List of Newsletters
To subscribe this Food Safety Newsletter,
Journal of Food Saety
rates are 20-fold higher during pregnancy
National Institutes of Health
PLoS Pathogens, reviewed by: Dr. Priya Saxena
"It's rare for a pregnant woman to get infected, but once she is,
she can't clear the infection unless the placenta is expelled."
For years, doctors have puzzled over why pregnant women are 20 times more
likely than others to be infected by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, now think they
have the answer, and it isn't pretty.
Their research, conducted in guinea pigs, shows that the bacteria can
invade the placenta, where - protected from the body's immune system -
they proliferate rapidly before pouring out to infect organs such as the
liver and spleen. The illness they cause often results in miscarriage
or infection of the fetus.
The study is the first to trace such a pathway of infection, and it dashes
the widely-held assumption that immune-system changes during pregnancy
are to blame for elevated Listeria infection rates.
"The reason the mother is more susceptible is not necessarily because
her immune system is compromised, but because the bacteria that got into
her placenta are infecting her," said Anna Bakardjiev, the study's
lead author and a postdoctoral researcher with Daniel Portnoy, professor
of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley. "The miscarriages
that result from these infections may be a natural defense mechanism to
dispel this source of infection."
The study will be posted on June 30 in the June issue of the online journal
Listeriosis is a foodborne illness caused by Listeria monocytogenes. Every
year in the United States, about 2,500 people fall seriously ill with
the disease. About one in three cases occur in pregnant women, and about
one in five of all cases results in death, according to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Apart from pregnant women, the illness
primarily affects infants and people with compromised immune systems.
Fever, muscle aches and sometimes gastrointestinal problems are among
listeriosis's most common symptoms. In pregnant women, however, the symptoms
are often mild, yet the illness frequently causes miscarriage, stillbirth
or premature delivery. Babies that are born to infected mothers are often
themselves infected, and many die.
From their earlier work, Portnoy and Bakardjiev knew that Listeria bacteria
could not easily infect the placenta but, once there, could not be effectively
eliminated. For this study, they wanted to know how the bacteria were
able to invade the placenta in the first place: Their hypothesis was that
the pathogens first infected organs such as the liver and moved from there
to the placenta, an organ that, once infected, provides a protective niche
Bakardjiev, who is a pediatric infectious diseases specialist, chose guinea
pigs for these studies because of similarities between the placentas of
these rodents and women. Pregnant guinea pigs and women also respond similarly
to Listeria infection, exhibiting few symptoms, yet almost invariably
To induce infection, Bakardjiev injected the pregnant guinea pigs with
Listeria. When she examined the animals' organs, she found that for every
bacterium present in the placenta, there were 1,000 to 10,000 times as
many in the liver and spleen, an indication that the placenta was fairly
well protected from infection.
She then infected the animals with a mixture of two distinct strains of
Listeria, adjusting the dose so low that placental infections resulted
only half the time. When she examined the animals' placentas 24 hours
after the injection, she found, with few exceptions, only one of the two
bacterial strains. This told her that it had been a single bacterium that
had infected the organ, and that what she was finding were its progeny.
In the liver and spleen, on the other hand, the bacterial strains were
present in equal numbers 24 hours after injection.
After 48 hours, the picture changed. At that point, Bakardjiev found a
mixture of both strains in the placenta. In the liver and spleen, however,
the numbers were now strongly skewed toward whichever strain had originally
infected the placenta.
"We reasoned that this meant that a few bacteria had migrated early
on from the liver or spleen to the placenta, so now both strains were
in the placenta and their populations were burgeoning," Bakardjiev
said. "But there must have been a much larger number that had moved
from the placenta back to the liver and spleen. These would have originally
been just the single strain, so their numbers skewed the ratio."
Bakardjiev and Portnoy, who is the study's principal investigator, called
on Julie Theriot, associate professor of biochemistry and of microbiology
and immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine, to do the mathematical
modeling for the bacterial migrations. Theriot determined that only about
one bacterium migrated to the placenta every five hours, while it would
have taken a migration of 100,000 bacteria from the placenta to the liver
to skew the numbers to the degree they found. Thus, the vast majority
of the bacteria in the placenta were a result of bacterial growth there
and not from migrations from the liver and spleen.
"It was surprising to find that a single bacterium is sufficient
to cause placental infection," Portnoy said, "but even more
surprising to find that they (the bacteria) migrated from the placenta
back to the mother's liver and spleen in such large numbers."
When Portnoy and Bakardjiev ran the same experiment in non-pregnant guinea
pigs, they found that 72 hours after injection, the non-pregnant animals
had 1,000-fold lower numbers of Listeria in their livers and spleens than
the pregnant animals, and no bacteria in their bloodstreams. In contrast,
pregnant animals at 72 hours had the bacteria in their livers, spleens
and blood, while the bacterial numbers continued to increase in their
placentas, and their fetuses had also become infected.
"I feel that these numbers are an indication that miscarriage is
a defense mechanism," Bakardjiev said. "It's rare for a pregnant
woman to get infected, but once she is, she can't clear the infection
unless the placenta is expelled."
Portnoy and Bakardjiev are now studying how Listeria moves from the digestive
tract to the placenta. "An understanding of these mechanisms,"
Portnoy said, "might contribute to designing methods for prevention
and therapy of listeriosis in pregnant women."
The study was supported by funds from the National Institutes of Health.
Anna Bakardjiev's work was also supported by a Career Development Award
for physician scientists from the NIH.
by Ann Bagel on 7/7/2006 for Meatingplace.com
The Food Safety and Inspection Service wants information about cross-contamination
by bacterial foodborne pathogens of foods that are not likely to undergo
cooking or additional cooking in food handling and preparation. FSIS is
interested in quantitative data from observation of retail and home food
handlers related to behaviors that could lead to the transfer of bacteria
from products of animal origin to foods that are not likely to undergo
cooking or additional cooking and the frequency at which these behaviors
occur. The agency intends to use information submitted for risk assessment
modeling to estimate the public health impact of various bacterial foodborne
pathogens in meat, poultry and egg products. Submissions must be received
on or before Sept. 3, 2006. To review the entire notice, click
GM food consultation
By Anthony Fletcher
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
07/07/2006 - EFSA has launched an open consultation on the approach of
its panel on GMOs in assessing hybrid genetically modified (GM) crops.
The deadline for submissions is 10 September 2006.
At the same time, EFSA also plans to publish its final guidance document
for the risk assessment of GM microorganisms, which has also been subject
to an extensive public consultation process.
This is designed to act as an aid to applicants requesting authorisations
for GM products and their derived products intended for food. The document
provides guidance for the risk assessment of a broad spectrum of GMOs
and derived products ranging from single compounds used in food (e.g.
amino acids and vitamins) to products containing viable GMOs (e.g. probiotics
and starter cultures for dairy products or beverages). All this, says
EFSA, is in line with its commitment to openness and transparency and
encouraging scientific input from all interested parties. But Europe continues
to be heavily criticised in its approach to GM food regulation from outside
sources. Francis Smith from the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington
DC recently gave an interesting American perspective of the EU's attitude
to GM food. She claimed it had little theoretical basis, and panders to
the fears and prejudices of its citizens. She said that the EU's precautionary
principle, which rules that regulators should err on the side of caution,
assumes that a prevention strategy is always appropriate. A recent European
Commission (EC) communique reads: 'decision-makers have to take into account
fears generated by these perceptions and put in place preventative measures'.
"There is little theoretical basis for this approach," argued
Smith. "We're talking about regulations addressing perceptions and
fears. Also, this is an approach that can never be satisfied - there'll
always be someone who can think of yet one more theoretical risk."
This has all led to a great deal of conflict. The USDA (United States
Department of Agriculture) recently said that the "failure of other
countries to develop consistent and science-based regulatory processes
governing biotechnology has the potential to constrain innovation."
But convincing both consumers and food makers operating in Europe that
GM technology is both completely safe and profitable is likely to continue
to prove tricky, however. In addition, EFSA, unlike the FDA in the US,
has no teeth it is there to provide risk assessment, but the EC remains
the authoritative body. In any case, EFSA plans to publish later a draft
guidance document explaining how its GMO panel evaluates the potential
human health and environmental effects of hybrid GM plants. This concerns
hybrids obtained by combining two GM plants that have been previously
assessed. This document will inform applicants of how its panel evaluates
the potential interactions between the combined GM plants of the hybrids
in terms of their toxicity, allergenicity, nutritional value and environmental
impact and will describe what type of information and test results it
expects applicants to deliver.
issue tackled at IFT
By Anthony Fletcher
Source of Article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
05/07/2006 - Acrylamide can be reduced or removed before cooking - but
the issue remains a major challenge, scientists told last week's IFT conference.
Scientists have tried to find ways of reducing acrylamide formation without
destroying the taste and quality of the product. To date there has been
no single all-encompassing method for achieving this, though scientists
are confident that some progress has been made.
"International cooperation on this issue has been fantastic,"
said David Lineback, director, Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition (JIFSAN) at the University of Maryland and a past president
of the IFT." "The meeting in Austria last week showed this.
But there is as yet no data available on humans, so we simply don't know,
or can't explain some of the increases and decreases in acrylamide levels."
Acrylamide hit the headlines in 2002 when scientists at the Swedish Food
Administration first reported unexpectedly high levels of the potential
carcinogen in carbohydrate-rich foods cooked at high temperatures. Until
then acrylamide was known only as a highly reactive industrial chemical,
present also at low levels for example in tobacco smoke.
Studies indicate that the chemical
causes cancer in rats. Toxicological data suggested that this substance
might be directly or indirectly - carcinogenic also for humans. The news,
and surrounding controversy over the chemical, jolted the global food
industry into tackling the issue by looking at ways processing can reduce
the levels of acrylamide. Breakthroughs have been made. For example, it
was reported at IFT last week that reducing sugar prior to frying or baking
is one way of lowering levels. Researchers told delegates in Orlando that
food makers could select sliced potato varieties with reduced levels of
sugar, or preblanch their products to achieve reduced levels. Lowering
pH has also been considered, but scientists generally agree that this
ruins the taste of crisps and chips. Controlling acrylamide with lactic
acid reduces pH levels and also reduces acrylamide formation. But scientists
are yet to find a way of ensuring that this does not affect end product
quality. In addition, Lineback said that many labs still face challenges,
such as addressing the complex matrix of some ingredients such as cocoa.
"Improvements in some labs would appear to be a necessity,"
In Europe, the food industry is working with European Commission officials
on a programme to monitor and reduce acrylamide levels in their products.
Small working groups are also being set up develop information brochures,
with the first meetings scheduled for September, the UK's Food Standards
Agency said in a document issued this week. The current EU-wide effort
follows a bid by the Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of
the EU (CIAA) to help its members reduce acrylamide in their products.
The take home message from the IFT therefore is that there is still no
single all-encompassing method of reducing acrylamide while still preserving
product quality. "But it is now possible to identify strategies for
reducing acrylamide without reducing qualities," said Lineback.
"However, we're not there yet."
over Salmonella scare
July 4, 2006
The UK Food Standards Agency's independent advisory committee on the Microbiological
Safety of Food (ACMSF) was cited as saying today that Cadbury¡¯s method
of Salmonella risk assessment could not be relied on for foods such as
chocolate, adding in a statement after meeting to discuss the issue on
Friday that, ¡°Based on the information provided, Cadbury appears to have
used methods for product testing which the committee considered would
underestimate the level and likelihood of Salmonella contamination."
The committee was further cited as saying that the company¡¯s risk assessment
wrongly drew parallels between the threshold for Salmonella infection
and the threshold for infection by other micro-organisms which can be
found in chocolate.
Committee spokesman Professor Tom Humphrey was quoted as saying, "We
think the testing methods were insufficiently up to date and insufficiently
sensitive. We think they made a mistake in assuming there was a safe level
of Salmonella in a product like chocolate. Our view is that there isn¡¯t."
In a statement, Cadbury's stressed that legislation left it up to manufacturers
to determine testing protocols and that while its testing was based on
sound science, it added that future procedures will be "improved"
in light of Food Standards Agency advice, stating, "At all times
we have acted in good faith and we do not challenge the views of the expert
committee advising the FSA. We agree that it is their job to provide guidance
on these matters and we welcome their advice. ...We will move to a protocol
in which we destroy any product evidencing contamination, regardless of
During the ongoing investigation Cadbury's had revealed a previous contamination
of its product with Salmonella montevideo in April 2002 - but these products
had been destroyed.
of pathological and molecular phenotype of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
in transgenic human prion protein 129 heterozygous mice
June 29, 2006
PNAS Online Early Edition
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Emmanuel A. Asante, Jacqueline M. Linehan, Ian Gowland, Susan Joiner,
Katie Fox, Sharon Cooper, Olufumilayo Osiguwa, Michelle Gorry, Julie Welch,
Richard Houghton, Melanie Desbruslais, Sebastian Brandner, Jonathan D.
F. Wadsworth, and John Collinge *
Medical Research Council Prion Unit and Department of Neurodegenerative
Disease, Institute of Neurology, University College London, National Hospital
for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, United
Communicated by Charles Weissmann, The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter,
FL, May 26, 2006 (received for review February 16, 2006)
All neuropathologically confirmed cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
(vCJD), characterized by abundant florid plaques and type 4 disease-related
prion protein (PrPSc) in the brain, have been homozygous for methionine
at polymorphic residue 129 of PRNP. The distinctive neuropathological
and molecular phenotype of vCJD can be faithfully recapitulated in Prnp-null
transgenic mice homozygous for human PrP M129 but not V129, where a distinct
prion strain is propagated. Here we model susceptibility of 129MV heterozygotes,
the most common PRNP genotype, in transgenic mice and show that, remarkably,
propagation of type 4 PrPSc was not associated with characteristic vCJD
neuropathology. Depending on the source of the inoculum these mice can
develop four distinct disease phenotypes after challenge with bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE) prions or vCJD (human-passaged BSE) prions. vCJD-challenged
mice had higher attack rates of prion infection than BSE-challenged recipients.
These data argue that human PRNP 129 heterozygotes will be more susceptible
to infection with vCJD prions than to cattle BSE prions and may present
with a neuropathological phenotype distinct from vCJD.
Author contributions: E.A.A. and J.C. designed research; E.A.A., J.M.L.,
I.G., S.J., K.F., S.C., O.O., M.G., J.W., R.H., M.D., and J.D.F.W. performed
research; E.A.A., S.B., J.M.L., J.D.F.W., and J.C. analyzed data; and
E.A.A., S.B., J.D.F.W., and J.C. wrote the paper.
Conflict of interest statement: J.C. is a director and J.C. and J.D.F.W.
are shareholders and consultants of D-Gen Limited, an academic spin-out
company working in the field of prion disease diagnosis, decontamination,
and therapeutics. D-Gen markets one of the routine antibodies (ICSM 35)
used in this study.
Ourselves From Shellfish Poisoning
By Silver, Mary Wilcox
Source of Article: http://www.redorbit.com/
Molecular probes deployed by California scientists are just the latest
weapons in our species' long battle with harmful algae
As the sun set over San Francisco Bay on July 15, 1927, area residents
had plenty to talk about: Aviators Ernie Smith and Emory Bronte had just
become the first to fly a single-engine aircraft, City of Oakland, 2,100
miles nonstop from Oakland to Hawaii. But the next day, a panic began
to grip the area. Residents who had eaten mussels gathered along the beaches
around San Francisco were falling gravely ill. That day the San Francisco
Examiner reported the first two deaths on its front page. An alarm went
out. Signs were posted along the beaches, and scientists and public- health
officials got to work to understand what was happening. Thanks to the
research that followed the San Francisco scare, shellfish poisoning is
now rare in California. Indeed, a monitoring strategy developed in the
state in response to the incident has saved countless lives around the
world over the past eight decades. Scientists have learned a great deal
about what can make shellfish and other aquatic organisms dangerous to
eat, and this knowledge has been put to practical use in harvesting regulations,
monitoring and food-testing programs and public education. At the same
time, we've also learned that people have been protecting themselves from
ingesting marine toxins for millennia and perhaps much longer. Today,
even as modern technology is being harnessed to tackle this daunting and
persistent problem, we find that ways of protecting ourselves from toxins
in seafood likely have been a part of maritime cultures for thousands
of years of human history and may even have roots in prehistoric culture.
Shellfish and Ancient Diets
What was happening on the beaches
of San Francisco that warm July day, then, was anything but new. People
living around the Pacific Ocean have always eaten shellfish, and consuming
these filter- feeders has probably always posed certain risks. The San
Francisco scare was one of the occasions that expanded our understanding
of those risks.
Shellfish are easily harvested
from shallow aquatic environments in much of the world, where they are
proteinrich food for predators, including people. It is not surprising
that evidence of their use is found throughout the archaeological record
left in Africa by earlier hominids, Homo erectus and H. habilis, and by
modern human beings. Along the waterways of the world's continents can
be found the remains of shell mounds that, in association with the artifacts
found with them, have led anthropologists to speculate that horninids
ate shellfish, including mussels and other bivalve mollusks, possibly
as early as one million years ago. Anatomically modern H. sapiens left
sizable middens on coastal sites in Africa and at various locations in
Eurasia, supplying good evidence that shellfish were collected more than
100,000 years ago.
6th Case of Mad Cow
(THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Canada confirmed on Tuesday its sixth case of mad cow disease and said
it would investigate where the cow was born and what other animals may
have eaten the same feed. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said test
results confirmed what was suspected last week. The animal was at least
15 years of age, and was born before Canada implemented restrictions on
potentially dangerous feed in 1997.
The agency said it was launching an investigation.
Mad cow disease is believed to spread through feed, when cows eat the
contaminated tissue of other cattle. Humans can get a related disease,
variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, in similar fashion -- by eating meat
contaminated with mad cow. There have been more than 150 human deaths
worldwide linked to the variant. Two of the six confirmed mad cow cases
in Canada have involved animals that were infected after 1997, when a
ban was instituted on the use of cattle parts in feed for cattle, or other
ruminants such as sheep and goats. The agency says Canada's food supply
is safe, and the level of mad cow disease in the national cattle herd
is very low. Canada has an estimated national herd of 17 million cattle.
U.S. Agriculture Department spokesman Ed Loyd said last week trade was
resumed with Canada with the assumption that more mad cow cases would
be found. Loyd said U.S. officials have ''a high level of confidence in
the safeguards and mitigating measures in place in the U.S. and Canada.''
George Luterbach, an animal scientist with the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency, said the latest case should not have any repercussions internationally.
''It is unwelcome news but not necessarily unexpected news,'' Luterbach
said, adding ''it should have little or no implications internationally.''
Having tested 60,000 cattle last year, Luberbach said the agency is confident
that mad cow is not a common in Canada or something that is growing. Shipments
of live cattle to the United States were halted in 2003 after the first
reported mad cow case in Canada. Trade in young animals resumed last year,
but there has been no word on when the border may be reopened to older
Hugh Lynch-Ftaunton, president
of the 90,000-member Canadian Cattlemen's Association, said some Asian
and European countries may wait to see the final report on the latest
case before reopening their borders to Canadian cattle. ''Some of the
countries that are on the verge of dealing with us differently will probably
want to study the report on this and that might slow it down marginally
but I don't think it's going to be make or break,'' Lynch-Ftaunton said.
Last month, Canada announced it was broadening restrictions on animal
feed in an effort to fight mad cow disease. The Agency revealed measures,
to be phased in over the next year, aimed at keeping potentially risky
cattle parts from all animal feed, not just feed destined for cows. The
parts will also be banned from pet food and fertilizers to avoid the risk
of inadvertent cross-contamination of feed on farms and ranches. 7-5-06
illness fells 65 at hockey camp: Gastrointestinal bug forces lakeside
site to close down temporarily for disinfection (CANADA)
Globe & Mail
A summer hockey camp north of Huntsville, Ontario, has been shut down
after an outbreak of an unidentified gastrointestinal illness struck 65
of the 300 campers and staff this week.
North Bay and District Health Unit medical officer Catherine Whiting was
cited as saying health officers are now investigating the cause of the
illness, with preliminary findings pointing to a food-borne "Norwalk-like"
virus that is passed through contact with feces and that no new illnesses
have been reported since Wednesday night.
The camp's assistant director, Mike Wolfraim, was cited as saying the
site was being disinfected in preparation to reopen on Tuesday, adding,
"This was not expected, obviously, but it's one of those situations
you just have to deal with."
Ontario Camping Association executive director Aruna Ogale was cited as
saying all member camps must comply with the OCA's health committee standards
and that the hockey camp had followed all the correct procedures in clamping
down on the illness and contacting parents, adding, "If they're our
members, they have to be willing to toe the line. We visit on a regular
basis, and if there's any change in personnel at senior levels, we visit
But Ogale was further cited as saying there are no regulations over who
can start camps, and not all sign up to the OCA and its guidelines, camps
can vary greatly in standards.
A spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care was
cited as saying that summer camps are exempt from the stringent food-premises
regulations, coming under their recreational camp regulations that dictate
minimal criteria and that training in proper food handling is not a requirement
in that process. Minimum standards are set for food preparation, the training
to provide that was voluntary and local health units were only required
to provide courses if requested.
Dr. Whiting was further cited as saying that while such illness outbreaks
are uncommon, said it was a timely reminder for parents to scrutinize
exactly where they send children for the summer, adding, "As a parent,
you might want to know about the conditions at the camp. You might want
to ask about the water and food preparation. It's the same risk assessment
as when you're travelling anywhere."
Dr. Whiting said the case also reinforces the need for correct hand-washing
and hygienic food preparation.
to Unpasteurized Cheese Curds
People Advised Not to Eat Raw Milk Products
MADISON - State health officials are advising individuals to avoid eating
unpasteurized cheese curds produced by Wesley Lindquist of Highbridge,
Wisconsin. More than 40 people have exhibited symptoms of nausea, diarrhea,
bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and occasionally vomiting after
eating the white cheese curds produced by Lindquist. People began getting
sick between May 24 - June 2, 2006. Stool samples from six of the ill
individuals were tested at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and
the presence of Campylobacter jejuni was confirmed in all six specimens.
The strains of Campylobacter jejuni detected in the human stool, the cheese
curds, and the raw milk used to produce the curds, were matched by DNA
testing and case investigations. Campylobacter jejuni bacteria causes
nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever and vomiting. On rare occasions,
the bacteria can cause more severe complications such as temporary arthritis
or paralysis, generally after the initial symptoms have disappeared. Anyone
who has exhibited these symptoms and has recently consumed unpasteurized
milk or dairy products should contact their health care provider. Your
doctor should collect a stool sample before giving you any antibiotics
to ensure the Campylobacter strain is not resistant to antibiotics. To
prevent spreading Campylobacter bacteria, follow proper hand washing procedures
and wash down surfaces with an antibacterial agent. The bacteria can be
shed in your stool for up to seven weeks, so following the proper hand
washing and disinfecting procedures is extremely important.
Selling or distributing raw milk and raw milk products is illegal in Wisconsin.
Lindquist has been ordered to stop production of the cheese curds, as
well as all dairy manufacturing activity.
Anyone who has cheese curds produced by Lindquist - which are distributed
in unlabeled clear baggies - should contact the Ashland Health Department
so further testing can be done on the dairy product. The Ashland County
Health Department is continuing to interview individuals who have gotten
sick, as well as collecting specimens of both cheese curds and stool samples.
The Ashland County Health and Human Services Department, the Wisconsin
Department of Health and Family Services (Division of Public Health),
and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
(Division of Food Safety) are collaborating in this ongoing investigation.
outbreak reaches 772 cases
Jul 1, 2006
Source of Article: http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/
The number of infections from norovirus, which causes flulike symptoms,
has reached 772 cases, according to the Sonoma County Public Health Department.
Since the outbreak began in mid-March, 16 care facilities have reported
patients with symptoms of the norovirus, but the county has refused to
name them until 48 hours pass without a new case being reported, when
the outbreak will be considered over. "The number in the past week
were 26 cases. It has gotten down to a steady level, which may be the
normal background level and we are just watching it more carefully,"
said Dr. Leigh Hall, deputy public health officer.
Hall also cautions that the number of cases may be inflated because patients
are not being tested and are being counted if they display any of the
symptoms. Facilities are required to report an outbreak of any diarrhea-related
He said that two long-term care facilities Thursday each reported three
possible new cases of the virus.
Elderly patients at long-term care facilities are particularly susceptible
to the infection because it spreads rapidly in close living quarters.
- Bob Norberg
9 Miss Florida
contestants hospitalized after bout with diarrhea, nausea
MIAMI -- Nine contestants in the Miss Florida beauty pageant were hospitalized
Tuesday evening after complaining of diarrhea and nausea.
The contestants were staying at the Hilton near Miami International Airport.
Miami-Dade fire-rescue officials said the contestants might have eaten
some undercooked chicken at the hotel the day before
as 22 people catch E coli (UK)
This is Local London
Twenty-two people at Hayes Primary School, George Lane, Hayes, UK, have,
according to this story, contracted the potentially fatal E. coli O157
Nine others are showing symptoms of the infectious gastroenteritis, which
can be fatal to toddlers, young children and the elderly.
Pupils and staff have given samples to the Health Protection Agency for
They will only be able to return to the school if their sample comes back
negative for E coli O157.
South east London health protection unit director Dr Rachel Heathcock
was quoted as saying, "We are working closely with Bromley Council's
environmental health department to try and identify the source of these
infections. As it is possible we may not locate the source, health protection
measures, including closing the school while it is deep cleaned, are vital
to help reduce the possibility of person to person transmission."
recall update 6 July 2006
may protect flavour in convenience meats
By Stephen Daniells Source of Article: http://www.meatprocess.com/
04/07/2006 - Adding a touch
of rosemary to minced meat before high-pressure processing could stop
the flavour loss associated with this anti-microbial treatment, say Brazilian
and Danish researchers.
"Addition of 0.1 per cent dried rosemary to minced chicken thighs
or breasts prior to high-pressure processing inhibit lipid oxidation during
subsequent cooking and could form the basis for product development,"
wrote lead author Neura Bragagnolo in the journal Innovative Food Science
and Emerging Technologies (doi: 10.1016/j.ifset.2006.04.005). Although
the rosemary extract market is growing, one problem is that the ingredient
is still considered to be a flavour and not an antioxidant, even though
it is often used as such. Many producers believe that this should be changed
to reflect current market practices. Some authorities such as the French
have recognised this fact, though European legislation has been slow to
catch up. "High-pressure processing has a great potential for microbial
control of raw chicken meat as a "fresh" chill-stored, convenience
product for wok cooking," explained Bragagnolo. "While raw chicken
meat is oxidatively stable, high-pressure treatment at 600 MPa and above
induces lipid oxidation resulting in off-flavors during subsequent cooking."
The researchers, from the State University of Campinas in Brazil and the
Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University in Denmark, investigated
the effect of a high pressure processing treatment and subsequent cooking
(95 degrees Celsius) on the formation of lipid oxidation products of minced
chicken thigh and breast meat with and without prior addition of rosemary
(0.1 per cent, Thorslunde, Denmark). Electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy
was used to quantify lipid oxidation in the minced chicken meat. After
10 hours of storage, the researchers found that the level of lipid oxidation
was significantly lower in the rosemary treated meats. For the thigh meat,
addition of rosemary was associated with a 55 per cent reduction, according
to the ESR signal, while breast meat with rosemary was associated with
a 42 per cent reduction, compared to the meat without rosemary. "Rosemary
showed accordingly a clear antioxidative effect in pressure-processed
samples after a subsequent heat treatment and rosemary was found both
to inhibit the radical formation and the subsequent lipid peroxidation
and oxygen consumption," reported the researchers.
The differences between the
cuts of meat can be explained, say the researchers, by the fat content
of the specific cuts. Breast meat is reported to have a higher content
of polyunsaturated fatty acids than the thigh meat.
"It may now be concluded that addition of rosemary to the product
prior to high-pressure treatment is effective in protecting against formation
of "pressed-over-flavor" upon subsequent cooking," said
The antioxidant activity of the herb is attributed to the phenolics diterpene
compounds in the rosemary.
The market for rosemary extracts is already healthy. Suspicion over chemical-derived
synthetic preservatives has pushed food makers to source natural preservatives
such as rosemary extract instead, and market analysts Global Information
pitch the global food preservative market at ¢æ422.7bn, reaching ¢æ522bn
Vitiva claims to have a 70 per cent market share of the active ingredient
market in Europe. However,this figure is disputed by Avignon-based Naturex,
which reported a turnover of ¢æ34.8m for 2004, a growth of 23.7 per cent
on the prior year.
belt targeted at food processing market
By staff reporter Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
07/07/2006 - Habasit Rossi
is colouring its processing equipment blue in a bid to meet demands for
better safety from the food industry. The company, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based
Habasit, has introduced a new conveyor belt with its blue Habilene coating
for the food market. Coloured equipment allows processors to better trace
back pieces that could possibly break off and contaminate food products.
Habasit said it choose blue, as this colour rarely exists in foodstuffs.
¡°Other benefits include significantly improved product visibility and
since blue material is less reflective than smooth white surfaces, there
is far less interference with optoelectronic devices,¡± the company stated
in a press release. Habasit said it worked closely with the industry in
order to develop the blue range. Habasit recently introduced several new
products to its existing range of blue polyurethane and silicone coated
¡°Newly released to the market
is a conveyor belt with a blue Habilene coating, another solution within
the poloyolefine coated Cleanline range, specifically developed to improve
the release properties of sticky foodstuffs,¡± the company stated. The
company also produces a oil and fat resistant PVC coating, coloured blue
and branded as
ySAN. Blue-coated conveyor belts have been steadily gaining a higher share
in bakery, biscuit, dairy, meat, fish and poultry processing plants because
they provide better food hygiene, the company stated. The UK Habasit division
of the company is based in Silsden near Keighley. The UK Rossi division
offers a range of gearmotors and gear reducers.