food safety

Canadian e.coli vaccine approved

Food safety in Canada received a boost today with the announcement that an e.coli vaccine with the potential to reduce risk to human health has been approved for use in Canada. Econiche, a livestock vaccine that greatly reduces the shedding of e.coli O157:H7 by beef and dairy cattle, is now available to Canadian farmers.

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Bringing traceability to Ontario’s food

This post sort of links in to my post earlier today about food labelling – but certainly to the bigger issue that has been on the minds of many Canadians recently: where does my food come from? The listeria outbreak that has claimed 19 lives so far in Canada, coupled with China’s tainted milk powder […]

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The double standard on listeria

How serious is the government really about protecting consumers in wake of the listeria outbreak that has been plaguing Canada? Right now, I’m not convinced they really mean it. They recently announced tough new measures that now require Canadian companies that produce ready to eat meats to disassemble and aggressively clean their meat slicers to […]

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A cattle vaccine with human health benefit – who should pay?

The following article was first published in Ontario Beef Farmer magazine, July 2008: It sickens thousands of people every year, killing some and leaving others with permanent health damage. But it doesn’t affect the animals that harbour and shed the bacteria, making the disease invisible to farmers. Now, a new, made-in-Canada cattle vaccine to reduce […]

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Only radiation rids fruit, veg of e.coli?

Irraditating food may be the only way of killing the bacteria in your food. Washing fresh fruits and vegetables – a tried and true method for generations – may not be enough to rid them of bacteria like e.coli that cause food poisoning, even if using chlorine disinfectants. E. coli, salmonella and listeria can all […]

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Scanning for cloned meat

Now you can know for sure. There’s a new, fool-proof way of determining whether the steak you’re eating came from a cloned animal using DNA barcoding technology. This statement was made by an Irish scientist at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Boston this week. According to Professor Patrick Cunningham, DNA […]

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Innovative E.coli vaccine granted conditional US approval

A Canadian-made cattle vaccine against a deadly form of e.coli has been given a conditional licence for sale by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Developed in Canada and already conditionally approved for sale in this country, this vaccine is the first that can be used on-farm to reduce the shedding of e.coli 0157:H7 […]

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Canada’s food freedom comes early

Food Freedom Day – the day Canadians have earned enough income to pay for all their food for the year – is a full week earlier in 2008 than previous years, falling on February 3. According to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), which helps lead celebrations to mark Food Freedom Day in Ontario, there […]

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US gov’t declares cloned meat safe to eat

The US government last week approved the sale of meat and milk from cloned animals for human consumption – and at the same time, asked farmers to keep them off store shelves. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared the products as safe for humans to eat as those from conventionally produced livestock. The US […]

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Dairy processing

A visit to the Michinoku Milk Company gave us insights into Japan’s dairy food sector. It’s chief brand name is MegMilk, which can be widely seen on milk cartons and dairy drinks across the country. The company, founded in 1993, is located in Osaki City in the northwestern part of Miyagi prefecture and produces a […]

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Rice milling

A very interesting stop took us to Pearl Rice Milling Miyagi yesterday where we learned how the Japanese make their famous rice. Rice’s growing season starts with planting in early May and ends with harvest in mid-October when the rice plants have turned a brown colour. Following harvest, rice is delivered to a country elevator, […]

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The demand for safe food

A recurring theme throughout the IFAJ 2007 congress has been our host nation’s focus on safe food. Food safety is one of the main pillars of Japanese agriculture, largely in response to the concern of the country’s consumers. Several food safety-related scares in recent years have greatly influenced the agri-food industry’s focus on producing safe […]

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