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International Conference for Food Safety and Quality
(November 5-6, 2009)
Accountability Undermines Food Safety Overhaul: Food Safety Legislation
Propped up by Antiquated Estimates Rather Than CDC Data
Source of Article: http://www.prweb.com/releases/foodillnessaccountability/foodsafetylegislation/prweb2683494.htm
Foodborne illness is underreported, but 12 years of CDC FoodNet data
collection confirms a difference of tens of millions between estimated
and reported cases of food illness. The CDC, legislators and other public
officials continue to use 10-year-old, non-substantiated estimates as
the basis for recommending and funding national foodborne illness policy.
When HR 2749 - Food Safety Overhaul - comes to the House floor this
week, the Association for Food Illness Accountability asks legislators,
"Why is the United States using ten-year-old estimates rather than
documented cases to develop food safety strategies and legislation?
If we are to solve the problem of foodborne illness we must accurately
define the problem, be it the farm, the factory, or the home fridge."
Memphis, TN (PRWEB) July 28, 2009 -- Legislators are ignoring more than
a decade's worth of CDC collected data as Rep. John Dingell's Food Safety
bill HR 2749 moves to the House floor. The newly formed Association
for Food Illness Accountability is asking why policy makers are relying
on an unsubstantiated 1999 report when CDC's Foodborne Diseases Active
Surveillance Network (FoodNet) confirms a discrepancy of tens of millions
of cases of foodborne illness.
Despite the strides of FoodNet and the requirements of most states to
report foodborne illness, the CDC and many legislators continue to quote
a 1999 report, "Food-Related Illness and Death in the United States"
based on approximations of passive data. The authors estimate 76 million
cases of foodborne illness including 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000
deaths each year.
According to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR),
CDC reports 17,883 laboratory-confirmed cases of food illness infection
in FoodNet surveillance areas for 2006. A total of 18,499 laboratory
confirmed cases of foodborne illness were reported in 2008. Based on
numerous CDC reports, this data remains relatively stable. The CDC also
reports substantial declines in leading causes of illness (Campylobacter,
Listeria, Shigella, E.coli, and Yersinia). Cases of Salmonella and Cryptosporidium
are nearly unchanged, although not nearly approaching the nation's healthy
target initiative. Only cases caused by Vibrio have increased substantially.
"Clearly no one knows how many cases of foodborne illness occur
annually. If 5,000 deaths and 325,000 hospitalizations remain unaccounted
for each year, Americans should be outraged," says Cindy Hazen,
founder. "We've had a decade to begin correlating this report with
laboratory confirmed cases and we've made no advances. If we are to
solve the problem of foodborne illness we must accurately define the
problem, be it the farm, the factory, or the home fridge."
The Association for Food Illness Accountability calls for emphasis on
foodborne illness reporting to strategize targeted solutions. "Legislators
need to know whether we're seeking cures for the common cold or pandemic
flu," says Hazen. "Forty years ago, NASA pledged to send men
into space. In 1958 NASA launched its first satellite and by 1969 Apollo
11's men were walking on the moon. Could NASA have been successful if
they were using 10-year-old mathematical speculations? In the 21st century
FDA can't eliminate food illness if CDC doesn't know the time, place
or occurrence of infection. It's not enough to say we know it's a problem
but we have to guess at the magnitude because most people don't report
massive hepatitis A exposure brings lawsuit
Source of Article: http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2009/07/27/mcdonalds-sued_200907271749.html
2009-07-27 21:36:50 (GMT)
(JusticeNewsFlash.com - Featured, Justice News Flash, Personal Injury)
Illinois personal injury lawyers file suit against Milan McDonald¡¯s
chain alleging worker infected customers with hepatitis A. Personal
injury attorneys in Illinois are seeking class action status citing
10,000 possible victims in the hepatitis A outbreak.
Illinois personal injury attorney news reporting food poisoning and
contamination claims involving hepatitis A and other bacterias.
Quad Cities, IL?McDonald¡¯s was named in a class action lawsuit filing
by civil trial attorneys representing a man, and thousands of unnamed
potential defendants, who claim to have been sickened after eating at
a Milan, Illinois, fast food location. As reported by the Quad-City
Times, the lawsuit asserts McDonald¡¯s customer, Cody Patterson, became
ill after eating at the Milan fast-food chain several times in June
and July. The Rock Island County McDonald¡¯s eateries in Milan have become
the focus of a hepatitis A outbreak that has sickened a confirmed 19
people with 11 requiring hospitalization for treatment of the serious
The Rock Island County Health Department closed two McDonald¡¯s restaurants
in Milan located at 400 W. 1st Street and U.S. 67, on July 15, 2009,
for inspection by health officials and cleaning by its owner/operator,
Kevin Murphy. Both locations were reopened for regular business hours
on Saturday, July 18, 2009. The Rock Island County Health Department
http://www.co.rock-island.il.us has repeatedly stated the source of
the hepatitis A has not been confirmed and the main focus has been on
the prevention of the virus spreading. The estimation of potential sickened
patrons by personal injury attorneys involved in the class-action claim
filing is upwards of 10,000 based on the sheer volume of people who
frequent the Milan fast-food chain.
According to Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org hepatitis A or HAV(formerly
known as infectious hepatitis) is an acute viral infection of the liver
which is most commonly transmitted through contaminated food or drinking
water. The transmission of the infectious disease is typically through
the oral-fecal route which simply means people have failed to wash their
hands after using the bathroom. Every year, approximately 10 million
people worldwide are infected with the hepatitis A virus with the most
common source being through the contamination food and water with fecal
matter by unclean hands. The following U.S. Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) http://www.cdc.gov offers the following educational information
-Acute illness lasting 2
weeks to several months
-Transmitted by ingestion
of fecal matter in food and water sources
-After initial exposure it
may take 28 days to present with symptoms
-Hepatitis A vaccination
is the best prevention method for all children starting at age 1, travelers
to certain countries and other consumers at high risk
-Frequent hand washing with
soap and warm water after using the bathroom or handling fecal matter
can help prevent the spread of HAV
Illinois personal injury lawyers file suit against Milan McDonald¡¯s
chain alleging worker infected customers with hepatitis A. Personal
injury attorneys in Illinois are seeking class action status citing
10,000 possible victims in the hepatitis A outbreak.
The U.S. Occupational Health
and Safety Administration (OSHA) http://www.osha.gov, an agency under
the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) http://www.dol.gov, is charged with
ensuring safe and healthful working conditions through state and local
agencies performing workplace inspections. A clean working environment
ensures the safety of restaurant workers and their customers. When a
consumer becomes ill because a restaurant owner has not maintained a
safe and healthy working environment, as required by state and federal
health laws, they may be entitled to compensation for the damages and
injuries. Doctor¡¯s visits, prescriptions, and hospital bills can add
up quickly when a person becomes infected with hepatitis A. Infected
consumers can also lose income from lost work time while recuperating
from the viral infection. Contacting an Illinois personal injury attorney
may help you and your family recover.
Illinois personal injury
lawyers new reports covering massive hepatitis A contamination stories
by Senior Law news correspondent, Heather L. Ryan.
Salmonella Linked to King Soopers Beef Recall
Source of Article: http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/10107
Date Published: Tuesday,
July 28th, 2009
The Salmonella strain at the root of the recent King Soopers, Inc. beef
recall is not only resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics, but the
Salmonella involved is not always killed off by cooking, according to
The Denver Channel, citing the Colorado Department of Public Health
and Environment (CDPHE).
Because this particular strain of Salmonella, Salmonella Typhimurium
DT104, is resistant to many commonly prescribed drugs, contamination
with the strain can increase the risk of hospitalization or possible
treatment failure in infected individuals.
Late last week we wrote that the U.S. Department of Agriculture¡¯s (USDA)
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released information on King
Soopers, Inc. announcement of its recall. The recall was for approximately
466,236 pounds of ground beef products that were likely linked to an
outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium DT104. The recall is a Class I, which
means it presents a health hazard situation in which there is a reasonable
probability that the use of the product will cause serious, adverse
health consequences or death.
The beef distributed by King Soopers was sent to stores in Colorado,
Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, said the
Denver Channel, which noted that 14 people in Colorado fell ill after
eating the recalled meat.
Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis,
one of the most common bacterial foodborne illnesses. Salmonella infections
can be life threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems,
such as infants, the elderly, and persons with HIV infection or who
are undergoing chemotherapy. The most common manifestations of salmonellosis
are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within eight to 72 hours.
Additional symptoms may include chills, headache, nausea, and vomiting
that can last up to seven days.
In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism
getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such
as arterial infections, e.g., infected aneurysms, endocarditis, and
Epidemiological investigations and a case control study conducted by
CDPHE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined
that there is an association between the fresh ground beef products
and the14 illnesses reported in Colorado. The illnesses were linked
through the epidemiological investigation by their less common pulsed-field
gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern found in PulseNet, a national network
of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated
by the CDC.
While the FSIS said it has
no reason to believe that the recalled beef products are still available
for sale in commerce, consumers may have purchased these recalled, fresh
ground beef products between May 23 and June 23, 2009 and stored them
in the freezer. Consumers are advised to look for and discard or destroy
the recalled products.
According to PubMed (a service
of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes
of Health), Salmonella Typhimurium DT104 strains are commonly resistant
to ampicillin, chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfonamides, and tetracycline.
workers don¡¯t wash hands properly, FDA official says
Source of Article: http://www.qctimes.com/news/local/article_c2a31a6a-7bf0-11de-a98e-001cc4c03286.html
The Rock Island County Health Department has provided more than 5,325
doses of protection against hepatitis A in the past nine days.
About 100 people showed up Tuesday for the final free public clinic
at which the department administered either the hepatitis A vaccine
or a drug called immune globulin. The inoculations were free to anyone
who visited the McDonald's restaurant at 400 W. 1st St., Milan, Ill.,
during July 13-14.
The food-borne illness has affected about 25 people to date.
Fifteen of the victims are from Rock Island County, and all of them
ate at the Milan McDonald's, health department spokeswoman Theresa Foes
The disease has also affected five people from Mercer County, Ill.,
two from Scott County, Iowa, and residents of Henry, Warren and Woodford
counties in Illinois.
The signs are ubiquitous in restaurant restrooms: "Employees must
wash hands before returning to work."But a federal government scientist
who co-authored a study on the subject says more than half of all employees
fast-food industry fail to wash their hands properly or use gloves when
"There's a disconnect between what we want to see and what is actually
implemented," said William Burkhardt, a food virologist and microbiologist
with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.
Burkhardt, of Dolphin Island, Ala., helped author a cleanliness and
hand-washing study that was also sponsored by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services.
That said, there are tens of thousands of fast-food establishments around
America, and incidents such as a recent hepatitis A outbreak in the
Quad-City region happen very infrequently.
"I only know of a few documented cases like this," Burkhardt
Some 25 people in the Quad-City region have a confirmed case of hepatitis
A. Most of the cases, if not all, are connected to a McDonald's restaurant
at 400 W. 1st St., Milan, Ill., where two employees were diagnosed with
the disease that has flu-like symptoms. Eleven of the Quad-City region
cases required hospitalization.
The Rock Island County Health Department just concluded on Tuesday a
series of clinics at which at least 5,324 people were inoculated against
the disease. All of them visited the McDonald's in question during early
Meanwhile, the Rock Island County Sheriff's Department is investigating
why there was a delay in reporting to public health officials four hepatitis
A cases handled by Trinity Regional Health System in late June and early
July. Trinity officials said Friday that human error was to blame for
the delay. The sheriff's department investigation is expected to be
complete before the end of the week.
It can happen anywhere
Even restaurateurs who are vigilant about cleanliness can have problems
with food-borne illnesses, even though it happens rarely, said Doni
DeNucci, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Restaurant Association in Des Moines.
DeNucci, who has worked for the association for 14 years, said she can
think of only two instances in which restaurants were affected by a
severe food-borne disease outbreak.
One of them occurred four years ago when a fine dining establishment
in Des Moines was found to be the cause of a norovirus outbreak. A salad
preparer, who had recently completed a food-safety course, came to work
one day when he "felt poorly but not real sick," she said.
He completed his shift at the restaurant, and a number of patrons subsequently
got sick with norovirus, a gastrointestinal illness commonly known as
the stomach flu.
Restaurateurs need to be highly interested in food safety since good,
safely prepared food is the source of their livelihood. But "sometimes,
these things just happen," DeNucci said.
Norovirus, hepatitis A and E. coli, another gastrointestinal infection,
are the most common food-borne illnesses involving restaurants, Burkhardt
said. Norovirus, like hepatitis A, is spread by fecal matter on food
products that are then ingested by unaware patrons. However, the hepatitis
A symptoms might not show up for 10-14 days while those with norovirus
know much more quickly, in as little as 12 hours after ingestion.
Easy to transmit
Those who ingest the hepatitis A virus need only a few particles to
eventually become ill, according to the microbiologist. "Oftentimes,
a hundred million of these viral particles are present in a gram of
fecal material," he said.
Even a small piece of fecal matter on a person's hand can transmit the
germs, especially to salads, uncooked food items or in ice. The virus
is killed during proper cooking.
Best practices for preventing the spread of such illnesses are to order
employees to do frequent hand-washing with warm water and soap, and
the wearing of gloves.
Burkhardt is a proponent of gloves being used by food handlers. "These
are relatively inexpensive," he said. However, the gloves must
be discarded if they become dirty by performing a non-food task such
as working at a cash register.
Fast-food restaurant owners and managers in particular must be vigilant
about enforcing cleanliness rules among their workforce because the
industry has so much turnover, Burkhardt said.
Most restaurants in Iowa have their managers and employees go through
food-safety training, DeNucci said, and the practice is mandatory in
"It's an industry with such a high turnover rate it's our goal
to have all employees trained in a short course on food safety measures,"
she added. Many restaurants, including fast-food chains such as McDonald's,
have their employees go through a training program called ServSafe.
In Illinois, managers must complete the Food Managers Certification
Program, said Paul Guse, the environmental health director for Rock
Island County. "Illinois is considered a leader in food safety
training," he added.
Both states use outreach programs, such as the Iowa State University
Extension, to do the actual training. Courses in the Quad-Cities are
available at both Scott Community College and Black Hawk College, Guse
Dr. Patricia Quinlisk, epidemiologist and medical director of the Iowa
Department of Public Health, cited the Quad-City area hepatitis A outbreak
in a July 24 advisory: "Hepatitis A is endemic in Iowa," she
said. "Infections can occur in Iowans without a significant travel
history or known exposure to another case."
The state has had an average of 26 hepatitis A cases each of the last
three years, and 16 have been reported in Iowa so far during 2009.
By: richard raymond
Where's the change?
Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com
(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of
The White House Food Safety Working Group's (WHFSWG) "Key Findings"
report has a section labeled "Cutting Salmonella Risk in Poultry
Products". Before that bullet, the report says "Two Federal
agencies are now making progress to reduce illness caused by Salmonella."
Wow, I only wish it were true. I wish this were the "change"
people voted for. But the WHFSWG fails to consider recent history, so
I will attempt to do that here.
In August of 2005, FSIS convened
a two day meeting in Athens, GA, to listen to consumer advocates, industry
scientists, university researchers and FSIS employees on how best to
reduce high rate of positive poultry carcass rinses testing positive
for Salmonella. As a result of that meeting, another two day meeting
was convened in Atlanta, GA, on February 23, 2006, to announce the Salmonella
Initiative and its eleven steps. Further enhancements to the initiative
were announced in 2008.
As a result of the Salmonella
Initiative, and the industry efforts, positive carcass rinses dropped
from 16.3 % in 2005 to only 8.5 % in 2007. www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5714a2.htm
Yet, this same MMWR report showed that food borne illnesses from Salmonella
did not decline during the same time period.
Shortly after FSIS began
to see the positive numbers decline, a new effort to establish a new
standard for the Salmonella base line was initiated. The "Key Findings"
says that FSIS is developing "new standards to reduce the prevalence
of Salmonella in turkeys and poultry", yet that effort was begun
under the previous administration, not the new one. So where is the
"change" that will "reduce illness caused by Salmonella"?
If dropping the rate of positive
carcasses by nearly 50% did not reduce illness, then how is a new standard
going to reduce illness? Maybe the "change" we need is testing
of chicken parts and mechanically separated meat instead of carcasses?
After all, when was the last time you bought a whole carcass?
By: James Marsden
Why "just cook it" won't cut it
Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com
(The views and opinions expressed in this blog are strictly those of
For almost 20 years, I have heard people from the meat industry say
¡°if consumers would only cook their burgers, the E. coli problem would
go away¡±. Here are 10 reasons why the ¡°just cook it¡± approach will not
1. E. coli O157:H7 is a unique
pathogen. The levels of this organism necessary to cause infection are
2. The severity of the disease
E. coli O157:H7 can cause, especially in children is devastating.
3. In many cases, parents
order hamburgers for their children and rely on restaurants to cook
them properly. In restaurants, parents really have no control over whether
the hamburgers they order are sufficiently cooked to eliminate possible
contamination from E. coli O157:H7.
4. If consumers unknowingly
bring this pathogen into their kitchens, it is almost impossible to
avoid cross contamination. Even the smallest amount of contamination
on a food that is not cooked can cause illness. Many of the reported
cases of E. coli O157:H7 have involved ground beef that was clearly
cooked at times and temperatures sufficient to inactivate E. coli O157:H7.
Some other vector, i.e. cross contamination was probably involved.
5. Even if consumers attempt
to use thermometers to measure cooking temperature, it is difficult
to properly measure the internal temperature of hamburger patties. They
would have to use an accurate thermometer and place the probe exactly
into the center of the patty. In addition, the inactivation of E. coli
O157:H7 is dependent on cooking time and temperature. For example, if
they cook to 155 degrees F, they should hold that temperature for 16
seconds. It is not realistic to expect that consumers, many of which
are children will scientifically measure the internal temperature of
6. The way ground beef is
packaged, it is virtually impossible to remove it from packages or chubs
and make patties without spreading contamination if it is present.
7. Sometimes ground beef
appears to be cooked when it really isn¡¯t. There is a phenomenon called
¡°premature browning¡± that can make ground beef appear to be fully cooked
when in fact it is undercooked.
8. E. coli O157:H7 may be
present in beef products other than ground beef. For example, in non-intact
beef products, including tenderized steaks that are not always cooked
to temperatures required for inactivation.
9. There have been many cases
and outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 associated with foods that are not
cooked (i.e. fresh cut produce).
10. As Senator Patrick Leahy
said after the 1993 Jack-in-the-Box outbreak ? ¡°The death penalty is
too strong a punishment for undercooking a hamburger¡±. He was right
?consumers will make mistakes. There needs to be a margin of safety
so that undercooking does not result in disease or death.
For these and many other
reasons, the problem of E. coli O157:H7 in ground beef and other food
products must be solved. Of course proper cooking is important. However,
telling consumers to ¡°just cook it¡± is not the answer.
proposes mandatory meat recalls
Source of Article: www.meatingplace.com
By Rita Jane Gabbett on 7/30/2009
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) this week introduced legislation giving USDA
authority to initiate mandatory meat product recalls, a bill he first
introduced in 2003.
Under current law, USDA does not have the authority to issue a mandatory
recall; rather, the agency asks the company involved to recall the product.
"This forces the USDA to engage in time-consuming negotiations
with meatpackers before pulling tainted meat from store shelves, and
it gives meatpackers an effective veto on recalls," Udall said
in a news release about the proposed legislation.
Not so, says former USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond.
"The USDA does not negotiate with industry when a meat or poultry
recall is necessary to protect the public's health, and no company has
ever refused to recall product when the USDA has requested that they
do so," he told Meatingplace. "This is unnecessary legislation
and actually may be a hindrance to a system that does not need fixed."
Source of Article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/30/AR2009073003271.html
Law Would Greatly Expand FDA's Power
(Washington Post, DC)
By Lyndsey Layton
The House approved the first
major changes to food-safety laws in 70 years Thursday, giving sweeping
new authority to the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the way
food is grown, harvested and processed.
The action follows a wave
of food-borne illnesses over the past three years, involving products
as varied as spinach and cookie dough, which has shaken consumer confidence
and made the issue a priority for congressional leaders and the White
House. Food illnesses sicken one in four Americans and kill 5,000 each
year, according to government statistics. Tainted food has cost the
food industry billions of dollars in recalls, lost sales and legal expenses.
"Americans are dying
because the Food and Drug Administration does not have authority to
protect them, and American producers and agriculture are being hurt,"
said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), the bill's author, who has been
pushing food-safety change for more than 20 years. "This will fundamentally
change the way in which we ensure the safety of our food supply."
The measure passed 283 to
142. The Senate is expected to take up its version after the August
recess. President Obama, who has voiced concerns about the safety of
peanut butter consumed by his 8-year-old daughter, endorsed the House
The legislation affects every
aspect of the U.S. food system, from farmers to manufacturers to importers.
It places significant responsibilities on farmers and food processors
to prevent contamination -- a departure from the country's reactive
tradition, which has relied on government inspectors to catch tainted
food after the fact.
The 159-page bill was backed
by a raft of consumer groups and trade associations but faced opposition
from some farm interests and their House Republican allies, who said
it gives too much authority to the FDA and will lead to higher costs
and burdensome paperwork without necessarily making food safer.
"The federal government
will tell our farmers and ranchers how to do something they've been
doing since the dawn of mankind," said Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.).
"It goes too far in the direction of trying to produce food from
a bureaucrat's chair in Washington, D.C."
The legislation requires
food producers and importers to pay an annual $500 registration fee,
which would help fund stepped-up FDA inspections, enforcement and related
activities such as food-safety research. About 360,000 facilities in
the United States and abroad would be subject to the fees. The Congressional
Budget Office reported that the fees would not cover the cost of the
new system, leaving the FDA to incur a net cost of $2.2 billion over
If enacted, the bill would
be the first major overhaul of food laws since 1938, when Congress gave
the FDA the power to oversee the safety of most foods, as well as drugs
and cosmetics. At that time, the government was concerned mainly about
food makers adulterating products by substituting ingredients or using
additives to mask rancid meat and vegetables.
But as the food industry
has changed, new threats have emerged. Deadly pathogens such as E. coli
O157:H7 can contaminate foods without the knowledge of farmers, manufacturers
or consumers. An increasing amount of food Americans consume -- about
15 percent -- is imported, with little known about overseas growing
or processing methods. And the U.S. food supply chain has grown increasingly
complex, with some manufacturers unsure where raw ingredients originate.
The legislation requires
food manufacturers to identify the particular risks they face, create
controls to prevent that contamination, monitor those controls to make
sure they are working and update those measures regularly. Such controls
have been mandatory for the seafood and juice industries since the 1990s
after several high-profile contamination cases; they are widely believed
to have reduced outbreaks involving those products.
The House bill calls for the FDA to set safety standards for farmers
and manufacturers who process food. And it requires imported food to
meet the same standards.
The legislation requires
the FDA to sharply step up inspections. The FDA now inspects food facilities
about once a decade. The bill would also mandate inspections of high-risk
facilities at least once a year and low-risk facilities at least every
The measure also gives the
FDA significant authority to contain outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.
The agency would be able to recall food if it suspects contamination,
instead of relying on the food maker to act voluntarily. It also allows
the FDA to quarantine a geographic area, blocking the distribution of
suspect food to the rest of the country. And the FDA would gain access
to records at farms and food production facilities.
Under the legislation, the
food agency will get new enforcement powers and be able to impose beefed-up
civil and criminal penalties. One provision allows the FDA to declare
food "adulterated" simply if the grower or manufacturer has
failed to follow safety standards, regardless of whether the food is
The bill does not address
the fractured nature of U.S. food regulation, which is spread among
15 federal agencies, as well as thousands of state and local health
Agriculture interests were
able to win key concessions. Small farms are exempt from registration
fees, ranchers and farmers now regulated by the Agriculture Department
are excluded from the requirements of the bill and the FDA will have
to consider the special concerns of small growers and organic farmers,
among other provisions. 7-31-09
lawyer who helped poisoned milk victims is held by authorities
Source of Article: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6733993.ece
Jonathan Landreth in Beijing
One of the lawyers who acted on behalf of the victims of last year¡¯s
poisoned milk scandal in China has been detained by the authorities
in the latest clampdown on civil rights activists.
In an early morning raid yesterday, Xu Zhiyong was taken from his home
by public security officials, according to a statement posted on the
website of the Open Constitution Initiative, a group that Mr Xu helped
to found in 2007 to push for the rule of law.
¡°According to the security guard of the residence area where Xu Zhiyong
stays, at 5am of July 29, a policeman and five plainclothes took Xu
Zhiyong away. Where to remains unknown,¡± said the statement, which was
posted today by the group known as Gongmeng in Chinese.
Gongmeng made headlines last year when its lawyers volunteered to work
on behalf of the victims of the Sanlu Group¡¯s tainted milk powder, which
killed at least six children and sickened hundreds of thousands more.
Gongmeng also angered Beijing with a report that criticised the Government¡¯s
handling of demonstrations across the Tibetan plateau last year.
Mr Xu¡¯s colleagues reported today that his house was locked and that
he cannot be reached on his mobile phone.
His arrest comes just over two weeks after Beijing¡¯s Civil Affairs Bureau
raided Gongmeng¡¯s headquarters in the capital, declaring the group to
be illegal and claiming that it was behind in its tax payments.
Mr Xu was supposed to have attended a hearing today about the tax case,
in which Gongmeng faces a fine of 304,975 yuan (¡Ì27,065), the group¡¯s
During the office raid on July 17, Mr Xu told reporters who reached
him by phone that officials would be shutting down Gongmeng for having
failed to register as a nongovernmental organisation, a difficult process.
In the raid on Gongmeng¡¯s headquarters, officials confiscated computers,
furniture and four years of legal research into the cases of petitioners
who had brought their grievances to Beijing from all across China in
a last-ditch effort to get justice.
Gongmeng¡¯s lawyers had been pushing to take advantage of a new food
safety law, which came into effect on June 1. This enabled victims of
food poisoning in China to ask the courts to award compensation worth
ten times the value of the tainted products purchased.
In a new direction, the courts are also increasingly awarding victims
additional damages for loss. This year China¡¯s high court gave clearance
for lower courts to handle such cases, but after lawyers organising
class-action lawsuits over the poisoned milk powder were harassed, it
was unclear whether any cases would proceed.
This month Mr Xu told reporters that since June 1, the court in Shijiazhuang,
the city 270 km southeast of Beijing where Sanlu was based, has accepted
two cases against the now bankrupt company. Neither has yet had a hearing.
In China ? where courts do not award damages for what Western lawyers
would call ¡°pain and suffering¡±, nor grant punitive damages as a deterrent
? compensation amounts vary widely.
China¡¯s central government determined last year that families of the
victims of Sanlu¡¯s poisoned milk would get 200,000 yuan (¡Ì17,751) for
a death in the family and 30,000 yuan if surgery was required. Workers
in Beijing earned an average of 44,715 yuan last year.
More than 90 per cent of the families affected accepted a compensation
deal from the Ministry of Health. One of its terms blocked their right
to sue the 22 milk powder manufacturers found culpable.
The milk powder produced by Sanlu and other manufacturers contained
the toxic chemical melamine, whose high nitrogen content helped watered-down
milk to pass quality checks for protein content.
stickers identify the source of food
Source of Article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/08/02/MNSK191072.DTL
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, August 3, 2009
"With food safety as big as it is, we can give each watermelon
its own code so a consumer can check on the Internet to see where it
is grown," said Ryan Van Groningen of Van Groningen & Sons
Farms, which sells watermelons under the Yosemite Fresh brand.
This new code, called the HarvestMark, is being developed by the Redwood
City startup YottaMark Inc. at a time when Congress is considering food-safety
legislation that could make some type of tracking system mandatory.
"In the event of a recall, the Food and Drug Administration can
find out where a product came from and how it got to market," said
YottaMark co-founder Elliott Grant.
The new tracing system is one example of how the private sector has
responded to recent food-safety scares, such as the 2006 E. coli outbreak
In advance of any legal mandate, a few growers have started putting
HarvestMark codes on products like plastic-packaged grapes and strawberries,
as well as watermelons.
"We're trying to be ahead of the game," Van Groningen said.
The HarvestMark is so new that the growers using it are still running
pilot programs to make sure they can get labels printed with the proper
codes and train field crews to collect accurate information for the
computerized database at the heart of the system.
The idea is to enable a consumer to type the 16-digit tracking code
into a locator field at HarvestMark.com to learn where the product was
grown. Depending on the grower's records and what the farm chooses to
reveal, the system could detail the date and part of the field where
the product originated.
UC Davis research specialist Trevor Suslow, who studies how crops are
handled after harvest, said the spinach E. coli outbreak spurred a whole
series of industry efforts to improve food traceability.
"That was really the first time the FDA had issued a blanket advisory
against a commodity, and a lot of growers who couldn't possibly have
been responsible were greatly affected," he said.
The economic and political fallout from that incident prompted a number
of produce industry trade associations to band together to create voluntary
standards for tracking crops from fields to stores.
Dan Vache, a technical expert with the United Fresh Produce Association,
said the standard would require participating growers to put a tracing
code on each case of produce by 2010.
By 2012, distributors, including supermarkets and warehouses, would
have to make sure that their computer systems can track each case of
produce at every step from the field to the store or restaurant where
it reaches the consumer, Vache said.
Grant said the HarvestMark was developed almost by accident after the
E. coli outbreak.
He said YottaMark was founded in 2004, and initially developed its tracking
labels to help authenticate electronic goods and pharmaceuticals, in
order to combat counterfeits.
But after the spinach crisis, some of California's biggest producers
came across YottaMark's coding system at a packaging industry trade
show and urged the startup to adapt its technology to agriculture.
"This was a perfect application we had never thought of,"
Gordon Robertson is a vice president with Sun World in Bakersfield,
a fresh-fruit shipper that has started putting the HarvestMark on products
like packaged grapes.
Pressure on growers
He said that, independent of any government mandate, big grocery and
warehouse stores have been pressuring growers to create some way to
prove that produce doesn't come from areas where there have been disease
"If there is a product recall, you want to be able to identify
and communicate to the government, to the retailer and to the public
that this product does not have to be pulled from the shelves and is
safe to eat," he said.
Robertson said the HarvestMark does more than the industry standard
because it can trace an individual item, not just a case. Consumers
can also use it themselves to find out where food comes from in addition
to providing assurance of safety.
"We can actually build information and trust in our brand,"
The tracking system is not unprecedented. For example, premium San Francisco
chocolatemaker Original Beans prints similar locator codes on its wrappers
to show where the cacao beans in an individual bar were grown.
The House of Representatives passed a food-safety bill last week that
instructed regulators to come up with better ways to trace all edible
products, not just produce, but did not spell out specific measures.
The measure now heads to the Senate.
Daniel Sumner, director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis,
said better food tracing is a good idea but it can't solve all food-safety
For instance, he said processed items, like mixed salads and precut
vegetables, are difficult to trace because they may include produce
from different sources.
Sumner also cautioned against imposing strict requirements, like item-level
codes, that might be too costly or impractical.
"If it's a watermelon and you can put a sticker on it in the field
that's one thing," he said. "But you can't put a sticker on
coli O157:H7 Raw Goat Milk Outbreak Sickened Four ? Two with Hemolytic
Source of Article: http://www.marlerblog.com/
On May 12, 2008 the Lawrence County Health Department (LCHD) was notified
of a case of HUS in a child with a history of bloody diarrhea. The health
care provider reported that the child had consumed unpasteurized goat¡¯s
milk obtained from a local store, the Herb Depot, in Barry County, Missouri.
The milk had been purchased on April 29, 2008. LCHD began an investigation
of the illness. It was quickly learned that an additional Barry County
child that had cultured positive for E. coli O157:H7 had also consumed
unpasteurized goat¡¯s milk from the same store. As a result, LCHD began
a full epidemiological and environmental investigation of the illnesses.
The investigation revealed that the milk consumed by both ill children
had been produced at Autumn Olive Farms.
At the conclusion of its investigation, LCHD ultimately announced that
there were four cases of E. coli O157:H7 associated with the outbreak.
Of these, three were laboratory confirmed, and one was identified as
a probable case (not stool culture positive but Epidemiologically linked
to the outbreak). Each of these individuals resided in different counties
in Southwest Missouri, and did not have any relation to each other.
Nonetheless, each shared a common exposure to milk from Autumn Olive
Farms. In addition, the three culture-confirmed cases shared a common,
indistinguishable genetic strain of E. coli O157:H7. The strain was
identified as a unique subtype of E. coli O157:H7, never before reported
in Missouri. Each of the four cases had consumed milk from Autumn Olive
Farms within 3-4 days of onset of illness. LCHD reported, ¡°no other
plausible sources of exposure common to all four cases were identified
[other than the milk.]¡± LCHD ultimately concluded ¡°the epidemiological
findings strongly suggest the unpasteurized goat¡¯s milk from Farm A
[Autumn Olive] was the likely source of infection for each of the cases
associated with this outbreak.¡±
We represent two of the HUS cases. Nicole Riggs is 9 years old. She
lives in Willard, Missouri with her mother, Julie; father, Dustin; and
her younger sister, Christina. Larry Pedersen is a 2-year-old toddler.
He lives in Monett, Missouri with his parents, Brian and Angela, and
his two older sisters, Hailey and Kelsey.
Their Acute Illness
Both had a severe episode of HUS as demonstrated by over a week of anuria
[no urine output], oliguria [low urine output] for an additional week.
Both needed dialysis to survive. Both were hospitalized for over a month.
Medical bills were over $100,000 for each.
It is likely that both children will develop renal complications in
the future, including hypertension and renal insufficiency. Hypertension
and renal insufficiency eventually lead to end stage renal disease (ESRD).
The development of ESRD means they will require dialysis or transplantation
for survival. Most Americans who suffer ESRD opt for a kidney transplant,
but the wait for a donor kidney is often a year or more. The preferable
course in a transplant situation is for a deceased or living relative
(e.g. a parent or sibling over age 18 and compatible) to donate a kidney.
While awaiting a donor, an ESRD patient must undergo dialysis treatment
while on the waiting list for a deceased donor transplant. Children
have the shortest waiting time on the deceased donor transplant list.
The average waiting time for children age 0-17 years is approximately
275-300 days; the average waiting time for a transplant candidate who
is 18-44 years old is approximately 700 days.
Following transplantation the children will require immunosuppressive
medications for the remainder of their lives to prevent rejection of
the transplanted kidney. Medications used to prevent rejection have
considerable side effects. Corticosteroids are commonly used following
transplantation. The side effects of corticosteroids are Cushingnoid
features (fat deposition around the cheeks and abdomen and back), weight
gain, emotional instability, cataracts, decreased growth, osteomalacia
and osteonecrosis (softening of the bones and bone pain), hypertension,
acne, and difficulty in controlling glucose levels. The steroid side
effects, particularly the effects on appearance, are difficult for children,
particularly teenagers, and non-compliance with the treatment regimen
is a problem with teenagers due to unsightly side effects. Cyclosporine
and tacrolimus are also commonly used immunosuppressants. Side effects
of these drugs include hirsutism (increased hair growth), gum hypertrophy,
interstitial fibrosis in the kidney (damage to the kidney), as well
as other complications. Meclophenalate and imuran are also commonly
used, each of which can cause a low white blood cell count and increased
susceptibility to infection. Many other immunosuppressive medications
and other medications (anti-hypertensive agents, anti-acids, etc) are
prescribed in the post-operative period. Immunosuppressants like those
described above function to reduce the body¡¯s immune response, thereby
preserving the transplanted kidney, which the body would otherwise recognize
as foreign and dangerous, thereby setting off a chain of events that
would culminate in kidney rejection. But because a healthy and timely
immune response is a critical host defense against illness, life-long
immunosuppression necessarily dictates a life-long, heightened susceptibility
to infection, accelerated atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries),
cancer, and chronic kidney rejection.
Bone disease is nearly universal in patients with chronic renal failure.
As a result, the children will be prone to develop bone pain, skeletal
deformities and slipped epiphyses (abnormal shaped bones and abnormal
hip bones) and have a propensity for fractures with minor trauma. Treatment
of the bone disease associated with chronic renal failure includes control
of serum phosphorous and calcium levels with restriction of phosphorus
in the diet, supplementation of calcium, the need to take phosphorus
binders and the need to take medications for bone disease.
Another common complication of chronic renal failure is anemia. Patients
with chronic renal failure gradually become anemic. The anemia can be
treated with human recombinant erythropoietin (a shot given under the
skin one to three times a week or once every few weeks with a longer
acting human recombinant erythropoietin).
Another complication of ESRD is growth failure. Growth failure ultimately
leading to short height as an adult is a very common complication of
chronic renal failure in children. Growth hormone therapy with human
recombinant growth hormone has been approved for use in children with
chronic renal failure and such therapy has been shown to accelerate
growth, induce persistent catch up growth and lead to normal adult height
in children with chronic renal failure. Growth hormone therapy requires
giving a shot under the skin once a day.
As the children develop ESRD, they will not immediately receive a kidney
transplant. Instead they will require dialysis. There are two modes
of dialysis he might undergo. They can be on peritoneal dialysis or
on hemodialysis. Peritoneal dialysis has been a major modality of therapy
for chronic renal failure for several years. Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal
Dialysis (CAPD) and automated peritoneal dialysis also called Continuous
Cycling Peritoneal Dialysis (CCPD) are the most common form of dialysis
therapy used in children with chronic renal failure. CAPD/CCPC. In this
form of dialysis, a catheter is placed in the peritoneal cavity (area
around the stomach); dialysate (fluid to clean the blood) is placed
into the abdomen and changed 4 to 6 times a day. Parents and adolescents
are able to perform CAPD/CCPD at home. Peritonitis (infection of the
fluid) is a major complication of peritoneal dialysis. Hemodialysis
has also been used for several years for the treatment of chronic renal
failure during childhood. During hemodialysis, blood in taken out of
the body by a catheter or fistula and circulated in an artificial kidney
to clean the blood. Hemodialysis is usually performed three times a
week for 3-4 hours each time in a dialysis unit.
Finally, no kidney transplant lasts forever. United States Renal Data
Systems states that the half-life?i.e. the time at which 50% of transplanted
kidneys are still functional and 50% have stopped functioning?is 10.5
years for children 0-17 whose transplanted kidney came from a deceased,
unrelated donor, and 15.5 years where the kidney comes from a living,
related donor. Similar data for a transplant at age 18 to 44 years is
10.1 years and 16.0 years for a deceased donor and a living related
donor, respectively. Each transplant will be preceded by ESRD, dialysis,
an increase in kidney-related medical problems and then the recovery
Was and is the consumption of raw goats milk worth the risk?
Posted on August 3, 2009 by Bill Marler
beef bench trim rules
Source of Article: http://www.meatingplace.com
By Rita Jane Gabbett on 8/3/2009
USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued two notices providing
further details of Friday's announcement that beef bench trim at non-slaughter
facilities will now be routinely tested for E. coli O157:H7.
For the purposes of the rule, FSIS is defining bench trim as: "beef
manufacturing trimmings derived form cattle not slaughtered on site
at the establishment. Such trim may include secondary trimming of primals
and subprimals resulting in small or large pieces and any other cuts
designated for non-intact use."
Therefore, the sampling frame will include establishments that receive
whole or half carcasses, primals, and boneless boxed beef that they
use to produce bench trim.
FSIS will verify by Aug 31 whether an establishment is subject to the
new sampling, including volume information.
Sampling, steaks and roasts
If the establishment produces bench trim resulting in large pieces,
the products will be sampled using N60 sampling procedures. If the trim
is too small to use N60 procedures or produces trim from steaks, roast
or other cuts designated for non-intact use, inspectors will collect
enough pieces to equal 2 pounds of product for sampling.
FSIS said if bench trim tests positive for E. coli O157:H7 from steaks
and roasts that are non-intact, or are to be made non-intact (e.g. they
have been or will be needle tenderized), that "would evidence that
the steaks or roasts are also positive and thus adulterated."
The agency went on to say, "However, the establishment may have
a supportable basis for distinguishing the steak or roast from the bench
trim. For example, if the establishment applies an antimicrobial treatment
to the steaks or roasts before tenderization, but not to the bench trim,
the establishment may be able to support that the positive applies only
to the bench trim."
FSIS noted that if an establishment's records and HACCP documents are
unclear about the intended use of bench trim, inspectors are to consider
the product as intended for use in raw ground beef products and sample
To read the bench trim notice in its entirety, click here. For the revised
directive to inspectors click here.
For more information on FSIS's notice, see USDA to test bench trim for
E. coli, on Meatingplace, July 31, 2009.
bill to widen FDA role in food safety
Issue Date: August 5, 2009
By Christine Souza
Legislation to provide the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration with greater authority and resources
to address food safety issues passed the House of Representatives last
H.R. 2749 gives FDA the authority
to conduct more frequent inspections, order recalls and tell companies
how to keep records to ensure that products are traced more easily.
Most food companies would also be required to register with the FDA
and pay an annual fee for each of their facilities.
Josh Rolph, director of congressional
relations in the California Farm Bureau National Affairs and Research
Division, said the bill evolved after a strong push by some members
of Congress who wanted a very broad regulatory reach for FDA, including
control over meat inspections currently held by the U.S. Department
of Agriculture. Rolph said ultimately a line was clearly drawn, excluding
meat inspections and exempting grain crops. The focus was narrowed to
what were considered "higher risk" commodities such as leafy
greens, tomatoes and melons.
CFBF opposed the House bill,
but Rolph said Farm Bureau will continue to work on the legislation
as it proceeds through Congress, to make it less burdensome for farmers
"There are a lot of
unkowns for farmers in the House bill. If we are going to operate under
this new regulatory regime, we need to do it within reason and not create
new regulatory burdens that really, in the end, don't have a true impact
on improving the safety of our food beyond what we already do in California
on a voluntary basis," he said. "Farmers are in the business
of food safety. But this bill would force them to concentrate on paperwork,
keeping farmers in the office, instead of in the field."
Rolph said food safety is
a top concern, but said it is unclear if food borne illnesses will be
reduced as a result of this bill, authored by Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
The House passed H.R. 2749 by a vote of 283-142.
California Farm Bureau Federation
director Benny Jefferson, who grows leafy greens and vegetables in Salinas,
indicated that farmers in his growing region of California are "ahead
of the game" regarding food safety.
"When it comes to food
safety, we're there," Jefferson said. "Because the majority
of us who grow leafy greens in Salinas have signed onto the Leafy Greens
Marketing Agreement, we are well ahead of the rest of the world."
Jefferson hopes that as the
Senate crafts its own food safety bill, it will focus on the entire
food distribution system and not solely on farms. He would also like
to see more traceability written into the bill, so that the farmer is
not held accountable for a food borne illness that originated further
along the supply chain.
One CFBF goal in the Senate
legislation is to add language requiring FDA to compensate growers when
actions taken by the agency lead to crop and market price losses. Last
year, FDA wrongly identified fresh tomatoes as the source of a food
"There should be some
indemnification which compensates farmers for an erroneous decision,"
Jefferson said. "Remember what happened with the tomato industry?
Hundreds of millions of dollars in losses occurred after the mention
of a possible outbreak in fresh tomatoes from California, when the cause
actually originated in peppers. That is what has all of us worried."
In another action to address
food safety, the FDA proposed food safety guidance documents late last
week for leafy greens, melons and tomatoes that cover the entire supply
chain. The voluntary, commodity-specific recommendations were called
for by President Obama's Food Safety Working Group. The guidance documents
are intended to supplement existing FDA guidelines, including good agricultural
practices, which were developed in 1998 to minimize microbial food safety
hazards for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
Ed Beckman, president of
California Tomato Farmers in Fresno, said his organization is gratified
with the release of the guidance document for fresh tomatoes, which
resulted from a partnership between the tomato sector and government.
"We've focused on the
true risks that exist throughout the entire supply chain," Beckman
said. "The recommendations that have come forth are based upon
science and the best available risk analysis and we believe if you look
at the FDA timeline, they are thinking about turning this into regulation
within two years. We fully support that."
The guidance document, Beckman
said, should exactly pinpoint where an outbreak has occurred.
"In the most recent
outbreaks that were in fact associated with fresh tomatoes, the problem
area was not at the grower and shipper level, but further up the distribution
chain in fresh-cut processing," Beckman said. "We now have
some very strong guidance from FDA that is reflective of where problems
may have occurred in tomatoes in past years. It doesn't apply just to
the farmer who oftentimes seems to be bearing the blame. This actually
shows that the responsibility for food safety may begin on the farm,
but it doesn't end on the farm."
But Joe Colace Jr. of Five
Crowns Marketing, a grower-shipper of cantaloupes, honeydews and variety
melons in Brawley, sees the guidance document for melons as being "over
"U.S. melon producers
are doing everything within the good agricultural practices set forth
by the FDA. We implement much of what has already been stated, but we
often suffer because of imports that have proven to contain micro-organisms,"
Colace said. "I'm very frustrated over what are potential regulations
(for U.S. producers) that are really more in response to imports than
FDA seeks comments on food safety draft guidances
Source of Article: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml
8/04/2009-The Food and Drug Administration has published a Notice of
Availability in the Federal Register seeking comment on its draft guidances
to improve the safety of tomatoes, leafy greens, and melons.
These commodity-specific guidances (CSGs) developed for growers, packers,
processors, transporters, retailers, and others throughout the supply
chain set out instructions for identifying and implementing measures
to minimize the risk of microbial contamination.
In developing the CSGs, FDA relied heavily on existing commodity-specific
guidances, lessons learned from outbreaks and investigations, and other
public and private programs. Publication of these guidances is consistent
with the principles embraced by the White House Food Safety Working
Group, announced recently by Vice President Joe Biden.
Comments on guidance may be submitted at any time; however, to ensure
that comments are received in time for FDA¡¯s consideration in drafting
final guidance, written or electronic comments should be submitted within
90 days of publication in the Federal Register. Submit written comments
to the Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration,
5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic
comments to http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should be identified
with the docket number listed in the notice of availability as published
in the Federal Register. The docket number is FDA-2009-D-0348.
For questions regarding this draft document, contact the Center for
Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at 301-436-1700.
Federal Register notice
CFSAN Constituent Update
Salmonella cases reported in Colorado
Source of Article: http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/
Posted on August 4, 2009
by Suzanne Schreck
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued
an updated Salmonella outbreak alert on Juy 31. In it, CDPHE announced
that 21 cases of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Newport have been reported
in Colorado. Most ill individuals sick with Salmonella Newport reported
experiencing symptoms of Salmonella infection beginning in late June
or early July, and while CDPHE did not announce that a second ground
beef recall had been issued, the agency did warn consumers about the
possibility that ground beef they have in their freezers could be contaminated
with antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella.
This most recent drug-resistant Salmonella outbreak follows on the heels
of a July 22, 2009 USDA announcement that King Soopers was recalling
ground beef for Salmonella contamination. The recalled meat was also
contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Salmonella (DT104), and was source
of a Salmonella outbreak among residents of several states. According
to news reports, most of the illnesses reportedly associated with the
earlier Salmonella DT104 outbreak were also among Colorado residents.
In its July 31 press release, CDPHE stated:
This is the second large Salmonella outbreak that the department has
investigated in July. Both outbreaks have been linked to ground beef.
Further investigation with the USDA in to the source of the meat in
this outbreak is ongoing.
Alicia Cronquist, the foodborne disease epidemiologist at the state
health department, said, ¡°We can¡¯t be certain that ground beef is the
source of these infections, but we are concerned enough that it might
be and want consumers to be aware.¡±
Antibiotic-resistant Salmonella contamination in ground beef has increasingly
been implicated as the source of human illness. On its drug-resistant
Salmonella page, the World Health Organization states:
The emergence of Salmonella strains that are resistant to commonly used
antimicrobials should be particularly noted by clinicians, microbiologists
and those responsible for the control of communicable diseases, as well
as the food producers including the food industry. Control of drug-resistant
Salmonella is most efficiently achieved through the reduction of antimicrobial
use. Prudent usage in food animals should be combined with good husbandry,
good abattoir practice and good hygiene at all stages in the food production
chain, from processing plants to kitchens and food service establishments.
These combined efforts should reduce the numbers of the relevant strains
in food animals and lower the risk of contamination by resistant Salmonella
at all stages in the food production chain.
While activities addressing the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance
in foodborne microorganisms are ongoing, the magnitude of the problem
is largely unknown in many countries. International collaborative efforts,
including efforts in support of surveillance and risk assessment, need
to be increased.
H.R. 1549 - Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act of
2009 proposes the restriction of antibiotic use in feed animals to therapeutic
purposes only to prevent the emergence of additional antibiotic-resistant
strains of Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens in our food supply.
The passage of this bill could be a huge step toward preventing future
outbreaks like the two that have struck in Colorado this summer.
kills bacteria in packaged foods
Source of Article: http://www.wkowtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10836636
Posted: Aug 03, 2009 6:35 AM PDT
Like many people who have suffered from food poisoning, Pat Cantwell
remembers the incident well. "Probably 4-5 hours where I became
It's estimated that 76 million cases of food poisoning occur each year
and giving food a quick rinse isn't always enough.
Now, food processing engineers at Purdue University have a new way to
eliminate harmful bacteria in packaged foods like spinach and tomatoes.
It has the potential to kill the bacteria without any type of further
changing the product and without chemical residues.
The technology used a set of coils that generate 15,000 volts of electricity
and are placed on the outside of a sealed food package. The high voltage
knocks apart oxygen and nitrogen molecules inside the package, forming
ozone which kills bacteria like E.coli and salmonella.
Using less energy than a light bulb, the technology treats packaged
food and gives it a longer shelf-life. That's because the process also
kills bacteria that causes spoilage, so the food can literally be treated
to allow it to last longer in the refrigerator.
Detection of Salmonella in Raw Meats
Source of Article: http://www.rapidmicrobiology.com/news/1027h22.php
A new protocol for Bio-Rad's
real-time PCR iQ-CheckTM Salmonella II kit has been certified by AFNOR
validation for the fast detection of Salmonella in raw meats. The protocol
uses a shortened enrichment of only 8 hours in buffered peptone water.
Different raw meats were tested including poultry pig and beef.
Salmonellosis continues to
be one of the major zoonoses, second only to campylobacteriosis. The
intestinal track of wild and domestic animals is the common reservoir
for Salmonella, resulting in a variety of meat products as sources of
infections. Major recognized sources of human Salmonella infections
are eggs and egg-products, followed by different meats such as poultry,
turkey and pig meat. According to the latest EFSA report on zoonoses
in the European Union in 2007, prevalence of this pathogen in pig carcasses
was around 8.3% and 2-11% in retail broilers.
Testing fresh meat products rapidly and with reliable and specific tests
is critical in an industry that needs to make quick and accurate decisions
on product release. Bio-Rad's iQ-CheckTM Salmonella II test offers an
ultra-fast solution for ensuring fresh meat products are free of Salmonella.
iQ-CheckTM kits are based on automated real-time polymerase chain reaction
(RTi-PCR) and detection, using specific probes for high accuracy and
specificity of results. Other kits available are for detection of Listeria
monocytogenes, Listeria spp., E. coli O157:H7 and Campylobacter spp.
All kits have the same thermal protocol, so assays can be run at the
same time on either a low throughput 48-well MiniOpticon¢â or high throughput
96-well Chromo4¢â systems.
Single non-specific enrichment
Results in no more than 12 hours
Same thermal protocol as other iQ-CheckTM kits
Simple to use, with automated detection and result reporting
AFNOR - ISO 16140 certification
Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar now Approved for Processed Food
Source of Article: http://www.rapidmicrobiology.com/news/1054h30.php
Part of the innovative lineup
of Chromocult¢ç culture media from Merck, Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar is
now officially approved by the AOAC¢ç Research Institute for use in processed
food. A test of three processed foods, sausages, cooked chicken, and
non-fat dried milk, showed that Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar demonstrates
100% equivalence to the AOAC¢ç Official Method 966.24. This AOAC¢ç Official
method is used to detect and enumerate E. coli and Coliform bacteria
by using Lauryl Sulfate broth and EC-Broth and needs up to 48 hours
to get results.
US-EPA approved in water testing, Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar now qualifies
as an alternative for food manufacturers to prove their products are
free of Coliforms/E.coli within 24 hours
About Chromocult¢ç Coliform
Professionals commonly measure the hygiene of food production and water
by testing it for Coliform/E. coli. Processing food and water reduces
the number of these bacteria and may also cause metabolic injury. Traditional
culture media listed in standard detection methods for E. coli and Coliforms
often contain ox bile or bile salts to inhibit Gram-positive bacteria.
These strong inhibitors, however, may restrict target microorganisms'
growth if they are already sublethally damaged.
In the past, microbiology professionals had no access to methods and
resuscitation media for injured Coliforms. With the carefully selected
inhibitors in Merck's Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar, these professionals
can be sure that damaged microorganisms recover and grow.
About the study
In a test comprised of sausages, cooked chicken, and non-fat dried milk,
Merck's Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar method matched the performance of
the AOAC Official Method 966.24, Lauryl sulfate broth and EC-Broth,
by 100%. All typical colonies from Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar were confirmed
as either E. coli or Coliforms.
Inclusivity and exclusivity data are also available for this study.
To demonstrate inclusivity, 53 isolates of E. coli and non-E. coli Coliforms
The results showed that all E. coli strains tested produced typical
violet colonies and all non-E. coli Coliforms produced typical pink
colonies. Taken together, this yields an inclusivity rate of 100%.
To demonstrate exclusivity, 44 isolates of non-Coliform bacteria were
inoculated. Most of the strains tested produced colorless colonies or
were completely inhibited. Only three strains produced turquoise colonies.
As a result, Chromocult¢ç Coliform Agar yielded a 100% exclusivity rate.
Food Safety Consultant -
Agricultural Consulting Services
Deliver food safety services to the agricultural, fresh produce and
food processing community. Services include consulting to evaluate operations,
make recommendations for improving established food safety practices
or design and implementation of food safety programs. For customers
where consulting services are not provided this position will also conduct
second or third party audits utilizing established and recognized food
safety audit schemes. The position will require approximately 40% travel
to destinations in the eastern U.S. and Canada.
Skills Required: A successful
candidate will typically have a four year degree in food science, microbiology,
biology or related science. The candidate will also have a minimum of
4 years experience in a fresh produce or food processing production
system. The experience is ideally in a position where responsibilities
would include quality assurance or food safety management/supervision.
The ideal candidate will have experience with agricultural aspects of
food production as well as handling, processing and/or distribution
of fresh or processed food products. Direct experience as a food safety
auditor is also desirable experience.
Agricultural Consulting Services:
ACS is the largest agricultural consulting company in the eastern U.S.
We service the agricultural and food production community with crop
production, environmental, food safety and software services. Our rapidly
expanding work in food safety services necessitates we increase our
staffing. We are seeking qualified candidates to fill this position
Submit all letters of interest,
resume¡¯s and qualifications to Bruce Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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