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. 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Serena begins marathon with exhausting first step

first_img(REUTERS) – Serena Williams shook off some COVID-19 layoff rust to grind out a 7-6(6) 3-6 7-6(0) win over Dutch qualifier Arantxa Rus on Monday to move into the third round of the Western and Southern Open.Williams’ matches are a magnet for fans but with no spectators allowed onto the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds due to COVID-19 safety protocols, the atmosphere inside a steamy Grandstand was one of relief rather than excitement as the 38-year-old American trudged off following the hard-fought victory.“I was fine,” said Williams, when asked about playing without fans in the stands. “At one point I was pumping my fist and saying, “Come on”.“I had a crowd in my head or something. “It was actually funny to me. For me, it was like there was a crowd there.”By the time Williams arrived on court to face her 72nd ranked opponent, she was the highest seed left in the women’s draw after number one Karolina Pliskova and number two Sofia Kenin lost their opening matches on Sunday.And Williams needed to draw on all her experience and survival instincts to ensure she did not join them at the exit as Rus put the former world number one through a near three-hour workout. All four matches Williams has played since the WTA Tour restarted following the COVID-19 hiatus have gone to three-sets.Monday marked the first exhausting day in what could be a three-week tennis marathon for Williams, who will be hoping her long search to win an elusive 24th grand slam title — and equal Margaret Court’s record tally — will end on Sept. 12 with victory in the U.S. Open final.Down 6-5 in the third set and with Rus serving for the match, a drained Williams looked down for the count but she picked herself up to break the Dutchwoman to force a deciding tiebreak. She then moved in for the kill to win it 7-0. After working her way into the main draw through qualifying, Rus came in match sharp while Williams looked sluggish on a hot and humid New York afternoon. She spent much of the first set trying to tame a misfiring forehand.While Williams fitness has been questioned, her fighting spirit has never been in doubt and never more than in the third set.Despite showing signs of fatigue, Williams insisted she was fit and ready for the task ahead. “I’m actually super fit and I’m super ready,” assured Williams. I feel like I’m ready for anything.”last_img read more

Roundup

first_imgThe following incidents were reported in the USC Dept. of Public Safety incident report summary between Saturday, Sept. 8 and Sunday, Sept 9. Crimes against a personat 8:52 p.m. on Sept. 9, a student reported that he was struck in the arm by a bottle that was thrown from Jefferson Boulevard and Orchard Street while he was walking near the location. The student did not know who might have thrown the bottle and did not desire criminal prosecution of the matter.Crimes against propertyat 8:22 p.m. on Sept. 9, DPS officers responded to a report of a suspect prowling bicycles near 2833 Menlo Ave., but were unable to locate him during a subsequent search of the area. An unsecured and unattended bike was recovered at the scene and turned in to DPS’s lost and found after the owner could not be located.at 11:19 A.m. on Sept. 9,  a student reported that he discovered his wallet was missing and subsequently learned that a suspect had used his ATM card to make an unauthorized withdrawal from his bank account.Miscellaneous incidentsat 8:22 p.m. on Sept. 9, DPS officers responded to an intoxicated student who passed out on the ground near 30th Street and Orchard Avenue. The student was unresponsive when contacted by the officers, so an LAFD RA unit was requested. RA Unit #15 responded and examined the student, then transported her to Olympia Hospital for medical treatment.at 11:43 p.m. on Sept. 8, DPS officers on routine patrol were flagged down by a non-USC male who complained of a loud party at 1150 30th St. The officers contacted the student hosting the party, who then turned off the music and moved his guests indoors without further incident.last_img read more

Men’s basketball tops Utah after tribute to Kobe Bryant

first_imgMany of USC’s recent games have gone down to the wire, and this outing was no different. Utah had the ball down 2 points with 20 seconds to go, and it looked like the game could see overtime. “It’s a tough one to swallow for sure,” Utah head coach Larry Krystkowiak said of the loss. “We didn’t make enough shots.” Players and students alike donned Kobe shirts as the arena engaged in a 24.8-second moment of silence to honor the nine lives lost. Sophomore guard Elijah Weaver blows by a Utah defender on his way to the basket. Weaver finished with 14 points, the only bench player to score for USC. (James Wolfe | Daily Trojan) However, freshman forward Onyeka Okongwu — who had been fairly silent with just 8 points from the field — blocked a potential game-tying shot with six seconds left, drew a foul and nailed both free throws to seal the deal for USC. “I always respected Kobe’s game,” senior forward Nick Rakocevic said. “The biggest thing was everything he did off the court … Tonight was for him. I’m glad we won for him.” Despite USC’s offensive woes, the team kept itself within striking distance largely thanks to Rakocevic, who had 12 points and five boards through the first 20 minutes. The big man finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds, marking his seventh double-double this season. “At the beginning of the game, when I noticed we were flat and we came off to a rough start, I thought, ‘I gotta get things going for my team,’” Rakocevic said. “So I feel like right after I hit the first three, it just kind of opened up my game a little bit more.” It was the team’s first game since the tragic passing of Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others in a helicopter accident Sunday. “Just be aggressive,” Weaver said of his mindset entering the game. “I think that’s my new role. We’ve been talking about sixth-man stuff, just coming off the bench and bringing energy. That’s all it was, just energy and confidence.” “We’ve got a lot of close games,” Enfield said. “Those are all really good basketball teams, and we’re 4-1 in those games. It’s a credit to our players — we defend and we get some stops.”center_img Senior forward Nick Rakocevic hit a game-winner with 20 seconds left against Utah at Galen Center Friday. Rakocevic picked up an impressive 16 points and 15 rebounds in the win, leading both teams. (James Wolfe | Daily Trojan) USC head coach Andy Enfield said he is pleased with the way his team has played defense against tough opponents, allowing them to win tight battles. The teams played different styles of offense throughout the night. The Utes relied on their starters for a collective effort — four starters scored 10-plus points, while their bench contributed just 2. The Trojans’ defense frustrated Utah’s shooters, who shot just 18-for-55 on the night. After an extremely difficult week for the basketball community, USC honored NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s legacy in Los Angeles with a 56-52 win over Utah Thursday at Galen Center. With the win, USC moves to 17-4, already surpassing its 16 total wins last season. The Trojans also boast a 6-2 record in conference play, putting them at second in the Pac-12 behind Oregon.  The Trojans struggled to get going, missing shot after shot in the first half. Senior guard Jonah Mathews, who averaged 16.6 points through the previous three games, was held scoreless on five attempts. The team consistently misfired from 3-point range, going 1-for-8 in the half. For the Trojans, it was sophomore guard Elijah Weaver’s play off the bench that made a difference in the second half. Weaver had 10 points after halftime, including two clutch 3-pointers that brought the energy up in Galen Center. The team will take on No. 4 Colorado Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Galen Center. The Buffaloes will look to get back on track after a Thursday upset loss at UCLA.last_img read more

Golovkin-Adama to be telecast in over 100 countries excluding the USA

first_imgSaturday’s big Gennady Golovkin-Osumanu Adama WBA/IBO world middleweight championship fight in Monte Carlo will be shown in over 100 countries, it was announced Friday by the promoters of Monte Carlo Boxing Bonanza.Boxing fans in Australia, Austria, the Baltic States, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France/Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latin America, the Middle East, Poland, Russia, Scandinavia, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, Spain, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, can all see the fight, but unless something changes very quickly, American fight fans will be left out in the cold.HBO, the network that has Golovkin under contract, opted to show another replay of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” rather than pick up the live international feed of Golovkin-Adama.Considering that Golovkin’s most recent fight against Curtis Stevens was HBO’s third highest rated boxing match for 2013 averaging 1.4 million viewers, it’s hard to fathom why the network would reject this chance to showcase one of its biggest stars.last_img read more