Posts

July 23, 2014

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4:26 AM | Just market food safety at retail, government is hopeless: FSA plan to name and shame supermarkets selling Campylobacter chicken ditched after pressure from retailers
Maybe there’s something lost in translation; I’m barely starting to understand Australian. But if I read this right, the piping hot UK Food Standards Agency has put retail over public health after scrapping plans to regularly name and shame supermarkets … Continue reading →

July 22, 2014

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6:40 PM | Footie star suffers from Salmonella
I tried my hockey goalie re-debut in Australia and strained both my ACLs (that’s anterior cruciate ligament) within 10 minutes. Maybe I’ll prep better next time, or stick to coaching. Aussie rules football has become my second favorite sport because … Continue reading →
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6:24 PM | Quantifing Early Rejection Biomarkers in Transplant Patients
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6:22 PM | Cyclospora surge in Texas
Tarrant County Public Health issued a warning Monday about an outbreak of Cyclosporiasis. Prior to this month, there were just eight cases reported in the State of Texas, and Tarrant County had seen just one. But there are now 69 … Continue reading →
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6:09 PM | E. coli outbreak at Minnesota reservation
The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed several cases of a foodborne illness linked to E-coli on the Fond du Lac reservation. Between six and 12 people have come down with symptoms of E-coli poisoning over the last week. The … Continue reading →
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5:51 PM | Leafy greens cone of silence; 33 sickened: environmental investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak in Oct. 2013 associated with pre-packaged salads
California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Food and Drug Branch (FDB), Emergency Response Unit (ERU) investigated a multi-state foodborne illness outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (PulseNet Cluster ID 1310CAEXH-1) linked to the consumption of pre-packaged salads purchased in October 2013 at … Continue reading →
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5:33 PM | Auditor’s role? Three years since people died from cantaloupe
Attorney Bill Marler writes: It has been almost three long years since dusty Holly, Colorado, became the epicenter of a Listeria monocytogenes human tragedy. Many are painfully aware that litigation has been ongoing since the fall of 2011. The litigation … Continue reading →
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2:23 PM | CDC: Measures to Minimize Influenza Transmission at Swine Exhibitions, 2014
Credit Wikipedia   # 8857   A little over three weeks ago, in Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize Pig, I wrote about the upcoming county & state fair season, and concerns that we could see a resurgence in Swine Variant Influenza infections in fairgoers this year.  Although only 19 such cases were identified in 2013, the previous year more that 300 cases were reported.   The CDC describes Swine Variant viruses in their Key Facts FAQ. What is a variant […]
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12:48 PM | Hong Kong: Two Hospital Clusters Of MDR Acinetobacter Infections
Credit CDC PHIL   # 8856   Because it is such an international city, and boasts one of the most diligent (and open) public health agencies in the world (Centre For Health Protection), Hong Kong has become a terrific  barometer for the growth of multiple drug resistant infections from around the world.   One of the toughest bacteria that hospitals must deal with is called multidrug-resistant (MDR) Acinetobacter baumannii, which in recent years has made headlines […]
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12:30 PM | Insects Headline Art of Science Exhibit
Science is boring. Art is Stupid. Prove us wrong. These are the words that launched the annual Art of Science exhibition at Princeton University. The exhibit highlights examples of accidental art – images and video collected in the process of doing science that somehow go beyond the numeric values of their pixels. This year I was excited to have four of my photographs included in the exhibit. Taking photos while doing research gives students and scientists a chance to embrace their […]
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11:40 AM | mBio: Airborne Fragments Of MERS-CoV Detected In Saudi Camel Barn
Credit FAO   *** UPDATED with mBIO Link ***   # 8855     A little later today the open access journal mBio will publish a new paper, prepared by researchers from King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia, on  RT-PCR testing of air samples taken from a camel barn during the time of a well studied probable camel-to-human transmission event last November (see CIDRAP: More Evidence for Camel-to-Human MERS-CoV Transmission).   mBio usually posts new […]

July 21, 2014

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10:24 PM | Lizard found in egg puff, 3rd in a month in India
 The city police have registered a case against owner of the New Ragam Bakery at Ammankoil near Sivanandapuram after one of the customers found a dead lizard in an egg puff on Friday evening. The customer was rushed to a … Continue reading →
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10:11 PM | Chinese meat supplier of McDonald’s and KFC gets the ax
The Chinese outlets of McDonald’s and KFC have stopped using meat from a Shanghai company after a local television news program accused the supplier of using chicken and beef past their expiration date, triggering an investigation by local food safety … Continue reading →
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7:28 PM | Listeria zero tolerance prompts produce recall
Listeria is a pretty common bacteria in the soil and environment. Before Jensen Farms lots of food safety folks would not have been surprised to find some Listeria spp on the outside of a cantaloupe (it’s grown in soil, packed on lines … Continue reading →
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6:57 PM | Students Discover: The third week
Time flies when you’re having fun (and working hard)! Last week marked the third and final week of our time with the Students Discover Kenan Fellows at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. The week was jam-packed with lab work, lesson planning, more small mammal trapping, visits behind-the-scenes to the Museum’s collections and Arthropod Zoo, and a special lunch with Dr. Emlyn Koster, the Museum’s director. Here are some highlights from his remarks to the group: […]
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6:43 PM | Turning down an endowed lectureship because their gender ratio is too skewed towards males #WomenInSTEM
Just got this invitation.  I have edited it to remove some of the identifying factors since I think the specific details do not matter.Dear Dr. Eisen: I am writing to invite you to present a lecture in the endowed XXXX Lecture Series at XXXX Univsersity.  The XXXX Lecture is a platform to allow leaders in the areas of XXXX to communicate research advances to a general audience.  Recent speakers include XXXX and XXXX and XXXX.  For your talk, we were hoping you could […]
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6:40 PM | Culture change isn’t about training, education and environment
Over the past decade lots of folks have been throwing around the term food safety culture to describe how a business operates. Education, training, equipment, tools, the environment, investment and support from higher-ups all influence how well an organization addresses … Continue reading →
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6:22 PM | Some Spider: My House Spider Took Out a Scorpion
Two scorpions, actually. One of the more unpleasant facts about life in the Deep South is the sheer number of insects who call your house home. When I moved to southern Texas from my nearly bug-free... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com
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5:56 PM | Happiness is in the Danish Genes
Genetics could be the key to explaining nation’s levels of happiness, according to research from the University of Warwick. Economists at the University’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) have looked at why certain countries top the world happiness rankings. In particular they have found the closer a nation is to the […]
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3:55 PM | Serial Passage Of H5N2 In Mice
  # 8854   Influenza viruses are prolific, but sloppy, replicators.  They make millions of copies of themselves inside every host, but in the process, often make small transcription errors – amino acid substitutions – that can change the way the replicated virus acts.  Often, these changes are of little or no effect, or are even detrimental to the survival of the virus. Those that favor replication in the host, however, tend to carry on to produce […]
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1:48 PM | WWTPs As `Mixing Vessels’ For Resistant Bacteria
Photo Credit USGS – Wastewater: The Primary Treatment Process 1. Screening 2. Pumping 3. Aerating 4. Removing sludge 5. Removing Scum 6. killing bacteria     # 8853   While it is not a scientifically recognized law, as is Boyle’s or Torricelli’s, all too often the Law of Unintended Consequences (LUC) seems equally immutable and pervasive in the universe.  For every action, we often see an unanticipated, and usually negative, reaction (almost […]
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1:39 PM | When the Microbe Hits the Metal
by Leo Baumgart | Some heavy metals share a long history with microbes. Many of the metabolic processes that sustain life are believed to have originated from spontaneous reactions involving metals present in the early Earth. Our microbial ancestors figured out quickly how to use...
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10:21 AM | Monday Micro – west African Ebola outbreak now the deadliest in history
The Ebola outbreak that likely started in December 2013 with the death of a 2 year old child in Guéckédou, Guinea, has become the deadliest in history. The most recent report, almost a week old now, from the World Health Organisation puts the number of cases at 964 with 603 deaths. The outbreak has spread [...]
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2:02 AM | BacterioFiles 175 - Bacteria Build Better Biofilms
This episode: Engineered bacteria can be made to produce many different useful kinds of biofilm! Download Episode (10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)Show notes:News item 1/News item 2/Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Some kinds of mouth fungi may keep other bad ones in check Fossilized viruses found in fossilized bacteria Breastfeeding is important for a healthy gut community Studying how microbes in water treatment remove contaminating chemicals (paper) Bacteria break down cocoa into more […]
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12:47 AM | California company pulls some stone fruits in response to possible Listeria contamination
Dierbergs Markets is pulling from its stores a number of tree-ripened stone fruits from a California-based packing company. Wawona Packing Co. has issued a voluntary recall of conventional and organic varieties of yellow peaches and nectarines, white peaches and nectarines, … Continue reading →
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12:41 AM | 20% of all food items sold found to be substandard in India
Over 20 per cent of food items served in restaurants and fast food outlets across the country have been found to be substandard or adulterated, according to government data. Out of 46,283 food samples including milk, milk products, edible vegetable … Continue reading →
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12:38 AM | South Carolina toddler fights Salmonella after family dogs ate contaminated dog food
Cross-contamination with pet food is a continual issue. It took years for Brian and Elizabeth Hall to have their first baby. It will take years more for their infant daughter to get well. Amy Hall turned 2 last month, battling … Continue reading →
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12:23 AM | Scientists find a way to block botulism poisoning
Scientists have discovered how bacterial toxins that cause food-borne botulism are absorbed through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream. The study offers insight into developing new approaches for blocking this poisonous substance. Botulism is a rare and often fatal … Continue reading →
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12:01 AM | Label rules take effect next month for mechanically tenderized beef in Canada
Canadian shoppers will be able to see next month if the beef they’re buying has been mechanically tenderized. Labelling regulations to take effect Aug. 21 are designed to protect consumers after the largest meat recall in the country’s history two … Continue reading →

July 20, 2014

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11:51 PM | No such thing as no risk, managed risk is better; research clears bulb onions of E. coli risk
Research conducted at Oregon State University’s Malheur County experiment station has shown that E. coli contamination is not a risk in furrow- or drip-irrigated bulb onions. The research began last year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a … Continue reading →
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