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FDA Warns Consumers
Not to Eat Veggie Booty Snack Food
Risk of Salmonella Contamination
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to eat
Veggie Booty flavor of snack food, marketed by Robert's American Gourmet,
due to possible contamination with Salmonella Wandsworth, bacteria that
cause gastrointestinal illness.
FDA advises consumers to throw
away any Robert's American Gourmet brand Veggie Booty they have in their
home. Veggie Booty is sold in a flexible plastic foil bag in four ounce,
one ounce, and one-half ounce packages. No other flavors or varieties
of snack food marketed by Robert's American Gourmet have been associated
with Salmonella Wandsworth contamination.
Veggie Booty is often consumed
by children, so parents are encouraged to watch their children, and seek
medical care if they observe signs of illness.
Individuals who have recently
eaten Veggie Booty and who have experienced any of the symptoms described
below should contact a doctor or other health care provider immediately.
Any such illnesses in persons with a recent history of eating Veggie Booty
should be reported to state or local health authorities.
This warning is based on 52
reports of illness across 17 states, beginning in March 2007. Almost all
the illnesses have occurred in children under 10 years old, with the most
cases in toddlers. Most persons had reported bloody diarrhea; four were
hospitalized. FDA learned of the illnesses on June 27 from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted an investigation of
the illnesses with state and local health officials. The outbreak is considered
likely to be ongoing.
Salmonella typically causes
diarrhea (may be bloody); the diarrhea is often accompanied by abdominal
cramps and fever. Symptoms typically begin within one to four days after
exposure to the bacteria. In infants, persons with poor underlying health
and those with weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the bloodstream
and cause life-threatening infections.
States reporting illnesses
include: California (seven cases), Colorado (five cases), Connecticut
(one case), Georgia (one case), Indiana (one case), Massachusetts (three
cases), Minnesota (two cases), New Hampshire (two cases), New Jersey (two
cases), New York (13 cases), Oregon (one case), Pennsylvania (three cases),
Tennessee (one), Texas (one), Vermont (three cases), Washington (four
cases), and Wisconsin (two cases).
Robert's American Gourmet,
of Sea Cliff, N.Y., which markets Veggie Booty, and its contract manufacturer,
are fully cooperating with FDA's investigation into the cause of the contamination.
Manufacturing and distribution of this product has ceased, and Robert's
American Gourmet is recalling all potentially contaminated product, including
all expiration dates and lot codes. The product is sold in all 50 states
and Canada at retail locations and over the Internet.
FDA¡¯s comprehensive investigation
has begun at the manufacturing facility, focused on identifying the source
of the contamination. Product samples have been collected and will be
analyzed in FDA laboratories. Typical microbiological analysis takes approximately
seven days. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are also continuing
their investigation in close collaboration with state health departments
and FDA. FDA will provide additional updates as the investigation progresses
and more information becomes available.
of salmonella wandsworth poisonings linked to "Veggie Booty"
Snack Food - all products being recalled by FDA and Robert's American
Gourmet Food, Inc.
Posted on June 28, 2007 by Salmonella Attorney
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
All lots and sizes of ¡°Veggie Booty¡± Snack Food are being recalled following
a report of 51 cases of Salmonella poisoning associated with consuming
the product. It is Salmonella Wandsworth ? very rare serotype - March
1 - June 11 onsets. ¡°Veggie Booty¡± Snack Food is sold in supermarkets,
health food stores, and vending machines and online in the United States
and Canada. It is sold in flexible plastic foil bags in 4 ounce, 1 ounce
and half-ounce portions. We bought some today at about 1:00 PM Seattle
time. See Recall Notices - Company's and FDA's. Veggie Booty contains
a blend of Spinach, Kale, Cabbage, Carrots and Broccoli. I called my kids
at home today and found out that we had some of it in the pantry. So,
it looks like we have some evidence to test. Salmonella is one of the
most common enteric (intestinal) infections in the United States. Salmonellosis
(the disease caused by Salmonella) is the second most common form of bacterial
foodborne illness. It is estimated that 1.4 million cases of salmonellosis
occur each year in the U.S.; 95% of those cases are foodborne-related.
Approximately 220 of each 1000 cases result in hospitalization and eight
of every 1000 cases result in death. About 500 to 1,000 or 31% of all
food-related deaths are caused by Salmonella infections each year.
The acute symptoms of Salmonella gastroenteritis include the sudden onset
of nausea, abdominal cramping, and bloody diarrhea with mucous. Fever
is almost always present. Vomiting is less common than diarrhea. Headaches,
myalgias (muscle pain), and arthralgias (joint pain) are often reported
as well. The onset of symptoms usually occurs within 6 to 72 hours after
the ingestion of the bacteria. The infectious dose is small, probably
from 15 to 20 cells. Generally, illnesses last five to seven days, although
severe complications may occur.
As the managing partner of Seattle-based, Marler Clark, I have represented
thousands of victims of Salmonella poisonings in the last fifteen years.
Outbreaks have included cases against Chili's, ConAgra, Golden Corral,
KFC, Malt-O-Meal, Sheetz, Sun Orchard, Wal-Mart and Western Sizzlin.'
I found this on the "Veggie Booty" website interesting:
Veggie Booty is a delicious snack that you and your family will love
Veggie Booty is made from the finest ingredients
Veggie Booty will change the way you eat, while enjoying the finest
snack on the planet
Veggie Booty puts you in the mindset to eat healthier and change your
life. Take it on a train or in your car, one a walk or in a boat
Veggie Booty will be your good friend
This is a life-changing snack that will help you eat healthier
Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote for Salon.com two years ago an article entitled
My kids' favorite snack smells funkier than poop, has questionable nutritional
value and leaves a trail of bright green powder in its wake. Still, I
can't imagine life without it. Veggie Booty is basically crack for babies.
Which is exactly why parents buy it.
According to the Associated Press in Seattle:
Four Washington kids sickened in salmonella outbreak
The state Health Department says four children have been sickened by a
rare type of salmonella blamed for outbreaks in 17 states. State health
officials believe the four Washington cases of salmonella poisoning are
linked to contaminated snacks called "Veggie Booty," which are
under a national recall. The four sick children in Washington are younger
than 5. Two cases are in Whatcom County, while King County and Spokane
County each report one case. All four kids have recovered. Officials say
more than 50 people nationwide, mostly young children, have been sickened
in the salmonella outbreak. Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause diarrhea,
fever and vomiting.
A Santa Barbara County toddler
is recovering Thursday night from salmonella caused by a popular snack
The Santa Barbara County of Public Health confirmed his illness is linked
to "Veggie Booty" made of puffed rice and corn. The company
that produces it has recalled the snack. Health officials said luckily,
the toddler was not hospitalized and has fully
Two Minnesota kids infected
Veggie Booty has been linked to the infection of a six-month-old boy and
an 11-month-old girl in Minnesota. Two young children in Minnesota are
among 52 people nationally infected by a rare type of salmonella poisoning
linked to the snack food Veggie Booty, made by Robert's American Gourmet,
a New York-based company. Both unidentified children, a six-month-old
boy and an 11-month-old girl, are from the Twin Cities area. The boy has
recovered, and the girl is recovering, said officials from the Minnesota
Department of Health (MDH).
How FDA Regulates
FDA Detains Imports of Farm-Raised Chinese Seafood
FDA.gov - June 29, 2007
Source of Article: http://www.newsfood.com/
On June 28, 2007, FDA announced a broader import control of farm-raised
catfish, basa, shrimp, dace (related to carp), and eel from China. FDA
will start to detain these products at the border until the shipments
are proven to be free of residues from drugs that are not approved in
the United States for use in farm-raised aquatic animals. The agency took
this action to protect American consumers from unsafe residues detected
in these products. There have been no reports of illnesses to date.
FDA is taking this strong step
now because of continuing evidence that certain Chinese aquaculture products
imported into the United States contain illegal substances. Aquaculture,
also known as fish farming, involves raising fish in enclosed areas to
be sold for food. Almost half of all imported seafood is from aquaculture,
according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
During targeted sampling, from
October 2006 through May 2007, FDA repeatedly found that farm-raised seafood
from China was contaminated with antimicrobial agents that are not approved
for use in the United States. More specifically, the antimicrobials nitrofuran,
malachite green, gentian violet, and flouroquinolones, were detected.
Nitrofurans, malachite green, and gentian violet have been shown to cause
cancer with long-term exposure in lab animals. The use of fluoroquinolones
in food animals may increase antibiotic resistance, making it harder for
this class of drugs to fight certain infections in people.
"Consumers should know
that this is not an immediate public health hazard," says Robert
Brackett, PhD, director of FDA¡¯s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
"The levels of contaminants that have been found are very low, and
FDA is not advising consumers to destroy or return farm-raised seafood
that they may have already purchased and have in their homes. The agency
also is not seeking a recall of products already in the marketplace."
FDA is taking this action as
a precautionary measure to prevent problems that may occur from long-term
exposure to harmful residues. The agency is also concerned about the possible
development of antibiotic resistance. "This action serves to keep
contaminated products from entering the country so that they don't reach
American consumers," Brackett says.
Here's a look at how FDA works
to protect consumers from unsafe seafood.
How do drug residues end up
Some fish are given drugs to treat bacterial and parasitic diseases that
cause major mortalities in fish. FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine
(CVM) regulates drugs given to animals. CVM conducts research to improve
the drug approval process and expand the number of safe drugs available
for fish production. CVM also develops methods to detect unapproved chemicals
in fish tissues so that harmful drug residues don't wind up in the fish
on your plate.
Is imported seafood required
to meet the same standards as domestic seafood?
Yes. Imported foods must be pure, wholesome, safe to eat, and produced
under sanitary conditions. FDA requires imported seafood to be free of
harmful residues. Importers must comply with regulations under the Federal
Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. In
addition, seafood must be processed in accordance with FDA's Hazard Analysis
and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. A 1997 regulation, "Procedures
for the Safe and Sanitary Processing and Importing of Fish and Fishery
Products," requires seafood processors to identify food safety hazards
and apply preventive measures to control hazards that could cause foodborne
What other specific FDA regulatory
programs focus on seafood?
¡Ü National Shellfish Sanitation Program: Administered by FDA, this program
provides for the sanitary harvest and production of fresh and frozen molluscan
shellfish (oysters, clams, and mussels). FDA conducts reviews of foreign
and domestic molluscan shellfish safety programs.
¡Ü Salmon Control Plan: This is a voluntary, cooperative program among
industry, FDA, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association/Food Products
Association. It's designed to provide control over processing and plant
sanitation, and to address concerns in the salmon canning industry.
¡Ü Low-Acid Canned Food (LACF) Program: To ensure safety from harmful bacteria
or their toxins, especially the deadly Clostridium botulinum (C botulinum),
in canned foods, regulations were established to ensure that commercial
canning establishments apply proper processing, controls, such as heating
the canned food at the proper temperature for a sufficient time to destroy
the toxin-forming bacteria. Products such as canned tuna and salmon are
examples of LACF seafood products.
How does FDA know when there
is a safety concern associated with seafood?
FDA, in collaboration with state regulatory counterparts, conducts in-plant
inspections that focus on product safety, plant/food hygiene, economic
fraud, and other compliance concerns. FDA also receives notice of every
seafood entry coming from a foreign country and selects entries from which
to collect and analyze samples. FDA laboratories analyze samples for the
presence of various safety hazards and contaminants, such as pathogens,
chemical contaminants, unapproved food additives and drugs, pesticides,
and toxins. Through close collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) and state and foreign regulatory partners, FDA also learns of seafood
safety concerns that arise through reports of illness potentially associated
with seafood products.
What steps does FDA take when
problems with seafood are detected?
For imported seafood, FDA has the authority to detain the food at the
border to keep it from entering the country. This happens when FDA's analysis
of such products indicate that they are not in compliance with the laws
and regulations enforced by FDA. FDA can subsequently refuse entries of
detained products if evidence of compliance is not provided by the importer
or the importer does not correct the problem.
FDA has developed a number
of import alerts that address problems found in seafood products in the
past. An import alert identifies products that are suspected of violating
the law so that FDA field personnel and U.S. Customs and Border Protection
staff can stop these entries at the border prior to distribution in the
United States. Usually, these import alerts will describe the products
or firms that are subject to detention without physical examination. When
products are detained without physical examination, the burden for demonstrating
compliance of the product falls on the importer. Such compliance must
be demonstrated before the product can enter U.S. commerce.
FDA can recommend criminal
prosecution or injunction of responsible domestic firms and individuals,
as well as seizure of contaminated products in commercial distribution
within the U.S. FDA also works with domestic seafood processors to initiate
voluntary recalls of contaminated products that may pose a safety concern
What kind of research on seafood
safety does FDA do?
FDA conducts research to better understand the nature and severity posed
by various safety hazards, and other defects which may affect quality
and economic integrity and to develop methods to minimize these risks.
There are FDA laboratories specializing in seafood research on the Atlantic,
Gulf, and Pacific coasts to address regional problems related to toxins
and contaminants. FDA also has a facility in Laurel, Md., for conducting
state-of-the-art research on drugs used in aquaculture.
What is the consumer's role
in seafood safety?
As with any food, consumers should take precautions to reduce the risk
of foodborne illness associated with seafood. This includes properly selecting,
preparing, and storing seafood. For example, consumers should only buy
food from reputable sources and buy fresh seafood that is refrigerated
or properly iced. Also, most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature
of 145¡ÆF. Some people are at greater risk for foodborne illness and should
not eat raw or partially cooked fish or shellfish. This includes pregnant
women, young children, older adults, and people with compromised immune
guidelines take aim at norovirus outbreaks
June 27, 2007 Source of Article: http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/
Anyone who has been struck by a food-borne illness such as norovirus knows
how enjoying a good meal can turn into a day or two of misery. According
to the Michigan Department of Community Health, more than 5,000 people
were sickened by 145 norovirus outbreaks in the state during 2006. That
is four times more outbreaks than the previous year. One of the primary
ways that the virus is transmitted is through food prepared by someone
who is ill.
In order to prevent the unnecessary spread of norovirus and similar illnesses,
we agree with legislation introduced in both the Michigan House and Senate
last week to tighten food safety rules. The proposals would put into state
law federal food safety guidelines that have been proven to help avoid
the outbreak of food-borne illness.
The bills would:
Require that restaurants have at least one manager who has passed an accredited
food safety exam, thus making them well-versed in the need to adhere to
proper preventive measures.
Clarify when food-service employees who are ill can return to work. Under
the legislation, someone with vomiting, diarrhea or a sore throat with
fever could not return to work until 24 hours after the symptoms are gone.
A worker who has been diagnosed with norovirus could not come back until
permitted to do so by regulators and after waiting at least 48 hours after
Put into place stricter controls
regarding bare-hand contact with food.
The proposed legislation offers nothing radical. Rather, it simply institutes
common-sense practices. Food-service employees who return to work too
soon after being ill - or work while they are ill - place many people
While food-borne illness is
seldom fatal, symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, cramping and low-grade
fever can be incapacitating for a day or more. Large outbreaks of norovirus
over the past year at well-known restaurants in Lansing, Ann Arbor and
elsewhere should motivate lawmakers to protect their constituents by requiring
that the proper safety measures be taken to prevent such outbreaks.
Make Significant Advance In Understanding Gastroenteritis-causing Noroviruses
Source of Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/06/070627225110.htm
Science Daily A breakthrough announced this week by scientists at the
University of Southampton's School of Medicine will lead to greater understanding
of noroviruses, the most common cause of non-bacterial gastroenteritis
around the world.
Human noroviruses, which are closely related to the murine norovirus,
are responsible for extensive outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting in cruise
ships, hotels, schools and hospitals. (Credit: Image courtesy of University
of Southampton)Ads by Google Advertise on this site
Traditionally very little has been known about the biology of noroviruses
because of the difficulty in culturing and manipulating these pathogens
in the laboratory. Now the Southampton team, assisted by colleagues at
the University of Otago and Washington University Medical School, has
devised a system for manipulating the genome of the murine norovirus (MNV)
which affects rodents. This breakthrough will lead to a greater understanding
of how these pathogens work and, it is hoped, lead to ways of controlling
Human noroviruses, which are closely related to the murine norovirus,
are responsible for extensive outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting in cruise
ships, hotels, schools and hospitals. Up to a million cases of norovirus
infection are estimated to occur annually in the UK.
'The human noroviruses have been exceedingly difficult to work with as
there is no cell culture system to propagate these viruses, and as a result
very little is known about their biology,' comments Professor Ian Clarke,
who heads the Virus Group at Southampton.
'In the absence of a cell culture system, MNV is a surrogate for study
of the human noroviruses. This study represents the culmination of a ten-year
research quest in Southampton to obtain recovery of a live norovirus from
its nucleic acid.'
The team in Southampton included Drs Vernon Ward, Christopher McCormick,
Omar Salim and Paul Lambden and Professor Clarke. Together with Drs Larissa
Thackray, Christiane Wobus and Skip Virgin at Washington University School
of Medicine they devised a novel way of introducing a complete DNA copy
of the MNV RNA genome into human cells grown in the laboratory. This allowed
recovery for the first time of intact, functional viral particles from
human tissue culture. They also used their system to mutate the virus
so that they could identify a sequence that is essential for viral replication.
Their reverse infectious genetics system will be an essential tool for
understanding the replication and molecular biology of this and human
noroviruses and will help in the development of antivirals aimed at controlling
The work, which was funded through a Wellcome Trust project grant, is
published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA)
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by University
of U.S. adults report food allergy
Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:21AM EDT Source of Article: http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSCOL87004920070629
Power. Price. Service. No Compromises.NEW
YORK (Reuters Health) - More than 5 percent of U.S. adults may have food
allergies, and many of them say food labels make it hard to protect themselves,
according to a government study. Using data from a national survey from
2001, researchers at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that
5.3 percent of U.S. adults said a doctor had diagnosed them with a food
allergy. Roughly half of these individuals were allergic to one or more
of the eight most common food allergens: milk and other dairy foods; fish;
eggs; crustaceans like lobster and shrimp; tree nuts such as walnuts;
peanuts; soy; and wheat. Others said they were allergic to some type of
fruit or vegetable, chocolate, a food additive, or shellfish (which the
law defines as separate from crustaceans). When asked about any problems
they had with reading food labels, 40 percent of those who regularly read
labels reported some "serious" or "very serious" difficulty.
Problems included manufacturers' use of vague terms, like "spice,"
and technical terms, such as casein instead of milk, or albumin instead
of eggs. Another issue was that food makers do not always make it clear
when a new ingredient has been added to a product, though it is included
on the ingredient list. Katherine A. Vierk and her colleagues at the FDA
report the findings in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Since the 2001 survey was taken, Congress passed a law requiring food
makers to list, in plain English, any of the eight most common food allergens.
That law, which went into effect in 2006, should address many of the concerns
voiced in this survey, according to Vierk's team. They say similar surveys
can now be conducted to see whether the new label law has made managing
food allergies any easier. SOURCE: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology,
pathogen may be key to understanding cancer development
Source of Article: http://www.spiritindia.com/health-care-news-articles-10985.html
Cancer :: Bacterial pathogen
may be key to understanding cancer development
A research team including University of Central Florida Microbiology Professor
Keith Ireton is using the bacterial pathogen Listeria Monocytogenes to
understand the mechanisms of cell growth and cancer development.
In research published this month in the Journal of Biological Chemistry,
the team found that a Listeria protein called InlB induces internalization
and degradation of a human receptor known as Met. Met has been implicated
in the development of some cancers.
Lisa A. Elferink at the University of Texas Medical Branch led the team.
She and Ireton found that the ability of InlB to induce Met internalization
and degradation requires a human protein called Cbl. If scientists could
figure out how to control Cbl, such knowledge might lead to the development
of drugs that induce the destruction of Met and are useful in treating
Ireton is an expert on Listeria monocytogenes, a cause of food poisoning.
He has long studied how it enters into cells of the human body, and explains
the mechanism in this month¡¯s issue of the journal Cellular Microbiology.
¡°We found that Listeria actually ¡®provokes¡¯ human epithelial cells (cells
lining the small intestine) into ingesting bacteria,¡± Ireton said. ¡°When
Listeria contacts an epithelial cell, the bacterium causes changes in
the cell¡¯s ¡®cytoskeleton¡¯ that allow the cell to swallow up the bacterium.
We discovered that a human protein called CrkII plays a critical role
in stimulating internalization of Listeria by somehow controlling the
Listeria is a potentially deadly pathogen, causing abortions in pregnant
women and meningitis in those with compromised immune systems, resulting
in about a 25 percent mortality rate.
The findings are important in helping to understand and control the spread
of bacteria that are a cause of potentially fatal food poisoning. Ireton
said the bacteria can live outside animal hosts. Sources include dead
plant matter, fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized diary products and
meats that have not been properly cooked. Pregnant women and people with
compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible.
To avoid contamination, Ireton suggests cooking all meats thoroughly,
avoiding dairy products that are not pasteurized and washing all fruits
and vegetables thoroughly before consumption.
added to Hershey's salmonella advisory
Last Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2007
CBC News Source of Article: http://www.cbc.ca/
Canada's food watchdog has expanded an earlier advisory concerning Hershey's
chocolate products possibly contaminated with salmonella to include three
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Wednesday the updated advisory
now applies to the following items:
Reese Honey Roasted Peanut Butter Cups, 51 grams.
Oh Henry! Rocky Road bar, 60 grams.
Pot of Gold All Nut Collection, 245 grams.
The three products were not included in the original Nov. 12, 2006 recall
because they hadn't been distributed to stores.
The products, marked with codes
ranging from 6417 to 6455 inclusive, may be for sale in Ontario at flea
markets. Liquidators and independent and private retailers in the province
may also be selling the withdrawn products. Authorities have recovered
some recalled Hershey's chocolate products in the Lindsay and Hamilton
Earlier this month, Toronto police arrested two men in possession of eight
pallets of Hershey's chocolate products that had been recalled in November.
Authorities allege the chocolate was stolen from a recycling depot.
The products had been sent to the facility for disposal after Hershey's
Canada recalled its chocolate for possible salmonella contamination.
Food tainted with salmonella may not look or smell spoiled, but the bacteria
can cause symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, vomiting, nausea,
abdominal pain and diarrhea. No associated illnesses have been reported.
Safety and Quality Job Information
Food Safety and Quality Job Information
consider international food safety standards
By Ahmed ElAmin
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
28/06/2007 - International food safety standards on fish, eggs and infant
formulas are likely to be adopted next week at the annual meeting of the
Codex Alimentarius Commission. The adoption of international food safety
standards on fish, eggs and infant formulas are likely next week at the
annual meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Agreements forged
at the six-day meeting beginning on 2 July in Rome could eventually affect
the way processors operate worldwide as they become incorporated into
national laws. The standards are recognised as international benchmarks
by one of the multilateral agreements of the UN World Trade Organization
(WTO) and aim to help international food trade by eliminating many of
what the UN calls "unjustified technical barriers" set up by
some countries. The Codex Alimentarius is a global body set up by the
Food and Agricultural Organisation and the World Health Organisation as
a means of getting countries to adopt international safety standards and
At this year's annual meeting, the Commission is considering several draft
food standards for adoption.
These include a draft code of practice for fish and fishery products,
for hygienic practice for eggs and egg products and a draft revised standard
for infant formula and formulas for "special medical purposes".
The Commission will also consider proposals setting maximum levels for
tin in canned foods and beverages and a code of practice for reducing
Ochratoxin A contamination in wine. They will also consider draft rules
on a number of standards for food additives, including specifications
on identification, numbering and purity. A proposed draft code of practice
for fish and such products such as quick frozen coated fish and salted
fish is also on the body's agenda. Various panels have also submitted
a proposed amendment to the standard for canned sardines and related products.
Commission members will also consider a new draft guideline on the control
of Listeria monocytogenes in foods and on microbiological risk management.
Since 1963, the Codex has adopted about 200 commodity standards. A total
of 174 countries and the European Community belong to Codex.
Campaign Looks Good
NEW ZEALAND - Poultry industry campaign against Campylobacter shows encouraging
signs. Source of Article: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/
The New Zealand Poultry industry says small drops in the number of reported
cases of human Campylobacter, is an encouraging sign and indicates the
industry¡¯s extensive science and research programme undertaken with New
Zealand Food Safety Authority and ESR is on the right track.
Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand Executive Director Michael
Brooks says however, that is still very early days and the industry is
committed to the long term campaign. Poultry producers have spent months
reviewing and refining their procedures following last year¡¯s rise in
the number of human Campylobacter cases in New Zealand.
Uncooked chicken meat is one of a number of sources of human Campylobacter.
The food poisoning bacteria also spreads through contact with domestic
pets, cattle, birds and untreated water. Mr Brooks says in mid 2006 the
industry responded to consumer concerns by launching a comprehensive 6-month
plan of action focused mainly on meat processing.
The aim was to minimise the levels of campylobacter on poultry and to
determine whether factors beyond the industry¡¯s control are also contributing
to the high rates of illness among New Zealanders.
To combat Campylobacter the industry has adopted a science-based risk
management approach. The new initiatives now operating within the industry
Trialling new processing interventions in a bid to reduce Campylobacter
levels on carcasses.
Employing an independent consultant to review and recommend changes to
current processing plant practices, a number of which are already in place.)
A major research programme to review Campylobacter levels on farms as
well as in processing facilities.
Extensive reviews of on-farm biosecurity practices.
A review of food safety information for consumers
Mr Brooks says the industry¡¯s crackdown on Campylobacter has been exhaustive.
But the efforts are starting to make an impact.
¡°From August 2006 to April
2007, the ESR surveillance reports of human cases of Campylobacter have
shown month on month reductions (except January) compared to the previous
8 months. However, it is too early to say we have turned the corner. There
is still considerable work to be done and we will be working with others
both in New Zealand and internationally to resolve this problem which
is causing much concern for us, for regulators and consumers.¡¯
The industry believes improved
public awareness of the 4Cs ? Clean Cook Cover Chill - is necessary to
help reduce human infection rates. In particular, thoroughly cooking all
poultry meat until the juices run clear is one of the best ways to reduce
the risk associated with Campylobacter. Preventing cross contamination
of kitchen surfaces and utensils is also important.
Mr Brooks says the industry
is encouraged to find its efforts have not been in vain. But whether improvements
in the poultry industry alone can bring down New Zealand¡¯s soaring rates
of human infection remains to be seen.
¡°While the industry has deployed
processing interventions which have reduced levels of Campylobacter on
poultry meat, some research findings indicate that the reasons for human
Campylobacter infections are complex and may well not be related solely
to poultry processing but other environmental and societal issues.
However we are not shying away
from the fact that poultry is one of the main causes of human
Campylobacter infection and that¡¯s why solving this problem remains our
top priority,¡± Mr Brookes says. ThePoultrySite News Desk
Americans are Unaware of Germ Threat to Children in the Home
Posted on: 06/25/2007
Source of Article: http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/
PARSIPPANY, N.J. -- A new survey sponsored by Lysol(R) brand products
reveals Americans are ignorant to the potential germ hazards threatening
their children.(1) Only 5 percent identified the home as the place where
children are most likely to catch an infection when, in fact, studies
show that there is a greater risk of transmission within the home than
Soliciting data from more than 10,000 people in 10 countries, the survey
is part of a global effort by the Hygiene Council to educate the public
about the importance of hygiene for family wellness. Comprised of leading
scientists from around the globe, the Council works to dispel myths about
germs and educate consumers about basic hygiene practices, such as proper
handwashing, food handling and regular surface disinfection.
"The survey shows that there is a great misunderstanding about where
families and children come into contact with germs," said professor
Philip M. Tierno, U.S. representative to the Hygiene Council and director
of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University Medical
Center. "Germs often lurk in what appear to be the cleanest places
in the home."
A mere 3 percent of Americans believe the bathtub poses the greatest risk
of transmitting germs to themselves or their children.(3) However, the
bathtub is one of the germiest surfaces in the home.(4) A recent study
found Staph aureus, the most common cause of serious staph infections,
in 26 percent of bathtubs tested, vs. only 6 percent of garbage cans.(5)
The Hygiene Council survey also found that 4 out of 10 Americans admitted
that they most regularly clean their kitchen surfaces with a dishtowel
or sponge(6), both of which can harbor and spread dangerous bacteria.
When asked how long they believe that germs can survive on surfaces, only
13 percent were aware that some viruses can live on common surfaces, such
as countertops and door handles, for up to a full month.(7) The majority,
33 percent, believed the lifespan to be only days.
Concepts in Foodborne Pathogens and Rapid and Automated Methods in Food
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
River Falls, WI
University of Wisconsin-River Falls
The program features presentations and discussion on foodborne pathogens,
allergens and other food safety and quality issues by speakers from academia,
regulatory agencies including:
Reginald Bennett, Chief of Microbiological Methods Research, at CFSAN,
presently the section leader in microbial toxins, with primary interest
and Bacillus species toxins, and serodiagnosis of Listeria monocytogenes.
James Dickson of the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University
research focuses on Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meats.
William Krueger, Director of Laboratory Services Division at the Minnesota
of Agriculture will be the featured speaker at the banquet. He will speak
a web-based platform to facilitate communication and coordination across
food and agriculture sectors.
David Lineback, Director Emeritus of the Joint Institute for Food Safety
at the University of Maryland will be the keynote speaker at our opening
session. He will
share his thoughts on the developing and potential issues in food safety
in the years ahead.
Rebeca Lopez-Garcia of Logre International Food Science Consulting in
City will bring an international perspective with her work in implementing
programs and international standards in a multicultural environment and
compliance for exporting companies.
John Luchansky, a Researcher Leader at the Eastern Regional Research Center
will report on his research to elucidate the ecology of pathogens and
intervention strategies for their control.
Melissa Newman of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences at the University
Kentucky will speak on homeland security issues. She co-authored the EDEN
class on Animal Disasters and Biosecurity that will be available this
Scott Russell with the Poultry Science Department at the University of
Georgia will share
the latest in rapid microbiological testing methods for the poultry industry.
Les Smoot, Director of Food Safety for Nestle will provide the perspective
of a large
international food company.
us in the new University Center
on the UW-River Falls campus
For details go to:
Contact us at:
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
Scientific Evidence Confirms Aspartame's Safety
Source of Article: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/531097/
The findings of a new rat study conducted by Italy¡¯s Ramazzini Institute
are contradictory to the extensive scientific research and regulatory
reviews conducted on aspartame. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration
(FDA) has stated they are not recommending any changes in the use of aspartame.
Newswise The findings of a
new rat study conducted by Italy¡¯s Ramazzini Institute are contradictory
to the extensive scientific research and regulatory reviews conducted
on aspartame. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has stated
they are not recommending any changes in the use of aspartame.
On April 20, 2007, FDA issued a statement that it has completed a review
of the Ramazzini study, concluding that the study data made available
to them by the European Ramazzini Foundation (ERF) ¡°do not appear to support
the aspartame-related findings reported by ERF.¡± FDA added, ¡°These data
do not provide evidence to alter FDA's conclusion that the use of aspartame
is safe.¡± Also, the European Food Safety Authority and other experts recently
dismissed an earlier aspartame rat study by the Ramazzini Institute. In
its statement, available at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/fpaspar2.html,
FDA noted: ¡°Based on our review, pathological changes were incidental
and appeared spontaneously in the study animals, and none of the histopathological
changes reported appear to be related to treatment with aspartame.¡± The
statement further noted, ¡°Based on the available data, however, we have
identified significant shortcomings in the design, conduct, reporting,
and interpretation of this study. FDA finds that the reliability and interpretation
of the study outcome is compromised by these shortcomings and uncontrolled
variables, such as the presence of infection in the test animals.¡±
The Calorie Control Council agrees that FDA should review the findings
from Ramazzini. Unfortunately, the FDA said that repeated requests for
additional information on the study from Ramazzini, including pathology
slides, were never honored.
Lyn Nabors, president of the Council questioned, ¡°If Ramazzini researchers
are so confident in their findings, why will they not share their slides
with regulatory agencies and subject their findings to the internationally
recognized standardized review process to validate pathology findings?¡±
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) and other organizations have established
guidelines for pathology peer review in order to provide scientific consensus
that study conclusions are valid. Unlike the Ramazzini findings, the aspartame
studies required for regulatory approval underwent extensive audit and
The U.S. NTP has recently completed
three animal studies designed to evaluate whether aspartame is capable
of causing cancer. The results of these cancer studies unequivocally indicated
that ¡°there was no evidence of carcinogenic activity [cancer] of aspartame.¡±
These studies were conducted using mice bred to be more sensitive to developing
¡°It is unfortunate that some
scientists associated with NTP are lending credibility to the Ramazzini
Institute and questioning the safety of aspartame when government institutions
such as the NTP, the National Cancer Institute, the FDA and others have
found no relationship between aspartame and cancer,¡± noted Nabors. Further,
according to Nabors, it is difficult to understand why Environmental Health
Perspectives (EHP), a publication of the National Institute of Institutes
of Environmental and Health Sciences (NIEHS) published the Ramazzini study
when the design and execution did not follow guidelines set up by the
NTP (the U.S. government toxicology initiative administered by NIEHS).
Ramazzini researchers have
repeatedly provided their findings to the media prior to publication ?
a highly unscientific and unacceptable way of disseminating research.
For most reputable journals, this would jeopardize publication. However,
Nabors said, EHP continues to publish findings from researchers more interested
in attention-grabbing headlines than allowing their research to be reviewed
and audited by independent scientists.
The allegations made by Ramazzini
are at complete odds with the wealth of scientific literature demonstrating
that aspartame is safe and not a carcinogen. A recent study conducted
by Italian and French researchers in humans and published in the Annals
of Oncology in 2006 demonstrates no association between aspartame and
cancer. The researchers noted, ¡°In conclusion, therefore, this study provides
no evidence that saccharin or other sweeteners (mainly aspartame) increase
the risk of cancer at several common sites in humans.¡± The Italian Association
for Cancer Research contributed to the study.
Similarly, a 2006 epidemiology
study from the US National Cancer Institute, found no adverse effects
linked to aspartame consumption. The study evaluated more than 500,000
men and women and found that there was no evidence of an increased risk
of leukemias, lymphomas and brain tumors among those who use aspartame
(compared with those who did not consume aspartame).
After thoroughly reviewing
Ramazzini data from a previous study, the European Food Safety Authority¡¯s
(EFSA) Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids
and Materials in Contact with Food (AFC) stated in May, 2006, ¡°In its
opinion published today, the Panel concluded, on the basis of all the
evidence currently available, that there is no need to further review
the safety of aspartame nor to revise the previously established Acceptable
Daily Intake (ADI) for aspartame (40 mg/kg body weight).¡±
Aspartame has been safely consumed
for nearly a quarter of a century and is one of the most thoroughly studied
food ingredients, with more than 200 scientific studies confirming its
safety. In addition to the FDA, the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives
(JECFA) of the World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization,
the Scientific Committee on Food of the European Union and regulatory
agencies in more than 100 countries have reviewed aspartame and found
it to be safe for use.
Aspartame is composed of two
amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, as the methyl ester. Amino
acids are the building blocks of protein. Aspartic acid and phenylalanine
are found naturally in protein containing foods, including meats, grains
and dairy products. Methyl esters are also found naturally in many foods
such as fruits and vegetable and their juices. The body handles the components
from aspartame in the same way it handles them when derived from other
¡°An examination of the animal
and human research findings by regulatory bodies in countries around the
world has led repeatedly to the conclusion that aspartame is safe. In
consideration of these facts, it is difficult to accept a new claim of
carcinogenesis in rats ingesting large amounts of the sweetener, particularly
given the extensive database that already exists showing the absence of
carcinogenic effects,¡± notes Dr. John Fernstrom Professor of Psychiatry,
Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh School of
Medicine. For more information please visit http://www.aspartame.org.
is pleased to announce 4 new commodities approved for official testing
Lawrence, MA, June 22nd, 2007 - Charm Sciences is pleased to
four new commodities approved for official testing of Zearalenone in
the U.S national grain inspection system.
Charm Sciences ROSA (r) Zearalenone (Quantitative) test has received
approval for screening 4 commodities from the United States Department
of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards
Administration (GIPSA). In addition to corn, the ROSA Zearalenone test
is now approved for sorghum, milled rice, wheat, and distillers dried
grains with solubles.
The ROSA Zearalanone test is the only test to be approved for official
testing of Zearalenone in the U.S national grain inspection system. An
official Certificate of
Conformance ( http://www.charm.com/pdf/certif_zear_commod.pdf )
from USDA/GIPSA (Certificate No. FGIS 2007-102.1
Addendum) declares that the test "kit met the accuracy specifications
for the listed commodities spiked at 250 and 1000 ppb." In addition,
the "30 ppb limit of detection was also met for all listed
Charm's ROSA (Rapid One Step
Assay) Zearalenone test procedure
includes a sample extraction and 10 minute incubation. A test strip is
then inserted into a digital ROSA-M strip reader. Quantitative results
are displayed and recorded on the reader (with automatic printing and
Other ROSA tests include the
3 minute Aflatoxin P/N, the 3 minute DON
P/N, the 10 minute ROSA Aflatoxin Quantitative, which have already
received approval from USDA GIPSA. A 10 minute quantitative test for
DON and fumonisin were recently added to the ROSA mycotoxin family.
All ROSA mycotoxin tests can be run on the same equipment.
Zearalenone can appear in pre-harvest
corn, wheat, rice or maize by
several species of Fusarium, e.g., F. graminearum. Swine are
particularly susceptible to the presence of Zearalenone in feedstuffs
as it is an estrogenic mycotoxin, which can cause infertility, or
other breeding problems.
About Charm Sciences, Inc
Charm Sciences, Inc., a world-renowned manufacturer of food safety
monitoring tests and equipment was founded in 1978. The Company
continually develops innovative, reliable testing methods. Charm
Sciences corporate offices are in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Along with a full line of food safety products and solutions, Charm
Sciences provides award-winning product support and technical
Charm Sciences, Inc
RAPID¡¯Salmonella Agar Granted Performance Tested Method Status by AOAC
RAPID¡¯Salmonella agar, manufactured
by Bio-Rad Laboratories, was granted Performance Tested Method status
by the AOAC Research Institute (certificate # 050701). RAPID¡¯Salmonella
is a medium for isolation and identification of Salmonella spp. in selected
foods. It is a rapid method producing accurate and easy-to-read results.
A shortened enrichment time (30hr) was validated against standard reference
RAPID¡¯Salmonella is a selective
and differential medium for both the isolation and the presumptive identification
of Salmonella species, including lactose-positive Salmonella , S. typhi
and S. paratyphi serotypes, from other members of the family Enterobacteriaceae.
The cultural properties of the medium are a balance of carefully selected
growth-promoting nutrients and classical selective ingredients (citrate,
surfactants). The presumptive chromogenic identification system relies
on a proprietary chromogenic substrate that allows the detection of the
Salmonella C8-esterase activity. The color of the uninoculated agar is
clear to whitish. All the presumptive Salmonella positive colonies are
magenta on a clear-white agar background. A second chromogenic substrate,
targeting activity of many interfering bacteria, yield blue colored colonies.
Background flora, if not inhibited by the mixture of selective agents,
can produce violet to green or colorless colonies.
RAPID¡¯Salmonella is available
in two formats, dehydrated media (Item # 356-4705) or prepared plates
(Item # 356-3961). For more information, please visit www.foodscience.bio-rad.com
or call (800) 4BIORAD.
makes melamine detection easier
Source of Article: http://www.allaboutfeed.net/
A new food contaminant testing method for melamine and cyanuric acid decreases
the time it takes to get accurate results for meats, its developer claims.
Applied Biosystems and MDS Sciex have jointly released a testing kit,
which they claim will help laboratories and food manufacturers improve
safety. Reducing time to test for contaminants could reduce delays in
shipments waiting on results and improve recall effectiveness if products
have already left the plant.
Reduced to 6 minutes
The method is based on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC/MS).
It reduces testing time to less than six minutes from the 30 minutes required
by current systems, the companies claim. "The new method is the first
commercially available method to test for both contaminants simultaneously
with this advanced technology," they stated.
Melamine was found to have contaminated pet food in North America this
year and by extension animal feed. The scare led to concerns over ingredients
sourced from China and increased testing of those products both for human
and animal consumption.
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