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Published by the Minnesota Beef CouncilDecember 2011

Notable & Quotable

"With two boys under four, I get pretty emotional when I read a story about a child getting sick from foodborne illness. This week Jack had a cold, and I felt helpless when he said "make me feel better." I can't imagine what Thomas Miller's parents felt like over the past two years as they saw him battling the effects of E.coli". 

Ben Chapman, North Carolina State University

View the entire entry:

http://barfblog.com/blog/152002/11/12/15/after-12-brain-surgeries-uk-boy-recovers-battle-e-coli

 

Drug resistant strains of Salmonella represent a tremendous challenge to the meat industry. Last week, there was another development as USDA-FSIS announced a recall of raw ground beef that may contain a dangerous strain of Salmonella typhimurium implicated in an outbreak of salmonellosis in the state of Maine.Apparently, this is a drug resistant strain that is difficult to treat using most antibiotics, making this outbreak and recall another in a series associated with drug resistant strains of Salmonella.
James Marsden PhD.
  

IN THIS ISSUE
Irradiation works well in combination with modified atmosphere packaging
Pakistan experts praise herbal remedy irradiation.
Low-Dose X-ray Irradiation Extends Shelf Life of Asparagus
Five years after deadly E. coli outbreak, Salinas Valley farmers struggle to rebound
Investigation Announcement: Multistate Outbreak of...E. coli...O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce
14 sick with salmonella linked to ground beef recalled in Northeast US
Tyson recalls approximately 41,000 pounds of E. coli contaminated ground beef
Blindsided by antibiotic resistant Salmonella.
QUICK LINKS
Irradiation works well in combination with modified atmosphere packaging; CIDRAP News Scan (December 6, 2011)
A recent study supports the use of irradiation in combination with certain packaging technologies to control Escherichia coli O175:H7 in ground beef patties. In the study, a team of industry and academic researchers used irradiation in combination with vacuum packaging or modified-atmosphere packaging (MAP) to treat ground beef patties inoculated with E coli O157, according to a report in the Journal of Food Protection. The modified atmosphere used consisted of 99.6% carbon dioxide and 0.4% carbon monoxide. Irradiation at 1.5 kiloGray (kGy) reduced E coli O157 by 3.0 to 3.3 log. (Recommended irradiation doses for fresh ground beef range up to 4.5 kGy.) After irradiation, the E coli burden in the refrigerated patties did not change significantly for 6 weeks. With "temperature abuse"-storage at 25C (77F)-the pathogen grew in the vacuum-packed patties but not in the MAP patties. The authors concluded that the two combinations controlled E coli O157 in chilled patties about equally well but that MAP was more effective after temperature abuse. Journal of Food Protection; December 2011. 
Pakistan experts praise herbal remedy irradiation (December 5, 2011): 
PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN: Khyber Pakhtun-khwa is known for a variety of herbs, which have medicinal and nutraceutical values, but this vast herbal treasure of the province is nearing the extinction because of the overexploitation and use of crude harvesting methods, experts said.
 
They were speaking at a two-day workshop on 'Irradiation as a Phytosanitary Treatment for Herbal Material and Products' organised by the Nuclear Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Peshawar, a research and development establishment of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC).
Read more here....

Low-Dose X-ray Irradiation Extends Shelf Life of Asparagus (December, 2011):

MENOMONIE, WISCONSIN.-Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Stout have successfully used low-dose X-ray irradiation to significantly reduce bacteria and extend the shelf life of minimally processed foods like pre-cut and packaged fruit and vegetables such as asparagus, according to a study published in the journal HortScience. Read more here.....

Five years after deadly E. coli outbreak, Salinas Valley farmers struggle to rebound; Mercury News (November 26, 2011):

SALINAS, CALIFORNIA -- Five years after their healthy-looking green fields became the epicenter of a national food disaster, farmers in the Salinas Valley are still working to regain something even the most bountiful harvest can't ensure: the public's trust.

They are doing their best to rebound after investigators linked spinach grown and bagged here to a deadly E. coli strain that would kill three people, sicken 206 more and shake the nation's faith in California leafy greens. So far, they have succeeded in avoiding another major outbreak. Read more here.... 

Investigation Announcement: Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce; (December 7, 2011):

US CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL: As of November 30, 2011, 60 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli serotype O157:H7 have been reported from 10 states. Collaborative investigative efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that romaine lettuce is the likely source of illnesses in this outbreak, and contamination likely occurred before the product reached retail stores. Read more here.... 

14 sick with salmonella linked to ground beef recalled in Northeast US; (Dec. 17, 2011):

SCARBOROUGH, MAINE: Hannaford, a Scarborough, Maine-based grocery chain, is recalling fresh ground beef products that may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium that has sickened at least 14 people.Ten of the 14 people that have fallen ill reported consuming ground beef purchased from Hannaford stores in Maine, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont between Oct. 12 and Nov. 20, 2011. View the entire entry:  

Tyson recalls approximately 41,000 pounds of E. coli contaminated ground beef; (December 17,2011):

WASHINGTON: Tyson Fresh Meats Inc. is recalling approximately 40,948 pounds of ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The following products are subject to recall: 

  • 10-pound chubs of "CHUCK FINE GROUND BEEF 80/20," packed in cases containing eight chubs.

The products subject to recall have a "BEST BEFORE OR FREEZE BY" date of "11/13/11" and "EST. 245C" on the box label. The products were shipped to institutions and distributors in Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

The problem was discovered through routine FSIS monitoring, which confirmed a positive result for E.coli O157:H7. FSIS and the company have received no reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these products.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.

Blindsided by antibiotic resistant Salmonella; By James Marsden, Meatingplace.com (December 19, 2011):

Drug resistant strains of Salmonella represent a tremendous challenge to the meat industry. Last week, there was another development as USDA-FSIS announced a recall of raw ground beef that may contain a dangerous strain of Salmonella typhimurium implicated in an outbreak of salmonellosis in the state of Maine. In a press release announcing the recall, USDA said that 14 cases have been reported. So far, none of the cases have resulted in death.

Apparently, this is a drug resistant strain that is difficult to treat using most antibiotics, making this outbreak and recall another in a series associated with drug resistant strains of Salmonella. Other outbreaks have involved ground beef and ground turkey. Salmonella is not usually classified as an adulterant in either of these products so the recall is not the result of regulatory testing. The problems have originated in foodborne disease outbreaks and resulting epidemiological investigations that traced the source back to ground beef and ground turkey. Read more here... 


Food Irradiation Update is being sent as an update on food irradiation by Ronald F. Eustice, Executive Director of the Minnesota Beef Council. 

Executive Director
Minnesota Beef Council
2950 Metro Drive # 102
Bloomington, MN 55425
USA
Phone: 952/854-6980
Fax: 952/854-6906
E-mail: ron@mnbeef.org
Website: www.mnbeef.org
 
For more information on food irradiation visit http://www.mnbeef.org
Remember: Food irradiation will do for ground meats, produce, and other foods what pasteurization did for milk.
Sincerely,
 
Ron Eustice
Minnesota Beef Council
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Radura
FOOD IRRADIATION: A GUIDE FOR CONSUMERS, POLICYMAKERS AND THE MEDIA published by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) can be downloaded at Food Irradiation Book
IRRADIATED FOODS; published by the American Council on Science & Health Provides Science- provides science-based Information on food irradiation. The booklet can be downloaded at:IRRADIATED FOODS
Food Irradiation Principles and Applications
is an excellent source of information about food irradiation. For information go to:
Food Irradiation: Principles & Applications
FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS is an excellent source of information on food irradiation.FOOD IRRADIATION: QUESTIONS & ANSWERS