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 e-mail to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN-FDA).
In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
- FDA Investigates Presence of Listeria in Some Hispanic-style Cheeses
- USDA Issues Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Snow Storms
Resources for Educators
- The White House and USDA Announce School Wellness Standards
- FDA Announces Updated Foods Popular Topics
- February is American Heart Month (FDA)
- Blog by: FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Regarding, Visiting India
- Statement by Secretary Vilsack on Passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014
- Blog by: Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, Regarding, Keeping Foods Safe During Transport
- FSIS: Report a Problem with Food
- Amber Waves Magazine – February 2014
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
- FDA Announces Registration Now Open for Third Public Meeting on the FSMA Proposed Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food
- FSIS Webinars Available: Scenario-Based Exercise Tool
- FSIS Webinars Scheduled: Final Rule on New Generic Labeling
- NACMCF Subcommittees to Meet on Norovirus, Microbiological Criteria (FSIS)
- FDA Proposes Updates to Nutrition Facts Label on Food Packages
- FDA Sets Standards for Infant Formula
- Update: FSIS Testing for E. coli
- FDA Reopening Comment Period on the Cosmetics and Foods Portions of its Guidance on Determining if Human Research Studies Require an Investigational New Drug Application
- FDA Requests Comments on Draft Methodological Approach for Designating High-Risk Foods under Section 204 of FSMA
- Proposed Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (FDA)
- FSIS: Directory App Now Available for Apple Users
- Get Answers at askFSIS
- FSIS Policy Updates
Roos Foods of Kenton, DE, has voluntarily recalled a variety of cheeses because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
For additional information about this voluntary recall, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm386726.htm
USDA Issues Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Snow Storms
On February 12, 2014, FSIS issued food safety recommendations for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states affected by severe winter weather moving across the country.
The White House and USDA Announce School Wellness Standards
On February 25, 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama joined USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to announce proposed guidelines for local school wellness policies.
Read this news release: http://www.usda.gov/2014/02/0029.xml
FDA Announces Updated Foods Popular Topics
FDA announced an update to the Popular Topics webpage on the Foods webpage of FDA.gov. The goal of this webpage is to provide answers to frequently asked questions about FDA-regulated foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.
For more information, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm386832.htm
Most Americans eat too much sodium, and sodium has been linked to high blood pressure, which can increase your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. FDA reminds you to use the Nutrition Facts Label to choose foods with less sodium.
To learn more about using the nutrition facts label to reduce your sodium intake, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/LabelingNutrition/ucm315355.htm
Blog by: FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Regarding, Visiting India
FDA’s Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., blogs about her visit and a shared vision to further strengthen the collaboration between the Agency and its regulatory counterparts.
To access this blog in its entirety, go to: http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2014/02/visiting-india-sharing-a-vision-for-strengthening-food-and-medical-product-safety/
On February 4, 2014, Secretary Vilsack made a statement on passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014:
Read this statement: http://www.usda.gov/2014/02/0015.xml
Blog by: Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, Regarding, Keeping Foods Safe During Transport
Michael R. Taylor blogs about a new proposed rule that would require certain shippers, receivers, and carriers who transport food by motor or rail vehicles to take steps to prevent the contamination of human and animal food during transportation.
This blog can be accessed in its entirety at: http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2014/01/keeping-foods-safe-during-transport/
Separate government agencies are responsible for protecting different segments of the food supply. If you have experienced a problem with a food product, be sure to contact the appropriate public health organization.
For more information, visit: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/report-a-problem-with-food
Amber Waves presents the broad scope of ERS research and analysis on the economics of food, farming, natural resources, and rural America.
The February issue of the Amber Waves Magazine from USDA's Economic Research Service is available online: http://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves.aspx
FDA Announces Registration Now Open for Third Public Meeting on the FSMA Proposed Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food
FDA announced the opening of registration for the third public meeting on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food Proposed Rule for March 20, 2014 in College Park, MD.
For more detailed information, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm385860.htm
FSIS Webinars Available: Scenario-Based Exercise Tool
FSIS has developed a new tool for use by the FSIS-regulated industry known as the Food Defense and Recall Preparedness: A Scenario-Based Exercise Tool. This scenario-based tool highlights the importance of having a voluntary functional food-defense plan and written recall procedures. The tool identifies key components of a food-defense plan and recall procedures that are relevant to an organizations’ business. The exercise is designed to be completed within an hour’s time. FSIS is hosting webinars for industry to explain the purpose of the tool and to demonstrate how to use it. The planned date for the next webinar is Friday, March 14, 2014, 11 a.m. ET. Questions regarding the tool and webinars can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participants can register for the webinar at: https://webtraining.rti.org/fsis
The tool is available for free download at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-defense-defense-and-emergency-response
It is also located in FSIS’ Guidance Documents at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-defense-and-emergency-response/preparation-and-prevention/guidance-documents
Effective January 6, 2014, FSIS expanded the circumstances in which labels may be considered generically approved. This new rule will allow establishments to label a broader range of products without first submitting the label to the agency for approval. FSIS will host additional webinars on this subject on March 11, and March 25, 2014, both at 2 p.m. ET. For registration questions, contact Kristin Goodwin at (301) 504-0878 or email@example.com. Join the webinar and follow the on-screen instructions. Please be sure to log on as a participant.
To access the webinar, go to: https://connect16.uc.att.com/usda/meet/?ExEventID=85277207
NACMCF Subcommittees to Meet on Norovirus, Microbiological Criteria
The National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) subcommittees will hold public meetings at the Patriot’s Plaza 3, 1st Floor Auditorium, 355 E. St., SW, Washington, DC 20024 on the following dates:
March 18-20, 2014: A subcommittee on Control Strategies for Reducing Foodborne Norovirus Infections will meet on Tuesday - Thursday, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
March 25-27, 2014: A subcommittee on the Study of Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary Conditions will meet on Tuesday - Thursday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The information obtained from this project will assist all U.S. food safety agencies.
If you would like to attend these meetings, please contact Advisory Committee Specialist Karen Thomas at 202-690-6620 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that due to increased security measures at Patriots Plaza III, all persons wishing to attend must RSVP in advance.
View upcoming meetings and associated meeting materials listed by date on FSIS’ Public Meeting and Events website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings
FDA Proposes Updates to Nutrition Facts Label on Food Packages
FDA is proposing to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new public health and scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label would also update out-of-date serving size requirements to better align with how much people really eat, and it features a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.
For more information, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm385663.htm
FDA Sets Standards for Infant Formula
FDA released an interim final rule that sets standards for manufacturers to produce safe infant formula that supports healthy growth.
For more detailed information regarding this interim final rule, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm384911.htm
Update: FSIS Testing for E. coli O157:H7
Between June 4, 2012 and Jan. 26, 2014, FSIS laboratory services analyzed a total of 4,975 beef trim samples (4,318 domestic and 657 imported), 1,699 routine follow-up samples (1,585 domestic and 114 imported) and 34 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples.
FDA Reopening Comment Period on the Cosmetics and Foods Portions of its Guidance on Determining if Human Research Studies Require an Investigational New Drug Application
On January 16, 2014, FDA announced it would reopen, for 60 days, the comment period for specific portions of its final guidance for clinical investigators, sponsors, and institutional review boards (IRBs), entitled Investigational New Drug Applications (INDs) -- Determining Whether Human Research Studies Can Be Conducted Without an IND, which was announced in the September 10, 2013 Federal Register. FDA published a notice in the Federal Register, dated February 6, 2014, announcing the reopening and requesting submission of comments by April 7, 2014.
For more information, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm384498.htm
FDA Requests Comments on Draft Methodological Approach for Designating High-Risk Foods under Section 204 of FSMA
FDA published a Federal Register notice to present its draft methodological approach to identifying high-risk foods under section 204(d)(2) of the Food Safety Modernization Act and is seeking comments and scientific data that will help to refine its approach. FDA is required under section 204(d)(2) of FSMA to designate high-risk foods for which additional recordkeeping requirements are appropriate and necessary in order to rapidly and effectively track and trace such foods during a foodborne illness outbreak or other event.
For additional information, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm383648.htm
Proposed Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food
FDA proposed a rule that would require certain shippers, receivers, and carriers who transport food by motor or rail vehicles to take steps to prevent the contamination of human and animal food during transportation. The proposed rule is available for public comment until May 31, 2014.
For more detailed information about the proposed rule, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm383900.htm
FSIS: Directory App Now Available for Apple Users
On February 12, 2014, FSIS released its Apple version of the Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection (MPI) Directory mobile app supporting iPhone and iPad devices. The MPI Directory provides a listing of establishments that produce meat, poultry and/or egg products regulated by FSIS. This is the first release of a mobile application using Apple’s iOS infrastructure; the Android version is already available and was released in May 2013. The USDA MPI Directory app allows customers to ‘look up’ or search establishments by location or zip code, type of inspection, establishment name or number and type of establishment. Customers can find the information on a mobile device, when it’s needed from any place, anywhere, at any time. The release of the Apple version will expand FSIS’ ability to reach a broader audience interested in important food safety data.
The Android version of the mobile application can be found at: https://play.google.com/store/apps?hl=en
The mobile application can be downloaded by searching usda mpi directory from the Apple iTunes Store, or from the Apple iTunes Store at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/usda-mpi-directory/id791859888?ls=1&mt=8
Get Answers at askFSIS
AskFSIS is a Web-based technology and policy question-and-answer forum on topics such as exporting, labeling, inspection, programs and procedures. In addition, askFSIS offers Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that link back to the Q&As.
To view recently posted topics, visit: http://askfsis.custhelp.com/
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- Notice 11-14:Disposition of Non-Ambulatory Disabled Cattle
- Notice 09-14: Poultry Checklist in Establishments that Produce Raw Chicken and Turkey Products
- Directive 5420.3 Rev 7: Food Defense Surveillance Procedures and National Terrorism Advisory System Alert Response for the Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit
All Notices and Directives are available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/index.asp