and Sanitation of Processing Equipment
Training Program for All Employees
source from cornell.edu/
Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), O157 and Non-O157
source from wisc.edu
of Food Protection
Journal of Food Safety
A Preliminary Study of Kashar Cheese and Its Organoleptic Qualities
Matured in Bee Wax
Effect of Coating and Wrapping materials on the shelf life of
apple (Malus domestica cv.Borkh)
Prevalence of bacteria in the muscle of shrimp in processing
submit your research note or articles for Internet Journal of Food Safety, click
Processors who need specific tranings
food processors need
supplemental food safety training.
Also, there are
many food safety
educators. FoodHACCP is trying to
nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Bovismorbificans PT24, Germany, December
March 24, 2005
Eurosurveillance Weekly Volume 10, Issue
Andreas Gilsdorf1 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andreas Jansen1, Katharina Alpers1,
Helga Dieckmann2, Ulrich van Treeck3, Anja M.Hauri4, Gerhard Fell5, Martina Littmann6,
Peter Rautenberg7, Rita Prager8, Wolfgang Rabsch8, Peter Roggentin5, Andreas Schroeter9,
Angelika Miko9, Edda Bartelt10, Juliane Braunig10, Andrea Ammon1
Koch-Institut, Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Berlin, Germany
Health Authority, Niedersachsen, Hannover, Germany
3Institute of Public Health,
Munster, Nordrhein-Westfalen , Germany
4Regional Health Authority, Hessen,
5Institute for Hygiene and Environment, Hamburg, Germany
6Regional Health Authority, Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany
for Medical Microbiology and Virology, Universitat Kiel, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Reference Centre for Salmonella and other Enterics, Robert Koch-Institut, Wernigerode
9National Veterinary Reference Laboratory for Salmonella, Bundesamt
fur Risikobewertung (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment), Berlin, Germany
fur Risikobewertung, Berlin, Germany
Since late 2004, there has been an increase
in notifications of Salmonella enterica serovar Bovismorbificans infections in
northwest Germany. Over the 13 weeks between 29 November 2004 and 17 March 2005,
525 cases of laboratory confirmed S. Bovismorbificans were reported to the Robert
Koch-Institut (RKI) with a peak of onset of symptoms in the third week of 2005
(Figure). A 62 year old woman has died of the infection.
An inquiry through
Enter-net in January 2005 did not show any increase of Salmonella Bovismorbificans
in other European countries . This serovar was one of the ten most frequently
notified salmonella serovars detected in humans between 2001 and 2003 in Germany:
152 cases of S. Bovismorbisficans were notified in 2003 (0.3% of all notified
salmonella cases with serovar information), 186 cases in 2002 (0.3%), and 388
cases in 2001 (0.5%).
We report the preliminary results of a case-control study
conducted by the RKI in cooperation with the federal states involved.
S. Bovismorbificans outbreak 2004/2005, Germany: Number of cases with the week
of reported symptom onset. Weeks 48/2004 to 07/2005 (n=402)
On the basis of
initial laboratory results and exploratory interviews with patients by the responsible
local health authorities, the hypothesis evolved that raw pork products were the
likely vehicle of transmission. Raw meat products are consumed frequently in various
regions of Germany.
In cooperation with the federal states with the highest
number of cases (Nordrhein-Westfalen, Hessen, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein,
Hamburg and Niedersachsen) a case-control study was conducted to validate this
Cases were defined as people living in one of the federal states
listed above with onset of gastroenteritis between 1 December 2004 and 10 February
2005 and stool cultures positive for S. Bovismorbificans. For every case, one
control was chosen at random by sequential sequence telephone dialling.
141 cases and 135 controls were included in the study. Among the queried food
items, raw minced pork was clearly associated with illness (Odds Ratio= 11.0;
95% Confidence Interval: 4.2-28.9). Additionally, one particular fermented raw
pork sausage was associated with infection (Zwiebelmettwurst). The consumption
of all other food items was similar between cases and controls.
subtyping of the S. Bovismorbificans isolates by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
(PFGE) and phage typing found that case isolates and isolates from some pork products
were indistinguishable (phage type 24). On the basis of these findings, intensive
efforts are being made to trace the possible food source of this outbreak at the
level of meat suppliers.
Since one of the implicated meat suppliers exports
products to other European and non-European countries, associated cases may have
appeared in other countries. If the occurrence of S. Bovismorbificans PT 24 is
observed in other countries in humans or food samples, the following authors would
like to be informed:
Andreas Jansen (email@example.com), Andreas Gilsdorf (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Juliane Braunig (email@example.com)
1. Enter-net website.
2. Robert Koch-Institut. Zu einem uberregionalen Ausbruch
von Salmonella Bovismorbificans:
Erste Ergebnisse einer Fall-Kontroll-Studie.
Epidemiologisches Bulletin 2005; 07: 54-55
common food safety misconceptions
mostly preventable scientist tells audience
Mar 27, 2005
of Article: http://www.haltonsearch.com/
E. coli to mad cow to salmonella, there are a host of dangerous food-borne bacteria
and illnesses that are out there but are, for the most part, preventable, says
a Canadian food health expert.
Douglas Powell of the Food Safety Network talked
about basic hygiene and good and bad practices in the food production/preparation
and fast food service industries, when he addressed a crowd of about 50 people
at a recent Canadian Federation of University Women-sponsored meeting. Powell
is an associate professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University
of Guelph and director of the Food Safety Network, where he leads a research team
that integrates scientific knowledge with public perceptions. The
Food Safety Network at the U. of Guelph provides research, commentary, policy
evaluation and public information on food safety issues "from farm to fork".
The Food Safety Network works closely with the Canadian Research Institute for
Food Safety. Powell
led the development and implementation of an on-farm food safety program for the
Ontario Greenhouse Vegetables Growers Association. The
safe food advocate asked his audience at the Burlington Seniors Centre if they
knew which foods in their fridge are the safest and which the most prone to carrying
or being cross-contaminated by bacteria or viruses. He
found that many people had misconceptions about the safety of what they eat and
how to properly prepare it.
Section in FoodHACCP.com
OFFERS FOOD SAFETY RISK ANALYSIS COURSE
Food Processors Association Food Safety News
March 28, 2005
Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) is offering on-line
distance learning short courses in Food Safety Risk Analysis. JIFSAN is a partnership
between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the University of Maryland.
Registration is now open for two courses: Overview of Risk Analysis (begins March
Introduction to Food Safety Risk Assessment (begins April 21)
are posted at http://www.jifsan.umd.edu/pd2005.
Source: JIFSAN 3/05
OF U.S. AG FROM TERRORIST ATTACK
Food Processors Association Food Safety News
March 28, 2005
U.S. Government Accountability Offi ce released a March 8 report to Congressional
¡°Homeland Security: Much Is Being Done to Protect Agriculture
from a Terrorist Attack, but Important
Challenges Remain.¡± The ¡®Results in
Brief¡¯ section of the report states in part that:
? DHS created a Food and
Agriculture Sector Coordinating Council to help the federal government and
share ideas about how to mitigate the risk of an attack on agriculture.
has established a steering committee to guide efforts to develop a National Veterinary
that, among other things, is intended to address what vaccines are
needed to respond to animal diseases
most damaging to human health and the
? DHS, USDA, and HHS have funded research to address a range of issues
related to agroterrorism.
? USDA created 16 Area and Regional Emergency Coordinator
positions to help states develop individual
emergency response plans and to
serve as a technical resource for states, industry, and other stakeholders.
While these actions are important and necessary steps, the United States still
faces several complex
challenges that limit the nation¡¯s ability to quickly
and effectively respond to a widespread attack on
livestock and poultry.
Many United States¡¯ veterinarians lack training needed to recognize the signs
of foreign animal diseases.
? USDA does not use rapid diagnostic tools to test
animals at the site of an outbreak.
? Vaccines cannot be deployed within 24
hours of an outbreak.
? Current USDA policy requires a complex process for
deciding if and when to use vaccinesa process that
could be too lengthy during
? Agricultural inspections at ports of entry, the fi rst line of
defense against the entry of foreign animal and
plant diseases, have declined.
There are weaknesses regarding the fl ow of critical information among key stakeholders.
States are not receiving suffi cient technical federal assistance in developing
emergency response plans and
other activities to effectively prepare them to
deal with agroterrorism.
? Shortcomings exist in DHS¡¯ coordination of federal
working groups and research efforts.
? USDA has not yet integrated the databases
of the member laboratories within its own networks, nor have
with HHS laboratories for diseases of common concern.
? We are making several
recommendations aimed at improving agencies¡¯ efforts to mitigate and quickly
effectively respond to a widespread attack on animal agriculture and to address
problems that impair the agencies¡¯ ability to protect against
agroterrorism in general.
The complete text of the report is posted at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05214.pdf.
US GAO 3/9
Formed ARS Laboratory Will Focus on Egg Safety and Quality
March 22, 2005
Egg safety, quality and marketability are the focus
of a new Agricultural Research Service (ARS) laboratory established this year
in Athens, Ga.
new Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit, based at the Richard B. Russell Research
Center, will conduct research to protect both the health of consumers and the
marketability of eggs. Scientists will develop improved technologies for egg production
and processing that will reduce or eliminate microorganisms that can transmit
disease to humans or cause spoilage.
of the unit's key research goals is to determine how microbial pathogens infect
poultry and cause egg contamination, according to ARS microbiologist Richard Gast,
the unit's research leader. Additionally, scientists will investigate how poultry
production practices can influence such infections.
will develop methods to prevent pathogens from infecting egg-laying poultry, and
tests to detect infected flocks and contaminated eggs. Ultimately, the research
may also help improve egg processing practices, which could reduce microbial contamination
while enhancing egg quality.
in the unit include Gast, veterinary medical officer Jean Guard Bouldin, microbiologist
Peter Holt, physiologist Randy Moore, and food technologists Deana Jones and Mike
an estimated 87.2 billion eggs were produced in the United States, with about
85 percent of them destined for human consumption, according to figures from USDA's
Economic Research Service. Per capita consumption of eggs and egg products in
2003 was the equivalent of 254 eggs, an increase of 19 eggs per person from 1990,
Approval RAPID'Staph: 24 hr Enumeration of Coagulase-Positive Staphylococci and
has extended its range of products for the isolation, enumeration and identification
of staphylococci to include RAPID¢¥Staph. This selective agar medium has recently
been approved by AFNOR, according to ISO 16140 protocol, for the 24 hr enumeration
of coagulase-positive staphylococci at 37 ¡ÆC, including Staphylococcus aureus,
in food and environmental samples.
growth of coagulase-positive staphylococci on RAPID¢¥Staph is shown as grey-black
colonies surrounded with a clear halo. Sulphamethazine prevents high levels of
Proteus contamination; lithium chloride and potassium telllurite inhibit growth
of other bacteria. The optimized peptone formula improves growth and suits nutritional
demands of Staphylococcus.
colonies of on RAPID¢¥Staph are confirmed by using a validated procedure using
Bio-Rad¢¥s PASTOREX¢â Staph-Plus latex agglutination test for detection of Staphylococcus
aureus, or by spot on Baird Parker R.P.F. agar plates, or by means of a rabbit
plasma coagulase test.
- easy reading and enumeration of colonies
- a much lower cost,
compared with Baird Parker R.P.F. agar
- easy confirmation, saving time and
money, compared with ISO 888-1
- more selective than Baird Parker Egg Yolk
- shorter time to result (24 hr) and rapid confirmation, when compared
with Baird Parker Egg Yolk Agar (48-72 hr)
Salmonella-Free Products With the BAX System
product recalls due to contamination with Salmonella have highlighted the damage
and disruption that this food borne pathogen can cause and the need for food manufacturers
and processors to ensure that their products are completely free from such organisms
before they leave the production site.
DuPont Qualicon BAX¢ç system (available from Oxoid Limited) is a rapid, simple
and reliable, genetics-based method that has received worldwide approval for the
detection of Salmonella and other food borne pathogens.
the last year, product recalls due to Salmonella have been required for a wide
range of food types, including white peppercorns in Australia (ref1), pork rinds
(ref2) and chicken products (ref3) in the United States, and an international
recall of raw almonds (ref4). In the UK recent product recalls for Salmonella
contamination include deli-cooked lamb sold from in-store delicatessen counters
in November 2004 (ref5), Dry Cured York Ham (ref5), and in January 2005 camembert
cheese was recalled by a leading supermarket chain (ref6).
product recalls like these are rare and well managed, the incident concerning
raw almonds demonstrated the devastating and far-reaching consequences of Salmonella
contamination. Resulting in an outbreak of salmonellosis infection, which affected
at least 25 people in the United States, the recall from the original supplier
led to a further 40 company recalls and, due to the large-scale export of the
product, the posting of international alerts.
providing timely and reliable identification of Salmonella, the BAX¢ç system allows
food manufacturers and processors to minimise such occurrences. The system has
been adopted by many countries as the method of choice for Salmonella detection.
For example, the BAX¢ç system has been named as an AOAC International Official
Method for the detection of Salmonella (2003.09). It has also been adopted by
the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) for the detection of Salmonella
in ready-to-eat foods, raw meat and poultry (MLG 4C,00) and it has been approved
by Health Canada Certification (MFLP-29), AFNOR (QUA 18/3-11/02), NordVal (NV-doc.1-2004-01-01)
and the Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil.
BAX¢ç system detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products
and environmental samples. In addition to Salmonella, assays are also available
for the detection of E. coli O157:H7, Enterobacter sakazakii, Listeria and L.
monocytogenes. The automated system is user-friendly and fits easily onto a laboratory
Food Standards Australia New Zealand, 17 November 2004
2. USDA FSIS, 3 May
3. USDA FSIS, 27 July 2004
4. FDA, 18 May 2004
5. Food Standards
Agency, 5 November 2004
6. Food Standards Agency, 18 January 2005
2005 (01): WHO/Europe Food Safety Program - March 2005
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program
of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Daniela Giannuzzo DGI@ecr.euro.who.int
Please find below the latest information
about food safety in the WHO European Region.
Selected Codex texts
on public health-related issues now available in Russian.
As a response to
increasing requests from Member States, the food safety program at WHO/Europe
has translated into Russian a number of key Codex Alimentarius texts on public
health-related issues. We acknowledge the Ministry of Health of Kazakhstan for
supporting this initiative.
calls for reduction of acrylamide levels in food. The last Joint FAO/WHO Expert
Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) meeting on the health risks of acrylamide
concluded that, at current levels of intake, acrylamide in food may be a health
concern. WHO notes for the media and the JECFA report may be found at here
The INFOSAN note (available in English, French and Spanish) may be found at
the WHO Surveillance Programme for Europe. The last issue is available online
for the development of a national food safety strategy for Georgia and a seminar
to introduce the work of Codex Alimentarius. Tbilisi, Georgia, 21-24 Mar 2005.
An initiative is planned for food safety policy makers from all Ministries and
institutions involved in food safety issues at the national level. National authorities
are requested to prepare a country profile illustrating the current food safety
situation, pointing out areas that need special attention, to serve as a basis
for the development of a national food safety strategy for the country. http://www.euro.who.int/For
information and updates on food safety in Europe, visit http://www.euro.who.int/foodsafety.
us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Cristina Tirado (WHO/Europe,
Food safety Regional Adviser)
Daniela Giannuzzo (WHO/Europe, Food safety Programme
Nicoletta Di Tanno (WHO/Europe, Information and outreach/Web)
Modified Foods Eaten Regularly
Mar 25, 9:48 AM ET Health - AP
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/
LINDA A. JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer
TRENTON, N.J. - Can animal genes
be jammed into plants? Would tomatoes with catfish genes taste fishy? Have you
ever eaten a genetically modified food? The answers are: yes, no and almost definitely.
But according to a survey, most Americans couldn't answer correctly even though
they've been eating genetically modified foods ? unlabeled ? for nearly a decade."It's
just not on the radar screen," said William Hallman, associate director of
the Food Biotechnology Program at the Rutgers Food Policy Institute, which conducted
the survey. Today, roughly
75 percent of U.S. processed foods ? boxed cereals, other grain products, frozen
dinners, cooking oils and more ? contain some genetically modified, or GM, ingredients,
said Stephanie Childs of the Grocery Manufacturers of America. Despite
dire warnings about "Frankenfoods," there have been no reports of illness
from these products of biotechnology. Critics note there's no system for reporting
allergies or other reactions to GM foods. Nearly
every product with a corn or soy ingredient, and some containing canola or cottonseed
oil, has a GM element, according to the grocery manufacturers group. In
the Rutgers survey, less than half the people interviewed were aware GM foods
are sold in supermarkets. At the same time, more than half wrongly believed supermarket
chicken has been genetically modified. So
far, non-processed meat, poultry, fish and dairy products, and fruits and vegetables
(both fresh and frozen) are not genetically modified. GM
food first hit supermarkets in 1994, with the highly touted Flavr Savr tomato,
altered to give it a longer shelf life and better flavor. It flopped, in part
due to disappointing taste, and disappeared in 1997, said Childs. By
1995, farmers in several countries had planted millions of acres of GM corn and
soybeans, and processed products containing them were in grocery stores. Genetic
modification of crops involves transferring genes from a plant or animal into
a plant. Nearly all GM changes so far are to boost yields and deter insects and
viruses, cutting the use of pesticides, thus making farming more productive and
affordable ? a particular aid to developing nations. More
than 80 percent of the soy and 40 percent of the corn raised in this country is
a GM variety. Global plantings of biotech crops mostly corn and soybeans and much
of it for animal feed grew to about 200 million acres last year, about two-thirds
of it in the United States. The
one billionth acre will be planted this spring, according to the Biotechnology
Industry Organization. Experts
say within several years there will be new GM foods with taste and nutrition improvements:
cooking oils with less trans fat, tastier potatoes and peanuts that don't trigger
allergies. At North
Carolina State University, one of the biggest U.S. plant breeding programs, scientists
are developing drought-tolerant wheat and are a couple years from field testing
GM peanuts that have no life-threatening allergens, said Steven Leath, associate
dean for health research. At
Rutgers University's agricultural college, plant biology professor Nilgun Tumer
and colleagues modified potatoes to better keep their flavor when processed as
french fries and to limit browning when sliced, but she said farmers haven't adopted
the new varieties. Now her team is trying to give tomatoes a gene to make a compound
that helps prevent cancer and osteoporosis. Lisa
Lorenzen, a liaison to the biotech industry at Iowa State University, said most
Americans haven't worried about GM foods because they trust the regulatory system.
She said many Europeans oppose GM foods because they don't trust governments that
wrongly insisted for years that the beef supply, tainted by mad cow disease, was
safe. Opponents say
genetically modified foods could cause allergic or toxic reactions and harm the
environment. Worries include the mixing of GM crops with regular ones either by
handlers, or pollen already documented and GM foods being sold where they're not
a Swiss biotech company said it mistakenly sold U.S. farmers an experimental,
unapproved GM corn seed, and tons of the resulting corn was sold between 2001
and 2004. U.S. government agencies say there was no health or environmental risk.
2000, recalls, lawsuits and public uproar followed disclosure that StarLink GM
corn, approved only for animal use, had gotten into taco shells and chips.
plant scientists, industry, the Food and Drug Administration (news - web sites)
and numerous European science agencies say GM foods are safe.
been able to prove that anyone's even gotten the sniffles from biotechnology,"
Margaret Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said there's no system to
track health problems caused by GM foods.
group, along with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has long pushed
for labeling ? only required when GM products have properties different from ordinary
foods, such as a higher nutrient content. They contend consumers deserve a choice
if they want to avoid GM foods and they also want government regulation.
companies developing GM foods voluntarily send their data to the FDA (news - web
sites), but there's no official approval before products go on sale.
left up to the good nature of Monsanto or DuPont or other companies to do the
right thing," said Gregory Jaffe, director of the biotechnology project at
Industry Association http://www.bio.org
for tender for scientific and technical assistance relating to collection, reporting,
compilation and analyses of data on food-borne outbreaks
European Food Safety Authority
in the Official Journal of the European Communities, the call for tender n¡ÆEFSA
2005/S 55-052553 is open until 10 May 2005.
Text of the publication in the
Official Journal of the European Communities is available at:
tender is available at: Click
Aflatoxins survey published
Food Standards Agency
An Agency survey
of spices has found that the majority of products tested had levels of aflatoxins
and ochratoxin A below the legal limits.
A total of 61 samples of spices,
including chilli powder and cayenne pepper, were collected from a wide cross-section
of warehouses, packing establishments, supermarkets and smaller shops.
of spices for aflatoxins and ochratoxin A
here for the information
Journal of Food Law and Policy
March 21, 2005
University of Arkansas
School of Law
The University of Arkansas
School of Law is proud to announce the Journal of Food Law & Policy, the first
student-edited law journal in the U.S. devoted exclusively to the study of food
law and policy. The publication of this journal coincides with the increasing
worldwide attention given to food and food systems. Scholarly contributions to
the journal will address timely food law topics, including food regulation, food
safety, biotechnology, obesity litigation, labeling, food and dietary supplements,
food security and bioterrorism, and international food trade.
will be given to global food law developments, with each edition including an
update on U.S. and European food law and eventually other world regional updates.
prestigious authors have already committed to contribute to the debut issue, including
Peter Barton Hutt, co-author of Food and Drug Law:
Cases and Materials, former
Chief Counsel for the Food and Drug Administration, and a Lecturer on Law at Harvard
Law School. The second edition will include a description and analysis of the
newly formed European Food Safety Authority and its relevance to U.S. food companies.
The Journal is also pleased that the prominent Washington, D.C. law firm Arent
Fox will sponsor an "Arent Fox/Dale Bumpers Excellence in Writing Award,"
which will be presented to the outstanding student paper published in the Journal
each year. Former Senator Bumpers from Arkansas is of counsel to Arent Fox and
was instrumental in the development of agricultural and food law interest at the
University of Arkansas School of Law.
The journal will be published twice a
year. Publication of the inaugural
issue is expected at the end of April 2005.
The cost of a subscription
is $34. An order form, article submission form,
and more information are
at the Journal's web site
uremic syndrome, petting zoo - USA (Florida)(02)
March 25, 2005
ProMED-mail is a program of
the International Society for Infectious Diseases
Thu, 24 Mar 2005
From: ProMED-mail Source: Kansas City Star/Orlando Sentinel
More cases of mysterious kidney ailment
Doctors identified new victims of a potentially fatal kidney condition
Thu, 24 Mar 2005 while health investigators focused on a strain of dangerous bacteria
as the possible cause of their illnesses. 2 more people in Central Florida were
diagnosed with the rare ailment called HUS, or hemolytic uremic syndrome, which
attacks and shuts down the kidneys.
The Florida Department of Health also was
investigating another case in Wisconsin involving a child who recently visited
the Orlando area. The Wisconsin child brought the total number of confirmed illnesses
to 9. In addition, 2 Central Florida patients were hospitalized with suspected
cases. 8 of the 9 confirmed cases are in children. Health officials fanned out
with a renewed sense of urgency, testing farm animals that might have spread the
bacteria that often cause the kidney ailment. The animals were at 2 events from
3-13 Mar 2005: the Central Florida Fair in Orlando and the Florida Strawberry
Festival in Plant City.
officials report kidney failure in 7 children who visited petting zoos
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Orlando Sentinel was cited as
reporting in its Thursday editions that seven children have contracted a life-threatening
kidney infection, hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which health officials said
may be the result of an infection picked up at petting zoos.
Dr. Mehul Dixit,
who is treating some of the children at Florida Hospital Orlando, was cited as
saying that five of the seven were hospitalized in critical condition, including
one on dialysis, and another had been upgraded to stable condition. One child
was treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women and released several
The children all touched animals recently at area fairs, including
the Central Florida Fair in Orlando and the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant
City. They might have been exposed to the bacteria through the animals' feces,
Health officials are also investigating whether they contracted
the disease from contaminated food or beverages.
Bill Toth, a spokesman for
the Orange County Health Department, was cited as saying that not all the children
showed signs of E. coli exposure, and investigators were running additional tests.
Officials were cited as saying that three of the children tested positive
for a different bacterium -- Staphylococcus aureus -- that can sometimes lead
to the kidney problem.
Central Florida Fair manager Charles Price was cited
as saying petting zoo exhibits are inspected by health officials and veterinarians,
adding, "We have hand-washing stations everywhere. A fair today is not like
it was 15 years ago. We are under extreme scrutiny."
An official with
the Strawberry Festival wouldn't comment.
The story notes that last fall,
15 children developed the life-threatening kidney ailment in North Carolina, and
a petting zoo exhibit at the state fair in October was determined to be the likely
source. In all, 108 people, more than half of them small children, were affected
by E. coli traced to the fair, though most had far milder symptoms than the 15.
Fight against tainted food grows
Byline: By Tim Moran, The Modesto Bee, Calif.
-- Trevor Suslow, an extension specialist in the vegetable crops department at
the University of California at Davis, was cited as outlining the battle against
food contamination at the California Agricultural Symposium Thursday in Sacramento.
was cited as giving a mixed grade to the state's food industry. There's lots of
good news, including the use of sophisticated science such as DNA fingerprints
to learn how and where bad things get into the food chain.
from almonds to strawberries are investing in research
to make food safer,
Suslow said, and food processing plants and procedures are being designed for
the first time with food safety in mind, rather than "just moving more material
Suslow was further cited as saying that sometimes solutions can
be simple, such as washing fresh market tomatoes with plain water, but it's tougher
with strawberries or cilantro leaves, which have all kinds of nooks and crannies
for microbes to hide in.
He also said that problems are more likely to occur
closer to the consumer -- at a
restaurant or in home preparation.
adds that the industry has been developing voluntary "Good Agriculture Practices,"
which include analyzing risks, identifying potential problems, and developing
written procedures and training people to use them.
Documentation and a system
of tracing food lots are also a part of the
The application of
the programs throughout the food chain has been
uneven, Suslow said, and the
industry underutilizes the existing science