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Food regulators seize adulterated milk products for food safety violations

November 30, 2016: From FoodSafetyNews and YahooNews:

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that the U.S. Marshals Service seized more than 4 million pounds of product produced by Valley Milk Products LLC (Valley Milk) of Strasburg, Virginia. The company is owned by the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association Inc. in Reston, Virginia. The seized products include dry nonfat milk powder and buttermilk powder packaged in 40- and 50-pound bags for further manufacturing and are worth nearly $4 million."
"FDA examined Valley Milk’s records during last September’s inspection and found company salmonella testing had turned up positive results in both internal environmental and finished product samples. Inspectors also found residues on processng equipment after cleaning and condensation from the ceiling falling on the food manufacturing equipment." The facility is not currently producing dry milk. It has a capacity for 200 million pounds per year.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W497

New Israeli Eida Chareidis logo for greens grown under controlled conditions

November 30, 2016: From Jerusalem Kosher News:

"The Eida Chareidis is advertising its new logo which appears on so-called 'gush katif' greens, items grown under controlled conditions requiring soaking in soapy water and rinsing under a stream of water. These instructions are not new but the Eida feels the new logo will attract attention, concerned too many people are eating these products directly from the bag and here, the prohibition is Biblical! Hence, trying to draw attention to the need for separating leaves, soaking in soapy water and rinsing under running water. Most other hechsherim have similar instructions. One must always read what the product wrapping says. That said, I have seen a limited amount of lettuce 'ready to eat' with an Eida hashgacha in clear plastic boxes. It is quite expensive compared to the other, which is quite expensive compared to the prohibited regularly-grown lettuce but it is out there as well as clearly marked "ready to eat"
The text of the hecksher in hebrew is here

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W496

Swiss companies create first donkey milk chocolate bar

November 25, 2016: From Dairy Reporter:

"Swiss companies Eurolactis and Fornerod have worked together to create a chocolate bar, Quartier des Ânes, from donkey milk." title="Swiss companies Eurolactis and Fornerod have worked together The product requires a large quantity of donkey milk powder to create. to create a chocolate bar, Quartier des Ânes, from donkey milk." "A donkey gives two liters per day. A cow gives 30-40." "A 25g bar costs around €9 ($9.53) per bar, which is not only related to its exclusivity, but also to the availability of donkey milk."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W495

Bagged salads may promote growth of Salmonella

November 23, 2016: From IFT and Applied and Environmental Microbiology:

"A study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that small amounts of damage to salad leaves in bagged salads may encourage the presence of Salmonella enterica. Juices released from damaged leaves may also enhance the pathogen’s ability to attach to the salad’s plastic container. "
"In the study, salad juices in water—to mimic the grocery salad bag environment—more than doubled motility, or movement of individual Salmonella bacteria, supporting salad leaf colonization. In the course of a typical five-day refrigeration storage time, around 100 Salmonella bacteria multiplied to approximately 100,000 individual bacteria. Salad juices also boosted formation of biofilms on salad leaves. The researchers found that surprisingly, the normal microbial flora on salad leaves did not respond to leaf juices, suggesting that the leaf juices give Salmonella a marked advantage in colonizing salad leaves as compared to competing bacteria."
"The researchers concluded that “even very dilute levels of salad juices are potent stimulators of Salmonella growth and salad leaf attachment and colonization, and that the presence of the existing leaf microbiota does not prevent pathogen attachment. Salad juice exposure also has the potential to enhance Salmonella virulence, which may contribute to the severity of the food infections obtained from salad leaves."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W494

10 Tons Of Illegal Shechita Apprehended And Destroyed In Israel

November 23, 2016: The YeshivaWorld:

"Police accompanied by veterinary inspectors operating in the Israeli Arab municipality of Dir el-Assad uncovered ten tons of meat from illegal slaughter in a local butcher shop. The meat was confiscated and will be destroyed."
"Health officials stress the illegal meat poses a major health hazard to the public at large."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W493

How food importers in Israel use rabbis to block competition

November 23, 2016: The Globes and Haaretz:

"Are parallel imports an effective way of lowering the prices of international food brands in Israel? A few months after parallel imports hit the headlines, difficulties seem to prevent them from becoming a reality. Merchants dealing with parallel imports claim that manufacturers - - influenced by official importers or their Israeli branches - use kosher certificates to prevent imports."
"It seems that while the regulator works to make parallel imports easier, international manufacturers and their official representatives manage to prevent it using simple means and with the indirect support of religious authorities."
The Globes article talked about the difficulties of importing Nutella Finlandia Vodka from kosher plants into Israel and the Haretz article talks about importing Jack Daniels into Israel.
"The Chief Rabbinate of Israel has created an absurd situation in which a single product, which is certified as kosher around the world and produced by the company at a single factory by a single company, can be sold in Israel as kosher only by one company and not by another."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W492

Israel to impose marking of unhealthy food products

November 21, 2016: The Globes:

The Israeli Ministry of Health "Committee for Regulation to Promote Healthy Nutrition will require manfacturers to mark food products containing high level of sugar, salt or fat with a warning label in red.
"Food manufacturers will also be obliged to state the number of spoons of sugar in each food product, and the will be prohibited from advertising products marked as unhealthy to children."
This will be rolled out in three stages. "The first stage will start in January 2018, the second stage 18 months later, in July 2019, while the last stage will come into effect in December 2020."
"Israel is rated second in diabetes mortality among men, second only to Mexico. Among women, Israel has the third highest diabetes mortality rate, after Mexico and Turkey. The US is often cited as the world's greatest sugar consumer but it appears that even on this count, at least in relation to children, Israel fares worse. Israeli children consume even more sweetened beverages than children in America, the world's junk food capital. 41% of 15 year old girls reported drinking sweetened drinks daily, compared with 30% in the US. Among 15 year old boys, this figure is even higher, at 45%, compared with 37% among American children. For comparison, in Canada these rates are 12% and 21%, correspondingly."
"Israel also has one of the world's highest rates of salt consumption, almost double the recommended maximum quantity, and even higher among children."
"At least 51% of products will be marked as unhealthy."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W491

Thinfilm to authenticate olive oil packaging

November 18, 2016: The FoodNavigator.com:

Thin Film Electronics is testing Near-Field Communication Technology (NFC) and an app called iOlive to track olive oil. The NFC SpeedTap tag will be a sticker on the outside of a number of olive oil bottles. These are devises that can be read with the tap of an NFC enabled smartphone. People doing this will get information on the product.

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W490

Coffee and Engineering Education

November 09, 2016: The SupermarketGuru:

The University of California, Davis is teaching a course on coffee-making which is teaching "every aspect of coffee-making matched a major topic in the chemical engineering curriculum, from the chemical reactions of roasting, to mass transfer (when hot water extracts oils and flavor compounds from coffee grounds), and fluid dynamics, which control the flow of hot water and steam."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W489

Study: Illness Outbreaks Linked to Organic Food

November 09, 2016: The SpecialtyFood.com and The Packer:

"Eighteen foodborne illnesses outbreaks between 1992 and 2014 were linked to organic food, according to a study published in the Journal of Food Protection. Salmonella and E. coli were the most commonly occurring pathogens in the study. Eight of the outbreaks were attributed to produce items, with four linked to unpasteurized dairy products—two to eggs, two to nut and seed products, and two to multi-ingredient foods. The study also found that 83 percent of the outbreaks were associated with foods that were “definitely or likely” U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic." "They were not able to reach a conclusion on whether organic commodities are more or less likely to cause foodborne disease outbreaks."

The previous item can be cited with the URL: https://www.kashrut.com/News/?alert=W488
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