Comprehensive News List
General Food Safety News/ Outbreak News/ Recall News/ New Methods News/
USDA/FDA
News/ On-Line Slides/ Job Information/Internet Journal of Food Safety

8/02
2008
ISSUE:314

Sponsors











Sponsorship Q/A

Click here
to go
Main Page

 

Click here
to go
List of Newsletters


To subscribe this Food Safety Newsletter,
Click here

On-Line
Slides


Internet Journal of Food Safety

Job Opennings

 

 


Salmonella Saintpaul Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart
Last update: 11:46 a.m. EDT Aug. 1, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.marketwatch.com/
CORTEZ, Colo., Aug 01, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The first lawsuit stemming from the Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 1,319 people, hospitalized 255 and caused the death of two in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Canada was filed today in the District Court of Montezuma County, Colorado. The complaint was filed on behalf of Delores, Colorado resident Brian Grubbs against Wal-Mart and an unknown supplier, referred to as "John Doe." Mr. Grubbs is represented by Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness, and by Colorado attorney David Woodruff of Hillyard, Wahlberg, Kudla & Sloane.
The lawsuit states that the Grubbs family purchased raw jalapeno peppers from the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Cortez, Colorado in late June, and that Mr. Grubbs ate them over the next week. He fell ill on July 3, experiencing nausea, vomiting, fever, chills, and diarrhea. Over the next several days, Mr. Grubbs' condition continued to worsen; he lost a great deal of weight, was severely dehydrated, and could not walk without assistance. His wife drove him to the Northern Navajo Medical Center in Shiprock, New Mexico, where he was treated for dehydration and decreased kidney and liver functions. Samples taken at the time later revealed that he was positive for salmonella Saintpaul.
"Consumers believe that retailers like Wal-Mart know the quality and safety of products they sell," said William Marler, the Grubbs' attorney. "Retailers benefit from that trust, and must be held accountable for the products they sell."
The Grubbs family still possessed some of the peppers that Mr. Grubbs had consumed, and provided them to authorities. Tests revealed that the peppers were tainted with salmonella Saintpaul, and provided one of the first reported physical links in the three-month-long search for the source of the outbreak.
Salmonellosis illnesses from the Saintpaul strain began showing up in Texas and New Mexico in late April, and in early June the CDC linked those illnesses to raw tomatoes and issued consumer warnings. Advisories were widened to include foods commonly consumed with tomatoes, such as peppers, cilantro, and onions, then narrowed to raw jalapeno and serrano peppers. On July 30, the FDA confirmed the presence of salmonella Saintpaul at a farm in Mexico, both in irrigation water and on produce. The investigation is continuing. (A full timeline of the outbreak can be found here.)
Salmonella is a bacterium that causes one of the most common intestinal illnesses in the US: salmonellosis infection. It can be present in uncooked or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, or unpasteurized dairy products, as well as other foods contaminated during harvest, production, or packaging. Symptoms can begin 6 to 72 hours from consumption, and include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, and/or vomiting. In most victims, symptoms will lessen over a period of 10 days to 2 weeks, although it may take months for body functions to return to normal. In others, the infection can lead to more severe illnesses such as typhoid fever and bacteremia. There are many strains of the bacterium; salmonella Saintpaul is a fairly common serotype, but the specific subtype, or fingerprint, associated with this outbreak is very rare.
BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness outbreaks since the landmark Jack in the Box E. coli case. The firm's attorneys have litigated high-profile food poisoning cases against such companies as ConAgra, Wendy's, Chili's, Chi-Chi's, and Cargill. Marler Clark currently represents victims of outbreaks traced to ground beef, pot pies, and spinach, as well as other foods. Contact Mary Siceloff at msiceloff@marlerclark.com or (206) 719-4705. For further information visit www.marlerclark.com and www.marlerblog.com.

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA RESPONSE TO THE OUTBREAK OF SALMONELLA SAINTPAUL IN THE UNITED STATES Updates
Ottawa, July 31, 2008 In keeping with the Government¡¯s commitment to food safety, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is taking precautionary actions to prevent the implicated source of the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak in the United States (U.S.) from entering Canada. Specifically, shipments of jalapeno and Serrano peppers from Mexico are being held by the CFIA pending laboratory results. Shipments found to be contaminated will not be allowed in the marketplace. The CFIA and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will continue to monitor the situation closely.
This action is based on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recent advice to Americans to avoid eating raw jalapeno and raw Serrano peppers, and any foods that contain them, if they have been grown, harvested or packed in Mexico. These peppers have been associated with the current outbreak in many states. However, commercially canned, pickled, and cooked jalapeno and Serrano peppers are not associated with the current Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak. Jalapeno and Serrano peppers grown in Canada and the U.S. have not been connected with the current Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak in the U.S.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. has found that many, but not all of the people who have become ill during the outbreak also reported eating jalapeno or Serrano peppers. The FDA and the CDC continue to update their respective websites to provide ongoing information about their investigation. Canadians travelling to the United States should be aware of U.S. advice to consumers regarding jalapeno and Serrano peppers.
The current situation in Canada remains unchanged from previous Government of Canada advisories issued on this topic. Public health officials are reporting five cases of Salmonella Saintpaul infection in Canada with the same strain of Salmonella infection associated with the outbreak in the United States. Four of the cases involve individuals who became ill upon return from travel to the U.S., suggesting they were infected during their trip. Cross border cases are expected given the size of the outbreak in the U.S., and the fact that many Canadians travel to the U.S. Officials with PHAC will continue to work with their colleagues in Canada and the U.S. to monitor the situation and assess further cases.
More information on the CDC's investigation is available at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/saintpaul/.

Grocery Manufacturers Association Supports Bipartisan, Compromise Approach to Improving Food Safety
Last update: 11:48 a.m. EDT Aug. 1, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.marketwatch.com
WASHINGTON, Aug 01, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2008 Focused on Prevention
Grocery Manufacturers Association President and CEO Cal Dooley today issued the following statement in regard to introduction of the bipartisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2008 cosponsored by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Richard Burr (R-NC) along with Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN):
"As recent events have exposed weaknesses in our food safety net and undermined consumer confidence in the safety and security of the food supply, GMA and its member companies have worked with the Congress and the Administration to reform and modernize our nation's food safety laws in order to enhance the safety of food and food ingredients, sourced domestically and imported.
"The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act embodies many of the elements of GMA's Commitment to Consumers: The Four Pillars of Food Safety, the food and beverage industry's prevention-focused plan for reforming our nation's food safety system. The bill's focus on prevention, along with its proposals providing FDA with mandatory recall authority and requiring stronger agricultural practices for fresh fruits and vegetables, provides the best opportunity to strengthen the public-private food safety partnership that has traditionally provided America with one of the safest food supplies in the world.
"There remain some areas of concern within the proposed legislation, however, it represents a reasonable and common sense approach for improving food safety and bolstering consumer confidence in the brands they buy and the foods they eat. GMA commends Senators Durbin, Gregg, Burr, Harkin, Dodd and Alexander for sponsoring this important piece of legislation, and look forward to working with the sponsors and members of the Senate and House to refine and pass the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2008 as soon as possible."
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) represents the world's leading food, beverage and consumer products companies. The association promotes sound public policy, champions initiatives that increase productivity and growth and helps to protect the safety and security of the food supply through scientific excellence. The GMA board of directors is comprised of chief executive officers from the association's member companies. The $2.1 trillion food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry employs 14 million workers, and contributes over $1 trillion in added value to the nation's economy. For more information, visit the GMA Web site at www.gmaonline.org.
SOURCE Grocery Manufacturers Association
http://www.gmaonline.org

Produce industry already enhancing traceability on its own
Aug 1, 2008 8:28 AM Source of Article: http://westernfarmpress.com/
The produce industry is already well on its way to enhancing its ability to trace back product more effectively and efficiently, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) President Bryan Silbermann told members of Congress on July 30.
Silbermann testified before the House Agriculture Committee¡¯s Horticulture and Organic Agriculture Subcommittee, as part of a hearing that was called to study produce traceability because of claims that problems have slowed the still-lingering Salmonella saintpaul foodborne illness investigation linked to fresh produce.
¡°The produce industry has already rapidly changed to avoid the introduction of risk into the food system,¡± because of its longtime commitment to food safety and the recent impetus provided by the foodborne illness outbreak linked to spinach in late 2006, Silbermann told committee members.
¡°It is not the private sector¡¯s role to wait passively for government to regulate; we must act, and we are doing so,¡± Silbermann said.
Silbermann noted that the produce industry has had a longstanding legal obligation to maintain product records, since the 1930 passage of the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act. The Bioterrorism Act of 2002 added the ¡°one-up, one-back¡± concept.
As a result, produce companies should already have internal systems to track produce. Nonetheless, PMA and its allies at United Fresh Produce Association (United Fresh) and Canadian Produce Marketing Association saw the need to create a common platform to link those individual approaches, to provide additional enhancements including electronic recordkeeping.
The steering committee guiding the associations¡¯ Produce Traceability Initiative began its work last year, and will complete its first phase of work by announcing a timetable for industry adoption of electronic, chainwide traceability after the group¡¯s meeting next month. The group¡¯s next phase of effort will focus on achieving industry implementation.
¡°We are well on our way to achieving enhancements, and at our own urging,¡± Silbermann commented before his testimony. ¡°But apparently news that industry is finding its own solutions isn¡¯t interesting enough to those who would rather lay blame. Blaming is easy, finding a solution is hard.¡±
Silbermann has also challenged accounts that industry members¡¯ lack of traceability capability has impeded the ongoing Salmonella saintpaul investigation. Generally industry members can trace product as needed, he said, though enhancements such as electronic recordkeeping will considerably accelerate the process and better protect public health. PMA briefed Food and Drug Administration and other government officials about the initiative earlier this year.
Commenting on recent congressional calls for federal legislation mandating traceability, Silbermann concluded his testimony by stating, ¡°It is our profound hope that any future legislative and regulatory changes will be fashioned to work with the industry, to fulfill our shared responsibility to protect public health ? by providing safe, wholesome and nutritious food, every bite, every time.¡±
Founded in 1949, the Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing nearly 3,000 companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain.

National Restaurant Association Calls for Re-evaluation of Food Safety System and Implementation of Needed Improvements at Congressional Hearing Recent salmonella outbreak highlights need for a stronger approach
Source of Article: http://www.drinksmediawire.com
The National Restaurant Association's Vice President of Health & Safety Regulatory Affairs, Dr. Donna Garren, today testified at a hearing of the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations regarding the Salmonella Saint Paul outbreak. Dr. Garren focused her testimony on specific improvements for key parts of the food safety system.
"Restaurants have taken the lead in ensuring food safety within the four walls of our restaurants," said Garren. "The National Restaurant Association and our members are making multi-billion-dollar investments in improving food safety and developing state-of-the-art food safety education programs. The ongoing salmonella outbreak has been long, costly, and frustrating for all concerned and highlights the need to re-evaluate our food safety system and implement needed improvements.
"We must look for ways for the government at all levels to collaborate more closely with industry experts during the course of an outbreak investigation. And we must establish stronger standards and practices that move us towards continuous improvement in produce safety," continued Garren. "Of particular concern is the complexity of the food distribution channels for fresh produce and the challenges presented when a finished product served to consumers, like salsa, contains a number of ingredients. This complexity presented challenges to the public health officials leading the efforts to resolve this outbreak in timely manner. In moving forward, we need a stronger approach. We need a truly farm-to-table approach. Supply-chain collaboration and coordination has taken on a new urgency and new focus."
Garren noted that the food supply chain has been transformed in the last few years and that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is facing new and broader demands precisely because the food supply chain is more complex and global. She told lawmakers the following specific improvements were needed to move food safety efforts forward:
*Adequate funding to ensure appropriate FDA staffing and expertise;
*Improved collaboration and communication between government and industry during the investigation of a complex outbreak;
*Communication and education strategies to effectively inform consumers in the event of an outbreak or recall;
* Stronger standards and practices for fresh produce;
* Additional tools needed: recall authority, traceability, improved epidemiological investigations, and private sector certification.
Garren is also a member of the board of directors of the Conference for Food Protection, which brings together representatives from the food industry, government, academia, and consumer organizations to identify and address emerging problems of food safety and formulate recommendations.
To view the complete testimony, go to:
http://www.restaurant.org/pdfs/healthsafety/Testimony_Energy_and_Commerce_7-31-08.pdf
Contacts:
Mike Donohue (202) 331-5902 mdonohue@restaurant.org
Maureen Ryan (202) 331-5939 mryan@restaurant.org


FDA Extends Consumer Warning on Serrano Peppers from Mexico

source from: FDA
Laboratory testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that both a sample of serrano pepper and a sample of irrigation water collected by agency investigators on a farm in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico (business address is in Nuevo Leon, Mexico) contain Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint as the strain of bacteria that is causing the current outbreak in the United States.
As a result, until further notice, the FDA is advising consumers to avoid raw serrano peppers from Mexico, in addition to raw jalapeno peppers from Mexico, and any foods that contain them.
The test results announced today are part of the FDA's continuing intensive investigation into the outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul. The investigation has involved tracing back, through complex distribution channels, the origins of products associated with clusters of illness in the United States, as well as inspections and evaluation of farms and facilities in this country and in Mexico, and the collection and testing of environmental and product samples. One of these tracebacks led to a packing facility in Mexico, and to a particular farm, where the agency obtained the samples.
Previously, FDA inspectors collected a positive sample of jalapeno pepper from a produce-distribution center owned by Agricola Zaragosa in McAllen, Texas. The FDA continues to work on pinpointing where and how in the supply chain this first positive jalapeno pepper sample became contaminated. It originated from a different farm in Mexico than the positive samples of serrano pepper and irrigation water.
The FDA is still analyzing many of the samples taken at various farms in Mexico. If laboratory results warrant, the FDA will provide consumers with additional cautions or warnings necessary to protect their health.
On July 17, the FDA announced it had determined that fresh tomatoes now available in the domestic market are not associated with the current outbreak. As a result, the agency removed its June 7 warning against eating certain types of red raw tomatoes.
For more information consult
http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html.

Congressional Food Safety Hearings Put Spotlight on Produce Industry
July 31, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.insideunitedfresh.org/newsletters/2008/07/31.php#1
On Wednesday and Thursday, congressional hearings were held to better understand the traceability aspects of the salmonella investigation and focus on flaws in the investigation and lessons learned for the future. On Wednesday, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture held a hearing that examined legal and technological capacity for full traceability in fresh produce. On Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing to better understand lessons learned from the salmonella outbreak and how they have impacted consumers and the industry. Tom Stenzel, president and CEO of United Fresh was a witness at both the Wednesday and Thursday hearings. ¡°These hearings provided us with an important opportunity to educate our elected leaders about what went wrong in the investigation, and the lessons learned for the future,¡± said Stenzel. ¡°In addition, we were able to answer questions directly regarding perceived problems with trace back during this investigation and provide important information on the industry¡¯s primary responsibility of protecting the public health,¡± he stated. For further information contact Robert at 202-303-3409.

Agriculture commissioner blasts FDA in handling of salmonella outbreak
Source of Article: http://www.bizjournals.com/jacksonville/stories/2008/07/28/daily26.html
Florida's agriculture commissioner on Thursday blasted the way the U.S. Food and Drug Administration handled the recent outbreak of salmonella poisoning that sickened more than 1,300 people and cost American tomato growers more than $300 million.
At a congressional subcommittee meeting, Charles Bronson, the state's food safety regulator, said the FDA's decision to limit the information it shared with states made it difficult to assist them.
In addition, Bronson said that had the FDA asked states to provide it with information - such as if local farmers were even growing the suspect product and what stage of harvest it might be in - it might have been able to narrow the focus of its investigation.
"One of our greatest frustrations is that Florida was as implicated as Mexico from the very beginning of the investigation, yet a simple review of the number of salmonella cases per state showed that the vast majority were concentrated in the West," Bronson told the subcommittee.
On Wednesday, federal officials said they had traced the outbreak to irrigation water and peppers grown on a farm in Mexico, but also have refused to completely clear tomatoes as carriers of the bacteria.
Bronson said the losses to Florida farmers are still being calculated, but they are in the millions of dollars.

Meatpacker Excel must pay Sizzler $7.1 million for E. coli outbreak
By MARIE ROHDE
Posted: July 30, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=778277
A jury Wednesday found that meatpacker Excel Corp. will have to pay Sizzler USA, a national restaurant chain, more than $7.1 million for lost revenue resulting from publicity surrounding the outbreak of a food-borne illness that killed a child and sickened scores of others at restaurants here eight years ago.
The jury award brings the cost to Excel to $18.5 million plus lawyer fees.
Ron Pezze, a lawyer representing the local restaurant franchise and its insurance company, said the jury verdict also means that Excel will have to reimburse 80% of the $3.5 million that his clients paid to victims of the outbreak years ago. The local franchise, E&B Management of Waukesha, was seeking reimbursement for all the money paid out, but the jury found the franchise to be 20% responsible for the outbreak.
Excel already had paid $8.5 million in June to the family of the child who died, according to lawyers involved in the case.
A spokesman for Excel, a subsidiary of food giant Cargill Inc., said in a written statement that the company was disappointed in the decision and was considering its options.
The lawsuit in the courtroom of Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Charles F. Kahn Jr. originated with the tragic death of Brianna Kriefall, who died at age 3 after eating watermelon tainted with the 0157:H7 strain of E. coli at the Sizzler restaurant at 789 W. Layton Ave. The trial, however, was an argument among the businesses over who should pay how much.
Excel argued that the restaurant chain and the local franchise should share in the responsibility for the outbreak, accusing the local restaurant of causing the cross-contamination of the salad bar by employing unsafe practices.
The jury was told that Excel had not admitted that its meat from its Colorado plant was the source of the deadly bacteria until just weeks before the settlement with the Kriefall family and that E&B had settled to the maximum of its insurance policy years ago.
¡°What took Excel so long was the fear of facing you,¡± Fred Gordon, a lawyer for the chain, told the jury.
Gordon and Pezze painted a bleak picture of the operation of the plant where the tainted meat was produced. They pointed to a high annual turnover in employees ? 1,200 of the 2,000 ? most of them immigrants; that the plant had been cited 17 times in three months for violations; and that some employees ¡°harassed¡± federal inspectors by following them around. Gordon noted that every 12 seconds an animal was killed at the plant, and that a retired federal inspector had testified that the plant could be made safe by slowing down the operation. Gordon estimated that the legal fees for all those involved have exceeded $7 million.

Outbreak example of nation's 'largely broken' system
Osterholm says At a congressional hearing he suggests that the nation's food-investigation system be modeled after Minnesota's.

By EMILY KAISER, Star Tribune
Last update: July 30, 2008 - 11:47 PM
Source of Article: http://www.startribune.com/
WASHINGTON - Mike Osterholm, former Minnesota state epidemiologist, said Wednesday that a recent salmonella outbreak exemplifies the country's "largely broken" state and local food illness investigation system. He said the system needs major updates to prevent future outbreaks.
Osterholm spoke at a House subcommittee meeting that reviewed the country's capacity to trace fresh produce. The recent salmonella outbreak sickened more than 1,300 people in 43 states and Canada, and still poses unanswered questions.
Although solving nationwide food-borne illnesses relies heavily on federal efforts, Osterholm said local and state public health departments play a vital role in detection. Uneven response, due to varying expertise and resources, played a serious role in the slow and often-muddled salmonella investigation, he said.
Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, proposed modeling the national system after Minnesota's, which traced the salmonella strain to jalapeno peppers in less than two weeks.
"Insufficient product traceability, inadequate food protection planning and inadequate inspection and trace-back capacity" at the federal level led to illness and public confusion and halted many fresh produce industries, Osterholm said.
Investigators originally focused on tomatoes as the possible culprit, but as the outbreak continued to baffle federal officials, Minnesota Department of Health investigators traced the strain to jalapeno peppers.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed contaminated Mexican jalapeno and serrano peppers, but officials said there still could be more unconfirmed sources.
David Acheson, FDA associate commissioner, said this outbreak shows the complexities of tracing illness in fresh produce. Much of the perishable produce is grown on farms around the world, passes through many packing and processing chains and is already discarded when illness is detected, he said.
Data on food-borne illness outbreaks can't always be easily centralized because of varying state resources. It takes about three days in Minnesota, but in many states it can take more than five weeks, Osterholm said.
To help prevent and solve future outbreaks quickly, he recommended federal agencies model their system after a group dubbed "Team Diarrhea," which includes Minnesota public health students who interview patients and worked on the current case.
"We believe a series of regional Team Ds or a national Team D would go a long way to providing precisely the real-time support for outbreak investigations at the state and local levels that is so sorely needed," he testified. Osterholm proposed that the U be the lead institution in implementing a Team D system nationwide at a cost of up to $100 million every year.
Said Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif.: "You could describe our current food safety system as 'outbreak roulette'; one spin of the outbreak wheel and your industry may be bankrupt, your loved ones sickened. This is unacceptable."
Data on food-borne illness outbreaks can't always be easily centralized because of varying state resources. It takes about three days in Minnesota, but in many states it can take more than five weeks, Osterholm said.
To help prevent and solve future outbreaks quickly, he recommended federal agencies model their system after a group dubbed "Team Diarrhea," which includes Minnesota public health students who interview patients and worked on the current case.
"We believe a series of regional Team Ds or a national Team D would go a long way to providing precisely the real-time support for outbreak investigations at the state and local levels that is so sorely needed," he testified. Osterholm proposed that the U be the lead institution in implementing a Team D system nationwide at a cost of up to $100 million every year.
Said Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Calif.: "You could describe our current food safety system as 'outbreak roulette'; one spin of the outbreak wheel and your industry may be bankrupt, your loved ones sickened. This is unacceptable."

Kroger Slapped With Second E. Coli Lawsuit
July 29, 2008
Source of Article: http://www.gourmetretailer.com/
Another lawsuit has been filed against The Kroger Co. in connection with an E. coli outbreak last month in Michigan and Ohio that was linked to the chain's ground beef, Progressive Grocer reports.
The Donahey Law Firm, a personal injury practice based in central Ohio, filed a product liability lawsuit in Franklin County Court against the grocer on behalf of a Pickerington, Ohio, resident who, it said, purchased ground beef from a Kroger store in the Columbus area and subsequently contracted E. coli poisoning from the contaminated beef.
The lawsuit said the victim experienced severe intestinal complications as a result of his E. coli infection and continues to suffer from symptoms.
Officials from the states of Ohio and Michigan, as well as the Centers for Disease Control, last month investigated a series of E. coli infections in Ohio and Michigan residents. In response to the outbreak, Kroger instituted a recall of ground beef products bearing a Kroger house label that were sold between May 21 and June 8, 2008. The supplier involved, Nebraska Beef, Ltd., issued a recall of approximately 531,707 pounds of ground beef components.
Meanwhile, a separate recall is now underway in the Cincinnati-based chain's Houston-area stores regarding packaged salmon.
Chicago-based Vita Food Products said 12 individual packages of its Vita Nova Salmon sold at Kroger stores in Houston on or after July 22 of this year may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
In addition, 192 individual packages of this same product have either possibly been sold or are being offered for sale at various grocery stores in the Avenol, N.J., area, the supplier said. To date, no confirmed illnesses or complaints have been reported by customers, the company said.

Salmonella vs. Cancer
Food-Poisoning Bug Trained to Attack Tumors
By Daniel J. DeNoon
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
Source of Article: http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20080729/salmonella-vs-cancer
July 29, 2008 -- It's a Godzilla vs. King Kong match-up -- in mice.
Researchers have pitted the food-poisoning bug salmonella against breast, colon, and skin cancers in lab animals. Who wins?
Hint: Don't bet on the cancer.
Markus Loeffler, MD, John C. Reed, MD, PhD, and colleagues at California's Burnham Institute for Medical Research took advantage of the fact that salmonella bacteria home in on cancer cells and accumulate in tumors. But for medical use, the bacteria have to be rendered harmless. What chance would they have against cancer cells?
To fix the odds in salmonella's favor, Loeffler and colleagues turned the bugs into ticking time bombs. They genetically engineered the bacteria to give off the FasL cytokine, a deadly chemical signal that tells cells to commit suicide and also attracts attack by immune cells.
When injected into mice with breast or colon cancers, the salmonella did exactly what they were supposed to do. They inhibited the growth of breast tumors by 59% and growth of colon tumors by 82%. Moreover, they reduced the tumor spread to other parts of the body by a third.
Perhaps most importantly, the deadly chemical signal the bacteria carried did not damage the mice.
The results, Loeffler and colleagues conclude, suggest that genetically engineered salmonella "could offer an acceptable strategy for employing FasL and possibly other toxic cytokines for cancer therapy."
The researchers report their findings in the Aug. 6 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

E.coli Lawsuit Filed After Infant Gets Sick
Reported by: Jennifer Denman
Thursday, Jul 31, 2008 @06:49pm CST
Source of Article: http://ozarksfirst.com/content/fulltext/?cid=42231
A Monett, Missouri mother speaks out about a major lawsuit over her son's life-threatening illness.
The Pedersen family is suing Soni Copeland and The Herb Depot and Organic Market in Monett. The family says their son got E.coli from some raw milk bought at that market.
KOLR/KSFX sat down with Angela Pedersen to hear what she had to say about the lawsuit. Angela didn't want us to show her son, who's still recovering from a long hospital stay. She says he just went through a battle for his life.
"It was a living hell. I wouldn't wish that upon anyone," says Pedersen.
It's hard for Pedersen to look back on the last few months. She almost lost her son Larry, who was not even a year old, to E-Coli.
"I don't know how many days I would look at my son and I didn't know if he was going to take another breath," says Pedersen.
Pedersen says Larry contracted the disease from raw milk she bought at the Herb Depot and Organic Market in Monett. The family's now suing that business. Pedersen says back in April she went to the store to buy almond milk. She says she was then told about the benefits of raw milk.
"We were approached and told that the goat's milk would be a better alternative. It's healthier than breast milk and it would be wonderful for him. We agreed to try it," says Pedersen.
Just days later, Pedersen says her son got very sick.
"It began with upset stomach, diarrhea and basically key thing and what all parents need to watch out for is blood in the stool," says Pedersen.
Larry was diagnosed with E.coli and quickly developed life-threatening complications. He did recover after 30 days, but the family says having kidney damage changes you for life.
"We are just grateful we've gotten through it and that we have our son, "says Pedersen.
He's healthy now, but lawyers for the family say what the market did was illegal. According to court documents, a retail shop in Missouri isn't allowed to sell raw milk. It can be sold from a dairy farm or delivered personally by the farmer.
The lawsuit accuses the Herb Depot of selling the raw milk and encouraging the Pedersen's to buy it. It also says the milk was contaminated with E.coli at the time it was sold.
KOLR/KSFX contacted the Herb Depot and spoke with Soni Copeland. Copeland says she would like to talk about the lawsuit, but has been advised by her lawyer not to.
Angela Pedersen says she understands there are many people who believe in drinking raw milk, but says from now on, she's sticking to what she knows and remaining thankful for what she has."Every day, every second, every time I look at my kids I am thankful." says Pederson.The Missouri Attorney General's Office says it's also filing suit against the company for violating the law.
Many people still drink raw milk because when produced under humane and sanitary conditions, it contains natural enzymes, antibodies, as well as vitamins A and D.

Main Page
Sponsorship Qustions
List of Newsletters

To subscribe this Food Safety Newsletter

Copyright (C). All rights reserved FoodHACCP.com.