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02/06
2012
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IFT Submits Comments on Sodium Reduction Initiatives
source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/02/ift-submits-comments-on-sodium-reduction-initiati.aspx
By admin(Feb 1, 2012)
The Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) submitted comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) offering scientific perspective and practical insights on reducing sodium consumption in the United States.
In a Jan. 14 letter, IFT said it supports the continued effort to reduce sodium levels in food; however, it cited multiple challenges incurred with reducing sodium in foods that impact product attributes, such as taste, texture, nutrition, product structure and food safety.
"Our community of food professionals is excited to join in a coordinated research and outreach endeavor that maximizes private-public partnerships focused on reducing sodium intake and the risk of hypertension in the United States," said IFT President Roger Clemens, DrPH.
IFT focused on four key areas—sodium reduction technological innovations and challenges; monitoring sodium content for assessing sodium reduction initiatives; establishing and meeting voluntary sodium reduction targets; and communications issues involving government, the food industry and consumers.
Key conclusions included:
IFT believes that investing in food-based solutions for sodium reduction will stimulate meaningful, safe and sustainable impacts on sodium intake in the United States.
There is an ongoing need to build on our understanding of what is feasible and
safe for establishing voluntary sodium reductions in key food categories.
·While focusing on sodium reduction, food scientists and technologists must be supported to pursue comprehensive ways to improve nutrient dense foods and beverages at affordable prices.
·Public funds should focus on those research questions with the greatest potential to accelerate technological innovations in sodium reduction.
·Any monitoring programs and evaluation processes must integrate the expertise and experience of food scientists and food technologists, while also strengthening the ability of sodium reduction data. To develop a strong, strategic, and sustainable sodium reduction initiative, IFT believes well-thought out public investments must occur in our nation's data sources and monitoring approaches.
IFT noted emerging sodium reduction techniques, such as salt substitutes and salt taste enhancement, may help Americans meet the Dietary Guidelines. During the last three decades, food scientists have made significant progress in lowering the levels of sodium chloride—the most common form of sodium—in key food categories, while maintaining the integrity and acceptance of the product.

EFSA Re-evaluates Safety of Food Additives
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/02/efsa-re-evaluates-safety-of-food-additives.aspx
By admin(Feb 1, 2012)
The European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in 2010 to re-evaluate the safety of all previously authorized food additives by 2020, taking into account the latest science. Based on EFSA’s scientific advice, the European Commission and Member States may decide together to change the uses of additives or if needed to remove them from the EU list of authorized food additives in order to protect consumers.
The EU has defined 26 so-called “functional classes" of food additives, which include colors, sweeteners, preservatives, emulsifiers, antioxidants, glazing agents and others. Food colors are being re-evaluated first as they were among the first additives to be authorized for use in the EU. Many sweeteners were approved more recently and are scheduled for review after 2015. EFSA also can re-prioritize a food additive in light of new information; for example, the deadline for the artificial sweetener aspartame was brought forward from 2018 to 2012 due to concerns raised regarding recent studies.
All food additives currently used in the EU have been assessed for safety by EFSA and/or its predecessor, the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF), and are only included on the official EU list of approved food additives if they are considered safe for human health. In addition, whenever necessary, previous safety assessments have been reviewed and updated to take into account new scientific information pointing at a possible concern for health.

FDA Seeks Permanent Injunction Against NY Cheese Maker
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/01/fda-seeks-permanent-injunction-against-ny-cheese.aspx
By admin(Jan 31, 2012)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked the U.S. Department of Justice on Jan. 30 to seek a permanent injunction against a New York cheese manufacturer from operating because of a history of unsanitary conditions and producing cheese in a facility contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
According to the complaint, Mexicali Cheese of Woodhaven, N.Y., and two of its officers, Edinson Vergara and Claudia Marin, produced cheese under persistent unsanitary conditions that contributed to widespread Listeria monocytogenes contamination in Mexicali Cheese's facility. The complaint also alleges the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, Division of Milk Control and Dairy Services found similar unsanitary conditions in addition to product contamination.
Mexicali Cheese makes and distributes a variety of soft Mexican cheeses to grocery stores and supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Mexicali Cheese's products include queso fresco, queso Oaxaca and queso para freir.
If entered by the court, the injunction would stop the company and its officers from manufacturing and distributing food until they can bring their operations into full compliance with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA food-safety regulations.

Social media could enhance foodborne outbreak detection - report
Source: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/Social-media-could-enhance-foodborne-outbreak-detection-report
By Mark Astley (Jan 31, 2012)
“Rich data sources” like Twitter and Facebook could be utilised as a tool in the surveillance of foodborne disease outbreaks, according to a US study.
According to the research paper, The Potential Capability of Social Media as a Component of Food Safety and Food Terrorism Surveillance Systems, food safety authorities around the world could take advantage of social media platforms in the fight against foodborne outbreaks.
Detection algorithms could be designed to search for specific symptoms in the information published by individuals, the study said. Use of the words diarrhoea, vomiting and fever may provide important early warning clues for foodborne disease outbreaks.
For example, symptoms such as ‘drooping eyes’ or ‘paralysis’ could be indications of foodborne disease botulism, said the research.
Protection of public health
Ryan Newkirk wrote the report while studying for a PhD at the University of Minnesota. He has since begun working in a post-doctorate position in at the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Food Safety Fellows Programme. There are three main advantages to the use of social media as a surveillance system, according to Newkirk – timeliness, representativeness and the self-identification of outbreaks.
There are, however, limitations to the use of social media, he added.
“One limitation is how it is calibrated. These sites are built for communication, not as surveillance systems. There are some things that need to be worked at and some privacy issues that need to be worked out yet.”
“With the increased popularity of social media, with social media playing key roles in revolutions for example, we need to think about its use in food safety.”
“What this boils down to is the protection of public health.”
Enhance detection
Newkirk added that although he will not be pursuing the use of social media on behalf of the FSIS, the idea is likely to “gain traction” with other organisations.
According to the report, the sensitivity and timeliness of existing public health surveillance could be increased through exploiting the abilities of social media to link illnesses and exposures.
“Methods for analysing and interpreting social media data for indicators of intentional or unintentional foodborne disease outbreaks are not fully developed. However, components of social media- based surveillance systems could be designed to search for key words that may signal intentionally or unintentionally caused outbreaks.”
“Social media cannot replace traditional public health surveillance system components. However, the incorporation of existing social media into a public health surveillance system of systems may enhance early foodborne disease outbreak detection.”
“Augmenting existing surveillance systems with social media data may potentially translate into the reduction of morbidity and mortality related to food safety and intentional contamination events,” the report added.

Urgent overhaul of bisphenol A regs needed to protect public – report
Source : http://www.foodqualitynews.com/Public-Concerns/Urgent-overhaul-of-bisphenol-A-regs-needed-to-protect-public-report
By Rory Harrington, (Jan 31, 2012)
US federal authorities must show more urgency in dealing with bisphenol A (BPA) and begin protecting the public from hazards posed by the chemical, according to a new report from a group of academics.
In a blunt call for action, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) has urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to impose tougher regulations and speed up the pace of reform to cut consumer exposure to the chemical.
The body of regulatory scholars called on the three major agencies that deal with scrutiny of the controversial substance to accept that it poses a risk at low doses, force industry to provide more evidence of its safety in their products and implement a long-term strategy that could include a partial or full ban of BPA in food contact materials.
BPA is a chemical widely found in food packaging, including epoxy linings in cans, reusable bottles as well as plastic food and beverage containers. There is increasing concern that exposure to the endocrine disrupting substance poses serious human health risks such as cancer, reproductive defects and brain development abnormalities.
Food safety authorities in the US, Europe and Australasia have all said, however, that its continued use at current levels is safe but agreed that exposure to it by vulnerable groups such as young children and pregnant women should be reduced.
Action plan>
The CPR authors believe that the weight of evidence has not only demonstrated BPA is a risk, but poses a hazard at low doses.
It has called on US regulators to abandon the universal belief that the probability of risk increases with dose levels. Instead they are urged to accept that BPA bucks the dose trend and can, in some cases, be more dangerous at lower levels. This change of approach would mean overhauling US federal Redbook Protocols, said the scholars.
The 33-page report advocates a two-pronged approach as it outlines a series of short and long-term measures the FDA, EPA and OSHA should adopt to tackle BPA exposure.
The FDA should continue and accelerate its research and data collection efforts which should lead to it issuing new guidance on BPA-specific testing and data submission requirements.
New guidelines on BPA-free labeling need to be introduced – including the stipulation that any product that uses another endocrine disruptor in place of BPA ( such as bisphenol-S) be considered a labelling breach.
The agency should also impose new guidance for Food Contact Substance Notification that any claims for BPA-containing products aimed at vulnerable groups would likely be rejected.
Food contact approvals made since 2002 for BPA products should be reversed, and new applications denied “with the aim of imposing new safety testing, exposure and use standards,” said the White Paper.
Finally it petitions the FDA to issue new BPA regulations outlining specific uses and safety parameters – such as outlawing specific uses or mandating detailed toxicity and exposure testing data.
More urgency needed
The EPA also has an important role to play, firstly by updating its IRIS database to “accurately reflect the currently known low-dose exposure risks”, said the report.
The body should also use the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to gather exposure and use information with a view to “aggressively pursue development of its proposed BPA Test Rule and Chemicals od Concern list”.
The paper calls on the OSHA to carry out more workplace studies, develop a better database and implement new Hazard Communication standards. The influx of data should lead to the establishment of a Permissable Exposure Limit for BPA.
“We know this chemical is entering our bodies and disrupting our endocrine systems, but the federal government hasn’t yet shown enough urgency in dealing with it,” said report co-author Noah Sachs, Associate Professor at the University of Richmond School of Law. “The good news is FDA, EPA, and OSHA have the authority to start warning the public about BPA and move toward reducing our exposure to it. It’s important to address health threats like BPA carefully – but without delay.”

Brazilian orange juice detained after positive carbendazim results
Source : http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/On-your-radar/Food-safety/Brazilian-orange-juice-detained-after-positive-carbendazim-results
By Mark Astley (Jan 30, 2012)
US food safety officials have denied entry to 11 shipments of orange juice products, including five from Brazil, after carbendazim was found in import samples.
Nine shipments of orange juice or orange juice concentrate have been detained by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The owners of two shipments decided not to import into the US after testing positive for the unapproved fungicide.
The Juice Products Association (JPA) has “applauded” the FDA measures, but urged the agency to increase the allowable level of carbendazim in orange juice concentrate from 10ppb to 60ppb. Of the 11 shipments, six were from Canada and five were from Brazil.
Increase allowable limit
Under recent measures, any shipment found to contain the fungicide at 10ppb or greater – the level at which the FDA can accurately confirm the presence of carbendazim - will not be permitted entry into the US.
The US Juice Products Association (JPA) has called on the FDA to raise this allowable limit and differentiate between ready-to-drink orange juice and frozen concentrate. It has called on the FDA to raise the allowable limit for carbendazim in imported orange juice concentrate to 60ppb – six times the level allowed at the moment.
“The juice industry endorses and applauds FDA’s oversight of imported orange juice concentrate; however, juice processors maintain that evaluating orange juice on an “as consumed” basis rather than as concentrate, which no one drinks as it, is the logical and practical way to assure safety of the consumer,” JPA said in a statement published on its website.
None of the five detained Brazilian shipments, which were all frozen orange juice concentrate, contain levels of carbendazim above 60ppb.
“FDA is currently using 10 ppb as the maximum limit for carbendazim in imported orange juice concentrate as well as ready to drink orange juice. JPA is not calling for a higher allowable limit on carbendazim. We are just asking FDA to convert the measurement for carbendazim in orange juice concentrate to juice as consumed. No one drinks concentrate," JPA told FoodQualityNews.com.
"The difference would permit up to almost 60 ppb carbendazim in concentrate so that when concentrate is rehydrated for sale the levels would be below 10 ppb.”
The JPA, however, declined to comment to on the implications of the results on the industry.
Negative results
A total of 80 samples have been collected, of which 29 have tested negative for carbendazim – including two from Brazil. Another 14 were from Mexico, seven from Canada, two from Costa Rica, and one each from Belize, Honduras, Lebanon and Turkey. Results for samples from domestic manufacturers have yet to be announced.
Carbendazim, a fungicide commonly used in agriculture, is not approved for use in the production of oranges in the US. It is, however, commonly used in Brazil to combat black spot mould on orange trees.
Similar global measures
The FDA stepped-up its efforts in relation to the fungicide after it was alerted to its presence in orange juice already on the US market. Minute-Maid manufacturer Coca-Cola alerted the FDA after it found carbendazim in its marketed juice, its’ competitors and in samples that were yet to reach the market. The Agency responded to the alert in the form of a letter to the Juice Products Association (JPA) in which it promised to sample all import shipments of orange juice and “deny entry to shipments that test positive for carbendazim.” FoodQualityNews.com reported last week after identical measures were implemented by food safety authorities in Australia and New Zealand. Russia, Malaysia and Hong Kong are among several that have increased monitoring of orange juice.

Hannaford's "high-risk practices" Likely Lead to Salmonella Outbreak
Source: http://www.marlerblog.com/legal-cases/hannafords-high-risk-practices-likely-lead-to-salmonella-outbreak/
By Bill Marler (Jan 28, 2012)
Hannaford’s was implicated in a 19-victim, 7-state outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium outbreak that was likely the result of “high-risk practices;” so says the USDA’s FSIS.  Hannaford’s stores did not keep grinding records that showed the source of all the trimmings that they used when they ground their beef for resale, and the result is, will we never know the identity of the beef company that sold Hannaford’s the antibiotic-resistant Salmonella-contaminated beef.
Leslie Bridgers at the Portland Press Herald wrote today:
Officials from the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Friday that they plan to close the investigation within a week.
The officials said Hannaford's "high-risk practices" for grinding beef were the barrier in their investigation, although those practices did not break any regulatory requirements and are probably used by other meat retailers.
Daniel Engeljohn, assistant administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, said it was not always clear from Hannaford's records when the stores were grinding the trimmings. Investigators found that Hannaford would grind trimmings and tube meat without cleaning the equipment in between, he said, raising the possibility of cross-contamination.
Engeljohn noted that there is a lower sanitary standard for the cuts of meat that are used for trimmings than there is for the ground beef that comes in tubes.
There is no requirement that equipment be cleaned between grinds of meat from different companies, Engeljohn said, but the USDA has told retailers for several years that it recommends it, along with more complete information in grinding logs.
Hannaford's "high-risk practices" aside, it is past time for FSIS to mandate better “regulator requirements” so the source of tainted beef can be found.  As importantly, FSIS consideration must be given to the use of trim (a beef product most likely to be contaminated) as a source of fill for ground beef production.

McDonald's forced to disclose all chemical ingredients on food sold in Russia
Source : http://www.naturalnews.com/034810_McDonalds_ingredients_Russia.html
By Tara Green(Jan 30, 2012)
A Russian consumer rights' group recently filed a lawsuit against McDonald's at Moscow's Tverskoy Court. The consumer groups involved in the suit say that McDonald's milkshakes are falsely named because they contain little milk.
McDonald's shakes don't deserve to be called milkshakes
Analysis of milkshakes sold at McDonald's outlets in Russia revealed the beverages contained more vegetable oil than dairy product. Experts at the Institute of Laboratory of Nutrition, say that by Russian law these drinks can be called "milk-containing" but cannot be labeled as "milk". Consumer rights advocate Mikhail Anshakov, says that the "McMilkshake" is falsely named, "They do not list the ingredients of their products which is a strict requirement for organizations of the type they are registered as in Russia. Moreover, their products contain excessive amounts of several ingredients, which is why the product name is insufficient."
Representatives of the Consumer Rights Protection Society (CRPS) charge that by "concealing the content" of its products McDonald's misleads consumers. "You might be able to get away with this type of fraud in America, but not Russia" said Yogi Protovokov of Moscow. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit do not seek any money from McDonald's, but want the company to redesign the packaging of their products to reveal the ingredients in its menu items, rather than simply listing the calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates. Altering product packaging would entail a multi-million dollar expense to the fast food purveyor.
Taxes and ingredient lists
The current lawsuit hinges in part on another Russian court ruling last year. McDonald's won its case against the Moscow territorial division of the Federal Tax Service. That case concluded with a judge determining that McDonald's in Russia is not a restaurant but company which sells food products as a store. The result of the suit seemed favorable to McDonalds at the time, resulting in a 10 percent rather than 18 percent Value Added Tax.
However, by Russian law, a store which sells food products which it also manufactures must provide accurate information regarding the ingredients in its food, as well as any biologically active supplements and the presence of the GMOs, as well as the date and place of the food's manufacturing. Russian law also stipulates that a food store must provide information on the product packaging about the potential effects of its food for people with conditions and certain diseases.
Consumer watchdog groups in Russia say McDonald's wants to have it both ways, gaining the tax benefits of being classified as a store, while not fulfilling the obligations such a status incurs according to Russian law. The CPRS website explained the need for the suit, saying "The McDonald's restaurant chain deliberately violates the Russian consumer rights legislation, profiting twice from the privileged situation created by Moscow's Arbitration Court decision."
McDonald's representatives claim not to have received notice of the lawsuit and it was also absent in the court's database, according to an official statement sent to The Moscow News. But personnel at the Tverskoi court confirmed to the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti that the lawsuit has been filed. Some Russian legal experts say it will be difficult for the consumer group to win its case against McDonald's, pointing out that the milkshakes in question are produced using a technology certified by the Russian branch of Europe's biggest milk product manufacturer Ehrmann.
The new lawsuit comes on the heels of a year of both expansion and litigation for McDonald's in Russia, where it has operated since 1990. In 2011, the company opened 40 new restaurants in Russia. They also faced lawsuits from customers. In one case, a man who won $50 damages plus the cost of his sandwich after getting food poisoning from consuming a Big Mac. In another suit, in which a St. Petersburg man received $3,500 to cover dental expenses for the broken tooth he got when the salad he ordered at McDonald's contained a stone.

Consortium Developing Global Standard for Health Claims
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/01/consortium-developing-global-standard-for-substan.aspx
By admin(Jan 27, 2012)
A consortium led by TNO is in the process of developing a global standard for substantiating health claims of food, which will provide manufacturers greater insight into the effects and allow them to develop new health-promoting food as well as provide better scientific substantiation for health claims.
The NutriTech consortium is comprised of 23 research organizations and universities from around the world and backed by €6 million from the European Commission. A second consortium has been established with five major European food manufacturers contributing €4 million to accelerate application within the food industry. Both projects began in January and will last four years.
“Global standardized and accepted research methods will enable manufacturers to scientifically substantiate their health claims," said Dr. Ben van Ommen, principal scientist and program director of System Biology at TNO. “Food manufacturers develop products that have a positive effect on health but the scientific substantiation of such effects can be difficult to establish. To date many health claims have not been acknowledged by the EFSA on the grounds of insufficient scientific substantiation. This is discouraging, which is a shame because manufacturers need to be stimulated to continue developing healthy food. The new measurement methods that the consortium will develop will enable the health effect of food to be better demonstrated and so facilitate the development of new, healthy food."
  
Toxic BPA levels increase by a shocking 1,200 percent after eating canned food
Source : http://www.naturalnews.com/034811_BPA_canned_food_soup.html
By Elizabeth Walling (Jan 30, 2012)
A Harvard study suggests that avoiding BPA packaging most of the time isn't enough to avoid its toxic side effects. Even a daily bowl of canned soup is enough to spike your BPA levels by more than 1,200 percent.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health studied levels of the chemical BPA (bisphenol A) in 75 volunteers who ate 12 ounces of soup each day for five days. One group ate fresh soup, while the other ate canned. When BPA levels were measured, the results were no less than shocking: eating canned soup on a daily basis raised urinary BPA levels by a whopping 1,221 percent.
"The magnitude of the rise in urinary BPA we observed after just one serving of soup was unexpected and may be of concern among individuals who regularly consume foods from cans or drink several canned beverages daily," said Karin Michels, senior author of the study.
She adds, "It may be advisable for manufacturers to consider eliminating BPA from can linings."
Researchers say more studies need to be done to determine how long these elevated BPA levels can last.
BPA has many dangerous side effects
Why is this so concerning? Study after study has linked high BPA levels to serious health risks. Just glancing through a small portion of BPA studies is like walking through a health house of horrors. Believe it or not, the following are just a few of the problems caused by BPA:
- High urinary BPA levels have been strongly linked with heart disease and diabetes risk.
(http://www.naturalnews.com/024207_BPA_health_plastics.html)
- Prenatal BPA exposure is connected with a higher breast cancer risk later in life
. (http://www.naturalnews.com/033782_BPA_exposure_breast_cancer.html
- New findings say prenatal BPA exposure can cause aggressiveness in toddlers
(http://www.naturalnews.com/034288_BPA_prenatal_exposure.html) and asthma in babies
(http://www.naturalnews.com/032304_BPA_asthma.html).
- BPA can also impact fertility by damaging sperm health. (http://www.naturalnews.com/031161_BPA_sperm.html)
While some organic food suppliers have taken the hint and removed BPA from their packaging, most food manufacturers blatantly ignore BPA risks and package their foods in materials that contain BPA. This is one more important reason to choose fresh foods whenever possible.

20 Campylobacter Cases Now Linked to Raw Milk Dairy
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/20-campylobacter-cases-linked-to-raw-milk-dairy/
by News Desk(Feb 01, 2012)
Pennsylvania health authorities said Tuesday that the number of confirmed cases in an outbreak of Campylobacter infection has risen to 20  - 16 from that state and 4 from Maryland.
All of the people who are sick had consumed unpasteurized milk from The Family Cow dairy in the Chambersburg area, according to a report in The Patriot-News.
Pennsylvania and Maryland departments of health issued a health alert on Friday advising people to discard to any products purchased from the farm after Jan. 1.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is testing samples collected Friday and Monday from the dairy. Results are expected Wednesday or Thursday, according to department spokeswoman Samantha Krepps.
The Family Cow voluntarily stopped selling milk, but owner Edwin Shank has said an independent lab retained by the dairy tested samples taken Friday and reported that batch of milk was free of pathogens.
News reports said those stricken with campylobacteriosis began getting sick about two weeks ago. The incubation period for Campylobacter  -- the time between ingesting the bacteria and the start of symptoms - can range from 2 to 10 days. The shelf life for raw milk is about 10 days.
The Family Cow is one of 153 farms licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to sell raw milk and raw milk cheese in Pennsylvania. Maryland prohibits the sale of unpasteurized milk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who become ill with campylobacteriosis get diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain and fever that typically lasts one week. Some infected persons do not have any symptoms.
About one in every 1,000 reported Campylobacter illnesses leads to Guillain-Barré syndrome, and can result in paralysis. The CDC estimates that as many as 40 percent of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in the U.S. may be triggered by campylobacteriosis.

Hannaford's Salmonella ground beef outbreak officially over; 20 ill
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/hannafords-salmonella-ground-beef-outbreak-officially-over-20-ill/
By Drew Falkenstein (Feb 01, 2012)
Hannafords ground beef is a Salmonella threat no more.  The CDC today released its final report on the Hannafords outbreak, which sickened a total of 20 persons with the outbreak strain of antibiotic resistant Salmonella Typhimurium. The victims were from 7 states:  HI (1), KY (1), MA (1), ME (4), NH (6), NY (6), and VT (1). Among persons for whom information was available, illnesses began on or after October 8, 2011.
Summary of the investigation
Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies linked this outbreak to eating ground beef purchased from Hannaford stores. Among 19 ill persons for whom exposure information was available, 14 (74%) reported consuming ground beef in the week before their illness began. This proportion is significantly higher than results from a survey of healthy persons in which 40% of persons interviewed reported consuming any ground beef at home in the 7 days before they were interviewed. Among the 14 ill persons who reported consuming ground beef, 12 (86%) reported purchasing ground beef from Hannaford stores. For ill persons for whom information was available, reported purchase dates ranged from October 12, 2011 to December 10, 2011. Product information (such as date and location of purchase of ground beef) was collected from ill persons and used by local, state, and federal public health, agriculture, and regulatory agencies to further the investigation.
Laboratory testing conducted by the State of Maine Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory and the New York State Department of Health, Wadsworth Center Laboratories isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium from 2 separate samples of leftover ground beef purchased from Hannaford stores and collected from unrelated ill persons' homes in Maine and New York.

Pennsylvania / Maryland raw milk campylobacter outbreak sickens 12
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/pennsylvania-maryland-raw-milk-campylobacter-outbreak-sickens-12/
by Drew Falkenstein (Jan 30, 2012)
Raw milk from Family Cow dairy in Franklin County Pennsylvania sickened 12 with campylobacter, so say State health officials.  All the confirmed cases were people who drank milk purchased directly at The Family Cow, or at drop off locations. The farm has voluntarily suspended raw milk production.
What is campylobacter?
Campylobacteriosis, the illness caused by Campylobacter, is a zoonotic emerging infectious disease characterized by diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal pain, malaise, fever, nausea, and vomiting (Chin, 2000). The severity of the disease is variable, but usually people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely within 10 days. For a small number of people, Campylobacter infection may result in long-term health problems. For example, Campylobacter infection is the most common cause of a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome that occurs several weeks after the acute diarrheal illness, and may result in permanent paralysis (Ang et al, 2001; van Doorn et al, 2008).

CDC, FDA and 10 State Health Departments still withholding the name of "Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain, Restaurant Chain A" linked to Salmonella Outbreak
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/cdc-fda-and-10-state-health-departments-still-withholding-the-name-of-mexican-style-fast-food-restau/
By Bill Marler (Jan 29, 2012)
In journalism, the “Five Ws and one H” – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How are regarded as the basics of information gathering for news.
Perhaps, it is time to do a little journalism?
Who became Ill  A total of 68 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 10 states.
What do we know?  The CDC collaborated with public health officials in multiple states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections which was associated with eating food from a "Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain, Restaurant Chain A."
When was the Outbreak?  The outbreak began October 13, 2011 until the final report was publishing on January 19, 2012.
Where are the Illnesses?  The number of ill persons identified in each state with the outbreak strain was as follows: Texas (43), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1) and Tennessee (1).
Why we don’t know?  What is "Mexican-style fast food restaurant chain, Restaurant Chain A" with restaurants in at least Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee?
How is it that we still don't know?  Well, after spending several hours trying to figure out what "Mexican-style fast food restaurant chains" do or do not have locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee, I gave up.  Which make me wonder how pissed the other "Mexican-style fast food restaurant chains" that are not "Restaurant A."
Update:
CDC says total number ill are 68 in Texas (43), Oklahoma (16), Kansas (2), Iowa (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), Nebraska (1), New Mexico (1), Ohio (1), and Tennessee (1). So, which restaurant?  It could be any of the ones below, but more likely the one in BOLD – CDC only says where people got sick – it could be that they ate in a restaurant in another state then where they reside.
- Taco Bell: Multiple locations in every outbreak state.
- Qdoba: In every outbreak state; Only 1 in Northwest corner of NM (officials from Qdoba have confirmed that they are not retaurant A).
- Chipotle: In all outbreak states except Tennessee, which has one victim. However, there are locations in 3 of Tennessee’s neighboring states.  Only one NM location (officials from Chipolte have confirmed that they are not retaurant A).
- Del Taco: Locations in all but 3 outbreak states (IA, KS and TN), but Kansas has one right over the border in MO.
- Taco Del Mar: Not in KS, MO, or TN, but right on TN border with Mississippi.
- Taco John’s: In all outbreak states but OK, MI, and TN, but one right across TN border in Kentucky.

6 Campylobacter Cases Linked to Raw Milk from Pennsylvania Dairy
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/01/maryland-links-6-campylobacter-cases-to-raw-milk-from-pennsylvania-dairy/
By Mary Rothschild (Jan 28, 2012)
Six people have been infected with Campylobacter in an outbreak linked to raw milk from a farm in Pennsylvania, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Friday.
Three cases of campylobacteris have been reported in Pennsylvania and three in Maryland. All six infected individuals drank unpasteurized milk from the Family Cow dairy in Chambersburg, PA, according to the health department news release.
Campylobacter is a bacterial cause of diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and can progress to more serious illness, such as a bloodstream infection and other complications. For example, Campylobacter infection is the most common cause of a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which may result in permanent paralysis.
The Family Cow dairy sells directly to consumers at its on-farm retail store and at several drop-off locations and retail stores in nine Pennsylvania counties:  Bucks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Lebanon, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York.
The sale of unpasteurized milk is illegal under Maryland state law.
The Maryland health department, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, is  recommending that consumers discard raw milk purchased since Jan. 1 from the implicated farm. The milk is labeled "raw milk" and is sold under the "Your Family Cow" label in plastic gallon, half gallon, quart and pint containers.








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