Hepatitis A: Get vaccinated cause you never know when you’ll eat shit

Frozen berries from Egypt, frozen scallops from the Philippines, raw sewage in Detroit, one never really knows when they are going to injest human shit.

hep.aThe City of Detroit is offering preventative vaccinations after two people were diagnosed with Hepatitis A.

Health officials say the two people both came in contact with raw sewage that backed up into a basement.

The Detroit Health Department recommends that anyone who may have come in contact with sewage seek a preventative vaccination.

Contact your primary care physician or go to one of Detroit’s Health Department clinics between Friday August 26 and Friday, September 2. 

More hepatitis A: smoothie edition

Berries are a staple of my diet; I go through about 2 lbs a week of raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. When the fresh berries are too expensive (or don’t look good) I substitute with frozen ones.

Frozen food is sometimes ready-to-eat. Sometimes not. Frozen berries likely haven’t been heat treated before the get to me and were almost certainly harvested by hand.

So I cook them before eating after the multiple noro and hep A outbreaks in the past few years. Even ones that go into smoothies.

According CBS6, hepatitis A cases linked to Egyptian strawberries served at Tropical Smoothie Cafes in Virginia have climbed to over 20.

There have been 23 confirmed cases of hepatitis A linked to frozen strawberries used at Tropical Smoothie Cafes across Virginia.

This includes four cases in Central Virginia.

There are seven is Northern Virginia, four in Northwest Virginia, and eight in the eastern region on the state.

The CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café said the strawberries in question were voluntarily removed from all stores when they learned of a possible link.

The VDH said they want anyone who consumed a smoothie with frozen strawberries at a restaurant within the last 50 days to watch out for symptoms of hepatitis A.

Hawaii Hepatitis A seen and heard: secondary infection potential edition

If I ran a kitchen, hepatitis A would scare me the most. I could have hired a superstar employee, the world’s best handwasher, and still end up with lines outside my operation as folks get post-exposure shots.

I’d try to figure out a way to get everyone who worked for me vaccinated. And according to Murphy et al at CDC, vaccines really matter. Following an increase in vaccination recommendations and offerings in the U.S. rates of the illness declined ‘96.6% from 1996 to 2011 (from 11.7 to 0.4 cases per 100,000 population), and the number of reported cases decreased from 31,032 to 1,398, respectively.’original

In the ongoing saga of hep A in Hawaii, where over 206 are ill following the consumption of contaminated raw scallops, the potential for secondary cases is emerging as food handlers in different settings are part of the case group. According to KRON4, a food handler in a school cafeteria has the virus.

The Hawaii Department of Health is investigating a case of hepatitis A involving a school cafeteria worker.

The patient worked at Kipapa Elementary School in Mililani and was in the cafeteria kitchen between Aug. 3-16.

The Department of Education says it’s complying with the investigation and the school will be preparing its meals off-site for the time being.

The principal sent home a letter to notify parents.

DOH officials say all students should have received a hepatitis A vaccine as part of routinely recommended childhood vaccinations.

Children who have not been previously vaccinated — a few dozen students — should be seen by their pediatrician.

Also on the list of secondary infection sources is a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant who, according to the Hawaii Tribune Herald, is also part of the outbreak cluster.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday afternoon issued a precaution to passengers who were on the following Hawaiian Airlines flights:

• July 31 — Flight HA22 from Honolulu to Seattle.

• Aug. 1 — Flight HA21 from Seattle to Honolulu.

• Aug. 10 — Flight HA18 from Honolulu to Las Vegas.

• Aug. 12 — Flight HA17 from Las Vegas to Honolulu.

The flight attendant served in-flight food and beverages during each of the flights.

The DOH noted in a press release that risk of transmission from the Hawaiian Airlines flights is “extremely low.”

Food Safety Talk 107: Univalve Mallets

Food Safety Talk, a bi-weekly podcast for food safety nerds, by food safety nerds. The podcast is hosted by Ben Chapman and barfblog contributor Don Schaffner, Extension Specialist in Food Science and Professor at Rutgers University. Every two weeks or so, Ben and Don get together virtually and talk for about an hour.1472063437005

They talk about what’s on their minds or in the news regarding food safety, and popular culture. They strive to be relevant, funny and informative — sometimes they succeed. You can download the audio recordings right from the website, or subscribe using iTunes.

Episode 107 can be found here and on iTunes.

Show note links to follow along at home:

Egypt investigates claims of hepatitis-A in strawberry exports

With 10 hepatitis A cases linked to frozen strawberries used by Tropical Smoothie Café in Virginia, and health officials saying the hep A strain has been associated with past outbreaks due to frozen strawberries from Egypt, the Egyptians are now investigating.

strawberry.harvest.egypeEgypt Independent cites Agriculture Ministry spokesman Edi Hawash as saying the U.S. has not officially informed Egypt of the claims, but the claims are being investigated anyway.

Agriculture Minister Essam Fayed has formed a committee, headed by the chairman of the Union of Egyptian Exporters, to investigate the issue, Hawash added.

He said that recent tests conducted on random samples of exported strawberries have shown no cases of the virus.

Hussein al-Hinnawi, the president of the Union of Producers and Exporters of Horticultural Crops, said he doubts that the reported hepatitis-A infections were caused by frozen Egyptian strawberries.

He said Egyptian strawberries are scrutinized at competent laboratories prior to export. Moreover, exporters have full awareness of good practice through the stages of production, transfer and export, Hinnawi said.

Egypt ranks first among Arab countries in the production and export of strawberries, exporting about 40,000,000 tons of fresh and frozen strawberries to 30 countries in Europe, America, Southeast Asia and the Gulf states, according to Al-Ahram.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily withdrew all of the strawberries sourced from Egypt and found an alternate supply.

208 sick: Hawaii Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen raw scallops from Philippines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local officials are investigating an outbreak of hepatitis A illnesses linked to raw scallops.

scallops.hep.aThe FDA and CDC are supporting the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) in an investigation of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections linked to scallops supplied by Sea Port Products Corp. On August 17, 2016, Hawaii Department of Health reported that 206 people have been confirmed to have become ill with hepatitis A in that state.

On August 17, 2016, the FDA, Hawaii DOH, CDC and state partners informed Sea Port Products Corp that epidemiological, laboratory and traceback information indicates their scallops are the likely source of illnesses.

On August 18, 2016, Sea Port Products Corp initiated a voluntary recall of frozen Bay Scallops produced on November 23, 2015 and 24, 2015. The products were distributed to California, Hawaii, and Nevada. The FDA is working with the recalling firm to ensure their recall is effective and that recalled product is removed from the market.

Restaurants and other retailers should not sell or serve the recalled Bay Scallops. The recalled products were not sold directly to consumers. FDA advises consumers not to eat the recalled Bay Scallops. Consumers should ask the restaurant or retailer where their scallops came from to make sure they do not eat recalled Bay Scallops from Sea Port Products Corp.

The FDA’s traceback investigation involved working with Hawaii DOH to trace the path of food eaten by those made ill back to a common source. The traceback investigation determined that Sea Port Products Corp imported the scallops that were later supplied to certain Genki Sushi locations in Hawaii, where ill people reported eating.

On August 17, 2016, FDA laboratory analysis of two scallop samples, which were collected on August 11, 2016, were confirmed positive for hepatitis A. These samples were imported by Sea Port Products Corp. 

The scallops are produced by De Oro Resources Inc., in Suba Basbas, Philippines, and imported by Sea Port Products Corp. in Washington state. Health authorities closed Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai late Monday because the scallops had been served there.

 

10 sick with Hepatitis A: Frozen strawberries from Egypt used in Virginia Tropical Smoothie Cafe customers

According to the Virginia Department of Health, people who consumed smoothies with frozen strawberries on August 5, 6, 7 or 8 may benefit from a vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A.

Tropical Smoothie CafeAccording to a health department official, there have been 10 total cases of hepatitis A linked to the strawberries at Tropical Smoothie in Virginia so far.

The Department of Health has linked the smoothies with a strain of hepatitis A that has been associated with past outbreaks due to frozen strawberries from Egypt.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe voluntarily withdrew all of the strawberries sourced from Egypt and found an alternate supply.

The Department of Health says other restaurants and restaurant suppliers may have received the frozen strawberries. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify other locations where the product may have been distributed.

In a news release sent Friday, the department said genetic testing had linked frozen strawberries from Egypt, distributed to all 90 Tropical Smoothie Café locations across Virginia to the Hepatitis infections.

Blast from the past: hep A inactivation in scallops

Raw scallops served at Genki Sushi have been fingered in a Hawaiian hep A outbreak. What if Genki had seared the scallops? According to some historic work, seared scallops aren’t probably hep A risk-reduced scallops either.

Inactivation of Hepatitis A virus in heat-treated mussels
Journal of Applied Microbiology
dec.99
L. CROCI, M. CICCOZZI, D. DE MEDICI, S. DI PASQUALE, A. FIORE, A. MELE and L. TOTI.1999.Hepatitis A is a widespread infectious disease world-wide. In Italy, shellfish consumption was shown to be a major risk factor for hepatitis A infection, especially when these products are eaten raw or slightly cooked. The aim of the present study was to evaluate Hepatitis A virus (HAV) resistance in experimentally contaminated mussels treated at different temperatures (60, 80 and 100 °C) for various times. The presence of HAV was evaluated by cell culture infection and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction confirmation. The experiments, carried out on HAV suspension and contaminated mussel homogenate both containing about 105 50% tissue culture infectious dose ml−1, showed that, under our experimental conditions, the treatments at 60 °C for 30 min, 80 °C for 10 min and an immersion at 100 °C for 1 min were not sufficient to inactivate all the viruses; it was necessary to prolong the treatment at 100 °C for 2 min to completely inactivate the virus. Thus it is advisable to eat only cooked shellfish, paying particular attention to the times and temperatures used in the cooking process, since evidence suggests that the shellfish body may protect the virus from the heat effect.

Also, here’s the health department’s entire press conference on the source of the outbreak.

It was the imported scallops, served raw: 168 sick from Hep A in Hawaii

I don‘t eat raw seafood, and I don’t trust chefs on food porn programs that who think scallops are cooked by bouncing them on the floor.

raw.scallops.dillions.aug.09I do believe in vaccines, and food porn chefs should be fully vaccinated.

The Department of Health has determined that the Hepatitis A outbreak on Oahu is likely due to imported frozen scallops served raw at Genki Sushi restaurants on Oahu and Kauai.

The restaurants were closed Monday to prevent any further illness and protect the public.

Nicole Takahashi was eating at the Waikele restaurant when it happened.

“Everything was going great until we got the news that we needed to finish and could just leave without paying for the food. We just got scared,” she told KHON2. “I had to ask why. I was scared, getting nervous, and they just got a call that there were scallops, tainted scallops, so all the Genki locations were being closed down.”

There are also Genki Sushi restaurants on Maui and Hawaii Island, but health officials say they have not been linked to any hepatitis A cases.

Health officials say the scallops were imported from another country by the distributor True World Foods, and only supplied to Genki Sushi.

As of Aug. 10, the DOH reported 168 confirmed cases of hepatitis A.

Vaccines work, especially before an outbreak: Hawaii makes it easier for restaurants to vaccinate their employees

I got mine.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) is teaming up with Hawaii Medical Assurance Association (HMAA) to ensure all restaurant employees can get vaccinated in light of an ongoing hepatitis A outbreak.

hep.aOne-hundred-thirty-five cases have been confirmed as of Aug. 3, and are largely focused on Oahu. Seven individuals now live on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui, and one visitor has returned to the mainland.

The Hawaii Department of Health have been releasing a list of restaurants and food service businesses where employees were diagnosed with hepatitis A.

Health officials say there is no indication these businesses are sources of this outbreak and the likelihood that patrons will become infected is very low. However, customers were notified out of an abundance of caution and urged to contact their healthcare provider for advice and possible preventive care.

“If I was a restaurant operator at this point, and I have been. I’ve been a manager, I’ve been an owner, and in talking to my staff, I would say what would happen if our restaurant ended up on the news tonight or tomorrow? It would greatly impact not only the income of the restaurant, but your personal income, so we want to do what we can to avoid that,” said Gregg Fraser, HRA executive director.

Any business, not just those in the food service industry, can now contact HMAA to set up hepatitis A vaccination clinics for their employees for free with a minimum of 15 participants. A $50 fee applies for businesses with fewer than 15 participants.