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found in bag of carrots
Monday, July 3, 2006
Source of Article: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4001809?source=rss
Albertson's LLC, the supermarket chain partly controlled by private-equity
firm Cerberus Capital Management LP, warned customers in four states about
baby carrots it sells after a supplier discovered the salmonella bacteria
in one bag.
Grimmway Farms discovered a single bag of peeled baby carrots in Canada
that tested positive for salmonella, Boise, Idaho-based Albertson's said
Friday in a statement. The warning applies to stores in Colorado, Wyoming,
South Dakota and Nebraska.
One-pound bags of carrots with a ''best if used by'' date of June 17 and
lot number 138221E6 are covered by the notice, Albertson's said. The carrots
are no longer on store shelves. There have been no other positive tests
or any illnesses or consumer complaints associated with the carrots, the
company said. Customers who purchased the carrots should return them to
their local Albertson's or throw them out, the supermarket chain said.
The new Albertson's LLC was formed by a group including Cerberus, Kimco
Realty Corp. and other firms after they agreed in January to buy 661 stores
from the former Albertson's Inc.
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
03/07/2006 - Chocolate has a nice feeling to it tasty, fun, luxurious
and slightly sinful. This is comfort food, accessible to all and epitomised
in the recent film, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. That sugar-coated
glow was shattered last week, when Cadbury Schweppes revealed that for
months it had allowed its chocolate products on retail shelves in the
UK -- even though managers knew the products could possibly have been
contaminated with the dangerous salmonella pathogen. Cadbury has not only
shot itself in the foot, and harmed its brands -- but worse, in the post-BSE
era, it has also set back attempts by the food industry and regulators
to restore public confidence in the food supply. This increased focus
has been reflected at the EU-level in the creation of the European Food
Safety Authority (EFSA) and various national agencies, including the Food
Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK. Transparency in communicating food safety
risks to the public is now an industry mantra, embodied, by law, in common
guidelines laid down by international food safety codes, known as Hazard
Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP).
Even so the public has remained
sceptical. An EU-wide survey, released earlier this year by the EU-funded
Safe Foods Integrated Project, found consumers still have little confidence
in the safety of their food supply and remain sceptical and distrustful
of the management procedures currently in place. By its recent actions
Cadbury Schweppes has simply confirmed the public has every right to remain
distrustful. What were they thinking, all those highly-paid executives
at Cadbury Schweppes in the UK Keeping the public's trust in a food that
is almost iconic, is not a matter to be trifled with. But they did. It
is hard to imagine, but they must have collectively thought it was OK
to serve their clients what they claim were ¡°minute traces¡± of salmonella
in their branded chocolates. All this, in a bid to presumably save a bit
of money by not having to stop production or recall products. What a false
economy that decision has turned out to be.
Cadbury was caught out when
the UK Health Protection Agency noted that since March there had been
an unusual spike in incidents of the Montevideo strain of salmonella,
which is more commonly associated with hot countries. The cases were scattered
geographically rather than clustered, as is more usual with food poisoning.
There were also an unusual number of cases involving children. According
to an investigation by the UK's Guardian newspaper, the health agency
started to query food samples infected with the Salmonella montevideo
strain sent to it by a private agency. Through an intervention by the
Food Standards Agency, the private agency revealed that the nine anonymous
samples came from Cadbury. What's more troubling is the discovery that
Cadbury had submitted to the private testing agency at least one of the
samples in February, before the outbreaks started occurring. It now turns
out that batches of a chocolate ingredient mix from Cadbury's plant in
Herefordshire first tested positive for Salmonella montevideo in January
- according to the Guardian. The mix is used in a number of Cadbury products.
Cadbury has since admitted to authorities that a leaky waste pipe at one
of its key plants had dripped onto the mix earlier in the year, contaminating
it with the salmonella strain. After fixing the pipe in March, the company
thought it had solved the problem and failed to notify the food regulator.
Months later the lack of transparency was discovered and last week, with
a public relations disaster on its hands, Cadbury withdrew seven of its
products, amounting to one million chocolate bars, from the UK market.
Local authorities are now testing more than 30 different Cadbury products
and the FSA is looking back at various tests. Other regulators worldwide
are also investigating the company's products. Yet the same mindset that
led to the recall is still the modus operandi at Cadbury it seems. The
company still seems unable to confess and apologise for its mistake. ¡°We
have taken this precautionary step (the recalls) because our consumers
are our highest priority,¡± the company said in a press statement. ¡°We
apologise for any inconvenience caused.¡±
¡°Highest priority¡± and ¡°inconvenience¡± in not getting one's favourite
Cadbury bar does not come to mind with a previous admission in the same
release that ¡°some of these products may contain minute traces of salmonella¡±,
a fact it knew since February.
Nobody wants waste water, much less any salmonella, in their foods.
JP Morgan Cazenove, the investment broker for Cadbury, estimates the cost
of the product withdrawals at ¡Ì5m and another ¡Ì20m in sales due to lack
of consumer confidence in the brand. It also faces regulatory action for
allegedly not disclosing the information. Cadbury is paying now for an
astoundingly bad decision, and by implication, so is the food industry.
Ahmed ElAmin is a business writer of 20 years' standing, having specialised
in development issues, technology, international business and offshore
finance, before joining Decision News Media as the Editor of FoodProductionDaily.com.
If you would like to comment on this article please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
hospital with salmonella after Cadbury scare
The Guardian (UK)
A baby, a child and an adult have, according to this story, been admitted
to hospital suffering from the strain of salmonella that is at the centre
of a Cadbury chocolate health scare.
The three patients were among 31 people around the country found to have
the SmvdX07 strain since March 1, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed.
The average age of those affected by salmonella Montevideo in recent months
was two-years-old, the agency said.
But while the bug is the same as that which contaminated Cadbury's Marlbrook
plant in Herefordshire, there is no evidence linking the outbreak to any
particular food, the HPA added.
An investigation was launched after health officials realised on May 22
that there was a national increase in the number of people suffering from
SmvdX07 food poisoning.
The inquiry has found that there appears to be one continuing source of
The strain was responsible for the recall last week of more than a million
Cadbury chocolate bars. Contamination was detected from a leaking pipe
at the Marlbrook factory, which produces 97,000 tonnes of milk chocolate
crumb every year.
Meanwhile, the HPA responded to the Food Standards Agency's recall of
the confectionery products because of potential contamination with salmonella.
The HPA said processed, ready-to-eat foods should be "free from salmonella
species and their presence, even in small numbers, results in such foods
being of unacceptable or potentially hazardous quality.
"Published guidelines also recommend absence of salmonella species
in confectionery products such as chocolate," the agency said in
Public Health Alert for Forzen, Stuffed, Raw Chicken Products
Congressional and Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, July 3, 2006 - The U.S. Department of Agricultures Food Safety
and Inspection Service (FSIS), in collaboration with the state of Minnesota,
has recently investigated illnesses associated with a class of frozen
entrees that contain raw chicken. These frozen, breaded, boneless chicken
products that may also be stuffed or filled and appear browned are raw
and must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165FF. Using a
food thermometer is the only sure way of knowing your food has reached
a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne bacteria.
Because these products are often stuffed or filled with additional ingredients,
they may take longer to reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165F
than chicken breasts that do not contain fillings.
FSIS believes that in some cases, consumers may not realize that the breading
on these products has only been pre-browned and these frozen entrees contain
raw chicken. FSIS is also concerned that consumers may not be following
cooking instructions or that because of the variability of microwave ovens,
the instructions may not yield a product that reaches an internal minimum
temperature of 165F.
FSIS is requiring that the manufacturers of these products ensure that
new labels clearly state that these products contain raw chicken and must
be fully cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165F. In addition,
FSIS is taking steps to ensure that cooking instructions are effective,
understandable and practical. Consumers should contact the manufacturer
if following the cooking instructions yields a product that is unacceptable
in terms of taste or texture.
Consumers with food safety questions can ask Karen,the FSIS virtual representative
available 24 hours a day at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/ Food_Safety_Education/Ask_Karen/index.asp#Question.
The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854)
is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to
4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages
are available 24 hours a day.
results/exposure estimates --
Updated June 2006
CFSAN/Office of Plant & Dairy Foods
United States Department of Agriculture
The complete document is available at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/dioxdata.html
Dioxin and chemically-related compounds (referred to collectively as dioxin-like
compounds or DLCs) are a group of environmental contaminants found throughout
the world. Studies have suggested that exposure to DLCs may lead to a
variety of adverse health effects including reproductive and developmental
problems, cardiovascular disease, increased diabetes, and increased cancer.
Because DLCs tend to accumulate in the fat of food-producing animals,
consumption of animal-derived foods (e.g., meat, poultry, eggs, fish,
and dairy products) is considered to be the major route of human exposure
to low levels of DLCs.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been concerned about DLCs and
has been monitoring food and animal feed with the goal of identifying
ways to reduce dietary exposure to these ubiquitous environmental contaminants.
In 2000, FDA developed a strategy for DLCs. The purpose of FDA's dioxin
strategy, which significantly expanded FDA's Dioxin Monitoring Program,
is to develop the science to support appropriate risk management actions.
Specific goals for FDA's Dioxin Monitoring Program are to obtain baseline
data for DLC levels in food and animal feed ingredients susceptible to
DLC contamination and to determine opportunities for DLC reduction by
identifying contamination sources that can be eliminated or significantly
To obtain more general information on dioxin, see Questions and Answers
about Dioxin. The Interagency Working Group on Dioxin (IWG) prepared the
questions and answers. The Dioxin IWG is composed of U.S. federal agencies
that address health, food, and the environment and are working together
to ensure a coordinated federal approach to issues related to DLCs.
Dioxin Analysis of Total Diet Study Samples
As part of FDA's Dioxin Monitoring Program effort to obtain baseline data
for DLCs, FDA analyzes food and feed for DLCs from both targeted sampling
and food collected under its Total Diet Study (TDS). The TDS is FDA's
ongoing market basket survey of approximately 280 core foods in the U.S.
food supply to determine levels of various pesticides residues, contaminants,
and nutrients in foods and to estimate exposures of these substances in
representative diets of specific age-sex groups in the U.S. Four market
baskets are generally collected each year, once in each of four geographic
regions of the U.S. (i.e., West, North Central, South, and Northeast).
For each market basket, food samples are collected from grocery stores
and fast food restaurants in three cities within the region, prepared
table-ready (i.e., as they would be consumed), and composited for analysis
(See General notes about preparation of TDS foods prior to analysis).
Therefore, each data point reported for a TDS food represents a composite
of three samples of a table-ready (i.e., cooked, if required by TDS recipes)
food type. For more information see the Total Diet Study Overview.
FDA's Dioxin Monitoring Program analyzed selected TDS samples from one
market basket each year in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 to determine
levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin (PCDD) and polychlorinated
dibenzofuran (PCDF) congeners
Easy Detection of Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria spp. in 24hr
source from: rapidmicrobiology.com
Bio-Rad has developed a new version of RAPID'L.mono chromogenic medium,
to provide laboratories with a quick response within 24 hr after enrichment
for the detection of Listeria monocytogenes, in food and environmental
samples. Moreover, the new RAPID'L.mono provides simultaneous responses
for Listeria monocytogenes and for Listeria spp., giving laboratories
a cost-saving solution. Listeria readings and differentiation are very
easy thanks to RAPID'L.mono's unique chromogenic principle.
Blue colonies are Listeria monocytogenes
Blue colonies with a yellow halo are Listeria ivanovii
White colonies with or without yellow halo are other Listeria spp.
The RAPID'L.mono method* requires a single enrichment step in Fraser ¨ö
for 24 hr Then, 0.1 ml of Fraser ¨ö is removed, spread and isolated on
RAPID'L.mono agar before being incubated. RAPID'L.mono agar provides rapid,
specific identification of Listeria monocytogenes in 24 hr and other species
of Listeria in 24-48 hr after enrichment.
*AFNOR - ISO 16140 validation of the new protocol is pending
The current RAPID'L.mono method is:AFNOR-ISO 16140 validated for the detection
of Listeria monocytogenes under BRD: 07/04-09/98
For the enumeration of Listeria monocytogenes under BRD: 07/05-09/01
AOAC-RI validated NordVal approved
Pet Treats Can Cause Human Ills
By Steven Reinberg
Source of Article: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=62737
THURSDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) -- Pets always welcome treats, but
their owners may be putting themselves at risk of developing salmonella
infection by handling beef or seafood snacks contaminated with the bacteria.
So warned the authors of a report issued Thursday by the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC study outlined nine
cases of pet owners becoming sick with a specific type of infection, called
Salmonella Thompson, in 2004 and 2005, after handling pet treats from
two different manufacturers, one in the state of Washington and the other
in British Columbia, Canada. "This is the third outbreak in North
America, the first in the United States, but we know these animal-derived
pet treats are frequently contaminated with salmonella," said report
co-author Fred Angulo, an epidemiologist at the CDC's Division of Foodborne,
Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, part of the National Center for Zoonotic,
Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases. "There probably have been more
cases," Angulo said. "There's certainly salmonella being brought
into people's homes on pet treats. People are probably getting sick but
not attributing it to contact with pet treats," he added. All the
patients included in the CDC report developed diarrhea, and one also experienced
vomiting. That patient, an 81-year-old woman, required hospitalization,
according to the report. more
E coli outbreak
at primary school (UK)
The Guardian (UK)
The U.K. Health Protection Agency (HPA) was cited as saying that a primary
school has been closed after a suspected outbreak of E.coli among pupils
and staff, has said.
One case of the illness has been confirmed and two are probable, while
19 other pupils and one staff member have gone down with gastrointestinal
A HPA spokeswoman said they were still attempting to trace the source
of the illness.
Parents were told this morning that Hayes Primary School in Hayes, Bromley,
Kent, would be been closed and reopen on July 10 as a precaution to stop
the infection spreading.
must pay $193M for cruise-ship outbreak
Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal
A jury has ordered Pentair Inc. to pay $193 million to a cruise line for
commercial damages in a 1994 case involving an outbreak of Legionnaire's
The case is against a Pentair subsidiary, Essef Corp., which Pentair acquired
in 1999, after the event occurred.
Golden Valley-based Pentair (NYSE: PNR), makes water pumps, valves and
equipment. In a response, Pentair officials said the jury's decision is
not consistent with the law and plans to contest the decision.
OK after movie set collapse
STOCKTON, Calif. - Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member
Rob Schneider was taken to a Northern California hospital after collapsing
from food poisoning and heat exhaustion during the filming of an upcoming
Schneider, 42, was filming the comedy "Big Stan" at a women's
prison near Stockton, about 80 miles east of San Francisco in the San
Joaquin Valley where temperatures have soared above 100 in recent days.
Publicist, Shara Koplowitz was quoted as saying, "The combination
of bad food and the heat just hit him," and she did not know what
he ate but said he was treated at San Joaquin General Hospital and released
safety major concern for most Americans, report
By Lorraine Heller
Source of Article: http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/news/ng.asp?id=68844
7/3/2006 - Almost two thirds of Americans are concerned about the safety
of artificial sweeteners, a factor that could potentially impact the expected
continued growth of the sugar-free market, according to a new Mintel report.
Published last month, the report suggests that there remains a market
opportunity for what could be considered the ¡®safest' sweetener.
"While the sugar-free market is expanding, there is concern and confusion
among some medical professionals and consumers as to the safety of these
products. The public is confronted with an array of facts and statistics
that elevate health concerns and raise the issue of whether sugar-free
is worth the potential risk," said Marcia Mogelonsky, senior analyst
However, although 64 percent of Americans claim they are concerned about
the safety of artificial sweeteners, so far sales do not appear to have
been negatively affected.
"The uncertainty is not stopping people from using sugar-free products,
but as far as consumers are concerned, moderation is key once they have
chosen the substitute they feel is safest," said Mogelonsky. "The
majority of consumers believe that some artificial sweeteners are safer
than others, giving producers the chance to win customers' trust by focusing
on their safety," she added. The market for sugar-free foods and
beverages in the US was last year valued at $5.9bn, a slight but steady
growth totaling 24 percent since 1999.
According to the report, the
biggest factors for purchasing sugar-free goods are diabetes and weight
management. Around 6 percent of the US population currently suffers form
diabetes, while almost 60 percent were classed as overweight in 2002.
And consuming artificially sweetened products is one way to satisfy consumer
desire to make small changes in daily eating habits to lose weight and
improve health, said Mintel. Indeed, taste remains a secondary priority
when it comes to purchasing decisions in this category. According to the
market researcher, consumers do not buy sugar-free goods for what they
taste like, but for what they almost taste like. Some 80 percent of Mintel's
survey respondents feel that foods made with sugar actually taste better
than sugar-free products. But together with safety concerns, taste remains
an area of perceived sacrifice, said Mintel.
But one area of concern remains satiation.
¡°While sugar-free foods are often used by diabetics unable to process
sugars, the category is also a staple for many dieters. However, some
studies suggest that sugar-free products do not satiate a person's appetite,
which could mean that sugar-free food and drinks are actually a liability
to dieters,¡± said the report. Indeed, the best-selling book French Women
Don't Get Fat, rails against processed foods (including foods containing
artificial sweeteners) and preaches the importance of satiating cravings
with small portions of the real thing.
According to Mintel, the future
will likely bring research investigating the theory of ¡®sweetness threshold'
and other research results demonstrating the importance of perceived satiety
among dieters as a key to diet success. ¡°The sugar-free industry should
be ready to face these challenges,¡± it said. Currently, the sugar-free
market in the US is headed by sugar-free soda, with Coke and Pepsi alone
accounting for 65.2 percent of the total market. Sugar-free soda currently
sells around $4,594m at retail per year (excluding Wal-Mart sales), while
the sugar-free gum market stands at $642m. The artificially-sweetened
dessert market saw $242m in sales in 2004, which is actually a decline
of 4 percent in constant terms since 1999. ¡°It is likely that weight watchers
would rather splurge on a smaller version of the real thing when it comes
to dessert, as opposed to eating a sugar substitute version,¡± said Mintel.
Women remain an area of opportunity for sugar-free goods, according to
the report, as this category of the population has the highest calorie
consciousness. Indeed, around 40 percent of female consumers reported
using sugar-free gum or mints while dieting, in order to avoid snacking.
Oral care also presents an ongoing opportunity, especially when it comes
to marketing sugar-free gum products that target different oral care needs
at different times of the day, said the report.
According to Mintel, the sugar-free
market is forecast to grow 12 percent to reach $7.4bn by 2009. It added,
however, that unforeseen concerns about the safety of artificial sweeteners
and new product innovations could shift the forecast. Mintel also published
a report in January this year on the sugar and artificial sweetener market
in the UK.