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Update: FDA/USDA Update on Tainted Animal Feed
NEWS RELEASE: FDA and USDA Determine Swine Fed Adulterated Product
What do Spinach,
Lettuce and Peanut Butter have in common?
Posted on April 24, 2007 by Food Poisoning Attorney
Answer - Congressional Hearings
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
Andrew Bridge of the Associated Press wrote today of Congressman Stupak's
led panel shines spotlight on food safety. Part of the story is below,
the rest of the story (whether Congress actually does something) has still
not been written.
Families victimized by tainted spinach and peanut butter put a human face
Tuesday on a recent string of high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness,
urging lawmakers to strengthen federal oversight of the nation's food
supply. "I can't protect them from spinach only you guys can. I can't,"
said Michael Armstrong, as he and wife, Elizabeth, cradled daughters Ashley,
2, and Isabella, 5. The two girls fell ill Ashley gravely in September
after eating a salad made with a triple-washed bag of the leafy greens
contaminated by E. coli.
Also testifying was Gary Pruden, whose 11-year-old son Sean was seriously
sickened in November by E. coli after eating at a Taco Bell restaurant.
Pruden said a key element of trade and commerce is trust ? whether placed
in accountants, airline pilots or auto mechanics. "That is also extended
to the trust in the food we order or buy from the grocery store that it's
edible and safe. Without that trust, commerce cannot work. And where failure
occurs, oversight is required," Pruden told the subcommittee.
The popular Peter Pan brand of peanut butter was the subject of a nationwide
recall in February after a salmonella outbreak. Terri Marshall said her
mother-in-law, Mora Lou Marshall, has been hospitalized or in a nursing
home since early January, after she became seriously ill from eating Peter
Pan. The elder Marshall, 85, had kept a jar of the peanut butter on her
nightstand to supplement her diet ? and had unwittingly continued to eat
it, even after she fell ill. "The very food she thought would improve
her health had begun to ravage her body," Terri Marshall said.
rules imposed in wake of bacteria threat
By SCOTT HARPER, The Virginian-Pilot
April 27, 2007
Source of Article: http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=123626&ran=135444
A nasty and potentially deadly bacteria in coastal waters, called Vibrio,
has spurred Virginia to enact new rules for harvesting oysters during
summer months. Other oyster-producing states, from Texas to Florida, likely
will follow suit as part of a national crackdown on Vibrio contamination
in humans, who inadvertently eat the bacteria while slurping oysters.
Two forms of Vibrio - pronounced "VIB-ree-oh" - occur naturally
in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Eastern Shore seaside. Usually not
a health risk, their concentrations can increase above health-safety levels
in warm conditions, almost always in summer.
When people ingest these microscopic organisms in unsafe levels, they
can become sick, nauseated and perhaps die. People with weak immune systems
or who have been drinking alcohol heavily are especially susceptible to
infection, according to public health experts.
While only one case of Vibrio sickness has been traced to Virginia oysters,
in 2006, state officials want to avoid a second case. That's because another
one would trigger even tougher government scrutiny and restrictions, including
a possible ban on all harvesting from May to September - peak time for
the state's burgeoning oyster-farming industry.
So beginning May 15 and lasting through September, commercial fishermen
and oyster farmers may leave their docks just one hour before sunrise
and must return to shore and refrigerate their catches by 10 a.m. While
on the water, fishermen must shade their captured oysters as another way
of keeping the bacteria from multiplying to high levels.
If watermen want to gather oysters past 10 a.m., they must have an approved
refrigeration unit or ice storage area aboard their vessel, according
to regulations passed this week by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission.
The new rules "might sound harsh, and they are," said Jim Wesson,
state director of oyster restoration, "but the alternatives are a
lot worse." In recognition of the strong tides that play a key role
with oystering on the Eastern Shore, seaside fishermen can work past 10
a.m. but must refrigerate their catches within two hours of pulling them
from the water, according to the regulations. Violations can result in
the destruction of all oysters gathered illegally, and the offender may
lose harvesting licenses and permits until a formal hearing can be scheduled.
Robert Wittman, director of field operations for the Virginia Health Department's
Shellfish Sanitation Division, said Virginia had little choice but to
act. Under a program endorsed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
oyster-producing states with two or more Vibrio cases must reduce their
incidents by 40 percent in 2006 and 60 percent in 2008. If they fail,
the federal agency can impose its own restrictions in such states, including
a harvest shutdown in summer months, Wittman said. Virginia's primary
oyster seasons are during fall and winter, when Vibrio is dormant. But
few oysters of any kind have been found on public grounds in recent years,
the result of decades of disease, pollution and lost habitat. In trying
to reverse the trend, state officials have urged entrepreneurs to try
growing oysters in controlled environments, in protected bags and cages,
and away from parasites and predators. These farms are starting to bear
fruit, especially in summer, when most harvests occur to take advantage
of higher marker prices, state officials said. Containing Vibrio has been
a priority with the Interstate Shellfish Conference, a compact of oyster-producing
states. Its executive director, Ken Moore, said Virginia is the first
state without two Vibrio cases to take pre-emptive action. "Did they
go too far? I wouldn't say that," said Moore from his office in South
Carolina. "I would say they're ahead of the .. Retaining a clean
record is important in this business."
Safety and Quality Job Information
Food Safety and Quality Job Information
Source of Article: http://www.meatinfo.co.uk/
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is planning to launch an in-depth
inquiry into how much of Europe¡¯s pigmeat production is contaminated with
salmonella. The European Commission has asked the European Union (EU)
agency to act, because it wants a clear picture of the ¡°public health
risks¡±, caused by the disease. Brussels plans to use the data in setting
future targets for reducing salmonella in pigs, following a later cost-benefit
study. For the first time in such a study, EFSA will outsource part of
the work to a consortium of European research institutes. This said, an
EFSA note, would ¡°take advantage of the substantial pool of European expertise
in this field and ensure a balanced European perspective on the issue¡±.
These experts would be tasked with drawing up a ¡°quantitative estimate
of the existing risk factors and likely effects of proposed measures to
Analyses will assess infection on farms; the potential contamination via
slaughtering; and the expected effect of reducing salmonella within pig
livestock in reducing the disease¡¯s presence in pigmeat and associated
food poisoning cases amongst consumers.
The agency has launched a formal call for applications to undertake this
work, with an 11 June deadline.
Chain Changes Suppliers After Suspected E. Coli Cases
Submitted by Editor on Fri, 04/27/2007 - 10:48am.
CHRIS TORRES Staff Writer
Source of Article: http://www.lancasterfarming.com/node/546
A Pennsylvania-based restaurant chain has temporarily cut ties with its
Midwest beef suppliers after five cases of E. coli were traced back to
steaks eaten at Hoss¡¯s Steak and Sea House. A representative from the
restaurant chain based in the Altoona area said on the phone Tuesday the
company will not process beef at its HFX processing plant until further
notice and that it has switched its beef suppliers until it can pinpoint
where suspected cuts of E. coli tainted beef came from. Last Friday, April
20, the company voluntarily recalled 259,230 pounds of beef products from
its Hoss¡¯s restaurants as well as stores it contracts to process beef
after an investigation by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) linked five E. coli cases
back to the restaurant chain. Hoss¡¯s operates 49 restaurants in Pennsylvania,
Virginia, and West Virginia. According to the department of health, five
people ate E. coli tainted steaks at four Hoss¡¯s locations in Centre,
Dauphin, Venango, and York counties between March 24 and 29. Each person
was infected with a potentially deadly strain of E. coli 0157, the same
type strain that killed three people and hospitalized hundreds last summer
as a result of consuming E. coli-tainted spinach. The department states
each person ate a different cut of steak, but the fact they got it at
Hoss¡¯s is the only common link. Four of the five people were hospitalized
with symptoms of E. coli, which include severe bloody diarrhea.
Symptoms usually appear five days later and if not treated, can cause
severe kidney damage and even death. Hoss¡¯s stated it would be eliminating
three practices it has used to tenderize and flavor its steaks before
they arrive at a restaurant: blade tenderization, vacuum marination and
marinade injection. FSIS said the flavor enhancing procedures the company
was using may have resulted in E. coli being injected into the meat from
the surface of the steaks. In Hoss¡¯s statement, John Brown, president
of HFX, said the injection process is widely used in the meat industry.
E. coli is usually killed at cooking temperatures of 160 degrees Fahrenheit
and above. But the steaks were only cooked at rare and medium rare temperatures
and the E. coli would have lived through the cooking process, FSIS said.
Bridget Bingham, director of sales growth for Hoss¡¯s, said the company
will not get processed beef from its HFX plant in South Claysburg, Pa.,
and instead is getting beef from U.S. Foodservice and Reinhart Food Service.
Bingham said the company is reviewing safety procedures at the plant in
terms of processing beef and is still receiving chicken and salad bar
products from the plant. She said the company is looking into other technologies
to replace its injection procedures. As far as where the tainted steaks
came from, Bingham said the company is currently working with the USDA
to figure that out. She said the company gets its beef products from four
to five suppliers, all based in the Midwest.
Bingham said the company, which is known for its wide variety of steaks,
is trying to provide a product comparable to what it normally serves,
but she admitted frequent customers may notice some differences.
She said the company has not overhauled its safety procedures at restaurants,
but is increasing its vigilance. ¡°We¡¯re just tightening everyone¡¯s awareness,¡±
Beef tainted with harmful E. coli is rare, according to William Henning,
professor emeritus of dairy and animal sciences at Penn State. Henning
said everyone has harmless E. coli in them that grows in the intestines.
Out of 250 known strains of E. coli that scientists believe exist, Henning
said only five can actually cause a person harm.
It is even more rare to get E. coli from a steak since it resides on the
surface of meat and cooking normally kills it. Undercooked ground beef
has been more of a concern because the bacteria can be mixed into the
meat in the grinding process.
Henning said the bacteria usually grows in a cow¡¯s hide and through the
slaughtering process can transfer onto a cut of beef.
But he said increased scrutiny and better safety procedures have made
a person¡¯s chances of getting a potentially harmful bacteria such as E.
coli are very small.
Some of the procedures Henning said slaughterhouses use include steaming
a carcass to almost 200 degrees Fahrenheit to kill the bacteria and also
using organic acids.
There is also a steam vacuum procedure some companies use.
But even the enhanced safety procedures are not foolproof and there is
still a chance a person could get sick from a bacteria.
One possible way to eliminate E. coli would be through irradiation, which
involves placing cuts of beef under ionizing radiation to kill the bacteria.
He said Wegmans Food Markets, a supermarket chain in the Mid-Atlantic
region, sells irradiated beef. Major health institutions around the world
have endorsed the practice.
But the process is controversial with some experts disagreeing on how
¡°safe¡± irradiated food is.
Dr. Samuel Epstein, professor emeritus of environmental medicine at the
University of Illinois School of Public Health in Chicago, said in a recent
article published by American Grass Fed Beef that the required radiation
doses are too high and that tests done on irradiated food in the 1970s
by the U.S. Army showed chemicals that increase the chance of getting
Food for Human Consumption May Now Be Affected
Posted on April 26, 2007 by Food Poisoning Lawyer
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
The ongoing pet food recall by the Food and Drug Administration has now
expanded to pork and poultry. According to an FDA report, five states
including California have quarantined hog farms and one poultry farm in
Missouri due to concerns that feed was contaminated with melamine, the
ingredient linked to kidney failure in dogs and cats. Salvage pet food
from manufacturers that are part of the pet recall have been traced to
these farms. Test results have shown traces of the contaminant in the
hogs' urine. Thus far all the contaminated wheat gluten and rice protein
concentrate have been traced to two distributors in China. However the
FDA is expanding its testing of imported products to include corn meal,
rice bran and soy protein. These imported ingredients may be used for
human consumption in products such as bread, pasta, baby formula and pizza
dough. The FDA will be taking samples from as many food manufacturers
as possible and testing them for melamine contamination.
To Peanut Butter Recall And Lawsuits
April 23, 2007. By Heidi Turner digg Del.icio.us
Source of Article: http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/
Rome, GA: More and more lawsuits are being filed against ConAgra Foods,
Inc., makers of Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter, which was involved
in a massive recall earlier this year. Thirty-two consumers from a number
of states are already involved in a lawsuit filed in Rome. The plaintiffs
include the parents of nine children who became sick after eating peanut
butter contaminated with Salmonella Tennessee. The suit is seeking class
action status on behalf of all people across the United States who became
ill from eating the peanut butter.
ConAgra responded to the lawsuit by denying that the suit should move
forward as a class action and denying allegations of negligence. The company
also claimed that injuries attributed to the peanut butter could have
been caused by pre-existing conditions. In response to the recall, ConAgra
has announced that the Georgia plant will have greater separation between
raw peanuts and peanut butter and will have a new roof and modern equipment.
It has also hired a microbiologist to ensure food safety.
The salmonella outbreak has been traced back to a roof leak and a malfunctioning
sprinkler that went off twice. Moisture from those events then mixed with
salmonella bacteria that were dormant in the factory, most likely from
raw peanuts and dust. The salmonella then came into contact with the peanut
butter before being packaged.
Great Value peanut butter is back on store shelves after Wal-Mart decided
to use a different manufacturer, although they have not yet said which
company that is. Peter Pan brand will not be on the market until early
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will
carry out more investigations at plants that make peanut butter and other
similar products. Officials admitted that the salmonella outbreak proved
to them that peanut butter is riskier than previously thought. Patients
who still have bottles of the contaminated peanut butter should keep them
as evidence, but be sure to clearly label them so that everyone in the
home knows not to eat the peanut butter.
Ways to Clean Kitchen Sponges Best Ways to Clean Kitchen Sponges- from
Why Are The
Pet Food Recalls Important To The Bigger Food Safety Picture?
Source of Article: http://www.ccnmag.com/news.php?id=5129
The incidents of pet food contaminated with melamine contained in wheat
gluten imported from China have now spread into pig feed. Dr. Gary Weaver,
DVM, Director of the Program on Agriculture and Animal Health Policy for
the University of Maryland's Center for Food, Nutrition, and Agriculture
Policy (CFNAP), explains why contaminations are likely to continue and
what should be done to improve U.S. oversight of imported animal and human
Uncontrolled distribution of low-quality, imported food ingredients is
a great threat to US public health. The US has very little direct, hands-on
control over our pet food industry. Incidents like the recent events probably
will continue to happen until the US effectively overhauls our food safety
FDA appears to be some 30 years behind as they use pre-global economy
border food inspection strategies in our new global economy world of massive
international food trade from many countries with food safety standards
much lower than ours.
Unscrupulous people know that adding the industrial chemical, melamine
to food products and ingredients can make that food product and ingredient
test as having a higher protein content.
Billions of dollars worth of foreign ingredients that Americans eat in
everything from salad dressing to ice cream get a pass from overwhelmed
FDA inspectors, despite a rising tide of these imports from countries
with spotty food safety records. more
declare E. Coli outbreak in Meat over
By Tom Johnston on 4/25/2007 for Meatingplace.com
An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak blamed for sickening at least three children
in California has ended, state health officials said Tuesday.
The source of the bacteria discovered in hamburger patties distributed
by Merced, Calif.-based Richwood Meat Co. is still unknown, but no new
cases have been reported, leading officials to conclude that the outbreak
is now over, Patti Roberts, a spokeswoman for the California Department
of Health Services told the Associated Press.
Three children, Little League baseball players, fell ill after consuming
concession-stand hamburgers in Calistoga, Calif., officials said.
Richwood voluntarily recalled more than 100,000 pounds of frozen and bulk
ground beef on Friday, blaming the contamination on the slaughterhouse
that processed the product in April 2006.
Tests on the children and meat from the snack shacks will be concluded
Wednesday, Mike Bowman, spokesman for CDHS, told AP.
New kit promotes
Tb News Source
Web Posted: 4/23/2007 7:49:58 PM
Source of Article: http://www.tbsource.com/Localnews/index.asp?cid=95080
The provincial government is trying to ensure farmers are selling safe
food to the public at local farmers' markets and country markets. As a
part of their Food Safety Education campaign, the province is providing
farmers who are registered with Farmers' Market Ontario, with a food safety
kit. Local vendors received their kits at the Westfort Prosvita Monday
night and the package includes everything from food poisoning information
to tips on how to transport food safely to the local market. The new safety
kit shows that all food can cause food poisoning if its handled improperly.
So, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has taken to the road to
spread the message and hand out kits. Public Health inspector Kimberly
Ozeroff says the information package gives farmers valuable tips and suggestions.
''It's very basic: cook, chill, separate and clean. So, you want to keep
things cooked to the right temperature, that things are kept cold, that
you separate the raw from the ready to eat, and that you clean up afterwards.''
Its important to know that you can't see, smell or taste the bacteria
that could cause food poisoning and most foodborne illnesses are caused
by bacteria. Viruses, parasites, toxins and chemicals can also be culprits.
The kit explains how to prevent trouble with tips on refrigeration, cooking
Farmers' Market Ontario Northern director Lynne Brown says it's helpful
for farmers to have this accurate and up-to-date information, on how to
handle their food safely.
''Well, I think it's important that information gets shared in a way that
is easy to understand, can be put into practice, and is the same and consistent
right across the province.''
Farmers' Market Ontario will continue its way across the region to deliver
the food safety kits to all of the market vendors. The next session is
scheduled in Dryden on Wednesday followed by one in Fort Frances.
Statement on European Aspartame Study
FDA Was Aware
of Dangers To Food
Outbreaks Were Not Preventable, Officials Say
By Elizabeth Williamson
The Food and Drug Administration
has known for years about contamination problems at a Georgia peanut butter
plant and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that
killed three people, sickened hundreds, and forced one of the biggest
product recalls in U.S. history, documents and interviews show.
Overwhelmed by huge growth in the number of food processors and imports,
however, the agency took only limited steps to address the problems and
relied on producers to police themselves, according to agency documents.
Congressional critics and consumer advocates said both episodes show that
the agency is incapable of adequately protecting the safety of the food
FDA officials conceded that the agency's system needs to be overhauled
to meet today's demands, but contended that the agency could not have
done anything to prevent either contamination episode.
Last week, the FDA notified California state health officials that hogs
on a farm in the state had likely eaten feed laced with melamine, an industrial
chemical blamed for the deaths of dozens of pets in recent weeks. Officials
are trying to determine whether the chemical's presence in the hogs represents
a threat to humans.
Pork from animals raised on the farm has been recalled. The FDA has said
its inspectors probably would not have found the contaminated food before
problems arose. The tainted additive caused a recall of more than 100
different brands of pet food.
The outbreaks point to a need to change the way the agency does business,
said Robert E. Brackett, director of the FDA's food-safety arm, which
is responsible for safeguarding 80 percent of the nation's food supply.
"We have 60,000 to 80,000 facilities that we're responsible for in
any given year," Brackett said. Explosive growth in the number of
processors and the amount of imported foods means that manufacturers "have
to build safety into their products rather than us chasing after them,"
Brackett said. "We have to get out of the 1950s paradigm."
Tomorrow, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing
on the unprecedented spate of recalls.
"This administration does not like regulation, this administration
does not like spending money, and it has a hostility toward government.
The poisonous result is that a program like the FDA is going to suffer
at every turn of the road," said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.),
chairman of the full House committee. Dingell is considering introducing
legislation to boost the agency's accountability, regulatory authority
In the peanut butter case, an agency report shows that FDA inspectors
checked into complaints about salmonella contamination in a ConAgra Foods
factory in Georgia in 2005. But when company managers refused to provide
documents the inspectors requested, the inspectors left and did not follow
A salmonella outbreak that began last August and was traced to the plant's
Peter Pan and Great Value peanut butter brands sickened more than 400
people in 44 states. The likely cause, ConAgra said, was moisture from
a roof leak and a malfunctioning sprinkler system that activated dormant
salmonella. The plant has since been closed.
The 2005 report shows that FDA inspectors were looking into "an alleged
episode of positive findings of salmonella in peanut butter in October
of 2004 that was related to new equipment and that the firm didn't react
to, . . . insects in some equipment, water leaking onto product, and inability
to track some product."
During the inspection, the report says, ConAgra admitted it had destroyed
some product in October 2004 but would not say why.
"They asked for some of our documentation and we made the request
to them that they put it in writing due to concerns about proprietary
information," ConAgra spokeswoman Stephanie Childs said last week.
"We did not receive a written request, . . . they filed the report
and that was that."
Until February of this year. That's when the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention notified the FDA of a spike in salmonella cases in states
near the ConAgra plant. The agencies contacted the company, which initiated
a recall and shut the plant for upgrades.
Brackett said that if the FDA inspector had seen anything truly dangerous
the agency would have taken further action. But, he said, the agency cannot
force a disclosure, a recall or a plant closure except in extreme circumstances,
such as finding a hazardous batch of product.
The problem in 2005, he added, "doesn't necessarily connect to the
salmonella outbreak right now. It's not unusual to have it in raw agricultural
The FDA has known even longer about illnesses among people who ate spinach
and other greens from California's Salinas Valley, the source of outbreaks
over the past six months that have killed three people and sickened more
than 200 in 26 states. The subsequent recall was the largest ever for
In a letter sent to California growers in late 2005, Brackett wrote, "FDA
is aware of 18 outbreaks of foodborne illness since 1995 caused by [E.
coli bacteria] for which fresh or fresh-cut lettuce was implicated. .
. . In one additional case, fresh-cut spinach was implicated. These 19
outbreaks account for approximately 409 reported cases of illness and
"We know that there are still problems out in those fields,"
Brackett said in an interview last week. "We knew there had been
a problem, but we never and probably still could not pinpoint where the
problem was. We could have that capability, but not at this point."
According to Caroline Smith DeWaal, who heads the Center for Science in
the Public Interest, a consumer-advocacy group, "When budgets are
tight . . . the food program at FDA gets hit the hardest."
In next year's budget, passed amid discovery of contamination problems
in spinach, tomatoes and lettuce, Congress has voted the FDA a $10 million
increase to improve food safety, DeWaal said. The Agriculture Department,
which monitors meat, poultry and eggs and keeps inspectors in every processing
plant, got an increase 10 times that amount to help pay for its inspection
programs. The FDA visits problem food plants about once a year and the
rest far less frequently, Brackett said.
William Hubbard, who retired as associate commissioner of the FDA in 2005
and founded the advocacy group Coalition for a Stronger FDA, said that
when he joined the agency in the 1970s, its food safety arm claimed half
its budget and personnel.
"Now it's about a quarter . . . at a time in which the problems have
grown, the size of the industry has grown and imports of food have skyrocketed,"
Hubbard said. 4-23-07
of HSVS-1000 UltraRapid¢â Food Safety Solution for Fresh-Cut Produce
souce from: http://www.rapidmicrobiology.com
Hanson Technologies, Inc., an innovator in UltraRapid¢â biosensing solutions,
will work with Verdelli Farms, Inc., the largest regional produce processor
on the East Coast, as its first partner site in its pilot program for
validation testing of its Hanson Technologies Safe Vegetable Screening
System (HSVS- 1000).
The HSVS-1000 provides an UltraRapid¢â,
non-culture solution for pathogen detection in fresh-cut produce using
large sample sizes. The elimination of culturing - associated with many
hours of delay in waiting for results - and the ability to screen large,
more representative sample sizes, optimizes quality and ensures accuracy
The HSVS-1000 can simultaneously
screen for multiple pathogens including E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella.
This integrated solution comprises proprietary technology, protocols,
service and support to optimize food safety and quality throughout operations.
The pilot program will include
four weeks of HSVS-1000 operation on-site at Verdelli farms, as well as
Hanson Technologies' on-site support, training, and data collection. Hanson
Technologies will work with Verdelli Farms to create a screening solution
for the fresh-cut produce processed at its large centralized operation
in central Pennsylvania.
The two companies are prepared
to share with the fresh-cut produce industry the valuable information
which will be collected during this pilot program.
Verdelli Farms, Inc. is the
first of three pilot participants with which Hanson Technologies will
partner during completion of its field validation testing and Hanson is
actively seeking additional pilot sites for validation testing of its
The pilot program includes
validation of the technology and on-site support as well as shared data.
Interested companies or institutions can contact William Hanson at 717-245-9890
for more information on this opportunity.
HYBRIDS Releases D3 IFA Enterovirus Identification Kit
souce from: http://www.rapidmicrobiology.com
Diagnostic HYBRIDS now have available the D3 IFA Enterovirus Identification
Kit for the qualitative identification of enteroviruses in cell culture
The kit, for in vitro diagnostic
use, utilizes a blend of monoclonal antibodies developed in-house. These
antibodies target enterovirus-specific antigens produced after a relatively
short incubation period in the proprietary enterovirus cell system called
Super E-Mix¢â, or conventional cells such as primary monkey kidney cells.
The D3 kit represents a product
design improvement on current identification protocols that employ a non-specific,
cellular induced protein that is not induced specifically by enteroviruses.
When combined with the patented Diagnostic HYBRIDS Super E-Mix¢â cell culture
system, positive results can be obtained and confirmed in as little as
16 hours from all specimen types.
"The most recent Enterovirus
Surveillance Report estimates approximately 11 to 15 million symptomatic
enteroviral infections each year, "said Ronald Lollar, Senior Director
of Product Management at Diagnostic HYBRIDS. "Over half of these
infections are not identified in cerebral spinal fluid. Cell culture is
the only FDA-cleared methodology for these types of specimens. The new
D3 IFA Enterovirus Identification Kit was developed to meet the need for
sensitive and specific identification of Enterovirus in these cell cultures."
The D3 IFA Enterovirus Identification
Kit adds a key component to the Diagnostic HYBRIDS Rapid Enterovirus culture
system. The complete system includes Flocked Swab/UTM for specimen collection
and transport, Super E-Mix cells that promote the rapid isolation of the
Enterovirus family of viruses in a single culture system, and the D3 IFA
Enterovirus Identification Kit.
Enterovirus Surveillance --- United States, 1970?2005, Nino Khetsuriani,
MD, Ashley LaMonte-Fowlkes, MPH, M. Steven Oberste, PhD, Mark A. Pallansch,
PhD. Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and
quell E. coli
Baltimore company seeking FDA approval for viral substance to kill the
bacteria on produce, raw meat
BY DELTHIA RICKS
April 23, 2007 Source of Article: http://www.newsday.com/
A small Baltimore biotech company next month will seek U.S. regulatory
approval of a spray composed of bacteria-killing viruses that will destroy
E. coli on raw hamburger and fresh produce. The bacterial strain - referred
to as O157:H7 - caused two major waves of foodborne illnesses last year.
Contaminated spinach sickened 199 people nationwide and killed three in
an outbreak that began in September and ran for more than a month. In
December, an outbreak linked to contaminated lettuce served at Taco Bell
restaurants caused 99 infections, most of them on Long Island and elsewhere
along the Eastern Seaboard. Spraying meat and produce during processing
could lead to a dramatic decline in illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7,
said John Vazzana, president and chief executive of Intralytix, the company
developing the spray.
E. coli O157:H7 is a bovine strain discovered in the early 1980s after
its genes merged with the Shigella bacterium. The emergent E. coli had
a new toxin-producing feature that sometimes proves deadly.
Vazzana said the viruses, which are called bacteriophages, or phages,
are E. coli's natural predator. Phages pose no harm to humans, he said,
and in tests have been very effective in eliminating E. coli on a wide
range of foods.
"We have tested the product on red meat and on fruits and vegetables,
mostly broccoli and spinach," Vazzana said in an interview Friday.
"We have very good efficacy data in controlled studies." Vazzana's
company was the first in the nation last year to receive Food and Drug
Administration approval for another viral spray. Also made of phages,
that spray was designed to kill listeria and is aimed at producers of
cold cuts. Listeria is potentially lethal for pregnant women and anyone
with suppressed immunity.
David Spector, director of research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory,
said phages are viruses that infect only bacteria. "You can think
of it as a parasite that multiplies inside of bacteria," Spector
said. Once inside a bacterial cell, a phage commandeers the organism's
genes and proceeds to make hundreds of new phages, destroying the bacterium
in the process.
Spector added that Cold Spring Harbor was once abuzz with activity in
phage research but has not been involved in it for 40 years. Alfred Hershey
won the 1969 Nobel Prize for his work at the lab on phage genetics.
"The truth is that phages are the most ubiquitous organisms on the
planet," Vazzana said. "In a milliliter of unpolluted water
there are about 200 million phages."
He added that his company's anti-E. coli spray would not affect so-called
good strains of E. coli in the human digestive tract because the phages
in his product are highly specific to O157:H7.
As unsavory as viral sprays for food might seem, there could be reason
to welcome their presence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
announced earlier this month that little progress has been made against
the prevalence of E. coli O157:H7 in recent years. The agency estimates
that there are 76 million cases of foodborne illnesses in the United States
annually caused by a range of pathogens. About 325,000 people are hospitalized
and 5,000 die.
"Using them for food products is a very good idea," William
Jacobs, a microbiology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
in the Bronx, said of phages. "The reality is we're surrounded by
phages whether we like it or not."
Isolated for the first time in 1917 by French biologists, phages have
a storied past. As early as 1920, French researchers reported limited
success in treating infections by exploiting phages' ability to infect
and destroy bacteria.
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
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