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FOOD SAFETY NEWSLETTER February 2013 Produced by the Vineland Health Department- May be copied!

Don’t let bacillus cereus go rampant! Bacillus cereus bacteria are all over in our environment. They come into your establishments quietly and out of sight in your starchier food supplies. Rice, cereals, flour, beans and the like are common carriers of these disease-causing bacteria. It comes in spore form and will survive cooking. It lays there just waiting for you to give it the temperature, moisture and time it needs to grow. The toxin it produces while growing is heat stable and will be there even if you cook the product again. Here are some facts for you to consider: • Bacillus cereus will grow in batters that are left at room temperature or cooled too slowly. The toxin it produces will make your customers ill even if the bread, pancakes or funnel cakes are cooked to a high temperature. Consumers in Australia found this out when a pancake breakfast made them ill. The pancake batter was mixed in advance and held at room temperature. • Bacillus cereus causes vomiting within ½ hour to 6 hours or diarrhea from 6 to 15 hours. It can be fatal if the toxin is heavily concentrated.

Did you know…?  Napoleon offered a 12,000-franc prize in 1795 to anyone who could come up with a safe way to preserve food. His troops could not win battles if they were sick or hungry. Nicolas Appert claimed the prize when he discovered how to can food in air-tight jars. The method gave Napoleon a strategic advantage over his enemies.  Fish in cryovac (reduced oxygen) packages must be removed from the packaging BEFORE it is thawed. Botulism spores could be present and can grow in these packages as low as 38˚ F. You can prevent this by introducing oxygen. Botulism bacteria cannot grow in the presence of oxygen.  The dumping of boat waste is the biggest source of Norovirus and Hepatitis A in shellfish.

 Grocery stores will be required to maintain records on farms they purchase “high risk” produce from under the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan parasite that infects 1 million Americans per year. Pigs frequently harbor this parasite. Cooking to 153˚ F will kill the organism and make the meat safe to eat.  In the northeast, you have a 78% chance over a 10 year period of buying pork contaminated with toxoplasma parasites.  There is a 9 times greater risk of getting Listeria from lunchmeats sliced at the retail level than pre-packaged. Thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing your slicers every 4 hours or less will reduce the risk.


Food Safety Training Available! What are you waiting for? Vineland Health Department: Intended students: Anyone working with food, especially prep people. At least one person in charge from a Risk Type 2 Facility must have this course or similar. Class focus: The causes of foodborne illness/ how to protect your establishment from an outbreak. Instructors: Jeanne Garbarino (English) and Emma Lopez (for Spanish class only) Certificate: Upon successful completion of course. Certificate is valid for 3 years. Cost: $ 15.00 for each person or 3 or more persons from the same establishment $10 each Location: Vineland- Please see enclosed schedule. Dates: Please see the enclosed schedule. Note: 6 hours of class must be attended to receive a certificate. This class does not count towards the State training requirement for Risk Type 3 Facilities. To find your risk type, look at your most recent report, license or call this office. For a current list of the classes available and required for Risk Type 3 Facilities, go to

HOW TO REGISTER To register, return the enclosed application to the address listed with the appropriate fee. For more information, please call Jeanne Garbarino at 794-4000 extension 4326. Confirmation and directions will be sent upon registering.

Outbreaks of Interest In 2012, scraped yellow fin tuna (used in sushi) from a plant in India caused a major outbreak of Salmonella. Investigators found many problems at the plant. These included lack of temperature control, insufficient water, bird feces, insects and poor cleaning procedures. The problem, once discovered by investigators, was addressed. 42 people in NJ became ill from this product. In 2011, kosher broiled chicken livers in containers caused at least 190 persons to become ill with Salmonella. The persons were primarily from Ocean County, NJ and New York. The chicken livers were only partially cooked, but they looked fully cooked. The label instructed in small letters to fully cook, but it was not noticed by many consumers and delis who used it. Some deli’s repacked the livers and neglected to add the cooking instruction. Lesson learned is to read your labels! The product was made in New York.

The Long-term Effects of Foodborne Illnesses (It’s not just a matter of a little vomiting and diarrhea!) By Jeanne Garbarino

Many foodborne illnesses cause long-term and sometimes permanent health effects in their victims. If you have caused these illnesses by poor handling at your facility, you will be responsible, both legally and morally, for someone’s long term suffering. Here are a few examples. Reactive arthritis is a known occasional result from certain foodborne illnesses. Salmonella (6 to 30 % of cases), Campylobacter, Shigella, and Yersinia (all about 12% of cases) leave their victims with postinfectious arthritis. Arthritis usually occurs 1 to 4 weeks after the initial illness. Half of the victims will resolve their symptoms in 6 months. Others will suffer much longer. The average number of joints affected is 4. Bacillus cereus is also suspected of causing this condition. Proper cooling and cold holding is essential to preventing Bacillus cereus. Toxoplasmosis, caused by a protozoan parasite, is found in low percentages of pork, wild venison, black bear, sheep, goats, and lambs. One type of toxoplasmosis causes birth defects. Dr. Robert Yolken of John Hopkins University has identified significant evidence that ties toxoplasmosis with Schizophrenia, a mental illness. Proper cooking kills the parasite. Miscarriages are known results of a pregnant woman contracting Listeriosis. Listeria also has a 20 to 30% mortality rate. Controlling Listeria in your facility can be accomplished by keeping your potentially hazardous foods at 41˚ F or below, date marking correctly and properly cleaning slicers. E. coli can leave the victim with permanent kidney damage. E. coli is very painful and can be fatal. E. coli can be controlled by proper cooking temperatures of raw meats and by preventing crosscontamination. Botulism, if the victim survives, will likely cause a coma and neurological damage to muscles and the brain. Extensive rehab will be required as the patient often has to learn to walk and talk all over again. Proper refrigeration and cooling are only a couple of the control points. Learn how to protect your customers, employees and yourself from these and other foodborne illnesses. Take a class! Ask your health inspector questions!


You have been around food all of your life. You may have worked with food for many years, but do you really know what can go wrong and how to keep your food safe? Take this quiz and see! 1) What is the maximum temperature a potentially hazardous food must be held? a) 41˚ F b) 45˚ F c) 48˚ F 2) What can potentially hazardous foods do that others cannot? a) Choke the consumer b) Allow disease-causing bacteria to grow in them c) Allow disease-causing viruses to grow in them 3) If you make potato salad on February 1 and plan to keep it more than 24 hours, what is the discard date you must place on the container? a) February 4 b) February 7 c) February 8 4) What can a handwash sink be used for? a) Anything related to the retail operation b) Handwashing and rinsing utensils c) Handwashing only 5) Which of the following events must a person in charge at a retail food establishment notify the Health Department? a) Fires, floods, and sewage back-ups b) Extended interruptions of electrical or water services

c) Onset of apparent foodborne illness or misuse of toxic materials d) All of the above ANSWERS: 1. 2.

3. 4. 5.

a. 41˚ F is the maximum any potentially hazardous food must be held. This will prevent disease-causing bacteria from growing rapidly and making your food unsafe to eat. Listeria grows even at 34˚ F, but slowly. b. Disease causing bacteria need enough moisture, some protein, and the right pH from a food to be able to grow. You allow that to occur rapidly when you give it warmer temperatures and some time. Viruses do not grow in food. They are only transported by the food, any food. b. The product can be held now at 41˚ F for a total of 7 days. This includes the day you make the product. An easy way to remember the right date is to add 6 days to the date of preparation. c. Handwashing sinks can only be used for handwashing. Utensils and other items must never be stored in these sinks. d. By State law, the Person in charge of a retail food establishment must notify the Health Department immediately. They must also notify the Health Department of gross insanitary conditions or other circumstances that endanger public health. The operator must also take immediate corrective action.

Vineland Food Safety Newsletter  

February 2013

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