Grains of Knowledge

Frozen Secrets—Food Items to Consider as the Ice Thaws

As winter weather continues to wreak havoc on cities across the nation, key industries are feeling the brunt of the effects, including agriculture. Extreme cold and abnormal temperature drops impact livestock, crops, and the families that dedicate their lives to growth and production, including delays in spring planting.

Can It! The Safest and Healthiest Options for Canned Food

The convenience that canned food brings makes it a staple in the grocery store aisle. Need proof? The next time you are at the store, take a walk up each of the rows and note the number of cans. They line the shelves as a quick and simple solution for produce, grain and proteins, but with a hidden risk that could turn an otherwise healthy choice into a medical misfortune. The culprit? A relatively illusive culprit named Bisphenol-A, or BPA, an industrial chemical used since the 1960s to protect cans ingredients from contamination. While BPA keeps canned food items fresh […]

Don’t let your day of Red, White and Blue turn Green

Marilyn vos Savant, in Parade Magazine, once stated “What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining the perfect, delicate balance between freedom “to” and freedom “from.” Although this was a statement about our great country and the celebration of its independence, one could also take this as a spin on the freedom we have to choose the foods we eat, and the freedom to stay far from food borne illness. As the Fourth of July approaches quickly, and as we head further into our summer, it is important to take a closer look into food safety when heat comes into play. The harsh reality of the situation is […]

Dog Food Recall Calls Attention to Toxic Substance Caused by 2012 Drought

The aftermath of the notorious 2012 drought continues to impact the shelves of U.S. grocery stores. As February came to a close, an Iowa pet store, Hy-Vee Inc., was forced to recall several lines of its privately produced dog food upon discovering a toxic substance within the product. The substance found, aflatoxin, is a product of last season’s drought. Aflatoxin is created by mold that typically grows in a dry climate. Farmers and storeowners were aware of the possible crop effects that could occur following a drought, and many were “on high alert” reported Reuters. The affected dog food was tested prior to hitting the grocery store shelf; however, […]

Brower Recalls Top Hatch Egg Incubators Due to Fire Hazard

The following is a copy of a recent product recall announcement released by the Consumer Product Safety Council on January 2, 2013.  We are sharing this recall announcement with our readers since we provide coverage and risk management services to many commercial farm and egg operations throughout the U.S.  If you suspect that you have one of these recalled egg incubators be sure to stop using it and contact the manufacturer immediately. via losscontrol.westfieldinsurance.com

The FDA Opens Registration Under The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)

Foodborne illness is a serious condition that affects 48 million Americans each year, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration(FDA). On January 4, 2011, the structure of the American food industry was forever altered with the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which placed a strategic focus on the prevention of foodborne illness.  Under the FSMA, all food venues are required to register with the FDA. This includes both foreign and domestic food operations. The Bioterrorism Act passed in 2003also made registration a legal food obligation; however, the FSMA added additional requirements to aid in food safety […]

A cure for the cantaloupe?

Melons can be dangerous to your health. Melons are not considered risky until they are sliced. If there are any bacteria on the rinds of the melons (such as E-coli germs) and once sliced, they contaminate the entire melon. There are ways to limit any potential contamination, such as washing, however it is not foolproof.

Food Safety – Tips and Myths

Back in late August a blog from Foodsafety.gov caught my attention. It was titled “Mythbusters: Debunking Myths about Food Safety in the Home”. It was full of ideas, tips, links and evan a video spot from the FDA about safe food handling.

Food Safety 101 – The FSMA

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011 by President Obama in an effort become more proactive, not reactive, in terms of improving food safety, increasing compliance, and handling problems more effectively. The major areas of focus include: Prevention—The FDA requires comprehensive, science-based preventive controls. Inspection and Compliance—Controls are only effective if there is compliance; thus, the FDA will provide oversight to ensure compliance and respond when problems arise. Response—The FDA needs the tools and authority to intervene and respond when problems are encountered. Imports—The FDA will have the authority to certify that imported […]