35 sickened at wedding in NY inked to Staphylococcus

An outbreak of gastrointestinal illness among guests at a wedding reception in Brewerton July 31 was caused by food poisoning, according to the state Health Department.

wedding.barfAbout 35 people got sick at the party at Arrowhead Lodge, an Onondaga County-owned facility at Oneida Shores Park, and at least nine of them were taken to area emergency rooms.

The health department said in an email its lab tested samples collected from sick individuals and the results came back positive for staph aureus enterotoxin infection, a type of food poisoning.

Raw pork liver a risk factor for hepatitis E in France

In France, the number of confirmed autochthonous hepatitis E (HE) cases has shown a substantial increase since 2006. In 2010, a descriptive study of acute autochthonous laboratory-confirmed HE cases was implemented in order to generate hypotheses about transmission modes and contamination sources.

raw.pork.liverAcute autochthonous HE cases confirmed by the National Reference Centre (CNR) were interviewed on exposures in the 2 to 10 weeks before illness onset. Clinical, biological and epidemiological characteristics were documented for 139 autochthonous cases.

Sixty-five per cent of them resided in southern France, 59% reported underlying conditions and 74% were infected by HEV subtype 3f. Consumption of raw pig-liver products during the incubation period was more frequent among cases in southern (47%) than in northern (25%) France. HE is a frequent infection, more prevalent in Southern France, where cases frequently report the consumption of raw pork-liver products. A case control study will determine the fraction of HE cases attributable to the consumption of such products and other risk factors.

Descriptive study of autochthonous cases of hepatitis E cases, France, 2010

Couturier E, De Valk H, Letort MJ, Vaillant V, Nicand E, Tessé S, Roque-Afonso AM

Saint-Maurice : Institut de veille sanitaire


E. coli in Qatar

Escherichia coli O157:H7, non-O157 E. coli, and Campylobacter spp. are among the top-ranked pathogens that threaten the safety of food supply systems around the world.

qatar.camelThe associated risks and predisposing factors were investigated in a dynamic animal population using a repeat-cross-sectional study design.

Animal and environmental samples were collected from dairy and camel farms, chicken processing plants, and abattoirs and analyzed for the presence of these pathogens using a combination of bacterial enrichment and real-time PCR tests without culture confirmation. Data on putative risk factors were also collected and analyzed.

E. coli O157:H7 was detected by PCR at higher levels in sheep and camel feces than in cattle feces (odds ratios [OR], 6.8 and 21.1, respectively). Although the genes indicating E. coli O157:H7 were detected at a relatively higher rate (4.3%) in fecal samples from dairy cattle, they were less common in milk and udder swabs from the same animals (1 and 2%, respectively).

Among the food adulterants, E. coli O103 was more common in cattle fecal samples, whereas O26 was more common in sheep feces and O45 in camel feces compared with cattle (OR, 2.6 and 3.1, respectively). The occurrence of E. coli in the targeted populations differed by the type of sample and season of the year.

Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli were more common in sheep and camel feces than in cattle feces. Most of the survey and surveillance of E. coli focused on serogroup O157 as a potential foodborne hazard; however, based on the PCR results, non-O157 Shiga toxin–producing E. coli serotypes appeared to be more common, and efforts should be made to include them in food safety programs.

 Risk of Escherichia coli O157:H7, non-O157 shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli, and Campylobacter spp. in food animals and their products in Qatar

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 10, October 2015, pp. 1776-1924, pp. 1812-1818(7)

Mohammed, Hussni O.; Stipetic, Korana; Salem, Ahmed; McDonough, Patrick; Chang, Yung Fu; Sultan, Ali


And Keith Richards gets blood transfusions in Switzerland (not): Five sickened with Q fever after sheep cell injections

ABC News reports five Americans came down with an unusual illness after traveling to Germany for a controversial treatment involving injections with sheep cells, health officials reported Wednesday.

a-human-q-fever-cluster-linked-to-a-sheep-farm-in-lavaux-switzerland-4-638The treatment is not permitted in the United States. The five New York residents received the “live cell therapy” in May last year. About a week later, they developed fever, fatigue and other symptoms of a dangerous bacterial illness called Q fever.

Two told investigators that they were part of a group that, for the last five years, had traveled to Germany twice a year for the injections. They said they get them to improve their health and vitality. There is no published clinical proof the treatments work, health officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday released a report on the outbreak, which included a Canadian case — another medical tourist who got the treatment in Germany at about the same time. The four women and two men ranged in age from 59 to 83.

Three of the six recovered. But three others were still experiencing symptoms more than nine months later, health officials said.

Live or fresh cell therapy involves injecting people with fetal cells from sheep. It’s sometimes offered as an anti-aging therapy, but also has been touted as a treatment for conditions ranging from impotence to migraines to liver disease.

6 sick from Vibrio in oysters in Mass.

State health and fishery officials are extending the closure of several oyster beds in Boston’s South Shore area because of illnesses linked to seasonal shellfish bacteria.

SUN0705N-Oyster7The beds in Duxbury Bay, Kingston Bay, Bluefish River, Back River and Plymouth Harbor have been under a 7-day precautionary closure since last week. Tuesday’s announcement extends that until Oct. 8. It could be extended again if more illnesses arise.

The Massachusetts Department of Health and the state Division of Marine Fisheries say six illnesses linked to contaminated oysters have been confirmed. The illnesses are blamed on the Vibrio bacteria that thrive in warmer ocean waters.

Dozens sickened: It was Klebsiella in beef stew at factory in Zimbabwe

On the 20th September 2012 the Gweru district medical officer (DMO) reported a sudden increase in the number of factory workers complaining of symptoms suggestive of gastrointestinal illness. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to determine factors associated with illness among factory workers.

beef.stewMethods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted from September to October 2012 among 98 randomly selected factory workers.

Interviewer administered questionnaires were used to evaluate possible risk factors from which food attack rates, relative risks (RR) and adjusted odds ratios (AOR) were calculated using Epi info version 3.5.1. Bacteriological examination of food samples was performed.

In addition rectal swabs and specimens from food handlers and patients were collected for analysis.

Results: Of the 98 workers interviewed, 87/98 (89Â %) were males. Consumption of beef stew (AORÂ =Â 9.28, 95Â % CI 2.78-30.91) was independently associated with foodborne illness.

Klebsiella spp. were isolated from beef stew and stool specimen of patients.

Watery diarrhoea 51/98 (52Â %), fatigue 48/98 (49Â %) and abdominal cramps 41/98 (42Â %) were the most presenting symptoms.

Conclusions: Klebsiella spp. was the aetiological agent for the food borne illness at the factory and this resulted from consumption of contaminated beef stew by the workers.

As a result of this evidence, the implicated beef was withdrawn from the canteen and the menu cycle was revised to minimise exposure to the same food. Food handlers training in food safety and hygiene and regular canteen inspections for quality assurance were recommended and adopted.

No further food borne illness has been reported from the factory.

 Foodborne illness among factory workers, Gweru, Zimbabwe, 2012: a retrospective cohort study

BMC Research Notes 2015

Meggie Gabida Notion Gombe Milton Chemhuru Lucia Takundwa Donewell Bangure Mufuta Tshimanga



Dave’s not here: Denver health officials issue food safety advisory for marijuana pills

Denver health officials have issued a food safety advisory for RX Green’s “Autopilot” capsules, a marijuana-infused product.

daves.not.hereThe city’s health department says any of the manufacturer’s Omega-3 and THC pills made before Sept. 17 should be discarded. The products have a license number of 404R-00109 on their package.

“The advisory is due to concerns regarding the manufacturing process and lack of temperature controls in place to prevent bacterial growth,” Denver’s Department of Environmental Health said in an advisory on Friday. “There have been no reports of illness at this time.”

“This advisory has been issued as a result of a food safety inspection.”

Josh Meacham, spokesman for RX Green, said the advisory is based on an incomplete analysis by Denver health officials, explaining that an inspector failed to fully analyze the marijuana operation’s standard procedures.

“We stand by our product 100 percent,” he said.

150 cases of Shigella in Kansas City

There have reportedly been 150 confirmed cases of Shigella in Kansas City, Missouri, prompting city health officials to warn the public of the disease outbreak that causes high fever and abdominal problems.

shigellaFox 4 KC, citing newly released numbers from the Kansas City Health Department on Friday, reports the city usually sees 10 cases of Shigella per year, but so far in 2015 there have already been 150 reported cases. From Jan. 1 to July 1, there were only 16 cases, but in the last two months there have been 134 additional cases. The outbreak is 15-times the annual average.

‘But, but mom, I don’t like beets’: Asda in UK recalls beetroot in botulism warning

It was one of our go-to phrases growing up, and I have no idea why.

pickle.dishProbably because beets were a staple of the 1970s funky glassware along with pickles and pickled onions.

Customers of UK supermarket giant Asda have been warned not to eat jars of pickled beetroot amid fears they could contain botulism.

The recall affects a batch of 710g jars of ‘Asda Chosen By You Pickled Crinkle Cut Beetroot’.

Customers who have bought any of the jars have been warned not to eat it but to return it to a store.

It is not clear how the bacteria may have got into the jars, but a statement from the Food Standards Agency indicated measures to control the botulism toxin had not been demonstrated.

Food poisoning sickens 80-100 child protection employees in Brantford (Canada)

I remember Brantford, Ontario, Canada, where I grew up, but I’m not sure Brantford wants to remember me.

massey.fergusonWayne Gretzky, Massey-Ferguson, the telephone (my dad may be in this pic, he was head of quality control at the Brantford plant that made combines for the world, and I was always proud of that).

But that’s another discussion, and this is a food safety blog.

So it pains me to write that the good folk of Brantford, all 94,000 and where my parents still live, had more than 80 child protection employees sickened by food poisoning last week, a situation that has decimated working teams at the Brant Family and Children’s Services agency.

Executive director Andy Koster said Thursday staff at the agency has been scrambling to help cover shifts after between 80-100 workers called in sick, beginning last Friday.

“Some people have symptoms that are going on well beyond the regular time associated with food poisoning,” Koster said. “But people are working really hard to deliver our services and those who aren’t ill are doing double duty.”

Koster said staff at the agency plans a once-a-year getaway event where all staff take part. A professional speaker addressed issues of stress management and dealing with the trauma many child protection workers face. This year’s event was held at the St. George Arena and a professional caterer was hired to feed the 200-plus people at the day-long conference. Koster said egg salad wraps, chicken wraps and potato salad were all on the menu for lunch.

“On Friday morning we had people calling saying ‘we’re down four people on our unit’ and people were reporting stomach pains and diarrhea.”

gretzkyWorkers continued to call in sick, although Koster said some employees, knowing their colleagues were more ill, came to work.

Bad idea.

Maybe get a food safety type next year. Not me, but someone who can credibly address food safety issues (without the baggage). Chapman? He’s a Port Hope boy.doug.hockey.goalie

Karen Boughner, the unit’s director of health protection said the unit will not identify the caterer at this point, noting the problem may have been totally out of her hands if it was a contaminated product she purchased for the event.

Except caterers should know better, and know their suppliers.

Boughner said the situation wasn’t made public sooner because it didn’t affect the general public.

That’s just embarrassing.