Salmonella Saintpaul report provides recommendations

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11/20/2008-A recent report released by the Produce Safety Project (PSP), an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts at Georgetown University, provides an in-depth review of the public record of the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak of 2008.

The report, entitled “Breakdown: Lessons to be learned from the 2008 Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak,” calls for preventive safety standards for fresh produce, reform of the public-health system’s organization and outbreak response, and establishment of unified risk communication plans.

According to the PSP, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to use its existing statutory authorities to establish mandatory and enforceable safety standards for fresh produce. It is noted that the FDA has already used existing authorities to put in place preventative safety standards for seafood in 1995 and for juice in 2001.

In addition, the PSP sees the need for organizational reforms throughout the public health system for a more coordinated outbreak response. The report raises questions about how timely and effectively data was shared between public health agencies and if it contributed to a delayed identification of jalapeno and Serrano peppers as a vehicle for Salmonella Saintpaul.

Finally, the PSP expresses the need to have established and unified risk communication plans in place before an outbreak. According to the report, from the beginning of the outbreak, public-health communication to the media and the public was disjointed and confusing.

Product Safety Project Report



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