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?
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.
seems to be fairly uncommon in home-raised poultry. The major problem appears
to exist in eggs obtained from large, commercial egg producers.
and Poultry Plants' Food Safety Investments: Survey findings
Economic Research Service, USDA
Technical Bulletin No. (TB1911)
48 pp, May 2004
Michael Ollinger, Danna Moore, and Ram Chandran
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
program decreases incidence of diarrhea among children in Pakistan
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.
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.
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.
finalizes rule on detention of suspect food
of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/
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."
food safety standard for seafood producers
of Article: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/
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."
to hold E. coli O157:H7 prevention workshops
Brendan O'Neill on 5/26/04 for Meatingplace.com
of Article: www.meatingplace.com
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.
complete workshop calendar can be viewed on the FSIS Web site.
Sheet on FDA's New Food Bioterrorism Regulation Final Rule: Administrative Detention
Finalizes Rule on Administrative Detention of Suspect Food