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“Last Thing I Ate” Myth »

March 10, 2016

By: Steve Leslie, Director and Counsel, Claims Program

 Here at the GMA Claims Program, one of the most common consumer complaints we receive is “this product made me sick!”  Certainly, no one questions whether contaminated food and beverage products can cause an illness.  However, many such claims are based on nothing more than a product being the last thing the consumer ate before the start of illness symptoms.  This fact alone is insufficient to support a foodborne illness claim, and actually tends to point to other sources of an illness.

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The War Against Allergens »

March 4, 2016

By: Akhila Vasan, PhD, SEF Fellow and Project Manager

My friend Sara has a food allergy that requires her to be very careful in ordering food at restaurants. One afternoon, Sara and some friends were at a Spanish restaurant and ordered tapas for the table. As the waiter was taking down the order, Sara mentioned that she had a food allergy – peanuts! The menu had to be carefully chosen and prepared so there was no cross contact during food preparation.

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Listeria in Lettuce; What You Can do to Protect Yourself »

January 29, 2016

By: Melinda Hayman, PhD, Director of Microbiology, Jennifer McEntire, PhD, Vice President, Science Operations

The CDC estimates that over 48 million people suffer from foodborne illness annually but serious illness disproportionately impacts vulnerable populations such as the young, elderly and immune-compromised.

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Transparency is vital to meeting growing consumer demands for product information »

January 25, 2016

By: Jim Flannery, Senior Executive Vice President, Operations and Industry Collaboration

A new study shows that consumers are basing their food purchases more and more on new factors beyond price, taste and convenience, and it offers some important lessons for food manufacturers and retailers on the imperative to give consumers the information they want.

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What happened with Chipotle? »

December 15, 2015

By: Jennifer McEntire, PhD, Vice President, Science Operations

Most foodborne illnesses, and even most outbreaks, are invisible to the public. Clearly, that has not been the case though with the recent outbreak of E. coli O26 associated with Chipotle restaurants. My friends are talking about it and they are asking me what happened. The reality is we may never know.

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Ten Ways SmartLabel™ Meets Consumer Desires for More Product Details »

December 7, 2015

By: Jim Flannery, Senior Executive Vice President, Operations and Industry Collaboration

The innovative SmartLabel™ initiative launched by leading food, beverage, consumer products and retail companies will enable consumers to have easy and instantaneous access to detailed information about thousands of products. It is a transformative initiative that will provide me all the information I want to know about what I am purchasing – at the touch of a finger and when I want to know it.

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