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 (CFSAN-FDA).
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In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
- Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc. Recalls Refrigerated Ready-to-Eat Products Due to Potential Health Risk
- Orange County Produce, LLC Recalls Bell Peppers Due to Possible Health Risk
- Turkey Hill Dairy Issues Voluntary Recall of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Premium Ice Cream, Fudge Ripple Premium Ice Cream, and Moose Tracks Stuff’d Frozen Dairy Dessert
- Big Blue Fisheries, Llc Recalls All Smoked Products from All Lots, Various Sizes, in Vacuum Packaging Because of Possible Health Risk
- FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Chicken Products Produced at Three Foster Farms Facilities
Resources for Educators
- Finalized Study by FDA and USDA-FSIS Aims to Enhance Food Safety in Retail Delis
- October is National Seafood Month
- Halloween Food Safety Tips for Parents
- USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline Open on Thanksgiving Day
- CDC: Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Foster Farms Brand Chicken
- Blog by: Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services on Helping SNAP Recipients Prepare for November 1st Benefit Changes
- FDA Issues Proposed Rule to Help Ensure the Safety of Food for Animals
- USDA Celebrates National Farm to School Month
- Blog by: Stacey DeGrasse, Research Biologist in FDA’s Office of Regulatory Science, Regarding, Fishing for a Solution
- Novel Program Restarts Clam Harvest
- FDA Introduces New Twitter Feed on Foods
- Blog- FSIS: USDA Food Safety Hotline Posts Milestones for 28 Years
- USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone!
- Amber Waves Magazine – October 2013
- FSIS Issues New Guidance on Humane Handling
- FDA Extends Comment Period for Risk Assessment Focusing on Salmonellosis and Tree Nuts
- Update: FSIS Testing for E. coli
- FSIS Policy Updates
On October 22, 2013, Reser’s Fine Foods of Beaverton, Oregon recalled approximately 109,000 cases of refrigerated ready-to-eat products because they may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria is an organism which can cause serious and sometime fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and individuals with weakened immune systems. Healthy people 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 woman. The recalled refrigerated ready-to-eat products were distributed nationwide and Canada.
For more information about the recalled products, go to:
As of October 5, 2013, Orange County Produce, LLC (OC Produce) is voluntarily working with the FDA and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to coordinate a recall of fresh red and green Bell Peppers for potential contamination with Salmonella. The FDA has advised that a random sample of OC Produce Bell peppers has tested positive for Salmonella.
Read more of this recall at:
Turkey Hill Dairy Issues Voluntary Recall of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Premium Ice Cream, Fudge Ripple Premium Ice Cream, and Moose Tracks Stuff’d Frozen Dairy Dessert
On October 4, 2013,Turkey Hill Dairy of Conestoga, PA., recalled specific packages of 1.5 qt. (48 oz./1.42L) of Fudge Ripple Premium Ice Cream and 1 Pint (16 oz./473 ml) packages of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Premium Ice Cream, and Moose Tracks (R) Stuff’d Frozen Dairy Dessert due to the possibility that some packages may contain metal shavings.
Specific product identification and more information about the recall can be found at:
Big Blue Fisheries, Llc Recalls All Smoked Products from All Lots, Various Sizes, in Vacuum Packaging Because of Possible Health Risk
On September 30, 2013, Big Blue Fisheries recalled ALL smoked products from all lots and codes, various sizes, in vacuum packages because the products may not have been properly cooked and have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled. Because the products may not have been fully processed, product contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens could lead to illness if consumed.
More detailed information that includes sample of recalled products label can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm370510.htm
FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Chicken Products Produced at Three Foster Farms Facilities
On October 7, 2013, FSIS issued a public health alert due to concerns that illnesses caused by strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are associated with raw chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.
Read this entire Public Health Alert:
To help minimize the public health burden of listeriosis, the FDA and FSIS have produced a major study to better understand the risk of foodborne illness associated with eating certain foods prepared in retail delicatessens and what changes in current practices may improve the safety of those products. The study, a quantitative risk assessment, provides a scientific evaluation of the risk of foodborne illness associated with consumption of meats, cheeses and other ready-to-eat foods prepared in retail delis and examines interventions that limit the survival, growth or transmission of the disease-causing bacteria.
Read more of this Constituent Update at:
See also FSIS’ news release of May 10, 2013:
The study was updated in response to public comments. A final report, interpretive summary, response to peer review comments, and responses to public comments along with additional scenario analyses are available at the following agency websites:
- FSIS website: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/science/risk-assessments
- FDA website: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/RiskSafetyAssessment/default.htm
Basic food safety tips for buying, preparing, and storing fresh and frozen fish and shellfish can be found on FDA’s website.
Watch a video on seafood safety and more at:
Take these simple steps to help your children have a fun – and safe – Halloween
- Children shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating. Urge your children to wait until they get home and you have had a chance to inspect the contents of their goody bags.
- To help prevent children from snacking, give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach.
- Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
- Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
- Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
To read about Halloween tips for parties and home and additional information for a safe Halloween, go to:
Cooks needing help with turkey preparation are just a phone call away from the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHOTLINE (1-888-674-6854). The Hotline operates Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, and will operate Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2013, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. Speak with a food safety specialist, or listen to recorded messages 24/7.
Consumers can also Ask Karen, FSIS’ virtual representative, food safety questions 24 hours a day, at AskKaren.gov. Live chat, normally available Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET (except for Federal Holidays).
To view a popular fact sheet Let’s Talk Turkey, go to: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/poultry-preparation/lets-talk-turkey/ct_index
To see a list of Seasonal Food Safety fact sheets, visit FSIS at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/seasonal-food-safety/seasonal-food-safety
Read more about the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/programs-and-services/contact-centers/usda-meat-and-poultry-hotline/usda-meat-and-poultry-hotline
CDC: Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Foster Farms Brand Chicken
On October 17, 2013, a total of 338 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 20 states and Puerto Rico; 40% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. Most ill persons (75%) have been reported from California.
To read this report and the latest on this multistate outbreak, visit the CDC at: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/index.html
See also CDC’s Salmonella and Chicken: What You Should Know and What You Can Do: http://www.cdc.gov/features/salmonellachicken/
Blog by: Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services on Helping SNAP Recipients Prepare for November 1st Benefit Changes
On October 28, 2013, Kevin Concannon, Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, posted a blog on how Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will see their monthly benefits decrease beginning on November 1st.
Read this blog at:
On October 25, 2013, the FDA issued a proposed rule under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aimed at improving the safety of food for animals. This proposed regulation would help prevent foodborne illness in both animals and people and is open for public comments for 120 days. The proposal is part of the Food Safety Modernization Act’s larger effort to modernize the food safety system for the 21st century and focus public and private efforts on preventing food safety problems, rather than relying primarily on responding to problems after the fact. The proposed rule would require makers of animal feed and pet food to be sold in the U.S. to develop a formal plan and put into place procedures to prevent foodborne illness.
Read this FDA News Release in its entirety at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm372215.htm
On October 22, 2013, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack highlighted important strides made in offering healthy, local food to millions of school children through USDA's Farm to School program, and emphasized the program's role in creating economic opportunity for America's farmers and ranchers. According to USDA's first-ever Farm to School Census, in school year 2011-2012, schools participating in farm to school activities purchased and served over $350 million in local food, with more than half of the schools planning to purchase even more local foods in future school years.
Read this news release: http://www.usda.gov/2013/10/0197.xml
Blog by:Stacey DeGrasse, Research Biologist in FDA’s Office of Regulatory Science, Regarding, Fishing for a Solution
Stacey DeGrasse,Research Biologist in FDA’s Office of Regulatory Science, Division of Analytical Chemistry, Spectroscopy and Mass Spectrometry Branch, blogs about her assignment to New England to test the safety of shellfish harvested from federal waters infested by a type of algae that produces toxins.
Read the entire blog on FDA Voice at:
One of the largest clam beds in the world closed in 1990 because people could get sick and even die from eating clams contaminated with a deadly marine toxin. This year, however, a large portion of the area called Georges Bank, 62 miles off the coast of New England, reopened after the FDA developed a new approach toward this risk to public health. One major element involves having an FDA scientist train fishermen to perform sophisticated scientific tests on the clams while at sea, sometimes under extreme conditions.
Read this Consumer Update to learn more about this FDA Program at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm368533.htm
This Constituent Update can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/food/newsevents/constituentupdates/ucm372012.htm
The year is 1985. The top TV program was Dynasty followed closely by Dallas. Microwave popcorn had just been introduced. And the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline opened its phone lines July 1, beginning 28 years of distinguished food safety service.
Read this blog in its entirety:
USDA's mobile Food Safety Discovery Zone has traveled throughout the United States to educate consumers about steps they can take to reduce their risk of foodborne illness. The Food Safety Discovery Zone is now scheduling its 2014 tour.
For information about upcoming events, dates and times, please visit:
Amber Waves presents the broad scope of ERS research and analysis on the economics of food, farming, natural resources, and rural America. The October 2013 issue includes articles such as: U.S. Exports Surge as China Supports Agricultural Prices; Effects of Changes in SNAP Benefits on Food Security; Summer Weather Most Important for Corn and Soybean Yields; Who Is Adopting Organic Farming Practices? and Growth Patterns in the U.S. Organic Industry.
The October issue of the Amber Waves Magazine from USDA's Economic Research Service is available online:
On October 23, 2013, FSIS issued a news release to announce it will introduce new guidance—FSIS Compliance Guide for a Systematic Approach to the Humane Handling of Livestock—to support the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. Proper implementation of this guidance will better ensure the humane treatment of livestock presented for slaughter, as it provides establishments a set of practices that will assist them in minimizing excitement, discomfort and accidental injury.
Read this news release at:
The FDA has extended the period for submission of comments, and for scientific data and information related to its planned assessment of human salmonellosis associated with eating tree nuts. The new deadline is December 16, 2013. The risk assessment seeks to quantify the public health risk associated with eating tree nuts potentially contaminated with Salmonella, the bacterium that causes salmonellosis, and to evaluate the impact of risk-based preventive controls.
Read more of this Constituent Update at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm371269.htm
Update: FSIS Testing for E. coli
FSIS posts bi-weekly updates for the agency’s raw ground beef E. coli sampling program. Included are testing results of raw ground beef component samples for E. coli O157:H7 and STECs from FSIS routine and follow-up sampling programs. Also featured is data for non-O157 STECs by each non-O157 STEC serogroup.
To review testing results, go to
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- FSIS Notice 69-13: Containers for Use When Collecting Raw Beef Samples For Shiga Toxin-Producing ‘Escherichia Coli’ (STEC) and Salmonella Testing
- FSIS Notice 68-13: Verifying Donation of Misbranded and Economically Adulterated Meat and Poultry Products
All Notices and Directives are available at: