“In all circumstances, this is always the toughest game,” he added. “Playing against Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola, is a proper challenge, a massive task.“I know what people are saying about them at the moment, but this is a sensational football team. That’s why it’s a very important game, a very difficult a challenging game, but an important one.“I enjoy preparing for these games because it asks for pretty much everything, you have to think about all the little details and then, in the end, still give the boys the feeling they can feel completely free in different moments.“We have to tell them what to do, what they should show in different situations, how brave they have to be – all these kind of things. 3:02 0:38 Jurgen Klopp dismissed the idea of a two-horse race for the Premier League, insisting Liverpool and Manchester City have no divine right to compete for the title because of previous success.The champions of the previous three seasons meet at the Etihad Stadium on Super Sunday – live on Sky Sports Premier League – as Liverpool’s title defence sees them travel to the home of the side chiefly tasked with removing their crown. “I don’t think about us one of two teams, I think about as a team that has to do a lot of things right to be successful, and then we will see where it leads up to.“I’m not interested what people think about us in the sense if we are one of the top two or the only one, or one of three or four, that’s not important when you prepare a game. That’s the job I have to do, I have to prepare my team for football games and the next one is a tough one.“If we look back at the previous two years, they were impressive for both teams. City won one [Premier League] and we won. We won the Champions League on top of that, City won the FA Cup. “The role of football is always part of entertainment, though I’m not sure that is the right word,” he said.“We are there for the people, even in normal times, when they want to have some time off and be involved in something different to their daily life. That, now, is even more important. If we can do it in a safe way, its 100 per cent that we play on.“It’s for people who can watch us, see us and be involved like they were before. Liverpool has 100 million fans all over the world and only 65,000 of them could go to the stadium. That’s always the same, but now it’s exactly the same for the other 65,000 and it means we have the same importance for them as before.“I didn’t need a virus to know there are more important things in life, but it is an important part. In this job we do what we always have to do: give the people something to think about, to be involved in, to love, to hate, whatever. That’s why I think it’s important we play on.” While it may be too soon to have true significance on the destination of the Premier League trophy, the fixture has accrued title-decider status in light of Liverpool and City’s recent dominance, but Klopp refused to accept Pep Guardiola’s side were the only obstacle standing in the way of the Reds retaining their title.Asked if it was more of a two-horse Premier League title race this season, Klopp told Soccer Saturday: “Yes, it always was. Until a specific point, it was last year for a very long time at least a three-horse race, that’s clear. I’m not surprised about that.“Nothing is guaranteed, could anybody have imagined that the virus could stop the whole world in pretty much a week and that it would do that for eight or nine months? Football is no different, you can take nothing for granted.- Advertisement – Pep Guardiola believes Liverpool are favourites to win the Premier League once again this season, but the Manchester City manager expects a strong challenge from other teams, including Tottenham and Chelsea. 1:25 – Advertisement – Kick off 4:30pm – Advertisement – “The Etihad is a good stadium, the dressing room is fine, so there is no reason for not delivering the best performance. It’s the most difficult game of the year, that’s how it is, because they are so difficult to play against.“It’s normal that you can lose from time to time, that can absolutely happen. It’s just a game that is on a high level, concentration level, intensity level, and so that means little mistakes can decide the game.“When we lost at Manchester City, the ball was not in by 11mm, so really small details can decide these games. So we should try to make sure we have a massive influence on these details.”Football’s duty is to entertainLiverpool and Manchester City bring the curtain down on the first weekend of Premier League football fall inside the new national coronavirus lockdown.Klopp has often advocated that there is more to life than football, but, in such times of strife and hardship, he was adamant the game should go on fulfilling its important role in society. Sunday 8th November 4:00pm Former Liverpool midfielder and manager Graeme Souness thinks Jurgen Klopp should start Diogo Jota ahead of Roberto Firmino when the champions play former winners Manchester City in the Premier League this weekend. 5:01 FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win over West Ham in the Premier League. “That doesn’t mean this year we have the ticket to do it again, everybody has a chance. That’s why I said we don’t defend anything, we attack the next one, with all we have, whatever that means in a specific moment.”Massive influence on small detailsSince Pep Guardiola’s arrival at the Etihad at the start of the 2016/17 season there hasn’t been a single away victory in the fixture in the Premier League, while only one of the last 10 meeting has seen the visiting side leave with three points.With Manchester City unbeaten in eight matches, Liverpool will have to summon some performance to buck the trend of away-day blues in this fixture, but Klopp is relishing the challenge. Ahead of their meeting on Sunday, we take a look at some of the greatest goals between Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League. – Advertisement –
– Advertisement – Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has become the first woman and first person of color to earn the title of vice president-elect after NBC News projected former Vice President Joe Biden to be the president-elect on Saturday.Harris’ victory represents many firsts to come to the White House. As the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, she will be the first woman and first person to identify as Black and as South Asian-American in the role of vice president. An alumna of Howard University, she will be the first vice president to have graduated from a historically Black college and be a member of a Black sorority.Harris ran her own presidential campaign this year before joining the Democratic ticket as Biden’s running mate. At 56, the role positions her to be a strong contender for the presidency in future elections should she choose to run again.- Advertisement – Harris made her mark in politics in California, where she served as San Francisco district attorney before going on to become attorney general of the state — the first African-American to serve in that role.Harris’ background as a prosecutor has made her a target of criticism from progressives seeking criminal justice reform. But Harris has argued she’s sought reform from within her roles as a prosecutor.As San Francisco DA, she promised to never seek the death penalty. She kept that promise even when prosecuting a person accused of killing a San Francisco Police Department officer, angering her political allies.- Advertisement – But she also took heat for other policies such as a campaign to combat truancy in San Francisco in an effort to reduce crime.Harris took her prosecutorial chops to the U.S. Senate after being elected in 2016. Her skills helped her become a tough interrogator in confirmation hearings for people like Attorney General William Barr and Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. She also serves on committees for Intelligence, Homeland Security and Budget.Throughout the campaign, Harris has shared a quote from her mother, Shyamala, who she said would often tell her, “you may be the first to do many things, but make sure you are not the last.” Following several news networks’ projection of Biden and Harris’ victory, the vice president-elect wrote on Twitter that the election is “about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it. We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.”Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.WATCH: Joe Biden projected to defeat incumbent Donald Trump in the presidential election: NBC News Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris speaks at a campaign event, on her first joint appearance with presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden after being named by Biden as his running mate, at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Delaware, August 12, 2020.Carlos Barria | Reuters – Advertisement –
His jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot himself only got the ride after Christophe Soumillon tested positive for Covid-19 and completed an unlikely double after he also replaced Ioritz Mendizabal on Audarya in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.Order Of Australia had only won two of his seven previous races and had fallen short in two previous attempts at the top level – but he came good when it mattered.Halladay made the running until the straight, where there was all to play for until Order Of Australia swept on the outside to take the honours under another confident ride by Boudot.- Advertisement – The son of Australia kept on to hold his stablemates Circus Maximus and Lope Y Fernandez, giving Ballydoyle a remarkable clean sweep.Kameko, the 2000 Guineas winner, had every chance under Oisin Murphy but finished out of the places, as did Irish Guineas victor Siskin. Order Of Australia led home a one-two-three for trainer Aidan O’Brien with a shock victory in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Keeneland.The three-year-old colt only got into the race after One Master was scratched on Thursday and was sent off an unconsidered 73-1 outsider.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –
Yesterday’s news reports of the USDA’s actions triggered sharp criticism from Congress. “This is a breach of process and the public trust,” said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. “For USDA to allow over 30 million pounds of Canadian beef to be imported without notifying Congress or the public is completely unacceptable.” The USDA banned all imports of Canadian beef and live cattle after a BSE case was discovered in a cow from an Alberta farm in May 2003. In August the agency reopened the border to boneless meat (but not ground meat) from cattle younger than 30 months old, boneless veal from calves younger than 36 weeks, and fresh or frozen beef liver. Live cattle and other categories of beef are still banned. Ron DeHaven, administrator of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said all of the processed beef that was imported was made from beef that would not have been subject to the ban in its unprocessed form. “All of those items were included in our list of [permitted] products that we put on the website August 8 as enterable products,” he said. “The only thing that changed was our allowing those products . . . to be processed before they entered the United States.” USDA officials discussed the issue in response to news reports published yesterday. A Washington Post report, quoting figures from a cattlemen’s organization, said 33 million pounds of “processed” beef was imported since last summer despite the official ban. The Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund USA (R-CALF USA), based in Billings, Mont., calculated that amount from statistics from the Census Bureau and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, the story said. At today’s briefing, USDA officials also discussed their plan to greatly increase BSE testing starting in June. DeHaven said the agency hopes to test “somewhere in excess of 200,000 animals” over the next 12 to 18 months in the effort to determine whether more cases of BSE exist in the United States. While insisting that the products posed no risk to consumers, USDA officials admitted mistakes in handling the matter. “Clearly the process and our failure to announce some of these actions was flawed,” DeHaven said. “We’re talking about products that are safe products,” Undersecretary for Food Safety Elsa Murano said at a news briefing. “All these products came from animals that were younger than 30 months of age. Therefore, we’re not talking about a food safety issue here.” Also yesterday, a Reuters report said the USDA disclosed that it had allowed Canadian plants to send into the United States about 10 million pounds of hamburger and other cuts of beef that were officially banned. May 21, 2004 (CIDRAP News) The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledged today that it allowed the importation of about 7.3 million pounds of Canadian beef that was officially banned under rules intended to keep bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) out of the United States. Murano said she didn’t know how R-CALF USA arrived at the figure of 33 million pounds of processed beef imported. She said the USDA Food Safety and Inspection service’s import records showed that the questionable imports included 5.6 million pounds of processed products such as hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats; about 1.5 million pounds of organs, such as tongue, hearts, and kidneys; 139,298 pounds of bone-in cuts admitted after Apr 19; and 475 pounds of hamburger. In November 2003 the USDA proposed to open the border to more Canadian beef products and to live Canadian cattle younger than 30 months, but that proposal was put on hold after the first US case of BSE was found last December. In March the agency invited more public comments on the proposal, and the comments are still being evaluated, according to Andrea McNally, an APHIS spokeswoman. The proposal would allow importation of meat from older cattle, but excluding high-risk tissues such as the skull, brain, eyes, vertebral column, and spinal cord. But the USDA said the meat, imported since last summer, did not represent any risk to consumers because it came from cattle under 30 months of age. BSE has very rarely been found in animals younger than 30 months. He said officials expect that the rapid tests used in the surveillance program will sometimes yield inconclusive results. When that happens, samples will be sent to a national USDA laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmatory testing, which will take 4 to 8 days, he said. The USDA will hold the carcasses involved until the confirmatory test results are available. DeHaven said the Canadian Food Inspection Agency certified that the imported products were not mixed during processing with any other meat products that could have posed a risk. He also said most of the organ meats allowed into the country were bound for Mexico. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman didn’t know about the “additional process product” coming into the United States, said Alisa Harrison, a spokeswoman for Veneman. Harrison also said that APHIS followed proper food safety procedures but “did fail to obtain the approval for their actions from the appropriate USDA policy and legal representative.” See also: Transcript of USDA briefinghttp://www.usda.gov/Newsroom/0204.04.html
Jul 27, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Experts in Vietnam confirmed today that avian influenza has spread to an 11th province, the southern Mekong Delta province of Long An, a major poultry breeding area, according to news service reports.In Thailand, at least 17 provinces have been hit with avian flu since the disease resurfaced this month. Two children who last week were thought to have the disease have now been found to have human influenza instead, but a new suspected case involving a 51-year-old farmer is being monitored. Of 20 suspected cases in Thais, 17 have been confirmed as not being avian flu, according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua. The others await laboratory test results.A Thai government official on Tuesday characterized the second outbreak this year as far different from the first, Xinhua reported. Only 205,000 fowl have been culled since Jul 3, compared with up to 60 million in the previous outbreak, Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisang was quoted by the Thai News Agency as saying on Tuesday. The government also defended its information disclosure system on the disease, calling it transparent.Avian flu experts will meet in Thailand beginning on Jul 28 for a 3-day meeting aimed at standardizing ways of testing and encouraging governments to discuss outbreaks. Representatives from several Asian countries as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the World Health Organization (WHO) were expected to participate, Reuters reported.Economic woes caused by avian influenza could worsen following the European Union’s announcement yesterday that it was extending its ban on imports of poultry products, and pet birds from nine Asian countries hardest hit by avian flu earlier this year, news services reported. The ban, which was due to expire Aug 15, will continue through Dec 15 for Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Pakistan, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.Avian flu has claimed 24 human lives in Asia this year, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. A WHO official based in Thailand, Dr. Somchai Peerapakorn, told The Nation, a Thai newspaper, on Jul 26 that the WHO is willing to develop a human vaccine to prevent the spread of avian flu from poultry to humans.Creating such a vaccine would be a challenge, said Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of CIDRAP, publisher of this Web site. He noted that initial studies indicate current H5N1 strains obtained from humans have been poorly immunogenic when made into vaccines and used in test animals.Osterholm raised three concerns that illustrate challenges to creating the vaccine: A successful human vaccine would need to spark production of sufficient antibodies to prevent illness. Then would come the question of how much vaccine can be made. Third, if human-to-human transmission were to occur, there is no evidence that a vaccine produced for current strains would protect people.Amy Becker is a freelance reporter for CIDRAP. She will enter the University of Minnesota’s graduate program in public health administration and policy in fall 2004.
Editor’s note: This story was revised Mar 24 to include additional information obtained in an interview with Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.Mar 23, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Three universities have begun recruiting volunteers for the first US clinical trial of a vaccine against H5N1 avian influenza, a key piece of the government’s efforts to stave off a potential flu pandemic.Researchers plan to recruit 450 adults to test the safety and immunogenicity of a vaccine made from an H5N1 virus isolated in Asia in 2004, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced today.”The initiation of this vaccine trial marks a key advance in our efforts to prepare to respond to an avian flu pandemic,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, in a news release.The phase 1 trial will take place at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and the University of Rochester in New York. The principal investigators are Joel Ward, MD, at UCLA; James Campbell, MD, at Maryland; and John Treanor, MD, at Rochester.The vaccine is made by Sanofi Pasteur (formerly Aventis Pasteur), Swiftwater, Pa. The NIAID awarded the company a contract to produce 8,000 to 10,000 doses of the vaccine in May 2004.The trial “will test the vaccine’s safety and ability to generate an immune response in 450 healthy adults aged 18 to 64,” the NIAID said. “If the vaccine is shown to be safe in adults, there are plans to test it in other populations, such as the elderly and children.”Fauci told CIDRAP News in a phone interview that the vaccine will be tested in elderly people second and then in children. Each of these age-group trials will take “a couple of months,” and completing all of them is likely to take close to a year, he said.Last fall Fauci had predicted that clinical trials of the vaccine would probably begin in January. The Sanofi vaccine trial was delayed by technical issues such as indemnification and liability, but those “have now been totally cleared,” he said in the interview. “Now people are being enrolled in the trial and will receive the vaccine literally within a couple of days.”A University of Rochester news release said the clinical trial will be carried out in two stages. In the first stage, a total of 113 people at all three sites, including 40 in Rochester, will receive two injections 4 weeks apart and will be monitored for side effects. After safety data from the first stage have been reviewed, the remaining 337 people will receive one of four different doses of the vaccine and will be monitored. The whole trial will take 7 months, the statement said.Chiron Corp. also won an NIAID contract in May 2004 to produce pilot lots of an H5N1 vaccine for clinical trials. Fauci said a clinical trial of that vaccine will be getting under way soon.The Chiron vaccine is being made in Liverpool, England, but not in the same plant where contamination problems last fall led to the loss of about half of the expected US supply of flu vaccine for the 2004-05 season, Fauci explained. He said the company asked British authorities to reinspect the H5N1 vaccine plant to make sure it didn’t have any contamination, and that process has delayed the trial of the vaccine.”This plant didn’t have documented contamination, but they just wanted to be sure it didn’t have an issue, so they asked for an inspection, and it has passed the inspection but it has set them back a couple months,” Fauci said.Besides making H5N1 vaccine for clinical trials, Sanofi Aventis has a federal contract to produce 2 million doses of the vaccine for possible use by public health and laboratory workers in the event of a pandemic. The contract is also intended to help the company prepare for mass production in case a pandemic erupts, the NIAID has said.Fauci said Sanofi is “well into” making the 2 million doses. “The critical issue with the 2 million doses is they’re made under conditions where they are easily able to be scaled up” if the need arises, he said. “So if you make it in bulk you’re halfway there.”Unofficially, 71 human cases of H5N1 infection have occurred in Asia since January 2004, and 47 of the patients died. Nearly all of those cases have been attributed to exposure to sick poultry. The virus has shown little ability to spread from person to person, but if it acquired that ability, experts fear, it could trigger a pandemic.See also:Mar 23 NIAID news releasehttp://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/Archive/2005/Pages/avianfluvax.aspx Mar 22 University of Rochester news release http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/pr/news/story.cfm?id=745
The WHA also took a somewhat wary look at two recommendations on smallpox research made by a WHO advisory committee last fall. The World Health Assembly (WHA) “welcomed progress on WHO’s work to establish a global smallpox vaccine reserve,” the WHO said in a statement during the meeting, which ended last week. The effort involves a vaccine stockpile at WHO headquarters in Geneva, plus additional supplies held in participating countries and pledged to WHO for use in an emergency. The agency said it now has 2.5 million doses in Geneva, and member countries have pledged 31 million doses. That includes 20 million doses from the United States and 5 million from France. April 2005 report by WHO Secretariat on recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Researchhttps://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA58/A58_10-en.pdf Jun 1, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) plan to build an international emergency stockpile of smallpox vaccine drew support from member countries at their recent annual meeting in Geneva. See also: In 2002 the WHA authorized continued postponement of destruction of the virus, “on the understanding that steps should be taken to ensure that all approved research would remain outcome-oriented and time-limited and kept under review,” the WHO said. In November, the WHO Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research recommended inserting a green fluorescent marker protein into variola (smallpox) virus to facilitate screening of possible antiviral drugs, the WHO said. “The virus glows green when exposed to an ineffective drug, thus allowing rapid distinction between ineffective and potentially effective drugs against smallpox,” the statement said. May 20 WHO news releasehttp://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2005/np_wha02/en/index.html April 2005 report by WHO Secretariat on the global smallpox vaccine reservehttps://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA58/A58_9-en.pdf The American pledge of 20 million doses was announced by Tommy Thompson, then secretary of health and human services, last December. Thompson said the nation had more than 400 million doses at that time. The advisory committee also had recommended that researchers be allowed to splice smallpox virus genes into other, less dangerous orthopox viruses for the purpose of testing possible drugs without using the smallpox virus itself. But WHO Diector-General Lee Jong-wook recommended that the committee reconsider that idea, and the WHA concurred with his recommendation, according to McNab. A report by Science magazine’s Sciencenow service said more than half of almost 20 national delegates who spoke at the WHA session voiced worries about the smallpox research proposals. Some urged the WHO to set a firm deadline for the destruction of all remaining stocks of smallpox virus, and others advocated more input from developing countries on the smallpox research agenda, the report said. At its November meeting, the Advisory Committee on Variola Virus Research concluded that no further research involving live smallpox virus was necessary for the sake of developing rapid diagnostic tests, according to a report by the WHO Secretariat. However, the committee reaffirmed the need for live-virus research to develop better vaccines and antiviral drugs, the report says. Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, but supplies of smallpox virus are held in two WHO-approved laboratories, one at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one at a national lab at Koltsovo in Russia. The WHA recommended in 1996 that the virus stocks be destroyed. But in May 1999 the body authorized keeping the stocks temporarily to allow for medical research, in case the disease resurfaces as a result of bioterrorism. In the WHA discussion of this recommendation, WHO spokeswoman Christine McNab told CIDRAP News by e-mail, “The main concerns were for biosafety and biosecurity. Therefore, any proposals to carry out this kind of research would be very carefully examined with these issues in mind before any research was actually approved.” The WHO statement said further that the advisory committee would examine research proposals one at a time. The WHA didn’t take a formal vote on the research recommendations, according to McNab and media reports. A recent report by the WHO Secretariat says plans call for increasing the Geneva stockpile to at least 5 million doses and boosting the reserves held by participating countries to at least 200 million doses. The vaccine would not be used unless smallpox actually re-emerged.
Jan 9, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Turkey has supplanted Southeast Asia as the hotbed of avian flu news over the past few days, with 14 human cases, three of them fatal, confirmed as of today by the Ministry of Health there and cases in birds reported in 10 of the country’s 81 provinces.The third death occurred Friday in a younger sibling of the first two teenage victims, whose deaths were reported last week. Another, still younger, child in the Kocyigit family is reportedly ill but recovering, according to news reports over the weekend. The family lives in a one-room house in the village of Dogubayazit and raises poultry. The children reportedly played with body parts of dead chickens.The World Health Organization (WHO) announced confirmation of H5N1 avian flu in the first two deaths by an WHO-affiliated laboratory in the United on Saturday. The Ministry of Health in Turkey has confirmed the third as also being H5N1, but WHO is awaiting further confirmation on those, as it is on 14 hospitalized patients confirmed by the ministry as having the H5 strain. In an update today, WHO says it “considers it likely that test results on the newly announced cases will be confirmed by the UK laboratory.”A team of experts convened by WHO arrived in Turkey yesterday to investigate the epidemiologic situation as well as evaluate risk factors and control measures and determine whether further help and supplies are necessary. Today’s WHO update says the team will also evaluate nearly 40 patients hospitalized with possible H5N1.Initial investigation has shown no evidence that transmissibility of the virus has increased or that the current cases are spreading from human to human, the WHO report says.Meanwhile, the agriculture ministry in Turkey has said that avian flu has been identified in birds in 10 provinces and that dead chickens have been found in Istanbul, which is in the far western part of the country, according to an AsiaNews article today. Whether the causal strain is H5N1 is not yet known, the story says. Culling of birds in the outbreak areas is under way.In other news, testing is being done in Indonesia on a 29-year-old woman hospitalized yesterday in Jakarta, according to Agence France-Presse. The story says the woman, who presented with flu-like symptoms, had contact with a neighbor’s chickens. It also says that local tests on an Indonesian man who died last week indicated he had avian influenza. Samples were reportedly sent to a WHO-affiliated laboratory in Hong Kong today for further testing.See also:Jan 7 WHO update on Turkey situationhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_01_07/en/index.htmlJan 9 WHO update on Turkey situationhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2006_01_09/en/index.htmlMap of Turkeyhttp://www.infoplease.com/atlas/country/turkey.html
Mar 6, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a new initiative to reduce Salmonella contamination in raw meat and poultry, mainly by focusing more effort on processing facilities that need improvement and reporting test results faster.A steady increase in Salmonella in broiler chickens tested by the USDA since 2002 is among the reasons for the initiative, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said in announcing the program on Feb 23. About 16% of broiler samples tested positive in 2005.”Our goal is to work proactively to reduce the presence of Salmonella on raw products before plants develop a pattern of poor performance,” USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Richard Raymond said in a news release. “FSIS will more quickly report testing results and target establishments needing improvement, providing timely information to both consumers and industry.”The FSIS said it will concentrate its resources on facilities with higher levels of Salmonella and will provide sample-by-sample test results to facilities as soon as they become available.Currently, firms receive results after a full set of samples is completed, which for broilers means after 51 consecutive days of sampling, officials said. Giving the results for each sample when they become available “will help establishments in their assessment of whether their slaughter dressing procedures are adequate for pathogen reduction,” the agency said.The FSIS also will begin posting the overall nationwide results of its Salmonella testing on its Web site each quarter, “to give consumers more complete and timely information about Salmonella trends.” Currently results are posted annually. The agency will begin posting the quarterly data soon after the end of the first quarter of this year, according FSIS spokesman Steve Cohen.In addition, the agency said it plans to identify Salmonella serotypes more quickly so it can notify meat firms and investigate illness outbreaks in coordination with health agencies. Serotypes are used to trace the sources of outbreaks of foodborne disease by matching pathogen strains found in patients with strains found in foods.The Salmonella initiative is patterned after a recent FSIS program to reduce the level of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ground beef. The FSIS calls that program highly successful and says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that it led to a 40% reduction in E coli illness cases.The agency said experience has shown that processing plants that get special inspections are able to reduce Salmonella in their products. “Where FSIS has performed Food Safety Assessments (FSAs) in establishments that have persistently poor performance records for controlling Salmonella, there has been a dramatic reduction in the levels of Salmonella,” the agency reported.The USDA first set Salmonella standards for raw meat and poultry in 1996 when it launched the Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis and critical Control Point rule. The FSIS collects and tests samples of seven categories of products: broilers, market hogs, cows and bulls, steer and heifers, ground beef, ground chicken, and ground turkey.The agency said the overall percentage of contaminated broilers is below the baseline level at the time the HACCP rule was established, but “the recent upward trend is of concern to the agency.”In 2005, 16.3% of the 9,592 broiler samples from processing plants of all sizes tested positive for Salmonella, according to the FSIS’s latest report. That compares with 13.5% in 2004, 12.8% in 2003, and 11.5% in 2002.Also in 2005, the agency found Salmonella in 32.4% of 145 tested samples of ground chicken and 23.2% of 925 samples of ground turkey. In 2004 the respective figures were 25.5% for ground chicken and 19.9% for ground turkey.Salmonella was found far less often in the other product categories in 2005: 3.7% for market hogs, 1.3% for cows and bulls, 0.6% for steers and heifers, and 1.1% for ground beef.For all product categories combined in 2005, the FSIS found Salmonella in 5.7% (2,322) of the 40,714 samples tested, according to the report.The FSIS is accepting comments on its new policy until May30. (See news release link below for information on where to submit comments.)See also:Feb 23 FSIS news releasehttp://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/NR_022306_01/index.aspFSIS report of Salmonella sampling results for 1998-2005http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/Progress_Report_Salmonella_Testing/index.aspAug 10, 2004, CIDRAP News story “USDA finding Salmonella less often in meat”
May 21, 2009Global H1N1 case count exceeds 11,000The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) tally of novel H1N1 influenza cases reached 11,034 with 85 deaths early today, an increase of nearly 800 since yesterday. The numbers include 3,892 cases with 75 deaths in Mexico, 5,710 cases and 8 deaths in the United States as of yesterday, 719 cases and 1 death in Canada, and 20 cases and 1 death in Costa Rica. The number of affected countries stayed the same, at 41.[WHO update 35]Chan vows to be bold but flexible on pandemic declarationDr. Margaret Chan, head of the WHO, said she would not hesitate to declare a pandemic if the novel H1N1 flu virus starts spreading globally, according to a Reuters report. But she signaled that she may stray from the WHO’s formal definition of a phase 6 pandemic alert by considering the severity of the disease and whether it is spreading in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Pandemic phase 6 is officially defined as community-level spread of a novel virus in more than one global region.US case count edges higherThe count of confirmed and probable novel H1N1 flu cases in the United States today stood at 5,764, up from 5,710 yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported. The death toll rose to 9 with the death of a 21-year-old Utah man. The CDC number did not include the death of a 13-year-old boy in Arizona, which was reported today by the Associated Press. Cases have occurred in 47 states and Washington, DC.[Current CDC numbers]Groups criticize focus on H1N1 at WHO meetingSome health organizations and developing countries have complained that the emphasis on H1N1 flu has pushed other major diseases off the agenda at the WHO annual meeting, the Associated Press (AP) reported today. For example, Medicines Sans Frontieres criticized the postponement of discussions on Chagas disease, while cancer and diabetes groups said those diseases need more attention. WHO spokesman Thomas Abraham said the novel virus is not taking up the majority of the meeting agenda.[AP report]Two high school students bring H1N1 to Tokyo areaTwo high school girls who live in the Tokyo area were found to have the novel H1N1 flu yesterday, 2 days after they returned from a trip to New York City, according to the Japan Times. Their cases are the first in the Tokyo area, the story said. Japan has 267 confirmed cases, most of them in Osaka and Hyogo prefectures, and thousands of schools have been closed.[Japan Times story]