EdNet September 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
- FDA Advises Consumers Not to Eat Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter
- Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc, Recalls Limited Quantity of Fresh-Cut Mango Products Due to Possible Health Risk – This Recall is Associated with FoodSource's recall of Mangoes Sourced from Agricola Daniella In Mexico
- FSIS Issues Public Health Alert for Imported Canadian Raw Boneless Beef Trim from XL Foods
- FDA Warns Consumers Against Eating Mangoes from Agricola Daniella of Mexico
- Whole Foods Market Recalls Cheese in 21 States and Washington, D.C. Because of Possible Health Risk
- DFI Marketing Inc. Voluntarily Recalls Cantaloupe Because of the Possibility of Salmonella
- Spartan Stores Voluntarily Recalled Deli Products Due to Possible Health Risks
Resources for Educators
- FDA Releases Preliminary Data on Arsenic Levels in Rice and Rice Products
- FDA Looks for Answers on Arsenic in Rice
- FDA: Dietary Supplements - Q&A
- FDA: Scientists Working to Keep Foods Safe
- FDA: Why You Should Care About Regulatory Science
- FDA’s CFSAN Education Resource Library
- August 30 Webinar: How FDA Protects You from Pesticides
- USDA Announces Grants to Support Schools in Meeting New School Meal Requirements
- Remarks by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, FDA, at the 2012 FDA Science Writers Symposium
- USDA's SuperTracker Diet Planning and Tracking Tool Reaches One Million Registered Users
- USDA Challenges Consumers to Test Their Back to School Food Safety Smarts
- USDA Celebrates the Start of a Healthier School Year for America's Kids
- Multistate Outbreaks of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Small Turtles (CDC)
- Cryptosporidiosis Surveillance —United States, 2009–2010 - MMWR (CDC)
- Food Safety Counts! (FSIS)
- USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
- Amber Waves Magazine – September 2012 (USDA)
- New Podcast (FSIS)
People in the News
- FDA: Food Related Emergency Exercise Bundle (FREE-B)
- FSIS Notifies Industry of District Consolidation
- The New FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
- FDA Issues Warning Letters to Dietary Supplement Firms in Colorado and Texas for Promoting Unapproved Products as Drugs
- FSIS Policy Updates
FDA Expands Caution About SimplyThick
The FDA wants parents, caregivers, and health care professionals to be aware that infants of any age may face an increased risk of developing a life-threatening condition if fed a thickening product called SimplyThick. Since May 2011, the agency has identified 22 infants who developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a condition in which tissue in the intestines becomes inflamed and dies, after being fed SimplyThick. Seven of those infants died. Further study is needed to determine if there is an actual link between consumption of SimplyThick and the development of NEC. But, FDA wants everyone involved in the care of a baby to be aware of the potential risk before deciding whether to feed SimplyThick to infants of any age. SimplyThick is a brand of thickening agent—available to consumers and medical centers—used to help manage swallowing difficulties.
Read this Consumer Update at:
The FDA’s top priority is ensuring the safety of our food supply. The FDA, the CDC and state and local public health officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Bredeney infections possibly linked to Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter, with a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) identifier of 97111. The CDC recommends that consumers do not eat Trader Joe’s Valencia Creamy Salted Peanut Butter made with sea salt. This is especially important for children under the age of 5 years, elderly adults, and people with weak immune systems.Dispose of any remaining jars of peanut butter in the home or return the product to any Trader Joe’s grocery store. Trader Joe's has encouraged consumers to return the product to any Trader Joe’s store for a full refund. The CDC reports a total of 29 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Bredeney from 18 states.
For detailed information about this FDA advisory, go to:
Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A. Inc, Recalls Limited Quantity of Fresh-Cut Mango Products Due to Possible Health Risk – This Recall is Associated with FoodSource's recall of Mangoes Sourced from Agricola Daniella In Mexico
On September 20, in cooperation with the FDA's warning to not consume mangoes from Agricola Daniella in Mexico, Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc, initiated a voluntary recall of 1,600 bowls of fresh-cut mangoes distributed to retail outlets due to the potential risk that the mangoes may contain Salmonella. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis. This recall is associated with FoodSource's (Edinburg, TX) recall of mangoes sourced from Agricola Daniella in Mexico.
View information about distribution and how to identify affected products:
On September 20, FSIS announced a Public Health Alert for raw boneless beef trim products imported from Canada by XL Foods, Inc. that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.
Read this alert:
See September 26 update for this Health Alert:
The FDA is warning consumers against eating mangoes from Agricola Daniella, a mango supplier with multiple plantations and a single packing house located in Sinaloa, Mexico. Testing by the FDA has found Salmonella in mangoes from this producer. The FDA has placed Agricola Daniella on Import Alert. This means that Agricola Daniella mangoes will be denied admission into the United States unless the importer shows they are not contaminated with Salmonella, such as by using private laboratories to test the mangoes.Consumers should not eat Daniella brand mangoes. If consumers have recently purchased Daniella brand mangoes they should throw them away. These mangoes should be identified by product stickers. For mangoes without stickers, consumers should ask their retailer for brand information. When in doubt, throw it out.
Consumers should wash their hands with soap and warm water after handling these mangoes to remove any harmful bacteria that may have transferred to their hands.
For more detailed information about the mangoes from Agricola Daniella, go to:
On September 12, Whole Foods Market announced that it was recalling ricotta salata sold in 21 states and Washington, D.C., that came from its supplier Forever Cheese Inc. of
Long Island City, NY.Forever Cheese recalled this cheese product because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. The recalled Ricotta Salata Frescolina brand cheese was cut into wedges, packaged in clear plastic wrap and sold with a Whole Foods Market scale label using PLU 293427. All sell by dates through Oct. 2 are affected. Fourteen illnesses have been reported which may be associated with the Frescolina recall.
Read about the Whole Foods Market stores in states that are affected by this recall:
On September 12, DFI Marketing Inc. of Fresno, CA, voluntarily recalled cantaloupe because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella was found on a single sample of cantaloupe during routine testing conducted at a wholesale produce distribution center (terminal market) as part of a USDA testing program. Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. The company is voluntarily recalling this product out of an abundance of caution and no illnesses have been reported. Through the company’s comprehensive recall and trace back systems, it has been determined the suspected cantaloupes include approximately 28,000 cartons of bulk-packed product. The cantaloupes are packed in 6, 9, 12, 15, or 18 cantaloupes per carton.
Specific information on how to identify the product can be found at:
On September 12, Spartan Stores initiated a precautionary recall of certain deli products due to concerns of possible Listeria Monocytogenes contact. This recall is precautionary and is being initiated to ensure the highest degree of confidence to our customers. Listeria monocytogenes is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. No products have been identified as coming into contact with the Listeria monocytogenes organism. The deli products were distributed to Family Fare, D&W Fresh Markets, Glen's, VG's and a limited number of independent supermarkets in Michigan.
For more information about the recalled deli products, go to:
As part of an ongoing and proactive effort to monitor food safety and address contaminants in food, the FDA released preliminary data on arsenic levels in certain rice and rice products. The data are part of a larger FDA data collection and analysis about arsenic levels in rice and is based on the first set of approximately 200 samples of rice and rice products collected in the U.S. marketplace. The FDA is in the process of collecting and analyzing a total of approximately 1,200 samples to examine the issue thoroughly. This data collection will be completed by the end of 2012. Once the data collection is completed, FDA will analyze these results and determine whether or not to issue additional recommendations. Based on the currently available data and scientific literature, the FDA does not have an adequate scientific basis to recommend changes by consumers regarding their consumption of rice and rice products.
To read this FDA News Release, visit:
FDA will evaluate strategies designed to limit arsenic exposure from rice and rice products.
The Agency is working with other government agencies,industry, scientists, consumergroups and others to study the issue and assess risks.
To read this Consumer Update, go to:
The FDA has recently posted updated information for consumers on Dietary Supplements.
Food Facts, Tips for the Savvy Supplement User, and Tips for the Older Supplement User and more can found at:
Questions and Answers on Dietary Supplements can be found at:
The FDA is using science to prevent foodborne illnesses and to respond rapidly when outbreaks occur. This alliance of food safety and science has been forged by two powerful forces.
- The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) gave FDA a mandate to implement a system that emphasizes prevention and prioritizes food safety challenges based on the risk they present to public health.
- FDA’s Strategic Plan for Regulatory Science is an ongoing initiative in which food safety is a priority. Regulatory science involves the tools and methods that FDA uses to evaluate whether products are effective and safe.
Hundreds of FDA scientists are at the forefront of this multifaceted research in the science of food safety.
Read more of this Consumer Update at:
When someone uses the word science, you might think of chemistry, biology, or physics, to name just a few fields. You probably wouldn’t think “regulatory science.” But it’s a field that has a big impact on the daily life of the average consumer. The breadth and scope of FDA’s regulatory oversight is extraordinary, touching the lives of every American, through the food we eat, the medicines we take, and the medical devices we use, says FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D. That oversight is based on the sound science, called regulatory science, that is the foundation of FDA’s day-to-day decisions. Scientists throughout the Agency research the development of new ways to evaluate FDA-regulated products.
To read this Consumer Update in its entirety, go to:
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:
Most people know pesticides protect growing crops from insect consumption, but did you realize pesticides are used on many other types of food, including dairy and shellfish? The FDA monitors most of the food supply for traces ofthe more than 450 pesticide chemicals approved for use in the United States? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets safety levels for pesticides, But FDA monitors these levels for all foods except for meat and poultry products. About 75% of the foods FDA monitors are fruits and vegetables. The FDA hosted a webinar “FDA’s Pesticide Program”, on Thursday, August 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM ET. The featured speakerwas Capt. Young H. Lee, Ph.D, Office of Food Safety, liaison to the Pesticide Monitoring Program at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. This webinar presented FDA’s rules and regulations for pesticide use, and its effect on the consumer.
More information about this webinar can be found at:
On September 14, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced new grants to support schools as they strive to serve healthy food, provide nutrition education, and create an environment focused on healthy eating and physical activity.
Read this news release:
Remarks by Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Commissioner for Foods, FDA, at the 2012 FDA Science Writers Symposium
On September 11, Michael R. Taylor, FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Foods, delivered his latest speech regarding food safety at the 2012 FDA Science Writers Symposium in Silver Spring, MD.
A copy of the speech can be found at:
On September 6, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA's SuperTracker diet planning and tracking tool has reached one million registered users. SuperTracker is a resource to help individuals make healthy lifestyle choices to improve their dietary pattern, maintain a healthy weight, track their level of physical activity, and reduce their risk of chronic disease.
Read this announcement:
On September 5, FSIS issued a news release to encourage families to update their food safety routine and take precautions that will help prevent food poisoning in America's young students at school.
Read this news release:
On August 29, Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon announced that America's students will see healthier and more nutritious foods in the cafeteria as they return to school this year. The new nutrition standards for school meals, implemented as a result of the historic Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, will help to combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children.
Read this news release:
Contact with reptiles (such as turtles, snakes, and lizards) and amphibians (such as frogs and toads) can be a source of human Salmonella infections. Salmonella germs are shed in the droppings of reptiles and amphibians and can easily contaminate their bodies and the water in tanks or aquariums where these animals live, which can spread to people.
Read this CDC press release
The CDC has issued a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) titled Cryptosporidiosis Surveillance —United States, 2009–2010. Cryptosporidiosis is a nationally notifiable gastrointestinal illness caused by chlorine-tolerant protozoa of the genus Cryptosporidium. The total (confirmed and probable) number of cases of cryptosporidiosis reported annually increased 16.9% from 7,656 for 2009 to 8,951 for 2010. Cases were most frequently reported in children aged 1–9 years, followed by adults aged 25–29 years.
Read this MMWR report:
On September 25, 2012, for Food Safety Education Month, FSIS published a new brochure called Food Safety Counts! It was designed to raise awareness of foodborne illness, and to promote safe food handling practices as a part of habitual precautions taken by individuals to protect the health, and well-being of themselves and their children.
See the brochure:
Food safety experts are available year-round from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET to answer questions in English and Spanish about safely preparing and cooking foods. The toll-free number is 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854).Recorded messages are available 24 hours a day. The Hotline is open on Thanksgiving Day from 8:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m., Eastern Time, but closed on other Federal government holidays.
Read more about the USDA’s Meat and Poultry Hotline:
The September issue of the Amber Waves Magazine from USDA's Economic Research Service is available online.
View the latest issue:
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 Spanish podcast:
- Conoce sobre la Línea de Información sobre Carnes y Aves del USDA --Sep 19
Check out these podcasts:
Videos in American Sign Language:
Visit FSIS’ Food Safety Channel on YouTube:
For other food safety podcasts:
People in the News
Faces of Food Safety, an FSIS initiative that shares the stories of its dedicated workforce — inspectors, veterinarians, investigators, administrative assistants and scientists – introduces you to the men and women who play a role in making our food safe.
- Meet Michelle Cox: Cox is a recipient of the Administrator's Award of Excellence, is a Supervisory Consumer Safety Inspector. Her job involves supervising and training inspectors.
- Meet Nonnie Holliman: Holliman 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 Dr. Regina L. Tan: Tan directs a team responsible for detecting health hazards and clusters of disease associated with FSIS-regulated products. She describes her work: I save lives.
Learn more about FSIS’Faces of Food Safety:
The Food Related Emergency ExerciseBundle (FREE-B) is a compilation of scenarios based on both intentional and unintentional food contamination events.It is designed with the intention of assisting government regulatory and public health agencies in assessing existing food emergency response plans, protocols and procedures that may be in place, or that they are in the process of revising or even developing.The FREE-B is designed to allow for multiple jurisdictions and organizations (medical community, private sector, law enforcement, first responder communities) to ‘play’ with the host agency, or, quite simply, for an individual agency to test their own plans, protocols and procedures independently. FDA developed FREE-B in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).Additionally, numerous subject matter experts participated in various rounds of reviews and refinement of the FREE-B.
For detailed information and to watch the FREE-B Informational Video, go to:
In mid-September, FSIS notified owners and operators of establishments in five FSIS districts that the agency is closing those five district offices, and that one of the remaining district offices will assume oversight of each of their establishments. On October 1, one of the agency's 10 remaining district offices will begin providing oversight of establishments in the five districts that the agency is consolidating: the Albany, Beltsville, Madison, Minneapolis and Lawrence districts.
Find out which FSIS district office will oversee the FSIS-inspected establishments in each state, view the agency's new district map:
The New FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it. This act gives FDA new and enhanced mandates and authorities to protect consumers and promote public health.
View updated information about FDA’s implementation and progress, implementation timeline, Annual report on food facilities, food imports and FDA foreign offices and more: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FSMA/default.htm
FDA Issues Warning Letters to Dietary Supplement Firms in Colorado and Texas for Promoting Unapproved Products as Drugs
On September 6, the FDA issued warning letters to PruTect Rx, of Highlands Ranch, CO, and Trinity Sports Group, Inc., of Plano, TX, for promoting products labeled as dietary supplements with claims to treat concussions and prevent or treat post-concussion syndrome and other neurological disorders. The products cited in the warning letters include Trinity Sports Group’s Neuro Impact Concussion Response Formula and PruTect Rx’s NeuroPruTect and Omega3PruTect. These products are in capsule and powder forms. They are marketed online in the United States and internationally. Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), a product is a drug if it is intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. New drugs may not be legally marketed in the United States without prior FDA approval.
Read more of this FDA News Release at;
Warning letter to PruTect Rx can be found at:
Warning letter to Trinity Sports Group, Inc. can be found at:
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- FSIS Directive 8010.1 Revision 3: Methodology for Conducting In-Commerce Surveillance Activities
- FSIS Directive 8010.4 Revision 3: Report of Investigation
- FSIS Notice 50-12: Inspection Responsibilities and Authorities for Reducing Slaughter or Evisceration Line Speed
- FSIS Directive 5000.6: Performance of the Hazard Analysis Verification (HAV) Task
- FSIS Notice 47-12: Instructions for Modified Sample Size for National Residue Program Scheduled Muscle Samples
- Docket No. FSIS 2012-0023: Availability of Microbial Risk Assessment Guideline: Pathogenic Microorganisms With Focus on Food and in Water
All Notices and Directives are available at: