Brazil will send experts to the United States to seek clarification about the testing methods used to test processed meat imports for drug residues. Last week, a shipment of meat had to be recalled by JBS when U.S. authorities said it showed traces of a medicine exceeding the limit, which led to Brazil’s ban on processed meat exports to the U.S., Reuters reports.

Nelmon Costa, director at the agriculture ministry's department for the inspection of animal-derived products said the ministry requested details on tests used on that beef but a methodology provided by the U.S. lacked key details.

The tests by U.S. authorities on the JBS shipment showed the presence of Ivermectin, a vermifuge or medicine used to expel intestinal worms, of between 10.3 and 14 parts per billion. The U.S. limit is 10 parts per billion while Brazilian regulation permits up to 100.

"We have a meeting for June 7 and 8 in the U.S. to discuss this," he said, adding that he expected the issue would be resolved there and then and that exports would resume once the meeting ended.

The test, he said, was developed for testing residues on cattle livers, and then approved for muscle tissue. Costa added that there were doubts that it had been approved for processed meats, noting an additive in the meat could change the outcome of the result.

Source: Reuters

USDA names members to microbiological advisory council

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has appointed nine new members and 10 returning members to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) who will serve as scientific experts representing disciplines related to health and food safety issues. Eleven additional experts will be appointed later this year to form the full 30-member committee.

The nine new members of the committee are: Dr. Wafa Birbari, Sara Lee Corp.; Dr. Robert Dole, U.S. Department of Defense Veterinary Services Activity; Dr. David Golden, University of Tennessee Department of Food Science & Technology; Dr. Margaret Hardin, Texas A&M University Department of Animal Science; Dr. Dallas Hoover, University of Delaware Department of Animal & Food Sciences; Dr. Lee Johnson, West Liberty Foods; Dr. Nandini Natrajan, Keystone Foods LLC; Robert Whitaker, Produce Marketing Association; and Dr. Martin Wiedmann, Cornell University Department of Food Science.

The 10 returning members of the committee are: Dr. V. Kelly Bunning, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Food and Drug Administration/CFSAN; Dr. Dean Cliver (Professor Emeritus), University of California, Davis Department of Population Health and Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine; Dr. Uday Dessai, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety & Inspection Service; Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety & Inspection Service; Spencer Garrett, U.S. Department of Commerce National Marine Fisheries Service; Dr. Kathleen Glass, University of Wisconsin-Madison Food Research Institute; Dr. Stephen Knabel, Pennsylvania State University Department of Food Science; Angela Ruple, U.S. Department of Commerce National Seafood Inspection Laboratory; Dr. Robert Tauxe, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases; and Dr. Donald Zink, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Food and Drug Administration/CFSAN.

The NACMCF, established in 1988, provides scientific advice on public health issues relative to the safety and wholesomeness of the U. S. food supply. The committee also assists in the development of microbiological criteria and reviews and evaluates epidemiological and risk assessment data as well as methodologies for assessing microbiological hazards.

Source: USDA