Groups chart ways to improve foodborne illness probes

first_img “Just the fact that the meeting was held was an important sign that the issue is being taken seriously,” he said. Coalition offers resourcesTim Jones, MD, state epidemiologist for the Tennessee Department of Health, attended the meeting and gave the group an overview of projects launched by the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR). The group is led by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. It receives funding from the CDC and collaborates with a host of other federal agencies and public health organizations. The FSIS plans to publish reports on the meeting and exercise within the next few months, he said. For example, he said the group learned that local authorities need to know more specific details when food products are recalled in the event of an illness outbreak. “Sometimes they don’t hear from federal or state officials” and don’t know what has been recalled, he said. CIFOR’s work is one example of how seriously public health groups are taking the need to improve outbreak investigations, Jones said. Others include the EpiReady program, which teaches authorities how to conduct investigations, and various tabletop exercises. David Goldman, assistant administrator in the FSIS office of public health, told CIDRAP News that the 2-day event sparked robust discussions about a range of topics. “What we wanted the presenters to do was be candid about the problems they confront,” he said. The meeting was held in St Louis on May 15 and was followed the next day by a tabletop exercise that simulated a multistate Escherichia coli outbreak involving ground beef. The 2-day event was attended by officials from the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Food and Drug Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plus state and local public health officials, food industry groups, university researchers, and consumer groups. Goldman said the tabletop exercise afterward was useful because it raised all of the concerns that had been discussed during the meeting. “And people who were unfamiliar with outbreak investigations learned a lot about them. It illuminated the problems and the obstacles,” he said. Some participants shared their frustrations about difficulties in getting information from regulatory agencies and industry. “Some of the information can’t be shared readily due to the laws that regulatory agencies operate under,” Hedberg said. Apr 25 USDA press release on outbreak investigation meeting (Problems in the dissemination of food safety information were the topic of a lengthy report released yesterday by a group called the Food Safety Research Consortium. See May 22 story link below for more information.) Oct 23, 2007, CIDRAP News story “USDA announces plans to reduce E coli contamination in ground beef” Recall messages could be better crafted to reflect more clearly that the recalled product is harmful and should not be consumed, Hedberg said. “The focus should be on the desired behavior of the consumer.” May 23, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Federal agencies that play key food safety roles recently held a public meeting to clarify the obstacles public health officials encounter in investigating foodborne disease outbreaks and to build support for measures to improve the process. Craig Hedberg, PhD, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, attended the meeting and took part in the tabletop exercise. He said the discussions were useful for charting the patterns that have occurred in outbreak investigations and fleshing out plans for improving them. Jones said CIFOR, now in its third year, has established an online source for questionnaires and outbreak training resources, has developed guidelines for multistate outbreak investigations, and is working on several other initiatives. Hedberg said that though many important issues were raised at the meeting, it’s clear that quick fixes are unrealistic. “Part of it is changing people’s normal work patterns. A lot of it is culture change that has to occur across the system,” he said. “Everyone is in theory committed to better communication and more transparency—the devil is in the details.” The FSIS had announced that it would explore how to improve outbreak investigations last October, as it unveiled measures to address a spike in E coli outbreaks linked to ground beef. See also: Whether a food recall is voluntary or mandatory is largely a technical issue, he said. However, focusing on whether a recall is voluntary or mandatory can lead some of the public to think that the associated outbreak isn’t an important public health problem. Hedberg also said a focus on the role of local officials was a useful outcome of the meeting. “People from local departments describe how they feel left out of larger multistate outbreak investigations, but local agencies are the ones interviewing the cases,” he said. “And sometimes it’s not apparent why the case should be at the top of their priorities.” Other issues that were raised at the meeting, Hedberg said, included the need to improve methods for assessing case-patients’ food exposures and the view of some experts that food recalls, as currently administered, don’t convey an adequate level of warning to consumers. May 22 CIDRAP News story “Experts propose steps to ease food safety info flow” All outbreaks start locallyOne of the major themes that participants emphasized was the important role of local public health officials, Goldman said. “Outbreak investigations can be quite complex, but everything starts locally with one or two cases,” he said. CIFOR Web sitelast_img read more

Mayo crush Donegal

first_img Cillian O’Connor helped himself to a hat-trick of goals as the westerners gained revenge for last year’s defeat in the decider, as they romped to a semi-final clash with Tyrone. Mayo stunned the Sam Maguire Cup holders with two goals inside the opening 13 minutes. Press Association First O’Connor rifled to the net, then centre back Donal Vaughan joined the attack to round off a flowing move with a close range finish. Mayo held a massive 12 points lead, 2-10 to 0-4, at half-time, and pushed on with two more O’Connor goals. Colm McFadden pulled back a consolation goal for Donegal with just a minute to play. Kerry set up an All-Ireland SFC semi-final clash with Dublin by defeating Cavan by 0-15 to 0-9 at Croke Park. But it was an unconvincing display by the Munster men, who struggled against the rank outsiders, who dominated the second half Kerry controlled the first period, leading by 0-11 to 0-2 at the break, with points from Colm Cooper (4)and Johnny Buckley (3). Cavan fought back with courage, and points from Niall McDermott and Eugene Keating narrowed the gap, but Kerry held on, despite scoring just four points in the second half, Cooper top-scoring with six. center_img Mayo overwhelmed defending champions Donegal by 4-17 to 1-10 in a remarkably one-sided All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park.last_img read more

Worden Park Raceway to host first annual Kansas Karting Series race on Saturday

first_imgSubmitted to Sumner Newscow — Worden Park Raceway will be hosting the first annual Kansas Karting Series race this Saturday.Race Qualifying starts at 5 p.m. with features following. Spectator area is free of charge. Driver and crew area is $10 entry fee.This event will bring Racers from Kansas and neighboring states to Welllington this weekend.Classes this weekend are:RookieJunior AmateurJunior 1 Heavy – FlatheadJunior 2 Heavy – FlatheadStock HeavyAnimal HeavyClone 370OHV Box StockOHV EconomyJunior 1 LightJunior 2 LightStock MediumAnimal MediumClone 350 Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (3) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +3 Vote up Vote down Rolling Stone · 378 weeks ago sure wish the new hotel/motel was open. sunshine inn, Chisholm motel, oak tree and troutman motel should be packed. jump start and both casey’s will probably run out of ice because of business, which is a good thing. eating establishments should be full, sure thought I would have seen some advertisement or racing specials from the food business’. anyway, good luck racers and good harvest wellington business’. Report Reply 0 replies · active 378 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Jodie · 378 weeks ago KOA has cabins. Ice until 830 pm when store closes. Report Reply 1 reply · active 377 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Rolling Stone · 377 weeks ago I forgot. Thanks for the reminder. Excellent place to stay. Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Saunders gallery opens with Hellenic tributes

first_imgAfter a rain-soaked and Indigenous-themed Remembrance Day ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, hundreds stayed on for the opening of the Captain Reg Saunders Gallery – the first space in the memorial ever to be named after an individual. Captain Saunders served in North Africa, Greece, Crete and New Guinea during WWII, before serving in the Korean War as a captain – the first Indigenous commissioned officer in the Australian Army. Those on the VIP guest list for the gallery-naming ceremony included top-ranking defence force chiefs and more than 60 of Reg Saunders’ extended family. Greek Australian community leaders were also much in evidence with representatives attending from the ACT, NSW and Victoria. Memorial director Brendan Nelson said the memorial’s council voted unanimously to name the space after Captain Saunders. “Only one person is going to have his name on anything inside the Australian War Memorial – that’s Reg Saunders,” Dr Nelson said, in an emotional speech that paid tribute to Saunders’ central role in the story of Aboriginal reconciliation in Australia. In her speech, Glenda Humes, Captain Saunders’ eldest surviving daughter, paid particular tribute to the Cretan people during WWII who gave her father sanctuary for almost a year after the Battle of Crete. “His experience there, as a young soldier on the run, and the courage and generosity of the Greeks he met, influenced who he became,” said Ms Humes, “and our family will always be grateful for what they did.” During the ceremony Ms Humes presented Dr Nelson with her father’s military medals, which will become part of the memorial’s collection. They include the medal bestowed on Saunders (and other Australian soldiers who fought in the Greece and Crete campaigns) by the Greek government. Reg Saunders’ daughter said she and her family were overwhelmed by the decision of the AWM to rename the gallery. “We thought, ‘what an honour’, particularly when [Dr Nelson] told us that this is the first time a room in the memorial has been named after somebody,” she said. “You think, ‘wow, that’s my dad’. You don’t always see your dad in the way other people do.” Ms Humes also donated to the memorial a collection of her father’s wartime private letters. George Katheklakis, President of the Cretan Association of Canberra and Districts, told Neos Kosmos: “The vision of the AWM is tremendous in recognising Reg Saunders’ service in this way, and in doing so, making a bold step forward in the process of reconciliation. “Glenda Humes spoke very movingly about the bonds forged between her father and Greece in the war, and it was a great privilege to be at what was a historic occasion.” Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more