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6th International Conference for Food Safety and Quality
(Nov. 8-9, 2011)
, Chicago, IL

Following companies finished registration
Costco Wholesale, Roka Bioscience, Government of Alberta, Cooper Farms Processing,
Neogen Corporation, EnviroLogix Inc., Regal Springs Trading, Ecolab, Ministry of health, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., Mead Johnson, Baptista's Bakery, Inc., DeltaTRAK, Masterson Company, Roka Bioscience, Inc., GoldCoast Salads, Remel, part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, Regal Springs Trading, University of Texas, Nellson Nutraceuticals, Isola Imports, Inc., FoodChek Systems Inc., EnviroLogix Inc., Home Market Foods,
Sargento Foods Inc., Thermo King, Sokol & Company, Saraniecki Inst. Nut.Environ. Health Inc,
Roka Bioscience, Perdue Farms, Inc., Restaurant Depot, Saputo Cheese USA, Inc.,
Home Market Foods, Charm Sciences, Inc., DuPont Qualicon, JFC International Inc., Annies, Inc.
Rain Crow Ranch - American GrassFed Beef, Kentucky Food Safety Consulting, 360 Food Safety,
bioventure centre pte ltd, DPI Specialty Foods, Universidad del Esta, Griffith Laboratories,
The Morning Star Packing Company, Lallemand Specialties, Proliant Dairy Ingredients
and more and more

Comments from Previous Conference Attendees
Completely impressed and will attend again - Christopher Finch (US Army)
Great Conference- I will recommend to others - Lisa Mason-Sanders (Coca-Cola Co.)
Good opportunity for me to get idea - Fanny Au (Sunkist Growers Co.)
All was Good-Thanks - Michelle Fateh (KPG Solutions, Inc.)
Important new topics of food safety - Eduardo Freiwald (Tampico Spice Co.)
Many years of experience in Food Industries - Garvin Ratliff (Vet Command US Army)
This was a great conference - Fitzroy Smith (CENPAC DVC)
and more....

To check more information, click on picture

Six Tips For Avoiding GMOs When You Eat Out
Source :
By Alicia Katz,(Nov 16, 2011)
Choosing the perfect restaurant can be hard enough but when you’re looking for a non-genetically modified meal it seems almost impossible.  Of course the best solution would be to stay home and prepare the meal yourself. That way, you know exactly how it was prepared and what ingredients you used. But sometimes you just want to go out and meet with frieies of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist viruses.
2. Call Ahead: Call the restaurant before you head out and find out what kind of oil is used to cook. True Food Network’s Shopping Guide suggests that “unless labeled explicitly, corn, soybean, cottonseed, and canola oils probably contain genetically modified products”.  If they tell you vegetable oil or margarine, chances are they use versions of the same geneticnds or family and have someone else do all the cooking. So, if you’re trying to eliminate genetically modified foods, what steps should you take when eating out?
1. Avoid Certain Ingredients: Avoid ordering meals that contain the most common genetically modified ingredients:
Soy: 94% of the soybeans planted in the US are genetically modified.  Avoid ordering any tofu, miso, tempeh, soy sauce or meat/dairy substitutes. / Corn: 88% of the corn planted in the US is genetically modified. Avoid ordering any variety of corn including corn tortillas, tamales, grits, or polenta. / Hawaiian Papaya: According to True Food Network, half of Hawaii’s papayas are genetically modified.
Squash: Several varietally modified oils. Try to frequent restaurants that are culturally known for using olive oil, like Greek or Italian cuisine, or ask for your meal to be cooked without oil.
3. Skip the Soda: void ordering soft drinks when eating out. Most sodas are sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and the diet versions are sweetened with aspertame, an artificial sweetener derived from genetically modified micro-organisms.
4. Go Vegetarian: Unless the restaurant offers organic, skip the meat. Although the animal itself is not genetically modified it’s likely been eating GMOs. Look for restaurants that offer USDA Certified Organic meats. According to the Organic Trade Association, animals raised organically cannot have any genetically modified feed and cannot be fed antibiotics, the bovine human growth hormone (rbGH), or any other artificial drugs.
5. Ask for Wild Salmon: Although farm-raised salmon are not genetically modified yet, they’re swimming in that direction. The US Food and Drug Association recently supported the commercialization of a genetically modified salmon called AquAdvantage. Produced by AquaBounty Technologies, these genetically modified salmon will have a growth gene that allows them to grow twice as fast as natural-born salmon. Since the FDA does not require labeling of genetically modified products, there is no way for you to separate the GM fish from a natural-born, farm-raised fish.
6. Dine Locally: Big chain restaurants tend to order their supplies wholesale from a central supplier. This means the foods that are delivered all over the country need a longer shelf life and have more additives that could be derived from GMOs. Though not all do, local restaurant owners are more likely to source their ingredients locally and they may be more open to discussing it with you. Another plus about eating at a local restaurant is that most will cook meals from scratch and not use packaged mixes or sauces that are more likely to have GM ingredients.

EFSA calls for new safety measures after deadly E.coli outbreak
Source :
By Rory Harrington (Nov 16, 2011)
Sprouted seed producers should introduce extra food safety measures throughout the production chain in the wake of the deadly E.coli outbreak in Europe this year, said the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The agency called for tougher procedures to cut the risk posed by shiga-toxin producing E.coli in sprouted seed (sprouts, shoots and cress) as it delivered its verdict following outbreaks in Germany and France that killed 50 and sickened over 4,000. Experts from the food safety watchdog declared that sprouted seeds present heightened safety concerns as they are usually eaten raw or after minimal processing. Pathogenic bacteria are able to contaminate seeds and grow during sprouting, said the body’s panel on Biological hazards (BIOHAZ).
The group noted that sprouts had been linked to previous outbreaks. They were most commonly caused by Salmonella and E.coli pathogens – sometimes at the very low levels of just four bacteria/kg in seeds for sprouted products.
Risk factors
Seed contamination can happen in a raft of ways – both in production and processing, said the panel. Key risk factors in production centre on agricultural practices, storage and distribution – with contaminated irrigation water and/or manure, the presence of birds and rodents in storage facilities all posing risks. Dust and soil particles are also potential hazards, said EFSA. Processing conditions – such as temperature and humidity – that exist during germination and sprouting of contaminated seeds can boost the growth of pathogens and “should be considered as major risk factors”, added BIOHAZ. Poor traceability of seed lots is a further issue which can lead to a delay in action taken by health authorities and prevent producers pinpointing which seed batch may be contaminated. The widespread distribution of seed lots can also increase the size and geographical spread of an outbreak.
False sense of security
In examining the use of microbiological testing as a solution, EFSA said major challenges existed as methods to detect emerging pathogens in sprouts and seeds “may not yet exist or be applied”.
A lack of information on the risks factors during production means laying down of hygiene methods has been difficult, said the panel as it called for more data collection on the matter.
“Microbiological testing alone may convey a false sense of security due to the statistical limitation of sampling plans,” added the report. “A negative sample result does not ensure the absence of the pathogen in the tested lot, particularly where it is present at low or heterogeneous prevalence. It is currently not possible to evaluate the extent of public health protection provided by specific microbiological criteria for seeds and sprouted seeds.”
The agency outlined options to mitigate the risk – including the implementation of HACCP principles by operators throughout the production chain.
“The hazard analysis should include risk classification of commodities, regions of origin, and operators and suppliers of seeds,” said BIOHAZ.
But it noted that in seeds it can be difficult to define critical control points (CCPs) including hazard control measures, critical limits and monitoring in seed production and, to some extent, in sprout production.
While decontamination of seeds is practiced in some EU states, the panel said no method of decontamination was currently available to ensure elimination of pathogens in all types of seeds without affecting seed germination or sprout yield. EFSA said the safety and efficacy of different seed decontamination treatments – such as chemical, heat treatment, irradiation alone or in combination - should be examined on an EU level. It also suggested the introduction of a chill chain for sprouts and shoots from end of production to consumption is necessary to limit growth of bacterial pathogens.

Iowa egg farm pays salmonella victims
Source :
By RYAN J. FOLEY(Nov 16, 2011)
Dozens of people sickened last year after eating salmonella-tainted eggs will receive compensation, including six-figure checks for two children, in the first wave of legal settlements with the Iowa egg producer blamed in the outbreak, attorneys in the case have told The Associated Press. Wright County Egg, owned by egg magnate Jack DeCoster, reached financial settlements with roughly 40 salmonella victims during a Sept. 14 mediation conference in Minneapolis, both sides confirmed. The financial payouts are coming from Selective Insurance, the company's insurer.
"The DeCoster family continues to sympathize with those who became ill, and we are pleased to begin resolving these cases," the DeCoster Family said a statement to the AP.
While the settlements are confidential, details of three became public last week when a federal judge in Iowa approved deals totaling $366,000 for children from Texas, California and Iowa who were hospitalized after becoming sick. They offer a glimpse into the litigation and show payments varied widely depending on how seriously the claimant was sickened.
Federal officials say 1,900 people fell ill during the outbreak that started in July 2010 and was later linked to contaminated eggs supplied by Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa. Both companies voluntarily recalled 550 million eggs nationwide. Regulators put most of the blame on Wright County Egg, based in Galt, Iowa, which sold chickens and feed to Hillandale. Wright County Egg also had more illnesses linked to its eggs and was cited for numerous violations.
Inspectors found samples of salmonella at both farms along with dead chickens, insects, rodents, towers of manure and other filthy conditions. A congressional investigation revealed that Wright County Egg's testing found salmonella samples more than 400 times between 2008 and 2010. "In short, the Wright County Egg facility was a major salmonella outbreak waiting to happen," Seattle attorney Bill Marler wrote in demand letters seeking compensation from the company. "Our clients were among those sickened when the outbreak did, in fact, come to fruition." Salmonella is a bacteria that typically causes fever, cramps and diarrhea within 12 to 72 hours of eating a tainted product. It lasts for several days and can require hospitalization. The largest of three settlements made public last week was $250,000 for a 3-year-old boy who had severe diarrhea and vomiting and collapsed days later at pre-school, where his mother found him on the ground shivering and holding his right leg in pain. The boy had to spend a week in the hospital because the infection had spread to bones and muscles and was life-threatening.
The boy's parents, Jennifer and Jason Tucker of Sachse, Texas, said in legal documents that it was heartbreaking to watch their son in so much pain.
Elsewhere, $100,000 was awarded in the case of an 11-year-old Newbury Park, Calif., girl who fell violently ill and was hospitalized for four days; and $16,000 was awarded to a 16-year-old Urbandale, Iowa, girl who was rushed to the emergency room after eating a restaurant sandwich dipped in egg-batter and fried.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett on Nov. 10 approved the settlements, which include compensation for medical bills, legal fees, and money for the child's pain and suffering that won't be available until they turn 18. The settlement for the 3-year-old includes $70,000 for his parents, $15,000 to cover medical expenses and a $100,000 annuity to be invested from which he'll receive guaranteed payments of $25,000 at age 18, $50,000 at 21 and $119,059 at 25.
Marler said details of the other cases were confidential and he declined to put a price tag on the total value. He said the children's settlements needed the approval of a federal judge because they are minors, and that is why they became public.
"This is not like a gift to them," he said. "It's compensation for a pretty frightening experience for some of these people, especially like the Tuckers."
The settlements do not end the legal problems facing DeCoster, who built an egg empire stretching from Maine to Iowa and has a long record of labor, health and environmental violations. His son, Peter DeCoster, ran Wright County Egg.
Houston attorney Ron Simon said he has sent letters seeking compensation on behalf of 70 individuals sickened during the outbreak — "an enormous amount of money" he declined to reveal. He said he hopes to reach settlements in those cases during a mediation conference scheduled for next month in California.
A Chicago law firm in March dropped a lawsuit in which attorneys planned to seek class-action status on behalf of victims, but attorney Kurt Hyzy said they are trying to negotiate out-of-court settlements for roughly 40 clients.
Simon said he has learned DeCoster's companies have $26 million in insurance coverage spread out over three policies and "he's going to need every bit of it."
"They have a tremendous amount of punitive damage exposure for their prior history of salmonella testing which they didn't reveal to the government and prior history of Mr. DeCoster and other egg farms that have been fined so many millions of dollars," he said. "They've got a lot of evidentiary baggage to carry around."
Marler said he and his associates turned down four people who had salmonella for every one claim they pursued. He said many of those sickened could not prove they ate eggs in the hours before they got sick. Others likely never came forward because they had salmonella before the eggs were implicated as the cause.
"In a lot of these outbreaks where people got sick over several months, it's difficult to connect up the dots between ill people, the food and the outbreak," he said.

Child with E. coli O157 linked to fair out of hospital
Source :
by Ben Chapman (Nov 15, 2011)
Brooke Cain of the Raleigh News & Observer writes that one of the children affected by an outbreak of E. coli O157 is now out of hospital after a two week stay. 27-month-old Hunter Tallent of Shelby, was released from the hospital Thursday afternoon.
“The hospital told us when he got there that he was within 24 hours of dying,” his grandmother said. “But he bounced back. It took awhile, and it was a real roller coaster, but he’s much better.” Hunter’s father said his son will go back to doctors periodically for check-ups over the next two weeks, but that he was generally in good spirits Thursday.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said a task force will be formed to look at the information gathered by health officials and to determine additional safety steps.
“We’re going to do everything humanly possible,” Troxler said. “We recognize there are inherent risks at large public events like the State Fair, but we know we also owe it to fairgoers to do everything we can to minimize the risks and put on a safe fair every year.”
Agriculture Department spokesman Brian Long said a hand-washing station was set up just outside the [Kelley Building's] entrance, and Troxler emphasized that buildings used for animal competitions are cleaned and disinfected each day after shows. “Our goal is, whatever we ultimately decide can be done, we want it in place by next year’s State Fair,” he said.

Does a dirty restaurant toilet mean the kitchen’s filthy, too?
Source :’s-filthy-too/
by Doug Powell (Nov 15, 2011)
Joyce Slaton of Chow tracked me down the other day and we had a lovely chat about yucky things after I had taken my daughter to school and before she had to pick up her daughter. Time zones.
Slaton writes that research conducted in the summer of 2011 by Harris Interactive found a solid 79 percent of respondents saying they’d avoid a restaurant after encountering a nasty bathroom. But does the link between a filthy toilet and a dirty prep table even make sense? Hard data is rare. Though health and restaurant inspectors do check for the general appearance of cleanliness in restrooms and dining areas, they save their swabs and scientific gauges for the food-prep areas.
But as Douglas Powell, professor of food safety at Kansas State University, publisher of food safety-focused, and a passionate proponent of proper handwashing (we’ll get to that in a moment), says, “There’s a yuck factor when you go in and say, ‘Eww, this is dirty, what else is?’ But there’s no proven correlation between having a dirty bathroom and unsafe food. The employees have different sinks to wash their hands in. You don’t see those—they’re at the back.”
Chowhound poster soupkitten makes a good point in a thread titled Freezing Bathrooms=Omen: “Folks who want to point to a smudge on the front window of a restaurant or a smudge on the floor of the men’s room as evidence that the kitchen of a restaurant or any other business is unsanitary seriously need to realize that most establishments have divisions of labor and that the brunch crew comes in at 6 a.m. to crack eggs, not wash windows and wipe down toilet seats!”
Meanwhile, Powell (politely) pshaw-ed my notion that a dirty bathroom meant that diners should order differently or avoid a restaurant.
“But,” he warns, “if you see a cook or a waiter come in and use the bathroom and start to leave without washing up, say something [like], ‘Dude, wash your hands!’” Powell also hopes patrons will speak up when bathrooms don’t have the tools for proper handwashing. Which are?
• Vigorously flowing water: “Temperature doesn’t matter,” says Powell, despite the fact that we’ve all been told that warm water works better. Microbiologically, it doesn’t matter.
• Soap: Lather energetically for 10 seconds, not 20 as you may have heard. It’s OK with Powell if you want to sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself while you do it, but he’d rather you count than sing kiddie songs.
• Paper towels: The blow-dryers disperse microorganisms into the air and they don’t get your hands dry, says Dr. Powell. Paper towels are better. But don’t bother using one to hold the bathroom door handle as you go out: The door handle surface isn’t a particularly great place for bacteria to grow.

Global food safety training fund established at APEC
Source :
By Caroline Scott-Thomas (Nov 14, 2011)
A new global food safety fund was announced at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in Honolulu, Hawaii on Saturday, to support global food safety improvements and understanding of best practices.
The US Agency for International Development, Mars Incorporated and Waters Corporation pledged a joint $1m to the fund, which is to be managed by the World Bank, with a goal of raising $15m-$20m over the next decade.
The partnership is intended to build on a memorandum of understanding signed by APEC’s Food Safety Cooperation Forum and the World Bank in May, to strengthen food safety collaboration in the Asia Pacific region.
Managing director of the World Bank Sri Mulyani Indrawati said: "Food safety issues increasingly bear a major impact upon economies, public health and food security around the world. Each impact has its own issues and consequences, and as the global economy becomes more interdependent, the impacts become heightened. The Fund will raise awareness of the importance of food safety capacity building, develop policy and economic analysis, identify best practices and mobilize and target funding for activities worldwide."
The fund will involve governments, industry and academia, and has three main priorities, based on a model developed by APEC’s Food Safety Cooperation Forum: Developing, testing and validating programs in APEC to create customizable training modules; addressing high priority food hazards, contaminants and pathogens; and strengthening analytics and metrics, for consistent, scaleable design and evaluation of food safety systems.
President and CEO of the GMA Pamela Bailey said in a statement: “Food and beverage companies have a vast amount of experience, knowledge and understanding when it comes to developing and manufacturing safe products. We know what works, what doesn’t work and how to apply best practices along the entire global supply chain to ensure our products are safe. This fund will allow us to share our skills and technical expertise in food safety on a much broader scale.”
APEC is, a forum of 21 Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, which seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the region. Member economies account for nearly half the world’s food production, and over 40% of its population.

Salmonella Peanut Butter - Again?
Source :
by Bill Marler (Nov 17, 2011)
J.M. Smucker Co. is recalling some 16-ounce jars of its Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter Chunky sold in several states because of possible salmonella contamination.
The Ohio-based company says the jars covered in the recall would have been purchased in the last week or so. They have “Best if Used By” dates of Aug. 3, 2012 and Aug. 4, 2012, plus the production codes 1307004 and 1308004.
Smucker says no illnesses have been reported.
The product was distributed in: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.

Get the Real Raw Milk Facts from Updated Website
Source :
by Bill Marler (Nov 16, 2011)
A working group comprising public health experts, raw milk enthusiasts, food safety advocates, and others in the scientific community is announcing the launch of the newly improved website: Real Raw Milk Facts.
The website is devoted to addressing hot topics that surround raw milk, such as safety, homeopathic advantages, and the laws and regulations that govern the sale of raw milk. All content for the site is reviewed by scientists and health educators in universities, government, industry, and professional organizations.
Beyond presenting evidence-based scientific research and opinion, the website stays up to date on topics of interest in the food safety and raw milk communities, shares the stories of those who have developed foodborne illness as a result of consuming raw milk products, and provides information on current and past dairy (raw and pasteurized) outbreaks and recalls. The site also maintains an interactive map that gives state-specific raw milk rules and regulations.
Microbiologist and co-author of the website, Dr. Michele Jay-Russell, says the site is important as raw milk becomes a more prevalent issue. “There is a lot of information out there about raw milk that lacks scientific merit,” said Jay-Russell. “This website is designed to present straight forward, evidenced-based facts and studies so that consumers can make informed choices, especially when it comes to their children.”
Raw milk products have been at the center of controversy in recent years as its proponents have challenged laws governing its sale and production. Many raw milk enthusiasts have claimed that it not only tastes better than pasteurized milk but prevents against autism, cancer, Crohn’s Disease, and asthma.
However, outbreaks such as the recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was linked to California-based raw milk producer Organic Pastures by the California Department of Food and Agriculture lead others to declare that the risks outweigh the benefits.
“At this point most of the purported advantages of raw milk are still anecdotal, but the risks are proven,” said William Marler, the site’s publisher. “As a parent, I think it’s important to have all the facts when considering giving a child raw milk.”
Mary McGonigle-Martin, whose son developed a life-threatening E. coli infection in 2006 after drinking contaminated raw milk bought at a health food store, welcomes the education material. “Parents need to know the risks involved if considering raw milk for their children,” said McGonigle-Martin. “If this site had been around in 2006, I would have never let my son drink raw milk.”

Organic Pastures Raw Milk Dairy Recall Announced by CDFA after Five Kids Sickened
Source :
by Bill Marler (Nov 15, 2011)
Consumers urged to dispose of raw dairy products due to suspected E. coli O157:H7 bacterial contamination
Raw milk products produced by Organic Pastures of Fresno County are the subject of a statewide recall and quarantine order announced by California State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Whiteford. Under the recall, all Organic Pastures raw dairy products with the exception of cheese aged a minimum of 60 days are to be pulled immediately from retail shelves and consumers are strongly urged to dispose of any products remaining in their refrigerators. Until further notice, Organic Pastures may not produce raw milk products for the retail market. The order also affects Organic Pastures raw butter, raw cream, raw colostrum, and a raw product labeled “Qephor.”
The quarantine order came following a notification from the California Department of Public Health of a cluster of five children who were infected, from August through October, with the same strain of E. coli O157:H7. These children are residents of Contra Costa, Kings, Sacramento, and San Diego counties. Interviews with the families indicate that the only common reported food exposure is unpasteurized (raw) milk from Organic Pastures dairy. Three of the five children were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that may lead to kidney failure. There have been no deaths. Surveys indicate that only about three percent of the public report drinking raw milk in any given week so finding 100% of these children drank raw milk and the absence of other common foods or animal exposures indicates the Organic Pastures raw milk is the likely source of their infection.
While laboratory samples of Organic Pastures raw milk have not detected E. coli 0157:H7 contamination, epidemiologic data collected by the California Department of Public Health link the illnesses with Organic Pastures raw milk.
The great majority of milk consumed in California is pasteurized. Raw milk is not pasteurized. Pasteurization is a process that kills harmful bacteria. In California, state law requires that raw milk and raw milk products shall bear the following warning on the label: "Warning - raw (unpasteurized) milk and raw milk dairy products may contain disease-causing micro-organisms. Persons at highest risk of disease from these organisms include newborns and infants; the elderly; pregnant women; those taking corticosteroids, antibiotics or antacids; and those having chronic illnesses or other conditions that weaken their immunity."
Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection may include abdominal cramps and diarrhea which is often bloody. Most infected people recover within a week; however, some may develop complications that require hospitalization. Young children and the elderly are at highest risk for a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which includes kidney failure. People who develop symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection after consuming unpasteurized milk or milk products should consult their health care provider. Physicians who have patients suspected of having HUS or E. coli O157:H7 infections should report them to the local health department.
CDFA milk and dairy foods safety experts have begun a complete inspection at Organic Pastures dairy - of all facets of operations, from the cows to the bottling plant. Before the quarantine may be lifted, the facility must meet all sanitation requirements under state law. Additionally, raw milk products will be tested to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

Rocky Road Ahead for Cantaloupe After Listeria Outbreak
Source :
by Helena Bottemiller (Nov 15, 2011)
Cantaloupe Prices Drop As Production Ramps Up
Still reeling from the deadliest foodborne illness outbreak in decades, which continues to grow, the cantaloupe industry has an uphill battle ahead, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data released Monday.
The USDA's Economic Research Service Vegetables and Melons Outlook report shows that last summer wholesale cantaloupe prices were actually 16 percent higher than previous years, which, under normal circumstances, is great news for the industry. But since the listeria outbreak caught national media attention, the price has dropped by 33.6 percent.
Potentially making the market situation worse, the department's analysis predicts that the remaining Fall harvest of cantaloupe will rise more than 10 percent, with much of the increase coming from Arizona.
Though Colorado is a minor player in the cantaloupe industry--producing only 2 percent of the U.S. market--the outbreak linked to the Rocky Ford region is having a major impact on the industry.
Regardless of where they were grown, more melons on the market combined with potential for decreased consumer demand "will put pressure on the melon sector, particularly cantaloupe," predicts ERS.
Nearly a thousand miles away from the point of contamination in Colorado, the San Joaquin Valley of California sustained a "dramatic" price reduction in less than a month's time in direct response to the listeria outbreak, according to USDA. In mid-September the shipping-point price for a half carton was $8.25. By early October, it was $5 per half.
According to USDA, cantaloupe prices usually go up in the fall after the summertime spike supply is consumed.   
"While it is too early to determine overall cantaloupe price impacts from lost consumer confidence and any resulting shifts in demand, these could also be more widespread across multiple growing regions and/or commodities," said ERS in the report. "Spillover costs in terms of compliance with new or enhanced food safety programs specific to cantaloupe will be likely. In addition, at least one buyer has announced they are developing a test-and-hold program for their cantaloupe suppliers."
Considering the two-week shelf life of the fruit, there should be no Colorado cantaloupe still on the market, but the outbreak continues to have an economic impact--on top of its tragic, and far-reaching human toll.
Because California and Arizona are the main domestic suppliers in the fall, producers in these states could take the biggest hit if consumers decide to avoid cantaloupe altogether.
California and Arizona lead the U.S. cantaloupe industry, producing 58 and 26 percent of the domestically grown melons. More than a third of cantaloupes consumed in the U.S. are imported. 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 133 confirmed cases of people becoming ill, 28 deaths, and one miscarriage in 26 states linked to the contaminated cantaloupes.
"More illnesses are expected since Listeria has a long incubation period--on average 1 to 3 weeks, but consumers can become sick 2 months or more after eating contaminated product," reported USDA. "The current outbreak is now the largest incident due to Listeria in terms of deaths since a 1985 outbreak linked to Mexican-style soft cheese resulted in 52 deaths.

Second Salmonella Turkish Pine Nut Lawsuit filed in New York
Source :
by Bill Marler (Nov15, 2011)
We have filed another lawsuit on behalf of a Rochester-area mother and daughter who contracted Salmonella illnesses after consuming Turkish pine nuts imported by Delaware-based American Pistachio Commodity Corp. This the second Salmonella lawsuit filed by us in a 42-person outbreak linked to pine nuts sold to Wegman’s stores by American Pistachio, which operates under the name “Sunrise Commodities”.
According to the complaint filed in New York Federal District Court (attached PDF), Kimberly Waterbury of Webster, NY, purchased Turkish pine nuts at a local Wegmans grocery store in late August. In the days following purchase, Ms. Waterbury and her 16-year-old daughter consumed the pine nuts. On approximately August 31, the girl began developing gastrointestinal symptoms indicative of a Salmonella illness. The symptoms worsened until September 3, at which point the girl was taken to the emergency room. She was released that same day, but was forced to return to the ER on September 5. The complaint further states that Ms. Waterbury herself fell ill with a Salmonella infection on September 7. Health officials have notified the family that both illnesses have been linked to the multi-state Salmonella outbreak associated with Turkish pine nuts sold at Wegmans stores.
On November 3, 2011 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that at least 42 people across five states had been made ill with Salmonella Enteritidis infections. At the same time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that Wegmans Food Markets had recalled 5,000 pounds of pine nuts imported from Turkey. Wegmans is not named in either lawsuit.

Chicken processor fined after worker fractures backs
Source :
By Rory Harrington (Nov15, 2011)
A chicken processor in the UK has been ordered to pay £6,500 (€7,600) for flouting health and safety laws after a worker was involved in a serious accident at its plant.
Crown Chicken was fined £3,500 and told to pay legal costs of £3,000 after a worker fell and fractured his spine at the facility in Weybread, Norfolk, England. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The incident occurred when a 61-year-old worker was carrying cladding boards up an unsecured ladder at the site when it slipped from under him. The man suffered broken vertebrae in his lower spine after falling 2.5m onto a concrete floor.
The employee was off work for six months and, while he has since returned to work, can only carry out light duties.
Inadequate planning and supervision
A probe by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that in July 2010 a supervisor at Crown Chicken’s factory had allowed the worker to help another employee in carrying out a maintenance task.
The investigation concluded: “The work was not adequately planned and the company had not provided information to its staff on how to use ladders safely.”
The employee was asked to do a task for which he was neither properly trained nor supervised, said HSE Inspector Saffron Turnell.
"More workers are injured by falling from a ladder than any other access equipment,” added Turnell. “Crown Chicken should have been aware of this and ensured that adequate systems were in place so that its employees were not put at risk.”
A Crown Chicken spokesman told “We were satisfied with the court judgement.”

Salmonella Week - Turkish Pine Nuts and Kosher Chicken Liver
Source :
by Bill Marler (Nov 12, 2011)
Kosher Broiled Chicken Livers: In August 2011, CDC identified a sustained increase in the number of Salmonella Heidelberg isolates with the outbreak strain reported to PulseNet from New York and New Jersey. From April 1 to November 4, 2011, a total of 157 illnesses were reported in New York (93 cases) and New Jersey (64 cases). Based on the previous 5 years of reports to PulseNet, New York and New Jersey would expect approximately 5 cases per month, but in June through August 2011, these states experienced approximately 30-40 cases a month. No significant increase in the number of illnesses above baseline was identified in other areas in the United States during this period. Among persons for whom information is available in New York and New Jersey, illnesses began on or after March 13, 2011. Ill persons range in age from <1 to 97 years with a median age of 10 years. Fifty-two percent are female. Among the 125 ill persons with available information, 21 (17%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
On November 8, 2011, Schreiber Processing Corporation, of Maspeth, New York, announced a voluntary recall of an undetermined amount of “kosher broiled chicken liver” products.
Turkish Pine Nuts: A total of 42 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 5 states. The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain is as follows: Maryland (1), New Jersey (2), New York (27), Pennsylvania (8), and Virginia (4).
Among 42 persons for whom information is available, illnesses began on or after August 20, 2011. Ill persons range in age from <1 to 94 years, and the median age is 43 years old. Sixty percent of patients are female. Two patients were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is recalling approximately 5,000 lbs of Turkish Pine Nuts sold in the Bulk Foods department of most Wegmans stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland between July 1 and October 18, 2011.



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

7:00 - 8:30 Registration and Breakfast (Juice, Tea, Coffee) and Poster Display
(***Exhibitors booth displaying Preparation time***)
November 7, 5:00PM - 7:00PM
November 8, 7:00AM - 9:00 AM )

8:40 - 9:00 Opening Announcement

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

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

Michael Doyle
University of Georgia

9:50 - 10:40 -
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

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

Steve L. Taylor
University of Nebraska
Co-Director of the Food Allergy Research & Resource Program

1:50 - 2:10 - Rapid Testing for Allergen Control Programs
Presentation by Ryan Waters
Charm Science

2:10 - 2:30 - Break / Visit Companies' Booth

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

2:30 - 3:00 - Food Safety in the Retail Environment - One company¡¯s Perspective

Robin Forgey
Food Safety Quality Manager

3:00 - 3:40 -
Novel biosensor technologies for high throughput screening of pathogens and toxins

Arun Bhunia
Professor, Purdue University


3:40 - 3:50 - Break / Visit Companies' Booth

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

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

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

Stan Bailey
2008 IAFP President, bioMerieux

- Adjourn

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

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

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

9:00 - 9:40 - Advanced Detection methods for food safety and quality

Mansel Griffiths
University of Geulph
Editor of AEM

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 - E. coli O157 results in less than 8 hours
Foodcheck systems Inc.

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

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

Stan Bailey
2008 IAFP President, bioMerieux


11:30 - 11:50 - Application of several detection methods for Food industries


11:50 -12:10 - Innovative methods for detection of microbiological/chemical hazards for food safety

Dupont Qualicon

12:10 - 1:10- Lunch buffet will be supported (Holiday Inn, Dinning Room)

1:10 - 1:50 - Revisitng an old friend: the power of indicator microbiology in the current era

Gregory Siragusa
Senior Principal Scientist
Danisco USA


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

2:00 - 2:30 - Impact of detection methods for food industries

Robert Koeritzer
2006 AOAC President

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

2:40 - 3:00 - Real-Time bacterial enzyme detection system

presented by Delta TRAK

3:00 - 3:20 - bioMerieux 100 years


3:20 - 3:50 - The importance of detection procedures for food safety by 3rd party

Erdogan Ceylan
Director, Silliker

3:50 - 4:10 - Attendees' Certificate / Adjourn

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