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Begins As Vegetables Grow
Article Date: 14 Jun 2007 -
Source of Article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/medicalnews.php?newsid=73933
Monitoring vegetables while they are growing is crucial in the prevention
of contamination of fresh produce with harmful bacteria such as E. coli
and Salmonella, say plant pathologists who are members of The American
Phytopathological Society (APS).
There have been outbreaks of E. coli and Salmonella for at least the past
decade, and the incidences of vegetable contamination are increasing in
frequency. "We've studied plant pathogens on plants for a long time,
but haven't studied human pathogens on plants until recently," said
Jeri D. Barak, research microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Albany, Calif.
"What we've found up to this point is that most contamination is
occurring while the plants are still growing in the field," said
Barak. "The most successful way to prevent contamination of fresh
produce is to intervene before the harvest, not after," she said.
Her research has shown that pathogens like Salmonella use specific genes
to colonize plants, creating an active interaction with the plant surface.
"When this happens, the bacteria become almost inseparable from the
vegetable," she said.
Barak and other APS members will present their latest food safety research
and describe future research needs at a symposium titled "Cross Domain:
Emerging Threats to Plants, Humans, and Our Food Supply" on Monday,
July 30 from 1 to 5 p.m. These experts from across the United States will
discuss the environmental biology of bacteria in fresh produce and the
link between plants and bacteria associated with human infections, such
as the recent E. coli outbreaks from California spinach.
The symposium will be held during the joint meeting of The American Phytopathological
Society (APS) and the Society of Nematologists (SON). The meeting will
take place July 28 - August 1, 2007, at the Town and Country Resort and
Convention Center in San Diego, Calif.
A news conference on plant diseases and issues that are of importance
to the California economy and agriculture, including the latest food safety
information, will be held during the meeting on Monday, July 30 at 11
More information on the meeting is available at http://meeting.apsnet.org/.
The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a non-profit, professional
scientific organization. The research of the organization's 5,000 worldwide
members advances the understanding of the science of plant pathology and
its application to plant health. The Society of Nematologists (SON) is
an international organization formed to advance the science of nematology
in both its fundamental and economic aspects.
Contact: Amy Steigman
American Phytopathological Society
confused about avian flu and food safety
Source of Article: http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/
Jun 12, 2007 (CIDRAP News) ? A nationwide survey indicates that many Americans
have misconceptions about food safety issues related to avian influenza,
researchers from Rutgers University said yesterday.
Researchers from the Food Policy Institute at Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural
Experimental Station, based in New Brunswick, N.J., conducted the survey
to gauge the public's knowledge about H5N1 avian influenza and determine
how Americans would respond if the virus were found in US poultry. The
results were announced yesterday in a press release from Rutgers University.
The research team interviewed 1,200 adults by telephone between May 3
and Jun 5, 2006, according to the 32-page survey report. Investigators
used random-digit dialing to select survey participants from all 50 states.
They first asked a series of questions to gauge respondents' overall awareness
of avian flu and how the disease spreads and is prevented. Then they asked
what respondents would do if the threat of avian influenza increased,
particularly regarding poultry buying and consumption.
Nearly all (93%) of the respondents had heard of avian influenza, yet
more than half said they knew little about it. A 22-question objective
test within the survey confirmed the respondents' view of their own avian
flu knowledge: half scored less than 60%. Women, those with less education,
and those with less objective knowledge about H5N1 were more likely to
have misconceptions about the risks of eating poultry, the group found.
Most of the respondents said their risk of contracting H5N1 was low, but
many believed the risk to others was higher, the survey revealed. Only
about two thirds of respondents were aware that most chicken sold in the
United States is produced domestically, under tightly controlled conditions,
and that poultry products from countries with H5N1 outbreaks are banned.
Though Americans seem to be aware of avian influenza, they are uncertain
of food-related transmission risks, the researchers found. While more
than two-thirds of the survey respondents believed that the avian flu
virus is present in the uncooked meat of infected poultry, less than half
understood that proper cooking kills the virus.
Further, when asked what they would do if the H5N1 virus turned up in
US chickens, 40% of respondents said they would stop eating chicken products,
rather than limiting their risk by using proper cooking and food handling
procedures. The researchers said this result is consistent with findings
among European consumers.
Among other misconceptions, many Americans believe it's easy to identify
H5N1-contaminated raw meat, the researchers said.
Respondents said they would turn away from chicken products if a wild
bird with the H5N1 virus was found in the United States or if poultry
outbreaks were reported in Canada or Mexico.
William K. Hallman, director of the Food Policy Institute, said in the
press release that the results point to specific communication needs.
"The results of the study suggest that much of the American public
does not yet have the information they need to make informed choices abut
purchasing, preparing, and consuming poultry products, should avian influenza
emerge in the United States," he said.
Though consumers' actual behavior often differs from what they predict
it will be, the research group concluded that domestic poultry consumption
would drop dramatically if avian flu emerged in the United States. "The
resulting economic and social impacts would likely be substantial,"
Targeted messages to consumers should include information on the safety
of the US poultry supply, food handling techniques to avoid cross-contamination,
and properly cooking chicken to at least 165━F, the researchers said.
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
aims to improve tomato safety
By Lorraine Heller
Source of Article: http://www.nutraingredients-usa.com
6/13/2007 - The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to start
a tomato safety initiative as part of efforts to reduce the incidence
of produce-related foodborne illness in the country.
The initiative, due to begin in the summer of 2007, comes in response
to recurring salmonella outbreaks associated with fresh and fresh-cut
"This initiative is part of a strategy to reduce foodborne illness
by focusing food safety assessments on specific products, practices, and
growing areas that have been found to be problematic in the past,"
said Robert Brackett, director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied
"Produce is an important part of a healthy diet and FDA wants to
improve its safety by better understanding the causes of foodborne illness
and by promoting more effective methods of safe food production, delivery,
During the past decade, the consumption of fresh and fresh-cut tomatoes
has been linked to 12 different outbreaks of foodborne illness in the
United States. Those outbreaks include 1,840 confirmed cases of illness.
According to FDA, the majority of these have been traced to product originating
from the Eastern shore of Virginia and from Florida, although outbreaks
have also been traced to Georgia, South Carolina, Ohio, and California.
In its new initiative, the agency will collaborate with the state health
and agriculture departments in Virginia and Florida, and will also work
with several universities and members of the produce industry. The program
will begin in July with FDA visits to Virginia-based tomato farms and
packing facilities to assess their food safety practices and to what degree
they implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Manufacturing
Assessment of a variety of environmental factors including irrigation
water, wells, procedures for mixing chemicals, drought and flooding events,
and animal proximity to growing fields will also be conducted during the
farm and packing facility visits.
FDA said it would also continue outreach with the industry at all points
in the supply chain, as well as facilitate and promote research on tomato
safety. The identification of practices or conditions that potentially
lead to product contamination is designed to allow FDA to improve its
guidance and policy on tomato safety.
The new initiative is modeled after the Leafy Greens Initiative that was
initiated in August last year, in collaboration with the State of California's
Department of Health Services and Department of Food and Agriculture.
It is also consistent with the 2004 FDA Produce Safety Action Plan goal
of minimizing the incidence of foodborne illness associated with the consumption
of fresh produce. The findings of the Tomato Safety Initiative will be
publicly shared once the effort is completed.
claims against McDonald's dismissed
Published May 31, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
McDonald's Corp. has won dismissal of three out of five claims in a lawsuit
over allergens contained in french fries and hash browns.
U.S. District Judge Elaine Bucklo in Chicago said the plaintiffs' complaint
failed to give enough detail about an alleged scheme by the Oak Brook-based
company to conceal the existence of gluten and dairy in its food products.
The ruling was a setback for plaintiffs, who claim they or their children
were sickened by McDonald's products because the company gave false dietary
information in ads and online. The group has 28 days to amend its complaint,
Bucklo said in an order posted Wednesday.
The claims "allege that the potato products were advertised and marketed
as milk-, wheat- and gluten-free, but no specific instances or locations
of the advertisements are identified," Bucklo said. She allowed two
claims on breach of warranty and unjust enrichment to proceed. Lawyers
for McDonald's asked the court to throw out the lawsuit in November, referring
to the plaintiffs as a few "hypersensitive consumers with allergies."
Canadian government of mishandling BSE
By Ann Bagel Storck on 6/19/2007 for Meatingplace.com
A class-action lawsuit by beef farmers accusing the Canadian government
of mishandling bovine spongiform encephalopathy has received the green
light from a Quebec court.
The suit was filed in 2005 on behalf of 20,000 Quebec farmers who allege
government officials lost track of 80 British cattle with a high BSE risk.
It also accuses the Canadian subsidiary of multinational feed company
Ridley Inc. of selling feed in Canada that contained bovine protein.
Separate class-action suits have been filed in Ontario, Saskatchewan and
Alberta. The suits seek compensation for losses farmers claim have reached
more than $9 billion across Canada since 2003.
ingredients can be deadly
Rosie Schwartz, National Post
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 Article tools
Source of Article: http://www.canada.com/
Imagine not being allergic to apples but then having a serving of applesauce
and experiencing a severe allergic reaction. That's what happened to Natalie
Gordon, a Winnipeg researcher in human genetics, last December. The allergic
reaction required a variety of treatments: high-dose steroids for 10 days
and inhaled steroids, bronchodilators and antihistamines for six weeks.
She missed four days of work and was ill right through the holiday season.
The rub is that Gordon isn't even allergic to apples. She has a life-threatening
allergy to cherries. Just a small trace of cherry can prompt an anaphylactic
reaction. The ingredients label listed "natural flavour," but
unbeknown to Gordon, that included cherry.
She contacted the company and was informed that the government did not
require it to list the ingredients in its "natural flavour"
because it was a proprietary combination of food elements. Their only
suggestion was to avoid any food containing "natural flavour"
in the future. She was also informed that when terms such as "natural
flavour" are used in a proprietary fashion, the ingredients can be
changed on any corporate whim, so what she can safely eat in one batch
might kill her in another -- but it's all in the same product.
She then contacted Health Canada about the issue and received no reassuring
information about how to safely choose commercial food products. She now
cooks most of her food from scratch -- which isn't a big surprise when
you consider that she's avoiding any products that contain "natural
Gordon is not alone in her frustration. The rate of allergic ailments
such as hay fever, asthma, eczema and food allergies is thought to be
climbing faster than that of almost any other disease in Canada. And for
those with food allergies, seeking out products free of allergens can
be a daunting task. In addition, celiac disease sufferers, who must follow
a gluten-free diet, are experiencing a similar fate. They can't easily
sort through packaged products to find those free of the offending substance.
Numerous groups have long been lobbying the government for better identification
of the hidden allergens in packaged foods. At present, six groups (the
Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology; the Canadian Allergy,
Asthma and Immunology Foundation; the Allergy/ Asthma Information Association;
Anaphylaxis Canada; the Association quebecoise des allergies alimentaires;
and the Canadian Celiac Association) are working on a plan for improved
allergen and gluten labelling. They've also initiated an extensive letter-writing
campaign urging interested parties to write to the Minister of Health
and their MPs.
There are a number of changes to food labelling that could make grocery
shopping safer for many Canadians. Among those being asked for by these
- Listing priority allergens by their common names. As one example, milk
sometimes appears on the label as "casein" or "whey";
under new legislation, it would need to appear as "whey (milk)."
With these changes, consumers wouldn't need a degree in food science in
order to find allergen-free products.
- Removing some existing exemptions. As one example, foods that are used
as an ingredient in another food (such as margarine in a cake mix) don't
currently need to list their component ingredients. The ingredient label
on the cake mix may simply say "margarine," and not indicate
that milk or soy or other ingredients are part of the margarine. Under
new legislation, all priority allergens present in these exempted foods
would need to be declared on the label.
- Identifying the plant or animal source in the common name of all hydrolyzed
proteins, starches or lecithins. As one example, hydrolyzed protein is
often made from soy or wheat, but the plant source is not required to
be on the label. Many people currently avoid products with these ingredients
because they don't know the source. Under proposed legislation, the plant
source would need to be declared.
- Removing existing labelling exemptions for allergens. At present, when
a seasoning is added to a food, even if it contains wheat, the regulations
do not require the wheat to be declared in the ingredient list. Under
the proposed legislation, all gluten sources and priority allergens present
in these exempted foods would have to be declared on the label.
Under existing legislation, food manufacturers and importers only follow
a set of guidelines for allergen labelling, which is subject to interpretation.
Making these guidelines into law would clarify the labelling requirements
and would help the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with enforcement for
domestic and imported foods. In 1993, Health Canada recognized the growing
problem of ingredient labelling and looked at major revisions to the regulations.
A scientific review was conducted -- which took six years -- and comprehensive
recommendations followed. Canada was applauded as a leader among many
Western countries in proposing very strong action toward providing clear
labels on food containing allergens.
But it's now been seven years since the review, and Canada's food and
drug regulations have yet to be amended. Other governments, such as those
in the United States and the European Union, have leapt ahead with legislation
that allows their citizens to easily avoid foods that can present a deadly
Back in 2004, Health Canada came forward with its "Proposed Regulatory
Amendments to Enhance the Labelling of the Priority Allergens in Foods."
The process appears to have stalled. According to Health Canada spokesperson
Paul Duchesne, "Some delays have been experienced in the development
of the expected regulations, due to the complexity of the file. However,
it is anticipated that the proposed amendments will be published by the
end of 2007 in the Canada Gazette, Part I." He also stated, "Publication
of the proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I, allows interested parties
to comment. All comments received must be considered before final changes
to the regulations can be made."
It sounds as if things are moving ahead. But a letter posted on Health
Canada's Web site in February, 2004, by Paul Mayers of the Food Directorate,
states: "Health Canada intends to recommend that the proposed regulatory
amendments be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, by mid-2004."
Sounds familiar. It's the same story that was told in 2005, 2006 and now
in 2007. No wonder the groups advocating for change are skeptical about
seeing action. Just how many more years will this take? And what is the
reason for the delay? The government recognized the issues surrounding
labelling food allergens over a decade ago, and it proposed changes to
make the marketplace safer for many Canadians. Now it's time for action.
- Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian in private practice
and author of The Enlightened Eater's Whole Foods Guide: Harvest the Power
of Phyto Foods (Viking Canada).
Contra Costa Times
Article Launched: 06/19/2007
Source of Article: http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_6176339?source=most_viewed
IN THE AFTERMATH OF the E. coli contamination of bagged spinach last fall,
California farmers must be commended for instituting voluntary changes
in growing and processing practices to better protect their products from
such contamination. If only the federal government, that is to say, the
Food and Drug Administration, would demonstrate similar leadership. Last
fall, grocers and shoppers were in a panic during an outbreak of E. coli-related
illness linked to contaminated bagged spinach. Nationwide, there were
204 illnesses, 104 serious enough to require hospitalization, and even
Spinach farmers saw the bottom drop out of their business. An investigation
zeroed in on cow manure and the feces of wild pigs just a mile from soil
that tested positive for E. coli and was near spinach fields. However,
the FDA concluded it could not definitively determine how the E. coli
contaminated the soil.
Learning from the experience, farmers of leafy greens started developing
new growing and processing standards. It was a rare unified response in
an industry known to be fragmented. They agreed to increase buffer zones
between crops and cattle ranges and enhance the process of testing irrigation
water, among other things. The cost is being picked up by growers.
Processors participating in the program will buy only from farmers complying
with the new standards. With nearly all processors signing on, the voluntary
program has the effect of regulations.
But speaking of regulations, where has the FDA been in this crisis? Advocates
for growers say the FDA has been AWOL. We wish we could say we're surprised.
It is consistent with a pattern of lackadaisical protection of consumers
that we've seen in the Vioxx scandal, the controversy surrounding the
Avandia diabetes pill and the contamination of imported pet food. Perhaps
FDA officials need a refresher course in why the agency was founded. Maybe
they need to reread the mission statement. Based on its continued failures,
a thorough review of the agency is in order.
We are relieved to know the growers and processors of leafy green vegetables
are taking the lead in ensuring the safety of their products and protecting
the health of consumers. It would be nice if our government demonstrated
Safety and Quality Job Information
Food Safety and Quality Job Information
Prebiotic Helps Good Bacteria Take on Bad Ones
By Jan Suszkiw
June 18, 2007
source from: http://www.ars.usda.gov
Beneficial bacteria that promote intestinal health in humans and livestock
could get a boost of their own, thanks to a new method for turning certain
sugars from corn and other crops into complex carbohydrates called oligosaccharides.
According to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist Greg Cote, the
oligosaccharides have commercial potential as "prebiotics."
These are food or feed additives that nourish populations of Lactobacillus,
Bifidobacterium and other "probiotic" bacteria that live inside
their hosts' colons.
Besides unlocking minerals, vitamins and other nutrients from the oligosaccharides,
probiotic bacteria can also make the colon less hospitable to pathogens,
such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli, that can cause illness in humans.
When fed to chicks or piglets, for example, the prebiotics could bolster
the growth and activity of probiotic bacteria so they would outcompete
Salmonella for space and nutrients?a potential boon later on, when the
animals mature and are slaughtered for their meat.
Cote, who's in the ARS Bioproducts and Biocatalysis Research Unit at Peoria,
Ill., codeveloped the oligosaccharides with Scott Holt, an associate professor
with Western Illinois University's Department of Biological Sciences.
They envision formulating the oligosaccharides as a prebiotic product
that could be administered orally.
Their production method uses a microbial enzyme called alternansucrase
to catalyze a series of biochemical reactions that convert sugars like
sucrose, glucose or maltitol into different kinds of oligosaccharides.
Depending on which were used, the resulting oligosaccharides bolstered
the laboratory growth of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Bacteroides and
some enterococci bacteria, but not pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli
or Clostridium perfringens.
rise in food allergies
June 18, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.smh.com.au/
THE number of preschoolers with potentially life-threatening food allergies
has soared fivefold in a decade, but specialists cannot explain why.
There has been a sevenfold increase in the most serious type of reaction,
anaphylaxis, an immediate, often violent, whole-body response which requires
urgent medical treatment. This has risen particularly among children under
An allergy specialist, Raymond Mullins, reported on the alarming rise
in the Medical Journal of Australia. A big increase in the number of hospital
admissions was reflected in private allergy practices nationwide and was
probably the tip of the iceberg, he said.
He described food allergies as the "new kid on the block", a
relatively recent phenomenon unfamiliar to our grandparents, and poorly
understood. "We know it's specific to the Western world and that
it's more and more common but we don't know why," Professor Mullins
The most popular explanation for the increase in allergies - that humans
have become too clean for their own good - may help to explain environmental
allergens such as dust, but not food. Other possibilities are links to
breast milk, an increase in older mothers and greater exposure to potentially
Peanut allergies are the most common, followed by egg, cows' milk and
cashews. Between 1994 and 2005, the number of admissions for allergy attacks
rose from 39 in every million children to 194. "People like myself
are seeing this kind of extraordinary increase on a smaller scale all
over the place so there's a very clear trend, but we just don't understand
it," Professor Mullins said.
The number of children seen for allergic problems at his Canberra clinic
rose fourfold over 12 years. While there was little change for eczema
and hay fever, and a drop in asthma complaints, visits for proven food
allergies went up 1200 per cent.
The report calls for urgent, large studies to confirm the increase, evaluate
the impact on the health budget and plan for better prevention and treatment.
"One day we hope to be able to say that we have a way of desensitising
to food, like we already can with hay fever and venom allergies,"
Professor Mullins said.
food safety under control
By AUDRA ANG
Associated Press Writer
Source of Article: http://www.capitalpress.info/
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
BEIJING (AP) - China played down international concerns about tainted
food exports on Tuesday, saying the problems were not as bad as reported
and displaying seized counterfeit products to show authorities were enforcing
To make its case, the government organized a rare visit by more than 100
foreign and domestic reporters to a food safety lab and storehouse where
bogus goods from chewing gum to soy sauce were stacked on shelves and
arrayed in rows.
"Yes, there are now some problems of food safety of Chinese products.
However, they are not serious. We should not exaggerate those problems,"
Li Dongsheng, vice minister for the State Administration for Industry
and Commerce, told reporters at the lab. China has developed "very
good, very complete methods" to regulate product safety, Li said.
China's poor safety record has increasingly come under scrutiny as its
goods make their way to global markets. Major buyers such as the United
States, Japan, and the European Union have pushed for Beijing to improve
The pressure has increased in recent months as U.S. inspectors have banned
or turned away Chinese exports including wheat gluten tainted with the
chemical melamine, blamed for dog and cat deaths in North America. Monkfish
containing life-threatening levels of pufferfish toxins, drug-laced frozen
eel and juice made with unsafe color additives have also been on the growing
list of unacceptable products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also stopped all imports of
Chinese toothpaste to test for a deadly chemical reportedly found in tubes
sold in Australia, the Dominican Republic and Panama.
In response, China has gone on the offensive. In the past week, the country
has highlighted at least four American products as unsafe or not up to
Chinese safety standards. But at the same time, safety officials have
urged better surveillance at all levels and promised to set up a food
recall system, the country's first, by year end. "We are very concerned
about food safety in China and very concerned about protecting the rights
of consumers," Li said. "But we do not want to cause panic among
Li, whose agency oversees domestic product quality, insisted China was
taking the issue seriously.
"There is now largely no problem with food safety. It is an issue
the people care about greatly," Li said. "So if there is a small
problem, it becomes a big problem for us. So basically for now we can
guarantee food safety."
At the Beijing food lab, technicians wearing white coats tested packages
of spring rolls, dumplings and other frozen foods for toxic chemicals.
Others sat at computers analyzing results.
In another room, a variety of fake products were displayed including Wrigley's
chewing gum, Shiseido skin care products and Levi's jeans.
China has long been the world's leading source of fake medicines and drugs,
illegally copied music, movies, designer clothes and other goods.
U.S. officials say its exports cost legitimate producers worldwide up
to $50 billion a year in lost potential sales.
Li said government food safety procedures include a hot line set up in
1999 that has grown into a surveillance network of local groups and government
Local industry and commerce authorities have conducted widespread inspections
of department stores, supermarkets, outdoor markets and wholesale markets,
the State Council, China's Cabinet, said in a statement.
It said 4.6 million inquires, complaints and reports were received last
year from consumers and 16,000 tons of unsafe food products were ordered
withdrawn from the market in 2006. It did not give details of the products
or why they were withdrawn.
The statement said the surveillance network has also expanded to focus
on consumer protection, trademark protection, food safety supervision
and advertising regulations.
Beef Recall in 11 States
At Least 14 Cases Linked to Tainted Meat
June 11, 2007
Source of Article: http://abcnews.go.com/
The last thing Manuela Lyon expected after eating her husband's spaghetti
and meatballs was a trip to the emergency room.
"My fear was that I was gonna die," she said.
Recall Claims 185 More Tons of BeefIs Your Food Safe?Calif. meatpacker
recalls ground beef over E. coliIs the Food Safety System Working?Following
the Trail of InfectionTop GMA stories
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Lyon is one of at least 14 cases of poisoning from E. coli, a potentially
deadly bacteria linked to tainted beef from California-based United Food
United Food Group originally recalled about half a million pounds of meat
but then expanded the recall over the weekend to 5.7 million pounds. That
meat was shipped to 11 states. Friday, Tyson Foods announced it was recalling
40,000 pounds of beef products shipped to Wal-Mart stores.
"It is small compared with the 24.7 billion pounds of beef that are
produced each year in the U.S.," said David Goldman, Acting Administrator
of Food Safety and Inspection Service for the USDA.
While that may be true, there have been six recalls involving beef products
in just the last two months. And critics fear recent problems involving
other products like spinach, peanut butter and, most recently, pet food,
have diverted attention away from beef.
"The heat has been off the USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture]
for the last nine months while [the] FDA was dealing with these high profile
episodes," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director of Centers
for Science in the Public Interest.
The beef industry dismisses the spike in recalls as a fluke, and points
out E. coli cases have dropped 80 percent in the last seven years.
"We need to look a the big picture," said Beau Reagan of the
National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "This is just really a snapshot."
But Lyon said the situation frustrated her.
"I hope nobody else has to go through this," she said.
Customers with questions about the recall can call United Food Group's
hotline at 1-800-325-4164. Those with recalled products should throw the
products away or return them to the point of purchase for a refund.
The meat was sold under five brand names: Moran's All Natural, Miller
Meat Co., Stater Bros. Markets, Inter-American Products and Basha's. It
has "sell by" dates of April 29, April 30 or May 6; "freeze
by" dates of April 28, April 30 or May 7; or manufacture dates of
April 13 or April 20. All will have a marking that says "EST. 1241"
on the package.
The products were sold by California retailers including Albertsons, Sam's
Club, Smart & Final, Stater Bros. and Superior Warehouse. The affected
products were also sold in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico,
Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Montana, according to state and
federal health officials.
You can protect your family from E. coli by cooking all ground beef to
an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees. That will kill harmful
bacteria and make the meat safe to eat. The California Department of Health
Services is recommending consumers not cook these lots of recalled meat
in an attempt to make the beef safe. The best way to be sure other ground
beef is properly cooked is to use an accurate food thermometer.
Looking Into E. coli Outbreak In Rowan, Cabarrus Counties
E. coli O157:H7
Source of Article: http://www.emaxhealth.com/39/12989.html
Rowan and Cabarrus counties are investigating an outbreak of the intestinal
infection E. coli O157:H7.
Communicable disease experts from the North Carolina Division of Public
Health and from local hospitals are assisting the local health departments
with the investigation.
As of Thursday morning (June 7), four cases of the illness had been confirmed
by laboratory tests, and nine more were considered probable cases and
are awaiting lab testing. Several other possible cases are under active
Many of the sick people identified so far ate at the Captain's Galley
Restaurant in China Grove between May 26 and May 29, 2007. Any person
who has eaten at the Captain's Galley Restaurant on or after May 26 and
has developed diarrhea should see a doctor immediately, as E. coli O157:H7
can cause serious disease with long-lasting effects. Severe cases can
progress to fatal kidney failure, especially in young children.
No illness has been reported so far in people who ate at the restaurant
after May 29, and no obvious source of infection has been found so far
at the restaurant. However, public health officials are continuing to
investigate, and are still looking for cases and working to find the cause
of these infections to be sure that no one else gets infected.
E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterial infection that affects the stomach and
intestines. People are usually infected by eating or drinking food or
water that has been contaminated with the bacteria, or sometimes by contact
with another infected person.
People who are infected often have diarrhea, stomach pain, or vomiting.
Diarrhea may be bloody. Infections can be severe, especially in young
children and the elderly. Early medical care, including treatment with
IV fluids, is important.
Secondary infections?getting the illness from someone else who is or has
been ill?are also a concern. "The best way to reduce the risk of
getting E. coli from another person is thorough hand-washing," said
Dr. William F. Pilkington, Health Director for Cabarrus County. "In
most cases, a person with E. coli may have diarrhea or vomiting for a
few days, and then begin to get better. However, the risk of transmitting
the infection may continue for up to three weeks because the bacterium
is still found in bowel movements. Coming in contact with even small amounts
of harmful types of E. coli can cause illness. So, it is very important
that anyone who is recovering from stomach illness continue to carefully
wash their hands even after their symptoms have passed."
Any Mecklenburg County resident who ate at this restaurant during the
days and times listed and is having ANY symptoms similar to e-coli symptoms
listed above should contact their physician immediately.
Any physician who sees a what they believe is a case to please contact
their local health department.
recorders provide instant results
By Charlotte Eyre
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
19/06/2007 - Deltatrak today announced a new line of temperature recorders
that offer accurate readings throughout the supply chain, the company
The reusable Digital Display Environmental Temperature Recorders incorporate
a wide range of features, the company said, and provide food manufacturers
with a simple but effective way of meeting safety standards.
Processors are increasingly on the lookout for improved temperature measuring
equipment as more and more governments impose hygiene analysis and critical
control point (HACCP) procedures worldwide.
HACCP is a systematic preventative approach to food safety aiming to spot
physical, chemical and biological hazards at the during the manufacturing
process, rather than at final product inspection.
Deltatrak claims that its new temperature recorders give even more precise
Different models with fahrenheit (━F) or centigrade (━C) scales can make
recordings during time intervals of 3, 10, 31 and 62 days. Two temperature
ranges are available; low (-20 ━F to 100 ━F or -28 ━C to 38 ━C) and high
(30━F to 150 ━F or 0 ━C to 65 ━C).
The recorders can be wall mounted or hung from a loop, and feature an
attached stylus that records temperature on a chemically coated strip
This stylus charts accurate temperature recordings that are not impacted
by vehicle vibrations or other environmental conditions such as heat or
humidity, the company claims.
Operational since 1989, Deltatrak manufactures portable test instruments
and software that monitor and record temperature, humidity and pH parameters.
It has offices in California
and Shenzhen, China, and sells products in over 40 countries, the company
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