Food safety and trade should improve nutrition and boost development – UN agencies
Source : http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=52440#.Vk0tGI2heUl
By un.org (Nov 02, 2015)
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed today to strengthen their cooperation to promote international food trade and safety in ways that improve nutrition and allow small-scale producers to have better access to international agricultural markets.
“We look forward to ensuring fair trade of agricultural and food products through this stronger (FAO-WTO) cooperation,” FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said in remarks at an event at the agency’s headquarters in Rome.
“On the one hand trade is likely to play an increasing role in meeting the growing demand from food-deficit countries. On the other hand, greater trade openness may undermine the capacity of local people to produce their own food,” he added.
According to a press release issued by FAO, Mr. Graziano da Silva warned that failure to reach a balanced solution on issues relating to production and trade of agricultural products could derail the international community's recently agreed sustainable development goal to eradicate world hunger.
For his part, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo stressed that at the WTO, “we seek to ensure that the global trading system works for all, that it is fair and balanced,” in a way “which supports growth and development and allows people to access the goods and services that they need” including food.
“When I visit developing countries, especially in Africa...business people tell me about the difficulties they face in meeting the required standards,” he said, adding that it is essential to provide capacity building for producers in developing countries, an area of work where his Organization and FAO are seeking to deepen their collaboration.
Mr. Azevêdo referred to the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi scheduled for December, where the role of agriculture – especially in development and in improving the lives of people in least developed countries – will be high on the agenda.
Issues for discussion include addressing trade restrictions that impact imports, such as the lowering of tariffs, the need to minimize domestic agricultural subsidies, and the “distortions these programmes produce,” Mr. Azevêdo said, as well as the need to eliminate export subsidies.
The WTO Director-General expressed hope that some agreement would be reached in Nairobi on the issue of export subsidies. This, he said, would mark “an extremely significant breakthrough,” and would be especially important for developing and least developed countries.
Meanwhile, both leaders underscored the increase in cooperation between FAO and the WTO. This includes deepening their collaboration on trade and food safety, including a joint publication in 2016 which would deal with sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures that curb the spread of plant and animal diseases during the transport for trade of agricultural products.
Other areas where the two bodies are seeking to reinforce their joint efforts include the Standards and Trade Development Facility; capacity development initiatives to assist countries in the implementation of the Codex Alimentarius or “Food Code” which develops harmonized international food standards that protect consumer health and promote fair practices in food trade; and country level assistance to facilitate trade in safe and nutritious food.
What Caused the Chipotle E. Coli Outbreak in Washington and Oregon?
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/what-caused-the-chipotle-e-coli-outbreak-in-washington-and-oregon/
By Linda Larsen (Nov 01, 2015)
An E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 22 people in Washington state and Oregon. Oregon Health Authority says the cases are linked to six Chipotle restaurants in the region. Eight people have been hospitalized; no one has died from their illness. Chipotle has closed their restaurants in the region.
Because this outbreak is linked to six different restaurants separated by distance, it makes sense that food from a supplier is the source of the pathogenic bacteria. A Salmonella outbreak at Chipotle restaurants in Minnesota in August 2015 was linked to tomatoes purchased from a common supplier. That outbreak sickened at least 45 people.
We don’t know what food is the source of the E. coli that caused this outbreak. In the past, E. coli outbreaks have been linked to raw sprouts, undercooked ground beef, raw milk, leafy greens, frozen foods, and raw vegetables.
But how do these foods get contaminated in the first place? There are many possibilities for contamination throughout the supply chain.
In the field, foods such as greens and other produce can be contaminated by being watered with irrigation water that contains runoff from farms. Since E. coli bacteria live in the guts of ruminant animals, such as cows and goats, their feces contain the pathogen. Large factory farms can contaminate the ground water. When this water is used to irrigate fields during drought conditions, the vegetables will be contaminated.
Foods can also be contaminated during harvest. Ill workers can contaminate food. People who have diarrheal illnesses can shed E. coli bacteria. Then, if there aren’t enough hand washing supplies, or if employers let their employees work while sick, produce can be contaminated.
Transportation is another area where contamination can occur. Storage containers, trucks, conveyor belts, and cleaning equipment can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria. A study published in the Journal of Food Research, conducted at the University of Arkansas found that bacteria can attach to reusable plastic containers used for transporting food. Scientists grew E. coli bacteria on reusable plastic containers (RPCs) used to transport vegetables and other foods, then cleaned and sanitized them. They found that biofilms could still form on the containers, which can protect bacteria and cause cross-contamination.
Finally, ill food workers can cause E. coli outbreaks. But since this outbreak is linked to several restaurants, that possibility is remote.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea that can be bloody and/or watery, a mild fever, nausea, and vomiting. Public health officials are asking that anyone who ate at a Chipotle restaurant in Washington or Oregon from October 14 to October 23, 2015, and has experienced these symptoms see their doctor. E. coli infections can be serious. If treated with antibiotics, the odds increase that these infections will progress to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
The symptoms of an HUS infection include pale skin, easy bruising, lethargy, little to no urine output, and a skin rash. Anyone suffering from these symptoms should see a doctor immediately. HUS can cause kidney failure, seizures, strokes, and death.
Food Safety Tips for People with Diabetes
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/11/food-safety-tips-for-people-with-diabetes/#.Vk0tnY2heUl
By News Desk (Nov 02, 2015)
November is National Diabetes Month, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking the opportunity to remind people with diabetes about the importance of safe food handling.
Because diabetes can affect various organs and systems of the body, those living with this disease are more susceptible to foodborne illness and more likely to have a lengthier illness, undergo hospitalization, or even die.
The immune system of someone with diabetes may not readily recognize harmful bacteria or other pathogens. This delay in the body’s natural response to foreign invasion places a person with diabetes at increased risk for infection.
Diabetes may also damage the cells that create stomach acid and the nerves that help the stomach and intestinal tract move food through. Because of this damage, the stomach may hold food and beverages for a longer period of time, allowing harmful bacteria and other pathogens to grow.
And kidneys that aren’t functioning properly may hold onto harmful bacteria, toxins, and other pathogens.
Some foods that are riskier for people with diabetes because they are more likely to contain harmful bacteria or viruses are uncooked fruits and vegetables and certain animal products, such as unpasteurized milk, raw meat or luncheon meats.
Anyone who is diabetic or who prepares food for people with diabetes should also carefully follow these steps:
1.CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often. Bacteria can be spread throughout the kitchen and get onto hands, cutting boards, utensils, countertops, and food.
2.SEPARATE: Keep raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
3.COOK to the right temperatures. Use a food thermometer to make sure that meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products are cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature to destroy any harmful bacteria. (Refer to this temperature chart.)
4.CHILL foods promptly. Cold temperatures slow the growth of harmful bacteria. Use an appliance thermometer to be sure the refrigerator temperature is 40 degrees F or below and the freezer temperature is 0 degrees F or below.
Consuming dangerous foodborne bacteria will usually cause illness within one to three days of eating the contaminated food. However, sickness can also occur within 20 minutes or up to six weeks later. Symptoms of foodborne illness include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and flu-like symptoms (such as fever, headache, and body aches).
If you think that you or a family member has a foodborne illness, contact your healthcare provider immediately. Also, report the suspected foodborne illness to FDA in either of these ways by contacting a Consumer Complaint Coordinator in your area or MedWatch, FDA’s Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.
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WA Man Gets Prison Term for ‘Miracle’ Supplement Scheme
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2015/10/wa-man-gets-federal-prison-term-for-miracle-supplement-scheme/#.Vk0txI2heUl
By Dan Flynn (Oct 29, 2015)
A “Miracle Mineral Supplement” sold online by a Spokane, WA, man as a cure for cancer, AIDS, hepatitis, Lyme disease, asthma, autism, malaria, and the common cold actually contained an industrial-strength sodium chlorite more appropriately used as a pesticide, or for hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and wastewater treatment.
In a week-long June jury trial, 45-year-old Louis Daniel Smith was found guilty on five of six federal felony counts brought against him after nearly a decade-long investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Office of Criminal Investigation (OCI).
On Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, Smith was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson for the Eastern District of Washington. The sentence is to be followed by three years of supervised release.
Smith represented himself during the federal court proceedings.
“Today’s sentence is a just result reflecting the defendant’s role as the leader of a business that sold dangerous chemicals as miracle cures to sick people and their desperate loved ones,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Consumers have the right to expect that the medicines that they purchase are safe and effective.”
An eastern Washington jury convicted Smith on conspiracy with intent to defraud the United States, along with three counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with intent to defraud or mislead, and one count of fraudulently smuggling merchandise into the U.S. The smuggled merchandise was barrels of sodium chlorite, which was the main ingredient in his “Miracle Mineral Supplement,” which sold for $9.95 per bottle.
Evidence presented at the trial showed that Smith operated an online business from 2007-2011 called “Project GreenLife” (PGL) selling sodium chlorite to be mixed with water. Sodium chlorite cannot legally be sold for human consumption, and suppliers of the chemical include a warning sheet stating that it can cause potentially fatal side effects if swallowed.
The government presented evidence that Smith instructed consumers to combine MMS with citric acid to create chlorine dioxide, add water, and drink the resulting mixture. Chlorine dioxide is a potent agent used to bleach textiles, among other industrial applications. Chlorine dioxide is also a severe respiratory and eye irritant that can cause nausea, diarrhea and dehydration.
Smith provided instructions for use of his product, including statements that nausea, diarrhea and vomiting were all signs that the miracle cure was working. The instructions also stated that despite a risk of possible brain damage, the product might still be appropriate for pregnant women or infants who were seriously ill.
According to the trial evidence, Smith created phony “water purification” and “wastewater treatment” businesses in order to obtain sodium chlorite and ship his MMS without being detected by FDA or U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The government also presented evidence that Smith hid evidence from FDA inspectors and destroyed evidence while law enforcement agents were executing search warrants.
Before trial, three of Smith’s alleged co-conspirators, Chris Olson, Tammy Olson and Karis DeLong (Smith’s wife), pleaded guilty to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. Chris Olson, along with alleged co-conspirators Matthew Darjanny and Joseph Lachnit, testified at trial that Smith was the leader of PGL.
In addition to OCI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service assisted in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Christopher E. Parisi and Timothy T. Finley of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division Consumer Protection Branch in Washington, D.C.
Mariscos San Juan Employee a Shigella Victim Too
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/mariscos-san-juan-employee-a-shigella-victim-too/#.Vk0uSo2heUl
By Bill Marler (Oct 29, 2015)
Santa Clara County health officials have reported that a food handler at the Mariscos San Juan restaurant #3 has tested positive for the Shigella bacteria that has sickened 190 people who ate at the restaurant. However, the officials say that the employee was not the source of the outbreak and likely a victim as well.
The Shigella outbreak that has now sickened 190 people from six counties, most of whom ate at Mariscos San Juan restaurant on 4th Street, health officials said. But they said the outbreak appears to be tapering off.
“Despite not having a ‘smoking gun’ that caused the outbreak,” Public Health Director Sr. Sara Cody said, “we do know that the outbreak stemmed from this restaurant, and we have taken the necessary actions to protect the public.”
Of the 190 people county officials say have been stricken by the Shigella bacteria, which causes severe diarrhea, 151 are Santa Clara County residents and the rest are from San Mateo, Alameda, Santa Cruz, Marin and Merced counties. Nearly all of them are people who said they ate at Mariscos on October 16 or17. Officials shut the restaurant down on the 18th.
Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of Shigella outbreaks. The Shigella lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of Shigella 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 Shigella lawyers have litigated Shigella cases stemming from outbreaks traced to a variety of sources, such as tomatoes, airplane and restaurant food.
If you or a family member became ill with a Shigella infection after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark Shigella attorneys for a free case evaluation.
Brisbane gleefully ignores foodborne illness
Source : http://barfblog.com/2015/10/brisbane-gleefully-ignores-foodborne-illness/
By Doug Powell (Oct 29, 2015)
Want to eat off the same china as President Obama at last year’s G20?
The Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre is hiring out the dining room in its Plaza Gallery used by world leaders at the global powerfest.
Centre general manager Bob O’Keeffe tells your diarist that guests can have the same menu and even sit in the same chairs used by Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and other leaders.
O’Keeffe recalls food for the leaders’ meals had to pass through several security check points before reaching the dining room.
Yeah, but they don’t do micro testing and aren’t capable of testing for idiocracy. This is the 21st century, not the 14th when food tasters were employed to check for poisons.
This same Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre was host of two Salmonella outbreaks earlier this year that sickened at least 254 people, including school principals at a conference. In response, the Centre struck custard from the menu.
It was probably raw eggs that made all those folks sick, but us Brisbane residents will never know because once an outbreak is publicly declared, it disappears. Maybe into the courts. Maybe into embarrassment-land.
I know Presidents of the U.S. have a food safety detail and would never allow raw eggs into a meal served to the Commander-in-Chief, but school principals?
Make the full menu public and let us food safety types identify possible risks. I don’t care where Putin or Obama sat – possible skid marks – I care if your food is going to make me barf like those other 254 people.
Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreak at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse, NY
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/legionnaires-disease-outbreak-at-st-josephs-hospital-in-syracuse-ny/
By Linda Larsen (Oct 29, 2015)
A Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse New York has sickened at least two people. While the President and CEO of that facility, Kathryn Ruscitto, has issued statements about the bacteria being found in the hospital’s water supply, no official reports have been released acknowledging the outbreak except indirectly.
The announcements have not mentioned the illnesses and officials have allegedly denied that there is an outbreak. Governor Cuomo issued a statement on October 25, 2015 announcing that an investigation is being launched after Legionella bacteria were found at the hospital, but that bulletin did not mention any illnesses either. An outbreak is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as two or more persons who are not related to each other, who become ill in the same place at about the same time.
Instead, Dr. Sandra Sulick, a vice president at the hospital, told Syracuse.com that at least two patients contracted the illness in the hospital within the last month. Apparently, a third person was also diagnosed and has since died, but doctors have not been able to determine if that person contracted the illness from the hospital or elsewhere in the community.
The latest news release from Ms. Ruscitto stated, “There have been no new cases of hospital acquired Legionella in the hospital in the last three weeks.” It also stated that “Except for patient privacy matters, we have not withheld information from reporters or any other audiences who have contacted us.”
The hospital’s 11 cooling towers tested negative, according to the governor’s report, but other tests discovered Legionella bacteria in the building’s water system. The samples that tested positive are undergoing further testing to see whether the bacteria is pathogenic. The hospital had been using bottled water for drinking, but those restrictions were lifted on Monday.
The original testing that discovered the problem was part of a mandate put in place by Governor Cuomo after a Legionnaires’ Disease outbreak in the South Bronx killed 12 people and sickened 124. All buildings in the state had to test their water supplies after that devastating outbreak.
The symptoms of Legionnaires’ Disease include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Those who are most likely to contract the illness include those over the age of 60, former or current smokers, people with chronic lung diseases, and those with weakened immune systems. This is a serious illness; up to 30% of patients die.
The bacteria live in water, especially water that sits for long periods of time. Cooling towers and plumbing systems in large and older buildings are especially susceptible to Legionella bacteria. The bacteria escape in mist or spray. When inhaled, a person can get sick with the pneumonia-like illness. Many people are not correctly diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease because the symptoms are so similar to pneumonia. It’s only when several people living in the same area exhibit the same symptoms that doctors may test for the illness.
FDA to release sweeping changes for how food is kept safe
Source : http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/fda-release-sweeping-changes-how-food-kept-safe/npB3s/
By Jenna Deery
This weekend, the Federal Food and Drug Administration will be releasing as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act, which could lead to sweeping changes on how our food is checked, shipped and grown to reach the goal of making it safer.
It's the first food safety overhaul in more than 70 years and it will dictate what farmers do after they pull crops out of the field before it gets to a store.
The new federal guidelines will require all farmers follow the same safe practices while harvesting, packaging and shipping.
Farmers don't know what the exact rules will be or what oversight will be in place to ensure they are followed until they are released Saturday but Vice President of Patterson Farms in Mount Ulla, Doug Patterson, predicts the rules could mean more soil and water testing and paperwork from farmers to make sure the food isn't contaminated.
"They want the documentation saying this is what was done, this is who tested it, and this is when it was tested. That's the expensive, cumbersome part," Patterson said.
State agriculture officials said the new rules could be a cost of $2 billion on the farming industry, which could be passed down to the store sticker price, but food safety experts believe the cost may be worth it to cut down food-borne illnesses.
"Those practices could prevent and protect public health," said Diane Durchame with the Plants for Human Health Institute. "These will prevent salmonella and e. Coli outbreaks," she said.
She said consumers probably won't notice a difference in quality at the store. Most farmers are already taking steps to deliver safe food, according to Patterson.
"I think this might just give people peace of mind," Durchame said.
The rules not only apply to U.S. farms, but it will also to international growers that export produce to the United States.
Farmers will anywhere from two to four years to comply.
What You Need to Know About Shigellosis
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/what-you-need-to-know-about-shigellosis/
By Carla Gillespie (Oct 28, 2015)
Shigella dysenteriae bacteria - 3d rendered illustrationShigella has been making headlines recently with outbreaks in California and Texas. Although it sickens an estimated half million Americans each year, many people are unfamiliar with the bacteria. Here’s what you need to know.
Shigella is highly contagious. People who have a Shigella infection, called shigellosis, should stay home.
There are four species of Shigella. Shigella sonnei- the most common in the U.S., Shigella flexneri, Shigella boydii, and Shigella dysenteriae- which causes deadly epidemics but is rare in the U.S..
Nationwide, about 500,000 cases of shigellosis are reported annually. Unlike Norovirus, which is also highly contagious, Shigella doesn’t have a “season.” (Norovirus season is form October through February.)
Shigella affects people of all ages, but young children are at greatest risk. Outbreaks are most often associated with daycare or child care centers. It only takes a few Shigella bacteria to cause illness. That’s why good hand washing and staying home when you are sick is the best way to prevent the spread of illness.
Symptoms of shigellosis usually begin between 24 and 48 hours after exposure. They include fever, diarrhea that can sometimes be bloody, abdominal pain, vomiting and tenesmus, or the painful sensation of needing to pass stools even when bowels are empty.
Symptoms usually last about a week, but it sometimes takes several months before bowel habits return to normal. Shigellosis can cause serious illness and death. Patients with severe diarrhea or vomiting can become dehydrated and require immediate medical attention to prevent shock.
Complications of shigellosis include reactive arthritis which causes painful swelling of the joints and eye irritation. These symptoms can last for months or years. Other complications manifest more quickly and have more dire consequences including bloodstream infections, seizures and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) which causes kidney failure, seizure, stroke coma and death.
Shigellosis is diagnosed with lab tests. Recommended treatment is staying hydrated and getting rest. Pepto Bismal, or similar products can also help. Antibiotic treatment is generally not required. It is sometimes recommended in severe cases, but shigellosis is often antibiotic resistant.
The CDC has declared antibiotic-resistant Shigella an urgent public threat in the United States. The agency estimates that of the 500,000 reported cases of Shigella infection in the U.S. each year, about27,000 are resistant to one or both of these antibiotics
The Shigella outbreaks in Texas and California are both Shigella sonnei outbreaks. The California outbreak has been linked to Mariscos San Juan restaurant. So far, 190 illnesses have been reported. There have been many hospitalizations including 12 people who were admitted to intensive care.
Almost all of those who became ill ate at the San Jose restaurant located at 205 N. 4th Street in San Jose on Friday, October 16 or Saturday, October 17. The origin of the outbreak has not yet been determined. Health officials are expecting results of tests on all food handlers this week.
In Texas, there have been 71 cases of shigellosis reported at daycare centers and schools so far this month. Normally, only a handful of cases are reported.
Dining out? Watch out for food 'safety' colour code
Source : http://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/general/dining-out-watch-out-for-best-colour-code
By Sajila Saseendran /Dubai (Oct 28, 2015)
Diners in Dubai can now know the level of safety of the food on their plates from the colour of the card the eatery has earned from the Dubai Municipality to display at its entrance.
The Food Safety Department on Tuesday launched its new food inspection rating system with colour-coded cards that tell diners how eateries in Dubai fared in food safety checks.
At the opening ceremony of the 10th Dubai International Food Safety Conference, it named and famed the top 10 food establishments that secured the excellent scores (95 to 100 points) in food inspections with gold plaques. The Minister of Environment and Water Dr Rashid Ahmed Mohammed bin Fahad and the Director-General of Dubai Municipality Hussain Nasser Lootah honoured them.
At a separate ceremony in the conference, some 200 hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, catering companies and food manufacturers were awarded green cards with A grade. They indicate their good rating (90-74 points) with no records of violations in inspections.
A light green card indicates satisfactory rating with less than five minor violations. A yellow card indicating conditional pass is issued when there is one major violation or five to seven general violations.
A red card indicates the eatery has failed in inspections, by recording any critical or two or more major violations or more than seven general violations. After corrective action has been taken on a red, the card status will revert to "white" when the grade will be pending until the next inspection.
Sultan Ali Al Taher, the head of Food Inspection Section, said naming and faming eateries is Dubai's new way of improving food safety standards.
Bobby Krishna, specialist at the section said the municipality is looking at positive reinforcement of safety and hygiene standards through the colour-grading system.
"We will try and challenge you to take it away.but we hope that you will strive hard to keep the colour with you," he told the A graders.
Encouragement and responsibility
"Of course, this is an encouragement for us," said Shamla Suneer Babu, assistant health and safety manager for Jumeirah Restaurants Group which bagged green cards with A grade for Rivington Grill, Pots, Pans and Boards and Big Chefs restaurants.
"But this is giving us more responsibility to maintain high safety standards.Hygiene officers and chefs will be competing to keep the green card in coming audits also," she said.
The new card system will be rolled out across the 14,000 food outlets in one month.
However, Meitha Al Marri, senior food health inspection officer, said the last three cards that will degrade the reputation of the eateries will not be displayed to the customers.
"It will be issued to the outlets and we will work with them to raise their ratings to green as our approach is to name and fame, not name and shame," she said.
Food Safety Authority to examine WHO report ‘in detail’
Source : http://www.irishtimes.com/news/health/food-safety-authority-to-examine-who-report-in-detail-1.2407287
By irishtimes.com (Oct 27, 2015)
Revised healthy eating guidelines due after link between cancer and red/processed meat found
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland said it will examine the new World Health Organization (WHO) report that found processed meats cause cancer and issue any necessary guidelines changes.
The WHO published research on Monday that found bacon, ham and sausages were as big a cancer threat as tobacco.
Experts from the International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the WHO, concluded eating 50g of processed meat daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 per cent.
The report also suggested that red meat was a likely cause of some cancers.
Dr Mary Flynn, chief specialist in public health nutrition with the authority, said the report looked at the strength of evidence and did not look at the risk or the potency of a substance to cause cancer.
“We’re the Food Safety Authority, if it was that bad we’d be taking big action here,” she said.
“We’ll obviously going look at this data in great detail and issue any revisions to our current guidance.”
The Health Service Executive (HSE) is also to review the research to see if changes are needed to dietary and nutritional policies for patients in hospitals and other public healthcare facilities.
The HSE said the report linking red and processed meat to cancer was detailed and would require careful consideration.
Ms Flynn, who was speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland, said Irish people ate an average of 35g of processed meat a day, less than a sausage and a half, and about 57-85g of red meat daily.
The FSAI recommends 300g of red meat a week, which is a 100g portion three days a week.
“They’re talking here about high consumption of red meat and processed meat,” Ms Flynn said.
“It’s all about moderation. How often you’re eating something and how much you’re eating.”
However, she said a daily increase of processed meats such as two slices of ham or two sausages did increase your cancer risk.
The IARC put processed meat in its group 1 list - which includes tobacco, asbestos and diesel fumes - for which there is “sufficient evidence” of cancer links.
Red meat, including beef, lamb and pork, was classified as a “probable” carcinogen in the IARC group 2A list that also contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weedkillers.
The Government has not commented on possible implications of the finding on Ireland’s €3 billion meat industry.
The Irish Cancer Society said avoiding or limiting intake of processed meat can help to reduce the risk of certain cancers.
The Department of Health said meat is “an important source of protein, Iron and vitamins”, but processed meats should be limited.
In the Food Pyramid category for red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts, the Department said the current guidelines for healthy eating are:
- Two servings a day from this category. Go for a variety of choices. Choose lean meat, trim excess fat and remove skin from poultry. It is better to choose fish twice a week.
- Limit processed meats such as bacon or ham.
- You do not need large amounts of meat (50 - 75g of cooked lean beef is 1 serving).
The Department said the WHO findings have been sent to an expert group and revised Healthy Eating Guidelines will be issued before the end of the year.
What Caused E. coli Contamination in High Hill Ranch Apple Juice?
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2015/what-caused-e-coli-contamination-in-high-hill-ranch-apple-juice/
By News Desk (Oct 27, 2015)
Unpasteurized apple juice sold at High Hill Ranch in Camino, California has sickened at least seven people with E. coli infections, according to the El Dorado County Environmental Management and Public Health division. All of the patients live in Sacramento County and all consumed the product from the ranch in mid October this year.
One person has been hospitalized and is expected to recover. The juice was consumed at home or at High Hill Ranch. Officials are warning consumers to not drink any unpasteurized apple juice purchased from the ranch on or after October 6, 2015.
Unpasteurized apple juice, just like unpasteurized milk, has caused E. coli outbreaks in the past. An outbreak in Michigan in 2012 linked to unpasteurized juice sickened people. And an outbreak in Canada last year that sickened people with E. coli infections was linked to the unpasteurized beverage.
These products can be contaminated with E. coli bacteria and other pathogenic bacteria. Pasteurization destroys the bacteria in those products and makes them safe to drink. While the FDA requires that unpasteurized apple juice have a warning label that tells consumers about the risks of drinking that product, that warning is not required on juice that is freshly squeezed and served to the public at orchards, farmers markets, roadside stands, and in some restaurants or juice bars.
Noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker believes that these standards should be changed. “All unpasteurized juice should be labeled with a warning telling consumers about the risks of consuming the product, no matter where it is sold,” he said.
E. coli bacteria can get onto apples in many different ways. Contaminated irrigation water, which may contain feces from factory farms, can contaminate the crop. Animals in the orchard, or improperly cleaned harvesting or transporting equipment may contaminate the fruit. Then when the fruit is processed into juice, the bacteria will be mixed throughout the product.
Unfortunately, the owners of High Hill Ranch put out a statement blaming consumers for this outbreak. They stated that since consumers touch the nozzle to fill the sample cups “this very well could have spread a virus to the sample jug.” They also state that they have been making juice for 50 years, and have not had any complaints.
E. coli bacteria are not viruses. Unpasteurized apple juice is a common source of the pathogenic bacteria. People who are sick with E. coli are usually not going to be well enough to visit a farm. And no companies or farms are immune to E. coli outbreaks, no matter how stringent their quality control.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include diarrhea that is watery and/or bloody, severe abdominal cramps, vomiting, and a mild fever. The symptoms usually begin a few days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Most people are sick enough that they visit a doctor when they contract this infection.
Going to the doctor is very important if you have these symptoms, because a misdiagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic can increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of a shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection. The symptoms of this complication include pale skin, easy bruising, little or no urine output, lethargy, and a skin rash. If anyone develops these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
If you drank unpasteurized apple juice produced at High Hill Farm in California and have developed the symptoms of an E. coli food poisoning infection, see your doctor immediately. Early treatment and proper diagnosis is key to a full recovery.
Time running out for food safety changes
Source : http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2015/10/26/time-running-out-for-food-safety-changes
By Stefania Seccia, 24 hours (Oct 26, 2015)
B.C.’s food processors only have a few months remaining to develop formal food safety and sanitation plans as new regulations come into effect March 2016.
The Public Health Act’s food premises regulation was amended two years ago to require written food safety and sanitation plans from food processors — such as supermarkets and delis.
The plans are a set of written procedures that are expected to help prevent or reduce food safety hazards that can cause food poisoning.
About 550,000 people suffer from foodborne illnesses every year in B.C.
Health authorities inspect such facilities routinely and will be in charge of approving the plans by the March deadline.
The province announced a $1 million investment to help processors boost safety and prevent foodborne illnesses from spreading through proper food handling.
And the BC Centre for Disease Control for Public Health has launched a project to help processors develop the plans.
While plans will differ according to each processors, but include how to properly cook, cool and reheat foods, ensure food handlers don’t spread pathogens, source food from suppliers that comply with regulations, prevent cross-contamination, and safely use leftovers.
For more information, visit bccdcfoundation.org.
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