Tag Archives: Food safety

H7N9 kills 2 more, causing new infections in China

39CHANGSHA – A 59-year-old man having close contact with live poultry died on Monday morning of the H7N9 flu virus, the first of its kind in central China’s Hunan province, local authority said.
A separate statement issued by the health department of Guangdong province on Monday said a patient surnamed Xie died of the virus on Sunday in Foshan after treatment failed.
With the new cases, H7N9 has so far killed 25 people in China since January, and the number of human infections has been 113, with Zhejiang and Guangdong being mostly affected.
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Impact of Influenza A on Pork Production

18The Pig Site – Our understanding of the importance of influenza A infection in pig production has evolved rapidly over the past 15 years. Greg Wideman of South West Ontario Veterinary Services explained the impacts of those developments to the 2013 London Swine Conference.
Recent detection of novel subtypes of influenza A, such as H3N2, H1N2 and pandemic H1N1 in swine have heightened our awareness of this pathogen as a primary cause of swine disease and significant zoonotic (from animals to people) and reverse zoonotic (from people to animals) risk.
This paper reviews some ways in which influenza A impacts the pig producer and swine veterinarian…  Continue Reading
 
Source: The Pig Site, November 29, 2013
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Contentious Transgenic Maize Paper Retracted

32Science – The journal Food and Chemical Toxicology has retracted a much-criticized paper that links a strain of genetically modified (GM) maize with severe diseases in rats. The paper’s author, French biologist Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, slammed the decision, which he said is an attempt by the GM crop industry to muzzle scientists who put into question the safety of its products.

Séralini’s paper sparked a media storm when it was published in September 2012. While some commentators presented the study as proof that GM food is “poison,” many scientists dismissed the study as flawed, and several official bodies also found it wanting.

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Researchers Identify Practices to Reduce Contamination Risk

5The Poultry Site - This is going to help make produce safer,” says Laura Strawn, a researcher on the study. “We could significantly reduce risk of contamination through changes that occur a few days before the harvest.”

Many of the risk factors were influenced by when they were applied to fields which suggests that adjustments to current practices may reduce the potential for contamination with minimal cost to growers, says Dr Strawn.

Foodborne illness sickens an estimated 9.4 million, and kills around 1,300 annually in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Produce accounts for nearly half the illnesses, and 23 per cent of the deaths.

“The research is the first to use field collected data to show the association between certain management practices and an increased or decreased likelihood of salmonella and L. monocytogenes,” says Dr Strawn.

For salmonella, manure application within the year prior to the researchers’ sampling boosted the odds of a contaminated field, while the presence of a buffer zone between the fields and potential pathogen reservoirs such as livestock operations or waterways was protective.

Irrigation within three days before sample collection raised the risk of listeria contamination six-fold. Soil cultivation within the week before sampling also increased the chances of contamination.

“These findings will assist growers in evaluating their current on-farm food safety plans (e.g. “Good Agricultural Practices”), implementing preventive controls that reduce the risk of pre-harvest contamination, and making more informed decisions related to field practices prior to harvest,” says Dr Strawn. “Small changes in how produce is grown and managed could result in a large reduction of food safety risks.”

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Understanding Food Production to Address Malnutrition

253_FoodThe Poultry Site – The FAO ahead of World Food Day announced that the diversity of food and food production methods is the answer to the under nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies affecting the world’s populations,
The report shows that the cost of malnutrition, through lost productivity and healthcare, could be as high as five per cent of global income.
Other revealing figures are laid out in the group’s World Food Day paper which communicates a simple ethos: Healthy People Depend on Healthy Food Systems.
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Perspective on Food Safety Risks from Poultry Meat

22The Poultry Site – This week’s news in the global poultry markets has included some significant developments in terms of the food safety risks from poultry meat.
One key area was whether changes to poultry meat inspection will improve global standards in terms of meat quality and food safety.
The question of the efficiency and efficacy of poultry meat inspection has been addressed on both sides of the Atlantic recently.
In the EU last year, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an opinion on the existing inspection procedures in poultry slaughterhouses and came to the conclusion that the simple visual inspection is not sufficient at a time when concerns over pathogens such as Salmonella and Campylobacter are rising.
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Researchers create biosensor to detect pesticide

18By Elton Alisson

Agência FAPESP – Researchers at the Universidade de São Paulo’s São Carlos Physics Institute (IFSC-USP), in collaboration with colleagues from the Universidade Federal do Mato Grosso (UFMT), have created a biological sensor that detects the presence of a highly toxic pesticide in water, soil or food in just minutes. The pesticide in question is methamidophos, which is being banned in Brazil but is still used for several crops in the country.

Developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Science and Technology on Organic Electronics (INEO)—one of the National Institutes of Science and Technology (INCTs) funded by FAPESP and the National Council of Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)—the sensor could be adapted for the detection of other types of pesticides, according to the researchers. The basic principle behind the device has also led to the development of a rapid test to detect the dengue fever virus….>>Continue Reading<<

Source and Photo: Agência Fapesp, 11th September, 2013
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