USDA plans risk-based meat inspection system

first_imgMar 7, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials recently proposed a timetable to begin implementing a new meat and poultry inspection system designed to reduce foodborne illnesses by focusing more attention on high-risk facilities and those with poor safety records.The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has been exploring “risk-based inspection” since 2000. On Feb 22, Richard Raymond, USDA undersecretary for food safety, proposed to implement the new inspection system in April at 30 locations, and possibly to expand it to 150 locations by the end of 2007, according to an FSIS press release.The proposed system is seen as the biggest change in the USDA’s food inspection program since 1996, when the Hazard Analysis and Critical Point Systems (HACCP) rule made food processors responsible for systematically assessing, preventing, and controlling food safety hazards.Assessing each facility’s food safety record and the relative risk of what is produced will allow the FSIS to better allocate its inspection resources to the processors that need them most, while continuing daily inspections at all facilities, the FSIS said in the press release. A processor’s food safety performance will be based on information federal inspectors regularly collect at the plants, such as health infractions and microbiologic test results.”To continue to prevent foodborne illness, we have to improve our prevention capabilities, not just respond quickly after an outbreak occurs,” Raymond said in the press release. “What will change is we will no longer be treating every plant like every other plant in terms of its adverse public health potential.”In a separate statement, Raymond asserted that risk-based inspection “will not reduce the number of inspectors nor will it save any money.”He said the FSIS is rolling out the new inspection program gradually so that it can be evaluated and revised as needed before it is expanded nationwide.Industry and consumer groups have expressed concerns about the new approach. The American Meat Institute (AMI) in a Feb 22 statement said it supports the concept of risk-based inspections, but maintained that the USDA is launching the plan prematurely.J. Patrick Boyle, AMI’s president and chief executive officer, said the USDA should slow the process down, seek additional input, and make participation voluntary. “This rush to launch a potentially worthwhile prototype may become a needless public relations and political distraction,” he said.According to documents posted on the FSIS Web site, the agency held a 2-day stakeholder meeting in October 2006 to solicit input on the proposed risk-based inspection policy.The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) sharply criticized the USDA plan in a Feb 22 statement. Although risk-based system for meat inspection is a worthy goal, the USDA has neither “meaningful scientific data” to rank product risk nor an unbiased system for determining facility risk, the group said. The CFA accused the Bush administration of laying the groundwork for cutting meat inspection costs and thereby increasing Americans’ risk of illness and death from foodborne pathogens.Foodborne disease expert Craig Hedberg, PhD, noted that some groups, including the Government Accountability Office (GAO), have advocated a single federal agency to oversee food safety. He told CIDRAP News that the USDA’s move toward a more periodic, risk-based inspection system that puts the food safety burden on producers is similar to the model used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees produce.”This is probably a necessary condition to change the culture of the USDA toward that of the FDA,” said Hedberg, an associate professor of environmental and occupational health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. “This is one more attempt to make that happen.”Ideally, meat inspectors at processing plants determine if products are handled properly and then intervene if they need to, Hedberg said. “But it doesn’t actually work out that way,” because, while the physical presence of an inspector should give a certain measure of assurance, foodborne pathogens can’t be seen, touched, or smelled, he said. “You have to have different strategies to deal with that.””Industries need more authority to police their own, and I think that’s a good thing,” Hedberg said.See also:Feb 22 FSIS press releasehttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_022207_01/index.aspFSIS statement on the background of risk-based inspectionhttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Evolution_of_RBI_022007.pdfConsumer Federation of America statementlast_img read more

Silay drug bust nets P135K worth of ‘shabu’

first_imgBACOLOD City – Suspected shabu weighing about nine grams valued at around P135,000 were seized in a buy-bust operation in Barangay 4, Silay City, Negros Occidental. They were detained in the custodial facility of the Silay City police station, facing charges for violation of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002./PN Resident Clemdick Mel Dionio, 33; Joel Gancial, 20, of Barangay E. Lopez, Silay City; and Ian Baylon, 43, of Barangay Balaring, Silay City, yielded the suspected illegal drugs, a police report showed.center_img The suspects were caught after they sold suspected shabu to an undercover cop for P4,000 around 1 a.m. on June 22, it added.last_img

Nonconference slate coming to a close

first_imgThe USC women’s soccer team looks to build off a big win as they prepare to continue their homestand and wrap up nonconference play against Florida Atlantic on Thursday and Cal State Fullerton on Sunday.Open pitch · Freshman Kayla Mills has provided a spark on offense in her first year at Troy, and leads USC in points (11) and assists (5). – Nick Entin | Daily TrojanThe Women of Troy (4-2-1) ended a three-game losing streak on Sunday with a decisive 5-1 win over Loyola Marymount. After only scoring one goal during the streak, USC erupted for five goals in the first half and four in the first 19 minutes to set a season-high for goals scored. Sophomore forward Katie Johnson finished with a hat trick after 19 minutes of play, with senior forward Elizabeth Eddy and senior midfielder Jordan Marada accounting for the other two goals. Junior goalkeeper Caroline Stanley earned 5 saves before being substituted with about 15 minutes left to play.“I think in our game against LMU it was the first time that you could see we were hungry to score goals,” junior forward Jessica Musmanno said. “That’s the type of mentality we want to continue throughout the rest of our season, just doing the little things right where we were unlucky before. Hopefully the streak keeps going.”Despite the big win over LMU, the Women of Troy dropped out of the NCAA rankings, but are still receiving votes. They entered the weekend ranked No. 23, and have been ranked as high as No. 17 this season.USC is outscoring opponents 18-8 on the year, with Eddy leading the team with five goals. Freshman forward Kayla Mills leads the team in points (11) and assists (5), while Stanley has a .800 save percentage and 0.86 goals against average (GAA) on the season.“Our focus is still on sharpening some of the errors we’ve made defensively that have led to goals,” coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “We create and finish opportunities for ourselves, and being able to do things a little faster, a little quicker, a bit more pressure. The team seems to be responding.”FAU (2-4-1) is coming off a blowout in their last game, a 10-0 rout over Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7-0) on Sunday. The team finished with a school-record 40 shots (22 on goal), with midfielder Claire Emslie recording a hat trick and an assist. It was the Owls’ second straight win of the season, after being outscored 8-2 during a five-game winless streak to start the season.It will be the first time that USC has played Florida Atlantic in the program’s history.Esmlie’s three goals and seven points lead the team, while Taylor Sorrels and Julie Taylor have two goals each. Courtney Zwetsch has a save percentage of .750 in 9 games, with a GAA of 1.25.“We can’t really worry about them,” Musmanno said. “We just have to be confident and shut down our defending. I think right now our defenders have been doing really well, so I have faith in our backline that they’re not going to get scored on 10 times [like Arkansas-Pine Bluff].”Cal State Fullerton’s (3-2-2) last contest resulted in a 0-0 tie against Utah State (4-1-2). They outshot the Aggies 17-12 during the contest, but committed a staggering 27 fouls to Utah State’s 10.USC last played Cal State Fullerton in the 2012 season opener, winning the game 3-2 on the road despite having one defender sent off with a red card. Marada had a goal and an assist in the contest.Christina Burkenroad leads the Titans with three points on the year, while Lindsey Maricic has an .882 save percentage and 0.62 GAA on the year. The team has a more defensive mindset, outscoring opponents 5-4 and recording five shutouts on the season.Both games kick off at 3 p.m. at McAlister Field, with USC facing off against the Owls on Thursday before taking on the Titans on Sunday. After this weekend, the team will head on the road to start conference play.Follow us on Twitter @dailytrojanlast_img read more