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Internet Journal of Food Saety

8/31
2006
ISSUE:224

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Current Job Information
08/31. Quality Assurance Technician - Phoenix, AZ
08/31. Quality Assurance Supervisor - Irving, TX
08/30. QA AND RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT MANAGER - Cincinnnati, OH
08/30. Microbiology Lab Technician - Cedar Rapids, IA
08/30. QA Technical Business Analyst - CA-Pleasanton
08/30. QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER - Conyers, GA
08/29. Quality Assurance Supervisor - Claremont, NC
08/29. Quality Technician - Modesto, CA
08/29. Food Safety Specialist - New Orleans, LA
08/29. HACCP, SSOP, QA, USDA - Nashville, TN; Madison, TN
08/29. Quality Control Manager - Dayton, OH
08/28. Quality Assurance Manager
08/28. Corporate Quality Assurance Manager
08/28. Quality Assurance Supervior - 2nd Shift
08/28. Quality Systems Director
08/28. QA Lab Technician - CA-Calabasas Hills
08/28. Quality Assurance Supervisor - FL-West Florida
08/28. QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER - Allentown, PA
08/28. HACCP, SSOP, QA, USDA - Nashville; Madison, TN
08/28. SANITATION MANAGER - Statewide, TX
08/28. QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER - Moosic, PA
08/25. Quality Assurance Supervisor - Claremont, NC
08/25. Quality Assurance Manager - Food Processing - WI-Green Bay
08/25. SANITATION & PRODUCTION SUPERVISORS - ELGIN, IL
08/25. Quality Supervisor
08/25. Quality Supervisor - IL-Chicago South
08/25. QA Technician - Denver, CO
08/25. Quality Auditor - Charlestown, MA
08/24. Quality Assurance Food Technologist - Ankeny, IA
08/24. Quality Assurance Laboratory Technologist - La Habra, CA
08/23. Food Safety Quality Assurance Manager - CA-Home Office
08/23. Food Safety Specialist - Seattle, WA
08/23. OR-Portland-Quality Assurance Supervisor
08/23. MI-Grand Rapids-Quality Control Technician - Food Science
08/23. HACCP Coordinator - SSOP, QA, USDA - Nashville, Madison, TN
08/23. Document Control & Quality Systems Facilitator - Eugene, OR
08/23. Quality Assurance Technician - Brunswick, GA
08/23. Food Safety Extension Specialist/Associate - Penn State University
08/22. PACKAGING QUALITY RESOURCE (2 OPENINGS) - FL
08/22. QC Lab Technician - OH-Dayton
08/22. Quality Assurance Manager - CA-City Of Commerce
08/21. Quality Assurance Technician - Pottstown, PA
08/21. HACCP Coordinator - SSOP, QA, USDA - Nashville, Madison, TN
08/21. Plant Quality Control Technician - CA-San Leandro
08/21. Corporate QA Manager - FOOD -IL-Chicago West
08/21. SANITATION & PRODUCTION SUPERVISORS - ELGIN, IL
08/21. Quality Assurance Supervisor - CA-Calabasas Hills

Oyster recall warns of dangers
Source of Article: http://obsentinel.womacknewspapers.com/
August 28, 2006
North Carolina environmental health officials are stepping up their efforts to warn people to avoid eating raw oysters harvested in the Pacific Northwest.
That effort came last week after officials from the State of Washington extended the recall area where harvested oysters may be unsafe for public consumption. Officials from the Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory that warned against eating raw oysters from the Pacific Northwest after the federal agency reported increasing numbers of illnesses related to the consumption of raw oysters. The recent advisory issued by the Food and Drug Administration reported that some oysters harvested from the region were contaminated with Vibrio Parahaemolyticus (VP), a bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness. The state of Washington has extended the harvesting areas affected by its oyster shellshock recall. It is now unsafe to consume raw oysters harvested in 19 growing areas from Washington.
"Until further notice, it is a good idea to thoroughly cook raw oysters from the Pacific Northwest," said Wayne Mobley, chief of the Shellfish Sanitation and Recreational Water Quality Section in the Division of Environmental Health. "The section's health inspectors are working with vendors to determine if any of the most recently recalled product has made it into North Carolina shellfish markets." Cooking oysters contaminated with VP destroys the bacteria, eliminating the risk of illness for both healthy and immunocompromised individuals. The majority of illnesses that occur from the consumption of raw oysters are not life-threatening to the general population and range from mild intestinal disorders of short duration to acute gastroenteritis. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, often with abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. Unusally the symptoms occur within 24 hours of ingestion and last no more than three days. Severe disease in rare and occurs most commonly in persons with weakened immune systems.

Comsumers can continue to enjoy oysters in many cooked preperations by following this advise:
Order oysters fully cooked at restaurants and other food service establishments. Boil or simmer shucked oysters from at least three minutes or until the edges curl. Fry at 375 degrees for at least three minutes. Broil three inches from heat for three minutes. or Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

Frank Yiannas assumes presidency of the International Association for Food Protection
30.aug.06
International Association for Food Protection
www.foodprotection.org
Des Moines, Iowa -- Frank Yiannas, M.P.H., Health and Safety Director for Walt Disney World Co., assumed the presidency of IAFP at the conclusion of IAFP 2006.
Mr. Yiannas oversees all food safety programs and public health functions for Walt Disney World, including major theme parks and resorts, two cruise ships, two water parks, and hundreds of the world's busiest food locations. More than 15,000 Food and Beverage employees, hundreds of food suppliers, and a number of critical regulatory compliance issues also come under his purview. Since joining Disney in 1989, Mr. Yiannas has expanded Disney's program beyond testing and inspections by creating leading-edge risk management strategies. Under his tenure, Disney has been recognized as a pioneer in food safety training, implementing HACCP at the food service level, developing hand-held
computer technology to conduct food safety audits, and utilizing progressive microbial testing approaches.
Mr. Yiannas is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, and participates in numerous professional committees involved with issues of national importance. In addition to his role as IAFP President, he is the immediate past Chair of Council I, Laws and Regulations, of the Conference for Food Protection (CFP), and serves on the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network's Board of Directors.
Mr. Yiannas is a Registered Microbiologist with the American Academy of Microbiology. He holds memberships with several professional associations, including the National Environmental Health Association, the American Society of Microbiology, and the Institute of Food Technologists. He received his BS in Microbiology from the University of Central Florida and his Master of Public Health (MPH) from the University of South Florida.
In addition to Mr. Yiannas, other members of the Executive Board include:
President-Elect Gary Acuff, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
Vice President J. Stan Bailey, Ph.D., USDA-ARS, Athens, Georgia
Secretary Vickie Lewandowski, M.S., Kraft Foods, Glenview, Illinois
Past President Jeffrey M. Farber, Ph.D., Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Affiliate Council Chairperson Maria Teresa Destro, Ph.D., University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Produce Safety & Security International announces expansion of ozone ice machine facility located in North Carolina and the opening of Prescott, Arizona facility
29.aug.06
Produce Safety & Security International, Inc.
http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=158217
PRESCOTT, AZ -- Produce Safety & Security International, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: PDSC), an ozone and chemical sanitation disinfectant process supplier to the food and medical industries, announces the expansion of two facilities for assembly of ozone ice machines and other Ozone products for delivery to the seafood industry retail chains.
Ozone leaves no residue in the water or on the product (because it breaks down to oxygen), so there is no change in color or flavor of product. Using ozone gives more assurance against bacteria organisms and at the same time, conserves water and extends the shelf life of the product by as much as 5 days. The test protocol achieved up to a 99.9% reduction of microorganisms including pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E-coli 0157 H: 07.
Clarence W. Karney, CEO of Produce Safety & Security International, states, "The expansion of these two facilities was caused by the increased sales and new commitments from domestic and international clients. These two facilities will also assemble six of PDSC'S other Ozone product lines. Revenues for current contacts are over $500,000.00."

Warning issued about mushrooms
From Staff Reports

Source of Article: http://www.marionstar.com/
REYNOLDSBURG - The Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey today advised at-risk consumers - pregnant women, the elderly, and individuals who have compromised immune systems - to thoroughly wash and cook Baby Bella Slices Mushrooms from Monterey Mushrooms, Watsonville, Calif., because they may contain Listeria monocytogenes. The mushrooms may be at many stores in Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture's food safety lab tested samples of the mushrooms and found they tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen. The Monterey Baby Bella Sliced Mushrooms are labeled "wash before using;" however, Listeria monocytogenes may not be removed with washing, but cooking will destroy the organism.
Random, routine testing at the department's Consumer Analytical Laboratory helps identify potentially dangerous or adulterated products.

Cooling Towers May Host New Pathogens
Cooling towers may be hot spots where new forms of disease-causing bacteria emerge, scientists report.
August 28, 2006 Source of Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/
Sharon G. Berk and colleagues set out to determine whether cooling towers -- fixtures that extract waste heat and provide cooled water for air-conditioning, manufacturing and electric power generation -- encourage a worrisome relationship between amoebae and bacterial pathogens of amoebae (single-celled organisms that dwell in water).
Numerous human pathogens have been detected in amoebae, and evidence suggests that amoebae act as incubators in which certain human pathogens multiply profusely. The microbe responsible for Legionnaires' disease is among the bacteria that reproduce in amoebae. Infected amoebae swell like a balloon, burst and release bacteria that then can infect other hosts.
In the new study, Berk's group sampled 40 cooling towers and 40 natural aquatic environments. Infected amoebae were 16 times more likely to be in cooling towers than in rivers, lakes and ponds. "Such pathogens of amoebae may spread to the environment via aerosols from the cooling towers," the researchers state in a report published online in advance of a special issue on infectious disease, scheduled to be published in the Jan. 1, 2008, issue of the ACS journal, Environmental Science & Technology.
"Studies of emerging infectious diseases should strongly consider cooling towers as a source of amoeba-associated pathogens."

US food supply 'vulnerable to attack'
25.aug.06
BBC Radio 4
Simon Cox
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5274022.stm
When Tommy Thompson stood down as US health secretary in 2004, he delivered a stark warning. "I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply, because it is so easy to do," he said. Why was he so worried? Is "agro-terrorism" - attacking farming or the food supply - really so easy? The only reported case in the US happened more than two decades ago in 1984, when a cult poisoned salad bars at a number of restaurants in Oregon. Forty people were taken to hospital, no-one died. Mr Thompson had probably been listening to academics like Larry Wein, of Stanford University, who studies terrorist attacks that could kill more than 100,000 people. Prof Wein found milk was particularly vulnerable to an attack. If someone were to put just 10 grams of botulinum toxin into a milk tanker, it could have devastating effects. "If we didn't realise what was happening, half a million people would drink this milk... most of these would be poisoned, roughly half of them would die," he concluded.
Scary stuff, but critics said this was preposterous: obtaining even a tiny amount of toxin was a lot harder than Prof Wein suggested. But the US government took his paper seriously. They called it a "road map for terrorists" and stopped its release. It was eventually published a month later.
Industrial scale
If someone were going to target the food supply, Kansas would be an obvious place to start.
They could poison our feed stuff, water - I hate to even talk about it, we don't want to educate the terrorists Mark Fisher, Kansas farmer It is smack in the middle of the American beef belt, a 100-square-mile area that produces 80% of the nation's beef.
Many of the cattle are raised on feed lots, huge expanses of land divided into fenced off dirt plots.
Mark Fisher runs one of these in Dodge City, where he farms about 18,000 cattle. This is industrial farming on a scale unheard of in Britain. more information

Food safety key to national security
Bob Krauter
Capital Press California Editor
Source of Article: http://www.capitalpress.info/
If you have traveled on a commercial flight in the past few weeks, no doubt any concerns about turbulence and your choice of in-flight meals have given way to just making it through airport security with your shoes, boarding pass and patience intact.
Air travelers have kept a stiff upper lip, complying with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration ban on all liquids in carry-on baggage. The restrictions are necessary to stay a step ahead of terrorists who want to do great harm to Americans.
In the five years since the devastating Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, life has changed in many ways and not just at the nation's airports. The threats of terrorism have caused us to think twice about many things people take for granted, like the safety of our food supply, a critical element to national security. Next month a workshop in Salinas will train first detectors - farmers, pest control advisors and vegetable processing plant operators and others in practical ways to protect our food supply from the threat of exotic pests, diseases and intentional contamination.
Sponsored by the Salinas Valley California Women for Agriculture and supported by several local groups, the agroterrorism awareness training seminar will highlight prevention and biosecurity control systems to manage potential agroterrorism risks. Sharan Lanini, a longtime California Women for Agriculture leader, said the issue cannot be ignored. "Food safety has been an ongoing area that is critically important to the entire agricultural industry," Lanini said. "With all of the world events going on, taking it to that next level and preparing for a potential agroterrorism event, is something that the industry needs to be paying more attention to."

Agroterrorism is not a new subject, but Lanini said most of the discussions have been behind closed doors.
"We don't want to scare people, but we want people to talk about it, be thinking about it in terms of making plans, closing gaps and knowing who to call," Lanini said. Richard Hoenisch, the Western region training coordinator for the National Plant Diagnostic Network, will join speakers from Food and Drug Administration and Monterey County Cooperative Extension in giving practical tips on biosecurity.

"Fields are very hard to monitor. That's why we train all of these first detectors who are out in the field," Hoenisch said. "But as that food comes into food processing, that is very vulnerable spot in terms of bioterrorism." Biosecurity has been practiced for years on many farms and ranches.

Poultry and dairy farmers limit access because of the constant threat of devastating diseases like foot-and-mouth, exotic Newcastle and avian flu. Efforts like those by Lanini's group in Salinas will hopefully encourage more seminars and additional discussion about ways to enhance agroterrorism protections on California farms and ranches.
There is no greater strength to our nation's security than having reliable, abundant and safe food on store shelves. California farmers and ranchers have a critical role to play in safeguarding the quality of our food. They are on the front lines, producing more than 350 high-quality crops and a major share of the U.S. food supply. They are important defenders of food safety and quality.
While you may have an anxious moment the next time you approach the security checkpoint at the airport, be assured that a growing legion of farmers, workers and others are working harder than ever to ensure the safety of our food supply.

Soft drinks firms settle in benzene lawsuit
By Chris Mercer
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
25/08/2006 - Two soft drink firms accused of using ingredients that could mix to form a cancer-causing chemical in drinks plan to sign a settlement with lawyers today, agreeing to change formulas and offer refunds. In Zone Brands, which makes kids soft drink Bellywashers, and the TalkingRain group denied their drinks could contain benzene, but have agreed to change their formulas and refund consumers who bought drinks containing the old one.
In another development, BeverageDaily.com can reveal independent lab tests have found benzene in Coca-Cola Vault Zero above the maximum level considered safe in drinking water by the World Health Organisation. Vault Zero, launched in the US less than a year ago, will now be added to the current benzene lawsuit against Coca-Cola. Benzene is listed as a carcinogen by health authorities around the world, although is not thought to pose a health risk in the levels found in drinks. The legal wrangling over benzene in soft drinks comes six months after a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientist first revealed to BeverageDaily.com that benzene was still appearing in some drinks above the US safety limit for drinking water. The suspected source of the benzene was a reaction between two common ingredients in the drinks, benzoate preservatives and citric or ascorbic acid (vitamin C). An investigation by this website confirmed that both the FDA and US Soft Drinks Association have known about this problem for 15 years. Yet, no public announcement was ever made. The FDA and soft drinks firms have assured there is no risk to consumers' health. Lawyers sued In Zone and TalkingRain on behalf of concerned parents earlier this year, after independent tests found drinks samples containing benzene above America's legal limit for drinking water. The settlement will go before a court in the District of Columbia Friday. Under the deal, In Zone has agreed to cut all benzoates out of Bellywashers. If they are used alongside ascorbic acid, the company has agreed to test its drinks for two weeks at 43”ĘC. Benzene is more likely form when a drink is exposed to heat. TalkingRain said it had replaced potassium benzoate in its Ice drinks with potassium sorbate. Both firms will offer refunds or replacements via their websites to consumers who bought drinks using the old formulas, although written evidence of purchase must be supplied. The refund will be available for four months. The groups will also pay $35,000 (¢ę27,000) each to cover the complainants' legal costs. Andrew Rainer, one of the lawyers suing the firms, said: ”°This settlement shows the companies' willingness to address customer satisfaction, and recognises consumers might have concerns. I think the eventual way cases like this are solved is when something is given back to consumers.”± In Zone and TalkingRain still denied their drinks could have been in any way harmful. ”°Consumer safety is paramount. We're pleased this issue has been resolved and that consumers can be confident in our products,”± they said in a joint statement.
Benzene lawsuits against several other food and drink firms, including PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Cadbury Schweppes and Polar Beverages still hang in the balance.
It is thought the settlement with In Zone and TalkingRain could inspire similar deals with other firms. The new test results on Coke's Vault Zero will now, however, be added to the lawsuit against the group. Vault Zero, said to ”®drink like a soda and kick like an energy drink', was launched in the US last year. Lab tests showed one Vault Zero sample containing 13 parts per billion (ppb) benzene, with others between five and 10ppb. The US has a five ppb safety limit for benzene in drinking water, while the World Health Organisation (WHO) has a 10ppb water limit.
Rainer warned that ”°more would be required of the larger companies”± for a settlement. PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes were all part of the soft drinks association when the benzene issue first arose in 1990. ”°Before we can resolve things with them, we want to understand how it could happen that they may have again sold products that could contain benzene.”±
An FDA chemist who tested for benzene in 1990 told this website that the industry had agreed to ”°get the word out and reformulate”±. Glen Lawrence, a scientist who helped the FDA understand how benzene could form in drinks at the time, said vitamin C and benzoate preservatives should not be used together. ”°So it is really very easy to avoid the problem,”± he said.

Since Beveragedaily.com published the first story on benzene in soft drinks this Feburary, food safety watchdogs in several countries around the world have found the potential carcinogen during tests on drinks. Four drinks were recalled in the UK for containing benzene above the WHO limit. It was US lawyer Ross Getman and an industry whistleblower who first raised concerns about the continued benzene in some soft drinks in the US. Their work prompted the FDA to re-start its investigation last autumn. Food safety authorities and soft drinks firms have re-iterated there was no health risk for consumers in the small levels of benzene found.
The American Beverage Association said: ”°Repeated reviews by the FDA over the years continue to turn up the same answer: there is no threat to the health of consumers.”±
An FDA spokesperson said this week that it was still testing drinks for benzene.
A guidance document telling soft drink firms how to avoid and minimise benzene formation in drinks has been published by the International Council of Beverages Associations. Click here for the Council homepage. BeverageDaily.com was the first news publication to break the current story on benzene in soft drinks that has now attracted attention from major media organisations around the world.

E. COLI OUTBREAK LINKED TO SALINAS LETTUCE
Three suffer kidney failure in Utah

By DANIA AKKAD
Herald Salinas Bureau
Source of Article: http://www.montereyherald.com/
Utah health officials say Salinas Valley lettuce may be responsible for an E. coli outbreak in their state in June that sickened 73 people, including three with kidney failure.
The announcement comes just two days after federal and state regulators began inspecting local lettuce fields, plants and coolers in response to an increase in lettuce-related E. coli outbreaks over the past decade. The iceberg lettuce was served in salads from a Wendy's restaurant in North Ogden, Utah, which catered a teacher's conference at a junior high school.
Just where between field and fork the lettuce was contaminated is unknown, Utah health officials said. In the past decade, said the Food and Drug Administration, more than 400 people nationwide have been sickened in leafy, produce-related E. coli outbreaks, including two people who died. Investigations into these outbreaks, often done weeks and months after they occur, rarely reveal how or when the lettuce is tainted. In response, federal and state regulators this week began the unprecedented monitoring of the local industry, which produces at least 75 percent of the nation's lettuce. At least two women -- one who ate salad at the conference and one who didn't attend the conference, but ate a hamburger with lettuce from the same restaurant -- experienced serious complications.

One of the women is now on a kidney transplant list. The other was on dialysis for several weeks and nearly had to have her large intestine removed, said their attorney, Bill Marler of Seattle.
Marler has filed a lawsuit against Wendy's on behalf of a third woman who was sickened and whose 6-year-old son suffered moderate kidney failure after eating the salad, he said.
The outbreak involved E.Coli 0121:H19, a rare form of the bacteria that normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. Most E. coli outbreaks connected to leafy greens in the past decade have involved the 0157:H7 strain. Both strains cause similar symptoms in infected people, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and, in severe cases, kidney failure. The two strains have also caused death in cases elsewhere, said Glen Kinney, regional epidemiologist for the Weber-Morgan Health Department in Utah, which investigated the outbreak. Weber-Morgan officials said they narrowed their focus on the lettuce because it was the only food that all of the sickened people ate. Wendy's International spokesman Denny Lynch stressed on Tuesday that the lettuce in question wasn't tested following the outbreak. Instead, health officials are using patients' eating histories to deduce what carried the bacteria, he said. "There is no confirmation there was lettuce because there was nothing to test," Lynch said. Two days before the outbreak, Lynch said, the Wendy's in North Ogden passed a routine health inspection "with flying colors."
Once the company learned about the outbreak, it asked the health department to come back to the restaurant for an inspection and nothing inappropriate was found, he said.
The bottom line, he said, "is we understand something didn't go right, but we do not know what went wrong." All general managers of Wendy's restaurants are certified under a program called Serve Safe, developed by the National Restaurant Association. Wendy's employees are trained in a version of the program that has been customized for Wendy's, he said. Lynch said Wendy's also has growers sign contracts that they will follow specific guidelines, including the kinds of water and fertilizer they use, to prevent such outbreaks. Both the California Department of Health Services and the Food and Drug Administration are aware of the outbreak, representatives of both agencies said. The California Department of Health Services is currently "fact finding to determine if further investigation is warranted," said Patti Roberts, department spokeswoman.

Jim Bogart, general counsel and president of the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, said the continued lettuce-related E. coli outbreaks are frustrating for the industry, which is working on several fronts to prevent them. Along with following good agricultural practices, the industry has also developed a new food safety guideline for lettuce and leafy greens, released in March, and has also contributed significant funds for research on E. coli.
"Sure it's frustrating," Bogart said of the elusive E. coli source. "We're doing our damndest to find it."

19 people diagnosed with cryptosporidium
28.aug.06
Associated Press
GILLETTE, Wyo. - At least 19 people have now been diagnosed with the parasite cryptosporidium in Campbell and Crook counties, a nearly fourfold increase over the past week.
Kim Deti, spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Health, was cited as saying that last year, only three cases were reported in all of Wyoming.
The department has been working with Campbell County Public Health to investigate this year's spike in cases in northeast Wyoming.
Nola Wallace, director of the Campbell County Health Department, said a common cause hadn't been pinpointed. Most cases have been in children, but a few cases have been in adults.

More than 1,100 seek hepatitis A shots
27.aug.06
WANE TV (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
http://www.wane.com/Global/story.asp?S=5331249
Roughly 1,150 people showed up for a Saturday shot clinic at the Allen County Fairgrounds, seeking protection after possible exposure to Hepatitis A.
The story says that most people at Saturday's shot clinic seemed to be taking it all in stride. Laura Aman, on her way out of the shot clinic, was quoted as saying, "I never got into a state of panic or anything, but it's certainly not something you want to hear about or think about."
Tyler Wells, on his way in to get a shot, was quoted as saying, "I didn't think much about it, because I didn't have any of the symptoms. I wasn't real concerned, but we're comin' to get the shots just in case."
Tia Tribby, who came to the clinic with her boyfriend, was quoted as saying, "Coming here calmed by nerves, just seeing everyone else in the same situation you are in."
The Health Department held a second shot clinic Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For those who couldn't attend the weekend clinics, there will be a make-up clinic scheduled.

E. coli death is state's first in 3 1/2 years
23.aug.06
Star Tribune (MN)/Associated Press
Robert Franklin
http://www.startribune.com/462/story/629945.html
A woman from Longville, Minn., who apparently ate contaminated food at a church supper, has, according to this story, become the first Minnesotan recorded as dying of E. coli complications in at least 3 1/2 years.
The story says that services will be held today for Carolyn Hawkinson, 73, at Salem Lutheran Church in Longville, where the meal was served July 19.
Hawkinson, who died Sunday after nearly a month in hospitals, was a former Minneapolis resident, active in her church and its choir, who loved flowers and taught crafts to her grandchildren. She had helped set up for the church supper the day before it was held, her daughter said.
The Minnesota Department of Health was cited as reporting Tuesday that in the past six weeks, E. coli has sickened at least 17 people and perhaps as many as 30 around Longville,. Nine people were hospitalized.
Longville, best known for its lakes and turtle races, has about 180 residents, but the area's population swells to about 5,000 during tourist season.
Rev. John Monson, Salem's pastor, was quoted as saying, "In summertime there's food everywhere. Church meals. People selling food on the streets. ... Service organizations having dinners."
Doug Schultz, a Health Department spokesman, was cited as saying that circumstantial evidence suggests that many of the illnesses resulted from a meatball dish made from ground beef and probably cross-contaminated with cold items such as potato salad and lettuce salad.
A few people who did not attend the dinner but ate hamburgers at area restaurants also experienced symptoms such as bloody diarrhea or abdominal cramps, the Health Department said.
Schultz said the ground beef in Longville apparently came from a meat plant where a matching strain of E. coli was found during a routine inspection. Then the meat went to a distributor and a grocery store serving the area.
Corrective action was taken at the plant, but there was no specific product trail to prompt a recall, Schultz said. The Health Department did not name the businesses, and Schultz said he knew of no action that might be taken against any of them.
About 300 people attend each of the three summer smorgasbords that Salem Lutheran Church has held since the 1940s, Monson said. The church canceled one scheduled for this month and had its water and kitchen checked out with good results, he said.
A communitywide Taste of Longville proceeded Aug. 11 without incident, said John Weins, activity coordinator for the Longville Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. The 10 vendors were warned to wear gloves and cook meat thoroughly, Weins said. More than 300 people showed up, and the food went quickly.
Hawkinson's illness was chronicled on the website caringbridge.org, with journal entries full of faith and prayers from her husband and other family members, and scores of tributes from friends.

Charm Sciences ROSA Qualitative P/N Test for Aflatoxin Gains USDA Approval
Source of Article: http://www.grainnet.com/
Lawrence, MA--Charm Sciences announced August 14 its ROSA(r) Qualitative P/N Kit for Aflatoxin, a 3 minute strip for the detection of aflatoxins in corn samples at 10 ppb or above, has successfully attained the USDA's Certificate of Performance for official testing of aflatoxin in the national grain inspection system. ROSA P/N test for Aflatoxin is the only lateral flow qualitative test approved with a ppb read-out. This is the second ROSA lateral flow Qualitative test to be certified by the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) unit of the USDA. The same strip is certified at 2 qualitative thresholds for aflatoxin: 20 ppb visually or select the 20 ppb setting on the ROSA-M Reader, or 10 ppb by selecting the 10 ppb setting on the ROSA-M Reader. This provides critical real time flexibility to meet domestic and export requirements. ROSA P/N test for aflatoxin is a self contained strip with precise addition of sample extract, and incubated at a fixed temperature.
The result: a Rapid One Step Assay taking just 3 minutes.
No filtering or blending equipment is necessary.
Test strips may be read on the ROSA-M reader, in the range of 0 - 25 ppb.

Charm's optional mycoSOFT(tm) software delivers flexible and intuitive functionality with customized data trending reports. For more information, call 978-687-9200, Ext. 133.
See Related Websites/Articles:
Charm Sciences Inc.: http://www.charm.com/

Nanocantilevers studied for quick pathogen detection
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
29/08/2006 - Nanocantilevers could be crucial in designing a new class of ultra-small sensors for the quick detection of viruses, bacteria and other pathogens, say researchers at Purdue University. Nanotechnology has been touted as the next revolution in many industries, including food manufacturing. It holds the promise of helping manufacturers produce novel products and improve their processes and packaging. Nanotechnology is the study of the way materials behave at a scale that can be as small as one billionth of a metre. Industry is interested in nanoscale materials because at this size their properties can be very different from those of the same material at a larger scale. Nanocantilevers, which look like tiny diving boards made of silicon, are one type of nanoscale materials that are being studied as part of general research into nanotechnology. The nanocantilevers could be used in future detectors because they vibrate at different frequencies when contaminants stick to them, revealing the presence of dangerous substances. Because of the nanocantilever's minute size, it is more sensitive than larger devices, promising the development of advanced sensors that detect minute quantities of a contaminant to provide an early warning that a dangerous pathogen is present, the Purdue University scientists say. They say they were surprised to learn that the cantilevers, coated with antibodies to detect certain viruses, attract different densities - or quantity of antibodies per area - depending on the size of the cantilever. The devices are immersed into a liquid containing the antibodies to allow the proteins to stick to the cantilever surface. "But instead of simply attracting more antibodies because they are longer, the longer cantilevers also contained a greater density of antibodies, which was very unexpected," stated Rashid Bashir, a researcher at the Birck Nanotechnology Center and a professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering at Purdue University. The research also shows that the density is greater toward the free end of the cantilevers. The engineers found that the cantilevers vibrate faster after the antibody attachment if the devices have about the same nanometer-range thickness as the protein layer.
The longer the protein-coated nanocantilever, the faster the vibration. This effect could only be explained if the density of antibodies were to increase with increasing lengths, Bashir stated in releasing the results of the study yesterday.
The research group also proved this hypothesis using optical measurements. They then worked with Ashraf Alam, a researcher at the Birck Nanotechnology Centre and professor of electrical and computer engineering, to develop a mathematical model that describes the behaviour.

The information will be essential to properly design future "nanomechanical" sensors that use cantilevers, Bashir said. So-called "lab-on-a-chip" technologies could make it possible to replace bulky lab equipment with miniature sensors, saving time, energy and materials, he stated. Thousands of the cantilevers can be fabricated on a one-square-centimeter chip.
The cantilevers studied in the work range in length from a few microns to tens of microns, or millionths of a meter, and are about 20 nanometers thick, which is also roughly the thickness of the antibody coating. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter, or approximately the length of 10 hydrogen atoms strung together. A cantilever naturally "resonates," or vibrates at a specific frequency, depending on its mass and mechanical properties. The mass changes when contaminants land on the devices, causing them to vibrate at a different "resonant frequency, " which can be quickly detected. The work, funded by the National Institutes of Health, is aimed at developing advanced sensors capable of detecting minute quantities of viruses, bacteria and other contaminants in air and fluids by coating the cantilevers with proteins, including antibodies that attract the contaminants. The study is outlined in a research paper published online yesterday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.