Only a government type could write ‘agents of transformation’ Restaurant inspections in Brazil

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the profile of foodservices’ in Curitiba, in southern Brazil and the results of health inspections performed at these establishments, with the goal of contributing to improvements in sanitary inspection processes and to the sanitary conditions in foodservices.

The study was based on data from sanitary inspections conducted at foodservice establishments from January 2005 to July 2015 found in the Municipal Sanitary Inspection and Environmental Information System.

Most of the establishments inspected were restaurants and similar establishments: snack bars, cafes; as well as grocery store, supermarkets and hypermarkets, and most irregularities were found in these sectors.

Health inspections in the city are carried out in emergency criteria, and most performed at the request of foodservices that are quest a license or because of a customer complaint. Inspections led to more educational than punitive measures. Even 10 years after passage of a national law governing food handling procedures, when 70% of the foodservices presented improper sanitary conditions. The main irregularities found were related to work procedures and processes, sanitary conditions, and physical structure. These result reinforces the importance that legislators and inspection teams reevaluate their goals, strategies and work processes to prioritize food safety.

Practical applications:

This study is important because it offers a diagnosis and a discussion of foodservices and evaluates actions of Sanitary Inspection Agency, to assist in the development of tools and strategies to strengthen the work of sanitary inspectors so that they can be recognized as agents of transformation in public health.

A profile of foodservices in Curitiba and a critical analysis of the results of sanitary inspections at these establishments

Journal of Food Safety

Patricia Vitorio Olmedo, Lize Stangarlin-Fiori, et al.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jfs.12377/full

Food fraud: Brazil bored bureaucrat mob-influenced version

Federal authorities announced Friday they’re investigating evidence that companies including JBS SA and BRF SA, the nation’s largest meat producers, bribed government officials to approve the sale and export of soiled meat. Federal police served hundreds of court orders, including more than 30 detention warrants, in what local media says is the largest police operation in the country’s history.

Police released transcripts of recorded conversations showing how agricultural inspectors were bribed, sometimes in the form of prime cuts of beef. It’s alleged that some of the meat, including sausages and cold cuts, was adulterated with ingredients including pig heads, and that suspect smells were masked by applying acid. Inspectors who refused to comply, it’s alleged, were reassigned elsewhere by the meat companies.

“It seems like magic realism,” Marcos Josegrei da Silva, the judge responsible for overseeing the so-called Weak Flesh investigation, said in a court order. “Unfortunately, it is not.”

In a statement, the Brazilian unit of Wal-Mart said it fully trusts its internal food safety procedures.

But should consumers?

The story trickled around the globe over the weekend and is now like a Brisbane downpour.

Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said Saturday Brazil fears that it may lose foreign markets for its agricultural products.

The minister confirmed earlier media reports that the United States, the European Union and China have already requested Brazilian authorities to launch an investigation against the unscrupulous meat producers. However, none of these countries has so far announced that it was closing its market for animal products from Brazil.

On Friday, Brazil’s federal police arrested members of a major criminal group involved in trade of tainted food, mostly meat. According to police, the operation involved almost 1,100 police officers and became the country’s largest ever. The operation targeted major Brazilian meat producers selling their products both domestically and internationally.

Investigators detained a number of meat industry employees, who are suspected of bribing agriculture watchdogs to receive quality certificates for low-quality goods without proper checks. Some of those money were reportedly used to finance political parties.

Police says that the suspects also used acid and other chemicals to make the rotten meat appear fresh.

The Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment has stated it is taking the issue seriously and will investigate if spoiled meat has been brought to Finland.

In Finland, Brazilian meat has been sold in stores belonging to S Group.

Olympic advice: Sailors, keep your mouth closed

Andrew Jacobs  of The New York Times reports health experts in Brazil have a word of advice for the Olympic marathon swimmers, sailors and windsurfers competing in Rio de Janeiro’s picture-postcard waters next month: Keep your mouth closed.

brazil2Despite the government’s promises seven years ago to stem the waste that fouls Rio’s expansive Guanabara Bay and the city’s fabled ocean beaches, officials acknowledge that their efforts to treat raw sewage and scoop up household garbage have fallen far short.

In fact, environmentalists and scientists say Rio’s waters are much more contaminated than previously thought.

Recent tests by government and independent scientists revealed a veritable petri dish of pathogens in many of the city’s waters, from rotaviruses that can cause diarrhea and vomiting to drug-resistant “super bacteria” that can be fatal to people with weakened immune systems.

Researchers at the Federal University of Rio also found serious contamination at the upscale beaches of Ipanema and Leblon, where many of the half-million Olympic spectators are expected to frolic between sporting events.

“Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in human crap, and they risk getting sick from all those microorganisms,” said Dr. Daniel Becker, a local pediatrician who works in poor neighborhoods. “It’s sad, but also worrisome.”

Government officials and the International Olympic Committee acknowledge that, in many places, the city’s waters are filthy. But they say the areas where athletes will compete — like the waters off Copacabana Beach, where swimmers will race — meet World Health Organization safety standards.

Even some venues with higher levels of human waste, like Guanabara Bay, present only minimal risk because athletes sailing or windsurfing in them will have limited contact with potential contamination, they add.

Still, Olympic officials concede that their efforts have not addressed a fundamental problem: Much of the sewage and trash produced by the region’s 12 million inhabitants continues to flow untreated into Rio’s waters.

“Our biggest plague, our biggest environmental problem, is basic sanitation,” said Andrea Correa, the top environmental official in the state of Rio de Janeiro. “The Olympics has woken people up to the problem.”

A giant pipe running from downtown churns human waste into the marina [on Guanabara Bay] at certain times each day. Rats roam around in the waste. The stench makes uninitiated visitors feel like vomiting or fainting,” USA Today’s Martin Rogers reported Tuesday, less than two weeks before the Games kick off on Aug. 5.

Check the pork; cluster of toxoplasmosis in Brazil 

It’s not just for cats anymore.

In 2012, Hip-music-listening, and general all around good guy Mike Batz (and co-authors) identified Toxoplasma gondii and pork as the second most burdensome food-pathogen combination, resulting in an estimated 35,000 illnesses annually in the U.S.

At least 20 Brazilian cases of toxoplasmosis have been confirmed with another 70 showing symptoms according to Folha Geral (some things may be lost in translation).pork

Five months after identifying an outbreak of toxoplasmosis in the premises of the Agronomic Institute of Paraná (Iapar), in the south of Londrina, the Department of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Municipal Health Department yesterday confirmed another outbreak, this time in the unit of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), located in the district of Warta, in the north.

According to the manager of Epidemiological Surveillance Londrina, Rosangela Libaroni, 73 people showed symptoms of the disease transmitted by the feces of cats between the end of last year and the end from January. The tests confirmed 20 cases of acute toxoplasmosis and dismissed another ten. The rest of the cases still under investigation follows awaiting official reports. Three patients presented symptoms but were not contaminated.

The task force set up to try to identify the source of contamination has a partnership with the State University of Londrina (UEL). The head of the Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine UEL, Italmar Navarro, said the research follows in the analysis phase, but said that the contamination through the water was discarded. He also recalled that there was no conclusion about the focus of contamination that caused the outbreak in Iapar late last year after a series of laboratory tests.

Yesterday afternoon, the troughs of Embrapa who were sealed were reactivated. Already the cafeteria remains interdicted. Rosangela reported that all the people who have been infected will be heard to see if they were eating at the local cafeteria. “If it is not the water, suspicion falls on the food. We have to know the origin of this food, because of the outbreak of risk elsewhere in the city,” Rosangela warned.

Street food in Brazil; and The Beatles

The aims of this study were to assess the compliance of street foods sold in an urban center in a major capital of Brazil with international standards for food safety and to provide data that could be used for the elaboration of specific legislation to ensure the safety of street food.

brazil.street.foodThe study investigated demographic profiles of street vendors and hygiene practices used in critical points of food production for products sold. Direct observations and structured interviews were conducted among vendors at stationary locations in the downtown area. Forty-three participating vendors were mostly males who generally completed only elementary school. Among observed food safety risks: 12% of the vendors did not provide ice at the point of sale for perishable ingredients; 95% did not wash hands between food and money transactions and restroom breaks; 91% did not have hair coverings and 100% of the vendors did not have access to a water supply. The interviews revealed that 12% of the vendors did not provide proper cold holding during transportation; 33% did not wash their hands at all, whereas 24% only used water to wash their hands; and 33% never took the required food-handling course. The study indicates a need for improvements of the environmental conditions at these sites to prevent foodborne diseases. Specific local and national laws for street food need to be created to protect the consumer, and continuous training of vendors could help address the lack of food quality and safety.

And for no particular reason, today in 1966, The Beatles began recording sessions for Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album cost $75,000 to record.

Food safety and hygiene practices of vendors during the chain of street food production in Florianopolis, Brazil: A cross-sectional study

Food Control, Volume 62, April 2016, Pages 178–186

Rayza Dal Molin Cortese, Marcela Boro Veiros, Charles Feldman, Suzi Barletto Cavalli

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713515302498

Theatre or threat? Food safety concerns at Brazil’s Olympic stadium

Authorities have seized more than 45 kg of expired food during a raid of the Maracana Stadium, the showpiece venue for next year’s Olympics.

maracanaAgents from local consumer protection watchdog Procon found the products during Sunday’s football derby between Fluminense and Botafogo, Procon said in a statement on Monday. Among the items confiscated were sausages, eggs, pork, chocolate and cheese, reports Xinhua.

The Maracana Stadium hosted last year’s FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina after undergoing a three-year, $500 million upgrade. The venue will also stage the opening and closing ceremonies, and football matches, at next year’s Olympics.

 

Letter: Bacteria in dairy products in baggage of incoming travelers, Brazil

To the Editor: International air travel can lead to the rapid global dissemination of infectious agents. Unlike products and byproducts of animal origin imported between countries under agreements that legally establish sanitary standards, products introduced into a country illegally or irregularly do not follow specific standards and can come from any source, thereby posing a risk to the health status of a country. Animal products transported clandestinely in baggage can contain infectious agents harmful to animal and human health (14). We investigated Brucella spp., Mycobacterium bovis, and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) in dairy products seized from baggage of passengers on flights at the 2 main international airports (Guarulhos Airport, São Paulo, and Galeão Airport, Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil.

maxresdefaultDuring 2010–2011, 12 missions were instigated by the International Agriculture Surveillance (VIGIAGRO/MAPA) in airports to detect and seize unauthorized dairy products carried by passengers; 195 products were collected from multiple flights from different destinations. Baggage was scanned by using an x-ray machine and, on detection of a product, was opened by the owner in the presence of a federal agriculture inspector. To avoid contamination, the products were not opened and were sent to the designated Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply Laboratory in their original packaging. All seized products were packed according to the International Air Transport Association standards (5) and transported by commercial aviation with official monitoring to the laboratory.

After completing real-time quantitative PCR (Promega, Madison, WI, USA) using TaqMan technology (Life Technologies, Darmstadt, Germany), we extracted DNA directly from the sample (6,7). The technique for the detection of MAP and eryD Brucella (except strain 19 Brucella abortus) and also using the region RD4 to detect M. bovis were proposed by Irange et al. (8). To detect M. bovis, we used the primers M. bovis-88-F (5′-CGC.CTT.CCT.AAC.CAG.AAT.TG-3′), M. bovis-88-R (5′-GGA.GAG.CGC.CGT.TGT.AGG-3′) and to detect Brucella, we used Bru-Eri-Taq-92-F (5′-GCC.ACA.CTT.TCT.GCA.ATC.TG-3′) and Bru-Eri-Taq-92-F (5′-GCG.GTG.GAT.AAT.GAA.ATC.TGC-3′).

We analyzed 35 containers of dulce de leche, a caramelized milk paste confection, from Argentina (n = 30), Angola (n = 1), and Uruguay (n = 4). We tested all specimens for Brucella spp. and MAP, and 32 for M. bovis. We detected MAP in 1 specimen from Argentina and 1 from Uruguay, Brucella spp. in 3 specimens from Argentina and 1 from Uruguay, and M. bovis in 1 specimen from Argentina.

de-niroThree containers of liquid milk from the United States were collected and analyzed for the presence of MAP; 2 were analyzed for M. bovis and Brucella. Brucella was detected in 1 specimen. Five containers of powdered milk were seized: 2 from Chile, 2 from Angola, and 1 from Portugal. Brucella was detected in 1 container from Chile; Brucella and M. bovis were found in 1 container from Angola. Four containers of yogurt were seized, 1 each from the United States, China, Angola, and South Africa. MAP was detected in those from Angola and South Africa, and the yogurt from South Africa also showed Brucella.

We analyzed samples from 147 cheeses that were confiscated from baggage owned by travelers from 21 countries, mainly from Italy (24.5%), Portugal (22.4%), and France (14.3%). M. bovis was identified in 18 (17.5%) cheeses collected from Italy, Portugal, Spain, the United States, the Netherlands, Lebanon, Morocco, and Norway. MAP was amplified in specimens from 13 cheeses from Spain, United States, Iraq, Israel, Norway, Peru, France, and Portugal, the last 2 countries showed the highest occurrence. Brucella was detected in 62 of the cheeses analyzed, which originated in Bolivia, Chile, Iraq, Lebanon, and Morocco (n = 1 in each country), Netherlands, Israel, and Norway (n = 2 in each country), Turkey and Spain (n = 3 in each country), United States, France and England (n = 4 in each country), Portugal (n=10), and Italy (n = 23).

Both M. bovis and Brucella were detected in 13 (8.8%) cheeses (1 each from Spain, Netherlands, Morocco, and Norway; 4 from Portugal, and 5 from Italy); Brucella and MAP were detected in 4 (2.7%) cheeses (Spain, France, Portugal, and Iraq). Co-amplification of the 3 genes (Brucella + MAP + M. bovis) occurred in 3 (2%) cheeses (United States, Norway, and Portugal). Among the cheeses analyzed, 84 (57.1%) contained isolates that amplified >1 of the genes for the 3 bacteria examined.

Of the 166 dairy products analyzed, Brucella was detected in 70 (42.1%). Cheeses were the most seized products (n = 121) and had the highest number of Brucella-positive results (62/121[51.2%]). Brucella was detected in dairy products that originated in Argentina, Spain, France, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Portugal, and Turkey; it was detected in 4 (21%) of the 19 cheeses from France and in 3 of the 4 (75%) cheeses that originated in Spain. M. bovis was detected in dulce de leche from Argentina, powdered milk from Chile, and in cheeses from Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Norway, and Portugal.

Bacteria can be introduced into a country through contaminated animal products that are brought across borders illegally. The risk may be even greater when these products are carried in passengers’ baggage on international flights because of the growing number of international travelers and the wide range of origins of these passengers. Greater attention should be given to agricultural surveillance at airports to mitigate the risk for introduction of these products.

de Melo CB, de Sá MEP, Souza AR, de Oliveira AM, Mota PMPC, Campani, PR, et al. Bacteria in dairy products in baggage of incoming travelers, Brazil [letter]. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Nov [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2011.13142

Author affiliations: University of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil (C.B. de Melo, A.R. Souza, C. McManus, L. Seixas Author affliliations:); Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA), Brasília, Brazil (M.E.P. de Sa); MAPA, Galeão Airport, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (P.R Campani); MAPA, Guarulhos Airport, São Paulo, Brazil (J.O. Luna); MAPA, Confins International Airport, Belo Horizonte/Confins, Brazil (S. Cabral Pinto); MAPA, Brasilia International Airport (BSB), Brasília, Brazil (F.F. Schwingel); MAPA, Pedro Leopoldo, Brazil (A.M. de Oliveira, P.M.P.C. Mota).

References

Schneider H. Good governance of national Veterinary Services. Rev. Sci. Tech. 2011;30:325–38 [cited 2011 Apr]. PubMed

Hartnett E, Adkin A, Seaman M, Cooper J, Watson E, Coburn H, A quantitative assessment of the risks from illegally imported meat contaminated with foot and mouth disease virus to Great Britain. Risk Anal. 2007;27:187–202 . DOIPubMed

Brückner GK. Ensuring safe international trade: how are the roles and responsibilities evolving and what will the situation be in ten years’ time? Rev. Sci. Tech. 2011;30:317–24 [cited 2011 Apr].

de Melo CB, de Sa MEP, Alves FF, McManus C, Aragão LF, Belo BB, Profile of international air passengers intercepted with illegal animal products in baggage at Guarulhos and Galeão airports in Brazil. SpringerPlus 2014: 3:69.

International Air Transport Association. 3.6.2 Division 6.2—Infectious substances. 2011 January 1 [cited 2011 Aug 10]. http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/cargo/dgr/Documents/DGR52_InfectiousSubstances(DGR362).pdf

Millar BC, Jiru X, Moore JE, Earle JAP. A simple and sensitive method to extract bacterial, yeast and fungal DNA from blood culture material. J Microbiol Methods. 2000;42:139–47. DOIPubMed

Dias NL. Staphylococcus aureus identification, evaluation of the enterotoxigenic potential and methicillin resistance by the PCR technique in dulce de leche samples in the Sete-Lagoas microregion, in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil (dissertation) [in Portuguese]. Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil: Federal University of Minas Gerais, 2010.

Irenge LM, Walravens K, Govaerts M, Godfroid J, Rosseels V, Huygen K, Development and validation of a triplex real-time PCR for rapid detection and specific identification of M. avium sub sp. paratuberculosis in faecal samples. Vet Microbiol. 2009;136:166–72. DOIPubMed

Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 20, Number 11—November 2014

Luna JO, Pinto SC, Schwingel FF, McManus C, Seixas L

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/20/11/13-1422_article

England’s World Cup hotel raided by health and safety officials over out-of date food

I’m watching the Montreal-New York hockey conference finals (that’s ice hockey to the Australians) and am now going to write about soccer (right, exactly as shown).

Apparently there’s something big coming up in the world of fooootball, and the hotel that England will use during the upcoming World Cup in Brazil has had out-of-date food removed following a raid from Brazilian health and safety officials.

colbert.soccerAccording to the Mirror, the Royal Tulip hotel in Rio de Janeiro, had 2.6kg of salmon, parma ham and butter removed after it was deemed unfit for consumption.

Nonetheless, the Football Association have declared that they have no concerns following the seizure.

An FA spokesman stated: “The England chef has visited the Royal Tulip hotel several times and is happy with the cleanliness of the facilities. He will also closely supervise all the players’ food intake.”

The inspections were part of 13 venues visited by officials, with restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, shops also raided.

England’s group rivals Italy – who the Three Lions meet in their opening game of the tournament on June 14 – saw their Portobello hotel also raided, from where 50 kilos of food was taken away.

In total, 218kg of food unfit for consumption was discarded.

Officials at Italy’s hotel discovered 25kg of seafood and margarine past the sell-by date, while another 24kg of meat, sauces, cheese and sugar had no visible sell-by date.

Additionally, both hotels were also warned for not providing condoms for guests, as is required under Brazilian law.

hockey.soccer.block.shots

150 sickened with Salmonella in Brazil; fine amounts to less than cost of (suspect) mayonnaise

About 150 customers were sickened with Salmonella linked to a mayonnaise served at a New Town restaurant in Brazil in early January.

One of the penalties imposed was a fine of R$ 2,650,22, which would give R$ 17.66 per mayonnaise.raw.eggperson.

Mayonnaise on each site, which may have caused the intoxication, cost R$ 19.90.

The Tribune sought those responsible for the establishment, but until the time of writing, only one person answered the report, saying it was not reported and would not comment on the cause.

Fancy food ain’t safe food, Brazil edition

Tucked on a leafy street in Leblon, the seaside bastion of Rio De Janeiro elite, Antiquarius ranks among Brazil’s most exclusive restaurants. Well-heeled regulars frequent Antiquarius, which is ratatouilledecorated in faux-farmhouse style with landscape paintings and porcelain vases, and charges $68 for a stew of codfish in coconut-tomato sauce.

But while Antiquarius’s prices have long shocked many people here, the restaurant is now gaining notoriety for another reason. Inspectors raided it in Aug., finding more than 50 pounds of expired food like ham, endive and beef tripe in its kitchen, including more than 10 pounds of snails with an expiration date of July 2012.

The inspection in August was, according to the New York Times, one of several raids this year by officials seeking to improve the city’s restaurant standards as more visitors flock to Rio ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, both of which will be held here.

“Some restaurants think they will never be inspected, just because they are so chic and expensive,” said Cidinha Campos, director of Rio’s consumer protection agency, singling out an item on Antiquarius’s menu, grilled slipper lobster in beurre d’escargots, which costs about $78. The restaurant’s snail butter used in the recipe was also found to have expired, she said.

“Well,” Ms. Campos said, “even Antiquarius is not above the law.” She added that the restaurant, which serves dishes largely inspired by the cuisine of Portugal, Brazil’s former colonial ruler, could face a fine from about $200 all the way up to $3 million, depending on its explanation of its kitchen practices and the size of its revenues.