Young E. coli victim to speak to supervisors on food safety
Source : http://verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=48643
By Scott Orr (June 18, 2012)
Yavapai County Community Health Services has enlisted the help of a boy who suffered a dangerous case of E. coli poisoning in his effort to convince the county's Board of Supervisors to adopt the 2009 FDA Food Code at the board's Monday meeting.
The food code, which deals with commercial food handling, has been under fire since Brian Supalla, county health program manager, presented it at a "courtesy public hearing" at the board's June 4 meeting.
Despite the fact that the new food code is actually five pages shorter than the previous version and introduces just five new rules, Supervisors Chip Davis and Carol Springer came out strongly against it, with Davis questioning the need for one of the provisions - a prohibition against offering rare hamburgers on children's menus.
"Do we have a lot of kids getting sick in Yavapai County from eating rare hamburgers?" he asked. The answer, Supalla said, was they don't know for certain.
Springer said, "It shouldn't be you who decides what a parent orders for that child."
Davis said the issue didn't even need to be placed on a later agenda for a vote, since he and Springer were clearly not in favor of adopting it.
The next day, Board Chairman Tom Thurman, who is also a member of the county Board of Health, presented Davis and Springer's concerns to that board and asked for some guidance.
The Board of Health recommended that the supervisors adopt the code, and Thurman agreed to put it on the agenda for a vote at the next meeting.
Community Health Services Director Robert Resendes asked the family of Jacob Goswick, a Prescott Valley eighth-grader who was in the second grade when he ate spinach contaminated with E. coli bacteria, if Jacob would testify at the meeting.
Jacob spent two months in Phoenix Children's Hospital - one month on dialysis - after his kidneys shut down, which is one of the potential side effects of food poisoning.
Since the spinach E. coli outbreak in 2006, both Jacob and his mother, Juliana Goswick, have lobbied in Washington, D.C., to improve food safety.
In his email to the Goswicks, Resendes said, "To have a family of your caliber and unfortunate compelling experience (speak to the board) would be ideal for the cause."
He said that experience would show the supervisors "that indeed foodborne illnesses can and do affect area residents and that some of the newer pathogens, e.g., E. coli, are particularly dangerous to children."
Juliana said she and Jacob would be willing to appear at the meeting.
The Board of Supervisors meets at 9 a.m. Monday at the County Administrative Services Verde Valley Complex, 10 S. Sixth St. in Cottonwood. A live video link to the meeting is available to the public at the County Administrative Services Building, 1015 Fair St. in Prescott.
Confirmed case of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in Hong Kong woman
Source : http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/155398/12/06/16/confirmed-case-shiga-toxin-producing-e-coli-hong-kong-woman
By Doug Powell (June 16, 2012)
A 75-year-old woman has tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC).
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health has confirmed that the patient had no recent travel history and her home contacts were asymptomatic.
Bacterial strains belonging to the STEC group have been sporadically detected in Hong Kong. The most recognized serogroup of STEC is E. coli O157:H7. Since June 2011, the CHP has expanded the criterion for notification to include all STECs, in addition to the classical E. coli O157:H7.
FDA again issues alert on Korean mollusks
Source : http://www.seafoodsource.com/newsarticledetail.aspx?id=16322
By SeafoodSource staff (June 15, 2012)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday issued its sternest warning yet against the consumption of mollusks imported from Korea.
The agency is urging seafood distributors, retailers and foodservice operators to halt sales of all fresh, frozen, canned and processed oysters, clams, mussels and whole and roe-on scallops from Korea, including product that entered the United States prior to 1 May, when the FDA removed such products from the Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List (ICSSL).
Last month, the FDA said Korea’s shellfish sanitation program no longer meets the sanitation controls spelled out under the United States’ National Shellfish Sanitation Program. An FDA investigation found significant deficiencies with the Korea’s program, including inadequate sanitary controls, ineffective management of land-based pollution sources and detection of norovirus in shellfish-growing areas. Norovirus causes vomiting or diarrhea.
No illnesses from eating Korean mollusks have been reported in the United States this year.
The FDA advisory is being widely reported by the mainstream media in the United States, including an Associated Press article that’s been picked up by dozens of news outlets.
Salmonella in Dog Food Is Making Humans Sick
Source : http://kosu.org/2012/06/salmonella-in-dog-food-is-making-humans-sick/
By US News (June 15, 2012)
A lot of people share everything with their dogs — a long walk, a bed, even people food. But one thing you might not want to share is a nasty bug called Salmonella.
A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 22 people in 13 states and Canada have become sick from Salmonella-tainted dry dog food tied to multiple brands made by Diamond Pet Foods, including “Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul” and “Country Value.” Six people have been hospitalized since this pet food recall was first announced in early May.
So what’s going on here?
Most likely, the agency says, people are getting sick from touching infected dog food, touching an infected dog, or handling the dog’s waste.
“Salmonella germs are transmitted from animals to humans and humans to humans by the fecal oral route,” says CDC’s webpage on the outbreak. Yep, that means the infection spreads from the stool and the mouth and in between species. And things take a while to clear up. Those germs can still be found in a pet’s stools four to six weeks after infection.
Apparently, toddlers are pretty susceptible to Salmonella from pet food. Researchers published a study in the journal Pediatrics in 2010 that found about half the 79 people sickened by an uncommon salmonella strain a few years back were kids age 2 or younger.
In this latest dog food outbreak, CDC says sick people range in age from those younger than 1 year to octogenarians, and the median age is 46.5 years. Sixty-eight percent of patients are female.
Symptoms of Salmonella poisoning in dogs are not that much different than in people — diarrhea, vomiting, etc. If you suspect a problem, call the vet and check the food bag to see if the product’s been recalled.
It’s not just dogs, though. Pet turtles have been blamed for making owners sick in past outbreaks.
To prevent spreading foodborne infection to the two-legged types in your house, wash your hands after feeding pets or giving them treats and after cleaning up after pets or handling them, the CDC says. Also, keep kids under 5 away from pet food and use a mild bleach solution to clean areas that may be contaminated.
If keeping track of recent pet food scares is just too complicated, you could always make your own food for Fido. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]
China Establishes 5-Year Food Safety Plan, Vows Harshier Penalties
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/06/china-establishes-5-year-food-safety-plan.aspx
By Food Product (June 15, 2012)
China on June 15 released a 5-year plan to upgrade its food-safety regulations as part of the country's latest efforts to address critical food-safety concerns. The announcement came at the conclusion of China’s Food Safety Week.
As outlined by the plan, the government will improve national food-safety standards by revamping outdated standards, reviewing and abolishing any contradicting or overlapping standards and working out new regulations. Currently, China has more than 2,000 national food regulations and more than 2,900 industry-based regulations—many of which are overlapping or contradict each other, since multiple government agencies were given the responsibility of compiling their own standards years ago.
According to the plan, 14 government departments, including the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture, will coordinate to finish revamping the existing standards by 2015.
The government will prioritize safety standards for dairy products, infant food, meat, alcohol, vegetable oil, seasoning, health products and food additives so as to specify limits for dangerous ingredients in these foods. The government also will make special efforts to set standards for testing various contaminants, food additives, microorganisms, pesticide and animal drug residue in food production by 2015.
On June 13, the State Council, China's Cabinet, laid out measures to improve food safety, including tighter supervision and harsh punishments for violators. According to a government statement, “the government should enhance supervision by setting up an efficient mechanism that covers all links in the food industry and a rigid food recall and destroy system for defective products. The State Council vowed a "harsh crackdown" on those endangering food safety, saying violators should be ensured penalties in accordance with laws and regulations.
Ironically, another food-safety scandal involving tainted infant formula is casting a shadow on any positive developments that took place during China’s Food Safety Week. Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group, one of China's largest dairy product manufacturers, is recalling infant formula because of excessive levels of mercury.
The recall involves all formula milk powder for infants in the Quanyou 2, 3 and 4 brand series produced from November 2011 to May 2012. The recall was initiated by the company after batch samples were tested with abnormal mercury content on June 12 by food-safety inspectors, reported China Daily.
The company issued a statement that said, "At present, the country has no standards on mercury limits in milk powder. But to be responsible to consumers, the company decided to recall all related products."
Human Salmonella Infantis Infections Linked to Dry Dog Food — United States and Canada, 2012
Source : http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6123a4.htm#
By CDC (June 15, 2012)
CDC is collaborating with public health and agriculture officials in multiple states, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of human Salmonella Infantis infections linked to direct or indirect contact with dry dog food. Multiple brands of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in Gaston, South Carolina, have been linked to human illnesses (1).
On April 2, 2012, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development detected Salmonella in an unopened bag of Diamond brand dry dog food collected during routine retail testing, resulting in a recall of a single product. Public health investigators used PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network, to identify recent human infections with the same strain of Salmonella found in the dog food sample.
During February 1–May 31, 2012, a total of 22 cases (20 cases in 13 states, and two cases in Canada) of human infections with the outbreak strain were reported. The median patient age was 46.5 years (range: <1–82 years); 68% were female. Thirty-five percent (six of 17) were hospitalized. Epidemiologic investigations found that 83% (15 of 18) reported dog contact, and of the 11 patients who recalled types of dog food, eight reported brands produced by Diamond Pet Foods. The results of further product testing by multiple agencies and the provision of production codes by ill persons led to expansion of recalled products to include 17 brands, representing approximately 30,000 tons of dry dog and cat food produced at the implicated production facility. Pet illnesses associated with recalled products have been reported to FDA's pet food complaint system (2); as of May 31, 2012, the outbreak strain was isolated from one ill dog and one asymptomatic dog in Ohio, both of which had consumed recalled products.
This is the second documented outbreak of human salmonellosis linked to dry pet food in the United States (3). Persons should be aware that dry dog and cat food can be contaminated with Salmonella and should not be handled or stored in areas where human food is prepared or consumed. Washing hands is the most important step to prevent illness, especially right after handling pet food and treats or cleaning up after pets (4).
Dog Food Salmonella Infantis Update
Source : http://www.salmonellaclaimcenter.com/outbreak/dog-food-salmonella-infantis-update/
By Salmonella Attorney (June 14, 2012)
Salmonella Infantis bacteria was carried into a number of homes in the U.S. and Canada via contaminated dog food — poisoning the environment and making people sick. Through no fault of their own, 22 people were sickened, including six who have been hospitalized.
According to a CDC update on the Diamond Pet Foods Salmonella outbreak, the number of case patients has grown from 15 to 22 in the past month. The infections date all the way back to October 2011 and Diamond Pet’s Salmonella-related dog food recalls began December 9 and compounded through April 7. Multiple brands have been recalled, including certain Kirkland varieties sold at Costco.
Anyone who believes they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten dry pet food should consult their health care provider. Legal representation can be arranged by contacting national food safety law firm Pritzker Olsen Attorneys by leaving your contact information online or by calling toll-free at 1-888-377-8900.
Pet Food Lawsuit
Pritzker Olsen filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit against Diamond Pet Food Processors and Costco Wholesale Corp. in connection with this outbreak. The suit (case number 3:12-CV-03127-JAP-LHG) was filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey on behalf of an infant who was hospitalized for three days after contracting salmonellosis from the outbreak strain. The infectious dose for Salmonella is very small, especially for children. So, once it is introduced into the home environment, it poses a very significant risk no matter how carefully the tainted food is handled.
E. coli O157 found inside liver, not just on surface; will a raw beef liver ban in Japan work?
Source : http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/155358/12/06/14/e-coli-o157-found-inside-liver-not-just-surface-will-raw-beef-liver-ban-japan-w?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed
By Doug Powell (June 14, 2012)
Japan is going to ban raw beef liver from restaurants effective July 1, 2012, but the move could be a precursor for a wider ban on equally risky – but beloved – raw foods in Japan.
In May 2011, E. coli O111 in raw beef – not liver but hamburger -- killed five and sickened at least 180 in Japan.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a couple months later, the government urged businesses to show self-restraint in serving raw beef — yet 13 people were affected by raw beef-related food poisoning since July, according to the health ministry. Over 850 people have been hospitalized for food poisoning after consuming raw beef liver from 1998 through the end of 2011. About 9% of those cases were caused by E. coli contamination.
Subsequently, testing of raw meat was increased, and according to a report for the government, of the 173 cow livers tested from 16 different locations nationwide, three samples were found to be contaminated with E. coli O157 inside the meat, not just on its exterior, and five samples had exterior contaminations.
In April, a food safety panel under the Cabinet Office backed the plan to restrict serving raw beef liver. The new rules also target raw beef liver sold to households. Raw beef liver will remain on refrigerated shelves, but stores will be required to put up signs advising consumers to only eat the meat cooked.
The new ban on raw liver means restaurants will be required to cook beef liver at 63 degrees Celsius (145.4 degrees Fahrenheit) for a minimum 30 minutes, or 75 degrees Celsius for at least one minute, before serving the meat. Failure to comply could result in a ¥2 million fine as well as two years in jail.
The All Japan Meat Industry Co-operative Association has protested the panel’s deliberations, saying this could be the beginning of an endless campaign to remove other raw foods from Japanese dining tables — a particularly serious charge in a nation heavily reliant on raw foods. “If this direction continues, they could also say ‘eating raw eggs is dangerous so it will be banned.’ And following the same logic, we may no longer be able to eat sashimi because the most number of food poisoning cases comes from raw fish,” the group wrote in a letter to the health ministry in early May. More food-poisoning illnesses spring from raw fish, in large part because the volume consumed far exceeds other foods. But the ministry official said it targeted beef liver because of the enormous strength of the pathogen.
Yomiuri Shimbun reports that many livestock farmers were staggered by the ministry's decision, which could cut their income considerably, although consumer groups praised the ban.
Hisa Anan, the chief of the secretariat of the National Liaison Committee of Consumers' Organization, welcomed the ministry's move.
"The ministry couldn't eradicate food poisoning just by asking restaurants to voluntarily stop serving raw beef liver. I guess the ministry had no alternative," she said.
However, others experts have criticized the ministry's decision.
"The ministry should encourage consumers to make their own decisions by providing them with adequate information, rather than imposing a blanket ban," said Tsutomu Sekizaki, director of the University of Tokyo's Research Center for Food Safety.
As the Brits have repeatedly shown, cooking liver don’t work so well after numerous of outbreaks of Campylobacter in undercooked liver pate. Bans, however, seem heavy-handed. Worse is the inconsistency: why just raw beef liver instead of raw beef? It was raw hamburger that caused the E. coli O111 outbreak. Maybe something is being lost in translation, but the notice does reek of a trial balloon.
Victims of French E. coli O157 outbreak want to know why it happened; courts slow to respond
Source : http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/blog/155359/12/06/14/victims-french-e-coli-o157-outbreak-want-know-why-it-happened-courts-slow-respo
By Doug Powell (June 14, 2012)
Nine-year-old Ugo Picot was stricken with E. coli O157:H7 linked to frozen meatballs in tomato sauce in June 2011.
Ugo was one of eight children in Northern France confirmed with E. coli O157 after eating beef bought from German retailer, Lidl.
When his mother took him to the hospital because of persistent vomiting, she was told, “gastroenteritis is seven days, it is only five,” and was sent home.
As reported in today’s edition of La Voix du Nord, "One morning, Ugo is not well at all. I felt like my heart would stop beating. Back in the hospital and the beginning of the nightmare. Helicopter transfer to hospital of Lille, a tube in his stomach: dialysis, to flush the kidneys.”
Didier Picot and Virginia were told Ugo had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS); Virginia still trembles at the memory of a psychiatrist come "talk of death" to his son.
A year later, Ugo is a small boy of nine who tires more easily than others, and his kidneys will return to normal functioning.
In the corridors of the hospital in Lille, she met the parents of other small children, and that most had bought ground meat brand Country Steak at Lidl.
The parents have launched legal action, but progress is slow.
Albert Amgar writes on his blog that it is rare in France to hear the voice of those who have suffered from food poisoning.
Salmonella gooses the human host to boost its own fitness
Source : http://mbioblog.asm.org/mbiosphere/2012/06/salmonella-gooses-the-human-host-to-boost-its-own-fitness.html
By mBiosphere (June 13, 2012)
A gene Salmonella picked up from a virus apparently enables it to tweak the human gut to get what it needs to outcompete its neighbors, according to the latest study published in mBio this week.
A multi-drug resistant strain of Salmonella that caused an outbreak among both humans and cattle in the 1980's carried a gene called sopE. sopE is not your average Salmonella gene: it's a virulence factor the bacterium acquired from a phage. Overall, sopE is present in only a small fraction of Salmonella isolates, but it was all over the human-and-cattle-epidemic strain like white on rice. It's an effector protein of the invasion-associated type III secretion system and it's a potent inducer of inflammation in the intestine, but what sort of advantage does it offer to Salmonella that made it so successful in this outbreak? What does sopE do, exactly? Figuring this out could help control outbreaks in the future (and rest assured there are plenty of Salmonella outbreaks in our future).
Researchers at UC Davis (Go Aggies!) studied the action of sopE in mice. They found that by inducing the host to make inducible nitric oxide synthase, sopE enhances the production of host-derived nitrate, enabling the bacterium to live off nitrate, a valuable electron acceptor in this dog-eat-dog anaerobic habitat. This provides a growth advantage for Salmonella, boosting its numbers in the lumen.
In a tidy little turn of events, when Salmnonella has access to nitrate in the gut it turns down the respiration of another, less valuable electron acceptor: tetrathionate. Without sopE, Salmonella uses tetrathionate for its "breathing" needs, expressing genes for tetrathionate respiration so that it can survive in the anaerobic gut. But when sopE is on hand to help Salmonella extract nitrate from the host, the bacterium reduces the expression of tetrathionate respiration genes. This ensures the bacterium uses the optimal electron acceptor, nitrate, and maximizes its growth rate, allowing it to outcompete other bacteria in the gut.
Colorado cantaloupe to get a $175,000 makeover after listeria hysteria
Source : http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2012/06/colorado_cantaloupe_listeria_makeover.php
By Patricia Calhoun (June 13, 2012)
Colorado cantaloupes are ripening quickly this season, and so are concerns that the listeria hysteria over last year's outbreak could put a damper on sales of the fruit. So the Colorado Department of Agriculture, headed by commissioner John Salazar, is pushing a project to improve the image of the vilified melons -- and fast.
The bad melons, which wound up killing thirty people, were quickly traced to Jensen Farms in Holly -- but not before the taint spread not just to Rocky Ford melons, but produce from around the state. On September 11, the FDA even sent out a warning not to eat "Rocky Ford Cantaloupes" shipped by Jensen Farms -- even though that farm was a hundred miles away from Rocky Ford.
"Certainly the outbreak last year was a tragedy for everyone involved," says Tom Lipetzky, markets division director for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. "From our perspective, the growers in the Rocky Ford area really weren't at the heart at the problem, but they saw their brand and image tarnished."
Other products ranging from melons to pumpkins were tarnished, too, he notes, with some retailers going out of their way to advertise that produce was not from Colorado.
"We knew there were some real concerns," Lipetzky says. "We needed to help growers, and also protect Colorado." So the ag department began working on a several-pronged approach for a coordinated campaign to improve the image of Colorado's melons.
"We just met last Friday with a group of producers in Rocky Ford to begin this brand-visioning process," he says. "It hasn't really been a brand; it's becoming a brand." And it's a work in progress; the two agencies that will share the contract to define that brand -- BrandWorks and Mulligan, both out of Colorado -- just got on board a week ago.
But the ag department has been involved since the outbreak, working with growers and securing a grant for classes. "Almost every grower was taking food-safety classes," Lipetzky says. "I'm really proud of them for stepping forward and being very pro-active." (Program director Tracy Vanderpool was recently lauded at the Governor's Mansion for educating "hundreds of Colorado's fruit and vegetable growers on the importance of developing and implementing food safety plans." His efforts, according to the department, "have and will continue to be integral to restoring consumer confidence in Rocky Ford cantaloupe.")
And then the state put out the RFP for a $175,000 promotional campaign that will run this summer and fall. "First," Lipetzky explains, "we really want to talk about some of the changes the industry is taking.... Part of the campaign will be to talk about the new measures in terms of assuring better food safety, technology for trace-back, and also some of the changes in the packing sheds to streamline the process and be more safe."
But to make sure it's not all wonky, the campaign will also includes advertising and events to get consumers to "remember that great, fresh taste of Rocky Ford cantaloupe," he says.
"We're in good position," Lipetzky adds, "but the clock is ticking for a really early harvest."
The melons could hit the market by July 20 -- just over five weeks from now.
Last fall, Westword offered a free makeover for Colorado melons. Read Melanie Asmar's "Five ways to improve Colorado cantaloupes' image" here.
E. Coli Found in Raw Milk from NY Dairy
Source : http://ht.ly/byYaO
By Food Safety News Desk (June 13, 2012)
A farm in upstate New York has been prohibited from selling its raw milk after a sample of the product tested positive for E. coli O157:H7.
New York State Agricultural Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine warned consumers Tuesday not to consume unpasteurized milk from Castle Farms of Irving, NY - located in Chautauqua County - because the milk may be contaminated with E. coli bacteria.
The bacteria was discovered in a sample of the farm's raw milk taken by a health department inspector on June 4. On June 7, Castle Farms was notified that the sample had tested positive for E. coli and the owners voluntarily removed their raw milk from the market. On June 12, test results were confirmed. The company - which is licensed by the State as a raw milk vendor - is now temporarily banned from selling the product until further testing shows that its raw milk is free from pathogens.
According to its website, Castle Farms sells milk from goats (cow's milk does not appear to be an item they sell), so it is likely that the banned raw milk is goat milk.
No ban has been placed on its other products, which include pasteurized goat milk, goat fudge, beef, and live animals - including baby goats.
No illnesses have been associated with milk from the farm to date.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection generally appear 2-5 days after ingesting the bacteria, and include severe abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, and in rare cases fever or vomiting. In severe cases, diarrhea may become watery or bloody.
If you think you may have contracted an E. coli infection, contact your healthcare provider.
22 Sickened by Salmonella-Tainted Pet Food
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/22-sickened-by-salmonella-tainted-pet-food/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MarlerBlog+%28Marler+Blog%29
By Bill Marler (June 13, 2012)
A total of 22 individuals infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis have been reported. Twenty ill persons have been reported from 13 states and two ill persons have been reported from Canada. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2), California (1), Connecticut (1), Illinois (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (3), North Carolina (3), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1) and Virginia (1).
Among the 17 patients with available information, 6 (35%) were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
Multiple brands of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a single manufacturing facility in South Carolina have been linked to some of the human Salmonella infections. Consumers should check their homes for recalled pet food products and discard them promptly. People who think they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten dry pet food should consult their health care providers.
Water quality advisories issued for three Duluth beaches
Source : http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/234206/
By News Tribune staff (June 12,2012)
People should avoid water contact at three Duluth beaches, the Minnesota Department of Health announced today.
The department issued “Water Contact Not Recommended” advisories for the Leif Erikson Park, Minnesota Point/15th Street, and Minnesota Point/Hearding Island Canal beaches. Water samples collected Monday at the beaches revealed elevated levels of E. coli bacteria, indicating the possible presence of fecal contamination. The beaches are scheduled to be retested today.
Leif Erikson Park beach is located below Leif Erikson Park. The Minnesota Point/15th Street beach is located on the harbor side of Park Point, as is the Hearding Island Canal beach.
Anyone who becomes ill after contact with water at a Minnesota beach should contact the Minnesota Department of Health at (877) 366-3455.
Go to www.MNBeaches.org for more information on the Minnesota Lake Superior Beach Monitoring program.
Food Safety Compromised As Global Trade Expands
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/06/food-safety-compromised-as-global-trade-expands/
By Gretchen Goetz (June 11,2012)
As the web of global food trade becomes more and more complex, humans become increasingly vulnerable to prolonged foodborne illness outbreaks, says a team of international researchers.
The interconnectedness of the world's food supply is putting global food safety in jeopardy, according to a study published last month in PLoS ONE, because it allows for contaminated food to be distributed far and wide, and makes it difficult - if not impossible - for health officials to trace ingredients back to their origins.
In 2008 the value of the global food trade was estimated at 1060 billion U.S. dollars.
The data on international trade routes is so vast and intricate that it required a team of scientists who specialize in network analysis to map it out.
Zoltan Toroczkai, a physics professor at Notre Dame University and co-author of the paper, says he was shocked when he first looked at the United Nations' food trade database.
"You see these kinds of complex maps in the cell biological system when you look at the cell's metabolic network, Toroczkai explained. [The global food trade map] looks eerily similar."
Indeed to the untrained eye, the diagram the team created looks like a complicated molecular structure or a chaotic mind map. One thing is clear though: our food is making moves. Lots of them.
"Less and less food is actually consumed locally, but gets into trade and is transported somewhere else either as ingredients or sellable foods," said Toroczkai in an interview with Food Safety News.
This means that countries that may be physically far from one another are sitting down to the same virtual table when they eat.
"A food item you're eating could have ingredients from all over the world," explains Toroczkai, "and that increases your vulnerability, especially if you are part of the core countries that participate in extensive trade."
The density of the global food web "guarantees that if there's an outbreak it will quickly reach any part of the network," says Toroczkai, "and it will also be very difficult for you to trace where the food is coming from because it gets mixed and sent on many, many routes." And, he says, "the more time you're delayed looking for the source, the more people can get sick or die in the meantime."
The European E. coli O104:H4 outbreak in the spring of 2011 provides a painful example of the dangers of slow traceback.
After authorities determined on June 13 that sprouts from a certain farm in Northern Germany were the likely outbreak vehicle, it would be 18 more days until seeds exported from Egypt would be identified as the original source of the bacteria and withdrawn from the market. It is possible that the outbreak, which sickened over 4,000 people and killed at least 50, may have been more devastating because of this delay.
The European outbreak "illustrated the importance of prompt tracing of the origin of specific food ingredients," the paper points out.
So what can be done to make sure ingredients can't shed their identity after reaching another country like a fugitive on the run?
The answer, as in any detective case, is to gather more information.
"What's missing as information that should be recorded and available is what happens with ingredients after they enter the country," says Toroczkai. Products are usually recorded in a log when they enter the country, but after that the trail tends to go cold, he explains.
That's why an ingredient and its origin should be marked on every product it becomes a part of, he says. Records marking where the food came from and where it's going should be made every time it changes hands.
Such information will also be essential for researchers looking at where food chains are most vulnerable to contamination, what types of products are redistributed most often and other questions whose answers are key to protecting public health.
"Part of the conclusion of this paper was that we need to go into detail if we want to improve food safety and transport," says Toroczkai. "The data that we have from the United Nations only gives us the aggregate of food traded between countries."
Getting all 207 countries to maintain a database of food redistribution is a titanic task. The best policy, say the authors, will be to get countries through which the most food travels on board.
The study identifies the 7 countries that account for the bulk of international food trade: the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Great Britain, China and Italy. Each of these countries trade with over 77% of the world's 207 nations, meaning that food from at least 150 other countries is flowing through each of these 7 throughout the year.
"The largest fraction of the GDP per person for food trade is coming from the Netherlands," says Toroczkai. "Almost all of it goes through Rotterdam. In principle one could do an excellent job there of tracking what ingredients came from where and where they are repackaged and sent from the Netherlands."
"We would like to consider this paper as a call for better data management on where food gets sent and how it's being processed," Toroczkai says.
Whatever the solution, it must be achieved through a unified global effort, he notes.
"More and more people are becoming aware that this is an issue that needs to be repaired," says Toroczkai. "But it has to be a coordinated effort...This has to be done on an international level."
Animal contact poses risk for transmission of major enteric pathogens
Source : http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/news/online/%7BB397DB1E-9BA1-4DCF-86CF-EBE5730E2523%7D/Animal-contact-poses-risk-for-transmission-of-major-enteric-pathogens
By Healio (June 11,2012)
Animal contact was responsible for transmission of multiple major enteric pathogens among US residents, with Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium and nontyphoidal Salmonella species as the leading causes of illness, according to CDC researchers.
Data were pooled from the US Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network and other sources to estimate the number of enteric illnesses that were attributed to animal contact. Seven pathogens were evaluated: Campylobacter species, Cryptosporidium species, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, STEC non-O157, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella species and Yersinia enterocolitica.
The researchers found that approximately 14% of all enteric illnesses caused by these pathogens may be attributed to animal contact, which translates to 445,213 illnesses annually for the seven groups combined. Campylobacter species caused 42% of the illnesses attributable to animal contact, translating to 187,481 illnesses annually.
Of the illnesses attributed to animal contact, nontyphoidal Salmonella species caused 127,155 illnesses, Cryptosporidium species caused 113,344 illnesses, STEC non-O517 caused 10,097 illnesses and STEC O517 caused 5,960 illnesses. A small proportion of animal contact-related illnesses were caused by L. monocytogenes and Y. enterocolitica.
Illnesses attributed to animal contact resulted in approximately 4,933 hospitalizations and 76 deaths. The leading cause of hospitalization was nontyphoidal Salmonella species, followed by Campylobacter species and Cryptosporidium species.
“The estimates of illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths attributed to animal contact transmission emphasize the need to implement interventions and educational programs,” the researchers wrote. “Illnesses can be prevented by educating the public and occupational workers about potential risks and by ensuring that interventions are in public places where persons come into contact with animals.”
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Dry Dog Food Salmonella Outbreak Has Grown
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/dry-dog-food-salmonella-outbreak-has-grown/
By Kathy Will (June 14, 2012)
The CDC has announced that the dry dog food Salmonella outbreak has grown. Now 20 people in 13 states and two people in Canada are sick with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Infantis. Seventeen patients have been interviewed by government investigators; of those, six, or 35%, have been hospitalized.
Several brands of dry dog food and cat food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a facility in Gaston, South Carolina are linked to these infections. Pets can eat the food and contract the bacteria and show no signs and symptoms, but be carriers. Simply petting an animal with Salmonella, then touching your mouth or eating something can spread the bacteria. The tainted pet food can also contaminate any surface it touches. Once a dangerous bacteria is in the home, cross-contamination is almost impossible to prevent.
The case count in this dog food Salmonella outbreak is as follows:
¡áNorth Carolina (3)
¡áNew Jersey (1)
¡áNew York (1)
¡áSouth Carolina (1)
The five new cases are from Alabama, California, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina. Illnesses began between October 2011 and May 11, 2012. The age range of patients is less than one year old to 82 years old. The median age is 46.5 years. Sixty-eight percent of the patients are female.
The FDA cited the Diamond Pet Food plant in South Carolina for violating several food safety laws, including no microbiological analysis for pathogens, no hand washing and sanitizing facilities, and dirty and damaged equipment that was not properly maintained. The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 requires that pet food manufacturers must comply with Preventative Control Rules and submit HACCP plans to ensure the food they make is safe.
There have been several problems with the Diamond Pet Food plant in question. In 2005, pet food manufactured at that plant was contaminated with toxic mold that killed at least 76 dogs and prompted one of the largest pet food recalls in U.S. history. At that time, FDA inspectors warned the plant owners for the same violations that were found this year.
If you or anyone you know has suffered the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning, including fever, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps, and have purchased one of these Diamond Pet Food products, see your healthcare provider immediately.
HHS Creates New Centers To Combat Bioterror, Pandemics
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2012/hhs-creates-new-centers-to-combat-bioterror-pandemics/
By Carla Gillespie (June 18, 2012)
Three new public-private partnerships created with a $400 million investment from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will develop medicines and vaccines and train biopharmaceutical workers to respond to health emergencies arising from bioterrorist attacks an pandemics.
Called Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing, these centers will be consortiums of academic institutions, small biotech firms and large pharmaceutical companies located in Maryland, North Carolina and Texas.
The facilities, which will be new or retrofitted existing structures, will “incorporate flexible, innovative manufacturing platforms that can be used to manufacture more than one product. The facilities will use modern cell- and recombinant-based vaccine technologies that have the potential to produce vaccines for not only pandemic influenza but also other threats more quickly and in a more affordable way,” according to an HHS statement. The private partners will provide about 35 percent of the start up costs total costs and HHS will cover the rest.
The three centers are:
Emergent Manufacturing Operations Baltimore LLC, Michigan State University, Kettering University of Flint, Mich., and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. This is a $163 million eight-year contract.
Novartis, North Carolina State University and Duke University. This is a $60 million four-year contract.
Texas A&M University System, GlaxoSmithKline Vaccines of Marietta, Pa.; Lonza of Houston, Texas, and Kalon Biotherapeutics of College Station, Texas. This is a $176 million contract.
Promising Ebola treatment, Salmonella outbreak tied to dog food, plague in New Mexico, anti-measles funding
Source : http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/vhf/news/jun1412newsscan.html
By CIDRAP (June 14, 2012)
Antibody combo treatment for Ebola promising in primate trial
Canadian researchers yesterday in Science Translational Medicine reported using monoclonal antibodies to treat Ebola infection in macaques. Currently, there are no vaccines or therapies for Ebola infection, which has a mortality rate of up to 90%. The researchers used three neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) made in mice directed against the Ebola envelope glycoprotein. All four primates survived when given three doses 3 days apart 24 hours after a lethal challenge with the deadly Zaire strain of the virus. When the treatment was given after 48 hours, two of four monkeys recovered. Follow-up blood tests suggested that the survivors showed humoral and cell-mediated response against the virus. Researchers noted that the strategy is promising, because earlier therapy trials were only fully effective when given within 1 hour of infection, well before most people come to a clinic with symptoms. The group noted that it's unclear if protection would be sustained against a second exposure to Ebola virus or to different strains of the virus. In a Canadian Press (CP) story on the study, researcher Heinz Feldmann, MD, PhD, chief scientist at a biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) National Institutes of Health lab, said that monoclonal antibody treatment might be safer than a vaccine but perhaps more expensive.
Jun 13 Sci Transl Med abstract
Jun 13 CP story
Salmonella outbreak linked to dog food grows to 22 cases in 13 states
The Salmonella outbreak caused by dry dog food has now grown to 22 cases in 13 states and Canada, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday. The outbreak has grown by five cases and four states (California, Illinois, New York, and South Carolina) since the last CDC update on May 11. Two of the current cases are in Canada. Among the 17 case-patients with available information, 6 (35%) were hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. The outbreak is caused by a Salmonella Infantis strain. Multiple brands of dry dog food produced by Diamond Pet Foods at a plant in South Carolina have been linked to some of the cases, and the company has recalled 11 brands of its dog food. A CDC "Note from the Field" in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) notes that this is the second US Salmonella outbreak linked to dry pet food. The first, involving cat food and dog food, occurred in 2006 to 2008.
Jun 13 CDC update
Jun 15 MMWR Note from the Field
Socioeconomic factors of plague in New Mexico show recent shift
Human cases of plague in New Mexico are now more often associated with affluent urban areas compared with the 1980s, when they were more commonly linked to poor housing conditions, according to a study yesterday in Emerging Infectious Diseases. CDC and New Mexico researchers analyzed data from 123 plague cases in the state from 1976 through 2007 and compared them with census data throughout the years. They found that in the 1980s, plague tended to occur in areas with old homes that had incomplete plumbing, but beginning in the 1990s plague cases began to be associated with areas of higher median income and home values. By the 2000s, this relationship was statistically confirmed, with cases associated with more affluent areas concentrated in the Santa Fe–Albuquerque area. The researchers also found a higher proportion of cases in homes that burned wood, which likely means that wood piles harboring rodents may be a factor, they said. They speculate that climatic conditions may play a role in the change but could not determine what exactly caused the shift.
Jun 13 Emerg Infect Dis study
GAVI Alliance announces $162 million to combat measles
The GAVI Alliance will provide up to $162 million in additional funding to help control and prevent measles outbreaks in developing countries, the organization announced yesterday. Of this, $107 million will go toward anti-measles efforts in Afghanistan, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Another $55 million will be offered through the Measles & Rubella Initiative for rapid response vaccination campaigns as outbreaks occur. The increased funding follows a decision in November to provide more than $500 million to combat rubella through a combined measles-rubella vaccine. Dagfinn Hoybraten, chair of the GAVI Alliance board, said in a press release, "This strategic investment is critical for the countries where children are at highest risk of infection."
Jun 13 GAVI Alliance news release
Rapidly Cooling Eggs Extends Shelf Life, Cuts Salmonella Risk
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2012/06/rapidly-cooling-eggs-extends-shelf-life-cuts-salm.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FPDArticles+%28FPD+-+Articles%29
By FOOD PRODUCT (June 12, 2012)
Rapidly cooling freshly laid eggs extends their shelf-life up to 12 weeks compared to traditional processing, according to a new study published in the journal Poultry Science. Previous research also showed the same cooling technology may significantly reduce occurrences of Salmonella illnesses.
The rapid-cooling process, developed by Kevin Keener, a professor of food science at Purdue University, uses liquid carbon dioxide to stabilize the proteins in egg whites so much that they could be rated AA—the highest grade for eggs—for 12 weeks. Keener said eggs cooled under current methods lose the AA grade in about six weeks.
"There is no statistical difference in quality between eggs as measured by Haugh units [which measure an egg white's protein quality] just after laying and rapidly cooled eggs at 12 weeks," he said. "This rapid-cooling process can provide a significant extension in the shelf life of eggs compared to traditional processing."
Results of the study also show the membranes surrounding the eggs' yolks were maintained for 12 weeks when eggs were rapidly cooled. That membrane is a barrier that keeps harmful bacteria from reaching the yolk, a nutrient-rich reservoir that bacteria could use as a food source.
"The structural integrity of the yolk membrane stays strong longer, which may provide a food safety benefit," he said. "The membrane being stronger would be another defense against bacterial invasion, such as salmonella."
The rapid-cooling technology takes liquid carbon dioxide and turns it into a "snow" to rapidly lower the eggs' temperature. Eggs are placed in a cooling chamber and carbon dioxide gas at about minus 110° Fahrenheit is generated. The cold gas is circulated around the eggs and forms a thin layer of ice inside the eggshell. After treatment, the ice layer melts and quickly lowers an egg's internal temperature to below 45° F, the temperature at which Salmonella can no longer grow.
Keener's previous research showed the carbon dioxide in bicarbonate form significantly increases the activity of lysozyme, an enzyme in the egg white that has bactericidal properties.
Traditionally, eggs are at more than 100° F when placed into a carton. Thirty dozen eggs are then packed in a case, and 30 cases are stacked onto pallets and placed in refrigerated coolers. The eggs in the middle of the pallet can take up to 142 hours to cool to 45° F, he said.