FoodHACCP Newsletter
03/02 2014 ISSUE:589


Drastic reduction in food safety tests could KILL warns leading scientist
Source : http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/drastic-reduction-food-safety-tests-3249954
By Ben Rossington (Mar 17, 2014)
Government budget cuts to food safety tests in Britain could KILL, an expert warned last night.
The professor leading the review into last year’s horsemeat scandal warned that savings cuts to food testing and inspection could put lives at risk.
Anticipated cuts of 40% to Trading Standards will see the number of officers drop to less than 2,000 while the number of public analyst laboratories, where food is tested, has already fallen from 15 to 11 in the last three years.
Prof. Chris Elliott, who heads the Institute for Global Food Security in Belfast and is leading the horsemeat review, said: “What we have to be careful of is that the budget cutting gets to a point where the integrity of our supply chains, the safety of the food that people eat, gets compromised to such a point that people start to die.
“I certainly hope that it doesn’t happen and all the indications are at the minute that the food industry is stepping up to the mark.
“They’re doing more checking and testing; but the food industry can’t do it on their own. What we need are strong regulators and well-resourced regulators.”
Andy Foster, from the Trading Standards Institute, told Channel 4's Dispatches programme: “You take money out of sampling, you take money out of inspection, you take money out of the consumer protection system. You will get increased levels of fraudulent activity – and that’s a big concern.
“When you have some authorities – like some in London – operating on one trading standards officer, how on earth can they possibly deal with all their demands, from fraudulent activity?”
The warnings come as it was revealed yesterday official tests to make sure food is labelled properly have halved in the last five years.
The number of tests have plunged to an all-time low, government figures show, raising fears of a second horsemeat scandal .
Experts in West Yorkshire found more than a third of shop and takeaway food they tested was wrongly labelled.
But overall checks are down from 21,343 in 2008 to 9,958 last year.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “In the last year, we have taken action to prevent food crime, including increasing unannounced inspections of meat cutting plants and boosting funding to £2 million to support local authorities’ food sampling programme.”

1 Sick Dog Prompts Salmonella Pig Ear Recall – 615 Sick Humans Prompts Silence?
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/1-sick-dog-prompts-salmonella-pig-ear-recall-615-sick-humans-prompts-silence/
By Bill Marler (Mar 15, 2014)
On May 17, 2011 Boss Pet Products, Inc. announced that it recalled its Diggers Natural Treat Pig Ear pet treats because the products had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Boss Pet had been notified by one of its suppliers, Keys Manufacturing Company, Inc., that a batch of Keys’ pig ear treats tested positive for Salmonella. Keys Manufacturing had initiated a voluntary product recall in cooperation with the FDA and had identified several shipments of potentially affected products which Boss Pet shipped out under its Diggers brand in November, 2010 through April, 2011.
There had been a report of one dog in Missouri having Salmonella. Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.  Salmonella can affect animals eating the product and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the product or any surfaces exposed to these products.
Over the last year the CDC reported a total of 481 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg in 25 states and Puerto Rico and an earlier total of 134 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in 13 states.  Although FSIS issued a Public Health Alert following the second outbreak announcement, no recall was issued despite the chicken products being linked to Foster Farms.
People infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

Why are Chicken Pet Treats Recalled for Salmonella, but Chicken for Human Consumption Not?
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-policy-regulation/why-are-chicken-pet-treats-recalled-for-salmonella-but-chicken-for-human-consumption-not/
By Bill Marler (Mar 15, 2014)
On November 4, 2013, Bailey’s Choice recalled its 5 oz. packages of chicken treats because they had the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.  The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) revealed the presence of Salmonella in some 5 oz. packages of chicken treats.
Over the last year the CDC reported a total of 481 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg in 25 states and Puerto Rico and an earlier total of 134 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg in 13 states.  Although FSIS issued a Public Health Alert following the second outbreak announcement, no recall was issued despite the chicken products being linked to Foster Farms.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Salmonella outbreaks. The Salmonella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Salmonella 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 Salmonella lawyers have litigated Salmonella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, tomatoes, ground turkey, salami, sprouts, cereal, peanut butter, and food served in restaurants.  The law firm has brought Salmonella lawsuits against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Peanut Corporation of America, Sheetz, Taco Bell, Subway and Wal-Mart.

 

 



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March 20-21, 2014


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After Salmonella Outbreak, Bankruptcy Sunland Plant Heads To Auction
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/after-salmonella-outbreak-bankruptcy-sunland-plant-heads-to-auction/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 16, 2014)
The Portales, NM plant of Sunland Inc., once the nation’s largest producer of organic peanut butter, will be auctioned this week as part of a bankruptcy that followed a 2012 Salmonella outbreak.  The tainted peanut butter, sold under a variety of name brands including Trader Joe’s, sickened 42 people in 20 states and triggered a massive recall.
At the time of its Chapter 7 bankruptcy in October 2013, Sunland’s 30-page list of creditors had about 1,000 names. The company was also named as a defendant in a number of civil lawsuits stemming from illnesses associated with the outbreak.
California-based Ready Roast Nut Co. has already offered $18.5 million for the shuttered plant. That will be the reserve price for all bidders in Thursday’s auction.
The Sunland Salmonella outbreak was one of the largest multi-state food poisoning outbreak of 2012. Ten people were hospitalized.  Most of the those who got sick were children under 10.
More than 250 products were recalled for potential Salmonella contamination including brand names such as Trader Joe’s, Newman’s Own, Earth Balance, Harry & David, Target’s Archer Farms and Safeway’s Open Nature. The peanut butter also made its way into the National School Lunch program via Smucker’s Uncrustables and bulk drums.

Proper Hand Washing for Kids and Teens
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/proper-hand-washing-for-kids-and-teens/
By Linda Larsen (Mar 15, 2014)
One of the most important tools in the fight against food poisoning is hand washing. Unfortunately, even adults are sometimes lax when it comes to washing hands properly. Kids, who are more susceptible to food borne illness, may need special lessons and prompting about this crucial hygiene issue.
Always wash your hands after going to the bathroom, before preparing and serving food, while you are preparing food (especially after handling raw meats and eggs), before eating, and after playing with pets or taking out the trash. It’s also important to tell kids to wash their hands frequently when they’re sick, especially after they cough or sneeze.
To properly wash hands, wet them under warm running water. Add some soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. To time this, since “Happy Birthday to You” twice while you scrub. Make sure you pay attention to the backs of your hands, under the fingernails, and between the fingers. Then rinse your hands well and dry them on a clean towel.
Columbus.gov has a great PDF to help teach kids how to wash their hands, including tool kids, downloadable worksheets, and interactive handwashing songs and videos. The list includes activity ideas to help teach kids how germs work and why it’s so important to keep clean. You can also find information at Healthfinder.gov, Nevada’s web site, and at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment web site.

Fonterra admits food safety violations
Source : http://www.fwi.co.uk/articles/14/03/2014/143767/fonterra-admits-food-safety-violations.htm
By Charlie Taverner (Mar 14, 2014)
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra has admitted it broke food safety rules after last year’s botulism scare.
The co-op accepted four charges filed against it by the country’s government, following fears last August that 38t of whey protein concentrate contained botulism-causing bacteria.
China blocked New Zealand dairy imports for three weeks and thousands of cans of baby formula had to be recalled, although the bacteria was eventually found to be less harmful.
French manufacturer Danone, whose subsidiary Nutricia makes baby formula, said it lost €350m from the recall and started suing Fonterra for damages earlier this year.
Fonterra managing director for people, culture and strategy Maury Leyland said the co-op accepted responsibility for the allegations.
“The WPC80 event caused us to examine in detail what happened, why it happened and what we must do to minimise the risk of it ever happening again,” she said.
“Food quality and safety remain our top priority and are fundamental to our business. Fonterra is committed to complying with New Zealand’s food safety and quality regulations and being held accountable if it does not.”
The charges issued against Fonterra by the Ministry for Primary Industries were:
•Processing dairy product not in accordance with its risk management programme
•Exporting dairy product that failed to meet relevant animal product standards
•Failing to notify its verifier of significant concerns that dairy product had not been processed in accordance with its risk management programme
•Failing to notify the director general as soon as possible that exported dairy product was not fit for intended purpose
One of the world’s biggest dairy exporters, Fonterra has 10,500 farmer members who produce 16bn of the 22bn litres of milk it processes each year.

Dozens in Hartford County MD Sick With Food Poisoning Symptoms
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/dozens-in-hartford-county-md-sick-with-food-poisoning-symptoms/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 14, 2014)
The health department in Hartford County, Md. has received dozens of reports of illness with symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. The county is working with state officials to determine if the cause of the illnesses is Norovirus, foodborne bacteria or something else.
Some of those who became ill ate at a restaurant and have submitted stool samples that are being tested. Results from those tests should be available soon, according to a health department spokesman.
Norovirus is common at this time of year. A highly contagious virus, Norovirus accounts for about half of all food posioning outbreaks. Often a sick food handler is involved, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Like other foodborne illnesses, symptoms  of Norovirus include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and low-grade fever. In restaurant settings, the virus is usually transmitted when a food hander who has been sick has microscopic amounts of vomit or stool on his or her hands and touches food or a food preparation surface.

E. coli in Your Well? March is a Good Time For Annual Test
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/e-coli-in-your-well-march-is-a-good-time-for-annual-test/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 14, 2014)
Residents of Marion Twp., Pa. are drinking water from a tank that has been trucked into  town after E.coli was discovered in a well earlier this week. Lab tests on the water, which came out of taps with a cloudy appearance, found E.coli and total coliform bacteria which are both signs of human or animal waste contamination, according to WFMZ-TV News. Officials have not determined the source of the contamination.
Testing wells once a year is a good idea and one of the main goals of National Ground Water Awareness Week March 9-15, 2014. Thirty percent of all available freshwater comes from ground water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Occasionally, it becomes contaminated from incorrect use of fertilizers and pesticides, poorly located, or damaged septic systems or chemical spills.
These incidents affect millions of Americans. Roughly 90 million Americans get their water from community supplied systems that use ground water as their primary source.  About 13 million Americans get their water from private wells.
Most drinking water outbreaks reported between 1971 and 2006 were linked to the use of untreated ground water (31 percent) or ground water treatment deficiencies (23 percent,) according to the CDC. Shigella, hepatitis A, norovirus, Giardia, Campylobacter, and Salmonella were the most common pathogens identified with water outbreaks during that time period. But E.coli is also a problem
Well owners have the responsibility of monitoring and maintaing their wells. A yearly check up is recommended. Ask your state or local health department for resources.

Farmer markets' popularity brings food safety concerns to the table
Source : http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/03/12/farmer-markets-popularity-brings-food-safety-concerns-table
By Charley Shaw, Session Daily (Mar 12, 2014)
Farmers markets have increasingly become a popular choice for fresh produce among consumers throughout the state. On any given weekend morning, visitors to a farmers market can indulge in samples of green beans and take part in cooking demonstrations.
But market operators are concerned that Minnesota laws governing food safety haven’t kept pace with the farmer’s market boom. The Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association for the last year has worked with state officials to craft legislation that spells out the health regulations for handing out food samples and doing cooking demonstrations. The result of their negotiations is HF2178, sponsored by Rep. Bob Barrett (R-Lindstrom), which was approved Wednesday by the House Agriculture Policy Committee and referred to the House Floor.
..The bill, as amended, would define a farmers market as an association of three or more people who sell their farm- or garden-grown wares in public venues.

When asked by a regulatory authority, the bill directs people to provide information such as the source of the food or the equipment used in its preparation.
Cecelia Coulter, founder and market manager of the Chisago City Farmers Market, said current laws don’t specify how cooking demonstrations and food samples should be handled at these markets. “This bill is significantly important,” she said, “as it will enable all Minnesota farmers markets, including those in outstate Minnesota, to conduct food sampling and cooking demonstrations without the regulatory hurdles that current policies require but while closely following the existing food code to insure food safety for our public.”
Linda Prail, food code coordinator for the Department of Health, said the bill doesn’t raise any health concerns.
“From the Department of Health’s perspective, there is nothing in this bill that would change for the worse the food safety provisions that we have in statute and rule,” Prail said. “We are keeping the same level of food safety protection that we have in Minnesota, which is quite high.”
As amended, the bill would give local governments the ability to pass an ordinance creating its own definition of a farmers market.
Daniel Huff, manager of environmental management and safety for the City of Minneapolis, said there are “food deserts” in Minneapolis where fresh produce is difficult to find. The ability to create local definitions would allow farmers markets in places where there might be fewer than three people in the farmers market association.
A companion, SF2060, sponsored by Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick), awaits a hearing by the Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee.

Help! I Bought Cheese That Is Part of a Recall for Listeria
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/help-i-bought-cheese-that-is-part-of-a-recall-for-listeria/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 12, 2014)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shut down operations at Roos Foods Inc. of Kenton, DE yesterday by suspending the company’s food facility registration. FDA inspectors found unsanitary conditions at the dairy foods processing company which has been linked to a Listeria outbreak that has sickened eight people, killing one of them.
Consumers who have purchased Roos cheese, sour cream or other dairy products from the company, where inspectors found roof water raining down onto the equipment in the cheese processing room, rusty equipment and standing water on the floor, should not eat them. Unlike other foodborne pathogens, Listeria can thrive in cool temperatures.
All lots and product sizes of the following Roos products have been recalled: Santa Rosa de Lima Queso Duro Blando,  Mexicana Queso Cojito Molido, Amigo, Anita, Mexicana, and Santa Rose de Lima brands of: Cuajada En Terron, Cuajada/Cuajadita Cacer, Cuajada Fresca, Queso Fresco Round, and Queso Duro Viejo, Requeson, Queso de Huerta and Quesco Fresco. Sour cream has also The cheeses were packaged in different sized clear plastic wrapped styrofoam trays, clear plastic wrapped, clear plastic vacuum package, and clear rigid plastic containers. If you purchased a recalled product, there is a chance that it could cross contaminate other items in your refrigerator. Here’s what you need to do:

Do not eat the recalled product. Clean your refrigerator, food preparation surfaces and any utensils used to cut or serve the the cheese. Do this by first using warm, soapy water to wash the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator, cutting boards and countertops; then sanitizing them using a  solution of one tablespoon of chlorine bleach to one gallon of hot water; dry with a clean cloth or paper towel that has not been previously used. Wash your hands with warm water and soap following the cleaning and sanitization process.

Gambia: Food Safety Control Takes New Direction
Source : http://allafrica.com/stories/201403111615.html
By allafrica.com (Mar 11, 2014)
The supervision and control of food safety and hygiene has been given a new impetus by the Gambia government.
Established by the Food Safety and Quality Act in 2011 under the Office of the President and set up in July 2013 with effective operation to start in April 2014, the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) is now the sole National Competent Authority with powers of delegation mandated to officially control the safety and quality of all foods (including water and beverages) and animal feed whether locally produced, imported or destined for export.
"The work of the Authority is expected to contribute toconsumer healthand safety, the facilitation of trade and control of fraudulentand deceptive food marketing, labeling and advertising practices," said the Authority's deputy director general Zainab Jallow in an interview with The Point at theweekend.
"Starting from 2014, the Food Safety Quality Authority is the only Government institution responsible for the registration and licensing of food establishments," she said, calling on all establishments and individuals involved in the business of food and animal feed to register with the Authority come 1 April this year when the Authority will move to its new headquarters at the Centenary Building on 2 Kairaba Avenue (Westfield Junction).
While emphasizing that the Authority is out not to police businesses, Mrs Jallow, who is also the officer in charge of operations, said: "We are asking all food businesses to come and register because one of the things we want to do is sensitize people on good hygiene practices. It is also for traceability purposes, to work with them to do the right thing, to also increase their business, and to know how they are doing things; we are not out to police them."
Mrs Jallow said the authority will use all measures necessary to ensure the safety, soundness and wholesomeness of food at all stages of the food chain, from its growth, production, processing or manufacturing unit to its final consumption.
"We are not only looking now at what is safe; we are also looking at the quality, as food can be safe but not the best quality. That's our work, and it is all going to be science-based to determine whether or not it is fit for human consumption or animal," she said.
The authority, according to Mrs Jallow, is actually out to work hand in hand with business to achieve food safety and good hygiene and not to close or disturb them.
"We are not here to close businesses. We have this thing in the Act called the Improvement Notice. So when we come to you and we find that you have notmet the standards, we will tell you what you have done wrong and how you should fix it, and we will give you a time, about six to 12 weeks - depending on what is wrong - to fix it."
The authority would only give way to court action when someone or a business is found wanting for repeatedly polluting the market with bad food or feed, she said, adding that the Food Safety and Quality Act of 2011 states down the law clearly for all to know what obtains.
"It says you cannot place unsafe food in the market or food that does not fit for human consumption. If you do this deliberately it tells you that you will be fined up to D100,000 or about three to five years in jail," Mrs Jallow explains.
"There are also mitigating factors: it also has another part where it states that if you import food and place it on the market, then you notice that it is not the best quality or it is not good, you have a responsibility to pull it off the market, to inform the authority, so the authority can work with you to get it off the market. It is not good to wait until we come, catch you and confiscate it. You should notice it on your own and take that responsibility to stop it."
The FSQA deputy DG also said what they are actually out to do is work with businesses to facilitate trade and achieve economic growth, to meet the millennium development goals set by the country and the UN.
"We are saying if people produce quality and safe foods, not only it is good for us but it also allows us access to the international market," she said, adding that there have been issues where "our fish and groundnuts are being sent back" from the international market.
"Therefore if we work with businesses to get their products to acceptable international standards, it is the pride of the authority, it is the pride of the people and it is money, economic growth for all of us at the end of the day," she stated.
Mrs Jallow said further that the authority also has the equal right to scrutinize foodstuffs coming from outside, such as from the EU and other countries abroad, so that other countries do not dump unsafe food or products of the least quality into The Gambia.
"We are all using the same CODEX - that is international standards (of rating safe and good quality food) - so there is mutual recognition and respect between the competent bodies; that is the FS institutions," she says.
"We know when yours come with a certain certification we respect it; you have to respect ours when it goes with the certification of the authority."
Mrs Jallow reiterated her call for those dealing in food business to register with the authority, saying: "The Food Safety and Quality Authority is here to work for all Gambians, for the benefit of the people to make sure what we consume is safe and healthy for all of us, because without a healthy nation you obviously cannot have a developed nation, and to have a healthy nation, safe food must be available." Author: Osman Kargbo

New Bird Flu Outbreak in Korea; 500,000 Chickens Culled
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/new-bird-flu-outbreak-in-korea-500000-chickens-culled/
By Linda Larsen (Mar 11, 2014)
A new case of H5N8 bird flu in Korea has led to the culling of 50,000 chickens, according to The Chosun Ilbo. The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed the case on Sunday, March 9, 2014. Now only Gangwon and Jeju provinces do not have birds with the virus. No human infections have been reported to date.
A farm in Gyeongju bought 6,700 chickens from a farm in Pyeongtaek, in Gyeonggi Province. The new bird flu strain was detected there on March 4, 2014. The virus was found in bird droppings on the farm. Authorities are culling 500,000 chickens in the area. Lab tests are ongoing to determine if the virus is highly transmissible.
The new bird flu strain was detected in Korea on January 16, 2014. Since then, more than 2.8 million birds have been killed.
In the U.S. we’re used to hearing about bird flu issues in China, but that disease isn’t limited to that country. Some Korean officials say that migratory birds brought the disease to the country, but experts think that a mild form was brought in, which quickly mutated. The conditions on bird farms “provide perfect conditions for a virus to get pathogenic really quickly,” Judit Szabo, science officer for the East Asian-Autralasian Flyway Partnership said in a statement.
According to Science Insider, the virus was found in a wild goose near the National Institute of Animal Science’s campus near Seoul. That facility houses 18,000 hens and ducks for research. If those birds are infected, all of them will have to be culled, which would seriously affect research programs.

Consumer Groups Sue FDA Over Mercury in Seafood
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/consumer-groups-sue-fda-over-mercury-in-seafood/
By Linda Larsen (Mar 11, 2014)
Earthjustice, along with Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Mercury Policy Project, are suing the FDA for “failing to respond to a July 2011 petition in which the groups asked the FDA to give consumers clear, accurate, and accessible information about toxic mercury in the seafood they eat.” At this time, the latest recommendations for pregnant women eating shellfish are to avoid certain species, and eat up to 12 ounces a week of other fish. Those recommendations were set in 2004.
The lawsuit asks for a court-ordered deadline for the FDA to respond to its request that signs be required at seafood counters and on seafood labels to let consumers know how much mercury is in the fish they buy. The FDA had 180 days, three years ago, to respond to the petition, but did not.
Mercury content in seafood is a concern and has been for years. Airborne mercury comes from coal-fired power plants and gold mining. It falls into the ocean, where it is converted into methyl mercury, which is a neurotoxin. That concentrates in fish and shellfish. Methylmercury exposure is linked to lowered IQ, learning disabilities, and impaired cognitive functioning.
Michael T. Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project said in a statement, “the public – and especially at-risk groups such as pregnant women and heavy fish eaters – urgently need updated information. It is unconscionable that FDA continues to drag its feet when the latest science indicates a far greater methylmercury exposure risk than when the Agency developed its fish consumption advisory in 2004.”
That brochure, called “What You Need to Know About Mercury in Fish and Shellfish,” established guidelines for seafood consumption. Unfortunately, it tells pregnant women to eat canned tuned, which is now the largest source of mercury exposure for most Americans, and doesn’t give healthier alternatives.
Caroline Smith DeWaal, Food Safety Director for Center for Science in the Public Interest said, “Consumers deserve to have the information they need to enjoy heart-healthy seafood while avoiding dangerous mercury – particularly if they are pregnant or feeding young children. It’s FDA’s responsibility to provide that information, and it’s long past time for the agency to do so.”

Salmonella Rate at Foster Farms Beats Average Says Company
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/salmonella-rate-at-foster-farms-beats-average-says-company/
By Carla Gillespie (Mar 10, 2014)
Despite being the source of an ongoing year-long Salmonella outbreak that has sickened almost 500 people, the percentage of Foster Farms chicken contaminated with Salmonella is better than the industry average, according to a recent statement from the company. In October 2013, three of the company’s California plants were linked to the outbreak, just months after a Salmonella outbreak linked to its Washington plants had ended.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) threatened to close the California plants in October, but let them remain open after the company presented  a plan to mitigate the Salmonella problem. Since that time, “the company has implemented a multifaceted Salmonella control program that has reduced the prevalence of Salmonella at the parts level to less than ten percent – well below the USDA-measured industry benchmark of 25 percent. USDA officials have affirmed that the interventions are working and confirmed, “Foster Farms is performing far better than the industry average,” according to thestatement  on the company’s website reads.
Foster Farms says it has conducted  ”in-market testing”  at the point of purchase and that while while Salmonella can be present in all brands of chicken, “Foster Farms is among the safest choices available to consumers. ” As of March 3, 481 people in 25 states and Puerto Rico were part of the outbreak linked to Foster Farms chicken

Rancho Feeding Corporation Beef Sold in 35 States and Guam
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/rancho-feeding-corporation-beef-sold-in-35-states-and-guam/
By Linda Larsen (Mar 10, 2014)
The USDA released another retail distribution list for the Rancho Feeding Corporation beef that was recalled because it was considered adulterated. Now 35 states and Guam are on the list, which is 220 pages long. The list of recalled products is at the USDA web site.
The stores and chains that may have carried the beef with nationwide, state-wide, or area-wide distribution include 7-Eleven, Albertson’s, Big Saver Foods, BP, Buy for Less, Chevron, Circle K, Citgo, Conoco, Country Mart, Country Market, Cub Foods, El Rancho, Exxon, Family Dollar, Fiesta Mart, Festival Foods, Food 4 Less, Food Giant, Food Rite, Food Source, Fred Meyer, Fresh Market, HEB, IGA, K-Mart, Kwik Trip, Lowe’s, Market Place, Mobil, Pavilions, Piggly Wiggly, Price Chopper, Publix, Ralphs, Rite Aide, Safeway, Save-A-Lot, Shell, Stop N Save, Sunoco, Super Valu, SuperAmerica, Target, Texaco, Town & Country, Vons, Walgreens, WalMart, and Winn Dixie, among many others.
Please look at the list of retailers to see if the places you shop are on the list, and examine the list of recalled products carefully. If you purchased any of them from the stores listed, return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

The Five Second Rule is Real
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/the-five-second-rule-is-real/
By Linda Larsen (Mar 10, 2014)
Students and scientists at Aston University’s School of Life and Health Sciences in Birmingham, England have tested the so-called “five second rule” and found it does apply in real life. That rule, which was most likely coined as tongue-in-cheek, states that if food is dropped on the floor and left there for less than five seconds, bacteria don’t adhere to it and it’s safe to eat.
The findings suggest that many foods (not all) that are picked up just a few seconds after being dropped are less likely to harbor bacteria than food left on the floor for longer periods of time. [Editor's caveat: I think it depends on how often your floor is cleaned, if animals walk on the kitchen floor, and if you go into the kitchen wearing shoes you wear outside.]
The study found that “time is a significant factor in the transfer of bacteria from a floor surface to a piece of food, and the type of flooring the food is dropped on has an effect.” Bacteria are least likely to transfer from carpeted surfaces to food than from tiled or laminate surfaces. The type of food dropped also makes a difference. A food such as toast picks up fewer bacteria than foods such as spaghetti coated in sauce.
While this study is interesting, mostly because it found that 87% of people surveyed said they would eat food dropped on the floor, we can’t recommend it. It’s better to just stay safe and throw away dropped food. If you get sick from food dropped on the floor, it will be for longer than five seconds.

 

 

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03/12. Quality Director Cheese – Platteville, WI
03/12. Qual Mgmt Spec - Food Safety – Houston, TX
03/12. Senior Sanitation and Safety Specialist – Miami, FL
03/10. QA Manager - Chicago Heights, IL
03/10. Project/Program Specialist – Fayetteville, AR
03/10. Senior QA Manager – San Francisco, CA
03/07. Food Safety and Brand Std Spec – Baltimore, MD
03/07. Quality Systems Supervisor – Davenport, IA
03/07. Regional QA & Food Safety Mgr – Jersey City, NJ
03/06. Quality Assurance Technologist - Norwood, MA

 

 

 


2014 Basic and Advanced HACCP

Training Scheduals are Available
Click here to check the HACCP Training

This certification fulfills all USDA/FSIS and FDA regulatory requirements for HACCP Training. The certification is also accepted by auditing firms who require HACCP Training as a component of the audit. Our training has encompassed a multitude of industries from the farm to the table.
We are so proud that more than 400 attendees successfully finished Basic and Advanced HACCP Trainings through FoodHACCP. All attendees received a HACCP certificate which fulfills all USDA/FSIS and FDA regulatory requirements for HACCP Training