Food Safety

8:22am

Tue April 9, 2013
The Salt

Arsenic In Beer May Come From Widely Used Filtering Process

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:08 pm

The process that turns this beer crystal clear also may impart trace amounts of arsenic.
istockphoto.com

Beer lovers might be alarmed to hear that beer can pick up small amounts of arsenic as it's filtered to be sparkly clear.

But researchers in Germany reported Sunday that they've found arsenic in hundreds of samples of beer, some at levels more than twice that allowed in drinking water.

When we checked in with experts about arsenic and the filtering process, which is also widely used in the wine industry, they weren't too surprised. That's because the filtering agent in question, diatomaceous earth, is a mined natural product that contains iron and other metals.

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9:04am

Fri April 5, 2013
The Salt

Freezing Food Doesn't Kill E. Coli And Other Germs

The NPR Science Desk freezer: now we know we can't presume it's germ-free.
Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Think that freezing food kills E. coli and other nasty microbes? Think again.

That's the lesson from the new E. coli outbreak caused by frozen chicken quesadillas and other snacks that has sickened 24 people in 15 states.

Freezing does slow down the microbes that cause food to spoil, but it's pretty much useless for killing dangerous bugs.

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10:18am

Thu March 28, 2013
The Salt

Mapping The Microbes That Flourish On Fruits And Veggies

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 11:06 am

You call it salad. The bacteria call it home.
iStockphoto.com

Deadly microbes like salmonella and E. coli can lurk on the surface of spinach, lettuce and other fresh foods. But many more benign microbes also flourish there, living lives of quiet obscurity, much like the tiny Whos in Dr. Seuss' Whoville. Until now.

Scientists at the University of Colorado have taken what may be the first broad inventory of the microbes that live on strawberries, lettuce, tomatoes and eight other popular fresh foods.

It turns out the invisible communities living on our food vary greatly, depending on the type and whether it's conventional or organic.

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4:07pm

Fri March 8, 2013
The Two-Way

'World's Best Restaurant' Blamed For Diners' Illnesses

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:12 am

The famed Noma restaurant in Copenhagen has been blamed for more than 60 of its diners falling ill. Investigators say an illness spread from the staff to the customers.
Keld Navntoft AFP/Getty Images

Noma, the Danish eatery that has won fans with its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine, and won Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three years, is getting some unwelcome press, after dozens of people who ate at the Copenhagen restaurant fell sick.

Update: Monday, March 11

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12:16pm

Thu February 21, 2013
The Salt

Former Peanut Firm Executives Indicted Over 2009 Salmonella Outbreak

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:26 am

A sign outside the Peanut Corp. of America's processing plant in Blakely, Ga.
Ric Feld AP

Four former executives from Peanut Corp. of America and a related company are facing federal criminal charges for covering up information that their peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

The charges are related to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella back in 2009. More than 700 people became ill, and federal investigators traced the source of the bacteria to peanut butter manufactured in Blakely, Ga., by the Peanut Corp. of America. The company is no longer in business.

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