FOOD SAFETY NEWS SCAN: Pet treat and food recalls, profile of milk-borne outbreaks

Mar 9, 2011

Food product testing prompts recall notices
Four companies recalled their products—pig ear dog treats, peppermint herbal tea, ground beef, and bologna—due to possible Salmonella, Escherichia coli, or Staphylococcus aureus contamination, though no illnesses have been reported, according to press releases from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). In the dog treat notice issued by the FDA, Jones Natural Chews Co, based in Rockford, Ill., recalled 2,705 boxes of pig ears after routine sampling from the Washington State Department of Agriculture found Salmonella in the finished products. The products were shipped to distributors and retailers in 18 states between Sep 15 and Nov 2, 2010. Contaminated pet treats pose a foodborne illness to humans who handle the contaminated products.
Mar 8 FDA pet treat recall notice
In the FDA's peppermint tea notice yesterday, RemedyTeas said it recalled 20 pounds of Peppermint Organic Herbal Tea produced by Aromatics, Inc., based in Basin City, Wash., after the vendor did follow-up testing after it learned initial tests suggested possible contamination. The recalled tea was sold between Feb 22 and Mar 4 at retail stores and through the Internet. On Mar 3 Teavana Corporation recalled 2,659 pounds of the same tea produced by the same company, also due to Salmonella concerns.
Mar 8 FDA tea recall notice
In the ground beef notice issued by the USDA yesterday, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, based in Arkansas City, Kan., recalled about 14,158 pounds of its ground beef after a third-party lab found E coli O157:H7. The ground beef was produced on Feb 22 and distributed to 10 states for further processing or distribution. It may have been repackaged into consumer-sized packages and sold under different retail brand names, the USDA said.
Mar 8 USDA ground beef recall notice
Finally, in a USDA notice today, Zweigle's Inc., of Rochester, N.Y., announced a recall of about 3,000 pounds of bologna that may be contaminated with S aureus enterotoxin. The product is Price Chopper German Brand Bologna Made With Pork & Chicken packed in cases containing two 10-pound packages. They were made Jan 4, packaged Jan 7, and bear the establishment number "EST. 5333."
Mar 9 USDA bologna recall notice

Researchers identify likely milk outbreak profile
University of Minnesota researchers developed a profile to help detect disease outbreaks tied to milk, as criteria for identifying potential intentional contamination. For their study, published in Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, they studied 1990 through 2006 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Annual Listings of Disease Outbreaks and the Foodborne Outbreak Database (FOOD). They then used 2007 FOOD data to validate their profile. Among 83 outbreaks linked to milk, which resulted in 3,621 illnesses, the mean number of cases per outbreak was 43.6 (range, 2 to 1,644), and drinking unpasteurized milk was associated with 53.4% of outbreaks. Organisms most commonly at fault were Campylobacter (51.2%), Escherichia coli (10.8%), and Salmonella (9.6%). The most common outbreak location, at 41.0%, was a private home. The primary characteristics that could signal intentional contamination were the number ill, outbreak location, and etiology. In looking at the 2007 data, they identified one Campylobacter outbreak linked to pasteurized milk as aberrant compared with the expected outbreak profile.
March Foodborne Pathog Dis study

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