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FDA Announces Modernization of Food Good Manufacturing Practices

In a speech to the National Food Policy Conference, Food and Drug Administration acting Commissioner, Dr. Lester M. Crawford, announced today the agency's plans and processes for modernizing the good manufacturing practices (GMPS) used for foods. Since the food GMPs were last revised in 1986, there have been significant changes in food production technology, as well as a better understanding of foodborne illnesses. "Since food GMPs are an integral part of the nation's control over food safety problems it is essential that they adequately address the needs of today's food processes and foodborne hazards," said Dr. Crawford. "We believe this effort, like our work on current good manufacturing practices for medical products, will improve the safety of these products and create new opportunities for introducing better manufacturing techniques."
In order to evaluate its current food GMPs, the FDA established an internal Food GMP Modernization Working Group in July 2002. The Working Group initiated further research in two areas: (1) the impact of the food GMPs on food safety and (2) the impact of revised regulations on food safety and the likely economic consequences of such revisions. The research effort includes several components, including, among other things, a literature review, and soliciting of expert opinions.

The agency plans to hold three public meetings this summer to receive data, information, and other input on food GMP modernization from stakeholders. The meetings will be held in College Park, MD., and Chicago, ILL., with a third one yet to be determined and will include outreach to small businesses. FDA will announce the meetings shortly in the Federal Register (FR). To help focus the public meeting comments, the FR notice will include a list of specific questions about food GMP modernization that FDA would like participants to address. The FDA will evaluate the data and information received to determine how to revise the food GMP regulations. FDA plans to publish a white paper with a summary of its findings in September. FDA will then proceed through (notice-and-comment) rulemaking, as appropriate. FDA is developing a final rule to establish GMPs for dietary supplements. The agency will continue to coordinate any possible future revisions to the food GMPs with dietary supplement GMPs.

SARS virus may spread via sweat, food, sewage, touch: study
May 6, 2004
Agence France Presse English
PARIS - Pathologists from the First Military Medical University in Guangzhou, southern China were cited as reporting Friday in a British peer-reviewed publication, the Journal of Pathology, that the SARS virus has been found in sweat glands and the intestine, which says that in theory the disease may spread via contaminated sewage, food or even a handshake, not just by airborne droplets.
The story explains that the team devised two methods of testing for the presence of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that causes the disease.
One was an antibody that binds specifically to the virus, and the other was amplification of telltale fragments of viral DNA.
Using these two markers, they tested tissue that had been taken from four people who had died of SARS, and from four "controls", people who had died of other causes.
As expected, they found that the lungs of SARS victims to be riddled with the virus: up to 49 percent of the tissue cells they viewed had been infected.
This is unsurprising because SARS is already known to be a disease that can be carried by droplets expelled in sneezes and coughs, its prime target area is the airways, and its symptoms are akin to pneumonia.
"Strikingly," the authors add, "SARS-CoV was also detected in many other organs and tissues, including stomach, small intestine, distal convoluted renal tubule, sweat gland, parathyroid, pituitary, pancreas, adrenal, liver and cerebrum (brain)."
Lead researcher Ding Yangqing was cited as saying that, like the respiratory tract, the gastro-intestinal system could be "a primary target" for the virus, adding, "This suggests that the gastro-intestinal system may also be an entry route for SARS-CoV (if it is) present in food or water. Although there is no report of such transmission, caution should be exercised by the at-risk population during the SARS-CoV endemic season. This finding supports the hypothesis that SARS-CoV may be released into the environment via faeces from individuals" with the disease."

FDA will continue safety campaign, says official
06/05/2004 - Industry can expect sustained scrutiny of the safety of their products, warned an FDA official at SupplySide yesterday, and while the agency is not expecting to take an ephedra-type action in the near future, it has numerous ingredients on its radar.

¡°We want to see compliance with the science, and while enforcement is one aspect of this, industry can certainly take their own actions to ensure this is achieved,¡± said David Elder, director of the office of enforcement in the Food and Drug Administration¡¯s office of regulatory affairs.
Elder, replacing associate commissioner for regulatory affairs John Taylor who was called to a government meeting, added that while it may appear that FDA has taken a more aggressive stance on supplements in recent months, ¡°there is nothing new about FDA¡¯s approach to enforcement¡±.

In a speech to supplement and ingredient manufacturer executives, Elder listed agency actions taken over recent years, including the recent ban on ephedra, the first outright ban of a dietary supplement since 1994¡¯s Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) was passed.

FDA has also recently backed a crackdown on products containing androstenedione, which acts like a steroid but is generally marketed as a dietary supplement, as well as a number of supplements making claims that cannot be supported by available science, such as SeaSilver, which was subject to a seizure of $5 million worth of products.

Earlier this year previous commissioner of FDA Mark McClellan cited herbals such as bitter orange as products that would come under investigation in the future.

But Elder told NutraIngredientsUSA.com that while ¡®stimulant products¡¯ were particularly likely to be watched by the regulators, ¡°we are nowhere near the ephedra stage with these. There simply isn¡¯t enough science yet.¡±

He added that FDA may look at the regulation on ¡®new dietary ingredients¡¯ as an area of enforcement ¡°that we could do much more with¡±. This would involve checking for ingredients that had been refused approval under the rule - part of DSHEA that requires pre-market notification of an ingredient not previously found in foods or supplements - but are still on the market.

However the agency¡¯s action on ephedra, much criticised by industry for taking several years to come about, is unlikely to make similar enforcement quicker in the future.

¡°It was the first time we had taken an action like this and we were learning. But every decision we take has to be based on strong science, so we can¡¯t guarantee that it will be faster next time round. It will take as long as it takes to evaluate the science,¡± Elder told the audience.

He also said that the ¡°Administration is not looking for any changes to DSHEA, or to reopen¡± the legislation. Food manufacturers may be able to use more powerful health claims in the near future as the US Food and Drug Administration reconsiders legislation first tabled more than ten years ago. The agency yesterday reopened the comment period on a number of aspects of health claims regulation that have been subject to intense debate among trade industry and trade associations since the law was first proposed. These include the area of disqualifying levels of nutrients such as fat and ¡¦.According to Regina Hildwine of the NFPA, the proposed rule in 1995 ¡®accomodated about half of our requests¡¯. But in comments put forward last fall, FDA revealed that it was reevaluating the role of qualifiers in previously authorised health claims, those with significant scientific agreement to support them. The introduction of qualified health claims last year already demonstrated some consideration of the First Amendment obligations for free speech for food marketers, the backbone of industry¡¯s contention with restriction on health claims. But the new proposal for claims with numerous qualifiers has underlined the level of ¡®qualifying¡¯ in authorised claims too. ¡°In our view, FDA has done it the wrong way round,¡± said Regina Hildwine, of the National Food Processors Assocation. But she added that FDA is now asking questions about the language used in previously approved claims, showing that industry comments filed with agency may have had some impact. ¡°We claims using more forceful terms,¡± said Hildwine. ¡°This gives us an opportunity to reiterate our arguments as well as offer a new perspective on claims which have been made in recent years,¡±

US food law and regulations symposium
June 8-9, 2004
University of Wisconsin Food Research Institute
Food regulation is complex and dynamic. New laws and refined existing laws are continuously introduced. The University of Wisconsin Food Research
Institute, in partnership with the Department of Food Science, is hosting the
US Food Law and Regulations Symposium on June 8-9, 2004 in Madison, WI. The target audience for the day and a half program is food professionals in research/development, product development, marketing, quality control, manufacturing, and regulatory affairs. The presenters are career food law and regulatory practitioners from the Federal and State Government, Industry, and Academia. These speakers have many years of experience dealing with interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of the laws and regulations relevant to the food industry. Through examples of past, current, and emerging issues, speakers will distinguish the roles of the FDA and USDA while providing a regulatory overview.
Covance Inc., a leading analytical testing service to the food, dietary supplement, and biotechnology industries will host a luncheon and tour of their newly expanded facilities at the conclusion of the Symposium.
You can obtain information about the meeting and a registration form
at the Food Research Institute's web site, http://www.wisc.edu/fri/. Jean
Johnson can also be contacted at jljohns2@facstaff.wisc.edu or by calling (608) 263-7777.

100 poisoned as students sabotage soup in school dinner row
April 29, 2004
Agence France Presse English
BEIJING - A group of Chinese school students were so fed up with school dinners that they poisoned a batch of soup, sending more than 100 of their classmates to hospital with headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea, state media said on Thursday.
The 13 students in the central province of Hunan used tung oil, which is used as a drying agent in paints and varnishes, to contaminate the soup, Xinhua news agency said.
They were reportedly protesting because they did not like the food served up by the school and thought it was too expensive.
"The 13 students said each of them paid one yuan (12 US cents) to buy the tung oil and they did so because they were not satisfied with the quality of the dishes provided by the dining room and thought the dish price was unreasonable," Xinhua said.
Forty children remained in hospital with more serious symptoms, although none were in a critical condition, after the incident at Siping Town Middle School on Thursday.
The incident is just the latest in a string of deliberate mass poisonings in China. Previous cases have involved rat poison and pesticides.
Forty primary school children also fell ill after drinking contaminated milk in Zhangcun village in the northern province of Shanxi, Xinhua said. An investigation was under way.

Gloves engage in germ warfare

By Erika Niedowski
The Baltimore Sun
May 4, 2004
Medical gloves have come a long way since the 18th century, when they were made from the intestines of sheep, and only partially covered the doctor's hand.
Today, they're carrying out high-tech germ warfare.
Although they look, feel and even smell like ordinary medical gloves, a new design that could be on the U.S. market by the end of the year emits a gas that's safe to humans but deadly to everything from HIV to E. coli.
All the new glove needs to start working is a little ambient light. "It kills every microorganism we've exposed to it," says Dr. Michael Barza, chief of medicine at Boston's Caritas Carney Hospital and a professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, who has tested the gloves' efficacy.
In an age of infectious diseases such as AIDS and SARS, glove use has skyrocketed -- to the point where virtually nothing is done in a medical setting without them. Some health care workers go through dozens of pairs in a single day, while hospitals can go through millions a year.

Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as medical "devices," gloves are available in mind-boggling variety. There are sterile and nonsterile gloves. There are gloves made of latex, vinyl, nitrile and a range of other synthetics. Some are coated inside with cornstarch powder, while others are hypoallergenic or powder-free. And they're no longer just clear or opaque white: Doctors and nurses who want to make a fashion statement can glove up in fluorescent orange, purple or even hot pink.A French rubber goods company has devised a surgical glove that contains a virus-killing liquid sandwiched between layers of the fabric. The idea is to reduce the potential infection of health care workers whose gloves are punctured by a needle.A company in Los Angeles has developed a double-layered surgical glove with a single cuff at the wrist so that surgeons won't have to don two separate pairs, as they do now to provide extra protection.Some surgeons use a glove that moisturizes their skin while they work. It's coated inside with a dried form of aloe vera, which is activated by the heat of the wearer's hands."We've got a zillion different kinds," says Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, physician in chief at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. "Me, I just wear whatever."One recent day, Scalea went through about 15 pairs of sterile gloves during five separate surgeries as well as "countless" nonsterile pairs while outside the operating room. He says the advent of AIDS revolutionized the way hospitals treat infection control.

"Old men like me that trained before we knew what HIV disease was, we never wore gloves when I put IVs in as a resident," Scalea says. "It never would have occurred to me to put on gloves."Last year, hospitals spent about $529 on gloves for every licensed bed, according to a survey by Hospital Materials Management, an industry newsletter. That was up 34 percent, compared with $396 for each bed in 2002. Many hospitals have abandoned powdered latex gloves because of allergies and are using higher-priced alternatives, accounting for some of the increase.Sir William Halsted, a founding physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was among the first to introduce rubber gloves to the OR. The move wasn't, it turns out, for the most scientific of reasons.According to an account in the Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, Halsted commissioned the Goodyear Rubber Company of New York to make a pair of gloves for his scrub nurse in 1890. The nurse, Caroline Hampton, had been complaining of skin irritation from constantly washing her hands in a harsh antibacterial solution.

The journal noted that Halsted might have been "especially attentive" to the woman's concerns. She later became his wife.While some of his colleagues adopted gloves, the master surgeon didn't start wearing them himself until his protege, Dr. Joseph Bloodgood, used them during hernia operations and reported a near 100 percent drop in infections.Studies have shown, perhaps surprisingly, that hospital staff today wash their hands about half as often as they should. Lack of proper hand washing undoubtedly contributes to some of the 2 million infections acquired in U.S. hospitals every year.Medical gloves, of course, have helped reduce the number of such infections. But Barza, the Boston doctor, thinks the new antimicrobial gloves -- which were developed by Bernard Technologies Inc. -- have the potential to reduce cross-contamination even more."There are lots of holes in the system with respect to transmission (of germs) by hands," says Barza, who sits on the company's board. "We think we are adding an extra layer of defense beyond the simple barrier effect."

Barza said the gloves emit the gaseous form of chlorine dioxide, which has been shown to kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and spores, which have protective coats.The chemical, which is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency, commonly is used to disinfect drinking water, meat, seafood and produce packaging. It kills microbes by disrupting the flow of nutrients across the cell wall.To test their antimicrobial effectiveness, Barza seeded the gloves with four types of bacteria. He reported his results in March in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.After one minute of exposure to light, the number of S. aureus bacteria -- a common cause of hospital infections -- was reduced by 99 percent on the gloves' surface. After 10 minutes, the bacteria virtually were gone. The bacteria count on the wearers' hands -- inside the gloves -- significantly was reduced.

Barza says the germs don't have to touch the gloves to be destroyed. The gas forms what he called a "microenvironment" around them. "It's an atmosphere," he said.The gloves are used in hospitals in Asia, including China, Hong Kong and Singapore, according to the company, though they are not yet being sold with claims about their antimicrobial properties on the label."The gloves feel and look like totally normal gloves," says Barza, who hopes the germ-fighting technology can also be applied to catheters to help eliminate central line infections. "You can't tell them apart."

FDA to Determine Health Significance of Low Furan Levels in Foods
Questions and Answers on the Occurrence of Furan in Food
Furan in Food, Thermal Treament; Request for Data and Information
Furan in Food, Thermal Treatment; Request for Data and Information
Remarks by Ann Veneman to National Food Policy Conference May 7, 2004 Washington, DC
FDA Announces Modernization of Food Good Manufacturing Practices
Determination of Furan in Foods

Exploratory Data on Furan in Food
Furan in Food, Thermal Treatment; Request for Data and Information
Residue Policy; Response to Comments
Statement by Bill Hawks Regarding an Agreement with the Ranchers Cattlemen Action Legal
Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms
National Milk Drug Residue Data Base Fiscal Year 2003 Annual Report

Current Outbreaks
05/10. [Australia] Virus strikes 130 on cruise
05/10. 94 funeral guests in hospital in China with food poisoning
05/09. To Receive Free Food Safety Newsletters by E-Mail, Click Here
05/07. [Nigeria] Shell Probes Food Poisoning on Bonga Rig
05/04. [2002] Severe outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in health care i
05/04. [India] 60 take ill after eating left over "prasad"
05/03. 100 poisoned as students sabotage soup in school dinner row
05/02. 80 affected by food poisoning in China
04/30. Norwalk strikes Hamilton hospital
04/29. Anthrax, human & livestock - Armenia (Shirak)
04/29. Gastroenteritis, fatal, children - Malaysia

Current New Methods
05/10. Foil protection for food packaging
05/10. AATI Presents the RBD3000, Fully Automated Rapid Bacteria Detection System
05/10. Esco's Containment Cabinets to Feature Anti-Microbial Powder-Coatin
05/09. How to Choose an Autoclave - Unbiased, On-line Assistance from Priorclave
05/08. Rapid Micro Testing to Double by 2008
5/07. New DSM tech claims to eliminate acrylamide
05/07. Celsis reveals new contracts [milk testing]
05/04. Gloves engage in germ warfare
05/03. Demand for [metal] detection
04/30. UV LEDs sterilize water spiked with bacteria
04/30. Trucker concocts superbug killing cream in is garage
04/29. Toxin Guard(TM) comes to the army's defense

Current Food Safety Informaiton05/10. More mad cow mischief
05/10. Do burgers fry your brain?
05/10. McDonald¡¯s distribution plant in industry, Calif., gets food
05/10. [Canada] Regulations Amending the Food and Drug Regulations
05/10. U of A team studies roots of past water disasters
05/10. Making water safer
05/10. British man charged in extortion plot involving tainted food
05/10. Cruise ships face more health inspections
05/10. FDA to look at effects of low furan levels
05/10. Dangerous Distraction
05/10. [EU] Food Safety Group Goes Public
05/10. Incidence of infection with pathogens transmitted through fo
05/10. Beta-Blocker Therapy Beneficial for Peanut Allergy Patients
05/10. Six allergy specialists for all of New Zealand
05/10. [UK] New laws in battle to cut food allergy deaths
05/10. Most household cleaners remove peanut allergens, Hopkins stu
05/10. U.S. Probing Safety of Chemical in Some Heated Foods

05/09. Furan: FDA probes potential carcinogen in foods
05/09. Fifteen held in Japan for mad cow fraud
05/09. USDA Busy with BSE
05/09. US Agriculture Secretary blames miscommunication for BSE tes
05/09. [Colorado] CWD found in Springs deer
05/09. New Jersey Deer Test Clean for CWD
05/09. Fish Still a Good Health Bet
05/09. China Detains 47 People for Making and Selling Fake Baby For
05/09. [Japan] 79% concerned about food safety

05/08. [UK] Chinese kitchen infested with rodents
05/08. Restaurant inspections now online
05/08. Health inspectors outpaced by restaurants
05/08. [UK] Row over 'filthy meals at ERI'
05/08. Hospital food maker rebuts TV report
05/08. New Issue of Healthy Animals Now Online

05/07. Communicable disease surveillance, prevention and control in Slovakia
05/07. Communicable disease surveillance, prevention and control in Lithuania
05/07. Food Research Institute Annual Meeting to be held
05/07. Communicable disease surveillance, prevention and control in Cyprus
05/07. Canada beef exports to Mexico caught in U.S. action
05/07. Beef trade talks next week clouded by new BSE controversy
05/07. An RFID briefing
05/07. Foil protection for food packaging
05/07. Food allergy mechanism comes to light
05/07. FSIS Announces New System for Residue Testing and Dispositio
05/07. AMI Enhances Risk Management Insurance Program for Members
05/07. FSIS Proposes Uniform Compliance Date for Food Labeling Regu
05/07. Schools become 'nut-free zones'
05/07. [Australia] Program all about MATEship
05/07. Health Tip: Food Sensitivities in Infants
05/07. Cow-testing answer may come this week
05/07. Health Probe Clears NJ Racetrack of Mad Cow Fears
05/07. FDA links condemned Texas cow, pre-ban type feed
05/07. Creekstone at center of mad-cow debate
05/07. House of Commons finds three big meat-packers in contempt ov
05/07. SARS virus may spread via sweat, food, sewage, touch: study
05/07. Study: Wasting disease can spread in more ways than thought
05/07. Platinum in industry
05/07. FDA Announces Modernization of Food Good Manufacturing Practices

05/06. Codex alimentarius
05/06. Lecture to discuss food allergens and risk assessment
05/06. Statement by Bill Hawks, Under Secretary for Marketing and R
05/06. Can-Trace, Canada's only national whole-chain tracking and t
05/06. Food Research Institute Annual Meeting to be held
05/06. Irradiation of food: helping to ensure food safety
05/06. R-CALF, USDA agree on limiting import of Canadian beef
05/06. FDA freezes delivery of meal from condemned Texas cow
05/06. [Canada] BIRD FLU: Genetics indicate humans not at risk
05/06. Feds reviewing Texas mad cow breach
05/06. EDITORIAL - Taking risks with mad cow
05/06. Criminal investigation begun in [Dec. 2003] mad cow case
05/06. Canada to nearly quadruple BSE tests
05/06. Official's BBQ tale was sauced up just a bit
05/06. Digital Angel's Cattle Tracking Technology For Its Food-Audi
05/06. [S Africa] Show us 'secret' GM data - watchdog group
05/06. [Ireland] FSAI issues five enforcement orders last month
05/06. [AU] WA food producer in joint venture with Malaysia
05/06. FDA will continue safety campaign, says official
05/06. Tips for safe food handling
05/06. Toxic algal bloom closes Hawke's Bay coast
05/06. The costly fraud that is organic food
05/06. High-flying frog stows away in in-flight salad
05/06. Woman Claims Hot Dog Contained Bullet

05/05. U.N.: World Must Brace for Diseases
05/05. FMI report: consumer food safety confidence high
05/05. Finding [Meat] Facts Fast
05/05. China clears GM corn
05/05. Consumers shrug off mad cow safety fears
05/05. How U.S. beef is being replaced
05/05. Federal officials OK Texas cow material for swine feed
05/05. Don't read this over a burger
05/05. U.S. monitoring herd of condemned Texas cow-FDA
05/05. Clean hands key to safety
05/05. Heat-and-Eat Nation: America's Love of Leftovers Demands Saf
05/05. How safe is our food? / Poultry industry also a victim of bi
05/05. Romania gets ready for next accession
05/05. Regulations threaten to restrict growth of wild boar enterpr
05/05. San Luis Obispo County, Calif., Health Inspectors Find Many
05/05. Only 3 mad cow tests done at Texas firm
05/05. USDA vet: Texas mad cow breach not unique
05/05. State Misses Lead Poisoning's New, Immigrant Face
05/05. Major victory for food safety as USDA agrees to continue ban
05/05. [UK] Simplified hygiene regulations
05/05. Summer-Autumn 2004 Edition of Food Surveillance ANZ Newslett
05/05. Let beef consumers decide
05/05. USDA's San Angelo vets and techs ordered not to test suspect
05/05. Farm families know their beef is safe to eat
05/05. UW-River Falls 24th Food Microbiology Symposium
05/05. US food law and regulations symposium
05/05. FSIS directives 5000.2, 6420.2 and 10,010.1
05/05. Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms

05/04. Bush promises to fast-track full beef and cattle trade with
05/04. DEP secretary honors public water suppliers for compliance a
05/04. Beef industry leaders encouraged by significant reduction in
05/04. Roper Poll Shows Consumers Trust Family Farms
05/04. Nova Scotians Cleared Of CJD Risk
05/04. USDA admits cow at risk for BSE slips through testing system
05/04. Italy reports second case of BSE this year
05/04. Oxygen-active packaging
05/04. Children With Autism Have More Digestive, Food Allergies
05/04. Irish blood bank extends mad cow disease precautions
05/04. Listeriosis
05/04. E. coli suits filed against Sizzler restaurants
05/04. [Ohio] Local Plant's Food May Be Contaminated With E. coli
05/04. Test failure raises beef safety questions
05/04. Lead Fears Prompt Supermarket Chain To Pull Mexican Candy
05/04. Arsenic in Chicken Feed Being Studied

Current Recall Information

Furan: FDA probes potential carcinogen in foods

- 5/10/2004 - The US food watchdog had made steps to find out more about the potential carcinogen furan after a new technology detected very low levels of furan in a wider range of foods larger than previously thought.Formed in food processing by heating sugars, including cooking sugar with protein, and by heating carbohydrates, high levels of furan have been linked to liver cancer in animals. The Food and Drug Administration will investigate if very low levels in which it is found in many foods can harm humans.

"The FDA will continue to thoroughly evaluate its preliminary data and conduct additional studies to better determine the potential risk. Until more is known, FDA does not advise consumers to alter their diet," said Dr. Lester M. Crawford, acting FDA commissioner. The FDA preliminary analysis - using a new gas chromatography/mass spectrometry method developed by FDA scientists - detected furan at levels as low as 2 parts per billion in coffee and some juices. Furan was found at varying higher levels in products including baby foods, spaghetti sauces, canned soups, creamed corn and baked beans. Keen to reassure industry and consumers the FDA said that the levels of furan - naturally occurring chemical found in a variety of substances, including foods and drinks - should not be viewed as an ‘indicator of furan exposure? or as the ‘risk?of eating certain foods. ?First, calculating exposure requires consideration of both furan levels, and the amounts of food that consumers eat. Second, estimates of furan exposure take into account not single food items, but the wide variety of foods found in a range of diets. Third, the scope of our data is too limited to properly consider potential sources of variation in measured furan levels, ?said the FDA.

The US food industry reacted to the FDA statement by stressing that the findings ’were not a warning to consumers, nor are they a finding of risk associated with any particular foods or individual brands.?br>
"The existence of furan in many types of foods has long been known, ?said Richard Jarman, vice president of Food and Environmental Policy for the food industry body, the National Food Processors Association (NFPA). But he added the industry would closely track the investigation and ‘seek opportunities to aid in the scientific inquiry.?br>
At the next Food Advisory Committee meeting on 8 June this year the FDA will ‘seek the committees expert input?on the data required to fully understand the risk posed to humans by furan.

The European Commission recently earmarked €166m in funding for a range of projects under the 'food quality and safety' priority of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). One particular project will focus on health risks associated with hazardous compounds in heat-treated carbohydrate-rich foods, where substantial amounts of acrylamide - another potential carcinogen recently found in carbohydrate-rich fried foods - and similar compounds can be formed. In order to assess the potential risks, the project is exploring cooking and processing methods in industry and households with the aim of controlling and minimising the formation of hazardous compounds such as furans.

Food Research Institute Annual Meeting to be held

IFT Daily News

5/06/2004-Food safety experts will gather in Madison, Wis. on May 18 and 19 for the annual Food Research Institute meeting at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison. The Institute has a long history of achievement in identifying and addressing food safety issues. This focus on food microbiology & toxicology has developed through academic pursuits and partnerships with industry and government.
The formal program covers current and important food safety issues and includes presentations with industrial, governmental and academic perspectives. Individual sessions are: "Obesity" (presenters from the CDC, USDA, and UW including leading edge research on energy rich foods and gene expression in the brain), "Foodborne Pathogens and At-Risk Populations" (presenters from the University of Georgia, FDA, and USDA with a toxicology, immunology, and microbiology perspective, "Microbial Adaptation" (presenters from UW and Univ. of Edinburgh, UK on Microbial evolution, Bovine colonization of E. coli O157:H7, and Soil Microbes and GMO Impacts), and a session on "Intervention Strategies" (based on active food safety research projects at the University of Wisconsin).
There are two posters sessions, a Food Research Institute faculty and affiliated faculty poster session and a student and post-doctoral poster competition. Dr. William H. Sperber, Cargill will be presented the William C. Frazier Memorial award for his contributions to food microbiology. The Food Research Institute will host a barbecue on Monday, May 17th, to welcome attendees and allow for networking. For more information about the meeting and a registration form at the Food Research Institute's web site, http://www.wisc.edu/fri/. Jean Johnson can also be contacted at jljohns2@wisc.edu or by calling (608) 263-7777.

Celsis reveals new contracts

- 07/05/2004 - Celsis, the rapid milk testing company, announced that three more dairy companies have installed their rapid 48 hour milk testing system into their dairies. Previously the company witnessed somewhat of a slowdown in profits, but these latest contracts have placed the company as market leader in the sector.

The company's tests for contamination in milk, has been installed at Scottish Milk Dairies, which produces 30 million litres of milk a year, a US specialist dairy producer, Gehl's Guernsey Farms and German company Berchdesgadenerland dairy.
The group's equipment is able to process contamination tests within 48 hours which means that dairy producers can identify safety problems before their products get into the distribution chain. This, the company said may prevent dairy companies making costly product recalls.

Last week the company announced its renewed contract with Milk Link, the UK's largest UT milk producer, and it said that now it is reestablishing itself in the sector.¡±The strategic implications of these placements across regions...underscore the continued success of our product group in securing the leadership position in the European dairy testing business, in addition to expanding our dairy markets around the world¡±,the group's executive, Jay LeCoque stated in a Reuters report.

Celsis has undergone some major restructuring and has centralised its research and development unit in Germany over the last four years, and this has allowed the group renew its focus in the sector.

Dairy products safety is an important issue in the market. Consumption of products such as UHT milk is increasing steadily according to industry reports. It is estimated that UHT milk will in the long-term outsell regular milk. Thus consumer trust is becoming increasingly important.

The rapid diagnostics firm also produces tests for the Pharmaceutical, cosmetics food and beverage industries. Its technology is used to detect microbe activity in finished products providing safety to consumers.