(25/861) Food irradiation: a public health opportunity.

Public health scientists have had an interest in food irradiation for a hundred years and more. The first investigations occurred within a few years of the discovery of x-ray and short wavelength by the German physicist Roentgen, in 1895. German and French scientists carried on studies on pasteurization of food by radiation until 1914 and the war years. The problem was an unacceptable taste following irradiation. In 1921, the x-ray was reported by the scientists of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be effective in killing Trichinella cysts in pork and that it could kill disease-causing organisms and halt food spoilage.  (+info)

(26/861) Counterpoint on food irradiation.

Dr. Steele's extensive argument illustrates well one side of the food irradiation controversy. The proponents and opponents are involved in a heated debate. I am not opposed to the technology, but I am opposed to food irradiation as public policy until the proponents and the manufacturers are willing to answer some important questions.  (+info)

(27/861) Preliminary FoodNet data on the incidence of foodborne illnesses--selected sites, United States, 1999.

Each year in the United States, an estimated 76 million persons experience foodborne illnesses. CDC's Emerging Infections Program Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) collects data on nine foodborne diseases in selected U.S. sites to quantify and monitor foodborne illnesses. This report describes preliminary surveillance data for 1999 and compares them with data from 1996-1998. The data suggest that the incidence of the foodborne illnesses under surveillance declined during 1999 compared with 1996 primarily as a result of decreases in campylobacteriosis and shigellosis and indicate substantial regional variation in the incidence of foodborne diseases.  (+info)

(28/861) Outbreaks of Norwalk-like viral gastroenteritis--Alaska and Wisconsin, 1999.

Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs) are the most common cause of epidemic gastroenteritis in the United States, resulting in illness in approximately 23 million persons each year . Persons of all ages are affected because previous infection confers only short-term immunity. Most NLV gastroenteritis outbreaks involve foodborne or person-to-person transmission. This report presents investigations of a foodborne NLV outbreak in Alaska and person-to-person transmission in Wisconsin.  (+info)

(29/861) Selective accumulation may account for shellfish-associated viral illness.

From 1991 through 1998, 1,266 cases of shellfish-related illnesses were attributed to Norwalk-like viruses. Seventy-eight percent of these illnesses occurred following consumption of oysters harvested from the Gulf Coast during the months of November through January. This study investigated the ability of eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) to accumulate indicator microorganisms (i.e., fecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, Clostridium perfringens, and F(+) coliphage) from estuarine water. One-week trials over a 1-year period were used to determine if these indicator organisms could provide insight into the seasonal occurrence of these gastrointestinal illnesses. The results demonstrate that oysters preferentially accumulated F(+) coliphage, an enteric viral surrogate, to their greatest levels from late November through January, with a concentration factor of up to 99-fold. However, similar increases in accumulation of the other indicator microorganisms were not observed. These findings suggest that the seasonal occurrence of shellfish-related illnesses by enteric viruses is, in part, the result of seasonal physiological changes undergone by the oysters that affect their ability to accumulate viral particles from estuarine waters.  (+info)

(30/861) A foodborne outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with Norwalk-like viruses: first molecular traceback to deli sandwiches contaminated during preparation.

In March 1998, an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis occurred among students at a Texas university. Overall, 125 ill students sought medical care. Case-control studies revealed that illness was significantly associated with eating foods from the university's main cafeteria deli bar on 9 and 10 March. Stool specimens from 9 (50%) of 18 ill students and samples of deli ham showed evidence of Norwalk-like viruses (NLVs) by reverse-transcriptase (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. A food handler who prepared sandwiches for lunch on 9 March reported that her infant had been sick with watery diarrhea since just before the outbreak. A stool sample from the infant was positive for NLV by RT-PCR, and the sequence of the amplified product was identical to that of amplified product from deli ham and students' stool specimens. This is the first time RT-PCR and sequence analysis have successfully confirmed viral contamination of a food item likely to have been contaminated by a food handler.  (+info)

(31/861) Haff disease: from the Baltic Sea to the U.S. shore.

Haff disease, identified in Europe in 1924, is unexplained rhabdomyolysis in a person who ate fish in the 24 hours before onset of illness. We describe a series of six U.S. patients from 1997 and report new epidemiologic and etiologic aspects. Although Haff disease is traditionally an epidemic foodborne illness, these six cases occurred in two clusters and as one sporadic case.  (+info)

(32/861) The impact of health communication and enhanced laboratory-based surveillance on detection of cyclosporiasis outbreaks in California.

We investigated the timing of diagnosis, influence of media information on testing for Cyclospora, and the method used to identify cases during eight cyclosporiasis outbreaks in California in spring of 1997. We found that Internet information, media reports, and enhanced laboratory surveillance improved detection of these outbreaks.  (+info)