Another day, another outbreak of Salmonella traced to some Master-Chef-inspired raw egg food porn.
Paddy Naughtin of the Whitehorse Leader writes that a bad batch of eggs is being blamed for 21 people being struck down by a Salmonella outbreak believed to have been picked up at a Blackburn restaurant.
The Department of Health and Human Services and Whitehorse Council are still investigating the cause of the outbreak which affected at least 21 people who ate at the Food Republic on Blackburn Rd on March 18.
Food Republic co-owner Vanessa Lekkas said she was “genuinely distraught” for those who had been affected and was “humbled by their understanding” .
“In almost 30 years of working in the industry we’ve never seen this happen,” Ms Lekkas said.
“We get hundreds of boxes delivered each week, and it looks like one of those contained a bad batch of eggs.
“We’ve been fully transparent with the council and health authorities, and they’ve seen our food handling processes are up to scratch.
“We’ve been told the investigation is now looking at the farms where the eggs came from,” Ms Lekkas said.
Ms Lekkas said the Food Republic would no longer be serving food made with raw egg products.
Why the fuck didn’t they stop years ago?
There’s been plenty of outbreaks, plenty of publicity, but, humans being humans, they think it won’t happen to them.
I get that.
So in the interest of public health, Australians, stop serving raw egg dishes.
And food porn chefs who are food safety idiots, fuck off.
Unpasteurized apple cider – a staple of the northern U.S. and Canadian fall festival circuit was blamed for causing more than 100 people to fall ill with cryptosporidiosis.
Nick Draper of My Journal Courier reports a lawsuit has now been files against several groups, including the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and the Barry Business Association.
Melissa Kinman of Quincy filed the civil action against Steven and Linda Yoder of Yoder Brothers Dairy Farm, the Pike County Chamber of Commerce and the Barry Business Association. In it, she contends the Yoders were selling and offering free samples of unpasteurized cider that was tainted with Cryptosporidium.
The outbreak sickened people ranging in age from less than 1 year old to 89 years old.
Health workers from Pike and Adams counties, the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating reports of profuse or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and vomiting. Tests done in December 2015 by the CDC confirmed there was cider contaminated with Cryptosporidium.
Cider was not sold at last year’s drive after officials decided to pull the product.
A list of cider and juice-related outbreaks — 84 outbreaks leading to over 3,500 illnesses going back to 1924 – is available here.
A retrospective cohort study using a web-based questionnaire was performed among the participants (n = 30) of the farm visit. A total of 24 of the 30 (80%) cohort members completed the questionnaire. Eleven cases were identified, and Campylobacter jejuni was isolated from eight of them. Seven of the cases were 2- to 7-year-old children. We found the highest attack rates among those who usually drink milk (45%) and those who consumed unpasteurized milk during the farm visit (42%). No cases were unexposed (risk ratio incalculable).
As result of the farm investigation, Campylobacter was isolated from cattle on the farm. Genotyping with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and whole genome sequencing confirmed that human and cattle isolates of C. jejuni belonged to one cluster.
Thus, cattle on the farm are considered the source of infection, and the most likely vehicle of transmission was contaminated unpasteurized milk. We recommend consumption of heat-treated milk only and increased awareness of the risk of consuming unpasteurized milk.
Foodborne Pathogens and Disease, March 2017, Lahti Elina, Rehn Moa, Ockborn Gunilla, Hansson Ingrid, Ågren Joakim, Engvall Eva Olsson, and Jernberg Cecilia, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/fpd.2016.2257.
Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.
“We do know of at least 120 people who became ill with norovirus and it was because of exposure to raw oysters,” Island Health Officer Dr. Paul Hasselback told Andrew Bailey of Westerly News on Monday.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada shut down all shellfish harvesting in a portion of Lemmens Inlet last week and Hasselback suggested further closures could be coming.
“The investigation isn’t quite complete. There are some loose ends and there may be further actions,” he said. “We can’t put every oyster back exactly where it came from but, believe it or not, we can actually track lots of oysters as to where they were processed, harvested and transported and that’s all been part of this investigation.”
Oysters were the primary suspect in Island Health’s investigation from the onset as roughly 30 reports of norovirus cases came in in the immediate aftermath of Tofino’s Clayoquot Oyster Festival.
Hasselback said the number of reported cases ballooned from 30 to 120 after anyone who became sick after attending the festival was encouraged to report in.
“We certainly did get individuals who had consumed the product in Tofino that had gone to other provinces, or even south of the border, who were notifying us of illness so it’s good to know that the communication channels worked well,” he said.
He said the oysters were likely contaminated before arriving at the Oyster Festival’s tables.
“The investigation strongly suggests that the oysters were already contaminated with norovirus before they came to any of those locations so there was nothing that the festival people or other locations would have had any control over or would have known about,” he said.
“Unfortunately we don’t have easy lab testing for things like viruses that would make it simple to screen the product before it gets out and then we end up finding out afterwards that potentially was contaminated.”
He said he has spoken with festival organizers to hash out strategies for next year.
He said the recent Tofino outbreak is the largest norovirus cluster he’s seen in the past five years but noted it was not unprecedented.
“We have seen it before,” he said. “We know this can occur.”
In sentencing me to jail in 1982, the judge said I had a memory of convenience.
I had said I had a memory of not much.
Spinach and lettuce growers seem to have a memory of not much, given the produce industry’s revisions to the 2006 E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in spinach that killed four and sickened 200.
In October, 1996, a 16-month-old Denver girl drank Smoothie juice manufactured by Odwalla Inc. of Half Moon Bay, California. She died several weeks later; 64 others became ill in several western U.S. states and British Columbia after drinking the same juices, which contained unpasteurized apple cider — and E. coli O157:H7. Investigators believed that some of the apples used to make the cider might have been insufficiently washed after falling to the ground and coming into contact with deer feces.
In the decade between these two watershed outbreaks, almost 500 outbreaks of foodborne illness involving fresh produce were documented, publicized and led to some changes within the industry, yet what author Malcolm Gladwell would call a tipping point — “a point at which a slow gradual change becomes irreversible and then proceeds with gathering pace” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipping_Point) — in public awareness about produce-associated risks did not happen until the spinach E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in the fall of 2006. At what point did sufficient evidence exist to compel the fresh produce industry to embrace the kind of change the sector has heralded since 2007? And at what point will future evidence be deemed sufficient to initiate change within an industry?
In 1996, following extensive public and political discussions about microbial food safety in meat, the focus shifted to fresh fruits and vegetables, following an outbreak of Cyclospora cayetanesis ultimately linked to Guatemalan raspberries that sickened 1,465 in 21 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1997), and subsequently Odwalla. That same year, Beuchat (1996) published a review on pathogenic microorganisms in fresh fruits and vegetables and identified numerous pathways of contamination.
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O153:H48
E. coli O153:H47
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O153:H46
E. coli O157:H10
E. coli O153:H49
Table 1. Outbreaks of foodborne illness related to leafy greens, 1992-1996.
By 1997, researchers at CDC were stating that pathogens could contaminate at any point along the fresh produce food chain — at the farm, processing plant, transportation vehicle, retail store or foodservice operation and the home — and that by understanding where potential problems existed, it was possible to develop strategies to reduce risks of contamination. Researchers also reported that the use of pathogen-free water for washing would minimize risk of contamination.
E. coli O157:H9
E. coli O111:H8
E. coli O157:H11
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
Table 2. 1999 U.S. outbreaks of STEC linked to leafy greens
Yet it would take a decade and some 29 leafy green-related outbreaks before spinach in 2006 became a tipping point.
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H8
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
Table 3: Leafy green outbreaks of STEC, 2000 — 2002.
What was absent in this decade of outbreaks, letters from regulators, plans from industry associations and media accounts, was verification that farmers and others in the farm-to-fork food safety system were seriously internalizing the messages about risk, the numbers of sick people, and translating such information into front-line food safety behavioral change.
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
E. coli O157:H7
Table 4: Leafy green STEC outbreaks, 2003 — 2005.
So why was spinach in 2006 the tipping point?
It shouldn’t have been.
But it lets industry apologists say, how the hell could we known?
Tom Karst of The Packer reports the crisis of confidence in the status quo of produce safety practices arrived with a thud a little more than 10 years ago.
Beginning Sept. 14 and continuing until Sept. 20, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued daily news releases that flatly advised consumers “not to eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach-containing products until further notice.”
The agency had never before issued such a broad warning about a commodity, said Robert Brackett, who in 2006 was director of FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutritions. Brackett is now vice president and director of the Institute for Food Safety and Health at the Illinois Institute of Technology,
“In this particular case all we knew (was) that it was bagged leafy spinach, but we had no idea whose it was or where it was coming from,” he said in December of this year.
“It was a very scary couple of days because we had all of these serious cases of hemolytic-uremic syndrome popping up and people getting sick, and it was so widespread across the country.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported about half of those who were ill were hospitalized during the 2006 spinach E. coli outbreak.
“It was shocking how little confidence that FDA and consumers had in the produce industry at that moment,” said David Gombas, retired senior vice president of food safety and technology for the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association.
Given the history of outbreaks, the only thing shocking was that the industry continued to expect blind faith.
“For FDA to say ‘Don’t eat any spinach,’ they blamed an entire commodity, and it became very clear to the produce industry at that moment they had to do something to restore public confidence and FDA confidence in the safety of fresh produce,” Gombas said Nov. 30.
“One of the things that was very different and had the greatest impact was the consumer advisory against spinach — period — regardless of where it came from,” said Trevor Suslow, extension research specialist and director of the University of California-Davis Postharvest Technology Center.
The stark warning — immediately followed by steeply falling retail spinach sales — was issued in the midst of a multistate E. coli foodborne illness outbreak eventually linked to Dole brand baby spinach.
The product was processed, packed and shipped by Natural Selection Foods of San Juan Bautista, Calif., which markets the Earthbound Farm brand.
U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows that California’s spinach shipments plummeted from 258,774 cartons in August 2006 to 138,278 cartons in September, a drop of nearly 50%.
Shipping point prices for spinach on the California coast dropped from $8.45-10.45 per carton on Sept. 14 — the day that FDA first issued its advice to avoid for consumers to avoid spinach — to $4.85-6.15 per carton on Sept. 15.
No market was reported by the USDA for the rest of September because supplies were insufficient to quote.
The final update on the 2006 spinach outbreak was published by the CDC in October. By March 2007, the FDA issued its own final report about its investigation on the cause of the outbreak.
The CDC said in October 2006 that 199 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 were reported to CDC from 26 states. Later, the tally of those sickened was raised to 205.
Gombas said the FDA warning in mid-September caused leafy green sales to crash, not fully recovering for nearly a decade.
“There were outbreaks before that, but none of them were as devastating to industry or public confidence as that one.”
The FDA and the California Department of Public Health issued a 51-page report on the extensive investigation into the causes of an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with the contaminated Dole brand baby spinach.
The report said investigators identified the environmental risk factors and the areas that were most likely involved in the outbreak. However, they were unable to definitely determine the source of the contamination.
The investigation explored the source of the spinach in 13 bags containing E. coli O157:H7 isolates that had been collected nationwide from sick customers, according to a summary of the report.
Using the product codes on the bags, and employing DNA fingerprinting on the bacteria from the bags, the investigators were able to match environmental samples of E. coli O157:H7 from one field to the strain that had caused the outbreak, according to the report.
The report said E. coli O157:H7 isolates located on the Paicines Ranch in San Benito had a (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) pattern indistinguishable from the outbreak strain. The report said the pattern was identified in river water, cattle feces and wild pig feces on the Paicines Ranch, the closest of which was just under one mile from the spinach field.
According to investigators, the sources of the potential environmental risk factors for E.coli contamination at or near the field included the presence of wild pigs and the proximity of irrigation wells and waterways exposed to feces from cattle and wildlife.
From 1995 to 2006, researchers had linked nine outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 infections to, or near, the Salinas Valley region. But the 2006 spinach outbreak was different.
There were guidelines for growers in 2006, but not a way to make sure growers were following them, said Joe Pezzini, CEO of Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif.
This alert is the result of an investigation by ODA and the Ohio Department of Health after foodborne illnesses were reported in Franklin County. Later testing confirmed a connection between the illnesses and raw milk from Sweet Grass Dairy.
Neetu Chandra Sharma of DNA India reports the government has geared up following new outbreaks down South India. In a bid to curb cases of Brucellosis, a bacterial disease affecting cattle like cow and buffalo and causing undulant fever in humans, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology has come up with a pilot project called “Brucella Free Villages”.
Brucellosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Brucella. Brucellosis is also an important zoonotic disease of worldwide importance; people acquire the infection by consuming unpasteurized milk and other dairy products, and by coming in contact with the contaminated animal secretions and tissues.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), brucellosis is transmitted to humans from animals through direct contact with infected materials like afterbirth or indirectly by ingestion of animal products and by inhalation of airborne agents. Consumption of raw milk and cheese made from raw milk is the major source of infection in humans.
In humans, brucellosis can cause range of symptoms that are similar to the flu and may include fever, sweats, headache, back pain and physical weakness. Severe infections of the central nervous system or lining of the heart may also occur.
Doctors say that often brucellosis is diagnosed after ruling out all other fevers such as those caused by malaria, typhoid, dengue etc. Therefore, the disease is under reported and many medical professionals are not even aware of the problem. It is estimated that the disease causes economic losses of about Rs 28,000 crores.
“There is an urgent need for addressing this important issue of not only livestock health and production, but also public health. India is the world’s largest milk producer and hosts around 20 per cent of the world’s livestock population,” said Sudarshan Bhagat, Minister of State, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
In April 1986, three classes of kindergarten and pre-K schoolchildren visited a dairy farm near Sarnia, Ontario (that’s in Canada, although it feels like grungy U.S.).
As recounted by David Waltner-Toews in his 1992 book, Food, Sex and Salmonella, “It was a typical Ontario farm, with 67 cows and calves, some chickens, some pigs, all well-cared for an clean, and seemed the perfect place to take a class of preschoolers. In April of 1986, 62 pre-school children and 12 supervising adults visited this farm. They played in the barn, petted the calves, pulled at the cows’ teats, and gathered a few eggs. For a break, they drank milk (right from the farmer’s tank!) and ate egg cookies (sliced hard-boiled eggs cleverly renamed to induce children to eat them). A good time was had by all.
“Within the next two weeks, 42 children and four adults came down with abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Three of the children ended up in the hospital with hemolytic uremic syndrome. One of the children fell into a coma. All eventually recovered. The bacterium blamed for these misfortunes called verotoxin-producing E. coli, or VTEC.
“Public health investigators looked everywhere on the farm. Although they found only two calves carrying the organism, they decided that exposure to the unpasteurized milk was the most plausible explanation for what they saw. And yet the farm family, which drank that milk every day, was apparently healthy and not shedding VTEC.”
The public health version states that “after extensive sampling at the farm the only samples that were positive for E. coil O157:H7 were stool samples taken from two calves at the dairy farm. Agriculture Canada veterinarians collected the animal stool samples and also checked the herd for Brucellosis.
“To control the spread of the E. coil the three classes were closed at the school for about three, weeks. All the affected children and their families were restricted in their contact with the community until the affected family member(s) has three successive negative stool samples. These restrictions imposed by the Lambton Health Unit quickly controlled the spread of the E. coll. Thus by mid-June all families were negative for E, coli and by mid-July the three children with HUS had returned home from the hospital.”
This outbreak was noteworthy in that dairy farms in Ontario stopped serving raw milk to visiting school children.
As one of my many dairy farmer friends have told me, when the schools visit, we go to town and buy some (pasteurized) milk.
Thirty years later and the same nonsense is still being debated, in Tasmania (that’s in Australia).
Rhiana Whitson of ABC News reported earlier this month a Tasmanian farmer who demonstrates milking cows to children, giving them a “squirt” from the udder, has fallen foul of health authorities who have warned he is at risk of losing his business if he does not stop.
Rowen Carter (left, exactly as shown) runs the Huon Valley Caravan Park, south of Hobart, which he said is “more than just a caravan park, we are a self-sufficient working farm that wants to teach people where real food comes from.”
Maybe Rowen should teach microbiology and Louis Pasteur.
Carter offers paying guests homemade Persian fetta made with raw milk, as well as a taste of raw cow’s milk straight from the udder’s teat.
“I squirt it in their mouth and then afterwards I appear with some plastic cups and show them the more couth way of tasting the fresh milk … everybody is amazed at how sweet and how nice it is,” Mr Carter said.
But his attempt to provide guests with an “old-fashioned farm experience” has landed him in trouble with the Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority (TDIA).
Mr Carter denied selling raw milk and insisted his guests freely choose to sample it.
“It’s been taken away from us, the right to choose,” he said.
“I think people should be allowed to taste it … they don’t have to taste it, it’s their choice and it’s their choice to let their children have a taste.”
The sale of unpasteurised milk products for human consumption is illegal in Australia, however the use of raw milk in various products has continued with some arguing the risks have been overstated.
Health authorities and experts have warned raw milk poses a health risk, especially to children. A boy died in 2014 after drinking raw milk, marketed as bath milk, labelled as being for “cosmetic use only”.
Mr Carter said the tasting of the milk straight from the cow was a “highlight of the day” for guests.
“There is always the question ‘can we do the milk squirting again tomorrow?’
“Now we have to tell them because it is deemed we are selling the milk, squirting is now no longer.
“How can something that brings so much joy be so wrong?”
Search raw milk on barfblog.com and find out how wrong it can be.
In a facebook post, Carter wrote, “I can legally allow you to sit at my dining room table and offer you a can of coke and a cigarette but I am unable to offer you a glass of fresh (raw) milk and a scone with clotted cream according to Tasmanian Dairy Industry Authority acting chairman Mark Sayer.”
Raw milk and other weird parental dietary preferences disproportionally affect the kids.
It’s always the kids.
Mr. Carter, drink all the raw milk you like, I don’t care, I provide information.
But as parents, we generally don’t have a scotch and a smoke with 5-year-olds.
And stop with the squirting references, especially around kids: it’s just weird.
It’s still 1978 here in Australia; or 1803 in Tasmania.