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Important references for food safety issues
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According to the survey, 51 percent of employees reported they always or frequently go to work when sick. More than 45 percent said they go to work sick because they can’t afford to lose pay. More than 46 percent said they didn’t want to let their co-workers down by not showing up for a shift. When managers were asked how many employees they thought came to work sick, the majority answered just 18 percent.

Survey: More Than Half of US and Canadian Food Workers Go to Work Sick
Austin, Texas — As the cold and flu season approaches, a new survey by the Center for Research and Public Policy (CRPP) reveals that more than half of workers in the food industry go to work sick, citing concerns over lost wages and support for their co-workers.

As part of the annual Mind of the Food Worker study, the CRPP polled more than 1,200 food workers at all stages of the food supply chain, including farms, processing plants, cafeterias, restaurants, and grocery stores across the U.S. and Canada. The independent survey was commissioned by Alchemy Systems, which works with companies and organizations across the food system to improve safety and operations.
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A total of 695 boxes containing 8 “Granny Smith” green apples each and 67 clear plastic bags containing 6 “Granny Smith” green apples each were distributed to Coremark and 7-Eleven for sale in convenience stores in the Mountain States region on Oct. 1-12, 2015. States affected include CO, KS, MO, NE, NM, OK, SD, UT and WY. The apples at store level are individual fruit on open displays.

Del Monte Recalls Limited Quantity of Fresh Apples Due to Possible Health Risk
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Del Monte Fresh Produce N.A., Inc. is initiating a voluntary recall of Granny Smith green apples because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stuffiness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
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In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) enacted one of the most far-reaching and powerful regulations called the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). This legislation established new rules that allow the FDA to recall, suspend production, and audit food service providers. The FSMA mandates that food suppliers identify and account for hazards, implement controls to prevent contamination, and monitor and record those controls. Data has become the fulcrum of food safety

Chris Wilder, Contributor

Moor Insights and Strategy

Forbes / Tech, Oct 1, 2015 - Read More
What Does Food Safety Have To Do With Big Data And The Internet Of Things?
An area where there are considerable quality control challenges is in the fresh fish industry. Companies can now use Big Data and IoT sensory evaluation methods to objectively determine the freshness of fish off-the-boat using non-evasive devices like those developed by Seafood Analytics. These devices leverage electrical currents to determine if the fish was previously frozen, time on ice, time since harvest, and shelf life remaining. Further, using smart packaging, companies can embed sensors to track environmental conditions throughout the supply chain. Once at the point of sale, sensors and advanced safe and healthy radiant energy solutions, like those built by Vitabeam, can help prolong the products shelf life while killing harmful bacteria that accelerates the product’s decomposition.
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Salmonella food poisoning can cause fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after exposure. Typically, these symptoms occur for four to seven days. Most individuals infected with Salmonella recover without treatment. However, severe illnesses may occur for those with weaken immune systems, young children, and the elderly. In some cases, hospitalization is required.

EMSL, Analytical,Inc. EMSL News - Read More
Salmonella in Peanut Products Raises Questions of Food Safety
A recent court case involving an American peanut company has raised questions on food safety. As of September 22, 2015, parties involved in shipping contaminated products to facilities for manufacturing and distribution have been sentenced to jail time for their roles. According to news reports, peanuts were not tested before being transported based on evidence from the case. This resulted in a Salmonella outbreak that caused the death of nine people and over 700 others to become ill.
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CDC estimates that each year roughly 48 million people gets sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. The 2011 estimates provide the most accurate picture of which foodborne bacteria, viruses, microbes ("pathogens") are causing the most illnesses in the United States. According to the 2011 estimates, the most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter

Foodborne Germs and Illnesses
Foodborne illness (sometimes called "foodborne disease," "foodborne infection," or "food poisoning) is a common, costly—yet preventable—public health problem. Each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. Many different disease-causing microbes, or pathogens, can contaminate foods, so there are many different foodborne infections. In addition, poisonous chemicals, or other harmful substances can cause foodborne diseases if they are present in food.
    • More than 250 different foodborne diseases have been described. Most of these diseases are infections, caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can be foodborne.
    • Other diseases are poisonings, caused by harmful toxins or chemicals that have contaminated the food, for example, poisonous mushrooms.
    • These different diseases have many different symptoms, so there is no one "syndrome" that is foodborne illness. However, the microbe or toxin enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract, and often causes the first symptoms there, so nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea are common symptoms in many foodborne diseases.
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A multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Poona linked to imported Mexican cucumbers has apparently sickened more than 300 people from 27 states and hospitalized 53 of them, according to an alert posted Friday afternoon by the New Mexico Department of Health.

Food Safety News www.foodsafetynews.com
2 Deaths, 418 Salmonella Cases in 31 States Linked to Cucumbers
According to CDC, “Among people for whom information is available, illnesses started on dates ranging from July 3, 2015 to August 26, 2015. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 99, with a median age of 13. Fifty-four percent of ill people are children younger than 18 years. Fifty-seven percent of ill people are female. Among 160 people with available information, 53 (33%) report being hospitalized. One death has been reported from California.

Oct. 6, 2015 update:
CDC announced on Tuesday that 61 more Salmonella Poona infections have been reported from 24 states, bringing the total to 732 cases in 35 states (Maryland was added to the list). One related death has been reported in Oklahoma, bringing the total number of deaths to four, CDC stated. The other reported deaths have been one each in Arizona, California and Texas. Also, CDC reported that 150 people have been hospitalized in connection with this outbreak. Given the 14-day shelf life of cucumbers and the gap between when someone gets sick and when that illness is reported to public health, it is not unexpected to continue to see illnesses reported after the recalls, the agency noted.
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Recent news report regarding ground beef and salmonella outbreaks

CBS News
 
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On April 20, 2015, Blue Bell Creameries voluntarily recalled all products currently on the market made at all of its facilities, including ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and frozen snacks.Blue Bell announced this recall after sampling by the company revealed that Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream half gallons produced on March 17, 2015, and March 27, 2015, contained Listeria.

Center for Disease Control www.cdcgov/listeria/outbreaks/ice-cream
Multistate Outbreak of Listeriosis Linked to Blue Bell Creameries Products
A total of 10 people infected with several strains of Listeria were reported from 4 states: Arizona (1), Kansas (5), Oklahoma (1), and Texas (3). Illness onset dates ranged from January 2010 through January 2015. The people with illness onsets during 2010–2014 were identified through a retrospective review of the PulseNet database for DNA fingerprints matching isolates collected from Blue Bell ice cream samples. All 10 (100%) people were hospitalized. Three deaths were reported from Kansas