USA – FDA Recall -Ground Annato Spice – Salmonella

FDA Salm2

Miravalle Foods, Inc. of El Monte, CA, is conducting a voluntarily recall on its 0.75 ounce packages of Miravalle brand Achiote Molido Ground Annato spice because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.

The recalled packages of Ground Annato 0.75 oz. were distributed in California, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada, Washington and Oregon, in retail stores.

The product comes in a 0.75 ounce, clear plastic package marked with lot # 0015 & #0018 on the top of the UPC number (712810005020).

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

UK Research- Norovirus in Food Outlets to be Mapped

Medical Press norovirus-2(1)

The University of Liverpool is leading a £2 million Food Standards Agency (FSA) project to map the occurrence of norovirus in food premises and industry workers.

Norovirus outbreaks can rapidly affect of people. In 2012 a batch of frozen strawberries infected 11,000 people in Germany, but there are significant gaps in the authorities’ understanding of which strains cause and which foods are the most likely to harbour the bacteria.

Researchers will produce data that will help the FSA to develop plans to reduce the infection by collecting swabs from work surfaces at more than 200 pubs, restaurants and hotels in the North West and South East of England.


Spain – Cafeteria Illness Outbreak – Staphylococcus in Peas

El Mundo

Peas menu that was served in the cafeteria of the Madrid Assembly on 3 April when several people were intoxicated, have tested positive in the analysis of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, the report prepared by the laboratory for Biotab Arturo Cantoblanco Group.

When several people went to the cafeteria of the Assembly because they suffered symptoms of poisoning, hours after having eaten at this establishment, responsible for the company contacted the external laboratory Biotab to analyze the food served on the day before , full day, in which 180 meals were served.

USA – USDA Listeria Control in Retail Deli’s


This guidance document provides specific actions that retailers can take in the delicatessen (deli) area to decrease the potential for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) growth or cross-contamination. In particular, the guidance covers:

  • Actions identified by the Interagency Retail Lm Risk Assessment (see page 2) that can decrease the predicted risk of listeriosis from deli products;
  • Information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, scientific literature, other guidance documents, and lessons learned from meat and poultry establishments that retailers can use to control Lm;
  • Steps retailers can take to help ensure that deli products are maintained under sanitary conditions that do not allow Lm adulteration of the product; and
  • A self-assessment tool that retailers can use to determine what practices they are currently using and what new practices to adopt to control Lm.


Research – Outbreaks Attributed to Cheese: Differences Between Outbreaks Caused by Unpasteurized and Pasteurized Dairy Products, United States, 1998–2011

Mary Ann Leibert

Introduction: The interstate commerce of unpasteurized fluid milk, also known as raw milk, is illegal in the United States, and intrastate sales are regulated independently by each state. However, U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations allow the interstate sale of certain types of cheeses made from unpasteurized milk if specific aging requirements are met. We describe characteristics of these outbreaks, including differences between outbreaks linked to cheese made from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk.

Methods: We reviewed reports of outbreaks submitted to the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System during 1998–2011 in which cheese was implicated as the vehicle. We describe characteristics of these outbreaks, including differences between outbreaks linked to cheese made from pasteurized versus unpasteurized milk.

Results: During 1998–2011, 90 outbreaks attributed to cheese were reported; 38 (42%) were due to cheese made with unpasteurized milk, 44 (49%) to cheese made with pasteurized milk, and the pasteurization status was not reported for the other eight (9%). The most common cheese–pathogen pairs were unpasteurized queso fresco or other Mexican-style cheese and Salmonella (10 outbreaks), and pasteurized queso fresco or other Mexican-style cheese and Listeria (6 outbreaks). The cheese was imported from Mexico in 38% of outbreaks caused by cheese made with unpasteurized milk. In at least five outbreaks, all due to cheese made from unpasteurized milk, the outbreak report noted that the cheese was produced or sold illegally. Outbreaks caused by cheese made from pasteurized milk occurred most commonly (64%) in restaurant, delis, or banquet settings where cross-contamination was the most common contributing factor.

Conclusions: In addition to using pasteurized milk to make cheese, interventions to improve the safety of cheese include limiting illegal importation of cheese, strict sanitation and microbiologic monitoring in cheese-making facilities, and controls to limit food worker contamination.

UK – Sigma Aldrich – Free Seminar Day – Solutions for Analytical Challenges in Food Safety

Sigma Aldrich

This free-of-charge, full-day seminar on 12.06.2014 in Manchester provides an overview on recent developments for challenging applications in Food Safety such as analysis of mycotoxins, pesticides and other contaminants.
The seminar will also discuss approaches for reducing over analysis time, especially in sample preparation.

Scientists and lab technicians working in Food Safety will benefit most from this seminar

RASFF Alert – Aflatoxin – Chilli Pepper


RASFF – Aflatoxins (B1 = 5.8 µg/kg – ppb) in chilli pepper from India in the UK