New food safety rules pose impact for refrigerated carriers
Source : http://fleetowner.com/fleet-management/new-food-safety-rules-pose-impact-refrigerated-carriers
By Kilcarr , Fleet Owner (Mar 14, 2016)
Refrigerated carriers face a bevy of new mandates governing not only the condition and operation of equipment used transport foodstuffs but the capture and preservation of shipment temperatures, along with driver training requirements, due to go into effect March 31.
The new rules devolve from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama back in 2011, noted Don Durm, director of strategic customer solutions for PLM Trailer Leasing, during a panel discussion at the 2016 Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) meeting last week in Las Vegas.
“It really should be called the ‘Food Safety Documentation Act’ because there is nothing really new in it in terms of ‘modernization,’” Drum said. “But what it does is involve the FDA [the U.S. Food and Drug Administration] in the food supply chain as an enforcement agency. So why you need to pay attention to this [FSMA] is due to two words: criminal prosecution.”
He noted that while shippers and receivers are the main targets of the FSMA, refrigerated carriers become involved as the new rules require detailed temperature data to be collected and maintained, while imposing equipment and driving requirements as well.
Drum noted that refrigerated carriers are affected in three broad areas: They would be required to develop and implement written procedures – subject to record keeping, probably for a 12 month time period – that describes how they provide temperature data; their practices for cleaning, sanitizing, and inspecting vehicles and transportation equipment; and establish requirements for the training of carrier personnel engaged in transportation operations, including a requirement for records that document the training.
[At right: Don Drum speaking with arm upraised while R. Fenton May of CarrierWeb looks on.]
He added that while the FDA “won’t tell shippers and carriers how to deliver foodstuffs” it will be in charge of establishing the framework for what’s required to deliver such goods and enforce those requirements.
“The FDA now becomes an integrated part of the supply chain,” Drum said. “Rather than standing apart, they will become an enforcement agency – and one of their tools will be criminal prosecution. This will be about documentation, verification, and enforcement and they [FDA] will not be reactive; they will be proactive.”
As an interesting side note, one of the key architects of the FDA’s more “proactive stance” on food safety – Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor – plans to step down June 1 this year right after the new rules are announced.
“He departs just before all of these rules are enforceable,” noted Durm. “So it is interesting that all of the folks that really pushed this [rule] to realization are now leaving when it has to be enforced.”
Regardless of that FDA personnel change, Durm maintained that refrigerated fleets will feel specific impacts in several key areas of their operations:
•It will affect trailer designs, depending on shipper requirements resulting from the new rules;
•It will tighten sanitary cleaning requirements of said trailers;
•There will be a “pre-cool” requirement for many shipments;
•Temperature tracking will be mandated;
•Data exchange and retention will be mandated;
•Driver food safety training will be required and a record of that training must be kept on file for access upon request.
“This is all part of a switch from the FDA reporting food contamination to taking an active role in preventing it,” Durm stressed.
As a result, R. Fenton May, chairman of telematics provider CarrierWeb – who co-presented with PLM’s Durm – urged refrigerated carriers to be proactive with their customers about the impending rules.
“Shippers must specify specific requirements to protect food in transit, and if you the carrier leave a vacuum the shipper will write their own rules,” he stressed. “Especially when it comes to the pre-cooling temperature requirement, you will have to exchange data; you must make that data available to the shipper and in a variety of formats. This is about ‘real-time’ food safety now.”
May said refrigerated carriers should expect about a one-year compliance window with the impending rules. “So far the FSMA rulemaking is on-time for March 31, and following a 60-day review period, enforcement should begin March 31, 2017.”
That’s why PLM’s Durm and May emphasized that refrigerated carriers should begin talking to shippers now about all the requirements that will be involved with the new rules.
“Some agencies will embrace enforcement big time; there’s definitely going to be a new sheriff in town,” Durm stressed. “Data exchange in multiple formats in real-time to meet shipper requirements is going to be difficult enough. And then there is the issue of where to store that data for easy retrieval; you need to think about it the ways you would a tax audit.”
Complicating things further is that while the FDA mandates driver training regarding food safety, no such training guidelines have yet been released. "The FDA currently envisions a 4-hour online course, but no training guidance has been issued at this time," Durm pointed out.
He added that another wrinkle is that insurance companies may require more details regarding food safety protocols as a result of al lof this, potentially increasing premiums for carriers that don’t demonstrate robust enough data collection, storage, and retrieval capabilities.
“For those carriers that self-insure themselves, maybe more money will need to be set aside,” he said. “And remember: food brought from outside the U.S. into the country must comply with the new rules; even if the food is produced outside the U.S. You have a year to get prepared.”
How Does Salmonella Get on Pistachios?
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/how-does-salmonella-get-on-pistachios/
By Linda Larsen (Mar 14, 2016)
The current Salmonella outbreak linked to recalled Wonderful pistachios brings up a question: how does Salmonella get on pistachios? Most of us are familiar with problems with Salmonella on poultry and in eggs. But a dry, shelf-stable product such as pistachios doesn’t seem to be a candidate for this bacteria.
Unfortunately, Salmonella can live for a long time on dry products, according to research published in the Journal of Food Protection in October 2015. Salmonella can survive for at least six months on foods that are very dry, and will not grow, but survive, on foods that are refrigerated or frozen. And, as we have told you before, any product, including produce, which includes nuts, can be contaminated with bacteria.
There have been 89 recalls of nut butters and nuts for pathogenic bacterial contamination since 2001 in the United States, 25 just in 2015. Most of those recalls have occurred since 2012. And there have been 12 outbreaks linked to nut and nut butter products since 2001, sickening at least 1,275 people in this country.
There has been an ongoing debate about the safety of raw nuts versus roasted or heat-treated nuts. Many people believe that, once heated, nuts lose some of their nutritional quality, including fats, enzymes, and beneficial bacteria. Almonds are a particular hot spot, especially since 2007, when the FDA ordered that all out-of-shell almonds sold in this country be “pasteurized” before sale, because they have been linked to so many food poisoning outbreaks.
But even nuts that are heat treated can become contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. Problems in the processing facilities and in transport can contaminate any product.
In the current outbreak, eleven people in nine states have been sickened with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo. The case count by state is: Alabama (1), Arizona (1), Connecticut (1), Georgia (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1), Virginia (1), and Washington state (2). Two people have been hospitalized because their illnesses are so severe. Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 12, 2015 to February 9, 2016. Ill persons range in age from 9 years to 69, and 73% of ill persons are male.
Investigation of the outbreak indicates that pistachios produced by Wonderful Pistachios of Lost Hills, California are a likely source of this outbreak. Of the nine sick people interviewed, eight, or 89%, ate pistachios the week before they got sick. And five of the eight, or 63%, said they ate Wonderful brand pistachios. And laboratory testing isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Montevideo from samples of raw pistachios collected from Paramount Farms, where Wonderful pistachios are grown.
There have been several recalls of pistachios since the outbreak was announced. The nuts were sold nationwide in the U.S., in Canada, Mexico, and Peru. The recalls for for Nature’s Eats natural pistachios kernels, Favorites pistachios, and Wonderful, Trader Joe’s, and Paramount Farms inshell and shelled pistachios.
The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills, headache, muscle pains, and blood in the stool. Symptoms usually begin six to seventy-two hours after exposure to the bacteria. Most people get better in about a week, but some become so ill they must be hospitalized. If you ate any of the recalled pistachios and have experienced these symptoms, please see your doctor.
Street food vendors in New Delhi get trained in food safety
Source : http://barfblog.com/2016/03/street-food-vendors-in-new-delhi-get-trained-in-food-safety/
By Ben Chapman (Mar 13, 2016)
The U.S. food truck movement isn’t quite the same (or as authentic) as buying a hot tamale, salsa and guacamole out of a bag in Central America or samosas from a street stall in India.
But the concerns are the same – can the vendor manage the hazards associated with their foods? Prepping some food off site, transporting it, holding it and taking home the leftovers (and maybe reselling them) can be more complicated than making food in a restaurant. Especially when it comes to handwashing and cross-contamination.
According to the Economic Times, New Delhi street food vendors are getting trained.
Vendors selling street food in the national capital will now be sensitised about health and
hygiene for raising food safety standards.
Health Minister J P Nadda today launched the project titled as ‘Clean Street Food’ to be undertaken by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The FSSAI will train street food vendors under the Recognition of Prior Learning category of the Centre’s skills training scheme, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.
Speaking at the launch of the Project, Nadda said it is a pragmatic, practical, constructive and positive approach to skilling one of the largest unorganised sectors of the country.
“With nearly 20 lakh street vendors in the country, the training of 20,000 vendors on a pilot basis in the NCR of Delhi is a welcome steep. As street food forms an integral part of our society, the project which shall upgrade the skills of the street food vendors, will also contribute to preventive and promotive health,” he said.
Besides, the FSSAI also launched a Mobile App to empower citizens to reach out to the food enforcement machinery for any concerns or suggestions that they may have on the issue of food safety.
Being sensitized to the risks is a start; addressing them is what makes food safer.
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Soil pollution law on its way to reduce food safety risks
Source : http://www.shanghaidaily.com/national/Soil-pollution-law-on-its-way-to-reduce-food-safety-risks/shdaily.shtml
By shanghaidaily.com (Mar 11, 2016)
CHINA is aiming to pass its first soil pollution law next year, hoping to tackle a “serious” problem that lacks dedicated legislation, a senior Chinese official said yesterday.
The government declared war on pollution in 2014. After decades of pursuing growth at the expense of air, water and soil quality, pollution emerged as one of people’s top concerns.
It is under particular pressure to reduce the risk of contaminated crops entering the food chain, with farming on 3.3 million hectares across China already banned indefinitely.
There have been repeated food scandals, especially concerning rice and its contamination with heavy metals such as lead and cadmium.
“Looking at the results of soil pollution surveys from relevant departments of the State Council, our country’s soil pollution situation is generally speaking serious and it’s not easy to be optimistic. Some areas are seriously polluted,” said Yuan Si, deputy head of the National People’s Congress environmental protection and resources conservation committee.
The problem directly affects food and water safety and whether or not the country is able to develop in a sustainable way, Yuan told reporters on the sidelines of the NPC’s annual meeting in Beijing.
“The basis for our country’s soil pollution prevention work is weak,” he said.
“There are no specialised laws, meaning government bodies lack a legal basis for effective supervision, so it really needs legislation to resolve.”
China already has air and water pollution laws, but it is a “blank slate” for soil pollution, Yuan added.
The soil pollution law has been through 10 drafts already and will be submitted to the NPC’s Standing Committee next year to be put on the legislative agenda, he said.
Yuan said the law will stipulate the division of duties between government agencies, the establishment of a surveying and monitoring system, and increased funding.
He said his committee had been preparing for the law since 2013 after conducting surveys and holding meetings.
On Monday, Agriculture Minister Han Changfu said that about 1 percent of China’s polluted land was seriously polluted.
Dole Found Listeria in Springfield Plant Years Before Outbreak
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/dole-found-listeria-in-springfield-plant-years-before-outbreak/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 10, 2016)
Years before salads produced at Dole’s plant in Springfield, Ohio were linked to Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks in the U.S. and Canada, the company found Listeria there, FDA inspection records show. One of the records, obtained by Food Poisoning Bulletin through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, shows the company found Listeria in the plant in early 2014 and “infrequently” before that.
The records, dating back to a 2012 inspection triggered by a Listeria recall of American Blend salad, offer a glimpse inside the facility which has been closed since January when the outbreaks were announced. During the inspections, FDA investigators noted the plant is not constructed in a manner that allows floors and walls to be kept in good repair. Specifically, they cite cracks in the floor, ruts in floor that hold standing water, rust and peeling paint on the walls.
They also noted failure to provide adequate screening against pests, grooves in cutting surfaces, condensate on the ceiling above unprotected washed and sanitized shredded lettuce, food residue in multiple locations, leaking water lines and ice from temporarily stored boxes of raw produce leaking onto the floor of the finished salad product storage area. Because Listeria can thrive in cold wet places, inspectors “encouraged” Dole to find a method that would reduce or eliminate the cross contamination threat posed by the ice melt. Company officials told inspectors they were aware of the risk but had not discovered a solution that would solve the problem without causing other issues.
Although Dole salads have been recalled in the U.S. and Canada 10 times since 2012, this is the first time they have been linked to illnesses since a 2006 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened 203 people, killing three of them. Salads linked to that outbreak were produced at a Dole facility in California.
Currently, 18 cases of listeriosis in the U.S. and 11 in Canada have been linked to salads produced at Dole’s Springfield plant and sold under a variety of brand names including Dole, Fresh Selections, Simple Truth, Marketside, The Little Salad Bar, and President’s Choice. Four of the 29 people sickened in these outbreaks have died, although Canadian health officials have not determined if the Listeria infections contributed to the cause of death in the three fatalities reported there.
Food Poisoning Bulletin filed the FOIA request for documents pertaining to inspections of the Springfield plant since 2012 after learning that there have been five Listeria (and two Salmonella) recalls in the U.S. and Canada for salads produced there since 2012; that annual inspections conducted by the state agriculture department do not include testing of environmental or product samples for Listeria or other bacteria; and that the company is not required to share results of its own microbial testing with state officials.
Despite loss of life, a 100 percent hospitalization rate of case patients in both countries, and the ongoing nature of the outbreaks, Food Poisoning Bulletin’s request for expedited processing was denied. “You have not demonstrated a compelling need that involves an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual. Neither have you demonstrated that there exists an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity,” an FDA official stated in a letter denying the request.
All of the Dole recalls issued since April 2012 were triggered by random product sample tests performed by various state health departments, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the now defunct Microbiological Data Program (MDP) operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. None of the recalls stemmed from results of the company’s own testing program.
Dole has owned the Springfield plant since 1998. The company stopped producing fruit there in 2006. Since that time, only salads have been produced there, but other vegetables are temporarily stored there for distribution.
Records received through the FOIA request pertain to three inspections of the plant: October 17-19, 2012, following a Listeria recall; March 17-21, 2014, following a Listeria recall; and October 14-16, 2015, following a Salmonella recall. Reports stemming from the 2016 inspection were not provided because the investigation is still open, an FDA official stated in a letter accompanying the other documents.
None of the samples collected by FDA investigators during those three investigations was positive for Listeria or Salmonella. However, the reports do describe how the company tests for Listeria and Salmonella and the procedures it takes when there is a positive.
Dole does not test food contact surfaces for Listeria, according to the reports. Most of the environmental samples it takes are from areas immediately adjacent to food contact surfaces.
Samples that are positive for the Listeria species are not tested further to determine if they are Listeria monocytogenes, rather Dole “treats all instances as if they are Listeria monocytogenes,” the report states. When there are positives, the company double cleans and sanitizes the surrounding area, then reswabs and tests it.
“One ‘suspect’ result was noted on 01/23/14 from a ‘workstation mat” in the packaging room. Management report the area was cleaned, sanitized and re-tested on 01/25/2014 using the process described above,” the report states. The follow-up tests were negative for Listeria.
Food contaminated with Listeria doesn’t look or smell unusual. Once ingested, it typically takes about three weeks for symptoms including headache, stiff neck, muscle aches and fever, to develop, but it can take as long as 70 days.
Those most at risk are young children, seniors, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery and infection in newborns. One of the case patients in this outbreak, who range in age from 3 to 83 years old, is a pregnant woman.
Dole recalled all salads produced at the Springfield plant in late January. Given the long incubation period, consumers who ate contaminated salads at that time may not be symptomatic until the end of March.
Parents sue school district, others linked to E. coli outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/03/parents-sue-school-district-others-linked-to-e-coli-outbreak/#.VudiLU5JmUl
By News Desk (Mar 10, 2016)
Three Washington State families are seeking payment of medical bills and other damages for children who were hospitalized with E. coli infections after school activities at the Milk Maker’s Festival in Whatcom County.
The civil suit, filed in Superior Court in Whatcom County, WA, names Lynden School District, the Northwest Washington Fair Association and Whatcom County Dairy Women as being responsible for the infections and liable under state law.
“This is a case of everything they could do wrong, they did do wrong,” said Bill Marler, the Seattle food safety attorney who is representing the families. “It’s almost like they ignored every recommendation from the CDC on how to handle events where children are around animals.”
Teenagers who helped set up a hay bale maze and bleachers for the Milk Maker’s Festival in April 2015, as well as first-graders who later played in the maze, were not given the opportunity to wash their hands before being given milk refreshments at the fairgrounds, according to the civil lawsuit.
Lab tests of samples from the maze area and bleachers, which had been stored in a dairy barn, showed the same E. coli O157:H7 isolates detected in at least 25 sick children. Ten required hospitalization. Six outbreak victims developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of E. coli infection that can lead to kidney failure.
The parents and children involved in the case filed March 7 are: Amy Hayes-Shaw and Craig Shaw and their son Toby Hager; Elizabeth and Palmer Myers and their children Halle and Palmer Jr.; and Amanda and Chad Neiser and their children Bennet, Macy and Selah.
Toby Hager, 15, was one of the student volunteers who helped set up the maze. He reported the only hand sanitizer container he could find was empty and that there weren’t any other hand-washing options available. No one suggested he wash up before drinking milk provided by the dairy women’s group, according to the lawsuit.
The elementary children reported they were not required to wash their hands after petting animals, visiting the dairy barn or before eating lunch. From April 21-23, festival organizers say at least 1,300 first-graders attended the event.
A report by the Whatcom County Health Department confirmed what the children reported. The department’s final report also found:
•Event attendees who reported washing or sanitizing their hands before eating lunch were less likely to become ill;
•Children who reported always biting their nails were more likely to become ill;
•Leaving animal areas without washing hands might have contributed to an increased risk of transmission; and
•Eating in animal areas might have contributed to an increased risk of transmission.
Editor’s note: Attorney Bill Marler is a founding partner of Marler Clark LLP and is publisher of Food Safety News.
Australia Food Safety Testing Market By Contaminant, By Thecnology, Food Type - Trends and Forecast to 2020
Source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/australia-food-safety-testing-market-by-contaminant-by-thecnology-food-type---trends-and-forecast-to-2020-300233869.html
By prnewswire.com (Mar 9, 2016)
This report analyzes the food safety testing market, in terms of contaminants, technology, and food type tested.
The Australian food safety testing market is gaining growing level of importance in the country owing to continual increase in number of food-born disease outbreaks, increasingly stringent regulations on food safety, growing level of trade between Australia and other countries, sustained number of food recalls, among others.
Rapid technologies dominate the Australian food safety testing market owing to the time consuming and labor intensive factors associated with the traditional methods. Though, culture method (agar culturing) protocols are recognized as internationally accepted reference methods in foodborne pathogen detection, rapid technologies are quick, accurate, and easy-to-use.
On the basis of contaminants, the food safety testing market was segmented into pathogens, pesticides, GMO, toxins, among others. The pathogen market was further sub-segmented into E.coli, salmonella, campylobacter, clostridium and others depending upon their relevance to the Australian food industry. Among pathogens, E.coli recorded highest number of food-borne cases in Australia among pathogens, followed by salmonella and campylobacter.
The Australian food safety testing market is dominated by processed food and meat, poultry & seafood products as maximum number of illnesses have been associated with these applications in the country. Also, the consumption, trade of these food products are highest in Australia, in terms of industry value added making them of utmost important to the country. The Australian regulatory body, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) demands that the food products both exported and imported have to be safe and certified on the basis of the food safety regulations of that particular county. Safety measures instituted by the regulatory body also considers HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) for estabhlishment of food safety control system.
Higher level of processed food consumption in Australia offers significant opportunity for processed food testing. Food contamination in the country is also caused through the processing machineries. Furthermore, continued increase in number food-borne outbreaks and inefficiencies in food supply chain, fuel the market growth in the country.
The food tested segmentations were determined using secondary sources and verified through primary respondents. The market estimation made in the report are also based on various parameters, such as the number of players, demand trends, supply trends, and the extent of research activity in Australia. The Australian food safety testing market is projected to reach a value of USD 588.0 million by 2020, growing at a significant rate of 9.3% from 2015.
Chipotle just had another food safety incident
Source : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/03/09/chipotle-just-had-another-food-safety-incident/
By Elahe Izadi (Mar 9, 2016)
A Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in the Boston area closed Tuesday after employees fell ill and one tested positive for norovirus, local health officials said.
One employee of the restaurant came down with norovirus, Billerica Board of Health Director Richard Berube told USA Today.
Four Chipotle employees reported feeling sick, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told the Boston Globe. Additional employees who feel ill will be tested, he added.
"After learning that four of our employees were not feeling well — none of whom worked while sick — our restaurant in Billerica, Mass., was closed for a full sanitization," Arnold said, USA Today reported.
The store has been cleaned, and Berube told WHDH that he expects it will reopen on Thursday
Health inspectors who visited the store on Wednesday found it to be clean, which "was consistent with the perfect health inspection score of 100 percent this restaurant received less than a week ago, on March 3," Arnold, the Chipotle spokesman, told The Post via email.
"There are no confirmed customer illnesses connected to this incident," Arnold added.
This is the latest incident in a string of bad health-safety news for the Mexican fast-casual chain, including in December when more than 100 Boston College students became sick after eating at Chipotle. Health officials said norovirus was the cause.
In the fall, an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle prompted the company to temporarily shutter more than 40 restaurants in Washington and Oregon. Then another seven states reported cases of E. coli linked to the chain.
Shares of the company's stock fell more than 6 percent by Wednesday, Reuters reported.
"We suspect that investors and consumers will be sensitive to this announcement, particularly in light of the adverse news flow over the last six months at Chipotle," CRT Capital analyst Lynne Collier said in a client note, the wire service reported. "The publicity around this news announcement will be another negative data-point that may affect consumer demand."
All Chipotle stores closed on Feb. 8 for a national food safety meeting, during which company officials talked about norovirus.
"If you're feeling sick, especially if you've vomited, whether at work or at home, you need to let your manager or your field leader know right away," co-Chief Executive Officer Monty Moran said during the webcast, the Associated Press reported.
Most foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States are caused by norovirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The highly-contagious virus can be spread through contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces, or consuming contaminated food or water. Symptoms include stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea, and about 570 to 800 people die each year from it, according to the CDC.
[This post has been updated.]
Food safety, use of fresh ingredients elevate demand for advanced packaging
Source : http://www.fooddive.com/news/food-safety-use-of-fresh-ingredients-elevate-demand-for-advanced-packaging/415288/
By Carolyn Heneghan (Mar 9, 2016)
•The global advanced packaging market is expected to surpass $31 billion by 2019 with a CAGR of nearly 8%, according to a new Technavio report.
•Three factors driving this growth are demand for hygienic packaging, development of innovative packaging solutions, and consumer engagement.
•Food safety, shelf life, use of fresh and/or natural ingredients, and smart packaging may come into play for manufacturers when making decisions about advanced packaging and materials.
As ingredients and processing methods change, such as high-pressure processing, packaging needs are changing for food and beverage companies to be able to retain product quality and shelf life. Manufacturers rethinking operations to meet FSMA requirements may address issues of food safety by using more advanced packaging for their products.
Modified atmosphere packaging currently leads the global advanced packaging segment with more than 51% of market share. Extending shelf life for seafood, poultry, meat products, dairy products, and RTE food plays a role in this packaging segment's growth, especially in emerging markets.
Beverage packaging innovations are in high demand to meet the needs of both carbonated and noncarbonated beverage makers, Technavio found. Cold-pressed juices and cold brew coffee, made using HPP, require packaging considerations that are different from beverage competitors.
Business Wire: Demand for Hygienic Packaging in Food Industry Expected to Boost the Global Advanced Packaging Market by 2019, Says Technavio
FDA’s Mike Taylor departing agency — totally on his own terms
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/03/mike-taylor-sets-the-time-and-date-of-his-departure-totally-on-his-terms/#.VudolU5JmUl
By Dan Flynn (Mar 9, 2016)
Mike Taylor has chosen the time and day for his departure for a second time from government. His friends and associates received his personal email at 8:35 a.m. Tuesday. It was embargoed until FDA released the news two hours later, marking “on or about” June 1 as his departure date.
Anti-Taylor activists — many of whom were Monsanto haters who’ve been calling for Taylor to be fired since he returned to government in 2009 — were among the last to know. Taylor will step down as deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) around June 1. He made it very clear that he is not making a “retirement announcement.”
“Our magnificently diverse food system is full of challenges and opportunities, and I plan to continue working toward its success, especially in settings where people lack regular accesses to sufficient, nutrition and safe food,” Taylor wrote to friends. “I suspect our paths will cross again.”
Taylor has held the top food job a the FDA since 2010. He has led food safety and managed change since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2011. The Act’s provisions are the most significant reforms to occur in the U.S. food system in 70 years. Before being charged with carrying out that change, Taylor was already the among the most significant figures in U.S. food safety from his first posting in government.
His first tour in government began as a staff attorney at FDA, where he worked on seafood safety and nutrition labels. Taylor then transferred over to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, where he became acting under secretary for food safety.
Taylor was the government official who, after the deadly 1992-93 Jack-in-the-Box outbreak, ruled that a pathogen, E. coli O157:H7, was an adulterant in meat.
His decisions in 1993-94 were made over the meat industry’s objections and court challenges, but succeeded in ending the “poke and sniff” method of inspecting meat that dated back to 1906.
When the changes Taylor made during the Clinton Administration are combined with those he’s made during the Obama Administration, he is easily the most significant person in food safety to come along in the last century.
Taylor was silent on whether he might play a third act in government, but insists he will leave FDA’s food responsibilities in good hands.
Dr. Stephen Ostroff, will take over his duties. Ostroff was until recently FDA’s acting commissioner, while Dr. Robert M. Califf was waiting to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the FDA’s top job.
Ostroff joined FDA in 2013 as chief medical officer for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Then he became senior health adviser to Taylor, then FDA’s chief science officer and acting commissioner.
In his “Dear Colleagues and Friends” letter, the exiting Taylor said of Ostroff: “He knows our programs. And he is the perfect person to lead them into the future.”
Taylor also addressed his own departure.
“After almost seven years, this is the right time for me to move on to the next phase of my career. It’s not an easy decision. This job has been an honor and a pleasure for me and remains as challenging and satisfying as ever,” he said.
“I am privileged to work with the most talented, passionate and resilient public servants on the planet and have learned enormously from them, as well as from our many stakeholders and partners elsewhere in government and in the consumer and industry communities. I’m especially grateful to you and so many others who have worked hard to pass, fund and implement the Food Safety Modernization Act.”
An attorney, Taylor worked in both academia and industry before being named as the Obama Administration’s “food safety czar,” as some early observers called it.
As a young lawyer at the firm of King & Spalding, he worked with Monsanto as a client before joining FDA. When he left government the first time after working for both FDA and USDA, he did a stint as vice president for public policy at Monsanto before doing additional academic and think tank work.
Those experiences were enough to make Taylor the target of colorful demonstrations and over-blown rhetoric, first to block his Obama Administration appointment and for years later to get him fired. But Taylor both outlasted and out-performed his mostly luddite critics, who failed to topple Taylor.
One of his longest non-government assignments was as a senior fellow for the think tank Resource for the Future’s Center for Risk Management. There Taylor was an advocate for a single “farm to table” food safety agency. It’s not know if he’d be willing to return to government to lead such an agency if one were to be created, as called for in a number of bills currently before Congress.
‘External intrusion’ source of St. Maarten resort Norovirus outbreak
Source : http://barfblog.com/2016/03/external-intrusion-source-of-st-maarten-resort-norovirus-outbreak/
By Doug Powell (Mar 9, 2016)
They have a way with language down on the islands.
According to The Daily Herald, the Norovirus outbreak at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino in February was due to “external intrusion stimulated by cross- contamination,” and not a result of food or drinking water at the resort, Collective Prevention Services (CPS) said on Monday.
Some 200 tourists, who had arrived on the island from Canada around February 17, and an unspecified number of students who had been at the resort for a regional debating competition, soon after were affected by the outbreak. CPS released the information after completing its report on the outbreak.
CPS said the Resort noticed a sudden spike in guests complaining of mainly vomiting and a few cases also had diarrhea; affected were the Canadian tourists. The hotel’s consulting doctor was called in and guidelines were provided in connection with sanitation measures. After a dormant period of about a week, a sudden increase in gastroenteritis was again noted amongst the overseas students, some of whom had checked-in on February 24, and the majority on February 25.
Treatment was provided by the hotel’s physician and at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC). Various sanitation and preventive measures were re-emphasised.
“Because of the inherit aggressiveness of the norovirus, very hard and effective measures had to be implemented in the hotel according to the investigations and inspection results observed by government officials,” CPS said in a press release. “The intervention by hotel management and staff in the initial phase was well managed. It can be concluded based on the ministries investigation that this was not an outbreak originating in food or drinking water, but rather by external intrusion stimulated by cross-contamination.”
Going public: 10 sick with E. coli O157 linked to raw milk in California
Source : http://barfblog.com/2016/03/going-public-10-sick-with-e-coli-o157-linked-to-raw-milk-in-california/
By Doug Powell (Mar 8, 2016)
Apparently I wasn’t imagining when I wrote the Spongebob cone of silence – usually reserved for leafy greens, cantaloupes and sometimes tomatoes — had finally been lifted on an E. coli O157 outbreak involving raw milk in California.
Organic Pastures Dairy in Fresno County voluntarily recalled its raw milk in Jan. 2016 after internal tests found evidence of E. coli. The tainted milk caused at least 10 illnesses, with six of those victims reporting they drank Organic Pastures raw milk, said California Department of Public Health officials on Mar. 1, 2016.
The victims all had closely related strains of E. coli O157, the health department said.
Dairy owner Mark McAfee said that in early January the company voluntarily recalled the milk within 36 hours of determining the presence of E. coli.
At the time of the last announcement, CDPH types told Healthy Magician the state health department is continuing to investigate the outbreak, but will not provide specific details.
“The environmental investigation is ongoing. CDPH has collected a large number of samples including feces, water and raw milk, which are still undergoing evaluation at the department’s Food and Drug Laboratory Branch,” the CDPH spokesman said via email.
When they are available, the department will not release them until the investigation is finished, the CDPH spokesman said last Tuesday.
The department has not published any statements about the outbreak or investigation.
“CDPH does not routinely post in-process updates on its active investigations,” the department’s spokesman said via email. “If the public needs to be alerted about an adulterated food, CDPH will issue a Health Advisory warning consumers of the food that should be avoided.
“In this case, the outbreak was identified and the voluntary recall issued by the firm after the shelf-life of the product had expired. Since no product was believed to remain in the marketplace, no health alert was issued.”
However, legal eagle Bill Marler got his hands on a summary of the investigation dated March 3, 2013. The report concludes:
Evidence collected to date, indicates that cattle in the OPDC milking herd were shedding E. coli O157 that matched PFGE patterns associated with ten illnesses in January 2016. In early January 2016, Cow 149 produced milk contaminated with E. coli O157 which may have been bottled and shipped to the public. Feces, soil, and water collected from OPDC on February 8, 2016 tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, and PFGE patterns for those isolates also matched those patterns associated with the illnesses. The collection of environmental samples from OPDC on February 8, 2016 focused on feces likely deposited on February 6, 7, and 8. It is unlikely that the positive findings from February 8, 2016 represent conditions linked entirely to Co 149. The isolation of E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli from cattle used to produce raw milk for human consumption is concerning and could result in additional illness to raw milk consumers in the future if not addressed at the dairy.
Animal ownership agreements offer a route to raw milk in WV
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/03/animal-ownership-agreements-offer-a-route-to-raw-milk-in-wv/#.Vudo-05JmUl
By Dan Flynn (Mar 8, 2016)
A law permitting shared animal ownership agreements as the legal vessel for consuming raw milk has been singed into law in West Virginia by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Last year, the Democratic governor vetoed a similar bill, saying it would pose a serious health risk to public health because unpasteurized milk, aka raw milk, contains bacteria especially dangerous to children, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems.’
But this year, after seeing Senate Bill 387 pass the West Virginia Senate 22 to 12 on Feb. 5, and then gain House approval on Feb. 23 by a vote of 88 to 11 with one not voting, Tomblin signed the bill into law on March 4. His office said oversight requirements were included in HB 387 that were sufficient to satisfy his concerns.
Local health officials, however, expressed disappointment with the governor’s flip-flop.
“I cannot understand why we would knowingly put people health at risk, Dr. Michael Brume, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officer, told local media.
Shared animal ownership, otherwise known as herd sharing agreements, becomes effective in 90 days in West Virginia. All other sales of raw milk will remain illegal in the Mountain State. Anyone purchasing a herd or cow share must sign an agreement acknowledging the “inherent dangers of consuming raw milk.”
The “responsible party” is prohibited from distributing, selling or re-selling raw milk obtained pursuant to a shared ownership agreement. The agreements must be filed with the state Commissioner of Agriculture and contain specific information. People signing shared herd agreements and their physicians must agree to report illnesses that develop from consuming raw milk.
The West Virginia law also requires some testing and standards requirements and gives the Commissioner of Agriculture power to impose administrative fines up to $100. The commissioner and Department of Health and Human Resources are also empowered to promulgate additional rules.
Primary sponsor of the new animal ownership law was state Sen. Robert Karnes, R-Tallmansville.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its consumer warnings about raw milk.
“Raw milk can carry harmful bacteria and other germs that can make you very sick or even kill you. While it is possible to get foodborne illnesses from many different foods, raw milk is one of the riskiest of all,” according to the CDC.
“Many people who chose raw milk thinking they would improve their health instead found themselves or their loved ones sick in a hospital for several weeks fighting for their lives from infections caused by germs in raw milk. For example, a person can develop severe or even life-threatening diseases, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which can cause paralysis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can result in kidney failure and stroke.”
FDA food safety leadership changes
Source : http://www.thepacker.com/news/fda-food-safety-leadership-changes
By Doug Carder (Mar 08, 2016)
Stephen Ostroff has been tapped to be the Food and Drug Administration’s second deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, when Michael Taylor leaves June 1.
The FDA announced Taylor’s decision to leave the agency March 8. He was the FDA’s liaison for the produce industry, appearing on many conference panels, web seminars and meetings about new rules with the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Ostroff led the FDA as acting commissioner until the recent confirmation of Robert Califf as FDA commissioner, according to a news release.
Since being named deputy commissioner in 2010, Taylor has been credited with helping implement the FSMA, which government health officials call the most sweeping food safety reform in more than 70 years.
Taylor also guided nutrition-related initiatives and has served in other high-level capacities with FDA and on several National Academy of Sciences expert committees studying food-related issues, according to the release.
Ostroff was named the agency’s chief scientist in 2014, and was responsible for leading FDA’s scientific and public health efforts, according to the release. Ostroff joined FDA in 2013 as chief medical officer in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and senior public health advisor to Taylor, according to the release.
Taylor plans to continue working in the food safety arena, focusing on settings “where people lack regular access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food,” according to the release.
Cage-free eggs present food safety challenge in Missouri
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/03/cage-free-eggs-present-food-safety-challenge-in-missouri/#.Vudq005JmUl
By Dan Flynn (Mar 7, 2016)
A producer of so-called cage-free eggs, which had to suspend operations in December and then recall eggs that were associated with Salmonella Enteritis illnesses in January, has now come in for a stern warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
And while one producer’s problems does not a trend make, the concerns FDA raises with the Good Earth Egg Co. in the recently released Feb. 23 warning letter are among the significant food safety problems that do come up with “cage-free” eggs.
In the warning letter, FDA paints grim picture of these cage-free eggs being raised in conditions “contaminated with fllth,” without environmental testing or biosecurity measures to control the spread of Salmonella Enteritis, with no cleaning or disinfection procedures or proper refrigeration.
That is just the quick outline of conditions at the Good Earth Egg Co. in Bon Terre, MO, a provider of cage-free eggs to the St. Louis metropolitan area. Owned by the third generation of the David Family in Bon Terre, Good Earth was ordered to close by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Dec. 18, 2015.
The reason for the closure was that Salmonella contamination was found inside the facility. The state ordered remediation efforts and re-sampling, but the company did not issue a recall.
But when Good Earth eggs were associated with Salmonella illnesses in Missouri in early January, it did issue a recall of eggs of various sizes and packaging. The recalled eggs all had sell-by dates of Feb. 5.
Cage-free is a misnomer as it does not mean laying hens are not confined. It means the confinement is a large enough space to allow the laying hens to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs without touching one another or the sides of the enclosure. When the term “free range” is used, hens are required to have access to the outdoors.
FDA says it found the violations at the Good Earth Egg Co. sufficient to consider its shell eggs to be adulterated within the meaning the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and they may have been “injurious to health.” The agency says Good Earth does not have a Salmonella Enteritis prevention plan as required by law.
Consequently, Good Earth has “temporarily ceased” shell egg operations, according to FDA, and it should not resume until it has an Salmonella Enteritis (SE) plan in place.
“Your firm failed to test your pullet environment for SE when pullets were 14-16 weeks of age as required (by law),” according to the FDA warning letter. Good Earth personnel in fact admitted they’d never done testing in the pullet house for SE.
Good Earth told FDA it’s SE plan would be developed by March 1.
FDA also found no biosecurity measures are practiced at Good Earth. Customers were seen driving their own vehicles into the facility to purchase eggs and people were moving freely between poultry houses. Nothing was being done to prevent cross contamination as equipment was moved between poultry houses.
No attention was being give to rodents in the egg laying houses. There were also numerous openings that allow pests to enter laying houses. Rodent burrows and feed spillage were observerd along with “debris within a poultry house and vegetation and debris outside a poultry house that may provide harborage for pests.”
“Rodent excreta pellets” and flies were also not being cleaned up or brought under control.
Further, FDA questions whether Susan David is qualified to be the Salmonella Enteritis plan supervisor, in part because she does not “oversee or participate in daily egg production.” In addition there is no record or documentation that laying houses are cleaned and disinfected between flocks.
Salmonella Enteritis is not the only concern for the cage-free Missouri egg farm. “We are concerned about the presence of Salmonella Oranienberg (SO) in your poultry house environment” FDA said. Environmental sampling in to laying houses found the presence of SO.
“Although FDA’s Shell Egg Rule pertains to the prevention of SE, FDA considers SO in a poultry house environment to be a public health threat since all serovars of Salmonella are considered human pathogens,” the warning letter continued.
“According to your firm’s management, your cleaning procedure in between flocks includes a step where the manure belts are run for removal of all manure, dust, dirt, and feathers prior to being sprayed with disinfectant. However, it is not clear if you remove manure from other surfaces.”
FDA says the manure must be removed in such situations.
Egg producers using both tight and loose confinement systems have failed FDA’s inspections since the agency imposed tougher conditions five years ago to control Salmonella Enteritis in table eggs. However, there is some evidence to suggest closer confinement of laying hens makes it easier to control pathogens, too.
Currently, demand for “cage-free” eggs is far greater than the supply especially with the market restrictions in California. Numerous egg-buyers are promising their customers only “cage-free” eggs at some date in the future — most cite the year 2025 as the soonest it can happen.
Good Earth Eggs has until later this week to respond to FDA’s demands.
Health department fails to meet food safety targets
Source : http://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/health-department-fails-to-meet-food-safety-targets/story-9yN7C0MHk9AD4VAQlREt6M.html
By Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times (Mar 06, 2016)
Health department officials continue to adopt a casual approach towards the monthly targets set by the food safety branch as all districts have completely failed to achieve targets.
Out of the state-wide target for collection of 1,740 samples set by the health department in January, only 816 samples were collected by authorities in the districts. Of these 46% collected samples, 25% tested ‘fail’ and were declared unfit for consumption.
Districts blatantly failing to achieve targets in January include Jalandhar, Bathinda, Ludhiana, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Pathankot, Patiala, Moga, Mansa and Muktsar.
Jalandhar health department was given a target of 150 food samples, but it collected only 75 samples, out of which 12 were found unfit. Ludhiana health department had a target of 250 food samples, but it collected only 87, out of which 40 failed to pass the food safety test. Similarly, 41 samples were collected by Bathinda health department out of a target of 100.
It is not the first time that of ficials are showing apathy towards food safety as in the period from January 1 to December 31, 2015, out of 15,560 target samples, Jalandhar had collected 9,936, out of which 28% samples tested failed.
Moreover, the Food Safety and Standards Act has the provision of compulsory registration for all food businesses to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption, but districts have been lagging behind in ensuring complete registration.
On March 6, 2014, online registration of food businesses was begun. Jalandhar food safety administration issued 434 licences and did 2,124 registrations of food businesses till February 26 this year. Businesses with a turnover of more than Rs 12 lakh are issued licenses.
Sources in the health department said only milk, milk products, bakery products, sweets and other such samples were being collected as per guidelines issued by higher officials.
They further said even though senior officials had fixed a minimum target to be completed every month, apathetic officials failed to meet the targets.
They added that most drives were undertaken on the heels of Diwali only when the sale of sweets shot up and manufacturers prepared items in bulk with complete disregard of hygiene and food safety.
A health department official said the sampling drive against adulterated food products was being hampered due to interference of political leaders. He added that huge workload and shortage of staff were other reasons behind the failure in achieving targets.
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