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Fruit juice may have sickened 11 in Michigan

Fla. company recalls products from stores in Metro area in wake of salmonella probe.
By Kim Kozlowski / The Detroit News
Source of Article:

The Michigan Department of Community Health is investigating a possible outbreak of salmonella poisoning that appears to be linked to unpasteurized orange juice that has been voluntarily recalled at local Westborn and Nino Salvaggio stores. The food-borne illness struck 11 Michigan residents, who drank juice manufactured by Orchid Island Juice Co. in Fort Pierce, Fla., between early May and June, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Of the 11 cases, eight were children and five people were hospitalized. Other cases are under investigation. The company bottles the juice, labeled freshly squeezed, under various brands, including the Westborn and Nino Salvaggio labels. Those with the disease all bought the juice at stores in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Last week, the FDA issued a warning about drinking unpasteurized juice under brand names by Orchid Island Juice. But Marygrace Sexton, the company's CEO, said officials still are investigating and have not confirmed that salmonella was found in the juice. However, the company decided to voluntarily recall the orange juice with expiration dates through July 25.

"Consumer safety is the most important thing to us," Sexton said.

Health officials said that about 2 percent of orange juice in the country is unpasteurized and they reminded Michigan residents of the risks. "Salmonella is a bacteria that people should take very seriously," Janet Olszewski, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health, said in a prepared statement. Michigan had 406 salmonella cases this year.

Restaurant gets 26 critical violations during inspection
July 10, 2005
York Daily Record, Pa.
Sean Adkins
Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Last month, a state health inspector, according to this story, dished out a score of 44 to Shiloh Family Restaurant in West Manchester Township for violations ranging from standing water in two areas of the basement to food-service personnel who did not don hair restraints.
The inspector spotted 26 critical violations during the June 8 health review, including a black substance on the ice machine deflector plate and lid, according to the inspection report.
Regardless of the score, the health inspector determines whether a business passes or fails its health review.
Violations such as the discovery of rodents or insects, or no hot water will cost a business points.
The following is a list of other businesses' scores, reasons for review and whether the operation passed on first inspection or a follow-up inspection:
On June 20, Alexander's Family Restaurant at 840 Carlisle Road in West Manchester Township scored 100 on its follow-up inspection. Workers who touched ready-to-eat foods with their bare hands and standing water in the basement contributed to a score of 72 during the restaurant's June 8 initial inspection. Inspector Jerry L. Heisey.
The Pizza Hut at 2410 Mount Rose Ave. in Springettsbury Township scored 100 on its June 16 follow-up inspection and reopened for business. One day earlier, the restaurant voluntarily shut its doors after a water line to the soda filter ruptured, flooding a section of the business. The inspector found a mold-like accumulation on the ceiling of the walk-in cooler. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey/Peter A. Economos.
The Outdoor Snack Bar at 1157 Detwiler Drive in Manchester Township received a score of 100 on its June 27 follow-up inspection. The business lost two points for a black mold-type substance found on the inside of the beer tap spout during its June 13 initial inspection. The initial review resulted in a score of 66. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.
Cindy's Restaurant at 201 Memory Lane in Springettsbury Township scored 99 on its June 20 health inspection. Inspector Jerry L. Heisey.
On June 22, All In The Family at 3597 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township received a score of 98 on its routine health inspection. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.
George's Pizza at 1835 S. Queen St. in Spring Garden Township lost points on its June 22 routine health inspection to food handlers who did not wear hair nets and for old food debris found on the can opener. That inspection resulted in a score of 93. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.
The Village Green Family Restaurant at 2300 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township scored 90 on its June 23 health inspection. Some static dust on the fan guard cover located inside the walk-in refrigeration unit cost the business two points on its inspection. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.
Big Apple Bagels at 1021 Haines Road in Springettsbury Township scored 86 on its June 23 health inspection. The inspector found "numerous rodent-type droppings behind the desk in the back room," according to the report. That violation cost the business four points. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.
On June 23, Ollie's Bargain Outlet at 1081 Haines Road in Springettsbury Township received a score of 100 on its routine food safety inspection. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.
Thirsty's Quick Stop at 2914 E. Market St. in Springettsbury Township scored a 97 on its June 23 health inspection. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.
On June 23, Aloha Snow at 3410F E. Market St. received a score of 98 on its routine food safety inspection. Inspector: Jerry L. Heisey.

Strawberry allergy is set off by red colour, study claims


Source of Article:

Mon 11 Jul 2005

STRAWBERRIES may be safer to eat for allergy sufferers if they were another colour, scientists have revealed. Researchers have pinpointed a protein thought to be responsible for strawberry allergies which is associated with the fruit's red colour. Vulnerable individuals can suffer itching and swelling in the mouth and throat when exposed to strawberries. But there have been reports that people with the allergy are able to eat white strawberry varieties with no ill- effects. Rikard Alm, a researcher from Lund University in Sweden, told Chemistry World magazine: "The allergen is in some way or other related to the red colour, but it is not clear exactly how. We need to investigate more proteins."

The protein, one of thousands encoded by a strawberry's genes, resembles a known allergen in birch pollen, the study found. Food allergies kill eight people each year in the UK.

Codex Adopts More Than 20 Food Standards
Monday July 11, 11:19 am ET
Sets New Guidelines on Vitamin Supplements; Creates Antimicrobial Resistance Taskforce

Source of Article:

WASHINGTON, ROME and GENEVA, July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) adopted more than 20 new and amended food standards during its annual meeting, the food standards body announced today. Among the measures adopted were guidelines on vitamin and mineral food supplements and a code of practice to minimize and contain antimicrobial resistance.

Some 120 countries were represented at this year's Codex session, plus the European Community, a member organization. Codex is an international food standards-setting body established by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It has 172 members, all of which are members of FAO or WHO or both.

Vitamin and mineral food supplements guidelines

The CAC adopted global guidelines for vitamin and mineral food supplements as one of its first decisions. The guidelines recommend labeling that contains information on maximum consumption levels of vitamin and mineral food supplements, assisting countries to increase consumer information, which will help consumers use them in a safe and effective way.

According to WHO, the guidelines ensure that consumers receive beneficial health effects from vitamins and minerals.
more information

New USDA machine can ID bacteria within a day
July 11, 2005
Herd on the Hill
Edited by Dana Downie
USDA/ARS scientists in Peoria, IL have devised a new DNA-based test machine for identifying deadly bacteria that is faster, easier to use and more precise than some methods currently used by food and beverage processors, according to an ARS press release. Scientists say they have developed a "flow cytometer" that can handle up to 100 samples at a time and accurately identify Listeria monocytogenes and Candida albicans bacteria within a day.
The new machine also targets variations of the bacteria, says Todd Ward, a microbiologist who helped develop the system. Such variations can help distinguish one strain of Listeria from another. By targeting genes for virulence, the test could enable a user to understand what makes some strains more harmful or better adapted to a particular environment than others. This could prove especially useful in HACCP programs at food-processing plants, he stated. The current Listeria test takes about three days to produce a result.
"The ability to identify Listeria that have colonized (in) your production plant can help determine whether food products are contaminated before coming into the plant or within the plant by resident strains," Ward stated in a report on the research. The test could also be used to check for yeasts such as Candida that cause food and beverage spoilage. It could also speed the search for yeasts adept at fermenting cornstarch into ethanol or those used for the control of fruit-storage rots, he said. The USDA wants to collaborate with private firms to develop the resulting tests in kit form.

Adlyfe Develops Blood Test to Detect Mad Cow Disease
Source of Article:
Adlyfe, Inc. has developed a sensitive blood test for protein folding diseases that could provide earlier diagnosis of Mad Cow disease, possibly before visible symptoms occur. The test, developed by Dr. Cindy Orser, VP of Research and Development with Adlyfe, is designed to detect misfolded proteins that cause B.S.E., Sheep Scrapie, and Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in humans.

Dr. Alan S. Rudolph, CEO, said the test is based on using small, synthetic peptides that mimic protein folding and detect the build up of damaging proteins in blood before they accumulate in the brain. The novel test has been under development for three years under the support of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institutes of Health.

"We are very encouraged by the early results of our test which show we can detect disease in blood and tissue samples from animals and humans. We look forward to offering a new test for early detection and diagnosis of these debilitating diseases," Rudolph said.

Based in Rockville, Maryland, Adlyfe develops blood diagnostic tests for early diagnosis and treatment of chronic brain-wasting diseases. The privately held company is funded by NIH, DARPA and several other parties.

E. coli O157, lake swimming - USA (Minnesota)
July 13, 2005
A ProMED-mail post
http: //
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases
http: //
Sponsored in part by Elsevier, organizer of The 1st International Conference for the Journal of Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease
http: //
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2005
From: ProMED-mail Source: WCCO (MN) [edited]
http: //
Kids sickened by Anoka County E. coli outbreak
An E. coli outbreak on an Anoka County beach has sent at least 2 children to the hospital, the state health department said Fri, 8 Jul 2005. The outbreak has so far affected children who went swimming on Coon Lake Beach between 21-23 Jun 2005, the Minnesota Department of Health said.
Health officials recorded 4 confirmed E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with the outbreak among children ranging in age from 2 to 13 years. 2 were hospitalized and released, the MDH said. The children showed symptoms of infection between 1 and 5 days after swimming in the lake, health officials said. Symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhea, health officials said. Anyone who swam in Coon Lake and develops these symptoms is urged to seek medical attention. E. coli O157:H7 infections can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome and kidney failure. No such cases have yet been identified with this outbreak, health officials said. Anoka County closed the beach Fri, 8 Jul 2005. It will reopen when water tests indicate it is safe, health officials said.
[In the summer, it often happens that cases of O157:H7 disease are associated with poorly cooked hamburger (or sometimes other food contaminated with cattle feces) or related to a petting zoo, but readers should also remember that water -- either drunk or swum in -- may also be a vehicle for transmission. It is not stated, however, whether E. coli O157:H7 was isolated from the water at the beach or if just a high coliform count was found. It would be also interesting to know how close the lake is to any cattle and if there had been a lot of rain prior to the outbreak. It is still possible that something eaten by the children may be involved here. It should be noted that a recent (6 Jun 2005) article in the journal Pediatrics reported that early recognition of infection with _E. coli_ O157:H7, with the use of intravenous plasma expansion with fluids, could lower the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome:
Ake JA, Jelacic S, Ciol MA, et al: Relative nephroprotection during Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections: association with intravenous volume expansion. Pediatrics 2005; 115:673-80.
- Mod.LL]

10 Foods Fail Safety Tests
Source of Article:
Wednesday, 13 July 2005
According to Ten food samples have failed safety tests, representing an overall failure rate of 0.2%, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department says. The department's Assistant Director Dr Thomas Chung said 3,500 food samples were taken for microbiological and chemical tests in the Food Surveillance Programme

. Among the 1,400 microbiological tests, three items contained pathogens. A raw oyster sample contained Norovirus, and two samples of soft cheese and salad contained Listeria. For the 2,100 chemical test results, seven unsatisfactory samples were detected. One rice sample and one oyster meat sample contained excessive cadmium. Two fresh ginseng samples contained sulphur dioxide, a preservative not permitted to be used in the food product. Other unsatisfactory results involved one red jujube sample containing excessive sulphur dioxide and a Chinese lettuce sample having a low residual level of pesticide. Another failed sample involved a red snapper containing ciguatoxin, which is a natural toxin sometimes found in reef fish.

Seattle sits in the spotlight this Wednesday, July 13
July 11, 2005
Lean Trimmings
Edited by Dana Downie
Three judges on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers and the news media will jam into a very small Seattle, WA courtroom to listen to arguments from each side in R-CALF v. USDA to determine if a preliminary injunction that shut the border to Canadian cattle shall remain. NMA will be present to argue it appeal of intervention status.
In addition to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the court has agreed to allow the Northwest AG Information Network and CKOM Radio to audio-record for later broadcast. Western Producer has been allowed to photograph with a still camera. The court is providing an overflow room for the expected crowd. While it is unusual for an appellate court to hand down its decision in as little as two weeks, it is possible there will be rulings on both the intervention and the preliminary injunction issues to provide guidance to the District Court before its July 27 hearing in Judge Cebull's District court in Billings, MT. The Court of Appeals has stated that the Panel is not expected to rule from the bench Wednesday.


Source of Article:

US food safety officials lay down verification guidance over ingredients associated with food allergies

Inspection personnel in US food processing companies are now able to get guidance on control measures for allergies in food ingredients.

Inspectors can now ensure that these controls are in place in processing establishments.

Inclusion of such ingredients in meat and poultry products must be listed on the ingredient label, otherwise the product would be considered adulterated and/or misbranded.

The US Food Safety and Inspection Service has published a notice to give instruction for verification activities to protect public health.

The notice lays down eight categories of foods associated with food allergies due to the contained proteins. They are wheat, Crustacea (e.g., shrimp, crab, lobster), eggs, fish, peanuts, milk, tree nuts and soybeans. Other potential causes of adverse reactions are ingredients such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), sulphites, lactose and Yellow 5 (tartrazine).

An establishment's flow chart and hazard analysis will be reviewed to confirm that both identify which products may contain these ingredients and that the factory has adequately incorporated procedures for properly formulating products, applying the appropriate label and accurately labelling the product to fully disclose the use of all ingredients.

If meat companies have addressed the control of ingredients in a proper programme to prevent an occurrence of a food safety hazard, inspection personnel will verify that an Enforcement, Investigations and Analysis Officer (EIAO) has conducted a comprehensive food safety assessment at the plant.

Dir. of Tech. and Process Valid. - CO-Boulder/Ft. Collins ? Swift & Co.

Food Safety & QA Mgr - CO-Boulder/Fort Collins ? Swift & Co.

Manager Sanitation* - Garner, NC - ConAgra Foods, Inc.

Sanitation Manager - WA-Seattle ? Campbell Soup Co.

Quality Assurance Team Leader - Chatsworth, CA - Nestle USA

QA Inspectional Services Supervisor - Columbus, OH ? Wendy¡¯s Int¡¯l, Inc.

Quality Services Technician - Los Angeles, CA ? Mars, Incorporated

Quality Assurance Specialist - Omaha, NE ? ConAgra Foods, Inc.

Food Safety Specialist - Albuquerque, NM - The Steritech Group

Quality Services Manager - IL-Chicago ? Kraft Foods

Outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infection among travelling US students
July 12, 2005
Queensland Health and OzFoodNet are continuing to investigate the recent outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infection among visiting students aged 10 to 13 years and teachers from South Eastern Virginia and North Carolina (FSnet 6/05, 7/05). In total, 31 students and 3 teachers were affected from the touring group of 44, who have now returned to the United States. The epidemiological investigation has identified that infection was probably foodborne and the most likely vehicle of transmission was an egg-based dessert served at one of the restaurants the group attended. Nineteen of the 34 cases were laboratory-confirmed as Salmonella Typhimurium (phage type pending). This appears to be an isolated incident. Assessment of recent Queensland data has not indicated an increase in Salmonella Typhimurium cases.
Queensland Health has been working with the restaurant owners and produce suppliers, who are cooperating fully, to investigate the reasons the contamination occurred, and to ensure the problem does not occur again. There were no leftover food samples of this particular food dish available for microbiological testing. The investigation into the source of the salmonella contamination is continuing.
Russell Stafford (OzFoodNet, Queensland), Andrew Langley (Sunshine Coast Public Health Unit, Queensland Health), Margaret Young (Central PHU, QH), Rod Davison (Brisbane North PHU, QH).

Improved, Self-Contained ATP Rapid Hygiene Test with Room Temperature Stability

Charm Sciences now have available the Shelf Stable PocketSwab¢ç Plus an improved self-contained, single service ATP rapid hygiene test that may be stored at 2-25¡Æ C.

The PocketSwab Plus is pre-filled with a special biofilm breaking agent to optimize sample collection. Reagents are unit dosed and compartmentalized to ensure uniformity. The releasing agent has been verified to quickly release ATP from all microbes, a critical determinant in sensitivity.

The test provides a true measure of 'hygiene' and 'cleanliness' by detecting both microorganisms and food/organic product residues present on surfaces, which may provide a nutritious medium for microbial growth and act as barriers to the direct action of both sanitizers and disinfectants.

An expanded storage temperature range creates added convenience and simplicity to a test regarded throughout the industry for its ease of use and flexibility. In addition to an increased storage temperature range, the test may be stored for up to six hours prior to activation after swabbing.

The food and beverage industry recognize the importance of cleaning and sanitizing as part of their Quality, SSOP, and HACCP programs. Along with Charm Science¡¯s other ATP Hygiene tests, and the novaLUM¢â luminometer, the PocketSwab Plus enhances food safety programs as part of a total brand protection strategy with immediate feedback to monitor and guide the sanitation process.