FOOD SAFETY SCAN: Food safety comment period, Listeria risk in deli foods, Salmonella from ducklings

Apr 24, 2013

FDA extends comment period on 2 new food safety rules
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today extended the comment period for two proposed food safety rules, one aimed at food makers and the other at the produce industry, that it introduced in January. Interested parties may now comment on the two rules, part of implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, until Sep 16, which extends the original deadline from May 16, the FDA said in a constituent update. The proposed rules, "Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food" and "Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption," are the first of five such rules designed to provide a foundation of the country's food-safety overhaul. The other three rules are under review and will address controls for animal food, the Foreign Supplier Verification Program, and accreditation of third-party food safety auditors.
Apr 24 FDA update
Jan 16 CIDRAP News story on the two rules

Public meeting slated on listeriosis risk assessment in deli foods
The risk of Listeria monocytogenes in retail delicatessen food will be the subject of a public meeting May 22 in Washington, DC. The meeting, convened by FDA and the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), will center on discussion of a recently completed draft assessment carried out by those agencies exploring the risk of foodborne disease associated with ready-to-eat deli foods and industry practices that could affect that risk. The assessment is scheduled for publication in mid May. Information on listeriosis in the United States; on the background, scope, purpose, and findings of the risk assessment; and on the request for public comments will be presented at the meeting. More information and registration instructions are available in an FSIS notice published yesterday in the Federal Register.
Apr 23 FDA announcement of meeting
Apr 23 FSIS Fed Reg notice

Salmonellosis from ducklings reported in 3 Minnesotans
Three cases of Salmonella Infantis have been reported in Minnesota people buying ducklings at a store in the Twin Cities area, according to a news release yesterday from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Although the case-patients ranged from 18 to 60 years old, MDH stresses that salmonellosis is of special concern in children and that any chick or duck can carry a variety of Salmonella strains. The Salmonella Infantis strain in the Minnesota cases is associated with a multistate outbreak under investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The cases occurred in late March through early April in individuals who had bought ducklings at the Tractor Supply Company store in the Saint Paul suburb of Inver Grove Heights. The outbreak points out the importance of hand washing after handling chicks, ducks, and other poultry. Safety precautions noted by MDH include making sure that children under age 5 do not touch poultry, that older children are supervised if they do, that they don't nuzzle or kiss the birds, and that they wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water afterward. Other safeguards are to avoid eating or drinking near poultry, to keep poultry out of living areas, and to avoid washing food and water dishes for birds in the kitchen sink.
Apr 23 MDH press release

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