35 sick: raw is risky in rising temperatures in BC

A warning from the BC Centre for Disease Control about eating raw shellfish:

So far this summer, there have been an unprecedented number of shellfish-related illnesses thanks to the warm weather.

SUN0705N-Oyster7The majority of illnesses have been linked to eating raw oysters sourced in BC and served in restaurants.

Spokesperson Marsha Taylor says 35 people have become ill from eating the uncooked shellfish…

“We’re putting this message out both to the public that will also hit the restaurants and we’re also doing follow up with every restaurant to make sure they are aware of the issue and we’re inspecting the premises.”

Some illnesses have also been linked with raw oysters purchased or self-harvested.

Taylor says if you happen to get sick…

“People who are experiencing symptoms of the Vibrio Parahaemolyticus most often experience typical food-borne illness like nausea and vomiting, headaches, and feel pretty badly for a couple of days…but most people will recover on their own.”

To reduce risk of illness consumers are being told to eat only cooked shellfish.

Raw eggs again: 16 stricken with Salmonella in Seattle

JoNel Aleccia of The Seattle Times reports that as many as 16 people were likely sickened with salmonella poisoning from raw eggs used in Father’s Day weekend brunch dishes served at Tallulah’s restaurant in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, health officials said Wednesday.

Tallulah’sVictims in the June 21 outbreak ranged in ages from 4 to 71, officials with Public Health — Seattle & King County said. There were nine confirmed cases and seven probable cases of infection, including one person who was hospitalized.

The infections were traced to crab and ham eggs Benedict dishes, which typically include a sauce made from raw eggs. Managers at the restaurant at 550 19th Ave. E reported the problem to health officials after receiving complaints from customers. Restaurant staff have been cooperative with the environmental health and epidemiologic investigation, officials said.

An investigation of the egg supplier and distributor conducted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture revealed no violation of regulations regarding temperature control, storage or handling, officials said. The producer reported no recent positive tests for salmonella bacteria, although they don’t routinely test raw shell eggs.

The restaurant menu was appropriately labeled to note that dishes made with raw or undercooked foods could result in foodborne illness.

 

Raw remains risky: Osamu Corporation voluntarily recalls frozen yellow fin tuna chunk meat due to possible health risk

Osamu Corporation of Gardena, CA is recalling Frozen Yellow Fin Tuna Chunk Meat (Lot #68568) sold to AFC Corporation of Rancho Dominquez, CA sourced from one processing plant in Indonesia.

tuna.sushi.raw.jul.15Investigators with the Minnesota Department of Health found samples of this product from one retail location in Minnesota to be contaminated with Salmonella.

There have been two reports of illness to date associated with exposure to AFC sushi in Minnesota.

The Frozen Tuna Yellow Fin Chunk Meat (Lot #68568) was shipped to AFC from 05/20/15 to 05/26/15. AFC has removed the product from the marketplace and is destroying any remaining product it has.

AFC has sushi franchises nationwide in many different grocery stores and it is sold from sushi counters.

Consumers concerned about whether the sushi they purchased may contain the recalled tuna product should check with the store where they purchased the sushi. That store will be able to determine if it used the recalled product to prepare the sushi. At this time Osamu does not believe that the recalled product or sushi made with the recalled product is available for purchase by consumers.

2 sick from crypto linked to raw milk in Tenn

The Tennessee Department of Health is investigating multiple cases of residents who fell ill from consuming raw milk.

colbert.raw.milkThe health department launched the investigation after confirming two Chattanooga-area cases of cryptosporidiosis, a gastrointestinal disease from a parasite that lurks in contaminated water or unpasteurized milk. Both cases are linked to a dairy cow share program, which the state legalized in 2009, allowing greater access to raw milk.

“Consuming raw milk in the belief it’s healthier than pasteurized milk is a perilous risk that shakes off the possibility of a range of serious and occasionally fatal illnesses for the individuals and anyone they share it with,” John Dreyzehne, TDH commissioner, said in a news release. “Our best choice for healthy, nutritious milk is the pasteurized kind. Even if one believes there are health benefits, an upside, is it worth gambling on the downside risk of a serious illness, especially in a child?”

Since the state legalized cow share programs, reports have increased of disease and outbreaks linked to raw milk consumption. In 2013, nine Tennessee children became extremely sick with E. coli after drinking raw milk. Five of those required hospitalization and three developed severe, life-threatening kidney problems.

Aioli, raw egg and food porn

There’s a self-congratulatory culture within self-titled food advocates who care more about food porn than microbial safety – the things that make people barf.

aioliAnd why The New Times is becoming increasing irrelevant (and please, stop sending me those thrice daily e-mails about the latest subscription special).

Columnist Mark Bittman, advocate of many microbiologically dubious practices – I wonder if he’s has ever used a thermometer – writes that Alice Waters  is probably the most important American in food.

Bittman writes he wasn’t surprised to see her making the aioli — garlic mayonnaise to serve with the fish and its accompaniments — in the most inefficient and old-fashioned way possible: using a mortar and pestle to mash the garlic, a fork to whip up the emulsion and no lemon juice, vinegar or any other acid at all. It was the best mayonnaise I’ve ever tasted, but then again, she did use a wonderfully perfumed olive oil.

And probably a raw egg.

Consumer shell egg consumption and handling practices: results from a national survey

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 7, July 2015, pp. 1250-1419

Kosa, Katherine M., Cates, Sheryl C., Bradley, Samantha, Godwin, Sandria, Chambers, Delores

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000007/art00010

Abstract:

Numerous cases and outbreaks of Salmonella infection are attributable to shell eggs each year in the United States. Safe handling and consumption of shell eggs at home can help reduce foodborne illness attributable to shell eggs.

A nationally representative Web survey of 1,504 U.S. adult grocery shoppers was conducted to describe consumer handling practices and consumption of shell eggs at home. Based on self-reported survey data, most respondents purchase shell eggs from a grocery store (89.5%), and these eggs were kept refrigerated (not at room temperature; 98.5%). As recommended, most consumers stored shell eggs in the refrigerator (99%) for no more than 3 to 5 weeks (97.6%). After cracking eggs, 48.1% of respondents washed their hands with soap and water. More than half of respondents who fry and/or poach eggs cooked them so that the whites and/or the yolks were still soft or runny, a potentially unsafe practice. Among respondents who owned a food thermometer (62.0%), only 5.2% used it to check the doneness of baked egg dishes the they prepared such a dish. Consumers generally followed two of the four core “Safe Food Families” food safety messages (“separate” and “chill”) when handling shell eggs at home.

To prevent Salmonella infection associated with shell eggs, consumers should improve their practices related to the messages “clean” (i.e., wash hands after cracking eggs) and “cook” (i.e., cook until yolks and whites are firm and use a food thermometer to check doneness of baked egg dishes) when preparing shell eggs at home. These findings will be used to inform the development of science-based consumer education materials that can help reduce foodborne illness from Salmonella infection.

 

Cleaner cantaloupes: Sanitizers for rock melon

For health reasons, people are consuming fresh-cut fruits with or without minimal processing and, thereby, exposing themselves to the risk of foodborne illness if such fruits are contaminated with bacterial pathogens.

cantaloupe.salmonellaThis study investigated survival and growth parameters of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and aerobic mesophilic bacteria transferred from cantaloupe rind surfaces to fresh-cut pieces during fresh-cut preparation. All human bacterial pathogens inoculated on cantaloupe rind surfaces averaged ∼4.8 log CFU/cm2, and the populations transferred to fresh-cut pieces before washing treatments ranged from 3 to 3.5 log CFU/g for all pathogens. A nisin-based sanitizer developed in our laboratory and chlorinated water at 1,000 mg/liter were evaluated for effectiveness in minimizing transfer of bacterial populations from cantaloupe rind surface to fresh-cut pieces. Inoculated and uninoculated cantaloupes were washed for 5 min before fresh-cut preparation and storage of fresh-cut pieces at 5 and 10°C for 15 days and at 22°C for 24 h. In fresh-cut pieces from cantaloupe washed with chlorinated water, only Salmonella was found (0.9 log CFU/g), whereas E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes were positive only by enrichment.

The nisin-based sanitizer prevented transfer of human bacteria from melon rind surfaces to fresh-cut pieces, and the populations in fresh-cut pieces were below detection even by enrichment. Storage temperature affected survival and the growth rate for each type of bacteria on fresh-cut cantaloupe. Specific growth rates of E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and L. monocytogenes in fresh-cut pieces were similar, whereas the aerobic mesophilic bacteria grew 60 to 80 % faster and had shorter lag phases.

 Efficacy of Sanitizer Treatments on Survival and Growth Parameters of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes on Fresh-Cut Pieces of Cantaloupe during Storage

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 7, July 2015, pp. 1250-1419

Ukuku, Dike O., Huang, Lihan, Sommers, Andchristopher

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000007/art00007

Still on every sandwich: Sprout safety in Australia

Seed sprouts have been implicated as vehicles for numerous foodborne outbreaks worldwide.

sprout.apple.aug.14Seed sprouts pose a unique food safety concern because of the ease of microbiological seed contamination, the inherent ability of the sprouting process to support microbial growth, and their consumption either raw or lightly cooked.

To examine seed sprout safety in the Australian state of Victoria, a survey was conducted to detect specific microbes in seed sprout samples and to investigate food handling practices relating to seed sprouts. A total of 298 seed sprout samples were collected from across 33 local council areas. Escherichia coli was detected in 14.8%, Listeria spp. in 12.3%, and Listeria monocytogenes in 1.3% of samples analyzed. Salmonella spp. were not detected in any of the samples.

A range of seed sprout handling practices were identified as potential food safety issues in some food businesses, including temperature control, washing practices, length of storage, and storage in proximity to unpackaged ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods.

Microbiological Safety and Food Handling Practices of Seed Sprout Products in the Australian State of Victoria

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 7, July 2015, pp. 1250-1419

Symes, Sally, Goldsmith, Paul, Haines, Heather

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000007/art00021

Controlling Salmonella cross-contamination in tomatoes

Tomato Best Management Practices require Florida packers to treat tomatoes in a flume system containing at least 150 ppm of free chlorine or other approved sanitizer.

tomato.traceabilityHowever, research is needed to determine the ability of these sanitizers to prevent the transfer of pathogens from contaminated to uncontaminated tomatoes, particularly under realistic packinghouse conditions.

The goal of this research was to assess the minimum levels of sanitizer needed to prevent Salmonella cross-contamination between tomatoes in a model flume system under clean conditions and conditions where organic matter was added.

Inoculated tomatoes (ca. 8.3 log CFU per tomato) were treated along with uninoculated tomatoes in a model flume system containing 0, 10, or 25 ppm of hypochlorous acid (HOCl) under organic loading conditions of 0, 500, or 4,000 ppm of chemical oxygen demand (COD). In the absence of HOCl, uninoculated tomatoes were highly contaminated (ca. 5 log CFU per tomato) by 15 s. No contamination was detectable (<2 log CFU per tomato) on uninoculated tomatoes when HOCl was present, except with 10 ppm at 4,000 ppm of COD, suggesting failure of 10 ppm of HOCl as a sanitizer under very high organic loading conditions. In the presence of HOCl or peroxyacetic acid, Salmonella was undetectable (<1 log CFU/ml) in the model flume water samples after 2 and 30 s, respectively. Upon enrichment, none of the uninoculated tomatoes treated with 25 ppm of HOCl for 120 s were positive for Salmonella, even in the presence of organic loading at 500 ppm of COD. Based on these findings, 25 ppm of HOCl may be adequate to prevent cross-contamination when the concentration is properly maintained, COD does not exceed 500 ppm, and tomatoes are treated for at least 120 s.

Further validation in a larger commercial setting and using higher organic loading levels is necessary because managing HOCl at this low concentration is difficult, especially in a recirculating system. The use of less sanitizer by packers could reduce chemical and disposal costs.

Control of Salmonella Cross-Contamination between Green Round Tomatoes in a Model Flume System

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 7, July 2015, pp. 1250-1419

Gereffi, Scott,  Sreedharan, Aswathy, Schneider, Keith R.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2015/00000078/00000007/art00006

Raw still risky: 102 sickened with Norovirus in oysters at Taiwan restaurant

A recent diarrhea outbreak among 102 tourists on Green Island off Taitung was caused by a norovirus infection at a local seafood restaurant that had served contaminated raw oysters imported from South Korea, Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported Thursday.

SUN0705N-Oyster7Taitung health authorities have received seven suspected food poisoning cases between June 26-30 which involved 102 tourists in six tour groups who displayed symptoms of diarrhea, with 76 of whom having been hospitalized.

After an investigation, Taitung County’s Public Health Bureau found that all the 120 people had eaten raw oysters at a seafood restaurant on Green Island and directed that all restaurants around the island to stop serving raw oysters.

In addition, two raw oyster samples have been found with the presence of norovirus, while two travelers who visited local hospitals tested positive for the norovirus, according to a report from the FDA on July 8.

The FDA then traced the sources of the contaminated products and found they were among a total of 16,447.5 kilograms of raw oysters imported by two aquaculture companies in New Taipei and Kaohsiung from South Korea, a FDA official said Thursday.

 

Raw is risky: The danger of eating uncooked snails

Robert Herriman of Outbreak News Today reports that Vietnamese health officials in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau are reporting the case of a 10-year-old boy who has been hospitalized with an infection with the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis.

snailHe is currently recovering from the infection at a Ho Chi Minh City hospital neurology and infectious disease ward.

The boy’s mother said she was unaware of the dangers of eating snails. “We are not aware of the danger of eating snails. Residents here often catch snails and eat them because the rumor is that snails help treat aches and pains,” she said.

A hospital spokesperson said the infection is relatively rare but not unheard of. Last year, the ward admitted as many as 30 children, most of whom were from rural areas.