Monday, February 6, 2023
HomeHealth & Fitnessnew year old and new

new year old and new

— OPINION—

A new year brings new challenges, many of which have persisted since 2022.

Senate confirmation of Dr. Jose Emilio Esteban as top US food safety official is a bright spot in the final days of 2022 that will shine through into 2023. He is the USDA’s undersecretary for food safety. Esteban has a list of certifications that make him a good fit for the job, having previously worked in the CDC’s Food Safety Division and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. His confirmation came on the last day of the Senate session.

Esteban’s light fades as the New Year begins after last-minute approval on an issue that has loomed over USDA for decades — what to do with poultry products salmonella.

An estimated 1.35 million Americans are infected with Salmonella each year, with nearly a quarter of those cases coming from chicken or turkey. Salmonella contamination is common in chickens, in part because the conditions in which they are raised are often crowded and dirty. Everyone at the USDA and its Food Safety and Inspection Service knows these facts, but the agency has worked hard to bring that number down for decades. They failed.

In an announcement in early August 2022, USDA Deputy Secretary Sandra Eskin revealed that the agency is taking the first step. It announced that salmonella was considered an adulterant in frozen breaded chicken products, meaning they could not be sold. That’s one small step, but one giant leap, considering all the chicken and turkey sold in the U.S. every day.

In the fall of 2022, USDA announced a “framework” for considering whether Salmonella should be considered an adulterant in other chicken products. The ambiguous nature of the “Framework” is a spark of hope, but not the fire or fire that some consumer advocates hope will burn in 2023.

Agreed Salmonella issue in poultry, contaminated birds are entering slaughterhouses, which is where USDA’s authority on them begins. As a result, producers must take steps to eliminate the pathogen, and slaughterhouses must begin widespread testing and reject infected flocks.

The industry says reducing salmonella in poultry is costly and that those costs will ultimately fall on consumers who cook their poultry properly to kill the pathogen. Old ones, some old ones from businesses — if we have to do the work that consumers are supposed to do, grocery store prices are going to go up.

“While USDA currently requires producers to test poultry for Salmonella, processing facilities are permitted to test poultry in 9.8 percent of all whole birds, 15.4 percent of all parts, and ground chicken 25% of meat contained bacteria. According to Consumer Reports, producers exceeding these numbers will receive a warning, but it will not prevent them from selling meat. Food safety issues in 2023 seem to be at the very edge of his radar screen. In a report for the coming year In the statement, Vilsack’s only reference to food safety was a phrase in a sentence about a large piece of legislation: “The bill provides increased rural funding for food safety and research, as well as funding for all expired rent assistance contracts. Several additions to the housing program, multifamily housing construction and rehabilitation, and expansion of the Tribal Housing Refinancing Demonstration Program. The Secretary didn’t mention FSIS at all in his statement.

FDA Trouble – Oh Where’s the F?

About a year ago, cardiologist Dr. Robert Califf took over as FDA commissioner. Ideally suited to direct the agency’s drug side, observers immediately Began to doubt his ability to oversee the food side of the FDA.

He was linked to an outbreak of Cronobacter in infants linked to formula produced at a Michigan facility operated by Abbott Nutrition, Abbott Nutrition The company is the maker of Similac and other popular brands of infant formula. The company still denies any responsibility for the situation, where two deaths were reported among patients in the outbreak. With the outbreak and subsequent closure of the mass production plant, A nationwide shortage of baby formula has parents driving hours a day just to find food for their babies.

Califf says how he is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic Disrupted supply chains and attempts to supplement domestic supplies by working with other parts of the federal government to allow foreign suppliers to supply formula to the U.S. Shortages continue and are expected to do well into 2023.

Then published a scathing review of his performance and the inner workings of the FDA in Politico. Following this story, Califf found himself in the hot seat of a congressional hearing where elected officials questioned him why FDA’s food The department was so disorganized that documents related to the Cronobacter outbreak were “lost” in the internal mailroom and missing the desks of key officials for weeks.

All Califf can say is that he has Commissioned an internal/external review of the FDA to understand why a lack of a clear chain of command hinders its effectiveness. The report was released later this fall. Guess what? It said the agency’s lack of a clear chain of command was a problem, The post of Under Secretary for Food should be reinstated. The position was removed during the Trump administration.

This year, Califf pledged to address the issues detailed in the Reagan-Udall Foundation report — it is a 501-3c FDA-funded entity.

“The agency is committed to providing public updates on the new vision by the end of January 2023 and additional public updates by the end of February 2023. Updates, including the planned leadership structure and any changes to key internal processes and procedures. …I am assembling a group of agency leadership to advise me on how best to implement and implement these findings,” Califf said in a report published Dec. 7 by Food Safety News. He “America’s food supply is safer than ever. . “

below, in no particular order, are more forecasts for 2023

RAW MILK – Debate continues over the safety of unpasteurized raw milk despite decades of local, state and federal public health officials saying the drink is dangerous , especially to children, but marketing the drink is on the agenda of state legislatures across the country.

A Bill in the U.S. House of Representatives – HR 4835, Interstate Milk of 2021 Freedom Act – Attempts to tame the legality of selling raw milk across state lines, but is unlikely to gain support. Observers say it will die in about 20 legislative days.

Often thrown into the basket of the so-called Food Freedom Act, state legislation allowing the continued introduction of pathogenic raw milk across state sales borders. They have been prevalent for less than a decade.

For example, Missouri and Wyoming Two states that are enacting raw milk legislation.

Raw milk is not pasteurized to kill harmful pathogens, including but not limited to E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Proponents say pasteurization kills good bacteria.

SESAME IS AN ALLERGEN – From Jan 1 Initially, sesame was added to the list of major food allergens required by law under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This change is a result of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act, or FASTER Act, signed into law April 2021.

FDA has been reviewing whether to add sesame to the list of major food allergens – which also includes milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans Animal shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans—for several years.Adding sesame to the list of major food allergens means that foods containing sesame will be subject to specific food allergen regulatory requirements, including those on labeling and manufacturing. Requested.

Uninformed Consumers

Social Media in 2022 with several absurdities food trends, which are likely to gradually continue until 2023, with new follies expected.

One of the suggestions is that you can safely cook them by running them in hot water Chicken. While this practice may discolor the outside of the chicken, the inside is still completely raw and not safe to eat.

Another chicken trend is to use liquid cold medicine like NyQuil Come cook. I’m not sure what the goal is here, but there’s no mention of using a meat thermometer, the cut chicken looks raw on the inside.

3rd on social media The trend is that many posters say that eating raw meat is good for health Health benefits. If you think E. coli and other pathogens are good for your health then this might be for you, but if you want to avoid things like kidney failure, brain damage and death then don’t take the risk.

Ghost kitchens and takeout kits – At the height of the pandemic, so-called ghost kitchens sprung up. They are usually unrelated and often operate in people’s homes. Opportunities abound for improperly cooking food in dirty conditions, so I stay away from such operations and recommend that you do the same. They’re still there because operators can make quick money, but I think a quick bout or food poisoning would make them one of the things to avoid in 2023.

Another trend picking up speed before the pandemic and leading from 2020 is the use of home meal delivery kits. Just last year, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 was traced to ground beef in Hello Fresh meal kits. The main problem I see with these meal kits is the inability to ensure the cold chain is maintained. Even if ground beef is not contaminated, it can spoil if the cold chain is not maintained. Even if the ice packs are completely frozen by the time the kit arrives on your front porch, there’s no way of knowing if they’ve melted and re-frozen at another point in the chain.

Traceability— This is a word consumers learn when they read about foodborne illness outbreaks, and they want to know more. They share the frustration of government officials when they learn the importance of understanding how food gets from point A to the table.

Some people in the government have thought about the introduction of blockchain technology and strongly recommend food businesses to adopt it. That hasn’t happened yet, but the hope remains that by 2023 the food chain will be more transparent so consumers can make informed purchases and outbreaks can be identified and stopped more quickly.

6 Things Our Publisher Bill Marler Still Doesn’t Eat – Bill Marler is the country’s Formosa food safety lawyer, who began his work in the field with the Deadly Jack’s Box hamburger outbreak 30 years ago and continues to represent victims and families of victims of foodborne illness. Marler has testified before Congress on the need for food safety controls and has sat at the hospital bedside of children dying from ingestion.

Marler is the publisher of Food Safety News, but he didn’t come up with the list below for us. A few years ago, a media outlet asked Marler which foods he avoided when he was at the grocery store or at a five-star restaurant. Here’s his list, and it’s still his New Year’s Eve routine.

Raw oysters and other raw shellfish. Marler says raw shellfish — especially oysters — has recently been responsible for more foodborne illnesses. He links this to warming waters, which creates more microbial growth. “Oysters are filter feeders, so they absorb everything in the water,” he explained. “If there’s bacteria in the water, it gets into their system, and if you eat it, you’re in trouble. I’ve seen a lot more of that in the last five years than I’ve seen in the last 20. Fundamentally Not worth the risk.”

Unpasteurized (“raw”) milk and packaged juice. Unpasteurized milk, sometimes called “raw” milk, can be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Between 1998 and 2011, there were 148 incidents of food poisoning in the United States involving raw milk and raw milk products—remember, relatively few people in this country consume these products, so 148 incidents cannot be ignored. As for unpasteurized packaged juice, one of Marler’s earliest cases was the 1996 outbreak of E. coli in unpasteurized Odwalla apple juice. Therefore, he will not go near raw milk or juice. There is no benefit sufficient to eliminate the risk of drinking a product that can be made safe through pasteurization,” he said.

Raw bean sprouts. Uncooked and lightly cooked sprouts have been linked to more than 30 bacterial outbreaks (primarily Salmonella and E. coli) in the United States since the mid-1990s. Just in 2014, salmonella in sprouts sent 19 people to the hospital. All types of sprouts — including alfalfa, mung bean, clover and turnip sprouts — can spread infections, which are caused by contamination of the seeds with bacteria. “There have been too many outbreaks to ignore the risk of sprout contamination,” Mahler said. “Those are products I don’t eat at all.” He did add that he does eat them if they’re fully cooked.

The meat is not cooked . Marler ordered a well done burger. “The reason ground products are more problematic and need to be cooked more thoroughly is that any bacteria on the surface of the meat can be ground inside,” Mahler said. “If it’s not fully cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it can cause poisoning with E. coli and salmonella and other bacterial illnesses.” As for steak, needle tenderization — a common restaurant practice in which the steak is pierced with a needle or wrapped with a Slicing with a knife breaks up the muscle fibers and makes it more tender – also moves the worms from the surface of the meat to the inside of the meat.If a restaurant does this (Maller asks), he orders him The steak was well done. If the restaurant doesn’t have one, he’ll choose the medium one.

Pre-washed or pre-cut fruits and vegetables. “ I avoid these like the plague,” Mahler said. Why? The more food that is handled and processed, the more likely it is to be contaminated. “We’re used to the convenience of mass-produced food — bagged salads and boxed salads, and pre-cut this and pre-cut that,” Marler said. “Convenience is a good thing, but sometimes I don’t think it’s worth the risk.” He buys small amounts of unwashed, uncut produce and eats it within three to four days to reduce the risk of contracting listeria, a fungal infection that occurs in Deadly bacteria that grows at refrigerator temperatures.

Raw or undercooked eggs. You may remember the Salmonella epidemics of the 1980s and early 90s that were largely linked to eggs. If you swore off raw eggs back then, you might as well stick to it. The most recent outbreak of Salmonella in eggs occurred in 2010, resulting in approximately 2,000 reported cases. “I think the risk of salmonella in eggs today is much lower than it was 20 years ago, but I still eat hard-boiled eggs,” Marler said.

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