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Sat
15
Mar '14

CDC: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry from a Mail-Order Hatchery in Ohio

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6310a4.htm?s_cid=mm6310a4_e

Notes from the Field: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Infections Linked to Live Poultry from a Mail-Order Hatchery in Ohio — March–September 2013

 Weekly

March 14, 2014 / 63(10);222

Colin Basler, DVM1, Tony M. Forshey, DVM2, Kimberly Machesky, MPH3, C. Matthew Erdman, DVM, PhD4, Thomas M. Gomez, DVM4, Thai-An Nguyen, MPH5, Casey Barton Behravesh, DVM, DrPH5 (Author affiliations at end of text)

In early 2013, four clusters of human Salmonella infections were identified through PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne bacteria. Many of the ill persons in these four clusters reported contact with live poultry, primarily chicks and ducklings, from a single mail-order hatchery; therefore, these investigations were merged. During March 4–October 9, 2013, a total of 158 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella serotypes Infantis, Lille, Newport, and Mbandaka were reported from 30 states.

Forty-two percent (65 of 155) of ill persons were aged ≤10 years, and 28% (29 of 103) were hospitalized; no deaths were reported. Eighty-six percent (80 of 93) of ill persons who were interviewed reported live poultry contact in the week before illness onset. Sixty-nine percent (44 of 64) of ill persons who completed a supplemental live poultry questionnaire reported chick exposure, and 40% (26 of 64) reported duckling exposure. Seventy-five percent (33 of 44) of respondents reported live poultry exposure at their home; 59% (26 of 44) specifically reported keeping poultry inside their home.

Of the 40 ill persons who had recently purchased young poultry, the average time from purchase of poultry to illness onset was 21 days (range = 2–52 days); 48% (19 of 40) ill persons reported illness onset within 2 weeks of poultry purchase. Among persons with purchase information, 94% (62 of 66) reported buying young poultry sourced from a single mail-order hatchery in Ohio.

This outbreak investigation identified an Ohio hatchery as the likely source of the outbreak. This hatchery previously has been linked with multiple, large human Salmonella outbreaks (1,2). These recurring outbreaks highlight the need for comprehensive Salmonella prevention and control programs to be implemented and maintained at this mail-order hatchery and its associated breeder farms. Mail-order hatcheries and their source flocks should comply with management and sanitation practices outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Poultry Improvement Plan.* Additional owner education is necessary because healthy birds can still transmit Salmonella to humans. Educational material warning customers and advising them on how to reduce the risk for Salmonella infection from live poultry should be distributed by farm/feed stores and mail-order hatcheries with all live poultry purchases (3). Reducing the spread of Salmonella in mail-order hatcheries, in their source flocks, and in the feed store environment is critical to reduce the risk for human illness. This outbreak highlights the need for a comprehensive approach involving human and animal health officials and practitioners, industry, and backyard poultry flock owners.

1EIS Officer, CDC; 2Ohio Department of Agriculture; 3Ohio Department of Health; 4US Department of Agriculture; 5Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC (Corresponding author: Colin Basler, cbasler@cdc.gov, 404-639-2214)

References

  1. CDC. Notes from the field: multistate outbreak of Salmonella Altona and Johannesburg infections linked to chicks and ducklings from a mail-order hatchery—United States, February–October 2011. MMWR 2012;61:195.
  2. CDC. Notes from the field: multistate outbreak of Salmonella Infantis, Newport, and Lille infections linked to live poultry from a single mail-order hatchery in Ohio—March–September 2012. MMWR 2013;62:213.
  3. CDC. Gastrointestinal (enteric) diseases from animals. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2013. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/zoonotic/gi.

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Fri
14
Mar '14

Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. of Albany, OR voluntarily recalls 59,780 cases of Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit: Salmonella fears

http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm389177.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

Recall — Firm Press Release

FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.

 

Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit Recalled Due to Possible Health Risk

Contact: Consumer: 1-888-641-2933 E-mail: recall@ofd.com Media: Pat Walsh 1-541-513-1236

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — March 13, 2014 – ALBANY, OR. – Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. of Albany, OR has voluntarily recalled 59,780 cases of Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit, produced exclusively for Costco Wholesale Stores. In cooperation with Costco, the company issued the recall after determining the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Precautionary recall measures began on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Consumers who may have purchased the product were contacted by phone and US. Mail, and a letter regarding the voluntary recall was posted on the Costco website. Furthermore, the affected product was removed from Costco floors. No confirmed cases of Salmonella poisoning from consumption of this product have been reported at this time, Any Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit that is currently available for purchase has been rigorously tested and is safe for consumption. No other products made by Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. are affected.

Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit is sold in a red and white case containing 20 pouches of freeze-dried snacks. Consumers who have purchased Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit with the following “Best Before Dates,” listed on the upper left corner of the front panel of the case, are urged to return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Best Before Date: FEB 14 2015 – MAR 11 2015 (which reads FEB142015 – MAR112015)

Customers with questions may contact the company at recall@ofd.com. or 1-888-641-2933 (this line is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Daylight Time).

Cases of the potentially contaminated Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit were distributed to Costco Wholesale stores in the following locations: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.

Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. is issuing the recall as a proactive safety precaution. Salmonella, is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Based in Albany, OR, Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. is the largest diversified food freeze dryer in the world, with the ability to freeze dry over 400 different food and pharmaceutical products. With over 50 years of experience, Oregon Freeze Dry has served the US military in every theater of combat since 1967, had its food on every Apollo mission, and fed explorers and adventurers in the most demanding environments in the world. Oregon Freeze Dry is committed to strict quality control, with experience processing under SQF (Level 2) and a variety of regulatory requirements, including USDA and FDA.

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Wed
5
Mar '14

Multistate Outbreak of Multidrug-Resistant Salmonella Heidelberg Infections Linked to Foster Farms Brand Chicken

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/index.html

At a Glance:

  • Case Count: 481
  • States: 25
  • Deaths: 0
  • Hospitalizations: 38%
  • Recall: Yes

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, by State as of February 28, 2014

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Thu
5
Dec '13

FSIS Releases Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Salmonella (1.3 million illnesses can be attributed to Salmonella every year)

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/news-releases-statements-transcripts/news-release-archives-by-year/archive/2013/nr-12042013-01

Congressional and Public Affairs
Adam Tarr
(202) 720-9113

The Salmonella Action Plan presents a number of aggressive steps the agency will take to prevent Salmonella-related illnesses

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today released its Salmonella Action Plan that outlines the steps it will take to address the most pressing problem it faces–Salmonella in meat and poultry products. An estimated 1.3 million illnesses can be attributed to Salmonella every year.

“Far too many Americans are sickened by Salmonella every year. The aggressive and comprehensive steps detailed in the Salmonella Action Plan will protect consumers by making meat and poultry products safer.” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Elisabeth Hagen.

The Salmonella Action Plan is the agency’s strategy to best address the threat of Salmonella in meat and poultry products. The plan identifies modernizing the outdated poultry slaughter inspection system as a top priority. By focusing inspectors’ duties solely on food safety, at least 5,000 illnesses can be prevented each year.

Enhancing Salmonella sampling and testing programs is also part of this comprehensive effort, ensuring that these programs factor in the latest scientific information available and account for emerging trends in foodborne illness. Inspectors will also be empowered with the tools necessary to expeditiously pinpoint problems. With more information about a plant’s performance history and with better methods for assessing in-plant conditions, inspectors will be better positioned to detect Salmonella earlier, before it can cause an outbreak.

In addition, the plan outlines several actions FSIS will take to drive innovations that will lower Salmonella contamination rates, including establishing new performance standards; developing new strategies for inspection and throughout the full farm-to-table continuum; addressing all potential sources of Salmonella; and focusing the Agency’s education and outreach tools on Salmonella.

These efforts will build upon the work that USDA has done over the past several years. In 2011, USDA strengthened the performance standards for Salmonella in poultry with a goal of significantly reducing illnesses by 20,000 per year. And through the Salmonella Initiative Program, plants are now using processing techniques designed to directly reduce Salmonella in raw meat and poultry. Thanks to these innovative technologies and tough policies, Salmonella rates in young chickens have dropped over 75 percent since 2006.

Learn more about the Salmonella Action Plan.

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Thu
31
Oct '13

FDA: On the presence of pathogens, such as Salmonella, and filth in spices

http://www.fda.gov/food/newsevents/constituentupdates/ucm372995.htm

FDA Releases Draft Risk Profile on Pathogens and Filth in Spices, Takes Steps to Strengthen Spice Safety

Food Basket

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition - Food and Drug Administration

October 30, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed a draft risk profile on pathogens and filth in spices. A risk profile is a science-based document that describes the current state of knowledge related to a specific food safety issue, describes mitigation and control mechanisms currently available and identifies critical knowledge gaps. The risk profile was initiated in response to recent outbreaks of human illness caused by the consumption of Salmonella-contaminated spices in the United States.

The risk profile identifies the most commonly occurring microbial hazards and filth in spices and quantifies, where possible, the prevalence and levels of these adulterants at different points along the supply chain. It also identifies potential sources of contamination throughout the farm-to-table food safety continuum and evaluates the efficacy of current mitigation and control options designed to reduce the public health risk posed by consumption of contaminated spices in the United States. Potential new mitigation and control options are described, based on the scientific data, information and analyses in the report. The report concludes with a list of knowledge gaps and the research needed to fill them. The FDA seeks comments on this draft document, which can be submitted via the Federal Register1.

The study’s findings suggest that the presence of pathogens, such as Salmonella, and filth in spices is a systemic challenge. Failures identified in the farm-to-table food safety system potentially leading to adulteration of consumed spice generally arose from poor/inconsistent application of appropriate preventive controls. The study identified 14 spice/seasoning-associated outbreaks worldwide that occurred from 1973 to 2010, resulting in less than 2,000 reported human illnesses and 128 hospitalizations worldwide.

The relatively small number of outbreaks identified may be attributable in part to the application of preventive controls by the spice and food manufacturing industries, including pathogen reduction treatments, and cooking during food preparation. People’s tendency to eat small amounts of spices with meals generally lowers the probability of illness from contaminated spices relative to similarly contaminated foods consumed in larger amounts. It is also possible that illnesses caused by contaminated spices are underreported, particularly because of challenges related to attribution for minor ingredients in multi-ingredient foods.

The FDA has a number of regulatory standards and programs in place that help prevent contaminated spice from reaching consumers and these are described in the risk profile. In addition, the agency is taking steps to further strengthen spice safety. The FDA has increased inspections of spice manufacturing facilities in recent years and has begun to implement some of the options presented in the risk profile.

For example, the agency’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is working with several partners to develop a training center focused on supply chain management for spices and botanical ingredients. As part of this program, FDA experts have provided food safety training in India, a leading country of origin for U.S. spice importation.

Furthermore, through the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the FDA has proposed a new rule on preventive controls for human food facilities and another on foreign supplier verification programs for importers. The preventive controls rule proposes to require food facilities to put into place preventive controls for those hazards identified by the manufacturer as reasonably likely to occur. The foreign supplier verification rule proposes to require that importers verify that the foods they import are produced using processes and procedures that ensure the same level of safety as food produced in the United States. Both rules hold the potential to improve spice safety. (More information on the proposed rules can be obtained at www.fda.gov/fsma2.)

The risk profile is available today and can be read in its entirety on the FDA web site. To submit comments for use in the risk profile or to obtain additional information on the study, please visit the agency’s project web page3 project web page, where a link to the Federal Register notice is posted.

 

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Sat
19
Oct '13

338 persons infected with 7 outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/index.html

  • As of October 17, 2013, a total of 338 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 20 states and Puerto Rico.
    • 40% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
    • Most ill persons (75%) have been reported from California.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections.
  • On October 7, 2013, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) issued a Public Health AlertExternal Web Site Icon due to concerns that illness caused by Salmonella Heidelberg is associated with chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.
  • On October 12, 2013, Costco’s El Camino Real store located in South San Francisco, California recalled more than 9,000 units (approximately 40,000 pounds) of rotisserie chicken products due to possible Salmonella Heidelberg contaminationExternal Web Site Icon.
  • This investigation is ongoing. USDA-FSIS is prepared to take additional actions or expand the investigation based on new evidence.
  • The outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. This antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.
  • It is not unusual for raw poultry from any producer to have Salmonella bacteria. CDC and USDA-FSIS recommend consumers follow food safety tipsExternal Web Site Icon to prevent Salmonella infection from raw poultry produced by Foster Farms or any other brand.

 

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, by State as of October 17, 2013

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Wed
9
Oct '13

CDC: 278 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 17 states.

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/heidelberg-10-13/index.html

  • As of October 7, 2013, a total of 278 persons infected with seven outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from 17 states.
    • 42% of ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
    • Most ill persons (77%) have been reported from California.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by local, state, and federal officials indicate that consumption of Foster Farms brand chicken is the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections.
  • As of October 7, 2013, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) issued a Public Health AlertExternal Web Site Icon due to concerns that illness caused by Salmonella Heidelberg is associated with chicken products produced by Foster Farms at three facilities in California.
  • This investigation is ongoing. USDA-FSIS is prepared to take additional actions or expand the investigation based on new evidence.
  • The outbreak strains of Salmonella Heidelberg are resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. This antibiotic resistance may be associated with an increased risk of hospitalization or possible treatment failure in infected individuals.
  • It is not unusual for raw poultry from any producer to have Salmonella bacteria. CDC and USDA-FSIS recommend consumers follow food safety tipsExternal Web Site Icon to prevent Salmonella infection from raw poultry produced by Foster Farms or any other brand.

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg, by State as of October 7, 2013

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Thu
5
Sep '13

Salmonella in imported shipments of spice

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0740002012002171

Food Microbiology

Volume 34, Issue 2, June 2013, Pages 239–251

Prevalence, serotype diversity, and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella in imported shipments of spice offered for entry to the United States, FY2007–FY2009

  • Jane M. Van Doren
  • Daria Kleinmeier
  • Thomas S. Hammack
  • Ann Westerman

“……Shipments of imported spices offered for entry to the United Sates were sampled during the fiscal years 2007–2009. The mean shipment prevalence for Salmonella was 0.066 (95% CI 0.057–0.076). A wide diversity of Salmonella serotypes was isolated from spices; no single serotype constituted more than 7% of the isolates. A small percentage of spice shipments were contaminated with antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella strains (8.3%). Trends in shipment prevalence for Salmonella associated with spice properties, extent of processing, and export country, were examined. A larger proportion of shipments of spices derived from fruit/seeds or leaves of plants were contaminated than those derived from the bark/flower of spice plants. Salmonella prevalence was larger for shipments of ground/cracked capsicum and coriander than for shipments of their whole spice counterparts…….”

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Wed
21
Aug '13

New Mexico health officials : Nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to one poultry hatchery

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/typhimurium-live-poultry-04-13/index.html

Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Linked to Live Poultry in Backyard Flocks

Persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, by State as of August 6, 2013

Posted August 19, 2013 4:00 PM ET

  • A total of 316 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 37 states.
    • Among 199 ill persons with available information, 51 (26%) have been hospitalized.
    • 59% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger.
  • 81% of ill people reported contact with live poultry in the week before their illness began.
  • 97% of ill persons reported purchasing live poultry from agricultural feed stores.
    • A total of 113 locations of feed stores representing 33 feed store companies were identified.
    • Traceback investigations have identified 18 mail-order hatcheries that supplied poultry to these feed stores.
  • Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback findings have linked this outbreak of human Salmonella Typhimurium infections to contact with chicks, ducklings, and other live baby poultry sourced from Privett Hatchery in Portales, New Mexico Adobe PDF fileExternal Web Site Icon.
  • Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching any live poultry or anything in the area where they live and roam. Do not let live poultry inside the house.
  • Mail-order hatcheries, agricultural feed stores, and others that sell or display chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry should provide health-related information to owners and potential purchasers of these birds prior to the point of purchase. This should include information about the risk of acquiring a Salmonella infection from contact with live poultry.

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Wed
14
Aug '13

What Common Kitchen Items Harbor E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Yeast and Mold? Oh, my!

http://www.nsf.org/business/newsroom/press_releases/press_release.asp?p_id=29690

NSF International’s 2013 Household Germ Study Finds Common Kitchen Items Harbor E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, Yeast and Mold

NSF International offers tips on proper cleaning and care of home appliances and kitchen items

 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (August 7, 2013) — NSF International’s Applied Research Center (ARC), which conducts original research and development projects for academia, industry, and regulatory bodies to further public health and safety, has released the 2013 NSF International Household Germ Study, revealing that many common kitchen items harbor unsafe levels of E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, yeast and mold.

Scientists at NSF International, a global public health and safety organization, point to a number of contributing factors, including improper food storage, handling, preparation and cleaning, which may help explain why more than 20 percent of foodborne illness outbreaks result from food consumed in the home.*

The NSF microbiologists conducting the germ study analyzed 14 common kitchen items for the presence of four different types of microorganisms: E. coli, Salmonella, yeast and mold, and Listeria. The study found that many of these common kitchen appliances and tools used to prepare food do indeed harbor pathogens that can cause foodborne illness:

  • Refrigerator vegetable compartment: Salmonella, Listeria, yeast and mold
  • Refrigerator meat compartment: Salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold
  • Blender gasket: Salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold
  • Can opener: Salmonella, E. coli, yeast and mold
  • Rubber spatula: E. coli, yeast and mold
  • Food storage container with rubber seal: Salmonella, yeast and mold

It is NSF’s hope that the information gained from this study will further underscore the importance of properly maintaining and cleaning these items, especially those that we don’t always think to disassemble and clean such as the blender gasket.

“Consumers are increasingly concerned about the safety and quality of their food but often don’t realize that they may be the cause of foodborne illness in their own homes, due to improper cleaning of kitchenware and appliances. As a NSF microbiologist, I was surprised to learn that most people know what items carry germs, but they still didn’t clean them properly. Products that come in direct contact with food must be designed and maintained properly to prevent germ growth. The performance, quality, material safety and cleanability of home products all are important for food safety,” said Rob Donofrio, Ph.D., Director of NSF International’s Applied Research Center.

NSF Home Product Certification Program“Young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to foodborne illness,” said Dr. Donofrio. “Concerned consumers can look for the NSF Home Product Certification mark on products to ensure items can be cleaned correctly when following the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent harboring germs.”

Perception vs. Reality: Are We Unknowingly Making Ourselves and Others Sick?
Importantly, while germ study volunteers correctly identified items that they thought would harbor the most germs, they are not always cleaning them sufficiently to prevent illness. The following is a list of the items that were perceived by volunteers to be the “germiest” versus the actual “germiest” items (ranked from highest to lowest in germ count):

Perceived:
1. Microwave keypad
2. Can opener
3. Refrigerator meat compartment
4. Refrigerator vegetable compartment
5. Flatware storage tray
6. Knife block
7. Pizza cutter
8. Rubber spatula
9. Refrigerator insulating seal
10. Ice dispenser
Reality:
1. Refrigerator water dispenser
2. Rubber spatula
3. Blender
4. Refrigerator vegetable compartment
5. Refrigerator ice dispenser
6. Refrigerator meat compartment
7. Knife block
8. Food storage container with rubber seal
9. Can opener
10. Refrigerator insulating seal

Germs found on these everyday kitchen appliances and tools can easily come in direct contact with food, especially raw produce, meat, poultry, seafood and ready-to-eat food. The study identified where the germs are located in the average home kitchen and, more importantly, how people can better protect against foodborne illness. The key is to be aware of where the ‘hot spots’ are in your home and clean correctly and regularly to help prevent germ accumulation.

“What’s important to remember is the science behind the study. Germs exist everywhere and while not all germs are ‘bad,’ our goal is to educate the public about how they can help keep their families healthy,” said Dr. Donofrio.

For more information on NSF International’s Applied Research Center, visit: www.nsf.org/info/ARC.

For tips on how to keep kitchen appliances and tools clean, please visit: http://www.nsf.org/consumer/home_and_family/germs_kitchen_2013.asp.

Media Contact: To schedule an interview with a NSF expert, contact Greta Houlahan at houlahan@nsf.org or 734-913-5723.

###

Household Germ Study Methodology: The NSF International 2013 Household Germ Study was conducted by microbiologists at NSF International’s Applied Research Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., from July to October 2012, with results published in March 2013. Swab kits, which included a swab for each of the 14 kitchen items to be analyzed, were provided to 20 volunteer families throughout the Ann Arbor area. The scientific testing swab was saturated with a sterile medium with a neutralizer that helps pick up germs from surfaces. Volunteers were instructed to wear gloves and rub the wet swab tip in a turning motion across a designated surface area of each of the 14 items. They then placed the swab with the sample back into the swab container without touching the tip to anything else to ensure an accurate sample. These samples were then analyzed by NSF microbiologists for the presence of microorganisms such as E. coli, yeast and mold, Salmonella and Listeria species.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent public health and safety organization that helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, dietary supplements and consumer goods to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. NSF International’s Applied Research Center (ARC) provides original research and custom R&D services for the water, food, pharma, consumer products and sustainability industries. ARC establishes strategic partnerships with academia, industry and regulatory bodies for research and development projects geared to furthering public health.

The NSF Consumer Products Division builds on NSF International’s expertise in national standards and protocol development, testing and certification to help ensure the safety, performance and quality of consumer products and appliances used in and around the home. NSF has worked to help ensure the safe design and cleaning of food equipment and appliances used in food preparation since the 1940s, focusing on equipment used in restaurants. NSF’s Home Product Certification Program began in 2012, addressing kitchen appliances and tools used in the home. In addition to evaluating performance, durability and materials, the program evaluates manufacturers’ cleaning instructions to help prevent equipment from harboring pathogens that can cause foodborne illness.

* Source: Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention: Tracking and Reporting Food Disease Outbreaks, http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsfoodborneoutbreaks/

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