July 23, 2014

Researchers Find Cinnamon a Natural Antibacterial Agent

E. coli

Researchers at Washington State University have found that cinnamon may help prevent food poisoning by killing pathogenic bacteria. Their work has been published in Food Control Journal. It turns out that cinnamomum cassia oil is very effective at killing the top six non-O157 STEC (shiga toxin producing E. coli) bacteria. The major component in C. cassia oil is cinnamaldehyde. The government recently declared the six non-O157 STEC bacteria as adulterants and require testing for those bacteria in beef slaughter plants.There is a "zero tolerance" policy for those bacteria in raw ground beef and trimmings. The essential oil "killed several strains of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli" according to the researchers, and it is effective in low concentrations. Just 10 drops in a liter … [Read more...]

CFIA Suspends Operating License of Beef Slaughter Plant


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has suspended the operating license of Northern Natural Processing, Establishment 659, effective July 10, 2014. the slaughter plant is located in Neudorf, Saskatchewan. The license was suspended because the company did not implement corrective measures as required by law to ensure the safety of meat products produced at that facility. There is no word on what the problem is or what the food safety violations were. There is also no word on whether or not any illnesses have occurred relating to these alleged violations. The CFIA has determined that adequate controls for food safety were not being implemented on a insistent basis. The plant will not reopen until the "necessary corrective measures" have been taken and the government is … [Read more...]

Sysco Pays $19.4 Million For Dangerous Food Storage Practices

Storage Units

Sysco Corporation, the world's largest food distributor, has agreed to pay the State of California $19.4 million because the corporation stored meat, produce, and dairy in unrefrigerated and filthy outdoor storage units. Those products included raw meat, milk, and seafood. NBC San Francisco aired an investigative report last year about the illegal storage. The food that was stored in an unsafe manner was delivered to restaurants, hospitals, and schools. After the report aired, the California Department of Public Health investigated the company's illegal practice. CDPH combed through Sysco's records and found that more than 400,000 food products were stored at those sites from July 2009 to August 2013. Temperatures in the area were at least 80°F during that period. Perishable foods … [Read more...]

Wisconsin Appeals Court Upholds Hershberger’s Guilty Verdict


The Wisconsin Court of Appeals upheld Vernon D. Hershberger's guilty verdict for violating a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection holding border. That order prohibited the dairy farmer from selling dairy and meat from his farm without permission in the 14 days it was in force. In 2012, Hershberger was charged with four misdemeanors of violating Wisconsin's law that prohibits the sale of raw milk products. Hershberger did not have a license to produce or sell dairy products; instead, he "leased" his cows to a food club and claimed that exempted him from the law. The holding order was issued when Hershberger was released on bail. It stated that he agreed not to manufacture dairy products and no sell or distribute mail produced on his farm without a … [Read more...]

Cornell Develops Faster Salmonella Detection


Scientists at Cornell University have developed a way to detect Salmonella bacteria faster, which could help solve food poisoning outbreaks much more quickly. The Cornell Food Safety Lab, led by dr. Martin Wiedmann and research associate Henk den Bakker, worked with the New York State Department of Health on the next-generation DNA sequencing techniques. The traditional method of identifying outbreak strains of bacteria, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) is not always precise enough to identify specific pathogen strains, including their relationships to each other and if they have a common origin. With Salmonella Enteritidis, for example, 85% of strains can be grouped into five PFGE types. Instead, rapid whole-genome sequencing gives doctors and public health officials much … [Read more...]

FDA: Avoid Pure Powdered Caffeine

Powdered Caffeine

The FDA has released an advisory to consumers about powdered pure caffeine: do not use it. This product is being marketed to directly to consumers. The government is aware of at least one death of an 18=year-old Ohio teenager who used this product. Parents should be aware that teenagers and young adults may be using these products to stay awake. Powdered caffeine is 100% caffeine. One teaspoon of this product is equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and people can easily overdose on it. The symptoms of caffeine overdose include rapid or dangerously erratic heartbeat and seizures, along with vomiting, diarrhea, stupor, and disorientation. These symptoms are much more severe when taking the powdered caffeine rather than caffeinated beverages. … [Read more...]

Salmonella Likes Bruised Blueberries

Frozen Berry Mix

Salmonella can grow on bruised blueberries kept at shipping or retail display temperatures, according to a new study in the Journal of Food Protection. The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Citrus Research and Education Center at the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida, Strawberries and blueberries harvested at or near full-ripe maturity and softer than those that are not as ripe and therefore more susceptible to bruising during harvest and transport. The researchers wanted to see how E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella behaved on bruised fruit and intact fruit at shipping temperature, 35.6˚ F, and retail display 59.9˚ F. So they The bruised the berries inoculated them with bacteria and … [Read more...]

Keep Picnic Food Out of the Danger Zone


Lots of folks like to have a picnic during the summer months and keeping food at safe temperatures is the key to making sure no one gets sick, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Cooking, storing and serving food at the proper temperature is key to food safety whether you are eating inside or out. Remember that food can spend a maximum of two hours in the “danger zone” of 40˚F to 140˚ F, or one hour if the outdoor temperatures are above 90° F.  In the danger zone,  bacteria such as Salmonella, E.coli and Listeria multiply rapidly elevating the risk of food poisoning. If  you're cooking food on the grill, use a food thermometer to make sure meat is cooked to its proper temperature. Then keep it warm until serving by moving to the side of the grill, just away from the … [Read more...]

Giant African Land Snails Seized at L.A. Airport

Giant African Land Snail

Public health officials have seized 67 giant African land snails at the L.A. airport on July 1, 2014, because they are prohibited in this country. The animals are considered a delicacy in some countries, especially Nigeria, where they are used to make stews. The snails can carry parasites that cause meningitis. These animals are a threat to public health, agriculture, and the economy. Paperwork that was packed with the snails stated they were for human consumption. This particular species is an agricultural pest. Maveeda Mirza, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture program manager said, "these snails are seriously harmful to local plants because they will eat any kind of crop they can get to." These snails have been smuggled into the country before, but only a few at a … [Read more...]

Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella Paves the Way for Typhoid Fever Resurgence

Resistant Salmonella and typhiod fever

Antibiotic resistant Salmonella is paving the way for a resurgence in typhoid fever, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report, which compared antibiotic resistance levels during 2012 to levels between 2003-2007, found that the bacteria that causes typhoid fever, Salmonella typhi, increased resistance to quinolone drugs 68 percent in 2012. Typhoid fever is a serious illness spread by contaminated food and water. Symptoms usually develop one to two weeks after exposure and last up to four weeks. They include lasting fever that becomes constant, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, lethargy,  headache, and loss of appetite. Some patients also have chest congestion, constipation and a skin rash. In rare cases, internal bleeding or death can … [Read more...]

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