USDA modifies E coli testing rules for Canadian beef

first_img Eamich said no E coli contamination or other “product failures” have been found in the expanded testing program so far. The department is no longer requiring that importers hold shipments of Canadian meat until pathogen testing is completed, Amanda Eamich of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) reported. However, she said increased inspections and testing will continue. Tests take 3 to 7 days, depending on the pathogen, officials have said. A spike in E coli–related meat recalls this year prompted the USDA in October to vow to take a number of steps to combat the problem. As of Oct 23, the agency said E coli in ground beef had sparked 15 recalls, eight of which involved illnesses. In 2006 there were just eight such recalls, none involving illnesses, the agency said. The USDA has also been inspecting the Rancher’s Beef plant and several other Canadian meat facilities that were previously flagged for problems or are similar to Rancher’s Beef in their operations. The dropping of the requirement to hold meat during testing “was due to the preliminary findings of our audits and the first week or so of testing,” Eamich told CIDRAP News. “We had previously said we would reassess after we got the preliminary data.” Eamich said the USDA has long had guidelines recommending that companies hold meat until test results come back, “but it’s not something we require,” she said. She added that there are no proposals to change that. See also: The expanded USDA program, according to the Nov 8 announcement, includes increased inspections of Canadian meat, poultry, and pasteurized egg products; more testing of raw ground beef for E coli O157:H7; the initiation of E coli testing of beef trim, boxed beef, and certain other cuts of meat that had not been tested before; and increased testing of ready-to-eat products for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. A Nov 18 report in USA Today said the agency might require companies to hold meat during testing. Nov 8 CIDRAP News story “USDA vows to double inspections of Canadian meat” Mark Dopp, an American Meat Institute (AMI) official, said large companies already hold meat during testing, according to the USA Today report. He said more companies, but not all, embraced that practice after USDA and AMI began recommending it several years ago. Nov 21, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has modified its program of increased testing and inspection of Canadian meat, after finding no problems in the first week or so, a USDA official said today. On a related issue, Eamich said the USDA is not considering requiring American meat companies to hold meat until pathogen testing is completed, contrary to a recent news report. The USDA announced Nov 8 it would roughly double its inspections and testing of Canadian meat and poultry products. The move came after beef trim from a Canadian packing plant, Rancher’s Beef of Balzac, Alta., was implicated in an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ground beef from Topps Meat Co. of Elizabeth, N.J. Topps went out of business after recalling more than 21 million pounds of ground beef in September. Oct 23 CIDRAP News story “USDA announces plans to reduce E coli contamination in ground beef”last_img read more

Nordic roundup: Danish parliament approves LD as holiday fund manager

first_img“So I am very pleased that it has been possible to achieve a broad political agreement, which ensures that new employees now also have a paid holiday.”LD said that when the fund is established, around DKK1.3bn will be transferred from various existing holiday pay funds.However, since the precise amount to be transferred by the employers is unknown, LD said it does not know exactly how much money it will have to invest.Dorrit Vanglo, chief executive of LD, said: “It is a challenge, but one of the good ones, which we are happy to take on.”Sampension gains 5.3% but plays down return expectationsMeanwhile, labour market pension fund Sampension has warned that the global upturn for equity markets is nearing its end-phase, as it reported a 5.3% investment return for the first nine months of the year for customers with market-rate pension plans.Hasse Jørgensen, chief executive of Sampension, said: “Growth in the global economy has boosted equity prices to a very high level. Prices for all asset types have become high, and we will prepare ourselves for the fact that the global upturn is approaching its end-phase.”Sampension said foreign and Danish shares had led its investment returns in the period.Emerging markets equities generated the highest return at 23% in the nine-month period, followed by Danish shares which produced a 20% return, the pension fund said.Swedish insurers oppose EIOPA data plansThe Swedish insurance industry association Svensk Försäkring has added its voice to those criticising planned new reporting requirements from the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).Aimed at primarily at occupational pension schemes, EIOPA’s plans to streamline reporting requirements were too far-reaching, the association said.The industry body also said the date for the new rules to come into force had been poorly chosen.Under the proposal, the first report under the new system would have to be submitted in 2018, the year before the implementation of the IORP II directive.Karin Chenon, economist at Svensk Försäkring, said: “Retirement institutions and regulatory authorities need to have enough time to adapt systems and routines to changing reporting requirements.”In order to avoid introducing two sets of new rules in a short period of time, she said the association proposed EIOPA postpone the date at which its new requirements would come into force.EIOPA has already been criticised by the UK’s Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association, the Europe-wide trade body PensionsEurope, and German pension groups for the potential burden its reporting proposals would place on schemes.The association also said it was “remarkable” that information about individual institutions should be submitted directly to EIOPA.“EIOPA has no supervisory responsibility for individual institutions,” Chenon said. “We are therefore particularly opposed to the proposal that company-specific data from individual occupational retirement institutions over a certain size should be submitted to EIOPA.” Danish politicians have signed off on legislation covering holiday pay adjustments, which is set to add DKK80bn (€10.7bn) to Lønmodtagernes Dyrtidsfond (LD).Political parties representing a large majority of the Danish parliament have agreed to the changes to holiday entitlement rules for Danish employees. The huge new investment fund will managed by LD and administered by ATP.The law is being changed to bring Danish rules on holiday rights in line with EU law, and will effectively give existing employees add an extra 12 months’ worth of holiday entitlement, paid for on retirement by the new LD fund.Troels Lund Poulsen, minister for employment, said: “All people who work sometimes need to recharge their batteries and have a holiday.last_img read more

Representative Frye looks for input from business, local government

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) is asking Hoosier employers to help identify duplicative or redundant state reporting requirements using a new online portal.“I encourage Hoosier business owners to take the survey to give us feedback on how we can streamline reporting requirements or eliminate them where possible,” Frye said. “The General Assembly will review the feedback from this survey so we can help small-businesses run more smoothly instead of being bogged down with unnecessary paperwork.”The web-based survey is the result of legislation Frye voted in favor of this year with the support of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. Frye said the easy-to-use portal is part of an overall effort to further reduce unnecessary government regulations and costs, and streamline processes.Small-business owners and local governments can access the survey online at iedc.in.gov/programs. The survey is confidential, user-friendly and takes about five minutes to complete.last_img read more

Local state of emergency issued in Chetwynd

first_imgCHETWYND, B.C. – The District of Chetwynd has declared a local state of emergency within the District of Chetwynd because of the heavy rainfall.According to Environment Canada, 79 mm has fallen in the District since noon Wednesday.  The forecast still calls for another 30 to 50 mm of rain in the next 24 hours.“We all need to take measures to ensure our families, structures and livestock are safe at this time.” stated Mayor Merlin Nichols.  The District will provide sandbags at the Public Works yard and will update the District website as new information becomes available.  Their website is www.gochetwynd.com- Advertisement -Road Closure in ChetwyndThe following road will be closed until further notice:  50th Street from 7-11 to Northern Lights College.Road Closure in ChetwyndRoad Closure in ChetwyndPhotos from Chetwynd Photos from Chetwynd - Peace FM Photos from Chetwynd – Peace FM Photos from Chetwynd - Peace FM Photos from Chetwynd – Peace FM 2011 FloodIt is almost 5 years to the day of the last major flood in Chetwynd.  In June 2011, the community suffered serious damage after record rainfall hit the community and the entire North Peace.  Here is a video of the damage from 2011 courtesy of Peace FM.Advertisementlast_img read more