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USDA announces new BSE testing sites
by Daniel Yovich on 3/31/04 for Meatingplace.com
The Agriculture Department has selected seven veterinary schools around the nation to participate in the agency's 10-fold increase in its bovine spongiform encephalopathy surveillance program, which was announced on March 15. A USDA spokesperson described the university labs as "high-put-through" operations that currently test for chronic wasting disease. The veterinary schools designated to test for BSE are the University of California at Davis, Colorado State, Cornell, Texas A&M, Georgia, Wisconsin and Washington State University.

All of the labs will use one of two recently USDA-approved rapid tests on harvested cattle brain samples. Previously, the only lab that had performed BSE testing tests was the agency's National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

That facility cannot handle the anticipated increase in testing, which USDA pegged at more than 221,000 tests in the coming year.

The additional testing will cost an estimated $70 million, and the expansion in the program reflects the recommendations of an international scientific review panel she appointed a week after mad cow disease was confirmed in a Washington state Holstein slaughtered on Dec. 9.

Last year, USDA conducted BSE testing on tissue samples from 20,543 animals, virtually all of them downers. The vast majority of the estimated 221,000 cattle to be tested this year for the brain disease will also be downers, in keeping with USDA's policy that these animals are more likely to have the disease than apparently healthy animals.

Symposium explores safety of acrylamide in food
IFT Daily News
3/29/2004-Two years ago, Swedish scientists first reported unexpectedly high levels of the chemical acrylamide, a probable human carcinogen, in carbohydrate-rich foods, including potato chips, French fries, and some breads. Since then, researchers have quickly launched dozens of acrylamide studies worldwide. How does acrylamide form? Which foods carry the highest levels? Does acrylamide pose a significant cancer risk? At the 227th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, the ACS Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry hosted a series of presentations on "Chemistry and Safety of Acrylamide in Food."

GAO urges food safety regulatory reform

The Washington Times


WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. Government Accounting Office has asked Congress to rewrite the patchwork of federal food safety laws and create one independent food agency.

Lawrence Dyckman, director of natural resources and environment at the GAO told the House Government Reform Civil Service Subcommittee Tuesday that while the food supply is generally safe, the threat of bioterrorism and mad cow disease make a highly efficient food inspection system more important today than ever.

There are currently 30 separate federal food safety laws enforced by divisions of the Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and 10 other agencies.

Dyckman argued that a "uniform, consistent and risk-based" system of laws should be developed and implemented by one agency to avoid the inefficient design of the current system with misallocated funding and resources and overlapping of duties.

The move is opposed by the Bush administration, which argues that the multiple-agency approach currently in use works well.

In separate statements, Robert Brackett, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition director and Merle Pierson, USDA deputy undersecretary for food safety noted that the current system has given the United States one of the safest food supplies in the world.

Current Food Safety Informaiton
03/31. Fact sheet: Nitrofurans in imported honey and prawns [Australia]
03/31. New EU Centre for Disease Prevention and Control adopted
03/31. GAO urges food safety regulatory reform
03/31. Considering cows and cosmetics
03/31. County Declared Free of Cattle Disease
03/31. Nods and a Knock
03/31. USDA announces new BSE testing sites
03/31. EU lifts ban on some U.S., Canadian poultry imports
03/31. International scientists gather to discuss acrylamide
03/31. Government Should Seek A Coordinated Food Safety Policy,
03/31. Perspective by Meat Processing Global editor Chris Harris
03/31. Germany says restaurant food must be marked as GMO
03/31. Canadians trace feed in mad cow cases to two mills
03/31. Digestive Health & Wellness: Coping with food allergies
03/31. Is Your Pet At Risk For Mad Cow Disease?
03/31. Don't spread germs: Avoiding cross-contamination in the home
03/31. E. coli bacteria found in quarter of Six Nations wells
03/31. How safe is our food? / Private sector struggles to cope wit
03/31. New food norms on the menu [India]

03/30. There is no zero risk society
03/30. Can a positive message make headlines?
03/30. Different cultures, different perception of risk
03/30. Irrational fears or legitimate concerns? Getting risk in per
03/30. Independent food safety agencies - a major component of gove
03/30. Meat inspection vital
03/30. Partnerships in food safety: how the interface between decis
03/30. Don't wash your hands without reading this: Avoid antibacter
03/30. Tin in canned foods
03/30. Food safety programs in high risk sectors
03/30. Meat inspection review holds second public meeting in London, ON
03/30. Canada sees U.S. border open to cattle after April 7
03/30. Waiter, There's a Drug in My Rice
03/30. Dairy health benefits questioned
03/30. Symposium explores safety of acrylamide in food
03/30. Veal Hormone Update
03/30. Penn & Teller chew on PETA
03/30. USDA formally asks trade partners to lift beef ban
03/30. NAMP Management Conference: FSIS to up testing, training
03/30. Hawaii considers investigation of antibiotics and hormones i
03/30. Suburban St. Louis retailer sentenced in meat adulteration c
03/30. Food safety agencies pivotal role in risk perception
03/30. Studies fail to find link between acrylamide and some cancer
03/30. Studies Find No Acrylamide, Cancer Link
03/30. Governor vetoes bill to increase mad-cow safeguards
03/30. WSU to Begin Testing for Mad Cow Disease
03/30. WSU to test for mad cow disease
03/30. Seven labs chosen to test for mad cow
03/30. USDA: Govt.'s Iowa Lab Not Secure for BSE Work
03/30. Bacteria, viruses and dirt ?oh my; are we too worried about
03/30. Ban on genetically altered food threatens hungry Angolans

03/29. UW-River Falls 24th Food Microbiology
03/29. Important notice from the medical officer of health Boil Wat
03/29. Two men, business sentenced for causing meat to become taint
03/29. Lawmakers Want Stronger Law on Diet Supplements
03/29. Veal Violations
03/29. FSIS Focus Further Defined
03/29. Japan 'welcomes' USDA consideration of voluntary, total test
03/29. Threshold of allergen food ingredients needs more research
03/29. Nut and Peanut Allergy
03/29. U.S. Presses for Mad Cow Ban to Be Lifted
03/29. Poland finds 13th case of mad cow disease
03/29. Cancer-fried food link yields clue

03/28. FSA probes poultry safety
03/28. FSAI Issues Guidelines On Consumption Of Shark, Swordfish, M
03/28. Conference at MSU to explore organic food safety
03/28. Food allergy policy sent back
03/28. Fish processors challenge ad claims
03/28. Safety CD released
03/28. FDA delays new food safety proposals

03/27. Healthy eating for two
03/27. County eyes illegal food vendors
03/27. Hygiene issues are one of the key drivers of restaurant choi
03/27. Food watchdogs check sell-by date 'fiddle' on meat
03/27. Microbiology Event of the Year
03/27. The FSIS Seeks Research Proposals on Food Safety

03/26. Codex Alimentarius : CCFAC - Codex Committee on Food Additiv
03/26. Codex Alimentarius : CCFH - Codex Committee on Food Hygiene
03/26. Newly isolated Vibrio cholerae non-O1, non-O139 phages
03/26. Salmonella Agona harboring genomic island 1-A
03/26. California lawmakers introduce bill to require testing all c
03/26. BC-Japan-US-Mad
03/26. Restaurant inspection scores and foodborne disease
03/26. Update: Manufacturer's recall of rapid cartridge assay kits
03/26. New trends in the application of HACCP in the catering indus
03/26. Metals in the diet
03/26. SuperSafeMark training
03/26. Money, not health, key in meat inspections: hearing told
03/26. More foods found to contain acrylamide
03/26. Reader Comments on COOL
03/26. Second Test Approved
03/26. BREAKING NEWS: USA Today endorses Creekstone testing plan
03/26. BREAKING NEWS: California lawmakers mull 100 percent BSE tes
03/26. Canadian officials examine deadstock dumping claims
03/26. Bakery buys into concept of complete traceability
03/26. Subcommittee on Scientific Criteria for Redefining Pasteuriz
03/26. AAAAI: Seafood Allergy More Common Than Assumed
03/26. Beef firm faces perplexing resistance to mad cow tests
03/26. U.S. beef is well tested, safe
03/26. One new BSE case this week
03/26. Genome sequence reveals leaner, meaner intestinal parasite
03/26. Hygiene issues are one of the key drivers of restaurant choi
03/26. Tuna Processors Deride 'Political Agenda' of Environmentalis
03/26. Quality Chekd Dairies Presents Top Achievement, Excellence i
03/26. Genome study shows how food poisoning parasite resists drugs
03/26. Allergic to Certain Foods? [Sci4Kids]

03/25. Canada Urges 'Wide Open' Beef Trade With U.S.
03/25. Mint traceability
03/25. Don't Let Food Allergies Spoil Dinner
03/25. FDA Finds Cancer-Risk Acrylamides in More Food
03/25. Results from FDA Acrylamide Research 'Are Not a Finding of R
03/25. Seed Safety
03/25. Mad cow testing: What is the goal?
03/25. Irish Bovine Tracing System
03/25. Home-Sick
03/25. eMerge Interactive Retains Murdock Capital Partners for Corp
03/25. NAMA Fights for the Use of Tool to Keep Insects out of Consu
03/25. PCT Media Group Publishes Quality Assurance & Food Safety Magazine

03/24. Artificial prions created
03/24. Klein: U.S. border to reopen to Canadian cattle in June
03/24. Penn State Food Safety Series
03/24. safefood delivers some chilling news for Irish consumers
03/24. Tuna advice updated
03/24. Fishy business
03/24. Clearing the air
03/24. Meat inspectors need more backup to keep food safe, OPSEU sa
03/24. Mad cow testing: How much is enough?
03/24. Dirty crockery puts off UK diners
03/24. Food Safety Leaders Launch International Council on Food Irradiation
03/24. NAS recommends new guidelines for infant formula ingredients
03/24. Processor Fined
03/24. Groups seek uniform North American BSE policy
03/24. AMI and North American Meat Industry Urge Expedited Trade Ha
03/24. Food Allergens Common in Kids' Skin Products
03/24. Mad-cow testing official resigns
03/24. Gresham restaurant cleans up after failing grade
03/24. Science not credentials should determine the course of food
03/24. FSAI Issues Guidelines On Consumption Of Shark, Swordfish, M
03/24. New legislation for agriculture pending [Barbados]
03/24. Meat inspectors need more backup to keep food safe, OPSEU sa
03/24. Walsh in warning to EU accession states
03/24. Understanding risk
03/24. Workshop set for produce food safety [Skagit Co, WA, USA]
03/24. Syscan Appoints Vice-President, Food and Health Safety
03/24. China to experiment on setting up food security credibility
03/24. HHS Will Lead Government-Wide Effort to Enhance Biosecurity in "Dual Use" Research

Current Recall Information

Don't wash your hands without reading this: Avoid antibacterial soaps
March 29, 2004
Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center
Buyer beware: before you buy antibacterial soap you should know your soap may do more harm than good, says Peggy Edwards, chair of the department of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University¡¯s Doisy School of Allied Heath Professions.
What is dangerous about antibacterial soaps? Aren¡¯t soaps that kill bacteria good for us?
¡°That is a common misconception,¡± Edwards says. ¡°There is little supportive evidence that antibacterial products are effective in preventing illnesses.¡±
There is growing support, however, that antibacterial products have adverse consequences. The most serious consequence, says Edwards, is that the overuse of consumer antibacterial products may make bacteria resistant to therapeutic antibiotics.
More than 45 percent of soaps contain antibacterial ingredients. And the options do not stop there. Cleaning products, laundry detergents, trash bags and sponges are among the growing list of consumer antibacterial options. Edwards gives five reasons why consumers should avoid antibacterial products all together.
1. Antibacterial products will not keep you healthier. ¡°Antibacterial products are only effective in killing bacteria,¡± Edwards said. ¡°They do not prevent the spread of viral infections, which are responsible for a large percentage of contagious diseases such as the flu and colds.¡±
2. Antibacterial products could make bacteria resistant to antibiotic medication. Unlike therapeutic antibiotics, household antibacterial products are used in low and unpredictable concentrations. When bacteria are exposed to low and infrequent dosages of antibacterial ingredients, they are more likely to form a resistance to the antibiotics, including the therapeutic antibiotics used in clinical settings to prevent the spread of infections and treat pathogenic bacterial infections, Edwards said.
3. Antibacterial products go somewhere after we wash them down the drain. The widespread use of these chemicals contributes to their presence in wastewater and ultimately in the environment. The effects of these chemicals on the environment have yet to be determined.
4. Antibacterial soaps give us a false sense of security. ¡°You may think that by using antibacterial soap you can eliminate bacteria, but that simply is not the case,¡± Edwards said. ¡°Bacteria are everywhere, and most bacteria are not harmful.¡± Good hand washing is still highly effective in removing bacteria, Edwards said.
5. Waterless sanitizers may be particularly dangerous. Alcohol is the ingredient used in waterless sanitizers. Because alcohol is flammable, it might not be appropriate for unsupervised use by young children.
It is important to note that the use of antibacterial wash products still has an important role in preventing nosocomial infections, which are infections that originate in hospitals. However in these areas their use is more carefully monitored and more judiciously applied.
¡°Certainly, more convincing evidence needs to be presented to warrant the risks involved,¡± Edwards said. ¡°Until then consumer use of antibacterial products should be limited.¡±
Established in 1836, Saint Louis University School of Medicine has the distinction of awarding the first M.D. degree west of the Mississippi River. Saint Louis University School of Medicine is a pioneer in geriatric medicine, organ transplantation, chronic disease prevention, cardiovascular disease, neurosciences and vaccine research, among others. The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level.


WSU to test for mad cow disease

This story was published Tuesday, March 30th, 2004
By Jeff St. John Herald staff writer

A Washington State University laboratory is one of seven across the country to be certified for high-speed testing for mad cow disease, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday. WSU's Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Pullman can expect new testing equipment to help in USDA's plan for increasing the number of cattle tested for the disease and the speed of the tests, said Darin Watkins, spokesman for WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, which operates the lab. "We're eager to hear the full details from USDA very soon," he said. "We think it's critical in helping to assure the food supply in the U.S. is safe."Many aspects of USDA's plan are yet to be announced, including what company will provide the testing equipment and how much money will be available for the seven labs. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said earlier this month that the cost of the entire testing program is estimated at $70 million. But USDA has set a June 1 deadline to start testing a minimum of 221,000 cattle in the next 12 to 18 months for mad cow disease, officially called bovine spongiform encephalopathy. That compares with the 20,000 cattle that were being tested each year before the nation's first case of mad cow disease was reported in a Mabton cow in December. USDA's preliminary estimates on how many cattle it would sample for tests each year include about 5,200 cattle in Washington, about 4,000 in Oregon and about 9,000 in Idaho. WSU's lab could be expected to handle about 18,000 tests a year. WSU's Watkins said the labs will be expected to handle at least 1,000 tests a month. He estimated potential testing equipment could cost from $100,000 to $500,000. Any positive result would be sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for validation, he said. Because any cattle sampled for tests can't enter the human food chain until the test comes back negative, speed is essential for cattle producers, he explained. "The good thing about these regional labs, and about WSU in particular, is to get a quicker return on tests," said Sid Viebrock, president of the Washington Cattlemen's Association.

WSU's inclusion as a certified lab was praised by members of Washington's congressional delegation, who said it will help ensure fast and accurate testing for the Northwest cattle industry. "It just makes sense to have a regional testing center in Washington," U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Wash, said in a statement. "Jobs in our Pacific Northwest cattle industry depend on rapid turnaround of these tests." Nethercutt claimed credit for lobbying the USDA to get WSU's lab included in the final list, which also includes labs in California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Texas, Georgia and New York. "Congressman Hastings strongly supported Congressman Nethercutt's efforts to secure a role for WSU," said Jessica Gleason, spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. "(Nethercutt) deserves a lot of credit for making this happen." A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash, praised USDA's choice of WSU as offering "faster testing and greater protection for Washington state consumers" and cattle producers. "This is great news for the state, and for WSU in particular," said Alex Glass, Murray's spokeswoman. Watkins said the WSU lab likely will hire several people to operate the high-speed, automated testing equipment. He also pointed out the WSU lab's history of cutting-edge work, including the discovery there of the first live-animal test for scabies, a mad cow-like disease in sheep. "We think there are more questions to be answered about (mad cow) disease," he said. "We'd like to be at the forefront of that."

Threat to food supply on rise: Pathogens
March 22, 2004
The Baltimore Sun
Dennis O'Brien
The plentiful supply of meat and year-round produce that enhances our tables these days comes, according to this story, with a price tag: More widely traveled foods are spreading deadly infections.
Green onions from Mexico killed three patrons of a Pennsylvania restaurant and sickened more than 600 in the fall. Mad cow test standards were tightened last week, months after a Washington state Holstein was infected with the disease, traced to a Canadian herd.
A strain of avian flu discovered this month in Maryland - while no threat to humans - endangers the state's multimillion-dollar poultry industry. A deadlier strain has killed 23 people in Asia.
Dr. Robert Lawrence, a professor of preventive medicine at the Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health, was quoted as saying, "I think what we're seeing is an unprecedented vulnerability of the safety of our food supply."
Andrew P. Dobson, a Princeton University biologist, was quoted as telling scientists last week at the American Institute of Biological Sciences' annual conference in Washington that, "By now, you should be relatively scared," noting that the epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease that infected British cattle in 2001 - effectively shutting down that nation's beef industry - started when one farmer fed leftover airline food to his cattle and that the disease spread because the British government was slow to react.
Dr. David W.K. Acheson, director of food safety and security for the Food and Drug Administration, was quoted as saying, "It's very much related to what the American consumer is looking for, the desire for seasonal fruit and vegetables year-round."
In an attempt to monitor the flood of imports, the FDA has hired 600 inspectors and plans to require 420,000 food importers to register and notify the agency before shipping food into the United States.
Under the new regulations, importers must give two hours' notice for goods moved by truck, four hours' notice for rail shipments and eight hours for ships coming into ports.
The notification requirements, which became effective in December, are intended to make it easier for FDA inspectors to identify incoming foodstuffs that might be suspicious. FDA's proposed budget calls for conducting 97,000 import inspections next year, a 60 percent increase over the current year.
But food safety advocates were cited as saying the FDA and other government agencies are too understaffed to adequately inspect the 25,000 shipments of imported food that arrive each day.
The FDA's Acheson was cited as saying there is no way to guarantee an end to mad cow, avian flu, hepatitis A or any other agriculture-based pathogen, but that the nation's food supply is safe and the upgraded inspection system should address concerns about threats from imports, adding, "Food-borne diseases are nothing new. It's not like we're having rampant outbreaks of things we've never seen before. I can't say we'll never have another incident. But we're doing everything we can to prevent them from happening."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 25 percent of Americans are sickened by food each year. Although cases of mad cow disease and avian flu grab headlines, produce still poses the biggest health threat when it comes to food-related illnesses.
A survey by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, another nonprofit watchdog group, found that contaminated produce was responsible for more sickness than any other food source in 2002.
But experts say many food-borne illnesses are the result of improper cooking. Ground beef has been a cause of food-borne disease for 20 years, with E. coli bacteria killing an average of about 60 people in the United States annually.
The story says that green onions imported from Mexico to a Pennsylvania Chi-Chi's restaurant were linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A last fall that killed three people and sickened more than 600. There were smaller outbreaks in other states.
Experts say that much of the produce these days comes from Mexico and South America, where there are fewer inspections and more unsanitary conditions. Salmonella and E. coli are frequently linked to crop contamination caused by dirty irrigation water and untreated manure applied to fields.

Animal Feed Safety System: A Comprehensive Risk-Based Safety Program for the Manufacture

FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated March 26, 2004
FDA Releases Acrylamide Data and Final Acrylamide Action Plan
Letter to Manufacturers, Importers, and Distributors of Imported Candy
FDA Action Plan for Acrylamide in Food
Exploratory Data on Acrylamide in Food - FY 2003 Total Diet Study Results
Exploratory Data on Acrylamide in Food
Studies to Evaluate the Safety of Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Human Food
Vibrio vulnificus Health Education Kit: How to Generate Awareness in the Hispanic Community
Report of the United States Delegate 10th Session of the Codex Committee on Meat Hygiene
Traceability in the U.S. Food Supply: Economic Theory and Industry Studies

Current Outbreaks
03/31. Cholera confirmed as killer of 13 in Transkei
03/31. Cholera hits Zambia presidential guards barracks
03/31. Investigation Under Way Into What Sickened School Employees
03/31. 65 children poisoned by breakfast [China]
03/31. Food poisoning leaves Nevin on bench for Padres' 9-4 loss to
03/31. Food Poisoning: SA Officials Rule Out Sabotage

03/30. Mystery disease in East Cape is cholera
03/30. KAZAKHSTAN: Over 200 people infected with dysentery
03/29. Conn. woman had signs of human mad cow
03/29. Row brews over South Africa`s food poisoning allegation
03/26. Olympic qualifier suffers setback
03/26. Fleming stumped by food poisoning
03/25. Municipality probed over Mpuma cholera deaths [S. Africa]
03/25. Five die from food or water poisoning in Maumere [Indonesia]
03/23. School district closes as dozens fall ill
03/22. Food poisoning hits 57 in China

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

Current New Methods
03/31. Frog skin and supercomputers lead Penn chemists to designing
03/31. Colitag¢â Detects Both MUG Positive and Negative E.coli
03/30. Government of Canada invests in clean water technology
03/30. Innovations in [metal] detection revealed at Total 2004
03/30. Leading mad cow test developed in Pullman
03/29. High-tech handwasher helper points out where the nasties wer
03/29. Cudahy installs UV water treatment system
03/29. Revolutionary Approach to Large-Scale Decontamination of Liquids
03/29. Oxoid Exhibits Extensive Range of Clinical Microbiology Products at ECCMID 2004

03/25. Idexx wins rapid BSE test approval
03/24. Processor Probes for Pathogens
03/24. Test Detects Brucella Bacteria in Goat's Milk
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

Colitag¢â Detects Both MUG Positive and Negative E.coli

Source from: rapidmicrobiology.com
The First Definitive Water Test System For Coliforms & E. coli.
Colitag¢â is the most reliable test available. A unique patented system of injured cell recovery automatically resuscitates and detects chlorine-injured Coliforms and E. colithat other tests can miss. Colitag¢â is the only system that ensures the greatest degree of public safety. Colitag¢â is also the only system that allows you to simultaneously test for MUG-positive and MUG-negative E. coli. That means accurate results you can be doubly sure of, without concern over false MUG-negative readings. Colitag¢â does all this with a simple, ready to use medium that you combine with a water sample. Developed And Designed For EPA Compliance And Other Critical Applications
? Indole-positive, MUG-positive and MUG-negative E. coli in one test
? Allows you to run a traditional Presence/Absence (P/A) or 10-tube MPN format
? Includes built-in ability to detect indole production at 44.5 ¡¾ 0.2¡Æ C
? Enables vigorous bacterial growth for E. coli injured by chlorination
? Provides desired selectivity by the use of growth inhibitors such as sodium lauryl sulfate
? Provides detection limit of 1 CFU of coliform or E. coli bacteria per 100 mL water sample

Northwest Food Processors Association
March 26, 2004
SUMMARY: Fingers are frequently used to handle raw chicken on a cooks line. Raw, fresh chicken is often contaminated with vegetative pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni. These pathogens can thus be transferred to fingers that touch raw chicken pieces and must be reduced to a safe levelbefore the fi ngers touch other food products, particularly ready-to-eat food.
A hand-washing sink, even in close proximity, is often not convenient for the frequent hand washing necessary to prevent cross-contamination. A possible solution to this food safety problem is described by the following simple procedure. The workstation is provided with a bucket containing 4 liters (4,000 ml) of bacteriostatic solution (water acidifi ed to pH 3.5 with 5% acetic acid [vinegar]). A cloth, approximately 12 inches by 12 inches, is placed in the solution and used by the cook to wipe hands and fingers, thus providing the friction necessary for pathogen removal. Bacteria on fingers are reduced to a safe level, and the acetic acid (vinegar) solution dilutes the bacteria andinhibits bacterial growth. This study reports on an experimental test of this fi ngertip rinse procedure.
Source: Food Protection Trends 3/04

Idexx wins rapid BSE test approval
by Daniel Yovich on 3/25/04 for Meatingplace.com
Westbrook, Maine-based Idexx Laboratories Inc. has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to produce and sell the Idexx HerdChek BSE Antigen Test Kit to USDA-approved laboratories.
HerdChek, a rapid test for the postmortem detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), detects the presence of the abnormal proteins believed to cause BSE. The test delivers results in four to five hours.USDA is reportedly reviewing license applications from at least two other rapid test manufacturers. The Idexx HerdChek BSE Antigen Test Kit uses the same Seprion technology as the previously USDA-approved Idexx HerdChek Chronic Wasting Disease Antigen Test Kit. Idexx has also submitted this test to the European Union for validation and approval.

"We are excited about the opportunity to offer our customers a more convenient and efficient method of BSE testing at a time when testing volumes are set to increase," said Quentin Tonelli, vice president at Idexx, in a company news release. "This test, with simplified sample preparation, allows labs to choose either a manual version that requires little additional equipment or an automated version for high volume applications,"
The Seprion technology was licensed in November 2003 by Idexx from MicroSens Biotechnologies, a U.K. firm based in London. USDA will use rapid testing as part of its stepped-up testing program announced earlier this month.

High-tech handwasher helper points out where the nasties were left behind
March 28, 2004
The Ottawa Citizen
Tom Spears
A New York manufacturer hopes to market a device in Canada this year that will, according to this story, let hospital and food industry workers check their hands for contamination that could spread disease.
The VerifEYE scanner is a box-shaped device that mounts on a wall beside the sink in washrooms or wherever workers clean up.
It uses fluorescent light to scan hands for organic residue from fecal matter, either from humans or animal carcasses in meat-processing plants.
And its makers say the device, which should sell for about $2,000 U.S., gives an instant picture of where a worker's hands are still dirty and need more washing, by making chemicals from feces glow slightly.
David Foth of eMerge Interactive, Inc., was cited as saying that in the food industry, the number of workers who wash properly is probably only 30 to 50 per cent of the total and that the rest can spread viruses and bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, shigella, hepatitis A and Norwalk.
The story says that the device began with a device to detect cattle feces left on beef carcasses -- a prime source of E. coli infection. Foth was quoted as saying, "The device keys off a singular particular component of fecal material. It is based on their diet, and detects chlorophyll, which saturates the animals' digestive tract."
Mr. Foth said the machine is still a prototype, but the company hopes to have it on the market by late this year.