FSA: Poultry is Most Common Source of Food Poisoning in UK
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/fsa-poultry-is-most-common-source-of-food-poisoning-in-uk/
By Carla Gillespie (June 29, 2014)
Poultry is most common source of food poisoning in the UK. Poultry is the most common food source of food poisoning in the U.K., according to a new report from the Food Standards Agency (FSA). And, because it is often found in chicken, Campylobacter is the most common foodborne pathogen sickening at least 280,000 people in the U.K. each year.
‘These findings will help the FSA to target its resources more effectively in tackling food poisoning. They confirm that the FSA is right to put campylobacter at the top of its priority list. It is the biggest food safety problem we have and more needs to be done to tackle it,” said Professor Sarah O’Brien, the study’s lead researcher from the University of Liverpool.
Second after Campylobacter was Clostridium perfringens with 80,000 cases. Norovirus was third with an estimated 74,000 cases. Although it was not one of the top three pathogens in terms of overall volume of cases, Salmonella, was found to cause the most hospitalizations with about 2,500 each year.
For food sources, after poultry was produce with an estimated 48,000 cases. Beef and lamb were third an estimated 43,000 cases.
The study found that a known pathogen is only identifiable in about half of all reported food poisoning cases in the U.K. each year, or in about 500,000 cases. Most of them are attributable to just 13 pathogens.
Food safety for summer – and the other seasons
Source : http://barfblog.com/2014/06/food-safety-for-summer-and-the-other-seasons/
By Doug Powe (June 30, 2014)
When Liz Szabo of USA Today called me a few weeks ago, my immediate thought was, not another food safety tip story, because most of them are as exciting as watching soccer or listening to Springsteen.
But, I changed my mind because anyone can be a critic – gotta come up with some solutions.
I told Liz, let me talk to some of my colleagues and we’ll take a shot at something decent, because food safety encompasses a lot of areas, and the older I get, the less I know.
(Below is an edited version of the story, with a few annotations from me.
Doug Powell doesn’t bring wine when he’s invited to dinner.
He brings a food thermometer.
(I do bring wine, and I sometimes forget the thermometer, like the trip we’re on now up at Rainbow beach and Fraser Island in Queensland). Consistency matters and I try, but sometimes, stuff happens.)
As a food safety scientist and creator of barfblog.com, Powell knows way too much about the dangers of undercooked meat to take chances on the barbecue.
So he brings a food thermometer to every summer cookout. “I don’t get invited to dinner much,” he says.
• Always use a meat thermometer, Powell says. With practice, people can learn to stick them in burgers without slicing the patties in half. “Pick the meat up with tongs and insert the thermometer sideways, or through the top,” Powell suggests. Beef hamburgers should reach 160 degrees to kill germs, says Benjamin Chapman, assistant professor of food safety at North Carolina State University and a food safety specialist at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Temperature matters far more than color when it comes to meat, Chapman says; even thoroughly browned burgers can harbor bugs. “I was not a popular person at a family cookout a few years back when I insisted we ‘temp’ the chicken as we grilled in the rain,” says Donald Schaffner, a professor and extension specialist at Rutgers University in New Jersey. “But nobody got sick.”
• Slice your own cantaloupes. Although cantaloupes are loaded with vitamins, they’ve also caused some of the biggest outbreaks of food-borne illness in recent years. More than 260 people were sickened in a salmonella outbreak in 2012; nearly 100 were hospitalized and three died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cantaloupes spread disease more easily than watermelon or honeydew because their soft, bumpy skins soak up bacteria like a sponge, Powell says. Washing doesn’t help (much), and cutting amy.thermometer.05through the outer rind allows bacteria to infect the edible portion of the melon. While people don’t have to stop eating cantaloupes, they should keep sliced portions refrigerated, because cold temperatures slow bacterial growth. But stores are asking for trouble when they slice melons in half, wrap them in plastic and leave them at room temperature in the produce aisle, Powell says: “This is microbiological disaster waiting to happen.”
• Use a cooler — for cantaloupe, potato salad or other picnic foods. “Bacteria will grow if left out at warm temperatures long enough,” Powell says.
• But don’t be afraid of mayonnaise. The egg-based spread has gotten a bad rap, and some people have been afraid to take it on summer picnics. But “commercial mayo uses pasteurized eggs and has high levels of vinegar,” whose acid content helps control bacteria, Powell says. Homemade mayo, on the other hand, could be riskier. (See http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-3-3-14.xlsx
• Don’t wash poultry and other meat. “It just spreads bugs,” Powell says.
So are there any foods these three food experts won’t touch?
• Sprouts. Seeds and beans need warm, humid conditions to sprout and grow. So do bacteria, such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli. Raw or lightly cooked sprouts have caused at least 30 reported outbreaks of food-borne illness since 1996, according to FoodSafety.gov. Home-grown sprouts are no safer, because the bacteria can be found in the seeds themselves. So no matter how clean your house, bacteria can grow to dangerous levels. “Some providers test seed and provide sufficient controls, but consumers have no way of knowing which sprouts are good or not,” Powell says.
• Raw shellfish. Even a fancy dish such as raw oysters, served in high-end restaurants, can pose a huge risk, Powell says, because they can be exposed to raw waste while under water. “The bacteria Vibrio found on raw oysters produces a toxin that attacks vulnerable livers,” Powell says. “Raw shellfish is risky.”
• Raw milk can also contain dangerous bacteria, including salmonella, listeria, campylobacter and brucella, according to the CDC. Younger children, old people and those with weak immune systems are most at risk. “Getting sick from raw milk can mean many days of diarrhea, stomach cramping, and vomiting,” the CDC says. “Less commonly, it can mean kidney failure, paralysis, chronic disorders and even death.”
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Food safety: Take matters into your own hands
Source : http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2014/06/27/food-safety-take-matters-into-your-own-hands/
By eatocracy.cnn.com (June 27, 2014)
Reading, writing, arithmetic and...hand washing? Personal hygiene might seem like an odd addition to the academic canon, but a new study found that a significant portion of home cooks may not have mastered the basics of kitchen cleanliness. This can have some pretty serious impact on the health of the people they feed.
As we’ve noted many, many times before, if it seems like foodborne illness is on the rise, that’s because it is. About 48 million people contract some form of food poisoning each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and salmonella is often the culprit. The bacterial infection causes an estimated 1.3 million illnesses each year in the United States.
While the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service hopes to tackle that toll with the help of a “Salmonella Action Plan," only part of the effort is centered around creating best practices for food inspectors and farmers. The rest will be focused on teaching consumers about food safety.
For Dr. Christine Bruhn, a plan for public education can’t come quickly enough. As director of the Center for Consumer Research and a professor and researcher with the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology, Bruhn has spent her career advocating for better public awareness of the risks consumers face from food, and the role they play in their own well-being.
As team leader for a recent study funded by Foster Farms (a name familiar to many as the likely source of the chicken at the center of the salmonella outbreak that sickened more than 600 people last year), Bruhn saw firsthand how many home cooks are unaware of food safety basics - starting with proper hand washing.
Participants in the 120-person study were given $120 and asked to prepare their favorite chicken and salad recipes on camera in their own kitchens. They were not informed until afterward that they weren’t being assessed for the deliciousness of their dishes or sparkling presentation skills. Rather, they were being grilled on their sanitary practices, including hand washing before and throughout their cooking, the temperature of their refrigerator and the placement of the raw chicken within it, the temperature to which they cooked the chicken and the measures they took to prevent cross-contamination between the raw chicken and the salad ingredients.
Bruhn's takeaway: The public has a lot to learn.
Bruhn and her team studied the tapes, temperature readings and participants' food safety questions and found a few disturbing trends among the participants' methods, namely that 65% didn't wash their hands at the outset, 38% failed to wash their hands after handling raw chicken, 40% undercooked the chicken and only 5% voluntarily used a thermometer to check the meat's temperature, while most relied solely on appearance to assess the chicken's doneness.
At the same time, 85% of participants said they serve chicken dishes weekly, 48% indicated they had a food handler certificate or had previously worked in a restaurant and only 21% believed their family could become ill from chicken prepared in their home. While 36% of respondents believe they bear primary responsibility for their own food safety, another 36% believes that is the job of the food producers.
There's a deep disconnect between what people think they know about their role in the food safety chain, and what they're actually cooking up in their kitchens. Bruhn believes that a public education campaign is what's needed to bridge that gap.
"Half of the people said that they had food safety training, but they were busy doing other things. Some of them even washed their hands at the beginning, but then you get involved in something," explained Bruhn. "You get a phone call, and you've just been touching the chicken, so you pick up your phone and you didn't wash your hands yet. The cell phone was actually one of the sources of contamination pretty frequently."
It only spreads out from there, Bruhn explained. "You forgot the spices, so you open a cupboard door, reach for the spices, all of that without washing your hands! And the incredible thing is that if you have a moist hand, salmonella sticks here. Then it gets spread - to the spice container, to the cabinet handle, to the door of your refrigerator, everything you touch."
Her suggestion is to think of salmonella like honey. "You know how you touch honey and then you touch something else and there's honey residue left there? Consider your chicken as if it's covered in honey, and when you don't wash your hands, you're spreading it everywhere - you just can't see it."
To take food safety into your (sufficiently washed) hands, Bruhn recommends the following safety protocols:
- Wash your hands with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds, and dry them - ideally with a single-use paper towel - both before starting the cooking process, and throughout, especially after touching raw chicken.
- Store meat at the bottom of the refrigerator, in a refrigerator drawer or on a tray to prevent juices dripping onto other foods and potentially contaminating them. Set your refrigerator at 40°F to inhibit bacterial growth.
- Don't wash raw chicken, as that can lead to cross-contamination in the kitchen.
- Cook poultry to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F, beef, pork veal and lamb to 145°F and ground meat to 160°F measured with a calibrated thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat, without touching a bone.
Hepatitis A Scare: Fort Collins Tortilla Marissa’s Restaurant
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-watch/hepatitis-scare-fort-collins-tortilla-marissas-restaurant/#.U7zXd03lrs1
By Patti Waller (June 27, 2014)
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment is advising the public about a possible exposure to hepatitis A virus at the Tortilla Marissa’s restaurant located at 2635 S. College Avenue in Fort Collins.
A food worker employed at Tortilla Marissa has tested positive for hepatitis A, a disease that might be passed to others through food directly handled by the employee before any symptoms appeared. The restaurant is cooperating fully in the investigation and has agreed to voluntarily close until approved by the Department to reopen. The risk of transmission to others occurred primarily in June 2014, but there is a very low risk that transmission might extend back to May of this year. As of today, any customers have reported no secondary cases, but the disease has a long incubation period (time from infection to illness) of 14-50 days,
Health Department Recommendations for those who have dined in the past 14 days:
Customers who consumed food or drinks (either dine-in or take-out) from the restaurant in the past 14 days could benefit from getting a Hepatitis A vaccination or Immune Globulin (IG) injection to reduce the risk of illness.
The Larimer County Health Department is recommending vaccine or IG shots for people who have eaten any food prepared at Tortilla Marissa’s if they can obtain preventive treatment within 14 days of their exposure. Shots can be obtained from private health care providers or at two special clinics the Health Department will be holding on Sunday and Monday specifically for those potentially exposed to Hepatitis A through this restaurant.
The Health Department will be providing shots free-of-charge at the Larimer County Health Department, 1525 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, on Sunday, June 29th, from noon to 5 p.m. and on Monday, June 30, from 5pm – 8 pm. These clinics are only for customers who have eaten food prepared at Tortilla Marissa’s since June 15 (for the Sunday clinic) or since June 16 (for the Monday clinic.) Information about signing up for the two clinics will be posted on the Larimer County website (www.larimer.org) by Saturday afternoon, June 28. Online pre-registration for the clinics is strongly encouraged; as it will significant reduce wait times to receive services.
Some pharmacies may be able to provide Hepatitis A vaccine, with a physician’s order, for those customers whose 14-day window will expire on June 27 or 28, if they cannot get into their provider’s office. People who have had at least one vaccination for hepatitis A or have had the illness in the past are protected from hepatitis A infection and do NOT need to receive any shots.
People who recently ate at Tortilla Marrisa’s who are not currently in the Larimer County area are urged to contact their state or local public health department or their health care provider to obtain necessary shots if they can do so within the 14-day window.
Health Department Recommendations for those of that dined earlier in June or in May:
Those who ate at the restaurant more than 14 days ago might have been exposed, but a shot would not offer protection from any potential exposure to food from this restaurant. They should monitor their health and contact their health care provider if hepatitis symptoms develop.
Symptoms of hepatitis A may include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, gray or white stools, and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and/or skin). Symptoms are more severe in adults than children. For most people, symptoms usually appear about 4 weeks after ingesting the virus.
Anyone who develops symptoms should contact their health care provider and NOT prepare food for others. This is especially important for food workers, health care workers, and day care workers.
Preventing Transmission: Hepatitis A virus is shed in the stool and can be spread when an infected person does not properly wash his or her hands after using the bathroom, and then touches food or objects that others will put into their mouth. Kissing, hugging, sneezing, or casual contact does NOT spread it.
Thorough hand washing can prevent the spread of hepatitis A virus. As a prevention measure, people should always wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, after diapering, before preparing food, and before eating.
Ottawa invests in biosecurity and food safety for bees
Source : http://www.atlanticfarmfocus.ca/Agriculture/2014-06-26/article-3777875/Ottawa-invests-in-biosecurity-and-food-safety-for-bees/1
By atlanticfarmfocus.c (June 26, 2014)
The Canadian Honey Council (CHC) will receive over $340,000 from the federal government to enhance food safety and biosecurity standards for beekeeping.
The national value of honeybees for pollination of crops is estimated at over $2 billion annually.
The CHC recently updated its Canadian Bee Industry Safety Quality program, and this investment will allow them to develop various communication, training and outreach materials that will help Canadian beekeepers access the information and tools needed to maintain high standards for food safety and bee biosecurity within their beekeeping operations.
The investment that was announced June 20 is being made through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriMarketing Program.
House Bill Would Ban Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: FSIS Responds
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/house-bill-would-ban-antibiotic-resistant-bacteria/
By Linda Larsen (June 26, 2014)
This week, House members Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) introduced a bill that would ban antibiotic-resistant strains of Salmonella such as those that have sickened more than 600 people in the ongoing Foster Farms chicken outbreak. The bill would require the USDA to recall meat, poultry, or egg products that are contaminated with bacteria resistant to two or more critically important antibiotics or with bacteria or other pathogens that cause serious illness or death. The bill names Salmonella and Campylobacter as pathogens.
Despite Foster Farms products sickening so many people (at least 17,000 with the multiplier), no recall has ever been issued from Foster Farms or the USDA. Seven strains of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg are present in the contaminated chicken. The USDA will only issue a recall if a meat, poultry, or egg product is “adulterated”, which is a term some believe is vaguely defined in current law.
USDA’s FSIS responded to this action, stating that its implementation of its Salmonella Action Plan is sufficient. An FSIS spokesperson emailed Meatingplace.com and told them that “FSIS will continue to work aggressively in preventing foodborne illness, including implementing the first ever performance standards for Salmonella in chicken parts and ground poultry later this year.”
Seven strains of E. coli bacteria are banned in ground beef. Adding Salmonella and Campylobacter in chickens to this list would mean that it would be illegal to sell those products if they are contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Shigella Sickens 158 at Salsarita’s in Walmart Home Office Food Court
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/shigella-sickens-158-at-salsaritas-in-walmart-home-office-food-court/
By Carla Gillespie (June 26, 2014)
A Shigella outbreak at Salsarita’s in the Bentonville, Ark. Walmart home office food court has sickened 158, health authorities say. So far, 19 cases of shigellosis have been confirmed and another 139 are probable.
Shigella outbreaks Ark linked to WalmartThe restaurant, operated by Eurest, was temporarily closed for food safety violations including employees not washing their hands, employees touching food with their bare hands and juices from raw chicken dripping onto bottled drinks in the refrigerator. Another inspection is scheduled this week.
Can I Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?Shigella bacteria is found in fecal matter. Food related Shigella outbreaks are often caused by food workers who contaminate food by touching it or food preparation surfaces after using the bathroom and not washing hands or not washing them properly. When ingested, Shigella bacteria cause an infection called shigellosis. Symptoms of shigellosis, which include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps, develop one or two days after exposure and last up to a week. A high fever in children under two may lead to seizures.
Health department officials say they continue to receive reports of new cases. The investigation of the outbreak is ongoing.
Summer food safety tips
Source : http://www.petoskeynews.com/featured-pnr/summer-food-safety-tips/article_6ef2af4c-44bf-5349-95fb-a67cf9b3bcc7.html
By Debbie McGuiness (June 26, 2014)
Along with marching bands, decorated floats and fireworks, the Fourth of July holiday means picnics and grilling.
Most people know to keep cold foods cold to prevent food borne illness. But there's more to remember. Consider the following tips as you plan your summer out-of-doors meals.
Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic, the Food and Drug Administration and the Health Department of Northwest Michigan.
Check the forecast
You know to refrigerate perishable food within two hours. But did you know that drops to one hour when the temperature is above 90 F (32 C)? Serve, eat and get food back in the cooler.
Keep it clean
If your picnic spot doesn't have clean running water, bring some with you. Bring wipes or sanitizing gel for surfaces and hands. Always wash hands before food prep and after handling raw meats.
Keep it cool
Use an insulated cooler with ice, ice packs or partially frozen items to keep food at 40 F (4 C) or cooler. Recycled milk jugs filled with water and frozen are an easy method to use.
Keep separate coolers for food and beverages. Chances are people will be in and out of the beverage cooler, which lets cold air escape. To keep food as cold as possible, keep that cooler closed until you're ready to cook. Pack meat in plastic and put it on the bottom of the cooler to prevent it from leaking on other foods. Pack two platters — one for raw meat and one for cooked meat.
Use a thermometer
Don't rely on the color of meat to judge when it's cooked enough. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. Safe minimum temperatures are:
165 F (74 C) for any type of poultry
160 F (71 C) for ground meat other than poultry
145 F (63 C) for solid cuts, such as steaks, of meat or fish
So enjoy the warmer weather but keep food safety in mind as you pack your picnic cooler or fire up the grill.
THE CHILL CHALLENGE
According to both the United States Food and Drug Administration and the United States Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, refrigeration at 40 F or below is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Microorganisms grow more rapidly at warmer temperatures, and research shows that keeping a constant refrigerator temperature of 40 F or below helps slow growth of these harmful microbes.
Irradiated food safe for consumption
Source : http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/06/25/irradiated-food-safe-consumption/
By KUALA LUMPUR (June 25, 2014)
The Malaysian Nuclear Agency says a method, which involves the process of exposing final food products to a controlled amount of gamma radiation, can destroy harmful bacteria and keep food, especially raw products and fruits, from spoiling. — File pic
The food irradiation process, which uses nuclear technology, is the best alternative method to increase food quality and safety, according to the Malaysian Nuclear Agency (MNA) director-general Datuk Dr Muhamad Lebai Juri.
He said the method, which involved the process of exposing final food products to a controlled amount of gamma radiation, could destroy harmful bacteria and keep food, especially raw products and fruits, from spoiling.
“The process is usually done for preservation, decontamination and quarantine purposes, as it could destroy bacteria in food products meant for export,” he said after opening the Food Safety Seminar 2014 here today.
However, he said some people were still confused about the whole irradiation process as it involved nuclear technology.
As such, Dr Muhamad said irradiated food was safe for consumption as the process did not leave any trace of radioactive materials in food products.
He added the safety of irradiated food had been recognised and guaranteed by international agencies, such as the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation in over 60 countries including Malaysia.
Dr Muhamad said research to determine the suitability of the irradiation method to be done on local food products had been carried out by MNA researchers, with cooperation from other agencies, since 1980.
The Health Ministry had also approved the sale of irradiated food products in the country under the Food Irradiation Regulations 2011, which took effect from October 2013.
He added food exporters in Malaysia were also encouraged to make optimum use of the method to meet the rising foreign demand for local food products.
The fourth edition of the two-day Food Safety Seminar organised by MNA and Malaysian Radiation Protection Association began today.
It is aimed at discussing irradiation-related issues to provide greater understanding and change the public perception on the irradiation method.
China Serves up New Food Safety Penalties
Source : http://www.thepigsite.com/swinenews/36970/china-serves-up-new-food-safety-penalties
By thepigsite.com (June 24, 2014)
CHINA - A revision to China's Food Safety Law had its first reading on Monday (23 June) and pledges tough sanctions for offenders, promising the strictest food safety supervision system.
The current law has helped improve food safety, but the situation remains severe, said Zhang Yong, head of the food and drug administration, when briefing the lawmakers at the bi-monthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), which will run through Monday to Friday.
The existing system is not effective, penalties are comparatively light and it does not deter offenders, Mr Yong said.
A number of shocking malpractices, including injecting clenbuterol into pork, recycling cooking oil from leftovers in restaurant kitchens, selling pork from sick pigs, making medicine capsules with toxic gelatin and passing rat and fox meat off as mutton and beef have been headline news in China recently.
The latest case was use of illegal additives in growing bean sprouts, one of China's most popular vegetables. Police in east China's Shandong Province seized nearly two tonnes of toxic bean sprouts last week.
The bill is considered a move to realize the promise the current leadership made at the third plenary session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee in last November, which is to establish the strictest ever supervision system on food safety.
Through the law amendment, the country expects to impose the harshest civil, administrative and criminal penalties on offenders and toughest punishment on supervisors who neglect their duties, Mr Yong said.
According to the bill, consumers can demand reparation worth of three times of loss they suffer from substandard food. Current law only allows compensation of ten times of the price of food.
As substandard food can be very cheap and can cause serious health problems and great financial losses, consumers expect to get higher compensation if the revision is adopted.
Bigger fines for offenders are also on the menu. Producers can face fines of up to 30 times of the value of their products, up from ten times in the current law. If the products are worth less than 10,000 yuan (1,600 US dollars), those involved can be fined a maximum of 150,000 yuan, up from 50,000 yuan in the current law.
The bill adds provisions to punish landlords of production sites who know that illegal activities are being undertaken on their property, and suppliers who sell unlawful substances to producers, knowing that they will be added to foods. Their illegal income will be seized and they can be fined up to 200,000 yuan.
Administrative penalties, such as demotion and dismissal, will be imposed on officials who fail to respond to food safety emergencies and remove loopholes. They will also be held responsible for food safety cover-ups. Similar punishments will be dished out to officials with food and drug regulatory agencies, health and agriculture departments.
Those caught abusing their power and neglecting their duty for personal gain will face criminal penalties.
Big data's vital role in solving urgent food safety problems
Source : http://www.techrepublic.com/article/big-datas-vital-role-in-solving-urgent-food-safety-problems/
By Mary Shacklett (June 23, 2014)
Discover how food producers and transporters are turning to sensor-based technologies, scanners, other mobile devices, and analytics to monitor and collect data about their supply chains.
In response to growing public safety concerns about food safety, the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law on January 4, 2011. In its first phases, the FSMA focused on regulating food sources and the food supply chain; in 2014, its focus is broadening to the transport of food from producer to consumer.
What makes the FSMA interesting as a big data initiative is its acute sense of urgency. There are deadlines that food producers and transportation companies must meet, and a US public that sees one in six Americans (or 48 million people) get sick each year from eating the food that they buy. Of these victims, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die annually, according to 2011 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To improve this situation and to ensure that they don't fall under the microscope of government auditors, food producers and transporters are turning to sensor-based technologies and analytics that will inject big data into their supply chains and provide them with visibility that can be as granular as pegging a contaminated shipment to a particular farmer's field.
Equally important is "track and trace" monitoring and visibility of food shipments during transport. This track and trace monitoring will use sensor- and RFID-based technologies that can follow food shipments from their points of origin through the logistics network and into warehouses, distribution centers, and retail outlets. If the foods are "cold chain" goods that require refrigeration or other types of strict environmental controls, such as maintenance of the goods in specific humidity ranges during transport, sensors for temperature and humidity will be expected in transport vehicles and in the containers that they carry. The sensor-based technology that controls the quality and safety of food in transport containers works in two ways: It can provide GPS data that delivers real-time information about the location of the transporter carrying the goods, and it can monitor the temperature and humidity parameters within food containers, immediately sending out automated alerts if a particular container's environmentals begin to fail.
Data automation and a new "payload" of big data generated by sensors, scanners, and other mobile devices will also enable companies to plug the holes in the supply chain where there formerly was no visibility. One prime example is yard management (i.e., the controlling of trucks entering and leaving the yards of warehouses and distribution centers to drop off or load goods). Still using walkie-talkies and clipboards that are reminiscent of the mid-20th century, companies log arrivals and departures of trucks. It's easy to get busy and to forget about the truck loaded with produce that sits in the yard for three weeks without activity while its cargo rots.
"The challenge is that there are many different vendors and many different scheduling requirements," said Greg Braun, senior vice president sales and marketing for C3 Solutions, which provides dock scheduling and yard management solutions. "Yard transactions should be done electronically, yet they get done via email or through a highly manual process."
Within the supply chain, less critical functions like yard management have never been priorities for many companies that instead have put effort into updating and automating warehouse and transportation management systems. However, with continuing food safety problems in the US (e.g., the E. coli beef outbreak in May 2014), public and governmental pressures will stay focused on companies to move to sensor-based technologies and big data monitoring and analytics that can collect machine-generated data for shipment track and tracing, and also for continuously in-transit monitoring of produce and other perishable foods as they travel from producers to consumers.
Shigella Outbreak Closes Walmart Home Office Restaurant
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/shigella-outbreak-closes-walmart-home-office-restaurant/
By Carla Gillespie (June 24, 2014)
Shigella outbreaks Ark linked to WalmartA Shigella outbreak at Salsarita’s, a restaurant in the food court of the Walmart home office in Bentonville, Ark., prompted the restaurant’s closure after health inspectors found several food safety violations including employees not washing their hands, touching food with their bare hands and juices from raw chicken dripping on to bottled drinks in the refrigerator.
Dozens of Walmart employees became ill after eating at the restaurant last week. Shigella is transmitted when an infected person does not wash hands properly and then touches food or a surface used to prepare food. After it is ingested, the Shigella bacteria causes an infection called shigellosis. Symptoms, which include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, set in one or two days after ingestion and last up to a week. A high fever in children under two may lead to seizures.
Health inspectors found nine violations during and inspection last week including not washing hands, touching food with bare hands and juices form raw chicken dripping on to bottled drinks. In a follow up inspection yesterday they found seven violations, several of them the same as during the first inspection including employees still not washing their hands properly. The restaurant was then closed.
Health department officials continue to receive reports of new cases. The investigation of the outbreak is ongoing. Another inspection of the restaurant is scheduled for late this week.
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