Food and beverage news and trends

Food and beverage news and trends

This regular publication by DLA Piper attorneys focuses on helping clients navigate the ever-changing business, legal, and regulatory environment.

The Food and Drug Administration will enforce a new rule requiring food traceability. Starting November 7, the US Food and Drug Administration will impose a strict new food traceability rule. The rule applies to high-risk foods such as cheeses other than hard cheeses, crustaceans, cucumbers, finfish, fresh herbs, fresh fruits and vegetables, leafy greens, melons, mollusks, nut butters, peppers, ready-to-eat salads, eggshells from domesticated chickens, sprouts, tomatoes, and fruit of tropical trees. The rule requires a detailed account of the origins and movements of food at all stages of production, processing and shipping, even when these foods are converted into other food products or when other foods are added to them. The article noted that barcode data systems can offer solutions that track product origins and destinations from end to end to aid compliance with the rule.

Announcing additional funding for food security programs in isolated northern communities. Canada’s Northern Affairs Minister announced a total of $143.4 million in federal funding over the next two years to expand Nutrition North Canada, a federal government program that helps eligible northern and isolated communities address food security issues. In addition to other programs, funding will continue to support food items implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and improve financial assistance to food banks and other charities serving remote locations. Funding will also be allocated to projects designed in collaboration with indigenous partners that focus on local and indigenous food production, in an effort to improve local food sovereignty and reduce food insecurity.

USDA approves new genetically modified purple tomatoes. On September 6, Norfolk Plant Science, a British company, received approval, after a 14-year application process, to market a genetically modified purple tomato. The company says tomatoes are high in anthocyanins, compounds that have been linked to health benefits and are a staple of an anti-inflammatory diet. The USDA wrote: “With respect to the Norfolk Plant Sciences purple tomato, we have not identified any reasonable pathways for increased plant pest risk compared to other cultivated tomatoes and have issued a response letter indicating that the plant is not subject to regulation.” This was the department’s first such response under the revised Biotechnology Regulations. The company said the approval would help it “find ways to market its research into foods with health-improving compounds to consumers.”

The FDA is celebrating National Food Safety Education Month. On September 1, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that September 2022 is 24 countriesThe tenth National Food Safety Education Month. The agency said September is a good time for health educators at the national, state and local levels to focus attention on the basics of buying, storing, preparing and serving food as safely as possible. She noted that while the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, each year one in six Americans develops a foodborne illness — but Americans can help protect themselves and their families by enacting the Basic Principles of Food. safety. The FDA noted that it provides year-round resources for consumers and educators on a variety of topics, including learning who is most at risk of foodborne illness and how to avoid food waste while maintaining food safety. The Food and Drug Administration, for example, emphasized the risks of cross-contamination, stating that raw meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, and flour should not come into contact with foods that do not need to be cooked before eating them.

A nonprofit organization wants the Food and Drug Administration to move faster to stop nicotine use by children. In a call to action issued on August 19, the nonprofit Center for Tobacco-Free Kids denounced the e-cigarette industry, saying the industry had led to a “national youth addiction crisis, fueled by thousands of child-friendly flavors and massive doses of nicotine.” The group blamed it. The Food and Drug Administration is partly on the cusp of the crisis, saying the agency “missed the deadline after deadline to protect children from these products, leaving flavored e-cigarettes widely available and our children at risk of nicotine addiction and other health harms.” The group accused the FDA “reporting that it has denied marketing requests for more than one million flavored e-cigarette products. However, the FDA has not made decisions on many of the e-cigarette brands that have the largest market share or are commonly used by young people.” “.

Jeff’s factory has had a history of salmonella incidents. On September 6, Axios reported that according to an FDA inspection report, the Jif peanut butter plant responsible for the salmonella outbreak in May had a pattern of salmonella incidents in recent years. A J.M. Smucker-owned plant in Lexington, Kentucky, has been closed for weeks after a nationwide outbreak led to costly recalls of the company’s peanut butter and other products. According to the inspection report, plant officials recorded 12 cases of salmonella found in a “routine environmental survey” and 11 cases of salmonella found in prepared peanut butter from 2017 through 2022. None of these cases resulted in any operations Withdrawals or illnesses. Smucker spokesman Frank Cirillo responded that the company “followed our standard food safety protocols to ensure any potential issue was addressed appropriately. We are confident of the serious steps that have been taken to address the events.”

An Ontario farm fined for not taking reasonable precautions to protect migrant workers from COVID-19. Scotlynn Sweetpac Growers Inc. has been indicted. Under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to isolate workers with COVID-19 symptoms from others, lack of COVID-19 screening, and failure to enforce the use of face masks among workers. A COVID-19 outbreak was announced on the farm in May 2020 after a worker was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Further tests revealed that many workers tested positive for COVID-19, although most were asymptomatic. However, the farm failed to isolate workers who had symptoms. In one case, worker Juan López Chaparro, who had symptoms of the disease, stayed in the home of a common worker for three days before being taken to hospital; Mr. Chaparro later died in hospital. The Ministry of Labor found that the farm violated s. 25(2)(h) of the OHSA, which requires employers to take all reasonable precautions under the circumstances to protect workers. The farm was fined $125,000 for the offense. In addition, an additional 25 percent fine was imposed on the victim as required by the Provincial Crimes Act.

Letting down portions of the lawsuit against Cashy on breakfast bar labels. On September 9, the District Court for the Southern District of Illinois allowed some legal cases to continue, but dismissed others in a case centered on allegations that Kashi misrepresented the ingredients in “ripe strawberry” soft baked breakfast bars. The court dismissed the class action claims for breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, and common law fraud, while allowing unjust enrichment and consumer fraud claims to proceed. In the case, Kashi is accused of misrepresenting the amount of strawberries contained in strawberry breakfast bars by placing pictures of strawberries on the product box and showing the red filling in the cereal bars. Strawberry puree is only the fifth ingredient in the product, after pear juice concentrate, tapioca syrup, cane sugar and apple powder.

The court refused to dismiss the food fraud case against Gorton. On August 4, the US District Court of Massachusetts ruled that Gorton’s must face a class-action lawsuit alleging that it markets tilapia products as “sustainably sourced,” when the fish is actually farmed in China using environmentally destructive methods. . The court dismissed some of the claims against the company, but declined to dismiss the case entirely. The court said that the mere fact that the fish is farmed in China is not enough to undermine the “sustainable sources” label, but that the case of those foreign farms could strengthen the plaintiffs’ case. The complaint says tilapia farms in China are raising fish using earthen pond aquaculture, where thousands of fish are crammed into shallow ponds, adding: “To enable tilapia to survive in these stressful, crowded and unsanitary conditions, they are routinely treated with antibiotics. and biocides.”

A referendum challenge may be coming to California legislation. California’s new law, AB 257, signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in late August, creates a 10-member fast-food board that regulates working conditions at fast-food outlets and raises workers’ wages, possibly as high as $22 an hour with cost – Living adjustments afterwards. Now, Protect Neighborhood Restaurants, a business consortium, has filed papers aiming for a referendum on the 2024 ballot in hopes of repealing the law. To achieve this, referendum supporters have until December 4 to submit 623,000 signatures to voters registered on their petitions. If the measure qualifies, the provisions of AB 257 will be suspended until the 2024 vote.

Canadians are content with relying on “best before” dates, even if it causes food waste. In Canada, only infant formula, meal replacements, nutritional supplements, formulated liquid diets, and foods used in a low-energy diet (sold only by pharmacists and by prescription) are required for true “expiration dates”, after which the food must not be bought, sold or eaten. Most other foods have a “best before” or “use by” history, after which the food may not be as fresh or have the same flavor or nutritional content. However, foods that are past the “best before” date may still be sold, bought, and consumed. In a recent study, the Laboratory of Nutritional Analysis at Dalhousie University determined that most Canadians are against eliminating “best before” dates on food in order to reduce food waste. The study determined that 25 percent of Canadians use “best before” dates, rather than the smell or appearance of a food, to determine if that food is safe to eat. The study also recommended further research into public perceptions of ‘best before’ and ‘expiration’ dates.

Science magazine reports that plant-based meat alternatives can help the environment. On September 4 Ars Technica An online science journal, asked itself and its readers an important question about the new generation of plant-based meat alternatives: If they can meet a significant portion of people’s demand for meat, and whether it is “green” as they claim, will they offer carnivores a way to reduce the environmental impact of their eating choices Food without giving up their favorite recipes for burgers or steaks? Using publicly available data, the journal concludes that the production of plant-based “meat” appears to significantly reduce the use of natural resources. For example, the calculations found that vegetarian meat uses only 23 percent of the water that can be used for the same amount of beef protein, 11 percent of the water used in pork, and 24 percent of the water used for chicken. A similar result was true for land use. The conclusion was that these new products could greatly help the environment.

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