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with 5th International Conference
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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
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
Clearing-up some misconceptions
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,"
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
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
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
The farm was already making and selling farmstead cheese under the brand
name Golden Glen Creamery, which enjoyed an excellent reputation for
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
"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
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
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 www.bobwhitesystems.com.
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 ? www.bobwhitesystems.com!
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
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
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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