Salmonella on Pistachios Caused 2013
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/salmonella-on-pistachios-caused-2013-outbreak/
By Carla Gillespie (Jan 23, 2014)
Pistachios were the source of a 2013 Salmonella outbreak, according
to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The outbreak was
mentioned in a warning letter the agency sent to ARO Pistachios
Inc. of Terra Bella, CA notifying the company of food code violations
discovered by FDA inspectors.
In July 2013, two companies issued recalls for products containing
ARO pistachios. At that time, illnesses had not been linked to
the products under recall. Torn and Glasser of Los Angeles recalled
bags of pistachios sold under the brand names Torn and Glasser,
Hilo, Sun Harvest, and Sprouts on July 12. And on July 15,
Western Mixers Produce & Nut Company of Los Angeles, California
recalled bags and boxes of Treasured Harvest brand pistachios.
Epidemiological testing revealed that ARO pistachios were the
likely source of a cluster of salmonellosis infections reported
from January through May 2013, according to the letter.
”Therefore, we believe that your pistachios were also adulterated
within the meaning of Section 402(a)(1) of the FFD&C Act because
they contained the pathogenic bacteria Salmonella, a poisonous
or deleterious substance that may render a product injurious to
health,” the letter states.
During an inspection from May 21 through May 24, FDA investigators
found at least two instances where the company failed to protect
product from becoming contaminated. First, an employee in the
roasting room “was observed repeatedly touching the bottom
of shipping boxes that were resting on the floor and then touching
roasted, ready-to-eat, pistachios without washing or sanitizing
hands.” Second, “maintenance personnel were observed
entering and exiting the hand sorting room through a door that
opens directly to the outside of the facility. Apparent bird droppings
were observed on the floor of the outside areas where maintenance
personnel were observed working and entering the hand sorting
room. Inside the hand sorting room, two buckets containing floor
sweepings of pistachios, dust, and debris, were observed near
the hand sorting production lines. During the inspection, you
stated that the buckets of floor swept pistachios will be reworked
into finished product. The movement of employees from the outside
of the facility (where apparent bird droppings were observed)
into the hand sorting room may introduce contaminants into your
facility and contaminate finished food, particularly based on
your practice of reworking pistachios from the floor.”
The letter warns ARO that failure to promptly correct the violations
could result in enforcement action , such as seizure or injunction,
without further notice. ARO has until January 28 to respond.
The Neews: Gross Food Safety Stories
in the News
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/the-neews-gross-food-safety-stories-in-the-news/
By Carla Gillespie (Jan 26, 2014)
Too often food safety news is tragic, but sometimes it’s
just plain gross. These are the “Neews” stories, the
ones that, put the eew in news.
Standard fare in this category are stories about prisoners making
hootch in their toilets and stories where the concept of edible
roadkill has been explored. But some stories set themselves apart.
And we’ve decided to share them with you each month.
To give you an idea of what you can expect in a Neews story, the
headliners from 2011 would have been 1.- the revelation-
on these very pages, that cherry or vanilla flavoring is derived
from the anal glands of beavers and 2. that the mysterious Campylobacter
outbreak among Wyoming shepherds was solved when authorities discovered
the men were using their teeth, rather than surgical instruments,
to castrate young lambs.
In 2012, the hands-down winner was one we like to call “MountainDew
1, Rodent 0″ in which a man who claimed to have found a
dead mouse in his can of Mountain Dew in 2009 filed suit against
PepsiCo. To its credit, PepsiCo was not deterred from mounting
a defense that removed the urban from urban legend saying a veterinary
pathologist had determined that a mouse suspended in a can of
Mountain Dew for that length of time would have been rendered
to a “jelly-like” substance.
Distant seconds that year were 1., Actress Alicia Silverstone
pre-chewing food and spitting it into her baby’s mouth and
2., a McDonalds employee in SC arrested after hocking a loogie
into a customer’s sweet tea, and 3., a study from the Water
Quality & Health Council that found one fifth of people over
18 say they pee while swimming in pools. So, please shower that
pollen off your skin before jumping into the community,hotel or
resort pool where you can frolic guilt-free in someone else’s
urine. And stay tuned for the next installment of the Neews.
Food safety control should be centralized:
Source : http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2014/01/27/2003582262
By Alison Hsiao (Jan 27, 2014)
Academia Sinica has urged the government to establish a Cabinet
standing committee to take control of food safety and environmental
pollution, and to step up communication across government.
The advice was contained within the research institute’s
latest report, Recommendation for the Maintenance of National
Food Safety and the Prevention of Environmental Toxins, now in
its 11th edition.
Academia Sinica said its policy recommendation has come as a result
of water, air and land pollution and the overuse of drugs —
such as melamine, plasticizers and pesticides — disrupting
chemicals and heavy metals.
The National Environmental Health Research Center should assume
the role of a national risk assessment and knowledge center that
conducts regular meetings across government, rather than holding
the current inter-agency food and drug safety meetings convened
by the vice premier, the institute said.
The National Environmental Health Research Center should advise
Cabinet and also be responsible for disseminating scientific knowledge
to the public, it said.
Other recommendations include supporting investigations into the
causes and impacts of diseases; establishing a database of how
cells relate to toxins and a Taiwanese bank of induced pluripotent
stem cells — a source of cells that can be used to replace
damaged cells; and establishing an early warning system for patients
to spot organ damage.
The institute also called for improvements in awareness-raising
and monitoring of food allergies — which negatively affect
5 percent to 10 percent of the population, or 2 million Taiwanese.
“Foods such as nuts, milk, eggs and wheat are some of the
common causes of food allergies in people and should be labeled,”
academic Ho Ing-Kang (ù¼çÈË§), who contributed to the report, said.
By July next year, food products containing shellfish, milk, mango,
peanuts and eggs will require allergy warning labels, the Food
and Drug Administration said.
Safety Microbiology 2 day Short Course(Los Angeles, CA)
March 20-21, 2014
for more information
Why would you take a Norovirus Cruise?
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/why-would-you-take-a-norovirus-cruise/
By Patti Waller (Jan 26, 2014)
NBC News reports that U.S. health officials are expected to board
a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in the Virgin Islands on Sunday
to investigate a possible outbreak of highly contagious norovirus
that has sickened more than 300 passengers and crew members.
The Explorer of the Seas ship stopped part way through a 10-day
cruise from Cape Liberty, N.J., to the Caribbean island of St.
Maarten after reports of vomiting and diarrhea, according to the
cruise line and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some 281 of the 3,050 passengers and 22 of the 1,165 crew members
showed symptoms of the fast-spreading infection, according to
the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program, which monitors cruise
Local watchdogs empowered in food safety
Source : http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-01/26/c_133075850.htm
By Zhu Ningzhu (Jan 26, 2014)
Chinese provincial governments are quickly empowering local food
safety watchdogs in line with the requirements of the central
government to prevent food scandals.
Since the China Food and Drug Administration was launched during
the cabinet restructuring of last March to supervise the full
process of food production, circulation and consumption, a primary
mission of provincial governments has been to correspondingly
restructure their food safety monitoring mechanism.
During the reshuffle, the functions of quality inspection departments
are intensified as they gain food safety jurisdiction previously
held by health as well as industry and commerce departments.
To make sure the reshuffle runs smoothly and efficiently, the
China Food and Drug Administration has sent out work teams to
While inspecting the work in central China's Hunan Province in
mid-January, Liu Peizhi, vice minister of the administration,
urged provincial governments to complete the reshuffle as quickly
as possible on the premise that the restructured outfits could
have sufficient resources to fulfill the mission of the administration.
The administration is yet to announce the progress of the nationwide
However, Li Hongyuan, director of the food and drug administration
of Xiamen City in east China's Fujian Province, was quoted by
the Xiamen Daily as saying that more than two-thirds of 31 provincial
regions in the Chinese mainland have completed relevant restructuring
Yan Zuqiang, chief of the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration,
said that one goal of the restructuring was to increase the number
of grassroots inspectors.
Describing the human resources structure of the old monitoring
mechanism as "olive-shaped," with the higher management
on the top and grassroots inspectors on the bottom largely outnumbered
by middle management, Yan said that law enforcement at the grassroots
level has been very weak.
After the restructuring, he said, the number of local grassroots
inspectors in Shanghai had risen to 1,700, representing the bulk
of the city bureau's staff.
Food safety has become a top concern in China as a string of safety
scandals, particularly the one in 2008 when melamine-tainted baby
formula caused the deaths of at least six infants and sickened
300,000 others, have crippled customer confidence.
Shanghai municipal legislator Xu Liping agreed that the weakness
of food safety supervision was at the grassroots.
"The number of inspectors cannot be increased infinitely.
The key is to improve their competency and work style," said
Zhao Renrong, deputy to the Shanghai People's Congress, the city's
legislature, proposed that a nationwide blacklisting system be
established based on the credit records of food business managers.
"Without such a system, a business owner who breaks the law
can easily run away from his problems by reopening another shop
under the name of his relative," said Zhao, also chief of
the Tingdong Village Branch of the Communist Party of China in
Shanghai's Jinshan District.
Although many places including Shanghai have started to experiment
with blacklisting lawbreakers, Liu Zhengguo, director of the enterprise
credit management committee of the metropolis, said that a nationwide
credit system was badly needed to prevent lawbreakers continuing
their malpractice elsewhere in the country.
"We must ensure no Chinese can afford to have a bad record
in terms of food safety in this country," he said.
Liu Boying, director of the Commission of Commerce in Hongkou
District in Shanghai, suggested that digital technologies should
be widely used to strengthen certification of products' origins.
For instance, consumers should be able to learn the exact breeding
information of aquatic products by scanning the label, said Liu,
adding that the biggest challenge was how to raise the enthusiasm
of enterprises with certifications of origin.
To solve the problem, Shanghai has started legislation on compulsory
certification of the origin of foodstuff, which may cover pork,
vegetables, aquatic products, grain crops, dairy and cooking oil,
according to the municipality's food safety supervision chief
Do You Know How to Keep Food Fresh and
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/do-you-know-how-to-keep-food-fresh-and-safe/
By Linda Larsen (Jan 23, 2014)
An organization has developed an Infographic to help consumers
keep their food fresh and safe. More than 40% of all food in the
U.S. is thrown out every year.
This type of waste is costly and hard on the environment. It’s
estimated that food that is discarded costs $165 billion every
year. And uneaten food is the single largest component of municipal
waste in the U.S. This rotting food emits methane, a greenhouse
gas. And since 1 in 6 Americans is “food insecure”,
meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming
from, food waste is hurting people.
The Infographic tells you the best place to store food in your
refrigerator. For instance, did you know that the door isn’t
a good place to store anything perishable, since it’s the
warmest part of the appliance? Do you know how to control the
moisture in produce bins so food stays fresh longer? And do you
know how to keep your refrigerator working at its most efficient?
Download the Infographic from PartSelect.com and learn more.
Covance To Expand England Facility For
Source : http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2014/01/covance-to-expand-england-facility-for-food-safet.aspx
By foodproductdesign.com (Jan 23 ,2014)
Covance, Inc., announced plans to expand its nutritional chemistry
and food safety services, which will open a new 10,000-square-foot
laboratory later this year within its existing facility in Harrogate,
The new lab will complement existing laboratories in Madison,
Wis., Battle Creek, Mich., Greenfield, Ind., and Singapore and
will help Covance continue to promote food safety and nutritional
health on a global scale.
“Our new European site for nutritional chemistry and food
safety services will enable us to provide the consistency of service
and quality testing that our clients have come to expect from
Covance, from a location that is closer and more convenient to
their European operations," said Brad Riemenapp, vice president
and general manager, NCFS. “In Harrogate we will conduct
cutting-edge research in food contaminants testing and the full
spectrum of nutritional chemistry."
The Harrogate location was chosen for its appropriate lab space
availability, potential to leverage existing Covance capabilities
and its proximity to the airport. The company plans to add 25
new positions during the first year of operation, and more than
100 positions within the first five years of operation.
Covance will also be undertaking new contaminants-testing research
at the Harrogate site, after receiving a grant worth approximately
$975,000 from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership
Business Growth Programme, made possible through the Government's
Regional Growth Fund.
In 2013, Covance's contaminant testing laboratory in Greenfield,
Ind., was awarded 17025 accreditation by the International Organization
for Standardization (ISO). The accreditation supports Covance's
role in the design of testing programs required for nutrition
facts labeling regulations and scientific standards.
Listeria Contamination Found in Raw Milk
From South Dakota Dairy Farm
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/01/state-tests-find-listeria-contamination-in-raw-milk-from-south-dakota-dairy-farm/
By Dan Flynn (Jan 22, 2014)
Bottled raw milk from Jerseydale Farms near Brookings has tested
positive for Listeria, according to the South Dakota Department
The contaminated bottled raw milk was sold in the Brookings area,
which includes the South Dakota State University campus. Anyone
who purchased the bottled raw milk should immediately discard
or return the product, the department said.
State rules for bottled raw milk in South Dakota require permits
for dairies selling raw milk directly to consumers. Inspections
are required at least annually depending on the grade of milk,
and dairies must also submit samples monthly for bacteria and
residue testing.The unpasteurized bottled milk purchased in recent
days from Jerseydale Farms may contain the potentially deadly
Listeria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially
in young children, the elderly and individuals with weakened immune
systems, the department said. Listeria infection can also cause
miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Symptoms of listeriosis, the illness caused by the ingestion of
Listeria, include fever, muscle aches and sometimes nausea or
diarrhea. If infection spreads to the nervous system, headache,
stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance or convulsions can occur.
Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating
more than $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing
more than 122,000 people.
Listeria Found in South Dakota Raw Milk
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-watch/listeria-found-in-south-dakota-raw-milk/
By Drew Falkenstein (Jan 23, 2014)
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) is reporting
listeria in a sampling of bottled raw (unpasteurized) milk from
Jerseydale Farms near Brookings, S.D.
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture advises consumers that
bottled raw milk recently purchased from this business may contain
harmful bacteria that can lead to listeria infection.
According to the South Dakota Department of Health, listeria can
cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children,
frail or elderly people and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among
pregnant women. A person with listeriosis may have fever, muscle
aches and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. If infection spreads to
the nervous system, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance
or convulsions can occur.
For more information on listeria, please visit http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/diseasefacts/Listeriosis.aspx.
The contaminated bottled raw milk was sold in the Brookings County
area. If you have purchased this bottled raw milk, SDDA advises
the product be discarded or returned.
State bottled raw milk rules require permits for dairies selling
raw milk directly to consumers. Inspections are required at least
annually depending on grade of milk; dairies must also submit
samples monthly for bacteria and residue testing.
To find more information on SDDA’s inspections, rules and
laws for raw milk production, visit http://sdda.sd.gov/farming-ranching-agribusiness/dairy-dairy-plants/.
Listeria: Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the
nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria
outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented
thousands of victims of Listeria 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 Listeria
lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks
traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery
and milk. Marler Clark is presently representing 46
victims and their families in the 2011 Jensen Farms Listeria cantaloupe
If you or a family member became ill with a Listeria infection
after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a
legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Listeria attorneys for a
free case evaluation.
Consumers Can Help Solve Food Poisoning Outbreaks
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/consumers-can-help-solve-food-poisoning-outbreaks/
By Carla Gillespie (Jan 22, 2014)
Have you ever wondered how food poisoning outbreaks are solved?
Consumers play a key role, according to the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC). Here’s how you can help.
When you are sick
Contact the health department. If you think you have food poisoning,
contact your local or state health department and let them know.
When public health officials can track clusters of people with
similar symptoms and exposures, it helps them to identify potential
See your doctor. Your doctor can order stool samples and blood
tests that can determine if you have an infection from E.coli,
Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria or other foodborne bacteria.
A Pulsed-field Electrophoresis test determines the genetic fingerprint
of the bacteria that sickened you. This fingerprint is uploaded
to the PulseNet database, a network of local, state and
federal labs, where they may be matched with others.
Write down what you ate and where you ate it. A food diary that
lists everything you can remember eating in the days before you
started to become ill can help public health officials identify
clusters of illness. Remember to gather and save receipts from
the grocery store or restaurant. It’s also important
to write down any contact with pets or animals you had contact
with before you got sick.
When you are not sick
Keep your food receipts. Save receipts from the grocery store
and from restaurants. This can help you remember what you
With your permission, records from your shopper card or grocery
store loyalty program can give public health investigators information
on foods and brands involved in illness clusters.
Freeze food in its original packaging. Or, if you are dividing
it up before freezing it, keep the label with it.
If there is an outbreak, a public health official may call you.
They interview sick people and healthy people and compare the
things they ate. By taking the time to participate, you
can help with the investigation and prevent others from getting
Store and Use Leftover Food Safely
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/store-and-use-leftover-food-safely/
By Linda Larsen (Jan 22, 2014)
Michigan State University Extension is offering tips for storing
and using leftover food safely. If not handled properly, leftover
food can become a vehicle for food poisoning.
Always wash hands with soap and water before handling cooked food,
especially food you are going to store to eat later. Always use
clean utensils to handle this food. Store it in clean containers.
Don’t put the food back into the same container it was in
before cooking, unless it has been thoroughly washed with soap
and water. And sanitize cutting boards and counters.
Leftovers should be stored in small, shallow containers, less
than three inches in height. Always cover leftover containers.
Don’t stack containers, but leave some air space around
them so the cold air can circulate. Don’t use large, deep
containers, since the food in the center will stay warm for a
longer time, keeping it in the danger zone of 40 to 140° F.
When you are going to eat leftovers, heat them on the stove, in
the oven, or in the microwave until the temperature reaches 165°
F as measured by a food thermometer. Don’t use slow cookers
or chafing dishes to reheat food.
Never taste leftovers to see if they are safe. And never keep
leftovers for more than four days. When in doubt, throw it out!
Always dispose of possibly unsafe food in closed containers so
it can’t be eaten by other people or animals.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Iowa State University Extension
have developed an app and the “4-Day Throwaway” campaign
to help people learn how to handle leftovers. Follow these tips
to protect your family.
Shanghai police to create city food safety
Source : http://barfblog.com/2014/01/shanghai-police-to-create-city-food-safety-detective-team/
by Doug Powell (Jan 22, 2014)
City police are setting up a team of detectives dedicated to tackling
food safety crimes, the annual session of the Shanghai People’s
Congress has heard.
Under the control of the police bureau, the team will bring together
law enforcement officers from government bodies and train new
personnel, said Bai Shaokang, vice mayor and director of Shanghai
Public Security Bureau.
“We need a zero-tolerance attitude to food safety criminals,”
Bai told legislators.
He said this will drive improvements in food safety management
and help build a unified food safety network.
A total of 416 suspects in food safety cases were detained in
137 cases in Shanghai last year — up 49 percent on 2012,
said Yan Zuqiang, director of the Shanghai Food Safety Office.
Lawmakers also raised their concerns on temporary stalls selling
food and clothes, which can impede access to Metro entrances.
Authorities have decided to remove illegal food stalls near stations,
turning the areas into public squares and locating toilets there,
The city government has tackled more than 2,700 cases of illegal
stalls and restaurants in the last two years, but they remain
a major problem.
After Salmonella Outbreak, Foster Farms
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/after-salmonella-outbreak-foster-farms-plant-reopens/
By Carla Gillespie (Jan 22, 2014)
A Foster Farms plant associated with a Salmonella outbreak that
sickened more than 400 people reopened today after a brief closure.
The plant in Livingston, CA resumed operations this morning.
The plant, one of three Foster Farms facilities associated with
a Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak that sickened at least 430 people
in 23 states and Puerto Rico, remained open for most of the time
the outbreak was ongoing. The outbreak, one of two linked to Foster
Farms last year, began in March and was announced by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in October. On
January 16, the agency said the outbreak was likely over.
On January 8, about one week before the CDC said the outbreak
had ended, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and
Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) closed the facility citing cockroach
problems. Two days later, Foster Farms said it was cleared by
FSIS to reopen. But on January 12, the company said it was choosing
to keep the plant closed to “further expand its USDA-approved
safe manufacturing procedures and monitoring systems.” It
has been closed since that time.
During the closure, production was temporarily shifted to Foster
Farms’ other CA facilities, two of which were also implicated
in the outbreak. The company said it expects to add weekend shifts
and provide overtime to hourly plant employees in the coming weeks.
In a statement released today, Foster Farms President Ron Foster
said, “Although this has been a challenging time, we remain
committed to the highest level of quality and food safety through
all aspects of our plant operations and will emerge a stronger
Lincoln council ranked highly for food
Source : http://thelincolnite.co.uk/2014/01/lincoln-council-ranked-highly-for-food-safety-checks/
By Emily Norton (Jan 22 ,2014)
Food safety in Lincoln has been ranked highly in an investigation
carried out by product testing charity ‘Which?’
The City of Lincoln Council is ranked 15th out of 395 local authorities
in the UK for how effective it performs its checks food hygiene
standards on businesses across the city.
The closest neighbouring authority, North Kesteven District Council
is in 89th place.
The result was after an assessment on three criteria: the percentage
of premises ranked as high or medium risk in a local authority
that were broadly compliant with a food hygiene requirements;
the percentage of premises yet to receive a risk rating and the
proportion of inspections and other follow ups that were required
but not carried out by local authority inspectors.
Sara Boothright, Food, Health and Safety Manager at the city council,
said: “It’s important that our residents and visitors
who use food businesses in the city know that those premises have
been properly inspected and, if they’re not up to scratch,
that we are dealing with them. This result clearly demonstrates
that we’ve got our approach right.”
Councillor Fay Smith, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services
and Public Protection, said: “It’s excellent and reassuring
for the people of Lincoln that our team work so hard to ensure
the public is safe.”
In recent news, the City of Lincoln Council took legal action
after a customer of a local bakers and butchers found a screw
in a bread bap, also charging the business with failure to safely
maintain food equipment.
Which? found Bexley in London was the poorest performing local
authority, with five other London councils in our bottom 10 (Ealing,
Enfield, Harrow, Richmond upon Thames and Southwark).
Cherwell District Council in North Oxfordshire was rated as the
best performing local authority.
Food Standards Agency (FSA) data also shows that overall food
testing fell by 6.8% from the previous year, continuing a decline,
and testing for labelling and presentation fell by 16.2%.
Which? Executive Director, Richard Lloyd, said: “No one
wants another horsemeat fiasco, so it is very worrying that local
authority food checks are in decline. We want to see a more
strategic approach to food law enforcement that makes the best
use of limited resources and responds effectively to the huge
challenges facing the food supply chain.”
Mad Cow Emerges in Germany
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/mad-cow-emerges-in-germany/
By Linda Larsen (Jan 21, 2014)
At least one case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), otherwise
known as Mad Cow Disease, has been confirmed in Germany. That
country has claimed for years that its country was free of BSE,
but they were wrong. Public health officials claim that the cow
was killed and none of it entered the food chain.
Germany instituted “high standards” for animal feed,
but traces of meat and bone meal were found in cattle feed recently.
A 1994 European Union ban on feeding ruminants meat by-products
was supposed to eliminate those ingredients.
The cow was 10 years old, and tested positive for atypical BSE,
which develops spontaneously in older cows. It had seven offspring.
Five have already been slaughtered, and two others were on the
same farm. They have been tested and killed. The herd is currently
under quarantine, awaiting further testing.
A crisis team is now going to test all cattle over the age of
30 months for the disease. Currently, all cows over the age of
eight years are automatically tested for BSE. In the 1990s, there
was a BSE epidemic in the UK, with almost 1,000 cattle cases diagnosed
every week. France had 90 cases of BSE in cows last year, compared
to 31 in 2012.
The progressive neurological disorder is caused by a prion, a
strange type of protein which is transmissible between animals
when they eat meat of other ruminants. Human beings can contract
the disease by eating meat from diseased animals. The prion
cannot be destroyed by heat.
Chicken dish likely cause of prison food
Source : http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/chicken-dish-likely-cause-of-prison-food-poisoning-1.466338
By GEORGE TOWN: Contaminated food served for lunch caused a breakout
of diarrhoea among 600 inmates of Penang Prison on Saturday, said
state Health Department director Datuk Dr Lailanor Ibrahim.
He said early investigations showed that the ayam masak merah
was the possible reason for the food poisoning suffered by inmates,
but did not rule out dirty utensils as a cause.
Dr Lailanor told the New Straits Times yesterday the harmful bacteria
took at least four hours to react in their stomachs.
Most of the inmates started showing symptoms at 7.30pm, indicating
it was their lunch and not dinner that led to diarrhoea.
"The inmates' lunch hour is from 1pm to 2pm and they started
to feel sick about five hours later.
"We have taken 30 samples from the chicken dish, including
leftover bones and rice for testing.
"Our concern is that the bacteria could have come from elsewhere,
so health officers have extracted samples from the used utensils
at the prison's canteen."
Dr Lailanor said samples were also taken from inmates' stool to
ascertain the type of bacteria.
He said the department would take a week to finish laboratory
tests on the samples to determine the contaminated items.
It was reported that the incident caused a scare among the 1,200
remand prisoners, when half of them came down with diarrhoea.
Medical staff had to dispense oral medication to inmates.
Dr Lailanor confirmed that two of the prisoners, who had vomited
repeatedly, were sent to Penang Hospital for outpatient treatment.
"The two are fine now and have returned to the prison."
Earlier, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said
the inmates had food poisoning due to the ayam masak merah not
being properly cooked.
Avoiding Food Poisoning From the Grocery
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/avoiding-food-poisoning-from-the-grocery-store/
By Linda Larsen (Jan 20, 2014)
Did you know that you can get a foodborne illness just by shopping
at the grocery store? The Grocery Coupon Network has put together
an Infographic to tell you about the hidden dangers lurking at
The shopping cart is the first area of potential problems. There
is a 72% chance that your shopping cart has poop on it. When little
kids sit in the front part of the cart, their diapers can leak
onto the cart. Wipe the cart handle and the “sitting”
area with wipes before you start shopping. Many stores provide
the wipes, but it’s a good idea to carry your own. It’s
a good idea to just avoid putting food in the seat area.
Recalls are usually posted at the store. Check them to make sure
you don’t have any food in your house that is recalled for
pathogenic bacteria, incorrect labeling, or undeclared allergens.
Organic produce can harbor bacteria just like regular produce
can. Veggie misters keep the produce fresh, but also help keep
bacteria alive. Food safety experts recommend that you skip the
free samples, whether at the deli, the produce aisle, or the bakery,
especially those that are just put out for anyone to grab. If
you didn’t wash your hands before taking one, chances are
lots of other people didn’t either.
When you buy raw meat, always bag it in another bag. It’s
possible to pick up E. coli, Salmonella, or Campylobacter from
a raw meat package. Keep the raw meat packages away from your
When you check out, remember that the conveyor belt at the checkout
line can be covered with bacteria and mold. Don’t let unbagged
produce touch the belt. Belts are a “non-food” surface,
so aren’t inspected. Remember to wash your reusable bags,
and separate raw meats from veggies and produce. Then get the
food home quickly and refrigerate perishable foods promptly.
Salmonella Biofilm ; A Sticky, Dangerous
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/salmonella-biofilm-a-sticky-dangerous-problem/
By Bill Marler (Jan 20, 2014)
According to recent research, once Salmonella bacteria get into
a food processing facility and have an opportunity to form a biofilm
on surfaces, it is likely to be extraordinarily difficult, if
not impossible, to kill it, according to a study published ahead
of print in the journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
A biofilm is any group of microorganisms in which cells stick
to each other on a surface. These adherent cells are frequently
embedded within a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric
substance (EPS). Biofilm EPS is a polymeric conglomeration generally
composed of extracellular DNA, proteins, and polysaccharides.
Researchers from National University of Ireland, Galway conducted
a study in which they attempted to kill Salmonella biofilms on
a variety of hard surfaces, using three types of disinfectant.
“We found that it was not possible to kill the Salmonella
cells using any of the three disinfectants, if the biofilm was
allowed to grow for seven days before the disinfectant was applied,”
said Mary Corcoran, a researcher on the study. Even soaking the
biofilms in disinfectant for an hour and a half failed to kill
She warned that food-processing facilities must take strict care
to keep Salmonella out of the clean areas where cooked foods get
further processing and packaged.
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