Genomic testing options for replacement heifers

Dairy calf_resizedWith the arrival of lower-cost genomic testing options, an increasing number of registered purebred and commercial producers are using these tools for routine sorting and selection applications.

While genomic testing costs have come down, they can still be substantial, and dairymen are searching for the most cost-effective applications of the technology. To address these issues, there are tools and strategies available that can help the producer make a good decision for their unique situation. [ More ... ]

Study shows mold-related toxin in some oat cereals; pet food

Cereal_resizedMycotoxins are making headlines once again, as high concentrations of the mold toxins have been found in certain types of pet and human foods.

A lawsuit filed earlier this month is alleging that thousand of dogs may have been poisoned by pet food containing mycotoxins, which can grow on grains and can cause poisoning when ingested at high levels. Even more recently, a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry states that another mycotoxin, known as ochratoxin A, was detected in several grain-based breakfast cereals examined in the study. [ More ... ]

Report IDs food sources for 4 common pathogens

A new report outlining the foods most prone to pathogens was recently released by the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a partnership of several organizations including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Titled “Foodborne Illness Source Attribution Estimates for Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157 (E. coli O157), Listeria monocytogenes (L. monocytogenes), and Campylobacter, using Outbreak Surveillance Data,” the report analyzed data from nearly 1,000 outbreaks that occurred from 1998 to 2012 to assess which categories of foods were most responsible for making people sick from each of the four pathogens. [ More ... ]

Kid’s allergies may be linked to how you wash your dishes

Close up hands of woman washing dishes in kitchenParents that wash dishes by hand rather than in a dishwasher may lower their children’s risk of developing allergies according to a new study.

Published in the journal Pediatrics, this study followed roughly 1,000 young children and their parents living in the Gothenburg area of Sweden. Researchers looked into not only if the parents washed dishes by hand or used a dishwasher, but they also investigated behaviors like whether the parents fed their children foods purchased directly from farms, such as eggs, meat and unpasteurized milk. They also looked into whether the children ate fermented foods, which have beneficial probiotic bacteria. [ More ... ]

Monday links

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

Food Safety

For peanut allergy sufferers, relief could be on the way – CBS News
About three million Americans are allergic to nuts, and most of them are allergic to peanuts. But relief may be on the way. A new study says an allergy patch is showing promise.

USDA Announces $6 Million Available for Food Safety Programs – Food Safety Magazine
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced that $160 million in funding is now available for research, education and extension projects to boost U.S. agriculture production. [ More ... ]

National Love Your Pet Day highlights pet food safety

peachestext_blogWith the influx of cat videos on the Internet, family portraits featuring four-legged friends and luxury pet spas now becoming a viable business, it’s no secret that people love their pets. But if you needed an excuse to spend the day cuddled up with your furry friend or just another reason to pamper, play and primp your pets, then you’re in luck as today marks National Love Your Pet Day.

While this “unofficial” holiday is all about celebrating the bond people have with their pets and encouraging pet owners everywhere to take time and appreciate them in their lives, it also serve as a time to educate and remind animal owners about pet food safety. [ More ... ]

Study: Listeria thrives in retail delis

DeliSandwich_blogYour favorite deli sandwich may come with an unexpected side, according to a new study that took thousands of samples at retail delis around the U.S and found some of the highest rates of the foodborne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes ever recorded.

In healthy individuals, eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes may lead to common food poisoning symptoms such as diarrhea or an upset stomach. However, the bacterium can cause listeriosis, a serious systemic infection, in those with an already compromised immune system including the elderly, infants and children, and pregnant women especially.  [ More ... ]

New USDA approved apples turn down the brown

AppleCore_GrannySmith_resizedNew types of apples that have been genetically engineered (GE) to not brown as quickly after being cut were recently approved for sales in the U.S. by The U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a recent article.

Known as the Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden, these are the first types of apples that have been genetically engineered with extra copies of apple genes to produce less of the substance that causes browning. When the apples are sliced or bruised, the fruit’s flesh retains its original color longer instead of turning brown. [ More ... ]

Undeclared almond in paprika expands allergy alert

Almonds_WhiteBackground_resizedThe investigation of undeclared allergens in spices has widened as new recalls have been issued in Europe for paprika, and spice mixtures containing paprika, which have been found to be contaminated with almond. This comes shortly after ground cumin, and several other products containing cumin, were recalled recently in the U.S. and later in Europe for undeclared peanut and almond residues.

For those with nut allergies, consuming these products can be potentially life-threatening. However, in both cases the levels of the nut proteins discovered in the products thus far have been low and no cases of allergic reactions linked to the affected products have been reported. [ More ... ]

Monday links

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

Animal Science

Is BVD in your herd? – Drovers Cattle Network
Recently, The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has begun to enforce a law that requires the reporting of animals that are persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) to the State Veterinarian. While not all states have adopted this policy, it is important to understand what role this economically important disease can have on herd production. [ More ... ]