IRRADIATION WON'T HURT YOU
January 6, 2003
Source from Guelph
Ronald F. Eustice, executive director of the Minnesota Beef Council
attended the recent public workshop in Guelph, writes in this op-ed
during the next few weeks, Canadians will be hearing and reading much
about irradiation as Health Canada seeks public comment regarding the expansion
of the list of foods approved for irradiation.
Let's hope that Canadians can
base their opinions about irradiation on fact,
and not on hearsay, innuendo
and political rhetoric. Recent editorial page
comments in the Guelph Mercury
suggest an urgent need for clarification
about what food irradiation is --
and what it isn't.
The American public has embraced irradiation as a food safety
they have been provided with clear and accurate information about
is, how it works, and what it does.
There is strong public for support
irradiation once consumers understand
that it doesn't and can't -- make the
food radioactive. The chemical changes
that take place in irradiated food are
not significantly different than the
changes caused by other food processing
technologies; and that, when done properly, irradiation has very little effect,
if any, on the taste,
appearance or nutritional content of food. Irradiation
exposes foods to a
radiant energy source, primarily electron beams or gamma
rays. Other forms
of radiant energy include alternating current, heat, light,
light, x-rays, and the microwave. The process reduces or kills
other pathogenic organisms and increases the shelf life, quality
of foods. Irradiation is not a magic bullet. Advocates have never
contended that it can or should replace t e other elements that make up an effective
food safety strategy. It's not a replacement for appropriate food production and
food-handling practices, both in the food industry and in the home, as
in your Dec. 27 editorial. But it provides a vitally important
Technologies such as immunization against disease, pasteurization
and chlorination of water have become universally accepted. In public
terms, the potential benefits of irradiation are comparable to those
when pasteurization technology was first introduced more than 70
Special interest groups were opposed to immunization as well as
and voiced nearly identical concerns about pasteurization that
are raised about
irradiation today. None of those concerns proved valid. We
all benefit from
pasteurization, immunization and chlorination and these
procedures are now
considered the "pillars of public health." The scientific
in favor of food irradiation is overwhelming. It is the most
food processing technology in human history -- by a wide
margin. The risks
of irradiation are "unknown" because after several
decades of intensive
research scientists have failed to find any. But we
certainly know that irradiation
can effectively kill potentially dangerous
disease-causing microbes like Salmonella
and E.coli O157:H7.
Medical and scientific experts agree that irradiation can
have a significant
impact, on the thousands of food-related illnesses that
occur every year --
illnesses that can sometimes be lethal, especially for
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta,
estimated 76 million Americans suffer from food borne illness -- and
than 5,000 die -- every year. That's why irradiation technology has been
by a long list of professional groups and health-related government
including the World Health Organization, the American Medical
the U.S. Public Health Service, the U.S. Food and Drug
Association, the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the
American Dietetic Association.
In May 2000, a small Minnesota meat company became the first processor in the
U.S. to use irradiation to make ground beef safer.
From an initial distribution
in 84 Minnesota stores, the availability of
Huisken's irradiated frozen hamburger
patties quickly grew to include
thousands of supermarkets in 30 states. More
than a dozen major retail
chains have added fresh irradiated ground beef to
their shelves -- most of
these since May 2002. In less than three years, the
irradiated fresh and frozen ground beef has expanded from a
Minnesota stores to approximately 4,000 supermarkets and hundreds
Food service establishments are rapidly embracing
food irradiation. A year
ago, two Dairy Queen franchises in central Minnesota
became the first
restaurants in the U.S. to use irradiation on hamburger patties.
over 100 Dairy Queen franchises in Minnesota and South Dakota
ground beef and the number is expanding weekly. In October
2002, St. Paul-based,
Embers America became the first family-style,
full-service restaurant to introduce
irradiated ground beef. All 65 Embers
restaurants in Minnesota, Wisconsin and
North and South Dakota now offer
irradiated patties.As Canadian citizens learn
more about irradiation as a food safety tool, let's hope that Health Canada will
listen carefully to legitimate public opinion, as well asthe prevailing scientific
consensus on this technology. Hopefully, the discussion will not be dominated
by narrowly focused advocacy groups that represent neither the public nor the
prevailing scientific and public health consensus on irradiation.
in the past, these groups have tended to dominate the discussion
leaving the public with a distorted impression of its
risks and benefits. Let's
hope that the voices of the experts will not be
drowned out by the claims of
self-interested advocacy groups with political
agendas. This issue is far too
important to do otherwise.
handrub removes methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus
et al showed that handrubbing with an alcohol based solution is significantly
more efficient than handwashing with antiseptic soap in reducing hand contamination
during routine patient care.1 We conducted a similar study of the efficacy of
an alcohol handrub (70% ethanol, carbomer, isopropyl myristate, glycerine, monopropylene
glycol, vitamin E, and demineralised water; Guest Medical, Kent, UK) in eliminating
methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus from the fingertips of hospital staff
study was conducted in a large district general hospital in north London in December
2001. Altogether, 110 healthcare staff including doctors, nurses, occupational
therapists, healthcare support workers, administrators, and porters were approached
at random in their area of work on a single day and invited to take part anonymously.
There was no prior knowledge of the study. Each member of staff was asked to place
prints of their dominant thumb, index finger, and middle finger onto a plate of
Baird Parker agar (selective for S aureus). Two squirts (around 0.5 ml in total)
from a 50 ml pocket size dispenser of the alcohol handrub were then sprayed onto
their hands, and they were asked to apply this as they would normallywith no extra
instruction. After the alcohol was allowed to dry fully, fingerprints were taken
again in the same way onto a fresh agar plate. Plates were incubated at 37°C for
colonies were confirmed as S aureus and checked for methicillin sensitivity in
the normal way. We found that before using the handrub 25 of the 110 staff formed
one or more colony forming units of methicillin resistant S aureus from their
fingerprints. Most grades of staff had some positive results, although most of
the positive results were from those working in two or three specific areas in
the hospital. After using handrub only three members of staff grew colonies from
illustrates the efficacy of an alcohol handrub in reducing hand contamination
with methicillin resistant S aureus at work. We plan to repeat the exercise every
quarter both as surveillance and as a useful practical educational tool for staff.
fourth year medical student.
Barts and the Royal London Hospitals and School
of Medicine, London E1 2AD firstname.lastname@example.org
Goodbourn, consultant microbiologist.
Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS
Trust, London E11 1NR
missed 'errors' in reviewing possibly harmful GM compounds - consumer body
(AFX) - Excessive levels of harmful compounds could show up in genetically engineered
foods because the government has failed to put sufficiently strong safeguards
in place to catch them, the Washington Post reported, quoting findings by a consumer
protection group. In
a report scheduled for release today, the Center for Science in the Public Interest
(CSPI), contends that the Food and Drug Administration missed "obvious errors"
in reviewing some genetically modified crops, the newspaper reported.
crops now on the market appear to be safe to eat, the group said the FDA's procedures
are so full of holes that continued safety cannot be ensured as companies press
to bring many more genetically engineered plants to market. "The
companies don't provide enough data to prove these foods are safe," the Post
quoted Gregory A. Jaffe, director of biotechnology issues at the center, as saying.Much
of the concern centers on "anti-nutrients," or harmful compounds common
in many foods. Typically such compounds are present only at minuscule levels.
But when crops are genetically altered there is at least a theoretical risk that
the level of anti-nutrients could increase. The
FDA has failed to establish firm procedures requiring companies to test for such
harmful changes, the report said.
reviewers studied about a quarter of all the cases where gene-altered plants have
come before the FDA for review. In many instances, the report said, the FDA requested
information on the nutritional composition of a plant that industry failed to
provide. In three of 14 cases, CSPI reviewers found "obvious errors"
in FDA analyses of certain food crops. Certain
scientific papers - cited to prove that human exposure to a particular foreign
protein in gene-altered tomatoes and cantaloupes is safe - do not prove anything
of the sort, the center said. Laura
Tarantino, deputy director of food-additive safety at the FDA, rejected the CSPI's
contentions, saying companies have provided all the data on their crops that the
agency deemed important. The
food-processing industry also rejected the report's conclusions.
Laboratory Supervisor N272
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
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
Supervisor N 269
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.
Food Technologist R270
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.
Manager Maintenance & Engineering R268
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
Salary to $90,000 + Bonus
Development Engineer N267
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
Salary to $80,000
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
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
Project Engineer - Process N264
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
Control Manager J01
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.
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.
Systems Manager R238
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
Salary to mid $70's
1 - NMR Spectroscopist N259
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
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
Scientist 1 - Volatile Analysis Chemist N 260
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
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
Developmental Chef N258
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.
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.
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
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.
Individual will be responsible for development of new products and modification
of existing products in the baby food division of a major food company.
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.
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
Salary to $65K
Food Technologist N242
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
BS Food Science or related + 3 years exp
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.
if you are interesting
this job opening, visit the following website.
Safety General News
CHANGE TRANSMITTAL FOR DIRECTIVE 10,210.1
01/07. FOOD IRRADIATION WON'T HURT
YOU -- IGNORANCE ABOUT IT MIGHT
01/07. EU: First call for EU food safety research
EU proposals for additions to list of specified risk materia
handrub removes methicillin resistant Staphylococcus
01/07. Pueblo won't put
local restaurant reports online
01/07. FDA missed 'errors' in reviewing possibly
harmful GM compoun
01/07. It's rosemary to the rescue for chip lovers
Battle to save herbal remedies
01/07. Chlorine and Food Safety White Paper
01/06. Mexico slaps listeria testing on U.S. poultry exports
denies misleading lawmakers investigating E. coli O157:
01/06. Fixing Food
COLUMN: Genetically modified foods could present unforeseen
01/06. Kosher Cleared
Mexico: Listeria Checks Begin
01/06. Melrose hosts public meeting of food experts
Correction -- The American Egg Board/Egg Nutrition Center
01/06. Cook eggs
thoroughly to prevent salmonella: CDC
01/06. Battling Bacteria Safely
Experts answer questions about listeria, its effects
01/05. Important Clarifications
for Consumers Concerning Salmonella
01/05. Preferences, microbes and terrorism
drive food research
01/05. Easy steps can help prevent food contamination
US Agency Warns Against Eating Raw Sprouts
01/04. Drought slows results of
E. coli study
01/04. China: Safe food efforts for Nianyefan (Hu Yan)
More food ailments reported online
01/04. China: Man Executed for Kindergarten
01/04. China: Centre offers information about food poisoning