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8/14, 2003
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FOOD SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
August 2003
FSIS
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/topics/biosecurity.htm
The FSIS website on Food Security And Emergency Preparedness is available at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/topics/biosecurity.htm

Mad cow tests may increase 25-fold

http://www.canada.com/e
More tests are key to saving Canada's reputation, but gov't hasn't determined how -- or how often
Renata D'Aliesio
The Edmonton Journal
Thursday, August 14, 2003
EDMONTON - Canada is looking to increase its mad cow testing by as much as 25 times, says the country's chief veterinarian.Brian Evans of the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency said enhancing surveillance is the top priority and is instrumental to returning the country to its BSE-free status.While improving surveillance was one of several recommendations made by an international panel of experts nearly two months ago, Canada has announced just one change so far: removing high-risk cattle tissues from the food chain.Evans said figuring out how and where more testing would be done has been a difficult task. He expects details will become clear during meetings with the industry next week in Winnipeg."The overall magnitude, as I say, will be somewhere in the 20 to 25 times over anything we've done previously," he said Wednesday before leaving for Washington D.C., where he will meet today with his American and Mexican counterparts to push for the lifting of live cattle trade restrictions.Canada tested 3,377 cattle last year for mad cow disease. If testing increased by 25 times, that number would rise to 84,425 a year."We will be testing more animals obviously than we probably need to do because, again, we're under an obligation to make sure that if the disease is out there ... if one animal in a million has the disease, we will find it," Evans said. "That's the level of sensitivity we're trying to achieve."Canada has enough labs to accommodate such testing, Evans said, but more diagnostic equipment is needed and the labs would have to be certified. Sending tests to private facilities is also an option.A tally of what these improvements will cost has not been released.Critics of Canada's mad cow prevention measures have said the country doesn't test enough.Japan, which has had seven cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy since 2001, tests every cow slaughtered for human consumption. This practice, which led to 1.283 million tests in Japan last year, is considered excessive and unnecessary.In Canada, testing will be expanded to include many more downer cows, Evans said. More healthy animals will also be tested, as well as those born after 1997, when Canada banned the practice of feeding cattle feed made from ruminants.The infected cow from northern Alberta was a downer, unable to stand on its feet when taken to slaughter in January.A shortage of staff and an abundance of elk tests at an Edmonton lab, however, meant the cow's brain wasn't tested for 31/2 months.The inspection agency wants to increase testing as quickly as possible, partly because a massive cull has not been ruled out."We don't want to miss animals that otherwise we would have had an interest in."While U.S. and Mexican borders have reopened to some beef products, import permits haven't been approved yet, and live cattle remain banned.Another 32 countries have not lifted restrictions."We recognize that a large part of that will be dealt with as we can get the final policy issues out there for surveillance, feed and other things," Evans said. "That will continue to help us down the road."He said the agency is close to deciding what changes will be made to the rules governing livestock feed. The international panel called for the removal of high-risk cattle tissues, such as brains, spinal cord and eyeballs, from feed. It also said Canada should consider banning rendered ruminants from feed altogether."The public health objective is our first priority, but our secondary priority is getting Canada back to BSE-free status, because that's in everybody's long-term best interest," Evans said.While Canada wrapped up the bulk of its mad cow investigation in June, Evans said the agency is working to pinpoint the exact birthplace of the cow and the source of infection. Investigators are fairly certain the cow was born in Saskatchewan and ate contaminated feed.The country's only other BSE case was found in 1993 in a Red Deer cow imported from Britain.The agency has retested the brains of cattle slaughtered in its decade-old investigation. All have proved negative for the disease.Aside from appealing for a resumption in live cattle trade, Evans said he will push the U.S. to abandon a slaughtering rule requiring exported beef to be killed in plants dedicated to animals younger than 30 months."We don't accept that as being justified scientifically. It's not practical," Evans said.Plants, he said, could dedicate certain days or slaughtering lines to killing cattle for export.

FSIS TO HOLD RTE LISTERIA WORKSHOPS
August 11, 2003
Lean Trimmings
Edited by Kiran Kernellu
On October 6, 2003 the interim final rule, "Control of Listeria
monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Meat and Poultry Products," will become final. FSIS will continue its outreach efforts to assist small and very small
plants by holding five workshops to provide an overview of the final rule to
owners and operators of small and very small Federal and State plants. The workshops will provide a more in-depth understanding of the three compliance alternatives, sampling provisions, recordkeeping requirements and the use of labeling claims.The workshops will be held on September 13, 2003, in Raleigh, NC and Bridgeport, CT; on September 20 in Kansas City, KS; and on October 4 in Oakland, CA and Albuquerque, NM. Meeting locations will be announced at a later date. Contact Mary Cutshall, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships and Outreach Staff, at 202-690-6520, for more information.

A BUG'S LIFE
August 7, 2003
Food Standards Agency
http://www.foodstandards.gov.uk/hygcampaign/abugslife/
When someone swallows bacteria that cause food poisoning, there is a delay
(incubation period) before symptoms begin. This is because most bacteria
that cause food poisoning need time to multiply in the intestine. The length
of the incubation period depends on the type of bacteria and how many are
swallowed. It could be hours or days. The bacteria stick to the lining of the intestine and destroy those cells,either by sheer weight of numbers or by the toxins (poisons) they produce.Sometimes these toxins are absorbed and cause damage elsewhere in the body. Some bacteria produce toxins when they grow in food. Because the toxins themselves are harmful, the bacteria don't need to multiply in the intestine to make someone ill, so the symptoms come on very quickly. Because the bacteria enter the body through the digestive system, symptoms will generally be in this part of the body - nausea, vomiting, abdominal
cramps and diarrhoea. In some cases, food poisoning can cause very serious
illness or even death. How bacteria grow Bacteria need warmth and moisture to grow. They reproduce by dividing themselves, so one bacterium becomes two and then two become four and so on. In the right conditions one bacterium could become several million in 8 hours and thousands of millions in 12 hours.
This means that if a food is contaminated with a small number of bacteria
and you leave it out of the fridge overnight it could be seriously
contaminated by the next day. Then just one mouthful could make someone ill.
If you put food in the fridge it will stop bacteria from multiplying.
Since you can't see, taste or smell bacteria, the only way that you can be
sure that food is safe is to follow good food hygiene at all times. See the
Keeping food safe section. The Food Hygiene Campaign is part of the Agency's strategy to reduce food poisoning. The success of this strategy is being measured by a reduction in the number of laboratory-confirmed cases of the following five bacteria: campylobacter, salmonella, listeria, E.coli O157, clostridium perfringens.
Clostridium perfringens Clostridium perfringens is found in low numbers in many foods, particularly meat and poultry and their products. It is also found in the soil, the intestines of humans and animals, in sewage and in animal manures.
Campylobacter Campylobacter is the most common identified cause of foodborne disease. It has been found mainly in poultry, red meat, unpasteurised milk and untreated water. Although it doesn't grow in food it spreads easily, so only a few
bacteria in a piece of undercooked chicken could cause illness.
Listeria Listeria monocytogenes is present all around in the environment. It has also been found in low numbers in many foods. In certain foods, such as soft
mould-ripened cheeses and p??, it may be present in higher numbers. Eating
foods containing high levels of listeria monocytogenes is generally the
cause of illness.
Salmonella
Salmonella is the second most common cause of food poisoning after
campylobacter. It has been found in unpasteurised milk, eggs and raw egg
products, meat and poultry. It can survive if food is not cooked properly.
E.coli 0157 Most strains of E.coli are harmless, but those that produce verocytotoxin (called verocytotoxin-producing E.coli, or VTEC) can cause severe illness. In the UK, the most common type is E.coli 0157.

13 fall ill after taking food
NT Bureau
Chennai, Aug 7:
http://www.newstodaynet.com/07aug/rf4.htm
Thirteen persons were hospitalised when they developed symptoms of food poisoning after consuming food in a mess in the Elephant Gate area yesterday. All of them are stated to be out of danger. According to police, the 13, who hailed from West Bengal, were employed as goldsmiths in jewellery shops in the Elephant Gate area. Food was provided to them through a mess.It is said that two days back they had partaken non-vegetarian food provided by the mess that could have resulted in their falling ill.

SALMONELLOSIS, RESTAURANT RELATED - USA (ILLINOIS) (02)
August 9, 2003
ProMED-mail post
http://www.promedmail.org
Source: The Daily Herald 7 Aug 2003 (edited)
http://www.dailyherald.com/search/main_story.asp?intid=3784012
Salmonella outbreak called worst since 1985
Lake County health officials Wed night, 6 Aug 2003 confirmed 163 victims of
salmonella poisoning from the recent outbreak at a Vernon Hills restaurant
including 27 restaurant workers, or 32 percent of the eatery's work force.
In a report to the Board of Health, health department staff members detailed
the extent of the epidemic. They said there still are 43 people with
probable cases. Those people had been in close contact with infected persons
and are now showing symptoms compatible with salmonella. [Salmonellosis,
because of a relatively high infectious dose, does not readily spread from
person to person unless there is a food vehicle as an 'intermediary' -
Mod.LL]
There are also 93 other possible cases involving people who claim to have
eaten at the restaurant during the critical time period in late June 2003.
"This is probably the largest salmonella outbreak in Lake County since the
great milk salmonella outbreak in 1985," said Bill Mays, health department
director of community health services. The 1985 epidemic stemmed from the
mixing of raw milk with pasteurized milk in a dairy. That infected 400 000
people in the Midwest area, Mays said.
In this [particular restaurant's] case, management "made some poor and
unacceptable mistakes," health department Executive Director Dale Galassie
said. At one point, the restaurant operated for almost 2 hours with no
water, which was a conscious management decision, he said.
Officials said the epidemic was contained before it could spread to 18 other
food establishments that were at risk. Those places were at risk because
some of those infected, including some customers and several [of the
restaurant] employees, worked at other area restaurants.
Mays said the quick response of health workers and the prompt closing of the
restaurant after the first positive case was confirmed 31 Jun 2003 averted a
potential "nightmare." [The affected restaurant] remained closed 1-10 Jul
2003 and then reopened after passing an inspection.
[Byline: Madhu Krishnamurthy]
[As was the case here, most restaurant-associated outbreaks of foodborne
illness could be avoided by strict infection control practices. - Mod.LL]

Current Foodborne Outbreaks

08/14. Source of e-coli remains a mystery
08/14. Bloom judges laid low by food bug
08/14. 13 fall ill after taking food
08/14. Food Poisoning in University Brings 24 to Hospital in Tianji

08/13. Group sickened by fish said to be 'well and fine'
08/13. Parasite source tracked
08/13. E. coli strikes trio in N.B. town
08/13. Food Poisoning Hospitalizes 4
08/12. Baby dies from arsenic poisoning after police rush medicine
08/09. SALMONELLOSIS, RESTAURANT RELATED - USA (ILLINOIS) (02)
08/09. E. COLI O157, SECONDARY WATER - USA (UTAH)
08/09. VIRAL GASTROENTERITIS UPDATE 2003 (18)
08/09. GREECE DEMANDS SALMONELLA OUTBREAK PROBE

08/08. SALMONELLA OUTBREAK AT MILWAUKEE COUNTRY CLUB
08/08. SALMONELLA SPARKS HEALTH ALERT IN SWEDEN
08/07. SALMONELLA SICKENS 600 INMATES IN TEXAS
08/06. SIX PEOPLE POISONED AFTER EATING BAD MUSSELS

UDSA/FDA News
Food Safety Regulatory Essentials Training
Murano Announces Office of New Technology At Food Inspection Agency
Combined Database of Predictive Microbiology Information
Food Security and Emergency Preparedness

Import Permit Applications for Certain Ruminant Products from Canada will be Accepted
Permit Process for Importing Certain Ruminant Products from Canada
National Advisory Committee On Microbiological Criteria For Foods To Hold Public Meeting
HHS Memorandum between FDA and the Ministry of Health of the United Mexican States
USDA Creates Food Safety Risk Assessment Committee
FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated August 8, 2003
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated August 7, 2003
OPPD (Policy) What's New Page: Updated August 4, 2003
Listing of Accredited Laboratories: Updated August 1, 2003
Positive E. coli Test Results: Updated July 29, 2003

Food Safety General News
08/14. WHAT TO DO
08/14. WAITER, THERE'S A FLY IN YOUR SOAP: HEALTH INSPECTOR PAYS A
08/14. CSPI ANNOUNCES ³CLEAN PLANTS, HEALTHY ANIMALS² CONFERENCE: P
08/14. INDIA'S HIGH COURT REJECTS COKE REQUEST ON TESTING
08/14. ANALYSIS OF GROUND BEEF FOR EXPORT TO THE UNITED STATES
08/14. Office Applauded
08/14. Improving food quality and safety: EU to fund 24 new researc
08/14. Food allergies force some to give up the bread of life
08/14. U.S. lifts ban on Canadian game imports -
08/14. Life and Death in the Prionosphere
08/14. Italy reports latest case of mad cow disease
08/14. Mad cow tests may increase 25-fold
08/14. English farmer persists in BSE theory
08/14. Meat inspection a little Off'
08/14. Farmers urged to cut use of antibiotics
08/14. Nippys awarded $3m after salmonella outbreak
08/14. California's ban on Mexican oysters draws harsh words
08/14. Food safety regulations apply to mobile stands too
08/14. County Galway supermarket closed in food safety crackdown
08/14. Agricultural agent warns about food security
08/14. Food Bill gets the nod -
08/14. Cooking up trouble

08/13. Combined Database of Predictive Microbiology Information
08/13. Food Security and Emergency Preparedness
08/13. SOFTWARE TO PREDICT FOOD DANGERS: FDA SEEKING MODELING TOOL
08/13. FOOD SAFETY: LETTER TO THE EDITOR
08/13. FOOD SECURITY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
08/13. Maine scientist using blueberries to improve taste of reheat
08/13. JULY RESTAURANT CLOSURES
08/13. `Interim report shows no signs of contamination in Coca-Cola [India]
08/13. Export Deal Reached
08/13. Happy Hunting
08/13. FDA releases guidelines to Bioterrorism Act regulations
08/13. Colorado producer goes high-tech to track cattle
08/13. Murano announces new technology review office within FSIS
08/13. New U.S. security regulations might affect wine imports
08/13. New EC measures for apple produce
08/13. Tackling the menace of spurious milk [India]
08/13. Pepsi chief slams EU norms
08/13. Ranchers Use Cow Eyes To Avoid Confusion
08/13. FDA takes food from plate to lab
08/13. Food poisoning compo may hit $1m

08/12. FSIS TO HOLD RTE LISTERIA WORKSHOPS
08/12. MEXICO EASES BAN ON CANADIAN BEEF IMPORTS
08/12. FAILURE TO FIX HEALTH INFRACTIONS RESULTS IN FINES AT 4 REST
08/12. WAVE OF FOOD INSPECTORS SLAMS FARMS, RESTOS: LOCAL BUSINESSE
08/12. Authorities declare no mad cow disease in New Zealand
08/12. Industry Responds
08/12. Mexico follows USDA's lead on Canadian beef
08/12. All-clear for Finnish foods
08/12. Swift aims to beef up meat safety
08/12. Booklet: Food safety important for summertime picnics
08/12. Court backs Melbourne food poisoning settlement

08/11 Japan Agrees To US Beef Export Proposal - USDA's Veneman
08/11 Pepsi looks to Indian court to stop publication of damning r
08/11 New safety law passed
08/11 EC steps up aflatoxin controls
08/11 California? Prop 65 Acrylamide Warnings Veer Off Course Fro
08/11 NFPA Applauds Announcement That FDA Has Received $5 Million

08/10 FSIS to Host Meeting of National Advisory Committee on Micro
08/10 FSIS Releases New Transportation Food Safety, Security Guide
08/10 SAFETY OF FOOD PRODUCTS: Natural Mineral Waters
08/10 SAFETY OF FOOD PRODUCTS: Rapid Alert System for Food and Fee
08/10 IS IT REAL?
08/10 A BUG'S LIFE
08/10 HIDDEN DANGERS

08/09 COKE ASSURES INDIANS OVER PESTICIDES ROW
08/09 3 STORES CHARGED WITH SELLING ILLEGAL MEAT; SOME CHICKENS 'H
08/09 DAIRY FARMERS WORRIED ABOUT BSE FALLOUT
08/09 BSE REQUIRES STRICTER FEED BAN
08/09 NYMOX ANNOUNCES E. COLI COLLABORATION FOR RESEARCH WITH HEAL
08/09 TESTING FOR RESIDUES: THE IRISH DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AN

08/08 COKE, PEPSI OFF MENU FOR INDIAN MPS AFTER REPORT OF PESTICID
08/08 IRRADIATED BEEF WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON, BUT OHIO SCHOOLS QUE
08/08 SPECIFIED RISK MATERIALS
08/08 NCBA STATEMENT REGARDING USDA DECISION ON BEEF IMPORTS FROM
08/08 BEEF SET TO FLOW ACROSS BORDER

08/07 NMA RELEASES USDA-JAPAN BEEF TRADE DRAFT
08/07 ANTIBIOTIC A DAY CAN HELP BATTLE TRAVEL SICKNESS, TEXAS RESE
08/07 STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE ANNE MCLELLAN, MINISTER OF HEALT
08/07 VENEMAN ANNOUNCES THAT IMPORT PERMIT APPLICATIONS FOR CERTAI
08/07 FOOD SAFETY EPIDEMIOLOGIST

08/06 WORKSHOP ON NONTHERMAL FOOD PRESERVATION
08/06 SHELLFISH HARVESTER UNDER INVESTIGATION: BARCLAY SOUND AREA
08/06 TORIES TOUT MULRONEY AS MAD COW AMBASSADOR
08/06 NO LINK TO NZ CATTLE IN BSE SCARE, EXPERT SAYS
08/06 BOWEL DISORDER LINKED TO BACTERIA IN MILK

Current Recall Information

08/14. Targee West African Food Supply Has Recalled Fish
08/12. MLO Products, Inc. Issues Food Allergy Alert on Undeclared Peanuts in GeniSoy
08/08. North Dakota Firm Recalls Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7
08/06. New Jersey Firm Recalls Sliced Pepperoni
08/05. Minnesota Firm Recalls Ground Beef Products For Possible E. coli O157:H7
08/03. Cultured mussels sold in British Columbia may contain paralytic shellfish toxin
08/02. Cultured mussels sold in Nanaimo British Columbia may contain paralytic shellfish toxin
08/02. Hamilton Deli Grocery Has Recalled Boars Head Brand Turkey and Ham
08/02. Manor Delicatessen Has Recalled "Potato Salad"
08/01. HOLLOWTREE FARM CAN. PURE MAPLE SYRUP may be contaminated with lead

The vaccine could be available within a few years

Vaccine hope for travel diarrhoea http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3147115.stm
Holidaymakers could soon be able to take a single pill to stop them from having tummy trouble when they go abroad.
Microscience, a Berkshire company, has started testing a potential vaccine for diarrhoea.
Laboratory tests have shown that it can protect against enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), a bacterium which causes most cases of travellers' diarrhoea. The vaccine could be of major benefit to people who visit Africa, South-East Asia and the Indian sub-continent, Central and South America and the Caribbean.Over half of people who travel to countries in those regions suffer at least one bout of diarrhoea during their stay. However, experts say it is unlikely to benefit people living in these countries because it protects against just one of many pathogens that can cause diarrhoea.
Single dose
A vaccine for this type of diarrhoea already exists. However, it is not yet licensed in the UK and people need to take two doses to gain protection. This latest vaccine is effective in just one dose, according to the scientists behind it. It will be several years before the vaccine will be licensed Dr Steve Chatfield,Microscience While the vaccine is currently given in liquid form, it could be made available in pill form in the future.Phase one clinical trials of the vaccine involving over 30 volunteers is now underway. If the vaccine proves safe, it will then be tested on more people including those living in developing countries. "We are evaluating the safety of the vaccine in healthy subjects now," Dr Steve Chatfield of Microscience told BBC News Online. "We will also look to make sure that we are getting a response. If that is successful we will take it into phase two and phase three clinical trials, to test its efficacy. "Eventually, we will go to developing countries and test it there." But he added: "It will be several years before the vaccine will be licensed. These are early clinical studies." This vaccine may protect against what is known as acute watery diarrhoea. This can last for up to 14 days and can include vomiting and fever. It causes dehydration, which if left untreated can cause death. This type of diarrhoea is common throughout much of the developing world. Demand from travellers Dr Ron Behrens, an infectious disease expert at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said many travellers could benefit from the vaccine if it proves to be effective. "I think there could be a demand for this vaccine if it is effective in a single dose and if it is cheap. "Between 50% and 60% of people who travel to the tropics suffer from diarrhoea."However, he said the vaccine was unlikely to be of benefit to people living in developing countries. "There are probably thousands of different pathogens that cause diarrhoea. I would be really surprised if this vaccine did have a role in the developing world." Carolyn Driver, chairwoman of the British Travel Health Association, said a vaccine could help many travellers. "Diarrhoea is the number one cause of ill-health among travellers to developing countries," she said. "Anything that looks like it may cut down on this is good news. If this is effective and if it can be taken in one dose, it will certainly be looked at with interest."