Issue 19




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Interesting Food Safety News

September 12, 2002 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration
This guidance document is being distributed for comment purposes only. Draft released for comment on: September 12, 2002
Comments and suggestions regarding this draft document should be submitted by November 12, 2002, to Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. For questions regarding this draft document, contact Michael Kashtock at (301) 436-2022.
This draft guidance represents FDAs current views on potential hazards in juice products and how to control them, and it is designed to assist juice processors in the development of HACCP plans to satisfy the requirements of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulation for juice in 21 CFR Part 120. It does not create or confer any rights for or on any person and does not operate to bind FDA or the public. An alternative approach may be used if such an approach satisfies the requirements of applicable statutes and regulations. Highlights of the Juice HACCP Regulation
Both interstate and intrastate juice processors must evaluate their
processing operations using HACCP principles. Effective dates for the regulation are January 20, 2002, January 21, 2003, or January 22, 2004, depending upon the size of your business. The regulation does not pre-empt the existing requirements to follow the current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) regulations for your juice
processing operations. The HACCP Plan and other records of your sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOPs) and HACCP operations must be available for official inspection and copying.
Employees involved in developing, or in certain aspects of implementing, a HACCP plan, must be trained in HACCP principles.
The 5-log pathogen reduction must be accomplished for the microbe you identify as the pertinent microorganism,?which is the most resistant microorganism of public health significance that is likely to occur in the juice, e.g., E. coli O157:H7, - take place in one facility just prior to or after packaging, and be applied directly to the juice, except for citrus juices. Fruit surface treatments may be used to accomplish the 5-log reduction for citrus fruits, but cleaned and undamaged tree-picked fruit must be used and the effectiveness of the treatment must be verified by regularly testing your product for generic E. coli. Shelf stable juices made using a single thermal processing step and juice concentrates made using a thermal concentration process that includes all of the ingredients, are exempt from the requirement to include control measures in your HACCP plan to achieve the 5-log pathogen reduction, but a copy of the thermal process must be included in your hazard analysis.
Low-acid canned juice is exempt from the requirement to include control measures in your HACCP plan to achieve the 5-log pathogen reduction, but the juice is still subject to the low-acid canned food regulation and all of the other requirements of the juice HACCP regulation. Retail establishments or businesses that make and sell juice directly to consumers and do not sell or distribute juice to other businesses are exempt from the juice HACCP regulation, but must comply with any applicable state regulations.

September 11, 2002
Morrow Communications
Following on last weeks call for controls on the widespread incidence of Campylobacter, safefood, the all-island body for the promotion of food safety, held a meeting of researchers in UCD yesterday to facilitate the development of preventative programmes.
While much is already known about 'campy', researchers outlined their current activities with many demonstrating how these will be applied to food chain monitoring and management. Researchers in the National Diagnostics Centre and NUI Galway presented information on the development of a DNA detection method which has the potential for same-day turnaround. Meanwhile, Safefood is funding research aimed at determining the source of the bug. In major project a team of researchers from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University College Dublin, under the direction of Paul Whyte is tracing Campylobacter through the food chain from the clinical isolate ie: the specimen from the sick person to its source. Bugs have being
recovered from retail food samples and from clinical samples.
As expected raw poultry products are named as the predominant source, with smaller numbers of pork beef and lamb also being implicated. Interestingly Campylobacter has also been recovered in a small number of shellfish and oysters. The bugs are being collected concurrently from people in Dublin, Belfast and Galway and also from a variety of foods and pets. These specimens will be compared and any links established. Campylobacter is a very difficult bug to accurately identify and detect. Conventional methods for culture and identification from faeces or food require up to 5 days, 2-3 days for presumptive detection with a further 1 to 2 days for final identification. and the Department of Microbiology NUI Galway, together with researchers from the Department of Bacteriology, University Hospital Galway under the direction of Majella Maher and researchers are working on new rapid methods of detection using DNA. Dr Quigley of Safefood said he is concerned with the high figures of Campylobacter infection for island. "2621 cases were reported on the island in 2000. This conference helps us to understand how the bug contaminates food and survives in the environment. It will also lead to coordination of research throughout the island of Ireland and will facilitate a reduction of foodborne illnesses associated with Campylobacter. While we are still learning about this bug, consumers
should be aware that proper cooking, washing of hands and cooking poultry thoroughly will should always be followed."Those attending the meeting also heard about the current distribution, how the bug moves along the food chain, control programmes already under
investigation and new methods for rapid identification of this rampant bug.

FSIS to hold public meeting on listeria in R-T-E products
by Dan Murphy on 9/12/02 for www.meatingplace.com
Issues and ideas related to the science of improving the safetyof ready-to-eat meat and poultry products will be discussed at a Food Safety and Inspection Service meeting Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C., according to a news release. A Federal Register notice with meeting details and an agenda will be posted online at USDA.gov when it becomes available.
The meeting, one in a series gathering input on food safety and public health issues, will focus on the assessment, management and communication of risks associated with listeria.In 2001, USDA published a proposed regulation for comment that would require meat and poultry plants to conduct food contact surface testing for generic listeria or to address post-processing ontamination in ready-to-eat products in the plant's HACCP plan.The extended comment period on the proposed rule closed on Sept. 10, 2001, and FSIS officials are now reviewing those comments.

Growing consumer concern over food safety yet few adhere to guidelines
Author: Amanda White
The British are often considered a nation of worriers, and food safety has become a major area of concern. New research shows that concern about food safety is rising, yet ironically, very few consumers give heed to government guidelines on food handling and storage... as Amanda White reports. Latest research from Mintel highlights growing concern over food safety among British consumers. In 1997, 41% of adults were concerned about the safety of our food, and this has risen to 44% of consumers in 2002. Concern varies considerably by gender, with over half of women (51%) worried about food safety, in comparison to just 36% of men. Ironically, as concern over food safety continues to rise, only 24% of consumers pay attention to government guidelines. Nevertheless, there has been an increase in the number of consumers willing to adhere to guidelines since 1997 when only 15% were willing to pay attention to recommended advice.On a positive note for the government, scepticism towards government guidelines has declined considerably in the past five years. Three in ten consumers are now of the opinion that government guidelines are not to be trusted compared to around 40% in 1997. This tends to support the view that the FSA (Food Standards Agency) is having a positive impact on the communication of food safety issues to consumers. "Although The FSA has had some success with providing concise, up-to-date, readily accessible information, there still exists much concern about the safety of food in general. More public education on hygienic food preparation and storage by both the FSA and FDF (Food and Drink Federation) will help to alleviate concerns and reduce incidences of deterioration and cross-contamination of food that can lead to health problems." comments Amanda White, Consumer Analyst.
Consumers demand simpler guidelines
There is a definite demand for more information on food safety by manufacturers and retailers. Some 36% of adults believe that there should be clearer labelling for ingredients, additives or "e" numbers on packaging, this rises to half of 45-54 year olds.
Just over a third of consumers are of the opinion that manufacturers should provide more information on food safety issues, ahead of the 30% who believe that retailers should also provide more of this sort of information. Over the past five years there has been a significant decrease in the number of consumers believing that manufacturers should provide more information on food safety and an increase in those who believe it is the retailer's responsibility. The trend towards retailer responsibility is likely to be a reflection of the nature of products which are frequently the source of food poisoning, these include meat, ready meals, fruit and vegetables. Invariably it is difficult for the average consumer to trace the specific manufacturers of these product types, as a consequence, consumers look towards the retailer for safety information."Retailers are generally perceived as providing a wide range of food safety information and advice, reflecting the wide span of products they sell" comments Amanda White. Three in ten adults are of the opinion that storage guidelines on packaging should be made simpler/clearer while a fifth would like to see simpler cooking guidelines on packaging.
Food allergies top young adults concerns
On the whole, younger adults (15-24s) display the least concern over food safety issues, the exception to this being information on food allergies. Almost one in three 15-24 year olds would like more information about food allergies, reflecting complications among consumers with severe food allergies (for example, to nuts), which mostly occur in this age group.Meanwhile, concern about the safety of food eaten by children peaks in the 35-44 age group (33%) and is also high in the 25-34 age group (30%). Family groups are more likely to be concerned about the safety of food eaten by their children, compared to other lifestage groups.
Fewer consumers willing to pay more for organic produce
Over the past five years there has been a decline in the number of consumers who believe it is worth paying more for organic food, with just a fifth of adults of this opinion, compared to a quarter in 1997. When it comes to paying more for organic foods, the 25-34 and 35-44-year-old age groups are the most likely to feel that this is worthwhile. The Scottish remain sceptical (at 12%) as to the benefits of organic produce, this compares to 22% of Londoners and 24% of adults living in the North West.A small proportion of the UK population currently eat organic produce regularly, with occasional buyers tending to buy a small number of items; these people will become even more entrenched in their eating habits and increase their purchases in the face of food safety concerns.Consumer concern with GM foods, infected produce and food safety in general will certainly continue to fuel demand for all things organic. Growing preoccupation with living healthier lifestyles coupled with aggressive marketing and advertising campaigns by players within the organic market will persuade more people that organic food is a safer option; this will help to further expand this segment. Furthermore, organic products will become more competitive with non-organics as the price difference falls, people will then buy more and more into them as they are perceived as being safer and healthier.
Pesticides top the list of food safety issues
Pesticides top the list of food safety issues that concern consumers at 35% closely followed by GM foods (34%) and food poisoning (34%). In contrast to many other food safety issues, food poisoning and salmonella are of more concern to younger adults compared to older adults. Despite more deaths from E. coli than salmonella, concern about salmonella (33%) is higher than for E. coli (23%).With the BSE scare less prominent in the media during 2002, this issue falls behind pesticides, food poisoning and GM foods, but is still of concern to 31% of respondents. Concern about BSE/CJD is highest in the youngest age group (15-24-year-olds), probably because vCJD is associated with younger adults.
Expert Analysis The Microbiology of Safe Food
This book provides an overview of the important issues in food safety, which shows no sign of diminishing as a topic of huge concern to consumers and the industry.Despite ongoing concerns about BSE, there is a continued high consumption of red meat, with beef remaining the most popular type. Nevertheless, intense problems in the beef market have persuaded consumers to switch to other meats and anecdotal evidence suggests that there is still some reluctance to resume past purchasing habits. On a positive note for the meat industry, consumer confidence is returning and the meat market is now entering a period of stability. "While volume sales of beef will remain relatively constant, consumers will spend more on buying better quality premium cuts, and this will expand value within the beef sector" comments Amanda White. By Amanda White, Mintel

Food Safety Daily News
09/12. Homeland Security/Biosecurity Resources page
09/12. Assessing Acrylamide in the U.S. Food Supply; Public Meeting
09/12. FSIS to hold public meeting on listeria in R-T-E products
09/12. CWD discovered in Minnesota
09/12. Thailand to enforce EU chemical ban
09/12. FDA looking at animal drug safety
09/11. Feds Tell Grocers to Chill Out
09/11. Man convicted for meat repackaging scheme in federal court
09/11. EU Court Upholds Ban on Two Antibiotics Used in Animal Feed
09/11. Australian beef group gives quality guarantee
09/11. European Food Safety Authority Board disappoints consumer or
09/11. Salmonella in sausages warning
09/10. North Carolina supermarket chain now offering irradiated beef
09/10. Growing consumer concern over food safety yet few adhere to
09/10. Eating out poses allergy risk
09/10. Oman destroys tainted chicken from Kingdom
09/10. E. coli found in Killingly water
09/10. Lowes Foods to sell irradiated ground beef
09/10. There's helpful botulism, and not-so-helpful botulism

Homeland Security/Biosecurity Resources page
FSIS Notice 27-02 - FSIS Emergency Response Team
Pautas de Seguridad para los Procesadores de Alimentos
Assessing Acrylamide in the U.S. Food Supply; Public Meeting
Draft Guidance for Industry: Juice HACCP Hazards and Controls Guidance

New Rapid Test Detects Non-O157 VTEC Serogroups

Oxoid Limited has launched a new range of rapid diagnostic tests for the detection and identification of the most common non-O157 verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) serogroups. The Oxoid Dryspot (tm) E. coli Seroscreen and Serocheck tests provide a fast and simple screening procedure for colonies isolated on culture plates, with clearly visible results in just 60 seconds. Although E. coli O157:H7 is the most significant VTEC serotype associated with human disease, there are a number of additional O-serogroups that are often Verocytotoxin producers - O26, O91, O103, O111, O128 and O145 are common examples. Standard procedures for the detection of E. coli O157 would not detect these serogroups.Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Seroscreen is a single screening kit that will detect the presence of any of these 6 common serogroups. The individual Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Serocheck tests, one for each of the erogroups mentioned, are able to provide a specific identification.For each test, the highly sensitive blue latex reagent is conveniently dried onto disposable reaction slides. Suspect colonies are simply suspended in a drop of buffer and mixed with the reagent on the slide. In the presence of the specific E. coli serogroup (any of the 6 serogroups for Seroscreen), the latex particles will agglutinate to provide a clearly visible positive result. If the test is negative the latex particles remain in smooth suspension.Control latex, also dried onto the reaction slide, rules out false positive reactions due to non-specific reactions, whilst positive and negative controls (inactivated strains dried onto disposable mixing strips) ensure the correct working of the test.The absence of 'wet' reagents allows the Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Seroscreen and Serocheck tests to be stored conveniently at room temperature. Each kit contains sufficient materials for 60 tests (Seroscreen kit) or 15 tests (Serocheck kits).The Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Seroscreen and Serocheck tests are best used in conjunction with Enterohaemolysin or MacConkey Agar. Colonies for testing should have typical non-O157 E. coli appearance. In addition, the production of verocytotoxin can be confirmed using Oxoid VTEC-RPLA or VTEC Screen Kit.Further information about these products and Oxoid's other products for the water industry can be obtained from Oxoid Limited, Tel: +44 (0)1256 841144, Fax: +44 (0)1256 329728, email: val.kane@oxoid.com or by visiting the Oxoid website at www.oxoid.com

September 10, 2002
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Researchers are creating a new system for rapid on-farm detection of pathogens. Such an achievement could usher in a new age of agricultural
diagnostics, allowing the detection of tiny, potentially harmful organisms before they leave the farm and get into the food chain. gricultural Research Service scientist Michael Perdue and his Animal Waste Pathogen Laboratory team are collaborating with researchers at Idaho Technology, a company based in Salt Lake City, Utah, to design fluorescent probes and primers to identify specific genetic sequences in 30 to 45
minutes--far faster than is currently possible. Current culture techniques
require 18 hours to several days to unequivocally identify pathogens in the laboratory. The relatively new genetic analysis technique, called fluorescent real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), is used with
investigator-designed probes and primers to rapidly pinpoint short stretches of each pathogenic organism's genetic code. In addition to quick results, the detection system would be portable and
could be brought to the farm or any other location. Regulatory agencies, farmers, consumer groups and industry groups could all benefit from the
nearly immediate assessment of the presence of pathogens in a number of settings, whereas previously, days could pass prior to identification. Before this new age of detection can proceed, researchers have to evaluate a
host of different primers, using real-life organic substances as test samples, to determine the usefulness of real-time fluorescence-based PCR
machines. Researchers will analyze substances such as milk, soil, water and manure for the presence of pathogenic organisms like Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, hepatitis viruses (A and E), and bovine
enteric viruses.


09/12. Fourth death from Listeria points to possible food link



09/10. Local boy 'very sick' with E. coli

Recall Summary
09/12. Indiana Firm Recalls Chicken Base Paste Because Of Misbranding
09/11. Undeclared milk protein in SO GOOD brand FORTIFIED SOY BEVERAGE
09/11. Kellogg USA Issues Allergy Alert in Kellogg's Cereals
09/11. Kellogg USA Has Recalled Kellogg's Cereals Sep 11
09/11. New York Firm Has Recalled Turkey Lunch Kits Sep 11
09/11. Frito Lay Has Recalled Fritos Brand Original Corn Chips Sep 10
09/11. Herb Trade Has Recalled Organic Ginger Sep 10
09/11. Yoo-Hoo Chocolate Beverage Has Recalled YooHoo CHOCOLATE DRINK Sep 10
09/11. Jugos del Centro Has Recalled China Buena brand, orange flavored soda Sep 10
09/11. New York Firm Recalls Turkey Lunch Kits Because Of Misbranding

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