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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Wisconsin splits weekend clash with Bulldogs

first_imgBadgers forward Tom Gorowsky scored an empty-net goal on Friday to add on to Wisconsin\’s win over UMD.[/media-credit]For the second series in a row, the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team let an opportunity slip through their grasp as they failed to sweep a WCHA opponent.After winning Friday’s game 3-1, the No. 16 Badgers fell to No. 15 Minnesota-Duluth 1-0 Saturday at the Kohl Center.Considering a victory would have left UW in a tie for first with Denver, the weekend split may sting even worse.“For some reason — we talked about it in the locker room — we just haven’t been able to put together a good Saturday night after a Friday,” senior forward Tom Gorowsky said. “If you want to be a championship-caliber team, you have to play at least two good games in a row, if not three, and we haven’t been able to put that together after Christmas break.”On Saturday, the Badgers found themselves stuck with a 0-0 tie heading into the final period. Some of that can be chalked up to strong defense on the Bulldogs’ part, but UW also failed several times to capitalize on obvious scoring chances. Most notably, when nearly halfway through the first period, Gorowsky missed an empty net from close in the slot.“I thought our energy level was real good in the third period,” head coach Mike Eaves said. “What concerns us as coaches — we told the boys after — is in our second period, where did we go? We didn’t give up a lot, but they probably had the puck more than we had (it).”Trying to ratchet up the intensity at the start of the final period, junior captain Blake Geoffrion picked up an unsportsmanlike penalty before the puck had dropped. After being removed from the faceoff circle for tussling with his Bulldog counterpart, Geoffrion continued to talk to the referee, earning himself two minutes in the penalty box.“Blake is trying to provide us with emotion,” Eaves said. “Did he go too far over the line? It takes two to dance, and just in my view of that, I thought the other young lad was involved as well.”“I’m not really sure — I gave him a love tap, and I got a penalty,” Geoffrion added.Though UMD failed to score on the resulting power play, the Bulldogs tallied the game’s only goal 4:32 into the period. UW sophomore Podge Turnbull turned the puck over in the Badgers’ defensive zone, and UMD’s Jack Connolly was able to find Jordan Fulton in front of the net for the game-winner.“That is definitely a strength of Duluth — they have good quick forwards,” sophomore defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “They cycle the puck down low, and I think tonight we were just one second too late in picking guys up and closing down on them, and it’s definitely an area we need to work on and get stronger.”Though Eaves was disappointed with the final result, Wisconsin’s coach chose to look at the positives at the end rather than dwell on the shutout.“We will break down the game and we will say, ‘We did a lot of really good things,’” Eaves said.Friday, UW fell behind early when Connolly recorded his seventh goal of the season 5:26 into the game. That was all the Badgers would allow, however, as UW held UMD to 21 shots for the game, including a mere four in the third period.“It was a point of emphasis that we were working on this last week,” defenseman Jamie McBain said. “Our up by a goal forecheck, as far as making sure that we have that third guy back all the time, and to make sure that we have numbers back. It may be boring because we aren’t going quite as hard, but its effective and gives us a chance to play solid defense all the time.”Wisconsin junior Michael Davies found the back of the net on a power play in the first period to tie the game at one. McBain picked up the primary assist to give him a league-leading 20 assists on the season.McBain picked up his second assist of the night when sophomore Sean Dolan slapped home a rebound for the game-winner midway through the second period.“We said going into this game — playing against young Stalock — that he is a very good goaltender and if we are going to have chances, they are going to be on rebounds,” Eaves said. “He is good with the first shot; If can see it, he is going to make saves. … It was about who is going to find a way to get to those pucks, and tonight, Sean Dolan got to a loose puck and whacked it in.”Gorowsky was able to put in an empty netter to give the Badgers a final score of 3-1.With the mixed results on the weekend, UW is choosing to look at this as a learning experience to help for the rest of the season.“Playing at the same level on Saturday has been a challenge for us right now,” Eaves said. “We talked about that after as a team, we brought it to a level of awareness and its like we say, every game is a riddle and we have to solve these Saturday games.”last_img read more

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Ohio State vs. Michigan odds, prediction, betting trends for The Game on Fox

first_imgNo. 2 Ohio State (11-0) travels to Michigan Stadium to face No. 10 Michigan in the latest chapter of The Game. The Buckeyes are looking to continue their perfect season and hand the rival Wolverines their eighth straight loss in the series. Game time is scheduled for noon ET on Fox.This will be the first-time experience for Ohio State coach Ryan Day. He was the offensive coordinator the last two seasons, but this is a rivalry game that can define a coach’s legacy. The Buckeyes lead the nation in scoring offense (49.4) and scoring defense (10.5), but this has always been the game that defines their season. WEEK 14 PICKS: Straight up | Against the spreadMichigan coach Jim Harbaugh is 0-4 against the rival Buckeyes as a head coach, but the Wolverines are peaking at the right time. Shea Patterson has nine touchdown passes in his last two games, and the Wolverines have won by an average margin of 30 points over their last four games.But you can throw those records out the window. “The Game” is on, and Michigan and Ohio State should be another classic. With that in mind, here’s everything you need for Saturday’s matchup:Ohio State vs. Michigan oddsSpread: Ohio State -9Point total: 55.5Moneyline: Ohio State -110, Michigan -110Ohio State is a 9-point favorite, according to odds at Sportsbook Review, and 60 percent of the wagering has come in favor of the Buckeyes.Ohio State vs. Michigan all-time seriesMichigan leads the all-time series 51-47-4, but Ohio State has roared back into the rivalry by winning the last seven meetings and 16 of the last 19 since 2000, including last year’s 62-39 blowout victory at Ohio Stadium.Three trends to know— Ohio State is 7-3 against the spread this season, but they have failed to cover each of the last two weeks against Rutgers and Penn State. The Buckeyes are 3-1 against the spread as road favorites.— The Buckeyes have won the last three meetings in Ann Arbor by an average of 13.7 points per game. Ohio State averages 38.3 points per game in those meetings.— The Wolverines are 0-8 as an underdog under Jim Harbaugh, and that includes a 1-1 against-the-spread record as a home underdog. Michigan is 30-4 at home under Harbaugh, but two of those losses are to Ohio State.WEEK 14 PROJECTIONS: Bowls | PlayoffThree things to watchPatterson lets looseOhio State has the No. 1 pass defense in the FBS at 126.2 yards per game, and defensive end Chase Young is a game-plan wrecker who leads the nation with 16.5 sacks. Expect Harbaugh to go right at that with Patterson, who has grown comfortable in offensive coordinator Josh Gattis’ offense. That has peaked the last two weeks with 750 passing yards, nine touchdowns and one interception. Patterson took six sacks in those two games, so he will have to avoid the fatal turnover with little margin for error.Justin Fields factorMichigan ranks second in the Big Ten in pass defense (161.1), and this is the most aggressive defense the Buckeyes will face. Dwayne Haskins cut up Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown’s defense with crossing routes last year, and Fields offers the added dimension in the running game. The Wolverines have allowed just nine passing touchdowns this season, but they have been a little more giving against the run (14 touchdowns). If the Wolverines can slow down the 1-2 punch of Fields and J.K. Dobbins in the backfield, then they will have a chance.Nico Collins vs. Jeff OkudahWatch the matchup between Michigan receiver Nico Collins — who leads the Wolverines with 20.9 yards per catch — and Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, who has three interceptions this season. Michigan’s receivers have to win one-on-ones with the Buckeyes’ secondary consistently and quickly to take the pressure off Patterson. The Wolverines had some success with that last season before the game got out of hand.Stat that mattersIt still comes down to running the ball and stopping the run in “The Game.” In the last four meetings, Ohio State averages 47.3 attempts for 262.5 rushing yards per game — an average of 5.6 yards per carry. Michigan averages 36 attempts for 102.3 yards per carry, an average of 2.8 yards per carry. The Wolverines need to be able to establish a running game in order to Ohio State down on both sides to have a chance. MORE: Ohio State, Michigan fans a perfect match with life-saving kidney transplantOhio State vs. Michigan predictionThis could play out like the 2017 game, where Michigan took a 14-0 lead before the Buckeyes settled in and tied the score at halftime. Patterson will make a few big plays in the passing game, but Young and a deep defensive line will eventually get home and force some errant throws. Ohio State will wear on the Wolverines with a relentless running game, and Dobbins will break the game open in the second half. The Buckeyes will take on one more touchdown in the fourth quarter to complete a perfect 12-0 regular season.Final score: Ohio State 36, Michigan 24last_img read more

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