Releases Transport Security Guide
October 06, 2004
of Article: http://www.meatami.com/
is now available to help the commercial agricultural transportation industry enhance
security measures to help prevent a potential terrorist attack. This voluntary
guidance was created through a partnership of the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) and the Agricultural and Food Transporters Conference (AFTC)
of the American Trucking Associations (ATA).
guidance, USDA/AFTC Guide for Security Practices in Transporting Agricultural
and Food Commodities, is meant to protect people, property, products, processes,
information, and information systems. When taken together, the agriculture, food
and transportation components are vital to the Nation¡¯s economy and public health.
American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), as a part of the partnership
between USDA and the AFTC, surveyed approximately 24,000 commercial agricultural
and food transporters to identify potential security vulnerabilities during the
transportation of agricultural and food products throughout the farm-to-table
continuum, and to evaluate appropriate countermeasures to mitigate those potential
vulnerabilities. The survey findings and analysis have been provided to the U.S.
Secretary of Agriculture and used in these guidelines, as appropriate. Information
and recommendations contained in this document are intended as voluntary guidelines
for the safe and secure transport and handling of products delivered by over-the-road
guidance specific to meat, poultry and egg products please refer to Food Safety
and Security for the Transportation and Distribution of Meat, Poultry and Egg
Products, published by the Food Safety and Inspection Service.
an additional resource, AFTC publishes a Resources Directory for Security Practices
in the Transportation of Agricultural and Food Commodities. It provides methods
and tools for companies to assess threat vulnerabilities and implement security
plans to protect against intentional contamination or disruption, including terrorist
USDA/AFTC Security Guide and AFTC Resources Directory are both available in hard
copy or on CD-Rom.
a copy of this Guidance, go to http://www.meatami.com/
of Article: http://www.meatnews.com/
announces cooperative partnerships for meat safety.
Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that $275,000 will be awarded to
nine states to help educate food animal producers about production practices that
promote food safety.Through cooperative
agreements, FSIS provides states with funding and resources to develop state-level
animal production food safety partnerships. FSIS enters into these agreements
with state Departments of Agriculture and/or state animal health agencies to encourage
development of HACCP-compatible animal production food safety practices, FSIS
explained in a release.¡°The partnerships
between FSIS and these nine states will further enhance communication and cooperation
and will improve food safety practices on the farm,¡± Acting FSIS Administrator
Dr. Barbara Masters said. ¡°These initiatives provide critically important information
to producers about minimizing potentially dangerous pathogens.¡±
states that will receive funding to support their animal and egg production food
safety programs in 2004 are: Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey,
Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia.
funds will support a variety of educational programs and initiatives, including:*
Demonstrations of best management practices for producers;
Methods to improve humane handling of livestock;
* Antibiotic residue avoidance,
* Compliance with the Food and Drug Administration¡¯s ruminant feed ban.
development and implementation of best management practices to reduce foodborne
pathogens before slaughter is one of the goals outlined in USDA's food safety
vision paper, ¡°Enhancing Public Health: Strategies for the Future.¡± The science-based
initiatives outlined in the vision document will help FSIS better understand,
predict and prevent microbiological contamination of meat and poultry products,
improving health outcomes for American families.
health inspectors close 2 York County, Pa., Taco Bell restaurants
Sean Adkins, York Daily Record, Pa.
Pennsylvania state health inspector was cited as recently closing two local Taco
Bell restaurants and ran a follow-up inspection on a third location of the fast-food
The story says that in August, a customer complained to the Pennsylvania
Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services about
soiled conditions at the KFC/Taco Bell at 450 Shrewsbury Commons.
dirt and food lay on the floor under the cooking area, the restaurant had unclean
tables and an employee had continued to use a tong that had dropped to the floor,
according to the health report.
On Aug. 24, state health inspector Jerry Heisey
ran the first of three inspections at the store and found multiple violations
such as old adhering food debris on most clean utensils stored over the three-bay
sink and food particles stuck to walls.
All the floors in the food preparation
area had an "excessive" amount of old food, dirt and standing water,
the report states.
The report was quoted as saying, "The walk-in freezer
is a disaster. There is food stored on the floor, old food on the floor and a
pool of unidentified substance." That inspection resulted in a score of zero,
and the restaurant was closed "due to the gross unsanitary conditions."
The bureau issued KFC/Taco Bell a warning letter -- a correspondence that requests
that a business respond with a detailed outline of its corrective-action plan.
returned the next day to KFC/Taco Bell to run a compliance inspection.
inspector found that the under-counter refrigerator was still not working and
that the warmer shelving had an accumulation of old adhering food debris.
the infractions, KFC/Taco Bell scored an 88 and re-opened for business.
George, a spokeswoman for Taco Bell, was cited as saying Taco Bell took actions
to correct the issues and has worked with the state health department to ensure
the restaurant remains in compliance, adding, "We have retrained all of our
workers on food safety issues. We take these things very seriously. We are meeting
all standards." A Sept. 28 routine food safety inspection of the restaurant
netted a score of 95 with two points lost to food debris stuck to the inside of
health advisory: Gastrointestinal illness while traveling
Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada
year, thousands of Canadian sun-seekers may be returning home with more than just
memories of their trip. Nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea can be some
of the more unpleasant side effects from a get-away. The risk of acquiring gastrointestinal
illness in tropical and sub-tropical locations can be high for many travellers.
Diarrhea or "tourista", is the most common medical problem affecting
travellers to developing countries and other tourist destinations. Travellers'
diarrhea is an intestinal infection caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses
transmitted primarily from contaminated food or water.
Bacteria are the most
common cause of gastrointestinal illness. The most common causes include Escherichia
coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella species and Shegella species.. Less common
causes include the Aeromonas, Pleasiomonas and Yersinia species and non-cholera
vibrio species and rarely the Vibrio cholerae species.
Parasites that cause
acute diarrhea in travellers include Giardia lamblia, entamoeba histolytica and
cryptosporidium among others. Giardiasis is the most common form of diarrhea persisting
for weeks after travellers return home.
Norwalk virus (NV) and Norwalk-like
viruses (NLV) are common forms of viral gastroenteritis with outbreaks generally
occurring where people congregate in close quarters for extended periods. Outbreaks
of NV and NLV have been previously reported on cruise ships, trains and on land-based
bus tours. Rotavirus is a less common intestinal infection.
The table below
illustrates examples of laboratory confirmed cases of diarrheal illness in returning
Canadian travellers reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada's Travel Medicine
Program in 2003. This is by no means a complete report but serves as a reminder
that diarrheal illness does occur in Canadian travellers.
Causes of Diarrheal
Destinations Where Illness was Acquired
Mexico, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Thailand, St. Lucia, Costa Rica, Morocco,
Czech Republic, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Hong Kong, Congo
Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, India , Morocco, Romania
Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica, India, Dominican Republic, Congo, Chile
enterocolitica Cuba, Ecuador, Tonga
Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico,
Giardia, Entamoeba, Cryptosporidium, Hymenolepsisana Haiti,
Brazil, India, Mexico, Thailand, Romania
Source: National Enteric Surveillance
Episodes of travellers' diarrhea usually begin abruptly, either during
travel or soon after returning home. Although usually mild and self-limiting,
travellers' diarrhea can adversely affect the quality of a vacation or the success
of a business trip.
Travellers' diarrhea is avoidable. The risk of illness
will depend on the quality and purity of the food and water consumed, and the
use of good personal hygiene practices.
Food-borne gastrointestinal illness
Contaminated food is the most common cause of travellers' diarrhea. The highest
risk foods include custards, mousses, potato salads, hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise
and seafood. Salad bars, raw vegetables and fruits that cannot easily be cleaned
- such as grapes, strawberries and raspberries. Although eating food purchased
from street vendors can enhance the traveller's cross-cultural experience, many
lack adequate sanitary facilities and proper refrigeration, allowing for an increased
risk of travellers' diarrhea.
Water-borne gastrointestinal illness
most drinking water in Canada is treated to remove organisms which can cause illness,
this may not always be the case in other countries. For instance, if untreated
water is used to wash or prepare food, the food can become contaminated with disease-causing
Water-borne diarrheal illness usually results from the ingestion
of viruses and parasites in water contaminated by human or agricultural fecal
waste. The lesser importance of water as a cause of travellers' diarrhea is likely
due to the relatively lower concentration of contaminating organisms in liquid
rather than solid foods.
Prevention of gastrointestinal illness
authorities in many countries with high tourist populations have been taking specific
measures to minimize the traveller's risk of acquiring a gastrointestinal illness.
National programs to improve conditions can include training of hotel and resort
food handlers in basic sanitation and food processing measures, unannounced inspections
of facilities with special attention to critical food handling procedures, and
the formulation of recommendations for each inspected hotel and resort facility.
Public Health Agency of Canada reminds travellers that travel to tropical and
sub-tropical climates and to developing countries poses the greatest risk for
gastrointestinal disease. Travellers should discuss food and water precautions
with a travel medicine clinic or their physician prior to departure.
travellers are reminded to practice heightened personal hygiene including good
hand-washing practices. Using soap and hot water and lathering for at least 20
seconds is the single most important procedure for preventing infections. This
is because disease-causing micro-organisms can frequently be found on the hands.
Alternatively, travellers can use waterless, alcohol-based antiseptic hand rinses.
The Public Health Agency of Canada strongly recommends the following key principles
regarding food and water precautions to minimize their risk of exposure to disease.
The key principles to remember are: boil it, cook it, peel it or leave it!
only food that has been well-cooked and is still hot when served.
purified water that has been boiled or disinfected with chlorine or iodine, or
commercially bottled water in sealed containers.
Drinking carbonated drinks
without ice, including beer, is usually safe.
Avoid ice, unless it has been
made with purified water.
Boil unpasteurized milk.
dairy products and ice cream.
Avoid uncooked foods - especially shellfish
- and salads. Fruit and vegetables that can be peeled are usually safe.
food from street vendors.
Wash hands before eating or drinking.
include carbonated soft drinks, carbonated bottled water, bottled fruit juices,
alcoholic beverages without ice, and hot beverages such as tea. If required, water
purification may be achieved by either heat, filtration or chemical disinfection.
Boiling is the most effective way of producing water that is safe to drink. Simply
bringing water to a boil is sufficient to kill all of the organisms that can cause
Travellers are also reminded that too much sun, alcohol
and spicy food may disturb their usual digestive processes. Protection from sun
exposure, and none or moderate consumption of alcohol and spicy food are recommended.
If nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea or vomiting develops during travel or
after returning, seek medical attention if the symptoms persist longer than 48
hours, or if there is bloody diarrhea. Most cases of traveller's diarrhea are
self-limiting and clear up in a few days. Diarrhea can cause dehydration if the
lost fluid and electrolyes are not replaced. The most important aspect of treating
diarrhea is rehydration. It is essential to drink more fluids as soon as diarrhea
starts. The Public Health Agency of Canada's Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine
and Travel recommends the following homemade oral rehydration solutions.
Oral Rehydration Solutions
240 ml (1 cup)
0.5 ml (1/8 tsp)
1 ml (1/4 tsp)
5 ml (1 tsp)
40 ml (8 tsps)
World Health Organization's
oral rehydration salts are widely available in developing countries.
: Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and TraVel (CATMAT) / "Advisory
Committee Statement on Travellers' Diarrhea", CCDR , Vol.27 (ACS-3), March
Travellers may want to take with them over-the-counter medicines
for the treatment of diarrhea should they become ill during their trip. Several
products are available. In consultation with a travel clinic or your personal
physician, the appropriate product can be recommended. Imodium¢ç (loperamide HCL)
is an effective antimotility agent available to decrease the duration and severity
of diarrhea in mild to moderate cases in adults and children of > 2 years of
age. Caution should always be exercised when using antimotility agents with children
as they have an increased risk of severe complications.
is an anti-secretory, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory product that is also
effective in treating mild to moderate travellers' diarrhea in adults. However,
its effectiveness can be delayed, requiring frequent dosing. As well, if the traveller
is taking doxycycline-an antibiotic medication to prevent malaria-it will interfere
with the absorption of bismuth subsalicylate.
Any traveller who has fever
and diarrhea during or following a visit to an area where malaria occurs must
have a blood test to rule out the presence of malaria in their system.
Public Health Agency of Canada does not recommend the general use of antibiotics
as a preventive measure. However, following an individual risk assessment, antibiotics
may be prescribed by a physician for use by high-risk, short-term travellers-such
as those for whom a brief illness cannot be tolerated; those with increased susceptibility
to travellers' diarrhea; and those who are immunosuppressed or have chronic illnesses-should
they develop diarrhea or stomach illness in a location where medical help is not
Biosensor Rapidly Detects Deadly Foodborne Pathogen
of Article: http://www.newswise.com/
pathogen responsible for a precooked chicken recall last summer will become easier
to detect in ready-to-eat meats, thanks to a new biosensor developed by scientists
at Purdue University.
AND PHOTO CAN BE FOUND AT:
?The pathogen responsible for a precooked chicken recall last summer will become
easier to detect in ready-to-eat meats, thanks to a new biosensor developed by
scientists at Purdue University.
team of food scientists has developed a sensor that can detect the potentially
deadly bacteria Listeria monocytogenes in less than 24 hours at concentrations
as low as 1,000 cells per milliliter of fluid - an amount about the size of a
pencil eraser. The sensor also is selective enough to recognize only the species
selectivity, sensitivity and rapidity of this sensor represent a vast improvement
over the types of test kits that are currently available commercially," said
Arun Bhunia, associate professor of food microbiology and one of the sensor's
developers. "Taken together, those qualities make this research an important
contribution in the field of food safety."
the illness caused by consuming Listeria-contaminated foods like deli meats or
cheese, leads to higher rates of hospitalization and mortality than any other
foodborne illness, said Tao Geng, research associate in the department of food
science and the sensor's co-developer.
mortality rate for people with listeriosis is very high, and for this reason,
the FDA has a zero-tolerance rule for Listeria. There should be none at all in
any ready-to-eat products," he said.
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2,500 people
develop listeriosis every year, and approximately one in every five cases is fatal.
The elderly, pregnant women, newborn infants and individuals with compromised
immune systems are most at risk of contracting the disease.
bacteria classified as Listeria include six different species, but only L. monocytogenes
can infect humans. This makes it especially important to develop highly selective
sensors that can detect only L. monocytogenes, Bhunia said.
ability to distinguish this one species from all others makes this a very powerful
sensor. No other sensor today can do that," he said.
sensor also is selective enough to recognize cells of L. monocytogenes when other
types of foodborne contaminants, such as salmonella or E. coli, are present.
as an "optical biosensor," the device uses light to detect the presence
of a target organism or molecule. Bhunia and his colleagues have been developing
this sensor for three years and demonstrate its function in the current issue
of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
sensor is made of a small piece of optical fiber - a clear, solid, plastic material
that transmits light through its core. The fiber is coated with a type of molecule
called an antibody, which specifically recognizes L. monocytogenes and captures
it, binding it to the fiber. When the fiber is placed in a liquid food solution,
any L. monocytogenes in the sample will stick to the fiber.
presence of L. monocytogenes is verified by the addition of a second antibody,
which not only recognizes L. monocytogenes but also carries a molecule that produces
a fluorescent glow when exposed to laser light. This antibody attaches to the
L. monocytogenes bound to the fiber and acts as a flag, signaling the pathogen's
presence when laser light is passed through the liquid.
expects the sensor to be ready for industrial use in another year.
tests currently in use require a high concentration of pathogen cells - typically
from 1 million to 10 million cells per milliliter of fluid, Geng said. The tests
also rely on a process known as "enrichment," which occurs when a sample
believed to be contaminated grows for a period of time in a nutrient broth to
allow any pathogen cells present to multiply.
enrichment process increases the concentration of cells present, making it possible
for today's sensors to detect their presence, but it can take as long as seven
days to complete a test using conventional methods, Geng said.
tests rely on DNA markers, but these also can take days to process, he said. That's
a problem because by the time test results come back, products may already be
in food suppliers' warehouses or on store shelves, he said.
summer, for example, a Georgia company recalled nearly 37,000 pounds of precooked
chicken products that may have been contaminated by Listeria. The chicken products
had been distributed to warehouses in Georgia and Arkansas, as well as to grocery
stores in Maryland and New York, when the recall was issued.
overcome the time delay and allow for rapid detection before foods are shipped,
you need to be able to detect a lower number of the pathogen cells at the processing
plant," Geng said.
ability to detect L. monocytogenes at low levels is essential because most of
the foods susceptible to Listeria contamination are ready-to-eat products, which
are cooked or otherwise processed for human consumption before they make it to
a grocer's shelves.
precooked meats have already been processed, the bulk of microorganisms that were
present in the raw product have been eliminated," Bhunia said.
don't expect high numbers of microorganisms in processed products, so we need
to be able to detect extremely low levels of contamination."
at low levels also is important for another reason, Bhunia said.
can grow at refrigeration temperatures, so if a product has a level of Listeria
low enough to evade detection when it's tested at the processor, that Listeria
still can grow in the home refrigerator to a level that makes it infective to
people at risk."
Bhunia said there's no known precise number of cells it takes to infect someone,
most food safety experts suggest from 100 to 1,000 cells can cause illness.
would kill many of the L. monocytogenes cells that can grow at refrigeration temperature,
but many ready-to-eat products, such as deli meats, smoked fish, cheeses and hot
dogs, aren't always cooked by consumers before consumption, Bhunia said.
said his next goal is to optimize the test conditions of the biosensor so a sample
can be processed in one working day and be monitored remotely via computer.
end goal is to use this technology to keep Listeria monocytogenes-tainted foods
out of the food supply," Bhunia said. "To do this, we will continue
to develop ways to make this device more user-friendly."
research was supported through a cooperative agreement with the Agricultural Research
Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Center for Food Safety Engineering
at Purdue. Mark Morgan, associate professor with the Purdue Department of Food
Science Sensors and Controls Laboratory, also participated in the research.
University Center for Food Safety Engineering: http://www.cfse.purdue.edu/
for Disease Control Listeriosis information: http://www.cdc.gov/
Food Safety and Inspection Service: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/topics/lm.htm
researchers have developed a new biosensor that can detect minute quantities of
the deadly foodborne bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Here, research associate
Tao Geng places an optical fiber, which is part of the biosensor, into a sample
to test for the bacteria's presence as Arun Bhunia, professor of food science,
watches. (Purdue Agricultural Communications photo/Mike Kerper)
publication-quality photo is available at http://ftp.purdue.edu/pub/uns/+2004/bhunia-sensor.jpg
of low levels of Listeria monocytogenes cells using a fiber optic immunosensor
Geng, Mark T. Morgan and Arun K. Bhunia
technology has great potential to meet the need for sensitive and near real-time
microbial detection from foods. An antibody-based fiberoptic biosensor to detect
low levels of Listeria monocytogenes following an enrichment step was developed.
The principle of the sensor is a sandwich immunoassay where a rabbit polyclonal
antibody was first immobilized on polystyrene fiber waveguides through a biotin-streptavidin
reaction to capture Listeria cells on the fiber. Capture of cells on the fibers
was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. A cyanine 5-labeled murine monoclonal
antibody C11E9 was used to generate a specific fluorescent signal, which was acquired
by launching a 635 nm laserlight from an Analyte-2000 and collected by a photodetector
at 670 to 710 nm. This immunosensor was specific for L. monocytogenes and showed
significantly higher signal than other Listeria species or other microorganisms
including Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Salmonella enterica, Lactobacillus
plantarum, Carnobacterium gallinarum, Hafnia alvei, Corynebacterium glutamicum,
Enterobacter aerogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Serratia marcesces in pure
or mixed culture setup. Fiberoptic results could be obtained within 2.5 hours
of sampling. Sensitivity threshold was about 4.3 x 103 CFU/ml for a pure culture
of L. monocytogenes grown at 37c. When L. monocytogenes was mixed with lactic
acid bacteria or grown at 10c with 3.5% NaCl, the detection threshold was 4.1x104
CFU/ml or 2.8x107 CFU/ml, respectively. In less than 24 hours, this method could
detect L. monocytogenes in hot dog or bologna naturally contaminated or artificially
inoculated with 10 to 100 CFU/g after enrichment in buffered Listeria enrichment
ID kit receives AOAC approval!
MD, October 11, 2004 - Microbiology International, a leading North American distributor
of automated microbiology solutions has recently received Performance Tested Methods
Certification (Certificate No. 060402)
from the AOAC Research Institute on
Listeria ID, their revolutionary identification kit that enables laboratories
to rapidly confirm which Listeria species they have isolated directly from a selective
isolation plate. Each year an
alarming number of food recalls take place in the United States due to pathogen
contamination. These recalls cost food and ingredient manufacturers millions of
dollars per year and jeopardize the health of many Americans who may consume the
contaminated products. Because of this, the food industry needs to be vigilant
when it comes to controlling microbiology contamination throughout its production
process. One of the key bacterial pathogens which can find its way into a wide
range of food products is Listeria monocytogenes. While a number of Listeria species
are not considered potential human pathogens, Listeria monocytogenes is a great
threat. It is important that food testing laboratories isolating Listeria species
can rapidly confirm which species they are dealing with.
Listeria ID has
been designed to enable users to generate rapid confirmation of the identity of
any Listeria species that they isolate from food or food ingredient samples. The
product is normally used on "Listeria-like colonies" that have been
isolated on a selective agar plate. One colony is then taken and suspended in
the Listeria suspending broth (supplied in the kit). The bacterial suspension
is then added to all 12 wells of the micro-well strips provided. Finally the haemolysin
reagent (containing stabilized red blood cells) is added to well twelve. The micro-well
strip is then incubated for 18-24 hours in a non-fan-assisted incubator at 35-37C.
The product then delivers
its results within 18-24 hours. The unique feature of this product is an in-well
haemolysis test which is based on the ability of a Listeria species isolate to
lyse red blood cells. This is one of the key pathogenicity markers and provides
a clear discrimination between Listeria monocytogenes (haemolytic) and Listeria
innocua (non-haemolytic). The substrate reactions are easily read, well 1 is esculin
and should have turned black for all Listeria species isolates tested, the next
10 wells are sugars and will have either remained purple (negative) or turned
yellow (positive). The final haemolysis well will either show a button of red
blood cells with clear liquid (negative) or a cloudy liquid with no red cell button
visible (positive / haemolytic). The results are recorded and used to produce
a four digit code which is then input into the dedicated software program. The
program analyzes the four digit code and suggests the most probable Listeria species.
The Listeria ID kit offers several advantages over the conventional method and
other miniaturized biochemical test systems for Listeria species
and confirmation. The first advantage is that Listeria ID strips can be used with
bacterial colonies taken directly from selective agar plates. Most other systems
require the test to be performed on colonies from non-selective plates. Additionally,
only one colony is required per test, so there is no problem of multiple species
contamination, all distinct colonies can be tested separately. Furthermore, the
multi-well strip is a self-contained test system which requires absolutely no
setup and delivers the complete result without the need of additional confirmatory
tests such as CAMP or a separate blood plate for haemolysis. Finally, the dedicated
program that interprets the results will deliver a most
probable species result
to confirm the identity of the isolate. The software also incorporates a new feature
which ensures that in the case of introduction of a non-Listeria species isolate,
the program will identify, then prompt the operator to go back to re-confirm that
it is indeed a member of the genus Listeria and suggest methods to further confirm.
Since its founding in 1997, Microbiology
International's product line has grown to some 40 core pieces of automated testing
equipment as well as hundreds of kits, consumables, media, and companion supplies.
Company officials claim their automated tools typically maximize the efficiency
of laboratory tasks at a rate of up to 70% . Microbiology International,
is headquartered in Frederick, Maryland with sales personnel located in all regions
of the US For more information, call 800-EZMICRO (800-396-4276) or visit www.800EZMICRO.COM
little threat, panel says
of Article: http://www.medicalpost.com
D.C. ?Acrylamides pose little threat to the U.S. population, partly because people
don't eat enough of the chemicals to risk the mutagenic effects leading to cancer,
an expert panel commissioned by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has reported.
NTP committee, chaired by Jeanne Manson (PhD) of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia,
concluded that most Americans would get about 0.43 mcg per kilogram of body weight
a day in the diet compared to 0.67 from smoking.
amounts in lab mice and rats do not cause cancer, they said. "Considering
the low level of estimated human exposure to acrylamides derived from a variety
of sources, the expert panel expressed negligible concern for adverse reproductive
and developmental effects for exposures in the general population," the report
is naturally formed in some starchy foods and is a potential carcinogen.
Are Facing High Risks From Pesticide Poisoning
Protection and Awareness Raising Needed, UN Agencies Say
of Article: http://www.prnewswire.com/
and ROME, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Children are facing higher risks from pesticides
than adults and need greater protection against these chemicals, particularly
in developing countries, according to a joint report
published by the UN Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the
World Health Organization (WHO). Pesticide poisoning is a serious health problem
affects infants and children, the UN report, called
"Child Pesticide Poisoning: Information for Advocacy and Action" and
issued this week in Geneva, said. The number of children affected is unknown but,
based on the experience of many countries, likely to be large. The report highlights
the magnitude of the problem and the need to put more efforts into better
reaching and helping the rural, disadvantaged populations who are most affected
by pesticide poisoning.
It has been reported that an estimated one million to five million
cases of pesticide poisonings occur every year, resulting in several thousands
of fatalities, including children, the report said. "Most of the poisonings
take place in rural areas of developing countries, where safeguards typically
are inadequate or lacking altogether. Although developing countries use 25 percent
of the world's production of pesticides, they experience 99 percent of the deaths
due to pesticide poisoning," the report said. Children face a higher risk
from pesticides because they may be more
susceptible than adults or more greatly
exposed than adults, the report said. Children's behavior, playing and ignorance
of risks, result in greater potential for exposure. Malnutrition and dehydration
increase their sensitivity to pesticides. Currently around 200 million children
are suffering from malnutrition.
Pesticide poisoning can occur via breathing,
drinking or eating, or through the skin or mucous membranes. The symptoms resulting
from acute poisoning may range from fatigue, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, to
respiratory and neurological effects that may be life-threatening. Chronic,
even low-level exposure to pesticides has been linked to cancer, birth defects,
and damage the nervous and the functioning of the endocrine system.
Diet can be a major source of exposure for children. As they grow,
children drink more water and eat more food, per body weight, than do adults.
Water and food containing pesticide residues may therefore be a source of chronic,
low-level or high-level pesticide exposure. Growing food on or near contaminated
soils, using contaminated water on
crops or for washing puts people -- and
children -- at particular risk. When a mother to be is exposed to pesticides,
the child becomes exposed as well, before birth, while still in the womb. Small
children can also come into contact with persistent and bio-accumulative pesticides
feeding. Protecting pregnant women and lactating mothers from
exposure to toxic contaminants is therefore crucial.
Pesticides used in the
field or in the household are often stored improperly in or around farmers' homes
where family members can easily access them. These toxic substances may contaminate
food or water and cause air
pollution. In some instances, the empty pesticide
containers are reused to store water and food. Children tend to explore their
immediate environment, play close to the
ground and put things in their mouths.
As a consequence, they may receive significant doses of pesticides from soils,
dusts and contaminated objects that can be found in rural areas, homes or gardens.
can put children in potentially high-risk situations. In poor families, children
often help out on family farms where pesticides are used. Pesticide users, including
teenagers, may lack access to protective equipment such as gloves and masks, and
receive no training. As a result, pesticides are often being used by young workers
carelessly, and without protection. In many developing countries, the marketing
and advertisement of pesticides is often uncontrolled or illicit. Misbranded or
unlabelled formulations, including ready-made solutions in soft drink bottles
and other unlabelled liquid containers, are sold at open stands. Low retail prices
pesticide use but weak legislation and inadequate law enforcement fail to control
Minimizing the risk
reduce pesticide poisoning, FAO, UNEP and WHO urge:
to reduce and eliminate possible sources of pesticide exposures to children at
home and at work;
keep pesticides out of children's reach and store them securely in containers
that are properly labeled and use child-proof tops;
to reduce the use of agricultural pesticides through Integrated Pest Management
* to train health
care providers on the recognition and management of pesticide poisoning;
to provide training for people on how to use pesticides judiciously and how to
run information and education campaigns via TV and radio programs;
to reduce the risks associated with the use of pesticides through a comprehensive
life-cycle approach, i.e. addressing all aspects of pesticide management from
manufacturing until use or disposal following the FAO International Code of Conduct
on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides.
key international conventions are aiming at reducing the adverse health and environmental
aspects of pesticides: The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
(POPs), created to reduce and eliminate 12 POPs
of which nine are pesticides,
and the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain
Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. The Rotterdam Convention
exchange on a broad range of potentially hazardous
chemicals and gives importing countries the power to decide whether or not they
want to receive future imports of certain chemicals.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Web Site: http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom
department inspects restaurants, seeks source of E. Coli
of Article: http://www.mydjconnection.com/
CHRIS CLINE Daily Journal Staff Writer
HILLS -- The St. Francois County Health Department conducted routine inspections
at two local restaurants on Monday in an attempt to identify where a strain of
E. coli 0157:H7 originated that infected a 2-year-old Bonne Terre girl. "We
have not made any direct links to any of the food establishments that we inspected
with the origin of strain of E. coli 0157:H7," said John Peacock, Environmental
Public Health Specialist. "We were given information from the family of the
infected person of places they had eaten prior to being infected. Typically we
like to have nine days of food history prior to the infection. The family struggled
with naming anything beyond the day prior to the illness." Peacock said in
addition to the two restaurants, the family named a temporary food establishment,
such as an event, that is no longer in operation. "We also took a water sample
out of the private well at the residence of the family," Peacock said. "It
came back negative." Liz Maserang, Communicable Disease Coordinator with
the St. Francois County Health Department, said people need to realize how serious
this is." Maserang said the County Health Department received test results
on Friday from the Missouri Department of Health that identified the strain of
E. coli as E. coli 0157:H7. "We want to stress to the public how serious
this is," said Maserang. "People really need to pay attention and take
precautions when eating out and eating in their own homes." Emilie Allen
remains on life support at Cardinal Glennon Hospital after contracting the strain
of E. coli on Sept. 18. As of this morning, Allen's mother Valerie Pinkston-Allen
said there was no change in her daughter's condition. "Emilie is still on
life support," said Allen. "Hopefully in a couple of days she can be
taken off." Allen was put on life support on Sept. 29 because she was having
problems. In addition to being placed on life support, Allen's kidneys shut down
on Sept. 24 and she is now undergoing dialysis. A benefit account has been set
up for Emilie Allen at First State Community Bank. 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 severe 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 treatment
from E. coli 0157:H7 within five to 10 days. Medications such as Imodium or Lomotil
should not be given to people who are suspected of having E. coli 0157:H7.
outbreak rises to 350 cases
5 October 2004
officials are investigating a large rise in the number of cases of salmonella
food poisoning.The Health Protection
Agency (HPA) said that more than 350 cases of Salmonella Newport had been reported
so far in an outbreak which was first traced early last month.While
there are various types of the bacteria, tests have shown that the strains found
in the latest outbreak were identical. The HPA said that the likely source of
the outbreak was lettuce from fast-food or take-away shops.There
have been separate outbreaks reported in north-east Lincolnshire, Birmingham and
the West Midlands, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.Dr
Bob Adak, who is leading the investigation for the HPA, said: "We usually
only see around 150 cases of this particular strain of salmonella each year, so
when these separate outbreaks were reported to us we knew something was happening."Dr
Adak said the HPA had used questionnaires to find any common foods eaten in the
days before people became ill.Salmonella
Newport has the same symptoms as other strains of salmonella, including diarrhoea,
vomiting and fever. It is usually spread by undercooked food or cross-contamination
from raw foods in the kitchen. Around
15,000 cases of salmonella are reported to the HPA each year. While the most common
source of Salmonella Newport infection is chicken and turkey, a national outbreak
in 2001 was caused by lettuce.Judith
Hilton, head of microbiological safety at the Food Standards Agency, said the
risk of food poisoning can be reduced by washing food, using a clean kitchen and
good personal hygiene.
scientists design sensor for listeria detection
of Article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
- Food scientists continue to roll out tools in the fight against foodborne pathogens
as researchers in the US design a new biosensor to detect the potentially deadly
bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.The
antibody-based fibre-optic biosensor created by food scientists at Purdue University
can detect the listeria bacteria in less than 24 hours at concentrations as low
as 1,000 cells per millilitre of fluid ?equivalent to the size of a pencil rubber.According
to the researchers, the sensor is selective enough to recognise only the species
monocytogenes (Lm), an emerging foodborne disease because the role of food in
its transmission has only recently been recognised, can cause abortion and stillbirth,
and in infants and persons with a weakened immune system it may lead to septicemia
(blood poisoning) and meningitis. The
disease is most often associated with consumption of foods such as soft cheese
and processed meat products that are kept refrigerated for a long time because
Lm can grow at low temperatures. Outbreaks
of listeriosis have been reported from many countries, including Australia, Switzerland,
France and the US. Two recent outbreaks of Listeria monocytogenes in France in
2000 and in the USA in 1999 were caused by contaminated pork tongue and hot dogs
safety experts estimate that 100 to 1,000 cells can cause the illness. Cooking
kills most of the L. monocytogenes cells that can grow at refrigeration temperature,
but ready-to-eat products, such as pates, smoked fish, cheeses and hot dogs, are
not always cooked by consumers before consumption. "The
selectivity, sensitivity and rapidity of this sensor represent a vast improvement
over the types of test kits that are currently available commercially," said
Arun Bhunia, associate professor of food microbiology and one of the sensor's
bacteria classified as Listeria include six different species, but only L. monocytogenes
can infect humans. The
sensor is made of a small piece of optical fibre - a clear, solid, plastic material
that transmits light through its core. The fibre is coated with a type of molecule
called an antibody, which specifically recognises L. monocytogenes and captures
it, binding it to the fibre. When the fibre is placed in a liquid food solution,
any L. monocytogenes in the sample will stick to the fibre.
SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHY (BSE): ISSUES RELATING TO TONSILS
Production Information on Post-Lethality Exposed Ready to Eat Products
Rule for Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production
USDA Detains Canned Meat and Poultry Products From Ukraine
a Public Meeting To Discuss Salmonella Risk Assessments
Guide for Security
Practices in Transporting Agricultural and Food Commodities
2004 State Partnership Cooperative Agreements For Animal And Egg
Proposed Rule for Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs