Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Anaplasmosis detected in Wellington County

A Holstein cow in Wellington County has tested positive for anaplasmosis.

It’s the first case since 2013 when the disease was detected in Eastern Ontario.

It’s a reportable disease, but the federal government no longer imposes quarantines and other measures. A herd with the disease will be banned from exporting to many countries.

It’s common in the United States, so the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs says it’s likely to show up occasionally in Canadian herds.

Ticks and flies can spread the disease.

The disease can kill, particularly older cattle, and can severely reduce production.

Veterinarians are no longer required to report the disease, but laboratories are.

Humane transport regs posted

The federal government has posted proposed changes to humane transport regulations on its Canada Gazette, part I, and has opened a comment period until Feb. 15.

The issue has become a hot topic in Ontario this year because of animal rights protestors picketing hog truckers delivering the packing plants in the Toronto and Hamilton area and because of repeated fines for trucking chickens in foul weather.

In a separate initiative, the federal government is hosting a meeting in Ottawa this week to discuss plant and animal health.

This is in advance of posting proposed regulations early next year.

Maple Leaf tackles food insecurity

Maple Leaf Foods and its president, Michael McCain, announced today that they are investing more than $12.5 million over the next five years to tackle food insecurity.

They hope to cut the rate in half by 2030, which would mean two million Canadians would no longer be challenged by food insecurity.

The company is donating $10 million to launch the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Insecurity; McCain is adding $2.5 of his own money for an endowment fund for the non-profit centre.

The company is also going to donate at least $1.5 million worth of food per year.

The centre will focus its attention on advocacy, innovation and learning.

“The Centre and Maple Leaf will support, engage and advocate for important policies that advance sustainable food security,” the company said in a news release.

“The Innovation Fund will invest in innovative food security initiatives based on dignity, empowerment and skill building that can potentially be scaled to increase their impact.”

It is estimated that one in six children and 4,000,000 Canadians face food insecurity, lacking stable access to affordable, nutritious and culturally-appropriate food.

"In a country of such wealth and abundance, it is a national shame that one out of every six children and four million people in Canada face food insecurity," said Michael McCain, who will be chairman of the centre.

"The Centre is the culmination of several years of stakeholder engagement to understand this complex issue and where Maple Leaf should direct our resources – people, products and financial – to make the greatest difference,” he said.

“It reflects a significant, sustained commitment to lend our voice, to advocate for change, and to invest in innovation that results in demonstrable improvements."

The company has picked the following people for the centre’s board of directors:

Professor Evan Fraser, director of the University of Guelph Food Institute and the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security;

Beth Hunter, Program Director at the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, leading the Sustainable Food Systems initiative;

         Professor Mustafa KoƧ, Professor of Sociology at Ryerson University, one of the founders of the Centre for Studies in Food Security, Food Secure Canada, and the Canadian Association for Food Studies;

Curtis Frank, senior vice-president for retail sales at Maple Leaf Foods;

         Ms. Lynda Kuhn, senior vice-president for Sustainability and Public Affairs at Maple Leaf Foods, and

         Rory McAlpine, senior vice president for Government and Industry Relations at Maple Leaf Foods.

The company says that despite bold and innovative work by some, food insecurity has persisted for the last decade and in some cases, such as Nunavut, has “substantially worsened” leaving almost half of households food insecure.

‘Results from a recent national survey show that more than 60 per cent of Canadians do not understand the meaning of "food insecurity" and fewer than one in five of Canadians are aware of the extent of the issue in this country,” the company says. 

‘Impacting 12.5 per cent of the Canadian population, food insecurity is a pervasive and pressing national issue.

‘One in eight households face food insecurity and the prevalence is far greater in northern communities and among disadvantaged populations.
‘Income level is by far the strongest predictor of food security.”


Monday, December 5, 2016

Chicken processor recalls 1.99 million pounds

What started out in November as a recall of 17,439 pounds of chicken has ballooned to 1,993,528 pounds for a company in Oklahoma.

The ready-to-eat chicken has not been cooked enough.

The company is National Steak and Poultry, in Owasso.

I wonder what they can do with all that recalled chicken.

3D printing to create new food products

Australians are using 3D printing to experiment with new food products.

The technology involves building new foods, layer by thin layer and in three dimensions, so various ingredients can be mixed, deposited and cooked.

It also greatly speeds up experimentation.

The outlines of what’s possible are spelled out in a new research report published by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

For red meat, this represents an exciting opportunity to add value to current secondary cuts, trim and by products by developing a "meat ink," says a report from Australia.

Sean Starling, head of research and development for MLA, said 3DP food is an emerging, transformational technology platform that has real potential to create and capture new value for the Australian red meat industry.

“There is a need for the creation of new business models and solutions to meet mega trends and demands from different markets who want personalised approaches to nutrients or textures rather than the current whole muscle meat products,” Starling said.

“For example, the aged care sector is in need of food products that are easier to chew and have traditionally utilised pureed food as it is easier and cheaper.

“However, by utilizing 3DP technology there is an opportunity for the red meat industry to provide high-protein meals that are more appetising for residents and can be presented in intricate premium shapes and sizes."