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Internet Journal of Food Saety

1/23
2006
ISSUE:195

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School hit by illness; up to 245 stay home
January 14, 2006
The Indianapolis Star
Lisa Renze-Rhodes
As many as 230 Hamilton Southeastern Junior High students stayed home Friday after a suspected outbreak of a fast-spreading norovirus that causes stomach-flu-like symptoms swept through campus.
District officials called in the county health department and sent a message home to parents after about 23 percent of the student population failed to turn up in the classroom.
The illness struck staff, too, with about a fifth of them -- 15 teachers -- out sick Friday.

Learning the ABCs of food safety
By David Smith
Source of Article: http://www.jconline.com/

Food-borne illness comes from consuming food or beverages that have been contaminated with a pathogen, such as a virus, a bacterium or a parasite. Careful food preparation at the correct temperatures can kill microorganisms or prevent those that survive from multiplying and making the consumer ill. Richard Linton, a Purdue University professor of food safety who has written two textbooks on the subject, said two crucial temperatures are 41 degrees and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. "Within that range, dangerous bacteria can grow," he said. Health inspectors, when they visit a restaurant, grocery store or other food establishment, check to make sure foods are either hotter than 135 degrees or cooler than 41 degrees.

When cooked food is cooled, the less time it takes to pass through that temperature range, the better. This can be done by dividing it into portions, placing the food in shallow pans and by using ice to speed the process. The Tippecanoe County Health Department recommends that potentially hazardous cooked foods be cooled from 135 degrees to 70 degrees within two hours and from 70 degrees to 41 degrees within the next four hours. more information

Restaurant inspections uncommon
January 18, 2006
Anchorage Daily News (Alaska)
Kyle Hopkins
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/7369835p-7282030c.html
WASILLA -- Grappling with high staff turnover and job vacancies at the local environmental health office, Alaska in 2005 inspected fewer than one in five restaurants, stores and other food-serving establishments in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
The year before that, fewer than one in 10 were inspected.
Kimberly Stryker, associate coordinator for the state Division of Environmental Health food safety and sanitation program, was quoted as saying, "Consumers think that we're out there more than we are. It's the sad reality."
The story adds that when inspections did occur in the Valley over the past two years, many were spurred by complaints from customers who reported food poisoning, rodents and, in one case, a Band-Aid in the spaghetti.
A sampling of recent Mat-Su inspection reports showed several restaurants cited for improperly heated or chilled food, a burger joint improperly cooking meat, and a fast-food place with not only a pest problem but no hot water anywhere in the facility for employees to wash their hands.
Food safety program manager Ron Klein was cited as saying he would like the state to visit every "high-risk" facility about once a year.
more information

Prevention of Cross-Contamination - VIDEO
Dr. Ken Gall,
NY Sea Grant (University of Maryland)
Click here for Windows Media Streaming Versions (Recommended)
or click here for HTTP Server

Millions sought from cruise line Family of man, 21, who died sues Carnival
January 21, 2006
Sun Sentinel
Vanessa Blum
The family of a Michigan man, 21, who died two days after returning from a weeklong Caribbean cruise has, according to this story, brought a class action lawsuit against Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines.
The suit, filed Wednesday in Miami federal court, seeks to recover $20 million on behalf of passengers who became ill on a January 2005 voyage of the Carnival Miracle.
According to the suit, several passengers developed flu-like symptoms after consuming food or water aboard the ship that was contaminated with the Norovirus -- a type of virus that causes nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
The suit was quoted as saying, "The Defendant breached their duty to prepare and provide food and/or water that was fit for human consumption, healthful and suitable for all persons."
The Miracle returned to Florida on Jan. 30, 2005. Two days later, Jonathan Kallas, a second year chemistry student at the University of Michigan, died at his home near Flint, Mich. The cause of death was identified as "norovirus infection and complications thereof."
Jennifer de la Cruz, a spokeswoman for Carnival, was cited as saying in a statement that the company had not yet reviewed the class action lawsuit, but defended the cruise line's health record, adding, "Carnival Cruise Lines has a very low incidence of gastro-intestinal outbreaks, despite carrying more than 3 million guests per year. In the relatively few cases that do occur, joint CDC/Carnival investigations show that cases are most commonly caused by guests who bring the illness onto the ship."

Raw milk sickens 5: Larimer dairy implicated
January 21, 2006
The Daily Reporter-Herald
Kate Martin
FORT COLLINS ? At least five people got sick after drinking raw milk from a Larimer County, Colorado, dairy in late December or early January.
Dr. Adrienne LeBailly, director of the department Larimer County Health and Environment, was cited as saying officials are investigating the cases.
Kim Meyer-Lee, a regional epidemiologist, was cited as saying five people reported laboratory-confirmed cases of Campylobacteriosis from Jan. 4 through Jan. 9 and that the county also found other suspected cases.
The story says that selling unpasteurized milk directly to consumers is prohibited by state law. Dairies normally pasteurize milk to kill harmful bacteria.
Consumers of raw milk can legally buy shares in dairy cows, however. Colorado law does not forbid drinking raw milk from a privately owned cow.
Officials refused to release the name of the dairy involved, saying the case still is under investigation. Calls to several raw-milk dairies in Larimer County were not returned Thursday evening.
LeBailly was quoted as saying it is ¡°never a good idea to drink raw milk. People say they prefer the taste of raw milk or they feel they have fewer digestive problems ... but you always run a risk when you drink raw milk."

USDA needs to move 'quickly and firmly' to restore Japan's confidence in U.S. beef
by John Gregerson on 1/23/2006 for Meatingplace.com

U.S. and Japanese officials were set to meet over the weekend to begin to untangle how vertebrae parts wound up in beef shipped from the United States to Tokyo, and what Japan will require of the U.S. beef industry and Agriculture Department before it reopens it border to U.S. beef. The vertebrae parts, among the tissue types Japan has banned as a condition of reopening its markets to U.S. beef, were discovered at Tokyo's Narita International Airport on Friday in an 860-pound product shipment from New York. Kyodo News reported the shipment was made by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based packer Atlantic Veal & Lamb. Japan immediately reimposed its ban on U.S. beef following the discovery of the vertebrae parts. Though it didn't identify the U.S. packer responsible for the shipment, USDA indicated the company had been delisted for export of beef products to Japan.

U.S. Meat Export Federation President Philip M. Seng said that USDA would need to respond "quickly and firmly" in assuring Japanese officials that USDA and the U.S. beef industry are willing and able to comply with trade provisions between Japan and the United States. "It's very important that the USDA respond quickly and thoroughly to questions the Japanese may have in order to put the issue to rest before it has a chance to germinate," Seng told Meatingplace.com. "That means elucidating to Japan what transpired, how it transpired and what is planned to prevent it from happening again." He said the fact that USDA and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns moved quickly to address the issue, both in dispatching USDA inspectors to Japan and boosting inspection efforts in the United States, may bode well for talks between the two countries. In particular, Seng lauded a move by Johanns to require a second FSIS signature on export certificates. "We've jarred Japanese confidence in USDA and we may have to go a little over the edge in order to regain that confidence," he said.

Seng added he wouldn't be surprised if the Japanese require a more thorough audit of U.S. processing operations by Japanese inspectors as a condition for resuming imports of U.S. beef product. "They may want to observe all 100 percent of the plants deemed eligible to export beef to Japan."

NCBA demands full investigation

Meanwhile, National Cattlemen's Beef Association CEO Terry Stokes insisted that the situation be fully investigated, while emphasizing that "what's being investigated is a technical violation, not a beef safety issue" since bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which is associated with bovine nervous system tissue, is indigenous to older cattle. Prior to the ban, only beef product from cattle 20 months of age and younger had been shipped to Japan.

American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle said AMI has been told the product in question was veal from cattle six months of age. "Despite this shipment, sent in error ¡¦ U.S. beef and veal remain among the safest in the world," he said.


USDA- STATEMENT BY AGRICULTURE SECRETARY MIKE JOHANNS REGARDING U.S. BEEF EXPORTS TO JAPAN

Mercury Concentrations in Fish: FDA Monitoring Program
(1990-2004)

The FSIS Microbiological Testing Program for Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Meat and Poultry Products, 1990?2004

Egg hygiene inspection and monitoring (UK)
Monday 23 January 2006
source from: http://www.food.gov.uk
Annual review (2005-2006) of the operation of the service level agreement between the Food Standards Agency Scotland and the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department.

Background
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) currently exists between the Food Standards Agency Scotland (FSAS) and the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD) for egg hygiene inspection work.
This work is carried out by the Eggs and Poultry Unit (EPU) of SEERAD, under the Eggs (Marketing Standards) Regulations 1995, Statutory Instrument (SI) No 1544 (as amended in 1996, SI No 1725; 1997 SI No 1414; 1998 SI No 1665 and 2000 SSI No 62) for the enforcement of Council Decision 94/371/EC.

The 1995 regulations were replaced in July 2005 by The Eggs (Marketing Standards) (Enforcement) (Scotland) Regulations 2005, Statutory Instrument (SI) No 332.

Annual Review (2005-2006) of the egg hygiene inspection operation of the SLA between FSA Scotland and SEERAD
PDF document 30KB (UK)

E. coli parents launch help group
January 23, 2006
BBC News
A support group is, according to this story, being launched for parents whose children were affected by the south Wales E.coli outbreak.
During the outbreak between September and December last year, 158 people were infected with the bacteria and a five-year-old boy died.
The support group will be launched in Cardiff by parents on Monday.
Parents involved in the group hope it will help keep pressure on the authorities investigating the outbreak and provide support for those affected.
Claire Hudson, whose daughter became ill with E.coli, was quoted as saying, "We could do with one clear voice to coordinate our views to the assembly as the public inquiry goes forward. The support group can also provide somewhere for parents to talk together about their common experiences and get advice from each other. We would like to invite anyone affected by the e-coli outbreak to get involved."

Are our school cafeterias safe?
January 20, 2006
Pritzker Ruohonen press release
MINNEAPOLIS, MN ?The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently made its 2004 foodborne outbreak statistics available to the public. (See http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/us_outb/fbo2004/summary04.htm.) In 2004 there were 47 reported foodborne outbreaks attributable to foods served in schools across the United States. A total of 2341 people fell ill in these reported outbreaks. This is up from 1110 people falling ill in 30 reported outbreaks from foods served in schools in 2003. (See the 2003 statistics at http://www.cdc.gov/foodborneoutbreaks/us_outb/fbo2003/summary03.htm. Even though health officials have been aware of the rise in school-based foodborne illnesses, school children continue to fall ill from cafeteria food at alarming rates.
As reported in the Peoria Journal Star yesterday, 35 middle school students fell ill after eating school cafeteria food only weeks after 82 other students became ill after eating lunch in 5 of the same school district¡¯s elementary schools. (For the full story, see http://www.pjstar.com/stories/011906/TRI_B8O6MDJE.025.shtml.)
According to noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker more has to be done to protect our school children, including additional protections at each step in the food chain. We have to clean up our nation¡¯s school cafeterias, the distribution centers that distribute food to the schools, and the food manufacturing facilities that process the foods our children eat. To do this, federal and state laws need to be strengthened and better enforced. "Why can't food going to our school cafeterias be tested, every batch, before it leaves the plant?" he asks.
Fred Pritzker is president of the Minneapolis law firm of Pritzker | Ruohonen & Associates, P.A. The firm represents foodborne illness victims in Minnesota and throughout the United States and is one of the few that specializes in such cases. Pritzker Ruohonen successfully represented several Minnesota E. coli victims in the 2000 outbreak involving hamburger purchased at Cub Food Stores and is lead counsel for victims of the 2002 Northeast United States Listeriosis outbreak that killed 12 people and injured more than 50 others. The firm has collected millions of dollars on behalf of victims of foodborne illness and defective products.


OUTBREAK NEWS
01/23. Hepatitis scare prompts warning
01/23.
Taco shells could be linked to illnesses
01/23.
Food safety and pavement poison
01/23.
Millions sought from cruise line
01/23.
Officials slated over bug spread
01/23.
Listeria clue links firm to third death
01/23.
Raw milk sickens 5: Larimer dairy implicated
01/20.
Substantial reduction of human S. Enteritidis infections
01/20.
E. coli is from Dee Creek, state confirms
01/20.
Fingers pointed over hepatitis outbreak
01/19.
Students ill after lunch
01/19.
State Report Links Washington Dairy With E. Coli Outbreak
01/19.
Cruise ship virus strikes local eatery
01/19.
Wash. dairy's health violations to blame for E. coli
01/19.
14 children hospitalized for eating ‘tuba-tuba’
01/19.
Hepatitis A alert 'seemed late
01/18. Five confirmed cases of hepatitis A found in Alamance
01/18.
Virus shows 'deadly gaps' in hygiene
01/18.
School hit by illness; up to 245 stay home
01/18.
Mayflower hotel conventioneers get sick
01/13.
Multiple outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness among school
01/13.
Flinders Medical Centre declared listeria free


USDA/FDA Information

01/23. Food Safety Manager - VA-Richmond

01/20. Quality Assurance Lab Supervisor - Oakland, IA

01/20. Quality Control Supervisor - Tracy, CA

01/20. Quality Control Coordinator - Medina, NY

01/20. Regulatory Affairs Coordinator - Brunswick, GA

01/19. Quality Assurance Manager - Hanford, CA

01/19. MN-St. Paul-Microbiology Lab Technician

01/19. QUALITY ASSURANCE TECHNOLOGIST - Norwood, MA

01/19. Manager of Quality Assurance Operations - Fairfield, CA

01/19. Food Safety Specialist - Salt Lake City, UT

01/19. Quality Assurance Manager - VA-Winchester

01/19. Quality Assurance Supervisor - Utah - Cedar City

01/19. Quality Engineer - AZUSA, CA

01/19. Corporate QA Manager - Food - Aurora, IL

01/19. Quality Assurance Supervisor - 2nd Shift - Chicago, IL

01/19. Quality Assurance Manager - Massillon, OH

01/19. QA Supervisor - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

01/19. QA Supervisor (Food Manufacturing) - Midwest, MN

01/19. QA Technician - Itasca, IL

01/19. Quality Assurance Manager - VA-Winchester

01/19. Professor, Molecular Biology/Genomics of Foodborne Pathogens

01/13. Quality Control Tech - UT-Salt Lake City

01/13. QA Scientist - Lakeview, CA



General Food Safety News
01/23. CFIA: BSE DETECTED IN ALBERTA
01/23. CFIA issues statement about BSE case in Canada

01/23. Canada Announces Additional BSE Case in Alberta Cow
01/23. Egg hygiene inspection and monitoring
01/23. Typhoid fever linked to ancient plague of Athens

01/23. Fowl slaughter to get clean-up
01/23.
S. KOREA, CHINA TO FORM 'EARLY WARNING SYSTEM' FOR FOOD
SAFE
01/23. Language barrier: food safety training translates OK
01/23. Stagnito Communications Acquires The Food Safety Summit
01/23. Learning the ABCs of food safety
01/23. State offers grocers guidelines for food safety
01/23. Food too old or stored improperly can be toxic
01/23. Food safety inspections low in Valley
01/23. USDA needs to move 'quickly and firmly' to restore Japan'
01/22. Italy's food safety measures called into question
01/22. Japan Confirms 22nd BSE Case
01/22. AMI: Additional Case of BSE in Canada
01/22. All island conference to tackle foodborne disease
01/22. Group claims data indicates canned tuna is safe
01/22. Local growers handle their own produce safety
01/22. E. coli parents launch help group
01/22. Japan to inspect all U.S. beef imports
01/22. Officials test 'suspicious sample' for mad cow
01/22. Editorials-Japan-3
01/22. Ottawa looks into possible mad cow case
01/22. US made mistake on Japan beef: Zoellick quoted
0
1/21. BC-Mad
01/21. Be bold, explore -- but be smart
01/21. Bill would give state tool to regulate dairies
01/21. Alarmed US takes urgent action over new Japan beef ban
01/21. Japanese stores pull U.S. beef off shelves
01/21. From field to fork, farm food safety a growing issue
01/21. Are our school cafeterias safe?
01/21. Legislature: Raw milk focus of ardent debate
01/21. Incident involving second joint chicken wings
01/20. AMI Expresses Regret Over Shipment Not Approved for Export
01/20. Japan halts U.S. beef imports due to contaminated shipment
01/20. Singapore ready to buy U.S. beef
01/20. Top court refuses to hear suspended scientist's appeal
01/20. Toxin leaches into bottled water
01/20. Slugs may spread E. coli to vegetables
01/20. Japan to impose new ban on US beef: Koizumi
01/20. HOOF-Prints Help Find Where Outbreaks Begin
01/19. Food-safety agreement reached with China
01/19. Is that restaurant spotless? City puts more data online
01/19. Research digs up dirt on public filth
01/19. Sarasota woman suing Ruby Tuesday restaurant
01/19. Udderly Creamed
01/19. Small Raw Milk Dairies Fear Cost Of Licensing
01/19. Safety concerns halt peanut-allergy drug
01/19. Food defense exercises
01/18. Food Safety World Conference & Expo
01/18. Labelling conference 2006
01/18. Restaurant inspections uncommon
01/18. Crackdown on foodborne illnesses
01/18. Wendy's trial ends with 9- and 12-year sentences
01/18. Singapore plans to lift import ban on U.S. beef
01/18. Meat Hygiene Directives
01/17. City chews on peanut decision
01/17. Work remains to be done to renew public health
01/17. USDA continues efforts to safeguard the nation's food supply
01/17. Nutrition know-how
01/17. Effort to remove lead from Mexican treats
01/17. Reaching At-Risk Audiences and Other Food Safety Challenges
01/17. Beef
01/16. Cater only by the rules
01/16. MBL leads effort to update E. coli genome
01/16. Parents must be vigilant about preventing E. coli infection
01/15. U.S. partially end beef ban
01/15. Norwegian salmon producers suspected of nitrite use
01/15. Operator of illegal slaughterhouse enters guilty plea
01/14. Woman says she found nail in Gerber baby food
01/14. Disgusting discovery: Maggots in baby oatmeal
01/13. Confusion surrounds Italy's seizure of wheat
01/13. Q&A: How Humans Can Avoid Catching Bird Flu
01/13. FMC tightens up on listeria
01/13. Baucus: China positive on beef trade
01/13. South Korea, U.S. resume beef talks
01/13. Taiwan votes yes to U.S. beef, but its food safety bureau do
01/13. UCSD team unmasks family of immune system invaders
01/13. BSE forum packs the house
01/13. S. Korea, U.S. reach beef imports deal
01/13. BC-US-Tanigaki-Beef
01/13. European Food Safety Authority seeks members for scientific
01/13. Bills take aim at raw milk


Recall News

01/20. Undeclared wheat in MERIT SELECTION 10-CUT WEDGE POTATOES
01/20. Incident involving boxes of frozen second joint chicken wings
01/20. Ferrosan withdraws irradiated food supplement
01/19. [New Zealand] Food recalled over listeria fears
01/18. Waitrose recalls ready meal
01/13. Robert's American Gourmet Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Wheat

New Methods for food Safety/Quality
01/23. New test means safe oysters
01/23.
AFNOR Approval of RAPID'Salmonella: 48 hr Test
01/19.
Toxin Alert Inc. obtains approval for Toxin Guard(TM) in Can
01/19.
Nymox NXC-4720 product in development for E. coli O157:H7
01/12.
Kronos Air Purification Technology Completely Decontaminates