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AFDO COVID-19 Situation Update
6/24/20

Links to most guidance documents and information in this communication can be found on the AFDO COVID-19 Resources Page at www.afdo.org for ease of use on an ongoing basis. 
More than 2,356,000 people in the United States have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 121,100 have died, according to a New York Times database. This map shows where the number of new cases is rising and where it is falling in the last 14 days. See more at the New York Times website.

  • Source New York Times June 24, 2020  
What is New Today?
Fauci, Citing ‘Disturbing Surge,’ Tells Congress the Virus Is Not Under Control

 
On Tuesday, the testimony of the nation’s top infectious disease expert countered President Trump’s upbeat assessment, describing a “mixed bag” of some bright spots amid worrying trends and unknowns. Dr. Fauci’s assessment, delivered during a lengthy hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, painted a much grimmer picture of the coronavirus threat than the one given by President Trump, who claimed last week that the virus that had infected more than two million Americans and killed more than 121,000 would just “fade away.” Read the New York Times story here. 
Getting Smarter about Food Safety: The Pandemic and Lessons Learned



Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 
have learned valuable lessons that will help shape our work to create a more digital, transparent and safer food system.

In the coming weeks, the FDA will be rolling out the blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, which lays out how they will use technology and modern approaches over the next decade to strengthen the ways we approach the safety of the nation’s food supply, every day and in times of crisis. Read more of the FDA release here. 

Just Released FDA Insight Podcast: Fighting COVID-19 at the FDA

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, and FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Dr. Anand Shah discuss FDA's COVID-19 efforts, including the drug development process for a COVID-19 treatment in the first episode of the FDA Insight Podcast.  Check out the FDA recording here.

Grocers Get Creative, Consider Robots to Revive Prepared Food Amid Pandemic
Grocers and industry watchers say self-serve bars may be gone for awhile, and perhaps forever, even as consumers return to more typical buying patterns. That’s sparked creative solutions and new safety measures. At Publix, salad bars and hot bars have reopened, but employees dish out each item. Wegmans moved hummus, olives and more behind the counter. And at H-E-B, some coolers carry prepared meals from local restaurants. Check out this CNBC story here. 

FDA Issues Questions and Answers on COVID-19 Food Labeling Changes 

The FDA published FAQs related to its Temporary Policy Regarding Certain Food Labeling Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Minor Formulation Changes and Vending Machines.
Worth Repeating...

CDC Studies Public Attitudes, Behaviors, and Beliefs Related to COVID-19

On June 12th, the CDC released an initial report about the attitudes concerning stay-at-home orders and recommended personal protective practices to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. During May 5–12, 2020, a survey among adults in New York City and Los Angeles and broadly across the United States found widespread support of stay-at-home orders and nonessential business closures and high degree of adherence to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. Most respondents reported that they would feel unsafe if restrictions were lifted at the time of the survey. Routine assessment of public priorities can guide public health decisions requiring collective action. Current levels of public support for restrictions and adherence to mitigation strategies can inform decisions about reopening and balancing duration and intensity of restrictions. Read the full release here. 

More FDA Responses to COVID-19 Food Safety Questions
 
The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food and Cosmetic Information Center (FCIC)/Technical Assistance Network (TAN) continues to release responses for questions of interest to AFDO members regarding COVID-19. 

This is in addition to updating its COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page to include guidance regarding food products.  Real time updates of the FDA's Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) page can be found at https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.  Updates are dated so you are able to tell what information has been added each time. 

As part of the AFDO commitment to providing information and resources to members and the those we serve, we continue to add resources to the 
COVID-19 Resource Page. We continue to offer links to information that has been developed by our partnerships and other subject matter experts. If you identify resources that should be considered or your organization develops some of your own that can be shared with other members, please email them or the link to bbenschoter@afdo.org. We appreciate everyone who helps us be more prepared.

AFDO Professional Development Series Continues to Add More Offerings - From Manufacturing Practices to Food Trucks to Cannabis


The Association of Food and Drug Officials is continuing its support of our regulatory and industry partners until operations resume. We continue to provide relevant content to keep staff engaged by offering a growing series of webinars and web-based training courses that can be utilized for staff development. We have provided a variety of courses and webinars and new offerings are added every day.  Please check the webpage to look for the daily additions. And if you missed a webinar, those recordings are available through this page as well. All webinars, webinar recordings and courses are free! Just register for the course using the “Register Now” link associated with that course to obtain the log-in information.
 
In addition, you can access the AFDO podcast catalog at the following links. Videos can be found at 
https://afdo.podbean.com/ and audio podcasts at https://afdoaudio.podbean.com/. Or download the AFDO app (IT'S FREE) so you can listen or watch on the go. The app is available for iPhone and Android.

If there are topics of interest that you think should be in our catalog, please let us know by emailing 
afdo@afdo.org.

No CEU's or Certificates of Attendance will be available for these sessions. 
Copyright © 2020 Association of Food and Drug Officials, All rights reserved.


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