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AMI Says Listeria Risk Assessment Is Dynamic Document, Not Finished Product

Friday, July 20, 2001

The FDA/FSIS Listeria risk assessment is a dynamic risk assessment that should be continually updated so that it can yield helpful information in the effort to prevent foodborne illness, according to the AMI. In comments submitted this week to the agencies, the Institute also commended their diligent efforts in producing a thorough draft assessment.

Along with the comments, AMI submitted new data to help fill some of the information gaps that the agencies noted when they first published the draft risk assessment. The draft risk assessment attempted to split the frankfurter category into two separate categories based on consumers who reheat hot dogs and consumers who do not. The draft risk assessment also lacked good data on the length of time consumers store frankfurters and deli meats in their refrigerators.

To help close the data gaps, the AMI Foundation contracted with Wirthlin Worldwide to collect data from consumers. The Foundation then asked Novigen Inc. to recalculate the risk ranking data published in the draft assessment using the new variables. The Wirthlin data show that 84 percent of respondents report storing their deli meats for seven days or less, which is significantly less storage time than the agencies had estimated. In addition, 72 percent of consumers report never having consumed an unreheated hot dog, while only 1 percent said they always eat hot dogs without reheating them. Based on these data, Novigen estimates that the average probability of consuming a frankfurter without reheating was seven percent.

The full text of the comments is posted at: http://www.meatinstitute.org/Template.cfm?Section=_i_Listeria__i_&NavMenuID=130&template=TaggedContentFile.cfm&NewsID=421

A press release about the comments may be found at:

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