12/16
2003


ISSUE:
96
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WHO Surveillance Programme for Control of Foodborne Infections and Intoxications in Europe, 8th Report, 1999-2000
December 2003
World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe
Edited by Katrin Schmidt and Andrea Gervelmeyer
http://www.bfr.bund.de/internet/8threport/8threp_fr.htm
Introduction
The WHO Surveillance Programme for Control of Foodborne Diseases in Europe was launched in 1980 as a result of the international awareness of the socio-economical impacts of the increase of foodborne diseases. This Programme is managed by the German Federal Institute for Risk assessment (BfR), an FAO/WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Training in Food Hygiene and Zoonoses under the responsibility of the Food Safety Programme of the WHO Regional Office for Europe.
The main objective of the Programme is to provide information for the development of appropriate measures for the prevention and control of foodborne diseases in the Region. Specific objectives include:
- the identification of the causes and epidemiology of foodborne diseases in Europe;
- the distribution of relevant information on surveillance; and,
- the collaboration with national authorities in the identification of priorities in the establishment or reinforcement of their systems of prevention and control of foodborne diseases.
Since its establishment in 1980, the interest in the Programme has grown continuously. The Programme started with the participation of eight countries and currently 51 of the 52 members of the WHO European Region are participating countries.
During year 2000, 10 new countries have joined the Programme including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and the whole Balkan region. This year, Tajikistan has actively joined the Programme.
The Surveillance Programme has the support of the WHO Regional Office in Europe in the provision to the countries of technical assistance to reinforce their surveillance systems and to promote laboratory based surveillance. In fact, during the last two years the WHO Food Safety Programme in Europe has organized several food microbiology laboratory-training courses for example: in Moscow for several Russian speaking countries in collaboration with WHO Salm-Surv, in Kazakhstan for the central Asian republics and in Tajikistan for national experts from different oblasts. Additionally, the WHO/Europe Food Safety Programme has organized, in collaboration with the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one course on epidemiology of foodborne diseases and epidemiological investigation of foodborne outbreaks for the central Asian republics.
The WHO Surveillance Programme achieved remarkable accomplishments during the last 20 years, including harmonization of definitions and introduction of standardized codes or the development of an EPI-INFO questionnaire to investigate foodborne outbreaks. As a result, the Programme has been providing to risk assessors and risk managers in the Region essential data and information for hazard identification and trends analyses, and hence for the evaluation of control options.
The 8th Report summarizes the contributions from 50 countries of the WHO European Region for 1999-2000. This web-based version is preliminary and includes the country reports in English. Some of this country reports are still provisional, and the final versions will be placed in the next web update. The printed version of the 8th Report will be available early 2004. The introduction, summary and discussion will be translated into Russian.
Country reports include:
1. General information on the surveillance systems in each country
2. Data from statutory notification
3. Information on epidemiologically investigated outbreaks
4. Additional information
The General information section includes a description of the official surveillance and reporting system in the corresponding country.
Statutory notification presents data from the official notification system in the countries. In a number of countries these data only refer to the number of cases notified to the health agencies with or without laboratory confirmation and without any further epidemiological background information.
The section on epidemiologically investigated outbreaks includes information on:
number of affected people;
causal agents;
incriminated foods;
place where food was contaminated or acquired or consumed and;
factors contributing to the outbreak.
This information is frequently based on the reports of laboratories involved in the investigation of foodborne incidents.
Finally, the section of additional information may include comments from the national contact points and - when available - links to the participating countries?related web sites with information on actual figures or trends in foodborne diseases.
With this web-based version we invite all our national contacts to send us their comments on the provisional versions to enhance the final printed version of the 8th Report.
The editors and the WHO Food Safety Programme of WHO/Europe would like to express their deep gratitude to all the national counterparts of the WHO Surveillance Programme for their invaluable contributions, and to all those who collaborated in the elaboration of the 8th Report and its placement on the web for their support in completing this important task.
Complete document available at: http://www.bfr.bund.de/internet/8threport/8threp_fr.htm

FSIS addresses FDA's prior notice
December 15, 2003
Herd On The Hill
Edited by Kiran Kernellu
FSIS conducted a tele-briefing last Thursday morning to review import
inspection procedures for meat, poultry and egg products in light of FDA's
prior notice requirement that went into effect last Friday, Dec. 12. FSIS
officials noted that the import process is unchanged for USDA-inspected
products and FDA's regulations for food facility registration and prior notice
of food imports don't supersede the statutory authority for meat and poultry
production. The Agency has also posted two backgrounders covering these
issues, entitled "Importing Meat, Poultry And Egg Products To The United
States" (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/background/imports2003.htm) and "Imported Meat, Poultry and Egg Products Remain Under USDA Jurisdiction" (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/oa/background/btact2003.htm) on its website. Any questions on these issues should be directed to FSIS's Congressional Public affairs staff at 202-720-9113.
Remember, if your company's product bears the USDA mark of inspection, your company isn't required to register with FDA. However, companies are required to register if they also produce products that don't bear the mark of
inspection. Members may request an Olsson, Frank & Weeda memorandum from NMA entitled, "FDA and Customs Issue Compliance Policy Guide on Enforcement of Registration and Prior Notice Interim Final Rules" for more information.
In a press release dated Dec. 11, FDA noted "as the rule becomes effective,
FDA and CBP [Bureau of Customs and Border Protection] expect a 'good faith'
effort at compliance. The policy guide issued today makes clear that during
the next 8 months, the two agencies will primarily rely on educating the
affected firms and individuals. During this period, the agencies will utilize
communication and education initiatives, escalating imposition of civil
monetary penalties, and ultimately refusal of shipments. This phase-in period will end on August 12, 2004 ... Regarding food mailed, brought or accompanied to the U.S. by individuals for non-personal use, FDA and CBP generally will continue their education efforts and will not refuse its admission before August 12, 2004 because of inadequate or lacking prior notice." Further, "During the phase-in period, FDA and CBP will generally use civil monetary penalties and refusals only in response to repetitive, flagrant and other serious violations." View FDA's policy guide at: http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~pn/cpgpn.htm
l.

Seeing the UV light

http://www.meatprocess.com/news/news-NG.asp?id=48564

- 17/12/2003 - Researchers working in Canada have discovered that an optimal UV irradiation system can be developed for individual food products, taking into account the UV transmittance of each product. These findings, published in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture, suggest that UV irradiation may prove to be a better and more cost effective method of eliminating the risks posed by E. coli bacteria than heat pasteurisation.

The UV rays inactivate E. coli bacteria by degrading their cell walls and DNA. These rays can be produced by high intensity fluorescent lamps, which are both cheap and readily available, making this method extremely efficient. With the optimal fluid depth and UV dose, the scientists reported a significant decrease in active E. coli bacteria in both apple juice and liquid egg white.
The researchers also found that, in direct contrast to pasteurisation, the sensory quality of the food products following irradiation was not compromised, and that inactivation of the bacteria lasted for the entire shelf life of the product. Heat pasteurisation can often affect both the flavour and consistency of food.

The scientists working on the project are hopeful that this represents a breakthrough in the fight against food-borne diseases. The presence of E.coli bacteria for example, found in foods such as egg white and apple juice, is an ongoing major public health concern.

UV irradiation offers a relatively inexpensive and effective means of inactivating some of the serious bacteria in food products,?said Dr Michael Ngadi, co-author of the study. “We are able to design and operate systems that can process liquid products to satisfy regulatory requirements. The wonderful thing is that products can be processed at lower temperatures and therefore the fresh-like quality of the product can be maintained.?

There is, however, a notable degree of opposition to irradiated foods on both sides of the Atlantic. In September for example, a US politician tried to push through a bill in the US senate that would have allowed for a clear labelling policy on irradiation in the National School Lunch Programme. Representative Barbara Lee said that she was willing to sponsor a right-to-know bill on irradiated food in an attempt to give parents and children the opportunity of whether or not to choose irradiated foods.

This issue has also awoken concerns in the European Union. Recent experiments funded by the EU determined that 2-ACBs promoted the growth of colon tumors in rats and caused genetic damage in human cells. In addition to raw and cooked ground beef, 2-ACBs have been detected in other foods that the FDA has legalised for irradiation, including chicken, eggs and mangoes.

But this view is not shared by everyone. Advocates of irradiation maintain that the technology is safe and that it successfully eliminating harmful bacteria. "Dangerous substances do not appear in foods when irradiated as approved,?says a statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Surebeams website. This is clearly shown by extensive studies on the effects of irradiation on food, and on the animals and people eating irradiated food."

Genome Map database allows rapid identification of pathogenic organisms

OpGen, Inc. Produces Whole-Genome Map of Potential Biothreat agent, Francisella tularensis
http://www.rapidmicrobiology.com/news/1634h0.php

OpGen, Inc., a leader in single molecule DNA analysis technology, have now added a Genome Map of the Category "A" pathogen, Francisella tularensis, the causative agent of Tularemia, to its Genome Map database. The organism is of particular concern as a potential bio-threat agent because it is one of the most infectious bacteria known - as few as 10 cells may be sufficient to cause an infection. It has been estimated that release of the organism over a population center of around 5 million people could result in as many as 250,000 cases of tularemia and around 19,000 fatalities.

"Early identification of the causative agents in disease outbreaks, whether natural, or the result of bioterror attacks, is critical to mounting an effective response" said Colin Dykes, Chief Scientific Officer of OpGen. "OpGen's unique single-molecule analysis technology can rapidly identify suspect organisms, and variants of known organisms, including genetically-engineered strains carrying "foreign DNA", by detailed comparison of the organism's whole genome against reference maps in the database".

Francisella tularensis was selected for analysis, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, because of its potential as a bio-terror agent. "It is regarded as potentially more dangerous than anthrax as a bio-terror weapon, because of its extreme infectivity", said Dykes. "However, tularemia can be treated effectively with antibiotics such as streptomycin, if diagnosed in time".

OpGen plans to prepare Genome Maps from a wide range of potential bio-threat organisms, including those affecting plants and animals, as well as people, as a resource for rapid identification of suspect organisms. OpGen can also trace the source of agents involved in disease outbreaks by comparing Genome Maps from suspect organisms against those from known strains of the organism in the OpGen database.

E. coli vaccine for cattle found; Research hailed in war against killer. New tool to fight tainted meat
December 15, 2003
The Toronto Star
A18
Karen Palmer
Canadian researchers have, according to this story, devised a way to significantly reduce deadly E. coli bacteria carried by cattle, giving humans an indirect defence against the potentially fatal effects of contaminated meat or water.
The story says that the bovine vaccine, which could be mass produced as early as next year reduces the ability of the bacterium to stick to the gut wall of cattle, reducing chances for the bug to replicate there.
Kelly Daynard, spokesperson for the Ontario Cattlemen's Association, was quoted as saying, “There's so much done to reduce exposure at the processing and producer level, but certainly a vaccine would be wonderful news.?br>Microbiologist Brett Finlay of the University of British Columbia and his team were working on developing an antibody that would act as a Teflon coating - giving the wall of the gut a slick lining that would gum up the bacteria's stick-and-stay process - when they decided to turn their attention to cattle.
If they could produce the same non-stick reaction in cattle, which carry the O157 H7 version of the bacteria - lethal to humans - the E. coli would slide right through. Fewer bacteria, less chance of contaminated meat or water supplies.
The story adds that by examining fecal samples of 500 inoculated cattle in Nebraska, researchers found the amount of bacteria the animals were carrying was reduced by 60 to 70 per cent.

Research Reveals A Nation Of Stressed Christmas Cooks
REMEMBER FOOD HYGIENE IN THE KITCHEN THIS CHRISTMAS

http://www.catering-uk.co.uk

New research commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reveals that preparing and cooking a traditional Christmas Turkey is second only to shopping as the most stressful Xmas activity . Chores such as keeping the in-laws entertained or arguing over what to watch on TV on the big day, are a walk in the park when compared to cooking the traditional Christmas turkey. For one in three cooks it is the most stressful experience they have during the festive season.

Feeling pressured in the kitchen can lead to food hygiene errors, which could trigger unfortunate food poisoning incidents on the biggest day of the year. With just over a week until Christmas the FSA is issuing a timely reminder to all Christmas Cooks to be careful in the kitchen.

Every year nearly ten million turkeys are sold during the festive season. December is one of the most common months for people to fall ill from food poisoning after eating poultry. Despite the majority of food poisoning incidents going unreported, more than 4,000 cases of food poisoning were reported to public health authorities in December 2002. This makes it all the more important to ensure that all you give this Christmas are perfect presents - and not unwanted cases of food poisoning.

Robert Rees, Chef and Food Standards Agency Board Member said:

"As our research shows, for many people cooking a big Christmas dinner can be a very stressful business. Many find themselves cooking for more people than they are used to and cooking things they don't often cook. Everyone wants their Christmas meal to be special and the last thing they want is to ruin the big day by making mistakes in the kitchen that can lead to unfortunate food poisoning incidents.

We hope our turkey advice will help consumers keep calm in the kitchen during the festive season. Most food poisoning incidents are easily prevented and with a little extra thought and planning everybody can enjoy a delicious stressfree Christmas dinner."

Talking Turkey - Britain's Turkey Troubles

To help identify the most common kitchen food hygiene pitfalls the Agency has carried out consumer research looking at typical Christmas cooking habits and what worries us most when faced with preparing the biggest meal of the year.

Defrosting Dilemmas

Where to defrost your turkey raises a whole number of issues - two thirds (64%) of people defrost it by leaving it standing out in the kitchen, one fifth (20%) make room for it in the family fridge, while one in twenty (5%) opt for the garden shed. The best method, and safest way to defrost your turkey is in the fridge, allowing 10 ? 12 hours per Kilo. If you can't fit your turkey in the fridge, defrost it at room temperature (allowing 2 hours per Kilo) taking care to make sure it is covered and does not touch any other foods.

Washing Worries

Four fifths of Britons (80%) admit to washing their turkey - washing your turkey or any other bird can increase the chances of spreading food poisoning bacteria. Bacteria, already on the bird, can be splashed around the kitchen leading to the cross contamination of other foods, utensils and work surfaces. However cooking your turkey thoroughly will eliminate any harmful bacteria on the bird - but always remember to wash your hands properly after handling the raw turkey so you don't spread bacteria further.

To stuff or not to stuff that is the question

Nearly one third of Brits (32%) cook their stuffing the traditional way - inside the bird. However this method runs the risk that both the stuffing and the bird will not cook through properly. To be 100% sure that your stuffing and bird are cooked through cook the stuffing separately on a roasting tin.

It's all in the timing

Calculating just how long your turkey needs in the oven can be tricky. Cooking your turkey properly is essential to ensure you destroy all the bacteria. Use the cooking instructions on the packaging as a guide and refer to your oven manufacturer's guidelines where possible. As a general rule, turkey should be cooked for a minimum of 40 minutes per kilo in a pre-heated oven at 180oC/350oF/Gas mark 4. Always check that the meat is cooked through - if juices run out when your pierce the meat or press the thigh they should be clear.

To keep consumers calm and in control in the kitchen this year the FSA has issued top turkey cooking and handling advice to help people avoid making food preparation errors in the run up to Christmas. The Agency's website www.food.gov.uk features:

-Top tips on how to store, prepare and cook your Christmas Dinner
-'Talking Turkey' a special Turkey Counselling Column
-A Turkey Calculator to help you calculate the correct cooking and defrosting time for your bird
-The return of the ever popular Turkey Berserky interactive Christmas game

Back by popular demand the Agency 's popular Christmas Turkey television advertisement will also run again this year encouraging consumers to 'Give your turkey a proper roasting'. Featuring a man-sized uncooked turkey wreaking havoc upon a typical family Christmas Day the ad reminds us that 'Every year turkeys spoils Christmas for thousands of people.' The ad will break on Saturday 20th December and run for six days in the immediate run up to Christmas.

Eat Drink and be Healthy - top turkey handling and cooking tips

-Plan a realistic amount of food that you can cope with. If you have so much perishable food that it won't fit in the fridge, you might compromise its safety by storing it somewhere that isn't cold enough.

-Try to buy a turkey that's realistic for your needs - the bigger the turkey the more difficult it is to prepare and cook safely.

-Make sure the turkey is properly defrosted before you cook it. When it's completely thawed there won't be any ice crystals inside the cavity. You can also test it with a fork to tell whether the meat feels frozen.

-Store raw meat at the bottom of the fridge, preferably in a covered container where it can't drip onto other foods. Always keep raw poultry away from ready-to-eat foods.

-Wash hands, chopping boards, utensils and work surfaces after they have been in contact with raw meat. Use a separate chopping board for raw meat.

-Never wash your turkey (or other poultry) - washing can splash harmful bacteria onto worktops, dishes and other foods. Proper cooking will kill any bacteria so you have no need to wash poultry.

-Always check that the meat is properly cooked through before you serve it. Make sure that the meat is piping hot all the way through, cut into the thickest part and check that none of the meat is pink and if juices run out when you pierce the turkey they should be clear.

-Don't leave food out all day. Better to put out small amounts at a time, so that what has been on the table has just been cooked or just come out of the fridge. Try to use any leftovers ideally within 48 hours or freeze them.

An estimated 150,000 Canadians suffer from peanut allergies
Quebec survey counts peanut allergies
Last Updated Mon, 15 Dec 2003 19:29:45
CBC News
http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2003/12/15/peanut_allergy031215

MONTREAL - The prevalence of peanut allergies in Quebec is higher than expected, a survey suggests.

According to the McGill University Health Centre survey of 4,339 primary school children, the prevalence of peanut allergies in children in Montreal is about 1.5 per cent.


An estimated 150,000 Canadians suffer from peanut allergies

The level is higher than expected, the researchers said. Previous research suggested a worldwide prevalence of about one per cent.
Dr. Rhoda Kagan of the pediatrics department at McGill is one of the authors of the study. She said anecdotally, most allergists believe peanut allergies are on the rise.

The team's findings help bolster the theory, but it is too early to tell definitively.

Rather, the findings offer a baseline measurement for the next time researchers count peanut allergies in the province.

The study appears in the December issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The investigators say it is the first North American study on allergy to corroborate medical history with diagnostic testing.

Between December 2000 and September 2002, the team gave pin-prick allergy tests and foods with peanuts or placebos to students who were in kindergarten through Grade 3.

Scientists don't know why peanut allergies seem to be more common. They've pointed to greater consumption, increased public awareness and a general trend to more allergies such as hay fever. Written by CBC News Online staff

Our food is sickening
In: Consumer Action
10 Things Your Restaurant Won't Tell You
http://smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?story=tenthings-february03&pgnum=1

On a Sunday night last September, Brad and Julie Welty took their two children out for Chinese food at King Garden in Wooster, Ohio. Within days their younger daughter, four-and-half-year-old Ashley, was hospitalized and diagnosed as having contracted E. coli 0157:H7, which causes a toxin to form in the blood and can lead to kidney failure. Ashley wound up spending two weeks on kidney dialysis; her sister, six-year-old Breanne, was also hospitalized but with milder symptoms.

"They're okay now," says Julie, "and we hope they stay that way. But there's no telling whether or not Ashley will have further kidney complications down the road." In the meantime, the Weltys have retained attorney William Marler to represent them in a products liability suit against the restaurant, filed in Ohio's Wayne County Court, for allegedly serving contaminated food. Marler is also representing four other people who, he says, picked up E. coli at King Garden. The restaurant replied to the suit by denying all charges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest estimate is that each year more than 173,000 illnesses are caused by foodborne E. coli in the U.S. While not all cases originate in restaurants, Roy E. Costa, a public health consultant near Orlando, suggests that if your meal seems to be the wrong temperature, don't just return it; demand a whole new dish. "If toxins have already developed," he says, "they will not be [resolved] through reheating."

'Bug in cakes' poisons 300 children

Irish Examiner
http://www.examiner.ie/breaking/2003/12/13/story125561.html

Nearly 300 preschool children in a Belgrade suburb have fallen sick after consuming salmonella-contaminated food at their nursery schools, medical authorities said today.

The Belgrade Health Care Institute said 53 children have been admitted to hospital since Friday out of 279 who showed symptoms of salmonella poisoning. Also sick were 28 nursery school employees, the institute said. None was in a life-threatening condition.

Several day care centres in the Belgrade area of Zemun were hit by the sickness. The food in all the centres was prepared in a central kitchen, and the children were probably poisoned after eating cream cakes made of fresh eggs that contained salmonella, doctors at the institute said.


The symptoms of salmonella poisoning ?caused by a bacterium sometimes present in raw meat, eggs, dairy products and seafood ?include diarrhoea, fever and abdominal cramps.

Local media reported that parents of the poisoned children are planning to take the matter to the courts.

Court reinstates madcow suit against USDA
December 16, 2003
Reuters
NEW YORK - A U.S. appeals court was cited as reviving on Tuesday an animal protection group's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture aimed at stopping the sale of "downed" animals for human food because of a fear of mad cow disease.
The story says that in its ruling, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a trial court's finding that the Farm Sanctuary, based in upstate New York, and Fordham University professor Michael Baur had no standing to file the suit.
The appeals court sent the case back to the Manhattan federal court for further proceedings. A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office did not have an immediate comment.

Antimicrobial Resistance Expert Workshop executive summary available
December 2003
Food Safety and Quality Update, Issue No 12
The joint first FAO/OIE/WHO expert workshop on Non-human Antimicrobial Usage and Antimicrobial Resistance (Geneva, Switzerland, 1-5 December 2003) focused on providing a scientific description of the problems related to the use of antimicrobials in food production (e.g. treatment, prophylaxis, growth promotion). The outcome will serve as input to a second meeting (to be held March 2004) involving stakeholders. This meeting will look at specific management options. The Executive
Summary of the first workshop is posted at www.fao.org/es/ESN/food/meetings_antimicrobial_en.stm.


Scientific Advice on Pathogens of Concern in Infant Formula workshop

February 2-5, 2004 in Geneva, Switzerland
FAO and WHO will convene this workshop to begin the process of providing Codex and member countries with expert scientific advice on the risk posed by pathogens in infant formula and on the options for reducing this risk. FAO/WHO have issued a call for data on pathogens of concern in infant formula, their incidence, characteristics, the illnesses they cause, etc. All data received will be reviewed during the workshop. For more details or to submit any relevant data, please visit www.fao.org/es/ESN/food/risk_mra_risk_data_en.stm or contact jemra@fao.org

Current Food Safety Informaiton
12/17. Industry input sought for seafood standard
12/17. Chief Scientist Dr Marion Healy discusses chemical contamina
12/17. FSANZ staff provides microbiological risk assessment trainin
12/17. Ministerial Round Table: The Dimension of Food Safety in Foo
12/17. Codex Committee on Meat Hygiene
12/17. Scientific Advice on Pathogens of Concern in Infant Formula
12/17. Conference on small-scale producing units of traditional fer
12/17. Antimicrobial Resistance Expert Workshop executive summary a
12/17. Safeguarding the food supply: Global Technology Resources¡¯ s
12/17. Perspective: You have a right to take responsibility
12/17. Court reinstates madcow suit against USDA
12/17. International food safety issues
12/17. Safety of food products
12/17. Homeland Security concerned about ag
12/17. FSIS addresses FDA's prior notice
12/17. FSIS'S new technology public meeting
12/17. WHO Surveillance Programme for Control of Foodborne Infectio
12/17. USDA's proposed rule to allow live animal imports from Canad
12/17. American Nun Brings Cheese to France
12/17. Training opportunity
12/17. FSIS to Host Public Meeting on New Technology
12/17. FSIS Issues Three New Notices
12/17. State rolls out new food safety regulations
12/17. Remember the 5 second rule
12/17. Second food-poisoning victim sues Chili's in fed court

12/16. Christmas eating
12/16. CJD (new var.) - UK: update 2003 (13)
12/16. Dept. of Homeland Security proposes agroterror research cent
12/16. November restaurant closures
12/16. Research team uncovers new compound in human stomach
12/16. Meat inspection: Why can¡¯t we have one system?
12/16. Wild Weather Woes
12/16. Study finds feedlots altering fish
12/16. BOC acquires safety portfolio
12/16. Antibiotics in action
12/16. An estimated 150,000 Canadians suffer from peanut allergies
12/16. Judge approves rules for claims against Chi-Chi's
12/16. 50 claim losses due to hepatitis
12/16. Food poisoning on the rise at this time of year
12/16. Keeping Cows Safe From Terrorism
12/16. REMEMBER FOOD HYGIENE IN THE KITCHEN THIS CHRISTMAS

12/15. Food Standards Agency (UK) Board update December 2003
12/15. Food Standards Australia New Zealand board releases strategi
12/15. Canadian consumers increasingly concerned with food safety
12/15. Announcing the 30th Annual ABC Research Technical Seminar
12/15. New food safety code enacted
12/15. Mad cow 'honesty' could help industry
12/15. EU leaders hand out new agencies: food safety to Parma
12/15. Proposed new guideline for trichloroethylene (TCE) in drinki
12/15. Unnatural cheese

12/14. Settlement possible in Monsanto's lawsuit against Portland
12/14. Health Canada advises consumers not to use the herb comfrey
12/14. USDA to Offer Irradiation-treated Beef to School Kids
12/14. U.S. Food Supply Vulnerable to Bioterrorism - GAO Report
12/14. Bioterrorism Act: Imported Meat Remains Under USDA Rules
12/14. 62 Million for Canada's Food Safety and Quality Systems
12/14. Egg Allergy Diet
12/14. Water In Spanaway Is Safe To Drink
12/14. Tap water tainted by E. coli
12/14. Health Department Offers Food Safety Tips for the Holidays
12/14. Prevent food-borne illness this holiday season

Current Recall Information

Current USDA/FDA NEWS
Food and Cosmetic Security Guidances; Availability
Questions and Answers on the Interim Final Rule on Prior Notice of Imported Food
U.S. Codex Office "What's New" Page: Updated December 16, 2003
FSIS Constituent Update/Alert: Updated December 12, 2003
Importing Meat, Poultry And Egg Products To The United States
Imported Meat, Poultry and Egg Products Remain Under USDA Jurisdiction

Prior Notice of Imported Food Under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism
Small Entity Compliance Guides on Registration of Food Facilities and Prior Notice of Imported
Guidance for Industry: Prior Notice of Imported Food Questions and Answers
Importing Meat, Poultry And Egg Products To The United States
Imported Meat, Poultry and Egg Products Remain Under USDA Jurisdiction
FDA Statement Regarding Glofish

Current Outbreaks
12/17. Salmonellosis, foodborne - Serbia (Belgrade -
12/16. Our food is sickening
12/15. Reptile-associated salmonellosis --- selected states
12/15. Hepatitis outbreak
12/14. 40 in Moscow food poisoning scare
12/14. 'Bug in cakes' poisons 300 children

Current New Methods
12/17. The kitchen faucet is a vegetable's best friend
12/17. U.S. meat packer Plumrose to use Warnex system
12/17. Seeing the UV light
12/17. Patented antimicrobial hand sanitizer provides greater than
12/17. Canadians testing new vaccine for E. coli
12/15. E. coli vaccine for cattle found; -
12/15. Genome Map database allows rapid identification of pathogenic
12/14. Vaccine in works for cattle