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Listeria Training Program for All Employees
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Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), O157 and Non-O157
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Journal of Food Protection
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Internet Journal of Food Safety
New Article
Vol 6. 1-4.
A Preliminary Study of Kashar Cheese and Its Organoleptic Qualities Matured in Bee Wax

Vol 5. 24-34.
Effect of Coating and Wrapping materials on the shelf life of apple (Malus domestica cv.Borkh)

Vol 5. 21-23.
Prevalence of bacteria in the muscle of shrimp in processing plant

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Food Processors who need specific tranings

Many food processors need
supplemental food safety training.
Also, there are many food safety
educators. FoodHACCP is trying to
facilitate networking between these
two groups.
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Outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium associated with rodents purchased at retail pet stores
May 6, 2005
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 54(17);429-433
The complete document of the following can be downloaded from:
United States, December 2003--October 2004 -- During 2004, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Public Health Laboratory notified CDC about the isolation of multidrug-resistant Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium from ill hamsters from a Minnesota pet distributor. This report describes two of the first identified human cases associated with this outbreak, summarizes the multistate investigation of human S. Typhimurium infections associated with exposure to rodents (e.g., hamsters, mice, and rats) purchased at pet stores, and highlights methods for reducing Salmonella transmission from pet rodents to their owners. This is the first documented salmonellosis outbreak associated with pet rodents. Findings demonstrate that the handling of pet rodents is a potential health risk, especially for children. Public health practitioners should consider pet rodents a potential source of salmonellosis.

Prevention of Salmonella Enteritidis in Shell Eggs During Production

Food Safety Related
Highlighted Section

Food Safety Specialist - Albuquerque, NM - The Steritech Group
Quality Services Manager - IL-Chicago
Kraft Foods

Microbiologist - MN-St Louis Park -
Novartis Consumer Health

Sanitation Supervisor - US-MN-St Louis Park - Novartis Consumer Health
Quality Assurance Lab Manager - GA - Atlanta - The Coca-Cola Company
Quality Assurance Lab Technician - CA-San Diego - Jack in the Box
QA Audit Specialist - Omaha, NE - ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Sr Food Safety and Plant Reg. Spec. - Omaha, NE- ConAgra Foods, Inc.


Northwest Food Processors Food Safety News
May 10, 2005
New ¡°plain language¡± food labeling requirements in the United States, which take effect less than a year
from now, will reduce allergic reactions in people who have potentially life-threatening food allergies. But
there may be another, unintentional result for those who suffer from food allergies.
If food manufacturers follow the labeling law to the letter, trace amounts of some heretofore unlisted food
allergens will be posted, causing more diet restriction than ever before.
The impending label changes will also probably reduce consumers¡¯ need to contact food manufacturers and
generally make life simpler for the 11 million Americans who suffer from food allergies. ¡°The labeling law will
give us more information, so even a 7-year-old can read labels,¡± said Anne Munoz-Furlong, co-author of a study
presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San
Antonio. One likely downside to the new law will be further narrowing of already restricted diets for some people.
Most studies have indicated that people with soy allergies run little risk by ingesting soy oil or soy lecithin, but 40
percent of those surveyed avoid these ingredients anyway.
¡°If the company follows the law exactly, we may have ingredients in trace amounts that may unnecessarily limit
the diet,¡± Munoz-Furlong said. ¡°We need more studies on the threshold levels as science has not caught up with labeling at this point.¡±
Source: 5/5/0

Food companies' top five fears
May 9, 2005
from: Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Preparing for the unforeseen keeps food companies focusing on practical responses and solutions to the unthinkable: What could cause the company to cease operations? The top five fears of food companies will highlight the technical sessions at this year¡¯s Institute of Food Technologists¡¯ Annual Meeting + FOOD EXPO¢ç, to be held here July 16-20.
In this Hot Topic session Monday morning, July 18 industry leaders will share their perspective on the volatile aspects capable of affecting the food business. Considerations such as skyrocketing fuel costs, product recalls, food security and modern day threats of terrorism will be addressed.
Speakers will bring case study analyses to their discussion.
Each Hot Topic session at this year¡¯s IFT Annual Meeting + FOOD EXPO¢ç is designed for the purpose of building consumer trust.
The second Hot Topic, to be held Tuesday, July 19 is Food Science to the Rescue. It will explore methods to apply food science solutions to public health problems like obesity.
Running concurrently on the final day of the IFT Annual Meeting, the IFT Food Safety and Quality Conference will conclude the five days-long event at the Morial Convention Center referred to as Food Science and Technology Week.
Now in its 65th year, IFT Annual Meeting + FOOD EXPO¢ç is the world¡¯s single largest annual scientific meeting and technical exposition of its kind in the world, regularly hosting 20,000 registered attendees and nearly 1,000 exhibiting companies. Rated among the largest shows in America*, the meeting and expo delivers comprehensive, cutting-edge research and opinion from food science-, technology-, marketing- and business-leaders.
More information is available online at

FREE Food-Safe schools action guide workshop
June 25, 2005
CDC/Division of Adolescent and School Health
Saturday, June 25 (9:00am - 3:00pm)
CDC and the National Coalition for Food-Safe Schools' partners have developed this new resource guide to help with school food safety
strategies. The workshop will help your school become a Food Safe School utilizing the Food-Safe Schools Action Guide, other resources, and
learning from the experiences of an actual Food Safe School in Rhode Island. This workshop is being offered in cooperation with CDC/Division
of Adolescent and School Health. There is no charge for this workshop, however, the size is limited to 50 people. NEHA cannot guarantee that
all registrants will be able to participate in this free workshop, and will notify those who register after the limit has been reached. NEHA's Food Safety and Protection program includes 18 sessions, 100+ exhibitions, and a Poster Session. This program provides relevant,
informative, and interesting education that will enable you to: * Implement strategies for preventing and investigating foodborne
illness outbreaks * Develop and employ effective food safety training programs for food establishment employees and the public
* Address ethnic food safety issues through hazard identification and cultural sensitivity
* Put into action food security plans
* Utilize plan review knowledge to strengthen food safety and protection programs For more information about the AEC & Exhibition, and the Food Safety and Protection program, please visit NEHA's Web site at: (for NEHA's 2005 AEC &
"...of interest to the foodservice industry as well as regulators."
Mary Sandford, Manager, Product Safety and Regulatory, Burger King
Brands, Miami, Florida

More E. coli milkshake cases
Monday, May 09
Source of Article:
The Calgary Health Regions is reporting another two cases of E. coli. A total of 15 people have contracted the bacteria after drinking marshmallow milkshakes at Peters' Drive-In.
The drinks were consumed during a three day period starting April 23rd. Health officials say the incubation period for E. coli is 10 days. Because many people don't go to the doctor right away, the CHR says more cases are possible.A teenage girl remains in hospital in fair to serious condition after drinking one of the shakes. The restaurant closed for a day to sanitize and disinfect equipment. The illness has been traced back to a Peters' employee who prepared the marshmallow mix.

FSIS Offers Guidance for Pathogen Computer Modeling Programs
May 10, 2005
Source of Article:
The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has guidance for inspection program personnel for the use of Microbial Pathogen Computer Modeling (MPCM) programs and verification procedures for use with a plant's HACCP plans. FSIS advises that personnel should not rely solely on MPCM for determination of food safety.MPCM programs are computer-based software that estimate the growth or decline of bacteria in food during production, based on factors including growth, lethality and survival in culture broth and food products. MPCM programs are useful for establishments to use in supporting their HACCP plans. Possible uses of MPCM include support of hazard analyses, development of critical limits, evaluation of the problems caused by process deviations and effectiveness of corrective actions.
To view this Notice in its entirety, go to click here
For more information, contact Skip Seward at or visit

Japan Local Govts Plan Continued Blanket BSE Tests-Kyodo
All of Japan's 47 prefectural governments plan to voluntarily continue the blanket testing of cows for mad cow disease, even though the central government may ease the current testing system later this year, a health ministry survey showed Monday, Kyodo News Service reported.The survey indicates Japan may see a double-standard system in terms of mad cow testing,when the central government eases the blanket testing requirement, and when it allows imports of foreign beef produced from young cattle by partially lifting import bans currently in place, critics say.The partial lifting of the bans means that as long as beef is recognized as that of young cows, imported beef can be untested for mad cow disease, they point out, adding such a situation will be confusing for consumers.
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry conducted the survey on all-cow testing for the brain-wasting disease, known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, in late April, the report said.The health ministry plans to continue subsidizing all costs of the tests for local governments for three years even after the central government relaxes the all-cow testing system.Japan introduced the blanket testing system in October 2001, after finding its first case of mad cow disease the previous month. All domestically slaughtered cows are tested before their meat enters the market. Foreign raised cattle bound for Japan are similarly tested. Actual tests are conducted by prefectural governments.An independent experts panel, the Food Safety Commission, however, gave the government a recommendation Friday saying it can relax the testing system and exclude cattle slaughtered at 20 months of age or younger from the tests.Young cattle are at a low risk of developing the disease and "the resultant increase in BSE risks in meats will be extremely low," the commission said. Following the recommendation, the health ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries have begun the process of amending their ordinances to end the blanket testing for mad cow disease, effective possibly in August.Japan banned imports of Canadian beef in May 2003 and of U.S. beef in December 2003 after the discovery of the first cases of BSE in the two countries.The ban on foreign beef imports, particularly on U.S. beef, has become a trade issue between Tokyo and Washington.Tokyo is set to ask the commission soon whether imports of U.S. beef can be resumed if there are scientific ways to confirm that products are from young cows below the age of 20 months. 5-9-05

94 cases found of infection tied to parasite

May 6, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Health officials were cited as confirming 94 cases of a parasitic infection called cyclospora among residents of at least 20 counties in Florida. The parasite causes recurrent bouts of diarrhea, weight loss, bloating, stomach cramps, muscle aches and low-grade fever. The symptoms may lapse briefly before returning.
Lindsay Hodges, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Health, was cited as saying that investigators are trying to nail down the source of the infections, but the statewide nature of the problem is making it difficult, adding, "We're looking for commonalities among all the cases, and it's an intensive process."

USDA Issues Two Biotechnology Reports

'Don't let her die': Pieters: Drive-in owner tearful as sick teen on dialysis
May 7, 2005
The Calgary Herald/Calgary Sun
All the family of a Calgary teen made seriously ill by E.coli can do is wait and hope, the girl's grandma said after health officials yesterday definitively linked her illness with an outbreak at Peter's Drive-In.
Vivian Andersen was cited as telling the Sun yesterday Sara Burgess' condition hasn't improved and she hasn't been to see her granddaughter lately because the number of visitors is being limited, adding, "Obviously, we're pretty worried. We also just want to make sure people know how serious that bug is ... so there won't be anyone else catching it."
Gus Pieters, owner of Peters' Drive-In, was cited as recalling Friday of when he realized 15-year-old Sara Burgess was hospitalized and on kidney dialysis, stating, "I just said, 'Oh, please don't let her die.' I felt horrible."
Dr. Judy MacDonald, deputy medical officer of health for the Calgary Health Region, was cited as saying that the Grade 9 student at David Thompson Junior High School was one of 13 people who came down with the illness after drinking the marshmallow milkshakes at Peters' Drive-In between April 22 and 26.
The stories add that the outbreak has been attributed to a 25-year veteran employee, who continued to work while sick with E. coli and is believed to have handled the flavouring for the milkshakes, and that the investigation is ongoing to determine the origin of her E. coli.

BBL¢â CHROMagar¢â Salmonella Medium Receives AOAC-RI Approval

BD Diagnostic Systems, Sparks, MD, announces the immediate availability of BBL¢â CHROMagar¢â Salmonella, a chromogenic selective and differential medium for the presumptive identification of Salmonella species in foods. Unlike traditional media, BBL CHROMagar Salmonella does not detect Salmonella based upon H2S or glucuronidase production, or on non-lactose fermentation. This unique BBL formulation allows Salmonella species to produce mauve (rose to purple) colonies that are easily differentiated from other bacteria, including coliforms, which may resemble Salmonella on other traditional media. Laboratorians will be able to perform fewer subcultures and biochemical tests as compared to conventional media.
An expert independent laboratory tested BBL CHROMagar Salmonella to evaluate recovery of Salmonella compared to the reference USDA FSIS, FDA BAM and ISO media, as required by the AOAC Research Institute (RI) Performance Tested Methods program. BBL CHROMagar Salmonella had 100% agreement with all three reference methods when using a variety of food types, including raw ground beef, raw chicken, raw fish, lettuce and shell eggs. BBL CHROMagar Salmonella showed a high level of sensitivity and specificity compared to traditional media. The results of this study demonstrate that BBL CHROMagar Salmonella is an effective alternative to current standard reference media for the isolation and presumptive identification of Salmonella in a variety of foods.

BBL CHROMagar Salmonella is the first formulation in the BBL CHROMagar family of products to receive AOAC-RI approval. The BBL CHROMagar family of products also includes BBL CHROMagar Orientation, BBL CHROMagar Candida, BBL CHROMagar Staph aureus, BBL CHROMagar O157, BBL CHROMagar Listeria and BBL CHROMagar MRSA. For more information on BBL CHROMagar Salmonella, please call 1-800-638-8663, or contact your local BD Diagnostic Systems representative.

All trademarks are the property of Becton, Dickinson and Company, except CHROMagar, which is a trademark of Dr. A. Rambach. AOAC-RI is a trademark and Performance Tested is a service mark of AOAC International. ¨Ï 2005 BD.

Unraveling the role of Bacillus spp. Involved in Food Poisoning and Food Spoilage. Introducing the Brand New Microgen Bacillus ID!

The aerobic spore-forming Gram Positive Bacilli belonging to the genus Bacillus, and other closely related genera are playing an increasingly important role in the food and beverage industries. However, the significance of these organisms is poorly understood. The extent to which Bacillus and closely related genera may be responsible for outbreaks of food associated illness is most likely understated in many regions of the world. This, in most cases, may be due to the emphasis being on alternative foodborne organisms such as Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. In the UK, USA and Australia, Bacillus spp. is reported to be responsible for 5% of food poisoning cases. Scandinavia and Canada report rates as high as 10-47%, while Asian countries have reported incidences as high as 42%.

The reported cases of food poisoning contributed to "Bacillus and closely related genera" has also resulted in a wide range of food types being implicated, including Meat (pies, stews, curries, sandwiches), Chinese food, Poultry and Poultry products, Seafood and Seafood products, Bakery products, Cereal products, Rice, Asian Boxed meals, and Dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cream).

In addition, historically all investigations of food poisoning where Bacillus is suspected have focused on the isolation and identification of B. cereus. However, numerous reports are now available to suggest that in many of these cases species other than B.cereus may be the cause. Bacillus investigations should not be restricted to B. cereus, but should be extended to include all species including those in the closely related groups.

Why is the role of Bacillus understated? The role of Bacillus as a food poisoning agent is most likely understated due to a combination of factors. First, the role of Bacillus spp. other than B. cereus has not being recognized. There is also a lack of recognition of the potential range of food types that may be involved. Third, there is some confusion over the taxonomy of "Bacillus and closely related genera". And finally, it is difficult to identify "Bacillus and closely related genera".

Taxonomy. In 1952, Smith et. al. developed a diagnostic scheme for the identification of Bacillus spp. which was based on sporangial morpholology and selected biochemical and physiological tests. This scheme recognized 18 species which were able to be divided into 3 groups based upon their sporangial morphology. This scheme, although effective was limited by the availability of specialized culture media. In 1973, this scheme was further updated by Gordon and again, by Logan and Berkeley in 1984. At this point in time, based on phenotypic characteristics, 38 species were recognized. Presently, using 16S rDNA studies, at least 128 species, including an additional 16 genera, have been described.

Identification. Due to the diverse range of optimal growth conditions, the identification of Bacillus spp. and closely related genera has been difficult. These difficulties have been worsened by a lack of standardization in the methods employed. In terms of practicality, the use of physiological and morphological methods are the most practical for food and beverage testing laboratories. Unfortunately, however, many of the physiological tests commonly employed for bacterial identification have been found to produce incorrect or inconsistent results when applied to the identification of "Bacillus and closely related genera". Many species are strongly proteolytic and will produce false positive urease reactions when certain formulations of urease test media are used. Similarly, when peptone-based carbohydrate fermentation media is used, results may initially present as positive and then change to negative after further incubation. The use of these tests is further complicated by the similarities in the physiological characteristics of many species. Based on these characteristics, the "Bacillus and closely related genera" may be divided into 2 groups, the reactive species which will give positive results in many of the routine biochemical tests available, and the nonreactive species which have few, if any, positive results in such tests. The nonreactive isolates are often members of the genus Brevibacillus.

When food and other industrial laboratories are required to identify "Bacillus and closely related genera" the usual concern is that the isolate is B. cereus or another species, by implication; the other species being non-pathogenic. Although B. cereus and B. subtilis are more easily recognizable, strains of other species, including Brevibacillus and Paenibacillus are more difficult. The easily recognizable species tend to be reactive in a range of commonly employed biochemical tests, while Brevibacillus is inactive in these media. Paenibacillus, however, is the opposite, being highly reactive in a wide range of tests resulting in very few tests being available to differentiate between the species.

Introducing Microgen Bacillus ID. Microgen Bacillus ID is the newest addition to the Microgen ID product range (currently Gram Negative Bacilli and Listeria spp.). This identification system has been specifically designed to enable the easy identification of these "Bacillus and closely related genera" commonly implicated as causes of food poisoning and food spoilage. By focusing on these key species which have both public health and economic implications, we have been able to develop an identification system based on substrates that have been specifically formulated to ensure that those problems associated with conventional substrates (discussed earlier) do not occur.

The 24 substrates included in this identification system are housed in the standard microwell format employed in all of our identification systems. To achieve this, 2 separate strips are included for each identification. Sufficient colonies of the isolate to be identified are selected from a pure culture plate and emulsified in the 3ml Bacillus suspending media provided, to produce a suspension whose turbidity is equivalent to a MacFarland 2.0 standard. Approximately 100¥ìl of this suspension is inoculated into each microwell of the 24 well test system that is then incubated at 30¡ÆC. After 24 hours of incubation, the 18 carbohydrate reactions, ONPG and citrate results are recorded and the strips returned at 30¡ÆC for a further 24 hours. The strips are then re-read after the addition of appropriate reagents. Indole, Nitrate and VP tests are read, and the results are recorded on the report form provided to produce an 8 digit Octal Code. The code is entered into the Microgen Identification System Software and a result generated.

This product saves time and labor, while improving the accuracy and cost of identification of these organisms. Each kit contains suspending medium and sufficient microwell strips for 20 identifications. Reagents and Identification Software are available separately. For further information, please contact Microbiology International at 800-396-4276 or

Codex to discuss GM food labels
Source of Article:
10/05/2005 - New international standards for GM labels could be on the way as a meeting of the United Nations¡¯ Codex Alimentarius committee on food labelling kicks off in Malaysia this week.While Europe boasts some of the toughest labelling rules for genetically modified ingredients in the world, other countries have resisted imposing regulations on GM labels.

But the subject is certain to play a major role in talks this week, as consumer groups worldwide concerned about the long term impact of GM foods on health call for greater transparency of biotech foodstuffs. Created in 1963 by UN bodies, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the World Health Organisation, Codex Alimentarius develops food standards and guidelines for codes of practice in the global food chain. Key principles embodied in Codex are consumer protection, fair practice in the sale of food, and facilitating trade. The UN-backed group came under attack recently when consumer organisations said Codex Alimentarius was failing hem. Just 32 out of 211 consumer organisations responded to a survey from Consumers International (CI), from which CI concluded that national Codex consultations are influenced by industry lobbyists more than consumer representatives. ¡°Our main concern is that the voice of consumer groups is not heard,¡± a spokesperson for the UK-based group told at the time. But while the consumer groups claim Codex could do much for them, other stakeholders show strong support. ¡°If there are differences at a national consultation level - money, tradition, infrastucture - is that the fault of Codex?¡± queried food lawyer Raymond O¡¯Rourke. Defenders of Codex say it has played, and still plays, a crucial role in providing an administrative back-up on food standards for developing countries, notably for ministries implementing from a zero base a framework for food safety law.

Survey and Experimental Study on Allergen Labeling of Food Products

On-Line Slide
Foodborne Illness CSI:
Cracking the Legal Code
by Marler Clark Attorneys at Law LLP
source from
Click here to see the slides (Wait for 40-50 sec. after click)

Food Service Industry Is Target Market For Patented Anti-Microbial Hand Sanitizer
Source of Article:
LAS VEGAS, NV - Skinvisible Inc. is pleased to announce that JD Nelson & Associates of Columbus Ohio has signed an exclusive sub-distribution agreement with Dermal Defense, the exclusive North American Distributor for the company's anti-microbial hand sanitizer. Under the terms of the sub-distribution agreement, JD Nelson will sell the antimicrobial hand sanitizer under the trade name Safe4Hours?to the North American food service industry.Together, JD Nelson & Associates, President, J. Douglas Nelson and Vice President, Fred A. Dobson have over 46 years of sales and marketing experience in the food service industry. Nelson says the company will begin selling Safe4hours through brokers and agents who call on food industry representatives from across North America. Further information on Safe4Hours?is available at
Safe4hours?Foodservice Formula is an anti-microbial skin protector functioning as a body glove against foreign substances, germs and bacteria. The first of its kind, Safe4hours'?unique moisturizing formula can eliminate irritation from frequent hand washing, sensitivity to latex gloves and exposure to harmful chemicals such as cleaners, oils and acids. Safe4Hours'?unique antiseptic properties destroy a broad spectrum of pathogens including Salmonella, Shigella, Clostridium, E. Coli, Vibrio Vulnificus and Listeria Monocytogenes.Independent studies indicate that this hand sanitizer offers significant advantages over alcohol-based products because it provides protection against bacteria and for up to four hours per application by staying on the skin even after hand washing or perspiring. In comparison, the protection provided by alcohol-based sanitizers is short-lived because they do not adhere to the skin after hand washing or perspiring."This is a first for the food service industry," says J. Douglas Nelson of JD Nelson & Associates. "The formula kills germs on contact and doesn't wash off, which affords significant benefits when striving to prevent cross-contamination of food. We're confident that Safe4Hours?will be very well received and we look forward to the opportunity of taking this product to market.""Skinvisible's patented Invisicare?forumla is the ingredient that makes Safe4Hours?different from the rest," explains Terry Howlett, President of Las-Vegas based Skinvisible Inc. "This liquid polymer is the adhesive that bonds the lotion to the skin and resists wash-off for long periods of time. Food industry workers can protect themselves and their customers by using this product."A
Source: Skinvisible Inc.