Inside these posts: Food safety

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FDA bans some food imports from Japan

The Food and Drug Administration is banning imports of milk and fresh fruit and vegetables from areas near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that was damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Get the full story »

Senate mulls food safety bill for farmers markets

A bill that would allow people to sell home-baked goods at farmers markets is slowly making its way through the state Senate.

Senate Bill 137 would make it legal for people to sell their home-baked “non-potentially hazardous food,” such as bread and cookies, at farmers markets and community events. Get the full story »

Chicago meat company recalls ground beef

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says Chicago company Columbus Meat market Inc. has recalled about 200 pounds of ground beef patties because of possible E. coli contamination.

Funding uncertain for U.S. food safety overhaul

Republican opponents of food safety legislation are already promising a fight over its funding, even before it becomes law.

President Barack Obama was scheduled to sign the bill on Tuesday. It allows the Food and Drug Administration to increase inspections of food producers and gives it more enforcement authority.

The legislation follows a series of widespread outbreaks of foodborne illness and food product recalls. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls it “the most significant food-safety law of the last 100 years.” Get the full story »

Jimmy John’s pulls sprouts after salmonella probe

Jimmy John’s has asked its franchises to pull alfalfa sprouts believed to be tied to outbreaks of salmonella in Illinois and Wisconsin.

The sandwich chain says it is pulling them as a “good faith and good will gesture.”

Illinois health officials have confirmed that 43 Illinois residents and one Wisconsin resident have salmonella. Get the full story »

Senate passes bill to boost food safety

The Senate passed the largest overhaul of the U.S. food safety system in decades on Tuesday, a response to massive recalls such as last summer’s recall of half a billion eggs in a salmonella outbreak.

The Senate voted 73-25 to pass the bill. The House of Representatives backed a different version in July 2009. With their post-election session due to end by mid-December, lawmakers have just weeks to resolve their differences and send legislation to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Get the full story »

FDA threatens to seize alcoholic energy drinks

(Associated Press)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned four makers of alcoholic energy drinks on Wednesday that their products could be seized if they continue to combine caffeine and alcohol in their beverages.

The move by the FDA, which described caffeine as an “unsafe food additive” in malt alcoholic beverages, was anticipated by at least one company – Chicago-based Phusion Projects, which manufactures Four Loko. The company announced Tuesday that it is removing caffeine and two other ingredients from its products. Get the full story »

Abbott recalls beetle-tainted infant formula

Abbott Laboratories Inc. said it is recalling millions of containers of its top-selling Similac powdered infant formulas after beetles were found in the products and in a Michigan plant where they are made.

Abbott said Wednesday the voluntary recall follows reports by two consumers of contamination and its inspection of an area of the plant in Sturgis, Michigan, where beetles or their larvae were found. Abbott said “less than 5 million units” of Similac are being recalled in the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean markets. Get the full story »

Lawmaker: Disturbing picture of egg production

The chairman of a House subcommittee says a recent outbreak of salmonella in eggs paints, in his words, “a very disturbing picture of egg production in America.” Get the full story »