Weekly News – May 11, 2020

America’s Meatpacking Facilities Practice Safe Re-Opening

According to Food Safety Magazine, meatpacking facilities have resumed or plan to resume operations this week following President Trump’s Executive Order directing the facilities to implement specific guidelines created for the meat and poultry sector in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are a total of 14 plants that plan to resume operations with guidance from the CDC and OSHA.

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Best Practices for Re-Opening Retail Food Establishments During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The “FDA is providing a food safety re-opening checklist for previously closed retail food establishments or those that have been open with limited service related to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The FDA explains that while the list is not comprehensive it is a starting point for those faced with concerns about reopening.

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Inspections, Citations, Recalls Slashed: Coronavirus is Testing America’s Food Safety Net

According to an investigation done by USA Today, foodborne illness investigations have slowed and food recalls have plummeted due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus. “We have so many different safeguards built into our system, and one by one COVID is knocking pieces out,” Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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Officials Report More Patients in Listeria Outbreak Linked to Cheese

“Officials from the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) told Food Safety News that analysis is pending for a further 10 infections to see if they belong to the outbreak cluster. A total of 28 cases of listeriosis have been reported in the country since early this year.”

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