Food Safety News
and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Dehydrated Powdered Infant Formula
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
RULES APPLIED TO SMOKED FISH: ONLY PRODUCTS FROM CERTIFIED
FACILITY CAN BE
PLACED ON SHELVES
July 11, 2002
The Sault Star
public concern over the safety of Canada's food and water is,
this story, changing the way one of Northern Ontario's most
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.
will you find a slab of smoked whitefish or lake trout staring at
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
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.
Symons of Presteve Foods, which owns Ferroclad, was quoted as saying,
money for certification and upgrading was not a good business
adding that smoked fish made up only a very small portion of
But the new rules have resulted in a small commercial family
Batchawana losing about 20 per cent of its business. Joshua Bjornaa,
added smoked fish to his product line last year, says he cannot afford
spend the money to modernize his smokehouse.
SUE HOLIDAY FIRMS OVER `GASTRIC VIRUS'
were cited as saying today that dozens of British tourists are suing
firm after being struck down by a virus plaguing a Spanish hotel,.
among potentially hundreds of holidaymakers, including children,
who have fallen
ill at the 260-room Torremolinos Beach Club, on the Costa
says that Birmingham-based Irwin Mitchell Solicitors is
50 tourists in their claim against several tour
operators, including Thomson
The tourists claim the bug has been plaguing the hotel for months
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."
Garner said he represented claimants dating from December last year but
"There are potentially over 1,000 people that have gone
through the hotel in
that time and we are getting more claims each week,"
This case had the potential to beat the firm's previous record of
plaintiffs in one claim, he added.
PARAHAEMOLYTICUS, O3:K6 - USA, ASIA: SCIENTISTS IDENTIFY NEW
Source: The Times of India [16
Jul 2002] [edited]
A group of city-based scientists have recently helped the Centers
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
"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
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
is prominent in India, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea Thailand and
the US. "The
disease spreads mainly through [uncooked or inadequately cooked
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
"This is a
new clone .[The characteristics that make this O3:K6 a different
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
In India, prevalence of this type of Vibrio infection is on the rise,
claim. "There has not been a major outbreak since 1998 but we see
and more cases in the coastal region. Moreover, with the food habit
drastically among people, it is also affecting non-coastal areas,"
"We are preparing a literature on how to control the spread of the
and what kind of preventive measures can be taken," informed
adding, "we will forward the plan to all the international
and research agencies."
[byline: Aditya Ghosh]
organism is one of the "other pathogenic vibrios". A halophilic
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
seawater. It does not transmit well from person-to-person
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
(1,2,3,4). In 1998, it was identified as the strain responsible
outbreak in the USA associated with consumption of raw oysters and clams
from Long Island Sound -- Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York in
Chowdry et al (4) discusses the noted increase in V. parahaemolyticus
outbreaks in recent years, and provides a discussion on 3 emerging
responsible for this increase of which the O3:K6 is the
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
pandemic serotypes are minor when compared to the differences seen
nonpandemic strains. Hence, from the molecular analysis and chronology
appearance of these strains, the O4:K68 and O1:KUT isolates appear to have
from the existing O3:K6 clone. The ribotype and PFGE patterns
the pandemic clone are unique. Therefore, a single clone may be
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,
[Studies on halophilic vibrios causing a food poisoning outbreak
in the city
of Vladivostok] Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 2001 Nov-Dec;(6):3-7.
Daniels NA, Ray B, Easton A, Marano N, Kahn E, McShan AL 2nd, Del Rosario
Baldwin T, Kingsley MA, Puhr ND, Wells JG, Angulo FJ. Emergence of a new
parahaemolyticus serotype in raw oysters: A prevention quandary.
Wong HC, Liu SH, Wang TK, Lee CL, Chiou CS, Liu DP, Nishibuchi M, Lee BK.
of Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 from Asia. Appl Environ
Microbiol. 2000 Sep;66(9):3981-6.
Chowdhury NR, Chakraborty S, Ramamurthy T,* Nishibuchi M, Yamasaki
Y, Nair GB Molecular Evidence of Clonal Vibrio parahaemolyticus
EID 6(6) NovDec 2000
CDC. Outbreak of Vibrio parahaemolyticus Infection Associated with
Oysters and Clams Harvested from Long Island Sound --
Connecticut, New Jersey,
and New York, 1998 MMWR January 29, 1999
Arakawa E, Murase T?Shimada T, Okitsu T, Yamai S?and Watanabe H.
and Prevalence of a Novel Vibrio parahaemolyticus O3:K6 Clone in
J. Infect. Dis., 52, 1999
IS PROMISE FOR MAINTAINING SAFE FOOD SUPPLY
July 16, 2002
K-State Research and Extension MANHATTAN --- Having spent more
than 30 years
studying food science, Karen Penner knows firsthand that Americans
blessed with the safest, most bountiful food supply in the world.
Research and Extension MANHATTAN --- Having spent more than 30 years
food science, Karen Penner knows firsthand that Americans are
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
irradiation, and implemented such programs as the Hazard
Critical Control Points (commonly called HACCP).
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
big benefits is the reduction of harmful bacteria and food spoilage
so (consumers) get longer shelf life for that product in their
is used widely in such non-food products as Band- Aids, straws
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
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.
also is "no data anywhere to support" claims that irradiated foods can
cancer in humans, Penner said. Irradiated food isn't radioactive. The
is capable of breaking apart the DNA in bacteria so that they
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
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.
meat isn't yet available in Kansas grocery stores, but Penner
can buy irradiated hamburgers fairly easily through at least
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,
similar energy created by home electrical outlets, is gaining
momentum for use in the food industry.
Edited by Jeremy Russell and Kiran
The strain of Salmonella found in 47 people in five states earlier
is resistant to at least nine different antibiotics, reported Medscape.
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.
USDA and the meat industry advise, "handle ground beef carefully
and cook it
07/18. NORWALK-LIKE VIRUS - UK (SCOTLAND): SUSPECTED
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'
Man's death linked to gulf oysters
07/17. Bacterium likely cause of mass food
Information, click on
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
COUNTY OK'S FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM
07/18. A DIET OF PROPAGANDA ABOUT FOOD POISONING
Isolation and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Powdered Infant Formula
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
RESULT OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE FOOD CHAIN ON MPA-CO
FARMERS FUME AS HUNT FOR TAINTED FEED DRAGS
07/18. Fine threat to France over
07/18. EU: Contaminated feed brings market to a halt
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
07/17. CHLORAMPHENICOL IN HONEY - USA (LOUISIANA): ALERT
STRINGENT RULES APPLIED TO SMOKED FISH: ONLY PRODUCTS FROM C
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
07/17. GOVERNMENT TESTS NEW WATER PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY
IRELAND SAYS "SERIOUS ERRORS" LED TO EU FOOD SCARE
PARAHAEMOLYTICUS, O3:K6 - USA, ASIA: SCIENTISTS IDENT
07/17. COMMUNITY FOOD
07/17. USDA OFFERS VOLUNTARY EQUIPMENT INSPECTION, CERTIFICATION
IRRADIATION IS PROMISE FOR MAINTAINING SAFE FOOD SUPPLY
07/17. IRRADIATED MEAT
07/17. IRRADIATED OR NOT?
07/16. WHEN BAD PRESS GETS GOOD HEADLINES
SAFETY OF FOOD PRODUCTS
07/16. MULTI-DRUG RESISTANT SALMONELLA
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
07/16. Parents warned against giving honey to babies
Food-safety violations declining
07/16. Villain lurks in your burger
Escherichia coli O157:H7 Frequently Asked Questions
07/16. PIZZA TAKEAWAY WAS
07/16. Food Safety Inspections
07/16. French beef ban
speeds contamination policy
07/16. Bacterium likely cause of mass food poisoning
information, click on
and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Dehydrated Powdered Infant Formula
Speeches Page: Updated July 17, 2002
OPPDE What's New Page: Updated July
FSIS Notice 27-02 - FSIS Emergency Response Team
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
Permitted for Direct Addition to Food for Human Consumption; Neotame
Security in the United States
Journal of Food Safety