NATIONAL MEAT ASSOCIATION h 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612

(510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186 h Email Address: [email protected] h


Edited by Kiran Kernellu

January 13, 2003


E. coli O157:H7


The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) hosted a Beef Industry Summit meeting last Tuesday/Wednesday in San Antonio, TX. Over 200 leaders from all segments of the industry attended for the purpose of developing an aggressive battle plan for the industry in its fight against E. coli O157:H7. The group held breakout sessions to formulate plans that outline good manufacturing practices and interventions that are ready for implementation to reduce the incidence of E. coli O157:H7 and enhance the safety of U.S. beef products. The meeting was by invitation only to assure open and forthright discussion among the parties. This ensured that all ideas, good and bad, were welcome for thoughtful discussion. Key industry leaders for each industry segment: Producer; Slaughter/Fabrication; Processing; Distribution; Foodservice; and Retail set the stage upfront, met for extended time in breakout, and came together again in final presentations. Dr. James Reagan, NCBA’s Vice President for Food Safety was the Moderator and Terry Stokes, NCBA’s CEO provided the end summary.


NMA’s Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow attended, and participated in the Slaughter/Fabrication breakout group. NMA’s Director, Tim Biela of Texas American Foodservice, also attended and was the designated leader for the Processing segment. Dave Theno of NMA- member Foodmaker was the designated co-leader of the Foodservice segment.


The most significant outcome was the strong support by the industry across all segments to collaborate in efforts to work forcefully together to reduce and even remove E. coli O157:H7 from the beef supply. Some media suggest that this is not a newsworthy outcome. We respectfully disagree! There is no “silver bullet” such as processing pasteurization that solved the problem of this pathogen in commercial juices! Irradiation is a major step, but neither acceptable nor desirable for all systems. The only real “fix” is cooking to an internal temperature of 160° F. However, as it became clear as each final presentation was made, there are many additional possibilities for reduction in pre-harvest - in a new segment defined for us by Dr. Gary Smith as an interface between pre-harvest and harvest, in slaughter and fabrication, improved handling at foodservice, quick service restaurants, and retail. There are even some possibilities for the processing segment, one of the most difficult in which to apply interventions.


What’s next? The leaders in each group will be taking the message back home to their organizations and working on continued improvements. For the slaughter group, the NMA/SMA draft best practices were discussed and edited, and will hopefully be supported by other industry organizations representing slaughterers. NMA is also appreciative of an interest to update the Guidelines that we sponsored for ground beef production several years ago, and that is now underway.


We cannot conclude our report on this very important Summit without acknowledging first the leadership of Terry Stokes, NCBA CEO, the input of distinguished scientists from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, from the International HACCP Alliance, and from academia. In our estimation, there is a will to solve this problem. The way will be found, and the seeds were laid in the ground at this excellent Summit in San Antonio last week.




As leaders in the beef industry representing each link in the beef production chain, we reaffirm our commitment to further reduce the risks associated with E. coli O157:H7 utilizing scientifically proven production practices and technologies. Our united goal is to produce, deliver and serve wholesome and safe beef for each and every family.


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The NMA offices will be closed on Monday, January 20, 2003 in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Lean Trimmings and Herd on the Hill will be distributed on Tuesday, January 21, 2003.





The San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that E. coli O157:H7 caused one child to be hospitalized and seven other children to take ill. The children all attend the private day care center Katherine Michiels School in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA. The children are infants and toddlers in a program of children ages three months to two years. One afflicted child is a sibling of a program member. The Chronicle reported that the outbreak “appears to have ended.”


According to the Chronicle report, investigators think the bug was picked up from a farm where one family had visited, and was then spread to other children at the day care center. The bug, reportedly “shed by healthy cattle,” caused one girl to be hospitalized due to a grave attack of hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a form of kidney failure. The other children had diarrhea symptoms. Dr. Tomas Aragon, director of community health epidemiology and disease control at the San Francisco Department of Public Health said in the report, “It looks like a person-to-person spread that took place over several weeks in December. It happened, and died out, before Christmas vacation.” A city environmental health officer inspected the school and found no cause for concern. Katherine Michiels, founder of the day care center, told the Chronicle that, “[They] feel very fortunate [they] had only one case with a severe reaction.”




The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made a document available that explains the process by which interested parties may petition the agency for approval of labeling for a food that has been treated by irradiation. Access the document at:


Sunday, MARCH 2- Wednesday, March 5, 2003




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The Centers for Disease Control has released its 2001 Annual Summary of its Salmonella Surveillance System. It reports isolates captured through the public health laboratories, and it updates the estimates for prior years as information becomes available. For 2001, it reported a total of 31,675 Salmonella isolates, or 11.3 per 100,000 population. Cases from humans totaled 25,024; clinical nonhumans were 7,243 and non-clinical non humans were 10,451. It was isolated most frequently from children under 5 years of age, accounting for 26% of the isolates. The three most common serotypes in humans were: S. typhimurium (6999 isolates), S. enteritidis (5614 isolates), and S. newport (3158 isolates). There’s a lot of data for digestion in the Report. A single copy may be obtained from:




NMA and other industry-related organizations submitted comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2002 entitled, “Substances Prohibited From Use in Animal Food or Feed; Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant Feed.” Access the notice at:

In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the coalition stated, “Our organizations have and continue to support the current scientifically based animal feeding regulations that restrict the use of certain animal proteins derived from mammalian tissues for use in ruminant feed. A careful analysis of the facts suggests no regulatory changes are warranted at this time.


“FDA in 1997 adopted the current feed restrictions based on sound science and review of industry practices. We believe the existing FDA animal feed regulations are appropriate given the low level of risk that BSE will occur in the U.S. Our goal is not to change the regulations, but to achieve 100 percent compliance with the existing regulations. According to FDA, compliance with the BSE feed rule (21 C.F.R. § 589.2000) has been excellent. In fact, the coalition is unaware of any other FDA rule or program even approaching a near 100 percent compliance rate.


“Rigorous enforcement of the current feed rule will result in greater risk reduction than any or all of the proposed changes discussed in the ANPR. To that end, we urge the agency to continue to educate the regulated industries about the rule, continue active surveillance, assure compliance if violations are discovered, take vigorous enforcement actions against violators and continue the agency's cooperation and support of state inspection programs.”       




Jan. 30 and 31- 2-Day Listeria Seminars Associated with FSIS Directive 10,240.3

Embassy Suites Hotel, 9801 Airport Blvd., Los Angeles, CA; (310) 215-1000

*This two-day seminar will review FSIS Directive 10,240.3, more in-depth coverage of proper environmental sampling and testing procedures, laboratory testing considerations, tracking and trend analysis of data, SSOP re-evaluations, and HACCP plan reassessment. 


Feb 11- Environmental Monitoring with Silliker Lab

Marriot Hotel, Newport Beach, CA

*This seminar will review designing a comprehensive environmental monitoring program, environmental monitoring for investigational purposes, data management and maintenance of an environmental program.


Beyond Basics:
HACCP Plan Improvement Workshop for Cooked Products Operations

College Station, Texas
February 4 - 5, 2003

This course is
co-sponsored by SMA and NMA in conjunction with Texas A&M University.  To participate in this program, you must bring your company's cooked product HACCP Plan(s) to the workshop and we will work together to improve your HACCP Plan(s)! Space is limited to allow optimal hands-on interaction, so register today!


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ASI Weekly reported that the Lamb Checkoff Board met January 6-7, 2003, in Denver, CO. The board approved actions on administrative oversight and bylaws, and planning and program development, heard public comment from several industry organizations and reviewed proposals for marketing and promotion programs. Chairman Tom Kourlis said in the report that "The board is moving along very quickly. [They] are addressing the administrative requirements so that [they] can work on having effective programs in place beginning this spring/summer."


NMA reports news items that are of special interest to its readers, and provides information that they may want to be able to access.  Below are links to the Federal Register, AMS, APHIS, and FSIS, respectively.



NMA - East: 1400 - 16th St. N.W., Suite 400, Washington D.C. 20036 Ph. (202) 667-2108

NMA - West: 1970 Broadway, Suite 825, Oakland, CA 94612 Ph. (510) 763-1533 Fax (510) 763-6186

Edited by Kiran Kernellu

January 13, 2003




Two time-consuming aspects mark the beginning of the 108th Congressional session: finishing all the business Congress did not get to during the last session; and reorganizing the congressional committees. Requests, seniority, chairmanships, size and politics are all considered when committee assignments are doled out. By Friday of last week the House Republicans had officially released their assignments, now pending Republican Conference approval.


Representative Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) will now chair the House Agriculture committee, which had been chaired by Rep. Combest (R-TX) who announced plans to retire in May of this year. According to Congressional Quarterly Daily, Goodlatte represents the western part of Virginia that is home to dairy farming, livestock and poultry. While his priority seems to be “first and foremost…the implementation of the farm bill,” he has also expressed opposition to the ban on packer ownership, which is encouraging because Senator Grassley (R-IA) reintroduced the packer ownership ban legislation in the Senate this past week. describes the packer ownership ban as prohibiting, “packers from having operational, managerial or supervisory control over livestock or farming operations that produce livestock.” Last session this issue died in the House committee despite overwhelming support from the Democrat-controlled Senate.


The House Appropriations committee gained five new Republicans and two new Democrats this year. The chairman of the Appropriations committee is Rep. C.W. Bill Young (FL) who was also chairman during the 107th Congress. Due to GOP term limitations he will be unable to serve as chairman again when the 108th Congress ends in 2004. Another familiar face that will probably stay in his position as the chairman of the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee is Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX). The membership of the Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee is likely to change but the list will most likely not be finalized until next week.


Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) will be the new Chairman of the House Resources committee. While NMA is less active before the Resources Committee, its control of water resources and environmental policy legislation can be pertinent to our constituents. Many California companies should be glad that Chairman Pombo is in a better position to look out for their interests. It is unknown at this time whether he will retain his position on the Agriculture Committee as Chairman of the Livestock and Horticulture subcommittee.


On the Senate side of the Capitol, there seems to be friction between new Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) when it comes to committee funding. Until this is resolved the Senate committee assignments cannot be finalized, but some of the preliminary lists have been leaked.


The Senate Agriculture Committee will include some familiar faces. First, Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) will serve as the new chairman. Republican names such as Senators Lugar (IN), McConnell (KY) and Roberts (KS) will continue to be members. Senators that are relinquishing their seats on the Agriculture Committee are Sen. Wayne Allard (CO) and Sen. Craig Thomas (WY). New faces to the Ag Committee include, Senators Norm Coleman (MN), Saxby Chambliss (GA), Elizabeth Dole (NC), James Talent (MO) and Chuck Grassley (IA). It is likely that Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) will remain members of the Agriculture Committee.  Much of the information on the Senate side is unconfirmed but as more becomes available and confirmed we will keep you updated on the Agriculture and Appropriations Committees.


The assumed Senate Agriculture committee line-up is indeed powerful and prominent. Though there is little doubt that agriculture issues will be overshadowed by terrorism, war and budget problems, this committee could still garner attention, meaning that some of the issues NMA is concerned about could receive real consideration time.


On the House side, NMA has worked to develop good working relationships with representatives. Even with the changes, we expect to continue to work with the Committee as it considers policy issues.


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NMA has requested a 60-day extension of the comment time to consider the proposed rule “Blood and Tissue Collection at Slaughtering Establishments.” In a letter to USDA Undersecretary for Regulatory & Inspection Bill Hawks, NMA also requested an APHIS representative to participate in a discussion on the impact that an APHIS regulatory initiative will have on slaughter business operations, so that NMA and its members will be better able to respond to the proposed rule. The discussion will take place during the NMA Annual Convention, March 2-5, 2003 in Las Vegas, NV. Access the rule on the Federal Register at:




On January 6, 2003, FSIS began its online Residue Information Center. It provides the names and addresses of the persons responsible for the repeated sale of livestock or poultry that contain chemical residues above the established tolerance levels.  For additional information, contact Carole Thomas, Technical Analysis Staff, Office of Policy, Program Development, and Evaluation, FSIS, at: (202) 205-0210. Access the Residue Information Center at: Access the notice at:




FSIS published the notice, “Food Labeling; Nutrient Content Claims, Definition Of The Term: 

Healthy” in the Federal Register on January 6, 2003. It announced that FSIS is extending the effective date for requirements of individual meat and poultry products bearing the claim “healthy” (or any other derivative of the term “health”) until January 1, 2006.  Comments are due by February 5, 2003.  For additional information, contact Robert Post, Ph.D., Director, FSIS Labeling and Consumer Protection Staff, at: (202) 205-0279. Access the notice at:



The American Meat Institute (AMI) and the American Frozen Foods Institute (AFFI) have released suggestions and steps their members should take in relationship to country-of-origin labeling.  Contact NMA Government Relations Liaison Shawna Thomas for more information at [email protected].



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Sausagefest entry forms are due by February 15, 2003!