According to the annual food poisoning statistics compiled by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in Japan, Campylobacter replaced Salmonella and Vibrio parahaemolyticus as the leading bacterium responsible for food poisoning in 2003. Although in 2006 the number of cases of Campylobacter food poisoning was 3,439 on the basis of the MHLW statistics, it was estimated to be 1,545,363 on the basis of active surveillance, suggesting that passive surveillance yields an incidence about 450 times lower than that revealed by active surveillance. Epidemiological investigations of Campylobacter food poisoning in Japan have shown that chicken meat and its products are the most important sources of infection, as is the case in other industrialized nations. Over the last two decades, the consumption of fresh raw chicken meat and liver has been increasing in Japan. Although the MHLW recommends that chicken meat should only be eaten after thorough cooking, it is likely to account for much of the increased incidence of human campylobacteriosis. In response to this situation, the Expert Committee on Microorganisms/Viruses, Food Safety Commission of Japan, Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (FSCJ) has revised the previous risk profile of C. jejuni/coli in chicken meat by adding new findings for 2018. Moreover, the MHLW revised the Poultry Slaughtering Business Control and Poultry Meat Inspection Act in 2014 aiming at stepwise introduction of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system into poultry processing plants. Subsequently, the Japanese government amended the Food Sanitation Act in 2018, requiring all food business operators to implement hygiene control based on HACCP principles as a general rule. This paper reviews the current status of Campylobacter food poisoning due to consumption of chicken meat in Japan and extracts the issues underlying each step of the food supply chain in order to examine the implementation of effective measures for risk management.
Edible insects present a potential solution to increasing global food insecurity. However, there is limited research on the microbial hazards they may pose. These include opportunistic pathogens like Cronobacter spp. (formerly Enterobacter sakazakii). In this study, nine types of ready-to-eat edible insect products purchased in the UK were examined for their microbial load (total aerobic count, total Enterobacteriaceae count), and screened for the presence of Cronobacter sakazakii(C. sakazakii) by selective enrichment and plating on chromogenic agar. While microbial load was generally low, presumptive Cronobacter spp. were detected in five of the edible insect products. Four of the isolates were identified as C. sakazakii, using the Remel RapID ONE biochemical test kit. Genotypic characterisation of the isolates by ITS-PCR, however, demonstrated that the isolates may be other species of Cronobacter instead. Further studies into understanding microbial hazards linked to edible insects for human consumption are required.
Food Safety Commission of Japan (FSCJ) conducted a risk assessment of aluminium ammonium sulfate and aluminium potassium sulfate. This evaluation was requested from Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) to revise the standards for use of additives. Aluminium ammonium sulfate and aluminium potassium sulfate as additives are assumed reasonably to behave as ions after dissociation, such as aluminium, ammonium, potassium, and sulfate ions, in digestive tract prior to their absorption. FSCJ thus evaluated the safety of aluminium ammonium sulfate and aluminium potassium sulfate used as additives, in considering the substances that are composed of ammonium ion, sulfate ion, potassium ion and aluminium ion. FSCJ concluded that there were no safety concerns of sulfate, ammonium and potassium ions as the use of aluminium ammonium sulfate and aluminium potassium sulfate for food additives. FSCJ specified the lowest no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of 30 mg/kg bw/day for aluminium ion based on the reproductive developmental toxicity studies in rats. FSCJ also recognized no carcinogenicity of aluminium additives. FSCJ judged no clear relationship of dietary intake of aluminium with the influences on the bone, mainly due to the insufficient amounts of evidence. FSCJ judged no sufficient evidence to indicate a causal relationship between dietary intake of aluminium and neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s disease. FSCJ confirmed that no human data exist to indicate the clear association of the dietary intake with human health effects of aluminium. FSCJ specified this metal (Al) to be 1.0 mg/kg bw/week for the children (1 to 6 years) and 0.57 mg/kg bw/week for the general population. A safety factor of 100 was applied to the NOAEL of 30 mg/kg bw/day obtained in a developmental toxicity study in rats. Converting the value thus obtained to the aluminium intake per a week, FSCJ established a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 2.1 mg/kg bw/week (as Al) for aluminium.