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Journal of Food Safety
Association Releases Science Policy Paper on Bisphenol A (BPA)
Contact: Scott Openshaw, Director,
Brian Kennedy, Manager, Communications, 202-639-5994
Source of Article: http://www.gmaonline.org/
April 22, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today released
Bisphenol A: A Guide for Consumers, Policymakers and the Media, the first
in a series of science policy papers designed to provide current and scientifically
accurate information and resources for journalists, health professionals
¡°In light of recent reports questioning the safety of bisphenol A (BPA),
today we are releasing a science policy paper that will provide current
and scientifically accurate information and resources that we hope will
serve to better educate all stakeholders on the safety of BPA, and the
important role it plays in food preservation,¡± said Dr. Robert Brackett,
chief science and regulatory affairs officer for GMA.
In the coming weeks, GMA will also be releasing science policy papers
on perchlorate, acrylamide, high fructose corn syrup, aspartame and sodium.
Please visit www.gmabrands.com/publications/SciPol_Bisphenol.pdf to access
GMA¡¯s science policy paper on BPA.
safety of chemical in plastic bottle
21 Apr 2008
Source of Article: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/latest/200804211000/16bd295d
Canada is moving to get rid of products with a chemical common in plastic
baby bottles, and the United States is expressing concern over its safety,
however the risks are still disputed.
Canada's Health Minister Tony Clement said he would bring in rules to
outlaw plastic polycarbonate baby bottles, perhaps within the next year.
These bottles are made with bisphenol A, which is also used in food and
Mr Clement said bisphenol A could hinder child development and cited a
study which he said showed that overexposure at an early age could cause
behavioral and neurological symptoms later in life.
Canada would be the first country to ban the sale and import of the items.
The National Toxicology Program, part of the US government's National
Institutes of Health, issued a draft report expressing concern that bisphenol
A could cause neural and behavioral problems in foetuses, infants and
Relying on the results of animal studies, it expressed concern about possible
links between exposure to the chemical and early puberty and prostate
and breast cancer. And Wal-Mart, the
world's largest retailer, announced on Thursday it plans to offer more
products free of bisphenol A, and intends to stop selling baby bottles
made with the chemical early next year.
Whether bisphenol A poses genuine health risks in people remains a matter
of debate, with industry groups defending its safety and environmental
activists saying studies involving animals show otherwise.
Bisphenol A is used to make polycarbonate plastic, a clear shatter-resistant
material in products ranging from plastic baby bottles and water bottles
to sports safety equipment and medical devices.
It also is used to make durable epoxy resins used as the coating in most
food and beverage cans.
People can eat or drink the chemical when it leaches out of the plastic
into liquid such as baby formula, water or food inside the container.
Michael Schade of the US environmental group Center for Health, Environment
and Justice said governments and major retailers are recognising that
the chemical is extremely toxic at low levels of exposure. However Carl
Winter, director of the Food Safety Program at the University of California-Davis,
says there is still no strong evidence supporting significant impacts
on human health for bisphenol A.
Testing Market to Reach $1.67 Billion by 2010, According to New Report
By Global Industry Analysts, Inc.
April 16, 2008 Source of Article: http://www.emediawire.com/
Rising concerns about terrorism, E.coli and mad cow diseases have significantly
increased the demand for food testing over the years. By the year 2010,
global market for Food Safety Testing is projected to reach $1.67 billion.
San Jose, CA (PRWEB) April 16, 2008 -- Food Safety Testing refers to examination
of food products for disease causing organisms, chemical residues and
other hazardous material. Food processing companies are increasingly turning
towards food safety tests to ensure that supplies to consumers are free
of any harmful pathogens. As globalization of food supply, heralds the
globalization of food safety, problems and solutions concerning food safety
are no longer confined within the borders of a single country. Increasing
public attention to microbiological hazards is also driving change in
food safety industry. Rapid microbial testing is being extensively preferred
all over the world, due to the advantages of accurate testing within less
United States and Europe represent the major markets accounting for over
55% of the global food safety testing market as stated in a recent report
published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Federal regulations are compelling
food processors in the regions to test food products for hazardous material
or microorganisms. In addition, the fact that consumers usually avoid
buying products from food companies accused of selling tainted products
is prompting food processors to offer products that are free from any
Food Safety Testing: A Global Strategic Business Report
Asia-Pacific represents one of the fastest growing markets for food safety
testing in the world. However, food safety hasn't been given its due (except
in Australia and New Zealand), particularly in largely populated countries
such as China and India. Hardly a few regulations are in place to monitor
hygienic practices by food companies in the region. The highly fragmented
food industry in these regions makes it particularly difficult for authorities
to strictly implement regulations. Market for food safety testing in Asia-Pacific
is projected to register a CAGR of 11.6% over the period 2000-2010.
Pathogen testing represents the largest segment in the global food safety
testing market. Worldwide pathogen testing products market is estimated
at $992 million in 2008. In terms of end-use, the processed foods industry
represents the largest end use market for food safety testing products
in the world. GMO testing products represent the fastest growing segment.
GMO Testing market in Europe is projected to register a CAGR of 10.7%
over the period 2000-2010. The United Kingdom represents the leading market
for food safety testing in Europe.
Major players profiled in the report include 3M Microbiology, AES Chemunex
SA, Biolog Inc., Celsis International Plc., Charm Sciences, Inc, Dupont
Qualicon, FOSS, GeneScan Europe AG, Genetic ID, Neogen Corporation, R-Biopharm
AG, and Strategic Diagnostics Inc
"Food Safety Testing: A Global Strategic Business Report", published
by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., covers major market dynamics, growth
drivers, restraints, trends, issues, and competition pertaining to the
market. The report enumerates recent developments, mergers, acquisitions
and other strategic industry activities. Analysis is presented for major
geographic markets including US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy,
the UK, Spain, Russia, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Latin America. Analytics
for the period 2000 through 2015 are provided in terms of product segments
including pathogen testing, pesticide testing and GMO testing. End use
segments discussed include processed food, dairy and meat.
For more details about this research report, please visit http://www.strategyr.com/Food_Safety_Testing_Market_Report.asp
iQ-CheckTM Real-Time PCR Test Kits Approved by AOAC Research Institute
AOAC Research Institute has granted Performance Tested Method status to
Bio-Rad Laboratories' iQ-CheckTM test kits. The iQ-Check family of kits
is based on automated real-time polymerase chain reaction (RTi-PCR) amplification
and detection. Currently, kits are available for Listeria spp., Listeria
monocytogenes, Salmonella, and E. coli O157:H7, all of which are approved.
All tests can be run at the same time in the same reaction plate. Since
the reaction occurs in closed PCR tubes, the chance for cross-contamination
is limited. An internal amplification control is performed in each well
to verify the validity of the PCR and confirm a negative result.
Two instrument platforms are available, to meet every users needs. The
96-well instrument is suitable for high throughput analysis, with the
ability to run 4 instruments from a single computer at the same time.
For lower volume users, we offer a 48-well instrument, also with the ability
to run 4 instruments from a single computer at the same time. Since Bio-Rad
manufacturers both of these instruments, we provide complete instrument
and kit technical support.
iQ-Check E. coli O157:H7 is validated with a non-specific 8-24 hour enrichment
in Buffered Peptone Water. Modified EC broth (as per USDA MLG) and EHEC
Enrichment broth (as per FDA BAM) were also validated for use with shortened
enrichment times. iQ-Check Salmonella II requires a single 21 ¡¾ 1 hour
enrichment in nonselective Buffered Peptone Water, with no selective enrichment
step. iQ-Check Listeria spp. and iQ-Check Listeria monocytogenes II are
validated with a 25 ¡¾ 1 hour enrichment in Listeria Special Broth (LSB),
a 24 hour time saving over the reference method. LSB is an enrichment
media specially formulated to meet the growth requirements of Listeria
while inhibiting competitor organisms. For more information, contact us
Alimentarius Commission; Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
the hard way: Raw milk can be dangerous
Carmen Juri April 16, 2008 5:03AM
Source of Article: http://blog.nj.com/parentalguidance/2008/04/carmenmilk.html
To those who swear that drinking unpasteurized milk is the ultimate health
elixir, this story should give you some pause. What began as a two-night
getaway at a farm in Lancaster County, Pa., turned into a calamity of
nightmarish proportions for me and my two kids when we drank raw milk.
My friend and I took our children to a working farm during spring break.
They milked cows, fed bottles of milk to calves and ran free on acres
of land - a rarity for these city kids. They also drank the milk that
was on the breakfast table, a milk I might add, that was the most silky
and delicious any of us had ever tasted. We were told it was unpasteurized,
but made to believe it was safe. (I assumed it was at least boiled). A
day after returning home, we knew we had made a terrible mistake. The
first to fall ill was my five-year-old daughter, who had a high fever,
then stomach flu symptoms, then my four-year-old son, then me. My friend
and her family had become violently ill as well. We spent seven days worried
that our kids could dehydrate and forced them to drink gallons of Gatorade.
My friend did get dehydrated and needed intravenous fluids in order to
return to her job as a nurse. After a week of this torture, medical tests
showed we had contracted campylobacter, a bacterial food poisoning that
can be found in unpasteurized milk. The six of us were prescribed antibiotics.
Thankfully, we're all going to be OK.
To be fair, campylobacter can also be spread by contact with raw or undercooked
poultry, as the farm owners later told us, but the likely culprit according
to my doctor was the raw milk. The kids missed an entire week of school,
made endless round-the-clock trips to the bathroom and suffered through
sleepless night. I had to adjust my work schedule and get help from family.
Then there was the fear we had contracted a more severe and chronic illness,
as we later learned could have happened (arthritis, tubercolosis and salmonella,
to name a few). Raw milk enthusiasts claim it can cure everything from
asthma to allergies http://www.raw-milk-facts.com/. They even regularly
cross state lines to buy unpasteurized milk in Pennsylvania, since the
sale of such products are illegal in New Jersey.
Maybe it does have health benefits. But after my experience, it's not
worth the risk.
Drinking raw milk is like playing Russian roulette with your health.
When it comes to my children's health, it's not a . I'm willing to play.
to be a Marler Clark Growth Sector?
Posted on April 21, 2008 by Food Poisoning Lawyer
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
From 1993 to 2002 nearly all the revenue to my firm came to E. coli-contaminated
hamburger. Then it was E. coli-contaminated spinach and lettuce. Although
spinach and lettuce were down in 2007, hamburger is back up. With the
increase in sales of raw milk in states, I am expecting a brisk growth
in this sector of the Marler Clark firm.
A new study from the National Associations of State Departments of Agriculture
(NASDA) finds raw milk is now available to consumers in 29 of the 50 states.
The Federal Government prohibits the interstate commerce of raw milk to
consumers across state lines. Other than that, it is up to the states.
A questionnaire was sent to state regulatory milk program directors and/or
managers in all fifty states in January 2008 and responses came in from
The survey found 29 states authorize the legal sale of raw milk, in some
specified manner, for direct human consumption while the remaining 21
states prohibit the sale of raw milk to consumers. Of the 29 that allow
the sale, 17 regulate that it can only be sold on the farm where the milk
is produced. Two of the states, Minnesota and Wisconsin restrict sales
to only incidental occurrences, not as a regular course of business and
no advertising is allowed. Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Rhode Island
allow only for the sale of raw goats milk and Kentucky and Rhode Island
require a physician¡¯s prescription. South Dakota allows farmers to deliver
the milk to customers but not to stores. Oregon sales are limited to farms
with no more than three cows and only two milking at any one time. Three
states, Texas, Massachusetts and South Carolina have coliform standards.
The remaining 13 states allow the retail sale of raw milk away from the
farm, although in Utah the store must be owned by the producer even if
it is off the farm. 11 of these states have coliform standards; Oregon
and New Hampshire do not. However, Oregon only allows raw goats milk to
be sold at a store.
Not mentioned in the survey is also the growing issue of the sales of
raw milk products that are sold as pet food with the knowledge that it
is actually being consumed by humans. The Chicago Tribune ran a story
on Raw Milk this morning - "Milk issue not black and white."
More Changes to E. Coli Policy
Date Published: Wednesday, April 16th, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/2920
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a conference last week
to discuss E. coli O157:H7 in beef and announced that the USDA¡¯s Food
Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) was considering treating E. coli O157:H7
found on intact meat or primal cuts, which are used for roasts and steaks,
as an adulterant. Today, this strain of E. coli is only considered an
adulterant in ground beef. The hidden issue here is that when something
is made an adulterant, there are legal implications; increased responsibilities
are imposed on meat processors and slaughterhouses. Adulterated ground
beef, for instance, cannot be sold in a raw state to consumers; however,
a loophole?the ¡°E. coli Loophole¡±?does enables such meat to be sold cooked
following contamination with E. coli O157:H7. The E. coli Loophole is
a little-known practice by the USDA that allows meat companies to cook
and sell once-contaminated meat.
Currently, the USDA allows companies to label E. coli-positive meat as
¡°Cook Only¡± since cooking the meat properly kills bacteria. Meat deemed
¡°Cook Only¡± is processed and sold in less lucrative forms such as pre-cooked
hamburgers, meat loaf, and crumbled taco meat. The USDA does not track
how much meat is labeled ¡°Cook Only,¡± but amounts are believed to be significant
with some estimates in one meatpacking plant averaging 50,000 pounds per
week and others as high as 500,000 pounds weekly. And while the USDA regularly
conducts tests for E. coli in slaughtering plants, they only test those
meats that packing companies have deemed free of E. coli. Since meat labeled
¡°Cook Only¡± is not reported to the USDA as E. coli-contaminated, higher-than-appropriate
levels of E. coli are tolerated in packing plants. This results in under-reporting
E. coli contamination and placing clean meat in danger of infection. Some
inspectors blame this practice for last year¡¯s sudden rise in incidents
of E. coli contamination.
E. coli 0157:H7?Escherichia coli 0157:H7?is one of hundreds of E. coli
strains, the vast majority of which are harmless. Strain 0157:H7 is quite
virulent and produces a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness and
even death and is the leading cause of food and waterborne illness in
the US. According to Center of Disease Control (CDC) estimates, there
are over 70,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occurring in the US annually
with most illness linked to undercooked or contaminated meat. E. coli
is routinely found on cattle farms and in the intestines of healthy livestock.
Outbreaks occur when meat becomes tainted during slaughter, organisms
contaminate the grounding process, and tainted meat is released and consumed
by the public.
The FSIS is considering implementing a policy change in light of the massive
increases in E. coli O157:H7-related beef recalls and outbreaks last year
and is looking to reduce the possibility of contamination at retail stores
or smaller processors that may use meat bits to make ground beef. Contaminated
steaks can also pose a risk of cross-contaminating home kitchens. The
American Meat Institute (AMI) disagreed saying, ¡°No policy change by government
can alter the current scientific reality that bacteria exist on all fresh
Sickened After Eating at Mexican Restaurant
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352115,00.html
KENT, Ohio About 440 people now say they became ill after eating at Chipotle
Mexican Grill in Kent. Kent Health Commissioner John Ferlito suspects
the cause of the illness is a norovirus. Officials have sent stool and
food samples to the Ohio Department of Health to determine the cause.
Test results might be available this week. The symptoms of norovirus typically
include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Three people were hospitalized
for one night because of severe symptoms. The restaurant reopened Saturday,
following a voluntary shutdown Friday. Workers replaced food and sanitized
equipment with a bleach solution. A Chipotle spokesman says there's no
proof food was to blame and that the restaurant is working with the health
for caution on bacterial resistance
By Chris Jones Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
18-Apr-2008 - The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says that the
growing use of antimicrobial agents in food could be damaging human resistance
to bacteria and other microbes.
In a report published on Thursday by EFSA's panel on biological hazards
(Biohaz), the agency suggests that more needs to be done to ensure that
the food we eat does not become a "carrier" for antimicrobial-resistant
agents which could leave the body open to health risks.
"Antimicrobial resistance cannot be predicted - it comes from the
mutation of existing bacteria - so what we are saying is that we need
to keep a close eye on this issue and make sure that all the potential
entry points into the food chain for such resistant bacteria are controlled,"
Alun Jones, senior spokesman for EFSA, told FoodProductionDaily.com.
"This is a job not only for EFSA but for all stakeholders - including
the European Commission and national food safety authorities who are the
risk managers in this case."
Resistance to antibacterials in animals is rising, meaning that the risk
of animal-based food becoming contaminated is higher. At the same time,
antimicrobials are also becoming less effective in fighting human infections.
But Jones stressed that there was not necessarily a direct risk from increasing
antimicrobial resistance in animals.
"This is not a case of one and one making two, necessarily. Just
because bacteria in animals are becoming more resistant to antimicrobials
does not mean that they will react the same way in humans - but there
is the potential there that that will happen."
He said that EFSA's report had highlighted the cases of Salmonella and
Campylobacter in particular, since these are mostly spread through food
and are becoming increasingly resistant to the current antibiotic treatments.
However, other bacteria such as MRSA, which have not traditionally been
viewed as a food-based risk, may also be an "emerging problem".
MRSA - the so-called superbug - is highly resistant to most forms of antimicrobials,
and has been responsible for several deaths in hospitals. EFSA has only
identified one case of food-borne MRSA leading to human contamination
but warns that it could be a problem in the future as the bug has been
found in food products in the past.
"Our report is not saying that there is a major risk or threat to
public health from antimicrobial-resistant bacteria at the moment,"
said Jones. "But it does urge food safety authorities and the food
industry to look closely at the various ways in which such bacteria could
enter the food chain and to do their utmost to control them."
Poor hygiene, he suggested, was probably the most likely means of transfer.
"Keeping food clean and safe through the application of good HACCP
principles is likely to be the best way of stopping food products being
contaminated accidentally by resistant bacteria," he said.
But he noted that the EU had already taken action to reduce the risk of
contamination by stopping the addition of antimicrobials to animal feed,
which it was thought was accelerating the rate of resistance in animals
destined for the food chains. "The problem is that antimicrobials
are necessary for vets to treat animals, so we cannot eliminate them entirely,"
said Jones. "That is why being vigilant is so important."
Another potential carrier highlighted in the report is bacteria that is
deliberately added to food, such as fermentation cultures or probiotics.
These "have on occasion exhibited antimicrobial resistance and should
also be considered as a possible route for the transfer of antimicrobial
resistance through food", EFSA said.
EFSA's scientists have called for consultation with the wider food science
community to assess the current state of play on tackling this issue,
but Jones said there was "no black or white solution" to the
"We need to continue to work on risk assessment with other stakeholders
and take a step-by-step approach to this. When you drive a car, you take
precautions to ensure that the journey is safe - and we need to take the
necessary precautions here to ensure that the food we eat is safe."
disclosed fatal peanut-butter allergy
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
By Nate Reens and Theresa D. Mcclellan The Grand Rapids Press
Source of Article: http://www.mlive.com/
GREENVILLE -- When booked into the Montcalm County Jail last weekend,
Paul Thurston alerted authorities to his allergies to several medications.
But the 30-year-old, Sheriff Bill Barnwell said, did not mention his sensitivity
to peanut butter, an allergy that killed Thurston after he ate part of
a sandwich. This same allergy left Thurston in a coma once before, relatives
said. That apparent lack of information has Thurston's family wondering
if he was asked the appropriate questions about his allergies, or if his
intoxication and medication combined to have him overlook the problem
after his arrest. "He would basically never even come close to peanut
butter if he knew it was there," said Gale Thurston, Paul's brother.
"I wonder if he wasn't thinking straight or if he was only asked
about an allergy to medication. We have a lot of questions that we don't
have answers to right now." Paul Thurston died about 12:30 p.m. Sunday,
10 hours after he was jailed on an assault allegation from a tussle outside
a Greenville bar. Barnwell said Thurston was not injured in the alleged
fight and was cooperative when corrections workers asked health questions.
The first time authorities were aware of Thurston's allergy was when deputies
saw Thurston struggling to breathe on surveillance camera images after
taking several bites of a peanut butter sandwich.
Thurston muttered to a cellmate, "I'm allergic to peanut butter,"
Authorities attempted CPR and used a defibrillator, but Thurston died
within 20 minutes.
Barnwell said he is calling outside investigators to probe the death,
and he is committed to examining a potential problem.
"I can tell you right now, this early on, we'll be making changes
if changes are warranted," the sheriff said.
Barnwell noted jails and institutions around the state and country often
serve peanut butter.
Complications from the food allergy, however, have become prominent enough
to result in its ban from some school cafeterias and other common eating
areas. There are varying degrees of allergy, and some people can have
a reaction just from inhaling the food.
Terrence Jungel, head of the Michigan Sheriff's Association, said authorities
are at the mercy of inmates for information when they are brought into
jail. The average stay being less than 48 hours, it is impractical to
get a full medical history, Jungel said. Jungel said corrections employees
are bound to note allergies or medical problems if they are told about
them. The Sunday episode nearly mirrors one about two years ago when Thurston
was at the Kent County Jail. In that instance, Thurston spent four days
in a coma, his brother said. "The problem is that the peanut butter,
you can't even tell it's peanut butter," Gale Thurston said. "It's
a loaf or a slab, like cheese. This doesn't make sense. He wouldn't have
eaten it if he knew."
It is unclear if Paul Thurston told Kent jailers about the allergy.
Paul Thurston was living with his brother in Greenville and working at
a local factory at the time of his death. He was working to kick an addiction
to prescription painkillers that he formed while battling Crohn's disease,
a chronic inflammatory bowel disease for which there is no known cure.
Thurston, who enjoyed fishing and deer hunting, aspired to be a forensic
pathologist, once attending Montcalm Community College and working with
Dr. James Banner, who serves as the medical examiner for Montcalm and
Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Associated With Exposure to Turtles?United
States, 2007-2008 Vol. 299 No. 16, April 23/30, 2008 JAMA.
MMWR. 2008;57:69-72 3 figures omitted
Source of Article: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/299/16/1892
Turtles and other reptiles have long been recognized as a source of human
Salmonella infections.1 To prevent turtle-associated Salmonella infections
in humans, the sale and distribution of small turtles (i.e., those with
a carapace length of less than 4 inches) has been prohibited in the United
States since 1975.* Despite this prohibition, small turtles remain available
to the public from various sources, including pet shops, flea markets,
street vendors, and Internet websites.2-3 In October 2007, the North Carolina
Division of Public Health (NCDPH) notified CDC of human infections caused
by Salmonella serotype Paratyphi B L (+) tartrate (+) (Salmonella Paratyphi
B var. Java) in several states. Salmonella Paratyphi B var. Java is a
nontyphoidal strain of Salmonella that causes gastroenteritis. This report
describes the results of the epidemiologic and laboratory investigation
conducted by CDC and state and local health departments during October
2007?January 2008. The findings document an ongoing, multistate outbreak
of Salmonella Paratyphi B var. Java infections, with the first reported
illness onset occurring on May 4, 2007. Many of these infections have
occurred in young children and have been associated with exposure to small
turtles. Prohibiting the sale and distribution of small turtles likely
remains the most effective public health action to prevent turtle-associated
Detection of the Outbreak
On August 31, 2007, a girl aged 13 years visited a South Carolina hospital
emergency department, where she reported a 5-day history of bloody diarrhea,
abdominal cramps, fever, and vomiting. She was treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole
and intravenous fluids but was not hospitalized. Her illness resolved
in 7 days. A stool specimen yielded Salmonella Paratyphi B var. Java.
Also on August 31, a girl aged 15 years was admitted to a North Carolina
hospital with acute renal failure and a 4-day history of bloody diarrhea,
abdominal cramps, fever, and vomiting. She was hospitalized for 8 days
and recovered fully. A joint investigation by NCDPH and the South Carolina
Department of Health and Environmental Control revealed that, on August
24, the two girls had swum in an unchlorinated, in-ground swimming pool
belonging to the family of the older girl. Two pet turtles belonging to
the family also were permitted to swim in the pool. The turtles, both
of which had carapace lengths of less than 4 inches, had been purchased
recently from a pet shop in South Carolina. A water sample collected from
the turtle habitat yielded Salmonella Paratyphi B var. Java with an XbaI
pattern indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) from
the isolates of the younger girl. Stool specimens were not collected from
the older girl.
On October 5, NCDPH informed
PulseNet that tests of isolates from three other persons revealed Salmonella
Paratyphi B var. Java with an XbaI pattern indistinguishable from the
isolates of the younger girl and the turtle habitat (defined as the outbreak
strain). On October 5, in response to a request issued by NCDPH through
PulseNet, several other state health departments reported human Salmonella
Paratyphi B var. Java isolates with an XbaI pattern indistinguishable
from the outbreak strain. The Ohio Department of Health provided further
evidence of a turtle-associated outbreak by reporting that isolates indistinguishable
from the outbreak strain had been obtained from a patient with exposure
to a small turtle during the week before illness onset, from that patient's
pet turtle, and from water collected from the turtle's habitat.
After NCDPH contacted CDC on October 23 about the possible cluster of
turtle-associated Salmonella Paratyphi B var. Java infections, CDC and
state and local health departments initiated a multistate investigation
to determine the extent of the outbreak and the sources of infection.
A case was defined as a diarrheal illness with onset after May 1, 2007,
in a person from whom a clinical specimen yielded Salmonella Paratyphi
B var. Java with a PFGE XbaI pattern indistinguishable from the outbreak
strain; cases were identified by a review of all PFGE-typed isolates in
the PulseNet database.
As of January 18, 2008, a total of 103 cases with isolates indistinguishable
from the outbreak strain had been reported to CDC from 33 states. Information
initially was collected from general enteric disease questionnaires administered
by state and local health departments. Of the 100 patients for whom age
information was available (median age: 7.5 years; range: <1-87 years),
56 (56%) were aged 10 years. Fifty-two (51%) of the 101 patients for whom
the sex was known were female. Illness onset dates ranged from May 4,
2007, to December 15, 2007. Among the 78 patients for whom clinical information
was available, 51 (65%) reported bloody diarrhea, with a median duration
of illness of 7 days; 24 (30%) of the 80 patients for whom hospitalization
status was known were hospitalized for their illnesses, with a median
duration of 4 days. Among the 80 patients questioned about turtle exposure,
47 (59%) reported turtle exposure during the 7 days before illness onset.
No deaths were reported.
A case-control study was conducted during November 15?December 5 using
age- and neighborhood-matched controls (age groups: <1 year, 1-9 years,
10-19 years, 20-49 years, 50 years; reverse-digit dialing was used to
match cases to controls by neighborhood). A telephone questionnaire was
used to determine whether the case-patient or control had exposure to
turtles, other reptiles, or aquariums containing tropical fish during
a 7-day exposure period (7 days before illness onset in the case-patient,
for both cases and matched controls). Participants who reported exposure
to turtles were asked about the nature of the exposure, including whether
the patient had touched or held the turtle, kissed the turtle or put the
turtle in his or her mouth, or come into contact with the turtle's habitat,
such as by changing the water or cleaning the cage. Participants who reported
exposure to turtles also were asked about turtle size, type, and source.
All participants were asked about their awareness of the association between
contact with reptiles and Salmonella infection. Seventy case-patients
and 45 matched controls were enrolled in the study.
Among the 70 case-patients
interviewed, 44 (63%) reported exposure to a turtle during the 7 days
before illness onset, compared with two (4%) of 45 controls (matched odds
ratio [mOR] = 40.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 7.0?unbounded). Two
(3%) case-patients and four (9%) controls reported exposure to a reptile
other than a turtle during the 7 days before illness onset. No other single
characteristic for which data were collected has been implicated in this
outbreak. Twelve (20%) of the 60 case-patients for whom such information
was available and 13 (29%) of the 45 controls reported awareness of the
association between contact with reptiles and Salmonella infection (mOR
= 0.66; CI = 0.27-1.6). Among the 44 case-patients exposed to a turtle,
34 (77%) were exposed at home, and nine (20%) were exposed at the home
of a friend or relative; one (2%) was exposed outdoors. Of the 43 case-patients
exposed at home or at the home of a friend or relative, three were siblings
exposed to turtles at the home of their babysitter, and two were a husband
and wife exposed to a turtle in their own home; the remaining exposures
occurred in households independent of one another. Of 34 case-patients
exposed to turtles at home, 12 (35%) still owned the turtle at the time
of interview. Of the 42 case-patients for whom the details of the turtle
exposure were known, 28 (67%) reported holding or touching the turtle,
24 (57%) reported feeding the turtle, and 29 (69%) reported contact with
the turtle's habitat. Four (10%) case-patients reported kissing the turtle
or having put the turtle in his or her mouth. Thirty-seven (86%) of the
43 case-patients who were exposed to a turtle and for whom turtle size
information was available reported that the turtle had a carapace length
of less than 4 inches; the remaining turtles involved in these exposures
were reported to have carapace lengths of 4 inches or more.
Forty-two case-patients with turtle exposure reported details about the
turtle source. Fifteen (36%) reported that the turtle was purchased at
a pet shop, 10 (24%) reported that the turtle had been a gift, eight (19%)
reported that the turtle was purchased at a flea market, five (12%) reported
that the turtle was purchased from a street vendor, and one each (2%,
respectively) reported that the turtle was purchased on an Internet website,
acquired from the wild, hatched from an egg given by a relative, or purchased
at a conference center event. Salmonella Paratyphi B var. Java matching
the outbreak strain was isolated from six turtles or the water from their
habitats in the homes of case-patients in California, North Carolina,
Ohio, and Wisconsin. Investigations are ongoing to determine whether the
turtles have a common distributor or farm of origin.
D Bergmire-Sweat, MPH, North Carolina Div of Public Health. J Schlegel,
MSP, C Marin, South Carolina Dept of Health and Environmental Control.
K Winpisinger, MS, Ohio Dept of Health. C Perry, M Sotir, PhD, Div of
Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, National Center for Zoonotic,
Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases; J Harris, PhD, EIS Officer, CDC.
CDC Editorial Note:
This ongoing, multistate outbreak of salmonellosis is associated with
small turtles purchased at pet stores, flea markets, and other outlets,
despite a federal prohibition on the sale of turtles with carapace lengths
of less than 4 inches. These turtles are a risk to the public and especially
to young children. Other outbreaks of turtle-associated Salmonella infections
have been reported.2-3
The prohibition on the sale and distribution of small turtles was enacted
in 1975, after public health investigations demonstrated that small turtles
were a major source of human Salmonella infections, particularly in children.
In 1972, a study in New Jersey indicated that small pet turtles accounted
for approximately 23% of Salmonella infections in children.4 In 1980,
the 1975 prohibition was estimated to have prevented 100,000 Salmonella
infections in U.S. children each year since going into effect.5 However,
this prohibition has an exception: small turtles may be sold legally for
scientific, educational or exhibition purposes. During 2001-2006, the
number of turtles kept as pets in the United States increased 86% to nearly
2 million turtles,6 suggesting that this exception might provide a mechanism
by which small turtles become household pets.
Turtles, like other reptiles, commonly carry Salmonella, and fecal carriage
rates can be as high as 90%.1 Small turtles sold as pets frequently come
from breeding farms, where turtles are housed in crowded ponds and nesting
areas in a way that promotes Salmonella transmission.7 Attempts to treat
turtles, turtle eggs, and turtle breeding ponds with antibiotics to eliminate
Salmonella have not been successful and have resulted in a high prevalence
of antibiotic resistance.7-8 Other treatments reduce but do not eliminate
Salmonella shedding from turtles,8 and the turtles that continue to shed
Salmonella might recontaminate other turtles during rearing or shipment.
Because Salmonella shedding might be intermittent and stress related,
determining whether turtles are free of the bacteria is difficult.1
Direct or indirect contact with a reptile is associated with an estimated
6% of human Salmonella infections in the United States.9 Persons coming
into contact with reptiles, reptile habitats, or surfaces contaminated
with reptile fecal matter risk infection from salmonellae shed by the
reptile.10 Although most reptiles carry Salmonella, small turtles are
likely to be handled differently than other reptiles and thus carry a
greater risk of transmitting Salmonella to children. In contrast to the
obvious risk for a bite or scratch, for example, from a snake or an iguana,
a small turtle is likely to be perceived as safe, and thus might be given
directly to small children to play with. In addition, a young child placed
in charge of caring for a turtle has direct contact with water in the
turtle habitat, where Salmonella are likely to multiply to high numbers.
Although approximately half of the infections associated with this outbreak
occurred in young children, who are at greater risk for severe illness
from Salmonella infection,2, 10 several illnesses occurred in adults with
turtle exposure, demonstrating that turtle-associated Salmonella infection
is not unique to children. Additionally, only 20% of case-patients interviewed
reported awareness of the link between Salmonella and contact with reptiles,
indicating that measures to educate the public about this link have not
been successful. CDC has provided recommendations to prevent reptile-associated
salmonellosis in humans.2 However, because of the particular hazard associated
with small turtles, prohibiting the sale and distribution of small turtles
likely remains the most effective public health action to prevent turtle-associated
The findings in this report are based, in part, on contributions from
R Reporter, MD, R Bagby, Los Angeles County Dept of Public Health, A Kao,
PhD, San Diego Health and Human Svcs Agency, E Cox, MPH, Long Beach Dept
of Health and Human Svcs, P Cast, San Bernardino County Dept of Public
Health, A Norman, Sacramento Dept of Health and Human Svcs, A Kimura,
MD, California Dept of Health; D Raccasi, T L¡¯Estrange, Weber-Morgan Health
Dept, Utah Dept of Health; Missouri Dept of Health and Senior Svcs; C
Prunty, Summit County Health Dept, P Pflum, Henry Country Health Dept,
Ohio; J Tait, J Baney, CR Cook, CH Sandt, PhD, Pennsylvania Bur of Laboratories,
K Warren, MPH, Pennsylvania Dept of Health; Y Khachadourian, T Quinlan,
Wadsworth Center Laboratory, New York, T Fitzgerald, New York City Bur
of Health, E Villamil, MPH, Perry Smith, MD, New York State Dept of Health;
M Cumming, MS, B Bolstorff, MPH, Massachussetts Dept of Public Health;
S Bidol, MPH, Michigan Dept of Community Health; and L Schaefer, South
Dakota Dept of Health.
*Food and Drug Administration. Human health hazards associated with turtles:
information for regulators and public health educators. Available at http://www.fda.gov/cvm/turtlereg.htm.
A national molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance.
1. Chiodini RJ, Sundberg JP. Salmonellosis in reptiles: a review. Am J
Epidemiol. 1981;113(5):494-499. FREE FULL TEXT
2. CDC. Turtle-associated salmonellosis in humans?United States, 2006-2007.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007;56(26):649-652. PUBMED
3. CDC. Salmonellosis associated with pet turtles?Wisconsin and Wyoming,
2004. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005;54(9):223-226. PUBMED
4. Lamm SH, Taylor A, Gangarosa E; et al. Turtle-associated Salmonellosis.
I. An estimation of the magnitude of the problem in the United States,
1970-1971. Am J Epidemiol. 1972;95(6):511-517. FREE FULL TEXT
5. Cohen ML, Potter M, Pollard R, Feldman RA. Turtle-associated salmonellosis
in the United States: effect of public health action, 1970 to 1976. JAMA.
6. American Veterinary Medical Association. U.S. pet ownership and demographics
sourcebook. Schaumburg, IL: American Veterinary Medical Association; 2007:2.
7. D¡¯Aoust JY, Daley E, Crozier M, Sewell AM. Pet turtles: a continuing
international threat to public health. Am J Epidemiol. 1990;132(2):233-238.
FREE FULL TEXT
8. Mitchell MA, Adamson T, Singleton C; et al. Evaluation of a combination
of sodium hypochlorite and polyhexamethylene biguanide as an egg wash
for red-eared slider turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans) to suppress or
eliminate Salmonella organisms on egg surfaces and in hatchlings. Am J
Vet Res. 2007;68(2):158-164. FULL TEXT | ISI | PUBMED
9. Mermin J, Hutwagner L, Vugia D; et al. Reptiles, amphibians, and human
Salmonella infection: a population-based, case-control study. Clin Infect
Dis. 2004;38(Suppl 3):S253-S261. FULL TEXT | ISI | PUBMED
10. Mermin J, Hoar B, Angulo FJ. Iguanas and Salmonella Marina infection
in children: a reflection of the increasing incidence of reptile-associated
salmonellosis in the United States. Pediatrics. 1997;99(3):399-402. FREE
of common additives against acrylamide gains more support
By Stephen Daniells Source of Article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
21-Apr-2008 - Addition of the common food additives L-cysteine, glycine
and L-lysine may inhibit the formation of acrylamide in potato products,
suggests new research from Belgium.
"L-cysteine appeared to reduce the acrylamide content in the most
effective way, with a reduction of about 92 per cent, followed by L-lysine
(39 per cent) and glycine (24 per cent)," wrote lead author Frederic
Mestdagh from Ghent University in the journal Food Chemistry.
The study taps into the trend of new ways to reduce acrylamide in foods,
as the industry aims to improve the public perception about food safety,
which has suffered in recent years.
Acrylamide is a carcinogen that is created when starchy foods are baked,
roasted, fried or toasted. It first hit the headlines in 2002, when scientists
at the Swedish Food Administration first reported unexpectedly high levels
of acrylamide, found to cause cancer in laboratory rats, in carbohydrate-rich
Since the Swedish discovery a global effort has been underway to amass
data about this chemical. More than 200 research projects have been initiated
around the world, and their findings co-ordinated by national governments,
the EU and the United Nations.
The Belgian researchers used a model potato powder system, and tested
the efficacy of a range of food additives on acrylamide formation, including
organic acids, free amino acids and salts.
"Since most of these additives are already commonly used in the food
industry, these components can be more easily applied on industrial scale
to mitigate the formation of acrylamide in fried potato products,"
Mestdagh and co-workers report that the organic acids led to a significant
reduction in acrylamide content, but this was due predominantly to a lowering
of the pH. Specifically, acrylamide levels were reduced by 78, 46 and
62 per cent for citric, acetic, and L-lactic acid, respectively.
For the amino acids glycine, L-lysine and L-cysteine reductions were also
recorded, with the greatest observed for the last amino acid. Moreover,
reductions were achieved without changes to the pH level.
Salts containing calcium and magnesium ions also induced a reduction in
acrylamide levels in the food matrix, but this was also associated with
pH changes. This area of study is ongoing for the Ghent researchers, with
an evaluation of the approaches planned in a real food system, namely
potato crisps. "In addition, the final product quality of these treated
foodstuffs will be assessed by means of sensory analysis of potato crisps,"
Others have reported similar results concerning the potential of common
additives to reduce or prevent acrylamide formation. Indeed, Turkish researchers
published a study in the journal Food Chemistry (doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.08.011)
reporting that the additive could reduce acrylamide formation in potato
chips and French fries by about 95 per cent.
Moreover, Chinese researchers from Jinan University tested the food additives
ferulic acid, catechin, calcium chloride, sodium bisulfite, and l-cysteine
on inhibition of acrylamide formation (Innovative Food Science & Emerging
Source: Food Chemistry
1 March 2008, Volume 107, Issue 1, Pages 26-31
"Impact of additives to lower the formation of acrylamide in a potato
model system through pH reduction and other mechanisms"
Authors: F. Mestdagh, J. Maertens, T. Cucu, K. Delporte, C. Van Peteghem,
B. De Meulenaer
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