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Washing eggs does not obliterate salmonella
May 28, 2004

Source of Article: Northern Daily News
Peter Gott, M.D.
DEAR DR. GOTT: I raise my own chickens for eggs and the consumption of poultry. I wash the eggs I gather in the kitchen sink. I've begun using a tablespoon of Clorox bleach in the water in an attempt to avoid a salmonella infection, yet I wonder if this is adequate prevention. Am I at any risk for the disease because I raise my own birds?
DEAR READER: The bacteria called salmonella, a type of ubiquitous microorganism, are actually introduced into the interior of the egg during development and maturation, before it is laid. Washing an intact egg will only clean the outer shell; it won't affect any bacteria that may be present within the egg. The Clorox is not necessary.
Salmonella seems to be fairly uncommon in home-raised poultry. The major problem appears to exist in eggs obtained from large, commercial egg producers.

Meat and Poultry Plants' Food Safety Investments: Survey findings
May 28, 2004
Economic Research Service, USDA
Technical Bulletin No. (TB1911) 48 pp, May 2004
Michael Ollinger, Danna Moore, and Ram Chandran
Inspectors from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) traditionally conducted visual examinations of cattle and poultry during slaughter and processing, looking for disease and other obvious physical defects, and rejecting meat deemed to be unwholesome. FSIS shifted the focus of its food safety inspection procedures in 1996, when the agency promulgated the Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point rule (PR/HACCP). The meat and poultry processing and slaughter industries have adopted a number of voluntary food safety measures in response to that change in focus, in addition to complying with the new regulation. The PR/HACCP rule employs a system of checks at critical control points where food safety is at risk, requires plant operators to conduct tests for generic Escherichia coli (E. coli), and imposes Salmonellaperformance standards. Implementation began in 1997 and was mandated by early 2000 in all sizes and types of meat and poultry slaughter and processing plants in the United States.
What Is the Issue?
Anecdotal accounts have been available since the 1980s on industry efforts to ensure food safety. But there are no comprehensive reports of how industry and government concern about food safety have affected processing practices, technologies, and investment decisions. Prior to the ERS-initiated survey, very little data existed on how the PR/HACCP rule has affected the types of food safety technologies in processing/slaughter plants and the costs plants have incurred and investments they have made independent of PR/HACCP to ensure food safety. ERS initiated the survey in order to obtain data that would provide a better understanding of how the complex mix of technological developments, private markets, and government regulation interact to provide safe and wholesome meat and poultry products.
What Did the Study Find?
From 1996 through 2000, U.S. meat and poultry slaughtering and processing plants as a group spent about $380 million annually and made $570 million in long term investments to comply with the PR/HACCP regulations. During the same time period, the industry spent an additional $360 million on food safety investments that were not required by the PR/HACCP rule. Those figures are much higher than the cost estimate of $1 billion to $1.2 billion spread over 20 years made by FSIS prior to enactment of the regulation, but close to the $623 million in costs projected by ERS in earlier research. FSIS considered primarily administrative costs: recordkeeping, planning, testing, and capital outlays. The ERS analysis also included the costs of hiring the workers necessary to remain in regulatory compliance, and the additional capital outlays necessary to bring each plant up to the standards necessary for regulatory compliance. Notwithstanding the higher cost estimate, projected health benefits still exceed industry costs. A 1997 ERS study estimated benefits of $1.9 billion in annual health cost savings linked with a reduction in foodborne illness due to implementation of new food safety technologies.
Consumer prices of meat and poultry products have been affected very little by PR/HACCP
ERS survey data suggest that the PR/HACCP rule has raised beef and poultry slaughter plant costs by about one-third of 1 cent per pound. These are average prices per pound of beef and not the average cost incurred by each plant. Small plants, which tend to produce more specialized products, had much higher average costs than the giant plants, which produce mainly commodity products, such as boxed beef. Since plants must recover their costs, this means that while prices for commodity products will rise very little, prices for more specialized products, like cut-to-order beef, may rise as much as 2 or 3 cents per pound. It also means that small plants that do compete in commodity markets may find it more difficult to remain in business.
A Meat or Poultry plants size was a strong predictor of its choice of food safety technology.
Large plants tended to choose equipment and testing technologies; small plants relied more on manual sanitation and adjusting plant operations.
Meat and poultry plants made significant new investments to comply with the PR/HACCP rule
However, market forces were also at work. Retail and restaurant customers of meat and poultry plant products and officials receiving exported meat products are vitally concerned about food safety and are in a better position than consumers to ascertain the food safety of the products that they receive. Using this position, they encouraged the use of more sophisticated food safety technologies, an expanded array of food safety practices, and a level of investment beyond that required by the PR/HACCP regulation. U.S. plants that exported products and/or those whose customers specified food safety measures made greater investments in food safety operations than other plants did.
The role played by markets in imposing strict food safety standards on meat and poultry producers has public policy implications.
It suggests that information about plant food safety performance provided by FSIS, such as plant quality control performance ratings, could be used by meat and poultry buyers in their purchasing decisions and may encourage greater diligence in performing food safety-related tasks and elicit greater investment in food safety technologies. The ERS/WSU survey provided a substantial amount of data related to PR/HACCP that will be explored more extensively in future studies. Those studies will examine the perceived benefits of PR/HACCP and the long-term rather than the short-term costs of PR/HACCP. They also will examine the impact of plant characteristics, food safety equipment, and processing practices on plant quality control performance. The technological methods plants use to provide food safety is another potential area of investigation. How Was the Study Conducted? ERS designed and funded the survey. Washington State University's Social and Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) conducted the survey in early 2001, completing it in May 2002. Surveys forms were sent to 1,725 plants classified as cattle, hog, or poultry slaughter plants or as cooked or raw meat processing plants with no slaughter operations. Of the 1,725 recipients, representatives from 996 plants completed surveys and returned them to SESRC. The survey plants ranged in size from establishments with only a handful of workers slaughtering 1 or 2 animals per week to firms with more than 1,000 workers and producing millions of pounds of product per year.

Handwashing program decreases incidence of diarrhea among children in Pakistan
June 1, 2004
JAMA and Archives Journals Website
An intensive program of handwashing education and promotion in Pakistan decreased the incidence of diarrhea by more than 50 percent among children, according to a study in the June 2 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), a theme issue on Global Health.
Stephen P. Luby, M.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, presented the findings of the study today at a JAMA media briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Nearly 2 million children worldwide die annually from diarrheal disease, according to background information in the article. Previous studies have estimated that handwashing promotion interventions could prevent 1 million child deaths per year. Washing hands with soap prevents diarrhea, but children at the highest risk of death from diarrhea are younger than 1 year, too young to wash their own hands. Previous studies could not adequately assess the impact of household handwashing on diarrhea in infants.
Dr. Luby and colleagues evaluated whether promotion of handwashing with soap among adult and children household members decreased diarrhea among children at the highest risk of death from diarrhea. The study was conducted among 36 low-income neighborhoods in urban squatter settlements in Karachi, Pakistan. Eligible households located in the study area had at least 2 children younger than 15 years, at least 1 of whom was younger than 5 years.
As part of the intervention, field workers visited participating households at least weekly from April 2002 to April 2003 in 25 neighborhoods to provide education to all household members old enough to understand about proper handwashing with soap after defecation and before preparing food, eating, and feeding a child. They used slide shows, videotapes, and pamphlets to illustrate health problems resulting from contaminated hands. Within intervention neighborhoods, 300 households (1,523 children) received a regular supply of antibacterial soap and 300 households (1,640 children) received plain soap. A total of 11 neighborhoods (306 households and 1,528 children) were randomized to the control group, which did not receive handwashing education or soap.
The researchers found that children younger than 15 years living in households that received handwashing education and plain soap had a 53 percent lower incidence of diarrhea compared with children living in households that did not receive such education or soap. "Infants living in households that received handwashing promotion and plain soap had 39 percent fewer days with diarrhea vs. infants living in control neighborhoods. Severely malnourished children younger than 5 years living in households that received handwashing promotion and plain soap had 42 percent fewer days with diarrhea vs. severely malnourished children in the control group," the authors write.
The authors found similar reductions in diarrhea in households using both plain and antibacterial soap. The authors report, "We found no significant difference in diarrheal disease among persons living in households receiving antibacterial soap compared with plain soap. This is not surprising because triclocarban [in the antibacterial soap] is a bacteriostatic agent that inhibits the growth of some gram-positive bacteria but is not effective against gram-negative bacteria, viruses, or parasites that cause infectious diarrhea." The authors note that the act of handwashing with soap physically removes pathogens that may cause diarrhea from hands that might otherwise transmit these pathogens to vulnerable infants.
"Although visiting households weekly to provide free soap and encourage handwashing was effective in reducing diarrhea, this approach is prohibitively expensive for widespread implementation. The next essential step is to develop effective approaches to promote handwashing that cost less and can be used to reach millions of at-risk households. Studies evaluating the durability of behavioral change from handwashing promotion are also important to assess cost-effectiveness. In the interim, existing public health programs should experiment with integrating handwashing promotion into their current activities," the authors conclude.

FDA finalizes rule on detention of suspect food
Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/

5/27/2004-In an effort to increase the safety and security of the U.S. food supply, the FDA has finalized the final rule establishing procedures for the detention of food which could cause a serious public health threat or death to humans or animals. The rule authorizes the FDA to detain food based on evidence garnered by inspection, examination, or investigation. A detention order must be approved by the FDA District Director of the district in which the suspect food is discovered. Once detained, the food will be stored at a secure location determined by the FDA, and cannot be transferred without FDA approval. Such detentions would not exceed 30 days.
Acting FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford said, "This rule describes how the FDA can hold food in place while it initiates legal action in court to seize it and permanently remove it from commerce. Alternately, our experts can determine that the food is safe, and the detention order may be terminated. Either way, consumers are protected."

Draft food safety standard for seafood producers

Source of Article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/
May 27, 2004
A new draft standard is proposing to extend food safety requirements to Australian seafood producers and processors.Previous safety standards have focused on processed foods rather than primary production in the paddock or ocean.The proposed national standard would be enforcable and is designed to enhance Australia's reputation for safe and high quality seafood.Lydia Buchtmann from Food Standards Australia New Zealand says most of the seafood industry already complies with the requirements."Certainly the bulk of the seafood industry will be asked to cover just basic food safety requirements like any food retailer has to in hygienic production and processing of the seafood."But there are some specific provisions for oysters and other bi-valve molluscs that can be a problem if things go wrong."And in that case there have to be very careful pre-harvest provisions."

FSIS to hold E. coli O157:H7 prevention workshops

by Brendan O'Neill on 5/26/04 for Meatingplace.com
Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com
In order to spread information, techniques and new directives designed to strengthen E. coli O157:H7 prevention procedures, the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced it will hold a series of teaching workshops around the country for small and very small plants.The workshops, designed to provide owners and operators of plants with detailed information about three new directives, will be held through September 11. They will also provide updated procedures inspectors need to follow in certifying plant compliance.

The three FSIS Directives to be covered during the sessions include: Directive 10,010.1 Revision 1, Microbiological Testing Program and Other Verification Activities for Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Raw Ground Beef Products and Raw Ground Beef Components and Beef Patty Components; Directive 6420.0, Verification of Procedures for Controlling Fecal Material, Ingesta, and Milk in Slaughter Operations; and Directive 5000.2, Review of Establishment Data by Inspection Program Personnel.

The complete workshop calendar can be viewed on the FSIS Web site.

Fact Sheet on FDA's New Food Bioterrorism Regulation Final Rule: Administrative Detention

FDA Finalizes Rule on Administrative Detention of Suspect Food

Compliance Information: Registration
Meat and Poultry Plants' Food Safety Investments: Survey Findings
Final Rule: Administrative Detention of Food for Human or Animal Consumption
FDA Finalizes Rule on Administrative Detention of Suspect Food
Fact Sheet on FDA's New Food Bioterrorism Regulation Final Rule: Administrative Detention
"Dear Colleague" Letter on Administrative Detention Final Rule
Sampling Services and Private Laboratories Used in Connection With Imported Food
Recall of Meat and Poultry Products
FSIS notice updates BSE surveillance program

Current Outbreaks
06/01. Salmonellosis, foodborne - China (Liaoning)
05/31. Sickness toll rises at mountain resort
05/30. Outbreak of gastrointestinal illness at Emerald Lake Lodge
05/29. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: Nova Scotia (Update)
05/28. Botulism, dried fish suspected - Russia (Volgograd)
05/27. Water from state reservoir kills nine, sickens 1,600
05/27. E. coli O157, livestock exposure suspected- USA (Nevada)
05/27. Health officials study E. coli cases

Current New Methods
06/01. Mad Cow - Resistant Bovine Developed
05/30. Antigens screen for better vaccines
05/29. Cilantro fights salmonella, researchers say
05/27. GEA launches filtration membrane pilot plant
05/27. A Sharper Nose For Danger
05/27. Figs Fight Off Food Poisoning
05/26. Neogen's Ruminant Feed Test Receives AOAC Validation
05/26. Microsens develops test for human "mad cow" disease
05/26. Calgon Carbon Announces Recent UV Successes
05/26. Warnex receives first U.S. validations for Genevision(TM) te
05/25. Viruses clear bacterial contamination in chickens

Current Food Safety Informaiton
06/01. Handwashing program decreases incidence of diarrhea among ch
06/01. "Beef boomerang"
06/01. Commission launches world-leading prion research network
06/01. Too early for optimism on vCJD epidemic
06/01. OIE designates all intestines a BSE risk; Japan opposes chan
06/01. Consumer group pushing BSE testing
06/01. U.S. launches extensive mad cow test: Researchers expect to

05/31. Consumer attitudes towards irradiated food: 2003 vs. 1993
05/31. Quinolone-resistant Campylobacter infections: Risk factors a
05/31. Salmonella-based rodenticides and public health
05/31. [UK] Advice issued about fruit pies
05/31. E. coli found in Ridgetown water

05/30. Meat and Poultry Plants' Food Safety Investments: Survey fin
05/30. Meat and poultry plants' food safety investments: Survey fin
05/30. Draft food safety standard for seafood producers

05/29. Salmon-PCBs
05/29. Washing eggs does not obliterate salmonella
05/29. Industry hopes public learns that raw almonds are not a majo
05/29. Higher numbers than previously predicted could be incubating
05/29. Bad week for beef, as USDA, scientists serve up more spin
05/29. Food safety at risk in Asia and the Pacific

05/28. Jo Brant issues Hep A alert; Patients, visitors and staff ex
05/28. Facts on food irradiation
05/28. Food irradiation: an underused boon to safety
05/28. Quotable Quotes

05/27. Food allergens: a food industry challenge for consumer safet
05/27. Japan puts in place a labeling system that allows consumers
05/27. Industry groups unite over voluntary COOL
05/27. Following USDA's admission of failures on mad cow
05/27. University of California researcher had been studying salmon
05/27. FDA finalizes rule on detention of suspect food
05/27. [Japan] Labeling Laws -
05/27. [Korea] HACCP Upgrade
05/27. R-CALF, consumer groups caution USDA about Canadian beef
05/27. Tracing salmon from farm to fork
05/27. NFPA Calls FDA Detention Authority “A Powerful Tool for Prot
05/27. Alliance With Activist Group Reveal Splinter Producer Group¡¯
05/27. FSIS Issues a Revised Recall Directive
05/27. U.S. Beef is Safe and Trade Should Resume
05/27. U.S. Should BSE-Test Cattle From Canada, Groups Say (Update2
05/27. A closer look at your dining hall
05/27. [Pakistan] Only 45pc mineral bottled water brands found safe
05/27. Police Seize 3 Tons of Fishy Caviar
05/27. Marler Clark Files Fourth Lawsuit Against Chili's on Behalf
05/27. Law serving up new regulations on food handling
05/27. Calls for Massive Efforts to Improve Food Safety in Asia-Pac
05/27. Draft food safety standard for seafood producers
05/27. Chinese rural areas at mercy of chaotic drug market: officia

Current Recall Information

Cilantro fights salmonella,
researchers say

May 31, 2004
Lisa Reineck
Source of Article: http://www.meatingplace.com/
U.S. and Mexican researchers conducted a study that identified a compound in cilantro that kills harmful salmonella bacteria, Reuters reported.
The study, published in the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry," shows that a compound called dodecenal, found in the fresh leaves and the seeds of cilantro, also known as coriander, has innate antibacterical properties.
In lab studies, dodecenal was twice as effective as the commonly used antibiotic drug gentamicin in fighting salmonella.
"We were surprised that dodecenal was such a potent antibiotic," said Isao Kubo, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, who also led the study.
However, the compound is not potent enough to fight food poisoning in naturally occurring amounts.
"If you were eating a hot dog or hamburger you would probably have to eat an equivalent weight of cilantro to have an optimal effect against food poisoning," Kubo said.


Source of Article: NWFPA Food Safety News - May 28, 2004

Whitaker Foundation investigator David Beebe, Ph.D., of the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed a process to make on-demand, miniature sensors for a wide variety of poisons, including naturally occurring contaminants and intentionally introduced toxins. The sensors can be constructed
to test for a particular toxin in as little as an hour with test results available in minutes. Beebe¡¯s group reported in a paper to be published in the journal
Electrophoresis that disposable sensors can be manufactured on-demand in an inexpensive process. The device needs no power supply and uses no electronic parts. Positive results appear as a
color change visible to the naked eye.
The Wisconsin group, with Homeland Security funding, is focusing on the nation¡¯s milk supply, which comes from a widely dispersed system in which large amounts of the highly perishable
product are quickly collected and distributed. The current research was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The Department of Homeland Security has made
a $15 million grant to a national consortium of academic, private and government organizations investigating ways of detecting and preventing food contamination. Beebe¡¯s work will be supported
through the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a member of the consortium.
Source: Whitaker Foundation 5/17/04

Figs Fight Off Food Poisoning

Yahoo! News Thu, May 27, 2004
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/
THURSDAY, May 27 (HealthDayNews) -- Figs and fig extracts may be able to stop the growth of harmful food microbes such as Escherichia coli and salmonella.That claim was to be made in a study presentation May 27 at the American Society for Microbiology's general meeting in New Orleans.
Researchers from North Carolina A&T State University sliced and blended figs into a liquid and then added strains of E. coli and salmonella to the liquid. Samples taken after 24 hours showed a reduction in bacterial growth. Liquid control samples not treated with fig juice had increased levels of bacteria."These findings can be utilized by the food industry in the future by adding fig extracts, its original and/or modified form, to processed foods. It's active component can also be isolated into pure forms as natural food additives into many food products," researcher Maysoun Salameh said in a prepared statement.In some countries, figs and fig extracts have been used for many years to treat constipation, bronchitis, wounds, mouth disorders and other ailments.In a related study also expected to be presented May 27, another group of researchers from the university will present data illustrating the antimicrobial properties of guava extract and its potential use as a food preservative, according to a prepared statement.


Meat and Poultry Plants' Food Safety Investments: Survey Findings