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first_imgJerie Pingoy. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAdamson could march into the Final Four missing two crucial guards in Jerie Pingoy and Jerrick Ahanmisi.Both players twisted their left ankles in Adamson’s final eliminations game in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum in a 71-54 loss to Far Eastern University.ADVERTISEMENT “That’s bad news for us,” said Falcons head coach Franz Pumaren.Ahanmisi injured his ankle early in the first half while Pingoy suffered his later in the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smogPingoy landed on Jasper Parker’s foot and was helped off the floot with 5:22 left in the game.No timetable has been set for the two players. Jarin takes blame for NU’s failed Final Four bid For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ setlast_img read more

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first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIsaac Go didn’t need to put up gaudy numbers to once again be the hero for Ateneo. He just had to be at the right place at the right time.The 6-foot-7 big man scored the deciding basket as Ateneo pulled off a gutsy 76-70 win over defending champion La Salle in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball Finals Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.ADVERTISEMENT Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Matt Nieto bloodied after collision with Ben Mbala Melecio carried Green Archers with 24 points on 5-of-13 shooting from downtown, to go along with three assists and two rebounds, while Rivero had 10 markers and three boards in the losing cause.The scores:ATENEO 76 – Ravena 12, Ma. Nieto 11, Mi. Nieto 11, Asistio 10, Tolentino 9, Black 7, Verano 5, Go 5, Ikeh 4, Tio 2, Mamuyac 0, Mendoza 0, Porter 0DLSU 70 – Melecio 24, R. Rivero 10, Mbala 8, Tratter 7, Santillan 7, P. Rivero 7, Baltazar 4, Montalbo 3, Caracut 0, Go 0, Tero 0, Paraiso 0.Quarters: 26-14, 43-39, 60-58, 76-70. Nieto’s explosion early in the final frame allowed the Blue Eagles to take a 69-59 lead with 6:34 left to play.The Green Archers, however, leaned on Aljun Melecio as the diminutive guard led La Salle’s 11-2 blast that cut the Blue Eagles lead down to, 70-71, with 2:32 remaining.Ravena gave Ateneo a bit of breathing room with a bucket with 2:11 left, but La Salle just couldn’t get an answer as Melecio and Ricci Rivero failed to find the bottom of the net in their attempts late.Ateneo shoots for a sweep and its first title since UAAP Season 75 in Game 2 on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Two-time UAAP MVP Ben Mbala was limited to a season-low eight points and 12 rebounds as he tried to play through foul trouble.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ MOST READ Go made the undergoal stab off a bounce pass from Thirdy Ravena with only 10.4 seconds left to seal the Blue Eagles’ victory.He finished with just five points, but three of those came when it mattered most as his three-point play in the waning seconds of the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSBack on the throneBut it wasn’t just Go alone as Ateneo used a balanced attack anew to match the Archers’ firepower.Ravena paced Ateneo with 12 markers, six boards, and four dimes, Matt Nieto fired 11 points, three assists, and two rebounds despite being cut above the left eye late in the first half, and twin brother Mike Nieto ignited the rally in the fourth quarter as he collected seven of his 11 markers in the fourth period, on top of his five rebounds. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal MOST READ The Blue Eagles erected a 24-10 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.UE tried to fight back midway through the third quarter with an 8-0 run but it hardly made a dent on the Blue Eagles’ fortress with Ateneo still leading by 14, 58-44, after the Red Warriors’ futile show of force.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“We wanted to control the boards, the second one is we knew that UE fights hard and in regards to out core we wanted to match their intensity from the start until the end,” said Ateneo assistant coach Sandy Arespacochaga.UE averages 17.67 offensive rebounds making the Red Warriors the third best team in that category but the Blue Eagles managed to take that away with unrelenting hustle underneath. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil LATEST STORIES Former WBC welterweight champ Victor Ortiz charged with rape Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Ateneo outrebounded UE 46-27 and had a distinct 19-9 advantage in the offensive glass.“We wanted to make sure we executed well against their changeup defense so we’re quite happy with the fact that we addressed those three things,” added Arespacochaga whose team converted on a 34-of-71 clip while holding UE to 28-of-61 shooting.Despite a near flawless outing, the Blue Eagles suffered an injury scare after wingman Raffy Verano, who led Ateneo’s offense with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting, suffered an ankle sprain at the 8:52 mark of the fourth.A big factor in Ateneo’s rebounding dominance was Angelo Kouame who finished with eight points and 15 boards.Alvin Pasaol led the Red Warriors, who have yet to win after four games, with 17 points and eight boards.ADVERTISEMENT Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Ateneo made easy work of University of the East, 89-62, for its third straight win in the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament Wednesday at Filoil Flying V Centre.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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first_imgNo.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia PBA Finals: Magnolia frustrates Alaska anew, takes 2-0 lead Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award LATEST STORIES Trailing 73-71 with a minute left, Compton called a timeout to set up an offensive play that could have turned the game’s balance to Alaska. Instead, it paved way for Magnolia to run away with the win.Magnolia forward Romeo Travis was able to intercept the inbound pass, allowing the Chito Victolero to call a timeout with 53.2 seconds left to set up the offense for the Hotshots.The Hotshots weren’t able to score immediately but got their chance to ice the game with 15.9 seconds left after Jio Jalalon got to the foul line for two free throws, 75-71.Compton added that even though his team had its own mistakes, there were also the cheap hits that the referees didn’t notice.“I have not yet once publicly called out the officiating but those guys foul a lot,” said Compton, who pointed out Magnolia point guards Jalalon and Mark Barroca.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Compton lamented his team’s terrible execution, saying it was the Aces’ 26 turnovers that contributed to their doom in the 77-71 loss to Magnolia that sent them trialing 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.“We turned the ball over 26 times and that was huge, credit to Magnolia,” said Compton Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “We should take better care of the basketball.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“They [the Hotshots] played great defensively and for the most part we were solid defensively. We just got to be better because 25, 26 turnovers that’s the prime story of the first two games of this series.”While each of the 26 turnovers hurt them equally, the Aces’ biggest blunder was the one they made in the final minute of the game. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum MANILA, Philippines—For Alaska head coach Alex Compton, Game 2 of the PBA Governors’ Cup finals boiled down to one thing—turnovers.ADVERTISEMENT “I admire Mark and Jio a lot, those two are great defenders, but they karate chop or trip a ball handler and that’s a foul, and for some reason, the referees don’t call it.”Fouls or not, Jalalon and Barroca combined for five of the Hotshots’ 20 steals in the game.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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first_imgKANSAS CITY, Mo. – Buying a greeting card for someone’s birthday, anniversary or if they’re feeling under the weather is pretty straight-forward. But what if they’re undergoing chemotherapy or struggling with depression? “Get Well Soon” probably won’t cut it. Likewise, most cards lining the store shelves don’t work on occasions as someone leaving an abusive spouse, undergoing drug rehab or declaring sexual orientation. Hallmark Cards Inc., which has built its $4.2billion empire on sentiments for life’s happier times, is releasing a new line of cards that will speak to those and other situations that the company says have either been ignored by greeting card companies or received only a smattering of attention from niche players. For illness: “Cancer is a villain who doesn’t play fair … but it can’t dim your spirit, and it can’t silence prayer.” For eating disorders: “All I want is for you to be healthy – healthy and happy with yourself. Please take it one day at a time until you are.” For depression: “When the world gets heavy, remember, I’m here to help carry it with you.” The 176-card collection, called Journeys, went on sale Thursday at Hallmark’s 3,800 Gold Crown stores. Cynthia Musick, the editorial director who oversaw Journeys, said the cards’ writing provides more personal messages of support, encouragement and hope, for which the company’s research showed there was a demand. Theresa Steffens, an assistant product manager at Hallmark, said a majority of online and focus group respondents said they couldn’t find what they were looking for when needing an encouragement card. “Either the consumer said they were walking away from the display or they were just unhappy with the card that they purchased, so we saw this as a huge opportunity,” Steffens said. Customers said they wanted cards dealing with more real-life situations. “They said, `I don’t know what to say during a difficult time, so I don’t say anything at all,”‘ Steffens said. “So again, there’s an opportunity there to help them talk through these tough situations that they’re dealing with and to foster that communication.” The $7 billion greeting card industry already brims with tiny niche players who make and sell cards dealing with such things as serious illness or thanking caregivers, said Barbara Miller, a spokeswoman for the Washington, D.C.-based Greeting Card Association. But she said none of them has the ability to reach customers searching for those types of cards across the country. “My guess is it’s a breakthrough for a large company like a Hallmark,” she said. The new line includes cards tackling cancer diagnoses, quitting smoking, caring for an aged parent, miscarriage, anniversaries of loss, loved ones in the military and traumatic loss, such as someone dying in an accident or homicide. Others are more happy and even humorous, celebrating a year being cancer-free, nearing the end of chemotherapy or general encouragement for teenagers. There are even a few birthday cards encouraging the recipient to celebrate even though they’ve had a rough year. Some cards feature whimsical or inspiring photographs – a baby making faces, a marathon runner – but the majority feature abstract designs or just words in flowing script. Card designers said they aimed for bright colors that matched the mood of the card, ranging from bright orange for the more hopeful cards to purples and blues for somber notes. Writing the cards proved a challenge because the messages were designed to take a more personal approach than the standard sympathy card, card writer Sarah Mueller said. “You can’t send somebody who is seriously depressed a `cheer-up’ card because it’s insulting, and it doesn’t help. That’s what depression does, is it makes you feel like you’re all alone. So just being able to write something, the attempt was just to say, `I’m here.”‘ Fellow card writer Linda Morris said society has become more open to discussing people’s feelings on difficult topics, such as divorce or drug recovery or serious illness, which is why people are demanding cards that deal with those issues. “There was a time when we weren’t so detached, when writing a note to someone was very simple, when picking up the phone and calling was just what you did,” Morris said. “So cards fulfilling that need in that specific way may not have been quite as intense. But now we need to know, and we need to pull back from the electronic age, and we need to be more specific because it’s not as detached anymore.” No topics were off-limits, company spokeswoman Rachel Bolton said, noting two cards that could be sent to gay people who have disclosed their sexuality. The cards don’t directly refer to homosexuality, only extolling the person to “Be You” or “This is who I am” or featuring a rainbow, a symbol of gay pride.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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first_imgThe Ní Dhomhnaill sisters of Letterkenny enjoyed sweet success at Feis Shligigh at the weekend.Gráinne, Róise and Siún Ní Dhomhnaill, pupils at Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin, sang their way to win a number of competitions at the annual competition.  NÍ DHOMHNAILL SISTERS SWEET SUCCESS AT SLIGO FEIS was last modified: March 23rd, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:NI DHOMNAILL SISTERSlast_img read more

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first_imgWarriors free agent-to-be Klay Thompson will have to work his ACL rehab around a new kind of shooting regimen this offseason.He’ll be among the cast of Space Jam 2, spearheaded by Lakers star LeBron James and produced in part by James’ SpringHill Entertainment group, according to a report by NBA insider Shams Charania.Joining Thompson and James in the human cast of the animated sequel will be Blazers guard Damian Lillard and James’ new teammate Anthony Davis. Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix …last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Happy USDA report day!Corn and soybean production and yields were below trade expectations. Quarterly grain stocks were lower than expected for corn and soybeans. Winter wheat acres were all below trade estimates.Not surprising to hear that today is the biggest report day for USDA.  At least as far as grains are concerned.Prior to the report grains were all lower. Corn was down 2 cents, soybeans were 4 cents lower, and wheat was down 5 cents.  At 12:15 pm all grains were higher.The report was viewed as friendly with corn production pegged at 13.601 billion bushels and a yield of 168.4 bushels per acre. Soybean production was 3.93 billion bushels with a yield of 48.0 bushels per acre. All of those numbers were below trader estimates.  Quarterly grain stock as of Dec. 1, 2015 had corn at 11.212 billion bushels and soybean stocks at 2.715 billion bushels.  Both were below trade expectations. Wheat stocks were estimated at 1.738 billion bushels, that was above trade estimates.Today’s report contained a lot of numbers to digest.  First, this report details final corn and soybean production and yields for 2015. To reach that final number USDA provides a state by state production and yields for corn and soybeans.  It certainly provides lots of ammunition for talk days and weeks ahead. Second, USDA publishes a quarterly grain stocks report of grain on the farm as well as grain in commercial facilities. The marketing year for corn and soybeans goes from September to August. November 30, 2015 marks the end of the first quarter of the marketing year.  Third, the report today provided the monthly USDA supply and demand tables for all grains. USDA provided supply and demand tables in two formats, the U.S. and the world.Prior to the report traders were looking for corn production to decline slightly from the previous production numbers detailed in November 2015. From August to November, USDA provides estimates for corn and soybean production. The final production number is detailed the following January, skipping production numbers in December. Soybean production numbers were expected to change very little compared to the previous report in November.Weather will play a huge role for grain prices in the months ahead. That is nothing new. The current El Nino is the strongest of any in the past 20 years. This El Nino is responsible for the huge amounts of rain the past several weeks in California. Based on history, we are likely to see weather extremes take place this growing season in at least the western half of the Corn Belt. More extremes could be seen in the southern plains. Demand for U.S. grains continues to be a huge factor and concern for prices. For the marketing year from Sept. 1 to present, corn exports are 102 million bushels behind that of a year ago. Soybean exports are 134 million bushels behind, while wheat exports are 57 million bushels behind those of a year ago.China continues to be in the news with concerns about their economy. Recent reports reveal two tidbits of information. First their currency, the China Yuan reached five-year lows last week. Second, their economy is growing, but at the slowest pace of the last 25 years. We will continue to hear more in coming weeks that other world economies will likely be following the same path the U.S. started several years ago of pumping lots of money into the economy in hopes of improvement.Traders continue to watch weather, both current and forecasts in Brazil. In November and December 2015 southern Brazil received plentiful rainfall. However, northern Brazil was dry and hot, but not for an extended time of weeks and weeks.  It was enough to move prices higher in earlier December but unable to hold those gains. If the soybean production in Brazil continues to climb above 100 million tons, prices will see additional downside pressur.With bullish surprises and grains higher shortly following the report with corn up 7 cents, soybeans up 15 cents and wheat up 10 cents, it will be important to see the closing prices today. Some ideas suggest that the rallies will be short lived as the market picks upon the funds that are heavily short grains. They had been adding to wheat shorts in recent weeks. Corn basis levels have been improving the past week. Ethanol facilities have led the charge in pushing the corn basis higher.Snow in central Ohio is more than expected. Some school kids are getting a break that they have been looking for. I will finally be able to get “Little John” out tonight to push some snow and clear the driveway. Have a safe and prosperous New Year!See the three tables below for additional numbers and comparisons. USDA 2015-16 US Grains & Soybean Ending Stocks (Billion Bushels)US Quarterly Grain Stock as of December 1, 2015last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Below are excerpts from a summary of some key requirements compiled by the U.S Food and Drug Administration of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 1. Agricultural waterThe final rule adopts the general approach to water quality proposed in the supplemental rule, with some changes. The final rule establishes two sets of criteria for microbial water quality, both of which are based on the presence of generic E. coli, which can indicate the presence of fecal contamination.No detectable generic E. coli are allowed for certain uses of agricultural water in which it is reasonably likely that potentially dangerous microbes, if present, would be transferred to produce through direct or indirect contact. Examples include water used for washing hands during and after harvest, water used on food-contact surfaces, water used to directly contact produce (including to make ice) during or after harvest, and water used for sprout irrigation. The rule establishes that such water use must be immediately discontinued and corrective actions taken before re-use for any of these purposes if generic E. coli is detected. The rule prohibits use of untreated surface water for any of these purposes.The second set of numerical criteria is for agricultural water that is directly applied to growing produce (other than sprouts). The criteria are based on two values, the geometric mean (GM) and the statistical threshold (STV). The GM of samples is 126 or less colony forming unit (CFU) of generic E.coli per 100 mL of water and the STV of samples is 410 CFU or less of generic E.coli in 100 mL of water.The GM is an average, and therefore represents what is called the central tendency of the water quality (essentially, the average amount of generic E. coli in a water source). STV reflects the amount of variability in the water quality (indicating E. coli levels when adverse conditions come into play — like rainfall or a high river stage that can wash waste into rivers and canals). Although this is an over simplification, it can be described as the level at which 90% of the samples are below the value.These criteria account for variability in the data and allow for occasional high readings of generic E.coli in appropriate context, making it much less likely (as compared to the originally proposed criteria for this water use) that a farm will have to discontinue use of its water source due to small fluctuations in water quality.If the water does not meet these criteria, corrective actions are required as soon as is practicable, but no later than the following year. Farmers with agricultural water that does not initially meet the microbial criteria have additional flexibility by which they can meet the criteria and then be able to use the water on their crops. These options include, for example: allowing time for potentially dangerous microbes to die off on the field by using a certain time interval between last irrigation and harvest, but no more than four consecutive days; allowing time for potentially dangerous microbes to die off between harvest and end of storage, or to be removed during commercial activities such as washing, within appropriate limits; treating the water. Testing surface waterThe final rule adopts the general approach to testing untreated water used for certain purposes proposed in the supplemental notice, with some changes. The rule still bases testing frequency on the type of water source (i.e. surface or ground water).• In testing untreated surface water — considered the most vulnerable to external influences — that is directly applied to growing produce (other than sprouts), the FDA requires farms to do an initial survey, using a minimum of 20 samples, collected as close as is practicable to harvest over the course of two to four years. The initial survey findings are used to calculate the GM and STV.• After the initial survey has been conducted, an annual survey of a minimum of five samples per year is required to update the calculations of GM and STV.• The five new samples, plus the previous most recent 15 samples, create a rolling dataset of 20 samples for use in confirming that the water is still used appropriately by recalculating the GM and STV. Testing ground waterFor untreated ground water that is directly applied to growing produce (other than sprouts), the FDA requires farms to do an initial survey, using a minimum of four samples, collected as close as is practicable to harvest, during the growing season or over a period of one year. The initial survey findings are used to calculate the GM and STV and determine if the water meets the required microbial quality criteria. After the initial survey has been conducted, an annual survey of a minimum of one sample per year is required to update the calculations of GM and STV.The new sample, plus the previous most recent three samples, create a rolling dataset of four samples for use in confirming that that the water is still used appropriately by recalculating the GM and STV.For untreated ground water that is used for the purposes for which no detectable generic E. coli is allowed, the FDA requires farms to initially test the untreated ground water at least four times during the growing season or over a period of one year. Farms must determine whether the water can be used for that purpose based on these results.If the four initial sample results meet the no detectable generic E. coli criterion, testing can be done once annually thereafter, using a minimum of one sample. Farms must resume testing at least four times per growing season or year if any annual test fails to meet the microbial quality criterion.There is no requirement to test agricultural water that is received from public water systems or supplies that meet requirements established in the rule (provided that the farm has Public Water System results or certificates of compliance demonstrating that the water meets relevant requirements), or if the water is treated in compliance with the rule’s treatment requirements. 2. Biological soil amendmentsRaw manureThe FDA is conducting a risk assessment and extensive research on the number of days needed between the applications of raw manure as a soil amendment and harvesting to minimize the risk of contamination. (A soil amendment is a material, including manure, that is intentionally added to the soil to improve its chemical or physical condition for growing plants or to improve its capacity to hold water.)At this time, the FDA does not object to farmers complying with the USDA’s National Organic Program standards, which call for a 120-day interval between the application of raw manure for crops in contact with the soil and 90 days for crops not in contact with the soil. The agency considers adherence to these standards a prudent step toward minimizing the likelihood of contamination while its risk assessment and research is ongoing.The final rule requires that untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin, such as raw manure, must be applied in a manner that does not contact covered produce during application and minimizes the potential for contact with covered produce after application. Stabilized compostMicrobial standards that set limits on detectable amounts of bacteria (including Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., fecal coliforms, and E. coli 0157:H7) have been established for processes used to treat biological soil amendments, including manure. The rule includes two examples of scientifically valid composting methods that meet those standards. Stabilized compost prepared using either of these methods must be applied in a manner that minimizes the potential for contact with produce during and after application. 3. Domesticated and wild animalsThe rule addresses concerns about the feasibility of compliance for farms that rely on grazing animals (such as livestock) or working animals for various purposes. It establishes the same standards for these animals as it does for intrusion by wild animals (such as deer or feral swine). Farmers are required to take all measures reasonably necessary to identify and not harvest produce that is likely to be contaminated.At a minimum, this requires all covered farms to visually examine the growing area and all covered produce to be harvested, regardless of the harvest method used.In addition, under certain circumstances the rule requires farms to do additional assessment during the growing season, and if significant evidence of potential contamination by animals is found, to take measures reasonably necessary to assist later during harvest. Such measures might include, for example, placing flags outlining the affected area.Although the final rule does not require establishing waiting periods between grazing and harvest, the FDA encourages farmers to voluntarily consider applying such intervals as appropriate for the farm’s commodities and practices. The agency will consider providing guidance on this practice in the future, as needed.As was stated in the supplemental notice, farms are not required to exclude animals from outdoor growing areas, destroy animal habitat, or clear borders around growing or drainage areas. 4. Worker training and health and hygieneRequirements for health and hygiene include:• Taking measures to prevent contamination of produce and food-contact surfaces by ill or infected persons, for example, instructing personnel to notify their supervisors if they may have a health condition that may result in contamination of covered produce or food contact surfaces.• Using hygienic practices when handling (contacting) covered produce or food-contact surfaces, for example, washing and drying hands thoroughly at certain times such as after using the toilet.• Taking measures to prevent visitors from contaminating covered produce and/or food-contact surfaces, for example, by making toilet and hand-washing facilities accessible to visitors.• Farm workers who handle covered produce and/ or food-contact surfaces, and their supervisors, must be trained on certain topics, including the importance of health and hygiene.• Farm workers who handle covered produce and/or food contact surfaces, and their supervisors, are also required to have a combination of training, education and experience necessary to perform their assigned responsibilities. This could include training (such as training provided on the job), in combination with education, or experience (e.g., work experience related to current assigned duties). 5. Equipment, tools and buildingsThe rule establishes standards related to equipment, tools and buildings to prevent these sources, and inadequate sanitation, from contaminating produce. This section of the rule covers, for example, greenhouses, germination chambers, and other such structures, as well as toilet and hand-washing facilities. Required measures to prevent contamination of covered produce and food contact surfaces include, for example, appropriate storage, maintenance and cleaning of equipment and tools.The rule does not apply to:• Produce that is not a raw agricultural commodity. (A raw agricultural commodity is any food in its raw or natural state).• Food grains, including barley, dent- or flint-corn, sorghum, oats, rice, rye, wheat, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and oilseeds (e.g. cotton seed, flax seed, rapeseed, soybean, and sunflower seed).• Produce that is used for personal or on-farm consumption.• Farms that have an average annual value of produce sold during the previous three-year period of $25,000 or less.• The rule provides an exemption for produce that receives commercial processing that adequately reduces the presence of microorganisms of public health significance, under certain conditions. The rule also provides a qualified exemption and modified requirements for certain farms. To be eligible for a qualified exemption, the farm must meet two requirements: the farm must have food sales averaging less than $500,000 per year during the previous three years; and the farm’s sales to qualified end-users must exceed sales to all others combined during the previous three years. A qualified end-user is either (a) the consumer of the food or (b) a restaurant or retail food establishment that is located in the same state or the same Indian reservation as the farm or not more than 275 miles away.• A farm with the qualified exemption must still meet certain modified requirements, including disclosing the name and the complete business address of the farm where the produce was grown either on the label of the produce or at the point of purchase. These farms are also required to establish and keep certain documentation.• A farm’s qualified exemption may be withdrawn as follows if there is an active investigation of an outbreak of foodborne illness that is directly linked to the farm, or if FDA determines it is necessary to protect the public health and prevent or mitigate an outbreak based on conduct or conditions associated with the farm. For much more (including details on the production of sprouts), visit http://www.regulations.gov/ FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act page atwww.fda.gov/FSMA.last_img read more

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