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

If you don’t have this with you, you won’t be allowed to bid at auction

first_imgIt doesn’t matter how much you want to pay, if you can’t register, you can’t bid, according to Haesley Cush.BUYING a property at auction has changed over the past ten years and considering most people only buy once every ten years, that can mean a lot of confusion at the registration table.Firstly, there is now a registration table. When bidding at an auction in Queensland a buyer must first register. This is where I see the most drama. To register you need to produce identification – a driver’s license or passport – then verify the entity you are wanting to buy in and then those authorised people need to sign the registration card.What causes the drama is the high number of people that turn up to buy for their partner, friend or otherwise without any paperwork that gives them authority to do so.This can lead to those buyers being excluded from bidding and a lot of heartache for the sellers and agents too.If you want to bid at an auction ask the agent what they need for you to register. Talk to your accountant or adviser and work out which entity to want to buy the property in.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach Northless than 1 hour agoNew apartments released at idyllic retirement community Samford Grove Presented by Will it be your name, your partner’s name, both names or a company/trust? This must all be established before you register and either all parties must sign the bidding card or a document that they have signed must be produced verifying that you can sign for them. It’s thirsty work!The other minor pain points are around deposit and settlement. The deposit amount and settlement times are announced at the start of the auction.This means if you need a lesser deposit or a longer settlement you can be in trouble if you buy the property. Again it’s crucial you let your agent know the deposit and the settlement period that you need prior to the auction, and some confirmation stating it’s approved to avoid any issues at the auction.The reason this all needs clearing up before the auction is because in Queensland once the property is knocked down to you, you’ve bought it on the announced terms and they can’t be easily changed.My tip is to email to the agent prior to the auction the entity that you want to buy in, the deposit you need including how you will be paying it and your preferred settlement date.Then ask them to email you confirmation. Doing this will allow them time to advise you on what they require, to get any approval from the seller and then ensure no one has any added stress on the big day.last_img read more

How Kobe Bryant’s incredible journey with the Lakers turned a ‘hater’ into an admirer

first_img (Getty Images) I’m sure I had a common reaction when the news surfaced that Kobe Bryant had died in a helicopter crash Sunday morning.Disbelief came first. Denial came second. And finally, sadness and grief. The city of Los Angeles is hurting right now. It is in a daze. I saw people weeping in the streets. I was one of them. Most Angelenos never had the chance to meet the man. We could only watch his accomplishments from afar. And yet, the news of his death was a punch to the gut. It feels like we’ve lost a part of our family.MORE: Sports world reacts to Kobe Bryant’s deathFor a younger generation, Kobe was our Michael Jordan. He entered our living rooms at the perfect time. Someone was needed to fill the void left by MJ, and even though we didn’t know it at the time, we found that someone in Bryant.He joined the league in 1996 out of high school as a scrawny kid oozing with confidence. We watched him grow up in front of our eyes. We watched him and Shaquille O’Neal take over LA (and the entire NBA) and win three championships. We watched as his feud with Shaq played out publicly. He won two more championships without O’Neal, and further cemented his legacy in a city that has grown accustomed to greatness.As I sit and watch the highlights and tributes, it allows me to think about the relationship, albeit from afar, that I had with Kobe Bryant. It’s a strange one. My father is from the East Coast. There was no love for the Lakers in my house. In fact, there was hatred — and Kobe received the brunt of that hatred. I’ll remember the few short years after his retirement when I deeply missed watching him play at Staples Center as he started a new chapter in his life off the court. He showed us that he was capable of anything, winning an Oscar in 2018 for his animated short film “Dear Basketball.”Kobe, and his daughter Gianna, are no longer with us. Tears will be shed for quite some time. But we’ll always remember what he gave to the game of basketball, what he gave to the fans and what he gave to the city of Los Angeles.So from a former hater, a final message to the Mamba: Thank you, Kobe. Every season for 20 years, I watched 82 games of Lakers basketball, always praying they’d find a way to go down. Kobe was always at the forefront. I hated that he coined the term “Mamba Mentality.” I hated that incredible and unstoppable turnaround jumper. I hated that he had an 81-point game. I hated that no matter the score, I always had that sick feeling in my stomach knowing that Kobe wasn’t going to let his Lakers lose.And yet, as the years passed, I felt the “sports hate” that I had for Kobe begin to fade. I slowly realized, begrudgingly, that not only did I have immense respect for him, but I also admired him.He was everything I wanted in an athlete. His work ethic was legendary. The famous 5 a.m. gym sessions, countless hours spent perfecting his game, an absolute devotion to winning at all costs — his singular focus on the game he loved was intoxicating. I wanted to believe I would have been the same way if given the opportunity to stand in his Nike shoes.MORE: Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and a legacy-starting 1998 All-Star GameHe struck fear in my heart when the game was on the line. Players say they want the shot at the end of the game, but do they really want the pressure of the final possession? Not only did Kobe want the shot, but you were convinced it was going in. When you watch an athlete deliver again and again on the biggest stage, you can’t help but learn to love it.I’ll always remember Kobe as the greatest basketball player of my generation. I’ll remember the incredible respect he garnered from his peers and the reverence the younger players showed him. I’ll remember standing and screaming at the TV for Kobe to keep shooting in the last game of his career.last_img read more

UG to establish 1st Diaspora Engagement Centre

first_img– preparing to host inaugural Diaspora Conference in JulyThe University of Guyana (UG) will be hosting its inaugural Diaspora Engagement Conference (DEC) next month, and one of the major highlights of the six-day event will be a proposal for the establishment of a local Diaspora Centre.The conference is expected to provide a platform for fine-tuning a strategy that will outline the way forward to establish the first Caribbean Diaspora Engagement Centre.This project is being spearheaded by UG, and according to Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, the concept paper will be distributed and discussed at the conference, scheduled for July 23rd to 28th.Mexican Ambassador Ivan Roberto Sierra-Medel; UG Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith and UG official, Dr Fitzgerald Yaw at Thursday’s press conference“The idea is to enable a permanent entity that can facilitate a variety of things over time. One of the things that we’re looking to have that entity facilitate is linkages between university and the diaspora; Guyana beyond the university and the diaspora,” he stated.The Centre is expected to institutionalise engagement in research, outreach and talent management, among other things.“(It) will facilitate maintenance of a talent databank. We, for example, have Guyanese across the world, including in Antarctica, but we don’t have a central database of where the talent is, and who’s interested in doing what. One of the things we will be asking the centre to do is to manage that,” Professor Griffith said.To this end, the Vice Chancellor outlined that those discussions on the concept paper that will be held during the conference will pave the way forward in terms of both the structure and mission of the centre.He added that conversations on funding for the Diaspora Centre have already commenced with several organisations, including the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). “I don’t want to say much more than that, but it will be an opportunity for the University of Guyana to extend partnerships across Guyana and the rest of the world,” the UG Vice Chancellor stated.Professor Griffith added that other matters, such as location and directorship, will be determined down the line.In the meanwhile, it was noted that this centre will not be duplicating the function of the Diaspora Unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the two will work alongside each other to create synergies.In fact, Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives at UG, Dr Fitzgerald Yaw, pointed out that the conference will be a platform for Government to talk about its own diaspora engagement strategy.“Right now, a Cabinet sub-committee is reviewing a Government of Guyana Diaspora Engagement Strategy. We had actually asked Government to officially launch that strategy at the conference… but they will definitely be talking about that Diaspora Engagement Strategy at the conference,” the UG official said.Dr Yaw further posited that with Guyana having significant political division, it is felt that such a centre at UG is a good location to have the diaspora work together towards developing this country without any political influence or interference.It is anticipated that the Diaspora Engagement Centre will be established and operational on a phased basis from September.On the other hand, the six-day conference will be held at the Ramada Princess Hotel under the theme: “Dreaming Diaspora Engagement, Doing Diaspora Engagement”. It is expected that some 150 participants from within and outside of Guyana will attend.The conference will be focused on two main overreaching pillars: human, social and entrepreneurship development; and diaspora philanthropy, diplomacy and educational engagement.At the press conference on Thursday, Vice Chancellor Griffith noted that this event will not be a traditional conference. There will be a mixture of both local and diaspora speakers, as well as presentations from politicians, businessmen and academics.“We’re spending a week doing a variety of things, only two days of which are the traditional conversations. But those conversations are not only by academics. We have businessmen, civic society, diplomats, government and political officials as part of the mix,” the Vice Chancellor noted.The academic conversations will focus on issues such as international and regional migration policies and experiences, cultural identity dynamics, financial transfers and remittances, role and contribution of hometown associations, diaspora trade and investments, and tourism.Moreover, coming out of the conference, the university is not only expecting monetary funding, but for Guyanese in the diaspora to open opportunities.“Part of it is monetary, part of it is non-monetary – its opening doors… So it’s how can diaspora Guyanese and non-Guyanese help to give not only financially, but time, talent, opening doors to help us connect, to help our students, our faculty, and help our university overall,” he stated.The conference will also feature a ‘Know Guyana Day’ with visits to several landmarks across the country, and will conclude with an investiture ceremony and a cultural extravaganza. The conference, which is the brain-child of the Vice Chancellor, has received support from the business community as well as several government ministries and agencies. The Mexican Embassy is also a major supporter of UG.Persons wanting to participate in the conference can sign up online at http// read more

Christy Clark’s LNG export environmental benefits being questioned

first_imgSo the study authors also contend that particular attention should be paid to reducing methane leakage during transportation and greenhouse gases vented during natural gas processing, arguing there’s a need for a better understanding of how much gas escapes along the whole supply chain.That said however, it should also be noted, the government has taken some action on methane, committing in its new climate plan, released at the end of last week, to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas production by 45%. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – It’s likely safe to speculate that the Toronto-based C.D Howe Institute has removed itself from the Christmas shopping list of BC Premier Christy Clark.The independent not-for-profit research institute has this week released a study which raises doubts about the overseas environmental benefits resulting from the development of a Canadian LNG industry.The Premier has long argued, as have many LNG project proponents, BC LNG exports to Asia will help replace coal and oil-fired power production making a global carbon contribution.- Advertisement -However the study authors claim, while LNG exports could reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions in China, India, Japan and Taiwan, in 9 of Canada’s likely 13 export markets, emissions would likely go up because those countries have greater supplies of renewable and lower emission power sources.So they’ve concluded that overall it’s “far from certain” that Canadian LNG exports would have the touted global carbon reduction impact, and they also recommend the Clark government focus on reducing emissions in BC.The development of exportable LNG requires power to cool it into a liquid, as well as energy for the tankers that would carry it, to overseas gas-fired powered plants.Advertisementlast_img read more