USDA

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This Year's Craziest Restaurant Meal: 3.5K Calories

Watchdog group lists diet-annihilating dishes from US chains

(Newser) - Nearly 3,550 calories for a burger, fries, and shake sounds about right—if it's one of the meals called out on a watchdog group's annual list of fatty, sugary, calorie-heavy foods served at US chain restaurants. The Center for Science in the Public Interest pored over nutritional... More »

Dozens of Giant Snails Stopped at LAX

Invasive species was labeled as food

(Newser) - A slow-moving Nigerian delicacy was stopped at Los Angeles International Airport when 67 giant land snails were discovered packed in picnic baskets, authorities said yesterday. The live African snails—which can grow to be 8 inches long, 5 inches wide, and live to be 10 years old—arrived with paperwork... More »

Schools: Healthy Lunch Rules Go Too Far

Teens see Michelle Obama as culprit

(Newser) - Schools are struggling to adhere to new government rules on healthy lunches, and school officials are asking Washington to step back. "The regulations are so prescriptive, so it's difficult to manage not only the nutrition side of your businesses but the business side of your business," a... More »

8.7M Lbs. of 'Diseased, Unsound' Meat Recalled

California-based firm's beef, veal products weren't properly inspected

(Newser) - Bad news for Americans who consume food, specifically of the meat variety: California-based Rancho Feeding Corporation is recalling some 8.7 million pounds of beef and veal products after feds determined that it "processed diseased and unsound animals and carried out these activities without the benefit or full benefit... More »

USDA Shuts Poultry Plant Over Cockroach 'Infestation'

Foster Farms facility was implicated in last year's salmonella outbreak

(Newser) - "Cockroach" and "infestation" are two words you don't want anywhere near your dinner, but the USDA says it encountered just that at a California poultry plant that it wasted no time in shutting down yesterday. Foster Farms said that it immediately conducted "enhanced sanitizing" at its... More »

97% of Chicken Covered in Bacteria: Consumer Reports

Study finds half of store-bought chicken contains fecal matter

(Newser) - Consumer Reports' latest report isn't for the weak of stomach: Some 97% of the 316 raw chicken breasts it purchased at US stores in July contained "worrisome amounts of bacteria." While it admits it's "unrealistic to expect uncooked chicken won't contain any potentially... More »

Plants Tied to Salmonella Outbreak Can Stay Open

USDA says conditions have improved

(Newser) - The three California processing plants linked to the salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 300 people in 18 states will be allowed to stay open, the AP reports. USDA inspectors will conduct "intensified samplings" at the Foster Farms facilities for the next three months, but they're satisfied for... More »

Salmonella Hits 18 States —With CDC Shut Down

About 300 people have been sickened by chicken

(Newser) - A salmonella outbreak involving chicken has sickened about 300 people in 18 states, most of them in California, reports the AP . Authorities issued an alert for chicken packaged at one of three Foster Farms operations in California with a USDA mark of P6137, P6137A, or P7632. Here's the fun... More »

Fecal Matter on Meat at Plants Using New USDA System

3 of 5 pork plants in pilot program have terrible safety records

(Newser) - A disturbing, extensive Washington Post piece today reveals that the USDA hopes to implement a program nationwide that allows pork plants to process meat in less time while using fewer USDA safety inspectors—despite the fact that three of the five plants that have used the new meat inspection approach... More »

Feds Demand Magician Submit Rabbit 'Disaster Plan'

USDA backtracks on rule after case publicized

(Newser) - Marty the Magician is no stranger to red tape—the Department of Agriculture has long required him to have a license for the rabbit he uses in his act—but even he was surprised when the government ordered him to pull a rabbit disaster plan out of his hat. Under... More »

Outlaw Raisin Farmer Defies Uncle Sam

For 11 years, Marvin Horne has refused to turn over crop to 'raisin reserve'

(Newser) - Get ready to read the weirdest fact you're likely to encounter all month: There exists in our country a national raisin reserve. And a 68-year-old California raisin farmer has spent the last 11 years fighting it. The Washington Post reports the very unusual and very fascinating story of Marvin... More »

Now, You'll Know if Your Meat Has Been Eating GMOs

USDA approves new label

(Newser) - Let's say you're the sort who avoids genetically modified food. How do you know your steak has been exercising the same restraint? Until now, you didn't, but now the USDA has approved a non-GMO label for meat and "liquid egg products," the New York Times... More »

Agriculture's Rising Force: Female Farmers

Women now account for 30% of US farmers

(Newser) - One of the biggest changes in agriculture isn't so much about what type of seeds are being planted as who is planting them: women. Grist expands on a USDA study showing that the number of farms run by women has nearly tripled in the last three decades. Add in... More »

Chicken Plants to Douse Birds With More Chemicals

Because USDA is set to OK increase conveyor belt speeds

(Newser) - The Washington Post has a lengthy, appetite-killing story about new rules set to go into place at US poultry plants that are likely to result in an increase in chemicals used to treat the birds. The USDA is expected to allow plants' processing lines to move even faster later this... More »

Feds to Beef Up Horse-Meat Testing

USDA says move is response to recent events, consumer concerns

(Newser) - With horse meat having turned up in foods all across Europe , the USDA said yesterday it will step up its "species testing" on meat imports, reports NBC News . In the past, such testing only occurred when there was a reason to doubt the purity of a shipment. Though the... More »

USDA: Time for 'Sea Change' in Fighting Pests

Officials release list of top 15 threats

(Newser) - Pests are causing billions of dollars of agricultural damage—the Asian citrus psyllid alone has cost Florida growers $4.5 billion—and it's time for a "sea change" in how we deal with them. Today, the USDA is releasing its list of the top 15 pest threats, USA ... More »

How the USDA Hacked the Sequester

Tom Vilsack got $55M in new money for meat inspectors

(Newser) - There's no way to get out of the sequester's mandatory budget cuts, right? Wrong—at least for the USDA. Just three weeks after the sequester hit, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack found a way around it, snagging $55 million in new money for meat inspectors—just about the same... More »

Forget Europe: US May OK Horse Meat Plant

It hasn't been processed here in 6 years

(Newser) - What timing: With Europe trying to rein in a horse meat scandal , the US may give the green light to a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico. The facility, which would produce horse meat that's safe to eat, could get Agriculture Department approval within the next two months, the... More »

Are You Eating Horse Meat?

Officials doubt it, but horse-meat tests are flying off shelves

(Newser) - With Nestle stung by the horse-meat scandal , you may wonder whether unwanted cheval has reached your dinner table. Federal US regulators say it's unlikely, because domestic suppliers don't slaughter horses and Washington doesn't allow imported beef from European countries affected by the scandal, reports NBC News . That... More »

Sorry, USDA Employees: No More Deep-Fried Lunch

Cafeterias will adhere more closely to USDA's dietary guidelines

(Newser) - For years, the USDA has been giving Americans dietary guidelines—and now USDA workers will have to start living by those guidelines, at least during lunchtime. The cafeterias at the Agriculture Department's DC headquarters have gotten a makeover, and the most headline-worthy change is that the deep fryers have... More »

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