EdNet - June 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
- USDA Offers Food Safety Tips in Advance of This Season's Hurricanes
- Food Safety Tips for those Recovering from Wildfires, Other Fire Devastation
- FDA Urges that Oysters, Clams, Mussels, and Some Scallops Products from Korea Should be Removed from the Market
- FDA Issues Alert on Reumofan Plus
- Recall: West Coast Nutritionals Dietary Supplements
Resources for Educators
- Declare Independence from Foodborne Illness this Fourth of July(FSIS)
- Spanish-Language Virtual Expert Answers Food Safety Questions on Your Smartphone (FSIS)
- Coming Soon: New ERS Website
- Seafood: Fresh and Frozen Seafood - Selecting and Serving it Safely
- Fight BAC! Goes to Child Care
- The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone Wraps Up Its Spring 2012 Southeastern Tour
- Follow FDA on Twitter
- Follow FSIS on Twitter
- Follow CDC on Twitter
- FDA’s CFSAN Education Resource Library
- Agricultural Research Magazine, May/June 2012 - Vol. 60, No. 5
- New Podcasts
- USDA’s Ask Karen Voted one of Best Government Mobile Apps
- FDA Improves the Reportable Food Registry by Adding New Data Elements
- FSIS: Comment Period Extended for HACCP Systems Validation
- FSIS Makes Changes in its Laboratory Testing Methods
- U.S. Marshals Seized Misbranded Drugs in Maine
- FDA Announces E-application System for Certificates of Free Sale
- FSIS Laboratory to Perform Alternative Testing on Select Salmonella Serotypes
- FSIS Policy Updates
FDA is Monitoring Certain Foods and Beverages Imported from Taiwan that May Contain Plasticizers
The FDA is notifying the public about the possible presence of a plasticizer called diethylhexyl-phthalate (DEHP) in certain food and beverages imported from Taiwan. The Taiwan authorities responsible for food safety have informed the FDA of products shipped to the United States which they believe may be contaminated with DEHP. FDA is screening suspect food products from Taiwan for DEHP and for additional plasticizers such as butylbenzylphthalate, di-n-butylphthalate, dioctyl phthalate, and di-isodecyl phthalate. We expect that the number of suspect products may change as we continue to receive updated information from the Taiwan investigation.
For more detailed information, go to:
On June 25, 2012, FSIS issued a news release urging residents of coastal states to plan ahead this hurricane season and minimize the potential for foodborne illness in the event of power outages, flooding, and other problems that could be associated with weather emergencies
Read this news release:
On June 18, 2012, due to the potential threat from flames like those recently caused by the High Park wildfire in Colorado and the Whitewater-Baldy Complex wildfire in New Mexico, FSIS issued a news release with recommendations to minimize the likelihood of foodborne illness during the recovery or clean-up phase after a fire.
Read this news release:
FDA Urges that Oysters, Clams, Mussels, and Some Scallops Products from Korea Should be Removed from the Market
The FDA is urging food distributors, retailers, and food service operators to remove from sale or service all fresh, frozen, canned, and processed oysters, clams, mussels, and whole and roe-on scallops (molluscan shellfish) from Korea that have entered the United States. This includes molluscan shellfish from Korea that entered the United States prior to May 1, 2012, when the FDA removed such products from the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL), and that which may have inadvertently entered the country after that date. These products and any products made with them may have been exposed to human fecal waste and are potentially contaminated with norovirus.
For more information about this advisory, visit:
The FDA is warning consumers that Reumofan Plus, marketed as a natural dietary supplement for pain relief and other serious conditions, contains several active pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the label that could be harmful. Consumers who are currently taking Reumofan Plus or who have recently stopped taking Reumofan Plus should immediately consult a health care professional. Consumers should not buy or start using the product. The FDA has received multiple reports of adverse events associated with the use of Reumofan Plus, including liver injury, sudden worsening of glucose (sugar) control, weight gain, swelling, leg cramps, and adrenal suppression (problems with kidney functioning).
Read this news release in its entirety at:
On May 18, 2012, West Coast Nutritionals, LTD conducted a voluntary recall of all lots of Firminite, Extra Strength Instant Hot Rod, and Libidron capsules to the consumer level. An FDA lab analysis of Firminite distributed by West Coast Nutritionals was found to contain undeclared Tadalafil. Tadalafil is an active ingredient of an FDA approved drug for Erectile Dysfunction (ED), making Firminite, Extra Strength Instant Hot Rod, and Libidron unapproved new drugs. All lots of these three products contain undeclared Tadalafil which can pose a serious risk to health. The FDA advises that this poses a threat to consumers because Tadalafil may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels.
For more information about these products, go to:
On June 27, 2012, FSIS issued a news release titled Declare Independence from Foodborne Illness this Fourth of July to help families keep safe with tips on proper food handling practices while celebrating our nation's Independence Day.
Read this news release:
On June 26, 2012, FSIS announced that a new Spanish-language food safety app is available to consumers around the clock on their mobile devices. Mobile Pregúntele a Karen is the Spanish-language version of Mobile Ask Karen, the virtual expert who answers Smartphone users' questions about properly handling, storing and preparing food to prevent illness. The English version of Mobile Ask Karen was launched in May 2011.
Read this news release:
Coming Soon: New ERS Website
On June 13, 2012, the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) announced the ERS website will soon have a fresh new look, improved navigation, enhanced access and tools for data products and maps, and one-stop shopping for information on key topics.
Read more about the new ERS website:
Fish and shellfish contain high quality protein and other essential nutrients and are an important part of a healthful diet. In fact, a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish and shellfish can contribute to heart health and aid in children’s proper growth and development. As with any type of food, however, it is important to handle seafood safely in order to reduce the risk of foodborne illness, often called “food poisoning.” Follow these basic food safety tips for buying, preparing, and storing fish and shellfish — and you and your family can safely enjoy the fine taste and good nutrition of seafood.
This very important information and more can be found at:
The Partnership for Food Safety Education is launching a new program for food safety trainers on the topic of child care called Fight BAC! Goes to Child Care. It's critical that anyone who cares for young children – whether at home or in a child care setting – be aware of the special risks of foodborne infection faced by infants and toddlers. CDC data tells us that children under 4 years old are 4.5 times more likely to acquire bacterial infections from food compared to adults aged 20-49 years.
The Training Fact Sheets, as well as a consumer-friendly "Crib Sheet," can be found here: http://fightbac.org/campaigns/fight-bac-goes-to-childcare
The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone has finished its spring 2012 tour, taking hands-on food safety lessons across the Southeast.
Read this latest USDA blog in its entirety:
View upcoming events by the Food Safety Discovery Zone
Sign up for Twitter to follow FDA. Here you'll find the latest FDA news and information:
Sign up to receive Recalls, Market Withdrawals and Safety Alerts:
Follow FSIS on Twitter
Follow FSIS on Twitter at:
Follow FSIS' Spanish Twitter account at:
Follow CDC on Twitter at:
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:
Agricultural Research Magazine, May/June 2012 - Vol. 60, No. 5
The May/June 2012 issue of the Agricultural Research Magazine from USDA's Agricultural Research Service is now available.
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:
- Food Safe Families (English and Spanish) – June 28
- Safety During Severe Storms and Hurricanes (English and Spanish) – June 27
- Food Safety – Chill (Spanish: Mantener los Alimentos Sanos –Enfriar) – June 14
- Food Safety After a Fire – May 30
Check out these podcasts:
Videos in American Sign Language:
Visit FSIS’ Food Safety Channel on YouTube:
For other food safety podcasts:
USDA’s virtual food safety expert, Ask Karen was voted as one the 10 best government mobile apps.
Read the full article:
On June 4, 2012, the FDA brought online a new Reportable Food Registry (RFR) Rational Questionnaire which incorporates additional data elements as part of an effort to improve the RFR’s information gathering capability. The RFR is an electronic portal to which the food industry must, and public health officials may, report when they have information about a reportable food. A reportable food is an article of food/feed for which there is a reasonable probability that the use of, or exposure to, such article of food will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. By gathering and analyzing the new data, FDA will improve its ability to track patterns of adulteration in human food and animal feed (including pet food) and to target its inspection resources.
Read about the additional data elements and more:
FSIS: Comment Period Extended for HACCP Systems Validation
FSIS is extending the comment period 30 days for the Federal Register Notice that clarifies requirements for validation and for the guidance document to assist establishments in meeting the validation requirements. The original deadline to submit comments on both documents was July 9, 2012.The new deadline to receive comments is now August 9, 2012. FSIS is extending the comment period in response to a request from an industry association that stated that 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 III, 355 E. St S.W., 8-163A, Mailstop 3782, Washington, DC 20250-3700. All items submitted must include docket number FSIS-2009-0019.
See Constituent Update:
The FSIS Chemistry Laboratory Guidebook (CLG) method, Determination and Confirmation of Flunixin by HPLC/ESI-MS/MS (High Performance Liquid Chromatography - Tandem Mass Spectrometry with Electrospray Ionization), will be updated. The method will be extended to pork liver and muscle. Another method, Determination and Confirmation of Penicillin G by LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography - Tandem Mass Spectrometry), has been provided to FSIS by FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. The method has been converted to FSIS CLG format for use in FSIS laboratories and will be applicable to beef kidney, liver and muscle. Both methods are intended to increase the number of chemicals and materials the agency tests to prevent contaminated products from going into commerce. These methods are being posted to the CLG and will be implemented by FSIS beginning July 16, 2012.
To review the guidebook, visit:
On May 31, 2012, at the request of the FDA, U.S. Marshals seized drug products from Global Biotechnologies, Inc., of Portland, ME, pursuant to a warrant issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. According to the complaint, the company has made claims on its website, in promotional materials, and on the products’ labels that its products can diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat or prevent human diseases. The company’s products, including Glucanol, Healthy Trac, Immunol, and Lactopril, meet the FDA definition of drugs because Global Biotechnologies promoted them to treat diseases. However, the company failed to provide adequate directions for use for its drug products, causing those products to be misbranded drugs in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Read this Press Announcement at:
The FDA has unveiled an automated system for companies exporting food from the U.S. to file electronically for Certificates of Free Sale. Such certificates are often requested by international customers or governments to verify that the products being exported meet certain standards. The FDA Unified Registration and Listing Systems (FURLS) Certificate Application Process (CAP) allows exporters of conventional foods, including seafood, to apply online for a Certificate of Free Sale, reducing the amount of time required for the FDA to process requests and issue certificates. At this time, the certificates are available only as hard copies that are mailed to the applicant.
Read this Constituent Update:
FSIS will begin using the CDC’s molecular-based method for identification of certain Salmonella serotypes. An FSIS Microbiology Guidebook Method chapter, MLG 4 Appendix 1.00 will list the specific Salmonella serotypes. The updated chapter will be posted to the FSIS MLG, with an effective date of July 9, 2012.
To review the guidebook, visit:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- Notice 42-12: Cancellation of FSIS Directive 8100.1, Planned Compliance Program
- Notice 41-12: How to Proceed in Establishments that Have Multiple FSIS Laboratory Confirmed Residue Violations from the Same Source Supplier
- Notice 40-12: FSIS Verification Testing for Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (Non-O157 STEC) Under MT60, MT52, and MT53 Sampling Programs
- Notice 38-12: New Documentation Procedures for Certifying Exports to China
- Docket No. FSIS-2012-0017: International Standard-Setting Activities
- Notice 36-12: FSIS Verification of Lebanon Bologna Processes
- Directive 9900.1: Imported Product Shipment Presentation
- Directive 9900.7: Physical Examinations of Cooked Meat from Regions Where Rinderpest or Foot and Mouth Disease Exists
- Directive 9920.1: Reinspection of Imported Shell Eggs (Packed in Containers Destined for Consumers and for Breaking)
All Notices and Directives are available at: