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January 2, 2006
The Waterloo Cedar (Iowa)
Jens Manuel Krogstad
WATERLOO --- Black Hawk County Health Officer Sandy Heinen was cited as
saying her job is as much about education as it is about regulation, adding,
"What I like as a health officer is when they have questions for
me. I try to write positives on the inspection report. I don't want it
to be all doom and gloom."
The story says that the results of her inspections can now be found online
thanks to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals' "Informed
Dining" Web site, unveiled Nov. 9. Inspections always have been available
to anyone who visited the county health department.
sought in spraypark case
Finger Lakes Times
Three law firms representing 663 people who became ill after visiting
the Seneca Lake State Park, New York, Sprayground last summer want to
combine their efforts into one class action lawsuit.
A hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 18 in Syracuse, where the Seattle
firm of Marler Clark and Rochester attorney Paul Nunes of Utterberg &
Kessler will ask a Court of Appeals judge to let them join their cases
with those of the Dreyer Boyajian law firm in Albany.
Nunes and the Seattle firm were already working together on a class action
suit against the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation,
which owns and runs the park.
Nunes was cited as saying that the three firms want to team up because
they have an expertise in class action lawsuits involving food-borne and
The sprayground was closed Aug. 15 after about 40 people complained of
a gastrointestinal illness. In subsequent weeks, the outbreak grew to
nearly 4,000 people across the nation.
The state Health Department determined the illness was cryptosporidiosis,
caused by a microscopic parasite.
FDA and KDHE
warn consumers about raw milk
December 28, 2005
Following an E. coli outbreak in the state of Washington, the Kansas Department
of Health and Environment (KDHE) is joining with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to warn the public against drinking raw milk.
Raw milk is not treated or pasteurized to remove disease-causing bacteria
and may cause life-threatening illness. There is also a potential risk
of getting rabies from drinking raw milk.
inspectors power to close plants suspended...for now
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: foodproductiondaily.com/
03/01/2006 - The UK's food safety regulator has temporarily backed down
from a plan giving inspectors the power to close down plants, a decision
welcomed by a business lobby group. The decision will provide relief to
processors, who have seen an increase in regulatory supervision over the
past few years under an EU-wide policy to increase food safety. A package
of new hygiene laws came into force on 1 January.
In the UK, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) had planned to implement the
hygiene regulations by also giving local plant inspectors new powers to
close down businesses suspected of not having the proper hygienic conditions.
The regulatory change was due to come into effect on 1 January, but that
date has now been dropped. more
December 28, 2005
The State/WIS 10
Relatives of man who died after eating at Old South say their lives will
never be the same
The stories explain that James ¡°Buzzy¡± Arledge had spent the day golfing
and was ready for some country cooking when he returned to his Lugoff
home one Friday last May.
He and his wife, Carolyn, decided to go to Old South, a popular Camden
restaurant known for its country-style buffet and owner Betty Hatfield¡¯s
The decision would turn out to be fatal for Arledge, who died a couple
of days later of complications from salmonella poisoning after eating
undercooked turkey at the restaurant.
His widow, who filed lawsuits last week against the restaurant and Duke
Manufacturing, the maker of the oven in which the turkey was cooked, was
cited as saying her life has been turned upside down, adding, "My
life revolved around him. It¡¯s just never going to be the same. ... He
enjoyed life, and it was just cut too short."
Arledge, who was 58 when he died, was a DuPont retiree. Years earlier,
he had been in a bowling league at DuPont with Floyd Hatfield, one of
the owners of Old South.
That Friday in May, the Arledges had their fill of a turkey dinner with
all the fixings before returning home to work on remodeling their hallway.
They had ripped out part of the paneling when they both started feeling
sick and had to stop.
Arledge was further cited as saying she and her husband thought they had
a virus that would pass within a few days, adding, "We didn¡¯t know,"
her voice trailing off.
What they didn¡¯t know was that dozens of people were beginning to show
up at the Kershaw County Medical Center with similar symptoms. They all
had eaten at Old South and were victims of what later turned out to be
the largest salmonella outbreak in state history, sickening more than
fruit? It could help fight salmonella
December 31, 2005
Scripps Howard News Service
The idea of pasteurizing fruit sounds odd, but U.S.. Agriculture Department
researchers say a form of the technology might help fight outbreaks of
salmonella that scientists are increasingly tracing back to fresh fruits
Bassam Annous, a microbiologist at the Agriculture Department's food safety
technologies research unit in Wyndmoor, Pa., said his experiments have
shown dramatic reductions in levels of salmonella infections on cantaloupes
that have been pasteurized.
He said the process wouldn't work with leafy vegetables or apples because
it causes lettuce to wilt and apples to turn brown, but he said there's
no reason it couldn't be used for citrus fruits, avocados and perhaps
"If the rind is thick, the flesh is not affected," he said.
Annous said there's another benefit -- the process kills other pathogens
that cause produce to decay, and so the treated produce lasts longer on
The process involves immersing the fruits in water heated to 169 degrees
Fahrenheit for three minutes then sealing each fruit in a plastic bag
to prevent re-contamination before rapidly cooling the produce in ice
E. coli in human stools: Manitoba
Infectious Disease News Brief (http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/bid-bmi/dsd-dsm/nb-ab/2005/nb5105_e.html)
Relatively few enhanced surveillance studies have been undertaken to investigate
the extent to which verotoxin-producing non-O157 serotypes of E. coli
occur in stool samples received for the detection of verotoxin-producing
organisms. The prevalence, molecular and epidemiological characteristics,
and geographical patterns associated with non-O157 verotoxin-producing
E. coli (VTEC) in Manitoba were described. Thirty-two VTEC isolates consisting
of 10 serogroups and 13 different serotypes were isolated over a 22-month
period. Twenty-three isolates (71.8%) possessed verotoxin-encoding gene
stx1 only, five isolates (15.6%) possessed stx2 only, two isolates (6.3%)
possessed both stx1 and stx2, and two isolates (6.3%) possessed stx2c.
Only three instances of indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
patterns were identified. The age of the individuals from whom non-O157
VTEC were isolated ranged from eight months to 87 years. Mean and median
ages were 30 and 22 years of age, respectively. The present study demonstrated
a large number of infections associated with non-O157 VTEC in Manitoba.
Most non-O157 cases appear to result from sporadic infections, and these
occur typically in rural areas. Continued enhanced surveillance is necessary
to understand the temporal patterns of non-O157 VTEC and the underlying
epidemiological factors driving these patterns.
Source: Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology,
Volume 16, No. 6, November/December 2005
plant for meat irradiation
December 30, 2005
Joe Ruff, Omaha World-Herald, Neb
An investment team headed by a Texas man is reviving technology known
as Surebeam at a plant in Sioux City, Iowa. The team believes there is
a growing market for using electron beams to kill bacteria in ground beef
and other products.
"We want this to become the 'Intel Inside' of food products,"
said David Corbin, chairman of the Sadex Corp.
Corbin, of Fort Worth, Texas, and 12 other Sadex shareholders have been
licensed to use the Surebeam technology by Titan Corp., which developed
the electronic pasteurization method of killing E. coli, Salmonella and
other food-borne pathogens. The Sadex group also bought the equipment
for an undisclosed price.
Titan, now part of L-3 Communications group, had spun off the technology
into a company called Surebeam Corp. of San Diego, Calif., which opened
the plant in 2000 and raised $67 million in an initial public offering
in March 2001.
Surebeam went bankrupt in January 2004, however. Sadex reopened Surebeam's
Sioux City plant in June.
outbreak prompts call for food prep audit
of Article: abc.net.au/
The South Australia Opposition is calling for a full audit of public hospital
kitchens in the wake of last month's listeria outbreak.
Liberal frontbencher Robert Brokenshire says the SA Government is yet
to properly explain why patients at risk were given cold processed meats
Two men died after being fed processed meat, which Mr Brokenshire says
goes against the advice of international health agencies. The State Opposition
says it will investigate claims of unsanitary conditions in public hospital
kitchens. Mr Brokenshire says the Government needs to take some responsibility
for the outbreak.
E. coli Deadlier
Than Strain From Years Past
(The Daily News, WA)
By Barbara LaBoe
The strain of E. coli that
sickened 18 Lower Columbia residents is likely a stronger and deadlier
version of the bacteria than even 25 years ago, according to Clark County's
Ever since health officials
tentatively linked E. coli to raw milk from Woodland's Dee Creek Farm,
health officials have heard from people who grew up on raw, or unpasteurized,
milk and never had a problem. But, Dr. Justin Denny of the Clark County
Health Department said Wednesday that national E. coli researchers believe
E. coli mutated in the early 1980s, making it stronger and multiplying
the risk of infection.
"It changed into something
more serious in the 1980s," said Denny, who is one of the county's
lead officials handling the outbreak. "And we think there's more
risk with that mutation."
Locally, Denny said he's seen
some anecdotal evidence of that. Clark County had 25 cases of the most
virulent strain of E. coli in 2005, compared to 18 in 2004, 16 in 2003
and 11 in 2002. There's no hard evidence tying that to a mutation, but
Denny said it's certainly a possibility. Those numbers include E. coli
cases from other things beside milk. more
Use Isolate¢â System Gives More Consistent Results for Cryptosporidium
On April 1st 2000 the UK Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI)
introduced a regulatory method for the detection of Cryptosporidium in
drinking water supplies. Unfortunately, the introduction of innovation
into testing laboratories has been hampered by a requirement to carry
out extensive 'in house' validations before any change to procedure can
In recognition of this obstacle to innovation, DWI have simplified the
verification process and improved statistical analysis to demonstrate
the equivalence of new products and processes. This change should encourage
laboratories to take advantage of some of the new products available.
Already, there are alternative filtration, separation and visualisation
products available for evaluation.
December 31, 2005
About 364 packages of Double Chili Dogs, manufactured by Scobee Foods
Inc., have been recalled because the product may be contaminated with
the Listeria mononcytogenes bacteria. No illnesses have been reported
to date. The recalled products bear a sell-by date of Jan. 8, 2006, and
a 335 lot code. In December, Scobee Foods sold the product in Texas and
Michigan and S. Abraham & Sons sold the product through convenience
stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin. For more information,
call the company at 888-726-9424 or visit www.fda.gov.