Every hour of every day people around the world are living with and working to resolve food safety issues. Here is a sampling of current headlines for your consumption, brought to you today with the support of iwaspoisoned.com.

Brucella cases underscore this week’s theme
Two cases of antibiotic-resistant brucellosis linked to unpasteurized, raw milk — one in Texas and one in New Jersey — are timely talking points for Antibiotic Awareness Week, which runs from Nov. 13-19 this year.

The effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coincides with the World Health Organization’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week and European Antibiotic Awareness Day on Nov. 18.

“Each year in the United States, approximately 2 million people are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and approximately 23,000 die as a result,” according to the CDC.

This year two of those 2 million people are residents of Texas and New Jersey. They have been confirmed with infections from with Brucella RB51, which is resistant to rifampin and penicillin. Improper and unnecessary of use of antibiotics has contributed to bacteria and other pathogens building up resistance.

“Helping health care professionals improve the way they prescribe antibiotics and improving the way patients take antibiotics helps keep everyone healthy now, helps fight antibiotic resistance, and ensures that lifesaving antibiotics will be available for future generations,” according to the CDC.

IAFP now accepting abstracts for 2018 conference
The International Association for Food Protection is now accepting abstracts for its 2018 conference set for July 8-11 in Salt Lake City. The deadline for all abstract submissions is Jan. 16, 2018.

The “IAFP Call for Abstracts” forms, the Policy for Commercialism, and information for both the Developing Scientist Awards Competition and the Undergraduate Student Awards Competition are available at: www.foodprotection.org. Poster or technical oral presentation formats are also available.

With a reputation for quality content, the IAFP Annual Meeting features more than 1,000 technical, poster and symposia presentations detailing current information on a variety of topics relating to food safety. A broad mix of more than 3,600 attendees representing 59 countries, the annual conference food industry professionals, educators, government officials and scientists who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods.

Down Under and dirty; RTE meals heavy on bacteria
Consumer demand for convenience and less than perfect production and storage are adding up to a danger zone in the ready-to-eat sections of supermarkets and other retailers Down Under, according to South Australia Health.

A sampling program from November 2016 to June 2017 by the public health agency found 43 percent of the so-called RTE meals had unacceptable levels of foodborne pathogens. One of the meals tested had more than 300 times the safe level of Bacillus cereus.

“The survey results indicates that there exists a potential future public health risk if businesses do not have appropriate skills and knowledge to identify and mitigate food safety risks associated with extended shelf life convenience meals. The trend of convenience meals is expected to grow more rapidly and therefore the potential risk is also high,” according to the health department report.

Officials collected 98 samples of “cook chill meals” as the ready-to-eat meals are called in Australia. The samples came from supermarkets and display sections of manufacturing businesses and included food from 15 South Australia-based and five interstate manufacturers.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)