FDA extends comment period on treated produce assessment

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Comment period extended for FDA produce risk assessment

Related tags Foodborne illness Escherichia coli

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has extended by 60 days the comment period on the risk of foodborne illness associated with eating produce from fields were raw manure is used as a fertilizer.

The assessment will evaluate the risk that using raw manure as fertilizer on produce crops may pose for consumer health.

It also will look at the effect agricultural practices, environmental conditions, and prevention measures may have on the risk of illness.

At the time of publication, 22 comments had been submitted on the Federal Register notice.

Interventions such as use of a time interval between application of the soil amendment and crop harvest will be looked at.

Use of raw manure or other untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin (BSAAO) as fertilizer in growing crops is covered by the final produce safety rule mandated by the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

Examples of untreated BSAAO are raw cattle manure, poultry litter, swine slurry, and horse manure and it can be contaminated with pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7 or Salmonella.

FDA is extending the comment period until July 5 - go here to submit comments​. 

Seafood import alert

Meanwhile, the agency has issued an import alert on imported shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia. States of Sabah and Sarawak are not subject to the move.

This is due to testing that found one-third of imports contained residues of nitrofurans and/or chloramphenicol, it said.

Shrimp or prawns that contain residues of nitrofurans or chloramphenicol are adulterated and not permitted on the US market.

From October 1, 2014, to September 30, 2015, the FDA tested 138 samples of shrimp and prawns from peninsular Malaysia. A total of 45 contained residues of chloramphenicol and/or nitrofurans.

Malaysia has banned the use of chloramphenicol and nitrofurans in seafood farm operations.

An import alert means the companies’ shipments may be detained without physical examination at the port of entry and the importer may submit evidence, such as test results from a private laboratory, showing the products are free of nitrofuran and chloramphenicol residues.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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