It was the raw milk that sickened 40 in Wisconsin: Report

State health officials Thursday made public more evidence that raw milk was the cause of a foodborne illness outbreak that sickened nearly 40 people associated with the Durand High School football team, including many players.

santa.barf.sprout.raw.milkIn an investigation report from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel through a state open records request, officials said among the 38 people sickened, 32 drank unpasteurized milk and six drank milk which might have been unpasteurized.

Those who fell ill from the Sept. 18 dinner included 33 students and five coaches.

State officials said it was one of the largest raw-milk illness outbreaks they’ve seen. Twenty-six of the illnesses were laboratory confirmed to stem from Campylobacter jejuni, a harmful bacteria sometimes found in unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat and poultry. Ten of those who fell ill were hospitalized.

“Analysis of data pertaining to foods consumed during the team dinner demonstrates that consuming milk during the team dinner was associated with illness,” the report noted.

Last week, state officials said publicly for the first time that the unpasteurized milk served at the dinner came from a farm operated by Roland and Diana Reed, of Arkansaw, located near Durand in Pepin County.

colbert.raw.milkAt least some of the adults and students didn’t know that it was raw milk, according to public health officials. Diana Reed, however, said she had served it at team dinners for seven years.

In an interview, she said she doesn’t believe the milk was to blame for the illnesses — despite evidence that showed Campylobacter in manure on the farm had the same unique genetic “fingerprint” as Campylobacter found in football players’ stool samples.

 

111 sick; US outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to bean sprouts

We count 61 outbreaks associated with raw sprouts, sickening at least 11,179.

http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Sprout-associated-outbreaks-12-8-14.xlsx

sprout.apple.aug.14The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that as of December 15, 2014, a total of 111 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 12 states.

Twenty-six percent of ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.  

Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicate that bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, 48 (66%) of 73 ill persons reported eating bean sprouts or menu items containing bean sprouts in the week before becoming ill.

Wonton Foods, Inc. continues to cooperate with state and federal public health and agriculture officials.

On November 21, 2014, Wonton Foods Inc. agreed to destroy any remaining products while they conducted a thorough cleaning and sanitization and implemented other Salmonella control measures. On November 24, the firm completed the cleaning and sanitation and resumed production of bean sprouts. The firm resumed shipment on November 29, 2014.

Contaminated bean sprouts produced by Wonton Foods, Inc. are likely no longer available for purchase or consumption given the maximum 12-day shelf life of mung bean sprouts.

CDC recommends that consumers, restaurants, and other retailers always practice food safety for sprouts

Children, older adults, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).

Cook sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Cooking sprouts thoroughly kills any harmful bacteria.

CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on Salmonella Enteritidis isolates collected from three ill persons infected with the outbreak strains.

All three isolates were susceptible to all antibiotics tested on the NARMS panel.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will update the public when more information becomes available.

Pathogenicity of Salmonella strains isolated from egg shells and the layer farm environment in Australia

Periodically? How about monthly. A table of egg-based Salmonella outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-12-8-14.xlsx

aioli dressingIn Australia, the egg industry is periodically implicated during outbreaks of Salmonella food poisoning. Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and other nontyphoidal Salmonella spp., in particular, are a major concern for Australian public health.

Several definitive types of Salmonella Typhimurium strains, but primarily Salmonella Typhimurium definitive type 9 (DT9), have been frequently reported during egg-related food poisoning outbreaks in Australia. The aim of the present study was to generate a pathogenicity profile of nontyphoidal Salmonella isolates obtained from Australian egg farms.

To achieve this, we assessed the capacity of Salmonella isolates to cause gastrointestinal disease using both in vitro and in vivo model systems. Data from in vitro experiments demonstrated that the invasion capacity of Salmonella serovars cultured to stationary phase (liquid phase) in LB medium was between 90- and 300-fold higher than bacterial suspensions in normal saline (cultured in solid phase). During the in vivo infection trial, clinical signs of infection and mortality were observed only for mice infected with either 103 or 105 CFU of S. Typhimurium DT9. No mortality was observed for mice infected with Salmonella serovars with medium or low invasive capacity in Caco-2 cells.

Pathogenicity gene profiles were also generated for all serovars included in this study. The majority of serovars tested were positive for selected virulence genes. No relationship between the presence or absence of virulence genes by PCR and either in vitro invasive capacity or in vivo pathogenicity was detected. Our data expand the knowledge of strain-to-strain variation in the pathogenicity of Australian egg industry-related Salmonella spp.

7 dead, 32 sick from Vibrio vulnificus in Florida in 2014

Outbreak News Today cites the Florida Department of Health (DOH) as saying there have been 32 cases and seven dead from Vibrio vulnificus in Florida in 2014. Those numbers include both food and waterborne sources.

Raw oystersV. vulnificus can cause disease in those who eat contaminated seafood or have an open wound that is exposed to seawater. Among healthy people, ingestion of V. vulnificus can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In immunocompromised persons, particularly those with chronic liver disease, V. vulnificus can infect the bloodstream, causing a severe and life-threatening illness characterized by fever and chills, decreased blood pressure (septic shock), and blistering skin lesions. V. vulnificus bloodstream infections are fatal about 50% of the time.

V. vulnificus can cause an infection of the skin when open wounds are exposed to warm seawater; these infections may lead to skin breakdown and ulceration. 

Lesson in epidemiology (not): Wisconsin farmer says raw milk may not have made Durand football team ill

Now that the Reed ranch has been named and shamed as the source of the raw milk linked to at least 38 illnesses of Campylobacter jejuni related to players and staff of the Durand High School football team, the owner is speaking out.

raw.milk.death.1917Diana Reed, whose farm provided the milk said, “Some people got sick who did not drink the milk,” she said Saturday.

State health officials also tested manure of the cows at the Reed ranch and concluded some of the cows contained the strain of Campylobacter that sickened the students.

On Friday, state health officials identified the Reed farm as the source of the milk following an open records inquiry by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

But Reed said there could have been other sources of the bug.

“I discussed it with the epidemiologist in Madison. He gave me some statistics — 56 people ate chicken, 38 got sick; 43 people chose to drink milk and 33 got sick,” she said. “They interviewed everyone who was there.”

That leaves five people who did not drink milk, but who still had Campylobacter.

‘Cosmetic’ milk in Australia: Raw milk remains untested

Raw milk producers are not being subjected to the same rigorous testing as dairy farmers who produce milk for ­human consumption.

raw.milk.aust.cosmetic.dec.14United Dairy Farmers of Victoria president Tyran Jones said milk from dairy farms was subjected to stringent tests to ensure its safe consumption, but no such tests existed for “raw” milk or “bath” milk.

Mr Jones said milk from his Gruyere farm, 50km northeast of Melbourne, went straight into a refrigerated vat to be chilled to 4C. “It is tested daily for bacteria. The milk factory takes a sample and sends if off for independent testing every day,” he said.

His comments come after a three-year-old child died and several others fell ill after drinking “bath” milk from Victoria’s Mountain View ­Organic Dairy, which is sold as a cosmetic product but has been stored next to consumables in many Victorian stores.

Craig Dalton of The Conversation writes that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been investigating the role of microbiological contamination in cosmetic injuries, which has resulted in recalls in some instances. ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard recently noted that cosmetic surveys revealing microbiological contamination were a timely reminder as the trend to produce all natural and all organic products may increase pressure on manufacturers to produce cosmetics with less preservatives or less effective natural preservatives.

Complicating this issue is that bath milk is often sold in containers that look just like drinking milk containers and may be stored in refrigerators alongside drinking milk. This may provide a false sense of security leading people to believe it is a food or as safe as a food.

bath.milkNevertheless, raw milk apologist are out in force, with David Gumpert writing, the vultures are circling in force with news that an Australian three-year-old may have died from drinking raw milk. 

This is news raw milk opponents have lusted after for many years, and now they mean to use it for full effect, tying it to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that suggests illnesses from raw milk are rising.  Even though raw milk is already highly restricted in Australia, there are calls for a complete ban now that raw milk has been “proven” by this death to be unacceptably risky. 

Most intriguing, the farmer accused of producing the milk that led to the three-year-old boy’s death says he has been told the child was seriously ill before drinking raw milk. The child’s parents may have been providing raw milk in hopes of improving the child’s health. 

Um, what about the other three kids under five-years-old who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome but have (sorta) recovered?

Raw is risky: 12 sick from Norovirus linked to oysters, prompting shellfish harvest closure and recall

 JoNel Aleccia of the Seattle Times writes that Washington state health officials have ordered an emergency harvest closure and a multistate recall of all shellfish from a portion of Mason County’s Hammersley Inlet after at least a dozen people who ate raw oysters became ill.

oystersNorovirus is suspected in the illnesses reported last month; laboratory tests confirmed the infection in two people, health officials said.

The recall announced Thursday includes nearly 4,000 dozen oysters and nearly 3,000 pounds of Manila clams from the area processed from Nov. 10 to Dec. 5.

Health officials used the state’s shellfish-tracking system, which tags commercially harvested shellfish with location and dates, to identify the problem.

In Massachusetts, a man who nearly died in 2011 from Vibrio after eating raw Cape Cod oysters will have his civil suit heard in Hampshire Superior Court.

Raw oystersJohn W. Roy claims the defendants were negligent in their handling of the oysters, and failed to warn him of the dangers of Vibrio contamination in oysters harvested and sold in Massachusetts. The oysters served at Chapin’s came from the East Dennis Oyster Farm, who in turn procured oysters from Avery, Roy maintains.

The Roys seek compensatory damages and have demanded a jury trial.

The Massachusetts Dept. of Marine Fisheries in 2012 issued a Vibrio Control Plan for parts of the Cape, which required that oysters be kept on ice after harvest and that good records and a clear chain of custody be maintained. The program was expanded to cover the entire state in 2013.

 

State identifies farms tied to two raw milk illness outbreaks, refuses to hear appeal

A day after The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publicly revealed that government types weren’t willing to identify two farms that were the sources of raw milk that sickened dozens at school events, some type of sanity has prevailed; the farms have been identified and separately, the state Supreme Court has refused to consider whether a Sauk County farmer was properly convicted of selling raw milk in 2013.


napoleon.raw.milkIn the most recent incident, this fall in Durand, 38 people associated with the Durand High School football team fell ill after a potluck dinner where unpasteurized milk was served. Twenty-six of the illnesses were laboratory confirmed to stem from Campylobacter jejune, a bacteria sometimes found in unpasteurized milk or undercooked meat and poultry.

A state Department of Health Services memo released Friday by the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, said the milk came from a farm operated by Roland and Diana Reed, of Arkansaw, located near Durand in Pepin County.

The agency also identified a local farm whose unpasteurized milk was tied to the illnesses of 16 people, including students, at North Cape elementary school in Racine County in 2011. It was identified as the Schaal Dairy Farm, according to state officials, who said a relative of the farmer took the milk from the farm to the school, without the farmer’s permission. No action was taken against the owner of the farm.

colbert.raw.milkMeanwhile, Vernon Hershberger had asked the court to review his 2013 conviction for violating a holding order on the sales of raw milk from his farm.

He argued he operates a private buying club that’s not subject to the same rules as a farmer. He also argued that he wouldn’t have been found guilty had an unedited copy of the order been placed into evidence and a judge blocked him from introducing evidence to bolster his defense.

The 4th District Court of Appeals rejected his arguments this past summer. The high court announced Friday it wouldn’t take the case.

USDA says no to raw meat; Japan to ban raw pork, ‘liver sashimi’ at restaurants

As the U.S. Department of Agriculture reminds consumers to avoid raw meat, Japan’s health ministry will ban all raw pork, including raw pork liver, from restaurants because of the “major health risks” it can pose, sources said.

kibbeh_banned_windsor_jun__12_featuredThe ministry’s move will be based on the recommendation of a specialist research panel of the Food Safety Commission, which is under the Cabinet Office.

The panel started discussions on the adequacy of raw pork served at restaurants after a deadly food poisoning outbreak involving raw beef dishes. Panel members on Dec. 10 concluded that uncooked pork should not be served to customers.

The health ministry will revise codes of the food sanitation law to stipulate the ban on serving raw pork at restaurants and other eateries.

Violators of the ban will face business suspension orders and other administrative penalties, the sources said.

In 2012, the government banned raw beef liver for consumption, a popular item at yakiniku barbeque restaurants and izakaya Japanese pubs, following a series of food poisoning cases from raw beef. Some establishments switched to raw pork liver.

USDA says that raw meat dishes like tartare may be more common this time of year, but they still come with health risks.

raw.pork.japan“Tiger meat” is another traditional winter dish. Despite the name, this dish is not made using meat from tigers. It’s a holiday mixture of raw ground beef, raw eggs, onions and other seasonings served on rye bread or crackers. Beef tartare, tiger meat, and dishes alike have ground beef and eggs that pose a health hazard when eaten undercooked or raw.

Raw ground beef has been associated with several large outbreaks of foodborne illness. In 2012, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened 17 people in Wisconsin was caused by this traditional dish.

Most bacteria in meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can be killed by thorough cooking. To prevent illness, ground beef should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 °F. The only way to tell if the temperature is right is with a food thermometer. Color is not an accurate indicator that ground beef is fully cooked. Also, if you’re cooking another dish like meatballs or meatloaf, remember not to try any of the dishes before cooking, even if you just want to taste the seasoning.

Dozens sickened by raw milk, yet Wisconsin keeps farm names secret

Wisconsin state officials are refusing to identify a dairy farm that supplied unpasteurized milk at a potluck dinner where 38 participants, including members of the Durand High School football team, were sickened with Campylocater.

sprout.santa.barf.xmasDespite requests from The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel under the state’s Open Records law, officials with the Department of Health Services and the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, have been unwilling to provide the information.

Moreover, they’ve refused to identify a dairy farm that supplied unpasteurized milk at a June 2011 elementary school event in Racine County where 16 people were sickened.

“It’s outrageous. The public has the right to this information. Who is the state of Wisconsin trying to protect, the public or bad operators?” said Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.

In the Racine County incident, unpasteurized milk from a local farm was served at a school event at North Cape Elementary School in Raymond, about 10 miles northwest of Racine.

“Allegedly, teachers at the school event thought drinking milk directly from a farm would be a good educational experience for the students,” State Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Erin) said in a statement after the illness outbreak.