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Internet Journal of Food Saety

10/18
2005
ISSUE:182

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Businesses awarded for excellence in hygiene & food safety: EIQA Announce Hygiene Awards Winners, in association with safefood: Hospital and Healthcare Services category added to awards
October 14, 2005
safefood
Mayo based bakers, O¡¯Hara¡¯s of Foxford, picked up the Overall Winner ¡®National Hygiene and Food Safety Award¡¯ at the EIQA (Excellence Ireland Quality Association) Quality and Excellence Awards 2005. The awards, sponsored by safefood, the Food Safety Promotion Board, were held last night, Thursday 13th October, in Dublin and were presented by Tanaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Ms Mary Harney, T.D. Competing against businesses from all over Ireland, O¡¯Hara¡¯s came out on top to win the award for the second year in a row.
A new dimension to the awards in 2005 was the addition of a category for the Hospital and Health services. This is the first time that there has been a specific sector for Hospitals and Health services, and there was a huge response from outlets within this sector. A significant number of hospitals entered and the winner of that award was Stewarts Hospital, Dublin. more information

Unpasteurized fruit juice and cider
October 13, 2005

From a press release
OTTAWA - Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) are advising parents and caregivers that children should not be served unpasteurized apple juice or other unpasteurized products, such as unpasteurized cider, fruit juices and raw milk.
Unpasteurized products have the potential to be contaminated with harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7, which can make vulnerable individuals such as children, especially those under the age of six, very ill, and even lead to death.
The elderly and people with weakened immune systems are also advised against consuming unpasteurized products.
Canada has enjoyed a long history of providing safe, high quality juice and cider to consumers. The vast majority of these products are pasteurized, such as shelf-stable products packaged in cans, bottles and juice boxes. However, unpasteurized juice and cider have been implicated in food poisoning outbreaks in the United States and Canada.
Disease-causing organisms such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and viruses have been known to cause illness in people after consuming unpasteurized juice/cider.
There have been two separate outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with unpasteurized cider produced in Canada; one in 1980 and another in 1998 - each involving about 14 cases of foodborne illness. Local health officials identified one batch of non-commercial, custom-pressed apple cider as the most likely source in the 1998 outbreak.
more information

Touchdown Tips For Food Safety
Source of Article: http://www.local6.com
It's tailgating season. Defend your pre- and post-game gatherings from their most challenging opponent: foodborne illness.
Wash hands before, during and after preparing food for a tailgate. Sing your favorite team's fight song while lathering with soap and water for 20 seconds.
Pack moist towelettes to clean up before digging in.
Always defrost meat in the refrigerator, never after arriving at the stadium. Pack meat products in one cooler and additional foods in another.
Keep raw meat and ready-to-eat foods separate. Pack extra or color-coded plates or utensils to help prevent cross-contamination while grilling and preparing side dishes. Use one set for raw foods and another for cooked foods.
Always use a meat thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to the proper temperature.
Keep a refrigerator thermometer inside the cooler at all times to monitor the temperature.
Throw away perishable tailgate items before heading in for the game. Foods should not be left outside for more than two hours. In hot weather (90¡Æ F or above) this time is reduced to one hour.

For more tips on how to prevent food poisoning while tailgating, visit www.homefoodsafety.org.
Content provided by the American Dietetic Association. For more nutrition tips, visit www.eatright.org.

Outbreak of trichinellosis due to consumption of bear meat from Canada, France, September 2005
October 13, 2005
Eurosurveillance Weekly Release
Thierry Ancelle1 (thierry.ancelle@univ-paris5.fr), Aymeric De Bruyne1, Didier Poisson2, and Jean Dupouy-Camet1
www.eurosurveillance.org/
1National reference centre for Trichinella, Parasitology Department, Hopital Cochin, Faculte de Medecine Paris 5 , France
2Microbiology Laboratory, Orleans -La Source Hospital, Orleans, France
On 22 September 2005, the Institut de Veille Sanitaire was alerted by a biologist at a hospital in Orleans that five patients had presented with fever, myalgia and eosinophilia, and had been admitted to hospital. Two weeks previously the five patients had shared a meal of bear meat brought back by one of them from a hunting trip in Canada. This patient was one of a group of 10 hunters who had all eaten the bear meat in Canada; some of them had subsequently brought more of this meat back to France. Because trichinellosis was suspected, the French national reference centre for Trichinella was contacted on 23 September. Two other cases from the group of 10 hunters were notified directly to the national reference centre, which led the investigation (case ascertainment, laboratory diagnosis, advice to physicians on treatment, and isolation and typing of the outbreak strain). more informaiton

MEAT MAY HAVE NEW HEALTH RISK
Source of Article: http://www.meatnews.com/
-----------------------------------
UNITED STATES: Researchers find a worrisome carbohydrate in meat and milk.
------------------------------------
A study published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science said that red meat and milk contain Neu5Gc, a carbohydrate molecule that may cause tissue inflammation leading to "various diseases." The study, carried out by scientists from the University of California, observed that human cells absorbed Neu5Gc.

Despite occurring naturally in the flesh of lambs, pigs, and cows, Neu5Gc does not naturally exist in humans; some scientists believe it may be a source of health problems for people. The presence of Neu5Gc has been noted previously in cancer cells found in humans, and was found in both cancerous and non-cancerous cells in the current study. The greatest concentrations of Neu5Gc are found in the meat. Lower concentrations are found in cheese and milk produced from these animals. Web posted: October 13, 2005

Reducing risk, food allergen testing on the up
By staff writer
Source of Article: www.foodproductiondaily.com
13/10/2005 - As countdown to new rules on allergen labelling begins, UK food laboratories gear up for growth in testing procedures. Under current legislation food makers do not have to declare allergens on the label if they are present in an added ingredient that makes up less than 25 per cent of the final food for example, pepperoni on pizza. But keeping a pace with the rise in allergy sufferers, new European legislation cleared at the end of 2004, enforced next month, brings in considerable legal requirements to curb risks for food allergy sufferers.
Directive 2003/89/EC, amending Directive 2000/13, ends the 20 year old '25 per cent' rule.
It heralds the mandatory inclusion on food labels of the most common food allergen ingredients and their derivatives: cereals containing gluten, fish, crustaceans, egg, peanut, soybeans, milk and dairy products including lactose, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seed, and sulphites.
Keen to keep a pace with the rules, it seems imminent enforcement has propelled food and beverage makers to accelerate testing.
¡°We have recently seen an increase in the demand for our allergen consultancy services - auditing, training and helping companies establish their own on-site testing facilities,¡± UK food testing laboratory RSSL tells FoodNavigator.com.
The Reading-based firm, that claims to have analysed ¡°a vast array of different food and beverage matrices¡±, including both cooked and raw ingredients, has also been ¡±doing a lot of analysis of both environmental swabs and rinse waters¡± to help companies in their fight against cross contamination.
If the risk of cross contamination is deemed high, food and beverage makers are advised, ¡°as a last resort¡±, to implement oft-criticised precautionary labelling. The ¡®may contain' label covers the back of the food firm, but leaves the consumer with little information. Indeed, the UK's Food and Drink Federation, that represents manufacturers, recommends the label should be used only when there is a demonstrable risk of an allergen being present. ¡°Our client base can be broadly segregated into those complying to the new labelling regulations (2003/89EC), and those in the speciality sector for example, free-from manufacturers,¡± adds the food testing firm, that declined to disclose the costs of the services.
¡°Price depend on the complexity of the sample and test,¡± says RSSL.

An estimated 4 per cent of adults and 8 per cent of children in the 380 million EU population suffer from food allergies, according to the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations. There is no current cure for a food allergy, and vigilance by an allergic individual is the only way to prevent a reaction.

E.coli food bug hits 42 schools
13/10/2005

Source of Article: http://www.newswales.co.uk/
There were 161 cases compatible with E coli O157 infection identified in the South Wales outbreak up until today, said the outbreak control team. There are a total of 42 schools where exposure to the source has apparently resulted in infection.
And Plaid Cymru today expressed their concern at the findings contained with the Food Standards Agency audit report on food law enforcement service in the Bridgend County Borough area.
Shadow Health Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM commented:
" The Food Standards Agency reported that the Authority was not conducting food standards inspections at the minimum frequency required by Food Safety Act Code of Practice No.8.? " This reaffirms Plaid Cymru ' s demand to hold a transparent and thorough inquiry into the recent e-coli outbreak.I shall be asking the National Assembly inquiry committee to include within its terms of reference a provision that will enable the committee to look at the extent local authorities across Wales are failing to meet inspection requirements in order to ensure that improvements are made and lessons learnt. "
The outbreak control team said, " We have seen no primary cases in school children (where attendance at school has provided the source of the infection) for the last 16 days. All new infections since then have been secondary infections (where someone has caught the infection from someone else - usually a member of the same family) or adults in whom we are eliminating E coli as the cause of their bloody diarrhoea. "

Prions that cause BSE can be spread through urine: lab
Last Updated Thu, 13 Oct 2005 14:02:22 EDT
CBC News
Prions that cause mad cow disease can be spread through urine under certain conditions, a finding that could explain how brain-wasting disorders may reach wild deer and elk.

Prions are deformed proteins that transmit diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a disease of the nervous system of cattle that's also known as mad cow, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob, another neurodegenerative disease which affects humans.

Adriano Aguzzi of the University Hospital of Zurich and colleagues tested whether chronic inflammatory kidney disorders could cause prions to be excreted in urine under laboratory conditions.

Mice infected with scrapie that were suffering from kidney inflammation excreted prions, the researchers found.

When the prions were injected into other mice, the infection was passed on, the team reports in the journal Science released Friday.

Conversely, mice that did not have kidney inflammation showed no prions in their urine.

Kidney inflammation could be a factor in the transmission of prion diseases in wild animals that didn't eat contaminated feed, the researchers said.

In the 1980s, British cattle ate feed tainted with scrapie-infected sheep. Cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob in humans have since been linked to eating contaminated beef before feed rules were changed.

Infectious tissue from cows, including brains and spleen, are now checked before being used to make cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

The study's authors suggest adding pharmaceuticals derived from animal urine to the watch list.

E. coli lettuce suit filed against Dole
October 13, 2005
Marler Clark
Minneapolis ? The Dole Company, Inc., whose ready-to-eat salads have recently been linked to a large E. coli outbreak and multiple hospitalizations, was named as defendant in a lawsuit filed today by Leonard and Carol Tvedten of Fairmont, Minnesota. (Federal Cause No. 05-CV-2404) William Marler, the nationally-known attorney who has represented victims of large E. coli outbreaks for more than a decade, is the Tvedten¡¯s attorney. Marler¡¯s firm, called Marler Clark, is located in Seattle and has represented Minnesota residents in past outbreaks, including the 2000 SuperValu E. coli outbreak. Jardine, Logan, and O¡¯Brien, a respected Minnesota law firm, also represents the Tvedten¡¯s.
Carol Tvedten fell ill with gastrointestinal symptoms in mid-September after eating Dole brand salad?the pre-washed variety?at home with her husband. Leonard Tvedten also fell ill, but did not require hospitalization. Mrs. Tvedten was admitted at Fairmont Medical Center-Mayo Health System on September 28, where she would remain for over a week. Ultimately, tests confirmed that the strain of E. coli that had infected Carole Tvedten was precisely the same as the strain that health officials cultured from Dole lettuce samples.
The first nationwide health alert to warn the public of the Dole lettuce outbreak was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on October 2, 2005. The alert stated that certain pre-packaged Dole salad products?Classic Romaine, American Blend, and Greener Selection?¡°have been associated with an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in Minnesota.¡± The FDA has since reported that as many as 245,000 bags of Dole lettuce may have been contaminated with the lethal bacteria.
E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks associated with lettuce or spinach, specifically the ¡°pre-washed¡± and ¡°ready-to-eat¡± varieties sold under various brand and trade names, are by no means a new phenomenon. In October 2003, 13 residents of a California retirement center were sickened and 2 died after eating E. coli-contaminated ¡°pre-washed¡± spinach. In September 2003, nearly 40 patrons of a California restaurant chain became ill after eating salads prepared with bagged, ¡°pre-washed¡± lettuce. In July 2002, over 50 young women were stricken with E. coli at a dance camp after eating ¡°pre-washed¡± lettuce, leaving several hospitalized, and 1 with life-long kidney damage. The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that of 225 food-poisoning outbreaks from 1990 to 1998, nearly 20 percent (55 outbreaks) were linked to fresh fruits, vegetables or salads.
www.about-ecoli.com

44 students complain of stomach pains, nausea
All expected to be OK
Source of Article: http://abclocal.go.com/
October 17, 2005 - Dozens of students at a Park Forest junior high were treated at local hospitals for what appears to be food poisoning. All of the students are expected to be OK. Emergency crews were called to Forest Trail Junior High School, 215 Wilson Street, late Monday morning. The students were taken to six hospitals, including St. Francis Hospital and Health Center in Blue Island and Our Lady of Mercy Hospital in Dyer, Ind. All of the sick students were able to walk. Twelve days ago, students at the same school reported feeling nauseous after drinking juice boxes. Since then, school officials said they changed lunch providers. "If you notice that the food was bad last week, why didn't you pull the food off the shelf?" said Linda Johnson, parent. "They need to find out if this food is hurting these children." School officials said 44 students who were served milk, chicken nuggets, apple sauce and fruit cup during the first lunch period became sick. They complained of stomach pains and nausea. "One of the teachers said that the food was spoiled, but they told us right after we had started eating," said Desiree Booker, student. School officials pulled the school lunches and are working with a fast food restaurant in between time. "We're packing lunches. It's just a shame," said Tom Peters, parent.

Woman finds rodent baked in bread October 16, 2005
The Telegram (St. John's)
Tara Bradbury Mullowney
Last Sunday, Cindy Borden of Paradise, Newfoundland, bought five loaves of ValuePlus sliced white bread from a local grocery store, and brought them home. Four of the loaves went in the freezer, while the other was opened.
Borden was cited as saying her family used the bread last Monday to make hot turkey sandwiches with their leftover Thanksgiving turkey, and her children, ages nine and 16, ate grilled-cheese sandwiches for lunch.
A day or two later, Borden reached into the bag of bread for one of the last three or four slices, when she saw what appeared to be a small creature with black and grey fur - looking like a shrew or a small mouse - had seemingly been baked into the bread and sliced along with it.
Borden immediately brought the bread back to the grocery store where she bought it, stating, "When I showed the girls there, I think they almost threw up."
Borden was told the bread was not baked at the store, but was supplied by George Weston Bakeries Inc. in Mount Pearl.
Weston bakeries is owned by Loblaw Companies Ltd. and based in Toronto. The company bakes bread for another division of Loblaw called Sunfresh, which markets the ValuePlus brand of bread as well as other no-name brands of food.
Borden took the bread to the Weston bakery here, where she was told the bread had been made.
Borden was quoted as saying, "I went in and I asked to speak to the manager, and they told me the manager was busy. They finally got someone to come out and talk to me, and I showed him the bread. He asked me if I wanted him to have it sent away to be analyzed, so they could let me know what it was, and he offered me a couple of loaves of free bread. I said, 'No thanks, I think I'm done with your bread.'"
Borden went home and called the Department of Health, and stated, "The woman I spoke to said, 'I know it's only a small consolation, but because the bread would have been baked at 350 degrees or more, any germs from the mouse would have been killed.' "
The story notes that on Friday, health inspectors with the province's Department of Government Services examined the remains of Borden's bread, and went to Weston, where they conducted a spontaneous inspection.

SANITARY TRANSPORTATION BILL SIGNED
Source of Article: http://www.meatnews.com/
------------------------------------
UNITED STATES: President Bush signs the law designed to extend hygiene measures to food during shipping.
-----------------------------------
U.S. President George Bush signed Public Law 109-59, The Sanitary Food Transportation Act of 2005. The new law, which updates and implements legislation of the same name that was originally enacted in 1990, extends the jurisdiction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and USDA over carriers which transport food products. The law directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to require shippers, motor vehicles, or rail vehicle carriers, receivers, and other persons engaged in the transportation of food to use sanitary transportation practices, as prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in order to avoid adulteration, the IARW-WFLO said in a release.

The new law eliminates the need for additional food safety guidelines and regulations in the Department of Transportation.

Using microbiological testing to meet public health goals
Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/
10/13/2005-The International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF), the Risk Assessment Consortium (RAC), the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) are planning a two-day symposium on ¡°Relating Microbiological Testing and Microbiological Criteria to Public Health Goals.¡± The symposium will be held on October 31-November 1, 2005 in Washington, D.C.
Robert Brackett, Director, US Food and Drug Administration/Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FDA/CFSAN), USA will discuss the role of microbiological testing and microbiological criteria in an evolving regulatory environment as part of his keynote address.
The goal of this symposium is to assist in a major international initiative, underway through organizations such as Codex Alimentarius, to more effectively link the use of microbiological testing and microbiological criteria to improvements in public health. The sponsors of this symposium have made a commitment to bring the latest scientific concepts and tools to bear on this international effort.

Reducing risk, food allergen testing on the up
By staff writer
Source of Article: foodproductiondaily.com/
13/10/2005 - As countdown to new rules on allergen labelling begins, UK food laboratories gear up for growth in testing procedures.
Under current legislation food makers do not have to declare allergens on the label if they are present in an added ingredient that makes up less than 25 per cent of the final food ? for example, pepperoni on pizza. But keeping a pace with the rise in allergy sufferers, new European legislation cleared at the end of 2004, enforced next month, brings in considerable legal requirements to curb risks for food allergy sufferers.
Directive 2003/89/EC, amending Directive 2000/13, ends the 20 year old '25 per cent' rule.
It heralds the mandatory inclusion on food labels of the most common food allergen ingredients and their derivatives: cereals containing gluten, fish, crustaceans, egg, peanut, soybeans, milk and dairy products including lactose, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seed, and sulphites. Keen to keep a pace with the rules, it seems imminent enforcement has propelled food and beverage makers to accelerate testing. ¡°We have recently seen an increase in the demand for our allergen consultancy services - auditing, training and helping companies establish their own on-site testing facilities,¡± UK food testing laboratory RSSL tells FoodNavigator.com.
The Reading-based firm, that claims to have analysed ¡°a vast array of different food and beverage matrices¡±, including both cooked and raw ingredients, has also been ¡±doing a lot of analysis of both environmental swabs and rinse waters¡± to help companies in their fight against cross contamination.
If the risk of cross contamination is deemed high, food and beverage makers are advised, ¡°as a last resort¡±, to implement oft-criticised precautionary labelling. The ¡®may contain' label covers the back of the food firm, but leaves the consumer with little information. Indeed, the UK's Food and Drink Federation, that represents manufacturers, recommends the label should be used only when there is a demonstrable risk of an allergen being present. ¡°Our client base can be broadly segregated into those complying to the new labelling regulations (2003/89EC), and those in the speciality sector ? for example, free-from manufacturers,¡± adds the food testing firm, that declined to disclose the costs of the services. ¡°Price depend on the complexity of the sample and test,¡± says RSSL. An estimated 4 per cent of adults and 8 per cent of children in the 380 million EU population suffer from food allergies, according to the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations. There is no current cure for a food allergy, and vigilance by an allergic individual is the only way to prevent a reaction.

Two children are believed sickened by E. coli strain
October 13, 2005
The Brainerd Dispatch
Jodie Tweed
A Minnesota Department of Health spokesperson was cited as saying Tuesday that two reported cases of E. coli infections?one confirmed and the other one suspected?believed to have stricken two young children in the Brainerd lakes area have led to serious medical complications in both situations.
State Department of Health spokesperson Doug Schultz was cited as saying no links have been made between the two cases and an E. coli outbreak is not suspected, adding, "These things do happen as coincidences. It doesn't appear there is any relation between the two but we are continuing to follow up to make sure."
Schultz was further cited as saying that the two cases in the Brainerd lakes area have been reported within the past 10 days. While one case of hemolytic uremic syndrome has been confirmed as being caused by the E. coli 0157:H7 strain, the results are not yet in about the second case.

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