EdNet - March 2012
EdNet, the National Food Safety Educator’s Network, is a monthly,multi-agency electronic news journalfrom 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 aboutfood 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 Safety for Moms-to-Be: Safe Eats - Eating Out & Bringing In
- FDA Regulates the Safety of Bottled Water Beverages Including Flavored Water and Nutrient-Added Water Beverages
- USDA Announces Additional Choices for Beef Products in the Upcoming School Year - Affirms Safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef Product for Consumers
- FDA: National Nutrition Month, Remember to Use the Nutrition Facts Label
- Consumers to Receive Timely Food Safety Alerts Through State Twitter Feeds
- FDA: Juice Safety
- USDA Unveils the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass
- Peep, Chirp, Quack! What You Should Know About Salmonella if You Keep Backyard Poultry (CDC)
- NACMCF Seeks Nominations for Members
- New FSIS Podcasts and Videos
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
- Guidance for Industry: Testing for Salmonella Species in Human Foods and Direct-Human-Contact Animal Foods
- New Inspection and Compliance Mandates under FDA Food Safety Modernization Act
- APHIS Proposes New Bovine Import Regulations in Line with International Animal Health Standards
- FSIS-USDA: Changes to Export Verification Program
- FDA: Sprouts Safety Alliance
- FSIS Policy Updates
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
On March 6, 2012, the FDA issued a warning letter to Breathable Foods Inc., makers of AeroShot, for false or misleading statements in the labeling of their product, and told the company that the Agency has questions about the safety of the caffeine inhaler.The FDA also expressed concern about the use of AeroShot by children and adolescents and in combination with alcohol.
The company claims AeroShot is designed to provide breathable energy, anytime, anyplace. The company also claims on its website that its product is intended to be ingested by swallowing. The company’s labeling is false or misleading because these two claims contradict each other.A product cannot be intended for both inhalation and ingestion because the functioning of the epiglottis in the throat keeps the processes of inhaling and swallowing separate.
Read this news release in its entirety:
Eating at a restaurant, cafeteria, or a fast food place can be an enjoyable experience. But, because you're pregnant, you need to take special care that the food served to you is safe. During pregnancy, your immune system is weakened, which makes it harder for your body to fight off harmful foodborne microorganisms that cause foodborne illness.
FDA Regulates the Safety of Bottled Water Beverages Including Flavored Water and Nutrient-Added Water Beverages
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are both responsible for the safety of drinking water. EPA regulates public drinking water (tap water), while FDA regulates bottled drinking water. FDA has set Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) specifically for bottled water.
To view FDA’s CGMPs for bottled water, visit:
FDA Food Facts for consumers can be found at:
USDA Announces Additional Choices for Beef Products in the Upcoming School Year - Affirms Safety of Lean Finely Textured Beef Product for Consumers
On March 15, 2012, in response to requests from school districts across the country, the USDA announced that it will offer more choices to schools in the National School Lunch Program when it comes to purchases of ground beef products. USDA only purchases products for the school lunch program that are safe, nutritious and affordable – including all products containing Lean Finely Textured Beef. However, due to customer demand, the department will be adjusting procurement specifications for the next school year so schools can have additional options in procuring ground beef products. USDA will provide schools with a choice to order product either with or without Lean Finely Textured Beef.
Read this news release:
On March 6, 2012, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) launched a series of Twitter feeds that will provide state-specific, food safety alerts to consumers. Followers of these Twitter accounts will receive alerts about recalls of meat, poultry and processed egg products in their state, as well as information on how to protect the safety of their food during severe weather events. Twitter feeds, for all U.S. states and territories were officially launched during the first week of March 2012, providing food safety alerts for residents of: Alabama, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Read this news release:
FDA: National Nutrition Month, Remember to Use the Nutrition Facts Label
March is National Nutrition Month, bringing healthful eating and positive nutritional choices to the forefront for Americans. With nutrition top-of-mind, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reminds you about a simple tool to help you make informed food decisions!It’s called the Nutrition Facts Label, and you can find it on all packaged foods and beverages. The Nutrition Facts Label lets you know exactly what you’re eating and serves as your guide for comparing foods and making choices that can affect your long-term health.
Juices provide many essential nutrients, but consuming untreated juices can pose health risks to your family. The FDA has investigated serious outbreaks of foodborne illness that have been traced to drinking fruit and vegetable juice and cider that were not treated to kill harmful bacteria. The FDA also monitors juice for contaminants such as arsenic and pesticides.
For detailed information regarding juice safety, visit:
See FDA’s update Orange Juice Products and Carbendazim:
The Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF) Compass is a new online resource about USDA's support of local and regional food. The Compass is a multi-media narrative with stories, pictures and video about USDA's support for local and regional food systems, along with and an interactive map of USDA-supported local and regional food activities around the country.
JOIN the national conversation. If you're a customer, meet a farmer. If you're a farmer, talk to your customers. Continue the conversation in your neighborhood, town and community about what local foods mean to you.
Explore the KYF Compass by visiting:
Peep, Chirp, Quack! What You Should Know About Salmonella if You Keep Backyard Poultry is just one of educational brochures by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It’s not unusual to see soft and cute baby poultry put on display in agricultural feed stores, especially during the spring. But most people do not realize that live poultry (chicks, chickens, ducks, ducklings, geese, turkeys) can be a source of human Salmonella infections, especially for children.
For more information and an educational brochure, visit CDC’s Healthy Pets Healthy People website:
Applications and nominations for membership in the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) are being sought from individuals with scientific expertise in the fields of epidemiology, food technology, microbiology (food, clinical, and predictive), risk assessment, infectious disease, biostatistics and other related sciences. Persons from the academia, industry, consumer groups, State governments and the federal government, as well as all other interested persons with such expertise, are invited to submit nominations. Members who are not federal government employees will be appointed to serve as non-compensated special government employees (SGEs).
Nomination packages can be mailed to: Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250, Attn: National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods. For further information, contact Karen Thomas-Sharp, Advisory Committee Specialist, at 202-690-6620 or email@example.com.
Read the Federal Register Notice:
For more about the NACMCF:
NACMPI Discusses Proposed Rule on the Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection
On March 21, 2012, FSIS hosted a Web conference meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection (NACMPI), to solicit comments and hear discussion on the "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection Proposed Rule" that was published in the Federal Register on January 27, 2012. Eleven committee members participated in the meeting. FSIS presented an overview of the proposed rule and then opened the meeting up to discussion. The comments and input from committee members will help inform the agency's decision making on the final rule. Public comments on the meeting can be e-mailed to NACMPI@fsis.usda.gov or mailed to NACMPI, USDA, FSIS, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 1180, South Building, Washington, DC 20250. All submissions must include the agency name and docket number FSIS-2012-0016.
Comments on the proposed rule should be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov or by mail to: USDA, FSIS, OPPD, RIMD, Docket Clearance Unit, Patriots Plaza III, Room 8-164, 355 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20024.
See transcript and related information about this meeting:
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 podcasts:
- Food Safety At Home podcasts:
- Meet the Food Safety Discovery Zone (English and Spanish) – March 22, 2012
- Safe Handling of Leftovers (Spanish) – March 22, 2012
FSIS offers tips on preventing foodborne illness when preparing your spring holiday foods:
- Food Safety Videos
- Safely Preparing Corned Beef Brisket in a Slow Cooker – March 14, 2012
- Cooking Food Safely for Spring Holiday Celebrations – March 28, 2012
- Traveling with Food for Spring Holiday Celebrations – April 4, 2012
- Babies and Food Safety (ASL video) – March 29, 2012
Check out these podcasts: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/Food_Safety_at_Home_Podcasts/ (English)
Videocasts 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
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are sponsoring a public meeting to receive public comments and draft U.S. positions to be discussed at the 20th Session of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF), which will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The public meeting will be held on
April 23, 2012 (new date), from 1 - 4 p.m. at the Jamie L. Whitten Bldg., USDA, 1400 Independence Ave. SW,, Rm 107-A, Washington, DC 20250. For more information or to submit written comments about the 20th Session of the CCRVDF, contact Kevin Greenlees at (240) 276-8214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the public meeting contact Kenneth Lowery at (202) 690-4042 or email@example.com.
Documents and agenda items related to the 20th Session of the CCRVDF will be accessible at the Codex website at:
Guidance for Industry: Testing for Salmonella Species in Human Foods and Direct-Human-Contact Animal Foods
This guidance is intended for firms that manufacture, process, pack or hold human foods or direct-human-contact animal foods intended for distribution to consumers, institutions, or food processors.
To view this guidance document, go to:
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2012, enables FDA to better protect public health by strengthening the food safety system. It recognizes that preventive control standards improve food safety only to the extent that producers and processors comply with them. Therefore, it will be necessary for FDA to provide oversight, ensure compliance with requirements and respond effectively when problems emerge. FSMA provides FDA with important new tools for inspection and compliance.
For specific implementation dates specified in the law, go to:
For updates about FSMA implementation and progress, go to:
On March 9, 2012, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced it is seeking public review and comment on a proposal to complete efforts to modernize the Agency’s import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Comments are posted on the Regulations.gov website and may also be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 690-2817.
To view this news release:
Starting March 19, 2012, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will no longer require exporters from certain countries to obtain a Statement of Verification (SOV) from the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) as part of the export certification process for beef and beef products. Over time, industry has become more vigilant in accurately completing export documentation, which has diminished the need for this second signature. However, FSIS inspection personnel will continue to verify the eligibility of the establishment and product, as outlined in the country's requirements in the FSIS Export Library. Other components of the Export Verification (EV) program will remain in place.
Exporters should refer to the FSIS Export Library, Notice 20-12:
Also, for information about current EV program requirements, they can refer to the AMS website:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in cooperation with the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute for Food Safety and Health (IIT IFSH), has created the Sprouts Safety Alliance (SSA) to help sprout producers in identifying and implementing best practices in the safe production of sprouts.The Alliance will develop a core curriculum and training and outreach programs for stakeholders in the sprout production community. Sprouts present a unique food safety risk because the warm, moist and nutrient-rich conditions required to produce sprouts are the same conditions that are also ideal for the growth of pathogens.The FDA is expected to issue a proposed rule during early 2012 that would establish science-based standards for the production and harvesting of certain produce, including sprouts.FDA is required to issue a proposed rule under section 105 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.
To read this FDA News Release in its entirety, go to:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- FSIS Notice 25-12: Pasteurized Egg Products Imported in Bulk Containers from Canada
- FSIS Notice 24-12: Importation of Live Cattle from Mexico into the United States for Immediate Slaughter
- Docket No. FSIS-2012-0011: Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Food
- Docket No. FSIS-2012-0010: Nominations for Membership on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods
- Docket No. FSIS-2012-0006: Notice of Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection (Consumer Complaint Monitoring System and the Food Safety Mobile Questionnaire)
- Docket No. FSIS-2012-0004: Notice of Request for Revision of a Current Information Collection (Petitions for Rulemaking)
- FSIS Notice 22-12: Sampling of Raw Beef Product Intended for the National School Lunch Program
- FSIS Notice 21-12:Randomly Selecting Beef Trim to Be Collected Under the Beef Manufacturing Trimmings (Mt50) Sampling Program
- Notice 20-12: Removal of Requirement for a Statement of Verification for Several Countries
- Notice 17-12: Verification of Antimicrobial Intervention Coverage of Carcass or Product at Veal Slaughter and Beef Fabrication Establishments
- Notice 16-12: Nationwide Raw Liquid Egg Microbiological Baseline Survey – Update
- Notice 15-12: Verifying Nutrition Labeling for the Major Cuts of Single Ingredient Raw Meat and Poultry Products and Ground or Chopped Meat and Poultry Products
- Notice 14-12: Verification and Enforcement Activities Related to Export Certification Reimbursable Services
All Notices and Directives are available at: