Improved catfish inspections at risk
After a seven-year battle to improve food safety inspections of imported catfish, the U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA) officially assumed inspection responsibilities from the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) in April 2016.
However, some national leaders are pushing to move inspections back to the FDA, though the USDA has a better record of finding and returning tainted fish.
In its first seven months of inspections, the USDA stopped five shipments of Vietnamese fish contaminated with banned chemicals.
By contrast, only two shipments with known carcinogens were discovered in the last two years the FDA conducted inspections.
The U. S. Senate approved a resolution to move catfish inspections back to the FDA in May. Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions voted against the measure. The U.S. House of Representatives did not take up the resolution in the last Congress, but a new bill could be filed in 2017.
Alfa Insurance agents and adjusters started working Monday, Jan. 2 to respond to policyholders affected by severe weather in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Alfa has more than 100 claims adjusters ready to serve customers. To file a claim: Contact local Alfa service centers
Call the Customer Resource Center at 1-800964-2532, open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
Use “Report A Claim” on the Alfa homepage at AlfaInsurance. com
Use the Alfa2Go app for iPhone and Android smartphones
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC), part of the National Weather Service, received reports of possible tornadoes in Bullock and Houston counties in Alabama; Baker, Calhoun, Decatur, Early and Worth counties in Georgia; and Covington and Simpson counties in Mississippi. NWS will conduct surveys to determine the rating of each storm.
The SPC also received hail reports from Sumter County in Alabama. Rainfall totals in central Alabama ranged from 1.6 inches in Birmingham to 5.6 inches in Troy. Flooding damaged roads in some parts of the state.
In Rehobeth, a community south of Dothan in Houston County, residents are mourning the loss of four people who died when a tree fell on their home. All Rehobeth schools are closed today.
Alfa policyholders are encouraged to make temporary repairs to property to prevent additional damage. Retain receipts from purchases related to temporary repairs to include with any claims.
Disaster victims are prime targets for criminals, as insurance scams nationwide account for $30 billion in losses annually. Policyholders should be wary of unsolicited or unexpected offers to perform repairs or conduct inspections. Contact your state attorney general’s office with reports of suspected fraud, looting or price gouging. For tips on avoiding frauds or scams and storm preparation, visit Alfa’s Severe Storm Center.
For additional updates, visit AlfaInsurance.com, Facebook.com/AlfaInsurance or Twitter.com/Alfa_ Insurance.