Pew report critiques Salmonella outbreak response

first_img The PSP’s findings and recommendations are based on an extensive view of outbreak-related public records, including those of the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and congressional hearings. The authors of the 32-page report said in a press release that their goal was to frame questions for public health officials who will review the response to the outbreak, a probe that congressional leaders and produce industry representatives have requested. The PSP is based at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Problems with coordination and capacityAnother shortcoming that came to light was a lack of organization, capacity, and coordination that hurt the effectiveness of the outbreak response, the PSP authors report. They state that their review of the outbreak raises questions as to whether public health agencies shared data in a timely manner and whether poor communication between the agencies could have delayed the identification of peppers as the vehicle for Salmonella contamination. At a House subcommittee hearing on the Salmonella outbreak in late July, David Acheson, MD, the FDA’s associate commissioner of foods, said that the FDA, in proposing its Food Protection Plan last fall, asked for 10 specific legislative authorities, according to a previous report. Of those, “probably the one that’s most important is the one that requires preventive controls [in food production and processing]. That’s absolutely critical across the board,” he said. Jim O’Hara, director of the PSP, said in the statement that the problems identified in the report are nothing new. “Many of these problems have been identified for years by expert body after expert body,” he said. “If we pass up this opportunity to learn from this most recent outbreak, we will keep repeating the same costly mistakes—for public health and industry alike.” However, the document also notes that the FDA’s attempts to enact produce safety regulations as part of its 2007 Food Protection Plan, using its existing authority, have been ignored by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Problems with coordination and capacity showed up in the CDC’s epidemic curve (“epi curve”), the report maintains. When the FDA issued its nationwide advisory about tomatoes on Jun 7, officials originally reported that 145 people had been infected at that time, but the epi curve they issued later showed that more than 800 people—55% of the outbreak total—had illness onsets before that date. Also, the CDC acknowledged that the delays in reporting cases were a sign that response capacity was strained. According to the report, state public health departments acted quickly to respond and inform the CDC, but the CDC could have acted more quickly to inform the FDA, which is responsible for leading multi-agency and trace-back investigations. Also, big, multistate investigations such as the S Saintpaul outbreak reveal a disconnect between the epidemiological and trace-back efforts. Nov 17 Produce Safety Project press release Who has power to mandate produce safety?During the outbreak, FDA officials said mandatory safety controls for produce were needed, but they were waiting on Congress to give them the authority. However, the PSP report says the FDA has used its existing statutory authority before to set Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations: in 1995 for seafood and in 2001 for juice. The report says the FDA has also proposed on-farm safety measures for shell eggs. Nov 17 Produce Safety Project report The epi curve showed a normal bell shape, which suggested that the FDA’s interventions could have been too late or off target, the authors write. See also: The PSP authors write, “The lack of federal action has resulted in a patchwork-quilt approach to fresh produce safety. Moreover, federal inaction may well be eroding public confidence in the safety of the food supply.” Mixed and confusing messagesIn reviewing the public health messages that came from various agencies during the outbreak, the authors concluded that messages were frequent but inconsistent, pointing toward a need for officials to establish risk-communication strategies before an outbreak occurs. For example, a lack of detail about early case clusters hampered the tomato industry’s efforts to determine if there was a connection between illnesses and tomato distribution patterns. Nov 18, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – This past  summer’s nationwide Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak exposed several gaps in the nation’s food safety system, including poor organization and confusing risk communications, the Produce Safety Project (PSP), an initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, said in a report yesterday. O’Hara called on the incoming Obama administration to make mandatory, enforceable safety standards for fresh produce a food-safety priority and to take steps to fix the nation’s broken outbreak response system. “Both actions will go a long way toward safeguarding public health and protecting farmers,” he said. “Because these investigations are conducted by two separate agencies, they tend to be treated as separate processes rather than being seen as two sides of the same coin, needing significant integration,” the report states. As another example, the report says that the CDC changed the way it graphically portrayed outbreak information at several points during the outbreak. “It is troubling that this determination was not made beforehand; it might have minimized the confusion and frustration experienced by state officials, the produce industry, and consumers,” it states. The outbreak, first reported in early June, sickened more than 1,400 people and badly hurt the fresh-tomato industry before authorities determined several weeks into the trace-back investigation that tainted jalapeno and Serrano peppers were the culprits. Jul 31 CIDRAP News story “State models cited as ways to improve outbreak response”last_img read more

Australia sets plan to end most COVID-19 restrictions by July

first_img“You can stay under the doona forever. You’ll never face any danger,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, using an Australian word for quilt. “But we’ve got to get out from under the doona at some time.”Morrison said it will be up to Australia’s various states and territories to decide when to begin implement each stage. Each step will likely be separated by four-week transition.Several states, including Queensland and South Australia, said they will ease restrictions from Monday. The country’s most populated states, which have the most COVID-19 cases, said looser restrictions would not be adopted for several more days at least.Despite the staggered easing, Morrison warned the country should still expect further outbreaks. Flattening unemployment While the lockdown measures have successfully prevented local hospitals being swamped by coronavirus patients, they have taken a devastating toll on the economy.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg estimated the lockdown is costing A$4 billion ($2.6 billion) a week.Australia’s central bank on Friday predicted the country is facing its biggest economic contraction on record, despite pledges from it and the government of A$320 billion ($203 billion) to cushion the economic blow.In its quarterly statement, the Reserve Bank of Australia forecast the A$2 trillion ($1.3 trillion) economy would shrink by 10% in the first half of the year, marking the first recession in three decades.Despite the government subsidizing the wages of about 6 million Australians that keeps them out of unemployment statistics, about 10% of the country’s labor force is also expected to be without a job this year.Morrison, however, said once the three-stage process is implemented, his government expects about 850,000 people will return to work.”We’re now ready to take the first steps forward,” Ross McEwan, CEO of National Australia Bank said in emailed statement.”We’re now also planning for and working through when our colleagues can gradually return.” Australia has had fewer than 7,000 confirmed cases of COVD-19 and fewer than 800 people are still sick with the disease. Almost 100 people have died. Slow and cautious Under the first stage of the plan, restaurants and cafes currently limited to takeaway services will be allowed to reopen, but with a maximum of 10 patrons at a time.”Step 1 is tentative, baby steps into normalization,” Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy told the briefing.If no major outbreaks are recorded states and territories will move to stage two where gyms, cinemas and galleries will be allowed to re-open, although businesses will only be able to have 20 customers at a time.At this point, states that have closed their borders would start to allow some interstate travel, Morrison said.When implemented, stage three will permit gatherings of up to 100 people, allow employees to return to their offices and see the re-opening of nightclubs.All interstate travel will be allowed, along with some limited international travel, including flights between Australia and New Zealand.International students would also potentially be allowed to return to Australia, but would face two weeks in quarantine.center_img Australia will ease social distancing restrictions in a three-step process, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, as Canberra aims to remove most curbs by July and get nearly 1 million people back to work amid a decline in coronavirus cases.Australia in March imposed strict social distancing restrictions, which coupled with the closure of its borders, are credited with drastically slowing the number of new infections of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.With fewer than 20 new infections each day, Morrison said Australian states and territories on Friday agreed a road map to remove most of the curbs. Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal legend Paul Merson tells Manchester United to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and become ‘major force’

first_imgArsenal legend Paul Merson tells Manchester United to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and become ‘major force’ Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterFriday 20 Mar 2020 5:25 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link12.1kShares Merson does not feel losing Aubameyang is quite as bad as Van Persie’s exit (Picture: Getty)‘At that time, it was Arsenal vs Manchester United, theywere both the big teams in England and for Arsenal, it was like selling Unitedthe trophy.‘This is a bit different because you’ve got to look at whereArsenal are at the moment. They are ninth and if Aubameyang leaves, are theygoing to finish lower than ninth next season? No way.‘For me, there’s a lot of weighing up that needs to be done.I know the natural reaction is to think Arsenal won’t be able to replace himand his goals and they must do all they can to keep him, even if it is givinghim £300,000-a-week, but you can’t just look at next season. You’ve got to lookat the all-round picture.‘I’m not saying Aubameyang is not a top-drawer player, heis, but if you are Arsenal and you keep him, are you going to win the PremierLeague? No.’AdvertisementAdvertisementMORE: Arsene Wenger poaches Arsenal’s long-serving analytics guru to join him in new role at FIFAMORE: Hector Bellerin backs himself to be Arsenal captain amid Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang exit fearsFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Commentcenter_img FIFA and WHO team up to give you five ways to tackle spread of coronavirusTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 1:43FullscreenFIFA and WHO team up to give you five ways to tackle spread of coronavirus is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.That has prompted interest from numerous clubs, with Manchester United looking at the possibility of doing a bargain £35million deal – and Merson believes he would be perfect for the Red Devils.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTRead the latest updates: Coronavirus news live‘Aubameyang is what Manchester United are missing. He is a goal scorer and goal scorers are priceless,’ Merson told Sky Sports.‘If you look at United and the way they played againstManchester City a couple of weeks ago, I thought they were very, very good. Youlooked at them and thought they have got a chance, especially if they couldalso get hold of a couple more players, especially a creative midfielder.‘You couldn’t help but be impressed with their performanceand if they were to sign Aubameyang and they also got someone like a JackGrealish, are they big players? They would be a major force, in my opinion.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors‘They are crying out for someone who is going to score them20 to 25 goals, and that’s what Aubameyang can bring.‘He gets you 25 goals without even breaking sweat. Add aGrealish if they can get him and then you’ve got Bruno Fernandes as wellplaying in behind a striker, Manchester United will be a major force.’On comparisons with Robin van Persie’s move from Arsenal toUnited, Merson continued: ‘The Arsenal fans won’t want to see another topstriker depart for Old Trafford, that’s for sure, but the Robin van Persiesituation was a bit different. The Gunners may have to sell their top scorer if he refuses to sign a new deal (Picture: Getty)Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes contractrebel Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is exactly the player Manchester United are ‘cryingout for’ to take them to the next level.The Gabon striker is the second highest scorer in the PremierLeague this season behind only Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy and has beenprolific for the Gunners ever since he joined from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.However, his contract expires next year and Arsenal fearthey will have to sell Aubameyang this summer to avoid losing him for nothing. Advertisementlast_img read more

FRC to ‘expedite’ pension fund accounting-disclosure changes

first_imgThe Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has confirmed it will press ahead as a matter of urgency with finalising its proposed changes to its pension fund Statement of Recommended Practice.An FRC spokesperson told IPE: “We have received very positive responses with those FRS 102 preparers that will be affected by the amendment – namely financial institutions and users of their financial statements, highlighting the benefits it will bring.”He added: “We are in the process of finalising the amendment, with the aim of issuing it in its final form in the first quarter of 2016.”The decision ends a period of uncertainty for pension funds and their advisers as they attempt to finalise their first set of year-end scheme accounts for 2015 under the new UK GAAP regime. Aon Hewitt consultant actuary Martin Lowes told IPE: “It’s reassuring to know they are expecting to proceed quickly. Knowing early that the changes will proceed will avoid a lot of unnecessary work on the part of preparers.“It means, if you have two changes, you have to work out what you’re doing twice, and you end up having to restate for the prior year twice as well, in addition to getting your head around both changes.”The FRC issued an exposure draft (ED) of its now finalised SORP in August 2014.The ED proposed a number of changes to the 2007 version of the SORP.The FRC’s decision to consolidate UK GAAP into a single accounting standard, FRS 102, was the driving force behind the need to update the SORP.FRS 102 is a modified version of the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities.It represents a root-and-branch reform of financial reporting in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.Among the areas of accounting it addresses is accounting by pension funds. The SORP provides a layer of recommended practice on top of those requirements.Since the last update to the SORP in 2007, the UK pensions landscape has seen both the introduction of auto-enrolment and a growing number of pension schemes entering the Pension Protection Fund.The new SORP broadly addresses three areas of pension fund accounting.It scraps the exemption that allowed pension schemes to report an annuity’s value at nil, it introduces a new valuation hierarchy based on IFRS 13, Fair-value Measurement, and it sets out new investment-risk disclosure requirements.The FRC’s move will increase the pressure on scheme trustees to make sure they are able to comply with the new reporting requirements.Towers Watson consultant Andrew Mandley said: “There are still some schemes that are not completely ready for this. It is important trustees be clear who is actually putting these new investment disclosures together.“It would be easy to think someone else is doing it when in fact they are not. The qualitative disclosures link back to strategic decisions made by the scheme trustees, and the success of the exercise depends on relating the quantitative financial risk data to those decisions.”He stressed that it would be a mistake for trustees to think they could leave everything to their investment managers.Philip Briggs, audit director at RSM’s pensions group, painted a similar picture.“The new investment disclosure requirements remain an area where I am not seeing pension scheme accountants producing many examples,” he said.“Responsibility is being passed between pension scheme accountants and investment advisers, and this risks delays in providing draft disclosures for trustees to consider.”Mandley added: “It seems as though some investment managers and custodians are being more helpful than others.“Different providers will provide the necessary information in different formats, so there is still quite a task to compile this into a picture of the whole portfolio.”Meanwhile, the Department for Work and Pensions has yet to finalise the outcome of its recently ended consultation on removing various pension-scheme disclosure requirements.The disclosures were rendered largely redundant with the introduction of FRS 102.Lowes said: “It is just a question of going ahead with the changes to the regulations sooner to avoid any overlap.“I don’t think the extra information will add anything for the user. If anything, it will just confuse them.”last_img read more

EU Backs Baltic Pipe with €215M

first_imgThe Baltic Pipe project, a new, bi-directional offshore gas interconnection between Poland and Denmark, will receive nearly €215 million support from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).Today, EU Member States voted on a Commission proposal to invest almost €800 million in key European energy infrastructure projects with major cross-border benefits.CEF is the European support programme for trans-European infrastructure.To remind, end-November last year, Polish and Danish gas transmission system operators, GAZ-SYSTEM and Energinet, made positive investment decisions and agreed to implement the joint Baltic Pipe project.The pipeline will enable the supply of natural gas from Norway through Denmark to Poland and other countries in the region as well as reverse transmission from Poland to Denmark and Sweden.Energinet and GAZ-SYSTEM have committed to construct overall 900 km long offshore and onshore gas pipeline.Gas transmission should start in October 2022.last_img read more

Kalinago Week to commence on Sunday

first_img Share Share Tweet Share Sharing is caring!center_img LocalNews Kalinago Week to commence on Sunday by: – September 17, 2011 Photo credit: Facebook.comThe Kalinago Council will tomorrow launch its annual Kalinago Week with an opening ceremony and Traditional Kalinago Craft Expo, under the theme “Kalinago Pride: Using Knowledge to Maintain Our Cultural and Heritage.”Kalinago Week is a major annual event for the Kalinago people with events emphasizing cultural pride and celebrating Kalinago traditions. As part of activities for Kalinago Week, Councilor Prosper Paris will visit local Primary Schools in Concord, Atkinson, Salybia and Sineku to present a one hour lecture on Kalinago history and significant events affecting the Kalinago Territory and people, a Community panel discussion, a domino knock-out competition, a health fair, sports day and Miss Kalinago and Princess Natari Pageants.The health fair which will be held at the New Salybia Health Facility will focus on Traditional and Conventional Medicine and will be conducted by medical students from Ross University. Health screenings and checkups, free HIV/AIDS Testing by the National AIDS Response Unit will also be provided as part of the health fair. The traditional Kalinago healers will also be present to provide information on herbal medicinal remedies.The Karina Cultural Group under the guidance of Gerard and Miranda Langlais will host the Miss Kalinago and Princess Natari Pageant Shows. The Miss Kalinago Show will feature four young ladies; fifteen year old Frances Joseph of Sineku, seventeen year old Adelline Auguiste of Crayfish River, sixteen year old Debbie Auguiste of St. Cry, eighteen year old Shirley Mason Bataca and fifteen year old Candecilia Frederick of Mahaut RiverThe Miss Natari Show will feature four princesses; ten year old Nichole Eustace of Bataca, ten year old Kerry-Ann Mingo of Sineku, ten year old Tayonna Tyson of Crayfish River and ten year old Vera Darroux of St Cyr.The week of events will run from the 18th through the 25th of September.Dominica Vibes News 44 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Anse De Mai residents told to police newly refurbished health center

first_img Share Tweet Sharing is caring! Share 20 Views   no discussionscenter_img LocalNews Anse De Mai residents told to police newly refurbished health center by: – May 8, 2012 Hon Matthew Walter (file photo)Parliamentary Representative for the Anse-De-Mai constituency Mathew Walter has urged residents of his community to “police” the newly refurbished Anse De Mai Health CenterThe newly refurbished Anse-De-Mai Health Center which was officially opened recently with repair work costing EC$245,339.00“It is the responsibly of every one of you to police this building and ensure that nobody vandalizes this building. If it were not important, it would not have been there and we would not have invested so much money,” he said.According to Walter, government recognized the health needs of the people and will continue to work in their best interest.“The physical infrastructure is one. It will assist you to look after your health needs. But more critical and fundamental is what health professionals call preventive care”.Walter said he is also concerned about the issue of health care in Dominica.Refurbished Anse-De-Mai hospital“In Dominica we do not have a health care system, but the fact of the matter is that, if we want to reduce the cost of health on government and on the person, measures must be put in place. We have to eat a proper diet. We have to grow our own food in our backyard,” he explained.He said in order to reduce the cost of health, the development of good health habits is essential.“If you want to live a long life, if you want to live a healthy life, you have to cut off old habits such as smoking and drinking,” he added.Dominica Vibes News Sharelast_img read more

Summer Time

first_imgToday we officially start summer in Batesville. School is out, so we will see the bicycles slowly moving down the streets and sidewalks in town. I find it quite interesting to watch the kids as summer begins, progresses, and then winds down. Those first couple of weeks, those too young to have jobs are out and about and you can see the joy on their faces as they know it is quite a while before they will see that school bus on the road. A month into summer vacation and the bikes are less visible and you see kids just lounging around the house or hanging out at the pool. You hear them say, “What is there to do, mom? I am totally bored.” Just maybe you could babysit a younger sibling, mow the grass, clean your room, or go to the library and find a good book to read. Throw that I-pad in the corner and do something constructive. Of course, by late July they have had the summer break and are looking forward to going back to school. For all they complain about it during the year, this is where they really like to be. After all, their friends are there and despite what they say, they really like the routine of school. Most kids this age really cannot handle too much free time. As I said earlier, they really get bored quick. Too bad they don’t have some hay bales to pick up and store in a barn like we used to do. After all, it is summer time and the living is easy.last_img read more

Will we have snow on Christmas? No guarantee

first_img(Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)BATESVILLE, Ind. – There is no promise we will have a white Christmas this year.Early weather models show a chance of rain or snow beginning Monday through Christmas Eve.“On Wednesday, we got a low pressure system moving through the Great Lakes and it is probably going to be above freezing but colder,” National Weather Service forecaster Brian Coniglio said.Coniglio said forecasters are predicting partly sunny skies Christmas Day with seasonally cold temperatures.While the forecast could change, the weather does not look to cause many problems for those who will travel in Southeast Indiana for the holidays.AAA expects nearly 100 million people will travel 50 miles or more next week. Snow storms are possible in other regions of the country which could cause flight delays from airports in the Northeast and upper Midwest.last_img read more

Fanendo Adi joins Columbus Crew

first_imgRelatedPosts Fanendo Adi joins FC Cincinnati Crystal Palace eye Fanendo Adi Columbus Crew have signed Nigerian forward Fanendo Adi off the Major League Soccer waiver list for the 2020 season. The 29-year-old reunites with his former manager at Timbers, Caleb Porter, for the 2020 American top-flight campaign League rivals FC Cincinnati waived Adi on January 17 after he returned just a goal in 12 league outings in the last campaign. He joined Cincinnati as their first designated player from Portland Timbers in August 2018 but his first full campaign was marred by injuries and off-field problems. Since he moved to America in 2014, Adi has scored 57 goals in 144 MLS appearances. Adi is expected to join Columbus Crew in their pre-season preparations before they host New York City at the Mapfre Stadium for their 2020 league opener on March 1.Tags: Caleb PorterColumbus CrewFanendo AdiFC CincinnatiPortland Timberslast_img read more