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MICROBIOLOGICAL CONTAMINATION SAID TO LEAD FOOD SAFETY CONCERNS

 SPRINGDALE, Ariz., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Federal attempts to improve microbiological safety of foods should focus on in-plant control technology rather than adding inspectors to meat and poultry plants, John R. Cady, president of the National Food Processors Association said today.
 Calling recent outbreaks of E. coli in the Northwest "a real tragedy for all Americans," Cady said "science holds the solutions" to assurance of food safety. He cited the use of new technologies such as the "Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point" (HACCP) system. "HACCP is already being used in many food plants, and industry is moving to adopt the technology across the board," Cady said. He noted that his association helped develop the system, teaches it to hundreds of food industry employees each year and assists food companies to install the systems in their plants.
 The food association executive also observed that irradiation may be useful in eliminating such organism as E. coli. He noted that the technology has been used in many countries for years and has also been used by NASA to provide safe, fresh foods for the astronauts. The process is accepted by the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association and has been approved by the federal government for use on poultry, pork, wheat, spices, fruits and vegetables.
 "Even in the face of all the scientific data attesting to the safety of irradiation, however, we still have much work to do to make the technology acceptable to the public and sound science is the answer," said Cady.
 Cady said a top priority for the food industry is passage of new pesticide residue legislation to replace the outdated Delaney Clause. "This 1958 law is a relic of a day and age when we could only measure in parts per million; now we can measure residues down to parts per trillion, levels that have no health significance." Even at those levels, many pesticides are illegal under the Delaney Clause, Cady added.
 "If this sounds like food policy based on unsound science, you're right," Cady told the annual meeting of the Ozark Food Processors Association.
 NFPA is the scientific voice of the food industry, concentrating exclusively on food issues. The association's 500 member companies produce the nation's processed-packaged fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, seafood, juices and drinks and specialty products.
 -0- 4/2/93
 /CONTACT: Roger Coleman of the National Food Processors Association, 202-639-5935/


CO: National Food Processors Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU:

TM-DC -- DC037 -- 2690 04/02/93 17:18 EST
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Date:Apr 2, 1993
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