Comprehensive News List
General Food Safety News/ Outbreak News/ Recall News/ New Methods News/
News/ On-Line Slides/ Job Information/ Training Network/
Internet Journal of Food Saety



Sponsorship Q/A

To subscribe this Food Safety Newsletter,

Click here



On-Line Slides

Internet Journal of Food Saety



Airlines-drinking water
October 19, 2005
Associated Press
John Heilprin
WASHINGTON?Twenty-four airlines have, according to this story, signed agreements with the government subjecting the carriers to fines of up to $27,500 if they fail to adopt tougher safeguards for monitoring and disinfecting the drinking water served to passengers.
The Environmental Protection Agency was cited as saying Wednesday that the deals with 11 major domestic airlines and 13 smaller airlines are intended to reduce disease-carrying bacteria in drinking water on planes.
An EPA investigation last year found total coliform bacteria in 15 percent of the 327 airplanes the agency reviewed at 19 airports. Total coliform is usually harmless, but it is an indicator that other disease-causing organisms could be in the water.
The administrative order says the airlines have failed to fully comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act. Failure to comply in the future could mean penalties of up to $27,500 for each violation.
While most of its members signed the agreement, the Air Transport Association was cited as saying the drinking water found on airline is generally as safe as the municipal water sources that supply it.

Brussels calls for maximum level comments on chemical contaminant in soy sauce
By staff writer
Source of Article:
21/10/2005 - European Commission calls for comments ahead of April Codex meeting on proposed maximum levels of the potentially carcinogenic chemical contaminant 3-MCPD in hydrolysed vegetable protein and soy sauces.
3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol), a chemical which may be formed in foods by the reaction of chloride with lipids, can occur in foods and food ingredients as a result of processing, migration from packaging materials during storage, or in domestic cooking.
Specifically Brussels is seeking feedback on draft maximum levels of 3-MCPD in HVP and soy sauces that involve acid-hydrolysis in the production processes, or where products from acid-hydrolysis might be present in the sauce.
The market for yeast extract based flavour enhancers has been growing in parallel to the waning popularity of HVPs.
Food makers are increasingly moving away from including HVPs in their formulations and towards yeast extract flavour enhancers, driven by concerns that acid-hydrolysed HVP, produced using hydrochloric acid, could be potentially carcinogenic due to the 3-MCPD levels. Since April 2002 Europe has operated a maximum level of 0.02 mg/kg for 3-MCPD in HVP and soy sauce, a level set when 3-MCPD was originally considered to be a genotoxic (DNA changing) carcinogen. Subsequent risk assessments have concluded that 3-MCPD is carcinogenic, but not genotoxic.
In view of the apparent lower risk the maximum level was reviewed.
¡°However, enforcement activities showed that 3-MCPD levels above this value tend to be very much higher and appear to be a result of bad practice,¡± says the Commission.
No information has come forward to show that following good practice a level greater than 0.02 mg/kg is necessary, the executive concludes.
The Commission claims the recent collection of data and estimates of dietary intake by EU member states ¡°confirm that 0.02 mg/kg would protect consumers and help ensure that soy sauces do not contribute significantly towards the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 2 ¥ìg/kg body weight, derived by the Scientific Committee on Food in 2001.¡±
Moreover, at 0.02 mg/kg 3-MCPD, the levels of associated chloropropanols ? the family of chemical contaminants to which 3-MCPD belongs - are generally very low and would not require separate maximum levels, adds Brussels.
Comments are needed ahead of the meeting of the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants, 38th Session in The Netherlands in April 2006.

Food safety sensor research aimed at small companies
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article:
21/10/2005 - Mice and rats may get a break in being used as testers for toxins at shellfish processing plants under an EU-wide project.
Under the BioCop project scientists are working with food industry equipment makers to turn current high-tech instruments on the market into affordable, more accurate cross-contaminant detectors that speed up the process of weeding out unsafe products.
In the US about 250 million chemical analyses are performed each day. About 10 per cent of these are of a poor standard and had to be repeated, according to the BioCop site.
"These figures are supported by the European Commission, which estimated that at least five per cent of the gross national product activities of European countries are devoted to measurement and millions of euro are wasted each year by the need to repeat poor quality tests," the report states.
The Biocop project is an unusual partnership due to the difference in priorities between industry and academics. However, the effort means instrument makers get access to the resources universities and other research institutes have at their disposal, said one of the project's management leaders, Mark Pullinger.
The project is designed to develop better monitors for multiple chemical contaminants, including pesticides, toxins and drugs, in a variety of foodstuffs. The project aims to supply food processors with better instruments to meet the fresh demands from consumers and regulators for increased food safety and quality. More information

Fairmont couple takes sues Dole
October 18, 2005
After two trips to the emergency room and eight days in the hospital, Carol Tvedten is, according to this story, on the path to recovery after she and her husband Lenny became ill after eating lettuce that was tainted with E. coli O157, adding, "I was betrayed and I felt emotional too, because our granddaughter was eating with us that night and she decided not to eat lettuce. And I'm so thankful she did it makes me emotional, it makes me angry and I've always practiced good food handling methods and that didn't seem to make a difference in this case."
The story says it was here at the Fairmont medical center where Carol spent 9 days in the hospital after coming down with symptoms similar to her husband. Carol says she began feeling sick with a wide variety of symptoms.
With his wife still in the hospital Lenny saw the news 12 report on the tainted lettuce. That's when he knew his wife was ill with more than just the flu. "I was watching KEYC news and I heard about the recall, I went and checked our refrigerator and sure enough, we had the lot number and the same lettuce they were talking about."
The story says that the Tvedten's have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the Premade salad, Dole. They hope to spare others from the misery they've experienced. If this is going to help any company improve their quality control so this type of thing doesn't happen".

Food Safety Concerns Spur Demand for Quality Refrigerated Vehicles
Press Release Source: Frost & Sullivan
Increasing Concerns About Food Safety Lead to Growing Demand for Quality Refrigerated Vehicles and Systems
Wednesday October 19, 8:15 am ET

Source of Article:

PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 19
The North American refrigerated transportation market is witnessing increased demand due to the growth in consumer spending on commodities. The rise in consumption of food materials and beverages heightens the need for better food safety and refrigerated transportation is vital to protect perishables.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan , North American Refrigerated Transportation Market, reveals that revenues in this industry totaled $1.68 billion in 2004 and expects to reach $6.30 billion in 2011. If you are interested in a virtual brochure, which provides manufacturers, end users and other industry participants an overview of the latest analysis of the North American Refrigerated Transportation Market, then send an email to Trisha Bradley, Corporate Communications at with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number and email. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by e-mail.
more informatio

5 things you need to know about food allergies

Millions of consumers in the U.S. suffer from bad reactions. ¡®Today¡¯ food editor Phil Lempert discusses what you should know
By Phil Lempert
"Today" Food Editor
Oct. 19, 2005
Source of Article:
Millions of Americans are affected by food allergies, but up until now ingredient listings on packages have not been complete enough for consumers to avoid accidental ingestion of foods that may make them very ill or are even life-threatening.
In fact, according to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, more than 11 million consumers suffer from food allergies, and those allergies are the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting, accounting for an estimated 30,000 emergency room visits and 2,000 hospitalizations annually. In addition, it¡¯s estimated that as many as 200 people die each year from food allergy-related reactions. According to the Food and Drug Administration, currently there are no cures for food allergies, and the only successful method to manage these allergies is to avoid foods that contain the causative proteins. But too often, ingredient listings have not been complete enough to serve as an effective tool for consumers.

Cracking down on food safety violators
October 18, 2005
Marin Independent Journal
Jim Welte
According to this story, some of the 1,416 facilities that serve food in Marin County, California, haven't fared so well when it comes to food safety inspections, and that a review of documents from the county's food safety program indicates that more than a dozen food facilities, which include restaurants, cafes, food retail stores and outdoor vendors, required more than two re-inspections in the past year.
David Smail, the program's director, was cited as saying the need for a re-inspection indicates that a recurring violation has not been fixed by the facility,
In some cases, fees are levied by the inspector. Re-inspections, if egregious violations are not repaired, incur a $100 fee. Fees can escalate to $300 and $500 if major problems are repeatedly ignored, but those cases are uncommon, Smail said.
In addition to regular inspections, the program monitors food safety through complaints. People can make a complaint by phone, e-mail or on the county's Web site.
In the past six years, the county recorded the highest number of food-related complaints in 1999 with 201. As of last month, the county had recorded 115 complaints in 2005.
The story goes on to note that Noah's Bagels in the Bon Air Center in Greenbrae had a series of violations in April related to food storage and refrigerator problems, forcing the store to throw out food that had been kept at inappropriate temperatures.
Three months later, a customer complained about a sick food handler coughing behind the counter where food was being prepared, and the employee was sent home for the day. The manager told county officials that the employee suffered from allergies.
The story explains that the county's computer system is unable to perform searches based on violations, so the Independent Journal screened violators based on facilities that required ongoing inspections for recurring violations.
As a result, major violations that were quickly fixed did not turn up in an initial review of county records. For instance, the Cantina restaurant in Mill Valley had a major outbreak of the Campylobacter bacteria in July, forcing the restaurant to close for a short time. Once employees' food-handling practices were fixed, it was reopened July 21.
Food facilities are required to post notices they have passed inspection, but not if they incurred fines or fee payments along the way for violations.
County environmental health services director Phil Smith was cited as saying that if all goes as planned, the program will be a lot more transparent by early next year, allowing people to find out about violations and violators on its Web site. more information

10/21. Quality and R&D Managers - Elgin, IL

10/21. TX-Dallas-QA Supervisor-Bilingual English/Spanish

10/21. QC Technicians - Buena Park, CA

10/21. Quality Assurance Manager - Frankfort, MI

10/21. Quality Assurance Supervisor - FL-St. Petersburg

10/20. MO-Saint Joseph-QA Lab Technician

10/20. Quality Assurance Manager - Statewide, OR


10/20. Quality Assurance Supervisor - OH-Cincinnati

10/20. Quality Assurance Assistant - Brooklyn, NY

10/20. HACCP Coordinator / Reviewer - Chicago, IL

10/20. Manager, Food Safety & Health - FL-Lake Buena Vista

10/20. NY-Syracuse-Microbiologist

10/20. Manager Food Safety - Naperville - NE-Omaha

Food microbiology testing market undergoing major changes
October 20, 2005
Strategic Consulting, Inc.
According to a new market report entitled Food Micro 2005, the worldwide food microbiology market in 2005 represents over 625 million tests with a market value in excess of $1.65 billion. Simply put, Food Micro?2005 is the best market research report yet published by Strategic Consulting Inc. (SCI). SCI¡¯s reports have become accepted widely by leading diagnostic manufacturers and investors as highly credible industry analyses. Food Micro--2005 includes a thorough review of the global market for microbiology testing generated by the Food Processing Industry along with detailed examinations into its four main sub-sectors?meat, dairy, fruits/vegetables, and processed foods. The Food Sector represents the largest market segment within the Industrial Microbiology Market and represents almost 50% of the total market. The Food Sector is more than double the size of any of the other industrial segments including the Pharmaceutical, Personal Care Products, Beverage, Environmental, and the Industrial Process Sectors. Over the past decade there has been a heightened concern regarding food safety. This Report details the current conditions in the Food Microbiology testing market. Food Micro?2005 also reviews the macro market changes underway that are impacting testing requirements and competitive practices. Given this foundation, Food Micro?2005 then makes thorough market projections through to 2010.
Since 1998 the market value for food microbiology testing has grown significantly and has had an annual average growth rate of 9.2%. However, as food processing companies have characterized their plants for microbiology issues, made process improvements, changed production practices, increased employee training, and generally become much more proactive, the rate of growth in microbiology testing has normalized. In fact, during the past year the market value for food microbiology testing grew at only a 6.8% rate. A key factor in this decline in annual market value growth rates is explained by changes in pathogen testing practices. During the 1998 to 2002 period many companies were conducting one-time plant-wide audits to document potential pathogen issues. This led to a very rapid growth in pathogen testing. However, as these audits have diminished, growth rates have returned to a more sustainable level. Even with these growth rate declines, Food Micro?2005 projects the worldwide food microbiology testing market to grow to 822.8 million tests in 2010 with a market value of $2.4 billion. This represents a projected annual growth rate of 5.6% in testing volume. "The market value for these tests will grow at a faster rate than testing volumes. Driving this higher increase is an acceleration of the conversion from traditional microbiological testing methods to rapid methods," says Tom Weschler, president of Strategic Consulting. These newer methods have a higher price per test but are being used more frequently because they provide faster results and/or ease-of-use benefits versus the traditional methods. Traditional methods currently account for approximately 65% of the tests performed worldwide in 2005 in the Food Microbiology Market. Rapid methods (including convenience-based, immunoassay-based, and molecular-based methods) accounted for the remaining 35%, or approximately 220 million tests.
By 2010, however, much will have changed. Traditional methods will still be the predominant methods used at 428.2 million tests, but will represent only 52% of all tests, which is a reduction of 12.4% based on percentage of tests performed. All the types of rapid methods will make significant gains in usage during the coming 5 year period. When combined, the annual test volume of rapid methods will almost double from current levels and reach 394.6 million tests in 2010. The gain in the market value for rapid methods will be even more pronounced than the testing volume increases since the rapid methods have much higher average prices per test than traditional methods.
Throughout Food Micro--2005 there is extensive analysis of testing methods used by organism, by subsector, and by major geographical region. For example the following chart summarizes the global testing methods used in 2005 to analyze the dominant pathogens in the Food Sector. As can quickly be seen, the choice of method varies greatly by organism.
"With such solid growth prospects, this Food Sector is a market that all diagnostic manufacturers need to understand and, where they are not currently present, possibly enter," says Weschler. The Report contains the vital information required to facilitate the making and justification of such key strategic decisions. Food Micro--2005 is over 250 pages in length and is presented in fifteen tabulated sections in a wellorganized, easy reference spiral binder. Over 280 data tables, charts, and exhibits are clearly displayed and provide extensive insights into this market. In addition to reviewing testing practices by sector, the Report analyzes testing by type of organism; compares the frequency of use of conventional, convenience, immunoassay and molecular-based methodologies; and examines where samples are collected and tests are performed. There are 65 detailed profiles of key diagnostic manufacturers that compete in this market. The report is based on information from a broad cross-section of sources internationally, including interviews with quality and safety managers at the processing plants in each of the 4 Food sub-sectors, regulatory officials, industry associations and diagnostic companies. It is a follow-on report to three of Strategic Consulting¡¯s previously published market reports titled: ¡°The Industrial Microbiology Market Review?2 nd Edition¡± (2004); ¡°Food Diagnostics: Global Review of Microbiological and Residue Testing in the Food Processing Industry¡± (2002); and ¡°Pathogen Testing in the U.S. Food Industry¡± (2000).

Food poisoning eyed in Brooklyn twins' deaths

October 21, 2005
Source of Article:
Twin baby boys died mysteriously in Brooklyn yesterday after their mother fed them and put them down for a nap, police and friends said.
Police sources said the infants may have suffered from food poisoning.

Ingrid Rosier of Brownsville checked on her 3-month-old sons, Ises and Moorfiyah Mathurin, around noon and found them unconscious in their cribs. "As of now, we don't know anything. We gave them all the information we could," the twins' heartbroken father, Steron Mathurin, said last night after speaking to investigators. "This is overwhelming for my family." One boy was pronounced dead at the home, the other at Brookdale University Hospital. Their 2-year-old brother, Steron, was unharmed. The twins were last fed a mixture of Eden Soy Extra milk and Goya cornmeal, the sources said. As a precaution, cops removed the entire stock of these items from two nearby C-Town supermarkets, including the E. 98th St. store where Rosier shopped. Rosier told investigators she fed the children the mixture of milk and cornmeal yesterday morning, then at 7 a.m. put them in separate cribs, sources said. About five hours later, she found them unresponsive.
"The babies look like they're not okay. They're not crying," she told her father, Ernest Rosier, 51, during a frantic phone call.
The medical examiner's office will perform autopsies on the twins and test the milk and cornmeal taken from the home and the C-Towns at 146 E. 98th St. and 330 Utica Ave., sources said. "We've ruled out gas, carbon monoxide, anything toxic in the air," said a police source. "It looks like some kind of poisoning."
The family had been living in a first-floor apartment on E. 96th St. for several months. The boys' father is an attendant at a BP gas station, and Rosier works part-time at Cookie's Department Store on Fulton St.
"She feels very bad now because she loved them," Ernest Rosier said outside the 67th Precinct stationhouse last night. "They were very healthy, very active. They ate well."

Two food science groups will host a two-day research meeting next month to address food security research
October 19, 2005
In order to enhance research agendas related to food protection and defense and to report important discoveries in these critical areas, the Institute of Food Technologists, Chicago, Illinois, in conjunction with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense is convening a national research conference on November 3-4 in Atlanta, Georgia.
To involve professionals with a great stake in the security of the nation's food supply, the IFT Food Protection and Defense Research Conference will feature sessions directed by leaders with the National Center for Food Protection and Defense, the National Center for Zoonotic and Foreign Animal Disease Defense, the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security, and elsewhere.
Conference sessions will include: detection and diagnostics, public health and response coordination, modeling and risk assessment, economic analysis of events and response, decontamination, and other topics.
The basis of this conference was forged earlier this year at the IFT Food Defense Research Summit in Chicago. At that April summit, conference co-chairman Douglas L. Archer, IFT food defense expert and former U.S. assistant surgeon general said, "Food security was not invented as a result of September 11. But it gained necessary attention; just not enough." The U.S food supply system is extremely complex, making it difficult to defend. More than 200,000 companies-here and abroad-contribute to the nation's food supply. More than 900,000 restaurants employ 12 million employees. Approximately 100 million cattle are raised in 49 states.
Business directly associated with food accounts for 13 percent of the U.S. gross national product and 18 percent of the U.S. employment base. Agricultural activities account for more than $1 trillion annually, and more than $50 billion in exports.

Children to be vaccinated after hepatitis-A outbreak
October 19, 2005
Associated Press
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Health officials were cited as saying that all school-aged children in Campbell County, Tennessee public schools will receive the hepatitis-A vaccine after several residents contracted the virus over the spring and summer.
The story says that an additional 2,000 adult doses of the vaccine will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Campbell County Health Department. Although the doses were donated by Merck Pharmaceutical, there is an administration fee based on income.
People at a Jacksboro pizza restaurant were urged by the health department in September to get an injection of immune serum globulin after an employee was infected.
More doses will be available for residents for $20 after the free doses run out.