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FoodHACCP Newsletter
12/01 2014 ISSUE:628

Canada’s Food Safety System Ranked Best in the World
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/canadas-food-safety-system-ranked-best-in-the-world/
By Linda Larsen (Nov 30, 2014)
According to the government of Canada, their food safety system has ranked first out of 17 countries on food safety performance. The University of Guelph’s Food Institute compared the food safety systems of 17 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The ranking scores are determined by 10 indicators in the areas of assessment, management, and communication.
Other countries in the study included Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Canada and Ireland tied for first. France was second, and the UK, Norway, and the United States were in the top five. Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) helped fund the report.
Researchers also looked at prevalence of foodborne illness, recalls, standards of traceability, public trust, pesticide use, and food allergies. Canada scored top marks in pesticide use and food allergen control. Canada has 3,577 federal food safety inspectors, which is more than many other OECD countries.
But Canada has problems with traceability, which the report claims is very poor for produce and non-animal food products. “Canada has no national supply chain traceability regulation in place, notably for commodities and products outside animal production,” according to the report. Traceability is critical for tracking contaminated food once an outbreak has occurred.
Political posturing in Canada may affect their food safety system, since the Conservative government may be proposing millions of dollars in cuts to the CFIA. Canada’s public service union has been critical of the proposed cuts that are part of a restructuring, which they say may cut almost 200 inspectors.

Wild game food safety tips
Source : http://www.theadanews.com/news/wild-game-food-safety-tips/article_6195d064-7811-11e4-a1a7-23c3796009d4.html
By theadanews.com (Nov 30, 2014)
The orange and the camouflage clothing have emerged from the closet and this can mean only one thing — hunting season is officially here.
While hunters practice safety precautions out in the field, it is important to also remember certain safety practices when cleaning and preserving game.
Good food safety practices with wild game and fish begins out in the field. After the game is properly dressed, it’s important to keep the carcass cool during transport until it reaches the locker plant. Keep the carcass out of direct sunlight and make sure there’s adequate air circulation.
A carcass can be processed at home, but it is important not to cross-contaminate during processing. Be careful and wash the knife, hands and cutting board often with warm, soapy water. It is also important to wear rubber gloves.
For aging meat, hold carcasses or cuts at temperatures of 34 degrees to 37 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 14 days. This allows enzymes in meat to break down some complex proteins and often makes meat more tender and flavorful.
Immediately after death, all meat decreases in tenderness. To help make the meat more tender beef is aged, but with wild game aging may not be necessary. Aging meat is not recommended for carcasses with little or no fat covering since it may dry out during aging.
If this is the case, leave the hide on and maintain proper temperature. If there is not proper cooler space, spoilage or dehydration may result.
When storing meat in the refrigerator, it should be used within two to three days. Raw and cooked meat should be kept separate to prevent cross-contamination.
The best advice to give when freezing meat is to set the freezer temperature at negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit at least 24 hours ahead of freezing large quantities of fresh food. Spread packages around freezer until frozen, then you can stack. For the best quality, keep temperatures at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Canning meat is another form of preservation and it is important to remember not to can meat unless using a pressure canner and a recipe from a reliable source.
Improperly canned meat can kill. Low acid foods, such as meat and most mixtures of food should never be canned in the water-bath method. Pressure and adequate time are necessary to produce safe canned meat.
“Wild Game Food Safety: Venison” is a DVD with additional information on this topic and can be found by contacting the Pontotoc County OSU Extension Office.

11 Sickened in UK by Rare E. Coli O55 Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/11/10-sick-in-uk-from-e-coli-o55/#.VHvy2U1WHs1
By News Desk (Nov 28, 2014)
At least 11 people in the Blandford area of Dorset, United Kingdom, have been diagnosed with E. coli O55 infections, a rare strain of E. coli never before recorded in the U.K., according to BBC News.
Seven patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kidney disease associated with the most severe E. coli illnesses, according to the report.
Some of the patients include children from the Blanford Children’s Centre Nursery.
One child was diagnosed as far back as mid-October. The nursery closed for three days of deep cleaning after that diagnosis, according to a nursery representative.
Another child from the nursery became infected on Monday, Nov. 24. The nursery is currently closed pending results from staff blood tests and children’s stool samples.
No direct link has been confirmed between the nursery and the outbreak.
E. coli can be passed from person to person, and young children are especially vulnerable to infections from the bacteria.
Local health authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the outbreak.





 

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Health Canada Warns of Risks Associated with Homemade Baby Formula
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/health-canada-warns-of-risks-associated-with-homemade-baby-formula/
By Carla Gillespie (Nov 27, 2014)
Health Canada is warning consumers about the risks associated with homemade baby formula. The homemade formulas can “cause severe malnutrition and potentially fatal illness in infants,” health authorities say.
Recipes for homemade formula, available on the Internet, are billed as healthy alternatives to appeal to processed foods. But there is a reason why commercial infant formula is one of the most tightly regulated products on the market, health officials say. It’s not easy to replicate human breast milk. Infants have have specific nutritional needs that are not the same as those of adults or children. Every ounce they take in needs to be balanced with the the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, fats  and protein.
Whereas homemade formulas carry the risk of nutritional deficiencies,  toxicity from too much of an added ingredient, and contamination from pathogens such as E.coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella; commercial formulas undergo a full safety and nutritional quality assessment by Health Canada before they can be sold. Makers of commercial formula must provide scientific evidence that their products can support healthy growth in infants and pose no risk of toxicity or microbial contamination.
Health Canada, is joined by the he Canadian Pediatric Society, and the Dietitians of Canada in advising against the use of homemade infant formulas. Health Canada’s warning states that the agency:  “strongly supports breastfeeding and promotes it as the normal and most beneficial method of feeding infants for normal growth, health and development. For babies that are not breastfed or receiving breastmilk, Health Canada recommends only commercial infant formula as a substitute.”

Study: 70 Percent of Chickens in UK Stores Test Positive for Campylobacter
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/11/study-70-percent-of-chickens-in-uk-stores-test-positive-for-campylobacter/#.VHvu8U1WHs1
By News Desk (Nov 27, 2014)
Seventy percent of supermarket chickens in the United Kingdom have tested positive for Campylobacter in the first half of a year-long study being conducted by the country’s Food Standards Agency (FSA).
In recent years, FSA has said its number-one food safety priority is to reduce contamination of Campylobacter, a foodborne bacteria largely associated with chicken that causes diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping.
As part of that effort, the agency plans to test 4,000 supermarket chickens for Campylobacter over the course of a year. Now halfway through, they’ve tested 1,995 chickens and their packages.
Eighteen percent of chickens tested above the highest category of contamination levels (more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram), while six percent of packages also tested positive for Campylobacter.
While the levels of contamination varied between retailers, no store has yet to meet targets for reducing Campylobacter levels.
According to FSA, Campylobacter is the most common form of food poisoning in the UK, sickening roughly 280,000 people a year. In the U.S., Campylobacter is estimated to cause 1.3 million illnesses each year.
Earlier this week, major U.K. retailer Marks & Spencer announced its “Campylobacter challenge,” a 5-point program intended to reduce levels of illnesses contracted from its chicken. Strategies outlined in the plan include rapidly chilling chickens as they’re processed and offering bonuses to farmers who produce chickens on Campylobacter-free farms.
In 2011, food safety law firm Marler Clark funded a bacterial survey of retail chicken sold in the Seattle area, finding that 65 percent was contaminated with Campylobacter. (Marler Clark underwrites Food Safety News.)
Additionally, 42 percent of chicken in that survey was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus. In total, 80 percent of chicken samples were found to harbor some potentially harmful pathogen.

Health: Diabetes & Holiday Food Safety
Source : http://rejoicemagazine.net/?p=7247
By Rejoice Magazine Staff (Nov 27, 2014)
Diabetes can affect various organs and systems in the body, causing them not to function properly, leaving you more susceptible to infection. When your immune system is functioning properly it readily fights off harmful bacteria and other pathogens that can cause foodborne illness. With diabetes, your immune system may not readily recognize harmful bacteria or other pathogens. This delay in the body’s natural response to foreign invasion places a person with diabetes at increased risk for infection.
To avoid contracting a foodborne illness – also called food poisoning, you must be vigilant when handling, preparing, and consuming foods. Don’t let food poisoning spoil your holiday celebration. Follow these simple steps for planning, shopping, cooking and wrapping up the holiday feast.
Proper planning. Make sure your kitchen is equipped with what you need for safe food handling, including two cutting boards (one for raw meats and seafood and the other for ready-to-eat foods), a food thermometer, shallow containers for storage, paper towels and soap.
Store foods in the refrigerator at 40°F or below or in the freezer at 0°F or below. Check the temperature of both the refrigerator and freezer with a refrigerator thermometer.
Safe shopping. It’s important to keep food safety in mind as you shop. Whether in the shopping cart, reusable grocery tote or the car trunk, keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from ready-to-eat foods like fruit, vegetables and bread.
Don’t purchase bruised or damaged produce, or canned goods that are dented, leaking, bulging or rusted, as these may become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
Buy cold foods last and bring foods directly home from the grocery store. Remember to always refrigerate perishable foods, such as raw meat or poultry, within two hours.
Working in the kitchen
In a holiday kitchen filled with family and friends, everyone wants to lend a helping hand, but are those hands clean? Make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly with warm running water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling those culinary delights.
When baking delicious holiday treats, remember that no one should eat raw cookie dough, brownie or cake batter containing raw eggs.
Wrapping up leftovers
Having leftover turkey, ham and other holiday favorites means you can enjoy additional tasty meals days after your feast. But as good as they may taste – even when refrigerated properly, leftovers should be eaten, frozen or discarded within three to four days.
Throw away all perishable foods, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles, left at room temperature longer than two hours. Refrigerate or freeze other leftovers in shallow, airtight containers and label with an expiration date.
Use cooked leftover turkey, stuffing and gravy within three to four days. Cooked turkey will keep for three to four months in the freezer.
Reheat cooked leftovers thoroughly to 165°F or until hot and steaming.
Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil before serving.

Agency stresses Thanksgiving focus on food safety
Source : http://www.whas11.com/story/news/health/2014/11/26/thanksgiving-food-safety-kentucky-department/19529179/
By Associated Press (Nov 26, 2014)
Public Health Department food safety branch manager Mark Reed says everyone should pay attention to the principles of food safety, including restaurants, caterers and home cooks.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that focuses on food, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health wants the focus to include food safety as well.
Public Health Department food safety branch manager Mark Reed says everyone should pay attention to the principles of food safety, including restaurants, caterers and home cooks.
A news release from the department says diners can be exposed to salmonella, E. coli infection, botulism and other diseases by improperly stored or handled food.
Recommendations include refrigerating perishable items, using a food thermometer, thawing frozen turkey in original packaging for 24 hours per 4 pounds and, if you're unsure about the safety of a food item, use the adage, "when it doubt, throw it out."
For more information, visit http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/food.htm and click on "Holiday Food Safety Success Kit."

Sprout Salmonella Outbreak Up to 68 in Northeast
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/11/sprout-salmonella-outbreak-up-to-68-in-northeast/#.VHvzBU1WHs1
By News Desk (Nov 26, 2014)
As of November 24, a total of 68 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Connecticut (4), Maine (3), Massachusetts (31), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (5), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island (6), and Vermont (3). The one ill person from Montana traveled to the Eastern United States during the period when likely exposure occurred.
Illness onset dates range from September 30, 2014 to November 10, 2014. Ill persons range in age from younger than one year to 83 years, with a median age of 31 years. Fifty-six percent of ill persons are female. Among 43 persons with available information, 11 (26%) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are the likely source of this outbreak.
The information available to date indicates that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. may be contaminated with Salmonella and are not safe to eat. As of November 21, 2014, the firm has verbally agreed to voluntarily stop the production and sale of their bean sprouts.

68 Sickened by Salmonella Sprouts, but No Recall?
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-information/68-sickened-by-salmonella-sprouts-but-no-recall/#.VHvwNE1WHs1
By Bruce Clark (Nov 26, 2014)
The CDC reports as of November 24, a total of 68 persons infected with the outbreak strains have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Connecticut (4), Maine (3), Massachusetts (31), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (5), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island (6), and Vermont (3). The one ill person from Montana traveled to the Eastern United States during the period when likely exposure occurred.
Illness onset dates range from September 30, 2014 to November 10, 2014. Ill persons range in age from younger than one year to 83 years, with a median age of 31 years. Fifty-six percent of ill persons are female. Among 43 persons with available information, 11 (26%) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
This outbreak can be visually described with a chart showing the number of persons who became ill each day. This chart is called an epidemic curve or epi curve. Illnesses that occurred after November 4, 2014 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are the likely source of this outbreak.  What the FDA has said thus far about a recall or not:  On November 21, 2014, Wonton Foods, Inc. said that it would stop the production and sale of mung bean sprouts and take other actions to prevent Salmonella contamination. The firm has reported that their last shipment of bean sprouts was on November 18, 2014.  FDA is continuing its investigation and will work with the firm on any required corrective actions. The company has been silent.
Salmonella:  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.  Here is a bit of history of Sprout Lawsuits:
•Jimmy John’s and Sprouts Extraordinaire E. coli Outbreak Lawsuits – Colorado (2008)
In September and October of 2008, public health officials in Colorado identified at least 19 cases of E. coli infection among customers of Jimmy John’s restaurants.  An outbreak investigation ensued and alfalfa sprouts were determined to be the source of E. coli contamination in the restaurants.
•Caudill Alfalfa Sprouts Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuits – Multistate (2009)
Between February and March of 2009, 235 people in 14 states became ill with Salmonella Saintpaul infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have advised consumers to stay away from all raw sprouts, as the contamination appears to be in the seeds, which are sold nationwide.
•Caldwell Foods Alfalfa Sprouts Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuit – California (2010)
An outbreak of Salmonella Newport that sickened 23 people in 10 states was linked to raw alfalfa sprouts in March of 2010.  The CDC reported illnesses in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
•Jimmy John’s & Tiny Greens Organic Farms Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuits – Nationwide (2010)
In December of 2010, Alfalfa Sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants were identified as the source of a multi-state outbreak of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella Serotype I 4,5,12,i-. At least 140 people in 26 states and the District of Columbia were diagnosed with Salmonella infections linked to the consumption of contaminated alfalfa sprouts served at Jimmy John’s.
•Sprouters Northwest Jimmy John’s Salmonella Outbreak Lawsuits – Washington, Oregon (2011)
On January 3, 2011 the Oregon Health Authority issued a News Release warning consumers of a Salmonella Newport risk and recall related to clover sprouts produced by Sprouters Northwest, Inc. of Kent, Washington. Health officials linked at least six people to the outbreak who consumed sprouts in December 2010; two in Oregon and four in Washington.
•Jimmy John’s Clover Sprouts E. coli O26 Outbreak Lawsuits – Multistate (2012)
Clover sprouts served on Jimmy John’s sandwiches between December, 2011 and March, 2012 were the source of a multi-state E. coli O26 outbreak.  On February 15, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it was working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and various local and state health departments to investigate an E. coli O26 outbreak linked to raw clover sprouts served on sandwiches sold at Jimmy John’s restaurants in five states. As of April 4, the CDC had confirmed that at least 29 people, including 6 who were hospitalized, had become ill with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O26 infections associated with the consumption of raw clover sprouts.
•Evergreen Fresh Sprouts E. coli O121 Outbreak Lawsuits –Multistate (2014)
As of June 9, 2014, the CDC reported a total of 17 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O121 (STEC O121) have been reported from five states.  The number of ill persons identified in each state was as follows:  Idaho (3), Michigan (1), Montana (2), Utah (1), and Washington (10).

Consumers Urged to Go Antibiotic-Free With Their Thanksgiving Turkey
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/11/going-with-antibiotic-free-turkey-for-thanksgiving/#.VHvwd01WHs1
By Lydia Zuraw (Nov 26, 2014)
Public health advocates are calling on consumers to go antibiotic-free with their traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
Earlier this week, the Pew Charitable Trusts posted its three reasons to buy a Thanksgiving turkey raised without antibiotics — the main one being that consumers can influence food producers to curb the overuse of antibiotics in livestock raised for food by “voting with their wallets.”
The concern is not with antibiotic residue — something for which the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects — but that overuse of antibiotics on farms contributes to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bugs, foodborne and otherwise.
This is not the first year such groups have made the plea. Last November, set against the backdrop of the outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella Heidelberg linked to Foster Farms brand chicken that sickened 634 people, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggested that Americans choose USDA Organic or turkey sold under a “No Antibiotics Administered” label.
This year, healthcare professionals are also taking a stance on antibiotics used on farms. The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship (SHARPS) group created a pledge for pharmacists and physicians to “Celebrate Thanksgiving this year by purchasing (or encouraging my Thanksgiving host to purchase) a turkey raised without the routine use of antibiotics” and to educate the food service managers at their healthcare facilities about antibiotic stewardship and discuss the importance of purchasing meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics.
Over the summer, Cargill announced that it would stop using antibiotics for growth promotion in raising its turkeys. While not agreeing to go entirely antibiotic-free — the drugs will still be used for treating illnesses and for disease prevention — the company became the first major U.S. turkey producer to have a USDA Process Verified program for no antibiotics used for growth promotion.
Cargill stated that its Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms brand turkeys would be available without the growth-promoting antibiotics this Thanksgiving and that all of the company’s flocks will be raised without growth-promoting antibiotics by the end of 2015.
Some advocates, such as Steven Roach, a senior analyst with Keep Antibiotics Working, have argued that Cargill’s changes aren’t enough. He told Food Safety News this past summer that he wanted the company to show more commitment to reducing overall antibiotic use by tracking the amount used before and after the end of growth promotion.
As with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guidance #213, which phases out the use of the drugs for certain uses, there are concerns that antibiotic use won’t decrease because it will simply be labeled as “disease prevention” in place of “growth promotion.”

Lebanon to shut down several dairies for violating food safety regulations
Source : http://yalibnan.com/2014/11/25/lebanon-to-shut-down-several-dairies-for-violating-food-safety-regulations/
By alibnan (Nov 25, 2014)
Economy Minister Alain Hakim announced on Tuesday that his ministry will shut down several dairy factories for violating food safety regulations .
This is reportedly inline with the campaign led by Health Minister Wael Abou Faour who has been shutting down violating restaurants and institutions.
“These factories committed serious, first degree violations that directly affect the health of citizens as shown by tests and analyses,” Hakim said in comments published in As Safir newspaper on Tuesday
“I am obliged to shut down these factories and name them as per the law, especially after the owners ignored warnings to rectify the conditions of the factories,” the minister added.
The minister named the violating factories that will be affected as: Laqlouq Labneh, Qaisar, Massabki, Center Jdeita, Shtaura Dairy products and Hawa Dairy.
“We also took measures against several other institutions that violated the administrative work.” he said
Hakim also said in comments to al-Liwaa newspaper that Prime Minister Tammam Salam and his cabinet are keen to preserve the ministerial solidarity regarding the food safety case.
“It became the policy of the cabinet and not one minister.”
Minister Abou Faour told As Safir that he is optimistic over Hakim’s endeavors to end violations.
“I am glad that my fellow ministers are now convinced over the importance of the food safety campaign and began implementing it,” he noted.

Research, food-safety fundamentals guide holiday meal preparations
Source : http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-food-safety-fundamentals-holiday-meal.html
By Jeff Mulhollem (Nov 25,2014)
This is the time of year when we gather to feast on roasted turkey, stuffing and other fixings. For many, it will be the first time they will prepare a holiday dinner, while for others, it will be the latest of many memorable occasions. But those memories should not revolve around foodborne illness, according to a Penn State expert.
Research over the years—much of it conducted by scientists at land-grant universities such as Penn State—has increased the safety of the U.S. food supply significantly, from farm to fork. For example, researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences currently are exploring ways to more quickly trace foodborne illness outbreaks so they can be stopped at the source; studying methods to identify and eliminate antibiotic-resistant pathogens; and developing novel processing technologies to kill bacteria without damaging the food they contaminate.
But, according to Martin Bucknavage, food safety specialist with Penn State Extension, the best research and technology can be rendered useless if consumers don't follow science-based food-safety fundamentals that greatly reduce the risk of bacterial pathogens commonly found in meats and poultry—including Salmonella, Listeria and Campylobacter.
As the holidays approach, Bucknavage noted, Penn State Extension still receives many questions involving the safe preparation and serving of food. And it's not just inexperienced food preparers who need to hear this food-safety advice.
"Too often, people are willing to overlook food-safety rules because they don't understand the science behind them," he said. "It seems that once people understand why it's important, they are more willing to follow these food-safety fundamentals in order to keep their family safe from foodborne illness."
He emphasized the following steps for preparing a turkey dinner:
Thaw the frozen bird in a refrigerator. "The problem is that poultry has been shown to contain pathogens, especially on the surface," Bucknavage explained. "As the bird defrosts at room temperature, the outside will be closer to room temperature while the middle still may be frozen. Because of this, pathogens present on the outside of the turkey are more likely to multiply. Thawing the bird at refrigeration temperature will limit this growth."
It does take longer, so it requires planning—you can't wait until the last minute and then use drastic measures to defrost the bird. Defrosting at high temperatures could result in higher levels of pathogens. "The more bacterial pathogens you have on the bird, the greater the chance of cross contamination to your kitchen surfaces and other food, thus the greater the risk of getting foodborne illness."
No need to wash the outside of the bird. When you wash the bird in your sink, you are more likely to spread pathogenic bacteria that can be on the skin of the turkey through the water droplets splashing off the bird or dripping from it after you wash it. The cooking process will destroy these bacteria, so there is no need to wash the surface of the bird.
Cook the turkey to a minimum of 165 F.  U.S. Department of Agriculture has set the minimum cook temperature for poultry at 165 F. This temperature has been shown to destroy the bacterial pathogens naturally associated with poultry. Research also has shown that cooking to higher temperatures, above 172 F, will improve the sensory aspects of the meat.
Cook stuffing separately. While many enjoy cooking the turkey with the stuffing already in it, there is a risk of either overcooking the bird or undercooking the stuffing. If you pre-stuff the turkey, both the stuffing and the bird must reach a minimum temperature of 165 F. Because the bird insulates the stuffing, it will take much longer for the stuffing to reach that temperature, meaning that you are likely to overcook the bird. Cooking separately allows for optimal cooking for both the bird and the stuffing. "You always can stuff the bird afterwards," Bucknavage said.
Clean as you go. In handling a big turkey, there is the likelihood of cross contamination from raw bird drippings contacting kitchen surfaces, other food or your hands. "These droplets can contain pathogenic bacteria, and even a small droplet can contain hundreds or thousands of bacteria," Bucknavage warned.
"So if someone should put a food item or their finger into a small droplet, bacteria in that droplet easily can make their way into the person's mouth, potentially resulting in illness."
Properly handle and refrigerate leftovers. Even if the bird is cooked properly, there are bacteria that can survive the cooking process and grow in a temperature abused-product. Spore-forming organisms, such as Clostridium perfrigens, can grow very rapidly in meat if that meat is held at room temperature for too long, and the longer it is out of the refrigerator, the higher the numbers can get.
Along with this are organisms naturally found on people that can contaminate the bird after cooking. Staphylococcus aureus, a common organism found on people's skin, is not a problem normally but can be if it gets onto a cooked meat item that is temperature abused.
Staphylococcus aureus can grow on cooked poultry left out too long, and as it grows, it can produce a potent toxin that will cause vomiting. For both these organisms, the longer the time the food is held at room temperature or higher, the more likely they are to grow.
"What is a safe amount of time that food can be left out? Two hours or less at room temperature is normally a good standard to set," Bucknavage said, adding that planning is the key to preparing a safe turkey for the holidays.
"Plan enough time to thaw your bird in the refrigerator, have a thermometer available to ensure it has reached the proper temperature, have cleaning material on hand to wash and sanitize your surfaces and your hands, and finally, get those leftovers refrigerated."

Practice food safety this holiday season
Source : https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2014/nov/25/practice-food-safety-this-holiday-season/
By victoriaadvocate.com (Nov. 25, 2014)
It's that time of the year when we celebrate Thanksgiving. Many of us look forward to the American holiday with family, food and fun. The last thing we want to spoil our fun is to be sick.
Is the upset stomach, diarrhea or fever caused by a foodborne illness or something else? Foodborne illnesses are more common than you think. Most of us know safe food handling practices, but how many of us really follow all of the guidelines?
The three basic food safety rules for preparation, serving and storage are to keep food clean, keep hot food hot and keep cold food cold.
It sounds basic and simple, but with large numbers of people gathering for a meal there are many variables that could potentially make people sick. All people can be at risk, but pregnant women, infants, young children, older adults or adults with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable.
One of the most common bacteria is salmonella, which is the leading cause of estimated hospitalizations and deaths from food poisoning. It's mostly found in raw or undercooked poultry, meat, eggs and unpasteurized milk. Prevention is easy. Cook the raw food thoroughly, washing hands and cooking utensils after handling raw food products.
Another prominent bacterium is clostridium perfringens. This bacteria is present everywhere, growing where there's little or no oxygen. Sometimes, this is called the buffet germ, as it grows fastest in large portions such as casseroles, stuffings, stews and gravies.
Basic food safety and common sense can be the best prevention for you and your loved ones.
Thaw your turkey safely by keeping it out of the 40- to 140-degree danger zone. This range of temperature is called the danger zone because a food remaining in this range causes rapid growth of bacteria. The safest way is to thaw the bird in the refrigerator. Thawing the turkey on the counter is unsafe.
Cook the turkey to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees. Whole turkeys can have an internal temperature at the thickest breast area of 170 degrees. Temperature probes are available at most stores that sell food. Roast the bird in a 325-degree oven.
It is no longer advisable to stuff the turkey with dressing. Cook the dressing in a separate dish to ensure complete safety. Smoked meats, such as ham or poultry, are smoked for flavor, not preservation. The only exceptions are country hams and dry sausages because of the high sodium and low moisture content. Smoked meats must still be keep refrigerated and cooked to an internal temperature of of 165 degrees.
Leftovers should be refrigerated and stored as soon as possible or within two hours. Food out any longer than that will cause the bacteria to grow exponentially. A great website for food safety is foodsafety.gov.
Americans should be thankful for our food supply being one of the world's safest. All those along the food chain: farmers, food manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants are required by law to follow strict food safety regulations that minimize risks. Following these guidelines at home will result in a safe and happy holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving, and delicious and safe food.

Massachusetts Hardest Hit in Salmonella Sproutbreak
Source : http://www.marlerblog.com/case-news/massachusetts-hardest-hit-in-salmonella-sproutbreak/#.VHvx4U1WHs1
By Bill Marler (Nov 25, 2014)
As of November 24, a total of 68 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Connecticut (4), Maine (3), Massachusetts (31), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (5), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island (6), and Vermont (3). The one ill person from Montana traveled to the Eastern United States during the period when likely exposure occurred.
Illness onset dates range from September 30, 2014 to November 10, 2014. Ill persons range in age from younger than one year to 83 years, with a median age of 31 years. Fifty-six percent of ill persons are female. Among 43 persons with available information, 11 (26%) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are the likely source of this outbreak.
The information available to date indicates that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. may be contaminated with Salmonella and are not safe to eat. As of November 21, 2014, the firm has verbally agreed to voluntarily stop the production and sale of their bean sprouts.

Food Safety Lawyer Says It’s Past Time for a Warning Label on Sprouts
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/food-safety-lawyer-says-its-time-for-a-warning-label-on-sprouts/#.VHvyEU1WHs1
By Bill Marler (Nov 25, 2014)
William Marler, an attorney specializing in food safety, warns about the danger of sprouts and that they are not as “healthy” as they seem
Another sprout-related Salmonella outbreak earlier this month has prompted the attorneys of the Seattle law firm, Marler Clark, to call on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require warnings on packaging of all raw sprouts. Marler Clark specializes in cases involving foodborne illness.
As of November 24, a total of 68 persons infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 10 states. The number of ill people identified in each state is as follows: Connecticut (4), Maine (3), Massachusetts (31), Montana (1), New Hampshire (4), New York (5), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (10), Rhode Island (6), and Vermont (3). The one ill person from Montana traveled to the Eastern United States during the period when likely exposure occurred.
Illness onset dates range from September 30, 2014 to November 10, 2014. Ill persons range in age from younger than one year to 83 years, with a median age of 31 years. Fifty-six percent of ill persons are female. Among 43 persons with available information, 11 (26%) have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are the likely source of this outbreak.
The information available to date indicates that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. may be contaminated with Salmonella and are not safe to eat. As of November 21, 2014, the firm has verbally agreed to voluntarily stop the production and sale of their bean sprouts.
“According to the FDA’s own 1999 advisory, Recommendations on Sprouted Seeds, sprouts have been increasingly implicated in foodborne outbreaks. The time has come to label sprouts as potentially hazardous,” says William Marler, the firm’s managing partner. He suggests this labeling mirror the requirements now found on unpasteurized juices:
-       WARNING: This product may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.
As far back as September 1998, the FDA and CDC issued a warning against sprouts urging, children, pregnant women, and the elderly that they should not eat alfalfa sprouts until growers find a way to reduce the risk of E. coli. They also warned that any people with weakened immune systems should avoid eating sprouts as well.
Although sprouts are often considered a “health food,” the warm, humid conditions needed for growing sprouts from seeds are also ideal for bacteria to flourish. Salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria can grow to high levels without affecting the appearance of the sprouts.
Researchers have treated both seeds and sprouts with heat or washed them in solutions of chlorine, alcohol, and other chemicals. Some of these disinfectants reduced the levels of bacteria, but a potential hazard remained, especially for persons with weak immune systems. High temperatures that would kill the bacteria on the seeds would also keep them from sprouting.
“Until an effective way is found to prevent illness from sprouts, they should be eaten with caution, if at all,” says Marler. “Most people don’t understand the risks. The reality is most assume that something so “natural” is healthy, but the opposite is true—people who eat sprouts are gambling with their health each and every time they add them to a salad or sandwich. A warning label would go a long way towards explaining the real risks of sprouts.”
Bill Marler is an accomplished food safety advocate and attorney. He began litigating foodborne illness cases in 1993, when he successfully represented Brianne Kiner, the most seriously injured survivor of the Jack in the Box E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. Over the years, Bill and his firm, Marler Clark, have become the leaders in representing victims of foodborne illness. Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of hepatitis A outbreaks.
Bill spends much of his time traveling to address food industry groups, fair associations, and public health groups about foodborne illness, related litigation, and surrounding issues. He has testified before Congress as well as State Legislatures. He is a frequent author of articles related to foodborne illness in food safety journals and magazines as well as on his personal blog, www.marlerblog.com. Bill also recently founded Food Safety News (www.foodsafetynews.com) as a one-stop resource for global food safety news and information.

Frying a Turkey for Thanksgiving? Watch Out!
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/frying-a-turkey-for-thanksgiving-watch-out/
By Linda Larsen (Nov 24, 2014)
If you’re thinking about frying your turkey for Thanksgiving, the National Fire Protection Association says that outdoor gas-fueled turkey fryers that immerse the turkey in hot oil are dangerous and should not be used.  The fryers “pose a significant danger that hot oil will be released at some point during the cooking process,” according to the organization. The NFPA encourages consumers to use a new type of “oil-less” turkey fryer.
Tests on these fryers shows that hot oil can splash or spill at any time while the turkey is frying. While older fryers that use a stand can collapse, newer countertop units with a solid base “appear to reduce this particular risk.” But NFPA doesn’t think that consumer education alone can make the risks of deep frying a turkey acceptably low. The large amount of oil used and the speed and severity of the burn that can occur are very dangerous. The agency doesn’t recommend any type of turkey fryer.
If you use a propane-fired turkey fryer designed for outdoor use, and it’s raining or snowing, hot oil can splatter or the rain can convert to steam, which can lead to burns. The fryer uses about 5 gallons of oil, introducing an additional level of hazard to deep frying. Add that to the weight of the turkey and accidents are more prone to happen.
According to data gathered by Prince William County in Virginia, turkey fryers are very dangerous, and the holiday itself poses special risks. Hot oil from a fryer can spill or splash over onto the flame, igniting a fire. Fryers designed for outdoor use are prone to collapse. Since cooking oil is combustible, if heated beyond its smoke point, vapors can ignite. Never use a turkey fryer in or under a garage, deck, breezeway, porch, barn, or any other structure that can catch fire. And never ever try to fry a frozen or partially frozen turkey, since that causes splattering of hot oil.
And did you know that about 2,000 home fires occur on Thanskgiving day every year in the U.S? FEMA has a special report on Thanksgiving day fires in residential buildings that was printed in 2010. Those 2,000 fires every Thanksgiving cause an average of 5 deaths, 25 injuries, and $21 million in property loss. Cooking is the leading cause of all Thanksgiving day fires. And those fires most often start in cooking areas and kitchens.
The NFPA offers safety tips so your holiday doesn’t go up in smoke. Always keep on an eye on food when it’s cooking on the stovetop. Stay at home when you’re cooking your turkey. Make sure kids stay away from the stove and hot foods and liquids. Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, pets, or bags. Never leave kids alone in a room with a lit candle. And make sure your smoke alarms are working.

Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips
Source : http://www.jrn.com/fox47news/news/we-are-spartans/Thanksgiving-Food-Safety-Tips-283697121.html
By FOX 47 News. (Nov 24, 2014)
From turkeys to side dishes, food is in the spotlight during Thanksgiving. But, there are a lot of food safety concerns to keep in mind before you enter the kitchen.
People need to be especially careful when it comes to dealing with raw turkey meat. It is easy for those germs to get everywhere.
The Michigan State University Extension says one of the biggest safety concerns is that contaminated food or food that has gone bad.
To stay healthy and safe this Thanksgiving, use paper towels. Using paper towels helps prevent cross contamination of germs.
Using cloth towels to dry your hands, clean the counter top and more can spread germs. Using one paper towel to dry your hands, for example, then throwing it away, stops the spread of germs.
Also, use a bleach and water mixture to clean your counters. That's your best bet to keep your cooking area clean. Use one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water to create the cleaning solution.
Another tip: if you are defrosting your turkey in the sink, make sure to drain and refill the sink will cold water every 30 minutes. Make sure your turkey is tightly wrapped in its packaging to prevent the spread of germs.
Want to keep your food fresh? Put it in the refrigerator or freezer two hours after it is finished cooking.
"Think about that time that has passed as you have served your meal," says MSU Extension Educator Joyce McGarry. "Make sure that your leftovers go quickly into smaller containers into and into your refrigerator or your freezer. If you think you won't be eating the leftovers in two to three days, freeze them."
That two hours applies to when the food is finished cooking, not when it is put on the table. Finally, before you get in the kitchen, make sure your food thermometers are working.
For more tips, contact your county Extension office or visit http://msue.anr.msu.edu/.

 

Internet Journal of Food Safety (Operated by FoodHACCP)
[2014] Current Issues

Vol 16.45-52
Impact of Traditional Process on Hygienic Quality of Soumbala a Fermented Cooked Condiment in Burkina Faso.
Marius Kounbesioune Somda, Aly Savadogo, Francois Tapsoba, Cheikna Zongo,
Nicolas Ouedraogo, Alfred Sabadenedyo Traore

Vol 16.36-44
Prevailing Food Safety Practices and Barriers to the Adoption of the WHO 5-Keys
to Safer Food Messages in Rural Cocoa-Producing Communities in Ghana
Rose Omari, Egbert Kojo Quorantsen, Paul Omari, Dorothy Oppey, Mawuli Asigbee

Vol 16.29-35
Microbiological Quality of Meat at the Abattoir and Butchery Levels in Kampala City, Uganda
Paul Bogere and Sylvia Angubua Baluka
Vol 16.26-28
Microbial Contamination of Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Ankita Mathur , Akshay Joshi* , Dharmesh Harwani


Vol 16.17-25
Consumer Food Safety Awareness and Knowledge in Nigeria
Olasunmbo Abolanle Ajayi and Taiwo Salaudeen
Vol 16.12-16
Microbiological Quality of Selected Meat Products from the Canterbury Region of New Zealand
Rui Huan, Christopher O. Dawson, Malik Altaf Hussain


Vol 16.9-11
NUTRITIVE COMPOSITION OF CHANNA STRIATUS FISHES AFTER 2,4-D PESTICIDE TREATMENT
Anusuya, S.Hemalatha


Vol 16.6-8
Effect of 2,4-D Pesticide on Fish Physiology and its Antioxidant Stress
Anushiya, Hemalatha

Vol 16.1-5
Edible Coatings of Carnauba Wax ??A Novel Method For Preservation and Extending Longevity of Fruits and Vegetables- A Review.
Puttalingamma .V

 


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