Products Association Calls Senate Approval of Resolution to Overturn USDA Rule
¡°A Blow to Sound Science¡±
of Article: http://www.nfpa-food.org/content/newsroom/article.asp?id=252
D.C.) On March 3, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to overturn the U.S. Department
of Agriculture¡¯s rule establishing conditions under which animals and animal products
could be imported from countries that present a minimal risk of introducing BSE
into the United States. Commenting on the Senate¡¯s action, Cal Dooley, President
and CEO of the Food Products Association (FPA), made the following remarks:
Senate¡¯s vote on this resolution is a blow to sound science. From a science-based
perspective, the resolution is unnecessary given the strict requirements of the
minimal risk region rule, along with the exhaustive animal and public health measures
employed by both the United States and Canada. We also share USDA Secretary Mike
Johanns¡¯ confidence in the underlying risk assessment that originally determined
Canada to be a minimum risk region. FPA will urge the House of Representatives
to oppose this resolution.
also is disappointed that a District Court judge has granted a preliminary injunction
delaying the March 7 effective date for the minimal risk region rule. There is
no legal or scientific reason to delay this rule, or to prolong the ban on imports
of Canadian beef or cattle into the United States. We hope that the courts swiftly
conclude their review of this case, and that international trade in beef is reestablished.¡±
safety - Food contaminants Acrylamide
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives
(JECFA) is available in pdf format at here
Time and Temperature Tables for Cooking RTE Poultry Products from FSIS
March 03, 2005
of Article: http://www.meatami.com/
The Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) has new Time and Temperature Tables for Cooking Ready-To-Eat Poultry products
available online. Notice 16-05 announces the availability of the tables but does
not issue any verification procedures to FSIS personnel.
The 1999 FSIS final
rule, Performance Standards for the Production of Certain Meat and Poultry Products,
requires a 6.5 log10 relative reduction (6.5 log10 lethality) of Salmonella for
cooked beef, roast beef and corned beef. The
time and temperature tables are available on the FSIS Web site at
Source of Article: http://www.meatnews.com
explains why it filed a lawsuit against USDA to block live cattle imports from
On March 2,
2005, the Ranchers-Cattlemen¡¯s Action Legal Fund, Billings, Montana, will appear
before U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, presiding over the U.S. District Court
for the District of Montana, to seek a preliminary injunction to block the reopening
of the Canadian border to imports of Canadian beef and cattle. "I am disappointed
that cattle farmers and ranchers have to resort to legal action in order to protect
their industry from the inappropriate and premature actions of the United States
Department of Agriculture, but these are the circumstances our industry faces,¡±
Leo McDonnell, R-CALF founder and president, said.McDonnell
gave the following reasons for R-CALF¡¯s extraordinary action:*
American consumers are entitled to the safest food products possible.
The U.S. cattle industry provides the safest and most wholesome beef in the world.
Canada now has a bovine spongiform encephalopathy problem, documented by four
confirmed cases of BSE in its native cattle herd.
USDA now has a responsibility to protect the U.S. food supply and the U.S. cattle
industry from the BSE risk presented by Canada.
USDA is not fulfilling this responsibility. The agency is not following the more
stringent safeguards recommended by international science, nor is USDA following
the more stringent safeguards practiced by every other country in the world affected
actions are placing the U.S. cattle industry at risk from a loss of consumer confidence
in the U.S. beef supply.
have called on USDA to meet with us to find solutions to the BSE problem in Canada,¡±
McDonnell continued. ¡°We have called for a solution that ensures the U.S. does
not adopt BSE standards lower than international standards and lower than the
rest of the world, as this would make the U.S. a dumping ground for products other
countries won't accept. USDA responded on December 29, 2004, by issuing its Final
Rule, a rule that fails to address the legitimate concerns posed by R-CALF USA.
We hope the Court, like U.S. cattle producers, will recognize that USDA's actions
present an unnecessary and avoidable risk to the United States."
laws, food safety at stake
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2005 07:45:00 AM ]
of Article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/
DELHI: Be it red chilli powder or any other food item, nobody can testify it's
safe when it enters your home. This is because there are a great many laws trying
to ensure food is safe. But almost everybody agrees none of this is enforced ?
certainly not consistently. The
main law which tries to tackle food adulteration across India is the Prevention
of Food Adulteration Act. It's enforced by ill-equipped state food inspectors
who pick up "really random" samples. One official who does not want
to be named says the less said about PFA departments, the better. They essentially
do "fire-fighting" exercises, checking out whatever happens to be in
the news ? be it cold drinks, packaged water, or chilli powder. They
don't have sophistication to check for adulterants ranging from the relatively
harmless used tea leaves to iron filings, saw dust, sand and even dung powder.
The official store of knowledge from government's directorate of marketing and
inspection details the potential, or possible, hazards of just about everything
you could, or would, eat or drink in a day ? milk, flour, oil, dal, vegetables,
sweets, fruit juices, water. Health impacts range from vomiting and abdominal
pain to mental retardation, cardiac arrest and cancer. But
nobody can tell you the extent of the problem, particularly among smaller players.
When the banned cancer-causing chemical colourant Sudan-1 in Indian red chilli
powder was first discovered in Britain in October 2003, Centre alerted states
to be more stringent in checks of chilli powder sold in India. But they have no
feedback on whether more samples failed the test or not. No doubt, there will
be a flurry of activity on this front once more. What's
not in doubt is that there's "huge shortage" of inspectors, says an
officer. Or, that food labs aren't up to mark. In October 2003, Centre embarked
on a 5-year plan to upgrade 31 labs. Now, Centre has prepared draft of Food Safety
& Standards Bill, which seeks to subsume nearly 20 separate rules, lay down
science-based standards for food, and regulate manufacture, import, export, storage,
distribution and sale.
March 1, 2005
By BOB GROVES
Source of Article: http://www.northjersey.com/
quarter-million dollars isn't peanuts.
A new law in New Jersey is treating
peanut allergies as a serious public health issue. New Jersey will spend $250,000
to teach restaurant workers that serving peanuts and other nuts to people who
are allergic to them is dangerous - even deadly.
Seven million Americans have
food allergies - including more than a million who have severe reactions to the
proteins in nuts, particularly peanuts. One hundred people die each year from
nut allergies. Besides peanuts, people can be allergic to fish, shellfish, eggs,
dairy products, wheat and soy. Allergic reactions include hives and itching; wheezing
and shortness of breath; swelling of the face or extremities; cramps, vomiting
or diarrhea; fainting and even death. Two of the law's co-sponsors backed the
legislation because their grandchildren suffer from serious peanut allergies.
State Sen. Joseph Coniglio said his young grandson, Devin, was at a party when
his face suddenly broke out in blotches. more
safety for first responders
Emerging Infectious Diseases
Volume 11, Number 3
Mary K. Afton,* Michele Nakata,* Myra Ching-Lee,* and Paul
*Hawaii Department of Health, Honolulu, Hawaii
the Editor: Relatively few published reports of intentional food contamination
are available (1?5). However, after the anthrax attacks of 2001, biologic terrorism
vulnerability assessments have determined that intentional food poisoning is a
plausible means to widely disseminate pathogens, with potentially devastating
effect (6). As a consequence, food security has emerged as one of the major priorities
for bioterrorism preparedness (7?10). We describe a naturally occurring incident
that demonstrates the potential for premeditated food contamination to target
specific populations who are critical for protecting public safety, in this instance,
a city police force. Measures to mitigate the risk of this scenario type are provided.
the evening of December 19, 1998, local hospital emergency departments notified
the Hawaii Department of Health that an unusually high number of police officers
were coming to the hospitals with acute gastroenteritis. Earlier that day, several
police-affiliated support associations had cosponsored a holiday event. The food
was catered by a food service establishment that routinely provided meals at the
police department headquarters in Honolulu. Active and retired police officers
and their family members participated in the event. The food service at the event
consisted of "bento lunch boxes" containing luncheon meat, a hot dog,
teriyaki beef, fried chicken, and rice. Approximately 1,100 lunches were distributed
at the event, some of which were taken offsite to be consumed by others, including
on-duty officers at satellite police stations.
Interviews were conducted with
a convenience sample of 394 persons who ate the bento lunch, of which 145 (37%)
reported becoming ill with diarrhea (81%) or vomiting (80%). Illness onset occurred
a mean of 4 hours after eating the lunch (1.5?8 hours); the mean duration of illness
was 14 hours (2?96 hours). Incapacitation of police officers and their family
members as a result of the illness was substantial with 25% absent from work for
a half day, 42% for 1 full day, 18% for 2 days, and 15% for more than 2 days.
Staphylococcus aureus was recovered from 7 of 8 stool specimens, of which 6 were
positive on S. aureus toxin testing. Analyses of the lunch items found between
18 million to 3 billion S. aureus colonies per gram in the implicated foods. Luncheon
meat, teriyaki beef, and hot dogs were positive on S. aureus toxin assays. S.
aureus isolates obtained from food and clinical specimens were indistinguishable
by pulsed field-gel electrophoresis. The quantity of lunch boxes produced for
this holiday event exceeded that which the catering facility routinely produced
while adhering to recommended food-handling guidelines. A facility inspection
and review of the caterer's procedures identified improper holding temperatures
for potentially hazardous foods as the likely cause of the outbreak.
incident, prompt action by the police department, which employed an agency-wide
radio communications system to warn officers not to eat lunches obtained for later
consumption, reduced the number of persons who would have become ill from staphylococcal
foodborne infection. In spite of this effort, the outbreak still had a considerable
impact on the staff of the police department. The attack rate for those exposed
was high, and three quarters of those who became ill missed >1 days of work.
If an agent causing greater severity of illness, e.g., botulinum toxin, had been
introduced into the bento lunches instead of S. aureus, the ensuing outbreak might
have strongly compromised the department's ability to ensure public safety.
modifications in food security industry regulations because of the Bioterrorism
Act of 2002, intentional contamination of food items on a smaller scale remains
a potential danger that needs to be addressed. As the incident we described demonstrates,
under certain circumstances, terrorists may be able to substantially impair first
response agencies, including police departments, through a limited but targeted
foodborne attack. By incapacitating first responders, terrorists might maximize
the impact of a larger, coordinated event. Just as maintaining the physical security
of the Strategic National Stockpile is a priority in preventing a secondary attack,
reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that our emergency workforce is protected
from a targeted foodborne assault.
As a result of this outbreak, we have recommended
that whenever entire units, departments, or shifts of first responders in our
jurisdiction are involved in shared dining activities, efforts should be made
to obtain food items from more than 1 caterer for each meal. If departmentwide
events necessitate using a single caterer, efforts should be taken to identify
and mitigate the threat of intentional food tampering and there should be rigorous
adherence to standard safe food-handling procedures to minimize the potential
for naturally occurring outbreaks (7). Our recommendations here are similar to
those employed by airlines to protect pilots and copilots on long flights by serving
separate meals prepared in different kitchens (11).
Our intention is to share
with other preparedness agencies our observation that first response assets might
be compromised by something as seemingly innocuous as a holiday party. Appropriate
planning may reduce the risk of intentional food contamination that targets security
forces or first responders, either as an isolated strike or as part of a larger,
coordinated terrorist attack.
food standards for food safety
ABARE Outlook 2005 Conference via Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Chief Executive Officer
Food Standards Australia New Zealand
Introduction and scope
Expenditure by Australians on food amounted
to nearly $90 billion in 2003-04 around 46% of total Australian retail spending.Despite
the drought and strengthening Australian dollar, the value of Australian food
exports was $22.3 billion in the same year ? one-fifth of total Australian merchandise
exports. We are a net exporter of food to the tune of some $16 billion a year.By
any stretch of the imagination, therefore, the food industry is a large, integral
part of the Australian economy and a major player on the world stage.
committees - SCFCAH - Toxicological safety of the food chain & general food
March 3, 2005
Agenda of 14 February
2005 is available in pdf format at:
to conduct smoked fish risk assessment
of Article: http://www.ift.org/
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting comments and scientific data
and information that would assist the agency in its plans to conduct a risk assessment
for Listeria monocytogenes in smoked
finfish (smoked finfish risk assessment),
and evaluate the provisions of the 2001 Food Code that address preventive controls
for L. monocytogenes in retail and foodservice establishments. The purpose of
the smoked finfish risk assessment is to ascertain the impact on public health
from the reduction and/or prevention of L. monocytogenes growth and recontamination
during the manufacturing and/or processing of hot-and cold-smoked finfish. For
more information, see the Federal Register of March 4, 2005 (Volume 70, Number
42, Pages 10650-10651).
manufacturers call for risk/benefit analysis on acrylamide
of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
- Food manufacturers need to consider a risk/benefit analysis of activities on
acrylamide, a harmful chemical recently identified in carbohydrate-rich foods,
conclude stakeholders after a recent meeting in Brussels,reports Lindsey Partos.
the aegis of the European Commission, participants from the European Food Safety
Authority, the European research project ¡®Heatox¡¯, the Confederation of Food and
Drink Industries (CIAA) and consumer group BEUC, and other stakeholders, gathered
to discuss measures to reduce acrylamide levels in food. In
April 2002, acrylamide came to the attention of the food industry when scientists
at the Swedish Food Administration first reported unexpectedly high levels in
fried, baked, grilled, toasted or microwaved carbohydrate-rich foods, for example
chips, roast potatoes, crisps and bread.
Research Institute (FRI): Focus on Food Safety Series: April 26, 2005
Food Research Institute-UW
"Development and Production of Safe
Process Cheese Formulations"
The first in a FRI Focus on Food Safety
Series is the Development and Production of Safe Process Cheese Formulations.This
full-day workshop, April 26, 2005, will provide an essential update of how to
insure the safety of process cheese and related products through formulation and
processing. Experienced speakers from the University of WisconsinMadison, federal
and state government, and industry will discuss: food safety risks, research information,
interpretation of data, implementation of production control measures, and the
relevant regulatory compliance issues. Through practical and real-world examples
you will obtain a better understanding of how to develop and manufacture safe
process cheese and related products.
Additional information and a registration
form can be obtained at: www.wisc.edu/fri.
If you have any questions contact
the Conference Coordinator Jean Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-263-7777.
coli O157:H7 Frequently Asked Questions
Source of Article: http://www.clickondetroit.com/
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. For
Claim: Plastic wrap in a microwave can expose food to dioxins
New York Times
A widely circulated e-mail message
has, according to this brief, caused fears that heating plastics in the microwave
can contaminate food with dioxins, a group of carcinogens. Experts were cited
as saying there is little truth to this: dioxins almost never turn up in commercial
Dr. Rolf Halden of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health was
cited as adding that another substance that gives many plastics their flexibility,
called plasticizers, can migrate into food in small amounts.
unlike dioxins, are not known to be toxic. To be on the safe side, however, the
Food and Drug Administration recommends that consumers use only plastic containers
or wraps specifically intended for microwaves (usually indicated on the product
or packaging). Further, they should never put fast-food trays or margarine tubs
in the microwave and should avoid reusing TV dinner dishes.
Dr. Halden was
further cited as saying that when covering a container with plastic wrap, always
leave a little room between the food and the wrap before heating it, adding, "Plasticizers
won't kill you. But why expose yourself to any chemicals you can easily avoid?"
story says that the bottom line is that plastic wraps and containers will not
expose you to dioxins, and they are safe in the microwave when used properly.
risks from foods, England and Wales, 1996-2000
Emerging Infectious Diseases Volume 11, Number 3
Goutam K. Adak,* Sallyanne
M. Meakins,* Hopi Yip,* Benjamin A. Lopman,* and Sarah J. O'Brien*
Protection Agency Centre for Infections, London, United Kingdom
from population-based studies and national surveillance systems were collated
and analyzed to estimate the impact of disease and risks associated with eating
different foods in England and Wales. From 1996 to 2000, an estimated 1,724,315
cases of indigenous foodborne disease per year resulted in 21,997 hospitalizations
and 687 deaths. The greatest impact on the healthcare sector arose from foodborne
Campylobacter infection (160,788 primary care visits and 15,918 hospitalizations),
while salmonellosis caused the most deaths (209). The most important cause of
indigenous foodborne disease was contaminated chicken (398,420 cases, risk [cases/million
servings] = 111; case-fatality rate [deaths/100,000 cases] = 35, deaths = 141).
Red meat (beef, lamb, and pork) contributed heavily to deaths, despite lower levels
of risk (287,485 cases, risk = 24, case-fatality rate = 57, deaths = 164). Reducing
the impact of indigenous foodborne disease is mainly dependent on controlling
the contamination of chicken.
manager admits sending school bad chicken
February 25, 2005
Michael Shaw, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A manager for a warehouse
and transportation company in Madison was cited as admitting Thursday to illegally
ordering that boxes of chicken be labeled and shipped without proper inspection
-- including some sent to a school in Joliet, Ill., where dozens of people fell
The story explains that Edward L. Wuebbels, 46, of Albers in Clinton County,
is a manager at Lanter Co., which was under contract with the Illinois State Board
of Education to store and ship school lunches. He pleaded guilty in federal court
in East St. Louis of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Agriculture
and making false statements. He will face a sentence estimated at 24 to 30 months
According to court documents, the problem began Nov. 19, 2001, with
an ammonia leak at the St. Louis warehouse of Gateway Cold Storage. Officials
believed that the chicken, in sealed plastic, could be repackaged and relabeled
without harm to consumers.
But Wuebbels asked Gateway to ship the product to
Lanter, and ordered employees there to do the repackaging and relabeling even
though it is not an approved inspection site. As a result, the product was not
finishes report on Alessi Bakery sicknesses
an ABC Action News
Source of Article: http://www.abcactionnews.com/
- In November, Alessi Bakery failed several state inspection reports, racking
up many critical violations. That same month, dozens of customers got sick after
eating food at parties catered by Alessi. Now, the county Health Department and
the state have both issued their final reports
Leslie Fields celebrated
her 40th birthday with a party catered by Alessi Bakery and Deli on West Cypress
in Tampa. But just 24 hours after the event, she became violently ill. "I
actually felt like I was in labor," she recalled. "Just as soon as the
pain went away, I was in the restroom." And Leslie wasn't alone. The Hillsborough
County Health Department investigated that incident and found 26 people came down
with salmonella after eating Alessi's meat-stuffed potato. Then,
the county received word of a second food-borne illness outbreak a company appreciation
luncheon also catered by Alessi. Inspectors say 15 of 26 people fell ill there,
and the cause was salmonella linked to Alessi's stuffed potato. more
Safety -- Irradiation
100 become sick aboard cruise ship
March 1, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jennifer de la Cruz, a Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman,
was cited as saying Tuesday that nearly 100 passengers and crew members were sickened
with a gastrointestinal illness -- probably norovirus -- on a five-day Carnival
Cruise Line voyage, from Jacksonville to Key West and the Bahamas aboard the Celebration,
adding, "Somebody brings it on board and then it spreads. So, what we do
is a very rigorous cleaning and sanitation effort to remove the virus."
to unveil advances in nanotechnology
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
- Equipment giant Buhler is set to demonstrate how nanotechnology could lead to
complete contamination-free food processing and superior printing.
of the company¡¯s business units Grinding & Dispersion and Nanotechnology will
be present at the European Coatings Show 2005 in order to unveil new systems and
processes supporting manufacturers of paints & inks and of all types of fine
dispersions in developing ever finer and contamination-free products.
Grinding & Dispersion and Nanotechnology units will also unveil sophisticated
new applications involving the dispersion and grinding of low-viscosity to pasty
involves the use of materials at an extremely small scale at sizes of millionths
of a millimetre and exploit the fact that some materials have different properties
at this ultra small scale from those at a larger scale.
science could soon be used in food production, for example to detect how fresh
food is. Researchers in the UK were recently awarded a ¡Ì1.4 million government
grant to develop a new generation of micro Rheometers to help characterise and
develop liquid based products.
the Helmut Kaiser study, entitled ¡°Nanofood,¡± argues that in the future, food
will be designed by shaping molecules and atoms. Nanotechnology could be also
used to manufacture film and packaging inks. The study predicts that nanoscale
biotechnology will have a major impact on the food and food-processing industries.
example, Buhler will be demonstrating what it describes as an absolutely contamination-free
grinding process. Metallic contaminants are prevented from entering the product
through the use of ceramic or polyurethane coated components instead of steel.New
qualities in the field of wet grinding technology will also be developed. Producers
of inkjet printer inks, for example, are continuously reducing the sizes of the
basic particles in order to prevent clogging of nozzles and to increase the printing
sizes are in the range of 90 to 400 nm. Buhler bead mills with their high specific
energy input and unparalleled grinding media characteristics allow efficient wet
micromilling in the desired size range, also of temperature-sensitive products.
Nanotechnology will also present the Buhler-tailored Nanobatch, a nanoparticle
master batch tailored to customers¡¯ needs, and the Buhler-tailored Nanoprocess,
a turnkey nanoparticle process integrated in customers¡¯ production systems.
addition, for the first time ever, Buhler Nanotechnology will display its new
nanoZ product in Nuremberg. This unique nanoscale zinc oxide suspension is applied
in the field of industrial UV absorption.
claims that nanoZ meets top quality standards and is characterised by its narrow
particle size distribution and its transparency and durability. The
European Coatings Show 2005 will run from 26 to 28 April in Nuremberg.