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Internet J.Food Safety
10/08/2002
Issue 24

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FDA'S EVALUATION OF SEAFOOD HACCP PROGRAM "SHOWS SIGNIFICANT INDUSTRY PROGRESS IN HACCP IMPLEMENTATION," SAYS NFPA October 2002
National Food Processors Association (NFPA)
www.nfpa-food.org
Washington, D.C. In response to the release of an evaluation of the Food andDrug Administrations Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) program for seafood for fiscal years 2000 and 2001, Kenny Lum, Vice President of NFPAs Center for Northwest Seafood, made the following comments: "This report shows that there has been significant progress by the seafood processing industry in implementing seafood HACCP. "For each of the four years that FDA has been measuring HACCP implementation, the number of firms with no significant violations has increased, while the number of firms with violations warranting correction has decreased. In FDAs own words, this means that many firms have been correcting their deficiencies voluntarily, and that firms with no significant violations now constitute the largest group of inspected facilities. This trend highlights the efforts of the seafood industry and FDA to successfully implement HACCP programs and ensure seafood safety throughout a broad variety of products and processing systems. "NFPA strongly supports HACCP as a science-based approach to enhancing safe
food production by identifying potential safety problems and preventing their occurrence. While further work needs to be done to ensure full compliance by the seafood processing industry with HACCP requirements, NFPA agrees with FDAs assessment that the seafood HACCP program has increased the margin of safety for American consumers. NFPA is the voice of the $500 billion food processing industry on scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security, nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs

Turkey likely source of listeria
The bacterial infection may come from deli meat, health officials said. The meat's origin is unknown.

By Aparna Surendran
Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health yesterday said deli-sliced turkey meat was likely the source of the recent outbreak of listeriosis in Philadelphia and seven states since July."It appears that sliced deli turkey is very strongly associated with those that became ill," City Health Commissioner John Domzalski said yesterday. "We believe the association is strong enough that we want to get this message out to the public."Local and federal health officials have not yet determined the brand and origin of the turkey meat, Domzalski said.In Philadelphia, 12 people have gotten the illness since July; eight of them were found to have the same bacterial "outbreak" strain of listeria infection. Two have died. Nationwide, there have been 127 illnesses with 20 deaths that may have been cause by the outbreak strain. Of these, 40 people have been found to have the outbreak strain, with seven deaths. Pennsylvania leads the list of states with 14 cases. New Jersey has 4.The food histories of all the infected people were collected, Domzalski said."They were analyzed, and the way it is turning out is that those who have gotten ill with the outbreak strain overwhelmingly consumed sliced deli turkey," he said.Those at high risk for listeriosis include pregnant women, the elderly, people on medication that depress the immune system, people with chronic or autoimmune diseases, and anyone with a transplanted organ..

FRUIT, VEGGIES ILLNESS CULPRITS
The Windsor Star
Lance Gay Scripps, Howard News Service
The Center for Science in the Public Interest was cited as saying that information collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that, from 1990 to 2002, more than 18,000 confirmed cases of illness linked to eating fruits and vegetables, the leading culprits of food-borne illness. By contrast, according to the centre, 9,195 instances of illness have been traced to beef, 9,612 to poultry, 9,249 to eggs and 6,781 to seafood. "Our research indicates that contaminated produce needs an urgent government response," said Caroline Smith Dewaal, the centre's director of food safety. She said that this year, contamination of fruits and produce has become the leading culprit of food-borne illnesses, replacing beef and eggs, the leading causes in previous years. The group blamed the problem on "sloppy farm practices," such as farmers spreading manure on produce fields or using water contaminated with bacteria, like salmonella or E. coli, that only grow in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Some 40 per cent of the outbreaks were linked to pathogens that grow in animals.Dewaal said the government should mandate that all farmers follow U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements that organic farmers properly compost animal manure before spreading it on fields. Linda Harris, an extension specialist in microbial safety at the University of California-Davis and member of the Institute of Food Technologists, was cited as saying that researchers really don't know the causes of many of the outbreaks of food-borne diseases and it was not fair to blame farmers. She suggested that wild animals like rabbits, rodents and birds could be a cause of the contamination, as well as cross-contamination during processing or in kitchens. Harris said consumers need to be aware that produce can harbour food pathogens and should adopt safe-handling practices to lower the risk by scrubbing produce, separating vegetables from meats in the refrigerator and preventing cross-contamination in kitchen preparation areas. Agriculture Department surveys show that many people eat raw produce without washing it first.Because of increased emphasis on eating balanced diets, consumption of
produce has doubled over the last 20 years. "A significant amount of produce today is consumed raw. That wasn't true 30 years ago, when we were more meat, potatoes and cooked vegetables," Harris said.

Food Safety Daily News
10/07. REVIEW OF CIES INTERNATIONAL FOOD SAFETY CONFERENCE
10/07. AUDITS TO GET FOOD SAMPLING FOCUS
10/07. RECALLS REMOVE UNSAFE FOOD ITEMS
10/07. PORKY'S AND THE FARM
10/07. USDA LAYS EGG BY REQUIRING CHICKENS TO GO OUTDOORS, FARMERS
10/07. OCTOBER 7 DETAILING CHANGES TO E. COLI POLICY; NOTICE ON DIS
10/07. FRUIT, VEGGIES ILLNESS CULPRITS
10/07. WILL TOUGHER REGS AND ENFORCEMENT IMPROVE FOOD SAFETY
10/07. TESTS SUGGEST LANE COUNTY, ORE., E. COLI SPREAD THROUGH AIR
10/07. SHOULD I HEAT COLD CUTS?
10/07. SALMONELLA IN ONE-THIRD OF SWEDISH MARINATED MEAT IMPORTS: A
10/07. ADDITIONAL FOOD SAFETY TOOLS
10/07. CZECH REPUBLIC: Bread-wrapping decree may be due to bio-terr
10/06. Tricks and Treats for an Allergy-Free Halloween
10/06. Organic food companies upset by FDA missive
10/06. Vermont sees growing resistance to foods with 'GMOs'
10/05. Deer disease information fights hysteria
10/05. Turkey likely source of listeria
10/05. Perspective by Meat processing North American Edition Editor
10/05. Amid death and illness, food safety efforts struggle
10/04. Cargill Expands Beef Recall, Shuts Plant Amid E. Coli Fears
10/04. AGENCY'S POSITION ON THE POSSIBLE RISK OF BSE IN SHEEP
10/04. CLASSROOM WATER BOTTLES TURN PUTRID, STUDY FINDS
10/04. FIVE FOOD BUSINESSES SERVED CLOSURE ORDERS IN SEPTEMBER
10/04. US Investigates Food Outbreaks Linked to 20 Deaths
10/04. US Consumers Challenge Spread of Biotech Food
10/04. FOOD SAFETY EXPERT TO HEAD NTF
10/04. UNITED ISSUES FOOD SECURITY GUIDELINES FOR PRODUCE
10/04. FDA'S EVALUATION OF SEAFOOD HACCP PROGRAM "SHOWS SIGNIFICANT
10/04. COMMENTARY: Memo to Murano -- History beckons the bold in fo
10/04. Elk industry responding to CWD
10/04. Public Health provides facts on E. coli bacteria
10/04. North American Meat Processors 60th Annual Convention -
10/04. Calmar girl battles E. coli
10/04. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food Safety and Inspection Service
10/04. Publix chain recalls beef that may contain E. coli
10/04. Meat packer suspends operations due to recall

Recall Summary
10/07. Beef recalled for E. Coli
10/07. ALLERGY ALERT - Sesame seeds in SUN-BIRD brand SEASONING MIX
10/07. FDA Issues Cyber Letter to Yellow Jackets Promoter
10/07. Campbell Soup Company Issues Allergy Alert on Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
10/07. FH Superette Has Recalled Boar's Head Maple Glazed Honey Coated Turkey Breast
10/07. LIR INTERNATIONAL Has Recalled Honey Oct 7
10/07. Campbell Soup Has Recalled cream of mushroom soup Oct 7
10/06. Ohio Firm Has Recalled Salisbury Steak Oct 5
10/06. Ohio Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7
10/05. Ohio Firm Recalls Salisbury Steak Products Because Of Misbranding, Allergens
10/04. SALMONELLA OUTBREAK SUSPECTED TO BE LINKED TO FRUIT PACKAGES
10/04. Peck Meat Packing increases ground-beef recall to almost 2.8 -
10/04. ALLERGY ADVISORY - Sesame seeds in SUN-BIRD brand SEASONING MIX
10/04. Arla Foods Has Recalled Mediterra Danish Feta in Oil and Spices Oct 3
10/04. ADM Milling Has Recalled flour Oct 3
10/04. Mrs. Smith's Bakeries Has Recalled Desserts Oct 3
10/04. Caribe Tropical Has Recalled Segarra brand Lime flavor syrup Oct 3
10/04. Recall Update The Minute Maid Company Recall is Complete Oct 3
10/04. Recall Update Blue Ridge Farms Inc. Blue Cheese Potato Salad Recall is Complete Oct 3
10/04. C. Kenneth Imports HAITAI Sunny10 GRAPE SOFT DRINK Recall is Complete Oct 3
10/04. Ho's Trading Fraternity brand Banh Men Gai Coconut Cookies Recall is Complete Oct 3
10/04. Recall Update McCormick and Company Recall is Complete Oct 3
10/04. Wisconsin Firm Has Recalled Additional Ground Beef Oct 2

OUTBREAKS
10/07. FOOD POISONING PROBE
10/07. ISLAND CHEESE SCARE CONTINUES
10/07. TESTS SUGGEST LANE COUNTY, ORE., E. COLI SPREAD THROUGH AIR
10/07. Turkey likely source of listeria
10/06. AUSTRALIA: Listeria outbreak in meat factory forces meat goo
10/05. Mystery food poisoning outbreak
10/05. Case of food poisoning closes restaurant
10/04. MYSTERY MALADY
10/04. SALMONELLA OUTBREAK SUSPECTED TO BE LINKED TO FRUIT PACKAGES
10/04. Salmonella cases estimated at 90

Rapid strike on food bacteria By Joe Leahy

As the world contemplates another possible conflict with Iraq, technology used by Nato troops to detect biological attacks in the Gulf war is close to finding its way to more peaceful uses, writes Joe Leahy.Alaska Food Diagnostics, the joint venture between Circus Capital and DSTL, is using the Ministry of Defence's "AK Phage" technology to develop a rapid test for harmful bacteria in food.The technology takes three to eight hours to test for E. coli, salmonella and listeria, using a small piece of on-site equipment. Conventional methods require samples to be sent away to a laboratory for three to seven days."For the same price, you can now do the test in a matter of hours rather than days," says Harvey Boulter of Circus.The technology could revolutionise the $1bn (40m) a year food hygiene industry. For the first time, products such as milk could be tested before being taken to supermarket shelves.Alaska's chief executive, Malcolm Walpole, says the UK's Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) and several multinationals have expressed interest in the technology.The company is now working on adapting the test to a wide variety of food types and on developing the equipment.Circus and DSTL are also hoping to market the agency's "cold plasma" technology - a new method of water- and stain-proofing substances.Originally developed to protect troops from a biological attack, the technology lowers the surface energy of a substance to near the theoretical minimum so that it becomes nearly 100 per cent resistant to water or stains.Ties treated with the technology are resistant to coffee or wine spills, cotton shirts repel water better than a raincoat, goggles do not fog up."We've coated mobile phones in a laboratory and you can throw them into a bucket of water and still ring them," says Mr Boulter. The partners are talking to Japanese golf wear company Des-cente and yacht-wear maker Musto, among others, about licensing the technology.Circus's other partnerships with the Ministry of Defence include an unobtrusive, 15-minute test for BSE (mad cow disease).The test, developed to detect ailments such as Gulf war syndrome, analyses a live animal's brainwaves using a handheld device. Currently, animals can be tested for BSE only in a laboratory, after being slaughtered.DSTL is also working with the UK Department of Health on a rapid test for the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia.

ISLAND CHEESE SCARE CONTINUES
October 7, 2002
The Daily News (Nanaimo)
Christiana Wiens
COURTENAY - The Vancouver Island Health Authority is, according to this
story, still warning residents to throw out all Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Ltd. cheeses as the number of sick people continue to grow. Five of the 68 clinical cases of illness have been reported to the B.C.
Centre of Disease Control come from the Comox Valley.
Medical health officer Dr. Brian Emerson was quoted as saying, "Those are
people who have eaten the cheese and developed some type of symptoms."
Only 88 per cent of all the people with symptoms ate the company's Tiny Tomme cheese product, which was the original line of cheeses suspected to carry a bacteria that causes Listeriosis in humans.Twelve per cent ate other Little Qualicum Cheesework Cheeses. The disease can cause diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain and chills and can cause
meningitis and miscarriages in pregnant women. Health officials are still investigating how the bacteria got into the cheese, since the company uses pasteurized milk.
The cheeses were sold locally at six Valley grocery stores including the Courtenay Country Market, Edible Island, the Hornby Island Co-op store,
Quality Foods and the Union Bay Market.The story says that the Little Qualicum cheeses shouldn't be confused with the award-winning locally produced Natural Pastures cheeses.

USDA/FDA News

Request Approval of Labeling for Foods That Have Been Treated By Irradiation

Guidance on Bulk Transport of Juice Concentrates and Certain Shelf Stable Juices

E. coli O157:H7 Contamination of Beef Products

Guidance for Industry: Exemptions From the Warning Label

Requirement for Juice
Standardized Training Curriculum for Application of HACCP Principles to Juice Processing

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