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Germs, Germs Everywhere. Are You Worried? Get Over It.

Source of Article: http://www.nytimes.com/
Published: November 9, 2004
I saw a television advertisement recently for a new product called an air sanitizer. A woman stood in her kitchen, spraying the empty space in front of her as though using Mace against an imaginary assailant. She appeared very determined. Where others are satisfied with antibacterial-laced sponges, dish soaps, hand sanitizers and telephone wipes, here was a woman who sought to sterilize the air itself. As a casual student of microbiology, I find it hard to escape the absurdity here. This woman is, like any human being, home to hundreds of trillions of bacteria. Bacteria make up a solid third, by weight, of the contents of her intestines.If you were to sneak into her bathroom while she was showering - and based on my general impression of this woman from the advertisement, I don't recommend this - and secret away a teaspoon of the water at her feet, you would find some 820 billion bacteria. Bacteria are unavoidably, inevitably - and, usually, utterly benignly - a part of our world. (Statistics courtesy of a University of Arizona microbiologist, Dr. Charles P. Gerba, a man who gave his son the middle name Escherichia, the E in E. coli.)The fantasy of a germ-free home is not only absurd, but it is also largely pointless. Unless you share your home with someone very old, very young (under 6 months) or very ill, the few hundred bacteria on a countertop, doorknob or spoon pose no threat. The bacteria that cause food poisoning, the only significant rational bacterial worry in the average home, need to multiply into the thousands or millions before they can overwhelm your immune system and cause symptoms. The only way common food poisoning bacteria can manage this is to spend four or five hours reproducing at room temperature in something moist that you then eat. If you are worried about food poisoning, the best defense is the refrigerator. If you don't make a habit of eating perishable food that has been left out too long, don't worry about bacteria.Viruses are slightly different. You need only pick up a few virus particles to infect yourself with a cold or flu, and virus particles can survive on surfaces for days. So disinfecting the surfaces in the home should, in theory, reduce the chances of picking up a bug. (Some antibacterial products also kill viruses.)

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?
Matthew Lieberman,
Wellesley, MA

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!

Tracking Fluoride in the National Food Supply
By Rosalie Marion Bliss
November 9, 2004
The Agricultural Research Service has launched a database that lists the level of fluoride in 400 separate food and beverage items. The list will be important to researchers who strive to estimate the amount of fluoride that individuals consume daily. For more than half a century, to prevent tooth decay, small amounts of fluoride have been added to many U.S. municipal water supplies. That fluoride, as well as naturally occurring fluoride from wells and other water sources, subsequently finds its way into water-based beverages and foods. An Adequate Intake level has been set for fluoride at 3 milligrams (mgs) daily for women and 4 mgs daily for men. But until now, scant data existed on the quantity of fluoride in the national food supply.The USDA National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods was posted last month on the World Wide Web. The project was coordinated by nutritionist Rena Cutrufelli with the ARS Nutrient Data Laboratory, which is part of the agency's Beltsville (Md.) Human Nutrition Research Center.
The project is part of an interagency agreement between the ARS Beltsville laboratory, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, both in Bethesda, Md.The new compilation is based on acceptable data extracted from reviews of existing scientific literature, as well as on data analyzed by scientists at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, in Iowa City.

The 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.

National antibiotic resistance monitoring system for enteric bacteria
November 2004
Emerging Infectious Diseases Volume 10, Number 11
Cheri N. Holmes* and Tom M. Chiller*
*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
National Antibiotic Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS)enteric bacteria is a collaboration by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services (USDA-ARS). NARMS was established in 1996 and monitors antimicrobial drug resistance in Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Enterococcus, non-Typhi Salmonella, Salmonella Typhi, and Shigella.
The 2004 meeting was held March 4 in Decatur, Georgia, and hosted by the Foodborne and Diarrheal Diseases Branch, Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, CDC. The meeting highlighted data from scientific studies and surveillance for antimicrobial drug resistance in the United States and abroad with enteric bacteria isolated from humans, animals, and retail foods. Approximately 180 participants from 14 countries, representing 71 organizations, attended the meeting. The organizations included international and national public health agencies, state and local health departments, public health laboratories, industry consumer groups, and academic institutions from Australia, Canada, Cameroon, China, Denmark, Europe, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Poland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.
The meeting began with a World Health Organization expert's summarization of a recent workshop on nonhuman antimicrobial drug use and antimicrobial drug resistance. Scientific assessment and risk management of antimicrobial drug use in agriculture and human and veterinary medicine were examined. A plenary session on the human health consequences of antimicrobial drug resistance consisted of two presentations from the United States and two presentations from Denmark.
The results of a study conducted by CDC that found higher rates of hospitalization and death in resistant Salmonella infection, as compared to susceptible ones, were presented. The results of another CDC study that found higher frequencies of bloodstream infection and hospitalization with resistant Salmonella infections, as compared to susceptible ones, were presented. A presentation from the Statens Serum Institut in Denmark highlighted the association between flouroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter infections, as compared to susceptible ones, and a higher frequency of invasive illness, hospitalization, and death. A second presentation demonstrated increased death rates in resistant S. Typhimurium infections, as compared to susceptible ones. Other speakers highlighted emerging resistance to clinically important antimicrobial drugs, environmental studies on antimicrobial drug resistance, antimicrobial drug resistance in commensal bacteria, partner perspectives on antimicrobial drug resistance, international perspectives on antimicrobial drug resistance, and NARMS educational activities. A presentation of the "GET SMART: Know When Antibiotics Work on the Farm" campaign highlighted educational efforts to promote the appropriate use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine. The campaign currently includes an interactive Web-based program on aspects of microbiology, pharmacology, infectious disease, and public health for veterinary students and veterinarians who participate in continuing education programs. The conference also included brief summaries of three recent outbreaks of multidrug- resistant S. Typhimurium DT104 R-type, which has become a common strain of Salmonella isolated from humans and was resistant to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulphonamides, and tetracyclines. More information about NARMS and antimicrobial resistance can be found at www.cdc.gov/NARMS.

Microchip to track Canadian livestock right to consumer's plate
November 7, 2004
The Edmonton Journal
Sarah Staples
Canadian farmers and the federal government are, according to this story, setting up a new agency to use technology to track production of every major commercial livestock species, in a bid to safeguard herds from diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
The story says that beginning early next year, beef and dairy cattle, hogs, goats, horses, sheep and bison, and poultry ranging from eggs and broiler chickens to high-end foul, will be identified using mandatory radio-frequency microchips, and possibly bar-coded ear or crate tags.
An official with the new Canadian Livestock Identification Agency was cited as telling CanWest News Service that the animals will be monitored from the moment they're reared, each time they're sold, through to their inspection at the abattoir or at the border as they are exported live.
Keith Flaman, general manager of Holstein Canada and interim chairman of the new agency, was cited as saying that Canada's revamped surveillance system will be one of the most technologically advanced and comprehensive in the world, enforcing the toughest rules dealing with livestock production in the country's history.
The story explains that a patchwork of methods used by individual industry associations to "trace back" livestock to the farm where they were produced and "trace forward" to the supermarket shelf will be replaced by a set of mandatory standards for all species.

Dioxin scare highlights value of EU tracking system
Source of Article: http://www.foodqualitynews.com/news/news-ng.asp?n=55927-dioxin-scare-highlights
08/11/2004 - EU commissioner expresses confidence in the food chain as contamination scare highlights the value of traceability and progress made in reducing risks to the complex food production industry.Since the European Commission discovered dioxin-contaminated potato by-products in the Netherlands, the Brussels-based legislative body has co-ordinated the tracing of the chain of deliveries through the European Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed. Dioxins are long-lasting environmental pollutants formed as unwanted by-products of combustion processes, such as waste incineration, bonfires and cigarette smoke. Concerns about the impact of dioxins on human health are rooted in the potential risk to health evolving from long-term consumption of foods containing high levels of the contaminants. Potato by-products, such as potato peels, were found to contaminated by high levels of dioxins at a Dutch potato processing company, caused by the dioxin-affected clay used separate high-quality potatoes from lower quality versions. The by-products are used for animal feeding. As a result, the authorities have blocked all movement of animals from 162 farms in the Netherlands, eight in Belgium and three in Germany, which received the animal feed, and national authorities in the EU member states are currently tracing through the food chain.So far, our system of traceability and alert notifications is working well. It is vital that the confidence of the consumer in our food chain is maintained,?said Byrne. Member state authorities and the Commission are co-operating closely to ensure that safety of consumer is not jeopardised, he added. In the wake of food safety scares in the 1990s that severely compromised consumer confidence in the food chain, David Byrne, the commissioner for health and consumer protection, took up the mantle under President Prodis administration to tackle food safety issues. His White Paper on Food Safety, passed in January 2000, established a framework of new laws designed to minimise risk to the food chain and create a vigilant backdrop to Europes 600 billion food production industry. “Quite frankly, the progress we have made in the field of food safety has been nothing short of remarkable,?said Byrne in September at an agriculture council meeting in Noordwijk. He acknowledged that the food industry has borne the brunt of continual regulatory reform, and said he hoped that the state of change would stabilise. “We do not wish to see the food industry in a state of constant flux, either as a result of crises, or due to continual regulatory reform. Indeed, we recognise that the industry needs the stability of a reliable and secure food safety system in order for it to prosper and thrive.Speaking to the member states?agriculture ministers, the Commissioner raised the issue of risk assessment and the role this has to play in an increasingly global food trade.

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.

Dr. Elsa Murano Resigns as Under Secretary for Food Safety at USDA Announces New Position at Texas A&M University
November 04, 2004

Source of Article: http://www.meatami.com/
U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Under Secretary for Food Safety, Dr. Elsa A. Murano submitted her resignation to President Bush, effective Dec. 3, 2004. Dr. Murano has accepted the position of vice chancellor of Agriculture for the Texas A&M University System, dean of the College of Agriculture at Texas A&M University-College Station and director of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station."The last three years have afforded me the opportunity to work with the great professionals at the Food Safety and Inspection Service," said Dr. Murano. "I can leave Washington knowing that we have made a significant difference in improving public health and am confident that our science-based policies will continue to drive foodborne illnesses down even further.""During her tenure, Dr. Murano's expertise in food microbiology enabled FSIS to promulgate food safety regulations based upon scientific principles," said the American Meat Institute's President and CEO, J. Patrick Boyle. "The success of this approach is evidenced in the continuing reductions of incidence of pathogens on meat and poultry products and declines in the number of foodborne illnesses."As under secretary, Dr. Murano was responsible for oversight of Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) policies and programs, ensuring that the U.S. meat, poultry and egg products supply is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged. The implementation of science-based standards and procedures is the primary focus of the efforts of FSIS personnel and policies.Dr. Murano, a native of Havana, Cuba, is the first Hispanic American to have served as under secretary for food safety at USDA. Dr. Murano is a tenured professor at Texas A&M University. She will also be the first Hispanic American, and first woman to serve in her new position at Texas A&M University.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 Frequently Asked Questions
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is an emerging cause of foodborne illness.

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.

What is Escherichia coli O157:H7?
E. coli O157:H7 is one of hundreds of strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli. Although most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness. E. coli O157:H7 was first recognized as a cause of illness in 1982 during an outbreak of severe bloody diarrhea; the outbreak was traced to contaminated hamburgers. Since then, most infections have come from eating undercooked ground beef. The combination of letters and numbers in the name of the bacterium refers to the specific markers found on its surface and distinguishes it from other types of E. coli.

How is E. coli O157:H7 spread?
The organism can be found on a small number of cattle farms and can live in the intestines of healthy cattle. Meat can become contaminated during slaughter, and organisms can be thoroughly mixed into beef when it is ground. Bacteria present on the cow's udders or on equipment may get into raw milk.

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.

What illness does E. coli O157:H7 cause?
E. coli O157:H7 infection often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps; sometimes the infection causes nonbloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Usually little or no fever is present, and the illness resolves in 5 to 10 days. In some persons, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. About 2 percenmt-7 percent of infections lead to this complication. In the United States, hemolytic uremic syndrome is the principal cause of acute kidney failure in children, and most cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome are caused by E. coli O157:H7.

How is E. coli O157:H7 infection diagnosed?
Infection with E. coli O157:H7 is diagnosed by detecting the bacterium in the stool. Most laboratories that culture stool do not test for E. coli O157:H7, so it is important to request that the stool specimen be tested on sorbitol-MacConkey (SMAC) agar for this organism. All persons who suddenly have diarrhea with blood should get their stool tested for E. coli O157:H7.

How is the illness treated?
Most persons recover without antibiotics or other specific treatment in 5-10 days. There is no evidence that antibiotics improve the course of disease, and it is thought that treatment with some antibiotics may precipitate kidney complications. Antidiarrheal agents, such as loperamide (Imodium), should also be avoided.

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.

What are the long-term consequences of infection?
Persons who only have diarrhea usually recover completely. About one-third of persons with hemolytic uremic syndrome have abnormal kidney function many years later, and a few require long-term dialysis. Another 8 percent of persons with hemolytic uremic syndrome have other lifelong complications, such as high blood pressure, seizures, blindness, paralysis, and the effects of having part of their bowel removed.

What can be done to prevent the infection?
E. coli O157:H7 will continue to be an important public health concern as long as it contaminates meat. Preventive measures may reduce the number of cattle that carry it and the contamination of meat during slaughter and grinding. Research into such prevention measures is just beginning.

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

Information courtesy of:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Infectious Diseases | Division of Bacterial & Mycotic Diseases
1600 Clifton Rd, NE
MS C-09
Atlanta, GA 30333

[USA, FL] Three Local Children Test Positive for E coli 0157

By Jennifer Brice
First Coast News
Source of Article: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/health/news-article.aspx?storyid=27392
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Tens-of-thousands of people are infected by a specific strain of E coli each year. Now, we have new information about this emerging food-borne illness and cases on the First Coast. The Duval County Health department has confirmed its third case of E coli 0157 in children this year. The particular strain is very dangerous.Four year old Emma Kee is the latest to be diagnosed on the First Coast. Her symptoms started with a fever, then bloody diarrhea. Her mom, Trisha Kee says she's concerned it took three days for a hospital to diagnose the particular strain. "I didn't realize the testing for the majority of E coli doesn't test for what Emma ending up having."E coli is found in everyone's intestinal tract. But, 0157 is a strain that usually doesn't end up in the intestines. It can cause severe sickness and possibly death.Dr. Jeff Goldhagen of the Duval County Health Department says 0157 isn't typically tested for immediately because it's rare, though we've seen three cases in Northeast Florida. Goldhagen says it takes two cases where the patients are linked through one source for the county to declare an outbreak. In the three cases so far, there were no points of commonality. "Not where they ate, took field trips or even animals they touched."Kee encourages parents to ask as many questions as possible and ask specifically for an E coli 0157 test.To prevent E coli, remember the three "C's"... cook and chill your meat properly and clean your hands.

e-FoodSafety's Big Six Germicidal Meets and Exceeds EPA Protocol Standards
Wednesday November 10, 8:01 am ET

Source of Article: http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/041110/105220_1.html

PALM 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.
Celsis Laboratory Group will complete the final test sampling of this product in late November to ensure that there is no efficacy breakdown based on product shelf life. This final sample is exactly the same as the prior samples that passed the EPA Protocol.

"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.