FDA claims progress on food protection plan

first_imgJul 2, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released a 6-month status report on its progress in implementing a food safety plan launched in November in response to high-profile contamination incidents involving domestic and imported foods over the past few years. The agency has conducted “incident command system” training courses and has developed a farm investigation course, which was held in February, for federal, state, and international investigators. FDA food protection plan 6-month summary See also: “Implementing the strategic approaches outlined in the plan is essential if we are to enhance our ability to respond and intervene in foodborne outbreaks,” said FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, MD, in a press release today. “But there is much more that needs to be done. We are hopeful that Congress will support these efforts by providing the proposed new authorities that we requested in the Food Protection Plan.” Also, the FDA is seeking feedback on a variety of food safety proposals, including outreach activities and pet-food labeling and safety standards. Other prevention areas the FDA plans to address include modifying food safety guidelines for leafy greens and melons, updating Good Agricultural Practices, issuing a final rule on Salmonella enteritidis contamination of shell eggs, and modernizing Good Manufacturing Practices for human food. In 2007, the FDA launched a Tomato Safety Initiative to explore problems associated with Salmonella contamination in tomatoes. The agency said it has completed its review of growing areas in Virginia and central Florida and is now analyzing the information so that it can report its findings. The agency plans to hire and train at least 161 new full-time food inspectors. Also, it is seeking feedback on a plan to allow third-party certification programs to ensure that imported food meets FDA requirements. Nov 6, 2007, CIDRAP News story “US food safety plan calls for mandatory recall power” The agency said it has made progress with China and Vietnam on food and import safety issues and has also reached out to India and Jordan. It has also met with a host of other countries on rapid response and other food safety issues. Among technical accomplishments, the FDA said it has developed an assay to gauge the stability of two bioterrorism agents in high-risk foods and has published a study on the microbiological load of bagged, ready-to-eat produce. Intervention initiativesThe FDA said it has beefed up inspections at a facility that produces low-acid canned foods (LACF), because of concerns about botulism. The measure resulted in a recall after inspectors found viable Clostridium botulinum spores. In view of the findings, the agency said it is considering targeting more LACF facilities.. Also, the FDA has asked states to apply for funding to establish rapid response teams. Six states will receive cooperative agreements for this purpose in 2008, and three more will receive them in the 2009 fiscal year.center_img The 8-page report, available on the FDA’s Web site, covers a wide range of action items, from efforts to solicit stakeholder comments to research on how to assess produce contamination risks. Progress assessments are grouped under prevention, intervention, and response sections. In each category the FDA also lists steps it plans in the future. Jul 2 FDA press release Yesterday during the FDA’s update on the Salmonella outbreak investigation, David Acheson, MD, associate commissioner for foods, said many producers and distributors still use paper records, which have slowed the trace-back investigation. He told reporters that electronic records would enhance traceability. Some lawmakers have charged that the FDA has been too slow in implementing the food safety plan. For their part, FDA officials have said Congress has failed to grant the FDA authorities it has requested in the plan, such as the ability to require food recalls. Based on President Bush’s proposed 2009 budget, the FDA said it would conduct 327 more state contract food inspections than were completed this year and that its regulatory affairs office will conduct an additional 20,000 food import field exams. The status report comes as the FDA is fielding criticism over its handling of the investigation of a massive Salmonella outbreak thought to be linked to fresh tomatoes or some other ingredient commonly served in combination with tomatoes. When the FDA released its food protection plan in November, it emphasized that the strategy reflects a risk-based approach to improving safety. The new report says the FDA has established a risk-based steering committee to ensure that the plan adheres to that approach. Ramping up response capacityAcknowledging that better trace-back capabilities are needed to speed responses to foodborne illness outbreaks, the FDA said it has initiated discussions with industry and other stakeholders on current traceability models and how to identify beset practices for the process. “There have been changes in both the food industry and in the science of food safety that indicate a need for modernization,” the report says. Prevention plans move forwardThe FDA said it is working with state and local partners to develop a strategy for implementing the food safety plan and that a 50-state meeting will be held in St Louis from Aug 12 to 14 to collaborate and plan future food safety initiatives. On the technical front, the FDA said it has developed a rapid detection system, using flow cytometry, to identify Escherichia coli and Salmonella in food and that the system is already being used in poultry processing facilities. FDA microbiologists trained at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Salmonella reference laboratory on a new molecular method, purchased for many of the FDA’s labs, for rapidly identifying Salmonella strains. Jul 1 CIDRAP News story “FDA requests backup in hunt for Salmonella source”last_img read more

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O’Driscoll out as Jones skippers

first_img Jones leads the team in the climax to the series with Sam Warburton ruled out by a hamstring injury, but it is the omission of O’Driscoll that will cause the biggest stir. Wales duo Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies have been paired in the centres with the former selected after missing the first two Tests with a hamstring problem. “Brian was disappointed, but he appreciated that he was spoken to before the team announcement,” head coach Warren Gatland said. “It’s the first time that a coach has ever made the decision with him in 15 years of rugby. Jamie is back fit and has been given the nod in terms of his partnership with Davies.” Gatland has made a total of six changes to the side beaten 16-15 in Melbourne last Saturday with Sean O’Brien, Alex Corbisiero, Richard Hibbard, Toby Faletau, Mike Phillips and Roberts included in the starting XV. O’Brien replaces Warburton at openside while Corbisiero returns after missing the second Test with a calf injury, resulting in Mako Vunipola’s demotion to the bench. Hibbard is picked at hooker with Tom Youngs named among the replacements, Toby Faletau is preferred ahead of Jamie Heaslip at number eight and Phillips ousts Ben Youngs at scrum-half. Completing the six alterations is Roberts slotting in for O’Driscoll. “It has been a challenging tour and we have had our fair share of injuries, but we always knew that would be the case,” Gatland said. “Brian is a great player and has had a wonderful career, but for the final Test we felt that Jamie Roberts’ presence offered us something more.” O’Driscoll responded to being dropped with a post on his verified Twitter feed encouraging those who will line up in Saturday’s game. He wrote: “Obviously totally gutted at being left out for deciding Test but all efforts go into preparing the boys to see it through. #seaofred.” British and Irish Lions team to face Australia in the third Test at the ANZ Stadium, Sydney, on Saturday, July 6: L Halfpenny (Wales); T Bowe (Ireland), J Davies (Wales), J Roberts (Wales), G North (Wales); J Sexton (Ireland), M Phillips (Wales); A Corbisiero (England), R Hibbard (Wales), A Jones (Wales), A-W Jones (Wales, capt), G Parling (England), D Lydiate (Wales), S O’Brien (Ireland), Toby Faletau (Wales). Replacements: T Youngs (England), M Vunipola (England), D Cole (England), R Gray (Scotland), J Tipuric (Wales), C Murray (Ireland), O Farrell (England), Manu Tuilagi (England). Alun-Wyn Jones has been appointed British and Irish Lions captain for Saturday’s deciding Test against Australia at ANZ Stadium, but there is no place among the 23 for Brian O’Driscoll.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Culture force Ahmanson dies at 80

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Robert H. Ahmanson, longtime president of the Ahmanson Foundation, has died. He was 80. Ahmanson died of a heart attack Saturday at his home in Los Angeles, his family said. Ahmanson served since 1974 as head of the foundation, which has funded cultural projects in the arts and humanities in Los Angeles for more than 50 years. A native of Omaha, he came to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1949. He went to work for his uncle, financier Howard F. Ahmanson, who founded H.F. Ahmanson & Co. Robert H. Ahmanson stayed with the company, an insurance firm that became one of the leading fire underwriters in California, until he retired as a director and officer in 1995. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Kathleen; sons, William and Robert Hayden Ahmanson; a daughter, Karen Ahmanson Hoffman; and seven grandchildren. Ahmanson will be buried in Omaha. A memorial celebration in Los Angeles is being planned.last_img read more

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3 Pieces of Advice To Build Your Creative Business

first_imgCheck out these quick videos on building your creative business in the fast changing digital frontier.Even though many business tips may ‘fit into a soundbite’ these ideas, insights and inspiration might contain a golden nugget that transforms the rest of your career. Check out these three resources for many great pieces of advice…#1. Eat Big Fish – Advice CollectionEat Big Fish is a challenger brand consultancy with a great website with a ton of ”3 pieces of advice” videos from marketing, brand, creative and business experts who pack a lifetime of learning into a short space.In this 1 minute video Porter Gale, former VP of marketing at Virgin America and a marketing expert with over 2 decades worth of experience in branding, advertising and social media, packs 3 great pieces of advice on transparency, mobile and social media into just 60 seconds. “96% of millienials are on social media…how’s that going to impact your brand or service?” This 30 second gem from challenger Jeans brand – Huit Denim – encapsulates the fundamentals for any successful would-be entrepreneur.#2. Seth Godin – Guru of GurusSeth Godin is a social media ‘guru’ (in the nicest possible way) whose website is chock full of great free stuff as well as daily thoughts on how to create more, do better and get recognized  Time reading or watching Seth is always time well spent. This classic and hugely entertaining TED talk from Seth will get you hooked on what he has to say.#3. A piece of advice on how to make the most of social media.Warren Cass lays out his top tips for anyone entering into the social media frenzy.  Check out this simple, but foundational, wisdom on how and why you need to be making the most of Twitter, Linked In, Facebook and the rest.last_img read more

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Arellano, Ateneo score quick wins in PVL collegiate opener

first_imgMaddie Madayag and Jules Samonte also finished in double digits with 10 points each. Ateneo employed such great defense that of the eight Lady Heavy Bomber attackers that played only four managed to score. Shola Alvarez and Karen Montojo had nine points apiece to lead JRU. ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side View comments CONTRIBUTED PHOTOArellano University and Ateneo launched their title bids for the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference with swift victories in the opening day of competition Saturday at Filoil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup. The Lady Chiefs, the reigning NCAA champions, quickly dispatched of College of St. Benilde 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, in the first match of the conference. ADVERTISEMENT Biggest Pogo service provider padlocked for tax evasioncenter_img Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Aces finally win, take down Beermen to end 14-game slide Captain Jovielyn Prado led Arellano with 14 points while Mary Anne Esguerra added 13. Regine Arocha and Necole Ebuen also gave ample support for the Lady Chiefs scoring nine apiece. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the second game, the Lady Eagles swooped down on Jose Rizal University in straight sets, 25-17, 25-15, 25-15. Bea De Leon had 14 points to lead Ateneo while Kat Tolentino added 11. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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