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Airline Carrots Cause Food Poisoning
May 20, 2005
Source of Article: http://www.foxnews.com
HONOLULU ? Contaminated
carrots served on several flights out of Honolulu likely caused 45 people to suffer
food poisoning across 22 states, Japan, Australia and American Samoa, a state
epidemiologist said ThursContaminated carrots served on several flights out of
Honolulu likely caused 45 people to suffer food poisoning across 22 states, Japan,
Australia and American Samoa, a state epidemiologist said Thursday.
outbreak has sparked one lawsuit, filed Thursday, against airline caterer Gate
Gourmet Inc., which included the carrots in meals served last Aug. 22-24.
company, based in Virginia and Switzerland, was sent a warning letter by the federal
Food and Drug Administration on April 21 citing violations found in a February
inspection of its Honolulu facility ? such as "pink slimy substance"
dripping onto the conveyor of the pot washing machine, live cockroaches and flies,
and mold growing on the windows of a refrigerator.
Gourmet provides meals for Northwest, Delta, United, Hawaiian and Aloha airlines.
FDA warns airline food supplier over filth
May 17, 2005
- Gate Gourmet, Inc., an airline catering company which provides food and beverages
to a number of airlines at Honolulu Airport, must, according to a letter from
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released Tuesday and cited in this story,
take major steps to clean its Honolulu location or risk the unit's closure after
U.S. health inspectors found live cockroaches, dirty utensils and an oozing, pink
slime earlier this year.
The letter was further cited as saying the firm also
kept "dirty uncovered" trash cans near food, let workers handle ice
cubes with bare hands, and did not keep food at proper temperatures, adding, "Specifically,
in the pot wash area, salad area and hallways were dirty uncovered trash cans
and trash carts with fruit flies and cockroaches in and near them."
story notes that FDA officials also found a greasy stirring paddle and a "dirty
oily" utensil rack at the Hawaiian facility during a February inspection.
All refrigerator handles "were dirty and sticky with old food residue"
and one unit "had mold growing on the windows," the agency said.
story explains that Memphis, Tennessee-based Gate Gourmet, Inc. is one of the
largest airline food suppliers and operates 115 flight kitchens in 30 countries,
according to the company. It serves 200 airlines worldwide.
A spokesman for
the privately held company could not be reached for comment on the letter.
agency gave company officials 15 days to respond after it received the letter,
which is on the FDA's Web site at www.fda.gov/foi/warning-letters/g5318d.htm.
An FDA spokeswoman could not immediately confirm if the company had done so.
coli hits day-care center
Byline: By Jennifer L. Boen, The News-Sentinel,
Fort Wayne, Ind.
Allen County Commissioner of Health Dr. Deborah McMahan was
cited as confirming Wednesday that Escherichia coli O157:H7 has struck at least
nine children in a Fort Wayne day-care center, and that one child was taken to
Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, adding, "It looks like this
was spread person-to-person."
The story notes that the bacterium can be
found in undercooked meat, sewage-contaminated lakes
and streams, and contaminated
drinking water. Babies can spread it to adults during diaper changes if proper
hand-washing doesn't occur.
man files suit against local eatery
Leader Staff Report
of Article: http://www.timesleader.net
May 16, 2005
A lawsuit filed Wednesday against Jewell Open Pit Barb-Q alleges
a Marion man became ill with a Salmonella infection after eating at the restaurant
about three weeks ago. Attorneys for Robert Ballard of Marion claim he became
ill with symptoms of infection with the Salmonella bacteria hours after eating
at the U.S. 62 West restaurant Wednesday, April 20.
claim, filed in Caldwell County Circuit Court, states that Ballard suffered fever,
nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. He became dehydrated, sought medical
attention April 21 and was hospitalized for five days, according to the claim.
The claim goes on to state that Ballard continues to feel fatigued and tires easily
as he resumes his horse-shoeing business. The restaurant, the claim states, owed
its customers a duty to not serve food that was unsafe but failed in that duty.
Ballard is represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle firm that specializes in foodborne
illness cases. The firm managing partner, William Marler, helped win a $15.6 million
settlement in an E. coli suit against the Jack in the Box restaurant in 1993.
The firm has also litigated against Chili, Golden Corral and other restaurants
and chains. They are being assisted in Ballard case by Jill Brady, a Henderson
attorney with prior experience litigating similar Salmonella claims. The complaint
does not request a specific amount of damages. Ballard wife, Paula, is listed
as a co-plaintiff, claiming a loss of consortium with her husband as a result
of his illness. Investigation by the Pennyrile District Health Department found
no evidence of Salmonella contamination in Jewell, though cases of the infection
were confirmed in some of those complaining of illness.
outbreak at Blimpie restaurant caused by Norovirus
of Article: http://www.woodtv.com/
(Update, Grand Rapids, May 19, 2005, 11:43
a.m.) The Kent County Health Department has completed its investigation into a
food-borne illness outbreak at a Blimpie restaurant in Grand Rapids.
than 100 people got sick earlier this month after eating sandwiches from the restaurant
located at 1040 Leonard Street NW.
On May 5, 18 teachers, including the principal,
at Sibley Elementary School in Grand Rapids got sick after eating Blimpie sandwiches
purchased for Teacher Appreciation Day.The next day, officials with School Specialty
Publishing in Walker contacted the health department after 80 of 140 employees
that ate meals from the same restaurant got sick.Health department officials inspected
the restaurant that day but could not find an immediate cause. Then employees
of Bethany Christian Services became ill, also after eating food from the restaurant.
Two days later, members of the community called the health department to report
similar illnesses associated with the restaurant. At least 126 people are known
to have become sick. The restaurant voluntarily closed on May 10. Six days later
when test results were returned, the health department determined the cause of
the illness to be one of the Noroviruses. Health officials say the virus was contracted
through an employee who carried the highly contagious bug. a food handler could
have been sick or even a customer could have brought the virus into the restaurant.
But no one is sure how it got there.The restaurant reopened on Tuesday after a
thorough cleaning.Health department officials tell 24 Hour News 8 that they think
this is an isolated incident. They do not think other Blimpie restaurants have
this problem.Jeff Endervelt, President and CEO of Blimpie International released
a statement that said, "The restaurant staff followed cleaning recommendations
provided by the Health Department and an outside firm…They thoroughly cleaned this
restaurant…The infected individual has been given a clean bill of health."Norovirus
is highly contagious and is considered the leading cause of food-borne illness
in the United States. Some of the common symptoms associated with the illness
include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramping.The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention says you can contact this illness by eating food or drinking liquids
that are contaminated with Norovirus; touching surfaces or objects contaminated
with Norovirus, and then placing their hand in their mouth; having direct contact
with another person who is infected and showing symptoms (for example, when caring
for someone with illness, or sharing foods or eating utensils with someone who
is ill).The virus has made headlines in recent years after many passengers on
cruise ships contacted it.Health officials say proper hand washing can reduce
the risk of the illness.
Ecolab Offers New Solid Sanitizer
for Foodservice Floor Drains
Thursday May 19, 4:53 pm ET
of Article: http://biz.yahoo.com/
ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 19,
2005--Ecolab Inc.'s new Pathways(TM) Solid Drain Sanitizer is a water-activated,
time-released product that provides continuous sanitizing in floor drains.
free-flowing design of the patented Pathways(TM) Solid Drain Sanitizer does not
obstruct water drainage, and it has been proven to be effective against a broad
spectrum of gram negative and gram positive organisms found on environmental surfaces,
such as Staphylococcus aureus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella typhimurium. "Besides
working against a number of common bacteria, this sanitizer also helps reduce
build-up between cleanings by emulsifying soil deposits 24 hours a day,"
explained Denise Chandler, product line manager for the Ecolab Institutional Division.
"Plus it's simple to install - all you have to do is place the ring onto
the drain, and it slowly dissolves as the water passes over it."
Pathways(TM) Solid Drain Sanitizer has broad applications throughout various foodservice
facilities, including restaurants, hotels and casinos. "This product is an
additional element in Ecolab's wide array of offerings in the foodservice industry,
and it further strengthens our 360 Degrees of Protection(TM) program," said
John Tengwall, vice president of Foodservice Marketing for the company's Institutional
Division. "With that program, our essential product solutions are designed
to work together to both clean and enhance foodservice operations."
Ecolab Pathways(TM) Solid Drain Sanitizer is available in 4-inch or 8-inch rings,
and no dispenser is necessary. The Institutional Division of Ecolab Inc. provides
a full line of products, programs and services for the foodservice and hospitality
industries, including warewashing, on-premise laundry, housekeeping, water filtration
and conditioning, specialty kitchen, food safety and laundry products, and pool
and spa management. For more information about Pathways(TM) Solid Drain Sanitizer,
contact Ecolab Inc. at 1-800-35-CLEAN. With 2004 sales of $4.2 billion, Ecolab
is the leading global developer and marketer of premium cleaning, sanitizing,
pest elimination, maintenance and repair products for the hospitality, foodservice,
institutional and industrial markets. Ecolab shares are traded on the New York
Stock Exchange under the symbol ECL.
news releases and other investor information are available on the Internet at
Ecolab Inc., St. Paul
Derek Malmquist, 651-293-4104
Professor Food Chemistry - University of Georgia, Athens
Services Technician - Los Angeles, CA Mars, Incorporated
Assurance Specialist - Omaha, NE ? ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Safety Specialist - Albuquerque, NM - The Steritech Group
has extended its range of products for the isolation, enumeration and identification
of staphylococci to include RAPID¢¥Staph.
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)
treatment process called potential risk
Jerry Allegood, The News & Observer,
GREENVILLE -- UNC-Asheville researchers were cited as saying
that a combination of chemicals used in hundreds of water-treatment systems across
the country could cause lead to leach into drinking water from plumbing.
P. Maas, an environmental science professor, was cited as saying the chemical
interaction could cause elevated lead levels like those that have plagued Greenville
recently and that about 500 systems across the country have switched to the so-called
chloramine treatment since 2001, to meet federal requirements, adding, "We
suspect there are hundreds of other towns out there whose tap water lead contamination
has gone up substantially but have not come to light yet."
The story notes
that State agencies will review Maas' research and data from water systems, which
could take two to three months.
Federal regulations require that large water
systems test for lead in a sampling of homes every six months. If no problems
are detected, the testing occurs every three years.
Processing global editor Chris Harris says concerns are raised over effective
use of HACCP in meat-processing plants
May 18, 2005
Volume 7, Issue 21
Changes in the European food-hygiene
regulations that come into effect from the beginning of next year are already
producing unwelcome repercussions in the food industry. In the United Kingdom
the trade union that represents the meat inspectors is bluntly saying the new
regulations will not work and that consumers will be put at risk as the HACCP
principles will help to hide cases of meat contamination.
The union -- UNISON
-- has warned the Food Standards Agency and the Meat Hygiene Service that Hazard
Analysis Critical Control Point systems are failing to prevent contaminated meat
being presented to inspectors throughout the United Kingdom. The union said that
a survey it took of Meat Hygiene Inspectors shows that HACCP has had very little
effect on the standard of meat being presented to the union¡¯s meat inspection
It said that if the Food Standards Agency can persuade consumers
that they are being protected by HACCP, it will allow the Agency to move ahead
with its plans to do away with independent meat inspection and hand over the task
to the meat plants themselves. Here is the nub of the trade union¡¯s point: It
is fighting for the jobs of its members. But, is there a true food-safety lesson
to be learned from the trade union¡¯s warning? By the beginning of 2006, the food
industry across Europe will be controlled by a new raft of hygiene regulations.
The package of laws that was adopted by the European Union in the spring of 2004
aims to merge, harmonize, and simplify complex hygiene requirements that are at
present scattered over 17 different EU Directives. The overall aim is to create
a single, transparent hygiene policy applicable to all food and all food operators,
together with effective instruments to manage food safety and potential future
food crises, throughout the food chain.
In effect there are three main regulations
that will now cover the entire European food industry ? Regulations 852/2004,
853/2004 and 854/2004. There is also one Directive - 2004/41 - which repeals existing
legislation and amends certain other legislation that will remain in force after
the new regulations are brought into force. How these new regulations are going
to be implemented and enforced is currently a matter for consultation among industry
bodies and representatives of the industry.
The first regulation 852/2004
for the first time covers the entire food industry and is a catch-all whether
the factory is producing confectionery, ready meals or sausages. The other two
regulations apply specifically to businesses that are producing food from meat,
eggs and fish or in the European technical jargon food from products of animal
The hygiene package introduces HACCP Hazard Analysis Critical Control
Points principles in all sectors of the food business except for farms. It consists
of seven principles:
Hazard analysis to identify potential food safety risks
Identification of critical control points to prevent such hazards,
Establishment of critical limits,
Monitoring of the critical control points,
Corrective actions if something goes wrong,
Verification to assess whether
monitoring occurs correctly, corrective actions are taken in time and effectively.
The food processor is responsible for ensuring that hygiene
rules are respected, while the government has to verify the situation through
regular inspections. However, the British trade union says that because of the
reliance on HACCP systems to catch contaminated meat and to take action, meat
inspectors in the UK are being told to abandon past practices of trimming meat.
The HACCP system should have already spotted the contamination and the meat should
have already been trimmed or rejected before it reaches the inspector.
as UNISON says this is not happening, then it is a cause for concern. And if this
is occurring in the United Kingdom, it can be a pretty safe bet that it will be
occurring in other countries.
The fault, though, is not with the concept of
HACCP and self inspection. The fault is with the implementation and policing of
the system. Before the new hygiene regulations come into force next year across
Europe, the entire European industry must ensure that effective monitoring and
policing systems for the implementation of the new regulations will be in place.
The last thing the industry needs is another food scare because of slipshod
implementation of rules.
Food Contaminants (Acrylamides
May 18, 2005
new cases of E. coli: Another girl in hospital after kidneys fail
The Calgary Herald
Sarah Chapman, with files from Sorcha
Two new confirmed cases of E. coli have, according to this story,
brought the total in Calgary to 18.
The newest case, reported to health officials
Monday, is linked to marshmallow milkshakes from Peters' Drive-In, which have
now made at least 16 people sick.
The other new case, reported last week,
is from an unknown source.
Health officials are also investigating a third
possible but unconfirmed case of E. coli in a patient being treated in a Calgary
Dr. Judy MacDonald, of the Calgary Health Region, was cited as saying
Tuesday that the third person is suspected of acquiring the infection through
bathing with someone who was ill with diarrhea.
Chad Presnail was cited as
saying his two-year-old niece has been at Alberta Children's Hospital since Sunday
after her kidneys failed as a result of E. coli, and that his fiancee, six-year-old
son and three-year-old daughter became ill after the boy consumed two marshmallow
milkshakes as a birthday treat last month. While the family experienced symptoms
consistent with the illness, none of them has been confirmed as having E. coli.
Presnail was quoted as saying, "She's not doing so good. Her parents
are devastated. They're having a hard time dealing with this."
adds that 15-year-old Sara Burgess remains in fair to serious condition in the
Alberta Children's Hospital on dialysis after her kidneys failed. She drank one
of the milkshakes.
USA/FDA News Updates
Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting
Channels of Trade Policy for Commodities
With Residues of Pesticide Chemicals
Docket No. 95-051P, Food Standards;
General Principles and Food Standards Modernization
Food Standards; General
Principles and Food Standards Modernization
Program Priorities in the
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Guidance for Industry: Channels
of Trade Policy for Commodities With Pesticide Residues
Get the Lowdown
on Chill for Food Safety: "Keep it Cool" - That's the Rule
Notice 31-05, Instructions for Completing a Non-routine Report
Industry for Commodities With Residues of Pesticide Chemicals
HHS Propose to Modernize Principles for Food Standards of Identity
and HHS Propose To Modernize Principles for Food Standards of Identity
Announces BSE Roundtable Discussion
Audio of Webcast: Ag Secretary Mike
Johanns Holds Teleconference Regarding BSE