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International Health Regulations: World Health Organization
Infectious Disease News Brief ? Health Canada
World Health Assembly approved a new set of International Health Regulations to
manage public health emergencies of international concern. The new rules will
prevent, protect against, control and provide a public health response to the
international spread of disease. Many of the provisions in the new regulations
are based on the experience gained and lessons learnt by the World Health Organization
(WHO) and the global community over the past 30 years. The need for new rules
and operational mechanisms for a more coordinated international response to the
spread of disease has been most clearly shown during the recent outbreaks of SARS
in 2003 and avian influenza in 2004-2005. The regulations include a list of diseases
such as smallpox, polio and SARS whose occurrence must be notified to WHO. The
regulations also include a matrix for countries to decide whether other incidents
constitute public health events of international concern. The regulations will
formally come into force two years from the date on which they were approved by
the Assembly. The press release and new regulations are available at http://www.who.int/csr/ihr/en/index.html
Minister of Health, Minister of State and Chief Public Health Officer applaud
the adoption of new International Health Regulations
Source: World Health
Organization, 23 May 2005.
Services Technician - Los Angeles, CA - Mars, Incorporated
Assurance Specialist - Omaha, NE - ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Safety Specialist - Albuquerque, NM - The Steritech Group
Services Manager - IL-Chicago - Kraft Foods
- MN-St Louis Park - Novartis Consumer Health
Supervisor - US-MN-St Louis Park - Novartis Consumer Health
Assurance Lab Manager - GA - Atlanta - The Coca-Cola Company
Assurance Lab Technician - CA-San Diego - Jack in the Box
Audit Specialist - Omaha, NE - ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Food Safety and Plant Reg. Spec. - Omaha, NE- ConAgra Foods, Inc.
hotdogs left out for Lethbridge canines
The Calgary Herald
Police are, according
to this story, warning parents to keep a close eye on young children after someone
scattered nearly 100 pieces of poisoned hotdog in a Lethbridge community, poisoning
at least three dogs.
Staff Sgt. Jeff Cove of the Lethbridge police was quoted
as saying, "What if a child had come along and in a moment of inattention,
popped it in their mouth? Kids do these things. We are concerned that someone
would deliberately put the apparently poisoned hotdogs out. ¡¦ Putting out poison
like this is just wanton and reckless disregard for the safety of other individuals.
Frankly, it's a criminal offence."
identify phthalates as a gender bender
Source of Article:
- Normal exposure to phthalates, a chemical group used in plastics packaging to
make products flexible and pliable, may harm the genital development of unborn
baby boys, according to a study by US-based scientists.
findings, reported in a study published in the online edition of Environmental
Health Perspectives, are the first to "support the hypothesis that prenatal
phthalate exposure at environmental levels can adversely affect male reproductive
development in humans", the authors state.
studies on male animals, mainly rodents, have shown that high levels of phthalates
can make them more feminine and lead to poor sperm quality and infertility. The
new study indicates that exposure to normal levels of phthalates may have a similar
effect on humans. In the study researchers from a number of universities analysed
human exposure to phthalates, which are commonly used in consumer products as
solvents and to soften plastics for bags.
can also be found in soft vinyl plastic toys, medical tubing and fluid bags, and
a variety of cosmetics such as perfume, lotion, shampoo, make-up, nail polish,
national study in the US found that the majority of the general population had
measurable exposure to multiple phthalates, the scientists stated. Researchers
collected data from 85 mother and son pairs. Prenatal urine samples were analysed
for the presence and quantity of nine phthalate metabolites. The 85 male children
were then examined for genital characteristics that serve as markers of normal
findings suggest that some phthalates have antiandrogenic effects, meaning they
may suppress the hormones involved in male sexual development," the scientists
state. "Higher levels of four phthalate metabolites (mono-ethyl phthalate
[MEP], mono-n-butyl phthalate [MBP], mono-benzyl phthalate [MBzP] and mono-isobutyl
phthalate [MiBP]) were found to correlate with a higher-than-expected number of
abnormalities in genital development including smaller anogenital distance, scrotum,
and penis and an increased likelihood of undescended testicles."
findings were consistent with those from previous rodent studies on phthalate
exposure, they stated.
changes in humans associated with prenatal exposure to some of the same phthalate
metabolites that cause such alterations in male rodents suggest that these widely
used phthalates may undervirilize humans as well as rodents," the authors
lead author of the study was Shanna Swan of the University of Rochester's department
of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Environmental Health Perspectives is published by
a section of the US health and human services department.
flipping means safer burgers
May 24, 2004
Washington State University
Wash. ? Frequent flipping is the best way to ensure that hamburgers and other
thin meats are thoroughly cooked, according to research done at Washington State
¡°Our research found that either using a clamshell grill that cooks
both sides of the meat simultaneously or frequent flipping in the frying pan or
on the grill is the best way to assure that thin meats like hamburgers are thoroughly
and evenly cooked,¡± says Val Hillers, retired WSU Extension food safety specialist.
¡°And the best way to be sure your meats are safe to eat is to check them with
a food thermometer.¡±
Meats, especially ground meats like hamburger, need to
be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. to kill bacteria that can
cause serious illnesses and even death, according to Hillers.
by WSU food safety scientist Dong-Hyun Kang found that using the two-sided clamshell
grills, or frequently turning meats on a single-sided grill or in the frying pan,
were the best ways to ensure that thin meats are evenly cooked to a safe temperature.
research involved inserting multiple temperature probes into hamburgers and other
thin cuts of meat, and monitoring temperatures while cooking them using a variety
He found that that traditional approach of only turning the
meats once on the grill or in the frying pan often resulted in uneven heating
and cool spots that could harbor bacteria, such as the strain of E. coli that
can cause serious illness and even death.
¡°Dr. Kang¡¯s research found that even
though portions of the meat may have achieved a safe temperature the cool spots
could harbor live bacteria,¡± Hillers says. ¡°His research showed that the quick
two-sided cooking provided by a clamshell-style grill was the most effective at
killing dangerous food borne bacteria, and frequent turning was the most effective
when cooking on the grill or in the frying pan.¡±
¡°Of course, the only way
to determine whether any meat is cooked to a safe temperature is to check it with
a food thermometer,¡± says Hillers. ¡°It also helps avoid overcooking.¡±
research findings are highlighted in the educational materials developed by Hillers
and Sandy McCurdy, University of Idaho Extension food safety specialist to promote
increased use of food thermometers.
Haggen Foods and Top Food stores in Washington,
and Albertson¡¯s stores in Idaho, are helping get the word out in time for the
Memorial Day holiday and the summer grilling season. The stores are featuring
displays and information cards in their meat sections promoting the proper use
of food thermometers.
Additional information about food thermometer use can
be ordered from WSU Extension. Materials include recipes with directions for using
a thermometer when cooking hamburger patties, pork chops, chicken breasts, sausage
patties and ground turkey patties. A brochure with additional information about
using food thermometers and a video illustrating proper thermometer use also can
be ordered by going to http://pubs.wsu.edu/ and entering "thermometer"
in the search box.
Report Symptoms Stemming from Salmonella Outbreak
May 30, 2005 8:01am Posted By: Theresa Acker
Source of Article: http://www.wciv.com
SC - D-HEC says 272 people have reported symptoms stemming from a Salmonella outbreak
at a Camden restaurant last week. A statewide public health advisory was issued
earlier this week for anyone who ate the Old South Restaurant from last Thursday
reports 50 people have been hospitalized.
old James Arledge of Lugoff died Sunday after eating chicken, dressing, chicken,
peas and apple cobbler at the restaurant last Thursday. The restaurant closed
272 reports surpass a 1996 food-born illness outbreak in Greenville County.
Health Official Richard Raymond to be Nominated USDA Under Secretary For Food
May 31, 2005
of Article: http://www.meatami.com
health official Richard Raymond, M.D., will be nominated to serve as USDA's Under
Secretary for Food Safety, according to an announcement from the White House today.
As Under Secretary,
Raymond would oversee USDA¡¯s Food Safety and Inspection Service and serve as chair
for the U.S. Codex Steering Committee. He would replace former Under Secretary
Dr. Elsa Murano, who returned to Texas A & M University late last year.
currently serves as director of the Regulation and Licensure Agency within the
Nebraska Health and Human Services System (HHS) and also serves as chief medical
officer of that system. He was appointed director by then-governor Mike Johanns.
The Regulation and Licensure Agency licenses health related professions such as
nurses, doctors, and psychologists, as well as facilities and services. The agency
is also responsible for regulations for HHS, as well as environmental issues dealing
with safe drinking water and disease outbreak investigations.
previously served as the director of the Clarkson Family Practice Residency Program
and earlier in his career, Raymond served as medical director for the Nebraska
Health System's Hospice Program. He earned a bachelor's degree from Hastings College
and a doctor of medicine from the University of Nebraska.
Outdoor Eating Food Safety Tips
Technologies, Demands Lead To Food Identity Crisis
By Cindy Skrzycki
National Milk Producers Federation had a meltdown two years ago when it learned
the International Ice Cream Association wanted to tinker with the "standard
of identity" for the frozen confection.
many other foods, ice cream has a "standard of identity" -- a sort of
food pedigree -- that determines how it is supposed to look and taste, as well
as the required ingredients and even its name. The milk producers were upset by
a petition the ice cream makers filed with the Food and Drug Administration requesting
a change in the composition of ice cream: removing a limitation on the use of
whey, a milk-derived protein, in the recipe.
milk federation, which has a stake in how much of its product goes into ice cream,
told the Agriculture Department the only benefit would be to manufacturers because
whey is cheaper than milk. The ice cream makers said that the addition of whey
won't change the creamy character or taste of ice cream and that it aids in freezing
and whipping the ingredients together, as well as in preventing ice crystals.
debate over the ice cream standard has yet to be resolved. It is only one example
of how traditional food standards, many of them issued decades ago for staple
foods such as cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise and macaroni, are being challenged.
New food technology, processes and nutritional demands from consumers for low-fat
and low-calorie foods are driving the development of new products that don't fall
in the old categories.
on mend from E. coli: Afflicted teen may head home
May 31, 2005
15-year-old Sara Burgess may, according
to this story, be allowed to go home today fter a nightmare month of painful recovery
from E. coli infection.
Mother, Linda, was quoted as saying, "We're pretty
excited. We're going to have see how she's doing, but we're hopeful that it might
The story explains that Sara's kidneys have begun working
again, and the teenager was able to go off dialysis late last week. She spent
Saturday and Sunday at home with her family, and was disoriented by how much time
has passed while she battled the deadly infection.
Burgess was further cited
as saying that she's not angry, and knows that the Peters' employee didn't intentionally
cause Sara's suffering, adding, "I decided at the beginning that all of my
emotion had to go to my daughter. Feeling angry at someone else would not make
her better. I know it wasn't deliberate, but at the same time, I feel it's important
that people in the food industry know that they have to be careful. It's so important.
They have to know what it can do to someone if they don't."
foodborne, fatal - USA (South Carolina)(02)
May 29, 2005
Date: 29 May 2005
From: ProMED-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
TheState.com [edited] 28 May 2005
Case is largest
of its kind in SC history
With the number of people reporting symptoms from
the salmonella outbreak in Camden, SC rising to 272 on Fri 27 May 2005, the Department
of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is faced with its largest foodborne
illness investigation in recent state history.
State health officials will
work over the weekend to determine the source of salmonella at the Old South Restaurant,
according to Missy Reese, spokesperson for DHEC's Wateree Health District. Answers
likely won't come earlier than Tue 31 May 2005, she said.
The death of a 58-year-old
Lugoff resident also has been linked to the outbreak, which affected people who
ate at the Camden restaurant from 19-22 May 2005, state health officials said.
The number of hospitalizations was at 50 by Fri 27 May 2005.
The state DHEC
set up 4 hot lines for people who might have been sickened by the outbreak, though
Reese said calls were tapering off. "We're getting toward the end of the
incubation time," she said. Salmonella can take up to 72 hours to cause such
symptoms as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
Reese said it was "too
early to say" whether the agency will reevaluate how it inspects and rates
restaurants or issues public health advisories as a result of this week's events.
"The Legislature approves any regulations and sets the laws that we follow,"
she said. "We just follow the protocol."
DHEC spokesman Thom Berry
said the agency moves quickly to notify people who might have been affected by
a foodborne illness. Most of those come from small gatherings like family reunions,
he said, adding that a situation like the one in Camden is "very rare."
largest food-borne illness outbreak before Camden was in 1996 in Greenville, when
244 people got sick. No deaths were reported.
[Byline: Kristy Eppley Rupon]
caterer face lawsuit
May 31, 2005
The Spectator/ Burlington Post
The Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario and a caterer are, according to these
stories, accused of negligence and breach of duty in a $1-million lawsuit filed
on behalf of the 150 people who suffered food poisoning after eating a Mother's
The stories say the suit was filed yesterday in Hamilton court
by the high-profile law firm of Scarfone Hawkins, which hopes to have it registered
as a class action.
A Caledonia man, Douglas Jones, is acting as plaintiff
in the suit against the RBG and Compton & Greenland Fine Foods Catering of
Hamilton, but lawyer David Thompson was cited as sayiing his firm has received
calls from about 15 other people interested in legal action since the May 8 incident
and that it could take about six months to register the suit as a class action,
adding, "I think it does meet the definition of a class-action lawsuit. Usually,
what we're looking for is a common issue ... and if we've got 150 people, it's
uneconomical to bring in 150 individual claims." more