Should mustard-allergic people be wary of canola oil?

It’s hard enough to be allergic to one food, but when cross-reactivity strikes, food-allergic individuals may find themselves unable to eat seemingly unrelated food products.

Take the case of mustard. Of all the spices, mustard tends to provoke the most severe allergic reactions. According to Healthline, mustard allergies are most common in the United Kingdom, Canada and India — regions where it’s common as a food ingredient.

Some health agencies have noted the possibility of cross-reaction between mustard and canola oil allergens, although no cases of this happening have been documented. This is because canola oil is derived from certain cultivars of rapeseed. The allergenic components of mustard are very similar to some components found in rapeseed, but not identical. [ More … ]

Swine producers in Alberta ramp up biosecurity in response to PEDv

It’s been nearly five years since the deadly porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) was first reported in Canada. That case was in 2014, in the province of Ontario. Since then, the virus has been reported in Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and Quebec.

Now, it’s been found in Alberta, at an operation with 400 pigs.

“We’re just trying to figure out what happened, how it got to the farm, and try to deal with the pigs themselves,” said Alberta Pork executive director Darcy Fitzgerald. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to keep it under control.”

How it’s spread

PEDv is usually transmitted by oral contact with feces from contaminated pigs. It has 100% mortality in piglets and nursing pigs. The virus doesn’t affect humans or other animals and poses no food safety risk, meaning pork products are safe to eat. Still, it can potentially disrupt supply because it is so deadly. [ More … ]

U.S. FDA to resume some high-risk food inspections during federal shutdown

Last week, media outlets reported that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was halting most of the unannounced inspections of food production facilities as part of the ongoing partial shutdown of the country’s government. Particularly of concern was the stopping of high-risk food surveillance. Now, the FDA has announced that it will resume inspections of some high-risk facilities.

Starting Tuesday, furloughed food safety inspectors began working without pay to inspect high-risk food production and processing plants.

“We’re re-starting high-risk food inspections as early as tomorrow,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted on Monday. He described other increased actions planned for this week, included the sampling of high-risk imported produce that already began. “We’ll expand our footprint as the week progresses. Our teams are working.” [ More … ]

Visitor biosecurity in poultry production

This post was written by Neogen vet Nick Wagner, DVM

Biosecurity is at the forefront of preventing disease and maintaining healthy birds to ensure the productivity and profitability of the poultry industry. The most successful biosecurity programs in the industry include a multifaceted approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy flock. One of the components of a multifaceted approach that serves as the initial line of defense for a production facility is visitor biosecurity. Visitor biosecurity involves the procedures implemented at the facility entry point to prevent the transmission of disease onto the site and into the flock. Visitor biosecurity is a fundamental part of any comprehensive biosecurity program and must be implemented in a way that contributes to the success of that overall plan.

Access to the production facility should be restricted and a specific location should be designated for individuals to report to prior to gaining entry. It is important that a defined secure perimeter is established for the facility and signs are clearly posted to communicate this information to potential visitors. Maintain records of visitor traffic, which can be valuable information for traceback purposes in the event of a disease outbreak or other concern. At this entry location, facility personnel should determine the risk level of the visitor by assessing the individual’s previous exposure to birds. Low-risk visitors would be classified as those individuals with no previous exposure to birds or any production agriculture setting. Although it may appear that these low-risk visitors present no risk at all, consideration must be given to the potential contamination that they could acquire in a public place. Moderate-risk visitors would be classified as those individuals with consistent trips to production facilities but without direct contact with the birds. High-risk visitors would be classified as those individuals with consistent trips to production facilities and have had direct contact with birds in the previous 24 hours. The general standard in the industry is to restrict access for 48–72 hours to those individuals with direct bird contact in the previous 24 hours.

Previous exposure to sick birds is another factor that might influence visitors’ access to the facilities. The specific disease involved will determine the recommended period of isolation for individual visitors. The isolation period may be one week or longer to prevent the transmission of disease. Disease outbreaks such as avian influenza or virulent Newcastle disease would trigger a quarantine, which would cease all visitor movement on and off a facility to ensure proper containment. A quarantine could be in effect for a period of 30 days or more depending on the specific outbreak. It is important to note that each operation will design a visitor biosecurity protocol to best fit its needs. Following this assessment, a determination is made on granting access and the specific procedures the individual must comply with in entering the facility. [ More … ]

2018 Monday Mycotoxin and Crop Reports: Capstone Report is here

After a busy harvest season full of Monday Mycotoxin and Crop Reports, Neogen is pleased to put forth our final mycotoxin video of the year: our Capstone Report. In the video, a special report discusses best practices for proper grain storage to control quality.

In early 2019, we will be sending out a survey requesting your suggestions for ways to make future Monday Mycotoxin videos more useful. We look forward to your comments!

To subscribe to get these reports straight to your email inbox for the next season, see our website. Have them delivered straight to your phone with our mobile app here.

Thanks for watching! See you next year.

Does the U.S. government shutdown affect food safety?

Amid the partial shutdown of the U.S. government, discussions have flurried about the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has halted some surveillance inspections at food production facilities.

People are particularly concerned about the stopping of high-risk food surveillance. High-risk foods, like seafood and produce, are more susceptible to contamination with foodborne pathogens.

“These are inspections where they catch issues before people get sick,” Sarah Sorscher of the Center for Science in the Public Interest told The New York Times. She also noted that foodborne illness outbreaks can still be associated with non-high-risk foods, like flour.

“They’re not going in and doing routine, unannounced inspections that are designed to catch unsanitary conditions and other problems before they make people sick,” Sorscher told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “That work is on hold.” [ More … ]

Coming soon! Monday Mycotoxin Capstone Report: Best practices for proper grain storage

Throughout the harvest season, Neogen works to bring the latest in mycotoxin, crop condition and weather reports to you through our Monday Mycotoxin and Crop Report web series.

Our 2018 season wrapped up in November, but we’ve got one more video up our sleeve. Our capstone report, coming soon, will feature a special report on best practices for proper grain storage and quality control.

Check back soon for the report. To subscribe to receive all Monday Mycotoxin updates, click here, or download our app. If you’d like to join our network of reliable mycotoxin sources, please give us a call at 800-234-5333.

Newcastle disease confirmed in second commercial California flock

A second commercial poultry flock in southern California has a confirmed case of virulent Newcastle disease, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the case in Riverside County.

The case is part of an outbreak that has been going on in southern California since May of last year. However, this case differs from most others so far in that it’s only the second commercial flock involved — the rest have all been backyard birds. Over 230 backyard cases have been reported since the outbreak began.

APHIS and Californian authorities are increasing surveillance and testing for Newcastle disease in southern California. They’re also helping producers of commercial and backyard flocks increase biosecurity measures. [ More … ]

Neogen names Lilly VP of international business

LANSING, Mich., Jan. 9, 2019 — Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG) announced today that it has promoted Dr. Jason Lilly to the newly created position of vice president of international business. Lilly joined Neogen in 2005, and has spent the past eight years as Neogen’s vice president of corporate development.

In his new role, Lilly will be responsible for maximizing the revenues and profits for Neogen’s operations outside of the United States and Canada. Under Lilly’s leadership of the corporate development group Neogen completed 20 acquisitions — including many international operations that are now his responsibility.

“With his wealth of experience gained in performing extensive due diligence and integration on most of our international operations, as well as investigating countless other acquisition candidates, Jason is uniquely well qualified to take over our international business,” said John Adent, Neogen’s chief executive officer and president. “As we’ve said repeatedly, we firmly believe that tremendous opportunities exist for Neogen outside of the United States and Canada. Having Jason in place with the daily responsibility of realizing those opportunities will enhance our ability to grow our international business beyond the current 40% of total revenues.” [ More … ]

E. coli O157:H7 treatment may become easier due to aurodox discovery

New research from Scotland’s University of Glasgow has medical experts hopeful, as the findings suggest potential avenues for treating E. coli infections in the future.

The study found that aurodox, a chemical compound that inhibits the biosynthesis of bacterial protein, can block the E. coli strain O157:H7 from binding to human cells. Not only that, but aurodox, unlike conventional antibiotics, doesn’t trigger the E. coli O157:H7 protein that creates toxin.

E. coli O157:H7 is a Shiga-toxin-producing strain, or STEC. Within the bacteria, the protein RecA is necessary to produce Shiga toxin, a toxin that increases the risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is a life-threatening kidney condition in which blood platelets are destroyed, red blood cell count drops and kidneys can fail. Elderly people, small children and anyone who has had their immune system weakened by an illness are especially at risk. [ More … ]