Letter From The Editor: Let’s be done with the U.S. Senate
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/10/letter-from-the-editor-lets-be-done-the-u-s-senate/#.WflQG2i0OUl
By DAN FLYNN (Oct 29, 2017)
Okay, would any us know or care if the United States Senate ceased to exist? Nebraska, with its unicameral, is a well-run state. And the U.S. Senate original purpose was to represent the states in our federal union.
Next to our entry into World War I, changing to direct election of the U.S. Senators appears to be among the most prominent mistakes of early progressives. We cannot undo those, but we can decide if the U.S. Senate contributes anything today.
I’ve been thinking about this because we continue without the appointment of a USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety.
Most of us have this silly notion that we voted for somebody last November, somebody won, and on Jan. 20, 2017, a new government took power. But, that’s not the way it came down nor have past elections in the U.S. resulted in an immediate and across the board transfer of power.
The reason: the U.S. Senate. It’s slow down in approving the Presidential appointments required actually to run the government is unprecedented for the Trump administration. However, the game isn’t new. It’s just worse now.
I’ve read that in parliamentary democracies, the necessary appointments to fill the ministries can occur overnight if required for a change in government.
But in America, we require way too many Presidential appointments also to require U.S. Senate confirmation. The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service keep track of how it’s all going.
Those organizations figure there are 606 significant appointments throughout the federal government. With Senate slow walking, the new administration has not even tried to fill almost half of these. It’s a little bit like meat-grinding because you can only push so much through at a time.
About half of the other nominations made and working their way slowly along. The half of the government still not controlled by Trump is being run by career civil servants.
We are ten months into the new government, and the present reality is not serving food safety very well. The President may be near appointing a new Under Secretary for Food Safety, but it has not happened yet.
Part of the reason is that USDA’s first round of assistant and undersecretary appointments are taking so damn long to get through that “hard-working” body known as the U.S. Senate.
Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for the last 12 years, was late last week unanimously finally confirmed by the U.S. Senate as undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the USDA.
But another–Iowa’s Bill Northey–is being held up for USDA’s undersecretary for farm production and conservation over a spat between Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, and Iowa’s two GOP senators over biofuels policies. And with the nomination for USDA’s chief scientist also still not confirmed, the wait continues.
And while rumored to be near, the White House still has not named a new USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, the top post of its kind in the federal government.
Time has come to at least put the U.S. Senate on a calendar. If it cannot conduct an up or down vote on Presidential appointments by a specific date, it should lose its power to consent. Yes, it might have to work a four day week, but the rest of us have been putting up with that humiliation for some time.
I know it was in its heyday the most significant deliberative body in the world and all of that. But not lately.
Food Safety After Flooding
Source : http://wunc.org/post/food-safety-after-flooding#stream/0
By HANSI LO WANG (Oct 29, 2017)
LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:
No one knows exactly what was in the floodwaters in Texas that came after Hurricane Harvey. That's raised some questions about food safety after a flood. NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports on the confusion about what to do with crops and farm fields that sat underwater for days.
HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: Alan Gaulding is always trying to keep his rice fields wet, but he says nothing like when Harvey hit.
ALAN GAULDING: So it kind of was like a big bowl just full of water.
LO WANG: Could you drive on this road before?
GAULDING: No. We couldn't even cross the bayou to get here to check on the farm.
LO WANG: After the storm came through Hamshire, Texas, about an hour east of Houston, flooding kept him from working the field for almost two weeks. And Gaulding still had a quarter of his rice crop left in the flooded fields, waiting to be harvested.
GAULDING: It's like an apple. When it gets too ripe, it falls off the tree - same thing.
So we got grain falling off the plant. So we were in a time crunch to get to it.
LO WANG: But Gaulding had to wait about three weeks after the storm to find out if his crop would be safe to sell. According to guidance from the Food and Drug Administration, any edible part of a crop exposed to floodwater is not safe for humans to eat because of the risk of bacteria, chemicals, heavy metals and mold. So Gaulding was worried.
GAULDING: I'm not growing this food to hurt anybody. I mean, this is thousands of dollars, maybe even $100,000 that I'm going to lose in this field. But it's not worth killing somebody.
LO WANG: Gaulding tried to get the state chemist in Texas to test the rice for a possible contamination, but he says it wasn't easy. In a written statement, the state chemist, Tim Herrman, says his office responded to concern about flooded crops, quote, "accordingly." But he also confirmed that some of the potential flood contaminants listed by the FDA had not been programmed into his office's computer system before Gaulding's rice was tested. The testing eventually came back negative. No contamination.
TED ELKIN: Early on, in any of these events, there's a lot of confusion rumoring about what's actually occurred and what's happening.
LO WANG: Ted Elkin is the deputy director for regulatory affairs at the food safety center of the FDA. The agency released a statement in September clarifying that the FDA's guidance did not ban rice or other crops from Texas after Harvey.
ELKIN: It really is a general guidance. But we're always trying to make things specific and really on a case-by-case basis.
LO WANG: For rice in Texas that touched floodwater after Harvey, Elkin says that means figuring out if the rice sat in pooled rainwater or if floodwater from elsewhere seeped onto the field. Still, the historic levels of rain that fell on Texas are forcing some state officials to rethink how flooding can affect food safety, according to Boone Holladay of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.
BOONE HOLLADAY: We had water going into places that water has never been before. And so it's kind of rewriting the books for us right now. We're going to have to remap what are going to become areas that are maybe not going to be suitable for specialty crops.
LO WANG: As for consumers, Ben Chapman, a food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, says it can be difficult to determine whether the produce at a store have touched floodwater.
BEN CHAPMAN: We're at the mercy of the industry in the regulatory world. And the industry every day is producing food for us.
LO WANG: It's a responsibility that rice farmer Alan Gaulding says he takes pride in. But he says he's worried about the uncertainty that may come with future floods.
GAULDING: There will be a next time. And before we put the farmers through two or three weeks of waiting, we need to think about this thing and say, what happens if it goes underwater? Is it safe? Is it not?
LO WANG: Gaulding says he wants to see clearer guidance and a quicker response from the government. What's unclear, more than two months after Harvey hit Texas, is what contaminants may be left in the soil from the flood. So far, neither the Texas Department of Agriculture nor the state health department has tested any farm fields. Hansi Lo Wang, NPR News, Hamshire, Texas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
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Cooking for crowds complicates food safety
Source : http://www.dailycomet.com/news/20171029/cooking-for-crowds-complicates-food-safety
By Tobie Blanchard LSU AgCenter (Oct 29, 2017)
An outbreak of foodborne illness in Caldwell Parish highlights the importance of safe food handling.
LSU AgCenter food safety expert Wenqing Xu said officials with the Louisiana Department of Health were still testing samples of jambalaya meals late last week. The meals were sold as a fundraiser about two weeks ago and are believed to be responsible for the outbreak.
Xu said two foodborne pathogens have been identified, Clostridium perfringens and salmonella. The Health Department and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating one death and more than 100 illnesses linked to the jambalaya.
“Clostridium perfringens can reproduce rapidly and grows faster than most foodborne pathogens,” Xu said.
It can take days for symptoms of salmonella poisoning to show up, he said, but with Clostridium perfringens, illness can occur quickly after consumption.
Jambalaya is a challenging food for investigators – it has rice, vegetables, sausage and chicken so it is hard to pinpoint which was the issue.
Many outbreaks associated with Clostridium perfringens are usually in undercooked meat in quantities of food prepared for large groups. It is often called the food service germ.
Xu said issues can occur in the way the food was handled.
“Was it prepared the day before? How long was it held at certain temperatures?” Xu said.
Preparing large quantities of food can be difficult, Xu said. “It takes longer to heat up and longer to cool down. The more people helping can increase the risk of cross contamination,” she said.
Xu said the key principles of food safety are the same when cooking for two people or 200 – clean, cook, chill and separate.
Clean hands, surfaces and utensils with hot soapy water. Cook meats to proper temperatures by using a food thermometer. Keep raw meat chilled until use and return perishable foods to the refrigerator within two hours after preparing. Separate raw foods from cooked foods to avoid cross contamination.
Xu conducts a food safety workshop, Food Safety When Cooking for Large Groups, aimed at people who cook for fundraisers, potluck dinners or after disasters. She said anyone who cooks for crowds should consider participating in a workshop.
For information, contact your LSU AgCenter office or Xu at email@example.com. In Lafourche, the office is at 115 Texas St. in Raceland, 446-1316. In Terrebonne, it’s at 511 Roussell St., 873-6495.
EFSA says wild birds spread avian flu to E.U. member states
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/10/efsa-says-wild-birds-spread-avian-flu-to-e-u-member-states/#.WflSYGi0OUl
BY NEWS DESK (Oct 26, 2017)
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says migratory wild birds are spreading avian influenza around the globe. The Parma, Italy-based food safety agency figures migration routes crossing the north-eastern and eastern EU borders are the most likely pathway for avian flu entering the continent.
In the United States, experts at the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service say the spread of highly pathogenic avian flu viruses involves both wild and domestic birds.
In rare instances, people become infected, usually by touching surfaces contaminated with bird saliva or feces and then touching their own mouths and noses, or preparing or eating food without washing their hands after being around birds. People can also inhale the virus from contaminated droplets and dust in the air, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Unlike in humans, the virus poses a huge threat to commercial and backyard bird flocks.
Two years ago avian flu subtype H5N2 burned through commercial poultry and backyard flocks in the United States, requiring the destruction of 49 million domestic birds for losses of $1 billon.
Europe and Asia were also hit with the avian flu outbreaks.
The EFSA’s experts have since assessed the risk of avian influenza entering the EU and reviewed surveillance approaches – which include monitoring by Member States and the actions they take to minimize its spread. Their scientific advice is based on a thorough review of all the information on the avian influenza outbreaks that have occurred in recent years.
“This work will enhance the EU’s preparedness for avian influenza outbreaks, just ahead of the peak influenza season in autumn and winter. It would not have been possible without the close cooperation with Member States affected by this epidemic,” said Arjan Stegeman, Chair of EFSA’s working group on avian influenza.
One of the main recommendations is that the public should let local veterinary authorities know when and where they find dead water birds – particularly during the influenza season.
Testing farmed water birds – such as ducks and geese – for avian influenza is also important because they can easily come into contact with wild birds, which can then spread the virus. The report recommends blood analysis for live poultry and testing of water birds found dead.
Farmers and poultry keepers should adopt appropriate management measures to increase biosecurity. These include preventing direct contact between wild water birds and poultry by using nets or keeping poultry indoors during peak influenza season, and avoiding the movement of animals between farms.
Live poultry and backyard flocks should not be allowed access to water sources that are available to wild birds.
EFSA, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EU reference laboratory on avian influenza and authorities in affected Member States have also published a report on the avian influenza situation in the EU and at global level. The report will be updated quarterly.
Avian influenza overview October 2016 – August 2017
The United States has not seen a repeat of the H5N2 Eurasian Avian Flu since the 2014-15 outbreak. In 2016, the Mississippi flyway was connected to the infection of 43,000 birds in Indiana, and earlier this year there was an HPAI outbreak in Lincoln County, TN.
“Avian influenza is caused by influenza Type A virus (influenza A), Avian-origin influenza viruses are broadly categorized based on a combination of two groups of proteins on the surface of the influenza A virus: hemagglutinin or ‘H’ proteins, of which there are 16 (H1-H16), and neuraminidase or “N” proteins, of which there are 9 (N1-N9),” according to APHIS.
“Many different combinations of “H” and “N” proteins are possible. Each combination is considered a different subtype, and related viruses within a subtype may be referred to as a lineage. Avian influenza viruses are classified as either ‘low pathogenic’ or ‘highly pathogenic’ based on their genetic features and the severity of the disease they cause in poultry. Most viruses are of low pathogenicity, meaning that they causes no signs or only minor clinical signs of infection in poultry.”
From the community: Food Safety Tips—From Start to Finish—For Thanksgiving Dinner
This is How Your Restaurant Can Step Up Food Safety
Source : https://www.qsrmagazine.com/content/how-your-restaurant-can-step-food-safety
By Peggy Carouthers
Though food safety may be a restaurant fundamental, it is nothing to take lightly. The Center for Disease Control reports that each year, an estimated 48 million people are made sick by food eaten in the U.S.—that’s 1 in 6 people. Of these illnesses, 9 million are caused by major known pathogens that can be avoided with proper food handling procedures, such as Norovirus, Salmonella, E. coli, and more.
For restaurants, meeting food safety standards is critical. Not only can failing to do so make guests sick, but it can also lead to costly litigation and lost revenue if a food safety breakout occurs. In a 2016 survey conducted by AlixPartners, a global business-advisory firm, 28 percent of consumers polled said they would never eat at a chain affected by a food-safety breakout. Another 62 percent said that while they would eat at a chain again, they would “wait until it was declared safe again before patronizing unaffected locations.”
These potential lost sales could make or break a restaurant’s budget and harm its reputation, even among previously loyal customers. In today’s connected world, even small food safety issues can have a large impact on consumer perception, says Nathan Pickerill, senior solutions architect at HotSchedules.
“Small violations and misconceptions can damage a restaurant’s reputation and reviews severely,” Pickerill says. “As the violations increase in severity, the long-term damage for business growth can destroy the long term viability of the business.”
The best way to reduce the risk of danger, reputational damage, and lost sales due to food safety issues is to prevent them before they occur, but doing so can be a challenge. It’s not enough to simply have food safety policies and procedures in place; brands must create an entire food safety culture. Though many health departments and restaurant brands require food safety exams to be passed by leaders and employees, this often isn’t enough to ensure that proper handling is a top-of-mind concern among staff.
“Most employees see these [certifications] as formalities and may not understand the practical application of the concepts in their day-to-day restaurant lives and the true consequences of their actions,” Pickerill says. “Creating a culture and continued educational plan around day-to-day work duties, as well as tracking performance and creating a system of praise for high performers, has created dramatic results for groups that I’ve worked with in the past.”
One way to ensure that food safety becomes an intrinsic part of restaurant culture is to boost training around food safety practices by integrating technology in the process. Using technology to promote better training, timely reminders, and follow up not only ensures that employees understand policies, but also helps leaders keep safety on the minds of employees.
“A respected leader providing regular communication to all employees in the organization via technology not only about the health of the organization, but also the topics that can have huge impact on the business, such as health compliance, can benefit not only the sense of importance around health code compliance, but also provide a sense of belonging and importance to the employees,” Pickerill says.
HotSchedules Train, for example, allows brands to push messages out to all levels of an organization to ensure that food safety practices and messages are reinforced. Follow up is also critical to building a culture that prioritizes food safety. Digital tools, such as HotSchedules Logbook, digitize these task lists to improve workflow and visibility.
Using digital tools also provides managers with valuable data, which can help them correct issues as they occur instead of waiting for a problem. Additionally, this helps new managers ensure they consistently lead the team according to company policies. Though paper task lists still play an important role in the restaurant space, digitizing these tools increases accountability and ensures tasks are performed at the right time.
“Moving paper task lists and temperature logs to digital platforms ensures not only that tasks are being completed, but they are being completed when they should and in a manner that meets compliance,” Pickerill says. “Technology provides a much more efficient vehicle for building that culture of education, performance tracking, and acknowledgement. Plus it helps to remove the temptation for managers to try to game the system by time stamping the completion of items.”
Even for brands that prefer paper task lists, digitizing these records via hybrid systems, such as HotSchedules’ Red Book Keep, an app that enhances the Manager’s Red Book, a paper-based best practices playbook, provides above-store leadership access to valuable archived records.
“The digitalization of systems around health code related items and tasks can improve accountability around health compliance,” Pickerill says. “Visibility into the store-side functions for the entire organization ensures that best practices are taking place on a daily basis, and if there is a systemic problem with a location, it can be visible and addressed before it impacts the health of a guest.”
By providing restaurant leadership with the right tools, brands can not only ensure that employees are trained on food safety, but that they also work within a system that values food safety on a daily basis.
“Having all employees trained and continually trained, as well as the managers talking about the importance, on a regular cadence will really impact the overall staff performance,” Pickerill says. “These practices not only breed self-compliance, but also make the other employees of the restaurant watch guards of the policies to help to reinforce the culture of the company.”
Food safety reprieve: Ag secretary pauses plan to move Codex
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/10/food-safety-reprieve-ag-secretary-pauses-plan-to-move-codex/#.WflWnU66yUl
By Dan Flynn (Oct 24, 2017)
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, for the moment, has backed off his controversial plan to transfer the U.S. Codex Office, which works on international food standards, from USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to a new trade office in the department.
In a letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-KS, Perdue said there are two planned changes at USDA that “merit further discussion” because of issues raised by critics. Those two changes are moving Codex away from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the proposed merger of the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) with the Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).
With the office of the Under Secretary for Food Safety still vacant after after more than 44 months, a USDA reorganization plan put forward in May by Perdue proposed turning the U.S. Codex operation over to a the recently created Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA) office. Among the stakeholders who’ve strenuously objected to the proposed reorganization is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which does most of the USA’s heavy lifting at the 188-member international Codex Alimentarius Commission.
The USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety, or the deputy, has traditionally chaired the U.S. Codex efforts and food safety staff as well as coordinating the U.S. government’s involvement in setting world food standards.
In a five-page letter objecting to Perdue’s plan to turn Codex into a trade unit, FDA made it clear just how much it has dedicated to worldwide food safety standards.
As the the government’s biggest food safety agency, the FDA’s comments seem to be carrying some weight with Perdue. The FDA letter said, in part:
•FDA provides the vast majority of delegates and/or alternate delegates for the Codex committees/task forces (i.e., 18 of 25) and provides the chair for one committee.
•In Codex committees and activities, FDA scientists and technical experts work in partnership with scientists and technical experts from FSIS; USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service; USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration; and the Environmental Protection Agency.
•FDA provides a significant proportion of the U.S. contribution to the joint FAO/WHO scientific advice/risk assessment bodies that provide scientific advice to Codex. In addition, FDA and FSIS scientists participate as experts in these bodies.
•FDA scientists and technical experts participate in outreach activities to increase understanding of the scientific basis for Codex standards amongst developing nations. The Codex outreach activities serve to develop a common understanding of the role of science, which is the foundation of consensus building in standards setting.
The Codex Alimentarius Commission is a joint effort of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). The World Trade Organization (WTO) does rely upon Codex standards in setting trade rules.
In putting these parts of his reorganization on hold, Perdue is likely disappointing mainline food and agriculture organizations that want Codex folded into trade. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is hosting a meeting today of the “Food Industry Codex Coalition” that is also providing a call-in line for those who cannot make the meeting in person.
One example of the type of support Perdue is getting for his plan was provided to Food Safety News by the International Dairy Foods Association’s John T. Allan, III, who is the organization’s vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards.
Allan says IDFA supports moving Codex “from within the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service to within the purview of the newly created Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA)” because of its role as the “interagency coordinator for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and other non-tariff trade barriers impacting U.S. food and agricultural exports.”
Perdue has not said how long he’ll keep his May reorganization plan on hold or how he might go about making changes to it. The part about the AMS-GIPSA merger is opposed by independent cattle producers and some contract poultry operators.
Among the people who are on record as being opposed to the move of the Codex operation to the new trade unit are:
•Brian Ronholm, former deputy under secretary of food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2011-2017;
•Michael Taylor, acting under secretary for food safety during the Clinton Administration and deputy FDA commissioner for food during the Obama Administration; and
•Dr. Richard Raymond, former Undersecretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2005-2008.
NAFTA poll: Mexican food safety concerns voters
Source : http://www.thefencepost.com/news/nafta-poll-mexican-food-safety-concerns-voters/
By Hagstrom Report (Oct 24, 2017)
In a development that may make it harder for farm groups to defend the North American Free Trade Agreement, a prominent Democratic pollster released a poll on Oct. 20 showing that voters are concerned about the safety of food imported from Mexico, and said Democratic lawmakers need to become more involved in the NAFTA debate in order to counter President Donald Trump's popularity on the trade issue.
Voters in a recent poll commissioned by Public Citizen cited food safety as their third biggest concern behind labor and environmental concerns, said Stanley Greenberg, a prominent Democratic pollster who has long urged the party to pay more attention to the concerns of working class voters.
The survey reached out to 1,000 registered voters, using 60 percent cell phone numbers, and was conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 6 by Citizen Opinion on behalf of Public Citizen.
In six focus groups among white working-class people who had voted for both President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump in Macomb County, Mich., and Oak Creek, Wis., and college educated people in Seattle in July 2017, voters said that food safety is something they see as an "experience in my own life," said a Greenberg associate.
Voters living far from the Mexican border talked about going to a grocery store with an "awareness" that imported food travels great distances, the associate said, and also were concerned that trucks from Mexico may have to wait in long lines at the border, which could lead to food safety problems.
College-educated people in Seattle were particularly concerned about whether food is reliably inspected, and noted that NAFTA does not assure food safety, the associate said.
Greenberg, who runs the Democracy Corps with Democratic strategist James Carville, said Democrats should be more outspoken on the NAFTA negotiations because the poll showed that while Trump's approval rating in general is poor, "he wins high marks from voters on handling trade and advocating for American workers."
Greenberg noted 46 percent approve of Trump's handling of trade agreements with other countries, 51 percent approve Trump's "putting American workers ahead of the interests of big corporations," and 60 percent approve how Trump is doing "keeping jobs in the United States."
"The Democrats' silence on the trade issue this year and in the 2016 presidential election — even though three-quarters of House and Senate Democrats opposed trade authority for the (Trans-Pacific Partnership) — contributed mightily to Trump's victory in many of the rust belt states and to the Democrats' current disadvantage on the economy," Greenberg said.
"Focusing on NAFTA in the right way and calling out Trump on what changes he is really fighting for allows progressives to speak powerfully on the economy, lagging wages and American jobs."
Public Citizen opposed NAFTA and Wallach said the poll showed "There is a peril for Democrats not talking about NAFTA. It also shows peril for Republicans including the leadership who don't want to see changes to NAFTA."
Listeria Contamination Prompts Multistate Vegetable Recall
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/listeria-contamination-prompts-multistate-vegetable-recall/
By Staff (Ocr 24, 2017)
Listeria Contamination Prompts Multistate Vegetable Recall
Mann Packing, a Salinas, CA-based vegetable supplier, has voluntarily recalled products that could potentially be contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Mann’s recall includes “minimally processed” products--including asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, stir fry, salad products and more--sold at major retailers in the U.S. and Canada including Walmart, Albertson’s, Safeway, Meijer, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
The recall was prompted after random sampling conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) detected a single positive result of Listeria contamination in a bagged salad product. Implicated products are believed to have been sold in multiple states. One official recall notice issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also indicated that recalled vegetable products had been distributed to schools, hotels, hospitals and retail delis in some states.
Mann Packing released a statement in which they shared the following information with consumers:
•Public health authorities have reported no illnesses associated with the recalled products.
•The recalled products have expired with “best if used by” dates from October 11 to October 20. These “use by” dates can be found on the front of all Mann Packing products.
•The recalled products were distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada. A complete list of recalled products can be found in our press release.
•Consumers who have purchased any recalled products are urged not to consume them, to discard them or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
•We have set up a 1-800 number where you can learn more details about the recall. That number is 888-470-2681.
•While there have been no reported illnesses, if you have consumed the product and have any concerns, we urge you to contact your medical provider.
Mann Packing will continue to work closely and cooperatively with CFIA and the FDA to ensure a complete and effective recall of any and all impacted product.
Dairy and cracker producers’ operations net FDA warnings
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2017/10/dairy-and-cracker-producers-operations-net-fda-warnings/#.WflXnE66yUl
By News Desk (Oct 23, 2017)
A Texas dairy and a North Carolina cracker company are both on notice from the Food and Drug Administration for violations of federal food safety laws.
The FDA sent warning letters to the companies in August and October, posting them for public view in recent days. Companies are allowed 15 working days to respond to FDA warning letters. Failure to promptly correct violations can result in legal action without further notice, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction.
Bovina Dairy LLC
In an Aug. 30 warning letter to owner Jared R. Hettinga, the FDA described violations observed during a inspection visits on May 16- 17 at the Bovina Dairy LLC operation in Farewell, TX. Investigators found that the firm holds animals under conditions that are so inadequate that medicated animals bearing potentially harmful drug residues are likely to enter the human food supply.
The FDA’s inspectors discovered the firm sold a culled dairy cow for slaughter as human food.
“On or about Jan. 27, Preferred Beef Group Booker, Texas, slaughtered this animal,” according to the warning letter. During routine testing of tissue samples from the animal the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found the presence of the antibiotic Sulfamethazine in the liver at 0.123 parts per million (ppm).
The legal limit under federal law is 0.1 ppm for residues of Sulfamethazine in the edible tissues of beef cattle.
The dairy owner also failed to maintain adequate treatment records, according to FDA inspectors. Records on hand did not include the drug administered, dosage given, route of administration, the person that administered medication and documentation of the withdraw dates for the first day of treatment.
“Further, you did not have a system in place to review treatment records prior to offering an animal for slaughter for human food, to assure that drugs have been used only as directed and that appropriate withdrawal times have been observed,” according to the warning letter.
The dairy owner responded to the FDA’s warning letter, but it was “not adequate” in that it did not include “an example process to maintain accurate records for future reference that includes all required information for medication records.” The firm also did not include an example of their updated treatment protocols for sulfamethazine, penicillin G procaine, Ceftiofur and florfenicol.
“You should take prompt action to correct the violations described in this letter and to establish procedures to ensure that these violations do not recur,” the FDA advised.
As a producer of animals offered for use as food, firms are responsible for ensuring that their overall operation and the food they distribute is in compliance with the law.
Snyder’s Lance Inc.
In an Oct. 4 warning letter to company president and CEO Brian J. Driscoll, the FDA described violations found through a routine sample collected from a retail showed the firm’s product nutrition labels were not in compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA’s requirements.
The company produces many well-known snack brands including Snyder’s of Hanover, Archway Lance, Cape Cod, Emerald and Pop Secret.
“FDA analyzed the sample of your Lance Toast Chee Cracker to determine whether the nutrition information on your Nutrition Facts panel accurately reflects the nutrient content of the product,” according to the warning letter.
“The product label states one serving is one package/6 crackers and contains 10 percent of the Daily Value for iron. However, the sample analysis performed by FDA found the product to contain 51.7 percent (in the) original and 57.2 percent (in the) check of the declared amount.”
FDA declared the product to be misbranded because the label is false or misleading.
“Specifically, the iron content is less than 80 percent of the amount declared on the label,” the warning letter states.
The FDA found additional labeling problems:
•The information panel labeling does not meet the requirements in 21 CFR 101.2(e) because the bar code is intervening material within the ingredient list.
•The product label does not declare the street address of the firm. Under 21 CFR 101.5(d), the street address is required unless it is shown in a current city directory or telephone directory.
The FDA recently finalized new requirements for nutrition labeling on May 27, 2016. The new Nutrition Facts label includes updates to the required nutrient declarations and formatting requirements. More information on the new requirements of the Nutrition Facts Label can be found on the FDA’s website.
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