EdNet - May 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 an e-mail to the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA)fsma
In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
- USDA Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Recent Spate of Tornadoes
- FDA Warns Not to Feed SimplyThick to Premature Infants
- FDA Warns About Counterfeit ExtenZe Dietary Supplements
- FDA: Don’t Buy Drugs Marketed as Antimicrobial Dietary Supplements
- USDA Food Safety Tips for Flooded Areas in the Southeast United States
- Consumers Warned to Avoid Eating Oysters from Area 1642 in Apalachicola Bay, Florida
Resources for Educators
- Begin the Summertime Grilling Season with a Food Safety Home Run (USDA)
- USDA Revises Recommended Cooking Temperature for All Whole Cuts of Meat, Including Pork, to 145 F
- Remarks by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, FDA, Regarding, “Prevention and Food Safety: Two Lenses, Common Vision”
- FDA Consumer Update: “Identifying Recalled Products”
- FDA: Food Safety During Floods
- Returning Home After a Disaster: Be Healthy and Safe (CDC)
- Radiation Safety Updates: What is the FDA Doing to Ensure the Safety of Products Imported from Japan?
- FDA: 7 Tips for Cleaning Fruits, Vegetables
- FDA: Have Food Allergies? Read the Label
- New Educational Materials on Human “Salmonella” Infections Associated with Live Poultry
- FDA ‘Strategic Priorities 2011 – 2015’ Now Available
- Updated CDC Travel Health Book Released
- Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011, MMWR, Volume 60, No. 4
- USDA Introduces “Mobile Ask Karen,” Food Safety on Your Smartphone
- U.S. Seafood Remains Safe from Radiation
- FDA Has Developed Two New Educational Videos
- Redesigned FDA Web Page Fosters Food-Safety Awareness
- "Agricultural Research Magazine," May 2011 - Vol.59, No. 5
- CDC: Healthy Water
- CDC: Nutrition Updates
- New Podcasts (FSIS)
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
- Registration Is Open for FDA’s Public Meeting on the “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”): Inspection/Compliance
- NACMCF Subcommittee to Hold Public Meetings
- Canceled: Inspection Seminars Designed for International Government Officials
- USDA Announces Two Public Meetings to Address Proposed Catfish Regulations
- FSIS to Suspend “E. coli” Testing Program for Certain RTE Products
- United States Requests Seizure of Adulterated Cheese Products at Wisconsin Company
- FDA Seeks Permanent Injunction Against Tennessee Food Warehouses, Owner
- FDA Public Hearing Transcripts: “Ensuring the Safety of Imported Foods and Animal Feed: Comparability of Food Safety Systems and Import Practices of Foreign Countries”
- Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Issued a Letter to Stakeholders Concerning Updates on the Implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act
- FDA Issues Interim Final Rule on “Information Required in Prior Notice of Imported Food”
- FDA Issues Interim Final Rule on “Administrative Detention of Food and Feed Products”
- FDA Issues First New Rules Under the “Food Safety Modernization Act”
- Second Phase of FSIS Circuits Scheduled for Implementation
- FDA’s Guidance for Industry: “Questions and Answers About the Petition Process” (Updated)
- FDA Updates Seafood Guidance to Enhance Seafood Safety
- FSIS Policy Updates
- FDA Requests Seizure of Adulterated Breaded Seafood at Wisconsin Firms
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
On May 24, 3011, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued recommendations for affected residents in the Southeast and Midwest to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses due to the aftermath of the weekend’s torandoes and the severe weather that has followed.
Read this news release:
Do not feed the thickening product called SimplyThick to infants born before 37 weeks because it may cause a life-threatening condition. This advice to parents, caregivers, and health care providers from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is based on reports of infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in which tissue in the intestines becomes inflamed and dies. SimplyThick is a brand of thickening agent—available to consumers and medical centers—to help manage swallowing difficulties.
To read this FDA advisory, go to:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning consumers about a potentially harmful product represented as “ExtenZe,” a dietary supplement for male sexual enhancement. The counterfeit product looks similar to the actual product, but contains hidden ingredients that can cause serious harm to consumers. FDA laboratory analysis confirmed that the counterfeit product contains tadalafil, or a combination of tadalafil and sildenafil --active ingredients in FDA-approved prescription medicines for erectile dysfunction. These ingredients are not listed on the product label.
To view the lot numbers on the packages of this counterfeit product and more, go to:
The FDA has determined that several companies are marketing products that look like antimicrobial products available in Mexico. Consumers using the products may believe they will receive the beneficial health effects of an antimicrobial drug. These products may or may not contain antimicrobials, and their use could delay treatment for serious illnesses. These products are not FDA approved to treat, cure or prevent any medical conditions. Consumers should stop using these products immediately and contact their health care providers.
To read this FDA News Release in its entirety, go to:
On May 10, 2011, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued recommendations for affected residents in the Southeast – Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana – to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses due to flooding, power outages and other problems in the region.
Read this news release:
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising consumers, restaurant operators, commercial shippers and processors of shellfish not to eat, serve, purchase, sell or ship oysters from Area 1642 in Apalachicola Bay, Florida because the oysters may be contaminated with toxigenic “Vibrio cholerae” serogroup O75. Nine persons have been reported with illness. For eight, the illness was confirmed as caused by toxigenic “Vibrio cholerae” O75; laboratory confirmation is pending in the other person. No one was hospitalized or died. All ill persons reported consumption of raw or lightly steamed oysters. Traceback indicates that oysters harvested from Area 1642 in Apalachicola Bay, Fla., between March 21 and April 6, 2011, are associated with illness.
For more detailed information about this FDA advisory, visit:
Resources for Educators
On May 26, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a news release, reminding everyone that safe grilling practices are the key to making a cookout a big hit with guests.
Read this news release:
On May 24, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a news release announcing its revised recommendation for safely cooking pork, steaks, roasts, and chops. USDA recommends cooking all whole cuts of meat to 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer placed in the thickest part of the meat, followed by a three minute rest time before carving or consuming, for safety and quality.
Read this news release:
Remarks by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, FDA, Regarding, “Prevention and Food Safety: Two Lenses, Common Vision”
On May 19, 2011, Michael R. Taylor, FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Foods, delivered his latest speech about the FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act.” The speech was entitled, "Prevention and Food Safety: Two Lenses, Common Vision" and was given at the George Washington University School of Public Health in Washington, D.C.
A copy of the speech can be found at:
On May 19, 2011, FDA’s consumer update entitled, “Identifying Recalled Products” was posted on the Agency’s Web site. This update includes important information about what to do if you think you may have a recalled product.
This FDA consumer update can be found at:
On May 18, 2011, FDA updated its food safety during floods, hurricanes and power outages information for consumers and industry. Before and after weather emergencies, it is important to have a plan in place. Food and food preparation areas and equipment will need to be assessed in order to decide what to keep or throw away, especially if the power goes out. Water may not be safe to drink because of flooding or tidal surges.
This very important information and more can be found at:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides important information about what you need to know when returning home after a disaster.
To read detailed information about how to keep drinking water and food safe after a disaster and more, go to:
Radiation Safety Updates: What is the FDA Doing to Ensure the Safety of Products Imported from Japan?
The FDA’s screening at U.S. borders will remain vigilant and will be augmented with radiation screening of shipments. On May 18, 2011, information regarding the safety of food products imported from Japan was updated.
To view updates, go to:
Federal health officials estimate that nearly 48 million people are sickened by food contaminated with harmful germs each year. Although most people know animal products must be handled carefully to prevent illness, many don’t realize that produce can also be the culprit in outbreaks of foodborne illness. FDA says to choose produce that isn’t bruised or damaged, and make sure that pre-cut items—such as bags of lettuce or watermelon slices—are either refrigerated or on ice both in the store and at home.
The FDA offers 7 tips for cleaning fruits and vegetables. To view these tips and more, visit:
Since 2006, it has been much easier for people allergic to certain foods to avoid packaged products that contain them. This is because a federal law requires that the labels of most packaged foods marketed in the U.S. disclose—in simple-to-understand terms—when they are made with a “major food allergen.” Eight foods, and ingredients containing their proteins, are defined as major food allergens.
These foods account for 90 percent of all food allergies and can be found in FDA’s latest Consumer Health Information Update at:
CDC and USDA have released new educational materials on human “Salmonella” infections associated with live poultry (chicks, chickens, ducklings, ducks, geese, turkeys). The creation of these materials was done in collaboration with the mail-order hatchery industry, consumers, State and local health departments, State departments of agriculture, CDC, USDA-APHIS-VS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service – Veterinary Services) and USDA NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Program).
See the print versions of the flyer:
The FDA released the final version of a strategic priorities document outlining the goals that will guide the agency and its 12,000 employees through 2015. “It’s no secret that the FDA’s responsibilities have increased significantly over the past several years,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. “We must continue to build a stronger, more effective agency and, as this document outlines, do so in several specific ways.”
To view this press release, visit:
“Strategic Priorities 2011 – 2015: Responding to the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century,” is a 50-page document that provides a vision of the FDA and can be found at:
On May 9, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a news release announcing the release of the CDC's 2012 edition “Yellow Book,” the definitive health guide for international travel, will feature new sections on traveling to mass gatherings, preparing for study abroad, military deployments, and six new popular travel itineraries.
Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011, MMWR, Volume 60, No. 4
On May 6, 2011, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV) issued a MMWR Recommendations and Reports. Health risks such as infectious diseases, exposure to rabies, and injuries are associated with contact with animals in public settings, including county or state fairs, petting zoos, animal swap meets, pet stores, zoologic institutions, circuses, carnivals, educational farms, livestock-birthing exhibits, educational exhibits at schools and child-care facilities, and wildlife photo opportunities. Washing hands is the most important prevention step to reduce the risk for disease transmission associated with animals in public settings.
To read the entire report, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site at:
On May 5, 2011, just in time for summer grilling and picnic season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the launch of “Mobile Ask Karen,” a Web-based smartphone application that instantly answers food safety questions. “Mobile Ask Karen,”is a mobile version of the existing “Ask Karen” site, a virtual food safety representative who offers advice about properly handling, storing, and preparing food to prevent illness. To start using “Mobile Ask Karen” now, go to m.AskKaren.gov on your phone's browser.
Read this news release:
On May 3, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a new fact sheet about how the U.S. is monitoring for potential radiation contamination from the disaster in Japan. U.S. seafood remains safe and unaffected by radiation contamination from the Japanese nuclear power plant incident.
“Safe Handling of Raw Produce and Fresh-Squeezed Fruit and Vegetable Juices” Video:
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Your local markets carry an amazing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are both nutritious and delicious. As you enjoy fresh produce and fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, it is important to handle these products safely in order to reduce the risks of foodborne illness.
To view buying tips for fresh produce and view video, go to:
“Fresh and Frozen Seafood: Selecting and Serving it Safely” Video:
Fish and shellfish are an important part of a healthful diet. They contain high quality protein and other essential nutrients. 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 you enjoy fresh and frozen seafood, it is important to handle these products safely in order to reduce the risks of foodborne illness.
To access this video, visit:
The videos may also be found in FDA’s Education Resource Library by clicking videos from the drop down box:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has redesigned its Web page dedicated to the FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act” (FSMA):
The Agency wants to help consumers, industry, food-safety professionals, local and state regulators, and international trading partners get more involved in implementing the new law by learning what FDA is doing and letting FDA know what it should be doing.
Learn more about the Web page's features at:
Sign up for e-mail notices of new FDA Consumer Updates at:
The May 2011 issue of the "Agricultural Research Magazine" from USDA's Agricultural Research Service is now available.
With its many uses for drinking, recreation, sanitation, hygiene, and industry, water is our most precious global resource. Clean and safe drinking water is critical to sustain human life and without it waterborne illness can be a serious problem. Water, which is necessary for recreational water activities like swimming, also helps promote healthy living.
Answers to your water-related questions can be found on CDC’s “Healthy Water” Web pages at:
CDC nutrition efforts cover a wide spectrum of related topics. Good nutrition is vital to good health, disease prevention, and essential for healthy growth and development of children and adolescents.
To view updates from the CDC on Nutrition topics, go to:
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 Spanish podcast:
- Food Safety At Home:
- “What is Botulism?” – English, Spanish and ASL
Check out this podcast 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:
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
Registration Is Open for FDA’s Public Meeting on the “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”): Inspection/Compliance
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced an advance notice of Registration to attend the Public Meeting entitled, “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act: Focus on Inspection and Compliance Provisions.” The public meeting will be held on Monday, June 6, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, with registration open at 7:30 a.m. The meeting location is on the FDA White Oak Campus, The Great Room, Building 31, Room 1503, 10903 New Hampshire Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20993. This is the third public meeting FDA has held on the “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”). The previous meetings, held on March 29 and April 20, 2011, focused on the import and preventive controls provisions under FSMA.
For more details about this public meeting, visit FDA’s Web site at:
A subcommittee of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) will hold a public meeting from June 7-9, 2011. The subcommittee on Control Strategies for Reducing Foodborne Norovirus Infections will discuss what controls can be used to reduce the transmission of foodborne Human Noroviruses (HuNoV). The NACMCF meetings will take place at the Aerospace Building, 901 D St., S.W., Room 369, Washington, D.C., on
June 7, 2011, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; June 8, 2011, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and
June 9, 2011,from 8:30 a.m. to noon. To attend, contact Karen Thomas-Sharp at (202) 690-6620 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All persons wishing to attend must RSVP in advance.
Read this constituent update:
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has canceled meat and poultry inspection seminars for international officials due to budget constraints. The seminars were designed to provide an in-depth review of FSIS verification of HACCP and sanitation requirements.
Read this Constituent Update:
For more information about the seminars, visit:
On May 13, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it will hold two public meetings in May 2011 to hear public comments on the proposed regulation for a mandatory inspection program of catfish and catfish products.
Read this announcement:
In its May 13, 2011, “Constituent Update,” USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that it will suspend analyses of dry and semi-dry fermented sausages and fully cooked meat patties for “E. coli” O157:H7.
For more information about FSIS testing programs, go to:
On May 13, 2011, the United States Attorney's Office filed a verified complaint requesting that the U.S. Marshals seize cheese products distributed by Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin, Inc. This action occurred at the request of the FDA. After inspections of Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin, Inc, the FDA found evidence of rodent infestation. On May 20, 2011, the U.S. District Court unsealed the case and documents show that the U.S. Marshals seized certain cheese products at the facility on May 17, and May 18, 2011.
To read this FDA News Release in its entirety, go to:
On May 11, 2011, the FDA requested a permanent injunction against American Mercantile Corp., Ingredients Corporation of America, and Damon S. Arney, owner and president of the companies. The companies receive, process, manufacture, prepare, pack, label, hold, and distribute a wide variety of food products and ingredients, including spices, herbs, and sauces. The complaint was filed by the Justice Department in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The complaint charges that the Memphis-based companies and Arney violate the “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act” by preparing, packing and holding food under insanitary conditions where it may have become contaminated with filth.
Detailed information about recurring violations that prompt government action regarding the Tennessee food warehouses and owner can be found at:
FDA Public Hearing Transcripts: “Ensuring the Safety of Imported Foods and Animal Feed: Comparability of Food Safety Systems and Import Practices of Foreign Countries”
On May 10, 2011, the transcripts for FDA’s public hearing, “Ensuring the Safety of Imported Foods and Animal Feed: Comparability of Food Safety Systems and Import Practices of Foreign Countries,” held March 30 – 31, 2011, were posted on FDA’s Web site.
To view the transcripts, go to:
Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, FDA, Issued a Letter to Stakeholders Concerning Updates on the Implementation of the “Food Safety Modernization Act”
On May 5, 2011, Michael R. Taylor, Deputy of Commissioner for Foods, Foods and Drug Administration, issued a Dear Colleague letter to stakeholders concerning updates on the implementation of the “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”) which included a report on FDA’s implementation progress and how to get the latest information on the “FSMA.”
Read this letter at:
On May 4, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued an interim final rule on “Information Required in Prior Notice of Imported Food.” The interim final rule is a requirement of the FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”) and it amends the regulation on prior notice of imported food. FDA issued this interim final rule to require an additional element of information in a prior notice of imported food. This change requires a person submitting prior notice of imported food, including food for animals, to report the name of any country to which the article has been refused entry.
Read more of this Constituent Update at:
On May 4, 2011, the FDA issued an interim final rule that will allow the Agency to detain on its own administrative authority food and feed products it believes are adulterated or misbranded. Previously, FDA’s ability to administratively detain food products for humans or animals applied only when the Agency had credible evidence that the food or feed presented a threat of serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. This interim final rule is authorized by the FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”), which was signed into law by President Obama in January 2011. The new rule will take effect July 3, 2011.
Details about this Constituent Update can be found at:
The FDA announced two new regulations that will help ensure the safety and security of foods in the United States. The rules are the first to be issued by the FDA under the new authorities granted the Agency by the FDA “Food Safety Modernization Act” (“FSMA”), signed into law by President Obama in January. Both rules will take effect July 3, 2011.
To read this FDA News Release, go to:
On May 3, 2011, FDA’s Guidance for Industry: “Questions and Answers About the Petition Process was added to FDA’s Web site. This guidance provides industry with a convenient place to find answers to frequently asked questions about submitting a food additive or color additive petition. This guidance is a revision of the April 2006 guidance entitled, "Questions About the Petition Process." This document updates information and provides a response to a question regarding disclosing information in a food additive or color additive petition.
To view this guidance document, visit:
On April 27, 2011, the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that the second phase of FSIS circuits will begin using the Public Health Information System (PHIS) on June 6, 2011.
For a list of circuits that are included in this second phase of implementation, visit:
Also check out FSIS’ video on PHIS featuring an interview with Administrator Al Almanza and Assistant Administrator Dr. Kenneth Petersen at:
FDA is announcing the availability of the 4th edition of the “Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance.” This updated guidance contains FDA’s latest recommendations to the seafood industry for reducing or eliminating food safety hazards in the fish and fishery products they process.
To read about key changes found in the new edition and more, visit:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- Docket No. FSIS-2011-0011: “Notice of Request for a New Information Collection (Food Safety Education Campaign--Tracking Survey)”
- FSIS Notice 21-11: “Level of In-Plant Targeted Testing for Chemical Residues”
All Notices and Directives are available at:
On April 27, 2011,at the request of the FDA, U.S. Marshals seized breaded seafood products repacked by Fellerson, Inc. because the products were adulterated. Fellerson, Inc. is a firm that does business as K&S Wholesale Meats, for Soderholm Wholesale Foods, both of Sun Prairie, WI. K&S Wholesale Meats allegedly repacked breaded seafood, including shrimp, haddock fillets, pollock fillets, and ocean perch fillets, under Soderholm’s “Seaside” label without having a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan in place. This is in violation of the “Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.” The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
For more information about how Sun Prairie operation allegedly fails to have required hazard reduction plan, go to: