Wheat Outbreaks

first_imgConsumers have long been warned against the hazards of eating raw cookie dough. As more cases of foodborne illness are linked to contaminated wheat flour, University of Georgia food safety experts are touting the risk in a louder, more forceful voice, while searching for ways to eliminate foodborne pathogens on wheat products.In wheat-related cases, the common carriers of the pathogens are cookie dough, cake batter and raw wheat flour. The most recent outbreak started in May and was linked to wheat flour contaminated with E. coli 026 bacteria. Three brands of contaminated all-purpose flour were found at grocery stores in eight states, to date. So far, 21 cases of E. coli 026 infections have been reported.In 2005, 26 cases in the U.S. were linked to cake-batter ice cream and in 2008 a cluster of cases in New Zealand were connected to an uncooked baking mixture. In all of these cases, the pathogen was Salmonella. In 2009, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak resulted from consumption of raw cookie dough.“In the past, the reason we warned people not to eat cookie dough was not because of the flour, but because of the raw eggs,” said Francisco Diez, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety located on the university’s campus in Griffin, Georgia. “The two main pathogens linked to wheat products are Salmonella and E. coli.”Diez says these cases could have been prevented if the flour had not been consumed raw.“Flour is not meant to be consumed raw and cookie dough is still raw flour. You have to avoid consumption of foods that contain wheat flour unless they are baked, fried or cooked otherwise,” he said. “For the most part, as long as you bake what you make with the flour, you should be okay.”According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it can take two to eight days for the body to present symptoms after ingesting the bacteria. For some people, like children and those who are immunocompromised, the illness can lead to serious symptom and even kidney failure.UGA Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist Elizabeth Andress advises consumers who have flour from the recent recall not to use it and to discard it. If the flour was stored outside its original bag, she says to thoroughly wash and dry the flour container before using it again.“Eating raw doughs, batters or any recipe that contains raw flour can make someone sick,” she said. “Children and others should not be allowed to play with raw dough made from any flour.”Diez, who has researched ways to keep America’s food products’ safe for the past 20 years, says that the best of line of protection when handling raw flour is to always cook the food, unlike fresh spinach and lettuce where there is little consumers can do to further protect themselves.“One outbreak came from restaurants giving kids raw dough to play with and those kids got sick,” Diez said. “It involved quite a few children who had all gone to the same restaurant and played with raw dough.”Most foods that contain wheat flour are baked, cooked or fried. The heat quickly kills the organisms so there’s no reason to be concerned, Diez says.  The number of food product recalls linked to wheat has increased, but Diez says that this is in part due to the food industry’s sharper focus on wheat as a possible carrier.At UGA’s food safety center, Diez and his team are working closely with the food industry and the CDC to identify ways to eliminate foodborne pathogens on wheat.“We know Salmonella can be found in dry foods and wheat flour, but we don’t know a lot about E. coli in wheat flour,” he said. “We need to know more about microbial pathogens in wheat in order to develop effective methods to prevent foodborne illnesses caused by wheat products.”From 2012 to 2014, a study examined over 5,000 wheat samples to determine the prevalence and levels of pathogens before the berries are milled into flour, Diez said. Salmonella was detected in 1.23% of the samples, E. coli occurred in 0.44% of the samples, Listeria spp. occurred in 0.08% of samples and L. monocytogenes was not detected.UGA’s most recent research shows that E. coli can survive in flour stored at room temperature for up to one year and Salmonella can survive under similar conditions for nine months. Heat treatment was found to be an effective method for reducing the risk of E. coli in flour, but was less effective in reducing Salmonella numbers.UGA research also found that storing flour at slightly higher temperatures (95 degrees Fahrenheit) for a minimum of two months before distribution can be an effective strategy for reducing both E. coli and Salmonella numbers.Some flour companies have begun to heat-treat or pasteurize their flour to reduce pathogens; unfortunately, this can affect the quality, Diez said.Pasteurization of flour, however, is not always available or appropriate for flour quality, Diez said, so UGA researchers are investigating the development of novel intervention strategies.last_img read more

See More

Sustainable Gardening

first_imgProfessional and home gardeners alike can grow landscapes sustainably with the help of biodegradable plant containers, but gardeners may wonder whether these containers decompose quickly enough to avoid hindering plant growth. A study conducted by University of Georgia researchers determined that, under standard cultivation practices, certain types of biodegradable containers will decompose within a single growing season. In a recently published article in the Water, Air and Soil Pollution, UGA scientists determined how industry-standard growing practices affected the decomposition of widely available biodegradable — or alternative — growing containers. This study was led by Bethany Harris while she earned her doctorate in horticulture under the guidance of Professor Bodie Pennisi and soil microbiologist Mussie Habteselassie in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the UGA Griffin campus.“Under standard cultural and environmental conditions (fertilization, organic soil amendment, irrigation), alternative containers made of recycled paper, coconut fiber and wood pulp fiber will degrade in the soil within a single season,” said Pennisi.Pennisi, a horticulture specialist with UGA Cooperative Extension, said that although alternative containers made of animal- and plant-based byproducts have been available for more than 10 years, consumers and industry professionals have been slow to adopt these environmentally friendly options.“One of the reasons is the perception that, when annual bedding flowers are installed in plantable containers in the landscape, the container does not degrade rapidly enough by the end of the growing season and thus necessitates manual removal of remnants,” Pennisi said.Evaluating paper, wood pulp and coconut fiber containersThe study focused on three factors involved in decomposition — moisture, fertilization and organic soil amendment — and their effects on alternative containers. Researchers examined three container types and measured the response of each to these factors.“In our study, we chose three types of biodegradable containers — recycled paper, wood pulp fiber and coconut coir containers — due to their market availability and their varying levels of cellulose and lignin content,” said Harris, who also earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental resource science and a master’s degree in entomology from CAES. Harris reviewed the literature of previous studies on biodegradable containers and how they were used in the horticulture and nursery industry. Then she worked with Pennisi and Habteselassie to determine the best way to conduct laboratory trials for results that could educate that industry. Over the course of the project, the team examined soil samples with specific combinations of water content, organic soil amendments and fertilizer. They conducted three separate studies to evaluate the decomposition of each type of alternative container. Each study took 182 days, representing the length of a typical growing season for annual bedding flowers.Researchers used control groups for each study in which soil samples without a biodegradable container received the same treatment of water content, organic amendment and fertilizer.  They distinguished this study from past research by conducting the trials in a controlled lab setting rather than in the field, where other environmental factors could influence the findings. Harris said multiple factors like soil pH, container thickness and density of soil microorganisms can also contribute to container decomposition.At set intervals throughout each experiment, researchers measured each sample’s decomposition rate using carbon dioxide traps. The more carbon dioxide released in the soil, the higher the rate of decomposition. This method offered precision and a novel approach from past studies, which assessed remaining container weight rather than amount of carbon dioxide released.Looking forwardPennisi said that her lab will expand on this research to examine container decomposition over longer periods of time. Further study of this subject in the field will enable researchers to develop best practice recommendations. Pennisi’s team plans to extend outreach about the benefits of alternative containers to increase their overall use among the public, green industry producers and landscapers.Harris and Pennisi conducted a study in 2017 that found that both consumers and industry professionals may be unaware of the benefits of plants grown in alternative containers. They hope this new knowledge will inspire consumers to request plants grown in sustainably produced containers rather than plastic.“Product development and research have spoken. It falls on us as consumers to actively seek plant material that has been produced in alternative containers, thereby creating the demand that will encourage the green industry to widen its use of environmentally friendly pots,” Pennisi said.Now the director of education at Callaway Resort and Gardens, Harris directly interacts with the public and industry on a daily basis and educates them about topics of sustainability through strategic programming. She says her research and time working with Extension prepared her well for this role.“I really learned the importance of the land-grant mission, which encompasses research, teaching and extending research-based knowledge to those in the community in which you serve,” Harris said. “At Callaway Gardens, I have had the opportunity to extend this research-based knowledge and educate the public, including visiting guests, about the use and adoption of biodegradable containers as well as other research-based topics.”For more information on the UGA Department of Horticulture, visit hort.uga.edu.last_img read more

See More

Indonesia studying plan to replace aging diesel generators with renewable energy

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Jakarta Post:The government aims to complete this year a study into replacing several aging fossil fuel-fired plants with renewable energy plants as it races against time to catch up with its green goals.The study, which began in January, not only includes mapping potential renewable sources but also future growth in targeted regions, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s director general for electrification, Rida Mulyana, said on Monday. It is being conducted by state-owned electricity company PLN as the operator of the aging plants.“We are still gathering data right now,” said Rida, who is also a PLN commissioner. “There are a lot of plants and they are quite spread out. We can’t study them randomly, but this has to be done one by one. This needs time.”Indonesia has 2,246 diesel-fired power plants (PLTD) that are over 15 years old, 16.2 percent of which are in Aceh, ministry data shows. These plants have a combined installed capacity of 1,778 megawatts (MW).Southeast Asia’s largest economy aims to make renewables contribute 23 percent to its power production by 2025, yet regulatory headwinds are setting the country back from achieving the goal. Existing regulations stipulate that Indonesia should have reached a 17.5 percent renewable power mix by 2019, yet the country achieved only 12.36 percent that year.Indonesia also has 23 coal-fired power plants (PLTU) that are over 20 years old and 46 combined-cycle power plants (PLGU) of similar ages. The former have a combined capacity of 5,655 MW and the latter 5,912 MW. Most of these aging plants are located on Java Island. In comparison, PLN’s total installed capacity is 42,350 MW as of December last year, according to government data.[Norman Harsono]More: Government studies plant to convert old power plants into renewables Indonesia studying plan to replace aging diesel generators with renewable energylast_img read more

See More

Your blind spot – How you’re losing credibility and don’t even know it

first_imgHow do you come across to other people?  What do your colleagues, employees, clients, prospective clients and mangers really think about you?Do they see a credible, trustworthy leader?Or do they see someone who doesn’t have their back?Do they see a go-getter who focuses on getting the job done?Or do they see someone who isn’t a team player?Do they think you will keep your promises?Or are they worried you can’t deliver?Do they think you have their best interest at heart?Or do they feel you’re swayed by other forces?We all like to think others see us the same way we see ourselves.   But after a decade of research on how people win and lose credibility, I’ve found that almost all of us have a blind spot.  There is a disconnect in how we see ourselves and how others see us.Did you know you are likely doing things that hurt your credibility and you don’t even realize you are doing them?Even the most self-aware people have these blind spots.Have you ever nailed a sales presentation and were sure you were going to get to the business, only to find the client chose someone else?  Have you ever been passed over for a promotion that went to someone less qualified? Have you ever tried to motivate an employee only to fail to change their behavior?  Have you ever sent out a communication and gotten a response that was different (not in a good way) from the response you expected?It is because you did not understand the credibility lens through which you, your communication and your behavior was being viewed.  What is the credibility lens?Prospective clients, bosses, employees and colleagues make judgments about your behavior, communication and motivations.   And here’s the thing….not everyone views you the same way.  There is a lens through which other people view you and judge your credibility, and that lens varies depending on the person.  The credibility lens is subjective, not objective.  When you understand the credibility lens people use to judge you, you can get a much more accurate idea of how you are coming across.  More importantly, you can make specific changes to deliver the image and message that will get you better results.How do you know if your credibility lens is cloudy or clear?This is where it gets tricky.  Most people aren’t completely honest with you about what they really think of you.  They may not even be fully aware themselves of the factors that influences how they judge your credibility.Let’s look at a specific exampleJeremy got hired by a bank as a financial advisor in their private banking group.  He expected to get referrals from other bank employees.  Jeremy considered himself a highly competent and capable advisor.  But did the other bank employees see him that way?As I stated earlier, one of the factors that can affect credibility lens is a person’s decision-making style.    Many of the bank employees were “Think It Through” decision making style types.  They were detail oriented, thorough, and very aware of managing risk and customer expectations.    They were very deliberate decision makers.Jeremy was more of a “Take Action” decision making style.  He saw the big picture and was a strategic thinker. He was a real go-getter excelling at getting meetings and closing business.   He was incredibly knowledgeable and a terrific resource for his clients.So where was Jeremy’s blind spot?He saw himself as very competent and capable. So did the other bank employees.  He thought of himself as trustworthy.  And that’s where the disconnect was.  The way you win trust with a Think It Through type is different from how you win trust with a Take Action type.  Jeremy thought the employees would trust him because he was so knowledgeable.  But the Think It Throughs judge trust by whether or not you have their best interest at heart.  They want to know what your values are.  Jeremy hadn’t taken the time to get to know his Think It Through colleagues or to understand how protective they were of their client relationships.Smart guy that Jeremy was, once he understood the disconnect, he started talking more with the Think It Throughs and sharing stories about the difference he made in the lives of his clients.   One time, when a long-time elderly client didn’t show up for an appointment and did not return phone calls, he was so concerned he went by her house and eventually called the police.  The client had literally fallen and couldn’t get up….he probably ended up saving her life.  (Yes this is a true story)    By understanding the credibility lens through which the Think It Throughs viewed him, he was able to correct for his blind spot around being trustworthy and greatly increased the number of referrals he received from his new fans.    What is your blind spot?   Are you losing credibility and don’t know it?  A good first step is to ask for feedback.  Give people permission to be completely honest.  If you are a man, ask a woman.  If you are a woman, ask a man.  You might gain some new perspective by understanding a credibility lens different from your own. 88SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Holly Buchanan Holly Buchanan is the author of Selling Financial Services to Women – What Men Need to Know and Even Women Will Be Surprised to Learn. She is the co-author of The … Web: www.SellingFinancialServicesToWomen.com Detailslast_img read more

See More

Jobs report falls below expectations

first_imgWith 130,000 jobs gained last month, NAFCU Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Curt Long said “August job growth failed to meet expectations, but this was still a solid report overall,” adding that “both labor force participation and prime-age employment improved.”Although headline job growth fell below the year average, Long noted that “private sector growth was sufficient to absorb new entrants into the market. The overall picture of the labor market is still a strong one which represents a solid recessionary buffer, albeit one where job growth is clearly tapering as we approach full employment.”“Wage growth remains muted and presents no obstacle to a 25-basis point rate cut later this month. NAFCU continues to believe there is not enough in the overall economic data, including this report, to justify a 50-basis point rate reduction at this time,” Long concluded. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

See More

Case news

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

See More

Liverpool stars Alisson and Thiago Alcantara could miss Arsenal clash

first_imgThiago had a rather chequered injury record at Bayern Munich (Picture: Getty)Providing a fitness update at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Klopp said: ‘I think Joe should be back today in training, that’s what everybody told me – and nobody told me something different since.‘Billy [Koumetio] is back in training. Joel not, pretty much. Hendo not yet, that was clear – this game is for sure too early. I think that’s it, pretty much.’MORE: Sadio Mane reveals how Liverpool squad reacted to Thiago Alcantara signing this summerMORE: Alisson makes admission over Liverpool form ahead of Arsenal showdownFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Comment Metro Sport ReporterSunday 27 Sep 2020 12:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link972Shares Advertisement Both players will be given last-minute fitness tests before the game (Picture: Getty Images)Liverpool are sweating over the fitness of first-team stars Alisson and Thiago Alcantara, with both players major doubts for Monday night’s clash against Arsenal.The Premier League champions already have several injury issues, with skipper Jordan Henderson taken off after 45 minutes against Chelsea and Fabinho forced to play at centre-back in the game with both Joel Matip and Joe Gomez sidelined.Now they have been dealt another injury blow, with The Times reporting that both Alisson and Thiago are doubts for Monday’s game at Anfield and have been unable to train fully.center_img Liverpool stars Alisson and Thiago Alcantara could miss Arsenal clash Advertisement Alisson suffered calf and hip injuries last season (Picture: Getty Images)Both players have ‘unspecified issues’ which have restricted their involvement in training over the past few days and will be assessed again on Sunday.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTLiverpool’s squad are due to have one final training session later this afternoon and Jurgen Klopp is crossing his fingers that Thiago and Alisson can take at least some part.Even if they do, both players will require last-minute fitness checks before tomorrow night’s game to make sure they have not suffered any reaction.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing ArsenalFortunately for Liverpool, Gomez has overcome his own niggle and will be able to line up alongside Virgil van Dijk in the heart of the defence, with Fabinho returning to midfield in the absence of Henderson and potentially Thiago too.In goal, back-up keeper Adrian has been put on standby should Alisson miss out, with the Spaniard having performed well when called upon last season.last_img read more

See More

Clashes erupt as Spanish court jails Catalonia leaders

first_imgViolent clashes erupt outside the airport in Barcelona, Spain on Monday. AFP The separatists were convicted ofsedition over their role in an illegal independence referendum in 2017.  Another three were found guilty ofdisobedience and were fined, but not jailed. All 12 defendants denied thecharges.(BBC) Thousands of Catalan independencesupporters also marched in the city center, blocking some streets and access tometro stations.center_img Large crowds of pro-independenceprotesters clashed with police at Barcelona’s international airport, cancellinga total of 108 flights on Monday, authorities said. SPAIN – Protests erupted in Barcelonaafter the country’s Supreme Court sentenced nine Catalan separatist leadersbetween nine to 13 years in prison. last_img

See More

Bingawan ECQ lifted

first_img* 59-year-old female (Patient No. 491) The town’s Emergency Operations Center-Incident Management Team (EOC-IMT) headed by Provincial Board member Matt Plagata Palabrica recommended the ECQ’s lifting. The ECQ was imposed beginning July 13 after six staff of Bingawan’s Rural Health Unit (RHU) tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). They were the following: Their 14-day quarantine already ended, thus the lifting of the ECQ, said Mayor Mark Palabrica. * 34-year-old female (Patient No. 494) * 32-year-old male (Patient No. 492) ILOILO City – The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Bingawan, Iloilo has been lifted yesterday. * 29-year-old female (Patient No. 495) Now businesses, work and public transport may resume.center_img * 33-year-old male (Patient No. 496) Mayor Palabrica thanked his constituents for their cooperation during the ECQ and urged them to continue being vigilant. It is now under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) like the rest of Iloilo province. “Magpabilin anay sa sulod sang panimalay kun wala man lang kita sang importante nga kadtuan. Padayunon ang pag-obserbar sang social distancing. Maghugas pirme sang kamot. Magsuksok sang facemask,” said Palabrica. * 31-year-old female (Patient No. 493) The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough.  Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales./PNlast_img read more

See More

FIFA launches Infantino defence

first_imgRelatedPosts Super Eagles soar on FIFA ranking COVID-19: FIFA count cost to football Blatter faces probe in Switzerland FIFA’s legal team have launched a forthright defence of president Gianni Infantino after a Swiss special prosecutor opened criminal proceedings against him and former Swiss attorney general Michael Lauber.A criminal case into Infantino’s conduct was opened on Thursday over his meetings with the country’s attorney general, who had been leading a sprawling investigation into football corruption. FIFA deputy secretary general Alasdair Bell says football’s governing body and Infantino have nothing to hide, insisting there is no factual basis for the criminal investigation and that they have no idea what Infantino has allegedly done wrong.Bell has called the investigation “grotesque and unfair” and insists he is 100 per cent confident there will never be a criminal charge or conviction.However, he said FIFA will co-operate fully with the investigation, as it wants the truth and wants it quickly.Bell believes the perception of a criminal investigation against Infantino is damaging.He would not rule out that the anonymous complaint against Lauber and Infantino may have come from someone who would wish to see the FIFA president “fall”. The reason the FIFA legal team say they are speaking out is because of reputational damage towards Infantino and the organisation given its chequered past. They are insistent there is nothing to suggest any criminal wrongdoing at any time during three meetings Infantino had with Lauber.Bell also said there is nothing unusual about the fact that there were no notes or minutes taken by Infantino during meetings with Lauber.Tags: FIFAgianni infantinoMichael Lauberlast_img read more

See More