Tag Archive: Cantaloupes


Food Safety

Authorities Unable to Find Source of Neff’s Picnic E. coli 0157:H7 Outbreak

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Dayton & Montgomery County public health authorities have been unable to find the cause of the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak that sickened 79 people and killed one person. Two people contracted secondary cases of the infection from person-to-person contact. The outbreak was linked to the Neff’s Lawn Care customer appreciation picnic that took place in Germantown, Ohio on July 3, 2012.

Of those sickened in the outbreak, twenty people tested positive for the outbreak strain of the bacteria and 14 people were hospitalized. Three of those hospitalized developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, and one 73-year-old man died. The investigation covered where the foods at the picnic came from, how the food was stored, handled, and maintained before and at the event, and an environmental assessment of the site.

Authorities also interviewed 117 people who attended the picnic, and conducted an epidemiological analysis of that data. In addition, the Ohio Department of health, the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and the USDA were involved in the investigation.

The outbreak investigation began on July 9, but by that time there were no foods left for authorities to examine. The food at the picnic was provided by the host, Neff’s Lawn Care, and by attendees who brought their own food. The food served at the picnic included two hogs that were roasted off-site and delivered to the picnic, along with hamburgers and hot dogs. None of the meat items, which are typically the source of E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria, were conclusively linked to the outbreak.

Authorities also took water samples of the wells at the picnic site, and environmental samples at the farm where the hogs were produced and slaughtered. Because there was no inventory of carried-in foods, most of the food items were not analyzed. The picnic was not a licensed event so it was unregulated, so PHDMC couldn’t verify cooking, cooling, holding, or reheating temperatures or food handling practices.

The report ends with these words: “This outbreak illustrates the importance of proper food handling as CDC estimates that about 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne illness.

Authorities Offer Advice on Cantaloupe During Salmonella Outbreak

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies, including some university extension services, are issuing guides for consumers about cantaloupe and the recent Salmonella outbreak. The outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium announced this past week has many consumers uneasy about buying and eating melons. Because the government has not said which facilities bought the cantaloupe for resale, the CDC is telling consumers to check with their retailer if the cantaloupe came from Chamberlain Farms Produce, Inc. Supermarkets must tell you the origin of a product if you ask. Fred Pritzker, national food safety attorney, says, “I wonder when we are going to see a retail distribution list for this Salmonella outbreak?”

While stickers to identify the source are often added to produce, they sometimes won’t stick to the webbed surface of cantaloupe. That’s why it’s important to always ask about the source. And when in doubt, throw it out.

University of Iowa Extension has a fact sheet about the safe purchase and handling of fresh cantaloupe. And Purdue Extension has created a guide to help consumers stay healthy when eating cantaloupes and other produce. If the cantaloupe you are purchasing is not part of the recall, it is safe to eat as long as it is properly stored and prepared.

When you purchase cantaloupe, look for fruit with a complete rind that does not have cracks, breaks, bruises, soft spots, or mold. Always refrigerate cantaloupes to help slow the growth of bacteria. In fact, advice on keeping melons in the fridge is similar to advice for perishable foods; don’t leave sliced or cut melons out of refrigeration for more than two hours.

You should always scrub cantaloupes under running water with a brush before eating. Dry the melon before cutting it. Wash the knife after every cut from the rind into the flesh. And make sure you disinfect surfaces and utensils that come into contact with the cantaloupe rind.

But be aware that thorough cleaning will not remove all of the bacteria that may be present on the fruit. And in this particular outbreak, the FDA stated, “If consumers believe they have cantaloupe from this farm, they should not try to wash the harmful bacteria off the cantaloupe as contamination may be both on the inside and outside of the cantaloupe.”

Get a free Salmonella case review here.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing the symptoms of Salmonella, which include diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting, see your health care provider immediately. If you have eaten cantaloupe recently, make sure you tell the doctor about it. Long-term consequences of a Salmonella infection can be severe, including Reiter’s syndrome, which causes reactive arthritis, and bloodstream infections.

Food Safety Advocates to USDA: Require Labeling for Tenderized Meat

Consumers should know this meat requires a higher cooking temp, group says

Food Safety News

A group of food safety advocates is calling on the Obama Administration to make good on its proposal to require labeling for mechanically tenderized meat.
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday, the Safe Food Coalition called on the agency to require that mechanically tenderized meat bear a label that includes instructions on how to safely cook this meat.
mechanical-tenderizer.jpgIn the past, USDA has differentiated mechanically tenderized steaks–which have been probed with a series of small metal blades or needles–from “intact” steaks, which it says need only be cooked to 145 degrees F because bacteria does not penetrate into the middle of intact cuts. Mechanically tenderized cuts, however, should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, like ground beef, to allow for the fact that bacteria may have penetrated further into the meat.
In January of 1999, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service listed mechanically tenderized meat as a non-intact meat in its policy on beef products at risk of contamination with E. coli O157:H7.
“Pathogens may be introduced below the surface of these products as a result of the processes by which they are made,” said the agency.
According to research from Kansas State University, approximately 3 to 4 percent of E. coli bacteria can be carried from the surface of contaminated meat to the inside of the beef product.
However, the agency does not currently require a label on tenderized steaks indicating that they should be cooked to a higher temperature.
“Without a label to identify mechanically treated meat products, along with information to help mitigate the risk, the unsuspecting purchasers of these products – whether they are restaurant cooks or consumers – will have no idea that the product that they have selected needs additional protective handling and preparation,” says the Safe Food Coalition letter, signed by member groups.
In March of this year, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) submitted a rule to the federal Office of Management and Budget suggesting that “raw, needle or blade, mechanically tenderized, meat and poultry products be labeled to indicate that they are ‘mechanically tenderized.’ It goes on to propose that tenderized meat labels “include cooking instructions that have been validated to ensure adequate pathogen destruction.”
Mechanically tenderized beef products were implicated in at least 6 E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks between 2003 and 2009. The latest – in December of 2009 – sickened at least 21 people in 16 states.
The American Meat Institute says that tenderization is not necessarily what led to contamination in these outbreaks, and that evidence shows mechanically tenderized steaks are no riskier than intact ones.
In February of 2010, AMI said it had reviewed outbreaks linked to tenderized meat and determined that all meat implicated in these outbreaks had been further altered beyond tenderization.
“From this review AMI has determined that all of the recalls due to outbreaks were related to the consumption of marinated or enhanced steak products,” said AMI Vice President of Food Safety and Inspection Services Scott Goltry.
“Because blade-tenderized steaks have been found to be comparable in safety, we don’t believe that special labeling declaring the mechanical tenderization process will provide meaningful or actionable information to consumers,” said the American Meat Institute in 2009 in response to calls for mandatory labeling of tenderized steaks.
Dr. Richard Raymond, who was Undersecretary for Food Safety at USDA from 2005-2008, says the idea of requiring a label on mechanically tenderized meat came up in internal meetings at FSIS while he was in office, but that he decided against it given the small number of illnesses that had been linked to these meats at the time and the potential damage it could do to the industry.
“I felt the risk was not significant enough to require a labeling process,” Raymond told Food Safety News.
“In theory, it is absolutely possible that you can drive bacteria into the inner part of the steak. In actuality, there haven’t been that many illnesses linked to blade-tenderized steaks,” says Raymond.
“If you choose to put it on the label people are going to say, ‘Well what does that mean?’ You have to have an explanation if you say it’s been mechanically tenderized,” he says. “A lot of people wouldn’t buy a steak that had that label on it because they’re not going to cook them well-done. It’s like putting the radura symbol on meat that’s been irradiated. It’s scary. It will make people think the product is less reliable.”
Current Undersecretary for Food Safety Dr. Elizabeth Hagen pushed for acceptance of the proposal to label mechanically tenderized meats in front of the House Appropriations committee in March.
“We do believe (mechanically tenderized meats) should be labeled. This is important information for consumers to have.”
The rule is still under review at OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Study Measures Campylobacter Contamination in Skinless, Boneless Retail Broiler Meat

Food Safety  News

A study published August 24 in BMC Microbiology by Aretha Williams and Omar A Oyarzabal reported on the prevalence of Campylobacter species in skinless, boneless retail broiler meat.

The study was conducted in Alabama between 2005 and 2011, and resulted in the findings that Campylobacter bacteria could be found in 41 percent of retail broiler meat samples on a yearly basis, with no statistical difference in the presence of bacteria from year to year during the study’s time-frame.  No statistical significance was found between the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni from season to season, but a statistical significance was found in the prevalence of Campylobacter coli found in skinless, boneless retail broiler meat seasonally.

The study shows that the prevalence of Campylobacter coli varied by brand, plant, season, state, store and year, while the prevalence of Campylobacter jejuni varied by brand, product, state and store. Tenderloins had a lower prevalence of Campylobacter species than breasts and thighs.

The authors concluded that while the prevalence of Campylobacter bacteria did not change during the seven years of study, it did change when analyzed by brand, product and state and that additional assessment should be conducted to determine the recurrence of specific strains of Campylobacter bacteria in poultry, to help predict the risk associated with each strain.

Salmonella Outbreak In Canada Linked To Mexican Mangoes

Food Poisoning Bulletin

A Salmonella outbreak linked to mangoes produced in Mexico has sickened at least 22 people in Canada, according to the public health agency of Canada. The mangoes were produced by the Daniella company of Mexico and distributed July 12-August 14 by importer North American Produce Sales, Vancouver, BC.

So far, 17 people in British Columbia and 5 people in Alberta have been sickened by the outbreak strain Salmonella Braenderup. North American Produce Sales has issued a recall of the mangoes which were distributed to British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. The recall is being monitored by Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

 Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause serious sometimes fatal illness if in ingested. Symptoms of an infection usually develop within six to 72 hours after exposure and last up to seven days. They include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. If the diarrhea is so severe that dehydration occurs, hospitalization wis required.  Cases where the infection moves from the gastro-intestinal tract to the the bloodstream can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics. Those most at risk are young children, seniors and people who have compromised immune systems.

The recalled were sold whole by a variety of retailers and had stickers bearing PLU# 4959. Consumers who have purchased these mangoes should not eat them. This outbreak does not include any cases patients from the U.S. The Public Health Agency of Canada says it will update the number of illnesses weekly during the course of the investigation.

California Investigating 73 Illnesses Linked to Salmonella Mangoes

Food Safety News

mangoesB_iphone.jpgCalifornia health officials are investigating 73 illnesses potentially linked to Salmonella-contaminated mangoes, the California Department of Public Health said Monday.

The news comes two days after the Canadian Food Inspection Agency announced a recall of mangoes imported from Mexico after several illnesses were linked to consuming the fruit.

Both California and Canada are investigating the same strain: Salmonella Braenderup.

“Preliminary data indicate that mango consumption is associated with an increase in the number of Salmonella Braenderup cases in California,” said CDPH spokesman Matt Conens. “As of today, there are 73 cases with this outbreak strain that have been confirmed.”

Of the patients who have been interviewed, 67 percent reported eating mangoes, according to Conens, but state officials said they have not yet identified specific mango brand or source yet.

The state agency said it is coordinating investigation with other states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as Canadian health officials.

Over the weekend, Canada recalled Daniella brand mangoes that were sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon between July 12 and August 14. The fruit, which were sold individually, may bear a sticker reading PLU# 4959.

5 of 7 E. coli Cases in Western New York Linked; Source a Mystery

Water is a suspect for five E. coli O157:H7 cases in Livingston County, New York that are related, but tests so far have turned out to be negative.
That leaves health officials in western New York State with a bit of a mystery.
As first reported on Aug. 20, 7 people in Livingston County were stricken with E. coli infections; 4 required hospitalization.  The onset of confirmed illnesses was recorded between Aug. 6 and 24 with those infected being from age 22 to 67.

Ecoliarrows_320x175.jpg

Health officials were able to identify a common outbreak strain for 5 of the 7 cases. Water in the geographic area where victims live has tested negative for E. coli contamination. While all 7 cases are geographically clustered, health officials said they do not all share the same source of public water. That includes the 5 cases linked with the common strain.
Livingston County Public Health Director Joan Ellison says the investigation is only at its halfway point and the possibility of water being a common source has not yet been ruled out.
Ellison Monday renewed a public health warning for Livingston County. The alert reminds the public that severe and persistent diarrhea, some bloody, are among the classic symptoms for E. coli infection.
The warning also makes it clear that while E. coli is a pathogen that is is harbored in the intestines of animals and normally transmitted through feces, it can also be spread by other means including by washing fruits and vegetables.

Cantaloupe Food Safety Solutions Leave Consumers Praying

Market food safety at retail

Food Safety News

Opinion
Tim Chamberlain seems like a nice enough guy. According to the Indianapolis Star he started growing cantaloupe and watermelon on an acre of land and now, 30 years later, he and his wife, Mia, have built Chamberlain Farms into a midsized melon-growing operation, with 500 acres and about 20 employees.

CantaloupeHalfMoonMain.jpg

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced earlier this week that the Chamberlains’ southwestern Indiana farm “may be one source of contamination” in the salmonella outbreak that has killed two people in Kentucky and sickened 178 people in 21 states.
The story says it’s difficult for the 48-year-old father of four to imagine that his farm could have been a source of such tragedy. He doesn’t believe his farm was the source of contamination, though he emphasized that he is not disputing anything public health authorities have said.
Dan Egel, a Purdue Extension specialist in Vincennes, Ind., said Chamberlain
has worked closely with the Extension Service over the years on disease and pest control though not specifically on food safety.
And that could be the biggest clue until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration releases its inevitable report documenting faith-based food safety.
(Updated: Dan Egel writes, “The reason that Tim Chamberlain and I never spoke about food safety is because food safety is not my specialty. I know for certain that Tim interacted with other Purdue University specialists that are experts on food safety.”)
The effect on others is staggering: Vernon Stuckwish of Stuckwish Family Farms in Jackson County said that initial stigma has “already pretty much destroyed our market.”
Like any other major outbreak, there’s lots of commentary about how the outbreak confirms preexisting notions: that more needs to be done, that federal regulations would have made a difference, that there should be more testing. After 20 years of watching and participating in this food safety stuff, the lack of imagination and creativity is staggering.
Victims and consumers remain the stray sheep in the food safety marketplace.
As pointed out by News-Sentinel.com, knowing the name of Tim Chamberlain’s farm does nothing to help consumers. All the talk of traceability is a joke and consumers have no microbial food safety choice at retail.
Hucksters who promote produce on trust alone are no better than snake-oil salesthingies:
Kelly’s Fruit Market in Madison County is taking extra steps to make sure its customers are safe. “We have the finest produce in Madison County,” explains Kelly Ratliff, owner of Kelly’s Fruit Market. “We know exactly where all of our produce is coming from and we always make sure it’s the highest quality … with most of our produce that we have and that we sell I can tell you every single growers name, who grows it where it’s grown and a little bit about their family.”
But can you tell me their water quality testing results? What soil amendments are used? The verification of employee handwashing and sanitation?
Cantaloupe growers in other parts of the country are frustrated. Probably not as much as the families of the dead and sickened, but frustrated.
Trevor Suslow, research extension specialist at the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California-Davis, said he thought more could have been done to educate growers across the country about safe harvesting, handling and distribution in the wake of last year’s deadly listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe from Jensen Farms in Holly, Colo.
“I think there was a missed opportunity,” Suslow said Aug. 23. “I wish we could have done a better job of getting existing information to county extension agents and others who were already engaged with the smaller growers.”
But what about missed opportunities over the past decade? As noted in The Packer, the 10-year anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration’s import alert on Mexican cantaloupe is near, enacted after outbreaks three years in a row (and two deaths) traced to those melons. In doing so, the FDA basically killed Mexican cantaloupes to the U.S. for a few years, giving rise to offshore melon deals in Central and South America.

cantaloupe_salmonella(27).jpg

The clampdown on Mexican growers forced U.S. import partners to work on food safety protocols for fields and packinghouses in Guerrero, the origin of the banned cantaloupes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and its Mexican counterpart, SAGARPA, had to sign off on each facility before it was allowed to ship to the U.S. again.
The U.S. farms central to cantaloupe outbreaks and recalls probably wouldn’t have passed similar scrutiny.
With 10 years of guidelines, endless outbreaks, the lack of solutions remains stunning.
The Packer is finally catching on to the notion of marketing food safety at retail, which we’ve been advocating since the 2006 E. coli-in-spinach outbreak.
“The unwritten rule in the produce industry is that a company should not market its product as safer than a competitor’s.
 
“The thinking is that once consumers get in their heads that a fruit or vegetable is more safe, that means another is less safe, and then maybe they’ll avoid the commodity or category altogether.
 
“But what if your company or growing region has a strong food safety record, drafted best practices documents, followed and documented them, and then suffers for the second year in a row as a different region’s product kills consumers?”
Someone could at least try marketing microbial food safety at retail. Nothing else seems to be working. And maybe Tim Chamberlain would be more accountable.
food_safe_culture_market(2)(2).jpg
This article was originally published August 25, 2012 on Barfblog. The bottom two images are courtesy of Dr. Douglas Powell. 
 

Yes on Prop 37 Addresses Myths and Facts

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Stacy Malkan of California Right to Know 2012 recently sent us a fact sheet to address some of the questions about Proposition 37. That ballot initiative would require food companies to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) or genetically engineered foods (GE).

While No on 37 has stated that the American Medical Association has said GE foods are safe, they do not mention that both the AMA and the World Health Organization has said mandatory safety studies on these foods should be required. The U.S. government does not require any safety studies for GE foods, and no long-term human health studies have ever been conducted on these products.

According to WHO, there are three main issues with GE foods: “tendencies to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene transfer, and outcrossing.” In fact, WHO is concerned about the possibility of the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes from GMO foods to humans. And WHO does say that GMO foods have passed “risk assessments”, and are “not likely to present risks for human health.” The WHO statement mentions that “post market monitoring” should be used to evaluate the safety of GE foods.

One of the No on 37 claims is that Prop 37 will raise the cost of groceries by hundreds of dollars a year. A study done on the economic impact of Prop 37 at Emory University School of Law concluded that “Consumers will likely see no increases in prices as a result of the relabeling required.” As to whether Prop 37 will generate lots of “frivolous” lawsuits, James C. Cooper at George Mason University of Law compared the costs of California Prop 65, which forced companies to provide warnings to consumers if their products exposed them to chemicals that may harm them, to Prop 37. He found that Proposition 37 will be unlikely to result in frivolous lawsuits.

Canadian, U.S. Recalls of Daniella Mangoes for Salmonella Expand; Outbreak Grows

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The Canadian and U.S. recalls of Daniella mangoes imported from Mexico have expanded. The mangeos were sold as individual fruit or as part of a multi-pack. The sticker on the fruit recalled in Canada has the PLU number 4959 or 4051. The mangoes were sold at various stores between July 12, 2012 and August 28, 2012. They may have been distributed nationally. The importer, Mex Y Can Trading Inc. is voluntarily recalling the mangoes from the marketplace.

Consumers are advised to contact their retailers to find out if they have the affected mangoes. Stores are supposed to know where their produce came from and they should tell you when you ask. There have been 22 people in Canada sickened by Salmonella Branderup, the outbreak strain found on the mangoes. The case count by province is Alberta (5) and British Columbia (17).

Salmonella infection symptoms include high fever, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Anyone who has eaten mangoes in the past week and is suffering these symptoms should see a healthcare provider immediately. For questions, call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

In the United States, the CDC has released a statement by email. In it, they say that 101 cases with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Branderup have been reported to PulseNet since July 1, 2012. Not all states have reported yet, so the number of cases per state are as follows: California (75), New York (3), Oregon (1), Washington (6), and Texas (2). About two-thirds of the California victims reported eating mangoes the week before they became ill.

Get Salmonella help here.

The California Department of Health is leading the investigation, with the CDC assisting. The PFGE pattern of the outbreak strain matches the pattern of the bacteria found on mangoes recalled in Canada. The email states, “preliminary information indicates that mangoes are also a likely source for the illnesses in the United States.”

In the U.S., stores that have recalled Mexican mangoes include: Copps, Costco, Giant Food, Mariano’s, Martin’s Food Market, Metro Market, Pick ‘n Save, Rainbow, Stop & Shop, and TOP Food and Drug. The PLU numbers of the recalled mangoes include 4959, 4051, 4321, 4311, 4961, and 4584, and 3114. Not all stores have recalled all of the PLU numbered mangoes

FDA Tests Confirm Cantaloupe From Indiana Farm Is An Outbreak Source

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Lab tests on samples of cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms of Owensville, Indiana confirm that the melons are a source of a deadly Salmonella outbreak that has killed two people and sickened 176 others in 21 states, according to the latest information from the U.S. Food and Dug Administration (FDA). The DNA fingerprint of the Salmonella Typhimurium found in the cantaloupe samples is a genetic match to the one found in victims of the outbreak, results of the lab test show. The FDA’s sampling and testing of the cantaloupe were conducted in cooperation with the Indiana State Department of Health, the agency said.

Confirmation that the cantaloupe is a source of the outbreak comes one week after the farm in southwestern Indiana announced a recall of melons which have sickened a total of 178 people. By state, the tally of confirmed cases is as follows: Alabama (13), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (3), Illinois (21), Indiana (18), Iowa (7), Kentucky (56), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (5), Missouri (12), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4). Sixty two people have been hospitalized, the two people who died were from Kentucky.

Get your free consultation with an attorney here.

Prior to the recall, Chamberlain Farms had withdrawn cantaloupe from the market and stopped distribution for the rest of the growing season based on preliminary information from the FDA. The formal recall was announced to speed removal of the product from the market and raise public awareness, the agency said. A retail distribution list has not been released. However, Kroger, Marsh, Meijer, Schnucks and Walmart have all removed cantaloupe from their store shelves.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include nausea, abdominal cramps, fever and diarrhea which usually set in six to 72 hours after exposure and last up to seven days. Health officials recommend that anyone who develops these symptoms should see a health care provider.

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 Changes School Lunch Meals

Food Poisoning Bulletin

School Lunch TraySchool starts again next week for many kids; lots of kids are already in school! While a new school year always brings changes, this year the school lunch is changing. In January 2012, one year after the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 was signed into law, the USDA issued their final, updated standards for school meals.

The main purpose of the Act is to improve the nutrition of foods served at school to help kids achieve better nutrition and to reduce the skyrocketing childhood obesity rate. The core Child Nutrition Programs at the USDA, including the National School Lunch program, School Breakfast program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, WIC, and the Summer Food Service Programs, were reauthorized by the Act.

The Act includes the first major changes to these programs in more than 15 years. More than 32 million students each a lunch at school, and more than 12 million eat breakfast at school every day. The standards in the Act were built on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine.

Now, fruits and vegetables will be offered to kids every day of the week. Whole grain foods will be offered more often, and only fat-free or low-fat milk will be available. Proper portion size will be adhered to, and the program increases the focus on reducing saturated fat, trans fat, added sugars, and sodium.

These changes will be phased in over the next three years so it will be easier for schools to comply with the new law. To help pay for these changes, the USDA has implemented the “6-cent rule”, that gives schools an additional 6 cents for every lunch served that meets the new standards. That is the first increase above the rate of inflation in more than 30 years.

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Recalls

True Nutrition Recalls Whey Protein Products for Undeclared Milk

Food Poisoning Bulletin

True Nutrition is recalling some of its whey protein products because labels do not declare milk as the source of the whey. Milk is one of the major food allergens. Anyone who is allergic to milk and consumes these products may have a severe or life-threatening reaction. You can see all of the product labels at the FDA site.

The products are: Whey Protein Concentrate in 1 pound packages, with Batch/lot number 0120712, and expiration date of 05/2015. Whey Protein Isolate Cold-Filtration in 1 pound packages, with Batch/lot number 0030812 and expiration date 07/2015. Whey Protein Isolate MicroFiltrated in 1 pound packages, with Batch/lot number 0040812 and expiration date 07/2015. Whey Protein Isolate Cross-Flow Microfiltration in 1 pound packages with Batch/lot number 0730712 and expiration date 07/2015. And Hydrolyzed Whey Protein High Grade in 1 pound packages with Batch/lot number 0680512 and expiration date 05/2015.

Most people allergic to milk know that whey protein is derived from milk, but the company is recalling the products. The Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate, and Hydrolyzed Whey Protein were distributed through the website True Nutrition. For questions, call Carl Manes at 760-433-5376 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm PT.

Expired Bagged Salad Recalled by Fresh Express

Food Safety News

Fresh Express, Inc. announced Sunday that the company was recalling a limited quantity of expired 10 oz. Hearts of Romaine salad with the expired Use-by Date of August 23, 2012 as a precaution due to a positive test for Listeria monocytogenes.  Product codes associated with the recall begin with “G2222”.

According to a company press release, Fresh Express customer service representatives are contacting retailers to confirm the product was removed from their inventories and store shelves.

Thumbnail image for choppedromainelettuce-406.jpgWhile it is unlikely that consumers would have the expired Hearts of Romaine salads in their refrigerators, Fresh Express encourages anyone who finds the products to discard the salad.  The recall was issued after a sample of a package of 10 oz. Hearts of Romaine salad tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes during U.S. Food and Drug Administration random sampling.

Fresh Express stated that the UPC Code of 71279 26102, located on the back of the package below the barcode, would help identify recalled product, which was distributed in limited quantities to the following states:  AL, AR, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MO, MS, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV.

Sausage in Canada Recalled for Possible Listeria

Food Poisoning Bulletin

The CFIA and Odra Deli and Wholesale Meat Ltd. are recalling Krakowska Sausage because it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

The sausage was sliced and sold to customers in different weight packages from the deli counter at the Odra Deli and Wholesale Meat Ltd. in Mississauga, Ontario from August 9 to August 20, 2012. For questions, call Mike at Odra Deli and Wholesale Meat Ltd. at 416-888-5577, or the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

Listeria bacteria do not make foods look, smell, or taste spoiled. The bacteria may cause an illness with symptoms of high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness, and nausea. Pregnant women may suffer miscarriage or stillbirth from these infections. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems can have serious complications from listeriosis.

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Articles of Interest

Wenonah Hauter Rips FDA’s Probe Of Contaminated Dog Treats From China

Food Poisoning Bullletin

Food and Water Watch’s Wenonah Hauter says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to protect dogs from serious illness caused by contaminated jerky treats from China. In a scathing statement released Friday, Hauter, the organization’s executive director,  blasted the FDA’s handling of a five-year probe of  illnesses and deaths linked to chicken jerky dog treats from China.

Since 2007, thousands of dogs have become sick or died after eating jerky treats made in China. This week, the FDA released heavily redacted reports of  April inspections of Chinese manufacturing facilities and revealed  that China refused to let inspectors collect samples for independent analysis.”The FDA waited until it received 2,000 reports of illnesses and deaths in U.S. dogs before launching its investigation. Although the China investigation took place in April, it took the FDA four months to admit that they were denied permission from collecting samples from the Chinese facilities. As the FDA dragged its feet, the suspect treats remained on store shelves and put thousands of dogs at risk,” Hauter said in a statement.

“What’s more disgraceful than the FDA’s dawdling is the fact that it has full authority under Section 306 of the Food Safety Modernization Act to refuse shipments of these treats from China now. Enough is enough. It’s time for the FDA to issue an import alert on all pet food manufactured in China before more animals and the humans that love them suffer needlessly,” she said.

Although numerous tests have been performed on the treats over the last five years, the FDA has been unable to discover what about them makes dogs so sick.  Private diagnostic labs have now been recruited to solve the mystery, In the meantime, consumers should not buy dog or pet food treats made in China.

Salmonella Cantaloupe Lawsuits against Walmart and Chamberlain Farms Filed on Behalf of Children

Cantaloupe Recall OutbreakOne lawsuit has been filed against Walmart and Chamberlain Farms, of Owensville, Indiana, on behalf of two children, siblings, who were diagnosed with Salmonella Typhimurium after eating cantaloupe purchased at a Michigan Walmart store. Another lawsuit has has been filed against Chamberlain Farms on behalf of another child from Michigan. According to the lawsuits, the children are part of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections that have been linked to cantaloupe grown by Chamberlain Farms and distributed to retailers, including Walmart, in several states.

Kentucky has been hardest hit, with over 50 confirmed cases of illness and two deaths. To date, the CDC has reported illnesses in the following states: Alabama (13), Arkansas (3), California (2), Georgia (3), Illinois (21), Indiana (18), Iowa (7), Kentucky (56), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (4), Mississippi (5), Missouri (12), New Jersey (2), North Carolina (3), Ohio (4), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (2), and Wisconsin (4).

These lawsuits represent the first of many that attorneys anticipate will be filed on behalf of the more than 170 victims of the cantaloupe Salmonella outbreak. “Victims of this outbreak and their families should be compensated for medical expenses, lost income, physical pain, emotional distress and other damages,” said attorney Fred Pritzker, national Salmonella lawyer and food safety advocate. “Businesses responsible for growing and selling contaminated food need to be held accountable, and these lawsuits accomplish that.”

According to Pritzker, who represents Salmonella food poisoning victims throughout the United States, these kinds of cases generally make claims under three theories of liability: strict liability, negligence and breach of contract. “Food sold for human consumption should be always be free of dangerous pathogens like Salmonella,” said Pritzker.

Valley Meats Disputes State Fine For Improper Cow Disposal

Food Safety News

New Mexico’s Valley Meat Co. is appealing a state fine of $86,400 for improper disposal of composted cattle remains.
Valley Meat gained notoriety earlier this year when it applied to USDA for equine inspection services to open a horse slaughter facility for export at its closed beef plant near Roswell, NM.

arkansasfairhorse_320x175.jpg

The New Mexico Environment Department issued a compliance order Aug 2, citing Valley Meat for failure to register as a compositing facility for property located near the slaughterhouse, and for failing to properly dispose of solid waste.
Valley Meat received the order and notice about the fine by e-mail on Aug. 14. Company attorney A. Blair Dunn said Valley Meat would file an appeal and request a hearing by state officials.
New Mexico’s order came after a 2 year stand off over Valley Meat’s failure to move a 400 ton pile of composted cattle remains because a local landfill could not receive the waste due to state restrictions.
As for registering the site, Dunn says the state lost two previous applications and then took the position that the third one was not filed in a timely manner.
After President Obama and Congress last year lifted a 5 year ban on horse slaughter inspection, Valley Meats filed an application that is still pending for equine inspection services at the closed facility it had once used for beef.
Horse slaughter opponents sought to discredit Valley Meats in its application for equine inspections by using the two-year-old problem with the pile of dead cows at the Roswell plant.
An inspector for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service had first questioned the 15-foot pile of rotting cow flesh in January 2010.
Valley may resume beef operations while it waits for action on its request for equine inspection services.

I am going to be posting this one in its  entirety along  with  comments from readers.  The  purpose  for my posting  it is that there  is  so much that  is said  and presented  from  so many  different  facets and mindsets  that  I think it  presents a  varied  look into this  very  hotly  debated  subject.  Animals  rights, humane  treatment,  failure  of  the  meat  industry  to be held responsible  for its many inhumane  practices in  their  goal to increase their  bottom line  at  any  cost, Government  responsibility,  food borne illness and the  correlation between  animal treatment  and  the safety of our  food  supply

If  you wish  to respond  directly to the comments  included here  , please do so by  visiting the  site via  the link in the title of the  article.  As these  comments  were  placed   there  rather than  here   I  feel it  would be  counter  productive   for replies to be  placed  here  on this  blog  rather than where  they belong,  on the original  article.  Thank you

Central Valley Meat Company: USDA Did its Job, OK?

Food Safety News
Opinion

On August 19, 2012, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ordered its inspection staff at Central Valley Meat (CVM) to go home. Because the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) of 1906 requires inspection by USDA to be continuous during slaughter of cattle, this USDA action essentially shuttered the plant for the time being.

beefcattle-usda406x250.jpgThis action at CVM has been well documented at Food Safety News and many other electronic Ag and Meat journals. The reporting has been fair and complete, but the discussions that have followed have been, at times, so inaccurate and unfair that I have felt the need to respond in some detail.

I was at the USDA on February 1, 2008, when a similar action was taken at Hallmark/Westland meats. There are similarities and there are differences, but the role of the USDA was the same at both plants.

First, the similarities:

Undercover agents working at slaughter plants as undercover agents for the Humane Society of the United States (Hallmark/Westland) and Compassion Over Killing (CVM)  used hidden cameras to film egregious inhumane handling of cows.

Both animal rights groups have an agenda that includes preventing the killing of animals for human consumption. This agenda can be moved forward with disgustingly shocking videos, and by driving the cost of meat up by necessitating changes in the slaughter and fabricating processes.

Both plants slaughtered a very large number of old, culled dairy cows and sold beef to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

If you want to get the public’s attention using video, you want to go to a facility that slaughters old dairy cows and then sells the meat to the NSLP. As opposed to 20-30 month old steers that have been content to eat grain in a feedlot, these cows are often 10-12 years of age, and are often not in good enough shape to handle a ride of even a few miles in hot weather.

They sometimes are sick, they always are old, and they often lay down to rest and refuse to get up. And here lies the opportunity for video if the plant is not impeccable in its handling of these non-ambulatory or “downer” animals.

But on with the similarities:

Each plant had an inspection work force felt to be adequate to assure our meat was safe. That work force would include on-line inspectors whose only opportunity to observe inhumane handling would be coming to and going from work plus break time, time which is officially their own, not the plant’s or the USDA’s.

There might be one or two off-line inspectors with multiple responsibilities.

There would also be a Public Health Veterinarian on duty. S/He is responsible in most plants to observe animals in motion and at rest to screen for Central Nervous System disorders such as BSE and other chronic disease manifestations.

But this individual is also usually responsible for carcass by carcass inspection after the hide has been pulled off. At Hallmark, this individual was condemning about 20 carcasses per day to protect you and me.

You see, contrary to so many discussants’ uninformed opinions, this person cannot be in two places at once.

I compare the PHV to a State Trooper.

It is my job to obey the speed limit, it is the trooper’s job to be a presence at times that encourages me to not speed, not knowing when he will pop up.

It is the plant’s job to obey the Humane handling Act, and it is the PHV’s job to occasionally stroll through the pens to confirm the Act is being complied with.

If the discussants calling for USDA employee’s heads, and even the Secretary’s job, want 24/7 FSIS coverage, then go get the funding for it and watch our taxes go up.

There was one major difference, so far, between CVM and Hallmark.

In 2008, if a cow had passed antemortem inspection by the PHV, in motion and at rest, then decided to lie down and not get up, the plant could ask the PHV to come out to the pen and examine the animal.

If a cause for the non-ambulatory condition could be determined, such as a fractured leg or ruptured tendon, the animal could be euthanized on the spot and then taken to the knock box.

In the Hallmark incident, there was irrefutable evidence that non-ambulatory cattle entered the food supply without follow up inspection by the PHV. Investigations confirmed this had been going on for over one year. Not often, but on occasion.

This fact makes the meat “unfit” for consumption because rules were not followed and proper inspection not completed.

We were criticized, but why have rules like the “downer rule” if they are not a part of protection of the food supply?

The HSUS won on this count, because the USDA responded the next year by completely banning all downers and non-ambulatory cattle from getting into the food chain. Throwing away perfectly good meat is a waste, and drives up the cost of our beef.

One slaughter plant out of 800 tried to cheat the system, and an entire industry was taken to task.

The difference, so far, at CVM, is that although the video is despicable, there is no evidence these mistreated animals ever got into the facility and the food chain.

It is being said by bashers of the federal government that the USDA overreacted at CVM. There is a law, passed by Congress and signed by the President of the United States that says inhumane handling will not be tolerated and FSIS is to suspend inspection when it is seen.

USDA/FSIS was simply following the law. You don’t like it, change the law but do not drag these federal employees over the coals for doing what they had to do.

If any reader is interested, the transcript of my testimony in front of the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, regarding Hallmark/Westland and the Q and A that followed can be seen online.

In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. There are many interlocking steps to keep us safe, including:

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.

Editor’s Note:  –Dr. Raymond Responds To Some of the Comments Below–
 
Wowser, only a blog on raw milk could stir up more vitriol and I was only stating the facts behind USDA”s action.
Shelly,  if you go to the COK web sight, the second sentence you will read is this:
 “COK focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world, both for humans and nonhumans.”
So please explain your first response by saying  I had lost all creditibility by calling a spade a spade?
And just so you know, the USDA will not be fining Central Valley because the law prohibits them from doing so. I know, because every year we went to the Appropriations  Committee with our budget and requested authority to fine plants for certain circumstances and every year we were denied. Again, just trying to point out the facts so people can make informed decisions and comments.
As for the comment that USDA is supposed to promote Ag, and therefore this action should get people fired? As I tried to explain, they just followed the law. And besides promoting Ag, they promote and protect animal, plant and human health, run the US Forest Service, direct food stamps and school lunches to name a few other items of business for the USDA.
Shelly, where do I “imply” the video was ‘staged”? I called is disgusting and despicable, but I meant the footage, not the technique.
I have no problems with vegans, everyone should have a choice. What I have a problem with is when others try to impose their beliefs on me by driving up the cost of meat. Oh, and yes, perfectly good meat is destroyed because the Obama Administration banned all non-ambulatory cattle, not just old culled dairy cows. 20 month old, grain fed steers break legs and rupture tendons on ice and slippery surfaces. We use to be able to eat them, now they are taken to rendering and that, my friends, is a waste and drives up costs at the grocery stores.
The animal rights activists are winning, and we are helping them with inhumane practices.
BTW, USDA shuttered 12 plants in 1997, the year before Hallmark, for inhumane handling observed by FSIS employees. They just didn’t send the videos to the Washington Post and NY Times.
                                                                                                      —
Image:  Watering cattle and providing shelter are two important ways to help keep them cooler and less stressed during heat waves. 

 
Photo by Keith Weller, USDA, ARS, Photo Library.
 

Discuss

Shelley
08/27/2012
4:42AM

“Both animal rights groups have an agenda that includes preventing the killing of animals for human consumption. This agenda can be moved forward with disgustingly shocking videos, and by driving the cost of meat up by necessitating changes in the slaughter and fabricating processes. ”

You lost any credibility–any–with this paragraph.

Yes, many in the animal welfare movement would like to end all meat consumption, but others in the movement are doing nothing more than attempting to stop the most, as you say, egregious forms of cruelty when it comes to livestock practices.

Throwing away perfectly good meat? From cows too sick to even move? Are you serious?

No wonder we have the problems we have today, if your attitude reflects the USDA’s attitude at the time you were still employed by the government. Hopefully, times have changed with you gone.

The people doing most of the blaming of the USDA in this incident are people who are also doing everything in their power to misdirect attention from the entity truly responsible for the cruel practices outlined in the video: the company that owns and operates the plant.

The lack of training and capability demonstrated in the video should give any person concerned about food safety pause, because if this level of incompetency is matched throughout the plant, then we have to wonder how safe the meat truly is.

We are all aware that the USDA is underfunded. That doesn’t mean we have to just say, “Oh well, guess we can’t do anything”. What we can do is what the undercover investigators did do: expose the acts of cruelty, and take the investigative material to the USDA for prompt action. And the action was prompt.

If, as you imply, the videos are “staged” or not conclusive, the USDA would not have acted.

So perhaps in your reactive defense of the USDA, you might consider the fact that these investigators acted in concert with the USDA, not against it.

Ted
08/27/2012
5:14AM

No, not OK Doc. Not even close to OK.

You correctly point out inspectors are to be pulled when inhumane treatment is endemic at the plant in question. Obviously your intrepid inspectors did not see with their own eyes evidence sufficient to warrant their walking off the job.

No, instead some USDA PR toadie viewed biased unofficial video images from known hostile activists, then panicked and pulled inspection from the plant, effectively destroying it.

USDA rushed into the activists’ arms, eagerly playing the stooge to their underhanded agenda.

USDA missed the play. Completely. Then covered it’s own ass against the threat of nasty public relations flak from extremists in our midst.

Screw USDA if they aren’t there for agriculture. Close the department to reduce the national debt…or rename it the United States Department of Anti-agriculture. Goddam scab bureaucrats being jerked around by the hair.

Jon
08/27/2012
6:55AM

Seems former USDAer and now Meatingplace advocate “Doc Meat” has a bone to pick with food safety scrutiny:
“The HSUS won on this count, because the USDA responded the next year by completely banning all downers and non-ambulatory cattle from getting into the food chain. Throwing away perfectly good meat is a waste, and drives up the cost of our beef.

Given a choice many consumers might not appreciate the “perfectly good meat” of “spent” dairy cows. Inbred factory dairy cows that are confined on concrete for their entire lives, drug injected, milked 3 times a day, fed farm waste products including chicken manure/bedding fed cow parts doesn’t produce a high quality or safe meat to begin with. And Doc — and Ted — feel prohibiting downers is a waste?

gmh
08/27/2012
7:44AM

Hmmm…seems to be a strange sort of consensus forming — USDA has not only dropped the ball, it has kicked it out of bounds to penalize the home team.

From meatless Mondays to kneejerk plant closings, USDA seems to be hacking away at the very agriculture they are funded to promote. Time to stop defending USDA and begin defunding USDA. Do a complete spring housecleaning — from top to bottom sweep skulking antifarm advocates on the USDA dole back out into the nonprofit sector where they belong.

Vilsack should step down. USDA programs hurtful to agriculture should be dismantled — the entire USDA can go if need be. Election year and a farm bill on the horizon — no better time than the present to set sinister out-of-whack things aright. Call and email your congressmen, insist our corrupted USDA be cleaned up or shut down. Espionage and sabotage at USDA threaten food security and so national security.

Finally, a cause everyone can agree upon!

Janet Weeks V
08/27/2012
8:04AM

No words, just utter disbelief. USDA decides: it’s cruelty as usual for California slaughterhouse, in spite of USDA policy. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act? Bah humbug! At least now consumers KNOW FOR SURE that their hamburger and dairy come from sick, lame cows who can barely walk to the kill floor and are beaten, prodded with electric prods, sprayed with scalding water, and tortured before and while they are killed. Will USDA or plant managers monitor the animal cruelty at this facility or install video surveillance? Highly unlikely. It’s cruelty as usual in spite of American values and morality. The only way to stop this insanity is to quit buying the product. No meat. No dairy. No eggs.

Go Vegan and nobody gets hurt.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRS-kzgoRq0

appalled
08/27/2012
8:16AM

Let’s correct your “trooper” analogy Doc. Here’s what just happened:

Imagine for the moment I don’t care for you or the way you live so I stalk you everywhere you go, waiting for an opportunity to jam you up good. I spot a trooper who’s distracted and recognize my chance.

I run up to the trooper screaming and crying and flailing my arms and tell him I saw you roll through a stop sign and show him where I’ve published on the internet some video of some car rolling through some stop sign. I threaten to raise holy Hell with the trooper and his supervisor and his supervisor’s supervisor, and so on. That trooper thinks he isn’t paid enough, certainly not enough to protect you (and himself) from my hysteria. Not to worry; there is an expedient solution, however.

And I am gratified when the trooper immediately hunts you down and suspends your drivers license, impounds your car and prevents you showing up at your work so you get fired. I am so delighted I practically wet myself.

Consider it a weaselly form of vigilante citizen’s arrest if it makes you feel any better.

Shelley
08/27/2012
8:52AM

The plant re-opened today, after the USDA reviewed its plan for correction.

So much for destroying the plant.

I would hope that the agency at least imposes some stiff fines.

Shelley
08/27/2012
8:58AM

Perhaps better than a fine is the fact that so many companies will no longer do business with Central Valley Meat. And it can’t supply meat to the school lunch program until it proves it has mended its ways.

In the end, the videos did do what they hoped to accomplish: eliminate egregious acts of inhumane cruelty.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/central-valley-slaughterhouse-reopens.html

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
08/27/2012
9:57AM

OPINION REBUTTAL Terry

Greetings,

Well Dr. Raymond, since you called me out, I must respond Sir. Yes, our children health and safety mean more to me than taxes.
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

“then go get the funding for it and watch our taxes go up.”
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. There are many interlocking steps to keep us safe, including:

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.

Image: Watering cattle and providing shelter are two important ways to help keep them cooler and less stressed during heat waves. Photo by Keith Weller, USDA, ARS, Photo Library.

© Food Safety News

Hello Dr. Raymond Sir,

Indeed I would like to comment on some of your fallacies Dr. Raymond.

Dr. Ramond stated in 1. that ;

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

Sir, as late as 2007, one decade post partial and voluntary mad cow feed ban, 10,000,000. pounds of banned prohibited blood laced meat and bone meal mad cow feed went out into commerce, to be fed out. 2006 was a banner year as well for suspect banned mad cow protein in commerce. “The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.” that you state Sir, was merely ink on paper for the past decade. You can see for yourself here, I have listed some, but not all here ;

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Final Feed Investigation Summary – California BSE Case – July 2012

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/final-feed-investigation-summary.html

even more disturbing now ;

Sunday, August 26, 2012
Detection of PrPSc in peripheral tissues of clinically affected cattle after oral challenge with BSE
http://vir.sgmjournals.org/content/early/2012/08/16/vir.0.044578-0.abstract
more here ;

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/detection-of-prpsc-in-peripheral.html
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

Dr. Raymond Sir, another ink on paper only phenomenon. please see the many breaches on specified risk materials here ;

a few examples, one very recently, and the following link will list more SRM breaches ;

2011

Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio Department of Health

Governor

John R. Kasich

Lieutenant Governor

Mary Taylor

ODA Director

James Zehringer

ODH Director

Theodore E. Wymyslo, M.D.

DT: July 14, 2011

TO: Health Commissioners, Directors of Environmental Health and Interested Parties

RE: Recall Announcement (ODA/ODH) 2011-076

Valley Farm Meats (DBA Strasburg Provision, Inc) Issues Precautionary Recall for Beef Products Due to Possible Contamination with Prohibited Materials

[STRASBURG, Ohio] – Valley Farm Meats (DBA Strasburg Provision, Inc) of Strasburg, OH announces a voluntary recall of an unknown amount of beef products that may contain the spinal cord and vertebral column, which are considered specified risk materials (SRMs). SRMs must be removed from cattle over 30 months of age in accordance with federal and state regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, federal and state regulations prohibit SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

http://www.agri.ohio.gov/public_docs/recalls/2011/Recall_FS_76-2011.pdf

North Dakota Firm Recalls Whole Beef Head Products That Contain Prohibited Materials

Recall Release CLASS II RECALL FSIS-RC-023-2010 HEALTH RISK: LOW

Congressional and Public Affairs (202) 720-9113 Catherine Cochran

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2010 – North American Bison Co-Op, a New Rockford, N.D., establishment is recalling approximately 25,000 pounds of whole beef heads containing tongues that may not have had the tonsils completely removed, which is not compliant with regulations that require the removal of tonsils from cattle of all ages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

Tonsils are considered a specified risk material (SRM) and must be removed from cattle of all ages in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_023_2010_Release/index.asp

Missouri Firm Recalls Cattle Heads That Contain Prohibited Materials

Recall Release CLASS II RECALL FSIS-RC-021-2008 HEALTH RISK: LOW

Congressional and Public Affairs (202) 720-9113 Amanda Eamich

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2008 – Paradise Locker Meats, a Trimble, Mo., establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 120 pounds of fresh cattle heads with tonsils not completely removed, which is not compliant with regulations that require the removal of tonsils from cattle of all ages, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today.

Tonsils are considered a specified risk material (SRM) and must be removed from cattle of all ages in accordance with FSIS regulations. SRMs are tissues that are known to contain the infective agent in cattle infected with BSE, as well as materials that are closely associated with these potentially infective tissues. Therefore, FSIS prohibits SRMs from use as human food to minimize potential human exposure to the BSE agent.

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_021_2008_Release/index.asp

see many more SRM breaches here ;

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Final Feed Investigation Summary – California BSE Case – July 2012

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/final-feed-investigation-summary.html

again, even more disturbing now ;

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Detection of PrPSc in peripheral tissues of clinically affected cattle after oral challenge with BSE

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/detection-of-prpsc-in-peripheral.html

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

Sir, you stated yourself that Public Health Veterinarian ;
> But this individual is also usually responsible for carcass by carcass inspection after the hide has been pulled off. At Hallmark, this individual was condemning about 20 carcasses per day to protect you and me.
> You see, contrary to so many discussants’ uninformed opinions, this person cannot be in two places at once.
> It is the plant’s job to obey the Humane handling Act, and it is the PHV’s job to occasionally stroll through the pens to confirm the Act is being complied with.
> If the discussants calling for USDA employee’s heads, and even the Secretary’s job, want 24/7 FSIS coverage, then go get the funding for it and watch our taxes go up.

Sir, after the Hallmark debacle, and the fact that deadstock downer cows did make it to the NSLP, and the fact of the National recall there from, I find it disturbing still that there is NO recall of the meat, if any left, from the Central Valley Meat company from last year. You Sir, nor anyone else, can guarantee now that these type practices have not occurred last year, the year before, and or the year before that at Central Valley Meat Co., and I think our children, and the fact that ;
> > > Ackerman says downed cattle are 50 times more likely to have mad cow disease (also known as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE) than ambulatory cattle that are suspected of having BSE. Of the 20 confirmed cases of mad cow disease in North America since 1993, at least 16 have involved downer cattle, he said. < < <
I think our childrens safety from the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy TSE prion mad cow type disease, is much more important.

don’t forget the children…

PLEASE be aware, for 4 years, the USDA fed our children all across the Nation (including TEXAS) dead stock downer cows, the most high risk cattle for BSE aka mad cow disease and other dangerous pathogens. who will watch our children for CJD for the next 5+ decades ???

WAS your child exposed to mad cow disease via the NSLP ???

HALLMARK DEBACLE HERE WITH DOWNERS AND OUR CHILDREN VIA THE USDA AND THE NSLP.

SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM FROM DOWNER CATTLE UPDATE

http://downercattle.blogspot.com/2009/05/who-will-watch-children.html

http://downercattle.blogspot.com/
DID YOUR CHILD CONSUME SOME OF THESE DEAD STOCK DOWNER COWS, THE MOST HIGH RISK FOR MAD COW DISEASE ???
this recall was not for the welfare of the animals. …tss
you can check and see here ;
http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/safety/pdf/Hallmark-Westland_byState.pdf

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

Sir, this the be now, if your not caught at it. that’s why some want the undercover videos banned. Also, I still think that prisoners are humans, and they are being fed pet food in some instances. could this happen with the NSLP ??? let’s hope not, but in the past, during the infamous enhanced BSE surveillance program, there was gentleman supplying the USDA, with PERFECTLY HEALTHY CATTLE BRAINS FOR TESTING, brains that he knew were free from mad cow disease. your system is far from perfect, in fact, it’s an imperfect system. it has been shown to have flaws, major flaws time and time again by the GAO and OIG, and others. these are the facts.
see Texas prisoners being fed pet food here;

http://www.justice.gov/usao/txe/News/2012/edtx-john-soules-foods-081712.html

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.
I kindly disagree Sir, and so does the OIE. That’s why the USA is still classified as BSE GBR risk factor of 3. there are many flaws Sir, and because of the fact of still feeding cows to cows via banned suspect BSE feed as late as 2007, millions and millions of pounds, and the most recent atypical L-type BASE BSE in California in 2012, I think the USA BSE GBR risk factor should be raised to BSE GBR 4.

NOW, what about that mad cow BSE surveillance and testing program ???

PAUL BROWN COMMENT TO ME ON THIS ISSUE

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 11:10 AM

“Actually, Terry, I have been critical of the USDA handling of the mad cow issue for some years, and with Linda Detwiler and others sent lengthy detailed critiques and recommendations to both the USDA and the Canadian Food Agency.”

OR, what the Honorable Phyllis Fong of the OIG found ;

Audit Report

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program – Phase II

and

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Controls Over BSE Sampling, Specified Risk Materials, and Advanced Meat Recovery Products – Phase III

Report No. 50601-10-KC January 2006

Finding 2 Inherent Challenges in Identifying and Testing High-Risk Cattle Still Remain

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf

“”These 9,200 cases were different because brain tissue samples were preserved with formalin, which makes them suitable for only one type of test–immunohistochemistry, or IHC.”

THIS WAS DONE FOR A REASON!

THE IHC test has been proven to be the LEAST LIKELY to detect BSE/TSE in the bovine, and these were probably from the most high risk cattle pool, the ones the USDA et al, SHOULD have been testing. …TSS

USDA 2003

We have to be careful that we don’t get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We’ve gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We’re using the brain stem and we’re looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It’s a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA, we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They’ve recently gone back. Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an ‘official’ test result as recognized by APHIS.

Dr. Detwiler: That’s on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren’t they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they’re looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.

snip………….

Dr. Detwiler: It seems a good idea, but I’m not aware of it. Another important thing to get across to the public is that the negatives do not guarantee absence of infectivity. The animal could be early in the disease and the incubation period. Even sample collection is so important. If you’re not collecting the right area of the brain in sheep, or if collecting lymphoreticular tissue, and you don’t get a good biopsy, you could miss the area with the PRP in it and come up with a negative test. There’s a new, unusual form of Scrapie that’s been detected in Norway. We have to be careful that we don’t get so set in the way we do things that we forget to look for different emerging variations of disease. We’ve gotten away from collecting the whole brain in our systems. We’re using the brain stem and we’re looking in only one area. In Norway, they were doing a project and looking at cases of Scrapie, and they found this where they did not find lesions or PRP in the area of the obex. They found it in the cerebellum and the cerebrum. It’s a good lesson for us. Ames had to go back and change the procedure for looking at Scrapie samples. In the USDA, we had routinely looked at all the sections of the brain, and then we got away from it. They’ve recently gone back.

Dr. Keller: Tissues are routinely tested, based on which tissue provides an ‘official’ test result as recognized by APHIS .

Dr. Detwiler: That’s on the slaughter. But on the clinical cases, aren’t they still asking for the brain? But even on the slaughter, they’re looking only at the brainstem. We may be missing certain things if we confine ourselves to one area.

snip…

FULL TEXT;

Completely Edited Version PRION ROUNDTABLE

Accomplished this day, Wednesday, December 11, 2003, Denver, Colorado

2005

http://madcowtesting.blogspot.com/2009/02/report-on-testing-ruminants-for-tses-in.html

FINAL REPORT 2ND TEXAS MAD COW

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/bse/downloads/bse_final_epi_report8-05.pdf

Subject: USDA OIG SEMIANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS FY 2007 1st Half (bogus BSE sampling FROM HEALTHY USDA CATTLE) Date: June 21, 2007 at 2:49 pm PST

Owner and Corporation Plead Guilty to Defrauding Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) Surveillance Program

An Arizona meat processing company and its owner pled guilty in February 2007 to charges of theft of Government funds, mail fraud, and wire fraud. The owner and his company defrauded the BSE Surveillance Program when they falsified BSE Surveillance Data Collection Forms and then submitted payment requests to USDA for the services. In addition to the targeted sample population (those cattle that were more than 30 months old or had other risk factors for BSE), the owner submitted to USDA, or caused to be submitted, BSE obex (brain stem) samples from healthy USDA-inspected cattle. As a result, the owner fraudulently received approximately $390,000. Sentencing is scheduled for May 2007.

snip…

Topics that will be covered in ongoing or planned reviews under Goal 1 include:

soundness of BSE maintenance sampling (APHIS),

implementation of Performance-Based Inspection System enhancements for specified risk material (SRM) violations and improved inspection controls over SRMs (FSIS and APHIS),

snip…

The findings and recommendations from these efforts will be covered in future semiannual reports as the relevant audits and investigations are completed.

4 USDA OIG SEMIANNUAL REPORT TO CONGRESS FY 2007 1st Half

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/sarc070619.pdf

-MORE Office of the United States Attorney District of Arizona FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For Information Contact Public Affairs February 16, 2007 WYN HORNBUCKLE Telephone: (602) 514-7625 Cell: (602) 525-2681

CORPORATION AND ITS PRESIDENT PLEAD GUILTY TO DEFRAUDING GOVERNMENT’S MAD COW DISEASE SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM

PHOENIX — Farm Fresh Meats, Inc. and Roland Emerson Farabee, 55, of Maricopa, Arizona, pleaded guilty to stealing $390,000 in government funds, mail fraud and wire fraud, in federal district court in Phoenix. U.S. Attorney Daniel Knauss stated, “The integrity of the system that tests for mad cow disease relies upon the honest cooperation of enterprises like Farm Fresh Meats. Without that honest cooperation, consumers both in the U.S. and internationally are at risk. We want to thank the USDA’s Office of Inspector General for their continuing efforts to safeguard the public health and enforce the law.” Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee were charged by Information with theft of government funds, mail fraud and wire fraud. According to the Information, on June 7, 2004, Farabee, on behalf of Farm Fresh Meats, signed a contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the “USDA Agreement”) to collect obex samples from cattle at high risk of mad cow disease (the “Targeted Cattle Population”). The Targeted Cattle Population consisted of the following cattle: cattle over thirty months of age; nonambulatory cattle; cattle exhibiting signs of central nervous system disorders; cattle exhibiting signs of mad cow disease; and dead cattle. Pursuant to the USDA Agreement, the USDA agreed to pay Farm Fresh Meats $150 per obex sample for collecting obex samples from cattle within the Targeted Cattle Population, and submitting the obex samples to a USDA laboratory for mad cow disease testing. Farm Fresh Meats further agreed to maintain in cold storage the sampled cattle carcasses and heads until the test results were received by Farm Fresh Meats.

Evidence uncovered during the government’s investigation established that Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee submitted samples from cattle outside the Targeted Cattle Population. Specifically, Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee submitted, or caused to be submitted, obex samples from healthy, USDA inspected cattle, in order to steal government moneys.

Evidence collected also demonstrated that Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee failed to maintain cattle carcasses and heads pending test results and falsified corporate books and records to conceal their malfeasance. Such actions, to the extent an obex sample tested positive (fortunately, none did), could have jeopardized the USDA’s ability to identify the diseased animal and pinpoint its place of origin. On Wednesday, February 14, 2007, Farm Fresh Meats and Farabee pleaded guilty to stealing government funds and using the mails and wires to effect the scheme. According to their guilty pleas:

(a) Farm Fresh Meats collected, and Farabee directed others to collect, obex samples from cattle outside the Targeted Cattle Population, which were not subject to payment by the USDA;

(b) Farm Fresh Meats 2 and Farabee caused to be submitted payment requests to the USDA knowing that the requests were based on obex samples that were not subject to payment under the USDA Agreement;

(c) Farm Fresh Meats completed and submitted, and Farabee directed others to complete and submit, BSE Surveillance Data Collection Forms to the USDA’s testing laboratory that were false and misleading;

(d) Farm Fresh Meats completed and submitted, and Farabee directed others to complete and submit, BSE Surveillance Submission Forms filed with the USDA that were false and misleading;

(e) Farm Fresh Meats falsified, and Farabee directed others to falsify, internal Farm Fresh Meats documents to conceal the fact that Farm Fresh Meats was seeking and obtaining payment from the USDA for obex samples obtained from cattle outside the Targeted Cattle Population; and

(f) Farm Fresh Meats failed to comply with, and Farabee directed others to fail to comply with, the USDA Agreement by discarding cattle carcasses and heads prior to receiving BSE test results. A conviction for theft of government funds carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. Mail fraud and wire fraud convictions carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Convictions for the above referenced violations also carry a maximum fine of $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for organizations. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Earl H. Carroll will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

Sentencing is set before Judge Earl H. Carroll on May 14, 2007. The investigation in this case was conducted by Assistant Special Agent in Charge Alejandro Quintero, United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution is being handled by Robert Long, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix. CASE NUMBER: CR-07-00160-PHX-EHC RELEASE NUMBER: 2007-051(Farabee) # # #

http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/az/press_releases/2007/2007-051(Farabee).pdf

Section 2. Testing Protocols and Quality Assurance Controls

In November 2004, USDA announced that its rapid screening test, Bio-Rad Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), produced an inconclusive BSE test result as part of its enhanced BSE surveillance program. The ELISA rapid screening test performed at a BSE contract laboratory produced three high positive reactive results.40 As required,41 the contract laboratory forwarded the inconclusive sample to the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) for confirmatory testing. NVSL repeated the ELISA testing and again produced three high positive reactive results.42 In accordance with its established protocol, NVSL ran its confirmatory test, an immunohistochemistry (IHC) test, which was interpreted as negative for BSE. In addition, NVSL performed a histological43 examination of the tissue and did not detect lesions44 consistent with BSE.

Faced with conflicting results, NVSL scientists recommended additional testing to resolve the discrepancy but APHIS headquarters officials concluded no further testing was necessary because testing protocols were followed. In our discussions with APHIS officials, they justified their decision not to do additional testing because the IHC is internationally recognized as the “gold standard.” Also, they believed that conducting additional tests would undermine confidence in USDA’s established testing protocols.

http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/50601-10-KC.pdf

FDA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 4, 2004 Media Inquiries: 301-827-6242 Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA

Statement on Texas Cow With Central Nervous System Symptoms

On Friday, April 30th, the Food and Drug Administration learned that a cow with central nervous system symptoms had been killed and shipped to a processor for rendering into animal protein for use in animal feed.

FDA, which is responsible for the safety of animal feed, immediately began an investigation. On Friday and throughout the weekend, FDA investigators inspected the slaughterhouse, the rendering facility, the farm where the animal came from, and the processor that initially received the cow from the slaughterhouse.

FDA’s investigation showed that the animal in question had already been rendered into “meat and bone meal” (a type of protein animal feed). Over the weekend FDA was able to track down all the implicated material. That material is being held by the firm, which is cooperating fully with FDA.

Cattle with central nervous system symptoms are of particular interest because cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE, also known as “mad cow disease,” can exhibit such symptoms. In this case, there is no way now to test for BSE. But even if the cow had BSE, FDA’s animal feed rule would prohibit the feeding of its rendered protein to other ruminant animals (e.g., cows, goats, sheep, bison).

FDA is sending a letter to the firm summarizing its findings and informing the firm that FDA will not object to use of this material in swine feed only. If it is not used in swine feed, this material will be destroyed. Pigs have been shown not to be susceptible to BSE. If the firm agrees to use the material for swine feed only, FDA will track the material all the way through the supply chain from the processor to the farm to ensure that the feed is properly monitored and used only as feed for pigs.

To protect the U.S. against BSE, FDA works to keep certain mammalian protein out of animal feed for cattle and other ruminant animals. FDA established its animal feed rule in 1997 after the BSE epidemic in the U.K. showed that the disease spreads by feeding infected ruminant protein to cattle.

Under the current regulation, the material from this Texas cow is not allowed in feed for cattle or other ruminant animals. FDA’s action specifying that the material go only into swine feed means also that it will not be fed to poultry.

FDA is committed to protecting the U.S. from BSE and collaborates closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on all BSE issues. The animal feed rule provides crucial protection against the spread of BSE, but it is only one of several such firewalls. FDA will soon be improving the animal feed rule, to make this strong system even stronger.

#

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/2004/ucm108292.htm
SEE FULL TEXT OF ALL THIS HERE ;
http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/05/update-from-aphis-regarding-detection.html
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
“In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. “

Dr. Raymond Sir, it is not vCJD we will find here from the atypical TSE growing in the many different species here in the USA and North America. Science that has been out for several years now shows that some cases of sporadic CJD can be linked to the atypical BSE. In fact Sir, atypical Scrapie shows many similarities with human TSE prion disease. please see ;

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seven main threats for the future linked to prions

First threat

The TSE road map defining the evolution of European policy for protection against prion diseases is based on a certain numbers of hypotheses some of which may turn out to be erroneous. In particular, a form of BSE (called atypical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), recently identified by systematic testing in aged cattle without clinical signs, may be the origin of classical BSE and thus potentially constitute a reservoir, which may be impossible to eradicate if a sporadic origin is confirmed. ***Also, a link is suspected between atypical BSE and some apparently sporadic cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. These atypical BSE cases constitute an unforeseen first threat that could sharply modify the European approach to prion diseases.

Second threat

snip…
http://www.neuroprion.org/en/np-neuroprion.html

EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story

This is an interesting editorial about the Mad Cow Disease debacle, and it’s ramifications that will continue to play out for decades to come ;

Monday, October 10, 2011

EFSA Journal 2011 The European Response to BSE: A Success Story

snip…

EFSA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently delivered a scientific opinion on any possible epidemiological or molecular association between TSEs in animals and humans (EFSA Panel on Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ) and ECDC, 2011). This opinion confirmed Classical BSE prions as the only TSE agents demonstrated to be zoonotic so far but the possibility that a small proportion of human cases so far classified as “sporadic” CJD are of zoonotic origin could not be excluded. Moreover, transmission experiments to non-human primates suggest that some TSE agents in addition to Classical BSE prions in cattle (namely L-type Atypical BSE, Classical BSE in sheep, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) agents) might have zoonotic potential.

snip…
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/e991.htm?emt=1
http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/e991.pdf

see follow-up here about North America BSE Mad Cow TSE prion risk factors, and the ever emerging strains of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy in many species here in the USA, including humans ;

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2011/10/efsa-journal-2011-european-response-to.html

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Are USDA assurances on mad cow case ‘gross oversimplification’?

SNIP…

What irks many scientists is the USDA’s April 25 statement that the rare disease is “not generally associated with an animal consuming infected feed.”

The USDA’s conclusion is a “gross oversimplification,” said Dr. Paul Brown, one of the world’s experts on this type of disease who retired recently from the National Institutes of Health. “(The agency) has no foundation on which to base that statement.”

“We can’t say it’s not feed related,” agreed Dr. Linda Detwiler, an official with the USDA during the Clinton Administration now at Mississippi State.

In the May 1 email to me, USDA’s Cole backed off a bit. “No one knows the origins of atypical cases of BSE,” she said

The argument about feed is critical because if feed is the cause, not a spontaneous mutation, the California cow could be part of a larger outbreak.
SNIP…
http://bseusa.blogspot.com/2012/05/are-usda-assurances-on-mad-cow-case.html

Monday, August 6, 2012

TAFS BSE in USA August 6, 2012

BSE in USA

http://bseusa.blogspot.com/2012/08/tafs-bse-in-usa-august-6-2012.html

Monday, August 06, 2012

Atypical neuropathological sCJD-MM phenotype with abundant white matter Kuru-type plaques sparing the cerebellar cortex

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/atypical-neuropathological-scjd-mm.html

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Behavioural and Psychiatric Features of the Human Prion Diseases: Experience in 368 Prospectively Studied Patients

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/behavioural-and-psychiatric-features-of.html
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Human TSE report update North America, Canada, Mexico, and USDA PRION UNIT as of May 18, 2012

type determination pending Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (tdpCJD), is on the rise in Canada and the USA

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/06/creutzfeldt-jakob-disease-human-tse.html

Friday, August 24, 2012

Iatrogenic prion diseases in humans: an update

http://transmissiblespongiformencephalopathy.blogspot.com/2012/08/iatrogenic-prion-diseases-in-humans.html

Monday, July 23, 2012

The National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center July 2012

http://prionunitusaupdate2008.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-national-prion-disease-pathology.html

Monday, August 20, 2012

CASE REPORTS CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB DISEASE: AN UNDER-RECOGNIZED CAUSE OF DEMENTIA

http://creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.blogspot.com/2012/08/case-reports-creutzfeldt-jakob-disease.html
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;
In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it.
Dr. Raymond Sir, I disagree with you, I think that you (USDA et al) could do much better.

I think our children and the consumer deserves better, and I don’t care how much taxes AND BSE TSE TESTING, it takes to make our food safe. …

layperson
I lost my mother to the Heidenhain Variant of Creutzfeldt Jakob disease confirmed on December 14, 1997.
my neighbor lost his mother exactly one year previously to the sporadic CJD strains confirmed, on December 14, 1996.

sporadic Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease is NOT a single strain, but multiple strains (with new type pending classifications CJD, of unknown origin, in young and old in the USA),
with route and source unknown to date.

just made a promise, all facts should be presented, not just the industry fed political science fed facts. …

kind regards,

terry

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
P.O. Box 42
Bacliff, Texas USA 77518
flounder9@verizon.net

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
08/27/2012
10:54AM

Monday, August 27, 2012
Central Valley Meat Company: USDA Did its Job, OK?
Opinion & Contributed Articles
by Dr. Richard Raymond | Aug 27, 2012 Opinion
Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008)
snip…

In closing, I expect Terry to add his two cents worth and I will point out that the risk of variant CJD from eating US beef is as close to zero as we can make it. There are many interlocking steps to keep us safe, including:

1. The ruminant to ruminant feed ban in effect for over a decade to protect our herd.

2. The removal of Specified Risk Materials in the slaughter facilities under the continuous and watchful eyes of FSIS Inspectors to protect human health.

3. The observation by the PHVs of animals in motion.

4. No downers or non-ambulatory cattle allowed in the food chain, and

5. The USDA’s ongoing surveillance of animals at high risk for BSE, assuring us that the exposure risk is almost nil.

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/08/central-valley-meat-company-usda-did-its-job-ok/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120827
OPINION REBUTTAL Terry
Greetings,

Well Dr. Raymond, since you called me out, I must respond Sir.
Yes, our children health and safety mean more to me than taxes.
Indeed I would like to comment on some of your fallacies Dr. Raymond.

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008) stated ;

snip…

see Terry full text rebuttal on Dr. Raymond and the USDA BSE surveillance, SRM, and feed ban and all the fallacies there from ;

Monday, August 27, 2012

Central Valley Meat Company: USDA Did its Job, OK?

Opinion & Contributed Articles

by Dr. Richard Raymond | Aug 27, 2012 Opinion

Dr. Richard Raymond former Undersecretary for Food Safety, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2005-2008)
http://downercattle.blogspot.com/2012/08/central-valley-meat-company-usda-did.html

Jethro
08/27/2012
12:05PM

Clever distraction, Doc Raymond, baiting Terry to stop by and smother this thread with his voluminous BSE crap. I suppose you think that givesyou and your beloved USDA needed cover to slip out of the bright light of well deserved scrutiny?

Your cute political stunt only amplifies the stench of USDA’s latest evacuation of chickensh!t in the face of anti-farm terrorists. Your beloved extremists may have you by the jewels but they do not have the market cornered on outrage or tenacity. We shall see what we shall see regarding the value of USDA in upcoming policy and budgeting. It isn’t in the nature of farmers to keep a kicking cow or a biting dog. Besides, we are in desperate need of Federal cost cutting and USDA is an easy mark, ripe for plucking. We will be national heroes (except among bureaucratic hogs at the trough) when we nimbly trim most of USDA from the budget. One more obstacle to business and prosperity will be eliminated.

This isn’t over. It is just beginning Doc.

Jade
08/27/2012
12:06PM

Shelley,
You are correct in stating that most people in the animal welfare movement are doing nothing more than attempting to stop cruelty when it comes to livestock practices. However, the author was clearly talking about animal RIGHTS groups, which will go to extreme lengths to prove a point. Animal welfare organizations have a much different agenda than animal rights organizations. I have absolutely no respect for the HSUS or PETA, and if you saw earlier, the name of the animal rights group that released the video is Compassion Without Killing. I would have to say they are against animal consumption due to the “without killing” part of the name, but that is an assumption. In no way am I condoning what happend at the plant.. I think it is absolutely horrifying and the plant should suffer the consequences, and the employees commiting the crime should be terminated. However, I have no tolerance for animal rights groups that exist simply to ruin the reputation of and bring down animal processors/growers.

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.
08/27/2012
1:50PM

re-jethro

Jethro
08/27/2012
12:05PM

say there jethro,
Farmers are National Heros.

Farmers were that before the teaparty.

Farmers will be that, after the teaparty.

Finally, TSE prions know no borders, TSE prions know no age groups, TSE prions know no political party.
sadly, it is a political and industry fed disease $$$
and it is mutating, jethro’s post just proved it. …
with sad regards,
terry

Shelley
08/27/2012
2:00PM

Jethro, I haven’t read through all that Terry provided, but I respect people who take time to write a thorough reply.

Jade, I would call PETA an “animal rights” group, but HSUS is most definitely an animal welfare group. No animal rights group would have agreed to a hen colony system compromise with the egg industry, which HSUS did.

And frankly, does it matter?

The organization filmed obvious acts of inhumane treatment of cows, and then took the evidence to the USDA. The USDA then immediately acted.

In addition, the group published its undercover investigations, and companies who bought meat from Central Valley, stopped doing so.

In the end, does it matter how the group terms itself, because the end result is (we hope) significant improvements in handling of the cows at the plant.

Now, some people may view the video and decide not to eat beef. Or buy dairy products. Others, though, may continue, but look more closely at the suppliers at the products. At a minimum, we hope things improve at this plant. And that’s what matters.

Dr. Richard Raymond
08/27/2012
2:23PM

Wowser, only a blog on raw milk could stir up more vitriol and I was only stating the facts behind USDA”s action.

Shelly, if you go to the COK web sight, the second sentence you will read is this:

“COK focuses on cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world, both for humans and nonhumans.”

So please explain your first response by saying I had lost all creditibility by calling a spade a spade?

And just so you know, the USDA will not be fining Central Valley because the law prohibits them from doing so. I know, because every year we went to the Approps committee with our budget and requested authority to fine plants for certain circumstances and every year we were denied. Again, just trying to point out the facts so people can make informed decisions and comments.

As for the comment that USDA is supposed to promote Ag, and therefore this action should get people fired? As I tried to explain, they just followed the law. And besides promoting ag, they promote and protect animal, plant and human health, run the US Forest Service, direct food stamps and school lunches to name a few other items of business for the USDA.

Shelly, where do I “imply” the video was ‘staged”? I called is disgusting and despicable, but I meant the footage, not the technique.

I have no problems with vegans, everyone should have a choice. What I have a problem with is when others try to impose their beliefs on me by driving up the cost of meat. Oh, and yes, perfectly good meat is destroyed because the Obama Administration banned all non-ambulatory cattle, not just old culled dairy cows. 20 month old, grain fed steers break legs and rupture tendons on ice and slippery surfaces. We use to be able to eat them, now they are taken to rendering and that, my friends, is a waste and drives up costs at the grocery stores.

The animal rights activists are winning, and we are helping them with inhumane practices.

BTW, USDA shuttered 12 plants in 1997, the year before Hallmark, for inhumane handling observed by FSIS employees. They just didn’t send the videos to the Washington Post and NY Times.

Shelley
08/27/2012
4:01PM

“Undercover agents working at slaughter plants as undercover agents for the Humane Society of the United States (Hallmark/Westland) and Compassion Over Killing (CVM) used hidden cameras to film egregious inhumane handling of cows.

Both animal rights groups have an agenda that includes preventing the killing of animals for human consumption. This agenda can be moved forward with disgustingly shocking videos, and by driving the cost of meat up by necessitating changes in the slaughter and fabricating processes.”

Both animal rights groups have an agenda?

You’re too quick to dismiss animal welfare activities, or to lump them all the same. This undermined your credibility.

As for the following statement:

‘Shelly, where do I “imply” the video was ‘staged”? I called is disgusting and despicable, but I meant the footage, not the technique.’

I looked through your post and I thought I remembered reading something about the video shown online was only a few minutes, and we don’t know what the other video had.

And there was another statement, about throwing away good meat, or something to that effect.

In fact, your post seems to be different.

Did you edit your writing after you published it? Not just added the response to us–but actually changed your original writing?

Jon
08/27/2012
4:46PM

That’s the Main problem with USDA isn’t it? The meat/produce/biotech/etc food industry insists USDA is there to promote their US Agribusiness — period. The foxes are very content to run the taxpayer-fed henhouse — through revolving doors and campaign contributions and other forms of legitimized corruption.

But USDA — Really — is a Gov’t (of the people, by the people, for the people) Regulatory Agency charged with — protecting the public.

What USDA needs is the power to create Agribusiness user fees and to heavily FINE these miscreant food corporations so that we the public aren’t subsidizing all these gluttonous foxes. Looks like there needs to be some house cleaning first…..

Cyndy
08/27/2012
6:44PM

“If a cause for the non-ambulatory condition could be determined, such as a fractured leg or ruptured tendon, the animal could be euthanized on the spot and then taken to the knock box.”

OK, I’m confused about the above statement. The animal is euthanized on the spot and then taken to the knock box? Does this mean that this animal is still slaughtered for its meat? With the euthanizing drugs in the meat? Please clarify. Thanks!

doc raymond
08/27/2012
7:11PM

Nice try, Shelly, but the post has not been altered or doctored up.

minkpuppy
08/28/2012
8:35AM

Shelley,

Perhaps you misread or misinterpreted some of the comments in the article? Please consider that rather than accusing Dr. Raymond of sneakily editing the article because he you called out. It costs you nothing to admit that maybe, just maybe, you were mistaken about what you thought you read this one time rather than becoming defensive and accusing the other person of lying. It doesn’t reflect well on you or your credibility when you do so.

The article is exactly the same as the one I read yesterday, before Dr. Raymond responded to comments. I had decided I was done commenting on this issue because of the nastiness that’s being spewed by certain posters but I cannot stand by and let your comment go. My experience with Dr. Raymond is that he’s a straight shooter, always has been. People don’t always like what he says but he says what needs to be said. He has nothing to gain by changing what he wrote and pretending he didn’t.

***For the record, before the haters jump on my butt, I hide my identity for a reason. I don’t feel like getting fired over stating my opinion on my own time if it disagrees with FSIS policy and practice. It’s easier to just use a nickname than to constantly state that I don’t represent FSIS on here. The people that need to know my identity already do and I correspond with them through emails regularly.***

This video may not have been staged but it was highly edited. Some elements were certainly embellished in the narration to make it appear that the cows were actually still alive when they were hoisted up on the chain when they were clearly dead due to the slack tongues and necks. The hot shots to the face, standing on the muzzle, forcing cows to stand and multiple shots to the head were not staged and needed to be dealt with.

I have no problem with whistleblowers calling attention to abuses as long as they stick to the actual abuses and don’t misrepresent normal death responses. Posting video of normal post-stun kicking and twitching dead cow with an obviously slack neck and tongue while claiming the cow is still alive is a blatant falsehood and does nothing to help people understand the actual kill process.

Death is never a pretty sight but as horrible as it is, let’s not confuse it with abusive treatment. It’s normal to be disturbed by it even when it’s done correctly. I worry about the people that aren’t bothered by it because they are the ones that end up abusing animals and people.

As far as the cows in the COK video are concerned, many of them could not walk due to udders horribly swollen with milk because they hadn’t been milked in at least 24 hours. High producing cows have to be milked at least 3x a day or they are miserable. It’s horribly inhumane to do that to a cow just because she’s going to the kill plant. The kill plant isn’t going to milk her and neither is the sale barn. The farmers should have the decency to euthanize the cow at the farm if she’s already suffering from illness or injury. Don’t compound it by making her carry around a huge, unmilked udder.

For a look at slaughter done properly, see http://www.animalhandling.org/ht/d/sp/i/80622/pid/80622. It accurately depicts the post-stunning reponse of the cows that is often portrayed as abuse by animal rights videos and explains how to determine if the cow is dead or not.

minkpuppy
08/28/2012
8:39AM

Cyndy,

The animals are not euthanized with drugs. They are euthanized with a hand-held captive bolt stunner applied to the skull. The bolt destroys the brain instantaneously. Drugs are never used to euthanize animals at slaughter plants.

Jade
08/28/2012
8:48AM

It does make a huge difference wether or not an organization deems itself animal rights or animal welfare. One is simply for the welfare of the animals, while animal rights groups believe animals have the right to live their lives without any human interference. Animal rights groups, HSUS included, want to abolish agriciulture. They go so far as to believe that we should not keep any domesticated animals because we are controlling them against their will, and god forbid we should do anything like ride a horse or keep chickens in the back yard for eggs, or keep a goat for milk. Again, I stress that what happened at this plant is unacceptable, but I swear these animal rights activists are going to be the demise of agriculture, even organic, natural, or sustainable agriculture.

Shelley
08/28/2012
10:55AM

I checked my feed reader, and I can’t tell if the writing is edited or not. But I could find sentences that led to what I think I may have been responding to. So apologies for questioning whether the text was edited or not.

I need to remember to copy text I’m replying to when I write a comment.

Anyway, to address your comment about staged video, you wrote the following

“They sometimes are sick, they always are old, and they often lay down to rest and refuse to get up. And here lies the opportunity for video if the plant is not impeccable in its handling of these non-ambulatory or “downer” animals.”

You imply that the undercover investigator is misrepresenting what’s happening in the plant–or that what is filmed is somehow not as bad as it seems. I don’t think anyone could misrepresent what was shown in the videos for Central Valley Meat.

I could have sworn there was something about unfairly closing plants, but that could have been comments to another of the writings on this event. Anyway, you also state, in your comment

“I have no problems with vegans, everyone should have a choice. What I have a problem with is when others try to impose their beliefs on me by driving up the cost of meat. Oh, and yes, perfectly good meat is destroyed because the Obama Administration banned all non-ambulatory cattle, not just old culled dairy cows. 20 month old, grain fed steers break legs and rupture tendons on ice and slippery surfaces. We use to be able to eat them, now they are taken to rendering and that, my friends, is a waste and drives up costs at the grocery stores..”

The concern about non-ambulatory cows is based on fears of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, not based on humane handling concerns.

Though humane handling and food safety frequently go hand in hand, in this case, the ruling was based purely on food safety issues.

There’s a simple solution for milk farmers: don’t wait until cows are at death’s door to send off to slaughter. In addition, the farmers could rest the cow a few weeks, in which case it can handle the transport without collapse.

Regardless, if a cow is sick, it should not go into the food system.

Shelley
08/28/2012
11:53AM

MinkPuppy, I don’t need your lecture.

I could not find the text I thought I had responded to. It made it difficult to defend what I wrote in the first comment when I could’t find the text.

I asked if the text had been edited. It isn’t unusual for writers to edit their text, though usually they do note when the do.

Regardless, I apologized for traducing doc raymond’s honor.

Having said that, doc raymond is a big boy, I’m a big girl, we’ll work it out between us–as doc raymond demonstrated.

R.P.
08/28/2012
12:41PM

What a pathetic cluster.

Here we have smug bureaucrats and hysterical terrorists, timid patriots and belligerent scabs all stubbornly wrestling in their own ideological excrement. Meanwhile, a chickensh!t USDA serves the cause of extreme animal rights terrorists, capriciously shuttering a legitimate business AND directly curtailing their trade. Shades of more and more damage to be doled out to our food system, no doubt.

USDA has been infiltrated by anti-agriculture activist scabs. They corrupt our inspection service, our social services, our policy making.

Certainly there remain a few tried and true USDA employees but they are overwhelmed and can no longer craft intelligent rational policy. We cannot discern the good guys from the skulking activist scabs so we must purge all of them before it is too late for everyone.

There’s a new farm bill to be crafted. Let’s make it clear to congress our obsolete compromised USDA no longer supports the modern American agriculture that is so essential to our national security. Begin defunding USDA right away. Before the skunks decimate the henhouse irrevocably. Throw the creepy saboteurs out, all of them without exception, there is nothing to lose by it and everything to gain. It would be the first fiscally responsible move Congress has made in years.

Barbara Holman
08/29/2012
9:50AM

“If you want to get the public’s attention using video, you want to go to a facility that slaughters old dairy cows and then sells the meat to the NSLP. As opposed to 20-30 month old steers that have been content to eat grain in a feedlot, these cows are often 10-12 years of age, and are often not in good enough shape to handle a ride of even a few miles in hot weather.”

IOW, these animals have been so abused and mistreated that they must be further abused and mistreated.

Every time one of these undercover videos is made public, the so-called “food animal” industry tries to get us to believe that its an isolated incident. There is no reason to believe that’s the case. In fact, just the opposite is made clear every time we see this mind-numbing cruelty.

Don’t blame the messenger, as this op/ed does. Blame the industry for wanting bigger and bigger profits which is partially the reason for the cruelty – the workers cannot turn off the assembly line because it costs the company money.

This op/ed is very self-serving and defensive. He wants to believe the animals are treated well and its those bag ole animal rights people who are the real problem.

The real problem is that the consumer willingly believes these lies. They continue to buy and eat diseased “food” even though they know it will contribute to their own deaths from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and the list goes on and on.

Go ahead and eat chunks of charred corpse but don’t pretend you don’t the truth behind how it came to be on your plate.

Minkpuppy
08/29/2012
10:14AM

Shelley,

We all let our mouths and fingers get the better of us at times. It’s not easy to tell the context when you’re reading a post or email. I apologize if you took offense.

I’m getting more than a bit aggravated with this whole fiasco and will defend my colleagues tooth and nail without regrets or apologies. At first, I was outraged as everyone else but after gather the information and seeing the video, I realized I have no place bashing the inspectors at CVM. I’ve worked in the kill plants and I know what they have to deal with. I forgot where I came from and I apologize to the inspectors at CVM for jumping on the bandwagon and assuming they weren’t doing their jobs. Sometimes we get so accustomed to what we always see that we miss what we should be seeing.

I see this fiasco as more of a failing of the meat industry and FSIS management as a whole because they have not been letting everyone know what we do that is good and right. The AMI “glass walls” project is a step in the right direction but that video should have been out years ago.

Putting a face on the inspection force would also help tremendously. Instead we have to hide behind nicknames for fear of saying something that D.C. doesn’t like or hasn’t “authorized” which would result in a witch hunt for our jobs and livelihood. FSIS needs to get its head out of its butt and let inspectors talk about what we do and how we do it so people know that we are out there protecting them.

Shelley
08/29/2012
3:42PM

I understand, MinkPuppy. You and I agree more often than not.

I must confess I was feeling very irritated because I couldn’t find text I remembered. However, I should have assumed I had a brain fart, rather than the text was edited.

(It doesn’t help that, in another web site, in a thread related to the HSUS/Ringling Brothers RICO case, Center for Consumer Freedom people were marking every one of my comments as spam. Still, that was that site, this site is different.)

As for what you’re saying, I happen to believe the “boots on the ground” do a tough job with little thanks. I’ve seen this with the USDA APHIS AWA inspectors, where they’ve actually been threatened by backwoods red necks here in Missouri. I’m currently working on one story and my favorite little graphic for the story is a snapshot of an envelope with a threat on it–I just can’t tell if the threat is to the inspectors, the USDA, or the entire country.

(I love the FOIA–you get so much good material for stories.)

I see in these posts, here at FSN (and elsewhere), industry hacks who either blame the undercover agents (as Animal Rights Extremists/Terrorists), or who blame the (Big Government Evil) USDA–anything, other than the company who allowed such egregious inhumane handling to continue.

We’ll never do better as long as these games are played. We definitely won’t have good discussions while these games are played.

As I said, MinkPuppy, we agree more often than not.

Central Valley Meat Says It’s Reopened For Business

Food Poisoning Bulletin

One week after an undercover video prompted the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)  to suspend operations at  Central Valley Meat in Hanford, Calif., for what it described as “disturbing evidence of inhumane treatment of cattle”  the company says it is reopened for business.

“Sunday afternoon, the USDA informed us that it has accepted our action plan and we are free to reopen. With the announcement of that decision, Central Valley Meat will resume operations Monday morning and welcome our employees back to work,” the statement said. “We have worked closely with both inspectors and industry experts while developing our USDA-approved action plan. As a result, Central Valley Meat will provide better training for our workers, better monitoring of our facilities, and more frequent third-party audits of our operations. We believe these measures will establish a new industry standard for the handling of animals.”

Last week, after receiving the video, from Compassion Over Killing,  the USDA sent several teams of investigators to California  to gather information.  The inspectors found humane handling violations and suspended operations, but said that inspectors did not find any violations that posed a food safety concern such as downer cattle entering the food system.

The video prompted McDonalds, In-N-Out Burger, Costco and the USDA to announce that they would suspend purchases from the company. In response to the backlash, Central Valley Meat distributed to various media outlets a statement by renown professor of animal science, Temple Grandin, who reviewed  the video several times.

Grandin said some of the observations made by the narrator of the video are incorrect and that the cattle are stunned properly but that there was “overly aggressive and unacceptable use of electric prods with non-ambulatory cattle and in sensitive areas like the face. While there are times when prods are absolutely necessary, they must be used sparingly and never in the face or other sensitive areas. I would classify this as egregious animal abuse. This plant needs to rely less on prods and move to lower stress driving tools. Devices as simple as a stick with an inflated plastic bag on the end can be extremely effective in moving livestock. In general, cattle are handled much more easily by calm and patient handlers. The more agitated they become, the more difficult they become to move. I have advised the company about specific strategies for improving handling, like using a simple sheet of cardboard to move animals.”

Many of the animals slaughtered at Central Valley are “spent”  or, no longer productive, dairy cows, many of whom should have been euthanized on their farms, according to Grandin. “Some of the major issues in the video originate due to the poor condition of the animals arriving at the plant, many of which should have been euthanized on the farm. I urge the dairy industry to market their cows before they become weak and extremely debilitated.”

The USDA was unable to respond for requests for more information about this story by press time.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cantaloupes Extends to West Virginia

OpenCantaloupeMain.jpgWV man hospitalized; 3 more ill in MO

Four more cases of Salmonella, including the first case in West Virginia, have been reported as part of a growing outbreak linked to cantaloupes from a farm in southwestern Indiana.

Missouri has increased its victim count from the 9 it originally reported to 12, reported the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, while West Virginia counted its first case — a 47-year-old man who was hospitalized for 6 days at the end of July.

These new developments bring the total number of cases up from 141 in 20 states, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its initial update, to 145 in 21 states.
Neither CDC nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have updated their outbreak reports to reflect these new numbers.
The Missouri Department of Health says it is conducting interviews with victims. So far, at least 3 reported eating cantaloupes before becoming ill.
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in West Virginia is investigating the illness in that state, which occurred in Kanawha County. The Department warns that other people may still be at risk for infection.
“We want to make sure to put the word out to individuals because there’s still the chance they could still be in trouble,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of K-CHD Monday, according to NY Daily News.
And that advice extends nationwide. Anyone who purchased cantaloupe grown in southwestern Indiana should discard them and not consume them. Many large retailers have taken cantaloupes grown in this reason off of store shelves.
Health officials are refraining from naming the farm whose cantaloupes have been implicated in this outbreak until they can confirm that the farm is the source.
See Food Safety News‘ coverage of advice from experts on cantaloupe safety for information on how to avoid foodborne illness from cantaloupes in light of both this outbreak and a recent recall of melons from North Carolina due to potential Listeria contamination.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection include fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, headache and body aches.
If you think you may have contracted a Salmonella infection, contact your healthcare provider.

USDA Bought 21 Million Pounds of Beef Last Year from Slaughterhouse Now Closed for Animal Abuse

Purchases from Central Valley Meat Co. were worth nearly $50 million in 2011

The U.S. Department of Agriculture purchased 21.2 million pounds of beef last year from Central Valley Meat, the plant shut down this week for inhumane treatment of cows. The beef went to federal nutrition programs like the National School Lunch Program, according to department records.

Though undercover video shows egregious mistreatment of spent dairy cows at the company’s slaughterhouse, some of which appear lame or injured, USDA said Wednesday there is so far no evidence that so-called “downer” animals — those who can no longer walk — were slaughtered for human consumption. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s investigation is ongoing.

As recently as 2009, Central Valley Meat was one of the top three suppliers of ground beef to the National School Lunch Program, but USDA has so far not responded to questions about current contracts with the company.

Records posted on USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service website show that between October 2010 and September 2011, the USDA purchased 21.2 million pounds of various beef products, including ground beef and boneless beef, from Central Valley Meat. Five separate purchases, ranging from 40,000 pounds to 6.9 million pounds, were made for a total of $49.7 million.

According to the overview of purchases, the USDA purchased around 135 million pounds of beef products during the fiscal year. Purchases from Central Valley Meat accounted for roughly 16 percent of beef purchases by volume during that time.

A graphic excerpt of the video, which animal rights group Compassion Over Killing says was shot by an undercover worker at Central Valley Meat, shows cows before slaughter covered in dirt and feces, some writhing on the ground and bleeding on themselves after being bolted several times but not rendered senseless. Several cows are shown projectile vomiting, presumably from stress, while being hit repeatedly with the bolt gun.

One cow is shown being suffocated by a worker who stands on the animal’s snout. Some cows seem to survive the bolt gun and get sent down the assembly line still thrashing as they are strung upside down before being bled out. Another clip shows cows being sprayed with hot water and electrically prodded to move them.

Shortly after learning about the video, popular fast food chain In-N-out Burger announced they had severed ties with the company, which had previously been supplying between 20 and 30 percent of the chain’s beef.

Renowned animal welfare expert Temple Grandin issued a statement Wednesday condemning certain practices featured in the video, but also questioned why some of the sick cows were not euthanized instead of being shipped to a slaughter facility.

“Some of the major issues in the video originate due to the poor condition of the animals arriving at the plant, many of which should have been euthanized on the farm,” said Grandin. “I urge the dairy industry to market their cows before they become weak and extremely debilitated.”

Central Valley Meat Co responded Monday by saying that it was cooperating fully with the USDA investigation.

“At Central Valley Meat Co., ensuring that the livestock we process are treated humanely is critically important,” said Brian Coelho, president of the company, in a statement. “Our company seeks not just to meet federal humane handling regulations, but to exceed them.”

Coelho said he was “extremely disturbed” to be told by USDA of the allegations, but the company has not yet commented on the contents of the video.

Update:

“Beef purchases from this company have been suspended during the investigation,” said a USDA spokesman in a statement late Wednesday. “The Department works to ensure that product purchased for the Federal feeding programs meets stringent food safety standards and that processors comply with humane handling regulations. While some of the footage provided from this facility shows unacceptable treatment of cattle, it does not show anything that would compromise food safety. However, we are aggressively continuing our investigation.”

Suppliers to federal nutrition programs are required to have animal welfare plans in place and they are subject to on-site audits.  According to USDA policy, audit scheduling is performance-based with a minimum of two audits a year.

According to Compassion Over Killing, their investigator who shot the undercover video worked at the plant in June and July 2012. The last audit of Central Valley Meats was completed on July 24, 2012.

Indiana’s Chamberlain Farms Named As Source of Bad Cantaloupe

Salmonella case-count up to 178, with 61 hospitalizations and 2 deaths attributed to contaminated melons

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Wednesday night announced a recall of cantaloupe grown by Chamberlain Farms located at Owensville, IN.
Previously, FDA declined to name the cantaloupe farm involved in an ongoing outbreak of foodborne illnesses spreading across the country.
Cantaloupe from Chamberlain Farms “may be one source” of contamination in the multi-state outbreak of salmonellosis, FDA said in the announcement.

cantaloupesatmarket-iphone.jpg

Chamberlain Farms agreed to remove their cantaloupe from the market place after meeting the health officials from FDA, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State of Indiana.
Salmonella Typhimurium is the cause of the outbreak that previously being attributed to an un-named cantaloupe farm in southwestern Indiana.
So far, 178 in 21 states have been sickened in the outbreak, which has result in two deaths.
FDA said records at Chamberlain Farms indicate the cantaloupe was originally shipped to Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.
Food Safety News has asked FDA for a wholesale-retail distribution list for cantaloupes from Chamberlain Farms.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) routinely provides such lists for Class I recalls like this one where there is an immediate threat to public health.   “We don’t have the distribution list yet,” said Shelly Burgess, FDA’s spokeswoman.
Chamberlain’s melons were sold in local retail outsells in four counties in southwest Indiana and one county in southeast Illinois before being shipped to wholesalers in Durant, IA, Peru, IL, Owensboro, KY, and St Louis.
However, Chamberlain Farms reportedly stopped shipping cantaloupe on Aug. 17, the day Kentucky’s state laboratory connected the outbreak strain to two cantaloupes from an Indiana grower that were being sold at retail.
The agency’s late night announcement came after a day when it was taking ever more criticism for not going public with what it knew about the source of the outbreak.

Salmonella Linked to Turkey Jerky Sickens 4 in Minnesota

TurkeyJerkyPiecesMain.jpg

Four cases of Salmonella infection have been linked to turkey jerky produced by a Minnesota company.

The Minnesota Department of Health is warning consumers not to eat whole-muscle turkey jerky manufactured by Hoffman Town & Country Meat Market because investigators have linked the product to a cluster of 4 illnesses from the same strain of Salmonella.

The first patient became ill August 2 and the last illness onset was August 7, according to MDH.
One of the victims was hospitalized but all have since recovered.
All 4 victims reported eating turkey jerky during the week before becoming ill.
Of those sickened, 1 lives in the Twin Cities metro area and 3 live in Greater Minnesota.
Hoffman Town & Country has issued a voluntary recall of all whole muscle turkey jerky sold on or before August 21, 2012. The product was sold wrapped in white butcher paper.
Consumers who purchased the recalled product and have not yet consumed it are urged not to eat it and to return it for a full refund.
Those with questions about the recall can call the company at 218-847-72-7.
Symptoms of Salmonella infection appear anywhere from several hours to 3 days after infection and include fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, head ache and body aches.
If you think you may have contracted a Salmonella infection, contact your healthcare provider.

Pork Rind Plant Temporarily Shuts Down After Finding Salmonella

rindpork_iphone.jpgA Dallas pork rind factory has halted operations to do a deep clean after finding Salmonella in their plant, according to a local news source.

NBC Dallas Fort Worth reported Friday that Rudolph Foods found four positives for Salmonella on the floor in their “pro-cook” area.

While the company said they did not find any positive in their finished product or on food contact surfaces, they continuously check for bacteria and if they find a positive they initiate a thoroughly cleaning.

They said they expect to resume full production in a week.

“This is a USDA inspected facility, and the onsite inspector has been informed throughout this process, and are supportive of the plant actions,” the company told NBC 5. “We’re confident there are no risks to any finished product.  We can be certain, because not only is there a validated kill step in the fryer process, but all of our seasoning goes through our Sensitive Ingredient Program.”

NBC DFW reported that Dallas plant has been up and running since 2003 and can produce 15 million pounds of pork rinds per year.

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Recalls

Bagged Salad Recalled for Potential Listeria Contamination

GreensMain.jpgDole Fresh Vegetables is recalling 1,039 cases of bagged salad due to the potential that it may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The California-based company issued the voluntary recall Wednesday after a sample of its Dole Italian Blend taken by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture tested positive for Listeria.
The sample was collected as a part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Microbiological Data Program (MDP), a small federal program that provides funding to 11 state agencies for produce surveillance.
While MDP was responsible for collecting the sample, it did not conduct the Listeria test.
“We at North Carolina did not do the testing on their product,” Daniel Ragan, Director of the Food & Drug Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, told Food Safety News. However, “The sample was collected through the USDA’s Microbiological Data Program,” he confirmed.
MDP was slated to be shut down in July of this year after being zeroed out in the Obama Administration’s 2013 budget proposal, but USDA decided to extend the program until the end of the year after media attention prompted a public demand to keep it going.
Product subject to this recall — the fourth recall prompted by MDP testing this month — is marked with UPC code 7143000819, located on the back of the package below the bar code, and bears a use-by date of August 20. The salads were sold in 10 oz. bags coded 0049N2202008.
They were distributed in 8 U.S. states, including Alabama, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.
No illnesses have been linked to consumption of this product to date.
Although the product is now 3 days past its use-by date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking retailers to check their inventories and store shelves to confirm that none of the recalled product is in the warehouse or available to customers.
Dole Fresh Vegetables has contacted retailers to which the salads were distributed and is in the process of ensuring that the recalled product is taken off the market.
DoleBaggedSalad.gif

Protein Drinks Recalled for Botulism Risk

.jpgA Pennsylvania-based company is recalling several of its protein drinks because they may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacteria that can cause a life-threatening illness in humans when ingested.

Protica, Inc. of Whitehall, PA issued a voluntary recall of its Body Choice “Protein Shots,” Nutritional Resources “Protein Wave,” ProBalance “Protein to Go French Vanilla Latte” and “Protein to Go Milk Shake” Thursday after an on-site investigation revealed that they were being processed in a way that is not guaranteed to prevent the growth of Clostridium botulinum.
Toxins produced by this bacteria attack the nervous system and can cause paralysis and even death.
Products subject to the recall include:
– Protein to Go Milk Chocolate Shake, sold in a 2.5 oz. bottle, marked with the following:
 Manufacture Date Lot Number
 
    2/9/12               PP0402 4109 A
    2/9/12               PP0402 4109 B
    2/9/12               PP0402 4109 C
    2/9/12               PP0402 4109 D
    2/9/12               PP0402 4109 E
    2/9/12               PP0402 4109 F
    2/9/12               PP0402 4109 G
    2/13/12               PP0442 4113
    2/16/12               PP0442 4115
    3/29/12               PP0892 4121
    4/12/12               PP1032 4131 A
    4/12/12               PP1032 4131 B
    4/25/12               PP1162 4134 B
    4/25/12               PP1162 4134 C
    4/25/12               PP1162 4134 A
    5/3/12               PP1242 4139
    5/8/12               PP1242 4140
    6/7/12               PP1592 4145 B
    6/7/12               PP1592 4145 A
– Protein to Go French Vanilla Latte, sold in a 2.5 oz. bottle, marked with the following:
 Manufacture Date Lot Number
    9/8/2011      PP2511 4066 A
    9/8/2011      PP2511 4066 B
    10/11/2011      PP2841 4079
    10/18/2011      PP2911 4086
    12/6/2011      PP3401 4103
    2/13/2012      PP0442 4112
    4/2/2012      PP0932 4122
    4/4/2012      PP0952 4125
    4/11/2012      PP1022 4129
    4/24/2012      PP1152 4133 A
    4/24/2012      PP1152 4133 B
    4/24/2012      PP1152 4133 C
    5/1/2012      PP1222 4138 A
    5/1/2012      PP1222 4138 B
    5/1/2012      PP1222 4138 C
    5/8/2012      PP1292 4141
    6/8/2012      PP1592 4146 A
    6/8/2012      PP1592 4146 B
– Nutritional Resources Protein Wave gelatin, served in a 6 oz. cup and marked with a manufacture date of May 03 2012 and lot number PP 1242 6123
– Body Choice Protein Shots, served in a 3 oz. vial and marked with a manufacture date of Dec 20, 2011 and lot number PP 3541 2924
Consumers who purchased any of the above products can return them to the place of purchase or to Protica for a full refund. Anyone with questions should call the company at 1-800-PROTICA (1-800-776-8422).
Symptoms of botulism (the illness caused by C. botulinum toxins) include general weakness, dizziness, double-vision, trouble speaking or swallowing, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, abdominal distention and constipation.
If you think you may have botulism, contact your healthcare provider.

Salmonella Illnesses Prompt Mango Recall in Canada

mangoes-406.jpgThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency and North American Produce Sales are recalling Mexican mangoes sold in western Canada due to likely contamination of Salmonella Braenderup, CTV News reports.

Several illnesses have already been associated with the mangoes.

The affected mangoes are sold individually with a sticker reading PLU# 4959. They were sold in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon between July 12 and August 14.
Call the Canadian Food Inspection Agency at 1-800-442-2342 for more information.

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Articles of Interest

Michigan Mom & Daughters Sue Wal-Mart for Bad Cantaloupes

A Michigan family has sued Wal-Mart for selling contaminated cantaloupe that’s involved in the multistate Salmonella outbreak.
The complaint was filed in Michigan’s Calhoun County Circuit Court on behalf of Battle Creek resident Angela Compton and her two children, who both were infected with Salmonella Typhimurium after eating cantaloupe they purchased form Wal-Mart in mid-July.
Compton purchased three cantaloupes at the Wal-Mart store located at 6020 B. Drive North in Battle Creek on July 12, 2012, later cutting the melons into slices and serving them to her family.   Within days of eating the cantaloupe slices, one of her children, “MC,” became ill with symptoms of Salmonella infection, including diarrhea and painful abdominal cramping.
She was treated several times by her pediatrician and was later seen at the emergency room for dehydration and was admitted to Bronson Kalamazoo hospital.  “MC “was hospitalized for four days and continued to suffer symptoms of Salmonella infection for at least a week after she was discharged.
Her sister, “CC”, fell ill with a Salmonella infection several days into MC’s illness.  She was also treated at her pediatrician’s office, but required further treatment at the ER on three occasions.  Both children tested positive for Salmonella Typhimurium.
Michigan health officials told Angela Compton that her daughters’ illnesses were part of the multi-state cantaloupe outbreak linked to melons grown in southwest Indiana.
The complaint was filed on behalf of the Compton family by Marler Clark, the nationally known food safety law firm based in Seattle, and by prominent Michigan attorney Michael Heilmann.
“I’m in the middle of litigation from last year’s Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes grown in Colorado.” said attorney Bill Marler,   “I would have expected farmers, distributors and retailers to have better food safety procedures in place this year to prevent another cantaloupe-related outbreak from happening.”
Marler represents 42 families from last year’s deadly Listeria outbreak traced to cantaloupes from Colorado’s Jensen Farms.  His firm has been litigating foodborne illness cases since the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak.
It has represented victims of nearly every major foodborne illness outbreak in the last 20 years, and has brought cases against such companies as Cargill, ConAgra, Dole, Nestle, and Taco Bell.
The Michigan lawsuit may be the first brought in the Salmonella outbreak that has now reached 21 states with 145 sickened and two dead.

CA Lawmakers Ask USDA to Reopen Slaughterhouse Shut Down for Inhumane Treatment

As the slaughterhouse accused of egregious humane handling violations remains unable to process meat after the U.S. Department of Agriculture withdrew inspectors from the plant over the weekend, three Central California Republican congressman are urging Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to “immediately” allow the company to operate again.

cattlenose_iphone.jpgHouse Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and Reps. Devin Nunes and Jeff Denham said in a letter Thursday that keeping the plant shut down serves “no legitimate interest” and harms the plant workers at a time when the community has double digit unemployment.

Though an undercover video shows mistreatment of spent dairy cows, including some that appear lame or injured, USDA said Wednesday there is no evidence that so-called “downer” animals were slaughtered for human consumption. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s investigation is ongoing.

“The investigation can and should continue, but does not necessitate a prolonged and economically disastrous full stoppage of operations,” wrote the congressmen in their letter. “Furthermore, your agency should more aggressively clarify the fact that our food supply is not – and never was – in jeopardy as a result of this alleged violation.”

On his blog, Rep. Nunes blasted Compassion Over Killing, the advocacy group that went undercover, as “extremists who are actively working to undermine production agriculture in the United States.” Nunes said local residents now confront “economic terrorism” from animal rights groups.

A graphic excerpt of the undercover video, which animal rights group Compassion Over Killing says was taken by an undercover investigator in June and July, shows cows before slaughter covered in dirt and feces, some writhing on the ground and bleeding on themselves after being bolted, but not rendered senseless, several times. Several cows are shown projectile vomiting, presumably from stress, while being hit repeatedly with the bolt gun.

Renowned animal welfare expert Temple Grandin issued a statement condemning certain practices featured in the video, but also questioned why some of the sick cows were not euthanized instead of being shipped to a slaughter facility.

“Some of the major issues in the video originate due to the poor condition of the animals arriving at the plant, many of which should have been euthanized on the farm,” said Grandin. “I urge the dairy industry to market their cows before they become weak and extremely debilitated.”

In a cattle industry newsletter this week, animal care expert, Dr. Dave Daley, an associate dean for the College of Agriculture at California State University, argued that any and all mistreatment of animals “cannot be tolerated.”

“We do not condone any mishandling of livestock on the farm or ranch or in the packing facility,” said Daley. “In fact, we firmly believe that those knowingly and willfully committing any abuse to animals should not be in the business – period. The actions depicted in these videos are disgraceful and not representative of the cattle community.”

Slaughterhouse under investigation a major school lunch supplier

As recently as 2009, Central Valley Meat was one of the top three suppliers of ground beef to the National School Lunch Program, but USDA has so far not responded to questions about current contracts with the company.

Records posted on USDA’s website show that between October 2010 and September 2011, the USDA purchased 21.2 million pounds of various beef products, including ground beef and boneless beef, from Central Valley Meat. Five separate purchases, ranging from 40,000 pounds to 6.9 million pounds, were made for a total of $49.7 million.

According to the overview of purchases, the USDA purchased around 135 million pounds of beef products during the fiscal year. Purchases from Central Valley Meat accounted for roughly 16 percent of beef purchases by volume during that time.

Shortly after learning about the video, popular fast food chain In-N-out Burger announced they had severed ties with the company, which had previously been supplying between 20 and 30 percent of the chain’s beef.

USDA, Costco, McDonalds, and Jack in the Box have also dropped Central Valley Meat as a supplier.

Central Valley Meat said it was cooperating fully with the USDA investigation.

“At Central Valley Meat Co., ensuring that the livestock we process are treated humanely is critically important,” said Brian Coelho, president of the company, in a statement. “Our company seeks not just to meet federal humane handling regulations, but to exceed them.”

Coelho said he was “extremely disturbed” to be told by USDA of the allegations, but the company has not yet commented on the contents of the video.

High Drug Residues Found at California Meat and Dairy Operations

Violators receive FDA warning letters

MeatCowMain.jpg

Dairy and meat farms in California were among the most recent establishments to receive federal warning letters after unacceptable levels of drug residues were found in cattle that they sold for slaughter.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration visited each establishment to inspect operations there and looked at records to track animals that were slaughtered.
If an animal from a dairy farm was slaughtered for human consumption, FDA checked with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to see whether tissue samples from a specific dairy cow were tested for drug residues.
When FSIS testing reveals residue levels higher than set limits, the operation receives a warning letter.
The most recent violators include:
Meat: Cunha Calf Ranch, CA
Inspection Dates: May 2, May 24, June 5 and June 10, 2012
Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with 7 residue violations of neomycin (highest was 18.43 parts per million). The FDA’s tolerance of neomycin is 7.2 parts per million.
Dairy: Double Diamond Dairy, CA
Inspection Dates: May 4, May 5 2012
Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with two residue violations of neomycin (7.21, 7.47 parts per million).
Meat: GTA Calf Ranch, CA
Inspection Date: June 8, 2012
Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with two drug residue violations of neomycin (14.91 parts per million) and oxytetracycline (5.89 parts per million). The FDA’s tolerance of neomycin is 7.2 parts per million and oxytetracycline is 2 parts per million.
Dairy: Johann Dairy Farm, CA
Inspection Dates: March 30, April 5, May 2, May 7, May 29, June 4, June 30 and July 3, 2012
Violation: Sold cows for slaughter as human food with nine drug residue violations of gentamicin (detected), neomycin (56.14 parts per million), penicillin (.08 parts per million), and sulfamethazine (4.418 parts per million). The FDA’s tolerance of gentamicin is 0 parts per million, 7.2 parts per million for neomycin, .05 parts per million for penicillin and 0 for sulfamethazine.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

 

 

Shigella Outbreak in Onondaga County, New York

Dr. Cynthia Morrow, Commissioner of Health for Onondaga County in New York state, announced on June 22, 2012 that there are 15 lab confirmed and 10 probable cases of shigellosis in that county. More cases are expected as the investigation continues.

“Shigellosis is an infectious disease called by a group of bacteria called Shigella,” she explained. “It is associated with consuming water or products contaminated with fecal matter. The incubation period is 1 – 3 days. Many people who are infected with Shigella develop fever, painful bloody or mucous diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 – 7 days. The disease is often worse in children and medical treatment is sometimes necessary in severe cases.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Shigella Outbreak in Onondaga County, New York Grows

Kathy Mogel, Program Coordinator of the Onondaga County Health Department told Food Poisoning Bulletin that there are 20 confirmed cases of Shigella in that county. There are news reports that there are as many as 34 cases, but we’re reporting what the Health Department tells us.

Ms. Mogel said that the age range of patients is from 2 to 84, with about 50% of the cases occurring in children under the age of 10. The Department believes that person to person transmission, also called secondary transmission, is a “significant factor” in the outbreak.

The Health Department is investigating the original source but has not pinpointed one as of June 27, 2012.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

CA Writes Food Safety Standards for Cantaloupes

Cantaloupe-Tractor-Body4.jpg
California cantaloupes will soon come with the assurance that they meet strict food safety standards, thanks to a mandatory statewide program that includes both announced and unannounced inspections and certification under government oversight.
The plan is for the program to begin this season, which lasts into the fall, but approval of an audit checklist by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is still forthcoming. The goal is to get that done as quickly as possible.
A historic move, this is the state’s first mandatory food safety program implemented by a commodity board. In designing this program – which covers each step of the melon production process from the field to the produce department – the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board collaborated with Western Growers; Trevor Suslow, food safety research specialist at the University of California-Davis Extension; and food safety scientists at Intertox, a risk management firm. The goal was to come up with a program tailored to FDA-approved food safety guidelines for growing, shipping and packing conditions in California.
The board approved the guidelines earlier this month.
A heavy hitter, California provides 70 percent of the cantaloupes sold in this country. During the state’s 5-month season, the industry typically packs and ships around 30 million cartons of cantaloupes. A carton contains 12 to 18 cantaloupes.
These guideline may appear to be a bold, new move on the part of the industry, but Stephen Patricio, chairman and CEO of Westside Produce – a grower, packer and shipper of cantaloupe and honeydew melons – told Food Safety News that this heavy push for food safety is actually a continuation of “business as usual.”
“California’s shippers and handlers have been following food safety standards guidance for the past 20 years,” he said. “It’s part of our culture. We’re proud of our record.”
Patricio says he likes the new program because it has the benefit of setting California cantaloupes apart from cantaloupes from other states and countries.
Two-Cantaloupes-Body.jpg
“We’ve been meeting these standards with no means to distinguish ourselves,” he said. “Now we have the authority to mandate. This will give us government validation for what we’re doing.”
Auditors from the California Department of Food and Agriculture will be working under USDA authority.
Patricio describes the new program as “the right thing to do.”
“We want to be here long-term and to continue providing safe and healthy food for customers, as well as for our families and workers.”
Pointing to the 100 percent thumbs-up of the program by those voting, Patricio described that as “absolutely unprecedented.
The vote also included a thumbs-up to raising assessments from 1.2 cents per carton to 2 cents per carton to help pay for the program.
UC food safety researcher Suslow told Food Safety News that it’s always “a step forward to demonstrate through independent, objective, and standardized audits that an industry sector has the highest level of compliance with a continually evolving framework for food safety — in this case 100 percent.”
He also said that the review process is still ongoing, which means that the specifics of the final marketing order standards are not yet established.
A marketing order is a concerned group of of agricultural professionals or growers who band together to support their commodity and partner with their state’s agriculture department to make sure everything is done correctly. As such, it is a quasi state authority.
Like Patricio, John Gilstrap of Monfort Management, who manages the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board, told Food Safety News that the new program is great news for consumers.
“It will give them peace of mind about California cantaloupes,” he said. “They’ll know that they’ve been grown and handled under the safest conditions possible. It allows us to establish consumer confidence in a product. We hope it will set us apart, if and when a foodborne illness outbreak connected to cantaloupes grown somewhere else happens.”
Another plus, he said, is that “inspectors can shut a place down if they see health problems.”
He also described the program as the “gold standard” for other states, some of which are crafting similar programs.

CSPI Finds Varying Levels of Chemical 4-MI in Coke

Months after Coca-Cola reformulated its soda sold in California to reduce the level of chemical 4-methylimidazole (4-MI or 4-MEI) so that it would not need a carcinogen warning label, the company has not yet tweaked its formulation for other states and countries, new test results show.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that Coca-Cola sold abroad contains varying levels of the chemical, which is found in the caramel coloring used to make cola dark brown. The compound has shown to be carcinogenic in some animal studies and CSPI has petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ban 4-MI from food products.

Coca-Cola from Brazil was found to contain 267 micrograms (mcg) of the carcinogen in a 12 ounce can. The same product from Kenya had 177 mcg per 12 ounces. Samples taken from Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and the United Kingdom ranged from 144 mcg to 160 mcg per 12 ounces.

Thumbnail image for Coke_Main.jpg
Since the state of California recently added 4-MI to its list of carcinogens that must be labeled if found at a certain level, Coca-Cola modified its process to circumvent adding a warning label. The company said at the time that it would eventually expand the use of low 4-MI caramel coloring across the United States and worldwide.

CSPI found just 4 mcg per 12 ounces in soda from the redwood state, but found 144 mcg per 12 ounces in the same product purchased in the District of Columbia. The California law requires food companies to label their product if it would lead to consumers consuming 30 mcg or more each day.

Tempeh Salmonella Case Highlights Illnesses that Fall through the Cracks

tempeh-406.jpgStopping at a café during a trip to Asheville, North Carolina with family this past March, Mary Ann Hurtado decided to order a veggie sandwich while everyone else chose something with meat. It was a choice she regularly made — she’s not a vegetarian by any means, but she does love vegetables.

But less than a week after eating this particular dish, Hurtado found herself lying on a hospital bed back home in Jacksonville, Florida. She had been so sick she couldn’t walk across the room. Her physician decided to connect her to a potassium I.V. drip — the most painful I.V. she’d felt in her life.

A registered nurse, Hurtado spent two nights in the hospital — the same one where she works — before being released with 10 days’ worth of antibiotics. It wasn’t until a week after she was discharged that she finally learned why she got sick: She had contracted a Salmonella infection, but at the time it was impossible to say where it came from.

As it turned out, Hurtado’s sandwich contained unpasteurized tempeh — a soy-based food — from an Asheville-based producer called Smiling Hara. More than a month after she ate her sandwich, Smiling Hara tempeh was identified as the source of a Salmonella Paratyphi B outbreak that had sickened at least 89 people in 5 states. The company had already issued a voluntary recall days earlier, following suspicion its tempeh might have been the source.

“The chills were just so bad – just miserable,” Hurtado said, speaking of her illness a day prior to her emergency room visit. “I was shaking so hard in the bed that I had to move to the couch so I wouldn’t wake up my husband.”

But while Hurtado became so ill that she required hospitalization and I.V. treatment, she is not included among the 89 victim case count and likely never will be. That’s because of technicalities surrounding the identification of her infection.

The bacterial isolate that confirmed her Salmonella infection was never serotyped, meaning that the specific strain was never identified and Hurtado’s infection will never be genetically linked to the strain found in samples of Smiling Hara’s tempeh. In short, she’s in a sort of classification limbo, neither officially confirmed as part of the outbreak nor confirmed to be excluded from it — and she’s likely not alone.

29 out of 30

Considering the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 29 out of 30 Salmonella infections go unreported, Hurtado is potentially one of thousands of people sickened by the tempeh outbreak who will never be counted, either because of epidemiological technicalities or — more often — they just didn’t seek medical attention.

In Hurtado’s case, she fell through the cracks of the outbreak investigation because of where she was hospitalized. While many state health departments — including North Carolina’s — try to identify all cases of foodborne pathogen infections, some states’ do not.

Florida is one that does not typically serotype. Tests that identify bacterial strains cost additional money, which some states choose not to spend. A spokesman for the Florida Department of Health told Food Safety News that the state typically only serotypes isolates “on identified need for enhanced surveillance or suspected outbreak investigation.”

If Hurtado had been hospitalized in North Carolina, she’d likely have a confirmed serotype and been included in the official case count, according to Hurtado’s attorney Bill Marler. Marler’s law firm, Marler Clark, specializes in foodborne illness litigation and underwrites Food Safety News.

Hurtado recently filed the first lawsuit against Smiling Hara and Tempeh Online, the retailer that sold Smiling Hara the Salmonella-contaminated spore culture used to make their tempeh.

Currently, the only states considered to have cases in this outbreak are North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Michigan. New York was originally thought to have a case, but that individual was placed under the banner of North Carolina because they attend college in Asheville.

When Hurtado’s county health department learned of her Salmonella infection, they uploaded her information to a statewide infection database. From there, the Florida Department of Health likely included Hurtado’s basic information in a generalized weekly report to the CDC.

The CDC often coordinates information between states involved in multistate outbreaks, including the Smiling Hara outbreak. But without any serotype information, Hurtado’s infection would not stand out as having any connection to an outbreak. In effect, it looked exactly like the numerous other isolated infections the CDC sees on a weekly basis.

“At this point, it’s not likely [Hurtado] will be considered anything other than another Florida Salmonella case,” said Dr. William Keene, senior epidemiologist for Oregon Public Health. Keene was not involved in the Smiling Hara outbreak investigation, but is considered one of the eminent epidemiologists in public health.

“She’s got the exposure. She was in the right place when the outbreak happened, but without her isolate being compared to the outbreak strain, you can’t really know [she was infected in the outbreak] for sure,” Keene added.

Castle Farms Granted Temporary Permit To Sell Raw Milk

Castle Farms, the farm in Irving, New York that earlier this month was ordered to stop selling raw milk after random testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture  (NYDA) produced a positive result of  E.coli 0157:H7, has been granted a temporary permit to sell raw milk while it undergoes further testing, according to the NYDA.

The temporary permit was granted after a subsequent test for pathogens was negative according to and NYDA official. At least two more negative tests will be required before the permanent permit is reinstated, the official said. In New York, all farms that sell raw milk must be permitted and are inspected monthly.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Scotland Going Independent On Food Safety

It’s not really going down like the plot of “Braveheart,” but the coming 2014 on Scottish Independence is already having large ramifications on food safety regulation in the United Kingdom.
The Scottish Government is pulling out of the UK’s Food Standards Agency, opting instead to set up its own independent Scottish food standards body. The new Scottish agency will be responsible for food safety, food standards, nutrition, food labeling, and meat inspection.

scotflag_240x160.jpg

The independence move actually stems more from the 2010 decision by the UK Government to move food labeling and standards from FSA to UK’s Department of Health and Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and not necessarily in spirit of the planned 2014 Independence vote.
When that decision was announced, the Scottish Government asked Professor Jim Scudamore to conduct an independent review of its options including the stand-alone agency. The Scudamore panel took oral and written testimony from 40 stakeholders over several months, it published its report in April, calling for Scotland to go it alone.
“The changes in England removed significant capacity in the FSA’s nutrition and labeling functions for Scotland and needed to be addressed,” said Michael Matheson, Scotland’s health minister.
Matheson said the Scottish Government have accepted the Scudamore recommendations.” A new body will allow a Scottish approach to be taken to tackle poor diet and food-borne diseases and should support our food and drink industry in growing its strong, international reputation for safe, quality food.”

 

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Study: Salmonella’s pH Sensors Trigger Virulence

salmonellamaine-iphone.jpg

Salmonella bacteria rely on internal pH sensors to initiate their virulent traits after sensing heightened acidity in their environment, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Yale University School of Medicine and the Yale Microbial Diversity Institute.
The findings, published in the June 14 issue of Nature, could someday lead to drugs that disrupt the bacteria’s ability to cause typhoid fever and foodborne illness in humans.
Here’s how the sensors work: When the bacterium senses a change into an acidic environment, it begins producing Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the “energy currency” for all living cells. This boost of ATP production creates a protein that in turn activates a number of characteristics within the bacterium, including characteristics related to survival and virulence.

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Recalls

 

 

Salmonella Prompts Organic Sprouts Recall

After routine sampling turned up Salmonella, Mountain Sprouts is recalling organic sprouts under the following names: 4 ounce zesty greens, 5 ounce sprout salad, 4 ounce clover, 2 pound clover, 4 ounce alfalfa/broccoli, 4 ounce alfalfa sprouts, as well as 1 and 2 pound alfalfa sprouts.

According to a company press release, the sprouts were distributed through retail stores and wholesalers in California.

The products come in a 4 or 5 ounce clear, plastic, clamshell container and a 1 or 2 pound ziplock bag with a sell by date from 6/17/12 to 7/6/12.

 

Read Full Article Here

Banner Mountain Sprouts Voluntarily Recalls Organic Sprouts Because of Possible Health Risks
Photos

Recalled 1lb Alfalfa Sprouts

Recalled 1lb Clover Sprouts

Recalled 2lb Alfalfa Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Alfafla Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Alfalfa Broccoli Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Clover Sprouts

Recalled 4oz Zesty Greens

Recalled 5oz Sprout Salad

 

 

 

Possible Listeria-Contaminated Queso Fresco in New York City

quesowarning-featured.jpgNew Yorkers were warned Friday to avoid “Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese” products made by Mexicali Cheese Corp. in Woodhaven, New York due to a possible Listeria contamination.

The product is packaged in a “rigid” 14 oz. plastic tub that displays a plant number of 36-0128 and a code of 071512.
The product was packaged in containers bearing the following names: ‘Mexicali Queso Fresco Medicano,’ ‘Mexican Style Fresh Cheese’ and ‘Acatlan Queso Fresco, Fresh Cheese.’

Salmonella Risk Prompts Dietary Supplement Recall

cataplex.jpgStandard Process Inc. of Palmyra, Wisconsin is voluntarily recalling three dietary supplements due to potential Salmonella Contamination:

  • Cataplex ACP (Product numbers 0700 and 0750) Lot 114
  • Cataplex C (Product numbers 1650 and 1655) Lot 114
  • Pancreatophin PMG (Product number 6650) Lot 114

 

Read Full Article Here

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Food Warnings

 

 

Alakanater Brand Tahina May Contain Salmonella

In Canada, the CFIA and Phoenicia Group Inc. are recalling Tahina (sesame seed paste) because it may be contaminated with Salmonella.

Product details:

  • Alkanater brand Tahina
  • 454 gram containers
  • UPC number 6 92551 00002 0
  • Lot code TT3N-280312
  • Codes PRO: 28/03/2012 AND EXP: 28/03/2014
  • Distributed in Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec and may have been distributed nationally

No illnesses have been reported in association with the consumption of this product. For questions, call the Phoenicia Group Inc. at 514-389-6363 or the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Lettuce Caused New Brunswick E. coli Outbreak

romainelettuce2-406.jpgAn E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in New Brunswick, Canada that sickened at least 18 people in April has been linked to romaine lettuce, health officials announced Friday. Food Safety News covered this outbreak in May when it was linked to Jungle Jim’s Eatery, but the specific food responsible remained a mystery.

Ill persons ate at Jungle Jim’s Eatery in Miramichi between April 23 and 26. The lettuce was served in salads, wraps and hamburgers.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

 

 

Can Animals Make Us Sick? Yes.

Animal Health was the topic of a June 22 event on Capitol Hill called “From Fido to Food Safety: Roles, Responsibilities and Realities Veterinarians Face in Protecting Public Health,” that was hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Animal Health Institute.

During his keynote address, USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford, stated that zoonotic diseases, which are diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans, have accounted for 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases among humans over the last three decades.

Zoonotic diseases include diseases that can be contracted from contact with live animals such as rabies or Lyme’s disease and from animals used as a food sources such as Salmonella and E.coli.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

107 Treated for Gastrointestinal Illness at Notre Dame Sports Camp

At least 107 people have been treated for gastrointestinal illness in an unidentified outbreak linked to a University of Notre Dame sports camp, the university reported Wednesday afternoon.

The number of those treated rose after the university first reported that youth sports camp participants had fallen ill just hours earlier.

“Some 80 youth sports camp participants at the University of Notre Dame were treated today on campus and at local hospitals for a gastrointestinal illness. All have been successfully treated for symptoms that are typical of the stomach flu and short-lived,” said the university in a statement issued around noon on Wednesday. “The cause of the illness is unknown, though it may be related to food or a virus and was not associated with any physical activity. The University is working with the St. Joseph County Health Department in an effort to determine the cause.”

 

Read Full Article here

 

 

FDA Clears Faster Blood Test for the Market

Listeria, MRSA, Streptococcus, and Enterococcus can all be identified much quicker by  the Verigene GP Blood  Culture Nuclear Acid Test (BC-GP), which got marketing approval from the U.S, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Verigene test is manufactured by Northbrook, IL-based Nanosphere.
FDA’s decision was based on the study of 1,642 patient blood samples obtained from incubated blood culture bottles that contained gram-positive bacteria.  The study included a comparison of BC-GP and traditional blood culture laboratory methods.

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The quicker Verigene test was consistent with traditional blood culture methods 93 percent of the time.

USDA Makes Progress on Alternatives To Antibiotics

USDA scientists at College Station, TX have discovered that providing sodium chlorate in the drinking water or feed of livestock will reduce the intestinal concentrations of bacteria harmful to humans.
The research is significant because it may lead to alternatives to antibiotics in animal agriculture now used to reduce or eliminate disease-causing pathogens.

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The findings by USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Food and Feed Research Unit at College Station are being published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Animal Science.
The organic compounds could be used to check pathogen growth in pork and beef.
The researchers say sodium chlorate has been used in agricultural applications for over 100 years.
“To date, the body of literature suggests that chlorate salts are active against human pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7; that chlorate salts are very well tolerated by most species of animals; and that chlorate is metabolized in food and laboratory animals to a single, non-toxic metabolite,” the researchers wrote.  “Collectively, these results suggest that chlorate salts could be developed into a useful and safe feed or water additive for use in livestock.

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Department of Agriculture to offer beef without ‘pink slime’ to schools

By Mike Lillis

Facing increasing pressure over its embrace of “pink slime,” the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will offer schools ground beef absent the controversial product.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

Working with Public Health Officials Key Topic at Food Safety Summit

By News Desk

Oscar Garrison, President of AFDO will present How the Food Industry and Public Health Officials Must Collaborate to Succeed at the Food Safety Summit on Wed, April 18. In addition to this keynote, Mr. Garrison will present a follow up…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/working-with-public-health-officials-a-key-topic-at-food-safety-summit/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

USDA Offers School Districts Choice on ‘Pink Slime’

By Helena Bottemiller

In response to nationwide concern among parents and school service providers about ‘pink slime’ being purchased by the national school lunch program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that next year it will give school districts the ability to…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/usda-to-offer-school-districts-choice-on-pink-slime/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

Health

 

Washington elites queue up to see nine justices on hot seat

By Janet Adamy and Jess Bravin

The hottest ticket in the capital is for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283631472580966.html?mod=ITP_AHED

 

Holistic Health

 

Australia May Declare Homeopathy ‘Baseless and Unethical’

Homeopathic medicine practitioners may have to defend their practice in Australia after the National Health and Medical Research Council decided that their practices may be ineffective and unethical. A statement issued claims that it is “unethical for health practitioners to treat patients using homeopathy, because a homeopathic medicine or procedure has apparently been shown to be ineffective.”

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/australia-may-declare-homeopathy.html

 

Prevent or reverse hardening of the arteries without deadly pharmaceuticals

(NaturalNews) It’s commonly known that cranberry juice is beneficial for clearing and eliminating infections of urinary tracts. But several studies have recently discovered another benefit for cranberry juice – heart health. Hardened and obstructed arteries lead to blood vessels collapsing or rupturing, initiating heart attacks. Cranberry juice helps arteries become more flexible as well as remaining sufficiently dilated to not obstruct blood flow. It appears that what helps clear the urinary…

 

http://www.naturalnews.com/035249_hardening_of_the_arteries_cranberries_remedies.html

 

Big Pharma propaganda now pushing drug that ‘treats’ racism – chemical mind control?


(NaturalNews) Research has shown the Beta-blocker Propranolol has the side effect of making people less subconsciously racist it was reported in the Daily Telegraph. While racism is not a trait celebrated by most, it is a basic right to have free thought on all subjects, and these findings have wide ranging moral ramifications. Over the years the push for anti-racism has been celebrated as a liberal goal to create a world in which we all thrive in an environment where everyone is equal regardless…

Easy homemade remedies relieve arthritis and joint pain

(NaturalNews) Homemade remedies for arthritis, gout and other joint pain are never farther away than the kitchen cupboard or the refrigerator. Joint disease is the result of various causes ranging from aging, to over-use and autoimmune diseases that attack joints and surrounding tissue. Pharmaceutical companies have designer drugs that reduce inflammation to help relieve pain and often cause significant side effects. The ingredients for homemade remedies can be purchased at grocery and health food…

Warning to vegetarians: Many prescription drugs secretly made with animal parts


(NaturalNews) Genetically modified organisms and bovine growth hormones are in thousands of prescription drugs all over the world without any warning whatsoever. Plus, over 40% of humans are allergic to either consuming or injecting gelatin, which is the most popular hidden animal part in drugs and vaccines today. In fact, the gelatin coatings, capsules and liquid additives for medicines are not made from harmless food, but rather from the skin, cartilage, connective tissues and bones of animals…

FDA scandal: board members with drug maker ties voted to approve drug that’s killing women


(NaturalNews) An investigation by the Washington Monthly and the British Medical Journal has found that at least four members of an advisory board which voted to approve a drug used in birth control pills had either done work for the drugs’ manufacturer or received research funds from the manufacturer. Though the four committee members disclosed their ties to the FDA, the FDA decided that the ties did not matter and did not make the disclosures public. Tragically, the drugs the committee endorsed…

Doctor from MMR controversy wins High Court appeal – next up, Dr. Andrew Wakefield himself

 

(NaturalNews) The U.K. General Medical Council’s (GMC) rash and unfounded decision to strike Professor John Walker-Smith, who had helped Dr. Andrew Wakefield in treating desperately-ill children with regressive autism symptoms and severe gastrointestinal problems, off the medical register for alleged “professional misconduct” has been exposed as a fraud. During a recent High Court appeal, Mr. Justice Mitting ruled that Prof. Walker-Smith’s striking “cannot stand” because of serious misconduct in…

Improve posture Part II – The lower body


(NaturalNews) Now that everyone is sitting up straight in their desk chair, it’s time to address the second half of poor posture, the lower extremities. Think about it – humans did not evolve to sit in a chair for half of their day; we are physical beings and sitting has detrimental effects to our low backs and legs. For those who have a hard time straightening up from being seated to standing, you may want to pay attention. A hidden, but reversible cause of back painIn a seated position, the…

Just a few minutes of daily exercise alters DNA to help prevent chronic disease


(NaturalNews) Many people think the genes they inherited at birth are static and predetermine their fate for the remainder of their life. Extensive research into the science of epigenetics is providing startling evidence that this thought process is grossly outdated, and our individual DNA is dynamic and continually influenced by multiple lifestyle factors including diet, environment, stress and physical activity. Researchers publishing the result of a study in the journal Cell Metabolism provide…

Questions your doctor should ask before putting your kid on ADHD meds


(NaturalNews) A woman came to see me years ago, very concerned because her 9-year-old her son, Bobby (name changed), was “severely disrespectful” in school. His teacher suggested that he was ADHD and asked the mother to please get it under control. Bobby routinely refused to follow instructions, couldn’t sit still or follow lesson plans, and would often get up to wander aimlessly around the classroom in the middle of a lecture. Of course, the thoughtful teacher referred mom to a nice doctor with…

Vitamin D prevents stress fractures in preteen and teenage girls


(NaturalNews) Conventional wisdom holds that calcium and dairy products are needed for strong, healthy bones and teeth. However, recent research published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows that vitamin D intake may actually be the more essential nutrient for strong bones. The team of researchers, who hailed from various medical establishments in Boston, MA, followed over 6700 girls between 9 and 15 years of age from 1996-2001. The research was conducted via questionnaire sent…

Low circulating omega-3 fatty acids lead to accelerated brain aging and dementia

(NaturalNews) Omega-3 fats including DHA and EPA are preferentially selected by the human body to form the critical cellular membrane boundary separating the cell nucleus and DNA with the surrounding extracellular environment. The precise fatty acid composition of the membrane determines permeability properties for the passage of essential materials such as oxygen, micronutrients and glucose required for proper cell function. Researchers publishing in Neurology have found that a diet lacking in…

http://www.naturalnews.com/035263_omega-3s_dementia_aging.html

Pet Health

 

More Evidence Real Meat is the Right Food for Your Cat

By Dr. Becker

A study1 was published in October 2011 on the digestibility of three different feline diets — a raw beef-based diet, a cooked beef-based diet, and a high-protein extruded (dry food/kibble) diet.

The study involved 9 shorthair domestic cats, adult females

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/03/16/protein-in-real-meat-are-better-for-cats.aspx

 

Recalls

 

Canada E. Coli Beef Recall Expands Again

By Julia Thomas

Canadian health authorities are once again expanding a recall of certain beef products as part of an ongoing E. coli O157:H7 investigation.One illness has been reported in connection with these products.The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and New Food Classics are…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/canada-e-coli-beef-recall-expands-again/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Pregnant Woman’s Listeria Case Prompts Cheese Recall in NJ

By Mary Rothschild

A woman 38 weeks pregnant was diagnosed with Listeria monocytogenes infection, and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services is now warning the public not to eat any cheese products produced by El Ranchero del Sur of South…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/listeria-case-prompts-cheese-recall-in-new-jersey/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Wildlife

 

Scotts Insecticide Was for the Birds

By News Desk

Because its top-selling bird seed came with a little poison, a guilty plea has been entered for the $3 billion Scotts Miracle-Gro Company.In pleading guilty to breaking federal pesticide laws, Ohio-based Scotts offered to pay a $4 million fine and…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/scotts-put-a-little-poison-on-that-bird-seed/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Allergen Alert

 

Allergen Alert: Cheetos With Milk, Soy

By Olivia Marler

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and PK Trading of Mississauga, Ontario, are warning people with allergies to milk or soy not to consume certain Frito Lay Cheetos because they contain milk and soy, which are not declared on the…

 

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2012/20120314be.shtml

 

Allergen Alert: Sulfites in Dried Fungus

By Olivia Marler

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and importer Canadian T & J International Development of Richmond, BC, are warning people with sensitivity to sulphites not to eat certain Natural World brand Dried Fungus because it contains sulphites, which are not…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/allergen-alert-sulfites-in-dried-fungus/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

Misc

 

Del Monte Fresh Produce Drops Lawsuit Threat Against Oregon

By News Desk

Del Monte Fresh Produce has withdrawn its threatened lawsuit against the Oregon Public Health Division and its senior epidemiologist, who with other public health officials last year traced a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infection to cantaloupes imported from the company’s…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/del-monte-fresh-produce-drops-lawsuit-threat-against-oregon/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120315

 

State Food Freedom Bills Go Down to Defeat Again

By Dan Flynn

Tagged as “inexpedient to legislate” in New Hampshire and shelved in Utah, state food freedom bills got little traction for a second straight year.Shannon Shutts, spokeswoman for the New Hampshire House of Representatives, says when America’s largest state legislative body…

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/state-food-freedom-bills-go-down-again/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120316

Marketing Gone Wild: Use and Abuse of Food Safety ‘Certifications’

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/marketing-gone-wild-use-and-abuse-of-food-safety-certifications/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120229

California Imposing Tougher Conditions on Cantaloupe Growers

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/california-imposes-tougher-conditions-on-cantaloupe-growers/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120229

FDA Partners with IFSH to Improve Sprout Safety

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/fda-partners-with-ifsh-to-improve-sprout-safety/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120229

Hundreds of Dallas Restaurants Not Inspected

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/tv-report-hundreds-of-dallas-restaurants-not-inspected/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120229

Hot Liquid Could Shatter Melamine Cups, Mugs

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/recalled-melamine-cups-mugs-may-shatter/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120229

Europe Cracks Down on Food Fraud

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/europe-cracks-down-on-counterfeited-foods/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120229

Vilsack: Trade Barriers Against U.S. Food on the Rise

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/02/vilsack-sanitary-phytosanitary-trade-barriers-on-the-rise/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120229

Campylobacter Cases from Raw Milk Outbreak Reach 80

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/03/campylobacter-cases-from-pa-raw-milk-outbreak-reach-80/

Anthony Gucciardi | 4 Proofs the USDA Doesn’t Care About Your Health

http://www.nationofchange.org/4-proofs-usda-doesn-t-care-about-your-health-1330526966