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Reported Ill From N.Y. Water Park
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - More
than 3,100 people in 32 counties have reported being sickened with a gastrointestinal
illness related to a state-run water playground, health officials said Thursday.
The Sprayground at Seneca Lake State Park closed Aug. 15, and officials continue
to investigate how cryptosporidium ended up in two storage tanks that supply water
for the park near Geneva.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, the last time a similar outbreak affected more people ? nearly 5,500
? was in 1995 in Georgia. Contaminated drinking water in the Milwaukee area sickened
more than 400,000 people in 1993.
"We recognize this is a significant
outbreak and our priority is to continue working with counties to increase public
awareness about the precautions everyone should take to stop further spread of
illness," said state Health Department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond.
Andrew Doniger, Monroe County's health director, said more reported illnesses
are coming from those who had contact with sick children. He said caregivers must
wash their hands thoroughly and disinfect children's toys.
is very contagious and can cause symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting
and fever. The disease usually goes away without treatment in healthy individuals.
Food service workers experiencing symptoms should stay home, as should children
in day care.
Geneva is 38 miles southeast of Rochester.
Honey, I poisoned
advice not to feed 'molten gold' to infants is ludicrous, writes Bee Wilson
August 25, 2005
Source of Article: http://society.guardian.co.uk
for infants under 12 months." Almost every jar of honey sold in the UK now
comes with this stark warning, with no explanation as to why. Likewise, the Food
Standards Agency strongly advises against giving honey in any form to under-ones.
has become a scary food for modern parents. I know of one father who suffered
a panic attack after mistakenly giving his 11-month-old daughter a fruit smoothie
containing a tiny dab of honey. Yet the risks are not as obvious as the labels
suggest. And the history behind the warning is both ambiguous and full of irony.
was only in 1978 that honey became a forbidden food for infants. Two years earlier,
a very rare syndrome called infant botulism had been diagnosed for the first time,
after some sick babies in California were found to have traces of botulism spores
in their stools. Then, in 1978, an epidemiological study was done by the California
Department of Health Services, which tested more than 550 samples of food, drugs
and miscellaneous environmental substances for botulism. They found botulism organisms
in five samples of soil, one of dust from a vacuum cleaner and nine of honey.
Immediately, honey became an official danger for infants, because it was the only
variable in infant botulism that could be controlled. You can't put a label on
soil saying "do not eat"; but with honey, you can. more
findings may lead to Salmonella elimination
By Lautaro Vargas, 27
Source of Article: http://www.businessweekly.co.uk
have made two key findings about the behaviour of Salmonella, the Western world¡¯s
deadliest food borne pathogen, which could lead to the development of a vaccination
to eliminate the killer bacteria from the human food chain.Norwich researchers
have made two key findings about the behaviour of Salmonella, the Western world¡¯s
deadliest food borne pathogen, which could lead to the development of a vaccination
to eliminate the killer bacteria from the human food chain.The findings were the
results of two unique studies: One looking at the Salmonella bacteria¡¯s ability
to act fast, both on an evolutionary timescale and during the early minutes of
infection; the other investigating its response to changes in body temperature.
studies involved the Institute of Food Research (IFR), which is now in the process
of protecting the intellectual property behind the breakthrough discoveries. The
research is expected to lead to the identification of new drug targets with potential
applications against other bacterial pathogens.Last year there were 100,000 reported
cases of Salmonella in the UK alone. It costs the UK economy an estimated ¡Ì1bn
each year and currently kills about 1 million people worldwide on an annual basis.Professor
Jay Hinton from the IFR worked on both studies. He said: ¡°Most infections come
from infected chickens and pigs. The best way to stop it is to stop the contamination
of the chickens and pigs through vaccination. ¡°We found that Salmonella genes
are switched on by the temperature of the body. It does not want to expend energy
needlessly when waiting to be eaten on a lettuce leaf. Some of these genes will
make good targets for vaccines and we need to pick them.¡±Professor Hinton and
the team, which included the University of East Anglia and University College
London, investigated the response of Salmonella to body temperature for the first
time. The team discovered the thermal switch, a protein called H-NS, and found
that it allows 532 genes to be activated within minutes.These genes code for functions
essential for infection such as the ability to swim and to infect gut cells. The
team believes that as the temperature rises, the protein structure that compacts
Salmonella DNA changes shape, allowing gene expression to start.Once the identification
of appropriate targets, which is still in the ¡°very early stages¡± is made, the
IFR will look for a joint venture partner. Prof Hinton said: ¡°The vaccines could
also potentially be used for other bacterial pathogens such as chlamydia, legionella
and gonococcus, the causal agent of gonorrhea.¡±Prof Hinton also worked with a
team of scientists that used DNA microarrays to analyse the results of ¡°experimental
evolution.¡±This study ? published this month by IFR and Sweden¡¯s Uppsala University
? found that Salmonella can evolve at a surprisingly rapid rate by jettisoning
superfluous DNA. The team tracked Salmonella in real time over 6,750 generations
to make the first estimation of the rate of gene loss for any bacterium. Project
leader Prof Dan Andersson said: ¡°Nearly one quarter of the bacteria¡¯s genes could
be lost in only 50,000 years. This was a surprise to us as it had been thought
this process would take many millions of years.¡±
is believed to have evolved from E. coli bacteria over one million years ago when
it lived freely in the environment. It developed the ability to parasitise animals
by losing many genes and gaining new ones from other bacteria.
Hinton said: ¡°For bacteria to do well, they have to react very fast, and we have
shown Salmonella to be remarkably dynamic. These findings help to explain the
success of this pathogen in infecting so many different species of animals and
reptiles, as well as man.¡±
month more than 1,700 cases of Salmonella food poisoning from chicken were reported
in Spain and earlier outbreaks in Europe have been linked to lettuce and eggs.
Since the beginning
of the 1990s, strains of S. typhimurium resistant to a range of antibiotics have
emerged and are threatening to become a serious public health problem.
coli contamination feared
The Windsor Star
Deb Bennett, director
of health protection at the Windsor-Essex County, Ontario, Health Unit, was cited
as saying Tuesday that nearly 50 employees of an Oldcastle plastics plant are
showing symptoms that may be linked to E. coli contamination of the company's
Bennett was further cited as saying that while nine employees
of A-P Plasman Inc. have been diagnosed with shigellosis, a gastrointestinal infection,
40 others are sick and are being tested.
The health unit went to the plant
after it received a complaint of a foul odour and discolouration of the drinking
water, Bennett said. After an Aug. 11 inspection, the plant discovered a valve
malfunction which caused sewer water to contaminate drinking water.
Outbreak Puts Swimmers At Risk
Wed Aug 24,10:40 AM ET
of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/
A dangerous parasite prompted the closing
of hundreds of Hamilton County swimming pools Tuesday, and at least nine people
are already sick, News 5 reports. Eight children are ill and an adult has been
hospitalized after an outbreak of cryptosporidium at Powel Crosley Y.M.C.A. in
Springfield Township, health officials said. "Crypto" will give you
cramps and severe diarrhea that can last up to two weeks ?- or even worse.
severe outbreak in Milwaukee in 1993 killed 100 people when "crypto"
spread into the water supply. About 400,000 people were infected. The local water
supply has been tested and given the all-clear, but Hamilton County health officials
are worried that swimmers could spread the outbreak to other pools, News 5 reports.
The bug is spread by ingesting fecal matter. The Hamilton County Health Department
mailed letters to 320 pool operators, asking them to put up a "No Swimming"
sign for eight hours and super-chlorinate the water. "You can't kill it with
normal does of chlorine and that's what we do when we ask people to super-shock
their pools," said Kathy Lordo of the Hamilton County Health Department.
At Powel Crosley, they used 10 times the normal amount of chlorine, just to be
sure, and they cleaned the slides and railings, trying to reassure members. The
symptoms can be tricky, and victims and doctors may not suspect "crypto."
"You can have diarrhea for a day or two and it kind of goes off for a little
bit and it may flare up again," Lordo said. The health department is trying
to track the outbreak. If you were in the Powel Crosley. pool after Aug. 1 and
you've had diarrhea, call health officials at (513) 347-3273 between 1 p.m. and
5 p.m. This number is not for general questions.
The best ways to avoid
Wash your hands often.
is infected can be contagious for up to two weeks. They are advised not to swim
and not to work in daycare or restaurant facilities during that time.
Sanitation - Garner, NC - ConAgra Foods, Inc.
of Micro Tech and Proc Valid - CO-Boulder/Ft Collins Swift & Co.
Food Safety - Omaha, NE- ConAgra Foods, Inc.
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
to die for ? Which restaurants could make you sick?
August 29, 2005
a press release
Savvy travelers and diners
finally have a concise online resource to help them decide which restaurants to
try and which to avoid in their travels or in their hometowns, based on six clear
criteria, including cleanliness.
Visitors to SavvyDining.com will find simple,
no-frills ratings on over 40,000 restaurants all around the world submitted by
an ever-growing undercover army of savvy diners who call themselves "Restaurant
"We believe we¡¯re the only global restaurant guide that
rates cleanliness as a separate criterion," according to the senior editor
of the site, "and frankly, we were surprised that no other dining guide focused
any attention on that, since it¡¯s probably the single most important factor for
In addition to cleanliness, the criteria
used on the site include food, service, atmosphere, hospitality (customer-friendliness)
and value (bang for the buck), each of which is graded with an A, B, C, D or F.
These six grades give visitors a concise and yet comprehensive snapshot of what
they can expect at each rated restaurant.
The restaurants and their ratings
are organized geographically and presented in a large "no-squint" font
for quick navigation and easy legibility.
Travelers who use the site once will
find it invaluable for trip-planning. Restaurant owners are welcome to use the
ratings as a source of ongoing customer feedback and tourist-related businesses
may advertise on the site, as well.
Read more news from SavvyDining.com
System More Sensitive for Detecting E Coli O157:H7 in Raw Beef
International Inc. have results of a study evaluating the performance of the Envisio¢â
magnetic detection system in comparison to the USDA-FSIS reference method for
detecting E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef.
a poster presentation at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP)
Annual Meeting, 2005, Dr. Mark Barbour, Research Associate, Centrus International
outlined the study, "The Envisio System: Magnetic Detection Technology for
E. coli O157:H7."
"Envisio magnetic detection technology exhibited
equal or greater sensitivity and specificity than the USDA reference method with
a decreased time to result," says Barbour. "This improved level of performance
allows meat processors to optimize production capabilities, while ensuring consumer
safety and product quality."
The USDA-FSIS reference method includes
20-hour enrichment in a broth medium, an immunoassay screening test, and confirmation
of positive results by immunomagnetic separation and selective plating. Test results
showed that the Envisio system detected more positives than the conventional reference
method. Both systems correctly reported all uninoculated samples as negative.
The Envisio test
system uses a 7.25 hour enrichment, a simple lateral flow immunoassay step then
automated analysis using magnetic detection technology for the determination of
presence of the target pathogen. The inherent sensitivity of the magnetic detection
system lowers the detection threshold for the assay resulting in shorter enrichment
times and decreased time to result . Data is automatically interpreted and printed,
eliminating subjectivity of visual analysis and reducing potential for recording
detailed the speed, sensitivity and ease-of-use of the Envisio magnetic detection
system for the detection of E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef samples, compared with
a reference method used by the USDA-FSIS.
highlighted benefits to meat processors that the Envisio system provides, including:
Rapid results, increasing productivity
¡¤ Increased sensitivity, ensuring accurate
¡¤ Ease-of-use, reducing human error and the cost of employee training
beauty of the Envisio system is in its simplicity," added Barbour. "The
combination of simple instrument operation and automated analysis calculations,
all but eliminates the possibility of user error."
CHROMagar¢â Listeria Receives AOAC¢â Certification for the Direct Identification
of L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii
MD (August 10, 2005) BD Diagnostic Systems, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson
and Company) announced that BBLTM CHROMagarTM Listeria has been validated by the
AOACTM-Research Institute (RI) under the Performance Tested Methods ProgramSM
for the analysis of raw ground beef, smoked salmon, lettuce and Brie cheese when
using FDA BAM, USDA FSIS, AOAC and ISO methods. When used in conjunction with
these methods, AOAC RI has validated that BBL CHROMagar Listeria provides an identification
of L. monocytogenes/ivanovii with no confirmatory biochemical tests required.
advantage BBL CHROMagar Listeria has over recommended traditional media, such
as Modified Oxford and Oxford, is the ability to distinguish L. monocytogenes
and L. ivanovii from other Listeria species. The high level of sensitivity and
specificity of BBL CHROMagar Listeria reduces the amount of technologist time
invested in identifying false positives from traditional media, reduces biochemical
costs and improves turnaround time.
CHROMagar Listeria utilizes a chromogenic substrate that produces a blue-green
colony with halo when hydrolyzed by a specific enzyme. ¡°Our evaluation of the
new BBL CHROMagar Listeria showed a superior performance of the agar in its ability
to differentiate Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii from other Listeria
species and background flora present in various food matrices and environmental
samples, compared to non-chromogenic media commonly used for Listeria isolation¡±,
said Joseph Odumeru, Ph.D, Adjunct Professor, Department of Food Science at the
University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.
efficient identification of Listeria monocytogenes is important in environmental
samples. ¡°Our experience with BBL CHROMagar Listeria, as applied to environmental
samples, has been very positive. When comparing CHROMagar to Modified Oxford after
prior enrichment, there was excellent agreement between the two media,¡± said Lee-Ann
Jaykus, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Food Science and Food Microbiology at NC
State University. ¡°Furthermore, interpretation based on colony morphology was
easier with BBL CHROMagar Listeria. This saved time, media and labor. After presumptively
positive Listeria and L. monocytogenes strains isolated from CHROMagar were further
characterized, the species identities agreed with the initial CHROMagar interpretations.
In short, our experience shows that BBL CHROMagar Listeria was an excellent pre-screen
that greatly facilitated isolation and detection of Listeria as applied to environmental
CHROMagar¢â Listeria is the latest formulation in the BBLTM CHROMagar¢â media line
to receive AOAC-RI certification. BBL CHROMagar Salmonella has been certified
by AOAC-RI. Customers interested in more information on BBL¢â CHROMagar¢â Listeria,
should call 1-800-638-8663, or contact their BD Diagnostic Systems representative.
Whitley Scientific Supplies Rapid Test for Campylobacter
from exclusive UK distributors Don Whitley Scientific, Warnex has launched a new
test for Campylobacter in poultry rinses for use with its Genevision¢â Rapid Pathogen
Detection System. Together accounting for 99% of reported cases, Campylobacter
jejuni, C. coli and C. lari species can be detected within 48 hours using real-time
PCR technology, as opposed the five to seven days required by traditional testing
is the most commonly identified cause of foodborne disease in the UK, and is found
mainly in poultry, red meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water. Although
unable to grow in food, it spreads easily requiring only a few bacteria to cause
illness. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is working with the food industry to
halve the number of UK-produced chickens that test positive for campylobacter
by 2010. A consultation document has recently been published in order to establish
criteria for monitoring progress towards this target.
Campylobacter continues to emerge as a serious pathogen threatening the safety
of food, particularly poultry, and water, more companies are beginning to screen
for it as part of their regular quality assurance practices," said Mark Busgang,
President and CEO of Warnex. "Adding new tests to our portfolio is an important
aspect of our growth strategy as it allows us to both leverage our existing installed
base to drive additional reagent revenue as well as attract new customers with
a more comprehensive food safety solution."
San Francisco salmonella outbreak unsolved
August 25, 2005
SAN MATEO -- Health officials in San Mateo County were cited as saying
that while the cause of a salmonella outbreak in the county last month remains
under investigation, almonds have been ruled out as the source.
which was traced back to La Tapatia restaurant in South San Francisco, affected
22 people including one restaurant employee, according to San Mateo County Health
Services spokeswoman Beverly Thames.
In a communicable disease report issued
to the Board of Supervisors, county health officials initially leaned toward almonds
as the cause, saying specimens from the restaurant patrons matched a strain of
salmonella found in raw almonds.
However, Thames said Wednesday evening that
it appears the salmonella originated elsewhere.
Testing to determine the source
of the bacteria is ongoing, she said.
Thames was cited as saying that an environmental
health specialist and public health nurse visited the restaurant and recommended
ways it can prevent future transmission of harmful bacteria, adding, "The
public doesn¡¯t need to be concerned."
officials say Colorado illness traced to recalled beef
DENVER ? State health officials said Friday
one human case of E. coli has been traced to ground beef that was recalled by
the Flanders Provision Co. The victim was an adult from Delta who was hospitalized
and released, said Cindy Parmenter, a spokeswoman for the state Department of
Public Health and Environment. Parmenter said no other details were available
and no other illnesses were traced to the recalled meat. El Paso County health
officials said two other cases of E. coli were confirmed in children there, but
the officials don't believe they were related to the recalled beef. Those case
were under investigation. E. coli is a bacteria that can cause diarrhea, dehydration
and other, deadly illnesses. Flanders Provision Co. recalled about 900,000 pounds
of frozen ground beef patties because the patties may be contaminated with the
bacteria. It was sold in 2-, 3- and 5-pound packages under the brand names Flanders
Bun Buster, Flanders Beef Patties, America's Pride Beef Patties, Grill Master
Beef Patties and Value Time Beef Patties. It was also sold in 10-pound packages
under the brand names of Flanders Beef Patties, Flanders Homestyle Cubed Beef
Patties and Flanders Patty Mix.
The meat was processed between Feb. 21, 2005,
and March 10, 2005, and distributed to retail stores nationwide.___
U.S. Department of Agriculture: http://www.fsis.usda.gov
thorough recall process may have prevented Salmonella outbreak
SAN FRANCISCO - Food
Safety attorney William Marler today reissued calls for more stringent recall
procedures for contaminated food in the aftermath of a Salmonella outbreak at
a restaurant in San Francisco. According to health officials, 22 ill persons have
tested positive for a strain of Salmonella matching the strain associated with
In May, 2004, officials at the FDA, in conjunction with state
health officials from Oregon, Washington, and California, reported a link between
a number of Salmonella illnesses and raw almonds processed and sold by Paramount
Farms, Inc. of California. As a result, Paramount Farms recalled approximately
13 million pounds of raw almonds. Eventually at least 46 illnesses, including
a death, were tied to that outbreak. Documents acquired in litigation against
Paramount Farms demonstrate that of the roughly 13 million pounds of almonds recalled,
only 1,183,279 pounds were recovered by the firm. While a significant amount of
the recalled almonds were likely consumed before the recall, it remains likely
that the most recent outbreak can be traced back to the prior problem.
the amount of potentially contaminated product involved, tougher follow-up procedures
were needed in this case,¡± said Marler, who has represented thousands of food-poisoning
victims in the past. ¡°If even ten percent of the product was allowed to remain
on the shelves, that leaves the potential for hundreds, if not thousands, of illnesses.
And in reality, they recovered only ten percent of the product. The other ninety
percent has either been consumed or is still out there.¡±
Marler¡¯s firm, Marler
Clark, has filed lawsuits on behalf of eleven people who became ill with Salmonella
infections after consuming contaminated Paramount Farms almonds. For more information
on Salmonella litigation in this case, visit Salmonellalitigation.com.
juice poses serious health risk, says FDA
By Chris Mercer
of Article: http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/
8/29/2005 - Untreated juices
are still causing serious outbreaks of foodborne illness across America, according
to the US Food and Drug Administration, warning consumers to be extra careful.
FDA said that while most peoples' immune systems can usually fight off the effects
of foodborne illness, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems
risk serious illnesses or even death from drinking untreated juices.
is because when fruit and vegetables are juiced, bacteria from the produce can
become a part of the finished product.
or otherwise untreated juices, sold in grocery stores are required to carry warning
labels for consumers, stating: ¡°This product has not been pasteurized and therefore
may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly,
and persons with weakened immune systems.¡±
with consumers choosing to drink ever more juice as a healthier alternative to
fizzy sodas, the FDA is concerned that more people may be putting themselves at
does not require warning labels for juices that are fresh-squeezed and sold by
the glass, such as at farmers markets, at roadside stands, or in some juice bars,¡±
and drinks producers and distributors face inevitable fines if any outbreak of
food poisoning can be traced back to their products.
FDA last October published the final 2004 Produce Safety Action Plan aimed at
minimizing the number of foodborne illnesses that are contracted each year through
the consumption of fresh produce.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in the US each
year, 76 million people become sick, more than 325,000 people are hospitalized,
and 5,000 people die from foodborne illness.
also says that at least 12 percent of foodborne-outbreak-associated illnesses
in the 1990s were linked to fresh produce.
elsewhere in the world back up this theory. In 1999, unpasteurized orange juice
was responsible for a food poisoning outbreak in South Australia affecting more
than 500 people.
dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness in one to three days after
eating the contaminated food, though can cause sickness anywhere between 20 minutes
or up to six weeks later.