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20 Years of Data Show Poultry, Fish, Beef Have Remained Leading Sources of Food-Related Outbreaks

Between 1998 and 2008, poultry, fish and beef were consistently responsible for the greatest proportion of foodborne illness outbreaks, according to a new government analysis.

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the 13,405 food-related outbreaks reported during this time period, identifying 3,264 outbreaks that could be attributed to a specific food category. Fish and poultry remained responsible for the greatest share of these outbreaks over these 20 years — accounting for about 17 percent of outbreaks each — followed closely by beef, which was responsible for 14 percent of outbreaks.

Eggs, on the other hand, played an increasingly smaller role as outbreak sources – accounting for 6 percent of outbreaks in 1998-1999 and for just 2 percent in 2006-2008. This trend was largely due to a decrease in the amount of Salmonella outbreaks linked to eggs, according to the report authors.

Leafy greens became a more common outbreak source, responsible for 6 percent of outbreaks in 1998-1999 and 11 percent by 2008-2009. Dairy also grew as an outbreak source, rising from 4 percent in the beginning of the period studied to 6 percent by 2006-2008.

The researchers also looked at the leading pathogen-food combinations that caused outbreaks during the 20-year window, finding that histamine in fish was the most common outbreak source, followed by ciguatoxin in fish, Salmonella in poultry and norovirus in leafy vegetables.

“You see the same combinations of pathogens and foods repeatedly,” said Hannah Gould, epidemiologist in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases at CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and lead author of the report. “It’s good to keep tracking that and now to have a method to continue to look at changes over time,” Gould commented in an interview with Food Safety News.

The authors note that the number of outbreaks linked to these commodities should not be confused with the number of illnesses caused by these foods, as outbreaks result in varying numbers of illnesses.

While poultry was responsible for the largest share of illnesses (17 percent) between 1998 and 2008, leafy greens were the next greatest cause of illness, accounting for 13 percent of the 67,752 illnesses attributed to an outbreak food source.

The pathogen/commodity pairs responsible for the most outbreak-related illnesses were norovirus and leafy vegetables, which led to 4,011 illnesses of the 67,752 linked to a designated commodity category.

The team also looked at food preparation, finding that restaurants and delis accounted for the vast majority (68 percent) of the places where outbreak-linked foods were prepared. Private homes were the next most common place of preparation, at 9 percent, followed by catering or banquet facilities (7 percent).

“That’s something interesting that we talk about here more than we usually do,” said Gould, referring to the location data, which CDC doesn’t often report in its reviews of foodborne illness data.

Outbreaks after 2008

What about outbreaks that have occurred since 2008? Have these trends continued or have they changed in the past few years?

“Leafy greens and norovirus continues to be a problem and norovirus has been the number one cause of outbreaks in our data for years and years and years and has remained that way,” said Gould.

Gould also led an analysis of foodborne illness outbreaks that occurred between 2009 and 2010 — published in January of this year — which found that during that period, beef, dairy, fish, and poultry were associated with the largest number of foodborne disease outbreaks.

That report also showed that unpasteurized dairy products are the leading cause of dairy-related outbreaks, accounting for 81 percent of the outbreaks linked to dairy during that time period. Gould said the 1998-2008 report shows that the incidence of raw dairy-related outbreaks has been growing over this time.

“Outbreaks caused by dairy went up as well, and that seems to be caused by an increasing number of outbreaks due to unpasteurized milk,” she said.

The data used for this report comes from CDC’s Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, which was started by CDC in 1973 and went online in 1998. The authors chose 1998-2008 as their reporting period because the format of the database changed starting in 2008, when it became the National Outbreak Reporting System.

Although this new report may appear similar to one CDC released in January titled “Attribution of Foodborne Illnesses, Hospitalizations, and Deaths to Food Commodities by Using Outbreak Data, United States, 1998-2008,” the two are very different. The January report offers an estimation of total U.S. illnesses linked to various food sources. Though it is based on data from the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, the figures in that report are extrapolated based on national foodborne illness estimates, while this June report looked only at outbreaks reported to CDC.

The complete results of the 2998-2008 data analysis can be found in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Court Orders LA Fish Processor Closed Until It Complies With FDA Regs

Until it can safely produce food as required under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, Neptune Manufacturing Inc. in Los Angeles has been ordered to stop processing and distributing its smoked and pickled seafood products.

According to a Dec. 4 news release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. District Court Judge S. James Otero signed a consent decree of permanent injunction Dec. 1 against Neptune and its owners, Alexander Goldring, Peter Oyrekh and Semyon Krutovsky.

The decree orders the company and its owners to stop processing and distributing smoked and pickled seafood products until they have taken specific steps to bring their operation into compliance with federal law.

Neptune prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and salt-cured (pickled) fish and fishery products, including pickled herring, smoked steelhead trout, smoked turbot/halibut, smoked whitefish, smoked salmon and smoked mackerel. The company sells its ready-to-eat products wholesale to customers located in southern California and Las Vegas.

FDA stated that its inspectors had made seven visits to the company’s LA facility since 2006, and, each time they found similar unsanitary conditions. (The language in the law refers to unsanitary conditions as “insanitary.”) FDA investigators found Listeria monocytogenes at the facility on four occasions and failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions, the agency stated.

Listeria is a foodborne pathogen that can cause serious illness or even death in vulnerable groups such as newborns, elderly adults and those with impaired immune systems. Clostridium bacterium can grow in seafood products and causes botulism, which is rare but can cause paralysis and death without prompt treatment.

“When a company and its owners repeatedly violate the same food safety procedures, their failure to improve their processes and clean up their facility endangers the public,” said Melinda K. Plaisier, the FDA’s associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “The FDA will take necessary action to protect the food supply from adulteration.”

No illnesses have been reported to date associated with Neptune Manufacturing products, FDA stated. The agency added that consumers can report problems with FDA-regulated products to their district office consumer complaint coordinator.

Among other requirements, the decree states that Neptune may not continue to receive, prepare, process, pack, label, hold or distribute food items until the company retains an independent lab qualified to test for the presence of Listeria in product and environmental samples, conducts hazard analyses to develop adequate HACCP plans, develops adequate plans to control Clostridium for all fish and fishery products, and ensures that all fish five inches long or more are eviscerated before being salted or submerged in a salt solution.

All the stated requirements must meet with FDA approval and be monitored by the agency for compliance, according to the decree. It also orders fines for each day that any violations of the law continue.

Food Safety News

Fish integration: Nature adores a hybrid

Overfishing, climate change and pollution have reduced fish populations in Canadian lakes and rivers. While hatchery-raised fish could return numbers to normal, they aren’t as well adapted to their new environments, and there’s been concern that the wild population is “tainted” once it breeds with its domesticated counterparts.

But new research from Concordia, published in the journal Evolutionary Applications, shows that after a few generations of breeding and natural selection, these hybrid fish are genetically as robust as their purely wild forefathers.

Fishing for results

Under the leadership of biology professor Dylan Fraser, the research team — which included Concordia graduate student Andrew Harbicht and research scientist Chris Wilson from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry — headed to Algonquin Provincial Park, a fisherman’s paradise of lakes stocked generations ago with hatchery salmon and trout.

The team transplanted combinations of wild, domesticated and hybridized populations of Algonquin Park vbrook trout to new environments. The researchers then compared survival rates and physical characteristics to determine whether hybridization affects a fish’s potential to adapt after multiple generations of natural selection in the wild.

It turns out that within five to 11 generations of fish (about 25 to 50 years), the foreign genes introduced into wild populations through hybridization are removed by natural selection. That means fish populations previously bolstered by hatchery stock are, genetically speaking, indistinguishable from purely wild populations.

The implications for conservation

Fraser, himself an avid fisherman, says these results provide hope for wild populations that were initially negatively affected by human-induced hybridization.

“If we can stop the incoming flow of foreign genes while maintaining an environment similar to what was there pre-hybridization, wild populations are likely to recover — possibly in less time than previously thought,” he says.

And it looks like that’s true for more than just fish. Similar conclusions have recently been made about wolf species previously exposed to hybridization.

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The above story is based on materials provided by Concordia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Fish integration: Nature adores a hybrid

Overfishing, climate change and pollution have reduced fish populations in Canadian lakes and rivers. While hatchery-raised fish could return numbers to normal, they aren’t as well adapted to their new environments, and there’s been concern that the wild population is “tainted” once it breeds with its domesticated counterparts.

But new research from Concordia, published in the journal Evolutionary Applications, shows that after a few generations of breeding and natural selection, these hybrid fish are genetically as robust as their purely wild forefathers.

Fishing for results

Under the leadership of biology professor Dylan Fraser, the research team — which included Concordia graduate student Andrew Harbicht and research scientist Chris Wilson from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry — headed to Algonquin Provincial Park, a fisherman’s paradise of lakes stocked generations ago with hatchery salmon and trout.

The team transplanted combinations of wild, domesticated and hybridized populations of Algonquin Park vbrook trout to new environments. The researchers then compared survival rates and physical characteristics to determine whether hybridization affects a fish’s potential to adapt after multiple generations of natural selection in the wild.

It turns out that within five to 11 generations of fish (about 25 to 50 years), the foreign genes introduced into wild populations through hybridization are removed by natural selection. That means fish populations previously bolstered by hatchery stock are, genetically speaking, indistinguishable from purely wild populations.

The implications for conservation

Fraser, himself an avid fisherman, says these results provide hope for wild populations that were initially negatively affected by human-induced hybridization.

“If we can stop the incoming flow of foreign genes while maintaining an environment similar to what was there pre-hybridization, wild populations are likely to recover — possibly in less time than previously thought,” he says.

And it looks like that’s true for more than just fish. Similar conclusions have recently been made about wolf species previously exposed to hybridization.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Concordia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Fish tale: New study evaluates antibiotic content in farm-raised fish

Antibiotics — one of modernity’s great success stories — are charms that come with a curse. Their overuse in human and animal populations can lead to the development of resistant microbial strains, posing a dire threat to global health.

In a new study, Hansa Done, PhD candidate, and Rolf Halden, PhD, researchers at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, examine antibiotic use in the rapidly expanding world of global aquaculture.

Done and Halden measured the presence of antibiotics in shrimp, salmon, catfish, trout, tilapia and swai, originating from 11 countries. Data showed traces of 5 of the 47 antibiotics evaluated.

The research findings and a discussion of their implications appear in the current issue of the Journal of Hazardous Materials.

Charting resistance

The menace of germs bearing resistance to our best medical defenses is reaching crisis proportions. Each year, resistant microbes sicken some 2 million people in the U.S. alone and kill about 23, 000, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

On September 18, President Obama proposed the first governmental steps to address the problem, establishing a task force to be co-chaired by the secretaries of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.

The new initiative to reign in antibiotic overuse has been welcomed in the medical community, though many believe that much more needs to be done to safeguard society. The chief complaint is that the proposed measures largely ignore the largest consumers of antibiotics — animals farmed for human consumption, including fish.

“The threat of living in a post-antibiotic era cannot be avoided without revising current practices in the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry, including in aquaculture,” says Halden.

Halden, who directs the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Environmental Security, is a leading authority on the human and environmental impact of chemicals, (particularly their fate once their useful life has ended). In previous research, he has explored the intricate pathways from production to postconsumption fate of antimicrobials and the risks posed.

The new study examines the persistence of antibiotics in seafood raised by modern aquaculture. The research area is largely unexplored, as the primary focus of studies of antibiotics has been on drugs used in human medicine. The current research is the first to evaluate previously unmonitored antibiotics; it represents the largest reconnaissance conducted to date on antibiotics present in seafood.

Farming lifestyle

Aquaculture has undergone rapid growth to meet the burgeoning global demand, nearly tripling over the past 20 years to an estimated 83 million metric tons in 2013. The large increase has led to widespread antibiotic use, applied both to prevent and treat pathogens known to infect fish. The broad effects on health and the environment associated with these practices remain speculative.

Several natural mechanisms exist to help pathogenic microbes evade immune responses or develop drug resistance over time. The overuse of antibiotics, whether for human ingestion in hospitals or for agricultural or aquacultural use, can seriously exacerbate this problem, enriching microbes that bear particular genetic mutations, rendering them antibiotic resistant. In a biological arms race, antibiotics applied to combat disease run the risk of producing multi-drug resistant organisms that are increasingly difficult to kill.

In the new study, 27 seafood samples were examined for the presence of antibiotics. The samples represent five of the top 10 most consumed seafood varieties in the U.S.: shrimp, tilapia, catfish, swai, and Atlantic salmon. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) acquired the samples from stores in Arizona and California.

Five antibiotics were present in detectable amounts: oxytetracycline in wild shrimp, farmed tilapia, farmed salmon and farmed trout; 4-epioxytetracycline in farmed salmon, sulfadimethoxine in farmed shrimp, ormetoprim in farmed salmon, and virginiamycin in farmed salmon that had been marketed as antibiotic-free.

Oxytetracycline, the most commonly used antibiotic in aquaculture, was the most prevalent in the study samples. Surprisingly, the study also detected this antibiotic in wild-caught shrimp imported from Mexico, which the authors suggest may be due to mislabeling, coastal pollution from sewage contamination, or cross-contamination during handling and processing.

On the bright side, all seafood analyzed was found to be in compliance with U.S. FDA regulations; however, the authors note that sub-regulatory antibiotic levels can promote resistance development, according to their extensive meta-analysis of existing literature. (Publications linking aquaculture with antibiotic resistance have increased more than 8-fold from 1991-2013.)

Antibiotics also have the potential to affect the animals themselves, producing alterations in how genes are turned on or off and physiological anomalies. (The latter may include malformations of the spine in trout exposed to the antibiotic oxytetracycline, though more work will be needed to clarify this association.)

Proper monitoring of antibiotic residues in seafood is particularly critical, due to the fact that many antibiotics used in aquaculture are also used in human medicine, for example amoxicillin and ampicillin — common therapeutics for the treatment of bacterial infections, including pneumonia and gastroenteritis.

The future of fish

The use of antibiotics in aquaculture can produce a variety of unintended consequences in addition to antibiotic resistance, including antibiotic dissemination into the surrounding environment, residual concentrations remaining in seafood, and high antibiotic exposure for personnel working in aquaculture facilities.

Changes in aquaculture are needed to ensure the practice can be carried out on a large scale in a sustainable manner. Currently, massive aquaculture operations threaten the health of seas, due to large volumes of fish waste emitted, containing excess nutrients, large amounts of pathogens, and drug resistance genes.

Additionally, many types of farmed fish rely on fishmeal produced from by-catch caught in fishing nets. Several pounds of fishmeal are often required to raise a single pound of farmed fish, thereby contributing to the overfishing of the seas and depletion of ocean diversity.

The current study offers a warning that antibiotics present at levels well below regulatory limits can still promote the development of drug-resistant microorganisms. The dramatic increase in resistant and multi-drug resistant bacterial strains documented over the past three decades indicates that much more thorough monitoring of seafood supplies is needed and a better scientific understanding of the nexus of global aquaculture, antibiotic use, drug resistance emergence, and regulatory measures.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Are there enough fish to go around?

Scientists from the University of York have released a report highlighting the gap between declining wild fish supplies and healthy eating advice recommending more seafood.

While the health benefits of eating fish have become better appreciated in recent years, many wild fish stocks continue to be overfished.

In a study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, Dr Ruth Thurstan, now a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, and Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, used historical fisheries data and population estimates to show how fish availability per person, both nationally and globally, have changed since records began.

Sifting through 124 years of fisheries landings records, the researchers found that UK domestic fishery landings have fallen to their lowest point for over 70 years. When they accounted for processing losses and human population growth, fish availability from domestic supplies showed an almost continual decrease since the early 20th century.

Today, domestic fish supplies fall far below consumption levels recommended by the Food Standards Agency, supplying just one fifth of the two portions per week advice. The shortfall has been masked in part by increased imports and aquaculture, which together raise the figure to four fifths.

The researchers say that global patterns in wild fish production reflect these worrying trends. In terms of fish available per person, supplies have been in decline for over 40 years, falling by nearly a third. Only rapid growth in fish farming has shielded consumers from the consequences of overfishing and human population increase. Half of our seafood now comes from farms. However, Dr Thurstan and Professor Roberts say that fish farming is not a win-win solution.

Professor Roberts said: “Many aquaculture operations inflict heavy environmental costs on wild fish stocks and coastal ecosystems, such as habitat loss, pollution, disease and pests. To be viable in the long-term and help feed the world, there has to be a Blue Revolution in fish farming to sustainable production methods. Better management of wild fisheries could also boost production while helping heal damage to ocean life.”

Although fish production is increasingly globalised, the trends observed in the UK, of falling domestic supply and an increased reliance on imports, are emblematic of many other developed nations. Europe imports 55 per cent of the fish it consumes, while America imported 91 per cent last year.

Dr Thurstan said: “Our paper shows the serious disconnect between healthy eating recommendations and the finite capacity of wild fish stocks to meet those aspirations. It demonstrates how UK consumers have so far been protected from falling domestic production by increasing imports, but this demand is often filled at a high social and environmental cost in producer nations, many of them very poor.

“These findings are a wake-up call to the UK government that our national health aspirations have to be considered on a global stage, and that we need to think carefully about the implications of promoting greater fish consumption in a world where many people are already protein deficient.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Are there enough fish to go around?

Scientists from the University of York have released a report highlighting the gap between declining wild fish supplies and healthy eating advice recommending more seafood.

While the health benefits of eating fish have become better appreciated in recent years, many wild fish stocks continue to be overfished.

In a study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, Dr Ruth Thurstan, now a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, and Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, used historical fisheries data and population estimates to show how fish availability per person, both nationally and globally, have changed since records began.

Sifting through 124 years of fisheries landings records, the researchers found that UK domestic fishery landings have fallen to their lowest point for over 70 years. When they accounted for processing losses and human population growth, fish availability from domestic supplies showed an almost continual decrease since the early 20th century.

Today, domestic fish supplies fall far below consumption levels recommended by the Food Standards Agency, supplying just one fifth of the two portions per week advice. The shortfall has been masked in part by increased imports and aquaculture, which together raise the figure to four fifths.

The researchers say that global patterns in wild fish production reflect these worrying trends. In terms of fish available per person, supplies have been in decline for over 40 years, falling by nearly a third. Only rapid growth in fish farming has shielded consumers from the consequences of overfishing and human population increase. Half of our seafood now comes from farms. However, Dr Thurstan and Professor Roberts say that fish farming is not a win-win solution.

Professor Roberts said: “Many aquaculture operations inflict heavy environmental costs on wild fish stocks and coastal ecosystems, such as habitat loss, pollution, disease and pests. To be viable in the long-term and help feed the world, there has to be a Blue Revolution in fish farming to sustainable production methods. Better management of wild fisheries could also boost production while helping heal damage to ocean life.”

Although fish production is increasingly globalised, the trends observed in the UK, of falling domestic supply and an increased reliance on imports, are emblematic of many other developed nations. Europe imports 55 per cent of the fish it consumes, while America imported 91 per cent last year.

Dr Thurstan said: “Our paper shows the serious disconnect between healthy eating recommendations and the finite capacity of wild fish stocks to meet those aspirations. It demonstrates how UK consumers have so far been protected from falling domestic production by increasing imports, but this demand is often filled at a high social and environmental cost in producer nations, many of them very poor.

“These findings are a wake-up call to the UK government that our national health aspirations have to be considered on a global stage, and that we need to think carefully about the implications of promoting greater fish consumption in a world where many people are already protein deficient.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Are there enough fish to go around?

Scientists from the University of York have released a report highlighting the gap between declining wild fish supplies and healthy eating advice recommending more seafood.

While the health benefits of eating fish have become better appreciated in recent years, many wild fish stocks continue to be overfished.

In a study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, Dr Ruth Thurstan, now a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, and Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, used historical fisheries data and population estimates to show how fish availability per person, both nationally and globally, have changed since records began.

Sifting through 124 years of fisheries landings records, the researchers found that UK domestic fishery landings have fallen to their lowest point for over 70 years. When they accounted for processing losses and human population growth, fish availability from domestic supplies showed an almost continual decrease since the early 20th century.

Today, domestic fish supplies fall far below consumption levels recommended by the Food Standards Agency, supplying just one fifth of the two portions per week advice. The shortfall has been masked in part by increased imports and aquaculture, which together raise the figure to four fifths.

The researchers say that global patterns in wild fish production reflect these worrying trends. In terms of fish available per person, supplies have been in decline for over 40 years, falling by nearly a third. Only rapid growth in fish farming has shielded consumers from the consequences of overfishing and human population increase. Half of our seafood now comes from farms. However, Dr Thurstan and Professor Roberts say that fish farming is not a win-win solution.

Professor Roberts said: “Many aquaculture operations inflict heavy environmental costs on wild fish stocks and coastal ecosystems, such as habitat loss, pollution, disease and pests. To be viable in the long-term and help feed the world, there has to be a Blue Revolution in fish farming to sustainable production methods. Better management of wild fisheries could also boost production while helping heal damage to ocean life.”

Although fish production is increasingly globalised, the trends observed in the UK, of falling domestic supply and an increased reliance on imports, are emblematic of many other developed nations. Europe imports 55 per cent of the fish it consumes, while America imported 91 per cent last year.

Dr Thurstan said: “Our paper shows the serious disconnect between healthy eating recommendations and the finite capacity of wild fish stocks to meet those aspirations. It demonstrates how UK consumers have so far been protected from falling domestic production by increasing imports, but this demand is often filled at a high social and environmental cost in producer nations, many of them very poor.

“These findings are a wake-up call to the UK government that our national health aspirations have to be considered on a global stage, and that we need to think carefully about the implications of promoting greater fish consumption in a world where many people are already protein deficient.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Are there enough fish to go around?

Scientists from the University of York have released a report highlighting the gap between declining wild fish supplies and healthy eating advice recommending more seafood.

While the health benefits of eating fish have become better appreciated in recent years, many wild fish stocks continue to be overfished.

In a study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, Dr Ruth Thurstan, now a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, and Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, used historical fisheries data and population estimates to show how fish availability per person, both nationally and globally, have changed since records began.

Sifting through 124 years of fisheries landings records, the researchers found that UK domestic fishery landings have fallen to their lowest point for over 70 years. When they accounted for processing losses and human population growth, fish availability from domestic supplies showed an almost continual decrease since the early 20th century.

Today, domestic fish supplies fall far below consumption levels recommended by the Food Standards Agency, supplying just one fifth of the two portions per week advice. The shortfall has been masked in part by increased imports and aquaculture, which together raise the figure to four fifths.

The researchers say that global patterns in wild fish production reflect these worrying trends. In terms of fish available per person, supplies have been in decline for over 40 years, falling by nearly a third. Only rapid growth in fish farming has shielded consumers from the consequences of overfishing and human population increase. Half of our seafood now comes from farms. However, Dr Thurstan and Professor Roberts say that fish farming is not a win-win solution.

Professor Roberts said: “Many aquaculture operations inflict heavy environmental costs on wild fish stocks and coastal ecosystems, such as habitat loss, pollution, disease and pests. To be viable in the long-term and help feed the world, there has to be a Blue Revolution in fish farming to sustainable production methods. Better management of wild fisheries could also boost production while helping heal damage to ocean life.”

Although fish production is increasingly globalised, the trends observed in the UK, of falling domestic supply and an increased reliance on imports, are emblematic of many other developed nations. Europe imports 55 per cent of the fish it consumes, while America imported 91 per cent last year.

Dr Thurstan said: “Our paper shows the serious disconnect between healthy eating recommendations and the finite capacity of wild fish stocks to meet those aspirations. It demonstrates how UK consumers have so far been protected from falling domestic production by increasing imports, but this demand is often filled at a high social and environmental cost in producer nations, many of them very poor.

“These findings are a wake-up call to the UK government that our national health aspirations have to be considered on a global stage, and that we need to think carefully about the implications of promoting greater fish consumption in a world where many people are already protein deficient.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Are there enough fish to go around?

Scientists from the University of York have released a report highlighting the gap between declining wild fish supplies and healthy eating advice recommending more seafood.

While the health benefits of eating fish have become better appreciated in recent years, many wild fish stocks continue to be overfished.

In a study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, Dr Ruth Thurstan, now a Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, and Professor Callum Roberts, Professor of Marine Conservation at the University of York, used historical fisheries data and population estimates to show how fish availability per person, both nationally and globally, have changed since records began.

Sifting through 124 years of fisheries landings records, the researchers found that UK domestic fishery landings have fallen to their lowest point for over 70 years. When they accounted for processing losses and human population growth, fish availability from domestic supplies showed an almost continual decrease since the early 20th century.

Today, domestic fish supplies fall far below consumption levels recommended by the Food Standards Agency, supplying just one fifth of the two portions per week advice. The shortfall has been masked in part by increased imports and aquaculture, which together raise the figure to four fifths.

The researchers say that global patterns in wild fish production reflect these worrying trends. In terms of fish available per person, supplies have been in decline for over 40 years, falling by nearly a third. Only rapid growth in fish farming has shielded consumers from the consequences of overfishing and human population increase. Half of our seafood now comes from farms. However, Dr Thurstan and Professor Roberts say that fish farming is not a win-win solution.

Professor Roberts said: “Many aquaculture operations inflict heavy environmental costs on wild fish stocks and coastal ecosystems, such as habitat loss, pollution, disease and pests. To be viable in the long-term and help feed the world, there has to be a Blue Revolution in fish farming to sustainable production methods. Better management of wild fisheries could also boost production while helping heal damage to ocean life.”

Although fish production is increasingly globalised, the trends observed in the UK, of falling domestic supply and an increased reliance on imports, are emblematic of many other developed nations. Europe imports 55 per cent of the fish it consumes, while America imported 91 per cent last year.

Dr Thurstan said: “Our paper shows the serious disconnect between healthy eating recommendations and the finite capacity of wild fish stocks to meet those aspirations. It demonstrates how UK consumers have so far been protected from falling domestic production by increasing imports, but this demand is often filled at a high social and environmental cost in producer nations, many of them very poor.

“These findings are a wake-up call to the UK government that our national health aspirations have to be considered on a global stage, and that we need to think carefully about the implications of promoting greater fish consumption in a world where many people are already protein deficient.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Dried Fish Recalled for Possible Botulism Contamination

S&S Food Import Corp. is recalling all packages of Uneviscerated Dried Roach (Vobla or Caspian Roach) with the following package code “Best Before 06.05.2015.” The product was distributed nationwide in 5-kg. boxes.

The Uneviscerated Dried Roach (Vobla) was sampled by inspectors from the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets during a routine sanitary inspection. Subsequent analysis of the product by New York State food laboratory personnel confirmed that the fish had not been properly eviscerated prior to processing.

This product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores which can cause botulism, a serious and potentially fatal foodborne illness.

Consumers who have purchased Uneviscerated Dried Roach (Vobla) are advised not to eat it and should return the product to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 718-677-6888.

The sale of uneviscerated processed fish is prohibited under New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning.

Symptoms of botulism poisoning include blurred or double vision, general weakness, poor reflexes, difficulty swallowing and respiratory paralysis.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this product.

Food Safety News