Constituent Update - May 9, 2014
Webinar Recording Posted: Attribution of Foodborne Illness
FSIS, FDA and CDC have posted a recording of their most recent webinar, which detailed progress toward attributing foodborne illnesses to food sources. The webinar, “Are Outbreak Illnesses Representative of Sporadic Illnesses?” was presented on Jan.10, 2014, by the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC), a tri-agency partnership focused on projects related to attribution of foodborne illnesses.
The presentation featured an analysis of data collected by CDC’s Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) and compared the characteristics of illnesses associated with outbreaks with those that are not linked to outbreaks. The results of the analysis suggest that:
- Campylobacter, Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157 outbreak illnesses are similar to sporadic illnesses with respect to patients’ illness severity, gender and age.
- Salmonella outbreak illnesses are similar to sporadic illnesses with respect to illness severity and gender. For age, the percentages of outbreak and sporadic illnesses that occur among older children and adults are also similar. However, the percentage of outbreak illnesses in the youngest age category (0-3 year olds) was substantially lower compared with the other age groups.
- The number of outbreaks and illnesses available for analysis was limited because FoodNet data includes only a small portion of reported U.S. illnesses. For example, fewer Campylobacter illnesses were associated with outbreaks compared with the other three pathogens in the study, which limits the conclusions that can be drawn from this analysis.
These findings indicate that it may be appropriate to use outbreak data to estimate source attribution for sporadic illnesses for most age groups. FSIS and its partners are exploring the practical applications of these findings when estimating foodborne illness attribution. To watch the recording, visit http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneburden/attribution/partnerships.html, and select Webinar #2.
Food Safety Discovery Zone!
The USDA’s Food Safety Discovery Zone (FSDZ) is back on the road! May 10 -11, the FSDZ will be in New Jersey at the 2014 Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Open House.
The FSIS FSDZ is a 40-foot interactive vehicle that educates consumers about the four food safety messages -- Clean, Cook, Separate and Chill -- from the Food Safe Families campaign. Some of the features in the vehicle include a Hand Washing Station, where visitors can learn the proper techniques to washing hands, and the Microscope Station that magnifies harmful bacteria.
Watch for announcements of upcoming events. For dates, times and more information, go to www.fsis.usda.gov/Food_Safety_Education/Mobile_Events_by_Date/index.asp.
Export Requirement Updates
The Library of Export Requirements has been updated to reflect changes in export requirements for the following countries:
People’s Republic of China
Republic of Korea
Russia (Pork and Poultry)
Complete information can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/exporting-products.
Partnership for Food Safety Education’s 2014 Conference: Abstract Signup, Attendee Registration has Begun
The Partnership for Food Safety Education is conducting its Consumer Food Safety Education Conference 2014 on Dec. 4 - 5, 2014, in Arlington, Va. The conference is an opportunity for participants to meet with health educators and public health leaders to discuss the newest concepts and tactics to promote consumer food safety behaviors, hear prominent speakers and participate in breakout sessions that address the Healthy People 2020 food safety goals.
To learn more about the conference, visit http://www.teamfoodsafety.org/2014. Register at http://www.teamfoodsafety.org/registration?eventId=1&controller=event&task=individualRegister. The Partnership for Food Safety Education is still accepting abstracts for conference presentations. Visit http://www.teamfoodsafety.org/abstracts for more information.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education saves lives and improves public health through research-based, actionable, consumer food safety initiatives that reduce risk of foodborne illness. Visit http://www.fightbac.org/about-us to learn more.
FSIS Policy Updates
FSIS issues notices and directives to protect public health. All notices and directives are available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations. The following policy update was recently issued:
Notice 23-14, Notifying Retailers of the FSIS Best Practices Guidance for Controlling Listeria Monocytogenes (LM) In Retail Delicatessens
Update: FSIS Testing for E. coli
FSIS posts bi-weekly updates for the agency’s raw ground beef E. coli sampling program. Included are testing results of raw ground beef component samples for E. coli O157:H7 and STECs from FSIS routine and follow-up sampling programs. Also featured is data for non-O157 STECs by each non-O157 STEC serogroup.
Between June 4, 2012 and May 4, 2014, FSIS laboratory services analyzed 5,739 beef trim samples (4,934 domestic and 805 imported); 1,892 routine follow-up samples (1,778 domestic and 114 imported); and 64 non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. Eighty-two samples were found to be positive; 36 were domestic trim samples; 3 were imported trim samples; 39 were domestic follow-up samples; and 4 were non-routine follow-up/traceback samples. To date, two samples have been positive for both O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC, and six samples have been positive for two different non-O157 O-groups.
To review testing results, visit the E. coli data tables by clicking on Topics/Data Collection and Reports/Microbiology/E. coli tabs.
Get Answers at AskFSIS
AskFSIS is a Web-based technology and policy question-and-answer forum on topics such as exporting, labeling, inspection, programs and procedures.
In addition, AskFSIS offers Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that link back to the Q&As. Visit http://askfsis.custhelp.com/ to view recently posted topics.