What you need to know this week

[ SPANISH ] Every Monday morning, we bring to you the latest news in the food and animal safety industries, scouring the internet for your must-know topics of the week. What’s in the news lately? Read on to find out:

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Salmonella, Campylobacter infections down in EU, Listeria infections up in 2012

 

For the first time in five years, cases of a common foodborne illness were slightly lower in 2012 as compared to previous years, according to a joint European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)-European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) report released yesterday.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of zoonotic foodborne illness in the […]

Horse DNA found in beef products at Dutch facility

Horse meat has once again been found in beef products, this time in the Netherlands.

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) has preventatively blocked beef shipments from an unnamed slaughterhouse after testing found horse DNA in four batches of beef products. Officials found the DNA during an investigation by the Intelligence and […]

U.K. moves to prevent counterfeit alcohol

A new plan in the United Kingdom (U.K.) will help assure consumers that the spirits they purchase actually are what they’re marketed as.

The Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme aims to help protect the integrity of U.K.-made spirits, such as Scotch, from confusion with counterfeits or lower quality substitutions. Under the plan, HM Revenue & Customs […]

EU takes action on “legal highs”

Spice and other synthetic cannabinoids are on the rise in Europe. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In response to increasing reports of new psychoactive drugs entering the market, the European Union this week moved to revamp its system to respond more quickly.

On Tuesday, the European Commission (EC) proposed new procedures […]

EU report: Food, feed safety alerts drop

Last year, notifications as part of Europe’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) dropped almost 4 percent from the previous year.

In 2012, there were 8,797 RASFF notifications – a 3.9 percent decrease from 2011. Of those notifications, 40 percent (or 3,516) were original notifications and 60 percent (or 5,281) were follow-ups. This […]

Europe looks to overhaul food safety system

The European Commission (EC) this week adopted a group of measures to simplify and improve the food chain in member countries.

The package also cuts down the amount of legislation surrounding the food chain from the current 70 pieces of legislation to only five, as represented in the package. The new approach also aims to […]

EU report: Less than 5 percent of samples contain horse meat

Less than 5 percent of food samples tested in a European Union (EU)-wide program contained traces of horse meat, the EU reported today.

About 0.5 percent of the horse samples tested contained phenylbutazone, or bute, an anti-inflammatory drug used to treat pain. Its use is not permitted in animals destined for human consumption because of […]

EU displeased with Codex Alimentarius ractopamine ruling

The Council of the European Union has voiced concerns regarding a ruling earlier this year that set a maximum residue limit for a veterinary drug used to increase growth in some livestock and poultry, while keeping the animals lean.

The Council took aim at the Codex Alimentarius Commission, which creates international food standards and guidelines, […]

European Union publishes list of approved flavorings

European food safety regulations just became a bit more flavorful.

The European Union (EU) recently adopted new regulations for flavoring additives in food, such as smoke and citrus flavors, according to a memo published Monday on the EU’s website.

Flavorings are defined as “products added to food in order to impart or modify odor and/or […]