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5/06
2008
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FDA's SEAFOOD SAFETY PROGRAM
FDA's SEAFOOD SAFETY PROGRAM

US food security system reaching breaking point: report
Source of Article: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hVFELSYTMeJHYYwx0LOCf3lwePjQ
WASHINGTON (AFP) . America's antiquated food security system is caught in a pressure cooker and faces a crisis due to major gaps in quality control and inconsistencies among the nation's disparate monitoring agencies.
"We can't adequately protect people from contaminated foods if we continue to use 100 year-old practices," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the non-profit organization Trust for America's Health (TFAH).
"We need to bring food safety into the 21st century. We have the technology. We're way past due for a smart and strategic upgrade."
Some 76 million Americans, or one in four people, fall victim every year to food poisoning, of which some 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die, according to the estimates in a TFAH report released on Wednesday.
Entitled "Fixing Food Safety: Protecting America's Food Supply from Farm-to-Fork," the report said the health costs and the losses to the US economy from such illnesses was an estimated 44 billion dollars a year.
It maintained that the inefficiencies in the system were due in part to poor use of funding and the fact that responsibility for ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply lay in the hands of some 15 different local and federal agencies.
Most of the federal funds available were "spent on outdated practices of inspecting every poultry, beef and pork carcass, even though changing threats and modern agriculture practices and technology make this an unproductive use of government resources," the report said.
And in contrast, not enough money was pumped into "fighting modern bacteria threats, such as trying to reduce Salmonella or dangerous strains of E. coli," it added.
Some 85 percent of illness from contaminated foods was linked to foodstuffs that were controlled by the federal Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), even though it received less than half of the federal funds devoted to quality control.
And the FDA has also seen a drain in staff over the past three years, with the departures of at least 20 percent of their scientists and some 600 inspectors, the report said.
"Gaps in current inspection practices mean acts of agroterrorism -- such as contamination of wheat gluten or botulism -- could go undetected until they are widespread," it said.
On top of that, only about one percent of imported foodstuffs are inspected, although 60 percent of the nation's fresh fruits and vegetables and 75 percent of seafood are imported.
In its report, the TFAH calls for a series of actions to modernize the food safety system including drawing up uniform performance standards, boosting the FDA with more funding and working to improve monitoring.

Citrus essential oils could be anti-fungal additives for food
By Stephen Daniells Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
02-May-2008 - Essential oils from citrus like mandarins and lemon could be natural anti-fungal agents for food, tapping into the search for natural alternatives to synthetics, suggests new research from Spain.
The tide is currently turning against chemical-based anti-fungal additives for food use, opening up opportunities for alternatives from natural sources. The reasons for this are manifold and include general consumer preferences for natural foods, legislative changes, and the isolation of antibiotic resistant pathogens.
"It seems that citrus essential oils could be considered suitable alternatives to chemical additives for use in the food industry, attending to the needs for safety and satisfying the demand of consumers for natural components," wrote the researchers from Miguel Hernandez University in Alicante.
The study, published in the journal Food Chemistry, reports that essential oils of lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and orange all exhibited antifungal activity against the common food moulds Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium chrysogenum and Penicillium verrucosum. According to the researchers, essential oil from orange was the most effective against A. niger (50 per cent reduction). The mandarin produced the best effects against A. flavus (65 per cent reduction), and grapefruit came out on top against P. chrysogenum and P. verrucosum (48.1 and 48.3 per cent, respectively).
The protective effects against growth were proposed to be due to toxic effects of the essential oil on the functionality and structure of the cell membrane in the mould.
The researchers also note that other studies have indicated that inhibition may also be due to the monoterpenes content of essential oils. "These components would increase the concentration of lipidic peroxides such as hydroxyl, alkoxyl and alkoperoxyl radicals and so bring about cell death," they said.
Potential for essential oils
"The main advantage of essential oils is that they can be used in any foods and are considered generally recognized as safe (GRAS), as long as their maximum effects is attained with the minimum change in the organoleptic properties of the food," wrote the Alicante-based researchers.
Indeed, the search for natural alternatives to synthetic additives has increased the attention on essential oils. Katie Fisher and Carol Philips of the University of Nottingham's School of Health, UK, reviewed the potential of essential oils as inhibitors of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
The review, published in Trends in Food Science and Technology, noted that the antimicrobial properties of citrus essential oils have only started to be explored quite recently.
Fisher and Philips sounded a note of caution, however: "Should essential oils be applied to food they may be able to inhibit a wide range of organisms, but they could also cause an imbalance in gut microflora," they wrote.
Thus, while more research is conducted on the effect of certain essential oils throughout the whole intestinal tract, they recommend that a good starting point for the food industry would be to look at using those citrus oils that are already being used as food flavours.
Source: Food Chemistry
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2007.12.003
"Antifungal activity of lemon (Citrus lemon L.), mandarin (Citrus reticulata L.), grapefruit (Citrus paradisi L.) and orange (Citrus sinensis L.) essential oils"
Authors: M. Viuda-Martos, Y. Ruiz-Navajas, J. Fernandez-Lopez, J. Perez-Alvarez

USDA- Animal research center hot on the trail of E. coli O157:H7
(MEATPOULTRY.com, April 25, 2008) by Bryan Salvage
Source of Article: http://www.meatnews.com/feature_stories.asp.ArticleID=93074
CLAY CENTER, NEB. A former World War II Naval ammunition depot in Clay Center, Neb., now called the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, is an animal research center where U.S. government scientists are researching to unlock secrets contained in the genetic makeup of the cattle, according to the Associated Press. And their focus is specifically on E. coli O157:H7 , which was responsible for so many recalls in 2007.
"Our purpose is to save little kids' lives," said Mohammad Koohmaraie, director of the center and a well-known scientist to the U.S. meat and poultry industry.
Scientists at center still don't know why the number of beef recalls soared in 2007 or why E. coli contamination appeared to be rising, AP reveals. The lab operates its own feedlot and a herd of approximately 6,500 cows that are used for genetic research.
Last year, more than 30 million lbs of ground beef were taken off the market in 20 recalls because of possible E. coli contamination. One recall, which was the second-largest recall in U.S. history, resulted in Topps Meat Co. going out of business. Topps Meat Company was founded in 1940 and was a leading manufacturer and supplier of premium branded frozen hamburgers and other portion controlled meat for supermarkets and mass merchandisers.
Although last year¡¯s ground beef beef recalls were linked to at least 67 sicknesses, no deaths were reported. Only eight beef recalls and no reported illnesses were reported throughout 2006.. Research being conducted at the center is different from research at universities and other labs in the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, AP reports. "The uniqueness of what we do is in the sample size," Koohmaraie said. "We really don't speak unless we have confidence in the data. A bug like E. coli O157:h7 is really problematic if you don't design the experiment properly."
One of the lab's current projects will test whether feeding cattle distiller's grain . a byproduct of making the gasoline additive ethanol . has any effect on the level of E. coli and the quality of meat produced. In the spring of 2007, the Nebraska Corn Board suggested the distiller's grain research, and the lab agreed since more feedlots are using the ethanol byproduct.
Six-hundred head of cattle are involved in this research. Half are being fed a traditional grain feed and half are being fed distiller's grain. The research will conclude in June after the cattle have been sold for slaughter and samples of their carcasses have been collected.
Smaller studies already suggest a link between distillers grain and high levels of the bacteria, AP contends. For instance, researchers at Kansas State University said last fall they found that cattle fed distiller's grain are twice as likely to carry E. coli O157:H7.

National Restaurant Association announces key partnership with the Global Food Safety Initiative
(Drinks Media Wire). Food service and food retail join forces on food safety
Monday, May 05, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.drinksmediawire.com/afficher_cdp.asp.id=3146&lng=2
The National Restaurant Association today announced a major new strategic alliance to share best food safety practices and the use of common food safety standards worldwide. The National Restaurant Association and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), managed by CIES - The Food Business Forum, will now work closely together to strengthen food safety systems and increase consumer confidence. Working together, with one voice, the restaurant industry and food retailers will be stronger working towards shared goals and objectives of convergence between food safety standards. This will be done through maintaining a benchmarking process for food safety management schemes and improving cost efficiency throughout the food supply chain through the common acceptance of GFSI recognized standards around the world. The alliance will provide a unique international stakeholder platform for networking, knowledge exchange and sharing of best food safety practice and information.
The Global Food Safety Initiative will be greatly strengthened through the participation of the foodservice sector at both the Board of Directors and Technical Committee levels. Cindy Jiang, Director of Worldwide Quality, Food Safety, and Nutrition for McDonald\'s Corporation, will be joining the GFSI Board of Directors.
"Through this alliance, we are well on track to achieving the GFSI goal of developing and maintaining one common framework of internationally recognized standards," said Roland Vaxelaire, Director of Risk, Responsibility and Quality for the Carrefour Group and Chairman of GFSI. "This will go a long way to helping to provide consistent products which are safe for both the retail and foodservice sector customers worldwide."
"Food safety is one of the restaurant industry¡¯s highest priorities, and we believe the goals and objectives of the Global Food Safety Initiative provides a consistent framework to strengthen food safety systems along the foodservice supply chain and increase consumer confidence," said Dawn Sweeney, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association. The Global Food Safety Initiative continues to grow in importance in the world of food safety internationally, with the alignment in 2007 of four major food safety management schemes with its Guidance Document (BRC, Dutch HACCP, IFS and SQF) and the common acceptance of these standards by 7 major international retailers (Carrefour, Delhaize, Metro, Migros, Royal Ahold, Tesco and Wal-Mart).

Bio-Rad Laboratories iQ-CheckTM Real-Time PCR Test Kits Approved by AOAC Research Institute
The 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 at FoodScience@bio-rad.com.

FDA Completes Final Analysis of "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula" Products
Testing reveals high chromium levels in addition to selenium
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration¡¯s final analysis of certain flavors of "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula¡± has detected hazardous amounts of chromium.
On April 9, 2008, the FDA reported the dietary supplement products contained hazardous amounts of selenium in samples of "Total Body Formula" in Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar flavors and "Total Body Mega Formula" in the Orange/Tangerine flavor. (http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01818.html) Further FDA analysis of the products found high levels of chromium as well. The samples contained up to 3,426 micrograms of chromium for the recommended serving (17 times the recommended intake). The recommended chromium intake for an adult ranges from 35 to 45 micrograms per day.
Excessive consumption of chromium can cause fatigue, muscle cramps, hyperactivity, hypoglycemia, renal failure and liver toxicity. Excessive chromium intake also can interfere with certain medications.
The new FDA finding comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the number of confirmed cases of adverse reactions in consumers using the products has climbed to at least 201 individuals in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Consumers were first cautioned March 27, 2008 not to purchase and to discontinue the use of "Total Body Formula" in Tropical Orange and Peach Nectar flavors and "Total Body Mega Formula" in the Orange/Tangerine flavor after receiving reports of adverse reactions. (http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01812.html).
The FDA continues to investigate how excessive amounts of selenium and chromium got into the products.
The sole distributor of the "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula" products has voluntarily recalled the affected products.
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 www.fda.gov/medwatch/how.htm.More information about selenium and chromium and toxic effects of excessive intake is available from the CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/.

Statement by Dr. Richard Raymond, USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Regarding the Safety of the U.S. Food Supply - related to BSE


Two E. coli Lawsuits Filed Against Wendy's in Utah
Posted on May 6, 2008 by E. coli Lawyer
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
After months of attempting to resolve these cases without litigation, after five days of mediation with no resolution, we filed suit against Wendy¡¯s (perhaps now Arby¡¯s) in Salt Lake City Federal Court on behalf of two victims who suffered severe hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). We did settle with Wendy¡¯s insurance companies several other claims of stool-culture positive victims.
As you might recall, in early August 2006, public health officials in Weber County, Utah, became aware of several people who attended a teachers¡¯ conference luncheon that had contracted E. coli O121:H19. On August 2, 2006, the Weber-Morgan Health Department (WMHD) issued a News Release indicating that three people had contracted E. coli O121:H19, and that two of the individuals had developed HUS. WMHD stated that the evidence indicated that all three people contracted E. coli from the same source sometime during June 27-30 at a restaurant in the Ogden, Utah area. By August 7, WMHD officials had revised the number of outbreak victims to four, including three who had developed HUS. A final report was issued. Three of the HUS patients with E. coli O121:H19 were laboratory confirmed by stool culture. DNA subtyping by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) showed that one of the individuals that was not associated with the conference, but who had consumed cheeseburgers from Wendy¡¯s during the outbreak period, was an identical genetic match to one of the previous confirmed E. coli cases associated with Wendy¡¯s.

FSIS Issues Notice on Verification of Carcasses

Bisphenol shown to be quite safe
May 2, 2008 Source of Article: http://www.baltimoresun.com/
The Sun's article "Study raises concerns on chemical, cancer" (April 16) and several reports released in April may cause confusion and unnecessary alarm about Bisphenol-A (BPA).
It's important for Sun readers to know that the National Toxicology Program report indicated that the effects of BPA fell into the government's lowest possible risk ranking.
In fact, the U.S. government has studied the health effects of BPA exposure for more than 40 years, and the overwhelming body of scientific evidence continues to prove that actual exposure to the levels of bisphenol found in some consumer food and beverage containers has no adverse effect on humans of all ages.
The Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority and the World Health Organization have all evaluated and approved the safety of minimal amounts of BPA used in plastic containers.
And consumers can rest assured that they can continue to safely enjoy foods and beverages in the many forms of packaging that use it, without changing their purchasing or eating patterns.
Robert E. Brackett
Washington
The writer is a senior vice president and chief science and regulatory affairs officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Tests find killer MRSA bug common in German piggeries
Source of Article: http://www.meatpoultry.com/
Bonn, Germany
DPA x Germany Health Trade Tests find killer MRSA bug common in German piggeries Bonn, Germany
Killer staphylococcus germs which defy antibiotics and which are rampant in some hospitals are also widespread on German farm pigs, health officials said Monday.

Spot tests were ordered after last year's revelation that the germs are widespread in Dutch piggeries. Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was found in 28 out of 40 of the pig farms checked in North Rhine Westphalia state, the state farm services bureau in Bonn said.
The infected animals were otherwise healthy.
German federal health officials say consumers should cook cuts of pork all the way through to avoid infection.
MRSA, a serious problem in the world's hospitals, was first
detected in animals in 1972.
A documentary on MRSA, to be aired this Saturday on ARD public TV in Germany, says 35,000 patients catch MRSA every year in German hospitals and it is estimated 1,500 die of it. Ordinary staphylococcus is found on most people's skin and usually only causes sores and other illnesses when immunity is low. The documentary said 39 of 122 farm workers in one sample had caught the resistant form, possibly from the pigs. Methicillin resistance arises when some of the toughest bacteria survive courses of antibiotics administered to humans or animals.

Where the Wild Microbes Are: A New Theory on How Pathogens Survive Food Processing
Source of Article: http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/comment/reply/16254
Produce borne diseases have recently been gracing the front pages of our media. Our spinach has E. coli, our onions have Hepatitis A virus and E. coli, our strawberries have Listeria, and our tomatoes and peanut butter have Salmonella. Not to mention the countless tons of ground beef tainted with pathogenic E. coli.
Common sense says that washing and proper handling of our food should simply be enough to prevent illness outbreaks. It has now been hypothesized that many bacteria were able to "hide" within and among the plant cells, protected by their sturdy cell wall. Or even that some pathogenic bacteria were able to enter the cells and remain protected from traditional washing methods.
An article in this month's Applied and Environmental Microbiology looks at a much different method of bacterial survival on produce. They hypothesize that these bacteria are taking refuge in various protozoa, and subsequently are protected from washing and other sanitation methods due to being held either within the cell or an exogenous cell-derived vesicle.
Head on over to Blogging for Bacteriophages to read more about the ways these bacteria hunker down in protists on our produce.: http://www.phagehunter.org/2008/04/where-wild-microbes-are-new-theory-on.html

Raw milk lovers upset over Amish arrest
(Daily News, NY)
By MATTHEW LYSIAK
It's the milk spill that crossed state lines.
Brooklyn raw milk enthusiasts are crying over the loss of their supplier - a horse and buggy-driving Amish farmer from Pennsylvania. Mark Nolt of New Line, Pa., was arrested and shut down last Friday for selling the contraband. "Oh God. My heart is pounding. I can't believe what a God---- police state this is," said one Brooklyn customer who made monthly pickups of raw dairy products from Nolt that the farmer had dropped off in Manhattan by workers. "I gave him $100 last week for a huge delivery of stuff, including raw cream that I planned on using to make cream puffs," she said. The Brooklyn outcry came after six Pennsylvania state troopers raided Nolt's farm and confiscated his illegal dairy. "They swooped in on Friday morning like a bunch of Vikings, handcuffed me and stole $30,000 worth of my milk, cheese and butter," Nolt told the Daily News. Nolt is a devout Mennonite who sells raw dairy products at his farm and has them transported by truck to customers in Delaware and across New York City, where the raw goods are illegal.
It is a violation of federal law to transport raw milk across state lines with the intent to sell it for consumption. Nolt was arrested for not having a permit to sell the goods in Pennsylvania, where they are allowed. He said he was working on the farm with his wife and 10 children when the agents cuffed him on charges of selling the contraband to an undercover officer. "The government doesn't have the right to dictate what I eat, and never will," said an unrepentant Nolt. Around the city, more and more parents are signing up to find out where dropoff points are to pick up raw milk they have bought online.
To get around the law, no money changes hands. Milk pickup spots are posted in Williamsburg, Queens and neighborhoods in Manhattan - where a milk truck waits.
The seizure on Nolt's farm has slowed Brooklyn's raw milk flow to a trickle, which is great news, at least as far as the FDA is concerned.
An FDA report on illnesses caused by raw milk over the past five years says there have been 18 outbreaks of bacterial illness involving raw milk or raw milk cheeses in 15 states. 5-01-08

Peanut allergy gone within five years.
By Stephen Daniells Source of Article: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
05-May-2008 - Genetically modified plants or immunotherapy may eliminate allergies to peanut within five years, suggests a prominent scientist from Duke University.
The comments were made in the current issue of The Lancet. Peanuts can cause the most severe food allergies, affecting about three million US residents a year, and causing up to 150 deaths.
The news however may put the dampeners on the free-from food market that has been enjoying sales growth of over 300 per cent in the UK since 2000, according to market analyst Mintel.
In industrialised countries allergies have been rapidly increasing in children, for causes that are not entirely understood. One study showed that between 1997 and 2002, peanut allergies in children doubled in the United States.
But help may be just around the corner, according to Wesley Burks from Paediatric Allergy and Immunology at Duke University Medical Center. Scientists at various groups around the world are working on the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies, which would alter the immune system's response to an allergen.
Various approached are under investigation, but they are based on the principle of curbing the immune response of so-called Th2 cells, or by inducing tolerance.
"These studies offer the possibility of at least raising the threshold of the amount of peanut that it would take to cause a life-threatening allergic reaction; whether these types of treatments are likely to cause eventual clinical tolerance to develop remains to be seen," wrote Burks.
"It is likely that in the next 5 years there will be some type of immunotherapy available for peanut allergic individuals," he added.

The GM approach
Another approach that may yield results is the development of allergen-free peanut plants.
"An example would be to introduce anti-sense RNA copies of the allergen gene into the peanut plant to suppress allergen gene expression," stated Dr. Burks. "Post-translational gene silencing by mRNA degradation is another approach being investigated."
"The difficulty with this and similar approaches is that several peanut proteins are involved in IgE binding.
"The process of altering enough of the peanut allergens to make a modified peanut that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction would probably render the new peanut no longer a peanut," he added.
Despite offering a potentially life-saving solution for millions around the world, acceptance of GM peanuts is not guaranteed. The GM tag continues to be one of the biggest challenges for consumer acceptance, particularly in Europe and most notably in the UK.

All food allergies gone within a decade.
In 2006, Dutch Dutch researchers told the BA Festival of Science in England that food allergies could be consigned to the history books within a decade if the combination of biotechnology and vaccines work as planned.
Dr. Ronald van Ree from the University of Amsterdam told attendees in Norwich that the key finding of the research presented was: A clever combination of biotechnology (hypo-allergenic recombinant allergens) and vaccine-development (novel adjuvants based on anti-inflammatory molecules from pathogens) [to] provide new tools to treat food allergy.
An estimated four per cent of adults and eight per cent of children in the 380m EU population suffer from food allergies, according to the European Federation of Allergy and Airways Diseases Patients' Associations.

Source: The Lancet
3 May 2008, Volume 371, Pages 1538-1546
"Peanut allergy"
Author: A.W. Burks

Packaging chemicals found in breast milk, says study by Dominique Patton
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com
06-May-2008 - Chemicals found in food packaging and other products appear to be transferred by nursing mothers to their babies via breast milk, researchers have found.
The new research suggests that mothers may need to be more aware of the products they are consuming when breast-feeding.
"Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, are found in human blood around the world, including the blood of newborns, but this is the first study in the United States to document their occurrence in human milk," said Kathleen Arcaro, lead researcher and professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the US.
"While nursing does not expose infants to a dose that exceeds recommended limits, breast milk should be considered as an additional source of PFCs when determining a child's total exposure," advised Arcaro.
PFCs are suspected cancer-causing chemicals found in grease-resistant packaging such as microwave popcorn bags and pizza boxes, as well as fish and other animals. Exposure can also come from personal care products including dental floss and shampoo.
The chemicals can linger in the environment and the human body for years without being broken down.
Several studies have already found PFCs in the blood of newborns immediately after birth, and in children between the ages of 2 and 12, who have blood levels similar to those found in adults.
This led the Massachusetts research team to investigate breast-feeding as a source of PFCs.
Writing in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the researchers describe how they tested for nine different PFCs. Perfluorooctane-sulfonate (PFOS), used to make stain-resistant fabrics, was found in the highest concentration in breast milk, followed by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), used in non-stick cookware.
On average, each litre of milk contained 131 billionths of a gram of PFOS and 44 billionths of a gram of PFOA.
However, the amount of PFCs that nursing infants would consume each day did not exceed Total Daily Intake Values set by the UK's Food Standards Agency Committee on Toxicology, noted the scientists.
Arcaro warned though that these Total Daily Intake values have been derived from rodent studies and may not therefore be a reliable basis for assessing risk.
The researchers also found that milk from first-time mothers had increased concentrations of the chemical during the first six months of nursing. "This may be related to increased food intake to meet the energy demands of nursing, and changes in food consumption patterns in nursing mothers," says Arcaro.
In a Canadian study, diet was shown to contribute 61 per cent of a person's total daily intake of PFCs, she said.
Arcaro added that potential risks needed to be weighed against the significant benefits from breast-feeding, which include better nutrition and immune system development and enhanced defence against infections in children.
Environ. Sci. Technol., 42 (, 3096-3101, 2008. 10.1021/es702789k
Web Release Date: March 7, 2008

10 cases of salmonella now reported at Princeton University
May 5, 2008 Source of Article: http://www.newsday.com/
PRINCETON, N.J. - Authorities have now confirmed 10 cases of salmonella at Princeton University. And health officials are investigating 73 other cases of stomach problems at the Ivy League school that may be related to the bacteria. Princeton spokeswoman Cass Cliatt said Monday that the school has changed produce suppliers as a precautionary measure. The university has also closed food stations within some dining facilities that relied heavily on certain produce and meat products. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services has interviewed 50 students, staff and faculty who reported a stomach illness in the past two weeks. Meanwhile, local authorities have inspected the school's largest dining hall and the university has sent food samples to a lab for testing

CDC Reports Salmonella Agona Multistate Tied to Malt-O-Meal
CDC Reports Salmonella Agona in Colorado (1), Delaware (1), Maine (3), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (4), New York (3), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), and Vermont (1) Tied to Malt-O-Meal
Posted on April 30, 2008 by Salmonella Lawyer
Marler Blog
CDC is collaborating with public health officials in multiple states across the United States and with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Agona infections. An investigation that includes interviews of persons with Salmonella Agona infections and comparison of the DNA fingerprints suggests that cereal from Malt-O-Meal unsweetened Puffed Rice Cereals and unsweetened Puffed Wheat Cereals is likely related to these illnesses.
As of April 22, 2008, state and city health departments from 12 states have identified 21 ill persons infected with same genetic fingerprint of Salmonella Agona. Ill persons with the outbreak strain have been identified from Colorado (1), Delaware (1), Maine (3), Massachusetts (2), Minnesota (1), North Dakota (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (4), New York (3), Pennsylvania (1), Rhode Island (1), and Vermont (1). Onset dates, which are known for 13 patients, ranged from January 22 to March 8, 2008. Patients¡¯ ages ranged from 4 months to 95 years with a median age of 66 years. Five hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.
This might sound a bit familiar:
Multistate Outbreak of Salmonella Serotype Agona Infections Linked to Toasted Oats Cereal -- United States, April-May, 1998
During April-May 1998, a total of 11 states reported an increase in cases of Salmonella serotype Agona infections; as of June 8, a total of 209 cases have been reported and at least 47 persons have been hospitalized, representing an eightfold increase over the median number of cases reported in those states during 1993-1997. The states reporting increases were Illinois (49 cases), Indiana (30), Ohio (29), New York (24), Missouri (22), Pennsylvania (20), Michigan (15), Iowa (8), Wisconsin (6), Kansas (4), and West Virginia (2). This report summarizes the outbreak investigation by local, state, and federal public health officials, which implicated Millville brand plain Toasted Oats cereal manufactured by Malt-O-Meal, Inc. as the cause of illness. Among 162 patients in this outbreak for whom information was available, 85 (52%) were female. Most cases occurred in children and the elderly (47% in persons aged less than 10 years and 21% in persons aged greater than 70 years).

Practical advice for safer food in care homes
Tuesday 6 May 2008
source from: http://www.food.gov.uk/
The Agency has launched a Safer food, better business (SFBB) supplement designed to help small caterers and staff working in care homes across the UK prepare and cook safer food for their residents.
There are about 19,000 care homes throughout Great Britain that will be covered by the scope of the supplement, this includes an estimated 8,000 homes for older people. Older people can be more vulnerable to illness, and so extra measures need to be put in place to ensure food safety is managed effectively.
The supplement is designed to be used with the main SFBB pack for caterers. It provides additional safe methods that cover specific food safety issues found in care homes, such as handling laundry, the safe storage of medicines and receiving food donated or given as gifts.SFBB contains practical, jargon-free information to help caterers comply with food hygiene regulations. It is suitable for small residential care homes but not for nursing homes.
The supplement and the main SFBB pack for caterers can be ordered free of charge from FSA Publications. More information on how to order can be found at the link below.

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