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Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations; Public Meetings

Announcement of OMB Approval; Food Labeling Regulations

USDA to hold public sessions on animal ID program

by Eric Hanson on 6/14/04 for Meatingplace.com

Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com

To discuss the development and implementation of a national animal identification program, the Agriculture Department announced a series of listening sessions across the United States.

The sessions are designed to provide public forums to discuss the details of a national animal ID program, which has taken on added urgency since the discovery of a cow with bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Washington state in December.

The proposed animal ID system is tasked with quickly tracing back the origins of any diseased or potentially diseased animals. A premise identification system will be completed this summer, allowing for pilot programs to begin testing identification systems, according to USDA.

The first listening session will be held June 14 at the Crown Center, 1960 Coliseum Dr., Hospitality Suite A, in Fayetteville, N.C. from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For directions, call the Crown Center at (910) 323-5088.

Additional listening sessions will be held in: Athens, Ga. on June 18; Prineville, Ore. on July 1; Stockton, Calif. on July 10; Socorro, N.M. on July 16; Pasco, Wash. on July 23; Greeley, Colo. on Aug. 10; Billings, Mont. on Aug. 13; Kissimmee, Fla. on Aug. 16; Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 18; Ames, Iowa on Aug. 26; Joplin, Mo. on Aug. 27; Appleton, Wis. on Aug. 30; and St. Cloud, Minn. on Aug. 31.

More details about each listening session, including the site and time of the meeting, will be posted on USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Web site.

Biological safety - BSE
June 11, 2004
European Commission- Health and Consumer Protection The complete document of the following can be viewed from:
Report on the monitoring and testing of ruminants for the presence of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) in the EU in 2003, including the results of the survey of prion protein genotypes in sheep breeds. (May 2004)
View the full document

Survey finds aflatoxins in nuts and nut-based products below legal levels
Posted By: News-Medical in Miscellaneous News
Published: Friday, 11-Jun-2004

Source of Article: http://www.news-medical.net/
A survey carried out by the Food Standards Agency has shown that aflatoxins in nuts and nut-based products were either absent or below legal levels in 95% of the samples tested. Overall, fewer samples were found to exceed the legal limits than the previous survey. Aflatoxins are naturally occurring toxins produced by certain moulds growing on some food crops during production and storage.

A total of 197 samples of nuts and nut products were analysed in the survey, carried out between November 2003 and January 2004. In 70% of samples aflatoxins were not detected. Forty-nine samples (25%) were found to contain levels of aflatoxin B1 and had total aflatoxins below the legal limits of 2 and 4 micrograms/kg respectively.

However, 10 samples (5%) were found to contain levels of aflatoxin B1 and total aflatoxins above these limits. Where aflatoxins above the legal limits were detected, the Agency has taken action to ensure that these products are no longer available for sale. Occasionally consuming a small amount of aflatoxin contaminated food is unlikely to cause ill effects. However, aflatoxins have been shown to cause cancer in a number of animal species by damaging DNA. There is also some evidence to suggest they may be harmful to humans. Experts have recommended that aflatoxins in food should be reduced to the lowest levels achievable. The results from this survey show an improvement in the situation compared with the previous survey published in 2002, when 13% of samples were found to exceed the legal limits for aflatoxin B1. It does not raise any new safety concerns and consumers do not need to change their diets as a result of these findings.http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk

USDA spokesperson urges farmers to adopt more safety practices
by Thomas Fraser
of The Daily Times Staff
Source of Article: http://www.thedailytimes.com/sited/story/html/166012
Food safety begins on the farm.
That was the message borne from Washington, D.C., Thursday to farmers at the annual University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Beef and Forage Field Day.

``Food safety, animal health and productivity go hand in hand,'' said John Ragan of the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, addressing dozens of farmers assembled for the annual event at the Blount Unit Experiment Station on Singleton Station Road.He said front-end means to keep animals healthy and disease- and chemical-free are more important than ever, given the increasing sophistication of the American consumer. They are ``better educated and better read and better versed on things in general than ever in history,'' Ragan said.However, he warned: ``A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.''American consumers ``can't distinguish between the small and large things,'' he said. For instance, people are increasingly concerned about bovine spongiform encephalitis (better known as ``mad cow disease,'' much to Ragan's stated chagrin), but give little attention to far more serious threats such as listeria contamination.

``The consumer hears and reads about these things,'' said Ragan after ticking off a list of pathogens that included hoof and mouth disease, BSE, E. coli, salmonella and listeria, ``but they don't make a distinction.''Consumers don't associate such pathogens and diseases with animal health issues, but rather with ``bad things that may affect their food, and they don't want anything to do with it.''While strides have been made in agricultural inspections and other government controls, he reiterated that farmers are the first line of defense against the release of unhealthy products into the marketplace and urged farmers to adopt a management system that identifies potential shortfalls in the production process.

The system was adopted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in cooperation with Pillsbury to provide a foolproof food source for astronauts. A key to the rule is identifying potential or existing shortcomings in the agricultural operation and addressing problems at those points in production.``It's a legitimate, science-based system on which we can depend.''Documentation of each step of, for instance, the cattle production process is a key to the system, Ragan said, which ``signaled the adoption of a farm to table approach to food safety.''Other guidelines include requirements that cattle must lack chemical residue and must not be fed bovine byproducts. Calf exposure to manure must be reduced, and the use of pesticides and other chemicals closely controlled. ``Safe food begins with healthy animals,'' said Ragan, a veterinarian.Most ``finished'' hogs and cows in the United States are perfectly safe, but concerns remain about ``culled'' livestock, some pigs and veal production, Ragan said.He said he understood the reluctance of some farmers to change practices in a volatile industry, but noted: ``Change is inevitable; it's going on. The challenges are many; the demands are great, but there are tools available to us.``Those who elect not to change are going to find it harder and harder to sell their product,'' he said.Dr. C. Roland Mote, assistant dean of the Agricultural Experiment Station, said the university already stresses some of the points made by Ragan through its Food Safety Center.``The major emphasis,'' Mote said, ``is going back to the beginning'' to ensure agricultural practices promote the rearing of healthy animals.``We're very sensitive to the issues he's talking about. He's right on target,'' Mote said.

Kansas State University Business Researchers to Help with Major Study on Food Supply Veterinary Medicine

Thu Jun 10,12:49 PM ET
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/
MANHATTAN, Kan., June 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Veterinarians play an important role in ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply through their work with food supply animals.Now, three researchers in Kansas State University's College of Business Administration will help a newly formed coalition of food supply veterinary interest groups determine methods to ensure adequate veterinary involvement in the production of a continuing abundant supply of safe and wholesome food.The $300,000 study, "Estimating Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Demand and Maintaining the Availability of Veterinarians in Careers in Food Supply Related Disciplines in the United States and Canada," is being commissioned by the Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Coalition and Bayer Animal Health. The coalition's members include the Academy of Veterinary Consultants, American Association of Bovine Practitioners, American Association of Small Ruminant Practitioners, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, American Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.The study is being led by K-State's David Andrus, professor and head of the department of marketing, with Bruce Prince, professor of management, and Kevin Gwinner, associate professor of marketing."Food supply veterinary medicine encompasses all aspects of veterinary medicine's involvement in food supply systems, from traditional agricultural production to consumption," Andrus said."This comprehensive study will be comprised of multiple research phases addressing the demand for and the availability of food supply veterinarians in the United States and Canada," he said. "Additionally, the project will address student recruitment, retention and appropriate training of food supply veterinarians in order to serve society."Andrus said the study is expected to be complete by late summer 2005."This study will have profound and lasting effects on food supply veterinary medicine and it is hoped that it will serve as a framework for planning for the future," said Dr. Rod Sydenham, chair of the Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Coalition."This study also will provide valuable information for admissions officials and faculty of veterinary colleges for recruiting and training the type of students likely to pursue a career in food supply veterinary medicine," said Dr. John Thompson of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges.Andrus' areas of research include marketing professional services, marketing education and international marketing. He has received honors for his work, including the 2002 outstanding paper award from the Marketing Educators' Association for the paper he co-wrote, "Faculty Perceptions of a Successful Marketing Department Head." Andrus has taught a variety of marketing courses, including international marketing, marketing management, marketing research and services marketing.
Prince also is an award-winning researcher. Among his research interests are the organizational context of individual careers, opportunity structures and organizational commitment and promotion and transfer practices and human capital development. He received the Cason Hall Publishing Company Careers Division Best Paper Award at the 2001 meeting of the Western Academy of Management. Among the courses he teaches are human resource management, organizational behavior and performance management and compensation.
Gwinner, who teaches marketing management and services management and a course for K-State's master of business administration program, has research interests in improving and management of the performance of front-line, customer-contact employees, consumer-to-consumer interactions via the Internet, consumer relationship benefits and corporate sponsorship of sporting events. He is a recipient of K-State's 2004 Commerce Bank Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Furan food levels reported
June 9, 2004
Institute of Food Technologists' Weekly E-mail Newsletter
During investigations relating to review of a petition for the use of irradiation in certain foods, FDA scientists identified the substance furan in a number of foods that undergo heat treatment, such as canned and jarred foods. The presence of furan is a potential concern because, based on high-dose animal tests, furan is considered possibly carcinogenic to humans. FDA issued a Federal Register Notice on May 10, 2004, requesting data and information from the public on furan in food and furan toxicology. FDA has also posted furan data that were collected through May 27, 2004. The data is being used to inform the public of FDA's progress and to help stimulate research into the formation of furan in food. The results reflect furan levels detected in samples of individual food products. http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/furandat.html
View complete document


Food; Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations; Public Meetings
Announcement of OMB Approval; Food Labeling Regulations
Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed
Public Meeting on the 2004 Produce Safety Action Plan; June 29, 2004
Meeting Registration for Public Meeting on the 2004 Produce Safety Action Plan, June 29, 2004
Focus Area 10: Food Safety Challenges, Barriers, Strategies and Opportunities
Current Good Manufacturing Practice Regulations; Public Meetings

Healthy People 2010 Food Safety Data Progress Review
Exploratory Data on Furan in Food: Data through May 27, 2004
New Features in the Prior Notice System Interface (PNSI) version 1.2.01
Codex Seeks Comments On Sanitary ad Phytosanitary International Standard-Setting Activities
Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency
Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency [ En Espanol]
Administrative Detention of Food for Human or Animal Consumption
USDA Launches Web-Based Incident Command System Training for Employees
FDA Investigating Illnesses Associated With School Lunches Served in Massachusetts
Meat and Poultry Plants' Food Safety Investments: Survey Findings

Current Outbreaks
06/14. Salmonella bovismorbificans: Oregon and Washington States
06/14. Clostridium difficile: Montreal
06/14. China recalls toxic baby milk
06/14. Local grocer linked to salmonella contamination
06/13. [Australia] Salmonella cases jump in NSW
06/12. China Province Recalls Milk Powder After Poisonings
06/12. 60 GSDF troops in Samawah have diarrhea
06/11. Outbreak of Salmonella serotype enteritidis infections assoc
06/11. [Philippines] Town's diarrhea outbreak could be viral
06/09. Emerald Lake Lodge reopens after virus attack
06/09. Greece: Spiked Water Given to Soccer Team
06/08. Pakistan charges four officials after tainted water kills 38
06/08. Ship hit by Norwalk cleaned up; No sign of virus now after 4
06/08. Montreal, Calgary hospitals struggle to contain superbug
06/08. E. coli cases are not connected
06/08. [Kenya] Two More Die of Poisoning As Districts Are Sealed Of

Current New Methods
06/14. Freedom EVOlyzer Offers Fully Automated Microplate Processing
06/14. New External Camera Range for ProtoCOL Allows the Analysis of Bioassay Plates and
06/13. Neogen Introduces New ATP Monitoring Device
06/11. Pure H20 Bio-Technologies Announces New Potable Water Disinf
06/09. Joint Venture to Address Bacteria Issues that Plague the Oyster Industry
06/07. Membrane Technologies Reduce Potential Risk of Mad Cow Disea
06/07. Handheld Endotoxin Detection System Gives Fast, Quantitative Results With Ease
06/07. BioVeris Launches New Portable M-SERIES Instrument for the Detection of Biological

Current Food Safety Informaiton
06/14. As Mad-Cow Testing Increases, Industry Fears Export Impact
06/14. Rage on the range: angry cattlemen are taking matters into t
06/14. Dangers lurking in lettuce: To chlorinate or not to chlorina
06/14. Codex alimentarius
06/14. Biological safety - BSE
06/14. Codex seeks comments on sanitary ad phytosanitary internatio
06/14. Aflatoxins in nuts survey
06/14. [Korea] Ministry seeks floor on food labeling fines
06/14. Canada to compensate producers for sick cattle
06/14. USDA to hold public sessions on animal ID program

06/13. Speakout: Open market to Canadian beef
06/13. School director honored for her food-allergy work
06/13. Survey finds aflatoxins in nuts and nut-based products below
06/13. Harmful colour found in new food batches
06/13. Clostridium difficile FAQs
06/13. Safe to eat?
06/13. Keeping food safe during a power failure

06/12. Growing Concerns About Seafood Safety
06/12. Toxins detected in UK food chain
06/12. Brits question safety of saskatoons
06/12. Harsher food safety laws in S. Korea
06/12. Organic Food Has 'Significantly Higher' Contamination, Study
06/12. Beware of the poisons lurking in your kitchen
06/12. Washing your chicken before cooking can lead to food poisoni

06/11. Biological storm coming, warns Canada's top veterinarian and
06/11. When food can kill your child
06/11. [Australia] Meat processors back new livestock assurance sch
06/11. South Korea extends ban on US beef
06/11. Food Risk and Security Management Conference Planned
06/11. AMI and R-CALF Go Head to Head over Canadian Beef
06/11. AgCenter researcher fighting corn disease
06/11. USDA spokesperson urges farmers to adopt more safety practic
06/11. Kansas State University Researchers to Help with Major Study

06/10. Syscan to sponsor major U.S. Food Safety Conference
06/10. Furan food levels reported
06/10. Food safety week - don't let germs spoil the party
06/10. Los Angeles-based nut grower faces lawsuit
06/10. Low-acid and acidified low-acid foods in hermetically sealed
06/10. S.B. County OKs plan for rating eateries
06/10. Japan lifts ban on some U.S. poultry imports -
06/10. [Australia] Nestle recalls baby formula
06/10. [Editorial] Guarantee Food Safety! [Korea]
06/10. APHIS announces toll-free number to report high-risk cattle
06/10. New Study Shows Increasing Interest in Irradiated Foods
06/10. Food-poisoning vaccine
06/10. Canadian, U.S. food industries call on USDA to finalize beef
06/10. [Korea] "Garbage" dumpling scandal sparks food safety scare
06/10. Alaskan zinc mine poisoning berries and vegetation, report s

06/09. Home Food Safety Website
06/09. Ontarians confident farmers providing high quality food -
06/09. Japan could learn from U.S. food safety problems
06/09. [Korea] Authorities Slammed for Food Safety Failure
06/09. [China] Restaurants committed to food safety
06/09. Food safety focus for fresh produce
06/09. Egg Allergy
06/09. U.K. Speeds Probe Into Deadly Cow Virus After 20 Similar Cas
06/09. USDA did not test possible mad cows
06/09. [UK] Cow death sparks virus risk probe
06/09. [Washington State] Testing finds no CWD here
06/09. Tongue-Lashing On Diet Supplements
06/09. 'The Dirty Dozen' Food Supplements
06/09. [Korea] Dumpling Crisis
06/09. [Korea] Roh Orders Strong Measures to Ensure Food Safety
06/09. Scientists Develop Blowfish Minus Poison

06/08. Britain checks for new brain disease in cattle
06/08. World Meat Congress next week
06/08. Inspection reports - Food hygiene
06/08. Rapid alert system for food and feed, Week 23
06/08. Codex committee on deep frozen foods
06/08. Biological safety irradiation
06/08. 'Demystifying' BSE key to a more rationale global response
06/08. IAFP names prestigious Black Pearl Award recipient
06/08. Common worm provides insights into salmonella virulence
06/08. Major food firms off FDA list
06/08. R-CALF demands tougher BSE testing plan
06/08. USDA expands training for emergency response system
06/08. Trinidad Lifts Its Ban on US Beef Imports
06/08. Iran's pistachio under threat of EU ban
06/08. [UK] Vets investigate mystery brain disease in cattle
06/08. [Texas] Food management certification June 16
06/08. [Ireland] Five Enforcement Orders Served In May
06/08. Nigerian gov't to destroy packs of suspected killer noodles
06/08. Plant Pathologists Present Research on Food Safety at APS An

06/07. GAO urges more scrutiny of antibiotic use in animals
06/07. Canadian PM to press Bush for end to mad cow ban
06/07. [Australia] Top dim sim outlet fined $30,000
06/07. [UK] Alert over bacteria in dried baby foods
06/07. Russia to reverse restrictions on EU meat imports
06/07. UK opens investigation into BSE testing failure
06/07. A New Health Concern for Fast Feeders

06/06. BSE breakthrough as heartbeat test reveals first symptoms
06/06. Play clean in struggle against salmonella
06/06. [Pakistan] E Coli detected in water samples at hotels, restaurants

06/05. Agency To Investigate Failures In BSE Testing Programme
06/05. 'Dog food hot dogs' sold to Dutch snackbars
06/05. Russia AgMin Lifts EU Meat Ban Util Oct
06/05. China says nearly half food exporters fail checks
06/05. TAP Series Food Safety Manager Certification Training Progra

Current Recall Information

USDA expands training for emergency response system
by Ann Bagel on 6/8/04 for Meatingplace.com
Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com
The Agriculture Department has expanded its training program for a Web-based Incident Command System designed to help the agency respond to various emergencies.For decades USDA has used an ICS structure, which includes five functional areas ?command, operations, planning, logistics and finance/administration for management of all major incidents. For example, ICS helped USDA handle several outbreaks of bird flu and exotic Newcastle disease during the past few years.
Under the new setup, ICS training will now be available to all USDA employees via the Internet.
"This ICS training will help bolster resources to manage accidental or deliberate incidents that may threaten the U.S. food supply, critical infrastructure or economy," Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said in a statement last week.

Salmonella bovismorbificans: Oregon and Washington States
June 11, 2004
Infectious Diseases News Brief
Health Canada
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been alerted that Sprouters Northwest, Inc. of Kent Washington is recalling 2, 3, and 5 lbs. institutional trays of its raw alfalfa sprouts sent to various food institutions because they may be linked to a recent increase in salmonellosis in Oregon and Washington States. To date, 12 cases of Salmonella bovismorbificans possibly linked to the consumption of raw alfalfa sprouts have been reported. FDA is working closely with state officials and the company to determine the cause of this problem and what steps can be taken to combat it. The agency will provide additional information as it becomes available.
Source: US Food and Drug Administration, 3 June 2004.