Food Safety NewsLetter - FoodHACCP.com
12/20/2002
Issue 34

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FSIS PUBLIC MEETING ON RECALLS
December 16, 2002
Source from : Lean Trimmings
Edited by Kiran Kernellu
On December 12, 2002, FSIS held a public meeting to provide insight on how recalls are conducted and to explore how to improve the recall process.NMA's Executive Director Rosemary Mucklow and John Bode of NMA's legal counsel Olsson, Frank and Weeda were invited participants in two panel sessions. NMA members should contact Kiran Kernellu at (510) 763-1533 or kiran@nmaonline.org for a copy of the Olsson, Frank and Weeda memo on this meeting. All participants agreed that recalls should not be the principal method for protecting public health, in other words, preventive measures are preferredover attempting to recover distributed product. However, recalls may still occur and the process should be as efficient as possible. Several ways to improve recalls were suggested by the participants including (1) FSIS be granted mandatory recall authority (though not stated by FSIS at the
meeting, the agency's position is such authority is not needed), (2)
expansion of the scope and means of public notification, and (3) FSIS provide establishments with more responsibility on how recalls are conducted. FSIS posed the question of whether the agency should withhold the mark of inspection (i.e., not permit the shipment of product) while FSIS pathogen tests results are pending. Although there was no resolution of these issues, the FSIS officials promised to consider all suggestions.

Important: wash hands
Source from:
http://www.ohio.com/
As proof that there is indeed a national day, week or month for just about every cause, last week was National Hand Washing Awareness Week.Yep, that's right, an entire week devoted to the art of rubbing your hands together with soap and water. Lest you think that's frivolous, though, take into account that this special week was endorsed by the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians. And, actually -- all kidding aside -- for good reason. Hand washing can protect us from illnesses such as the common cold, the flu, diarrhea, pinkeye, skin infections, pneumonia and, while cooking, E. coli and salmonella.
The press release goes on to offer tips on proper hand washing, such as:
-Water alone is not enough to fight bacteria; use a teaspoon of soap.
-Spend at least 15 to 20 seconds working up a good lather, preferably with liquid soap.
-Avoid contact with potentially contaminated surfaces, such as sinks or faucets.
-Dry your hands with disposable paper towels, rather than a communal cloth towel that can harbor bacteria.
And you thought washing your hands was simple

Christmas party food
Wednesday, 18 December 2002
Source from :
http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/103638
If you're helping to plan a big celebration over Christmas and the New Year, some simple precautions can help it all go smoothly.
Big functions, big responsibilities...
Large functions mean that there are large quantities of cooked and uncooked food competing for fridge, freezer and cooker space.
Make sure you plan your cooking and food storage carefully before you begin to avoid any safety risks.
Avoiding cross-contamination
Cross-contamination is when bacteria spread from uncooked foods, or from pets, hands, dirty cloths and so on, onto prepared food, and can cause food poisoning outbreaks.
A wide range of foods can cause food poisoning if not handled properly.
Meat and meat products, raw poultry, fish and shellfish, and occasionally raw eggs (in sauces, mousses and home-made ice creams), may contain food poisoning bacteria and have been identified as culprits when trouble has struck.
So, don't take chances with people's health. If you haven't got the facilities to cater safely for functions from home, don't do it at all!

Remember:
wash dishes, worktops and cutlery with hot water and detergent.
wash your hands in warm soapy water before touching food after you've come into contact with pets, dirty cloths or the dustbin, or after using the toilet. Wash hands frequently while preparing food, especially between handling raw and cooked foods.
keep anyone who has or has recently had diarrhoea or vomiting out of the kitchen. Cover any cuts or grazes with a waterproof dressing.
avoid using raw (unpasteurised) milk as it has not been heat-treated and may therefore contain harmful organisms.
keep cold foods inside the fridge if you're not using them. Make sure you've got the capacity to keep food cool and safe.
keep the fridge door closed as much as possible to avoid raising the temperature.
cool cooked foods completely before putting them in the fridge.
cook food thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria that cause food poisoning.
thaw meat and poultry completely before cooking, either in the fridge or by microwaving.
take proper care with leftovers. Throw away any food scraps and any perishable food that has been standing at room temperature for more than a couple of hours. Store other leftovers in clean, covered containers in the fridge and eat within 48 hours.

Don't:
use dirty cloths. Keep plenty of clean ones handy and change tea towels and hand towels frequently.
forget to take extra care if babies, toddlers, pregnant women, older people or anyone who is ill are attending the function.
serve pate and soft ripened cheeses like Brie, Camembert and blue-vein types, to pregnant women and anyone with low resistance to infection.
allow raw meat or defrosting food to drip on cooked or prepared foods. Keep these items at the bottom of the fridge and protect the salad tray.
fill the fridge with wines, beers and soft drinks. While these may taste better cold, they do not need to be refrigerated. If space is short, keep them in separate ice buckets or cold water so that you can keep available fridge space for perishable items.
overload your fridge. Its efficiency will suffer if the cooling air circulating inside cannot flow freely. Use a fridge thermometer to check its temperature.
reheat cooked food more than once. Make sure it is piping hot throughout.
be tempted to cut the cooking time just because people are waiting to eat, especially when microwaving.

Food Safety General News
12/19. GERMANY ASKS FOR EU-WIDE ACRYLAMIDE STRATEGY
12/19. FRENCH EATERIES MUST FLAG UP ORIGIN OF BEEF
12/19. THE MEAT SAFETY PAPER TRAIL
12/19. UNPASTEURIZED MILK GOES UNDERGROUND
12/19. FOOD IRRADIATION CONGRESS TO BE HELD IN MAY 2003
12/19. PARENTS PROTEST IRRADIATED MEAT IN SCHOOL LUNCHES
12/19. EXCEL CORP. MOVES TO TEST AND HOLD SYSTEM FOR GROUND BEEF
12/19. NAMP MEETS WITH FSIS OFFICIALS, E. COLI POLICY DISCUSSED
12/19. CONSUMER GROUPS TO USDA: DON'T FEED IRRADIATED FOOD TO SCHOO
12/19. CONSUMERS WIN AS EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS EXPANDED FOOD I
12/19. SEA GRANT'S HACCP ALLIANCE FINDS ROLE IN MEDICAL PROFESSION
12/19. HOW DO I SAFELY HANDLE A TURKEY PRIOR TO COOKING?
12/19. Meat executives investigated in French probe into mad cow di
12/19. Tainted Soil Raises Concern About Food Safety
12/19. K-State now testing for chronic wasting disease
12/19. US-EU dispute over GMOs to boil over?
12/19. UK: December is most common month for poultry food poisoning
12/19. NOTICE TO ALL FOOD EDITORS: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
12/18. Healthy School Meals Resource System
12/18. TURKEY TIPS
12/18. TALKING TURKEY ABOUT FOOD SAFETY
12/18. KILLER GERM TRADING CARDS A BIG SUCCESS AT UNIVERSITY OF ALB
12/18. GM FOOD - Commission launches European network of GMO labora
12/18. GM FOOD - Margot Wallstrom welcomes agreement on traceabilit
12/18. French beef-ban bosses arrested
12/18. Christmas party food
12/18. EFSA - Head of food safety authority appointed
12/18. Dial, click for food answers
12/18. Food safety committee reviews aspartame
12/18. Widespread ignorance about cooking turkey
12/18. A mouse click away from medical advice
12/17. FSIS PUBLIC MEETING ON RECALLS
12/17. INSIDE WAMPLER
12/17. FROM ARS TO A STORE NEAR YOU
12/17. LETTING THE GENIE OUT OF THE BOTTLE (OF WATER)
12/17. GM Foods Debate Hits Latin America
12/17. Emergency processor support sought on School Lunch irradiati
12/17. Patients with Severe Peanut Allergy Symptoms React to Lower
12/17. People with nut allergy take risks with labels, research sho
12/17. Norwalk thrives at sea -- and on land
12/17. Important: wash hands
12/17. European Parliament to vote on food irradiation
12/17. US food processors form task force
12/17. No Merry Go Round For Food Samples, Says Director General
12/17. Florida: Extension to offer Food Safety Training
12/17. South Dakota: Extension to offer food safety ServSafe course
12/16. BANNING PEANUTS NOT ONLY ALLERGY SOLUTION: SCHOOLS OFFICIALS
12/16. HOW WILL YOUR BUFFET BE REMEMBERED?
12/16. HOW TO BREED PUBLIC CYNICISM
12/16. MCDONALD'S EMPLOYEE 'HEARD VOICES' WHEN HE PUT BLADES IN PIE
12/16. STRESS-ADAPTED, CROSS-PROTECTED, RESISTANT: A CONCERN? -
12/16. TORONTO WOMAN SUING CAMPBELL'S SOUP OVER INGREDIENTS NOT ON
12/16. ALERT SOUNDED ON FOOD IRRADIATION -
12/16. Schools decide allergy policy
12/16. EPIDEMICS: MOTHER NATURE REMAINS ONE UP ON THE BIOTERRORISTS
12/16. EU agrees on labelling of GMOs in food
12/16. Humans may catch mad cow from sheep
12/16. USDA Says Poultry Company Knew of Listeria at Plant
12/16. Sampling System Debated
12/16. Cutting down on 'food miles' to keep food safer
12/16. SureBeam Awarded Patent on Unique Electron Beam System
12/16. GMA offers inside look at irradiation

OUTBREAK NEWS
12/19. Flu sickens hundreds on USS Roosevelt
12/19. 2 more may have food-borne illness
12/19. E.coli girl home for Christmas
12/19. WWE SmackDown! Superstars/Food Poisoning
12/18. 52 CHINESE POISONED AFTER NITRATE ADDED TO NOODLE SOUP
12/18. CHINA-KINDERGARTEN POISONING
12/18. Young¡¯s Dairy focus of illness inquiry
12/18. 40 in food poisoning epidemic
12/17. GASTROINTESTINAL OUTBREAKS ASSOCIATED WITH NORWALK VIRUS IN
12/17. LAS CRUCES, N.M., TRACES SALMONELLA TO SMOKED MEATS
12/17. Salmonella at base not terror, U.S. says
12/16. OVER 200 PASSENGERS ILL ON ANOTHER CRUISE SHIP, NORWALK-LIKE
12/16. Misery loves company as virus spreads in Maine
12/16. Outbreak at Sea

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Recall News
12/19. ALLERGY ALERT - HOSTESS FRITO-LAY CANADA Issues Voluntary Recall
12/18. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared sulphites in HANIF'S brand DRY MANGO SLICE
12/18. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared sulphites in GREEN WORLD BEST FOOD APRICOT
12/17. BCN Trading Inc. Recalls Mei Yuan Dried Mangoes Due to Undeclared Sulfites
12/17. BCN Trading Has Recalled Mei Yuan Dried Mangoes Dec 17
12/17. South Beach Beverage Has Recalled SoBe Green Tea and SoBe Energy Dec 16
12/16. FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY RECALLS CALABAR CHALK CONTAMINATED


USDA/FDA News
Sampling of Poultry Carcasses Cut Up Prior to Chilling
Safe and Suitable Ingredients Used in the Production of Meat and Poultry Products
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated December 18, 2002
Healthy School Meals Resource System
Positive E. coli O157:H7 Test Results: Updated December 18, 2002

ANTEX SHIGELLA VACCINE SAFE AND IMMUNOGENIC - PHASE I TRIAL OFFERS HOPE FOR
U.S. TROOPS DEPLOYED OVERSEAS

From a press release
GAITHERSBURG, Md., -- Antex Biologics Inc. (Amex: ANX) today announced that
it has completed the required laboratory analysis for its Phase I human
clinical trial of the Company's vaccine to prevent Shigella sonnei
infection. The results of the trial demonstrate that the vaccine is well
tolerated, and no serious adverse events were reported. The trial was
carried out at the Johns Hopkins University Vaccine Testing Unit in
Baltimore, and was designed to test the safety of the vaccine and to
generate initial immunogenicity data. The vaccine was developed using the
Company's proprietary Nutriment Signal Transduction (NST) technology.
The Phase I trial was funded under a U.S. Army contract. The U.S. Army's
interest in a Shigella vaccine is to protect its troops deployed in endemic
regions overseas, such as the Middle East. The Shigella vaccine is one of
three components of the Company's combination ACTIVAX vaccine to prevent
diseases caused by the consumption of contaminated food and water. ACTIVAX
is a multi-component vaccine designed to prevent and eradicate travelers'
diseases caused by Shigella, Campylobacter jejuni and enterotoxigenic E.
coli (ETEC) bacteria. The Company is also developing each of the three
vaccine components as potential individual pathogen-specific vaccines.
The Shigella trial consisted of three groups of subjects treated with two
different dosing regimens of the vaccine, and a placebo. Preliminary
serological data indicated that the vaccine elicited IgA and IgG antibodies,
the primary immunogenicity endpoints of the trial, specifically against
Lipopolysaccharide or LPS, the bacteria's dominant immunogen.
"We are extremely excited about the results of this trial," said Dr. Alan
Liss, Antex's Vice President and Product Development. "We have now taken
all three of the ACTIVAX components into human trials and have gathered
safety and immunogencity data sufficient to proceed into clinical trials
with the combination vaccine."
Diseases caused by the consumption of contaminated food and water are the
most prevalent illnesses afflicting travelers and are serious problems for
military troops deployed overseas. Enteric bacteria, including
Campylobacter, Shigella and ETEC, are the leading causes of these diseases,
which can include gastritis, acute diarrhea, high fever, dehydration, severe
dysentery and often death. There are currently no vaccines on the market for
travelers' diseases, which are responsible for more than three million
deaths a year worldwide.
Campylobacter is the number one food-borne pathogen in the U.S.
International public health officials estimate that it causes 400 to 500
million cases of diarrhea worldwide each year. ETEC is estimated to cause
more than 600 million cases of mild to severe diarrhea annually. Shigella is
estimated to add more than 200 million cases annually worldwide and is an
unusually virulent bacterium that causes endemic or epidemic dysentery and
often death. Together, these bacteria are responsible for more than one
billion cases of travelers' diseases each year. Infections occur most
frequently in overcrowded areas with poor sanitation and sub-standard
hygiene, and can be transmitted through person-to-person contact and through
contaminated food and unsafe water supplies. There are no vaccines on the
market against travelers' diseases.

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