Raymond acknowledged deep concern about the recent spate of foodborne disease outbreaks but said he had expanded the USDA’s inspection and testing program to combat it, according to the story. “The measures are a reflection of our concern about the Canadian inspection system based on the audit findings of May 1June 6, 2007, and the circumstances related to the unsafe practices employed by Rancher’s Beef, Ltd.,” the Balzac, Alta., packing plant whose products were linked to the contaminated Topps ground beef, James wrote. The increased inspections, ground beef testing for E coli, and testing of ready-to-eat products “will be at the rate of approximately double that of the past year for Canada,” James’s letter states. Nov 8, 2007 (CIDRAP News) Starting tomorrow, US inspection and testing of imported Canadian meat and poultry products will roughly double and will include a category of beef products that has not previously been subject to testing, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said today. Begin E coli testing of raw beef trim, boxed beef, and “subprimals” (smaller cuts of meat from the major carcass components, such as loin, chuck, and round) normally sent for grinding See also: The expanded program will continue while two USDA teams finishing inspecting the Rancher’s Beef facility, seven other Canadian facilities that were flagged for problems in the last USDA audit, and some slaughter plants that are similar to the Alberta facility in their “start-up and operations,” James wrote. Raymond said the FSIS has adequate tools to ensure food safety and does not need legislation granting mandatory product recall authority, according to a CongressDaily report today. (In contrast, this week the Bush administration, in a new food protection plan prepared by the Food and Drug Administration, said the FDA needs the authority to compel food recalls.) The USDA announced Nov 3 it would increase inspections and testing of Canadian products this week, after beef trim from an Alberta meat producer was implicated in an E coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to ground beef sold by Topps Meat Co. of Elizabeth, N.J. But in the initial announcement the agency gave few details about the testing plan. The USDA released more information today in a letter from Dr. William James of the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The letter, published online by the FSIS, said the agency would: Testifying before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry, Raymond said, “We think our present system works well,” and added that meat processors have always cooperated with the USDA on recalls, the report said. “In two recent cases FSIS acted upon epidemiological evidence that linked illness to opened, FSIS-inspected product found in consumers’ freezers, where previously, we believed the agency needed a test result from an intact or unopened package because of the possibility of cross-contamination [from other foods],” he was quoted as saying. He said that product lots will be held at import houses until samples test negative for pathogens. If a sample tests positive, the lot it came from will be rejected. However, FSIS “will consider submitted alternatives to holding product at import houses pending test results,” the letter says. Policy change revealedRaymond said the E coli outbreak traced to Topps Meat has prompted one particular change in the FSIS’s policies, according to a report today by Meatingplace.com. James also said the new precaution of testing beef trim, boxed beef, and subprimals normally destined for grinding will be permanent and will be extended to all exporting countries starting at the beginning of 2008. Oct 29 CIDRAP News story “E coli in Topps beef traced to Canadian firm”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/oct2907beef.html Increase testing of raw ground beef for E coli O157:H7 Increase testing of ready-to-eat products for Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella Raymond also said he didn’t believe “risk-based inspection” would have prevented the Topps outbreak, according to Meatingplace.com. Risk-based inspection is the name for a USDA proposal to focus more of its attention on meat and poultry plants that have weak safety records. FSIS letter about increased testing of Canadian productshttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Canada_O157_Testing_Letter.pdf “I believe that we need to take additional time to strengthen our system and our data collection capabilities before moving forward” with risk-based inspection, Raymond was quoted as saying. Increase inspections of Canadian meat, poultry, and pasteurized egg products Nov 5 CIDRAP News story “USDA to increase testing of Canadian meat”http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/fs/food-disease/news/nov0507beef.html Official defends FSIS recordIn related news, the FSIS’s handling of meat recalls was defended by USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond in testimony before a congressional committee yesterday. E coli contamination has prompted 19 meat recalls so far this year, compared with eight for all of last year. The Topps recall involved more than 21 million pounds of ground beef and forced the company out of business.
Thiruvananthapuram: Captain Manish Pandey and Shivam Dube produced power-packed knocks to pave the way for India A’s four-wicket win over South Africa A in the third unofficial ODI in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, giving the hosts an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.Dube smashed an unbeaten 45 off 28 balls while Pandey plundered 81 off 59 balls as India A overcame a poor start to win the rain-affected match rather comfortably in the end. Chasing 208 in 30 overs, India A reached the target in 27.5 overs.India A was in a spot of bother at 25 for 3 in the 7th over, having lost Ruturaj Gaikwad (1), Ricky Bhui (0) and Krunal Pandya (13) before Ishan Kishan (40 off 41 balls) and Pandey steadied the ship.The aggressive Jharkhand southpaw Kishan, who starred in the second match, again underlined his talent with a fluent knock.Pandey, who started rather slowly, opened up after Kishan fell to left-arm spinner George Linde. The Karnataka right-hander smashed five sixes and powered the team’s chase. Dube, who walked in at the fall of Nitish Rana (13), added 41 runs with Pandey. The skipper fell to a catch by Lutho Sipamla off left-arm spinner Bjorn Fortuin.India A needed 32 runs from as many deliveries at this stage but Dube’s pyrotechnics helped the team romp home with 13 balls remaining.Linde and the pacy Anrich Nortje took two wickets each for South Africa A.Earlier, ’keeper Heinrich Klaasen hit a 21-ball 44 to set up South Africa A’s total.There were also useful contributions from Janneman Malan (37), Matthew Breetzke (36) and captain Temba Bavuma (27). Deepak Chahar and Krunal Pandya took two wickets each.The visiting team looked set for a much bigger total before the India A bowlers pulled things back in the last few overs. Deepak Chahar bowled a superb final over, giving away just three runs.Manish Pandey was named man of the match.Brief scores: South Africa A 207 for 8 in 30 overs (H Klaasen 44, J Malan 37, M Breetzke 36, Krunal Pandya 2/23, D Chahar 2/42) lost to India A 208 for 6 in 27.5 overs (M Pandey 81, Shivam Dube 45 not out, Ishan Kishan 40, A Nortje 2/41, G Linde 2/41). IANSAlso Read: Feels good to get Pujara as my first Test wicket: Rahkeem CornwallAlso Watch:Assam Medical Service Association & IMA staged 24 hr strike in Tinsukia