WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University announced that Dr. Barry Pittendrigh, currently a Michigan State University Foundation Professor, has agreed to accept the position as the Osmun Endowed Chair in Urban Entomology at Purdue University.
The July 10 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) included the report: COVID-19 Among Workers in Meat and Poultry Processing Facilties – United States, updating how COVID-19 outbreaks among meat and poultry processing facility workers can rapidly affect large numbers of persons. According to the report:
Among 23 states reporting COVID-19 outbreaks in meat and poultry processing facilities, 16,233 cases in 239 facilities occurred, including 86 (0.5%) COVID-19–related deaths. Among cases with race/ethnicity reported, 87% occurred among racial or ethnic minorities. Commonly implemented interventions included worker screening, source control measures (universal face coverings), engineering controls (physical barriers), and infection prevention measures (additional hand hygiene stations).
Distinctive factors that increase meat and poultry processing workers’ risk for exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, include prolonged close workplace contact with coworkers (within 6 feet for ≥15 minutes) for long time periods (8–12 hour shifts), shared work spaces, shared transportation to and from the workplace, congregate housing, and frequent community contact with fellow workers. Many of these factors might also contribute to ongoing community transmission
As such, while meat and poultry processing facilities face distinctive challenges in the control of infectious diseases, CDC recommends targeted workplace interventions and prevention efforts that are appropriately tailored to the groups most affected by COVID-19 are critical to reducing both COVID-19–associated occupational risk and health disparities among vulnerable populations.
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has issued final guidance to assist regulated entities in complying with the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard including: Guidance to Ensure Acceptable Validation of a Refining Process, Guidance on Testing Methods and two frequently asked question (FAQ) documents pertaining to each final guidance document. A notice announcing the availability of the final guidance will be published soon in the Federal Register. The documents can be found on the AMS website.
Both guidance documents and their respective FAQ documents can be used by regulated entities to establish protocols for complying with the Standard by the mandatory compliance date of January 1, 2022.
In the final rule establishing the Standard, AMS indicated it would provide instructions to validate a refining process as well as instructions regarding acceptable testing methodology used to satisfy that a food does not contain detectable modified genetic material. The final documents provide guidance that regulated entities can use to ensure their validated process and testing method complies with 7 CFR 66.9(c) of the Standard.
After review of all comments received on the draft guidance, AMS:
- Removed references to the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point to clarify that the Standard is solely for marketing and not related to food safety.
- Specified end-product testing options.
- Clarified fit-for-purpose methods.
- Added ISO standards for references.
AMS also provides responses to comments it received in the FAQ documents that accompany the final guidance documents. For more information visit https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/be.
The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) will present awards recognizing excellence in food safety to the following organizations and individuals at IAFP 2020, October 25–28 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Award winners include
- The IAFP Fellow Award is given to professionals who have contributed to IAFP and its affiliates with distinction over an extended period of time. This year, two recipients will receive this honor: Robert Buchanan, University of Maryland, College Park; and Mickey Parish, U.S. Food and Drug Administration. CFSAN, Washington, D.C.
- Dallas G. Hoover, University of Delaware, Newark, will be awarded the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This award, given at the discretion of the IAFP President, recognizes an individual who has made a lasting impact on Advancing Food Safety Worldwide through a lifetime of professional achievements in food protection.
- The Honorary Life Membership Award will be presented to Patrice Arbault (posthumously), BioAdvantage Consulting, Orlienas, France; Jeffrey Farber, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada; Judy Harrison, University of Georgia (retired), Athens; Allen R. Sayler, EAS Consulting Group, LLC, Alexandria, Virginia; Peter Slade, Food Safety & Quality Consulting, Squamish, British Columbia, Canada; and Mary Lou Tortorello, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (retired), Bedford Park, Illinois. This award recognizes IAFP Members for their dedication to the high ideals and objectives of IAFP and for their service to the Association.
- The Harry Haverland Citation Award will be awarded to Gary R. Acuff, Acuff Consulting LLC, College Station, Texas, for his years of devotion to the ideals and objectives of the Association.
- Clear Labs, San Carlos, California, will receive the Food Safety Innovation Award, given for its development of Clear Safety, an automated, intelligent next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform built for food safety testing.
- The International Leadership Award will be presented to Norma Heredia, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, San Nicolas, Nuevo León, Mexico, for her dedication to the high ideals and objectives of IAFP and for promotion of the mission of the Association in countries outside of the United States and Canada.
- Joseph Stout, Commercial Food Sanitation, Kenosha, Wisconsin, will receive the Food Safety Award (formerly the GMA Food Safety Award) in recognition of a long history of outstanding contributions to food safety research and education.
- The Frozen Food Foundation Freezing Research Award will be presented to Claire Zoellner, iFoodDecisionSciences, Inc., Ithaca, New York. This award honors an individual, group, or organization for preeminence and outstanding contributions in research that impacts food safety attributes of freezing.
- Shivaramu Keelara, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, will receive the Institut Mérieux Young Investigator Award in Microbial Resistance. This award recognizes an individual who has shown outstanding ability and professional promise as a researcher in food microbiology/food safety focusing on antimicrobial resistance.
- The Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award will be presented to Donald W. Schaffner, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, to recognize his service for outstanding contributions in the laboratory and recognizing a commitment to the development of innovative and practical analytical approaches in support of food safety.
- Si Hong Park, Oregon State University, Corvallis, will be presented the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award. This award is presented to a young researcher who has shown outstanding ability and professional promise in the early years of his or her career.
- Jeffrey Farber, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, is the recipient of the Ewen C.D. Todd Control of Foodborne Illness Award. This award recognizes an individual for dedicated and exceptional contributions to the reduction of risks of foodborne illness.
- Rick J. Heiman, Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City, Kansas, will receive the Sanitarian Award to recognize his dedication and exceptional service to the profession of sanitarian, serving the public and the food industry.
- The Elmer Marth Educator Award will be presented to Lynn M. McMullen, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to recognize her dedication and exceptional contributions to the profession of the educator.
- Andrew J. Clarke, Loblaw Companies Limited, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is the recipient of the Harold Barnum Industry Award. This award recognizes his outstanding service to IAFP, the public and the food industry.