EdNet - July 2012
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 (FDA).
In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
- FDA Warns Consumers Not to Eat Shellfish from Oyster Bay Harbor, Nassau County, NY
- FDA Warns Consumers about Listeria Threat in Mexicali Cheese Corp. Products
- USDA Issues Food Safety Tips to Residents in Flooded Southeastern Texas
- Listeria Contamination in Certain Mexicali Cheese Corp. Products
- USDA Offers Food Safety Tips In Aftermath of Devastating Storm
- Standard Process Issues Voluntary Recall of Three Supplements Because of Possible Health Risk
Resources for Educators
- CORE Uses Teamwork to Respond to Outbreaks
- Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Linked to Ground Beef
- USDA Exceeds First Lady's HealthierUS School Challenge Goal
- FDA Continues to Study BPA, Updated
- FDA: Genome Project for Food Pathogens Launched
- FDA’s CFSAN Education Resource Library
- Food Safety and Raw Milk
- USDA to Enhance Consumer Safeguards with Expanded Testing for Illegal Drug Residues in Meat
- FDA, UC Davis, Agilent Technologies and CDC to Create Publicly Available Food Pathogen Genome Database
- A Sneak Peak - Home Food Safety Mythbusters is Coming! September is National Food Safety Education Month
- Agricultural Research Magazine, July 2012, Vol. 60, No. 6
- New Podcasts
- FDA Seeks to Halt Production, Distribution of Dietary Supplements at NY Company
- FDA Announces New Electronic Option to Expedite Registration of Facilities for Manufacturers, Processors, and Packers of Acidified and Low-Acid Canned Foods
- Beyond the Border: New Resources (FSIS)
- Final Group of Egg Producers Subject to FDA’s Egg Safety Rule Must Now Comply
- FDA Announces the Voluntary Removal by Industry of Certain Perfluorinated Greaseproofing Agents from the Marketplace
- FSIS Conducts Food Defense Plan Survey
- Wisconsin Livestock Dealer Enters into Consent Decree Involving Drug Residues in Cows
- Response to Letter from Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
- Response to Letter from Grocery Manufacturers Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
- Response to Letter from Snack Food Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
- FSIS Policy Updates
The FDA is warning consumers not to eat raw or partially cooked oysters and clams (shellfish) with tags listing Oyster Bay Harbor, in Nassau County, NY, as the harvest area, following illnesses reported in several states caused by Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. Shellfish harvested from Oyster Bay Harbor have been linked to confirmed and possible cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus illness. The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) closed Oyster Bay Harbor, on July 13, 2012, to shellfish harvesting. All shellfish harvesters, shippers, re-shippers, processors, restaurants, and retail food establishments are advised to check the identity tags on all containers of shellfish in their inventories. If the tag indicates the harvest area was Oyster Bay Harbor and a harvest date on or after June 1, 2012, the product should be disposed of and not be sold or served.
For more detailed information about this FDA warning, go to:
The FDA is warning consumers not to purchase or consume any products from the Mexicali Cheese Corp. of Woodhaven, N.Y., after the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes was found in the company’s finished product. The affected Mexicali Cheese products were distributed in the New York City area, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The FDA is asking retailers to remove any Mexicali cheese products from their shelves. The FDA warns that consumers may have moved the products beyond those states.
For more detailed information about this alert, go to:
On July 13, 2012, FSIS issued food safety recommendations to residents of southeastern Texas whose homes have been flooded or have lost power as a result of recent heavy rainfall.
Read this news release:
On July 2, 2012, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine warned consumers in the metropolitan New York area, including Queens, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, to not consume certain cheese products made by Mexicali Cheese Corp. located at 91-52 87th Street in Woodhaven, New York due to possible Listeria contamination. This alert, originally issued on Friday, June 29, 2012, has been expanded to include two additional product names that are noted below. The product is packaged in a rigid 14 oz. plastic tub that displayed the plant number 36-0128 and a code of 071512. This consumer warning affects all packages with this code.
For more detailed information about this warning, visit:
On July 2, 2012, FSIS isued food safety recommendations for affected residents recovering from a devastating storm that has left millions without power in states stretching from as far west as Ohio through Virginia and West Virginia to New Jersey.
Read this news release:
On June 29, 2012, Standard Process Inc. of Palmyra, WI 53156 voluntarily recalled the following three dietary supplements due to potential Salmonella contamination:
- Cataplex ACP (Product number 0700 and 0750) Lot 114
- Cataplex C (Product number 1650 1655) Lot 114
- Pancreatrophin PMG (Product number 6650) Lot 114
The products, all tablets, were distributed in 60 cc and 200 cc amber glass bottles with Best Used By dates (BUB) of 5/13 indicated on both the bottles and the boxes. No other products or lot numbers are affected. Standard Process has provided information on this voluntary recall to all distributors and health care professionals who purchased these specific lots via telephone calls and mailings. This recall resulted during a routine FDA record inspection which revealed that one of the ingredients used in these products potentially contained the bacteria. The company has ceased distribution of the product lots in question and is recalling them.
To read this FDA News Release in its entirety, go to:
Kathleen Gensheimer, M.D., MPH, chief medical officer and director of outbreak investigation and response, oversees FDA’s Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation (CORE) Network. She has been on the job since Aug. 1, 2011, when CORE was launched to streamline and strengthen the Food and Drug Administration’s efforts to prevent, investigate and learn from outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. CORE is a whole new approach to preventing and controlling outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, such as those caused by Salmonella, E. coli or Listeria monocytogenes. It’s a breaking down of barriers, the creation of one work force made up of people with different backgrounds, skills and expertise. CORE is made up of full-time staff dedicated to outbreak activities—which is a major difference from the past.
Read more of this Consumer Update at:
On July 23, 2012, the CDC announced that it is collaborating with public health officials in many states and the USDA-FSIS to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections.
Read this announcement and updates:
On July 15, 2012, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Janey Thornton announced that 3,717 schools are now certified in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC), an initiative that boosts the health and nutrition of the nation's schoolchildren. The HUSSC is one of the key parts of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.
Read this news release:
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in the production of plastics and resins, such as some water bottles and the coatings of some food cans. It is also used in some consumer goods, such as compact discs and thermal cash register tapes. And it has generated controversy about its impact on human health and development. The FDA’s assessment is that the scientific evidence at this time does not suggest that the very low levels of human exposure to BPA through the diet are unsafe.
Read this Consumer Update in its entirety:
The tiny organisms that cause foodborne illnesses—bacteria, viruses and others—are formidable foes. Despite efforts to reduce outbreaks, bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and Listeria are pervasive in the environment. Like masters of disguise, they evolve into different strains to adapt to changing surroundings. These microorganisms are collectively referred to as food pathogens. And they do a lot of harm. The FDA is embarking on a five-year collaboration with public and private partners to create a public database of the gene sequences of 100,000 bacteria that have been responsible for outbreaks of foodborne illnesses around the world. Gene sequences are the ordered chemical building blocks that make up the bacteria's DNA. The goal of this effort, called The 100K Genome Project is to give public health officials the tools they need to more rapidly identify the source of the contamination and bring these outbreaks under control
To read about the practical applications of this new database containing the genetic codes of food pathogens, visit:
FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) Education Resource Library is a compilation of printable educational materials on topics related to food safety, nutrition (including labeling and dietary supplements) and cosmetics. These materials are intended for educators, teachers, dietitians and health professionals as well as for general consumer education. Materials are available in PDF format for immediate download and may also be ordered in larger quantities using the CFSAN's Consumer Related Resources Order Form.
To see the full spectrum of CFSAN’s information on various topics, please visit:
A study released by CDC in February 2012 examined the impact of laws preventing raw milk sales on the number of dairy outbreaks in the United States during 1993—2006. Three‐quarters of the outbreaks reported occurred in states where the sale of raw milk was legal at the time. States that allow the legal sale of raw milk for human consumption have more raw milk-related outbreaks of illness than states that do not allow raw milk to be sold legally. CDC has a recently updated raw milk website that contains useful information and materials, including a list of relevant publications and other scientific resources on illnesses associated with raw milk consumption. This information can be shared with persons involved in foodborne outbreak investigations and the regulation of unpasteurized dairy products.
Visit CDC’s updated raw milk website:
FDA, UC Davis, Agilent Technologies and CDC to Create Publicly Available Food Pathogen Genome Database
On July 12, 2012, the FDA, the University of California, Davis, Agilent Technologies Inc., and the CDC, announced a collaboration to create a public database of 100,000 foodborne pathogen genomes to help speed identification of bacteria responsible for foodborne outbreaks.
More information about this FDA News Release can be found at:
On July 2, 2012, FSIS announced new steps to safeguard the food supply and to protect consumers nationwide. Later this summer, the Department will launch a new approach to its testing to protect the public from exposure to harmful levels of chemical residues in meat, poultry,
and egg products.
Read this news release:
A Sneak Peak - Home Food Safety Mythbusters is Coming! September is National Food Safety Education Month
The Partnership For Food Safety Education will debunk a new set of four common home food safety myths for 2012. New materials for consumers and educators will debunk misconceptions about home food safety.
MYTH: If I microwave food, the microwaves kill the bacteria, so the food is safe.
MYTH: I don't need to use a food thermometer. I can tell when my food is cooked by looking at it or checking the temperature with my finger.
MYTH: Of course I wash all bagged lettuce and greens because it might make me sick if I don't.
MYTH: I can't re-freeze foods after I have thawed them - I have to cook them or throw them away.
The July 2012 issue of the Agricultural Research Magazine from USDA's Agricultural Research Service is now available.
View online: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jul12/
Tune in to podcasts and listen to food safety specialists providing consumers with advice and up to date information on how to prevent foodborne illness through the safe handling, preparation and storage of meat, poultry, and processed egg products. FSIS has released the following new podcast:
- Food Safety At Home podcasts:
- Take Food Safety on the Road with Mobile Ask Karen (English and Spanish) –
July 16, 2012
Check out these podcasts: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/Food_Safety_at_Home_Podcasts/ (English)
Videos in American Sign Language: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/SignFSIS/index.asp
Visit FSIS’ Food Safety Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/USDAFoodSafety
For other food safety podcasts: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/Podcasts/index.asp
The FDA is seeking an injunction requiring Kabco Pharmaceuticals Inc., and owner Abu Kabir, of Amityville, NY, to stop producing and distributing dietary supplements until they comply with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) requirements for dietary supplements. The government’s complaint, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, alleges that Kabco Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Mr. Kabir have violated the Act by manufacturing dietary supplements under conditions that do not meet the cGMP requirements.
FDA inspections found that Kabco distributed dietary supplements that did not meet product specifications. The company did not review and investigate product complaints, and Kabco also failed to hold dietary supplements under conditions designed to prevent product mix-ups.
To read about the FDA’s action following repeated violations of current manufacturing practice requirements at Kabco Pharmaceuticals, Inc., visit:
FDA Announces New Electronic Option to Expedite Registration of Facilities for Manufacturers, Processors, and Packers of Acidified and Low-Acid Canned Foods
The FDA is announcing an electronic registration option to increase the speed with which 1) commercial processors that manufacture, process or pack acidified foods (AF) and/or thermally processed low-acid foods packaged in hermetically sealed containers (also known as low-acid canned foods or LAC”); and 2) persons who are authorized to act on behalf of such commercial processors, will be able to register their facilities with the agency using FDA Form 2541.
For detailed information about this new filing option, visit:
FSIS announced the White House-led Beyond the Border (BtB) Action Plan—an initiative in which the agency is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to implement a pilot program.
See a new fact sheet explaining the project:
As of July 9, 2012, shell egg producers with at least 3,000 but fewer than 50,000 laying hens must comply with FDA’s Egg Safety Rule. The Egg Safety Rule, finalized in 2009 and designed to prevent thousands of illnesses and dozens of deaths each year from consumption of eggs contaminated with Salmonella Enteriditis, requires that shell egg producers put measures into place to prevent Salmonella Enteritidis from contaminating shell eggs during their production, storage and transport. FDA has published Guidance for Industry regarding implementation of the Egg Safety Rule, as well as draft guidance (which FDA intends to finalize) that addresses questions the agency has received about the final rule since its publication.
Comment Period Extended for HACCP Systems Validation
FSIS extended the comment period until August 9, 2012, for the Federal Register notice that clarifies requirements for validation and for the guidance document to assist establishments in meeting the validation requirements.The agency extended the comment period in response to a request from an industry association that stated small businesses with multiple HACCP processing categories need additional time to evaluate the draft guidance document. Comments may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov or by mail to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, FSIS, Docket Clerk, Patriots Plaza IL, 355 E St. S.W.,
8-163A, Mailstop 3782, Washington, DC 20250-3700. All items submitted must include docket number FSIS-2009-0019.
FDA Announces the Voluntary Removal by Industry of Certain Perfluorinated Greaseproofing Agents from the Marketplace
The FDA is announcing that five perfluorinated substances used as greaseproofing agents have been voluntarily removed from interstate commerce by their manufacturers. After recent studies raised safety concerns with one type of perfluorinated chemicals, known as C8 compounds, FDA initiated a comprehensive review of the available data on C8 compounds. As a result of FDA’s initiative, manufacturers of these substances agreed to cease sale of all greaseproofing agents containing C8 perfluorinated compounds into the marketplace.
To read this Constituent Update, go to:
FSIS is conducting its 7th annual Food Defense Plan Survey through Aug. 10, 2012, to determine how many FSIS-regulated processed egg products plants, meat and poultry slaughter and processing establishments, and official import inspection establishments have voluntarily adopted a functional food defense plan. For questions and additional assistance, contact the Small Plant Help Desk at (877) FSIS-HELP, (877-374-7435). Any policy-related questions can also be addressed through the Policy Development Division at http://askfsis.custhelp.com or (800) 233-3935.
For guidance and documents related to food defense, go to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Defense_&_Emergency_Response/index.asp
A Wisconsin livestock company and its owner have entered into a consent decree of permanent injunction resulting from a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the FDA alleging violations of federal food and drug safety requirements. According to the government’s complaint, Dan Nolan Livestock LLC and its owner, Daniel W. Nolan, of Bonduel, WI, did not maintain adequate animal treatment records concerning the drug treatment of food animals. FDA inspectors also found that the company and Nolan used new animal drugs illegally, and did not adequately distinguish between medicated and non-medicated animals for sale for use as human food. The FDA took the action because it is concerned about the sale of animals for human food that may contain levels of animal drugs and could have the potential for adverse effects on human health.
To read this FDA News Release in its entirety, go to:
Response to Letter from Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
On June 18, 2012, Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, issued a response to the letter from Peanut and Tree Nut Processors Association concerning FDA's plans regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
To read this letter, visit:
Response to Letter from Grocery Manufacturers Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
On June 18, 2012, Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, issued a response to the letter from Grocery Manufacturers Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
To read this letter, visit:
Response to Letter from Snack Food Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
On June 18, 2012, Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods, issued a response to the letter from Snack Food Association Concerning FDA's Plans Regarding the Preventive Controls and Foreign Supplier Verification Provisions in Sections 103 and 301 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
To read this letter, visit:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- Notice 46-12: Notification of Availability of Revised Jerky Guideline
- Directive 9900.2: Import Reinspection of Meat, Poultry and Egg Products - Rev. 1
- Notice 45-12: Seventh Food Defense Plan Survey
- Directive 7120.1: Rev. 12, Safe and Suitable Ingredients Used in the Production of Meat, Poultry and Egg Products
All Notices and Directives are available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Regulations_&_Policies/index.asp