9/03/2002
Issue 16

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Interesting Food Safety News

County is now dealing with an outbreak of shigellosis
John Reitmeyer
BCT staff writer jreitmeyer@phillyBurbs.com
MOUNT HOLLY - Health officials say Burlington County is now dealing with an outbreak of shigellosis, a highly contagious infection of the gastrointestinal tract.A total of 40 cases have been reported to the county Health Department this year. The county has averaged 5 to 8 cases annually before this outbreak and had only 20 cases at the end of July."This is an outbreak,'' said Dennis DelRossi, the head of the county Health Department's division of communicable disease.Shigellosis is caused by the shigella bacteria, which causes severe diarrhea that usually contains blood or mucous. It can also cause serious problems such as dehydration and is particularly dangerous to young children and the elderly.DelRossi said most infections clear up on their own in about a week, but some may require hospitalization to stave off dehydration. Antibiotic treatment is also required in some cases."The concern with shigella is that it is so highly contagious and that if left untreated, can cause more serious symptoms and illness,'' county Freeholder Theresa Brown said. Brown oversees county health issues.The current outbreak is centered in northern Burlington County and is most likely tied to a similar outbreak in the Trenton area earlier this year.Most of the cases have involved young children who attend day-care centers. If parents suspect their children may have shigellosis, they should contact their doctor, DelRossi said."The most important thing is if someone is sick they should see their physician,'' he said.Shigellosis is spread by contact with the feces of an infected person. The best way to prevent the spread of the infection is to wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom. People who prepare food should also wash their hands before handling food.Other shigellosis prevention tips are:
- Disinfect diaper areas, wash hands thoroughly after changing diapers and properly dispose of soiled diapers.
- Make sure children wash their hands thoroughly before leaving the bathroom.
- Avoid pools and other swimming areas if you are experiencing diarrhea.
Disinfect any toys that can be put in a child's mouth.
For more information about shigellosis, contact the Health Department at (609) 265-5533. Information is also available on the state's Web site at www.state.nj.us/health/cd/f_shigell.htm.


Hundreds to sue over Spanish bug
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/dynamic/lifestyle/travel/review.html?in_review_id
=680273&in_review_text_id=652759
Hundreds of holidaymakers are suing for compensation after they were struck down by a virulent stomach bug at a popular Spanish hotel. Former guests at the Torremolinos Beach Club Hotel on the Costa del Sol have banded together to appoint lawyers after entire families suffered salmonella poisoning. Several needed hospital treatment. It could turn out to be the largest lawsuit against the holiday industry, with claims running into millions of pounds.Irwin Mitchell, a firm of solicitors in Birmingham, has taken instructions from 610 Britons who were affected and is waiting to hear from a further 900. The cases, which involve eight tour operators, relate to people who booked all-inclusive holidays at the resort last November. However, another serious food poisoning outbreak was reported at the hotel this summer. Among the disappointed tourists was a group of 25 from Nottinghamshire - most of whom were taken ill. They paid ?2,000 for the holiday and are demanding compensation and an apology. Spokesman Louise Greenfield said: 'To start with, it was a dream holiday. Then, on the second day, my father fell ill and was hospitalised. Seventeen of us were ill and two of the cases were confirmed as salmonella after we returned home.' Many visitors complained of poorly heated food and limited hand-washing facilities at the hotel. Michael Wilding, 60, had a two-week holiday with his wife in June and also contracted salmonella. The couple, from Wolverhampton, said at first they did not think they caught the illness at the resort - but then noticed wives who were sitting around the pool alone while their husbands were sick in bed. Despite going to hospital back in Britain, Mr Wilding failed to regain the 2st he lost. A spokesman for the Torremolinos Beach Club said the cases were isolated and not the hotel's fault. The largest previous action against the travel industry was a 1998 claim against JMC by 635 visitors to Majorca who fell ill. Most of those cases have been settled.

Mobile phones - the new tool for food safety
http://www.foodnavigator.com/news/news.asp?id=5733
The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is piloting a new, roll-with-the-times, scheme designed to alert Food Enforcement Officers to potential food hazards while out in the field.The FSA is launching a free subscription service that will send text messages containing details of Agency Food Hazard Warnings (FHW) direct to environmental health officers' and trading standards officers' mobile phones. The text message will highlight the urgency of the warning, the product name, and details of where the full version of the food hazard warning can be found on the FSA website.David Statham, Director of Enforcement, said: “This pilot scheme is intended to allow greater convenience and accessibility for food enforcement officers working out in their local communities. By enabling information to be targeted direct to mobile phones, food enforcement officers will be able to respond quickly to alerts and deal with any problems on the ground.?Food hazard warnings alert local authorities to any problems associated with food and, in some cases, they provide details of any specific action which needs to be taken by a local authority. They are often issued in conjunction with a product withdrawal or recall by a manufacturer, retailer or distributor.


Food Safety Daily News
08/30. Madison¡¯s CWD lab to open next month
08/30. World Bank panel to review GM, other technologies
08/30. Hundreds to sue over Spanish bug
08/29. Wisconsin Governor Tells Feds to 'Get Off Dime' on CWD
08/29. Thumbs Up for Food From Cloned Animals; Genetically Altered
08/29. GIANT ASSOCIATES SIGN FOOD SAFETY PLEDGE SUPERMARKET CHAIN L
08/29. U.S. Offers Zambia Food Safety Help
08/29. Mobile phones - the new tool for food safety
08/29. NPD survey says consumer confidence in beef safety still str
08/28. U.S. intercepts tainted honey from China
08/28. MINISTRY SEEKS 22 BIL. YEN BUDGET FOR FOOD SAFETY
08/28. FOOD SERVICE WORKERS MUST FOLLOW SIMPLE PUBLIC HEALTH RULES
08/28. Frequently asked questions about CWD
08/28. State locates CWD testing stations in NW Minnesota
08/28. Clean hands avert hepatitis
08/28. Food Safety Training Courses
08/28. Chlorine and Food Safety White Paper
08/27. Genetically modified food fine, report says
08/27. Genetically modified foods safe but monitoring needed, panel
08/27. Even Hungry Africa Wary of Gene-Modified Food
08/27. Hunters to participate in state DNR study on deer disease
08/27. Improper temperatures noted in school cafeterias
08/27. Health Canada bans kava
08/27. Meat processors say venison is safe


PIONEERING MACHINE TO BEAT WATER BUGS
Source:
http://www.thisisbath.com
A bath company is aiming to beat the threat of water-born killer diseases such as Legionnaires' disease.A pioneering machine will be unveiled by the Gay Street-based Bio Antigen company next month.It has been predicted that extra droughts and floods caused by global warming and the increasing use of air-conditioning will make fertile breeding grounds for organisms such as e-coli, cryptosporidium, and legionella pneumophila.Scientists predict it will mean diseases such as Legionnaires' are likely to become more common.Yesterday, a 56-year-old grandmother was confirmed as the latest victim to die from the Barrow-inFurness outbreak that occurred earlier this month.But next month Bio Antigen will unveil a machine which is able to destroy bacteria without using chemicals or heat.Scientist Stephen Law, director of Bio Antigen, says he is confident the machine he will be marketing from mid-September will see an end to such outbreaks.The device has been pioneered in Germany for the past four years but only recently unveiled when researchers were confident of 100 per cent effectiveness.It has already been installed in hospitals around Germany but does not work like conventional methods of treating waterborne diseases such as chemicals and heat.Mr Law explained: "You can heat water to 65infinityC to kill bacteria but you end up with the problem of limescale which is a breeding ground for bacteria."Or you can use chemicals to treat it but with chemicals it's a bit like using chemotherapy to treat cancer - it's hit and miss. This system is working more with physics than chemistry."It uses two opposing forces. Centrifugal force, which is an explosive force which pushes things outwards, and centripetal force which is like a vacuum."When you overlay these on top of each other you get two forces which grow stronger until they meet and then there's an explosion. Anything organic is vaporised and totally destroyed into free floating atoms."The reaction doesn't remove all chemicals which means you get left with pure mineral water."All this occurs in a small cube of stainless steel which has no moving parts and, once installed needs no maintenance or upkeep."When I first heard about this it sounded like science fiction but then I found out about the people working on the project, " Mr Law added."I went to Germany to see it working and was amazed at how simple it was."I am an environmentalist but I believe in using technology to find ways of doing things better and cheaper than currently because very few businesses are interested unless there is a saving.This will be a revolution."Mr Law says the machine would cost ?,000 for a small office or ?0,000 for a campus the size of the Royal United Hospital but would need no more expenditure after that.

 

OUTBREAKS
08/30. LIKELY SOURCE OF E. COLI OUTBREAK AT CAMP ABEGWEIT WAS FOOD

08/30. DEADLY E. COLI STRAIN SICKENS BOY-KITCHENER CHILD ONE OF 3 T

08/29. MORE E. COLI CASES REPORTED FROM LANE COUNTY, ORE., FAIR

08/28. SCOMBROID POISONING, TUNA - USA (PENNSYLVANIA): SUSPECTED

08/28. E. COLI OUTBREAK AT P.E.I. CAMP HOSPITALIZES TWO, MAKES 11 O

08/28. E. COLI O157, COUNTY FAIR - USA (OREGON)

08/28. 600 holidaymakers unite to sue after 'illnesses'

08/28. E. coli Hunted in Georgia Home

08/27. More cases of E. coli traced to Lane Co. Fair

08/26. E. COLI KIDS ON MEND

08/26. SUPERMARKET-HEPATITIS

08/25. CDC investigates Disney food poisoning

08/24. Officials look into Kingston E.coli cases

Recall Summary
08/29. BEEF RECALL REPEAT
08/29. U.S. Customs Service and FDA Uncover Contaminated Honey From China
08/29. CROWLEY RIDGE BRAND B-B-Q SEASONED COOKED FRESH HAM
08/28. American Spice Company Inc. Recalls Ground Cumin Because of Possible Health Risk
08/28. American Spice Company Has Recalled Ground Cumin Aug 28
08/28. North Carolina Store Has Recalled Ground Beef Aug 28
08/27. Pinnacle Foods Has Recalled Great Starts Breakfast Sandwich Aug 26
08/26. PREMIER BRAND CREAM CHEESE may contain Listeria monocytogenes
08/25. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared sulphites in MICSON brand dried potato
08/24. Pinnacle Foods Corp. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Soy Protein


USDA/FDA NEWS
Technical Conference on Foreign Material Contaminants, Prerequisite Programs, and Validation
Positive E. coli Test Results, Updated August 29, 2002
Letter to Stakeholders: Announcing CAERS, the CFSAN Adverse Event Reporting System
Enterobacter sakazakii from Dehydrated Powdered Infant Formula, Updated August 2002
ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc.; Filing of Food Additive Petition

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