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Presentation of Reports

National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods
 
Minutes of the NACMCF Plenary Session: September 30, 2011
USDA Cafeteria
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20002

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, NACMCF Chairperson and Under Secretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture, opened the meeting at 9:00 am on Friday, September 30, 2011. Dr. Hagen and Mr. Michael Landa, NACMCF Vice-Chairperson and Acting Director, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, delivered opening remarks. Dr. Hagen stressed the importance of diverse perspectives and the Committee's work. She highlighted that Secretary Vilsack appointed consumer representative, Ms. Susan Grooters of STOP Foodborne illness, to NACMCF to bring a consumer voice to committee work. Ms. Grooters received her certificate of appointment. Dr. Hagen mentioned the importance of the two committee work charges underway—Control Strategies for Reducing Foodborne Norovirus Infections and the Study of Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary Conditions. Mr. Landa underscored the importance of science and the two subcommittee topics. He also said that he felt advisory committee work is foundational and more widely accepted than any work an individual agency can do.

Gerri Ransom, NACMCF Executive Secretary, itemized some potential future charge topics under consideration by the Executive Committee. These possible charges include
  • a Salmonella project looking at virulence and related molecular information to inform an assessment of public health risk (an FSIS suggestion);
  • a review of the AMS Federal Ground Beef Purchase Program to assist the School Lunch Program (an AMS request);
  • new technologies for genotyping and subtyping foodborne pathogens (a project suggested by a NACMCF subcommittee); and
  • virulence factors and attributes that define foodborne Shiga toxin producing E. coli as severe human pathogens (an FDA suggestion).

Ms. Ransom indicated that new members for NACMCF will be seated after the current membership term expires in May 2012; current members can serve up to two consecutive two-year terms. This process will begin with a Federal Register notice soliciting nominations in early 2012. She also mentioned that the NACMCF charter renewal process will begin in mid-2012 to ensure renewal before the current charter expires on November 1, 2012.


Dr. V. Kelly Bunning, Chair of the Subcommittee on Control Strategies for Reducing Foodborne Norovirus Infections, presented on the group's progress on behalf of the Co-chair, Dr. Uday Dessai, and subcommittee members. At their first meeting in June, members were oriented to Norovirus through presentations from a series of technical experts from various Federal programs (CDC Norovirus, FNS School Lunch, FDA Risk Assessment, and Retail Food Protection), and a review of the state of science and ongoing research activities from a researcher. These technical experts have agreed to stay on as technical advisors to the subcommittee as needed. The subcommittee approached the charge by breaking into work groups (WGs.) and conducted phone meetings prior to this meeting to jumpstart their work.
  • WG1, covering burden and attribution of disease (charge questions 1 & 2), summarized published estimates of disease burden of human Norovirus, including the faction of illnesses transmitted through foods.

  • WG2, focusing on mitigation and control (charge questions 3, 4, 6 & 7), assessed relevant references and available research and identified information gaps.

  • WG 3, covering detection methods/surrogates (charge question 5), summarized current methods and conceptualized attributes for an ideal detection method for Norovirus.

  • WG 4, focusing on risk assessment (question 8), drafted a general framework to answer the charge question and is reviewing ongoing risk assessment efforts to draft risk management questions that would initiate the scope of need for a risk assessment from the points of view of industry, Federal regulators, and consumers.

  • WG 5, consisting of the entire subcommittee, will meet at a future time to address recommendations for a generic facility control plan that can serve as a starting point for developing facility-specific plans.

FDA's Center for Drugs and Evaluative Research briefed members on approved drug requirements for hand sanitizers, whose manufacturers make claims on new ingredients. This background highlighted where the regulatory bar is set and will assist the subcommittee to evaluate where the science need is for new viricidal ingredients. The Norovirus Subcommittee has set a target to complete their work in time to adopt a final document at the 2012 September plenary meeting. In closing Dr. Bunning held a moment of silence in honor of Dr. Dean Cliver, a NACMCF member and Norovirus Subcommittee member and great contributor to food safety/Norovirus efforts who passed away just prior to the their first meeting.

Mr. Spencer Garrett, Chair of the Subcommittee on Study of Microbiological Criteria as Indicators of Process Control or Insanitary conditions, began by summarizing the charge to the subcommittee. He covered the group's approach, which divided the charge into components and the foods into categories. They are working to describe processes and considerations to be used to develop microbiological criteria for foods purchased for the military. They are identifying the indicator organisms, sampling plans, and microbial population limits that are appropriate for each food category, and how each could be used to identify adequate processes and process control. They are identifying other indicators, such as microbiological, biochemical, or molecular that could be considered in assessing process control. The four food categories under consideration include ready-to-eat foods processed with lethality, ready-to-eat foods in combination with cooked/uncooked foods, ready-to-eat raw foods, and not ready-to-eat raw foods. The group adapted the International Commission for the Microbiological Specifications for Foods Book 7 to create tables, and they have developed flow charts for each food category to identify process control points. They also have developed a data table for a meta-analysis to identify the appropriate indicator organisms for their food categories along with sampling plans and limits. They have already assessed some Department of Defense bagged salad data and will look at data from other sources including FSIS, the Agricultural Marketing Service, trade associations, and retailers.

Public Comments
No comments were received from members of the public.

Close
Dr. Hagen and Ms. Ransom adjourned the meeting at 11:00 am on Friday September 30, 2011.

A list of NACMCF members and outside participants in attendance follows. Further meeting details are available in the September 30, 2011 meeting transcript at: www.fsis.usda.gov/About_FSIS/NACMCF_Meetings/index.asp.

September 30, 2011 NACMCF Meeting Participants
  • Chairperson: Dr. Elisabeth Hagen
  • Co-Chairperson: Mr. Michael Landa
  • NACMCF Members:
    • Dr. Wafa Birbari
    • Dr. V. Kelly Bunning
    • Dr. Uday Dessai
    • MAJ Robert Dole
    • Dr. Daniel Engeljohn
    • Mr. Spencer Garrett
    • Dr. Kathleen Glass
    • Ms. Susan Grooters
    • Dr. Margaret Hardin
    • Dr. Dallas Hoover
    • Ms. Angela Ruple
    • Dr. Robert Tauxe
    • Dr. Robert Whitaker
  • NACMCF Executive Committee:
    • Dr. Elisa Elliot, FDA Liaison
    • Dr. Arthur Liang, CDC Liaison
    • LTC Mark Bohannon, DOD Liaison
  • FSIS Staff Members
    • Ms. Gerri Ransom, Executive Secretary
    • Ms. Karen Thomas, Advisory Committee Specialist
    • Mr. Jude Smedra, Technical Assistant to NACMCF
Last Modified Sep 26, 2013