Food Born Illnesses
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- Pine Nuts October 26, 2011: "CDC is collaborating with public health and agriculture officials in New York and other states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to Turkish pine nuts purchased from bulk bins at Wegmans grocery stores."
- In shell Hazelnuts April 7, 2011: "CDC collaborated with public health officials in California, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections... Collaborative investigative efforts of local, state, and federal public health and regulatory agencies associated this outbreak with eating in-shell hazelnuts (also known as filberts). Most of the in-shell hazelnuts were purchased from bulk bins at retail food stores. Source tracing identified a common distributor for the hazelnuts consumed by ill persons: DeFranco & Sons in Los Angeles, California."
- Pepper May 4, 2010: "CDC has been collaborating with public health officials in many states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the State of Rhode Island to investigate a multistate outbreak of Salmonella serotype Montevideo infections… During January 16-21, 2010, CDC and public health officials in multiple states conducted an epidemiologic study by comparing foods eaten by 41 ill and 41 well persons. Preliminary analysis of this study has suggested salami as a possible source of illness… Additionally, 16 ill persons have been identified who purchased the same type of sliced salami variety pack at different grocery store locations before becoming ill; three additional ill persons have been identified who purchased a similar type of sliced salami deli tray before becoming ill. These variety packs and deli trays all included salamis made with black pepper, which was added after the lethality step. These data suggest this product is the source of some of these illnesses. This sliced salami variety pack and sliced salami deli tray were recalled by Daniele International Inc.”
- Peanut Butter February 2007: "Public health officials in multiple states, with the assistance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are investigating a large multistate outbreak of Salmonella serotype Tennessee infections. An epidemiologic study comparing foods that ill and well persons said they ate showed that consumption of Peter Pan peanut butter and Great Value peanut butter were both statistically associated with illness and therefore the likely source of the outbreak."
- Pizza (frozen) November 1, 2007: "The Tennessee State Department of Health and CDC are collaborating with public health officials in multiple states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) to investigate an ongoing multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in humans. A study comparing foods eaten by ill persons to foods eaten by well persons showed that eating frozen pizza that contained pepperoni and was produced by the General Mills company under the brand names of Totino's or Jeno's was the likely source of the illness."
- Dry Pet Food August 2007: "CDC is collaborating with public health officials in Pennsylvania and other state health departments and the US Food and Drug Administration to investigate a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella serotype Schwarzengrund infections in humans. These human illnesses have been linked with dry pet food produced by Mars Petcare US at a single manufacturing facility in Pennsylvania. People who think they might have become ill after contact with dry pet food or with an animal that has eaten dry pet food should consult their health-care providers."
Microbiological specifications are becoming more stringent with target acceptable contamination levels challenging food producers and processors alike. Although pathogens are the principal target and their elimination is the primary objective, the microbial load needs to be reduced to reflect a low contamination level. Sampling to screen for contamination is insufficient to insure that the totality of the product is within specifications.
|Contaminant||Target Specifications||Maximum acceptable level|
|Total Bacterial Count||< 5'000 cfu/g||
|Mould||< 1'000 cfu/g||5'000 cfu/g|
|Yeast||< 1'000 cfu/g||
|Enterobacteria||< 3 cfu/g||
|Coliform||< 3 cfu/g||
|E-Coli||absent / 25g||-|
|Salmonella||absent / 25g||-|
Only a microbiological reduction process which reaches uniformly every particle of product being treated can guarantee low levels throughout the lot.