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FoodHACCP Newsletter
02/23 2015 ISSUE:640

There’s Worms in That There Meat, Trichinellosis Outbreaks From 2008-2012
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/theres-worms-in-that-there-meat-trichinellosis-outbreaks-from-2008-2012/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 22, 2015)
Anyone looking for another good reason not to eat raw or undercooked meat should check out the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recent report on trichinellosis, a disease caused by eating raw or undercooked meat that has round worm larvae in it. For those with limited time, here’s the condensed version.
Between 2008–2012, 90 cases of trichinellosis, including five outbreaks, occurred in the U.S. Most occurred in the Pacific region including 35 cases in California and six in Alaska. While California was the state with the most cases, accounting for 42 percent of all cases, Alaska had the highest mean annual incidence reporting 4.1 cases per 1 million population, 40 times the national mean of 0.1 cases per 1 million population.
The case patients ranged in age from 1 to 72 years old and most of them, 68 percent, were male. They experienced symptoms including muscle pain, increased white cell count, fever and swelling of the eye tissues. No deaths were reported.
Pork was the most common meat source. Others included bear meat, deer meat, and ground beef. The five outbreaks occurred in Alaska, California, Illinois, and Minnesota. Bear meat was the source in three of the outbreaks.

11 of 35 Caramel Apple Listeria Cases Related to Pregnancy
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/11-of-35-caramel-apple-listeria-cases-related-to-pregnancy/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 22, 2015)]
Eleven of the 35 caramel apple Listeria cases were related to pregnancy, including newborns who contracted the infection in utero,  pre-term deliveries and one fetal loss.  The 12-state outbreak sickened 35 people and killed seven before ending last week.
Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than the general population to contract Listeria infections. When they do, the infection can pass to her fetus causing miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, listeriosis or Listeria meningitis in the infant and death.
“Every Listeria case is serious, but when newborn babies are infected, it is absolutely heartbreaking for the families,” said Brendan Flaherty, a food safety attorney with PritzkerOlsen, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New Mexico woman whose son was born several months prematurely and spent more than four weeks in a neo-natal intensive care unit.
Case patients, who ranged in age from newborn to 92, reported onset of symptoms from October 17, 2014, to January 6, 2015. The 12 states that reported cases in the outbreak are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
All but three of the 35  sickened reported eating commercially prepared, pre-packaged caramel apples before they became ill. Recalls were issued for caramel apples.  And an apple recall was issued after tests on apples from one supplier, Bidart Brothers, were positive for Listeria.
The recalled Gala and Granny Smith apples were sold Granny’s Best, Big B and other brand names.
Recalled caramel apples were sold under the brand names Kroger and Happy Apples at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Safeway, United Supermarkets, Amigos, Albertsons Market, Market Street and United Express stores;  under the Merb’s Candies brand in the St. Louis area; and under the Karm’l Dapple brand name at grocery, discount, and club stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah. There are illnesses in Arizona, California, Texas, and Utah.
In Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan, caramel apples that were potentially contaminated with Listeria but not recalled were sold under the brand names: Aamodt’s, Abdallah, Angeli Foods, Candy Jar, Carnival, Celebration, Circle K, Finnottes, Grandma Bev’s, Jerry’s Foods, Karamel King, Kowalski’s Markets, Kitchen Cravings, Lunds & Byerly’s, Supermom’s, and Wescott.
Caramel apples sold at Smith’s Food and Drug in New Mexico have also been linked to the outbreak.

Dalhart’s Ten in Texas Link in Salmonella Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/dalharts-ten-in-texas-link-in-salmonella-outbreak/#.VOqJfNj9ns1
By Bruce Clark (Feb 22, 2015)
12Last week’s Salmonella outbreak in Dalhart Texas now stands at 42. According to press reports, in Dalhart, the Coon Memorial Hospital has seen all 42 confirmed cases of Salmonella, 30 are linked to the Ten in Texas restaurant. Health investigators have not yet determined the exact origin of the bacteria.
The restaurant voluntarily shut down for one week. The building was cleaned and sanitized, and workers were re-tested for Salmonella and on food safety.
Nearly 60 miles south in Potter and Randall counties 10 cases of Salmonella have been confirmed in the last six weeks. Four were found in students who live in Bushland, the other 6 were reported throughout Amarillo.
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.

 

 





 

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Wisconsin Dairy Hit With Raw Milk Penalty
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-information/wisconsin-dairy-hit-with-raw-milk-penalty/#.VOqFLNj9ns1
By Denis Stearns (Feb 21, 2015)
The owners of a Pepin County dairy, Roland and Diana Reed of Arkansaw, have agreed to penalties stemming from a foodborne illness outbreak that sickened 32 Durand High School students and coaches in September 2014, said food safety officials today. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP) announcement comes after a thorough review of the investigation report written by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).
“After reviewing the circumstances described in the final DHS epidemiological and laboratory report, we have determined that the farm violated current statutes and rules by distributing unpasteurized milk in an unauthorized manner, so we are taking appropriate action,” said Dr. Steve Ingham, administrator of the Division of Food Safety for DATCP.
The Reeds have agreed to a DATCP plan that includes suspending the farm’s Grade A permit for 30 days.  If the farm violates the conditions of the agreement within three years, the Grade A permit will be suspended again for 150 days for the current violation and their Grade A permit will be revoked for no less than six months for the additional violation. After revocation, the Reeds must reapply to be considered again for Grade A status.
“Our goal is to prevent a reoccurrence by changing the practices that led to this outbreak,” Ingham says. “We take our responsibility to protect public health seriously and uniformly enforce the law.”

Caramel Apple Listeria Outbreak Struck 12th State, CO, Before Ending
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/caramel-apple-listeria-outbreak-struck-12th-state-co-before-ending/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 21, 2015)
The caramel apple Listeria outbreak spread to a 12th state, Colorado, before ending with 35 sick and seven dead, according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s final report. State an federal health agencies did not provide the age or gender of the case patient in Colorado who was among the 34 people hospitalized with Listeria infections.
All but three of those sickened reported eating commercially prepared, pre-packaged caramel apples before they became ill. A number of recalls were issued for caramel apples. An apple recall was also issued after tests on apples from one supplier, Bidart Brothers, were positive for Listeria.
The recalled Gala and Granny Smith apples were sold under various brand names including Granny’s Best and Big B.
The recalled caramel apples were sold under the Kroger and Happy Apples brand names at Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, Safeway, United Supermarkets, Amigos, Albertsons Market, Market Street and United Express stores .
They were also sold under the Merb’s Candies brand in the St. Louis area and under the Karm’l Dapple brand name at grocery, discount, and club stores in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, and Utah. There are illnesses in Arizona, California, Texas, and Utah
In Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan, caramel apples that were potentially contaminated with Listeria but not recalled were sold under the brands: Aamodt’s, Abdallah, Angeli Foods, Candy Jar, Carnival, Celebration, Circle K, Finnottes, Grandma Bev’s, Jerry’s Foods, Karamel King, Kowalski’s Markets, Kitchen Cravings, Lunds & Byerly’s, Supermom’s, and Wescott.
Caramel apples sold at Smith’s Food and Drug in New Mexico have been linked to the outbreak.
The three patients who contracted Listeria from the outbreak strain but did nor eat caramel apples, reported they did eat whole or sliced green apples before becoming ill. The source and brand names of these apples is unknown.
Listeria infections infections cause symptoms including fever, muscle aches, headache, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal symptoms. Among pregnant women, Listeria infections can trigger miscarriages, stillbirths, premature delivery and Listeria meningitis in newborns.
In this outbreak, 11 cases were associated with pregnancy including three premature births and one fetal loss.  Three pediatric cases of Listeria meningitis were also reported. A lawsuit has been filed one behalf of a woman and her newborn baby who was born with a Listeria infection.
Case patients, who ranged in age from newborn to 92 with a median age of 62, reported onset of illness from October 17, 2014, to January 6, 2015. The 12 states reporting cases in the outbreak are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Experts disagree on the health of Australian food safety regime in wake of frozen berry link to Hep A
Source : http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/experts-disagree-on-the-health-of-australian-food-safety-regime-in-wake-of-frozen-berry-link-to-hep-a-20150220-13jwu6.html
By Gina Mccoll (Feb 21, 2015)
Unforseeable outlier or epic public safety fail? That's the question on many consumers' nervous lips in the wake of last week's hepatitis A outbreak among people believed to have eaten brands of Patties Foods frozen raspberries grown and packed in China.
The suspected food contamination is still being investigated, with results probably weeks away. Yet amid the clamour as new cases were reported almost daily and pressure for a political response mounted, the public policy response remains opaque.
Food safety and agricultural experts are surprisingly polarised about whether this incident, if confirmed, is a rare breach of functional food safety laws or the tip of an iceberg which proves industrial practices and a globalised food chain have moved beyond the scope of the current regime.
Several critics fear it may be a harbinger of worse things to come, with Australian standards at risk from recently signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with China, Korea and the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) being thrashed out with the United States and 11 other countries in the region.
Others suggest such fears are scaremongering. "We don't want to exaggerate the issue and have the consumer panicking about what they are eating," says Dr Said Ajlouni, a senior lecturer in food science at the University of Melbourne. The key, he says, is to investigate what or who contributed to the outbreak and what action can be taken to avoid such incidents from happening again. "Everything is possible … but it is better to be positive than negative."
For some experts, the glass is half full, for others, half empty. For consumers, the question remains: glass of what exactly?
Food safety expert at Swinburne University Professor Enzo Palombo believes an occasional disease outbreak is a manageable risk of our globalised food chain, a drawback to be balanced against the benefits of year-round and affordable fresh food, no matter the season.
To stop eating imports after this week's hepatitis A event would be like refusing to "fly around the world because we [might] catch Ebola," he says.
There is always a small risk in anything we eat, the microbiologist says, but ready-to-eat food that is not heated before consuming (from dairy or processed meats to pre-packaged fruit or vegetable salads) is at a slightly higher risk of harbouring microbiological contaminants - hence occasional recalls after illnesses associated with locally produced salami, or mayonnaise made with raw eggs.
Personal food safety habits could also be improved, Palombo argues, particularly hand-washing before preparing or eating food. "People think it's what you've brought into the house, but it might be you and your practices that contaminate food," he says.
"I don't believe that it's our inherent testing practices at fault - it's that it is simply a numbers game."
Associate professor Tom Ross, a microbiologist at the University of Tasmania, agrees.
For practical reasons, you can't test every sample of every food that comes into the country - and even if you could, hepatitis A might not show up, he says.
No simple test for hepatitis A exists, and it can be statistically easy to miss unless the contamination of a foodstuff is severe: viruses are tiny and not uniformly dispersed throughout a foodstuff in the way chemical pollution, for example, would be, so sampling can be unreliable.
The answer to preventing such incidents is not increasing testing regimes. Its to ensure contamination doesn't happen in the first place, including helping producers in regions with compromised sanitation establish hygiene procedures, with inspections to ensure they are maintained, he says, pointing to a successful program involving South American exporters to the US.
How trading agreements improve or undermine food safety has been a vexed issue this week. While some commentators are concerned FTAs might weaken Australia's ability to maintain its own safety standards, Ross points to World Trade Organisation rules in which a country has the right to reject imports if they do not meet their required food safety standards. "But it has to be the same for local and imported products," he says.
David Adamson, a senior researcher in the University of Queensland school of economics, isn't so relaxed. He is concerned about the role FTAs can play in lowering food safety around the globe, advantaging dominant players and removing countries' ability to use food scares elsewhere to gain a competitive advantage, such as happened for Australian cattle farmers after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease") was detected in a small number of US cows in 2003 and  its number one export market, Japan, stopped US imports. "We make a lot of money when things go wrong for our competitors," Adamson says.
The agricultural economist is critical of the secrecy surrounding free trade negotiations, arguing that excluding the public means "[the] government may accidentally fail to understand all the issues at play, such as changes in the way food is produced."
It also means the public is prevented from debating what's being traded away, with potential harms to public health as well as trade. He says we could be strong-armed, for example, into adopting the US practice of using the same antibiotics for humans and animals in health and food production applications, increasing disease mutation and antibiotic resistance in both populations, citing 2013 evidence from the Australian Antimicrobial Resistance Standing Committee.
It's not just medicines either; business harmonisation rules could lead to Australia being forced to adopt US regulations regarding livestock foods that include products like blood waste and "poultry waste," which Adamson describes as "the shit that falls out of the bottom of cages" - and that includes dead chickens.
"This has major implications," he says, recalling how the origins of BSE occurred when cattle (naturally herbivores) were fed with products derived from dead cows, with the disease transferable to humans who consume infected beef.
Other sceptics say the undermining of robust food safety standards is not just a looming FTA problem - it is right here, right now.
Chris Baker, a research analyst for the Centre for International Security Studies at Sydney University, argues our national food safety standards have already been hopelessly eroded by the speed of change to the global supply chain.
He points out our feverish attention to microbiological contamination - listeria, E. coli and salmonella as well as this week's furore about hepatitis A - is partly because these ill effects show up within days or weeks. Contamination from heavy metals and other industrial pollutants may take years, even decades to develop - but be far more deadly.
"The effects from lead and cadmium are long term, they build up over years and destroy your liver and kidneys," he says. "And our testing for that is, quite frankly, pathetic."
He points to Department of Agriculture reports on inspections of imported food. In the first half of 2013, of 45,204 tests undertaken, only nine were for the presence of lead (all were compliant) and 290 for the presence of cadmium (only one failed the compliance test). In the period since, no testing of imported food for either of these elements has been undertaken.
A DoA spokesperson says tests for the presence of lead and cadmium ceased following an internal risk assessment review. 
Yet in much of Asia, and China in particular, the air, soil and rivers are severely polluted, a byproduct of its rapid industrialisation over the past 30 years, Baker says. He cites figures from China's National Marine Environmental Monitoring Centre showing that in 2012,about 17 million tonnes of pollutants contaminated 72 of China's rivers, including 46,000 tonnes of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium; 3.3 million hectares of agricultural land is moderately or severely polluted, according to China's Vice-Minister for Land and Resources.
"We are importing that pollution through the food that we eat," Baker says. "That doesn't mean all that food is poisoned - but it means we just can't know." He personally tries to avoid buying fruit and vegetables from overseas in any form - fresh, canned, frozen or processed.
"It took some time for procedures to catch up with things like toys and electronics - we had to chase lead on toys coming in from China for example." Baker says. "What's happening now with food, especially with FTAs [and] the even faster transfer of these goods, is that we're just not keeping up with it."
"It's expensive, it's tricky, it's random, there is so much there. It would be very interesting to have a week or two where the government tests everything and see what comes out of it. It may not be nearly as bad as what we think - but it may be.
"The real thing is that we don't know."
ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU SICK
Recent global food safety and  supply chain scares
2015 - Berries link to Hep A
Local manufacturer Patties Foods recalls some Creative Gourmet and Nanna's brands of Mixed Berries and Frozen Raspberries after the contents, grown and packaged in China, correlate with more than a dozen incidences of Hepatitis A across Australia. The Red Cross imposes a two-month ban on donation of blood by anyone who has eaten the berries. Law firm Slater and Gordon start collecting evidence for a possible class action.
2014 - Bad meat scandal
Expired and rotten meat was mixed with fresh meat and supplied to global brands including McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut by US-owned Chinese supplier Shanghai Husi Food. The "fake and inferior" ingredients, exposed by a Chinese television show, were used in products sold in China and Japan. No illnesses were officially recorded but Yum Brands, owner of KFC and Pizza Hut, saw its Chinese sales and share price slump in the immediate aftermath.
2013 - Horsemeat burgers
Burgers marketed as beef by supermarkets in Britain and Ireland were revealed to contain horsemeat. While a food fraud rather than safety scandal, it revealed a major breakdown in the traceability of the supply chain. An independent report  in September 2014 found many areas of meat manufacturing had a high risk of fraud and low risk of detection, and Britain lagged behind other EU countries in terms of food crime funding and investigation units. It also showed that organised crime had entered the food sector elsewhere in Europe.
2009 - "Dangerous" soy milk
Bonsoy soy milk was recalled across Australia after it was found to contain 1000 times more iodine than rival brands and scores of people suffered thyroid-related illness. In 2014, a class action suit against the manufacturer, exporter and distributor resulted in a record $25 million settlement to compensate victims who said they suffered serious health side-effects.
2008 - Adulterated infant formula
Melamine-contaminated Sanlu infant formula distributed in China killed at least six children and sickened 300,000 others. The melamine was added to increase the products' protein readings despite the industrial ingredient's toxicity; concealment of the tainted product was reportedly aided by government regulators and Chinese media. Babies began falling sick with kidney problems in 2007, and Sanlu's tests confirmed melamine poisoning within months, but the problem was not made public until the New Zealand government informed the Beijing authorities in 2008 (Fonterra, a New Zealand firm, owned a stake in Sanlu).

Obama Proposes Single Overseer for Food Safety
Source : http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/us/obama-proposes-single-overseer-for-food-safety.html?_r=0
By RON NIXONFEB. (Feb 20, 2015)
WASHINGTON — To understand America’s fragmented food safety inspection system, consider a slice of frozen pizza. The pepperoni is examined by the Agriculture Department, the cheese and tomato sauce by the Food and Drug Administration, each agency using its own methods for inspecting and testing.
If someone gets ill sampling that slice’s tasty goodness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might sound the alarm, but it would fall to the F.D.A. to pressure the pizza maker for a recall.
The Obama administration wants a single new agency to sweep all that away: the Food Safety Administration, a colossus that would be housed within the Department of Health and Human Services to “provide focused, centralized leadership, a primary voice on food safety standards and compliance with those standards,” the administration said in its new budget request.
At least 15 government agencies — from the Environmental Protection Agency to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — have some role in making sure the food Americans eat is safe, according to the Government Accountability Office, a situation that has defied streamlining for decades.
And the Obama administration’s new push to untangle that web is already running into opposition from some food safety experts, consumer groups and the inspectors who would be most affected.
The federal government, they say, does not do well with big.
“I’m afraid what we could see is what happened when the Department of Homeland Security was created, and they tried to fit a bunch of different agencies with different missions under one roof,” said Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, an advocacy group.
Entrenched bureaucracies have always been difficult to reconcile. The Agriculture Department and the F.D.A., the two main food safety agencies, have for decades carried out different mandates, operated different types of inspections programs, and required different levels of training and education for inspectors. Long-running turf battles between the agencies would inevitably complicate efforts to consolidate them, experts say.
But to supporters of the president’s push, the nation’s food safety system is crying out for change. According to the C.D.C., an estimated 87 million Americans are sickened each year by contaminated food, 371,000 are hospitalized with food-related illness and 5,700 die from food-related disease. The federal food safety system is “high-risk” because of “inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources,” according to a report by the G.A.O. released last week.
“A single food safety agency would ensure one person is held accountable for food safety, research, prevention, inspections, investigations and labeling,” said Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut. “There would be no more confusion around overlapping jurisdictions.”
Most of the responsibility for food safety lies currently with the F.D.A., which has oversight for about 80 percent of the food that Americans eat, including seafood, vegetables, fruit, dairy products and shelled eggs. The Agriculture Department oversees meat, poultry and processed eggs. But the two agencies perform their inspections duties differently.
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Inspectors for the Agriculture Department are stationed at processing plants daily, inspecting carcasses as they pass by on processing lines. By law, meat and poultry plants are not allowed to operate unless an Agriculture Department inspector is present. In contrast, because of the sheer volume of food they must inspect, F.D.A. inspectors visit plants much less frequently, often only when there is a problem.
The differences in inspecting food from abroad are even more stark. Countries that want to export meat to the United States are supposed to prove their inspection system is equivalent to the Agriculture Department’s programs. But the F.D.A. rarely inspects overseas plants to verify those claims, and F.D.A. food sleuths examine less than 2 percent of the food that arrives at American ports. A law passed in 2010 is supposed to strengthen the F.D.A.’s ability to inspect both foreign and domestic foods.
But food safety inspectors at the Agriculture Department still see the F.D.A.’s program as nowhere near as rigorous as theirs, and they worry that consolidating inspection functions into a single agency would inevitably weaken the Agriculture Department’s standards.
“This would drag us down to their minuscule standards,” said Stan Painter, an Agriculture food safety inspector in Alabama, who is president of the inspectors’ union. “They don’t do inspections. They run in for a visit.”
Dr. David Acheson, a consultant for food and beverage companies who has worked on food safety at both the Agriculture Department and the F.D.A., said the two inspection systems could be combined without harming food safety.
“It’s the way we need to go,” he said, shrugging off the meat inspectors’ claims. “We are burning through dollars where we have F.D.A. and Agriculture Department in the same plants doing different things.”
For their part, White House officials eschew lofty talk for their food safety proposal, framing it instead in terms of government efficiency. One official said the budget request is the first step in reviving an authority that once enabled the president to reorganize and reform government at will. That power was first conferred on the chief executive during the Great Depression but expired in 1984.
White House officials said that the president was seeking to revive that authority to fix what is often a bureaucratic and fragmented federal system.
Officials at the Agriculture Department and the F.D.A. declined to say whether they would support a combined agency, adding that they are moving forward with their respective duties as Congress considers the president’s proposal.
The House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture has scheduled a hearing on the Agriculture Department’s budget for next week, but it is unclear if the proposal for a single food safety agency will get much attention.
It does have some support. Last month, a bill to create a single food safety agency was introduced by Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat, and in the House by Ms. DeLauro. Unlike Mr. Obama’s proposal, their bills would create a stand-alone agency that would not be housed at the Department of Health and Human Services.
Such advocates have not won over the skeptics. Doug Powell, a former professor of food safety at Kansas State University and the publisher of the barfblog.com, said creating a single agency might ultimately provide less protection than the administration or lawmakers like Ms. DeLauro want to admit.
“The research doesn’t support the idea that a single agency would protect food safety any more than the system U.S. currently has in place,” Mr. Powell said. “Look at the United Kingdom and the horse-meat scandal or Canada, which had a massive beef recall a few years ago. Both of those countries have single food safety agencies, and it didn’t stop contaminated products from reaching the public.”

Salmonella in Dalhart, Bushland TX Sickens 42
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/salmonella-in-dalhart-bushland-tx-sickens-42/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 20, 2015)
FPBSalmonella-300x225A Salmonella outbreak in northern Texas includes 30 cases linked to the X10 in Texas Woodfire Steakhouse in Dalhart, and 12 other cases in Bushland, according NewsChannel10.com. Yesterday, the Texas Department of Health said 30 confirmed cases of Salmonella had been linked to the steakhouse and other cases were being investigated.
A source of the outbreak has not yet been identified. All environmental and food samples taken from the restaurant tested negative for Salmonella, according to teh health department.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure, include headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting and can last up to 10 days. Dehydration from symptoms may require treatment at a hospital. In a small number of cases, where the infection travels to the bloodstream, illness can be life-threatening. Anyone who has eaten at the restaurant and is experiencing symptoms should see a doctor and mention possible exposure to Salmonella.

After Campylobacter Raw Milk Outbreak, Wisconsin Farm Penalized
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/after-campylobacter-raw-milk-outbreak-wisconsin-farm-penalized/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 20, 2015)
After being linked to a raw milk Campylobacter outbreak that sickened dozens of students and coaches who attended a football banquet in Durand, Wisconsin, the owners of a Pepin County dairy will have their Grade A permit suspended for 30 days, according to the The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s (DATCP).
Milking CowsRoland and Diana Reed, the owners of a Arkansaw, Wis. farm, served raw milk at a potluck dinner for the Durand High School football team in September and did not tell attendees that the milk was unpasteurized. Thirty three students and five coaches  who drank the milk were sickened with Campylobacter infections. Ten of them were hospitalized. Campylobacter in manure samples taken form the farm matched tthe strain found in those who were sickened, according to a final report on the outbreak issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
“After reviewing the circumstances described in the final DHS epidemiological and laboratory report, we have determined that the farm violated current statutes and rules by distributing unpasteurized milk in an unauthorized manner, so we are taking appropriate action,” said Dr. Steve Ingham, administrator of the Division of Food Safety for DATCP.
“If the farm violates the conditions of the agreement within three years, the Grade A permit will be suspended again for 150 days for the current violation and their Grade A permit will be revoked for no less than six months for the additional violation. After revocation, the Reeds must reapply to be considered again for Grade A status,” DATCP said in a statement.
“Our goal is to prevent a reoccurrence by changing the practices that led to this outbreak,” Ingham says. “We take our responsibility to protect public health seriously and uniformly enforce the law.”

Government inks rules on food safety law
Source : http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2015/02/20/1426132/government-inks-rules-food-safety-law
By philstar.com (Feb 20, 2015)
The Philippine government signed today the landmark Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Food Safety Act of 2013 that aims to ensure food safety all the way from the farm to the dinner table.
Under this Act, a Food Safety Regulation Coordination Board shall be chaired by the secretary of the Department of Health and co-chaired by the secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
"The IRR aims to protect the consumer from food-borne and water- borne illnesses and unsanitary, unwholesome, misbranded or adulterated foods; enhance industry and consumer confidence in the food regulatory system; and achieve economic growth and development by promoting fair trade practices and sound regulatory foundation for domestic and international trade," Acting Health Secretary Janette Garin explained.
Implementation of the IRR will give the assurance that the food that the consumer buys will not cause illness or death, that one is getting what is promised by the label, and, if anything goes wrong after consuming the product, one would know who is responsible.

Cleaning and Disinfection: Improving Food Safety and Operational Efficiency in Food Processing
Source : http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/signature-series/cleaning-and-disinfection-improving-food-safety-and-operational-efficiency-in-food-processing/
By Diversey Care (Feb 20, 2015)
Cleaning and Disinfection: Improving Food Safety and Operational Efficiency in Food Processing
Cleaning in the food industry is not an easy task. However, it is a critical step within food production since it is crucial to maintain and guarantee food safety. Understanding various soil challenges, why we clean and how detergents and disinfectants work is key to ensuring a safe, hygienic manufacturing environment.
So the big question remains: Why do we clean and disinfect?
•Prevent Transfer of Products/Ingredients––If a number of products are manufactured on the same machine, it is undesirable to cross-contaminate chemicals or alternate from one product to the next.
•Avoid Microbial Contamination––This can lead to a number of problems––reduced product quality, harm to health or even life threatening circumstances in some cases. Cleaning alone is no guarantee of decontamination, but it is a pre-requisite to disinfection.
•Ensure Disinfectant Efficiency––Soil impacts the effectiveness of a disinfectant. The less soil on the surface, the more effective the disinfect will be at reducing microbiological contamination.
•Improve Plant Efficiency––Soil contamination reduces the efficiency of equipment and the production process.
•Increase Safety––Facilities that are not cleaned effectively have more potential safety risks—like slips and falls––due to food waste on floors. Also, major incidents due to build up of soil in equipment can also occur.
•Impact Financial Implications––Reducing waste from spoilage can significantly extend the life of equipment and machinery.
•Minimize Legal Ramifications––Although it may not be common knowledge, there are often legal requirements for food facilities to clean surfaces and equipment to a specific standard.
•Boost Stakeholder Confidence––Finally the appearance of plant and premises is often overlooked but the psychological benefits and confidence gained from clean, hygienic equipment and tidy surroundings have a significant impact on both worker satisfaction and customer confidence.
Cleaning
Cleaning and disinfection should be considered as two discrete steps in the cleaning procedure. Cleaning is the complete removal of residues and soil from surfaces, leaving them visually clean so that subsequent disinfection will be effective. Without effective cleaning, disinfection will be compromised.
Detergents are used to remove soil from a surface. The soil––a mixture of food waste and bacteria––is on or attached to the surface of the processing equipment, floors or walls. The action of the detergent solution is to suspend this soil and bacteria mixture away from the surface and allow for it to be rinsed off to the drain. However, there are many soils found in the food industry and the cleaning procedure and detergent used in order to achieve the desired detergent action is different for each soil.
The most common soils—carbohydrates like sugar, starch and cellulose––are the easiest to remove. Proteins––meat, milk and eggs––are probably the most difficult because changes in heat and pH alter the structure of the protein and bind it to other molecules, increasing their tenacity and often rendering them insoluble. For example, while milk is soluble in water, if you over boil a pan of milk, the resulting milk soil becomes difficult to remove form the pan.
Fatty soils are not water-soluble and pose a greater challenge than carbohydrates. Here, it’s necessary to use alkaline cleaners and elevated temperatures above the melting point of the fat to achieve an efficient clean. Mineral salts––the inorganic food soils––lead to scale formation on equipment. Acidic cleaners are required to efficiently remove the scale.
There are four variables within the cleaning process that can impact its efficiency to remove soil:
1.Detergent/Concentration
2.Time
3.Temperature
4.Physical Action
Devised in 1959 by Dr. Herbert Sinner, Sinner’s Circle is universally known as the model to demonstrate that reducing one of the four factors can be compensated by increasing another. For example, you may be able to increase the temperature to enable you to use a lower concentration of chemical.
Disinfection
Disinfection is the process by which microorganisms are killed so that their numbers are reduced to a level which is neither harmful to health nor to the quality of perishable goods. Following cleaning, surfaces will be free from soil but microorganisms remain. Using validated disinfectants on surfaces, following the instructions and contact times, reduces microorganism levels to the required level for food production.
The method by which disinfectants kill the microorganism––referred to as their “mode of action”––varies with the active ingredient. The table on the right shows some of the key activities[ed1]  and their mode.
When selecting a disinfectant, a number of considerations need to be made.
Application, including the compatibility with materials found in the area being disinfected
Temperature required
Impact of water hardness
Required concentration
Toxicity
Leftover residues
Above all, the approvals each disinfectant has should be taken into account during selection, for example if you are using a product in a chilled environment, the disinfectant should be proven to work at the temperature you are intending to apply it at.
Cleaning Validation
The validation of cleaning and assuring standard, consistent results has become a topic of high priority in the food processing industry. This validation is used to show proof that the cleaning system consistently will perform as expected. A surface is chemically clean if there are no microscopic residues of soil remaining and no residual detergents or disinfectant chemicals to contaminate the food product. Determination of chemical cleanliness requires tools other than the human eye. Techniques for determining such small amounts of soil include:
•Visual moisture on surfaces––Soiled surfaces become hydrophobic, so water will bead up and show the presence of soil.
•Dyes––Specific dyes with an affinity for certain soils like protein or starch can also be applied to a surface to make the soil visible.
•Optical methods—These are used quite regularly in some food processing operations for detecting soils. Interruption of a light beam, reflectance and absorbance are all optical means of detecting soil.
•Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)––ATP levels are present in all organic material. Measuring its presence is a very effective way of providing immediate feedback to ascertain the cleanliness of critical control areas.
The basic principles discussed here should provide insight into the variables that should be taken into account when devising a cleaning schedule. Controlling these variables will present opportunities to deliver real improvements in operational efficiency in food processing, while improving overall food safety.
Visit Diversey.com for more information.
You don’t need to look far for a clear example of improved operational efficiency and food safety. Heinz introduced a huge transformation project in 2012: the “Heinz global Cleaning & Sanitation programme”. We only have to see the four pillars and objectives of this project to understand its scope and importance, and the commitment Heinz is showing to food safety:
1. To guarantee safe and high quality products for our customer at an optimal cost ratio
2. To be an A+ company in terms of Cleaning and Sanitation
3. To standardise cleaning and sanitation globally throughout the Heinz facilities
4. To support and stimulate improvements towards cleaning & sanitation.
This project has been developed in partnership with the main Heinz Cleaning and Sanitation partners. The investment and effort made during these two years has been enormous in terms of tool development, training, audits, fieldwork, standardization, cost savings identification and implementation. Before the program ends, the results are extremely positive. Sealed Air is proud to have been able to assist the project and to share our knowledge of enhancing Operational Efficiency and improving Food Safety with Heinz.

Secret Cucumber Salmonella Outbreak Sickened 275 in 2014
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/secret-cucumber-salmonella-outbreak-sickened-275-in-2014/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 19, 2015)
Did you get Salmonella from cucumbers you ate last summer? If so, you may be among the 275 people who were part of a 29-state outbreak that was never announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Until today.
The outbreak, which occurred between May and September, was one one largest of 2014, only the cyclospora outbreak, which sickened 304 people was bigger. It isn’t clear form the CDC’s report if any people were hospitalized or why the agency was mum about the outbreak which lasted four months.
Interviews with some of those sickened revealed that travel to the Delmarva region during the incubation period was commonly reported. And results from whole genome sequencing (WGS) show that outbreak strain, Salmonella Newport JJPX01.0061 is novel to the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) region of the country. And that could be key to preventing future outbreaks.
A traceback investigation from one cluster of illnesses identified a common grower on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in the Delmarva region. Farm records indicated that poultry manure was applied approximately 120 days before harvest. The manure was not available for testing, and samples from the farm, taken months after harvest, did not test positive for Salmonella.
The 275 people were from 19 states and the District of Columbia. Sixty six percent of case patients, who ranged in age from less than 1 year old to 90 years old, were female. The median age was 42.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture will conduct additional assessments in the Delmarva region before the 2015 planting season.

How One Chicken Kiev Salmonella Outbreak Helped Solve Another
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/how-one-chicken-kiev-salmonella-outbreak-helped-solve-another/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 19, 2015)
When six people in Minnesota got Salmonella poisoning from Antioch Farms frozen raw chicken Kiev last October, health officials knew something must have gone very wrong with chicken. Previous outbreaks linked to pre-browned, but raw, stuffed poultry products had triggered label changes in 2008 eliminating microwave cooking instructions. After the change, no further outbreaks were reported. Then came Antioch Farms.
During interviews, some of those sickened reported following cooking instructions to the letter. Health officials began to suspect that the chicken was contaminated with so much Salmonella that it would be very difficult to prepare it with out getting sick.
The processing plant that produced the the Antioch Farms chicken Kiev had been linked to a Salmonella outbreak prior to the label rule change. Tests performed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on Antioch Farms chicken Kiev purchased from grocery stores were positive for the same strain of Salmonella found in all six people who became ill.
Those finding prompted a recall of 14 toms of the product by Aspen Foods Division of Koch Meats in Chicago on October 24. The recalled products,with “sell by” dates of October 1, 2015 and October 7, 2015 and the USDA establishment number “P-1358” inside the USDA mark of inspection, were sold in the following states: CO, ID, IL, MA, ME, MI, MN, MT, NH,  NV, ND, RI, UT, VT, WI and WY.

Charlotte North Carolina Hepatitis A Scare
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/food-poisoning-watch/charlotte-north-carolina-hepatitis-a-scare/#.VOqIK9j9ns1
By Bill Marler (Feb 18, 2015)
The Mecklenburg County Health Department is encouraging patrons who visited a SouthPark restaurant between Feb. 4 and 10 to get vaccinated for hepatitis A.
An employee at Dogwood Southern Table & Bar, located in the Sharon Square development, was confirmed to have a case of the hepatitis A virus over the weekend.  That employee did not prepare food but was responsible for cleaning and polishing silverware and glassware and delivering food to tables. The employee stopped working at the restaurant on Feb. 10.
The restaurant is open for business and is not considered a public health threat, the health department says.  But patrons who ate at Dogwood between Feb. 4 and 10 are at risk for developing hepatitis A if they have not previously been vaccinated, the department says. Health department officials say the risk of a secondary infection is low.
Dogwood owner Jon Dressler says all restaurant employees have been vaccinated, and guests who visited the restaurant during those dates should have been contacted by the health department.
 “I’m sorry for the guests, and we can just apologize for the inconvenience,” Dressler says.
Vaccinations for individuals who ate at the restaurant during dinner shift on Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 will be given until 5 p.m. today at the Mecklenburg County Health Department office at 249 Billingsley Road.  On Thursday and Friday, those who ate at the restaurant Feb. 7 through Feb. 10 can receive vaccinations.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Hepatitis A outbreaks. The Hepatitis A lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Hepatitis A 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 Hepatitis A lawyers have litigated Hepatitis A cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as green onions, lettuce and restaurant food.  The law firm has brought Hepatitis A lawsuits against such companies as Subway, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Quiznos and Carl’s Jr.

Campylobacter Causes the Most Raw Milk Outbreaks
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/campylobacter-causes-the-most-raw-milk-outbreaks/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 18, 2015)
Campylobacter is the source of most raw milk outbreaks, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study, which found raw milk outbreaks are on the rise, compared data from the two-year periods 2007-2009 and 2010-2012.
Campylobacter causes an illness in humans called campylobacteriosis which produces diarrheal illness, fever, and abdominal cramps that can last up to 10 days. In rare cases, a Campylobacter infection can cause Guillain-Barré syndrome, an illness that causes paralysis and death.
In every year from 2007 to 2012, Campylobacter was the source of the majority of raw milk outbreaks, accounting for 81 percent of them overall. E. coli caused the second most with 17 percent, Salmonella was third with 3 percent and Coxiella burnetii was responsible for 1 percent.  Three of the outbreaks in the study had multiple bacterial sources.
Contact a Campylobacter Lawyer - Free Case EvaluationOne of the largest recent raw milk outbreaks was in Durand, Wisconsin in September 2014 when 38 people who attended a potluck for the football team were sickened, and 10 people were hospitalized.
Most of those who became sick, 33 of the 38, were high school students. So many football players were sick for so long that two games had to be canceled.
The milk was provided by a parent who did not tell attendees that the milk was unpasteurized. Laws governing the sale of raw milk vary from state to state. In Wisconsin it’s illegal to sell or distribute raw milk, said Fred Pritzker, a national food safety attorney who publishes Food Poisoning Bulletin. Pritzker, who has represented many clients sickened by raw milk, debated raw milk advocates at the Harvard Food Law Society in 2012.

Salmonella at X10 Woodfire Steakhouse Sickens 30 in Dalhart Texas
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/salmonella-at-x10-woodfire-steakhouse-sickens-30-in-dalhart-texas/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 18, 2015)
A Salmonella outbreak at X10 in Texas Woodfire Steakhouse in Dalhart, Texas has sickened at least 30 people, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.  The restaurant voluntarily closed last week for a cleaning and was cleared for reopening after it was sanitized. The department is also investigating additional cases of Salmonella food poisoning reported in the area, Carrie Williams, a health department spokeswoman, told Food Poisoning Bulletin in an email.
The health department has not yet determined the source of the contamination.  “All environmental and food samples tested negative for Salmonella. We are continuing to investigate,” Williams said.
Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, which usually develop within six to 72 hours of exposure, include headache, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can last up to 10 days. Dehydration from symptoms may require treatment at a hospital. Some cases, where the infection travels to the bloodstream, can be life-threatening. Anyone who has eaten at the restaurant and is experiencing symptoms should see a doctor and mention possible exposure to Salmonella.
In 2013, there were nearly 5,000 reported cases of Salmonella poisoning in Texas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that many cases that go unreported because many people with gastrointestinal illness do not seek medical attention or testing.

X-10 Woodfire Steakhouse Link in Texas Salmonella Outbreak
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/x-10-woodfire-steakhouse-link-in-texas-salmonella-outbreak/#.VOqLX9j9ns1
By Bill Marler (Feb 18, 2015)
According to myhighplains.com, 30 patrons of a Dalhart, TX restaurant, X-10 Woodfire Steakhouse have salmonellosis. That’s about all the info that’s out there.
The Texas Department of State Health Services tells KAMR Local 4 News the X-10 Woodfire Steakhouse in Dalhart has been connected to the salmonella cases.
Last week, that restaurant voluntarily closed.
Officials say since then, the restaurant was cleaned and sanitized and has been cleared for reopening.
Officials say they have not identified the original source inside the restaurant.
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.

Salmonella and Backyard Poultry Flocks
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/salmonella-and-backyard-poultry-flocks/
By Carla Gillespie (Feb 17, 2015)
This is the time of year when many Americans begin laying plans to care for backyard poultry flocks. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize how easy it is to contract Salmonella infections tending these flocks and children are often hardest hit by these illnesses.
There have been five Salmonella outbreaks linked to live poultry since 2012. On average, about 30 percent of those sickened are children under 10.
These outbreaks are linked chicks, ducklings and other live poultry supplied by mail-order hatcheries either directly or through feed stores and others companies, all of which are supposed to provide health-related information to owners and potential buyers, including information about the risk of Salmonella. 
Anyone handling live poultry, or anything in the area where they live and roam, should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right afterwards. Live poultry should not be allowed inside the house.
Children under 5 should not be allowed to handle love birds. Children over 5 should only handle birds while supervised by adults who should also supervise hand washing immediately afterwards.
Contact a Salmonella LawyerIn 2014, a live poultry outbreak sickened 363 people in 43 states and Puerto Rico were infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, or Salmonella Hadar. Thirty-three percent of those sickened were hospitalized.
The outbreak was linked to chicks, ducklings and other live poultry from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, the same mail-order hatchery that has been associated with Salmonella outbreaks in 2012 and 2013.
In 2013, there were two outbreaks. The first was linked to Mt Healthy Hatchery which sickened 158 people in 30 states with four outbreak strains: Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Lille, Salmonella Newport and Salmonella Mbandaka. Forty one percent of those sickened were children 10 years of age or younger. Twenty nine people were hospitalized.
The second outbreak, was linked to 18 mail-order hatcheries including Privett Hatchery in Portales, New Mexico. At least 356 people in 39 states got sick and 62 were hospitalized. About 57 percent of those sickened were children 10 and under
In 2012, an outbreak linked to Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio,  sickened 195 people, one third of whom required hospitalization. Two people died.
Another Salmonella outbreak linked to chicks and ducks produced by Estes Hatchery in Springfield, Missouri sickened  93 people in 23 states and  Puerto Rico. Twenty one people were hospitalized. Children 10 and under accounted for 38 percent of those sickened.

Hepatitis A at Dogwood Southern Table in Charlotte, NC
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/hepatitis-a-at-dogwood-southern-table-in-charlotte-nc/
By Linda Larsen (Feb 16, 2015)
An employee at the Dogwood Southern Table and Bar at 4905 Ashley Park Lane in Charlotte, North Carolina has been diagnosed with hepatitis A. This person didn’t prepare food, but cleaned silverware and drink ware and delivered it to tables. Those items could have been contaminated with the virus. If you ate there on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 for dinner service or Wednesday, February 4, 2015 for dinner, you may have been exposed to the virus.
The last day for vaccinations to prevent illness is Tuesday, February 17, 2015 for those who ate there 2/3/15, and Wednesday, February 18, 2015 for those who ate there 2/4/15. Hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccinations are only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. Contact your doctor for more information.
The symptoms of a hepatitis A infection include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, clay colored stools, dark urine, joint pain, and yellowing of the skin and eyeballs, also known as jaundice. They usually begin two weeks to 50 days after exposure. Not everyone who is sick has symptoms. This illness is very contagious.
If you do not get a vaccination and have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A, monitor yourself for the symptoms of the illness. Most people recover within a week to two months, but some, especially those with chronic health problems and liver disease, become so ill they must be hospitalized.

Strengthening Food Safety in Europe
Source : http://www.thecropsite.com/news/17341/strengthening-food-safety-in-europe/
By thecropsite.com (Feb 16, 2015)
 EU - An upcoming conference on food safety hopes to build upon the high levels of cross-border cooperation achieved by the EU-funded FOODSEG project.The FOODSEG project, completed in April 2014, successfully identified key food safety problems and risks and put forward new ideas on how to tackle these challenges. Now a follow-up conference in Rome, Italy has been organised to help further integrate these solutions and promote food safety along the supply chain. Experts from a variety of fields – from agriculture and food production to inspection and consumer groups – will attend the event from 23 to 24 April 2015. The FOODSEG 2014+ Network event hopes to initiate cooperation, technology transfer and common research projects and also act as a platform to disseminate the project results. In addition, the FOODSEG network has invited three young researchers to the event following a competition asking for ambitious project ideas. More than 20 proposals were submitted, with the winning proposals coming from Lithuania, Romania and Serbia. Global food supply chains are increasingly complex and interlinked, which is why food safety requires joint efforts within the EU and beyond. Recent food safety scandals have underlined the fact that rapid coordinated action can make a significant difference to both consumer safety and consumer confidence in the system. The FOODSEG project, which ran from 2011 to 2014, sought to strengthen food safety in Europe by identifying new means of cooperation. The three-year initiative was unique in the fact that it focused not on the research itself but rather on coordinating and supporting action. The consortium network comprised EU and international consortia from all EU countries, along with Serbia, Egypt and Viet Nam. Cooperation was achieved through the establishment of an online platform with best practice examples, along with expert working groups to coordinate specific research activities and to support policy development at EU level. The consortium website helped to promote network members and their expertise, provide regular Information on funding opportunities along the feed-food chain and disseminate relevant results from EU-funded projects. The consortium also contributed to several EU technology platforms, especially those which have food safety as part of their strategic research agenda. These include Food for Life, Plants for the Future, Global Animal Health, Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction and Water Supply and Sanitation. FOODSEG experts played a critical role in developing EU-wide strategies and recommendations for food handling and other related areas such as consumer, research, health and agriculture policies. Following the success of the project, the FOODSEG consortium decided to keep the network going and to continue with the project’s unique cooperative approach. This FOODSEG 2014+ Network is the follow-up action of the EU-funded project, and focuses on bringing experts working along the full food chain. Experts can join and contribute towards deepening cross-border collaboration in food safety. The symposium in Rome this April is an important part of this, enabling network members to meet and keep this spirit of cooperation alive. For further information, please visit: http://www.foodseg.net/ - See more at: http://www.thecropsite.com/news/17341/strengthening-food-safety-in-europe/#sthash.1A7eMHiL.dpuf

Hepatitis A in Berries in Australia Similar to 2013 U.S. Outbreak
Source : http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/hepatitis-a-in-berries-in-australia-similar-to-2013-u-s-outbreak/
By Linda Larsen (Feb 16, 2015)
An outbreak of hepatitis A in Australia linked to frozen berries from China has prompted memories of a huge 2013 hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen berries in the U.S. At least five people in Australia are currently sick with the virus.
Hepatitis A VirusIn 2013, traceback investigation in the U.S. outbreak found that the virus was likely in frozen imported pomegranate seeds from Turkey that was used in Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend. One hundred sixty-five people were sickened; their illness onset dates ranged from 3/31/2013 – 8/12/2013. Forty-two percent of patients were hospitalized. All ill people who reported eating the recalled Townsend Farms product purchased it from Costco markets.
Attorney Fred Pritzker, who represents clients in the U.S. outbreak, said, “people who bought this product did so because it was advertised as a healthy food. It’s unfortunate that it made so many people sick. The high hospitalization rate in this outbreak is indicative of the seriousness of the contamination.”
The genotype of hepatitis A in the 2013 U.S. outbreak was 1B, one that is rarely seen on the American content. It circulates in North Africa and the Middle East. As a result of this outbreak, the FDA detained all shipments of pomegranate seeds from Goknur, Turkey when presented for import.
The U.S. outbreak is now over, but it’s possible that people still have the contaminated product in their home freezers. There were three recalls of potentially contaminated products; the first on June 4, 2013 for Townsend Farms frozen berries; the second on June 26, 2013 for Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels; and the third on June 28, 2013, for an expanded recall of the Townsend Farms berries.
Check your home freezers to see if you have any of the recalled product. If you do, throw it away in a sealed container so animals and other people can’t eat it. Wash your hands thoroughly and clean your freezer, since freezing doesn’t destroy the hepatitis A virus.
If you ate any of these berries and developed the symptoms of a hepatitis infection, which include clay colored stool, dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), fatigue, cramps, and loss of appetite, see your doctor. Most people recover without medical treatment, but some people, especially in this particular outbreak, can become seriously ill. People with liver disease can suffer serious complications from a hepatitis A infection.

How to fight foodborne diseases: The hidden side of food insecurity
Source : https://www.devex.com/news/how-to-fight-foodborne-diseases-the-hidden-side-of-food-insecurity-85472
By Elena L. Pasquini (Feb 16, 2105)
When the development community talks about food security, discussions generally focus on the quantity and quality of food, with safety only cropping up whenever a major health outbreak occurs.
That shouldn’t be the case. Chemical substances, viruses, parasites and bacteria in food pose serious health risks, which may not only lead to acute and chronic infections, but also increase nutrient deficiencies and reduce nutrient absorption.
And yet the international development community hasn’t given food safety the attention it deserves. That’s according to Angelika Tritscher, the World Health Organization’s risk assessment and management coordinator for its food safety and zoonoses department.
In an exclusive interview with Devex at the Food and Agriculture Organization’s headquarters in Rome, Tritscher stressed that food safety should not be taken for granted. Development actors should not just “talk about improving nutrition and food safety, [they] actually have to do something about it,” she emphasized.
WHO, which will dedicate 2015 World Health Day to food safety, believes it’s now time to integrate the “safety” dimension into the global agenda to fight food insecurity and malnutrition, and has devised a multipronged strategy to do so.
Make data available
Understanding the real public health impact of unsafe food is a major challenge.
“Foodborne diseases are totally underreported because you don’t go to the doctor, you don’t necessarily go to the hospital, unless it is a very severe case,” Tritscher said. “It is very difficult to get an estimate of the actual occurrence of such things.”
For instance, while data suggests more than 2 million people, mostly children, die each year from diarrheal diseases that may have resulted from unsafe food and drinking water, these are just one type of foodborne diseases, WHO’s risk assessment and management coordinator said.
Moreover, the fact food contamination can cause a broad spectrum of nonspecific diseases and symptoms — not only diarrhea or vomiting, but also contributing to cancer or having kidney, liver and cardiovascular effects — make it very difficult to identify the link between affections and unsafe food.
To address the data gap, the U.N. health agency will be releasing the first estimates ever published on the global burden of foodborne diseases before the summer.
Build capacity along the food chain
The agency’s strategy relies not only on providing figures or scientific and technical advice for policymaking to turn international standards into recommendations for limiting contaminations. It also aims to build the capacity of all the actors along the food chain to prevent and mitigate the risks.
According to the WHO official, food safety considerations have to be integrated at each step of the value chain, involving large corporations as well as small farmers and national institutions. If what matters for big companies is essentially the application of international, science-based standards — for instance, the ones limiting residues of pesticides or environmental contamination — when it comes to smallholders, the actions to be implemented are different.
Communities should be involved as well, and Tritscher believes that in this instance, education is key. Villagers need to be made aware of how cow manure, for example, can contaminate vegetable yields and what risks arise if food is not handled and prepared properly.
“What we do is we work with community leaders in the countries, often women. There is a lot of talk about empowering women here,” she said.
WHO — which has a long-standing partnership with FAO — aims to develop new collaborations for the implementation of its food safety programs.
“Working together with civil society organizations [and] consumer representatives, for example, to help us with better consumer education. Or [with] university programs helping with education and training … and with other international organizations,” Tritscher said.
Food safety needs a multisector approach that requires strengthening inter-sectoral collaboration and helping countries to put in place coordination mechanisms for prevention and emergency response.
“The responsibility for food safety at the national level lies often with different authorities, with different ministries. Coordination is critically important. Agricultural, animal health and human health have to work closely together,” the WHO official said.
National capacities need to be strengthened too
But building the capacity of all actors across the food chain isn’t enough. Under the WHO strategy, even national capacities to establish food safety systems, enforce legislation and set up proper laboratories for monitoring and controlling will be built up as well.
WHO is expanding and strengthening its network of partners to achieve this goal.
Its network of collaborating centers — government institutions, research institutions and universities, among others — and the network of international food safety authorities, which include 181 countries participating on a voluntary basis, have two goals: emergency response and sharing best practices. What WHO is doing is implementing regional strategies, setting regional platforms “where the countries in that region talk to each other with the idea that they learn from each other [about] the practical problems encountered,” Tritscher said.
Laboratory surveillance for foodborne diseases is another area worth investing in, according to WHO. According to Tritscher, many countries do not have the necessary infrastructure not just to start an epidemiological investigation but also to carry out the laboratory work to confirm the disease is indeed foodborne.
Codex trust fund enters second phase
Established by FAO and WHO in 1963, the Codex Alimentarius Commission is the body that develops international food standards, relevant also to ensure food safety. In 2015, a trust fund used to help countries to participate and understand the international standard-setting process is coming to an end.
The trust fund is “a capacity building program,” Trischer explained. Initially, it helped countries attend the commission’s meetings before eventually facilitating more effective participation. These included answering questions such as: What does it mean to be prepared for the meeting? How do you prepare your international position? Setting up national infrastructures to get all the information that you need so that you can have an informed discussion when you go to the meeting?
“Now we are thinking about a successive initiative. It is more like a development project,” she said, adding that the second phase will be more focused on building capacities to enforce those standards.
How can food safety best be integrated into efforts to fight food insecurity and malnutrition? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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UK Restaurant Manager, Chef Jailed After Deadly Food Poisoning Incident
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/02/uk-restaurant-manager-chef-jailed-after-deadly-food-poisoning-incident/#.VOqJR9j9ns1
By News Desk (Feb 16, 2015)
Following a 2012 Christmas Day turkey dinner at a London-area pub that sickened approximately 33 people and may have killed one of them, the manager and chef were recently sentenced to jail terms.
Chef Mehmet Kaya and Manager Ann-Marie McSweeney of the Railway Hotel in Hornchurch, Essex (east of London) were convicted of lying to police and falsifying records. Kaya received a 12-month sentence and McSweeney received 18 months.
The pub’s owner, Mitchells & Butlers of Birmingham, was fined £1.5 million (about $2.3 million) after being found guilty of placing unsafe food on the market.
A year-long investigation into the incident found that the illnesses reported after the four-course pub meal were due to Clostridium perfringens, either because the turkey meat was not adequately cooked or not properly reheated.
“Clostridium perfringens bacteria are the third most common cause of food poisoning in the U.K., and this mostly occurs in relation to red meat or poultry,” Dr. Deborah Turbitt from the Health Protection Agency said at the time. Officials also indicated that it was an isolated incident.

 

 

 

 

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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