The Health Protection Agency of the UK has released its summary results of the second national survey of abnormal prion prevalence in archived appendix specimens. The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) TSE Risk Assessment Subgroup published a comment on the these results in a position paper.
A final investigation summary into the Californian case of BSE in April this year has been published by FDA. The BSE case is confirmed to have been 'isolated', but there is no reason to assume it was unique.
Two new important reports on zoonotic diseases and options to address them (‘One Health’) have been published online. Both of them list the World Bank/TAFS livestock disease atlas in their references, underlining the usefulness of our work.
The reports will be presented in detail at the next TAFS meeting.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and the TAFS forum have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start collaborating on animal health and food safety matters.
GFSI will profit from the TAFS forum’s expertise in risk assessment and risk communication on animal health issues that are of relevance to food safety, whereas the TAFS forum gets access to a channel for implementation of its analyses. The combination of the two creates an integrated system of animal health and food safety issue management.
A national programme to eradicate Johne's Disease (Paratuberculosis) will start in Ireland next January.
The disease is said to be 'a major cause for concern for dairy processors supplying product into the infant formula market', but beef processors are also believed to be 'anxious to tackle the issue'.
In a commentary paper published this month, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) discusses "The Direct Relationship between Animal Health and Food Safety Outcomes".
Parker et al. have published the description on an "Algorithm for Assessing the Risk to Food Safety Posed by a New Animal Disease". Their approach is strikingly similar to the one taken regularly by TAFS to assess food safety risks.
Parker, E. M., Jenson, I., Jordan, D. and Ward, M. P. (2012), Development of an Algorithm for Assessing the Risk to Food Safety Posed by a New Animal Disease. Zoonoses and Public Health, 59: 184–192. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2011.01431.x
USDA announced the identification of the fourth case of BSE in the USA. The cow was found dead on a dairy farm in central California and tested for BSE before the carcass would be released for rendering. Initial test results were inconclusive, but retesting by USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, using immunohistochemistry and western blots confirmed atypical BSE.
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