FoodHACCP Newsletter



Food Safety Job Openings

05/25. QA Food Technician- Meat – Iowa
05/25. Food Safety Manager - Seattle, WA
05/25. Food Safety Manager - Wapato, WA
05/23. Food Safety Auditor - Hoboken, NJ
05/23. Quality Assurance Supervisor - Easley, SC
05/23. Qual & Food Safety Mgr - San Bernardino, CA
05/21. Food Safety & QA Superv - Sioux City, IA
05/21. Food Safety & QA Manager - Fresno, CA
05/21. Qual & Food Safety Specialist - Boise, ID

05/31 2018 ISSUE:809

 

It’s Not the Mayonnaise: Food Safety Myths & Summertime Food
Source : https://news.ncsu.edu/2018/05/summer-food-safety-myths/
By Matt Shipman (May 24, 2018)
When folks get sick after a picnic, people often blame the potato salad. Or the chicken salad. Or whatever other side dish was made with mayonnaise. But that’s usually not the culprit.
“It’s not always the potato salad…except when it’s the potato salad,” says Ben Chapman, a food safety researcher at NC State University. “There are lots of other foods at a cookout that can also lead to illnesses.”
Potato Salad
When it is the potato salad, the culprits are usually Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. And a combination of factors can lead to problems. In most “salads” of this type, low-acid potatoes, chicken, pasta or hard-boiled eggs are added to the mayonnaise. The mayonnaise is acidified to make it safe, but the low acidity of the potatoes (or foods) offsets the acidity of the mayonnaise, creating an environment where bacteria can thrive.
That sets the stage. Then poor hygiene comes into play. S. aureus, for example, can often be found on our faces, particularly around the eyes or nose. So, S. aureus can be introduced to salads when people touch their face and then – without washing their hands – touch the food.
However, in order for bacteria to become a problem, there also has to be “temperature abuse,” meaning that the potato salad isn’t kept below 41°F.
“For example, above 90°F, foodborne pathogens in potato salad increase tenfold in as quickly as an hour,” Chapman says. “In ideal temperatures for bacteria, such as body temperature, bacterial populations can double in less than 20 minutes.”
So, it’s rarely the mayonnaise. Instead, it’s the combination of mayonnaise and other salad ingredients, plus poor hygiene and poor temperature control.
But, in rare cases, it can be the potatoes. An outbreak of botulism poisoning in 2015 stemmed from potato salad made using potatoes that had been canned improperly by a home cook.
“Potatoes need to be ‘pressure canned,’ not using a boiling water bath,” Chapman says. “These potatoes weren’t, which led to 29 illnesses and two deaths – the largest botulism poisoning in 40 years.”
Why It’s Not the Mayonnaise (And When It Could Be)
A big reason that mayonnaise rarely causes foodborne illness these days is that most people buy their mayonnaise, rather than making it from scratch.
“Commercially produced mayonnaise is acidified to reduce spoilage and kill off human pathogens,” Chapman says. “It’s really low risk on its own.”
However, many mayo recipes for the home cook don’t include acid, which makes it possible for pathogens – like S. aureus, C. perfringens and Salmonella – to grow and become a health risk.
 “So, if you’re making mayonnaise at home, pick a recipe that uses pasteurized egg products and incorporates acid – such as vinegar or lemon juice – to reduce risk” Chapman says. “And refrigeration is still incredibly important, as recipes may not incorporate enough acid to address risks.”
More Likely Culprits
If it’s probably not the mayonnaise salad, what are the more likely culprits behind foodborne illness? The answer may surprise you.
“Fresh fruits and vegetables are responsible for more outbreaks of foodborne illness than any other type of food; they’ve been linked to 46 percent of foodborne illnesses between 1998 and 2008,” Chapman says.
That does not mean that you shouldn’t eat your fruits and veggies. Just beware of risks.
Unfortunately, in most cases, contaminated produce was contaminated before the consumer bought it – at any point between the field where it was grown and the shelf where the consumer picked it up.
That said, you can still take steps to reduce risk
First, you really want to avoid cross contamination, which is when pathogens from uncooked food (like raw meat) are transferred to food that’s ready to eat. That can happen if you don’t wash your hands, for instance, or if you use the same cutting board for cutting chicken and preparing salad.
You can also reduce risk by washing your produce – though that won’t eliminate risk altogether.
And, if you are growing your own fruits and vegetables, make sure you’re that you are following some fundamental food safety guidelines for gardeners: using a clean water source (not your rain barrel); keeping wildlife from contaminating your garden; keeping your hands and gardening gear clean; and not using uncomposted manure.
As for grilling, check out our “5 Things You Should Know About Grilling Burgers (To Avoid Getting Sick).” There are good tips in there!
Bon appétit!

Oh, the Places You’ll Go – With Food Safety!
Source : https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2018/05/22/oh-places-youll-go-food-safety
By usda.gov (May 22, 2018)
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!”
Welcome to yet another rendition of the infamous Dr. Seuss tale that you’ve probably heard at your graduation ceremonies and from family and friends. By the time I graduated college, I could basically recite this genius rhyme with my eyes closed. But how could you not?! It’s witty, inspiring, and the perfect gift to any graduate!
Food safety is another gift that I’m sure graduates all over will appreciate on their big day. Why?
Did you know foodborne illness causes an estimated 3,000 deaths each year in the United States?
“With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.” Let’s pretend foodborne illness is that not-so-good street Dr. Seuss forewarned us about. But good news! Food poisoning is completely preventable. Keep you and your loved ones safe during graduation celebrations with these tips!
Doing the Cooking?
Plan ahead, but don’t purchase perishable foods too early. They may spoil before party day. Be aware of cold food storage (PDF, 216 KB) times for best quality and safety.
When preparing party food, wash hands (PDF, 1 MB) and surfaces often.
Grilling Out?
Use separate plates for raw and cooked foods when grilling.
Remember to use a food thermometer. Cooking foods to a safe internal temperature (PDF, 390 KB) is the only way to destroy bacteria.
Having it Catered?
Use chafing dishes, your oven or slow cookers to keep hot foods hot! Hold at or above 140°F.
Place cold food in containers on ice. Hold cold foods at or below 40°F.
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)” But just in case you’re not as optimistic as Dr. Seuss, we’re here to help!
Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (1-888-674-6854) Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, or email or chat at AskKaren.gov.

 

 

 


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Food Safety During Picnic Season
Source : https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/food-safety-during-picnic-season-300650667.html
By prnewswire.com (May 22, 2018)
Independence Day is fast approaching – and with it, picnics and cookouts.  As you plan your next outing, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reminds you that foodborne bacteria multiply faster in warm weather — and the larger the dose of bacteria, the more likely it will lead to food poisoning (also known as foodborne illness).
Learn more at: 
http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/BuyStoreServeSafeFood/ucm109899.htm 
http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm094562.htm
Follow these tips to help ensure that your picnic basket is packed with food safety in mind!
Basic Warm-Weather Precautions To Prevent Food Poisoning
Prior to picnic time
Defrost meat, poultry, and seafood in the refrigerator or by submerging sealed packages in cold water. You can also microwave-defrost, but only if the food will be grilled immediately afterward. If marinating, use the fridge not the countertop. Never reuse marinade that contacted raw foods unless you boil it first or set some of the marinade aside before marinating food to use for sauce later.
Thoroughly wash all produce before eating even if you plan to peel it. The knife you use to peel it can carry bacteria into the part you eat. Fruits and vegetables that are pre-cut or peeled should be refrigerated or kept on ice to maintain quality and safety.
If your picnic site doesn't offer clean water access, bring water or pack moist towels for cleaning surfaces and hands. Don't forget to pack a food thermometer!
When packing coolers
Place food from the refrigerator directly into an insulated cooler immediately before leaving home and use lots of ice or ice packs to keep it at 40 °F or below.
Pack raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate cooler if possible, or wrap it securely and store at the bottom of the cooler where the juices can't drip onto other foods. Place beverages in a separate cooler; this will offer easy drink access while keeping perishable food coolers closed.
Load coolers into the passenger compartment of the car — it's cooler than the trunk. Once at the picnic site, keep food in coolers until serving time (out of direct sun) and avoid opening the lids often.
When grilling
Have clean utensils and platters available. Cook meat, poultry, and seafood to the right temperatures — use a food thermometer to be sure (see Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures Chart). Keep cooked meats hot at 140 °F or warmer until serving time — set them to the side of the grill rack to keep them hot.
When removing foods from the grill, place them on a clean platter – never use the same platter and utensils you used for raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
Watch the time and outside temperature
Don't let hot or cold food sit out in the "Danger Zone" (between 40 °F and 140 °F) for more than 2 hours – or 1 hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90 °F. If they do, discard them.
Contact:  Media: 1-301-796-4540  Consumers: 1-888-SAFEFOOD (toll free)
SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Why food-safety attorney in $650M outbreak lawsuits doesn't eat bagged lettuce
Source : https://www.lohud.com/story/news/health/2018/05/23/ecoli-romaine-bagged-lettuce-lawyer/615804002/
By David Robinson (May 23, 2018)
Prominent food-safety attorney Bill Marler described the romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak as a wake-up call for Americans’ risky eating habits.
Having settled foodborne illness lawsuits worth about $650 million over the past 25 years, Marler said many outbreaks stem from mishandled produce.
“This will piss people off in the leafy green industry, but I encourage people to buy whole heads of lettuce and wash it themselves at home,” Marler said, citing his court battles over E. coli contamination of spinach and lettuce.
AFTER OUTBREAKS: Food recalls have more shoppers considering local farmers markets
RECALLS, ILLNESSES: Why romaine E. coli, foodborne illnesses spread despite FDA, CDC outbreak battle
“All of the outbreaks involve washed, chopped, mass-produced lettuce,” he said. “I think the industry and the consumers need to rethink whether the convenience is worth the risk.”
Marler is representing several of the 170-plus people authorities say got sick after eating romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, one of the worst cases since a spinach outbreak that sickened about 200 and killed five in 2006.
“This (romaine) outbreak is going to wind up costing people hundreds of millions of dollars,” Marler said, noting the toll includes lost lettuce sales unrelated to Yuma.
Further, authorities have struggled to trace the outbreak to an original farm because of regulatory breakdowns at several points along the circuitous American food chain.
“There is an economic reason why these outbreaks need to be prevented, and if they do happen to try to keep them as small as possible by getting to the culprit sooner,” Marler said.
In light of the romaine outbreak and foodborne illnesses hitting popular Westchester County restaurants, The Journal News/lohud questioned food-safety experts and analyzed public health data.
The discussion with Marler, who is representing several people in hepatitis A lawsuits against bartaco in Port Chester, is part of the ongoing investigation. It is edited for space and clarity.
MAMARONECK: What to know about norovirus that closed Westchester dine
BARTACO: How much taxpayers paid for thousands of hepatitis A vaccinations
ROMAINE: More illnesses reported from romaine lettuce tainted by E. coli
Question: Why is processed lettuce more dangerous?
Answer: In the last decade, I’ve handled every E. coli outbreak linked to leafy greens and never had a case of an individual head of lettuce being the cause.
Basically, the more you mess with stuff, the more likely it is that something can go wrong. I don’t eat bagged lettuce.
It’s also true when you mass produce something and something goes wrong, it is more likely people will notice because 100 people get sick instead of one or two.
The 2006 spinach outbreak, for example, was a 20-acre farm that cut all their spinach…It went into their bins and it got washed and chopped and bagged and shipped all over the country.
And there was an animal intrusion on the farm. Likely some wild pigs ate some cow poop and went across the street and rooted around and did their business in the farm.
But the little bit of poop that was in one area got spread out across a lot of product by the washing and cutting and bagging. That’s a problem because it could have been a couple of people sick instead of hundreds.
Q: What about promoting healthy eating?
A: Eating fresh food is not without risks. That’s why our ancestors started cooking meat, but the problem is that you want to encourage people to eat more healthy and more plant-based food.
But if you’re going to do it, you’re limiting your risk of exposure if you buy one apple and bring it home and wash it really well.
By contrast, you’re increasing your risk if you buy apples sliced and put in a bag and shipped across the country to New Jersey.
I understand everyone is busy and wants to eat healthy, but it’s a game of numbers.
Q: What makes the current romaine outbreak different?
A: We haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact location the contamination occurred.
And you can’t really learn preventive measures going forward if you don’t know where it originated.
The new federal Food Safety Modernization Act went into effect in 2011 to try and address some of the problems … and it is frustrating that it’s seven years later and we’re seeing outbreaks of similar proportions and the same issues.
Q: What are some of the problems?
A: There is probably going to be a need to look at traceability requirements of the produce industry … to really look at why we’re not being able to quickly find what the source of outbreaks are and is there any legislative or regulatory fix for that.
For example, require barcodes more often, or have more blockchain traceability standards (which involve tracking business transactions better).
The other thing is image. If you’re a farmer in Yuma and you’re not growing romaine and you’re not the cause of this outbreak, that would piss me off.
We really could build a consensus between regulators, consumers and farmers for more traceability.
Q: What about being more specific in food labeling than 'Product of the United States'?
A: I don’t know if labeling inside the United States makes sense, but I think the retailers should know where the heck the product is coming from.
Q:What about people who say an attorney just wants to know who to sue?
A: That’s really not it.
Under the law because I’ve already filed five lawsuits I can sue the restaurant where the person ate the lettuce and that restaurant can flip on who processed it for them and who washed it.
From a legal perspective, I really don’t care who the farm is because I can sue the grocery store and I can sue the restaurant.
But from a public health perspective and doing this for 25 years, I have a good idea for how important it is to improve traceability.
Q:How bad is the romaine outbreak in illnesses and potential settlements?
A: There has been one death this far and I’ve got 13 people with acute kidney failure…each case has a value between $1 and $10 million on average.
The CDC is going to be updating the numbers to more than 170 sickened…and the rest of the ones will vary from tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Then there are any claims of retailers who might have pulled products off shelves and sent a bill.
This outbreak is going to wind up costing people hundreds of millions of dollars.
Outbreak of this size has enormous impact, and it has an unknown impact if you look at the sales of romaine lettuce.
Regardless of where it’s grown, a lot of romaine lettuce growers are going, ‘Damn.’
And at this stage FDA officials would agree that it is frustrating that they haven’t been able to link the outbreak to a farm, or rational as to why it happened.
It deletes customer and public confidence in the FDA and the industry.
Q: Why is tracking produce outbreaks so difficult?
A: They’re figuring out the outbreak based on sick people and not everybody has leftover evidence because generally people eat the evidence, that’s how they got sick.
Sometimes you get lucky and there is a bag of leftover romaine that you can test or end up going out to the farm.
And what is different about the 2006 spinach outbreak is they found the E. coli strain in leftover bags of spinach.
So, they knew where it came from immediately, or at least who the processer was, and then moved.
There was a pretty limited number of people and farms bringing in the spinach and they did environmental testing and found cow poop and a pig that tested positive for the same strain near a farm.
That's what they're missing here is that kind of connection.

The Future of Food Safety: A Q&A with Walmart’s Frank Yiannas
Source : https://foodsafetytech.com/feature_article/the-future-of-food-safety-a-qa-with-walmarts-frank-yiannas/
By  Mahni Ghorashi (May 23, 2018)
Continuing on our journey to bring you the successes, best practices, challenges and accomplishments from the very best in this industry, this month I had the pleasure of interviewing Frank Yiannas, vice president of food safety at Walmart. In his role, Frank oversees all food safety, as well as other public health functions, for the world’s largest food retailer, serving more than 200 million customers around the world on a weekly basis.
Frank is a past president of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and a past vice-chair of GFSI. He is also an adjunct professor in the Food Safety Program at Michigan State University, and in 2017 was awarded the MSU Outstanding Faculty Award. He’s also the author of two books, Food Safety Culture, Creating a Behavior-based Food Safety Management System, and Food Safety = Behavior, 30 Proven Techniques to Enhance Employee Compliance.
Mahni Ghorashi: What are you most excited about in our industry? What’s changing in a good way in the food safety sector?
Frank Yiannas: While there is no doubt that there are numerous new and emerging challenges in food safety, the many advancements being made should give us hope that we can create a safer, more efficient, and sustainable food system.
There is progress being made on many fronts: Whole genome sequencing is becoming more accessible; new tools are being developed for fraud detection; and FSMA is introducing stringent public-health surveillance measures that have dramatic implications for U.S. retailers and suppliers and our import partners.
Most importantly, consumers are now overwhelmingly interested in transparency. People today are further removed from how food is grown, produced and transported than at any other time in human history. Plus, they increasingly mistrust food and food companies due to the food outbreaks and scares we have faced in recent years.
Over the near-term, as we get better at detecting foodborne outbreaks, consumer mistrust will likely intensify; however, it’s clear to me that heightened consumer interest is hugely positive because it adds weight to our industry’s call for more accurate food labeling, more wholesome ingredients and enhanced food traceability. Ultimately, these are the kinds of measures that will improve the food system and enhance consumer trust.
Ghorashi: As you know, food shopping is moving online. It’s happening across the world, and at breakneck speed. What are retailers like Walmart doing to keep up?
Yiannas: That’s a great question. Walmart and other retailers are now developing new packaging materials and temperature control approaches, as well as new ordering methods, high-tech stocking systems and delivery modes.
Food shopping is moving online so quickly that regulatory requirements have not been able to keep up. That means it’s up to us, the retailers and food companies, to work with regulators to create and promote the necessary industry standards, best practices and logistical solutions.
I firmly believe that it is our responsibility as food retailers to advocate for consumers and strive to create a safer and more affordable and sustainable food system. With many more players across the global food chain now shouldering this duty of care, I am very optimistic that our industry is truly improving the lives of people around the world.
Ghorashi: What role is blockchain technology playing in food safety? What are the prospects for the future?
Yiannas: The emergence of blockchain technology and the successful completion of several pilots using it to enhance food traceability has resulted in a larger conversation about the importance of creating a more transparent digital food system.
It has also enabled food system stakeholders to imagine being able to have full end-to-end traceability at the speed of thought. The ongoing U.S.-wide romaine lettuce E.coli outbreak showed us, once again, that our traditional paper-based food tracking system is no longer adequate for the 21st century. An ability to deliver accurate, real-time information about food, how it’s produced, and how it flows from farm to table is a game-changer for food safety.
Blockchain has the potential to shine a light on all actors in the food system. This enhanced transparency will result in greater accountability, and greater accountability will cause the food system to self-regulate and comply with the safe and sustainable practices that we all desire.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go – With Food Safety!
Source : https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2018/05/22/oh-places-youll-go-food-safety
By Janell Goodwin, Technical Information Specialist, Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA in Health and Safety (May 22, 2018)
“Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!”
Welcome to yet another rendition of the infamous Dr. Seuss tale that you’ve probably heard at your graduation ceremonies and from family and friends. By the time I graduated college, I could basically recite this genius rhyme with my eyes closed. But how could you not?! It’s witty, inspiring, and the perfect gift to any graduate!
Food safety is another gift that I’m sure graduates all over will appreciate on their big day. Why?
Did you know foodborne illness causes an estimated 3,000 deaths each year in the United States?
“With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.” Let’s pretend foodborne illness is that not-so-good street Dr. Seuss forewarned us about. But good news! Food poisoning is completely preventable. Keep you and your loved ones safe during graduation celebrations with these tips!
Doing the Cooking?
•Plan ahead, but don’t purchase perishable foods too early. They may spoil before party day. Be aware of cold food storage (PDF, 216 KB) times for best quality and safety.
•When preparing party food, wash hands (PDF, 1 MB) and surfaces often.
Grilling Out?
•Use separate plates for raw and cooked foods when grilling.
•Remember to use a food thermometer. Cooking foods to a safe internal temperature (PDF, 390 KB) is the only way to destroy bacteria.
Having it Catered?
•Use chafing dishes, your oven or slow cookers to keep hot foods hot! Hold at or above 140°F.
•Place cold food in containers on ice. Hold cold foods at or below 40°F.
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)” But just in case you’re not as optimistic as Dr. Seuss, we’re here to help!
Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at (1-888-674-6854) Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, or email or chat at AskKaren.gov.

DeLauro pushes FDA for answers on egg outbreak investigation
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/05/delauro-pushes-fda-for-answers-on-egg-outbreak-investigation/#.WwduEk66zct
By News Desk (May 22, 2018)
Connecticut democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro Monday sent a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb asking for additional information regarding the ongoing investigation of a Salmonella outbreak traced to shelled eggs. The outbreak is currently responsible for 35 infections — including 11 hospitalizations — across 9 states.
After its initial report April 16, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released only one update, on May 10, about the outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup and the associated recall of more than 200 million shell eggs. It is the largest egg recall since 2010.
“I continue to be concerned with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) investigation and response to the Salmonella Braenderup outbreak related to shell eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms,” wrote the U.S. representative for Connecticut’s 3rd District.
“In my previous April 19 letter, I requested additional information about this investigation after FDA inspection reports revealed that the agency was aware of serious food safety violations at Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County facility weeks before a recall was initiated. Despite the scale of this outbreak, there are still many unanswered questions related to the recall and the investigation.”
DeLauro co-chairs the Congressional Food Safety Caucus and is a member of the House  appropriations subcommittee that funds the FDA. The congresswoman has been a persistent critic of that agency’s efforts to protect the public from unsafe foods and medical products.
In relation to the FDA’s investigation into Rose Acre Farms and the outbreak, DeLauro is seeking responses to the following questions:
• What is the current situation regarding egg production at Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County facility? If the facility is not presently producing eggs for the table market, what is the agency’s timeline for the facility to return to production?
•Did the facility ever suspend operations? If so, what were the beginning and ending dates of the suspension, and what role did FDA play in this decision?
• What actions has FDA taken to resolve the unsanitary conditions at the Hyde County facility that led to the current outbreak? What assurances does the agency have that the facility will not succumb to the same numerous violations that have been documented in previous inspection reports?
•Has FDA inspected any other facilities, across the nation, owned or operated by Rose Acre Farms? If so, what are the dates of those inspections, and will the agency commit to sharing those inspection reports?
A copy of the full letter can be found here.

Salmonella outbreak closes Georgia caterer until further notice
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/05/salmonella-outbreak-closes-georgia-caterer-until-further-notice/#.WwdubU66zct
By News Desk (May 22, 2018)
County health officials continue to investigate a Salmonella outbreak linked to a Georgia caterer who provided food for recent events. At least 70 people reported becoming ill after the events, with at least four admitted to hospitals.
The Plain Nuts Catering & Deli of Covington, GA, closed voluntarily, according to the Gwinnett, Newton, & Rockdale County Health Departments. As of Monday evening the caterer’s website did not appear to have any information about the situation.
Sick people reported attending events on April 28 and May 9 that were catered by Plain Nuts. Another group of people who did not attend the events but did eat food from the caterer is also included in the outbreak count.
Reports of the illnesses first reached the health department on May 4. With all of the sick people having attended the same invitation-only event on April 28, public health officials began investigating the caterer. On May 15, the department received word of illnesses among attendees of the May 9 event.  
Laboratory test results for many of the sick people are still pending, but confirmed Salmonella infections have already been confirmed in attendees of both events and among the group of sick people who did not attend,  but who ate food from Plain Nuts.
County officials did not indicate whether the sick people who did not attend the events ate the Plain Nuts food at the caterer’s restaurant location or in the form of leftovers carried out by attendees.
“Plain Nuts Catering & Deli has been fully cooperative with all health department requests and has provided all requested information,” according to the department’s most recent outbreak update.
 “Additional on-site training has been provided to all staff and additional screening of food service staff is underway. In addition, the facility has followed the Health Department recommendations of conducting a full enhanced cleaning of the facility prior to re-opening.”
Advice for the public
 Anyone who attended the April 28 or May 9 events — which were not specifically identified by the health department — or who have consumed foods or beverages from Plain Nuts and developed symptoms of Salmonella infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctors about their possible exposure to the pathogen.
Symptoms of infection usually appear 6 to 48 hours after exposure, but can take much longer to develop in some people, according to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. In most people symptoms include diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps.
Some people may have severe diarrhea and need to be hospitalized. Although anyone can get a Salmonella infection, older adults, children younger than 5, and people with immune systems weakened from medical conditions such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, and cancer, are more likely to develop a serious illness.

FDA wants judge to shut down unsanitary Staten Island facility
Source : http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2018/05/fda-wants-judge-to-shut-down-unsanitary-staten-island-facility/#.WwduoU66zct
By News Desk (May 22, 2018)
Euroline Foods LLC and Royal Seafood Baza Inc. violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act by processing and distributing ready-to-eat fish, fishery products, vegetable salads and cheese products in a Staten Island facility where there were chronic unsanitary conditions.
So says a civil complaint filed Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the federal Food and Drug Administration.
The complaint alleges that FDA inspections found Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) at the companies’ facility and that the defendants failed to put in place adequate measures to reduce the risk of health hazards such as L. mono, Clostridium botulinum, and scombrotoxin. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, also named as defendants the company’s owner/operators Eduard Shnayder, Syoma Shnayder and Albert Niyazov, and operator Oleg Polischouk.
“L. mono presents a significant danger to public health and can prove fatal to vulnerable individuals,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The food consumers purchase must be safe to eat, and we will continue to work with FDA to take action against companies that refuse to improve dangerously substandard practices.”
According to the complaint, the defendants failed to adequately implement effective sanitation controls that complied with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) requirements. Also, the complaint alleges the defendants failed to comply with seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations, which are designed to mitigate food safety hazards associated with the processing of fish and fishery products.
Three FDA inspections of the defendants’ facility in March 2015, February to March 2016, and November to December 2016, as well as a follow-up investigation in November 2017, all uncovered cGMP and HACCP violations. The FDA issued a Warning Letter to Royal Seafood in 2015. FDA inspections in 2016 detected listeria contamination in several areas of the facility.
“Food processors and distributors must identify and eliminate food safety hazards and develop meaningful plans for preventing such hazards to protect consumers,” stated United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York.
“Those who fail to do so must come into compliance or be shut down. We have, and will continue, to use all means at our disposal to protect the public from the dangers of harmful pathogenic bacteria, including bacteria that cause listeriosis and other serious illnesses.”
The complaint seeks an order by the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from FDCA violations and to prevent them from manufacturing or distributing food unless they comply with specific remedial measures, including developing and executing an effective sanitation program.
A complaint is merely a set of allegations that, if the case were to proceed to trial, the government would need to prove by a preponderance of the evidence.
Trial Attorney James T. Nelson of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail A. Matthews of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, with the assistance of Associate General Counsel for Enforcement Jennifer C. Argabright of the FDA’s Office of the Chief Counsel are handling the matter for the government.

One in 10 parents say their child has gotten sick from spoiled or contaminated food
Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180521092714.htm
By sciencedaily.com (May 21, 2018)
No parent wants to come home from a picnic or restaurant with a little one whose stomachache turns into much worse.
But few parents are using some simple strategies to protect kids from food poisoning outside the home, such as at a potluck or restaurant, according to a new report from C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health at the University of Michigan.
One in 10 parents say their child has gotten sick from eating spoiled or contaminated food, with restaurants named as the most common source (68 percent.) But just a fourth say they check health inspection ratings before dining out.
"In most cases children recover quickly from food poisoning, but in certain cases it can be debilitating," says Mott Poll co-director Gary L. Freed, M.D., M.P.H.
"It's impossible to completely protect children from food-borne illness. However, there are strategies to try to reduce the risk of getting sick from eating spoiled or contaminated food. We found that while parents paid closer attention to food safety in their own home, they were not always as cautious about outside sources."
Among parents of children who had gotten sick from spoiled or contaminated food, just a third say their child has gotten sick from food eaten at their own home.
Parents reported putting a lot of effort into food safety in the home. Most parents said they wash their hands before preparing a meal (87 percent), wash fruits and vegetables before serving (80 percent), and check the expiration dates on refrigerated food (84 percent). If a refrigerated product was more than two days past its expiration date, 57 percent of parents said they would smell or taste it themselves to see if it was OK to eat, while 43 percent said they would automatically throw the food away. If parents heard that a food product in their home had been recalled, almost all would not feed it to their children with 58 percent reporting they would throw it away and 40 percent returning it for a refund or replacement.
Other sources of kids getting sick from spoiled or contaminated food included school (21 percent), a friend's house (14 percent), or at a potluck (11 percent).
Foodborne illness affects more than 75 million people a year, most often caused by toxins, parasites, viruses, and bacteria -- such as salmonella and E. coli. Food poisoning can occur when germs, either certain bacteria or viruses, contaminate food or drinks. This can happen at many different places in the process as food moves from harvesting to packaging to preparation to serving. Once contaminated food enters the body, some germs release toxins that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and sometimes fever or muscle aches. Hand washing, keeping cutting boards clean and washed and storing and cooking food at proper temperatures are also important when preparing and serving meals
Freed says an increasingly common germ passed on by unwashed hands is the virus, Hepatitis A. Hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for all children at one year of age and can prevent almost all cases in those immunized.
Symptoms of food poisoning start anywhere from an hour to three days after eating contaminated food. Freed says the most important initial treatment for food poisoning is making sure a child drinks plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Although food poisoning is a usually mild illness, there are multiple hospitalizations and even some deaths in the U.S each year.
"Contaminated food can make both kids and adults very sick very quickly. For very young children, whose immune systems are not fully developed, this kind of illness can present a greater risk of serious complications," Freed says.
"Simple precautions, like checking restaurant inspections and following food safety rules when cooking and storing food, can help keep your family safe."

 

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