Germs, Germs Everywhere. Are You Worried? Get Over It.
In practice, the issue is less clear. A study by Dr. Elaine Larson at the Columbia School of Nursing called into question the usefulness of antibacterial products for the home. In New York, 224 households, each with at least one preschooler, were randomly assigned to two groups. One group used antibacterial cleaning, laundry and hand-washing products. The other used ordinary products. For 48 weeks, the groups were monitored for seven symptoms of colds, flu and food poisoning - and found to be essentially the same. According to Dr. Gerba's research, an active adult touches an average of 300 surfaces every 30 minutes. You cannot win at this. You will become obsessive-compulsive. Just wash your hands with soap and water a few times a day, and leave it at that. I suspect that a minority of the Americans who buy antigerm wipes and sanitizers are motivated by concerns over food poisoning or colds and the flu. Their behavior is a product not so much of prudence, but of phobia. Phobias are irrational fears, wrought of the union of dread and misunderstanding. People see a headline - an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 at a hamburger chain, say - and they start to worry.In the case of bacteria, they cannot see the source of their worry, and they do not know much about it, so they go overboard. They add a few more "wiping events," as the cleanser market researchers say, to their daily routines. Where there is an irrational fear, there is a product-development team to fan it and feed it and exploit it.According to the research firm Mintel International, 11 new home antibacterial products have appeared on the market this year, more than twice the number in 2003. It is the biggest marketing coup since bottled water. The makers of antibacterial products are fond of the word "germs." It is purposefully vague. Do they mean bacteria? Viruses? Both? Neither? Because the idea is simply to connote contamination. These products are as much about cooties as they are about viruses or bacteria.Contamination is in many ways a psychological construct. It is the notion that our belongings or our loved ones can become unclean by the mere touch of a stranger. Nothing is actually transferred by the touch. The contamination is symbolic, magical, irrational. It makes sense that the extravagantly rich - Howard Hughes or Donald Trump, for instance - are our most notorious germphobics, people made uncomfortable by the thought of shaking a stranger's hand. The higher you rise and the better sequestered you are from the "unwashed masses," the smaller and dirtier the average Joe must begin to seem. Other human beings become our germs. A plea, then, for a little calm, a little rationality. Try to look upon bacteria as did their discoverer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, "For me, this was among all the marvels that I discovered in nature the most marvelous of all, and I must say, that for my part, no more pleasant sight has met my eye than this of so many thousand living creatures in one small drop of water." Mary Roach is the author of "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers."
Bottled water is no better, and may be worse, than tap
Source of Article: http://www.poconorecord.com/lifestyl/tdo25743.htm
November 08, 2004
Dear EarthTalk: Why is bottled water so ubiquitous in stores now? Isn't tap water safe enough to drink?
Today just about all Americans have access to clean, safe and healthy tap water. Indeed, in many cases tap water may be safer to drink than some bottled water brands, which may not be subject to testing and might originate from sources near industrial facilities, despite the beautiful nature scenes found on many bottled water labels. Furthermore, about 40 percent of bottled water starts out as ?you guessed it ?tap water.Early in 2004 there was public outrage in Britain when it was discovered that Coca Cola's Dasani brand, marketed as "pure, still water" and sold for 95 pence ($1.74) for a half liter, was simply tap water from a public water supply southeast of London. To make matters worse, shortly thereafter the beverage giant had to hastily withdraw 500,000 bottles when it was learned they contained nearly twice the legal amounts of a chemical, added by Coke during treatment, that can cause cancers if consumed in large amounts.Despite the facts, bottled water enjoys a "cool" factor that tap water can never match. But in test after test, most people can't tell the difference between bottled water and tap water. When "Good Morning America" conducted a blind taste test with its studio audience, New York City tap water was chosen as the heavy favorite over Poland Spring, Evian, and the oxygenated water 02.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates the quality of public water supplies, but it has no authority over bottled water. Bottled water that crosses state lines is considered a food product and is overseen by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the influential International Bottled Water Association, "By law, the FDA Standard of Quality for bottled water must be as stringent as the EPA's standards for public drinking water."The IBWA goes on to urge consumers to trust bottled water in part because the FDA requires water sources to be "inspected, sampled, analyzed and approved." However, experts at the Natural Resources Defense Council argue that the FDA provides no specific restrictions ?such as proximity to industrial facilities, underground storage tanks or dumps ?on bottled water sources.Meanwhile, if a brand of bottled water is wholly packaged and sold within the same state, it is not regulated by the FDA and is subject only to state standards, which can vary widely. CONTACTS: International Bottled Water Association, http://www.bottledwater.org; FDA Article: "Bottled Water: Better Than the Tap?" http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/402_h2o.html. ; NRDC's "Bottled Water: Pure Drink or Pure Hype?" report, http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/bwinx.asp.The organization Co-op America reports that 43 states have just one full-time or part-time staff member dedicated to bottled water regulation.Bottled water starts to look good when flooding, pollution or terrorism might compromise public water supplies. Watchdog groups, however, advocate addressing such threats by increasing protection of public water sources. But as it stands today, water from the tap might be the healthiest thing you consume all day!
Fluoride in the National Food Supply
data is also part of a food-and-beverage intake survey tool now being developed
by researchers at the University of Minnesota Nutrition Coordinating Center (NCC).
That tool will be used to assess the amount of fluoride individuals consume from
dietary and nondietary sources, including fluoride supplements and toothpastes.
antibiotic resistance monitoring system for enteric bacteria
to track Canadian livestock right to consumer's plate
scare highlights value of EU tracking system
Risk posted by food products are perceived differently throughout the world. Therefore, I see it as challenge to move towards global risk assessment, accepted by all. With this goal in mind, one exciting development with significant potential is the new initiative I launched aimed at greater co-operation between our own EFSA and the FDA in the United States.For the Irish eurocrat, common ground and guidelines at an international level can be principally achieved through the UN-backed body Codex. "This, I hope, will mark an important step on a long and ambitious strategy with the prize of global risk assessment as its ultimate goal,"said Bryne. And the natural step from risk assessment is to risk management. Let me leave you with a final thought. If we ever reach the state of global risk assessment, and the required level of mutual trust, why should we stop there? Could we perhaps then envisage global risk management as a tangible possibility. Byrne is due to leave his post in November with the arrival of a new Commission under the incumbent Jos?Manuel Barroso. Cypriot Markos Kyprianou will take over the reins as health commissioner.
Elsa Murano Resigns as Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA Announces New Position
at Texas A&M University
of Article: http://www.meatami.com/
coli O157:H7 Frequently Asked Questions
Source of Article: http://www.nbc17.com/health/1567576/detail.html
An estimated 10,000 to 20,000 cases of infection occur in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef. Person-to-person contact in families and child care centers is also an important mode of transmission. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water.
Consumers can prevent E. coli O157:H7 infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding unpasteurized milk, and washing hands carefully. Because the organism lives in the intestines of healthy cattle, preventive measures on cattle farms and during meat processing are being investigated.
is Escherichia coli O157:H7?
is E. coli O157:H7 spread?
Eating meat, especially ground beef, that has not been cooked sufficiently to kill E. coli O157:H7 can cause infection. Contaminated meat looks and smells normal. Although the number of organisms required to cause disease is not known, it is suspected to be very small.
Drinking unpasteurized milk and swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water can also cause infection. Bacteria in diarrheal stools of infected persons can be passed from one person to another if hygiene or handwashing habits are inadequate. This is particularly likely among toddlers who are not toilet trained. Family members and playmates of these children are at high risk of becoming infected.
Young children typically shed the organism in their feces for a week or two after their illness resolves. Older children rarely carry the organism without symptoms.
illness does E. coli O157:H7 cause?
is E. coli O157:H7 infection diagnosed?
is the illness treated?
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a life-threatening condition usually treated in an intensive care unit. Blood transfusions and kidney dialysis are often required. With intensive care, the death rate for hemolytic uremic syndrome is 3 percent-5 percent.
are the long-term consequences of infection?
can be done to prevent the infection?
What can you do to prevent E. coli O157:H7 infection?
Cook all ground beef and hamburger thoroughly. Because ground beef can turn brown before disease-causing bacteria are killed, use a digital instant-read meat thermometer to ensure thorough cooking. Ground beef should be cooked until a thermometer inserted into several parts of the patty, including the thickest part, reads at least 160 degrees F. Persons who cook ground beef without using a thermometer can decrease their risk of illness by not eating ground beef patties that are still pink in the middle.
If you are served an undercooked hamburger or other ground beef product in a restaurant, send it back for further cooking. You may want to ask for a new bun and a clean plate, too.
Avoid spreading harmful bacteria in your kitchen. Keep raw meat separate from ready-to-eat foods. Wash hands, counters, and utensils with hot soapy water after they touch raw meat. Never place cooked hamburgers or ground beef on the unwashed plate that held raw patties. Wash meat thermometers in between tests of patties that require further cooking.
Drink only pasteurized milk, juice, or cider. Commercial juice with an extended shelf-life that is sold at room temperature (e.g. juice in cardboard boxes, vacuum sealed juice in glass containers) has been pasteurized, although this is generally not indicated on the label. Juice concentrates are also heated sufficiently to kill pathogens.
Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, especially those that will not be cooked. Children under 5 years of age, immunocompromised persons, and the elderly should avoid eating alfalfa sprouts until their safety can be assured. Methods to decontaminate alfalfa seeds and sprouts are being investigated.
Drink municipal water that has been treated with chlorine or other effective disinfectants.
Avoid swallowing lake or pool water while swimming.
Make sure that persons with diarrhea, especially children, wash their hands carefully with soap after bowel movements to reduce the risk of spreading infection, and that persons wash hands after changing soiled diapers. Anyone with a diarrheal illness should avoid swimming in public pools or lakes, sharing baths with others, and preparing food for others.
For more information about reducing your risk of foodborne illness, visit the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service website at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov or the Partnership for Food Safety Education at: For more advice on cooking ground beef, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture web site at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OA/topics/gb.htm
[USA, FL] Three Local Children Test Positive for E coli 0157
Big Six Germicidal Meets and Exceeds EPA Protocol Standards
Source of Article: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/041110/105220_1.html
SPRINGS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 10, 2004--e-FoodSafety.com (OTC BB:EFSF
- News), a company that provides effective methods and products to ensure the
safety of fruits, vegetables and meats, today announced through its wholly-owned
subsidiary, Knock-Out Technologies, Ltd., that the Company has received confirmation
from Celsis Laboratory Group of St. Louis, Missouri, USA (LSE:CEL.L; www.celsis.com)
that the Company's Big Six Germicidal product passed the EPA Protocol testing
with 100% efficacy and 100% effectiveness.
"We are guardedly optimistic that there will be no efficacy breakdown over an extended shelf life period," stated Mark Taggatz, President and CEO of e-FoodSafety.com, Inc. "We look forward to packaging this product for mass distribution," added Mr. Taggatz.
About e-FoodSafety.com, Inc.
e-FoodSafety.com, Inc. is a distinctively poised company in the vast food safety industry. e-FoodSafety.com, Inc. was incorporated to provide the most effective methods and products to ensure the safety of fruit and vegetables being marketed worldwide. It is a leading company with a patent pending chemical and inspection process encompassing an entire system dedicated to protecting, certifying, and delivering food safe products that far exceed current U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements. Through its patent pending process, the company expects to provide the marketplace with a complete audit trail from the growing, harvesting, packaging, storage, and delivery stages of food safe products - literally from "ground to grocer." The company acquired Knock-Out Technologies, Ltd. in May, 2004.
Please visit the company's websites at www.e-foodsafety.com, www.ozonesafefood.com, and www.knockouttechnologies.com.
Safe Harbor Forward-Looking Statements
Except for historical information contained herein, the statements in this release are forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the companies' actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, market conditions, competitive factors, the ability to successfully complete additional financings and other risks.