New FDA Guidance for Food Makers Using Peanut-Derived Products

The Food and Drug Administration may soon be headed by Dr. Margaret A. "Peggy: Hamburg, M.D., who is senior scientist at the Nuclear Threat Initiative and a previous commissioner of health for New York City. Numerous news organizations reported the nomination will be announced within days. Separately, FDA has released new guidance for food manufacturers that use peanut-derived products, including peanuts, peanut butter, peanut paste, peanut meal, and peanut granules. The guidance says they should obtain any peanut-derived ingredient only from suppliers whose production processes have been demonstrated to adequately reduce the presence of Salmonella species or ensure their own manufacturing process would adequately reduce the presence of Salmonella species.

"Guidance for Industry: Measures to Address the Risk for Contamination by Salmonella Species in Food Containing a Peanut-Derived Product As An Ingredient" was issued in the continuing effort to halt a Salmonella outbreak linked to peanuts. CDC says illnesses are still being reported among people who have eaten recalled peanut products, and FDA said it is "concerned that illnesses will continue to occur if people eat these peanut products that may still be on their shelves at home."

Consumers should check this FDA site to find recalled peanut-derived products or should call CDC's 24-hour information hotline, 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) before eating peanut-derived products.

Hamburg would be joining FDA at a low point in its relations with Congress, but Obama's new budget would substantially raise its funding from what President George W. Bush proposed for this year. According to her NTI bio, Hamburg has served as NTI's vice president for the Biological Program, assistant secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and assistant director of the Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science and the Council on Foreign Relations and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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