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November 22, 2013
FDA Offers Materials from Recent Public Meetings on FSVPs, Accreditation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced the availability of presentations from two recent public meetings about proposed rules on Foreign Supplier Verification Programs and the Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies, pursuant to the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

November 21, 2013
FDA Extends Comment Period on Rules for FSVPs, Auditor Accreditation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is extending the comment period on two proposed rules: “Foreign Supplier Verification Programs for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals” (FSVPs) and “Accreditation of Third-Party Auditors/Certification Bodies to Conduct Food Safety Audits and to Issue Certifications” (Third-Party) that appeared in the July 29, 2013 Federal Register. Comments on these two proposed rules as well as comments on the information collection provisions associated with these rules may be submitted until Jan. 27, 2014. Comments were originally due by Nov. 26, 2013.

November 21, 2013
Tesco Recalls Ice Cream Cones After Painkiller Tablets Found Inside

The Tesco supermarket chain on Nov. 15 announced it is recalling its own-brand chocolate ice-cream cones from stores in the UK and Ireland, after painkillers were found in two individual cones. The novelties were supplied by R&R Ice Cream.

November 21, 2013
Canadian Food Inspection Agency Shuts Down Quebec Meat Processor

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) on Nov. 20 announced that it has suspended the operating license of Establishment 457, Salaison Levesque Inc., effective Nov. 18, 2013. Salaison Levesque Inc. is a ready-to-eat meat processing establishment located in Montreal, Quebec.

November 19, 2013
Scotland to Beef Up Food Safety Regs in Response to Horsemeat Scandal

The Scottish Government announced last Friday that it is enacting new laws to protect consumers in the wake of the recent European horsemeat scandal.

November 18, 2013
AIDF Food Security Summit Will Examine Impact of Typhoon Haiyan

The Aid & International Development Forum (AIDF) announced last Friday that its Food Security Summit, slated for Nov. 26 and 27 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand, will go ahead as planned — with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan acting as a sobering backdrop. The summit will provide a key opportunity for discussions, networking and fundraising to promote concrete solutions for tackling food insecurity in Asia and the Pacific.

November 19, 2013
Two Public Meetings to Focus on FSMA Proposed Rule on Food for Animals

Agendas for the upcoming FSMA public meetings on the Proposed Rule to Establish Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals are now available.

November 19, 2013
Washington State Voters Reject I-522 Food Labeling Proposal

Initiative 522 on the November 2013 Washington state ballot, if passed, would have required labeling of genetically engineered foods on the packaging of raw agricultural commodities, processed foods and seed and seed stock, or on retail shelf signage for unpackaged products.

November 15, 2013
USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Elizabeth Hagen Resigns

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Elisabeth Hagen, Agriculture Under Secretary for Food Safety, announced Nov. 15 that Hagen is leaving USDA to take a job in the private sector,

November 15, 2013
FDA Moves on Acrylamide in Foods - Issues Draft Guidance, Seeks Comments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 14 issued a draft guidance document on acrylamide in foods and is soliciting comments on the document.

November 15, 2013
FDA Extends Comment Period to Nov. 22 for Proposed Rules on Produce, Preventive Controls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) today announced that it is extending to Nov. 22 (next Friday) the public comment period on the agency's proposed rule on produce safety and preventive controls for human food, due to technical difficulties with the Regulations.gov website.

November 14, 2013
FDA Publishes 2013 Food Code

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Nov. 13 announced that it has published the 2013 Food Code (eighth edition). The Food Code establishes practical, science-based guidance for mitigating risk factors that are known to cause or contribute to foodborne illness outbreaks associated with retail and foodservice establishments.

November 14, 2013
Food Safety Training on Tap for 2014 at Rhode Island College

The head of food safety at a Rhode Island sausage company at the center of a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2009 has helped design a new food industry training program at Rhode Island College.The program, to begin in fall 2014, will combine food chemistry and microbiology with practical training in areas such as designing an emergency response plan and managing a food safety crisis.

November 13, 2013
Feathers Fly in Senator-vs.-FSIS Flap over Status of China's Poultry Slaughter System

On Nov. 10, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) publicly denounced what he described as USDA's plan "to allow chickens that are raised and processed in China to be sold [in the U.S.]" Yesterday, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a statement denying that the agency has found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent

November 12, 2013
E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Linked to RTE Salads; Multi-Agency Investigation Under Way

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 10 announced that it is collaborating with public health officials in California, Washington, and Arizona; USDA-FSIS; and the FDA to investigate a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) infections. The infections have been linked to ready-to-eat salads produced by Glass Onion Catering, a business of RIchmond, CA-based Atherstone Foods.

November 11, 2013
GlobalG.A.P. Names VP of Technical Services

Robert Mills, an experienced food safety and quality expert, recently joined GlobalG.A.P. North America as vice president, technical services and training. G.A.P. stands for Good Agricultural Practice, and Baltimore-based GLOBALG.A.P. is the worldwide standards organization that assures Good Agricultural Practice.

November 7, 2013
FDA Seeks to Revoke GRAS Status for Trans Fats

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today announced its preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” for use in food. The FDA’s preliminary determination is based on available scientific evidence and the findings of expert scientific panels.

November 6, 2013
IAFP Issues Call for 2014 Award Nominations

The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) today began accepting nominations for its 2014 Association Awards. IAFP also encourages people to submit applications for the IAFP Travel Award for State or Local Health or State Agricultural Department Employees (U.S. only) and for the IAFP Travel Award for a Food Safety Professional in a Country with a Developing Economy. Students may apply for a Student Travel Scholarship.

November 5, 2013
New U.S. Beef Import Rules Meet Global Mad Cow Standards

The United States on Nov. 1 issued new import rules for cattle and beef that will comply with international standards for the prevention of mad cow disease, saying the step could ultimately boost U.S. beef exports. The European Union said the U.S. move would bring a welcome re-opening of a market closed to its beef since January 1998.

November 5, 2013
Tennessee Officials Warn of Possible E. Coli in Raw Milk from One Farm

The Knox County Health Department and the East Tennessee Regional Office have issued an alert, advising people not to consume raw milk or dairy products from McBee Dairy Farm in Mascot due to possible E. coli infection.

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