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Internet Journal of Food Safety
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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

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Food Additives Permitted in Feed and Drinking Water of Animals

Protecting the Food Supply from Intentional Adulteration: An Introductory Training Session

Johanns Announces Expansion of BSE Research Program and Research Initiative to Improve Food Safety

U.S. Government Requests Appeal In Minimal-Risk Rule Case

GAO criticizes FDA on feed ban

FDA Issues Health Advisory About Certain Soft Cheese Made From Raw Milk

33rd Session of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling

22nd Session of the Codex Committee on General Principles

Eating Seafood That Contains Toxic Substances Can Effect the Nervous System

Source of Article:

Source: Lancet

Fri 18-Mar-2005

Eating seafood containing toxic substances can have serious neurological as well as gastrointestinal effects, reveals a review.

Newswise Eating seafood containing toxic substances can have serious neurological as well as gastrointestinal effects, reveals a review in the April issue of The Lancet Neurology.

In parts of the Pacific, the number of cases of marine poisoning exceeds 1200 per 100 000 people per year. Although most of the burden of marine poisoning is in rural coastal communities, many people who live outside these communities, or travel to them, are presenting to their doctors with acute or ongoing effects after eating seafood.

Geoffrey Isbister (Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Australia) and colleagues reviewed data on the neurological syndromes associated with the ingestion of common marine toxins. Their article details the three major clinical syndromes that present after the consumption of seafood containing toxic substances: ciguatera, puffer fish (tetrodotoxin) poisoning, and shellfish poisoning. Ciguatera poisoning causes both gastrointestinal and neurological effects and previous studies suggest the proportion of each type is regionally dependent. Neurological effects predominate in the Indo-Pacific region whereas gastrointestinal ones predominate in the Caribbean. Many fish have been associated with ciguatera poisoning, including large tropical fish, such as moray eels. Puffer fish poisoning results from the ingestion of fish containing tetrodotoxin and is the commonest lethal marine poisoning. It mainly occurs in southeast Asia and most commonly in Japan where puffer fish fillet (fugu) is a delicacy. Neurological effects vary depending on the severity of poisoning but can include numbness, slurred speech, incoordination, and paralysis. Shellfish poisoning makes up about 1¡¤1% of food-borne illness in the USA. Three major neurological toxic syndromes result from shellfish poisoning?paralytic, neurotoxic, and amnesic.

Dr Isbister concludes: ¡°Description of the common neurotoxic marine poisonings is important for increased awareness of these syndromes. However, prevention of potentially life-threatening poisoning is key and clearly, people should exercise caution whenever confronted with a plate of exotic shellfish or large tropical fish. Travellers should consult appropriate medical travel information services for region and season specific information.¡±

Safe food a higher priority, consumer survey says
Source of Article:
3/15/2005-Could consumer reluctance to pay more, and fears over irradiation, be trumped by concerns for food safety? According to a survey conducted by Food Safety Consortium researchers at Kansas State University, a majority of consumers would be willing to pay more for meat that's been treated -- by irradiation or steam pasteurization -- against pathogenic bacteria.
In the mail survey, 79% of respondents said that at equal prices, they would choose a "treated" meat product over a standard meat product. If the treated product cost more, 55% would choose it.
Although the probability of choosing to buy an untreated product was higher if the meat was treated via irradiation, once a respondent chose to buy treated meat, they placed a higher value on irradiation, and were more willing to pay a higher price for it.
point I want to emphasize is the fact that in this survey, we did not provide any information about irradiation,?said Sean Fox, the KSU agricultural economics associate professor who conducted the survey. shown in other surveys that providing information about the technology is absolutely critical to acceptance. In this survey there was no information other than a statement that irradiation is used to kill bacteria.Other results from the survey showed that people who consumed more ground beef away from home were more likely to buy the treated product, and that women were slightly more willing to pay more for a treated product than men.
The survey was mailed to households in Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Wyoming.

Foreign markets plan to reopen to U.S. beef
March 16, 2005
AMI Media Release
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to work with foreign governments to regain export markets that have been closed to U.S. beef and beef products since Dec. 2003.
A decree will be signed by the Egyptian Minister of Agriculture to allow the United States to export boneless beef from animals under 30 months of age. USDA is preparing a (beef export verification) BEV that will ensure that Canadian beef is not shipped or commingled with U.S. beef. The market is expected to open in the near future. Egyptian imports of U.S. beef and beef product totaled $2.2 million in 2003.
A Taiwanese interagency committee approved U.S. beef exports and will go to the Executive Yuan for final approval by the end of the month. Upon approval, USDA will need to finalize the exact terms of trade. U.S. beef and beef product exports to Taiwan totaled $8 million in 2003.
Hong Kong
USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had a video conference with Hong Kong officials last week to discuss opening the border to U.S. beef. Two issues of concern surfaced: Hong Kong wants more stringent measures for SRM removal and they want an animal identification system similar to Canada. USDA and FDA are addressing those concerns. In 2003, Hong Kong represented $9.8 million in beef and beef product trade.
For updates on U.S. beef export markets, go to

Mycobacterium bovis, cheese - USA (NY): alert
March 16, 2005
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 16 Mar 2005
From: ProMED-mail
Source: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Press Release [edited]
http: //
Press Release
New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Office of Communications
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Sid Dinsay
Business Hours (212) 788-5290
After Business Hours (212) 764-7667
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Products may lead to infection with Mycobacterium bovis, a form of TB found in cattle; 35 cases including, one infant death in 2004, attributed to M. bovis tuberculosis Several types of cheese imported from Mexico may be contaminated with Mycobacterium bovis, which causes tuberculosis, according to the New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH). The types of cheese, including queso fresco, may be unpasteurized and may also be illegally imported from Mexico and sold without approval by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
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North Carolina Firm Recalls Underprocessed Chicken Strips

Recall Release CLASS I RECALL

Congressional and Public Affairs
(202) 720-9113
Steven Cohen

WASHINGTON, March 17, 2005 - Perdue Farms, Inc., a Concord, North Carolina, establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 230,700 pounds of fully cooked chicken breast strips due to possible underprocessing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The products being recalled are 10-pound cases of "SUBWAY FC CHICKEN BRST STRIPS." Each case contains the code "09365" or "09222." Each case also contains one of the following packing dates: "5032," "5038," "5052," "5055" or "5070."

The chicken strips were produced in February and March and were shipped to centers in Alabama, Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia for further distribution.

The problem was discovered by the company. FSIS has received no reports of illnesses from consumption of the product.

Media with questions about the recall can call Perdue Corporate Communications Manager Joe Forstoffer at (410) 860-4407. Consumers with questions about the recall can call Perdue Consumer Services toll free at (1-800) 817-9810.

Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). The hotline is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day.

FDA Allows Use of Radically Different Food Safety Product For Fruit, Vegetable, Produce Industries

Mon Mar 14, 7:00 AM ET

Source of Article:

Selectrocide¢â from Selective Micro Technologies -- After Field Trials, Growers, Packers and Grocers Predict Big Savings on Products that Last Longer and Look Better on Store Shelves.

Beverly, MA (PRWEB) March 14, 2005 -- Today food safety in the United States took an important step forward after the FDA (news - web sites) allowed the use of a radically different and highly-effective food antimicrobial called Selectrocide ¢â to wash fruits and vegetables. Created by Selective Micro Technologies, Selectrocide produces more than 99% pure chlorine dioxide solution. Food processors can use Selectrocide to reduce microbial levels and improve their product quality over an extended shelf life.

"It"s important for food processors to understand that bacteria and other organisms living on the surface of fruits, vegetables cause them to rot and carry disease, which may present a food safety issue" said Richard Hamilton, chief scientist and co-founder of Selective Micro Technologies. "It"s long been known that chlorine dioxide is an ideal biocide for killing unwanted organisms. However, previous products that generate chlorine dioxide have contained harmful contaminates. Selectrocide is a product that creates greater than 99% pure chlorine dioxide in a convenient, easy-to-use form. Simply add water."
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Toxin Alert Inc. awarded seventh U.S. patent
March 15, 2005
From a press relase
TORONTO - Toxin Alert Inc. (TOX - TSX-V) announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had awarded the company Patent No. 6,867,052 entitled "Biological material detecting articles of manufacture". This is the seventh patent for Toxin Alert Inc. and is the first one to incorporate the Toxin Guard(TM) technology into manufactured items such as gloves, hats, facemasks and aprons. There has been great interest expressed in this technology by the U.S. Armed Forces, the Department of Homeland Security and others.
Toxin Alert Inc. has research agreements in place with the U.S. Army and the University of Southern Mississippi, and has commercial licensing and supply agreements with the Port Graham Development Corporation of Alaska and Dianova Sverige AB of Sweden.

How to avoid food poisoning

Posted 10:28pm (Mla time) Mar 18, 2005
By Willie T. Ong, MD, MPH
Inquirer News Service

Source of Article:

Editor's Note: Published on Page B4 of the March 19, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
"150 PEOPLE hospitalized after eating cheese sandwich in an office party." "27 school children in Bohol die after eating street food."
Like terrorists, deadly bacteria and toxins are lying in wait to strike you. Brought by your favorite waiter or sold at your local carinderia, these invisible microbes may be hiding in your favorite buko salad, pancit canton or cassava cake. Food poisoning could hurt, maim, even kill.
Here are 10 tips to avoid becoming a victim: to see the 10 tips click here

Canadian Cattlemen¡¯s Association pleased with USDA decision to appeal preliminary injunction
March 17, 2005
Canadian Cattlemen¡¯s Association (CCA)
The Canadian Cattlemen¡¯s Association (CCA) stated that today¡¯s announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to appeal the preliminary injunction delaying movement of live cattle to the U.S. is a positive step that indicates USDA¡¯s confidence in Canada¡¯s BSE controls and the safety of Canadian beef. CCA is pleased with USDA¡¯s resolve to move toward normalized trade between our two countries.
A USDA rule to allow importation of live feeder and slaughter cattle under 30 months and an expanded list of beef products from Canada was to have gone into effect March 7. Implementation of that rule was delayed by a U.S. District Court for Montana, Billings Division preliminary injunction issued on March 2. USDA today filed a request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit asking that that court overturn the preliminary injunction.
CCA agrees with the USDA that the requirements of the minimal-risk rule, in combination with the animal and public health measures already in place in the United States and Canada, provide the utmost protection to consumers and livestock in both our countries.

FDA-Recommended Seizure Carried out by United States Marshals Under Court Order
At the request of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U. S. Marshals seized various articles of food at LAO Trading Company, Nashville, Tennessee on March 14, 2005. The seizure action was initiated after the FDA found extensive evidence of rodent infestation throughout the firm¡¯s warehouse facility during a recent inspection.

The U.S. Marshal seized all FDA-regulated items susceptible to rodent contamination. The seized products are considered adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they were held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth. LAO Trading Company stores and distributes institutional-sized packages of foods and ingredients, including rice, noodles, and beans, that are typically used in the preparation of foods in restaurants. LAO Trading Company primarily distributes its products within the Nashville metropolitan area.

Drug-Resistant Bacteria on Poultry Products Differ by Brand
17 Mar 2005
Source of Article:

The presence of drug-resistant, pathogenic bacteria on uncooked poultry products varies by commercial brand and is likely related to antibiotic use in production, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their study is the first to directly compare bacterial contamination of poultry products sold in U.S. supermarkets from food producers who use antibiotics and from those who claim they do not. The study focused on antibiotic resistance, specifically fluoroquinolone-resistance in Campylobacter, a pathogen responsible for 2.4 million cases of food-borne illness per year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study is published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

¡°Our use of medically important classes of antibiotics in food-animal production creates a significant public health concern,¡± said the study's lead author Lance Price, a doctoral candidate and fellow at the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future. ¡°Companies that use antibiotics foster the development of drug-resistant bacteria which can spread to the human population. Claims have been made that using antibiotics increases food safety by reducing pathogens on the meat. Interestingly, in addition to the results regarding fluoroquinolone-resistant Campylobacter, we also found that brands that do not use any antibiotics during production were no more likely to contain Campylobacter than those that do. In fact, the only brand with a significantly lower rate of Campylobacter contamination was actually an antibiotic-free brand.¡±
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Are E. coli O157:H7 illnesses going down?
March 15, 2005
The United States Department of Agriculture's newly released data shows a precipitous drop, not in illnesses, but in ground beef samples that tested positive for E. coli O157:H7 in 2004 - the second such drop the USDA has announced in two years. S.T.O.P. members are simultaneously hopeful and troubled because the data collection system that backs these claims is fundamentally flawed. "It's hard to say whether this is real or not," says Barbara Kowalcyk, a professional biostatistician and S.T.O.P. Board member who lost her son to the disease. "The testing is still flawed. The samples are not randomly selected, it's not appropriately designed..." The end result, Kowalcyk says, is that the tests have no bearing on the actual prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in the ground beef consumers buy in the stores. In fact, Kowalcyk was so appalled by the study design last February that she volunteered to prepare an hour-long presentation for USDA economists. A year later, only a few of the needed corrective actions have been taken. FSIS' release backs its claims by noting that E. coli O157:H7 recalls and illness reports have gone down, but because both of those numbers are directly impacted by the testing program results, neither cannot be counted as reliable indicators. As S.T.O.P. continues to answer heartbreaking calls from victims and families of E. coli O157:H7 in 2005, there is reason for hope but equal reason for increased USDA vigilance against the deadly bug. In the words of Barbara Kowalcyk, "If you don't look for something, you're not likely to find it."

Large outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis in north east London
March 17, 2005
Eurosurveillance Weekly Volume 10, Issue 11
Sudi Anaraki (, Isabelle Giraudon and Simon Cathcart, London Health Protection Agency, London, United Kingdom
Public health officials are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis phage type (PT) 1 linked to a shop selling kebabs in north east London [1]. The health authority was first alerted to the outbreak on 12 February 2005 after 31 patients with symptoms of food poisoning presented at the emergency department of the local hospital.
One hundred and ninety-five cases have now been reported from various sources, 87 of which have been confirmed as infections with S. Enteritidis PT 1. This phage type showed a distinct reduced sensitivity to ciprofloxacin. Another 12 specimens are positive for salmonella and are awaiting typing.
The patients¡¯ symptoms included diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, nausea, and headaches. Some suffered from dehydration and confusion. A number of patients were admitted to hospital with possible systemic infection.
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USDA Recall Classifications
Class I This is a health hazard situation where there is a reasonable probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse health consequences or death.
Class II This is a health hazard situation where there is a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.
Class III This is a situation where the use of the product will not cause adverse health consequences.

Centrus International introduces Soleris¢â and Envisio¢â microbial testing systems
February 28, 2005
Centrus International, Inc
Kingsport, Tenn. Centrus International, Inc., a new global diagnostics business, introduces a suite of microbial testing systems to rapidly detect contamination in products and raw materials. The Soleris system (formerly BioSys) and the Envisio system provide rapid microbiology testing solutions for food, dairy, meat and nutraceutical processors, and additional industrial markets. Centrus¡¯ diagnostics portfolio tests for pathogens, such as E Coli O157, as well as routine organisms such as coliform bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus, Listeria environmental, yeast and mold, and lactic acid bacteria.
¡°Centrus¡¯ cutting-edge technology decreases time-to-result in microbial testing,¡± says Jeffrey C. Needham, general manager, Centrus. ¡°Faster results mean quicker, better-informed decisions, allowing competitive businesses to enhance their efficiency and minimize costs, while still ensuring the overall quality of their product.¡±
Rapid Optical System
The Soleris 32 and Soleris 128 are rapid optical systems that enable manufacturers to screen raw materials, products or environments for early contamination of microorganisms. Featuring an innovative combination of photo detection, ready-to-use assays and advanced Windows-based software, the Soleris system accurately measures microbial growth by monitoring pH and other biochemical reactions that generate a color change as microorganisms in the vial broth grow and metabolize. Results are often available in hours, rather than days. In fact, Soleris is so sensitive it can detect a single organism per vial. The Soleris 32 and Soleris 128 automated test systems feature unique ease-of-use, accuracy and sensitivity, all vital to ensure test reproducibility and repeatability.
Magnetic Detection Technology
The Envisio system is designed to provide rapid, accurate test results for E. coli O157 contamination. The heart of the system is an innovative application of proven technical components. The system uses antibodies to attach superparamagnetic particles to assay targets. A unique membrane-based test strip then captures target organisms in a detection zone where remarkably sensitive induction coils detect small changes in a magnetic field. This combination of proven technical components and innovative magnetic detection technology enables the Envisio system to detect contaminants in an enriched sample at concentrations much lower than other available methods. This lower detection threshold delivers shorter enrichment times and enhanced sensitivity, reducing the time from test sample to test result. The Envisio system provides faster results with uncompromised accuracy, providing food and meat processors with the data they need to make informed decisions affecting their business.
¡°Our customers¡¯ livelihood depends on quick and confident decision making,¡± says Dr. Dominique Sorgeloos, managing director business operations. ¡°Centrus product platforms are designed to provide fast, actionable microbial test results that our customers can trust.¡±
Centrus International, Inc.
Located in Kingsport, Tenn., U.S.A., Centrus is a global diagnostics business, providing innovative solutions that improve the lives of its customers. Centrus customers include leading manufacturers in food processing, meat, dairy, nutraceutical and other industrial diagnostics markets where timely, accurate actionable information is essential to making important business decisions. Centrus is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE-EMN), and its products and services are available directly and through its business partners worldwide. For more information about Centrus and its products, visit
For more information, please contact Richard Fountain, marketing and communications manager, Centrus International, Inc., tel: 423-229-5986, email:

DuPont Qualicon BAX¢ç system for detecting listeria receives AOAC-RI certification
March 15, 2005
DuPont Qualicon News Release
WILMINGTON, Del. ? Today DuPont Qualicon announced that it¡¯s BAX¢ç system for detecting Listeria has been certified as Performance Testedsm Method No. 030502 by the AOAC Research Institute of Gaithersburg, MD.
Validation studies compared BAX¢ç system performance to the standard culture method used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service, which requires a 48-hour dual enrichment and manual plating. AOAC-RI found that the automated BAX¢ç system performed as well as the culture method for detecting Listeria species on environmental surfaces such as plastic, ceramic, rubber, concrete, wood, cast iron and air filter material. Moreover, proprietary BAX¢ç system media combines a single enrichment step with shorter incubation times, so that results are available about 30-33 hours after sampling.
¡°Labs that need third-party endorsement have been waiting for this approval,¡± said Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon. ¡°Now they can start saving time and money with the simplified enrichment and next-day results of the BAX¢ç system.¡±
The BAX¢ç detection system is an innovative DNA-based technology for screening raw ingredients, finished products and environmental samples for pathogens or other organisms. The BAX¢ç system provides polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays to detect Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria species, E. coli O157:H7 and Enterobacter sakazakii. Optimized media is also available for some assays.
DuPont Qualicon also markets the patented RiboPrinter¢ç system, the world¡¯s only automated DNA fingerprinting instrument to track and trend bacterial contamination in pharmaceuticals, personal care products and food. For more information, visit