People are talking food safety—join the discussion

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1/22/2009-The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held a media teleconference on Jan. 21 to update consumers on the Salmonella typhimurium outbreak in peanut butter products. Stephen Sundlof, Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, FDA, and Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director, Division of Foodborne Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, CDC, assured the press and public that they are continuing their investigation on the outbreak, in addition to working with food manufacturers to ensure the affected food products are efficiently recalled. At the current time, there have been more than 125 recalled products, and the FDA expects this number to continue to increase as it continues to get new product specific information. So far there are 486 persons from 43 states and Canada that have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella typhimurium; of these, 107 or 22% were hospitalized because of the illness and six deaths have been reported that may be associated with the outbreak.

The outbreak has raised many questions about food safety, manufacturer practices, and traceability. What can be done to shore up food safety? What should the media’s role be when outbreaks occur? How can food manufacturers enhance traceability? All of these questions are currently being discussed on Food Technology’s new ePerspective—a place to offer your insights on food science hot topics. Check out others’ opinions on the outbreak and share your own.

In addition, if you are interested in learning more about the issues of traceability, register to attend IFT’s “The Challenges of Traceability” webcast, taking place Jan. 28, from noon till 1:30 p.m. CST. In addition to learning from the experts, you will hear what your peers think and are doing about traceability, and gain a deeper understanding of the key outbreaks and issues that have placed this topic in the regulatory spotlight.
You will also learn how IFT is involved in the issue of traceability with the FDA, and how you and your organization can become involved.

FDA/CDC media teleconference transcript download (pdf)

The ePerspective

The Challenges of Traceability webcast



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