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Listeria Training Program for All Employees
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Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), O157 and Non-O157
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Journal of Food Protection
Feb. Issue

JOB Openings
02/16. Compliance Manager - IL-Chicago

02/16. Food Safety Specialist - Jacksonville, FL

02/16. QA Sr. Manager-Meat/Poultry Products for Food Service - OK Statewide

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02/16. Quality Assurance Dairy-BSW - CA-Statewide

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Internet Journal of Food Safety
New Article
Vol 6. 1-4.
A Preliminary Study of Kashar Cheese and Its Organoleptic Qualities Matured in Bee Wax

Vol 5. 24-34.
Effect of Coating and Wrapping materials on the shelf life of apple (Malus domestica cv.Borkh)

Vol 5. 21-23.
Prevalence of bacteria in the muscle of shrimp in processing plant

To submit your research note or articles for Internet Journal of Food Safety, click here

Food Processors who need specific tranings

Many food processors need
supplemental food safety training.
Also, there are many food safety
educators. FoodHACCP is trying to
facilitate networking between these
two groups.
View the info.


Final Guidance for Industry on Studies to Evaluate the Safety of Residues of Veterinary

Transcript Of Press Gaggle With Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns - Washington, DC

Joint Statement by Secretary Mike Johanns and Minister Andrew Mitchell
Statement By Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns

FDA Proposes $1.9 Billion Budget to Expand Food Defense Effort

Food Security Guidelines Available

Sponsors changed

NFPA changed to FPA
The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) has announced that the Association's name will be changed to the Food Products Association (FPA).
Full Details > >

Biosys changed to Centrus
to Soleris, formerly BioSys, is a user-friendly, rapid optical system for microbial testing. It applies unique, innovative technology to detect contamination, then delivers reliable data needed for confident product release, substantive reports and trend analysis.

Eastman announces food safety diagnostics business: Centrus to offer unique and advantaged technologies that reduce costs and ensure product quality
February 14, 2005
Eastman News Release
Kingsport, Tenn. ? Eastman Chemical Company announces the launch of Centrus International, Inc., a diagnostics business dedicated to providing rapid microbiology testing solutions to food, dairy, meat and nutraceutical processing, as well as other industrial markets.
Centrus manufactures and markets diagnostics systems to rapidly detect microbial contamination in products and raw materials. The systems can be utilized to identify pathogenic bacteria (e.g., E. coli O157) and various groups of routine organisms such as coliform bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, yeasts and molds, and lactic acid bacteria.
For food processing customers, Centrus diagnostic systems are designed to provide fast, actionable microbial test results. Centrus products and services leverage Eastman¡¯s core strengths in analytical chemistry, polymer chemistry and biotechnology capabilities. These capabilities, combined with the advantages of the Centrus product lines, position Eastman at the cutting edge of food quality solutions. Centrus will also leverage Eastman¡¯s many other core capabilities and infrastructure to drive continual innovation and ensure maximum cost competitiveness.
With the current trend to maximize supply chain efficiency in global businesses, faster, accurate test results can enhance decision-making, streamline processes and improve profitability ? all critically important to the customers served by Centrus. The Centrus diagnostics portfolio combines remarkable sensitivity with extraordinary accuracy to produce faster, actionable test results to help food processors ensure product quality.
Centrus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman and will be located in Kingsport, Tenn. The establishment of this business within Eastman¡¯s Developing Businesses Division brings together technologies developed in-house, in-licensed, as well as acquired. Prior to establishing Centrus, Eastman acquired BioSys, Inc., the manufacturer of BioSys 32 and BioSys 128 automated microbial test systems. Under Centrus, this technology will be known as Soleris¢â. For more information about Centrus products and services, visit

Campylobacter Infections
Tue Feb 15, 7:00 PM ET
Source of Article:

Campylobacter is a type of bacteria that infects the gastrointestinal tract and is usually transmitted in contaminated food or water. This includes meats (especially chicken), water taken from contaminated sources (mountain streams or rivers near where animals graze), and milk or milk products that haven't been pasteurized. Household pets may also carry Campylobacter and can pass the bacteria to their owners. Although less common, person-to-person transmission can occur when someone comes in direct contact with fecal material from a person who's infected, especially a diapered child.
There are many species of the bacteria. In the United States, the species Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) infects between 1 and 2 million people each year and is responsible for 99% of Campylobacter infections. Of all types of bacteria, C. jejuni is the leading cause of diarrhea worldwide and the second most common cause in the United States. Those most commonly affected are children under 1 year old, teens, and young adults.

C. jejuni is often found in the intestines of many wild and domestic animals. These animals pass the bacteria in their feces and can contaminate food, water, or milk that's consumed by people. Once inside the human digestive system, C. jejuni infects and attacks the lining of both the small and large intestines.

Besides C. jejuni, other species of Campylobacter bacteria may also cause illness. One species is Campylobacter fetus (C. fetus), which looks like C. jejuni but usually attacks newborn babies or people with weakened immune systems. C. fetus also causes a more severe illness, which typically requires prolonged treatment with antibiotics.

In addition to the gastrointestinal tract, Campylobacter can also affect other parts of the body. Bacteremia may occur, which means that the bacteria can circulate in the bloodstream. This is more common in very young and very old patients, and in those with chronic illnesses or weak immune systems. This condition may resolve without symptoms, or it may affect a variety of organs, depending on the patient.

In rare cases, an unusual form of arthritis may follow a Campylobacter infection. There are also reports that infection with the bacteria has provoked Guillain-Barre syndrome, a serious illness that affects the nervous system.

Signs and Symptoms
The main symptoms of Campylobacter infection are fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that's generally mild, but may also be severe. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which should be closely monitored. Signs of dehydration include: thirst, irritability, restlessness, lethargy, sunken eyes, dry mouth and tongue, dry skin, decreased urinary frequency, and (in infants) a dry diaper for several hours.

In cases of Campylobacter infections, the diarrhea is initially watery, but it may later contain blood and mucus. Sometimes, the abdominal pain appears to be a more significant symptom than the diarrhea. When this happens, the infection may be mistaken for appendicitis or a problem with the pancreas.

Campylobacter infections are contagious. An individual who comes in contact with the feces of an infected person (i.e., an infected child in diapers) or an animal (including a pet dog or cat) may become infected.

You can prevent Campylobacter infections by using drinking water that's been tested and approved for purity, especially in developing countries, and by drinking milk that's been pasteurized. While hiking and camping, avoid drinking water from mountain streams and from sources that pass through lands where animals graze.

You can kill the bacteria in contaminated meats by cooking these foods thoroughly and eating while the food is still warm. Whenever you prepare foods, wash your hands well before and after touching raw meats, especially poultry. Clean cutting boards, countertops, and utensils with soap and hot water after contact with raw meat.

As you care for a family member who has diarrhea, remember to wash your hands before touching other people in your household and before handling foods. Clean and disinfect toilets after they're used by the person with diarrhea. Also, if a pet dog or cat has diarrhea, wash your hands frequently and check with your veterinarian about treatment.

Symptoms generally appear 1 to 7 days after ingestion of the bacteria.

Diarrhea usually stops within 2 to 5 days, even without antibiotic treatment. Full recovery usually takes about 1 week. In about 20% of cases, diarrhea either lasts longer (3 to 4 weeks) or recurs.

Your child's doctor may send a sample of your child's stool to the laboratory to see if a culture of Campylobacter grows. Other laboratory tests may also be needed, especially if your child has blood in the stool.

Professional Treatment
Moderately and severely dehydrated kids must be examined by a doctor and may need to be given intravenous (IV) fluids in the hospital.

Warnex signs up Canada's largest dairy cooperative as Genevision(R) customer -Agropur signs 10-Year agreement
February 14, 2005
From a press release
LAVAL, QC - Warnex Inc. (TSX: WNX) announced today that Agropur Cooperative, Canada's largest dairy cooperative, will be using Warnex's state-of-the-art Genevision(R) technology to monitor the safety of its products. Under the terms of the agreement, Agropur will use Genevision equipment to test for the presence of Salmonella and Listeria for a period of 10 years.
"With Agropur added to our group of Genevision customers, we now cover most major food processing sectors, including beef, pork, turkey, chicken, and now dairy, with major customers in both Canada and the U.S.," said Mark Busgang, President and CEO of Warnex. "This particular 10-year agreement with an industry leader like Agropur underscores the type of enthusiasm and commitment we are seeing for the Genevision system."
The Genevision Rapid Pathogen Detection System uses Real-Time PCR technology to rapidly and accurately determine the presence of pathogens in food. The system's advantages include the simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens, as well as the processing of samples within 24 to 48 hours, a significant improvement over traditional tests that require 5 to 7 days.
"Our success in building a company with approximately $2 billion in revenue, 4,300 members, 3,000 employees, 20 plants, and processing 1.8 billion litres of milk per year has been predicated on our solid reputation for consistently offering high quality products," said Mr. Michel Leclair, Agropur's Vice-President of Quality Assurance. "We are committed to being leaders on all of our key business fronts and the Genevision system will allow us to deliver on that commitment as it relates to our quality control efforts."
Agropur products are marketed under such well-known brands as Oka, Quebon, Sealtest, Natrel, and Yoplait.

New Will Smith Movie, Hitch, Reveals Common Food Allergy Threat
Press Release Source: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
New Will Smith Movie, Hitch, Reveals Common Food Allergy Threat
Monday February 14, 6:04 am ET
Will Smith character, the date doctor, unaware of food allergy symptoms
Source of Article:
FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Brought to life on the big screen in the newly released movie, Hitch, is a common portrayal of person who is unaware of his food allergy and the symptoms of an allergic reaction. According to The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), an estimated 11 million Americans suffer from food allergies and recognizing the symptoms and seeking immediate treatment is critical. More info

Aflatoxin, Major Hazard to Human Health
By Yemi Akinsuyi, 02.08.2005
Source of Article:
Minister for Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, has revealed that international apprehension has began on Aflatoxin contamination, which has been discovered to pose major health hazards to human and animal.
Lambo made this known yesterday at the regional workshop on Mycotoxin Contamination of Agricultural Commodities and Processed food, organised by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), in collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He expressed regretted that the toxicity of these compounds had caused severe health and economic problems in Africa, South-East Asia and China, where human exposure to high levels of Aflatoxin B1 is an important risk factor predisposing people to cancer of the liver.
¡°Evidence of acute Aflatoxicosis in humans has been reported from many parts of the world, especially in developing countries. Recently, the Kenyan health authorities reported Aflatoxin-related toxicity that killed more than 100 people between May and mid-June 2004, after they ate maize meals contaminated with Aflatoxins.
Studies have also shown that in Ghana, Togo and Benin, Aflatoxin is one of the reasons for the high rates of infant mortality recorded in these countries,¡± he said.
He said the disease is acquired through small-scale peasant farmers in Africa, who do not produce enough food and therefore experience limited availability of food supplies both in terms of quality and quantity.
¡°To worsen the situation, clean seeds are often taken to the market to be sold, while damaged ones are kept at home to be eaten. This practice inadvertently increases the risk of exposing the local population to Aflatoxins and subsequent health complications.

Lock launches super-sensitive metal detectors
Source of Article:
11/02/2005 - Inspection equipment manufacturer Lock will be unveiling its new MET 30+ range of metal detectors at Interpack. more info.

President Bush to Nominate Lester Crawford to Head FDA
February 14, 2005
Source of Article:
President George W. Bush announced today that he will nominate Lester M. Crawford, DVM, Ph.D., to serve as the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dr. Crawford currently serves as FDA's acting commissioner.
"Lester Crawford brings decades of valuable insight and experience to the job of FDA commissioner," said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. "We are gratified to see a veterinarian in this important position. We look forward to the leadership that he will provide on so many important food and agriculture issues."
Dr. Crawford previously served as the administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service and deputy commissioner of FDA. Earlier in his career, Dr. Crawford was director of the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy at Georgetown University and Virginia Tech. He has also served as an advisor to the United Nations' World Health Organization for nearly 20 years.
Dr. Crawford is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (UK). He earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University and his Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of Georgia.

Source of Article:
USDA establishes the Food Emergency Response Network to respond quickly to food supply-contamination emergencies.
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service established a new division that will play a major role in developing the Food Emergency Response Network, an integrated network of laboratories across the United States that can quickly respond to food-related emergencies.
The FERN Division will work with the Food and Drug Administration to expand and manage an existing group of more than 90 federal, state, and local laboratories with the capability to detect and identify biological, chemical and radiological agents in food, USDA explained in a release. The establishment of the FERN Division is the latest in a broad series of actions that FSIS has taken to protect consumers from deliberate contamination of meat, poultry and egg products.
"Developing a network of laboratories that can communicate effectively and work together applying consistent laboratory practices will increase our ability to prevent and respond to possible attacks or emergencies involving food," Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Merle Pierson said. "FERN not only allows us to strengthen our national laboratory system, it also improves cooperation and communication between public health officials at the national, state and local levels." The FERN Division is being established under the FSIS Office of Public Health Science, which provides scientific analysis, advice, data, and recommendations regarding matters involving public health and science that are of concern to FSIS. The division will be co-located with the FSIS Eastern Laboratory in Athens, Georgia. Homeland Security Presidential Directive 9 issued in January 2004, outlined the need to develop a plan to protect the nation's food and agriculture from attacks and emergencies. One of the directive's recommendations was to expand Federal cooperation to develop a national network of food, veterinary diagnostic, plant, and public health laboratories. Personnel at participating FERN laboratories analyze surveillance samples, validate new methods used to detect threat agents in food products, and meet a list of guidelines to ensure the security and safety of their facilities and employees. The FERN Division will coordinate many of these activities as well as recruit new public laboratories to participate in the network.

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Natural toxins in fresh fruit and vegetables
February 7, 2005
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)
Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet, however several fruits and vegetables consumed in Canada contain small amounts of natural toxins. These natural toxins help protect the plants and create resistance to diseases and certain types of insects. The public should be aware of the presence of natural toxins in these fruits and vegetables. The following safety tips can help reduce or avoid exposure to toxins, which could potentially have harmful effects on human health.
Fruit and Vegetables that Produce Cyanide
Stone Fruits
The kernels within the pits of some stone fruits contain a natural toxin called cyanogenic glycoside. These fruits include apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, plums and prunes. The flesh of the fruit itself is not toxic. Normally, the presence of cyanogenic glycoside alone is not dangerous. However, when kernels are chewed cyanogenic glycoside can transform into hydrogen cyanide - which is poisonous to humans. The lethal dose of cyanide ranges from 0.5 to 3.0 mg per kilogram of body weight. This is why it is not recommended to eat the kernels inside the pits of stone fruits.
Cassava Root and Bamboo Shoots
Cyanogenic glycoside toxin is also found in the cassava root and fresh bamboo shoots, making it necessary for them to be cooked before canning or eating. Cassava is classified into two main types - sweet and bitter. Sweet cassava is defined as having a concentration of cyanide less than 50 mg per kilogram of fresh weight, while bitter cassava has a concentration greater than 50 mg per kilogram. The sweet cassava only requires cooking in order to reduce the cyanide content to non-toxic levels. However, the bitter cassava contains more toxins and should be prepared and cooked properly prior to consumption. Grating the root and prolonged soaking of the gratings in water will leach out the cyanide, reducing the levels of toxin. In addition to soaking, cooking will further detoxify the roots before consumption.
Cyanogenic glycoside found in fresh bamboo decomposes quickly when placed in boiling water, rendering the bamboo shoots safe for consumption. It has been found that boiling bamboo shoots for 20 minutes at 98 C removes nearly 70 percent of the cyanide, while higher temperatures and longer intervals remove up to 96 percent. The highest concentrations are detoxified by cooking for two hours.
Natural Toxins Found in Ackee Fruit
Ackee, akee or achee - Blinghia sapida - is a food staple in many Western Africa, Jamaican and Carribean diets. There are two main varieties, hard and soft ackees, that are available for consumption. Both canned and fresh forms of this fruit are consumed. However, unripe fruit contains natural toxins called hypoglycin that can cause serious health effects. The only part of this fruit that is edible, is the properly harvested and prepared ripe golden flesh around the shiny black seeds. The fruit is poisonous unless ripe and after being opened naturally on the tree.
Potatoes that Can Cause Burning Sensations
Several different glycoalkaloids are produced naturally by potatoes, the most common being solanine and chaconine. Low levels of glycoalkaloids produce desirable flavour in potatoes. However, exposure to elevated levels of glycoalkaloids when eating potatoes can cause a bitter taste or a burning sensation in the mouth - indicating a state of toxicity. Glycoalkaloids are not destroyed by cooking; even by frying in hot oil. The majority of this natural toxin found in potatoes is in the peel, or just below the peel. Greening of the potatoes may be indicative of the presence of the toxin. Red skinned or russet potatoes may camouflage the greening.
Consumers should avoid eating potatoes that show signs of greening, physical damage, rotting or sprouting. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place at home, such as a basement, and away from the sun or artificial light. Wash potatoes before cooking and peel or cut away green areas prior to cooking. Potatoes with pronounced greening or damage should be discarded. If potatoes taste bitter or cause a burning sensation after cooking, do not consume them.
Poisoning from Fiddleheads
There have been documented reports of poisoning from consuming raw or undercooked fiddleheads. Symptoms usually begin 30 minutes to 12 hours subsequent to consumption and may include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and headaches. Illness generally lasts less than 24 hours. It is assumed that these poisonings have occurred due to a natural toxin that exists in the fern of the plant. Unfortunately, this toxin has yet to be identified.
Fresh fiddleheads must be carefully washed in several changes of cold water. They should then be thoroughly cooked, either through steaming for 10 to 12 minutes - until tender - or in boiling water for at least 15 minutes. Water used for boiling or steaming fiddleheads should be discarded because it may contain the toxin. Fiddleheads should also be boiled or steamed prior to sauteing, frying or baking.
Off-Flavour in Fresh Carrots
Off-flavours such as a bitter taste, aftertaste and/or petroleum-like flavour have been associated with the consumption of fresh carrots. In contrast to sweet flavour, these off-flavours are usually as a result of stored carrots being exposed to ethylene. Ethylene is a normal fruit ripening hormone that may react with natural chemical compounds found in carrots creating off-flavour sensory attributes. Thus, carrots should not be stored with ethylene-producing commodities such as apples, avocados, bananas, pears, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, honeydew melons and tomatoes. Carrots properly handled and stored in perforated plastic bags at a low temperature retain the most acceptable taste.
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A new method for early detection of disease outbreaks
February 14, 2005
Public Library of Science
For disease outbreak detection, the public health community has historically relied on the watchful eyes of doctors, who have reported individual cases or clusters of cases of particular diseases to the authorities. But these days, the availability of electronic health-care data should facilitate more automated and earlier outbreak detection and intervention. Besides diagnoses of known diseases, other indicators--such as primary complaints of patients coming to the emergency room or calling a nurse hotline--are being collected in electronic formats and could be analyzed if suitable methods existed.
Martin Kulldorff and colleagues have developed and operated real-time disease surveillance systems based on electronic records. In an article published in the open-access medical journal PLoS Medicine, they now report a new and very flexible approach for early disease outbreak detection.
The method, called the "space time permutation scan statistic," is an extension of a previous method of detecting outbreaks called scan statistic. The problem with this previous method is that it works only under certain circumstances, for example if there is a uniform population at risk (with the same number of expected disease cases in every square kilometer), or if quite a bit is known about the variation in factors such as age and disease susceptibility that occurs in that population. The new method doesn¢®?t need any of that: it can detect disease outbreaks when only the number of cases is available.
In their article, Kulldorff and colleagues illustrate the utility of the new method by applying it to data collected from hospital emergency departments in New York City. The researchers analyzed diarrhea records from 2002, and did both a "residential analysis" (based on the home address of the patients) and a "hospital analysis" (based on hospital locations). The former has more detailed geographical information, the latter maybe be better able to detect outbreaks not primarily related to place of residence but, for example, school or workplace. With their new "space time permutation scan statistic," they found four highly unusual clusters of diarrhea cases, three of which heralded citywide gastrointestinal outbreaks due to rotavirus and norovirus. This suggests that their method can detect outbreaks early, and--equally important--it isn't prone to false alarms.
Since November 2003, the method has been integrated by the New York City Emergency Department in its syndromic surveillance system (this system for monitoring outbreaks was established in 1995 to detect outbreaks of waterborne, diarrheal illnesses). To make the method more widely accessible, it has been implemented as a feature of the freely available SaTScan software (

School's Cafeteria Food Makes Children Ill
Students Could Have Salmonella
Source of Article:
February 16, 2005
NEW BRIGHTON, Pa. -- As local students head to class Wednesday morning, some fourth-graders in one district are staying home. That's after 20 students in the New Brighton School District became sick from food served in the cafeteria. The children were sent home Tuesday after complaining of stomach aches. Along with them came a letter from the school district saying the students could have salmonella.That came after 30 servings of undercooked chicken was served at lunch. Student Stephanie Rambo said, "I just noticed it on the last piece. That it was like pink and stuff."
"You have enough to worry about with your child's life now you have to worry if you should pack a lunch or not," parent Heather Rambo said. The New Brighton school superintendent said a health expert will review proper cooking procedures with cafeteria workers Wednesday.