Jul 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. 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”
Police also confiscated from Omboy a.45-caliber pistol loaded with two live bullets. The suspect was detained in the lockup cell of the Ilog municipal police station, facing charges./PN Ryan Omboy, a resident of the village, was arrested around 5 p.m. on July 8, a police report showed. BACOLOD City – For allegedly stealing a motorcycle, a 19-year-old lad was nabbed in Barangay Pinggot, Ilog, Negros Occidental. He was accused of carting away the motorcycle owned by 20-year-old Mark Paul Dela Cruz of Barangay Magballo, Kabankalan City. The victim reported the incident to the police, which led to the suspect’s apprehension.
RelatedPosts Fulham keen on Lookman loan deal Super Eagles stars model new national team jersey EPL: Calvert-Lewin treble fires Everton past West Brom Marco Silva has challenged Alex Iwobi to continue providing “high-quality, creativity and goals” as the deadline-day signing aims to build on an impressive start to his Everton career. The 23-year-old forward had scored in each of his first two starts for the Blues, finding the back of the net with accomplished headers in Everton’s 4-2 Carabao Cup victory at Lincoln City and 3-2 Premier League success against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Iwobi’s speed, penetration and intelligent use of the ball had seen him seamlessly slot into manager Silva’s progressive Everton team. And having already showcased his goal-scoring instinct, Silva had backed Iwobi to continue providing decisive contributions in the final third of the pitch. “It is something I will demand from him more and more,” the manager told evertontv. “With the quality he has – I am 100 per cent sure he will give important things for us. “He will give high quality in our attack. He can provide creativity, playing from the left or behind the striker as an offensive midfielder. “And if he can – and I am sure he can – score more goals, it will help the team. “The first time I met with him, it was something I put in his mind [his ability to score goals]. “If you look at our wingers and the players in forward positions, it is something I demand from them. “Richarlison scored many, many goals last season, Theo scored some. “I want more from the other two [Iwobi and Bernard]. “Bernard started the season with a goal in the second game, which was important for him. Alex has done the same thing now.” Iwobi had been in international action for Nigeria this week, starting as his country battled out a 2-2 draw in a friendly match against Ukraine in Dnipro on Tuesday. His attention will now turn to sustaining his fine Everton form, when the Toffees take on Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Sunday (2pm). Everton had scored a total of seven goals in Iwobi’s two starting appearances, and Silva believed the forward’s blend of attributes had added a fresh dimension to the Toffees’ attack. “He has quality in that final decision,” Silva explained. “In our attack, he is a really important player. “He can see the space, he can see the solutions, he can see his teammates in the best position to score. “In those moments he will help us, because in our last decision he will raise the level of our squad.”Tags: alex iwobiEvertonMarco Silva