EdNet - June 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 e-mail to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA).
In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
Resources for Educators
- “Food Safe Families:” First-Ever National Multimedia Food Safety Campaign Launches to Reduce Food Poisoning in the U.S.
- USDA-Funded Research Aims to Reduce Food-Borne Illnesses
- FDA Unveils New Global Strategy to Help Ensure Safety and Quality of Imported Products
- FDA’s Barbecue Bliss: Keeping Bacteria at Bay
- FDA 101: Product Recalls - From First Alert to Effectiveness Checks
- Draft Guidance for Organic Agriculture Industry Available for Public Review, Comment (USDA)
- FDA Statement on “E. coli” O104 Outbreak in Europe
- FDA Takes ‘First Step’ Toward Greater Regulatory Certainty Around Nanotechnology
- FDA Seeks Comment on Preventive Controls Against Foodborne Illness
- FDA to Make Enforcement and Compliance Activities Accessible Online
- Fish Hazards and Controls: More Than a Fish Story (FDA)
- First Lady, Agriculture Secretary Launch “MyPlate” Icon as a New Reminder to Help Consumers to Make Healthier Food Choices
- Midwest Flood Response & Recovery Assistance (FNS-USDA)
- Investigation Update: Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing “E. coli” O104 (STEC O104:H4) Infections Associated with Travel to Germany (CDC)
- Partnership for Food Safety Education
- Stay Up to Date: Sign Up for E-mails from the FDA
- "Amber Waves Magazine," June 2011
- New Podcasts (FSIS)
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
- FDA Announces Upcoming NARMS Meeting
- FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act:” Focus on Inspections and Compliance Provisions; Public Meeting
People in the News
- FDA: Maryland Food Manufacturer Enters into Consent Decree
- FDA: California Seafood Handler Enters into Consent Decree FDA: DDS Probiotic Products Seized
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, Updated
- FDA Seizes Elderberry Juice Concentrate at Kansas Company
- FDA Seeks Injunction Concerning Uneviscerated Seafood and Other Fish at Minnesota Company
- FSIS Offers Tips to Reduce Label Review Backlog
- FSIS Policy Updates
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
On June 27, 2011, the FDA warned consumers not to eat alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts from plastic bags labeled "Evergreen Produce" or "Evergreen Produce, Inc." The sprouts are possibly linked to 20 reported cases, including one hospitalization, of “Salmonella” Enteritidis in Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota and Washington State. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from “Salmonella” infection. Consumers, retailers and others who have alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts in plastic bags labeled "Evergreen Produce" or "Evergreen Produce, Inc." should discard them in a sealed container so people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them.
Detailed information can be found on FDA’s Web site at:
Resources for Educators
“Food Safe Families:” First-Ever National Multimedia Food Safety Campaign Launches to Reduce Food Poisoning in the U.S.
Read this news release:
Read more at this blog:
To see “Check Your Steps” Videos (YouTube):
For related blogs (Foodsafety.gov):
To Ask Karen a Food Safety Question (AskKaren.gov):
On June 23, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced it has awarded research, education and extension grants to 24 institutions to reduce food-borne illnesses and deaths from microbial contamination
Read this news release:
On June 20, 2011, the FDA unveiled a new strategy to meet the challenges posed by rapidly rising imports of FDA-regulated products and a complex global supply chain in a report called the "Pathway to Global Product Safety and Quality." The FDA report calls for the agency to transform the way it conducts business and to act globally in order to promote and protect the health of U.S. consumers. Highlights of the report include four key elements needed to make the change.
To read more, go to:
Summer brings out barbecue grills—and bacteria, which multiply in food faster in warm weather and can cause foodborne illness (also known as food poisoning). Following a few simple guidelines can prevent an unpleasant experience.
Learn how to keep your barbecues and picnics safe with six food safety tips from FDA at:
Once a product is in widespread use, unforeseen problems can sometimes lead to a recall. Contaminated spinach, for example, led to the recent recall of spinach products under multiple brand names. Contaminated peanut butter led to the recall of thousands of jars of two popular brands. In both cases, FDA responded immediately to minimize harm. When an FDA-regulated product is either defective or potentially harmful, recalling that product—removing it from the market or correcting the problem—is the most effective means for protecting the public. Recalls are almost always voluntary. Sometimes a company discovers a problem and recalls a product on its own. Other times a company recalls a product after FDA raises concerns.
To read this Consumer Update in its entirety, visit:
On June 13, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) announced a draft guidance addressing the following issues: kelp in organic livestock feed, allowed ingredients and sources of vitamins and minerals in organic livestock feed, pesticide residue testing, and seeds and planting stock in organic crop production.
Read this announcement:
The FDA has been in routine contact with the European Union and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the current outbreak of “E. coli” O104 and to track any illnesses in the U.S. that may be related to the outbreak. At this time, the Robert Koch Institute, the disease control and prevention public health agency of Germany, has not yet identified the definitive source of the infectious agent causing the outbreak, but has recommended that consumers in Germany avoid raw tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. To date, FDA believes that this outbreak has not affected the U.S. food supply. The FDA is constantly vigilant and consistently takes steps to increase monitoring, as appropriate, in situations such as this, to protect the U.S. food supply.
Detailed information, as well as updates, regarding the “E. coli” outbreak and how the FDA is flagging imports of products of concern from two countries can be found at:
On June 9, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released draft guidance to provide regulated industries with greater certainty about the use of nanotechnology, which generally involves materials made up of particles that are one billionth of a meter in size. The guidance outlines the agency’s view on whether regulated products contain nanomaterials or involve the application of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology, the science involving manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale, is an emerging technology with a broad range of potential applications, such as increasing bioavailability of a drug, improving food packaging and in cosmetics.
For detailed information, go to:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is seeking public comment on preventive control measures for food facilities through a public docket opened this week as part of the FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”), signed into law by President Obama in January.
Read more of this Constituent Update:
On May 26, 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is disclosing more information about inspections and court actions, and now has a Web portal on its enforcement activities as part of Phase II of the Agency's Transparency Initiative. These actions are being taken to make FDA's enforcement and compliance-related activities more accessible, downloadable, and searchable online. The information includes a summary of the most common Inspectional Observations of objectionable conditions or practices made during inspections and a searchable Inspections Database that includes the names and addresses of inspected facilities, inspection dates, type of FDA-regulated products involved, and final inspectional classification.
To read this news release, go to:
On June 7, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer update, entitled “Fish Hazards and Controls: More Than a Fish Story.”
To read this consumer update:
First Lady, Agriculture Secretary Launch “MyPlate” Icon as a New Reminder to Help Consumers to Make Healthier Food Choices
On June 2, 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, “MyPlate,” to serve as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. “MyPlate” is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The new “MyPlate” icon emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.
Read this press release:
The USDA’s Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) is working with state and local officials to ensure that individuals and families affected by the Midwest floods and tornadoes have access to food. Through its Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP), people who might not ordinarily qualify for SNAP benefits may be eligible if they have had disaster damage to their homes or expenses related to protecting their homes, or if they have lost income as a result of the disaster, or have no access to bank accounts or other resources.
In addition to the D-SNAP, FNS has amended provisions of the Summer Food Service Program in affected counties to ensure that children can eat.
To read more and check for information about your respective state, visit:
Investigation Update: Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-Producing “E. coli” O104 (STEC O104:H4) Infections Associated with Travel to Germany
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring a large outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing “Escherichia coli” O104:H4 (STEC O104:H4) infections ongoin in Germany. The responsible strain shares virulence characteristics with enteroaggregative “E. coli.”
Read the latest CDC updates:
The non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education is pleased to support the “Food Safe Families” Ad Council Project in conjunction with USDA, CDC, and FDA. The Partnership will help ensure that the goals of the Ad Council campaign are connected to the work of health educators on the ground – those who interact with millions of consumers in communities large and small across the country.
The Partnership will contribute to the success of “Food Safe Families” by leading health and food safety educators in the public and private sectors to specific toolkit materials, and capturing and publicizing stories of community-based campaign outreach activity. Through its extensive network of retailers, nutritionists, consumers, public officials, and more, the Partnership will amplify the messages of “Food Safe Families” and support educators in integrating the campaign into their outreach programming. For more information, contact email@example.com.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the veterinary profession, and the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will be celebrating by acknowledging the opening of the first veterinarian school in Lyon, France, in 1761. “Vet 2011," not only marks the anniversary of the creation of veterinary training, but also celebrates the veterinary profession that has worked to improve both animal and human health for the past 250 years. FSIS is the largest employer of veterinarians worldwide.
Read FSIS “Vet2011” News:
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is coordinating the US celebrations.Visit AVMA’s Web site:
World-wide “Vet2011” site:
Sign up to receive e-mail alerts on FDA’s implementation of the new law and recalls market withdrawals and safety alerts.
To sign up to receive e-mails alerts on FDA’s implementation of the new law, visit:
To sign up to receive e-mails to receive recalls, market withdrawals and safety alerts, go to:
To receive Constituent Updates from the FDA, sign up at:
The June 2011 issue of the "Amber Waves Magazine" from USDA's Economic Research Service is now available online:
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 and Spanish:
- Food Safety At Home:
- “USDA Changes Consumer Guidance for Cooking Pork” – June 24
- “Safety During Severe Storms and Hurricanes” – June 9
Check out these podcasts at:
Visit FSIS’ Food Safety page on YouTube: :
For other food safety podcasts: :
Videocasts in American Sign Language: :
To continue automatically receiving podcasts, renew your subscription, or for assistance, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
People in the News
On June 15, 2011, USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) issued a news release announcing Scientist of the Year and other Awards.
Find out more at ARS’ Web site:
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
On June 27, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Veterinary Medicine announced a public meeting of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) to take place on July 20, 2011, in St. Louis, MO, following the 2011 American Veterinary Medical Association annual convention. The purpose of the meeting is to explore different animal and retail sampling strategies in an effort to modify the existing NARMS sampling scheme. An opportunity for public comment will be provided during the meeting.
Read this FDA update:
The “Federal Register” Notice of the meeting announcement can be found at:
A public meeting, "FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Focus on Inspections and Compliance Provisions," was held on Monday, June 6, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, MD. It was the third public meeting FDA has held on the “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”). This meeting was sponsored by the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Program. The purpose of this public meeting was to provide interested persons an opportunity to discuss implementation of the inspections and compliance provisions of the recently enacted FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”). The public had an opportunity to provide information and share views that will inform the development of guidance and regulations and/or the implementation of: Enforcement Authorities; Frequency and Targeting of Facility Inspections; Manner of Inspection in a Preventive Controls Environment; and Enhancement of the Reportable Food Registry (RFR).
The archived Webcast links for the discussions of this public meeting can be found on FDA’s “Food Safety Modernization Act” Web page at:
The FDA announced that Sungwon Inc. of Columbia, a Columbia, MD, corporation and the company’s president, Sang Ja Lee, have signed a consent decree of permanent injunction. Prior to entry of the consent decree, defendants manufactured and distributed ready-to-eat Asian food products, including kimchi (a fermented Korean vegetable dish), and side dishes called ban chan, some of which contain seafood. The consent decree restrains Sungwon Inc. of Columbia, and Mrs. Lee from processing food until the company complies with the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations. The company also is restrained from processing seafood until it complies with the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.
The read more, visit:
The FDA and San Diego-based Ocean Harvest Inc., an outlet for salmon, tuna, and other fresh fish intended for raw consumption, and Ocean Harvest president, Minkyu Park, recently signed a consent decree of permanent injunction. The company had been selling seafood that was handled in violation of federal food safety standards. The consent decree restrains Ocean Harvest from preparing, packing, or distributing seafood until the company complies with the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. The company also cannot prepare, pack or distribute seafood until it complies with the FDA’s current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
FDA: DDS Probiotic Products Seized
On June 7, 2011, U.S. Marshals, at the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, seized probiotic products from UAS Laboratories, Inc., of Eden Prairie, MN, because the company markets the products as drugs. The seized products include DDS Acidophilus, DDS Plus, Probioplus DDS, DDS Junior, and Cran-Gyn DDS, in capsule, powder, and tablet forms. UAS Laboratories said the products could treat or prevent colds, flu, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, ulcers, and high cholesterol. The company markets the products in the United States and internationally. The FDA has warned UAS Laboratories that its products were in violation of federal law. During a March 2011 inspection, the agency discovered that the company continued to make disease claims for the products, despite previous warnings from the FDA.
To read this press release, visit:
On June 6, 2011, the FDA updated its “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding the “Food Safety Modernization Act.”
To view the updates, go to:
At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S Marshals seized elderberry juice products that have been distributed by Wyldewood Cellars Inc., based in Peck, KS, because the products are unapproved and misbranded drugs. According to the FDA’s complaint, Wyldewood Cellars makes claims in violation of the “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” (“FFDCA”) that its elderberry juice concentrate cures, treats, or prevents various disease conditions, including AIDS, diabetes and flu. The complaint was filed on May 27, 2011, in the U.S. District Court of Kansas.
For more information:
The FDA, in a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, is seeking a permanent injunction against BCS African Wholesale Food Supply LLC (BCS African Wholesale) of Brooklyn Park, MN, and its principal officers. If granted, the injunction would force the defendants to stop importing, processing, and selling seafood products that can put consumers at risk for botulism or that may present other food safety hazards. The defendants receive their seafood products from outside Minnesota, including tilapia directly imported from China, bony fish shipped to defendants from New York and originating in the Ivory Coast, and croaker shipped to defendants from New Jersey and Florida and originating in Brazil, Uruguay, Guyana, and Argentina. The defendants sell their seafood products to consumers from their retail store, and process and distribute other seafood products wholesale.
For more information:
The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has posted on its Web site a list of the most common mistakes that delay FSIS label approvals and offers tips on how to avoid them. Currently, there is a backlog of 14 business days for evaluation at the Labeling and Program Delivery Division (LPDD). In an effort to reduce this backlog to 10 days or less, LPDD is requesting that label expediters, plant owners and operators review these helpful tips.
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- FSIS Directive 5420.1: “Food Defense Verification Procedures and National Terrorism Advisory System Alert Response for the Office of Field Operations”
- FSIS Notice 29-11: “Reporting Field Screen Residue Results in the eSample Application”
- FSIS Notice 26-11: “Cancellation of FSIS Notice 22-11 Interim Instructions for Time Measurement and Time and Attendance (T&A) Report”
- Docket No. FSIS-2011-0001: “International Standard-Setting Activities”
- Docket No. FSIS-2011-0003: “Notice of Request for a Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (Marking, Labeling, and Packaging)”
- FSIS Notices
- Notice 25-11: “Sampling of Low Production Volume Raw Ground Beef Establishments for ‘Salmonella’ and ‘Escherichia Coli’ O157:H7
All Notices and Directives are available at: