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3/7, 2003
ISSUE:55

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Quick test for bacteria
By DON DODSON
2003 THE NEWS-GAZETTE
Published Online CHAMPAIGN ? It takes food-processing companies anywhere from one to seven days to get test results for salmonella contamination.
If Myung Kim has his way, they'll be able to get the results in five minutes.
Kim is developing processes that can quickly identify the presence of salmonella, a bacterium that causes food poisoning. With them, food processors should be able to avoid massive product recalls and liability suits, and consumers should be less at risk of contracting foodborne illnesses.
His company, Kim Laboratories, is one of six companies so far that have agreed to lease space in EnterpriseWorks, the University of Illinois' new business incubator at 60 Hazelwood Drive in Champaign.
The 43,000-square-foot building in the UI Research Park should be ready for occupancy in about a month.
We'll still be assembling furniture and completing labs, but we should be in the building about the first of April,?said John Parks, director of the research park.


New Sponsor


ACTIVE PACKAGING TECHNOLOGIES WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ANTIMICROBIAL PACKAGING AND ITS APPLICATIONS
March 2003
Journal of Food Science Volume 68(2)
P. Suppakul, J. Miltz, K. Sonneveld, and S.W. Bigger
http://www.confex2.com/store/indexs/ift/TOC-68-2.htm
ABSTRACT
In response to the dynamic changes in current consumer demand and market trends, the area of Active Packaging (AP) is becoming increasingly significant. Principal AP systems include those that involve oxygen scavenging, moisture absorption and control, carbon dioxide and ethanol generation, and antimicrobial (AM) migrating and nonmigrating systems. Of these active packaging systems, the AM version is of great importance. This
article reviews: (1) the different categories of AP concepts with particular regard to the activity of AM packaging and its effects on food products, (2) the development of AM and AP materials, and (3) the current and future applications of AM packaging.

Water System Cutting Diarrheal Disease
LAURAN NEERGAARD
Associated Press
source from: http://www.tallahassee.com/
WASHINGTON - For a few cents each month, families in poor countries are purifying drinking water by using diluted bleach and germ-resistant jugs as part of a program that is cutting in half the deadly cases of waterborne diarrheal diseases, U.S. health officials said Wednesday.
It is a low-tech approach that proponents say can pay for itself and even boost villages' economies. The pilot program has proved effective enough that the United States and a group of charities will seek to expand it to 20 developing countries. That announcement is planned for an international water meeting in Japan this month.The key is empowering some of the 1.1 billion people who drink water tainted by sewage, natural bacteria and parasites to protect themselves against some of those threats."You can provide people with a means to treat their own drinking water," said Dr. Eric Mintz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It works in the real world."Dirty water's chief bane is diarrhea, from cholera, E. coli bacteria and other bugs. Diarrheal diseases are a particular threat to young children, killing 2.2 million of them each year, says Population Services International, a nonprofit group working with CDC and UNICEF to expand the safe-water system.Although boiling water kills bacteria, it does not kill many parasites, and firewood can be scarce and expensive. Nor does that stop family members from reinfecting the household water bucket with dirty hands or cups, a problem the CDC discovered during a major cholera epidemic in Latin America.It will take decades for governments to build reliable water-treatment systems and pipe clean water in developing nations. The CDC, working with the World Health Organization, set out to find a simple, affordable way for families to purify their own water in the meantime.Small amounts of chlorine - far more diluted than laundry bleach - are a staple of modern water treatment. The CDC first experimented with generators that let remote villages brew their own chlorine from salt. Then scientists began working with bleach makers in different countries to produce bottles of the special, diluted version.The CDC also helped jug makers design germ-resistant versions, similar to what U.S. campers frequently use. They are big enough to hold a day's supply, with fill holes small enough to block hands and a spigot at the bottom.People just needs to add one capful of disinfectant to each water-filled jug and wait 20 minutes.A bottle of disinfectant, enough to last an average family a month, sells for 15 cents to 30 cents, Mintz said. That is enough to cover production costs and bring a few pennies profit to the producers and village kiosks that sell the products, he said.Pilot testing in such countries as Zambia, Kenya and India show the chlorine-and-safe-storage system can cut the rate of diarrheal disease in half, Mintz said.The system is in use in 15 developing countries.
ON THE NET CDC: www.cdc.gov

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAND WASHING?
March 2003
Food Safety Network Factsheet
http://www.eatwelleatsafe.ca/factsheets/Handwashing.pdf
Hand washing is a valuable way to help fight the spread of disease. Hand washing removes visible dirt from hands and helps loosen and reduce the number of harmful microorganisms (germs). Harmful bacteria and viruses such as Campylobacter, hepatitis A, Shigella, E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella can be carried by people, animals or equipment and transmitted to food. Wash your hands before preparing or eating food especially after touching raw meats, poultry or eggs, and after eating. It is also imperative after using the washroom or changing a diaper. The fecal oral route is a common way of transferring microorganisms from people to food. How do I wash my hands?
The steps in proper hand washing are:Wet hands with warm water Use a clean bar or liquid soap (put the bar soap on a rack to drain and dry) Lather all over hands by scrubbing vigorously, creating friction, reaching all areas of the hands and wrists and counting to at least fifteen Rinse hands Dry hands with a paper towel if possible Use the paper towel to turn off the water taps
It is the soap and the scrubbing that loosen and remove the microorganisms. In general, most people only need plain soap and water to wash their hands.Limit your use of disinfectants such as antibacterial soap that can promote bacterial resistance. There are situations, however, when use of an antibacterial soap may be indicated: close physical contact with people at higher risk for infection such as infants, the sick or the elderly contact with someone infected with an organism that can be transmitted by direct contact (such as diarrhea, colds
or skin infections) working where infectious disease transmission is likely such as in food preparation, nursing homes or day care centres Alcohol Hand Rubs, Gels or Rinses Alcohol hand rub, gel or rinse sanitizers are disinfectants containing at least 60 per cent alcohol. Alcohol hand sanitizers can be used after washing
hands with soap and water as an additional agent to kill germs or when soap and water hand washing is not possible. To use these products put an amount the size of your thumbnail in your palm and carefully rub your hands all over including under your nails. If your hands are visibly soiled, wash your hands using warm water and soap and dry them completely before applying the alcohol hand sanitizer. The alcohol content will completely evaporate in fifteen seconds. Alcohol hand sanitizers are safe for children to use under supervision. Alcohol hand sanitizers will not contribute to the emergence of microbial resistance because there is no alcohol left behind to promote adaptation. Since alcohol has a drying effect many of these products contain
emollients to make them gentler on the skin. Food Service Personnel Food employees with dirty hands and/or fingernails may contaminate the food during preparation. Food service personnel should refer to Model Food Code of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), chapter 2 part 2-3, on personal cleanliness http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/fc01-2.html or to the Canadian Food Retail and Food Services Code chapter 5, part 5.6 on hand washing ttp://www.cfis.agr.ca/english/regcode/frfsrc-amendmts/frfsc_frme.htm
Farm Animals
E. coli O157:H7 is a bacterial infection that can be transferred to people through their contact with farm animals. Petting zoos and agricultural fairs present these opportunities. Careful hand washing with soap and water is recommended after touching animals and before eating. People should avoid touching their face and mouth before washing their hands with soap and water
and are advised NOT to use baby wipes in place of hand washing as they do not kill germs such as E. coli O157:H7
Information Sources: Centers for Disease Control. (2000). Wash your hands often. Retrieved February 28, 2003, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/op/handwashing.htm
Larson, E. (2001). Hygiene of the skin: When is clean too clean? Emerging Infectious Diseases, 7(2). Retrieved February 28, 2003, from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no2/larson.htm
LeTexier, R. (2001). Preventing infection through hand washing. Infection Control Today. Retrieved February 28, 2003, from
http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/articles/071feat2.html
Middlesex-London Health Unit. (2002). An E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak associated with an animal exhibit. Retrieved February 28, 2003, from http://www.healthunit.com/template.asp?id=859
Ontario Ministry of Health. (2000). Hand hygiene. Retrieved February 28, 2003, from http://www.gov.on.ca/MOH/english/pub/foodsafe/handhig.html
For more information on hand washing or other food safety topics, please call the Food Safety Network toll-free at 1-866-50-FSNET or visit our website at www.foodsafetynetwork.ca
Although we strive to make the information on this fact sheet helpful and accurate, we make no representation or warranty, express or implied, regarding such information, and disclaim all liability of any kind whatsoever arising out of use of, or failure to use, such information or errors or omissions on this fact sheet.

Risk Assessment Reviewed

source from: http://www.meatnews.com/
US Meat organisation comments on a new move by FSIS to improve food safety.Risk-based policymaking is key to enhancing public health according to the American Meat Institute.AMI president J. Patrick Boyle said: "We support the Food Safety and Inspection Service and Food and Drug Administration risk assessments because they can guide the federal government in using resources appropriately where they achieve the greatest public health enhancements."Mr Boyle said that it is appropriate that federal agencies seek public comments on the risk assessments so that scientists will have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the progress of these risk assessments."Scientists from the meat and poultry industry have reviewed FSIS's draft risk assessment and believe there are a number of changes that should be given serious consideration," he said.He said that there is concern over several existing data gaps that need to be filled."The draft risk assessment does not provide all references cited in the document, nor has all current, relevant scientific literature been integrated into the document," Mr Boyle added."In addition, it is important not to rely on single sets of data from single situations in assessing the risks posed by a wide variety of meat and poultry products produced under varying circumstances with different pathogen intervention technologies. Many technologies and sanitation practices impact risk; these factors must be incorporated if the risk assessment is to be of scientific value."

Another item Mr Boyle noted was the draft risk assessment needs to describe in greater detail the limitations of microbiological sampling and testing programs given the low prevalence and random distribution of Listeria on food contact surfaces and in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.He said that when bacteria occur at extremely low levels or are not evenly distributed in the product or in the processing environment, as is the case with Listeria, testing programmes must be very flexible and must be designed to be biased toward finding the organism.

The draft risk assessment has not been developed to account for this level of detail or complexity."We urge FSIS to release the draft risk assessment for 'use and experimentation' by interested stakeholders," he added."We believe that this will provide an opportunity for hands-on analysis and scientific peer review so that meaningful comments can be developed that will ultimately enhance the tool."It is important to keep in mind that FSIS's draft risk assessment is designed to assist policymakers in developing an effective risk management plan, Mr Boyle said.

In order to be effective, the FSIS risk assessment on deli meats must be viewed in the context of the risks posed by all foods.FDA is in the process of finalising its risk assessment for a wide variety of food categories."The FSIS risk assessment relies on data that are being compiled through FDA's risk assessment to assess the public health impacts," he said."We urge FSIS to wait for FDA to complete its risk assessment before finalising its own."

Current JOB Openings
3/07 Quality Assurance Manager
3/07 Quality Assurance Technologist -
3/07 Quality Assurance Manager - Poultry
3/07 Director QA & Food Safety (ConAgra)
3/06 Production Superintendent - Food Industry
3/06 Quality Assurance Specialist
3/06 Manager of Quality - Dairy Products
3/05 QA Supervisor -- 2nd Shift -
3/05 Senior Research Associate
3/04 Microbiology Lab Technician
3/04 Quality Systems Manager Campbell Soup Company

Current Outbreak
03/05. LAW FIRMS JOIN FORCES OVER FOOD POISONING CASE
03/05. TRICHINELLOSIS POLAND
03/05. Investigation tracking possible outbreak
03/04. 'Cruise ship' virus hits Montana
03/04. 500 Iranian Pilgrims Taken Ill
03/03. Food poisoning



LAW FIRMS JOIN FORCES OVER FOOD POISONING CASE

March 5, 2003
The Ottawa Citizen B6
The Ottawa law firm Nelligan O'Brien Payne and the Toronto law firm McPhadden Samac Merner Darling will, according to this story, join forces to argue a class-action lawsuit on behalf of 536 people who were sickened after eating store-bought salad in the two cities last year. The story says that the people, many of them from Ottawa, were believed to have been infected by shigella bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, cramps, vomiting and nausea, after they ate a Greek-style pasta salad made by Tiffany Gate Foods Inc. of Toronto. The salad was sold at Ontario grocery stores, including Loblaws, Loeb, A&P and Your Independent Grocer stores. A statement from the two law firms yesterday said they decided to work together because two class-action lawsuits can't proceed from the same claim. Tiffany Gate president Adolph Zarovinsky has said the company will defend itself against the legal action. He has said tests done by the company found no sign of shigella contamination in its pasta.

Current Food Recall
03/06. Galil Importing Corp. Recalls Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil Due to Undeclared Sulfites
03/05. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared milk protein in THURIES NOIR 90%
03/04. ALLERGY ALERT - CATELLI BROAD NOODLES may contain undeclared egg
03/03. Salmonella fears prompt milk recall
03/02. LE COUREUR DES BOIS brand CANNED. SALMON in MIGUASHA SAUCE
03/01. Ohio Firm Recalls Canned Soup Products Because Of Undeclared Allergen


Current USDA/FDA News
Registration of Food Facilities Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness
USDA Begins Sampling Program for Advanced Meat Recovery Systems
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated March 4, 2003
Dietary Supplement Subcommittee of the Food Advisory Committee
Effects of Antimicrobial Drug Residues From Food of Animal Origin on the Human Intestinal
Beverages: Bottled Water; Companion Document to Direct Final Rule
Beverages: Bottled Water

HHS Acts to Reduce Potential Risks of Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedra
FSIS Constituent Update: February 28, 2003
Protecting the Food Supply: FDA Actions on New Bioterrorism Legislation
Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; Vitamin D3
Acrylamide Questions & Answers
Exploratory Data on Acrylamide in Foods
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated February 26, 2003
Speeches Page: Updated February 27, 2003
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated February 26, 2003

Current Food Safety News
03/06. ACTIVE PACKAGING TECHNOLOGIES WITH AN EMPHASIS ON ANTIMICROB
03/06. TRACEABILITY TASK FORCE
03/06. SAN PABLO INSTITUTES SAFE FOOD RULES
03/06. RFPS ASKED FOR IN FOODBORNE PATHOGEN RESEARCH
03/06. CLEARING THE CONFUSION; FOOD-SAFETY EXPERTS CALL FOR STANDAR
03/06. NO SILVER BULLET; EXPERTS DISCUSS NEW WAYS TO ERADICATE E. C
03/06. School, nursing home contractor adds irradiated beef to menu
03/06. FSIS proposes to cut lab fees, raise everything else
03/06. Agricultural and Co-op Ministry will promote exports of GMO-
03/06. U.S. consumer groups to sue USDA over GMO medicine crops
03/06. Imported beef advice
03/06. Water System Cutting Diarrheal Disease
03/06. Food safety experts publish annual report
03/06. Commission to produce guidelines on issue of GMO crop coexis
03/06. THAILAND: Monosodium glutamate banned from school meals
03/06. UK: FSA warns of nitrofurans in Portuguese poultry
03/06. Food Safety Workshop

03/05. ILLEGAL DRUG RESIDUES FOUND IN PORTUGESE CHICKENS
03/05. CANADIANS NOT FOOLED BY LABELS ON BOTTLED WATER: TWO-THIRDS
03/05. CRUISE SHIP VIRUS 'IS HERE TO STAY': OUTBREAKS CAN'T BE ELIM
03/05. USDA BEGINS SAMPLING PROGRAM FOR ADVANCED MEAT RECOVERY
03/05. CONSUMERS HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPECT THE FOOD THEY PURCHASE IS S
03/05. WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAND WASHING?
03/05. EU Ban on Gene Modified Food Continues to October
03/05. House Ag chairman tells EU: Drop the import ban on GMO foods
03/05. British medical journal says vCJD deaths from mad cow 'slowi

03/04. IS IT BSE MARK II? FEARS FOR BAN LIFT
03/04. New BSE cases found in Europe
03/04. Risk Assessment Reviewed
03/04. Is that water safe?
03/04. How Risky Are Non-Food GMO Crops?
03/04. Food Safety Survey
03/04. Chicken Bacteria Tested
03/04. School Lunch Safety First

03/03. COMBATTING FOODBORNE ILLNESSES REQUIRES HEIGHTENED PUBLIC A
03/03. SPINAL CORD FOUND IN BRITISH SHEEP CARCASE; MEAT INSPECTORS
03/03. MEAT HYGIENE DIRECTIVES 2003
03/03. $2,000 FINE LEVIED UNDER PROVINCIAL MEAT INSPECTION ACT
03/03. GENOME SEQUENCE OF VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS: A PATHOGENIC MEC
03/03. CONSUMERS WRESTLE WITH MIXED SEAFOOD MESSAGES
03/03. European Commission debunks Public Citizen's latest fear cam
03/03. FSIS proposes change in inspection fees
03/02. Canada's food industry and medical leaders honoured for help
03/02. Just listen to Grandma
03/02. Acrylamide movements
03/02. DeLauro pushing for stricter food-safety laws
03/01. Family continues its fight for food safety
03/01. LATEST FOOD PESTICIDE DATA
03/01. Food warehouses face scrutiny



DNA USED TO TRACK MAPLE LEAF HOGS TO TRACE HOGS': FOOD SAFETY PLAN
March 5, 2003
National Post
FP10 Hollie Shaw
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is, according to this story, developing a DNA-tracking program to allow its pork products to be traced back from grocery store shelves to the farms where a hog was raised. The initiative is a response to growing consumer fears about food safety and could give the meat producer
a competitive export advantage to international customers such as Japan, which has developed a far more stringent set of food traceability regulations in response to public health scares involving diseased meat. Michael Detlefsen, executive vice-president at Maple Leaf in charge of traceability issues in meat, was cited as saying the company expects its
Chicago-based partner, Pyxis Genomics Inc., to develop a DNA tracing technology by the end of this year, which Maple Leaf could implement in 18
to 24 months, and that the initiative, expected to cost "in the high six figures," will allow Maple Leaf to better support its claims of quality and safety, adding, "It will show customers that, for example, the tenderloin they are eating comes from a certain genetic strain, has been raised in a certain way, and fed in a certain way." The program could also help divide the country into food sourcing zones in the event of a food scare. "If we had information about an outbreak at a farm in eastern Canada, we could
continue to trade with countries such as Japan using producers from western Canada," Mr. Detlefsen said.
The initiative, similar to a protocol set forth by Canada's beef producers and enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, could also give Maple Leaf a key advantage over the United States in marketing its meat products to foreign countries. Maple Leaf, Canada's biggest meat processor with
annual sales of $5.1-billion, exports about 50% of its products. While large Quebec-based pork producer Groupe Brochu Inc. is working on its own traceability project, the companies' U.S.competitors have not.
Martin Rice, executive director of the Canadian Pork Council was quoted as saying, "We see traceability as something that is technologically feasible.
It helps our customers know more not only about food safety but could further the opportunity to develop specific genetic products for markets
that are willing to pay a premium for it."
The Chicken Farmers of Canada has also been working on issues of food safety and traceability.