| USDA and Michigan State University
Join Forces to Promote Food Thermometer Use
On August 2, USDA and the state of Michigan joined forces to promote
food thermometer usage when preparing meat and poultry to prevent
foodborne illness with the innovative "Is It DONE Yet?" campaign.
FSIS is partnering with Michigan State University's National Food
Safety and Toxicology Center, the Department of Food Science and Human
Nutrition and its Extension service in an effort to increase consumers'
use of food thermometers.
Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elsa Murano kicked off the "Is
It DONE Yet?" campaign last Monday at the Grand Rapids Van Andel Museum.
The results of this educational initiative will help shape FSIS' national
approach to future consumer food safety promotions as well as thermometer
"'Is It Done Yet?' is a consumer-government partnership," said
Dr. Murano. "USDA is working aggressively to continue progress in
preventing foodborne illness and protecting public health. Consumer
awareness of basic food safety principles - especially using a food
thermometer for checking meat, poultry and seafood as it cooks - can
reduce the number of foodborne illnesses significantly."
The use of a food thermometer is essential to ensure that meat and
poultry have been cooked sufficiently to eliminate harmful pathogens.
FSIS reports that, in the case of hamburgers, even if they are brown
in the middle, one in four burgers is still not safely "done yet."
"Using a food thermometer is like implementing a sound scientific
procedure in the kitchen. It takes the guesswork out of whether meat,
poultry or seafood is done, and it is one critical way to combat foodborne
illness due to Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and other harmful
bacteria," said Dr. Murano.
For more information on food safety guidelines for the use of food
thermometers, visit: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/
FSIS Establishes New Institute to Promote Food Safety
On August 3, Dr. Elsa Murano announced the establishment of the Food
Safety Institute of the Americas, a cooperative educational and research
organization designed to promote food safety and identify and develop
educational programs throughout the Americas.
"Secretary Veneman challenged us to think broadly when it comes
to improved food safety standards," Murano said. "This institute will
become a forum for scientific discussion and educational opportunities
for government and industry in all countries to improve the safety
of imported and exported meat, poultry and egg products."
Murano has worked hard to improve food safety programs in the Western
Hemisphere since being named to her post in the fall of 2001. Through
speeches and personal contacts, she has worked to convince governments
to raise the level of food safety and to become active participants
in international food standard setting bodies like the Codex Alimentarius
Murano said that many organizations-academic, governmental and nongovernmental-will
be active partners in the FSIA. Food safety subject matter areas like
public health, food security, Codex and animal and food production
will be grouped into "colleges and departments" within the FSIA and
entrusted to centers of academic expertise. The FSIA will also tap
into existing networks of universities and organizations within North
America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
The Food Safety Institute of the Americas will be located in Miami,
Florida, which is recognized as the gateway to the Americas. This
location will enhance the institute's ability to bring together experts
quickly and to develop and carry out programs efficiently.
To learn more visit: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/
FSIS Announces 2003 Salmonella Data on Web Site
On Aug. 5, FSIS released regulatory sampling data showing a continued
downward trend in positive tests for Salmonella.
The HACCP rule, implemented July 25, 1996, established Salmonella
performance standards in seven categories of meat and poultry products:
broilers, market hogs, cows/bulls, steer/heifer, ground beef, ground
chicken and ground turkey. As one part of an extensive science-based
food safety system, FSIS collects and analyzes Salmonella
samples to verify compliance with HACCP requirements. The testing
program was designed to track establishment performance, therefore
it may not be reflective of the nationwide prevalence of Salmonella
in these products.
Despite minor yearly fluctuations in individual categories, Salmonella
rates in all classes of products have decreased to levels well below
the HACCP baseline prevalence estimates. Of the random regulatory
samples collected and analyzed by FSIS in CY 2003, 3.8 percent tested
positive for Salmonella, as compared with 4.29 percent in
CY 2002; 5.03 percent in CY 2001; 5.31 percent in CY 2000; 7.26 percent
in CY1999; and 10.65 percent in CY 1998. For more information an Salmonella
testing data visit: www.fsis.usda.gov/science/microbiology
Two Remaining E. coli O157:H7 Workshops
The final workshops on new directives designed to strengthen E.
coli O157:H7 prevention procedures will be held August 28 and
September 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are designed for operators
of small and very small federally-inspected plants, state-inspected
plants, federal and state inspection personnel, members of academia
and other interested parties.
The remaining workshops are scheduled as follows:
- August 28 - Crown Plaza Philadelphia, 1800 Market Street, Philadelphia,
PA 19103, (215) 561-7500
- September 11 - The Ambassador, 3100 I-40 West, Amarillo, Texas
79102, (806) 358-6161
To pre-register for workshops, please call (202) 690-6520 or e-mail
You may also register for workshops by calling (866) 553-3052 or via
FSIS' Web site: www.fsis.usda.gov/News/Meetings_&_Events.
E. coli workshop materials are now available at www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/Workshop_SmallPlants_ecoli/
Nominees Sought For Membership on National Advisory Committee
On August 5, USDA announced that nominees are being sought for membership
on the National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection
Membership is drawn from a broad range of groups interested in food
safety including producers, processors, exporters and importers of
meat and poultry products, as well as those in academia, federal and
state government officials and consumers. All of these groups are
encouraged to nominate candidates as it is important for the NACMPI
to represent diverse constituencies. Committee appointments are made
by the Secretary of Agriculture.
Names of nominees and their typed curricula vitae, or resume, should
be sent to Dr. Barbara J. Masters, Acting Administrator, Food Safety
and Inspection Service, USDA, Room 405-Aerospace Building, 1400 Independence
Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-3700. The application must be postmarked
no later than September 5, 2004.
Applications are also available online at:
Safe and Suitable Ingredients Used in the Production
of Meat and Poultry Products
FSIS issued a change to Attachment 1 for FSIS Directive 7120.1. Attachment
1 identifies the substances that have been approved in 21 CFR for
use in meat and poultry products as food additives, approved in GRAS
notices and pre-market notifications, and approved in letters conveying
acceptability determinations. Substances added to the attachment since
the 11/3/2003 issuance of the directive are in bold.
The directive can be found at
Library of Export Requirement Updated
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes
in export requirements for the following countries:
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
Complete information can be found at: www.fsis.usda.gov/regulations/Export_Information
Featured Office of the Week: Field Services Laboratory
Scientific testing aids in the detection and prevention of foodborne
illness outbreaks. To support FSIS' farm-to-table food safety strategies,
three field laboratories conduct scientific tests in the disciplines
of chemistry, microbiology and pathology. To learn more visit: www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/OPHS
The USDA Food Safety Mobile: Taking Food Safety Education
on the Road
The USDA Food Safety Mobile is a 35-foot, recreational-style vehicle
covered with a bold, eye-catching design and prominent food safety
messages, including the four Fight BAC!® messages of the Partnership
for Food Safety Education.
The next stops for the Food Safety Mobile are:
- Aug 7, 2004 - Dixboro Fair & Artisans on the Green Celebration
(Ann Arbor, MI)
- Aug 8, 2004 - Kroger Grocery Store (Ann Arbor, MI)
- Aug 9, 2004 - Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum (Ann Arbor, MI)
For more dates visit: www.fsis.usda.gov/Education/Mobile_Events_by_Date/
THIS WEEK'S HOT WEB LINKS
March 28, 2006
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