miércoles, 10 de septiembre de 2014

Viruses can quickly contaminate buildings -- from just a single doorknob or surfaces.

Within 2 to 4 hours between 40 to 60% of the fomites sampled were contaminated with virus.
Using tracer viruses, researchers found that contamination of just a single doorknob or table top results in the spread of viruses throughout office buildings, hotels, and health care facilities. Within 2 to 4 hours, the virus could be detected on 40 to 60 percent of workers and visitors in the facilities.

Using tracer viruses, researchers found that contamination of just a single doorknob or table top results in the spread of viruses throughout office buildings, hotels, and health care facilities. Within 2 to 4 hours, the virus could be detected on 40 to 60 percent of workers and visitors in the facilities and commonly touched objects, according to research presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), an infectious disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each year, it causes an estimated 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths. Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus then putting your fingers in your mouth is a common source of infection.
In the study, researchers used bacteriophage MS-2 as a surrogate for the human norovirus, as it is similar in shape, size and resistance to disinfectants. The phage was placed on 1 to 2 commonly touched surfaces (door knob or table top) at the beginning of the day in office buildings, conference room and a health care facility. After various periods of time (2 to 8 hours) they sampled 60 to 100 fomites, surfaces capable of carrying infectious organisms (light switches, bed rails, table tops, countertops, push buttons, coffee pots handles, sink tap handles, door knobs, phones and computer equipment), for the phages.

Results showed that within 2 to 4 hours between 40 to 60% of the fomites sampled were contaminated with virus. The number of fomites on which virus was detected can be reduced by 80% or greater using appropriate sanitizers and the concentration of virus reduced by 99% or more. This data suggest antimicrobial spaces must be studied and implemented if such an easy spread of contamination should be stopped.

Source: American Society for Microbiology. ICCAC 2014

martes, 9 de septiembre de 2014

Bacteria from honey bee’s possible alternative to antibiotics

A pool of lactic acid bacteria from honey has antibacterial properties against various pathogens
Working bees on honey cells (stock image). Raw honey has been used against infections for millennia, before honey -- as we now know it -- was manufactured and sold in stores.
Raw honey has been used against infections for millennia, before honey -- as we now know it -- was manufactured and sold in stores. So what is the key to its' antimicrobial properties? Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have identified a unique group of 13 lactic acid bacteria found in fresh honey, from the honey stomach of bees. The bacteria produce a myriad of active antimicrobial compounds.
These lactic acid bacteria have now been tested on severe human wound pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Pseudomonas aeruginosa and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), among others. When the lactic acid bacteria were applied to the pathogens in the laboratory, it counteracted all of them.
While the effect on human bacteria has only been tested in a lab environment thus far, the lactic acid bacteria have been applied directly to horses with persistent wounds. The LAB was mixed with honey and applied to ten horses; where the owners had tried several other methods to no avail. All of the horses' wounds were healed by the mixture.
While the effect on human bacteria has only been tested in a lab environment thus far, the lactic acid bacteria have been applied directly to horses with persistent wounds. The LAB was mixed with honey and applied to ten horses; where the owners had tried several other methods to no avail. All of the horses' wounds were healed by the mixture.
The researchers believe the secret to the strong results lie in the broad spectrum of active substances involved.
Antibiotics usually have one active substance, effective against only a narrow spectrum of bacteria. When used alive, these 13 lactic acid bacteria produce the right kind of antimicrobial compounds as needed, depending on the threat. It seems to have worked well for millions of years of protecting bees' health and honey against other harmful microorganisms. However, since store-bought honey doesn't contain the living lactic acid bacteria, many of its unique properties have been lost in recent times.
The next step is further studies to investigate wider clinical use against topical human infections as well as on animals.
The findings have implications for developing countries, where fresh honey is easily available, but also for Western countries where antibiotic resistance is seriously increasing.

Source: International Wound Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/iwj.12345

lunes, 8 de septiembre de 2014

Invisible Sentinel is to develop a diagnostic assay to detect beer-spoiling microbes.

The sensitive molecular test will be made available soon to the international market.
The assay for Pennsylvania-based Victory Brewing will be called Veriflow brewPAL and be developed with Invisible Sentinel’s Veriflow technology by the end of this year or start of 2015. Veriflow brewPAL will enable on-site detection of Pediococcus and Lactobacillus, which can affect the taste of beer by producing lactic acid.
Current testing methods are time-consuming, meaning corrective measures are delayed - the result for brewers can be spoilage, higher production costs and delayed product release.
Industry issues: Nick Siciliano, Invisible Sentinel co-founder and CEO, said the process involved seeing what the firm was doing for quality control and monitoring and a market analysis and feasibility study.
Pediococcus and Lactobacillus are among the biggest issues, they are environmental contaminants which come in on grain and can become resident in the facility and if they are mixed with the product lactic acid can form in the final product and spoil the beer in the bottle,” he told FoodQualityNews.com.
It is a critical issue, in bottles more as they sit in room temperature or higher in shipment, and then the warehouse for six months before drinking, for other things such as kegs they are kept cold so it is less of a problem. The agreement anticipates that the assay will be made available to the international market.
Paradigm shift: Siciliano said it will streamline workflow collection, allowing for quicker product release and it would cut down on time to result. The test will offer same day turnaround and accuracy is in the same region as with our work in the food pathogens space with close to 100% specificity. The molecular test adds a level of sensitivity, as now they are doing plating so they can be waiting seven days to possibly get a presumptive positive and they have to sit on the bottles while they check. If it comes back positive they have to scrap the product, this is a preventative tool to remediate, detect and get results quickly, it is a paradigm shift as they have the technology but no option to use it due to time.
Invisible Sentinel has also developed Veriflow LS for Listeria species, Veriflow SS for Salmonella species, VeriflowCA for Campylobacter, and Veriflow LM for Listeria
Veriflow assays for E.coli O157:H7 and Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) are pending approval by the Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC).

Source: Food Quality News

jueves, 4 de septiembre de 2014

Seremi de Salud de la RM decomisa 10 toneladas de carne en mal estado en distribuidora de La Pintana

Los productos estaban destinados a carnicerías de la comuna y ferias libres de la capital

 La Seremi de Salud de la Región Metropolitana retiró este martes del mercado más de 10 toneladas de carne descompuesta y productos cárneos en mal estado que se encontraban en una distribuidora ubicada en calle Miguel Ángel, en La Pintana.
Los fiscalizadores constataron malas condiciones de almacenamiento y deficientes prácticas sanitarias en las instalaciones de la distribuidora, lo que habría perjudicado las características organolépticas de la carne, haciéndola inadecuada para el consumo humano.

El seremi Carlos Aranda detalló las deficiencias detectadas en el centro de distribución, señalando que "hemos sellado un contenedor con más de 10 mil kilos de carne en mal estado y decretado la prohibición de funcionamiento en ese sector de la distribuidora".

"La mayoría de estos productos estaban vencidos y podridos. Eran almacenados en una cámara con precarias condiciones, llenas de vectores (insectos) y, además, las cajas de productos vencidos eran apiladas junto a carne en buen estado, pero no podemos arriesgar una contaminación por contacto y estos productos también serán eliminados", dijo. Y añadió: "Dentro de las próximas horas definiremos el destino final de estos productos donde serán destruidos, pues con esta acción estamos resguardando la salud de las personas de la Región Metropolitana".

Entre los productos retenidos se contabilizaron carnes de vacuno, pollo y cerdo, las que acreditaban origen en forma correcta, pero con fechas de vencimiento cumplidas hace varios días. Los fiscalizadores confirmaron también que muchos productos habían sido vueltos a congelar junto a carne en buen estado, lo que representa una mala práctica sanitaria en el manejo de estas mercancías.

Por su parte, en la distribuidora reconocieron la existencia de la carne en mal estado, pero aseguraron que esta era almacenada a la espera que la pasaran a recoger para ser destruida. Con todos estos antecedentes, la autoridad cursó un Sumario Sanitario al local de expendio, que recibirá una multa de hasta 1.000 UTM.

Aporte: Carolina Araya Jordán
Fuente: http://www.soychile.cl/Santiago/Sociedad/2014/09/02/272178/Seremi-de-Salud-decomiso-mas-de-10-kilos-de-carne-en-mal-estado-en-La-Pintana.aspx

Compañía china crea palillos "inteligentes" para detectar la comida en mal estado

Baidu cuenta con prototipos funcionales y pueden detectar la temperatura y estado de un plato.

Uno de los gigantes de internet en China, Baidu, presentó esta semana en un vídeo un prototipo de palillos "inteligentes" para detectar si la comida es segura antes de consumirla.
En el video promocional se ve a un usuario que pone los palillos dentro de tres aceites de cocina distintos. Los sensores detectan la temperatura del aceite y determinan si es apto para el consumo. Los palillos inteligentes de Baidu tienen la capacidad de analizar lo que estás comiendo con el objetivo principal de conocer la calidad e higiene de los ingredientes que están contenidos en los alimentos, sobre todo de los aceites y agua presentes en los platillos

Si el aceite tiene más del 25% de TPM ("total polar materials"), un indicador de la frescura de los alimentos, se enciende una luz roja. Luego la información es enviada a una aplicación de teléfono móvil y en tiempo real muestra los parámetros en la pantalla de tu dispositivo móvil.

La seguridad de los alimentos es un tema que preocupa mucho en China, en especial desde el caso de contaminación de leche infantil con melamina de 2008, que mató a seis niños e hizo enfermar a 300.00 personas. Los chinos temen en particular la presencia en la comida del llamado "aceite de desagüe", es decir aceite para cocinar que se ha obtenido ilegalmente reciclando aceite ya usado o recogiéndolo en los restaurantes y vendiéndolo como nuevo.

El año pasado las autoridades sanitarias lanzaron una gran operación para confiscar este tipo de aceite en la que fueron detenidas 100 personas y otras 20 fueron encarceladas, dos de ellas cadena perpetua.  
Esto es de principal importancia en las regiones de China en donde la comida callejera puede llegar a ser muy insalubrePor el momento Baidu sólo ha fabricado prototipos de los palillos inteligentes y no tiene ninguna fecha de comercialización.

Aporte:Oscar Chacón Miño

Sumarios sanitarios y carne decomisada en el Mercado Matadero Franklin, Santiago Chile.

8 Sumarios sanitarios y 1 tonelada de carne decomisada en fiscalización del Matadero Franklin.
La fiscalización sorpresa, liderada por el Intendente Metropolitano, Claudio Orrego y el Seremi de Salud RM Carlos Aranda, constató deficiencias en 8 locales del Mercado Matadero Franklin, quedando todos con sumario sanitario.
Esto marcó el inicio de la campaña “Súmate al 18 en Santiago”, iniciativa que contempla una serie de fiscalizaciones en carnicerías, supermercados, venta de empanadas y chicha, circos, y recomendaciones para elevar volantines de forma segura. Hasta el momento se han realizado 140 fiscalizaciones, con un decomiso de 1300 kilos de carnes, especialmente de vacuno.
El Intendente Orrego, formuló un llamado a los consumidores a adquirir carne en lugares establecidos que estén bajo la supervisión de las instituciones competentes: “Los consumidores no deben arriesgarse y comprar sólo en lugares establecidos, los que realizan control de cadena de frío, chequeo de temperatura, procedencia de la carne, condiciones higiénicas oprimas y control de plagas”
Carlos Aranda también aconsejó a las personas sobre cómo elegir productos para prevenir enfermedades relacionadas al consumo de carnes: “Siempre hacer caso a nuestros sentidos; verificar el producto con la vista, que estén bien almacenados en una vitrina o góndola refrigerada, que la carne tenga color y aspecto normal y que al olfato no sea desagradable y que sea resistente al tacto; o sea que al punzarla, vuelva rápidamente a su estado normal. Verificar la fecha de vencimiento en su rotulación, y en el caso de ser carnes envasadas al vacío, no adquirir envases que contengan exceso de aire en su interior. Una vez realizadas las compras, mantener la cadena de frío desde el punto de venta hasta nuestros hogares. La recomendación es dejar la compra de la carne para el final, con tal de que pase menos tiempo expuesta a la temperatura ambiente”. 
Las autoridades hicieron un llamado a la población a denunciar en la Oficina de Información de Reclamos y Sugerencias (OIRS) de la Seremi de salud RM o ingresar la información en los formularios disponibles en el sitio web de la institución (www.ASRM.cl) o al teléfono de “Salud Responde” 600 360 7777, ante cualquier irregularidad. 
ü  Problemas estructurales en pisos, muros, cielos, maquinarias y superficies.
ü  Aseo deficiente en instalaciones y equipos (moledoras, vitrinas, sierra de corte de huesos etc.)
ü  Expendio en vitrina de carne molida a granel.
ü  Manipuladores sin indumentaria (cofia o gorro y delantal), o con adornos en las manos (reloj, anillos, pulseras, etc.)
ü  Presencia de vectores (roedores, cucarachas, moscas, etc.)
ü  Existencia de productos con fechas de vencimiento caducada.
ü  Presencia de productos cárnicos con sus características organolépticas alteradas.
ü  Manipulación de productos en malas condiciones de higiene y temperatura.
ü  Elaboración de productos cárneos (longanizas, prietas, queso de cabeza, etc.), sin contar con Resolución Sanitaria para esa actividad o no acreditar la documentación del origen de dichos productos.

Aporte: Julio Bustos

Fuente: SEREMI DE SALUD R.M.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

CDC and FDA investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections.

Almond and peanut butter manufactured by nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. is the likely source of this outbreak
Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet, the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC, receives DNA "fingerprints" of Salmonella bacteria obtained through diagnostic testing using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE. Whole genome sequencing, a highly discriminatory subtyping method, was also used to define the outbreak strain. Whole genome sequencing helped clarify which illnesses were related to the outbreak.
A total of four ill persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup have been reported from four states since January 1, 2014. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Connecticut (1), Iowa (1), Tennessee (1), and Texas (1).
Illness onset dates range from January 22, 2014, to May 16, 2014. Ill persons range in age from 3 years to 83 years, with a median age of 36 years. Seventy-five percent of ill persons are female. Among three ill persons with available information, one (33%) reported being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
This outbreak can be visually described with a chart showing the number of persons who became ill each day. This chart is called an epidemic curve or epi curve. Illnesses that occurred after July 30, 2014 might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. The recalled peanut and almond butter products have a long shelf life and may still be in people’s homes, and illnesses may continue to be reported. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.
Investigation of the Outbreak: During routine inspections at an nSpired Natural Foods facility in Ashland, Oregon, in January and July 2014, FDA isolated Salmonella Braenderup from environmental samples. PFGE and whole genome sequencing were performed on the environmental isolates by FDA to further characterize the bacteria.
A subsequent search of the PulseNet database identified ill persons with the same PFGE “fingerprint” of Salmonella Braenderup. CDC performed whole genome sequencing on these clinical isolates and determined that the bacteria from the ill persons were related to the environmental isolates taken from the firm.
To date, three of the four ill persons were reported eating a brand of peanut or almond butter produced by nSpired Natural Foods, Inc.  CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview ill persons about foods eaten before becoming ill. FDA is continuing to work closely with CDC and state partners in this investigation.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/braenderup-08-14/index.html

martes, 2 de septiembre de 2014

Listeria cases rise sharply in Sweden as 94 sickened in August

Listeria has been detected in ham, salami and cold cut meats.
A total of 94 cases of listeriosis have been reported until the middle of August, compared with 46 during the corresponding period last year, but these include cases with different strains than those involved in the outbreaks.
The agency (Folkhälsomyndigheten in Swedsh) is attempting to find the source after noting the increased cases in two separate outbreaks that started in May 2014 and October last year. In May this year, the first case of a Listeria outbreak was reported. So far, 14 people have fallen ill, mostly in the southern parts of the country. The source of infection is unknown, but the investigation is ongoing.
Skåne has noted six cases, Stockholm three, Östergötland two and Örebro, Gävleborg and Halland all one. People affected range in age from over 40 to over 90.
Outbreak investigation: The first outbreak so far has been linked to cold cut meats and for the second outbreak we are not sure yet.
“It looks like an ongoing source as if it was just an incident you would have thought cases would stop but there might be still contamination in a food premises.”
Wallensten added that the cases are not linked to the outbreak in Denmark and they are using Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS) in their work.
October outbreak ongoing: An outbreak began in October last year where 44 people have been infected so far. Analysis of survey responses indicate that various meat products such as liver pate, ham and salami may be the reason, but the source of infection is not yet fully understood. The cases were reported mainly from the southern and central parts of the country. People affected range in age from over 20 to over 90.
Cases have been reported in Skåne (14), Västra Götaland (7), Örebro (5) and Stockholm (3). The Public Health Agency intensified surveillance of listeriosis in 2013, which has contributed to the outbreaks have been detected.
The investigations are carried out with the National Food Agency (Livsmedelsverket in Swedish). Meanwhile, the Statens Serum Institut (SSI) in Denmark has updated the case count to reveal 34 illnesses (19 women and 15 men) with the related deaths remaining at 13.

Source: Food Quality News.com

lunes, 1 de septiembre de 2014

Cyclospora cases increases in Texas and reach 304 sickened across U.S.

In Texas Cyclospora is linked with cilantro imported from Puebla, Mexico.
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) is reporting an increase in Cyclospora cayetanensis cases around the country. Now at least 283 people are sick in 21 states as of August 12, 2014. That is an increase of 48 cases compared to last week.
Cyclospora Outbreak One hundred sixty, or 57%, of the cases were reported in Texas. Of those people, at least 116 Texas patients did not travel during the two weeks before they got sick. Cyclospora is endemic in sub-tropical regions. If the patients did not travel to those areas, they most likely got sick by eating a contaminated food.
More patients are being interviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to discover what percentage of cases is linked with travel. Most of the cases were reported in July. Maine and Massachusetts are also investigating case number increases.
A common source for these infections has not yet been identified. Last year, a huge Cyclospora outbreak sickened at least 631 people in 25 states. Not all of those cases were solved. In the past, Cyclospora outbreaks have been linked to imported fresh product, including basil, lettuce, cilantro, raspberries and snow peas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it had been notified of 304 ill persons with confirmed infection in 2014. Cases were reported from Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York (including New York City), Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington.
It added that there is no evidence to suggest that any illnesses outside of Texas are linked to cilantro from Puebla, Mexico and investigations are ongoing in other states.
Among 204 persons with available information, ill persons range in age from three to 88 years, with a median age of 49 and 115 (56%) are female.
Reported cases of cyclosporiasis in Texas have returned to baseline levels in August so it is likely that the outbreak has ended.
Cyclospora is acquired by people ingesting something - such as food or water - that was contaminated with the parasite. Cyclospora cayetanensis is a single-celled parasite that causes an intestinal infection called cyclosporiasis
The symptoms of a Cyclospora infection include violent and watery diarrhea, loss of appetite, stomach cramps, weight loss, boosting, increased gas, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, body aches, headache, fever, and other flu-like symptoms. If you have been sick with these symptoms, please see your doctor as soon as possible.

Source: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/cyclosporiasis/outbreaks/2014/index.html

jueves, 28 de agosto de 2014

Se fijan nuevos niveles de metales pesados en alimentos.

El Codex Alimentarius establece nuevos niveles de plomo para la comida infantil y de arsénico para el arroz.

La Comisión del Codex Alimentarius, que establece los estándares internacionales sobre seguridad y calidad de los alimentos, fijó un nuevo límite a la cantidad de plomo aceptable en la leche para bebés y de arsénico en el arroz.

Los bebés y niños pequeños son particularmente vulnerables a los efectos tóxicos del plomo y pueden sufrir daños permanentes que afecten el desarrollo de su cerebro y sistema nervioso.

Por otra parte, el arsénico, un contaminante presente a menudo en el arroz, puede causar cáncer y lesiones en la piel, además de que se le asocia con efectos nocivos en el desarrollo, enfermedades cardiacas, diabetes y daños al cerebro y sistema nervioso cuando hay una exposición prolongada. Debido a esto la presencia de metales como plomo o arsénico en los alimentos obliga a revisar de manera periódica las cantidades de ingesta tolerable y de límites máximos seguros.

PLOMO EN ALIMENTOS INFANTILES: Un valor de 0,01 mg de plomo por kilo en los preparados para lactantes es la cantidad máxima fijada por el Codex Alimentarius. Esta medida responde al hecho de que se trata de un metal con efectos tóxicos demostrables sobre todo para los niños. Los pequeños están más indefensos ante la exposición al plomo.

En el caso de los preparados para lactantes, su presencia puede controlarse con la obtención de materias primas en las que el plomo esté menos presente. Los estudios realizados hasta el momento consideran que los alimentos que más contribuyen a la exposición a esta sustancia son los cereales, las verduras y el agua potable.

A pesar de que los niveles de exposición representan un riesgo bajo en los adultos, genera mayor preocupación por los posibles efectos en el desarrollo neurológico en los fetos, bebés y niños. Según un estudio de la Autoridad Europea de Seguridad Alimentaria (EFSA) de 2010, en los adultos la exposición dietética de plomo oscila entre los 0,36 hasta los 2,43 mg/kg de peso corporal al día; y en bebés, varía desde los 0,21 a los 0,94 mg/kg de peso corporal al día.


En el caso del arsénico en el arroz, el Codex Alimentarius ha determinado un nivel máximo de 0,2 mg/kg. Esta medida se aplica al arroz porque se trata de uno de los cultivos que más suelen acumular este tóxico. Además, debe tenerse en cuenta que es un alimento de consumo muy generalizado en todo el mundo.

Además de establecer un nuevo nivel de arsénico en el arroz, la Comisión del Codex Alimentarius ha establecido un nuevo código de prácticas agrícolas destinadas a prevenir y reducir la contaminación.

Para controlar su presencia, deben aplicarse acciones como revisar las materias primas, el agua de riego, la vigilancia de fuentes de emisión y verificar que se  cumplen los límites máximos en alimentos.

Uno de los principales problemas de estos metales pesados, es que se acumulan a lo largo de la vida. Por ello, es muy importante la investigación en este campo, sobre todo la que hace referencia al establecimiento de niveles que sean seguros y no pongan en riesgo la salud de los consumidores.

Aporte: Massiel Villanueva

Fuentes: http://www.consumer.es/