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Showing posts from July, 2008

US food safety recalls for salmon and lobster

The FDA has issued further product recall press releases this week including:

Vita Food Products, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois notifying the public that twelve individual packages of Vita Nova Salmon, were sold at Kroger stores in Houston, Texas on or after July 22 of this year that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. A further 192 individual packages may also have been affected. Follow the link for more details.

The FDA has warned against eating tomalley in American Lobster (Maine Lobster), because of potential contamination with dangerous levels of the toxins that cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). Being English I didn't know what tomalley was, but tomalley is the substance found in the body cavity of lobsters that fulfills the functions of both the liver and the pancreas.

Discussion on Salmonella outbreak

There has been lots of discussion on the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak in the last twenty four hours Salmonella Blog has linked to the Minnesota Star Tribune and their article on how an outbreak in a restaurant was linked and then traced back to jalapeno peppers. The article suggests that the investigation methods used, the way the food safety and agriculture departments interrelate and also the fact that by then tomatoes had been all but eliminated from the investigation helped to speed up the investigation. The article states that:"27 people who ate at the same Twin Cities restaurant fell ill from the exact rare salmonella strain in the national outbreak. On Monday, federal officials said they found the same strain on a jalapeno pepper in a giant produce warehouse in McAllen, Texas -- the same warehouse identified by Minnesota investigators weeks ago".On June 30, Ben Miller, the state Agriculture Department's "traceback coordinator," began tracking the suspec…

Salmonella Saintpaul and peppers

The internet is full of reports about Salmonella Saintpaul as the investigation may have moved forward towards finding the potential source. Yesterday the FDA issued two recall press releases. The first was for Grande Produce, LTD. CO of Hidalgo, Texas who was recalling Jalapeno Peppers and Serrano Peppers distributed between May 17th and July 17th, 2008; and Avocados, all sizes, with lot #HUE08160090889. This was due to the potential presence of Salmonella, although the recall notice stated that:

"According to the Texas and North Carolina Departments of Health, the strain of Salmonella found in this company's jalapeƱo and serrano peppers and in its avocado is not Salmonella Saintpaul, and is not believed to be related to the current Salmonella outbreak. The recall is a result of sampling not by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but by the Texas Department of State Health Services (Texas Health) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (…

FDA round-up

Salmonella Saintpaul - update

The CDC report that since April 1237 people have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. There is still no definitive identification of the source of the outbreak.

Cryptosporidium outbreak in UK

Over the last four weeks there has been an ongoing issue with Cryptosporidium contamination of water. Routine tests by Anglian Water found cryptosporidium in a sample from supplies back at the end of June. 108, 000 homes were affected with the "boil" notice., which was lifted on July 4th. The homes affected could not drink tap water for ten days and 13 people were found to have Cryptosporidium. Anglian Water has confirmed that a small rabbit that gained access to the treatment system caused the contamination at the Pitsford Water Treatment Works. The Northampton Chronicle reports that a further 13 cases are still under investigation, but over 700 people have reported symptoms of the illness to their doctor.

For more details on Cryptosporidium and water follow the link to the Drinking Water Inspectorate website.

Sixth food safety ebook published

The sixth book in the Food Safety Series has just been published - Equipment and Maintenance. These books are designed to be a stand alone resource that build together to form a comprehensive guide to the procedures, protocols and monitoring systems that need to be implemented to ensure food safety by manufacturers, processors and food producers. Do check them out.

Follow the link to find out more and preview the contents at the e-books storefront.

Morrisons recalls beans and sausages because of undeclared allergen

The Food Standards Agency has issued an allergy alert because Morrisons has withdrawn its own-brand Bettabuy Beans and Sausages 425g due to unlabelled gluten-containing cereal ingredients (wheat). The product contains breadcrumbs (wheat) and wheat proteins that are not listed in the ingredients list and this poses a potential health risk for individuals allergic or intolerant to wheat or intolerant to gluten.

Marks and Spencer withdraw olive spread

The Food Standards Agency has issued an allergy alert because Marks and Spencer has withdrawn its Reduced Fat Olive Spread due to incorrect allergen information because some of the packs have been incorrectly labelled as the milk ingredient is not declared on the label. This is a potential health risk for milk allergic and milk intolerant individuals. Follow the link for more details.

New food safety e-books published

Are you reviewing your food safety and quality management system?
Do you need to improve and enhance some of your pre-requisite programmes and procedures?Then this series of e-books will provide an essential source of information. The Food Safety Series has been extended to five e-books with more due to be published in the coming weeks. The e-books to date are:Food Safety Series - Allergens
Food Safety Series - Calibration
Food Safety Series - Pest Control
Food Safety Series - Preventive and Corrective Action
Food Safety Series - Product Identification and TraceabilityFollow the link to find out more and preview the contents at the e-books storefront.

Second GM rice recall

A third post because the FSA has issued a food alert because SOP International Ltd has recalled one batch of Kong Moon Rice Stick 454g due to the presence of unauthorised ‘Bt63’ genetically modified rice. This came hot on the heels of the previous outbreak

Sainsburys recall "gluten free" products

The FSA reports that Sainsbury's has withdrawn two of its Freefrom products due to the presence of undeclared gluten. It was highlighted in routine internal testing that the products may contain traces of gluten and would be a potential health risk for people allergic or intolerant to gluten.

Tesco withdraws chocolate cake

The FSA reports that Tesco has withdrawn all date codes of Tesco Finest Triple Layer Chocolate Indulgence Cake because whilst hazelnuts are correctly identified in the ingredient list on the label, the allergy advice incorrectly states 'Recipe: No nuts'. This makes this product a potential health risk for people with an allergy to nuts. Follow the link for more details.

Preventive and Corrective Action E-book

Louise Manning has published the latest e-book in the Food Safety Series entitled "Preventive and Corrective Action". This book will assist all those who are developing quality management procedures to address this important pre-requisite for managing food safety, quality and legality or those seeking to learn more about food safety management. Follow the link to the storefront more details and to view the other e-books in the series.

Salsa now the focus of attention

It was only a week ago that I last did a post about Salmonella Saintpaul and the number of people associated with the outbreak continues to rise. Salsa ingredients are now being looked at as well as the tomato component in order to identify whether other produce such as onions, peppers or garlic could have been the source of the outbreak. The number of confirmed cases has now increased to 943 in 40 US states and one case in Canada.

Botulism outbreak - shortfalls identified

Back on the 12 February I wrote about two botulism incidents in the US. USA Today has written a recent report on the problems identified at the Castleberry's Food site. The FDA Inspectors identified that:
Two 10-foot-tall cookers may not have heated cans enough to kill all bacteria, including those leading to botulism toxin.The cookers had broken alarms, a leaky valve and an inaccurate temperature device.Sobering reading.


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