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FPA and GMA Merger

April 28, 2006
Source of Article:
FPA and GMA Announce Agreement in Principle to Merge
Cal Dooley Named to Head Merged Organization

(Washington, D.C.) The Board of Directors of the Food Products Association (FPA) and the Executive Committee of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) announced today that they have agreed in principle to merge the two organizations effective January 1, 2007. The merger will not be fully ratified until GMA¡¯s board of directors considers and votes on the terms of the agreement at its June board meeting and the general membership of FPA and GMA approve.

In a separate process, the GMA Search Committee recommended to the GMA Executive Committee, and it agreed, that FPA President and CEO Cal Dooley be named head of the merged organization if the merger is ultimately approved. GMA President and CEO Manly Molpus will continue until his previously announced retirement date of December 31, 2006. Dooley would serve as president and CEO of the merged organization beginning January 1, 2007.

¡°FPA¡¯s Board believes this merger will create a powerhouse association working on behalf of large and small food and non-food companies, while preserving the science mission of FPA that has been the core of its existence since the association¡¯s founding in 1907,¡± said Reid MacDonald, Chairman of FPA¡¯s Board of Directors and President and CEO of Faribault Foods.

¡°This merger brings together two very effective advocacy organizations and complements the exceptional public policy and industry affairs work GMA has conducted on behalf of its members since 1908,¡± said Rick Lenny, GMA Chairman and Chairman, President and CEO of The Hershey Company. ¡°I congratulate the leadership of FPA and GMA for taking this bold and important step.¡± The combined organization will be known as GMA/FPA for the first year, after which it will be known as GMA. GMA/FPA would represent nearly 300 member companies from every sector of the food, beverage and consumer products industry. The merger will harness the collective expertise of the industry¡¯s leading government affairs, scientific and technical experts and will continue to identify areas of collaboration with customers to promote new technology and supply chain efficiency. Cal Dooley, FPA's President and CEO, noted "This merger will create an organization that offers even greater value to food, beverage and consumer products companies. It will bring the best of both FPA and GMA into a single trade association, offering new services and expertise to all members and providing unsurpassed scientific, public policy and industry affairs representation to member companies.
¡°This merger recognizes the unique strengths of each organization,¡± said GMA President and CEO Manly Molpus. ¡°GMA/FPA achieves the long-sought objective of uniting the industry behind a common vision and agenda, with the resources and leadership to accomplish its goals.¡±

Click here for more information

Anthrax found in British cattle
by John Gregerson on 4/26/2006 for
British health officials investigating the first case of anthrax in British cattle in four years say they have taken urgent steps to ensure the public isn't at risk from the potentially fatal bacteria.
They acted after confirming that two cows were killed by the highly contagious infection. The cases occurred on a beef farm in south Wales, the cattle being among five cows that had died on the farm, in Rhondda Cynon Taff, this month.
The carcasses of the two cows have been burnt on site in accordance with rules for controlling the disease. The other dead cattle have also been incinerated. Anthrax was confirmed on the same farm about 35 years ago. Under certain conditions, anthrax spores may persist for many years. Investigators are looking at whether the current outbreak is linked.
The Welsh assembly said that no cattle from the herd of 35 animals had been sent to market for almost 12 months.

High bacteria levels stop oyster production
Monday, 24/04/2006
Source of Article:
Oyster production in the Bellinger River on New South Wales mid-north coast has been halted due to unacceptably high levels of E. coli.
The New South Wales Food Authority has stopped harvesting Sydney Rock Oysters indefinitely.
John Lindsay from the Bellinger Oyster Growers Association says growers are shocked and more should have been done earlier by authorities.
"We're all extremely surprised because we always thought the Bellinger River was one of the pristine rivers," he said.
"We always thought it was one of the best rivers on the north coast. Obviously not. We knew there were some problems in there.
"We've been onto council, we've been onto the Food Authority to try and clear up some hot spots.
"They've done little to help us with the problem."

USDA estimates 4-7 cases of mad cow in U.S.
April 28, 2006 Source of Article:

Washington, D.C. - The government estimates that there are four to seven cases of mad cow disease in the nation's cattle herd. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said Friday that's an "extraordinarily low" number that should give consumers confidence in the safety of the nation's beef supply. The estimate is based on the expanded testing program that the Agriculture Department started in June 2004. USDA has tested 690,000 cattle since then and two animals have tested positive for the disease. USDA's analysis of the test results mean that there is less than one case for every one million adult cattle in the country. The United States has about 42 million adult cattle. Johanns said the department will move forward with plans to cut back on the testing program, which is costing about $1 million a week, after outside experts review USDA's prevalence estimates. According to international guidelines, the government should be testing about 40,000 cattle a year, according to Ron DeHaven, administrator of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. USDA officials say there are a number of safeguards to prevent beef from the infected cattle from reaching consumers, including on the use of tissue considered at risk for carrying the disease. USDA also has banned the slaughter of animals that are unable to walk. Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has been linked to a rare but fatal brain disease in humans.

Family to sue cruise line in death
April 26, 2006 (Michigan)
Beata Mostafavi
SWARTZ CREEK - Al Kallas was cited as recounting how he knew something was wrong with his son, Jonathan, just two days after the family returned from a Caribbean cruise Jan. 30, 2005, and looked fatigued and kept saying, "Man, I'm just so tired, Dad."
The story says that about 6 p.m. Feb. 1, 2005, Julie Kallas came home from work and found husband Jonathan - the father of their then 4-year-old daughter, Hailey - dead.
The Kallases now say the cruise ship Carnival Miracle is to blame for the illness leading to Jonathan Kallas' death.
The Oakland County medical examiner last year ruled Kallas died from complications of norovirus - a gastrointestinal illness the Kallases believe he got from food contaminated by ship workers with poor sanitation practices.
Julie Kallas was quoted as saying, as she sat with Al and Diane Kallas in the Bloomfield Hills office of the family's attorney, Ken Hardin, who is filing a class-action lawsuit against the cruise line, that, "They weren't just negligent. They took our life away."
The family is asking for money, but Hardin declined to say how much.
Carnival representatives deny any wrongdoing in the Kallas case.
In a written statement to The Flint Journal, Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman Jennifer de la Cruz was cited as saying the Carnival Miracle always has a high inspection score with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that the ship has never had a reported norovirus outbreak during the two years it has been in service.

How is E. coli getting into the lettuce crops in this country?
(Lea Thompson, Dateline Chief Consumer Correspondent)
Source of Article:
Sometimes when I go out on a story, like we just did on E. coli contamination of lettuce, I feel the same exhilaration that we all had when we got out of school for the day to go on a field trip.

This time Producer Jack Cloherty and I were off on a field trip ? a literal one ? we set out to see the miles and miles of verdant green lettuce growing in the fields of southern Arizona. We went to Yuma, so close to the border of Mexico that you could almost see it. It's set in a very sunny spot where the Gila and Colorado Rivers converge. It's where Spanish conquistadors and pioneers set off for mysterious parts unknown. And we went to Yuma to investigate a mystery. How is E. coli O157 getting into the lettuce crops in this country?
We met with farmers and ranchers who are as baffled as the government is. They are all anxious to solve the problem because E. coli can kill and it is also very bad for business.
Some very nice people took us around and we saw the self-imposed rules they follow to keep your lettuce safe. For instance, workers wear hairnets in the field...those with "facial hair", including our producer Jack, have to put nets on their beards. Jack looked a bit like a terrorist out there in the field.
A few things were surprising to me. Head lettuce is wrapped in cellophane right in the field and shipped off to the grocery without being washed. Now I understand why they tell you to wash your lettuce before you eat it.
Much of the bagged lettuce you buy today is actually cored right in the field. Workers use these big coring knives, and with one twist they core out the heart of the plant, much like you might core a pineapple. And, even though that lettuce then goes through a chlorine bath, some experts worry the process might also allow E. coli to get to the heart of the head.
We didn't solve the problem while we were there. But our trip did help us understand how lettuce is grown and how animal or bird droppings or flooding with contaminated waters could take E. coli into a field. We also got great pictures.
E-coli in lettuce is a growing and serious dilemma. But, our conversations with hard working investigators with the Centers for Disease Control in Minneapolis, and with California authorities tell us they are on the case.
And a few kudos: Jack Cloherty and I have been partners for years ? he does just great work. Yolanda McCutchen did wonderful research on this story and Tressa Verna, as always, brought it alive with her nimble fingers at the console in her editing room.
Stay tuned... this is a story that is not going away.
The report airs Sunday, April 30, 7 p.m. on Dateline NBC.

Korea Reopening U.S. Beef Imports
Source of Article:
WASHINGTON - Apr 26/06 - SNS -- South Korea is expected to reopen its borders to imports of U.S. beef in June, following confirmation that the U.S.'s third confirmed case of a cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was born before feed restrictions were imposed.
Prior to the ban on imports, South Korea imported meat valued at $800 million from the United States. Imports will be limited to boneless meat from cattle younger than 30 months old because BSE has not yet been detected in younger cows.
Australia will be most affected by the change in import policy by South Korea. Since the bans on U.S. and Canadian product were initially imposed, it has enjoyed unprecedented access to Pacific Rim beef markets.
In calendar 2005, Australia exported 106,448 metric tons (MT) of beef to South Korea, including 19,113 MT of chilled and 87,335 MT of frozen beef. During the first quarter of the current calendar year, Australia has exported 26,136 MT of beef to Korea, up from 24,375 MT during the same three-month period last year.

Pesticide residues still high in Chinese vegetables
By Dominique Patton
Source of Article:

25/04/2006 - Some of the vegetables sold in Hong Kong¡¯s leading supermarket chains are dangerously high in pesticide residues, revealed Greenpeace last week, confirming that much still needs to be done to improve the way pesticides are used and tested in China.
The organisation that campaigns for protection of the environment tested a small selection of vegetables, mostly green leafy vegetables and others like tomatoes that tend to absorb pesticides, sold in the Parknshop and Wellcome supermarkets between November 2005 and March 2006.
More than 70 per cent of the 55 samples contained pesticide residues, and 30 per cent (17 samples) of these exceeded ¡®international standards', it said in a statement last week.
One Choi Sum sample collected in a Wellcome store was found to have pesticide residues at 240 times the EU standard.
Greenpeace said it also discovered banned pesticides including DDT, HCH and Lindane in five of the samples. more information

Phages Eyed as New Way to Control Salmonella
By Alfredo Flores
news source: USDA-ARS
April 28, 2006
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and university cooperators have collected and partially characterized beneficial viruses, called bacteriophages, that could help control Salmonella bacteria in swine waste lagoons.

Disease caused by Salmonella costs pork producers an estimated $100 million annually. Reports of human outbreaks of salmonellosis linked to pork consumption are rare, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that foodborne outbreaks of salmonellosis from all sources affect 1.4 million consumers annually.

Mike McLaughlin, a virologist in ARS' Waste Management and Forage Research Unit at Mississippi State, Miss., and collaborators from Western Kentucky University¡¯s Department of Biology in Bowling Green, Ky., have devised and adapted methods to collect, isolate and identify bacteriophages that attack and kill Salmonella strains. Salmonella causes illness in livestock, pets and people, but its hosts often show no signs of disease, complicating detection and control efforts. Bacteriophages or "phages," for short?invade bacteria, multiply and eventually rupture bacterial walls, releasing multiple copies of new phages capable of invading more bacteria. Most phages only attack specific species and strains of bacteria. Knowledge of this host- specificity allows specialists in agriculture, medicine and food safety to apply specific phages to help identify, track?and even treat or prevent?bacterial infections. McLaughlin and his team examined the bacterial host-specificity of the phages found in swine manure and, using electron microscopy, classified the phages according to their unique sizes and shapes. Information from their study will enable scientists to better understand the microbial ecology within swine effluent lagoons. They'll use the phages that have now been characterized to develop new tools to control Salmonella. This research, part of the ARS national program on manure and byproduct utilization, is reported in this month¡¯s Journal of Environmental Quality, published jointly by the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America. ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.

Lactic acid mix found to eliminate food pathogens
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article:
4/27/2006 - A mixture of harmless bacteria helps food companies eliminate almost all of the common pathogens found in ground beef and other meat products, according to scientists.
The mixture of lactic acid bacteria, which scientists claim eliminates "99.99 per cent" of all pathogens in processed beef and poultry, has passed GRAS (or generally recognized as safe) status review by the Food and Drug Administration.
The treatment was developed through Texas Tech University and is available through Indianapolis-based Nutrition Physiology. The mixture, to be sold under the name Bovamine Meat Cultures, is one of the few post-production treatments available that protects meat and poultry during long-term storage.
Administered during the processing phase, it works with other food safety processes throughout the beef production chain to provide an added layer of protection for consumers, the university stated.
Mindy Brashears, an associate professor and director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech, led the team that developed the mixture.
It was tested under conditions simulating meat storage and transfer to and from supermarkets. The product was found to reduce Salmonella by 99.9 per cent and E. coli O157:H7 by 99 per cent.
The cultures were put through a battery of both subjective and objective taste tests and were shown to have no impact on flavor, the university stated.
¡°Lactic acid bacteria are considered good bacteria in that they have a lot of benefits,¡± Brashears said. ¡°They are used to make several products like cheese, yogurt and sausages. They have a place in nature and they compete with other bacteria by producing compounds that kill the other bacteria. That is where the concept of using these bacteria to actually reduce foodborne pathogens came from. It is not a new concept, but some of the applications we have developed are unique.¡±
The FDA requires that meat and poultry products containing the mixture to be labeled to reflect the lactic acid cultures used to reduce foodborne pathogens.
The research was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, the Texas Beef Council and Nutrition Physiology Corp. It was published in the Journal of Food Protection.
E.coli O157:H7 is a virulent form of the bacteria that can cause diarrhea and, in some cases, kidney failure. Salmonella can cause food poisoning, typhoid, and paratyphoid fever in humans.

Multi-Point Use of FreshFx(R) Antimicrobial Solution Is the Non-Toxic and Cost-Effective Answer to Reducing Salmonella in Poultry Processing
Wednesday April 19
Source of Article:

SHREVEPORT, La., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A poultry-processing company in the Southeastern United States was struggling with post-chill Salmonella contamination rates of greater than 30 percent. Coupled with a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiative focused on reducing Salmonella rates in poultry, the company looked to SteriFx, Inc. for help.

By applying FreshFx antimicrobial solution at multiple points during processing, the plant saw 92 percent Salmonella rates at pre-scalder plummet to 34 percent post-pick and fall again to a remarkable 3 percent post-chill. The samples were gathered by the processing company and analyzed by an independent laboratory. "To reduce Salmonella levels appropriately, it has been determined that no single-point intervention will succeed if the birds entering the plant have high numbers of Salmonella present," says John R. Dankert, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of SteriFx. "Using FreshFx at multiple points during processing significantly lowers microbial counts and reduces cross- contamination." According to the USDA/FSIS, 16.3 percent of the 9,592 broiler samples from processing plants of all sizes in 2005 tested positive for Salmonella -- an 80 percent increase over 2000 results. Much of this upward trend is attributed to the cross-contamination that occurs in the picker. more information

Advanced Analytical Technologies, US Army and Battelle to Develop Portable Detection System
source from:

Advance Analytical Technologies, Inc. has signed an agreement with US army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Battelle Memorial Institute. The joint Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) is focused on the potential application of Advanced Analytical technology to effectively detect bioterrorism agents.
Advanced Analytical Technology has expertise in enumerating and detecting individual microbial cells as well as being able to identify specific microbial species. The threat of bioterrorism is a reality and the US government continues to fund development of interesting technologies to address this threat.
According to Ms. Laurie Fazekas-Carey of the ECBC, " This agreement is a milestone in the multi-year relationship with Advanced Analytical and their RBD 3000 technology platform. ECBC has been working with the technology for over two years and is looking forward to exploring ways that it can be expanded to further our mission to detect chemical and biological agents."
Battelle is a world-wide leader in directed research and development for both government entities as well as for private industry. " This agreement is very consistent with our charter as well as our expertise. The project has a potential to meaningfully improve our national security and we are pleased to be a participant", said Ms. Lauren McNew, project manager at Battelle.

Because of the fundamental opportunity this brings Advanced Analytical, Dr Steven Lasky, President and CEO, has initiated the scientific research to support this endeavor. " ECBC has been a customer for years and we are looking forward to collaborating with them in applying our technology to a portable detection platform."

Current Job Information
04/28. Quality Control / Assurance Manager - Bethlehem, PA
04/28. Regulatory Compliance Specialist - Chicago, IL
04/28. Total Quality Director/Eastern Region - Jefferson, GA
04/28. Quality Assurance/R&D Manager - Ontario, CA
04/28. WI-Madison-Microbiologist
04/27. Senior Scientist in Food Safety Programs - Western US
04/27. Food Safety Specialist - Portland, OR
04/27. Quality Assurance Manager - San Diego, CA
04/27. QA Specialist - GA-Brunswick
04/27. QA Manager - Refrigerated Foods - Vista, CA
04/27. Quality Engineer - Minster, OH
04/27. Quality Assurance Manager - Fairfield County, CT
04/26. Quality Assurance Manager - CA-San Diego
04/26. QA Manager - Food Manufacturing - Statewide, UT
04/25. Food Safety Specialist - Los Angeles, CA
04/25. Quality Assurance Supervisor - NC8 - Bessemer City, NC
04/25. Quality Inspector - Azusa, CA

Internet Journal of Food Safety (Current Issue)
Vol 8. 23-29
Development of Process for Preparation of Pure & Blended Kinnow Wine
without Debittering Kinnow Mandarin Juice
Vol 8. 19-23
Aspergillus, Health Implication & Recommendations for Public Health Food Safety
Vol 8. 14-18
An Observational Study of The Awareness of Food Safety Practices in Households in Trinidad
Vol 8. 7-13
Antibacterial activity of oregano tea and a commercial oregano water against Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes 4b, Staphylococcus aureus and Yersinia enterocolitica 03.
Vol 8. 3-6
Safety and quality practices in closed-house poultry production in Thailand: Lessons from
2004-avian influenza outbreak
Vol 8. 1-2
The introduction of the Japanese Carpet Shell in coastal lagoon systems of the Algarve (south Portugal):
a food safety concern

On-Line Slides
Protection of Food from Adulterants/Proper Labeling, Storage- VIDEO
Dr. Lori Pivarnik
University of Rhode Island
Click here for Windows Media Streaming Versions

Prevention of Cross-Contamination - VIDEO
Dr. Thomas Rippen
Seafood Technology Specialist with the Maryland Sea Grant Program
the University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Click here for Windows Media Streaming Versions (Recommended)
or click here for HTTP Server

USDA Releases BSE Prevalence Estimate for U.S.
Summary of Enhanced BSE Surveillance in the U.S.
An Estimate of the Prevalence of BSE in the U.S.
APHIS Peer Review Agenda

Profile Extension Instructions on Food Defense Plans for Meat and Poultry Establishments
Lactic acid bacteria treatment reduces pathogens in meat
Managing Food Safety: A Regulator's Manual For Applying HACCP Principles
Manual for the Voluntary Use of HACCP Principles for Operators of Food Service and Retail Establishments
Manual for the Voluntary Use of HACCP Principles for Operators of Food Service and Retail Establishments (PDF)
Meeting of the Codex Committee on methods of analysis and sampling
Meeting of the Codex Committee on residues of veterinary drugs in foods
Statement By Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns Regarding Canada's Fifth Case Of BSE
GIPSA Updates Alfatoxin Handbook