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AFDOSS Summer 2016 Newsletter

AFDOSS Secretary - Treasurer Announcement
 
 
We are excited to announce that the votes were unanimous for Craig Nielsen to fill the AFDOSS Secretary-Treasurer position. 
 
Craig was raised in the metro-Atlanta area and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from North Georgia College and State University.  In 2001, he began working for the Food Safety Division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture as an Agriculture Sanitarian.  After five years of being a field inspector, Craig was promoted to Agriculture Manager over Complaints, Recalls, and Label/Blueprint Reviews.  Shortly thereafter, he began working as the Food Safety Division’s Operations Analyst, where he oversaw the implementation of computerized inspection software.  In 2008, Craig was selected to be the Market Manager of the Atlanta State Farmers’ Market.  He returned to the Food Safety Division in April of 2011, where he had oversight of the Retail Food Program.  Craig was accepted into the International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) Fellowship in Food Protection Cohort 2, and graduated the program at the 2012 Association of Food and Drug Officials annual conference.  In September of 2012, he became manager over the newly formed Regulatory Affairs Section, encompassing the Food Safety Division’s training and audit functions.  In October 2013, Craig was named Associate Director of the Food Safety Division.
 
Craig is an active member of AFDOSS and participates as Member and Chair of several AFDOSS & AFDO Committees.  He regularly assists with the audio visual equipment and other tasks as necessary during the AFDOSS Educational Conferences.  Craig is an organized person who takes great pride in providing accurate and detailed information.  Craig is an excellent addition to the AFDOSS Board!
 
We are so thankful for all the hard work and support Mary Logan aka "Ms. AFDOSS" has provided AFDOSS and the members over the years to help develop the BEST affiliate group.  We look forward to Mary providing many years of continued support, direction, and leadership moving forward.   Craig and Mary have already begun the transfer of knowledge and information for a smooth transition.
 
Thanks everyone for your support!
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Fall meeting – September 11 – 14, 2016 in Gatlinburg, TN!
 
 
Natalie Adan
 
Retired Association of Food and Drug Officials of the Southern States
(RAFDOSS)


 
So what is that all about anyway?    One Word,   Mary;     Two Words, Mary Logan.    I just know she would have a fit if she knew I was writing this.   But she has a lot to do with why I joined AFDO and then AFDOSS in the beginning and certainly why I agreed to chair this retired arm (or leg) of the Association. 

The news of the year for our group is that she retired from the position with AFDOSS but certainly not from RAFDOSS.   It is not allowed.   Once you are a part of our group;   there is only one way off of the committee or out of the group.    Think about it,   you will get it eventually. 

Now that our NEWS is out there,   I can only remind you that the retirees are always looking for new and different ways to raise funds for the Mary Logan Scholarship fund.   We have had record years in the past with $7000 raised in a single fall auction from our generous member’s support of this worthwhile cause of supporting young scholars, future scientists and future leaders in public health.   Our auction works well because we know our market.   We know what sells and better yet we know who buys.      

Put on your thinking caps and sit back to ponder (that is what we do when retired –sit back and ponder) what you can bring to these conferences to get someone you know to open up that wallet or swipe that credit card.   And similarly we will be thinking of you and what you want.   You could make it real easy and tell us what to bring that you would buy.   I would gladly take those email messages and pass them around the committee when we get together to plan our next grand event.  And it is always for a good cause.   

Looking forward to seeing you all soon.  

Sandy Baxter Porter  
RAFDOSS chair.  
sjmbaxter@comcast.net
Moving on After 33 Fabulous Years Serving AFDOSS
 
Do you want to hear the truth or shall I make it up? (That is what I asked the Board when asked to write something for this Newsletter.) Most of the time, we skip over articles like this so I will not feel bad if you do the same.

The day I decided to retire from AFDOSS Secretary-Treasurer was not a pleasant day for me, but I felt it was time. So here goes… A short story about ME, Mary Logan.

I was born on a farm in Brentwood, Tenn. (long before Brentwood was the home to country music stars and the 3rd richest county in the nation). I, along with family members, still live on this property that has been in our family for 125 years.    

My career with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) started in 1958 and Eugene H. Holeman, my immediate boss for many years, soon indoctrinated me about AFDOSS and AFDO. I held many positions with TDA, including: Typist, Secretary, Compliance Officer, Supervisor, Food & Drug Administrator, Assistant Director-F&D and retired in 1996 as Director of Commodity Division.     

All of this sounds good but to tell you the truth I had a lot of help along the way, namely from Eugene Holeman, Robert Reeves, Larry Maxwell and Jimmy Hopper.   When I applied for a “field” position I remember someone saying, “Do you think she can do this job?” I can recall one inspector asking me if I was afraid of a “rat.” Afraid of a rat? I don’t think so! (A 125-pound-loving dog might cause me to break my wrist but not a rat.)

You see, at that time, there were few women in food inspection and AFDOSS. I became a member of AFDOSS in 1976. Billy Riddle from Georgia was the Secretary-Treasurer at the time and he retired in 1982. That is when I began serving AFDOSS on the board, and was honored to serve in all the positions of AFDOSS and AFDO. In AFDOSS and AFDO my mentors included Martha Rhodes, Betsy Woodward, and Mary Helslin. All have served as President of AFDO.      

Because of AFDOSS and AFDO, I have been honored to receive the 1987 Eugene H. Holeman Award, 1990 FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Harvey W. Wiley Award, 1993 Consumer Product Safety State and Local Award, 1996 AFDO’s Harvey W. Wiley Award, 1997 Honor for Outstanding Service to the Food Industry of Tennessee by the Association of Milk, Water, and Food Protection.  None of these awards would have come about if it had not been for AFDOSS.

BUT… When you retire, either from your life’s work or an organization, it is not how many degrees you may have or how many promotions you have gotten. It is not about how many plaques you have hanging on the wall (or in a closet).  Your life’s work should be about how many people you have helped, kind words you have said, kind deeds you have done and the many lives you have touched along the way.  These are the things that really count.    

I just want to say thanks to the many friends I have made over the years in both AFDOSS and AFDO, and to my family for allowing me to serve for 33 years as AFDOSS Secretary Treasurer. I hope I did the job well because it has been a JOY and I hope I can continue to serve AFDOSS. Perhaps, if I had not sent all the minutes to your new Secretary-Treasurer Craig Nielsen, Georgia Department of Agriculture (fitting the position is going back to GA!) I could not have possibly written the history of AFDOSS? However, God willing, I look forward to spending time with my great grandchild and my passion of woodworking, refinishing and antiquing.  

Mary Logan
 
Congratulations on the retirement of Dr. John Fruin!

United States Army Commander Dr. John Fruin has provided more than 53 years of public service in various aspects of food safety for our nation, 30 of those years in the U.S. Army.  He has conducted and managed independent basic and applied research in food microbiology and food toxicology; managed the development of FDA Good Laboratory Practice programs; managed food inspection, food plant sanitation programs for the U.S. Forces overseas and here in the U.S.; and managed state dairy and food and meat inspection programs in Illinois and Florida. 
 
Dr. Fruin’s contributions to food safety include serving as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, member of the editorial board of the Journal of Food Protection, and a served as a consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General for Food Technology.  Dr. Fruin has authored and co-authored more than 84 manuscripts in peer reviewed journals, laboratory reports and abstracts.  In 1963, Commander Dr. John Fruin ran the only food inspection unit in Vietnam, providing support to the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. He also served the U.S. Army in various food safety roles in Vietnam, Iran, Australia, New Zealand, Guam, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines.
 
Dr. Fruin served the State of Florida as a Bureau Chief for 23 years, responsible for oversight of day to day inspection operations and regulatory activities for over 45,000 food establishments. He was responsible for establishing policy, implementing enforcement of federal and state regulations and ensuring the direction of the program based on changes in regulations and technology.
 
Dr. Fruin has been an active and contributing member of AFDO and AFDOSS for more than 16 years.  He has been an advocate to food safety professionals to join and become engaged in these organizations and has been a member of many committees, presented at many conferences, and been a mentor to many AFDO and AFDOSS members. Dr. Fruin retired from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in January 2016.  His ideas, contributions and leadership will be a tremendous loss but he continues to mentor those within the bureau who are now continuing his vision.

Submitted by Matt Colson and Brenda Morris, Florida Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Expanding the Retail Program within AFDO and AFDOSS

The Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) has been increasing its program tracks to incorporate more retail components at the annual education conference (AEC). This year, the AEC will be June 25-29 in Pittsburgh. Retail sessions this summer will include an interactive discussion of success stories from state and local retail programs who have implemented the Voluntary National Retail Food Program Standards (VNFRPS) in their jurisdictions, improving employee health practices through active managerial control, current industry trends in special processes, food defense in the retail setting, and more.

Today, there are 682 state, local and/or tribal retail programs enrolled in the VNFRPS. The addition of the retail tracks at AFDO is an example of the deliberate efforts across the nation to include more retail-level topics as part of an integrated food safety system (IFSS), incorporating preventive controls and a model for integration as pushed forth through the Food Safety Modernization Act. All the affiliates, including AFDOSS, are encouraged to follow (or continue following) suit.

“I’ve watched the AFDO program evolve to have a retail track, after AFDO received the retail grant, this has showed that they wanted to be reflective of the programs they support,” said Laurie Farmer, FDA Southeast Director of State Cooperative Programs. “Historically, manufactured food programs have been very involved in AFDO but with this award more retail programs are attending; choosing AFDO for their training travel.”

AFDO Executive Director Joseph Corby stated, “AFDO had administered 350 awards for retail program improvement activities, totaling just under $2 million. Hearing about the real-life success stories this money has created for programs will be a true attraction at the AEC this year, and hopefully it will motivate other agencies to apply for next year’s funding.”

The retail program for AFDO is chaired by Donna Wanucha, FDA Regional Retail Food Specialist, and Steve Mandernach, Chief of the Food & Consumer Safety Bureau with the Iowa Department of Agriculture. Membership has continued to rise on the retail side, with representatives from local and state regulatory programs and an increasing level of industry participation. Industry members range from convenience stores to grocery stores, associations like the National Restaurant Association to large national chains such as McDonald’s, and many more.

“FDA Retail Food Specialists primary responsibility is to work on a routine basis with states and other jurisdictions on their retail food safety programs, primarily regarding the Food Code and VNFRPS,”  Wanucha said. “However, we also play an important role in elevating recognition of retail food programs within FSMA by the rest of the stakeholders affected by FSMA, and by the retail programs themselves.”

The retail program has taken an interactive approach at the annual AFDO conference, involving the audience during most time slots with panel presentations and open Q&A’s, audience polls, roundtable discussions, active learning models, debates and more. This year, all retail presenters will provide take-home tools and other deliverables intended to have a “multiplier effect,” offering up information that can be shared with home agencies after the AFDO conference takes place.

Wanucha said the role of the Retail Food Safety Specialists is also to encourage retail programs to engage nationally and regionally with their manufactured food partners, and to involve themselves as vital members in an IFSS. Wanucha credits state Food Protection Task Forces as having helped in this regard, but says more avenues are needed.

“AFDOSS is already showcasing retail membership during our annual meetings, and it is my hope that we will continue to increase this incorporation not only in our affiliate, but across all the affiliates,” Farmer said. “We want to increase public health participation, and it is important to leverage our local partners. The AFDO and AFDOSS travel scholarships are a great opportunity for individuals who are interested in getting more involved to come to these events, and the AFDOSS Local Area Engagement Committee is a valuable resource in this respect.

“Retail is owned by many and we all need each other in our public health journey to include the reduction of foodborne illness and continuous improvement,” Farmer continued. “We have an opportunity to continue to find ways to collectively collaborate our work and support of the voluntary retail program standards with retail stakeholder groups including AFDO, CFP, NACCHO, NEHA, and others.”

Wanucha added, “AFDO and AFDOSS are providing opportunities for these important partnerships to strengthen. I think the retail-focused topics on the AFDO agenda this year will hit the mark, being of interest to both groups and identifying common issues that can be drawn upon after the meeting.”

AFDO and AFDOSS both have a Food Committee, which encompass retail (among other programs), and this is yet another avenue for involvement from the AFDOSS membership. At the 2016 AFDO Conference held in Pittsburgh in June, the Retail Committee was re-established as a separate standalone committee, co-chaired by our very own Craig Nielsen! To date, none of the affiliates have a Retail Committee. Could/should AFDOSS become the first?

Send Wanucha ideas for retail topic ideas or feedback from AFDO/AFDOSS events by reaching her at Donna.Wanucha@fda.hhs.gov.

To learn more about the VNFRPS cooperative agreement, please visit:
http://www.fda.gov/ForFederalStateandLocalOfficials/FundingOpportunities/GrantsCoopAgrmts/ucm475128.htm#top.

To learn more about the AFDO AEC and the retail track agenda, please visit:
http://pitt.afdo.org/.

Anyone with interest in creating a new AFDOSS Retail Committee should reach out to the AFDOSS Board with inquires; anyone with interest in chairing a reinstated AFDO Retail Committee should contact
ryoung@afdo.org.

By Jessica Badour
 
 
AFDO Sub-committee on Body Art Materials
 
The AFDO Sub-committee on Body Art Materials is working with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) to update NEHA’s Body Art Model Code.  Any AFDO or AFDOSS members who are involved in tattoo, body piercing or other facets of the body art industry are welcome to participate. NEHA members may contact NEHA directly.  AFDO members who would like to participate may do so through the Body Art Sub-committee.
 
Several outbreaks related to tattoo ink have revealed a need to revisit regulation of body art practices and materials. This is an opportunity to address practices that are no longer considered appropriate in light of outbreak investigation findings. Many jurisdictions have adopted codes that address these shortcomings. It is time to consolidate the best practices into a single model code.
 
If you are interested in participating in this process please contact, John Misock, Food Technologist, FDA at john.misock@fda.hhs.gov.     
 
Preventing Listeria monocytogenes Contamination: A Multifaceted Approach
 
In a retail establishment there are several different risk factors associated with tasks that are performed every day. There are many processes in place to ensure that only the safest and most wholesome products are available to consumers. Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a bacterium that retail establishments, particularly those with delicatessens where ready-to- eat (RTE) foods are handled, have been concerned with for years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that the fatality rate of Lm is around 16%. The individuals that are at the highest risk for infection are pregnant women, infants, the elderly, and immuno-compromised people. These are people that shop in retail stores every, single day. So safeguarding their health is of the upmost importance.

Listeria MonocytogenesThere are several practices that a retail deli can put into place to help reduce the risk of Lm contamination, to include cross contamination prevention and associate education. There is not a specific practice that can be put into place that will completely eliminate the risk of Lm contamination, but following good retail practices can reduce the risk of contamination. Ensuring that equipment and utensils are washed and sanitized consistently is an important factor in preventing the spread of Lm. The Interagency Retail Lm Risk Assessment found that the predicted risk of Lm contamination increases 41% for RTE foods that were prepared in a retail deli that did not meet the requirement for proper cleaning and sanitization. Cleaning guides should be made available to associates for pieces of equipment, such as slicers, that may be difficult to disassemble for proper cleaning and sanitization. Making sure that associates know how to properly breakdown equipment during the cleaning process is just as important as ensuring that this task is being completed every 4 hours (or more frequently). Providing deli associates with cleaning charts outlining the times that equipment must be cleaned and sanitized is also a helpful way to prompt employees to stay on schedule for these tasks.

Utilizing tools, such as an ATP swabbing meter, can also help evaluate whether or not a retail deli is following proper cleaning processes. ATP meters can be used to assess whether or not a particular surface, such as a slicer blade or a cooler door handle, has been effectively cleaned. Making tools like this a part of routine surveys in a retail deli can help you understand where the cleaning and sanitizing opportunities are within a facility’s food safety program, and can be used to further train associates on proper procedures.

Educating the associates that work in a retail deli is a vital part of any retail store’s operation. Individuals that are knowledgeable about food safety best practices are the ones who should be handling RTE foods for consumers. Important areas of training for retail deli associates range from proper hand washing and gloving, to equipment and floor cleaning and sanitizing, and proper storage techniques. All of these tasks must be brought together in order to reduce the risk of spreading Lm bacteria to the people that shop in retail stores every day. When examining how to reduce cases of Listeriosis it takes a multifaceted approach to make a retail store safer. It takes education and awareness to really make a positive difference.

Helpful resources regarding Listeria monocytogenes:
http://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/29d51258-0651- 469b-99b8-e986baee8a54/Controlling-LM- Delicatessens.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Shana Davis, MPH, RS
Senior Food Safety Manager
The Kroger Co. - Nashville Division

By Jamie Dement & David Dekevich
 
The food safety system in the United States received a major overhaul back in 2011 with the adoption of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). With recent multi-state outbreaks causing hysteria among food consumers, the Integrated Food Safety Centers of Excellence (CoE) are working under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate model practices and develop training materials for epidemiologists, environmental health specialists, and public health laboratorians to identify and investigate foodborne disease outbreaks more effectively and efficiently.
 
 
The CoEs are comprised of partnerships between state health departments and academia. There are currently a total of six CoEs, two of which are member states of the Association of Food and Drug Officials of the Southern States (ADFOSS): Florida and Tennessee. In order to provide states with a single point of contact to CoE resources, states and territories have been divided into geographic regions served by each of the CoE sites. These divisions are not intended to limit interaction, but rather to provide a first point-of-contact that can help guide jurisdictions to the resources that will best meet their needs.
 
Collectively, the CoEs have over 80 tools and resources that are available free of charge on their central repository website (www.CoEFoodSafetyTools.org). Tools and resources that are currently available include:
  • Interview Training and Questionnaires
  • Environmental Health Assessment Quick Trains
  • Specimen Collection and Testing Resources
  • Epi Info™ 7 Training Videos
  • Complaint Investigation Toolkit
  • Student Outbreak Team Development
  • Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR) Toolkit and Metric Evaluations
  • Interpreting Culture-Independent Diagnostic Methods
 
CoE Tool Spotlight:
 
While out in the field investigating a foodborne outbreak, public health professionals often have limited access to their computers that store pertinent investigation information. To increase access to this material, the Florida CoE has created a mobile application to bring the information to your fingertips while away from the office! The “Food Safety Southeast” app contains food safety resources, including the entire CIFOR toolkit, Epi Info™ 7 training videos, and the Foodborne Illness Introductory Video Series that can be viewed right on your smartphone. Users can print and email the CIFOR toolkit and watch the training videos an unlimited number of times. The app also contains relevant news updates, conference information, and CoE contact information. The app is available and can be downloaded for free through the iTunes App Store (https://goo.gl/rcqJ3p) and Google Play (https://goo.gl/43QMxi).
 
The Tennessee CoE is pleased to announce the release of a Cultural Foods Safety mobile application. Developed for the FDA by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Agriculture and Food Security and Preparedness, the app includes searchable information on food safety issues and control measures associated with a wide variety of specific culturally-based foods. Navigation through the app is quick and easy! The home screen invites users to search by the following categories: Foods by Region of the World; Faith Based Foods; Type of Process Used; and Regulatory Guidance. Within each of these main categories the information is further organized by food categories and processes that are frequently used to produce cultural foods (e.g., salting, pickling and fermentation). The app includes definitions, guidelines, communication tips, and helpful links to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and FDA resources. The app for Android devices is currently available at the Google Play Store (https://goo.gl/tp8Eqq). Both IOS and Windows versions will be available soon.
 
The CoEs are happy to work with local, regional, and state health departments. If you are interested in collaboration, please contact your regional CoE’s main point of contact located at http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/centers/sites/index.html.  
Fellowship in Food Protection Program
http://www.ifpti.org/fellowship

 
The International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI) welcomed our fifth cohort of Fellows during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. Cohort V includes participants representing state and local agencies in Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia. A graduation ceremony for the Fellows will be held during the AFDO Annual Educational Conference in Pittsburgh, during which the Fellows will also present the results of their Fellowship research projects. This year’s Fellows are:
  • Arroyo-Llantin, Norman, Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Geleto, Gemedi, Washington County Health and Human Services (Oregon)
  • Gibb, Brendon, Carson City Health and Human Services (Nevada)
  • Guzman, Jason, Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Knopff, Kirsten, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Lewis, Adam, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Morrill, Brandon, Health Department of Northwest Michigan
  • Nair, Priya, Georgia Department of Public Health
  • Thomas, Nikeya, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
 

The Fellowship Program serves future leaders by providing Fellows with a collaborative experience with food protection leaders. Participation in the Fellowship Program has positively impacted the careers of the Fellows, and has helped position these individuals as true future leaders in the food protection community. Based on a 2015 survey sent to the Fellowship Program alumni (which excluded those who had just completed the program in the summer of 2015)*:
 
  • 92% indicated that they had assumed more responsibilities at work since completing the Fellowship Program.
  • 79% indicated having increased leadership roles in professional associations or work-related committees since completing the Fellowship Program.
  • 43% reported being given a new job title or being promoted within their regulatory division, department, or agency to positions with greater responsibility.
  • 64% reported presenting at a conference or workshop.
  • 93% reported using the designation “IFPTI Fellow” since completing the Fellowship Program.
*The 2015 annual alumni survey generated a 40% response rate.
 
U.S. Food Protection Regulatory Practices: Theory and Philosophy
IFPTI’s first book, Regulatory Foundations for the Food Protection Professional, was published in 2015, and was aimed at food protection professionals at the Entry Level of their careers. Based on the success of this edition, volunteer authors (subject matter experts) are drafting the chapters for a second book, which will be aimed at food protection professionals at the Advanced Level. Advanced Level food protection professionals are defined as regulatory professionals who independently perform inspections at a variety of facilities, and who comprise the largest segment of the public regulatory workforce in the U.S. 
 
U.S. Food Protection Regulatory Practices: Theory and Philosophy is based on the Advanced Level of the competency-based National Curriculum Framework created by an Expert Working Group and led by IFPTI and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Human Resource Development (DHRD). The National Curriculum Framework represents the interrelationship among the various content areas in which regulatory food protection professionals should attain competency across their careers, and represents a key component in the creation of a truly integrated food safety system in the U.S. Each chapter in the book covers a specific Advanced Level content area, and the chapters are arranged according to competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for successful job performance) identified by the Working Group.
 
Each chapter will contain not only information about what Advanced Level regulators do (in terms of work performed), but also “why we do what we do”—the theory and philosophy behind the technical information. In addition, each chapter will also end with a section that provides an industry representative’s reflections on the information provided in the chapter. U.S. Food Protection Regulatory Practices: Theory and Philosophy, is slated for publication in late 2017.
 
To inquire about contributing to the book as an author, send an email to support@ifpti.org.
 

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