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
- Scenic Fruit Company Recalls Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels Due To Possible Health Risk
- USDA Offers Tips to Keep Food Safe as Severe Weather Sweeps Across Nation
- Harris Teeter Lot Code and Best by Correction Townsend Farms Voluntarily Recalls Limited Lots of Frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend Products Due To Possible Health Risk
- General Mills Voluntarily Recalls Single-Serve Reduced-Sugar Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bowlpak Sold in Foodservice Establishments
- Salmolux Recalls Cold Smoked Salmon Products Because Of Possible Health Risk
Resources for Educators
- Grill It Safe, Summertime Food Safety – Tips from the USDA
- CFSAN Science and Research Strategic Plan Now Available
- Statement on the Detection of Genetically Engineered Wheat in Oregon
- Foodborne Illness: Especially Dangerous for the Vulnerable (FDA)
- USDA Promotes Efforts to Ensure Children Have Access to Healthy Food during the Summer Months
- USDA and EPA Launch U.S. Food Waste Challenge
- New from the Partnership for Food Safety Education
- Amber Waves (USDA)
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
People in the News
- FDA Imports: Making Certain Imported Foods Meet U.S. Standards under FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
- FDA FSMA and Small Business
- FDA Issues Final Rule: Information Required in Prior Notice of Imported Food
- FDA Offers Free Online Courses on Food Defense
- FSIS Policy Updates
Scenic Fruit Company Recalls Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels Due To Possible Health Risk
On June 26, 2013, Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, OR, announced it is voluntarily recalling 5,091 cases (61,092 eight ounce bags) of Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. Based on an ongoing epidemiological and traceback investigation by the FDA and the CDC of an illness outbreak, the kernels have the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A virus. No illnesses are currently associated with Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels and product testing to date shows no presence of Hepatitis A virus in Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels. The company’s decision to voluntarily recall products is made from an abundance of caution in response to an ongoing outbreak investigation by the FDA and CDC. The organic pomegranates are imported from Turkey.
For detailed information about the recalled products, go to:
On June 6, 2013, FSIS issued recommendations to help minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses as severe storms and tornadoes have left thousands in the Midwest without power and threaten more damage to the eastern states. Destruction and power outages caused by severe weather can compromise food storage, especially for frozen and refrigerated foods, and FSIS wants those affected to be aware of resources and measures that can keep food safe to eat longer.
Read the entire news release:
Harris Teeter Lot Code and Best by Correction Townsend Farms Voluntarily Recalls Limited Lots of Frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend Products Due To Possible Health Risk
On June 4, 2013, Townsend Farms, Inc. of Fairview, OR, announced a voluntary recall of certain lots of its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend because it has the potential to be contaminated with Hepatitis A virus, based on an ongoing epidemiological and traceback investigation by the FDA and the CDC of an illness outbreak. No other Townsend Farms products, frozen or fresh, are covered by this voluntary recall or linked to the illness outbreak at this time.
To read this press release in its entirety, visit:
General Mills Voluntarily Recalls Single-Serve Reduced-Sugar Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bowlpak Sold in Foodservice Establishments
On June 3, 2013, General Mills announced a voluntary Class I recall of a small quantity of single-serve reduced-sugar Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bowlpak sold in foodservice establishments. This action is being taken as a precaution because the company was notified by an ingredient supplier that it had recalled an ingredient due to the possible presence of Salmonella. No illnesses have been associated with this finding. The recall affects approximately 168 cases of product. No other varieties or sizes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch are involved. No other General Mills products are impacted. This voluntary recall includes single-serve reduced-sugar Cinnamon Toast Crunch Bowlpaks. Foodservice operators or consumers who have this product are urged to dispose of the product and contact General Mills toll-free at 1-800-328-1144 for a replacement.
Read more of this recall on FDA’s website at:
On May 25, 2013, Salmolux of Federal Way, WA, recalled its cold smoked salmon products because it has 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. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. No illnesses have been reported.
For updates and detailed information about products affected by this recall, go to:
Resources for Educators
FSIS has published educational materials, that can help you plan your next picnic, cookout, or other summer outing. This collection comes in various formats, such as fact sheets, videos, podcasts, news releases, and blogs, as related to: Grilling Food Safety; Safe Summer Grilling; Tips for Safe Summer; Tailgating Food Safety; BBQ and Food Safety; Handling Food Safely on the Road
Find out about some of the food safety resources by visiting FSIS’ website at:
Visit us on YouTube:
The FDA has released the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Science and Research (CSR) Strategic Plan. The CSR Strategic Plan provides a blueprint for FDA research that supports the Agency’s effort to address food, dietary supplement, and cosmetic safety concerns and to implement new Food Safety Modernization Act mandated regulatory responsibilities. In designing the CSR Strategic Plan, the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) identified five strategic goals it believes have the greatest impact for modernizing the nation’s food safety system and protecting the public health. It then designated research outcomes to support those goals.
To read about the five strategic goals that CFSAN’s research designed, go to:
On June 14, 2013, USDA Office of Communications Director Matt Paul gave an update on the detection of genetically engineered wheat in Oregon.
Read this news release at:
If you've ever become sick after eating a food contaminated with disease-causing bacteria, it's not an experience you want to repeat. But if you're part of what is called an "at-risk" or "vulnerable" population, a foodborne illness can be extremely dangerous. Symptoms—such as vomiting, diarrhea and fever—can intensify and the illness can become life-threatening. Which populations are most at risk? According to the FDA epidemiologist Karl Klontz, M.D., M.P.H., they are the very young (under 1 year); older adults; the immune-compromised (those whose immune systems are less able to fight off harmful bacteria); and women who are pregnant.
For detailed information about what makes these populations more at risk, visit:
On June 10, 2013, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off National Summer Food Service Program Week by reiterating USDA's commitment to ensuring that no child goes hungry when school is out and highlighting progress towards USDA's goal of serving 5 million more meals to eligible kids across the country. USDA is working with individuals, schools and community organizations to help connect families to summer meals. Summer feeding sites are located in many low-income communities across the country. To find sites in a particular area, call 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-Hambre (Spanish)
Or, visit the National Hunger Clearinghouse resource directory:
To read this news release, go to:
On June 4, 2013, the USDA, in collaboration with the EPA launched the U.S. Food Waste Challenge, calling on others across the food chain—including producer groups, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities, and other government agencies − to join the effort to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste.
Read this news release at:
Just in time for summer, the Partnership for Food Safety Education is happy to announce the launch of the BAC! Fighter National Youth Campaign and release of two great new products:
1. Perfect Picnic! A new iPhone game for kids!
Perfect Picnic makes you master of your own picnic park. Your goal: keep guests happy and healthy so you can make money to grow your park. But nothing spoils the fun like food poisoning, yuck!
Just go to:
2. Fight BAC! (R) at Picnic Park guide for parents and teachers.
Fight BAC (R) at Picnic Park includes an educator’s guide, two simple kids’ activities, a Ten Least Wanted poster, and a Powerpoint quiz. Everything you need to give kids and their families a start on summer food safety!
Visit the Partnership’s website at:
The Partnership delivers trusted, science – based behavioral health messaging and a network of resources that support consumers in their efforts to reduce the risk of foodborne infection.
For more from the Partnership, just visit the home page at:
Amber Waves presents the broad scope of ERS research and analysis on the economics of food, farming, natural resources, and rural America. The June 2013 issue includes articles on the U.S. crop outlook, food insecurity, agricultural productivity in China, energy use on farms, and food loss.
The June issue of the Amber Waves Magazine from USDA's Economic Research Service is available online:
USDA’s Office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety in conjunction with FSIS sponsored a public meeting to provide information and receive public comments on agenda items, and draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the 36th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), which will be held in Rome, Italy, July 1-5, 2013. The public meeting was held on June 18, 2013. Documents and agenda items related to the 36th Session will be accessible at:
For more information about the public meeting, the 36th Session of the CAC and how to submit comments, go to:
People in the News
On June 18, 2013, Kevin Shea was appointed Administrator of the USDA’S and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), after serving as Acting Administrator since June 2012. As Administrator, Mr. Shea carries out the agency's broad mission of protecting and promoting American agriculture, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. In addition to his regular duties, Mr. Shea serves on the Secretary's Executive Resources Board and the Secretary's Management Council.
Read this APHIS news release:
FDA Imports: Making Certain Imported Foods Meet U.S. Standards under FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases, according to recent data from the CDC. This is a significant public health burden that is largely preventable. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4, 2011, enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. It gives FDA new tools and authorities to make certain imported foods meet the same safety standards as foods produced in the U.S. Building a new food safety system based on prevention will take time, and FDA is creating a process for getting this work done.
To read about FDA’s key new import authorities, mandates and specific implementation dates, visit:
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) recognizes the role of small businesses in the food industry and provides for various ways to assist small businesses in meeting the new food safety requirements of the law. Specifically for several key provisions, the law mandates plain language guidance documents and phased-in effective dates.
Information available related to Small Business under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) can be found at:
The FDA issued a final rule that adopts, without change, the interim final rule, Information Required in Prior Notice of Imported Food (issued May 5, 2011). This final rule adds an additional element of information to prior notice requirements already established under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002. Specifically, a person submitting prior notice of imported food, including food for animals, must report the name of any country that has refused entry of that product.
Read more of this Constituent Update at:
FDA Offers Free Online Courses on Food Defense
The FDA has revamped its online food defense courses to help bolster the food industry’s defense measures against an act of intentional food contamination. The revamped courses, titled Food Defense 101, have been updated to address the types of intentional contamination that have occurred in the United States in recent years and the FDA’s most current thinking on how to forestall or minimize the impact of such incidents. The courses also have been integrated into one module, so users can now more easily find what they are looking for.
Read more of this Constituent Update at:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- Docket No. FSIS-2011-0033: Availability of Guidance: Establishments Guidance for the Selection of a Commercial or Private Microbiological Testing Laboratory
- Notice 40-13: Additional Instructions for REporting Animal Disposition Data in the Public Health Information System
- FSIS Notice 39-13: Sampling of Raw Beef Product Intended for the National School Lunch Program
- FSIS Notice 38-12: Interpreting Results of FSIS Verification Sampling of Domestic Beef Product Derived From Advanced Meat Recovery Systems (AMR01/FAMR01)
All Notices and Directives are available at: