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Three More Salmonella Cantaloupe Recalls
Date Published: Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
Source of Article:
The Salmonella cantaloupe scare is still not over. Three more cantaloupe recalls have been added to the growing list of recent cantaloupe recalls. JARD Marketing of Lawrence, Massachusetts; Taylor Fresh Foods, of Salinas, California; and Fresh Express Foods Corporation, Inc. of Medford Oregon are all recalling selected fruit products containing cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano due to potential Salmonella contamination. Also, those who recently bought whole cantaloupes from Honduran grower and packer?Agropecuaria Montelibano?are urged to immediately dispose of these products.
On March 26, 2008, supplier T. M. Kovacevich International Inc., requested JARD marketing recall all products produced with cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano. JARD products are packed in plastic pails or jars and retail products are packed in plastic cups and trays; the recall affects all packs and sizes. Recalled products were distributed in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. JARD products include the following brands: Pebble Beach, Festival Of Fruit, Cornucopia Sweet, Jambo Chef, Fowler Fruit Mix, Instantwhip, Syracuse Banana, and City Line Food Dist. The pails involved contain specific coded information: Expiration date information from ¡°Exp Apr 7, 2008¡È to ¡°Exp Apr 22, 2008 or a Julian Code of ¡°08067¡È to ¡°08082.¡± Plastic jars under are coded with an expiration date of ¡°Exp Apr 22, 2008¡È to ¡°May 7, 2008¡È or with a Julian Code of ¡°08067¡È to ¡°08082.¡± JARD retail products containing cantaloupe packed in plastic cups and trays include these brands: Frosty Fresh, Fresh Hand Cut, Fruit On The Go, Highland Park, Bruegger¡¯s Bagels, Sid Wainer & Son, Hannaford Brothers, and Garden Highway Plant # P-005. Plastic cups and trays under this recall are coded with a sell by date of ¡°3/29/08¡È or earlier.
Taylor Fresh Foods of Salinas, California is voluntarily recalling selected fresh cut fruit products which may contain cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano and began recovering this product on March 22. The Taylor Fresh product recall includes cut cantaloupe and mixed cut fruit in bowls and trays of all sizes distributed by Taylor. Retail and convenience store products were removed from sale in late March; foodservice distributors, who sell their own brand, have been notified. Labels include: Taylor Farms Gourmet Fruit Tray featuring Creamy Yogurt Dip, Taylor Fresh Melon Mix, Taylor Fresh Fruit Mix, Fresh Fruit Tray with Creamy Strawberry Dip. All Best if Used By Dates before March 30, 2008 are affected; subsequent dates are not.
Fresh Express Foods Corporation, Inc. of Medford Oregon is voluntarily recalling cut cubed processed cantaloupe received from C.H. Robinson and supplied by Agropecuaria Montelibano. The recalled cantaloupe was distributed to two local restaurants, one hospital, and one retirement center in Medford; one restaurant in Klamath Falls; and one grocery store?Price Less ¡°Deli Department¡±?in Cave Junction. All have been contacted. ?Fresh Express Foods has received product from a new source and will continue to supply its customers.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, causing diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours of infection. The illness lasts a week and most recover without treatment; however, in some, hospitalization is required. Severe cases can result in arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis and even death.

Cantaloupe Tests Positive for Salmonella, But Not Outbreak Serotype
Posted on April 1, 2008 by Food Poisoning Attorney
Source of Article:
David Mitchell of The Packer reported ¡°FDA confirms presence of salmonella in melons¡±
Cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano tested positive for salmonella freetown during the Food and Drug Administration¡¯s traceback investigation of an outbreak of salmonella litchfield. The FDA issued an import alert March 22 after traceback evidence linked product from Honduran grower-shipper Agropecuaria Montelibano with a salmonella litchfield outbreak that caused 50 reported illnesses in 16 states.
FDA spokesman Sebastian Cianci, however, said the agency started to escalate its melon sampling as reports of illnesses increased. The positive test for salmonella freetown was taken from an import sample of Agropecuaria Montelibano¡¯s product on March 12, he said.
The FDA has identified 10 U.S. importers who received cantaloupe from Agropecuaria Montelibano during the outbreak:
* Bounty Fresh LLC, Miami, Fla.
* C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.
* Central American Produce Inc., Pompano Beach, Fla.
* Chiquita Brands International Inc., Cincinnati, Oh.
* Dole Fresh Fruit International, Westlake Village, Calif.
* Legend Produce LLC, Firebaugh, Calif.
* Pero Vegetable Co. LLC, Delray Beach, Fla.
* T.M. Kovacevich International Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.
* Tropifresh Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.
* Wuhl Shafman Lieberman Corp., Newark, N.J.
In addition to Chiquita and Dole, brands affected are:
* Chestnut Hill Farms
* Perfect Melon
* Mike¡¯s Melons
* Mayan Pride

FSIS Alerts ID Warehouses On Policy For Disclaimer or Instructional Statements Concerning E. coli
April 09, 2008 Source of Article:
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has issued a letter to identification (ID) warehouses alerting them that FSIS will not provide identification services under 9 CFR 350.3 for warehouses to divide bulk units into smaller units if the product is beef and bears a disclaimer statement or instructional statement concerning E. coli O157:H7.
Examples of disclaimer statements are "not tested for E. coli O157:H7," and instructional statements are "for cooking only." Disclaimer statements and instructional statements concerning E. coli O157:H7 may not be applied at an ID warehouse.
Because ID warehouses are not subject to the Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) in 9 CFR 416.11-17, the agency believes the potential for cross contamination exists. Therefore, inspection personnel will detain product with disclaimer or instructional statements if breaking bulk or repackaging of product bearing this type of statement is observed at the ID warehouse.
The agency permits use of the disclaimer and instructional statements only when the product is destined for another official establishment. The letter provides conditions that must be met for an establishment to be allowed to send raw beef products with an instructional or disclaimer statement concerning E. coli O157:H7 to an ID warehouse.
To view the letter in its entirety, please visit the agency's website at:

FDA Warns Consumers about "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula"
Distributor recalls dietary supplement products after reports of adverse reactions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is advising consumers not to purchase or consume Total Body Formula in the flavors of Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar, or Total Body Mega Formula in the Orange/Tangerine flavor. The liquid dietary supplement products may cause severe adverse reactions, including significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain and fatigue.
The Total Body Formula products are sold in eight-ounce and 32-ounce plastic bottles. The Total Body Mega Formula is sold in 32-ounce plastic bottles. Both products are distributed by Total Body Essential Nutrition of Atlanta. The company is the sole distributor of the products and has voluntarily recalled Total Body Formula in the flavors of Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar and Total Body Mega Formula in Orange/Tangerine flavor.
The Florida Department of Health recently provided reports to the FDA on 23 individuals who experienced serious reactions to these products seven to 10 days after ingestion. In all cases, the reactions included significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain and fatigue. The FDA subsequently learned and is investigating a report that some individuals in Tennessee using the same products have experienced similar reactions.
FDA laboratories are analyzing samples of the products to identify the cause of the reactions, including the possibility that the products contain excessive amounts of selenium, which is known to cause symptoms such as those described in the adverse events reported to the agency. Selenium, a trace mineral, is needed only in small amounts for good health.
The products have been distributed in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
The FDA is advising consumers in all states to avoid using the products immediately and to discard the products by placing them in a trash receptacle outside of the home.
Consumers who have been taking the products and have experienced adverse reactions should consult their health care professional. Consumers and health care professionals can also report adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch program at 800-FDA-1088 or online at
The FDA is working with the Florida Department of Health in its investigation.
For more information, consumers can call the FDA's toll-free Food Safety Hotline at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.

USDA names chicken plants with Salmonella problems
Robert Roos News Editor
Source of Article:
Apr 1, 2008 (CIDRAP News) ? As expected, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) last week began publishing the names of broiler chicken plants that have had trouble with Salmonella, listing 21 facilities where more than 10% of samples were found contaminated in recent tests.
Only two plants actually failed to meet the USDA's standard for Salmonella in chicken: a maximum of 20% of samples contaminated. At the other 19 plants, between 10% and 20% of recent samples had Salmonella, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
The plants listed are in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The two that failed the standard are a Pilgrim's Pride Corp. facility in Ellijay, Ga., and a Tyson Foods Inc. plant in Center, Tex., according to the FSIS.
The USDA had said in January that it would begin listing facilities with higher Salmonella rates on Mar 28. The move is part of a control initiative the USDA first announced about 2 years ago, after several years of increasing contamination rates. About 16% of broiler chicken samples tested positive for Salmonella in 2005. The initiative includes a "risk-based" sampling program, in which FSIS focuses more of its sampling on plants that have higher Salmonella levels.
The naming of the 21 plants came on the heels of a report in which the consumer group Food and Water Watch listed 27 broiler chicken facilities in 17 states that failed at least one round of Salmonella testing between January 2006 and January 2008 by having a contamination rate higher than 20%. The nonprofit group used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the information from the FSIS.
The group called on the USDA to publish Salmonella testing results for all chicken plants and to seek legislation to make its Salmonella standards legally enforceable. The organization also urged the agency not to reduce the frequency of sampling at plants that have the lowest contamination rates.
Three-tier rating system
The FSIS sorts chicken plants into three categories according to their Salmonella test results as compared with the USDA's 20% standard. Facilities that limit Salmonella to half of that standard (10%) or less in the last two sets of samples are put in category 1. Those that have Salmonella in more than 10% but fewer than 20% of samples are in category 2, and those that exceed 20% are in category 3. A set is a series of samples collected at one site on successive operating days?51 days in the case of broiler chickens.
The FSIS's current policy is to name the facilities in categories 2 and 3.
"FSIS intends to post updated results of completed Salmonella verification sample sets for young chicken slaughter establishments on or about the 15th of each month, beginning in April 2008," the agency said in its announcement of the move last week. "Each month's posting will replace that of the previous month."
The agency began naming broiler plants first because they have had the most trouble with Salmonella, but it is considering publishing results for facilities that produce other poultry and meat products, officials said.
Thirteen different poultry companies are represented by the chicken plants named by the FSIS. Pilgrim's Pride has five plants on the list, while Tyson Foods has four.
Five facilities appear on both the FSIS list and the Food and Water Watch list. Four of those are listed by the FSIS as category 2 plants, meaning that between 10% and 20% of recent samples were contaminated. But their appearance on the consumer group list signals they had more than 20% contamination at some point in the last 2 years.
Risk-based sampling
Under the risk-based sampling policy, the frequency of FSIS sampling is based on performance category. Category 1 facilities are tested at least once every 2 years and category 2 facilities at least annually, while category 3 plants may be tested several times a year, USDA officials have said.
The Food and Water Watch report takes issue with that approach, saying that good performance in one round of sampling is no guarantee of continued success. The group's findings show "that passing in one test period does not mean that contamination levels won't increase beyond the performance standard in the next period," the report states.
For example, it says, a Perdue Farms facility in Kentucky failed Salmonella testing in February 2007, with 32 positive samples out of 51 tested, up from 9 of 51 (a passing score) in December 2005.
"Such results undercut the position of FSIS that passing facilities should not be retested for 12 to 24 months," the report adds. "With no government oversight and enforcement, previously good plants may allow themselves to produce unsafe food over extended periods of time, which obviously threatens consumer health and safety."
An FSIS spokesperson declined to comment on the Food and Water Watch report.

See also:
FSIS announcement about publication of chicken plants in performance categories 2 and 3

FSIS lists of plants:
Category 2:
Category 3:
Food and Water Watch report, titled "More Foul Fowl":
Feb 6 CIDRAP News story "USDA to name poultry plants with Salmonella problems":

Food Safety Conference at Seattle University Draws Experts from the US and Abroad
Posted : Mon, 07 Apr 2008 20:39:27 GMT
Category : Press Release
Source of Article:
SEATTLE - (Business Wire) Seattle University School of Law hosts an in-depth conference titled ¡°Who¡¯s Minding the Store: The Current State of Food Safety and How It Can Be Improved¡± on April 11th and 12th, 2008. Participants include international, national and local representatives of government, the food industry, consumer organizations, scientists, and the media.
Recent years have seen a plethora of food warnings and recalls, raising new questions about the quality and integrity of our existing system for assuring food safety. Seattle was the epicenter of the Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak that sickened 600 and killed four 15 years ago. In addition to explaining how the present system works, this program is intended to discuss how changing consumer preferences are affecting the development and distribution of food, examine whether federal, state and industry oversight roles are changing, and discuss how the regulatory and judicial processes can be most efficiently balanced.
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire will present the keynote address. Featured speakers include Dr. Richard Raymond, Under Secretary for Food Safety, United States Department of Agriculture, and Dr. Patricia Griffin, Chief; Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
In addition, the conference brings together international experts, including Jorgen Schlundt of the World Health Organization, Qiu Yueming of the China National Institute of Standardization, Deon Mahoney of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Chris Griffith of University of Cardiff Wales, and Dr. Canice Nolan, of the EU.
For a detailed agenda and registration, visit
The program is organized and co-sponsored by William D. Marler, Marler Clark LLP PS, and Kenneth M. Odza, Stoel Rives LLP.
Press interested in coverage should contact Katherine Hedland Hansen at 206-398-4108 or Questions regarding the program should be directed to Rebecca Parker at 206-398-4282

Colorado Town Makes Progress in Salmonella Fight
Date Published: Wednesday, April 9th, 2008
Source of Article:
Last month, the water supply in Alamosa?a town in Colorado?became tainted with the salmonella bacteria, rendering the water there unfit to drink. To resolve the problem, crews have been flushing Alamosa¡¯s water supply with chlorine, which has also rendered the water unfit to drink. Because of the initially high concentrations of chlorine used in the weeks-long flushing process, the residents of Alamosa were also unable to shower, wash dishes, or brush their teeth with municipal water.
Since the flushing, none of the tap water samples tested by state officials contained any salmonella, said state health department spokesman Mark Salley. According to city clerk Judy Egbert, Alamosa water could be fit to drink any day now, but added that it will be at least midweek before the water can be declared safe for drinking.
At least 379 people have had the stomach cramping, diarrhea, fevers and other symptoms of salmonella infection, Egbert said. Of those, 106 cases were confirmed with laboratory tests; 15 people have been hospitalized. People infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps within 12 to 72 hours of infection. Laboratory testing is required to determine the presence of Salmonella; additional testing can determine the specific type and which antibiotics are needed. Generally, the illness lasts a week and most recover without treatment; however, the elderly, infants, and people with impaired immune systems may require treatment and?in some?hospitalization is required because the infection may have spread from the intestines to the blood stream and other body sites. Severe cases can result in death if not treated. Waterborne salmonella outbreaks are fairly rare, said Mark Salley, a spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Late last month, Alamosa Mayor Farris Bervig wore a yellow shirt when the water alert went from red?a signal that there was no safe use of the water?to yellow, which was his code that short showers and doing laundry were fine. ¡°He¡¯s got a green shirt now,¡± Egbert said. ¡°We¡¯re all ready.¡±
Since March 19th, Alamosa residents have been unable to use tap water for brushing teeth, washing dishes, drinking, and cooking. Last week, there was not much the residents of Alamosa could do other than flush their toilets. Schools and restaurants were closed and the National Guard was handing out bottled water. The chlorination treatment moved into Stage 2 last weekend with lower chlorine levels that allowed most adults to take brief showers. The ban on drinking, cooking, or brushing teeth with tap water will remain in place until the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment signs off on the water system testing. There is a five-day turnaround between the samples¡¯ arrival at the lab and final test results and crews are working to lower chlorine levels so testing may proceed.
It is not known how the water initially became contaminated with the salmonella bacteria and, to date, about 10,000 people are affected by the contamination.

Over 65 Peole Sickened By Norovirus In Washington
Posted on: 07-04-2008
in Health
Source of Article:
Seattle (eCanadaNow) - The medical conference which was held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington ended up getting over 65 people sick from norovirus.
Norovirus apparently sickened over 65 of the 350 people or so who attended the medical conference.
The conference was held on Thursday, with people reporting ill Friday morning.
Many who attended had to be brought to the hospital for dehydration. Many others, who attempted to fly home, never made it on the airplane.
Several of them had to be rushed to the hospital from the airport after trying to fly home.
Symptoms of norovirus include vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea.
It can spread via food or water. It is believed that this medical conference was the only event which spread the norovirus.
Health officials used bleach to try and kill the virus following the illnesses.

FDA Finds Hazardous Levels of Selenium in Samples of "Total Body Formula" and"Total Body Mega Formula"
Dietary supplement products linked to adverse reactions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it has found hazardous levels of selenium in samples of certain flavors of the dietary supplement products "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula." The FDA has received 43 reports of persons from nine states who experienced serious adverse reactions using these products.

On March 27, the FDA warned consumers not to purchase or use "Total Body Formula" in flavors Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar and "Total Body Mega Formula" in the Orange/Tangerine flavor of these products after receiving reports of adverse reactions in users in Florida and Tennessee ( The adverse reactions generally occurred after five to 10 days of daily ingestion of the product, and included significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, deformed fingernails, and fatigue.
Selenium, a naturally occurring mineral, is needed only in very small amounts for good health. Selenium can boost the immune system. Generally, normal consumption of food and water provides adequate selenium to support good health. Excessive intake of selenium is known to cause symptoms to include significant hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue, loss of finger nails and blistering skin.
Presently, FDA has 43 reports of adverse reactions including cases from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Analyses of samples of the products by FDA laboratories have now found most of the samples contain extremely high levels of selenium--up to 40,800 micrograms per recommended serving, or more than 200 times the amount of selenium per serving (i.e., 200 micrograms) indicated on the labels of the products.
The FDA continues to investigate the matter to determine how excessive amounts of selenium were added to the products.
FDA is advising consumers to stop using "Total Body Formula" in flavors Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar and "Total Body Mega Formula" in the Orange/Tangerine flavor and discard them by placing them in a trash receptacle outside of the home. "Total Body Formula" products are sold in eight-ounce and 32-ounce plastic bottles. "Total Body Mega Formula" is sold in 32-ounce plastic bottles. Both product lines are distributed by Total Body Essential Nutrition of Atlanta, which is listed on the products' labels.
Consumers who have been taking the products and have experienced adverse reactions should consult their health care professional. Consumers and health care professionals are encouraged to report adverse events to the FDA's MedWatch program at 800-FDA-1088 or online at
The sole distributor of the "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula" products has voluntarily recalled the affected products. According to the company, the products were distributed nationwide.
More information about selenium and its toxic effects is available at this link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry:

USDA Finds Violations in Slaughterhouses
By FREDERIC J. FROMMER 7 hours ago
Source of Article:
WASHINGTON (AP) A federal audit of 18 beef slaughterhouses after the nation's largest beef recall has found humane handling violations in three of them. One plant was temporarily suspended.
The audit by the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service found that one plant was insufficiently stunning animals, which failed to make them insensible to pain before slaughter. That plant has taken corrective actions and its suspension was lifted. None of the plants were identified.
The audit results were provided to the chairman of the Senate Appropriations agriculture subcommittee, Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl, for a hearing he was holding Tuesday on the USDA's response to the beef recall.

Prion diseases transmitted in milk
IFT Weekly Newsletter April 9, 2008
Source of Article:
Scrapie can be transmitted to lambs through milk, according to new research published in the online open access journal BMC Veterinary Research. The study provides important information on the transmission of this prion-associated disease and the control of scrapie in affected flocks. For more, see BMC Veterinary Research:

Red mites could spread salmonella
Livestock Technical | 9 April, 2008
Source of Article:
POULTRY farmers have been warmed that red mites usually associated with the transmission of fowl cholera, fowl typhoid and chicken pox could also be responsible for spreading salmonella.
¡°The fact they feed by sucking blood means they can theoretically transmit salmonella through contaminated blood,¡± said Mike Rogers of Kiotechagil.
He said red mites were difficult to eradicate, as they sheltered in cracks and crevices in poultry houses during the day. Both the red mite and the northern fowl mite moved quickly over a bird¡¯s skin and feathers and their blood sucking activity could cause a drop in egg production, as well as anaemia and death. While red mites fed on the birds in darkness, often for about 1-2 hours each night before retreating to the extremities of the poultry house, the northern fowl mite bred continually on the bird and, therefore, was a particular problem for caged birds. Mite detection was best achieved by looking for increased food consumption accompanied by a fall in egg production ? a result of chickens replacing lost blood taken by the mites, reducing the energy available for egg laying. Poultry owners could also look under slats both in nests and in cracks in the house structure to see if mites were evident as tiny red to blackish dots, often in clusters. And, if infested with the Northern Fowl mite, the chickens would often start to peck each other where they see infestation, usually at the base of the tail feathers
¡°Because red mites can live away from birds for up to six months they are frequently extremely difficult to get rid of,¡± said Mr Rogers. ¡°In addition, the largely mild winters of the last few years has enabled the mites to survive and thrive.¡±
Thorough cleaning of accommodation and feed storage areas was the solution, and a product with a high oil absorption would be particularly good, as it would attach to the insect and lacerate its waxy surface, he said.

New prebiotic insight protecting birds from Salmonella// 07 Apr 2008
Source of Article:
Studies are currently underway to investigate the use of galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotics to protect animals from Salmonella infection and other food poisoning bacteria.
Replacing antibiotics
The sugars, called galacto-oligosaccharides, and are already known to improve the health of breast-fed infants. Researchers are now looking at using these prebiotics in place of antibiotics in poultry and livestock to reduce the chances of Salmonella bacteria damaging the gut during a food poisoning episode, reducing the overall damage and severity of the infection.
"Antibiotics are used to treat particularly severe Salmonella infections,¡± says Laura Searle from the Veterinary Laboratories Agency in the UK. ¡°But their effectiveness has been undermined by their systematic use both as growth promoters in animals and as therapeutic agents, which has been implicated in widespread antibiotic resistance. In an attempt to overcome this problem the EU banned the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in 2006, so now alternatives are urgently being investigated.¡±
How it works
One possibility is to use prebiotics made from natural complex sugars that are already known to improve gastrointestinal health. There have been many theories put forward about the way they actually work, including the suggestion that they may stimulate our natural gut bacteria to multiply, allowing them to fight off invading pathogens trying to colonise.
The Veterinary Laboratories Agency has initiated a project to demonstrate the exact mechanism for the apparent success of a novel galacto-oligosaccharide mixture. Their studies have now shown that the specific mixture protects animals from infection by reducing the invasion capabilities of Salmonella, and lowering the seriousness of disease symptoms. After treatment with this mixture, fewer Salmonella bacteria were found in systemic and intestinal tissues.
Used on farm level
¡°The next step will be to see if the novel galacto-oligosaccharide mixture can be used in farm livestock successfully, and whether it is still as effective when given before a Salmonella infection, protecting the animals in advance. We also need to see if it can protect against other pathogens,¡± Searle continues.
Veterinary scientists hope that their tests will prove whether it is actually successful in farm animals, reducing gastrointestinal infections, improving animal health and cutting economic losses. The scientists need to now discover the exact mechanisms by which the sugars work.

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Food Safety and Quality Related Job Openings

FSIS announces agenda for E. coli meeting
By Alicia Karapetian on 4/4/2008 for
FSIS has released the agenda for its April 9-10 public meeting, titled, "E. coli O157:H7 ? addressing the challenges, moving forward with solutions."
The agenda, which can be seen here, includes a session titled, "Current FSIS thinking on the treatment of primal cuts." FSIS, in announcing the meeting, said that the agency is contemplating classifying raw beef product such as primal cuts and boxed beef adulterated if those products test positive for E. coli O157:H7.
(See USDA may broaden scope of meats deemed adulterated by E. coli on, March 28, 2008.)
The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 9, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday, April 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Georgetown, 2101 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC.
To register for the meeting, click here.:

Monday, April 07, 2008
Source of Article:
E. coli 0157:H7 and L. monocytogenes are the two high risk food pathogens associated with food borne disease outbreaks. (E. coli 0157:H7 responsible for Haemorrhagic Colitis(HC), Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS),Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpurea (TTP) and L. monocytogene responsible for Septicaemia, Meningitis, Meningioencephalitis, Abortion and even death)
A highly sensitive and specific multiplex PCR assay has been developed which can unequivocally detect the presence of E. coli 0157:H7 directly from naturally contaminated milk and milk products within 10 hrs. The multiplex PCR assay developed was found to be highly specific as it produced PCR products of 152 bp (E. coli specific) and 625 bp (E. coli 0157:H7). The specificity and sensitivity of the assay was further enhanced (1-10 cells) using IMS. The assay could be successfully applied on a variety of dairy products. E. coli 0157:H7 could be detected in milk and kulfi samples as well as water samples collected from local vendors.
A multiplex PCR based on two sets of primers i.e. one genus specific targeted against 16S rRNA (genus specific 1200 bp PCR product) and `hly' (Listeria monocytogenes specific, 713 bp PCR product) has been developed since these two primer pairs consistently amplified the specific products. The specificity of the multiplex PCR assay was also checked in this study to rule out the possibility of false positive results. The sensitivity of multiplex PCR was limited to 10 ng of the pure DNA from L. monocytogenes when used as template. The multiplex PCR was able to detect as low as 1 to 10 cells of L. monocytogenes after 4 to 6 hrs enrichment in BHI broth. The multiplex PCR could be successfully applied to some natural samples of milk and milk products.
The multiplex PCR for both the targeted organisms is now available in the form of a ready to use kit that can be used in Quality Assurance and Food Microbiology laboratories for monitoring dairy foods for E. coli 0157:H7 and L. monocytogenes on routine basis. The kit was released by Union Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Shri Kapil Sibal at a press conference in New Delhi today. The kit also includes the reagents for extraction of template DNA from milk and milk products and other foods which is a very crucial step by using a simple and effective protocol named ¡°NDRI method¡± developed at NDRI, Karnal for application in set up of the PCR assays. The aforesaid multiplex PCR assays were initially standardized in the laboratory and were cross-validated in other labs.

The PCR based kits / assays are extremely sensitive and specific and can detect the targeted food pathogens directly in milk and milk products in less than ten hours as compared to conventional culture based methods and other miniaturized tests based on biochemical characteristics. Dairy Industry and Food Labs are the potential beneficiaries of these PCR kits / assays which can be integrated into the Quality Assurance and HACCP programmes for monitoring the safety of dairy foods in relation to two high risk food pathogens E. coli 0157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. These kits can also find application in the research laboratories involved in the area of diagnostics and other related subjects.

The PCR kits have a shelf life of 15 days at ambient temperature, 45 days at refrigeration temperature and can stay active even after six months at ? 20oC.

New Study Proves Virkon¢ç S Misting's Superior Value
Source of Article:
Us - A team of leading researchers in the USA have found that directed misting of a four per cent solution of disinfectant Virkon¢ç S can successfully reduce environmental bacterial contamination, such as Staphs and Salmonella, to extremely low levels - significantly lower than many other disinfectant could achieve.
The misted dilution was successful in reducing environmental bacterial CFUs by > 99.9999% or the equivalent of a highly effective 6 logs1. Typically, a reduction factor or 3 to 5 logs is considered the minimum needed for effective disinfection, says manufacturer DuPont Animal Health Solutions.
Based on their earlier work2 with Virkon¢ç S, Gage Patterson and Paul Morley of the Animal Population Health Institute and Colorado State University, USA performed a new field study to evaluate the efficacy of four per cent Virkon¢ç S applied as a mist to surfaces in a large animal hospital. The purpose of the new study was to find a less labour intensive and disruptive means to disinfect the veterinary hospital's large animal facilities with extensive, unsealed electrical conduits and fixtures in the high ceilings of the buildings.
Various locations around the hospital were inoculated with Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica onto polyester transparencies. After misting with Virkon¢ç S viable bacterial numbers were quantified and compared with growth from control transparencies to assess the reduction in bacterial count. The study showed that the mean reductions in recovery of Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica were significantly reduced by > 6 logs for both bacteria, an equivalent of a > 99.9999% reduction in CFUs.
On a Par and Better
When compared with other disinfectants, the authors stated that the efficacy of Virkon¢ç S was similar to that achieved through aerosolisation of formaldehyde, but superior to that achieved by aerosolisation of a glutaraldehyde and quaternary ammonium compound mixture.
"From our experience with previous studies2, we selected a four per cent solution of Virkon¢ç S as this has the greatest killing capacity,"explains Paul Morley.
"Our high, 20 foot surfaces and electrical work make cleaning and disinfection a challenge. We clean all the surfaces first, followed by a combination of foaming with disinfectant and then misting with Virkon¢ç S to minimise environmental bacterial loads. Directed misting disinfection using Virkon¢ç S enables us to get into all the difficult-to-access nooks and crannies," he adds.
In conclusion his team found that the directed misting application of four per cent Virkon¢ç S proved to be a very rapid and efficient method of distributing disinfectant that could be easily applied to a variety of agricultural or veterinary settings. References
Efficacy of directed misting application of a peroxygen disinfectant for environmental decontamination of a veterinary hospital. G Patterson, PS Morley, KD Blehm, DE Lee, M Dunowska. JAVMA, Vol 227, No 4, August 15, 2005
Dunowska M, Morley PS, Hyatt DR. The effect of Virkon S fogging on survival of Salmonella enterica and Staphylococcus aureus on surfaces in a veterinary teaching hospital. Vet Microbiol 2005; 105:281-289.
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