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Drug Resistant Bacteria Found in Nation's Meat and Poultry?
Source :
By Joe Frasca (02, May, 2011)

EMSL Analytical provides food testing services for Staphylococcus aureus and other pathogens to protect consumers and industry.
Cinnaminson, NJ
Last month it was reported that a new study discovered that the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, is found widely in the nation's meat and poultry. The study found that 47% of the 136 samples taken from 26 retail stores in 5 cities across the nation were contaminated with S. aureus. It also reported that 52% of the bacteria were resistant to at least 3 classes of antibiotics.
Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive spherical bacterium which on microscopic examination appears in pairs, short chains, or as bunched, grape-like clusters. Some strains are capable of producing a highly heat-stable protein toxin that causes illness in humans.
Foods that are frequently incriminated in staphylococcal food poisoning include meat and meat products; poultry and egg products; salads such as egg, tuna, chicken, potato, and macaroni; bakery products such as cream-filled pastries, cream pies, and chocolate eclairs; sandwich fillings; and milk and dairy products. Foods that require considerable handling during preparation and that are kept at slightly elevated temperatures after preparation are also frequently involved in staphylococcal food poisoning.
EMSL Analytical, one of the nation's largest food pathogen testing laboratories, has extensive expertise in testing for Staphylococcus aureus and other dangerous food pathogens. "Staphylococci exist in air, dust, sewage, water, milk and food as well as on food equipment, environmental surfaces, humans and animals," reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL. "Humans and animals are the primary reservoirs. Although food handlers are usually the main source of food contamination in food poisoning outbreaks, equipment and environmental surfaces can also be sources of contamination from the bacteria," he continued.

Food poisoning case highlights egg risk?
Source :
By editor (03, May, 2011)

Eggs have again been highlighted as an ingredient that needs great care to avoid food safety risks with a home cook being fined $20,000 as a result of an incident of mass food poisoning at a NSW club in 2009.
An investigation by the NSW Food Authority determined the presence of salmonella in various foods served at a function at the Kensington Bowling Club with the most likely cause of contamination being a raw whole-egg mayonnaise used in a salad.
The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper today reported that the Zambrano family had been regulars at weekly South American community gatherings at the club a Latin-American music, food and dance event.
When the regular caterer left Mrs Mercedes Zambrano, was invited to provide the food.
More than 50 people later fell ill with salmonella poisoning at a barbecue at the club in November 2009 and Mrs Zambrano was fined $9600 and ordered to pay $11,000 in costs.
In hearing the matter in the Local Court, Magistrate Gregory Hart said it was "important to alert [people] conducting food businesses, including part-time food businesses associated with community activities, that the requirements of the Food Act 2003 and the standards set by the Food Standards Code must be complied with".
The NSW Food Authority has regularly warned cooks about the dangers of using raw egg, and in 2010 also introduced stringent new food safety laws covering NSW businesses that produce, grade or process eggs and egg related products for sale.
In 2009 the owners of a Homebush bakery were fined $42,000 for causing what was labelled the worst food poisoning outbreak in NSW in an incident that was also found to be caused by the use of a egg in a raw egg mayonnaise.

United States takes precautions in food safety
Source :
By Susan M. Jackson (29, Apr, 2011)

The recent earthquake disaster in Japan has raised many questions within the United States as to the safety of food imported from Japan. Here are some questions and answers from the Food and Drug Administration.
What food products come to the US from Japan?
Food imported from Japan make up less than 4 percent of foods imported from all sources. The most common food products imported from Japan include seafood, snack foods, and processed fruits and vegetables. Dairy products make up only one-tenth of 1 percent of all FDA regulated products imported from Japan.
Is there any reason for concern about radiation from these products when they are imported into the United States?
There are no concerns for products that were already in transit when the explosion occurred at the reactor. Right now, due to the damage to the Japanese infrastructure, FDA believes export activity is severely limited. FDA is monitoring all import records for Japan to determine when importation will resume.
How does the FDA protect the US food supply?
There are more than 900 investigators and 450 analysts in FDA's Foods program who conduct inspections and collect and analyze product samples. The FDA oversees the importation of regulated products, including foods and animal feed, among other responsibilities. The agency carries out targeted, those that may pose a significant public health threat, risk based analyses of imports at points of entry. Although the FDA doesn't physically inspect every product, the agency electronically screens 100 percent of imported food products before they reach our borders.
What are the current procedures for measuring radiation contamination in food?
The FDA has procedures and laboratory techniques for measuring radionucide levels in food, and can also use the Food Emergency Response Network, FERN. FERN integrates the nation's food testing laboratories at the local, state and federal levels into a network that is able to respond to emergencies involving biological, chemical or radiological contamination of food.
FDA is working with Customs and Border Protection, CBP, to share resources and techniques for measuring contamination. FDA and other domestic regulatory labs have validated analytical methods to detect radiological contamination in food.
How will the radiation affect fish and seafood that have not yet been fished or harvested?
The quantity of water in the Pacific Ocean is great enough to rapidly and effectively dilute radioactive material, so fish and seafood are likely to be unaffected. However, FDA is taking all steps to evaluate and measure any contamination in fish presented for import into the United States.
Susan M. Jackson is the Harvey County Extension agent, family and consumer sciences and community development.

Food Safety Modernization Act Part 1-6 - VIDEOS
FDA Import Requirements and Compliance: Part 1
FDA Import Requirements and Compliance: Part 2
FDA Import Requirements and Compliance: Part 3
FDA Import Requirements and Compliance: Part 4
FDA Import Requirements and Compliance: Part 5
FDA Import Requirements and Compliance: Part 6

Consumer survey finds growing food safety concerns
Source :
By Caroline Scott-Thomas (03, May, 2011)

Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of Americans are more concerned now about the food they eat than they were five years ago, according to a Deloitte survey that gives a snapshot of how the public views the US food supply.
Deloitte commissioned an independent research company to gauge the opinion of 1,050 Americans at the beginning of March for its annual Consumer Food and Products Insight Survey.
Among its results, the survey found that interest in the healthiness of foods continues to increase, up five percentage points from 2010, and the number one concern for consumers. However, as several high profile food recalls have hit the headlines in recent years, safety concerns have skyrocketed, with 49 percent of respondents saying that safety of foods and food ingredients is a top concern, compared to 36 percent a year ago.
Communication shift
Although most respondents said communication of product recall information should be the responsibility of manufacturers and the government, at 73 percent and 69 percent respectively, Deloitte said that consumers appear to be shifting toward placing more responsibility on those they trust more and can connect with directly, such as other consumers (27 percent vs. 19 percent last year) and advocacy groups (35 percent vs. 23 percent last year).
"With consumers insisting on more transparency about the safety and origin of their products, companies should take initiative and work closer with consumers to help build advocates of their own," Deloitte said. "Advocates typically spend more on the products they closely associate with, so, why wouldn't a company respond to consumers' concerns, thereby creating greater benefits for all involved?"
Food Safety Modernization Act
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The survey also provides one of the first indications of public opinion following the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act into law in January this year.
Despite growing consumer concern about food safety, 68 percent of respondents said they were not familiar at all with the new food safety legislation, and only one quarter (25 percent ) were happy with it, agreeing that the system needed to be updated and the Food Safety Modernization Act addresses that need.
Meanwhile, 17 percent agreed that the system needed to be updated but think that the new legislation does not go far enough or does not address the right issues; 8 percent said that no additional legislation was necessary; and 3 percent said that existing regulations should have been scaled back. Nearly half (47 percent) said they have yet to form an opinion on the legislation.
Private label
The survey also touched on consumer attitudes to private label - or store brand - products. While 58 percent of respondents said they had increased their purchases of private label products during the recession, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) said that in 2011 they were not returning to national brands and intend to continue buying private label products.

2010-2011 Legislative Session: Raw Milk Bills and Related Legislation - Four down, Eight more to go
Source :
By Bill Marler (30, April , 2011)

2010 and 2011 seem to have been busy times for the attempted expansion of the raw milk industry. For California, Iowa, Wyoming, and as of a few days ago Washington, the march towards unpasteurized milk sales has slowed. However, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wisconsin are still in play. (PDF with legislation links).
Many of the Representatives and Senators have appreciated the facts at Real Raw Milk Facts, as have a few Governors - they really like the Raw Milk Videos. Politicians do not want to be known for creating more videos, or enlarging my bank account - well, unless they want to ask for a donation.

CDC Links Salmonella Outbreak to Lab Work
Source :
By News Desk (29, Apr, 2011)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday that it is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections. A preliminary analysis indicates the outbreak may be the result of exposure in clinical and teaching microbiology laboratories.
As of April 20, the CDC said 73 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 35 states. There has been one death and at least 10 people have been hospitalized. Several of those sickened are children who live with someone who works or studies in a microbiology lab.
The CDC said that during an epidemiologic study in February and March, 32 people were quizzed about possible exposures in the week before they became ill. Investigators compared their answers to a control group of 64 individuals of similar age previously reported to state health departments with other illnesses.
The investigators found that the ill persons (60%) were significantly more likely than the control persons (2%) to report a connection to a microbiology laboratory.
Many of those infected were either students in microbiology teaching laboratories or employees in clinical microbiology laboratories. Several said they worked specifically with Salmonella bacteria in microbiology laboratories.
The New Mexico Department of Health found that the outbreak strain was indistinguishable from a commercially available Salmonella Typhimurium strain used in several of the laboratories, according to the CDC.
"These data suggest this strain is the source of some of these illnesses," the CDC said, adding that "several children who live in households with a person who works or studies in a microbiology laboratory have become ill with the outbreak strain."
Illness onset dates have generally ranged form Aug. 20, 2010 to March 8, 2011. The number of new cases has declined substantially during the past several weeks, the agency said.
The CDC advised people who work with Salmonella bacteria in microbiology laboratories to watch for symptoms of Salmonella infection, such as diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. They should contact a health care provider if they or family members have any of these symptoms.
The agency also recommended that non-pathogenic (attenuated) bacteria strains should be used when possible, especially in teaching laboratories, to help reduce the risk of students or their family members becoming ill.
All students and employees using laboratories should be trained in biosafety practices, the agency emphasized, such as proper handwashing, not allowing lab coats to leave the lab, and not allow food, drinks or personal items like car keys or cell phones to be used while working in the laboratory or placed on laboratory work surfaces.

MAP is best defense against E. coli in shredded lettuce, says USDA
Source :
By Guy Montague-Jones (03, May, 2011)

Scientists at the USDA have found that modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) provides consumers with the best protection against the food safety threat of E. coli in shredded lettuce.
Writing in the Journal of Food Protection, scientists at the USDA Agricultural Research Service sought to determine the impact of different packaging options and storage temperatures on the development of E. coli in fresh cut lettuce.
The scientists looked specifically at E. coli O157:H7 - a strain of the bacterium that has caused food poisoning in leafy greens. And under the microscope were three packaging types; MAP conditions in gas-permeable film with N2, near-ambient conditions in a gas-permeable film with microperforations, and high CO2 and low O2 conditions in a gas-impermeable film.
Research results
They found that MAP conditions did not promote increased virulence of E. coli while the other two pack types, with ambient air conditions, were associated with higher expression of virulence factors. And this held true at 4oC as well as 15oC.
One of the study authors, Manan Sharma, told "The implication for the industry is that current packaging conditions (MAP) do not promote increased virulence of E. coli O157:H7."
But the research microbiologist warned that once packs of lettuce are opened consumers need to be aware that potential danger levels are higher.
"Opened packages of lettuce that are temperature-abused (stored at elevated temperature at 15oC) may allow bacteria to become potentially more virulent than under the commercial MAP conditions.
"Bags that are not completely consumed should be stored at appropriate temperatures in household refrigerators so as to minimize temperature abuse and also potential increased virulence of E. coli O157:H7 on contaminated lettuce."
Increase in outbreaks
Leafy greens, such as shredded lettuce, have been flagged up as a problem area in food safety. An investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2008 found that, between 1996 and 2006, food borne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens increased 39 per cent.
The government agency said part of this growth may be explained by a 9 per cent increase in consumption of leafy greens. But that does not explain the full increase. It recommended that federal agencies study the supply chain from farm to fork to determine how to reduce risk.
Source: Journal of Food Protection
Vol. 74, No. 5, 2011, Pages 718-726
Effect of Modified Atmosphere Packaging on the Persistence and Expression of Virulence Factors of Escherichia coli O157:H7 on Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
Authors: Manan Sharma, Sudesna Lakshman, Sean Ferguson, David T Ingram, Yaguang Luo, and Jitu Patel

6th International Conference for
Food Safety and Quality

November 8-9, 2011
Holiday Inn Chicago O'Hare Hotel
5615 North Cumberland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60631

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
Conference Place: Holiday Inn (Conference Room)

7:00 - 8:30 Registration and Breakfast (Juice, Tea, Coffee) and Poster Display
(***Exhibitors displaying time : 7:00-9:00 AM***)

8:40 - 9:00 Opening Announcement

Section A. Importance of Detection Methods for Food Safety and Quality

9:00 - 9:50 - The Importance of detection methods for food safety and quality

Michael Doyle
University of Georgia

9:50 - 10:40 - Advanced Detection methods for food safety and quality

Mansel Griffiths
University of Geulph
Editor of AEM

10:40 - 11:00 -
Coffee Break in Exhibitors' Section

11:00 - 11:50 - Current Foodborne Outbreak and legal issues

William D. Marler, Esq.
MarlerClark attorneys at Law

11:50 - 12:00: Exhibitos Presentation and GROUP PICTURE

12:00 - 1:00: Lunch buffet will be supported (Holiday Inn, Dinning Room)

Section B. Detection methods for Food Allergen Residues

1:00 - 1:50 - Detection of Food Allergen Residues in Processed Foods and Food Processing Facilities

Stephen Taylor
University of Nebraska
Director - Food Allergy Research and Resource Program

1:50 - 2:20 - Rapid Testing for Allergen Control Programs
Presentation by Ryan Waters
Charm Science

2:20 - 2:30 - Break / Visit Companies' Booth

Section C. Molecular/Immunoassay methods for Detection of Microbiological and Chemical hazards

2:30 - 3:10 - Costco Way for Food Safety and Quality

Robin Forgey
Food Safety Quality Manager

3:10 - 3:50 -
Novel biosensor technologies for high throughput screening of pathogens and toxins

A. Bhurnia
Professor, Purdue University


3:50 - 4:10- Innovative detection methods with immunoassay based method
Presented by SDI

4:10 -4:30 - Novel nucleic acid testing methods for industrial applications
Presented by Roka Bioscience

4:30 - 5:30 - Panel Discussion (All key speakers will be joined)

Stan Bailey
2008 IAFP President, bioMerieux

- Adjourn

Wed. November 9, 2011
Conference Place: Holiday Inn (Conference Room)

7:00 - 8:30 Registration and Breakfast (Juice, Tea, Coffee) and Poster Display
8:40 - 9:00 Poster Competition Award

Section D. Importance of conventional/biochemical detection methods for Food safety and Quality

9:00 - 9:40 - Rapid Methods/Automation and a Look into the Future

Daniel Y.C. Fung
Director of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology Workshop (KSU)
Professor, Kansas State University

9:40 - 10:20 -
Rapid Methods and Automation Workshop for 30 years

P.C. Vasavada
Director of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology Workshop (UW)
Professor, University of Wisconsin

10:20 - 10:40 - Coffee Break in Exhibitors' Section

10:40 - 10:50 - Presentation Title from Company presentation


11:00 - 11:30 - New demands for Rapid and Automative Detection Methods for Food Safety

Stan Bailey
2008 IAFP President, bioMerieux


11:30 - 12:00 - Rapid methods for monitoring microbial numbers for food industries

Gregory Siragusa
Senior Principal Scientist
Danisco USA


12:00 -12:20 - Innovative methods for detection of microbiological/chemical hazards for food safety

Dupont Qualicon

12:20 - 1:30
- Lunch buffet will be supported (Holiday Inn, Dinning Room)

Section E. Impacts of Advanced/Conventional Detection methods on Food Industries

1:30 - 2:10 - Impact of detection methods for food industries

Robert Koeritzer
2006 AOAC President

2:10 - 2:30 - Coffee Break in Exhibitors' Section

2:30 - 3:10 - The importance of detection procedures for food safety by 3rd party

Erdogan Ceylan
Director, Silliker

3:10 - 4:00 Application of Rapid Methods for Food Industries

Paul Hall
IAFP President (2004)
President, AIV Consulting LLC.

4:00 - 4:30 - Attendees' Certificate / Adjourn

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