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3/20, 2003
ISSUE:58

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Breakthrough on food hygiene
news.bbc.co.uk
The pressure chamber also works on products like ham
Northern Ireland scientists are trumpeting a food safety breakthrough which promises to put bacteria under pressure.
They have been working to find a way to keep food fresh without resorting to chemical preservatives.
The answer it seems is to put them under pressure - big pressure. Scientists at Queen's University in Belfast believe the answer is a pressure chamber which kills the bugs, but nothing else. Fresh flavour
Dr Margaret Patterson of the Department of Agriculture said the treatment of orange juice had been a big success.
"Pressure will destroy many of the bacteria and the yeasts that normally spoil orange juice - but will not affect the flavour and the colour," she said. "This means you will have a freshly tasting juice for up to three weeks in the fridge, with that very fresh flavour and no preservatives." However, the pressure chamber also works on products like ham and shellfish. "Oysters, for example, are quite hard to open and are sometimes quite dodgy in terms of food safety," said Dr Patterson. Dr Patterson said orange juice treatment was a success
"The pressure will help the shell to loosen and meat to fall out."
At 45,000 lbs per square inch, a bug's life is no life in the laboratory.

Dr Don Johnston of the Department of Agriculture said the pressure was equivalent to the weight of three elephants on a strawberry.

"It is important to achieve these high pressures in order to make the food safe," he said.

 

USDA Takes Steps to Protect Food Supply

source from (Associated Press) by EMILY GERSEMA
WASHINGTON - The Agriculture Department on Tuesday told food processors and farmers to increase security in light of the heightened terror alert. "Our experts have provided security guidelines for producers, processors and food providers in order to strengthen systems at the local level," said Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman. The government raised the terror level from yellow to orange on Monday, indicating there's a high risk of terrorism against American interests. It was elevated as the nation prepared for a possible attack on Iraq. Security has been increased at key USDA buildings, such as laboratories. Veneman also said emergency response teams at the department have been put on standby in case of a terrorist attack. Tours and public events at USDA sites have been restricted to limit access. After Sept. 11, the agency hired 20 more inspectors to check imported meat for contamination. Veneman said the agency also developed a network of laboratories to help detect and diagnose diseases ?such as anthrax ?which terrorists could use as a weapon. 3/18/03

NEW FISH AND SEAFOOD SAFETY INITIATIVE
March 17, 2003
FAO Press Release 2003/26
http://www.fao.org/english/newsroom/news/2003/13480-en.html
Jointly launched by FAO and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency 17 March 2003, Rome -- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and FAO have launched the Aquatic Food Product Initiative (AFPI). The main goal of the AFPI is to assist developing countries in the production of fish and seafood
products by creating a knowledge base of scientific information. This initiative will promote a better understanding of the safety and quality factors related to the production and processing of aquatic species as food for human consumption. Increased mass production, coupled with increased globalization and trade, has multiplied the risk of cross-border transmission of infectious agents and food poisoning outbreak. By providing greater access to scientific knowledge, the AFPI will assist developing countries to access international markets in the context of sustainable development and facilitate active participation in standard
setting organizations such as the Codex Alimentarius. It will also generate information that can help in the delivery of training programs and education. International fish trade is very important as approximately 37 percent of the world's fish production is being traded across national borders, half of which originates in developing countries. By fostering cooperation between the FAO, the CFIA and various international institutions, the initiative will also generate a knowledge base that will be used to assist subject matter experts involved in the production and
processing of a wide variety of fish and seafood products. Based on the well-proven EcoPort technology (see links), which operates under the auspices of the EcoPort consortium and the patronage of ex-President of South Africa Nelson Mandela and Harvard Professor Edward Wilson, the technological tool, which will disseminate the information to recipient countries, is known as FishPort. This technology will allow scientists from around the world to collate and link comprehensively information in the
field of aquatic food safety and quality to a central repository.
"This global knowledge system will allow users in developed and developing countries to access pertinent and up-to-date information on fish safety and quality," FAO experts say.
The creation of the AFPI has been internationally recognized as one of the first examples of efforts to develop a preventative and integrated food chain approach to food safety based on science, according to same experts. In addition, Canada has a long standing reputation for assisting developing countries through the collaboration of scientific experts involved in the environmental sciences, fisheries management and fish processing practices.

Current Food Safety News

03/19. USDA Takes Steps to Protect Food Supply
03/19. OPPORTUNITY TO VIEW FOOD SAFETY & SECURITY NEWSLETTER FOR FR
03/19. IAFP ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF INTERNATIONAL FOOD SAFETY ICONS
03/19. U.S. FOOD PLANTS, STOCKYARDS STEP UP SECURITY
03/19. EU'S BYRNE DISMISSES DEAL ON FOOD AGENCY
03/19. NEW FISH AND SEAFOOD SAFETY INITIATIVE
03/19. DR. CRAIG HENRY JOINS NFPA AS VICE PRESIDENT OF FOOD SAFETY
03/19. FOOD SAFETY OFFICIALS' TESTIMONY TO HOUSE AG SUBCOMMITTEE
03/19. FOOD SAFETY IN SCHOOLS
03/19. Slovenia Confirms Third Case of Mad Cow Disease
03/19. Audit: Food Supply Vulnerable to Attack
03/19. USA: Food supply vulnerable to attack, says GAO

03/18. International food safety summit to tackle bioterrorism
03/18. Ridge, Veneman prioritize food security strategy on eve of w
03/18. AMI Foundation, National Turkey Federation to host listeria
03/18. Peanut allergy drug in limbo
03/18. Editorial: Redefining 'harmful'
03/18. Digital database helps hospitals track outbreaks
03/18. Experts find nation's food supply at risk
03/18. Fine for nail served in curry
03/18. Government Promotion of Irradiated Food for Schools Challeng
03/18. New lab to detect deadly food agents
03/18. National Food Safety Program launched
03/18. Retail Food Safety Program Launched at Summit

03/17. USDA Gives Tips on Sending Food Gifts to U.S. Military
03/17. Codex food labeling committee to meet
03/17. NUT-FREE
03/17. NYSCOF: KIDS EAT TOO MUCH FLUORIDE FROM FOODS, STUDIES SHOW
03/17. JUICES, CIDERS NOT ALWAYS SAFE
03/17. BI-LO SUPERMARKETS ADD IRRADIATED GROUND BEEF OPTION

03/16. SHAW'S OFFERS SUREBEAM(R) PROCESSED FRESH GROUND BEEF AND GR
03/16. 'IF PEOPLE BUY CANADIAN, THEY'LL KNOW IT'S SAFE': FEDERAL
03/16. PORTUGAL BANS SALE OF BIRD MEAT FROZEN BEFORE FRIDAY
03/16. HOUSE, SENATE COMMITTEES KILL USER FEES IN FY 2004 BUDGET
03/16. Canada: Food & Drug use of microcrystalline cellulose
03/16. MARSH TO BEGIN SELLING IRRADIATED GROUND BEEF

03/15. Inspector General Criticizes USDA
03/15. MERCURY RISING: IS THAT HEALTHY FISH YOU'RE EATING REALLY SO
03/15. EU defines GMO guidelines affecting the processing of meats
03/15. EFSA closer to finding a home
03/15. Top Two US Food Regulators Will Be Keynote Speakers at This

NEW METHODS

03/19. Japanese researchers find enzyme capable of BSE destruction
03/19. Bacteria may protect cheese from listeria

03/18. EPA Approval for Powerful New Disinfectant, Axen-30
03/17. NOVEL DIAGNOSTIC TEST FOR EU BSE-SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM
03/16. Georgia Tech builds bioterrorism sensor
03/14. PEAK H2O Introduces Water Cooler Systems Featuring Patented
03/13. Yeast indicator adopted as AOAC method
03/13. Leda egg safety solution takes the prize

Current USDA/FDA News
USDA Takes Food Safety Message "On the Road"
Homeland Security Threat Condition Response-Food Security Monitoring Procedures
Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman Regarding the Change in the Threat Level
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated March 18, 2003
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated March 18, 2003
Veneman Presents Options To Modernize Meat Inspection Authorities
USDA Names Members To National Advisory Committee On Microbiological Criteria For Foods
FDA Issues New Security Guidance as Part of Operation Liberty Shield
Allergenic Products Advisory Committee; Notice of Meetings
USDA Gives Tips on Sending Food Gifts to U.S. Military

Innovative Medical Services Receives EPA Approval for Powerful New Disinfectant, Axen-30; 30-Second Bacterial Kill Time Sets New Industry Standard
source from: Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers http://www.businesswire.com/
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 19, 2003--Innovative Medical Services (Nasdaq:PURE), a biosciences company that develops and markets technology-based products involving water purification/treatment, pest control and anti-microbial applications, today announced that it has received Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration for its new Axen(TM)-30 formulated Category IV hard surface disinfectant product for commercial, industrial and consumer applications.
Axen-30 is a 30-part per million (ppm) use-dilution formula of the company's patented antimicrobial technology, Axenohl(TM) (silver di-hydrogen citrate).
The issuance of the EPA registration on Axen-30 allows Innovative Medical Services to make significant new claims regarding the hard surface disinfectant product. The new claims distinguish the efficacy of Axen-30 from many of the leading commercial and consumer products currently on the market, while maintaining lower toxicity ratings.

Georgia Tech builds bioterrorism sensor
The Associated Press Daniel P. Campbell, senior research scientist, holds a b The current technology that provides some major cities and high-profile events with 03/17/03
By Daniel Yee Associated Press Writer
source from: http://apt.mywebpal.com/
ATLANTA ?The current technology that provides some major cities and high-profile events with an early warning system against bioterrorism consists of old-school filters that must be removed each day and examined by a lab. The next-generation bioterrorism sensor, developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology, is cheaper and faster. Its also culled out of cannibalized Web cam components, the laser from a compact disc player and an aquarium pump. The handheld or building-mounted sensor can be made to sniff for biological or chemical agents. It can detect toxic industrial chemicals or whether chicken in a poultry plant is contaminated. The sensors are for sensing biological agents in real-time in small packages at affordable prices,said Thomas Bevan, director of Georgia Techs Homeland Security Initiative. If you can do it for homeland security, you can do it for food safety.The sensor needs more financial backing before it can be produced commercially, and outside experts say more work needs to be done to make sure a portable biosensor doesnt cause false alarms or get tricked. The technology needs to be developed but certainly its a worthwhile endeavor,?said Stephen Morse, associate director for science at the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions bioterrorism preparation and response program. It would give real-time results as opposed to collecting something on a filter and taking it back to the laboratory. You could do something much faster.Agencies are taking notice. State money has funded Georgia Tech sensors in projects to detect salmonella and e-coli in chicken for Georgias poultry industry. A sensor can avoid a food recall by finding infected meat before it hits the stores. The Marines, interested in the sensors portability, have provided grants to develop the sensor for biological and chemical agents. Environmental agencies have provided research dollars for the sensor to detect harmful chemicals in wells, gas stations and sewers. At a price of about $200, it will be much more practical for emergency crews than the current generation of biosensors that can cost up to $25,000. Unlike existing devices, the new sensor can pick up a dangerous agent or chemical instantly. Theres no substitute for lab confirmation, but there situations where its impractical to do lab tests,?he said. This would give you a presumptive test.
The way the sensor works is that a tiny glass slide inside the sensor called a waveguide stores tiny amounts of antibodies or proteins that only react with a particular biological agent or dangerous chemical. A standard aquarium pump sucks in outside air or water into the sensor. The CD player laser fires two parallel beams of light through the waveguide.

When a waveguide antibody or protein reacts with a dangerous agent, it will cause one of the light beams to slow and change into a pattern thats detected by optics from the Web cam parts. A standard USB connector transmits the data directly into a computer that analyzes the results.

In this current age of homeland security concerns, the federal government needs to get serious about funding these sensor technologies,?Bevan said. “Basically, the problem now is this area is really underfunded.?

Current JOB Openings
3/19 Quality Control Chemist -
3/19 MICROBIOLOGIST (USDA)
3/18 Research Food Technologist (USDA)
3/18 Quality Assurance Manager :.
3/18 Quality Assurance Manager :.
3/17 Quality Assurance Supervisor
3/17 QA Manager
3/16 Director of Research & Development (Dairy, Cream Cheese) :.
3/15 Production Supervisor - Food Processing
3/15 R&D Manager - Breads Rolls & Pizza

Current Outbreak
03/19. Attack of the tainted tomatoes
03/19. Center for Disease Control joins investigation

03/18. Tito's had a gutsful
03/18. Food poisoning, Carolina cant stop the Force
03/17. NETHERLANDS: 19 people catch minor form of bird flu
03/17. Salmonella outbreak started with alfalfa sprouts
03/16. Inquest begins into toddler's death in E. coli outbreak at N
03/15. E. coli in beef linked to sick children
03/14. 'Pork roll' restaurant charged
03/13. UPDATE 2-USDA probes Ohio illnesses, recalled meat link
03/11. Wedding's punch had contaminant


Current Food Recall
03/19. J&D Fine Foods Recalls "Fancy Candy Platter" Due to Undeclared Peanuts
03/19. J & D Fine Foods Has Recalled "Fancy Candy Platter"

03/18. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared sulhpites in TOURTIERE KG
03/18. Undeclared tree nuts in BERTOZZI EPICURE OLD GENOA FRESH BASIL PESTO
03/18. Undeclared peanut, milk and soy proteins and sulphites in energy snack bars
03/18. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared sulphites in TOURTIERE KG
03/17. Harmony Farms recalls alfalfa sprouts over salmonella concer
03/17. Undeclared peanut, soy and milk proteins, and sulphites in CAROCHOC BARS
03/16. HEALTH HAZARD ALERT - DABUR HONEY may contain chloramphenicol

03/15. Amendt Has Recalled Baker Girl brand White Cake mix - Mar 13
03/14. Eastland Food Has Recalled Hale's Blue Boy brand SALA syrup -
03/14. Elan Nutrition Has Recalled Biochem brand Ultimate Lo Carb Bar, Chocolate Brownie
03/14. Lion Pavilion Has Recalled Vegetables with Hot Oil -