FDA cites problems at peanut butter plant; recall expanded

first_img FDA outbreak pagehttp://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/salmonellatyph.html#news Also today, FDA officials announced that PCA is expanding its recall to cover all products produced at the plant since Jan 1, 2007. It was unclear, however, what type of testing was initially done and what the chances were of the tests producing false-positive results. The earliest case mentioned in the FDA’s report was in June 2007. Screening tests take about a day, while confirmatory tests take from 3 to 5 days, Besser said. Storage of raw peanuts next to roasted peanuts; sometimes the raw and finished products were visually indistinguishable Also, FDA investigators found mold on the ceiling and walls of the finished product cooler, along with water stains running down from the cooler’s fans, located directly above where the finished products were stored. Also, finished products were stored beneath skylights and ceilings that showed evidence of rainwater leakage. The FDA released its full investigative report on the PCA plant, called form 483, today on its Web site. The report includes a list of observations that Rogers classified as deviations from Good Manufacturing Practices, some of which he said are violations of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. FDA officials observed several instances in which finished products were vulnerable to contamination, including: The identification of specific Salmonella serotypes should have told the company that there was a problem either with the testing or with the peanuts, he said. “The lack of clarity with regards to these tests really points to a lack of credible information for the entire investigation,” he said. “It’s hard to make decisions if the information is piecemeal or potentially incorrect.” John Besser, PhD, clinical laboratory manager at the Minnesota Department of Health, reviewed the FDA’s investigation report and told CIDRAP News that the company used screening tests in the instances where it detected an unidentified Salmonella serotype and used confirmatory testing methods in the three instances where it identified a serotype. Jan 28, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today released its inspection findings on the Georgia peanut butter plant that has been linked to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak, saying the company shipped products that had initially tested positive for Salmonella and citing various other questionable practices. Clarification needed on test methodsMichael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, said that despite dramatic headlines about the PCA releasing products that tested positive for Salmonella, more information is needed about methods the company used in its initial product testing. Cleaning deficit, storage errorsThe FDA report also said the company did not clean the peanut paste production line after Salmonella Typhimurium was found in the paste on Sep 26, 2008. The report said the company did not clean the line until the FDA began inspecting the plant on Jan 9. In a statement yesterday, the American Peanut Council expressed shock that PCA “knowingly released a product with potential salmonella contamination into the food supply, as released by the Food and Drug Administration.” Other developmentsSundlof, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, told reporters yesterday that though investigators have wrapped up their investigation at the plant, the FDA, along with state officials, has visited about 1,000 food manufacturers that used potentially contaminated peanut butter and peanut paste in their products and was still testing products and reviewing distribution records. He said he expects the list of recalled products to expand. Rogers also commented that it “is sometimes possible to get negative and positive results from the same product lot.” Tauxe noted that people with no Internet access can call the CDC hotline at 1-800-232-4636 for information on product recalls. “There is concern of potential Salmonella contamination, including Salmonella strains not associated with the current outbreak,” Dr. Stephen Sundlof of the FDA said at a late afternoon news briefing. But he said the agency has not yet seen any illnesses involving strains other than the outbreak strain, Salmonella Typhimiurium. He said there was not enough information to tell if there was a problem with the confirmatory tests or if the company had inadequate testing procedures. “No matter how you cut it, there was some type of negligence,” Besser said. Placement of pallets of finished product within 3 feet of a cooler floor where authorities isolated Salmonella Mdbandaka In other comments at today’s briefing, Sundlof said the FDA still sees no evidence of any contamination in national name-brand peanut butter. He said national brand manufacturers have assured the agency that they never bought any peanut products from PCA. The report said the facility lacked a ventilation system to prevent potential contamination from airflow from the areas that handled raw peanuts to the finished product areas. Also, some areas of the plant lacked segregation between raw and finished products. At today’s briefing, the FDA’s Rogers said the agency is aware of the labs used by PCA for its internal testing and has no information suggesting problems with the labs or their test results. However, he said that unless there are mitigating circumstances, the practice of releasing a product after first getting a positive test result and then a negative result is not common in the industry and “is certainly a deviation from current Good Manufacturing Practices.” Half of the cases have occurred in children younger than 16, Tauxe reported. He said 108 people have been hospitalized, and eight deaths may be associated with the outbreak, all of them in people older than 59. Michael Rogers, who directs the FDA’s field investigation division, told reporters at a press conference yesterday that FDA investigators found that the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) plant in Blakely, Ga., detected Salmonella in some of the products it made in 2007 and 2008, but later released them after testing by an outside firm found no contamination in the products. Other findings included product residue buildup on and near production equipment, dirt and grime on washroom equipment and walls, and evidence of roaches in a washroom adjacent to the production and packaging areas. At today’s briefing, Robert Tauxe, MD, MPH, deputy director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Foodborne, Bacterial, and Mycotic Diseases, said the case count in the outbreak remained at 501 in 43 states, plus one case in Canada. He said the outbreak appears to be ongoing, though the number of new cases has modestly decreased. Osterholm said there was no question that the FDA found Salmonella in the PCA plant. But he said detailed information about the initial tests the company used could help clarify what went wrong and that public health officials need to know if those tests produced true-positive Salmonella findings. That would help clarify whether the company released products it knew might be contaminated, he said. The report says the FDA identified 12 instances in which peanut products tested positive for Salmonella on internal testing between June 2007 and September 2008, but the company then released the products after further testing was negative. Initial testing found Salmonella Typhimurium once, Salmonella Anatum twice, and unspecified strains nine times. “The findings of the FDA report can only be seen as a clear and unconscionable action of one irresponsible manufacturer, which stands alone in an industry that strives to follow the most stringent food safety standards,” said Patrick Archer, president of the trade association. Although the firm recognized that the roasting step was the key to eliminating contamination in raw peanuts, it didn’t verify that the temperature, volume, and belt speed of its roaster were adequate to kill pathogenic bacteria, the report said, adding that temperature documentation was incomplete for several time periods. FDA officials told CIDRAP News that an independent private laboratory conducted PCA’s initial testing, but that the FDA didn’t have any information on the testing methods used. Storage of finished products within 15 feet of a floor crack where investigators isolated Salmonella Senftenberg See also: Given the expanded PCA recall, the FDA expects that food companies will check their supply chains to determine if they have products on the market containing ingredients covered by the expanded recall, Sundlof said. He advised consumers to check the FDA’s Web site to see which products have been recalled and said if they are unsure whether a peanut-containing product is potentially contaminated, they should avoid eating it or feeding it to pets. American Peanut Council statementhttp://admin.peanutsusa.com/documents/Document_Library/FDA%20Report%20Reaction%20-%201%2027%2009%20FINAL.pdflast_img read more

DPS hosts opening of Little Free Library

first_imgThe Dept. of Public Safety hosted the grand opening of a Little Free Library in the University Gardens Housing development on Saturday near the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.A program that began as a stationary bookcase that a Wisconsin man built to memorialize his former schoolteacher-mother has led to the creation of more than 15,000 Little Free Libraries around the world. With its tagline, “take a book, return a book,” the program aims to promote literacy and education, especially in low-income and rural areas. The Little Free Library, installed near the University Park campus on Saturday, is the first one in the neighborhood.Jean and Doug Chadwick, long-time volunteers for A Chance for Children, have been establishing libraries in Los Angeles and  Ohio, particularly in police stations.“One thing we could accomplish with this was the opportunity to promote literacy by providing books that are free to kids who potentially don’t have access to books,” Jean said. “Secondly, we can start to change the dynamic in the police stations. Lots of these stations handle child custody handoffs so you have very stressful situations and adults who don’t behave well. These kids would come in and be crying. But now they can come, turn a corner, and sit in the library while their parents do whatever.”A handyman of sorts, Doug has hand-built more than 20 bookcases, including the two in University Gardens. One is a stationary box erected on pole, and the other is a larger bookcase that has wheels. Both are Dr. Seuss-themed. All the libraries the Chadwicks have built are registered with the national Little Free Libraries organization so each has a plaque and shows up on the global directory should anyone want to locate them.DPS Chief John Thomas, a former LAPD officer, caught wind of the program when several were placed in LAPD station lobbies. He was also inspired by a boy named Muhanned, whom he met while patrolling University Gardens, when Muhanned asked for books for his birthday.“I thought it was a shame that you’ve got kids asking for books when right across the street is one of the greatest American universities,” Thomas said. “Either these kids can aspire to go to USC or look at USC as an unattainable dream.”Consequently, Thomas made sure that the library opening coincided with Muhanned’s birthday.Thomas emphasized the fact that DPS not only patrols to keep USC students safe, but also to protect residents who live in the surrounding community.“That’s how you get safe neighborhoods. It’s not by putting people in jail; it’s by making people aware of their neighbors and getting to know the police that work for their neighborhood. There’s a lot to the safety aspect that involves community relationships,” he said.He added that there will be various involvement opportunities for USC students, such as tutoring and reading books to local children.Thomas attributed much of the installment of the library to DPS Community Relations Officer Elizabeth Carreño, who took the initiative to make it a reality by contacting and partnering with A Chance for Children, as well as the Water Buffalo Club. The Water Buffalo Club is nonprofit philanthropic organization in Los Angeles that funds various projects, such as these libraries. The executive director, Shelly Wood, attended the event.“We have funded 12 Little Free Libraries. And we really do anything that has to do with children. Plus, a lot of our Water Buffalo members are Trojan alumni so we’d love to stay involved,” Wood said.The library opening was attended by many local kids through the literary program, Kinder2College. The event kicked off with face-painting and balloon-twisting. Donning a Dr. Seuss hat, Thomas gave an introductory speech and, after passing out lunch, read Dr. Seuss books to the children in attendance. Thomas also asked Muhanned to take the stage where the boy received a book about frogs that he had wanted, and a chorus of “Happy Birthday” from the crowd.last_img read more

Tipp boss playing down promotion to Division 1

first_imgLiam Kearns criticised the layout of the fixtures…Tipp FM’s live updates of this Sundays game between Tipperary and Down comes in association with Eldons Bar Clonmel and Walsh Barbers shop, Mitchell Street, Clonmel. Tipp senior football manager Liam Kearns is playing down his side’s chances of promotion from Division 2.Speaking to Tipp FM, the Kerry-man says the Premier are still the outsiders at the top end of the table.Tipp travel to Down on Sunday, with another trip up north to face Cavan in the final game of the group stages.last_img read more

Mourinho Eyes First Super Cup Win

first_imgManchester United’s Jose Mourinho can collect the one European trophy he lacks when his side face Real Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup on Tuesday in his first competitive meeting with the Spanish giants since an acrimonious split in 2013.Mourinho, whose team won the Europa League last season to salvage an otherwise disappointing first campaign under the Portuguese, led Real to the Liga title with a record 100 points and won a King’s Cup in an eventful stay between 2010 and 2013.His achievements at the Santiago Bernabeu were overshadowed, however, by his falling out with key dressing room figures such as Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas as well as confrontations with referees and opponents plus a failure to win the Champions League, as Real lost in the semifinals each year. Mourinho’s legacy has been upstaged by the Spanish club’s three Champions League triumphs in the four years since his departure, although in a recent interview the Portuguese claimed he had “to beg” Real’s board to let him leave for Chelsea.Champions League holders Real will be without talisman and former United forward Cristiano Ronaldo in Skopje, Macedonia, as the Portugal international was allowed to report late for pre-season training after he played in the Confederations Cup.Zinedine Zidane’s side beat Sevilla 3-2 in extra-time last year to win the showcase match and the French coach is targeting a fourth European trophy in less than two years in charge of Real, which would match Mourinho’s tally of continental titles.United, meanwhile, will be missing central defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones due to suspension, opening up a place in the starting lineup for new recruit Victor Lindelof.The Swede is one of three signings made so far by United along with Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku and midfield anchorman Nemanja Matic arriving at a combined cost of £146 million as the Old Trafford side look to improve on a disappointing sixth-placed Premier League finish last term.Real have added promising youngsters Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos to their talent-packed squad which won a Liga and Champions League double last season while parting ways with forwards Alvaro Morata and James Rodriguez.Their reported interest in French teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe has yet to materialise, however.United beat Real on penalties after a 1-1 draw in a friendly in California last month and won five of their other pre-season games, losing only to Barcelona.Real, meanwhile, failed to win any of their four friendluies in the United States in 90 minutes, losing 3-2 to Barca and getting thrashed 4-1 by Manchester City, their only win coming in a shoot-out victory over an MLS All-Stars team.“The sensation overall is not good, when you don’t win any of your four games something is wrong,” Zidane told reporters after the tour.“We have to do a lot more, we’ve made a bad start with these results and what we all want is to get home, rest and think about the Super Cup.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more