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More than 600 sick in 45 states because of poultry pets

Salmonella traced to backyard flocks and pet chicks and ducklings continues to claim victims, with public health officials now tracking eight outbreaks across 45 states.

chick-nuzzler-406Since the outbreaks were reported on June 2, there have been 287 confirmed cases added, bringing the total to 611 people sickened, according to an update this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 138 outbreak victims had to be hospitalized, according to information available on 496 of the outbreak victims. The illnesses began Jan. 4 and are ongoing. People who became ill after June 16 may not yet be reflected in the outbreak statistics because of the lag time between onset of symptoms and data being reported to federal officials.

“These outbreaks are expected to continue for the next several months since flock owners might be unaware of the risk of Salmonella infection from live poultry or participate in risky behaviors that can result in infection,” according to the CDC.

In interviews, 434 of 493 ill people told health officials they had been in contact with live poultry, including chicks, chickens, ducks and ducklings, during the week before they became sick.

Victims reported buying live baby poultry from several suppliers, including feed supply stores, Internet sites, hatcheries and friends in multiple states. Some of the places ill people reported contact with live poultry include their home, someone else’s home, work or school settings.

“Epidemiologic, traceback and laboratory findings have linked the eight outbreaks to contact with live poultry such as chicks and ducklings sourced from multiple hatcheries,” CDC reported.

“Regardless of where they were purchased, all live poultry can carry Salmonella bacteria, even if they look healthy and clean.”

To help prevent the spread of Salmonella bacteria, the CDC advises consumers to:

  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in the area where the birds live and roam;
  • Do not let live poultry inside the house; and
  • Do not let children younger than 5 years of age handle or touch chicks, ducklings or other live poultry without adult supervision.

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Food Safety News

Facility expansion helps Apio increase service in eastern United States and Canada

Apio Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Landec Corp. and a leading national producer of fresh-cut vegetable products for the United States and Canada under the Eat Smart brand, has completed a major expansion of its Hanover, PA, operations. The $ 19.5 million expansion triples the size of the facility to 64,000 square feet and increases the number of production lines to 10 from two, helping Apio to better serve its retail customers in the eastern United States and Canada.Apio-Hanover-Plant-Expansion-After-Photo-6-8-16

“Shoppers in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and eastern Canada are responding to our on-trend products, which include Eat Smart Gourmet Vegetable Superfood Salad Kits like Sweet Kale Salad and Wild Greens and Quinoa Salad,” said Anne Byerly, vice president of marketing and innovation for Apio, which is based in Guadalupe, CA. “Apio’s revamped Hanover operations allow us to enhance our service platform in the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada by delivering tasty, easy-to-prepare fresh vegetable products to retailers’ shelves faster than ever — and giving their customers more good reasons to visit the packaged salad aisles.”

Apio’s Eat Smart brand includes nine gourmet vegetable salad kits, each of which contains five to eight superfoods, which are nutrient-rich foods considered part of a healthy, balanced diet. The popular chef-inspired vegetable salad kits give consumers numerous quick and delicious ways to eat healthy every day. Newest to the line are the Strawberry Harvest Salad, the Sunflower Kale Salad and the Asian Sesame Salad.

“Through our complete line of fresh produce products , Apio delivers unique value to retailers and consumers,” said Byerly. “The new production capabilities in the East enable retailers to increase their sales by satisfying their customers’ growing demands for nutritious dining choices that also deliver flavor variety and convenience .”

The Eat Smart vegetable salads are available in nine- to 12-ounce retail sizes or 16- to 32-ounce family sizes, depending on location. Eat Smart products are available in over more than 100 club and retail chains in the United States and Canada.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Hepatitis A Outbreak Numbers Rise Again: 127 Sick in 8 States

The Hepatitis A outbreak linked to pomegranate seeds from Turkey continues to grow. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said five more illnesses have been confirmed as part of the outbreak, bringing the total to 127 ill in 8 states.

According to CDC, all of the confirmed victims became ill after eating Townsend Farms Organic Anti-oxidant Blend, a frozen berry blend sold across the country in Costco stores. Harris Teeter also sold the now recalled product, but so far no illnesses have been linked to the retailer.

The updated case count by state is as follows: Arizona (17), California (64), Colorado (25), Hawaii (7), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), Utah (2), and Wisconsin (2). [Note: The cases reported from Wisconsin resulted from exposure to the product in California.] Nearly 60 percent of those sickened are women. The ages in the outbreak range from 2 to 84 and include 6 children under the age of 18. CDC said none of the children had been vaccinated. More than half of those ill required hospitalization.

The outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus, belonging to genotype 1B, is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East, according to CDC.

Three weeks ago, Townsend Farms Inc. recalled certain lots of the product linked to the outbreak because it has the potential to be contaminated. This week, Scenic Fruit Company recalled certain lots of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels, also thought to be at risk for contamination. Both companies are based in Oregon.

Food Safety News

CDC Update: 32 Listeria Illnesses in 11 States, 2 in Canada Linked to Caramel Apples

On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) again updated information regarding the multi-state Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to caramel apples. As of Dec. 30, there were 32 illnesses reported in 11 states, including 31 hospitalizations and six deaths.

According to CDC, Listeriosis contributed to three of the deaths reported to date, but it is not clear whether it contributed to another two. The sixth death was unrelated to Listeriosis, CDC stated.

The new cases were reported from CA (one more, for a total of two), NM (one more, for a total of six), and one in NV (which previously had not had any cases reported). The rest are in Arizona (4), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).

CDC reports that the dates when the Listeria strains were isolated range from Oct. 17, 2014, to Dec. 11, 2014. Ten illnesses have been associated with a pregnancy (the illness occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn infant). One fetal loss has been reported.

Among people whose illnesses were not associated with a pregnancy, ages ranged from 7 to 92 years, with a median age of 66 years, and 32 percent were female, CDC reported.

Three invasive illnesses (meningitis) occurred among otherwise healthy children aged 5-15 years. Thirty-one ill people have been hospitalized, and six deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to three of these deaths, and it is unclear whether it contributed to an additional two deaths. The sixth death was unrelated to listeriosis.

Illnesses that started after Dec. 14, 2014, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

Outlets selling the apples included Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods in MN, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples, and Safeway, Walmart and Sam’s Club in a number of states.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified 2 cases of Listeriosis in Canada with the same PFGE (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) patterns as seen in the U.S. outbreak. PHAC is working with its provincial and territorial partners to determine the source of these illnesses. CDC and and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working with Canadian health authorities to determine whether these illnesses are related to the U.S. outbreak.

The information CDC reported at this time continues to indicate that commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may be contaminated with Listeria. Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness. In interviews, ill people answered questions about foods consumed and other exposures in the month before becoming ill.

To date, 23 (88 percent) of the 26 ill people interviewed reported eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before becoming ill. Caramel apple brands named in interviews have included Happy Apple, Carnival, and Merb’s Candies. However, the investigation is ongoing, and other brands may be identified. At this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not prepackaged, or to caramel candy.

So far, three firms that produce caramel apples have issued voluntary recalls after receiving notice from Bidart Brothers, a CA apple supplier, that there may be a connection between Bidart Brothers apples and this Listeriosis outbreak. On Dec. 24, 2014, Happy Apple Company of Washington, MO, voluntarily recalled Happy Apple brand caramel apples with a best use by date between Aug. 25 and Nov. 23, 2014.

On Dec. 27, 2014, California Snack Foods voluntarily recalled Karm’l Dapple brand caramel apples with a best use by date between Aug. 15 and Nov. 28, 2014. On Dec. 29, 2014, Merb’s Candies of St. Louis, MO, issued a voluntary recall of Merb’s Candies Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples that would have been available between Sept. 8 and Nov. 25, 2014.

In addition, Pacific Coast Fruit of Portland, OR, announced that it was recalling all Happy Apple brand apples it sold after Sept. 22, 2014, because they came from Bidart Brothers. The company noted in an online statement that it was contacting its customers as part of the recall.

Meanwhile, CDC and other state and federal investigators are continuing to work to identify if any other brands or types of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may be linked to illnesses and to identify the source of contamination.

Although voluntary recalls have been issued for three brands of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, CDC’s Advice to Consumers remains the same. CDC continues to recommend that U.S. consumers not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided.

These products could have a shelf life of more than one month. CDC, the involved states, and FDA continue to work closely on this rapidly evolving investigation, and new information will be provided as it becomes available.

Food Safety News

CDC Update: 32 Listeria Illnesses in 11 States, 2 in Canada Linked to Caramel Apples

On Wednesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) again updated information regarding the multi-state Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to caramel apples. As of Dec. 30, there were 32 illnesses reported in 11 states, including 31 hospitalizations and six deaths.

According to CDC, Listeriosis contributed to three of the deaths reported to date, but it is not clear whether it contributed to another two. The sixth death was unrelated to Listeriosis, CDC stated.

The new cases were reported from CA (one more, for a total of two), NM (one more, for a total of six), and one in NV (which previously had not had any cases reported). The rest are in Arizona (4), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).

CDC reports that the dates when the Listeria strains were isolated range from Oct. 17, 2014, to Dec. 11, 2014. Ten illnesses have been associated with a pregnancy (the illness occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn infant). One fetal loss has been reported.

Among people whose illnesses were not associated with a pregnancy, ages ranged from 7 to 92 years, with a median age of 66 years, and 32 percent were female, CDC reported.

Three invasive illnesses (meningitis) occurred among otherwise healthy children aged 5-15 years. Thirty-one ill people have been hospitalized, and six deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to three of these deaths, and it is unclear whether it contributed to an additional two deaths. The sixth death was unrelated to listeriosis.

Illnesses that started after Dec. 14, 2014, might not be reported yet due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported.

Outlets selling the apples included Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods in MN, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples, and Safeway, Walmart and Sam’s Club in a number of states.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified 2 cases of Listeriosis in Canada with the same PFGE (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) patterns as seen in the U.S. outbreak. PHAC is working with its provincial and territorial partners to determine the source of these illnesses. CDC and and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are working with Canadian health authorities to determine whether these illnesses are related to the U.S. outbreak.

The information CDC reported at this time continues to indicate that commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may be contaminated with Listeria. Listeria can cause a serious, life-threatening illness. In interviews, ill people answered questions about foods consumed and other exposures in the month before becoming ill.

To date, 23 (88 percent) of the 26 ill people interviewed reported eating commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples before becoming ill. Caramel apple brands named in interviews have included Happy Apple, Carnival, and Merb’s Candies. However, the investigation is ongoing, and other brands may be identified. At this time, no illnesses related to this outbreak have been linked to apples that are not caramel-coated and not prepackaged, or to caramel candy.

So far, three firms that produce caramel apples have issued voluntary recalls after receiving notice from Bidart Brothers, a CA apple supplier, that there may be a connection between Bidart Brothers apples and this Listeriosis outbreak. On Dec. 24, 2014, Happy Apple Company of Washington, MO, voluntarily recalled Happy Apple brand caramel apples with a best use by date between Aug. 25 and Nov. 23, 2014.

On Dec. 27, 2014, California Snack Foods voluntarily recalled Karm’l Dapple brand caramel apples with a best use by date between Aug. 15 and Nov. 28, 2014. On Dec. 29, 2014, Merb’s Candies of St. Louis, MO, issued a voluntary recall of Merb’s Candies Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples that would have been available between Sept. 8 and Nov. 25, 2014.

In addition, Pacific Coast Fruit of Portland, OR, announced that it was recalling all Happy Apple brand apples it sold after Sept. 22, 2014, because they came from Bidart Brothers. The company noted in an online statement that it was contacting its customers as part of the recall.

Meanwhile, CDC and other state and federal investigators are continuing to work to identify if any other brands or types of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples may be linked to illnesses and to identify the source of contamination.

Although voluntary recalls have been issued for three brands of commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, CDC’s Advice to Consumers remains the same. CDC continues to recommend that U.S. consumers not eat any commercially produced, prepackaged caramel apples, including plain caramel apples as well as those containing nuts, sprinkles, chocolate, or other toppings, until more specific guidance can be provided.

These products could have a shelf life of more than one month. CDC, the involved states, and FDA continue to work closely on this rapidly evolving investigation, and new information will be provided as it becomes available.

Food Safety News

Officials Investigating Possible Salmonella Outbreak in Massachusetts and Other States

Health officials are investigating a series of potentially related Salmonella illnesses in multiple states, one of them known to be Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health revealed Thursday that it is investigating a possible cluster of Salmonella illnesses in the state, according to Fox25. The department said the potential multistate outbreak is also being investigated by federal health officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The source of the illnesses remains unknown, according to the MA Department of Public Health.

 

 

Food Safety News

Officials Investigating Possible Salmonella Outbreak in Massachusetts and Other States

Health officials are investigating a series of potentially related Salmonella illnesses in multiple states, one of them known to be Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health revealed Thursday that it is investigating a possible cluster of Salmonella illnesses in the state, according to Fox25. The department said the potential multistate outbreak is also being investigated by federal health officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The source of the illnesses remains unknown, according to the MA Department of Public Health.

 

 

Food Safety News

Officials Investigating Possible Salmonella Outbreak in Massachusetts and Other States

Health officials are investigating a series of potentially related Salmonella illnesses in multiple states, one of them known to be Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health revealed Thursday that it is investigating a possible cluster of Salmonella illnesses in the state, according to Fox25. The department said the potential multistate outbreak is also being investigated by federal health officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The source of the illnesses remains unknown, according to the MA Department of Public Health.

 

 

Food Safety News

Egg-Producing States to Appeal California’s Battery Cage Rule

Notice has been filed of a planned appeal by several egg-producing states outside California objecting to the requirement that only eggs from hens kept in so-called Proposition 2 cages can be sold in California. A trial judge earlier rejected the claims on grounds the states representing their egg producers lacked standing to bring the case.

Most U.S. egg producers use battery cages, which California voters in 2008 said had to be phased out in that state based on concerns about how much space hens should have to stand up and turn around. When it became apparent that the California requirement would put its egg producers at an unfair disadvantage, state lawmakers extended Proposition 2 requirements to all producers selling eggs in California.

It all goes into effect on Jan. 1st, a date that will likely see egg markets disrupted with possible price increases in California.

States filing notice of appeal — Alabama, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Kentucky — argue California is imposing an unfair and unconstitutional trade restriction on out-of-state eggs.

California’s new dictates for cage sizes have so far had little impact on how U.S. egg producers house their hens — about 95 percent still use their battery cage systems. It’s unclear how many egg producers in California have switched to Prop 2 cages.

Battery cage infrastructure not only provides housing for the hens, but also are complex systems for feeding and watering, waste disposal, and collecting the eggs. Egg producers say battery cages help prevent disease and turn out cleaner eggs.

Changing out all battery cages in the U.S. might cost as much as $ 10 billion. Attempts to set a national standard for laying hen cages failed both as standalone bills and as an inclusion to the 2014 Farm Bill.

Three other states — Michigan, Oregon, and Washington State — have adopted their own cage requirements, but only California is attempting to restrict trade from other states and foreign countries based on the issue.

Food Safety News

Egg-Producing States to Appeal California’s Battery Cage Rule

Notice has been filed of a planned appeal by several egg-producing states outside California objecting to the requirement that only eggs from hens kept in so-called Proposition 2 cages can be sold in California. A trial judge earlier rejected the claims on grounds the states representing their egg producers lacked standing to bring the case.

Most U.S. egg producers use battery cages, which California voters in 2008 said had to be phased out in that state based on concerns about how much space hens should have to stand up and turn around. When it became apparent that the California requirement would put its egg producers at an unfair disadvantage, state lawmakers extended Proposition 2 requirements to all producers selling eggs in California.

It all goes into effect on Jan. 1st, a date that will likely see egg markets disrupted with possible price increases in California.

States filing notice of appeal — Alabama, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Kentucky — argue California is imposing an unfair and unconstitutional trade restriction on out-of-state eggs.

California’s new dictates for cage sizes have so far had little impact on how U.S. egg producers house their hens — about 95 percent still use their battery cage systems. It’s unclear how many egg producers in California have switched to Prop 2 cages.

Battery cage infrastructure not only provides housing for the hens, but also are complex systems for feeding and watering, waste disposal, and collecting the eggs. Egg producers say battery cages help prevent disease and turn out cleaner eggs.

Changing out all battery cages in the U.S. might cost as much as $ 10 billion. Attempts to set a national standard for laying hen cages failed both as standalone bills and as an inclusion to the 2014 Farm Bill.

Three other states — Michigan, Oregon, and Washington State — have adopted their own cage requirements, but only California is attempting to restrict trade from other states and foreign countries based on the issue.

Food Safety News

Egg-Producing States to Appeal California’s Battery Cage Rule

Notice has been filed of a planned appeal by several egg-producing states outside California objecting to the requirement that only eggs from hens kept in so-called Proposition 2 cages can be sold in California. A trial judge earlier rejected the claims on grounds the states representing their egg producers lacked standing to bring the case.

Most U.S. egg producers use battery cages, which California voters in 2008 said had to be phased out in that state based on concerns about how much space hens should have to stand up and turn around. When it became apparent that the California requirement would put its egg producers at an unfair disadvantage, state lawmakers extended Proposition 2 requirements to all producers selling eggs in California.

It all goes into effect on Jan. 1st, a date that will likely see egg markets disrupted with possible price increases in California.

States filing notice of appeal — Alabama, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Kentucky — argue California is imposing an unfair and unconstitutional trade restriction on out-of-state eggs.

California’s new dictates for cage sizes have so far had little impact on how U.S. egg producers house their hens — about 95 percent still use their battery cage systems. It’s unclear how many egg producers in California have switched to Prop 2 cages.

Battery cage infrastructure not only provides housing for the hens, but also are complex systems for feeding and watering, waste disposal, and collecting the eggs. Egg producers say battery cages help prevent disease and turn out cleaner eggs.

Changing out all battery cages in the U.S. might cost as much as $ 10 billion. Attempts to set a national standard for laying hen cages failed both as standalone bills and as an inclusion to the 2014 Farm Bill.

Three other states — Michigan, Oregon, and Washington State — have adopted their own cage requirements, but only California is attempting to restrict trade from other states and foreign countries based on the issue.

Food Safety News

Egg-Producing States to Appeal California’s Battery Cage Rule

Notice has been filed of a planned appeal by several egg-producing states outside California objecting to the requirement that only eggs from hens kept in so-called Proposition 2 cages can be sold in California. A trial judge earlier rejected the claims on grounds the states representing their egg producers lacked standing to bring the case.

Most U.S. egg producers use battery cages, which California voters in 2008 said had to be phased out in that state based on concerns about how much space hens should have to stand up and turn around. When it became apparent that the California requirement would put its egg producers at an unfair disadvantage, state lawmakers extended Proposition 2 requirements to all producers selling eggs in California.

It all goes into effect on Jan. 1st, a date that will likely see egg markets disrupted with possible price increases in California.

States filing notice of appeal — Alabama, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Kentucky — argue California is imposing an unfair and unconstitutional trade restriction on out-of-state eggs.

California’s new dictates for cage sizes have so far had little impact on how U.S. egg producers house their hens — about 95 percent still use their battery cage systems. It’s unclear how many egg producers in California have switched to Prop 2 cages.

Battery cage infrastructure not only provides housing for the hens, but also are complex systems for feeding and watering, waste disposal, and collecting the eggs. Egg producers say battery cages help prevent disease and turn out cleaner eggs.

Changing out all battery cages in the U.S. might cost as much as $ 10 billion. Attempts to set a national standard for laying hen cages failed both as standalone bills and as an inclusion to the 2014 Farm Bill.

Three other states — Michigan, Oregon, and Washington State — have adopted their own cage requirements, but only California is attempting to restrict trade from other states and foreign countries based on the issue.

Food Safety News

Two More Cases Added to Hepatitis A Outbreak: 122 Sick in 8 States

The number of confirmed illnesses part of the multistate Hepatitis A outbreak linked to Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxident Berry Blend continues to creep up. On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that there are now 122 confirmed cases, up two cases from the previous day and three more than the agency had confirmed on Monday. This week the outbreak also went from affecting 7 states to affecting 8, Wisconsin being the latest addition.

Arizona has 17 cases, California has 62, Colorado 25, Hawaii 5, New Mexico 5, Nevada 5, Utah 2 and Wisconsin 1, but the exposure in Wisconsin resulted from exposure to the product in California, according to CDC.

Nearly 60 percent of the victims are women. Illnesses onset dates range from the end of March to the middle of June and 45 percent of the reported illnesses have resulted in hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.

 

“Investigation by state and local health departments, FDA, and CDC is ongoing,” according to CDC. “FDA is inspecting the processing facilities of Townsend Farms of Fairview, Oregon.”

The outbreak strain of hepatitis A virus (HAV), belonging to genotype 1B, was found in clinical specimens of 36 people in six states. According to CDC, “this strain is rarely seen in the Americas but circulates in North Africa and the Middle East.”

Hepatitis A is a human disease and usually occurs when an infected food handler prepares food without appropriate hand hygiene.  However, food contaminated with HAV, as is suspected in this outbreak, can cause outbreaks of disease among persons who eat or handle food. Anyone concerned about exposure or foodborne illness should contact their health provider or their local health department.

Food Safety News

Citrus import demand up and growing in the United States

While per capita consumption of fresh citrus has declined since 1980, total U.S. consumption of citrus fruits has increased 20 percent since that time, according to a report titled “U.S. Citrus Import Demand: Seasonality and Substitution,” compiled by Katherine L. Baldwin, formerly of the Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, was presented at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting in Birmingham, AL, in February 2012.

Imported-Navels-cut-fruitImported summer Navel oranges from DNE World Fruit.Over the same period, total U.S. production of citrus fruits has been flat to declining, including the virtual disbandment of the U.S. commercial lime industry.

In order to fulfill domestic fresh citrus demand, imported citrus has increased in importance, accounting for more than 20 percent of total domestic consumption in the 2009-10 crop year.

Today citrus fruits make up one-fifth of all fresh fruit consumed in the United States.

Using quarterly U.S. import data for several citrus commodities, researchers for the report employed a demand model and evaluated aspects of seasonality.

All citrus fruits exhibit some seasonality in their imports, which is a result of peak harvesting schedules of exporters.

According to the USDA Economic Research Service, oranges in both fresh and juice form alone account for nearly 10 percent of total per capita fruit consumption.

Orange imports in 2009-10 were 10 times higher than levels seen in 1980-81. Regardless, imports still only account for a minute 6 percent share of U.S. consumption, up from only 1 percent in 1980-81. The motivation for increased imports is largely a matter of seasonality. Peak import season begins in July after the end of the California Navel season and ends in October when the harvesting of Florida’s early-season varieties begins.

South Africa, Chile, Mexico and Australia are the top sources for U.S. orange imports. South Africa has been the largest supplier of fresh oranges to the U.S. market essentially since 2003. Its entrance into the U.S. market began with the 2000 passage of the African Growth Opportunity Act, under which all imports of oranges from South Africa enter the U.S. duty-free. Interestingly, the top four fresh orange suppliers receive preferential trade status, and all but South Africa export under free trade agreements.

Amongst all citrus fruits produced in the United States, grapefruit is unique in that both domestic production and consumption are falling. Indeed, the long-term decline in U.S. grapefruit production is a product of weak U.S. consumer demand. Even with declining domestic demand, the U.S. remains the world’s second-largest producer of grapefruit.

Around 70 percent of the U.S. grapefruit crop is grown in Florida, with Texas and California accounting for 20 and 10 percent, respectively. Bearing acreage has declined an average of 7 percent each year since 2005-06 in Florida, but seems to have stabilized in California and Texas. In total, U.S. grapefruit production has declined by 50 percent since the 2000-01 marketing year. The report noted numerous reasons for the decline in demand, including fear of drug interaction.

Although tariffs vary seasonally for grapefruit, more than 99 percent of grapefruit imports enter the U.S. under duty-free status. With declining consumer demand, it is not surprising that imports of grapefruit are small, accounting for around 3 percent of U.S. fresh grapefruit consumption.

U.S. production of lemons remains strong, supplying more than 90 percent of domestic consumption needs and even making the U.S. the fifth-largest exporter of fresh lemons and limes in the world. Nearly all U.S. lemons are produced in California and Arizona, with the season running from August through July, and with Californian producers able to store production long enough to partially supply the high-demand summer season. Imports tend to be highest during the summer months. However, U.S. production is just gearing up for harvest at that time, and domestic supplies are at their lowest. Despite rising import demand during the summer months, imports only account for around 10 percent of U.S. consumption. Mexico and Chile are the primary sources of U.S. lemon imports, with both countries able to ship lemons duty-free through free trade agreements.

As with lemons, the U.S. mandarin and tangerine industry is on a trend of increasing both production and consumption. However, imports make up a significant portion of U.S. mandarin consumption, and the fruits are typically consumed fresh.

Worldwide, mandarins are known for being easy to peel and readily separating into different sections, which makes them convenient to eat in fresh form. Moreover, many different countries in the world produce their own particular varieties of mandarins, including Satsumas, clementines and numerous tangerine hybrids.

While most mandarins consumed in the U.S. are domestically grown, seasonal imports account for nearly 30 percent of consumption. Unlike other citrus varieties, mandarins do not store well on the tree and should be harvested soon after maturity. For this reason, the U.S. marketing season for mandarins is shorter than it is for other citrus varieties. Nearly half of U.S. mandarin imports come from Spain, with Chile, Morocco and Peru accounting for most of the remainder.

Imports from Spain represent nearly all of the clementine variety, which are in high demand by U.S. consumers because they are seedless. Total U.S. imports tend to peak November through January when the bulk of Spain’s crop is marketed. A smaller peak occurs in July and August when Chilean clementine and Peruvian tangelos enter the market.

More than 80 percent of citrus imports enter the U.S. under duty-free status due to various trade agreements.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines

Lucky’s sets entries into four states

Lucky’s Market, Boulder, Colo., said Wednesday it plans to expand into four new states next year — Florida, Indiana, Wyoming and Michigan.

The company said it expects to open ground-up stores in Gainesville, Fla., in January, followed by locations in Bloomington, Ind., and Jackson Hole, Wyo., later in the year. It said it also plans to open a store in Ann Arbor, Mich., early in the year that it is acquiring from Kroger Co.


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The new stores will vary in size, the company said — 11,500 square feet in Jackson Hole; 30,000 square feet in Gainesville; and 43,500 square feet in Bloomington. Existing stores also vary widely in size, the company noted.

Lucky’s is a nine-unit chain of natural and specialty food stores with far-flung locations: two in Colorado (Boulder and Longmont), three in Missouri (Columbia, Ellisville and Rock Hill); and single units in Iowa City, Iowa; Louisville, Ky.; Billings, Mont., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Salmonella Strains Linked to Live Poultry Sicken 344 People in 42 States

As of Sept. 23, 344 people in 42 states and Puerto Rico have been sickened by one of three outbreak strains of Salmonella linked to contact with live poultry, according to the latest update released Thursday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

No deaths have been reported, although 32 percent of those who became ill between February and August of this year have been hospitalized, CDC noted.

Since the agency’s last update on Aug. 8, 44 new ill persons have been reported from Alabama (1), Arizona (1), Connecticut (1), Georgia (1),  Illinois (1), Iowa (2), Kansas (1), Kentucky (3), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), Nebraska (2), New Jersey (1), New York (4), North Carolina (4), Ohio (6),  Pennsylvania (4), South Carolina (3), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (2), Texas (1), Utah (1), Washington (1) and Wisconsin (1).

Among persons who reported the date they became ill, illnesses began between Feb. 3, 2014, and Aug. 23, 2014. Ill persons range in age from younger than 1 year to 95 years, with the median age being 32 years. Thirty-three percent of ill persons are 10 years of age or younger. Fifty-four percent of ill persons are female. Among 224 ill persons with available information, 71 have been hospitalized.

CDC stated that related illnesses occurring after Aug. 24 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported, which, on average, takes two to four weeks.

The outbreak strains, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Hadar, have been linked through epidemiologic, laboratory and traceback findings to contact with chicks, ducklings and other live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Cincinnati, OH.

Mt. Healthy Hatcheries has posted a statement about the outbreak, noting that it has suspended business relationships with its largest outside supplier of eggs and chicks while the Salmonella investigation continues.

“It is important to note that although some CDC data suggests a link to chicks from our hatcheries, the vast majority of chicks we ship are not associated with this outbreak. Mt. Healthy Hatcheries ships thousands of chicks each week to customers, and our commitment is to provide safe, healthy chicks at all times,” the statement reads.

The company also stated that it has implemented specific interventions to mitigate the exposure to all Salmonella on its chicks and on its hatchery operations and has adopted best management practices for poultry hatcheries.

CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory tested Salmonella isolates collected from 11 people infected with either Salmonella Infantis or Salmonella Newport. Of those isolates tested, two were drug-resistant (defined as resistant to one or more antibiotics) and nine were pansusceptible (susceptible to all antibiotics tested).

CDC warns people who keep live poultry to take steps to protect themselves from Salmonella infection. This advice includes always washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching live poultry or anything in the areas where the birds live and roam and not allowing live poultry inside your home.

Food Safety News

Colombia using PMA Fresh Summit to open doors for new business in United States

The Colombian Pavilion at the 2014 Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Exposition will feature new opportunities for popular products, including avocado, goldenberry (uchuva), pineapple, herbs and limes.

Visitors to the Colombia Pavilion will be able to meet with exporters as well as promotion representatives and learn more about the new developments allowing for successful export of these products.

In the case of goldenberry (also known as uchuva, physalis or Cape gooseberry), Colombia is now approved by authorities for entry into the United States without cold treatment from certain parts of the country.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service has recognized the Bogota Savannah and parts of neighboring Boyacá and Cundinamarca departments above 2,200 meters as Medfly-free. The systems approach approved for this export scenario will allow Colombia exporters to ship a higher-quality, fresher product than those needing to be held in cold treatment. Goldenberry from Colombia is available year round.

Another development is the admissibility of Hass avocados from Colombia. The Colombian Hass avocado industry currently exports to Europe, and the industry continues to invest with the goal of expanding exports to the United States. Colombia’s Hass avocado production runs from September to June, with peaks from October to January.

The Colombian Pavilion will also promote exports of established products like fresh herbs (basil, mint, cilantro, dill, thyme, bay leaves) pineapples (variety MD 2 Golden) and limes (Tahiti).

Colombia’s long history of exporting flowers and fresh produce around the world coupled with extraordinary prime growing climates for specific products holds great promise for expanding sourcing deals for the United States. Country representatives will be on hand at Booth No. 4629 in Anaheim, CA, to discuss additional products and opportunities with interested parties.

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Main Concerns About Idaho ‘Ag-Gag’ Law Survive State’s Dismissal Motion

Animal activists cannot sue Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, and one part of the Gem State’s agricultural protection law stands without review. But U.S District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill is allowing a challenge to four other sections of Idaho’s “ag-gag” law to go forward on the basis of three legal concerns.

In his ruling issued Thursday, Winmill found that the governor is not a proper defendant because plaintiffs are “not free to randomly select a state official to sue in order to challenge an allegedly unconstitutional statue.”

Further, the challenge to a section of the Idaho law that prohibits the intentional damage or injury to agricultural facilities, operations, livestock, crops personnel, equipment, buildings or premises was dismissed.

The judge said the rest of the Idaho law may be challenged because it restricts protected speech.

”Laws that restrict more protected speech than necessary violate the First Amendment,” Winmill wrote. “Because this question of whether section 18-7042 burdens more speech that necessary remains unanswered, the court will not dismiss (Animal Legal Defense Fund’s) First Amendment claim.”

Winmill also said ALDF’s Equal Protection claim and preemption claims are “ripe for review.”

The federal judge took 10 weeks since hearing Idaho’s motion on June 25 to dismiss the entire case before finally deciding which parts of it to hear and which parts to let go. Winmill has a reputation for preferring trials over writing opinions.

Lawyer for the plaintiffs waiting on Aug. 25 for the judge to finally decide filed a consent motion to extend deadlines in the case “based on the current pace of the litigation.” Under the schedule they’ve suggested, the plaintiffs won’t disclose their experts to be called at trial until Oct. 28, 2014, a delay from Sept. 15, 2014.

A similar state law in Utah is also being challenged in federal court in Salt Lake City.

Food Safety News

Website to help safeguard the United States borders against alien scale insect pests

Scales are small insects that feed by sucking plant juices. They can attack nearly any plant and cause serious damage to many agricultural and ornamental plants. While native scales have natural enemies that generally keep their populations in check, invasive species often do not, and for this reason many commercially important scale pests in the United States are species that were accidentally introduced.

In order to facilitate the identification of alien species at U.S. ports-of-entry, scientists of the United States Department of Agriculture and California Department of Food and Agriculture joined efforts and built an online tool for the identification of 194 potentially invasive species from all over the world.

The new website is a comprehensive resource to assist federal and state identifiers to make authoritative identifications of intercepted scale insects. This resource includes, for each species, information on diagnostic characters, distribution, hosts, and important references with line drawings, photos of slide-mounted specimens and of specimens in the field. It also has identification keys, which were built in Lucid, a powerful expert system specifically designed for making identifications of organisms. Information on each species is maintained through links to ScaleNet, a rich relational database on scales that is updated regularly. Details about this tool have been published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

A number of other online tools, including Mobile apps, have been developed by various groups of scientists in cooperation with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Identification Technology Program (ITP), to help identify invasive species. These tools are available at no cost via the ID Tools website (http://idtools.org/).

‘Protecting the borders of large countries such as the United States from invasive scales often requires a very broad knowledge of the taxonomy a group, and detailed knowledge of the literature and collections from the last 250+years ‘, said Dr. Douglass Miller, the senior author of the paper and a retired scale insect systematist. ‘Currently only a few specialists in the world can identify scale insects based on morphology, and of these, many are retired or approaching retirement. We hope that our tool will facilitate scale insect pest identifications at the borders and will inspire taxonomists to build similar tools for their groups.’

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Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Cyclospora Surge: 125 Cases in 13 States

Federal officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now stepping in to assist health officials in 13 states in investigating a spike in cases of Cyclosporiasis, according to CIDRAP. Cyclosporiasis is an intestinal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the parasite Cyclospora.

In total, 125 cases have been reported with no lead on a source.

At least 61 cases have been found in Texas alone. The other states with cases are: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Tennessee.

Officials aren’t yet calling this an outbreak since it is unclear whether all of the cases are related.

Patients are currently being interviewed about international travel, with 19 so far reporting that they had recently traveled internationally, while another 35 had not. Cyclospora is more common in some tropical countries.

Symptoms of Cyclosporiasis include watery, sometimes explosive diarrhea, as well as loss of appetite, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and bloating. If not treated, these symptoms may last anywhere from days to a month or more, with the potential for relapse.

Last year, a Cyclosporiasis outbreak linked to imported salad mix and fresh cilantro sickened 631 people in 25 states.

Previous Cyclosporiasis outbreaks in the U.S. have been linked to imported fresh produce such as lettuce, salad mix, snow peas, raspberries, cilantro and basil.

Food Safety News