Contact us/ Search FoodHACCP.com/ Consulting room/
Internet Journal of Food Safety/ On-Line Courese/ Discussion Room

2/10, 2003
ISSUE: 49

Sponsors







IGEN




Sponsorship
Q/A


METHODS

Ozone gas may provide eco-friendly alternative for grain storage
foodproductiondaily
.com/
Scientists at the Purdue University in the US have discovered that ozone gas can eliminate insects in grain storage facilities without harming food quality or the environment.

Ironically, the gas is being touted as a fumigant alternative in response to an international treaty banning the use of ozone-layer harming chemicals currently used to rid food storage facilities of insects. When ozone is used for killing grain insects, it lasts for a very short period of time without damaging the environment or the grain, the Purdue scientists report in the January issue of the Journal of Stored Products Research.

EXTENDING THE SHELF-LIFE OF CHEESES
January 2003
Oresund Food Excellence
Hard cheeses packed in material made from biobased polymers which will give
them an extended shelf-life may become a reality within short. A research
project called │?, taking place at The Royal Veterinary and
Agricultural University (KVL) in Copenhagen as well as other institutes and
companies in Europe, continues to show promising results. It is working
towards a new approach to the use of oxygen scavengers, and other
preservatives, as active, protective agents in a new biobased packaging
material made from polylactate (PLA). The material is based on lactic acid,
produced from lactic acid bacteria from corn. The objective is to extend the
shelf-life of cheese from 2-3 months up to 9 months.
The extension of shelf-life does not require more food additives in the
foodstuff itself. The project concentrates on the packaging material.
Biobased food packaging materials are materials derived from renewable
sources and these materials can be used for food applications.
?Cheese is a living product, which soaks in oxygen and sends out carbon
dioxide. This combination often means that the cheese blows up and thereby
it is easier to puncture the packaging. With the biobased packaging, more
carbon dioxide can ooze out and prevent the cheese from blowing up,?says
Vibeke Kistrup Haugaard (KVL) from the group of researchers involved in the
project.
The new technology developed, and knowledge obtained from the Biopack
project, will also be applicable in other bio packaging concepts.
The impact of the research results is substantial. Extended shelf life
improves potential for overseas exports. Moreover, it leads to an extension
of the shelf-life after opening the packaging material at home, because of
the incorporation of the active components in the packaging. This will
reduce the growth of moulds and development of rancid taste. Additionally,
substituting fossil plastic materials by renewable biobased polymers may
benefit the environment and at the same time improve the utilization of
agricultural by-products.
The pilot project is to be completed in August 2004.


E. COLI O157 TEST RECEIVES AOAC CERTIFICATION
GAITHERSBURG,
Md.-- IGEN International, Inc. announced today that its
PATHIGEN E. coli O157 test, based on the Company's proprietary ORIGEN(R)
technology, has earned the Performance Tested Method certificate of the AOAC
Research Institute (AOAC RI).

 

 

New Sponsor


Food safety centre of new Japanese rules
from: http://www.foodnavigator.com/
10/02/03 - The Japanese cabinet endorsed a set of bills on Friday to ensure the safety of food and protect consumer health in the wake of a series of scandals and incidents to hit Japan in recent years.
According to a Kyodo news report, the bills were devised in response to the outbreak of mad cow disease, the false labelling of meat and other products, high levels of pesticides in imported vegetables, and deaths and illnesses caused by Chinese diet aids. Echoing recent steps by Europe that saw the building of the new European Food Safety Authority, one of the bills in Japan seeks to set up a governmental food safety commission to evaluate the health effects of certain foods. The proposed commission would consist of seven experts in toxic and chemical products. The experts would be charged with recommending to health and farm ministers that the government take preventative measures when certain food products pose risks to the public.
The Kyodo report writes that industrial revival minister Sadakazu Tanigaki said the bill is intended to comprehensively ensure the safety of food. "We would like to regain the public's trust in food by enacting the bill," he said at a news conference. Another bill is intended to revise the health improvement law to ban false or exaggerated advertising of food products. Currently, a hotly debated topic in many European countries as consumer organisations increasingly put the pressure on the food industry.
A bill to revise the food hygiene law calls for raising maximum fines from 1 million yen to 100 million yen for corporations that have sold or imported food containing pesticide residue.
Also endorsed was a bill to establish a system to identify cows and their producers as well as beef distributors to help track beef infected with mad cow disease.
The bill would require cattle farmers to register identification numbers assigned to all cows with the authorities and oblige wholesalers and retailers to put labels carrying the numbers on their beef products. Nippon Food, a subsidiary of Nippon Meat Packers, and Snow Brand Foods, a dissolved subsidiary of Snow Brand Milk Products, were at the centre of a scandal that revealed they had intentionally abused a government buyback programme - established after the discovery of mad cow disease in Japan - in September 2001.

STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN MEAT INSTITUTE ON NEWS REPORTS REGARDING BEEF INDUSTRY COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL FOOD SAFETY REGULATIONS
February 7, 2003
AMI
Attribute Statement to AMI President J. Patrick Boyle
The beef industry benefits by doing everything in its power to ensure the safest possible beef supply. HACCP is the cornerstone of our food safety efforts and is something we take seriously. In fact, it was industry that petitioned USDA in 1994 to make HACCP mandatory. We know that our HACCP plans and our food safety technologies are working to enhance beef safety. USDA data indicate that bacteria levels on fresh beef have declined since HACCP went into effect five years ago. In addition,
Centers for Disease Control data indicate that foodborne illnesses
associated with fresh beef are down. These numbers reflect an industry that is committed to HACCP. Based on our knowledge of the facts, some news media have mischaracterized
comments made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week regarding reviews of HACCP plans in large beef plants. USDA officials indicated that their reviews showed that HACCP plans in some plants had "scientific and design issues and not direct food safety issues." USDA so far has reviewed HACCP plans in 35 of 130 large beef plants. In 21 of the total 130 plants that will be reviewed, "design flaws" were identified. In a clarifying
statement issued today, the Food Safety and Inspection Service said, "The plants have responded to FSIS questions in writing in keeping with FSIS regulatory requirements." Stories bearing headlines like "Most Meat Plants Violate Food Safety Rules" are patently false. This type of reporting is inaccurate and counterproductive. There are no benefits to taking food safety shortcuts in our HACCP plans; to the contrary, we benefit by having the best possible HACCP plans and that is what beef companies have tried to prepare. The industry will take any
comments provided by FSIS seriously and will make appropriate changes to HACCP plans. Careless reporting of this type of information serves only to alarm
consumers about a meat supply that is safe and getting safer every day.

DIETARY ACRYLAMIDE MAY NOT CAUSE CANCER
February 8, 2003
BMJ 326:303
Debashis Singh London
High levels of the presumed carcinogen acrylamide in foods such as chips, crisps, and bread do not seem to raise the risk of cancers of the large bowel, bladder, and kidney, a study into the effects of the chemical has said (British Journal of Cancer 2003:88,84-9). Acrylamide was classified as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 1994, largely based on evidence from animal models where in which there is a dose-response relation between the chemical and cancer at multiple sites. In April 2002, public health doctors and the public became alarmed when a Swedish survey found substantially raisedlevels of acrylamide in everyday
food products such as biscuits and cereals. Acrylamide is thought to be formed as a result of a reaction between the amino acid asparagine and sugars during the heating to a high temperature of foods high in starch. The new population based, case-control study was carried out in Sweden. It compared the diets of 987 patients with cancers of the large bowel (591
patients), bladder (263), and kidney (133) with those of 538 healthy people, to try to establish a link between the amount of food eaten that is high in acrylamide and the risk of the disease.

Allergen Test Could Alleviate Some GM Food Fears
Betterhumans Staff

from: http://www.betterhumans.com/
[Saturday, February 08, 2003] A new test that can detect tiny amounts of potentially deadly peanuts is a step towards alleviating some concerns about allergens in genetically modified foods.
"This new test is a small but important step forward in our work to protect people who are affected by a food allergy," says Andrew Wadge, acting director of Food Safety Policy at the UK Food Standards Agency. "Further research is needed to explore whether the test can be adapted to detect other common food allergens. However, it is hoped that the work could lead to the development of a process that food businesses will be able to use in their production methods."
The peanut allergen test, developed by UK scientists working for the FSA, can identify peanut DNA at just one part per 10 million.

When it's fully developed, the test will allow manufacturers to screen products for traces of peanuts, which can contaminate food during production and have forced many products to carry the warning, "May contain peanuts."
About one in 200 people in the UK have a peanut allergy, says the FSA, and each year around 10 people die from it.
Crop contamination
Besides addressing production contamination, the test could also be significant in addressing one of the major scientific concerns about genetically modified foods.

Allergens are a concern in such foods because genes from one food -- say peanuts -- could cause a reaction if inserted in a non-allergenic food.

In 1996, for example, a New England Journal of Medicine study found that soybeans modified with a Brazil nut gene could cause allergic reactions in people allergic to the nut.

Genetic tests to locate allergenic genes could ease concerns that modified foods could contaminate non-modified foods, with potentially deadly consequences.

By screening for particular genes rather than particular foods, such tests could catch allergenic genes regardless of their source.

ONLINE-Slides

Practical Application of Risk Analysis
George Davey CEO & Chris Chan, Director Science & Risk Management, SafeFood NSW
Click here to see the slides (Wait for 30-40 sec. after click) (ONLY with Microsoft Explorer)

Preharvest food safety - Milk and Dairy Beef Quality Assurance Program R Wallace
Source from: http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu
Click here to see the slides

Implementing A HACCP System in Your Food Service Operation
Source: http://www.cfs.purdue.edu (by Hospitality & Tourism Management)
Click here to see the slides
(ONLY with Microsoft Explorer)

Science/Technology of Irradiation
Source: http://foodsafety.cas.psu.edu (by Dr. C. Cutter)
Click here to see the slides
(ONLY with Microsoft Explorer)

Sanitation Training
Source: http://www.cfs.purdue.edu/
Click here to see the slides
(ONLY with Microsoft Explorer)


Development and implementation of HACCP in processing plants

Source from : MS Brewer http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu
Click here to see the slides

Preharvest water and Food Safety
obtained from UC Davis (UCgaps) - http://ucgaps.ucdavis.edu (Trevor V. Suslow, Ph.D.)
Click here to see the slides (PDF fil

 

 

Current Outbreaks
02/10. FOOD POISONING KILLS 138 IN CHINA IN 2002
2/06. 80 boys in hospital after eating chocolates
02/05. HAWAIIAN CRUISE CUT SHORT AFTER 300 BECOME ILL
02/05. HAGGIS VINDICATION FOR BUTCHER: OPIES GETS CLEAN BILL OF

02/04. INVESTIGATION OF AN E. COLI O157:H7 OUTBREAK IN BROOKS, ALBE
02/03. PROCESSED CHEESE ONLY FOR GIRL WHO SURVIVED DEADLY E.COLI


Current Food Recall
02/10. Undeclared hazelnut and peanut protein in WITORí»S brand BIANCO CUORE MILK
02/10. Undeclared sulphites in ALING CONCHING brand COCONUT BALLS W/ SESAME
02/09. Undeclared sulphites in SAHHA brand apricot juice-type product
02/09. Undeclared peanut protein in ANMOL brand RAJEGIRA
02/08. Undeclared sulphites and sesame seeds in DAS BESTE AUS CHTAURA brand

02/07. Puerto Rico firm expands recall of pork products for possibl
02/07. Haggis Recall
02/07. Texas firm recalls chili due to undeclared ingredients.


Current USDA/FDA News
Speeches Page: Updated January 10, 2003
FSIS Food Security Initiatives Report to the Secretary

STATEMENT Dr. Garry L. McKee, Administrator Food Safety And Inspection Service
PATENT APPLICATION CONCERNING METHOD FOR ENTEROTOXIGENIC
PROPOSED DATA COLLECTIONS SUBMITTED FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AND
U.S. Seeks Injunction Against a Baltimore, Maryland Food Processing and Distribution Facility

Current Food Safety News
02/10. BSE UPDATE 2003 (02)
02/10. DRUG TRACES FOUND IN CITIES' WATER
02/10. BAMBOOZLED, BAFFLED AND BOMBARDED
02/10. HELP FOR NEW CATERING BUSINESSES
02/10. STATEMENT Dr. Garry L. McKee, Administrator Food Safety And Inspection Service
02/10. ENJOY A SAMPLE TASTE DESPITE E. COLI SCARE
02/10. WORLD FOOD EXPERTS STILL DIVIDED OVER IRRADIATION
02/10. GOV'T TO HOLD MEETING OF EXPERTS
02/10. DIETARY ACRYLAMIDE MAY NOT CAUSE CANCER

02/09. STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN MEAT INSTITUTE ON NEWS REPORTS REG
02/09. Experts Say Consumers Can Eat Around Toxins In Fish
02/09. FSIS schedules hearing to discuss listeria risk assessment

02/08. Water treatment focuses on ultra-violet light
02/08. Food safety centre of new Japanese rules
02/08. U.S. to test ocean fish for mercury

02/07. Japan Finds Possible Eighth Case of Mad Cow Disease
02/07. LOCAL GOLF COURSE WATER COOLERS TO STAY IN PLACE -- FOR NOW:
02/07. SALMONELLA -
02/07. WATER MAY TASTE BAD BUT IS NOT A DANGER, STUDY FINDS
02/07. Japan waits on test results for possible eighth case of BSE
02/07. Latest EU food safety legislation gets tough on manufacturer
02/07. Texas producers call for help in handling space shuttle debr
02/07. European Food Safety Authority: Director in place, many chal
02/07. Anti-Biotic Resistant Bacteria may be linked to poultry work
02/07. Listeria Assessment
02/07. Be warned vs fermented, street foods
02/07. Iowa State part of new food research group
02/07. Food safety bills aimed at restoring public trust
02/07. Food safety proposals with 'bite'


System Can Detect 'Mad Cow'-Linked Prions in Blood (Reuters Health)
By Stephen Pincock

LONDON - Preliminary experiments conducted in Scotland could lead to a blood test for the errant proteins that cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a fatal brain-wasting disorder that can be caused by eating mad-cow contaminated meat, researchers said this week.

If the study results are confirmed, the technology--from Australian firm Gradipore--could make it feasible to screen donated blood for the proteins, known as prions. It might also definitively diagnose prion diseases such as CJD before death-something that is currently not possible.

The experiments were designed by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, which has been working with Gradipore since last year to develop a way to find the proteins in plasma, the clear liquid left after cells are removed from blood.

Tests that are currently available are based on measurements in brain tissue, where prion levels are very high and readily detectable. This means that mad cow disease and other prion diseases cannot be confirmed in humans or animals until after death.

"The problem is that in biological materials such as plasma, it is not certain that abnormal prion does exist," said Dr. Ian McGregor, lead scientist with the Scottish blood service. "So we have to have extremely sensitive assays to determine whether they are there or not." The system could also be applied to screening donated blood for the prions.

All the indications are that prions cannot be transmitted via transfused blood, McGregor said, but a definitive test could remove any doubt. In the wake of Britain's outbreak of mad cow disease in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, countries like the US do not allow people who have spent many years in the UK to donate blood.

"There is no indication of transmission, but if you have a very sensitive test method then you could ensure that it was indeed safe," he said.

In the experiments, conducted by Q-One Biotech in Glasgow, researchers deliberately added prion proteins to plasma, to mimic what might happen in real life. They ran a sample of the plasma through the Gradiflow equipment, which proved able to separate out prions based on their size and electrical charge.

In a statement, Gradipore's CEO Robert Lieb said the results could allow early prion diagnosis, and possibly assist in treatment of prion diseases. "Indeed, what they show is that Gradiflow may fill the unmet need for a non-invasive prion diagnostic tool for animals and humans, and can provide pure isolates of various proteins useful for research, development, and therapeutic purposes," he said.

McGregor stressed there was more work to be done before a test based on the technology could be put into practical application. "Our view is that the results are encouraging, but still some way off from being applied to what we want to apply them to," he said. 2/7/03