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Tag: Food Safety

2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium

The 2020 Urban Food System Symposium will be held virtually each Wednesday in October 2020.

The goal is to share knowledge on urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty. Topics include nutrition and food security, climate change, food production, and more.

Registration is now open! Learn more about this event at


CFSEC 2021 Call for Abstracts

The Consumer Food Safety Education Conference (CFSEC) will be virtual March 9-12, 2021. Plan now to submit an abstract for a poster or session. The theme is Now you Have my Attention: Hand Hygiene and Food Safety Education for Everyone.

Share your food safety education success in the following categories:

  • Cutting Through Clutter: What’s Working to Engage Consumers?
  • Safe Food Handling in Today’s Food Landscape
  • Food Safety Education Program Successes—posters only

Abstracts will be accepted by October 14, 2020.


Onion Recall due to Salmonella

A nationwide recall is ongoing due to Salmonella in onions, including red, white and yellow varieties.

Ask your grocer or search their website for recalls. This will help specifically identify products included in the recall. With any food recall, do not consume the food. Throw it away or return it to the store for a refund.

For current information on this recall, see

Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare cases, it can get into the bloodstream and cause more severe illnesses.


Consumer Food Safety Education Conference

In light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, the Partnership for Food Safety Education has announced that the 2021 Consumer Food Safety Education Conference will be an all virtual event March 9-12, 2021.

This conference brings together health and food safety educators with federal agencies and food businesses to help build education and programming for consumer food safety education.

More details about the conference will be announced soon.

What is Cyclosporiasis?

A recent foodborne illness outbreak in bagged salad mixes was found to be contaminated with the parasite Cyclospora. This parasite is found in feces contaminated food or water. Illness occurs due to ingestion as opposed to being directly passed from one person to another.

The time between becoming infected and becoming sick is usually about one week. Cyclospora infects the small intestine (bowel) and usually causes watery diarrhea, with frequent, sometimes explosive, bowel movements. Other common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach cramps/pain, bloating, increased gas, nausea, and fatigue. Vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms may be noted. Some people who are infected with Cyclospora do not have any symptoms. If not treated, the illness may last from a few days to a month or longer. Symptoms may seem to go away and then return one or more times (relapse). It’s common to feel very tired.

If a food is connected to any foodborne illness recall, never eat the food. Either throw it away or return it to the store for a refund. Before handling any food, wash your hands thoroughly. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables with running water and scrub when possible. Refrigerate cut, peeled or cooked produce and away from raw meat or poultry.

Learn more at and a webinar at



Improving Chicken Meat Quality

Just a reminder! Always use a thermometer to check doneness of all poultry. Look for 165°F.

Have you had a piece of chicken breast meat that was tough and chewy? This is a disorder called wooden breast syndrome that occurs in broiler chickens. The pectoral muscles, or breast meat, becomes tough and chewy. This syndrome can cause an economic toll on poultry producers.

When you look at a piece of chicken breast meat, you cannot see the problem. But, once the meat is cooked, the defect is noticeable. Researchers at the University of Delaware have possibly discovered the reason and a solution to reduce the problem.

In broilers, if they abnormally metabolize fat in the pectoral muscles, the syndrome develops. Ideally, the broilers should be metabolizing glucose instead of lipids. Therefore, the broiler has a higher amount of free radicals that damage pectoral muscles. By testing their blood for the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, they can identify the problem early for better management.

This is step forward in solving a difficult issue for poultry producers. Learn more at

Safe Recipe Contest

The Partnership for Food Safety Education is hosting a contest to develop safe recipes. It is called the “30-Minute Meals Safe Recipe Contest.” The contest opens June 23, 2020.

There will be four categories including youth ages 5-18, BAC Fighters, food bloggers/influencers, and retailers. Cash prizes will be given for each category. The grand prize winner will be featured in an online cookbook.

See the Safe Recipe Style Guide for instruction on how to make your favorite recipe a safe recipe! Look for more contest information on June 23, 2020 at

The Consequences of Foodborne Illness

Salmonella continues to be one of the top causes of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year.

We strive to prevent foodborne illness every day. Unfortunately, a single episode of foodborne illness can trigger an autoimmune illness in an estimated 200,000 consumers. The challenge is this could develop in days, weeks, or years after the actual foodborne illness event.

The organ systems that can be affected include the cardiovascular, endocrine, digestive, hepatic, immune, and respiratory systems. Other autoimmune illnesses include irritable bowel syndrome, reactive arthritis, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. With the unpredictable nature of all of these, medical professionals are finding it challenging to properly diagnose, control and treat these autoimmune illnesses. As a result, all of this also affects policies for public health to ensure a safe food supply.

The immune system is complex and strives to find and defend undesirable invaders. While most people recover from a foodborne illness with rest, fluids and care, the young, elderly, immunocompromised and pregnant and postpartum women are at high risk. Seeking medical attention early is important to reduce the risk of autoimmune illnesses.

Source: Food Technology, April 2020


Feed Your Mind

Somewhere I read or heard, a person will get educated if they truly want to be educated. One food related topic that falls into this statement is learning about genetically engineered foods, commonly referred to as GMOs. The FDA, along with the USDA and EPA, have launched a science-based initiative to address GMOs called “Feed Your Mind.”

GMO foods have been available for many years, but many consumers are still confused about what they are and how they are used in our food supply. Educational materials are being developed for dietitians and high school science curriculums to be released later in 2020 into 2021.

Information on the Feed Your Mind website is also available in Spanish.

Updated USDA Websites

The USDA Food and Nutrition Information Center and the USDA websites have received a makeover!

FNIC strives to serve the professional community (including educators, health professionals and researchers) by providing access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources. The FNIC website provides information about food and human nutrition. serves as a gateway to reliable information on nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, and food safety for consumers. The site is updated on an ongoing basis by a staff of Registered Dietitians at the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) located at the National Agricultural Library (NAL), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The recording of this eXtension webinar discussing these websites is at

Many free materials and handouts can be found at