New certification programs could open market opportunities in the European Union, Russia, China and others.
This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.
Agriculture is key to any nation’s success. American farmers continue to be more innovative and productive, providing affordable foods for the U.S. consumer while supporting a robust export market. Global agricultural trade is complex, constantly changing, with multi-layered requirements that have to be met before a grower can get his product into another country.
Although a general export certificate is issued for most agricultural products, some countries require certification based on scientific testing. USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service provides the service and scientific expertise that helps American farmers export their products. Read more »
It seems like the holidays come earlier every year. One way to reduce the stress of gift giving is to shop online or from catalogs. Food gifts are extremely popular because the recipient gets to enjoy the gift twice – first as a lovely gift, and second by serving and sharing it with family and friends.
The following food safety tips will help the purchaser and recipient determine if perishable foods they receive in the mail have been handled properly: Read more »
Parece que los días navideños llegan más temprano cada año. Un modo de reducir la tensión de comprar regalos es hacer compras en línea o por catálogos. Los regalos de alimentos son muy populares porque el recipiente consigue disfrutar del regalo dos veces – primero como un regalo maravilloso y segundo sirviendo y compartiéndolo con familia y amigos.
Los siguientes pasos ayudarán al comprador y recipiente a determinar si la comida perecedera que ellos reciben en el correo haya sido manejada correctamente: Read more »
Quienes están listos para una fiesta, no se imaginan enfermos en cama poco después de esta. Pero eso es lo que pudiera ocurrir si la comida en los “buffets” no es manejada y servida con inocuidad. Las bacterias son aguafiestas y el único regalo que traen es una enfermedad transmitida por los alimentos.
¿Cómo es que las bacterias arruinan las fiestas? Se “enganchan de paseo” en alimentos perecederos dejados a temperatura ambiente sin ser mantenidos fríos a 40 °F (4.4 °C) o menos, o caliente a 140 °F (60 °C) o más. Esto es conocido como “Zona de Peligro”; es decir, la zona entre 40 ° y 140 ° F, es donde las bacterias crecen y se multiplican de manera exponencialmente, duplicándose en número cada 20 minutos. Read more »
People dressed for a holiday party don’t picture themselves sick in bed shortly after the festivities, but that’s what could happen if food on party buffets isn’t handled and served safely. Bacteria are party crashers, and the only housewarming gift they bring is foodborne illness.
How do bacteria crash parties? They hitch a ride on perishable foods left out at room temperature without being kept cold (40 °F and below) or hot (140 °F and above). This is called the “Danger Zone” temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F where bacteria grow and multiply exponentially, doubling in number every 20 minutes. Read more »
Today, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service shared with the public our “New Year’s Resolutions” for Fiscal Year 2014. Like many of the people who consume the products we regulate, we set new goals for ourselves at the beginning of each year. Known as the Annual Performance Plan, this list of key results we plan to achieve between now and September 2014 to do our jobs better, which means making America’s supply of meat, poultry, and egg products safer to eat. This is our third APP. It is something that we take very seriously. It is consistent with our emphasis on performance and our efforts to improve how we do our jobs every day.
The goals listed in our APP are all measurable. By setting specific targets and measuring our progress throughout the year, we have a clearer picture of what is working well, which initiatives are not effective, and where we may not be challenging ourselves enough. By making our targets public, we are holding ourselves accountable to you, and we are giving the regulated industry, consumers, and other interested persons an overview of our priorities and of our expectations for the year ahead. Read more »