FSIS To Host Small Plant Training Workshops May 14, 2004
of Article: http://www.meatami.com/
The Toledo workshop is scheduled from 8:30 am - 2:00 pm at the Hilton ?Toledo. Individuals interested in attending this workshop must pre-register by calling (202) 690 - 6520 or email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FSIS intends to host the following additional Saturday workshops:
5 Los Angeles, Calif.
Workshop pre-registration information and specific meeting sites will be included in upcoming issues of FSIS's Constituent Alert. For more information visit the FSIS Web site at http://www.fsis.usda.gov
shows public's food safety fears
The call came as research by safefood revealed there is a growing concern among consumers about food safety issues.
The study found 75% of people in the Republic of Ireland are concerned about food safety.
Take-aways top the list of establishments where hygiene is of particular concern, with 63% of people concerned about hygiene in such premises.
Martin Higgins, Chief Executive, safefood said, "We have been monitoring consumer attitudes and behaviour towards food safety on an ongoing basis for some time and we have found that there is a clear need to reassure consumers about the level of hygiene in food outlets."
The National Hygiene Mark programme is unique to Europe and has been established since 1978.
The programme provides detailed guidance to its members on the standards of hygiene and food safety required to ensure consistently safe food to customers.
Food Irradiation Update is published by the Minnesota Beef Council
in New England Journal of Medicine Says Irradiation is Necessary;Business Media,
Inc. (May 3, 2004): BOSTON - A report the latest edition of
Dr. Donald W. Thayer, writing in the April 29 edition of the prestigious journal,
presented a convincing argument that physicians and
Thayer said the recent approval of irradiated hamburgers for school lunch programs in the United States has been met with unfounded claims by groups opposed to food irradiation that children are being used as experimental animals.
on the article, Dr. George Chang, an expert in food safety at the University of
California at Berkeley, observed: "There is great fear of irradiation and
I think people have great images of science fiction movies, and things like that,
and maybe something turning us into mutant ninja
"The argument whether we really need irradiation or not, that's basically a political question, and I think that's a question in a democracy that's a really healthy to have people talk about and argue about," To read entire article: Irradiationof Food - Helping to Ensure Food Safety
Beating Antibiotic Resistance
Strategy launched for developing and implementing a surveillance program for anti-microbial resistance in animals in England and Wales. The British Government has published its strategy for developing a comprehensive surveillance program for anti-microbial resistance in animals for England and Wales. The move follows concerns over the emergence of anti-microbial resistance as a serious problem in human medicine. This has led to increasing concern about the use of antibiotics in human medicine, veterinary medicine, animal production, agriculture, and horticulture.Animal Health and Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw said: “The publication of this strategy underlines the importance that the government places on obtaining all of the information necessary to enable us effectively to tackle the development of anti-microbial resistance.The AMR surveillance strategy outlines a program of work that will further the Government's knowledge about mechanisms and transfer of anti-microbial resistance, detecting emergence and spread of resistant clones, and outlining requirements for further research. This program addresses issues identified by the 1999 Advisory Committee on the Safety of Food report on anti-microbial resistance.The key elements of the government's strategy to reduce the development of anti-microbial resistance in farm animals are:
* Surveillance to determine the prevalence of resistant organisms in the animal population;
* Development of guidelines to encourage the prudent use of anti-microbials;
* Promote the development of livestock management systems that reduce the use of antimicrobials;
* Review dosage regimes for authorized products and contribute to the development of E.U. guidelines that ensure regimes that delay the development of resistance are put in place for new products;
* Identify research priorities and commissioning research projects to get a better understanding of resistance;
* Ensure veterinary education -- undergraduate and continuing professional development -- reflects the importance of the issue; and
Promote public awareness of issues relating to the use of anti-microbials in animals.
Food Safety Improves
Alliance for Food and Farming Analysis reports that industry and government cooperation has made food safer.
The Alliance commissioned the analysis to provide industry and consumers with better information about foodborne outbreaks. Data from the Centers for Disease Control from 1990 to 2001 were examined in the analysis. While other recent reports have included similar data, the Alliance's analysis is unique because it identifies where the contamination occurred to provide needed information for farmers and consumers alike.
The analysis also found that the vast majority of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. have been traced to foods other than fruits and vegetables. ¡°Contrary to some recent media reports, 88 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks were traced to foods other than fresh produce,¡± Marilyn Dolan, executive director of the Alliance for Food and Farming, explained. For those outbreaks traced to produce, 83 percent were associated with improper handling at the foodservice or consumer levels.
The data also showed that since the development and adoption of "Good Agricultural Practices" in 1997, produce related illnesses attributed to the farm have dropped by 131 percent. GAPs were developed jointly by industry and the government to provide guidelines that reinforce already stringent laws governing food safety on U.S. farms.
¡°Agriculture needs to continue its efforts to reduce any on-farm incidents of foodborne outbreaks by implementing processes which have been successful, such as GAPs,¡± Dolan said. ¡°However, this analysis shows we must continue to support education programs for the foodservice industry and consumers, such as Fight-Bac, to encourage careful handling of our products which are often consumed in a raw state."
Recommendations when handling fresh produce include washing hands thoroughly before touching fresh fruits or vegetables. Wash fresh produce in running tap water. And, most importantly, thoroughly wash hands, utensils, counters, plates and cutting boards immediately after they have come in contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs so that these foods do not contaminate fresh produce.
Web posted: May 11, 2004
spread eyed in North
of Vero cytotoxin-producing E.coli O157 linked to milk in Denmark
Microbial-Vac Systems(R), Inc. Unveils Breakthrough Technology for Collection and Concentration of Biohazardous Materials
Axis Concentration System (RACS) Offers High Efficiency Bacterial
The New Gram Stain and Other Staining Methods Using Molecular Probes
By Jeanne Moldenhauer Vectech Pharmaceutical Consultants, Inc.
One of the very first things learned in the microbiology laboratory is how to perform a Gram stain. The results of the Gram stain have been critical to identification of bacteria. Most of those who have participated in a basic microbiology laboratory course have had the opportunity to have these stains on your hands, clothes and lab coats.
Microbiologists have had to learn the order of the staining procedure; the times allowed for each reagent and the purpose of each reagent in order to successfully perform the staining procedure. Fortunately, a one step system is now available.
The fluorescent stains can be viewed/assessed using a fluorescent microscope (with a standard fluorecein long pass optical filter set) or using flow cytometry. The reagents have been designed to show low background stain (intrinsic).
Dead cells do not show a predicted staining pattern. There are also procedures specified for use with Direct Epifluorescence Filter Techniques (DEFT).
A second staining kit, "ViaGram Red+ Bacterial Gram Stain and Viability Kit," is similar to the first kit described, but it uses two stains and three colors, so that viable and non-viable cells can be readily detected in addition to knowing the Gram reaction. Plasma membrane integrity is used as the distinguishing factor for live bacterial cells. Intact membranes are detected with a blue stain, while damaged membranes stain green. The red stain is evidence for Gram-positive bacteria.
Enumeration and Assessment of Antibiotic Sensitivity
article is taken from the March 2004 RMUG newsletter.
Food Safety Informaiton
CDC FOODBORNE ILLNESS DATA DR. ELSA MURANO, USDA UNDERSECRETARY FOR FOOD SAFETY
¡°The report adds to the body of evidence indicating real progress is being made toward our goals of preventing illness and protecting public health. The data, while inclusive of all foods, generally tracks the trends revealed through random regulatory testing of meat, poultry and egg products by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
¡°In addition to testing results, recalls for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria in FSIS regulated products also dropped from 65 in 2002 to 28 in 2003.
¡°In the past 18 months, FSIS has implemented a series of policies and directives to control E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella and Listeria. They include:
¡°Mandating that all slaughter and ground beef establishments reassess their HACCP plans. The reassessments led most establishments to either implement an intervention strategy at grinding or require their suppliers to do so;
¡°The first comprehensive audits of HACCP plans for scientific validity, carried out by an expanded, scientifically-trained force of FSIS HACCP experts and epidemiologists;
¡°Elimination of the E. coli O157:H7 testing exemption at slaughter plants that did their own carcass testing. All beef plants are now subject to FSIS ground-beef sampling;
¡°Creation of a new training program, Food Safety Regulatory Essentials, to improve training of inspectors in science-based regulations;
¡°Accelerating the scheduling of in-depth reviews of plants that have exceeded their Salmonella performance standards, so that potential sanitation problems can be identified and corrected promptly; and,
a final rule to control Listeria monocytogenes, based on a quantitative risk assessment,
to establish mitigation strategies that would result in risk reduction at ready-to-eat
meat and poultry processing plants.