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7/1
2011
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E. coli O104:H4 cares nothing for Country Borders
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/e-coli-o104h4-cares-nothing-for-country-borders/
By_ Bill Marler (28, June, 2011)

My flight got cancelled today to Boston where I was to spend time with one of the six United States E. coli O104:H4 cases. As I passed through airport security before I headed back to the office, I thought about how difficult national and international travel has become post 9-11. Not so for bacteria.
As of today the European Union reported 885 HUS cases, including 31 deaths, and 3,138 non-HUS cases, including 17 deaths, have so far been reported (total 48 deaths and 4,023 ill - likely far more) from the German E. coli O104:H4 outbreak. The latest known date of onset of diarrhea for cases is June 22 (likely secondary transmission from primary cases). The United States reported 5 illnesses (3 with HUS) and 1 possible death.
Last Friday, France reported a cluster of at least 12 patients with bloody diarrhea, who had participated in an event in the commune of B?gles around Bordeaux on June 8. As of June 27, nine people have been hospitalized. Eight of these have developed HUS. The ninth hospitalized case has bloody diarrhea but not HUS, and epidemiological investigations have shown no link with the event in B?gles. In three cases, infection with E. coli O104:H4 (the German strain) has been confirmed.
French authorities are investigating this new cluster of STEC. Six of the cases reported having eaten sprouts at the event on June 8, and leftovers are currently being analyzed. These suspected sprouts were locally produced, and were not imported from the farm implicated in the outbreak in Germany, but from a British company, Thompson & Morgan who allegedly sourced seed from Italy (not known if Thompson & Morgan are in anyway connect to supplying seed to the German organic sprouter).
In addition, Swedish health authorities say they have identified the first domestic case of E. coli O104:H4 infection. The Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control says it's the first case in Sweden without any direct link to Germany. It remains unclear how the patient was infected. The agency has now started an investigation to trace the source of the infection.
Also today, Danish health authorities said 23 people in Denmark have been infected, including a 24-year-old who had no direct link to Germany. The case was reported last month and it remained unclear how the patient was infected.
Still confusing as to the source of the E. coli O104:H4? Ill workers, contaminated water, contaminated seed, secondary cases? All vectors are still, unlike me, up in the air.

E.coli crisis could prompt interest in irradiation for salads, IAEA
Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/E.coli-crisis-could-prompt-interest-in-irradiation-for-salads-IAEA
By _Helen Glaberson, (28. Jun, 2011)

The recent E.coli outbreak is likely to renew interest in the irradiation of salads, although it is too early to tell if it will lead to generic approval across the EU, according to an irradiation specialist from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
This is what happened in the US, where irradiation was approved as a treatment for killing pathogens on spinach and lettuce following an E. coli scare in 2006, Carl Blackburn, food irradiation specialist at the IAEA told FoodProductionDaily.com.
The issue has once again raced up the food safety agenda in the aftermath of the deadly outbreak of E.coli 104:H4 originating in Germany that has so far killed 47 and sickened around 4,000 people.
Irradiation using low dosage treatments would be beneficial especially if used in combination with washing and packaging technology, said Blackburn.
The technique destroys microbial populations, reduces the need for chemical pesticides and fumigants, and does not impair the flavour of the produce, said the specialist, whose division AGE is the joint IAEA/FAO division for Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.
Drawbacks
But although some European countries already approve the use of irradiation for salads and the science is well developed, there are drawbacks related to implementation on a fully commercial scale, Blackburn explained.
Firstly, he said there is limited capacity, with few irradiation facilities that treat food for the EU market.
Most of these are multipurpose irradiators, said the specialist, geared towards irradiating medical products which in contrast to salads require high levels of treatment.
In the EU, there are less than 30 food irradiation facilities, he said, with another 10 facilities in non-EU countries which are allowed to irradiate food for the European Market.
"I don't think any have considered irradiating salads and I doubt many of these treatment facilities are situated close to major salad producers," said Blackburn.
In addition, there is also a regulatory hurdle in the region, he said. Although several EU countries such as France, the UK and the Netherlands can allow a wide range of foods to be irradiated for sale to consumers, most EU countries only allow the irradiation of dried aromatic herbs, spices and vegetable seasonings.
European law concerning which foods can be irradiated has yet to be fully harmonised, he said.
Consumer perceptions
The specialist also said that, despite any private enthusiasm for the technique from the European food industry, he felt that no one wanted to be the first to embrace the technology in public.
"EU law requires that irradiated-food is labelled as irradiated or treated with ionising radiation. My feeling is that major retailers are unwilling to stock such labelled products, fearing customers will mistakenly associate the wording as a warning rather than view it positively."
Former EFSA chairman Professor Patrick Wall also agreed that consumers remained sceptical about the use of irradiation for food products.
"Our anecdotal experience has been that food businesses are reluctant to adopt the technology due to concerns that consumers would choose not to buy their products if they are irradiated," he told this publication.
"Rather than think of it as a first cousin of their microwave many of them think of Chernobyl," he said.
"With salads, the words people think of are fresh, wholesome and natural and irradiation as a technology does not sit well here."
Misinformation
A spokesperson for FSA told FoodProductionDaily.com it is difficult to get the facts across about irradiation when there is a large amount of "misinformation", particularly on the internet, with a small number of "very vocal groups" opposed to its wider use.
"It is also difficult to judge what the general consumers' attitude would really be when there is no practical experience of seeing irradiated foods for sale on the UK market," said the authority.
"It is worth noting that irradiation is widely used in sterilising medical devices and pharmaceutical products without the same level of negative publicity."
The spokesperson said it was difficult to know if the E.coli outbreak would change people's perceptions about the technique.
"Over the past few years, the US has had a number of high profile cases of food poisoning by E. coli which have been followed by promotion of irradiation in some sections of the media, while some irradiated foods are now on sale in the US, the market remains very small," said the spokesperson.
The future for irradiation
Despite the potential drawbacks of irradiation as a decontamination technique, Blackburn said he was hopeful for the future, as recent advances in food irradiation technology include the development of commercial scale X-ray facilities.
"Maybe the use of X-rays generated by machine (rather than gamma irradiation which relies on radiation emitted from radioactive sources) could in future play a role," he said.
Parts of the food industry already use low powered X-rays to detect bone fragments in meat products therefore, the use of more powerful X-ray machines to treat salad might be viewed favourably, said the specialist.
"The issue with labelling may persist, but hopefully people will begin to view the technology favourably or at least understand that it doesn't mean the food is radioactive, but it means that the food has been zapped," he said.
The IAEA works for "the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology", running and supporting research centers and scientific laboratories in Vienna and Seibersdorf, Austria; Monaco; and Trieste, Italy.

How Do Sprouts Become Contaminated in the First Place?
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/how-do-sprouts-become-contaminated-in-the-first-place/
By_ Colin Caywood (27, June, 2011)

Today yet another announcement about the dangers of consuming sprouts has been circulating in the news, this time regarding the FDA's warning to consumers to avoid Evergreen Produce brand sprouts due to Salmonella contamination. It is very timely, then, that CNN has just published an article detailing why sprouts are considered such a high risk food.
Unfortunately, according to a CBC-commissioned study led by Kevin Allen, a microbiology professor at the University of British Columbia, the warm, moist conditions that are conducive to growing bumper crops of sprouts are also an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. In his test of 44 samples of pre-packaged sprouts (as well as 48 of leafy greens and 58 of various 58 herbs), "Over 78% of sprouts had levels of microorganisms too numerous to count. In addition, one sample was contaminated with generic E. coli and nearly all samples had enterococci detected, including E. faecalis and E. faecium."
The report continues, "Although high levels of microorganisms in sprouts were expected, the extensive detection of enterococci and potential significance are not well documented in scientific literature. Enterococcus spp. are inherently resistant to some antibiotics, and are known for their ability to acquire and subsequently disseminate antibiotic resistance genes to other bacteria. As such, the observed high levels of contamination in sprouts (93%), as well as herbs (79%) and spinach (50%), warrants further investigation, and may present an issue in the dissemination of antimicrobial resistance through foodborne means."
So how does that bacteria get there in the first place? Attorney and food safety advocate Bill Marler tells Eatocracy that the most likely factors are either from contamination at the seed level as plants grow out in manure-enriched fields and spread contamination across crops, or in the sprouting facilities themselves.
In one case investigated from the end of 2010 through the early months of 2011 after an outbreak that sickened 140 people with Salmonella at Jimmy John's sandwich shop chain, workers at the Tiny Greens Organic Farm in Urbana, Illinois were found to have tracked compost pile runoff from the front of the facility inside to the production area. This was far from the only hygiene violation at the facility and the FDA issued a warning letter informing the public of the danger.
When salmonella changes your life
Information, Marler asserts, is indeed the public's best defense against illness. "We've got to a point where we need to give consumers far more warning," he says. "The counterargument to risk is benefit - and that's where consumers get confused. There's evidence that broccoli sprouts have anti-cancer qualities. There are other cancer preventatives that don't require broccoli sprouts. Yes, raw milk contains pro-biotics, but so does yogurt."
The other E. coli threat? Raw milk
While Marler advocates personal responsibility on the consumer end, saying, "Knowing that some of these foods can cause harm, people must be vigilant about how and where they get them and how they use them," he also believes that producers must keep the public safe and their facilities hygenic.
"Sprouters need to be held accountable for not using science that they know works, to protect consumers," he says, referring to chemical sprays that have been used effectively to decontaminate seeds and stop the spread of harmful bacteria.
Evergreen Produce, while not currently producing sprouts, has yet to issue a recall for any of its products.

FDA Warns Public Not to Consume Sprouts from Evergreen Produce
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/fda-warns-public-not-to-consume-sprouts-from-evergreen-produce/
By_ Claire Mitchell (27, June, 2011)

The FDA is warning consumers not to eat alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts from plastic bags labeled "Evergreen Produce" or "Evergreen Produce Inc." The sprouts are possibly linked to 20 reported cases, including one hospitalization, of Salmonella Enteritidis in Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota and Washington State.
The possibly contaminated alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts are sold in plastic bags labeled "Evergreen Produce" or "Evergreen Produce Inc." The alfalfa sprouts are packaged in 4-ounce and 16-ounce plastic bags with pre-printed labels. They are also packaged in 1-pound and 5-pound plastic bags with stick-on labels. The spicy sprouts are packaged in 4-ounce plastic bags with pre-printed labels and 1-pound plastic bags with stick-on labels. According to FDA, the sprouts were distributed in Idaho, Montana, and Washington State.
Consumers, retailers and others who have alfalfa sprouts or spicy sprouts in plastic bags labeled "Evergreen Produce" or "Evergreen Produce Inc." should discard them in a sealed container so people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them.
FDA is currently investigating the problem in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health agencies in those states where illnesses have occurred. The agencies are urging consumers to consult with their health care providers if they think they may have become ill from eating the possibly contaminated sprouts.
Consumers with questions about sprout safety should contact 1-800-SAFEFOOD.

E coli outbreak leads to French ban on seeds from British firm
Eight people taken to hospital in Bordeaux, with France and Britain examining three types of seeds from Suffolk supplier

Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/25/france-e-coli-british-seeds
By_ David Batty and agencies (25 June 2011)

Food safety officials are investigating a possible link between seeds sold by a British firm and an E coli outbreak in France.
The action by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) comes after France banned the sale of three types of seeds linked to Thompson & Morgan, based in Ipswich, Suffolk.
Eight people affected by E coli have been admitted to hospital in Bordeaux. French officials said the results of tests on two of them showed an infection of the same strain of E coli that killed 44 people and affected 3,700 others, including Britons, in an outbreak centred on Germany.
An investigation by France's competition, consumption and fraud prevention agency found those hospitalised had consumed rocket and mustard vegetable sprouts believed to have been grown from seeds sold by Thompson & Morgan at a school fair in the south-western town of Begles.
Commerce minister Frederic Lefebvre said the ban involved fenugreek, mustard and rocket seeds.
But he added: "The link between the symptoms and eating of the sprouts so far has not been definitively established."
The FSA said it was asking Thompson & Morgan for more information about the seeds. It added that no E coli cases had been reported in the UK.
The agency said in a statement: "We have been in contact with the French authorities about this outbreak and are aware that a UK business has been named in connection with it.
"We have asked for further information from the French authorities with regard to the three named type of seeds to help us carry out investigations in the UK."
It was possible for seeds to carry E coli but the investigation must find out how the seeds were grown, who planted them and how the food was prepared, the FSA said.
The agency added that it was revising its guidance on the consumption of sprouted seeds such as alfalfa, beansprouts and fenugreek in light of the French outbreak.
"As a precaution the agency is advising that sprouted seeds should only be eaten if they have been cooked thoroughly until steaming hot throughout - they should not be eaten raw.
"The agency also advises that equipment which has been used for sprouting seeds should be cleaned thoroughly after use. You should always wash your hands after handling seeds intended for planting or sprouting."
Thompson & Morgan's website describes it as an expert in the garden since 1855.
There is no suggestion of a link to the German E coli outbreak.
Thompson & Morgan told the BBC it sold "thousands of packets and had no reported problems".
"It is highly unlikely to be the seeds themselves but the way that they were used and handled," the company said in a statement.
Managing director Paul Hansord said the firm bought its seeds in bulk from suppliers around the world and those under investigation may have come from Italy.

ADPH Issues Safety Tips for Public Swimming Pools in Light of Recent E. coli Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-information/adph-issues-safety-tips-for-public-swimming-pools-in-light-of-recent-e-coli-outbreak/
By_ Claire Mitchell (24, June, 2011)

Today, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) issued a press release containing safety tips for public pool swimmers in light of the recent E. colioutbreak that sent five children to the hospital. All five children showed signs of severe gastrointestinal illness after they had played in the Splash Park at the Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatic Center between June 12 and June 18. Four of the five children were hospitalized, and three tested positive for E. coli infection.
Currently the pool is closed for further testing and cleaning. In the meantime, ADPH, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is recommending the following healthy swimming guidelines for people using recreational water facilities:
Three steps for all swimmers
1. DO NOT swim when you have diarrhea.
2. AVOID swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools and backyard "kiddie" pools.
3. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.
Three steps for parents of young children
1. Take your children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
2. Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside.
3. Wash your children thoroughly with soap and water before they go swimming.
Individuals may also visit CDC's Healthy Swimming Web site here to learn how to protect themselves and others by following tips for healthy swimming.

Evergreen Produce Sprouts Salmonella Outbreak - We need a Warning
Source:http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/evergreen-produce-sprouts-salmonella-outbreak---we-need-a-warning/
By_ Bill Marler (24, June, 2011)

With well over 40 outbreaks linked to sprouts over the last few decades, it should come as no surprise that Idaho state public health officials are investigating a number of salmonella cases believed to be connected to the consumption of alfalfa sprouts.
The investigation is ongoing and includes 19 ill persons from northern Idaho, eastern Washington and western Montana. Of the persons reported with salmonella infection linked to the outbreak, six have reported consumption of sprouts obtained from a northern Idaho grower, Evergreen Produce, located in Moyie Springs, Idaho.
Idaho public health officials are recommending that people avoid eating sprouts from Evergreen Produce and discard any Evergreen Produce sprouts in their possession while the investigation is ongoing.
Perhaps we need a warning like the one above.
As far back as September 1998, the FDA issued a warning against sprouts urging:
children, pregnant women and the elderly should not eat alfalfa sprouts until growers find a way to reduce the risk of a potentially deadly bacteria that infects some sprouts, the Food and Drug Administration said this week. The FDA, which is investigating sprout industry practices, said children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating sprouts. The agency's statement, issued Monday, repeated similar but little-noticed advice the U.S. Centers for Disease Control gave to doctors and researchers a year ago.
Here is the CDC warning :
Sprouts Not Healthy Food for Everyone
Children, the elderly, and persons whose immune systems are not functioning well should not eat raw sprouts, because current treatments of seeds and sprouts cannot get rid of all bacteria present.
Persons who are at high risk for complications from foodborne illness should probably not eat raw sprouts, according to an article in the current issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, CDC's peer-reviewed journal, which tracks new and reemerging infectious diseases worldwide.
Although sprouts are often considered a "health food," the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria can grow to high levels without affecting the appearance of the sprouts.
Researchers have treated both seeds and sprouts with heat or washed them in solutions of chlorine, alcohol, and other chemicals. Some of these disinfectants reduced the levels of bacteria, but a potential hazard remained, especially for persons with weak immune systems. High temperatures that would kill the bacteria on the seeds would also keep them from sprouting. Until an effective way is found to prevent illness from sprouts, they should be eaten with caution, if at all.
In 2000, I suggested that a warning label be put on sprout packages. And, did I tell you it is "Sprout Month?"

Double Dip Ducklings - And Chicks
Source : http://efoodalert.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/double-dip-ducklings-and-chicks/
By_ foodbuglady (29, June, 2011)

The Salmonella outbreak tied to chicks and ducklings supplied by Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, Inc. and sold through a national (and still unnamed) feed store chain has turned out to be twotwotwo outbreaks in one.
CDC reported earlier today that, since February 25, 2011, the infected chicks and ducklings have been responsible for 49 cases of Salmonella Altona infections in 16 states. And a second Salmonella serotype is now in the mix. Chicks and ducklings from the same hatchery also have infected 22 people in 12 states with Salmonella Johannesburg since March 19, 2011.
The geographic distribution of illnesses associated with the two Salmonella serotypes overlap, as this CDC summary table and map clearly show. The green-colored states have reported cases of both Salmonella Altona and Salmonella Johannesburg infections.
In all, 71 people - more than one-half of them 5 years old or less - in 19 states have become ill as a result of handling these infected chicks and ducklings. Eighteen people were hospitalized. All of the illnesses so far have been reported from the eastern half of the country, including the states of Alabama (1), Arkansas (1), Georgia (3), Indiana (1), Kentucky (7), Maryland (4) , Maine (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota (1), North Carolina (11), New Hampshire (1), New York (5), Ohio (12), Pennsylvania (6), Tennessee (5), Virginia (4), Vermont (3), Wisconsin (1) and West Virginia (3).
And what does the Mt. Healthy Hatcheries have to say about their role in this outbreak? NOTHING! The company simply has posted a list of Basic Safety Practices for the Handling of Poultry on its web site. No mention whatsoever of an on-going Salmonella outbreak, or of the link to Mt. Healthy Hatcheries chicks and ducklings.
As I pointed out in The Chicken Ranch (my earlier post on this outbreak), apparently healthy chickens and other poultry can harbor and spread Salmonella, Campylobacter and other diseases. Chicks, ducklings or any other fowl are not toys.
And they most certainly are not safe pets for young children!

Keep food safe - Cook to the right temperature
Source:http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/biological/cook_to_the_right_temperature_0628110747.html
By_ admin (29, Jun, 2011)

Cook
Cook to the right temperature
Why it matters
Did you know that the bacteria that cause food poisoning multiply quickest in the "Danger Zone" between 40? and 140? Fahrenheit?
And while many people think they can tell when food is "done" simply by checking its color and texture, there's no way to be sure it's safe without following a few important but simple steps
Follow these top tips to keep your family safe
Use a food thermometer.
Cooked food is safe only after it's been heated to a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Color and texture alone won't tell you whether your food is done. Instead, use a food thermometer to be sure.
If you don't already have one, consider buying a food thermometer. Learn more about the different types of food thermometers available.
When you think your food is done, place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food, making sure not to touch bone, fat, or gristle. (Get tips on correct thermometer placement.)
Wait the amount of time recommended for your type of thermometer.
Compare your thermometer reading to our Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart to be sure it's reached a safe temperature.
Some foods need 3 minutes of rest time after cooking to make sure that harmful germs are killed. Check our Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart for details.
Clean your food thermometer with hot, soapy water after each use.
Keep food hot after cooking (at 140or above).
The possibility of bacterial growth actually increases as food cools after cooking because the drop in temperature allows bacteria to thrive. But you can keep your food above the safe temperature of 140?F by using a heat source like a chafing dish, warming tray, or slow cooker.
Microwave food thoroughly (to 165).
To make sure harmful bacteria have been killed in your foods, it's important to microwave them to 165? or higher. Here's how:
When you microwave, stir your food in the middle of heating.
If the food label says, "Let stand for x minutes after cooking," don't skimp on the standing time. Letting your microwaved food sit for a few minutes actually helps your food cook more completely by allowing colder areas of food time to absorb heat from hotter areas of food. That extra minute or two could mean the difference between a delicious meal and food poisoning.
After waiting a few minutes, check the food with a food thermometer to make sure it is 165?F or above.
from foodsafety.gov

Keep food safe - Don't cross-contaminate
Source : http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/biological/don_t_cross-contaminate_0628110746.html
By_ admin (29, Jun, 2011)

Separate
Don't cross-contaminate
Why it matters
Even after you've cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread illness-causing bacteria to ready-to-eat foods-unless you keep them separate.
But which foods need to be kept separate, and how?
Follow these top tips to keep your family safe
Use separate cutting boards and plates for produce and for meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs.
Placing ready-to-eat food on a surface that held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs can spread bacteria and make you sick. But stopping cross-contamination is simple.
Use one cutting board for fresh produce, and one for raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
Use separate plates and utensils for cooked and raw foods.
Before using them again, thoroughly wash plates, utensils, and cutting boards that held raw meat, poultry, seafood, or eggs.
Once a cutting board gets excessively worn or develops hard-to-clean grooves, consider replacing it.
Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods at the grocery.
Make sure you aren't contaminating foods in your grocery bag by:
Separating raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other foods in your shopping cart.
At the checkout, place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in plastic bags to keep their juices from dripping on other foods.
Keep meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate from all other foods in the fridge.
Bacteria can spread inside your fridge if the juices of raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs drip onto ready-to-eat foods. But stopping this contamination is simple
Place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping or leaking onto other foods. If you're not planning to use these foods within a few days, freeze them instead.
Keep eggs in their original carton and store them in the main compartment of the refrigerator-not in the door.
from foodsafety.gov

Keep food safe - Refrigerate promptly
Source: http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/biological/refrigerref_promptly_0628110749.html
By_ admin (29, Jun, 2011)

Chill
Refrigerate promptly
Why it matters
Did you know that illness-causing bacteria can grow in perishable foods within two hours unless you refrigerate them? (And if the temperature is 90 or higher during the summer, cut that time down to one hour!)
But by refrigerating foods promptly and properly, you can help keep your family safe from food poisoning at home. Follow these top tips to keep your family safe

Refrigerate perishable foods within two hours.
Cold temperatures slow the growth of illness causing bacteria. So it's important to chill food promptly and properly. Here's how:
Make sure your fridge and freezer are cooled to the right temperature. Your fridge should be between 40 ?F and 32 ?F, and your freezer should be 0 ?F or below.
Pack your refrigerator with care. To properly chill food (and slow bacteria growth), cold air must be allowed to circulate in your fridge. For this reason, it's important not to over-stuff your fridge.
Get perishable foods into the fridge or freezer within two hours. In the summer months, cut this time down to one hour.
Remember to store leftovers within two hours as well. By dividing leftovers into several clean, shallow containers, you'll allow them to chill faster.

Never thaw or marinate foods on the counter.
Many people are surprised at this tip. But since bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature, thawing or marinating foods on the counter is one of the riskiest things you can do when preparing food for your family.
To thaw food safely, choose one of these options:
Thaw in the refrigerator. This is the safest way to thaw meat, poultry, and seafood. Simply take the food out of the freezer and place it on a plate or pan that can catch any juices that may leak. Normally, it should be ready to use the next day.
Thaw in cold water. For faster thawing, you can put the frozen package in a watertight plastic bag and submerge it in cold water. Be sure to change the water every 30 minutes. Note: If you thaw this way, be sure to cook the food immediately.
Thaw in the microwave. Faster thawing can also be accomplished in the microwave. Simply follow instructions in your owner's manual for thawing. As with thawing in cold water, food thawed in the microwave should be cooked immediately.
Cook without thawing. If you don't have enough time to thaw food, just remember, it is safe to cook foods from a frozen state-but your cooking time will be approximately 50% longer than fully thawed meat or poultry.
To marinate food safely, always marinate it in the refrigerator.

Know when to throw food out.
You can't tell just by looking or smelling whether harmful bacteria has started growing in your leftovers or refrigerated foods.
Be sure you throw food out before harmful bacteria grow by checking our Safe Storage Times chart.
from foodsafety.gov

New Multimedia Campaign Aims to Reduce Food Poisoning
Source:http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/biological/Reduce_Food_Poisoning_0628110740.html
By_ admin (29, Jun, 2011)

By Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
Today, USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services launched a true first for our departments and our nation's public health system. USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service partnered with the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ad Council to debut a joint, national, multimedia public service campaign called Food Safe Families to help Americans prevent food-related illnesses in their homes. With this campaign, we're trying to shift the way people think about food handling so they can take a more proactive, preventive approach at home to help reduce food-related illnesses.
The launch of the Food Safe Familiescampaign comes at a time when attention to food safety issues is high. This is also the start of summer and grilling season, when foodborne illnesses tend to increase with more outdoor meals and other factors that increase the risk for disease-causing bacteria in food. American families are looking for clear and concise information on how to better protect themselves, and this campaign has the potential to generate unprecedented national exposure to issues of food safety and foodborne illness prevention.
Using the motto "Check Your Steps" (#checksteps on Twitter), Food Safe Familiesaims to get consumers to adopt four very easy steps when preparing food:
1. Clean: Clean kitchen surfaces, utensils, and hands with soap and water while preparing food.
2. Separate: Separate raw meats from other foods by using different cutting boards.
3. Cook: Cook foods to the right temperature by using a food thermometer.
4. Chill: Chill raw and prepared foods promptly.
The campaign includes English and Spanish-language television, radio, print, and Web advertising, as well as an integrated social media program. All campaign elements direct audiences to visit FoodSafety.gov, a recently refreshed and updated site in English and Spanish, where they can learn about food safety practices. The program includes a new FoodSafety.gov Facebook page and outreach via the site's Twitter handle, both emphasizing "Check Your Steps." Consumers can also access "Ask Karen," an online database with answers to nearly 1,500 food safety questions.
This Thursday, join @FoodSafetyGov and @USDAFoodSafety in a live Twitter Chat at 1:00 p.m. EDT, using the hashtag #checksteps to kick off the campaign and get answers to Fourth of July grilling questions.
from foodsafety.gov

Tips to Prevent Illness from Clostridium Perfringens
Source:http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/biological/illness_from_clostridium_perfringens_0623111234.html
By_ admin (23, Jun, 2011)

Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in the United States. Learn more on ways to prevent illness from this germ.
Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) is a bacterium that is often found on raw meat and poultry, and is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness in the United States. It is estimated to cause nearly 1 million cases of foodborne illness (sometimes called "food poisoning") each year. C. perfringens is found in many environmental sources as well as in the intestines of humans and animals.
What are common food sources of C. perfringens?
Beef, poultry, gravies, and dried or precooked foods are common sources of C. perfringens infections. C. perfringens infection often occurs when foods are prepared in large quantities and kept warm for a long time before serving. Outbreaks often happen in institutions, such as hospitals, school cafeterias, prisons, and nursing homes, or at events with catered food.
Who is at risk of C. perfringens food poisoning?
Anyone can get food poisoning from C. perfringens. The very young and elderly are most at risk of C. perfringens infection and can experience more severe symptoms that may last for 1-2 weeks. Complications, such as dehydration, may occur in severe cases.
How can C. perfringens food poisoning be prevented?
To prevent C. perfringens spores from growing in food after it has been cooked, foods such as beef, poultry, gravies, and other foods commonly associated with C. perfringens infections should be cooked thoroughly to recommended temperatures, and then kept at a temperature that is either warmer than 140F (60C) or cooler than 41F (5C). These temperatures prevent the growth of C. perfringens spores that might have survived the initial cooking process.
Meat dishes should be served hot, right after cooking. Leftover foods should be refrigerated at 40F or below as soon as possible and within 2 hours of preparation. It is okay to put hot foods directly into the refrigerator. Large pots of food, such as soups or stews, or large cuts of meats, such as roasts or whole poultry, should be divided into small quantities for refrigeration. Leftovers should be reheated to at least 165F (74C) before serving.
Foods that have dangerous bacteria in them may not taste, smell, or look different. Any food that has been left out too long may be dangerous to eat, even if it looks okay.
What are the symptoms of C. perfringens food poisoning?
Persons infected with C. perfringens develop diarrhea and abdominal cramps within 6-24 hours (typically 8-12). The illness usually begins suddenly and lasts for less than 24 hours. Persons infected with C. perfringens usually do not have fever or vomiting. The illness is not passed from one person to another.

Alabama Aquatics Park Source of E. coli Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/bama-finds-aquatics-center-common-source/
By_ News Desk (29, Jun, 2011)

The two-year-old $32 million Opelika Sportsplex and Aquatics Center was the "common source of exposure" for an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that has sickened at least five Alabama children and possibly 10 others, according to Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer.
Four children initially required hospitalization, and two have not yet been released.
Eight other children and two adults also suffered from severe gastrointestinal illnesses, but have not yet been confirmed as O157 cases.
"Because of the risk for outbreak of illness, it is essential that public pools and water parks follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for adequate chlorine and pH levels," Williamson said Tuesday.
The Splash Park and 6,000 square feet Aquatic Center were initially closed June 20, treated according to CDC guidelines by the City of Opelika and reopened Sunday, according to state officials.
Located east of Montgomery in Alabama's Lee County, the 75,000 square-foot Sportsplex and Aquatic Center, on 76 acres, is the largest project in the history of the 154-year-old city.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) has been investigating the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak since the illnesses began between June 4 and 22. It has contacted parents of children from seven day care centers that visited the Aquatic Center during that time period.
In a statement, ADPH said it told city officials about the problem on June 20 and collected water samples from the new Aquatic Center.
"The ADPH Bureau of Clinical Laboratories ran the initial tests, which were negative for bacteria," the agency said in a statement. "Negative results do not guarantee that bacteria was not present. Additional water samples have been collected and sent to the CDC for testing and results are pending."
The state health officials asked parents to be alert for symptoms of the illness, which can take 10 days to surface. They said parents should be on the look out for nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal cramps and take their children to a doctor if any of the symptoms occur.
People can pick up infections in recreational waters by ingesting contaminated waters in pools, water parks, rivers, lakes and even the ocean.
The South's best known water park outbreak occurred in 1998 at Atlanta's White Water Park, when 26 people were infected with O157, including Atlanta Braves star Walt Weiss's son Brody.

Sally Jackson Cheese Had Two Pathogen Problems
Source; http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/jackson-had-two-pathogen-problem-not-one/
By_ Dan Flynn (29, Jun , 2011)

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened eight people in four states last December led to the closure of Sally Jackson Cheeses, which for 30 years had crafted rustic rounds of raw-milk goat, sheep and cow cheese on a small farm in the Okanogan highlands of Eastern Washington.
But E. coli was not the only pathogen contaminating the Oroville cheesemaker's highly prized products.
In addition to E. coli O157:H7, detected in samples of aged cow milk cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says the cheese maker's aged raw goat milk cheese wrapped in grape leaves tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
Sally Jackson Cheeses was first notified about the positive tests for both E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes in a Jan. 5 report by Pacific Regional Laboratory-Northwest. The test results were included in a recently released June 13 warning letter from FDA.
The letter says that Listeria bacteria found on the floor of the cheese room was indistinguishable from Listeria found in the cheese, making it likely that "the pathogen was transported throughout your facility."
"Any moist area, such as your cheese production area, can harbor L. monocytogenes," wrote Charles M. Breen, FDA's district director in Seattle. "The organism can grow at refrigeration temperatures."
Breen also wrote that "raw milk is one of most frequent vehicles" for E. coli infection and that "E. coli O157:H7 has been implicated as the causative agent in outbreaks involving milk and milk products such as cheese. E coli O157:H7 can survive in highly acidic environment, refrigeration temperatures and saline.
"Aside from raw milk contamination, post processing contamination including cross contamination pose as a potential health hazard to consumers. Milk pasteurization has been shown to destroy the pathogen and the application of good manufacturing practices in the processing environment to ensure sanitary conditions will reduce the risk of food product contamination by this organism, " he added.
In the warning letter, the FDA acknowledges that Sally Jackson Cheeses probably has gone out of business, but asks for update on its current operating status.
The demise of the well-respected cheese making company began last Dec. 17, when epidemiological investigations in Oregon and Washington linked illnesses in Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Minnesota to Sally Jackson cheeses.
The Jacksons agreed to recall their entire inventory of gourmet cheeses for possible E. coli contamination. By the following week, public health authorities had determined there was a genetic match between the cheese maker's products and the outbreak strain.
Shortly afterward, owner Sally Jackson announced she was opting to close down rather than spend the estimated $12,000 or so to make improvements on her aging farm required by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
According to the recent warning letter, an inspection documented "serious deviations" from Current Good Manufacturing Practices." Sally Jackson responded to those inspections observations on Dec. 29, the warning letter states.
The FDA warning letter includes a list of comments based on the cheese maker's responses, and says if she were to resume operations, she must document corrective actions. The list includes:
-- employee training to ensure proper hand washing during cheese making
-- cleaning to remove mud, manure, straw and wood-chip debris from floors
-- repairing roof leaks, peeling paint and plaster, and pitted floors
-- wearing suitable garments and changing out of soiled garments after milking or outdoor chores before entering the indoor processing areas
-- replacing or fixing cracked cheese molds
FDA asked that Jackson respond to the warning letter, documenting any improvements if she plans to reopen. If the company were to resume cheese making without first taking corrective actions, Breen said FDA could take further steps, including product seizures and/or enjoining the firm from operating.

Campylobacter Illnesses Tied to Raw Milk in Alaska
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/campylobacter-illnesses-tied-to-raw-milk-in-alaska/
By_ News Desk (28, Jun, 2011)

KTUU News reports that four people infected with Campylobacter jejuni bacteria in south central Alaska were participating in a raw milk cow-share scheme at a Mat-Su Valley farm.
All four, who ranged in age from 1 to 81, became ill after drinking raw milk from one of the farm's cows, and two said family members also experienced symptoms but did not seek medical attention, according to the news station. The confirmed cases of Campylobacter illness were reported from May 7 through June 4.
Alaska state law does not permit the sale of unpasteurized milk, but does allow owning shares of an animal to obtain raw milk -- which does not have to be tested before it is distributed, said Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) spokesman Greg Wilkinson.
Staff with the state Department of Conservation's Division of Environmental Health visited the farm in May to evaluate sanitary conditions and pick up a bulk milk tank for testing. The sample tested negative for Campylobacter but positive for Listeria monocytogenes, another foodborne pathogen that can cause life-threatening infections in newborns and adults.
Officials believe the month-long pattern of cases points to a series of contamination events rather than a single bad batch, which is possible given the rich nutrients contained in milk that can encourage bacterial growth.
"Raw milk is an ideal substance for the proliferation of bacteria introduced through fecal contamination," Dr. Joe McLaughlin, chief of the DHSS Section of Epidemiology, said in a news release. "Unpasteurized milk can be infected with a number of pathogens including Listeria, Salmonella, and as we've seen in this case, Campylobacter."

15 Sick with E. coli O157:H7 at Opelika SportsPlex and Aquatic Center
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/15-sick-with-e-coli-o157h7-at-opelika-sportsplex-and-aquatic-center/
By_ Bill Marler (28, June, 2011)

According to a news release - The Alabama Department of Public Health continues its investigation of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Lee County. Thirteen children and two adults who either played in the Splash Park or swam in the pool at the Opelika SportsPlex and Aquatic Center between June 4 and June 22 were identified with severe gastrointestinal illness. Five children have been confirmed positive for E. coli O157:H7 infection.
Four children were initially hospitalized and two remain hospitalized.
The Health Department has contacted the parents of children of seven day care centers that had children at the Splash Park during the period of concern. Symptoms of E. coli can appear up until 10 days after exposure.
"Based on the information that we have now, it appears that the common source of exposure was the Aquatic Center," said State Health Officer Dr. Donald Williamson. "Because of the risk for outbreak of illness, it is essential that public pools and water parks follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for adequate chlorine and pH levels."
Illnesses in recreational waters are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers or oceans. Infection may also occur by touching the environment in petting zoos and other animal exhibits or by eating food prepared by people who did not wash their hands well after using the toilet.
ADPH notified city officials of possible contamination on June 20. ADPH collected water samples for testing from the facilities at the Aquatic Center. The ADPH Bureau of Clinical Laboratories ran the initial tests which were negative for bacteria. Negative results do not guarantee that bacteria was not present. Additional water samples have been collected and sent to the CDC for testing and results are pending.

European taskforce mobilised as E.coli 104:H4 hits France
Source : http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/European-taskforce-mobilised-as-E.coli-104-H4-hits-France
By_ Rory Harrington( 27, Jun, 2011)

A European taskforce has been assembled to pinpoint the source of any contaminated beansprouts after the same potentially deadly strain of German E.coli that killed scores has surfaced in an outbreak in France.
The announcements from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) came as French authorities said beansprouts were suspected as the source of an outbreak of E.coli 104:H4 in the Bordeaux region from earlire this month.
The pan-regional team will be led by scientists from the food safety watchdog and joined by experts from Germany, the UK, Italy and France, as well as specialists from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
EFSA spokesman Steve Pagani told FoodProductionDaily.com: "The first teleconference is being held this afternoon at which Member States will be nominating their representatives. Much has been learned following the German outbreak, and many of the processes put in place for Germany can now be used and leveraged at a European level."
The group has been urged to get to grips with how the production of seeds, beansprouts and other sprouted seeds are organised in the European Union - as part of the probe into the recent outbreak of E.coli 0104:H4 originating in Germany that has so far killed 43 and sickened almost 4,000 people.
The scientists will coordinate the gathering and analysis of information that is logged through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF).
French outbreak
The Parma-based agency announced the formation of the expert panel in the wake of reports from French authorities of an E.coli outbreak in Bordeaux at the end of last week. So far 10 victims in France are suffering from bloody diarrhoea, with five diagnosed with haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) - symptoms typically caused by Shiga toxin-producing E.coli.
Initial tests have found the Ecoli O104:H4 bacteria present in two of the cases, with French officials confirming it said this was the same strain as that responsible for the outbreak in Germany.
Epidemiological investigations found that a number of patients, who live in close proximity to each other, had attended an open day at a community centre in the B?gles on 8 June. Many were said to have eaten beansprouts scattered on various dishes.
"Investigations by French authorities into the Bordeaux E.coli outbreak are still ongoing and a possible link between the consumption of sprouts and the health effects observed is yet to be definitively established," said an EFSA statement. "If confirmed, seeds could be seen as a common factor between the French outbreak and an outbreak in May in Germany associated with bean sprouts."
UK firm linked with outbreak
France's consumer affairs Minister, Frederic Lefebvre, linked the outbreak last Friday to the seeds of UK company Thompson and Morgan, as he confirmed sale of three seed types - mustard, fenugreek and rocket - had been stopped in the country.
The Ipswich-based seed firm told FoodProductionDaily.com it was aware of the "unsubstantiated link" between the outbreak and its products but noted the French Minister had also said that "no link between the E.coli symptoms and the eating of sprouting seeds has been established".
Hundreds of thousands of packets of seeds have been sold in Europe and "to date, there have been no reported incidents of any problems either in France, the UK or anywhere else they are sold," added Thompson and Morgan.
The firm said the confinement of the outbreak to a single event and area indicated that "something local in the Bordeaux area, or the way the product has been handled and grown, is responsible for the incident rather than our seeds".
The UK Foods Standards Agency said it is currently testing seed samples from Thompson and Morgan. No cases of food poisoning linked to the French outbreak had been reported to date in the UK, said the body.
Both the FSA and its Irish counterpart have advised consumers against eating raw beansprouts.

Europe Looks at Seeds as Link to E. coli Cases
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/france-uk-look-at-seeds-as-link-e-coli-cases/
by Mary Rothschild | Jun 27, 2011

A task force assembled hurriedly by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will try to track down whether British seeds are the common factor between 10 suspected E. coli illnesses in France and the massive outbreak in Germany associated with sprouts.
"In response to an urgent request from the European Commission, EFSA scientists are providing immediate assistance," and will be joined by experts from the EC, France, Germany, Italy and the UK, as well as scientists from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization, EFSA said in a news release Sunday.
Health authorities have said preliminary tests indicate that two of the people in France are infected with E. coli O104:H4, the same strain responsible for more than 4,800 illnesses and 44 deaths linked to German-grown sprouts.
Seven people were still in hospital in Bordeaux on Sunday, with one 78-year-old woman in serious condition, according to news reports from Europe. Five of the patients have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), EFSA reported.
French officials said an epidemiological investigation found that a number of the patients, who live in close proximity to each other, had attended an event in the community of B?gles near Bordeaux on June 8 and many were said to have eaten bean sprouts scattered on various dishes.
The French ministry of commerce said the sprouts had been grown from seeds supplied by a British company, Thompson & Morgan of Ipswich, and asked that fenugreek, mustard and rocket (arugula) seeds supplied by the firm be withdrawn from sale until test results were returned. The ministry cautioned that the link between the illnesses and the seeds was not definitive.
German authorities have said locally grown sprouts from an organic farm near Hamburg were the likely source of the E. coli O104 outbreak that began in May, and identified lentil, alfalfa, fenugreek and adzuki bean sprouts as possible culprits. That farm is no longer distributing its sprouts.
Thompson & Morgan, in response to the outbreak in France, said its seeds were sourced in Italy and packaged in England. The company said the connection being made by French officials was unsubstantiated, adding that it believed that "something local in the Bordeaux area, or the way the product has been handled and grown, is responsible for the incident rather than our seeds."
Meanwhile, "no formal European alert has been launched at this point, one that would mean a ban on sales" of the sprout seeds, a spokesman for EC health commissioner John Dalli said over the weekend. However, "there is an exchange of information under way between France, Britain and Germany."
Although no E. coli cases have been reported in the UK, the Food Standards Agency there advised "as a precaution" that sprouted seeds should only be eaten "if they are cooked thoroughly until steaming hot throughout -- they should not be eaten raw."
Likewise, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland's chief executive, Alan Reilly, issued a statement over the weekend that warned, "Until we identify the precise source of this outbreak (in France), we are advising Irish consumers not to eat raw or uncooked bean sprouts and we are advising caterers not to serve raw bean sprouts. Despite extensive investigation across Germany the exact type or origin of contaminated beans/seeds has not yet been identified."
Raw sprouts are considered a risky food and have been recognized as a common cause of foodborne illness. The problem often is contaminated seeds, and antimicrobial treatments are recommended in both the seed production process and at sprouting facilities. Even then, it is not always possible to eliminate all pathogens from seeds.

Splash Park and Aquatic Center in Opelika Linked to E. coli Illnessess
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/splash-park-and-aquatic-center-in-opelika-linked-to-e-coli-illnessess/
By _ Bill Marler (24, June, 2011)

The Alabama Department of Public Health continues its investigation of the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Lee County. Six children who played in the Splash Park and Aquatic Center in Opelika between June 12 and June 18 have been identified with severe gastrointestinal illness as of Friday, June 24. Four of the six have been found positive for E. coli infection.
Four children were initially hospitalized at East Alabama Medical Center; three of them have subsequently been transferred to Children's Hospital of Alabama in Birmingham. The Health Department is continuing to work with the seven day care centers that had children at the Splash Park during the period of concern. Public health officials have advised that the children at the seven day care centers not participate in water sports activities until the extent of illness can be determined. Symptoms of E. coli can appear up until 10 days after exposure.
Illnesses in recreational waters are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs, interactive fountains, water play areas, lakes, rivers or oceans. Infection may also occur by touching the environment in petting zoos and other animal exhibits or by eating food prepared by people who did not wash their hands well after using the toilet.
The Splash Park was closed June 20 for testing. Parents have been asked to be alert for symptoms of illness. If a child has nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal cramps parents should seek medical attention for their child. Public Health and City of Opelika officials are monitoring the situation.
The Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend following the healthy swimming guidelines for people using recreational water facilities:

Three steps for all swimmers
1. DO NOT swim when you have diarrhea.
2. AVOID swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, and backyard "kiddie" pools.
3. Shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers. Germs on your body end up in the water.

Three steps for parents of young children:
1. Take your children on bathroom breaks or check diapers often.
2. Change diapers in a bathroom or a diaper-changing area and not at poolside.
3. Wash your children thoroughly with soap and water before they go swimming.

There have been problems with waterparks in the past:
Atlanta White Water Waterpark E. coli O157:H7 Litigation

In the summer of 1998, 26 children became ill from E. coli O157:H7 contracted while playing in the kiddie pool at White Water Park, a commercial water park in suburban Atlanta. Seven of those children were hospitalized and a 2-year-old girl died from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, a kidney disorder caused by E. coli O157:H7.
Seneca Lake State Park Spraypark Cryptosporidium Litigation
During June, July, and August, 2005, nearly 4,000 people became ill with Cryptosporidiosis after visiting the spraypark at Seneca Lake State Park in New York. The New York State Health Department determined that the spraypark's holding tanks were contaminated with Cryptosporidium, a parasite.

Outbreak in Inland Northwest Linked to Sprouts
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/outbreak-in-inland-northwest-linked-to-sprouts/
By_ News Desk | Jun 25, 2011

Idaho public health officials are investigating 19 cases of Salmonella infection in Eastern Washington, Northern Idaho and Western Montana suspected to be connected to alfalfa sprouts.
Six of those sickened reported eating alfalfa sprouts from a grower, Evergreen Produce, in Moyie Springs, Idaho.
The Idaho Department of Health is recommending that people avoid eating sprouts from Evergreen Produce and to discard any Evergreen Produce sprouts while the investigation is ongoing.

Sprouts Implicated in E. coli Outbreak in France
source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/06/sprouts-implicated-in-e-coli-outbreak-in-france/
By_ Mary Rothschild (25, Jun, 2011)

As many as 10 people may be sick in southwestern France in an outbreak of foodborne illness once again linked to sprouts.
Press reports say preliminary lab tests indicate that two of the people are infected with E. coli O104, the same strain that has caused more than 3,800 illnesses and at least 45 deaths in the epidemic linked to German sprouts, but health authorities are not saying there is a connection between the outbreak in Germany and the illnesses in France.
Six of the French patients reportedly had eaten soup garnished with sprouts at an end-of-term party June 8 in B?gles, near Bordeaux. Their first symptoms began between June 15 and 21.
Bordeaux authorities said that of the 10 people who suffered bloody diarrhea, seven remain hospitalized. Two have developed hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). The seven admitted to hospital in Bordeaux are adults, ages 19 to 67.
In a press statement Friday, Frederic Lefebvre, secretary of state for consumer affairs, said the implicated sprouts were purchased at a Jardiland store and were produced by Thompson & Morgan, a mail order seed and plant company based in Ipswich, England. The minister requested that the company's fenugreek, mustard and roquette (arugula) sprouts and sprouts seeds be recalled while product tests are conducted.
Although Lefebvre also recommended that "consumers who bought these same products not use them," he stressed that "the link between the symptoms and eating of the sprouts so far has not been definitively established."
The British company told the BBC in a statement it was "highly unlikely" its seeds were responsible. The company said it had sold "thousands of packets and have had no reported problems" and that it was more likely that "the way that they were used and handled" had caused the contamination.
French health authorities said there does not appear to be any connection between the cases in Bordeaux and an outbreak last week of E.coli infections near Lille, in northern France, that made eight children ill. In that outbreak, one two-year-old remains in a coma and three other children are still being treated in hospital, after they ate "Steaks Country" brand beef burgers distributed by the German discount chain Lidl.




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

Major Topic: Detection Methods for
Microbiological/Chemical Hazards for Food Safety and Quality


Registration

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


Program
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
Costco



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





5:30
- 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

bioMerieux

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 - Application of several detection methods for Food industries

remel

2:30 - 2:40 - Coffee Break in Exhibitors' Section

2:40 - 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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