Contact us/ Search FoodHACCP.com/ Consulting room/
Internet Journal of Food Safety/ On-Line Courese/ Discussion Room


Sponsorship Q/A
New Sponsor

Click Logo to Visit OXOID

Advances in the Treatment and Diagnosis of Food Allergy: Presented at the 2004 AAAAI Annual Meeting
March 22, 2004
From a press release
SAN FRANCISCO -- The major peanut allergen, Ara h 1, does not appear to be widely distributed in schools, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's (AAAAI) 2004 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Tamara T. Perry, MD, and colleagues from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine examined several factors: peanut allergen on surfaces in schools, the presence of residual peanut protein after using cleaning products, and airborne peanut protein when people were eating several forms of peanut.
After cleaning hands with liquid soap, bar soap or commercial wipes, the peanut allergen was undetectable. However, plain water and antibacterial hand sanitizer left detectable peanut allergen on 3/10 hands. Common household cleaning agents, except dishwashing liquid, easily removed peanut allergen from tabletops.
Despite fear of airborne peanut allergens, the study was unable to detect any after simulating real-life situations when peanut butter, shelled peanuts and unshelled peanuts were consumed.
Sensitivity to Dietary Proteins released in Breast Milk Causing Colic in Infants
Colic in breast-fed infants younger than 6 weeks of age is associated with intolerance to dietary proteins excreted in breast milk. These findings were presented today at the 2004 AAAAI Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Over a seven-day period, David J Hill, FAAAAI, and colleagues from Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, studied breastfed infants with colic less than 6 weeks old. Mothers were randomly assigned to a "low- allergen" diet that excluded milk, egg, wheat, peanut, tree nuts and fish or a "control" diet that included these foods.
Ninety infants completed the program; 47 receiving the "low allergen" and 43 the "control" diet. More children in the "low-allergen" group (74%) than in the control group (34%) saw a 25% decrease in their distress. In the last 48 hours of the study, the "low-allergen" group had 128 minutes less distress than the "control" group.
The results of this study suggest that breast fed infants less than 6 weeks of age with colic may be allergic to trace amounts of dietary protein normally excreted in breast milk. The researchers found that breastfed infants less than 6 weeks old respond positively when breastfeeding mothers are placed on a low allergen diet.
Prevalence of self-reported seafood allergy in the United States
Self-reported, physician diagnosed and/or convincing allergy to seafood is reported by 2.3% of the general population, or an estimated 6.5 million Americans, according to a study presented at the 2004 AAAAI Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Scott Sicherer, MD, FAAAAI, and colleagues from Mount Sinai School of Medicine surveyed 5,529 households in a nationwide, cross-sectional, random sample telephone interview using a standardized questionnaire and predetermined criteria to indicate seafood allergy.
The study found:
2.8% of adults and 0.6% of children under the age of 18 reported allergy to some seafood
Multiple reactions were reported by 53% for fish and 57% for shellfish allergy
Medical care was sought by 55% with fish and 40% with shellfish
Researchers found that the most common offending foods were salmon, tuna and halibut among fish and shrimp, crab and lobster among shellfish.
Common food allergens found in pediatric skin care products
Common allergenic foods are widely present in all types of pediatric skin care products, which may represent a previously unknown source of exposure, according to a study presented at the 2004 AAAAI Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Kelly K.M. Newhall, MD, and colleagues from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago, examined 293 pediatric skin care products (PSCPs). The PSCPs labels were reviewed and vague ingredients like "fragrances" and "vegetables" were identified by manufacturers. The common allergenic foods (CAFs) recorded were cow milk, soy, wheat, egg, peanut, hydrolyzed soy and tree nuts.
Results from the study:
26.6% of the products contained CAFs and 46% contained other foods
Tree nuts were present in 14% of the products
Cow milk, wheat, soy and hydrolyzed soy were least found
Lotions, creams and baby oils were most likely to contain CAFs
No products contained egg or peanuts
These findings suggest that common pediatric skin care products should be suspected by parents as a source of exposure for their child's allergic reaction.
New Chinese herbal medicine prevents anaphylaxis in peanut-allergic mice
A Chinese herbal medicine formula completely prevented anaphylaxis in peanut-allergic mice, according to a study presented at the 2004 AAAAI Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
Kamal D. Srivastava, MS, and colleagues of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, gave an oral treatment of Chinese herbal medicine formula (FAHF-2) to peanut- allergic mice twice a day for seven weeks. The peanut-specific IgE was considerably reduced in the FAHF-2 treated mice compared to the control mice in early and later treatments. The FAHF-2 completely protected the mice from anaphylaxis. The treated mice had a higher body temperature and significantly lower plasma histamine than the control mice.
These studies were presented at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), taking place March 19-23, 2004 in San Francisco. The AAAAI is the largest professional medical specialty organization in the United States representing allergists, asthma specialists, clinical immunologists, allied health professionals and others with a special interest in the research and treatment of allergic disease. Established in 1943, the AAAAI has nearly 6,000 members in the United States, Canada and 60 other countries. The AAAAI serves as an advocate to the public by providing educational information through its Web site, www.aaaai.org , and its Physician Referral and Information Line, 1-800-822-2762.

Next Generation Traceability
source from: http://www.meatnews.com/
The Australian livestock industry continues to refine its traceability system. Meat and Livestock Australia will continue to develop and improve the National Livestock Identification System by providing database services, information and practical field-based solutions. This was the commitment made by NLIS manager Mick Prendergast to producers, who attended a series of NLIS meetings held across Queensland last week.

"Our stakeholders in Queensland sent a clear message that they have a number of technical issues relating to the NLIS,¡± he said. ¡°We attended the meetings to listen to these concerns and we are committed to following these issues up and where necessary delivering solutions.¡±

He added: ¡°A number of producers have come forward seeking help with the technology and I'd like to encourage other producers to do the same. MLA has full confidence in the NLIS. It is not a system that can be introduced overnight, but it is operating successfully under Australian conditions and there are a range of solutions available.¡±

Prendergast also committed to undertake a survey of current NLIS database users to clarify and quantify any difficulties they may be having with the database. ¡°Conducting a survey of users will give us hard evidence to act on,¡± he said.

MLA will continue to develop demonstration sites and run information workshops to help stakeholders better understand and get the most out of the NLIS. ¡°MLA, in conjunction with state departments of agriculture have over 50 NLIS demonstration sites around the country,¡± Prendergast emphasized. ¡°We are currently working with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries to develop an additional 25 sites in Queensland. We have delivered over 20 workshops around the country during the past six months and the next series of workshops will begin at the end of March, most of which will be held in Queensland.¡±

Current Food Safety Informaiton
03/23. Advances in the Treatment and Diagnosis of Food Allergy
03/23. Threat to food supply on rise: Pathogens
03/23. A wide range of views comments and suggestions expected at m
03/23. USA: Food allergies affect one in 25 Americans - research
03/23. Millions of euros poured into food contaminants
03/23. Putting COOL Back on Track
03/23. Next Generation Traceability
03/23. McGuinty government to double water testing at Ontario abatt
03/23. WHO warns of contamination of formula milk
03/23. Agencies renew mercury-fish link
03/23. Food borne environmental pollutants to be tackled
03/23. Coke recall highlights need for complete traceability
03/23. New NFPA Symposium Announced: Prion Inactivation
03/23. Supplement, drug reactions may not pose serious risk
03/23. Food Avoidance Doesn't Prevent Allergy
03/23. Beware the effects of browning
03/23. Japanese Consumers Tell Canada to Stop GM Wheat
03/23. Supreme Court won't hear appeal of state E. coli case
03/23. Dry infant formula can be dangerous, researchers warn
03/23. Single roof for food safety in NSW
03/23. South Asian Initiative for Uniform Food Standards
03/23. Youth jailed for serving snotty fast food
03/23. Possible Lawsuits in Wake of Popcorn-Flavoring Ruling
03/23. Warning over curry food colourings
03/23. Health Fears Raised Over Favorite UK Curry Dish
03/23. Dutchman convicted for poisoning yoghurt

03/22. Consumption advice: Joint Federal advisory for mercury in fi
03/22. US must learn from EU in coping with BSE, says Byrne
03/22. 600 chicken carcasses uninspected at Sask Lilydale plant due
03/22. Why risk it? A question of confidence: A Co-ordinated approa
03/22. For the record
03/22. Salmonella in eggs survey: find out more
03/22. Canada Identifies Possible Source Of Mad-Cow Cases
03/22. Tracing of Cohorts 1996 ?1998
03/22. CFIA's investigation into the December 2003 BSE case found i
03/22. Dirty water and poor sanitation kill over 5,000 children eve
03/22. Inspection agency meat stamps missing from Burlington proces
03/22. NFPA says 2004 advisory on mercury and fish consumption "sho
03/22. Traceability in the U.S. food supply: economic theory and in

Current Recall Information




As many readers will know, there is an increasing concern in the food industry about the occurrence of Enterobacter sakazakii infections in neonates who have been fed milk-based powdered infant formula. To assist food laboratories in the testing of these products, we have introduced Oxoid Chromogenic Enterobacter sakazakii Agar (Druggan-Forsythe-Iversen (DFI) formulation) that allows recovery and detection of E. sakazakii in just 3 days - 2 days faster than by conventional methods. Enterobacter sakazakii is a Gram-negative rod-shaped bacterium within the family Enterobacteriaceae. The organism was called "yellow-pigmented Enterobacter cloacae" until 1980 when it was renamed Enterobacter sakazakii.1 Urmenyi and Franklin reported the first two known cases of meningitis caused by E. sakazakii in 1961. Subsequently, cases of meningitis, septicaemia, and necrotizing enterocolitis due to E. sakazakii have been reported worldwide.

Infants born prematurely and those with underlying medical conditions are at the highest risk of developing E. sakazakii infection. Clusters of E. sakazakii infections linked to powdered infant formula products from various manufacturers have been reported in a number of countries. Outbreaks have also occurred in neonatal intensive care units worldwide.2

In 2002 the FDA published a recommended method for isolating and identifying E. sakazakii from infant formula: pre-enrichment in sterile water and enrichment in EE Broth is followed by plating onto VRBG Agar then sub culture onto Tryptone Soya Agar. Yellow-pigmented colonies are confirmed as E. sakazakii by oxidase and other biochemical tests.

When compared to the current FDA method, all clinical and food strains of E. sakazakii (95/95) were detected on the new Oxoid chromogenic Enterobacter sakazakii Agar (DFI formulation) two days sooner than the alternative method.3

Pre-enrichment and selective enrichment are followed by plating samples onto Oxoid Chromogenic Enterobacter sakazakii Agar (DFI formulation). This innovative new chromogenic medium contains the substrate 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-¥á,D-glucopyranoside which is cleaved by the enzyme ¥á-glucosidase, expressed by E. sakazakii, to form easily distinguishable blue-green colonies.
Oxoid Chromogenic Enterobacter sakazakii Agar (DFI Formulation) - CM1055

1. Lai KK. Enterobacter sakazakii infections among neonates, infants, children, and adults. Medicine 2001;80:113-22.
2. van Acker et al. Outbreak of necrotizing enterocolitis associated with Enterobacter sakazakii in powdered milk formula. J Clin Microbiol 2001;39:293-97
3. Data on file at Oxoid Ltd.

REGIONAL: High Court lets Sizzler sue Excel over e.coli

Posted on Tue, Mar. 23, 2004
The U.S. Supreme Court let Worldwide Restaurant Concepts Inc.'s Sizzler USA sue a meat company over an outbreak of E.coli poisoning that killed a girl who ate at a Milwaukee Sizzler restaurant in 2000 and made others ill. The court refused to hear an appeal by Excel Corp., a unit of Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc., seeking to end the suit by Sizzler and some of those who became ill. Excel argued it couldn't be sued in state court because the meat products it sold weren't considered "adulterated" under federal standards. Sizzler plans to seek more than $10 million in damages from Excel, a Sizzler lawyer said.

NFPA says 2004 advisory on mercury and fish consumption "should help targeted: Populations understand the benefits of including fish in their diets"
March 19, 2004
National Food Processors Association ?Press Release
(Washington, D.C.) - In response to the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency of a 2004 advisory on methyl mercury and fish consumption, targeted to pregnant women, women of childbearing age and young children, Dr. Rhona Applebaum, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer of the National Food Processors Association (NFPA), made the following comments:
"This 2004 advisory underscores the importance of fish consumption, and should help the targeted populations to better understand how a variety of fish - including canned fish - can and should be included in healthful diets. The advisory states that pregnant women, women of childbearing age and young children should not eat Shark, Swordfish, Tilefish and King Mackerel and can safely eat up to 12 ounces of a variety of fish each week, including canned light tuna, and up to six ounces of canned albacore tuna a week, the latter translating to the equivalent of three tuna sandwiches a week. "Fish consumption provides confirmed and real health benefits, including, but not limited to, coronary heart benefits as well as benefits to central nervous system development. Further, recent research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help lower the risk of heart disease. These and other potential benefits would be lost if consumption of all fish were reduced. It is critical that we provide information to consumers across the board that helps them to understand how eating a variety of fish is essential to their health. To repeat, the overwhelming health and nutritional benefits gained from fish consumption-to all segments of the population-must continue to be explained to the public to ensure that fish remains part of their diets and healthy lifestyles.
"In addition to FDA, a variety of other U.S. public health agencies and groups such as the American Heart Association, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have acknowledged the health and nutritional benefits gained from fish consumption. Fish is an essential part of a healthful diet for all consumers. Many scientific and medical studies have documented the health benefits of fish, which are an excellent low-fat source of protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, including essential fatty acids.
"It must be remembered that advisories such as this are guidance documents targeted at select subsets of the population and do not represent the complete set of tools for public health and nutrition education; they are not complete solutions in and of themselves, nor should they be. We must be sure that these populations, and consumers in general, do not interpret this 2004 advisory as a warning against consuming all fish. More education efforts are needed to ensure that pregnant women, women of childbearing age and the parents of young children understand the importance of including a variety of fish in their diets and in the diets of their families."

FDA and EPA Announce the Revised Consumer Advisory on Methylmercury in Fish
Backgrounder for the 2004 FDA/EPA Consumer Advisory
FDA: What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish
EPA: What You Need to Know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish
Joint Federal Advisory for Mercury in Fish
Food Safety Regulatory Essentials Training: Course Descriptions and Schedule page
USDA: Transcript of Remarks From Technical Briefing on BSE and Related Issues
GRAS: Time-Tested, and Trusted, Food Ingredients
Veneman Announces Expanded BSE Surveillance Program
Codex Alimentarius Commission: 32nd Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling

Public Meeting to Address Codex Committee On Food Labeling
FSIS Constituent Update: March 12, 2004
How to Report Problems With Products Regulated by FDA
Library of Export Requirements: Updated March 11, 2004
FDA Commends Senate Passage of Bill Providing Improved Consumer Protection and Incentives
Guidebook for the Preparation of HACCP Plans and Generic HACCP Models
Compliance Guideline for Meat and Poultry Jerky
Allergenic Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated March 9, 2004
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy; minimal risk regions and importation of commodities

Current Outbreaks
03/19. Tummy bug takes hold [Australia]
03/19. Cholera claims 76 in Mozambique
03/19. Six hospitalised as bug strikes in the Waikato [NZ]
03/18. Source of school outbreak might never be traced
03/18. Hash cake hospitalises teachers
03/18. Officials: Possible St. Louis school food-poisoning outbreak
03/17. Virus sickens hotel's patrons in Las Vegas
03/17. Officials scrambling to determine what sickened 45 students
03/17. Dozens Sick After St. Louis School Lunch
03/17. Students sickened at city school

03/16. Hepatitis A - Russia (Karachayevsk-Cherkessia) (02)
03/16. Food poisoning, clostridial - Croatia (Zagreb)
03/15. Viral gastroenteritis epidemic of 2002 associated with new n
03/15. West Coast oysters responsible for food poisoning
03/12. Salmonella Outbreak Linked to L.A. Eatery
03/11. Fish, so foul! Foodborne illness caused by combined fish his
03/11. Medical officials pin rash of illnesses on oysters
03/11. Six babies die in South Africa after being fed with tainted
03/11. Kucinich released from hospital after being treated for stom
03/11. Food Poisoning Traced to Deer-Soiled Lettuce

03/10. Listeriosis, neonatal - USA (CA)
03/10. 125 MP tribals fall ill after feast [India]
03/09. Kucinich in Ohio Hospital with Stomach Flu
03/08. Warning follows illness of two Marin infants
03/04. Pirates Notebook: Food poisons Davis' debut
03/03. 76 suffer food poisoning at wedding party in China

Current New Methods
03/23. Invention could revolutionize decontamination & purification
03/23. KSU working to hardwire cattle for health tracking
03/22. Industrial Vacuum Helps Ensure Food Safety, Identified as th
03/22. Pathchek¢â Hygiene Monitoring Test Now Available in Asia-Pacific Region

INDUSTRY EXCLUSIVE: KSU working to hardwire cattle for health tracking

by Daniel Yovich on 3/23/04 for Meatingplace.com

Researchers at Kansas State University are fine-tuning a system that could lay the groundwork for a nationwide system to speedily track outbreaks of livestock diseases, an innovation that could be of immeasurable assistance in the prevention of both bio-terrorism induced illness and in containing outbreaks of naturally occurring epidemics like foot-and-mouth disease.

It maybe be three-to-five years before the KSU research is available to producers, said Howard Erickson, a KSU professor of physiology and the current recipient of the university's Roy W. Upham endowed chair. But within six to18 months, the university is expected to field test in feed lots the high-tech system that will monitor individual animal's breathing, heart rate, temperature and other health indicators that could quickly pinpoint the source of an outbreak and raise the alarm at the first sign of illness in a herd.

"What we're trying right now is to identify the parameters of what we need to track," Erickson told Meatingplace.com. "I think the push for this [research came from Britain's] foot-and-mouth, but it clearly has applications as it applies to bio-terrorism. And this doesn't have to be germane to just cattle. It can be used with hogs or sheep."

The KSU system uses wireless technology to monitor vital statistics, which can be accessed by a ranch hand on a palm-held computer as the cattle approach feed and watering sites. The technology also registers a history of when the 'wired' cattle eat and drink, and the ultimate aim of the study is to come up with a prototype that can form the backbone of a nationwide monitoring system very similar to those being developed to detect human disease outbreaks.

The current estimated cost to 'wire' an animal is about $100, but Erikson noted only one or two animals in herd would need to be monitored to track outbreaks of infectious diseases.