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Raw cookie dough safety, meatless labeling, restricted diet popularity – news to December 11 2011

Raw cookie dough, even processed, can lead to food poisoning. The cantaloupe listeria outbreak is over. A school labels entrees as “meatless” rather than “vegetarian” to avoid scaring students away. Kosher manufacturers are moving into nontraditional foods such as gluten-free and international. Gluten-free, diabetic, and other restricted diets are becoming more common on restaurant menus. A study finds that low-carb diets are better than calorie-restricted diets for certain cancers.

Food safety –cookie dough and cantaloupes

CDC warns against eating raw cookie dough Dec-9-11 USA Today
A new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against the dangers of eating raw cookie dough that was previously linked to an E.coli outbreak in 2009. The study found a strong association between consumption of ready-to-bake cookie dough and salmonella illness.

Deadly US cantaloupe listeria outbreak over – CDC Dec-9-11 Food Navigator USA
The worst foodborne contamination is modern US history has ended, leaving 30 dead and over 100 infected, health officials have announced.

Food labeling – meatless, gluten-free, food coloring

Meatless entrees in schools not labeled “vegetarian” Dec-4-11 CT Post
Students in Shelton, CT schools are being offered a meatless alternative at lunch time, but don’t call them vegetarian meals. The word “vegetarian” does tend to scare away people — especially the young children. “If you say vegetarian, they might think there’s vegetables hidden in their food.”

Europe to get universal gluten-free symbol for packs Dec-7-11 BakeryInfo.co.uk
As sales of ‘free-from’ goods rocket, the UK’s leading celiac body has sealed a Europe-wide agreement to promote one universal front-of-pack symbol for gluten-free products.

CSPI urges front-label discussion of food coloring Dec-9-11 Food Safety News
According to a petition from CSPI to the FDA, major food companies frequently rely on artificial colorings to imply the inclusion of healthy ingredients that are not actually in the product. This can lead to confusion for consumers who might not read the small ingredients lists on “nutrition facts” labels.

Other – popularity of restricted diets, pesticides in organic produce, low-carb cuts cancer, and more

Majority of children sensitive to bitterness Dec-4-11 API
About 70 percent of children have a sensitivity to bitterness. Adding a small amount of dip to a serving of vegetables helped some children eat more vegetables, U.S. researchers found.

Nontraditional Kosher foods Dec-7-11 Crain’s New York
The kosher world appeals to more than just the Jewish population in the U.S., with an estimated 55% of kosher consumers buying kosher primarily for health and safety reasons rather than religious reasons. The kosher industry is a $12.5 billion market in the U.S. that is growing 15% each year. An expanding population of kosher consumers has prompted companies to roll out natural, gluten-free and international food products.

Popularity of gluten-free, diabetic and other restricted diets Dec-8-11 Technomic
Menu items with descriptions that reference gluten, cholesterol, sugar and other health-related topics are expanding on restaurant menus as more operators recognize that an increasing number of Americans require controlled diets.

Pesticides found in Canadian organic produce Dec-8-11 HuffPost Politics
Some organic produce in Canada contains pesticides, according to government inspection documents, including nearly 24 per cent of organic apples.

Low-carb diets beat low-cal for cutting pounds and cancer risk Dec-9-11 LA Times
Following a low-carb diet, even for only two days a week, was better than following a calorie-restricted diet every day for losing weight and lowering insulin levels, which are both associated with lower risks of breast and other cancers, says a new study presented Dec. 8 at the American Cancer Research Society meeting in San Antonio.

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