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6/10, 2003
ISSUE:69

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CONTROL OF LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES IN READY-TO-EAT MEAT AND POULTRY PRODUCTS; INTERIM FINAL RULE

source from: Herd On The Hill Edited by Kiran Kernellu
On June 6, 2003, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register entitled, "Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry Products." Access the rule on the Web at:
. An FSIS press release on the rule can be found at:
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/news/2003/lmfinal.htm. The rule requires federal establishments producing certain ready-to-eat (RTE) meat and poultry products to take steps to further reduce the incidence of L. monocytogenes. According to the press release, the rule requires all establishments that
produce RTE products exposed to the environment after cooking to develop written programs, such as their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems, Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (Sanitation SOPs) or other prerequisite programs, to control L. monocytogenes, and to verify
the effectiveness of those programs through testing. Establishments must choose one of three alternatives to control for L. monocytogenes: employ both a post-lethality treatment and a growth inhibitor for L. monocytogenes on RTE products; employ either a post-lethality treatment or a growth inhibitor for the pathogen on RTE products; or employ sanitation measures
only. Notably, FSIS indicated that it will conduct the greatest number of verification activities in those establishments that rely solely on sanitation practices. Establishments must also share testing data and plant-generated information relevant to their controls with FSIS. In addition, the rule encourages all establishments to employ additional and more effective L. monocytogenes control measures. FSIS will continue to
conduct its own random testing to verify each establishment's control program. Further, the rule requires establishments to furnish information on the production volume and related information on products affected by the regulations. FSIS will increase verification in operations that produce large volumes of product due to the potential impact on public health that
the pathogen poses if present. Finally, the rule allows establishments to make claims on RTE product labels that describe the processes used to eliminate or reduce L. monocytogenes, or suppress its growth. This rule becomes effective October 6, 2003. FSIS will accept comments
until December 8, 2004, since some approaches to L. monocytogenes control set out in the interim final rule are novel. FSIS will review and evaluate the effectiveness of these approaches. One original and two copies of each
comment should be sent to FSIS Docket 97-013F, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Room 102 Cotton Annex, 300 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20250-3700. Comments will be available for public inspection in the Docket Clerk's Office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30
p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Daniel L. Engeljohn, Ph.D., Acting Assistant Deputy Administrator, Policy Analysis and Formulation, Office of Policy, Program Development, and Evaluation, Food Safety and Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture at (202)
205-0495.

FSIS sets limit on inspection exemption

source from: http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml

6/10/2003-The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced the dollar limitations on sales of meat and meat food products and poultry products to hotels, restaurants, and similar institutions that do not disqualify a store for exemption from Federal inspection requirements. By reason of FSIS' regulations, for calendar year 2003 the dollar limitation for meat and meat food products is remaining at $47,000 and for poultry products at $41,600. FSIS is retaining the dollar limitations from calendar year 2002 based on the small price changes for these products evidenced by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). For more information, see the Federal Register of June 9, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 110, Page 34373-34374).

Current Food Safety News

06/10. CONTROL OF LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES IN READY-TO-EAT MEAT AND P
06/10. BABY FOOD STILL SAFE
06/10. BRACE FOR MORE MAD COW: EXPERT: U.S. HOLDS FIRM ON BAN: PANE
06/10. MINISTER ANNOUNCES PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS ON A PROPOSAL FOR A
06/10. INFECTIOUS DISEASES NEWS BRIEF
06/10. FDA to hold meeting on food contact substances
06/10. FSIS sets limit on inspection exemption
06/10. USDA: Lifting Canadian ban not on immediate horizon
06/10. Should teens clean up their act?
06/10. Canada must boost mad cow fight: Panel
06/10. Fire up the barbecue
06/10. Canada gets Kudos for BSE response
06/10. HSE Issues E-coli Web-video On Animal Handling Risks
06/10. Is U.S. beef safe to consume?

06/09. OVER-CLEAN HOUSE CAN BE A HEALTH HAZARD: USE DISINFECTANTS A
06/09. U.S. Political Bickering May Extend Ban on Alberta Beef
06/09. FOOD ALLERGEN LABELS
06/09. MAD COW EFFORTS PRAISED
06/09. SURVEY SHOWS PUBLIC DIVIDED ON FOOD SAFETY CONCERNS
06/09. STUDY'S GOAL TO CONTROL DEADLY PATHOGENS IN MANURE
06/09. GOT HIS GOAT (MILK)?
06/09. Veneman: U.S. cattle tracked for BSE likely slaughtered
06/09. Scientists find most baby foods toxic
06/09. Mad cow disease unlikely to hit U.S. herds
06/09. International experts to audit Canadian mad cow investigatio

06/08. State finds no trace of mad cow in bulls
06/08. Mad cow probe wrapping up with no new cases
06/08. Wyoming mad cow link false alarm
06/08. Recent BSE case no cause for alarm

06/07. Officials warn of dangers of eating roadside food
06/07. Lifting BSE ban to unleash beef glut [UK]
06/07. Eatery inspections plan prompts worry
06/07. A helping hand with food safety
06/07. Bioengineered food means safety, choice
06/07. Teens' dirty hands infection risk
06/07. Welsh teens' life of grime

06/06. MORTALITY ASSOCIATED WITH FOODBORNE BACTERIAL GASTROINTESTIN
06/06. EAT SAFE AWARD LAUNCHED IN NORTHERN IRELAND
06/06. FEDERAL STUDY FINDS TOXINS IN BABY FOOD: EXPERTS DIFFER ON W
06/06. "LOTS TO BEEF ABOUT"
06/06. GROWTH HORMONES LINKED TO CANCER IN AMERICAN LABORATORY STUD
06/06. More Tests to Find BSE Source
06/06. DIET SUPPLEMENTS CONTAINING CATTLE PARTS POSE MAD COW THREAT
06/06. FSIS today published its interim final rule on Listeria mono
06/06. Antibiotics examined
06/06. Food allergies could be dangerous
06/06. Mad cow probe expands
06/06. A real beef with our deadly livestock practices
06/06. USDA: Meat companies must share tests, plans for preventing
06/06. It's just one mad cow in Canada, but the question arises: Ho
06/06. GM chicken claim assessed

06/05. Strategic Diagnostics Announces Results of Mad Cow Test Study
06/05. VENEMAN NAMES MEMBERS TO NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
06/05. CANADIAN BANKS VOW SUPPORT FOR BSE-RAVAGED INDUSTRY
06/05. SINGLE CASE NOT ENOUGH REASON TO CLOSE BORDER
06/05. HEALTH INSPECTORS CLOSE SMOKEHOUSE
06/05. Japan: US Must Ensure Beef Safe After Canada Mad Cow Case
06/05. JAPAN: Police raid Prima Meat head office over alleged misla
06/05. UK: Salamis may contain undeclared horse and donkey meat, sa
06/05. RTE-Pathogen Final Rule Announced
06/05. Another warning on methylmercury contaminated fish
06/05. MEPs back GMO compliance treaty
06/05. Cut the acrylamide, a call to food companies
06/05. NFPA Says USDA Listeria Control Rule
06/05. National Advisory Committee on Meat and Poultry Inspection t
06/05. Statement of the American Meat Institute on Interim Final Ru
06/05. FSIS Introduces Interim Listeria Rule
06/05. Bill Requiring "Zero Tolerance" Performance Standard for Lis
06/05. Dawdling Over Food Labels
06/05. Group Seeks Limits on Acrylamide in Foods
06/05. Canadian bulls sold to Montana came from herd that contained
06/05. Mad Cow investigators say next few days "critical"
06/05. Montana investigates mad cow link
06/05. Families file lawsuit over E. coli outbreak
06/05. Grandmother fights for more meat regulation
06/05. Safer Hot Dogs And Cold Cuts
06/05. Feds impose new measures to fight Listeria in food
06/05. FDA Issues Final Two Proposed Food Safety Regulations
06/05. SUMMER FOOD SAFETY
06/05. Irish call for comments on food safety

Foodborne Outbreak
06/09. HEP A OUTBREAK SPARKS WARNING
06/09. Hotel guests sickened with cruise ship virus
06/09. Task force looks at past Shigella outbreak
06/08. Salmonella in St. Louis hospital
06/07. 37 people poisoned at company BBQ
06/07. Sarawak warns of outbreak
06/06. Children among 56 down with poisoning
06/06. Nearly 50 students taken to hospitals after getting sick at
06/05. Day-care center students hit by shigella
06/04. Salmonella outbreak ends school year early
06/03. New agency to probe rise in food poison cases

National Food Processors Association
Position Description

Position Title:Visiting Scientist
Location: Washington, DC
Supervisor¡¯s Title:Senior Scientist
FLSA Status: Exempt
Number Supervised (direct): 0
Number Supervised (indirect):0
I. Position Objective
Visiting Scientist contributes to food industry knowledge through member-driven research and serves as a technical resource in the area of Analytical Chemistry. Applies scientific principles in research to food safety, food packaging and food processing technologies.
II. Essential Job Functions
Develop and validate analytical methods (GC, GC/MS, or LC/MS) that will be applied the current problems in food chemistry or food safety.
III. Contacts
NFPA staff and members.
Industry/academic/regulatory community involved in food processing research/training.
External service providers/vendors/consultants.
IV. Essential Qualifications
Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry or Food Science with excellent chromatographic background.
Must possess knowledge of information sources in food chemistry.
Must possess ability to modify and develop analytical procedures, design experiments, and conduct complex data analysis.
Must possess excellent oral and written communication skills.
V. Working Environment/Conditions
Work is performed in a laboratory or office setting.
May be required to work more than the standard workweek to accomplish job duties.
May be required to travel on occasion.
contact information
RApplebaum@nfpa-food.org

Current USDA/FDA News
Premarket Notification for Food Contact Substances; Public Meeting
Beverages: Bottled Water; Confirmation of Effective Date
Exemption for Retail Store Operations
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated June 9, 2003
USDA Issues Notice On Codex Standard Setting Activities
Chile Agrees To Accept Exports From All FSIS Certified Plants
Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry Products
Listeria monocytogenes: Related Documents
FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated June 6, 2003

Current Food Recall
06/09. BCN Trading, Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Lotus Rootlet
06/09. BCN Trading Inc. Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Pickled Lotus Rootlet
06/06. Pacific Smoking Co. Recalls Pacific Seafood Northwest Style Smoked Salmon
06/05. Food Safety Alert: Masagana Brand Macapuno Strings
06/05. FDA Enforcement Report Index?June 4
06/05. LE COUREUR DES BOIS OLD FASHIONED DUCK CONFIT may contain dangerous
06/05. Minister orders mandatory recall of KID3.COM CAPSULES which may contain
06/05. Mothers Kitchen Has Recalled Gourment Cheesecake
06/05. Cardonic Has Recalled Criollo Crema Latina Nata


Scientists find most baby foods toxic

source from: http://www.foodingredientsfirst.com/
Most cereal-based baby foods regularly contain multiple mycotoxins, potentially harmful moulds more often associated with sick building syndrome.
09/06/2003 Health Canada scientists have found that most cereal-based baby foods, usually the first solid meals given to infants, regularly contain multiple mycotoxins, potentially harmful moulds more often associated with sick building syndrome.

The department`s Bureau of Chemical Safety is in the midst of a health hazard assessment of the findings of the study of infant cereals that tested 363 products -- including cereal mixes, teething biscuits and creamed corn -- bought in stores across Canada.The tests even found ergot alkaloids, the fungus from which the hallucinogen LSD is derived."They are still examining the results in more detail but [Health Canada officials] did indicate to me that there is nothing that represents anything alarming from a health and safety standpoint in the data," said Margot Geduld, Health Canada spokeswoman."There is no reason for any recommended dietary changes based on the data at this point in time," she said.Scientists, however, caution that mycotoxins have been linked to poor growth and development and suppressed immune systems in small children and should be eliminated from food at every avenue.Mycotoxins are fungi and moulds that naturally grow on most grains."An accurate prediction of the possible health impact of individual mycotoxins in infant foods is difficult; possible additive or synergistic effects of multiple mycotoxins make the task far more complex," the study by Health Canada`s scientists concludes. "The importance of using all measures aimed at minimizing the presence of mycotoxins in these foods is evident."Mycotoxin specialists said much research still needs to be done on the health effects of the toxins. "You don`t want to put weaning children on to food that have mycotoxins in them, wherever possible. You want to avoid that," said Dr. Kitty Cardwell, national program leader of plant pathology for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in Washington, D.C.Dr. Cardwell said the reason scientists began to measure mycotoxins in foods was "because many of them are pretty strong cancer-causing agents. As long as we know about them, we try to remove them from our diet."Dr. J. David Miller, professor of chemistry at Carleton University in Ottawa and former head of the mycotoxin program at Agriculture Canada, said the extensive testing and evaluation of baby food by Health Canada is important because mycotoxins cannot be eliminated from the grain supply."We are worried about these toxins in food, for sure," said Dr. Miller, a leading expert on mycotoxins. "It is one of the things that is really important to monitor for because, unlike bacterial food poisoning, which ... makes you really sick today, they have long-term effects from chronic exposure."It is one of the reasons why Health Canada and the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] are pretty scrupulous about keeping their finger on these things."The study, headed by Gary Lombaert, the natural toxins specialist for Health Canada, is the largest of its kind. The commercial products were bought at grocery stores from every major Canadian city from 1997 to 1999 to ensure a wide net was cast."The survey clearly demonstrated the regular presence of low levels of mycotoxins in cereal-based infant foods. In addition, many samples contained multiple mycotoxins," says the study, published last week in Food Additives and Contaminants, a scientific journal.Mr. Lombaert said, however, that while the number of products found to contain the mycotoxins was high, the levels of the toxins were fairly low. A prime tenet of toxicology is that it is the dose that makes the poison.The study found soy-based cereals were most likely to contain the various toxins tested for, while rice-based cereals contained the least contamination by a wide margin.Soy cereals regularly contained four mycotoxins and all samples contained at least one of the toxins. Mr. Lombaert said this is likely due to the presence of some corn in most soy-based cereals. More than 70% of multi-grain cereals contained at least one of the toxins, also likely attributable to corn.Almost 60% of the barley-based products tested were found to contain a toxin, and 56% were found to contain ergot alkaloids, the fungus associated with LSD. Only one sample of rice product was found to contains toxins. Most wheat-based teething biscuits -- 74% of the 24 samples -- also contain a mycotoxin.Source: Canada.com

Fire up the barbecue

source from: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/
For now, nobody should cancel their summer barbecues over news that five bulls sold to a U.S. farm might have been associated with the Canadian cow that tested positive for "mad cow" disease.

If anything, the news demonstrates how serious Canadian and U.S. officials are about tracking down and eliminating any possible transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), which devastated European cattle industries in the 1990s.

Most important, federal health and agriculture officials say it's highly unlikely the imported cattle were infected. BSE is not a contagious disease but spread through consumption of feed made with parts of infected animals. It is believed also to cause a similar disease in humans who eat infected beef.

All members of the infected cow's Northern Alberta herd were slaughtered and none tested positive. Additionally, no animals from the imported animals' herd ?which might be the infected cow's birth herd ?tested positive.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with its state counterparts in Nebraska, Minnesota, Texas, South Dakota and Wyoming to find exactly what happened to the five imported bulls. They are believed to have been among 23 the Montana farm sold to slaughterhouses in those states.

The cattle were imported in 1997, just before the U.S. banned live cattle imports.

In addition to that ban, both Canada and the United States have imposed several restrictions to protect the food supply from BSE, including implementing extensive surveillance systems to test animals for BSE. Canada's surveillance caught the infected Alberta cow, which was thought to have pneumonia when it was slaughtered in January and kept out of the food chain. A weakness in the system was that the remains were not tested sooner for BSE.

Still, the chance of BSE getting into the food chain in Canada or the United States remains small. In 2002, the 19,990 U.S. animals checked all tested negative.

The two nations' efforts to track down any cow that might have been associated with the infected animal have been nothing short of exhaustive.

The safeguards and investigators' relentlessness should be a comfort to consumers.