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FoodHACCP Newsletter
01/26 2015 ISSUE:636

UAE to ramp up battle against food safety offenders
Source : https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/uae-ramp-battle-against-food-safety-offenders-052047158.html
By Gulf News (Jan 25, 2015)
Draft law suggests jail term of up to three years and Dh2m fine A tough new draft law will ramp up penalties for those found to be endangering food safety across the UAE, according to legislation to be debated by the Federal National Council in the next session on February 3.
The bill suggests a jail term of up to three years and a Dh2 million fine for those found endangering food safety.
The legislation, passed by the Cabinet in March last year, sets out key requirements to establish a system of effective regulatory and oversight services to ensure the protection of public health and consumers.
Under the draft law, no food may be imported into the country for the first time without approval of the Ministry of Environment and Water.
The draft law provides for a prison term of not less than a month and a fine of up to Dh500,000 for those who deal in food or products that contain pork or alcohol or any of their by-products without permission.
Misleading consumers by publishing a false description of food or using incorrect labels will attract a fine ranging from between Dh10,000 and Dh100,000, according to the draft law, which will need to be passed by the House and get a final endorsement by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan before it becomes law.
"Out of more than 200,000 goods and commodities in the UAE's markets, only 6,500 goods, including 300 foods, are covered by standards of the federal watchdog," according to a report made by an ad-hoc FNC committee and debated recently.
The House was told recently many foods cause deaths and lethal ailments due to non-conformity with standards.
The report said as many as 85 per cent of cancers in the UAE are blamed on the absence of food standards for genetically modified foods.
Members of the House stressed that with more than 80 per cent of food products in the UAE being imported, the country has to compete in a global trading system where increasingly stringent requirements apply with regard to product quality, safety, health and environmental impacts.
The representative said consumers need proof from internationally recognised institutions that their products conform to these requirements.
Dr Rashid Ahmad Bin Fahd, Minister of Environment and Water, said out of ten million tonnes of food imported into the UAE, only three per cent was rejected, mainly for labelling.
"The UAE is recognised as a very well-regulated market, with other countries trusting our standards and conformity infrastructure. The country has a well-established standardisation body, it harmonises standards at the local and federal level and participates in regional and international standards-setting activities," Dr Bin Fahd said.
Under the legislation, dealers in foods confiscated as per the new regulations will face a prison term of up to two years, a fine of between Dh100,000 and Dh300,000 or both.
The new regulations also penalise attempts to endanger food safety with the same penalties for actual offences.
The legislation authorises the Ministry of Economy to impose fines of up to Dh100,000 for other offences, provided that these offences are regulated by the Cabinet.

The Food Safety Testing Market Research Report With Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis
Source : http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-food-safety-testing-market-research-report-with-qualitative-and-quantitative-analysis-289669031.html
By prnewswire.com (Jan 24, 2015)
A new food safety testing industry research at ReportsnReports.com says that the world market for food testing is projected to reach $15,040.7 million and a volume of 1,154.8 million tests by 2019.
Global food safety testing market is primarily driven by factors such as, growing demand for agro-chemicals, adoption of precision farming and protected agriculture, and increased farm expenditure. The segmentation of the food safety testing market is based on contaminants, food types, technologies, and regions. Contaminants include pathogens, such as E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, GMOs, pesticides, toxins, and other contaminants such as food allergens and chemical residues. Pathogens dominated the global food safety testing market because of their high prevalence in food types. Food safety testing technology includes traditional technology, such as agar-based method and culture enrichment process, while the rapid testing technology includes PCR-based, immunoassay-based, convenience-based assay, and other molecular based methods. Complete report on Food Safety Testing Market by Contaminant (Pathogen, GMO, Toxin, Pesticide, Others), Technology (Traditional & Rapid), Food Type (Meat & Poultry, Dairy, Fruit & Vegetable, Convenience Food, Others) & Region - Global Trends & Forecast to 2019 available at http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/257096-food-safety-testing-market-by-contaminants-pathogen-gmo-toxin-pesticide-others-technology-traditional-rapid-food-types-meat-poultry-dairy-fruit-vegetable-processed-food-others-geography-global-trends-forecast-to-2018.html .
Food safety testing is a technical method of manufacturing, handling, and storing food to prevent food borne diseases. Food safety testing is performed to supervise the quality and prevent unwanted incidents of food borne illnesses, toxicity, or poisoning. Food safety regulations have been implemented strictly due to increasing occurrences of food contamination and food poisoning. Worldwide increase in outbreaks of food borne illnesses and implementation of stringent food safety regulations is the driving factors in the food safety testing market.
To maintain a competitive edge in the food safety testing market, key players invests heavily in the launch and development of new products and technologies. The key market players include Bureau Veritas S.A, Sgs S.A, Silliker Inc, Dnv Gl, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Eurofins Scientific, Intertek Group Plc, Institut Für Produktqualität Gmbh, Lloyds Register Quality Assurance Ltd and Romer Labs Inc. which use strategies such as new product/service launches, mergers & acquisitions, and expansions to strengthen their position in the market. The major market players have focused on offering new services for the detection of different contaminants. Order a copy of this report at www.reportsnreports.com/Purchase.aspx?name=257096 .
This report provides both qualitative and quantitative analyses of the food safety testing market. It includes market dynamics, trends, competitive strategies preferred by key market players, driving factors that boosted the growth, and the restraints in the market. It also studies the opportunities in the food safety testing market for new entrants.
This report provides a complete analysis of prominent companies and a chronology of developments, with respect to new products/technologies launched and their applications. Priced at $4650 for a single user PDF, a discount on this research report can be requested at www.reportsnreports.com/contacts/Discount.aspx?name=257096 .
Browse Related Report:
"European Food Safety Testing Market By Contaminant (Pathogen, GMO, Toxin, Pesticide), Technology (Traditional & Rapid), Food Type (Meat & Poultry Product, Dairy Product, Fruit & Vegetable, Processed Food) & Country - Trends & Forecast To 2018" research report is now available with ReportsnReports.com. Companies like ALS Limited, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Bureau Veritas SA, Campden BRI, Det Norske Veritas As (Dnv), Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories Inc, Genevac Ltd, Genon Laboratories Ltd, IFP Institut Für Produktqualität Gmbh, ILS Limited, Intertek Group Plc, Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance Limited, SGS S.A and Silliker Inc. are discussed in this research available at http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/266643-european-food-safety-testing-market-by-contaminant-pathogen-gmo-toxin-pesticide-technology-traditional-rapid-food-type-meat-poultry-product-dairy-product-fruit-vegetable-processed-food-country-trends-forecast-to-2018.html .
"North American Food Safety Testing Market by Contaminants (Pathogen, GMO, Toxin, Pesticide), Technology (Traditional & Rapid), Food Types (Meat & Poultry, Dairy, Fruit & Vegetable, Processed Food) & Geography -Trends & Forecast to 2018" research report is now available with ReportsnReports.com. Companies like Accugen Laboratories, Adpen Laboratories, Aegis Food Testing Laboratories, Als Limited, Avomeen Analytical Services, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Bureau Veritas Sa, Det Norske Veritas As (DNV), Emsl Analytical Inc, Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratories Inc, Idexx Laboratories Inc, Intertek Group Plc, Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance Limited, MVTL Laboratories Inc, Romer Labs Inc, SGS S.A and Swift Silliker (PTY) Ltd discussed in this research available at http://www.reportsnreports.com/reports/264728-north-american-food-safety-testing-market-by-contaminants-pathogen-gmo-toxin-pesticide-technology-traditional-rapid-food-types-meat-poultry-dairy-fruit-vegetable-processed-food-geography-trends-forecast-to-2018.html .
Explore more Food and Beverages Market Research Reports at www.reportsnreports.com/market-research/food-and-beverages/ .

 

 

 





 

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February 5-6, 2015
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US Poultry Industry Responds to New Food Safety Proposal
Source : http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/34211/us-poultry-industry-responds-to-new-food-safety-proposal
By thepoultrysite.com (Jan 23, 2015)
US - The industry body, the National Chicken Council and one poultry processor have welcomed the aims of the recently announced proposal to reduce Salmonella and Campylobacter on poultry parts, highlighting the progress that has been made in this area in the last decade.
Commenting on the new proposal from the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), National Chicken Council (NCC) vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, Ashley Peterson, PhD, said: “Food safety is the top priority for companies that produce and process chicken products in the United States, and the industry prides itself on an excellent track record of delivering safe, affordable and wholesome food both domestically and abroad.
“According to the most recent FSIS Quarterly Progress Report:
•For the first quarter of 2008 through the first quarter of 2014, the industry has reduced the occurrence of Salmonella on whole chickens by 63 per cent and
•Since FSIS began testing chicken for Campylobacter in 2011, the industry has reduced the incidence by 30 per cent.
“But we’re working every day to improve. Since the fall of 2013, NCC and our members have been collectively exploring all options to reduce contamination on chicken parts in order to provide the safest product possible to our consumers, including strengthened sanitation programs, temperature controls and various interventions in chicken processing. This is something the industry has been proactively working to address, so when the performance standards for chicken parts are put in place by FSIS, we will be meeting or exceeding the standards, as we currently do for whole carcasses.
“We look forward to reviewing the proposed new federal standards in their entirety and providing comments to the agency.
“Even though we’ve collectively made tremendous progress in reducing Salmonella on raw chicken to all-time low levels, the fact is any raw agricultural product, whether its fresh fruit, vegetables, meat or poultry, is susceptible to naturally occurring bacteria that could make someone sick if improperly handled or cooked. Our members are investing heavily in food safety research and are using the best science, research and technology available to break the chain of Salmonella at every stage of production. Coupled with continuous USDA inspection and proper handling and cooking to 165°F, chicken is safe to eat 100 per cent of the time,” added Dr Petersen.
In a statement, California-based poultry processor, Foster Farms, reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining Salmonella prevalence levels below five per cent. Foster Farms has maintained an average Salmonella prevalence level of two per cent for the last nine consecutive months. This performance record is the result of a $75 million food safety programme launched in 2013.
The company's President and CEO, Ron Foster, said: "We support the USDA in taking this critical step to advance food safety across the poultry industry. Foster Farms has made a tremendous investment to ensure that our practices represent the very best in the industry. We stand by our commitment to lead the industry with Salmonella prevalence levels of less than five per cent. We remain dedicated to continuous food safety advances."
Prior to today's FSIS announcement, there was no established regulatory standard for raw poultry parts, though the most recent 2011-2012 reported industry average was 25 per cent. Foster Farms has worked closely with the USDA, CDC, poultry industry and retailers to share its knowledge in controlling Salmonella in the interest of creating a safer food supply system nationwide. The company continues to draw on the best food safety advice in and outside of the poultry industry through its Food Safety Advisory Board.
In 2013, Foster Farms implemented a $75-million food safety programme that effectively reduced Salmonella system-wide from the breeder level, to the farms where the birds are raised and to the plants where the chicken is processed and packaged. This included improvements to equipment and processes, the implementation of a continuous testing program and food safety education.
Foster Farms' multi-hurdle programme has been credited by the CDC and the USDA for its consistent control of Salmonella in raw chicken. The company has also been recognised for its leadership in controlling Salmonella by US Senator Dianne Feinstein, a champion of improved food safety. Based on the programme's success, Foster Farms is sharing data and insights with other poultry and meat producers. As part of this collaboration, Dr Robert O'Connor, Foster Farms' Senior Vice President for Technical Services, leads an NCC committee on Salmonella reduction at the parts level and has informed retailers in their development of vendor protocols.

Ambitious food safety draft law approved
Source : http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2015/Jan-23/285047-ambitious-food-safety-draft-law-approved.ashx
By dailystar.com (Jan. 23, 2015)
A sweeping new food safety draft law that aims to reform the way the government handles food safety issues was approved by Parliament’s Joint Committees Thursday. The draft law hopes to improve coordination between ministries over food safety as it is an issue that spans over several departments. If approved by Parliament, the law will make way for the creation of the Food Safety Lebanese Commission (FSLC) that will oversee all related matters. The approval of the draft law – which is an amended version of one created by late Economy Minister and Beirut MP Basil Fuleihan in the early 2000s – was expedited by the heavily publicized food safety campaign led by Health Minister Wael Abu Faour.The campaign led to the creation of a special parliamentary committee to deal with food safety that was spearheaded by MP Atef Majdalani and included several ministers, such as Abu Faour and Economics Minister Alain Hakim. It was this committee that created the draft law which the Joint Committees approved. In order to become a full-fledged law the draft must be discussed and adopted during a session of Parliament’s General Assembly. The law then must be referred to the Cabinet, which in turn would provide the appropriate framework for its application.The law is extremely broad in scope and touches on a lot of the issues which were covered in the food scandal, such as slaughterhouses and storage facilities. The Daily Star obtained a copy of the draft law and has outlined some of the highlights below: THE FSLCThe food safety law outlines the creation and practices of the FSLC, which will oversee the enacting of the law. Its first order of business is to ensure that this law is implemented, as many laws passed by Parliament in the past have never actually been enacted.The commission will be administered by a seven-member board of food safety experts from a variety of backgrounds. The law explicitly states that they should not own any institution that will be impacted by it. Beyond issuing the rules of this law, the commission will police all stages of a “food safety chain,” from farming, importing, exporting, packaging, storing and selling among others. This includes sampling food products and sending inspectors to institutions. The FSLC cannot create regulations but will rather recommend new measures to the Cabinet that can make them law via a decree that will be enforced by the FSLC. The commission will also have to create an efficient alert system for citizens to be able to raise concerns that they have. An interesting point is that the FSLC will also use the media to raise awareness of food safety issues in the general public, which could mean that restaurants will continue to be named and shamed if they violate the law. PUNISHMENTSThe FSLC can administer punishments when there is an emergency situation and there is food that is putting citizens in danger. This will involve notifying the media of the contaminated products and could lead to the adoption of a series of measures. Local food will have its production and marketing stopped, all products on the market will be withdrawn and the institution that produces it could face closure. If the food was imported, the importation will be stopped and all the produce on the market will be confiscated. The issue will be sent immediately to the Court of Appeals, which will make the final decision on the products following a testimony from food safety experts. Institutions will have the possibility to appeal the decision. Farmers will also face prosecution based on the nature of their crime, but the law says that any food safety violation that could cause death will have a “severe punishment.”FARMERSMajdalani was serious when he said that this law will encompass everything from “the soil to the dinner table.” Farmers have received intense scrutiny in this law. A chapter titled, “Duties of Farmers” outlines that farmers must monitor the pesticides, animal feed, compost and medicine they give to animals and crops to ensure that it does not contaminate produce. They must keep a record of all these things which the Agriculture Ministry or any of their customers can ask to see at any time. Farmers must also notify the ministry if they believe that any of their products may be contaminated and outline the steps that he or she has taken to remedy this. SLAUGHTERHOUSESSlaughterhouses in Lebanon came under the spotlight during the Health Ministry’s food safety campaign and several of them, including Beirut’s Karantina abattoir, were closed due poor conditions. Article six of the law addresses this when it states that any food, “partially made by animals that have been slaughtered in places where the minimum requirements are not met,” is considered “not safe or health damaging.” These minimum requirements are not specified though.ANIMALS AND THE ENVIRONMENTSeveral articles within the law explicitly state that food safety extends to preventing anything that could hurt humans, animals or the environment. Article four, for instance, states that all food on the market has to meet the requirements “that it is safe and fit to be consumed by humans ... and no damage is caused to nature or animals.”One could interpret this to outline safe practices for the handling of animals during food processing, which is often flouted in slaughterhouses and in livestock’s transportation in the back of trucks. Transportation of animals is addressed in a separate article but it only discusses the contamination of food. This article, and many others, could push animal welfare standards to be enforced.PACKAGINGFood packaging is also discussed at length throughout the law. The law states that the process that goes into packaging products must be sanitary and the nutritional facts on the products must be accurate. Animal feed, pesticides, compost and medicine must also be packaged according to these standards. The law also dictates that food must have warnings on its packaging if it contains any substances that may have side effects, in case consumers have allergies for instance.WATERThe discrepancy uncovered during the food safety campaign which is not explicitly addressed in the food safety law is contaminated water. The law starts with outlining that all the following applies to food, drink and water, among other things, but there is no article specifying regulations for water.Article 34 does give the FSLC special powers over issues related to the contamination of “water [used] in agricultural activity,” among several other things. This could mean that water contamination rules are implied throughout the law or the sector may be further regulated when the commission is created. - See more at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2015/Jan-23/285047-ambitious-food-safety-draft-law-approved.ashx#sthash.9xuCWooW.dpuf

Queseria Bendita Cheese Listeria Outbreak Highlights Past Recalls
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/queseria-bendita-cheese-listeria-outbreak-highlights-past-recalls/
By Linda Larsen (Jan 22, 2015)
The current outbreak of listeriosis linked to recalled Queseria Bendita soft cheeses is a reminder that these types of foods have often been recalled for Listeria monocytogenes contamination in the past. In the current outbreak, three people in Washington state have been sickened and one person has died.
Over the past three years, there have been at least 25 recalls of soft cheese for Listeria monocytogenes in the U.S. and 9 recalls in Canada for the same reason. And there have been recalls of hard cheeses for Listeria too.
Cheese is particularly vulnerable to Listeria contamination for a few reasons. Any cheese, whether hard or soft, made with raw or unpasteurized milk has a much higher risk of contamination, since Listeria bacteria are present in the farm environment. In fact, Listeria is one cause of mastitis in cows. Listeria is found in soil, people, animals, plant residue, packing sheds, and processing systems.
Processing conditions also support Listeria growth, especially in soft cheeses. While they ripen, they are sometimes coated with a brine or a smear. This substance can be contaminated with Listeria bacteria. The cheeses are sometimes turned by hand; this can also introduce bacteria. And the moist environment used for making and ripening cheese is ideal for bacterial growth.
Soft cheeses have a higher pH, or lower acidity, and lower salt content than hard cheeses. These conditions promote Listeria growth as well. And Listeria monocytogenes grows at refrigerator and freezer temperatures, the traditional methods for controlling bacteria.
The bacteria is very hardy. It can persist in a food facility or retail store despite thorough cleaning and sanitizing. Even super cleaning doesn’t always kill the bacteria.
Once Listeria bacteria is introduced into a facility it can be very difficult to eradicate. In fact, a 2004 study by Cornell University found that the bacteria can persist in a processing environment for a year or even longer. When cheeses are cut and packaged, Listeria can be introduced if workers don’t wash their hands or are ill. If a worker puts equipment on the floor to clean, it can become contaminated.
All of these facts mean that vulnerable populations should avoid consuming soft cheeses, as well as other foods that are susceptible to bacterial contamination such as raw milk and cider, smoked meats, deli meats, and undercooked and raw meats, poultry, and eggs. Pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning.

Newly Revealed Salmonella Outbreak Linked to CA Deli in Summer of 2014
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/01/newly-revealed-salmonella-outbreak-linked-to-californian-deli-in-summer-2014/#.VMWY29j9ns1
By News Desk (Jan 22, 2015)
An outbreak of Salmonella linked to Brent’s Deli in Westlake Village, CA, sickened 21 people this past summer, but it was never announced to the public, according to documents obtained in a lawsuit by food safety law firm Marler Clark.
Public health officials in California first caught on to the outbreak in July 2014, when they found seven patients infected with Salmonella Montevideo who had all eaten at Brent’s Deli just before falling ill. Ultimately, they discovered 21 patients, including two employees, with one of two strains of Salmonella Montevideo.
Eight patients were hospitalized. Illnesses developed between April 30 and Aug. 15, 2014.
Public health officials never announced the outbreak to the public. Its first mention came Wednesday on the blog of food safety lawyer Bill Marler, whose Seattle law firm, Marler Clark, underwrites Food Safety News.
According to Marler, he received the documents after being retained by a California-based lawyer and his client, a patient sickened in the outbreak.
As of press time, the California Department of Public Health has not made an official response regarding why the outbreak was not publicly reported.
After discovering the outbreak, the Ventura County Environmental Health Division conducted two inspections at the restaurant, both times finding a number of “major” violations related to unsanitary equipment, inadequate employee hand-washing, and improper cooling procedures for potentially hazardous foods. After two additional inspections in late July and August, officials found violations related to improper hot-holding and thawing.
On Aug. 12, the restaurant closed for thorough cleaning while inspectors tested employees, food, and environmental samples from the restaurant for the outbreak strain. While none of the food or environmental samples tested positive for Salmonella, two employees did.
Officials found no violations at the restaurant during a subsequent inspection on Sept. 12, and the outbreak was considered over in October after no new illnesses had appeared since August.

Most Current Update on Listeria Caramel Apple Outbreak and Recall
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/latest-update-on-listeria-apple-outbreak-and-recall/#.VMWdJdj9ns1
By Denis Stearns (Jan 22, 2015)
The Outbreak:  On December 18, 2014, the Minnesota Department of Health reported four Listeria monocytogenes illnesses.  The Minnesota cases purchased caramel apples from Cub Foods, Kwik Trip, and Mike’s Discount Foods, which carried Carnival brand and Kitchen Cravings brand caramel apples. These apples were produced by H. Brooks and supplied indirectly by Bidart Brothers.
On January 10, 2015, the CDC reported a total of 32 people infected with the outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenes had been reported from 11 states: Arizona (4), California (2), Minnesota (4), Missouri (5), Nevada (1), New Mexico (6), North Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).  The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has identified 2 cases of listeriosis in Canada with the same pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns as seen in the U.S. outbreak.
•Thirty-one ill people have been hospitalized, and seven deaths have been reported. Listeriosis contributed to at least three of these deaths.
•Ten illnesses were pregnancy-related (occurred in a pregnant woman or her newborn infant), with one illness resulting in a fetal loss.
•Three invasive illnesses (meningitis) were among otherwise healthy children aged 5–15 years.
The First Lawsuit:  On December 22, 2014, we filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Safeway Inc, in the Superior Court of Santa Cruz on behalf of James Raymond Frey, 87, and the estate of his deceased wife, Shirlee Jean Frey, 81, who died tragically on December 2, 2014 after consuming a Listeria-tainted caramel apple purchased at the Safeway in Felton, California. The case number is CISCV180721.   The complaint was amended on December 29, 2014 to add in two additional parties – Happy Apple and Bidart Brothers.
The Recalls:  On December 24, 2014, Happy Apple Company of Washington, Missouri, voluntarily recalled Happy Apples brand caramel apples with a best use by date between August 25 and November 23, 2014. On December 31, 2014, Happy Apple Company expanded the recall to include Kroger brand caramel apples produced by Happy Apple Company with a best use by date between September 15 and November 18, 2014.
On December 27, 2014, California Snack Foods voluntarily recalled Karm’l Dapple brand caramel apples with a best use by date between August 15 and November 28, 2014.
On December 29, 2014, Merb’s Candies of St. Louis, Missouri issued a voluntary recall of Merb’s Candies Bionic Apples and Double Dipped Apples that would have been available from September 8 through November 25, 2014.
On January 6, 2015, Bidart Bros. of Bakersfield, California voluntarily recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples because environmental testing revealed contamination with Listeria monocytogenes at the firm’s apple-packing facility. The recall includes all Granny Smith and Gala apples shipped from its Shafter, California packing facility in 2014. CDC recommends that consumers not eat any of the recalled Granny Smith and Gala apples produced by Bidart Bros. and that retailers not sell or serve them.
The Genetic Connection:  On January 9, 2015, according to Bidart Bros., the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the results of findings from additional tests performed on samples collected from Bidart Bros. apple processing plant near Bakersfield, California. Test results confirm two strains of Listeria monocytogenes were found at the apple processing facility and are believed to be the same strains associated with the outbreak. Those same strains were also found in Bidart Bros. apples collected from a retailer by the FDA.
The Bacteria:  Listeria monocytogenes is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. Approximately 2,500 cases of listeriosis are estimated to occur in the U.S. each year. About 200 in every 1,000 cases result in death.
The Firm:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Listeria outbreaks. The Listeria lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Listeria 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 Listeria lawyers have litigated Listeria cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of foods, such as cantaloupe, cheese, celery and milk.

Food safety MEPs call for country of origin labelling of meat in processed foods
Source : http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20150120IPR10802/html/Food-safety-MEPs-call-for-country-of-origin-labelling-of-meat-in-processed-foods
By (Jan 21, 2015)
Meat used as an ingredient in processed foods, such as lasagne, should be labelled by country of origin as is already the case for bovine fresh meat, said Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee MEPs on Wednesday. They call on the European Commission, which published a report on the issue in late 2013, to come up with legislative proposals in order to rebuild consumer confidence in the wake of the horsemeat scandal and other food fraud cases.
The resolution, passed by 48 votes to 15 with 4 abstentions, urges the Commission to follow up its 2013 report with legislative proposals to make it mandatory to state the country of origin of meat used in processed foods, in order to ensure more transparency throughout the food chain and better inform European consumers.
MEPs reiterate their concern over the potential impact of food fraud on food safety, consumer confidence and health, the functioning of the food chain and farm produce prices. They emphasise the importance of rapidly restoring the confidence of European consumers.
Empowering consumers
MEPs point out that the European Commission’s own report acknowledges that more than 90% of consumer respondents consider it important that meat origin should be labelled on processed food products. This is one of the several factors that may influence consumer behaviour, MEPs say.
Impact on prices
MEPs also point out that estimates of the measure’s likely impact on prices, based on the findings of research done by the French consumer organisation “Que Choisir”, diverge widely from those in Commission’s report, and ask for a clearer picture. The evaluation should be carried out in conjunction with consumer organisations and would not delay legislative proposals, they add.
These proposals should enable European businesses to operate in an economically viable manner and in conditions compatible with the consumer’s purchasing power.
Background
On 17 December 2013 the Commission submitted a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the likely consequences of making it mandatory to state the country of origin or place of provenance of meat used as an ingredient.
MEPs cite estimates that depending on the member state concerned, 30 to 50% of slaughtered meat is processed into meat ingredients for foodstuffs, mostly minced meat, meat preparations and meat products.
Next steps
The resolution is to be discussed along with an oral question to the Commission, and put to a plenary session vote in February.

Grocery shopping skills to keep your food safe
Source : http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/grocery_shopping_skills_to_keep_your_food_safe
By Lisa Treiber, Michigan State University Extension (Jan 21, 2015)
Food safety begins at the grocery store – with selection, transportation and more!
Every little step to keep food safe is important not only for your wallet, but your health as well. Food safety starts as you prepare for your trip to the grocery store. The first step is to make plans to protect your food before you head to the store by preparing your kitchen for new purchases and transporting it home. Also remember a deal isn’t always a deal when it comes to the dented can bin. Try following these tips for optimum safety:
•Clean and organize your refrigerator and kitchen prior to shopping. This will help you store your food more efficiently and organize items in a first in-first out order, allowing you to cut back on waste and over buying. Clean off counter-tops to make it easier to rotate food items and empty bags once you return from the store.
•Avoid purchasing dented cans. The dented can bin may seem like a deal, but the bargain may not be worth the risk. Cans with deep dents, or bulges are a sign of botulism; cans with a sharp dent may damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can. Stay away from cans that have deep dents (your finger fits into), are bulging, rusting or have dents on the top or side seam.
•Pay attention to dates. Be sure to look at the “sell by” and “use by” date on perishable foods. If the “sell by” date has passed, don’t buy the product. The “use by” date applies to the date you should use by at home, so make sure you will be able to eat the food within that time frame.
•Use separate plastic bags for raw meats. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) discovered shoppers spreading raw poultry juices into shopping carts and other food items, even on children while shopping. The juice from raw meat can spread easily; utilize the plastic bags to keep raw meat, poultry and seafood separate from ready-to eat-foods in the cart, bags, coolers and at home. One study showed 85 percent of stores supplied bags in the meat department to customers; fewer than 20 percent of the customer used them.
•Keep coolers and ice packs in cars when shopping. Most shopping trips involve visiting two or more stores. This means your perishable foods could be in the temperature danger zone (pdf) (40– 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for more than two hours, resulting in food being stored in unsafe temperatures. All perishable foods need to be refrigerated within two hours; and one hour if it is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Regardless of the season, it is a good idea to keep a cooler with ice packs in your vehicle. When the sun is out a “greenhouse effect” happens, making it warmer than the actual temperature, resulting in an environment that can allow bacteria to quickly grow.
•Utilizing re-usable grocery bags. Making use of re-usable grocery bags is a wonderful way to save on the excess use of plastic bags when shopping. These re-usable bags should be washed weekly; they are in car trunks, shopping carts, hauling canned goods, produce and raw foods. They can be tossed in your washer and air dried. This is very important to prevent cross-contamination. Wash out your cooler and ice packs weekly as well.
•Clean hands before sampling food. We all love to try new foods, but don’t forget to wash your hands prior to doing so. If that isn’t possible use the stores free hand sanitizer or bring your own sanitizer with you, especially if you are touching food directly with your hands. Remember you have been touching shopping carts and who knows what else!
•Pick up your frozen and refrigerated foods at the end of your shopping trip. Stores aren’t always designed to follow this guideline, but try to organize your list to get the frozen and refrigerated items last. This keeps them “unrefrigerated” for the least amount of time.

EU's food safety agency gives green light to Bisphenol A
Source : http://www.euractiv.com/sections/agriculture-food/eus-food-safety-agency-gives-green-light-bisphenol-311445
By euractiv.com (Jan 21, 2015)
The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) re-evaluation of Bisphenol A (BPA) exposure and toxicity states that BPA, an endocrine disruptor, poses no health risk to consumers of any age group at current exposure levels.
EFSA, which carries the scientific risk assessment on behalf of the EU, says exposure from a diet, or from a combination of sources such as a diet, dust, cosmetics and thermal paper, is considerably under the safe level, also known as the 'tolerable daily intake' (TDI).
BPA is a chemical compound used in the manufacture of food contact materials such as re-usable plastic tableware and can coatings. Another widespread use of BPA is in thermal paper commonly used in cash register receipts.
Residues of BPA can migrate into food and beverages and be ingested by the consumer, and other sources include thermal paper, cosmetics and dust can be absorbed through the skin and by inhalation.
Although new data have led EFSA’s experts to considerably reduce the safe level of BPA from 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day to four, the highest estimates for dietary exposure, or via a combination of sources, are three to five times lower than the new TDI.
Dr Trine Husøy, a member of EFSA’s expert panel on food contact materials and Chair of its BPA working group, said the panel decided to reevaluate the safety of BPA because of the publication of a huge number of new research studies in recent years.
This led to a public consultation in early 2014, and after weighing up new scientific information on its toxic effects, the CEF Panel concluded that high doses of BPA (hundreds of times above the TDI) are likely to adversely affect the kidney and liver. It may also cause effects on the mammary gland in animals.
“Effects on the reproductive, nervous, immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems, as well as in the development of cancer are not considered likely at present but they could not be excluded on the available evidence. So, they add to the overall uncertainty about BPA-related hazards and therefore have been considered in the assessment,” Husøy said.
EFSA last assessed dietary exposure to BPA in 2006 when less data was available.
“With significantly more and better data, we have updated and more accurately estimated dietary exposure to BPA for all population groups. As a result, we now know that dietary exposure is four to fifteen times lower than previously estimated by EFSA, depending on the age group,” Husøy added.
This time around, EFSA used new methodologies to take account of the uncertainties regarding potential health effects, exposure estimates and evaluation of risks for humans, such as analysing each uncertainty one by one, so that the expert panel was able to quantify the uncertainties.
Pressure on member states
The potential harm from BPA has been debated in several EU member states, such as Sweden, Denmark and France. On 1 January 2010, France banned the use of BPA in products that come into direct contact with food for babies and young children, like feeding bottles. An EU-wide ban followed in January 2011. From 1 January 2015, France has introduced a new law, banning the use of BPA in all food packaging.
>> Read: French government and plastics lobby clash over Bisphenol A
In light of EFSA's conclusion's, PlasticsEurope said in a statement that the French restriction on BPA is disproportionate and should be withdrawn.
"The fact that any realistic exposure to BPA is well below even the conservative safety threshold established by EFSA shows that blanket restrictions being applied at national level, in particular in France, are unjustified and should be withdrawn," Jasmin Bird from PlasticsEurope's BPA group said.
"This EFSA conclusion on BPA should be used as the basis for consistent and harmonised European food safety regulation, and should be respected by all member states," Bird continued.
When the results of a long-term research by the US National Toxicology Program are available for evaluation in two to three years, EFSA will once again reconsider the temporary TDI.
Positions:
Lisette van Vliet, senior policy advisor at the Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL), commented:
"In its opinion of the negative health effects of BPA, EFSA focused on the liver, kidney, and mammary glands. It considers effects on reproductive, brain, immune, metabolic and cardiovascular systems or on development of cancer are unlikely, but it can’t exclude them. But it says that there is no risk for people at current levels of exposure, without having explored what would be the case if those other effects aside from liver, kidney and mammary would turn out to be correct. Is this logical? It seems to be the equivalent of saying “My lost car keys are definitely not on the ground of the parking lot”, without making it clear that you’ve only looked under the parking lot lamppost."

Could your dish towel be making you sick?
Source : http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/could_your_dish_towel_be_making_you_sick
By Christine Venema (Jan 20, 2015)
Could your dish towel be making you sick? It could be possible. Charles P. Gerba (pdf), Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science at the University of Arizona and his research team published the article “Bacterial Occurrence in Kitchen Hand Towels” in the September-October 2014 issue of Food Protection Trends. The research involved the collection of 82 used cloth dishtowels from random households in the cities of Chicago, IL, New Orleans, LA, Orlando, FL, Tucson, AZ and Toronto. The research team asked questions about the cloth dishtowels such as:
•How old was the towel?
•When was the last time the towel was washed?
•How often during the month was the dishtowel washed?
•How often and how was the dishtowel used?
The research team cultured the cloth dishtowels for pathogens. From the cultures it was determined that 89 percent of the dishtowels had fecal coliforms on them. E.coli contaminated 25.6 percent of the towels. The research also demonstrated that there was a potential for cross-contamination of foodborne illness pathogens when the cloth dishtowels were used.
So what does this mean? It means that when used, the cloth kitchen dishtowel can be a source of foodborne illness pathogens.
When people dry their hands on dish towels after using the bathroom, the dishtowel becomes a source of foodborne illness pathogens. If that dish towel is then used to dry dishes, the dishes become contaminated with the pathogens, thus spreading the germs, potentially making people in the household sick.
How can this cycle be stopped? Michigan State University Extension advises that there should be towels for drying hands in the bathroom. There should also be disposable hand towels or designated hand towels used for washing hands in the kitchen. Dishes should be allowed to air dry, if there is not an automatic dishwasher in the household. Food preparation surfaces should be washed, rinsed, sanitized and air dried. Never use a cloth dish towel to dry a food preparation surface; this could result in cross-contamination.
The potential for contamination should also be considered when hand washing dishes with a sponge or dish cloth. Unless a fresh, clean dish cloth or sponge is used each time dishes are hand washed, there is the potential for foodborne illness pathogens to spread. Another option is for the sponge or dish cloth to be rinsed in a sanitizing solution after each use and allowed to air dry.
Consider using disposable paper towel to clean messes in the kitchen. If a cloth towel is used during clean up, it should be washed in hot soapy water, sanitized and dried before it is used again.
So – is your cloth dish towel making you and your family sick? It could unless you are taking precautions to avoid contamination.

Jim-N-Jo’s Katering Link to Minnesota E. coli Outbreak at Fond du Lac
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/jim-n-jos-katering-link-to-minnesota-e-coli-outbreak-at-fond-du-lac/#.VMWdYNj9ns1
By Bill Marler (Jan 20, 2015)
In July 2014 local, state, and tribal health officials investigated an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that occurred primarily among members of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and their guests. Ill persons had attended one or more of several events catered by Jim-N-Jo’s Northland Katering (“Jim-N-Jo’s”) between July 11 and July 16. The events catered by Jim-N-Jo’s included an Elder Picnic (July 11), a wedding (July 12), a three day conference for a private company (July 14-16), and a focus group held on the Fond du Lac Reservation on July 16.
Case patients were identified through routine laboratory surveillance and interviews with persons who attended events catered by Jim-N-Jo’s.  A case was defined as an individual who attended an event catered by Jim-N-Jo’s and subsequently developed diarrhea (>3 loose stools in a 24-hour period) that was either bloody or at least 3 days in duration, or an individual who had E. coli O157:H7 isolated from a stool culture with a pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern indistinguishable from or within 3 bands of the main outbreak pattern by at least 1 enzyme (Xba1 or Bln1). Case patients were interviewed about food consumption at the events and symptoms. Stool samples from ill attendees and food workers were collected and submitted to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Public Health Laboratory (PHL) for bacterial and viral testing.
A total of 199 individuals from seven catered events were interviewed. Of these 74 (37%) reported gastrointestinal illness followed the event, including 57 (29%) who met the case definition. Twenty-one (37%) cases sought medical care at a clinic, 18 (32%) were seen at an emergency department and 9 (16%) were hospitalized. Hospitalizations ranged from 2 to 6 days.  No case-patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome or died. Thirty patients were classified as “probable” cases due to lack of laboratory confirmation of infection with E. coli O157:H7. Twenty seven persons were laboratory confirmed with one of the closely related outbreak strains.  These 27 persons attended one or more of three different events catered by Jim-N-Jo’s.  Nineteen (70%) isolates were indistinguishable by Xba1 from the subtype designated as EXHX01.0238 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Minnesota pattern designation MN1393), five (19%) isolates were designated as EXHX01.0074 (MN pattern designation WA1ECB281), and one isolate each was designated as EXHX01.0696, EXHX01.0344, and EXHX01.0248.
Jim-N-Jo’s catered at least 12 events from July 5 to July 17. Data analysis of food consumption at the various events resulted in different results.  The food item statistically associated with illness at the Elder Picnic was potato salad (37 of 38 cases vs. 44 of 66 controls; odds ratio [OR}, 18.5; 95% confidence interval [CI}, 2.4 to 143.9; p<0.001).  None of the food items consumed at the wedding were statistically significant. Only a few attendees of the three-day conference were interviewed. The small number of interviewees prevented data analysis. Participants in the focus group were not interviewed.
Raw celery and onions were the only food items served at all five events with outbreak associated cases.  Three events (picnic, 3-day conference, and 3-day meeting) were served the same batch of potato salad that contained raw onions and celery.  The celery was also served as part of a vegetable tray at the wedding and as a chopped garnish on the salad bar for the focus group. Chopped onions were also available at all events. In univariate analysis consumption of celery was significantly associated with illness, and onions approached statistical significance.  In a multivariate model, only consumption of celery (adjusted OR, 10.1; p=0.004) was significantly associated with illness.
Sanitarians visited Jim-N-Jo’s catering kitchen on July 18. The sanitarian noted inconsistent glove use and issues with date marking. No improper practices or procedures were noted with regard to cooking, cooling, or cross contamination. One employee reported working while ill on July 15 and July 16. A stool specimen submitted by the employee was positive for E. coli O157:H7 with the main outbreak PFGE pattern.  The employee reported sampling or tasting food during preparation.  Health investigators theorized that this employee was a likely victim of the outbreak and not the source of illnesses in the outbreak.
On July 21 an inspector with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) picked up leftover food from Jim-N-Jo’s that was served at the implicated events, including potato salad, strawberries, honeydew, pineapple, and cantaloupe. The potato salad was positive for E. coli O157:H7; all other food samples were negative. Multiple PFGE subtypes were isolated from the potato salad, including the two main patterns isolated from the cases and two other closely related patterns that were not found among the patient isolates. Leftover celery and onions from the same shipment that was served in the potato salad at the wedding and focus group were collected from the caterer and tested. Both products were negative.
Jim-N-Jo’s ordered all fresh produce from Upper Lakes Foods, Inc. The celery that was served at all of the events was received by Jim-N-Jo’s on June 25. MDA staff worked with Pro*Act Distributing and Mann Packing to trace the celery to Martignoni Ranch block 5c in the Salinas Valley, California. California Department of Public Health (CDPH) confirmed the field was owned by Costa Farms and harvested by Mann Packing. CDPH notified the California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT) which conducted an inspection of the field and collected water and soil samples on August 13. All samples were negative for E. coli O157:H7.  No potential cross contamination issues were observed although it was noted that the field is adjacent to a defunct dairy operation north of Gonzales, California.
Despite the environmental findings in California, public health investigators in Minnesota concluded that this was a foodborne outbreak of E. coli O157 infections associated with multiple events catered by Jim-N-Jo’s Katering. Potato salad served at three events was found to be contaminated with strains of E. coli O157:H7 that was indistinguishable from strains isolated in case-patients. Cases were also identified at two additional events where potato salad was not served.  However, celery that was from the same shipment as the celery in the potato salad was served at the two events. A report issued by Minnesota agencies concluded that contaminated celery served in some form at all five events was the most likely vehicle of transmission in this outbreak. The specific route of contamination was not identified, but sampling in the field was limited.  See Final Report.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections 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 E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne Kiner, Stephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

Food Safety is a Matter of National Security
Source : http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/blog/food-safety-is-a-matter-of-national-security/
By Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Rosa L. Delauro (D-Conn.) (Jan 20, 2015)
When President Obama addresses the nation on Tuesday night, he will undoubtedly talk about the pressing national security issues facing our country.
But there is one area of vulnerability that is often overlooked, yet touches each and every one of us every single day—food safety.  We think it is something that needs to be a part of our national security conversation. 
For more than a decade, our fragmented federal food safety system has been in need of dramatic reform as repeatedly detailed  by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has unacceptable vulnerabilities in our food safety system. This leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to foodborne illness and contamination, whether intentional or unintentional.
Fortunately, there are straightforward actions that Congress can take right now to increase security and make us safer as a nation. First and foremost, Congress should create a single food agency to ensure the safety of everything we eat.
To understand the potential scale of the problem, consider this: 48 million people —1 in 6 Americans—will likely get sick from food borne disease this year. Roughly 128,000 of those will be so sick they will need hospitalization. Three thousand will die.
The way we eat today is changing.  Our food is traveling farther to get from the farm to our dinner tables.  Large amounts are even being imported from overseas.  More of the food we consume is processed or prepared outside the home.
The problem is, our food safety system has failed to move with the times. Right now, our amazingly complex food supply is policed by fifteen separate agencies.  That is right—fifteen agencies in our government have overlapping jurisdiction over our food. 
As the GAO points out, the 2010 nationwide recall of more than 500 million eggs because of Salmonella contamination highlights this nonsensical oversight arrangement. From start to finish, the life of an egg traces the complicated web of federal agencies with food safety oversight.  One agency manages the health of the hens. Another oversees the feed they eat.  Yet another sets quality standards, but does not test the eggs for Salmonella.  Once the egg is laid, if it is in a shell, it is the responsibility of the FDA, but if it is processed into an egg product, it is the responsibility of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. 
In 2010, Congress passed the historic FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. This law updated the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety authorities to better address emerging risks and focus on preventing foodborne illness.
We remain focused on finalizing new rules and providing the much needed increases in funding to fully implement the law.  Without major structural reforms, our fragmented, uncoordinated food safety system will continue to jeopardize public health.
The incremental changes we have made so far have enhanced the safety of our food supply, but have done nothing to address the fragmentation of our current food safety system. Gaping holes also remain when it comes to ensuring the safety of meat and poultry in America.
Without major structural reforms and funding increases, our fragmented, uncoordinated food safety system will continue to jeopardize public health.
Congress, with the support of President Obama, needs to act now to do what several other industrialized nations have already done - create a single food agency.
Consolidating our nation’s food safety functions into one independent agency would provide a regulatory structure better equipped to take advantage of the great work already being done by public health experts in the areas of research coordination, prevention activities, inspections and investigations. 
When President Obama calls on Congress to come together on a bipartisan basis to address matters of national security, let us not overlook the improvements we can make at home to secure the safety of our food supply and by doing so, better protect public health today and prevent outbreaks in the future. The lives lost because of our fragmented food safety system can be saved.
Durbin is Illinois’ senior senator, serving since 1997 and is currently Senate Minority Whip. DeLauro has represented Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District since 1991. She sits on the Appropriations Committee.

Safety of Pet Food Packaging
Source : http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/enewsletter/safety-of-pet-food-packaging/
By Joe Pryweller (Jan 20 ,2015)
Safety of Pet Food Packaging
Food packaging can significantly influence the quality and safety of the food product in question by providing a barrier to moisture and other environmental conditions that may result in contamination and/or spoilage.
The U.S. demand for pet food packaging is expected to rise 4.8 percent annually to $2.5 billion by 2018. Growth will be based on the use of higher value, more sophisticated packaging and continued strength in pet food shipments. The proliferation of premium pet food brands will also spur packaging demand growth, as higher value containers will be required to provide superior graphics, puncture resistance to reduce likelihood of contamination and barrier protection for these more expensive, higher-quality products.
While limited design flexibility and the inconvenience of opening cans have been the chief drawbacks of metal pet food containers, this segment is attempting to increase its competitiveness by emphasizing the safety of steel cans and their environmental friendliness due to their recyclability and use of recycled content. A much lower rate of product recalls for pet food exists for food packaged in metal cans than for that packaged in plastic alternatives, due to the tight seal and tamper evidence in cans.
According to our new study, Pet Food Packaging, demand for metal cans in pet food packaging is forecast to rise 2.7 percent annually to $650 million in 2018. Cans held 29 percent of the pet food packaging market in 2013. The percentage of overall can demand in pet food packaging will continue to decline due to supplantation by other packaging types, including retort pouches, tubs and cups, and chubs. Pouch demand in pet food packaging is forecast to rise 8.3 percent per annum to $540 million in 2018, the fastest pace of growth among pet food packaging types. For small packages of dry food, pouches will continue to supplant bags. For wet food, retort pouches will continue to gain acceptance as an alternative to metal cans, growing in popularity due to peelable lids that are easier to open and allow the consumer to avoid cuts from metal edges and especially in applications where strength and stiffness are not primary factors.
Can demand growth is forecast to be below that for the overall pet food packaging market, based on the maturity of this traditional packaging type and the lack of value-added features that would increase demand. Although other drawbacks like heavier weight and the need for opening devices on some cans do exist, an advantage does exist in that metal cans are the most recycled food or beverage container type. 
Other advantages include their low cost, long shelf life, durability and amenability to wet food products, ultimately reducing chance of contamination and spoilage.  Additionally, the presence of easy opening ends will support continued opportunities. Fast-filling speeds and line efficiencies also support can use and make some manufacturers reluctant to shift production to plastic alternatives, which are slower to manufacture and involve added production costs (Figure 1).
This study analyzed the $2 billion U.S. pet food packaging industry. It presents historical demand data for 2003, 2008 and 2013, and forecasts for 2018 and 2023 by application (e.g., dry food, wet food, pet treats, chilled and frozen), animal (e.g., dog food, cat food), type (e.g., bags, metal cans, pouches, folding cartons, plastic bottles and jars, tubs and cups) and material (paperboard, plastic, metal, wovens).
Joe Pryweller is an analyst for The Freedonia Group, an industry market research consultancy. For more information, please visit www.freedoniagroup.com.

After Man’s Death, Doctors Give Food Safety Advice to Liver Transplant Recipients
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/01/after-deaths-doctors-recommend-food-safety-advice-to-liver-transplant-recipients/#.VMWa1Nj9ns1
By James Andrews (Jan 20, 2015)
After overseeing a routine, uneventful liver transplant in a 52-year-old man in July 2013 at a hospital in Marseille, France, Dr. Catherine Sartor and her colleagues expected him to fully recover without complications. When the patient’s liver condition began worsening five days after surgery, they suspected his body was rejecting the new organ and adjusted his treatment accordingly.
But just nine days after surgery, the patient passed away. Blood samples revealed that he was suffering from a post-surgery invasive infection of Listeria monocytogenes, a deadly bacteria most commonly associated with foodborne illness.
Surprised by the revelation, the doctors tested any possible source of Listeria from the hospital, including the food served to the patient and blood cultures from the donor liver.
When all of those tests came back negative, the hospital staff was left to conclude that the man came in contact with Listeria outside of the hospital — almost certainly from a food source. He was either a carrier of Listeria who wasn’t showing symptoms, or he had been infected just prior to surgery and his symptoms had not yet developed.
Since the French patient’s death, Sartor and her colleagues have found four other confirmed cases of invasive Listeria infections in liver transplant recipients within a week of surgery. At the same time, the national surveillance system in the U.K. has identified liver disease as a “major risk factor” for Listeria infection, and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has tracked a rise in Listeria infection across Europe between 2008 and 2012.
As a result, the doctors have begun to recommend food safety advice to all patients on the wait list for a liver transplant and for the first six months following surgery, according to a paper they published in the medical journal The Lancet. Sartor told Food Safety News they’re recommending that doctors in the U.S. and around the world also start supplying food safety advice to liver transplant patients if they aren’t already doing so.
That food safety advice includes avoiding foods considered high-risk for Listeria contamination, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
•Uncooked meats and vegetables
•Raw milk or cheese made from raw milk
•Certain soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk, such as queso fresco
•Processed or ready-to-eat deli meats, including hot dogs
•Smoked seafood
The advice is similar to warnings given to pregnant women looking to avoid Listeria due to its high fatality rate in unborn children.
“In our experience, transplant candidates accepted and applied these measures well,” Sartor said. “These food safety measures can easily be explained by transplant specialists to any patient.”
CDC estimates that Listeria monocytogenes causes approximately 1,600 illnesses and 260 deaths in the U.S. each year. It’s widely considered one of the most deadly foodborne pathogens.

How Does Listeria Get into Soft Cheeses?
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/how-does-listeria-get-into-soft-cheeses/
By Linda Larsen (Jan 20, 2015)
The current Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to recalled Queseria Bendita soft cheeses (and sour cream) has sickened three people and killed one person in Washington state. Soft cheeses are not recommended as part of a pregnancy diet, along with deli meats and unpasteurized milk for this reason. But why are soft cheeses a Listeria risk?
Soft-cheeseFirst of all, any soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk is a risky food. Raw milk can, and does, contain many pathogenic bacteria from E. coli to Campylobacter to Listeria monocytogenes.
The FDA developed a draft assessment on the risk of consumers contracting listeriosis from soft cheeses in 2013. They found that soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk has a risk of containing Listeria bacteria 50 to 160 mites higher than soft cheeses made with pasteurized milk. Consumers should avoid eating raw milk cheeses, even those that have been aged, especially if they are in a high risk health group.
Second, the soft cheese has lots of moisture and a low acid content (higher pH). That makes it more friendly to bacterial growth even when made with pasteurized milk. Most aged cheeses have more acidity and much less moisture, along with a higher salt content. Those factors help reduce or eliminate bacterial growth except for starter cultures deliberately introduced during the cheese making process.
And third, many of these soft cheeses are produced by small, artisanal cheese makers who may not have the experience to understand the risks inherent in this product. Little or no food safety training is required for these vendors. Listeria can be present in the environment, in the water used to make the cheese, or in the milk itself. FDA inspectors visited more than 100 cheese making facilities in New York in April 2010, and found Listeria in 24 facilities; more than half of those were small artisanal operations.
Once Listeria is introduced into the environment, it persists, especially since it can grow at refrigerator and freezer temperatures. Post-pasteurization contamination of milk can also occur.
The symptoms of a Listeria infection include high fever, headache, muscle aches, confusion, and neck stiffness, along with nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. Pregnant women make up 30% of all Listeria monocytogenes food poisoning cases, even though their illness may be very mild. Any pregnant women who suffers flu-like symptoms should see their doctor immediately. Listeriosis can cause stillbirth, miscarriage, and infection in the newborn baby.
Pregnant women, young children, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases and compromised immune systems should avoid eating these soft cheeses: feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, and Mexican style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, and panel. A Listeria infection in those populations can cause serious complications and death.

Food Standards Scotland to Launch on April 1
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/01/food-standards-scotland-to-begin-april-1/#.VMWbUtj9ns1
By News Desk (Jan 20, 2015)
Food Standards Scotland is set to start on April 1.
The Food (Scotland) Bill to set up the stand-alone body passed the Scottish Parliament in early December and received Royal Assent — meaning that the queen formally agrees to make the bill into law — on Jan. 13.
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) will take over the work of the UK-wide Food Standards Agency’s division in Scotland and will tackle nutritional health, in addition to regulating food safety.
“Attaining Royal Assent was the final hurdle in the primary legislation process towards a new food body for Scotland and marks the end of a mammoth task,” wrote Fiona Comrie on the Creating a New Food Body project blog.
Plans for the new agency arose after the UK government transferred nutrition and food labeling in England from the Food Standards Agency to the Department of Health and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Scottish Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said the changes in England “removed significant capacity” in the agency’s nutrition and labeling functions for Scotland and needed to be addressed.
It is estimated that foodborne illness affects about 132,000 Scots each year, resulting in 2,330 hospitalizations, 50 deaths, and £140 million in costs.
The profile of foodborne disease varies across the UK, with higher rates of particular illnesses reported in the Scottish population compared to other countries. For example, E. coli O157 is consistently reported more frequently in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

Food safety is a matter of national security
Source : http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/229987-food-safety-is-a-matter-of-national-security
By Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Rosa L. Delauro (D-Conn.) (Jan 20, 2015)
When President Obama addresses the nation on Tuesday night, he will undoubtedly talk about the pressing national security issues facing our country.
But there is one area of vulnerability that is often overlooked, yet touches each and every one of us every single day—food safety.  We think it is something that needs to be a part of our national security conversation.
For more than a decade, our fragmented federal food safety system has been in need of dramatic reform as repeatedly detailed  by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has unacceptable vulnerabilities in our food safety system. This leaves millions of Americans vulnerable to foodborne illness and contamination, whether intentional or unintentional.
Fortunately, there are straightforward actions that Congress can take right now to increase security and make us safer as a nation. First and foremost, Congress should create a single food agency to ensure the safety of everything we eat.
To understand the potential scale of the problem, consider this: 48 million people —1 in 6 Americans—will likely get sick from food borne disease this year. Roughly 128,000 of those will be so sick they will need hospitalization. Three thousand will die.
The way we eat today is changing.  Our food is traveling farther to get from the farm to our dinner tables.  Large amounts are even being imported from overseas.  More of the food we consume is processed or prepared outside the home.
The problem is, our food safety system has failed to move with the times. Right now, our amazingly complex food supply is policed by fifteen separate agencies.  That is right—fifteen agencies in our government have overlapping jurisdiction over our food. 
As the GAO points out, the 2010 nationwide recall of more than 500 million eggs because of Salmonella contamination highlights this nonsensical oversight arrangement. From start to finish, the life of an egg traces the complicated web of federal agencies with food safety oversight.  One agency manages the health of the hens. Another oversees the feed they eat.  Yet another sets quality standards, but does not test the eggs for Salmonella.  Once the egg is laid, if it is in a shell, it is the responsibility of the FDA, but if it is processed into an egg product, it is the responsibility of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. 
In 2010, Congress passed the historic FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. This law updated the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety authorities to better address emerging risks and focus on preventing foodborne illness.
We remain focused on finalizing new rules and providing the much needed increases in funding to fully implement the law.  Without major structural reforms, our fragmented, uncoordinated food safety system will continue to jeopardize public health.
The incremental changes we have made so far have enhanced the safety of our food supply, but have done nothing to address the fragmentation of our current food safety system. Gaping holes also remain when it comes to ensuring the safety of meat and poultry in America.
Without major structural reforms and funding increases, our fragmented, uncoordinated food safety system will continue to jeopardize public health.
Congress, with the support of President Obama, needs to act now to do what several other industrialized nations have already done - create a single food agency.
Consolidating our nation’s food safety functions into one independent agency would provide a regulatory structure better equipped to take advantage of the great work already being done by public health experts in the areas of research coordination, prevention activities, inspections and investigations. 
When President Obama calls on Congress to come together on a bipartisan basis to address matters of national security, let us not overlook the improvements we can make at home to secure the safety of our food supply and by doing so, better protect public health today and prevent outbreaks in the future. The lives lost because of our fragmented food safety system can be saved.
Durbin is Illinois’ senior senator, serving since 1997 and is currently Senate Minority Whip. DeLauro has represented Connecticut’s 3rd Congressional District since 1991. She sits on the Appropriations Committee.

MI Ag Department Wants More Food-Safety Inspection Staff, Higher Fees
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/01/michigan-adjusts-food-safety-fees-for-first-time-in-15-years/#.VMWb19j9ns1
By News Desk (Jan 19, 2015)
The first signs are coming in that states are going to beef up their food-safety regulatory structures in light of better economic times. Michigan, for one, is after its first fee increase in 15 years for its inspection and licensing program, which oversees an estimated 18,000 retail food, processing and warehouse facilities.
And the Arlington, VA-based Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) says legislatures in multiple states are considering legislation that would make it easier to reform or restructure health boards, come up with flexible funding, and update state public health acts.
At the state level for a string of years, user-fee and taxpayer-supported food safety programs have largely experienced stagnant or declining budget support. State funds were eroding and recessions are not good times to ask for fee increases.
But state fiscal conditions have now improved and the National Association of State Budget Officers expects “moderately” improved conditions for spending to continue. That has agencies involved in food safety, such as the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), going for increases in those long-frozen user fees.
MDARD investigates when foodborne illnesses are occurring and it also responds during outbreaks. The agency has already gained legislative support and $1.8 million in seed money for a plan to add 20 employees in fiscal year 2015. However, the department needs another $2.5 million, which would come from fees. Inspection fees would rise from 9 to 180 percent over three years.
A retail food establishment currently pays a license fee of $67. The plan is to increase that fee in stages over three years until it reaches $180 per year. The plan, according to MDARD, will both reduce foodborne illnesses in Michigan and also provide more assistance for the businesses it regulates.
Even with the fee increases, the regulated businesses will only be paying 37 percent of the program’s cost, up from 27 percent. A department spokesperson says that businesses are being asked to pay their fair share in the interest of Michigan food safety.
Michigan Agri-Business Association President Jim Byrum says his organization has always supported MDARD and is looking forward to the fee discussions.
The number of facilities per inspector in Michigan has reached 409, which is well above the one inspector per 280 to 320 facilities recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.(FDA).

Is Foodborne Illness on the Rise?
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/01/is-foodborne-illness-on-the-rise/#.VMWcAtj9ns1
By Baylen Linnekin (Jan 19, 2015)
Opinion
(This article by Baylen J. Linnekin was published here on Jan. 17, 2015, and is reposted with permission. He is executive director of the Keep Food Legal Foundation and an adjunct professor at George Mason University Law School, where he teaches Food Law & Policy.)
The past few weeks have seen what may be an unprecedented number of headlines around the world pertaining to foodborne illness. A number of these illnesses have proven fatal.
In Mozambique, beer allegedly tainted with crocodile bile killed dozens at a wedding. It’s unclear at this point how the bile did — or even could — make its way into the beer. (It’s also not clear that crocodile bile is poisonous.)
In India, more than two-dozen people are dead and at least 100 people are ill, some severely, after consuming homemade liquor containing deadly methyl alcohol during a cricket match. Elsewhere in India, four members of a family died after dining at a restaurant to celebrate a holiday.
In California, a batch of drug-laced sweet bread from a Santa Ana bakery has sickened more than 40 people. And listeria-tainted apples, which authorities say are linked to a California producer, have killed three.
Despite this news and the prevalence of Buzzfeed-worthy foodborne illness headlines, the domestic food supply is still remarkably safe — and among the safest in the world. CDC data indicate that foodborne illness is not on the rise in the United States. Agency data from 2013 show only one statistically significant increase in illnesses caused by various pathogens (vibrio), while showing statistically significant decreases in illnesses caused by two key pathogens — listeria and salmonella.
But is the overall safety of our food supply enough to warn off regulations? What, if anything, is the government’s proper role in preventing foodborne illness and punishing food adulteration?
I think the federal government should have the authority to order adulterated products off the market and to punish (with fines, arrest, or both) those who sell food that sickens others.
While I’m often a critic of FDA regulations — particularly those pertaining to food safety — it turns out that my own beliefs here mirror FDA rules currently in place.
It may surprise you to learn that FDA only recently was given the power to order food recalls.
Scholars and advocates pushed for years for Congress to grant FDA the power to order recalls of food that is adulterated and harmful — something that finally came to fruition in the otherwise awful Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
Again, I’m a big supporter of FDA having such power.
“Giving the FDA mandatory recall authority, as the [FSMA] did, is an important tool for forcing foods that have been found to be a definitive hazard off the market,” I wrote last year.
FDA’s power to punish those who adulterate food and cause harm has been in place far longer. That’s a good thing — particularly if the culprit does so intentionally.
FDA clearly deserves some of the credit for the safety of our food supply.
But, as I noted in recent FSMA comments I submitted to FDA on behalf of Keep Food Legal Foundation (the nonprofit I lead), that’s but a small piece of the puzzle.
“The FDA can’t wash the hands of every eater and cook in the country,” I wrote. And it can’t prevent bad actors from intentionally poisoning food — as may have recently happened in India, Mozambique, and California.
That’s why the private sector’s role is so important.
The safety of our food supply is a testament to the men and women who make our food — and to the companies that employ them. It’s also thanks to the lawyers who sue those people and companies when they do harm.
Thanks to splashy headlines and a handful of truly appalling recent cases, foodborne illness may appear to be on the rise. Thankfully, that’s not the case. What’s more, data and the combined efforts of the public and private sectors make it clear that the tools are in place to push back against foodborne illness.

A 2011 Los Angeles Event Catered with a Salmonella Side
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/a-los-angeles-event-catered-with-a-salmonella-side/#.VMWcV9j9ns1
By Andy Weisbecker (Jan 19, 2015)
In late September 2011, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health received the first reports of salmonellosis-like illnesses.  On September 28, 2011, District Public Health Nursing (DPHN) notified the Acute Communicable Disease Control Program (ACDC) of a cluster of illnesses associated with a film festival event, the Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition, hosted by Rainbird and catered by TRÈS LA.  The film festival was held at a media center in Beverly Hills, California on September 20, 2011. 
The first reported case of illness was by the mother whose eleven-year old daughter became ill after eating a catered box meal at the event.  The mother believed the box meal to be the cause of her daughter’s illness because four employees from her husband’s business, a public relations firm contributing to the organization of the event, also fell ill but did not seek medical care.  On September 30, 2011, the girl’s stool tested positive for Salmonella Heidelberg; PFGE pattern, Xba1 Pattern JF6X01.045.  All four employees that fell ill and the eleven-year old girl, reported attendance at the event and consumption of some portion of the catered box meal.  All five individuals reported the consumption of the oven-roasted turkey sandwich.
DPHN and ACDC interviewed cases in this cluster to obtain food histories and other risk factors related to salmonellosis.  All known symptomatic persons who attended the event were asked to submit stool specimens for culture.  ACDC requested DPHN ask all salmonellosis cases reported after September 28, 2011 about exposure to any event held in Beverly Hills.  Additionally, ACDC created a Foodborne Illness Complaint Report on September 20, 2011.
The Environmental Health Food and Milk Program (F&M) inspected the caterer for the film festival on September 29, 2011.  ACDC also contacted a second group that used the same caterer on September 18, 2011 to assess for illness.  Confirmation and serotyping of all Salmonella isolates was performed by the Public Health Laboratory of California.  Ultimately, six ill persons were identified in the cluster. All six cases reported eating some portion of a turkey sandwich.
The inspection of the caterer, TRÈS LA, did not reveal any major health code violations and no ill food handlers were identified at the time of inspection.  There were 30-45 lbs. of turkey prepared by the caterer on September 17, 2011 for the film festival on September 20, 2011, where the outbreak occurred, and for another unrelated event held on September 18, 2011.
Three of the six outbreak cases, including the eleven-year old girl, had Salmonella positive stool cultures.  All three positive isolates were serotyped S. Heidelberg and had the same PFGE pattern (Xba1 Pattern JF6X01.0045).  Two of the three laboratory confirmed cases were associated with the PR firm that assisted with the organization of the catered film event.  Of the four PR firm employees that did not seek medical care, one stool culture tested positive for Salmonella.
In their initial report, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was unable to conclusively rule contaminated food served at the catered film event as the cause for the illness cluster.  Specifically, the initial report’s conclusion was: “A common source of outbreak of S. Heidelberg occurred among persons associated with a PR firm that organized and attended a catered event on 9/20/11.  Although all cases attended the event and ate food prepared by a caterer, other exposures such as animal contact or sources either at the event or otherwise could not be ruled out.”
However, this initial conclusion was amended on January 31, 2012.   On December 6, 2011, the California Department of Public Health notified the Acute Communicable Disease Control (ACDC) in Los Angeles County of an Oregon resident with the same as the PFGE pattern from an outbreak previously investigated by ACDC.
ACDC interviewed our client Michael Bishop and a second Oregon resident who attended the film event and also became ill.  Tthese two new cases brought the total number of cases associated with the film event to eight; four of which were laboratory confirmed with the same PFGE pattern.  Moreover, seven of the eight cases recalled eating the turkey sandwich that was catered at the event.
As a result, the two newly identified cases from Oregon, who were independent of the PR firm, lead the ACDC and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to confirm that the source of the outbreak was the catered event, with turkey sandwiches as a possible vehicle.
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.

 

 

 

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

Vol 16.59-67
Antimicrobial action of essential oils against food borne pathogens isolated from street vended fruit juices from Baripada Town, India
Chandi C. Rath and P. Bera

Vol 16.53-58
Conventional Microbiology, Salmosyst Method and Polymerase Chain Reaction
: A Comparison in the Detection of Salmonella spp. in Raw Hamburgers
Jorge Luiz Fortuna, Virginia Léo de Almeida Pereira, Elmiro Rosendo do Nascimento andRobson Maia Franco


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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