Tag Archives: USDA

usa.gov :tips on food safety

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Get tips on how to safely store, thaw, and roast a turkey.
Here are a few key tips:
Avoid Fresh Pre-Stuffed Turkeys – Don’t buy fresh pre-stuffed turkeys because harmful bacteria in the stuffing can quickly multiply. If you buy a frozen pre-stuffed turkey, look for a USDA or state mark of inspection. Frozen pre-stuffed turkeys should not be thawed before cooking.
Thaw Frozen Turkey – There are 3 ways to safely thaw a frozen turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Look at the thawing chart, based on the size of the turkey.
Clean Up – Use soap and water to wash hands, utensils, counters, sinks, and anything that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices.
Cook to 165°F – Cook your turkey to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F. Look at timetables for roasting a turkey in a 325°F oven, based on the size of the turkey and whether or not it’s stuffed.
Discard After 2 Hours – After you’ve enjoyed your Thanksgiving meal, discard any turkey, stuffing, or gravy left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Or, if room temperature is above 90°F, discard food after 1 hour.

NRCS Announces Changes to Strengthen Technical Input in Conservation Programs


NRCS Announces Changes to Strengthen Technical Input in Conservation Programs
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WASHINGTON, May 6, 2019 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is expanding the membership of its State Technical Committees and making other changes that strengthen technical input in conservation programs. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to NRCS programs, including enabling representatives from the State Cooperative Extension Service and land grant universities to serve on the state committee that assists NRCS in guiding locally led conservation.
“NRCS is committed to efficiently and effectively implementing the Farm Bill and delivering on our promise to America’s farmers, ranchers and forest landowners,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr said. “The rule we’re issuing today is a step toward strengthening and streamlining the services and programs that help conserve our nation’s natural resources on working lands.”
Today, NRCS published an interim final rule in the Federal Register to make the existing regulations consistent with the changes made by the 2018 Farm Bill, including the change related to State Technical Committees. NRCS is accepting comments on this rule through July 5, 2019.
Other Miscellaneous Changes in Notice
The 2018 Farm Bill makes some important improvements to strengthen NRCS’s programs, including:
Waiving the requirement for certain duplicative or unnecessary watershed plans under the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program, which authorizes NRCS to install watershed improvement measures to reduce flooding and advance conservation and proper utilization of land;
Expanding the purposes of the Healthy Forests Reserve Program to add: protection of at-risk species in conserving forest land, permanent easements as an enrollment option for Tribal lands, and land identified as being in the greatest need to improve the well-being of a species;
Authorizing that certification of technical service providers be through a qualified non-federal entity; and
Requiring that $3 million of the funds to implement the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program be used to encourage public access for hunting and other recreational activities on wetlands enrolled in the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.
More Information
You may submit comments by any of the following methods through the Federal eRulemaking Portal on Docket ID USDA-2019-0005. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. NRCS is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.
As part of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill, NRCS and other USDA agencies publish interim final rules and other documents available for public viewing and comment on the Federal Register. On March 11, 2019, NRCS published a notice and request for comment on conservation practice standards. For more information on how USDA is implementing the Farm Bill, visit farmers.gov/farmbill.
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Tell the USDA to ban all sales of Lion Meat … Cheryl Semcer

                          I started a petition this summer asking a restaurant to stop serving lion meat, and won. Now I’m calling on the USDA to ban all sales of lion meat.                       
      Sign My Petition

I never imagined the impact I would have when I started my first petition on Change.org asking a restaurant in Kansas to stop serving lion meat. But I won with the help of other Change.org users!

I still wondered if the sale of lion meat was happening in other places, and who was letting this happen.

It turns out there are a lot of problems with lion meat: it’s not only bad for lions, but also humans. The origins of lion meat are nearly untraceable, with some of it coming from farms where they’re raised for circus entertainment, their hides, and slaughter. Killing lions for human consumption also falls between the cracks of federal agency responsibility, and therefore the meat is rarely inspected. Since the processing goes unregulated, lions aren’t even protected by humane slaughter laws.

It’s unbelievable to me that any restaurant would be allowed to sell lion meat — especially when the meat is potentially unsafe. Thats why I started a new petition on Change.org, this time calling on the United States Department of Agriculture to ban the sale of all lion meat. Click here to sign!

Lion meat isn’t regulated by the USDA or the Food and Drug Administration — even though it’s often deceitfully marketed this way. This lack of clear oversight makes it nearly impossible to trace the origin of lion meat and how it’s processed.

And to make matters worse, experts say that serving lion meat at restaurants in the U.S. could further drive the dwindling wild population into extinction.

Restaurants market lion meat because it’s shocking — but the government shouldn’t be allowing a gimmick like this that could decimate the lion population and make people sick. My petition asking a local restaurant to stop serving lion meat won — and was widely covered in the media. By showing popular support for a ban on all lion meat, I believe the USDA will be forced to listen.

Sign my petition now asking the United States Department of Agriculture to ban the sale of lion meat.

Thank you for your support.

Cheryl Semcer

Hoboken, New Jersey

Toxic Chicken

Tyson Foods: Stop pouring dangerous chemicals on chickens     

                                                By Sherry M.
                                                Washington, Alabama


I didn’t expect to already be on disability, seeking early retirement. But I’m here because of companies like Tyson which require the use of hazardous chemicals on poultry in facilities like the one I worked in. That’s not safe for workers. And it’s allowing companies to cut corners and put the public’s health at risk. I want Tyson to be an industry leader and stop using these chemicals, especially peracetic acid, which is poured all over these carcasses. Having well-trained experts rather than an over-reliance on chemicals will help keep meat contaminated with feces or pus or harmful bacteria off our plates.

I am proud of my work as a USDA poultry inspector where one of my primary duties was to protect the public from foodborne illness. My parents and grandparents worked in the industry and none of them have ever experienced the symptoms I’m having today. But I became seriously ill as a result of heavy chemical use in the plant where I was stationed and things have changed.
Currently, I’m suffering from health problems, including asthma attacks, sinus problems, and even organ damage. My failing health has seriously impacted my lifestyle and may have ended my 16-year career as an inspector. As highlighted in a recent Washington Post article, chemical problems seem to be cropping up in plants all over the country.
In a Tyson plant I worked at in Alabama, the introduction of a chemical called peracetic acid just made things even worse. I felt as though I couldn’t breathe in the plant. One day I was coughing so hard that I broke two ribs. It was a nightmare. And as of the moment I am writing this, the USDA has not done any formal evaluation of how these chemicals affect workers’ health. Additionally, there have been no studies of how these dangerous chemicals, directly applied to the carcasses in processing, affect humans’ health other than directly from the very companies that profit from their sale.

There are a lot of questions. But no one has answers. I can tell you that the Tyson Team Member Bill of Rights claim that there’s a ‘right to a safe workplace’ but it certainly does not seem like it’s being followed.
Following a series of illnesses, including a serious asthma attack that sent me to the emergency room in the fall of 2011, I was left with no choice but to leave the plant and file for disability in December of that year. In addition to daily medication, I now make regular doctor visits, including to a lung specialist who advised me not to return to the plant.

My doctors told me they have witnessed an increasing amount of patients coming from the Tyson plant with similar symptoms, including respiratory infections, eye irritation, and the development of serious allergies.
Inspectors and Tyson plant workers are hesitant or even afraid to admit they’re becoming ill. In particular, vulnerable company employees know they are expendable, and risk termination if they speak out against the visible dangers of chemical use in processing.
I know there are methods to improve inspection by taking birds ‘offline’ if they appear contaminated, so they can be cleaned up without the use of excess chemicals.

After feeling powerless for so long, I now know it’s my duty to speak out on behalf of those inspectors and plant workers who fear retaliation for voicing their concerns.

Please join me in asking Tyson Foods to stop using peracetic acid in its poultry processing and improve standards at facilities so inspectors, workers, and consumers are safer.

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USDA-FSIS Recall Cases ~~ Dec 2013

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USDA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 075-2013 – Hawaii Firm Recalls Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature Abuse, Dec. 20, 2013.

Hawaii Firm Recalls Additional Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature AbusePalama Holdings, LLC, a Kapolei, HI establishment, is expanding its recall of raw, frozen marinated chicken products to approximately 24,784 pounds because they may have experienced temperature abuse in the distribution chain, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today. The expanded recall covers all teriyaki chicken products produced at the company’s Kapolei, HI plant with “Best by” dates ranging Sept. 24, 2014 to November 6, 2014.

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for 074-2015California Firm Recalls Dried Sausage Products Due To Possible Contamination With Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxin, Dec. 19, 2013.

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 075-2013 – Hawaii Firm Recalls Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature Abuse, Dec. 20, 2013.

Hawaii Firm Recalls Frozen, Raw Chicken Products Due To Possible Temperature Abuse
Palama Holdings, LLC, a Kapolei, HI establishment, is recalling approximately 3,600 pounds of raw, frozen marinated chicken products because they may have experienced temperature abuse in the distribution chain.

California Firm Recalls Dried Sausage Products Due To Possible Contamination With Staphylococcus Aureus Enterotoxin
Lee Bros. Foodservice Inc., a San Jose, Calif., establishment, is recalling 740 pounds of sausage products that may be contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin

Updated information is now available. An updated list of retail consignees has been posted for recall 071-2013, Ontario, Canada Firm Recalls Prosciutto Ham Product For Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination (Dec 6, 2013).

Colorado Firm Recalls Meat And Poultry Products That Were Produced Under Insanitary Conditions
Yauk’s Specialty Meats, a Windsor, Colo., establishment, is recalling approximately 90,000 pounds of various meat and poultry products that were produced under insanitary conditions.

Washington Firm Recalls Chicken Noodle Soup Due To Misbranding and Undeclared Allergen
StockPot, Inc., an Everett, Wash. establishment, is recalling 1,864 cases (approximately 22,368 pounds) of chicken noodle soup due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The Classic Chicken Noodle Soup product is formulated with wheat, a known allergen.

Ontario, Canada Firm Recalls Prosciutto Ham Product for Possible Listeria Monocytogenes Contamination
Santa Maria Foods, a Brampton, Ontario, establishment, is recalling approximately 2,600 pounds of whole boneless ham prosciutto product due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.