Stroke me, stroke you: Ex-Iowa egg farm manager avoids jail in 2010 Salmonella outbreak

A former Iowa egg farm manager will avoid jail time after cooperating with investigators in a criminal prosecution stemming from a 2010 salmonella outbreak.

egg.dirty.feb.12U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett sentenced Tony Wasmund to four years of probation Tuesday after the government said he provided “substantial assistance” in the salmonella case. Bennett imposed no restitution or fine on Wasmund, of Willmar, Minnesota.

Wasmund worked for egg tycoon Jack DeCoster, whose Iowa operations caused the outbreak that prompted the recall of 550 million eggs and sickened thousands.

Under a plea deal, Wasmund pleaded guilty in 2012 to his role in bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture inspector to allow sales of eggs that didn’t meet federal standards. He cooperated in an investigation that led to convictions of DeCoster and his son Peter.

The pair were sentenced in April 2015 to three-month terms in prison for introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.

But it got an A: Tarheel Q outbreak sickens 216 with Salmonella

Health officials now say 216 people have reported becoming ill after eating at Tarheel Q in Lexington, which was linked last week to a Salmonella outbreak.

tarheel.qSeven lawsuits have been filed against the barbecue restaurant, according to the Davidson County Clerk of Court’s office.

Tarheel Q voluntarily closed last week and said it would reopen Sunday, after customers who had eaten there got sick with symptoms consistent with Salmonella infection, most between June 16 and June 21. The restaurant, on U.S. 64, was still closed Monday morning.

Calls to the restaurant were not answered Monday.

A barbecue sample and a sample from a patient both tested positive for Salmonella, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

According to a health inspections website linked to the county health department site, Tarheel Q was last inspected June 3 and received a score of 98, an A grade.

Wow: 197 now sick from Salmonella linked to North Carolina restaurant

The Tarheel Q must be a really popular restaurant to sicken at least 197 customers.

tarheel.qAccording to North Carolina health types:

  • 197 cases of diarrheal illness associated with eating food from Tarheel Q Restaurant have been identified.
  • Of these 197, case distribution includes 14 North Carolina counties and 6 states
  • Laboratory testing indicates that the BBQ sample and a sample from a patient who became ill during the beginning of the outbreak are both positive for Salmonella The serogroup was found to be Typhimurium. Both samples have the same PFGE pattern (i.e. DNA fingerprint).
  • Over 20 additional clinical specimens are pending results at the state lab.

44 sick with Salmonella: Frozen chicken thingies strike again, in Canada

So why did it take until the end of June to report on people who became sick from between Feb. 7 and May 23?

chicken.thingies.raw.cookCanada is hopeless on some things.

Frozen and raw breaded chicken products are the culprits behind 44 recent cases of Salmonella illness in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, says the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in a notice it issued Sunday morning.

The 44 cases happened in Ontario (28), Quebec (12), Nova Scotia (2) and Newfoundland and Labrador (2). Twelve people were hospitalized as a result. No deaths have been reported.

The video below is from Mar. 2008.

Direct video observation of adults and tweens cooking raw frozen chicken thingies 01.nov.09

British Food Journal, Vol 111, Issue 9, p 915-929

Sarah DeDonder, Casey J. Jacob, Brae V. Surgeoner, Benjamin Chapman, Randall Phebus, Douglas A. Powell

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=6146E6AFABCC349C376B7E55A3866D4A?contentType=Article&contentId=1811820

The purpose of the present study was to observe the preparation practices of both adult and young consumers using frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products, which were previously involved in outbreaks linked to consumer mishandling. The study also sought to observe behaviors of adolescents as home food preparers. Finally, the study aimed to compare food handler behaviors with those prescribed on product labels.

raw.chicken.thingies.outbreakDesign/methodology/approach – The study sought, through video observation and self-report surveys, to determine if differences exist between consumers’ intent and actual behavior.

Findings – A survey study of consumer reactions to safe food-handling labels on raw meat and poultry products suggested that instructions for safe handling found on labels had only limited influence on consumer practices. The labels studied by these researchers were found on the packaging of chicken products examined in the current study alongside step-by-step cooking instructions. Observational techniques, as mentioned above, provide a different perception of consumer behaviors. Originality/value – This paper finds areas that have not been studied in previous observational research and is an excellent addition to existing literature.


 

120 sick, 7 hospitalized from Salmonella linked to North Carolina restaurant

At least 127 people have been sickened and at least 7 hospitalized in an outbreak of Salmonella that officials believe may be linked to a Lexington barbecue restaurant, officials with the N.C. Division of Public Health said Thursday

Salmonella has been identified as a cause in at least 15 cases. All 127 people ate at Tarheel Q on U.S. 64 West in Lexington, in the days before falling ill, officials said.

Benjamin Powell (no relation to me or Chapman but a decent hybrid) reported for WFMY News 2tarheel.q that the owner of the restaurant posted a sign on the door Wednesday that reads “We are voluntarily closed to regain our customers’ trust.”

17-year-old Parker Allred is one of the nearly 100 people poisoned with Salmonella after eating at Tarheel Q in Lexington last Wednesday. Making matters worse, Parker was on a mission trip to Pennsylvania — building houses for people in need — when he got sick.

“Knowing that you were seven hours away from your own home, that’s the part that was kind of hard,” said Allred. “Because you know that somehow or another you are going to have to drive that seven hours back whether you are feeling good or not.”

Despite his pain and suffering, Parker said Tarheel Q is still one of his favorite restaurants.

“I’ve always liked it and I’ve never had a problem with it,” said Allred.

PR nonsense: 280 sick with Salmonella linked to Boise Co-op, but reporting ‘slows down’

Reports of salmonella cases have slowed to a “trickle” this week according to Christine Myron, spokesperson for Central District Health Department.

boise.co-opdThe last tally shows there are 280 reports of cases connected to the Boise Co-op deli, Myron said. The first connected cases started coming into the CDHD up June 8. The store closed its deli temporarily to clean the store, update the work flow and install new sinks. They reopened Friday after CDHD inspected the kitchen’s new setup and gave them the go-ahead.

Almost 1800 sickened: It’s summer (up north), but beware the water

Outbreaks of illness associated with recreational water use result from exposure to chemicals or infectious pathogens in recreational water venues that are treated (e.g., pools and hot tubs or spas) or untreated (e.g., lakes and oceans).

caddyshackFor 2011–2012, the most recent years for which finalized data were available, public health officials from 32 states and Puerto Rico reported 90 recreational water–associated outbreaks to CDC’s Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System (WBDOSS) via the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS).

The 90 outbreaks resulted in at least 1,788 cases, 95 hospitalizations, and one death. Among 69 (77%) outbreaks associated with treated recreational water, 36 (52%) were caused by Cryptosporidium. Among 21 (23%) outbreaks associated with untreated recreational water, seven (33%) were caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli O157:H7 or E. coli O111). Guidance, such as the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC), for preventing and controlling recreational water–associated outbreaks can be optimized when informed by national outbreak and laboratory (e.g., molecular typing of Cryptosporidium) data.

A recreational water–associated outbreak is the occurrence of similar illnesses in two or more persons, epidemiologically linked by location and time of exposure to recreational water or recreational water–associated chemicals volatilized into the air surrounding the water. Public health officials in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and Freely Associated States* voluntarily report outbreaks of recreational water–associated illness to CDC. In 2010, waterborne outbreaks became nationally notifiable. This report summarizes data on recreational water–associated outbreaks electronically reported by October 30, 2014 to CDC’s WBDOSS (http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/surveillance/) for 2011 and 2012 via NORS.† Data requested for each outbreak include the number of cases,§ hospitalizations, and deaths; etiology; setting (e.g., hotel) and venue (e.g., hot tub or spa) where the exposure occurred; earliest illness onset date; and illness type. All outbreaks are classified according to the strength of data implicating recreational water as the outbreak vehicle (1). ¶Outbreak reports classified as Class I have the strongest supporting epidemiologic, clinical laboratory and environmental health data, and those classified as Class IV, the weakest. Classification does not assess adequacy or completeness of investigations.** Negative binomial regression (PROC GENMOD in SAS 9.3 [Cary, NC]) was used to assess trends in the number of outbreaks over time.

For the years 2011 and 2012, public health officials from 32 states and Puerto Rico reported 90 recreational water–associated outbreaks (http://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/surveillance/rec-water-tables-figures.html) (Figure 1), which resulted in at least 1,788 cases, 95 (5%) hospitalizations, and one death. Etiology was confirmed for 73 (81%) outbreaks: 69 (77%) outbreaks were caused by infectious pathogens, including two outbreaks with multiple etiologies, and four (4%) by chemicals (Table). Among the outbreaks caused by infectious pathogens, 37 (54%) were caused by Cryptosporidium. On the basis of data reported to CDC, 37 (41%) of the 90 outbreak reports were categorized as class IV.

Outbreaks associated with treated recreational water accounted for 69 (77%) of the 90 outbreaks reported for 2011–2012, and resulted in at least 1,309 cases, 73 hospitalizations, and one reported death. The median number of cases reported for these outbreaks was seven (range: 2–144 cases). Hotels (e.g., hotel, motel, lodge, or inn) were the setting of 13 (19%) of the treated recreational water–associated outbreaks. Twelve (92%) of these 13 outbreaks started outside of June–August; ten (77%) were at least in part associated with a spa. Among the 69 outbreaks, 36 (52%) were caused by Cryptosporidium. The 69 outbreaks had a seasonal distribution, with 42 (61%) starting in June–August (Figure 1). Acute gastrointestinal illness was the disease manifestation in 34 (81%) of these summer outbreaks, with Cryptosporidium causing 32 (94%) of them. Since 1988, the year that the first U.S. treated recreational water–associated outbreak of cryptosporidiosis was detected (2,3) (Figure 2), the number of these outbreaks reported annually (range: 0–40 outbreaks) has significantly increased (negative binomial regression; p<0.001). Incidence of these cryptosporidiosis outbreaks has also, at least in part, driven the significant increase (negative binomial regression; p<0.001) in the overall number of recreational water–associated outbreaks reported annually (range: 6–84).

caddyshack.pool.poop-1For 2011–2012, 21 (23%) outbreaks were associated with untreated recreational water. These outbreaks resulted in at least 479 cases and 22 hospitalizations. The median number of cases reported for these outbreaks was 16 (range: 2–125). Twenty (95%) of these outbreaks were associated with fresh water; 18 (86%) began in June–August; and seven (33%) were caused by E. coli O157:H7 or O111. One outbreak associated with exposure to cyanobacterial toxins was reported.

Discussion

Cryptosporidium continues to be the dominant etiology of recreational water–associated outbreaks. Half of all treated recreational water–associated outbreaks reported for 2011–2012 were caused by Cryptosporidium. Among treated recreational water–associated outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness that began in June–August, >90% were caused by Cryptosporidium, an extremely chlorine-tolerant parasite that can survive in water at CDC-recommended chlorine levels (1–3 mg/L) and pH (7.2–7.8) for >10 days (4). In contrast, among 14 untreated recreational water–associated outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness starting in June–August, 7% (one) were caused by Cryptosporidium. The decreased diversity of infectious etiologies causing treated recreational water–associated outbreaks is likely a consequence of the aquatic sector’s reliance on halogen disinfection (e.g., chlorine or bromine) and maintenance of proper pH, which are well documented to inactivate most infectious pathogens within minutes (5). Continued reporting of treated recreational water–associated outbreaks caused by chlorine-intolerant pathogens (e.g., E. coli O157:H7 and norovirus) highlights the need for continued vigilance in maintaining water quality (i.e., disinfectant level and pH), as has been recommended for decades (5).

In the United States, codes regulating public treated recreational water venues are independently written and enforced by individual state or local agencies; the consequent variation in the codes is a potential barrier to preventing and controlling outbreaks associated with these venues. In August 2014, CDC released the first edition of MAHC (http://www.cdc.gov/mahc), a comprehensive set of science-based and best-practice recommendations to reduce risk for illness and injury at public, treated recreational water venues. MAHC represents the culmination of a 7-year, multi-stakeholder effort and is an evolving resource that addresses emerging public health threats, such as treated recreational water-associated outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis, by incorporating the latest scientifically validated technologies that inactivate or remove infectious pathogens. For example, MAHC recommends additional water treatment (e.g., ultraviolet light or ozone) to inactivate Cryptosporidium oocysts at venues where WBDOSS data indicate there is increased risk for transmission. MAHC recommendations can be voluntarily adopted, in part or as a whole, by state and local jurisdictions.

The number of reported untreated recreational water–associated outbreaks confirmed or suspected to be caused by cyanobacterial toxins has decreased, from 11 (2009–2010) to one (2011–2012) (6). This decrease is likely the result of a decrease in outbreak reporting rather than a true decrease in incidence. CDC is currently developing a mechanism for reporting algal bloom–associated individual cases through NORS to better characterize their epidemiology.

The findings in this report are subject to at least two limitations. First, the outbreak counts presented are likely an underestimate of actual incidence. Many factors can present barriers to the detection, investigation, and reporting of outbreaks: 1) mild illness; 2) small outbreak size; 3) long incubation periods; 4) wide geographic dispersion of ill swimmers; 5) transient nature of contamination; 6) setting or venue of outbreak exposure (e.g., residential backyard pool); and 7) potential lack of communication between those who respond to outbreaks of chemical etiology (e.g., hazardous materials personnel) and those who usually report outbreaks (e.g., infectious disease epidemiologists). Second, because of variation in public health capacity and reporting requirements across jurisdictions, those reporting outbreaks most frequently might not be those in which outbreaks most frequently occur.

Increasingly, molecular typing tools are being employed to understand the epidemiology of waterborne disease and outbreaks. Most species and genotypes of Cryptosporidium are morphologically indistinguishable from one another, and only molecular methods can distinguish species and subtypes and thereby elucidate transmission pathways (7,8). Systematic national genotyping and subtyping of Cryptosporidium in clinical specimens and environmental samples through CryptoNet (http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/cryptonet.html) can identify circulating Cryptosporidium species and subtypes and help identify epidemiologic linkages between reported cases. Molecular typing could substantially help elucidate cryptosporidiosis epidemiology in the United States and inform development of future guidance to prevent recreational water–associated and other outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis (9,10).

Acknowledgments

State, territorial, local, and Freely Associated State waterborne disease coordinators, epidemiologists, and environmental health personnel; Lihua Xiao, Sarah A. Collier, Kathleen E. Fullerton, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC.

1Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC; 2Environmental Protection Agency; 3Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Corresponding author: Michele C. Hlavsa, mhlavsa@cdc.gov, 404-71

Outbreaks of Illness Associated with Recreational Water — United States, 2011–2012

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Michele C. Hlavsa, MPH; Virginia A. Roberts, MSPH; Amy M. Kahler, MS; Elizabeth D. Hilborn, DVM; Taryn R. Mecher, MPH; Michael J. Beach, PhD; Timothy J. Wade, PhD; Jonathan S. Yoder, MPH

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6424a4.htm?s_cid=mm6424a4_e

1,000 runners fall sick after mud race in France

There’s this fetish for running through mud.

TMSplashI don’t get it.

I’d rather play hockey and have someone shot a puck at my head at 90 mph.

Of the almost 8,400 runners who took part in Mud Day activities on 20 June in Nice on the French Riviera, about 1,000 have been stricken with gastroenteritis. Probably Campylobacter or Salmonella.

100 now sick with Salmonella after eating at North Carolina BBQ restaurant

That went up fast.

tarheel.qHealth types say there’s now about 100 people sick from eating at at Tarheel Q, located at 6835 West U.S. 64 in Lexington, NC, several days before becoming ill.

A sign posted on the door Wednesday said the restaurant would close until Monday, June 29, “to ensure all areas of our operation are of the highest standard.”

Though inspectors are still working to figure out the source of contamination, the restaurant was asked to clean and sanitize all surfaces including the walk-in refrigerator.