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9/16
2011
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Changing Public Health's Approach to Non-O157 STECs
source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/09/the-changing-public-health-approach-to-non-o157-stec/
By_ Dr. Richard Raymond (Sep 13, 2011)
September 13, 2011, will go down in the history of food safety as a very significant day. It will be remembered by many as the day that Secretary Tom Vilsack of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the USDA and its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) moved forward with the rule-making process to get the Big Six non-O157 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STECs) declared as adulterants in ground beef. The proposed rule was sent to the Office of Management and Budget in January and has now evidently received OMB's blessing. The USDA announced Tuesday that the proposed rule will be posted in the Federal Register and public comments will be received for 60 days. It is the USDA's goal to have the rule in effect and begin testing in March, 2012.
The Big Six is a phrase commonly used to indicate six sub-types of E. coli that cause over 80% of human foodborne illnesses attributed to non-O157 STECs each year in the U.S. The Big Six include O26, O111, O121, O103, O145 and O45. They do not include the deadly O104 strain that caused the recent outbreak in Europe. There will be some who will say this is not enough, that O104 and all non-O157 STECs that can cause human illness should be considered adulterants, rather than naming each individual strain and then having to expand the list to include more strains in the future. I would disagree at this time. The testing is just not there yet for every single strain of E. coli, and industry needs to be able to test before it can reasonably be held responsible for producing the safest product possible.
There will be some who will say that the rule-making process should have been avoided, and that the Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen, has the legal authority to simply declare these pathogens adulterants and dispense with the long rule-making process. Again, I would disagree. When Mike Taylor declared E. coli O157:H7 to be an adulterant in ground beef in 1994, he was responding to the Jack in the Box outbreak that sickened hundreds and killed four. He had the sense of a crisis on his hands. In his book, "Creating Change", John Kotter says the first thing you need to have to create change is a sense of crisis. Taylor had that, Dr. Hagen does not. To learn the detailed history of this event that occurred in 1993, and to better understand the events that followed, one can read Jeff Benedict's book, "Poisoned." The recent European outbreak served notice that these pathogens are not only equal at times in pathogenicity, some of them are even more deadly than the feared O157.
But the offending food in the Germany-centered outbreak was sprouts, not beef, and it was an ocean away from us. While the often-heard argument that these strains are not as potent as O157 waned after the Europe experience, there was no sense of crisis yet in the States. Another outbreak an ocean away also occurred this year when E. coli O111 sickened over 100 and killed 4 in Japan. And this was from beef, but it was raw beef. But no crisis if we would all "just cook it." These two outbreaks, while increasing awareness about these pathogens and their deadly potential, did not create a sense of crisis in this country.
We are not seeing Americans become ill in large numbers from eating beef that contains the non-O157 STECs, and therefore the open and transparent rule-making process is entirely appropriate. There is a bit of history surrounding the non-O157 STECs that perhaps bears repeating one last time as FSIS moves forward, creating history. The decision to take the next step we heard about today was not made overnight. It was made after much thought and deliberation and increasing knowledge about the prevalence and lethality of the Big Six.
While I was serving as the Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA, a good friend advised me in 2007 that his laboratory was seeing at least an equal number of non-O157 STECs as O157 when testing stool specimens for possible foodborne illnesses. That laboratory was the Public Health Lab in NE, and the good friend was Steve Hinrichs, MD, the director of the lab at the time. A little research revealed most labs were not testing for non-O157s back then, but those that were had similar findings. About the same time, an FSIS employee, working in the Office of Public Health and Science at the USDA, informed me that non-O157 STECs were an emerging infectious disease not generally recognized or appreciated by those with the power to create change.
That employee was Elisabeth Hagen, MD, an infectious disease expert and now the current Undersecretary for Food Safety at the USDA. Standing beside Secretary Vilsack as he made the announcement, Dr. Hagen should be recognized, for I know this positive development came from her efforts and may well be her food safety legacy. With this new information on hand back in 2007, I asked Dr. Hagen to put together a conference on the public health significance of non-O157 STECs. That conference was held on the campus of George Mason University on Oct. 17, 2007. We heard presentations on the epidemiology and human health burden of these pathogens, and we heard the latest on research in the U.S. and from Europe. Industry and consumer advocacy groups delivered other presentations.
The take-home message in 2007 was pretty simple. We did not have adequate testing available for ground beef, few labs were testing human specimens so we did not have an accurate assessment of the frequency of foodborne illnesses from non-O157 STECs, and we did not know the prevalence of the pathogens in ground beef. FSIS and the Agriculture Research Service (ARS) at the USDA started the wheels in motion to correct these deficiencies and today they cannot be used as an excuse to do nothing to further protect our food supply. Since October 2007, we have also seen petitions filed to declare the Big Six as adulterants and law suits threatened. In addition to the two previously mentioned outbreaks in Japan and Europe, we have also identified an increasing number of outbreaks and illnesses in the U.S. Private citizens have funded ground beef testing, research universities have performed their own testing of beef, and the Meat Animal Research Center of the USDA, located in Clay Center, NE, has also contributed to the growing knowledge of non-O157 STEC prevalence.
ARS has produced the necessary testing protocols to allow Dr. Hagen to move forward. The testing will only improve during the rule-making process. And the Centers for Disease Control adjusted their estimates for non-O157 STEC foodborne illnesses in the January, 2011, edition of Emerging Infectious Diseases. That number now stands at 113,000 cases per year, making these pathogens the sixth leading cause of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. and double that credited to E coli O157:H7. Some in industry have been preparing for this day, and Costco and BPI are already testing their products for non-O157s. Others will now follow. And still some opponents have already said the probable added cost of beef is a reason to not endorse this action. The USDA has estimated the industry cost to be around $10 million. There are 300 million of us in this country, most of whom eat beef on a regular basis. My mathematics puts this extra cost at about 3 cents per American per year. For 3 cents, I will support the USDA's efforts to protect myself and my grandchildren.
Heck, I will even pay the extra cost for those kids myself. Phages are being developed that will help packers keep the pathogens out of their plants, and vaccines and probiotics will surely follow. Perhaps now that the consumer advocates have seen their non-O157 STEC dream fulfilled, they will adjust their stance on whole carcass, low-dose irradiation. Talk about a win-win. We need to give industry this vital and critical processing aid to make our meat even safer than it already is. And, yes, to protect their bottom line. Meat is considered adulterated "if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health." It is amazing to me that this will be only the second time a bacteria has been labeled an adulterant in the meat we eat. Dr. Hagen has repeatedly said that she wants more in the way of prevention, as opposed to reaction. This step would have been much easier if she had waited until we had an outbreak that matched Europe's or Japan's, creating a sense of crisis. But she did not. She moved toward prevention. She will save lives, maybe mine or my grandchildren's. But she will never know. That is public health, and she is a Public Health Champion in my book. Great job USDA, FSIS and Dr. Hagen. May your compasses stay true to the cause as you weather some stormy seas ahead. Richard A. Raymond, MD, was USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety, 2005-2008.

Health threat: Dangerous bacteria in warmer oceans
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Health-threat-Dangerous-bacteria-in-warmer-oceans/articleshow/ 9988370.cms
By_AP (Sep 15, 2011) The warming of the world's oceans can cause serious illness and may cost millions of euros (dollars) in health care. That is the alarm sounded in a paper released online Tuesday on the eve of a two-day conference in Brussels. The 200-page paper is a synthesis of the findings of more than 100 projects funded by the European Union since 1998. It was produced by Project CLAMER, a collaboration of 17 European marine institutes. The paper says the rising temperature of ocean water is causing a proliferation of the Vibrio genus of bacteria, which can cause food poisoning, serious gastroenteritis, septicemia and cholera. "Millions of euros in health costs may result from human consumption of contaminated seafood, ingestion of waterborne pathogens, and, to a lesser degree, though direct occupational or recreational exposure to marine disease," says the paper. "Climatic conditions are playing an increasingly important role in the transmission of these diseases." The paper also describes a host of other effects of ocean warming, both documented and forecast, including melting ice, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, increased storm intensity and frequency, along with chemical changes in the sea itself, including acidification and deoxygenation. "The biggest surprise is the fact that things are changing in the ocean much more rapidly than we thought was possible," said Carlo Heip, director of Royal Netherlands Institute of Sea Research.

US to increase safety checks on beef, to reduce food poisoning threat
Source : http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201109/s3318173.htm
By_ Matt Kaye ( Sep 15, 2011)
The US will ban from sale raw ground beef and tenderized steaks found to contain six strains of strains of e-coli that its Department of Agriculture will start testing for next March. US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the six non-0157 e-coli strains that have emerged are now more of problem than the e-coli already banned in the US. "It's estimated that over 112,000 annual foodborne illnesses occur as a result of non-0157- twice the rate of 0157 H7." He says illnesses have nearly tripled in the last decade. Mr Vilsack says the USDA will work with domestic and foreign beef producers to implement new screening, but the US industry says more screening may be unnecessary and claims it already spends enough on safety research.

8 Suffered Respiratory Failure from Tapenade
Source : http://blog.usfoodsafety.com/2011/09/12/8-suffered-respiratory-failure-from-tapenade/
By foodsafeguru (Sep 12, 2011)
In an article in today's foodproductiondaily.com, there is a French botulism alert in the United States. The international alert over botulism-contaminated food from France spread to the U.S. over the weekend as federal authorities warned consumers not to eat tapenade made by the company La Ruche. Food safety officials Saturday issued an alert over the spreadable tomato paste made by La Ruche after similar warnings had been posted in both France and the UK. The firm's brands 'Les delices de Marie-Claire','Terre de Mistral' and 'Les Secrets d'Anais', have all tested positive for botulism. Eight adults are currently suffering from respiratory failure as a result of eating foods containing the neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, said the FDA. The body said the products were a "severe threat to human health" and should be disposed of immediately. Anyone who consumed the products should seek immediate medical help. But officials said there was no indication that any of these products had entered the U.S. Botulism can be fatal due to respiratory failure. Classic symptoms include impaired vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness.

CHOICE calls for country of origin labelling on all meat products
Soruce : http://www.foodmag.com.au/news/choice-calls-for-country-of-origin-labelling-on-al
By_ Jessica Burke (Sep 12, 2011)
Consumer watchdog CHOICE is calling for mandatory country of origin labelling on unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken products to help consumers make informed decisions about the meat they¡¯re buying. Only unpackaged pork and seafood are currently required to display labels identifying their country of origin, but CHOICE wants the same on allbeef, chicken and sheep products.
¡°Under current food labelling regulations, Australian consumers are not entitled to know where the unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken meat they buy at their local butcher or supermarket comes from,¡± CHOICE policy advisor, Angela McDougall said. ¡°Closing the loopholes in country of origin labelling will mean that consumers will be able to know whether the beef, sheep or chicken meat they buy is Australian or not.¡±
CHOICE says feedback from consumers has shown country of origin labelling is one of the most common food labelling concerns, and a survey done in September 2010 found that 85% of respondents would like to know, at the very least, the origin of the ingredient that characterises products.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has made the proposal for labelling on all unpackaged beef, sheep and chicken meat products.
CHOICE says the move was prompted by community concerns over imported beef following the change in Australia¡¯s bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) food safety policy.It says the change in policy means that countries which were previously ineligible to export beef to Australia due to BSE concerns will be able to access the Australian market provided they meet new requirements.
FSANZ and CHIOCE both believe a single sign could be effectively used by butchers to distinguish which products were local or import.

New Mexico Links Nine Illness with Three Deaths to Cantaloupe
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/new-mexico-links-nine-illness-with-three-deaths-to-cantaloupe/
By_ Bill Marler (Sep 13, 2011)
The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) has identified nine cases of Listeria infection throughout the state with three of these cases resulting in death. Colorado has also had a significant increase in cases of Listeria. Their preliminary results have identified cantaloupe as the likely source of the Listeria outbreak. All 11 of Colorado¡¯s confirmed cases consumed cantaloupe. In New Mexico, all 9 patients had consumed cantaloupe. Other states have also identified Listeria cases that are likely linked to this outbreak. New Mexico¡¯s cases are pending molecular fingerprinting laboratory tests at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see if they are part of the same outbreak.
All of the ill people in New Mexico have been hospitalized, including the three fatalities. The fatal cases were: a 93-year-old man from Bernalillo County, a 61-year-old female from Curry County, and a 63-year-old man from Bernalillo County. The other hospitalized cases in New Mexico come from Bernalillo, Chaves, Otero, De Baca, and Lea counties. The ill people range in age from the 43 to 96 and include 4 men and 5 women. Illness onset ranges from August 20th to early September.
CDC is coordinating the multistate investigation with affected states, the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture¡¯s Food Safety Inspection Service. DOH is working on the investigation with local public health partners and the New Mexico Environment Department¡¯s Environmental Health Bureau, which has already begun investigating possible sources of the outbreak. Field inspectors have already begun to visit distributors around the state to take samples for further analysis. No recalls have been issued at this time.
UPDATE - A total of 15 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 4 states. All illnesses started on or after August 15, 2011. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Colorado (11), Nebraska (1), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (2).

Wisconsin E. coli Outbreak Claims Life of 1-year-old Girl
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/wisconsin-e-coli-outbreak-claims-life-of-1-year-old-girl/
By_ Drew Falkenstein (Sep 14, 2011)
Today the Wisconsin Division of Public Health announced an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak amongst residents of Greent County. The illnesses happened largely in August, and at least 9 people were sickened. Sadly one young girl has died. Two people developed HUS.
The Wisconsin Public Health Department has not yet identified the source of the outbreak. But Wisconsin health officials are first rate. If something is to be found about the source, they'll probably find it.
Wisconsin has certainly been no stranger to E. coli O157:H7. Forty-nine Wisconsin residents were sickened in the infamous spinach E. coli O157:H7 (and other serotypes) outbreak in August/September 2006. (Actually, it was a call from the mother, in the second week of September, of TWO kids infected in the outbreak that helped us figure out exactly what was happening). And in the JBS E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in summer 2009, at least six Wisconsin residents were infected, including Joshua Rosploch, who developed HUS. This is just a short list, but these several states (most prominently Wisconsin and Minnesota) truly have been at the epicenter of surveillance and detection of multiple major national outbreaks. Here's a link to a list of about 24 other Wisconsin E. coli outbreaks that affected Wisconsin residents or involved Wisconsin food. Courtesy of our firm's database at www.outbreakdatabase.com

CDC Investigating Listeriosis Outbreak Linked to Rocky Ford Cantaloupes
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-watch/cdc-investigating-listeriosis-outbreak-linked-to-rocky-ford-cantaloupes/
by _Claire Mitchell (Sep 13, 2011)
CDC announced that it is currently collaborating with public health officials in several states, including Colorado, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of listeriosis that has been linked to a type of cantaloupe, called Rocky Ford cantaloupes, which are grown in the Rocky Ford region of southeastern Colorado.
These cantaloupes were harvested in August and September, distributed widely in the United States, and are currently available in grocery stores. In addition, laboratory testing by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment identified Listeria monocytogenes bacteria on cantaloupe collected from grocery stores and from an ill person¡¯s home.
So far, a total of 15 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogenes have been reported from 4 states. All illnesses started on or after August 15, 2011. The number of infected persons identified in each state is as follows: Colorado (11), Nebraska (1), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (2). Listeriosis illnesses in several other states are currently being investigated by state and local health departments to determine if these illnesses are part of this outbreak. Investigators are using DNA analysis of Listeria isolated from patients to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak.
Among persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after August 15, 2011. Ages range from 38 to 96 years, with a median age of 84 years old. Most ill persons are over 60 years old or have health conditions that weaken the immune system. Seventy-three percent of ill persons are female. All 15 (100%) patients were hospitalized, and one death has been reported.
The CDC has not yet indicated whether the nine cases of listeriosis, including three fatalities, that have been identified by the New Mexico Department of Health are linked to this outbreak. However, preliminary investigation has revealed that all nine New Mexico residents consumed cantaloupe. New Mexico¡¯s cases are currently pending molecular fingerprinting laboratory tests at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see if they are part of the same outbreak.

How to Keep Food Free of Salmonella: Lawsuits
Source : http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/08/how-to-keep-food-free-of-salmonella-lawsuits/244396/
By_Barry Estabrook -(Aug 31, 2011)
Even if the government won't go after the food industry, William Marler will-by ensuring safe food through litigation
Given that Salmonella-contaminated ground turkey produced by Cargill, Inc. had already sickened more than 100 people and killed one, William Marler's offer to the Minneapolis-based company early last month seemed worth considering: Regularly test your meat for antibiotic-resistant Salmonella, and I won't sue you.
Suing corporations that sicken their customers is something Marler does often and well. He is a Seattle trial attorney whose firm, Marler Clark, specializes in representing victims of food poisoning. It's proven to be a lucrative specialty. Marler has won more than $600 million for his clients over the past two decades. A good chunk of that money has come from Cargill, which, according to Marler, has had four outbreaks of resistant Salmonella in its facilities in the last 10 years.
Marler also knows a fair bit about self-promotion. His offer was obviously designed to draw public attention to his firm, which represents about two dozen victims of the most recent Cargill outbreak. But in addition, Marler hoped that his overture would shine light on one of the most gaping holes in the tattered safety net that is supposed to keep our food supply safe.
Astoundingly, under current United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules, it's perfectly okay for companies to sell meat to the public that is contaminated with Salmonella and other disease-causing bacteria.
Although the USDA stipulates that meat and poultry containing "adulterants" cannot be sold, it recognizes only one bug-E. coli O157:H7-as an adulterant, even though Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, and many other strains of E. coli have also sickened or killed people. In a twist of logic that would baffle anyone other than a bureaucrat, these potentially lethal bacteria achieve official adulterant status after the fact-only in specific instances when they actually make people sick. "Then they magically become adulterants," Marler said in an interview.
Since the USDA decreed that E. coli O157:H7 was an adulterant in 1994 and required companies to test for the bug and to cook any positive samples before distributing them to consumers, Marler has noticed a dramatic drop in the outbreaks of illness caused by E. coli-tainted ground meat. "Prior to that, 90 percent of our firm's revenue came from E. coli cases linked to hamburger," he said. "That's virtually disappeared-with one little act."
Marler wanted Cargill to perform the same scientifically-based sampling for resistant Salmonella as it does for E. coli and to divert any contaminated meat for use in precooked products (thorough cooking kills the harmful bacteria). If Cargill agreed to do that, he proposed to sit down behind closed doors with company lawyers to quietly negotiate a fair settlement. Having handled more than 5,000 salmonella-poisoning cases in his career, Marler said that he has a good idea of reasonable rewards for his clients.
The obvious question is: Why do such obvious suggestions on how to improve food safety have to come from a trial lawyer instead of from well-paid officials within the government agency that is supposed to protect our meat?
Marler says that part of the problem is that attorneys at the USDA (and the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees food safety in all areas other than meat and poultry) are reluctant to deploy the enforcement tools they have. "I can count on one hand the outbreaks that have led to illness and deaths that there's been a criminal charge or a penalty other that the government saying, 'You poisoned a lot of people; you killed a lot of people, and you need to recall some of your meat or lettuce.' That's about the extent of what the government does."
In one tongue-in-cheek blog post last month, Marler suggested that certain duties of the Attorney General's office be privatized, and he volunteered to assume some duties himself. "I would be willing to put people in jail for poisoning people, and I would do it on the cheap-perhaps for the fun of it," he wrote, and then went on to point out several laws that he says any moderately competent prosecutor could use to jail CEOs of companies that poison people.
The executives at Cargill don't seem worried. After the outbreak became public in August, the company recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey-the third largest meat recall in history. According to Mike Martin, a Cargill spokesman, the company also adopted an enhanced food safety program which he claims is "the most aggressive monitoring and sampling program in the poultry industry." Cargill also created an independent panel of experts to review its actions and make additional recommendations.
But Cargill stopped short of accepting Marler's proposal to test its meat for resistant Salmonella, and one of the company's attorneys told him that he should go ahead and sue.
He obliged.

9 Cases of Listeria with 3 Deaths Identified in New Mexico and Potentially Linked to Cantaloupes
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/9-cases-of-listeria-with-3-deaths-identified-in-new-mexico-and-potentially-linked-to-cantaloupes/
By_Claire Mitchell (Sep 13, 2011)
Yesterday, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced in a press release that it had identified 9 cases of Listeria infection throughout the state. According to health officials, 3 of those 9 cases resulted in death. The fatal cases included a 93-year-old man from Bernalillo County, a 61-year-old female from Curry County, and a 63-year-old man from Bernalillo County. The other hospitalized cases in New Mexico come from Bernalillo, Chaves, Otero, De Baca, and Lea counties. The ill people range in age from the 43 to 96 and include 4 men and 5 women. Illness onset ranges from August 20th to early September. NMDOH has preliminarily linked this outbreak of Listeria infections to cantaloupe. Health officials report that all nine cases had consumed cantaloupe.
This report from NMDOH comes just shortly after Dr. Chris Urbina, chief medical officer and executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, announced that the Rocky Ford growing region may be the source of the contaminated cantaloupes that have sickened people in Colorado, Nebraska, and Texas. Health officials in New Mexico are now wondering whether these two outbreaks could be connected.
New Mexico¡¯s cases are currently pending molecular fingerprinting laboratory tests at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to see if they are part of the same outbreak.

The Big Six: USDA's Newest Banned Bugs
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/09/meet-the-big-six---usdas-newest-cast-of-adulterants/
by _Gretchen Goetz (Sep 13, 2011)
Ever since the Jack in the Box outbreak of 1993, E. coli O157:H7 has been understood as a major public health threat. It was declared illegal by the U.S. Department of Agriculture the following year, and ground beef is now tested regularly for its presence.
But while other strains of pathogenic E. coli have since caused dozens of foodborne illness outbreaks and account for two thirds of E. coli illnesses each year, they have not been regulated by the USDA. Until now. Today the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) called for rulemaking that will give it power to remove meats from the market if they contain any of the six most common non-O157 E. coli, known as the "Big Six."
What are these six pathogens? A brief history of some of the outbreaks they have caused evidences the danger they pose:
E. coli O26
Strawberries and/or Blueberries (MA)
In 2006, an outbreak of E. coli O26 in Massachusetts was linked to the consumption of either strawberries or blueberries. Six people were sickened as part of the outbreak, and one was hospitalized.
Colorado Correctional Facility
An outbreak of three different types of E. coli (O26, O121 and O84) from pasteurized American cheese and margarine sickened 135 people at the facility in 2007. Ten victims were hospitalized. The illnesses were associated with ill food workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Ground beef, ME and NY
In late August of 2010, Cargill Meat Solutions issued a recall of 8,500 pounds of hamburger meat suspected to be the cause of three E. coli O26 illnesses in Maine and New York. This was the first recorded outbreak of the strain linked to meat.
E. coli O45
New York Correctional Facility
In August and September of 2005, 2.4 percent of the inmates at a North Carolina correctional facility experienced bloody diarrhea. The infections were linked to E. coli O45, which ultimately sickened 52 inmates and food workers and caused 3 hospitalizations.
North Carolina - Farm Animals
An investigation into 11 E. coli O45 infections in 2006 was traced back to contact with goats kept on a family farm in North Carolina.
E. coli O111
Country Cottage Restaurant, OK
In the largest outbreak of E. coli O111 in the U.S., the small community of Locust Grove, Oklahoma was shaken when 341 of its residents, or almost one-third of its population, reported severe diarrhea, and 70 people were hospitalized. Of these patients, 17 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening complication of poisoning from the Shiga toxins carried by dangerous strains of E. coli. One victim died. Interviews with patients revealed that all of them had eaten at the local Country Cottage restaurant.
Private Wedding Reception, ND
An outbreak of E. coli O111 among people who had attended a wedding in North Dakota in July of 2007 was ultimately linked to ground beef served at the reception. In total, 23 guests were sickened.
E. coli O103
Washington State, Banquet Hall Punch
In January of 2000, a total of 18 people fell ill after attending a banquet in Washington state. Their infections were ultimately linked to drinking punch served at the banquet hall. At least one victim is known to have developed HUS.
E. coli O121
Connecticut Lake Water
In July of 1999, an outbreak of E. coli O121 was associated with swimming in a lake in Connecticut. Of the 11 outbreak victims, three children developed kidney failure as a result of their infections. The outbreak was thought to have originated from fecal contamination from a storm drain that emptied into the beach area.
Wendy's Restaurant, UT
In July of 2006, Following a luncheon at a junior high school in Harrisville Utah, four people became ill with E. coli O121:H19 infections. The illnesses were linked to iceberg lettuce prepared at the Wendy's restaurant of North Ogden, UT, which had catered the event. The CDC reported that 42 people were sickened by the outbreak, although it is estimated that over 300 were exposed to the contaminated food. Of the victims, three were hospitalized with HUS.
E. coli O145
Multistate Freshway Lettuce Outbreak
In April of 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 23 confirmed cases of E. coli O145 and 7 more cases possibly linked to the outbreak. Many patients were students at Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, and Daemon College in Buffalo, New York. In Ann Arbor, Michicagn, several victims had eaten at the same restaurant. Officials eventually pinpointed shredded romaine lettuce produced by Freshway Foods as the outbreak vehicle.
Zilman's Meat Market, WI
In January of this year, 7 cases of E. coli O145 were traced to ready-to-eat meat products sold at Zilman's Meat Market at the end of 2010. Three of the vicitms were family members from Michigan who shared ready-to-eat smoked meat from the deli.

French botulism alert raised in US, Cargill recalls more ground turkey
Source : http://www.foodqualitynews.com/Food-Alerts/French-botulism-alert-raised-in-US-Cargill-recalls-more-ground-turkey
By Rory Harrington( Sep 12, 2011)
The international alert over botulism-contaminated food from France spread to the US over the weekend as federal authorities warned consumers not to eat tapenade made by the company La Ruche.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued a recall notice from meat giant Cargill for a further 185,000 pounds (84,000 kg) of ground turkey over fears of Salmonella-tainted turkey. Last month the company issued a nationwide recall of 36m pounds (16.36m kg) of turkey meat because of concerns it was contaminated with the bacteria.
Botulism tapenade
Food safety officials Saturday issued an alert over the spreadable tomato paste made by La Ruche after similar warnings had been posted in both France and the UK. The firm¡¯s brands ¡®Les delices de Marie-Claire¡¯,¡¯Terre de Mistral¡¯ and ¡®Les Secrets d¡¯Anais¡¯, have all tested positive for botulism.
Eight adults are currently suffering from respiratory failure as a result of eating foods containing the neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum, said the FDA.
The body said the products were a ¡°severe threat to human health¡± and should be disposed of immediately. Anyone who consumed the products should seek immediate medical help. But officials said there was no indication that any of these products had entered the US. Botulism can be fatal due to respiratory failure. Classic symptoms include impaired vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth, and muscle weakness.
Cargill Salmonella
Cargill raised the alarm after a further ground turkey sample tested positive for Salmonella Heidberg in the wake of the post-recall review from the previous incident on 3 August. Production of ground turkey has again been suspended at the site but no other turkey products either at the same plant, nor at Cargill¡¯s other three US turkey processing facilities, have been affected.
Listeria outbreak
US state authorities also confirmed that tainted cantaloupe melons could be responsible for a listeria outbreak that has killed at least one person in Colorado and spread into two other states. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said that all of the nine confirmed cases of the gastrointestinal infection in Colorado, two suspected cases in Texas and one in Nebraska, had eaten the melon. Officials said they haven't yet traced where the tainted melons were sold.

Monterey County Warns of Vibrio in Oysters
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/09/monterey-county-warns-of-vibrio-in-oysters/
By_ News Desk (Sep 11, 2011)
The Monterey County Health Department announced late last week that several illnesses associated with the consumption of raw or undercooked oysters had been reported in the area. The health department encouraged consumers to avoid eating raw or undercooked oysters due to potential contamination with Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a bacterium that causes foodborne illness. According to the health department, consumers should avoid raw oysters or those that are lightly steamed, marinated, or prepared Rockefeller to avoid illness.
Symptoms of vibriosis, the illness caused by the ingestion of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, and chills. The symptoms usually appear about 12 hours after eating infected shellfish, but they can begin within two hours or as late as 48 hours after consumption. The illness is usually moderate and lasts for two to seven days; however, it can be more serious, even life threatening to people with weak immune systems or chronic liver disease. Taking certain medications may make vibriosis more likely to occur after eating shellfish. To help keep shellfish safe to eat, keep them cool from the time they are harvested until the time they are cooked. Thorough cooking will kill the bacteria, making the shellfish safe to eat. Food safety specialists recommend oysters be cooked to an internal temperature of 145¡Æ F to kill bacteria




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

20% registration fee off by 8/31/2011
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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