July 21, 2005 12:31 PM US Eastern Timezone
DUBLIN, Ireland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 21, 2005–Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/c21227) has announced the addition of Understanding Pathogen Behaviour: Virulence, Stress Response and Resistance to their offering
Pathogens respond dynamically to their environment. Understanding their behaviour is critical both because of evidence of increased resistance to established sanitation and preservation techniques, and because of the increased use of minimal processing technologies which are more vulnerable to the development of resistance. “Understanding Pathogen Behaviour” summarises the wealth of recent research and its implications for the food industry.

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Use a food thermometer to make sure food is safe
Most people think they can check the doneness of burgers, pork chops and chicken breasts just by “eyeballing it.” They look at it and judge the doneness by its appearance. They trust their experience. Experience is good, but it might be misleading.
According to a recent USDA study, one out of every four hamburgers turns brown in the middle before it has reached a safe internal temperature.
Eating undercooked meats or poultry increases the risk of food-borne illness. Many pathogens live naturally in the intestinal tracts of food animals.
Surveys of meat sold in retail food stores indicate that between one-fourth and three-fourths of all meat and poultry cuts sold in 1999 might have been contaminated with food-borne pathogens.
Bacteria most commonly associated with undercooked meats are campylobacter, salmonella and escherichia coli O157:H7.

Continue Reading You can’t judge a burger by its color

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2005
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Contact with animals in public settings, such as at fairs and petting zoos, can be fun and educational. However, it also can lead to the transmission of various serious infectious diseases, especially among children.
“This is the season for petting zoos, county fairs and other events where people come in contact with animals and we want to remind everyone that simple prevention steps, such as hand washing, can reduce the risk of illness,” said Dr. Eric E. Whitaker, state public health director. “In fact, hand washing is the single most important step for reducing the risk for disease transmission.”

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2005-04-16
A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed important declines in foodborne infections due to common bacterial pathogens in 2004.
For the first time, cases of E. coli O157 infections, one of the most severe foodborne diseases, are below the national Healthy People 2010 health goal. From 1996-2004, the incidence of E. coli O157 infections decreased 42 percent. Campylobacter infections decreased 31 percent, Cryptosporidium dropped 40 percent, and Yersinia decreased 45 percent.

Continue Reading Foodborne Illnesses Continue Downward Trend: 2010 Health Goals For E. Coli 0157 Reached

By Judith Blake
Seattle Times staff reporter
March 23, 2005
The calls run the food-safety gamut:
ï A Seattle-area woman said she’d found walnuts in a packaged, pre-cut salad mix, though nuts were not listed in the ingredients. Her young son, who was severely allergic to walnuts, did not eat any of the nuts, but the woman worried that someone else might have an allergic reaction to the mislabeled product.
ï A man discovered mold on the meat-filled breakfast burrito he’d purchased at a convenience store.
ï A woman was dismayed to find larvae in an energy snack bar.
These are among the calls consumers have made to the new toll-free Food Safety Consumer Complaint Hotline (1-800-843-7890) launched in January by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
Goal: to reduce the risk of food-borne illness by making it easier for consumers to lodge complaints and for officials to address them.

Continue Reading New hotline handles food-safety complaints

BALTIMORE, MD, Mar. 21 (UPI) — The presence of drug-resistant bacteria on uncooked poultry varies by commercial brand and probably is related to use of antibiotics, a U.S. study found.
The study, published online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, is the first to compare directly bacterial contamination of poultry sold in U.S. supermarkets from food producers who use antibiotics and from those who say they do not.
The study focused on antibiotic resistance, specifically, fluoroquinolone-resistance in Campylobacter, a pathogen responsible for 2.4 million cases of food-borne illness per year in the United States.

Continue Reading Poultry bacterial contamination compared

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Sunday, March 20, 2005 – WASHINGTON – Two California universities will be part of a project to study food safety.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it had awarded $5million to 18 colleges and universities to set up a Food Safety Research and Response Network. Headed by North Carolina State University, the network will have 50 food safety experts studying E. coli, salmonella, campylobacter and other pathogens. Researchers will focus on where in the environment they are found and how they infect herds.
Among the universities included in the project are the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Davis.
The group also will serve as a response team to help control major episodes of food-related illnesses, such as agricultural bioterrorism.
The government also announced it will spend an additional $2million on research into mad cow disease, the Agriculture Department said Friday.

March 16, 2005
LOS ANGELES (AP) – County health officials said a study shows food-borne diseases have been reduced 13.1 percent because of the restaurant inspection and letter grading system imposed in 1998.
Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county’s public health director and an author of the study, said it was the first scientific proof that the grading system resulted in a “demonstrable public health benefit.”
“What’s really important here is we were able to show a reduction in hospitalizations due to food-borne illnesses, compared to state trends,” Fielding said Thursday.
The study, published in the March issue of the Journal of Environmental Health, used hospital records for infections from bacteria such as salmonella and campylobacter. They analyzed 2,927 hospitalizations in the county.

L.A. County’s restaurant rating system, which includes letter scores, has cut hospitalizations for food-borne diseases by 13%, study finds.
By Jia-Rui Chong and Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writers
March 11, 2005
Fewer people have been hospitalized with food-borne diseases in the last few years, in large part because of the restaurant-grading system in Los Angeles County, according to a new study in the Journal of Environmental Health.
The study, published in the March issue, associated a 13.1% decrease in hospitalizations for the most common food-borne illnesses with the county’s revamping of its restaurant inspection system in 1998.
Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county’s public health director and an author of the study, said it was the first scientific proof that the grading system resulted in a “demonstrable public health benefit.”

Continue Reading Eatery Grades Said to Reduce Illness

22 Dec 2004
A common cause of foodborne disease from poultry products can survive refrigeration and freezing say researchers from Pennsylvania. Their findings appear in the December 2004 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
Campylobacter bacteria are estimated to be responsible for 2.5 million cases of infection in the United States each year and 50% of those cases are attributed to contaminated poultry. Campylobacters are believed to achieve optimal growth in extremely warm temperatures while failing to thrive in temperatures below 86 degrees. Campylobacter jejuni appears to be the exception. Previous studies have shown a small portion able to withstand refrigeration and freezing independently, but the combined effect of both has yet to be tested.
In the study samples of ground chicken and chicken skin infected with C. jejuni were refrigerated, frozen or exposed to a combination of both. A significant portion of the bacteria were able to survive refrigerated and frozen temperatures in both ground chicken and chicken skin.

Continue Reading Harmful Poultry Bacterium May Survive Refrigeration and Frozen Storage Combined