Campy in organic and conventional layer chickens

Poultry is a major source of Campylobacter, which can cause foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. Additionally, poultry-associated Campylobacter can develop resistance to important antimicrobials, which increases the risk to public health. While broiler chickens have been the focus of many studies, the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter on layer farms has not received equal attention. However, the growing popularity of cage-free and organic layer farming necessitates a closer assessment of (1) the impact of these farming practices on the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter and (2) layers as a potential source for the transmission of these pathogens.

chicken-thermHere, we showed that the prevalence of Campylobacter on organic and conventional layer farms was statistically similar (p > 0.05). However, the average number of Campylobacter jejuni-positive organically grown hens was lower (p < 0.05) in comparison to conventionally grown hens. Campylobacter isolated from both production systems carried antimicrobial resistance genes. The tet(O) and cmeB were the most frequently detected genes, while the occurrence of aph-3-1 and blaOXA-61 was significantly lower (p < 0.05). Farming practices appeared to have an effect on the antimicrobial resistance phenotype, because the isolates from organically grown hens on two farms (OF-2 and OF-3) exhibited significantly lower resistance (p < 0.05) to ciprofloxacin, erythromycin, and tylosin. However, on one of the sampled organic farms (OF-1), a relatively high number of antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter were isolated.

We conclude that organic farming can potentially impact the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter. Nevertheless, this impact should be regularly monitored to avoid potential relapses.

Antimicrobial-resistant Campylobacter in organically and conventionally raised layer chickens

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. September 2016, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/fpd.2016.2161.

Kassem Issmat I., Kehinde Olugbenga, Kumar Anand, and Rajashekara Gireesh

CFIA suspends organic food processor

Jim Romahn of Agri 007 reports the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has suspended the registration of Establishment 691, Thomas Canning Ltd., of Maidstone, Ont. (Jim also supplied the pic of this real, but unrelated jar of salsa.)

barf-in-a-jarThe company, which says it is the only organic food processor in Ontario, specializes in tomatoes and juices.

The CFIA “the operator failed to make corrections to three non-compliances identified during an inspection performed in 2014.

Thomas Canning Ltd., will not be allowed to export, trade interprovincially, or apply a Canadian grade mark to products regulated under the Processed Products Regulations until the necessary corrective actions have been implemented and the CFIA has verified that the regulatory requirements can be consistently maintained.”

But go ahead, Ontario, eat up.

Whole Foods sucks at food safety: Salmonella positive in organic micro greens

Osage Gardens Inc. is recalling Osage Gardens Organic 2oz Micro Greens, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

organic-micro-g-greensOsage Gardens Organic 2oz Micro Greens was distributed to Whole Foods stores in Colorado and Kansas. The Osage Gardens Organic 2oz Micro Greens product is packed in a clear plastic clamshell and has a label on the bottom with a UPC Code 709376615008 and affected product are dated with a Julian codes from 266 to 279’.

No illnesses have been reported to date.

The recall was a result of a routine sampling by the FDA which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria. Osage Gardens Inc. has ceased the production and distribution of the product as FDA and Osage Gardens Inc. continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.


Tell me what I already know: Social media and organic food risks

With the increased popularity of organic food production, new information about the risks attached to food products has become available. Consumers need to make sense of this information, interpret the information in terms of risks and benefits, and consequently choose whether to buy these products or not.

social-media-willyIn this study, we examined how social media mediated interaction with another person impacts risk perception and sense-making regarding eating organic food. Specifically, we investigated how risk perception and sense-making are influenced by the specific message frame, the identity of the conversation partner, the perceived similarity and expertise of this partner, and the initial attitude of individuals.

An online interaction experiment, including a simulated chat in which we manipulated the message frame (gains vs losses vs uncertainty) and the conversation partner (expert vs peer vs anonymous) was conducted using a representative sample of Dutch internet users (n=310). Results showed that chatting with partners who were perceived to be expert was associated with lower levels of risk perception, while chatting with partners who were perceived to be similar was associated with higher levels of information need, intention to take notice, and search for and share information. Results also showed that initial attitude had a strong effect.

The more positive consumers were about eating organic food, the lower their risk perception and the higher their need for information, intention to take notice of, search for and share information following the chat. Implications for authorities communicating on food (risks) are discussed.

Social media mediated interaction with peers, experts, and anonymous authors: Conservation partner and message framing effects on risk perception and sense-making of organic food

Food Quality and Preference, DOI:

F Hilvera, M Kuttschreuter, E Giebels

Actors, sportsthingies, real housewife of somewhere: Don’t build bridges, don’t advise on vaccines or food

I learned to roll my own cigarettes in jail, because tobacco in a pouch was about 90 per cent cheaper than TMs (tailor-mades).

organic-cigs-delpyI was so terrible at it, I spent a couple of my hard-earned jail dollars on a contraption that would roll them for me

That was 1982.

The New Zealand Herald reports that young people are labouring under the false impression roll-your-own cigarettes are healthier than manufactured ones because they are more “natural”, when they could actually be at least as hazardous and more addictive, researchers say.

A study by Smokefree researchers at the University of Otago also found some people would find roll-your-own(RYO) cigarettes less appealing if the rolling papers were a mustard yellow colour.

Otago’s professor of public health, Richard Edwards, published a letter in medical journal BMJ in 2014 saying evidence showed RYO cigarettes “are at least as hazardous as any other type of cigarette” and pointing to animal research suggesting they were more addictive.

“Any notion that loose tobacco is more ‘natural’ is severely undermined by evidence that the concentration of additives is higher in loose tobacco, at about 18 per cent of dry weight, compared with 0.5 per cent for factory made cigarettes,” he wrote in his letter.

“Some of these additives, including sweeteners such as honey, sugar, dextrose, and sorbitol, often at much higher concentrations than in factory-made cigarettes, potentially make the product more acceptable to children. The high concentration of other additives would probably surprise RYO cigarette smokers.”

The researchers at Otago published their findings in the international journal Tobacco Control.

Prevent E. coli before church

Looks like former U.S. undersecretary for food safety, Richard Raymond, is losing his religion.

richard.raymondIn a column he wrote for MeatingPlace, Raymond confesses, “Members of a church I used to belong to decide to start a community garden plot. I volunteered to be on the planning committee. The first item out of the gate was that the garden had to be organic. I asked what they considered to be organic. The main emphasis was no artificial fertilizer could be applied, meaning the fields would have to lie idle or grow legumes periodically to recharge the soil.

“It also meant they intended to spread cow manure on the field, a great way to turn an organic garden plot into an E coli O157:H7. Field of Nightmares.

“I resigned.”

Good on ya.

People are sick: Michigan cheesemaker recalls 10 tons of organic product after STEC discovered

Jim Harger of MLive reports that Grassfields Cheese LLC, is conducting a recall of about 20,000 pounds of organic cheeses due to possible contamination with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).

Grassfields CheeseThe company is voluntarily recalling the cheeses “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a recall notice issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

“The potential for contamination was identified during an ongoing investigation of seven cases of human illnesses occurring between March and July 2016 caused by a same type of STEC,” according to the recall notice.

The department’s Geagley Laboratory confirmed the presence of STEC bacteria in a sample of Grassfields cheese collected by state food and dairy inspectors, according to the announcement.

The recall involves all types and sizes of organic cheeses manufactured by Grassfields between Dec. 1, 2015 through June 1, 2016 including: Gouda, Onion ‘n Garlic, Country Dill, Leyden, Edam, Lamont Cheddar, Chili Cheese, Fait Fras, Polkton Corners and Crofters. The cheeses were sold as wheels, half wheels, and wedges of various sizes.

grassfields-cheese-50b115a61d45e028a800028aThe recalled cheeses were sold from the firm’s retail store at 14238 60th Ave., Coopersville MI 49404, to wholesale and retail customers, and to consumers nationwide via sales through the firm’s website:

Owned by the same family since 1882, Grassfields Cheese switched from confinement farming to grass-based pasture farming in 1991. They added artisan cheeses and a farm store in 2002. And in 2007, they were certified as an organic dairy.

Salmonella from organic sprouts, grown in China, sickened people in Finland

Two new cases of Salmonella enteritidis are being investigated in Finland after an earlier outbreak linked to imported organic mung bean sprouts.

Bean_sproutsAccording to the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, an outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis in Finland appears to be caused by organic mung beans sprouts from China, via the Netherlands

The sprouts have been withdrawn from the market.

More details can be found in the Food Quality News article.

Salmonella in organic shake: Gift that keeps on giving

A confirmed case of Salmonella in Wisconsin likely resulted from consumption of an organic shake and meal replacement that was recalled earlier this year, state officials said Friday.

Garden of Life Organic Shake & Meal ReplacementThe recalled product, Garden of Life RAW Meal, has been acquired by consumers from Internet retailers such as eBay and Amazon, according to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

People should not consume the product if it is from the lot codes listed in the previous recall announcements found on the FDA Recall website .

Consumers should dispose of the product or follow the instructions given in the original recall notices found on the FDA website.

Jessica Alba sued over ‘unsafe’ baby food

Taking nutritional advice from a celebrity is like driving over a bridge constructed by an “alternative, all natural engineer.”

Jessica-Alba-Interview-About-Honest-CompanyBut, people do.

So it’s ironical that D-lister Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company is facing fresh legal action over organic baby food – from the Organic Consumers Association.

OCA filed a complaint at Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this month on “behalf of the general public” claiming The Honest Company bosses have been falsely labelling their Organic Premium Formula as organic, according to New York gossip column Page Six.

OCA lawyers claim the product contains 11 substances which are prohibited from organic foods under federal law.

On their website, they also state, “Some of the ingredients are federally regulated as hazardous compounds. At least one is irradiated. And some have not even been assessed as safe for human foods, much less for infant formulas.”

The group want the company to be prohibited from selling the product as organic, and to cover their legal fees.

News of the legal action comes as Jessica was named as the first-ever recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year prize at the 2016 Webby Awards for her natural lifestyle firm, which she founded four years ago.