IFST Issues Statement on Cyclospora

The independent Institute of Food Science & Technology has issued a new Information Statement on Cyclospora dated May 2008, replacing that of March 2003.

The updated version makes the following new conclusions:

  • Care must be exercised in implicating any source of food or water as the source of any pathogen before the pathogen has both been identified and shown to occur in the incriminated vehicle.
  • Both national and international reporting and communicating cases/outbreaks of food or water borne disease need to be improved.
  • Every importer of fresh products (i.e. not pasteurised by heat/irradiation or other means), especially if these come from tropical countries, should be alert to the possibility that hazards, little known in the developed world, may be present and ensure that best practice is followed throughout the chain from farm to table.
  • Chlorination may be an inadequate safeguard against some such contaminants.
  • Routine laboratory analysis may be inadequate to identify all pathogens, some of which call for unusually sophisticated analytical techniques.

The Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) is the independent professional qualifying body for food scientists and technologists. It is totally independent of government, of industry, and of any lobbying groups or special interest groups.