XL Foods Recall Highlights A Serious Problem -- Tenderized Steaks Lack Labels, Pat Buck in Food Safety News, 10/5/2012
When Is A Steak Not A Steak?, Barbara Kowalcyk in Huffington Post, 10/4/12
Tragedy Spurs Advocacy, UC Magazine, September 2012
Consumer groups call on FSIS to publish labeling rule for tenderized beef, Food Chemical News, 8/24/2012
One Year Later, Public Still Waiting for New Food Safety Law -- Blog post from CFI food safety ambassador Leigh Ann Winnard about these unacceptable delays in implementing FSMA.
Food safety at farmers markets -- Barbara Kowalcyk quoted in Scripps Howard News Service stories, 7/21/2012
Food safety for thought -- Patricia Buck's letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 7/5/2012
Lifelong Effects of Food Poisoning, Food Poisoning Bulletin, 4/1/2012
Food Poisoning's Hidden Legacy, Scientific American, 3/25/2012
Barbara Kowalcyk Joins North Carolina State Faculty - Food Safety News 12/06/2011
U.S. to Ban Six Types of E. Coli -- Barbara Kowalcyk quoted on Reuters News Wire, 9/12/2011
Government to Ban Six Types of E. Coli from Ground Beef -- Barbara Kowalcyk quoted on CNBC.com, 9/13/2011
Big Six E. Coli Strains Will Be Banned from Ground Beef in March -- Barbara Kowalcyk quoted in The Huffington Post, 9/13/2011
Ground Turkey Recall Shows We Still Need Kevin's Law -- Barbara Kowalcyk blog on The Huffington Post, 8/11/11
Welcome to Armchair Epidemiology: The How-To's of Solving a Foodborne Illness Outbreak -- Barbara Kowalcyk blog on The Huffington Post, 6/29/2011
A U.S. Response to the European E. Coli Outbreak -- Barbara Kowalcyk blog on The Huffington Post, 6/8/2011
National Rotary Award -- Patricia Buck Received a National Rotary Award, 6/6/2011
U.S. Moves to Improve Food Safety -- Pat Buck quoted on Voice of America, 4/8/2011
If I Had a Magic Wand for Food Safety -- Barbara Kowalcyk's blog on Food Safety News, 2/23/2011
Food Safety Law Makes History -- Blog by Barbara Kowalcyk on The Huffington Post, 1/6/2011
It's Time to Act on Food Safety -- Blog by Patricia Buck on The Huffington Post, 12/7/2010
Campbell's Scoop: Peace Award for Safe-Food Advocate, Cincinnati.com 8/30/2010
Food Safety Reform Cannot Wait! -- Blog Post by Patricia Buck on MomsRising, 6/4/2010We Need Food Safety Legislation Now -- Blog post by CFI volunteer Leigh Ann Winnard on Mom’s Rising, 4/19/2010
Foodborne Illness and Safe Food Practices -- Barbara Kowalcyk's blog on Livestrong.com 4/18/2010
Make Our Food Safe -- Patricia Buck's blog on takepart.com, 3/3/2010
CFI part of Safe Food Coalition press statement, Consumer Groups Call on USDA to Take Action on Mechanically Tenderized Meat Products 1/14/2010
CFI releases: The Long-Term Health Outcomes of Selected Foodborne Pathogens 11/12/2009
Along with report, CFI and The Pew Charitable Trusts released the fact sheet, Children and Foodborne Illness, which was endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Downloadable 1: Press Release on CFI's Report.
Downloadable 2: Reactions to CFI's Report.
CFI Board director, Elizabeth Armstrong, blogs on Mom’s Rising
We need Food Safety: Ashley’s Story
November 12, 2009
Barbara Kowalcyk and Patricia Buck appear on Larry King Live
October 12, 2009 - Los Angeles, CA
Show discussed E. coli O157:H7 cases of disease and discussed statistics and its appropriate use.
Downloadable: Barb Kowalcyk's rebutts American Meat Institute.
CFI volunteers participate in the Make Our Food Safe’s 2nd Food Safety Action Day
October 7, 2009 - Washington, D.C.
Nine CFI volunteers participated by attending 15 Congressional meetings to show support for S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009. In addition, CFI leadership arranged for a sub-group of the Make Our Food Safe coalition to meet with White House staff and tour First Lady Michelle Obama’s Victory Garden.
Senator Enzi (R WY), the Republican lead on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP)Committee, co-sponsored the bill on November 30, 2009. Good workeveryone!
Barbara Kowalcyk appears on the Dr. Oz show
October 6, 2009 - New York City, NY
Dr. Oz Show posts CFI’s 6 Rules for Food Safety
July 7, 2009 - Washington, D.C.
CFI volunteers participate in Food Inc., Healthy School Food Brigade campaign
June 24, 2009 - Washington, D.C.
Six CFI volunteers attended Congressional meetings to support The Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 1324 and S. 934).
Thank you Deidre Hall and Andrea Bowman!
CFI and other Safe Food Coalition members send U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack a letter detailing the consumer groups concerns with mechanically tenderized meat products.
June 12, 2009
Downloadable 1: Letter to Secretary Vilsack about Mechanically Tenderized Meat.
Downloadable 2: Background information on mechanically tenderized meat.
Food Inc., the documentary about food production in America, is released in the United States – Barbara Kowalcyk and Patricia Buck are in the film!
June 1, 2009
CFI participates in Food Inc. pre-release screenings and panel discussions
February – June, 2009
Thiel College, Greenville PA, University of Dayton, Dayton OH
Madison, WI; Seattle, WA; Washington, D.C. and New York City
CFI volunteers participate in the Make Our Food Safe’s 1st Food Safety Action Day
April 28-29, 2009 - Washington, D.C.
Eight CFI volunteers participated by attending 9 Congressional meetings to show support for H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009. Elizabeth Armstrong, CFI Board Director, spoke at the press conference on April 29th at the U.S. Capitol Building.
Downloadable: Elizabeth Armstrong's speech at Washington D.C. Press Conference.
CFI participates in Product Safety Summit: Implications of Mandatory Safety Standards
Washington, D.C., March 5, 2009
CFI Board directors, Tanya Roberts and Elizabeth Armstrong attended.
CFI Interviewed by Ivanhoe Broadcast News
February 24, 2009
Segment featuring Patricia Buck was aired across the country from March – June 2009.
CFI submits public comments to the White House Food Safety Working Group
January 26, 2009
Downloadable: Comments to President Obama's White House Food Safety Working Group.
CFI Featured in Ladies Home Journal
CFI’s Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, is featured in the January 2009 Ladies Home Journal in an article featuring four crusading women. The article retells Kevin’s story and highlights CFI goals.
CFI Presents at FDA’s Food Safety Seminar
November 18, 2008 College Park, MD
CFI’s Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, presented at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition’s monthly seminar on November 18th in College Park, Maryland. In her presentation, Ms. Kowalcyk discussed the economic and emotional costs of foodborne illness and how advocacy and science can be used to improve food safety and public health. The seminar was attended by CFSAN employees.
National Academies of Science Examines USDA’s Use of Public Health Data in FSIS Food Safety Programs
November 6, 2008 Washington, D.C.
USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has requested the National Academies of Science to evaluate the use of public health data in FSIS food safety programs. In response, the National Academies Institute of Medicine’s Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources has formed a Standing Committee to oversee the work of separately appointed ad hoc committees. The ad hoc committees will review data collected by FSIS and the methodology used in risk assessments, as well as determining the best way to implement risk-based inspection. The Standing Committee, which is expected to meet twice a year, is composed of 29 experts from academia, industry and public health. CFI’s Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, has been appointed to the Standing Committee and attended the first meeting on November 6, 2008, in Washington, DC.
Additional information on NAS Ad Hoc Committees
CFI Participates in USDA Human Pandemic Influenza Exercise, “Flu for Thought II”
November 6, 2008 Washington, D.C.
CFI’s Executive Director, Patricia Buck, and Board Director, David Buck participated in a USDA table top exercise to examine the Agency’s preparedness if a human influenza pandemic, capable of causing major absenteeism in both inspection and processing activities, would develop. Some of the topics included: expanding authorities for FSIS; emergency inspecting authority for industry personnel; consumer expectations and continuity of food safety educational messages. Participants included USDA, FDA, CDC, industry members and consumer groups.
CFI Presents at National Restaurant Association Conference
October 24, 2008 Atlanta, GA
CFI’s Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, was a keynote speaker at the National Restaurant Association’s Conference, Food Safety in the 21st Century Marketplace: Best Practices Throughout the Supply Chain, which was held October 22-24 in Atlanta, Georgia. In her presentation, Ms. Kowalcyk discussed the economic and emotional burden of foodborne illness, as well as the role that industry plays in preventing foodborne illness. Steritech sponsored Ms. Kowalcyk’s attendance at the conference.
National Restaurant Association Presentation
FSIS Holds Public Meeting to Examine Control of E. coli O157:H7: Addressing Sampling and Testing Methodologies, Compliance Guidelines, and N60 Labeling
October 14-15, 2008 Washington, D.C.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service held a public meeting in response to multiple consumer groups’ requests to examine the sampling and testing methodologies, as well as compliance guidelines that USDA uses in its federally inspected meat and poultry plants. At the meeting, USDA proposed labeling meat and poultry packages to indicate the level of sampling (i.e., N60) used during processing to help control E. coli O157:H7. CFI’s Executive Director, Patricia Buck, and Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, attended the meeting and provided extensive input.
CFI’s General Comments on FSIS N60 Public Meeting
CFI Board of Directors Approves a 5 Year Strategic Plan
October 10, 2008 Grove City, PA
After more than a year of development, CFI’s Board of Directors has approved a five year strategic plan. Highlights of the plan include objectives for CFI’s programs in five areas: research, education, advocacy, service and development, as well as strategies for implementation.
Mercer County Medical Society Welcomes CFI
October 8, 2008 Grove City, PA
Patricia Buck, CFI’s Executive Director, was the invited speaker at the Mercer County Medical Society’s dinner in Grove City, PA. Ms. Buck focused her presentation on how medical providers could help identify, report and prevent foodborne illness. CFI has recognized that foodborne illness is grossly under diagnosed and under reported. Currently, CFI is working with national health organizations and federal agencies to raise awareness with medical providers about the impact that serious foodborne illness can have, especially on those who are vulnerable for serious disease: infants & children; seniors and elderly; pregnant women, and individuals with compromised immune system, such as AIDS, cancer, sickle cell anemia and diabetes victims.
Mercer County Presentation
CFI Featured in Views & Voices
October 1, 2008
Patricia Buck, CFI’s Executive Director, is featured in a Pennsylvania monthly magazine called Views & Voices. The article discusses why CFI was formed and its advocacy work, as well as highlighting CFI’s Six Safe Food Practices and the upcoming documentary entitled Food Inc.
Views & Voices Article
CFI Participates in USDA’s Poultry Technical Meeting to Discuss FSIS’ Use of PFGE Subtyping Information, Pre-Harvest Practices and Predictive Analytics to Aid in Epidemiological Outbreak Investigations
September 29, 2008 Washington, D.C.
Patricia Buck, CFI’s Executive Director, attended USDA’s Poultry Technical Meeting and provided consumer input about the importance of using PFGE subtyping information in epidemiological investigations. In 2007, CFI spearheaded an effort to improve data sharing between federal agencies about foodborne pathogens, which resulted in a cooperative agreement between USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Services and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to share the PFGE patterns that were collected under FSIS’ Salmonella Verification Program.
CFI Lack of Data Sharing Between Federal Agencies Presentation
Cooperative Agreement between FSIS and ARS, August. 2007
CFI Participates in USDA’s Food Defense Exercise, “Operation Rocky Top”
September 25, 2008 Denver, CO
USDA/FSIS’ Food Defense & Emergency Response Program held a table top exercise to test the coordination between FSIS and other federal emergency response teams, state and local agriculture and public health agencies, and industry and consumer groups. As a result of this exercise, USDA/FSIS hopes to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the various groups and improve coordination and communication between all stakeholders.
Patti Waller, an epidemiologist and CFI Board director, attended the exercise and provided input on consumer concerns and expectations.
CFI Participates in USDA’s Public Meeting to Discuss Low-dose, Low-penetration, Electron Beam Irradiation on Chilled Beef Carcasses
September 18, 2008 Washington, D.C.
USDA held a public meeting to discuss the American Meat Institute’s 2005 petition to use low dose, low penetration (Ld/Lp) electron beam irradiation on chilled beef carcasses as a processing aid to reduce pathogens in meat and poultry products. In its petition, AMI claims that, since this type of irradiation is only a processing aid, treated products do not need to be labeled as being irradiated.
CFI’s Executive Director, Patricia Buck, attended the meeting and stated that while Ld/Lp electron beam irradiation of beef carcasses to reduce pathogens has merit, all meat and poultry products treated with this technology must be labeled. CFI maintains that consumers have the right to make informed decisions about their food. Therefore, if this technology is adopted, then USDA and industry will have to launch a national educational program explaining the benefits and limitations of Ld/Lp electron beam irradiation.
CFI’s Public Comments on Ld/Lp electron beam irradiation
CFI Meets with USDA’s Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services
September 17, 2008 Washington, DC
Patricia Buck, CFI’s Executive Director and Barbara Kowalcyk, CFI’s Director of Food Safety met with Under Secretary Nancy Montanez Johner and selected staff to discuss ways in which food safety educational materials could be most effectively created and distributed to raise public awareness about important food safety practices. The group discussed how to increase the public’s awareness about foodborne illness and, in particular, the risks associated with consuming raw milk. CFI maintains that consumers need more information on risks associated with particular foods, since this type of information should help motivate consumers to adopt safe food practices.
CFI’s Safe Food Practices
Documentary, Food, Inc., Receives Standing Ovation at Toronto Film Festival
September 14, 2008 Toronto, Canada
Participant Production’s Food, Inc. debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, held September 4 -13, and received a standing ovation. Produced by Rob Kenner, Food, Inc. examines our nation’s food industry and how little Americans know about the food they buy. The film features interviews with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, and Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore’s Dilemma. Barbara Kowalcyk, CFI’s Director of Food Safety, is also featured in the film.
Food Inc. is expected to appear in movie theatres sometime in 2009. .
Additional information on Food, Inc.
CFI Submits Comments on Healthy People 2020 Food Safety Objectives
September 2, 2008 Washington, D.C.
Healthy People is a national, health promotion and disease prevention initiative that began in 2000. This program is implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics and data is collected from 190 different sources. Healthy People 2010 included 28 focus areas with food safety being identified as one area. Development for Healthy People 2020 began in 2008, and one suggestion was to condense the focus areas, with food safety being eliminated as a separate topic. CFI’s Executive Director, Patricia Buck, and CFI’ Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services about the need to retain food safety as a separate focus area with its own set of foodborne illness health standards and preventive strategies.
CFI’s Public Comments on Healthy People 2020 Food Safety Objectives
CFI Welcomes New Board Members
September 1, 2008 Grove City, PA
CFI is pleased to announce the appointment of two new Board Directors, Tanya Roberts, Ph.D. of Wheaton, Maryland, and Jeffery Moran, J.D. of Highland Park, Illinois. Dr. Roberts earned her Ph.D. in economics and spent 30 years at USDA’s Economic Research Service before her retirement in May 2008. Jeffrey Moran earned his degree in law from Georgetown University and spent 31 years as a litigation attorney before his retirement in 2005.
CFI Board Biographies
CFI Presents at Steritech Horizons Conference
August 28, 2008 Charlotte, NC
Barbara Kowalcyk, CFI’s Director of Food Safety, presented at The Steritech Group’s Food Safety Horizons 2008 Conference held August 26-29 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her presentation, Ms. Kowalcyk discussed the economic and emotional cost of foodborne illness, the role industry plays in preventing foodborne illness and how CFI plans to improve food safety. Following the presentation, CEO Mark Jarvis pledged a donation to CFI, as well as sponsoring CFI’s attendance at four future conferences. The Steritech Group is a leader in brand protection services, providing food safety, quality assurance and pest protection services to a variety of industries. The conference was attended by Steritech employees.
Steritech Horizons Conference Presentation
CFI Participates in Symposia Panel for the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) 95th Annual Meeting
August 5, 2008 Columbus, OH
CFI’s Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, joined a panel of food safety experts to discuss “Pathogen Data Sharing to Advance Food Safety” at the International Association for Food Processors 95th Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The Symposia, which was organized by Tanya Roberts and Mickey Parish, discussed the current status and challenges of United States and international data sharing among government agencies, industry and consumers. The panelists included Dr. Robert Tauxe, CDC; Dr. Carl Custer, Retired-USDA; Dr. Timothy Biela, BIFSCO; Dr. Leon Gorris, Unilever, Inc; and Dr. S. Andrew Starbird, Santa Clara University.
Consumer Perspective on Sharing Pathogen Data with the Public
Safe Food Coalition Issues Letter to U.S. House of Representatives
August 1, 2008 Washington, D.C.
CFI, as an active member of the Safe Food Coalition (SFC), signed a letter to U.S. House of Representatives Members detailing important food safety issues that need attention in order to improve food safety in America. The letter was drafted in response to the 2008 Salmonella St. Paul outbreak and focused on the need for mandatory recall authority; improved food standards (both domestic and imported); improved processing control; product tracing, and whistle blower protection. Further, the letter called for additional resources for FDA to increase its inspection capability. Fees for annual registration of food companies, as well as increased oversight by Congress of federal inspection agencies, were suggested.
Safe Food Coalition Letter to U.S. House of Representatives
Mercer County Pennsylvania’s Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Group (PAHG) Welcomes CFI
July 24, 2008 Farrell, PA
Patricia Buck, CFI’s Executive Director, gave a presentation entitled, “What Seniors Need to Know About Food Safety.” Ms. Buck focused her presentation to inform the attendees – seniors suffering with pulmonary/hypertension and their health care providers – about the risk that specific foods carry for transmitting life-threatening pathogens. In conjunction with this presentation, Ms. Buck provided attendees with copies of USDA’s Kitchen Companion and its Be Food Safe Guide for Older Adults.
What Seniors Need to Know About Food Safety presentation
ConAgra’s Food Safety Council Hears from CFI
July 9, 2008 Omaha, NE
Barbara Kowalcyk, CFI’s Director of Food Safety, joined Bill Marler (MarlerClark) and Doug Powell (Kansas State University) as guest speakers at ConAgra’s Food Safety Council meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. Each speaker presented for an hour. In her presentation, Ms. Kowalcyk discussed:
- the emotional and economic cost of foodborne illness,
- how industry can improve food safety through statistical process control and improved risk communication,
- CFI’s goals for improving food safety.
The presentations were followed by a question and answer period. ConAgra’s Food Safety Council and employees attended the event.
ConAgra Food Safety Council Presentation
CFI’s Chairman of the Board Visits the Partnership for Food Safety Education
June 26, 2008 Washington, D.C.
Lee Faulconbridge, CFI’s Chairman of the Board, attended the full Partnership meeting of the Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE). As a Family and Consumer Science High School educator, Ms. Faulconbridge was pleased to learn about the food safety initiative that PFSE has developed for retailers, which is an extension of USDA’s Be Food Safe program. CFI’s Executive Director, Pat Buck, serves on PFSE’s Board of Directors and arranged the visit.
Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute’s Produce Safety Project
June 23, 2008 Washington, DC
Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute has launched The Produce Safety Project, a Pew Initiative aimed at establishing mandatory and enforceable safety standards for domestic and imported fresh produce from farm to fork. The Produce Safety Project promotes federal food safety regulation that is based on prevention, scientifically sound risk assessment and management, and coordinated/integrated data collection. CFI’s Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, serves on the Advisory Board for the Produce Safety Project.
CFI Joins the Alliance for a Stronger FDA
June 11, 2008 Washington, D.C.
CFI has joined the Alliance for a Stronger FDA, a national coalition of patient groups, consumer advocates, biomedical research advocates, health professionals and industries that work together to increase FDA’s appropriations to perform its duties. CFI recognizes that a lack of resources impacts food safety and actively works to increase funding for all federal food oversight agencies.
CFI Declared a Non-profit by Internal Revenue Service
May 30, 2008 Grove City, PA
CFI is pleased to announce that the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has approved CFI as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing foodborne illness through research, education, advocacy and service. All past and future donations made to CFI are tax deductible. CFI was incorporated in Pennsylvania on December 11, 2006. Thanks to everyone who encouraged and supported CFI during its start-up phase!
CFI Participates in USDA’s St. Louis Two Day Summit: Better Communications, Better Public Health Outcomes: Strategies for Improved Coordination During Foodborne Outbreaks.
May 15-16, 2008 St. Louis, MO
USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) co-sponsored a public meeting with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to explore the barriers that local/state/federal agencies encounter during foodborne illness outbreak investigations and develop strategies for improving information sharing and coordination during foodborne outbreaks. The attendees also discussed the problems associated with providing consumers with timely and effective food safety messages during foodborne illness outbreaks. The public meeting was followed by an invitation-only Table Talk exercise that solicited input from stakeholders through the simulation of an outbreak. The two day summit included representatives from the USDA, FDA, CDC, state health departments, epidemiologists, microbiologists, food safety advocates and industry. Patricia Buck, CFI’ Executive Director, and Barbara Kowalcyk, CFI’ Director of Food Safety were invited attendees.
CFI Responds to FDA’s Proposal to Consider Replacing Zero Tolerance Standard for Listeria monocytogenes
April 17, 2008 Washington, D.C.
On February 6, 2008, FDA proposed that it would adopt the international standard for Listeria monocytogenes, put forth by Codex Alimentarius Commission. The international standard allows contamination levels up to 100 cfu/g in processed Ready-To-Eat (RTE) products, which do not support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. This proposal would not change the “zero tolerance” policy for processed RTE products that do support the growth of Listeria monocytogenes.
However, USDA, public health officials, and consumer advocates are opposed to adopting this new standard. Listeria monocytogenes can be transmitted easily between foods/environments, and if ingested by pregnant women or seniors, the health outcomes can be devastating. CFI’s Executive Director and Director of Food Safety, Patricia Buck and Barbara Kowlacyk, submitted public comments to the FDA protesting this proposal. CFI maintains that “zero tolerance” for all processed RTE products are needed to protect public health and agrees with USDA/FSIS’ position that adopting this standard could weaken efforts to control Listeria monocytogenes in dual-jurisdiction (FDA-FSIS) and retail establishments.
CFI’s Public Comments on Replacing Zero Tolerance Standard for Listeria Monocytogenes
Letter to U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D CT) Objecting to Processed Chicken Imports from China
April 25, 2008 Washington, D.C.
CFI, along with 19 other organizations, signed a letter sent to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Chair of the House Subcommitee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations, urging a continuation of the prohibition of any funding that would enable USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to import processed poultry from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). According to Section 733 of Title I (Agricultural Programs) in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-16), FSIS is prohibited to use funds to import processed chicken from the PRC, and the signing groups wanted this restriction to be included in FY 2009 Appropriations Act for USDA.
Letter to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, April 25, 2008
CFI Opens and Closes Seattle Food Safety Conference: Who’s Minding the Store: The Current State of Food Safety and How It Can Be Improved
April 11-12, 2008 Seattle, WA
Seattle University’s School of Law hosted an in-depth conference that brought together international food safety experts, as well as state and local regulators, industry representatives, consumer advocates and scientists. CFI’s Director of Food Safety, Barbara Kowalcyk, was an invited speaker, providing the opening and closing remarks. The conference was organized and sponsored by the law firms MarlerClark and Stoel Rives.
Who’s Minding the Store? Opening Presentation
Who’s Minding the Store? Closing Presentation
Who’s Minding the Store? Agenda
CFI Participates in USDA Public Meeting: E. coli O157:H7 – Addressing the Challenges, Moving Forward with Solutions
April 9-10, 2008 Washington, D.C.
Patricia Buck, CFI’s Executive Director, attended this USDA/FSIS public meeting. The meeting was arranged by USDA/FSIS due to the huge increase in recalls during 2007 for meat/poultry products that were contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. At this meeting, several proposals were presented by USDA/FSIS to improve control of this deadly pathogen. Topics discussed included expanding FSIS testing to include non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) and to begin testing for E. coli O157:H7 on primal and subprimal cuts of beef. Non-O157 STEC testing would be in addition to FSIS’ already existing programs for E. coli O157:H7 testing of beef trim and ground beef products. Presenters included representatives from FSIS, CDC, private laboratories, a law firm and industry. Participants included state public health departments, national health and consumer groups and other food safety stakeholders.
CFI’s Public Comments on Shiga toxin-producing E. coli
Safe Food Coalition Pushes the President’s Office of Budget to finalize USDA’s proposal to post retailer information about food recall notices on USDA’s website
April 1, 2008, Washington, D.C.
In March 2006, USDA/FSIS published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (71 FR 11326) to post on its Web site the names and locations of the retail consignees of recalled meat and poultry products. Subsequently, in April 2006, USDA/FSIS held a public meeting to discuss this rule, and public comments were accepted until May 10, 2007. By March 2008, the proposed new recall rule was still not finalized because the President’s Office of the Budget (OMB) had not completed its evaluation. In an effort to move this rule to implementation, the Safe Food Coalition sent a letter to the OMB detailing the importance of providing retail consignee information in USDA food recall notices. Consumers need to have specific information about meat/poultry recalls so that they can more easily and effectively protect themselves and their families from unsafe food. OMB responded and the rule became effective August 18, 2008.
SFC letter to OMB
Information about the Safe Food Coalition
CFI Announces a Project to Stimulate Research on Foodborne Illness
February 2008, Grove City, PA
CFI announces a project entitled, Concept Development for a Foodborne Illness Registry Project, and is seeking support for the development of a national health registry to be used by researchers to investigate the sources, trends, health outcomes and preventive strategies related to foodborne disease. Given the scope of this project, CFI does not anticipate administering this registry; however, it hopes to play an active role in calling for the development of a national Foodborne Illness Health Registry. More information on the project is available by contacting CFI.
CFI Announces 2007 Accomplishments
January, 2008 Grove City, PA
CFI reflects on its 2007 accomplishments, which include CFI’s participation in several conferences and its Congressional briefing on “Data Sharing Problems Between and Within Federal Food Inspection Agencies.” CFI is proud of the work it did during its first year, but it is especially proud of the role that CFI played in motivating USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to sign a cooperative agreement to share the Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns that were derived from isolates collected by FSIS’ Salmonella Verification Program. With this new cooperative agreement, FSIS and ARS plan to work more closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) to enter these PFGE patterns into PulseNet, a CDC database designed to monitor human cases of foodborne disease.
CFI’s List of Accomplishments for 2007