FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

02/10. Quality Project Spec, Co-Man - Eau Claire, WI
02/10. QA & Control Associate Mgr – Oakland, CA
02/10. QA Manger ISO / HACCP – Zeeland, MI
02/08. QA Manager – Benton Harbor, MI
02/08. Quality Assurance Technician – Lima, OH
02/08. Quality Manager – Greenville, SC
02/05. QC & Sanitation Manager – Pomona, CA
02/05. Quality Assurance Manager – Stuttgart, AR
02/05. Quality Specialist, Beef & Pork – Aurora, IL
02/04. Director, Food Safety - Rosemont, IL

02/08 2016 ISSUE:690

Utah food freedom politician says market will take care of food safety
Source : http://barfblog.com/2016/02/utah-food-freedom-politician-says-market-will-take-care-of-food-safety/
By Ben Chapman (Feb 08, 2016)
 “I saw Wyoming do this last year, and I thought ‘Hey, that’s a cool bill. That’s a cool idea,’”
This might not be the best way to make food safety rules.
Folks who want to make food in their home or garage and sell it are part of a growing business segment. By many accounts, the cottage food industry is growing in North America. Twenty U.S. states allow certain foods to be processed in the home and sold for consumption – but it’s a patchwork of regulatory approaches.
According to City Weekly, Utah politician Rep. Marc Roberts wants to exempt food producers who sell direct to the public from regulations. Including some high-risk products like dairy and poultry.
Government regulations set the bar of the lowest acceptable level of risk reduction.
No regulation = no bar. Rep. Roberts says no problem, the market will take care of it.
While Roberts says that under his bill, consumers would be encouraged to talk with the producers to find out how the poultry or dairy is produced, he does concede that if his bill were to become law and the safety inspections were removed, there’s nothing that would prevent a producer from lying to customers about their process. “That’s where the market is a beautiful thing in my opinion,” says Roberts, “why would a producer sell [tainted] food because his interest is to make sure his customers are healthy. So yes, you could get sick. There’s always going to be bad players in the market—in any market. But by-and-large, [producers’] incentive is to make sure their customers are healthy and happy.”
Yeah, unless the producer doesn’t know what hazards they should be controlling, or how to control them. Or doesn’t care.
I prefer prevention rather than relying on market corrections post-illness, long term sequelae or death.

Canada can lead the world in food safety and quality
Source : http://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/canada-can-lead-the-world-in-food-safety-and-quality
By David McInnes and Don Lenihan (Feb 08, 2016)
With one of the safest food systems in the world, Canadians can trust the food they eat. But consumers here and abroad are pushing the bounds of what “trust” means to them. Can Canada lead the world in redefining trust for the future?
Food systems around the world are under pressure and climate change is only one reason. The challenge of increasing food production without depleting “natural capital” (such as water), or ruining ecosystems, is another. In response, food providers compete for customers and seek out reliable sources of ingredients and foods. For instance, many grocery stores now offer “sustainably-sourced” seafood.
While food costs are a primary concern for many consumers, ethics, health and provenance are also influencing people’s decisions. Consumers can buy “cage-free” eggs, “low sodium” soups and “shade-grown” coffee. The array of choices is impressive, but a deeper concern is being signalled: The foods we enjoy come at a cost. The declining nutritional quality of food and agriculture’s significant environmental footprint are getting greater attention.
Confidence in the global food production system is being tested, creating a huge opportunity for Canada. If Canada could build even greater trust, it could redefine and leverage the country’s agri-food “brand.” Strengthening consumer trust while not disrupting our competitiveness could be the cornerstone of a new food strategy. There are five inter-connected steps to build genuine trust in Canada’s agri-food system.
First, demonstrating trust is the foundation. We already measure food safety incidents. Credible, national measures should track the agri-food sector’s performance on environment, nutrition and other factors. Industry and government can decide on the right benchmarks and disclose them. This is a key way to help secure the “social licence” to operate: avoiding restrictive regulations and minimizing public criticism and consumer skepticism.
Second, our efforts to reinforce the Canadian food brand could be more sophisticated. Canada is often thought of for its clean water and good soil, but what demonstrates this? Ireland has pledged that its exports will be 100 per cent sustainable. It’s time we back up our claims. Given our natural advantages and sound governance practices, Canada can and should aim high. We could be the food “supplier of choice” for consumers and customers.
Third, being sustainable is not just about good “PR”; it’s about productivity. The food sector has been improving water use, optimizing fertilizer application and lowering energy costs. Waste is generating alternative revenue streams (for example: using manure to produce electricity in bio-digesters). Managing natural capital has real economic value and reinforces the positive image of the sector. Sustainability should be at the top of every business and government decision.
Fourth, innovating differently is vital. Considerable cross-cutting scientific challenges face all countries’ food production, such as adapting to climate change and sequestering more carbon. A new innovation system must better co-ordinate our scientists so that research and investment reach beyond organizational silos. Setting shared national research priorities, with public- and private-sector involvement, would be an excellent start. This will enable Canada to remain a reliable and high-quality food supplier.
Fifth, Canada’s agri-food system needs to be recognized as an economic engine that generates wealth and improves ecosystems and the health of citizens. But this sector shies away from embracing a common purpose. “Enhancing trust” offers up a goal that most in this sector can rally around. This should help it win more supportive policies at home. Being a leader in managing natural capital could help Canada advance its interests abroad, too, by influencing international food standards.
The issue of trust — when broadly considered — is redefining food systems for the future. Canada could become a global leader in producing food that actually enhances the health of our ecosystems and improves the nutrient quality in our food. The question now is whether stakeholders are willing to work together to make this happen.

Food Safety: Consumer’s Point of View
Source : http://www.natlawreview.com/article/food-safety-consumer-s-point-view
By natlawreview.com (Feb 04, 2016)
Recent consumer research data indicate changing perception of “food safety.”
•With implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in full swing — and with FDA’s hazard analysis and risk-based preventive control (HARPC) requirements set to take effect for most companies this September — “food safety” is a major topic of discussion among industry stakeholders today.
•From a recent survey of 5,000 consumers conducted by Deloitte (in partnership with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)), data indicate that consumers now take a broader approach to the concept of “food safety” than some might think.  Unsurprisingly, a majority of participants expected safe food to be “free from harmful elements.”  However, significant percentages of participants also opted for other criteria not typically considered to define “food safety” such as:  (1) clear and accurate labeling; (2) clear information on ingredient sourcing (e.g., traceability, transparency); (3) fewer ingredients/less processing; and (4) nutritional content.
•We are unlikely to see the concept of “food safety” abandon its traditional underpinnings in the production of sanitary and pathogen-free food.  However, these data suggest that consumer perception may be evolving toward a more complex and nuanced definition of “food safety” that could influence the way manufacturers and marketers position their products in the years ahead.
- See more at: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/food-safety-consumer-s-point-view#sthash.MxZqVRcg.dpuf

 


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Football fans face formidable threat during Golden Game
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/02/football-fans-face-formidable-threat-during-golden-game/#.VrvrPk5umUl
By Coral Beach (Feb 04, 2016)
When the Kansas City Chiefs faced off with the Green Bay Packers in the first Super Bowl fifty years ago, tickets to the big game cost $12 and the average price for a visit to the doctor was $6.60, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
For the “Golden Super Bowl” this weekend, face-value of the cheap seats is $850. A doctor visit for symptoms of food poisoning is now in the $130-$160 range, not including lab costs, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
One thing that hasn’t inflated in the past five decades is the agony a foodborne illness can cause. At the least, symptoms caused by norovirus can mean 12 hours of vomiting and diarrhea; at the worst, a case of listeriosis can kill you — just as it was when the Packers trounced the Chiefs 35-10.
Football fans are expected to consume more than 1.3 billion chicken wings and 4 million pizzas during the contest between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos on Feb. 7, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Throw in vast quantities of dips, deviled eggs and delectable desserts disintegrating on coffee tables and kitchen bar buffets, from pre-game commentary through post-game interviews with the MVP, and you’re easily in for a flag on the play.
“Just as the game has changed, our understanding of foodborne illness has also evolved,” USDA food safety education specialist Jason Waggoner said in a food safety reminder to football enthusiasts.
 “Since the first game, USDA research has found that color and texture are unreliable indicators of safety and doneness. Using a food thermometer is the only way to ensure that meat, poultry and egg products have been cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature.”
Waggoner said the hazards of kitchen towels are also better understood, citing them as a major source of cross-contamination, especially during parties.
“In spite of these changes, the four basic messages of food safety — clean, separate, cook, chill have remained the same,” Waggoner wrote.
Before kickoff
Public health officials continue to say the best defense is in the palm of your hand, hands, actually.
Regardless of the sports season of the year, people should always wash their hands before and after preparing, handling or eating food. To be effective, use water and soap for 20 seconds before rinsing, Waggoner recommends. Educators suggest teaching children this healthy habit by singing the A,B,C song or a chorus of their favorite tune to ensure 20 seconds of scrubbing.
In the kitchen, Waggoner said a game-changing rule is to make sure raw meat and poultry do not come into contact with other food. Use separate plates and utensils for these items. Never place cooked food back on the same plate that previously held raw food.
To know for sure that meat and poultry are safely cooked, Waggoner said to use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the food. Follow the directions from the thermometer manufacturer to determine how long to leave it in before checking for the desired temperature. Those temperatures are:
•145° F for raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops and roasts. Allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.
•160° F for raw ground beef, pork, lamb and veal.
•165° F for raw poultry.
During the game
Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Hot foods must have a heat source, and cold foods should be kept on ice to remain at a safe temperature and out of the “Danger Zone,” Waggoner wrote. The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40° F and 140° F where bacteria multiply rapidly.
Leftover foods should be refrigerated promptly and not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours. Perishable foods left out longer than two hours should be discarded.
After the game
For those who make it through the final whistle without falling victim to room-temperature guacamole or coleslaw, the battle of the bulge after the indulge can be almost as daunting. Charles Platkin, director of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College, offers a few tips.
“The ‘Big Game’ has become much more than a football game: It’s the second biggest day for food consumption in the United States after Thanksgiving,” Platkin said in a recent news release.
To choose “the most splurgeworthy foods,” Platkin did the math and developed the following “exercise equivalents” for some of the most popular football foods.
Two slices of Domino’s pizza, ultimate pepperoni hand tossed crust, large (14 inch) = running 109 football fields. It’s 720 calories and you would have to run those 109 football fields at an average speed of 5 mph to counter the calories.
Fit Tip: Fit Tip: Get thin crust pizza with veggies and eat it for lunch, not just as a half-time snack.
A handful of peanuts (1 ounce) = coaching football for 35 minutes. An ounce (30 peanuts), is 166 calories.
Fit Tip: One of the best things about peanuts is that they contain a large amount of protein, and protein helps to keep you feeling full longer. But they’re also very high in calories. Don’t keep a huge bowl in front of you. Eat them one at a time instead of shoveling them in by the handful.
One potato chip with french onion dip = 30 minutes of singing along to Coldplay and Beyoncé during the halftime show. Each chip is 10.5 calories and every dip of dip is 60 calories.
Fit Tip: Try popped or baked-style chips and make dip with low-fat mayo or non-fat yogurt.
Two KFC original recipe chicken drumsticks = doing “the wave” 1,561 times. Deep-fried chicken is very high in calories. Believe it or not, the extra crispy at KFC has fewer calories. Two KFC drumsticks have 320 calories.
Fit Tip: Coat skinless chicken with whole-grain bread crumbs and bake it.
Two bottles of Budweiser = 267 touchdown dances in the end zone. Beer and football just go together, but keep in mind, each beer is 145 calories.
Fit Tip: Planning to have a few bottles? Best bet is to try sampling a few very light beers before the game to see which ones you prefer.
Five tortilla chips topped with seven-layer dip = 60 minutes performing in a marching band. This is a serious dip that includes refried beans, olives, guacamole, sour cream and cheese. It’s got about 30 calories per tablespoon with an additional 70 calories for five restaurant-style chips. The grand total is 280 calories.
Fit Tip: If you make the dip yourself, use low-fat cheese and sour cream and black beans, not refried. Or switch to salsa: 2 tablespoons have only about 15 calories. Also, go for light or baked chips instead of fried.
Two handfuls of Smartfood white cheddar cheese popcorn = 34 minutes climbing the stadium stairs. Is popcorn healthy?  Yes, it’s a whole grain and can be a great snack. However, if you add butter and lots of other high calorie toppings it can lose its health status.
Fit tip:  Try air popped popcorn or make it with cooking spray in a pan covered with a lid or screen.

How Were Garden of Life RAW Products Contaminated?
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/how-were-garden-of-life-raw-products-contaminated/
By News Desk (Feb 03, 2016)
A Salmonella Virchow outbreak linked to Garden of Life RAW Organic Meal shakes and meal replacement products has sickened at least 11 people in 9 states. This product is used by bodybuilders and as a probiotic supplement. Meal replacements are also used by people who are having gastrointestinal problems, by those who are sensitive to milk and whey, and as a “detox.” So how does a product like this become contaminated with Salmonella bacteria?
The company has released a statement saying that all of its products tested negative for bacteria before they were shipped. Unfortunately, there is no way to test every single teaspoon or milliliter of this or any product. Salmonella bacteria can live in clumps and may have been in some of the product that escaped testing.
The RAW products are made from raw seeds, greens, and sprouts.  Any raw food, including raw milk, flour, raw meats, raw eggs, and raw produce can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria.
Raw sprouts, in particular, have been the source of many food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years. Sprouts are grown in a warm and damp environment, which is the perfect setting for bacterial growth. And studies have found that bacteria may actually be inside the seeds that are sprouted. When the seeds are sprouted, the bacteria starts growing.
Raw seeds and greens have also been recalled and have been blamed for food poisoning outbreaks in the past. In fact, there is an ongoing Listeria monocytogenes outbreak linked to Dole prepackaged salads and greens that has killed one person and sickened at least 16 others in the U.S. and Canada.
Raw greens can become contaminated in the field by agricultural runoff, contaminated irrigation water, or by animals. These products can also become contaminated during harvest, production, packaging, and transport.
Raw seeds and products made from them have been responsible for food poisoning outbreaks in the past. The same problems that can contaminate greens and sprouts can cause contamination in seeds as well.
If you are a member of a high risk group: elderly, pregnant, or with a compromised immune system or a chronic health condition, it’s best to avoid raw foods, especially sprouts and seeds, if possible. The risks of illness from these products can be great. Adding a “kill step” such as heating or canning to these products before you eat them will help make you safer.
The symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea that may be bloody, fever, chills, headache, and muscle pains. Symptoms usually begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. The illness usually lasts for three days up to a week.
While most people recover on their own without medical treatment, some, especially those in high risk groups, can become so ill they need to be hospitalized for dehydration or sepsis, which is a blood infection. One person has been hospitalized in this outbreak. If you consumed this product and have experienced the symptoms of Salmonella food poisoning, please contact your doctor.

Chipotle plans $50 million ad blitz amidst expanded federal criminal investigation
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/02/chipotle-plans-50-million-ad-blitz-amidst-expanded-criminal-investigation/#.Vrvr4U5umUl
By Coral Beach (Feb 03, 2016)
Characterizing a string of foodborne illness outbreaks as an “unfortunate set of events,” Chipotle Mexican Grill’s founder Steve Ells reported the chain’s net income dropped 44 percent in the last quarter of 2015.
Ells’ co-CEO Montgomery Moran revealed more bad news yesterday during the Denver company’s quarterly earnings conference call — the Department of Justice is expanding its criminal investigation of the chain that was spurred by a norovirus outbreak at a Simi Valley, Calif., location.
“We had anticipated that the investigation might broaden into a more national investigation, and last week, we received a new subpoena replacing the one we had announced in early January,” Moran said.
“The new subpoena requires us to produce documents and information related to company-wide food safety matters dating back as far as Jan. 1, 2013.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California declined to comment, citing confidentiality policies related to open investigations.
In January six high school students and one of their parents filed a civil case in federal court seeking class action status to represent victims of the Simi Valley outbreak, which occurred in August 2015 and was one of six foodborne outbreaks linked to Chipotle restaurants from July through December last year.
The civil suit claims Chipotle allowed a kitchen manager to work for two days while sick with norovirus, infecting at least 18 employees and 234 customers.
A number of Chipotle customers across the country who were sickened in the six outbreaks in the second half of 2015 have filed civil suits seeking damages from the restaurant chain.
The cases could take years to resolve, but Chipotle is already feeling their impact. Among the financial facts reported to investors are increased insurance costs going forward.
Another cost that will cut into stockholders profits this year is a $50 million marketing and promotion campaign during the first quarter. The consumer ad campaign won’t discuss food safety practices or the outbreaks.
Don’t look back
Going forward was the predominant theme during the financial report. Much of the hour-long conference call Tuesday was spent on descriptions of the chain’s new food safety procedures. Those include using centralized kitchens for the washing and chopping of tomatoes, lettuce and bell peppers.
And while Ells and the other Chipotle executives repeatedly referenced “welcoming customers back,” the founder did not include those customers when he summed up the goal of the new food safety efforts.
“… with our enhanced food safety program, we are poised to emerge stronger than ever before,” Ells said. “Ultimately, we believe that this is what is best for our company and our employees and our shareholders.”
Boosting the Chipotle executives’ confidence was a Monday update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that declared the end of two E. coli outbreaks linked to the chain in November and December. Those outbreaks sickened 60 people across 14 states.
The CDC reported the root cause of the outbreaks has not been determined, leaving the situation unresolved. The Food and Drug Administration and Food Safety Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture also weighed in Monday, confirming that the cause of the outbreaks remains unknown.
Despite that, Chipotle officials heralded the CDC’s update as an “all-clear.”
“… the CDC has confirmed that this incident is behind us and resolved, which helps to serve as an all-clear signal to our customers,” said co-CEO Moran.
Potential holes in the new food safety plan
During the earnings call, financial analysts quizzed the Chipotle executives about the chain’s new food safety procedures as much as they asked about future profits.
Ells and chief financial officer John Hartung both cited a blanching policy for certain fresh produce commodities as a key element of the new efforts to keep pathogens out of Chipotle’s food. Ells said individual restaurants would be blanching whole avocados, onions, jalapeños and citrus fruits.
“We’ve put in place a blanching procedure which actually is boiling these items in water for a brief period of time, five seconds, which destroys any microbe that might be on the surface,” Ells said.
Hartung went further, saying the simple nature of blanching will help ensure its effectiveness.
“If you blanch for just a matter of a couple seconds in boiling water, it’s an instant kill step,” Hartung said. “So it’s not like you’re relying on some kind of complex procedure or new process in the restaurant. It’s a very clear step that, when followed, it is going to make each ingredient absolutely safe.”
At least two scientists who have done extensive research with fresh produce and foodborne pathogens disagree.
Keith Schneider, a food safety microbiologist at the University of Florida, and Trevor Suslow, a food pathologist and extension research specialist at the University of California-Davis, said fresh produce would need to be submerged in boiling water much longer than two to five seconds to be an effective kill step.
For cucumbers, which have relatively smooth skins, a minimum blanch time of 15 seconds is recommended. Produce with rough skins — such as avocados and citrus fruit — would require even longer blanch times.
Both scientists said pathogens left alive after a short dip in boiling water could cross contaminate ice baths used to cool down the produce, as well as food preparation surfaces and other ingredients.

FDA Warns About Lead Contamination in Detox Clay Bentonite
Source : https://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2016/fda-warns-about-lead-contamination-in-detox-clay-bentonite/
By Linda Larsen (Feb 03, 2016)
The FDA is warning consumers not to consume “Bentonite Me Baby” clay that is used as a detox aid because it contains elevated lead levels. This product, and other like it, claim to help your body “detoxify” and remove toxins and chemicals such as fluoride, even though your liver does that automatically. While most people use it as a hair and skin treatment, the label says that the product can be ingested for “internal cleansing.” The label states you can take up to a tablespoon a day, dissolved in water.
Lead is a heavy metal that is toxic to the body. At low levels of exposure, it can cause developmental delays, decrease in IQ, brain damage, kidney damage, and damage to the nervous system.
Symptoms of lead poisoning in children include irritability, loss of appetite, weight loss, sluggishness and fatigue, abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, and hearing loss.  Symptoms of lead poisoning in adults include high blood pressure, abdominal pain, constipation, joint pain, decline in mental functioning, muscle pain, numbness or tingling of the extremities, headache, memory loss, and mood disorders. It can also cause miscarriage or premature birth in pregnant women.
The product in question is Alikay Naturals Bentonite Me Baby Bentonite Clay. Consumers should not use or purchase this product. If you have consumed this product or, especially, have given it to a child, contact a doctor immediately for treatment.
The Minnesota Department of Health tested the product and found lead. The FDA has not confirmed any cases of lead poisoning associated with this product. If you purchased this product, do not consume it or apply it to your skin or scalp. Throw it away in a sealed container, or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.
You can also report any adverse reactions to the government. Visit the MedWatch Online Voluntarily Reporting system and fill out the form.

More with Listeria in Canada from Dole Lettuce
Source : http://www.foodpoisonjournal.com/foodborne-illness-outbreaks/more-with-listeria-in-canada-from-dole-lettuce/#.VrvscU5umUl
By Drew Falkenstein (Feb 02, 2016)
The Public Health Agency of Canada is collaborating with federal and provincial public health partners, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to Dole and PC Organics packaged salad products produced from a US processing facility in Springfield, Ohio.
Currently, there are 11 cases of Listeria monocytogenes in five provinces related to this outbreak: Ontario (7), Quebec (1), New Brunswick (1), Prince Edward Island (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (1). Individuals became sick between May 2015 and early January 2016. Some of the individuals who became ill have reported eating packaged salads. It is suspected that these salads were produced at the Dole facility in Ohio. The majority of Canadians cases (55%) are female, with an average age of 79 years. All cases have been hospitalized, and three people have died, however it has not been determined if Listeria contributed to the cause of these deaths.
On Friday, January 22, CFIA issued a food recall warning advising Canadians of the recall to Dole and PC Organics packaged salad products under various product names that were distributed in eastern provinces. The Public Health Agency of Canada advises Canadians not to consume packaged salad products that have been processed at the Dole facility in Springfield, Ohio. This includes a variety of Dole and PC Organics brand items. These products can be identified by letter the “A” at the beginning of the manufacturing code found on the package. For a full list of products, please refer to the CFIA recall notice.
Fifteen people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria have been reported from eight states since July 5, 2015. The number of ill people reported from each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Indiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (4), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (5), and Pennsylvania (1). Whole genome sequencing has been performed on clinical isolates from all ill people and has shown that the isolates are highly related genetically. Listeria specimens were collected from ill people between July 5, 2015 and January 3, 2016. Ill people range in age from 3 years to 83, and the median age is 64. Seventy-three percent of ill people are female. All 15 (100%) ill people were hospitalized, including one person from Michigan who died as a result of listeriosis. One of the illnesses reported was in a pregnant woman.

UPDATED: CDC declares Chipotle E. coli outbreaks over; cause unknown
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2016/02/cdc-declares-chipotle-e-coli-outbreaks-over-cause-unknown/#.Vrvsp05umUl
By Coral Beach (Feb 01, 2016)
The two most recent outbreaks linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants appear to be over, according to federal officials who say the root cause of the E. coli infections has not been determined.
Testing of fresh produce, meat and other foods from Chipotle restaurants has not provided investigators with much insight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Testing of multiple food items collected from Chipotle restaurant locations did not identify STEC O26 (E. coli),” the CDC reported today.
“When a restaurant serves foods with several ingredients that are mixed or cooked together and then used in multiple menu items, it can be more difficult for epidemiologic studies to identity the specific ingredient that is contaminated.”
Some sources have suggested beef from Australia as the source of the E. coli, but no such link has been found by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“As was stated by CDC earlier today, we’ve examined the evidence and have not been able to identify a source for these outbreaks,” an FSIS spokesperson said.
“Distribution data shared by Chipotle does not establish a link between Australian beef, or any single source of beef, and the Chipotle restaurants where case patients reported consuming steak. Moreover, of the 60 case patients only eight reported consuming steak.
“During this (investigation), Chipotle committed to several steps to improve sanitation practices and record-keeping in their supply chain and in their restaurants, including better record-keeping and improved employee training.”
Chipotle’s stock was up more than 5 percent in early trading today as investors anticipated what the company’s executives have been saying for more than two weeks — that the two outbreaks that spanned 14 states and sickened 60 people are a thing of the past.
The announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today fits the Chipotle marketing campaign outlined by founder and co-CEO Steve Ells and other executives in mid-January. They told attendees at an investment conference the public would quickly forget about the outbreaks and that profits would be bigger than ever.
Ells said media reports about the outbreaks had confused customers in recent months, but he said the new ad campaign launching in mid-February would not reference food safety problems or actions Chipotle took to avoid them in the future. The chain’s stock was trading at $754 in August 2015 and hit a low of $404 in January.
Multiple financial and investment publications speculated during the last weekend of January that the public and mainstream media had already forgotten about the E. coli outbreaks, which were the fifth and sixth foodborne illness outbreaks for the restaurant chain in the second half of 2015.

Hundreds of Chipotle’s customers were victims of those outbreaks:
•Seattle — E. coli O157:H7, July 2015, five sick people, source unknown;
•Simi Valley, Calif. — Norovirus, August 2015, 234 people, source was sick employee;
•Minnesota — Salmonella Newport, August and September 2015, 64 sick people, source was tomatoes but it is not known at what point in the field-to-fork chain the pathogen was introduced;
•Nine states — E. coli O26, began October 2015 and declared over Feb. 1, 55 sick people, source unknown, states involved are California, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington;
•Boston — Norovirus, December 2015, 151 sick people, source was sick employee; and
•Three states — E. coli O26, began December 2015 declared over Feb. 1, five sick people, source unknown, states involved are Kansas, Oklahoma and Nebraska.
The FDA conducted tracebacks of multiple widely-distributed ingredients, according to an agency update posted late today.
“No product of interest was identified. Even without a definitive item to follow, the FDA traced back to their origins some widely distributed ingredients in an effort to identify a source for the outbreak. Unfortunately, the distribution path did not lead to an ingredient of interest,” the agency reported.
“The FDA also conducted investigations of some suppliers, but did not find any evidence that those suppliers were the source of the outbreak. Ultimately, no food item has been identified as causing the outbreak, and by the same token, no food has been ruled out as a cause.”

Avoid a food safety penalty this Super Bowl Sunday
Source : http://www.heraldcourier.com/news/avoid-a-food-safety-penalty-this-super-bowl-sunday/article_073983e4-c910-11e5-b88d-33fd9ae1c670.html
By Tammy Childress (Feb 01, 2016)
The Super Bowl is already the most-watched television program in the United States, and this year’s 50th game is sure to take the experience to a whole new level. The game (or the ads) may be the main event, but the food usually steals the show. With more than 1.3 billon chicken wings and 4 million pizzas expected to be eaten during the big game, there are plenty of opportunities for a food safety penalty to occur.
“This Super Bowl Sunday, sports fans across the U.S. will have a great time watching the game with friends and family, while sharing some of our favorite foods that we are fortunate in this country to enjoy,” Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Al Almanza said. “A long game and a big crowd means more opportunities for food poisoning, but some easy precautions can go far in preventing illness.”
To keep you and your guest food safe this Super Bowl, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service has pulled together the following key food safety plays.
• To escape a delay of game, use effective clock management with your food. Perishable foods should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours. Switch out these items during half time to prevent the same foods from sitting out the whole game.
• Avoid a holding call by keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. Food should remain at a safe temperature and out of the “Danger Zone.” The Danger Zone is the temperature range between 40 °F and 140 °F where bacteria multiply rapidly.
• Avoid a false start by using a food thermometer to ensure that meat and poultry are cooked to a safe internal temperature.
o Raw beef, pork, lamb and veal should be cooked to 145°F with a three minute rest time.
o Raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal should be cooked to 160 °F.
o All cuts of poultry should reach at least 165 °F.
• Many cooks think they can finish their cooking play in the kitchen by checking the color and texture of meat or poultry. The only way to safely know if cooking is over and food is ready to eat is by using a food thermometer.
• Prevent an illegal use of the hands by making sure to thoroughly wash your hands before starting to prepare food, after handling any raw meat or poultry and trash, and after finishing cooking. Thoroughly wash hands by using hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds. “Splashing and dashing” doesn’t count.
Don’t let foodborne illness intercept your plans for the biggest Super Bowl ever celebrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Journal of Food Safety (Operated by FoodHACCP)
[2015] Current Issues

Vol 17.64-74
Sanitation and Hygiene Meat Handling Practices in Small and Medium Enterprise butcheries in Kenya - Case Study of Nairobi and Isiolo Counties
Sharon Chepkemoi, Peter Obimbo Lamuka, George Ooko Abong’ and Joseph Matofari

Vol 17.25-31
Combined Effect Of Disinfectant And Phage On The Survivality Of S. Typhimurium And Its Biofilm Phenotype
Mudit Chandra, Sunita Thakur, Satish S Chougule, Deepti Narang, Gurpreet Kaur and N S Sharma

Vol 17.21-24
Quality analysis of milk and milk products collected from Jalandhar, Punjab, India
Shalini Singh, Vinay Chandel, Pranav Soni

Vol 17.10-20
Functional and Nutraceutical Bread prepared by using Aqueous Garlic Extract
H.A.R. Suleria, N. Khalid, S. Sultan, A. Raza, A. Muhammad and M. Abbas


Vol 17.6-9
Microbiological Assessment of Street Foods of Gangtok And Nainital, Popular Hill Resorts of India
Niki Kharel, Uma Palni and Jyoti Prakash Tamang


Vol 17.1-5
Assessment of the Microbial Quality of Locally Produced Meat (Beef and Pork) in Bolgatanga Municipal of Ghana
Innocent Allan Anachinaba, Frederick Adzitey and Gabriel Ayum Teye


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