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9/09, 2003
ISSUE:81

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Managing Allergens - NFPA

Victims of E. coli in Finley to finally receive payment

This story was published Saturday, September 6th, 2003
By Annette Cary Herald staff writer
Tri City Herald
http://www.tri-cityherald.com/tch/local/story/3845611p-3870383c.html
The families of 11 children sickened by E. coli bacteria in a Finley school lunch nearly five years ago should finally receive $4.6 million awarded in a jury verdict. On Thursday, the Washington Supreme Court declined to consider the case. It was the second time the court has refused, exhausting most of the school district's options for appeals.
"For over 21? years, some people have been having to pay on their medical bills," said Bill Marler, a Seattle attorney for the children's families. "It has been a hardship for some of those people." A jury awarded $4.6 million in early 2001 to the children and their families after finding the district at fault for serving undercooked meat in tacos to Finley Elementary School students in October 1998. The district's insurer also will be required to pay 12 percent interest for the years payment was delayed by appeals.The district's insurers again asked the state Supreme Court to consider the case, leading to the refusal announced Thursday.The only appeal option left is to ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider, according to the families' attorneys. But motions for reconsideration are almost always denied and would be particularly unlikely in a case the Supreme Court has twice declined to consider, said Denis Stearns, another Seattle attorney for the plaintiffs."We're glad it's over," said Al Almquist, father of A.J. Almquist. "They've drug us through the mud from the beginning."A.J., now 15, was 10 when he ate the taco lunch and later spent 13 days in the hospital. His family still has medical bills to pay.Most of the jury verdict was awarded to Faith Maxwell, who was 2 when the taco lunch was served. Although she didn't eat the meal, the jury concluded that she was infected by a schoolchild who ate the lunch.She was awarded $3.6 million, plus past medical expenses. Faith suffered a serious kidney complication and both plaintiff and defense attorneys agreed her kidneys will fail as a result.
Her parents could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Awards for the other 10 children started at $1,200 plus medical expenses for a child treated in an emergency room. Children besides Faith who had kidney problems and were taken to Children's Hospital in Seattle were awarded about $275,000, plus past medical expenses. Even if those children appear healthy now, they will need to be monitored for health problems. Most of the money not spent on medical expenses so far will be held in trust for the children's education and medical expenses. The district argued in its latest appeal to the state Supreme Court that a public school cannot be sued under the state's product liability law as a business would be. "The Finley School District is not in the business of selling tacos," the district's insurer wrote in court papers. "Finley's lunch program is not a commercial activity aimed at the general public." It also claimed the plaintiffs did not prove that Faith's illness was legally caused by the taco lunch, since she did not eat it. Northern States Beef, which supplied the meat, settled out of court for $200,000 before the 2001 trial and denied the meat was tainted. Money from that settlement was used to pay legal costs and also to cover some medical costs. The E. coli strain that contaminated the taco meal is carried by cattle and can contaminate meat in the slaughtering process. Some people who are infected have mild or no symptoms. But children and the elderly may develop severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Children, especially preschoolers, may develop a serious complication in which red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail.

Warning of danger from continental strain of deadly E.coli bug
CRAIG BROWN
Scotsman
http://www.news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=988532003
A NEW killer strain of the E.coli bug from continental Europe could soon be posing a serious public health threat in Britain, experts fear.
The bacterium, Escherichia coli 026, is just as dangerous as the notorious 0157 version that can cause fatal food poisoning in children and the elderly - but it can slip through the standard test used to pick out 0157 from other bacteria. In November 1996, E.coli 0157 killed at least 20 elderly people in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, and made another 500 seriously ill after they ate contaminated meat products from John Barrs butchers shop in the town. The incident - Britains worst 0157 outbreak - led to a report containing 32 safety recommendations and an E.coli taskforce was set up by the Scottish Executive. A recent outbreak of E.coli 026 in Scotland, and findings from a study looking at cattle infection, alerted researchers to the potential new problem. Dr Mark Stevens, from the Institute for Animal Health, said: "026 appears to be much more prevalent in the UK than we previously thought. The likelihood is these bugs are going to enter the human food chain more often in the future. "E.coli 026 is here and we should be aware of it. The indications are that we cannot limit our sights only to 0157." Like other E.coli strains, 026 makes its home in the gut of cattle. It can spread to humans via faecal contamination of meat at slaughterhouses, and is a particular risk in undercooked hamburgers. Children playing on farms run the risk of picking up the bug by getting their hands dirty and not washing them. A survey last year showed that about 5 per cent of UK cattle carried E.coli 0157. Almost a half of all herds had at least one animal infected with the bacterium.Dr Stevens, who is developing a cattle vaccine against E.coli, will present new findings at a meeting of the Society for General Microbiology in Manchester today. He said earlier this year that four people from Scotland were found to have been infected by E.coli 026 bacteria. A fifth had acquired a rarer strain called 0113.The patients were from the Ayrshire and Arran health board area, the Forth Valley region, Lothian and Tayside. A team led by Professor Gad Frankel, from Imperial College London, recently reported the new cattle study in the journal Letters of Applied Microbiology. The scientists detected 132 suspect E.coli 026 isolates in 745 samples of cattle faeces from a single Scottish farm. Of these, 85 per cent were confirmed as being the 026 strain. Dr Stevens said 026 was already well known in continental Europe, and proving a particular problem in Germany. But up to now there had been little sign of it in the UK."For reasons we dont really understand, different types of this class of E.coli are prevalent in different countries," he said. "The one you mostly have in North America and the UK is 0157." Although sophisticated antibody techniques can detect 026, it cannot be identified with the simple culture test normally used to spot 0157. There is a danger, therefore, that 026 might be allowed to spread unseen. However, Dr Stevens team has made significant progress towards an effective answer to all kinds of E.coli. The group has identified 60 genes needed by the bug to survive in cattle intestines.Dr Stevens, who will outline the results at todays meeting at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, said the scientists were looking at ways of using the new information to combat the bacteria. They had developed a vaccine designed to trigger an immune response against a particular E.coli protein, he said.It is hoped the vaccine will kill the bacteria in the living cow and make it far harder to pass to humans.


Current Food Safety Informaiton
09/08. Managing Allergens
09/08. SAULT WOMAN BITES INTO PLASTIC IN SNACK FOOD: MANUFACTURER T
09/08. DEAD CATTLE GROWING CONCERN; REMOVAL COSTS RAISE FEARS SOME
09/08. EVES REJECTS MEAT INQUIRY; THE PREMIER SAYS THE PUBLIC WAS P
09/08. [Japan] McDonald's to recall apple pies laced with chemical
09/08. A glass of milk a day keeps diarrhoea at bay?

09/07. FSIS announces public meeting on pre-harvest food safety iss
09/07. Bacteria, the heat is on...
09/07. Genes hold answer to food poisoning?
09/07. AMI, Other Ag Groups File Comments to Codex Committee on Mea

09/06. WHO Reports that Withdrawing Antimicrobial Growth Promoters
09/06. Wasting disease research refocused
09/06. Victims of E. coli in Finley to finally receive payment
09/06. A Food Fight in Industry
09/06. Warning of danger from continental strain of deadly E.coli b
09/06. Warning over E.coli strain

09/05. WATER FOR THIS LIVING WORLD(TM): DOCUMENTARY FOCUSES ON SAFE
09/05. FOOD SUPPLY CITED AS POSSIBLE TERRORISM TARGET IN LATEST FBI
09/05. SAFE FOOD: BACTERIA, BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIOTERRORISM
09/05. COMMISSION PUBLISHES PROPOSAL FOR ESTABLISHING A EUROPEAN CE
09/05. FOOD AND NUTRITION RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS
09/05. BEEF INDUSTRY ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSES ISSUES
09/05. SASK PORK CALLS FOR BSE SOLUTIONS THAT CONSIDER ALL COMMODIT
09/05. MCGUINTY PLEDGES FULL INQUIRY INTO NEW TAINTED MEAT REVELATI
09/05. WHAT IS RENDERING?
09/05. PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT ON AMENDMENTS TO FOOD CODE
09/05. LABELLING SURVEY FOR CONSUMERS
09/05. NATIONAL STANDARD FOR SEAFOOD SAFETY TAKES SHAPE
09/05. FOOD RECALLS FOR 2002 - 2003
09/05. MORE BAD MEAT?; AILING ANIMALS PROCESSED: SOURCE
09/05. ONTARIO CUTS THREATEN MEAT SAFETY
09/05. ALYMER MEAT DEFENDED; ALLEGATIONS ABOUT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE
09/05. AYLMER WARNINGS IGNORED, INSPECTORS SAY
09/05. [Wales] Meat fears over illegal sheep dip
09/05. Just cool it this fall by looking out for lunchbox food safe
09/05. FBI warns of possible poison plots
09/05. Food, water poisoning possible: FBI

09/04. 5TH ASEPT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES
09/04. SALMON SCARE SMELLS FISHY
09/04. INCREASE IN SALMONELLA ENTERITIDIS OUTBREAKS IN ENGLAND AND
09/04. OFFICIAL WORKS TO PROTECT FOOD FROM TERROR MENACE
09/04. THREE CLOSURES OF FOOD PREMISES IN AUGUST
09/04. ALBERTA TOWNS TOLD TO PREPARE CATTLE GRAVES: RISE OF BSE SHO
09/04. IS ONTARIO PREPARED FOR ANOTHER CONTAMINATED MEAT RECALL? AY
09/04. TIPSTER USED IN AYLMER PROBE; WARRANTS TO SEARCH AYLMER MEAT
09/04. CONFERENCE FOR FOOD PROTECTION AND ANSI UNITE BEHIND FOOD SA
09/04. REGISTER NOW FOR CLEAN PLANTS, HEALTHY ANIMALS: FARM-BASED S
09/04. SAFETY OF FOOD PRODUCTS
09/04. PERSPECTIVE BY MEAT PROCESSING NORTH AMERICAN EDITION EDITOR
09/04. MEXICAN MEAT HYGIENE CAMPAIGNS: RAISING RETAIL STANDARDS BEN
09/04. SAFER FOOD WITH SMILEY FACES
09/04. FSIS DIRECTIVE 7160.3, ADVANCED MEAT RECOVERY USING BEEF VER
09/04. WORKER MAY HAVE BEEN SOURCE OF E. COLI OUTBREAK
09/04. Food Industry on E.coli alert
09/04. EU rejects Austrian GM-free zone
09/04. Food safety starts on the farm
09/04. CWD easy to spread, study says

JOB Information
9/08 Production Specialist - Cheese / Whey
8/08 R&D Food Scientist :.
8/08 QC Manager :.
8/07 Lead Research Scientist/Project Manager
8/07 Food Services Director :.
8/07 Quality Assurance Manager - Food manufacturing -
8/07 Quality Assurance Supervisor - 2nd Shift -
8/07 Quality Control Manager
8/07 Director of Research and Development
8/06 Senior Quality Supervisor
8/06 Quality Assurance Manager
8/06 Quality Assurance Manager/Food Scientist
8/05 Microbiologist
8/05 Product Quality Manager - WalMart
8/05 Research Assistant / Associate -
8/04 Director of R&D -
8/04 Senior Quality Microbiologist
8/03 Microbiologist :. -
8/02 Supervisor of Sanitation
8/01 Quality Assurance Analyst
8/31 Microbiologist
8/30 Quality Assurance Manager -
8/29 Food Microbiologist
8/27 Quality Managers-Foods- Fast Track

 

Pesticide analyser

Source from:Food Production Daily
http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/
Applied Biosystems, the UK-based provider of testing and analysis systems for bacteria, has supplied Dr Specht & Partner Chemical Laboratories with an API 4000 LC/MS/MS System to work alongside two existing API 2000 LC/MS/MS Systems used to analyse pesticide residues for the food industry.

Dr Thomas Anspach, senior scientist at Specht & Partner, explained: Many of our customers, especially those who are suppliers or manufacturers of baby food, have very strict quality control protocols and we provide them with a comprehensive quality assurance service. Apart from the work with pesticide residues, we analyse several products for mycotoxins and, for customers in the agrochemical industry, we validate new method protocols for pesticide registration according to the GLP regulations. Overall, our sample numbers have increased in the last few years by almost 100 per cent a year and, because of European regulations, we expect this increase to continue.Our work is relatively labour intensive ?cutting samples, homogenising, extracting and summary clean-ups ?and we realised that switching to LC/MS/MS methods would reduce the number of clean-ups required. Both of the LC/MS/MS analyser models we use are very rugged and allow us to inject crude sample extracts continuously over several months without having to completely clean the instrument. We chose the API 2000 system because it offered a good balance between cost and sensitivity and later decided to purchase an API 4000 system to overcome the matrix effects inherent in some of the samples we analyse. This instrument is much more sensitive and allows us to dilute the samples down to 1 in 10 or 1 in 50 to overcome these effects.For more information about this and other products the company offers, contact click here.Applied Biosystems is a technology leader in the changing dynamics of the life science marketplace. The Applied Biosystems business is focused on basic research, commercial research and standardized testing, including forensic human identification, HIV genotyping and food testing. The company has an installed base of more than 50,000 instrument systems in approximately 100 countries and is currently based in California, US.

UDSA/FDA News
Reminder: Listeria Workshops Begin September 13
Food Biotechnology Subcommittee of the Food Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting
Guidance for Industry on Part 11, Electronic Records; Electronic Signatures
2001 Food Code Supplement
2001 Food Code Errata Sheet

FSIS Pre-harvest E. coli O157:H7 Symposium September 9, 2003 Meeting Agenda
Food and Nutrition Resources for Teachers
FSIS Public Meeting on Pre-Harvest Food Safety Issues and Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7
FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated September 2, 2003

Current Foodborne Outbreaks
09/08. Parasite continues to spread
09/08. E.coli Outbreak In St. Clair County
09/05. OUTBREAK OF SALMONELLA BAREILLY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM: UPDAT
09/05. Crypto found at child center
09/05. Microbes on the menu
09/05. [Australia] Mushrooms blamed for poisoning

09/04. VIRAL GASTROENTERITIS UPDATE 2003 (21)
09/04. WORKER MAY HAVE BEEN SOURCE OF E. COLI OUTBREAK
09/04. Food Industry on E.coli alert
09/04. Eight die, 400 get sick after eating poisoned food in China
09/02. 322 SICK ON CRUISE SHIP STEAMING FOR NYC
09/02. CRUISE SHIP FORCED TO SKIP NFLD. STOP AFTER NORWALK-TYPE VIR
09/01. OFFICIALS PROBING MEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES
09/01. SALMONELLA BAREILLY - UK (02)

Current Recall Information
09/08. Update - Minister orders recall of AYLMER MEAT PACKERS INC. beef
09/07. Mandalay Trading Corporation Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites in Products
09/06. Illinois Firm Recalls Chili For Mislabeling
09/05. Golden Luck, Inc. Recalls "Red Pepper Powder" Because of Possible Health Risk
09/05. Food Connection II Recalls Seafood Salad Due to Possible Health Risk
09/05. New Jersey Firm Recalls Thai-Style Noodle Salad For Possible Listeria Contamination
09/04. The Nut Boy Company Issues Allergy Alert on Undeclared Sulfites
09/03. New York Firm Recalls Pork Sausage For Mislabeling
09/03. Nebraska Firm Recalls Ground Beef Because of Possible E.coli O157:H7
09/03. Pinnacle Food Has Recalled Hearty Hero Cheeseburger Sandwiches
09/03. Update: list of stores affected by the AYLMER MEAT PACKERS INC. beef recall
09/01. Minister orders recall of AYLMER MEAT PACKERS INC. beef or beef products
08/31. Minister orders recall of AYLMER MEAT PACKERS INC. beef or beef products

Bacteria, the heat is on...

source from:Food Navigator
http://www.foodnavigator.com/
08/09/03 - Discovering genetic fingerprints of heat-beating micro-organisms could bring us closer to understanding why some foods spoil and how bacteria manage to survive heat treatments. In a food science initiative supported by the Dutch government, researchers from Amsterdam university have been looking at the way the Bacillus group of bacteria can produce exceptionally heat resistant spores. These spores can survive the processes meant to kill them, like pasteurisation, and go on to grow, multiply and contaminate our food.
Dr Bart Keijser, who led the research, will present the investigations today at the Society for General Microbiologys meeting in Manchester in the UK.
The scientists claim that being able to identify contaminants accurately, and early on, could allow the consumer to buy crunchier vegetables and less highly processed food in the future.
We are using molecular techniques to uncover the heat resistance secrets of these spores, and to find out how they survive the preservation processes,?said Dr Bart Keijser. Adding that once the researchers have identified "their unique genetic fingerprint, we can design new detection systems to find any micro-organisms that have survived heat treatment."
Results so far have identified more heat resistance from the bacteria when food ingredients such as milk powder and spices are used. According to the scientists, the amount of minerals the spores can absorb might also contribute to their heat resistance.
Opportunities for the food industry lie in the fact that if micro-organisms are pin-pointed, manufacturers can adjust their food production and preservation processes accordingly.
Until now the food industry has had to assume that in every case, the worst possible type of contamination has already happened, leading to over-processing of most foods.
The Dutch scientists claim that, using their results, companies will be able to pre-screen ingredients, use the best preservation method in each case, and reduce energy costs and losses from contamination while maintaining safety levels.
I hope this will mean we need less preservation techniques, and so less processing for most food. That should give us enhanced food structure such as crispier vegetables, while still maintaining a long shelf time,?added Dr Bart Keijser.The World Health Organisation estimates that as many as one person in three in industrialised countries may be affected by foodborne illness each year, resulting in human suffering and economic losses running into billions of euros.
Dr Keijser is presenting the paper Spore Heat resistance of Bacillus food spoilage isolates?at the Society of General Microbiology at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology from 8-11 September 2003.