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Issues Nationwide Health Alert on Dole Pre-Packaged Salads
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing
a nationwide warning to consumers against eating certain pre-packaged Dole salad
products because these products have been associated with an outbreak of E. coli
O157:H7 in Minnesota. The affected products include three brand names and are
labeled with "best-if-used by" dates, as listed below, and a production
code beginning with "B250."
have been associated with consumption of Dole salad products purchased from a
single grocery store chain, Rainbow Foods, in its Minnesota locations. However,
salad products containing the affected production codes are also distributed nationwide.
three prepackaged salad products involved are:
Romaine - with a "best-if-used-by (BIUB)" date of September 23, 2005
and a production code beginning with "B250."
American Blend - with
a "best-if-used-by (BIUB)" date of September 23, 2005 and a production
code beginning with "B250."
Greener Selection - with a "best-if-used-by
(BIUB)" date of September 22, 2005, and a production code beginning with
The "best-if-used-by" code date can be located
in the upper right hand corner of the front of the bag. While it is unlikely that
stores still have this product on their shelves, consumers may have product in
their refrigerators. Consumers who have any of the three packaged salads listed
should dispose of the product.
the severity of this illness, FDA believes an urgent warning to consumers is needed.
FDA is working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) and our state partners to further identify the source of the problem and
its scope," said Dr. Robert Brackett, Director of the FDA's Center for Food
Safety and Applied Nutrition.
this time, no other Dole salad products are involved and Dole Food Company has
issued a recall for the implicated salad products. Dole is working cooperatively
with the FDA to minimize any further risk to consumers.
coli O157:H7 infection often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps;
sometimes the infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Usually little
or no fever is present, and the illness resolves in five to ten days. Although
most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, in some persons, particularly
children under five years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause
a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This condition can lead
to serious kidney damage and even death.
date there have been reports of eleven cases of illness attributed to E. coli
O157 in Minnesota. Of these eleven cases, two individuals have been hospitalized.
The latest reported illness was September 19, 2005.
who may have experienced any of the above symptoms after eating these salad products
should contact their physician or local department of health.
Issues EIAO Directive
victim settles Chi-Chi's suit
PITTSBURGH?A lawsuit filed by a man who needed
a liver transplant after he got hepatitis A from a Chi-Chi's restaurant has, according
to this story, been settled for $6.25 million. A federal judge approved a $4.1
million trust to pay for the ongoing care of Richard Miller, 58. The rest of the
money will go to Miller's wife, Linda, and their three children, to his attorneys,
or to pay for medical expenses Miller already incurred.
The story says that
the settlement was reached six weeks ago, but became public at a court hearing
on Thursday at which U.S. District Judge Terry McVerry approved the trust, the
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Friday. Miller was one of 660 people sickened
by green onions he ate at the restaurant in the Beaver Valley Mall in the fall
of 2003; four people died in the outbreak.
Attorney William Marler was quoted
as saying, "The Millers are happy to have the litigation behind them. No
amount of money ever makes losing your liver worth it, certainly."
cannot hope for noticeable improvement in his health," the trust agreement
says, adding that Miller may suffer future problems and may even need another
transplant. Chi-Chi's attorneys have said the bankrupt chain has paid more than
$40 million to settle hundreds of lawsuits stemming from the outbreak.
allergy concern drives new test methods
By Anthony Fletcher
- UK food analysis firm RSSL has added kiwi fruit to the list of allergens it
can detect by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) methods. The company claims that
by using PCR, it can detect traces of kiwi fruit down to 10mg/ Kg (10ppm) levels.
The announcement is likely to be welcomed by food makers who use kiwi as a
natural ingredient. The fruit is now considered as one of the most serious allergens
not currently included on the labelling list of the European Directive 2003/89/EC,
which is due to take full effect from November 25, 2005. The directive means that
manufacturers will have to list all sub-ingredients of compound ingredients, so
that allergens cannot be 'hidden'. But kiwi fails to fall into the list of potential
allergens, having seemingly slipped through the net when the proposals were first
aired. The fruit has not always been seen as a potential source of allergy. Kiwis
were first introduced into the UK diet in the late 1960s, and consumption has
increased steadily since then, with over 31,000 tonnes of the fruit imported into
the UK alone in 2002. According to researchers at Southampton University, very
few allergies to kiwi fruit were reported in the 1970s but reactions were increasingly
reported in the 1980s, predominantly in adults. It was not until the 1990s that
the kiwi fruit allergy was more commonly reported in children and young infants.
threatens Japan with sanctions
by Pete Hisey on 9/30/2005
Republicans, including House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), said
after testimony by U.S. officials about beef trade that unless Japan stops "stonewalling"
on the beef issue, Congress may introduce retaliatory measures.
said the ban on American beef was costing the industry $100 million each month,
and Kansas Republican Jerry Moran demanded that a pending bill seeking sanctions
be voted upon "to show Japan the serious nature of this trade issue."
Over 100 members of Congress have written to President Bush demanding that the
beef issue become an economic priority.
is scheduled to visit Japan and meet with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in
mid-November. There have been indications that accelerated discussions between
trade representatives may bear fruit so that Bush and Koizumi could announce a
reopening of the border during that visit.
Firm Recalls Cooked Chicken Sausage Products and Beef Wieners For Possible Listeria
2005 Food Code
of Food Facilities Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism
Questions and Answers from FDA
abrupt FDA departure closes his career on sad note
by Dan Murphy
on 9/30/2005 for Meatingplace.com
The sudden resignation last week of Lester
M. Crawford, D.V.M., as Food and Drug Administration commissioner ends a once-stellar
career in public service under a cloud that won't soon be lifted.
not just the fact that Crawford quit mere weeks after finally winning confirmation
as FDA commissioner it's the way he did it that heaps suspicion on top of the
controversy he and his former agency were already battling.
to the New York Times, senior FDA officials said they were "stunned to learn
of the resignation" in an email on Sept. 23. Other news reports stated that
Crawford simply said, "It is time, at the age of 67, to step aside."
speculation about Crawford's sudden resignation focused on allegations that he
had not fully disclosed financial information to the Senate committee that battled
over his nomination for months.
Collaboration Advances Listeria Control in RTE Seafood Plants
interview with Ken Gall, New York Sea Grant and Smoked Seafood Working Group from
Microbiology Symposium celebrates 25 years
September 23, 2005
of Wisconsin - River Falls
This year the University
of Wisconsin-River Falls will be celebrating 25 years of the Food Microbiology
Symposium, which focuses on food safety and automated methods in food microbiology.
The Food Microbiology Symposium is Oct. 15-19 and features speakers from academia,
industry and regulatory agencies will provide an overview on various topics including:
GMO testing, strategies for controlling E. coli and other pathogens, biosecurity
and food safety objectives. Keynote speakers for the Symposium are Daniel Y.C.
Fung and John OˇŻBrien. Fung is a professor of animal sciences and industry and
professor of food science at Kansas State University . He is an internationally
recognized authority in the field of rapid methods and automation in microbiology
for his research. OˇŻBrien is the chief executive officer of the Food Safety Authority
of Ireland (FSAI). He has a broad knowledge of risk assessment and food safety
management at the international level together with communication expertise. Additional
speakers include: Stan Bailey, USDA-Agricultural Research Service; Reginald Bennett,
FDA; Robert Brackett, FDA, CFSAN; Michael Brodsky, Brodsky Consultants; Julian
Cox, the University of New South Wales; Tibor Deak, St. Istvan University; Mimi
Goldschmidt, University of Texas; Paul Hall, Kraft Foods; Will Hueston, University
of Minnesota; Ann Marie McNamara, Silliker, Inc.; Scott Russell, University of
Georgia; Richard Stier, Consulting Food Scientists and Bala Swaminathan, CDE.
The Food Microbiology Symposium attracts a diverse community of attendees. The
program is suitable for food scientists and technologists, quality assurance supervisors,
food laboratory directors, microbiologists, consultants, researchers and graduate
students interested in food microbiology. Registrations for the symposium are
accepted on a first-come, first served basis. The $600 fee includes conference
manual, abstracts of the presentations, meals, breaks, and the banquet on Oct.
18. For additional information on the symposium, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
the Web site at http://www.uwrf.edu/food-science , click on the links to workshops
and then the link to the Food Microbiology Symposium. For more information, contact
Professor P.C. Vasavada, conference director at 715/425-3150.
industry shares tips on acrylamide reduction
By Ahmed ElAmin
of Article: foodproductiondaily.com/
30/09/2005 - In issuing a set of successful
procedures on reducing acrylamide formation during manufacturing processes, the
EU's food industry association is attempting to help its smaller members get on
the right side of public opinion.
guidelines issued this month by the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries
of the EU (CIAA) are a means of sharing research information garnered by the larger
companies to those who do not have the money or resources to do the job properly.
Reducing acrylamide in
foods industry wide can only help improve the public perception about food safety,
which has suffered in recent years.
hit the headlines in 2002 when scientists at the Swedish Food Administration first
reported unexpectedly high levels of the potential carcinogen in carbohydrate-rich
foods cooked at high temperatures. Until then acrylamide was known only as a highly
reactive industrial chemical, present also at low levels for example in tobacco
that the chemical causes cancer in rats,. Toxicological data suggested that this
substance might be ? directly or indirectly - carcinogenic also for humans.
news, and surrounding controversy over the chemical, jolted the EU's food industry
into tackling the issue by looking at ways processing can reduce the levels of
A wide range
of cooked foods ? prepared industrially, in catering, or at home ? contain acrylamide
at levels between a few parts per billion (ppb) to over 1000 ppb. The foods include
bread, fried potatoes and coffee as well as specialty products like potato crisps,
biscuits, crisp bread, and a range of other heat-processed products.
document issued by the CIAA provides descriptions of the intervention steps being
evaluated by food manufacturers. In some cases the procedures are already being
used by food processors, are undergoing testing or are the result of laboratory
Food Safety's Bacteriophages are Safe for Control of Listeria in Food and Food
Thursday September 29, 8:55 am ET
of Article: http://biz.yahoo.com/
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, September 29
/PRNewswire/ -- Today EBI Food Safety published its safety data regarding the
use of its bacteriophageproduct against Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause
listeriosis, an often fatal infection. In recent years, L. monocytogenes has been
implicated in several large food poisoning outbreaks. Though not as familiar to
the public, Listeria poisoning results in the highest rate of hospitalization
of any foodborne pathogen and the second highest mortality rate (i.e. 20% of Listeria
victims die). Pregnant women who contract Listeria poisoning will almost always
suffer miscarriage. Listeria bacteria are psychotropic, meaning they continue
to grow at refrigeration temperatures, and are one of the major safety and liability
concerns for the modern food processor.
(litt. "bacteria eaters") are found in every natural environment and
are harmless to humans, animals and plants. They can destroy harmful bacteria
in a completely natural and safe process, which occurs in all natural environments,
and is one of the most overlooked natural solutions in the fight against bacteria.
publication of the safety data in the Regulatory Journal of Toxicology and Pharmacology
is expected to accelerate the acceptance of bacteriophages in food safety applications.
"To our knowledge this is the most comprehensive case presented to date,"
says EBI Food Safety's CEO, Mark Offerhaus. "All perceivable safety aspects
have been demonstrated, including genomics, allergenicity and toxicity."
The article is also available online (www.ebifoodsafety.com).