EdNet February 2016
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)
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In this issue:
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
Resources for Educators
- USDA Blog: 50 Years of Super Bowl and Food Safety Changes
- Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Senate Progress to Reauthorize Child Nutrition Programs
- HHS and USDA Release New Dietary Guidelines to Encourage Healthy Eating Patterns to Prevent Chronic Diseases
People in the News
- Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Departure of Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden
- Making Progress in Protecting Consumers from Unsafe Supplements (FDA)
- FSMA Implementation: The Road Is Challenging, but the Company Is Extraordinary (FDA)
- Open Data from USDA, Microsoft Cloud Technology Become Tools to Strengthen Food Supply Through Innovation Challenge Winners
- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Appoints Grain Inspection Advisory Committee Members
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
- Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching for 92nd Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum
- Reminder: FSIS to Hold Educational Meetings on Inspection of Siluriformes Fish
- Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives
- Alaska Pollock Labelling Faces New Requirements
- FDA Releases Proposed Rule to Establish Gluten-Free Labeling Compliance Requirements for Fermented, Hydrolyzed and Distilled Foods - UPDATE
- Comment Period on Use of the Term Natural on Food Labeling Extended Until May 10, 2016
- Raw Pork Products Exploratory Sampling Program (FSIS)
- FSIS Posts Q&As on Mechanically Tenderized Beef Products
- FSIS Policy Updates
Advisories, Alerts, and Warnings
USDA Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Severe Weather
On January 21, 2016, FSIS issued a news release with food safety recommendations for the Mid-Atlantic to Northeast due to the forecast for severe winter conditions. Read this news release.
Resources for Educators
FDA Creates the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs and Announces New Nutrition Office USDA Blog: 50 Years of Super Bowl and Food Safety Changes
The Super Bowl is a very popular food holiday in the United States, and this year’s game marks a milestone. Super Bowl 50, dubbed the Golden Super Bowl, will be played on February 7, 2016.
Help set the gold standard and ensure that you and your guests remain free of foodborne illness by following four steps to food safety. Read this blog.
Statement from Secretary Tom Vilsack on Senate Progress to Reauthorize Child Nutrition Programs
On January 20, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack provided a statement, in anticipation of legislation from the Senate to reauthorize child nutrition programs. Read this statement.
HHS and USDA Release New Dietary Guidelines to Encourage Healthy Eating Patterns to Prevent Chronic Diseases
On January 7, 2016, Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia M. Burwell and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released updated nutritional guidelines that encourage Americans to adopt a series of science-based recommendations to improve how they eat to reduce obesity and prevent chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is the nation's trusted resource for evidence-based nutrition recommendations and serves to provide the general public, as well as policy makers and health professionals with the information they need to help the public make informed choices about their diets at home, school, work and in their communities. Read this news release.
People in the News
Statement from Agriculture Secretary Vilsack on Departure of Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden
On January 21, 2016, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced her plans to depart the USDA at the end of February 2016. To ensure continuity of operations upon her departure, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that Michael Scuse, the current Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services (FFAS), will serve as Acting Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary Vilsack also directed Alexis Taylor, the current Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, to assume the duties of Under Secretary for FFAS. Read this announcement.
Making Progress in Protecting Consumers from Unsafe Supplements
Stephen Ostroff, M.D., Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs, blogs about recent steps taken to prevent illnesses and deaths from unsafe supplements; the challenges, achievements, and opportunities regarding the regulation of these products; and plans for the future. Read this Blog.
FSMA Implementation: The Road Is Challenging, but the Company Is Extraordinary
Michael R. Taylor, FDA’s Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, reflects on the extraordinary engagement the agency had on food safety with the food-producing community and its continuing impact as the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is implemented. Read this Blog.
Open Data from USDA, Microsoft Cloud Technology Become Tools to Strengthen Food Supply Through Innovation Challenge Winners
On January 27, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Microsoft officials announced the winners of the USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge, in which contestants used USDA agriculture production open data to develop online tools that can help make the American food supply more resilient in the face of climate change. Read this announcement.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Appoints Grain Inspection Advisory Committee Members
On January 20, 2016, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack appointed four members to serve on the United States Department of Agriculture Grain Inspection Advisory Committee. The appointees will serve 3-year terms. Read this news release.
Meetings, Conferences, and Workshops
Early Bird Registration Deadline Approaching for 92nd Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum
On January 20, 2016 – The USDA issued a news release reminding those interested in attending this year's Agricultural Outlook Forum, Transforming Agriculture, that early registration is available through January 29, 2016. The Agricultural Outlook Forum, now in its 92nd year, is the USDA's largest annual meeting, attracting 1,600 attendees. Along with the plenary panel discussion Providing Leadership for Present and Future Generations in the Transformation of Agriculture, attendees can choose from 30 sessions with more than 80 speakers and a host of agriculture related exhibits. The two-day meeting will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Virginia, February 25–26, 2016.
To register for and view information about the Forum go to USDA 2016 Agricultural Outlook Forum
Reminder: FSIS to Hold Educational Meetings on Inspection of Siluriformes Fish
FSIS will be conducting educational meetings regarding the final rule, Mandatory Inspection of Fish of the Order Siluriformes and Products Derived from Such Fish, published in the Federal Register on
December 2, 2015. The purpose of the meetings is to educate participants on the final rule, as well as on what will be expected of domestic operations before and after the rule becomes effective on
March 1, 2016. There will be a question and answer period following the presentation. The final rule may be accessed, including registration information and additional resources from the FSIS website.
Codex Alimentarius Commission: Meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives
On February 16, 2016, a Codex Committee on Food Additives (CCFA) is scheduled in College Park, MD.
See related Docket No. FSIS-2015-0044
See also other Upcoming Meetings Related to Codex Alimentarius
Alaska Pollock Labelling Faces New Requirements
FDA updated its Seafood List to reflect a change for fish labeled as Alaska Pollock. For additional information view the Constituent Update.
FDA Releases Proposed Rule to Establish Gluten-Free Labeling Compliance Requirements for Fermented, Hydrolyzed and Distilled Foods - UPDATE
FDA reopened the comment period, until February 22, 2016, for information collection issues under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) for the proposed rule to establish requirements for fermented and hydrolyzed foods, or foods that contain fermented or hydrolyzed ingredients, and bear the “gluten-free” claim. For additional information view the Constituent Update.
Comment Period on Use of the Term Natural on Food Labeling Extended Until May 10, 2016
In direct response to requests from the public, the FDA has extended the comment period for the Use of the Term “Natural” on Food Labeling. The comment period will now end on May 10, 2016. For additional information view the Constituent Update.
Raw Pork Products Exploratory Sampling Program
FSIS announced the launch of the Raw Pork Products Exploratory Sampling Program (RPPESP) in FSIS Notice 23-15 in April 2015. The goal of the project is to collect data on the presence of Salmonella, other pathogens and indicator organisms in various pork products. View this Notice online.
FSIS Posts Q&As on Mechanically Tenderized Beef Products
FSIS posted on its website three new Q&As related to how establishments can meet the requirements for validated cooking instructions on the labels of mechanically tenderized raw beef products in
9 CFR 317.2(e)(3)(iii). The requirements will be effective May 17, 2016. The Q&As address the minimum requirements for validated cooking instructions on the labels of mechanically tenderized beef, the use of tables or grids, and how an establishment can validate cooking instructions on interim products that are shipped to hotels, restaurants, and institutions.
To help establishments comply with the requirements FSIS issued FSIS Compliance Guideline for Validating Cooking Instructions for Mechanically Tenderized Beef Products.
The new labeling requirements were announced in the May 18, 2015, Federal Register.
FSIS Policy Updates
FSIS issues Notices and Directives to protect public health. The following policy updates were recently issued:
- FSIS Directive 7020.1: Verifying Donation of Misbranded and Economically Adulterated Meat and Poultry Products to Non-Profit Organizations
- FSIS Directive 8021.1: Investigative Methodology for Conducting Misconduct, OIG Hotline, and Other Investigations - Revision 1
- FSIS Notice 04-16: Pilot Project: Control of Listeria Monocytogenes (LM) in Retail Delicatessens
- FSIS Notice 82-15: Country of Origin Labeling - AMS Final Rule
All Notices and Directives are available at FSIS’ Website