation that a large family consumes two liters of milk daily, it is more than NIS 10 a month, only for milk."

"Like milk, the price of the remainder of regulated products will increase as well. Milk in cartons rose by 20 agorot. Eshel, Gil, and butter increased between 10 and 20 agorot, and apparently dairy products that are not under government supervision will increase by a larger percentage."

"In a broader perspective, this is an expense that will be felt by the Israeli consumer that the basket of dairy products is a component of about 20%. In addition to this, the Israeli consumer has recently experienced an increase in fruit and vegetables, as well as the large bakeries, which petitioned the High Court of Justice last month to allow them to raise the price of bread under government price control."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W896

Shops should label Israeli settler goods, EU jurist says

June 13, 2019 - from EU Observer:

"European shops ought to label Israeli settler exports so that consumers can boycott them for "ethical" reasons the same way they did South African ones under apartheid, a senior EU jurist has said. "

"'"EU law requires for a product originating in a territory occupied by Israel since 1967, the indication ... that the product comes from an Israeli settlement if that is the case,' Gerard Hogan, an advocate general at the EU court in Luxembourg said on Thursday (13 June)."

"EU judges are currently weighing a complaint brought by the Organisation Juive Europeenne, an NGO in France, and Psagot, an Israeli winery which has vineyards on occupied land. "

"They urged French courts to block the French government from issuing a notice that retailers ought to put the term "Israeli settlement" or equivalent on such products."

"The French courts then asked the EU judges for their guidance on the subject."

"The EU verdict might not follow Hogan's non-binding opinion, but judges do follow advocates general in most cases. "

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W895

Canada to ban single-use plastics by 2021

June 12, 2019 from the IFT:

"Canada will ban many single-use plastic items by 2021, including bags, straws, cutlery, and stirring sticks, to cut harmful waste damaging the country’s ecosystems. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the measures on June 10."

"The news comes on the heels of a similar ban the European Parliament passed in late March, with a target to recycle 90% of plastic beverage bottles by 2029. In May, the United Kingdom followed suit with a plastic ban by 2020. Officials estimated 4.7 billion plastic straws and 316 million plastic stirrers are used in England every year."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W894

Brooklyn Burger King Delivered Beef Whoppers to Customers Expecting ‘Impossible’

June 4, 2019 from the TheTakeOut:

"One vegetarian ate two before realizing he wasn’t eating the popular fake meat, which won’t hit NYC outposts until later this year."

"A Brooklyn location of the fast food chain Burger King has been advertising that it sells the meat-free Impossible Whopper on Seamless — but instead sends customers regular old beef Whoppers without telling them. At least one vegetarian customer didn’t realize until after he’d already eaten two Whoppers, simply believing the ads boasting the two burgers taste the same."
"For at least the last few weeks, the 736 Broadway franchise of the burger chain featured the Impossible Whopper — “100% WHOPPER, 0% Beef” — on its menu, at one point listing it as its most popular item. But serving the burger here is actually impossible, since it’s only available in select cities. A 35-year-old Williamsburg resident, who asked to go unnamed to shield his eating habits, says he only found out when he went into the actual store at a later point to order the burger and was told they don’t sell it."

"A manager at the Burger King tells Eater that when a customer orders it, they’ve been sending a classic beef Whopper in its place, asking the driver to inform people of the swap. But drivers have not told multiple customers who ordered the Impossible Whopper that it actually contained real meat, the customers tell Eater. The receipt on the bag also says “Impossible Whopper,” which led the Williamsburg man to believe it truly did contain the trendy plant product."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W892

Israel: 'Shabbat restaurant' petitions to receive kosher certification

June 4, 2019 from the JPost:

"Yehonatan Vadai, who owns Bab al-Yemen, argues in his petition, that a restaurant like his is no different than a hotel where people pay before and are still able to receive kosher food."

"A Yemenite restaurant petitioned the Chief Rabbinate, the Jerusalem Religious Council and the Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem on Monday to be certified as kosher and open on Shabbat."

"Bab al-Yemen – the “Gate to Yemen” – is part of a new Jerusalem trend where you can eat in a restaurant atmosphere on Shabbat, but all of the food and drinks are prepared according to Shabbat laws. Furthermore, the customer does not have to pay on Shabbat and can either prepay or pay after."

"The restaurateur argues that a restaurant like his is no different than a hotel, where people pay beforehand and are still able to receive kosher food prepared according to Jewish law with no issue."

"he petition refers to the same model Chabad uses worldwide to help Jewish travelers receive kosher meals."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W891

Poultry may be just as bad for cholesterol as red meat, study says

June 5, 2019 - from FoodDive and The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W890
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