November 2006

A source close to the spinach industry and agricultural politics told me a few interesting facts today:

1.  Spinach Farmers and others businesses hurt financially by the recent spinach recall are considering asking for Federal or State relief along the lines that the airline industry did following 911.

My reaction – shame, shame, shame.  Not

In today’s Washington Post it was reported that a state legislator from Fairfax County said that she plans to introduce a bill that would allow homeless shelters in Virginia to serve home-cooked food. The proposal from Del. Kristen J. Amundson (D-Fairfax) followed a Health Department decision to crack down on the use of such food

I am an avid reader of the Perishable Pundit – especially since the recent E. coli-related spinach outbreak.

Jim recently posted an interesting quote from a buyer at www.perishablepundit.com:

Another Naysayer of Buyer-led Food Safety Initiative

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if spinach is now “safe”, because we are carrying

Joan Murphy of the Produce News has been following the FDA’s recent announcement of yet another salmonella outbreak tied to restaurant consumed tomatoes.  The full story can be found HERE.


According to Ms. Murphy, the Food & Drug Administration is now investigating two tomato-related outbreaks, with the latest blamed for nearly 100 illnesses in

Turkey and ham product recalled because of Listeria on Thanksgiving – Bad timing Honeybaked.

47,000 Pounds Of HoneyBaked Ham, Turkey Recalled

The HoneyBaked Foods company is recalling nearly 47,000 pounds of its ham and turkey products, because they could be contaminated with Listeria.??  Listeria is a microorganism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections


The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a change in the “Single Minimum Internal Temperature Established for Cooked Poultry”. The new cooking recommendation is as follows:

“A whole turkey (and turkey parts) is safe when cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in

Thomas Hargrove of Scripps Howard recently wrote an article on the risks of getting a food illness in the Untied States.  Americans play a sort of food-poisoning Russian roulette depending on where they live, an investigation by Scripps Howard News Service found. Slovenly restaurants, disease-infested food-processing plants and other sources of infectious illness go undetected



E. coli
(generic variety) was found in the south part of the island water supply.  My neighbors are a bit concerned – see article from Bremerton Sun.

Over 1,000 homes and 1 school are under a boil water order.  The type of E. coli found is NOT the type that can cause severe disease.  However,

I just got wind of another outbreak of Salmonella-tainted Tomatoes – Salmonella Newport this time – tied to restaurant consumed tomatoes.  It seems that 98 people in 19 states became ill between June and October.  Apparently, the FDA announced it to a select group, but not the public – go figure.

See my prior