EdNet – February 2011
EdNet, the National Food Safety Educator’s Network, is a monthly, multi-agency electronic news journal from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). EdNet provides up-to-date information about food safety and nutrition programs and activities for educators, consumer advocates, government officials, and industry representatives.
If you have questions or comments about this issue of EdNet, send an e-mail to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA).
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In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
- USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Flooding in the South Central United States
- St James Smokehouse, Inc., Announces Voluntary Recall of Scotch Reserve Whiskey & Honey Smoked Salmon 4 oz Retail Packs Due To Possible Health Risk
Resources for Educators
- FDA: U.S. Marshals Seize Food Products at Tennessee Company
- FDA: Advanced Genomic Test Helps Trace Sources of Foodborne Illness Outbreak
- FDA Seeks to Invest in Foodborne Illness Prevention, Medical Product Safety and Countermeasures
- USDA and Hunger Advocates to Launch Public-Private Partnership to Strengthen the National Hunger Safety Net
- Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces Childhood Obesity Prevention Grant to North Carolina State University
- New FDA Materials on Sanitation Concerns with Commercial Deli Slicers
- FDA’s Consumer Update: Eat for a Healthy Heart
- Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Statement on “The Food Safety Modernization Act: Putting Ideas into Action”
- Statement by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy of Commissioner for Foods, Regarding “The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: A New Paradigm for Importers”
- North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank Provides Vaccine to the Republic of Korea (APHIS-USDA)
- FSIS and Twitter: Over 100K and Counting
- New Podcasts (FSIS)
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
- USDA Announces Public Meeting, Seeks Comments on Positions for Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products
- Codex Public Meeting to Seek Comments on Food Additives
- Public Meeting to Review Positions of Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food
- USDA to Hold Meeting of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health
- Vet 2011: FSIS Celebrates 250 Years of Veterinary Medicine
- USDA Announces Proposed Rule for the Inspection of Catfish and Catfish Products
- FSIS Provides Overview for Nutrition Labeling and Posts Q&As on AskFSIS
- FSIS Policy Updates
On February 25, 2011, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued recommendations for residents in the South Central United States affected by recent flooding, strong winds, and tornadoes to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses due to power outages and other problems often associated with severe weather.
Read this news release:
St James Smokehouse, Inc., Announces Voluntary Recall of Scotch Reserve Whiskey & Honey Smoked Salmon 4 oz Retail Packs Due To Possible Health Risk
On February 4, 2011, St James Smokehouse, Inc., conducted a voluntary recall of Scotch Reserve Whiskey & Honey Smoked Scottish Salmon 4 oz retails packs under, Lot code:5797 & batch code: 4759, with UPC# 853729001151 due to potential contamination with “Listeria Monocytogenes.” “Listeria monocytogenes” is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. No “Listeria” illnesses have been linked to any product produced by St James Smokehouse. St. James Smokehouse is taking this action as a precautionary measure and are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
For more detailed information about this recall, visit:
On February 24, 2011, U.S. Marshals seized about $200,000 worth of food products from Bedford Cheese Store Inc., in Shelbyville, TN, after FDA investigators found evidence of rodents throughout the company’s facility. An FDA inspection found rodent feces, rodent hair, rodent nesting material, and building defects that could allow rodents and other pests to enter food storage areas and other areas that apparently contributed to the infestation. Products seized at Bedford Cheese included cheese, frozen foods, pastas, salad dressings, prepared salads, soups, and various bulk ingredients.
To read this FDA News Release in its entirety, go to:
FDA scientists successfully used a new genome sequencing test to retrospectively examine a 2009-10 foodborne illness outbreak to help trace the source of the infection. A “Salmonella Montevideo” outbreak that began early in 2010 was linked to spice rubs on certain salamis and sickened nearly 300 people in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Field investigators collected samples of the suspect product to find the source of the contamination. However, conventional laboratory testing methods could not distinguish between the outbreak involving spiced meat and certain previous “Salmonella” contamination events. FDA analysts then turned to next-generation sequencing (NGS) to test 35 samples suspected of being contaminated with the “Salmonella” strain.
The results of the next-generation sequencing can be found at:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is requesting a budget of $4.3 billion to protect and promote the public health as part of the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget — a 33 percent increase over the FDA enacted budget for FY 2010. The FY 2012 request covers the period of October 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012. “FDA protects and promotes the health of all Americans through every stage of life,” said Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs. “The breadth of this mandate means that FDA responsibilities continue to grow. The new budget contains new resources so that FDA can fulfill its growing responsibilities to the American public.” The FDA 2012 budget proposes four critical initiatives and increases.
Read more about how the FDA 2012 budget proposes four critical initiatives and increases:
USDA and Hunger Advocates to Launch Public-Private Partnership to Strengthen the National Hunger Safety Net
On February 10, 2011, USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon joined Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Paul Davis, acting director of AmeriCorps VISTA, and Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, to swear-in 46 members of the new National Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps, an AmeriCorps VISTA project. The new VISTA volunteers will work in both rural and urban areas in 18 states as part of a public-private partnership to increase access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for Americans in need.
Read this news release:
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Merrigan Announces Childhood Obesity Prevention Grant to North Carolina State University
On February 9, 2011, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan visited North Carolina State University to announce a grant to develop an obesity prevention program that increases access to healthy food and safe places for physical activity. The announcement was delivered as part of the first anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative .
Read this announcement:
As part of an initiative to improve food safety practices in retail and foodservice establishments, FDA has developed a poster and flyer designed to raise awareness of sanitation concerns with commercial deli slicers commonly used to slice meats, cheeses and produce in food stores, delis, restaurants and other foodservice establishments.
To read this Constituent Update, visit:
The new poster and flyer are available in both English and Spanish at no charge and can be ordered at:
Making healthy food choices is one important thing you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease—the leading cause of death of men and women in the United States. Experts say you can reduce the risk of developing these problems with lifestyle changes that include eating a healthy diet. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s nutrition expert Barbara Schneeman says to follow six simple guidelines when preparing meals.
You can find these simple guidelines for eating a healthy diet on FDA’s Web site at:
Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Statement on “The Food Safety Modernization Act: Putting Ideas into Action”
On January 27, 2011, Michael R. Taylor, Deputy of Commissioner for Foods, Foods and Drug Administration, issued a statement regarding, ‘’The Food Safety Modernization Act: Putting Ideas into Action” at the Food and Drug Law Institute Food Safety Conference in Washington, D.C.
Read this statement at:
Statement by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Regarding, “The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: A New Paradigm for Importers”
On February 17, 2011, Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Foods and Drug Administration, issued a statement regarding, ‘’The Food Safety Modernization Act: A New Paradigm for Importers” at the Global Food Safety Conference in London, England.
To read this statement, visit:
On January 31, 2011, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), with USDA, announced that the North American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Bank, administered jointly by commissioners from the United States, Canada and Mexico, is providing the Republic of Korea with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine needed to assist the country with its ongoing FMD outbreak. The vaccine bank will provide the antigen needed to manufacture 2.5 million doses of vaccine to vaccinate pigs and cattle in the Republic of Korea.
Read the news release:
FSIS' Twitter handle, @USDAFoodSafety, now has over 100,000 followers. Are you one of them? If not, sign up to find food safety information, along with tips and resources to keep consumers and other interested groups informed of the latest agency news and events.
Receive recall notifications and updates, seasonal food safety advice and FSIS news at:
Tweets are also available in Spanish at:
Tune in to podcasts on selecting, handling and preparing meat and poultry products to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. FSIS has released the following new podcasts in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL):
- Food Safety At Home:
- “Slow Cookers and Food Safety” (Spanish) – February 24, 2011
- “What is ‘E. coli’ O157:H7” (English, Spanish, ASL) – February 16, 2011
Check out these podcasts at:
Spanish language consumer podcasts:
Video-casts in American Sign Language:
To continue automatically receiving podcasts, renew your subscription, or for assistance, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
USDA Announces Public Meeting, Seeks Comments on Positions for Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products
On February 25, 2011, the Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced they are sponsoring a public meeting to provide information, receive public comments on agenda items, and draft U.S. positions on issues to be discussed at the 31st Session of the Codex Committee on Fishery and Fishery Products (CCFFP) held in Tromso, Norway, April 11-16, 2011. The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, 2011, to be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at FDA in the Harvey W. Wiley Building Auditorium, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway, College Park, Md. To participate through teleconference, dial (866) 692-3158 and enter passcode 5986642.
Read this news release:
On February 22, 2011, the Office of Food Safety and the Food and Drug Administration co-sponsored a public meeting to receive public comments and draft U.S. positions that will be discussed during the 43rd Session of the Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA), which will be held in Xiamen, China.
Documents and agenda items related to the 43rd Session of the CCFA are available at:
On February 22, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sponsored a public meeting at the FDA’s Harvey W. Wiley Federal Building,
College Park, MD. The meeting was to provide information and solicit public comments on agenda items for the 5th session of the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food, which will be held in The Netherlands from March 21-25, 2011.
Read about this public meeting:
On February 18, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced a meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee to take place on March 4, 2011. Animal disease traceability in the United States will be the primary discussion topic. Notice of this action is published in the February 18, 2011 “Federal Register.”
On February 4, 2011, FSIS hosted an opening ceremony for “World Veterinary Year,” also known as “Vet 2011.”
Read more about this event:
The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a proposed Rule requiring inspection of catfish and catfish products by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). USDA is proposing these regulations to implement provisions as required by the “Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008” (“2008 Farm Bill”). Comments must be received on or before June 26, 2011, through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov or by mail to USDA, FSIS Docket Clerk, Room 2-2127. George Washington Carver Center, 5601 Sunnyside Ave.,
Beltsville, MD 20705. Submissions may also be received through e-mail at email@example.com. All comments must identify FSIS and the docket number FSIS-2008-0031.
To review a copy of the proposed Rule, and for comments made available, go to:
On December 29, 2010, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the publication of the final Rule on “Nutrition Labeling of Single-Ingredient Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products.”
To review this final Rule:
FSIS has posted a presentation on its Web site that gives an overview of the nutrition labeling final Rule and its requirements as well as answers to questions received on AskFSIS on the final Rule. Discussions include point-of-purchase materials and the use of lean/fat ratios in the labeling of ground products. FSIS expects to provide monthly updates in anticipation of implementation of the final Rule.
To view, go to:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy update was recently issued:
- FSIS Notice 08-11: “Inspection Responsibilities and Authorities for Slaughter or Evisceration Line Speed Process Control”
- FSIS Notice 06-11: “Humane Handling at all Entrances and the Twenty-Eight Hour Law”
All Notices and Directives are available at: