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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
02/23. IL-Chicago-QC Laboratory Technician

02/23. IL-Chicago-Microbiologist

02/23. IL-Chicago-Microbiologist

02/23. QA Section Leader - MO - Warrenton

02/23. Quality Control Supervisor - Bedford Park, IL

02/23. Associate QA Chemist - Hutchinson, KS

02/23. Dairy Quality Systems Manager - Baraboo, WI

02/23. QA Manager---Meat/Poultry Products for Food Service - OK Statewide

02/23. WI-Madison-Quality Assurance Manager

02/22. Food Scientist (QA Project Manager) - Chicago

02/22. Quality Assurance Manager - IA-Western/Sioux City

02/22. CT-Hartford-Microbiologist

02/22. PA-Allentown-Great way to start your Microbiology career!

02/22. PA-York/Lancaster-Food Scientist- QA Manager position

02/21. Food Safety Specialist - Madison, WI

02/21. TX-Statewide-QA MANAGER

02/21. Food Safety Specialist - Washington, DC

02/21. CA-Garden Grove-Microbiology Technician


02/21. QA Manager - Brooklyn, NY

02/18. Corporate Quality Assurance Manager - Aurora, IL

02/18. QA Coordinator - MN-Statewide

02/18. Manager, U.S. Quality Systems - IL-Oak Brook

Other Job Openings

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.

USDA/FDA Current News
Establishment and Maintenance of Records Under the Public Health Security

Implementation: BSE Minimal Risk and Importation of Commodities from Canada

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)

FSIS Notice 12-05, Documentation of Humane Handling Activities

Inspector General: APHIS Oversight of the Importation of Beef Products from Canada
Generic E. coli and Salmonella Baseline Results; Additional Baseline Data

Generic E. coli and Salmonella Baseline Results

New Sponsor

Dupont Qualicon, Click here to visit the sponsor

Island illnesses
February 22, 2005
Associated Press
TOLEDO, Ohio -- The state Health Department was cited as saying Tuesday that drinking water contaminated by sewage and other pollution was the likely source of an outbreak that sickened 1,400 people on a Lake Erie resort island last summer, adding that the island's wells were tainted when porous soil allowed sewage from septic systems and runoff containing bird droppings and lawn fertilizer to infiltrate groundwater.more information

Bad Restaurants II
By Graham Winch
Source of Article:
11 news continues with our Questionable Cuisine Investigation.
Last Night we told you about some local establishments, and their disturbing health code violations.
But what do you do if you suspect a restaurant is unsanitary.
more information

Beneficial Fungal Strains Fight Harmful Ones in Corn
By Jim Core
February 22, 2005
Nontoxic strains of a fungus have been developed by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to control toxins produced by a different strain of the same fungus in corn.
Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring mycotoxin produced by the fungus Aspergillus parasiticus and the more common A. flavus, which is most often found when certain grains are grown under stressful conditions, such as drought. Aflatoxin occurs in contaminated agricultural commodities, such as corn, peanuts, cotton seed and nuts, and may also be found in soil, decaying vegetation, hay and stored grains during moist and hot conditions. ARS scientists developed two fungal strains that don't produce these toxins in corn crops. The two nontoxic strains of A. flavus, called CT3 and K49, can be used to competitively displace, or out-compete, the pest strain, according to Hamed K. Abbas, a plant pathologist with the Crop Genetics and Production Research Unit in Stoneville, Miss.Aflatoxins are a potential danger to food and a significant threat to feed quality. The threat of aflatoxin contamination limits corn production in the Southern United States. Hot, dry conditions are particularly conducive to fungal growth and aflatoxin production. Aflatoxin outbreaks devalue the corn, sometimes making it worthless and costing corn growers hundreds of millions of dollars.Using the beneficial fungus to treat soil that naturally contains high levels of toxin-producing Aspergillus reduced contamination of corn by 60 to 85 percent. When a nontoxic fungal mixture was mixed with toxin-producing A. flavus and used to treat soil, corn had 65 to 94 percent less aflatoxin, compared to corn grown in soil treated with the toxin-producing fungal strain alone.ARS has filed a patent application on the nontoxic fungal strains. Abbas developed the strains during four years of field trails with Robert M. Zablotowicz, a soil scientist located in Stoneville.Further trials are needed to demonstrate that the fungal mixtures are effective under varying conditions naturally found in southern corn production. Additional research will determine the most effective and consistent application methods.ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

AMI launches animal handling Web site

by John Gregerson on 2/21/05 for
The American Meat Institute has launched a new Web site as a resource for the meat industry, the media and consumers about animal handling in meat plants.
Included on the site,, is the AMI Foundation's Recommended Animal Handling Guidelines and Audit Guide, 2005 edition, written by animal welfare expert and bestselling author Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University. The guide can be downloaded for free and includes AMI Foundation audit forms for cattle and calves, pigs and sheep.
The site also includes sections on animal welfare auditing, animal handling training, animal welfare versus animal rights, as well as an explanation of federal requirements for animal welfare in meat plants.

State to report on P-I-B illness
By DAN DEARTH Staff reporter
Source of Article:
February 18, 2005

PUT-IN-BAY -- The Ohio Department of Health has scheduled a Tuesday press conference to release the "preliminary-investigational report" disclosing what caused about 1,500 people to contract gastrointestinal illness last summer on South Bass Island.
Officials from the ODH, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ottawa County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be on hand to release their findings and answer questions from noon to 2 p.m. at Put-in-Bay Village Hall.Ottawa County Commissioner Carl Koebel said it is about time the state decided to inform the public."I thought they would have come up with a report sooner than they did," Koebel said. "They had to wait for all their samples to come back."ODH spokesman Jay Carey said the state has acted in a timely manner and knew from the onset the cause was more than likely a contamination of water drawn from wells on the island."I don't think it's an appropriate criticism," Carey said. "We knew what was going on when this started."Test results from stool and vomit samples taken from 15 people showed three types of infections: campylobacter, salmonella and norovirus. And OEPA tests produced traces of E coli bacteria in some of the wells.

Carey said according to the Ohio Revised Code, the state is required to inform the public six months after the start of an investigation like the one on Put-in-Bay. In this case, that was Aug. 26. In addition to revealing the cause of the contamination, Carey said health officials plan to discuss measures people can take to prevent further illness. The meeting is open to the public.

FSIS Publishes Generic E. coli and Salmonella Baseline Data
February 17, 2005

Source of Article:

FSIS today made available results of baseline studies the agency conducted on generic E. coli and Salmonella between 1997 and 2000.

According to a notice in the Feb. 17 Federal Register, although the data were collected 5-8 years ago, FSIS decided to provide the results to assist inspected establishments in assessing their processes. The agency stressed in the notice that the publication of the baseline results does not affect the current generic E. coli criteria and sampling standards listed in federal regulations.

The notice also says that these results increase the number of product classes and sampling methods for which baseline information is now available. For example, for generic E. coli, the results that FSIS is making available provide measures of process control for cattle and swine production using the sponge sampling method rather than the excision sampling method that was used in setting the Pathogen Reduction/HACCP Rule performance standards.
To view the notice and the data

Warnex technology adopted by commercial food science lab
Tuesday February 22, 7:00 am ET
Source of Article:
LAVAL, QC, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - Warnex Inc. (TSX: WNX - News) today announced that it has signed up Industrial Laboratories of Canada Inc. (ILC), a commercial laboratory services organization, to add Warnex's food safety technology to ILC's existing range of food science analyses and technical services. ILC will use Warnex's Rapid Pathogen Detection System to test for strains of E. coli O157, Listeria and Salmonella.
"By selling our system to service labs, we significantly expand our initial target market, by reaching beyond larger food manufacturers," said Mark Busgang, President & CEO of Warnex. "Now smaller to medium sized producers who outsource their testing needs can also benefit from the production and quality advantages offered by our pathogen testing system, namely faster, more accurate results."
more information

Fay¡¯s Foods Recalls Sandwiches and Salads Because of Possible Health Risks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- North Hollywood, CA -- February 19, 2005 -- Fay's Foods inc. 10650 Burbank Blvd. North Hollywood California, is recalling it's individually packaged sandwiches and salads because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Antibacterial sealers developed from innovative new compound

Source of Article:
18/02/2005 - Two European firms have come up with a range of sealing rings for the dairy industry designed to minimise the presence and effects of bacteria and microbes. The Netherlands-based Eriks group, which comprises 50 companies and is present in eight countries, is introducing a range of sealing rings for the dairy industry produced from a special rubber compound developed in conjunction with Belgian-based division of Milliken Chemical.
The compound, termed Elastoguard-HNBR, is a high temperature formulation that incorporates Milliken¡¯s Elastoguard silver-based biocide, which permeates parts moulded from the material to provide long-lasting protection against bacteria.
more information

High-pressure process helps keep food bacteria-free
February 17, 2005
Wall Street Journal
Page B1
Janet Adamy
Some major meat processors have, according to this story, embraced a high-pressure processing technique that they say makes cold cuts, fruit and other edibles safer without affecting taste.
The story says that Hormel Foods Corp., Perdue Farms Inc. and others are dunking prewrapped foods into tanks of pressurized water -- a process that kills salmonella, E. coli and listeria and allows food makers to add fewer preservatives. It also enables vendors to keep deli ham, pre-cooked chicken strips and other meats in the food pipeline a lot longer. Hormel says its lunch meat now lasts for as long as 100 days -- more than twice as long as before.
Martin Cole, director of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Summit, Ill., was quoted as saying, "It's going to be a big step in preservation technology."
But some food makers who have decided not to use high-pressure processing say it turns lunch meat softer than usual and fails to slow spoilage in some products, like tomatoes, that are later canned. They also say the new process is too expensive.

Experiences of seven countries in consolidating their food safety systems
February 2005
Highlights of GAO-05-212, a report to congressional requesters.
What GAO Found
In consolidating their food safety systems, the seven countries we examined ?Canada, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom?varied in their approaches and the extent to which they consolidated. However, the countries¡¯ approaches were similar in one respect?each established a single agency to lead food safety management or enforcement of food safety legislation. These countries had two primary reasons for consolidating their food safety systems?public concern about the safety of the food supply and the need to improve program effectiveness and efficiency. Countries faced challenges in (1) deciding whether to place the agency within the existing health or agriculture ministry or establish it as a stand-alone agency while also determining what responsibilities the new agency would have and (2) helping employees adjust to the new agency¡¯s culture and support its priorities. Although none of the countries has analyzed the results of its consolidation, government officials consistently stated that the net effect of their country¡¯s consolidation has been or will likely be beneficial. Officials in most countries stated their new food safety agencies incurred consolidation startup costs. However, in each country, government officials believe that consolidation costs have been or will likely be exceeded by the benefits. These officials and food industry and consumer stakeholders cited significant qualitative improvements in the effectiveness or efficiency of their food safety systems. These improvements include less overlap in inspections, greater clarity in responsibilities, and more consistent or timely enforcement of food safety laws and regulations. In addition to these qualitative benefits, officials from three countries, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands, identified areas where they believe financial savings may be achieved as a result of consolidation. For example, in the Netherlands officials said that reduced duplication in food safety inspections would likely result in decreased food safety spending and that they anticipate savings from an expected 25 percent reduction in administrative and management personnel. Although the seven countries we reviewed are much smaller than the United States, they are also high-income countries where consumers have very high expectations for food safety. Consequently, we believe that the countries¡¯ experiences in consolidating food safety systems can offer useful information to U.S. policymakers.
Why GAO Did This Study
The safety and quality of the U.S. food supply are governed by a complex system that is administered by 15 agencies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), have primary responsibility for food safety. Many legislative proposals have been made to consolidate the U.S. food safety system, but to date no other action has been taken. Several countries have taken steps to streamline and consolidate their food safety systems. In 1999, we reported on the initial experiences of four of these countries?Canada, Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Since then, additional countries, including Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, have undertaken consolidations. This report describes the approaches and challenges these countries faced in consolidating food safety functions, including the benefits and costs cited by government officials and other stakeholders. In commenting on a draft of this report, HHS and USDA said that the countries¡¯ consolidation experiences have limited applicability to the U.S. food safety system because the countries are much smaller than the United States. The two agencies believe that they are working together effectively to ensure the safety of the food supply.

Source of Article:
U.S. Secretary of State questions the Japanese government about reopening its market to U.S. beef.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice raised the issue of Japan lifting completely a ban on imports of U.S. beef during bilateral talks Saturday with her Japanese counterpart Nobutaka Machimura, according to an Associated Press report.. The Japanese understand U.S. concerns and were trying to accelerate procedures ¡°and made a commitment the issue would be resolved,¡± U.S. State Department official, who attended the meeting, said.

Hatushisa Takashima, the Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, said beef imports came up in the talks. He added that Japan would make an effort to meet U.S. requests. Earlier this month a Japanese government panel recommended partially lifting the ban, to begin importing U.S grade A40 beef, which comes primarily from cattle aged 12 to 17 months. The government must approve the panel¡¯s recommendation.

The U.S. government welcomed the panel's recommendation, saying it was an important step toward resuming trade. However, some Japanese consumer groups criticized the move, saying it was politically motivated.

Gloves vs. clean hands? Food study says it¡¯s a wash

Tortilla test tilts toward soap for restaurant workers
By Rosie Mestel
Los Angeles Times
Monday, Feb 21, 2005
There¡¯s something reassuring about watching restaurant workers handle our food with gleaming gloves, but the appearance of extra cleanliness might be no more than that appearance.That¡¯s what a team of Oklahoma scientists suggests after studying the flora and fauna on hundreds of tortillas purchased at fast-food eateries in Oklahoma and Kansas. The tortilla testing team, led by Robert Lynch, an occupational and environmental health professor at the University of Oklahoma, was addressing a meaty debate among food-safety scientists ? whether donning gloves actually lowers the chance that germs end up in food and thus the chance that customers will come down with food poisoning.The case for gloves: They keep food away from bare hands, which are constantly touching items such as money, raw food, door handles and faucets ? places that illness-causing microbes can end up. More information

ID Systems Designed To Control Outbreaks
(Statesman Journal, OR)

Oregon is taking the first step toward a nationwide program to identify and trace livestock.Starting this month, a voluntary "premises registration" program will begin assigning identification numbers to locations in Oregon where farm animals are kept, state agriculture officials said. The system will provide a means to trace and control outbreaks of animal diseases within a 48-hour period after they are discovered.

"The goal is to protect the health of the livestock animal industry," said Don Hansen, veterinarian with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. The state wants any location with livestock, from dairy farms to ranches raising horses, to be included in the voluntary program, he said.Federal regulators intend to establish a national program to track livestock because of increased concerns about animal disease outbreaks, including fears that terrorists could target the agriculture industry. The detection of a single case of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003 also contributed to the push for the program.
The first step in the program is the identification and registration of premises throughout the state. The goal of a proposed second phase is to have every animal identified with a 15-digit number. 2-18-05

School's Cafeteria Food Makes Children Ill
Students Could Have Salmonella

Source of Article:
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.

Aqua Screen¢ç Water Test System for Rapid Legionella Detection
AquaScreen¢ç is an in vitro test system for the qualitative and/or quantitative detection of water pathogens. The test system offers the flexibility of testing a variety of water sources. AquaScreen¢ç combines the filtration of the water sample, the lysis of the precipitated microorganism, the DNA extraction as well as the purification and elution of the DNA in minimal volumes under conditions which are optimal for the subsequent PCR analysis.

PCR Analysis
The Aqua Screen¢ç PCR system is a test for the qualitative and quantitative detection of Legionella spp. and Legionella pneumophila in water samples. The test is based on the polymerase chain reaction.
When using the Legionella Detection Kit for Conventional PCR (ALS or ALPseries), the amplified PCR product is 245 bp long and can be rendered visible directly in the agarose gel. The real-time PCR variant (ALS-QP or ALP-QP series) is designed such that the specific target probe emits fluorescent light at 520 nm.
Superior Technical Features
Complete sample preparation including water filtration, DNA purification and concentration for direct PCR analysis
Sample preparation platform allows for testing of multiple pathogenic water contaminants (additional PCR tests in development)
Results are obtained within 3.5 hours
Hand-on time less than 40 minutes
Qualitative or quantitative determination of contamination level
Real-time PCR variant functions as an Open System Application - for LightCycler¢ç, ABI Prism¢ç (Taqman¢ç) and related devices
Highly sensitive: detection accomplished with 30 legionella particles per sample volume of 100 ml, following filtration of 1 L
Highly specific for serogroups 1 - 14 of Legionella pneumophila, L. longbeachae, L. dumoffii, L. bozemanii, L. gormanii, as well as other human pathogenic species of legionella Detecting both culturable and "non-culturable" (VBNC) legionella
Reliable: kit contains positive control DNA and internal control DNA for optional PCR quality checkDisclaimer: The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) process is covered by patents owned by Hoffmann-La-Roche, Inc. Use of the PCR process requires a license.Request more information about this news item
Source: Minerva Biolabs GmbH