The future demand for and potential shortages of food-supply veterinarians have been the subject of much concern. Using the Delphi forecasting method in a three-phase Web-based survey process, a panel of experts identified the trends and issues shaping the demand for and supply of academic food-animal veterinarians, then forecasted the likely future demand and shortages of food-supply veterinarians employed in academic institutions in the United States and Canada through 2016. The results indicate that there will be increasing future demand and persistent shortages of academic food-supply veterinarians unless current trends are countered with targeted, strategic action. The Delphi panel also evaluated the effectiveness of several strategies for reversing current trends and increasing the number of food-supply veterinarians entering into academic careers. Academic food-supply veterinarians are a key link in the system that produces food-supply veterinarians for all sectors (private practice, government service, etc.); shortages in the academic sector will amplify shortages wherever food-supply veterinarians are needed. Even fairly small shortages have significant public-health, food-safety, animal-welfare, and bio-security implications. Recent events demonstrate that in an increasingly interconnected global economic food supply system, national economies and public health are at risk unless an adequate supply of appropriately trained food-supply veterinarians is available to counter a wide variety of threats ranging from animal and zoonotic diseases to bioterrorism.
Parasitology Laboratory, Section for Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, Department of Food Safety and Infection Biology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, P.O. Box 8146 Dep, 0033 Oslo, Norway. Lucy.Robertson@nvh.no
An outbreak of waterborne cryptosporidiosis in a town in northern Sweden during winter 2010 resulted in the potential exposure of cured meat products to Cryptosporidium oocysts during their manufacture. The purpose of this work was to develop a method for analyzing cured meat products for contamination with Cryptosporidium oocysts and use this method to analyze potentially contaminated product samples. A simple method of elution, concentration, separation, and detection was used, based on work with other food matrices but adapted for the relatively high fat content of cured meat surfaces. Using spiking experiments, the recovery efficiency of this method was found to be over 60%. In the analysis of the potentially contaminated products, only one putative Cryptosporidium oocyst was detected, and this was sufficiently deformed so that it could not be confirmed as an oocyst; if it was an oocyst, it was considered to have been probably deformed and inactivated prior to analysis. Based on the results of the analyses, together with data on the probable extent of contamination of the products and on our knowledge of factors, such as water activity, which affect oocyst survival, the products were safely released to the market.
Department of Pediatrics, Faculties of Medicine and Surgery, University of British Columbia, BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, Centre for Community Child Health Research, Vancouver, BC, Canada. firstname.lastname@example.org
Food Research Division, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch, Health Canada, 2203D, 251 Sir Frederick Banting Driveway, Tunney's Pasture, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0K9. email@example.com
Blue-green algae and spirulina are marketed in health food stores and over the Internet as food supplements in Canada, the United States, and Europe. The reported benefits of consuming these products include improved digestion, strengthening of the immune system, and relief from the symptoms of attention deficit disorder. Some of these products have been found to contain elevated concentrations of microcystins, which are known hepatotoxins. In addition to producing microcystins, Anabaena sp. and Aphanizomenon sp. also produce the potent neurotoxin anatoxin-a. Samples of food supplements containing blue-green algae and spirulina were collected in Portugal and from urban centers across Canada in 2005. Extracts of these supplements were analyzed to determine the presence and concentrations of anatoxin-a and its two main metabolites, dihydroanatoxin-a and epoxyanatoxin-a. Initial analyses were performed using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with fluorescence detection, and confirmation required the use of LC with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS). The HPLC with fluorescence detection indicated no anatoxin-a, but four samples were suspected to contain either dihydroanatoxin-a or epoxyanatoxin-a at 0.1 to 0.2 microg/g. LC-MS-MS results, however, indicated no trace of either transformation product in any sample analyzed. The detection limits for anatoxin-a, dihydroanatoxin-a, and epoxyanatoxin-a were similar for both fluorescence detection (0.2 to 0.3, 0.4 to 1.4, and 0.2 to 1.5 pg on the column, respectively) and mass spectrometry (0.3 to 1.5, 0.3 to 0.8, and 0.5 to 0.8 pg on the column, respectively). Because of the higher specificity of the LC-MS-MS analysis, all tested food supplement samples were considered free of anatoxin-a and its transformation products.
The Norwegian Action Plan against Campylobacter in broilers was implemented in May 2001 with the objective of reducing human exposure to Campylobacter through Norwegian broilers. From each flock, samples collected at the farm about one week prior to slaughter, and then again at the slaughter plant, are examined for the presence of Campylobacter. All farmers with positive flocks are followed up with bio-security advice. Sampling of broiler products at retail level is also included in the Action Plan. The aim of this study was to evaluate the existing sampling and culturing methods of the Norwegian Action Plan against Campylobacter in broilers. The material collected was pooled faecal samples, pooled cloacae samples and caecae samples from individuals. The highest number of positives, from culturing of the pooled faecal samples, the pooled cloacae swabs and the caecae swabs from individuals, were obtained at incubation temperature 41.5 degrees C. When comparing the results at incubation temperature 37 and 41.5 degrees C, the faecal samples from the farms demonstrated a high concordance, with a kappa value of 0.88. The results from culturing cloacae swabs and caecae samples from slaughter plant level at two temperatures did not agree very well with a kappa value of 0.21 and moderate value of 0.57, respectively, but were both disconcordant at a level of 0.05. Modelling farm level data indicated that if increasing the number of pooled samples per flock from two (in existing regime) to three, the flock sensitivity increases from 89% to 95%. Modelling of slaughter plant data indicated that three pooled cloacae swabs are needed to identify 90% of the positive flocks. The results from the modelling of caecae data indicated that samples from seven individuals are sufficient to identify 90% of the positive flocks and caecae samples could thus be an alternative to cloacae sampling at slaughter plant level.