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Articles by Section - Feature: In the Lab
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Departments: CSI Listeria
Listeriosis, an infection caused by ingestion of Listeria monocytogenes, is especially dangerous for certain at-risk populations, including pregnant women, fetuses, infants, the elderly and those battling chronic diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while the rate of listeriosis has fallen by 40 percent in the past five years, Listeria monocytogenes still accounts for almost 500 deaths each year.
Mercury is a toxic element with harmful effects that are well documented and understood. The consumption of fish is the primary source of mercury absorption for the general public. Because fish can bio-accumulate mercury, unacceptably high levels of mercury appear in fish taken from pristine waters. Fish tissue sometimes can be more than 100,000 times more concentrated in mercury than their indigenous waters.
Departments: Desperately Seeking Salmonella
Salmonella is a group of foodborne bacterial pathogens causing acute gastrointestinal illness around the world. FDA estimates that 2 to 4 million people are sickened by Salmonellosis in the U.S. annually, resulting in approximately 600 deaths in the U.S. and 200 in the EU, with the highest fatality rates in young children and the elderly.
Food and beverage plants generally focus strongly on two objectives: Producing high-quality product in an efficient and well-run production facility and reducing/controlling costs in the process, while maintaining effective investment planning.
Departments: Controlling Listeria
Recall of food products contaminated by Listeria monocytogenes are on the rise, due in part to federal regulatory agencies’ increased scrutiny of food processing plants. Each year in the United States, L. monocytogenes causes approximately 2,500 cases of illness, which result in 500 deaths (Mead, 1999). Susceptible persons include pregnant women and those with immune system compromise due to cancer, organ transplant therapy, kidney disease, diabetes, aging and AIDS.
Departments: Elusive E. Coli
Enterohemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7 gained great attention as a foodborne pathogen in 1982 after an outbreak from contaminated hamburgers in a fast-food chain. Although anyone can get ill from ingesting even low levels of this organism, the very young and the elderly are at greater risk for developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) as a result of an E. coli O157:H7 infection. HUS is a severe illness that can lead to permanent loss of kidney function and even death. According to estimates by the Centers for...
Departments: Traceability as a Tool
In June 2002, national manufacturer ConAgra Beef Co. voluntarily recalled more than 354,000 pounds of ground beef – 177 tons – that may have been contaminated with the E. coli bacteria. Within 20 days, USDA requested that the company further expand its recall to include 19 million pounds of product. Since ConAgra could not readily trace and identify the stores that bought the meat or the brands under which it was sold, it took days to pull all of the recalled product. Public awareness quickly...
Departments: Conquering Compliance Management
It’s no secret that FDA regulated industries are motivated to find better ways to comply with ever-increasing government regulations and formative industry standards. GMP requirements, 21 CFR Part 11, Sarbanes-Oxley, HACCP and other regulations have made compliance- and risk-management a key concern for any regulated organization.
Departments: Express Evaluation
Classical methodologies used for enumerating Staphylococcus in food are time consuming taking up to 78 hours. The 3M Petrifilm Staph Express Count System (STX) is a rapid test that has recently been commercialized in order to shorten the time. When using STX, the population of S. aureus in food samples can be determined in as soon as 22 hours because the identification of S. aureus is not based on coagulase production.
Departments: Tasty Technology
For the past six years, Copenhagen, Denmark-based Chr. Hansen, a manufacturer of blended seasonings, has operated a plant in Elyria, Ohio. There, the company manufactures custom flavor blends for a variety of food manufacturers, including Tyson Foods, Frito-Lay, Shearer’s Chips and Freshmark.