USDA FSIS Thanksgiving Toolkit to Prevent Foodborne Illness

This toolkit is designed to help you get started with your local Thanksgiving campaign.  In this toolkit you will find the materials you can use to promote safe food handling during this season.    

Download now!

 Webinar: Discussion on Food Facility Registration and Qualified Facilities

 Webinar: Discussion on Food Facility Registration and Qualified Facilities, Nov 7, 2018 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada),  This FREE webinar will review the regulations related to food facility registration and the definition of qualified facilities under the Food Safety Modernization Act. Presenters of this webinar include Courtney Buchanan, Program Manager, Food Facility Registration, Food and Drug Administration and  Priya Rathnam, Office of Compliance, Food and Drug Administration. 

When you register, you will be able to ask a question for the panelists. These questions will be addressed by the panelists during their presentations.  

Don’t wait to register for this FREE webinar

This webinar is organized by the University of Vermont Extension in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration.

Statement on the FDA's new consideration of labeling for sesame allergies

The Food and Drug Administration invites data and other information on the prevalence and severity of sesame allergies in the United States and the prevalence of sesame-containing foods sold in the United States that are not required to disclose sesame as an ingredient. We are taking this action to inform possible regulatory action on sesame to protect and promote the public health.  


Submit either electronic or written comments on this document by December 31, 2018.  You may submit comments as follows. Electronic comments must be submitted on or before December 31, 2018. The electronic filing system will accept comments until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time at the end of December 31, 2018. Comments received by mail/hand delivery/courier (for written/paper submissions) will be considered timely if they are postmarked or the delivery service acceptance receipt is on or before that date.   For more information click here.

Romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 Statement

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., issues statement on findings from the romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak investigation and FDA’s efforts to prevent future outbreaks.  Read More…..

FDA to Hold Four Public Meetings to Discuss Draft Produce Safety Rule Guidance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it will hold four one-day public meetings to discuss the recently published draft guidance created to help farmers meet the requirements of the Produce Safety Rule.

The draft guidance, entitled “Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption: Draft Guidance for Industry,” is a compliance and implementation guide that gives information and examples to demonstrate how farmers can meet the rule’s requirements in various ways.  For more information...

NECAFS Hosting Webinars

Just a quick reminder that NECAFS will be hosting two webinars this week and that we hope you'll be able to join us! 
·    Tuesday, October 30th 1:00-2:30pm: Update on FSMA Produce Safety Rule Water Testing Methods: Review of New Guidance (Register Here
·    Thursday, November 1st 10:00-11:30am: Introduction to Hazard Identification and Risk Analysis in Produce (Register Here)

Food Recall – A Review and Resources for the Northeast

WEBINAR RECORDING : Food Recall – A Review and Resources for the Northeast  - Thursday, October 25 at 2 pm EST.  Watch this 60-minute FREE webinar that will review the steps of a food recall, from recall initiation to recall closure, and how the food industry can help when recalls are initiated. The webinar will also provide information on regional resources for the Northeast area.   

For more information, contact ?Omar A. Oyarzabal,  University of Vermont Extension at

Study Describes Recent Patterns in Salmonella Newport Infections

A CDC study published in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease highlights key regional and demographic features of Salmonella enterica serotype Newport infections in the United States. S. Newport is the third most common serotype causing human infections in the United States, representing about 8% of the estimated 1.2 million Salmonella infections in 2013.

Findings from the study, which analyzed 2004–2013 data from four surveillance systems, include:

  • S. Newport infections peaked in 2010, with the highest number occurring in southern states and among children younger than 5 years.
  • Most people were infected with strains that were susceptible to all antibiotics tested.
  • S. Newport outbreaks have been linked to eating produce items and beef. 
  • Overall, 8% of S. Newport strain isolates tested were highly resistant to antibiotics. 

USDA Updates Foodkeeper App

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has updated its FoodKeeper app with a larger selection of foods and beverages, and their storage information. This update adds 85 new food items to the FoodKeeper app, including chorizo, prosciutto, edamame, fresh salsa, canned tuna, cereal bars, and salad dressings.

The app is available for Android and Apple devices. For those who do not have access to a smartphone, the FoodKeeper app can also be accessed at

New Report on Foodborne Disease Outbreaks

In 2016, 839 foodborne disease outbreaks were reported to CDC, according to a recently released annual summary from the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS). The data come from reports that state, local, and territorial public health agencies submitted to the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System using NORS, and includes single-state and multistate outbreaks.

CDC estimates that each year in the United States, about 9.4 million people get ill from 31 known foodborne germs. These illnesses lead to about 56,000 hospitalizations and 1,350 deaths. Although most foodborne illnesses are not part of a recognized outbreak, outbreaks provide important information on the agents (germs, toxins, and chemicals) that cause illness, the foods responsible, and the settings that lead to transmission.

Here are the main findings from the annual summary:

  • Reported foodborne disease outbreaks resulted in 14,259 illnesses, 875 hospitalizations, 17 deaths, and recalls of 18 food products.
  • Norovirus was the most frequently reported cause, with 145 outbreaks and 3,794 outbreak-associated illnesses.
  • Salmonella was the second most common cause, with 132 outbreaks and 3,047 outbreak-associated illnesses.
  • Restaurants were linked to outbreaks more often than any other place where food was prepared, as in previous reports. Restaurants were associated with 459 outbreaks, accounting for 61% of outbreaks that reported a single location where food was prepared. Most of these restaurant outbreaks (363) were reported at establishments offering sit-down dining.
  • The most common food categories linked to outbreaks were:
              o Fish (26 outbreaks)
              o Mollusks, such as oysters and scallops (21 outbreaks)
              o Dairy (19 outbreaks; all involving unpasteurized products)
              o Pork (18 outbreaks)
  • The food categories responsible for the most outbreak-associated illnesses were:
              o Mollusks (529 illnesses)
              o Pork (438)
              o Grains and beans (383)
              o Chicken (356)

See other report highlights >
Read the full report [PDF - 24 pages] >