Food Safety NewsLetter -
Issue 39





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Mexico begins Listeria testing of U.S. poultry products
Souce from :
The Mexican government recently established a Listeria testing procedure for "hamburgers, nuggets, cold cuts, or any other prepared chicken and turkey product ready for human consumption," according to a Global Agriculture Information Network (GAIN) Report released by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. The testing procedure will take 4 to 12 working days, but shipments will be permitted to enter the country prior to receipt of the final test results. According to the report, exporters should plan on this procedure being in place indefinitely.

Guinn: A food safety Q&A
By Bob Guinn
Clemson Extension Agent

Q: If I forget to follow some of the basic food safety rules, won't heating or reheating foods kill foodborne bacteria?
A: To be safe, always follow "The Four Cs of Food Safety" when preparing, serving and cooking foods. Proper heating and reheating will kill foodborne bacteria. However, some foodborne bacteria produce poisons or toxins that are not destroyed by high cooking temperatures if the food is left out at room temperature for an extended period of time. An example is the foodborne bacteria Staphylococcus. This bacterium produces a toxin that can develop in cooked foods that sit out at room temperature for more than two hours.

Q: One of the food safety rules is to wash hands in hot, soapy water. Does hot water kill bacteria?
A: Hot water that is comfortable for washing hands is not hot enough to kill bacteria. The body oils on your hands hold soils and bacteria, so hot or warm, soapy water is more effective than cold, soapy water at removing those oily soils and the bacteria in them.

Q: Why is it unsafe to marinate foods at room temperature? Doesn't the acid in the marinade kill any bacteria that might be present?
A: Bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature, so for food safety purposes food should always be refrigerated while marinating. (Refrigeration slows bacterial growth.) Marinade that has been used on raw meat, poultry and seafood contains raw juices. These juices may contain bacteria that, if eaten, could make you sick. The acid in marinade doesn't kill bacteria, it merely slows or stops bacterial growth.

Q: Why shouldn't I taste a sample of cookie dough before baking it?
A: Foods containing raw eggs, such as homemade ice cream, cake batter, mayonnaise and eggnog, carry a salmonella risk, but their commercial counterparts don't. Commercial products are made with pasteurized eggs -- that is, eggs that have been heated sufficiently to kill bacteria -- and also may contain an acidifying agent that kills the bacteria. Commercial preparations of cookie dough are not a food hazard. If you want to sample homemade dough or batter or eat other foods with raw-egg-containing products, consider substituting pasteurized eggs for raw eggs. Pasteurized eggs are usually sold in the grocer's refrigerated dairy case.

Q: What is the proper temperature for your refrigerator?
A: Refrigerators should stay at 41 F (5 C) or lower. A temperature of 41 F (5 C) or lower is important because it slows the growth of most bacteria. The temperature won't kill the bacteria, but it will keep it from multiplying, and the fewer there are, the less likely you are to get sick from them. Freezing at zero F (minus 18 C) or lower stops bacterial growth (although it won't kill all bacteria already present).

Q: How can I clean my hands when water is not available, such as when traveling or picnicking away from home?
A: You can use disposable wipes or a hand gel sanitizer. You use the gel without water. The alcohol in the gel kills the germs on your hands. You can find disposable wipes and hand gel sanitizers in most supermarkets and drugstores. Clemson Extension Agent Bob Guinn can be reached at 470-3655 or by e-mail at

Cook Eggs Thoroughly to Prevent Salmonella: CDC
Thu January 2, 2003 01:54 PM ET
By Merritt McKinney
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Much more needs to be done to prevent a type of salmonella infection that is most often caused by eating raw or undercooked eggs, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Cases of this type of salmonella, known as serotype enteritidis, dropped during the second half of the 1990s, but they remained steady from 1999 through 2001, according to the Atlanta, Georgia-based agency.
In the CDC's weekly report, a team led by Dr. Padmini Srikantiah and her colleagues describe two series of outbreaks of salmonella that occurred in 2001. One outbreak at several South Carolina prisons was traced to a tuna salad that contained eggs that were reportedly hard-boiled. Another outbreak in North Carolina was also linked to eggs.
Efforts to keep eggs safe need to be expanded "from the farm all the way to the table," Srikantiah told Reuters Health in an interview.
The first-line defense against salmonella is egg control programs in farms, Srikantiah said. Such programs, she explained, should include salmonella screening in hen houses. If salmonella is detected, these eggs can be pasteurized to make sure that they will not make anyone sick, she said.
Several egg control programs were put in place in the Northeastern US during the early 1990s, which may have contributed to a drop in human cases of salmonella in the region, according to the report.
Egg control programs are voluntary and there is no way for grocery shoppers to know if their eggs were produced on a participating farm. However, the CDC's Srikantiah said that the public can take several steps to prevent salmonella infections.
"Consumption of raw and undercooked eggs should be avoided," Srikantiah said. The risk of eating eggs that have not been thoroughly cooked is greatest for the very young and very old, as well as people with weakened immune systems, she said. The CDC recommends cooking eggs until both the white and the yolk are firm. Be sure to eat eggs promptly after cooking, the CDC advises.
For recipes that call for raw or undercooked eggs and for people who like their eggs a little on the runny side, there are safe options. Besides egg products that have been pasteurized, whole eggs that have been pasteurized to kill bacteria while still in the shell are now available at supermarkets, according to Srikantiah.
Other ways to reduce the risk of salmonella infection, according to the CDC expert, include washing hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces with soap and water after handling raw eggs. Srikantiah added that eggs should be stored at or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit at all times.
Salmonella enteritidis infects the gastrointestinal system, leading to cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Most people recover on their own, but in rare cases, salmonella infection can cause serious, occasionally fatal, complications.
SOURCE: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2003;51:1149-1152.

Food Safety General News
1/3. USDA seeking comment on branding, marketing claims rule
1/3. Food of the Future: Healthier, Safer ... Tastier
1/3. Cook Eggs Thoroughly to Prevent Salmonella: CDC -
1/3. Salmonella outbreak didn't begin at Young's
1/3. Ireland organises food safety alliance
1/3. Guinn: A food safety Q&A
1/2. Web sites, fines foster safe dining
1/2. Alliance targets food safety protection
1/2. Food Industry Wins Label Fight
1/1. Mexico begins Listeria testing of U.S. poultry products -
1/1. UK: Government denies trying to bury GM crop report
1/1. New Web site provides comprehensive online science source

JOB Opening
*New Listing*
Laboratory Supervisor N272
Jonesboro, AR
BS Food Science or related + 2years. Supervise Laboratory personnel in microbiology and chemical testing of raw materials, finished products and plant sanitation samples. Plant produces frozen foods. Audit experience with HACCP,SSOP,TQC,MIR,QMS and SPC to make sure plant is conforming to standards. Interact with operations on non-compliant materials to resolve issues. Involved with packaging weight control and recipe procedures in operations. Involved with regulatory, safety and quality issues including interface with USDA inspectors.
Salary to $60,000
QA Food Technologist N273
Jonesboro, AR
BS Food Science or related + internship. Plant quality position doing microbiology and chemical testing of raw materials, finished products and plant sanitation samples. Plant produces frozen foods. Audit experience with HACCP,SSOP,TQC,MIR,QMS and SPC to make sure plant is conforming to standards. Interact with operations on non-compliant materials to resolve issues. Involved with packaging weight control and recipe procedures in operations. Involved with regualtory safety and quality issues including interface with USDA inspectors. Strong analytical, computer and interpersonal skills necessary.
Salary to $40,000

Sanitation Supervisor N 269
Provo, UT
BS + 4-5 years experience in food production setting is required. Must have previous experience with CIP systems. also should be knowledgeable in GMPs, SSOPs, and HACCP. Position is in large frozen food facility. Individual will be responsible for 40 hourlies on third shift sanitation. Reports to 3rd shift manager.
Salary to $55K + bonus.

*New Listing*
Food Technologist R270
Napoleon, Ohio
BS Food Science, Microbiology or related + 1 year experience. Entry level position. Will perform laboratory analysis on incoming ingredients and finished products. Includes Microbiological, physical and chemical testing, in-plant surveys and overseeing sanitation operations. Responsible for overseeing the activities of Laboratory Technicians and working with operations personnel providing technical advice/support regarding product safety and quality. Ability to troubleshoot, interpret results and make recommendations. Room for advancement. Background with soup, sauces, beverages, gravies ideal. Will pay relocation, typical benefit package. Mostly first shift, might have to help on other shifts if problem arises.

*New Listing*
Manager Maintenance & Engineering R268
Napoleon, Ohio
BS Engineering, MBA (preferred) + 10-15 years experience. Direct all Maintenance & Engineering and supervise the overall processes of Engineering, Maintenance and Power Departments. Oversee the Maintenance, repair and installation of capital improvements including manufacturing equipment, power house/utility equipment and other company equipment. Determines the needs and processes for authorizing requisitioning of parts, supplies and materials required for the successful continued operation of Plant equipment. Reports to the Plant Manager. (If no MBA, will need to pursue degree.) Oversee 165 hourly, 12 salaried Maintenance & 11 Engineering personnel.
Salary to $90,000 + Bonus

Process Development Engineer N267
Cincinnati, OH
PhD Chemical Engineering plus 3-7 years experience in laboratory and pilot scale process development of chemical or biochemical processes, including transfer to manufacturing. Knowledge of one or more of the following process is preferred: distillation, liquid/liquid extraction, liquid/solid extraction, spray drying, fluid bed drying, filtration, centrifugation, adsorption, instrumentation and process control, capital/operating cost estimation, mathematical modeling, CHEMCAD or equivalent process simulation software. MUST have background in flavors or food ingredients. Individual will be responsible for scaling up new processed flavors. Major responsibilities include working with flavorists in developing and scaling up new flavors, maintaining the pilot plant, and carrying new flavor production from bench through the pilot plant and into manufacturing.
Salary to $80,000

Food Technologist N266
Cincinnati, OH
Individual must have a BS degree in a scientific field plus 3 years experience in savory flavor applications or savory food product development. Individual will create savory products such as sauces, gravies, and snacks to test or showcase savory flavors. Will work closely with flavor chemists and marketing to determine best flavor/product combination. Individual will work closely with customers.
Salary to $45,000

External Auditor N265
Pacific NW
Individual must have a BS in Food Science, Biology or related plus 4-6 years experience in food plant quality control. MUST have previous experience with external auditing. Strong knowledge of GMP's, HACCP, and sanitation. Position is with a large contract laboratory offering auditing services to the food industry. Individual will be auditing food plants throughout the Pacific NW. Extensive travel (50%+). Company provides home office. Individual can live in WA,OR,ID or MT.
Salary to $55,000

Sr. Project Engineer - Process N264
Boston, MA
BS Chemical Engineering or other engineering discipline with 7-10 years experience in food plant process engineering, experience creating project teams and the ability to delegate and accomplish tasks through others. This is a corporate position with multi-plant responsibility. Individual will develop process/batching/CIP design and installation plans and processing and equipment and piping specifications; evaluate existing processing installations to upgrade/improve performance; develop major projects from conception to finished construction and installation; develop processing/receiving capital budget for various plants and provide consulting services to plant engineering department. Travel approximately 40%.
Salary $80,000 to $90,000

Quality Control Manager J01
Northwest, IL
Individual MUST have at least 3 years experience in quality control in a bakery plant environment. Strong supervisory skills desired. Large plant experience a plus. Cookie/cracker experience a plus. HACCP, GMP, sanitation, audit skills desirable. Individual will be responsible for total product quality over three shifts in a large baking plant.
Salary to $65,000

Maintenance Manager J02
Northwest, IL
Individual MUST have at least 5 years experience in maintenance in a bakery environment. Strong supervisory skills desired. Large plant experience a plus. Cookie/cracker experience a plus. Individual will be responsible for total maintenance over three shifts in a large plant.
Salary to $65,000

Quality Systems Manager R238
Napoleon, OH
Candidate will follow broadly based guidelines and make decisions with minimal direction in managing Floor Auditors, Quality Supervisors, Formula and Procedures Clerk and the HACCP/SSOP Manager. Required to make timely written and/or oral reports on significant issues as they arise. Interact with a wide variety of departments, locally and throughout corporation, personnel at many levels, USDA and vendors. Responsible for the reviews and dispositions of on hold batches or raw materials and provides solutions as needed. Schedules weekly schedules, employee evaluations and provides training and development programs. Pluses would be completion of Better Process Control School, Thermal Processing, HACCP Certification, lab & manager experience, and knowledge of plant operations. Proficient in computers including MS Office, Lotus Notes, AS/400 and statistical programs.
Salary to mid $70's

Scientist 1 - NMR Spectroscopist N259
Cincinnati, OH
Requirements: MS in Chemistry plus experience in operating and maintaining NMR systems, knowledge of FTIR and GC/MS instrumentation. Must be able to demonstrate capability of NMR, IR and MS spectra interpretation.
Responsibilities: Individual will be responsible for conducting authentication analysis on natural flavor ingredients using isotope NMR techniques, planning and executing NMR and FTIR experiments and developing, maintaining, and managing NMR and IR databases.
Salary to $55K

*New Listing*
Scientist 1 - Volatile Analysis Chemist N 260
Cincinnati, OH
Requirements: MS in Chemistry or Food Science plus 2 years experience in operating and maintaining GC and GC/MS. Must have strong skills in GC/MS data processing and mass spectrum interpretation.
Responsibilities: Individual will assist in conducting flavor research. Specific responsibilities are planning and executing experiments, performing sample preparations, conducting data processing/interpretation, operating and maintaining analytical instrumentation, performing instrumental analysis: GC and GC/MS, troubleshoot and repair lab instruments, maintaining log notebooks for instrumentation, updating and maintaining instrument software.
Salary to $55K

*New Listing*
Developmental Chef N258
Cincinnati, OH
Requirements: AA Culinary Arts required, BS Science preferred plus 3-5 years experience in recipe formulation and flavor testing. combination of foodservice and industrial experience is ideal.
Duties: Individual will: 1) perform various culinary projects in support of flavor applications, 2) develop concepts to highlight company's flavors, 3) participate in ideation sessions, and 4) attend, assist and conduct customer presentations.
Salary to $50K

Food Technologist N256
Pittsburgh, PA
Requirements: BS Food Science or related plus 3 or more years experience in product development. Individual should have worked in developing canned soups. Retort experience is a strong plus.
Duties: Individual will be responsible for development of new products and modification of existing products in the soup division of a major food company.
Salary to $69K

Food Technologist N257
Pittsburgh, PA
Requirements: BS Food Science or related plus 3 or more years experience in product development. Individual should have worked in developing baby food. Retort experience is a strong plus.
Duties: Individual will be responsible for development of new products and modification of existing products in the baby food division of a major food company.
Salary to $69K

Food Technologist N246
Cleveland, OH
Requirements: BS or MS in Food Science or related field plus 2-5 years product development experience involving use of starches and hydrocolloids. Frozen food experience a big plus. MUST be a strong team player.
Duties: Individual will work in an international frozen food development team as the "hydrocolloid specialist" providing food science knowledge and experience in support of the team's objectives from concept through commercialization. Will design trials to evaluate equipment and product performance. will conduct pilot plant and production scale tests.
Salary to $65K

(Sr.) Food Technologist N242
Pittsburgh, PA
Requirements: BS Food Science or related plus 5 or more years experience in product development. Individual should have worked in developing one of more of the following products: pasta sauce, pizza sauce, barbeque sauce, salad dressing. Individual with 10 or more years of experience may qualify for a more Senior position.
Duties: Individual will be responsible for development of new products and modification of existing products in the sauce and dressing division of a major food producer.
Salary $54K - $78K

Production Supervisor RA187
Toledo, OH
BS Food Science or related + 3 years exp
Need supervisors for their manufacturing plant, for second or third shift. These candidates will be on a fast track to move up in the operations department of the Fortune 100 company. Successful candidate will have experience in a food manufacturing plant for 3 years. Some supervision will be helpful. Familiarization with thermal processing, canning, jar packing and high speed packaging a real plus. Need to hire now!! This is a union plant.
Salary to$50K
if you are interesting this job opening, visit the following website.

ON-Line Slides

Preharvest water and Food Safety
obtained from UC Davis (UCgaps) - (Trevor V. Suslow, Ph.D.)
Click here to see the slides (PDF file)

Food Safety and Sanitation for Fruit Packers workshop
obtained from PSU Food Safety website -
Microorganisms of Concern in Agriculture
Food Safety Systems
Cross Contamination
Handwashing Facilities, etc.
Postharvest Diseases
Federal-State Inspection Service

Mushroom Sanitation Workshop Review
obtained from PSU Food Safety website
Cold Storage Sanitation - Trevor Suslow, UCDavis
Hand Sanitation - Trevor Suslow, UCDavis
ORP Basics Mushroom Workshop - Trevor Suslow, UCDavis
Basic Microbiology - Linda Harris, UCDavis
Pathogen Testing - Linda Harris, UCDavis
Food Safety Systems - Luke LaBorde, Penn State
Key Sanitation Areas - Luke LaBorde, Penn State
1. Safety of Water
2. Cleaning and Sanitizing Food Contact Surfaces
3. Cross-Contamination
4. Maintenance of Handwashing, Hand Sanitizing, and Toilet Facilities
5. Protection from Adulterants
6. Proper Labeling, Storage, and Use of Toxic Compounds
7. Employee Health Conditions
8. Pest Control

- Biosecurity Challenges: An Industry Perspective
obtained from

- Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in Cattle and During Processing
obtained from

- HACCP for Food Service Employees

- HACCP Video

- Sanitation Control Procedure Course

12/23. Hong Kong trying to quell bird flu fears
12/20. Virus dulls holiday cheer
12/19. Flu sickens hundreds on USS Roosevelt

Sponsors Section
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Food Safety Magazine
For Free Issue of Food Safety Magazine, Click here to free subscription

Recall News

12/28. Starway Red Diamond Wintermelon Strip Recall is Complete
12/28. Recall Update: Spice It Sage Recall is Complete
12/23. ALLERGY ALERT - Presence of undeclared egg in EXTREME JELLY CREATIONS
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

Hi! I'm Thermy!Ę‚
Thirty-fifth Session of the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene
The Food Safety Educator
FSIS Constituent Update: December 20, 2002
Use of Microbial Pathogen Computer Modeling in HACCP Plans
Requesting Sample Collection Supplies
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

New Method

December 18, 2002
University of Florida Press Release
Contact Information
GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- People looking forward to eating raw oysters over the
holidays will welcome news that scientists are making progress in the fight
against a rare but deadly disease associated with the tasty bivalves.
Two University of Florida researchers report curing mice of the disease by
using a virus to attack its bacterial source -
Vibrio vulnificus. The scientists say the research may lead to techniques to
purify oysters after harvest but before they reach raw bars and seafood
markets - and might one day result in a better cure for the disease in
The work, reported in a November article in the journal Infection and
Immunity, is part of a growing trend in research to use bacteria-attacking
viruses, or hages,?to cure diseases caused by bacteria, said Paul Gulig,
a UF professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at UF College of
Medicine. Although the disease caused by Vibrio responds to antibiotic
treatment if caught early enough, the trend toward research of phages is
spurred in part by the increasing ineffectiveness of antibiotics in killing
ever-more-resistant bacteria, he and other researchers said.
hages havent been used in the United States since the early 20th century
because antibiotics have worked pretty well,?he said. that changing now,
and there is more interest in investigating the phage alternative.?br>Vibrio vulnificus is related to the cholera bacterium and occurs naturally
in the presence of microscopic algae in seawater. When oysters eat the
algae, Vibrio becomes concentrated. People can come into contact with the
bacterium by eating raw oysters (cooking the bivalves kills the bacterium),
or by exposing an open wound to water or mud where the bacterium is present.
Most exposed people suffer no ill effects because their bodies easily fight
off the bacterium. However, people who suffer from liver damage - from
alcohol-related cirrhosis, for example - may become infected. There are 30
to 50 cases of Vibrio vulnificus disease reported annually in the United
States. Although rare, the disease is severe and often fatal, killing
between 50 percent and 75 percent of those who are infected. The bacterium
causes flu-like symptoms, followed
by high fever, shock and half-dollar sized blood blisters mostly on the
patient legs.
Gulig and Donna Duckworth, a professor of molecular genetics and
microbiology and co-author of the article, said because Vibrio resembles the
flu or less-harmful diseases, it often remains undiagnosed until its later
stages. At that point, the disease does not respond well to antibiotics,
whence its high mortality rate, they said. Seeking an alternative to
antibiotics, he and Duckworth decided to test the effectiveness of phages in
attacking the disease.
The scientists isolated phages that prey naturally on the bacterium from
oysters purchased from seafood markets and in mud collected from oyster beds
in Florida coastal waters. They grew the phages in the laboratory, then
injected solutions containing concentrated amounts of the virus into the
tail veins of mice infected with Vibrio. The result: The researchers found
the phages cured the mice even well after they had begun experiencing
symptoms of the disease.
it was very clear that the phage treatment for many of the mice could
completely protect them. It could prevent death, and it could essentially
clear the mice of bacteria,?Gulig said. we showed that, in typical
infections of mice, we get
100 million bacteria per gram of tissue, and in these treated mice we
essentially could not detect any bacteria at all.? Gulig said the project didnt compare the phages with similarly timed
antibiotic treatments, so the researchers couldnt say which is more
effective. But phages have some tantalizing advantages over antibiotics, he
said. While antibiotics naturally become diluted and leave the body after a
period of time, phages grow and multiply until they have preyed on all the
available bacteria, he said. Also, antibiotics are general treatments,
killing harmful bacteria as well beneficial organisms, making patients
vulnerable to yeast infections and other maladies. Phages, by contrast, are
extremely specific, with the virus seeking only its natural prey and thus
causing no unexpected outcomes.
The research was funded with a $64,000 grant from the U.S. Department of
Commerce SeaGrant Program. The agency has awarded the scientists, in
collaboration with Anita Wright, a UF assistant professor of food science
and human nutrition, an additional $144,000 to pursue a new direction: using
phages to purify oysters before they reach consumers. The idea would be to
submerge the harvested oysters in vats of phage-treated water, allowing them
to filter in the phage and kill off the Vibrio vulnificus before the oysters
reach the market. Such technology would be quicker and cheaper to develop
and commercialize than a new treatment for Vibrio disease, because it
wouldnt have to meet regulatory standards for human medicine, Gulig said.
it would be a truly natural treatment, since we are essentially treating the
oysters with something they aree already exposed to in the wild,?Gulig said.
Alexander Sulakvelidze, an assistant professor of microbiology and
epidemiology at the University of Maryland, said the method appears
There are a number of approaches that allow you to clear oysters of Vibrio
vulnificus, and none of them are optimal,?br>Sulakvelidze said. ≥They are very expensive or not very applicable for
treating live oysters, so this may provide an additional tool to improve the
safety of oysters.?br>Another goal of the UF research is to determine if phages can be used in a
topical skin cream to help prevent contraction of Vibrio through skin
wounds. The thing we thought about is having little vials of phage that
fishermen can use prophylactically as soon as they get cut,?Duckworth said.

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