Posts

November 11, 2014

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1:56 PM | ECDC: New Public Health Management Guidelines On Ebola
  # 9307   The ECDC has released a pair of technical reports today on the public health management of Healthcare workers returning from Ebola-affected nations, and on anyone who might have been exposed to Ebola while in the EU.  We’ve seen similar guidance issued by the CDC, PHAC, Public Health England, and other government agencies – and while similar in many ways – each approaches the topic a bit differently.   A few excerpts follow, but download […]
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1:04 PM | Lessons From Three Months Of Dealing With Ebola In The United States
Photo Credit- CDC   # 9306   Later today, America’s last hospitalized Ebola patient – Dr.  Craig Spencer – will be released from the New York Hospital where he has been treated for the past 3 weeks, cured of his Ebola virus infection (see Maggie Fox’s report Last U.S. Ebola Patient Is Cured: Dr. Craig Spencer to Be Released).     Since the epidemic still rages in West Africa, our respite may be short-lived.  Our next Ebola […]
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1:56 AM | PEI potato growers offer reward in tampering case
Coral Beach of The Packer writes the Prince Edward Island (that’s in Canada) potato industry is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for recent tampering incidents involving sewing needles being embedded … Continue reading →
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1:22 AM | ‘E. coli festering in the microwave’ surprise for four beer and chips-loving Irish students
Conor, Padraig, Brian and Paddy are students at Athlone Institute of Technology, and have been supplementing their studies with a diet of beer and chips while dangerous E. coli festers in their microwave. The lads, all in their 20s, are … Continue reading →
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1:08 AM | ‘Breaches completely avoidable’ 15 food businesses closed in Ireland last month
Eight restaurants across the country were hit by closure orders by Ireland’s food safety watchdog last month. The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued the orders to nine food businesses in Dublin and one each in Cork, Kerry, Waterford, … Continue reading →
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12:16 AM | I still prefer name and shame: Name and Fame for Dubai restaurants
Customers will soon be able to view a food safety grade on the entrance of Dubai food outlets as part of an upcoming “Name and Fame” scheme, an official said on Sunday. The scheme will reveal whether the outlet has … Continue reading →

November 10, 2014

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11:45 PM | Australian importer fined $25K for not testing imported ham
An importer has been fined $25,000 for failing to test 2241 kg Parma ham imported from Italy in 2011. Paqualino Licastro, owner of Perth import company Topas Pty Ltd, was fined $3000 while the company was fined $22,000. After breaching … Continue reading →
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11:35 PM | New Zealand to help Chinese food giant in safety
Xinhua reports that China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO), the country’s largest agricultural and food products supplier, has signed an agreement with a New Zealand government-owned food safety firm and a multinational business consultancy to improve China’s food … Continue reading →
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11:29 PM | Australian reporter drank camel milk for a month, here’s what happened
PJ Madam writes: This is a story about camels, their milk, and my bowel moments. What could possibly be more interesting and attractive? As a reporter on Sunday Night, I’m encouraged to get involved in the story as much as … Continue reading →
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11:20 PM | Don’t leave cooked rice out overnight
I never order rice when I’m out.  When I make rice, it’s into the refrigerator reasonably fast. But lots of people leave it out overnight and that’s the problem. According to a national Newspoll survey, commissioned for Australian Food Safety … Continue reading →
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10:43 PM | FAO-EMPRES Report On The Emergence And Threat Of H5N6
  # 9305   For many years Southeast Asia has been considered `the cradle of influenza’, an area of the world where both human and animal influenza viruses circulate more-or-less year round, and where humans and farm animals often live in close proximity with one another.   In March of 2013, in EID Journal: Predicting Hotspots for Influenza Virus Reassortment, we looked at a study that selected East-Central China a one of the top hotspots in the world for the […]
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9:48 PM | Raw egg mayonnaise more of a G20 threat than terrorism
As Brisbane locks down for the G20 meetings this weekend, Queensland’s Chief Health Officer, Jeanette Young, stated this week that she was more concerned about the threat of raw egg mayonnaise than terrorism, with major hospitals primed to take action … Continue reading →
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7:11 PM | Bio-Rad’s Newest NGC™ Chromatography Systems Automate Workflow
Bio-Rad Laboratories announced the launch of two new NGC Medium-Pressure Chromatography Systems, the NGC Discover™ and NGC™ Discover Pro Systems. The automation capabilities of both systems make them ideal for advanced purification applications such as method optimization and multi-step and tandem protein purification. Bio-Rad optimized the Discover and Discover Pro Systems for pharmaceutical environments. These […]
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5:34 PM | Reversion: Unintended Consequences
Today, Reversion by Amy Rogers at Science Thrillers is released:  a lab worker on an illicit drug mission, hiding in a cave with bats; a clinical trial of gene therapy at a foreign medical tourism destination (because it was not approved in the States); and assorted characters ranging from sweet and valiant to pure sociopathic. What could possibly go wrong?The science of rabies, gene therapy, and mutations (to only name a few topics) are well portrayed:"Disabling the […]
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5:17 PM | Saudi MOH: 1 MERS Case In Riyadh
  # 9304   After two days without reporting a new MERS case, the Saudi MOH announced a single case in Riyadh today.
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4:53 PM | BacterioFiles 190 - Bacteriophages Bust Biofilm Beacons
This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications! Download Episode (14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)Show notes:Journal Paper Other interesting stories: Tiny microbes affect temperature by how much sunlight is reflected off ice Bacteria could help clean uranium from aquifers Fungus can kill poison ivy Differences found in gut microbes between children with or without diabetes Using viruses to understand tiny physics better Post questions or comments here or […]
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4:40 PM | Bird Flu Spread: The Flyway Or The Highway?
Major Global Migratory Flyways – Credit FAO   # 9303   The announcement last week that a highly pathogenic avian influenza, only previously seen in Eastern Asia, had turned up at a turkey farm thousands of miles away in central Europe (see Germany Reports H5N8 Outbreak in Turkeys), raises serious questions about how far this emergent virus has already spread in the wild, and elevates concerns over the spread of other novel influenza sub-types as well.   The […]
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1:31 PM | A Study in Scarlet
No doubt you’ve been wowed this autumn by the crimson colors of the red maple (Acer rubrum)! This tree, native to eastern North America, has grown even more numerous in the past 100 years. When the Chestnut Blight and Dutch Elm Disease swept through eastern deciduous forests, it opened up space for the hardy red maple to move in. Add in the tree’s popularity in landscaping (and its tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions: sunny or shady, high or low nutrients, dry or […]
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4:43 AM | Life on a Pig's Skin
by Sean Kearney | How frequently do microbes exchange genes when living on a host? This question has been on my mind lately. Broadly speaking, the discovery of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) revolutionized the way we think about prokaryotic evolution. No more could we think only of inheritance via vertical descent — HGT made possible the transmission of traits even between distantly related species.
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1:22 AM | Really? Canberra health inspectors get a big tick for their helpfulness
I don’t like surveys. I really don’t like taxpayer-funded surveys that give public servants a big thumbs up. So I’m skeptical when The Canberra Times reports that Canberra’s food safety inspectors have received a tick of approval from local business … Continue reading →
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12:42 AM | Buffalo family finds maggots in Chinese take-out
A local family sits down for dinner and finds unwelcomed guests at the table – maggots in their Chinese take-out “Don’t go to Chinese Kitchen because their kitchen is filthy,” said Maria Marti who ordered the food. Marti and her … Continue reading →

November 09, 2014

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8:12 PM | To gain trust, put facts up front (but only comfortably facts)
If environmental groups can funnel millions into campaigns against genetically engineered foods, and develop databases on more than 80,000 items sold in groceries across the U.S. with details of ingredients and nutritional information, why is there no effort to provide … Continue reading →
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7:29 PM | UK food stores flock to roast-in-the-bag chickens
It’s the one recipe to which even rudimentary cooks like to add their unique touches – perhaps a herby garnish or a few strips of bacon. But it seems the days of roast chicken prepared in the distinctive way that … Continue reading →
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7:06 PM | Gypsum with your pudding? Trouble in Taipei
A New Taipei-based food company has been found to be illegally adding industrial gypsum powder to its beancurd puddings and to be storing herbal tea in recycled containers originally used for medical liquids, local health authorities said Saturday. The officials … Continue reading →
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6:53 PM | Wal-Mart to focus on food safety in China: High-tech or high-touch?
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is focusing on food safety as the world’s largest retailer aims to boost profitability of its more than 400 stores in China, Wal-Mart Asia chief executive Scott Price told Reuters. “We play an important role in China … Continue reading →
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6:34 PM | No Failure Of Imagination: Sabine’s Diaries
    # 9302   When Flublogia was relatively young - eight years, and more than 9,000 blogs ago – I wrote about a couple of Pandemic Fictional Scenarios – the best known of which were the imaginings of how a pandemic might play out by CanadaSue on the old Flu Wiki (Old Yeller). A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Peter Sandman & Dr. Jody Lanard wrote about a `failure of imagination’ regarding our current Ebola epidemic which leads officials from […]
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5:00 PM | Monday Micro – glowing bugs return to the park!
This Thursday, bioluminescent bacteria will once again be making an appearance at Auckland’s Art in the Dark festival. ‘Biolumination‘ is the result of my second collaboration with artist Rebecca Klee. This year sees our glowing bacteria being displayed in custom-built glass vessels which remind me a lot of the fishing lines our native glow worm [...]
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1:50 PM | Home Alone . . . With The Flu
My `under-the-bed’ flu kit   # 9301   Although you can never really know what kind of flu season lies ahead, early indications are that the H3N2 virus is leading the pack and that a new strain – not covered in this year’s vaccine – may have an impact (see A `Drift’ In A Sea Of Influenza Viruses).    Years in which H3 viruses dominate often produce more severe flu seasons – particularly among those over the age of 65. Like […]
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8:49 AM | Got a risk assessment to back that up? UK nutritionist say soft-boiled eggs ‘now safe for pregnant women and babies’
This is not the advice of UK health types, but according to a new review published in the Journal of Health Visiting and cited in Parent Dish, nutritionist Dr Juliet Gray, said mothers may be unwittingly putting their children at … Continue reading →
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8:38 AM | Spray-on DNA bar codes could detect pathogens on produce
Stephanie Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle, writes that to prevent and contain outbreaks of food-borne illness, which sicken 1 in 6 Americans annually, a Bay Area startup is developing bar codes that go directly on fruits and vegetables. But … Continue reading →
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