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3/27, 2003
ISSUE:59

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Fish to fight food safety

27/03/03 - Improving food safety The natural way would certainly appeal to the increasingly health vigilant consumer. Scientists in the UK have been looking at a variety of natural antimicrobials that could extend food shelf-life and improve its safety by reducing the presence of pathogens.

According to researchers at Thames Valley university in London, food products - such as fruit juice, beer, beef or salmon fillets ?could be protected through different combinations of chitosan extracted from shellfish, bacteriocins produced by bacteria and components from essential oils.
The EU-funded project, co-ordinated by Professor Sibel Roller at Thames Valley, developed mathematical models for growth of Listeria monocytogenes and Pencillium chrysogenum in a model food, using natural preservatives, pH, water activity and temperature as variables.

The scientists report that they set to emphasise the synergistic effects of the antimicrobials, but also included other components such as salt, hydrogen peroxide, sulphite, organic acids and EDTA.

New bacteriocins from two lactic acid bacteria were found to protect beer and beverages, and a combination of chitosan, carvacrol and hydrogen peroxide showed to be efficient in surface cleaning of stainless steel, reducing counts of Listeria, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and Saccharomyces.

Finally, a novel combination of chitosan and carnocin allowed a reduced content of sulphite addition to chilled pork sausages, improved shelf life and a reduced risk of Listeria innocua. The researchers also found synergistic effects between chitosan and benzoate in juices and culture media, chitosan and sulphite in comminuted pork and sausages, and bacteriocins for the prevention of spoilage in alcoholic beverages.

IS THE FOOD SUPPLY SAFE FROM TERRORIST ATTACKS?
March 2003
Food Safety Network Factsheet
http://www.eatwelleatsafe.ca/factsheets/terrorism.PDF
Food terrorism is defined as the deliberate contamination of the food or water supply. According to the World Health Organization, the contamination of food for terrorist purposes is a real and current threat, and contamination of food at one location could have global public health implications. Food can be used to spread chemical, biological or radionuclear agents.
The safeguards and many points of inspection and monitoring already in place would likely prevent contaminated food from reaching and affecting large numbers of consumers. Canada has no recorded incidents of food terrorism and there was only one case in US history where in 1984, 751 people became sick
after members of a religious sect infected Oregon salad bars with salmonella. Terrorist attacks can be difficult to distinguish from natural events considering the number and variety of human foodborne illnesses coupled with crop and livestock diseases. Outbreaks of both unintentional and intentional foodborne disease can be managed by the same mechanisms usually contained in a crisis management plan. Emergencies, including food terrorism, can be efficiently and effectively countered with precautions, coupled with strong surveillance and response capacity. In order to be prepared for any incidents of food terrorism, it is essential to establish procedures, plan
and train prior to actual events. The greatest threat to the food industry is likely the economic impact of terrorism. The solution lies in developing a preventive strategy for a terrorist attack similar to the elements of a Hazard Analysis Critical
Control Point (HACCP) plan. As its name implies, HACCP identifies critical points along the food production and processing chain where contamination is most likely to occur.
How might terrorists attack the food supply? Large farms and food processing plants with widespread distribution networks
are vulnerable targets for food terrorism. Potential weapons range from sophisticated bio-engineered pathogens to other agents that are part of the natural environment. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has cited the following biological agents as potential weapons that could be used to deliberately poison the food supply: Clostridium botulinum; Salmonella spp., E.coli O157:H7, Vibrio cholerae. An attack could occur at any point along the food supply chain from farm to fork. Terrorists could create harm through: (1) final product contamination using either chemical or biological agents with the intent to kill or cause illness among consumers, (2) disruption of food distribution systems, (3) damage to the agricultural economy by introducing devastating crop pathogens or exotic animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, or (4) hoaxes, using the mass media or Internet, which create anxiety and fear. Most experts state that water reservoirs are unlikely targets for bioterrorism. Methods already in place to filter and clean the drinking water supply are considered effective against most biological agents. Chlorine, for example, protects drinking water from water-borne bacteria and would neutralize most biological agents. The large volume of the water supply would significantly dilute a biological agent before it reaches the tap, limiting the potential to do harm. What is being done to prevent food terrorism incidents in Canada? Food safety is well regulated in Canada. The main government bodies responsible for food safety include the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, which reports to the Minister of Health, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which reports to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. Laws and regulations which set out the Government of Canadas role in food safety include the Food and Drugs Act; Canada Agricultural Products Act; Canadian Environmental Protection Act; Meat Inspection Act; Health of Animals Act and the Pest Control Products Act. In collaboration with provincial Departments of Agriculture and other agri-food sector stakeholders (such as industry), Agriculture and Agri-Food
Canada, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have jointly established the Food and Agriculture Emergency Response System (FAERS). The purpose of FAERS is to mobilize all agri-food sector resources to ease the effects of emergencies on the sector, and to ensure the continuity, adequacy and safety
of Canada's agri-food system. In the event of a terrorist incident, the Government of Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) would be responsible for crisis management
including law enforcement, intelligence gathering, surveillance,
negotiation, and investigation. The RCMP is assisted by
provincial/territorial and municipal police departments. These departments are responsible for maintaining public safety within their provincial/territorial borders. The Joint National Chemical/Biological Response Team (JNBCRT) is also available to respond to incidents involving the criminal use of biological and chemical agents. The JNBCRT would be deployed in support of the police agency that has jurisdiction for the incident.
Information Sources: Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. (2002). Food security and
bioterrorism. Retrieved March 26, 2003, from
http://www.crfa.ca/foodsafety/foodsafety_foodsecurity.htm
Khan, A.S., Swerdlow, D.L., Juranek, D.D. (2001). Precautions against biological and chemical terrorism directed at food and water supplies. Public Health Reports, 116, 3-14. Sobel, J., Khan, A.S., & Swerdlow, D.L. (2002). Threat of a biological
terrorist attack on the US food supply: The CDC perspective. The Lancet, 359, 874-80.
World Health Organization. (2002). Terrorist threats to food: Guidance for establishing and strengthening prevention and response systems. Retrieved March 26, 2003, from
http://www.who.int/fsf/documents/terrorism_and_food.en.pdf
For more information on food terrorism 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.

Experts: U.S. Not Ready for Toxin Attack
2 hours, 39 minutes ago Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!
http://story.news.yahoo.com/
By LAURA MECKLER, Associated Press writer
WASHINGTON - Easy to find and easy to produce, botulinum toxin is the most poisonous natural substance on Earth. In the hands of a bioterrorist, a single gram ?the weight of a paper clip ?could kill more than 1 million people. "We are making this the highest priority," said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health (news - web sites), one of the federal government's top bioterrorism officials. "We are really marshaling all available resources." The toxin easily poisons those who eat it, and experts fear terrorists could infect the nation's food supply and sicken thousands, making the 2001 anthrax attacks-by-mail seem minor by comparison. The government only has enough antitoxin available to treat victims of a small attack ?one official put the inventory at more than 1,000 doses. And the special treatment needed for children is produced only by a California program now in jeopardy because of the state's budget shortfall.The issue takes on particular urgency as the United States wages war with Iraq (news - web sites). In 1995, Iraq told the United Nations (news - web sites) that it had made more than 5,000 gallons of botulinum toxin and loaded much of it into bombs and warheads. Inspectors believe Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) actually has materials capable of producing twice as much toxin ?enough to kill the entire human population three times over. Unlike smallpox, the most widely publicized bioterror threat, botulism is not contagious and, with medical treatment, the vast majority survive. But while smallpox no longer exists in the wild, botulism is easily acquired. It's found in soil and can contaminate poorly prepared food. About 120 Americans get botulism each year. Roughly three in four are infants, who can get it from trace amounts in honey. Disseminating botulinum toxin would not be particularly difficult, though someone would need basic microbiology skills, experts say. Heating food long enough at a high enough temperature will kill the organism, but foods like fruits and vegetables aren't cooked. Milk and other dairy products aren't heated long enough during processing to kill the toxin. Botulism causes paralysis, starting at the head and moving down the body. Victims become limp, and at the beginning they can't move their eyes, facial muscles or vocal cords. They have trouble swallowing. ventually, the paralysis moves through the central nervous system, and patients must be put on ventilators or their lungs would stop pumping. It's the same paralysis that makes Botox (short for botulinum toxin) an effective tool for smoothing wrinkles. A tiny, purified amount is injected into people's faces, temporarily paralyzing the muscles beneath the skin. Botox is also used to treat certain nerve disorders. But in larger ?though still tiny ?quantities, it can be deadly. Botulinum toxin has never been used successfully as a weapon, though the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo tried and failed to disperse it in aerosols at least three times in the early 1990s. Still, experts fear both small- and large-scale attacks. They cite, as an example of a small attack, cult followers spreading salmonella on salad bars at 10 Oregon restaurants in 1984, sickening about 750 people. If even a few people were exposed, "that could cause panic and terror," said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, who is advising federal officials on this issue. Much more terrifying would be poisoning food or milk during processing. "That would be something that could really bring the country to its knees," Doyle said. Milk represents a particular concern, according to experts in and outside the government. If botulinum toxin were present, it might not be killed during the processing stage. There's also concern about the vulnerability of tankers transporting milk. Milk producers have tried to plug certain security holes, sealing tankers after they've been cleaned and beefing up security checks in hiring workers, an industry spokesman said. As they deal with the threat, federal officials also are trying to beef up the nation's existing stockpile of antitoxins, made from the blood of vaccinated horses. Additional supplies won't be ready until year's end, at the earliest. Researchers are also working on a new, genetically engineered antitoxin, which could be easily and quickly reproduced in large quantities, but that is still at least a few years away. Federal officials are also considering taking over the California program that is the sole producer of antitoxin for children. Gov. Gray Davis (news - web sites) has proposed eliminating the program because of California's budget crisis.

Current Food Safety News

03/27. WATER SUPPLIERS ASSESSING PLANT SECURITY
03/27. IS THE FOOD SUPPLY SAFE FROM TERRORIST ATTACKS?
03/27. FSIS TECHNICAL SERVICES CENTER POSTS NEW INTERACTIVE KNOWLED
03/27. DANGEROUS LEVELS OF METAL TRACES FOUND IN VEGETABLES IN
03/27. FSIS to hold international food safety conference
03/27. NAMP warns processors of phony 'security scam'
03/27. BSE still hard to control
03/27. Governor restores funding to state botulism program
03/27. BIS ready to implement revised bottled water standards anyti
03/27. Environmental threat or a way to feed the world?
03/27. E. coli feared in Pembroke
03/27. High Pressure Processing gets the spotlight
03/27. Global meet on food safety concludes

03/26. MEAT HYGIENE DIRECTIVES ARE NOW AVAILABLE
03/26. Terror-Botulism [Treatment funding Restored]
03/26. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FOOD SAFETY: THE CONFERENCE HAD
03/26. N.B. CORONER'S JURY ON E. COLI OUTBREAK WANTS TOUGHER DAY CA -
03/26. Single serve food packaging still safest
03/26. Food Safe pushes its safety message
03/26. GM food riskier to the environment
03/26. Marler says many cases still pending in ConAgra E. coli laws
03/26. Gov. Davis to cut botulism program now key to biodefense
03/26. Pests at pizzeria
03/26. Italy: FP6 Priority 5 information day, Parma
03/26. Extra risks for elderly

03/25. Warning Issued After Bacteria Found In Water
03/25. Many Suits Still Pending in Beef Cases
03/25. Safety of ephedra, linked to deaths and illness, debated
03/25. EFSA, the way forward
03/25. Muscat: International Conference on food safety
03/25. PROVE IT TRACEABILITY SYSTEMS PROTECTING THE INTEGRITY OF Y
03/25. LOW-FAT YOGURT HAS ADDED A AND B CULTURES AND LESS LACTOSE
03/25. CITY SHOULD QUICKLY ADOPT THREE-COLOUR EATERY RATING; PUBLIC
03/25. S. 2803 - SAFER MEAT, POULTRY, AND FOOD ACT
03/25. UNPRECEDENTED COURT DECISION IN OAKLAND
03/25. MODERNIZING MEAT INSPECTION
03/25. A MODEL SWIFT
03/25. BEEF INDUSTRY MAKING STRIDES IN FIGHT AGAINST E. COLI
03/25. Experts: U.S. Not Ready for [Botulinum] Toxin Attack
03/25. Warning over food safety rules
03/25. Transportation Department sets guidelines for secure truck t
03/25. USDA's Food Safety Mobile starts its 'road show' this spring
03/25. Enterococci - what a family!

03/24. CITY WILL VOTE ON TORONTO FOOD SIGNS
03/24. FOOD SECURITY
03/24. FOOD SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM SUPPORTED BY KIDNEY
03/24. CAREER OPPORTUNITY: LABORATORY AND RESEARCH SPECIALIST II
03/24. INVITATION HFMA CONTAMINANTS WORKSHOP
03/24. CHICKEN, EGG GROWERS LEAD SAFETY

03/23. SAFE WATER WILL SAVE LIVES
03/23. SPRING IS A GOOD TIME OF YEAR FOR ANNUAL WELL CHECKUP
03/23. EPA withdraws rule on antimicrobials
03/23. FDA publishes food security guide
03/23. USDA to modernize meat inspections

03/22. Ag biotech research in EU falling
03/22. FDA issues new security guidance
03/22. USDA to modernize meat inspections
03/22. Purdue and IU unveil national food safety program
03/22. Biofilms and FDA initiatives highlight final day

03/21. Labs license genetic ID¡¯s GMO testing technology
03/21. Ringing in the changes...
03/21. Triumph for Denmark in food additive case
03/21. Neogen expands overseas
03/21. Public health lab poised to probe any outbreaks
03/21. Finland, Italy OK food safety structure compromise
03/21. Agricore United committed to food safety accountability

03/20. MONTANA'S RESPONDS TO CONSUMER CONCERNS
03/20. AGENCY CONSULTS ON NEW MEAT REGULATIONS
03/20. WHAT IS LISTERIOSIS? -
03/20. NFPA STRONGLY QUESTIONS?RECOMMENDATIONS IN GAO REPORT ON F
03/20. GUIDANCE FOR INDUSTRY: FDA ISSUES FOOD AND COSMETIC SECURITY
03/20. NEW INFORMATION STATEMENTS ON IFST WEBSITE
03/20. AQUENTIUM, INC. TARGETS EAST COAST FOR FOOD SAFE, INC. OPERA
03/20. Farmers, Ag Officials and Food Companies Guard Against Biote
03/20. Steps Taken to Protect State Ag From Terrorists
03/20. USA: USDA presents options to modernise meat inspection
03/20. FSIS issues guidelines on security monitoring for meat plant
03/20. Shaw's Supermarkets to sell irradiated ground beef
03/20. Producer group sends alert on signs of terror attack on live
03/20. Veneman offers get-tough food safety plan; AMI: It's 'punish
03/20. FOOD SAFETY SUMMIT REPORT: Seven deadly sins of food safety
03/20. Agriculture Council adopts common position on GMO legislatio
03/20. Canned foods can keep for years
03/20. Expert outlines ways to avoid human contact with CWD
03/20. Program to protect water may be costly
03/20. USDA food safety message goes cross country
03/20. In about-face, USDA to seek more food safety power

NEW METHODS

03/27. RADIO FREQUENCIES BLAST BACTERIA IN FRUIT JUICE
03/27. Fish to fight food safety
03/25. Safety labelling system
03/24. Patent on new X-ray system for SureBeam
03/24. Approval for Salmonella Food Pathogen Test
03/23. Carbonating Cow Manure
03/22. 'Spice'- antibody cocktail to prevent foodborne infections
03/22. ¡®Spice¡¯ to prevent food poisoning
03/21. Japanese researchers find enzyme capable of BSE destruction
03/19. Bacteria may protect cheese from listeria


Current USDA/FDA News
International Meat and Poultry Food Safety Conference
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated March 26, 2003
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated March 26, 2003

FSIS Increases Efficiency In Detecting Salmonella (
FSIS Constituent Alert: March 26, 2003
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated March 25, 2003
Dietary Supplements Containing Ephedrine Alkaloids
Speeches Page: Updated March 25, 2003
FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated March 21, 2003
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated March 21, 2003

RADIO FREQUENCIES BLAST BACTERIA IN FRUIT JUICE
March 27, 2003
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Jim Core
Radio waves may be invisible, but they enrich life in many ways. Without
them, radios, televisions, cellular phones and global positioning systems
wouldn't be possible. Now, an Agricultural Research Service scientist is
using them to make fruit juice safer.
The radio frequency electric fields (RFEF) technique inactivates bacteria in
apple juice without heating it. Although RFEF has been studied for more than
50 years as a pasteurization method, this is the first confirmed instance of
a successful inactivation of bacteria using this technique in fruit juice.
Conventional pasteurization using heat can affect the nutrient composition
and flavor of fruit and vegetable juices. The RFEF technique itself is
nonthermal because the inactivation is not produced by heat. However, when
moderate heat is applied, the combined effect is much greater than the
effect of either process used alone.
David Geveke, a chemical engineer in the ARS Food Safety Intervention
Technologies Research Unit at the agency's Eastern Regional Research Center
at Wyndmoor, Pa., built a specially designed treatment chamber to apply
high-intensity RFEF to apple juice. Researchers conducted experiments using
Escherichia coli K12, a harmless form of bacteria used by researchers to
study similarly behaving pathogenic strains, such as E. coli O157:H7.
Apple juice was exposed to electrical field strengths of up to 20 kilovolts
per centimeter and frequencies in the range of 15 to 70 kilohertz, using a
4-kilowatt power supply. For some perspective, lightning occurs at field
strengths of 30 to 40 kilovolts per centimeter, and 20 kilohertz is
considered to be in the upper range of human hearing. Increasing the field
strength and temperature, as well as decreasing the frequency, enhanced
inactivation, according to Geveke. E. coli in juice at 50 degrees Celsius
(about 122 degrees Fahrenheit) was reduced by 99.9 percent.
RFEF could provide an alternative to pasteurization by heat. According to
Geveke, the RFEF process could be used to treat heat-sensitive products such
as fruit juices, vegetable juices and liquid egg products.
ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research
agency.

Current Outbreak
03/27. Over 1,000 Students Show Symptoms of Food Poisoning
03/24. 2 DIE, 10 HOSPITALIZED FROM EATING GLOBEFISH
03/23. History proves the greatest athletes can stomach food poison
03/19. Attack of the tainted tomatoes
03/19. Center for Disease Control joins investigation


Current Food Recall
03/27. Undeclared peanut protein in ANMOL brand TIL LADDU and CHIKKI TIL
03/27. Sincere Trading Co. Recalls Dried Plum Due to Undeclared Sulfites
03/27. Kien Import Corp. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Dried Plum
03/27. Kien Import Has Recalled Dried Plum
03/27. Sincere Trading Has Recalled Dried Plum
03/27. Royal Food Has Recalled Duchess brand sliced peaches
03/27. Elan Nutrition Has Recalled Lean Body Hi Protein Meal Replacement Bar
03/27. Pinnacle Food Has Recalled Hearty Hero Cheeseburger Sandwiches
03/27. Ampacco Has Recalled Always Save brand Taco Seasoning Mix

03/26. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared peanuts in ANMOL brand TIL (SESAME) LADDU
03/26. Mon Chong Loong Trading Corp. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites
03/26. Consumer Alert: Undeclared Sulfites in Sour Bamboo Shoot Tip
03/26. Allergen Alert: Gusto Thai Preserved Pineapple
03/26. Ho's Trading Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Glace Coconut
03/26. A Chauo Has Recalled Siamese Coins Sour Bamboo Shoot Tip
03/26. Mon Chong Loong Trading Has Recalled "Dried Potatoes"

03/25. Consumer Alert: Undeclared Sulfites in Galil Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil
03/25. Recall Update: "Galil Sun Dried Tomatoes in Oil" More Product Codes
03/25. Ho¡¯s Trading Has Recalled Glace Coconut
03/25. Gusto Foods Has Recalled Thai Preserved Pineapple

03/24. RECETTES MAISON brand products may support the growth of dangerous bacteria
03/23. Pepperoni may support the growth of dangerous bacteria
03/23. Undeclared milk protein in YOMA DARK BELGIAN CHOCOLATE BARS
03/22. Reiter Dairy Recalls Chocolate Milk Due to Excess Vitamins A and D
03/22. Shaw's Supermarkets Voluntarily Removes from Sale Shaw's In-Store Bakery Brownies
03/21. Carriage House Companies Recalls Food Club Tartar Sauce Due to Undeclared Eggs
03/21. Carriage House Companies Has Recalled Food Club Tartar Sauce
03/20. E. COLI DISCOVERED IN BAIE ST. PAUL
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"

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