Food Safety News List
Peanut-Allergy-Fighter: Apple Protein!
More than a million Americans suffer from peanut allergies,
but ARS researchers are working to reduce the allergenicity. The U.S.
produces about 3 to 4 billion pounds of peanuts annually; 40 percent goes
into processed foods. Apples may hold the key to reducing the allergenicity
of peanuts--great news for the estimated 1.5 million Americans and other
folks worldwide who suffer from peanut allergies. Agricultural Research
Service scientists at the Southern Regional Research Center, New Orleans,
La., discovered that adding a natural compound from apples--polyphenol
oxidase, or PPO--to extracts from chopped-up peanuts alters the allergenic
properties of some peanut proteins. Plans call for lab-animal studies
to confirm the apple protein's allergen-fighting actions. Other tests
will determine PPO's effects on peanut flavor and shelf life (Journal
of the Science of Food and Agriculture, volume 85, pages 2631 to 2637).
The scientists caution that simply eating apples won't control peanut
For details, contact: Si-Yin Chung, (504) 256-2077; USDA-ARS Southern
Regional Research Center, c/o Arkansas Children's Nutrition Research Center,
Little Rock, Ark
Compounds Counteract Campylobacter in Chickens
Proteins called bacteriocins, produced by bacteria, can reduce Campylobacter
to very low levels in chicken intestines, possibly helping to lessen our
exposure to this foodborne pathogen. In a chicken, the bacteriocins produced
by Bacillus circulans or Paenibacillus polymyxa, for example, kill a significant
amount of Campylobacter in the bird's gut (Journal of Food Protection,
volume 68, pages 1450 to 1453). ARS scientists at the Richard B. Russell
Research Center in Athens, Ga., and colleagues from the former Soviet
Union and elsewhere, have expanded upon these discoveries by boosting
production of bacteriocins. The experiments yielded quantities suitable
for commercial testing as potential replacements for certain antibiotics.
For details, contact: Norman J. Stern, (706) 546-3516; USDA-ARS Richard
B. Russell Research Center, Athens, Ga.
Good Bacteria Reduce Pathogens in Chickens
Source: University of Arkansas, Food Safety Consortium
Good Bacteria Reduce Pathogens in Chickens
Source of Article: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/518214/?sc=rssn
Some commercial poultry processors have begun using a bacterial culture
developed at the University of Arkansas that can sharply reduce the levels
of pathogenic Salmonella and Campylobacter in live poultry. This probiotic
is helping the poultry industry increase the safety of food products,
and poultry science researcher Billy Hargis believes his research team
can do more. ¡°We have not bothered to patent this specific culture because
we don¡¯t think this is the best we can do,¡± said Hargis, who is working
on the Food Safety Consortium project in the UA Division of Agriculture.
¡°We think we can find better cultures. This is just the best we have found
so far. We think we can make it more effective.¡±
The culture is unique because unlike previous cultures that have been
tested, this is a ¡°defined culture¡± entirely derived from a single defined
group of bacteria. ¡°They¡¯re known organisms, specific isolates that are
well characterized,¡± Hargis said. The probiotic cultures are applied to
the concept of competitive exclusion, in which different species compete
to coexist. The plan in poultry production is to introduce the beneficial
good bacteria into a live bird to drive out the harmful pathogenic bacteria.
The federal Food and Drug Administration does not allow undefined cultures
to be used in competitive exclusion, so the defined cultures produced
by Hargis¡¯ research group fill a need for industry. ¡°Our cultures are
different because they can be truly defined and they can be reproduced
from specific isolates that are stored back in the freezer,¡± he said.
¡°Then they can be propagated virtually forever.¡± At the poultry production
farm level, the probiotic culture has been administered to chicks through
their drinking water and by spray application. In addition to cutting
down on pathogens in the live poultry, the culture has also been found
in experiments to be effective in increasing the birds¡¯ weight, lowering
production costs and reducing environmental contamination in poultry houses.
Emphasis on food safety is mostly concentrated at the processing plants
where companies employ numerous techniques to eliminate bacterial contamination
in the stages before a poultry product is packaged for sale. Processors
can find their work made easier if they receive a supply of live birds
at the plant that have already been exposed to pathogen-reducing exercises.
So producers of live poultry would have significant incentives to use
a probiotic culture if it not only reduces pathogens but also provides
financial benefits against the usual costs of doing business.
¡°Our premise has been that if we can do something that provides an economic
advantage in addition to reducing foodborne pathogens, then we might see
more rapid adoption of the technology,¡± Hargis said. ¡°We¡¯ve had quite
a bit of commercial adoption in the past year. We have several companies
that are using the product at least intermittently.¡± In addition to seeking
ways to perfect the probiotic culture, Hargis also wants to pursue more
study of its ability to reduce carcass contamination. Some experiments
have shown such reductions, but more data are needed. ¡°Salmonella does
not occur by spontaneous generation in a processing plant. It comes in
with the live animals. I think it¡¯s a pretty good bet that reducing Salmonella
in live animals will end up reducing Salmonella in food because that¡¯s
where it comes from,¡± Hargis explained. ¡°Our focus now is to make the
culture better and find other isolates that are more effective.¡±
Opinions split on genetically engineered food
Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml
2/20/2006-While more than two-thirds of the food in U.S. markets contains
at least some amount of a genetically engineered (GE) crop, researchers
want to know if Americans consider GE food a health risk or benefit.
The result: Americans are split on the issue, but they have become slightly
more skeptical over the past three years, according to a new study from
"Depending on whom you ask, the technology is either beneficial or
has negative effects on health and environment," said James Shanahan,
associate professor of communication at Cornell and lead researcher of
Generally, women and non-Caucasians perceived higher risk in using biotechnology
in food production than men and Caucasians. And politically, Republicans
showed more overall support for GE foods than others, he said.
John Besley, one of Shanahan's collaborators and a Cornell doctoral candidate
in communication, presented the findings at the annual meeting of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science today (Feb. 19). The
third co-author is Erik Nisbet, also a Cornell doctoral candidate in communication.
The study included four annual national surveys from 2003 to 2005 (with
samples of about 750 respondents each year) and three annual surveys of
New Yorkers from 2003 to 2005 (about 850 respondents each year). The national
survey measured support for GE food using a scale from 1 to 10, while
the New York survey used a similar scale to measure the perceived health
risks of GE food.
"The results of the state and national surveys were very consistent
with each other," said Shanahan. "And both showed a slight but
significant shift over time toward a little less support and more risk
Specifically, the mean response for support for biotechnology was 5.6
(on a 1-10 scale) in the first year of the surveys, indicating that people
were evenly divided in supporting, opposing or being undecided; by 2005,
the mean declined slightly to 5.2. Similarly, the mean response for risk
perception increased to 6.1 in 2005 from 5.4 in the first year.
The researchers also found that people who pay more attention to the news
tend to support GE food more than those who don't.
"Overall, research shows that GE foods are safe and effective, though
some people still harbor reservations about it," said Shanahan. "I
suspect that the more people are exposed to the news, the more aware they
are of biotechnology and, therefore, more supportive of it."
The New York data were collected by Cornell's Survey Research Institute
(SRI), which conducts survey research on par with other academic research
facilities. The national data were collected during a research methods
course in cooperation with SRI.
Shanahan serves as the co-director of the public issues education project,
Genetically Engineered Organisms. The project has an extensive Web site
for consumers about GE crops and foods (http://www.geo-pie.cornell.edu),
including information on what foods are most frequently engineered (corn
and soybeans, followed by canola and cotton, from which cottonseed oil
is derived), which traits have been engineered, regulations, and media
coverage and opinions about GE foods.
FDA is urged to ban carbon-monoxide-treated meat
February 20, 2006
The meat industry has, according to this story, quietly begun to spike
meat packages with carbon monoxide.
The gas, harmless to health at the levels being used, gives meat a bright
pink color that lasts weeks. The hope is that it will save the industry
much of the $1 billion it says it loses annually from having to discount
or discard meat that is reasonably fresh and perfectly safe but no longer
But the growing use of carbon monoxide as a "pigment fixative"
is alarming consumer advocates and others who say it deceives shoppers
who depend on color to help them avoid spoiled meat. Those critics are
challenging the Food and Drug Administration and the nation's powerful
meat industry, saying the agency violated its own rules by allowing the
practice without a formal evaluation of its impact on consumer safety.
Don Berdahl, vice president and laboratory director at Kalsec Foods in
Kalamazoo, Mich., a maker of natural food extracts that has petitioned
the FDA to ban the practice, was quoted as saying, "This meat stays
red and stays red and stays red."
If nothing else, Berdahl and others say, carbon-monoxide-treated meat
should be labeled so consumers will know not to trust their eyes. more
Bird flu-hit India must ease food safety fear
Mon Feb 20, 2006 08:41 AM ET
By Hari Ramachandran
Source of Article: http://go.reuters.com/
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's poultry product exporters, hit by the first
cases of bird flu, fear major losses unless the government acts immediately
to reassure importing nations over food safety, a trade official said
on Monday. The secretary of the All India Poultry Products Exporters'
Association, P. Valsan, told Reuters that exporters had halted sales after
the outbreak because they were concerned that importing countries might
not accept the consignments. "From today onwards nothing is moving.
The Middle East is the destination for the bulk of our exports,"
He said losses could amount to 500 million rupees ($11.26 million).
In a sign of what could follow, neighbours Pakistan and Nepal have already
banned poultry products from India. Valsan said he had urged officials
to explain to concerned countries that the region from where exports --
largely eggs -- are mainly sent has not been affected by the deadly H5N1
strain of bird flu, and they should continue with their purchases.
"Bird flu will have an effect on exports if our government does
not act on time and assure importing countries," Valson said from
Namakkal, 350 kms from Chennai, an area which accounts for 85 percent
of the country's egg exports. Bird flu has so far infected 171 people
worldwide and killed 93, since it was first identified in Hong Kong in
1997. At least 11 countries have reported outbreaks over the past three
weeks, an indication the deadly virus is spreading faster.
In India, officials in the remote district of Nandurbar in western Maharashtra
state launched a door-to-door check for people with fever after 50,000
birds died and tests on some fowl showed the H5N1 strain as the cause
of death. India exports poultry products valued at close to three billion
rupees every year, out of which eggs account for more than two-thirds,
mainly to the Middle East, Africa, the European Union and Japan, Valsan
said. The industry's exports between April and January exceeded 2.3 billion
rupees, he said, but added: "It will be down by around 500 million
rupees this year." "This will have some impact on exports as
everybody knows what has happened in India," said a government official
involved in poultry exports. Valsan said Pakistan was expected to be added
to the list of importers this year but that was now in question. "Now
with this problem, we don't know the status." He said poultry products,
including eggs, egg powder and other items, and valued at 100 million
rupees were already bound for the Middle East and Africa. "Exporters
are in a sort of panic on whether the containers on the high seas will
be accepted," Valsan said. (Additional reporting by Biman Mukherji
Salmonella poisoning alleged at local restaurant
February 18, 2006
BENTONVILLE ? Two Bentonville, Arkansas, families are, according to this
story, considering legal action against a restaurant here after alleged
cases of Salmonella poisoning occurred within the last week.
Seattle, Wash.-based attorney Drew Falkenstein with Marler Clark was cited
as saying that two families contacted him this week to consider filing
a lawsuit against Sushi King, 2501 S. E. 14 th St.
Environmental health specialist John Wham was cited as saying a doctor
alerted the Arkansas Department of Health of a possible Salmonella outbreak
Monday, and that cultures obtained from the doctor were later confirmed
to be Salmonella.
Hazel Mabry, a state Health Department communicabledisease nurse specialist
who covers Washington and Benton counties, was quoted as saying, "We
were aware earlier in the week of an increasing number of Salmonella reports
from the medical community."
Sushi King owner John Wei was cited as saying he has been working closely
with the Health Department this week, adding, "The last three days,
we have been intensely under health inspections. They took all the samples
to see if this bacteria originated here."
Deborah Pledger, the Bentonville School District nurse, sent a warning
e-mail to Bentonville School District staff Friday afternoon.
The e-mail, which The Daily Record received, states: "If you have
a family member, or know of someone who has eaten at Sushi King in the
last two weeks, and have become ill with severe (abdominal) pain, vomiting,
diarrhea and high temperatures, ¡¦ contact the Benton County Health Unit.
There have been numerous reports of people becoming ill after eating there.
They are suspecting people have been infected with Salmonella. I do know
the Health Department has been inundated with phone calls regarding this
situation and are working with Sushi King to correct the problem."
20 Confirmed Cases In Salmonella Outbreak
Thu Feb 16, 12:50 PM ET
Source of Article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/wews/20060216/lo_wews/3272755
The number of cases of salmonella outbreak at a Cleveland restaurant has
NewsChannel5 reported the Cuyahoga County Board of Health now said there
are 20 confirmed cases of an illness brought on by food eaten at Corky
and Lenny's restaurant in Woodmere. There are 61 probable cases as well.
The restaurant remains closed. There's no word on when it will reopen.
Third lawsuit filed in E. coli outbreak
Source of Article: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/
Athird lawsuit has been filed against the parent company of Salinas-based
Dole Fresh Vegetable on behalf of a Minnesota woman who said she became
sick after eating the company's bagged salads in October.
At the end of September, a foodborne illness outbreak affected at least
17 people in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area who ate one of three Dole bagged
salads and were infected with E. coli 0157:H7, the most dangerous strain
of the bacteria.
On Oct. 2, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to consumers
against eating the affected Dole products that had been distributed nationwide
and is performing a traceback investigation to find the source of the
Two lawsuits were filed on behalf of a Minnesota couple and an elderly
Oregon woman against Dole Food Company Inc. in late October. Mediations
for those two cases are scheduled for April, according to a representative
of Marler Clark law firm in Seattle, which is representing all four plaintiffs.
Eric Schwartz, president of Dole Fresh Vegetable, could not be reached
for comment on Monday.
The October E. coli outbreak is the fourth connected to produce grown
in the Salinas Valley since 2002. Three other cases, reported between
July 2002 and October 2003, involved contaminated lettuce and spinach
that sickened at least 114 people and killed an elderly woman.
02/22. Compounds Counteract Campylobacter in Chickens
02/22. Peanut-Allergy-Fighter: Apple Protein!
02/22. Cows' Ability To Break Down Perchlorate Documented
02/22. After BSE found, consumers still demand beef – cautiously
02/22. Studies attest to buyers' focus on color of meat
02/22. Raw milk: Why pasteurize?
02/22. Juice safety: What's to drink?
02/22. Food & feed safety - Publications
02/22. AMI urges FDA to give petition making unfounded allegations
02/22. Leading expert discusses safety of drinking water in Canada
02/22. Co. unsure how bird's head got in beans
02/22. Japanese ag minister wants translation of U.S. beef report
02/22. Isle of Man BSE Restrictions May Be Eased
02/22. Whirlpools still in hot water
02/22. Good Bacteria Reduce Pathogens in Chickens
02/22. Snakes poisoned at birth
02/22. In the Processing Plant, Pathogens Learn to Survive the Stress
02/22. Careful with the leftovers
02/22. International Food Safety Conference concludes
02/22. Japan Seeks Assurances for U.S. Beef
02/21. US claims cattle did not have mad cow disease
02/21. Improve safeguards against mad cow
02/21. Germany Amending BSE Testing Law
02/21. U.S. Marshals Seize Food Items
02/21. Organic Diets Lower Children's Exposure To Two Common Pestic
02/21. Food experts say public has inadequate understanding of food risk issues
02/21. Four papers presented on day two of Food Safety Conference
02/21. Opinions split on genetically engineered food
02/21. Japan: USDA report 'insufficient'
02/21. Japan PM Wary of Early Restart of US Beef Imports
02/21. Current Concepts in Foodborne Pathogens and Rapid and Automated Methods
02/21. Japan seeks assurances for U.S. beef
02/21. Toilet seats have less germs than your desk
02/21. Which cut is older? (It's a trick question)
02/21. [Canada] Latest [BSE] information
02/21. [Canada] Food and Drug Regulations — Amendment
02/21. K-State's Curtis Kastner to be honored
02/21. Import requirements for Mexican cantaloupes
02/21. Ontario packer fined for violation of the Canada Agricultura
02/21. Eskimo Express Inc fined $1,200
02/21. Georgia to offer training to reduce agricultural terrorism
02/21. Statement of the American Meat Institute on carbon monoxide
02/21. There's a right way to wash your hands
02/20. New Chair wanted for ACMSF
02/20. Johanns: Japan veal shipment also contained uncertified offa
02/20. Swift plant decertified for export to Japan
02/20. Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)
02/20. Peanuts at centre of sticky moral dilemma
02/20. FDA is urged to ban carbon-monoxide-treated meat
02/20. Meat-eaters have a real beef
02/20. Hep A vaccinations should be more accessible: Disease expert
02/20. Vinegar increases killing power of bleach
02/20. The top five mistakes people make in the kitchen
02/20. Rendering plant a BSE threat
02/20. Bioterrorism, hyped
02/20. Toxins found in fish for sale
02/20. Minnesota agriculture, health officials warn consumers about
02/20. Health department of Kansas fines nine area restaurants
02/19. Letters to the editor
02/19. JAPAN: Minister criticises US beef investigation
02/19. Johanns claims downer cattle did not have BSE
02/19. Hand washing he hottest thing in health care
02/19. Gluten Free Beer - Tasting Panel Gives Thumbs Up
02/19. Americans enjoy better food and more pesky bugs with it
02/19. EFSA opens up to discuss future of GM in Europe
02/18. UK, Germany checking soft drinks for benzene
02/18. Wonder Bread not so wonderful to food-allergy groups
02/18. State's strict rules coming under fire
02/18. Food safety fears make delivery services hot business
02/18. Bird flu-hit India must ease food safety fear
02/18. European Food Safety Authority: Risk assessment of GMOs
02/18. Warning - may contain nuts (and bolts)
02/17. Surveys show pollutant levels in fish falling
2/17. Progress Made in Reducing Campylobacter in Poultry
02/17. Cheese Wrapped in Mouldy Towel
02/17. US: USDA concludes investigation into beef breach
02/17. USDA: Mistaken Beef Shipment to Japan Posed No Risk
02/17. Mad-Cow Feed Rules Will Be Tightened in U.S. in 2006
02/17. Two BSE cases detected in Ireland
02/17. Osceola County Fair Drops Petting Zoo
02/17. Health department of Kansas fines nine area restaurants
02/17. Tracking Food Products From Farm To The Fork
02/17. Ecolab Wins Int'l Award for Best Cleaning Innovation
02/17. Produce Safety & Security Int'l Inc. Will Open Office
02/17. Opinion divided over food safety
02/17. Plant ''Should Have Known'' Japan Veal Ineligible: US
02/16. Tiny Animals Aid Salmonella
02/16. Ag Chief places moratorium on new licenses for dollar stores
02/16. Rechek's adds powerful produce sanitizer
02/16. Corky and Lenny's plans to reopen Saturday
02/16. Soap opera
02/16. JAPAN: Gov't knew US beef exporters violated safety regs
02/16. UK: Mouse found in Asda ready meal
02/16. USDA "dead serious" in enforcing Japan beef pact
02/22. Businesses, institutions react to water warning
02/21. 200 wedding guests food-poisoned
02/21. [Australia] WA residents warned of alfalfa sprout salmonella poisoning
02/20. Carrabba's apologizes for sickened customers
02/20. Officials investigate school illness
02/20. Salmonella poisoning alleged at local restaurant
02/20. Lizard found in mid-day meal, 80 children fall ill
02/20. Pupils suffering from S. China food poisoning in stable cond
02/20. Canada blame food poisoning for loss to Japan
Botulism - armenia (erevan)
20 Confirmed Cases In Salmonella Outbreak
Hamat Gader spa sues Health Ministry after E. coli
29 individuals get sick after attending Ephrata wedding
Second lawsuit filed against Carrabba's
Victim of Corky & Lenny Salmonella outbreak files
50 Probable Salmonella Cases Linked To Corky &
Third lawsuit filed in E. coli outbreak
Inmate sues prison after eating bad ham
Food safety attorney to file lawsuit against Carrabba’
Carrabba's has history of
____USDA/FDA News ______
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02/22. QC Manager - Seattle, WA
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02/21. Quality Assurance Manager - Bremner - IL-South Beloit
02/21. Service Operations Manager - Food Safety - Radnor,
02/21. Quality Engineer - IL-Westchester
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02/20. Quality Assurance Manager - Canton, MA
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02/20. Quality Assurance Supervisor
- CA-Calabasas Hills
02/17. QA Manager for Fortune 500 Company - Northern, CA
02/17. QA Manager with R&D - Orange County, CA
02/17. Quality Manager Position - Avon, OH
02/16. AZ-Phoenix-QC Supervisor - 2nd Shift
02/16. Food Safety Specialist - Pittsburgh, PA
02/16. KY-Statewide-Quality Manager -Edible Oils/Dressings/sauces
02/15. Lab Manager – Food / Microbiological Testing
- Modesto, CA
02/15. Sanitation Supervisor - Soledad, CA
02/15. Quality Assurance Manager - Denver, CO
02/14. Associate Manager - Quality Programs - Battle Creek,
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02/14. Microbiology Technician - MN-Bloomington
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