FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

02/02. Regional Food Safety Specialist – Ft. Wayne, IN
02/02. Food Safety & Brand Std Spec – Columbus, GA
02/02. Quality Specialist - Burlington, WI
01/31. Food Safety QA Tech – Rosemead, CA
01/31. Analyst, Quality - Food Safety - Glenview, IL
01/31. QA, Food Safety Manager – Pittsburg, CA
01/29. Food Safety & QA Manager – Smithfield, VA
01/29. Food Safety Associate Auditor – Sacramento, CA
01/29. Quality Food Safety Coordinator – Coldwater, OH

02/05 2018 ISSUE:794

 

Faces of Food Safety: Meet Kathleen McAnally of FSIS
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/02/faces-of-food-safety-meet-kathleen-mcanally-of-fsis/#.Wnexk6hl-Ul
By U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (Feb 4, 2018)
CONTRIBUTED
Editor’s note: This is a recent installment in a series of employee profiles being published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service, republished here with permission.
Dr. Kathleen McAnally is a frontline supervisor (FLS) in the Chattanooga circuit, which consists of a mix of red meat and poultry plants. As a veterinarian, she’s worked for FSIS the past 33 years. Her team is comprised of Supervisory Public Health Veterinarians (SPHV), Consumer Safety Inspectors (CSI) and Food Inspectors (FI). She provides resources, encouragement and structure to help in-plant personnel perform their duties, such as verifying food safety and humane handling procedures.
“Combining food safety experience and teambuilding skills, the FLS helps a huge agency like FSIS function on a personal level for each SPHV, CSI and FI. We stand in the gap between upper management and the in-plant personnel, and serve as a conduit of information to the field,” said McAnally.
“An FLS can enhance engagement by helping everyone understand the ‘why’ behind what we do. USDA looks to FSIS to be the authority and guardian of food safety. The Nation benefits by having access to the safest food in the world.”
McAnally graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology and then continued her education at the University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. She became interested in working for FSIS while she took a course on meat and poultry inspection. She enjoyed learning about pathology and how it relates to wholesomeness.
As an FSIS employee, McAnally completed food microbiology courses through the Office of Outreach, Employee Education and Training’s Center for Learning (CFL).
“The CFL courses opened my eyes to the ever present pathogens and the particular conditions that enhance their growth,” McAnally said.
She completed an externship in pathology, which helps when she is performing postmortem inspections. Additionally, courses in risk management helped her to know how specific tasks need to be prioritized in order to keep the consumer safe.
Each new workday brings surprises for McAnally. She describes a typical day as being “non-typical.” It involves conducting research, correlation and analysis, along with verifying procedures and communication. On a daily basis, she checks staffing to make sure mission support needs can be met, reviews the Public Health Information System for non-compliances and conducts plant visits.
Since 2003, McAnally has been a member of the Tennessee Food Safety Task Force, which is a group of stakeholders who identify food safety issues; enhance communication and partnerships among the groups represented; and educate producers, manufacturers and consumers. The task force includes representatives from industry, government and academia.
“Our big project each year is a conference on topics such as Listeria, food defense, local food and allergens,” McAnally said.
Prior to working for FSIS, McAnally worked in a private small-animal practice. She learned to appreciate how hard the person with a small business has to work to make a livelihood. This experience enabled her to work with very small plants from a perspective of understanding.
McAnally’s mentor is retired FLS Theora Jamison.
“Dr. Jamison helped me learn to prioritize my activities in line with agency objectives. She helped me to learn to really love people by showing me that everyone has a story. She also helped me understand that we always do the best we can, and the only person’s behavior we can change is our own. Dr. Jamison taught me that supervisors have to separate personal feelings, which are words that I live by.
 “When I came into the agency I worked with people more experienced than myself, and they helped me succeed every way they could,” said McAnally. “I feel like now I want to give back and help my co-workers the best I can. To quote Dr. Barb Masters, a former FSIS administrator, ‘Your career is what you make it!’”
Each year McAnally speaks to classes, from elementary school to college, about food safety.
“Everyone is interested in the topic of food safety no matter what age. We all have to eat. Our Agency provides excellent outreach materials for any age group. Talking to people about food safety usually is very personal because you are discussing their kitchen habits, which they likely learned from their mother. It is best to talk about concepts and the best practices and not point out what they are doing wrong,” she said.
McAnally’s late husband, Dr. Vernon McAnally, was also a veterinarian with FSIS. They have two children, Scott and Heather, and a grandson, Ethan. In 1993, their children were five and seven years old, the same age range as the four children who had died when an E. coli outbreak was linked to Jack in the Box hamburgers that same year. This incident was considered the most devastating foodborne illness outbreak the U.S. had ever seen.
It was also when work and family came together for the McAnallys. The McAnally children learned to make sure that meat was completely cooked because the tragedy scared their family.
“My children know all about food safety, cooking temperatures, the necessity of immediate refrigeration and how to heat leftovers. It’s a big topic with us,” McAnally said.
Many years later, when daughter Heather was pregnant, McAnally was adamant that Heather not eat food products that may cause listeriosis in pregnant women such as lunchmeat, raw sprouts and deli salads prepared at retailers.
In her free time, McAnally enjoys swimming and, since 2011, she has competed every September in the Southeast Tennessee Senior Olympics in Athens, Tennessee. She competes in the State Senior Olympic Finals in Franklin, Tennessee, every June. She also volunteers as a veterinarian at the Tennessee Valley Cattle Dog Rescue, a non-profit organization that helps find homes for dogs.

Game Day Food Safety Tips
Source : http://www.unsafefoods.com/2018/02/04/game-day-food-safety-tips/
By Keeba Smith (Feb 04, 2018)
This Sunday, millions of Americans with gather together to watch the Big Game. It is a tradition where friends and family gather to watch the final two remaining teams in the NFL battle to see who will be crown the World Champions.  A big game viewing party would not be complete without plenty of food and fun.  Other than Thanksgiving, more food is consumed on this day than any other day of the year.
Before you attend or prepare to host a party of the magnitude, use these good food safety guidelines to make sure your party is a success and no one ends up feeling worse than the losing team.
PRE-GAME
Clean
Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds before preparing, eating, or handling food. Hands should also be washed after using the restroom and touching pets.  Hands are the most common carriers of foodborne illness.  Washing hands significantly reduce the risk of cross-contamination.
Wash cooking utensils, cutting boards and counter tops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
Fruits and vegetables should be washed and scrubbed in running water so dirt and germs are not transferred from the outside to the inside. Even if you don’t plan to eat the peel, it should still be washed.  That includes avocados used to make guacamole.
Rinsing meat or poultry under running water results in splashing of water droplets onto other surfaces, kitchen utensils or food, causing contamination with harmful microorganisms.
Cooking
Keep raw meat and poultry away from cooked foods. Always placed cooked food on a clean plate or tray and not in something that previously held raw meats and poultry.  Bacteria present in raw meat juice can cross-contaminate the cooked food.
Use a food thermometer to ensure all meats, poultry and other foods items are cooked to a safe internal temperature before serving.
Follow frozen food package instruction when cooking food in the microwave.
Do not rely on sight to determine if food is ready. The outside is usually done before the inside.
Burgers and sliders must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F.
Chili and other reheated foods must be cooked to an internal temperature 165°F.
Chicken wings should reach a final temperature of 165°F.
It is recommended to take the temperature of several wings in a batch by placing the thermometer in the thickest part of the wing away from the bone. If even one wing is under the recommended temperature then continue cooking until correct temperature is reached.
Divide cooked food into shallow containers if food is prepared in advance. Store it in the refrigerator or freezer until the party begins.
Serve food on several small platters rather than on one large platter and keep the rest of the food hot in the oven (set at 200-250°F) or cold in the refrigerator till serving time.
KICK-OFF
Partygoers and host are usually focused on the game, commercials or patiently waiting for the halftime show. It is a good idea to put food out in batches which ensures they are not staying out longer than the two-hour recommended time limit.
Make sure to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
Use a chafing dish for the wings and burgers.
Use a crockpot for the chili, nachos and dips.
Use a bowl of ice as a cold source below lunch meats, cheese, fruit salads and other salads.
Replace empty platter with a fresh platter rather than placing fresh food on the empty one. Many people’s hands may have touch the platter while taking food from the dish and the platter has been sitting at room temperature for a while making it the perfect place to breed foodborne germs.
HALFTIME
Check to make sure the temperature of the hot foods is 140°F or higher and cold food is 40°F or lower.
If they are not at proper temperature and it has been less than two hours, then try to reheat or rechill the food items.
If it has been more than two hours, it is safer to discard the food items.
Bacteria loves temperatures before 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. They will breed and grow rapidly if they are at this temperature environment for more than two hours.
END OF THE GAME
Make sure to keep food safety in mind when taking care of the leftovers.
Refrigerate leftover food at 40°F or below as soon as possible and within two hours of preparation.
It is recommended to divide foods into small portions, place in shallow containers and refrigerate within two hours after the party.
It’s okay to place hot food directly into the refrigerator without cooling it down.
Refrigerated leftovers must be eaten within three to four days. If leftovers are going to be kept past that time window then they should be labeled and placed in the freezer.
Any perishable foods sitting on the counter at room temperature for longer than two hours should be discarded.
Reheated leftovers should be heated to a temperature of at least 165°F before serving. This includes leftovers warmed up in the microwave.
PARTY THAT DOESN’T END
Your party may continue for a while after the game ends or it may come to an abrupt ending depending on the score and the winner.  These parties are sometimes more notorious than the actual game. Make sure your party is epically remembered for all the good reasons and not the bad.
May the best team win! Enjoy those commercials!
Resources:
https://www.cdc.gov/features/superbowlplaybook/index.html
http://news.psu.edu/story/503193/2018/02/01/campus-life/food-safety-tips-winning-super-bowl-party

 

 


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Food Safety: Once More Into the Ozone
Source : http://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/food-safety-ozone/
By Trevor Suslow (Feb 3, 2018)
We are riding another wave of keen interest in the potential for ozone-treated water (ozonation) to supplement or wholly substitute for current antimicrobials added to postharvest wash and cooling water. Similarly, gaseous ozone and ozone-fogging applications are triggering cautious interest for surface sanitization in pre-coolers and cold storage.
The attraction to drop other chemistries, predominantly various chlorine-based formulations, in favor of ozone is clear:
• Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent
• Ozone is FDA-listed as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS)
• Ozone is allowed as an “ingredient” under the USDA National Organic Program
• Ozone lethality to viruses and parasites in contaminated water far exceeds chlorination
• Ozone treatment enhances water reuse systems by micro-flocculation of suspended particulates
• Ozone has been shown to degrade pesticide residues in reuse water and on fruit surfaces
• Ozone creates negligible disinfection by-products
• Ozone breaks down to atmospheric oxygen
Postharvest water ozonation, in particular, in the fresh produce sector has increased over the past 10 years, including with tree fruit and vine crops. Ozone generation and delivery-device suppliers (ozone generators) cite recognized safe and effective use in water treatment since the early 1800’s, with levels as low as 1 ppm.
As an antimicrobial oxidizer, consider the following equation: Ozone > Peroxyacetic Acid > Hydrogen Peroxide > Hypochlorous Acid > Chlorine Dioxide. Each of these chemistries has some advantages and other mechanisms of antimicrobial action, such as being both an oxidizer and metabolic poison to microbes, but that is for another article.
Results Aren’t There
However, decades of promise from bench-top studies and volumes of peer-reviewed papers has have not resulted in broad and effective application of water ozonation in fresh produce packing as the sole antimicrobial additive to a postharvest packing process. Along with the impressive list of beneficial traits, there are equally apparent limitations.
Up front, I want to share that I have conducted many lab, pilot-scale, and on-site tests with various ozone-based systems for more than 25 years, most recently within the past six months. Ozone can be a powerful addition to your quality and safety management toolbox but comes with a fairly long list of caveats and qualifiers. These precautionary notes run the full range of worker safety, compatibility with legacy equipment and materials, application-specific performance limitations, and, naturally, cost considerations.
In my experience, the most straightforward and beneficial use of ozone in fruit handling and packing is as a terminal rinse step and as the post-ultrafiltration treatment of re-circulated water in postharvest wash and fluming systems.
Another commonly beneficial application is cold storage or forced-air treatment with gaseous ozone or room fogging. The most cost-effective applications to room ozonation are for bulk-stored product packed to order rather than pre-packed cartons. In long-term cold storage, whole-system designs including bin stacking, sensor deployment, and detailed airflow mapping to minimize dose gradients are critical for beneficial outcomes within a lot and to prevent ozone injury to the product, especially during storage and distribution. Additionally, the cost of facility and equipment conversion or design to ozone-compatible materials and components must be considered.
A tree fruit grower/shipper recently asked me, “Why can’t we make ozone work in our pack-line?” My simple answer was that you could if you develop an integrated system to allow it to provide a benefit. Don’t expect a “‘silver bullet”’ outcome to microbial control objectives with ozone.
Don’t fall for a simple plug-and-play marketing scheme to work by merely installing an ozone generator and injection point. You have to define your expectations for where and how your operation will realize a value to product quality and environmental management.
A key issue here is that the majority of peer-reviewed journal papers extolling the promise of both gaseous, fogging, and aqueous ozone treatment for quality, decay control, and food safety fail to provide a true practical context for efficacy expectations to the end user. Without getting too deep into the weeds of technical issues and experimental methods, the microbial challenges using lab-grown cells are too likely to over-predict lethality in a commercial context. In the absence of a demonstrated performance in lethality to naturally occurring and environmentally adapted index microbes, expectation for claimed 99.99% or 99.999% kill of some target-inoculated pathogen is highly suspect.
Assess Carefully
Similarly, model systems, which report outstanding pathogen kill potential, often have incompatible parameters for dose and product exposure duration or uniformity of contact for high-throughput handling systems. There are some applications with good potential for performance as surface sanitizers on product, on equipment, and in cold storage but careful assessment under the conditions of use generally find the flaws and limitations in a hurry.
One of the common pitfalls is matching the ozone Ct exposure (Concentration x Time) curves for phytotoxicity (product injury) to microbial disinfection (log kill) of the naturally present index microbes mentioned above. Some commodities have good ozone exposure tolerance but our experience has been that a number of inherent fruit traits and influencing preharvest factors lead to injury well below the threshold for beneficial levels of pathogen control, whether postharvest decay spores or foodborne human pathogens.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to observe systems in a few locations with recent installations of ozonated wash-rinse systems for fruit handling. Realistically, from some preliminary tests, the greatest benefit is realized for in-shift control of microbial build-up on produce contact and adjacent non-contact surfaces.

UK launches nationwide review of meat processing plants
Source : https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/01/uk-launches-nationwide-review-of-meat-processing-plants
By Simon Goodley (Feb 1, 2018)
Renewed focus on food safety comes after ‘serious incidents’ at 2 Sisters and Russell Hume
The UK’s food regulators are launching nationwide review of all meat cutting plants in the wake of “serious incidents” at 2 Sisters Food Group and Russell Hume.
The announcement comes days after the Food Standards Agency was criticised by a committee of MPs for failing to take “definite action” to improve food standards following a Guardian and ITV undercover investigation last year.
The report prompted 2 Sisters, the country’s largest supplier of supermarket chicken, to shut its West Bromwich chicken site for five weeks last autumn for staff retraining.
Last month, Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant chain and Wetherspoon pubs were among businesses caught up in a meat recall scandal at supplier Russell Hume, when FSA inspectors said they had found “serious non-compliance with food hygiene regulations” during a surprise visit to the company’s Birmingham premises on 12 January. Meat production has been suspended at Russell Hume plants.
In a joint statement by Heather Hancock and Ross Finnie, respectively chairs of the FSA and Food Standards Scotland, the regulators said: “In the last six months the FSA and FSS have faced two serious incidents involving major players in the meat sector. People rightly expect food businesses to keep to the rules, rules designed to keep consumers safe and to sustain public trust in food – and food businesses have a duty to follow the regulations.
“In the light of these recent incidents, the FSA and FSS will be taking forward reviews of cutting plants and cold stores used for meat. Further details will be published later this month and the results will be fully available to the public.”
An investigation into meat processing factories was expected at some point in the future, but the scale of the problems that have emerged since September have prompted the regulators to expedite the launch.
Last year’s hearings into 2 Sisters by parliament’s environment, food and rural affairs committee were a direct response to the Guardian and ITV undercover footage from 2 Sister’s West Bromwich chicken plant, which showed poultry being dropped on the floor and returned to the production line, as well as an instance of labels recording the slaughter dates of birds being changed.
The chicken processor has denied the footage at that factory showed any food safety breaches and said it temporarily suspended production at the factory three days later because of process failures, adding that its “internal investigation has shown some isolated instances of non-compliance with our own quality management systems”.
The FSA said its investigation into Russell Hume includes examining the “extended use of ‘use by’ dates, and the food safety management system that the business has in place”. The regulator has also launched its own investigation into 2 Sisters, which is ongoing.
Jason Feeney, chief executive of the FSA said: “Our investigation into the major non-compliances we found at the Russell Hume plants in England and Scotland is intensifying. We have already stopped these plants producing meat products, have ensured the withdrawal and disposal of the products and now we are looking at the root cause of the incident and any culpability.
“It remains the case that there is no indication that people have become ill from eating meat supplied by Russell Hume and we continue to assess the situation working with the relevant public health bodies.”
Since the Guardian and ITV’s undercover investigation, the government has pledged to require CCTV top be installed in all meat cutting plants.
A spokesman for 2 Sisters said: “We welcome any further reviews the FSA would wish to carry out at all cutting facilities in the UK.”
Russell Hume did not respond to invitations to comment.

Friends don’t make friends sick on Super Bowl Sunday
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/02/friends-dont-make-friends-sick-on-super-bowl-sunday/#.WnPC26hl-Ul
By CATHARINE HUDDLE (Feb 1, 2018)
OPINION
I come from a long line of, “Oh, just leave that leftover chicken – or pheasant, or scrambled eggs, or fried potatoes – on the counter. Someone will eat it later.”
And there they’d sit – on a small saucer on the toaster – and people would nibble at them all afternoon and into the evening.
While my mom used to scrub the Thanksgiving turkey with a brush and Palmolive dish soap – seriously – before she put it in the oven at midnight to cook ever so slowly and provide a beautiful breeding ground for bacteria, I kind of give my turkey a quick rinse under the faucet and plop it into the roaster.
Wash produce? Never have.
Pay attention to expiration dates? I’m the daughter of Depression-era Germans. I don’t like to throw things out. My older son once cleaned out my canned foods cupboard and made an artistic display of everything that had expired before he was born. He was a teenager at the time.
But since starting work for Food  Safety News a few weeks ago, I actually washed the romaine lettuce I bought recently. I put those scrambled eggs into the refrigerator sooner than I used to. I’ll try to pay more heed to “use by” dates. (But really, what if there’s a zombie apocalypse and there’s no food in my cupboards? Kidding … sort of.)
And I’ll very likely pay more attention to the buffet of cornbread, Rice Krispies treats, cinnamon rolls, spinach dip, salsa, etc., that sits out all day long at the chili contest I enter – and lose – each year on Super Bowl Sunday. At least the chili entries are kept warm in Crock Pots as the day goes on, and on, and on, until winners are announced at halftime.
By all rights, given what I’ve learned in recent weeks, I should have been sick many times – or dead – and so should my family. I guess we’re lucky, but I will pay closer attention.
Speaking of the chili contest, I rarely cook without cutting myself, so I’ll probably start keeping some finger cots on hand.
Meanwhile, here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control for a food-poisoning-free Super Bowl LII. By the way, the CDC says Americans eat more food on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year except Thanksgiving. It doesn’t mention alcohol consumption, or emergency room visits, but here goes.
Keep it clean
Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds before preparing, eating or handling food. Also, wash your hands after using the bathroom and touching pets and pet food.
Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
Wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water– even if you do not plan to eat the peel – so there’s less of a chance of dirt and germs transferring from the surface to the inside when you cut them.
Cook it well
Use a food thermometer to test meat and microwaved dishes on your menu to get rid of harmful germs.
Make sure chicken wings and any other poultry reach a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F and that any ground beef items reach 160 degrees F.
Follow frozen food package cooking directions when cooking in a microwave.
Avoid the danger zone
If preparing food in advance, divide cooked food into shallow containers and store in a refrigerator or freezer until the party begins. This encourages rapid, even cooling.
Keep hot foods at 140 degrees F or warmer. Use chafing dishes, slow cookers and warming trays to keep food hot on the buffet table.
Keep cold foods,  like salsa and guacamole, at 40 degrees F or colder. Use small service trays or nest serving dishes in bowls of ice.
Make sure to keep takeout or delivery foods hot, and cold foods cold. Divide large pots of food, such as soups or stews, and large cuts of meat, such as roasts or whole poultry, into small quantities for refrigeration to allow them to cool quickly and minimize their time in the temperature “danger zone” between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F.
Watch the clock
Follow recommended microwave cooking and standing times.
“Cold spots” — areas that are not completely cooked — can harbor bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Always follow directions for “standing time”— the extra minutes food should rest to finish cooking.
Track the time food stays on the buffet.
Throw away any perishable foods that have been at room temperature for two hours or more.
Avoid mix-ups
Separate raw meats from ready-to-eat foods like veggies when preparing, serving and storing food.
Make sure to use separate cutting boards, plates and knives for produce and for raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs.
Offer guests serving utensils and small plates to discourage them from eating dips and salsa directly from bowls.
Store and reheat leftovers the right way
Divide leftovers into smaller portions or pieces, place in shallow containers and refrigerate or freeze.
Leftover foods should be refrigerated at 40 degrees F or below as soon as possible and within two hours of preparation. It’s OK to put hot foods directly into the refrigerator.
Refrigerate leftovers for three to four days at most. Freeze leftovers if you won’t be eating them sooner.
Leftovers should be reheated to at least 165 degrees F before serving. This includes leftovers warmed up in the microwave.
About the author: Catharine Huddle is a long-time Lincoln, NE, journalist. She started her career at the Lincoln Journal in 1978, moving from the “death and weather girl” position to a reporter for the city desk to covering the state’s prison system. She was eventually promoted to weekend editor/assistant city editor for the newspaper, which is now known as the Journal Star. Click on her photo for additional details.

USDA Guide to Hosting a Safe Super Bowl Party
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2018/guide-hosting-safe-super-bowl-party/
By Linda Larsen (January 31, 2018)
The Super Bowl is this Sunday; if you’re hosting a party, take advice from the USDA to make sure the food you are serving is safe. These tips and rules will help ensure that your guests are happy and don’t get sick.
Begin by washing your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. This will remove any bacteria from your hands before you start preparing the food. And make sure that dishware and utensils are clean and sanitized before you use them to prepare, warm, cook or serve food.
Make sure that you separate raw foods such as raw meat and poultry and foods that are eaten uncooked such as crudités and dips. Use clean and different utensils for each dish. Never use your own spoon or fork to serve yourself foods from the buffet, or you could contaminate the food.
Use a food thermometer to make sure that all foods are cooked to a safe final internal temperature before serving. Any food you cooked ahead of time should be reheated to at least 165°F before you serve it. Chicken wings should be cooked to 165°F. Burgers and sliders should be cooked to 160°F. And chili and any other reheated foods should be cooked to 165°F. Make sure your food thermometer is reliable and accurate.
Once the game starts, make sure you keep an eye on the clock. All foods should be out of the refrigerator for just two hours. Consider putting food out in batches to make sure they aren’t out too long. Before halftime, check your food with a thermometer to make sure hot foods are hot and cold foods are cold. The danger zone where bacteria can grow is between 40°F and 140°F. Keep crockpots on the warm or low setting, and use a cold source, such as a bowl of ice, underneath cold foods. When the two hour time limit is reached, put the foods in the fridge, change the cold sources, or throw out foods that have been out too long.
And when the Super Bowl party is over, refrigerate all leftover food, or discard it if it’s been out too long. Divide perishable food into smaller portions, put into shallow containers, and refrigerate or freeze. Use these refrigerated leftovers within three or four days. Reheat leftovers thoroughly before eating them.
Don’t use slow cookers for reheating. And if you use a microwave to reheat food, make sure the contents are evenly dispersed. Microwave ovens can have “cold spots” where food isn’t heated to a safe temperature. Stir the food during cooking intervals.

Iowa lawmakers look at raw milk again; previous efforts failed
Source: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/01/iowa-lawmakers-look-at-raw-milk-again-previous-efforts-failed/#.WnPEWahl-Ul
By CORAL BEACH (Jan 31, 2018)
A subcommittee of three state legislators in Iowa voted 2-1 Tuesday to advance a bill that would allow dairy operators in the state to sell unpasteurized milk direct to consumers.
Similar bills have not survived in the Iowa Legislature in recent years. This year the effort in the Iowa House was assigned to a subcommittee of the Local Government Committee.
The subcommittee vote Tuesday was along party lines, with Republicans Greg Heartsill, the sponsor, and Bobby Kaufmann in favor of it. Democrat Art Staed voted against advancing the measure.
Supporters say it’s a matter of food freedom. They want to determine for themselves and their children whether they drink milk that has been pasteurized to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. They contend so-called raw milk is more nutritious and safe.
Opponents — which include health care professionals and public health departments from local, state and federal levels — say it’s too dangerous, especially for children because their immune systems are not fully developed. Immature immune systems and suppressed immune systems, such as those in elderly people, cancer patients and others, cannot successfully fight the E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and other bacteria that is often present in unpasteurized milk, health officials advise.
The debate is being played out in legislative bodies across the country. Federal law prohibits the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk, but sales within a state are up to state lawmakers.
Most states prohibit all sales of unpasteurized, raw milk. Some allow farm-to-consumer sales, which is the route the Iowa bill sponsored by Republican Greg Heartsill is taking.
A few states allow herd-share sales. In those situations, consumers must buy a “share” in a dairy herd and in return for regular payments can receive raw milk. A small minority of states allow retail sales of raw milk, which makes it available in grocery stores and other locations.
The Iowa bill, HF2055, would require special warning labels on raw milk containers that dairies sell direct to consumers. The bill provides specific language for the labels and other requirements.
“The label shall be permanently affixed to the container,” according to the bill. “The words on the label shall be printed using upper case letters in at least twelve point boldface type. If the container includes a main informational or advertising panel, the label shall be part of the panel.”
The label shall state the following, according to the current bill language:
Notice to Consumers
This container holds raw milk not subject to state inspection or other public health regulations that require pasteurization and grading.”
As of Tuesday night, the bill had not been further scheduled for consideration in the House.
Some lawmakers want it moved out of the Local Government Committee and assigned, instead, to the Agriculture Committee for the next phase. If enacted, the Iowa Department of Agriculture would have the responsibility for enforcing the new law.
As defined in the current version of the bill, violations would be misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $65 to $650.

Iowa lawmakers look at raw milk again; previous efforts failed
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/01/iowa-lawmakers-look-at-raw-milk-again-previous-efforts-failed/#.WnPFGKhl-Uk
By CORAL BEACH (Jan 31, 2018)
A subcommittee of three state legislators in Iowa voted 2-1 Tuesday to advance a bill that would allow dairy operators in the state to sell unpasteurized milk direct to consumers.
Similar bills have not survived in the Iowa Legislature in recent years. This year the effort in the Iowa House was assigned to a subcommittee of the Local Government Committee.
The subcommittee vote Tuesday was along party lines, with Republicans Greg Heartsill, the sponsor, and Bobby Kaufmann in favor of it. Democrat Art Staed voted against advancing the measure.
Supporters say it’s a matter of food freedom. They want to determine for themselves and their children whether they drink milk that has been pasteurized to kill bacteria, viruses and parasites. They contend so-called raw milk is more nutritious and safe.
Opponents — which include health care professionals and public health departments from local, state and federal levels — say it’s too dangerous, especially for children because their immune systems are not fully developed. Immature immune systems and suppressed immune systems, such as those in elderly people, cancer patients and others, cannot successfully fight the E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and other bacteria that is often present in unpasteurized milk, health officials advise.
The debate is being played out in legislative bodies across the country. Federal law prohibits the interstate sale of unpasteurized milk, but sales within a state are up to state lawmakers.
Most states prohibit all sales of unpasteurized, raw milk. Some allow farm-to-consumer sales, which is the route the Iowa bill sponsored by Republican Greg Heartsill is taking.
A few states allow herd-share sales. In those situations, consumers must buy a “share” in a dairy herd and in return for regular payments can receive raw milk. A small minority of states allow retail sales of raw milk, which makes it available in grocery stores and other locations.
The Iowa bill, HF2055, would require special warning labels on raw milk containers that dairies sell direct to consumers. The bill provides specific language for the labels and other requirements.
“The label shall be permanently affixed to the container,” according to the bill. “The words on the label shall be printed using upper case letters in at least twelve point boldface type. If the container includes a main informational or advertising panel, the label shall be part of the panel.”
The label shall state the following, according to the current bill language:
Notice to Consumers
This container holds raw milk not subject to state inspection or other public health regulations that require pasteurization and grading.”
As of Tuesday night, the bill had not been further scheduled for consideration in the House.
Some lawmakers want it moved out of the Local Government Committee and assigned, instead, to the Agriculture Committee for the next phase. If enacted, the Iowa Department of Agriculture would have the responsibility for enforcing the new law.
As defined in the current version of the bill, violations would be misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $65 to $650.

THE FDA AND THE USDA PARTNER TO IMPROVE FOOD SAFETY
Source : https://psmag.com/news/fda-and-usda-partner-to-improve-food-safety
By CANDACE BUTERA
Despite having different realms of jurisdiction over regulation of food production, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration have signed a formal agreement to streamline their work in public health-related areas, the FDA announced Tuesday.
The outlined agreement between the FDA and the USDA emphasizes collaboration on common interests to improve food safety and to provide more information to Americans on products they purchase from store shelves.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the agreement, emphasizing their aim to create greater efficiency in food production and to increase safety in manufacturing.
"Over the last several months, [we've] worked closely and identified several areas where we can strengthen our collaboration to make our processes more efficient, predictable, and potentially lower cost to industry; while also strengthening our efforts to ensure food safety," Gottlieb said in the press release.
While the USDA oversees the safety of most meat-related products, as well as poultry and certain egg products, the FDA works with all other food products, dairy products, produce, and packaged foods. This agreement will offer more guidelines for overlapped authority overseeing these products, as well as overseeing improvements in biotechnology efforts.

New USDA, FDA Joint Venture to Improve Food Safety Oversight and Inspection Process
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/new-usda-fda-joint-venture-to-improve-food-safety-oversight-and-inspection-process/
By Staff (Jan 30, 2018)
New USDA, FDA Joint Venture to Improve Food Safety Oversight and Inspection Process
Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new joint effort to help make food safer. The formal agreement outlines efforts to increase interagency collaboration, efficiency and effectiveness on produce safety and biotechnology activities, while providing clarity to manufacturers. The agreement was signed by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“Today, Commissioner Gottlieb and I signed a formal agreement to promote coordination and the streamlining of capacities and obligations on shared concerns and jurisdiction,” says Secretary Perdue. “Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and assigned responsibilities to the USDA and the FDA. The USDA has the knowledge and expertise to support the FDA’s work related to farming. We at the USDA have a motto: Do Right, and Feed Everyone. We believe this joint effort will help us move one step closer to that goal.”
Historically, the USDA has been responsible for overseeing and inspecting the safety of meat, poultry, and catfish and some egg products. FDA’s jurisdiction has been over packaged foods, dairy, seafood and produce. This new joint effort will include the implementation of produce safety measures and biotechnology efforts.
“Secretary Perdue and I share a deep commitment to further strengthening our nation’s food safety system in the most effective and transparent way,” says Gottlieb. “Over the last several months, the Secretary and I have worked closely and identified several areas where we can strengthen our collaboration to make our processes more efficient, predictable, and potentially lower cost to industry; while also strengthening our efforts to ensure food safety. This agreement not only formalizes this ongoing coordination, but presents a great opportunity to expand those efforts through better integration and increased clarity to the agriculture and food processing sectors. Our coordination with these sectors plays an integral role in helping to keep our nation’s food supply safe and secure.”
This agreement is the agencies’ newest initiative to expand those efforts and take new steps to streamline regulatory responsibilities and use government resources more efficiently to protect public health. It aims to increase clarity, efficiency and potentially reduce the number of establishments subject to the dual regulatory requirements of the USDA and the FDA. For example, when a facility, such as a canned soup facility, produces both chicken noodle soup and tomato soup, it is currently subject to regulation by both agencies. The agreement tasks both government organizations with identifying ways to streamline regulation and reduce inspection inefficiencies, while steadfastly upholding safety standards for dual-jurisdiction facilities. This can reduce costs on industry and free government resources to better target efforts to areas of risk.
The agreement also commits the USDA and the FDA to identify ways the agencies can better align and enhance their efforts to develop regulatory approaches to biotechnology, as each agency works to fulfill commitments outlined in the September 2016 National Strategy for Modernizing the Regulatory System for Biotechnology Products and the more recent Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity Report. These initiatives established a vision for increasing transparency, predictability and efficiency of the regulatory processes for biotechnology products.
The agreement also calls for the FDA and the USDA to enhance their collaboration and cooperation on produce safety activities. The FDA is implementing FSMA, which shifts the food safety paradigm from one of reaction to prevention of foodborne illness. Under FSMA, the FDA coordinates with state and/or territorial government agencies, which will conduct most farm inspections under FSMA’s Produce Safety rule.

FDA warning letters: Foreign, U.S. seafood companies on list
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/01/fda-warning-letters-foreign-u-s-seafood-companies-on-list/#.WnPDsqhl-Ul
BY NEWS DESK (Jan 30, 2018)
Seafood companies in Alabama and Indonesia are on   warning from the Food and Drug Administration for serious violations of U.S. law, specifically the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation.
Such violations generally result in companies’ food being determined to be adulterated and therefore possibly injurious to health. The FDA allows companies 15 working days to respond to warning letters.
Companies that do not respond within the 15-day period, or those who fail to adequately respond, are subject to other enforcement efforts, including food recalls, seizure of products, forced closure or other activities.
There is frequently a lag time of days to weeks before FDA makes warning letters available to the public on its website. The agency posted the following letters on its website in recent days.
Timothy Neilsen Seafood, Coden, AL
In a Dec. 19 warning letter to Timothy O. Neilsen, owner of Timothy Neilsen Seafood in Coden, Ala., the FDA described violations inspectors found in ready-to-eat crab on Nov. 2, 3, 6 and 7 of last year.
In accordance with 21 CFR 123.6(g), failure of a processor of fish or fishery products to have and implement an HACCP plan that complies with this section or otherwise operate in accordance with the requirements of Part 123, renders the fish or fishery products adulterated,” according to the warning letter.
“Accordingly, your refrigerated, ready-to-eat crab meat is adulterated, in that is has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health.”
The Alabama seafood company failed to conduct, or have conducted, hazard analysis for each type of its fish or fishery products. Without that analysis, FDA warned, a company cannot “determine whether there are food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur…”
“However, your firm does not have a HACCP plan for refrigerated, ready-to-eat crab meat to control the food safety hazards of environmental chemical contaminants, pathogenic bacterial growth due to temperature abuse, pathogenic bacterial survival through cooking or pasteurizing, allergens, and metal inclusion,” FDA’s warning letter said.
The federal agency cited other problems at the Timothy Neilsen Seafood company in the letter. The company’s records do not contain documentation of sanitation controls, including hand washing, hand sanitizing and toilet facilities; protection of food, food packaging material and food contact surfaces from adulteration with lubricants, fuel, pesticides, cleaning compounds, sanitizing agents, condensate and other chemical, physical and biological contaminants; proper labeling, storage and use of toxic compounds; and control of employee health conditions that could result in the microbiological contamination of food, food packaging materials and food contact surfaces.
PT. Galaxy Nusa Dua, Jawa Barat, Indonesia
In a Dec. 29 warning letter to Director Abdul Rahman at the PT. Galaxy Nusa Dua JL seafood company in Indonesia, the FDA described “significant deviations” found during an Oct. 12-15, 2017, inspection at an importer’s facility in California.
Inspectors discovered that Gourmet Fusion Foods Inc. in Culver City, Calif., was importing fish from the Indonesian company, but that the foreign company’s HACCP plan for frozen, vacuum-packed tuna was not in compliance with U.S. law. The FDA warning detailed a number of specific problems with the plan, including these:
The firm’s HACCP plan for frozen tuna does not list the critical control point or multiple critical control points for unrefrigerated processing to control scombrotoxin (histamine) formation. FDA recommends the firm include a critical control point or individual critical control points to monitor the cumulative time and temperature of exposure from when the first fish in the lot is received until the last finished fish from the lot is placed in the freezer. Because the frozen tuna product is consumed as sushi and is considered a raw, ready-to-eat product, the company should also identify the food safety hazard of pathogen growth as a reasonably likely hazard.
The company’s HACCP plan incorrectly lists critical control points for temperature that are not adequate to prevent Clostridium botulinum toxin formation and scombrotoxin (histamine) formation, according to the warning letter.

Photos of Raw Pork Delivered in Shopping Carts to San Jose Retailer Go Viral
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/photos-of-raw-pork-delivered-in-shopping-carts-to-san-jose-retailer-go-viral/
By foodsafetymagazine.com (Jan 29, 2018)
The Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health is investigating photos taken of raw, unpackaged pork being delivered in shopping carts to a grocery store in San Jose, CA. The photos were taken earlier this month by Loretta Seto and then posted to her Facebook page on January 25.
The health department did confirm in a statement the receipt of multiple complaints about “unauthorized delivery of pork” to the retailer, 99 Ranch Market. "We are taking immediate steps to conduct a thorough investigation and appropriate actions to ensure food safety for the public. The statement goes on to say,
Some reports have identified the meat vendor in question as Jim’s Farm Meat Company, Inc. The company’s office manager, Maria Moon, confirmed the reports.
"We are thoroughly investigating the incident. This isn't anything we typically do. When we send our products out, they are always in a combo bin and wrapped. That's how it left our facility."
Moon also said the two employees seen transporting the meat in the photos have since been terminated.
According to Moon, besides the statement released, Jim’s Farm Meat Company will not be commenting again on the issue until the investigation is over.
A statement released by 99 Ranch Market, where the meat was delivered, says: "99 Ranch Market is committed to food safety and customer satisfaction. Therefore, we are taking the necessary steps to resolve this issue by investigating this case further and filing a complaint against our vendor. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. Thank you for your patience and understanding,"
As of the publishing of this article, Seto’s Facebook photos have been shared over 2,290 times.

 

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