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Statement on Hepatitis A by FDA

Hepatitis outbreak puts squeeze on California green-onion growers
November 26, 2003
Knight-Ridder Tribune
Robert Rodriguez, The Fresno Bee, Calif.
Lingering concerns over green onions and their connection to an outbreak of hepatitis A on the East Coast has, according to this story, triggered several national restaurant chains to stop serving the vegetable and produce companies to lose orders.
Tim Baloian, president of Baloian Packing in Fresno, was quoted as saying, "Some customers are taking a few cartons, and others aren't taking any at all. This is having an effect on a lot of people."
Baloian, who supplies green onions to restaurants, grocery stores and wholesale markets, was cited as saying he has lost about 60 percent of his sales for the pungent veggie.
The story says that restaurants -- including the 6,500 Taco Bell outlets and 1,500 Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants -- have stripped green onions from their menu items, although neither restaurant chain has been affected by the outbreak.
Laurie Ellison, spokeswoman for Applebee's International Inc. in Overland Park, Kan., was quoted as saying, "We are doing it as a precautionary move," adding that the company is closely watching the federal investigation.
Celine Garcia, spokeswoman for the Western Growers Association, a group that represents the produce industry, was quoted as saying, "We don't want to create a food scare."
California is among the nation's largest green onion growers, with a $17 million crop in 2002. Fresno County grew green onions on 561 acres with revenue of $1.9 million in 2002.
The state's season stretches from July to October.
But the winter and spring supply are dominated by Mexican imports.
Brady Matoian, food service sales manager for OK Produce in Fresno, was cited as saying he has been fielding customer phone calls for the past week about the source of its green onions, adding, "People wanted to know how they are cleaned, who our vendors are and what's the caliber of our vendors. There were a lot of questions."
Matoian was further cited as saying that despite his assurances that OK's Mexican supplier uses rigorous food safety practices, some customers passed on the green onions, and his sales of green onions have dropped 20 percent to 30 percent.
Baloian told his customers a similar story, saying his Mexican supplier is closely audited by a third-party testing lab, but to no avail.
"He is a good, clean grower, but once people get a negative connotation into their heads, it is tough to get it out," Baloian said. "We are just going to have to ride this out."

Current Food Safety Informaiton
11/26. Cook your green onions
11/26. Hepatitis outbreak puts squeeze on California green-onion gr
11/26. Meat-inspection review now in hands of Ont. AG
11/26. Food safety initiatives enhance Canadian pork's competitiven
11/26. FDA says turkey-testing report was just a one-time gig
11/26. Warrants reveal scope of abattoir probe: Criminal allegation
11/26. Cooking ensures safe vegetables, CDC says
11/26. Less Pesticide Means More Bugs for Buyers
11/26. Ireland, vCJD at bay
11/26. Saying 'no' to gluten
11/26. Food Allergies
11/26. Food Allergen Labeling Bill Advances
11/26. Campylobacter Infections
11/26. Hepatitis A cases renew concerns for food safety
11/26. Dirty Rotten Scallions
11/26. Don¡¯t eat produce unless it¡¯s been washed or cooked
11/26. Outbreak hurts Mexico green onion sales

11/25. Mt. Pleasant Foods establishes the standard for ready-to-eat
11/25. Epidemiologist offers food safety tips for the holidays
11/25. Public workshop: Bacterial contamination of animal feed and
11/25. New NMA resource
11/25. 11/25. FSANZ finds imported prawns safe
11/25. Industry's food safety data
11/25. Food Safe International, Inc. position on fresh produce
11/25. Your best shot at fighting hepatitis:
11/25. International food safety issues
11/25. Deer illness answers still years away
11/25. HACCP survey
11/25. Chi-Chi's, Inc. comments on recent developments in hepatitis
11/25. BSE
11/25. International food safety issues
11/25. Chi-Chi's Exec Says Restaurants Are Safe
11/25. Mexico Shuts Down 4 Scallion Exporters On Hepatitis Scare
11/25. Food Safety
11/25. Cooking Bus on the Road
11/25. Wales hotbed for illegal meat trade
11/25. EMPA, AMI Foundation host listeria workshop
11/25. Safety in trucks
11/25. Senator Murkowski Presented with NFPA Food Safety Award
11/25. NFPA Finds Allergen Labeling Bill Encouraging While Question
11/25. Biofilm Antibiotic Resistance May be Susceptible to Genetic
11/25. USDA Announces Unified Food Safety Research Agenda
11/25. Companies in Crisis - What to do when it all goes wrong
11/25. E. coli levels dangerously high near water source for London
11/25. Tennessee Beef Producers Make Progress In Fight Against E. C
11/25. Tightening security
11/25. Investigation Shows High Mercury Levels in Popular Fish
11/25. Garden hazard: Chicago soil may be high in lead

11/24. Tests Show Salmonella in Meat and Poultry Products Declines 66 Percent
11/24. Gov't: Salmonella Declining in Raw Meat
11/24. The Ingredient and the CEO
11/24. Activated Lactoferrin: A Look at the Science
11/24. Best-Practices for Cooked Sausage

11/23. Listeria Benchmark: 0
11/23. Hepatitis outbreak a sobering reminder of vulnerability

11/22. Food-Borne Illness From Produce on the Rise
11/22. Onion company closed after hepatitis cases
11/22. Fruits, veggies a growing source of food poisoning

11/21. Area Farmer Must Stop Selling Milk Door To Door
11/21. Bioterror Concerns Raised At Universities
11/21. Victims¡¯ organization :It¡¯s not the onions that stink¡±:recor
11/21. Chi-Chi's asks bankruptcy court for permission to pay hepati
11/21. Injunction barring dairy farmer from selling raw milk door t
11/21. Food safety is key in holiday preparations

11/20. FDA guidance on food ingredient safety assessment
11/20. USDA Announces Unified Food Safety Research Agenda
11/20. FDA guidance on food ingredient safety assessment
11/20. Fast tips on slow cookers
11/20. Liberals backing off on meat inquiry
11/20. USDA to unify research efforts
11/20. Holiday Chefs Need Mistake Makeover: ADA/Conagra Foods Share
11/20. Bill to curb antibiotics for healthy animals gains local sup
11/20. Bioniche to hold E. coli vaccine news conference

11/19. Poultry recall will cost Pilgrim's Pride up to US 25M
11/19. Food Irradiation Expert Refutes New York Times Article
11/19. USDA report: better security necessary at labs
11/19. Recalls fell off in previous year
11/19. October restaurant closures -
11/19. NMA serves as catalyst for best practices
11/19. CVM cracks down on repeat feed ban violators
11/19. EU to open doors to Swiss cattle again as mad cow fears fade
11/19. Police: Tampa man sold beer in used cups at Bucs game
11/19. Study: Mad cow disease risk is low in the U.S.
11/19. Funds for Food Safety
11/19. Single BSE-infected cow costs Canada $2.5 billion
11/19. Ancient Maize Genetics Amazing
11/19. More Training on Care of Children With Food Allergies
11/19. Michelin chef's allergy to his kitchen
11/19. Utah Deer Tests Positive for CWD
11/19. Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiol
11/19. USDA Faulted for not Testing Turkey
11/19. Cider rules press apple producers
11/19. Follow these tips to prepare safer turkey

11/18. Bad Food Live! with Richie and Bernard
11/18. Seeing salmonella move through pigs
11/18. Capers class action certified lawsuit covers over 6,400 Brit
11/18. Questions and Answers on Hepatitis A Outbreaks
11/18. USDA Hotline: A Food Safety Resource for Millions
11/18. USDA Hotline: A Food Safety Resource for Millions [Espanol]
11/18. Pittsburgh-area restaurants await impact of Hepatitis A outb
11/18. Berlin/Germany: 5th World Congress Foodborne Infections and
11/18. CPC urges food industry to be aware of new US anti-terrorism
11/18. Kansas lawmakers propose food safety overhaul
11/18. Japan to ban cattle backbone in food products
11/18. Obeying the law
11/18. Milk Allergy Diet
11/18. Nut and Peanut Allergy Diet
11/18. Poland reports new mad cow case
11/18. Hyogo cows test negative for BSE
11/18. State opens first botulism lab
11/18. Produce Items Are Vulnerable to Biological Contamination
11/18. Hepatitis Inquiry Moves Deliberately From Farm to Plate
11/18. Hepatitis news affecting Beaver County residents in differen

11/17. Public workshop: Bacterial Contamination of Animal Feed and
11/17. "Active" and "intelligent" food packaging: Commission propos
11/17. Dirty dining? ¡®Dateline¡¯ hidden cameras investigate cleanlin
11/17. Canada's Mad Cow Costs Industry C$3.3 Billion-Study
11/17. Drug fear prompts call for honey tests
11/17. Super C warns of metal in food
11/17. [FOODSAFE] new USDA Consumer Food Safety and Food Security G
11/17. Hungarian researchers find substitute for antibiotics to spu
11/17. Green Onions Pulled From Menus
11/17. FDA following Hepatitis A outbreaks

11/16. Workshop on animal feed in relation to human foodborne illne
11/16. QAI launches food security program
11/16. E. coli best practices unveiled
11/16. AMI rebuts Nebraska cancer study
11/16. Focus on safety at FiE
11/16. Food from cloned animals, the debate goes on

11/15. Oxoid Further Extends Prepared Media Range with New Oxoid Tu
11/15. Small-molecule inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin identified
11/15. In fight against outbreaks, green onions present layered res
11/15. Food Safety Tips for Holiday Meals
11/15. Reuse Your Water Bottle? Better Think Twice
11/15. Image Experts Say Mexican Restaurant Chain Needs Help to Rec
11/15. Belgian schools in food safety alert

11/14. Food inspectors probing nutritional supplements
11/14. Rat Poison: Murder Weapon of Choice in Rural China
11/14. The Joy of Giving Food Safely
11/14. Food Safety and Security: What Consumers Need to Know
11/14. FDA Advises Consumers That Recent Hepatitis A Outbreaks Have Been Associated With
11/14. USDA Announces New Food Safety And Security Guidelines For Consumers
11/14. Inocuidad Alimentaria y Seguridad Alimentaria: Lo que Deben Saber los Consumidores

Current Recall Information

Statement on Hepatitis A
The FDA Today Issued The Following Statement To Clarify Its Actions On Green Onions
USDA Partners With Food Banks On Thanksgiving Food Distribution Efforts

Tests Show Salmonella in Meat and Poultry Products Declines 66 Percent
FSIS¡¯ top research priorities, grouped by research category
News Release: USDA Announces Unified Food Safety Research Agenda
FDA guidance on food ingredient safety assessment
USDA Announces Unified Food Safety Research Agenda
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated November 19, 2003
Toxicological Principles for the Safety of Food Ingredients: Redbook 2000
Questions and Answers on Hepatitis A Outbreaks
USDA Hotline: A Food Safety Resource for Millions
USDA Hotline: A Food Safety Resource for Millions [Espanol]

Current Outbreaks
11/26. E. coli outbreak in Ohio linked to sawdust in the air at cou
11/26. Food poisoning sickens 78 students in China
11/25. Shigellosis - Taiwan Ex Indonesia (Bali)
11/25. O'Charley's reports hepatitis outbreak
11/25. Botulism, canned corn ? Ukraine
11/24. Chi-Chi's Faces 5 Lawsuits Over Hepatitis
11/23. 83 annually infected with listeriosis in Japan

11/21. Food poisoning, children - China (Beijing)
11/21. Green Onions Linked to Hepatitis Outbreak
11/21. Pitsas pleads innocent : 'There was no crime intent,' attorn
11/21. Salmonella cases number at least 40
11/20. Beaver County, Pa., Chi-Chi's is likely not at fault in hepa
11/19. Hepatitis A outbreak tied to imported food
11/19. Students taken to hospital after getting sick at Cleveland e
11/18. Gastroenteritis, staphylococcal - China (Guangzhou)
11/17. Hepatitis A, schools - Russia (Ekaterinburg)
11/17. Miserable illness is hitting harder

11/16. Tally of salmonella victims rises to 35
11/16. Kodiak illnesses are salmonella
11/15. Bennington Rallying Around 2-Year-Old E. coli Patient
11/15. Community Is Reeling From Hepatitis Outbreak
11/14. HC seeks report on food poisoning in hostel for blind
11/14. Poison scare spoils wedding festivities
11/13. Chi-Chi's, Inc. voluntarily extends closure of Beaver Valley
11/13. Pa. hepatitis outbreak affects 340
11/13. Hepatitis A - Russia (Omsk): waterborne ?

Current New Methods
11/26. Canadian cattle vaccine aims to aid human health
11/25. Dow Agrosciences to Combat Food Pathogens using Antibodies
11/25. New Food Safety Technology enters Japanese Beef Industry
11/21. Syscan, KSW Microtec AG announce marketing alliance to enhan
11/21. Sterilox receives U.S. patent for disinfectant system
11/20. Dow Agrosciences gains license rights from NRC to technology
11/20. New testing method makes food safety easier to digest
11/20. Combating Contamination
11/20. National Beef Begins Using Activin To Protect Against Harmfu
11/19. Opportunity to Try New, Rapid E. coli O157 Direct Serum Test
11/19. Purefecta Drinking Water Purifier From Pall and Kinetico
11/19. VerifEYE(TM) Food Safety Technology Adoption Continues Among
11/18. Microsens announces licensing of its unique prion disease di
11/17. New Company Targets E.coli O157:H7 Contamination in Cattle w
11/13. GangaGen Life Sciences unveils phage technology for treatment
11/10. Mexico Approves Vicam AflaTest Aflatoxin Testing Method

Dow Agrosciences to Combat Food Pathogens using Antibodies


Dow AgroSciences has recently obtained worldwide licensing rights from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) to market technologies that reduce the risk of food-borne pathogens. The agreement gives the company exclusive rights to specific antibody technologies that are being developed under a 2001 collaborative agreement between Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc. (DAS) and NRC's Institute for Biological Sciences (NRC-IBS) in Ottawa, Canada.

The collaboration already has developed inventions that hold great promise in combating two of the most common and challenging food-related health threats, E. coli O157:H7 in cattle and Campylobacter jejuni in poultry. These pathogens occur normally in the animals' digestive systems and only become problematic when they find their way into the human food chain. Researchers at NRC-IBS and DAS have been developing new ways to attack these pathogens at the source, without the use of traditional antibiotics.

The collaboration has developed antibodies, which, when administered to the livestock, would attach to the pathogens within the animals' bodies. This technology holds great promise to clear or greatly reduce the pathogen load prior to slaughter. The antibodies will be produced in plants, which could be administered either in the feed or extracted from the plant and administered orally.

The license agreement commits the partners to developing and commercializing these technologies along a track that will maximize the benefits of the new discoveries.

HACCP survey
Nov. 21/03
In January of 2001, ERS, along with Washington State University, conducted two surveys about food safety technologies and Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (PR/HACCP) compliance. One survey was answered by 861 meat slaughter and processors, the other by 135 poultry slaughter and processors. The survey queried processors about several facets of their operations: the effects of the PR/HACCP rule on plant operations and costs, plant characteristics, miscellaneous questions, and food safety questions dealing with plant operations, sanitation, equipment, product and environmental testing, and dehiding (cattle slaughter only). Summary results from the survey may be found here, as well as the original survey forms.
Data were released November, 2003. The survey repondents answered questions as they pertained to the 2000 calendar year.
More about the survey
In an attempt to remedy the lack of data that exists on the impacts of USDA's 1996 Pathogen Reduction/Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (PR/HACCP) regulation, USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) funded a nationwide survey of meat and poultry processing plants. Economists, policymakers, and others rely on these kinds of data to determine costs, benefits, and impacts of food safety regulations. The ERS survey asked meat and poultry processors which food safety methods and technologies they used to comply with the PR/HACCP rule and the costs they incurred in doing so, for the year 2000. More specifically, the survey queried plant respondents about these facets of their operations:
Effects of the PR/HACCP rule on operations and costs
Characteristics of the surveyed plants
Food safety issues dealing with plant operations, sanitation, equipment, product and environmental testing, and dehiding (cattle slaughter only)
Returned questionnaires came from 996 respondents (861 meat slaughter and processors and 135 poultry slaughter and processors) out of a sample of 1,725 plants identified in the Enhance Facilities Database (EFD) of the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) as being primarily engaged in meat or poultry slaughter or processing. Completed questionnaires were returned by plants that slaughtered 42 percent of all cattle, 75 percent of all hogs, 42 percent of all chickens, and 48 percent of all turkeys, and accounted for 55 percent of all processed meat and poultry products from processors with no slaughter operations. The overall survey response rate was 57 percent.
Meat slaughter and processing plants: survey questions and responses and original questionnaire
Poultry slaughter and processing plants: survey questions and responses and original questionnaire
FSIS will be conducting similar surveys of the meat, poultry, and egg industries. The first surveys of the shell egg packing and egg products industries were initiated in November 2003. Subsequent surveys of the meat and poultry industries will be conducted in 2004-2005. Summary results of the surveys will be available to the public.