You can’t be too careful: Food executives can’t be too careful about cyber-security, as another massive hacking incident illustrates. According to an America’s JobLink Alliance (AJLA) press release, millions of job-seekers in at least 10 states may have had their sensitive information accessed by hackers. The incident allowed unauthorized access to the names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of persons in their database. The access occurred between Feb. 23 and March 14, 2017. The 10 states impacted so far are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, and Vermont. The AJLA service is offered by the Department of Labor (DOL) and is managed by a third party. Kansas-based AJLA is used to coordinate federal unemployment and workforce development programs across the country. READ MORE
Protect iCloud data: Worried about hackers destroying your iCloud music, pictures, and documents? Here are three things you should do right now: Back up your data, change your passwords (to good ones), and enable two-factor authentication (2FA). The warning comes after an unknown London-based group calling itself the “Turkish Crime Family” threatening to reset passwords on some 250 million iCloud accounts to which it claims to have gained access, and remotely wipe iPhones, if Apple doesn’t pay a bitcoin ransom by April 7. Note: Apple says it hasn’t been hacked, and the data came from “previously compromised third-party services.” Read more HERE and HERE.
Dog food might cause hyperthyroidism; hormone in animal gullets blamed: Federal officials are warning consumers and veterinarians to be on alert for potentially deadly hyperthyroidism in dogs that have eaten Blue Buffalo Co. and WellPet food, reports Food Safety News. The three separate alerts, posted Monday by the Food and Drug Administration, include test results from three dogs and samples of “BLUE Wilderness Rocky Mountain Recipe Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs” and/or “Wellness 95% Beef Topper for Dogs.” Investigators are sure the source of the active thyroid hormone in the food is from animal gullets—laryngeal tissue—in which the thyroid glands were not completely removed. However, suppliers or ingredient sources have were not disclosed in the FDA alert. The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits the use of thyroid glands and laryngeal muscle tissue for human food. READ MORE
Three more Brazilian meat processing plants suspend operations: Reuters reports that Brazil ordered three more food processing plants to suspend production on Monday amid an investigation into alleged corruption in its meat industry as the world’s biggest beef exporter sought to regain the trust of consumers. Brazil so far has temporarily closed six of the 21 food processing plants under investigation by the federal police and health authorities. The other 15 plants are not allowed to export, although they may still produce for the domestic market. All three plants ordered closed on Monday are in Parana state, where the scandal has been centered. China, Chile, and Egypt have moved to resume Brazilian imports, while other countries mull a course of action. Read more HERE and HERE.
Bird flu spreads to Georgia: Georgia agriculture officials have announced that low-pathogenic H7 avian flu has been detected at a commercial poultry breeding operation in Chattooga County, in northwest Georgia on the Alabama border. The surveillance zone around the outbreak farm includes portions of northeast Alabama. Georgia, the top broiler-producing state in the U.S., is the fourth Southeastern state to report similar outbreaks, after Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky. The Georgia Department of Agriculture said the birds tested positive for H7 during routine presale screening and that the virus is presumed to be low pathogenic because the flock did not show any signs of illness. Nonetheless, a flock of some 18,000 chickens used for breeding was culled. The worst-ever U.S. outbreak of highly pathogenic bird flu in poultry in 2014 and 2015 killed about 50 million birds, most of them egg-laying hens in Iowa. In the current outbreak, some 200,000 meat-producing broilers have been killed in recent weeks by high- and low-pathogenic bird flu or else culled to contain the virus. Read more HERE and HERE.
Malnourished elephant symbolizes depth of Venezuelan crisis: An apparently malnourished African elephant in a Venezuelan zoo—her ribs showing through her sagging skin—has become the latest symbol of the deep economic crisis in what was once one of Latin America’s most prosperous nations, says the Miami Herald. As pictures of an emaciated 46-year-old elephant named Ruperta in the Caricuao Zoo began circulating in newspapers and social media, Venezuelans have launched a food drive to save the pachyderm. READ MORE