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Internet Journal of Food Saety

9/13
2005
ISSUE:178

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Current Issue
Vol 6. 23-30
An observational study of Food Safety Levels of salt, fat and sugar of soups consumed in Trinidad

Vol 6. 17-22
Microorganisms in Kitchen Spnges

Vol 6. 11-16
Willingness to Adopt HACCP: Goat Producers Survey Results

Vol 6. 5-10
The HACCP Implementation and the Mental Illness of Food Handlers As the 4th Eventual Hazard

Vol 6. 1-4.
A Preliminary Study of Kashar Cheese and Its Organoleptic Qualities Matured in Bee Wax

Temperature probe provides safety record
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: www.foodproductiondaily.com/

09/09/2005 - A new temperature measuring instrument can transmit data by radio, allowing processors, suppliers and clients to hold identical records of food they ship and receive.
Consumer demand and an increased focus on food safety through regulator oversight and regulations is a driving trend in the processing industry. More and more companies are releasing instruments that help trace food throughout the supply chain.
The Testo 926 has a measuring range from -50¡ÆC to 350¡ÆC. Its sensors have a short reaction time. The machine can transmit data by radio over a distance of up to 20m.
In addition to a choice of different temperature probes, companies can use wireless measuring probes when using the radio receiver module. The use of a probe avoids dirty or damaged wires and contamination of other food being produced by the manufacturer.
The portable probe can transmit temperature data with the date and time to a printer. This is useful when receiving goods, since both supplier and recipient are provided with a record of the temperature data.
When adjustable high or low limit values are exceeded under hazard analysis regulations the instrument immediately sounds an acoustic alarm.
The display is back-lit, making it suitable in situations with bad lighting. Minimum and maximum values can be accessed in the two-line display.
An auto-hold function recognises a stable end value and automatically fixes it in the display. The length of time in which a temperature value must remain stable is adjustable.
A water-proof cover fits over the instrument and protects it from dirt, knocks and water. This stops food particles from becoming lodged in gaps in the housings.
The instrument is manufactured by Australia-based Testo, which has subsidiary companies in Switzerland, France, Austria, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Turkey.
External links to companies or organisations mentioned in this story:
Testo: http://www.testo.com.au/

Disney sorry for action over food bug pair
Hong Kong Disneyland has admitted fault and apologized to two health inspectors who were asked to take off their hats and badges when entering the theme park to conduct a food poisoning investigation late last month.
Matthew Lee
Saturday, September 10, 2005
Source of Article: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/

Hong Kong Disneyland has admitted fault and apologized to two health inspectors who were asked to take off their hats and badges when entering the theme park to conduct a food poisoning investigation late last month.
Regarding the food poisoning cases that led to the incident, the Center for Health Protection confirmed Friday a positive test result of vibrio parahaemolyticus from stool samples of one of three people who became ill after eating at two restaurants in Disneyland - Royal Banquet Hall of Fantasy Land and the Starliner Diner - on August 28.
The bacteria is most commonly found in raw seafood and is responsible for 60 percent of all food poisoning.

The center said two men and a woman, aged between 28 and 30, had stomachache and diarrhea after eating a variety of food, including curry dishes and chicken burgers, at the two restaurants.
All three have since recovered.
Disney's "high-handed" treatment, revealed by the local media Friday, drew fire from the government.

Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee said the theme park does not stand above the law, and assistant director of Food and Environmental Hygiene Rhonda Lo said the incident is unacceptable.
"The management of the theme park said it was a misunderstanding," Lo said in a radio program Friday. "The park has no authority to make such requests. It is not acceptable."
She said two department officers were entering the park on August 30 to inspect two premises after receiving complaints of food poisoning.
A staff member at the park requested the officers take off their hats and badges before entering to avoid causing distress to the parkgoers. The officers, who did not immediately report the incident to their bosses, followed the order and were allowed to conduct the inspections. In response to the department's inquiry, the management of the park later explained that it was a "misunderstanding."
However a formal apology was only given 10 days after the incident happened.
"The park's preliminary response to us stated that the staff had made the requests to avoid causing distress to other customers," Lo said.
"They admitted that their staff were at fault and promised it will not happen again."
She said law enforcement officers must not accept such requests because their uniforms represent the disciplinary force.
The officers will not face punishment, but the department has reminded staff to follow the code of practice and work according to the law, she said.
"We guarantee that the same thing will not happen again and the park also says it will never make such requests again," Lo said.
Lee said: "Disneyland does not stand above the law of Hong Kong. Everyone in Hong Kong must abide by the law. There is no special agreement with the park.
"Disciplinary forces officers working in Disneyland will act according to the law and will definitely not take off their hats or uniforms."
A spokeswoman for Disneyland, Maggie Lee, said she did not want to go into details of the incident.
She did not know the identity or rank of the staff member who made the request.
But it was learned that the man in question is non-Chinese and is a senior member of the Disney staff.
"There was a communication problem between Disneyland and the department," Disney's Lee said. "We have never instructed our staff to make such requests.
"We admit that it was wrong and we apologize to the government for the incident."
She said the park will abide by all local laws and similar incidents "will never happen again."
But it is not known whether management have warned the staff member at fault.
The chairman of the Legislative Council's food safety and environmental hygiene panel, Fred Li, said no company or organization should ever be given an exemption when uniformed officers come on duty and are enforcing the law.
"Except some private clubs that are licensed under the Home Affairs Bureau, other food premises are regulated by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department," Li said.
He agreed that the request made by the Disneyland staff in question was "out of line," and is worried the incident may undermine public's confidence in the department's law enforcement work.
Glendy Chu, the public affairs manager of Disney rival Ocean Park, said it does not have restrictions covering law enforcement officers who have to enter the park.
"If the officers have to enter the park for work, we will not for any reason interfere with their uniform," Chu said. "There is no regulation instructing the officers to hide their identity."

Orchid Island Juice Company Voluntarily Recalls Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Due to Potential Salmonella Contamination

Salmonella alert triggers California basil recall
By staff reporter
Source of Article:
nutraingredients-usa.com/
9/6/2005 - Dried basil contaminated with Salmonella is at the center of a major product recall in California. The FDA has advised processors and repackers that Majestic International Spice Corporation has been forced to recall its dried ¡°Extra Fancy Basil¡± spice in 12.5 kilogram bags after traces of Salmonella were found.
The agency also said that it was concerned that the firm had not adequately alerted its suppliers to the problem. The only identification on the 12.5 kilogram paper bags is a white paper label stating ¡°EXTRA FANCY BASIL 12.5 KGS.¡±
Since the passage of the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act, the FDA has unprecedented authority over domestic and imported food products. Indeed, the contamination was noted after routine testing by FDA revealed the presence of Salmonella Blockley.

The FDA is confident that such outbreaks are highly unlikely now to slip through the net. All food facilities are required to register with the FDA, and in addition, the agency requires all food facilities to maintain records to allow the agency to identify the immediate previous sources and the immediate subsequent recipients of food products.
The agency says that the speed at which these ¡°one-step forward, one-step back¡± records can be accessed in case of potential food contamination is critical in diminishing the impact on consumers. If companies are unable to trace and isolate the source of a possible food contamination problem within 24 to 48 hours, the potential of serious damage increases exponentially.
The California-based company has now ceased the distribution of the product in question, and processors or repackers who received this product should discontinue using it and contact their local FDA office.
Salmonella is a microorganism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella bacteria often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the microorganism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.

Job Openings
09/12. Food Safety Specialist/GMP Auditor - Indianapolis, IN

09/12. Quality Assurance Technician - King of Prussia, PA

09/12. Quality Assurance Supervisor - Second Shift - Cincinnati OH

09/12. Quality Technician - Los Angeles, CA

09/09. Food Safety Specialist - Kansas City, MO

09/09. Quality Assurance Manager - IL-Downers Grove

09/09. Quality Assurance Superviser Needed ASAP

09/09. IA-Cedar Rapids-Microbiology Lab Analyst

09/09. Quality Assurance Supervisor - Indianapolis, IN

09/08. Quality Control Manager - CA-Central Valley

09/08. Food Safety Specialist - Huntsville, AL

09/08. Food Safety Specialist - Atlanta, GA

09/08. Quality Assurance Manager - Bakery US-NJ-Southern

09/07. QA /Sanitation Manager - Bilingual Spanish/English Oakland/San Jose, CA

09/07. Manager, Quality Assurance - Omaha, NE


Drug-Resistant E. Coli Spreads in England
Mon Sep 12
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/

WARWICK, England - Strains of E. coli bacteria that are resistant to most types of antibiotics and may be spread in food are increasing rapidly in England, the government's health agency said Monday.
The Health Protection Agency called for more research, saying there is no reliable estimate of the number of cases involved and it is not certain how the bug is transmitted.
E. coli are very common bacteria that normally live harmlessly in the gut, and are one of the most common causes of urinary tract infections.
In a report to a health conference in Warwick, central England, the HPA said the new E. coli strains produce an enzyme called Extended-Spectrum Beta Lactamase, or ESBL, which makes them more resistant to antibiotics and therefore makes the infections harder to treat. In many cases, only two oral antibiotics and a few intravenous antibiotics remain effective.
"Voluntary national surveillance of blood poisoning (in England) caused by E. coli from 1994 to 2004 indicates a recent increase in the numbers of infections that are multi-resistant and therefore likely to be ESBL-producing strains," said Dr. Georgia Duckworth, who compiled the report.
"There is no comprehensive surveillance of urinary tract infections in the community so there is no reliable estimate of the number of infections caused by ESBL-producing E. coli strains in the community."

FDA Offers Valuable Food Safety Information for Hurricane Aftermath

Rapid Salmonella Confirmation and Screening From Selective Agar
The isolation and identification of Salmonella spp., using traditional techniques can take as long as five days, due to the need to grow the organism prior to identification by serological and biochemical techniques.
Microscreen¢ç Salmonella offers a rapid alternative to these identification methods. Suspect colonies grown on both traditional and chromogenic isolation media may be tested directly providing and early presumptive confirmation of the presence of Salmonella prior to biochemical identification.
The test has a very high specificity and a high negative predictive value making it ideal for testing food, clinical, environmental and veterinary samples. The total test time is 2 minutes when testing colonies from selective agar media. Microgen Bioproducts offers a wide range of products for detection and identification of micro-organisms isolated from food and clinical veterinary samples.

Lab developing food authentication test methods
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: foodproductiondaily.com/
08/09/2005 - A UK-funded testing lab is developing a variety of gene-based, chemical and biological tests to determine food authenticity, a means for plants to determine whether they received the right ingredients. Food authentication is essentially in determining where a product, say basmati rice, really comes from or whether it has been adulterated with contaminants or filled out with cheaper substances.
With increasing demands being made on food processors to label their products correctly, and the resulting expensive recalls when they do not, such testing methods have sparked interest in the industry. Authenticity analyses are now an integral part of most food companies' quality systems so as to guarantee the authenticity of their products and protect their brands in line with current legislation.
Testing for allergens and ensuring products confirm to religious requirements are also important.
The UK's government's Central Science Laboratory (CSL) has been working on ways of checking that food is accurately labelled. The research is being funded mainly by the UK's Food Standards Agency, and in part by the EU as part of a campaign against food fraud, called Trace.
Much of its scientists research is being published in scientific journals and is available patent-free to commercial companies. However Heather (Hez) Hird, a molecular biologist at CSL, told FoodProductionDaily.com that many EU companies are not large enough to afford the expense of a fully equipped laboratory.
More and more companies across the EU are sending samples to the CSL for testing.
"We are a European leader in this kind of research," she said. "We are seeing more and more companies sending us samples for testing."
A cost of ¡Ì250 (¢æ370) per sample, the testing is not cheap. In the past year much of the testing has focused on basmati rice under a programme started by the FSA, Hird said. Premium products, were consumers are paying a higher price for a special food, are the main focus of such authentication testing.
The study by the FSA found that nearly one in five packets at the retail level had more than 20 per cent of non-basmati rice. In one in 10 cases, the adulteration reached 60 per cent. As a result the British Retail Consortium ended up issuing a code of conduct governing the labelling of "basmati rice".
The CSL is also focusing on honey testing, especially on detecting the presence of a range of antimicrobials antibiotics. Honey is imported from a number of countries where the use of these drugs to prevent or cure disease in bees is permitted or access to unauthorised antibiotics is relatively easy, Hird said.
The presence of antimicrobials antibiotics is a concern not only because of their direct toxicity, but also because of their potential contribution to the build up of resistance to commonly used human drugs. There are also two ways of adulterating honey, both of which are designed to increase profit. The first method is to add high fructose corn syrup or cane sugar. CSL's sagacious scientists can detect this form of adulteration.
The second way to adulterate honey is to take high quality honey and blend it with lower cost imports. Up until now detection of this fraud has only been possible by highly skilled and specialised microscopic pollen analysis.
Under Trace, the CSL is developing testing methods for the authentication of honey using chemical and biological techniques. The team is also developing tests to detect horse and donkey meat in salami, and of beef being used to bulk up more expensive venison. The CSL has also developed a test to measure the proportion of haddock in a fish finger products.
Hird, who is in charge of the project, first developed a technique for testing whether chicken-based products had cheaper turkey mixed in.

Food Safety Institute of the Americas to hold public meeting

by Ann Bagel on 9/12/2005 for Meatingplace.com
A public meeting to discuss the Food Safety Institute of the Americas' goal of improving and harmonizing food safety, food security and food defense education, training and communication throughout the Americas is scheduled for Sept. 29-30 in Miami, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced.
Attendees will be encouraged to make suggestions on the scope and direction of the FSIA at interactive plenary sessions. Issues to be discussed will include: Assessment and analysis of educational and informational needs identified through a survey administered by FSIA partners, the University of Florida and Miami Dade College

FSIA's three- to five-year strategic plan
Establishing strategies and best practices for developing and delivering programs identified through the needs survey
Planning next steps for the FSIA in fostering collaboration and partnership development of the proposed FSIA colleges
FSIA is seeking to tap into existing networks of domestic and international government, academia, industry and consumer organizations within North, South and Central America and the Caribbean to further promote the development of international food safety, food security and food defense standards and improve public health in the western hemisphere.
FSIS invites all interested persons to take part in and submit comments on the topics to be discussed at the public meeting. Submissions must include the agency name and docket number 05-028N. To comment online, click here.
The meeting will be held at the Renaissance Eden Roc Hotel, 4525 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 29 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 30. All sessions are free, but registration is required. Attendees who need sign language interpreters or have other special needs should contact the FSIA at 305/347-5552 or by fax at 305/530-6066. An agenda will be available prior to the meeting on the FSIS Web site.

On-Line Slides
Food Safety General Principles - Where Do Fresh Fruits and Vegetables fit?
by Dr. Linda Harris
source from UC Davis
Click here to see the slides (Wait for 40-50 sec. after click)

HACCP and Food Safe Schools
by Steve Elmer
source from www.dpi.state.wi.us
Click here to see the slides (Wait for 40-50 sec. after click)

Foodborne Illness CSI: Cracking the Legal Code
by Marler Clark Attorneys at Law LLP
source from www.marlerclark.com
Click here to see the slides (Wait for 40-50 sec. after click)

U.S. cattle producers trying to reclose border to beef
September 10, 2005
The Globe and Mail/ Canadian Press
A15
John Cotter
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
A group representing 18,000 U.S. cattle producers has, according to this story, petitioned a U.S. court for a rehearing in a bid to close the border again to Canadian beef.
R-CALF USA has requested that a group of 11 judges who sit on the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals review a ruling made by a three-judge panel on July 14 that overturned a temporary ban on young Canadian cattle imports.
Bill Bullard, chief executive officer of R-CALF, was quoted as saying from Billings, Mont. that, "The three-judge panel . . . missed or misunderstood numerous key aspects of this case. We are dealing with a disease that has devastated the cattle industries in other countries and that has already cost the U.S. cattle industry billions of dollars in lost beef exports."
The story notes that since trade in live cattle resumed on July 18, Canadian producers have shipped more than 89,000 animals under 30 months of age to the U.S.
While there is no guarantee the appeals court will grant the rehearing, a favourable ruling for R-CALF would again cast a pall of uncertainty over the Canadian beef industry.
It has already suffered $7-billion in losses since a cow with bovine spongiform encephalitis?BSE or mad cow disease?was found in Alberta in May of 2003.
Stan Eby, president of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, was cited as urging producers not to worry too much about R-CALF's latest move, adding, "Our legal counsel have told us that rehearings are very rarely granted. My sense is there will not be a rehearing and trade will continue. But we have to be watching all the time."

Ultra-rapid and Specific Detection of Beer Spoiling Bacteria
vermicon AG and Chemunex SA have established a worldwide cooperation with the aim of combining their technologies to enable the ultra-rapid detection and quantification of microorganisms, with sensitivity down to a single microbial cell.

ChemVIT¢ç-Beer is the first application in the new ChemVIT product range and it impressively combines the advantages of the technologies from both companies: the gene probe technology VIT (vermicon identification technology) from vermicon very quickly and highly-specifically identifies living beer-spoiling bacteria. The laser-scanning cytometer ChemScan¢çRDI from Chemunex allows a very sensitive, fast and automatic detection and quantification of the targeted microorganisms.

With ChemVIT¢ç-Beer, the time consuming cultivation of the microorganisms is no longer necessary. The analysis time is therefore considerably shorter compared to conventional and other modern analysis methods. This time-saving allows breweries to reduce logistics costs and make faster product release decisions.

The detection of bacteria using ChemVIT¢ç-Beer involves only a few steps from taking the sample to obtaining the results. Within 3 hours the results are available and can be automatically quantified, down to single cell level, by the ChemScan¢çRDI.