USDA changes approach to bring down poultry related Salmonella infections

U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced that it is considering a new approach that is stronger, and more comprehensive to reduce Salmonella illnesses associated with poultry products. The agency is initiating several key activities to gather the data and information necessary to support future action and move closer to the national target of a 25% reduction in Salmonella illnesses. “Far too many consumers become ill every year from poultry contaminated by Salmonella. We need to be constantly evolving in our efforts…

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USDA welcomes new members to its advisory committee

U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has commissioned 13 new members and 17 returning members to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF). NACMCF provides scientific advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on public health issues relative to the safety and wholesomeness of the U.S. food supply. This includes development of microbiological criteria and review and evaluation of epidemiological and risk assessment data and methodologies for assessing microbiological hazards in foods. The committee was established…

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Foodborne illness outbreak data identifies 4183 outbreaks

U.S – The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) has  identified 4,183 outbreaks that occurred from 1998 through 2019 and that were confirmed or suspected to be caused by Salmonella, E. coli O157, Listeria or Campylobacter, including 198 outbreaks that were confirmed or suspected to be caused by multiple pathogens or serotypes. IFSAC is a tri-agency group created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS), to improve data and…

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California’s university receives grant to establish undergraduate major in food safety

U.S – Stanislaus State, an exceptional public university in California, has received a US$275,000 three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to establish a new undergraduate concentration in food safety- a vital need in the Central Valley’s agricultural industries.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that Stanislaus State is among 21 universities that have received a National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hispanic-Serving Institutions Education Grant for the University’s Career Ready — Ag Food Safety program, which will facilitate the planning and implementation of a food safety…

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Poultry dealers, consumer groups seek for modernization of poultry regulations

U.S – Various consumer groups and businesses have implored the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack to modernize poultry safe regulation through science-based reforms. Joining the consumer groups in penning the letter are also foodborne illness survivors, poultry industry leaders, academic scientists, and other food safety leaders. Participating companies include Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, Butterball, and Wayne Farms, and participating groups include Centre for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Reports, Stop Foodborne Illness, and the Consumer Federation of America. The letters sought USDA to implement new…

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NIFA announces US$10million grant investment in food safety, FSMA related projects

U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced an investment of US$10 million for 21 grants to device and execute food safety and Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)-related training, education, extension outreach and technical assistance for food processors and farmers with small to mid-size operations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 48 million people in the US get sick from foodborne illness each year.  The NIFA Director, Dr. Carrie Castille stated that education and outreach are essential for…

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USDA releases update to its HACCP Model for canned products

U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has released an update to its “HACCP Model for Thermally Processed, Commercially Sterile Product” guideline, replacing the 1997 version. The HACCP regulations require establishments to develop and implement a system of controls designed to address safety hazards reasonably likely to occur in their production process.  Therefore, this HACCP model’s focus, and the focus of the other HACCP models, is on product safety, not product quality characteristics. The new guideline says that thermally processed, commercially sterile (TPCS)…

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FSIS seeks public opinion on labeling of cell cultured meat, poultry

U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit comments and information regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products made using cultured cells derived from animals under FSIS jurisdiction.  FSIS will use these comments to inform future regulatory requirements for the labeling of such food products. “This ANPR is an important step forward in ensuring the appropriate labeling of meat and poultry products made using animal cell culture technology. We want to hear…

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FSIS revises raw poultry guidelines to curb pathogens

U.S – United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced the availability of revised guidelines to assist poultry establishments in controlling Salmonella and Campylobacter in raw poultry. FSIS has reviewed the content of the guidelines in light of new scientific and technical information, public comments received on the 2015 guideline, and the agency’s decision to issue two separate guidelines — one on controlling Salmonella and the other on controlling Campylobacter. The guidelines help poultry establishments, including those that are small and very small, identify…

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USDA to conduct review of product of USA meat label

U.S – The United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) is set to initiate a top-to-bottom review of the “product of USA”(POTUSA) meat label to enable a comprehensive, effective and lasting rule-making on the topic, following the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) vote to strengthen its enforcement of the “Made in USA standard.” The USDA has implied that they together with FTC had received several comments on this issue, and comprehend that the current “Product of USA” label on meat products, may no longer effectively serve either of those purposes, to the detriment…

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