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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Mr. Bill Goes Back To Washington

According to a press release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced a public meeting to discuss challenges and proposed solutions in moving forward to address recalls and illnesses related to E. coli O157:H7.

The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 9, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, April 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Georgetown, 2101 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC. The meeting will feature various presentations and panel discussions by FSIS officials, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a senior foodborne illness litigation firm partner (that would be me), representatives from industry and consumer groups, as well as a small plant owner and operator from South Carolina.

On April 9, participants will explore the broad perspectives on the challenges of addressing E. coli O157:H7, including illness and recall trends, and progress on non-O157:H7 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli (STEC) since the FSIS Oct. 2007 public meeting on the subject. Specifically, the Agency and participants will explore proposed next steps as a means to make progress in the challenge of addressing E. coli O157:H7 and non-O157:H7 STECs. FSIS plans to begin a short term study to determine the extent to which non-O157 STECs may be present in FSIS-regulated products, in support of regulatory infrastructure which may be needed for these organisms.  Agenda:

A Broad Perspective on the Challenges of E. coli O157:H7

9:00 a.m.Illness Trends Related to E. coli O157:H7

Dr. Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director, Division of Foodborne, Bacteria, and Mycotic
Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

9:30 a.m.Perspective from FSIS

Dr. David Goldman, Assistant Administrator
Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service

9:45 a.m.Progress on non-O157:H7 Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli

Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, Executive Associate for Public Health
Office of Public Health Science, Food Safety and Inspection Service

Dr. Daniel Engeljohn, Deputy Assistant Administrator
Office of Policy and Program Development, Food Safety and Inspection Service

10:00 a.m.Observation in Industry

Dr. Mansour Samadpour, Microbiologist
Institute for Environmental Health

10:15 a.m.Legal Perspective

Mr. William Marler, Managing Partner
Marler Clark L.L.P.