Neogen heads to Cosmoprof 2017

Going to Cosmoprof? Neogen will be at the annual cosmetics industry conference at booth #15111 in Las Vegas, Nevada from July 9-11, 2017.

We’ll be showcasing our BioLumix® system, which provides accurate, rapid microbiological answers using a simple, inexpensive format. The patented technology detects color and fluorescence changes that occur as target microorganisms grow in a broth medium. The reagents or the sensor change color and fluorescence as metabolic processes take place. These changes are detected by an optical sensor, and are monitored 10 times per hour. Results are easy to read. [ More … ]

Food safety at every step of the supply chain

Being at the top of the food chain is one thing. Being at the top of the food safety supply chain is another. It can be a precarious position to be in.

As any food industry professional knows, food safety can’t be guaranteed just because the practices used within one company’s facilities are spot-on. Top-notch sanitation practices must be used by the suppliers of every ingredient — and the supplier’s suppliers, as well. This gets complicated as suppliers and facilities are increasingly spread across international borders.

This year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), implemented a Foreign Supplier Verification Program (FSVP). The rule mandates that importers must ensure that their foreign exporters produce food “in a manner that provides the same level of public health protection” that the FDA expects of domestic producers, and to “ensure that the supplier’s food is not adulterated and is not misbranded with respect to allergen labeling.” [ More … ]

As food allergies rise, researchers dig deeper

A group of medical researchers are taking a new approach to examining food allergy patterns in the United States.

Instead of using traditional methods to learn about people with food allergies, the team has undertaken the monumental task of analyzing the medical records of a whopping 2.7 million patients.

“Recent reports suggest that food allergies are on the rise, with more food allergy-related hospitalizations in the U.S. over the last decade,” said Li Zhou, an investigator from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston. “However, many studies have been based on telephone surveys or have focused on a specific food allergen or allergen group.” [ More … ]

Researchers make strides in fight against bovine leukemia virus

Bovine leukemia is a scary topic for beef ranchers and dairy farmers, and for good reason. But now, researchers in northern Japan have made a discovery that might help fight against bovine leukemia virus (BLV) and other infectious cow diseases in the future.

The virus that causes the contagious disease, BLV, is a retrovirus of cattle. It currently has no successful vaccine or treatment program.

Retroviruses, like HIV, are viruses that enter a host cell and transcribe their own RNA into the cell’s DNA. From there, they make copies of themselves in the organisms they infect. It’s hard to attack retroviruses with drugs because the exact sequence of a retrovirus’s RNA changes often. The work of the Japanese team will hopefully make that fight a little easier. [ More … ]

Monday links

Photo by Txetxu Berruezo

Don’t have time to scour the internet for the latest animal science, food safety, and agriculture news? Relax, we’ve got it covered.

Food Safety

Foodborne illness ravages Iraqi refuges; charity blamed — Food Safety News
In a refugee camp in Iraq, more than 800 people became sick and two may have died from a suspected foodborne illness that some in the region are saying was orchestrated by a charity group. The United Nations estimates 6,235 people live in the camp.

Listeria Challenges Safe Cheese Production — Food Safety Magazine
Dairy foods are linked to almost one-quarter of infections caused by the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, accounting for over $700 million in healthcare costs annually in the U.S. alone. A recent study proposes a foundation for improving food safety, and reports a potential agent that may address current limitations on anti-Listeria processes for fresh cheeses. [ More … ]

Neogen expands food safety genomic testing

Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) today announced the availability of next generation sequencing services for the food industry, which will enable food companies to accurately identify all bacteria in a sample in a single genomic test.

Neogen’s new NeoSeek™ genomic services utilize a novel application of 16s metagenomics to determine all bacteria in a sample, without introducing biases from culture media, and without the need to generate a bacterial isolate for each possible microbe in a sample. Comparing multiple sample types, such as raw materials, environmental swabs and in-process materials, provides a unique understanding of all the bacteria that may be present in a food facility — and their sources. Companies can then use the facility’s “biomap” to make any necessary adjustments to their food safety protocols. [ More … ]

Fridge vs. no fridge, part 2: Eggs

In yesterday’s blog post, we looked at why sometimes milk must be refrigerated, while other times, it can be stored at room temperature. Today, we’ll tackle the same question, but for eggs.

Like with milk, the general trend is that the U.S. refrigerates its eggs, while Europeans are happy to store them on the kitchen counter. Why is this the case?

In part, it has to do with the way we keep germs away. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandates that operations with more than 3,000 hens must wash its eggs in order to control Salmonella. Japan and Australia have similar regulations. Washing eggs removes any contaminated material, such as feathers or droppings, which may have gotten on the shells from other chickens in the facility. [ More … ]

Fridge vs. no fridge, part 1: Milk

You can tell a lot about somebody based on what they do with their milk when they get home from the supermarket.

It may seem like a strange detail, but in different countries, unopened milk either does or does not need to be kept cold. So if you know whether a person zips home from the store and puts that jug, carton or bag in the refrigerator, you might be able to guess where they live.

But why? People in the U.S. might balk at milk left on the counter for days, while Europeans and some South Americans might wonder why Americans keep theirs chilly. The answer? A mix between how the milk is pasteurized (heated at a high temperature to kill pathogens) and packaged. [ More … ]

How to get your dog on a journal review board

A lot of people think their pets are pretty darn smart. But are they as smart as Dr. Olivia Doll, former researcher at the Shenton Park Institute for Canine Refuge Studies, and holder of a degree in canine abdominal massage from Subiaco College of Veterinary Science?

Dr. Doll, who is an expert in the role of “domestic canines promoting optimal mental health in aging males,” is actually Ollie, a Staffordshire terrier from Australia. Her resume may seem impressive, but it is fictitious.

Her owner, Mike Daube, a public health expert at Australia’s Curtin University, created fake credentials for his furry friend and used them to apply for review boards of multiple medical journals. As a result, little Ollie became an official peer reviewer for 7 international publications, reports Perth Now. [ More … ]

Tox Tuesday: FDA asks drug maker to pull powerful opioid painkiller

For the first time ever, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked a pharmaceutical company to take one of its products off the market.

Endo Pharmaceuticals produces Opana ER, a highly potent opioid painkiller intended for patients who require “daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment…for which alternative treatment options are inadequate.”

The drug, like other prescription painkillers, is often abused, thanks to the extremely addictive nature of opioids. The FDA makes its request in the midst of an epidemic of opioid addiction in the U.S., a problem increasingly present in other parts of the world as well.

“We are facing an opioid epidemic — a public health crisis — and we must take all necessary steps to reduce the scope of opioid misuse and abuse,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “We will continue to take regulatory steps when we see situations where an opioid product’s risks outweigh its benefits, not only for its intended patient population but also in regard to its potential for misuse and abuse.” [ More … ]