Hächler et al. report in the current issue of Eurosurveillance that from 24 April to 31 July 2011, nine cases of listeriosis were registered in the cantons of Aargau, Basel-Land and Zurich, Switzerland. In six of the cases, infection with Listeria monocytogenes was laboratory confirmed, while three remained suspected cases. The suspected cases were family members of confirmed cases with identical or similar symptoms. All confirmed cases were infected with a L. monocytogenes strain belonging to serovar 1/2a: all had an indistinguishable pulsotype by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). The same strain was detected in samples of cooked ham that were on sale from a particular retailer. Two samples of ham tested contained 470 and 4,800 colony-forming units (CFU) L. monocytogenes per gram respectively. Data of shopper cards from two confirmed cases could be evaluated: both cases had purchased the contaminated ham. The outbreak initiated a product recall and alert actions at national and European level, through the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF). Following the RASFF alert, the company producing the contaminated ham was inspected by the responsible authorities. Their investigations showed that the ham was not contaminated in the production plant, but in the premises of a company to which slicing and packing was outsourced.
The complete report is available at http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20469.
A batch of dodgy profiteroles are being blamed on a listeria outbreak that could have spread across 13 public hospitals in Sydney.
Who writes like that? Apparently Australians. Dodgy means suspect, a profiterole is some sort of pastry (right).
The NSW Department of Health says that so far three patients, including a terminally ill man at Campbelltown Hospital who has since died, have tested positive for listeriosis.
The two other patients, one from Concord hospital and another from the Royal Prince Alfred are responding well to treatment.
The profiteroles which were made by Rich Products Australia have since been withdrawn from all patient meals.
An investigation into the outbreak which is believed to have occurred between mid-March and April 16 is ongoing.
I don’t call the people I work with the Powell lab. I don’t like saying my daughters or my wife; I don’t own them, I didn’t buy them at the mall, I just hang out with them, and refer to them by name.
There’s an Irish dude wants to go by the name the Sleator lab in his press releases.
The Sleator lab has shown that the bacterium protects itself from such stresses by twisting into a protective corkscrew type shape in an effort to reduce its exposure to the stress—in the same way a human might wrap up tight—hugging the core to reduce the effects of the cold. Furthermore, Sleator and colleagues have identified a single point mutation (out of a total of 3 million or so nucleotides that constitute the entire listerial genome), which dramatically improves the growth of the pathogen in the refrigerator.” The research paper, “A single point mutation in the listerial betL σA-dependent promoter leads to improved osmo- and chill-tolerance and a morphological shift at elevated osmolarity,” will be published in the November/December 2013 issue of Bioengineered. It is available open access ahead of press: http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/bioe/article/24094/
A third person has died following a listeria outbreak linked to soft cheeses produced in the Australian state of Victoria.
Victoria’s acting chief health officer, Dr Michael Ackland, has confirmed the death of a 68-year-old New South Wales man in late January was linked to the listeria contamination of Jindi cheese products.
An 84-year-old Victorian man and a 44-year-old Tasmanian man have also died of listeria infection. A pregnant NSW woman miscarried. More than 20 other cases have been reported.
Jindi has voluntarily recalled all batches of cheese manufactured up to January 6.
The Newcastle Herald cited Dr Ackland as saying the outbreak, which has been traced to the company’s factory in Gippsland, was the largest the nation had suffered and one of the most complex. He described the process of tracking the outbreak to Jindi as ”an important piece of investigative work”, which involved obtaining food histories from victims and intelligence from OzFoodNet, the federal food diseases surveillance unit, as well as bacterial DNA tests to determine the strain of listeria.
On January 7, Jindi’s French-owned parent company, Lactalis – which bought the gourmet cheese maker from Menora Foods in November for an estimated $20 million – voluntarily committed to a quality assurance program that ”significantly cranks up” its existing food safety standards and has satisfied Victoria’s chief health officer.
Jindi’s chief executive, Franck Beaurain, has not returned telephone calls from Fairfax Media for more than a week.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a draft quantitative assessment of the risk of listeriosis from soft-ripened cheese consumption in the United States and Canada. The risk assessment is a joint effort between FDA and Health Canada.
The new FDA/Health Canada draft risk assessment found that the risk of listeriosis from soft-ripened cheeses made with raw milk is estimated to be 50 to 160 times higher than that from soft-ripened cheese made with pasteurized milk. This finding is consistent with the fact that consuming raw milk and raw milk products generally poses a higher risk from pathogens than do pasteurized milk and its products.
While raw milk and raw milk products put all consumers at risk, the bacteria they may contain can be especially dangerous to people with weakened immune systems, older adults, pregnant women and children.
FDA invites comments that can help FDA and Health Canada improve:
the approach used;
the assumptions made;
the modeling techniques;
the data used; and
the clarity and transparency of the draft quantitative risk assessment documentation.
To submit comments electronically, go to docket FDA-2012-N-1182 on regulations.gov. The comment period opens February 11, 2013 for 75 days.
A Hunter Valley cheese company has recalled one of its award-winning products contaminated with listeria.
Consumers who have Binnorie Dairy’s Duetto cheese, marked with the best before date February 21, are being urged to immediately return the product. Anyone with health concerns is advised to see a doctor.
The announcement follows recalls by Jindi Cheese based in Victoria in the past two months for more than 100 products contaminated with the bacteria.
NSW has eight confirmed cases of listeria linked to Jindi cheese products. A further two cases are awaiting laboratory testing.
By last Saturday more than 20 cases of the bacterial illness were found across Australia. A miscarriage in a NSW woman and the deaths of an 84-year-old Victorian man and a 44-year-old Tasmanian man were linked to the outbreak.
Simon Gough, the owner and director of Binnorie Dairy said 46 units of the creamy mascarpone-gorgonzola blend was sold in a clear plastic tub.
Forty-one tubs were sold through their retail store in the Pokolbin vineyard district and five tubs through farmers markets in Newcastle. One unit equals 140 grams of the cheese.
”We are apologetic and we’re grabbing everything we can to work out how this has happened, how the cheese was contaminated,” Mr Gough said. ”This also occurred two years ago but the cheese didn’t reach anybody.”
A NSW Health spokesman said there were no known cases of listeria infection linked to the Binnorie cheese.
Food safety friend Samara Kitchener, of the NSW Food Authority, said: ”The listeria was picked up by the company as part of its mandatory testing as required by the NSW Food Authority.
Three more Australians have been stricken with listeriosis after eating soft cheese, bringing the total number of people affected nationwide to 21.
Two Australians have died and a pregnant woman has miscarried following the outbreak.
The people ate cheese produced by the Jindi Cheese Company that has since been recalled.
Jindi has voluntarily recalled all batches of cheese manufactured up to and including January 6.
NSW Health acting director of health protection Professor Wayne Smith said all of the recent cases involved people aged over 65 with one person in a serious condition.
Consumers can call the Jindi helpline on 1800 680 175 for more information on the recalled cheeses.
Two Australians have died and a pregnant woman has miscarried following a listeria outbreak linked to soft cheeses produced in Victoria.
There are now 18 cases of listeria infection nationally, and a link to batches of Jindi manufactured cheeses sold at delicatessens and supermarkets has been identified.
Eight cases of listeria have been identified in Victoria, six in NSW, two in Queensland and single cases in Tasmania and Western Australia. Two people – a Victorian man, 84, and a Tasmanian man, 44, have died of listeria infection, and a NSW woman miscarried.
The Jindi Cheese company is now voluntarily recalling its cheeses from all batches it manufactured up until January 7.
Dr Lisa Szabo, Chief Scientist, NSW Food Authority, advised that affected Jindi cheeses should either be discarded or returned to the retailer for a refund. There are a number of brand names included in the recall. Consumers should check the list of products or call the Jindi helpline on 1800 680 175.
For the full list of products visit:
Eight cases of listeria infection across Australia have found to be linked and a further three cases are under investigation.
Victoria’s chief health officer Rosemary Lester said consumers should discard 1kg brie and camembert cheese branded Jindi, the 1kg Wattle Valley double brie and the 1kg Wattle Valley camembert with a best before date of December 21.
Dr Lester warned consumers to check the best before date of any Jindi or Wattle Valley soft cheeses.
Two Victorians, three NSW residents and one person in Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia have been diagnosed with the infection.
“Symptoms of illness can take up to 70 days to appear.”
Supermarket chain Booths is being prosecuting for allegedly selling food contaminated with Listeria.
The company, which has outlets throughout the NorthWest UK also face
charges relating to food labelling and shelf life.
The 22 charges all relate to the firm’s Lytham store based in the town’s Haven Road.
The prosecution is being brought against E.H. Booths by Fylde Borough Council.
The first hearing of the case took place yesterday at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Booths – whose headquarters are on Longridge Road, Preston – successfully asked for an adjournment of the case.
More allegations involve seafood salad, fresh and smoked fish and shellfish – mussels, cockles and oysters.
The case will next be heard in January.