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SEAFOOD SAFETY PROGRAM
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
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Most of the federal funds available were "spent on outdated practices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
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.
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
"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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Restaurant Association announces key partnership with the Global Food
(Drinks Media Wire). Food service and food retail join forces on food
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).
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 at FoodScience@bio-rad.com.
FDA Completes Final
Analysis of "Total Body Formula" and "Total Body Mega Formula"
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
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/.
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
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.
Issues Notice on Verification of Carcasses
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
The writer is a senior vice president and chief science and regulatory
affairs officer for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
killer MRSA bug common in German piggeries
Source of Article: http://www.meatpoultry.com/
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
"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
Author: A.W. Burks
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
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
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
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
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).
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
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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