One hundred years of IAFP! The theme flowed throughout IAFP 2011 with presentations and special events recognizing our diversified history. One highlight of our century celebration took place at this year's Opening Session, where "A Toast to IAFP" made its screen debut to a packed crowd. If you were unable to attend this year's Annual Meeting, you have the opportunity to view this delightful video on our Web site at http://www.foodprotection.org/100years/ or on YouTube (search for "IAFP toast"). We're sure you'll recognize a few familiar faces.
Members can now view hundreds of photos capturing the excitement of IAFP 2011, available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iafp/
This time of year often brings a ‘calm after the storm' of activity surrounding IAFP's Annual Meeting. Now is a great time to check your Membership information for accuracy, which can be done online at our Web site. Log in with your user name (E-mail address) and password (last name unless you have changed it). Under Member Dashboard, click on View Profile, then check all areas for accuracy. You may edit any information at that time. While there, also check your Membership expiration date to assure you receive the latest IAFP information with no delays!
Call for IAFP Secretary Nominations
IAFP Members are encouraged to nominate a colleague from the industry sector to serve as the IAFP 2012–2013 Secretary. Official Secretary duties begin at the conclusion of IAFP 2012. The elected Secretary serves as a Member of the Executive Board for a five-year term, succeeding to President, then serving as Past President. The Secretary-Elect is determined by a majority of votes cast through a vote taken in March 2012. Letters of nomination, along with a biographical sketch, are now being accepted by the Nominations Chairperson, Barbara Blakistone (email@example.com). For information regarding requirements of the position, please contact David Tharp, IAFP Executive Director, (firstname.lastname@example.org). The nomination deadline is October 11, 2011.
New Charter Recognized at IAFP 2011
The Taiwan Association for Food Protection became the newest IAFP Affiliate, receiving its charter at the Opening Session of IAFP 2011 in Milwaukee. We now proudly total 48 affiliates located in North America (35); South and Latin America (3); Europe (4); Asia (4); and Australia and Oceania (2). If interested in forming an affiliate in your area, review the Affiliate pages on our Web site for more information or contact Susan Smith in the IAFP office at: email@example.com.
The revised "Procedures to Investigate Foodborne Illness" Sixth Edition 2011 is now available for ordering from our Web site (under the Publications tab). Newly-expanded Keys are now published in color
and more reader-friendly.
[Link to order]
What Happens in Vegas
Don't miss two upcoming workshops scheduled in September at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Addressing Hazards and Limitations to Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) Foods in Retail and Foodservice Settings 2011," a joint one-and-a-half day workshop sponsored by IAFP and the Retail-Foodservice Food Safety Consortium, is scheduled for September 20–21. "ROP HACCP Workshop," supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (National Institute for Food and Agriculture), USDA, will take place September 22. Early registration for both workshops ends September 9. For more details, go to: http://www.foodprotection.org/events/other-meetings/5/reduced-oxygen-packaging-conference/.
2nd Asia Pacific Symposium on Food Safety
This two-and-a-half day meeting incorporates the 14th Australian Food Microbiology Conference (AIFST) and the 2nd IAFP Asia Pacific Symposium on Food Safety (Australian Association for Food Protection and IAFP), with participation of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF). Attendees will hear from over 50 speakers in 13 sessions covering a full range of issues facing the food industry and its food safety and microbiology professionals today and into the future. For details, go to: http://www.foodprotection.org/events/international-meetings/.
IAFP is proud to be a global partner of the 5th annual China International Food Safety & Quality (CIFSQ) Conference + Expo, in Beijing, November 2–3, 2011. This important top-level event brings together food safety professionals across China and from around the world for two intensive days of learning and networking. Don't miss out on this educational program that features a distinguished faculty of regulatory, scientific, academic, and industry leaders who are putting food safety into action. Visit http://www.chinafoodsafety.com/index.htm for more information and to register.
Upcoming Food Safety Events
- "Cleaning and Sanitation Validation: What Does Clean Look Like?" Webinar, September 7 (registration open at: http://www.foodprotection.org/events/webinars-future/cleaning-and-sanitation-validation-what-does-clean-look-like/)
- "Reduced Oxygen Packaging" Workshops, Las Vegas, Nevada, September 20–22 (registration open at: http://www.foodprotection.org/events/other-meetings/5/reduced-oxygen-packaging-conference/. Early registration ends September 9.
- 2nd Asia Pacific Symposium on Food Safety, Melbourne, Australia, September 26–28 (registration open at: http://www.aifst.com.au/foodsafety/)
- "Optimization Through Hygienic Design" Webinar, October 12 (registration open at http://www.foodprotection.org/events/webinars-future/optimization-through-hygienic-design/)
- China International Food Safety & Quality Conference + Expo, Beijing, China, November 2–3 (registration open at http://www.chinafoodsafety.com/index.htm)
Highlights from September Food Protection Trends
A retrospective study examining the associated risk factors and impact of foodborne disease outbreaks from secondary data sources collected by the CDC and other surveillance bodies; results from a project conducted to determine if localized interventions are a viable option for cattle hide decontamination; a general interest paper discussing the increased enforcements by the FDA on ordering detentions of human or animal food which pose a safety threat; new President Isabel Walls emphasizes the importance of global food safety protection; and Executive Director David Tharp provides highlights of the 100-Year Celebration at IAFP 2011 for those who were unable to attend.
[Link to publication]
Featured Abstract from Journal of Food Protection
The most widely-read article in the August issue was "Identification of the Cellular Location of Internalized Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Mung Bean, Vigna radiata, by Immunocytochemical Techniques."
[Link to abstract]
Ground Turkey Identified in Outbreak
Following the recent outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg in 26 U.S. states resulting in one death and over 100 illnesses, the CDC recently announced results of its investigation into the outbreak. In collaboration with public health officials in many states, the USDA-FSIS, and the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS), results indicate that ground turkey is the likely source of infection. An Arkansas production firm and grocery stores have since recalled ground turkey products and consumers are advised to check their homes for the specifically numbered recalled products.
[Link to Update]
USDA Urged to Take Extra Steps
Consumer groups are calling on the USDA to declare specific strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella (ABR Salmonella) as adulterants. Following the recent outbreak of ABR Salmonella found in ground turkey in the U.S., a petition submitted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) requests that four separate strains of ABR Salmonella fall under the declaration, and that the USDA take steps to prevent meat and poultry products contaminated with these strains from being sold to consumers. The group's letter can be read at the link below.
[Link to article]
[Link to letter]
U.S. Secretary of Ag Stresses Food Safety
Attendees at IAFP 2011 had the unique opportunity to hear the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture speak about the ongoing efforts to keep American consumers safe from foodborne illnesses. Research, education, and cooperation between government, industry, and consumers were all identified as key areas to ensure advancements in food safety. The full text of the speech is available online.
[Link to speech]
A safety DVD produced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is aimed at butcher shop employees. "E. coli O157 — A Butcher's Guide to Staying Safe" encourages butchers to focus on food safety risks in their businesses and provides the controls they can take to avoid them. The video is available for viewing online or can be ordered through the FSA.
[Link to article]
Papayas from Mexico Likely Cause of Salmonella
Fresh, whole papayas imported from Mexico are the prime suspects in over 100 cases of Salmonella Agona found in 25 U.S. states from January 1 — August 25, 2011. Authorities from both countries have been working closely to locate the source or sources of contamination. While this particular outbreak appears to be over, an investigative update from the CDC cautions that Salmonella continues to be an important cause of human illness in the country. An FDA Import Alert (link to Import Alert description listed below) was issued on August 25, stating that papayas from each source in Mexico may be denied admission into the U.S. unless the importer can provide documentation of their safety.
[Link to CDC update]
[Link to FDA Import Alert description]
It Starts at Home
Think you follow good food safety guidelines in the home? Think again. The FSA has published a report which found that, while people generally know what they should be doing when handling food, they often fail to put that knowledge into practice, believing ‘it won't happen to them.' "Food Safety Behaviours in the Home" draws on existing evidence and interviews with food safety experts about known actions, discusses how food safety has been explored in past studies, and highlights key gaps in the existing evidence base.
[Link to report]
Passing the Exam
The FDA recently announced that "re-examination" fees will be implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) to those who import food and fail to comply with requirements upon the first examination by the FDA. Effective October 1, 2011, the new fee structure will likely create additional expenses — and additional detainment time — for importers because of what constitutes the FDA's first examination, described as "broadly defined." Out-of-pocket costs for consumers are also likely to increase. An available chart depicts how the examinations are structured.
[Link to article]
[Link to chart]
More Humane Measures Enforced
A directive with new instructions to better ensure consistent humane treatment and slaughter of livestock was issued in August by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Under the new instructions, inspection program personnel will be properly trained to oversee treatment of livestock to minimize "egregious inhumane treatment" prior to handling and slaughter. An egregious situation is defined by the FSIS as "any act or condition that results in severe harm to animals," including excessive beating or prodding of disabled livestock, allowing the regaining of consciousness after stunning, and any unnecessary pain and suffering due to inadequate treatment.
[Link to news release]
Miscellaneous EFSA Reports
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) provides a scientific opinion from studies conducted to determine the safety and efficacy of lactic acid for the removal of microbial surface contamination of beef carcasses, cuts, and trimmings. The studies conclude that, although variable, microbial reductions achieved by lactic acid treatment of beef are generally significant, compared to untreated or water-treated controls.
[Link to Scientific Opinion]
An EFSA assessment providing a quantitative estimation of the public health impact of setting a new target for the reduction of Salmonella in broilers came at the request of the EU. The assessment relates the percentage
of broiler-associated human salmonellosis cases to different Salmonella prevalences in broiler flocks in the EU. It was estimated that around 2.4%, 65%, 28%, and 4.5% of the human salmonellosis cases are attributable to broilers, laying hens (eggs), pigs, and turkeys, respectively. Of the broiler-associated human salmonellosis cases, around 42% and 23% were estimated to be due to S. Enteritidis and S. Infantis, respectively, while other serovars individually contributed less than 5%.
[Link to assessment]
"A Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment of Salmonella ssp. in Broiler (Gallus gallus) Meat Production" is a technical report conducted at the request of the EFSA. One objective includes developing a risk assessment model covering from farm to consumer for the characterization and estimation of the risk to consumers from Salmonella spp. in broiler meat produced in the EU. Another is to identify the probability distribution(s) of the estimated number of human salmonellosis cases linked to the consumption of broiler meat in the EU under various factors.
[Link to assessment]
Research to Focus on Unexpected Epidemic Threats
Additional funds directed by the European Commission toward a new research project will enable scientists to better understand the emergence of foodborne pathogens. For example, by learning more about the country's new E. coli strain, which infected nearly 4,000 people and killed 46, scientists can develop ways of tackling the strain, preventing future epidemics, and dealing with new outbreaks. In particular, the project aims to identify the factors that make viral and bacterial pathogens from animals prone to cross the species barrier and be transmitted among people. The project will also try to identify possible ways of eradicating disease and develop strategies that may help prevent threats in the future.
[Link to article]
Decrease in Antimicrobial Use Recommended
In an assessment published by the EFSA, public health risks linked to the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals are addressed. Antimicrobials are used in human and veterinary medicine to treat infections caused by bacteria. However, bacteria are able to produce enzymes that can make them resistant to treatments with broad spectrum beta-lactams. When antimicrobial resistance occurs in zoonotic bacterial present in animals and food, it can also compromise effective treatment of certain infectious diseases in humans. EFSA's Panel on Biological Hazards recommends decreasing the use of antimicrobials in food-producing animals in the EU to limit health risks to the public. A recommended control option would restrict or stop the use of cephalosporins in the treatment of food-producing animals.
[Link to article]
Food Preservative Kills…in a Good Way!
A chance discovery by researchers at the University of Minnesota has led to an approved patent for a naturally-occurring lantibiotic that, when added to food, will kill harmful Gram-negative bacteria. Lantibiotics, a class of peptide antibiotics produced by a harmless bacteria, are easy to digest, nontoxic, and difficult for dangerous bacteria to develop resistance against.
[Link to article]
An Invitation to Researchers
A new approach to commissioning research to identify innovative approaches in answering four key food safety challenges is the goal extended from the FSA to researchers. The challenges include: 1) ensuring that imported food is safe to eat; 2) using novel methods in managing foodborne disease outbreaks; 3) improving compliance of food businesses with food safety laws; and 4) obtaining better data on industry costs to be used to inform Agency policies. To learn more, register as a supplier on the Agency's link below and search for "Food Standards Agency — Strategic challenge on food security."
[Link to Web site]
Imported Eggs Linked to UK Outbreak
The Health Protection Agency recently released information about an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis PT 14b in England and Wales linked to a batch of imported eggs. One hundred ninety-three cases of the infection have been reported since the beginning of this year. The strain is indistinguishable from samples taken from human cases and appeared in only a small number of eggs with the same batch number from a specific location in Spain. The FSA alerted Spanish authorities to help eliminate the isolated source, thus limiting further spread of the infection.
[Link to article]
Funds Help Strengthen Health Care Quality
More than $49 million in grants awarded last month by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary will go toward improving the quality of health care and strengthen the public health infrastructure in the U.S. Supported through the CDC, the grants will fund key state and local public health departments in all fifty states to create jobs and enable hiring and training of researchers, scientists, and specialists in the field of infectious diseases.
[Link to article]
A Special Month
September is National Food Safety Education Month in the U.S. This annual campaign, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association, heightens awareness about the importance of food safety education for the restaurant and foodservice industry, while raising the importance of the industry's commitment to food safety. Training activities, posters, and other materials can be found on their Web site at no charge.
[Link to Web site]
Thank You to Our Contributors
Photos/Logos: Science Photo Library (Papaya Fruit by Sheila Terry, Young Women Preparing Food by Suedhang; Beef Cattle by George Post; E. coli Research by Peggy Greg, USDA; Gram-Negative Artwork; Chicken Eggs by Ian Hooten); EFSA; National Food Safety Education Month.
Comments or suggestions for IAFP Report may be sent directly to the Contents Editor, Dr. Jeff Farber, Bureau of Microbial Hazards, Health Canada. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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