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2010 Food Safety Training Class Schedule
Basic and Advanced HACCP San Francisco, CA, August 2 - 4
Basic HACCP Houston TX , August 16 and 17
Basic HACCPChicago, IL, August 30 and 31
Basic HACCPLos Angeles, CA. September 9 and 10
Basic HACCPCamden, New Jersey, September 13 and 14
Chicago, IL, September 27 and 28
Basic HACCPVisalia, CA., October 4 and 5
Basic HACCPYuma, AZ, October 11 and 12
Basic HACCPChicago, IL, October 25 and 26
Redondo Beach, CA, November 4-5, 2010
with 5th International Conference

Basic HACCPChicago, IL. November 29 and 30
Basic HACCPLos Angeles, CA, December 6 and 7
Basic HACCPVisalia, CA, December 13 and 14

Taco Bell Sued over Salmonella
by Suzanne Schreck | Aug 09, 2010
Georgetown, Kentucky, resident Jo Anne Smith filed a Salmonella lawsuit against Yum Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, Friday.
Since mid-April, at least 155 people who have purchased food from Taco Bell locations in 21 states have become infected with Salmonella Hartford or Salmonella Baildon. Smith is one of 28 Salmonella outbreak victims from Kentucky.
According to the lawsuit filed by Smith's attorneys, she purchased two tacos garnished with lettuce, cheese, and sour cream from a Frankfort Taco Bell location on May 24. Smith became ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection on May 26, and her symptoms continued to worsen over the course of the next several days.
Despite her illness, Smith and her husband and son drove to Omaha, Nebraska, where her son was to participate in a debate competition for the National Forensic League; however, she was unable to attend the competition due to her illness and remained in her hotel room while her husband and son went to the competition.
Smith's symptoms continued to worsen, and on May 29 she was so weak and dehydrated that she called her husband and asked him to take her to the emergency room. Smith's husband and their son, who elected to leave the competition due to the severity of his mother's illness, took her to the ER, where she underwent an array of diagnostic tests and procedures, and received a variety of medications and supplements to address her severe symptoms.
A stool sample Smith submitted while at the ER later returned positive for Salmonella Hartford--one of the strains of Salmonella determined last week to be the source of the outbreak associated with Taco Bell.
Smith is represented Marler Clark, the Seattle-based law firm that has represented thousands of victims of Salmonella outbreaks.
"We've represented victims of two prior food poisoning outbreaks at Taco Bell," said attorney and food safety advocate Bill Marler, who represented indivudals injured when in 2000, when green onions served at the chain were determined to be the source of an outbreak, and again in 2006 when an E. coli outbreak traced to lettuce sickened many patrons. "My hope is that these two experiences will lead Yum! Brands to step up quickly to address the needs of customers who have been infected with Salmonella."

Clearing-up some misconceptions
Safety Zone
By: James Marsden
There seem to be recurring misconceptions in comments to my blogs about the term ¡°pasteurization.¡± For the record, pasteurization is defined by the Sci-Tech Encyclopedia as ¡°The treatment of foods or beverages with mild heat, irradiation, or chemical agents to improve keeping quality or to inactivate disease-causing microorganisms¡±.
Just to clarify, these are my positions on some key issues relating to applications for pasteurization of meat products:
1. Carcass Pasteurization - When I refer to the term "carcass pasteurization", I am not using it as a code word for irradiation. Carcass irradiation is not approved and isn¡¯t even under consideration for approval by the FDA. It will be a long time before it is available to the industry, if ever. If the day comes when carcasses are irradiated, consumers should be fully informed about the process and irradiated products should be properly labeled.
When I refer to pasteurization for beef carcasses, I am suggesting that interventions be combined that result in a level of lethality on carcass surfaces that eliminates pathogens, including Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7. This may include pre-slaughter, slaughter and post-slaughter interventions.
Examples of effective interventions include: E. coli specific bacteriophage for live cattle; high pressures washes; organic acid treatments, including peracetic acid and bromous acid; acidified sodium chlorite; steam or hot water pasteurization; and advanced oxidation technologies. The system may also involve the application of additional measures to prevent recontamination during carcass chilling and fabrication.
I recognize that this isn¡¯t an easy task. It will require a great deal of effort on the part of the beef industry. However, I believe that carcass pasteurization is not only a reasonable objective, but essential to solving the problem of E. coli in ground beef and other processed beef products.
2. Pasteurization of Raw Ground Beef ? In my opinion, the best way to address pathogen contamination in raw ground is to eliminate contaminants upstream in the process. However, there are technologies available to pasteurize consumer packages of raw ground beef. These include high hydrostatic pressure and irradiation. The irradiated ground beef products that are currently being marketed are not irradiated at pasteurization doses. They are treated to reduce the risk of E. coli O157:H7. The process does not meet the definition of pasteurization and they are not labeled as ¡°pasteurized.¡±
Research has been conducted at the University of Nebraska that shows that high hydrostatic presser (HHP) can eliminate Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 in raw ground beef and meet the definition of the term pasteurization. HHP for ground beef applications is under evaluation, but to my knowledge, has not been commercialized.
3. Pasteurization Technologies for RTE Processed Products ? Ready-to-Eat products must be pasteurized in order to meet regulatory requirements for the elimination of Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. This is usually done using heat pasteurization. In some cases, an additional pasteurization step is needed to address post-process contamination. This can also be done using heat or HHP. Increasingly, companies are using HHP for this application, especially in prepared salads and sliced products. Currently, irradiation isn¡¯t allowed for multi-ingredient RTE products.
Perhaps the biggest misconception of all is that somehow the pressure on the meat industry to produce pathogen free consumer products will go away. Consumer expectations and regulatory and legal requirements are already in place for all RTE products and for ground beef and other non-intact beef products. Pasteurization in some form lies in the future of the meat industry. Both meat companies and consumers will benefit when it is a reality.

August 09, 2010

Manipulating Mankind
by John Munsell | Aug 10, 2010
"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." -- Mark Twain
If only Mark Twain were alive today, he would have a field day commenting on what the U.S. Department of Agriculture considers to be "scientific".
Subsequent to the Jack In The Box E. coli outbreak in 1993, USDA desperately and hurriedly implemented the current Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) protocol of deregulated meat inspection. HACCP was originally invented by Pillsbury, focused on the production of consistently safe food for NASA and the Army. Pillsbury's HACCP required "Kill Steps" during food production, meaning that the food had to be subjected to a kill step such as fully cooking or irradiation, effectively killing all pathogens. Pillsbury's HACCP system was truly based in science, and creates safe food.
USDA intentionally changed the Pillsbury protocol, but of course, retained the right to classify its HACCP imposter as allegedly being "science-based". USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) demands that all federally inspected plants implement USDA-style HACCP. Thus, FSIS requires that HACCP be used for all raw meat and poultry, which by definition does not utilize kill steps, but still qualifies for USDA-style HACCP.
Raw meat and poultry carry pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella. These enteric bacteria originate in animals' intestines, and can easily be deposited onto dressed carcasses via sloppy kill floor dressing procedures. FSIS knowingly allows such enteric bacteria to be shipped into commerce from the source-originating slaughter plants. The agency's endorsement of shipping E. coli O157:H7 to downstream further processing plants, retail meat markets, and restaurants is an interesting case study.
A high percentage of beef shipped into commerce from slaughter plants is in the form of vacuum-packed intact cuts of meat, known as boxed beef. FSIS allows such intact cuts, which are surface contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, to be shipped from the source slaughter plants to downstream further processing establishments. FSIS blithely dismisses E. coli to be a mere contaminant when found on the surface of intact cuts. However, when the downstream processor such as retail meat markets and restaurants process the intact cuts into steaks, roasts and ground beef which is laced with the previously-existing E. coli, FSIS nonchalantly concludes that the heretofore harmless E. coli have supernaturally morphed into adulterants. FSIS places all blame for the existence of these pathogens on the downstream entity, accusing them of being noncompliant with sanitary food processing protocol.
How did this absurd turn of events occur? To answer this, we must briefly review statements made by FSIS in the 1990s as it tortured its definition of "science" in order to implement the agency's pre-determined meat inspection system desired by FSIS.
In a series of meat industry conferences to publicly discuss USDA-style HACCP in the 1990s, FSIS stated that the agency's role would change under HACCP to include the following:
1. Under HACCP, the agency's role would become "hands off", instead of the traditional "hands on" role FSIS had previously embraced.
2. Under HACCP, the agency would no longer police the industry, but the industry would police itself.
3. Under HACCP, the agency would disband its previous command and control authority.
4. Under HACCP, each plant could write its own HACCP Plan, and that the agency could not dictate what must be in these individually customized HACCP Plans.
History has shown that FSIS is fully compliant with these four pre-HACCP promises, but only at the largest plants which enjoy political clout and deep pockets. Conversely, FSIS has used HACCP to hyper-regulate and hagride small plants, a startling number of which have exited USDA inspection.
One advantage HACCP gifted to FSIS was insulating the agency from liability for pathogens and outbreaks. How could the agency be held even partially responsible for pathogens in the food supply when the agency was limited to a "hands off" non-involvement role, could no longer police the industry, and no longer enjoyed command and control authority? FSIS can't be responsible for meat it never inspected! Another advantage is the comfort granted to the agency to embrace a semi-retired stance at the big packers, greatly reducing the delicate discomfort involved in challenging the largest plants when problems arise. FSIS remains unaware of recurring problems, because it is relieved of its previous hands on policing role, coupled with loss of command and control authority.
During these afore-mentioned industry conferences, the agency made continuous references to the fact that USDA-style HACCP is "science based", which allegedly would diminish the shipment of pathogens into commerce. When conference attendees pressed FSIS spokespeople to explain why USDA-style HACCP is based in science, the agency explained that microbiological testing would be an integral part of HACCP. FSIS spokespeople explained that HACCP would require extensive testing both by the agency, and by the meat plants. In the 56 years my plant had operated prior to HACCP, I had never collected one meat sample for microbial analysis. After HACCP's implementation, both the agency and I have collected multiple dozens of samples for microbial tests. Testing became the heart and soul of USDA-style HACCP.
On January 26, 1998, the largest packing plants implemented HACCP. A mere six days later, on February 1, 1998, FSIS issued Directive 10,010.1 which essentially exempted the large plants from agency-conducted microbial testing. Plants killing thousands of beef daily became off-limits for FSIS sampling. Meanwhile, the agency continued to test at smaller plants. FSIS bureaucrats thus define "science" differently at small plants, compared to large plants. What was the natural consequence of exempting large plants from USDA testing?
A superlative example of the impact of exempting large plants from agency-conducted sampling was exposed during the 19.1 million pound recall of E. coli-contaminated meat from the ConAgra plant in Greeley, Colorado in June 2002. Exempted from agency-conducted sampling, ConAgra implemented a "multiple hurdle pathogen intervention system" which ostensibly "virtually sterilized carcasses", as printed in a ConAgra marketing brochure. Subsequent to the 19.1 million pound recall, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) investigated the circumstances surrounding the recall. One quote from OIG's scathing report is, "Data was available to both ConAgra and USDA in the period prior to the recall that indicated that E. coli contamination was becoming a CONTINUOUS (emphasis added) problem at ConAgra." Instead of virtually sterilizing carcasses, ConAgra was continuously contaminating carcasses. In the 100 days prior to the recall, ConAgra's in-house testing revealed the presence of E. coli in meat on 34 of those days. However, ConAgra did not implement corrective actions to prevent recurrences, and USDA did not mandate corrective actions, having been relegated to a "Hands Off" role absent command and control.
When critics reveal these glaring and intentional oversights, FSIS responds by stating that USDA-style HACCP is based in "science". Therefore, anyone revealing problems with USDA-style HACCP is discredited as being opposed to scientific advancements. No one wants to be classified as opposed to science. FSIS uses this lame excuse as an opportunity to silence all its critics, since who can argue with science?
Whenever any USDA official claims that agency policies are science-based, red flags should go up everywhere. While the agency piously proclaims that its policies utilize an "abundance of caution", evidence continues to reveal the agency operates under an "abandance" of caution, while hiding behind USDA-style HACCP's skirt. The agency's slovenly recumbent lack of oversight at large plants is justified by its desire to maintain a "hands off" meat non-inspection role, its unwillingness to police the industry, and abhorrence at the prospect of using command and control authority at the largest slaughter entities. The Big 4 meat slaughter companies kill 88 percent of our feedlot cattle, constituting a substantial adversary to an agency--which is paralyzed by the fear of litigation from the Big 4.
"Science" to FSIS means agency semi-retirement at the largest slaughter entities. This is a primary reason for our ongoing outbreaks and recurring recalls. History has proven that USDA-style HACCP is NOT science-based, but based in political science and science fiction. This is precisely the problem to which Mark Twain referred by extracting wholesale conjectures from a small investment of fact. USDA intentionally bastardized Pillsbury's HACCP program, while disingenuously classifying the agency's deregulated system of non-inspection as "science-based". Consumers continue to pay the price for such sleight of hand.
Oh what a twisted web we weave, when at first we intend to deceive.

Peanut industry ramping up food safety efforts

Posted: Aug 10, 2010 2:43 PM PDT Updated: Aug 10, 2010 3:09 PM PDT
By Stephanie Springer
ALBANY, GA (WALB) ?We all want our food to be as safe as possible when it hits the dinner table but unfortunately we don't see what our food goes through before we eat it.
After major outbreaks of illness connected to peanuts in recent years, the peanut industry is really ramping up its food safety efforts.
Food safety is especially important this year because the FDA has made some surprise visits to some of the buying points and some of those buying points were not ready.
Although no food safety certification is required, this program was put together show the various buying points what they need to do to have the best quality product possible
Its one of the only farm commodities where everything grown by the farmer, is eaten by a human. "Everything we do is going to a consumer, and they are going to eat the product," said Darlene Cowart, Corp. Food Safety Director for Birdsong Peanuts.
But last years Salmonella outbreak was a wake up call for people involved in all aspects of the peanut industry.
From the time it is out in the field, to the time you take a bite of that peanut butter sandwich, a peanut goes through several steps.
"Every step in the peanut world there is a quality step to try and protect that quality that the farmer grows," said Executive Director of the National Peanut Buying Points Association, Tyron Spearman.
One of those steps, is when the peanuts are shipped to various buying points around America. "When peanuts are harvested off the farms they come to the buying point and they hold peanuts in storage facilities in warehouses for many months prior to arriving at shelling facilities," said Cowart.
But when those peanuts are sitting in those warehouses, there is opportunity not only for contamination but also for protection.
Today more than 100 people showed up for a training course geared towards the various buying points and food safety in the storage facility. "We have more direction as to what should we do to prevent something like this from happening again," said Spearman.
And some changes are on the way starting with where the peanuts are dumped. "The pits have to be cleaned periodically you cannot have birds or places for birds to builds birds nests," said Spearman.
Also, no more glass light bulbs. You must use a non-shatter bulb with a protector around it.
And the outside should be protected too. Everything from rodent control around the facility to treating the tops of the sheds so birds cannot build nests.

Report on Health Impacts of Oil Spill Issued
by Helena Bottemiller | Aug 11, 2010
How will the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico impact human health? The short answer: we don't know.
At the direction of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the Institute of Medicine recently held a workshop on the health effects of the Gulf oil spill. This week, the group released a summary of the discussion, which emphasized the complexity of potential health impacts and the need for more data and research.
"The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is unprecedented," according to the Institute. "From the origin of the leak, to the amount of oil released into the environment, to the spill's duration and ongoing nature, the Gulf oil spill poses unique challenges to human health."
With a week's notice, 37 experts and public health officials and over 300 participants gathered in New Orleans for the workshop in June to begin the discussion on how to measure and mitigate the public health impact of the spill.
According to the report, the expert discussion touched on a wide variety of topics, from water quality to ecosystems to at-risk populations, but there was one unifying theme: scientists cannot predict the full range of health consequences.
"The potential physical, psychological, and socioeconomic impacts of the Gulf oil spill and clean-up response on the short- and long-term health of individuals in the affected region--including land- and sea-based clean-up workers, fishermen, and other commercial workers, residents, visitors, and communities as a whole--are unknown," reads the report.
William Farland, a researcher at Colorado State Unviversity in environmental and radiological science, emphasized that food contamination risks were not necessarily limited to seafood. "The potential for toxins to enter the food supply is a particularly important issue to consider in the Gulf," reads the summary of Farland's presentation.
Farland said he believes widespread monitoring will be necessary.
"Understanding the source-to-receptor pathways in the Gulf, including toxicity in the food supply, will require gathering several types of data through various types of monitoring activities, including food, air, and water sampling," said the report.
"Food sampling should involve not just seafood testing but also creel surveys and game monitoring, given that there are local populations of subsistence hunters and fishermen," the report continues. "With respect to water sampling, while it is unlikely that contamination will move far enough inland to affect underground water systems, it is important to ensure that disposal plans for various items (e.g., used personal protective equipment) address the issue of potential contamination of local wells."
Dr. Bernard Goldstein, a professor at University of Pittsburgh's school of public health, discussed naturally existing bacteria being able to ingest and break down some of the oil chemical compounds. "These oil-metabolizing bacteria require oxygen," reads the summary. "An increase in their numbers caused by a large food source could result in an even larger dead zone, which has potentially indirect consequences for human health."
"As elaborated throughout the workshop, there are many unanswered questions about at-risk populations, potential hazards (including exposures) to human health, the potential effects of these hazards, and how best to minimize hazards," says the report.
According to the Institute of Medicine, some of the uncertainty "stems from the enormity and unprecedented magnitude and scope of the disaster."
As the report notes, the workshop was just the beginning of a long, perhaps decades-long, discussion that public health officials, scientists, and community leaders will need to have to fully grapple with the health effects of the spill.

Raw Milk Alternatives
by Cookson Beecher | Aug 12, 2010
Western Washington dairy farmers Vic and Judy Jensen were just days away from becoming raw milk producers. Their herd had been inspected, and the state had licensed the dairy to start selling raw milk.
But then, something stopped them in their tracks: An E. coli outbreak linked to raw milk from a nearby dairy sickened several people.
Raw milk is milk that hasn't gone through pasteurization, a process that heats milk to high enough temperatures to kill pathogens that can sicken or kill people.
Judy said the outbreak, which occurred about 3 years ago, had them going back to the drawing board and double-thinking their plans.
"We knew the dairy," she said. "It was as clean and neat as a pin."
"We decided it was just too risky," Vic said. "We didn't want to get anyone sick."
Swamped by low dairy prices but still in search of a way to keep their farm from going under, the Jensen family did some "exhaustive research" and hit upon another idea: processing their own milk and selling it direct.
The farm was already making and selling farmstead cheese under the brand name Golden Glen Creamery, which enjoyed an excellent reputation for its products.
But this time, instead of turning to raw milk as a solution, the Jensens brought in a pasteurizer that does what is referred to as "vat pasteurization" or "low-temperature vat pasteurization."
Unlike standard pasteurization, which is designed to handle huge volumes of milk at high temperatures, vat pasteurization heats the milk at lower temperatures but for a longer length of time. As part of the process, the milk is held at 145 degrees F for 30 minutes and then cooled as quickly as possible.
Proponents of this method say the milk is of a higher quality and tastes better than milk put through standard pasteurization, which typically involves several handling procedures in which it's separated into milk and cream, homogenized, and reformulated.
"It doesn't bruise the milk," Judy said, referring to vat-pasteurization. "It tastes better when it's pasteurized this way."
Another selling point is that the dairy doesn't homogenize its milk.
Homogenization breaks up the fat globules in the cream into such a small size that they remain suspended in the milk, a procedure that some dairy experts and dairy consumers say results in a flatter-tasting product.
Golden Glen has a cream separator and in addition to several flavors and kinds of milk, sells cream and four kinds of butter. A half-gallon of milk sells for $4.
Going one step further in tapping into consumer interest in buying farm-fresh milk from local dairies, which is often coupled with a yearning to return to "the good old days" when a thick layer of cream topped each bottle of milk, the Jensens sell their milk and cream in glass bottles.
"That's a real selling point," Vic said.
Customers pay $2 for each bottle but don't have to pay that deposit fee again as long as they return the bottles when they stock up on more milk or cream.
The dairy, which produces 450 to 500 gallons of vat-pasteurized milk each day, sells its milk, cream, egg nog, butter, and cheeses to stores and grocery chains in the Puget Sound area, among them Whole Foods, Puget Consumers Co-op, Red Apple, and Thriftway.
The dairy also sells direct to customers at farmers markets. And on weekends, people often drive up from Seattle or other cities in the area to visit the farm and buy its milk and dairy products.
"We do our best to show them what we do," Vic said. "They want a connection with the farm."
And while the older customers say they like the dairy's milk because it reminds them of the milk they drank when they were growing up, young families also seek it out.
"People often tell us that now that their kids have tasted our milk, they won't drink any other," Judy said.
Vic has had people tell him that they quit drinking milk "until we found yours."
When looking at the strength of the market, both Vic and Judy say they know they could sell anything they could bottle. And Vic also believes that would be true if they sold raw milk.
But whether the milk is raw or pasteurized, he emphasizes that cleanliness of the cows and dairy is of the utmost importance.
Like the Jensens, farmers across the country have crafted and are crafting strategies to satisfy strong consumer demand for milk from local farms. And while some dairy farmers have made good headway in tapping into this movement by selling raw milk, other dairy farmers are looking at alternatives that don't involve raw milk.
In his search for an alternative to raw milk, Steven Judge, a former Vermont dairy farmer, has designed and built an on-farm pasteurizer for small herds that uses what he says is a "gentler" process than standard pasteurization.
Under the Bob-While System (left), cold milk is gently pumped through the system's heat exchanger at a gallon per minute, where it's heated to 163 degrees and held at that temperature for 20 seconds.
The milk is then rapidly cooled back down as it flows into a small bulk tank where it's further cooled and stored.
Under this system, the milk is not homogenized, separated, or standardized. Judge said that handling the milk as little as possible safeguards more of the milk's nutritional value and cream content, as well as its farm-fresh flavor.
On the health front, Judge said that lab testing of 50 different nutritional components--among them vitamins, fructose, glucose, proteins, saturated fat, linoleic acid, and fiber--revealed that milk pasteurized with his system compared favorably with raw milk.
"There's very, very little nutritional degradation," he said. "We're trying to create the closest thing possible to raw milk."
Referring to the various handling procedures standard pasteurized milk goes through, Judge said that by the time the milk goes into a carton, it's been "roughed up a lot." And because the flavor of milk is very sensitive, when the fat molecules are damaged, they release an "off flavor."
So why do people buy it?
"Most people don't know what real milk tastes like, so they don't have any way to make a comparison," Judge said. "When people taste our milk, they say it tastes like ice cream."
On his own farm, which is now a research facility, Judge milks four Jersey cows and typically gets 20 gallons a day, which is fed to calves and provided to nearby pig farms.
"We could supply 60 people with the milk we produce," he said.
And while he doesn't see his pasteurizing system as a "silver bullet" for dairy farmers struggling with low prices, he does see it as a good option for those with very small or micro-herds as small as 4 cows or less.
Judge said that in designing his system, the goal wasn't to see how big a dairy it could serve.
"Our goal was to see how small we could get while still offering a positive cash flow," he said.
When all costs but labor, which can be done by the farm family, are factored in, and with the milk priced at $5 per gallon, Judge said a farmer could make a profit of $5,000 a year. With his system priced at under $20,000, it would take only about 4 years to pay it off.
Tomorrow Food Safety News will look more closely at small-scale pasteurization, with interviews from milk producers, a state department of agriculture representative, and a university extension specialist.

South Royalton, VT Company Unveils On-the-Farm Pasteurization System for Farmstead and Micro Dairies
Posted on August 4, 2010 by Bill Marler
Brand New Choice: Raw Milk OR Pasteurized Directly on Farm
08.03.2010 ? South Royalton, VT ? From this August forward, there are now two options for farm fresh milk ? raw OR gently pasteurized directly on the farm with the Bob-White Low Impact Farmstead Pasteurization System.
The company¡¯s website launched this week at In honor of this positive news, Bob-White Systems will be holding an open house at the storefront located on the town green in South Royalton, Vermont the entire week of August 23, 9:00 ? 4:00 daily. Special events will be planned for Wednesday, August 25 including the opportunity to meet a Bob-White System¡¯s Jersey cow on the Town Green, live music, and other fun surprises.
Small herd or micro dairy farmers struggling with the commercial dairy industry can now explore an affordable alternative which offers diversification and eliminates over-production ? did you know four grazing hillside cows can supply up to 60 families with farm fresh milk?
Farmsteaders and homesteaders seeking to round out building a business based on commitments to localvore food production can now help provide their communities with locally produced milk by the cows who live there, instead of having the milk trucked out of state.
Farm fresh milk producers now have the choice to produce either raw milk or milk pasteurized directly on the farm, or a combination of the two ? but the choice is now theirs to make.
The Bob-White Pasteurization System has been in use at the company¡¯s farmstead dairy research facility located in Royalton Village since March of 2008. The pasteurizer gently pumps the cold milk through its heat exchanger at a gallon per minute, where it is heated to 163 degrees and held at that temperature for 20 seconds. The milk is then rapidly cooled back down as it flows into a small bulk tank, where it is further cooled and stored. The milk is not homogenized, separated or standardized, which safeguards more of the milk¡¯s nutritional value and cream content, as well as its farm fresh flavor. It does an excellent job of eliminating the harmful bacteria in milk, regardless of the bacteria levels found in the raw milk and it has absolutely no impact on the milk¡¯s flavor. In addition, the texture of the cream and the ability to utilize the milk for yogurt, butter and other dairy products is unaltered.
The current raw milk legislation does not include regulatory accommodations for farm fresh pasteurized milk and Bob-White Systems is seeking awareness vehicles statewide to help obtain such accommodations for milk processed with the Bob-White Pasteurization System to be able to be sold direct from the farm in the same fashion as raw milk. Such policy enhancements will open up an entire new economic, community, and localvore food opportunity for Vermont dairy farmers and those who want to be dairy farmers.
Bob-White Systems¡¯ Open House Week ? August 23 ? 27
Brand New Website ?!

New test developed to detect melamine in milk products
By Guy Montague-Jones, 09-Aug-2010
Chinese scientists claim to have developed a quick and simple colour change test to detect melamine in milk products.
The search for a rapid and effective test for melamine was made a priority following the contamination scandal in 2008, when tainted milk powder killed six children and sickened an estimated 300,000.
Writing in the peer-reviewed Talanta journal, researchers, funded by the Chinese Ministry of Health, said existing methods of detection offer a high degree of sensitivity but can be costly, time consuming and labour intensive.
In their search for a simpler alternative, they developed a colorimetric method using gold nanoparticles. The test relies on the fact that when gold nanoparticles approach each other and aggregate, their colour changes from wine red to purple (blue). Because melamine kicks off this process, gold nanoparticles can be used as colorimetric probes to test for the toxin.
The proposed testing method can be used to test for melamine in liquid milk and infant formula with a detection limit of 1.0 ppm and 4.2 ppm respectively, relying on naked eye observation alone. And with UV-vis-spectroscopy, these limits can be improved to 0.15 ppm of melamine in liquid milk and 2.5 ppm in infant formula.
The test can be completed within 30 minutes and can be carried out without any need for pretreatment.
The study authors said: ¡°The proposed method is promising for on-site screening of melamine adulterant in milk products.¡±
The scientists said their method offers obvious advantages such as a short analysis time and a low cost. In addition, it does not require any advanced instruments or solid phase extraction.
Although it is less sensitive than many other tests, the authors said it is sufficiently sensitive to detect melamine in milk-based products at levels desired by regulatory bodies.
In Europe and the US the safety limit for melamine has been set at 2.5mg kg?1 and in China the limit is set at 1mg kg?1 for infant formula and 2.5mg kg?1 for other dairy products.

CDC investigating two salmonella outbreaks
by Tina Redlup on August 9, 2010
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun investigating two salmonella outbreaks that have been ongoing since April.
The CDC, working in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and public health officials from several states, is investigating the multistate outbreaks of Salmonella Hartford and Salmonella Baildon, Food Safety News reports.
The two separate outbreaks have been associated with a Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain's food. The unnamed restaurant chain has been implicated, the CDC reports, but the specific source of the salmonella - a particular food item or supplier - has not been identified.
Approximately 75 individuals infected with a strain of Salmonella Hartford have been reported from 15 states since April 1, 2010, the CDC reports. An additional 80 people infected with Salmonella Baildon have been reported from 15 states since May 1, 2010,.
As part of the investigation, a significant effort has been made to find a common source of the salmonella but has, to date, been unsuccessful in determining the bacteria's origin.
Both Salmonella Hartford and Salmonella Baildon are rare serotypes of salmonella bacteria. Salmonella, when ingested, results in such symptoms as diarrhea, abdominal cramps,f ever, nausea and vomiting.

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