Food Safety & Quality Blog
Mérieux NutriSciences is dedicated to helping companies worldwide find practical solutions to today's food safety and quality challenges throughout the supply chain.

Regulatory Round-Up: Keys to Preventing Undeclared Allergens and Reducing Recalls

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

March 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM

meat_allergens_blog.jpgA decade ago, allergens were an uncommon cause of meat and poultry product recalls in the United States. The proportion of meat and poultry products recalled annually due to allergens steadily increased from 8% in 2008 to 35% in 2012 due to increased awareness of the issue by inspection personnel and establishments. Moreover, the total number of recall events involving meat and poultry products due to undeclared allergens increased 103% between the calendar years 2012 and 2015. Undeclared allergens have now become the leading reason for recalls of meat and poultry products from the U.S. marketplace. 

To address the upward trend in undeclared recalls, the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) will host a public meeting in Washington DC on March 16 to discuss a strategic approach for establishments to reduce recalls due to undeclared allergens. The meeting will focus on the agency’s policy regarding undeclared allergens, labeling compliance and best practices for prevention.

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Topics: FSIS, USDA, Allergens,, Regulations, Product Recalls, Poultry, Meat, Meat Industry, Undeclared Allergens

Technical Tuesdays: Analyzing Government Reports on Illness Outbreaks and Recalls

Posted by Dave Evanson

January 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM

government_report_blog.jpgGovernmental agencies overseeing the food industry have traditionally had a love/hate relationship with the sector. With the advent of new regulations, this relationship is sure to face its share of future challenges as well. However, government agencies ultimately take responsibility for the public’s health, and they provide support to the industry to keep consumers safe. Some of the tools made available to the public, as well as food safety professionals, identify public health issues related to various etiologic agents. 

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provide daily updates on food recall events, as well as recalls of dietary supplements. Additionally, a compilation of both FDA and USDA events is available to the public. In keeping up with the Joneses, apps and widgets also offer a way the food industry or consumers in general to stay informed. The information available from these sources includes the etiologic agent involved, product type and other important data.  

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Topics: USDA, Recalls, FDA, Government Agencies, Foodborne Illness, Product Recalls

Regulatory Round-Up: Food Labeling Changes From 2016 and Beyond

Posted by Patrick Kennedy

January 9, 2017 at 10:00 AM

regulatory_blog_1.9.jpegOn the regulatory front, 2016 presented many challenges for the North American food industry. While the year featured the initial implementation of FSMA regulations and passage of the GMO labeling law, the North American food industry was also confronted by a slew of regulatory changes related to food labeling. 

Last year, the food industry monitored the development of several potentially significant regulatory initiatives with upcoming compliance dates, including the revision of the FDA Nutrition Facts Panel (July 26, 2018), menu labeling for restaurants (May 5, 2017) and the withdrawal of the GRAS status of PHOs (June 18, 2018).

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Topics: FSIS, USDA, Nutritional Labeling, FDA, Nutrition, Nutrition Facts Label, Canada, CFIA, Nutrition Facts

Ractopamine Still Making News After USDA Certification Program

Posted by Xochitl Javier

January 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

ractopamineWhat's the latest on Ractopamine? Why all the fuss and what's being done?

First, the latest news. New USDA Program.

Recently, the USDA introduced a certification program that would allow the meat industry to market their products with the claim "Never Fed Beta Agonists". Beta agonists are a class of drugs used as feed additives to promote lean muscle mass in livestock intended for consumption. Compounds within the Beta agonist family include Ractopamine, Clenbuterol and Salbutamol.

In the US, the FDA Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for ractopamine hydrochloride is established at 30 ppb in beef and 50 ppb in pork. The Codex Alimentarius Commission has an established MRL of 10 ppb for beef and pork muscle cuts. However, owing to concerns about its effect on human health, Russia and China have banned meat containing ractopamine and now require stringent confirmation that products are free of the banned drug.

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Topics: Ractopamine, USDA


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