Flooded out roads in Cass County, North Dakota.
Rivers rise. The ground is saturated. Levees fail. Floods happen, and they happen beside rivers, along the coasts, in deserts and in city streets. Flooding might be a fact of nature but that does not mean you have to lose your business and possessions to flood waters.
It is never too early to prepare. Because September is National Preparedness Month, it is a good time to think about emergency planning. Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make an Emergency Communication Plan. Read more »
New procedures by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service allows certified organic meat and poultry producers to obtain approval of non-GMO label claims based on their organic certification.
Organic meat and poultry producers can now use a streamlined process to get approval for labels verifying that their products do not include genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. These products may also now use a “Non-GMO” label claim. Because of this, we’re updating a previous blog from our “Organic 101” series.
In 2014, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) streamlined procedures for including a “non-genetically engineered” statement on the label of organic meat and poultry products. This continues to be consistent with organic regulations, which have always prohibited the use of GE in all organic products. Today, FSIS is adding further process improvements and labeling flexibilities, in light of recently passed legislation. Many organic stakeholders have expressed an interest in using “Non-GMO” label claims to clearly communicate to consumers that organic products do not contain genetically engineered ingredients, and that organic animals were not fed genetically engineered feed. Read more »
FNS is committed to providing school nutrition professionals with the tools they need to prevent and control norovirus outbreaks.
Can you believe that September is already here? It may not feel like fall where you are, but, slowly, our focus has begun to shift from summer fun to returning to school and learning.
For more than twenty years, September has been recognized as National Food Safety Education Month. The National Food Safety Education Month theme for 2016 is “Notorious Virus.” So what better time to consider learning more about food safety and, in particular, learning more about food safety education in the school environment? Read more »
About 5 million Americans suffer from foodborne illness each year. (iStock photo)
Today’s guest blog features the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative (NoroCORE- Norovirus Collaborative for Outreach, Research, and Education), a food safety initiative with the ultimate goal to reduce the burden of foodborne disease associated with viruses, particularly noroviruses. Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness in the United States accounting for around 5 million of the 21 million annual cases associated with contaminated foods. Cost of illness is estimated to be billions of dollars per year.
By Dr. Elizabeth Bradshaw, NoroCORE extension associate, and Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus, NoroCORE scientific director
Even if you have not experienced a norovirus infection personally (consider yourself fortunate!), you probably know someone who has or have heard of an outbreak of the “stomach flu.” Most people know norovirus by its symptoms: a couple of memorable days of vomiting and diarrhea, sometimes with a fever and a headache. Read more »
USDA’s National Agricultural Library launches its latest Web exhibit “How Did We Can?” on home canning in the United States.
July is the height of summer grilling season, and throughout the month USDA is highlighting changes made to the U.S. food safety system over the course of this Administration. For an interactive look at USDA’s work to ensure your food is safe, visit the USDA Results project on Medium.com and read Chapter Seven: Safer Food and Greater Consumer Confidence.
The USDA’s National Agricultural Library (NAL) recently launched its newest online exhibit, “How Did We Can? —The Evolution of Home Canning Practices.” The exhibit follows the evolution of home canning in the United States and the progression of associated food safety guidelines. Canning aids in food preservation by removing microorganisms responsible for decay through heating and creating a seal to prevent recontamination. Home canning held an important role in 20th century food preservation, particularly through the two World Wars, and continues to be practiced today.
“How Did We Can?” highlights changes in home canning guidelines based on a growing understanding of bacteriology. Around the turn of the 20th century, the four most prominent canning techniques were oven, open-kettle, water bath, and pressure canning. By the end of World War II, the USDA recommended only two techniques: water bath for high-acid foods and pressure canning for low-acid foods. Those recommendations remain the same under the current USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning. Read more »
Dr. Dawn D. Walters, a public health veterinarian and current Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officer for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) discusses her role in food safety on tape.
Every month, USDA shares the story of a woman in agriculture who is leading the industry and helping other women succeed along the way. This month, we hear from Dr. Dawn D. Walters, a public health veterinarian and current Enforcement, Investigations, and Analysis Officer in Arizona. Dr. Walters has committed the past six years to food safety by working for the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). With her big smile and enthusiastic personality (yes, I’ve been lucky enough to meet her), it is no surprise that Dr. Walters also serves as an outreach liaison for FSIS. Dr. Walters has also served as an interim Frontline Supervisor and the District Veterinary Medical Specialist. She received a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal and Poultry Science and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University. Read more »