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, contact the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN-FDA)
In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
Resources for Educators
- Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on National Agriculture Day
- Blog by: Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, Regarding, Mexico and the U.S.’s Progress on Food Safety Partnerships
- Blog by: Nilda E. Villegas, Public Affairs Specialist, FDA’s San Juan District Office, Regarding, Homing in Faster on Potentially Deadly Bacteria in Food
- USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry and Additional USDA Support Available with New Farm Bill
- USDA Demonstration Projects Will Provide Funding To Fight Hunger, Nourish Families
- USDA Blog: Produce Safety University: Supporting a Healthier Next Generation through School Food Safety!
- USDA Announces Support for Smarter Lunchrooms
- Cheese Products Linked to Listeriosis Outbreak - Update (FDA)
- World Salt Awareness Week was March 10-16
- March 2-9 was National Consumer Protection Week
- CDC: Salmonella Data Now at Your Fingertips
- CDC: Solve the Outbreak Application
- Agricultural Research Magazine, March 2014, Vol. 62, No. 3 (USDA)
People in the News
- Faces of Food Safety (USDA)
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
- FDA Announces Public Meeting, Extension of Comment Period, on Scope of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Produce Safety Proposed Rule
- FDA Announces Extension of Comment Period on Draft Methodological Approach for Designating High-Risk Foods
- FDA Seeks Input on Information to be Submitted to FDA’s Reportable Food Registry and Used to Notify Consumers in Grocery Stores
- FDA Announces Extension of Comment Period on Proposed Rule on Intentional Adulteration
- USDA Blog: Setting the Record Straight on FSIS Inspector Vacancy Rates
- FDA Statement on Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Determinations
- A New Way to Contact FDA/Food
- FDA Reopens Comment Period on Draft Industry Guidance on Evaporated Cane Juice as a Food-Labeling Term
- FSIS Policy Updates
On March 26, 2014, FSIS issued a public health alert because Nutriom LLC, a Lacey, WA establishment, declined to expand its February 15, 2014 recall to include an additional 118,541 pounds of processed egg products for which there is reason to conclude that they are unfit for human consumption
Read this news release:
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on National Agriculture Day
On March 25, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack released a statement on National Agriculture Day.
Read this statement:
Blog by: Michael R. Taylor, J.D., Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, Regarding, Mexico and the U.S.’s Progress on Food Safety Partnerships
Michael Taylor blogs about building partnerships to ensure food safety and collaborating with Mexico to support its food safety modernization initiatives.
To read the entire blog, go to:
Blog by: Nilda E. Villegas, Public Affairs Specialist, FDA’s San Juan District Office, Regarding, Homing in Faster on Potentially Deadly Bacteria in Food
Nilda E. Villegas blogs about a team of scientists in FDA’s San Juan laboratory and how the research undertaken by the team may result in faster screening methods for a wide array of pathogens as part of FDA’s food safety and food defense programs.
To read the blog in its entirety, go to: http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/tag/health-and-human-services-hhsignite/
USDA Announces Growth of U.S. Organic Industry and Additional USDA Support Available with New Farm Bill
On March 20, 2014, the USDA announced new figures that show the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with over 25,000 certified organic operations in more than 120 different countries around the world.
Read this news release:
On March 20, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced new funding opportunities for state agencies and Indian tribal organizations to develop innovative strategies to prevent hunger and food insecurity. The demonstration projects under the new initiative are designed to find solutions so that no child goes hungry.
Read this news release:
USDA Blog: Produce Safety University: Supporting a Healthier Next Generation through School Food Safety!
Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. To reinforce that value, USDA is constantly working to ensure that kids are only being served safe, high quality meals.
On March 12, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $5.5 million in new grants to support schools as they continue to provide school lunches and breakfasts that give children the nutrition they need to learn and grow.
Read this news release:
FDA suspended the food facility registration of Roos Foods Inc. of Kenton, DE, on March 11, 2014 after the FDA determined there was a reasonable probability of food manufactured, processed, packed, or held by Roos Foods caused serious adverse health consequences or death to humans.
For additional information, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm386726.htm
FDA reminds you to use the Nutrition Facts Label to help you choose foods with less sodium.
To learn how to do this, go to:
As a consumer, you play a role in preventing illness due to food tampering. Follow some simple tips to keep you and your family safe.
To view the tips, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodDefense/ToolsEducationalMaterials/ucm079137.htm
Forty years of data on a major cause of food poisoning now is available to the public, the food industry, and researchers in a new report from the CDC. The data, collected by state and federal health officials, provides a wealth of information on Salmonella, the top foodborne cause of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States.
Read the entire press release:
Are you ready to earn the highly coveted Disease Detective badge? CDC has released an update to Solve the Outbreak, the popular, free iPad app that puts you in the shoes of a member of the Epidemic Intelligence Service. The app now has 12 outbreaks, giving you plenty of opportunity to put your detective skills to the test and have fun.
To read more about the app, or to earn your Disease Detective badge, download and get started at:
The March 2014 issue of the Agricultural Research Magazine from USDA's Agricultural Research Service is now available.
People in the News
FSIS’ Faces of Food Safety, shares the stories of its dedicated workforce —inspectors, veterinarians, investigators, administrative assistants and scientists.
Read the latest about the men and women who play a role in making our food safe: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/Faces_Food_Safety/index.asp
FDA Announces Public Meeting, Extension of Comment Period, on Scope of Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Produce Safety Proposed Rule
FDA announced that it will hold a public meeting on April 4, 2014, to discuss the scope of the EIS for the proposed rule to establish standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce for human consumption (Produce Safety Proposed Rule). FDA also announced the extension of the public scoping period for the EIS to April 18, 2014.
For more detailed information about the public meeting and the extension, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm388492.htm
FDA Announces Extension of Comment Period on Draft Methodological Approach for Designating High-Risk Foods
FDA announced the extension of the comment period on the draft methodological approach to identifying high-risk foods, which was published in the Federal Register on February 4, 2014. FDA has considered requests to extend the comment period and is granting a 45-day extension to May 22, 2014.
For additional information regarding the extension, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm390416.htm
FDA Seeks Input on Information to be Submitted to FDA’s Reportable Food Registry and Used to Notify Consumers in Grocery Stores
FDA published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) which seeks input to assist the Agency in implementing section 211 of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which added new provisions to the Reportable Food Registry (RFR) requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Such amendments are intended to help keep consumers notified and safe from foodborne illness.
For more detailed information about the ANPRM, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm390447.htm
FDA announced the extension of the comment period on Focused Mitigation Strategies to Protect Food Against Intentional Adulteration, and the associated Draft Qualitative Risk Assessment, which was published in the December 24, 2013, Federal Register. FDA has considered requests to extend the comment period and is granting a 90-day extension to June 30, 2014.
For more detailed information about the proposed rule and the extension, go to:
USDA Blog: Setting the Record Straight on FSIS Inspector Vacancy Rates
On March 19, 2014, FSIS issued a blog titled Setting the Record Straight on FSIS Inspector Vacancy Rates.
Read this blog in its entirety:http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/03/19/setting-the-record-straight-on-fsis-inspector-vacancy-rates/
FDA Statement on Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) Determinations
On March 11, 2014, Senomyx, Inc. issued a public statement suggesting that its food ingredient Sweetmyx (also known as S617) was GRAS. The statement appeared to suggest that FDA had made the GRAS determination. In fact, the agency had not made this determination nor had it been notified by Senomyx regarding a GRAS determination for this food ingredient. The company’s statement has been corrected and now notes that a third party organization made the determination.
For more information, go to:
CFSAN’s Food and Cosmetics Information Center (FCIC) implemented a new online form, enabling industry representatives and consumers to submit their inquiries electronically to the website. The email addresses that were used in the past for consumer (firstname.lastname@example.org) and industry (email@example.com) inquiries have been retired.
For additional information, go to:
FDA Reopens Comment Period on Draft Industry Guidance on Evaporated Cane Juice as a Food-Labeling Term
FDA is reopening the comment period on its draft guidance for industry on declaring "evaporated cane juice" as an ingredient on food labels. The draft guidance advises industry of FDA's view that sweeteners derived from cane syrup should not be listed on food labels as evaporated cane juice because the sweetener is not juice as juice is defined in Federal regulations (Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 120.1(a)).
For additional information, go to: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm387849.htm
FSIS Policy Updates
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- FSIS Directive 5500.2 Revision 6: Significant Incident Response
- Notice 12-14: Export of Product with a Country Label Designation Different from the Export Certificate Designation
- Directive 5000.1 Revision 4: Verifying an Establishments Food Safety System
- Directive 5000.6 Revision 1: Performance of the Hazard Analysis Verification (HAV) Task
- Directive 10800.1: Residue Sampling, Testing and Other Verification Procedures under the National Residue Program for Meat and Poultry Products
All Notices and Directives are available at: