E. coli! Just the very words bring to mind danger as the headlines warn us of E. coli outbreaks that have sickened people around the country and new studies highlight the risk of the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria known as STEC in undercooked burgers.
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed by Congress in December 2010 and signed into law in 2011 is the most comprehensive food safety legislation in the U.S. since 1937.
Listeria outbreak fears are in the news again this summer with frozen fruit recalls at Walmart, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Target, Aldi, and AWG.
The summer months are a time for hosting from backyard barbecues to lakeside picnics but it’s important to avoid sampling food that has been potentially spoiled by sitting out too long, especially in the heat.
Leaving food out too long at room temperature can cause bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella Enteritidis, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter) to grow to dangerous levels that can cause illness,” says the United States Department of Agriculture. “Bacteria grow most rapidly in the range of temperatures between 40 °F and 140 °F, doubling in number in as little as 20 minutes. This range of temperatures is often called the ‘Danger Zone.’ “
Expiration dates are more important than ever as Americans look to stretch their grocery dollars as far as they can go as food prices outpace wages. Unfortunately, there are a lot of food myths around food packaging “best by” dates, and other label information.
“Among all rising costs, sky-high grocery bills have been especially painful,” reported CNBC on Feb. 5, 2023. “Over the past year, food prices overall have risen more than 10 percent. Egg prices, alone, soared 60 percent, butter is up more than 31 percent and lettuce jumped 25 percent, according to Labor Department data through December. As a result, consumers are looking for any – and all ways to save.”
Access to food and drink is essential to human life as without it we simply could not survive.
This makes the food industry vital to our quality of life and over the past 200 years, mankind has benefited from a multitude of advances.
The role of food packaging, and subsequently repacking by wholesale food distributors, helps keep this vital supply chain safe and efficient.
“Think about it, without a regulated system of food packing processes, materials and systems, we would be no further ahead than if we were still in the dark ages,” says dry blending and custom packing company Dure Foods.
If you are a Texan, then you know that Blue Bell ice cream is high on the Lone Star State’s pantheon of beloved brands, sandwiched somewhere between Buc-ee’s and Whataburger.
You might also recall that Blue Bell was at the center of a high profile multi state listeriosis outbreak, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with one of the 20+ species of the listeria bacteria.
Grilling out over the Memorial Day Weekend is a holiday tradition but some Americans might have made the “mis-steak” of using meat products that have been recently recalled and could make their families sick.
In a global economy companies need to navigate different standards across borders and that can be tricky in the food and beverage industry where there are significant differences between Europe and the United States.