To view a larger version of this map, please click on the image. The CDC reports three more states and 23 more sick people have been confirmed in the past week in its ongoing investigation into an E. coli outbreak associated with romaine lettuce.
Food Safety News
About 12,000 people in Briton are poisoned by contaminated oysters each year; 11,800 of which are due to norovirus, according to the researchers at the Centre for Applied Marine Sciences on Anglesey. According to recent findings from two studies “more than two-thirds of the shellfish on sale is infected with the contagious norovirus.” Scientists at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) checked more than 600 samples sold in supermarkets over a 12-month period.
Northern Ireland’s raw pork exports to the United States may continue after a favorable on-site audit of that country’s meat inspection system by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
FSIS let Northern Ireland’s Chief Veterinarian Robert Huey know the draft final report of the audit was available by letter on Jan. 3, 2018 and the agency published both the letter and draft final report on the agency’s website on March 12.
FSIS auditors conducted their on-site examination of Northern Ireland’s meat inspection system from Sept. 18 to Sept. 26, 2017. The Belfast exit meeting with the Irish authorities, which FSIS refers to as the Central Competent Authority or CCA, was held on the final day.
“The FSIS auditor concluded that Northern Ireland’s meat inspection system is organized to provide ultimate control, supervision, and enforcement of regulatory requirements,” according to the draft final report. “The CCA has implemented sanitary operating procedures and a HACCP system to ensure controls of the meat inspection system. Also, the CCA has implemented a microbiological and chemical residue testing programs that are organized and administered by the national to verify its system. An analysis of each component did not identify any systemic findings representing an immediate threat to public health.”
Imported molluscan shellfish from Europe are as safe as if they were harvested off Puget Sound or Massachusetts Bay, according to a Food and Drug Administration finding. FDA’s equivalence determination means two-way raw shellfish trade across the Atlantic is likely to be back on after a lapse of almost eight years.
“I plan to announce more over the coming year about this proposed equivalence determination as we continue to work with the EU (European Union) on the details for resuming mutually beneficial trade in this area,” said a statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
“In the meantime, I’m committed to taking new approaches like this to maximize our shared resources and create greater efficiency in the trade of molluscan shellfish.”
The U.S. and EU have not traded any raw molluscan shellfish products for nearly eights years. The European Commission has not allowed U.S. shellfish to enter the EU since 2010. The FDA has not permitted the import of live, fresh or fresh-frozen molluscan shellfish from the EU since the 1980s.