miércoles, 30 de abril de 2014

E. coli O101:H4 outbreak could have been spread on purpose or accidentally

Microbiological and forensic analyses are needed for a definite answer on the origin of this outbreak: 
A new analysis applied to Northern Europe’s deadly 2011 E. coli O101:H4 outbreak calls the official assumption that the pathogen, spread by “its natural origin,” is “questionable.” Further, the Serbian-German researchers say that neither accidental nor deliberate spreading of the pathogen can be ruled out as the cause.
The 2011 outbreak killed 53 people in an event that pushed local medical facilities, mostly in Germany, to their limits and tested the European Union’s Early Warning and Outbreak Response System. It began on May 1, 2011, and peaked around May 21-22, 2011. The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin declared the outbreak over on July 26, 2011.
In between those dates, there were 2,987 cases of E. coli O104:H4 that did not develop into Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) but still resulted in 18 deaths. And, of the 855 HUS cases, 35 were fatal.
Until now, the EU’S official explanation for the sudden and severe outbreak was the introduction of fenugreek sprouts from seeds imported from Egypt contaminated with the fairly new E. coli O104:H4 strain through normal commercial transactions.

In conclusion, after using three published models for the analysis of UEE, a generally accepted assumption the (outbreak) in 2011 was a natural one may not be accepted without reserve. This is the first time ever that an E. coli O104:H4 pathotype of a high virulence suddenly emerged, which may indicate an unnatural phenomenon. In the interest of the safety and biosecurity of food chains, further epidemiological, microbiological and forensic analyses are needed for a definite answer on the origin of this outbreak: ‘What was it, actually?.
Source: EFSA

viernes, 25 de abril de 2014

Prevent the Spread of Norovirus

Five simple ways you can protect yourself from Norovirus.
Noroviruses are a group viruses related with food borne illness, these viruses causes gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines). This leads to stomach cramping, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and in children and old people could be lethal.

Noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the United States. CDC estimates that each year on average 19 to 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis are caused by noroviruses. Norovirus is also estimated to cause 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalizations and 570 to 800 deaths each year in the United States.

This virus can spread very quickly form person to person in many closed placed (Schools/university, hotels, etc). The normal cause of contagion of this virus are: Eating or drinking liquids that are contaminated, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with this virus and the putting hands in the mouth and having direct contact with a person who is infected (sharing foods, kissing or with eating utensils with them). This illness can be no longer than 3 days after they recover, but many people may be contagious for even longer.
Actually there is no vaccine to prevent norovirus infection; also there is no drug to treat people who have been sick. (It’s a virus not bacteria). The best way to reduce your chance of getting this illness is by following these 5 simple tips:

1)    Wash your hands carefully with soap and water, especially after using the toilet and changing diapers and always before eating or preparing food.
2)    Wash fruits and vegetables, and cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.
3)    Do not prepare food while infected, this may be produce more contamination.
4)    Clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces using bleach made with 5 tablespoons to 1.5 cups of household bleach per 1 gallon of water.
5)    Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with vomit or stool and wash your hands after handling. The items should be washed with detergent at the maximum available cycle length and then machine dried

Aporte: Sebastián Castillo

EPA halts pesticide use on apples until new safety studies are done

People who eat nitrosamines have higher levels of cancers
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt use of a pesticide commonly applied to conventionally grown apples to limit storage damage until EPA has done further safety studies.
EWG’s president, Ken Cook, wrote EPA on Thursday asking that the agency launch a new investigation to determine whether the use of diphenylamine, or DPA, is safe for U.S. consumers who, according to 2010 industry data, use about 42.5 pounds of apple products per person each year.
The American public deserves the same level of protection as Europeans from pesticide risks. We urge EPA to halt the use of DPA on U.S. fruit until a rigorous analysis by EPA of the chemical can prove that it poses a reasonable certainty of no harm to consumers.
Applying DPA to European apples and pears was banned by the European Commission in 2012, citing lack of sufficient safety data from the manufacturers, and, since March of this year, the European Union will only allow importation of conventionally grown U.S. apples if detectable DPA levels are 0.1 parts per million or below.
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found measurable levels of DPA on 82.7 percent of the raw, conventionally grown apples tested and at average concentrations four times the EU import limit. The EPA tolerance level for DPA is 10 ppm.
DPA is typically applied to the fruit by dipping, drenching or spraying after it’s picked to help prevent “storage scald,” a blackening or browning of the skin that can occur on apples held in cold storage for months after the fall harvest. While it’s officially regulated as a pesticide, DPA functions as a fungicide and growth regulator.
People who eat nitrosamines have higher levels of cancers. These contaminants are known by EPA and other agencies to be something we want to avoid..
There are about 7,500 apple growers across the U.S., who produce nearly 100 varieties of the fruit in every state, although Washington state is the top producer. Apples are considered one of the most valuable crops grown in the U.S., and we are the world’s second-largest apple producer after China.

Source: Food Safety News

martes, 15 de abril de 2014

Michel Leporati nuevo Secretario Ejecutivo de la ACHIPIA

Declaró: Asumo este desafío porque puedo hacer algo para el país
Michel Leporati Néron, la nueva autoridad de la Agencia Chilena para la Calidad e Inocuidad Alimentaria (ACHIPIA),  estudió Medicina Veterinaria en la Universidad de Chile, es Doctor de Economía de los Recursos Alimentarios y del Ambiente, del Instituto Uni
versitario Navale di Napoli, Italia, y cuenta con más de 20 años de experiencia laboral en el ámbito de desarrollo de políticas públicas para el fomento productivo, la investigación y el desarrollo en el sector agrícola y en la industria de alimentos.
Ha sido Director de la Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria de la Sede Talca de la Universidad Santo Tomás, miembro del comité de manufactura y minería de FONDEF de la Comisión Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología CONICYT, Director Ejecutivo de la Plataforma de Innovación en Alimentos (PIAL) y Director de CERES_BCA servicios de bioseguridad y calidad alimentaria.
Fue asesor de los Ministros de Agricultura entre los años 2006 y 2010 en el Gabinete esa secretaría de Estado, fue Vicepresidente del Consejo Directivo de la Fundación para la Innovación Agraria (FIA); Miembro del  Cluster Alimentario; Consejero (s) del consejo de ministros para la innovación, Secretario Técnico del Consejo Público/Privado Chile Potencia Alimentaria y del Comité Exportador de  Alimentos y Coordinador Técnico del convenio de desarrollo tecnológico con Fundación Chile, entre otras actividades.
Ha desarrollado investigaciones y ha publicado, tanto a nivel nacional como internacional, acerca del fomento productivo, la innovación y el desarrollo del sector agropecuario y alimentario.  Ha asesorado proyectos de Cooperación internacional, a través de la Agencia de Cooperación de Chile  (AGCI), en temas relativos al desarrollo de la micro y mediana empresa agroalimentaria.
En sus primeras declaraciones como Secretario Ejecutivo de ACHIPIA,  MicheL Leporati  señaló que “El sentido de mi misión en ACHIPIA  es hacer algo para Chile.  Asumo este desafío porque puedo hacer algo para el país. La idea es ir construyendo, ir mejorando”.
El  Médico Veterinario asumió su cargo acompañado por el Subsecretario de Agricultura, Claudio Ternicier González.

Fuente: http://www.achipia.cl/

lunes, 7 de abril de 2014

Will your HACCP plan be acceptable under FSMA?

The HACCP plan is a part of the food safety management system, which includes prerequisite programs, vendor quality, traceability and recalls, communication and management commitment.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking is nowhere near as rigid as what is mandated under the ISO 22000 international standard (ISO 22000: Food safety management systems — Requirements for any organization in the food chain) or in the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) food safety audit schemes. What the proposal does indicate, however, is that FDA will be taking longer and harder looks at what food processors are doing to ensure the safety of what they are manufacturing.

The current seafood and juice Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) regulations mandate that a HACCP plan be assessed or re-evaluated on a regular basis, which means at least once a year. ISO 22000 and the GFSI audit schemes have similar requirements. So, your first step should be not just a re-assessment, but a complete and very detailed evaluation. Because of economic pressures and a need to protect their customers, brands and reputations, most processors have established HACCP plans based on the seven principles described in the 1997 guidelines established by the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods or the Codex Food Hygiene document. These two documents are harmonized. If your company has properly followed these guidelines when developing your plans, you should be okay when it comes to a review by FDA. Note that the word “should” is used. Some processors have had a tendency to be a bit lax when it comes to developing, documenting, implementing and maintaining their HACCP plans. Areas where companies can do better are as follows:
Conducting the Hazard Analysis (risk assessment) on ingredients, processes and finished products
2.    Validating and documenting that their CCPs are adequate for controlling established hazards
3.    Verifying that the system is working as designed
This is not to say that these elements are lacking in their current programs; they simply need to be strengthened and managed better. This is one reason why it would be a good idea for more companies to take a long look at the ISO 22000 standard. In this case, look at the standard as a system for managing food safety. The HACCP plan is a part of the food safety management system, which includes prerequisite programs, vendor quality, traceability and recalls, communication and management commitment.

A food safety management system will take time and effort (and money, if the goal is to do it right), but a processor does not have to be certified in the USA. In Europe and Asia building a strong food safety management system is required (ISO 22000) is a tool that will help ensure that you do so.

Source: FDA, FSMA