FDA commits to retail food safety
WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has launched an initiative that is designed to assure the safety of food sold at retail.
The Retail Food Safety Action Plan is designed to improve the way managers of food establishments (i.e., food stores, restaurants, schools and other foodservice opertaions) conduct food safety operations in their facilities and assure that personnel are trained on measures to keep food safe. Additionally, the initiative will expand the oversight of these establishments by federal, state and local public health agencies.
What’s more, the FDA announced that it has released a supplement to the 2009 FDA Food Code, which includes a new and modified recommendations, including:
Requiring that food establishments have a certified food protection manager on staff;
Among the established duties of the person-in-charge, all operating procedures required by the Food Code are developed and implemented; that it can be verified that all employees are informed about their obligation to report certain health conditions that relate to transmission of foodborne illness; and that any food the establishment receives after operating hours is delivered in a manner that does not create a food safety hazard;
Requiring that food establishments have a plan for responding to and properly cleaning-up after an employee or other individual becomes physically ill in areas where food may be prepared, stored or served;
Clarifying appropriate exceptions to the prohibition of bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods prepared in the establishment;
Clarifying the requirements for the safe storage and display of ground and whole-muscle meat and poultry;
New requirements for devices used to generate chemical sanitizers on- site in the food establishment;
Establishing clearer guidelines for the amount time a food establishment should be given to correct violations of different types of provisions in the Food Code.
In line with the new action plan, the FDA has entered a cooperative agreement with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, whereby FDA and NACCHO will promote the use of best practices by local authorities and develop tools to strengthen retail food safety oversight and implement FDA’s Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards for retail food regulatory programs.
For more information, visit FDA.gov.
Study: Smoking poses greater heart disease danger for women
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Women who smoke have heart attacks at younger ages and are more likely than men to suffer complications months after a cardiac event, according to a new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study released Tuesday.
Although fewer women than men smoke in the United States, the gender gap is decreasing and the U-M findings suggested the toll of smoking is greater on women’s health.
“Smoking is not good for men or women but our analysis shows that women who smoke do worse six months after a heart attack than men,” stated senior study author Elizabeth Jackson, cardiologist at the U-M Cardiovascular Center. “We were not able to look at the basic biological mechanisms that would account for this, but other studies can give us some ideas."
Smoking reduces circulation by narrowing the blood vessels and contributes to an atherosclerotic build-up of plaque in the arteries. Cigarette smokers are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than nonsmokers.
“The differences in outcomes among women smokers may reflect inherent biological differences between genders, or possibly less aggressive medical management of women that’s been described by other investigators,” stated lead author Michael Howe, cardiology fellow at the U-M Health System. “Either way, it clearly emphasizes the need for increased physician awareness and vigilance, in women in particular, after an acute coronary event.”
The good news is that when you stop smoking, your risk of heart disease and stroke can be cut in half just one year later, and continues to decline until it’s as low as a nonsmoker’s risk, according to the American Heart Association.
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Huemanitas to lead PepsiCo’s multicultural retail, shopper marketing efforts
DENVER — PepsiCo has entered a partnership with an independent cultural marketing group that will allow the beverage company to develop relevant platforms that will target multicultural shoppers at retail.
PepsiCo has that Huemanitas will partner with PepsiCo’s general market retail and shopper marketing agency of record, TracyLocke. PepsiCo senior director of cultural branding Javier Farfan noted that with Huemanitas working alongside TracyLocke will allow PepsiCo to close the gap with "multicultural shoppers along their path-to-purchase, to fully engage multicultural audiences at retail."
The goal of the partnership is "to deliver fully integrated, culturally relevant programming for the portfolio," Huemanitas partner and creative principal Marcus Jiménez said.
Gail Brooks, Huemanitas partner and principal of insights and strategy, said that engaging a multicultural consumer must go beyond a general approach.
"Engaging the multicultural consumer at retail requires a hyper-local strategy involving in-depth understanding of culture’s impact on shopper, retailer, and channel dynamics," Brooks said. "It’s not just about taking down national programs, but rather leveraging local market cultural intelligence to build platforms that can be scaled up and across markets as well."