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Internet J.Food Safety
10/13/2002
Issue 25

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2001 edition of the Food Code is now available

by Bryan Salvage on 10/11/02 for www.meatingplace.com
Just in case you missed it, last month the Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Food Safety and Inspection Service announced the release of the 2001 edition of the Food Code. This new edition is available from the National Technical Information Service. Even though the United States has one of the safest food supplies in the world, food-borne disease poses a continual, significant threat to public health. The CDC estimates that each year food-borne illness causes 76 million sicknesses, 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths. The estimated cost of food-borne illness is between $10 billion to $83 billion annually, the news release added. The Food Code has been revised and updated to represent the most recent and best advice to ensure that food at retail is safe, properly protected and presented. The Food Code is used by the majority of state and local government health departments in the United States. Epidemiological outbreak data repeatedly identify five major risk factors related to employee behaviors and preparation practices in retail and foodservice establishments as contributing to food-borne illness:
Improper holding temperatures
Inadequate cooking, such as undercooking raw shell eggs
Contaminated equipment
Food from unsafe sources
Poor personal hygiene
Food Code 2001 provisions address essentially four areas: personnel, food, equipment/facilities/supplies and compliance and enforcement For more information or ordering information, call 800/553-6847 or 703/605-6000.

Marler says ConAgra may have to pay $50 million to settle E. coli lawsuits
by Dan Murphy on 10/10/02 for www.meatingplace.com
Illnesses blamed on ground beef from ConAgra Beef Co. could cost the company up to $50 million in settlements, according to the Seattle lawyer representing many of the victims. A mediator is scheduled to broker talks in December between the Greeley, Colo.-based division of ConAgra Inc. and attorney William D. Marler, who represents 27 people who allege that they became ill after eating E. coli O157:H7-tainted ground beef.
ConAgra recalled 18.6 million pounds of product in July. If mediation is successful, Marler said ConAgra could pay between $7.5 million and $50 million to settle the claims, a process that could take up to a year to complete. Marler said his estimates are based on similar cases he has handled. ConAgra refused to comment on Marler's estimates. ConAgra has already paid medical bills for some of the victims, Marler said, as well as lost wages for others who remained at home. "I think they're taking responsibility for those who got hurt, he told the Denver Post. "But this still doesn't discount the errors that were made at the plant and doesn't solve the larger consumer issues of recalled meat." Health officials estimate that 47 people in 23 states have blamed ConAgra ground beef for making them sick. An Ohio woman who died from E. coli O157:H7-related complications has not been confirmed as being part of the ConAgra outbreak.

Sprouts: the latest food risk
http://www.foodanddrinkeurope.com/
09/10/02 - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made the move to update its health advisory on the risks associated with eating all raw sprouts because of a recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with alfalfa sprouts.This advisory is also being updated to specifically include raw and lightly cooked mung bean sprouts. Since 1999 when the FDA originally issued its health advisory on sprouts, there have been several reported foodborne illness outbreaks in the US associated with sprouts. The FDA recommended that persons in high risk categories (children, the elderly, and the immuno-compromised) should not eat raw or lightly cooked sprouts.The FDA reports that outbreaks of foodborne illness from all implicated raw sprouts have involved the pathogenic bacteria Salmonella or E. coli O157:H7 and have affected persons of all ages and both genders. As such, it suggests that people who wish to reduce their risk of foodborne illness should not eat raw sprouts. The FDA stressed that for people in high risk categories, an E. coli O157:H7 infection could lead to serious complications, including haemolytic uremic syndrome, which can result in kidney failure or death. Salmonella infection in these high risk groups could also cause serious illness. According to the statement this week some segments of the US sprout industry have made significant strides to enhance the safety of their products by following recommendations in the 1999 Sprouts Guidance. However, stresses the FDA, adherence to these guidelines has not been universal, and outbreaks have continued to occur in association with raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Further information can be obtained from the FDA.

Food Safety Daily News
10/11. Label Fight Heats up in Oregon
10/11. 2001 edition of the Food Code is now available
10/11. Restaurant Health Ratings Now Online
10/11. Lawsuit filed against Emmpak, Cargill as burger is linked to
10/11. Oregonians want to know what's in their food, poll shows
10/11. BSE-risk meat ended up in burgers and mince
10/11. Baby food meat risk probed
10/11. Ag Chief Advises Georgians to Check Pilgrim's Pride Processe
10/11. Farm Fresh to offer irradiated beef
10/11. Calls for seafood safety
10/11. Enjoy but take care: Bad fish can make you sick
10/10. Clues to Roman Illnesses in 2,000-Year-Old Cheese
10/10. FOOD AGENCY DECIDES AGAINST MANDATORY DECLARATION OF ADDED MSG
10/10. AGENCY STANDS BY CALL FOR BAN ON SHEEP CASINGS
10/10. BEEFING UP BSE CONTROLS
10/10. TALKING TURKEY: TO STUFF OR NOT
10/10. Federal government warns Oregon about labelling GM foods
10/10. USDA issues Interim Voluntary Country of Origin Labeling gui
10/10. AMI rips USDA's country-of-origin labeling guidelines
10/10. Marler says ConAgra may have to pay $50 million to settle E.
10/10. Kenneth B. Moll Investigating Claims of Listeria
10/10. Freezing contaminated food doesn¡¯t kill harmful bacteria
10/10. Voluntary Meat Labeling to Begin
10/10. Consumers Keep Getting Sick From Seafood
10/09. PROTECTING CONSUMERS FROM HEPATITIS "A"
10/09. SALMONELLA SPURS RECALL
10/09. FDA Objects to Food Labeling Initiative
10/09. FDA MULLS ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO SAY 'IRRADIATED' FOOD
10/09. FALL FOOD SAFETY
10/09. USDA to Recall Meat Linked to Listeria Outbreak
10/09. SPECIAL REPORT: NAMP expert targets Top Ten food-safety chal
10/09. Scientists attack peanut allergies
10/09. Study says million mad cow cases missed
10/09. SOUTH KOREA: Bacteria found in imported fish
10/09. Health warning issued on dog treats
10/09. USA: Softer labelling for irradiated food products
10/09. Ground Beef Rules Clarified
10/09. Niche Ranchers Push Grass-Fed Beef as Healthier, Safer Choic
10/09. Sprouts: the latest food risk
10/09. Food Safety Mistakes at Home Could Be Hazardous to Your Heal
10/09. City eyes restaurant inspections by county
10/09. Local fish safe for pregnant women
10/08. EATERIES GET 'PASS' DESPITE BIG RISKS; FREEDOM OF INFORMATIO
10/08. DRAFT DIRECTIVE, FOREIGN MATERIAL IN MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUC
10/08. MICROBIOLOGICAL FOOD SAFETY FOR CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE
10/08. GRANTS FOR FOOD SAFETY RESEARCH
10/08. CHANGES IN MANURE STORAGE RECOMMENDED TO MINIMIZE RISK OF FO
10/08. DIRTY HABITS IN THE KITCHEN PUT CANADIANS AT RISK FOR FOOD P
10/08. DON'T LET CARELESS FOOD HANDLING SPOIL THANKSGIVING DINNER
10/08. FLORIDA GROUND BEEF APPEARS UNTAINTED BY E. COLI BACTERIA
10/08. MAJOR E. COLI O157:H7 POLICY CHANGE
10/08. FACT SHEET - FOOD SAFETY FACTS FOR TURKEY
10/08. Can French fries give you cancer?
10/08. Consumers don¡¯t appear ready for transgenic beef
10/08. Ohio family planning E. coli lawsuit against local restauran
10/08. FSIS issues official rule on E. coli O157:H7 policies in raw
10/08. FDA Becomes Fourth Government Agency to Use IGEN Products Fo
10/08. Illnesses from beef could cost ConAgra $50 million, lawyer s
10/08. Peaceful Valley reports E. coli
10/08. FDA Cracks Down on Ephedra Product
10/08. Bacteria found in imported fish

Recall Summary
10/11. Ag Chief Advises Georgians to Check Pilgrim's Pride Processe
10/11. Wisconsin Firm Has Recalled Ground Beef Oct 11
10/11. Pennsylvania Firm Has Recalled Turkey And Chicken Products Oct 10
10/11. Wisconsin Firm Recalls Ground Beef For Possible E. coli O157:H7
10/10. Peck Meat Packing Voluntarily Recalls 568,000 Pounds of Ground Beef
10/10. Pennsylvania Firm Recalls Poultry Products For Possible Listeria Contamination
10/09. SULFITE ALLERGY ALERT : GEORGIA AG COMMISSIONER RECALLS FROZ
10/09. Indiana Firm Recalls Ham For Possible Listeria Contamination
10/08. A&P, Publix Recall Beef Products on E.coli Scare
10/08. FDA Issues Cyber Letter to Yellow Jackets Promoter


OUTBREAKS
10/10. Shigella hits Scotland County
10/10. Increase in cases of Salmonella enteritidis Phage Type 14b
10/09. 4 cases of listeria reported in New Jersey
10/09. Health department confirms 63 sick
10/09. Eight die of food poisoning in Rajasthan, 90 hospitalised
10/09. 37 report food poisoning
10/08. Salmonella Outbreak Reported in Britain
10/08. Food poisoning: 54 kids taken ill in A.P.
10/08. 2 cases of E. Coli in East Bay, 2 other patients under revie

GERMAN TEST FOR MAD COW DISEASE EFFECTIVE IN 15 MINUTES
October 9, 2002
Agence France Presse
PARIS- German scientists were cited as saying they can almost instantly
screen blood for the agent that causes the human form of mad cow disease, an
achievement that could root out the risk of spreading the disorder by blood
donation.
The story says that the test devised by a team led by Dieter Naumann at
Berlin's Robert Koch Institute can distinguish between healthy and infected
blood in under 15 minutes, New Scientist says in next Saturday's issue.
The technique has so far been tested on blood from hamsters infected with
scrapie, a brain-destroying disease that is the sister to variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans and to bovine spongiform
encephalopathy (BSE) in cows.
The test picked up 97 percent of all infected samples, with no false
positives for healthy blood. The next phase is to extend it to vCJD and BSE.

Rapid testing for common E.coli
http://www.foodnavigator.com/ UK company Oxoid has launched a new range of rapid diagnostic tests for the detection and identification of the most common non-O157 verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) serogroups. According to the company, the Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Seroscreen and Serocheck tests provide a fast and simple screening procedure for colonies isolated on culture plates, with visible results in just 60 seconds.
Although E. coli O157:H7 is the most significant VTEC serotype associated with human disease, there are a number of additional O-serogroups that are often Verocytotoxin producers, such as O26, O91, O103, O111, O128 and O145. The company stressed in a statement that standard procedures for the detection of E. coli O157 would not detect these serogroups. Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Seroscreen is a single screening kit that will detect the presence of any of these six common serogroups. The individual Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Serocheck tests, one for each of the serogroups mentioned, are able to provide a specific identification. Oxoid explains that for each test, the sensitive blue latex reagent is dried onto disposable reaction slides. Suspect colonies are suspended in a drop of buffer and mixed with the reagent on the slide. In the presence of the specific E. coli serogroup (any of the six serogroups for Seroscreen), the latex particles will agglutinate to provide a visible positive result. If the test is negative the latex particles remain in smoth suspension. The company adds that the absence of wet?reagents allows the Oxoid Dryspot E. coli Seroscreen and Serocheck tests to be stored conveniently at room temperature. Each kit contains sufficient materials for 60 tests (Seroscreen kit) or 15 tests (Serocheck kits).

USDA/FDA News

U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated October 11, 2002

Secretary Thompson Urges Strong Warning Labels For Ephedra
Questions and Answers About Chronic Wasting Disease

U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated October 7, 2002

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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