Category Archives: Food Safety

Mathematical Modelling of the Dynamics and Control of Salmonella

The Pig Site – Key findings are outlined from a research project carried out at the University of Liverpool which was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and BPEX, as part of a Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering (CASE) studentship.
The aim of the research was to develop mathematical models to understand the dynamics of Salmonella transmission on finishing pig farms in the UK and assess whether farm structure has any effect on this. The aim was to use these models to investigate where control strategies should be aimed.
Two key forms of unit structure (fully slatted and solid floor) were analysed and three models describing Salmonella transmission were developed:
  • Single room, fully-slatted floor
  • Multiple rooms, fully-slatted floor
  • Single room, solid floor
The models identified some key results with regard to on-farm Salmonella dynamics.
A principal finding showed that there is not a single action that can solve the problem but rather, a number of aspects should be targeted… Continue Reading
 
 Source and Photo: The Pig Site, November 28, 2013
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Chickens Do Not Receive Growth Hormones: So Why All the Confusion?

39The Poultry Site – Naturally occurring hormones, such as oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone, are essential for various physiological processes in humans and animals. Throughout history, these naturally occurring hormones have been making their way into the environment, posing the risk of contamination.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified certain environmental contaminants as a global concern. These contaminants are capable of harming reproduction and development by altering endocrine functions in humans and wildlife. As the human population grows and livestock production becomes more concentrated, the quantity and concentration of hormones within local areas increases.

As a result, many of us in the poultry field hear the same question with increasing frequency: “Why do you put hormones in the feed to make chickens grow so big and fast?” The fact that the question begins with “why” instead of “do” indicates the level of confusion and misunderstanding of the consuming public. The truth is no hormones have been allowed in poultry production for more than 50 years. Hormone use in poultry production was banned in the United States in the 1950s… >>Continue Reading<<

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Tense Vigil in China as Nasty Flu Virus Stirs Back to Life

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By Christina Larson

Science – As flu season bears down, the world is warily eyeing China. A novel H7N9 avian flu strain emerged here in March, infecting at least 135 people and killing 45 before petering out in the summer. Now it is back, with four human cases in southern China in the past month. More cases are a certainty, and researchers, public health experts, and vaccinemakers are preparing for the remote but real possibility that H7N9 will explode into a pandemic.

For now, the signs are reassuring. Sustained human-to-human transmission would be needed for H7N9 to cause widespread illness. But so far, there have been only a handful of possible instances of people infecting each other. In 70% of cases, victims are believed to have picked up the virus directly from live poultry, says Masato Tashiro, head of a World Health Organization (WHO) flu collaborating center in Tokyo. H7N9 is “still looking for ways to adapt well to humans,” says George Gao, deputy director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC).

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Research for More Sustainable Food Production

46The Meat Site – Safer food, less waste, more efficient food production and better use of natural resources are just some of the goals inspiring the work of a new research group at the University of Lincoln in the UK.

The Agri-Food Technology Research Group aims to develop new technological solutions for all stages of food production including cultivation, harvest, processing and packaging.

Agri-food is the largest industry in Lincolnshire and food security is also one of the major challenges identified by the UK Research Councils.

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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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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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