Editor: D.H. Kang
Dept. FSHN
Washington State Univ.

Issue 6

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Interesting Food Safety News

Isolation and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Dehydrated Powdered Infant Formula
Background: Enterobacter sakazakii is a gram-negative rod within the family Enterobacteriaceae, genus Enterobacter. The organism was called "yellow-pigmented Enterobacter cloacae" until 1980 when it was renamed Enterobacter sakazakii. Urmenyi and Franklin (1) reported the first two known cases of meningitis caused by E. sakazakii in 1961. Subsequently, cases of meningitis, septicemia, and necrotizing enterocolitis due to E. sakazakii have been reported worldwide. Although most documented cases involve infants, reports describe infections in adults as well (2). Overall, case-fatality rates have varied considerably with rates as high as 80 percent in some instances. While a reservoir for E. sakazakii is unknown, a growing number of reports suggest a role for powdered milk-based infant formulas as a vehicle for infection (3-5). For more detail information, click on
http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~comm/mmesakaz.html

STRINGENT RULES APPLIED TO SMOKED FISH: ONLY PRODUCTS FROM CERTIFIED
FACILITY CAN BE PLACED ON SHELVES

July 11, 2002
The Sault Star
B10
Tori Cook
Growing public concern over the safety of Canada's food and water is,
according to this story, changing the way one of Northern Ontario's most
popular products is being handled and sold.
The story says that smoked fish -- which until now had escaped the safety
net of the provincial Fish Inspection Act -- is now being held to the same
stringent rules as other fish products.
No longer will you find a slab of smoked whitefish or lake trout staring at
you from a piece of newspaper on the store counter.
Retailers have been told that only smoked fish from a certified facility can
be placed on shelves ensuring 12-year-old regulations are being met. The
fish must now be frozen after smoking to prevent any excess water in the
fish from becoming rancid. That water has the potential to be a source of
botulism.
Jerry Demers, owner of the Canadian Carver in Pancake Bay, was cited as
saying that smoked fish is a favourite among locals and tourists. No longer
able to rely on a local supply to meet customer demand, Demers now buys the
delicacy from a Wawa fish plant.
Demers agrees the fish should come under some general guidelines, but he was
quoted as saying, "The boom was lowered on everyone. The product is still
excellent but it's like comparing fresh strawberries to frozen ones."
Kurt Anderson of Anderson Fisheries of Wawa, Ontario, was cited as saying he
believes the changes stem from growing public pressure on all levels of
government to ensure safer water and food, adding, "The regulations have
been sitting on a shelf for years but had never really been enforced."
The story says that Anderson Fisheries has spent $68,000 to upgrade to
stainless steel smokehouse equipment in order to comply with the standards.
Ferroclad Fisheries, a large fish plant in Mamainse Harbour, north of Sault
Ste. Marie, has stopped selling smoked fish.
Gary Symons of Presteve Foods, which owns Ferroclad, was quoted as saying,
"The money for certification and upgrading was not a good business
investment" adding that smoked fish made up only a very small portion of
the company's annual sales.
But the new rules have resulted in a small commercial family fishery in
Batchawana losing about 20 per cent of its business. Joshua Bjornaa, who
added smoked fish to his product line last year, says he cannot afford to
spend the money to modernize his smokehouse.

DOZENS SUE HOLIDAY FIRMS OVER `GASTRIC VIRUS'
PA News
Rod Minchin
Lawyers were cited as saying today that dozens of British tourists are suing
a holiday firm after being struck down by a virus plaguing a Spanish hotel,.
They are among potentially hundreds of holidaymakers, including children,
who have fallen ill at the 260-room Torremolinos Beach Club, on the Costa
del Sol.
The story says that Birmingham-based Irwin Mitchell Solicitors is
representing around 50 tourists in their claim against several tour
operators, including Thomson and Cosmos.
The tourists claim the bug has been plaguing the hotel for months but
holiday firms are still sending guests there.
Clive Garner, a partner with Birmingham-based Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, was
cited as saying tour operators had been telling guests it was a "viral
problem" but he believes it could be much worse, adding, "We know of one
person who has been diagnosed with salmonella. We have found that a third of
people who were struck down with a type of gastric virus go on to develop
more severe long term problems."
Mr Garner said he represented claimants dating from December last year but
was expecting more.
"There are potentially over 1,000 people that have gone through the hotel in
that time and we are getting more claims each week," he said.
This case had the potential to beat the firm's previous record of 650
plaintiffs in one claim, he added.

VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS, O3:K6 - USA, ASIA: SCIENTISTS IDENTIFY NEW
CHOLERA-LIKE STRAIN

A ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
Source: The Times of India [16 Jul 2002] [edited]
http: //timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id102352
KOLKATA: A group of city-based scientists have recently helped the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at Atlanta identify a rare strain
of cholera [cholera-like organism would be a better term -Mod.LL] which
wreaked havoc in coastal US and Japan early this year.
The new pathogen, transmitted through seafood, has become a major cause of
concern for scientists across the world. The reason behind its spread
through seafood was largely unknown and unexplained till the Indians made
the discovery.
"We received calls from the US asking us to help them identify what was
causing a new type of cholera and diarrhea in coastal areas of the country.
The germ was simultaneously active in coastal areas of Japan," said director
of National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) Sujit Kumar
Bhattacharya.
Samples were flown in to Kolkata. "It was identified by our scientists as
Vibrio parahaemolytica O3:K6 [ V. parahaemolyticus ] an environmental
water borne pathogen," Bhattacharya said. "We also could link this
particular pathogen to an epidemic in 1998 in coastal Orissa," he claimed,
adding, "the pathogen generally attacks in the coastal region and comes from
the environment."
The pathogen is prominent in India, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea Thailand and
the US. "The disease spreads mainly through [uncooked or inadequately cooked
-Mod.LL] seafood. Maximum cases are reported from Japan where the
consumption of seafood is high. In the US, the disease was caused by
consumption of raw oysters," said NICED scientist T. Ramamurthy, who guided
the research.
"This is a new clone .[The characteristics that make this O3:K6 a different
clonal isolate than earlier ones is not stated. -Mod.LL] . Earlier, we were
not able to identify the strain but this time with newer techniques we were
successful," he said.
In India, prevalence of this type of Vibrio infection is on the rise,
scientists claim. "There has not been a major outbreak since 1998 but we see
more and more cases in the coastal region. Moreover, with the food habit
changing drastically among people, it is also affecting non-coastal areas,"
he said.
"We are preparing a literature on how to control the spread of the pathogen
and what kind of preventive measures can be taken," informed Bhattacharya,
adding, "we will forward the plan to all the international disease control
and research agencies."
[byline: Aditya Ghosh]
[This organism is one of the "other pathogenic vibrios". A halophilic
(salt-requiring) organism, it has been recognized as the major cause of
acute diarrheal illness in Japan and has caused significant outbreaks of
food-borne disease along both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf Coast areas of the
US. It is also a very significant pathogen in other areas of Southeast Asia
and the Indian subcontinent. Unlike the organism causing classic cholera
that causes disease via an enterotoxin, V. parahaemolyticus appears to be
invasive as well as producing a toxin. The diarrheal illness is preventable
by adequately cooking the food vector (particularly shrimp or crab) and
keeping the food refrigerated and not rinsing the food with contaminated
seawater. It does not transmit well from person-to-person probably related
to a high inoculum required for infection.
Most cases of V. parahaemolyticus do not require specific antimicrobial
therapy as they are self-limited. Other halophilic vibrios such as V.
vulnificus and V. alginolyticus are not generally associated with diarrhea
but instead cause soft tissue infection and/or bacteremia. -Mod.LL]
[The _V. parahaemolyticus O3:K6 strain has been the predominant pandemic
strain since 1996 when it was identified in several Asian outbreaks
(1,2,3,4). In 1998, it was identified as the strain responsible for an
outbreak in the USA associated with consumption of raw oysters and clams
harvested from Long Island Sound -- Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York in
the USA (5).
Chowdry et al (4) discusses the noted increase in V. parahaemolyticus
related outbreaks in recent years, and provides a discussion on 3 emerging
serotypes responsible for this increase of which the O3:K6 is the
predominant player. They conclude: "Until recently, V. parahaemolyticus
caused sporadic and localized diarrhea and--unlike toxigenic V. cholerae O1
and O139--was never associated with a pandemic. However, with the advent of
the new O3:K6 strains in 1996, the epidemiology of this organism abruptly
changed. The dominant and continued occurrence of this serotype was reported
from eight countries. The extent and rapidity of spread of the new O3:K6
strains signaled the beginning of the first pandemic of V.
parahaemolyticus. We have shown that the recent O3:K6 isolates from eight
countries were identical in the RFLP of the rRNA genes and showed similar
PFGE profiles. We have also shown that strains of two other serotypes,
O4:K68 and O1:KUT, isolated since 1995 possessed ribotype and PFGE patterns
similar to those of the new O3:K6 strains. Variations between the three
pandemic serotypes are minor when compared to the differences seen with the
nonpandemic strains. Hence, from the molecular analysis and chronology of
appearance of these strains, the O4:K68 and O1:KUT isolates appear to have
originated from the existing O3:K6 clone. The ribotype and PFGE patterns
displayed by the pandemic clone are unique. Therefore, a single clone may be
responsible for the emergence of pandemic serotypes that have different
somatic and capsular antigens. This study suggests that the
epidemiologically related strains may also be genetically related."
As indicated above, one wonders if the isolate this newswire is referring to
is genetically identical to the pandemic clone described above, or if there
has been a genetic alteration suggesting a new variant in circulation.
1: Smolikova LM, Lomov IuM, Khomenko TV, Murnachev GP, Kudriakova TA,
Fetsailova OP, Sanamiants EM, Makedonova LD, Kachkina GV, Golenishcheva EN.
[Studies on halophilic vibrios causing a food poisoning outbreak in the city
of Vladivostok] Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 2001 Nov-Dec;(6):3-7.
2: Daniels NA, Ray B, Easton A, Marano N, Kahn E, McShan AL 2nd, Del Rosario
L, Baldwin T, Kingsley MA, Puhr ND, Wells JG, Angulo FJ. Emergence of a new
Vibrio parahaemolyticus serotype in raw oysters: A prevention quandary.
JAMA. 2000 Sep 27;284(12):1541-5.

3: Wong HC, Liu SH, Wang TK, Lee CL, Chiou CS, Liu DP, Nishibuchi M, Lee BK.
Characteristics of Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 from Asia. Appl Environ
Microbiol. 2000 Sep;66(9):3981-6.
4. Chowdhury NR, Chakraborty S, Ramamurthy T,* Nishibuchi M, Yamasaki
S,Takeda Y, Nair GB Molecular Evidence of Clonal Vibrio parahaemolyticus
Pandemic Strains EID 6(6) Nov­Dec 2000

5. CDC. Outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Infection Associated with
Eating Raw Oysters and Clams Harvested from Long Island Sound --
Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, 1998 MMWR January 29, 1999
48(03);48-51

6. Arakawa E, Murase T?Shimada T, Okitsu T, Yamai S?and Watanabe H.
Emergence and Prevalence of a Novel Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 Clone in
Japan Jpn. J. Infect. Dis., 52, 1999

IRRADIATION IS PROMISE FOR MAINTAINING SAFE FOOD SUPPLY
July 16, 2002
The Topeka Capital-Journal
K-State Research and Extension MANHATTAN --- Having spent more than 30 years
studying food science, Karen Penner knows firsthand that Americans are
blessed with the safest, most bountiful food supply in the world.
K-State Research and Extension MANHATTAN --- Having spent more than 30 years
studying food science, Karen Penner knows firsthand that Americans are
blessed with the safest, most bountiful food supply in the world.
And yet, scientists also know the safety of that food supply is regularly at
risk. The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that
more than 200 known diseases can be transmitted through food.
The threat, however, doesn't frighten Penner, a food safety specialist at
Kansas State University. She said the food industry often addresses problems
quickly, having developed such technologies as steam pasteurization and
irradiation, and implemented such programs as the Hazard Analysis and
Critical Control Points (commonly called HACCP).
Penner thinks irradiation is the technology that holds much promise for the
future of food safety. Current information suggests that irradiation can
provide a similar safety step for food as pasteurization has done for milk.
"At fairly low levels of irradiation, harmful bacteria can be destroyed in a
variety of food products, including poultry, beef, pork," Penner said. "One
of the big benefits is the reduction of harmful bacteria and food spoilage
bacteria, so (consumers) get longer shelf life for that product in their
(home) refrigerator."
Irradiation is used widely in such non-food products as Band- Aids, straws
and surgical supplies. The U.S. Postal Service is irradiating some mail, a
response to the anthrax scare that gripped the nation in late 2001.
Irradiation is already approved for some meat products, including beef and
chicken. Approval is pending for processed food products, such as lunch meat
or hot dogs, which may potentially carry the deadly pathogen Listeria
monocytogenes.
Penner has no doubts that food irradiation is safe.
"(Applying irradiation to food) at low levels does little to the food
itself. There's no change in color, odor, flavor ... it doesn't cook the
product because there is no heat involved," she said.
There also is "no data anywhere to support" claims that irradiated foods can
cause cancer in humans, Penner said. Irradiated food isn't radioactive. The
technology is capable of breaking apart the DNA in bacteria so that they
can't reproduce or grow in the food product.
In Minnesota, Dairy Queen first introduced irradiated hamburgers in two of
its stores, combined with an extensive advertising and information campaign
to educate its customers. The food chain's preliminary report is that
hamburger sales have remained constant compared to the year before and on
July 15, Dairy Queen expanded distribution to 43 stores.
Irradiated meat isn't yet available in Kansas grocery stores, but Penner
said consumers can buy irradiated hamburgers fairly easily through at least
two companies: Schwan's and Omaha Steaks.
"In fact, all the ground beef offered by Schwan's is now irradiated with an
electron beam, which uses electricity as its power source," she said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that irradiated foods sold
for retail must include the familiar radura symbol on the package label.
Penner said ongoing research is studying the future use of irradiation with
many food products. She said electron beam irradiation, which produces
similar energy created by home electrical outlets, is gaining considerable
momentum for use in the food industry.

MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT SALMONELLA
Lean Trimmings
Edited by Jeremy Russell and Kiran Kernellu
The strain of Salmonella found in 47 people in five states earlier this year
is resistant to at least nine different antibiotics, reported Medscape.
Salmonella is the third most common infecting strain of the 1.4 million
annual cases nationwide. Reuters reported that "the CDC found that 46% of
the infected individuals said they had eaten raw or undercooked beef before
becoming ill." According to a USA Today article by Eric Schlosser, author of
the polemic Fast Food Nation, the CDC concluded that handling or eating the
undercooked ground beef had probably spread the disease. About one third of
the people had to be hospitalized, and one person died. Reuters further
stated that no meat packing plants were identified as the source of the
tainted meat, which with proper cooking would not be harmful. As Schlosser,
USDA and the meat industry advise, "handle ground beef carefully and cook it
well."

Foodborne OUTBREAKS COLLECTIONS
07/18. NORWALK-LIKE VIRUS - UK (SCOTLAND): SUSPECTED
07/18. Cholera epidemic in Malawi
07/18. CHOLERA EPIDEMIC IN KABUL
07/17. Salmonella cases may have ended
07/17. DOZENS SUE HOLIDAY FIRMS OVER `GASTRIC VIRUS'
07/17. Man's death linked to gulf oysters
07/17. Bacterium likely cause of mass food poisoning

ForFull Information, click on
07/18. COMMISSION PAVES WAY TO ALLOW TWO NEW INTENSE SWEETENERS
07/18. BSE: EXPORT RULES UNDER THE DATE-BASED EXPORT SCHEME CHANGED
07/18. COMMISSION PROPOSES EU-WIDE REVIEW OF SMOKE FLAVOURINGS
07/18. SAFETY OF FOOD PRODUCTS
07/18. COUNTY OK'S FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM
07/18. A DIET OF PROPAGANDA ABOUT FOOD POISONING
07/18. Isolation and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Powdered Infant Formula
07/18. Farmer Sentenced for Putting Pine-Sol in Milk
07/18. STAKEHOLDER GROUP MEETS TO CONSIDER BSE RULE CHANGE
07/18. BOIL-WATER ADVISORY
07/18. SCHOOL CATERERS SAY TRACE MEAT MORE IMPT THAN PRICE
07/18. VETERINARY INSPECTIONS
07/18. RESULT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE FOOD CHAIN ON MPA-CO
07/18. EUROPE FARMERS FUME AS HUNT FOR TAINTED FEED DRAGS
07/18. Fine threat to France over UK beef
07/18. EU: Contaminated feed brings market to a halt
07/18. EU: Commission proposes safety assessment of smoke flavourin
07/18. Now there are nucleur bait worms to also fear
07/18. Montrealers advised to boil water before drinking
07/17. CHLORAMPHENICOL IN HONEY - USA (LOUISIANA): ALERT
07/17. STRINGENT RULES APPLIED TO SMOKED FISH: ONLY PRODUCTS FROM C
07/17. SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE ON VETERINARY MEASURES RELATING TO PUBL
07/17. TAINTED TURKEY MEAT FROM ITALY SOLD IN GERMAN SHOPS: GREENPE
07/17. DOZENS SUE HOLIDAY FIRMS OVER `GASTRIC VIRUS'
07/17. GOVERNMENT TESTS NEW WATER PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY
07/17. IRELAND SAYS "SERIOUS ERRORS" LED TO EU FOOD SCARE
07/17. VIBRIO PARAHAEMOLYTICUS, O3:K6 - USA, ASIA: SCIENTISTS IDENT
07/17. COMMUNITY FOOD ADVISERS RECOGNIZED
07/17. USDA OFFERS VOLUNTARY EQUIPMENT INSPECTION, CERTIFICATION
07/17. IRRADIATION IS PROMISE FOR MAINTAINING SAFE FOOD SUPPLY
07/17. IRRADIATED MEAT VENTURES
07/17. IRRADIATED OR NOT?
07/16. WHEN BAD PRESS GETS GOOD HEADLINES
07/16. SAFETY OF FOOD PRODUCTS
07/16. MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT SALMONELLA
07/16. More than 300 German farms shut in scare over hormone-contam
07/16. Grilling meat to a well-done state is not healthy
07/16. Brazil NGOs Campaign Against Genetically Altered Crops
07/16. Parents warned against giving honey to babies
07/16. Food-safety violations declining
07/16. Villain lurks in your burger
07/16. Escherichia coli O157:H7 Frequently Asked Questions
07/16. PIZZA TAKEAWAY WAS DIRTY
07/16. Food Safety Inspections
07/16. French beef ban
07/16. USDA speeds contamination policy
07/16. Bacterium likely cause of mass food poisoning


USDA/FDA NEWS
For full information, click on
Isolation and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Dehydrated Powdered Infant Formula
Speeches Page: Updated July 17, 2002
OPPDE What's New Page: Updated July 15, 2002
FSIS Notice 27-02 - FSIS Emergency Response Team
FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated July 12, 2002
FSIS Announces Availability Of Biosecurity Guidelines In Spanish
El Servicio de Inocuidad e de los Alimentos anuncia la publicacion de las pautas de bioseguridad en castellano
OPPDE What's New Page: Updated July 9, 2002
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated July 10, 2002
Food Safety Officials Honored At Annual Awards Ceremony
FDA Approves New Non-Nutritive Sugar Substitute Neotame
Food Additives Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; Neotame
Food Security in the United States

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(Contact Jennifer Epstein
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1350 I Street, N.W. Suite 300
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 637-4818
Email: jepstein@nfpa-food.org

July 24 -25. In-Depth Verification(IDV). Omaha, NE
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August 21-23. HACCP for Juice Processors. Ontario, CA
September 11-13. HACCP for Juice Processors. Miami, FL

August 20-21. Advanced HACCP. Washington, DC
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September 10-12. Basic HACCP in Spanish Miami, FL

November 4-6. Basic HACCP. UC-Davis, CA
December 3-5. Basic HACCP. New York

October 25. Pre-Requisite programs. Omaha, NE

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Goal of HACCP and the Seven Principles (0:54)
Principles 1 & 2: Conducting a Hazard Analysis and Identifying Critical Control Points (0:47)
Principle 3: Establishing Critical Limits (0:19)
Principle 4: Establishing Monitoring Procedures (0:36)
Principle 5: Establishing Corrective Action (0:26)
Principle 6: Establishing Record Keeping (0:29)
Principle 7: Verification (0:53)
HACCP Example Plan (5:04)
Summary of HACCP (2:20)

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