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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.

FDA testing finds percentage of imported honey adulterated with other sweeteners

April 10, 2023 - from the Food Safety News:

"The FDA has released a report on an investigation into imported honey and the intentional adulteration of it for economic gains.

"The report from the Food and Drug Administration includes information on 107 samples from 25 countries. The FDA collected the samples in import status, which refers to products collected at ports of entry or other locations where they are held prior to being released into domestic commerce.

"The agency tested retail and bulk samples in 2022 and 2023. Retail samples consisted of individual jars or other containers. Bulk shipment samples were collected typically from barrels or drums. All of the samples were labeled as being 'honey.'

"The FDA conducted a similar sampling and testing program in 2021 and 2022. Those tests showed 14 percent of samples were intentionally adulterated.

"Adulteration of honey generally involves the addition of undeclared sweeteners that are less expensive than honey, such as syrups derived from cane, corn, rice, or sugar beets. Such adulteration artificially increases the value of the honey by increasing its weight and can cause problems for people with food allergies.

"'Of the 107 import samples collected and tested, the FDA found 3 import samples, 3 percent, to be violative. While the number of violative samples represents a slight decrease from the 2021-2022 imported honey assignment, the two assignments were not designed for statistical comparison,' according to the FDA’s report.

"Honey from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Yemen were found to be adulterated."

The FDA report is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1538

New WIC Rules Include More Money for Fruits, Veggies, and Expand Food Choices

April 6, 2023 - from the MedPage Today:

"The federal program that helps pay for groceries for millions of low-income mothers, babies, and young kids will soon emphasize more fruits, vegetables, and whole grainsopens in a new tab or window, as well as provide a wider choice of foods from different cultures.

"The final rule changes for the program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) were announced Tuesday by the Food and Nutrition Service, and will take effect within 2 years with some exceptions.

'Last updated a decade ago, the new WIC rules make permanent a bump in monthly cash vouchers for fruits and vegetables -- something first enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shoppers can also add canned fish, fresh herbs, and lactose-free milk to their carts, among other changes. The voucher piece will take effect by June, officials said.

"he WIC program served an average of about 6.6 million low-income Americans a month in 2023 at a cost of a little more than $7 billion. It's designed to supplement the food budgets for pregnant, nursing, and postpartum women, as well as to feed babies and young kids up to age 5. That's done by providing vouchers to mothers and children who qualify and specifically listing the amount and types of food they can buy.

"Under the new rules, fruits and vegetable vouchers in 2024 will provide $26 per month for kids ages 1 through 4; $47 per month for pregnant and postpartum women; and $52 for breastfeeding women. The changes also expand access to whole grains like quinoa, wild rice, and millet and to foods such as teff and whole wheat naan. They also remove or reduce monthly allowances for juice and cut back on allowances for milk.

"The plan failed to include a change requested by top allergists in the U.S. that would have added peanut products to foods allowed for babies ages 6 months to 11 months to help prevent peanut allergies.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1537

US Mulling Plans to Remove ‘Made in Israel’ from Judea-Samaria Products

April 6, 2023 - from the Jewish Press:

"The Biden Administration is working on a plan to reverse a policy enacted in 2020 under then-President Donald Trump that requires goods produced by Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as “Made in Israel.”

"The move comes as Israel is fighting for its survival in a multi-front war launched by Iranian proxies in Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

"According to a report by the Financial Times, the Biden Administration would remove the “Made in Israel” label from such goods.

"US officials told the news outlet that a green light on the policy — and its timing — has not yet been approved.

"Prior to 2020, the United States had maintained the discriminatory policy, along with the European Union which continues it to this day.

"Removing the “Made in Israel” label from goods made in Israeli communities located in Judea and Samaria would further facilitate boycotts against the products by anti-Israel groups, fueled by the international Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) economic war on Israel."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1536

One of Baltimore's Kosher Dunkin' Donuts (Near Old Court Road) to Close, Owner Plans New Kosher Location in Future

April 3, 2023 - from the Baltimore Jewish Life:

"One of Baltimore's kosher Dunkin' Donuts at 1508 Reisterstown Road (Old Court) is closing after Erev Pesach. BJL has learned that the owner has stated that he has plans to open another kosher location in the future. Exact time and place TBD."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1535

Procter & Gamble Recalls 8.2 Million Defective Bags of Tide, Gain, Ace and Ariel Laundry Detergent Packets Distributed in US Due to Risk of Serious Injury

April 5, 2024 from the CPSC :

Name of Product: Tide Pods, Gain Flings, Ace Pods and Ariel Pods liquid laundry detergent packets packaged in flexible film bags. This recall announcement applies only to bags distributed in the United States.

Hazard: The outer packaging meant to prevent access to the contents can split open near the zipper track, posing a risk of serious injury to children and other vulnerable populations if the contents of the laundry detergent packets are ingested, as well as posing a risk of skin or eye injuries. Ingestion of a large quantity of any surfactant-containing household cleaning products can cause death among individuals with underlying health issues.

Consumer Contact: Procter & Gamble toll-free at 833-347-5764 from Monday through Friday, 9 AM ET to 6 PM ET, Saturday, 9 AM ET to 5:30 PM ET, or online at pg.com/bags.

Description: This recall involves certain lot codes of Tide Pods, Gain Flings, Ace Pods, and Ariel Pods liquid laundry detergent packets packaged in flexible film bags that were manufactured between September 2023 and February 2024. Recalled products range from bags with 12 to 39 laundry detergent packets and include the following:

Gain Flings Original Tide Simply Pods Plus Oxi Boost
Gain Flings Moonlight Breeze Scent Tide Pods Clean Breeze Scent
Gain Flings Blissful Breeze Scent Tide Pods Free & Gentle
Gain Flings Spring Daydream Scent Tide Pods Oxi
Gain Flings Plus Ultra Oxi Tide Pods Ultra Oxi
Gain Flings Plus Odor Defense Ace Pods Clean Breeze
Tide Pods Original Ace Pods Spring Meadow
Tide Pods Spring Meadow Scent Ariel Pods Alpine Breeze
Tide Pods Light

Remedy: Consumers should immediately secure the recalled bags out of sight and reach of children and contact Procter & Gamble for a full refund and a free replacement child-resistant bag to store the product. Consumers can also receive a cabinet lock for securing laundry materials.

Consumers should check to see if their bag is part of the recall by checking the lot code on their bag. Recalled lot codes will be listed at pg.com/bags and are found on the bottom of the package. Consumers with recalled bags can submit a photo of the recalled product, showing the lot code to participate in the recall.

Sold At: Big Lots, CVS, Family Dollar, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart, and other major stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com and other websites from September 2023 through present for between $5 (one 12 ct. bag) and $30 (four 39 ct. bags in a box).

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1534

Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Aruba Aloe Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 80% and Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel Due to Presence of Methanol

April 5, 2024 from the FDA:

Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. is voluntarily recalling 40 lots of Aruba Aloe Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 80% and Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel to the consumer level. The products have been found to contain alcohol denatured with methanol.

Aruba Aloe Hand Sanitizer Gel is used as a sanitizer to help reduce bacteria that potentially can cause disease and is packaged in 12 fl oz (355 mL) dark green plastic bottles with white label reading in part “ARUBA ALOE Hand Sanitizer GEL 80% Alcohol Made in Aruba World’s Finest Aloe”, with barcode 0 82252 03300 5.

Aruba Aloe Alcoholada Gel is used for temporary relief of pain and itching associated with minor burns, sunburn, insect bites, or minor skin irritations and is packaged in two sizes: 2.2 fl oz (65 mL) plastic bottles with barcode 0 82252 34030 1 and 8.5 fl oz (251 mL) plastic bottles with barcode 0 82252 03120 9. The plastic bottles are transparent with a label reading in part “Alcoholada Gel Pain Relieving Gel 0.5% Lidocaine Hydrochloride”.

Lot numbers of the products being recalled is here

Products were distributed between 5/1/2021 and 10/27/2023 and sold in the US online only via the Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. website. Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. has notified all customers that bought these products by email and has offered a discount coupon for a next purchase.

Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact Aruba Aloe Balm N.V. by Email: recall@arubaaloe.com.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1533

A bird flu outbreak at the largest U.S. chicken egg producer could affect egg prices

April 3, 2024 from the NPR:

"Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., the largest producer of fresh eggs in the U.S., has temporarily halted production at one of its facilities in Texas after detecting bird flu there, the company announced Tuesday.

"The company says it "depopulated" about 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, or about 3.6% of its flock, as a result of the outbreak.

"Bird flu - also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI — is a highly contagious virus typically spread by wild birds that is extremely deadly to avian populations. Human infections are rare.

"Commercial farms sometimes euthanize part of their flock during bird flu outbreaks to limit the spread of the disease, according to the Environmental Protection Agency."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1532

Two Million Black+Decker® Garment Steamers Recalled by Empower Brands in Major Recall Expansion Due to Burn Hazard; Refund Now Offered

April 4, 2024 from the CPSC :

BLACK+DECKER Model HGS011 Easy Garment Steamers have been recalled because the steamers can expel, spray, or leak hot water during use, posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Consumer Contact: Empower Brands at 800-990-5298 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT, Monday through Friday, email at hgsrecall@brandprotectplus.com or online at www.prodprotect.com/recall or www.blackanddeckerappliances.com and click on “Safety Notices” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Description: This recall expansion involves all BLACK+DECKER Model HGS011 Easy Garment Steamers, including those that were repaired as part of the previous recall in November 2022. The steamers were sold in a variety of colors. The name BLACK+DECKER is located at the base of the steamer. The steamer measures about 11 inches high by 6 inches wide, and has a large handle. The model numbers are printed on the bottom of the steamer and on all sides of the color package, and UPC codes are printed on the sides, back and bottom of the color package.

ModelUPC
HGS011F 0 50875 82840 7
HGS011S 0 50875 82839 1
HGS011 0 50875 82838 4
HGS011T0 50875 00272 2

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled BLACK+DECKER Model HGS011 Easy Garment Steamers, and contact Empower Brands to receive a full refund.

There have been continued reports of burn injuries involving units that were repaired as part of the previous recall in November 2022. The remedy has now been changed to a refund for all units. Consumers, including those who received a replacement upper assembly as part of the November 2022 recall, should contact Empower Brands for a full refund.

Incidents/Injuries: Since the recall was announced in November 2022, Empower Brands has received 317 reports of hot water expelling from the recalled steamers, including 82 reports of burn injuries, seven of which were second-degree burns. 94 of these incident reports involved units that were repaired as part of the original recall or models featuring the updated design, including 19 burn injuries.

Sold At: Walmart, Target, Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and other stores nationwide, including online at www.walmart.com, www.target.com, www.amazon.com, www.bedbathandbeyond.com, and www.blackanddeckerappliances.com from June 2021 through February 2024 for between $14 and $23.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1531

Walmart Recalls Mainstays Electric Mini Choppers Due to Laceration Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Walmart

April 4, 2024 from the CPSC :

Mainstays Electric Mini Choppers have been recalled because the chopper’s blade can operate unexpectedly during assembly or when not enclosed in the container, posing a laceration hazard to consumers.

Consumer Contact: Walmart at 800-925-6278 from 7 a.m. through 9 p.m. CT any day, or online at https://corporate.walmart.com/recalls or https://corporate.walmart.com/ and click on "Recalls" at the bottom of the page for more information.

Description: This recall involves Mainstays Electric Mini Choppers with model number MS14100094536S1. The choppers are rechargeable and cordless, and have a green lid, white body, and clear plastic bowl. They have one blade attachment, which consists of three curved blades on one white plastic spindle. Model number MS14100094536S1 is on the label attached to the bottom of the clear plastic bowl.

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled choppers, and contact Walmart to receive a full refund. Consumers can bring the chopper to their nearest Walmart store for a refund.

Incidents/Injuries: Walmart has received five reports of lacerations, two of which required medical attention, including stitches. Injuries occurred during assembly of the product or during cleaning/handling of the product.

Sold Exclusively At: Walmart stores nationwide and online at Walmart.com from August 2022 through October 2023 for between $10 and $15.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1530

New NY Bill Proposes Exemption For Matzah Bakeries From Emission Regulations

March 31, 2024 from the VinNews:

" NY Assemblyman Sam Pirozzolo (R-Staten Island) is proposing a bill to exempt certain ethnic restaurants, such as pizzerias and matzah-makers, from strict emissions regulations targeting wood- and coal-fired ovens. Pirozzolo argues that these regulations unfairly target businesses that cook ethnic cuisine and suggests that the government should focus on more pressing issues like crime and public safety.

"On the other hand, the Department of Environmental Protection defends the regulations as necessary to reduce harmful emissions and protect public health. The regulations, backed by Mayor Eric Adams, require affected businesses to install costly air filtration systems to reduce emissions from their traditional ovens.

"Pirozzolo’s proposed bill, titled the “Preserving Our Culinary Traditions Act,” aims to waive pollution restrictions on the burning of wood, coal, and other fuels for cooking purposes. He argues that such exemptions are necessary to preserve the rich culinary traditions of New York City and relieve businesses from financial burdens imposed by compliance costs.

"The article also mentions efforts by other lawmakers, such as Brooklyn City Councilman Justin Brannan, who are considering alternative solutions such as tax breaks to help businesses afford the necessary filtration equipment.

"Overall, the debate revolves around balancing environmental concerns with the preservation of cultural and culinary traditions, as well as the economic viability of affected businesses."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W1529
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