By News Desk
A batch of canned, sliced beef has been taken off store shelves in Britain after it was found to contain horse DNA not identified in the ingredients list, reports the Food Standards Agency.
The 320-gram cans of Food Hall Sliced Beef in Rich Gravy were manufactured in Romania in January 2013 and supplied to Home Bargains and Quality Save stores in the UK. They have a “best before” date of January 2016 and a batch code of 13.04.C.
The Lincolnshire County Council found that the product contained between 1 and 5 percent horse DNA. It tested negative for the presence of the drug phenylbutazone, known as “‘bute.”
The affected batch has been withdrawn from sale, and customers are being advised to return any cans they have stored.
CDC Final Update: 631 Sick From Cyclospora Outbreak
By News Desk | October 30, 2013
The summer’s Cyclospora outbreak appears to be over, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its final update.
A total of 631 people contracted cyclosporiasis in 25 states and New York City between June 1 and Aug. 29. Texas, Iowa and Nebraska reported the highest number of cases with 270, 140 and 87, respectively.
Investigations in Iowa and Nebraska indicated that restaurant-associated cases were linked to a salad mix, while some Texas cases were linked to fresh cilantro.
The CDC reports that the ill persons ranged in age from less than 1 year to 94 years, with a median age of 52 years. Nearly 60 percent were females and, among 596 persons for whom information was available, 49 were hospitalized. No deaths were reported. Scientists Develop Handheld Device to Detect Bacteria on Food
By Cathy Siegner | November 1, 2013
Imagine having a handheld device able to detect different types of bacteria on food, whether that food is in your kitchen, a store, a restaurant or virtually anywhere. This wireless device could detect the presence of Salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens and give an alarm in response.
Science fiction? Not anymore.
“What we want to do is very fast detection and that anyone can do it,” said Yating Chai, a doctoral student in materials engineering at Auburn University’s Center for Detection and Food Safety who helped develop the device. She said that current bacteriological testing can take several hours, needs a lot of high-technology expertise and consumes a lot of energy. “In the future, we want it so anyone can do the test in your kitchen,” Yating said. “We want to simplify the entire process so we can directly test the food.” The two-part device Yating and her colleagues have developed consists of a very small sensor (a “magnetoelastic biosensor”) which is placed directly on the food surface and then a detector to do the scanning. As described in a recent Scientific American podcast, the sensor that touches the food has a sliver of metallic glass coated with phage E2, a virus that, for example, will only stick to Salmonella typhimurium bacteria. The scanner contains a wire coil that creates an oscillating magnetic field to measure the rate of vibration in the glass sliver. Should the sensor detect Salmonella on the food, it will stick to the phage E2 and change the vibrational frequency, which is then detected by the scanner. And, voila, the alarm sounds. “The sensor has one signal, and the food could have a different signal for which bacteria,” Yating explained .She and her fellow scientists recently published results from their five-year study of the device in the Journal of Applied Physics. Their work was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; hence, the anticipated practical applications. “That’s why we get funding from USDA,” Yating noted. She said that the developers of the device have applied for a patent and that at least one American company has already visited their offices to discuss acquiring a license to potentially start manufacturing it .As for future uses of the