FDA To Hold Public Science Forum, Food Safety to Be Covered
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding the 2019 FDA Science Forum, ”Transforming Health: Innovation in FDA Science,” on the agency’s White Oak campus on Sept. 11, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. and Sept. 12, 2019, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The two-day event will showcase the collaborative efforts of FDA’s scientists as well as nationally renowned scientists from outside the agency. The event will cover food safety outbreak response and genome sequencing for food safety investigations among other things. Register here.
FDA Updates Alert Contaminated Pig Ear Pet Treats
FDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continue to advise consumers to avoid all pig ear pet treats and retailers to stop selling all pig ear treats at this time. On August 16, 2019, Dog Goods USA LLC recalled non-irradiated bulk and packaged Chef Toby Pig Ears. On September 3, Dog Goods USA LLC expanded its recall to include Berkley & Jensen brand pig ear pet treats. On August 22, the FDA updated Import Alert 72-03 to include three firms that presented pig ears for import that then tested positive for Salmonella: Custom Pet S.A.S (Colombia), Suarko SRL (Argentina), and Anabe Industria e Comercio de Proteinas (Brazil).
FDA to Hold Public Meeting on the New Era of Smarter Food Safety
FDA announced that it will be holding a public meeting entitled “FDA’s New Era of Smarter Food Safety.”
Details are below:
Monday, October 21, 2019 (8:30am – 5:00pm)
Hilton Washington DC/Rockville Hotel & Executive Meeting Center
1750 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20872
Additional meeting specifics, including information on how to register for the meetings, will be made available in September, 2019 through a Federal Register Notice, and on the FDA public meetings website.
USDA Restricts PACA Violators in California, New Jersey, Texas and Washington from Operating in the Produce Industry
USDA has imposed sanctions on four produce businesses for failing to meet their contractual obligations to the sellers of produce they purchased and failing to pay reparation awards issued under the PACA. These sanctions include suspending the businesses’ PACA licenses and barring the principal operators of the businesses from engaging in PACA-licensed business or other activities without approval from USDA.
The following businesses and individuals are currently restricted from operating in the produce industry:
- Hector H. Gonzales, d/b/a Hugo Produce, operating out of Los Angeles, Calif., for failing to pay a $4,676 award in favor of a California seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Hector H. Gonzales was listed as the sole proprietor of the business.
- Miami Growers Inc., operating out of Jersey City, N.J., for failing to pay a $6,960 award in favor of a Hawaii seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Kanti V. Patel was listed as the officer, director and major stockholder of the business.
- Texas Green Grove Produce LLC, operating out of McAllen, Texas, for failing to pay a $10,312 award in favor of a Texas seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Luis F. Mejia was listed as a member of the business.
- CTA Inc., doing business as American Freeze Dry, operating out of Ferndale, Wash., for failing to pay a $114,609 award in favor of a Washington seller. As of the issuance date of the reparation order, Jonathan Tan, Gurprett S. Cheema and Jagit S. Aujia were listed as the officers, directors and/or major stockholders of the business.
CSPI Petitions FSIS on No Nitrate and Nitrite Claims
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is requesting that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) prohibit the statement “No Nitrate or Nitrite Added” and “Uncured” in the labeling of products that have been processed using any source of nitrate, including non-synthetic sources, such as celery powder.
FSIS Updates List of Establishments From New Zealand and United Kingdom Eligible to Export to the U.S.
FSIS Releases Finland Food Safety System Audit
The 2019 food safety system audit for Finland may be found here.
Michigan Bans Flavored E-Cigarettes
The state of Michigan has banned flavored nicotine vaping products. The ban is expected to go into effect in 30 days. The ban will last 6 months and can be renewed for another 6 months. The state intends to draft regulations for a permanent ban while the temporary ban is in effect.
FDA Changes Process for Submitting Notifications on New Dietary Ingredients and Structure/Function Claims
FDA has changed the process for submitting notifications on new dietary ingredients and structure/function claims for dietary supplements. On September 6, 2019, FDA will begin using a different electronic submission system for accepting and storing new dietary ingredient notification (NDIN) and structure/function claim notification (SFCN) electronic submissions. As part of the agency’s ongoing modernization efforts, the new system—the CFSAN Online Submission Module (COSM)—is replacing the current electronic submission system (the FDA Unified Registration Listing System, also known as FURLS) for NDIN and SFCN submissions. COSM system users will submit the same information as FURLS system users.
AMS Establishes Milk Donation Reimbursement Program
On September 5 the Agricultural Marketing Service of USDA issued a final rule creating the Milk Donation Reimbursement Program. Under the program, eligible dairy organizations that account to a Federal milk marketing order marketwide pool and incur qualified expenses related to certain fluid milk product donations may apply for and receive limited reimbursements to cover those expenses. A provision of the 2018 Farm Bill requires establishment of this program. The program is intended to reduce food waste and provide nutrition assistance to individuals in low-income groups.
AMS states: “this program is expected to have a negligible impact on retail milk sales. Typically, needy populations that receive nutrition assistance from non-profit organizations do not buy milk at retail outlets. Consequently, fluid milk donations through this program are not expected to become a substitution for retail milk sales.”
Latest FDA Warning Letters
The latest FDA warning letters are:
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