Apr 6, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – ConAgra, the producer of peanut butter linked to a nationwide Salmonella outbreak in February, announced yesterday that its own investigation found that moisture might have triggered the growth of the bacteria.Inadvertent moisture in the company’s Sylvester, Ga., production facility could have allowed the growth of dormant Salmonella organisms that were likely present in raw peanuts or peanut dust, ConAgra stated in a press release yesterday.Stephanie Childs, ConAgra spokesperson, told the Associated Press that the moisture came from a roof that leaked during a rainstorm and a faulty sprinkler system that went off twice. The company cleaned the plant thoroughly and repaired the sprinkler system after the moisture problems occurred, she said.The Salmonella outbreak began in August and sickened 425 patients in 44 states. After the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked Salmonella enterica serovar Tennessee isolates from sick patients to their consumption of Peter Pan products and certain jars of Great Value peanut butter, both made at the Sylvester, Ga., plant, ConAgra recalled the products on Feb 14. S enterica typically causes fever and nonbloody diarrhea that resolves in a week.On Mar 1, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that its investigators found S enterica in samples collected at the ConAgra plant, suggesting that the contamination occurred before the product reached consumers.ConAgra, in its press release, detailed several steps it will take to improve the safety of its food products. The company:Established a new position, vice president of global food safety, and appointed Paul A. Hall, a nationally recognized food safety expert, to the postFormed a Food Safety Advisory Committee, headed by Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of GeorgiaApproved a plan to install new machinery throughout the plantIn response to ConAgra’s announcement, Michael Herndon, an FDA spokesperson, told CIDRAP News that “The FDA’s mission is to protect and promote the public health and to that end supports ConAgra’s steps to help safeguard the food supply as outlined in their release.”The FDA’s investigation at the plant is ongoing, he said.ConAgra said it has contracted with a third-party manufacturer to make Peter Pan products while plant renovations are under way at the Sylvester, Ga., plant. It said it expected to resume shipping Peter Pan products to retailers this summer and reopen its plant in August.
“Rookie of the year was our goal from the start,” said Richards, who celebrated his 15th birthday just two weeks before the end of the point season in becoming the youngest driver to win that award in division history. “We raced against a lot of good drivers and that helped us out. We learned a lot from good competition.” Five feature wins and consistent top-five finishes wherever he raced landed the Lincoln, Neb., hotshoe the national rookie of the year award. LINCOLN, Neb. – Opportunities to race closer to home and at more tracks got Cade Richards into a Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod. Raceway Park was the setting for all five of his feature wins as Richards topped the last two features there in clinching the rookie prize. The Jefferson, S.D., track is also where he was involved in a crash and broke his left hand. Richards ran in the top five in seven of the nine races in which he wore a cast. Cade Richards won five times en route to becoming the youngest Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod national rookie of the year. IMCA President Brett Root is at right. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography) HIS SPONSORS: Richards Machine and Subway at The Shoppes of Piedmont, both of Lincoln; Pro Cut Tires of Roca; Extreme Race Wraps of Beatrice; Goldfuss Racing Fabrication of Dwight; J&K Trucking of Aurora, Colo.; Bob Harris Enterprises and Race Tech Info, both of Ames, Iowa; Dirt Defender of Waxahachie, Texas; and Qualcast of Nashville, Tenn. HIS CREW: Parents Matt and Jessica Richards, grandfather Jim Sylvester and uncle Jamie Sylvester. The son of IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car driver Matt Richards and a freshman at Lincoln East High School, he made 55 starts at 10 different tracks in four states, finishing third at Park Jefferson Speedway and US 36 Raceway, fourth at Raceway Park and 17th nationally. Starts 55 Wins 5 Additional Top Five’s 27 Richards drove a homemade chassis his dad built 17 years ago, powered by a homebuilt engine he helped maintain. Career win number one came on July 14 at Raceway Park. “It meant quite a bit to get our first win. We had been close at other tracks,” said Richards, who needed all of a week to take his next checkers. “It was a relief to finally get a win and then we were able to build on it.”
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) – Newly-appointed Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, has strongly backed the ongoing review of the West Indies Cricket Board’s controversial eligibility rule.The former Test captain, who has replaced Englishman Richard Pybus in the role, said there was now widespread acknowledgement among stakeholders that the rule was no longer “sustainable” and could in fact be detrimental to the development of West Indies cricket.“I’m not the only one who’s going to be involved in the decision but I’m certainly of the view that it needs reviewing,” Adams said in a wide-ranging interview here Monday.“There’s a process behind that. That means it probably won’t happen overnight. The review will be ongoing and it has already started, but as to if a change in direction is to happen, that won’t happen overnight because of the process that backs that up but it is being reviewed.“A lot of stakeholders in our cricket appreciate now that it does need to be looked at.”The rule has proved a sore point for players over the years as it has required them to forego lucrative contracts in foreign leagues and make themselves available for the domestic season, in order to be eligible for West Indies selection.As a result, many of the region’s most experienced players have missed out on international duty, opting rather to campaign in many of the global Twenty20 competitions instead.Only last week, veteran batsman Marlon Samuels accused the WICB of playing hard ball with the rule after he was deemed ineligible for selection for the upcoming one-day series against England, because he played only two games of the recently concluded Regional Super50.He left the tournament early to take up a contract in the Pakistan Super League.Adams, who played 54 Tests and 127 ODIs for West Indies, said despite the acrimony over the years, there was a lot of common ground that could be reached between players and the administration.“Having spent quite a bit of time in different roles, representing the players association for a few years as secretary and then having worked as technical director in Jamaica, I’ve already stood on both sides of the fence and I can quite appreciate a lot of the issues that face both the board and the players,” the 49-year-old pointed out.“I think we have the potential to achieve a lot more if we can get people singing off the same hymn book going forward. The outstanding issue right now is player eligibility and like I said, I’m encouraged by the fact that most, if not all parties, are in agreement that what is in place now is not sustainable and might not be helping our cricket in the short- and long-term so that for me is encouraging.”Adams, who spent the last four years as head coach of English county Kent, acknowledged the foreign leagues had served to enhance West Indies players but said emphasis needed to be also placed on further developing the domestic league in the Caribbean.“I also think that a lot of our international players – certainly the Chris Gayle generation – they would have started under Stanford (Stanford T20) but a lot of them developed and became, in my view, battle-hardened with leagues outside the Caribbean,” he explained.“And I guess – if I am waving a magic wand – I’d like to eventually have the standard in the Caribbean where if they do play overseas that’s fine, certainly from a financial point of view, but in terms of developing our own to an international standard, we want our cricket here in the Caribbean to be a lot stronger.”The Jamaican also noted the review of the rule was critical as it was important to have the best players available for selection.“I would like to have the best players available. I’m not going to stick my neck on the block. It’s a selection panel decision as to who the best players are but ideally, you always want your best players available for selection.”