10/5
2004

ISSUE:
136

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Free trade, food safety, traceability addressed at AMI conference
October 4, 2004
Meatingplace.com
Pete Hisey
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ?Taking a not-too-subtle shot at cattle growers, newly installed American Meat Institute chairman William Buckner, vice chairman of Cargill Inc., accused growers of "placing narrow, short-term self-interest above the interests of the industry as a whole" in the continuing battle to keep the Canadian border closed to beef imports. He also warned that efforts were afoot to close the border to pork products.
Quoting AMI chief executive J. Patrick Boyle, Buckner said, "Calling Canadian beef unsafe is like calling your twin sister ugly." He promised that AMI would remain strongly anti-protectionist and said that the association would intervene against anti-dumping legislation being developed in Congress.
Buckner succeeds Stewart Owens, chief executive of Bob Evans Farms, as AMI chairman.
Focus on food safety and traceability
The majority of AMI sessions this year addressed food safety in some form or another. John Hayes, senior director of U.S. food supply, McDonald's Corp., led off Friday morning's sessions with a prediction that traceability of animal products is inevitable and will soon become simply another cost of doing business, whether government regulations mandate it or not.
McDonald's already pays a premium for the 10 percent of U.S. beef it purchases from suppliers who can provide birth-to-processor traceability, and will continue to do so for the time being. Hayes said the company plans to have 100 percent of its meat products traceable in the near future, and that "soon we will move to a higher playing field, and everyone will have to play by the same rules."
Consumers, he said, demand reassurance that disease outbreak sources can be quickly identified, quarantined and removed from the food supply, and the danger to the industry as a whole of a major catastrophe is much too large to risk, given the relatively modest cost of implementing traceability standards.
He said that McDonald's prefers to work cooperatively with the industry, but that its customers come first, and those customers are demanding traceability.
McDonald's is technology neutral, he added, and the company simply requires that any traceability scheme can be demonstrated to the company and third-party auditors. "We don't actually see the data; all we care about is that we can verify that the data is there if we need it," he said.
Food safety, Hayes said, should not be a competitive issue. "We share whatever we have with our competitors if they ask," he said.
National animal identification
Earlier, Glenn N. Slack, president and chief executive of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture, reported that the Agriculture Department's planned National Animal Identification System will likely begin as a voluntary industry initiative, but will eventually become mandatory as pressure from retailers, restaurateurs, processors and the public at large grows.
The goal is to be able to trace any outbreak back to a suspect animal or herd within 48 hours, he said, and the lesson of the U.K. hoof and mouth disease outbreak, which cost the industry $13 billion and perhaps much more, illustrates the self-interest even those who resist the idea should keep in mind.
Earlier, Dr. Lisa Ferguson, senior staff veterinarian, USDA/APHIS, reported that the USDA's National Surveillance Plan, which is surveying the nation's cattle herd for exposure to BSE, is ahead of schedule in testing high-risk target populations. The plan is to test some 268,000 samples from healthy cattle, "downers," cattle that died on the farm, and on-farm suspects exhibiting symptoms of central nervous system problems.
That number was chosen because if all samples in the target population test negative, it would indicate to a high degree of certainty that BSE does not exist in the national herd.
The program has tested just under 70,000 samples since June 1, Ferguson said, and all have tested negative. APHIS is now testing over 5,000 a week, which means that it should reach its goal of 268,000 within a year.

Quality and safety priorities for market
October 4, 2004
Cape Breton Post
A8
Sharon MacDonald of North West Arm, Nova Scotia, writes that she was happy to consent to an interview with Wes Stewart, further to Calgary's Food Safety Information Society report. The success of the Cape Breton Farmers' Market as a year-round venue is good news for its vendors and for the community.
The title of the resulting Sept. 28 article (Growing Pains, Page B7) comes across as a warning. Anyone alerted by the warning might have chosen not to read past the heading.
However, those who did read past it and the wording under the photo would be pleased to note the regulations under which our farmers' market operates. MacDonald says we welcome community members who are unfamiliar with the market to visit and check us out.
We have taken food handling courses with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and are subject to regular inspections from the department's food safety inspector. Government regulations are adhered to and quality foods are available to our patrons.
Even chemically sensitive members of our community are able to purchase foods that are unavailable to them elsewhere; they are among our regular shoppers.
Many of our vendors grow and produce foods totally without use of antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers and hormones. The public is encouraged to talk with our members, to question anything and, most of all to enjoy the camaraderie of the market and the healthy products we offer.
As renovations near completion at our locale, the Sydney Marine Terminal on the Esplanade, our market space should be enhanced, and we anticipate continued growth and success. Using the Halifax Brewery Market as a guide, we see no reason that the Cape Breton Farmers' Market should not strive toward similar acceptance and enjoyment by our community.
Please refer to the Web site: http://www.NSFarmersMarkets.ca/

BSE-infected cow may have gotten into animal feed

Fri, 01 Oct 2004

Source of Article: http://www.cbc.ca/story

OTTAWA - The diseased cow that sparked Canada's mad cow crisis in May 2003 was turned into feed and may have been mistakenly fed to other cows, CBC News has learned.

Documents obtained through Access to Information show the Canadian Food Inspection Agency had discovered cattle at a number of farms were eating feed intended only for pigs and chickens. That feed may have contained the rendered remains of the diseased cow. By law, cattle cannot be given feed made from rendered cows, precisely because it could spread bovine spongiform encephalopathy. FROM JUNE 9, 2003: Western premiers call BSE a 'disaster'
Part of the problem was by the time BSE was confirmed in the suspect cow, it had already been ground up into feed.
The agency estimated that feed was sold to as many as 1,800 farms and launched an investigation. They visited 200 cattle operations and found several cases where cows were exposed to the feed. Three cattle farms were quarantined and 63 cattle destroyed. Inspectors also learned there was frequent cross-contamination of chicken and cattle feed, and in one case, the farmer admitted he routinely gave chicken feed to cows. In 1997, the federal government banned the practice of allowing cattle to be ground up and fed back to other cattle. The latest research shows just a milligram of infected feed is needed to trigger BSE in a cow, said Neil Cashman, professor of neurological disease at the University of Toronto. According to Cashman, Canada should not be feeding any animals any material rendered from a cow because feed mix-ups are so common. He adds that the risk to humans is infinitesimal.Cattle remains are still used as pig and chicken feed, but concerns about cross-contamination persist. Mike McBain In June of last year, a group of international scientists urged Canada to stop recycling the most potentially infectious parts of cows, like the spinal column and the brain, into animal feed. The agency consulted industry, farmers, and trading partners about such a ban, but nothing has been put in place, says Sergio Taluso, spokesperson for the food inspection agency. One lobby group argued changes must come now. "The only way to stop the transmission is to stop recycling animal protein into herbivores," said Mike McBain, of the Canadian Health Coalition. "And the [food inspection agency] has refused to do that because it's waiting for the signal from industry instead of intervening and telling industry what to do," said McBain. Written by CBC News Online staff

No campylobacter standards from USDA, advisor says

by John Gregerson on 10/1/04 for Meatingplace.com
Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. ?The wait is over for processors expecting campylobacter performance standards from the Agriculture Department. There aren't going to be any, at least not for now, according to W. Benji Mikel, a professor at the University of Kentucky and member of a USDA advisory committee on salmonella. Mikel, who was speaking at the American Meat Institute's annual convention here, said that in July he asked USDA officials when processors could expect campylobacter performance standards similar to those for salmonella. "I just heard back yesterday, and was told that because of the industry's success in reducing salmonella, processors are going to be allowed to show they can handle campylobacter using the same principles and methods of intervention," he said. While Mikel did not identify his source at USDA, he said the information came from "the office of policy ?not off the beaten path." Camplyobacter, which is common to poultry and swine, is the leading cause of diarrhea-related food illness in people ?"far more so than salmonella," Mikel said. Much of Mikel's talk concerned intervention strategies for small and very small processors contending with salmonella. Mikel said that after the salmonella performance standards were put in place, he was part of a government-assembled salmonella assistance team providing advice on pathogen reduction to small processors. "At the time, we were certain what we were telling them was right, but didn't have the data to support it," he recalled.

Mikel has since been involved in studies involving common interventions, including lactic acid, chlorine spray and hot water. "What we found was that cleansing pig carcasses with 140-degree washes achieved a 3 log reduction in salmonella," he said. "For those processors without access to water at those temperatures, the results were almost the same with 90-degree washes."

Educational Material Downloads

Food Irradiation Update
October 1, 2004
Food Irradiation Update is published by the Minnesota Beef Council

o download the new American National Cattlewomen(ANCW) food irradiation
brochure go to : http://www.mnbeef.org/

http://acsh.org/publications/booklets/irradiated2003.html Irradiated
Foods Booklet Provides Science-based Information on Food Irradiation:
The American Council on Science & Health booklet on irradiated foods can
be downloaded from:
http://www.acsh.org/publications/.

Food poisoning, birthday guests - USA (FL)(02): vibrio parahaemolyticus
September 26, 2004
ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org>
Source: Sun-Sentinel.com [edited]

Bacteria found in food of pricey birthday party at Boca Resort
A bacteria usually found in raw and undercooked seafood was detected in 2
of at least 96 people who got sick after an USD 80 000 birthday party at
Boca Raton Resort and Club, health officials said on Fri 24 Sep 2004.
While taking pains to not assign blame, the Palm Beach County Health Department now thinks the bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus caused the outbreak of severe diarrhea, nausea, cramps, and fever after the 18 Sep 2004 soiree, a spokesman said.
"We have an indicator now to include in our investigation of the party," department spokesman Timothy O'Connor said. "This fits the symptoms that all the people had." The department is still investigating whether the food contamination stemmed from improper handling at the resort, bad products from food suppliers, or some other cause, O'Connor said. "It doesn't put the blame on anybody at this point," he said.
The outbreak began the day after the 45th birthday party for a plastic surgeon. The feast featured a menu of hors d'oeuvres, shrimp and scallop appetizer, lobster, filet mignon, and cream-filled pastries. Health investigators have talked to 121 of the 189 guests, 96 of whom got sick, O'Connor said. Lab tests from more guests, and from food samples at the resort, are pending.
The bacterium can be easily avoided by cooking seafood to at least 158 degrees for 15 minutes.
[Byline: Bob LaMendola]
[Although classically associated with the ingestion of raw oysters, _V.
parahaemolyticus_ may be associated with a variety of seafood. - Mod.LL]

Mini lab offers on the spot tests

By Jane Wakefield
BBC News Online technology staff
Source of Article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/3659690.stm
Monday, 4 October, 2004
Vets in the field could instantly test animals for diseases
A portable mini lab that can test for human and animal diseases could save lives and time, say its makers.
Developed by the Ministry of Defence's research arm, the system was originally designed to search for biological warfare agents on the battlefield.
But researchers behind the mini lab say it has much wider and more practical uses. These include while-you-wait testing at GP surgeries, food contamination spotting and animal disease detection.

Heating system
Spotting illnesses in animals quickly is essential as the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease proved.
It will provide individuals with their result at the time of the consultation, rather than three or more days as is the current practice

Department of Health spokesperson
Equipping vets with a machine that can immediately spot infectious animal diseases could be an invaluable tool, said Sarah Watts, a vet who has seen the system in action.
"A faster more reliable diagnosis of disease and infection will enable the veterinary profession to deal with disease outbreaks and health surveillance in a timely manner, which will improve animal welfare and ensure reduced disease spread," she said

The system uses a process known as Polymerase Chain Reaction, which heats and cools samples using an enzyme to generate billions of copies of segments of DNA, enabling them to be analysed. Normally such a process can only be done in a laboratory using a heating block to heat and cool samples in a test tube

The portable lab has its own heating system using a plastic which can heat and cool test tubes individually.

Expensive
The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, the research arm of the MoD, has created a spin-off company, called Enigma Diagnostics, to provide the machines for vets and other professionals by the end of the year.

It will not be cheap however. A machine currently costs around ?0,000, although it is hoped the cost can fall to around ?0,000 once mass production kicks in. Dr David Squirrell, managing director of Enigma Diagnostics, believes the system could save lives. "Potentially it could be used by GPs for meningitis testing and in that context it could be a life saver," he said. The company has already been asked by the Department of Health to create a PCR machine that can spot the sexually transmitted disease Chlamydia, which is on the rise in the UK.

Contamination test
A Department of Health spokesperson said the system had several advantages over current lab tests
"It will provide individuals with their result at the time of the consultation, rather than three or more days as is the current practice," said the spokesperson.The test will also be more reliable than the existing ones, he said.The mini lab could also be used in the food industry to test for contamination such as Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli.It could also be used by food manufacturers to detect Genetic Modifications (GM) in food.Police could also take advantage of the portable lab to analyse DNA samples at the scene of crimes.

Computing Solutions, Inc. Introduces Averaging and Trending Features

Computing Solutions, Inc., have released LabSoft LIMS Version 7.14 which enhances the data management provided to the user with representative averaging and automatic trend notification features.

The representative averaging feature allows lab technicians to select the most representative data when calculating an average for multiple test values of a given sample/grab. The calculation creates a value that represents the multiple test values recorded for a particular sample. All test values (whether marked representative or not) are stored in the LabSoft LIMS database and can be accessed by various tools. The representative calculation is determined by averaging the test values that are 'marked' representative.

Representative data gives a company the ability to calculate and monitor verification and sample data. Verification data establishes the stability of the data collecting instruments and sample data provides accurate representations of the test values from a sample/grab.

Trend notification is an automatic service that runs a Control Chart to determine if data is trending or Out of Spec. Notices and E-mail notifications can be generated based on the Control Chart analysis.
Request more information about this news item
Source: Computing Solutions, Inc.

Time for mandatory BSE tests
September 30, 2004
The Toronto Star
A24
Sylvain Charlebois, a food safety researcher and assistant professor in marketing in the faculty of administration at the University of Regina, says that the Canadian cattle industry is playing with fire.
The producers are lagging behind in meeting the target of 8,000 cattle tested for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by the end of this year, a target set by the federal government less than a year ago.
In Alberta alone, only 1,000 cattle have been tested for "mad cow disease," which is only 37 per cent of the target set for the province. Without radical adjustments to its testing policies, the Canadian beef industry will be unable to show its international trading partners that it can properly appraise risks correlated with food safety.
Charlebois says that evidently, producers are reluctant to send more cattle for testing, as they may end up finding a new case, thereby summoning further confusion and disaster to an already complicated issue. Producers are, moreover, discouraged from making set targets a priority because they now pay rendering organizations to transport the cattle or their carcasses. The current policies on BSE testing are ambiguous, strategically ineffective, and do everything but engage marketing empowerment for the cattle producers.
The current system does not offer comforting results, and very little is inhibited by governmental authorities. To meet these targets, BSE testing should be mandatory. However, not only should testing be mandatory, but it has to be properly implemented.
Of all the stakeholders involved in the mad cow crisis, the federal government is the one that needs to financially support the industry in order to match global standards in food safety. Japan, which just recently discovered its 12th BSE case since 2001, tests all cattle, with no exceptions, and the Japanese government fully supports its industry. The case was diagnosed only five days after it was sent to slaughter.
In Canada, it took almost four months, from the time the ailing animal in Alberta was slaughtered on Jan. 30, 2003, until the actual BSE test on May 16. At the time, only some animals that showed visual symptoms of illness were tested, as evidenced by the fact that the Alberta cow was initially diagnosed as having pneumonia and was put down before entering the food chain.
Four-month impediments have proven not to be a very persuasive tool for convincing scrupulous food-safety-aware nations like Japan, formerly one of our most important foreign trading partners for beef related products, that Canadian beef is safe.
The federal government has enhanced testing standards for BSE, beginning in the spring, by augmenting the number of tests to 8,000 in 2004 and 30,000 in 2005. Unfortunately, as pointed out, the industry is nowhere near these targets, which are considered by many observers to be very low.
Financially, cattle producers are stretched to the limit and cannot afford supplementary operating costs. The industry needs an inclusive system that will work for both producers and foreign trading partners. A change in the current testing policies from the federal government is needed to make a workable testing strategy that will re-establish the industry's integrity.

20% of all adults believe they have food allergies
Source of Article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/
Thursday 30th September
Surveys show about 20% of all adults believe they have food allergies. When a full evaluation and diagnosis has been performed, however, only 1 to 2% of people suffer from allergies. Because their immune systems are not yet fully developed, young children are likely to be more affected than adults.

What is food allergy?

A food allergy is an adverse reaction to a food or food component that involves the body's immune system. Other adverse reactions to foods involve the body's metabolism but not the immune system. These are known as food intolerance and can include reactions to food poisoning and enzyme deficiencies, which prevent proper digestion of certain food components such as lactose (milk sugar).

A true allergic reaction involves three primary components: Contact with the food allergen (a reaction provoking substance, usually a protein) Increased Immunogloblin E (IgE - an antibody in the immune system that reacts to allergens) Mast cells (tissue cells) and basophils (blood cells) which when in contact with IgE antibodies release histamine or other substances causing allergic symptoms

When the body's immune system recognises an allergen in a food, it produces antibodies to block this foreign invasion. At the same time, the body exhibits physical symptoms such as swelling of the lips, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea, hives, rashes or eczema, a running nose and breathing problems. A more serious but rare reaction is anaphylactic shock which is life threatening and requires immediate medical attention.

Allergic reactions to food are rare but may be caused by just about any food. ILSI (the International Life Sciences Institute) has categorised a list from a CODEX proposal of recognised food allergens: 'Critical' allergen: peanut 'Major' allergens: cereals containing gluten (oats, wheat, barley, rye spelt), shellfish (excluding molluscs), eggs, fish, soya, milk protein, tree nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecan nuts, pine kernels, brazil nuts, cashew nuts, macadamia nuts) and sesame seeds. 'Minor' allergens: buckwheat, celery, fruits with stones (apricots, cherries, peaches and plums)

What to do when food allergy is suspected?

If an allergy to a food is suspected, it is best to avoid eating that food until a doctor is consulted to establish the causes, as factors such as one's medical condition may also produce similar symptoms. If however, the symptoms are associated with a food allergy, evaluation by an allergist is essential. The only reliable diagnosis of a food allergy is a combination of skin tests (application of the suspect food to the skin) and double blind oral challenges (eating food or a placebo in the form of a capsule while both the patient and the doctor are unaware of either capsule's contents).

Living with a food allergy

Presently, no adequate treatment exists to cure food allergies permanently. Once diagnosed, the only effective treatment is the so-called 'avoidance' diet -removing the food in question from a person's diet. We should be aware that the removal of foods, especially staple foods, may require medical advice because of potential dietary imbalances, particularly in children.

Don't blame Washington
September 29, 2004
The Leader-Post (Regina)
B9
Before mid-May 2003, the possibility that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) would be found in Canada was, according to this editorial, taken seriously by only a few scientists, veterinary experts and ranchers. Other ranchers and the public seemed blissfully unaware it might be discovered, or else figured it would be mean nothing more than a short disruption.
In their wildest dreams, who thought that, 16 months later, the American border would still be closed to most (though, significantly, not all ) Canadian beef -- and that there would be no end in sight?
We know now. And we also know that -- contrary to Canadian conventional wisdom -- the roadblock to reopening the border is not the American government, but American special interest groups like the notorious Montana-based Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF), which has been fighting a determined legal action against science and common sense.
The American government is Canada's ally in this matter. Uncle Sam knows that an independent case of BSE, with no link to Canada, could pop up at any time within the U.S.
When and if that happens, the doors of foreign importers will slam shut. At that point, the U.S. will need a protocol, or administrative roadmap, for getting its beef readmitted to these markets as quickly as possible. The faster that Canadian beef is OK'd, the faster American beef will be cleared at some point in the future.
Despite its pious claims about public health, the obstructionist R-CALF sees only the higher prices its members get and thus continues ruthless legal warfare to keep competing Canadian beef out of the market. This reduces the supply of cattle for American processors, raising the price for consumers -- but that's of no concern to R-CALF.
Sadly (for the Canadian cattle industry) there seems to be no way of short-circuiting the

Food Safety and Quality Update now available
Food Safety and Quality Update - No. 21
In This Issue
Information Now Available On-Line
Proyecto sobre frutas y hortalizas frescas- Informe de los seminarios
sub-regionales
FAO/WHO Functional Foods Workshop report
Versi? en espa?l del Manual APPCC para la prevenci? y control de las
Micotoxinas
Joint Action Team on Probiotics
Upcoming Events
Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators 2 (GF2)
FAO/ILSI Workshop on Food Safety in SAARC Countries (Follow-Up Activities)
Taller sobre Sistemas de Control de los Alimentos- FAO/PAHO
Upcoming Codex meetings
Announcements
GF2 side events
Codex Trust Fund- Applications for 2005 funding
Food and Nutrition Officer Vacancy
FAO Coffee Quality and Safety Project
Newsletter archive available
Please download this issue from ftp://ftp.fao.org/es/esn/fsq_update/21.pdf
ftp://ftp.fao.org/es/esn/fsq_update/21.pdf
If you have problems down-loading the file, please contact
food-quality@fao.org

Child with E. coli on life support
Source of Article: http://www.mydjconnection.com/
By CHRIS CLINE\Daily Journal Staff Writer
ST. LOUIS - A 2-year-old Bonne Terre girl is on life-support at Cardinal Glennon Hospital after being diagnosed with a strain of E. coli known as E. coli 0157:H7.
The mother of the girl, Valerie Allen, said she believes her daughter Emily and her 1-year-old son Carter contracted the strain of E. coli on Sept. 18.

"My mother, my son and I all ate at one restaurant on Sept. 18, while I picked up kids' dinners for Emily and Carter at a restaurant next door," Allen said. I went to a different restaurant to get dinner for Emily and Carter because they didn't have food the kids would like at the restaurant we were eating at."

Allen said by the evening of Sept. 19, Carter started having diarrhea."Emily then began to have diarrhea on Monday (Sept. 20), said Allen. "Neither of the kids had a fever so I really didn't think it was anything major. On Tuesday Emily has a trace of blood in her stool and by Wednesday she started vomiting and has a lot of blood in her stool."

Allen said she took her daughter to Mineral Area Regional Medical Center for treatment."Mineral Area (Regional Medical Center) said it was a virus and they sent Emily to Cardinal Glennon," Allen said. "Once we got to Cardinal Glennon, they did an ultrasound on Emily and found that her appendix were damaged."Allen said surgery was then performed on her daughter to remove her appendix."Emily remained in the hospital and things went okay for a while, but then on Sept. 24 Emily's kidneys shutdown," Allen said. "The day after her kidneys shutdown, Emily's kidney doctor said she had a strain of E. coli 0157:H7. Emily was then placed on life support on Sept. 29 because she was having difficulty breathing."Allen said her daughter is now undergoing dialysis and they expect to find out within two weeks if Emily is going to have to have a kidney transplant."We don't know how long she is going to have to stay on life support," Allen said. "If anyone has any of these symptoms, they need to get checked out immediately."The St. Francois County Health Department acknowledged Thursday a presumptive case of E. coli that has been reported in St. Francois County. According to officials with the county health department, the investigation is ongoing and test results are expected to come back next week.Maserang said E. coli is a normal bacteria that lives in the intestines of humans and in animals. While most strains are harmless, some strains are known to produce toxins which can cause illnesses.Maserang said. "This particular strain can cause many degrees of illnesses ranging from severe diarrhea to death."Maserang said the case of E. coli was reported to the county health department on Sept. 27."We are currently checking the food history of the individual along with sources of water," said Maserang. "I want to stress that the investigation is ongoing and we are going to keep the public up to date on this."

According to a fact sheet released by the county health department, anyone can become infected with E. coli 0157:H7, but children and the elderly are more likely to develop serious complications. The illness is acquired by ingesting food or water that contains the bacteria.The bacteria can be found in the intestines of some cattle and contamination of the meat can occur during the slaughtering process. Eating meat that is rare or inadequately cooked is a common way of receiving the infection. Infection can also occur by contaminating surfaces or utensils with raw meat and then preparing uncooked food on those surfaces without washing them.Vegetables, fruits and unpasteurized fruit juices can also be contaminated. Petting or handling animals that are infected without washing hands immediately is another way the infection can be transmitted. Person-to-person transmission can also occur if infected people do not wash their hands after using the toilet.Symptoms can include sever diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Blood is often seen in the stool. Fever may or may not be present. Symptoms usually appear three days after exposure, but may be as short as one day or as long as nine days.

In some cases, particularly with children under 5 years of age, the infection causes a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This is a serious disease in which the kidneys fail.Most people recover without from E. coli 0157:H7 without treatment within five to 10 days. Medications such as Imodium or Lomotil should not be given to people to people who are suspected of having E. coli 0157:H7.

Genevision¢ç Salmonella Test Receives AOAC RI Approval

Warnex Inc. have announced that its Genevision¢ç food safety test for the detection of Salmonella spp. has been granted Performance TestedSM status by the AOAC Research Institute and becomes the fifth Genevision test to be validated in the United States.

The AOAC Research Institute is a non-profit international scientific organization that administers thePerformance Tested MethodsSM Program. Within this program, an independent third-party review showed that the Genevision test detected Salmonella spp. as well as or better than traditional culture methods.

The test was granted Performance TestedSM status for a "Variety of Foods", after being tested in such foods as ground beef, chicken breast, pork cubes, cooked ham, chicken wings, clam chowder, cottage cheese, tortellini, apple juice, and cauliflower.

Warnex¡¯s Genevision Rapid Pathogen Detection System uses state-of-the-a rt genomics -based technology to rapidly and accurately detect the presence of harmful pathogens in food products. The technology allows for the simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens and processing of samples within 24 to 48 hours.
Request more information about this news item
Source: Warnex Inc.

New Food and Water Laboratory Network to Deal With 21st Century Challenges

The Health Protection Agency is planning to revamp the Food, Dairy, Water and Environmental (FDWE) laboratory service network from this November to deal with new outbreaks and emergencies, the Agency's Board heard today.

The proposals, for a network of regionally based FDWE laboratories working within a new national framework, are being sent to Local Authority Chief Executives and other key stakeholders later this month for their input on how best to implement the new service in their local areas.

Each regional network would have a designated lead FDWE laboratory which would act as the focus of outbreak and incident response and new technology in that region. The national framework would ensure high microbiology standards as well as the laboratories contributing to surveillance, data flows and national projects and outbreak investigation.

The key aim of the HPA's proposed new network is to develop an integrated, effective and reliable FDWE microbiology service, as well as a formal system which reflects the changing service needs of customers in the NHS, Local Authorities and other agencies.

The FDWE laboratories will provide essential data for the science base for food policy and identifying public health interventions including a collaborative public health investigation of raw shell eggs in the Agency's London Region which highlighted hospitals using eggs contaminated with Salmonella. These eggs were withdrawn from use and the hospitals reminded of the proper use of raw shell eggs by the Food Standards Agency. This advice was reinforced by directly contacting Medical Directors of NHS Trusts in England.


Source: Health Protection Agency, UK - Visit Health Protection Agency, UK web pages