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Journal of Food Saety
The French Fries You Eat Be Killing You?
of Article: http://www.kake.com/
4 - Hot and greasy. For some they're simply irresistible, but one state wants
to make sure you know exactly what you're eating before you dig in to another
bag of french fries.
french fries cause cancer? Well, that depends on who you ask. A Swedish study
a few years back reported some carbohydrates cooked at prolonged high temperatures
can create a chemical by-product that causes cancer in rats. Then a German study
showed the same cancer causing substance can be passed from mothers to fetuses
and nursing babies. However, the most recent studies show no link between increased
risks of cancer and frying foods, but that isn't keeping the state of California
from seeking warning labels on french fries.
last thing we want to do is scare people or alarm them," says Allan Hirsch
from the California EPA.
California EPA wants consumers to know this favorite American snack may be dangerous.
A warning the potato industry and the state of Idaho find ridiculous.
been eating acrylamide since man invented fire. Ever since we started cooking
foods, there's been acrylamides that we've been consuming," says Frank Muir
from the Idaho Potato Commission. "If you put a warning label on french fries
or potato chips because of acrylamides, then to be fair, you're going to have
to put it on bread, you're going to have to put it on all the ready to eat cereals,
those high brand cereals, they have acrylamide."
far here in Kansas, state agencies have not looked into putting out any similar
types of warnings. And even if they did, local Spangles restaurant managers don't
think a little acrylamide is going to get most customers to stop asking for their
golden fried potatoes.
may be one or two interested in health concerns but it will still be a majority
purchased item of our products," says Dean Maxwell, a Spangles area supervisor.
what do consumers think? We couldn't find anyone willing to change their order
Now at the federal
level, the FDA says it is continuing to study acrylimide, but at this point it
is not issuing any warnings to consumers.
coli O157, water contamination - Switzerland (black forest)
A ProMED-mail post
Date: Wed 27 Jul
From: Thomas Roesel
Source: BAG.admin.ch [translated by submitter,
Epi-Notice: Bloody diarrhea and hemolytic
uremic syndrome in Freiburg
On 12 Jul 2005, doctors from Inselspital in Bern
reported to the Federal Department of Health 2 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome
(HUS) in children who were hospitalized within 24 hours of each other in the same
area in Freiburg.
An investigation ensued, involving the health authorities
in the canton of Freiburg, which revealed 5 further cases of bloody diarrhea without
HUS as well as other cases of "typical" gastroenteritis that occurred.
These cases came from 4 of the 5 villages in the area. Fecal contamination of
the area's drinking water supply was the presumed cause for these cases. Infection
could have been related to bathing in springs or streams in the region. The large
number of cows found in valley fields, together with heavy rainfall during early
June 2005, may explain the contamination of the natural springs as well as the
drinking water supply and the feeder streams. No other consumable was identified
that could have caused an infection. Analyses of samples taken from the 1st 4
patients, performed at the National Center for Enteropathic Bacteria Reference
Laboratory, led to the isolation of large amounts of enterohemorrhagic E. coli
O157. Traces of verotoxin were demonstrated in water samples taken from the area's
As soon as the fecal contamination of the water supply became
known, the cantonal health authorities, working together with area officials,
ordered countermeasures. In one of the villages, the residents were urgently advised
not to consume water that was not first boiled.
Dr. Thomas R. Roesel
Reed Army Medical Center
thanks Dr. Roesel for this posting and translation.
Water supply and swimming
areas are not commonly reported sources of verotoxin-producing E. coli. As here,
heavy rains over cow pastures can wash the toxin- producing E. coli into the potable
or swimming water.
It should be noted again 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. -
August 4, 2005
recent wave of bombings in London and Sharm El-Sheik, Egypt are a stark reminder
of the importance of efforts currently underway to keep the nation's food supply
safe from terrorism, according to an Aon agribusiness expert.
A Senate Agriculture
committee reviewing protection for U.S. agriculture recently heard testimony suggesting
that sabotaging the nation's agriculture system would not be that difficult. Aon
Agribusiness and Food Systems Group senior vice president Rick Shanks says he
understands that perception exists, but that doesn't mean U.S. agriculture is
standing pat. "While agroterrorism is perceived as being alarmingly easy,
the fact is, the cattle industry is implementing plans to protect against agricultural
sabotage," he says. "While nothing is 100% secure, as a nation we've
taken big steps in the right direction."
Shanks says another worry for
food system experts is the importing of animal diseases from other countries.
Senate committee members heard of three significant contagions that could threaten
Rift Valley fever from Africa
Nipah virus from Asia
All were described as significant threats because of their contagious
nature and the fact that they can cause death in humans. Shanks says we are right
to be concerned. "Avian flu, for example, is a significant threat to the
U.S. poultry system as well as to humans if it breaks out here," he says.
"There've been recent outbreaks of avian influenza in Connecticut and Rhode
Island. U.S. poultry farmers should remain on guard and be ready to quickly depopulate
and vaccinate if the Asian strain of the virus shows up in the U.S."
Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner echoed that sentiment, telling the Senate committee
that, "diseases and pathogens do not acknowledge state or national borders.
The threat to agriculture is very real."
Connor said the department has
established formal ties with other governmental agencies like the Department of
Homeland Security and the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate the terrorism
threat to U.S. agriculture. He said his department is guided by a series of Homeland
Security Presidential Directives (HSPD) aimed at strengthening the country's preparedness
for terrorist acts.
One such directive seeks a national agriculture terrorism
policy that includes addressing:
Awareness and warning
Response planning and recovery
Research and development
On Aug. 18, 2005, Aon, in cooperation with the US Department of Homeland
Security and the University of California's Western Institute for Food Safety
& Security, is sponsoring the 2005 AgroTerrorism Assembly on August 18, 2005
at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Sacramento, Calif. The Assembly is designed to inform
community leaders (government and business), food industry leaders, emergency
responders (local, state and federal) -- of the risks and vulnerabilities of agroterrorism
and other food-related disasters.
Aon's Agribusiness and Food System Group,
based in Kansas City, works with businesses involved in the production, processing
and distribution of food. About one-third of Aon Agribusiness and Food System
Group's business in the sector is agriculture, and two-thirds is food-related.
The group's expertise includes business continuity planning, catastrophe modeling,
crisis communications, environmental risk consulting and industrial hygiene, aggression
management, counterterrorism and security consulting, crisis and reputation management,
and engineering and risk control. In the U.S., Agribusiness and Food Systems Group
has teamed up with Aon's Crisis Management group to help clients respond to the
new risks facing the food industry. more
milk concerns push demand for detection
of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
04/08/2005 - The European Union
is reportedly considering lowering the legal levels of alkaline phosphates (ALP)
in the dairy pasteurisation process, presenting an opportunity for lab tech firms
such as Advanced Instruments.The equipment supplier claims that its Fluorophos
ALP Assay can detect minute traces of raw milk - 0.003 per cent - in just three
minutes. This, says the company, compares favourably to the 0.1 per cent success
rate achieved by using a traditional colorimetric tube. The company is also looking
at the US market with interest. As of March this year, dairy lab managers using
the Scharer method of visual ALP colorimetric testing no longer comply with US
Food and Drug Administration pasteurisation testing requirements. New ALP detection
criteria of 350 mU (3 micrograms) per liter (0.075 per cent raw milk equivalent)
came into effect. Fluorophos Testing Delivers Speed, Sensitivity, and Early Warning
Foremost Farms, formerly Wisconsin Dairies adopted the Fluorophos ALP testing
system because of its speed, sensitivity, and because it didn¡¯t require any hazardous
chemicals that could endanger lab technicians.
Dropped food does pick up germs; eating it anyway depends on
where it falls
By Maeleeke J. Lavan
Gannett News Service
July 27, 2005
source of Article: http://news.enquirer.com/
Dimarco-Fayko dropped two cookies on the ground as she walked into school.She
stepped on one, but the 9-year-old picked up the other, dusted it off and ate
it.One cookie saved, thanks to the five-second rule, that old wives' tale stating
that any food dropped on the ground is OK to eat, as long as it's within five
seconds.But is it possible to prevent your food from picking up germs if you pick
it up off the floor fast enough? Dr. Carolyn Cleary says no.
it's on the floor, the damage has been done," the pediatrician says.
2003 study of the five-second rule conducted by the University of Illinois bears
that out. Researchers placed gummy bears and fudge-striped cookies for five seconds
on smooth and rough ceramic floor tiles contaminated with E. coli bacteria. All
of the food tested showed that E. coli was transferred from the tile to the food.The
amount and type of germs your food might pick up depends on where the accident
happens. E. coli, pesticides, dust, dirt, oil and other chemicals are all potential
health hazards.Most of the time you're going to be OK with eating a little of
this and a little of that along with your food, Cleary says, but there's always
the chance something could make you sick."From a medical perspective, the
biggest thing I'd look at is ... where it falls," says Dr. Mala Gupta, a
specialist in internal medicine and infectious disease in Rochester, N.Y. "If
it falls in the dirt, then that's a different story than if it falls on a fairly
clean surface."A stomach is full of acid and can kill off a lot of bacteria,
she adds.Gupta says germs aren't always extremely harmful."There is some
data that shows that asthma is much more common now (in young children) because
there's too much cleanliness," Gupta says. "Sometimes when they're young,
if you get too particular, their immune system doesn't get exposed and they may
be more at risk later on in life to contract allergies and asthma."
Destroy Mad Cow Disease Particles
08/03/05 6:00 PM
Source of Article: http://www.ecommercetimes.com/
The technique involves
using forms of gas called plasmas to strip the contaminating material from stainless
steel surfaces. Radio waves excite the molecules of harmless gases, which then
scour the surface of the instruments, breaking down traces of biological tissue
and converting them to non-toxic gases.Scientists at Edinburgh University have
developed a new hospital cleaning method that could stop the spread of the human
form of mad cow disease.Prions, infectious particles that cause the condition,
linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), are immune to most sterilization processes.
vary so much from other viral and bacterial infections that they linger on surgical
instruments despite sterilization.The researchers have produced a technique involving
gas that can remove the prions -- proteins which are resistant to high temperatures
and which adhere to metal surfaces.Professor Robert Baxter, from the university's
school of chemistry, said: "Our integrated strategy aims to provide a new
approach to decontamination of surgical instruments and to ensure that decontamination
The new cleaning technique tackles the particles of each
of the various strains of the fatal brain disease, including variant CJD, which
is linked to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle.
As is the case with all forms of the condition, there is no cure.
It has so far caused more than 150 deaths in the UK.While between 50 and 65 people
die each year from classic CJD, known as sporadic, which is caused by a chance
mutation of the brain, it is not known how many people are currently incubating
The team said
current decontamination procedures drawn up by the Department of Health are unlikely
to remove all traces of infection from surgical instruments.
has also previously been transmitted by contaminated neurosurgical instruments,
tissue grafts and contaminated human pituitary hormones.
The development of new methods for destroying prions is therefore
of "vital importance."
technique, reported in the latest edition of the Journal of General Virology,
involves using forms of gas called plasmas to strip the contaminating material
from stainless steel surfaces. Radio waves excite the molecules of harmless gases,
which then scour the surface of the instruments, breaking down traces of biological
tissue and converting them to non-toxic gases.
health ministry says 1,700 people affected by salmonella outbreak
Friday, August 05, 2005
Source of Article: http://www.canada.com/
Spain (AP) - The number of people taken ill in a salmonella outbreak after eating
contaminated chicken has reached 1,700 in Spain, the health ministry said Friday.
The number of confirmed cases has risen steadily in recent days, and authorities
have said a 90-year-old man died as a result of the infection. On Thursday, the
number of people infected stood at 1,208. However, the tainted meat has been withdrawn
from sale, and the Health Ministry said Friday that the rate of new infections
has slowed. Only 41 people remain in hospitals. The Sada company, which packed
the two brands of roast chickens involved in the outbreak, has said the contamination
originated in a pipe at its plant that poured sauce onto the meat before packing.
New BAX¢ç system
assay helps reduce public health risk associated with Campylobacter
Aug. 1, 2005
Qualicon ? Press Release
WILMINGTON, Del.,? DuPont Qualicon has released a
new BAX¢ç system assay for poultry rinses that detects both Campylobacter jejuni
and Campylobacter coli, the strains most frequently implicated in human illness.
methods for detecting Campylobacter in meat and poultry are labor intensive, requiring
about five days to determine results. By contrast, the automated BAX¢ç system can
detect as few as 10 cells of Campylobacter in a 30 ml sample after just 24 hours
¡°BAX¢ç systems are already at work in labs around the globe, providing
the best science-based tool for detecting microbial threats to the food supply,¡±
said Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon. ¡°As the international community
strives to reduce Campylobacter all along the food chain, the BAX¢ç system will
be an integral part of the solution.¡±
Campylobacter are commonly found in the
intestinal tracts of animals and some humans without causing symptoms of disease.
Infection occurs when people eat undercooked meat or poultry, raw milk or untreated
water containing the live bacteria. Consuming as few as 500 Campylobacter cells
can cause illness.
A leading cause of gastroenteritis in many countries, Campylobacter
are the most frequently isolated bacteria from persons with diarrhea. An estimated
2.4 million cases of foodborne infection from these bacteria occur annually in
the United States. Although fatalities are rare, serious complications of Campylobacteriosis
can include reactive arthritis and Guillan-Barre syndrome, an unusual type of
Food processing companies around the world rely on the BAX¢ç system
to detect pathogens or other organisms in raw ingredients, finished products and
environmental samples. The automated system uses leading-edge technology, including
polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, tableted reagents and optimized media,
to detect Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Listeria species, E. coli O157:H7
and Enterobacter sakazakii. With certifications and regulatory approvals in the
Americas, Asia and Europe, the BAX¢ç system is recognized globally as the most
advanced pathogen testing system available to food companies.
also markets the patented RiboPrinter¢ç system, the world¡¯s only automated DNA
fingerprinting instrument to track and trend bacterial contamination in pharmaceuticals,
personal care products and food. For more information and product photos, visit
toxin: friend or foe
Volume 9 Number
Botulinum Toxin is most commonly associated with Botulism, a paralytic illness
caused by neurotoxins of the anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium, Clostridium botulinum,
an organism found in soil throughout the world. The canning and fermentation of
foods are particularly conducive to creating anaerobic conditions that allow C.
botulinum spores to germinate. Botulism was first described in the 18th century
among those who consumed sausages. Commercially canned foods caused outbreaks
in the 19th and 20th centuries before standard methods for inactivating C. botulinum
spores in cans were perfected. While outbreaks related to commercially canned
foods are now quite rare, improperly prepared home canned and fermented foods,
as well as foods served in restaurants, account for a large proportion of U.S.
botulism cases. Traditional Alaskan Native foods, especially fermented foods eaten
without cooking, pose a risk and account for the high incidence of botulism in
Of the seven antigenic toxin types (A-G) identified, types A, B, E
and occasionally F are associated with human disease. Studies in the U.S. have
shown that spores producing toxin type A predominate west of the Rockies, while
type B spores are more predominant in the East. Type E spores are usually associated
with the marine environment. Illness caused by toxin type A tends to be more severe
and associated with a higher fatality rate.
Botulinum toxin causes
paralysis by binding (irreversibly) to receptors on nerve endings, entering the
nerve, and interfering with the release of acetylcholine, causing flaccid paralysis.
Symptoms begin with a dry mouth, sensation of a "thick tongue" and blurred
vision, followed by descending weakness and paralysis, including the muscles of
respiration. Recovery can take weeks to months, and may require ventilator support.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the only source of therapeutic
antitoxin, which is stocked in locations around the country for rapid release.
easy is it to obtain restaurant inspection information?
Des Moines - Inspectors know how
safe the food at your favorite restaurant is, but how do you know?
of Iowa is working on a plan to make it easier for you to know how clean and safe
restaurants across the state are. As the metro grows, so do your dining choices.
How do you know which ones are safe before you head out for dinner?
department of Inspections and Appeals inspects them once or twice a year. You
can request copies of the inspection reports. But you may have to wait a while.
The DIA says it has ten days to get you a copy. That means there's no way for
you to get instant restaurant information. It's something some restaurants say
you ought to have.
Do grilled foods pose a cancer risk
Volume 9 Number 4
As the weather heats up, many of
us look forward to the great American summer pastime of backyard grilling. Yet,
recent research indicates that grilling muscle meats, such as red meat, poultry
and fish, may pose certain health risks.
According to the American Institute
for Cancer Research (AICR), cooking these foods at high temperatures, especially
over an open flame, produces substances called heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, which
have been shown to cause tumors in animals. BarbequeWhile the risk to humans is
less clear, there is concern that high levels of HCAs may increase the risk of
breast, colon, stomach and prostate cancers. In addition to HCAs, another class
of cancer-promoting substances, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, are
formed when fat from meat, poultry or fish drips onto hot coals or stones, causing
flare-ups. PAHs are deposited onto the food when smoke and flames are allowed
to reach the food.
Does this mean you should do away with Saturday backyard
barbecues with family and friends? Not if you take a little care to keep high
heat flare-ups under control. Here are some tips on how to minimize the formation
of HCAs and PAHs and still produce delicious, flavorful dishes.
Clean the grill
thoroughly before cooking to remove any charred food debris left over from previous
If using starter fluid on charcoal, allow the excess to burn off before
putting the food on the grill. Never reapply starter fluid while cooking.
lean cuts of meat to grill rather than higher-fat varieties such as ribs or sausages.
Also, trim any visible fat and remove skin from poultry.
Marinate meat using
an oil-free marinade. Marinating meats for as little as 10 minutes may significantly
reduce the formation of HCAs.
Consider pre-cooking meat, poultry, and fish
in the microwave or oven until almost done and then finishing on the grill to
impart a grilled flavor.
Grill vegetables, fruits or veggie burgers. Unlike
meat, these foods do not form cancer-causing substances when prepared on the grill.
at a lower temperature away from direct flame and raise the cooking rack to the
highest position. Use a meat thermometer to monitor doneness.
Use tongs or
a spatula to turn food. Piercing the meat with a fork allows juices and fat to
drip down onto the coals and cause flare-ups.
Place meat on aluminum foil rather
than directly over the coals to avoid letting juices and fat drip into the fire
and to prevent charring.
Flip frequently. Researchers have found that grilling
hamburger patties at a lower temperature and turning them often accelerates the
cooking process, reduces HCA formation and still kills bacteria effectively. This
method also enhances even cooking throughout the product.
Have a spray bottle
filled with water to keep coals and flames under control.
Scrape off all charred
or burnt portions of food before eating.
AICR brochureA free AICR brochure,
"The Facts About Grilling" which includes guidelines for overall cancer
prevention and tips for food safety,is available online at the AICR website at
1. Cancer Experts Reissue Warning About Grilling.
American Institute for Cancer Research Press Release. May 23, 2005. http://www.aicr.org.
100 Iraq soldiers hospitalized with apparent food poisoning
of Article: http://www.kron4.com/
August 3, 2005
TIKRIT, Iraq Police in
Iraq say it appears to be a massive case of food poisoning.
Over a hundred
Iraqi soldiers have been hospitalized after getting sick at their base in northern
Iraq. Hospital officials say the troops are suffering from fever, vomiting and
stomach pain.The base is in Tikrit, the hometown of Saddam Hussein.A police official
says they are investigating the source of the food poisoning.
may isolate food allergy proteins
of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
- A team of UK scientists will analyse and demonstrate how bioinformatics could
help food companies improve their products, from pin-pointing allergy-causing
proteins to identifying the cause of batch spoilage, reports Chris Mercer.
scientists, based at Britain¡¯s Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Centre (CCFRA),
defined bioinformatics as ¡°the collection, classification, storage and analysis
of biochemical and biological information using computers¡±.
project now aims to show how this technology could be harnessed to help food and
drink makers after originally being developed to help scientists in their attempts
to map the human genome sequence.
Dooley, a scientist on the project, believes bioinformatics are likely to help
firms predict the allergenicity and functionality of products by examining their
ingredients¡¯ protein structures.
database of proteins could be built up to aid analysis. For example: ¡°If I know
the protein that causes allergens from nuts, can I use that to look for similar
looking proteins from other nuts?¡± said Dooley.
said that by identifying the right proteins it may even be possible to replace
or remove certain ones to reduce the likelihood of a product causing an allergic
reaction in the consumer.
example, scientists may be able to remove or replace the allergenic proteins in
gluten, the source of coeliac disease, so that they can breed new strains of bread-making
offer obvious opportunities for product development, but could also help producers
meet upcoming EU regulations on allergens in food. From 25 November this year,
the Commission will require firms to declare on labels whether the product inside
contains potential food allergens. more
of Tech. and Process Valid. - CO-Boulder/Ft. Collins ? Swift & Co.
Safety & QA Mgr - CO-Boulder/Fort Collins ? Swift & Co.
Sanitation* - Garner, NC - ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Manager - WA-Seattle ? Campbell Soup Co.
Assurance Team Leader - Chatsworth, CA - Nestle USA
Inspectional Services Supervisor - Columbus, OH ? Wendy¡¯s Int¡¯l, Inc.
Services Technician - Los Angeles, CA ? Mars, Incorporated
Assurance Specialist - Omaha, NE ? ConAgra Foods, Inc.
Safety Specialist - Albuquerque, NM - The Steritech Group
Director of Corporate Quality Assurance - FL-Lakeland
QA Tech - Food/Beverage - San Francisco, CA
IL-Barrington-Pilot Plant Food Scientist
Quality Assurance Manager - Dallas, TX
Quality Control Lab Technician - GA-Atlanta
Quality Assurance Manager - Oakland, CA
Quality Assurance Coordinator - Reno, NV
Regulatory Affairs Scientist - Hackettstown, NJ
Director of Quality - Western Chicago Suburbs, IL
Quality Assurance Technician - KING OF PRUSSIA, PA
CA-Thousand Oaks-QC Technician
CA-San Francisco-FOOD SAFETY COACH
CA-Sacramento-FOOD SAFETY COACH
FOOD SAFETY MANAGER - KY-Northern
US-WI-Madison-Food Micro biologist
Food Manufacturing Quality Manager - Northwest Ohio