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in Olive Garden outbreak
p.m. EST, December 18, 2006
From Jennifer Pifer
Source of Article: http://us.cnn.com/
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (CNN) -- Health officials blamed a highly contagious,
hard-to-get-rid-of virus for an outbreak of illness among nearly 400 patrons
of an Olive Garden restaurant outside Indianapolis. Marion County Health
Department spokesman John Althardt told CNN in a telephone interview that
tests on three employees and one customer were positive for norovirus,
which typically occurs in places such as cruise ships and restaurants
where people are eating food prepared by others. Seventy-three cases were
reported over the weekend, bringing the total to approximately 373, Althardt
said. (Watch a victim describe his experience. )
The Olive Garden, which closed on Friday and scrubbed, has been given
clearance to reopen.
Marion County will monitor the restaurant to check on its compliance with
health department recommendations. The sickened patrons reported symptoms
including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some cases, fever. Three
people remained hospitalized Monday.
seek cause of Olive Garden illness: Patrons describe getting sick after
eating salads; restaurant is temporarily closed
An Olive Garden restaurant in Castleton has been closed until at least
Monday as county health officials try to determine what sickened more
than 300 people who say they ate there.
Health Department spokesman John Althardt was cited as saying on Friday
thatcalls continued to pour into the Marion County Health Department from
people who say they ate at the restaurant from Dec. 9 to Thursday and
then suffered bouts of nausea, diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
Althardt was further cited as saying six restaurant workers also said
Monday that they felt ill, adding, "We believe it's a food-borne
illness, but we still don't know. We are hoping that by taking this action,
it will give us more of an opportunity to do more investigating and to
break the cycle of infection."
Health officials have been collecting leftover food at the restaurant
and stool samples from those stricken in an effort to pinpoint the source
of the illness. Some diners think the cause might have been in the salads
they were served.
County inspectors met with restaurant managers Tuesday and found no health
code violations, but continued complaints of illness from recent diners
led to the temporary closing of the restaurant after Friday's lunch hour.
A news release from the Olive Garden chain's corporate headquarters in
Orlando, Fla., said the company is cooperating with health officials to
find the cause, which it thinks might be tied to employees who recently
had flulike symptoms.
A decision will be made Monday, after the restaurant is thoroughly cleaned,
on whether it will reopen or continue to be closed, health officials said.
A woman who dined at the restaurant with her two children was among those
who questioned why management kept the restaurant open after sickness
was reported as early as Tuesday.
Deanne Jones was quoted as saying, "It's frustrating . . . that they
didn't shut the place down earlier when they knew people were getting
160 report illness after eating at Indianapolis restaurant
WISH - TV Indianapolis/ Wave 3 TV (Louisville, Kentucky)/Associated Press
Indianapolis -- The Olive Garden restaurant chain was cited as saying
it's working with health officials to find the cause of an outbreak of
illnesses among diners at an Indianapolis restaurant.
The Marion County Health Department says more than 160 people have claimed
they became ill after eating at an Olive Garden on the city's north side
Ed Culver with the Marion County Health Department was quoted as saying,
"So far our count is about 150 people who think that they became
ill as a result of eating at the Olive Garden."
A health department spokesman says they're trying to isolate the cause
and have found no health code violations at the restaurant. In a statement,
the company said it's pleased that the health department has determined
that people should feel comfortable continuing to dine at Olive Garden.
Health officials are collecting leftover food and stool samples from those
who were stricken in an effort to pinpoint the source of the illness.
Customer Frank Williams was quoted as saying, "Most of us starting
getting sick about 3:00 Tuesday morning which would have been 31 hours
after we started eating."
Williams and his family are recovering. And as for going back to Olive
Garden, "I think this probably is an isolated incident. We've certainly
eaten there before and not had a problem. So I think there's a good chance
we'll go back."
Safety Job Information
Safety Job Information
of unhealthful groceries
Following are some of the outbreaks of food-related illnesses and recalls
due to the potential for food- borne diseases from Aug. 11 to Dec. 15,
compiled by the office of U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro. For further recall updates,
visit the FDA website at www.fda.gov/opacom/7alerts.html or the USDA website:
Dec. 15 - More than 300 say they became ill after eating at an Indianapolis
restaurant; no cause yet determined.
Dec. 4 - New Jersey officials announce E. coli outbreak linked to Taco
Dec. 1 - Vandervoet & Associates recalls cantaloupes, under the HDC
label, because of potential health concerns.
Nov. 27 - Krisp-Pak Co. recalls fresh cut fruit because of possible Listeria
Nov. 24 - HoneyBaked Foods recalls cooked ham and turkey products for
possible Listeria contamination.
Nov. 20 - Golden Glen Creamery recalls eggnog that might contain pathogens
resulting from improper pasteurization.
Nov. 17 - Rio Vista Ltd. recalls cantaloupes nationwide because of possible
Nov. 14 - Timco Worldwide recalls cantaloupes because of possible Salmonella
Nov. 14 - Hershey recalls seven bottles of Reese's shell topping because
of possible Salmonella contamination.
Nov. 3 - Archway Cookies recalls small number of oatmeal cookie packages
because they may have contained undeclared walnuts.
Nov. 1 - Boston Salads & Provisions Co. recalls cole slaw because
of possible Listeria contamination.
Nov. 1 - Krisp-Pak Co. recalls fresh cut fruit because of possible Listeria
Oct. 30 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food And Drug
Administration announce Salmonella outbreak involving fresh produce.
Oct. 30 - Precautionary recall alert issued for Sara Lee hamburger buns
in North Carolina and South Carolina because they may have contained undeclared
Oct. 23 - Omaha Beef Co. in Danbury recalls ground beef products for possible
E. coli contamination.
Oct. 19 - Unilever expands recall and allergy alert on undeclared milk
in certain Knorr-Lipton Sides.
Oct. 18 - Ballard's Farm Sausage recalls egg salad because of Listeria
Oct. 12 - Ohio firm recalls pork products for possible Listeria contamination.
Oct. 8 - FDA becomes aware of recall of lettuce distributed under the
Oct. 6 - Iowa firm recalls ground beef products for possible E. coli contamination.
Oct. 4 - Jumbo Foods recalls Tuscan Sun turkey sandwiches because of possible
Sept. 29 - FDA issues warning about Bolthouse Farms carrot juice due to
Sept. 14 - FDA warns of serious food-borne E. coli outbreak in bagged
Sept. 14 - Raw Indulgence announces nationwide recall of Raw Revolution
Organic Live Food Bars because they may contain metal fragments.
Sept. 7 - Monterey Mushrooms recalls fresh sliced white and baby bella
mushrooms in seven eastern states because of possible Listeria contamination.
Aug. 31 - Ohio firm recalls chicken salad because of undeclared soy flour.
Aug. 30 - Kinney Drugs recalls Kinney brand water because of high bromate
Aug. 25 - Weis Markets issues recall for 1-gallon containers of Weis Quality
Spring Water because of high bromate levels.
Aug. 21 - Meadow Gold Dairies recalls ice cream.
Aug. 18 - Virginia firm recalls beef products for possible E. coli contamination.
Aug. 12 - Albertsons and Chef Solutions recall Essensia brand baked potato
Aug. 11 - Future Food Ltd. recalls Krab Supreme Dip and Supreme Krab Dip.
Foodborne illness can be easily prevented by following simple and safe
guidelines when buying, preparing and serving meals for temporary events.
Bell E-Coli - Web Ex
Tom and Scott Martin from Astor Asset Management discuss the recent E-coli
problems at Taco Bell and the affect it could have on the Yum Brands stock
Bacteria¡¯s Wily Ways
that contaminate food E.coli, Salmonella and Listeria
Dr. Brett Finlay illustrates the clever tactics bacteria use to infect
coli O157:H7 outbreak at Taco Bell restaurants likely over FDA traceback
FDA press release
Today, the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated
that the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to Taco Bell restaurants in Northeastern
states appears to be over. However, additional cases from the outbreak
period could still be identified. Based on a number of factors, iceberg
lettuce is considered overall to be the single most likely source of the
outbreak at this time. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues
to narrow its investigation by focusing its efforts on finding the sources
of shredded iceberg lettuce served at the restaurants.
The peak of the outbreak occurred from the last week of November until
the beginning of December. No new cases have been reported as of December
14, 2006. A total of 71 cases in five states have been reported to the
CDC: Delaware (2 cases), New Jersey (33 cases), New York (22 cases), Pennsylvania
(13 cases) and South Carolina (1 case - this person ate at a Taco Bell
in Pennsylvania). 53 hospitalizations and 8 cases of Hemolytic Uremic
Syndrome (HUS) have been reported. For the latest details about these
cases, see the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/current.htm.
FDA investigators continue to expedite review of Taco Bell's records in
order to trace the distribution channels of the iceberg lettuce and identify
the farm or farms where the lettuce was grown, as well as all firms and
facilities that handled the product.
The agency is aware of the outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 at Taco John's
restaurants in Iowa and Minnesota, and is monitoring these closely in
cooperation with state health authorities. Based on genetic fingerprinting
of the E.coli, these outbreaks do not appear at this time to be related
to the Taco Bell outbreak. FDA continues to collaborate with CDC, and
with state and local health officials, to determine how these outbreaks
occurred and find the source of suspect food items.
Infection with E. coli O157:H7 can cause diarrhea, often bloody. Although
most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, some people
can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can lead to a form
of kidney failure. This condition is most likely to occur in young children
and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even
death. Consumers who are concerned that they may have contracted E. coli
O157:H7 infection should notify their local health department, and contact
their health care provider to seek medical attention.
More information about E. coli O157:H7 and the outbreak linked to Taco
Bell restaurants on the East Coast is available at: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/EcoliOutbreaks/restaurants.html.
FDA will provide additional media updates on this investigation as more
information becomes available.
Peterborough Examiner (ON)
Dr. Garry Humphreys, the medical officer of health, was cited as telling
health board members that five county residents became ill last month
with campylobacter after consuming unpasteurized raw milk, following two
Humphreys was further cited as saying a sixth person from Belleville was
also affected, adding, "Please don't distribute unpasteurized milk.
Don't even drink unpasteurized milk on your own farm."
The five local people with the disease in November had either diarrhea
or bloody diarrhea severe enough to send them to a doctor or hospital,
Smith-Ennismore-Lakefield Reeve Ron Millen, an Ennismore dairy farmer,
responded to Humphrey's warning, stating some people consider unpasteurized
milk more natural. It also tastes better, he said.
sales would be a step backward
Owen Sound Sun Times (ON)
John R. Woodhouse of Kemble, Ont., writes that as we continue to see debate
on raw milk, it is disturbing that a number of people have done little
solid research on the history and evolution of why our food system, with
respect to milk, has invoked many standards and protocols in the best
interest of society.
As one engaged in primary food production in Grey and Bruce counties,
I feel compelled to bring people up to speed.
Today's Canadian dairy farmers have evolved one of the most admired inspection
systems in the world. Milk quality is monitored with every pick-up. The
farmers get ongoing weekly reports via the marketing systems on all factors
that relate to milk quality and components of their milk.
A zero inhibitor tolerance is the rule. Time temperature recorders with
alarm systems monitor any variation in the temperature as milk is being
cooled and stored until pick up. It is a check to make sure that what
is supposed to happen does, in fact, happen every day ie: If the water
temperature that cleans the equipment is not hot enough, an alarm goes
off and the producer takes corrective measures.
So is our present modern dairy producer and production system sensitive
to the issue of milk quality? You're darn right. The consequence is that
milk can get a bad rap because, as many of our health professionals have
stated, raw milk being consumed is like a time bomb to the general public.
When a time bomb goes off, it can affect all related sectors.
I do not want to see all the producers of milk in this province get a
bad rap and milk sales fall because something bad happened.
Our dairy producers are proud people who work 365 days a year to provide
our food system with the highest quality milk. The remarkable thing about
this process is that cost of your typical dairy basket is lower than its
equal in Europe or the U.S.A.
The Canadian dairy production system is geared to supply exactly what
the population consumes at a price that gives the producer a fair price
for milk. This system evolved in the early 60's when the late agriculture
minister William Stewart mandated orderly milk marketing be done so farmers
would not continue to lose their farms.
I understand our health system is attempting to be pro-active in preventative
medicine and dealing with disease. This includes problems associated with
Listeria monocytogenes, a bacteria found in raw milk, is the second major
bacterial cause of food poisoning after Salmonella. Listeria causes hospitalization
in 90 per cent of cases. It is reported two per cent of raw milk contains
Listeria. Listeria organisms can multiply in raw milk at a wide range
of temperatures, including milk that is refrigerated.
Healthy people rarely develop serious illness from Listeria, but the susceptible
(pregnant women, children and people with impaired immune systems) can
develop serious illness. I could comment further on Salmonella. However,
it just further supports the system and protocol we have in legislation
under the Milk Act RRO 1990 Regulation 753.
In closing, for more than 50 years the process of pasteurization has proven
highly effective in protecting public health. The threat to human health
by allowing the ingestion of unpasteurized milk should not be underestimated.
Allowing the selling of unpasteurized milk outside our current system
would be a disrespectful decision that slanders dairy farmers, health
officials and those with common sense.
I know which system is the choice for my family's milk supply.
Norovirus Outbreak Linked to Oysters
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently working with
five states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to investigate
an outbreak of norovirus which has been associated with raw, frozen oysters
on the half shell from South Korea. Eight individuals have been confirmed
as becoming ill as a result of consuming the raw oysters at a private
event in Woodburn, Oregon. On December 8, FDA testing of oysters from
the same production lot showed positive results for norovirus.
Symptoms of illness associated with norovirus include nausea, vomiting,
diarrhea, and stomach cramping. Individuals often experience low-grade
fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness.
Most people show symptoms within 48 hours of exposure to the virus. The
illness typically lasts one to two days.
The implicated oysters have been identified as part of lot No. 6098 from
the Central Fisheries Company in South Korea and imported by Fortuna Sea
Products, Inc. of California. From Fortuna Sea Products, Inc., the frozen
oysters were distributed to proprietors in Texas, Colorado, Nevada, California,
On November 27, 2006, Fortuna Sea Products, Inc. initiated a recall of
the 1,100 cases that comprised the affected lot. Consumers in Texas, Colorado,
Nevada, California, and Oregon who ate oyster products between mid-October
and early December and who experienced symptoms of norovirus are encouraged
to contact their local health department. Consumers in possession of frozen
oysters on the half shell purchased during this period should contact
their retailer to determine if the oysters are from the affected lot of
South Korean oysters and need to be returned.
escape benzene lawsuit
By Chris Mercer
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
18/12/2006 - Lawsuits alleging soft drinks made by Kraft Foods may contain
the cancer-causing chemical, benzene, have been dismissed after the group
said it had reformulated products.
Kraft said it had changed formulas in Crystal Light Sunrise Orange and
Kool-Aid Jammers before the four lawsuits against it were filed. The group
now joins a growing list of soft drinks firms that have managed to avoid
potentially costly lawsuits over benzene by reformulating their drinks.
High-profile producers, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cadbury Schweppes, still
have actions pending, however.
Concerns over benzene in soft drinks went public this year when a scientist
with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed to BeverageDaily.com
the agency had found some drinks containing benzene above the legal limit
for drinking water.
Benzene is a known carcinogen, although the FDA said levels found in soft
drinks posed no health risk in the short-term.
Still, both the FDA and the soft drinks industry have known about the
suspected source of the benzene for 16 years, an investigation by this
Tests in late 1990 and 1991 found benzene could form in drinks via a reaction
between two common ingredients, benzoates and citric or ascorbic acid
(vitamin C). More than 1,500 drinks containing one of these combinations
were launched across Europe, North America and Latin America between 2002
and 2006, records show.
Recently released documents
show Cadbury secretly pulled and reformulated one of its drinks, Diet
Orange Crush, in the US in 1990 because of concern about benzene.
Another drinks firm, Perrier, had publicly recalled its water brand earlier
the same year after finding lower levels of benzene in drinks than Cadbury.
Perrier's problem appeared to be a one-off production fault. Cadbury's
was sourced to the ingredients, but no public announcement was ever made
and the FDA agreed to let the industry ¡°get the word out and reformulate¡±.
FDA and industry handling of the issue has now been brought into question,
after the re-emergence of the problem. ¡°Big companies are very powerful.
If you're a regulator with a tight budget, it could have been one of those
closets with skeletons in that you don't want to open,¡± said a senior
ex-FDA enforcement official, on condition of anonymity.
of changes for food service in '07
Rocky Mountain News (Denver)
Kevin Moll and Ken Hollowell, who operate Denver-based National Food Service
Advisors, a group of consultants that helps business owners open and run
restaurant operations, were cited as saying they've been pretty accurate
in their analysis of the food service trends for the upcoming year.
This year, it's more government regulation and consumer caution.
The consultants predict:
Huge growth in organics. As the price of organically grown produce and
vegetables drops, and availability increases, restaurateurs are commonly
using these products instead of the old standbys. Consumers are demanding
organic items for many reasons, including higher perceived value, better
nutrition and a feeling that they are "safer" than the alternatives.
As Wal-Mart, major food service distributors and even local produce companies
make organic items more available and cost-effective, this is a long-legged
trend that will be with us for many years to come.
Consumer caution due to bacterial outbreaks. We used to be able to trust
our food. No longer, as independent and national companies alike struggle
with the ability to source bacteria-free food products. Meats, poultry
and produce are particularly susceptible and recent announcements have
further shaken our trust in the food chain. We expect that in 2007, more
announcements of outbreaks will be made, and it's reasonable to expect
of Salmonella and Other Food-Borne Micro-Organisms
source from: rapidmicrobiology.com
The Remel range of ready-to-use Agglutinating Sera for the presumptive
identification of cultured bacteria is now available from Oxoid Limited.
These simple tests rapidly detect specific bacterial antigens for the
identification, grouping and/or typing of Salmonella and other food-borne
The range includes a comprehensive selection of Salmonella anti-sera,
based on the highly regarded Kauffmann White scheme. This incorporates
agglutinating sera for the identification of flagellar H antigens and
somatic O antigens of Salmonella (groups A-S), allowing the fast, accurate
and reliable identification of Salmonella strains.
The use of agglutinating sera in the confirmation of Salmonella in foods
is described in a number of recommended laboratory methods (References
1-3). The range also includes a basic E. coli serotyping set and agglutinating
sera for the identification of Vibrio cholerae (polyvalent, Inaba and
Ogawa), Brucella and Shigella species.
The tests can be performed within 2 minutes on glass slides or, if preferred,
in tubes. Their ease of use and speed make them ideal for screening purposes,
to augment standard culture and biochemical procedures, or to provide
valuable information that can be used in the investigation of outbreaks.
A datasheet on these products is now available, to obtain a copy please
contact Oxoid using the contact details at the top of this page.
1 - HPA National Standard Methods, F13
2 - USDA FSIS Laboratory Guidebook, QD-F-Micro-0004.01
3 - Health Canada, Official methods for the microbiological analysis of
foods ? compendium of analytical methods.
Range for Enteric Pathogens Available from Oxoid
source from: rapidmicrobiology.com
The extensive ProSpecT¢ç range of ELISA assays for the direct detection
of enteric pathogens from faecal specimens is now available from Oxoid
Limited. This comprehensive range, which includes bacteriology, parasitology
and virology tests, is the method of choice in many laboratories, offering
speed and accuracy in situations where patients can deteriorate rapidly.
Diarrhoeal disease can be caused by a wide range of pathogens, including
bacteria, parasites and viruses.
The ProSpecT¢ç range is able to detect antigens produced by some of the
most significant of these pathogens, such as:
Clostridium difficile (Toxin A and B)
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)
By allowing faecal specimens to be tested directly, without the need for
culture or enrichment, the ProSpecT¢ç range saves valuable time in identifying
the cause of enteric disease. The simple and convenient procedure can
be completed within 2 hours and with almost 100% accuracy when compared
to routine stool culture methods. Furthermore, since the tests detect
antigen or toxin produced by the organisms, they are not dependent on
the shedding of live organisms or on their growth.
The assays use the same procedure and share many common reagents (supplied
in ready-to-use dropper bottles), allowing several strips for different
pathogens to be set up and run simultaneously. All incubations are at
room temperature and results can be read easily - visually or spectrophotometrically.
For further information about the ProSpecT¢ç range please speak to your
local Oxoid representative or contact Val Kane, using the contact details
at the top of this page.
Questions & Answers Taco Bell E. Coli O157:H7 Lettuce Outbreak
Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety Interactive Video (46:00 min.)
ALERT materials now available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, & Vietnamese
RISE IN CAMPYLOBACTER CASES (EUROPE)
EUROPE: Campylobacteriosis overtakes salmonellosis as the most reported
animal infection transmitted to humans in the EU.
Source of Article: http://www.meatnews.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Article&artNum=13337
A report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) shows that campylobacter
has become more prevalent than salmonella.
The second annual Community report looks into infectious diseases transmissible
from animals to humans, which affect over 380,000 European Union citizens
every year. In 2005, campylobacteriosis overtook salmonellosis as the
most reported zoonotic disease in humans in the EU.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) provided
the data on human zoonoses cases and contributed in the analysis of human
related data in the report.
In 2005, reported Campylobacter infections in humans increased by 7.8
percent compared to the previous year rising to an incidence rate of 51.6
cases per 100,000 people and to a total of 197,363 recorded cases.
As in 2004, the primary source of most human Campylobacter infections
is related to fresh poultry meat with up to 66 percent of some samples
On the other hand, Salmonella infections, while also still remaining a
serious public health challenge, fell by 9.5 percent in 2005 to an incidence
rate of 38.2 cases per 100,000 (176,395 reported cases).
Salmonellosis in humans is most likely linked to the presence of Salmonella
in eggs and poultry and pig meat. A decrease in Salmonella contamination
in eggs was observed during the last years.
The report also provides data on important resistance rates to antibiotics
in Campylobacter originating from farm animals and food of animal origin.
Some results indicated that over 80 percent of the tested bacteria were
resistant to antibiotics commonly used to treat human diseases.
This is a growing area of concern for public health specialists as this
important reservoir of antimicrobial resistance might compromise effective
treatment of these diseases in humans.
The report includes data on other zoonotic diseases, which, although more
rare in people in comparison to Campylobacter and Salmonella, are still
a major concern in terms of public health owing to their severe impact
on human health.
Listeriosis which, although affecting relatively few people (1,439 reported
cases in 2005), has a high case-fatality rate and can also seriously affect
the unborn child often resulting in miscarriage. VTEC infections, a
type of E. coli, which affected 3,314 people in 2005 is also another disease
which can seriously damage human health and is most severe in children.
In 2005, the reporting of investigated outbreaks caused by consumption
of contaminated food was mandatory for the first time in the EU. Together
5,311 foodborne outbreaks were reported in the EU involving 47,251 people
and resulting in 5,330 hospitalizations and 24 deaths.
Member States receiving Community co-financing for eradication programs
of bovine tuberculosis in cattle and brucellosis in cattle, sheep and
goats, reported less positive herds in 2005 compared to 2004, indicating
that the programs seem to be having an impact.
Web posted: December 18, 2006
Bug: Leading Cause Of US Food-Borne Illness Makes Its Own Pathway Through
Main Category: GastroIntestinal / Gastroentorology News
Article Date: 16 Dec 2006 - 21:00 PST
Source of Article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=58898&nfid=rssfeeds
In spite of our long and painful
relationship with Campylobacter jejuni, we are just starting to answer
basic questions about the bug that is the leading cause of bacterial food-borne
illness in the United States, and one of the most common causes of diarrhea
worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that "campylobacterioisis"
strikes 2.4 million Americans a year.
While most sufferers recover
after a few unpleasant days, it can be life threatening to those with
compromised immune systems. A rare but serious complication of C. jejuni
infection is the triggering of the autoimmune disorder, Guillain-Barre
Yale researchers now have some
answers to one of the most basic puzzles surrounding C. jejuni infections.
How could such a large bacteria gain access to human intestinal epithelial
cells that do not normally take up particles of such size" And once
inside, how does C. jejuni disappear off the conventional endocytic road
Robert Watson and Jorge Galan
of Yale University School of Medicine report that C. jejuni apparently
rolls in on the cell's regular endocytic pathway but quickly exits, heading
off-road for its own network of intracellular hideouts. These C. jejuni-filled
vacuoles make their own way toward the nucleus, taking up strategic positions
near the cell's transportation hub, the Golgi apparatus.
Previous studies showing C.
jejuni gaining intracellular access to intestinal epithelial cells despite
its large size suggested to Watson and Galan that the bug had evolved
a special mechanism to induce its uptake into these nonphagocytic cells
and establish its own intracellular niche. Watson and Galan set out to
follow C. jejuni down the host cell's endocytic pathway. Much of the cell's
incoming traffic is usually routed to compartments called lysosomes, where
an acidic brew of hydrolase enzymes chews it up. By monitoring endosomal
marker proteins, the researchers could watch as C. jejuni infected a host
cell, and was briefly cloaked in the early endosomal marker EEA-1, and
then the late endosomal marker Lamp-1. Was C. jejuni trafficking to conventional
lysosomes after all" To check, the researchers fed traceable dyes
to infected cells. Taken up into the endocytic pathway, the fluorescent
dyes co-localized with control bacteria known to traffic to lysosomes,
yet surprisingly the dyes were unable to enter vacuoles containing C.
jejuni. The bug had left the conventional endocytic pathway.
Watson and Galan also investigated
the roles of two Rab GTPases, proteins involved in the maturation of endosomal
compartments. These and other experiments provided additional evidence
that C. jejuni leaves the normal endocytic pathway early and that the
segregated C. jejuni vacuoles move to a perinuclear location where they
become closely associated with the Golgi apparatus. The resulting full-scale
invasion of millions of cells lining the gut can't be ignored.
Taco Bell E.coli Outbreak Will Sicken Brand
December 05, 2006
By Kenneth Hein
Source of Article: http://www.brandweek.com/
NEW YORK -- The Taco Bell E.coli outbreak in the Northeast will sicken
sales, but how deep the damage will run depends on the Yum! Brands-owned
restaurant chain¡¯s response to the crisis, per experts. More than two-dozen
people in New York and New Jersey who ate at Taco Bell during Thanksgiving
week became sick, according to the New York Daily News which affixed the
headline ¡°Taco Hell¡± to the cover of its Dec. 5 edition.
¡°Obviously this is not a good news situation,¡± said Ron Paul, president,
Technomic, a food-service consultancy, Chicago. ¡°It will definitely impact
the stores [where the bacteria contamination was linked] as well as those
in the area.¡±
Food safety concerns seriously impact business, said Paul, citing the
significant sales losses Wendy¡¯s suffered on the West Coast after a finger
was found in its chili last year. It was later revealed that the digit
was planted by Anna Ayala, who was sentenced to nine years in prison because
of the hoax. Regardless, ¡°it took them months to get the sales back,¡±
Bob Sandelman, CEO of the San Clemente, Calif.-based Sandelman & Associates,
a restaurant marketing research firm, said the depth of the harm to the
brand will depend ¡°on how they handle it from a damage control and public
relations standpoint. They need to take ownership of it, take responsibility
for it and let everyone know what their plan is for taking care of this
and preventing it from happening in the future.¡±
Taco Bell president Greg Creed said in a statement today that ¡°we are
very concerned for those who became ill and our thoughts are with them
as we continue to work closely with health officials as they try to determine
the root cause of this. While the authorities do not know the source of
this contamination, they have said there haven't been any new cases since
Nov 29, so they are confident that it is most likely no longer a threat.¡±
In the minds of consumers, the severity of such an outbreak has likely
been blunted by the numerous prior contamination scares, said Sandelman.
Sizzler, Jack in the Box and other chains have dealt with E.coli contamination
before. And in September, consumers were instructed to avoid fresh spinach
because E.coli was found in spinach in as many as 26 states. There are
about 76 million cases per year where consumers are subjected to disease
from infected food, per the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Taco Bell announced it reopened eight stores in New York ¡°based on the
criteria developed and agreed to by local health departments¡± after voluntarily
closing the locations. Taco Bell is also working with the Middlesex County
Health Department to reopen a restaurant located in New Jersey and expects
to reopen it today. ¡°While these restaurants have not been confirmed as
the source of an E. coli outbreak, Taco Bell decided as a precautionary
measure to throw out all existing food and bring in new food. In addition,
the company completely cleaned and re-sanitized the restaurant, utensils
and all cooking equipment,¡± said the statement.
Still for many this could be
a permanent turn-off, said Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys,
a brand customer loyalty-planning consultancy in New York.
In terms of loyalty, Taco Bell
was already ranked next to last out of the 16 restaurant chains measured
within the Brand Keys 2006 Customer Loyalty Index. Taco Bell scored poorly
in terms of ¡°healthy choice, quality and value" which is "the
most influential driver in terms of choice, engagement in loyalty,¡± said
Passikoff. ¡°What was bad to begin with is being made even worse by the
sales not safety
Orange County Register (CA)
John Keys of La Mirada, Calif., writes to ask, how many people aren't
amused by the "spin doctors" at Taco Bell regarding the E. coli
outbreak ["Taco Bell lettuce now tied to outbreak," Marketplace,
Dec. 14]. It was first thought that green onions were the source of the
E. coli outbreak, so Taco Bell pulled the green onions from all the restaurants,
not just the East Coast where the outbreak occurred.
Now the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control says
the most likely source of the E. coli is lettuce. Does Taco Bell then
remove all lettuce from their restaurants? Of course not. It's obvious
that if management eliminates lettuce, which was reported to be in 70
percent of all products sold at Taco Bell, then apparently only 30 percent
of their products would be offered. So it's OK to pull the green onions,
which won't affect business a great deal, but don't even think about eliminating
lettuce from their offerings.
Quoting Taco Bell President Greg Creed, "It's not necessary for us
to remove lettuce." Here's a quote from me. "It's not necessary
for me to be a Taco Bell customer because I'll never be comfortable knowing
sales and money are apparently more important than safety."