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Fresh Chicken Meat & Rodents

Touch the Soil News #490 One has to do a double take on this one. MIH Marketing and Sales in Beebe, Arkansas distributes fresh meat to stores in Arkansas. The company was forced to recall fresh chicken meat that originated from one of its storage facilities where rodents were found. The kicker is that they are recalling 662,000 pounds of chicken. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has a special division called the Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audits (OIEA). As it turns out, the OIEA was conducting routine food defense surveillance activities which included the MIH Marketing and Sales fresh meat storage facility. What the OIEA found…

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Chipotle Mexican Grill – Struggling From Food Poisoning Troubles (Part 2 of 2)

Touch the Soil News #371 After giving the nation the largest food poisoning outbreak from any single restaurant chain, Chipotle said in a recent press release that their food safety practices were already well within industry norms. What does this say about the industry, health inspections and Chipotle? Despite words and efforts to improve, Chipotle has taken a financial beating. Financial results for the first quarter of 2016 – compared to the first quarter of 2015 were way off. Revenues decreased 23.4 percent and the company experienced a net loss of 26.4 million. How long do you think it will take for customers to regain full confidence in Chipotle? Chipotle’s…

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Chipotle Mexican Grill – Struggling From Food Poisoning Troubles (Part 1 of 2)

Touch the Soil News #370 Chipotle Mexican Grill is one of the world’s largest fast food restaurants with almost 2,100 locations in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. The company plans to open more than 200 new locations in 2016. While food poisoning issues are not new to Chipotle, the year 2015 literally riddled the restaurant chain with dangerous incidents. Following is a short history of Chipolte’s problems: March 2008 – Hepatitis outbreak. In San Diego County, over 20 customers tested positive for the virus stemming from a Chipotle restaurant located in La Mesa, California April 2008 – Norovirus outbreak. Chipotle was implicated in a norovirus outbread…

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Food Recalls – Too Prevalent for Comfort

Touch the Soil News #347 There is not enough space in our news columns to report the volume of food recalls taking place in the U.S. – 1 to 2 a day. Following are just a few of the recent recalls that provide ample insight to why more people are giving industrial and corporate food more scrutiny. 4/2/16 – Cashews with glass pieces Snyder’s-Lance Inc. is recalling some of its Emerald brand cashews. The problem started when a customer complained of the glass. Investigations are now underway. 4/2/16 – Glass in cans Roland Foods, LLC – in cooperation with the manufacturer in Peru – is recalling specific lots of Fire…

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Food Safety Spook – Chipotle Restaurant and More

Touch the Soil News #313 The year 2015 was not a good year for Chipotle Restaurant. The multi-state outbreaks of food poisoning in multiple Chipotle locations sickened hundreds of people. The video clip below is very insightful as the whole scenario is summarized. It is spooky to say the least. But just when Chipotle got a clean bill of health from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Justice opened an investigation. At question is whether Chipotle was criminally negligent in food safety procedures and operations. After a year of food poisoning crisis in 2015, Chipotle has re-opened all its restaurants hoping to have contained the problem. Unfortunately,…

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News Roundup

Touch the Soil News #281 It Takes More than Urban Farming Recently, researchers Jeffrey Richardson and Monika Moskal of the University of Washington published an eye-opening research paper on the capacity of Seattle to feed itself from urban farms. The research paper found that urban farming in Seattle – if you used all lawns and city parks and vacant properties would only feed around 4 percent of the city’s population – on a mostly vegetarian diet. However, the more interesting news is that 100 percent of the city could be fed in an area around the perimeter of the city, only 36 miles out, were dedicated to growing food. To…

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Anatomy of Food Poisoning in America

Touch the Soil News #273 Once a week we visit sources that compile food poisoning and food recall events. Surprisingly there is a new food poisoning or food recall event almost every day. The food poisoning and recall events surrounding Blue Bell Ice Cream provides a window into food handling that is not altogether reassuring. Earlier in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control reported a total of 10 patients infected with several strains of Listeria reported from four states: Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. These illnesses were onset from January 2010 through January 2015. All ten patients were hospitalized. Three deaths were reported from Kansas. The Centers for Disease Control…

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News Round-up

Touch the Soil News #271   Are You A Climatarian Eater? New terms are emerging that identify what kind of eater you are. A climatarian is one who eats with climate change in mind. This generally includes eating locally, choosing pork and poultry over beef and lamb to limit gas emission and using every part of ingredients (apple cores, cheese rinds) to limit food waste.   The Expansion of Food Banking We recently reported on the trend to locate food pantries on college campuses as polls reveal over 35 percent of freshman are food-insecure. On a new front, the Iowa Food Bank has started a new program to quash hunger…

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News Roundup

No Food Abundance on Earth The World Agricultural Outlook Board just published how much grain farmers produced this farming season around the world. It was 2,476,040,000 metric tons. The Board also estimated how much we would use this year. It will be 2,469,120,000 metric tons. When we do the math, the world’s farmers only produced 2 lbs. of grain more per person than what the world will buy. Now, there are lots of folks who can’t buy enough. If they had money, it is likely that this year folks would eat more than farmers produced. Watch Out for Food in Cans A recent study by Stanford University suggests children may…

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