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pest expert to help fight New York rats (Update3)
Josh Fineman and Courtney Dentch
Yum! Brands Inc. was cited as saying it hired a pest-control expert to
monitor the company's standards in New York City after some Taco Bell,
KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants were closed because of rat and mice infestation.
Robert Corrigan will make recommendations on how the locations can combat
the rodents, the Louisville, Kentucky- based company said today in a statement.
He is president of a pest-management consulting firm and the author of
"Rodent Control: A Practical Guide for Pest Management Professionals."
Restaurants Shut in Rat Scandal
Thursday, March 01, 2007
By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer
Source of Article: http://www.foxnews.com/
NEW YORK The parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut said it had
temporarily closed several New York City restaurants owned by the franchisee
that operated a Manhattan eatery overrun last week by rats.
In a statement issued late Wednesday, Yum Brands Inc. said the restaurants
would remain closed until they underwent new inspections by the city's
"We will not compromise on our food and restaurant quality,"
said Emil Brolick, a Yum Brands executive.
The company's actions were aimed at the ADF Companies, a Fairfield, N.J.-based
group that owns more than 350 fast food restaurants in several states.
It is among the nation's largest operators of Pizza Huts.
An ADF-owned KFC/Taco Bell was closed by New York health inspectors last
week after TV news crews peering through the windows recorded about a
dozen rats skittering across the floors and climbing on tables and countertops.
The restaurant wasn't open at the time, and officials later said construction
in the basement might have stirred up the rodents.
The video, still circulating on the Internet, also brought shame on the
city for giving a passing grade to the restaurant during a health inspection
one day earlier.
ADF President Don Harty issued a statement Thursday apologizing to customers.
"We are embarrassed by the situation and stress that certain restaurants
did not meet the very high standards that we set for ourselves,"
ADF spokeswoman Marissa Smith said she didn't know exactly how many of
the company's 20 restaurants in New York City had closed but described
it as "a handful." The closures did not extend to other states,
It was unclear how quickly the restaurants might reopen. Smith said each
was getting a rigorous new inspection.
Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said the city's failure to immediately
shut the Greenwich Village KFC/Taco Bell after learning of the rat problem
was unacceptable. The inspector who conducted the initial review has been
temporarily removed from field duty.
Frieden also said that other restaurant inspectors could expect a thorough
analysis of their work in the coming weeks.
Clinton and Lautenberg call for evaluation of food safety system
Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton
Washington, DC -- With reports of declining food safety inspections, Senators
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Frank R. Lautenberg today emphasized the urgent
need to investigate and address problems in our food safety system. In
a letter to the heads of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA), Senators Clinton and Lautenberg reiterated their call for creation
of a multi-agency food safety task force to report to Congress what changes
in law and regulations are needed to ensure the safety of our food supply
and prevent future outbreaks.
"It is deeply troubling that food safety inspections are on the decline
despite repeated and widespread outbreaks of food borne illness affecting
New Yorkers and people all over the country. It is critical that we take
a hard look at our food safety system and make the changes needed to ensure
the safety and security of our food supply," said Senator Clinton.
"We have to take every precaution to make sure our food is protected,"
said Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. "Recent outbreaks of E. Coli and
other food borne illnesses are proof that the federal government needs
to do a better job of making America's food supply safer. We can't wait
for the next outbreak before we take action."
Following the outbreak of E.coli poisoning that sickened hundreds of people
on Long Island and throughout New York and New Jersey, Senators Clinton
and Lautenberg joined with colleagues from other affected states in calling
on the agencies to create a joint task force to examine the cause of the
outbreaks and needed changes in our food safety system. To date, these
agencies have not responded to this request.
cases hit 370
ATLANTA -- Federal health officials were cited as saying Tuesday that
the number of illnesses resulting from salmonella contamination in jars
of peanut butter has climbed to 370, up from 329 confirmed cases last
week. Forty-two states have confirmed cases, according to the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention.
ConAgra Foods Inc. on Feb. 14 recalled all Peter Pan and Great Value peanut
butter made at its Sylvester, Ga., plant after federal health officials
linked the product to an outbreak of an unusual type of salmonella that
has sickened people since August.
FDA and CDC
Remind Consumers of the Dangers of Drinking Raw Milk
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) are reminding consumers of the dangers of drinking
milk that has not been pasteurized, known as raw milk. Raw milk potentially
contains a wide variety of harmful bacteria ? including Salmonella, E.
coli O157:H7, Listeria, Campylobacter and Brucella ? that may cause illness
and possibly death.
Consuming raw milk may be harmful to health. From 1998 to May 2005 CDC
identified 45 outbreaks of foodborne illness that implicated unpasteurized
milk, or cheese made from unpasteurized milk. These outbreaks accounted
for 1,007 illnesses, 104 hospitalizations, and two deaths. This is based
on information in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for the
week of March 2, 2007. The actual number of illnesses was almost certainly
higher because not all cases of illness are recognized and reported.
Consumers who become ill after consuming raw milk, and pregnant women
who believe they consumed contaminated raw milk or cheese made from raw
milk, should see a doctor or other health care provider immediately.
Symptoms of illness caused by raw milk vary depending on which harmful
bacteria are present. Symptoms may include but are not limited to: vomiting,
diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache and body ache.
Most healthy people will recover from illness caused by harmful bacteria
in raw milk or in foods made with raw milk within a short period of time.
But some individuals can develop symptoms that are chronic, severe, or
even life-threatening. Illnesses caused by pathogens found in raw milk
can be especially severe for pregnant women, the elderly, infants, young
children and people with weakened immune systems.
Since 1987, in order to better protect consumers from such risks, FDA
has required all milk packaged for human consumption be pasteurized before
being delivered for introduction into interstate commerce. Pasteurization,
a process that heats milk to a specific temperature for a set period of
time, kills bacteria responsible for diseases such as listeriosis, salmonellosis,
campylobacteriosis, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diphtheria and brucellosis.
FDA's pasteurization requirement also applies to other milk products,
with the exception of a few aged cheeses.
Proponents of drinking raw milk often claim that raw milk is more nutritious
than pasteurized milk and that raw milk is inherently antimicrobial, thus
making pasteurization unnecessary. Research has shown that these claims
are myths. There is no meaningful nutritional difference between pasteurized
and raw milk, and raw milk does not contain compounds that will kill harmful
In fact, raw milk, no matter how carefully produced, may be unsafe. The
CDC, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics,
the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments, the National Association
of State Departments of Agriculture, the Association of Food and Drug
Officials and other organizations have endorsed the pasteurization of
milk and restriction of the sale of products containing raw milk. Because
even pasteurized milk contains low levels of nonpathogenic bacteria that
can cause food to spoil, it is important to keep pasteurized milk refrigerated.
coli O157:H7 infection associated with drinking raw milk --Washington
Morbiditiy & Mortality Weekly
During the week of December 5, 2005, public health officials in Clark
County, Washington, were notified of four county residents with laboratory-confirmed
Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection. All four residents reported having
consumed raw (i.e., unpasteurized) milk obtained from a farm in neighboring
Cowlitz County, Washington. The farm participated in a cow-share program,
in which persons purchase interests in, or shares of, dairy cows in return
for a portion of the milk produced.* The farm had five dairy cows and
regularly provided raw milk to shareholders. Although the sale of raw
milk and cow-share agreements are illegal in certain states, they are
legal in Washington; however, Washington farms that provide raw milk to
consumers must be licensed, meet state milk-production and processing
standards, and pass health and sanitation inspections by the state department
of agriculture (1). The Cowlitz County farm was not licensed. This report
summarizes the investigation of E. coli O157:H7 cases associated with
the farm and reinforces previous warnings about the health hazards of
consuming raw milk. more
Safety/Quality JOB Information
Move to Safeguard Food Supply: Approve Irradiation of Produce!:
Council on Science & Health (February 12, 2007):
Source of Article: Food Irradiation Update (March 2007)
Does anyone at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ever watch the PBS
program ¡°The News Hour?¡± They certainly should on February 8 the program¡¯s
segment on food irradiation gave ample reason for the agency to approve
irradiation of produce to kill illness-causing (pathogenic) bacteria.
A decade ago, the usual culprits for bacteria-related food-borne illness
were foods such as meat and poultry. There were numerous outbreaks of
illness and indeed some deaths?from foods contaminated by E. coli, salmonella
and campylobacter, to name just a few. Of late, however, we have seen
E. coli contamination of plant-derived foods such as alfalfa sprouts,
green onions, and most recently spinach and lettuce. Since these foods
are consumed raw, there is no opportunity to kill bacteria with heat,
and washing doesn¡¯t remove bacteria that the plants may have taken up
from contaminated soils. But irradiation can kill such bacteria?without
significantly altering the foods.
Anti-technology activists have fomented unwarranted fears about irradiation,
ranging from concerns that the process will make foods radioactive (it
doesn¡¯t) to charges that food producers will not keep their facilities
clean if they know their foods will be irradiated for safety. This latter
concern is really old?it was a charge made against the introduction of
heat pasteurization to kill bacteria in milk back in the 1920s. It wasn¡¯t
true of dairies, and it won¡¯t be true of other food producers either.
Irradiation technology has been used in the U.S. for decades to sterilize
products ranging from baby bottle nipples to surgeons¡¯ gloves the process
is well understood and well-controlled. There is no danger to workers
or to the community in which irradiators are located.
In order for produce purveyors to use irradiation to safeguard their products,
a petition to allow such a use must be submitted to and approved by the
FDA. Such a petition has been languishing at the FDA for six years, according
to information presented in the PBS report.
ACSH applauds PBS for presenting accurate information about the utility
and safety of food irradiation. At a time when most public health experts
are encouraging Americans to consume more plant-based foods, it is increasingly
important to make sure that such food is as safe as possible. The ball
is in the FDA¡¯s court irradiation to protect the safety of produce should
be approved without further delay.
However, other critics contend that the use of this technology will mask
the underlying problems in food manufacturing, which produce bacteria
in the first place. That is, if food is irradiated, food producers will
not pay attention to maximizing food safety in the manufacturing process.
for Con Agra
Posted on March 4, 2007 by Salmonella Lawyer
Vietnam recalls US peanut butter suspected of causing typhoid
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
Vietnam authorities are set to recall peanut butter brands imported from
the US Monday after cases of infection with bacterium salmonella ? linked
as a causative agent for typhoid were reported in the US. Authorities
are to withdraw from circulation 24 jars of peanut butter bearing the
brand names ¡°Peter Pan¡± and ¡°Great Value¡± distributed to the Vietnamese
market by Hanoi-based Bao Quang Company. The firm has imported a total
of 720 jars, and the remaining products are still in stock. Salmonella
can also cause food poisoning and intestinal inflammation. The decision
to recall the products were prompted by a recent announcement by the US
Embassy in Hanoi that the butter has caused 290 people in the US to be
infected with salmonella, with 46 hospitalized. So far, no cases of typhoid
infection from the sandwich and toast spread have been reported in Vietnam.
Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
Paul C. DeLeo, Franklin Twp., Chester County writes that he was perplexed
by "Food worries rise as inspections fall," Feb. 27.
The Inquirer article, which said the Food and Drug Administration has
reduced the number of food safety inspections by nearly 50 percent over
the last three years, coincided with an announcement by the agency that
it planned to close seven of its 13 field labs, including one in Philadelphia.
Apparently, the American public is not getting its Recommended Daily Allowance
of E. coli and salmonella.
More troubling to those of us who live in the Delaware Valley, the FDA
lab in Philadelphia will be closed. This lab has pharmaceutical testing
expertise integral to the international competitiveness of one our biggest
industries. If the leaders at FDA are permitted to continue with their
shortsighted ways, the American public will see reduced safety of its
food, drugs and medical devices, and the drug industry will lose a resource
that helps support the profits and jobs that fuel our region's economy.
to cut mycotoxins from cereal ingredients
Source of Article: http://www.bakeryandsnacks.com/
28/02/2007 - Codes of practice to help UK farmers reduce the levels of
mycotoxins in cereals could improve the safety of the ingredient supply
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) codes, which are targeted at establishing
better production through changes to cultivation and storage practices,
come in response to a new EU recommendation.
As the regulatory body for food safety in the UK, the FSA is responsible
for the implementation and application of EU legislation.
Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by some fungi, and can be hazardous
to human and animal health, even at low concentrations.
Mycotoxins can be present our diet as a result of the growth of specific
fungi on food crops, either in the field or in storage.
The first code of practice deals with the reduction of fusarium mycotoxins
in the field, while the second details practices to minimise the formation
of ochratoxin A in stored grain.
The two documents were produced under the FSA research project 'Code of
Practice to reduce fusarium and ochratoxin A in cereals'.
In December, the FSA proposed a more harmonised approach to the enforcement
of contaminants levels across the EU, which would help to promote consistent
regulation by reducing uncertainty or dispute in interpreting results
The draft Contaminants in Food (England) Regulations 2007 would provide
enforcement authorities and industry with the necessary legal framework
to ensure compliance with EU measures setting maximum levels for specific
The EU-wide directive on contaminants is part of the legislative push
to increase the safety of the food chain, by cutting down the levels of
chemical residues found in products, including those used as pesticides
or as part of the processing cycle.
The European Commission revised the directive last year to widen the scope
of limits on heavy metals and mycotoxins in foods, among other changes.
The new regulation consolidated and replaced European Commission regulation
466/2001 and its previous amendments.
The Commission is also in the process of replacing the sampling and analysis
directives with new regulations. The proposals set maximum levels for
nitrates in spinach, lettuce, baby foods and processed cereal based food
for infants and young children.
strain may offer end to food allergies
By Stephen Daniells
Source of Article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
- Non-pathogenic gut bacteria, bioengineered to produce a compound that
regulates immune response in the gut, may offer significant potential
for beating food allergies, if results from an animal study can be translated
Authors Christophe Frossard and Philippe Eigenmann from the University
Hospital of Geneva in collaboration with Lothar Steidler from University
College Cork bioengineered a strain of Lactococcus lactis to produce anti-inflammatory
interleukin-10 (IL-10), a potential regulator for food tolerance.
Writing in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Frossard reports
that oral administration of this non-pathogenic strain effectively reduced
food-induced anaphylaxis (severe allergic response) in mice and suppressed
the production of an antibody capable of initiating the most powerful
"These findings open interesting potential options in human beings
for the prevention of allergies elicited through sensitization in the
gut," wrote the authors in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Indeed, corresponding author, Dr. Philippe Eigenmann told FoodNavigator.com:
"The potential for the industry is to use in "health" foods
probiotics that are engineered to be better tolerance inductor. The big
question is how will be accepted by the consumer."
An estimated four per cent of adults and eight per cent of children in
the 380m EU population suffer from food allergies, according to the European
Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations.
The researchers used a mouse model of food allergy to test their hypothesis
that oral administration of Lactococcus lactis bioengineered to secrete
murine IL-10 could inhibit and/or stop sensitisation.
The mice were sensitised to beta-lactoglobulin in the presence of cholera
toxin and then given the L. lactis IL-10-secreting strain. The researchers
report that anaphylaxis was reduced significantly, while blood levels
of antigen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) ? an antibody subclass capable
of initiating the most powerful immune reactions- were also significantly
Moreover, production of antigen-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the
"These results suggest that a microorganism bioengineered to deliver
IL-10 in the gut can decrease food-induced anaphylaxis and provide an
option to prevent IgE-type sensitization to common food allergens,"
state the researchers.
Further research is ongoing and Dr. Eigenmann told this website: "The
research has been extended to patients with inflammatory colitis in whom
the microorganism is well tolerated (phase I trial), and there is some
indication that it is also effective for treatment.
"The challenge is going to phase two human trials for prevention,
but also for treatment of food allergy," he said.
Allergen labelling regulations that came into force on 25 November require
companies to label all pre-packed foods if they contain any of the 12
listed allergenic foods as an ingredient.
The mandatory inclusion on food labels of the most common food allergen
ingredients and their derivatives covers cereals containing gluten, fish,
crustaceans, egg, peanut, soybeans, milk and dairy products including
lactose, nuts, celery, mustard, sesame seed, and sulphites.
Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (Elsevier)
Published on-line ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2006.12.615
"Oral administration of an IL-10-secreting Lactococcus lactis strain
prevents food-induced IgE sensitization"
Authors: C.P. Frossard, L. Steidler, P.A. Eigenmann
to Diagnose -- and Prevent -- Foodborne Illness; American Council
on Science & Health (February 23, 2007)
Source of Article: Food Irradiation Update (March 2007)
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the new <http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8NDHA204.htm>
E. Coli diagnostic test called ImmunoCard Stat. The approval of this test
is timely given the recent E. coli outbreaks in the American food supply.
In the fall of 2006, an E. coli outbreak linked to contaminated packages
of California spinach caused three deaths and over 200 infections in twenty-six
In December of 2006, at least thirty-nine <http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.887/news_detail.asp>
people in New York and New Jersey became ill after consuming E. coli-contaminated
food from Taco Bell restaurants.
E. coli can be a serious threat to human health. It is transmitted to
humans primarily through consumption of contaminated foods, such as raw
or undercooked ground meat products, contaminated produce, and raw milk.
Symptoms caused by E. coli include abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which
may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhea. Fever and vomiting may
E. coli isn't the only pathogen to invade our food supply. In the past
week, four food products have been recalled due to contamination. On February
19, Oscar Meyer chicken breast strips were recalled after samples tested
positive for listeria, a bacteria that can cause serious illness. On February
16, Dole Fresh Fruit Co. recalled cantaloupes imported from Costa Rica
after some were found to be contaminated with salmonella. On that same
day, certain jars of Earth's Best Organic 2 Apple Peach Barley Wholesome
Breakfast baby food were also recalled because they may be contaminated
with Clostridium botulinum, the causative agent of potentially lethal
On February 14, ConAgra Foods Inc. recalled its Peter Pan peanut butter
and batches of Wal-Mart's Great Value peanut butter after they were linked
to the salmonella outbreak that caused illness in approximately 300 people
in thirty-nine states.
Numerous safety measures are in use at every level of the American food
supply chain. Yet, despite this, roughly 5,000 Americans die every year
due to foodborne illness, according to the CDC. Please see our publication
Avoiding Foodborne Illness.
It appears more could be done to ensure food safety in America. Food irradiation
is a measure that could greatly reduce illness from foodborne pathogens
and make our already safe food supply even safer. Irradiation has been
approved by the FDA as a method to increase the safety of fresh and frozen
meat, poultry, shell eggs, crustaceans, and dried food. It is used widely
to kill pathogens in spices, vegetable seasonings, and, to a certain extent,
ground beef and poultry. Food irradiation can also be used with fresh
produce. In the past decade, produce has been responsible for more foodborne
illness than meat or poultry. Unfortunately, food <http://www.acsh.org/factsfears/newsID.865/news_detail.asp>
irradiation for fresh produce has only been approved for killing insects
and to delay spoilage and sprouting, not for pathogen control. Food irradiation
is a safe and effective tool that should be more widely used to protect
from foodborne illnesses.
Molly Lee is the Earhart Foundation Research Associate at the American
Council on Science and Health
56 salmonella cases in Sierra Vista since September
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- Health officials were cited as saying they still
don't know the cause of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least
56 Sierra Vista residents since September.
Officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
have been in the area since January trying to figure out where the victims
came down with the infection. They've interviewed people who came down
with the food-borne illness and their friends and family.
Sickens More Than 100 at N.J. University
Monday, March 05, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,256647,00.html
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. ? Fairleigh Dickinson University's Florham Park campus
was recovering Monday from a norovirus outbreak that sickened more than
100 students last week, school officials said. The 24-hour virus hit campus
Wednesday, with students falling sick Thursday and Friday, university
spokesman Art Petro said.
A dozen students were treated at area hospitals for dehydration, then
released. Six faculty and staff members also were sickened, Petro said.
The virus is spread person-to-person and virus causes flu-like systems
including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Cleaning crews were sent into dormitory bath rooms and dining halls, and
the recreation center and pool were shut down for 24 hours for cleaning.
The campus has about 2,200 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students.
closes Washington-area hotel
ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Hyatt Regency Crystal City hotel, near Ronald Reagan
National Airport was, according to this story, closed for cleaning Thursday
night after as many as 150 guests were sickened by the highly contagious
Diana Sun, an Arlington County spokeswoman, was cited as saying that illnesses
were first reported Monday by people who attended two conferences at the
Jean-Marc Dizard, the hotel's general manager, was quoted as saying, "The
hotel, top to bottom, will be disinfected and cleaned ? wall to wall.
All the guest rooms, the kitchens and the banquet facilities."
on Peanut Butter Recall
Salmonella found in the ConAgra Plant
As a follow-up to the recent
Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) is conducting an extensive inspection of ConAgra's Sylvester, Georgia
processing plant. Samples collected by the FDA revealed the presence of
Salmonella. The fact that FDA found Salmonella in the plant environment
further suggests that the contamination likely took place prior to the
product reaching consumers. Last week, tests by several states identified
Salmonella in many open jars of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter
recovered from consumers. In these instances, the Salmonella found in
the plant and in the open jars matched the outbreak strain recovered from
consumers who became ill.
Peanut Butter Toppings Part
FDA has learned that the ConAgra
plant in Sylvester, GA, sent bulk Peter Pan peanut butter to its plant
in Humboldt, TN. The three brands described below are part of the original
Peter Pan recall. These brands have been recalled and are no longer being
sold. However, some consumers may still have these products in their home.
Consumers who have any of the
products listed below should discard them. Individuals who are not sure
if the purchased product contains the recalled peanut butter topping should
contact the store where the product was purchased.
The bulk peanut butter was
used to make the following toppings:
Sonic Brand Ready-To-Use Peanut
Butter Topping in 6 lb. 10.5 oz cans. Sonic outlets used the topping until
2/16/07, when the product was recalled.
The topping was used in the following Sonic products:
- Peanut Butter Shake
- Peanut Butter Fudge Shake
- Peanut Butter Sundae
- Peanut Butter Fudge Sundae
Carvel Peanut Butter Topping in 6 lb. 10 oz. cans. Carvel used the topping
until 2/16/07, when the product was recalled.
The topping was used in the following Carvel ice cream products:
- Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Peanut Butter Treasure
- Peanut Butter & Jelly
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Sundae Dasher
- Any other customized products containing the Peanut Butter Topping,
including peanut butter flavored ice cream in ice cream cakes
J. Hungerford Smith Peanut Butter Dessert Topping in 6 lb. 10 oz. cans:
This topping may be used by retail and restaurant outlets throughout the
United States but is not available for direct purchase by the public.
Recall Status and More Information
ConAgra informed the public
that it is recalling all Peter Pan peanut butter and all Great Value peanut
butter beginning with product code 2111. The company's recall extends
to products made since December 2005. FDA's advice to consumers continues
to be not to eat any Peter Pan peanut butter or any Great Value peanut
butter beginning with the 2111 product code.
FDA will provide updates on
recalled products, including any other products that may have been made
with potentially contaminated peanut butter and distributed to consumers.
Symptoms of foodborne illness
caused by Salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In
persons with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems, Salmonella
can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections or death.
Individuals who have recently eaten peanut butter-containing products
from these companies and who have experienced any of these symptoms should
contact their doctor or health care provider immediately and report the
illnesses to their state or local health authorities. Similarly, institutional
food establishments and other food service providers who have received
reports of illness from consumers after they consumed a product containing
this peanut butter are encouraged to share that information with their
local health department.
FDA is continuing to work closely
with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and with states and
local officials to identify how the contamination occurred in order to
prevent similar foodborne illness outbreaks.
New Chromogenic RAPID'Listeria
spp. Validated for Full Results in Just 48 hrs
RAPID' Listeria spp. has received AFNOR approval according to ISO 16140
requirements, and is the first chromogenic medium to be validated for
the detection of Listeria spp. in environmental and food samples.
The new RAPID'Listeria
spp. method provides laboratories with a rapid and economical solution
for Listeria spp. detection, with full results in just 48 hrs.
RAPID'Listeria spp. has been specifically developed for the detection
of all Listeria species in just 24 hrs, after 24 hrs of enrichment, from
environmental samples and food. During an inclusivity study, Listeria
innocua, L. monocytogenes, L. welshimeri, L. seeligeri, L. ivanovii and
L. grayi presented typical blue-green colonies after 24 hrs of incubation.
The chromogenic reaction is based on the specific beta-glucosidase activity
of Listeria. The selectivity of the medium inhibits most of the interfering
flora and the nutritiousness of the medium provides rapid growth and identification
of Listeria spp. in 24 hrs.
Reading and differentiation are very easy thanks to the good contrast
between blue-green Listeria colonies and the whitish agar.
The RAPID'Listeria spp. detection method requires a single enrichment
step in ¨ö Fraser for 24 hrs. Then 0.1 ml of ¨ö Fraser is removed, spread
and isolated on RAPID' Listeria spp. agar, before being incubated for
gives global approval to the
PATHATRIX¢ç system from Matrix MicroScience
for rapid Pathogen testing
Foods has announced the global approval of the PATHATRIX¢ç rapid pathogen
testing system from Matrix MicroScience.
The Kraft Foods Microbiology and Food Safety team have performed an extensive
evaluation of the performance of PATHATRIX¢ç technology from Matrix MicroScience
at various Kraft locations in both the US and Europe. As a result, the
approved Listeria and Salmonella PATHATRIX¢ç Pooling kits have now been
as official Kraft Foods methods and will be included in their Global Microbiological
Methods Manual. This means that Kraft approved testing laboratories, suppliers
co-manufacturers can use the method.
The PATHATRIX¢ç Pooling products are AOAC-RI approved for a variety of
pathogens and food types, including difficult sample matrices, and are
used by a number of large multi-national companies and government laboratories
North America & Europe.
Dr Adrian Parton C.E.O., Matrix MicroScience said, ¡°Matrix is delighted
that such a
high quality global company as Kraft Foods has chosen to integrate the
system into their HACCP and quality assurance programs.¡±
Dr. Paul A. Hall, VP ? Global Business Development, Matrix MicroScience
¡°Matrix is proud to be associated with a company of the calibre of Kraft
has a long heritage of technology innovation in quality and food safety
and this is
another example of their dedication in that area.¡±
Kraft Foods (NYSE:KFT)
Kraft Foods is the world¡¯s second-largest food and beverage company with
revenues of more than $34 billion. With approximately 94,000 employees
operations in 70 countries worldwide, the Kraft brand portfolio is one
of the strongest of
any packaged goods company. More than 50 brands have annual revenues of
$100 million and there are 7 brands with over $1 billion in annual revenues
has been a company built on innovation and continues to be dedicated to
Matrix is a highly innovative company focused on the development of diagnostics
the rapid detection of food-borne pathogens such as Salmonella spp., Listeria
Campylobacter spp. E.sakazakii, MAP and E.coli O157. Matrix has achieved
AOAC RI approvals for a range of its products. Matrix MicroScience is
organization with offices, research and production facilities in Newmarket,
and Denver in the USA.
provides insight of natural preservatives for fresh-cut apple market
Nova Scotia Agricultural College
There has been a steady increase in consumer demand for convenient and
nutritious minimally processed produce like fresh-cut apples. However,
the fresh-cut produce industry is challenged with potential outbreaks
of illness that could be associated with microbial growth during the extended
shelf life of these products. These current trends in the fresh-cut apple
industry have led to a growing interest in investigating natural antimicrobial
agents that are compatible with the chemical properties of post-cut dipping
solutions of fresh-cut apples.
Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe, Tree Fruit Bio-Product Research Chair and Assistant
Professor at Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) investigated the
antimicrobial effects of vanillin against pathogenic and spoilage organisms
in refrigerated fresh-cut apples. Vanillin is the predominant phytochemical
that occurs in vanilla beans and is a flavoring compound used widely in
ice cream, beverages, biscuits, chocolate and desserts. Research shows
that vanillin has antimyotic and bacteriostatic properties, which means
it potentially has the ability to destroy or kill fungi and prevent bacteria
from multiplying. According to Dr. Rupasinghe, ¡°the possibility of extending
the shelf life of certain products could potentially satisfy consumer
demand for convenient and nutritious minimally processed foods.¡±
Dr. Rupasinghe and his team studied the antimicrobial effect of vanillin
against four pathogenic organisms: E.coli, P. aeruginosa, E. aerogenes,
and S. Newport and four spoilage organisms: Candida albicans, Lactobacillus
casei, Penicillum expasum, and Sacchromyces cerevisie. These organisms
could be generally associated with contaminated fresh-cut produce. The
two apple cultivars used in this experiment were ¡°Empire¡±, and ¡°Crispin¡±
and were harvested at the commercial maturity from a commercial orchard.
The vanillin treatment was also combined with an existing fresh-cut processing
technology called NatureSeal¢â (a post-cut dip solution that contain calcium
ascorbate) that prevents enzymatic browning and softening of sliced apples.
An investigation of antimicrobial properties of vanillin when incorporated
with NatureSeal¢â could offer new opportunities for extending the shelf
life of fresh-cut fruits.
The research demonstrated that incorporation of vanillin in the post-cut
dipping solution of apple slices could inhibit the microbial growth during
the 19-day post-cut storage by 37 and 66% in the ¡°Empire¡± and ¡°Crispin¡±
apple slices, respectively, during storage at 4¡ÆC. When incorporated with
the commercial anti-browning dipping solution NatureSeal¢â, vanillin did
not influence the control of enzymatic browning and softening of the anti-browning
¡°These results provide new insight into the possible use of vanillin as
a natural antimicrobial agent in processing of sliced apples and others,¡±
says Dr. Rupasinghe. While this research has promising results, further
research is required in order to obtain information about the organoleptic
(sensory) quality and consumer acceptance of fresh-cut apples treated
with vanillin before making a recommendation for its use as a preservative
in post-cut dipping solution.
The results of this research are presented as a paper in:
Rupasinghe, H.P.V., J. Boulter-Bitzer, T. Ahn, and J.A. Odumeru. 2006.
Vanillin inhibits pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms in vitro and
aerobic microbial growth on fresh-cut apples. Food Research International.
removes viruses from drinking water
University of Delaware
University of Delaware researchers have developed an inexpensive, nonchlorine-based
technology that can remove harmful microorganisms, including viruses,
from drinking water.
UD's patented technology, developed jointly by researchers in the College
of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Engineering, incorporates
highly reactive iron in the filtering process to deliver a chemical ¡°knock-out
punch¡± to a host of notorious pathogens, from E. coli to rotavirus.
The new technology could dramatically improve the safety of drinking water
around the globe, particularly in developing countries. According to the
World Health Organization (WHO), over a billion people--one-sixth of the
world's population--lack access to safe water supplies.
Four billion cases of diarrheal disease occur worldwide every year, resulting
in 1.8 million deaths, primarily infants and children in developing countries.
Eighty-eight percent of this disease is attributed to unsafe water supplies,
inadequate sanitation and hygiene.
In the United States, viruses are the target pathogenic microorganisms
in the new Ground Water Rule under the Environmental Protection Agency's
Safe Drinking Water Act, which took effect on Jan. 8.
¡°What is unique about our technology is its ability to remove viruses--the
smallest of the pathogens--from water supplies,¡± Pei Chiu, an associate
professor in UD's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said.
Chiu collaborated with Yan Jin, a professor of environmental soil physics
in UD's plant and soil sciences department, to develop the technology.
They then sought the expertise of virologist Kali Kniel, an assistant
professor in the animal and food sciences department, who has provided
critical assistance with the testing phase.
¡°A serious challenge facing the water treatment industry is how to simultaneously
control microbial pathogens, disinfectants such as chlorine, and toxic
disinfection byproducts in our drinking water, and at an acceptable cost,¡±
Viruses are difficult to eliminate in drinking water using current methods
because they are far smaller than bacteria, highly mobile, and resistant
to chlorination, which is the dominant disinfection method used in the
United States, according to the researchers.
Of all the inhabitants of the microbial world, viruses are the smallest--as
tiny as 10 nanometers. According to the American Society for Microbiology,
if a virus could be enlarged to the size of a baseball, the average bacterium
would be the size of the pitcher's mound, and a single cell in your body
would be the size of a ballpark.
¡°By using elemental iron in the filtration process, we were able to remove
viral agents from drinking water at very high efficiencies. Of a quarter
of a million particles going in, only a few were going out,¡± Chiu noted.
The elemental or ¡°zero-valent¡± iron (Fe) used in the technology is widely
available as a byproduct of iron and steel production, and it is inexpensive,
currently costing less than 40 cents a pound (~$750/ton). Viruses are
either chemically inactivated by or irreversibly adsorbed to the iron,
according to the scientists.
Technology removes 99.999 percent of viruses
The idea for the UD research sprang up when Jin and Chiu were discussing
their respective projects over lunch one day.
Since joining UD in 1995, Jin's primary research area has been investigating
the survival, attachment and transport behavior of viruses in soil and
groundwater aquifers. One of the projects, which was sponsored by the
American Water Works Association Research Foundation, involved testing
virus transport potential in soils collected from different regions across
the United States. Jin's group found that the soils high in iron and aluminum
oxides removed viruses much more efficiently than those that didn't contain
¡°We knew that iron had been used to treat a variety of pollutants in groundwater,
but no one had tested iron against biological agents,¡± Chiu said. So the
two researchers decided to pursue some experiments.
With partial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Delaware
Water Resources Center, through its graduate fellowship program, the scientists
and their students began evaluating the effectiveness of iron granules
in removing viruses from water under continuous flow conditions and over
extended periods. Two bacteriophages--viruses that infect bacteria--were
used in the initial lab studies.
Since then, Kniel has been documenting the technology's effectiveness
against human pathogens including E. coli 0157:H7, hepatitis A, norovirus
and rotavirus. Rotavirus is the number-one cause of diarrhea in children,
according to Kniel.
¡°In 20 minutes, we found 99.99 percent removal of the viruses,¡± Chiu said.
¡°And we found that removal of the viruses got even better than that with
time, to more than 99.999 percent.¡±
The elemental iron also removed organic material, such as humic acid,
that naturally occurs in groundwater and other sources of drinking water.
During the disinfection process, this natural organic material can react
with chlorine to produce a variety of toxic chemicals called disinfection
¡°Our iron-based technology can help ensure drinking-water safety by reducing
microbial pathogens and disinfection byproducts simultaneously,¡± Chiu
Applications in agriculture and food safety
Besides helping to safeguard drinking water, the UD technology may have
applications in agriculture.
Integrated into the wash-water system at a produce-packing house, it could
help clean and safeguard fresh and ¡°ready to eat¡± vegetables, particularly
leafy greens like lettuce and spinach, as well as fruit, according to
¡°Sometimes on farms, wash-water is recirculated, so this technology could
help prevent plant pathogens from spreading to other plants,¡± she said.
This UD research underscores the importance of interdisciplinary study
in solving problems.
¡°There are lots of exciting things you can discover working together,¡±
Jin said, smiling. ¡°In this project, we all need each other. Pei is the
engineer and knows where we should put this step and how to scale it up.
I study how viruses and other types of colloidal particles are transported
in water, and Kali knows all about waterborne pathogens.
¡°Our hope is that the technology we've developed will help people in our
country and around the world, especially in developing countries,¡± Jin
Currently, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology in
Calgary, Canada, is exploring use of the UD technology in a portable water
treatment unit. Since 2001, the registered Canadian charity has provided
technical training in water and sanitation to more than 300 organizations
in 43 countries of the developing world, impacting nearly a million people.
The University of Delaware is pursuing commercialization opportunities
for the research. Patents have been filed in the United States, Canada,
France, Germany and Switzerland
International Conference for Food Safety and Quality (Nov.
6-7, 2007), South San Francisco Convention Center
1st International Conference for Food Safety and Quality
(Nov. 7-8, 2006)
Major Topic: Current Detection Methods for Microbiological/Chemical Hazards
for Food Safety/Quality