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dies of pig-borne disease in Hong Kong
According to officials in Hong Kong, tests have shown
that a man who died in hospital earlier this month had the pig-borne disease Streptococcus
The government statement says the man was the 12th person from Hong Kong
to be infected with the disease this year. To date the disease has killed approximately
40 people in mainland China. Apparently the 43-year-old, who had no recent travel
history, was admitted to hospital on Oct. 13, and died on the same day. His family
was then placed under medical observation, but no further details are available.
The death comes just as Hong Kong and China are on a high alert for the deadly
bird flu virus, which experts fear could mutate leading to a pandemic that could
kill millions of people. Most of the more than 200 people reported to have caught
the disease on the mainland became sick after slaughtering, handling or eating
infected pigs. It is feared that this new case could re-ignite a food scare that
in August prompted the Hong Kong government to temporarily ban imports of pork
from the Chinese province of Sichuan. Much of Hong Kong's food comes from the
and shellfish surveys published
Thursday, 27 October 2005
of the levels of various contaminants in fish, shellfish and fish oils are published
today by the Agency.
The levels have been found to be low and the Agency continues
to advise that as part of a healthy balanced diet the majority of people should
eat more fish.
The five surveys, which were carried out as part of routine
monitoring, show that, where comparisons are possible, levels of contaminants
are similar to or have decreased since they were previously measured. FSA advice
is that people should eat at least two portions of fish a week, one of which should
be oily. Fish and shellfish are rich in protein and minerals, and oily fish is
rich in long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of death from heart
disease. Fish and shellfish were collected or harvested from a range of locations
around the UK and samples taken from those on sale. A range of substances were
analysed, including lead, mercury and cadmium, organotins, which are present in
sea water from marine paints, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which
come from oil and combustion processes. Some of these substances can occur naturally
at low levels, while others are present as a result of environmental pollution.
Scientific experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization
Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives and the European Food Safety Authority
have considered these contaminants and set guidelines (for all except PAHs) as
to how much can be consumed without posing a risk to people¡¯s health.
the European Commission has set legal limits for some contaminants in food that
take into account safety and other considerations, such as measures that should
be taken by industry to reduce the levels. Occasional consumption of products
that slightly exceed these limits would not be a concern for people¡¯s health.
Report urges cooks to concentrate on preparing food
The Brandon Sun Email Story Printer Friendly Version
Watching TV or doing
the laundry while cooking supper will not only waste time, but can also make you
sick, says a new report from Alberta¡¯s Food Safety Information Society. The report,
released this month, says the risk of foodborne illnesses coming in contact with
food increases the more a person¡¯s attention is diverted from preparing food.
following proper food preparation guidelines, the report says risks can be lowered,
and preparation times can be cut down. ¡°Time is actually lost by multitasking
when repeatedly switching from one chore to another, especially slightly complicated
chores,¡± the report states.
Matt Otten, a culinary arts program instructor
at the Assiniboine Community College in Brandon, says people should be as concerned
about health and safety at home as they are at work.
¡°People should plan their
meals at home more carefully,¡± Otten told the Sun. ¡°Multitasking is not a wonderful
idea. Don¡¯t plan your meals at home, plan them while you¡¯re in the supermarket,
while you walk through the meats and produce section, and that cuts down on your
Otten urges anyone who works in a kitchen to wash their hands
often, use sanitizing solution and try to have enough utensils stocked to cut
down on the number of times they need to be washed
Spongiform Encephalopathies Advisory Committee
31, 2005 the Committee will hear updates on the following topics: Current status
of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United States, incidence and
prevalence worldwide of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), and a summary
of the FDA Device Panel discussion on September 27, 2005 on criteria for considering
label claims of effective decontamination for surgical instruments exposed to
transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents. The Committee will then
discuss progress in development of a risk assessment model for vCJD in U.S.-licensed
human plasma-derived Antihemophilic Factor (Factor VIII). The latter discussion
will focus on selection of input parameters for the model. In the afternoon, the
Committee will discuss labeling claims for TSE clearance studies for blood component
and meeting information will become available no later than one business day before
the meeting (Simply scroll down to the appropriate committee heading).
persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues
pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person
by October 21, 2005. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between
approximately 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m., and 4:15 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. on October
31, 2005. Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. Those desiring to
make formal oral presentations should notify the contact person before October
25, 2005, and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or
arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants,
and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation.
Persons attending FDA's advisory committee meetings are advised that the agency
is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.
welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will
make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special
needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact
William Freas or Sheila Langford at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.
William Freas or Sheila D. Langford, Center for Biologics Evaluation
and Research, HFM-71, Food and Drug Administration, 1401 Rockville Pike, Rockville,
MD 20852, 301-827-0314.
Committee Telephone Information Line:
Please call the Information Line for
up-to-date information on this meeting, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington,
DC area), code 3014512392.
safety group to issue warning on chickens
Raphael Minder in Parma
Updated: 8:11 p.m. ET Oct. 25, 2005
avoid eating raw eggs and cook chicken carefully to cut down any risk of contracting
bird flu, according to an advisory note expected on Wednesday from the European
food safety authority (Efsa). The precautionary warning comes as the ¢æ15bn European
poultry industry struggles to contain a sharp decline in sales because of consumers'
concerns about the spreading bird flu. In Italy chicken consumption fell about
40 per cent last month and Italian farmers on Tuesday held demonstrations to reassure
the public about eating chicken.
The Parma-based food safety agency, responsible
for providing scientific advice on food in the European Union, says proper cooking
should prevent the disease from entering the human food chain. However, it also
recognises that the current scientific evidence is not sufficient to rule out
the possibility that the deadly virus could spread to people through food. Herman
Koeter, Efsa's director of science, said: "We have no proof at all that people
can contract the virus through the digestive route. However, we cannot exclude
that theoretically it would be possible for that to happen."
"Theoretically, it could be possible that, if you eat the raw blood of an
infected chicken, the virus is then not totally killed in the stomach.''
says its warning is in line with the views of the World Health Organisation and
other scientific organisations, as well as standard advice to combat more widespread
diseases like salmonella, of which there were 135,000 cases in the EU in 2003.
disease has hit primarily Asia, where it has decimated poultry stocks and killed
more than 60 people. But following a recent outbreak in Turkey, it has been gradually
spreading across Europe. The EU is introducing a ban on imports of captive wild
birds after a parrot died of the H5N1 strain while in quarantine in the UK.
Mr Koeter expressed optimism that European farmers were sufficiently prepared
to quarantine and eradicate rapidly infected birds and thereby reduce the need
for mass poultry cullings. "A few years ago, we did not have in place the
bio-safety measures that we now have. We will probably not avoid it (bird flu)
but I think we have learnt and can much better isolate it.''
Fat Free Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing Recalled Due to Undeclared Anchovies
IMMEDIATE RELEASE --Columbus, Ohio -- October 25, 2005 --- T. Marzetti Company,
Columbus, Ohio is recalling its 1.5 ounce packets of Marzetti Fat Free Dijon Honey
Mustard Dressing because the product contains undeclared anchovies. People who
have allergies to anchovies run the risk of serious allergic reaction if they
consume this product.
packets come in a 60 count corrugated case marked with the item # 70200 81958,
and with a date code of Best By 03 02 06 X1. The 1.5 ounce packets are marked
with ¡°Marzetti Fat Free Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing¡± on the front film, the back
film is labeled with item # 70200 81996, and has the date code of BB 030206 embossed
on the side of the packet.
recalled packets of Marzetti Fat Free Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing were distributed
nationwide Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia,
have been reported in connection with this problem.
recall was initiated after it was discovered that incorrect film on the back panel
of the packaging was used that did not reveal the presence of anchovies.
who have purchased 1.5 ounce packets of Marzetti Fat Free Dijon Honey Mustard
Dressing are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.
Consumers with questions may contact the company¡¯s consumer response department
Canning Company Recalls Prima Qualita Meatless Spaghetti Sauce Due to Undeclared
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Toledo, OH -- October 21,
2005 -- Hirzel Canning Company announced that it is voluntarily recalling Prima
Qualita brand Meatless Spaghetti Sauce from distribution in Iowa, Pennsylvania,
Kentucky, and Illinois, due to mislabeling of product packaged in 106 oz. cans
of spaghetti sauce containing undeclared cheese. People who have allergies to
dairy products run the risk of serious allergic reaction if they consume these
The spaghetti sauce in question packed on August 30 and September
3 of this year, are labeled "Prima Qualita brand Meatless Spaghetti Sauce"
and bear the code 5242X 1SGSA or 5246Y 1SGSA embossed on one of the container
ends. No other cases of this product have been affected.
company has since found and corrected the problem that caused the mislabeling
to occur. No illnesses have been reported from consumption of the suspect product.
The company has notified its distributors in the affected areas and is taking
this action as a precautionary measure in cooperation with the Federal Food and
Drug Administration. Consumers who have purchased 106 oz. cans of Prima Qualita
Spaghetti Sauce with either of the 2 codes should return them unopened to the
place of purchase for replacement.
Candy and Store Displays With Lead Recalled
RELEASE --AUGUSTA, Maine -- Oct. 27, 2005-- The distributor of Halloween candy
that lights up, along with store displays, has voluntarily recalled these products
from Maine stores after discovering both items have high lead content. The products,
Finger Lite Light-Up Candy Necklaces and Lite-Up Candy Rings, were distributed
by Malibu Toys of California.
voluntary agreement to recall the products and packaging comes after Malibu Toys
was alerted by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) which coordinates
the implementation of packaging laws in 19 states including Maine.
packages of this Halloween novelty lollipop are displayed on retail shelves in
a box with a blinking pumpkin. The blinking light is powered by a battery, which
is attached to a printed circuit board with lead-based solder. As a packaging
component, the printed circuit board assembly violates the toxics in packaging
requirement that no restricted heavy metals are intentionally added to a package
or packaging component.
Maine Department of Environmental Protection's Ron Dyer said," Nineteen states,
including Maine, have Toxics in Packaging legislation that prohibit the intentional
introduction of mercury, cadmium, lead and hexavalent chromium in packaging. The
legislation was the result of a multi-state effort to limit the amount of toxic
heavy metals entering the solid waste stream."
stores listed in Maine as receiving the items include CVS, Kmart, Movie Gallery,
Rite Aid, Target, Walgreen's and Wal-Mart.
toxics in packaging laws, most of which were introduced in the early 1990s, have
been instrumental in changing industry practices and removing these persistent
bioaccumulative toxins from packaging, and ultimately the environment and adversely
impacting public health. The laws, in fact, were so successful that the European
Union adopted the same restrictions.
week, October 23-29, is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week. Most cases of
childhood blood lead poisoning in Maine are caused by exposure to dust and chips
of leaded paint from pre-1950 housing. Products and their packaging containing
lead may also contribute to elevated blood lead levels and should be kept away
from young children.
Food Safety Survey
flu update 26 October 2005 (Europe)
Wednesday, 26 October 2005
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) today issued advice on the importance of
thoroughly cooking poultry and eggs. This reiterates long-standing advice about
cooking poultry and eggs thoroughly to kill bugs and viruses.
EFSA, like the
Agency, is not aware of any reports of people getting avian flu from eating poultry
or eggs and recognises that the current risk is from people having contact with
live birds that have the disease.
The Agency considers that
the outbreak of avian (bird) flu does not pose a food safety risk for UK consumers.
people, the risk of catching the disease comes from being in close contact with
live poultry that have the disease, and not through eating poultry.
have been no reports of people handling poultry meat getting infected. Poultry
can include chicken, duck, goose, turkey and guinea fowl.
Food Safety Mobile visits Sulphur
The United States Department of Agriculture hosted a Food Safety Mobile in
the parking lot of Kroger on Beglis Drive, Tuesday.
Food Safety Inspectors
presented shoppers with bags containing bleach, baking soda, meat thermometers,
hand sanitizer and food safety instruction.
Cdr. Lynn Hodges, Food Safety Instructor
for the Food Safety Inspection Services arm of the USDA, said the mobile unit
was deployed Tuesday specifically to inform people in hurricane affected areas
of the dangers of foodborne illness and how to prevent it.
The Mobile food
safety staff wants consumers to remember the following four messages:
Wash hands and surfaces often. It is recommended that hands be lathered with anti-bacterial
soap and washed for 20 seconds (long enough to sing the ¡°Happy Birthday¡± song
two times). Wash with soap and warm water before you eat, after you play with
pets, after you use the bathroom and after you sneeze, cough or blow your nose.
Separate: Don¡¯t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry and seafood apart from
other foods. Don¡¯t let raw juices drip on other foods. Don¡¯t put cooked foods
on a plate that held raw meat, poultry or seafood. Always use a clean plate.
Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Check the temperature of food to be sure it¡¯s
safe. Hamburgers, ground meat: 160 F. Steaks and roast: 145 F. Chicken breasts:
170 F. Whole turkey or chicken: 180 F. Leftovers and casseroles: 165 F.
Chill: Refrigerate properly. Keep cold food cold. In the refrigerator keep it
40 F or below. Use an insulated lunch box or bag to keep food cold at school.
Add a frozen gel pack or frozen juice box to keep food cold. Keep your lunch in
a cool place, out of the hot sun.
Infants and young children, pregnant women
and older adults are at the greatest risk for foodborne illness, as are all people
with weakened immune systems caused by cancer treatment, AIDS, diabetes, kidney
disease and organ transplants.
For more food safety information call the Meat
and Poultry hotline at 1-888-MPHOTLINE.
One of the main focuses of the USDA¡¯s
campaign is education. Coloring books and crayons are also available through the
food safety mobile.For anyone interested in hosting a USDA Food Safety Mobile
event call the USDA Food Safety Education Staff at 301-504-9605 or visit email@example.com.
Food Safe During Severe Weather Emergencies
Susan Conley (301)
Matt Baun (301) 504-0235
WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2005 - The U.S.
Department of Agriculture is providing food safety recommendations to residents
in the Northeastern U.S. who are being impacted by severe storms triggered by
Hurricane Wilma. USDA is hopeful that this information will help minimize the
potential for foodborne illnesses due to power outages or flooding.
to follow to prepare for a possible weather emergency:
Keep an appliance thermometer
in the refrigerator and freezer. An appliance thermometer will indicate the temperature
in the refrigerator and freezer in case of a power outage and help determine the
safety of the food.
Make sure the freezer is at 0¡Æ F or below and the refrigerator
is at 40¡Æ F or below.
Freeze containers of water for ice to help keep food
cold in the freezer, refrigerator or coolers after the power is out.
refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you
may not need immediately - this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.
food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case
Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power
will be out for more than four hours. Purchase or make ice cubes and store in
the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead
of time for use in coolers.
Group food together in the freezer - this helps
the food stay cold longer.
to follow after the weather emergency:
Never taste a food to determine its
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
to maintain the cold temperature.
The refrigerator will keep food safely cold
for about four hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature
for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full and the door remains closed.)
Food may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40¡Æ
F or below.
Obtain block or dry ice to keep your refrigerator and freezer
as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of
time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot full freezer for two
If the power has been out for several days then check the temperature
of the freezer with an appliance thermometer or food thermometer. If the food
still contains ice crystals or is at 40¡Æ F or below then the food is safe.
a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer then check each package of food
to determine its safety. If the food still contains ice crystals then the food
Discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish,
soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items after four hours without power.
Drink only bottled water if flooding has occurred.
Discard all food that
came in contact with flood waters, including canned goods. Discard wooden cutting
boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.
all metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils that came in contact with flood water
with hot soapy water and then sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing
them for 15 minutes in a solution of one teaspoon of chlorine bleach per quart
When in Doubt, Throw it Out!
with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline
at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854); TTY, 1-800-256-7072. The hotline is available
in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a
Consumers can also
ask safe food handling questions by logging on to FSIS' online automated response
system called "Ask Karen," on the Food Safety and Inspection Service's
Web site, www.fsis.usda.gov. E-mail inquiries can be directed to MPHotline.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about USDA's food safety efforts can be accessed on the
FSIS Web site.
New Selective Medium for Improved Detection
of Salmonella Species
Oxoid has introduced a new, highly selective
culture medium to the Oxoid range of products for the detection of Salmonella
species. Oxoid Xylose Lactose Tergitol¢â 4 (XLT-4) Agar is ideal for the isolation
and identification of salmonellae from food and environmental samples.
detection of Salmonella species is often complicated by the presence of background
flora and other Enterobacteriaceae on an agar plate. The presence of the selective
agent, Tergitol¢â 4, in XLT-4 Agar inhibits many organisms that can be problematic
on other plating media. In addition, biochemical and pH changes within the medium
allow Salmonella spp. (black colonies) to be differentiated from organisms, such
as E. coli (yellow colonies) and Shigella spp. (red colonies).
enhanced selectivity of XLT-4 Agar reduces the need for further identification
procedures, saving time and money, and results in fewer false presumptive positive
colonies when compared to other Salmonella plating media.
For further information
about Oxoid XLT-4 Agar and other products for the growth and identification of
Salmonella species contact Val Kane at Oxoid.
BRAND 1% CHOCOLATE MILK MAY CONTAIN A CHEMICAL SANITIZER
October 22, 2005 - The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Saputo Foods
Limited are warning the public not to consume Dairyland brand 1% Chocolate Milk
described below. This product may be contaminated with a chemical sanitizer.
affected product, Dairyland brand 1% Chocolate Milk, is sold in a 500 ml carton
package bearing UPC 0 68700 15300 6 and the affected code Best Before NO 05 REG
4289 which appears on the carton package near the spout. No other codes are affected.
This product has been distributed in Alberta and South Eastern and North Eastern
has been one reported illness associated with the consumption of this product.
manufacturer, Saputo Foods Limited, St-Leonard, Quebec, is voluntarily recalling
the affected product from the marketplace. Milk contaminated with sanitizer may
not look or smell spoiled. This product should not be consumed. The customers
may return the affected product to the point of purchase or dispose it off immediately.
CFIA is monitoring the effectiveness of the recall.
more information, consumers and industry can call one of the following numbers:
Foods Limited consumer service, Monday to Friday, during normal business hours,
by calling 1-800-672-8866
at 1-800-442-2342 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. local time, Monday to Friday.
information on receiving recalls by electronic mail, or for other food safety
facts, visit our web site at www.inspection.gc.ca.