Environmental monitoring with ATP testing

Workers in plant_blogEnvironmental monitoring is becoming increasingly important as FSMA finalization and compliance looms closer. One critical aspect of this is testing the cleanliness of the plant environment, thereby assessing the effectiveness of the facility’s cleaning processes. One of the most common tests for cleanliness is that of Adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is a molecule found in all living cells; thus, in and of itself, ATP is not a hazardous contaminant, rather detection of its presence after equipment has been cleaned is an indicator that food, bacteria, or other organisms have been left behind and the cleaning process was not sufficient. [ More … ]

Fungicide applications for reducing FHB and DON

WheatStalk_closeup_blogWhile scientists continually looks for ways to create better disease resistant crops, fungicide applications are considered as a potential solution for present problems such as fusarium head blight (FHB) and deoxynivalenol (DON) contamination.

Both Europe and the U.S. have set strict limits for mycotoxin limits including DON contamination in raw grain, which influences the export markets and therefore has the potential for global consequences each and every growing season. As a new season begins, a recent study was published that looks into fungicide applications for Reducing FHB and DON. [ More … ]

Can I eat that? New app warns you before food expires

app_blogDo you find yourself throwing away uneaten groceries you forgot were hanging out in the back of your refrigerator? Or wondering if you can still eat that bacon that you accidently left on your counter overnight?  Well, a new app from the USDA will now remind you when groceries are about to expire and will tell you if that questionable food is actually safe to eat.

The app, called Foodkeeper, is an updated version of a food safety brochure developed by the USDA with Cornell University and the nonprofit Food Science Institute.  “We thought; why not make it a little more interactive?” Chris Bernstein, team lead for food safety education at USDA, said in a recent article. [ More … ]

I got 8! Test yourself on the Earth Day quiz

A gardener plants a broad bean plant in a raised bed.First officially celebrated 45 years ago today, World Earth Day reminds people about the abundance of natural resources that we have been provided with and compels us to use them sustainably. The idea was originally proposed by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson after the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California, and was established to raise public awareness.

This theme for this year’s Earth Day is “It’s Our Turn to Lead” and focuses on promoting environmental awareness and developing sustainable initiatives. As stated in a recent article, this can be done by understanding the journey food takes — from farm to fork and back to the soil, and by having the knowledge and ability to make more informed choices to support individual health, community and the environment.

For fun, take the quiz below to see what you learn in celebration of Earth Day 2015!  [ More … ]

New Canadian food safety network aims to speed response times

Meat_Tenderizing_Canada_blogIn an effort to improve Canada’s ability to anticipate, detect and respond to food safety risks, the Canadian Federal Government recently announced it will invest C$30.7 million ($24.7 million USD) over the next five years in the country’s own food safety system.

According to a recent article, this investment will help fund the new Food Safety Information Network (FSIN), which will help connect federal and provincial food safety laboratories and regulators across the country, and standardize food safety testing while leveraging existing laboratory capacity. [ More … ]

Data from 19 years of trials examines fusarium head blight in wheat

Wheat_HeadScab_blog1As growing season approaches the issue of fusarium head blight (FHB) in wheat and what can be done to control it, cannot be overlooked. In a recent study, one pathologist and his team looked at nearly two decades of fungicide trials in an effort to find the best way to control the disease.

The findings were presented at the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative Forum and consisted of various studies that compared the efficacy of fungicide treatments on wheat over the course of 19 years. Overall, the results show that reducing DON contamination up to 45% is difficult to achieve solely by growing less susceptible wheat varieties, and that successful management requires multiple control strategies incorporating fungicides, wheat varieties, etc. [ More … ]

Bird flu outbreak grows; worst case yet reported in Iowa

White chickenIowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, is not only the latest to announce the finding of a strain of bird flu in an egg-laying facility within the state, but also has been deemed the worst case seen thus far in the national outbreak now covering 12 states and dating back to the beginning of the year.

Bird flu, also called avian influenza or AI, is a viral disease that infects birds. Officials believe wild birds are spreading the virus, but they do not know for certain how it is entering barns.

The infected Iowa birds were being raised in a facility that houses 3.8 million hens, according to a recent article, [ More … ]

Visit Neogen at the upcoming Petfood Forum

Visit Neogen at booth 309 at the upcoming Petfood Forum held April 27-29 at the Kansas City Convention Center in Kansas City, Mo.

As part of the Safety track of concurrent sessions, participants can also attend Microbial Process Control Solutions for the Petfood Industry, a presentation by Neogen’s own Michael Wendorf MS, MPH. This session begins at 3:45 pm on Tuesday, April 28 and will cover how the selection of tools in a petfood production facility can impact food quality and more.

Participants will learn about real-time sanitation monitoring, innovative single-pathogen molecular diagnostic tests, potential alternatives to Salmonella spp. testing with rapid actionable results and more. [ More … ]

Neogen disinfectants proven effective against avian influenza

chicken_blogIn response to numerous recent reports of avian influenza outbreaks in widespread poultry production facilities, Neogen announced that its comprehensive line of agricultural biosecurity products includes multiple disinfectants proven to be effective against avian influenza.

Neogen offers the “gold standard” of poultry facility disinfectants, DuPont’s Virkon® S, as well as DC&R® Disinfectant, and BioSentry BioPhene™ and BioQuat™ disinfectants. The products have different applications within poultry facilities, and each product has met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) criteria for a virucidal label claim against avian influenza. [ More … ]

Monday links

hamburger processing_blogDon’t have time to scour the internet for the latest food safety, animal safety, and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Animal Science

States killing the most animals for food – USA Today
The United States consumes the most meat per capita of any nation in the world. As of 2009, Americans consumed an average of 265 pounds of meat per person annually, dwarfing the global average of 92 pounds per person. [ More … ]