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Journal of Food Saety
Consumers to Practice Egg Safety this Holiday Season
Source from: FDA
The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds consumers to pay
special attention to the handling of eggs and preparation of foods that
contain eggs during this holiday season. Some holiday favorites, such
as cookie dough, homemade eggnog, and some types of stuffing, may contain
eggs that are raw or undercooked. Eggs sometimes contain a bacteria called
Salmonella enteriditis (SE), which can cause illness if eggs are not handled
and cooked properly. An FDA national survey of consumer food safety practices,
the 2006 FDA/FSIS Food Safety Survey, found that cookie dough is one of
the major sources of raw egg in the American diet, and that only three
percent of respondents always use a food thermometer when they cook baked
egg dishes such as stuffing.
To avoid egg-related illness from holiday foods:
Do not eat unbaked cookie dough.
Cook baked egg-containing dishes to160 degrees F.
Make recipes that call for raw or undercooked eggs, like eggnog, with
eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella or with pasteurized
An estimated 118,000 illnesses per year are caused by consumption of eggs
contaminated with SE. To help consumers avoid these illnesses, FDA requires
the following statement on packages of fresh eggs that have not been treated
to destroy Salmonella:
Safe Handling Instructions:
To prevent illness from bacteria, keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until
yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.
Following these instructions
is important for everyone, but especially for those most vulnerable to
foodborne illness young children; the elderly; persons with weakened immune
systems due to conditions such as AIDS, cancer or diabetes, or treatments
such as chemotherapy for cancer; persons with weakened immune systems
due to steroid use; and persons with immune suppression after organ transplantation.
Find more information about holiday food safety at www.cfsan.fda.gov or
(December 19, 2006) INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY; Editorial Opinion
Source of Article: Food Irradiation Update (January 2007)
Public Health: The answer to recent E. coli outbreaks and other food-borne
illnesses has been sitting on the shelf for decades while hundreds of
thousands of Americans have been sickened and thousands have died. Virtually
every modern kitchen has a microwave oven that's used to prepare everything
from popcorn to the proverbial TV dinner. We do not fear it; we use it
without a second thought. Yet a similar technology that can make food
safer is feared and remains relatively unused.
That technology is food irradiation. The U.S. Army pioneered its development
in 1943, and it has since been commercially used in more than 40 countries,
including on a small scale in the U.S. Astronauts on space shuttle missions
have eaten irradiated foods, even steak.
Food irradiation uses gamma rays from a solid radioactive source to break
up the DNA of, and thus kill, dangerous bacteria, parasites, mold and
fungus in and on agricultural products. It does not make food radioactive,
any more than getting a dental X-ray or passing through a metal detector
at the airport makes you or your teeth glow in the dark.
The recent deaths traced to contaminated produce served at Taco Bell restaurants
is reminiscent of the 1993 deaths of children from tainted beef served
at Jack in the Box restaurants. Back in 1997 over 25 million pounds of
hamburger was recalled by Hudson Foods in Nebraska after it was discovered
to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria. All these incidents could have
been prevented by food irradiation.
But when you mention "radiation," Americans think of things
like Hiroshima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Never mind that the process
has been deemed safe by the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug
Administration, the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease
So-called food-safety advocates warn that irradiation can produce cancer-causing
chemicals in foods while depleting them of nutrients. The same fears could
be associated with roasting, frying, boiling and broiling, not to mention
your backyard barbecue. As the CDC notes: "An overwhelming body of
scientific evidence demonstrates that irradiation does not harm the nutritional
value of food, nor does it make the foods unsafe to eat."
The CDC feels that if properly
done, food irradiation is no more dangerous than the pasteurization of
milk or the fluoridation and chlorination of drinking water, advances
in technology that have saved countless lives and prevented countless
illnesses. As the CDC said in 2005: "Food irradiation is a logical
step to reducing the burden of food borne diseases in the United States."
Three decades ago, the WHO declared: "All the toxicological studies
carried out on a large number of irradiated foods, from almost every type
of food commodity, have produced no evidence of adverse effects"
More recently irradiation was given a clean bill of health by Paisan Loaharanu,
a former director at the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization, who
said: "The safety of irradiated foods is well-established through
many toxicological studies. . . . No other food technology has gone through
more safety tests than food irradiation."
Despite all the evidence of
its safety, only about 1% of our meat and produce is irradiated while
325,000 Americans are hospitalized and 5,000 die each year from food-borne
illnesses. How many of those incidents are preventable?
Well, said Dennis Olsen, professor of animal science at Iowa State University,
"If the spinach that contained E. coli in the outbreak in September
and October had been irradiated, there would not have been 199 cases of
illness, 102 hospitalizations and three deaths."
Food for thought.
Spinach that is making the experts turn green with Anger;(December 5,
2006); Destination Sante; Health News Agency: The alert regarding fresh
spinach infected by the E.coli 0157:H7 bacteria which recently affected
26 American States, means the time has come to review the situation. The
experts are reminding people of the benefit of irradiating food.
The affair shook North America between mid-August and the beginning of
October of this year. In all, 199 people were infected by the E. coli
0157:H7 bacteria after having eaten fresh spinach. Half of them had to
be hospitalised. One in eight even suffered from haemolytic uraemic syndrome.
"The precise contamination mechanism is still being examined",
says Dr Maki at Wisconsin University. "The bacterial strain in question
was detected in fertiliser produced in four neighbouring Californian farms".
Dr Maki went on to deplore the fact that irradiation of foods is so strongly
rejected by certain groups - in particular "anti-nuclear activists
and other groups" - whereas it is recommended by the WHO, the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Atlanta CDC. All of which consider,
according to Maki, "that irradiation of food at risk could prevent
over a million infections and 50,000 hospitalisations in North America.
The time has therefore come to go beyond irrational fears and to act to
protect food safety.
E. coli outbreaks
prompt leaders to back irradiation
Farm News Iowa
A rash of food safety incidents have sickened people as close to home
as Des Moines and Cedar Falls within the past few weeks rejuvenating the
call for safer food handling methods.
The story says that the sicknesses were blamed on produce that carried
a harmful E. coli bacteria, but food safety specialists, regulators and
lawmakers say the foods could be made safer if irradiation processes were
used on all foods.
Recently, after an outbreak of E. coli that sickened hundreds in the New
Jersey area, New York Sen. Charles Schumer called on the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to trace produce to its source. Iowa Sen. Charles
Grassley was cited as saying rather than spending money to trace E. coli-tainted
produce, the government should institute irradiation to kill the bacteria
at the source.
The FDA has approved irradiation of meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables
and spices, claiming that the process is safe and effective in decreasing
or eliminating harmful bacteria and pests in food. The term ¡®¡®irradiation¡¯¡¯
tends to conjure up thoughts in some people who claim the process causes
cancer and disease. However, scientists say the irradiation process does
not change the taste or nutrient content of foods, rather it extends the
shelf life of fresh foods, making foods safer.
Pasteurized Shell Eggs now available throughout western U.S.
Davidson's Pasteurized Shell Eggs
LANSING, Ill. -- In the wake of recent food safety news, Davidson's Safest
Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs, pasteurized to eliminate dangerous egg-related
Salmonella bacteria, are now available at Safeway, Vons, and Pavilions
supermarkets throughout California, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.
Davidson's Pasteurized Shell Eggs ( http://www.safeeggs.com ) undergo
an all natural patented pasteurization process that destroys harmful bacteria
including Salmonella enteritidis (SE), the main egg-related Salmonella
bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), each year more than 118,000 egg-related Salmonella cases are confirmed,
and many more are underreported or misdiagnosed.
The rise in consumer demand for pasteurized shell eggs throughout the
Western U.S. is indicative of a similar trend in foodservice and institutional
settings, according to Greg West, president of National Pasteurized Eggs
(NPE), which produces the Davidson's Pasteurized Shell Eggs brand. "Many
independent and chain restaurants throughout the West value the safety
and quality of pasteurized shell eggs. In fact, a growing number of healthcare,
school and foodservice entities throughout the West have recognized the
importance and safety of pasteurized shell eggs."
Facilities now using pasteurized shell eggs include major healthcare institutions
such as Cedars-Sinai Hospital Medical Center, Los Angeles, University
of California-Irvine Medical Center at Irvine, and Kaiser Permanente Hospitals
throughout Southern California, as well as leading restaurants including
Toscana in Los Angeles, Salt Creek Grill in Dana Point and the Balboa
Yacht Club in Newport Beach. Carl's Jr. Restaurants and FATBURGER restaurants
have also implemented the product throughout all of their restaurants
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimates more than 2.3 million
eggs contaminated with SE were sold last year, exposing a large number
of people to risk of illness. The risk of complications from egg-related
Salmonella is even greater for the 60 million Americans who are part of
the highly susceptible population, including children under 10, pregnant
women, those over 50 and those with compromised immune systems. To be
certain shell eggs are safe, the FDA recommends in the US Food Code to
cook eggs until the yolks are hard, or to use pasteurized shell eggs in
all dishes calling for lightly cooked or raw eggs.
Safety Job Information
Safety Job Information
after restaurant illness outbreak
WISH - Indianapolis, IN
In a 24-Hour News 8 exclusive interview one of the women suing Olive Garden
talked about the outbreak that sickened hundreds of people after eating
at the restaurant in Castleton.
She wants the restaurant and even health officials to look at the way
the outbreak was handled. She says her family should never have been exposed
to the virus in the first place.
Diana Redman says she spent days vomiting, cramping and not eating after
she had dinner at the Olive Garden restaurant in Castleton. She spoke
first to 24-Hour News 8. Now a week later and feeling better she's filing
"I had to miss work and a Christmas party on Saturday. It wasn't
just a 24 hour flu, it was pretty intense," Diana said.
The doors to the restaurant are back open and there are cars in the parking
lot. The restaurant went through several thorough cleanings after health
officials say upwards of 400 people reported illnesses.
"They should have shut themselves down. They shouldn't have waited
for the Board of Health to do it on a Friday so that me and my family
of five should never have been exposed to what we were exposed to,"
24-Hour News 8 spoke with Olive Garden company officials out of Orlando,
Florida. The company issued this statement, "We have not seen the
lawsuit so we can't comment on it. But we can say we've always demonstrated
a great deal of respect and caring for our guests."
"I think the lawsuit gets their attention to make changes happen,"
Diana hopes the lawsuit will prompt a quicker response should the norovirus
ever show up in the restaurant again.
Diana says her daughter was also sick for several days.
Restaurant officials say they disinfected three times both Wednesday and
Thursday of last week and then over the weekend.
Still, Diana says it should've been shut down well before then.
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
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
FOOD SAFETY HELP FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
Source of Article:
GLOBAL: Agencies agree plan for food safety, animal/plant health assistance.
Five international organizations have set up a new medium term strategy
to help developing countries implement internationally-agreed standards
for food safety and animal and plant health.
The strategy will strengthen the Standards and Trade Development Facility
(STDF) to assist developing countries implement international sanitary
and phytosanitary (SPS) standards.
To date, the STDF has approved 23 projects and 21 project-preparation
grants benefiting developing and least developed countries.
The STDF was created in 2002 as a trust fund by five organizations: UN
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Bank, World Health
Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and World
Trade Organization (WTO).
This followed a joint commitment made at WTO's Ministerial Conference
in Doha in November 2001. The STDF is administered by the WTO.
The new strategy for the STDF places greater emphasis on coordinating,
mobilizing funds and identifying and disseminating best practice in the
provision of SPS-related technical cooperation and capacity building.
With increasing funds going into SPS-related technical cooperation projects,
identifying and implementing good practices will benefit to donors and
recipients alike, the OIE said.
So far, 11 donors have committed funds to the STDF. With a new operating
strategy in place, it is hoped that the annual funding target of US$5
million will be met.
The medium term strategy also sees a role for the STDF to act as a vehicle
to administer grants, with project-preparation grants being used to attract
funds from the wider donor community.
turns onto 'recovery' road
A national poll done for USA Today was cited as finding that about 1 in
3 frequent fast-food customers say they plan to eat less often at Taco
Bell ? or not at all ? as a result of the chain's recent E. coli outbreak.
Yet the online poll, by food service research firm Sandelman & Associates,
shows fast-food eaters are satisfied with how Taco Bell (YUM) handled
the crisis in which 71 people fell ill after eating at the Mexican-style
chain. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed rate Taco Bell's actions
after the outbreak as "good," "very good" or "excellent."
Bob Sandelman, CEO of the research firm, was quoted as saying, "It's
clearly affecting their business. But Taco Bell appears to be on the road
Other chains, including McDonald's and Burger King, were affected to a
lesser degree by E. coli outbreaks.
The poll of 311 people who eat fast food at least once a month ? and were
aware of the E. coli at fast-food chains ? was conducted Dec. 15-18. It
noted that federal health officials suspect lettuce as the probable cause
of the outbreaks at Taco Bell and that the outbreaks had been limited
to four states, with no cases reported since Dec. 3.
Taco Bell President Greg Creed was cited as declining in a phone interview
to comment on Sandelman's findings but he did say that Taco Bell has been
doing its own polling since the outbreak and that 94% of people who describe
themselves as Taco Bell eaters have a "positive" view of the
brand and 82% believe the food is "safe," adding, "Given
the publicity in the marketplace, these are very good numbers."
The story says that Taco Bell's national online survey of 400 people was
done Dec. 15.
Creed was further quoted as saying, "Over the last few days, sales
have started to recover. This is a bigger issue than Taco Bell."
It's an ingredient issue, and Taco Bell will seek better industry testing
in the field, "before it comes to our restaurant." The outbreak
could have happened to anyone. It's not like we did anything wrong."
anti-E. coli feed additive
Wisconsin Ag Connection
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service has
patented a new chlorate-based compound that when added in small amounts
to cattle feed two days before slaughter significantly reduces levels
of Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 in the animals' digestive tract.
In some tests, levels fell from 100,000 E. coli cells per gram of fecal
material to 100. The agency obtained similar results with Salmonella in
swine, sheep and poultry.
The compound is added to feed at levels ranging from 0.5 percent to 5
percent of an animal's diet two days before slaughter.
The compound will be submitted to regulatory agencies soon for approval
as a feed additive.
mutation at root of norovirus outbreak in Japan
Kyodo News International
Shigeo Matsuno, a senior researcher at the National Institute of Infectious
Diseases, was cited as saying Wednesday that the record-breaking outbreaks
of gastroenteritis caused by norovirus infection across Japan may stem
from a mutation of the virus, adding, "The cause...is not eating
raw oysters...It must be human-to-human infection in most cases. It is
natural to think that the infection spread so rapidly because many people
have no immunity to the virus."
The story says that oysters and other bivalves often cause norovirus infection
because they concentrate the virus after taking it in along with plankton
in the water.
Apart from bivalve consumption, infection occurs orally when viruses in
substances excreted or vomited are somehow transmitted, and in places
where people are in close contiguity, such as nursing homes and schools.
Oral infection with only a small number of norovirus organisms -- less
than 100 --is known to cause gastroenteritis that brings stomach pain,
severe diarrhea and vomiting.
Some 3,000 medical institutions across Japan reported they treated 65,638
infected patients between Nov. 27 and Dec. 3, a record-high average of
21.8 per institution, compared with 19.8 logged in the preceding week,
also a record since the survey began in 1981.
study electrolyzed water as pathogen killer
By staff reporter
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
19/12/2006 - Electrolyzed water can be used to destroy pathogens like
E. coli in foods such as vegetables, according to new research into the
Electrolyzed water has been promoted in the past as a way of reducing
the amount of chemicals needed for cleaning in plants. It may also provide
an option to vegetable producers and processors, who were hit this year
by the public reaction to an E. coli outbreak due to contaminated spinach
in the US.
Joellen Feirtag, a University of Minnesota food scientist, has been experimenting
with electrolyzed water since April. He is using a water-based electrochemical
activation system that disinfects, cleans food and wipes out E. coli,
he said in a press release issued by the university.
"This system could be used from the farm to the retail market?for
irrigation in fields, washing in processing plants and misting in grocery
stores," he said. "The results we're seeing are phenomenal.
It's killing all bacteria and viruses. It even kills avian flu and anthrax
Electrolyzed water systems are not new. However a system originally developed
by a team of Russian scientists is unique because it produces a pH-neutral
solution that will not cause deterioration or off-flavors when sprayed
on food, Feirtag stated. The system is also environmentally friendly as
its only outputs are water and salt.
Feirtag sees great potential for the system and is working to get it into
the food industry. A few Minnesota companies are already using the system
as a test. The solution can be sprayed directly onto foods such as vegetables,
destroying bacteria like E. coli.
Earlier this year FoodProductionDaily.com reported on EAU Technologies,
a US company has made inroads in bringing its electrolysed water technology
to market as a replacement for chemical cleaners.
EAU has said its electrolyzed oxidative water technology can replace many
of the traditional methods in the processing sector now used to clean,
disinfect, hydrate and moisturise foods. The non-toxic water cuts down
on existing bacteria, virus and mold proliferation. Special generators
create acidic and alkaline fluids with the cleaning and sanitising properties.
The water eliminates pathogens in processing plants by treating not only
surface contamination but also the plant and animal foods directly.
EAU has been testing the water
production technology companies such as Tyson Foods, Whole Foods Market
and Super Saver and Water Sciences.
EAU is petitioning the Food
and Drug Administration for approval to use its disinfecting products
along the entire food chain process for fruits and vegetables.
to develop hand-held pathogen testing device
Source of Article: http://www.physorg.com/news85673661.html
Testing for deadly food, air and water pathogens may get a lot easier
and cheaper thanks to the work of a Michigan State University researcher
and his team.
Syed Hashsham, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental
Engineering and the Center for Microbial Ecology, is developing a portable,
hand-held device capable of detecting up to 50 microbial threat agents
in air, water and food.
"This device will give us the ability to measure pathogens in a manner
and at a price that really matters for human health," Hashsham said.
"If we can screen for all pathogens together, we can minimize the
Hashsham intends for the portable, hand-held device to be an all-in-one
pathogen testing center where DNA amplification and pathogen identification
will happen on the same DNA biochip. A DNA biochip has signature pieces
of DNA attached to a silica surface, similar to a computer chip, and is
about the size of a thumbnail.
Today, testing air, water or food for pathogens like cholera and dysentery
must be done one pathogen at a time. Testing for each pathogen on an individual
basis is dangerous, more expensive and time consuming. Simultaneous testing
simplifies the process, making it safer and more cost effective.
Earlier this year, Hashsham was awarded $966,608 from the 21st Century
Jobs Fund to develop and commercialize the device.
Hashsham, James Tiedje, University Distinguished Professor of crop and
soil sciences and director of the Center for Microbial Ecology, and Erdogan
Gulari, professor at the University of Michigan's Department of Chemical
Engineering, formed a cross-disciplinary team to develop this technology.
The procedure begins with sample processing that extracts DNA from all
microorganisms present in the sample. The DNA can then be introduced into
the device where it will undergo polymerase chain reaction for the selected
harmful pathogens. Polymerase chain reaction is a process that takes a
small amount of DNA and makes billions of copies so the pathogens can
be easily detected, Hashsham explained.
Most of the genetic material in any bacteria isn't harmful. For instance,
the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, responsible for the waterborne illness
cholera, has many housekeeping genes that maintain the organism, but are
not dangerous to humans by themselves. But the gene producing the cholera
toxin is harmful. These genes serve as good markers for detection. Hashsham's
device will be designed to look for such marker genes.
"This technology is rugged and highly parallel; it can analyze lots
of marker genes in a lot of samples, together with significantly lower
false positives," Hashsham said.
He said the hand-held testing device could be used anywhere that cost-effective
testing of food, water or air is needed for a number of pathogens.
"Because of the lower cost, there also will be applications in countries
where fewer resources are available for drinking water safety," Hashsham
Looking toward the future, Hashsham has been in touch with several organizations
that might be interested in the device. AquaBioChip LLC, a Lansing-based
company formed by the same team through a previous grant from the Michigan
Economic Development Corp., will test the device under field conditions.
He has a team of six graduate students and technicians working on this
device. "They are the heart of the project as well as the scientists
being trained for the future," Hashsham said. That number of employees
is likely to increase when the device gets to the commercialization stage.
Source: Michigan State University
The Record (Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo, Ontario)
Vivienne Evans of Kitchener writes to say bravo -- finally an article
that points out the relative dangers of drinking raw (unpasteurized) milk
(The Facts Are In: Raw Milk Is Dangerous, Dec. 1.
Evans says that in 1952 and 1953, I was attending school in Britain, where
lunch was provided which included drinks of unpasteurized milk.
Within a year I was diagnosed with bovine tuberculosis of the neck, and
for the next three years I had to undergo various procedures, including
a major operation to remove swollen glands. It was not a pleasant way
for a youngster to spend time.
We know so much more about food safety than we did 50 years ago, so why
are we still allowing people to play Russian roulette with their health?
Jennifer Ghent-Fuller of Waterloo
writes that organic pasteurized milk could be a substitute for those who
want to avoid the hormones and antibiotics that may be given to dairy
Although John Stuart Mill, as quoted, said that those who are harming
only themselves should not be interfered with, he was writing in a time
before universal health care.
While people who become ill from intentionally drinking raw milk may not
be harming us, they are certainly costing money to taxpayers who are funding
the cash-strapped health care system.
Eldon Yundt of Walkerton writes
that the Dec. 14 editorial, Unfit For Human Consumption, condemning the
sale of raw milk was not the usual balanced, unbiased commentary.
The writer compares raw milk with drinking poison. What a statement.
There's no question people have become sick from consuming raw milk, as
they also have from hamburger, spinach, liquor and tobacco. I do not hear
a demand that the sale of these products be banned, banished or outlawed.
Instead the government regulates them to make them as safe as possible.
I suspect the real reason behind this blanket demand to ban raw milk has
more to do with filthy lucre tha n filthy milk. Raw milk comes from a
$2,000 cow. Pasteurized milk comes from a $2,000 cow with a $25,000 quota.
It became mandatory to pasteurize milk in 1938, but comparing production
methods then with those of today is not realistic. We have stainless steel
tanks, refrigeration and plastic piping. Michael Schmidt's cows were regularly
tested and found healthy. That is more than is required of restaurants
I really believe that your editorial writer, knowingly or unknowingly,
has taken up the cudgel of the established dairy industry who wish to
curtail any competition.
It is also illegal to sell pasteurized milk outside the quota. A farmer
with more pasteurized milk than his quota cannot sell it. He cannot give
it away. He must dump it.
These laws make as much sense as your editorial, which was not up to your
usual standard of impartiality and insight.