Researchers find different impact of related Salmonella types

Scientists have found Salmonella variants can have different effects on the health of pigs and the risks they pose to food safety.

Two closely related types of Salmonella Typhimurium, called U288 and sequence type (ST) 34, are particularly dominant in pigs and differed in colonization of the intestine and surrounding tissues and severity of disease they produced. The ST34 variant accounts for more than half of all UK human Salmonella Typhimurium infections, while U288 is rarely associated with human infection.

Professor Rob Kingsley from the Quadram Institute and professor Mark Stevens from the Roslin Institute worked with scientists at the Earlham Institute to look at common variants of Salmonella in pigs in the UK.

Using whole genome sequencing the research team found that the two types of Salmonella Typhimurium have been circulating in UK pigs since 2003. Researchers previously examined the emergence and spread of Salmonella in pigs.

Predicting risk Read more

FDA Releases report on foodborne illness risk factors in delis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released its report on a study of foodborne illness risk factors in retail food store deli departments. 

This study is part of a 10-year initiative that examines when foodborne illness risk factors, such as employees practicing poor personal hygiene, and food safety practices, like improper handwashing, occur; and their relationship to Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) and Certified Food Protection Managers (CFPM). Data for this study were collected between 2015 and 2016.

The FDA observed that delis with well-developed Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) were more likely to properly control foodborne illness risk factors than delis with less developed FSMS. Also, delis with a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM) who is the person in charge have significantly better developed FSMS than delis that do not have a CFPM.

Analysis of the study data showed that deli departments had the best control over:… Read more

Oklahoma v. Tyson, the Bus Loads of Lawyers case, going on 16 years

it’s been almost 16 years since the State of Oklahoma sued most of the nation’s poultry industry-led Tyson Foods for environmental damages to its most popular waters for $1.6 billion. Oklahoma wanted monetary damages and injunctive relief against the poultry producers it blamed for storing and disposing of hundreds of tons of poultry waste on land within its most precious watershed.

Oklahoma did not get what it wanted but is among hundreds of parties who still must monitor the case, which after all this time has yet to be dismissed.

Known as the “Bus Loads of Lawyers” case when it went to trial from 2007 to 2010, Oklahoma v. Tyson Foods et al. has remained alive in the federal district courts longer than almost any case. Its docket runs 430 pages and serves as a directory of attorneys representing the poultry industry and water quality interests.

It is seen not … Read more

Ag Secretary Vilsack, Food Safety Deputy Eskin in court defense of new hog inspection program

On the same day that a federal judge in Minnesota issued an order slowing line speeds under the New Swine Inspection Program, attorneys for USDA in California filed a cutting 45-page answer to an amended complaint by other plaintiffs also wishing to bring down the program.

Filed in U.S District Court for the Northern District of California, USDA responded for Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin.

“At the outset, defendants object to plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint for failing to set forth a short and plain statement of the claims showing that plaintiffs are entitled to relief, as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2).

“Plaintiffs have set forth 369 numbered paragraphs spanning 76 pages, which, to a large extent, do not contain allegations of fact. Rather, they set forth legal argument and rhetoric unnecessary and inappropriate for a complaint.

“Defendants are … Read more

Researchers say zero risk not possible in food safety

There is no such thing as zero risk when it comes to food safety, according to researchers.

Consumers, industry and governments typically desire foods that are free of any risk but scientists said zero risk is unattainable in food production regardless of the severity of inactivation treatments or stringency of sampling programs.

Risk-based approaches such as Microbial Risk Assessment (MRA) are increasingly used to manage food safety hazards, evaluate risks and identify control strategies that reduce risks to an acceptable level.

Researchers Marcel Zwietering, Alberto Garre, Martin Wiedmann and Robert Buchanan presented the study, published in Current Opinion in Food Science, at IAFP Europe.

They defined residual risk as what remains even after a fully compliant food safety system has been implemented. Every product has a residual risk but severity varies because it depends on a variety of factors such as the perspective or consequences.

Traditional sampling limitations
Researchers said … Read more