sets rule clarifying new in-plant technology; comments sought
by Dan Murphy on 2/14/03 for www.meatingplace.com
Food Safety and Inspection Service published a notice that clarifies the procedures
for firms to notify the agency of new technology they propose to use in meat,
poultry or egg product facilities, according to a news release.
new procedures will eliminate delays and facilitate the application of new technology,
the agency said in a statement.
issuing the first rule on Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis Critical Control
Points in 1996, FSIS has shifted away from a command-and-control inspection structure
to give industry more flexibility necessary to innovate to meet food-safety requirements.
These new procedures, FSSIS officials said, will actively encourage the development
and pilot testing of new technologies.
the new process, companies will notify FSIS of any new technology they propose
to use, so that the agency has an opportunity to decide whether the new technology
requires a pre-use review. If the new technology could affect product safety,
FSIS regulations, inspection procedures or the safety of federal inspection program
personnel, FSIS will advise the firm that a pre-use review is necessary.
written comments on the proposed rule should be submitted by April 14 to:
Docket # 00-011N
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food safety and
300 12th St. SW
we measure food poisoning trends
Friday, 19 April 2002 http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/59179
reports of food poisoning cases provide a good indicator of trends in foodborne
disease and show how the Food Standards Agency is meeting one of its key targets.
They are providing the baseline for how the Agency measures its success in reducing
of the Agency's key priorities is reducing foodborne illness by 20% by 2006. The
Agency's progress in this area will be assessed on the basis of lab reports of
positive tests for the five major bacteria that cause the majority of foodborne
illnesses: salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes and
A lab test is the only way of knowing for certain
if someone has food poisoning caused by one of these germs. Although not all people
who think they have food poisoning go to the doctor for a test, the number of
positive lab results for these bacteria gives us a good idea of the overall number
of food poisoning cases.
Restaurant Grade Before
Check Violation-Free Restaurants:
CLEVELAND, Updated 11:15 p.m. February, 13, 2003 -- One northeast Ohio
county has implemented a new restaurant rating. NewsChannel5's Ted Hart reported
that you might want to check out the grading before opening a menu.
the Old Country Buffet on Whipple Road in Canton, they're proud of their "Grade
the highest rating the health department gives a restaurant," said general
manager Art Caspary. "The program challenges you to achieve maximum performance
from your employers, err, your employees."
be awarded the Grade A certificate, a restaurant must have no critical violations
for a full year and at least 80 percent of the staff must have passed a food-safety
It's a measuring
stick that's good for consumers and an incentive for the restaurant and its employees.
they walk through their door at the start of the work day, they are reminded they
work for a Grade-A facility. My personal belief is it improves their spirit. It
makes them better able to do a good job for their customers that day," said
Bob Somrak with the Stark County Health Department. So
far, Hart said that 18 facilities have received Grade-A status in Stark County.
recently found food items stored in uncovered containers at Glenmoor Country Club.
Hart said that raw meat was stored above pasta in the cooler and cleaning chemicals
were stored next to food items.
at Glenmoor said they were all small issues and in a follow-up inspection everything
had been corrected.
No need for
corrections at Panchos Southwestern Grille in North Canton. The restaurant got
its Grade-A rating from the county health department.
was the same story at Blimpies Subs on North Main Street in North Canton. It got
the top rating.
honor of all the Grade-A recipients in Stark County, they are this week's 5 On
Your Side blue-ribbon winners.
more information on Stark County's Grade-A food excellence awards, click here.
E. COLI CONFERENCE
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
February 13, 2003
University of Nebraska
University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be sponsoring a major conference on E. coli
O157:H7 on April 7-8 in Lincoln, Nebraska. An outstanding group of speakers are
scheduled to present lectures on the genetics, ecology, pathogenesis, epidemiology,
and evolution of this important microorganism. Current research on efforts aimed
at controlling this organism will also be presented. The conference will also
include a poster session on the
afternoon of April 7. Registration is only
$75. For students that
register before March 17, the registration fees are
The conference is sponsored by the USDA and the University of Nebraska,
and co-sponsored by the Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society for Microbiology.
Please share this announcement with students, post-docs and other colleagues.
For more information on the conference, speakers and lecture
titles, how to
submit abstracts for the poster session, and how to
register, visit the conference
web site at http://ecoliconference.unl.edu/.
OF MICROBIAL PATHOGEN COMPUTER MODELING IN HACCP PLANS
February 10, 2003
Edited by Kiran Kernellu
Several members have brought to NMA's
attention their confusion over FSIS Notice 55-02 "Use of Microbial Pathogen
Computer Modeling (MPCM) in HACCP Plans," dated December 2, 2002. MPCM is
a computer-based software program
that estimates the growth or decline of pathogens
in food products based on intrinsic and extrinsic variable factors. Unfortunately,
members who have used, and continue to use, MPCM as supporting documentation to
their HACCP plans or to evaluate critical control point (CCP) deviations, have
been challenged by some FSIS inspection personnel who contend that the use of
is not valid. According to FSIS Notice 55-02, "MPCM programs can be used
as predictive models to ascertain the effects of process deviations or as an analysis
to assist in determining the relative severity of a deviation." Therefore,
this Notice acknowledges that the MPCM may be used as a tool. However, with a
few exceptions, FSIS will need supporting data to substantiate the findings of
the MPCM values. "Determining pathogen growth or survival and controlling
it in food products requires complete and thorough analysis by an independent
microbiology laboratory, challenge studies, and surveys of literature." To
these points, NMA has some scientific literature to substantiate findings of the
MPCM or can put members in touch with a microbiology laboratory or a provider
of challenge studies, if needed. For example, Plant A has a stabilization deviation.
The first step they should take after discovering the deviation and placing the
"on hold" is to immediately contact NMA. NMA will
guide Plant A through the process of utilizing the MPCM and provide some of the
necessary literature to substantiate the results. For members who are interested
in downloading the MCPM, it is available online at:
MPCM is a useful tool for predicting bacterial growth, identifying potential CCPs,
reformulating products, determining product disposition, and providing graphical
modeling tools. Although FSIS only considers MPCM to be a predictive tool, MPCM
certainly can indicate if certain conditions warrant further attention. For further
information, speak with Julie Ramsey at NMA.
February 7, 2003
American Council on Science and Health: Health
Facts and Fears
Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D.
Source from: http://healthfactsandfears.com/
some reason, Marion Burros of the New York Times seems to have it in for food
irradiation. In an article published in the Times on January 29 ("The Question
of Irradiated Beef in Lunchrooms"), Ms. Burros and some authorities she quotes
mislead readers about the proposed irradiation of beef used in school lunch programs.
to her opinion, food irradiation has indeed been quite widely tested over the
past five decades. These tests included feeding studies, across multiple generations,
of several species of animals with diets composed mostly or solely of irradiated
foods. While such animal tests are not directly applicable to human health, the
animals involved in these studies grew and reproduced normally, indicating that
any chemicals formed during irradiation did no damage. We have also been feeding
irradiated foods to our astronauts for decades, with no evidence of ill effects.
We have extensive evidence, however, that feeding children hamburger contaminated
with bacteria like E. coli O157:H7 can definitely cause serious illness, even
death. Irradiation of ground meat is one proven method to protect us from real
Parents should have a choice about what their children
eat, but the article cited above is wrong to suggest that this would not be the
case if beef were irradiated. Irradiated beef would be labeled as such, and school
lunch menus are usually sent to parents so that they can see what will be served
a month ahead of time. So, if parents wanted to have their children avoid irradiated
meats they could note on which days hamburger (or meatloaf) would be served, and
make other arrangements for those days. Parents, like all consumers, should be
able to choose to use or avoid irradiated foods. But let's be sure they have a
fully-informed choice rather than a lot of vague warnings about hypothetical ill-effects
that have never been shown to occur and which, based on decades of research, are