Organic meets food safety at Qout Market this month
Source : https://www.zawya.com/story/Organic_meets_food_safety_at_Qout_Market_this_month-ZAWYA20140209093121/
By zawya.com (Feb 09 ,2014)
Safe Food, Safe Family participates in Qout Market to educate the youth on the importance of food safety to reduce the number of food poisoning cases in Kuwait
Kuwait, February 9, 2014: "Safe Food, Safe Family", a food safety educational program set forth by Al Yasra Foods, interacted and introduced food safety to patrons of the February edition of Qout Market, a community-based farmers market at Arraya Center.
"Safe Food, Safe Family" nutritionist and spokesperson Dana Ghareeb said: "People are more aware of what they eat today compared to ten years ago, and that is a great step towards improving the health and well-being of our country. However, food safety is an aspect that most people are not exposed to and we definitely want to introduce the topic to the younger crowd as well.
"In addition to speaking to patrons about the basics of food safety, our booth featured an area whereby patrons could learn how to make their own safe detergent by using vinegar and water. There is speculation on the safety levels of chlorine bleach solutions, so this is a great way to make an effective and safe cleaning solution at home.
To make your own detergent at home, you should mix ¼ parts of vinegar to ¾ parts of water. If you find the smell of the vinegar too strong, then feel free to add one or two drops of essential oils of your choosing to enhance the smell".
Qout Market co-organizer, Budour Al-Qassar stated that one of the objectives in hosting the market is to educate the community on food-related topics and that includes food safety. "We always encourage the education behind food, and not just the consumption of it. Teaching the patrons of Qout Market on food safety is a great step in educating others on eliminating the potential risk of food poisoning."
As part of Al Yasra Food's ongoing commitment to promoting food safety and health in Kuwait, "Safe Food, Safe Family" will be hosting events at various locations across Kuwait over the next three months. The events will be open to the general public, showcasing the most important aspects of food safety.
About Safe Food, Safe Family:
A community initiative by Al Yasra Foods, Safe Food, Safe Family (SFSF) aims to start an engaging conversation about food-safety in neighborhoods, in homes, online, and on the streets of Kuwait.
Safe Food, Safe Family believes education is the path for better food safety at home and at the kitchen, and that family well-being starts with food safety. In investing time and effort to educate the audience about this issue, and in empowering them to practice, adopt and share these principles, Safe Food, Safe Family hopes to eradicate and shield the community from avoidable, yet serious, health risks.
For More information on Safe Food, Safe Family, please email: email@example.com or visit: www.safefoodsafefamily.org
Black History Month: Food Safety Pioneer Frederick Jones
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/black-history-month-food-safety-pioneer-frederick-jones/
by Carla Gillespie (Feb 09, 2014)
Frederick McKinley Jones was a prolific inventor whose ideas improved race cars, boats medical equipment and food safety. His design for the first reliable mobile refrigeration system revolutionized the food and medical industries. By preserving blood and medecine for army hospitals and allowing fresh food to travel great distances without spoiling, refrigerated transportation changed the notions of seasonal and regional foods, opened trade doors for crops from around the world and paved the way for frozen foods and supermarkets.
Jones was born on May 17, 1893 in Covington, Kentucky. He left school before graduating and worked at a garage before enlisting in the army to serve as a member of the 809 Pioneer Infantry as an electrician in France during WWI.
Jones repaired, built and raced cars and was constantly inventing things. In 1935, he designed the mobile refrigeration unit that led to the formation of the Thermo King Corp. in Minneapolis. Jone received a patent for the design in 1941. When it was acquired by Ingersoll-Rand Co. in 1997, Thermo King was an international company with over $1 billion in annual sales.
When he died on February 21, 1961 Jones held 61 patents. He was posthumously awarded the National Medal of Technology, one of the highest honors an inventor can receive. Jones was the first Black inventor to ever receive such an honor
More Salmonella in Chicken Parts Than Whole Chickens
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/more-salmonella-in-chicken-parts-than-whole-chickens/
By Linda Larsen (Feb 08, 2014)
The USDA is saying that Salmonella rates in young chickens have dropped 75% since 2006. But at the same time, rates of Salmonella infections in people that are linked to chicken have not decreased. More than a million Americans are sickened by Salmonella in poultry every year.
There is a good reason for this: the Salmonella rate is measured on whole chickens, not parts. And more people buy chicken parts, which are more likely to be contaminated, than whole chickens.
The current Salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms chickens found that 24% of the chicken parts products were contaminated with at least one strain of Salmonella. That is three times the rate of contamination on whole chickens and equivalent to the over rate of chicken part contamination in the marketplace.
In December 2013, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) released a comprehensive strategy to reduce Salmonella in meat and poultry products. At least 1.3 million Americans are sickened by this combination every year. Unfortunately, one way the agency wants to reduce Salmonella is HIMP, a strategy criticized by food safety experts as turning the inspection process over to industry.
HIMP is going to make corporations responsible for providing inspectors instead of the government, will reduce the number of USDA inspectors in every plant, and will increase line speeds for inspecting carcasses up to three times the current rate.
A report last year by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that there are several problems with the USDA HIMP plan. The plan does not include Salmonella performance standards for chicken parts; Salmonella is not considered an adulterant in raw poultry; performance standards are based on national prevalence of the pathogen in a specific product instead of public health impact, and FSIS tests at chicken-slaughter plants only once a year at most.
To properly address this problem, Pew suggests that USDA reconsider its Salmonella performance standards, issue performance standards for chicken parts, conduct unannounced Salmonella testing, and consider establishing limits on contamination for chickens when they enter a slaughterhouse, as opposed to processed chicken. In addition, FSIS should be given mandatory recall authority, and facilities should be closed while under investigation until the problem is fixed.
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The HACCP Inspection Models Project Has More Problems Than Solutions
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/the-haccp-inspection-models-project-has-more-problems-than-solutions/
By Alvin Sewell (Feb 7, 2014)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) intends to implement a sweeping and total change to its food safety program by drastically modifying carcass-by-carcass inspection and reducing the government surveillance of meat and poultry safety. This has become known as the HACCP Based Models Project, or “HIMP.” FSIS has been trying to get HIMP to work for more than a decade, yet Salmonella contamination in poultry production continue to be a significant public health hazard.
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, or “HACCP,” is a change to the federal law for meat and poultry inspection that was put into effect in 1998 for large plants. HACCP puts increased responsibility for food safety on to the companies’ management and lessens government authority to take actions, in real-time, to prevent unsafe food from reaching the consumer.
The HACCP Based Models Project has been functioning in pilot plants for more than 13 years. But, during that time, FSIS has failed to effectively demonstrate the viability of the pilot program through objective and statistically sound measures.
There have been numerous reports that criticize the performance of HIMP by consumer safety groups such as the Government Accountably Project, Public Citizen, the Food and Water Project and the government’s own Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO reported its concerns in December 2001 and again in August 2013, with many of the problems identified in the 2001 report again identified in 2013. This means that problems with the pilot program have been occurring in selected plants for more than a decade.
The pilot plants ship product to consumers as if it had been produced under proven inspection methods, meaning that consumers have no practical way of knowing if the meat and poultry they buy is produced in one of these “experimental plants.”
In a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report entitled, “No Progress in Salmonella During Past 15 Years – Food safety annual report card targets hard-to-prevent infection,” CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. stated:
”Although foodborne infections have decreased by nearly one-fourth in the past 15 years, more than 1 million people in this country become ill from Salmonella each year, and Salmonella accounts for about half of the hospitalizations and deaths among the nine foodborne illnesses CDC tracks through FoodNet.”
In the same report, Elisabeth Hagen, MD., then-Under Secretary for Food Safety in the Department of Agriculture, states,
“… far too many people still get sick from the food they eat, so we have more work to do. That is why we are looking at all options, from farm to table, in order to make food safer and prevent illnesses from E. coli, Salmonella, and other harmful pathogens.”
I was a FSIS employee for 18 years, from 1987 through 2004. I served as a Consumer Safety Inspector in beef, pork and poultry plants in more than 30 different assignments locations. I was promoted five times in my career and was active in improvements in consumer safety and in employee safety and in addressing inadequate staffing within the FSIS inspection program. I was a dedicated public servant and believed strongly in the FSIS mission of consumer protection.
In 1997, FSIS asked the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals (the U.S. government meat inspectors’ union) to submit proposals to redesign the carcass-by-carcass inspection system. I co-wrote and submitted a proposal that would become the precursor of the HIMP model. The union was not opposed to improving the current inspection system. It was fully understood that changes in slaughter processing through mechanization was allowing significant contamination of carcasses to occur after food safety decisions by FSIS inspectors.
The proposed reconfiguration moved government oversight to the end of the process, increased the rate of “finished product standards” testing, and greatly improved the health and safety conditions of inspectors. The proposal also gave sensible flexibility to adapt to temporary inspection staffing changes and corrected shortcomings in the traditional configuration of inspection.
FSIS adopted the proposal, radically modified it, and installed their version of a pilot configuration in several plants. In the process of transforming the union proposal, FSIS declassified disease conditions as a public health concern and restricted control by the inspector at the end of the processing line. Using the FSIS modified model, the final inspector is restricted in taking immediate action to stop contaminated carcasses from passing to the further processing and packing steps. Plant “sorters” replaced federal inspectors for segregation of diseased carcasses. The sorters are not required to have specific training and are under the direct control of plant production managers who are responsible for maximizing production rate and volume.
I was tasked, through a negotiated agreement between FSIS management and the Inspector’s Union, with evaluating the effectiveness of the HIMP pilot. Not only did I personally observe pilot plant performance during periodic visits, I placed union representatives in the pilot plants who evaluated processing performance through independent testing conducted parallel to FSIS and plant quality control testing. Not unexpectedly, the pilot project did not perform as was hoped due to drastic deviations from the union proposal.
One key element of the union’s proposal was to maintain the regulated line speeds of 70 to 91 birds per minute in poultry plants. This was critical due to the observed contamination rates in processing at those line speeds. Increasing the line speeds would logically result in an increased volume of contaminated product. Yet, FSIS deleted this requirement of the proposal and allowed plants to run at any speed that plant management desired.
Pilot plants almost immediately doubled their line speeds and, as predicted, allowed digestive tract contamination of product affecting huge numbers of carcasses without effective remedy. Even under the scrutiny of pilot plant performance, the HIMP model failed to prevent recurring incidents of visible fecal contamination of product, as documented by FSIS Noncompliance Records. Recurring failures of the pilot plants’ HACCP plan occurred with “no effective corrective actions and preventive measures” as required under law. Failures on the part of FSIS management to respond to problems in the pilot plants that I evaluated prompted me to become a “whistleblower” through the Government Accountability Project. I also shared my findings with Public Citizen, an advocate for consumer safety and government integrity.
In 2000, I compiled a report on HIMP pilot plant performance that revealed serious failures of the FSIS surveillance and enforcement of the law. I made exhaustive efforts to get FSIS management to respond to repetitive HACCP failures that were documented on their own FSIS Noncompliance Reports. In March 2000, I presented my report at a public meeting in Washington, D.C. FSIS management officials, industry representatives, and consumer groups attended the meeting, along with members of the media. Following the presentation of my report, the manager of one of the pilot plants left the meeting and immediately withdrew his plant from participation in the HIMP pilot program.
In 2013, the Government Accountability Office published its objections over data gathering in HIMP pilot plants. The GAO report noted:
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has not thoroughly evaluated the performance of each of the pilot projects over time even though the agency stated it would do so when it announced the pilot projects [...] Specifically, there are limitations in the agency’s data analyses in its report evaluating the pilot project at young chicken plants, and there is no report evaluating the pilot project at young turkey plants.”
The HACCP Based Models Project configuration has significant problems that must be addressed if consumer safety is to be safeguarded. In future articles for Food Safety News, I will outline serious problems in a deregulated government surveillance program, the over-reliance on anti-microbial interventions in meat and poultry production, and the evolution of a failing inspection program to protect consumers from foodborne illness resulting from contaminated meat and poultry. I will also detail specific improvements to the federal inspection system that can be made to correct shortcomings in consumer safety.
Food safety tips if power goes out and stays out
Source : http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2014/02/food_safety_tips_if_power_goes.html
By Lynne Terry (Feb 07, 2014)
Commuters in the Portland area crawled along Friday, plowing through the snow but there were no power outages.
However, if electricity is ever cut, and stays off for more than four hours, the food in your refrigerator and freezer could spoil.
Here's what you need to know:
Freezers (including freezer sections of refrigerators) that are half full can safely hold food for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours.
Refrigerators (other than the freezer section) pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers work fine.
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw out any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
As a general rule, it's good to keep items on hand that don't require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on an outdoor grill. Shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, water and canned goods should be part of a planned emergency food supply. Don't forget about your pets either and always keep a hand-held can opener for an emergency.
For more information, check out the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Remember food safety during winter storms
Source : http://www.14news.com/story/24651313/remember-food-safety-during-winter-storms
By Sean Edmondson (Feb 06, 2014)
EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The US Department of Agriculture is giving out food safety tips to remember during winter storms.
Here are some steps to follow if the power goes out:
Keep appliance thermometers in both the refrigerator and the freezer to ensure temperatures remain food safe during a power outage. Safe temperatures are 40°F or lower in the refrigerator, 0°F or lower in the freezer.
Freeze water in one-quart plastic storage bags or small containers prior to a storm. These containers are small enough to fit in around the food in the refrigerator and freezer to help keep food cold. Remember, water expands when it freezes so don't overfill the containers.
Freeze refrigerated items, such as leftovers, milk and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately—this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
Know where you can get dry ice or block ice.
Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than four hours.
Group foods together in the freezer—this ‘igloo' effect helps the food stay cold longer.
Avoid putting food outside in ice or snow, because it attracts wild animals or could thaw when the sun comes out.
Keep a few days' worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or cooling.
Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
Place meat and poultry to one side of the freezer or on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.
Steps to follow after a weather emergency:
Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
Never taste a food to decide if it's safe.
When in doubt, throw it out.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the Food Safety and Inspection Service's virtual representative available 24 hours a day at www.AskKaren.gov or m.AskKaren.gov on a smartphone.
Georgia ag commish vows to fight federal food safety regulations
Source : http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2014-02-05/georgia-ag-commish-vows-fight-federal-food-safety-regulations
By Walter C. JonesMorris (Feb 05, 2014)
ATLANTA – Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black pledged to a farm group Wednesday to fight implementation of proposed federal food-safety regulations that he said would cripple Georgia’s produce industry.
“If we allow this to stand on produce, they’ll come back for peanuts and a number of businesses,” he said. “The sky will be the limit if we allow this to stand.”
The draft regulations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are designed to implement new safeguards enacted by Congress three years ago in the Food Safety Modernization Act. They come in the wake of numerous outbreaks traced to food-borne illness.
The FDA estimates 48 million Americans suffer from some form of food poisoning, with 100,000 hospitalized and thousands killed. Fresh produce is a focus because food processors and restaurants are already regularly inspected, but salads and fruits eaten raw don’t subject pathogens to sterilizing heat.
Black’s concern is that the rigorous new precautions will be onerous and expensive.
“If you don’t like what they’re doing to health care, wait until they get hold of food,” he said.
Agriculture is Georgia’s largest economic segment, responsible for nearly 400,000 jobs and a $77 billion impact. To protect it, Black pledged to the Georgia Agribusiness Council he headed before his election that he would keep the state out front of efforts to modify the regulations.
The FDA has extended the public-comment period and will issue a revised proposal next year. Black, though, lamented that few of his colleagues in other states showed similar outrage at a meeting last week.
“If we have to lead from our industry here and our congressional delegation here, then by gum, that’s what we’ll do,” he said.
The biggest concern Georgia farmers have, according to Agribusiness Council President Bryan Tolar, is that compliance will leave them unable to compete with cheaper imports that don’t have to meet the same safety standards.
“We’re all about food safety. It’s not about trying to get around those responsibilities,” he said. “What we want is an even playing field.”
US Food Safety Advances For 2014 – Reform, Chicken And GMOs
Source : http://www.ibtimes.com/us-food-safety-advances-2014-reform-chicken-gmos-1553389
By Nat Rudarakanchana (Feb 05, 2014)
Former federal senior food safety official David Acheson, now a private expert with The Acheson Group, recently forecast an eventful 2014 for food safety advocates.
Acheson used to work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food safety service, as well as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both agencies have joint oversight of U.S. food safety.
1. Draft Regulations Will Advance Significantly – The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act
The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) food safety reforms are still being enacted, as the FDA finalizes specific rules and guidance for the industry. The FDA could work through another round of public commentary in 2014, tweaking in anticipation of finalized rules by 2015, wrote Acheson.
The act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in January 2011 but has since moved slowly as the food industry dissects details. It is the most significant food safety overhaul in decades.
“In the next version, we also expect to see supplier controls and environmental monitoring, and possibly finished product testing for high-risk foods,” wrote Acheson. Food defense, or protecting food from intentional interference via sabotage or terrorism, is also expected to be a hotly debated topic.
A proposed rule about clean and sanitary food transport could come as soon as early 2014. “It is likely that it will put trucking companies in a tailspin. They currently do the minimum, and this could really shake them up and have them looking for solutions around reducing food safety risk,” said Acheson.
Questions of adequate funding for implementation will also remain. Training food inspectors and inspecting imports are expected to cost significantly, with total reform requiring $583 million over five years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Lawsuits could happen if the FDA oversteps court-ordered deadlines.
2. Chicken Takes Center Stage
Critical reports from December 2013, from the Pew Charitable Trusts and Consumer Reports, could force the government’s hand in the regulation of chicken.
The reports centered on salmonella controls and excessive bacteria found in raw chicken.
“The [Consumer Reports] report has led to a letter from the magazine’s advocacy group to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, as well as a statement from the National Chicken Council stating that eliminating naturally occurring bacteria entirely is not feasible and that all bacteria can be killed with proper cooking,” wrote Acheson.
”We don’t expect any such association, consumer or media advocacy to end anytime soon.”
3. Recalls, Genetically Modified Foods (GMO), and Nanotechnology
Acheson predicts that food safety recalls, alongside controversy over GMO labeling and nanotechnology, could embed more deeply in mainstream awareness in 2014.
As the food industry prepares for stricter preventative controls thanks to the FSMA, facilities could self-scrutinize more closely and boost the frequency of recalls. Equally, better-implemented controls could reduce recalls, says Acheson.
“In either case, we are overdue for a horrible outbreak that will have FDA off-guard and both Congress and consumers screaming that nothing has changed,” he said. One of the deadliest food safety outbreaks in decades happened in 2011, where 37 people died as a result of the Jensen Farms cantaloupe listeria outbreak.
More calls for GMO labeling and a standardized global approach to the topic are expected by Acheson. GMO labeling cropped up in the agendas of many state politicians, and passed state legislatures in Connecticut and Maine. Washington state rejected a law mandating GMO labeling by 54 percent to 45 percent, after grocers and many food companies lobbied against it, raising $22 million.
“It seems to be a small subset of consumers who really care, so the real question for 2014 is whether this [GMO labeling] will become a mainstream issue, and how much education will be needed for consumers to understand the full extent of GMOs, including its beneficial uses,” wrote Acheson.
“Very similar perspectives and questions are applicable for nano[technology],” he said. Questions about nanotechnology regulation, and whether it can be accepted as generally safe in food additives or food packaging, could see partial answers in 2014.
Yes, Raw Chicken Liver Pâté can carry Campylobacter
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/yes-raw-chicken-liver-pate-can-carry-campylobacter/
By Bill Marler (Feb 04, 2014)
Lynne Terry reports that since December 2013, Oregon health officials have been looking into the source of Campylobacteriosis that has sickened five individuals in Oregon and Ohio. All cases report eating undercooked or raw chicken livers; most cases consumed chicken livers prepared as pâté. The cases in Ohio ate chicken liver pâté while visiting Oregon. The Oregon Health Authority is working with USDA and CDC.
Ms. Terry reports that the chicken livers were processed at Draper Valley Farms in Mt. Vernon, Washington. One person ate chicken liver pâté at the Heathman; another dined at Wildwood; the third Oregonian purchased chicken liver pate prepared and sold by a Market of Choice store. Draper Valley did not issue a recall. Under U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations, processors are allowed to sell chicken livers tainted with a high level of Campylobacter.
This is the second reported multistate outbreak of campylobacteriosis associated with consumption of undercooked chicken liver in the United States.
Chicken livers should be considered a risky food. A recent study found up to 77 percent of chicken livers tested were positive for Campylobacter. Washing chicken livers is not enough; chicken livers can be contaminated on the inside and on the outside, which is why thorough cooking is the only way to kill bacteria in contaminated livers.
Pâté made with chicken liver is often undercooked to preserve texture. It can be difficult to tell if pâté is cooked thoroughly because livers are often partially cooked then blended with other ingredients and chilled. Pâté prepared at a USDA inspected facility is considered safe to eat because in order to pass inspection the livers must be cooked to a proper temperature.
11 Ill in Scottish E. Coli Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/02/scottish-e-coli-outbreak-hits-11/
By News Desk (Feb 03, 2014)
At least 11 people are now known to be ill with E. coli O157:H7 after visiting Glasgow’s Hydro stadium, according to the BBC.
Health officials say the burgers were consumed at events between Jan. 17-25. Anyone who attended recent events at the stadium and then became ill is advised to contact their healthcare provider.
All known cases are recovering at home. Investigators are looking into whether or not the illnesses are connected to consuming burgers or any other food items sold at the stadium.
Listeria Hysteria or Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/listeria-hysteria-or-between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place/
By Bill Marler (Feb 03, 2014)
Joel Ebert of the South Dakota Capital Journal got the headline “Listeria Hysteria.”
Perhaps it would have been better – although a bit longer – “Raw Milk Farmer and South Dakota Department of Agriculture Caught between a Rock and a Hard Place.”
Late last week the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) announced that raw milk from Jerseydale Farms, a Brookings, South Dakota-based raw milk producer, tested positive for Listeria. According to a posting on the Department of Agriculture’s website:
Listera [monocytogenes] can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people and individuals with weakened immune systems. Listeria [monocytogenes] 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.
The SDDA then announced:
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.
Clearly, this announcement was not good for Jerseydale Farms’ business.
The announcement and warning about Jerseydale Farms’ milk also occurred prior to the completion of final Listeria test results that would determine the specie type. A spokesperson for the SDDA told Mr. Ebert when the final testing was complete a week after the announcement, the sample collected from Jerseydale Farms had tested positive for Listeria innocua, not the potentially deadly, Listeria monocytogenes.
SDDA told Mr. Ebert that SDDA was obligated to inform the public, even though the tests about the specie of Listeria had not been completed at the time of the announcement. However, although the SDDA appears to stand behind its initial announcement, Trever Gilkerson of Jerseydale Farms said the decision negatively impacted the dairy.
Therefore, “Between and Rock and a Hard Place” seems a bit more apt – had SDDA not announced the test result and waited a week for the final result, and it had been Listeria monocytogenes and people became ill, we would be calling for heads to roll. Of course the farmer now wants those same heads to roll for the test results coming back for Listeria innocua instead of monocytogenes.
The SDDA looks a bit foolish and the farmer is understandably upset. I guess the good news is that no one got sick. That is good for customers and good for the farmer.
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