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California makes people ask for straws, sodas with kid meals

AP | Posted on September 24, 2018

If you want a straw with your drink or a soda with a kids’ meal at a California restaurant, you’ll need to ask for them starting next year. A law signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown makes California the first state to bar full-service restaurants from automatically giving out single-use plastic straws. Another law he approved requires milk or water to be the default drink sold with kids’ meals at fast-food and full-service restaurants.Neither law is an outright ban on straws or sugary drinks in kids’ meals. But some Republicans have called the measures government overreach by the heavily Democratic state.

Why antibiotic-use foes should be wary of lab-grown meat

Watt Ag Net | Posted on September 20, 2018

If consumers have the perception that too many antibiotics are used to raise chickens, turkeys, hogs and cattle, they would certainly be turned off by the cell-cultured meat movement, said Dr. Frank Mitloehner, professor and air quality specialist in the department of animal science at University of California-Davis (UC-Davis). Mitloehner’s colleague told him that when working with cells, an extremely sterile environment is necessary. Mitloehner said he then asked him if antibiotics were used to create that sterile environment. His response, according to Mitloehner, was “They are floating in a lake of antibiotics. Every cell is totally surrounded by antibiotics during their entire growth period.”With that piece of knowledge alone, Mitloehner said he can’t see consumers who are concerned about antimicrobial resistance embracing cell-cultured foods.“Who is their right mind would eat that kind of stuff,” he rhetorically asked attendees at symposium. “Would you feed that to your kids?”

Eating cheese and butter ever day linked to living longer

Newsweek | Posted on September 20, 2018

Eating three servings of dairy products a day could lower the risk of heart disease, a study suggests.  After analyzing the diets of more than 130,000 people in almost two dozen countries, scientists found that eating the equivalent of one serving (244 grams, or 8.6 ounces) of full-fat milk or yogurt, a 15 gram (0.6 ounce) slice of cheese or a teaspoon of butter could benefit health. The findings, published in The Lancet, contradict dietary recommendations that advise against consuming full-fat dairy products.The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological (PURE) study included data from 136,384 individuals aged 35-70 years in 21 countries [1]. Dietary intakes were recorded at the start of the study using country-specific validated food questionnaires. Participants were followed up for an average of 9.1 years. During this time, there were 6,796 deaths and 5,855 major cardiovascular events.One standard serving of dairy was equivalent to a glass of milk at 244g, a cup of yoghurt at 244g, one slice of cheese at 15g, or a teaspoon of butter at 5g.

New approach reduces antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter in poultry: study

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 20, 2018

New research from a multi-institute scientific team in Canada showcases a synergistic antimicrobial mechanism using nanoparticles to reduce Campylobacter in poultry. Alternative antimicrobial strategies like this, say the authors, have the potential to reduce the prevalence of this microbe in agri-foods and avoid the emergence of antibiotic resistance. In the study, researchers utilized a synergistic antimicrobial approach, which combines several antimicrobials of different mechanistic actions to reduce the dosage of individual antimicrobials and expand the spectrum of antimicrobial activity. They investigated two nanoparticles — carvacrol and zinc oxide — and found that the combination of the two resulted in significantly enhanced antimicrobial efficacy against Campylobacter jejuni in poultry samples.

How free-from foods are changing manufacturing

Food Dive | Posted on September 19, 2018

U.S. consumers are increasingly scanning labels to check that products do not contain certain ingredients, such as gluten, GMOs, antibiotics, pesticides and allergens, according to Bloomberg. The trend is having a huge impact on how manufacturers source, prepare and package foods and beverages. Sales of these "free-from" foods are expected to grow 15%, or $1.4 billion, between 2017 and 2022 — with the U.S. as the largest global growth market, according to Euromonitor data. CPG companies are trying to deliver on consumer demand in this area but are struggling to find the right approach that will revive slumping sales. “The health trend has been going for a while, but the challenge big packaged food companies have is how to make money out of it,” Bloomberg Intelligence’s Kenneth Shea said in a report.

An Arkansas hospital is working to make sure tens of thousands of kids have enough to eat.

US News and World Report | Posted on September 19, 2018

ABOUT 1 IN 6 PEOPLE – and 1 in 4 children – in Arkansas struggled with food insecurity in 2016, helping to make it one of America's hungriest states.Count Sandra Reed and her two teenage children among them."It's hard to live day by day," Reed says. "You have to make sure you can pay bills, and you have to have transportation to get back and forth (to work). On top of that, my son's school, and his sister – I don't have any help, so it's been really hard."Though Reed works full time as a personal care aide and receives child support and disability benefits, she says those payments are inconsistent, so she often has to request overtime hours "just to try to make it." And she's caught in a gap that leaves millions of Americans hungry every year: She earns too much to qualify for federal aid from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, but doesn't make enough to ensure she can always put healthy food on the table.Arkansas Children's also became one of the first hospitals in the country to offer free meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program, which gives sack lunches to low-income children during the summer months, typically through schools or other community organizations. Since August 2017, Arkansas Children's has served more than 27,000 meals.While most patients themselves have dietary restrictions and can't eat the sack lunches, "a lot of the families that come here bring the whole family, so there are other siblings who are hanging around, so they feed them," says Nancy Conley, communications director for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.

Salmonella outbreak in Alabama free range layer operation

Meat + Poultry | Posted on September 13, 2018

he Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis infections linked to Gravel Ridge Farms cage-free large eggs. Cullman, Alabama-based Gravel Ridge issued a recall on Sept. 8 for packages of a dozen and 2.5 dozen eggs in cardboard containers with the UPC code 7-06970-38444-6. The recalled eggs also had “best if used by” dates of July 25, 2018, through Oct. 3, 2018.According to the CDC, 14 people were infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella enteritidis in both Tennessee and Alabama. Two people have been hospitalized. The eggs were sold in grocery stores and restaurants in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Concerns grow over spoiled Walmart milk, experts discuss expiration dates

WANE | Posted on September 13, 2018

What started as a tip from a local Walmart customer concerned about milk spoiling before the expiration date has become the most viewed story on Dozens of Walmart shoppers in states across the country have contacted WANE 15 with the same complaint. When shopping for milk or other food products, one of the first places customers check is the date on the package. The phrasing may vary from "use by," to "sell by," or even "best by." While many consumers put their faith in those dates,15 Finds Out has learned that the dates printed are not federally regulated. In fact, they're not even required to be printed on any product except baby formula. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is responsible for inspecting dairy farms, processing plants and tanker trucks that haul milk."We have received some complaints about fluid milk products that are going to Walmart stores that have been processed at the new Fort Wayne plant," said Denise Derrer, a spokesperson for the State Board of Animal Health. "But we have not found any food safety issues with those."Research shows contamination after processing accounts for about 50 percent of spoiled milk. This can happen when the milk is not stored at proper temperature which allows bacteria to grow rapidly causing defects.

Here’s why it matters which government agency regulates fake meat

Farm Futures | Posted on September 13, 2018

Will the primary regulator of cell-cultured products (fake meat) be the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Department of Agriculture? The answer could make a big difference to the future of agriculture. The ‘sustainable’ meat folks believe they will have an easier time controlling the future of fake meat at FDA than they would working with the red meat fans at USDA. They believe USDA is part of the problem in not shutting down the pork, beef and poultry industries because of its inhumaneness.This is a flank attack on the meat industry by the enviros and PETA types.It appears both the White House staff and FDA personnel do not understand the Federal Meat Inspection Act, which has significant scientific expertise and assures the safety of all meat and poultry products. FDA and its friends in the sustainable food movement want fake meat regulated by those who have little or no understanding of agriculture.

That “infotainment” and “pseudoscience” story by Consumer Reports

Meatingplace (free registration required) | Posted on September 13, 2018

The report on “Banned Drugs in Your Meat” by Consumer Reports was released on August 29 and immediately followed by a press release from the USDA in the voice of Carmen Rottenberg, Acting Deputy Undersecretary for Food Safety, and she used those words in the title to express her disgust with the report. Rottenberg’s response was enlightening, and maddening in that CR did not listen when USDA tried to explain to them the reports were presumptive and follow up testing specifically for the banned drugs were negative.