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5/8, 2003
ISSUE:64

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Shigella cases back on the rise

source from:http://www.journalstandard.com/
Health Department forms task force to combat increasing numbers of the bacterial disease
By Travis Morse, The Journal-Standard

FREEPORT -- With about 33 new cases of the bacterial disease Shigella reported in Stephenson County in the last few months, local health officials are holding a special Shigella task force meeting Friday to help deal with the outbreak. Shigella, a bacterial disease of the digestive tract, can lead to diarrhea, fever, nausea and cramps but is not typically fatal. A jump in the number of cases was first reported in November, but over the winter months the numbers reduced drastically and health officials expected the illness to dissipate. But 21 new cases in April and a dozen more in the early days of May have increased concerns. "We actually did see a decrease," said County Health Administrator Jeff Todd. "They went down in January and February. They were back down to about seven or eight cases a month. And then in March, it actually went down to two cases, so it really went the direction we thought it was going. But then it reared its ugly head again in April and we're back up to a substantial number of cases." All but three or four of the cases in the recent outbreak are children, Todd said. The vast majority of the cases are children between 5 and 6 years old, and many of them are enrolled at the Jones-Farrar Early Learning Center. Todd did not have specific figures available, but said the cases are more concentrated in Freeport than the rural part of the county. District 145 Superintendent Peter Flynn said Jones-Farrar is sending out a letter today to parents warning them about the situation. In 2002, the county had 51 cases, all in the last few months of the year. So far this year, the county has had 48 Shigella cases. In a typical year, the Health Department only expects about one or two cases.

Oxoid launches new diagnostic brewing product

srouce from:http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/

07/05/03 - Oxoid, one of the world's leading manufacturers and distributors of microbiological culture media and other diagnostic products, has developed a new diagnostic product ideally suited for the brewing industry. Cycloheximide, an antibiotic that inhibits yeasts and moulds, now comes in a liquid cycloheximide supplement (SR0222C).
The product can be used to detect micro-organisms in brewery samples. The Cycloheximide supplement is packed in 100ml volume glass bottles with a screw cap and comes in cardboard outer packaging. The new solution is designed to be easier and safer to use than powder supplements. The solution can be added to a range of media including WL Nutrient Agar (CM0309) for total microbial counts, Raka-Ray Agar (CM0777), which provides a selective medium for the isolation of lactic acid bacteria in beer, and Universal Beer Agar (CM0651). Traditional culture media have been in use in brewing for a considerable time, but new products aimed at improving and speeding up the process of isolating organisms from food and drink sources are coming onto the market all the time. Recent Oxoid products include a range of chromogenic media for food pathogens.
Indeed, changes in eating habits and food production methods have led to the increased vigilance of such organisms as Listeria, E.coli O157, Salmonella and Legionella.

WORKSHOP ON NON THERMAL FOOD PRESERVATION
September 2003
The Nonthermal Processing Division of IFT and EFFoST
http://www.ift.org/divisions/nonthermal/
The Nonthermal Processing Division of IFT and EFFoST will organize their
yearly workshop in Wageningen, The Netherlands, 7-10 September 2003.
Themes of the workshops are:
Microbiological food safety
Non-thermal technology commercialization case studies
Consumer and regulatory acceptance
Enzyme response to non-thermal processing and induced changes Each workshop comprises a breakout session in which 3 groups will deal with
fact sheets, validation protocols and research needs respectively. Call for contributions: If you are working in any of the indicated fields, we invite you to submit an extended abstract of your recent (research) activities.
For the program and registration see the attached program. Also are attached the hotel reservation forms. This information is also available on the internet sites:
http://www.ift.org/divisions/nonthermal/ (see announcements)
http://www.effost.org (see NPD workshop)

Current Food Safety News

05/07. HOTEL HONOURED FOR ALLERGY TRAINING PROGRAM
05/07. RENO, NEV. TAKES ACTION AFTER VIRAL OUTBREAK
05/07. FOOD ALLERGY AWARENESS NEEDED
05/07. WE NEED PROCESSING INDUSTRY DATA
05/07. LAST WEEK'S USDA/FSIS EPI MEETING
05/07. NEBRASKA BEEF V. USDA-AGAIN
05/07. FOOD COMPANIES FIGHTING BIOTERROR REGS: CSPI SAYS RULES SHOU
05/07. FAO: No link between SARS and livestock production
05/07. Food Safety Initiatives
05/07. San Diego seafood store fined heavily for health violation
05/07. Two Dallas Vibrio Deaths Last Year Lead to Lawsuits and Call
05/07. Managers revisit food safety rules
05/07. Banned curry king finds new career in food safety
05/07. U.S. Proposes Food Safety Record-Keeping Regulations

05/06. A NATIONAL CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL
05/06. Hand Hygiene in Retail & Food Service Establishments
05/06. DON'T PLAY WITH HEPATITIS A
05/06. Murano speaks at World Congress on Food Irradiation
05/06. Food shoppers concerned with cost and safety
05/06. FDA issues final two food bioterrorism regulations
05/06. Safer Food
05/06. COOL Plans Attacked
05/06. AMI Foundation Sponsoring Listeria Workshop in June
05/06. Fast Track on Antimicrobial Approvals Are Key to FSIS Food Safety Strategy
05/06. No let-up in unhygienic sale on Marina [India]
05/06. Tons of school lunch chicken recalled
05/06. U.S. meat companies slow to use irradiation-USDA
05/06. GM Food Survey 2002 conducted by the Food Safety Authority o
05/06. Sara Lee Corporation Names Tracie Sheehan, Ph.D., To Lead Gl
05/06. FOOD SAFETY: Crackdown on chemicals

05/05. WORKSHOP ON NON THERMAL FOOD PRESERVATION
05/05. Hand Hygiene in Retail & Food Service Establishments
05/05. LEAD, CADMIUM IN FOOD, ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP SAYS
05/05. Food Safety Magazine Presents Beuchat, Katsuyama with 2003 D
05/05. WARNINGS ON CANNED TUNA URGED: ADVOCATES QUESTION
05/05. ROCKET FUEL IN PRODUCE FROM U.S. SPURS TESTS
05/05. BARGAINS BIGGER FOCUS FOR US FOOD SHOPPERS-SURVEY

05/04. WEIGHING INCENTIVES FOR ENHANCING FOOD SAFETY IN MEAT AND PO
05/04. FOUR CLOSURES OF FOOD BUSINESSES IN APRIL
05/04. Produce Can Be 'Poison On Your Plate'
05/04. Safer Food

05/03. Danish ban on antibiotics proves successful
05/03. Allergies develop from runaway proteins
05/03. Smoky bacon in cancer scare
05/03. Fever checks at 134 markets, food centres [Singapore]
05/03. Cook Arrested For Spitting In Burger

05/02. EFSA to form scientific panel
05/02. Two Illinois state education employees indicted in poison me
05/02. COOL Plans Attacked
05/02. Tougher Requirements for School Meals
05/02. CWD's risk to humans unproven
05/02. California Seafood Company Fined $68,895 for Selling Unlabel
05/02. Dead earwig found in takeaway meal
05/02. Politicization of Seafood Safety Issues, Such as Oysters, Co
05/02. Government recalling Pan products
05/02. Food safety tops farmers' menu
05/02. Harmless anthrax relatives conceal deadly weapons
05/02. Food poisoning can be a short-lived misery or a lethal trage


Foodborne Outbreak
05/07. Shigella cases back on the rise [Illinois]
05/05. Grass-eating hikers fall ill
05/04. 'Suicide link' to church poisoning
05/02. Arsenic at church not an accident
05/02. Food poisoning strikes 350 inmates
05/01. E. coli Infections Not Related
05/01. Arsenic Poisonings at a Church Mystify a Small Town in Maine
05/01. WATER SUPPLY RULED OUT IN MAINE POISONINGS

NEW METHODS
05/07. Oxoid launches new diagnostic brewing product
05/07. E. coli test aims to improve hygiene
05/06. New Technique Could Stem Spread of Altered Genes from GM Crops
05/05. FOOD SAFE, INC. ANNOUNCES PATENT APPLICATION FOR FOOD SANITI
05/04. WARNEX'S SECOND FOOD SAFETY TEST TO DETECT LISTERIA MONOCYTO
05/02. A Possible New Vaccine To KO Salmonella in Chicken Eggs
04/30. Allergen testing, portfolio expands
04/29. E. coli treatment

Current USDA/FDA News
FDA Issues Final Two Proposed Food Safety Regulations
Hand Hygiene in Retail & Food Service Establishments
PROPOSED REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING TITLE III OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH
Listing of Accredited Laboratories: Updated May 1, 2003
A Possible New Vaccine To KO Salmonella in Chicken Eggs
FOOD ADVISORY SUBCOMMITTEE MEETING ON ENTEROBACTER SAKAZAKII
Misbranded Dietary Supplements Destroyed
Radio Waves Blast Bacteria in Fruit Juice
The Economics of Sanitation and Process Controls in Meat and Poultry Plants
Approving Ingredients Used in the Production of Meat and Poultry Products

Current Food Recall
05/07. Undeclared milk, tree nut, peanut and egg protein in DĄŻARTAGNAN BELGIAN
05/06. Undeclared milk and peanut proteins in various HOUSE curry mixes
05/06. Undeclared milk, tree nut, peanut egg proteins in D'ARTAGNAN BELGIAN
05/06. Illinois Firm Recalls Chicken Salad For Possible Listeria Contamination
05/06. North Carolina Firm Recalls Beef Sausage For Possible Listeria Contamination
05/05. Undeclared milk and peanut proteins in HOUSE VERMONT CURRY M HOT CURRY
05/01. AMIRA brand PEELED GARLIC IN WATER may contain dangerous bacteria
04/30. Undeclared peanut and milk proteins, and sulphites in snack bars made by SUNFRESH
04/30. Forever Cheese, Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Product

Current JOB Openings

5/05 NFPA, Principal Scientist (Microbiology)

5/02 Quality Assurance Manager
5/02 QA Supervisor - Quality Assurance Supervisor
5/01 Director Quality Assurance
5/01 QA Manager -
5/01 Quality Assurance Manager
4/30 Senior Food Technologist -ConAgra Foods
4/30 Quality Manager
4/30 Production/Quality Supervisor
4/29 Food Safety Specialist :.
4/29 FOOD SERVICE SALES MANAGER
4/29 QUALITY CONTROL SUPERVISOR
4/28 Research Scientist
4/28 Quality Assurance Supervisor
4/28 Sanitation Supervisor - Dole
4/27 Food Scientist - Meat :.
4/26 QUALITY ASSURANCE MANAGER
4/26 Food Services Quality Assurance Manager
4/26 Quality Control Specialist (Papa-Johns)
4/25 Quality Assurance - Industrial Hygienist - beverage, bottlin
4/25 Quality Control Supervisor :.
4/24 Regulatory / Compliance professionals
4/23 Food Scientist
4/22 Sanitation Supervisor
4/21 Director of Quality Assurance
4/20 Food Research Scientist -
4/19 Quality Assurance Specialist II
4/18 Manager of Quality Assurance
4/18 Sales Represenative - Food Indsutrsy
4/17 Quality Assurnace Manager - Sprindale Ice Cream and Beverage
4/16 Quality Control Supervisor
4/15 Quality Assurance Supervisor
4/15 Call the shots on 2nd Shift in Quality Assurance.

FDA Issues Final Two Proposed Food Safety Regulations

Hand Hygiene in Retail & Food Service Establishments

Radio Waves Blast Bacteria in Fruit Juice

LAST WEEK'S USDA/FSIS EPI MEETING
May 5, 2003
Lean Trimmings
Edited by Kiran Kernellu
USDA's Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) held a one-day meeting last Tuesday on Using Applied Epidemiology and Other Tools to Protect the Public Health. The meeting was chaired by Philip Derfler, Deputy Administrator of Policy and Program Development. One reporter suggested that the meeting was part of the Agency's continuing efforts to "frame" itself as a public health regulatory agency. Reportedly, presenters spoke more to process than outcome, and models were described showing how epidemiology is incorporated in the decision-making that leads to recalls when food disease outbreaks occur. In fact, in the second part of the meeting a panel discussion dealt with a mock foodborne disease outbreak. In the utilization of epidemiology, FSIS works with many other agencies at the federal, state and county levels, gathering data and information that will hopefully lead them to the causative agent. It is a complex process, made even more complex because microbiological testing does not provide quick results, especially matching DNA patterns, and an outbreak may be long finished before the evidence trail is complete. A significant danger is taking a wrong turn in the epidemiological trail, thereby leading to wrong decisions, which subsequent sample results may not support. Once there is
buy-in to a line of thinking, it is often extremely difficult to make a change and start again from the point of the wrong decision. The answers to some of the questions were revealing, but not surprising to an industry that values its reputation. Dr. David Goldman, Acting Director of Human Health Sciences Division, of the Office of Public Health and
Science at FSIS answered a loaded question about plant cooperation: "My own experience has been that plants are cooperative; I've been on conference
calls at all hours." In answer to another loaded question about whether plants open up their books and are forthcoming, Phil Derfler said that the
agency usually makes a request and gets the information. In most instances they get the information without an administrative subpoena. Another question suggested that IICs "fear" an FSA (an in-plant food safety assessment). Charles Gioglio, Director, Inspection and Enforcement
Initiatives Staff, said that IICs are free to request a FSA and they should not be something to be feared. This is a very complicated subject area with many improbabilities and outright unknowns. NMA believes that the agency should develop a White Paper on how they are using epidemiology in tracking foodborne disease outbreaks and report its success, or lack thereof, in doing so.

No link between SARS and livestock production
The spread of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus has caused major concern around the world. There has been media speculation that intensive livestock production might be a breeding ground for the virus. Peter Roeder, FAO Animal Production and Health Division, has commented on the potential link between agriculture, livestock production and the SARS pandemic. Roeder says, “There is currently no evidence for an origin in farm animals (cattle, pigs, poultry etc) and it seems unlikely, even if the origin of the virus is still a mystery. Assuming that SARS is caused by the novel coronavirus which has been associated with the disease, genetic fingerprinting of this virus shows it to be very different from any other known animal or human coronavirus.?For more information, see the FAO Press Release.

FDA issues final two food bioterrorism regulations
source from: http://www.ift.org/
5/06/2003-FDA announced on May 6, 2003 the publication of the final two food safety proposed regulations required by the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002, which gives FDA new authority to protect the nation's food supply. The proposals are two of four proposed regulations that the Act calls upon FDA to develop regarding food safety. These two proposals deal with establishing and maintaining records among food firms, and the administrative detention of foods that may pose a risk to public health. The other two proposals, concerning the registration of food facilities and prior notice of imported foods, were published in January 2003. For more information, see the FDA Press Release. These proposals can also be accessed electronically at the FDA web page www.fda.gov/oc/bioterrorism/bioact.html.

New Technique Could Stem Spread of Altered Genes from GM Crops

source from http://www.sciam.com/

A key concern regarding the use of genetically modified crops is the possibility that they will spread their altered genes to wild plants. Research published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences could help prevent these occurrences. Scientists have engineered a strain of GM plant that propagates successfully on its own, but cannot mix with non-GM plants. Johann P. Schernthaner of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and his colleagues worked with genetically engineered tobacco plants. The researchers first introduced a so-called seed lethality (SL) gene into otherwise normal plants to make the seeds infertile. They then crossed this strain with a second GM strain that carried a gene capable of repressing the SL gene. According to the report, the resulting plants propagated successfully. But when the team tried to breed these plants with normal, wild-type tobacco, germination failed because the repressor gene was no longer active. The scientists propose that linking a desired new trait to the SL gene "could provide a mechanism to control the unwanted spread and establishment of novel traits within sexually compatible plant species without the need for intervention." They note, however, that further refinements of the technique will be required to optimize it for successful application out in the field. --Sarah Graham

A Possible New Vaccine To KO
Salmonella in Chicken Eggs

Food poisoning is a misnomer. One is not poisoned by the food, but rather by the microbes growing in or on the food. Hens lay eggs that can harbor microbes (microscopic organisms) called Salmonella enteritidis, which can lead to salmonellosis, a disease characterized by nausea, vomiting, and severe diarrhea, symptoms we would all rather avoid. Agricultural Research Service immunologist Peter Holt, veterinarian Henry Stone (retired), and immunochemist Cam Greene, in Athens, Georgia, have been working on vaccination strategies in poultry to reduce the possibility of S. enteritidis getting into the egg in the first place. Salmonella infection is a major problem for the egg industry and consumers, since unbroken table eggs from infected flocks can be contaminated. "Reducing the prevalence of S. enteritidis in poultry would likely cause a reduction in human infection from poultry and egg consumption," says Holt. Under Holt's direction, the group from the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory developed an oil emulsion vaccine of inactivated S. enteritidis that provided substantial protection to hens exposed to the bacteria. Birds were given the vaccine subcutaneously in two doses 4 to 6 weeks apart. The hens were then exposed to S. enteritidis. To ensure that no other pathogens are present in the hens before and during the vaccination and study phases, testing was conducted under very stringent conditions. The experimental oil emulsion vaccine differs from the commercial preparations in that it was formulated to increase levels of specific antibodies that get into the intestinal tract, thereby reducing the amount of S. enteritidis present. This decreases the chance of the bacterium invading internal organs and being shed in feces. "We found that the new vaccine reduced S. enteritidis shedding 10 to 40 percent more effectively than the three commercial vaccines used by the U.S. poultry industry," says Holt. A patent for the vaccine has been filed (March 21, 2002, SN 10/101,943), and it is available for licensing. A vaccine that reduces Salmonella shedding would be helpful to the poultry industry, since this is the primary method by which Salmonella infection spreads through a flock. A vaccine that can eliminate shedding would be a boon for poultry exporters since poultry breeding stock sold to overseas markets is required to be Salmonella free. Vaccinating poultry flocks is an important method to reduce S. enteritidis problems in flocks in today's marketplace. About 25 million doses of S. enteritidis vaccine are used annually in U.S. poultry, while 50 to 75 million doses are used worldwide.?By Sharon Durham, Agricultural Research Service Information Staff. This research is part of Food Safety (Animal and Plant Products), an ARS National Program (#108) described on the World Wide Web at www.nps.ars.usda.gov.
Peter Holt is in the USDA-ARS Poultry Disease Research Unit, Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, 934 College Station Road, Athens, GA; phone (706) 546-3442, fax (706) 546-3035.
"A Possible New Vaccine To KO Salmonella in Chicken Eggs" was published in the May 2003 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.