Manufacturing News

Eye on Washington

President Clinton has announced an aggressive new strategy to significantly reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses caused by listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and lunch meats.

Clinton administration targets listeria.

The president directed the UDSA to complete proposed regulations that include any appropriate microbiological testing and other measures by industries to prevent cross-contamination in the processing environment; ensure the processing of ready-to-eat products meets appropriate standards; and that such products are safe throughout their shelf life. In addition, Clinton has directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop an action plan identifying further steps to eliminate listeria contamination, including identification of control measures for at-risk foods and the publication of guidance to processors, retailers and foodservice facilities. Finally, both USDA and HHS will consider the need for enhanced labeling to provide additional consumer safeguards.

The administration's goal is to cut in half the number of listeria-related illnesses by 2010 (from .50 cases per 100,000 to .25 cases). In a radio address to the nation, President Clinton said, "Fortunately, listeria is less common than salmonella, E. coli and other food-borne bacteria. But unfortunately, it is far more dangerous. A staggering 20 percent of listeria infections result in death." He added that forthcoming regulations would "require scientific approaches, such as systematic testing for listeria at food processing plants -- not just random checks."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne listeriosis has particularly high fatality rates for newborns, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

In a related development, Clinton urged Congress to appropriate $68 million for his food safety initiative, which, among other things, would enable the FDA to expand the number of inspections of imported and certain domestic foods. The president also called on Congress to support two pieces of food safety legislation. One bill ensures that imports of fruits, vegetables and other food products meet U.S. food safety requirements. The other gives USDA authority to issue mandatory recalls and impose civil penalties for unsafe meat and poultry.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

IPPE 2015

The 2015 International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) was held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center, Jan. 27-29. More than 30,000 poultry, meat and feed industry representatives attended the event to interact with the 1,288 exhibitors on the show floor that covered more than 490,000 net square feet. At the show exhibitors demonstrated innovations in equipment, supplies and services utilized by firm in the production and processing of meat, poultry, eggs and feed products.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering March 2015 cover

2015 March

In this March 2015 issue of Food Engineering, we explore how a surprise FDA audit could be serious if you're not recording key data.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.