EdNet November 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
- Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese Issues a Voluntary Recall of Various Cheeses Because of Possible Health Risk
- Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. Announces Recall of 5 oz. and 11 oz. Organic Spinach & Spring Mix Blend - May be Contaminated with E.coli O157 H:7 (FDA)
- Food Safety Is Crucial As Hurricane Sandy Approaches the East Coast (USDA)
Resources for Educators
- Share a Safe, Delicious Dinner With Family and Friends This Thanksgiving (USDA)
- Thanksgiving Holiday Help: Plan Ahead (USDA Blog)
- Notice to Retailers Subject to COOL Review (AMS-USDA)
- Holiday Food Safety from the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE)
- Remarks by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, at the China International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo in Shanghai, China
- USDA Offers Food Assistance to Those Affected by Hurricane Sandy
- Blog: by Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, on Working for You During Hurricane Sandy
- FDA: Keeping Your Food and Water Safe during Floods, Hurricanes, and Power Outages
- FDA: Preventing Foodborne Illness During Fall Events
- FDA’s CFSAN Education Resource Library
- New Podcasts (FSIS)
- Agricultural Research Magazine, November/December 2012 - Vol. 60, No. 10
People in the News
- FDA Proposes Changes in Regulation of Processed Ackee Fruit
- Get Answers at AskFSIS
- FSIS Policy Updates
Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese Issues a Voluntary Recall of Various Cheeses Because of Possible Health Risk
On November 5, 2012, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese (KFHC) conducted a voluntary recall. Routine testing confirmed the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in a few samples of the cheeses. At this time, no illnesses have been reported. KFHC is initiating this voluntary recall in cooperation with the Milk Safety Branch of the Kentucky Department of Health Services (KDHS) and the FDA.
For more detailed information about this recall, go to:
For a list of recalled products, warnings, and safety alerts, including press releases with critical identifying information, go to:
For general information about product recalls, read FDA's Consumer Update "FDA 101: Product Recalls" at:
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. Announces Recall of 5 oz. and 11 oz. Organic Spinach & Spring Mix Blend - May be Contaminated with E.coli O157 H:7
On November 2, 2012, Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. recalled approximately 31,000 lbs. of Wegmans Organic Spinach and Spring Mix sold in 5 oz. (UPC 77890 16437) and 11 oz. (UPC 77890 16411) clam shell packages in the produce department of its stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts between October 14 and November 1 due to possible E.coli O157 H:7. The product is supplied to Wegmans by State Garden, Inc. based in Chelsea, MA. The product, a blend of organic spinach and spring mix, has been associated with 16 reported illnesses in New York State from E.coli O157 H:7, which may cause a diarrheal illness, often with bloody stools. If you have consumed Wegmans Organic Spinach & Spring Mix and have experienced any symptoms such as diarrhea or abdominal cramps, please contact your health care provider.
For more detailed information, updates, and advice about the recall of Organic Spinach & Spring Mix, go to:
On October 26, 2012, the USDA issued a news release as the approaching Hurricane Sandy was expected to bring wind, flooding, heavy rain, and possibly snow to the East Coast. FSIS urged people to take steps in advance to ensure they have access to safe food. Power outages and flooding that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, and planning ahead can minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
Read this news release:
Videos about food safety during power outages are available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language on FSIS' YouTube channel:
Resources for Educators
On November 15, 2012, FSIS issued a news release in order to help Thanksgiving hosts serve delicious meals without a "side" of foodborne illness
Read this news release:
Let’s face it, in November, a turkey will most likely find its way onto your menu. Planning ahead can help ensure that your special meal is successful, safe, and stress-free. If you have questions, the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline offers planning tips and shares their top turkey questions and answers.
Read this blog in its entirety:
On November 13, 2012, the Country of Origin Food Labeling Program (COOL) posted a Notice to its website regarding retailers subject to a COOL review. It has been brought to our attention that some of the retail store locations that were reviewed for COOL compliance during 2009 and 2010 may not have been Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) of-licensed facilities and therefore not required to comply with the COOL requirements. Retailers who hold a PACA license are subject to the COOL regulations. Questions can be sent to COOL@ams.usda.gov
Questions regarding a PACA license can be directed to the PACA National License Center at:
1-800-495-7222 Ext. 1 or PACAsearch@usda.gov.
Review the Notice in full: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5101244
Information regarding COOL can be found online at:
PACA licenses can be searched online at:
Great food is a big part of every American holiday celebration. And, with consumers as busy as ever, there can also be big stress around planning and preparing a safe, happy holiday celebration. To help take the stress out of the holiday, the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education is re-booting its Holiday Food Safety Success Kit to give families the resources they need to have a safe, fun, easy, and tasty holiday celebration. Now is the perfect time for holiday food preparers to be reminded of the important basics of home food safety.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education brings together everything you need to help families plan for and prepare a safe, fun, easy and tasty Thanksgiving celebration, at http://holidayfoodsafety.org/
Remarks by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, FDA, at the China International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo in Shanghai, China
On November 7, 2012, Michael R. Taylor, FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, delivered his latest speech regarding “Food Safety and Consumer Confidence in the Global Food System” at the China International Food Safety and Quality Conference and Expo in Shanghai, China.
A copy of the speech can be found at:
On November 5, 2012, the USDA issued a news release to announce it is coordinating with States and partner organizations to provide disaster nutrition assistance to individuals in 13 states affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Read this news release:
Blog: by Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner of Food and Drugs, on Working for You During Hurricane Sandy
You may think that FDA is simply an organization that reviews medical products or works to keep your food safe. But FDA’s broad public health mission includes mobilizing to protect Americans when natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy strike. We often think of major storms like Sandy in terms of the risk to life and damage to property. But at FDA we also have to focus on the effects of natural disasters on the safety of the products we regulate and that consumers and patients depend on – everything from fresh produce to canned foods to medicines and high-tech medical devices. Flooding, extreme temperatures, and power outages can create a multitude of safety problems for those products and the facilities where they are made and stored.
Read more of this blog that was posted on November 1, 2012 at:
With the power outages and flooding resulting from hurricane Sandy, consumers, retail and food service operators, food processers, and farmers all may need to take steps to ensure that their food is safe to eat.
FDA’s Hurricane Safety Checklist can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm317232.htm
The FDA offers a year-round food safety guide to help keep yourself and your guests safe while entertaining. Welcome to Fall - the season to celebrate harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and your favorite fall sporting events! Make these events even more enjoyable - and safe - for you and your unborn baby. The key is to handle foods carefully while you're pregnant and beyond!
Read about preventing foodborne illness during fall events 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.
See the full spectrum of CFSAN’s information on various topics:
Tune in to podcasts and listen to food safety specialists provide 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:
- Let’s Talk Turkey (in Spanish)
- Smoking a Turkey (English and Spanish)
- Baby Food and Food Safety
Check out these podcasts: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news_&_events/Food_Safety_at_Home_Podcasts/ (English) http://www.fsis.usda.gov/En_Espanol/Podcasts_SP/index.asp (Spanish)
Videos 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
The November/December 2012 issue of the Agricultural Research Magazine from USDA's Agricultural Research Service is now available.
View online: http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/nov12/
People in the News
FSIS’ Faces of Food Safety, an initiative that shares the stories of its dedicated workforce —inspectors, veterinarians, investigators, administrative assistants and scientists. Faces of Food Safety introduces you to the men and women who play a role in making our food safe.
- Meet: Dr. Regina L. Tan who directs a team responsible for detecting health hazards and clusters of disease associated with FSIS-regulated products. She describes her work: "I save lives."
- Meet: Nonnie Holliman. Nonnie says that a lot has changed since he began his career on the inspection line in the early 1970s. "We are doing a better job and finding problems early.”
- Meet: Michelle Cox, a recipient of the Administrator's Award of Excellence, is a Supervisory Consumer Safety Inspector. Her job involves supervising and training inspectors.
Read more about Dr. Regina L. Tan, Nonnie Holliman, Michelle Cox:
On November 8, 2012, FDA published in the Federal Register a draft Compliance Policy Guide that, when finalized, will provide guidance for FDA staff on our enforcement criteria for canned ackee, frozen ackee, and other ackee products that contain hypoglycin A. Ackee fruit is harvested from the ackee tree. The ackee fruit naturally contains the toxin hypoglycin A, which drops to negligible levels in certain parts of the fruit when it is fully ripe. Hypoglycin A may pose a health risk in amounts in excess of 100 parts per million, according to an FDA risk assessment. If the ackee fruit is not processed properly, levels of hypoglycin A above 100 ppm may be present in the processed ackee product. FDA has in place an Import Alert which states that districts may detain without physical examination all ackee products offered for import, except for those ackee products from firms that are identified on a “green list” included in the Import Alert.
Read more of this Constituent Update at:
Get Answers at AskFSIS
AskFSIS is a web-based technology and policy question-and-answer forum on topics such as exporting, labeling, inspection, programs and procedures. In addition, askFSIS offers Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that link back to the Q&As.
To view recently posted topics, visit:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
Directive 8010.5 - Revision 3, Case Referral and Disposition
- Notice 67-12: Instructions Concerning Written Recall Procedures and Food Defense Plans
- Notice 66-12: Actions to Take When an Establishment Substantially or Temporarily Alters its Salmonella Control Process
All Notices and Directives are available at: