jueves, 26 de diciembre de 2013

UK’s FSA Publishes 2014 Food Safety Priorities

A major portion of the plan addresses Campylobacter, Britain’s most common cause of food poisoning.

In the plan, FSA is proposing to study how to modify processing equipment to limit Campylobacter contamination, how the pathogen attaches to chicken surfaces, why practices required for good hygiene are inconsistently applied and how to improve adherence, what factors affect variations in Campylobacter disease rates, which antimicrobial treatments could remove surface contamination, how frequently cross-contamination occurs in household kitchens and what might be the best practices for safely cooking chicken.
FSA also plans to promote new food safety guidance regarding Listeria monocytogenes in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare settings.

With the emergence of Hepatitis E in pork and Hepatitis A in berries and processed foods, these viruses are another concern. “Evidence points to these viruses being more heat stable than bacteria and this has raised questions concerning current processing or cooking conditions,” the plan states. So the agency plans to review literature and do further experiments to analyze heat stability.

In early 2013, curry leaves used in a ready-to-eat dish in Northeast England led to an outbreak of nearly 1,000 cases of Salmonella, Shigella and Enteroaggregative E. coli. As a result, FSA plans to address the need for better advice on curry leaf risk reduction.

The agency will also be studying the proportion of foodborne pathogens acquired in the home as opposed to external settings, the diversity of Enteroaggregative E. coli strains, exposure to metals and other elements in the U.K. diet, potential alternatives for food preservatives, the risks associated with buying food online, and bacteriophages – viruses that can kill bacteria and reduce microbiological contamination of foods.

And, in light of the horsemeat scandal earlier this year, FSA wants to develop tools for detecting horsemeat in heavily processed foods and determining the origin of foods.

Some projects FSA has already undertaken include reviewing the available rapid testing methods for detecting marine biotoxin in shellfish and researching toxoplasma in food and livestock.

Other aspects of the plan address food allergies and nutrition.

Source: http://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2013/aug/campylobacter#.UrwhO7SQNn8

jueves, 19 de diciembre de 2013

FDA Proposes New Rule on ‘Antibacterial’ Soaps

Antibacterial hand soaps and body washes should demonstrate their products are safe and more effective than normal soap.

U.S. regulators on Monday 16 issued a proposed rule that would require makers of antibacterial hand soaps and body washes to demonstrate their products are safe and more effective than soap and water in preventing infection and the spread of bacteria.

"Although consumers generally view these products as effective tools to help prevent the spread of germs, there is currently no evidence that they are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water," the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement.
The FDA said research has suggested long-term exposure to antibacterial chemicals, such as triclosan in liquid soaps and triclocarban in bar soaps, could have hormonal affects and allow bacteria to mutate into harder-to-control strains.

The agency said companies that fail to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of their products would have to reformulate them to back up the product claims, or re-label them to keep them on store shelves.
Such products are widely sold and touted, and include SoftSoap products from Colgate Palmolive, Cetaphil from Galderma Laboratories, and Dial products from Henkel AG.
The FDA said the action is part of a larger ongoing review by the agency to ensure that antibacterial ingredients are safe and effective. But the proposed rule would not affect hand sanitizers, wipes or antimicrobial products used in healthcare settings, the agency said.

The move comes five days after the FDA issued new guidelines to phase out the use of antibiotics as a growth enhancer in livestock, also in an effort to stem a surge in human resistance to antibiotics.
"Due to consumers' extensive exposure to the ingredients in antibacterial soaps, we believe there should be a clearly demonstrated benefit ... to balance any potential risk," said Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Almost all soaps labeled "antibacterial" or "antimicrobial" contain at least one of the antibacterial ingredients addressed in the FDA's proposed rule, most notably triclosan and triclocarban, and some labeled "deodorant" may also contain these ingredients, the agency said.
The proposed rule will be available for public comment for 180 days. Concurrently, companies will be given one year to submit new data and information, followed by a 60-day rebuttal comment period.

Source: FDA

miércoles, 11 de diciembre de 2013

FSIS launches a new Salmonella reduction plan

An estimated 1.3 million illnesses can be attributed to Salmonella every year.

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service released today a plan to reduce Salmonella in meat and poultry products, a priority coming into tighter focus as another outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg has sickened hundreds across the country.
The Salmonella Action Plan prioritizes modernizing the poultry slaughter inspection system. Shifting FSIS inspectors to more offline, food safety duties will prevent at least an estimated 5,000 illnesses each year, the agency said.
An estimated 1.3 million illnesses can be attributed to Salmonella every year.
“Far too many Americans are sickened by Salmonella every year. The aggressive and comprehensive steps detailed in the Salmonella Action Plan will protect consumers by making meat and poultry products safer,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen, whose resignation from her post at FSIS will take effect mid-December.
The new plan prescribes enhanced sampling and testing programs that take into account “the latest scientific information available” and emerging trends in foodborne illness. Inspectors will “be empowered with the tools necessary to expeditiously pinpoint problems.” Equipped with more information about a plant’s performance history and better methods for assessing in-plant conditions, inspectors will better be able to detect salmonella earlier, ostensibly before it can cause an outbreak.
The plan also outlines several actions FSIS will take to foster new innovations toward lowering contamination rates, including establishing new performance standards; developing new strategies for inspection farm to table; addressing all potential sources of  Salmonella; and focusing the agency’s education and outreach tools on Salmonella.
The strategy announcement comes as FSIS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies continue to wrestle with an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg linked to three Foster Farms chicken plants in California. The outbreak has sickened nearly 390 people in 23 states.
Earlier impetus was provided also by an outbreak in 2011 of the same strain emanating from ground turkey that sickened 136 people in 34 states and forced Cargill to recall 36 million pounds of product.
FSIS followed with strengthened performance standards for salmonella in poultry, with a goal of significantly reducing illnesses by 20,000 per year. Through the Salmonella Initiative Program, plants currently are using processing technologies designed to directly reduce the pathogen in raw meat and poultry, and prevalence in broilers has dropped by more than 75 percent since 2006, FSIS said.

Source: USDA FSIS

lunes, 18 de noviembre de 2013

Crunch Pak® sliced apples recalled due to potential for Listeria monocytogenes

State Lab Finds a Positive Sample, no human cases identified yet.

A Washington state company is recalling sliced apples due to the potential for Listeria contamination. The contamination was discovered by testing conducted by Minnesota Health Department. A sample tested was found to be positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

There have been no know Listeria outbreaks associated with sliced apples, however these product had been recalled in the 2012. Perhaps this is why MN Dept. of Health decided to pull this sample…perhaps it was just somebody pulling samples. Was the level of contamination significant? Studies have shown that Listeria can survive on apples and that it has grown on sliced apples when that product was temperature abused.

How risk is evaluated for a given product is rarely constant. This was the case with cantaloupes, where Listeria was probably not on the radar of those conducting a risk analysis, until the Jensen related outbreak in 2011. And so now for companies packing fresh apple slice, they too will need to include Listeria as part of their hazard analysis, and with this, they will need to implement environmental control measures in the processing environment.

The company sold the recalled product to retail customers and because, in some cases, the recalled product was shipped to regional distribution centers, Crunch Pak is taking the extra precautionary measure of issuing this recall nationwide to assure that consumers who may have purchased the product are properly alerted.


martes, 12 de noviembre de 2013

Campylobacter outbreak due to undercooked chicken livers

The first reported multistate outbreak from undercooked chicken liver in the US

Six people were sickened and two were hospitalized, said the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Affected  were exposed to raw or lightly cooked chicken livers produced at the same poultry factory (establishment A) collected livers yielded the same strain of C. jejuni.
In October 2012 the VDH identified three cases of laboratory-confirmed C.  jejuni infection in Vermont residents; the isolates had indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns. PulseNet, the molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance, led to one additional case from New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont reported in the preceding six months.
Farm worker exposed: One of the people was exposed to the pathogen while working on the farm, the other four cases became ill after eating the livers, which were deliberately undercooked to maintain their texture.
USDA-FSIS found that establishment A, which stopped selling chicken livers, used antimicrobial cleaners to the livers, these efforts only affect the external surfaces and because Campylobacter contamination can be internal, the safety of undercooked chicken livers was not assured.
A food safety assessment conducted by the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) found no major violations.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that poultry must reach an internal temperature of 165oF (73.9oC) for at least 15 seconds.
Studies have shown that 77% of retail chicken livers are contaminated with Campylobacter and contamination is usually in internal tissues as well as on the surface.
Patients affected:  The six patients ranged in age from 19 to 87 years; three were female. Two were hospitalized, but all six had recovered by the time of their interviews.
Frozen chicken livers collected from restaurant A were sent to the VDH laboratory, minced into 13 25-gram subsamples and enriched as normal for the C. jejuni immunoassay. Two of the 13 subsamples screened gave positive results, but the pathogen could not be recovered in culture.


Source:FoodQualityNews.com

A novel transposon in Listeria monocytogenes responsible for tolerance to Benzalkonium Chloride

It is notable the increase of Listeria tolerance to various sanitizers.

Controlling the food-borne pathogen Listeria (L.) monocytogenes is of great importance from a food safety perspective, and thus for human health. The consequences of failures in this regard have been exemplified by recent large listeriosis outbreaks in the USA and Europe. It is thus particularly notable that tolerance to quaternary ammonium compounds such as benzalkonium chloride (BC) has been observed in many L. monocytogenes strains.
However, the molecular determinants and mechanisms of BC tolerance of L. monocytogenes are still largely unknown. Here we describe Tn6188, a novel transposon in L. monocytogenes conferring tolerance to BC. Tn6188 is related to Tn554 from Staphylococcus (S.) aureus and other Tn554-like transposons such as Tn558, Tn559 and Tn5406 found in various Firmicutes. Tn6188 comprises 5117 bp, is integrated chromosomally within the radC gene and consists of three transposase genes (tnpABC) as well as genes encoding a putative transcriptional regulator and QacH, a small multidrug resistance protein family (SMR) transporter putatively associated with export of BC that shows high amino acid identity to Smr/QacC from S. aureus and to EmrE from Escherichia coli. We screened 91 L. monocytogenes strains for the presence of Tn6188 by PCR and found Tn6188 in 10 of the analyzed strains. 
The isolates were from food and food processing environments and predominantly from serovar 1/2a. L. monocytogenes strains harboring Tn6188 had significantly higher BC minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) (28.5 ± 4.7 mg/l) than strains without Tn6188 (14 ± 3.2 mg/l). 
Using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR we could show a significant increase in qacH expression in the presence of BC. QacH deletion mutants were generated in two L. monocytogenes strains and growth analysis revealed that ΔqacH strains had lower BC MICs than wild type strains. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that Tn6188 is responsible for BC tolerance in various L. monocytogenes strains.

Source: Müller A et al. (2013) Tn6188 - A Novel Transposon in Listeria monocytogenes Responsible for Tolerance to Benzalkonium Chloride. PLoS ONE 8(10): e76835. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076835

lunes, 11 de noviembre de 2013

Especias de cocina pueden albergar Salmonella

Salmonella fue común en cilantro, albahaca, orégano, etc.


Un estudio realizado por la FDA reveló que alrededor del 7 por ciento de las especies usadas en la cocina  resultaron contaminadas con Salmonella, patógeno que puede provocar graves enfermedades  e incluso  la muerte.
El organismo testeó unas 20 mil muestras de especies importadas en EE.UU. entre 2006 y 2009 -casi todas son traídas fuera del país, de las cuales un 7 por ciento contenían la bacteria. Salmonella fue común en cilantro, albahaca, orégano, semillas de sésamo, pimienta, cominos y curry en polvo. Las especias molidas y agrietadas tenían ligeramente más probabilidades de estar contaminados que las especias enteras.
El motivo por el que pudieron contaminarse es porque después de su cosecha a menudo son puestas en el suelo para que se sequen. Como Salmonella proviene de las aves y otros animales, éstas tienen acceso a las especias en algún lugar del proceso de recolección, secado, procesamiento o almacenamiento.
La FDA recomienda que la mejor forma de eliminar este  peligro es cocinar las especias a altas temperaturas,  proceso que  simula la pasteurización, que es un método que se usa para eliminar  a este agente. 


Fuente: http://www.industry-bionews.com/2013/10/salmonella/

martes, 29 de octubre de 2013

Listeria multiple matrices recalls in US

Listeria has forced recalls from four US companies in products ranging from meat to salads.


Reser’s Fine Foods, based in Kansas, Boston Salads and Provisions Company, Inc., in Massachusetts, Garden Fresh Foods, in Wisconsin and Taylor Farms in Maryland are at the heart of separate recalls.
Chicken, ham and beef products. Reser’s Fine Foods is expanding its recall of chicken, ham and beef products to include all products produced between 5 September and 9 October, in addition to the 22,800 pounds of product recalled on 22 October. The problem was discovered through microbiological testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency after products were distributed to retailers and distributors nationwide.A traceback investigation and follow-up testing by FDA at the facility determined there was potential cross contamination of products with Listeria monocytogenes from product contact surfaces.
RTE chicken salad identified. Boston Salads and Provisions Company, Inc., is recalling 222,959 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken salad products due to Listeria monocytogenes, according to USDA-FSIS. The products were produced between 23 August and 14 October and shipped to wholesalers for distribution to retail locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) was alerted to these findings and tested intact samples of product, with two testing positive with matching PFGE patterns.
RTE chicken and ham suspected. Garden Fresh Foods, a Milwaukee company is recalling 103,080 additional pounds of ready-to-eat chicken and ham products due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, said USDA-FSIS. It is in addition to the 25,748 pounds of similar products that were recalled on 25 September and 17 October FSIS conducted a food safety assessment at the facility following the initial recall. Microbial testing and other findings indicated that additional product may have been contaminated due to harborage of Listeria monocytogenes. The products included in the expanded recall were produced between 6 September and October 10.
Broccoli salad kit recall. Taylor Farms, a Jessup, firm is recalling 5,084 pounds of broccoli salad kit products , which contain salad dressing in packets that are the subject of a recall due to Listeria monocytogenes contamination, according to USDA-FSIS. The salad kits were shipped to distributors and retail locations (delis) for consumer purchase in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. Taylor Farms informed FSIS that salad dressing subject to an FDA recall was contained in the salad kits produced on the dates listed above. FSIS, FDA and the companies have not received any reports of illnesses associated with consumption of these recalls.


Source: FoodQualityNews

martes, 15 de octubre de 2013

Presencia de pesticidas en frutas: resumen temporada 2012-2013 en Chile

Uva de mesa, manzana y cítricos presentan el mayor porcentaje de muestras positivas



AGQ Labs dio a conocer las estadísticas arrojadas por los análisis multirresiduos realizados en su centro tecnológico de Chile sobre la presencia de pesticidas en frutas, hortalizas y alimentos procesados durante la temporada 2012-2013
El estudio fue realizado entre el 1 de junio de 2013 hasta el 31 de julio de 2013, se midió la presencia de pesticidas mediante cromatografía gaseosa GC/MS-MS y cromatografía líquida HPLC/MS-MS.
La muestra incluyó frutas frescas: berries (arándanos, boysenberries, cranberries, frambuesas, frutillas, moras y zarzaparrillas); cítricos (clementinas, limones, mandarinas, naranjas y pomelos); carozos (ciruelas, damascos, duraznos, cerezas, nectarines, plumcots y pluots); pomáceas  (manzanas y peras); uva de mesa; kiwis; paltas; y granadas. Además se analizaron También lechugas, tomates, acelga, zapallo italiano, apio, espinaca y repollo, y alimentos procesados, como pulpas (manzana, pera y durazno), vinos y aceite de oliva.
La uva de mesa destaco por  muestras positivas encontrándose 51 moléculas distintas detectadas, con Boscalid, Fenexamida e Imidacloprid como principales sustancias activas detectadas en la fruta, seguida por las pomáceas consideradas a nivel global una de las especies con mayor cantidad de pesticidas y los cítricos. Por el contrario, la palta fue la fruta con menos muestras positivas. Un caso especial fue el kiwi, fruta que presentó un número mayor de muestras positivas durante la temporada 2012-2013, hecho que se podría atribuir a un mayor número de muestras con tratamiento de postcosecha.
En el caso de las hortalizas, el tomate presentó 61 moléculas diferentes. Le siguió la lechuga con 54 (insecticidas básicamente), la acelga (33), apio (33), zapallo italiano (20), espinaca (19) y repollo (13). A pesar de este resultado, el tomate no supera por mucho la norma de los LMR, a diferencia de la acelga, alimento que concentró el mayor número de casos (87%). A nivel de productos procesados, se detectaron 38 moléculas distintas en la uva vinífera y 17 moléculas distintas en el vino. En aceite de oliva se detectaron  7 moléculas distintas, principalmente insecticidas y, en cuanto a la pulpa de manzana, se detectaron 24 moléculas distintas.
Aporte: Felipe Pérez

Aplicación correcta de tratamiento térmico asegura la inocuidad alimentaria

Aplicación  de valores D y z en procesos térmicos


Los tratamientos térmicos que se realizan en la elaboración de alimentos listos para el consumo (RTE), carnes y productos avícolas son críticos para el control de patógenos presentes en estos productos. Dado que es una herramienta útil para eliminar o reducir los microorganismos patógenos a niveles aceptables para el consumo humano.
Para poder determinar un adecuado procesamiento térmico se debe considerar, a parte de los factores del alimento (pH, actividad de agua, humedad, contenido de grasa, forma y tamaño), las propiedades bacterianas (concentración, fase de crecimiento del patógeno y capacidad intrínseca de resistencia al calor) y  el uso de los valores D y z. Valores  aprobados por Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) y que están en permanente uso.
El valor D corresponde al tiempo necesario para reducir el patógeno a un 90 por ciento   (1 -log), y el valor  z, que corresponde  al cambio de temperatura necesaria para reducir  el valor D a la décima parte de su valor inicial. Por lo tanto, conociendo los valores D y z para diferentes bacterias patógenas y en diferentes alimentos se puede determinar rápidamente la letalidad del patógeno presente.
Esto contribuye a una mejora en la seguridad alimentaria. Estudios de investigación científica deben centrarse en proporcionar nuevos valores de D y z para posterior aplicación en programas con modelamiento matemático, de manera de realizar un procesamiento térmico más efectivo.

Aporte M. José Saludes

Ready, aim, fire! E.coli reprogrammed to target biofilms

E.coli has been reprogrammed to seek out and fight other pathogens such as biofilms.
Researchers reprogrammed the bacterium to specifically recognize, migrate toward, and eradicate both dispersed and biofilm-encased pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa cells.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an environmental bacterium which can be found in food such as vegetables and drinking water, according to the Drinking Water Research Foundation (DWRF). Matthew Wook Chang et al explained that biofilm infections are difficult to treat because the bacteria hide away under a protective barrier of sugars, DNA and proteins which makes them very resistant to conventional therapies.

Pathogen-seeking E.coli: They reprogrammed E. coli, which also comes in harmless varieties, to sense Pseudomonas aeruginosa and swim directly towards it and launch an attack with an antimicrobial peptide and an enzyme that breaks down biofilms.
The reprogrammed E. coli degraded the mature biofilm matrix and killed the latent cells by expressing and secreting the antimicrobial peptide microcin S and the nuclease DNaseI upon detection of quorum sensing (QS) molecules naturally secreted by P. aeruginosa.
Engineering of bacterial cells has been gaining interest but limitations include effective antimicrobial activities being dependent on the molecular diffusion of produced therapeutic compounds towards the target pathogen, explained the study.

Biofilm toughness: Biofilms are hard to remove pathogens that get stuck on machinery and other surfaces in food manufacturing plants. They form a tough surface skin that resist conventional commercial washing and sanitizing methods and become sources of contamination, resulting in lowered shelf-life of products and potential consumer illness.
Funding came from the National Medical Research Council of Singapore and the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency. The autonomous ‘Seek and Kill’ system can be applied to other pathogens with sensing of particular signaling molecules, to use target-dependent localization to deploy not only toxins but also other enzymes, concluded the study.


Source: ACS Synthetic Biology, Online ahead of print, doi: 10.1021/sb400077j

lunes, 14 de octubre de 2013

Confianza sobre la Inocuidad alimentaria va en descenso

Según una encuesta realizada en los Estados Unidos

Según una encuesta realizada en Mayo/Junio de 2013, en USA, los consumidores han perdido la confianza en la inocuidad alimentaria de bebidas y alimentos vendidos en Estados Unidos.
Entre una muestra nacional de 2.100 adultos, sólo uno de 6 expresó una gran confianza en la inocuidad alimentaria. En contraste, el 2008, aproximadamente el 25% de los adultos expresaron una gran confianza.
La principal preocupación recae actualmente sobre la inocuidad de productos importados, seguido por:
-       La exposición a pesticidas en los alimentos
-       Exposición a microorganismos asociados a alimentos
-       Uso de antibióticos como tratamiento de crecimiento en ganado

Los esfuerzos para consumir alimentos frescos y no procesados, ha aumentado al mismo tiempo que ha disminuido la confianza en la inocuidad alimentaria. Desde el 2008, el porcentaje de adultos que estaban completamente de acuerdo en hacer el esfuerzo de consumir alimentos frescos y poco procesados, ha aumentado del 24 al 32%.
Otros resultados incluyen:
-       Más del 70% de los adultos han comprado alimentos y bebidas con mensajes de etiqueta limpia el pasado año
-       Las etiquetas limpias más populares incluyen: todos los ingredientes son naturales, sin ingredientes artificiales, sin preservantes artificiales, orgánico, sin colorantes artificiales.
-       Los jóvenes son el grupo más probable de elegir alimentos orgánicos.



Aporte: Viviana Arroyo

viernes, 4 de octubre de 2013

Retiro de varias ensaladas listas para consumo y salsas por posible contaminación con Listeria monocytogenes

La infección por Listeria monocytogenes puede causar abortos involuntarios y mortinatos en las mujeres embarazadas

La empresa Garden Fresh Foods, Inc., de Estados Unidos, está iniciando una expansión del retiro que está realizando la FDA (Food and Drug Administration) de varias ensaladas listas para consumo y productos de salsas que se venden bajo diferentes marcas, fechas y códigos. Los productos pueden estar contaminados con Listeria monocytogenes, un organismo que puede causar infecciones serias y algunas veces fatales en niños pequeños, personas débiles o de edad avanzada o con sistema inmune debilitado. Aunque las personas sanas pueden sufrir sólo síntomas a corto plazo, tales como fiebre alta, dolor de cabeza severo, rigidez, náusea, dolor abdominal y diarrea, la infección por Listeria monocytogenes puede causar abortos involuntarios y mortinatos en las mujeres embarazadas.

Los productos tienen presentaciones de varios tamaños (envases de 6 a 18 onzas) y fueron distribuidos en los siguientes estados: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pensilvania, Arizona, California. También fueron distribuidos en tiendas de retail y servicios de alimentación. Algunos ejemplos de los productos a retirar son: Market Pantry Macaroni Salad, Market Pantry Mustard Potato Salad, Weis Ham Salad,  Market Pantry Baked Beans, Archer Farms Artichoke Spinach Dip, Roundy's Taco Dip, entre otros.

La FDA solicita a los consumidores que hayan adquirido cualquiera de los productos sospechosos que lo retornen al lugar de compra. Hasta el momento no se ha reportado ninguna enfermedad o queja relacionadas con estos productos.

Aporte: Nancy Robledo

Fuente: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm369670.htm


miércoles, 2 de octubre de 2013

El Gobierno argentino acordó pautas para el manejo de los agroquímicos

“Varias entidades crearon un documento con sugerencias y recomendaciones para la aplicación de agroquímicos”
Después de un año de trabajo, el Gobierno argentino, entidades técnicas vinculadas con los productores, ingenieros agrónomos y aeroaplicadores, universidades, organismos públicos como el INTA y el Senasa y cámaras de insumos acordaron el martes pasado un documento con sugerencias y recomendaciones para la aplicación de agroquímicos, que incluye las distancias de seguridad para el uso en zonas urbanas.

El documento, elaborado en el marco de una mesa de trabajo convocada en el área del secretario de Agricultura, Lorenzo Basso, no tiene fuerza de ley, se impulsó para darles soporte a municipios y provincias que, con una amplia variedad de criterios, ya legislaron sobre este tema, en especial para las distancias.
Además de ser un “soporte” para municipios y provincias en relación con las distancias, el documento es una respuesta a organizaciones ambientalistas que critican agroquímicos como el glifosato, producto que el Senasa calificó de “banda verde” o menor riesgo toxicológico.

Así se estableció que para las pulverizaciones terrestres se plantea una distancia de seguridad de 100 metros, como máximo, y de hasta 200 metros, también como máximo, para los casos en que se use avión, Además, introduce la posibilidad de que en las pulverizaciones terrestres las distancias puedan ser menores siempre que esté presente un profesional agrónomo controlando.


Aporte: Patricia Gallardo

martes, 1 de octubre de 2013

DuPont pathogenic E.coli test adopted by USDA-FSIS

DuPont collaborated with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to develop a molecular method for detecting six pathogenic E. coli adulterants in beef trim
From 1 October FSIS microbiologists can use BAX System real-time assays to monitor regulated foods for pathogenic E. coli after it was added to the FSIS Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG) of Test Methods.
The MLG already specifies the BAX System method for Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.
USDA FSIS evaluates methods of interest for its micro labs and publishes the ones they select for use in the MLG.  Depending on sample size, enrichment of beef trim and raw beef can take from eight to 24 hours for large volumes. Sample prep takes about 35 minutes, and PCR processing for these E. coli assays takes about an hour.
BAX adoption: The BAX System was first adopted by USDA FSIS in 2002 for detecting Listeria monocytogenes in ready-to-eat meat and poultry. In 2003 they adopted the BAX System for detecting Salmonella in both ready-to-eat and raw meat and in 2005 they took up the BAX System for detecting E. coli O157:H7 in raw beef and beef trim.
DuPont collaborated with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to develop a molecular method for detecting six pathogenic E. coli that had been newly declared.
The resulting BAX System STEC suite can run all the tests at the same time with E. coli O157:H7 assay that also uses real time PCR because the sample preparation and cycling programs are the same. After evaluation, the USDA FSIS replaced the previous E. coli O157:H7 method with the real-time version, and added the STEC method to the MLG.
Automated system: The automated system uses PCR assays, tableted reagents and optimized media to detect Salmonella, Listeria species, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7 and STEC, Campylobacter, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio, and yeast and mold.
“For each assay, all necessary PCR reaction reagents are combined into a BAX System tablet, which is hydrated with an aliquot of prepared sample; this eliminates multiple liquid transfers and effectively reduces potential for errors caused by operator technique. These proprietary tablets also allow for efficient processing of up to 96 tests in a single batch. This device works by loading samples, running the program and reading the results on screen. The program uses PCR to amplify genetic sequences unique to the targeted bacteria, so if the target is present, the fluorescent signal increases with amplification, if it isn’t, no amplification takes place.


FDA: Criminal charges over tainted Colorado cantaloupes

The owners fail to perform appropriate cleaning, sanitizing, cooling and packaging
The owners of a Colorado cantaloupe farm found to be the source of a 2011 Listeria outbreak that killed at least 30 people have been charged in relation to the incident. Eric and Ryan pleaded not guilty at the hearing this week and were released with a trial scheduled for 2 December. They called the outbreak a “terrible accident”.
A FDA and CDC investigation determined that the defendants failed to adequately clean their cantaloupes. Their actions allegedly resulted in at least six shipments of cantaloupe contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes being sent to 28 different states. The firm filed for bankruptcy in May of last year after the incident which was officially recognized as the worst foodborne outbreak in US modern history.
People affected: CDC tracked the outbreak-associated illness and determined that people living in 28 states consumed contaminated cantaloupe, resulting in 33 deaths and 147 hospitalizations.
One woman pregnant at the time of her outbreak-related illness had a miscarriage and ten additional deaths not attributed to listeriosis occurred among people who had been infected by eating outbreak-related cantaloupe.
According to the six-count Information filed under restriction this week and other court records, the cantaloupe bore Listeria monocytogenes and was prepared, packed and held under conditions which rendered it injurious to health.
Court documents state that the defendants set up and maintained a processing center where cantaloupes were taken from the field and transferred to a conveyor system for cleaning, cooling and packaging.
Cleaning equipment: The equipment should have worked in such a way that the cantaloupe would be washed with sufficient antibacterial solutions so that the fruit was cleaned of bacteria in the process. A joint investigation found that the Jensen brothers allegedly changed their cantaloupe cleaning system in May 2011.
Built to clean potatoes it was installed and included a chlorine spray to clean the fruit of bacteria but it was never used. The spray would have reduced the risk of microbial contamination of the fruit. The incident was officially recognized as the worst foodborne outbreak in US modern history.

miércoles, 25 de septiembre de 2013

Ya van 642 casos de infección por Cyclospora en 25 Estados de EEUU.

La FDA y el CDC investigan el brote multi-estatal causado por Cyclospora cayetanensis 

Los funcionarios de la FDA, los CDC locales y estatales están investigando un brote multiestatal por Cyclospora, Hasta el 6 de septiembre de 2013, se han notificado 642 casos de infección por Cyclospora en 25 estados.

La evidencia disponible sugiere que no todos los casos de ciclosporiasis en los diversos estados están directamente relacionados el uno al otro. La FDA continúa su investigación y no descarta ninguna posibilidad. Sin embargo, 30 de julio de 2013, los estados de Iowa y Nebraska anunciaron que su análisis indica que el brote en esos estados se relacionó con una mezcla de ensalada. 

La investigación de rastreo FDA ha confirmado que la mezcla de ensalada identificado en los estados de Iowa y Nebraska como vinculadas con el brote de ciclosporiasis se suministra a los restaurantes por Taylor Farms de México, esta empresa es un procesador de servicio de alimentos de cuarta generación. 

Como resultado de esta investigación, la FDA ha incrementado sus esfuerzos de vigilancia sobre los productos de hoja verde exportados a los EE.UU. desde México.

El 12 de agosto 2013 Taylor Farms de México informó oficialmente a la FDA que, de 9 de agosto de 2013, la empresa suspendió voluntariamente la producción y el envío de cualquier mezcla de ensalada de hojas verdes, o los componentes de la mezcla de ensalada de sus operaciones en México a los Estados Unidos 

De 11 a 19 agosto, 2013, la FDA con la cooperación de las autoridades del gobierno mexicano y Taylor Farms de México, llevó a cabo una evaluación ambiental exhaustiva en las instalaciones de la empresa. El equipo encontró que las condiciones y las prácticas observadas en estas instalaciones en el momento de la evaluación estuvieron de acuerdo con los protocolos de seguridad de los alimentos conocidos. 

Después de esta investigación la FDA aprobó a la firma para reanudar las operaciones. El 25 de agosto 2013 Taylor Farms de México, reanudó la producción y el envío de la mezcla de ensalada, verduras de hoja verde, y los componentes de la mezcla de ensalada de sus operaciones en México a los Estados Unidos.

Cyclospora cayetanensis es un protozoo parasito del filo Apiclomplexa que causa la enfermedad ciclosporosis en los seres humanos y tal vez en otros primates. Es un coccidio formador de quistes, que causa una diarrea auto-limitante. Los riesgos para la salud asociados con la enfermedad están por lo general limitados a los viajeros que visitan regiones endémicas y adquieren la infección: esta es la razón por la que C. cayetanensis ha sido etiquetada como una de las causas de la "la diarrea del viajero". Morfológicamente, los ooquistes son esféricos con un diámetro de entre 7,5 y 10 um con una gruesa pared de 50 nm de espesor que los protegen del medio ambiente exterior.


Aporte: Jose Hernandez

Decomisan más de una tonelada de productos descompuestos en fondas de la V región

La fiscalización de parte de la Seremi de Salud Valparaíso ha sido extensa en todas las fondas y ramadas de la región.

Tras casi 950 fiscalizaciones a fondas y ramadas, la Secretaría Regional Ministerial (Seremi) de Salud de la Región de Valparaíso logró requisar más de una tonelada de carnes y otros alimentos en mal estado.

El seremi Jaime Jamett dijo que sólo en una jornada los inspectores encontraron más de 150 kilos de productos descompuestos, agregando que estos procedimientos han dado origen a 21 sumarios sanitarios.

Jamett explicó que "las principales fallas detectadas son la pérdida de cadena de frío en muchos productos como: anticuchos, empanadas o vender carne de procedencia desconocida, hemos encontrado y se procedió al decomiso inmediato de los productos. Al mismo tiempo, en Valparaíso se han cursado sumarios respecto al funcionamiento de los servicios higiénicos y también en algunos locales por no mantener un adecuado suministro de agua potable", expresó.

"Los fonderos que no cumplan las condiciones van a tener que sufrir lamentablemente un sumario y el decomiso de sus productos, por eso el llamado es a su responsabilidad y también a que las personas puedan preferir aquellos locales donde tengan las mejores condiciones sanitarias", expresó el Seremi.

La Autoridad Sanitaria destacó el trabajo de todos los funcionarios a nivel regional, poniendo de relieve los resultados en las provincias de Los Andes, San Felipe y Petorca, donde se logró más del 80% del decomiso total de carnes y un tercio de todas las fiscalizaciones.

Aporte: Andrea Baraona R.

Cierran restaurante del Bronx por brote de Hepatitis A

Cinco casos de personas positivas a Hepatitis A, en el Bronx en USA

Nueva York— Si en los pasados días usted visitó y consumió alimentos en el restaurante japonés New Hawaii Sea, de Williamsbridge Road, en El Bronx, tiene que vacunarse lo antes posible contra la hepatitis A.

Ayer funcionarios del Departamento de Salud de la Ciudad de Nueva York alertaron a la población luego de que detectaran en el restaurante cinco casos positivos a la enfermedad. Uno de los afectados es un empleado y los otros cuatro son clientes.

De acuerdo con las autoridades, quienes deben vacunarse de inmediato son aquéllas personas que comieron en el lugar o que ordenaron comida de allí entre el 7 y el 19 de septiembre.

Según los funcionarios de Salud, los dueños del local están cooperando y voluntariamente cerraron el negocio hasta que todos los empleados estén vacunados.

Ayer, el Departamento de Salud ofrecerá vacunación gratuita contra la hepatitis A en la escuela superior Herbert Lehman.

Aporte: Alvaro Baeza

martes, 24 de septiembre de 2013

Pasteurización con vapor superficial evita la presencia de Listeria en peces

Rápido calentamiento de la superficie con vapor de agua a 100ºC, previene presencia de Listeria monocytogenes en la superficie de peces.

Como parte del proyecto de doctorado del cientifico Torstein Skara, comparó el crecimiento de diferentes cepas de Listeria monocytogenes aisladas del entorno de las líneas de procesamiento del pescado. Esto es importante, ya que es una bacteria difícil  de controlar para la industria pesquera, porque contamina la superficie de los productos.  

Los productos refrigerados de larga conservación, como el pescado ahumado, pasteles de pescado frito, hamburguesas y postres, son especialmente vulnerables a la Listeria, ya que la bacteria crece a temperaturas de refrigeración. Estos productos son altamente demandados por los consumidores, debido a que son fáciles de preparar, alto valor nutricional y una larga vida útil.

El estudio determinó que se puede eliminar la bacteria utilizando una  pasteurización superficial con vapor de agua, durante unos segundos justo antes de que el producto se  embale y distribuya. La característica más importante de este tipo de pasteurización es que sólo afecta a la parte más externa de la superficie y, por lo tanto, tendría un mínimo efecto sobre las características organolépticas y nutricionales de los productos pesqueros.

Los experimentos de pasteurización de superficie se realizaron usando un equipo de prueba especial y diferentes niveles de contaminación.

Una de las principales conclusiones de la tesis es que un nuevo método ha sido desarrollado para determinar el efecto de la eliminación de la Listeria, por medio de pasteurización con vapor en la superficie de los productos pesqueros. Además de que con un uso correcto de esta tecnología, sería posible mejorar la garantía de la seguridad alimentaria para una amplia gama de productos del mar con una vida útil más larga.


Aporte: Esteban Bonilla 

More traceability needed on rejected products

False rejects are the ‘worst thing’ that can happen to a food manufacturer,  but more needs to be done on traceability.
Robert Rogers, told the audience it is important to have prerequisite programs in place because of the high level of false rejects.
Lockable reject bin: Many conditions in the environment can affect metal detector performance ie, airborne electrical interference, plant vibration and temperature fluctuations. Strict control should be observed in the processing equipment in special  with the metal detection machines.
When products end up in the reject bin sometimes the operators take them out and put them through the machine again. If it doesn’t detect a problem they let it go through.
However, if a product falls into a reject bin, it needs to be locked away and taken to a lab because you need to know what the source of the problem is and why it was detected in the first place. We need more traceability.
PowerPhasePRO: Rogers said the PowerPhasePRO model was launched in response to feedback from customers and observations from clients. In reality you want the product to be secure and take it to a lab to prevent the detection from happening again.
The metal detection equipment is a notification device but it’s what we do with the product that is rejected that makes all the difference. If a reject bin is not secure, anyone can remove the package, take it out of the bin and pass it through again.
He added manufacturers need to figure out what the source of the problem is, prevent it and alert the operation. We need to find out why there are so many products in a reject bin. Put a preventative measure in to stop it from happening and make sure the facility itself is not contaminating the product.
The 'Challenge test':  In the world we live in today, we need some means of documenting the ‘challenge test’, ‘changes in the system’, whether it is hand written or via electronic record, we have to have a validation procedure in place to prevent contamination.
Rogers said there is no technology today that can detect human hair, or an insect leg, for example, but ‘never say never’ and one day detection equipment for these types of systems might be invented.
Recalls: Recently there have been a number of recalls regarding PP (polypropylene) or UHMW (ultra-high-molecular weight polyethylene) – plastics that are not detected in machine processing so firms need a ‘good food program’ in place and an automated reject device is ‘the preferred mechanism’.


lunes, 23 de septiembre de 2013

Danone busca compensación de Fonterra por pérdidas a raíz de la falsa alarma de Botulismo

Los resultados demostraron que era una cepa de Clostridium no tóxica. Danone ha confirmado que entrará en conversaciones con Fonterra para lograr algún tipo de compensación por la retirada masiva de sus productos a raíz de la falsa alarma causada por la supuesta presencia de la proteína WPC que afectó a la fórmula de productos en ocho países. 

Las marcas de Danone, Dumex y Nutricia Australia New Zealand (Nutricia ANZ) , reformularon sus productos en ocho países como medida de precaución después que Fonterra publicará una advertencia denunciando que proteína WPC contaminada con Clostridium botulinum había entrado en la cadena de distribución.
Las pruebas han demostrado que la bacteria encontrada en los lotes no era Colstridium botulinum, sino Clostridium sporongenes, una cepa de Clostridium botulinum no tóxica.
Danone esta intentando valorar los costos que ha supuesto para la compañía esta publicación.
A pesar que las pruebas han demostrado que sus productos estaban fuera de peligro, Nutricia Australia New Zeland ha retirado todos los productos afectados en Nueva Zelanda,  y Dumex ha empezado a retirar en Camboya, Tailandia, China, Malasia, y Singapur.

"Aunque los test han sido negativos, Danone tiene como prioridad la seguridad del consumidor y se ha decidido retirar los productos afectados".

Las fábricas no demandarán a Fonterra. Danone ha confirmado que intentaran conseguir algún tipo de compensación de Fonterra, mientras que Nutricia ANZ desmintió que fuera considerar acciones legales contra Fonterra. La portavoz de Nutricia ANZ comentó que " Nutricia está considerando sus opciones, pero no tiene planes de demandar a Fonterra".


Aporte: Patricia Urrutia

Alimentos caducados en supermercados de Grecia, permitidos por los recortes, la crisis y el rescate la UE.

Grecia está siendo uno de los países más castigados por la crisis económica y a pesar de los recortes y el rescate europeo, que volverá a producirse en 2013, parece que la situación en el país no hace más que empeorar. Así, ahora Grecia ha dado luz verde a una normativa que permite la venta de alimentos 'caducados' en los supermercados. 

A partir de los primeros días de Septiembre, los alimentos cuya fecha de consumo preferente haya vencido pueden venderse a un precio inferior a los que están en perfectas condiciones, pero en estanterías separadas y correctamente identificados, para que no haya ningún tipo de confusión posible.

La medida, duramente criticada en el país por "dividir entre ricos y pobres", permite vender hasta una semana después de caducar los alimentos cuya fecha se expresa en día y mes y hasta tres meses más tarde para aquellos productos en los que tan solo aparece mes y año.

El Gobierno griego del conservador Andoni Samaras dice que esta medida ha sido malinterpretada y que no se permitirá vender más allá de la fecha de caducidad, sino que el etiquetado de referencia será el de la fecha de venta al público. En cualquier caso, las asociaciones de consumidores helenas critican que así se abre la posibilidad de que algunas empresas puedan vender género en mal estado aprovechando la situación. 


Aporte: Patricia Urrutia

Emerging pathogens: Vibrio cases in oysters expected to continue increasing

Vibrio doesn’t harm the oysters in any way; it appears to be a symbiotic relationship.
With a nearly 50-percent mortality rate, Vibrio vulnificus is the most deadly foodborne pathogen in the world and instances of infection in the U.S., however rare, are rapidly rising.
Fifteen years ago, there were 21 confirmed cases of Vibrio vulnificus and V. parahaemolitycus infections in the U.S. Last year, there were 193.

While infections from either of the pathogens are still rare compared with, say, Salmonella and Campylobacter, the incidence rate grew faster than any of the other five microbes tracked in the Centers for Disease Control’s 2012 Food Safety Progress Report. The Vibrio vulnificus strain is responsible for 95 percent of seafood-related illness fatalities in the U.S., according to a 2013 study. Another strain, Vibrio parahaemolitycus is milder, causing diarrhea, nausea, fever and chills, according to CDC.

Several studies have linked Vibrio’s quick growth rate with rising ocean temperatures, a critical condition favorable to the saltwater-based bacterium. Instances of Vibrio have started showing up in colder places where they were largely unheard-of before.

Most notably, they’ve been [seeing cases] in places like the Baltic and Germany. While those cases usually involved Vibrio entering humans through wounds while they were swimming, a 2009 article shows that about 93 percent of Vibrio cases in the U.S. manifest themselves in people who have consumed raw or undercooked oysters. Vibrio can also come from other undercooked seafood.

Several post-harvest processing methods exist, which have varying degrees of success at killing Vibrio, but they have several drawbacks. One of these is the largest barriers is cost.


3M unveils 48-hour indicator test for detection of yeasts and molds in foods

3M unveils 48-hour indicator test for detection of yeasts and molds in foods
The 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate cuts the waiting time, which for conventional agar testing methods required a five to seven day incubation period.
The sample-ready system uses a three-step process: Inoculation, Incubation and Enumeration and has been a tested using dairy, bakery and confectionery product. 3M said benefits included quicker product release – reducing the financial cost of carrying inventory, longer shelf life and faster service in delivering product to customers.

Indicator dyes and growth components: Eric Amann, global marketing manager at 3M Food Safety, said the firm had developed a proprietary formulation involving indicator dyes and growth components that react with enzymes produced by yeasts and molds. He told that consequences of not having a good indicator test include varying product freshness and quality in the marketplace and changes in raw materials, the production process and environment may not be detected – leading to severe and costly quality and safety failures down the road.
3M tested the product with naturally and artificially contaminated foods ranging from dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, juices and bakery/confectionary products. Over 40 strains of yeasts and molds commonly found in food products were included in the testing to validate the performance of the product. Depending on the food and stress level exposed to, some yeast and molds may show up faintly at first, with their interpretation/appearance being enhanced over a longer period of incubation. The new method  is designed to be incubated at either 25°C or 28°C to leverage biological processes that will speed up detection.

Plate improvement: 3M improved upon its current yeast and mold plate by introducing a circular foam barrier to the plate, similar to what is found on other 3M Petrifilm plates such as the Coliform Count plate. The 3M Petrifilm Rapid Yeast and Mold Count Plate results in blue-colored yeast and mold colonies and contains technological enhancements that prevent colonies from spreading or overlapping.