Food safety top concern in new poll
Source : http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/768724.shtml
By Liu Chang and Yang Jinghao (Mar 18, 2013)
An overwhelming majority of respondents in a recent poll expressed
their confidence in the country's future in the wake of the just-ended
"two sessions" but food safety topped popular concerns following
the institutional restructuring.
Among the 1,103 respondents in the telephone poll, 36.6 percent summarized
the "two sessions" of this year as chiefly concerned with
"living conditions," 28.7 percent believed "leadership
reshuffle" was the priority, and 25.2 percent emphasized "reform,"
according to the survey conducted by the Global Poll Center under
the Global Times covering the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou,
Chengdu, Xi'an, Changsha and Shengyang.
The State Council's institutional restructuring and transformation
of government functions attracted massive public attention and prompted
heated discussions after the plan was unveiled. The reform brought
down the number of ministries from 27 to 25.
When asked, 52.7 percent of the interviewees believed it was a "moderate"
reform that calls for greater efforts on subsequent implementation,
while 22.2 percent thought the change was "inadequate" as
reforms on the National Development and Reform Commission and financial
institutions did not take place as expected. Meanwhile, only 20.5
percent described the reform as "powerful."
The pressing issue of food safety tops the public agenda, the poll
showed. More than 57 percent of the respondents expressed their concerns
on whether the newly established State Food and Drug Administration
could effectively address the long-standing problem in the scandal-ridden
Followed the issue was the nation's sovereignty issues, with 18.8
percent concerned about whether the newly restructured State Oceanic
Administration would be able to better safeguard the national interests
in disputed areas including the Diaoyu Islands and Huangyan Island
backed by a new maritime law enforcement force.
After the national population and family planning policy commission
was merged with the health ministry, the public has been speculating
whether the three-decade long limits on the number of children will
be loosened. For 8.2 percent of respondents, this was their top issue,
while 7.4 percent fixed their attention on the possible rise in price
of future railway tickets after the railway ministry was dismantled.
Given a choice of positive opinions about the recently concluded two
sessions, the simple and frugal style was highlighted by 46.7 of interviews,
while 44.5 percent were more impressed with the relative lack of empty
talk and political jargon.
While being asked about their confidence in China's future development,
32.3 percent said they became "more confident" after the
sessions and 55.2 said they were "fairly confident." Only
9.6 percent expressed pessimism and 2.9 percent believed it was hard
Yan Jirong, a professor of government management at the Peking University,
told the Global Times Sunday that the topics most associated with
public interest always grabbed the widest attention.
"About 60 percent said they care about the food safety issue,
that's because it not only matters to their interests, but also matters
to their lives," said Yan, noting that the government should
pay more attention to the minority that are not confident in the country's
Dai Yanjun, a professor at the Party School of the CPC Central Committee,
said regarding the effects of the ministry reform, the subsequent
implementation and increasing transparency are very important in addressing
Eight sub-panels to formulate regulations
on food safety
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/eight-subpanels-to-formulate-regulations-on-food-safety/article4518959.ece
By TheHindu.com (Mar 17, 2013)
The central government is set to formulate the regulations for the
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act soon.
“Currently eight sub-panels under FSSAI are working together
to formulate regulations. The notifications are to be put on a website
to invite further suggestions from the industry,” FSSAI Chairperson
K. Chandramouli said on the sidelines of a conference here recently.
He said because of a diverse food culture in the country, there has
been some difficulty in putting together a proper standard on food
FSSAI, the nodal agency was set up for laying down science-based standards
for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution,
sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food.
Maharashtra government has also urged FSSAI to ensure that the FSSAI
Act is soon converted into law so that structured guidelines are laid
down for easy operations, decisiveness and quality of the industry,
Minister of State for Home, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration
Satej Patil said on the sidelines of 8th Nutra India Summit here.
The state government has invited industries interested in setting
up manufacturing and R&D plants in the area of nutraceuticals
and functional foods.
“Considering the relevance of nutraceuticals, we invite all
industries interested in setting up manufacturing and R&D plants
in the area of nutraceuticals and functional foods. We are allotting
land with incentives at Lotte Parshuram near Chiplun to parties interested
in setting up nutra manufacturing or research plants in Maharashtra,”
Mr. Patil said.
Mr. Patil requested the organisers to submit a white paper on deliberations
of 8th Nutra India Submit, perceiving this event as the strongest
gathering of voices of the industry.
Maharashtra is the largest consumer for nutraceuticals in the country
and the state has received 3,44,000 fresh registrations in the recent
past and generated a revenue of more than Rs 63 crore from the food
and related industry, he said.
With its research strengths, India will witness great innovation in
the areas of nutrition, nutraceuticals and nutrigenomics, said Samir
K Brahmachari, Secretary, Department of Scientific & Industrial
By 2030, people’s consumption of chemicals will become negligible
and will be taken over by consumption of natural, organic foods, nutraceuticals
and functional foods, he said adding that the success of the pharma
will be replicated by the nutra industry.
E. coli ST 131 Poses Threat Elderly in Hospitals
And Nursing Homes
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/e-coli-st-131-poses-threat-elderly-in-hospitals-and-nursing-homes/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 17, 2013)
An antibiotic resistant strain of E.coli poses a particular threat
to elderly patients at hospitals and nursing homes, according to a
study published in the April edition of Infection Control and Hospital
Epidemiology. The peer-reviewed journal is the official publication
of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).
E.coli is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals and can
cause severe illness when transmitted via the fecal-oral route to
humans. Symptoms include sever abdominal cramps and diarrhea which
can sometimes be bloody. Antibiotics are often used to treat E.coli
infections, but increasingly E.coli strains are developing resistance.
In this study, researchers analyzed 299 E. coli isolates submitted
to Olmsted County, MN laboratories between February and March 2011.
The E. coli strain ST131 accounted for 27 percent of all isolates
and for a significant proportion of the strains that showed resistance
to antibiotics commonly used to treat E.coli infections. E.coli
ST 131 accounted for 81 percent of the isolates resistant to strains
fluoroquinolones, 50 percent of of those resistant to ceftriaxone
and 42 percent of those resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole.
Researchers found that the strain accounted for a greater proportion
of healthcare-associated isolates, 49 percent, than other isolates.
And that the prevalence of the strain increased with age accounting
for just 5 percent of isolates found in 11–20 year-olds, in
26 percent of those between the ages of 51–60 and in 50 percent
of those between 91–100 years of age.
New US food safety regs will impact Canadian
Source : http://www.trucknews.com/news/new-us-food-safety-regs-will-impact-canadian-food-haulers/1002142959/
By James Menzies (Mar 14, 2013)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The impending US Food Safety Modernization Act
(FSMA) will have major implications for Canadian refrigerated trucking
companies that haul in or out of the US, as well as Canadian food
companies that export product there.
During a presentation to the Technology & Maintenance Council
here this morning, Bud Rodowick, manager, fleet performance with Thermo
King, said carriers should be communicating with their customers to
find out how they’ll be affected by the sweeping legislation.
The FSMA, described by Rodowick as “the most expansive changes
in food safety legislation since 1938,” was enacted Jan. 4,
2011, but sat idle until after the US election. Now, lawmakers are
acting on the legislation and putting it into effect.
“This is a huge act, that’s very complex and enormous
in size,” Rodowick warned, adding it gives the Food and Drug
Administration “sweeping new powers,” including the ability
to send people to prison for felonies related to the careless or negligent
handling of food.
Under the new rules, food companies will be required to demonstrate
care of their products through the entire supply chain, or from “field
to fork.” This, of course, extends to the transportation of
“You’re a big part of that, but you just haven’t
been made aware of it,” Rodowick said to trucking company executives
and maintenance managers in attendance.
There are 450 sections in the act, and four key ones impact transportation
providers, Rodowick said. These sections include: preventative controls
and hazard analysis, traceability, sanitary transportation of food
and the intentional adulteration of food.
To comply with the regulations, food companies will have to produce
a written food safety plan, specific to each facility, outlining hazard
analysis, preventative controls, monitoring procedures, corrective
action procedures, verification procedures and a recall plan. They’ll
be required to retain all records related to such a plan for two years,
and to provide them to FDA upon request.
“This is going to be burdensome,” Rodowick said. “This
is a great opportunity for you to be talking to the food facilities
you haul for and saying ‘What does your preventative control
plan look like and am I going to be a part of that?”
The new regulations also will require a product tracing system that
can be used to track and trace all food products that are produced
in, or imported into, the US. Rodowick said the requirements are likely
to include a temperature traceability aspect, meaning the FDA will
want to see proof that food was transported at the proper temperature
throughout its journey.
While it will be up to food manufacturers and shippers to comply with
the new FSMA requirements, there’s no doubt trucking companies
will be a vital part of any compliance plan, Rodowick warned.
“FSMA is evolving, and it’s important to understand how
compliance requirements will affect your customers and you,”
he said. He urged carriers to “Visit with your food facility
customers and understand how they intend to be in compliance with
those requirements and what those requirements mean to you.”
A final rule is expected to be published in 2014, with full enforcement
in place by 2015.
It’s likely shippers will begin insisting on more transparency
and control over the transportation of their products, which could
bring new costs on trucking companies if they have to upgrade their
fleets to provide more visibility and remote control over reefer temperatures.
“If I was a fleet, I would want to grasp and clearly understand
what the intentions of my shippers are and based on those intentions,
I would be sitting down to figure out what technologies can we retrofit
and what can we buy new? Let’s get prepared for this so we can
transition to this in the next year,” Rodowick said. “I’m
trying to champion you guys to start talking about it now so there’s
no sticker shock.”
Lori Coleman of Gordon Food Services moderated the discussion, and
added that her fleet will be leaning heavily on trailer manufacturers
to come to the table with solutions. For instance, she predicted the
rules will eventually require trailer doors to remain locked at all
times while parked and in transit, and a simple padlock isn’t
an adequate solution. She also suggested trailers will need to come
with better options for compartmentalizing product from various shippers.
Irish firm QK Meats kept horse find secret
Source : http://www.irishtimes.com/news/irish-firm-qk-meats-kept-horse-find-secret-1.1325718
By COLM KEENA, Public Affairs Correspondent (Mar 14, 2013)
An Irish meat processing company found horse protein in beef consignments
from Poland last June but did not inform the authorities, Minister
for Agriculture Simon Coveney has told the Dáil.
He said the QK Meats had sourced supplies from 19 different Polish
suppliers over a sustained period and stored the meat in QK Cold Stores,
Nass. Based on its own risk assessment, it tested 15 consignments
from 9 of the suppliers and found seven tested positive for equine
The first positive result was on June 27th, 2012. The horse meat scandal
erupted after the Food Safety Authority first detected equine DNA
in meat samples in January of this year.
Mr Coveney said that in June QK Meats contacted its Polish supplier
and it arranged to take back the consignment. Further positive results
were found in October, November, December 2012 and January 2013. Some
of these consignments were sent back to the Polish supplier.
The company told the department that none of the material entered
the food chain but it continued to use Polish material. The company
was buying the meat at €400 per tonne less than the corresponding
price for Irish meat.
Other ingredients that were not tested were allowed enter the food
chain. A range of customers in six countries were given frozen minced
meat products that contained between ten per cent and 40 per cent
The company did not explain why it tested for equine DNA in the first
place, he said. The minister described the findings as “extremely
Since the January announcement by the Department of Agriculture, Birds
Eye has named QK Meats as a source of horse meat contamination in
three of its products.
The department has also discovered that material containing horse
DNA was supplied by QK Meats in January 2012, to Dawn Fresh Foods
in Fethard, Co Tipperary. This material ended up in Oak Farm Cottage
Pie, a product supplied to 47 schools in the UK. The material supplied
by QK Meats came from its Polish suppliers.
China Sets Up a Food Safety Super-Regulator
Source : http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-14/china-sets-up-a-food-safety-super-regulator
By Dexter Roberts (Mar 14, 2013)
It was a simple demonstration of a serious problem. At China’s
National People’s Congress on March 6, a delegate from Zhejiang
took out some dark peanuts, prized for their rich flavor, and dropped
them in a glass of clear water. The water immediately turned black
from the chemical dye coating the nuts. “This is not a show.
I want people to see how these toxic additives are proliferating and
harmful,” said Zhu Zhangjin, who brought more than 300 different
samples of doctored food products to Beijing, according to the Qianjiang
Evening News, a daily, on March 7.
Following earlier scares over melamine-laced milk powder, exploding
watermelons, and pesticide-soaked vegetables, food safety is again
on the minds of the Chinese. After the state broadcaster revealed
late last year that some KFC chicken contained excessive levels of
antibiotics, consumers deserted the once-popular fast-food chain.
Sales fell 20 percent at the Louisville-based company’s 5,200
restaurants in China in 2013, parent Yum! Brands (YUM) said on March
11. The company, which gets about half its revenue from China, has
launched a campaign to reassure consumers about the safety of its
So-called gutter, or reused, cooking oil has surfaced once more as
a major problem in China’s restaurants. A Shanghai hot pot restaurant
owner was sentenced to 3½ years in jail earlier this month
for using potentially toxic recycled oil. In January, China said it
would offer whistle-blowers rewards of as much as 300,000 yuan ($48,221),
for tips on food and drug safety problems. Chinese media are reporting
that thousands of dead pigs have been found floating in a river supplying
water to the city of Shanghai, raising fears of contamination. (Shanghai
authorities say city water quality has not been affected, the official
Xinhua News Agency reported.)
On March 10, the Chinese government announced it will create a new
superministry to ensure the quality of China’s food and drugs.
The General Food and Drug Administration will assume responsibility
for setting standards and monitoring production, distribution, and
consumption—tasks previously handled by as many as nine different
government organizations. “The restructuring will better facilitate
the enforcement of the food safety laws and regulations, and improve
the safety of the nation’s food and drugs,” said Chen
Xiaohong, a vice minister of health, the official English-language
China Daily reported.
China is home to an estimated 200 million families that farm, each
cultivating an average plot of 1.5 acres, as well as a half-million
food processing companies, most with fewer than 10 employees. The
small scale of most agriculture and food processing means the owners
have limited resources to invest in the advanced techniques that could
ensure better quality. “One of the challenges here in China
is just the sheer volume of what’s here,” says Christopher
Hickey. He runs a 13-person branch in China of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration. The FDA has inspected products bound for the U.S.
since the office opened in late 2008.
China is trying to encourage bigger operations, particularly in agriculture.
The country “will grant more subsidies to large-scale landholders,
family farms, and rural cooperatives,” reported CCTV.com, the
website of the state broadcaster, on Feb. 1. “The government
thinks this is a way to solve the problem of food safety—have
big companies producing—which gives it more control over the
food system,” says Zhou Li, a professor at the School of Agricultural
Economics and Rural Development at Renmin University of China in Beijing.
Nestlé China deploys 65 employees full time to audit its Chinese
suppliers. The Swiss food giant is also investing 150 million yuan
($24 million) in a dairy farming institute to bring advisers on cow
breeding, feeding, and health to work with Nestlé’s best
suppliers, says Martial Genthon, senior vice president in charge of
quality inspection, regulatory issues, and manufacturing. The aim:
to consolidate its milk purchases within five years from 20,000 Chinese
suppliers with an average 15 cows apiece, to several thousand suppliers
with at least 200 cows each.
Despite the efforts, concerns are growing among ordinary Chinese.
A survey by the Pew Research Center released last year showed that
41 percent of Chinese believe food safety is a very big problem, up
from 12 percent four years earlier, a larger increase than for any
other major worry, including corruption and air pollution. Bloggers
write regularly about the latest food scandal, and a popular free
iPhone app called China Survival Guide has detailed daily food and
drug safety problems since last year.
“Of course, it’s a very important issue. Every person
in China may have been a victim,” says 27-year-old Wu Heng,
who’s launched a website and database, updated daily by a team
of 33 volunteers, that details food safety problems. The site gets
about 10,000 hits a day. Wu says he’s skeptical that the new
ministry will make a difference, citing the limited progress following
earlier government efforts. “Chinese people all have breakfast,
lunch, and dinner every day. But they still don’t have any faith
in the safety of the food they eat.”
Older adults and food safety
Source : http://www.waxahachietx.com/news/health/older-adults-and-food-safety/article_b328e992-8cf0-11e2-9d7c-001a4bcf887a.html
By waxahachietx.com (Mar 14, 2013)
An adage states, “With age, comes wisdom.” Hopefully
this includes lots of food safety information!
As we mature, our bodies change. Older adults become more at-risk
for illness and, once ill, it can take them longer to recover.
Knowledge of safe food handling helps older adults stay healthy. Some
older adults are homebound and must rely on delivered food. Others
have minimal cooking experience.
It’s important to understand the effect of pathogens and other
microorganisms on elderly bodies. Practicing the safeguards
necessary to avoid foodborne illness is the best way to stay healthy.
As people age, their bodies are less able to combat bacteria.
For example, there is a decrease in stomach acid secretion, which
is a natural defense against ingested bacteria. And over time, the
immune system may become less adept in ridding the body of bacteria.
Too, the sense of taste or smell — sometimes affected by medication
or illness — may not always sound an alert when meat is spoiled
or milk may be sour.
What is foodborne illness? It is often called food poisoning,
and is any illness that is caused by the food you eat. Safe food handling
can help reduce your risk of getting sick from food.
What are the signs of foodborne illness?
The signs and symptoms can range from upset stomach, diarrhea, fever,
vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration, to more severe illness
or even death.
Consumers can take simple measures to reduce their risk of foodborne
illness, especially in the home.
If you experience the symptoms of foodborne illness, call your doctor
or health care provider.
Guidelines for safe food handling. Experienced or inexperienced, it
is just good sense for older cooks to follow up-to-date food safety
1. Keep it safe! Refrigerate or freeze all perishable food. Check
your refrigerator and freezer temperatures with an appliance thermometer.
Your refrigerator temperature should be set at 40 degrees F or below;
freezer temperature should be 0 degrees F or below. Use a refrigerator/freezer
thermometer to check the temperatures.
2. NEVER thaw food at room temperature! ALWAYS that food in
the refrigerator, in cold water, or in a microwave. After thawing
in cold water or the microwave, you MUST cook the food immediately.
3. Wash hands with warm soapy water before preparing food. Wash hands,
utensils, cutting boards, and other work surfaces after contact with
raw meat and poultry. This helps prevent cross contamination.
4. NEVER leave perishable food out of refrigeration for more than
two hours. If room temperature is above 90 degrees F, food should
not be left out more than 1 hour. This includes items such as
take-out food, leftovers from a restaurant meal, and meals-on-wheels
5. Thoroughly cook raw meat, poultry and fish. To determine the doneness,
a food thermometer must be used. Do not partially cook food. Have
a constant heat source, and ALWAYS set the oven at 325 degrees F or
higher when cooking. There is no need to bring food to room temperature
Foods purchased or delivered hot
If you are consuming the food HOT, enjoy eating within two hours.
If you are not consuming the food immediately, keeping the food warm
is not enough. Harmful bacteria can multiply between 40-140 degrees
F. Set the oven temperature high enough to keep the hot food
at 140 degrees F. or above. Check the internal temperature of food
with a food thermometer. Covering with foil will help keep the
If you are not consuming the food for a period of time longer than
two hours, the food should be safely stored. You can place the food
in shallow containers. Divide large quantities into smaller portions.
Cover loosely and refrigerate immediately. Reheat thoroughly
when ready to eat.
Reheat food thoroughly to a temperature of 165 degrees F or until
completely hot and steaming. In the microwave, cover food and
rotate so it heats evenly. Allow at least 2 minutes of standing time
for thorough heating. Inadequate heating can lead to illness.
Foods purchased or delivered cold. Cold food must be kept cold.
Eat or refrigerate immediately. Cold food should be held at
40 degrees F or colder.
Perishable food should not be left out at room temperature longer
than two hours. Discard food which has been left at room temperature
longer than two hours. For temperatures above 90 degrees F, discard
food after one hour.
While these tips apply to older adults, they should be followed by
So, with a little effort, you can keep you and your family safe from
Rita Hodges is the Ellis County Extension Agent-Family & Consumer
Sciences. Contact Rita at 972-825-5175 or email@example.com.
Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic
level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin.
The Texas A & M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.
Report Addresses Antimicrobial Resistance
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2013/03/report-addresses-antimicrobial-resistance-in-food.aspx
By foodproductdesign.com (Mar 14, 2013)
ATHENS, Ga.—To effectively mitigate harmful effects from antimicrobial
resistance in the food system, U.S. scientists must work with global
partners to promote prudent use in those countries where regulatory
oversight of critically important antimicrobial drugs is underdeveloped.
That was the consensus of a new IFT scientific status summary published
in the journal Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety
that outlines the challenges and complexities regarding antimicrobial
The summary was compiled by authors from University of Georgia, Texas
Tech University, Kansas State University, and University of Minnesota
who reviewed the latest research on the public-health impact of antimicrobial
use in the food system and the growth and control of antimicrobial
“Concerns about the public-health implications of microbial
resistance to antibiotics used in both human medicine and food-animal
agriculture have led to the publication of the World Health Organization’s
(WHO) List of Critically Important Antimicrobials for Human Medicine
and the World Organization for Animal Health’s (OIE) List of
Antimicrobials of Veterinary Importance," the authors wrote.
“Although more needs to be done to improve the utility of these
designations, such categorization of antimicrobials is helpful in
prioritizing and addressing public health concerns and antimicrobial
The report notes a range of other key findings on antimicrobial resistance,
•Data available thus far fail to implicate methicillin-resistant
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as a foodborne pathogen.
•Various lists of critically important antibiotics, such as those
published by WHO and OIE, are a good first step for focusing on what
is most important for protecting public health. Subsequent steps will
be needed and might include international collaboration to better
understand appropriate science-based regulatory oversight and enforcement
to meaningfully protect these critically important drugs.
•Caution should be used in relying on the broad characterization
of foodborne pathogens as multi-drug-resistant, as this classification
alone may not represent a major threat to public health if the component
resistance traits are not considered to be of “critical importance"
according to WHO or FDA.
•Emergence of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria associated
with co-resident populations of animals and people is a complex issue
and does not represent a simple unidirectional pathway from animals
to human individuals. While simple interventions have been sufficient
to control the prevalence of resistant bacteria in some unique antimicrobial-use
and bacteria combinations, many situations call for more complex interventions.
“It is highly likely that actions will be taken during the next
five years to further restrict the availability of critically important
antimicrobials and their allowed uses in aquaculture and agriculture,
particularly in the developed world. However, such practices may in
the near future have trade implications which will apply pressures
to those jurisdictions with less control on their antimicrobial practices
to develop and implement appropriate risk management policies. To
effectively mitigate harmful effects from antimicrobial resistance
in the U.S., we must work with global partners to promote prudent
use in those countries where regulatory oversight of critically important
antimicrobial drugs is underdeveloped," the authors concluded.
Didn’t I tell you to Pasteurize that
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/didnt-i-tell-you-to-pasteurize-that-orange-juice/
By Bill Marler (Mar 14, 2013)
Between early May and early June 2005 the Michigan Department of Community
Health (MDCH) identified 11 state residents as being infected with
an indistinguishable genetic strain of Salmonella Typhimurium as determined
by pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis. Eight of
the cases were reported in children and five of the cases had required
hospitalization. Interviews with case patients indicated that
all had consumed store brand orange juice from 1 of 2 grocery chains
in Michigan in the week before becoming ill. Health investigators
at the MDCH and the Michigan Department of Agriculture conducted a
product trace back and learned that both store brands were made by
the same processor in Florida. The company was identified as
the Orchid Island Juice Company.
Two restriction enzyme PFGE subtyping results were uploaded to PulseNet,
a database of PFGE patterns maintained at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC) and assigned pattern numbers JPXX01.0178
and JPXA26.0186. Once the patterns were posted on PulseNet,
Ohio and Massachusetts reported case patients with indistinguishable
PFGE patterns and a history of consuming orange juice from the same
Florida processor, Orchid Island.
On July 8, 2005 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a nationwide
warning to consumers against drinking unpasteurized orange juice products
distributed under a variety of brand names by Orchid Island Juice
Company of Fort Pierce, Florida. The alert went on to say that
the juice had the potential for being “contaminated with Salmonella
Typhimurium and had been associated with an outbreak of human disease
caused by this organism.” Fifteen ill cases had been directly
linked to the product and at least 16 other states had reported cases
of Salmonella Typhimurium infection that matched the outbreak strain.
Furthermore, the FDA cautioned, the juice was unpasteurized but there
was no label on the product warning consumers that it was unpasteurized.
The FDA alert stated, “consumers should not assume these products
are safe to consume simply because they do not bear the ‘unpasteurized’
As the number of reports of illness among Orchid Island Orange Juice
consumers continued to rise, the company agreed to issue a recall
adding frozen juice to the products of concern. On July 15,
2005 the FDA announced that the Orchid Island Juice Company was voluntarily
recalling all unpasteurized orange juice with a code date of 7/25/05
or earlier and all unpasteurized frozen orange juice with expiration
codes of 04-25-2007 through 07-08-2007 because of potential contamination
with Salmonella. Orchid Island Juice Company acknowledged the
product had been distributed to at least 30 states including Tennessee
and West Virginia, and 3 countries internationally.
The FDA collected several samples of the orange juice from the suspect
time period. Salmonella Saintpaul was found in sample 341151
of product with a date code of 7/25/2005. Salmonella Typhimurium
remained, however, the serotype du jour, with a count of 72 outbreak
associated cases reported by mid-July. Illness onset dates or
culture date (if illness onset date was not known) for cases ranged
from May 25 to June 17, 2005. The cases ranged in age from 17
months to 77 years old.
For a while Orchid Island Juice Company discontinued manufacturing
unpasteurized orange juice. After restarting production, the
firm’s private laboratory detected Salmonella in a sample of
the juice, and on September 6, 2005 the firm once again recalled all
fresh unpasteurized orange juice date coded 9/15/2005 through 9/22/2005.
 Fortunately, no illnesses were linked to consumption of the juice
FDA Statement, FDA Issues Nationwide Health Alert on Orchid Island
Unpasteurized Orange Juice Products, dated July 8, 2005.
FDA Announcement, “Orchid Island Juice Co. Recalls Unpasteurized
Orange Juice” dated July 15, 2005.
FDA Report of Sample Analysis dated 7/25/2005.
FDA Recall Firm Press Release, “Orchid Island Juice Company
Voluntarily Recalls Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice Due to Potential Salmonella
Contamination” dated September 6, 2005.
World Kidney Day News: Food Poisoning Can
Cause Kidney Damage
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/world-kidney-day-news-food-poisoning-can-cause-kidney-damage/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 14, 2013)
Today is World Kidney Day and the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
is raising awareness of kidney health with new research that shows
survivors of acute kidney injury are at increased risk of developing
permanent kidney damage which can result in decreased kidney function.
“We now know acute kidney injury is not the isolated or temporary
condition we once believed it to be. However, in many cases, it is
preventable and treatable,” said Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., director
of NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases. “We must continue to support research to help us better
understand the connection between acute kidney injury and chronic
kidney disease, to prevent acute kidney injury in those at risk, and
to identify and treat the condition when it does occur.”
Food poisoning can cause kidney damage. Hemoyltic uremic syndrome
(HUS) is a serious, sometimes life-threatening condition that develops
after some E.coli infections. HUS causes premature destruction of
red blood cells. The dead cells accumulate and clog the kidney’s
filtering system which can lead to kidney failure.
Roughly 90 percent of all HUS cases stem for E.coli 0157:H7 infections.
Young children are most at risk. About 15 percent of children with
E.coli infections will develop HUS. Treatment options include fluid
replacement, blood transfusion, plasma exchange and kidney dialysis.
A study published last year in Clinical Infectious Diseases found
that 30 percent of children who developed HUS had high blood pressure
impaired renal function, or neurologic symptoms at their 5-year follow-up
Diluted Pesticides Could Put Norovirus in
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/diluted-pesticides-could-put-norovirus-in-food-chain/
By Linda Larsen (Mar 14, 2013)
A new study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology
has found that pesticides reconstituted with contaminated water could
be a source of norovirus in the food chain. Farmers use well water,
lake water, and river water to produce fruits and vegetables. That
water is used to dilute pesticides, which are applied to fields just
before produce is harvested. This extends shelf life.
Researchers looked at the levels of culturable norovirus in eight
different pesticides, right after dilution and after two hours. MNV-1,
the murine norovirus, was found to remain infectious in seven of the
eight pesticides. The scientists conclude that water containing norovirus
could be an important source of the virus in fresh produce chains.
The pesticides did not kill norovirus.
The researchers stated, “the application of pesticides may therefore
not only be a chemical hazard, but also a microbiological hazard for
public health.” They say that adding antiviral substances to
reconstituted pesticides may be appropriate to reduce viral loads.
In another report, the European Food Safety Authority said that residues
of pesticides are found on 97% of samples, although those residues
fall within permitted limits. The FDA has found that 57.8% of domestically
produced fruits and 25.4% of domestically produced vegetables had
pesticide residues, again within limits set by the law. This is just
one more reason to thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before serving
and eating them, although that is no guarantee that norovirus and
pathogenic bacteria will be completely removed.
Sequester Will Lead to Meat Inspector Furloughs
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2013/sequester-will-lead-to-meat-inspector-furloughs/
By Kathy Will (Mar 14, 2013)
The Agriculture’s Undersecretary for Food Safety, Dr. Elisabeth
Hagen, said that there will be 11 days of unpaid leave required of
food inspectors to meet the budget cuts that were imposed as part
of the sequester on March 1, 2013. She spoke at the House Agriculture
Appropriations Subcommittee on March 13, 2013. The furloughs will
start in July and will continue through September 30, 2013. On those
days, meatpacking plants will have to shut down.
The cut that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS)
will have to absorb is 5% of its $1 billion budget. But the effect
is larger because all of the cuts have to be taken out of the last
half or even the last quarter of the fiscal year, which ends September
30. And 87% of the FSIS budget is personnel costs.
Some have proposed rolling furloughs, but that was rejected because
government officials think that would give some markets an advantage
over others, which would be unfair. Dr. Hagen said, “to the
extent that we are able, we intend to spread these furlough days out
over non-consecutive days. At this point, we are looking at furloughing
everybody on the same day.”
In addition to these furloughs, more than 150 jobs at FSIS have been
eliminated over the past several years due to budget cuts, and that
hiring for administrative jobs has been reduced. These support positions
are important to the inspection process because of the detailed record-keeping
essential to inspections. In addition, lab technicians will be furloughed.
Despite questions from Republican Kevin Yoder, asking why inspectors
cannot be designated “essential employees”, not subject
to the sequester, Hagen said that the federal government can’t
make people work without pay. Congress has no plan to make up the
budget cuts. She added that the agency “can’t spend money
that we don’t have and we still have to operate within fiscal
law.” And she said that USDA’s lawyers did not find
an alternative for this plan after examining the statutes for meat
Romania's food-safety chief resigns amid
Source : http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-03/14/c_124455474.htm
By English.news.cn (Mar 14, 2013)
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta accepted on Wednesday the resignation
of Mihai Turcanu, President of the National Sanitary Veterinary and
Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA).
The food-safety chief, accused of ineffective crisis management in
the toxic milk scandal, made the decision to resign, after face-to-face
discussions with the prime minister.
Turcan's deputy Vladimir Manastireanu was named as the institution's
The departure of Turcanu was inevitable, following the announcement
made by the prime minister earlier on the day that the ANSVSA will
have a new management.
"I had a discussion with the Agriculture Minister and with the
President of ANSVSA. We will take the necessary measured today to
restructure ANSVSA at the top, so that to improve communication, to
make it more efficient," Ponta said earlier at the beginning
of the government meeting.
Actually, the prime minister was very dissatisfied with Turcanu's
ineffective management in the recent food scandals, especially the
toxic milk scandal in the country.
"It is extremely important for me, as prime minister, that this
domain may function very well and to show that, both to Romania and
to Europe, to all those who benefit from exports from Romania, we
have a system that works perfectly," said Ponta, while adding
the need of authorities to be strict and to prove credibility and
seriousness in taking actions, avoiding at the same time to cause
The head of government stressed that it is important not to affect
the economic interests of producers, and to avoid the risk of falling
into a "both national and European panic," making people
believe that "nothing is good anymore for them to consume."
The dismissal of the ANSVSA manager was also requested in the past
days by several federations in the food industry which has been dealt
a heavy blow on the background of the problems that have appeared
related to some Romanian food products.
Recently, Romania has been plagued by several cases of food safety
issues: the horse meat scandal, the frozen mackerel infested with
parasites, vegetables and fruits containing too much pesticide, aflatoxin-contaminated
Early on Wednesday, information coming from European rapid alert system
shows that Romania is possibly involved in a new food scandal, as
Germany withdrew from the market turkey breast with residues of antibiotics.
Horse Meat Applicant’s Food Safety
Source : http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/14/business/horse-meat-processing-applicants-food-safety-is-questioned.html?_r=1&
By STEPHANIE STROM (Mar 13, 2013)
The New Mexico company seeking to become the first slaughter house
for horses in the United States since 2007 drew complaints over a
two-year period from federal food safety inspectors and state regulatory
authorities over its disposal of animal remains when it processed
cattle for beef.
The complaints raise questions about whether the Agriculture Department,
which oversees meat processing, will approve the company’s application.
Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the grounds around a meat processing
plant “must be maintained to prevent conditions that could lead
to insanitary conditions, adulteration of product, or interfere with
Catherine Cochran, a spokeswoman for the U.S.D.A., said the department
cannot comment on pending applications.
The complaints included a 2010 letter to state health officials from
an Agriculture Department inspector reporting that piles of animal
remains were as high as 15 feet high along the back property line
of the plant. “I am told that during fly season the pile literally
moves due to maggots,” wrote Ron C. Nelson, the district manager
for the department’s Food Safety Inspection Service in Denver,
who took pictures of what he saw.
A. Blair Dunn, a lawyer for the company, Valley Meat, said many of
the complaints, documented in e-mails and letters obtained by Front
Range Equine Rescue, an advocacy group that opposes horse slaughter,
“These groups have been saying all of these horrible things
about my clients, and none of it was ever true,” Mr. Dunn said.
“If you’re trying to make a point and keep something from
opening, you have to be a little sensational.”
He said the owners of the company in Roswell, N.M., Sarah and Ricardo
de los Santos, had been struggling financially because of the sharp
drop in beef cattle prices over the last three years and could not
afford to have the compost and other waste hauled from the facility.
In an e-mail, Mr. Dunn said there were never any environmental concerns
or health hazards at the site.
However, Auralie Ashley-Marx, chief of the solid waste bureau of the
New Mexico Environment Department, called Mr. Dunn’s assessment
“factually inaccurate,” saying that after three inspections
of the site in 2010, the department had issued a “notice of
violation” listing Valley Meat’s failure to register as
a composting facility and to properly dispose of waste, as well as
the improper composting of offal.
Valley Meat’s application to begin slaughtering horses for human
consumption, has created a furor. Horse slaughtering was effectively
banned in the United States until 2011, when language prohibiting
the financing of inspections of horse meat facilities fell out of
an appropriations bill.
Since then, the U.S.D.A. has received applications from six companies
seeking permission to start slaughtering horses, according to documents
obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by Bruce A. Wagman,
a lawyer for Front Range. In addition to Valley Meat, facilities in
Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Rockville and Gallatin, Mo., have sought
U.S.D.A. approval, Mr. Wagman said.
On Wednesday, Senator Mary Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana; Senator
Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina; Representative Patrick
Meehan, Republican of Pennsylvania; and Representative Jan Schakowsky
Democrat of Illinois, introduced a bill to prohibit horse slaughter
for human consumption and forbid the transport of horses across the
border for slaughter in other countries.
The recent uproar over horse meat began in Europe earlier this year
when trace amounts were found in products labeled 100 percent beef.
Major food companies and restaurant chains, like Nestlé and
Taco Bell, pulled products off shelves and tables in 14 countries.
In describing the series of events involving Valley Meat, Ms. Ashley-Marx
said her department’s inspections were prompted by the letter
Dr. Nelson of the inspection service sent to the New Mexico health
department on Jan. 22, 2010, after a visit he had made to the plant
earlier that month.
“Approximately 200 yards behind the facility, Mr. de los Santos
drags dead cattle (mostly old dairy cows) and piles them on a concrete
pad where he leaves them to rot,” Dr. Nelson wrote. “He
calls it composting, but by all appearances rotting would be more
Dr. Nelson, who is a veterinarian, said his concern was that materials
that could cause bovine spongiform encephalopathy, known commonly
as mad cow disease, could find their way into the soil and feed.
Mr. Dunn disputed Dr. Nelson’s findings, saying, “Let’s
get the facts straight — there never was this mountain of dead,
rotting animals.” He added that his clients had been working
with state officials to remove the remains.
Ms. Ashley-Marx said she had not seen any carcasses, either, when
she and a colleague visited the site about four months after Dr. Nelson
wrote his letter. But she said the agency had identified other problems.
The company did not have state permission to compost its waste materials
and did not know how to properly compost animal tissue, a method called
Wrangling between the company and state and federal officials over
permits and proper waste disposal of animal carcasses continued until
last August, when New Mexico officials fined Valley Meat $86,400,
the maximum penalty it can impose. The fine was later reduced to $5,000,
after the company attracted new investors who helped it pay to clear
the animal compost piles off its site.
Mr. Dunn blamed New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez’s opposition
to horse slaughter for some of his client’s problems. “Everything
was moving along just fine until she got involved, and now it’s
all become political,” he said.
Jim Winchester, a spokesman for the Environment Department, denied
political influence had any bearing on the state’s actions against
With 6,000 Dead Pigs in River, Troubling
Questions on Food Safety
Source : http://www.masslive.com/business-news/index.ssf/2013/03/farmers_from_accross_the_country_meet_in.html
By DIDI KIRSTEN TATLOW (Mar 13, 2013)
BEIJING — Pork buns and tap water may be off the menu in Shanghai,
China’s biggest city with more than 23 million people, after
thousands of dead pigs were found floating in the Huangpu River, which
flows through the city, and in upstream tributaries. About 6,000 animals
have been fished out so far in an operation that began last Friday,
according to the Shanghai authorities, with more still surfacing,
though at a slower pace. (By early Sunday, four days after this was
written, about 12,600 pigs had been fished out of rivers in Shanghai
and upstream in Jiaxing, the South China Morning Post reported.)
The questions around the pig die-off — what caused it, why the
animals were thrown into the river and by whom — are deeply
disturbing Shanghai residents as well as others in China, and the
Ministry of Agriculture has announced an investigation. City water
authorities say the drinking water sourced in the Huangpu is safe,
though one water sample showed traces of porcine circovirus, Xinhua,
the state news agency reported, adding it can spread among pigs but
China is regularly plagued by food safety and environmental scandals,
but even so, the appearance of thousands of large, decomposing pigs
in the river that feeds the country’s most sophisticated metropolis
There’s the question of why the pigs have ended up in the river.
A report by the Oriental Morning Post, from Jiaxing city upstream
in Zhejiang province, suggested there are apparently high death rates
in the pig industry there; between 60 and 100 pigs die daily in Zhulin
village alone, the dfdaily.com reported, in an article carried by
the People’s Daily Web site. It wasn’t clear why.
The village, in Xinfeng county, has pens for dead pigs but they’re
full, the report said, quoting pig farmers and disposers in the village.
Suspicions are growing that a recent crackdown by the police on the
sale of pigs that have died from disease but are being illegally sold
into the human food chain may be contributing to the problem, as people
dump the animals in the river instead.
“In the second half of last year, the Jiaxing police investigated
12 cases across provinces of illegal buying, selling and slaughtering
of ‘disease dead pigs,’ worth over a million renminbi,”
the report said.
Pork, known here as “big meat,” is a favorite food in
China, but pig farmers say they struggle to make enough money from
the business. Farmers have in the past sold dead, diseased pigs “to
make a little money,” the report quoted a farmer identified
as Hong Wei as saying.
A 100-kilogram, or about 220-pound, pig sells for only about 600 renminbi,
according to the article, while feed costs alone total at least 150
renminbi, farmers said. Local pig dealers have proposed that local
authorities pay a small fee to farmers to recover dead pigs and help
curb the illegal trade, suggesting 10 renminbi, the report said.
Pastry shop shut after food scare
Source : http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=349222
By Aniqa Haider(Mar 13, 2013)
A POPULAR pastry shop in Sakhoora has been forced to close for selling
Police seized two truckloads of expired products and have taken the
drivers into custody, said sources.
The Health Ministry has also launched an investigation into the shop,
which has not been named as investigations are underway.
It follows several complaints from customers, who suffered from food
poisoning after buying pastries from the shop, according to police
"The restaurant had several complaints and a necessary action
was taken to close it, before more people get sick after eating from
there," they said.
"Two trucks, which brought the food and ingredients, were seized
at the spot when CID and police raided the restaurant.
"Two truck drivers have also been taken into custody and investigation
"We have officially written to the Public Health Directorate
The raid was conducted Monday night following a tip-off, added the
"We took immediate action after receiving a call with specific
information," they said.
"The owners of the shop will be summoned and questioned."
MDA Issues Salmonella Consumer Advisory for
Raw Pet Food
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-recall/mda-issues-salmonella-consumer-advisory-for-raw-pet-food/
By Bill Marler (Mar 12, 2013)
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is alerting consumers
to avoid feeding or handling two separate brands of poultry-based
raw pet food after the MDA laboratory found Salmonella bacteria in
routine sample tests. The brand varieties include:
Bravo! Raw Food Diet 2 lb. Chicken Blend for Dogs and Cats manufactured
by Bravo!, LLC, of Manchester, Connecticut. This is a frozen pet food
product with the production code of 06/14/12, which is located on
the white tag on the end of the package. This advisory is for the
2 lb. size of Bravo! Chicken Blend with the “best used by date”
of 6/12/14 only. No other products, sizes, or production dates are
Turducken Canine Diet 8oz. Patties, manufactured by Steve’s
Real Food, Inc., of Murray, Utah. This is a frozen pet food product
with the “Use By” date code of 10/27/13 B209, which is
located on the lower front panel of package.
There are no reports of human or animal illnesses associated with
consumption of these products. Consumers are asked to discard any
of these products they may have.
Salmonella can affect animals eating the product, and there is a risk
to humans from handling contaminated products. People handling contaminated
raw pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they
have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces
exposed to this product.
Pets with Salmonella infections may exhibit decreased appetite, fever
and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have
diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise
healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If
your pet has consumed this product and has these symptoms, please
contact your veterinarian.
Human symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain and
cramps and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after
exposure, but can begin up to a week after exposure. Salmonella infections
usually resolve in 5-7 days, but approximately 20 percent of cases
require hospitalization. In rare cases, Salmonella infection can lead
to death, particularly in the elderly or those with weakened immune
systems. Anyone who has become ill after handling this product should
see their health care provider.
Nomavirus Is Everyone’s Virus and Everyone’s
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/03/nomavirus-is-everyones-virus-and-everyones-cost/
By Evelyn J. Kim(Mar 12, 2013)
Last Friday morning, Extra Bladet, a Danish Tabloid, broke the story:
“Noma: 63 hit by Roskildesyge (Norovirus in Danish).”
Norovirus, a highly virulent and contagious virus, causing nausea,
vomiting and diarrhea, or gastroenteritis, sickened 63 out of 435
guests over a two-day period in February according to reports by The
Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.
For the world’s top restaurant, this was not just a case of
Noma catching the flu. The story went viral. Food websites such as
Eater and Grub Street lapped up the story as soon as it was reported
in Danish papers, and soon, all other established media sources, including
National Public Radio, AP, UPI, The Huffington Post, ABC News and
the LA Times followed suit.
While the Twittersphere was burning through its schadenfreude quota,
the actual scientific details about the illness were buried under
a pile of snark. Norovirus has been at epidemic levels, causing almost
21 million illnesses each year in the U.S. alone. According to the
CDC, there is really no specific treatment and prevention, that is,
proper hand and food hygiene, is often the best cure.
The problem is that norovirus is one tough bug. According to a paper
in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, “Noroviruses are perhaps
the perfect human pathogens… highly contagious, rapidly and
prolifically shed, constantly evolving, evoking limited immunity,
and only moderately virulent, allowing most of those infected to fully
recover, thereby maintaining a large susceptible pool of hosts.”
In other words, it’s a public health nightmare. Carriers often
don’t know they have it or continue to carry it after they recover,
thus passing it on to unsuspecting victims. It can survive at a wide
range of temperatures, from below freezing up to 140F, and can survive
for nearly two weeks on many surfaces. And it doesn’t need a
high viral load to do its job: less than 20 viral particles are enough
to cause illness. And it just needs one carrier to infect an entire
community or institution.
Considering the prevalence, incidence and virulence of norovirus,
it seems almost unbelievable that Noma didn’t have a previous
outbreak of norovirus or have more patrons puking their guts out.
What happened at Noma could have happened anywhere and everywhere,
as it did in London in 2009 when 240 diners contracted the virus at
the three-Michelin-starred restaurant, The Fat Duck and a Chipotle
outlet near Kent State University in Ohio in 2008.
But then the question is why didn’t Noma have an outbreak earlier
or have more guests holding their stomachs? Hygiene is one factor.
While the Danish authorities cited hygiene problems, specifically
a “lukewarm” hand washing faucet, chefs and waitstaff
are given strict instructions to wash hands thoroughly with hot water
and soap on a regular basis. Although norovirus has been known to
withstand even a dishwasher, frequent hand washing often cuts transmission
rates. But one policy that Noma has is critically important: paid
sick days. The CDC has found that 89 percent of norovirus outbreaks
occur in places were food is prepared and handled on a regular basis:
schools, nursing homes, cruise ships and restaurants. As it takes
only one infected person to cause an outbreak, keeping quarantine
on ill or possibly infected workers is paramount. Noma has a strict
illness policy in which any ill worker, from the office to the cleaning
staff, is sent immediately home at the slightest sign of illness and
is told to stay home for 48 hours after symptoms subside. And they
are paid for those days.
Compare this to the United States. According to the CDC, in 2011,
12 percent of restaurant workers reported signs of norovirus. The
CDC also reports that 50 percent of norovirus infections can be traced
back to food service workers. According to the Institute for Women’s
Policy Research, 78 percent of hotel and food service workers do not
have paid sick leave. Another food service workers advocacy group,
ROC (Restaurant Opportunities Center) United estimates 90 percent
of food service workers lack paid sick leave. Due to the low wages
and the job instability of food service work, many of America’s
cooks, busboys, and servers can neither afford to stay home due to
lost wages nor firing, only encouraging ill workers to come to work
and infect their co-workers and patrons. Add the lack of health insurance
to the absence of sick days, and you have a recipe for an ongoing
But where is the will to change public health and labor policies to
prevent such epidemics from happening? Small business owners complain
that health insurance and paid sick days are too costly for them.
Yet the cost of not giving workers sick days is much greater. According
to the Integrated Benefits Institute, $227 billion is wasted due to
lost productivity from illness. In an economy that is barely recovering
from a recession, these are dollars we cannot afford to squander.
According to Cornell University economist Sean Nicholson, for every
dollar spent on employee health care, employers can save three dollars
While Noma tries to repair its unfairly damaged reputation, millions
of other food service workers at no-name restaurants are just trying
to work through another sick day. Too bad that they don’t have
Eater or Grub Street gleefully sneering at their misfortune. It might
be the only way that their plight and that of millions of others working
without sick days will finally be able to serve you and the public
Carcasses: food safety concerns afloat in
Source : http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/carcasses-food-safety-concerns-afloat-in-china/article4497299.ece
By Ananth Krishnan (Mar 11, 2013)
The discovery of at least 2,800 dead pigs in a major Shanghai river
that is one of the city’s main water sources has alarmed residents
and triggered fresh public health concerns in China amid an on-going
debate about food and water safety.
Authorities said on Monday they had found a pig virus (porcine circovirus)
in water samples in the Huangpu river, adding that the thousands of
carcasses had likely been dumped from villages upstream where farmers
were thought to be grappling with an epidemic in recent weeks.
Photographs of carcasses of the more than 2,800 dead pigs were shared
widely on social media sites over the weekend, triggering alarm among
residents of China’s financial centre.
"This is the water we drink! Animals' dead bodies could easily
be seen in the water conservation area and it stinks!," one blogger
who posted one of the first photographs of eight dead pigs floating
in the river was quoted as saying by the Shanghai Daily.
Authorities sought to calm the safety fears on Monday, saying that
all tests for pig-borne diseases such as foot and mouth, cholera and
epidemic diarrhoea had returned negative results. The Shanghai Animal
Diseases Control and Prevention Centre said the pig virus that it
had found in some of the samples would not have any affect on humans.
The Shanghai government in a statement said the city's tap water was
still safe to drink. While the government stressed that water quality
around the water plant had not been affected as the polluted stream
did not directly run through it, many residents did not appear to
share the government's belief in the quality of the water. "It
seems incredible to suggest water quality is normal when 3,000 dead
pigs are floating in a river!," said one journalist with a local
But as details emerged on Monday of a possible pig epidemic that had
been unreported for weeks – some reports online suggested tens
of thousands of pigs had died in January and February in nearby Zhejiang
and Jiangsu provinces – some online voices hit out at the government
for not sharing information quickly enough. Bloggers pointed out that
the government had responded and released information only after photographs
had appeared online.
Officials fear further public outcry as the number of dead pigs is
set to increase in coming days as authorities continue removing carcasses.
“The number is expected to rise as there are still six barges
that have not returned from collecting carcasses,” Xu Rong,
director of Shanghai Songjiang District Environmental Protection Bureau,
told the Global Times. “We have to act quickly to remove them
all for fear of causing water pollution”.
China’s pollution problem has been at the centre of attention
in recent months, with the new government that will take over this
week promising to firmly deal with food, water and air pollution issues.
Only on Sunday, a major government restructuring plan announced at
the on-going session of the National People’s Congress (NPC)
or Parliament, which will formalise the leadership transition, proposed
raising the status of the State Food and Drug Administration to a
ministry-level general administration that will have more teeth to
supervise food safety across the supply chain, from production to
“Overlapping of supervision from different departments and some
supervision blind spots are weak links of the current food safety
supervision system,” the State Council, or Cabinet, acknowledged
in the plan.
The plan also specifically mentioned safety fears from pig slaughtering,
underscoring the scale of the problem in China. Responsibility to
ensure authorised slaughtering has been transferred from the control
of the Commerce Ministry to the Agriculture Ministry, according to
the plan. Supervising slaughtering has emerged as a difficult challenge
for authorities. While farmers are allowed to slaugther pigs only
in regulated and designated areas, supervision remains lax, as evident
in the recent mass dumping of carcasses into local water bodies.
Salmonella Frogs: African Dwarf Frog Tied
To Outbreak Could Still Be In Homes
Source : http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/03/11/salmonella-frogs-african-dwarf_n_2850824.html?utm_hp_ref=chicago&ir=Chicago
By Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press
CHICAGO - They live underwater, eat bloodworms, and are promoted on
pet websites. But African dwarf frogs can carry salmonella.
An outbreak tied to the frogs sickened nearly 400 people, mostly children,
from 2008 to 2011.
Since these miniature amphibians can live up to 18 years, some linked
to the outbreak may remain in U.S. home aquariums. That's according
to government researchers in a Monday report from the journal Pediatrics.
Five outbreak-linked cases also occurred last year. No one died.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises washing hands
after touching the frogs' aquarium water and says young children should
not clean aquariums.
The California breeder linked to the outbreak briefly suspended distribution
and co-operated with authorities.
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