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2/14, 2003
ISSUE:50

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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 ³?, 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.

 

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FSIS sets rule clarifying new in-plant technology; comments sought
Source from: by Dan Murphy on 2/14/03 for www.meatingplace.com
The Food Safety and Inspection Service published a notice that clarifies the procedures for firms to notify the agency of new technology they propose to use in meat, poultry or egg product facilities, according to a news release.
The new procedures will eliminate delays and facilitate the application of new technology, the agency said in a statement.
Since issuing the first rule on Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points in 1996, FSIS has shifted away from a command-and-control inspection structure to give industry more flexibility necessary to innovate to meet food-safety requirements. These new procedures, FSSIS officials said, will actively encourage the development and pilot testing of new technologies.
Under the new process, companies will notify FSIS of any new technology they propose to use, so that the agency has an opportunity to decide whether the new technology requires a pre-use review. If the new technology could affect product safety, FSIS regulations, inspection procedures or the safety of federal inspection program personnel, FSIS will advise the firm that a pre-use review is necessary.
All written comments on the proposed rule should be submitted by April 14 to:
Docket Clerk
Docket # 00-011N
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food safety and Inspection Service
Room 102
Cotton Annex
300 12th St. SW
Washington, DC 20250.

How we measure food poisoning trends
Friday, 19 April 2002
http://www.food.gov.uk/news/newsarchive/59179
Lab reports of food poisoning cases provide a good indicator of trends in foodborne disease and show how the Food Standards Agency is meeting one of its key targets. They are providing the baseline for how the Agency measures its success in reducing foodborne illness.
One of the Agency's key priorities is reducing foodborne illness by 20% by 2006. The Agency's progress in this area will be assessed on the basis of lab reports of positive tests for the five major bacteria that cause the majority of foodborne illnesses: salmonella, campylobacter, E. coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium perfringens.
A lab test is the only way of knowing for certain if someone has food poisoning caused by one of these germs. Although not all people who think they have food poisoning go to the doctor for a test, the number of positive lab results for these bacteria gives us a good idea of the overall number of food poisoning cases.

Check Restaurant Grade Before Opening Menu
http://story.news.yahoo.com/
Check Violation-Free Restaurants: List 1
CLEVELAND, Updated 11:15 p.m. February, 13, 2003 -- One northeast Ohio county has implemented a new restaurant rating. NewsChannel5's Ted Hart reported that you might want to check out the grading before opening a menu.
At the Old Country Buffet on Whipple Road in Canton, they're proud of their "Grade A" rating.
"That's the highest rating the health department gives a restaurant," said general manager Art Caspary. "The program challenges you to achieve maximum performance from your employers, err, your employees."
To be awarded the Grade A certificate, a restaurant must have no critical violations for a full year and at least 80 percent of the staff must have passed a food-safety test.
It's a measuring stick that's good for consumers and an incentive for the restaurant and its employees.
"When they walk through their door at the start of the work day, they are reminded they work for a Grade-A facility. My personal belief is it improves their spirit. It makes them better able to do a good job for their customers that day," said Bob Somrak with the Stark County Health Department.
So far, Hart said that 18 facilities have received Grade-A status in Stark County.
Glenmoor Country Club
Inspectors recently found food items stored in uncovered containers at Glenmoor Country Club. Hart said that raw meat was stored above pasta in the cooler and cleaning chemicals were stored next to food items.
Management at Glenmoor said they were all small issues and in a follow-up inspection everything had been corrected.
Blue-Ribbon Winners
No need for corrections at Panchos Southwestern Grille in North Canton. The restaurant got its Grade-A rating from the county health department.
It was the same story at Blimpies Subs on North Main Street in North Canton. It got the top rating.
In honor of all the Grade-A recipients in Stark County, they are this week's 5 On Your Side blue-ribbon winners.
For more information on Stark County's Grade-A food excellence awards, click here.

E. COLI CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
February 13, 2003
University of Nebraska
http://ecoliconference.unl.edu/
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will be sponsoring a major conference on E. coli O157:H7 on April 7-8 in Lincoln, Nebraska. An outstanding group of speakers are scheduled to present lectures on the genetics, ecology, pathogenesis, epidemiology, and evolution of this important microorganism. Current research on efforts aimed at controlling this organism will also be presented. The conference will also include a poster session on the
afternoon of April 7. Registration is only $75. For students that
register before March 17, the registration fees are waived.
The conference is sponsored by the USDA and the University of Nebraska, and co-sponsored by the Missouri Valley Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. Please share this announcement with students, post-docs and other colleagues. For more information on the conference, speakers and lecture
titles, how to submit abstracts for the poster session, and how to
register, visit the conference web site at http://ecoliconference.unl.edu/.

USE OF MICROBIAL PATHOGEN COMPUTER MODELING IN HACCP PLANS
February 10, 2003
Lean Trimmings
Edited by Kiran Kernellu
Several members have brought to NMA's attention their confusion over FSIS Notice 55-02 "Use of Microbial Pathogen Computer Modeling (MPCM) in HACCP Plans," dated December 2, 2002. MPCM is a computer-based software program
that estimates the growth or decline of pathogens in food products based on intrinsic and extrinsic variable factors. Unfortunately, members who have used, and continue to use, MPCM as supporting documentation to their HACCP plans or to evaluate critical control point (CCP) deviations, have been challenged by some FSIS inspection personnel who contend that the use of
MPCM is not valid. According to FSIS Notice 55-02, "MPCM programs can be used as predictive models to ascertain the effects of process deviations or as an analysis tool
to assist in determining the relative severity of a deviation." Therefore, this Notice acknowledges that the MPCM may be used as a tool. However, with a few exceptions, FSIS will need supporting data to substantiate the findings of the MPCM values. "Determining pathogen growth or survival and controlling it in food products requires complete and thorough analysis by an independent microbiology laboratory, challenge studies, and surveys of literature." To these points, NMA has some scientific literature to substantiate findings of the MPCM or can put members in touch with a microbiology laboratory or a provider of challenge studies, if needed. For example, Plant A has a stabilization deviation. The first step they should take after discovering the deviation and placing the suspect product
"on hold" is to immediately contact NMA. NMA will guide Plant A through the process of utilizing the MPCM and provide some of the necessary literature to substantiate the results. For members who are interested in downloading the MCPM, it is available online at:
http://www.arserrc.gov/mfs/pathogen.htm. MPCM is a useful tool for predicting bacterial growth, identifying potential CCPs, reformulating products, determining product disposition, and providing graphical modeling tools. Although FSIS only considers MPCM to be a predictive tool, MPCM certainly can indicate if certain conditions warrant further attention. For further information, speak with Julie Ramsey at NMA.

IRRADIATE MEAT
February 7, 2003
American Council on Science and Health: Health Facts and Fears
Ruth Kava, Ph.D., R.D.
Source from: http://healthfactsandfears.com/
For some reason, Marion Burros of the New York Times seems to have it in for food irradiation. In an article published in the Times on January 29 ("The Question of Irradiated Beef in Lunchrooms"), Ms. Burros and some authorities she quotes mislead readers about the proposed irradiation of beef used in school lunch programs.
Contrary to her opinion, food irradiation has indeed been quite widely tested over the past five decades. These tests included feeding studies, across multiple generations, of several species of animals with diets composed mostly or solely of irradiated foods. While such animal tests are not directly applicable to human health, the animals involved in these studies grew and reproduced normally, indicating that any chemicals formed during irradiation did no damage. We have also been feeding irradiated foods to our astronauts for decades, with no evidence of ill effects. We have extensive evidence, however, that feeding children hamburger contaminated with bacteria like E. coli O157:H7 can definitely cause serious illness, even death. Irradiation of ground meat is one proven method to protect us from real food-related illness.
Parents should have a choice about what their children eat, but the article cited above is wrong to suggest that this would not be the case if beef were irradiated. Irradiated beef would be labeled as such, and school lunch menus are usually sent to parents so that they can see what will be served a month ahead of time. So, if parents wanted to have their children avoid irradiated meats they could note on which days hamburger (or meatloaf) would be served, and make other arrangements for those days. Parents, like all consumers, should be able to choose to use or avoid irradiated foods. But let's be sure they have a fully-informed choice rather than a lot of vague warnings about hypothetical ill-effects that have never been shown to occur and which, based on decades of research, are highlyunlikely.

Current Outbreaks
02/13. Local pilgrims suffer from food poisoning
02/12. Suspected Food Poison Drama In Mabohai School
02/10. FOOD POISONING KILLS 138 IN CHINA IN 2002
02/09. Malaysia: 80 down with food poisoning
02/06. India: 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


Current Food Recall
02/14. Undeclared hazelnut and/ or peanut protein in WITORS brand CHOCOLATES
02/14. Undeclared sesame seeds in PEARL RIVER BRIDGE brand Hoisin Sauce
02/12. Children's meals recalled
02/11. Undeclared sulphites in AL-DURRA/ALDERRA brand whole apricots in syrup product
02/10. Undeclared hazelnut and peanut protein in WITOR¡¯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


Current USDA/FDA News
FDA Seizes Dietary Supplements
CFSAN's Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements and Contacts
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated February 11, 2003
Veneman Honors USDA's Top Scientists of 2002
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated February 11, 2003
Speeches Page: Updated February 11, 2003
FSIS Procedures for Notification of New Technology
Speeches Page: Updated January 10, 2003
FSIS Food Security Initiatives Report to the Secretary

Current Food Safety News
02/14. FINAL PROGRAM SET FOR IAFP 2003
02/14. INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FOOD PROTECTION HOLDS SECRETAR
02/14. EIGHT QUESTIONS CONSUMERS SHOULD ASK ABOUT THE THREAT OF MAD
02/14. E. COLI CONFERENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
02/14. GERMAN RESEARCHERS DELVE DEEPER INTO CONTAMINATION FROM
02/14. Check Restaurant Grade Before Opening Menu
02/14. U.N. food, health agencies launch fund to help poor nations
02/14. FSIS sets rule clarifying new in-plant technology; comments
02/14. Michigan grocery worker charged with poisoning beef
02/14. To Fear and to Fund -
02/14. Five new cases of BSE were discovered in Ireland this week.
02/14. Copps Food Centers begins sales of irradiated beef
02/14. Malta: Decline in food poisoning cases
02/14. Consumers call on the World Health Organisation NOT to seek
02/14. E. coli outbreak debated
02/14. U.N. Chiefs Urge Rich to Back Food Safety Fund
02/14. FDA Seizes Dietary Supplements

02/13. TRICHINELLOSIS, REPULSE BAY, NUNAVUT
02/13. AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY NATIONAL MEETING
02/13. CUTTING BOARDS: SPLITTING THE DIFFERENCE
02/13. WHAT ARE ALCOHOL HAND SANITIZERS?
02/13. Local grocery store touts treated beef
02/13. Spinal Cord Found in British Sheep Carcases
02/13. Food Safety Researchers Honoured
02/13. What is Not On the Menu
02/13. Diet supplement should be pulled pending safety review
02/13. How we measure food poisoning trends
02/13. Nuked meat in school?

02/12. LOCAL AUTHORITY INSPECTION FIGURES PUBLISHED
02/12. MEATPACKING INDUSTRY LEADER SPEAKS AT PEORIA, ILL., EVENT,
02/12. IGNORANCE CAN RUIN A BUSINESSMAN
02/12. European Parliament approves permanent ban on food additive
02/12. New FSIS booklet highlights food security issues, progress
02/12. ANY WAY YOU FRY IT: UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS RESEARCHERS RECEI
02/12. WHAT MAINSTREAM MEDIA SAYS: ©øMOST MEAT PLANTS VIOLATE FOOD S
02/12. STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN MEAT INSTITUTE ON EFFORTS TO ERADI
02/12. Acrylamide in food ? the clock is ticking
02/12. 'Legal risk' over baked foods
02/12. FOOD ADVOCACY GROUP RELEASES FOODBORNE ILLNESS REPORT TODAY
02/12. U.N. says countries in Europe, Asia could face mad cow epide
02/12. Associated Wholesalers, Inc. to Offer SureBeam(R) Processed
02/12. Eyot Creek Farm ceases cheese production
02/12. 10 years after E. coli outbreak, food dangers remain, Safe T
02/12. Meat Contamination Still Prevalent, Report Concludes
02/12. AMI Leaps to Industry's Defence
02/12. Food terrorism threat recognised: WHO
02/12. Lawmakers say they'll try again to toughen government enforc
02/12. The good and the bad GMOs
02/12. Agency In Northern Ireland Launches Food Hygiene Campaign
02/12. Thousands Of New Catering Businesses Targeted By Food Standa
02/12. Salmonella Survivor Endorses Push for Food Safety Agency

02/11. A TIP 'FROM THE HEART' FOR AN ALLERGY-FREE VALENTINE'S DAY
02/11. IRRADIATION OF FOOD AIDS ELDERLY, CHILDREN; NUTRITION
02/11. FSIS BOOKLET HIGHLIGHTS PROGRESS ON FOOD SECURITY MEASURES
02/11. USE OF MICROBIAL PATHOGEN COMPUTER MODELING IN HACCP PLANS
02/11. REGULATORY TOOLS FOR PRODUCTION OF SAFE MEAT & POULTRY
02/11. MISINTERPRETING THE FACTS
02/11. Consumers in Europe Resist Gene-Altered Foods
02/11. POINT ARENA, CA SCHOOL BOARD PASSES POLICY AGAINST ACCEPTING
02/11. IRRADIATE MEAT -
02/11. Univ. of Illinois halts, investigates swine sales
02/11. AMI boss rips media over scare stories on USDA E. coli HACCP
02/11. Muslims Warned over BSE
02/11. Norms for bottled water made stringent
02/11. NEW NTF CHAIR CHALLENGES TURKEY INDUSTRY TO INVEST IN FURTHE
02/11. Public Meeting on Draft Risk Assessment
02/11. Local authority inspection figures published
02/11. Feds find poison plot vs. gulf troops



Nano-mask arrests growth of spore-forming bacteria

http://cr.pennnet.com/
FEB. 12--HENDERSON, Nevada--Emergency Filtration Products Inc. has received preliminary results from the testing of its nanotechnology-enhanced 2H Technology filtration system that will be integrated into an environmental isolation mask.
The company's core 2H Technology filtration system utilizes a combination of hydrophobic and hydrophilic filters able to capture and isolate bacterial and viral microorganisms with efficiencies of 99.9 percent at 0.027 microns

Antex Compounds Effective Against Foodborne Pathogen
Thursday February 13, 9:12 am ET
- Initial Results on Bioterrorism Agent -
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/030213/nyth030_1.html
GAITHERSBURG, Md., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Antex Biologics Inc. (Amex: ANX - News), through its AntexPharma subsidiary continues to explore the potential effectiveness of its novel anti-infective compounds in preventing and destroying pathogenic bacteria biofilms of national concern. Biofilms, a form in which bacteria increase their virulence and resistance are not only a problem in hospital acquired infections, but are also of major concern in food and environmental infections.
The Company announced earlier that AP158 and several of its analogues were effective in destroying methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus biofilms and were active against Bacillus anthracis. Based on these results, the compounds have been tested against Listeria monocytogenes an important foodborne pathogen. The compounds were very active in destroying the biofilm and killing the bacteria. Listeria has been recognized as a human pathogen since 1929, but recent foodborne outbreaks and ensuing concern about food safety has brought this bacteria into the spotlight. This pathogen causes a higher rate of hospitalization than any other foodborne pathogen. Ninety-five percent of the individuals who acquire listeriosis are hospitalized and this disease is the leading cause of death from foodborne pathogens. Listeria is a very difficult pathogen to control from an environmental perspective. Further work is planned to evaluate Antex proprietary compounds for use in controlling and eliminating this pathogen in food processing environments.