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Interesting Food Safety News

HEALTH PANEL URGES IRRADIATION OF GROUND MEATS
New York, New York-July 22, 2002
American Council on Science and Health - Press Release
In light of the latest recall of ground beef because of contamination by
potentially lethal E. coli O157:H7 bacteria, scientists and physicians
associated with the American Council on Science and Health today urged
consumers to demand that such products be irradiated to prevent future
illnesses.
On July 19, the USDA expanded an earlier recall of ground meat products
produced by ConAgra to include approximately 19 million pounds of ground
beef products. Thus far, nineteen people have been reported to have become
ill after consuming ground beef produced by ConAgra between April 12 and
July 11, 2002.
E. coli O157:H7 is a particularly virulent strain of bacteria that was
responsible for causing the deaths of four children and illnesses in
hundreds of people who ate contaminated hamburgers in 1993.
While industry and government officials investigate the current situation
and endeavor to prevent future occurrences of contamination, there is a
simple solution that can certainly help prevent consumer illness -
irradiation.
Irradiation of ground meat products (the meat most likely to cause problems
when contaminated) kills bacteria without harming either the flavor or
nutritive value of the meat. It does not make the food radioactive.
Food irradiation has been studied for over forty years and has been shown to
be an effective means of ensuring food safety.
Food processors have been slow to adopt irradiation out of concerns about
consumer acceptance. Yet retail sales of irradiated beef have been widely
accepted when consumers are informed of the product's improved safety
profile.
"Consumers should be cooking ground meat products properly," said Dr. Ruth
Kava, ACSH nutrition director. "That means, for example, cooking burgers
until they're 160 degrees." Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, ACSH president added that,
"Consumers should be demanding that irradiation be added to the arsenal of
techniques routinely used to safeguard our food supply."
For more information, contact Dr. Elizabeth Whelan or Dr. Ruth Kava.
Also see ACSH's booklet on food irradiation at: http://www.acsh.org/

VICTIMS' ORGANIZATION CALLS CONAGRA'S 'VOLUNTARY' RECALL OF 18
MILLION POUNDS OF E. COLI-POISONED MEAT 'A SHAM': NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN USDA AND CONAGRA WERE GOING ON FOR DAYS WHILE
POTENTIALLY DEADLY HAMBURGER CONTINUED TO BE SOLD AND CONSUMED

June 19, 2002
STOP Press Release
www.safeeating.org
Chicago, IL-Nancy Donley, President of Safe Tables Our Priority (S.T.O.P.)
says that today's 'voluntary' recall by ConAgra Inc. of 18 million pounds
of potentionally life-threatening meat is a wakeup call to kill the
long-standing Congressional sacred cow that entitles the meat industry to
police and regulate itself, especially in the instance of a recall. This
is the second-largest recall in this country's history, the largest having
been the 19- Hudson Food recall of 25 million pounds of E. coli
O157:H7-contaminated hamburger.
'The government does not have the legal authority to recall contaminated
food; it's up to the company to do so 'voluntarily',' stated Karen Taylor
Mitchell, Executive Director
of S.T.O.P. 'Nothing but corporate greed causes a company to stall for
time by negotiating the size of a recall with government while their deadly
product continues to be sold and consumed. It is simply unconscionable.'
To date at least 18 illnesses, some requiring hospitalization, have been
directly linked to the recalled ConAgra product.
'This recall began on June 29th with 354,000 pounds. Today's amount has
boosted that amount to 18 million pounds,' Donley stated. 'You don't have
to be a rocket scientist to figure out that between then and now has been
nothing but a stall game on the part of industry to minimize the extent of
the recall.'
'The government agencies responsible for food safety regulation MUST have
the authority to assess civil fines and order recalls,' stated Donley.
'There have been numerous bills calling for this authority, but they have
always been stalled in Congress thanks to the lobbying power of food
companies.'
S.T.O.P. lists the following problems with federal food protection policies
among those exposed by this latest recall:
-Agencies governing food safety have no authority to recall contaminated
food.
-The need for agencies to negotiate agreement with the company regarding
recall amounts guarantees time delays.
-USDA's recall system fails to remove the majority of recalled product from
the foodstream.
-USDA's recall press releases do not disclose sufficient information about
recalls. For instance, the public is not told which retailers have
contaminated product, nor is it fully informed about health risks.
-Companies are not required to label food with origin information to
facilitate recall compliance.
STOP makes the following recommendations to improve the effectiveness of
recalls, prevent illnesses and assist victims:
-Congress should pass legislation to grant FDA and USDA mandatory recall
authority.
-Congress should pass legislation increasing testing for pathogens in meat
and poultry.
-Congress should set stringent minimum fine levels for violations of food
safety regulations.
-Congress should set aside funds to assist victims with medical, emotional,
financial and legal injuries resulting from ingestion of contaminated food.
-USDA should mandate better contamination prevention strategies at
slaughter and grinding plants.
-USDA and FDA should disclose more - and more specific - information in
recall press releases, such as the locations where contaminated food was
distributed and the names of retailers who have contaminated food.
-USDA and FDA should require food companies to place food origin
information on all consumer food packages.
'Recent events, such as the Enron and WorldCom debacles, have demonstrated
how the lack of governmental surveillance has allowed corporate concerns to
overshadow individual rights. That time is over. The lesson is clear:
government needs to be protecting the individual's concerns over those of
industries,' stated Taylor Mitchell.
Safe Tables Our Priority (S.T.O.P.) is a national foodborne illness
victims' organization founded in the wake of the 1993 Jack-In-The-Box
outbreak which works to prevent suffering, illness and death from serious
foodborne disease. S.T.O.P. is headquartered in Vermont and offers victim
assistance, public education, and advocacy for safer food through regional
chapters, its website www.SafeTables.org, and through its toll-free
hotline: 1-800-350-STOP.

E. coli Slips Through Some UV Water Purifiers
Low-pressure UV lamps don't wipe out all bacteria, study finds
By Ross Grant
HealthScoutNews Reporter
http://www.healthscoutnews.com/view.cfm?id=508156FRIDAY, July 19 (HealthScout News) -- Ultraviolet lamps, which are increasingly being used for home and public water purification, are not all effective in eliminating Escherichia coli bacteria from drinking water.
That's the disturbing finding of a new study from Canadian researchers, who discovered that commonly used low-pressure UV lamps can't prevent the bacteria from regenerating their DNA after exposure. However, medium-pressure lamps work better, according to the scientists, from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, whose study appears in the July issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology. "Bacteria have been around for millions of years, and they have been exposed to the sun for millions of years, so it's not surprising that they would develop a mechanism to repair themselves after UV exposure," says Peter M. Huck, a water treatment engineering professor who participated in the study. The research becomes significant as more cities and towns are moving toward UV water treatment. Seattle is building such a system, and Phoenix, Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta, San Francisco, Detroit, Salt Lake City and Portland, Ore., are testing the technology. UV radiation has been used extensively in Europe for 50 years to kill bacteria in water and food, but it has only become viable in North America over the last decade. Its most recognized use is eliminating Cryptosporidium from water, a pathogen that contaminated Milwaukee's drinking water nine years ago, killing more than 100 people and making 400,000 more sick. The technology, as it becomes affordable, is also being included in more and more home water treatment systems, researchers say. Its popularity is expected to increase as federal authorities require smaller towns to treat Cryptosporidium and protect against bioterrorism. "I think 20 years from now you're going to see this technology on a widespread basis," says Albert Ilges, a project supervisor for the American Water Works Association Research Foundation in Denver. "As people become more and more concerned about the byproducts of chlorination, UV is being considered as an option," adds Jim Sliwa of the American Society of Microbiology. The Waterloo study, sponsored by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, comes at a critical time as cities, towns and homeowners are picking between two competing UV technologies: low- and medium-pressure lamps. The researchers targeted E. coli because it's commonly used as an indicator of disinfection. They also used small doses of radiation to simulate home-treatment systems or a larger system that is clogged. At much higher doses, low-pressure lamps are better able to eliminate E. coli, they say. However, at the lower doses, the study found bacteria could bounce back after exposure to a low-pressure lamp. With a medium-pressure lamp, the bacteria could not repair their DNA, making it impossible for them to reproduce. The higher pressure lamps attack bacteria from a spectrum of wavelengths, while weaker ones emit a single wavelength. "It's sort of like the difference between a light bulb and a fluorescent glow lamp," explains lead researcher Janis L. Zimmer. However, Ilges, who has supervised a number of UV treatment installations, argues the evidence isn't clear. UV is generally used along with other purifiers, and the choice between low- and medium-pressure lamps often rests on other considerations, such as water flow, available space and energy use, he says. "There's not definitive, widely accepted evidence either way," he says. "My perspective is that one shoe doesn't fit all. For certain applications, one would choose one technology over the other." Moreover, he argues that E. coli is less of a threat to drinking water than the other toxins that might travel with it, such as Cryptosporidium, which can't regenerate its DNA after UV exposure. "Most of the strains of E. coli are not pathogenic to humans. Traditionally, it has been used to check for other contaminants," Ilges says. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions, while there are hundreds of strains of E. coli, there has been relatively few U.S. health outbreaks as a result of water contamination. The four known harmful strains most generally spread through food, such as uncooked hamburger, infected lettuce and sprouts, and unpasteurized milk and juice. What To Do To learn about ultraviolet light, go to the International Ultraviolet Association. To find out how your local water system rates with the Environmental Protection Agency, go here. For more on E. coli, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sources: Janis L. Zimmer and Peter M. Huck, researchers, University of Waterloo, Ontario; Albert Ilges, project supervisor, American Water Works Association Research Foundation, Denver; Jim Sliwa, American Society of Microbiology, Washington, D.C.; July 2002 Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

USDA says it will begin to notify firms immediately of E. coli problems
by Dan Murphy on 7/19/02 for www.meatingplace.com
Agriculture Department authorities announced a major change in policy Wednesday, saying that Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors will immediately alert meat processors when a sample tests positive for E. coli O157:H7, rather than waiting until its investigation is complete, according to news reports.The policy change occurred after at least 18 people became ill by eating contaminated ground beef produced at ConAgra Beef Co.'s Greeley, Colo., processing plant in. USDA admitted that it took 10 days to contact ConAgra Beef after federal meat inspectors first detected E. coli O157:H7.Steve Cohen, FSIS spokesman, said the agency's tests confirmed E. coli O157:H7 presence on June 19, but the company was not notified until June 29. ConAgra recalled 354,200 pounds of ground beef products the following day (see ConAgra recalls 354,000 pounds of ground beef due to E. coli O157:H7, Daily News, July 5, 2002).USDA's new policy will require federal inspectors to immediately inform meat processors verbally and in writing whenever a positive E. coli O157:H7 sample is found, Cohen said, allowing companies to take "proactive steps" right away. Previously, USDA waited until an investigation could confirm the source of the contaminated meat, which can take up to five days.In the Colorado case, E. coli-tainted ground beef was found at a grinding plant that received its meat from ConAgra Beef Co. and USDA sent an investigative team to the Greeley plant, which sold most of its meat to local Safeway stores. Under the new policy, ConAgra and all other meat suppliers to the plant would be notified at once an E. coli threat is discovered.The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said the E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 18 people, including one child in South Dakota. Four people were hospitalized.

Foodborne OUTBREAKS COLLECTIONS
07/22. BOTULISM, HUMANS - USA (ALASKA)
07/22. VIRUS STRIKES VIA RAIL PASSENGERS:
07/22. BEEF CONTAMINATIONS TURNS WEEKEND
07/22. Ham causes illnesses at Newport supper
07/22. Bacteria again sicken scores at state prison; food suspected
07/21. Spokane case of E. coli like ConAgra ones
07/20. E-coli outbreak 'due to butcher's hygiene lapse'
07/19. E. COLI O157, GROUND BEEF ¡© USA (MULTISTATE)
07/19. Illnesses in South Dakota, Iowa linked to E. coli-tainted beef
07/19. 7 Cases Of E. Coli Confirmed At Eastern Washington Univ.

Food Safety Daily News
07/22. RESTAURANT IGNORED NOTICE, FINED OVER $10,000
07/22. TAINTED WATER ON PM'S PLANE
07/22. HEALTH PANEL URGES IRRADIATION OF GROUND MEATS
07/22. NCBA STATEMENT ON CONAGRA RECALL
07/22. ORGANIZATION CALLS CONAGRA'S 'VOLUNTARY' RECALL A 'SHAM'
07/22. DID WILD GAME FEASTS LEAD TO FATAL BRAIN DISORDERS?
07/22. SEAFOOD TO BE COVERED IN SAFETY NET
07/22. BELGIUM FINDS BANNED HORMONE AT SECOND PIG FARM
07/22. Will Europe's Food Supply Ever Be Safe?
07/22. BEEF PROCESSOR'S PARENT NO STRANGER TO TROUBLES
07/22. AP CORRECTS CONTAMINATED BEEF STORY
07/22. JAPAN: Farm ministry admits safety record is "abominable"
07/22. E. Coli Slips Through Some UV Water Purifiers
07/22. HEALTH HAZARD - Shigellosis
07/21. Food Poisoning Death Suit Settled
07/21. Watchdogs prepare ban on kava-kava
07/20. Fish not a risk-free food
07/20. Pesticide threat on rise in food
07/20. Settlement in Giant Food Poisoning Case
07/19. FRANCE FINDS BSE RISK MATERIAL IN BEEF
07/19. FARM MINISTRY CALLS FOOD SAFETY RECORD 'ABOMINABLE'
07/19. PRESENTING A SMORGASBORD OF FOOD SCIENCE
07/19. DEATH LINKED TO RAW OYSTERS PROMPTS WARNING
07/19. STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN MEAT INSTITUTE ON U.S. GROUND BEEF
07/19. USDA Bans Israel Meat Imports on Mad Cow Concerns
07/19. CLASS ACTION VICTORY FOR FOOD POISONING VICTIMS IN MAXIM'S B
07/19. GERMANS CLOSE TAINTED FEED FARMS, DUTCH WORK AGAIN
07/19. SOUTH DAKOTA-BASED COMPANY LINKS BEEF RECALL TO HUMAN ERROR
07/19. Israel added to USDA's BSE-region list
07/19. USDA says it will begin to notify firms immediately of E. co
07/19. Officials see hope in CWD test
07/19. Court asked to dismiss E. coli suit
07/19. When power goes out, food dangers go up
07/19. DNA from gene-modified crops found in humans
07/19. Meat system questioned
07/19. Wisconsin Ag Department cautions deer hunters about handling
07/19. B.C. bakery's tainted treats spur food-poisoning legal settl

USDA/FDA NEWS
For full information, click on
Intralytix, Inc.; Filing of Food Additive Petition
Food Canning Establishment Registration, Process Filing and Recordkeeping
Positive E. coli Test Results: Updated July 19, 2002
Press Conference with Secretary Veneman Regarding ConAgra Beef Company Recall
Isolation and Enumeration of Enterobacter sakazakii from Dehydrated Powdered Infant Formula
Speeches Page: Updated July 17, 2002
OPPDE What's New Page: Updated July 15, 2002
FSIS Notice 27-02 - FSIS Emergency Response Team
FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated July 12, 2002
FSIS Announces Availability Of Biosecurity Guidelines In Spanish

Recall Summary
07/22. ConAgra expands recall of ground beef to 19 million pounds
07/22. Blue and White Food Products Corp. Recalls Lox Spread Because of Possible Health Risk
07/22. Consumer Alert: Uneviscerated Processed Fish (
07/22. BCN Trading Has Recalled Asian Boy "Frozen Steamed Mackerel" July 22
07/22. Blue and White Food Products Has Recalled Sabra Salads Lox Spread July 22
07/22. North Carolina Firm Has Recalled Pork Products July 22
07/22. New York Firm Has Recalled Braunschweiger July 22
07/21. North Carolina Firm Recalls Pork Products For Possible Contamination With Plastic
07/21. New York Firm Recalls Braunschweiger For Possible Listeria Contamination
07/20. EXPANDED: Colorado Firm Recalls Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7
07/19. Colorado Firm Recalls Beef Trim And Ground Beef For Possible E. coli O157:H7
07/19. CANADA SAFEWAY EXPANDS GROUND MEAT RECALL OVER E. COLI CAUTI
07/19. ConAgra Recalls 18.6 Million lbs of Beef
07/19. E. coli prompts meat recall at Publix store in Boca
07/19. ConAgra poised to expand meat recall
07/19. Consumer Alert: Salmonella in Dry Fermented Sausage
07/19. Price Chopper Has Recalled bulk imitation crabmeat July 18
07/19. J.V. Trading Has Recalled packages of "Assorted Confectionary" July 18
07/18. SNOW BRAND RECALLING YOGURT PRODUCTS
07/18. Spice World Recalls 1 oz. Basil Leaves Because of Possible Health Risk
07/18. Spice World Has Recalled 1 oz. Basil Leaves: Potential Salmonella Risk
07/17. Nebraska processor recalls ground beef due to E. coli O157:H
07/17. Tyson plant recalls ground beef on E.coli threat
07/17. Recall Update: Tropicana Products Orange Juice Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: A. Camacho Sliced manzanilla olives Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Nirala Sweet House Dessert Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Mom's Kandy Kitchen Chocolate Candy Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Bear Creek Corporation Mixed Nuts Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Great Brands of Europe Le PIM'S Soft Biscuits Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Frito Lay flavored tortilla chips Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Pacific Seafood Group Shrimp Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Anhing Corporation Sliced Ginger Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Mom's Kandy Kitchen Chocolate Candy Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Keebler/Bishop oatmeal cookies Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Caiazza Candy Assorted Chocolates Recall is Complete July 17
07/17. Recall Update: Eddyleon Chocolate Company Cookies Recall is Complete July 17
07/16. Hanmi Has Recalled Zhongqia Brand Cup Jelly July 16
07/16. IMAGINE FOODS issues allergy alert
07/16. EXPANDED ALERT - SAFEWAY voluntarily recalls all ground meat
07/16. IMAGINE FOODS issues allergy alert on undeclared milk protein
07/16. Metro Briefing | New York: The Bronx: Meatpacking Firm Recall
07/15. Nebraska Firm Has Recalled Ground Beef Products
07/15. Hanmi, Inc. Recalls Zhongqia Brand Cup Jelly Due to Choking Hazard
07/15. Washington Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7
07/15. Nebraska Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7
07/15. Florida Store Has Recalled Ground Beef July 15
07/15. Drake's Has Recalled Sunny Doodles Snack Cakes July 15
07/15. Granite State Artesian Bottled Water Has been Recalled July 15
07/12. California Firm Has Recalled Beef Franks July 12
07/12. Don Berto's Baking Has Recalled Tomato Pies July 12
07/12. Drake's Issues Voluntary Recall of Sunny Doodles Snack Cakes (
07/12. Granite State Artesian Bottled Water Recalled Due to the Presence of Coliforms
07/12. California Firm Recalls Beef Franks Because Of Incorrect Ingredient Label
07/12. ALLERGY ALERT - Improperly declared milk in GOTEBORGS ASCOT brand
07/12. ALLERGY ALERT - Undeclared cashews in CHRIS & LARRY¡¯S CLODHOPPERS
07/11. HEALTH HAZARD ALERT - GOURMET MEAT SHOPPE BIG & JUICY BURGERS
07/11. HEALTH HAZARD ALERT: MERITE frankfurters may contain Listeria monocytogenes
07/11. HEALTH HAZARD ALERT: OLYMEL frankfurters may contain L. monocytogenes
07/11. Thomas Diaz, Inc Has Recalled Fruzel assorted Natural Fruit Jelly Candy July 11
07/11. Great American Appetizers Has Recalled Frozen 3/8" diced onions July 11
07/11. World's Best Cheesecake Has Recalled Cheesecake July 11
07/11. Reeds, Inc Has Recalled Reeds brand Crystallized Ginger July 11
07/11. Shernoff's Salads Has Recalled Shernoff's Macaroni Salad July 11
07/11. China Noodle Has Recalled China Noodle Brand Noodle July 11
07/11. Shernoff's Salads Has Recalled Don's Salads July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Mistic Brands Beverages Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Stewartis Beverages Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Polonica Jelly Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Osem USA Assis brand Grape Drink Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Dana Fancy Foods Green Tomato Relish Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Appetizing Plus Mandel Bread Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Sweet Delight Golden Key Chocolate Cake Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: R. M. Palmer Recall Big Bunny Bites Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Asmar Nut Roasting Choconuts Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: The Run-A-Ton Group Pies Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Melissa's/World Crystalized Ginge Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Anita Bakery Products Coconut Macaroons Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Sara Lee Bakery April Hill Theme Cookies Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Anxuyen Bakery Sweet Rolls Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Elena¡¯s Food Specialties Rolled Tacos Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Anita Bakery Products Guava Sandwich Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Stavis Seafoods Mahi-Mahi Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Coca-Cola Enterprises Canada Dry Ginger Ale Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: ConAgra Chef-Boyardee Brand Pizza Kits Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Irene's Bakery Lemon Hamantash Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Anita Bakery El Cotorro brand Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Recall Update: Irene's Bakery Recall is Complete July 11
07/11. Undeclared Milk Prompts Recall of Don Berto's Tomato Pies
07/11. FDA Alerts Public Against Conjac Candy Choking Hazard
07/11. T Up Trading Has Recalled Homerun Ball Biscuits July 10
07/10. Consumer Alert: Undeclared Eggs in Homerun Ball Biscuits
07/09. New York processor recalls pork hocks due to listeria
07/09. Starway Inc. Recalls Rice Fruit Cakes Due to Undeclared Eggs
07/09. Starway Has Recalled Royal Family Food Co. Rice Fruit Cakes July 8
07/09. Mrs. Smith's Bakeries Has Recalled Snack Carrot Cake July 8
07/08. CARROT CAKE RECALL
07/08. New York firm recalls chicken ravioli for undeclared allerge
07/04. New York Firm Has Recalled Pork Products July 4
07/04. New York Firm Has Recalled Chicken Ravioli July 4
07/04. Eden Brook Fish Market Has Recalled Thirty-Five Pounds of Smoked Trout July 4
07/04. New York Firm Recalls Pork Products For Possible Listeria Contamination
07/03. Workshops on Food Security and Recalls
07/03. MEAT RECALL IN GREELEY, COLO., PROMPTS DRIVE FOR CARCASS TES
07/03. E. coli fear prompts ground beef recall
07/03. No recalled meat in G.I. stores
07/03. Price Chopper recalls ground beef
07/03. Buehler Foods voluntarily recalling potentially tainted group

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