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FoodHACCP Newsletter
05/20 2013 ISSUE:548

New authority to monitor food safety
Source :
By (May 19, 2013)
DOHA: Qatar hopes to set up a Food Safety Authority and enforce a law dedicated exclusively to ensuring that all locally produced and imported foodstuff meet strict health standards and are safe for consumption.
The government has given the go-ahead to form the above-said authority and the Supreme Council of Health ( SCH ), regulator of public and private healthcare facilities in the country, has the draft of the proposed food safety law ready.
The draft, as well as the planned organisational structure of the proposed food safety authority, is to be submitted by the SCH for the necessary approvals from the higher-ups anytime this year.
The SCH 's annual report for 2012 released recently says that the Council has developed new policies for food safety across different government sectors and received the green signal from the ministry to set up a food safety authority. Currently, a national level joint food monitoring committee operates under the SCH which has members from different government ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.
Among a string of other ambitious plans of the SCH this year is to begin training courses for general practitioners in the area of occupational health.
The SCH is coordinating with the Ministry of Labor to finalise a strategy to ensure occupational health and safety for low-income single workers whose influx has been increasing due to a slew of mega development projects being launched for the 2022 FIFA
World Cup. Hamad Medical Corporation ( HMC ), for its part, is going on a recruitment spree this year and hopes to hire as many as 1,700 nurses, among other medical staff, including physicians and allied professionals.
In 2011 and 2012, HMC recruited 160 physicians, 894 nursing and 866 allied health professionals, according to the annual report. The corporation that runs primary healthcare centers (PHCs) has projected that by this year-end clinical staff at the PHCs will grow by a considerable 82 percent.
The SCH , HMC and the PHCs had a combined workforce of 14,280 last year, up from 12,360 in 2011, data given by the annual report suggest.
The SCH , according to the report, is conducting a study for an urgent paediatric care centre and a PHC in Al Sadd area of Doha. The design phase for the 10,000sqm plot of land will be conducted this year.
The country's public healthcare budget has witnessed a rapid 58.23 percent increase over the past five years. From QR5.78bn in the fiscal year 2009-10, it jumped to QR9.14bn (approved budget) this financial year (2012-13).
This year, the SCH expects to set up a National Health Insurance Company (NHIC) that would be the supervisory body for the compulsory health scheme being launched by the government.

EU adopts measures to strengthen the agri-food chain
Source :
By (May 19, 2013)
The European Commission has adopted a package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain. Food safety is essential to ensure consumers’ confidence and sustainability of food production.
The package of measures provide a modernised and simplified, more risked-based approach to the protection of health and more efficient control tools to ensure the effective application of the rules guiding the operation of the food chain.
The package responds to the call for better simplification of legislation and smarter regulation thus reducing administrative burden for operators and simplifying the regulatory environment. Special consideration is given to the impact of this legislation on SMEs and micro enterprises which are exempted from the most costly and burdensome elements in the legislation.
The current body of EU legislation covering the food chain consists of almost 70 pieces of legislation. Today’s package of reform will cut this down to 5 pieces of legislation and will also reduce the red-tape on processes and procedures for farmers, breeders and food business operators (producers, processors and distributors) to make it easier for them to carry out their profession.
Tonio Borg, Health and Consumer Commissioner, said, “smarter rules for safer food.” This is how I can best summarise the important package of measures adopted by the Commission to reform Europe’s agri-food chain.
“We have to be proud of the system in place. It’s probably the safest in the world but today’s proposed reform aims to modernise, simplify and strengthen the legal framework governing official controls, animal and plant health and plant reproductive material to ensure a safer food chain.
“Why? Because we have an extensive existing body of EU agri-food chain legislation: I propose to reduce to 5 the current body of almost 70 pieces of legislation. Not only is the volume of legislation cut back, but the system proposed today has been streamlined, made more efficient and easier for the actors in the agri-food chain to carry out their profession.
“The EU’s from farm-to-fork policy aims to ensure a high level of health for humans, animals and plants through the development of risk based rules as well as preventing, managing and mitigating risks that threaten our food chain.
“Today’s package is particularly relevant in the wake of the horsemeat scandal. Restoring the trust and confidence of our citizens and trading partners is key given that the agri-food industry is the second largest economic sector in the EU, employing over 48 million people and is worth some €750 billion a year.”
The Commissioner ended by saying that “today’s package aims to provide smarter and fitter rules to meet the needs of all the actors involved in the food chain to carry out their roles and functions as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.”
Businesses will benefit from simpler, science and risk-based rules in terms of reduced administrative burden, more efficient processes and measures to finance and strengthen the control and eradication of animal diseases and plant pests.
Consumers will benefit from safer products and a more effective and more transparent system of controls along the chain.
The Environmental Health Directorate in Malta conducts inspections and issues warnings on food and other consumer items that are deemed dangerous to people.
The inspectorate can be contacted at Continental Business Centre, Cutrico Buildings, Old Railway Track, Santa Venera between 7am and 3pm, tel: 2133 7333, e-mail .

Could Fayetteville Holiday Inn Salmonella Outbreak Spread Along the Interstate?
Source :
By Bill Marler (May 19, 2013)
Nancy McCleary of the Fayetteville Observer reports that more than 1,000 people may have eaten at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux since May 1, the beginning date of a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 51 people, health authorities said Friday.
“We are still tracking the numbers,” said Buck Wilson, director of the Cumberland County Department of Public Health.
As of Friday, 51 people who ate at the hotel since May 1 – its banquet facilities, the Cafe Bordeaux and the All American Sports Bar and Grill – had reported symptoms of salmonellosis, a form of food poisoning, health officials said.
Five people have been hospitalized, officials said.
“Because this facility is along a major interstate, we are broadening our notification to try to reach anyone who may be affected by the outbreak,” said State Health Director Laura Gerald.
Local and state health investigators have not determined the source of the salmonella bacteria, Wilson said.
“It requires an extensive investigation,” he said. “It’s possible that you never narrow it down to a specific source.”
The contaminant could have been spread through food or a cross-contamination of foods and glassware, Wilson said.

Norovirus is Top Food Poisoning Cause in Canada
Source :
By Carla Gillespie (May 18, 2013)
Norovirus causes about one fourth of all food poisoning cases in Canada each year, according to a new study published in the May issue of the journal Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. About 4 million Canadians, one in every eight, are sickened  by food poisoning each year, according to the study. Norovirus is also the leading cause of food poisoning in the U.S. where one in six people, or about 48 million, are stricken by foodborne illness each year.
The Canadian study looked at illnesses reported from a variety of sources including: the Canadian Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, the National Enteric Surveillance Program, enhanced national listeriosis surveillance, the provincial reportable disease surveillance system, national studies on gastrointestinal illness and C-EnterNet surveillance. Most of the illnesses reported, about 60 percent of them, were from unspecified agents.
The 40 percent of illnesses with known sources were caused by 30 pathogens.  Of the 1.6 million illnesses with known causes, norovirus caused just over 1 million illnesses, Clostridium perfringens caused 177,000, Campylobacter caused 145,000 and  Salmonella caused 88,000. Compared with the baseline period 1998-2000, these numbers show “no significant change” in the rate of Salmonella infection, a 35 percent decrease in the rate of campylobacteriosis, a 65 percent decrease in the rate of infections form Shiga toxin-producing E.coli.
Symptoms of norovirus diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and abdominal cramps which usually last usually last 24 to 48 hours.  Sometimes these symptoms may also be accompanied by low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and general sense of fatigue.  It can cause severe dehydration which requires hospitalization to prevent death.

ServSafe Food Safety course to be offered
Source :
By The Inter-Mountain (May 18, 2013)
The West Virginia University Randolph County Extension Service will host a ServSafe certification course and exam on May 29 and 30. The two-day class will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
The ServSafe program provides food safety training, exams and educational materials to foodservice managers. Students can earn the ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification, good for five years and accredited by the American National Standards Institute - Conference for Food Protection.
The program blends the latest Food and Drug Administration Food Code, food safety research and years of food sanitation training experience. Managers learn to implement essential food safety practices and create a culture of food safety. All content and materials are based on actual job tasks identified by foodservice industry experts.
ServSafe is for food service managers who supervise the serving of food in restaurants, delis, schools, hospitals, day care centers, nursing homes, senior centers, or anywhere food is prepared and served to the public.
Topics included in the two-day training include the importance of food safety, good personal hygiene, preventing cross-contamination, cleaning and sanitizing, safe food preparation, methods of thawing, cooking, cooling, and reheating food and much more.
Pre-registration for the class is required on or before May 22. A fee of $120 will cover the textbook and exam. Call the WVU Extension Office at 304-636-2455 with questions or to obtain a registration form.
Programs and activities offered by the West Virginia University Extension Service are available to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, political beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, and marital or family status.

Tops Markets offers food safety tips for Memorial Day
Source :
By jmaloni (May 18, 2013)
Tops Friendly Markets, a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont, wants its neighbors to grill safely as Memorial Day rings in the unofficial start of the summer cook-out season.
"When it comes to grilling meats, it is best to remember 'don't put it on the bun until it's done,'" said James DiMartino, Tops' senior manager of food safety. "We love our burgers, but no matter the size or seasoning, all burgers made with ground beef need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F to kill any harmful bacteria, such as E.coli."
Among the safety tips for summer food preparers are:
•Use a meat thermometer (0-222° F) to take your burger's temperature by inserting it in the thickest part and waiting 15-20 seconds for a reading.
•Safe temperatures for chops, steaks and roasts from beef, veal and lamb are 145° F for medium rare, 160° F for medium, and 170° F for well done. For ground and whole poultry, the temperature should be 165°F, and pork chops and roast should be 145° F. For all meats that you may want to add stuffing to, the item must reach 165°F and then held for 16 seconds.
•Marinated foods should be stored in the refrigerator at 41°F, and not on the counter or outdoors. If the marinade is to be used as a sauce on the cooked food, keep some of it in a separate container before adding the raw meat, poultry or seafood. Never reuse marinade.
•When preparing summer salads, ensure that all ingredients are pre-chilled, to 45°F or less, before they are all mixed together. Other ingredients can be cooled overnight in shallow pans.
•All potatoes, tuna, eggs and mayonnaise should be cold. Potatoes, macaroni and eggs should be cooked one-day ahead, and canned tuna pre-chilled overnight in the refrigerator.
Tops Markets LLC is headquartered in Williamsville, and operates 153 full-service supermarkets - 148 company-owned and five franchise locations under the Tops, Grand Union and Bryant's banners. With more than 15,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer.
For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's website at

7 ill in Georgia 10 ill in Texas with E. coli
Source :
By Andy Weisbecker (May 18, 2013)
At least seven people in Stephens County, Ga., have fallen ill with E. coli in the last several weeks, leading health officials in the area to begin investigating the source of the outbreak, local radio station WNEG reports.
Two of the patients were hospitalized and are now recovering. Most of the seven sickened have been confirmed to have E. coli O157:H7.
Environmental health officials are still investigating the possible source of the outbreak, Georgia District 2 Public Health spokesman Dave Palmer told Food Safety News.
Health investigators in Texas’ Brazos County are looking into ten possible infections of E. coli O157:H7 they suspect may be linked to food.
The Brazos County Health Department has confirmed five of the illnesses, and investigators believe another five patients are infected with the same strain of bacteria.
Two related children under the age of five have been hospitalized at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for the past week, The Eagle reports. The other eight cases are adults and were not hospitalized.

Salmonella behind Al-Azhar food poisoning: Health minister
Source :
By (May 18,2013)
Egypt's Health Minister Mohamed Hamed said that salmonella bacteria was behind the second mass poisoning incident in Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Hamed said in a press statement on Friday that the final report on the incident revealed that the bacteria contaminated the food, which left 180 students hospitalised on 29 April after eating in the dormitory.
The minister also stressed the importance of the personal hygiene of staff members involved in food preparation.
Earlier, on 1 April, over 500 students were hospitalised with food poisoning after eating on campus, which sparked protests.
Both incidents sparked anger amongst Al-Azhar students who staged demonstrations against what they described as negligence and deteriorating conditions of the university's dormitories.
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil, in conjunction with Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb, ordered that a committee be formed to look into the incidents and reveal their findings in a report.
Ten officials are currently standing trial on charges of culpability in the 1 April mass outbreak of food poisoning.

E. coli Outbreak in Stephens County, Georgia
Source :
By Linda Larsen (May 17, 2013)
Dave Palmer, Public Information Officer of District 2 Public Health in Gainesville, Georgia told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are seven cases of E. coli in Stephens County. People began seeking medical care during the first week of May 2013. Local and state public health officials are investigating these illnesses, but have not determined the cause of the outbreak. There is no word on which type of E. coli bacteria is causing these illnesses.
If any residents have experienced the symptoms of an E. coli infection, including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, which may be bloody, mild fever, and vomiting, see your doctor as soon as possible. Contact the public health department if you are diagnosed with E. coli.
The symptoms of E. coli start about seven days after infection. The first sign is usually sudden, severe cramps, with watery diarrhea following a few hours later. Patients can become seriously ill quickly. Some people develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) or thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), that can cause kidney failure when infected with certain types of E. coli. It’s important that anyone who is sickened with this bacteria receive medical treatment.

Science Is the Foundation of Food Safety at FDA
Source :
By Michael R. Taylor, J.D.(May 17, 2013)
Science is the foundation of everything we do at FDA to keep your food safe.
The Food Safety Modernization Act that President Obama signed into law in 2011 emphasizes prevention of foodborne illnesses. Margaret Hamburg, FDA’s commissioner, has made it our priority to base the agency’s regulatory decisions on sound, cutting-edge science.
We’re on the case.
The Office of Food and Veterinary Medicine (OFVM), which I am privileged to lead, is acting on a number of fronts to strengthen its scientific foundation. I am pleased to welcome David White as OFVM’s chief science officer and research director. Dr. White previously served as the director of the Office of Research at FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Palmer Orlandi Jr., another veteran scientist at FDA, is now our office’s senior science advisor.
We are marshalling our forces to work in the strongest, most effective way to keep the food that you eat, the food that you share with your family, free of dangerous levels of chemicals and bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria and E.coli.
We are prioritizing the work of our scientists in laboratories across the country based on which potential contaminants, such as disease-causing bacteria or chemicals, post the greatest risk to you.
Dr. White is the chairman of FDA’s Science and Research Steering Committee, which is made up of representatives from agency’s offices and center involved in food safety. These experts talk about research projects, before they even start, to ensure that everything we do furthers the goal of addressing the greatest threats to food safety.
FDA scientists are taking many different paths to that goal. Some respond to emergencies, working to rapidly identify the source of an outbreak. Others work longer term, exploring the genetic makeup of disease-causing bacteria and recovering information that will facilitate rapid identification in the future. Because science is always evolving and advancing, there are scientists who work to make sure that FDA has the most advanced tools with which to evaluate new technologies.
Scientists are developing new ways to detect bacteria like Salmonella in foods that include leafy greens, spices and pet foods. These tools will be invaluable surveillance tools that will help FDA prevent illness outbreaks. We are also exploring if certain bacteria would inhibit the spread of their disease-causing brethren if applied to tomatoes and other crops. This is just a sampling of the research that goes on every day at FDA.
FSMA gave FDA a mandate to implement a system that emphasizes prevention and prioritizes food safety challenges based on the risk they present to public health.
Our job is to make that mandate a reality. Part of the challenge is constantly evaluating our science and research agenda to make sure that it mirrors our public health priorities. These priorities change shape as bacteria evolve, new hazards emerge and new food-producing technologies are developed.
When you hear about science at FDA, there’s nothing theoretical about it. We are continually identifying the greatest threats to food safety and meeting them head on.

5 Hospitalized, 51 Sickened in Holiday Inn Salmonella Outbreak
Source :
By Bruce Clark (May 17, 2013)
WRAL reports that the number of salmonella cases in Fayetteville continues to rise, with a total of 51 people showing symptoms of the bacterial infection, Cumberland County health officials said Friday.
The number marks an increase from 44 cases reported Thursday and 16 first reported Tuesday. Five people have been hospitalized.
All of the patients reported eating at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux in Fayetteville, and health officials are asking anyone who ate or drank at the hotel since May 1 to be aware of symptoms, including diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.
The hotel has two restaurants: All American Sports Bar and Grill and The Café Bordeaux. There is also a banquet kitchen.

Two MN Children Sickened with Salmonella Linked to Krinos Tahini
Source :
By Linda Larsen(May 17, 2013)
The Minnesota Department of Health has announced that two children have been sickened with Salmonella bacteria linked to Krinos brand tahini. That product was recalled earlier this month; at the time, FDA officials said there were no illnesses associated with the tahini. Their illnesses are caused by the two strains of bacteria found in the recalled product.
According to the FDA, the tahini was recalled April 28, 2013 after the Michigan Department of Agriculture found Salmonella Montevideo in routine sampling. Then the FDA found Salmonella Mbandaka in the same brand of tahini. The strains match the DNA fingerprint of an outbreak that has affected a small number of people in severeal states.
The infection in one of the Minnesota cases matches the Salmonella Mbandaka outbreak strain and one matches the Salmonella Montevideo outbreak strain. Neither child was hospitalized; both are recovering at this time.
The recalled product is Krinos brand tahini sesame paste. It was distributed nationwide. The tahini is sold in 1 pound glass jars with UPC number 0-75013-28500-3, 2 pound glass jars with UPC number 0-75013-28510-2, and in 40 pound plastic pails with UPC number 0-75013-04018-3. The expiration dates for the products range from EXP JAN 01 – 2014 up to and including EXP JUN 8 – 2014 and EXP OCT 16 – 2014 up to and including EXP MAR 15 – 2015.
If you purchased these products and experienced the symptoms of a Salmonella infection, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever, please see your doctor as soon as possible. The bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, and long term complications of that infection can be severe.

Holiday Inn Bordeaux Salmonella Outbreak Grows to 51 Cases
Source :
By Linda Larsen(May 17,2013)
The Salmonella outbreak reported this week at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux at 1707 Owen Drive in Fayetteville, North Carolina has grown to 51 people. Five people have been hospitalized. These numbers are current as of May 17, 2013 at 3:00 pm.
The Cumberland County Department of Public Health and the North Carolina Division of Public Health are asking anyone who ate at the Holiday Inn’s two restaurants and became ill to see their doctor as soon as possible, then call public health officials at 910-433-3638 for an interview. Your case may help solve the outbreak and answer many questions.
The restaurants at that hotel include the All American Sports Bar and Grill and the Cafe Bordeaux. The hotel also has a banquet kitchen. The symptoms of a Salmonella infection are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Individuals who became ill in other North Carolina counties should contact their local public health departments. The Health Department has set up a “Salmonella Hotline” at 910-433-3824. Cape Fear Valley Health System has a Care Link health education line staffed by nurses who will answer questions about possible illnesses at 615-5465.

E. coli in Pools in Atlanta – Holy Shit!
Source :
By Bill Marler (May 16, 2013)
Hmm, I guess they forgot the White Water Water Park E. coli Outbreak.
In June of 1998, Georgia health officials were notified that a number of children had become ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections and were hospitalized in Atlanta-area hospitals.  Public health investigators interviewed victims’ families and learned that all had become ill after visiting the White Water Water Park.  The Georgia Department of Health eliminated other possible sources of exposure, such as contaminated food, and determined that contact with and ingestion of pool water infected most of the primary cases.
Twenty-six culture-confirmed E. coli cases were identified, and while health officials hypothesized that the outbreak was considerably larger, the outbreak size was never known due to under-reporting of illnesses.  Forty percent of children under five years of age with recognized E. coli infections were diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome.  One young two-year-old girl died.
Cases appeared on four different days, and all cases occurred within a period of eight days.  The largest number of infections took place on June 12, and the second-largest number of infections occurred on June 17, which led health officials to believe the E. coli was re-introduced to the park environment on June 17.  The PFGE pattern, or “genetic fingerprint” of the strain of bacteria isolated from ill individuals was indistinguishable between visitors to the park on June 11 and 12 and June 17.
Investigators considered three potential causes of contamination in their outbreak analysis:  repeat contamination of the park by an E. coli-infected person, persistence of bacteria in pool water overnight due to low chlorine levels, or persistence of bacteria in the pool environment but not in the water.  Low chlorine levels in the suspect pools were detected on all days of exposure, and it was never determined whether one of the pools had chlorine in it at the time when the exposures occurred.
As the CDC said today in “Microbes in Pool Filter Backwash as Evidence of the Need for Improved Swimmer Hygiene — Metro-Atlanta, Georgia, 2012:”
Filters physically remove contaminants, including microbes, from water in treated recreational water venues, such as pools. Because contaminants accumulate in filters, filter concentrates typically have a higher density of contamination than pool water. During the 2012 summer swimming season, filter concentrate samples were collected at metro-Atlanta public pools. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays were conducted to detect microbial nucleic acid. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was detected in 95 (59%) of 161 samples; detection indicates contamination from the environment (e.g., dirt), swimmers, or fomites (e.g., kickboards). P. aeruginosa detection underscores the need for vigilant pool cleaning, scrubbing, and water quality maintenance (e.g., disinfectant level and pH) to ensure that concentrations do not reach levels that negatively impact swimmer health. Escherichia coli, a fecal indicator, was detected in 93 (58%) samples; detection signifies that swimmers introduced fecal material into pool water. Fecal material can be introduced when it washes off of swimmers’ bodies or through a formed or diarrheal fecal incident in the water. The risk for pathogen transmission increases if swimmers introduce diarrheal feces. Although this study focused on microbial DNA in filters (not on illnesses), these findings indicate the need for swimmers to help prevent introduction of pathogens (e.g., taking a pre-swim shower and not swimming when ill with diarrhea), aquatics staff to maintain disinfectant level and pH according to public health standards to inactivate pathogens, and state and local environmental health specialists to enforce such standards.
No shit!

Georgia Reports 7 E. coli Illnesses
Source :
By Bill Marler (May 16, 2013)
Charlie Bauder of WNEG Newsreports that area health officials are reporting that they have seen seven recently reported cases of E. coli in the Stephens County area.  District Two Public Health Spokesman Dave Palmer said that the cases have all appeared in the past couple of weeks.
“At this time, we know that it is the most common type of E. coli we see and it is not uncommon for us to see cases of E. Coli, but to see a large number like this, it is a little uncommon,” said Palmer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, E. coli is a bacteria that is found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals.  Palmer said people can come into contact with it in a number of ways.
Palmer said anyone with those symptoms in the Stephens County area should see their doctor.
Palmer said they are continuing to investigate these seven cases and find out more information about them.

New Management, Food Safety Team Part of Ceviche’s New Start
Source :
by Carla Gillespie (May 15, 2013)
One month after a host of food safety violations prompted its temporary closure, Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL has a new management team and the services of a third-party food safety inspection company. The company will inspect all of Ceviche’s locations and post letter grades at the restaurant entrances.
“Ceviche has proactively engaged the nation’s leading third party food safety inspection company to demonstrate our commitment to exceeding standards set by the State. We challenge other restaurants to do the same. We want the community to be confident that the Ceviche brand is committed to providing the best dining experience in Tampa Bay,” the company said in a statement.
The changes at the restaurant come after the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation found food safety violations including: food not stored at proper temperatures, inadequate handwashing facilities and pest problems during an April inspection. Inspectors found similar issues at Firefly on Paradise in Las Vegas which has been linked to a Salmonella outbreak that has sickened at least 200 people. That restaurant has been closed.
Health officials in Nevada have not yet determined the source of the outbreak. Contaminated food is usually the source of restaurant outbreaks. Contamination can happen at any point from farm to fork. Health officials are testing foods and kitchen surfaces and interviewing employees.
Salmonella can cause serious, sometimes life-threatening illness and have long-term health effects such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, reactive arthritis, meningitis and sepsis. Symptoms usually develop 12 to 72 hours after exposure and can last up to a week.
Given the severity of the consequences when food safety is lacking, it’s surprising how surprising Ceviche’s announcement is. Patrons outside the restaurant cheered the company’s announcement about its new commitment to food safety, according to one local news report.  Now will other restaurants take a page from Ceviche’s book?

Firefly Salmonella Outbreak — 200 Patrons of Las Vegas Restaurant Report Salmonella Food Poisoning
Source :
By Kathy Will(May 15, 2013)
The Southern Nevada Health District and lawyers are investigating the Firefly Salmonella outbreak. To date, there are 200 reports of Salmonella food poisoning from people who ate at the Firefly Restaurant on Paradise Road in Las Vegas the week of April 21, 2013, according to the health district. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, and several victims of this outbreak have been hospitalized with more serious complications.
Salmonella are bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal illness in humans. In Salmonella outbreaks associated with restaurants, the outbreak is generally caused by food contaminated with the bacteria. This can happen at any point from farm to fork, meaning the food could have been contaminated prior to being sold for use at the restaurant or it could have been contaminated at the restaurant by cross contamination or a food handler with a Salmonella infection, also called salmonellosis, according to Fred Pritzker, an attorney representing several people sickened after eating at the Firefly.
If you became sick after eating at Firefly restaurant on Paradise Road between April 21 – 26, 2013, you can complete a food poisoning complaint form. Even if health officials cannot find the specific food that made the Salmonella victims ill, the victims have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the Firefly for compensation, according to Pritzker.

Food safety system
Source :
By ( May 15, 2013)
To do well the jobs that fall within their jurisdiction is what Premier Li Keqiang required of governments at all levels at Monday's State Council meeting. Ensuring that food is safe to eat is one of the most urgent and demanding jobs.
Li stressed that monitoring and inspection should be tightened and crackdowns be severe in line with the law to relieve residents of their worries about food safety. He said that both the central and local governments must pay sufficient attention to the problem, and, tight as finances might be, money must be spent on guaranteeing food safety.
The most recent incidents of fake mutton and poisoned ginger have again raised concerns about food safety. To make more money, some people have illegally passed off pork or duck meat or even rat meat as mutton. Some villagers have used banned chemicals on ginger in order to kill pests. However, the ginger grown in such conditions is harmful to humans.
It is shocking that these people have no morals or scruples and they should be punished as severely as the law prescribes.
Yet if the food inspection system were tight enough to block such fake and poisonous products from entering the market, no matter how heartless these people are, they would not have bothered.
If the punishment were severe enough to let them feel real pain once caught, they would not dare to produce such dangerous foodstuffs.
In addition, some corrupt food inspectors take bribes to allow unsafe food into the market.
While the culprits in the fake mutton and poisonous ginger cases must first of all be punished for their offenses, the traditional case-by-case approach to handling food safety problems has proven inadequate.
In the long run, food safety should be included in the assessment of the work performance of government leaders at all levels so that they will pay due attention to the work of food monitoring and inspection.
How to make the food monitoring and inspection system function as it should is a problem this government must solve once and for all.

Two suspected food poisoning clusters under CHP investigation
Source :
By (May 15, 2013)
The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health is today (May 14) investigating two suspected food poisoning clusters involving 12 persons, and reminded members of the public to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene to prevent food-borne diseases.
The first cluster involved one man and three women, aged between 31 and 62, who developed abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, weakness and dizziness about 13 to 27 hours after having dinner at a restaurant in Kowloon City on April 19. All of them sought medical attention. One of them was admitted to a private hospital and had been discharged.
Another cluster comprising four men and four women, aged between 29 and 62, developed similar symptoms about 14 to 39 hours after eating in the same restaurant on May 5. One of them was admitted to a private hospital and had been discharged.
All affected persons are currently in stable condition. The CHP's investigations are proceeding.
To prevent food-borne diseases, members of the public are reminded to maintain personal, food and environmental hygiene at all times. When dining out:
•Patronise only reputable and licensed restaurants;
•Do not patronise illegal food hawkers;
•Cook food thoroughly;
•Avoid eating raw seafood;
•Be a discerning consumer in choosing cold dishes, including sashimi, sushi and raw oysters, at a buffet;
•Drink boiled water;
•Use two sets of chopsticks and eating utensils to handle raw and cooked food;
•Do not try to use salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi to kill bacteria as they are not effective; and
•Always wash hands before eating and after going to the toilet.

Egypt's Al-Azhar food poisoning trial to begin Wednesday
Source :
By Ahram Online (May 15,2013)
The trial of ten people accused of responsibility for a mass food poisoning incident at Al-Azhar University will begin on Wednesday.
The head of the university dormitories, the kitchen supervisor and eight cooks are charged with neglect and disregarding regulations over the use and storage of food.
On 1 April, over 500 students were hospitalised with food poisoning after eating on campus. Less than a month later, a second food poisoning incident at the university made 161 students ill.
The double scandal prompted mass demonstrations by students, some of whom called for the sacking of Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb, who oversees the Al-Azhar religious-educational system in Egypt.
Moreover, many have said the incidents were a deliberate attempt to discredit El-Tayyeb and have him replaced with a Brotherhood ally. The Brotherhood has denied the allegations.

Salmonella poisoning outbreak in Australia
Source :
By (May 15, 2013)
At least 100 people have been diagnosed with salmonella poisoning after eating at a new restaurant in Australia, health officials said.
The people became ill after eating at The Copa Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in Dickson during the weekend.
The customers were treated for symptoms of salmonella poisoning, including diarrhea, stomach cramps and fever.
Hospitals called in extra staff to deal with the outbreak, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. said.
"It's put a lot of stress on the emergency department. The emergency departments of both hospitals have been extremely busy over the last month so to have something like this really tests that system," Australian Capital Territory Health Chief Health Officer Dr. Paul Kelly said.
Kelly said health investigators are working with the restaurant's staff to identify the cause of the illnesses.
"The issue with this particular restaurant being buffet style is that pretty much everyone ate everything," he said.
Health officials are investigating a second, unrelated food poisoning outbreak at an undisclosed restaurant in the same area.
About 60 patrons of that restaurant have come down with a mild form of gastroenteritis.
Both restaurants are closed, the ABC reported.

British MP criticises Food Safety Authority of Ireland over horse meat scandal
Source :
By RTE news (May 15, 2013)
The chairperson of a British parliamentary committee has said there was "lapses" in communication between the Food Safety Authority of Ireland and their UK counterparts over the recent horse meat scandal.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Tory MP Anne McIntosh said it was surprising that there had been no prosecutions in Ireland to date in relation to the horse meat issue.
The Chair of the Select Committee on Food and Rural Affairs said the committee has heard complaints that the FSAI had not been forthcoming with information in relation to their probe.
She said while the FSAI started its investigation into the contamination of beef and pork products with horse meat last year, it was still unknown when the contamination occurred.
Ms McIntosh described the delay as "staggering".
Responding to the claim, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said that Ms McIntosh was incorrect.
He said Ireland was the first country to expose the issue and had communicated all relevant information to the UK authorities and to Europol, the European policing agency.
"I don't know where she's coming from on this one," the minister told RTÉ.
The FSAI has not responded to the claims.

Food safety tips help prevent food poisoning
Source :
By Claire Thompson (May 14, 2013)
When getting together to cook for loved ones, the last thing you want is a belly ailment.
Roberta Anding, a registered dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine, has a few tips to keep your food safe:
n Always use a meat thermometer to check if meat is fully cooked. The color of the meat can’t determine the safety of the meat. All meat should be cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
n Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly during food preparation.
n Wash all produce before cutting and chopping.
n Refrigerator leftovers within two hours.
n Use a thermometer when reheating food as well.
Following these basic guidelines will ensure that the food you serve is safe to eat, Anding said.

At least 14 botulism cases registered in Kyrgyzstan in 2013
Source :
By (May 14, 2013)
At least 14 botulism cases have been registered in Kyrgyzstan since the beginning of the year, Disease Prevention and Examination Department of the Health Care Ministry of Kyrgyzstan reported.
According to the department, every year the republic records food poisonings mainly after consuming the home-made canned goods.
The department informed about 62 botulism cases in the republic with 93 victims, three of whom have died, in 2012. “All the victims got poisoning from food bought at natural markets, neglecting the main recommendations of the sanitary and epidemiological services," the department said.
To avoid grave consequences of the disease, it is necessary immediately to turn to medical facilities when having the primary symptoms.

Mr. Stirfry corrects food safety problems
Source :
By Aly Van Dyke (May 14, 2013)
Coming into compliance with Kansas food safety standards has been a tough and expensive road, but Mr. Strifry is back on track, said co-owner Min Lu.
At its latest food safety inspection — May 8 — the restaurant had no violations, critical or otherwise. Lu says the buffet is cleaner and more organized than ever.
“It was a difficult lesson,” he said. “We paid a fortune to learn.”
A tour through the large facility, 1700 S.W. Wanamaker, showed vegetables and meat separated in refrigerators, plastic wrap covering each tray, food stored on shelves rather than the floor. Everything is labeled now, Lu pointed out. The restaurant even invested in stickers of the days of the week, so employees know when to throw out food.
Equally important to food safety as correct storage and labeling is changing his employees’ mind-set — to get them to work every day as though the food safety inspector will arrive any minute.
“We prepare for him to come every day,” Lu said.
The May 8 inspection was the first follow-up visit Mr. Stirfry has passed since it opened in December 2011. The restaurant logged 29 critical violations last year, more than any other restaurant in Shawnee County. Its more common repeat violations include incorrect storage of raw and ready-to-eat foods, storing dirty utensils as clean and not labeling cleaning supplies.
As a result, the Kansas Department of Agriculture has levied $1,250 in fines and required six follow-up inspections at Mr. Stirfry. After failing its March 28 inspection, the restaurant could be on the line for another $1,700. However, KDA has yet to make a decision, said KDA food safety employee Adam Inman.
Business is down about 50 percent from March, Lu said, attributing the dip to an April Fools’ joke gone wrong and an article appearing in the April 30 Topeka Capital-Journal calling attention to the restaurant’s food safety issues.
He isn’t sure the restaurant will survive, he said, but either way, he is relying on a Chinese fable to get him through. It is the tale of a man who continues to experience trials, only to have those setbacks become blessings later on. The moral, Lu said, is that “everything works out.”
Lu, 46, grew up in China, he said, where spoiled meat sells better — it is less expensive — and a shop can sell the same strip of pork for 15 days.
After he moved to America 20 years ago and got into the restaurant business, Lu said, he quickly learned that isn’t the case here. He has adjusted, he said, but some of his workers, many of whom don’t speak English, haven’t quite got it down yet.
Another issue contributing to the restaurant’s previous issues, Lu said, is because the kitchen used to have just one employee certified in food safety. He fixed mistakes himself rather than showing people their errors. After he left, the mistakes went uncorrected, Lu said.
The restaurant now has three employees certified in food safety, he said. Also, whenever Lu notices a violation, he finds out who did it and has them fix it. That way they learn, he said.
“It’s their minds,” Lu said, tapping his head. “The workers need to change their minds. Hopefully it’s not too late.”

Consumer Reports Studies Mechanically Tenderized Beef and Food Safety
Source :
By Linda Larsen (May 14,2013)
In its June 2013 issue, Consumer Reports is tackling the issue of mechanically tenderized beef and E. coli illnesses. Food Poisoning Bulletin has told you about this issue before. Mechanically tenderized beef, which is a cut of beef that has been pierced with blades or needles to tenderize it, has been responsible for at least five E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks between 2003 and 2009.
The problem is that while the interior of muscle cuts of beef do not usually contain bacteria, pathogenic bugs such as E. coli and Salmonella are on the surface. During slaughter, those bacteria from cow’s intestines spread all over. The blades and needles easily push the bacteria into the center of the meat. Then, when a steak  is cooked rare or medium rare, pathogenic bacteria are not killed in the center of the cut. And someone gets sick.
In 2003, the first documented outbreak was traced to blade-tenderized, marinade-injected frozen filet mignon steaks consumers coked at home. Thirteen people were sickened, seven hospitalized, and three died. In 2009, mechanically tenderized steaks sickened 25 people, hospitalizing nine and killing one person. In their report, Consumer Reports states, “these may not seem like large numbers, but cases reported as part of outbreaks represent only 10 to 25 percent of all lab-confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 that are reported annually by state and local health authorities.”
One of the problems with this issue is that consumers are willing to pay a premium for cuts they think are more tender. The report states that “a 10 percent increase in the tenderness of U.S. beef would increase U.S. beef industry income by up to $170 million annually.”
The USDA estimates that 37% of companies that slaughter or process beef use mechanically tenderization. Those products are not labeled and are not tested for E. coli. You can’t tell if a product has been mechanically tenderized by looking at it. And the USDA has acknowledged since 1999 that “customary cooking practices may not kill pathogens in beef that has been bladed or needled.” Last year, the USDA drafted a rule that would require labeling with safe cooking instructions.  In case you’re wondering, organic standards do not prohibit mechanical tenderizing.
To protect yourself and your family, look for beef that has been labeled. Costco labels its mechanically tenderized beef. Always cook mechanically tenderized beef to 160 degrees F or higher, just like a hamburger. The USDA recommends 145 degrees F. as a minimum internal temperatures for intact beef cuts, but that isn’t enough to kill bacteria in a steak that has been mechanically tenderized or injected with marinade. Always use a meat thermometer instead of judging doneness by color or texture. And let beef rest after you take it off the heat to let it cook further and kill off bacteria. Finally, always ask if the beef you are ordering in a restaurant has been mechanically tenderized. If it is, either have it cooked well done or order something else.

Arsenic Levels in Chicken Raise Health Concerns
Source :
By James Andrews (May 14, 2013)
Levels of inorganic arsenic found in samples of chicken may be responsible for a slight increase in cancer risk to consumers over their lifetimes, according to a study by researchers at John Hopkins University published this week.
That research comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration two weeks ago by the Center for Food Safety and eight other government watchdog organizations which demands that the FDA respond to a three-year-old petition to disallow compounds containing arsenic from food animal feed.
The samples of chicken in the John Hopkins study were collected in 2010 and 2011, just before Pfizer, the manufacturer of 3-Nitro (also known as roxarsone), an antibiotic containing arsenic, suspended sales of the product in summer 2011.
Roxarsone had been given to feed animals to kill intestinal parasites and promote growth since the 1940s, though only recently did researchers find evidence that the harmless, organic arsenic in the drug could turn into carcinogenic, inorganic arsenic in meat. One other arsenic-containing drug, nitarsone, is still on the market.
In 2011, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine concluded that the safe level of inorganic arsenic in chicken meat stood at 1 part per billion (ppb). The agency later revised that statement to say that any level of inorganic arsenic was concerning.
The John Hopkins study analyzed samples of conventionally raised chickens that were fed antibiotics, antibiotic-free chickens, and organically raised chickens. Meat from those chickens raised with antibiotics had more than twice the amount of inorganic arsenic (1.8 ppb) compared with the antibiotic-free (0.7 ppb) and organic (0.6 ppb) chickens.
Speaking to the New York Times, a spokeswoman for the National Chicken Council called those arsenic levels “very low” and noted that they reflected levels from before roxarsone was removed from the marketplace.
Researchers found roxarsone in 20 out of the 40 samples of antibiotic-raised chickens, 1 out of 13 of the antibiotic free samples, and none of the 25 organic samples. Meat from chickens given roxarsone was found to contain arsenic at 2.3 ppb, while meat from roxarsone-free chickens contained arsenic, on average, at 0.8 ppb.
That dosage of inorganic arsenic, the researchers determined, might result in an additional 3.7 cases of bladder and lung cancer for every 100,000 people eating chicken.
Though Pfizer voluntarily suspended roxarsone sales, the FDA has not banned the product for use in feed animals. The company told the Times that it had no plans to reintroduce the drug.
The coalition of watchdog groups led by the Center for Food Safety still wants FDA to place an outright ban on arsenic-based drugs.
“FDA could easily and immediately fix the problem, but instead puts its head in the sand,” said Paige Tomaselli, senior staff attorney with the Center for Food Safety in a press release. “We can only conclude the FDA is catering to the companies that continue to sell products containing arsenic that ends up in our food supply.”
In 2012, Maryland became the first state to ban arsenic-based drugs for feed animals.
The John Hopkins study on inorganic arsenic levels in chicken meat can be accessed here.

NC Announces Possible Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Holiday Inn
Source :
By (May 14,2013)
The Cumberland County Department of Public Health in Fayetteville, NC announced Tuesday it is working with the N.C. Division of Public Health to investigate a gastrointestinal illness outbreak among staff and patrons of a local hotel’s restaurants. There are two confirmed cases of salmonella and one individual has been hospitalized, the news release said.
As of Monday, the Health Department had identified 16 individuals with signs and symptoms consistent with salmonella: nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. All share a common denominator, according to NCDPH, they ate at the same establishment, the Holiday Inn Bordeaux, within the same time frame: Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8. The Holiday Inn Bordeaux has two restaurants, the All American Sports Bar and Grill and The Café Bordeaux. There is also a banquet kitchen.
“We are actively working with the hotel and restaurant management and with state officials to resolve this as soon as possible,” said Cumberland County Health Department Director Buck Wilson.
“We are fully cooperating with the local and state authorities and appreciate their efforts to control the spread of the illness,” said Scooter Deal, general manager at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux.
The Health Department is asking anyone who developed symptoms after eating at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux on Tuesday, May 7 or Wednesday, May 8 to call the department at 910-433-3638. Also, for additional information you can call the “Salmonella Hotline” at 910-433-3824.
“We want people to call the health department even if they have recovered so we can ask them questions in hopes of identifying the source of the contamination. We have questions about food sources and travel,” Wilson said.

Holiday Inn Bordeaux in Fayetteville Link to Salmonella Outbreak
Source :
By Andy Weisbecker(May 14, 2013)
The Cumberland County Department of Public Health is working with the N.C. Division of Public Health to investigate a gastrointestinal illness outbreak among staff and patrons of a local hotel’s restaurants. There are two confirmed cases of salmonella and one individual has been hospitalized.
As of Monday, the Health Department had identified 16 individuals with signs and symptoms consistent with salmonella: nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. All share a common denominator — they ate at the same establishment, the Holiday Inn Bordeaux, within the same time frame, Tuesday, May 7 and Wednesday, May 8. The Holiday Inn Bordeaux has two restaurants, the All American Sports Bar and Grill and The Café Bordeaux. There is also a banquet kitchen.
“We are actively working with the hotel and restaurant management and with state officials to resolve this as soon as possible,” said Cumberland County Health Department Director Buck Wilson.
“We are fully cooperating with the local and state authorities and appreciate their efforts to control the spread of the illness,” said Scooter Deal, general manager at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux.
The Health Department is asking anyone who developed symptoms after eating at the Holiday Inn Bordeaux on Tuesday, May 7 or Wednesday, May 8 to call the department at 910-433-3638. Also, for additional information you can call the “Salmonella Hotline” at 910-433-3824.
“We want people to call the health department even if they have recovered so we can ask them questions in hopes of identifying the source of the contamination. We have questions about food sources and travel,” Wilson said.
To stop the further spread of the illness, the Health Department advises that handwashing is the best control measure.
People need to make sure they are staying hydrated and should seek medical care from their private doctor, urgent care or emergency room if their nausea, vomiting and diarrhea symptoms don’t improve.
Salmonella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella and other foodborne illness outbreaks and have recovered over $600 million for clients.  Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.
If you or a family member became ill with a Salmonella infection, including Reactive Arthritis or Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Salmonella attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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