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AMI Foundation and National Meat Association To Co-Host E. Coli O157:H7 Surveillance and Prevention Briefing January 23, 2008, in Washington, DC

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Washington, DC, December 10, 2007 – The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) and the National Meat Association (NMA) will host an E coli O157:H7 Surveillance and Prevention Briefing January 23, 2008, at the Doubletree Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.

The briefing is conveniently planned just one day prior to the International Association for Food Protection’s (IAFP) Timely Topics Symposium "Prepared, But Not Ready-to-Eat Foods-What You Need to Know,” which will be held in the same hotel January 24.

Since 2000, the incidence of E coli O157:H7 in ground beef has been cut in half. However, a slight increase in the incidence of the pathogen in ground beef in late 2007 has prompted the industry, scientists and regulators to reassess strategies in the fight against the pathogen. The one-day briefing will bring together leading experts to discuss the state of the science in pathogen prevention and to identify new strategies for ensuring product safety and optimal public health.

The briefing will feature talks on public health surveillance, import and export issues; industry best practices for controlling the pathogen throughout the supply chain; research into interventions to reduce and eliminate the pathogen; regulatory initiatives and consumer knowledge and perceptions about E coli O157:H7, beef handling and beef safety.

Invited speakers include Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), who chairs the House Food Safety Caucus; Lonnie King, DVM, acting director, National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control; Richard Raymond, MD, under secretary for Food Safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Ken Peterson, DVM, head of the Office of Field Operations at USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS); Kerry Harris, Ph.D., executive director of the International HACCP Alliance and associate professor at Texas A & M University; Guy Lonergan, Ph.D., DVM, assistant professor, West Texas A & M; Bernadette Dunham, DVM, Ph.D., deputy director, Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration; and Mohammed Koohmaraie, Ph.D., director of the Agricultural Research Service Meat Animal Research Center.

“The beef industry has made enormous food safety progress by confronting the challenge of E coli O157:H7 in fresh beef directly,” said AMI Foundation President James H. Hodges. “Our careful monitoring of food safety trends suggests that it’s time to reassess so we can sustain our record of progress. That is what we aim to do with this important briefing.”

Registration is $250 for members, academics and government officials. The non-member rate is $325. To see a detailed agenda or to register for the conference, go to www.meatinstitute.org or call Heather Schoch, manager of meetings, 202/587-4241, hschoch@meatinstitute.org. Room rates at the hotel are $179. The rate is guaranteed until December 27, 2007. To make a room reservation, call the hotel directly at 703-416-4100 and be sure to mention AMI.

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