Lead poisoning from homemade wine: a case study. (9/118)

A 66-year-old man suffered the symptoms of severe lead poisoning for 2 years before diagnosis. The man had a blood lead level (PbB) on admission to hospital of 98 microg/dL. A detailed investigation revealed that the poisoning occurred as a result of drinking a homemade red wine, for which analyses showed a lead concentration up to 14 mg/L--70 times the Australian maximum limit for lead in wine. The source of the lead was a highly corroded enamel bathtub in which grape crushings and juice were stored for a week prior to bottling. The corrosion of the enamel surface of the bathtub had resulted in pitted patches up to 1 mm in depth along the side of the bathtub. Powdering of the tub surface was evident below a level where wine had been in contact with the sides of the tub. The homemade wine had a pH of 3.8, which would have greatly contributed to the solubilization of metals from the glaze. We conducted a test in which commercial red wine of similar pH and containing < 0.2 mg/L lead was placed in this tub for 7 days. Subsequent testing revealed a lead level of 310 mg/L. This high lead concentration is consistent with the surface area of enamel on the bathtub being in contact with a small liquid volume as in the case of the leaching test using commercial red wine. This case study highlights the importance of the use of food-grade materials for the preparation and storage of homemade beverages or food.  (+info)

Lead-contaminated imported tamarind candy and children's blood lead levels. (10/118)

In 1999, an investigation implicated tamarind candy as the potential source of lead exposure for a child with a significantly elevated blood lead level (BLL). The Oklahoma City-County Health Department tested two types of tamarind suckers and their packaging for lead content. More than 50% of the tested suckers exceeded the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Level of Concern for lead in this type of product. The authors calculated that a child consuming one-quarter to one-half of either of the two types of suckers in a day would exceed the maximum FDA Provis onal Tolerable Intake for lead. High lead concentrations in the two types of wrappers suggested leaching as a potential source of contamination. The authors used the Environmental Protection Agency's Integrated Exposure Uptake Biokinetic (IEUBK) model to predict the effects of consumption of contaminated tamarind suckers on populat on BLLs. The IEUBK model predicted that consumption of either type of sucker at a rate of one per day would result in dramatic increases in mean BLLs for children ages 6-84 months in Oklahoma and in the percentage of children wth elevated BLLs (> or =10 micrograms per deciliter [microg/dL]). The authors conclude that consumption of these products represents a potential public health threat. In addition, a history of lead contamination in imported tamarind products suggests that import control measures may not be completely effective in preventing additional lead exposure.  (+info)

Absence of high-level vancomycin resistance in enterococci isolated from meat-processing facilities. (11/118)

Enterococci isolated from packaging areas of meat-processing facilities that produce ready-to-eat meat products were examined for high-level vancomycin resistance. A total of 406 enterococci isolates from the plants' packaging areas were examined for vancomycin resistance. High-level vancomycin resistance was not demonstrated in any enterococci isolated from 12 meat-processing plants.  (+info)

Development and evaluation of a 16S ribosomal DNA array-based approach for describing complex microbial communities in ready-to-eat vegetable salads packed in a modified atmosphere. (12/118)

There is a clear need for new approaches in the field of microbial community analyses, since the methods used can be severely biased. We have developed a DNA array-based method that targets 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), enabling the direct detection and quantification of microorganisms from complex communities without cultivation. The approach is based on the construction of specific probes from the 16S rDNA sequence data retrieved directly from the communities. The specificity of the assay is obtained through a combination of DNA array hybridization and enzymatic labeling of the constructed probes. Cultivation-dependent assays (enrichment and plating) and cultivation-independent assays (direct fluorescence microscopy and scanning electron microscopy) were used as reference methods in the development and evaluation of the method. The description of microbial communities in ready-to-eat vegetable salads in a modified atmosphere was used as the experimental model. Comparisons were made with respect to the effect of storage at different temperatures for up to 12 days and with respect to the geographic origin of the crisphead lettuce (Spanish or Norwegian), the main salad component. The conclusion drawn from the method comparison was that the DNA array-based method gave an accurate description of the microbial communities. Pseudomonas spp. dominated both of the salad batches, containing either Norwegian or Spanish lettuce, before storage and after storage at 4 degrees C. The Pseudomonas population also dominated the batch containing Norwegian lettuce after storage at 10 degrees C. On the contrary, Enterobacteriaceae and lactic acid bacteria dominated the microbial community of the batch containing Spanish lettuce after storage at 10 degrees C. In that batch, the Enterobacteriaceae also were abundant after storage at 4 degrees C as well as before storage. The practical implications of these results are that microbial communities in ready-to-eat vegetable salads can be diverse and that microbial composition is dependent both on the origin of the raw material and on the storage conditions.  (+info)

Lactobacillus fuchuensis sp. nov., isolated from vacuum-packaged refrigerated beef. (13/118)

Four strains of a hitherto unknown bacterium isolated from vacuum-packaged refrigerated beef were characterized by using phenotypic and phylogenetic methods. The novel strains were Gram-positive, catalase-negative, psychrophilic, rod-shaped bacteria with lactic acid-homofermentative mechanism. Comparative 16S rDNA gene sequencing demonstrated that the unknown strains represent a novel subline within the genus Lactobacillus, close to but distinct from Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus sakei. The unknown strains were readily distinguished from all currently described members of the genus Lactobacillus by biochemical properties and SDS-PAGE whole-cell protein profiles. Based on phylogenetic and phenotypic evidence, it is proposed that the unknown bacterium be classified as Lactobacillus fuchuensis sp. nov. The type strain is strain B5M10T (= JCM 11249T = DSM 14340T).  (+info)

Effects of vascular infusion with a solution of saccharides; sodium chloride; phosphates; and vitamins C, E, or both on carcass traits, Warner-Bratzler shear force, and palatability traits of steaks and ground beef. (14/118)

Three groups of 12 high percentage Charolais steers were slaughtered on three dates. Steers (n = 27) were infused immediately after exsanguination at 10% of BW with a solution containing saccharides, NaCl, and phosphates (MPSC solution; MPSC, Inc., St. Paul, MN) plus either 500 ppm vitamin C (MPSC+C), 500 ppm vitamin E (MPSC+E), or 500 ppm vitamin C plus 500 ppm vitamin E (MPSC+C+E). Noninfused controls (CON) were 9 steers. The longissimus thoracis (LT), semitendinosus (ST), and quadriceps femoris muscles were removed at 48-h postmortem, vacuum-packaged, and aged until 14-d postmortem. Steaks 2.54-cm thick were cut from the LT and ST. The quadriceps was utilized for ground-beef production. Infused steers had higher dressing percentages and heavier heart and liver weights (P < 0.05) than CON. Vascular infusion with vitamins C, E, or C plus E had no effect (P > 0.05) on USDA yield and quality-grade traits, LT and ST Warner-Bratzler shear force, descriptive-attribute traits, and freshly cooked steak flavor-profile traits. Vascular infusion had little effect on the flavor-profile traits of warmed-over steaks. Therefore, the results of our study indicate that vascular infusion with vitamins C, E, or C plus E can increase dressing percentage and organ weights, but have minimal effects on descriptive-attribute and flavor-profile sensory panel ratings.  (+info)

Subjective and objective evaluation of veal lean color. (15/118)

Because veal lean color continues to be a primary factor that determines veal carcass value and is typically assessed by subjective means, it is important to explore objective methods for color assessment. Objective and subjective evaluations of veal flank and breast lean color were compared as predictors of longissimus lean color at 24 h postmortem. One hundred fifty special-fed Holstein veal calves were Kosher-slaughtered with blood samples collected upon exsanguination and analyzed for hematocrit and hemoglobin content. Lean color was evaluated in the flank and breast at 0, 6, 12, and 24 h postmortem. Color of the longissimus was evaluated at 6 h, when possible, and at 24 h. A panel of three trained individuals used a 5-point color standard developed in the Netherlands to visually evaluate lean color. A Minolta Chromameter CR-300 was used to obtain L*, a*, and b* values. A plant employee assigned packer grades at slaughter. Temperature and pH were also measured at each time period. Hemoglobin was more highly correlated than hematocrit with colorimeter values. Hemoglobin levels correlated well with a* values of the flank at 0 h postmortem (r = 0.52) although the correlation declined at 24 h (r = 0.30). The correlation between packer grades and 24-h visual loin color was r = 0.41. Visual loin color at 24 h postmortem was selected as the predicted variable for regression analysis. Temperature and pH did not contribute significantly to any prediction equations. The equation using breast L*, a*, and b* values at 24 h postmortem to predict 24-h loin color gave a higher prediction coefficient (R2 = 0.44) than the corresponding equation using 0-h breast values (R2 = 0.28). Objective measurement of lean color may be useful in veal carcass grading because it is more precise than subjective methods and would allow for uniformity among processing plants.  (+info)

Influence of packaging method and storage time on shear value and mechanical strength of intramuscular connective tissue of chevon. (16/118)

The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of storage time (ST) and packaging method (PM) on tenderness and changes in intramuscular connective tissue (IMCT) strength of chevon. Spanish does (8 mo of age, average BW 25 kg) were harvested (n = 12), chilled at 4 degrees C for 24 h, and then fabricated into 2.5-cm-thick leg, shoulder/arm, and loin/rib cuts. The cuts from six carcasses were vacuum-packed and aged at 2 degrees C for 0, 4, 8, or 12 d. To assess the influence of a packaging method that favors oxidation on postmortem tenderization, the cuts from the remaining six carcasses were placed on styrofoam trays, overwrapped with polyvinyl-chloride film, and stored at 2 degrees C for similar periods. At each ST, longissimus (LM), semimembranosus (SM), and triceps brachii (TB) muscles were assessed for Warner-Bratzler shear (WBS) values. The WBS of uncooked meat, myofibrillar fragmentation index (MFI), and collagen solubility were assessed on LM. The IMCT samples were prepared to assess changes in mechanical strengths and for scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Intact honeycomb structures of endomysium, with no muscle fiber elements, were observable under SEM. The PM or ST did not influence the mechanical strength of IMCT preparations, as measured by a texture analyzer. Collagen solubility of LM muscles also did not change during aging. For both PM, cooked meat WBS values were higher (P < 0.01) in SM and TB than in LM. In the SM samples, the average WBS values were higher (P < 0.01) at d 0 than at other ST. Although MFI of LM increased with increasing aging time (P < 0.05), changes in WBS over ST were minimal in TB and LM samples. The WBS of uncooked LM decreased sharply up to 8 d postmortem in both PM (P < 0.05). However, there was no PM x ST interaction to indicate any adverse influence of packaging on tenderization of chevon. The results suggest that aging chevon cuts for more than 4 d may not result in significant additional improvement in tenderness.  (+info)