for food allergy testing
SURVEY: Announcing inconclusive BSE tests fuels unwarranted fear
"The main issue is not so much food safety but credibility of the USDA," one respondent wrote. "Transparency will hopefully not only build confidence from the consumer but also help the department wean itself from the corrupt practices that run it today."Results are based on a sample of 414 Meatingplace.com members who responded to a July 1 invitation on this site to participate in a four-question survey, including written comments, which was fielded via Zoomerang.com.To view the aggregate survey results, click here.
M receives $15 million for food safety studies
The University of Minnesota on Tuesday morning officially received a $15 million grant to study ways to prevent terrorists from threatening the country's food supply.Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman participated in the ceremony awarding the money. The grant, first announced in April, will fund the U's Center for Food Protection and Defense for three years. The university will study foreign animal diseases and food security. The research effort will be headed by Dr. Francis Busta of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition and will be performed by the University Center for Post-Harvest Food Protection and Defense, a national consortium of academic, private sector and government partners. The consortium includes major food companies, other universities and private consultants. Among local food companies participating are: General Mills Inc. in Golden Valley; Cargill Inc. (Minnnetonka); Maplewood-based 3M Co.; and Hormel Foods Corp. in Austin, Minn. Texas A&M University and the University of Southern California received similar grants.
coli O157, day care center - USA (NY City) (02)
Bacteria detection in meat with new sensor technology
Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml
7/06/2004-The Danish biotech company Atonomics announced that it will market its new biosensor technology for bacteria detection in meat. The core of Atonomics' technology is the use of Surface Acoustic Waves (SAW). A SAW filter consists of inter-digital electrodes called "inter-digital-transducers" (IDTs) on a piezo-substrate. In the sensors, there is a resonator covered by a biochemical filter designed to slip through the molecule that is to be detected. Several academic scientists have used Atonomics' technology and proved that it has a high level of sensitivity. For more information, see http://www.foodoresund.com/composite-373.htm.
OF DR. BARBARA J. MASTERS Acting Administrator, USDA Food Safety And Inspection
"This unprecedented epidemiological investigation conducted by CDC and FSIS can be considered a model for inter-agency cooperation. As a result, this very difficult case was resolved efficiently and in as rapid a manner as possible.
"To address issues identified by the FSIS/CDC investigation at Jack Lambersky Poultry Products, FSIS took immediate and positive corrective action. As a result, FSIS issued a Notice of Intended Enforcement (NOIE), and required the company to submit a detailed plan of corrective action. The company reassessed its Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures and HACCP plans, installed a post pasteurization process for its fully cooked ready-to-eat items and is conducting an ongoing Listeria sampling program for environmental and finished product.
"FSIS has focused extensively during the past two years on strengthening supervisory oversight of in-plant inspection personnel. The In-plant Performance System (IPPS) is in place and circuit supervisors have clear standards and expectations for discussion with in-plant inspection personnel during their on-site visits.
"The Consumer Safety Officers (CSIs) currently assigned at Jack Lambersky have attended the innovative Food Safety Regulatory Essentials (FSRE) training. In addition, all CSIs, including relief inspectors within the Philadelphia District, have been, or are scheduled to attend FSRE training. FSRE training stresses the understanding of HACCP concepts along with production and handling of ready-to-eat (RTE) fully cooked product.
"Following the development and publication of a risk assessment for LM in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products, FSIS published a rule in June 2003 to further drive down the rate of LM. The rule requires all establishments that produce RTE products that are exposed to the environment after cooking to develop written programs to control LM and to verify the effectiveness of those programs through testing. The rule also encourages plants to install new technologies that eliminate or suppress the growth of LM. Establishments must share testing data and plant generated information relevant to their controls with FSIS. Plants that produce high and medium risk products and rely on sanitation procedures alone to control LM receive the most intense Agency regulatory scrutiny.
"A recently completed survey of RTE establishments carried out by FSIS Inspectors-In-Charge revealed that establishments have responded to the rule appropriately and have strengthened and intensified their programs to control LM. Almost every establishment is testing food contact surfaces for Listeria, although plants using a process like steam pasteurization that kills LM inside a package would not be expected to test product contact surfaces, since those products would not be exposed to the environment after cooking. The percentage of plants using interventions that suppress the growth of LM has grown dramatically since the rule went into effect, as have the number of plants that are testing the processing environment and full-cooked products for Listeria.
"The new Listeria rule challenged industry to do more to eliminate LM. The survey indicates that testing has been greatly expanded and the use of new technologies for eliminating this pathogen is becoming widespread. The survey results help explain why we are finding fewer positive samples of Listeria monocytogenes in our regulatory testing program.
"Intensive Agency regulatory efforts carried out prior to the publication of Listeria rule also had a significant positive impact on minimizing food contamination. From 2002 to 2003, the number of recalls due to LM dropped from 40 to 14 and the amount of product recalled due to LM fell from 32.5 million pounds to 55,200 pounds.
"In addition, FSIS has taken action to improve the effectiveness of recalls to ensure to the greatest extent possible and that potentially contaminated products are removed from commerce and consumers receive information more quickly. FSIS has developed and issued revised Directive 8080.1, "Recall of Meat and Poultry Products." This directive will enhance the instructions and guidance to agency personnel responsible for verifying the effectiveness of a recall. To improve speed and efficiency, the revised directive enables the collection of product distribution information at the plant to begin prior to microbiological testing results becoming final. The Agency has also increased the number of effectiveness checks it carries out during Class I recalls, those posing the greatest potential adverse health consequences, and in cases where products have been distributed to at-risk populations. The revised directive includes timeframes for reporting verification activities within FSIS and includes provisions for locating products at point of sale and ensuring the proper disposition of recalled products. We are continuing to review this issue to determine to determine appropriate ways to further strengthen the recall process.
"FSIS, through its Office of Program Evaluation, Enforcement and Review (PEER) will be continually monitoring progress in these areas to ensure that these new initiatives remain effective over time.
looks forward to working with OIG in the future as FSIS develops cost-effective
and science-based policies that will improve the safety and wholesomeness of meat
and poultry products enjoyed by American consumers."
New Product For Optimizing Listeria Identification
It is now well established that the genus Listeria consists of the following 6 species: L. monocytogenes, L. innocua, L. seeligeri, L. welshimeri, L ivanovii and L. grayi. L. innocua was originally classified as L. monocytogenes until it was determined that that this species in fact contained 2 distinct groups based on their ability to produce a haemolytic reaction on sheep blood agar. Subsequently L. monocytogenes were defined as the haemolytic virulent strain while the new species L. innocua were the non haemolytic avirulent strains. The name innocua was derived from the Latin word for harmless. L. welshimeri and L. seeligeri are well established as non haemolytic avirulent species, while L. ivanovii was formerly classified as L. monocytogenes serovar 5 until it was reclassified in 1984.
In the 1980's, the incidence of cases of listeriosis increased significantly. This increase was accompanied by a number of foodborne outbreaks caused by L. monocytogenes. Listeria spp. are ubiquitous in the environment, L. monocytogenes being the major human pathogen while L. ivanovii is rarely documented as causing human illness. It is therefore important that Listeria spp. are correctly identified.
Currently all standard identification methods rely on the fermentation of sugars and haemolytic reactions. Microbiology International offers a simple yet comprehensive biochemical identification system for the identification of all species of Listeria. The creation of this system began with the development of a well defined product specification. The key elements of this specification were: perform the identification directly from selective media, confirm the isolate as Listeria spp., clear differentiation of all 6 species of Listeria, substrates based on conventional methods, eliminate the need for separate haemolysis or CAMP test, substrates conform to international standards, no assembly required, easy to set up and inoculate, clear interpretation of substrate reactions, results available within 18 - 24 hours from a single colony, and supported by a comprehensive computer based identification package.
All substrates were formulated to provide identical performance to established conventional substrate formulations in a convenient microwell strip format. The microwell haemolysin test, which is critical to the differentiation of L. innocua and L. monocytogenes, was based on the methods of Dominguez Rodriguez but modified to provide long term stability of the reagent. The final test panels were evaluated using 105 strains of Listeria spp obtained from a wide range of food sources. The identification of these isolates was performed using the Microgen¢â Listeria-ID and compared to the identification achieved using 2 alternative identification systems.
All final identifications using the Microgen¢â Listeria-ID were confirmed using the Microgen¢â Identification System Software. The results of this investigation indicated that all 105 isolates examined were correctly identified by the Microgen¢â Listeria-ID as a stand alone system (without the need for additional tests).
Microgen¢â Listeria-ID is available in a package of 20 tests including suspending solution. No additional reagents are needed. It is currently undergoing AOAC-RI evaluation and is expected to be approved by the end of August. For further information or to see if you qualify for a free product sample, please contact Gina M. Dunn at Microbiology International 800-396-4276 or visit http://www.800ezmicro.com/
to hold meetings on current state of GMPs
Food Safety Informaiton
Oxoid Involved in Major Campylobacter Project
Oxoid Limited, one of the world's leading manufacturers of microbiological culture media and diagnostic tests, are pleased to announce their participation in CAMPYCHECK, a shared-cost three year project within the EU Fifth Framework "Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources" programme, entitled "Improved physiological, immunological and molecular tools for the recovery and identification of emerging Campylobacteraceae in the food and water chain" (QLK1 CT 2002 02201).
The CAMPYCHECK project will focus on emerging Campylobacteraceae looking at the development of routine isolation and detection methods which will allow effective screening of samples in outbreak situations. Epidemiological data on the micro-organisms will be generated that will be essential to the instigation of effective control measures for food and water.
A risk assessment model for emerging Campylobacteraceae in food and water will be generated which will be a major benefit to both the food and water industries and public health bodies alike.
The CAMPYCHECK research project's aim is to address the limitations of current isolation and identification methods. It also aims to establish the prevalence of these micro-organisms in patient and animal faeces and the food and water chain in Europe, USA and South Africa.
The Oxoid CAMPYCHECK project team is led by Peter Stephens, R & D Manager. "I am delighted that Oxoid are involved in this important project that aims to develop routine methods for isolation, detection and typing of emerging Campylobacteraceae from food, water, environmental and clinical specimens", says Peter. "As well as proving invaluable in epidemiological studies the new methods will also allow us to look at the survival of these pathogens in the food chain and examine issues that affect pathogenicity and virulence. We also expect that practical strategies for control of the pathogen in the food and the water industry will be developed during the course of the project," concludes Peter.
CAMPYCHECK is co-ordinated by the University of Southampton, UK. The project brings together European, South African and American veterinary, food and biomedical specialists working in academia, research institutions and the food industry.
Further details of the CAMPYCHECK project and partners please visit www.campycheck.org.