FoodHACCP Newsletter



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05/11. QA Supervisor - Petaluma, CA
05/11. Quality Assurance Manager - New Haven, CT
05/11. QA Supervisor - Food Mfg - Nashville, TN
05/09. Spec 3, QA & Food Safety - New Albany, OH
05/09. Bilingual Food Safety Spec – Houston, TX
05/09. Manager, SQF HACCP - Cincinnati, OH
05/07. QA/QC Manager - Menomonie, WI
05/07. Food Safety & Brand Std Spec – Redwood C, CA
05/07. Food Safety & Quality Professional – Nampa, ID

05/14 2018 ISSUE:808

 

Food safety: can you trust the five second rule?
Source : https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/food-safety-can-you-trust-the-five-second-rule
By
Can you tell if food is off just by smelling it? CSIRO food safety specialist Cathy Moir debunks some kitchen myths.
There are many rules in food safety lore, some that have a basis in fact, and some that are purely grounded in convenience. But it’s important to look at the evidence to see which category common rules fall under.
1. The ‘sniff’ test
Often when a food has spoiled, it will smell bad. This leads many to believe “no stench = OK to eat”. But this isn’t always the case. The microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and moulds) that spoil food by making it smelly, slimy or mouldy might not give you food poisoning.
But pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, such as salmonella, campylobacter, E.coli and listeria, which do make people sick, don’t always cause obvious changes in food when they grow. Sometimes simply being present at low numbers and then consumed is enough to result in illness.
Having said that, this isn’t an invitation to consume obviously spoiled food. Spoilage is a good indicator food has been left too long and “bad” microorganisms, including pathogens, may also have grown.
In order to steer clear of nasty bugs in food, observe “use by” dates, refrigerate foods that need to be kept cold (this slows down the microbes), cook foods properly (this kills the microbes) and prevent contact and cross contamination between ready-to-eat foods such as salads, with raw food such as meat that still needs to be cooked.
2. The ‘five second’ rule
Whether it’s one, three, five seconds or some other number, we’ve all heard some version of this call when someone has dropped food on the floor. But is it true harmful bacteria need a few seconds to hitch a ride on your dropped slice of pizza?
In one peer-reviewed study, four food types were tested (watermelon, bread, bread and butter, and gummy sweets) with four different surfaces (stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet) that were contaminated with bacteria. Contact time, food type and surface all significantly affected the amount of contamination that occurred. The study found:
time is not necessarily of the essence as microorganisms from one surface can instantaneously contaminate another. But it’s true the longer contact time the more contamination can occur
higher moisture foods (such as watermelon) allowed transfer of more microorganisms compared to the other foods. The gummy sweets, which are likely to have the driest surface, showed the weakest transfer of bacteria from the contact surface
the weakest microbial transfer occurred when food was dropped on to carpet compared to stainless steel, and tile in particular. The authors hypothesised bacteria attaches better to carpet as it’s more absorbent, meaning it’s less likely to transfer to the food.
While it’s true dropped food can become contaminated with microorganisms from the floor or environment, the majority of those microorganisms in a normal home are likely to be harmless to human health.
3. Rare meat
When cooking and reheating meat, there are some simple rules to follow. Whole pieces of meat muscle such as steak, pork and lamb can be cooked on the outside, say barbequed or pan fried, so they’re still rare on the inside.
Historically, under-cooked pork has been feared due to a parasitic worm, but this has never been seen in Australian pigs.
Poultry and all minced, rolled, stuffed, tenderised and similar types of meat (including burgers) need to be cooked right through. This difference relates to where microorganisms are found on the meat.
We know microorganisms live on the surface of raw meat because animals naturally harbour microorganisms. That’s why just cooking the surface of a whole piece of muscle meat is sufficient (excluding poultry), because that will kill any potentially harmful bacteria.
When that meat is minced, rolled, stuffed, mechanically tenderised or turned into patties or sausages, the surface of the meat and what it’s carrying is then mixed through the whole product. It’s also possible for chicken tissue to be colonised by bacteria (which just doesn’t happen with other animal meat types). That’s why these types of meat products need to be cooked through to the centre.
The best way to tell if meat is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. These can be purchased from homeware and hardware stores. Poultry and minced, rolled, stuffed, tenderised meats need to be cooked right through and to a temperature of 75°C. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. If you don’t have a thermometer, check the juices run clear and not pink.
This article was originally published on The Conversation and is republished here with permission. Read the original article.

Weighty issues on dog food safety
Source : https://www.news-medical.net/news/20180513/Weighty-issues-on-dog-food-safety.aspx/
By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD (May 13, 2018)
People are becoming more aware of what they put into their mouths and shifting from processed foods to natural and home-made foods. As for themselves they are more inclined to give their pet dogs these natural foods as well and are leaning towards a “raw meat” diet. These are often combined with pre-prepared foods that can be easily frozen and reheated for convenience.
There is a new study that raises concerns over these raw meat based diets for dogs warning against parasitic and bacterial infections that could be acquired from these foods. The researchers state that there is little evidence that these raw meat based diets are better than processed dog foods. There are concerns about the adequacy of nutrition provided by these foods and diets compared to traditional processed diets. They explain that these domesticated dogs have evolved from their wild ancestors and so have their digestion. While earlier their digestive systems could survive of discarded foods and wastes from human settlements, these modern human companions cannot. Homemade foods, scraps off the table, as well as raw meat, were good and healthy enough for dogs then. Now however pet foods are made in specific manner to include the nutrients that the dog needs for growth and health.
In a recent study that appeared in the journal Veterinary Record, where the team of researchers looked at 35 samples of frozen raw meat products from eight different brands. Among these they noted bacteria such as E. coli in 28 samples, Listeria monocytogenes in 19 samples and Salmonella species in seven samples. They also noted parasites among several samples that were tested. There have been reports of similar kind when samples were analyzed in other countries such as Canada and New Zealand and in North America.
Researchers add that there are no studies that compare the safety of these brands with raw meat from the butchers. They noted that while many of these bacteria cannot cause illness or infection in the dogs that consume them, the dogs can act as carriers of these bacteria and pass them on to their human companions. They add that these bacteria that are found in the food samples are often resistant to traditional antibiotics. This can be a significant worry both for the pets as well as for the human companions of the pets. These infections would be difficult to treat they explain.
The experts warn that same standards of storage and safety as is observed for human foods need to be observed for pet foods. This includes washing hands and surfaces on which food is prepared and served thoroughly and freeze and store foods correctly. Foods should be separately stored and prepared to avoid cross contamination. All frozen foods should be defrosted within the fridge at the lower shelves they add. Pet food plates and bowls too need special care. These precautions would help prevent infections among the pets and in turn prevent their spread to the humans. Bacteria and parasites can also spread via toys, floor and surfaces.

Food safety during power outages, floods
Source : http://www.journalreview.com/news/life/health/article_af027b02-53a7-11e8-8f48-bfbe677bc723.html
By (May 10, 2018)
Every day, we practice safe food handling by storing our foods in refrigerators and freezers at safe temperatures. This daily routine can quickly become more difficult when extreme weather hits. Floods and power outages can threaten the safety of your food; however, knowing how to tell if your food is safe and the steps you can take to keep it safe before, during, and after an extreme weather event can help to prevent foodborne illness and the loss of food.
Before a Potential Power Outage
• Keep an appliance thermometer in your refrigerator and freezer
• Freeze refrigerated items
• Group food together in the freezer (it will stay frozen longer)
• Have coolers on hand
• Purchase or make ice cubes and/or freeze containers of water to use in the refrigerator, freezer and coolers
• Know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased
• Keep a few days’ worth of ready-to-eat foods that do not have to be cooked or cooled
• Purchase bottled water
During a Power Outage
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible
• If the power outage exceeds 48 hours, use dry ice in freezer and/coolers
After Power is Restored
• Never taste food items for safety
• Discard refrigerated food items if they were stored above 40 degrees for over 2 hours
Items that should be discarded include:
• Milk, cream, and soft cheeses
• Leftovers
• Lunch meats and hot dogs
• Pies and pastries
• Cookie dough
• Cut melons
• Cooked vegetables
• Frozen food items can be refrozen if ice crystals are still present or if the temperature is under 40 degrees
• When in doubt, throw it out!
Food Safety and Flooding
• If possible, before flooding occurs, raise refrigeration and freezing units off the floor by placing blocks under the corners
• Do not consume any foods that came into contact with flood waters
• Consume bottled water if available, otherwise boil water for use
• Discard any foods not in a waterproof container including damaged cans
• Wash and sanitize all countertops and other food surfaces
• Wash and sanitize all dishes, silverware and pots and pans before use
• Wash and sanitize undamaged cans and remove all paper labels before opening for use
• Flooded wells should be tested and disinfected if needed. If you suspect your well has been contaminated by flood waters, call the Montgomery County Health Department
• Discard refrigerators and freezers if they were exposed to flood waters
More information on food safety can be found on the FSIS website. If you have any questions regarding this information or are experiencing a power outage or flood and have any concerns you can call the Montgomery County Health Department.

 

 


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Number of States Affected by Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Eclipses 2006 Spinach Outbreak Record
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/number-of-states-affected-by-romaine-lettuce-outbreak-eclipses-2006-spinach-outbreak-record/
By Staff (May 10, 2018)
Number of States Affected by Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Eclipses 2006 Spinach Outbreak Record
On May 9, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shared its latest update on the romaine lettuce outbreak, adding additional victims and states to the existing list.
To date, the case count has risen to 149 sick individuals in 29 states. Sixty-four people have been hospitalized and one person in California has died. No recalls have been issued in direct connection to the Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak.
This current outbreak has officially outpaced that of the 2006 E. coli outbreak linked to fresh spinach. That outbreak led to three deaths and sickened 199 people in 26 states, according to CDC’s final update dated October 6, 2006. Thus far, the current romaine lettuce outbreak has affected 29 states.
As previously reported, data indicates that the contaminated romaine lettuce originated from the Yuma, AZ, growing region. Also, the outbreak that has taken place in an Alaska correctional facility has been linked to Yuma-based Harrison Farms. However, FDA has not associated that farm with the rest of the multistate outbreak affecting 28 other states.
CDC believes that the outbreak may continue because of the time between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported to CDC.
Consumers are still being advised not to eat or buy romaine lettuce unless you can confirm that it did not come from the Yuma growing region. Restaurants and retailers are also instructed not to sell or serve romaine lettuce, and to check with their suppliers regarding where their romaine lettuce is sourced. CDC’s warning applies to whole heads and hearts of romaine, chopped romaine, baby romaine, organic romaine, and salads and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce. If you are unsure what type of lettuce is in your possession, it is best to throw it away.

Food safety: are the sniff test, the five-second rule and rare burgers safe?
Source : http://theconversation.com/food-safety-are-the-sniff-test-the-five-second-rule-and-rare-burgers-safe-92661
By theconversation.com (May 10, 2018)
There are many rules in food safety lore, some that have a basis in fact, and some that are purely grounded in convenience. But it’s important to look at the evidence to see which category common rules fall under.
1. The ‘sniff’ test
Often when a food has spoiled, it will smell bad. This leads many to believe “no stench = OK to eat”. But this isn’t always the case. The microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and moulds) that spoil food by making it smelly, slimy or mouldy might not give you food poisoning.
But pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, such as salmonella, campylobacter, E.coli and listeria, which do make people sick, don’t always cause obvious changes in food when they grow. Sometimes simply being present at low numbers and then consumed is enough to result in illness.
Read more:  You _can_ thaw and refreeze meat: five food safety myths busted
Having said that, this isn’t an invitation to consume obviously spoiled food. Spoilage is a good indicator food has been left too long and “bad” microorganisms, including pathogens, may also have grown.
In order to steer clear of nasty bugs in food, observe “use by” dates, refrigerate foods that need to be kept cold (this slows down the microbes), cook foods properly (this kills the microbes) and prevent contact and cross contamination between ready-to-eat foods such as salads, with raw food such as meat that still needs to be cooked.
2. The ‘five second’ rule
Whether it’s one, three, five seconds or some other number, we’ve all heard some version of this call when someone has dropped food on the floor. But is it true harmful bacteria need a few seconds to hitch a ride on your dropped slice of pizza?
In one peer-reviewed study, four food types were tested (watermelon, bread, bread and butter, and gummy sweets) with four different surfaces (stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet) that were contaminated with bacteria. Contact time, food type and surface all significantly affected the amount of contamination that occurred. The study found: time is not necessarily of the essence as microorganisms from one surface can instantaneously contaminate another. But it’s true the longer contact time the more contamination can occur higher moisture foods (such as watermelon) allowed transfer of more microorganisms compared to the other foods. The gummy sweets, which are likely to have the driest surface, showed the weakest transfer of bacteria from the contact surface the weakest microbial transfer occurred when food was dropped on to carpet compared to stainless steel, and tile in particular. The authors hypothesised bacteria attaches better to carpet as it’s more absorbent, meaning it’s less likely to transfer to the food.
While it’s true dropped food can become contaminated with microorganisms from the floor or environment, the majority of those microorganisms in a normal home are likely to be harmless to human health.
3. Rare meat
When cooking and reheating meat, there are some simple rules to follow. Whole pieces of meat muscle such as steak, pork and lamb can be cooked on the outside, say barbequed or pan fried, so they’re still rare on the inside.
Historically, under-cooked pork has been feared due to a parasitic worm, but this has never been seen in Australian pigs.
Poultry and all minced, rolled, stuffed, tenderised and similar types of meat (including burgers) need to be cooked right through. This difference relates to where microorganisms are found on the meat.
We know microorganisms live on the surface of raw meat because animals naturally harbour microorganisms. That’s why just cooking the surface of a whole piece of muscle meat is sufficient (excluding poultry), because that will kill any potentially harmful bacteria.
When that meat is minced, rolled, stuffed, mechanically tenderised or turned into patties or sausages, the surface of the meat and what it’s carrying is then mixed through the whole product. It’s also possible for chicken tissue to be colonised by bacteria (which just doesn’t happen with other animal meat types). That’s why these types of meat products need to be cooked through to the centre.
The best way to tell if meat is cooked is to use a meat thermometer. These can be purchased from homeware and hardware stores. Poultry and minced, rolled, stuffed, tenderised meats need to be cooked right through and to a temperature of 75°C. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. If you don’t have a thermometer, check the juices run clear and not pink.

A Simple Way for Restaurant Inspectors to Improve Food Safety
Source : https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/a-simple-way-for-restaurant-inspectors-to-improve-food-safety
By Carmen Nobel (May 9, 2018)
Basic tweaks to the schedules of food safety inspectors could prevent millions of foodborne illnesses, according to new behavioral science research by Maria Ibáñez and Michael Toffel.
Simple tweaks to the schedules of food safety inspectors could result in hundreds of thousands of currently overlooked violations being discovered and cited across the United States every year, according to new research about how scheduling affects worker behavior.
The potential result: Americans could avoid 19 million foodborne illnesses, nearly 51,000 hospitalizations, and billions of dollars of related medical costs.
Government health officers routinely drop in to inspect restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and other food-handling establishments, checking whether they adhere to public health regulations. The rules are strict. Food businesses where serious violations are found must clean up their acts quickly or risk being shut down.
Yet each year some 48 million Americans get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die due to foodborne illnesses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research is detailed in the paper “How Scheduling Can Bias Quality Assessment: Evidence from Food Safety Inspections,” co-written by Maria Ibáñez, a doctoral student in the Technology and Operations Management Unit at Harvard Business School, and Mike Toffel, the Senator John Heinz Professor of Environmental Management at HBS, experts in scheduling and in inspections, respectively.
“THE MORE INSPECTIONS YOU HAVE DONE EARLIER IN THE DAY, THE MORE TIRED YOU’RE GOING TO BE AND THE LESS ENERGY YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO DISCOVER VIOLATIONS”
“This study brought together Maria’s interest in how scheduling affects workers’ behavior and how that affects quality or productivity, and my interest in studying the effectiveness of inspections of global supply chains and of factories in the US,” Toffel says.
Timing is everything
Previous research (pdf) showed that the accuracy of third-party audits is affected by factors such as the inspector’s gender and work experience. Ibáñez and Toffel wanted to look at the effect of scheduling because it’s relatively easy for organizations to fix those problems.
The researchers studied a sampling of data from Hazel Analytics, which gathers food safety inspections from local governments across the United States. The sample included information on 12,017 inspections by 86 inspectors over several years; the inspected establishments included 3,399 restaurants, grocers, and schools in Alaska, Illinois, and New Jersey. The information contained names of the inspectors and establishments inspected, date and time of the inspection, and violations recorded.
In addition to studying quantitative data, Ibáñez spent several weeks accompanying food safety inspectors on their daily rounds. This allowed her to see firsthand how seriously inspectors took their jobs, how they made decisions, and the challenges they faced in the course of their workdays. “I’m impressed with inspectors,” she says. “They are the most dedicated people in the world.”
Undetected violations
Analyzing the food safety inspection records, the researchers found significant inconsistencies. Underreporting violations causes health risks, and also unfairly provides some establishments with better inspection scores than they deserve. According to the data, inspectors found an average 2.4 violations per inspection. Thus, citing just one fewer or one more violation can lead to a 42 percent decrease or increase from the average—and great potential for unfair assessments across the food industry, where establishments are judged on their safety records by consumers and inspectors alike.
On average, inspectors cited fewer violations at each successive establishment inspected throughout the day, the researchers found. In other words, inspectors tended to find and report the most violations at the first place they inspected and the fewest violations at the last place.
The researchers chalked this up to gradual workday fatigue; it takes effort to notice and document violations and communicate (and sometimes defend) them to an establishment’s personnel.
“The more inspections you have done earlier in the day, the more tired you’re going to be and the less energy you’re going to have to discover violations,” Ibáñez says.
They also found that when conducting an inspection risked making the inspector work later than usual, the inspection was conducted more quickly and fewer violations were cited. “This seems to indicate that when inspectors work late, they are more prone to rush a bit and not be as meticulous,” Toffel says.
The level of inspector scrutiny also depended on whatever had been found at the prior inspection that day. In short, finding more violations than usual at one place seemed to induce the inspectors to exhibit more scrutiny at the subsequent place.
“THIS SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT WHEN INSPECTORS WORK LATE, THEY ARE MORE PRONE TO RUSH A BIT AND NOT BE AS METICULOUS”
For example, say an inspector is scheduled to inspect a McDonald’s restaurant and then a Whole Foods grocer. Suppose McDonald’s had two violations the last time it was inspected. If the inspector now visits that McDonald’s and finds five or six violations, the inspector is likely to be particularly meticulous at the Whole Foods next on the schedule, reporting more violations than she otherwise would.
That behavior may be because inspectors put much effort into helping establishments learn the rules, create good habits, and improve food safety practices.
 “It can be frustrating when establishments neglect these safety practices, which increases the risk of consumers getting sick,” Ibáñez says. “When inspectors discover that a place has deteriorated a lot, they’re disappointed that their message isn’t getting through, and because it poses a dangerous situation for public health.”
On the other hand, finding fewer violations than usual at one site had no apparent effect on what the inspector uncovered at the subsequent establishment. “When they find that places have improved a lot since their last inspection, they just move on without letting that affect their next inspection.”
Changes could improve public safety
The public health stakes are high for these types of errors in food safety inspections. The researchers estimate that tens of thousands of Americans could avoid food poisoning each year simply by reducing the number of establishments an inspector visits on a single day. Often, inspectors will cluster their schedule to conduct inspections on two or three days each week, saving the other days for administrative duties in the office. While this may save travel time and costs, it might be preventing inspectors from doing their jobs more effectively.
One possible remedy: Managers could impose a cap on the maximum number of inspections per day, and rearrange schedules to disperse inspections throughout the week—a maximum of one or two each day rather than three or four.
In addition, inspectors could plan early-in-the-day visits to the highest-risk facilities, such as elementary school cafeterias or assisted-living facilities, where residents are more vulnerable to the perils of foodborne illnesses than the general public.
On the plus side, tens of thousands of hospital bills are likely avoided every year, thanks to inspectors inadvertently applying more scrutiny after an unexpectedly unhygienic encounter at their previous inspection.
“Different scheduling regimes, new training, or better awareness could raise inspectors’ detection to the levels seen after they observe poor hygiene, which would reduce errors even more and result in more violations being detected, cited and corrected,” Ibáñez says.
The authors estimate that, if the daily schedule effects that erode an inspector’s scrutiny were eliminated and the establishment spillover effects that increase scrutiny were amplified by 100 percent, inspectors would detect many violations that are currently overlooked, citing 9.9 percent more violations.
“Scaled nationwide, this would result in 240,999 additional violations being cited annually, which would in turn yield 50,911 fewer foodborne illness-related hospitalizations and 19.01 million fewer foodborne illness cases per year, reducing annual foodborne illness costs by $14.20 billion to $30.91 billion,” the authors write.
Lessons for inspections
While the study focuses on food safety inspections, it offers broad lessons for any manager who has to manage or deal with inspections.
“One implication is that bias issues will arise, so take them into account as you look at the inspection reports as data,” Ibáñez says. “And another is that we should try to correct them. We should be mindful about the factors that may bias our decisions, and we should proactively change the system so that we naturally make better decisions.”
Related Reading:
Regulators Ease Up on Companies Generating Political Benefits
Food Safety Economics: The Cost of a Sick Customer
10 Harvard Business School Research Stories That Will Make Your Mouth Water
What do you think of this research?
Should regulators reconsider how they inspect restaurants? Share your insights below.

LUXTRUST LANDS FOOD SAFETY CONTRACT
Source : http://delano.lu/d/detail/news/luxtrust-lands-food-safety-contract/178590
By JESS BAULDRY (May 9, 2018)
Digital security service Luxtrust is to provide electronic signature recognition services to the European Commission’s health and food safety directorate.
The contract means Luxtrust will be responsible for providing services which verify users of the digitalised certification process related to the import of animals, semen and embryo, food, feed and plants.
The system, dubbed Traces (trade control and expert system), ensures the exchange of information between all involved parties and monitoring bodies from 80 countries. Luxtrust will provide services for the recognition of electronic signatures making the sanitary certification process paperless and fully compliant.
2017 financial results
On Tuesday, Luxtrust also announced a 10% increase in its annual turnover for 2017 at €10.7 million, up from €10 million in 2016. The firm, which employs 50 staff, won several international contracts in 2017, in addition to the Traces deal.
Further changes are afoot in 2018, with the planned roll out in May of a new mobile phone application, a signature platform for individuals and companies and new management confidence services related to the transfer of personal data within the framework of GDPR.

Turkey Farmers of Canada recognized for on-farm food safety
Source : https://www.manitobacooperator.ca/livestock/turkey-farmers-of-canada-recognized-for-on-farm-food-safety/
By Alex Binkley (May 9, 2018)
It’s the fourth group to be fully approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Turkey Farmers of Canada (TFC) has become the fourth commodity group to receive full recognition for its on-farm food safety program from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Chicken Farmers of Canada, Dairy Farmers of Canada and CanadaGAP on behalf of fruit and vegetable producers have already received the designation.
“This recognition represents the culmination of the work of the TFC board of directors, the boards of directors in the TFC eight member provinces across the country, and Canadian turkey farmers,” said Darren Ference, TFC chair.
“Consumers can trust that our high-quality Canadian turkey is produced through stringent standards,” he said. “Our systemic and preventive approach to food safety is based on internationally accepted standards and conforms to federal, provincial and territorial legislation, policy and protocols.”

CFIA said, “In completing the recognition process, the TFC has demonstrated a strong ongoing commitment to working with federal and provincial governments to produce the safest, highest-quality turkey products possible.”
Twelve other commodity groups include cattle, pork, eggs, veal, sheep and honey as well as the Canada Grains Council and the Canadian Trucking Alliance are working on achieving full compliance under the program. The program’s goal is safeguarding Canada’s food supply while continuing to boost consumer confidence and international acceptance of Canadian products.
CFIA said the recognition serves as a formal declaration that the TFC on-farm food safety program is “technically sound in that it promotes the production of safe food at the farm level and adheres to Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles.
“It also supports the effective implementation, administration, delivery and maintenance of this technically sound food safety program,” CFIA said. “This recognition is important to turkey farmers, because more than ever, consumers want to know how their food is produced,” said Ference. “We’re proud to demonstrate our high standards.”
CanadaGAP received its designation last September for demonstrating the more than 3,000 companies in the horticulture sector registered with the organization had implemented effective preventive controls, including requirements for growing, harvesting and packing fresh produce for interprovincial trade or export.
“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is proud to be working side by side with industry partners to enhance food safety for Canadian families from farm to fork,” said Lyzette Lamondin, CFIA’s executive director, food safety and consumer protection.

Hepatitis A outbreak definitely involves mainstream population
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/05/hepatitis-a-outbreak-definitely-involves-mainstream-population/#.WvpszoiFOUl
BY CATHARINE HUDDLE (May 7, 2018)
Editor’s note: This is the main story of a two-piece news package we are presenting today. The companion story includes additional information about Hepatitis A and a state-by-state breakdown of Hepatitis A cases. Most case counts in both stories are as of April 30. However, some of the main outbreak states have since updated their counts, which are reflected in this news story but not on accompanying maps.
In recent months, these headlines popped up in a Google search for “Hepatitis A Outbreak” — “KY hepatitis A outbreak kills 3 people, hospitalizes hundreds” “20th death reported in San Diego’s hepatitis A outbreak” “Michigan posts 25th hepatitis A death.”
And on May 4, the Indiana State Department of Health posted an outbreak update reporting 91 confirmed cases, with a 48 percent hospitalization rate. States with outbreak cases are using different starting dates for their outbreaks. Indiana started counting outbreak cases in November 2017. The state usually averages 20 cases per year.
Hepatitis A is most commonly spread when a person eats or drinks something contaminated with microscopic traces of fecal matter from an infected person, according to the Mayo Clinic. It does not spread through sneezing or coughing.
The genotype of some cases in Indiana matches that responsible for the ongoing outbreaks in Arizona, Kentucky, California, Michigan and Utah, the Indiana health department reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the multi-state outbreak in March 2017. Since then, at least 1,200 cases have been reported, and more than 40 people have died of the highly contagious liver infection. The federal agency is no longer posting information on a regular basis, instead leaving outbreak updates to individual states.
Food Safety News surveyed all 50 states in recent weeks about their Hepatitis A cases. At least 14 reported increases in their number of Hepatitis A cases during the outbreak period, when compared to their usual average annual case counts.
While officials are pointing primarily to cases among people who are homeless and/or substance abusers and their close direct contacts. However, there are increasing reports of infected people who are neither homeless nor substance abusers.
More cases of the highly contagious virus are also being confirmed in foodservice employees in the outbreak states. Public health officials warn that large numbers of people can be exposed to the virus by foodservice workers. People are usually contagious before their symptoms, further increasing the danger of spreading the virus to others.
What is it and what are the consequences
“Hepatitis A, if it doesn’t kill you initially, you will recover,” said Seattle food safety attorney Bill Marler. “But it does have a pretty significant morbidity rate and it does have a pretty significant rate of people whose livers fail and who need a transplant.”
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route or consumption of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection.
Most adults with Hepatitis A have symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice. For otherwise healthy adults, most symptoms usually resolve within a couple of months. Most children younger than 6 do not have symptoms or have an unrecognized infection. The best way to prevent Hepatitis A infection is to get vaccinated.
The vaccination is a two-injection treatment with the shots given six months apart.  Getting a vaccine or an injection of the antibody immunoglobulin within two weeks of exposure to Hepatitis A can protect against the infection.
For elderly people, pregnant women and people with suppressed immune systems, Hepatitis A can be life-changing.
“Even people who are modestly sick will feel like they have the worst case of the flu for about a month — that’s kind of a minimum,” Marler said. “The liver is a hugely important part of your body, and when your liver’s off you feel horrible.”
The virus is endemic in many parts of the world, often infecting people through the water. Antibodies produced in response to the infection last for life and protect against reinfection, so the people who live in places where it is common often have that lifetime protection and don’t need to be vaccinated.
But in the United States, most people are not immune — hence the outbreak sweeping the nation.
The states named by the CDC in the outbreak, with case counts tabulated by the states’ public health officials are:
• California, which had 919 cases in 2017.
• Indiana, which had 20 cases in 2017 and 71 so far this year.
• Kentucky, with 448 cases since August 2017, including 315 hospitalizations and four deaths. The most recent death was reported this past week.
• Michigan, with 828 cases, 665 hospitalizations and 26 deaths since the outbreak was declared there in August 2016.
• Utah, 149 cases in 2017 and 82 so far this year, with two deaths.
In addition, public health officials in Hawaii, Idaho, New York, Rhode Island, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Maryland say cases in those states are or could be linked to outbreaks elsewhere, according to a survey responses provided to Food Safety News.
Missouri reported 27 cases in 2017 and 73 so far this year. Officials there say the cases are the result of an outbreak there and said none of the people affected reported traveling to states with ongoing outbreaks during their likely period of exposure.
Officials don’t know where or exactly when the outbreak started. They haven’t found what Marler calls an index case, or the first illness. They know many cases in different states are part of one outbreak because samples from infected people have undergone whole genome sequencing and they have the same genetic fingerprint.
The start could have come from an unvaccinated person who traveled to a country or area where the virus is endemic, or someone who ate, say, imported frozen sushi or strawberries that carried the virus.
In recent days, Indiana public health officials warned that people going to Kentucky should be vaccinated. Kentucky health officials, meanwhile, insist it’s safe to come to their state.
“I don’t remember any other time where people were warned about going to another state,” Marler said. “A lot of states and cities – Detroit, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Louisville – are (encouraging) foodservice workers to get vaccinated. … That just makes sense.”
While the CDC in 2006 urged that all 1- to 2-year-old children should be vaccinated, it has not taken the step of requiring foodservice workers to get the vaccine.
In response to the ongoing outbreak, Kentucky has enacted a requirement that all children, regardless of age, who attend public school must be vaccinated before the 2018-19 school year begins.
The current outbreak has been spreading quickly through the homeless population, in part because people who are homeless often don’t have access to restrooms and hand-washing facilities. It’s also prevalent among people who share needles when using illegal drugs. Other groups at risk are men who have sex with men and people who travel to places where the virus is endemic.
The Mayo Clinic offers these suggestions to people traveling to such places:
• Wash and peel all fresh fruits and vegetables yourself.
• Don’t eat raw or undercooked meat and fish.
• Drink bottled water and use it when brushing your teeth.
• Avoid all beverages of unknown purity, with or without ice.
• If bottled water isn’t available, boil tap water before drinking it.
Hepatitis A signs and symptoms typically don’t appear until a person has had the virus for a few weeks. They include fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the upper right side between the lower ribs near the liver, clay-colored bowel movements, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, dark urine, joint pain, yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes and intense itching.
People who have such signs or symptoms should see a doctor.
In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause a sudden loss of liver function, especially in older adults or people with chronic liver diseases. Acute liver failure requires a stay in the hospital for monitoring and treatment. Some people with acute liver failure may need a liver transplant.

Thermal Inactivation of Wine Spoilage Yeasts to Validate Steam Sanitation Protocols in Wineries
Source : https://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/aprilmay-2018/thermal-inactivation-of-wine-spoilage-yeasts-to-validate-steam-sanitation-protocols-in-wineries/
By Aguilar Solis Maria de Lourdes Alejandra, Ph.D., David M. Gadoury, Ph.D., and Randy W. Worobo, Ph.D.
Several microbial contaminants appear to survive on walls and other interior surfaces of wineries, including those of presses and fermentation tanks, and within wooden barrels.[1] Bulk and bottled wines are often spoiled by fermentative species of Zygosaccharomyces, Dekkera (anamorph Brettanomyces), Saccharomyces, and Saccharomycodes. Dekkera/Brettanomyces is associated with the production of unpleasant medicinal taints, due to its production of tetrahydropyridines and volatile phenolic substances.[2] D./B. bruxellensis, Zygosaccharomyces bailii and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are spoilage yeasts. However, S. cerevisiae appears to be more problematic than indicated, as some strains isolated from dry white wines seem to be more of a potential spoilage yeast than Z. bailii, due to its sorbic acid and sulfite tolerance at high ethanol levels.[3] Both Z. bailii and S. cerevisiae can grow at low pH in the presence of acid concentrations near the legal limits.[4]
Management of these types of spoilage organisms is generally accomplished by following Good Manufacturing Practices and Good Hygiene Practices in the winery.[2] Wine cooperage, although useful for wine aging, has some disadvantages when sanitation must be performed, since the microporous structure of wood purportedly allows the penetration of microorganisms into the wood at depths that make their subsequent eradication a challenge, thereby increasing the risk of wine spoilage when cooperage is reused. Development of undesirable microbiota within cooperage may signi?cantly degrade wine, rendering both the wine and barrels unusable.[5] Certain spoilage microorganisms can survive within barrels, even under “starvation” conditions. In fact, D./B. bruxellensis can survive within the porous wood structures of barrels not filled with wine for weeks or months. Brettanomyces has been isolated from used barrels in the Finger Lakes wine region of New York.[6] Since wood is porous and a source of wood sugars, barrels are difficult to clean and sanitize, and are vectors for Brettanomyces contamination.[7,8]
While the sanitation methods used in wineries are effective on surfaces such as stainless steel, plastic, and glass, sterilization of wood surfaces has proven more difficult. Steam sanitation of wood is a standard method used for wine cooperage. However, the temperatures required to inactivate spoilage microorganisms, and the times required to reach these temperatures within the wood, are poorly understood. Heat and mass transfer in capillary porous materials such as wood has been discussed previously,[9] particularly in regard to the thermal conductivity of wooden materials and the development of thermal inactivation regimes.
Wood is a natural polymer of complex chemical composition and microstructure.[10] Its hygroscopic and porous medium results in heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation.[11] Various methods of heat sterilization of wood are currently under investigation as means of killing exotic insects or pathogens within imported goods. One factor being studied is the amount of time (D) required to heat wood of various cross-sectional sizes and configurations to a temperature that will kill 90 percent of the insects or pathogens.[12,13] The value of D is then used as a predictor of responses beyond the data to estimate the time required for disinfection (10-3 CFU/mL) or sterilization (10-6 CFU/mL).[14] The underlying assumption when utilizing this measure is that the relationship between the log10 number of survivors and time is linear.[14] If the logarithms of the D-values obtained at various temperatures are plotted against temperature, and the best straight line is drawn through the points, the reciprocal of the slope of this line is the value of z: the number of degrees by which the temperature has to be raised or lowered to bring about 90 percent reduction or tenfold increase in D.[13] In our research, steam treatment of barrels was used as a validation method after having obtained D- and z-values for different species of spoilage yeasts. The validation method was achieved in naturally contaminated barrels where we measured the temperatures reached at different times and depths of the staves. The understanding of temperature changes and times needed to achieve the sanitation as depth is increased, together with D- and z-values, will be useful to understand what parameters should be used when steam is the preferred sanitation method for wine cooperage.
Materials and Methods
Microorganisms
D./B. bruxellensis isolates (CE261, CE149), S. cerevisiae isolates (CE81, CE9, and CE78) and Z. bailii (4A1) were obtained from the Department of Food Science collection at Cornell University.   
In vitro experiments
The yeasts were stored at –80 °C in 15% (w/v) glycerol, revitalized, and maintained on YPD agar (Difco™, Sparks, MD). All strains were grown until stationary phase (growth under agitation at 200 rpm, 30 °C) in YPD broth. Once the cultures reached stationary phase, the target inocula were verified via a viable count and injected in sterile glass capillary tubes; groups of five tubes were sealed with a direct flame and put into tubes with water already tempered in a water bath at the temperatures used for this study. The capillary tubes were removed at different times, put into tubes with ethanol (70%) to decontaminate the exterior surface, and then left in ice until diluted to assess the residual microbial activity. The dilutions were plated on YPD agar and incubated at 30 °C for 48 to 72 hours for Z. bailii and S. cerevisiae, and up to 3 to 4 weeks for D./B. bruxellensis.
Microbiological enumeration for thermal inactivation
Plates were enumerated for total microbial counts. The counts were averaged and expressed in logs. The log reduction was then calculated for each strain and expressed in logs. Each experiment was performed until the best linear correlation coefficients were obtained (r2 = 0.9).
Microbiological enumeration from barrels
The samples were analyzed to determine the initial and final Dekkera/Brettanomyces populations and general yeast populations, either by filtration (EZ-Fit™ manifold; EMD Millipore, Billerica, MA) using 0.22-µm disks and/or pertinent dilutions of the samples, since the microbial loads differed for each barrel. If samples required dilution, 0.1% (w/v) buffered peptone water (Hardy Diagnostics, Santa Maria, CA) was used.
For the filtration method, 0.22-µm nitrocellulose membranes (GE, Pittsburgh, PA) were used, the samples were filtered twice, and the results were averaged. The maximum volume filtered was 100 mL, and the results were calculated as CFU/100 mL and transformed into log10 values. The membranes were placed onto WLD and YPD agar using sterile forceps. WLD agar (Oxoid Ltd., Basingstoke, Hampshire, England) was used to detect D./B. bruxellensis after incubation at 30 °C for 3–4 weeks. WLD agar containing 10 mg/L cycloheximide (Sigma-Aldrich, St. Louis, MO) was used for the selection of D./B. bruxellensis (dissolved in 50% ethanol and filter-sterilized); 150 mg/L biphenyl (Acros Organics, Fair Lawn, NJ) were added to prevent the growth of mold (dissolved in ethanol and filter-sterilized); 30 mg/L chloramphenicol (MP Biomedicals LLC, Solon, OH) were added to prevent the growth of lactic acid bacteria (dissolved in 100% ethanol), and 25 mg/L kanamycin sulfate (AMRESCO, Solon, OH) were added to prevent the growth of acetic acid bacteria (dissolved in sterile distilled H2O). YPD agar was used to detect general yeast populations after incubation at 30 °C for 48 to 72 hours. YPD agar was supplemented with 150 mg/L biphenyl, 30 mg/L chloramphenicol, and 25 mg/L kanamycin sulfate for the same purposes described above.
Steam treatment of barrels
The 20 donated barrels used for this study were tested for the presence of` Dekkera/Brettanomyces as determined by the VINEO™ Brettanomytest PCR Kit (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA). These naturally contaminated barrels were treated with steam to reduce both D./B. bruxellensis and other general yeast populations that could be found there. The barrels were split in two groups of 10 barrels each and treated with steam for 5 and 10 minutes, respectively. Briefly, 7 L distilled water were added to the 20 barrels before the steam treatment. The barrels were rolled to enhance the contact between the water and the inner surface of the barrel and then stored, bung side up, for 24 hours and then sampled. Afterward, the steam treatment was achieved in a four-cabinet barrel washer (Tom Beard, Santa Rosa, CA) using a steam generator (ARS Enterprises, Santa Fe Springs, CA) with a pressure of 70 psi. The treatment was as follows: prerinsing for 30 seconds (cold rinsing) at a temperature of 15.5 °C; 5 or 10 minutes of steam; bunghole 5 minutes; and cold rinsing for 30 seconds at 15.5 °C. The temperature that was reached inside the staves of these barrels was monitored using four probes at two different depths (17 and 11 mm from the outside) and a data logger thermometer (Omega, Stamford, CT) that recorded the temperature at 1-second intervals, until 5 or 10 minutes were reached.
Sampling of barrels
Before and after the steam treatments, samples of water within the barrels were collected and placed in sterile bottles for microbiological enumeration. The water rather than the actual barrel surface was sampled to increase the probability of detecting contaminants. Before steam treatment, 7 L distilled water were placed in each barrel for 24 hours, and a fraction of the water was then collected in sterile containers. To collect the water, the bunghole was sprayed with 70% ethanol (before and after treatment), and the first fraction of water running out of the barrel was discarded. Then samples were taken from the middle portion of running water and placed at 4 °C until analysis was performed. The same procedure was followed to sample water within the barrel after steam treatment.
Statistical analysis
For the in vitro experiments, D-values were calculated as the negative reciprocal slope of the linear regression of survivor curves obtained by plotting logarithms of the survival counts versus time (minutes). Z-values were calculated using the negative reciprocal slope of the linear regression from the plots of the D-values versus temperatures. Only linear correlation coefficients of greater than or equal to 0.9 were used (r2 = 0.9).
For the reduction of Dekkera/Brettanomyces and general yeast populations in naturally contaminated barrels using steam, a Fisher’s exact test was performed to determine whether the two study groups (5 or 10 minutes) differed in the proportions of presence or absence of microorganisms. Statistical analyses were conducted using SigmaPlot 12.0 (Systat Software Inc., San Jose, CA).
Results and Discussion
The vegetative cells of yeasts possess low heat resistance. The medium or food in which the vegetative cells are heated has a marked effect on their resistance. For instance, sugars provide protection, as do sodium chloride and citric acid.[15] Three different genera of common wine spoilage yeasts were used for this study, where thermal inactivation was achieved in hot-water baths at different temperatures. The log reduction for the yeasts studied was not increased with increasing temperature as expected in all the cases (Table 1). D-values appeared to be unaffected in some cases due to the natural variation of the response variable. A line of best fit was selected as the simplified, but nonetheless statistically correct, method of representing the data for each yeast studied.[16] Although a log-linear relationship has been applied to thermal susceptibility determinations, the straight-line relationship in such cases is not always obtained. Clumping of cells, changes in resistance to heat during treatment, or inactivation of a number of essential loci all may cause deviations from expected responses.[17] Two strains of D./B. bruxellensis were challenged at different inactivation temperatures. The highest temperature that permitted the survival of these yeasts was 55 °C (131 °F) for CE261 (Figure 1) and 52.5 °C (126.5 °F) for CE149 (Figure 2, Table 1). The lowest temperature that was capable of inactivating both yeast strains was 45 °C (113 °F). With regards to the S. cerevisiae strains used in this study, the highest temperature that permitted survival was 60 °C (140 °F) by strain CE78 (Figure 3). The lowest temperature resulting in a reduction was 45 °C (113 °F) for strain CE9 (Figure 4, Table 1). For strain CE81 (Figure 5), the highest temperature permitting survival was 57.5 °C (135.5 °F). Finally, for Z. bailii (4A1) (Figure 6), the highest survival temperature was 57.5 °C (135.5 °F) and the lowest was 50 °C (122 °F) (Table 1).
The lowest and highest temperatures obtained from the in vitro experiments that permitted survival of the strains were useful to validate the steam sanitation protocols that we achieved in wine cooperage, where steam was applied for 5 and 10 minutes to two groups of 10 barrels each, and where the presence of Dekkera/Brettanomyces and general yeast populations was analyzed. The statistical analysis showed that for general yeast populations, the 5- and 10-minute treatments were not significantly different from what is expected from random occurrence (P = 1.000); this means that the proportions of presence or absence of microorganisms are the same in 5- or 10-minute treatment. Indeed, the majority of the barrels in both treatment times had total log reduction after treatment; a few barrels had reminiscent populations of general yeast populations (Table 2). For Dekkera/Brettanomyces populations, none of the posttreatment samples were positive, so no statistical analysis was run, since both 5- and 10-minute treatments had no detectable levels of microorganisms (Table 3). In other words, there is not sufficient variability in the response to conduct statistical analysis. Since after steam treatment there was no presence of colonies on the WLD media, no further PCR analysis was performed. We found that the use of 0.22-µm filtration, combined with selective media and a long incubation time, aided detection of Brettanomyces (unpublished data). According to Starbard,[18] the recommended pore size to remove Brettanomyces is 1 µm. In our study, we incubated for 3–4 weeks to confirm or eliminate its presence. Brettanomyces strains exposed to stresses such as sulfur dioxide or nutrient starvation often do not grow for 3 days or more. Small colonies may eventually appear after 1 week (unpublished data). The relatively long incubation period used in our study was used to accommodate the time required to detect trace levels of microbial contaminants after stress treatments that could result in delayed growth. The log reduction for Dekkera/Brettanomyces and general yeast populations was substantial in both treatment times (5 and 10 minutes). This could be due to several reasons, such as the highly variable initial yeast population in those barrels and the previous sanitation practices to which those barrels were exposed. Barrels used in our study came from various wineries without uniform use, cleaning, or sanitation.
The internal temperature inside the staves of these barrels was monitored by inserting temperature probes at two depths (17 and 11 mm from the outside; the equivalent 8 and 14 mm from the inside) and a USB data logger thermometer recorded the temperature at 1-second intervals, until 5 or 10 minutes were reached. Once the steam treatment was completed, a bung was immediately inserted to generate a vacuum, which assisted in additional extraction of debris from the interior of the barrel. The analysis of the internal temperature at different depths in the barrel staves revealed that the steam application is nonuniform, and the temperature profiles showed that probes located deeper within the staves reached much lower temperatures than that reported from the point most distal to the steam source, which should be 82 °C.[19,20] In fact, much lower temperatures than the one previously mentioned were registered when less time (5-minute treatment) and deeper depths (14 mm) were used. Moreover, even when 10-minute treatment was used, none of the temperatures were more than 57.5 °C (135.5 °F). However, in vitro thermal inactivation studies showed that the highest temperature that permitted the survival of D./B. bruxellensis strains, for instance, was 55 °C (131 °F) with a corresponding D-value of 0.22 minutes and a z-value of 6.55 °C (11.79 °F) (Table 1). Our results showed that 10 minutes of steam treatment were more consistent in reaching lethal temperatures in the interior of the staves than 5 minutes of steam treatment. In fact, the highest temperature reached at 8-mm stave depth after 5 minutes of steam treatment was 47.4 °C (117.32 °F); however, using a 14-mm depth and 5 minutes of steam treatment resulted in a maximum temperature of 42.4 °C (108.32 °F). Conversely, using a 10-minute steam treatment and a depth of 8 mm, the highest temperature consistently reached was 57.5 °C (135.5 °F). Using 10 minutes and 14-mm depths, 42.5 °C (108.5 °F) was the highest temperature reached. These findings suggest that a minimum of 10-minute steam treatment is necessary to reach temperatures capable of killing harbored wine spoilage microorganisms at a depth of 8 mm. If these data were extrapolated to those from in vitro studies, the highest temperatures that permitted the survival of the genera studied ranged between 55 °C (131 °F) and 60 °C (140 °F) (Table 1).
Consequently, if we consistently steam-treat for 10 minutes or more, it is possible to consistently reach a temperature of 57.5 °C (135.5 °F), and that is a sufficient temperature to kill wine spoilage microorganisms at a depth of 8 mm, where D./B. bruxellensis can harbor.[21] This finding is supported by the use of the D- and z-values obtained from the slope equations obtained with the in vitro experiments that in turn will help us predict information that might not be plotted in the scatter plot. Of course, deeper depths such as the one studied in this project (14 mm) also should be taken into account, since we do not know if microorganisms could reach that depth (the wine penetration is only 8 mm).[21] Since other sources of carbon, such as cellobiose, are produced during the toasting of barrels, they could serve as nutrient sources for D./B. bruxellensis and survive in the wood regardless of the level of wine penetration.[22] It is important to recognize that D./B. bruxellensis can utilize cellobiose as a carbon source for growth, as well as residual nutrients in dry, fermented wines.
Moreover, the understanding of these findings should also be referred to a more theoretical aspect, since the thermal conductivity of wood is affected by a number of basic factors that include wood density, moisture content, extractive content, grain direction, structural irregularities (checks and knots), fibril angle, and temperature. Wood conductivity increases as density, moisture content, temperature, or extractive content of the wood increases. In fact, data suggest that conductivity along the grain has been reported as 1.5 to 2.8 times greater than conductivity across the grain.[23] Therefore, when we interpret the data found with these experiments, we must understand that many different factors may affect thermal conductivity in wood; however, as we observed, we can consistently reach temperatures that effectively kill harbored wine spoilage microorganisms if steam treatments of more than 10 minutes are applied. The concept of thermal conductivity should be understood and taken into account when steam treatment is used in woody surfaces such as wine cooperage, and it should be understood as a measure of the rate of heat flow through a one-unit thickness of a material subjected to a temperature gradient.[23]
Conclusions
Steam sanitation should ensure that sufficient temperatures are reached at the deeper depths of the staves to kill any wine spoilage microorganisms that may be harbored in the pores of wood. To our knowledge, wineries in the U.S. and other parts of the world have evaluated various sanitation practices, but there was a lack of a scientific study that could validate the use of steam to sanitize wine cooperage. In this study, we employed steam since it can reach lethal temperatures, and the in vitro thermal inactivation studies showed that temperatures between 45 °C (113 °F) and 60 °C (140 °F) were sufficient to kill common spoilage yeasts found in wine environments. However, several factors must be taken into consideration to ensure that steam treatments of barrels are effective; they include treatment times, treatment temperatures, type of microorganisms we are dealing with, and penetration depth. This experiment was designed taking into account several factors to be controlled; one was penetration depth, since we know that 8 mm has been found to be the depth of wine penetration and thus where D./B. bruxellensis and other microorganisms can be found. Based on these results, steam treatment for 10 minutes should be an effective decontamination method to ensure that at a depth of 8 mm, and perhaps even deeper, the temperature inside the staves is sufficiently uniform and high enough to kill the wine spoilage microorganisms found there. Consequently, depth, time, type of microorganisms, and temperature should be the factors considered when using steam as a sanitation method for wine cooperage to consistently reach temperatures sufficient to kill target spoilage microorganisms. The findings in this article indicate that the correct use of steam as a sanitation method in wineries can control spoilage yeast including Dekkera/Brettanomyces spp. in cooperage and therefore should be reassessed as one of the preferred sanitation methods.   
This work was supported by CONACYT-Mexico, federal formula multistate project under grant [NC-1023] and Cornell University Research Travel Awards. The authors thank the donors at Constellation Brands, CA, and Francis Ford Coppola Winery (Geyserville, CA).
Aguilar Solis Maria de Lourdes Alejandra, Ph.D., is a regulatory research associate in the UK.
David M. Gadoury, Ph.D., is a senior research associate in the Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.
Randy W. Worobo, Ph.D., is an associate professor of food science and microbiologist in the Department of Food Science, Cornell University, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.
References
1. Woolfit, M et al. 2007. “Genome Survey Sequencing of the Wine Spoilage Yeast Dekkera (Brettanomyces) bruxellensis.” Eukaryot Cell 6:721–733.
2. Fleet, GH. 2003. “Yeast Interactions and Wine Flavor.” Int J Food Microbiol 86:11–22.
3. Loureiro, V and M Malfeito Ferreira. 2003. “Spoilage Yeasts in the Wine Industry.” Int J Food Microbiol 86:23–50.
4. Fernandes, AR et al. 2005. “Saccharomyces cerevisiae Adaptation to Weak Acids Involves the Transcription Factor Haa1p and Haa1p-Regulated Genes.” Biochem Biophys Res Commun 337:95–103.
5. González Arenzana, L et al. 2013. “Microwave Technology as a New Tool to Improve Microbiological Control of Oak Barrels: A Preliminary Study.” Food Cont 30:536–539.
6. grapesandwine.cals.cornell.edu/sites/grapesandwine.cals.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/Research-Focus-Sanitation-of-wine.pdf.
7. Bisson, L. “What is ‘Brett’?” in Winemaking Problems Solved, ed. C Butzke (Boca Raton, FL: Woodhead Publishing, 2010), 290–291.
8. Van de Water, L. “How Can I Manage Brettanomyces in the Cellar?” in Winemaking Problems Solved, ed. C Butzke (Boca Raton, FL: Woodhead Publishing, 2010), 329.
9. Younsi, R et al. 2006. “Three-Dimensional Simulation of Heat and Moisture Transfer in Wood.” Appl Therm Eng 26:1274–1285.
10. Qing-Xian, Y. 2001. “Theoretical Expressions of Thermal Conductivity of Wood.” J Forestry Res 12:43–46.
11. Khattabi, A and P Steinhagen. 1993. “Analysis of Transient Nonlinear Heat Conduction in Wood Using Finite-Difference Solutions.” Holz Roh Werkst 51(272):278.
12. Simpson, WT. “Heating Times for Round and Rectangular Cross-Sections of Wood in Steam.” Gen Tech Rep FPL-GTR-130 (Madison, WI: USDA, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, 2001).
13. Narang, SP. Food Microbiology (New Delhi, India: A.P.H. Publishing Corporation, 2004).
14. Sutton, SVW et al. 1991. “D-Value Determinations Are an Inappropriate Measure of Disinfecting Activity of Common Contact Lens Disinfecting Solutions.” Appl Environ Microb 57:2021–2026.
15. Splittstoesser, DF et al. 1986. “Effect of Food Composition on the Heat Resistance of Yeast Ascospores.” J Food Sci 51:1265–1267.
16. biologicalindicators.mesalabs.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2014/07/Spore-News-Vol-3-No-2.pdf.
17. Forsythe, SJ. The Microbiology of Safe Food (Iowa: Blackwell Publishing, 2010).
18. Starbard, N. Beverage Industry Microfiltration (Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009).
19. www.practicalwinery.com/janfeb09/micro1.htm.
20. Fugelsang, KC. “Winery Microbiology and Sanitation,” in Winemaking Problems Solved, ed. C Butzke (Boca Raton, FL: Woodhead Publishing, 2010), 260.
21. Malfeito Ferreira, M et al. 2004. “Effect of Different Barrique Sanitation Procedures on Yeasts Isolated from the Inner Layers of Wood.” Am J Enol Viticult 55:304A.
22. Blomqvist, J et al. 2010. “Fermentation Characteristics of Dekkera bruxellensis Strains.” Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 87:1487–1497.
23. Simpson, W and A TenWolde. 2007. “Physical Properties and Moisture Relations of Wood,” in The Encyclopedia of Wood, ed. A Walker (New York: Skyhorse Publishing Inc., 2007), 15–17.

State-by-state counts show Hepatitis illnesses up and down
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/05/state-by-state-counts-show-hepatitis-illnesses-up-and-down/#.Wvpt3IiFOUl
BY CATHARINE HUDDLE (May 7, 2018)
Editor’s note: This is the companion story of a two-piece news package we are presenting today. The main story describes the ongoing, multi-state outbreak of Hepatitis A and how states are addressing it. Most case counts in both stories are as of April 30. However, some of the main outbreak states have since updated their counts, which are not reflected on accompanying maps.
Food-related outbreaks of Hepatitis A are often associated with contamination of food during preparation. That can happen when a foodservice worker is infected by the highly contagious liver disease.
Person-to-person transmission of Hepatitis A occurs via the “fecal-oral route,” meaning infected food handlers who don’t practice good enough hand-washing techniques can contaminate the foods and beverages they prepare or serve. And, because the peak time of infectivity usually occurs a couple of weeks before symptoms appear, food handlers often don’t even know they are infected and therefore continue to work.
Food handlers include people who stock produce aisles in grocery stores and those who maintain self-serve snack and beverage machines in convenience stores and gas stations.
Hepatitis A symptoms may not occur until several weeks after exposure and may include abdominal discomfort, fever, malaise, muscle aches and a yellowing of the skin called jaundice. In severe cases, Hepatitis A causes liver failure and death.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in 2006 that all children 1 to 2 years old be vaccinated, the CDC has not recommended Hepatitis A vaccinations for food service workers.
Some local public health officials have hosted vaccination clinics for restaurant workers in recent months as reports of infected foodservice workers, but the vaccination is not required by federal or state laws..
One Hepatitis A-positive foodservice worker can infect large numbers of customers and cause thousands of others to seek preventive vaccines. Illnesses and vaccines can cost thousands if not millions of dollars, and can cost restaurants its viability either by a downturn in customers or civil lawsuits.
All of this is preventable by a vaccine.
Food Safety News contacted health officials in each of the 50 states asking about the incidence of Hepatitis A cases. Not all states provided all of the information requested. Most gave only “preliminary” counts for 2017 and 2018.
Alabama: 23 cases in 2017; three so far this year. The numbers are consistent with previous years. No probable source has been determined and no link found to state with Hep A outbreaks.
Alaska: Zero cases in 2017. That’s normal.
Arizona: 59 cases in 2017; eight so far this year; not unusual. In 2017, the CDC confirmed a 12-person outbreak associated with an Arizona homeless shelter was the same from the strain responsible for the outbreak in San Diego.
Arkansas: 8 cases in 2017; 13 so far this year (*new data 4/30); numbers are a little higher than usual, mostly due to person-to-person spread. The state is investigating but officials say they haven’t found links between Arkansas cases and other outbreaks.
To view a larger version of this map, please click on the image. Graphic by Kelsey Mackin
California: 919 for 2017; numbers are dropping in 2018, but public health officials did not give a number. The number of cases reported in 2017 was substantially higher than in previous years due to widespread infections among homeless and/or substance abusers. The original source for the outbreak has not been identified. However, once introduced, Hepatitis A virus spread very fast in people with limited access to restrooms and hand-washing facilities.
San Diego, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Los Angeles counties have declared local outbreak status, and outbreak-associated cases have been confirmed in other California jurisdictions.
Here’s a county-by-county breakdown for 2017: San Diego 586 cases, with 401 people hospitalized and 20 dead; Santa Cruz 76 cases, 33 hospitalized, 1 dead; Los Angeles 12 cases, 8 hospitalized, none dead; Monterey, 12 cases, 10 hospitalized, none dead; other counties, 17 cases, 8 hospitalized; none dead. Total: 703 cases, 460 hospitalized, 21 dead.
Colorado: 63 cases in 2017; five so far this year; higher than usual, and officials say about a third of the cases were from transmission between men who have sex with men. Twenty cases were identified in this population, which is an increase compared to previous years.
Two cases occurred in persons who were homeless; other cases likely were due to international travel and exposure to household members who were infected. Two cases in 2017 and one in 2018 are linked to outbreaks in homeless populations in other parts of the country.
Several 2017 Colorado cases that occurred in men who reported having sex with men had the same molecular sequence seen in several New York City male cases who reported having sex with men.
Connecticut: 17 cases in 2017; four so far this year; not unusual. Risk factors were normal, and no link was established to outbreaks elsewhere.
Delaware: Six cases in 2017, two so far in 2018; not unusual. Probable source has not been determined. Delaware has one case that was linked to an outbreak in the Baltimore area involving men who have sex with men.
Florida: 275 cases in 2017; 42 so far in 2018. The numbers represent an increase over previous years, but seem to be dropping in 2018. Most cases are defined as sporadic and not linked to other known cases.
Georgia: 24 cases in 2017; seven so far this year; not unusual. Patient interviews are attempted for all cases, but are not always successful in determining source or risk factors. One case involved a Michigan resident who got sick and was diagnosed while visiting Georgia and one case was in a South Carolina resident; neither of those cases is included in Georgia’s count. In previous several years, 25 to 30 percent of patients who were interviewed traveled internationally and were not vaccinated.
Hawaii: Eight cases for 2017, none so far this year. Two were matched to California outbreak. Others were unrelated to outbreak or to each other.
Idaho: Five cases in 2017; three so far this year; lower than usual. One 2017 case and one 2018 case were associated with international travel. It is suspected that one case in 2017 and in 2018 are linked to the multi-state outbreak, which includes Utah.
Indiana: 20 cases in 2017; 71 so far this (*New data May 4); higher than normal. Person-to-person transmission is the likely source for most of these cases, and risk factors include the usual ones. Many of the 2018 cases have been tied to the multi-state outbreak, which includes Kentucky.
Iowa: nine in 2017; one so far this year. No other information was available.
Kansas: Six in 2017; two so far this year. No other information was available.
To view a larger version of this map, please click on the image. Graphic by Kelsey Mackin
Kentucky: 341 in 2017 with 238 hospitalizations and four deaths. Statewide outbreak was declared November 2017. Viral sequencing has linked several cases in Kentucky with the multi-state outbreak. The 10-year average in Kentucky has been about 20 cases per year. In April, public health officials urged people to get vaccinated. The state is requiring that all public school students who are not already vaccinated get the vaccine before the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.
Louisiana: eight cases in 2017. Other information not available.
Maine: Seven cases in 2017, two so far in 2018; not abnormal. No single common point of origin and no link to outbreaks in other states.
Maryland: 29 confirmed cases in 2017; 10 so far this year. In 2017, more than 50 percent of the confirmed cases had no specific source identified; 25 percent reported international travel as a source of infection; some cases were genetically matched to strains circulating in New York and parts of Europe; and other confirmed cases matched to a strain circulating in Colorado; one of those Maryland patients had traveled to—and was potentially infected in one of the outbreak states.
Michigan: 632 in 2017; 112 so far this year. The state had 802 cases from Aug. 1, 2016, to April 4, 2018, with 25 deaths. Between 2011 and 2015, 327 Hepatitis A cases were reported. This is the largest outbreak in the state’s history. Transmission appears to be through direct person-to-person spread.
Minnesota: For 2017, 30 cases; four so far this year; higher than past three years, but within typical range over past 10. Minnesota has determined a source for some but not all of its cases. The most common risk factor is travel outside of the U.S., and public health officials say the cases are not linked to recent outbreaks.
Missouri: 27 in 2017; 73 so far in 2018; higher than normal. Public health officials say the cases are due to an outbreak in Missouri and don’t believe they are associated with outbreak cases elsewhere.
Mississippi: Did not respond.
Montana: three cases in 2017; none so far this year; normal. Foreign travel is most common risk factor. No connection to outbreaks in other states.
Nebraska: Seven cases in 2017, three so far this year; not abnormal. No known connection to outbreak states.
Nevada: Twenty cases in 2017; five so far this year. This represents a slight uptick. None has been linked to outbreaks elsewhere.
New Mexico: zero cases in 2017 and so far this year.
New York: 82 cases in 2017. Numbers for this year were not provided. Numbers exclude New York City. Sequencing analysis available for some cases demonstrated that some are linked to outbreaks in other states.
North Dakota: zero in 2017; two in 2008, 13 in 2009; two in 2016. No other information available.
Ohio: 46 cases in 2017, 31 so far this year; higher than normal. Some cases linked to those in Michigan and Kentucky
Rhode Island: Six cases in 2017; one so far this year; normal. One case was associated with incarceration in San Diego County, as well as food service employment in LA County, and could possibly be linked to the California outbreak.
South Carolina: 21 cases in 2017; one so far this year; not abnormal. Exact source generally not known.
Tennessee: seven cases in 2017; six so far this year; not unusual. One case got the infection in Michigan.
Texas: Information not available.
Utah: 149 cases in 2017; 68 so far this year; state typically sees fewer than 10 each year, and those are usually associated with travel or other risk factors. Several cases have been linked by investigation and/or viral sequencing to national outbreak of Hepatitis A.
Washington: 27 cases in 2017; 10 so far this year; not abnormal; no clusters. A few cases had exposure while visiting outbreak areas. None of the cases were homeless and no evidence of ongoing person-to-person transmission.
Washington D.C.: one in 2017; none this year. Not abnormal. No link to other outbreaks.
West Virginia: Six cases in 2017 and 17 so far this year; slightly higher than normal. Source yet to be determined, but is likely caused by person-to-person spread. Some cases reported visiting a restaurant that employed a reported Hepatitis A-positive food service worker. One case has been confirmed to be genetically linked to the multi-state outbreak occurring in other states.
Wisconsin: 16 cases in 2017; lower than normal. In six of the 2017 cases, the infection was acquired via travel outside the USA; three cases were likely from visits to states where known large outbreaks were. Numbers likely reflect known outbreaks in California, Michigan, Kentucky and Utah, combined with the mobility of the population.
Wyoming: 18 cases in 2017; four so far this year, sigjnificant increase because of an outbreak in Natrona County. Usual occurrence is two cases each year.

 

 

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