UK food scare of the year: Campylobacter gets the FSA in a right old flap

I’m not sure who talks like that, except the Brits.

campy.grocer.dec.14So while The Grocer blames consumers for Campylobacter outbreaks, Walmart Frank has taken steps to implement enhanced poultry safety measures for suppliers designed to further protect customers against foodborne illnesses. The new guidelines are in addition to Walmart’s food safety program that requires poultry suppliers to achieve prevention-based certification against one of the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) internationally recognized standards.

“At Walmart and Sam’s Club, we are committed to providing our customers with safe, quality foods,” said vice president for food safety, Frank Yiannas. “As part of our continuous improvement process, we determined it was important to require additional layers of protection for our customers.”

The new program requires Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. poultry suppliers to implement holistic controls from farm to fork designed to significantly reduce potential contamination levels, including chicken parts. It also requires suppliers to undergo specialized testing to validate that the measures they have implemented are effective. All poultry suppliers must be in compliance with the new requirements by June 2016.

The enhanced protocol has been reviewed with numerous stakeholders including consumer groups, regulators, academicians, poultry suppliers and industry associations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has partnered with Walmart on this initiative to advance food safety and decrease foodborne illnesses among consumers.

frank.amy.doug.jun.11dDr. Chris Braden, director of CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases said, “CDC, along with Walmart, recognizes that reducing Salmonella and other pathogen contamination in poultry products is a crucial step towards decreasing the burden of foodborne illnesses. Walmart and CDC working together to protect public health and advance food safety is a great example of a public-private partnership that benefits everyone”  

Dr. Gary R. Acuff, director of the Texas A&M Center for Food Safety applauded the company’s work: “Walmart’s implementation of enhanced safety measures for poultry products provides leadership for the food industry and continues a progressive approach to providing the safest possible food. This is a smart, science-supported move that will greatly benefit consumers.”

Campylobacter in petting zoos; we’ve done this

Here’s an example of terrible story-telling.

petting.zoo.handwash.10According to news reporting out of Bilthoven, Netherlands, by VerticalNews editors, research stated, “The significance of petting zoos for transmission of Campylobacter to humans and the effect of interventions were estimated. A stochastic QMRA model simulating a child or adult visiting a Dutch petting zoo was built.”

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, “The model describes the transmission of Campylobacter in animal feces from the various animal species, fences, and the playground to ingestion by visitors through touching these so-called carriers and subsequently touching their lips. Extensive field and laboratory research was done to fulfill data needs. Fecal contamination on all carriers was measured by swabbing in 10 petting zoos, using Escherichia coli as an indicator. Carrier-hand and hand-lip touching frequencies were estimated by, in total, 13 days of observations of visitors by two observers at two petting zoos. The transmission from carrier to hand and from hand to lip by touching was measured using preapplied cow feces to which E. coli WG5 was added as an indicator. Via a Beta-Poisson dose-response function, the number of Campylobacter cases for the whole of the Netherlands (16 million population) in a year was estimated at 187 and 52 for children and adults, respectively, so 239 in total. This is significantly lower than previous QMRA results on chicken fillet and drinking water consumption. Scenarios of 90% reduction of the contamination (meant to mimic cleaning) of all fences and just goat fences reduces the number of cases by 82% and 75%, respectively.”

According to the news editors, the research concluded: “The model can easily be adapted for other fecally transmitted pathogens.

For more information on this research see: A Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment for Campylobacter in Petting Zoos. Risk Analysis, 2014;34(9):1618-1638. Risk Analysis can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA. (Wiley-Blackwell – www.wiley.com/; Risk Analysis – onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1539-6924)

Going to a petting zoo? People need to be a lot more careful than they thought

 http://barfblog.com/2012/09/going-to-a-petting-zoo-people-need-to-be-a-lot-more-careful-than-they-thought/

The other parents hate me.

Even Amy changed her phone ring to the Debbie Downer noise from Saturday Night Live.

I’m Dougie Downer.

Every time there’s a sausage sizzle, I don’t complain, I cook for the kids and their families, and use a thermometer.

People think I’m weird.

The chicken coop at the daycare is still empty. And while no one will say it, I’m sure they blame me for depriving their little ones of chick interaction (and Salmonella).

This is nothing new; I’ve been causing angst or disgust for about 20 years, going with my kids on those field trips to the farm (the oldest of five daughters is 25; I’m ancient).

Besides, Gonzalo Erdozain did most of the work on this petting zoo paper, and he’s got a little one, so he can torment the parents of Roman’s future classmates.

Kansas State University came out with their version of our petting zoo paper and quoted me, as saying “People have to be careful — a lot more careful than they thought.”

Powell is co-author of the paper “Observation of Public Health Risk Behaviors, Risk Communication and Hand Hygiene at Kansas and Missouri Petting Zoos – 2010-2011″ that was published recently in the journal Zoonoses and Public Health.

courtlynn.petting.zooThe paper’s main author is Gonzalo Erdozain, a master of public health student at the Kansas State University who works with Powell. Erdozain, Manhattan, visited numerous petting zoos and fairs in Kansas and Missouri in 2010 and 2011 and found many sanitary problems at the facilities. Article co-authors include Katherine KuKanich, assistant professor of clinical sciences at Kansas State University, and Ben Chapman of North Carolina State University.

When visiting petting zoos, Powell said parents need to be vigilant in watching their children and they need to put a health plan in effect for the visit. In Erdozain’s study, he observed children touching their faces after petting the animals, eating or drinking in the petting zoo, eating petting zoo food and sucking on a pacifier while at the zoo. Children were also seen picking up animal feces.

Another factor to watch for is the presence of high-risk animals — those most associated with zoonotic diseases, including chicks, young ruminants like goats, sheep and cattle.

Zoonotic diseases can be passed from animal to human, or vice versa.

Washing hands before and after encountering animals and the animal feed is one of the most recommended method to fight germs and bacteria from the animals and surrounding area of animal pens, Powell said.

“Hand-washing tool selection may also contribute to the success of hand hygiene as a preventive measure, as some outbreak investigations have reported alcohol-based hand sanitizer was not protective against illness, especially when hands are soiled,” Powell said.

Powell said Erdozain’s study found that visitors were five times as likely to wash their hands when a staff member was present. This observation, Powell said, is consistent with a study published last year that showed the importance of a little encouragement.

To help maintain a safe and healthy environment, Powell said petting zoos should constantly remind visitors to wash their hands when exiting the pens. Keeping clean and useful sinks near the exits of all facilities with a stand by attendant would help decrease the likeliness of a widespread illness due to forgetful hygiene, he said.

Strict governmental regulation and enforcement would be one way to ensure this happens but is an unlikely solution. Powell said that it is up to the zoos to help keep watch on what is happening within their pens and to make sure that the proper facilities are in place and are noticeable to visitors — children and adults alike.

“Providing hand hygiene stations, putting up some good signs, having staff supervise, avoiding high-risk animals and logical facility design are easy and inexpensive — and not doing so is inexcusable,” Powell said.

I’m fine with animal interactions; but people, and organizers, should be a lot more careful than they thought. That’s what I told my 3-year-old’s daycare as they prepared for a chicken coop. They hate me.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/petting-zoos-outbreaks.

Erdozain G, Kukanich K, Chapman B, Powell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01531.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Abstract below:

Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011Outbreaks of human illness have been linked to visiting settings with animal contact throughout developed countries. This paper details an observational study of hand hygiene tool availability and recommendations; frequency of risky behavior; and, handwashing attempts by visitors in Kansas (9) and Missouri (4), U.S., petting zoos. Handwashing signs and hand hygiene stations were available at the exit of animal-contact areas in 10/13 and 8/13 petting zoos respectively. Risky behaviors were observed being performed at all petting zoos by at least one visitor. Frequently observed behaviors were: children (10/13 petting zoos) and adults (9/13 petting zoos) touching hands to face within animal-contact areas; animals licking children’s and adults’ hands (7/13 and 4/13 petting zoos, respectively); and children and adults drinking within animal-contact areas (5/13 petting zoos each). Of 574 visitors observed for hand hygiene when exiting animal-contact areas, 37% (n=214) of individuals attempted some type of hand hygiene, with male adults, female adults, and children attempting at similar rates (32%, 40%, and 37% respectively). Visitors were 4.8x more likely to wash their hands when a staff member was present within or at the exit to the animal-contact area (136/231, 59%) than when no staff member was present (78/343, 23%; p<0.001, OR=4.863, 95% C.I.=3.380-6.998). Visitors at zoos with a fence as a partial barrier to human-animal contact were 2.3x more likely to wash their hands (188/460, 40.9%) than visitors allowed to enter the animals’ yard for contact (26/114, 22.8%; p<0.001, OR= 2.339, 95% CI= 1.454-3.763). Inconsistencies existed in tool availability, signage, and supervision of animal-contact. Risk communication was poor, with few petting zoos outlining risks associated with animal-contact, or providing recommendations for precautions to be taken to reduce these risks.

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.

If Eggnog Has Eggs In It, Why Is It Safe To Drink?

Continuing with the egg-in-drink and holiday food safety trend, I had a chat last week with my friend Matt Shipman about eggnog. Matt, a science writer, public information officer at North Carolina State Universitycurator of The Abstract, and all around swell dude, writes:

Eggnog is a holiday treat, but it contains – surprise! – eggs. So how come it’s okay for us to drink it? Here are a few questions and answers about eggnog and food safety.

If eggnog has eggs in it, and eggs can carry Salmonella, why is it safe to drink eggnog? The eggs aren’t cooked, are they?

Actually, they are.Eggnog-848x477

“If you’re buying eggnog at the store, the beverage has likely been pasteurized,” says Ben Chapman, a food safety expert and researcher at NC State. “That means the egg-and-milk combination has been heat-treated to kill most of the harmful microorganisms that could make you sick, and reduce the ones that cause spoilage as well.”

Is it safe for me to make my own eggnog?

“Using regular eggs is risky, but you could use pasteurized eggs or egg products,” Chapman says. “Or you could effectively pasteurize your own eggs by slowly bringing the eggnog ‘base’ to 160 °F. The FDA offers advice on how to do that safely.”

Can I use alcohol to make my eggnog safe to drink, or to store at room temperature?

Only if you like really strong eggnog.

“Ethanol, the alcohol in beverages, should kill some of the pathogens that might be there,” Chapman says. “But the eggnog would still be subject to spoiling, as other hearty microorganisms can multiply and create off flavors.”

Chapman says that using alcohol as a protective measure isn’t a simple venture. Although wine and other clear alcoholic beverages haven’t been linked to foodborne illnesses, a 2010 investigation into exactly what components were protective in wine showed that ethanol on its own wasn’t enough.

Chapman says that in that particular experiment, ethanol provided a 1.5 log (that’s between 90 and 99 percent) reduction in Salmonella in 24 hours. That’s not good if you’re looking to make and serve eggnog, particularly since no reduction in pathogens was seen within the first 60 minutes after adding alcohol. “The cream also complicates things in eggnog as it has fat in it – and high fat environments like peanut butter and chocolate serve to protect Salmonella cells,” Chapman says.

What’s the deal with ‘aged’ eggnog?

You may be familiar with stories that have made the rounds about “aged” eggnog, and how it’s safe to drink eggnog containing raw eggs if you let it hang around for a few weeks. Many of these stories trace back to an experiment done at Rockefeller University (you can hear Science Friday’s 2008 story on it here). There are (at least) two things worth noting about the Rockefeller eggnog.

First, based on the recipe that accompanies that story, and some quick back-of-the-envelope calculations, the eggnog in question was ~14 percent alcohol – which may be high compared to many festive drinks. Second, the eggnog was refrigerated during the aging process. The cold temperature helps to limit microorganism growth and the hold time allows for the ethanol to penetrate and to act on the cells.

Chapman notes one other issue with the Rockefeller University data – it’s anecdotal. “Although it has made the rounds in the media as an answer to the holiday party drink favorite, the study hasn’t been evaluated by peer review.” Chapman goes on to say, “While it appears this specific recipe might work, we also don’t know what the threshold for alcohol content and egg/milk ratios would lead to similar Salmonella destruction. For example, whether an eggnog with 9 percent alcohol held in the fridge for one week would be safe.”

Would you like some eggs with your cocktail?

Katrina Levine, extension associate at NC State University writes:

The holidays are a time when we come together to celebrate and mingle over food and drinks, especially eggnog and other egg-containing drinks. Restaurants, bars, and your bartending neighbor often feature foamy, frothy egg cocktails this time of year, but are they all that they’re cracked up to be?

Back in the summer, it was a dark and stormy night when I entered the dimly-lit Raleigh speakeasy. A jazz band was playing a chaotic Charlie Parker-inspired song and the bar was packed with people sipping some exotic-looking cocktails. faceI approached the bar to order and out of the corner of my eye I saw the bartender whip out an egg and crack it directly into someone’s drink (me, right, not quite exactly as shown).

Raw egg-containing cocktails are an emerging trend in the local bar scene. Fizzes, flips, sours, and even eggnog often contain raw whole eggs, whites, or yolks. While they may be tasty, the risk of acquiring Salmonella from one of them is uncertain.

egg-breakConsuming raw or undercooked eggs has been linked to many foodborne illness outbreaks of salmonellosis. A recent Michigan outbreak sickening 32 and one in North Carolina in 2012 making 29 people ill were both likely caused by eating raw egg-based sauces. A major outbreak of salmonellosis in 2010 infected almost 2,000 people in 11 states (CDC, 2010). A table of raw egg-related outbreaks in can be found here. Hens that are infected with Salmonella Enteritidis, the most common strain in eggs, can pass on the bacteria directly to the eggs forming in their ovaries (Gantois et al., 2009). This is the mostly likely route of contamination (Gantois et al., 2009). There is not enough research to show which part of the egg has the greatest amount of contamination from this route, although the shell, membranes, white (albumen), and yolk can all become contaminated (Gantois et al., 2009).

Eggs can also become contaminated by penetration through the shell when exposed to things like feces contaminated with Salmonella (Gantois et al., 2009).  Because a shell is porous, the bacteria can still find ways to get through the shell and into the egg. The shell of the egg is more likely to become contaminated than the inside of the egg, and egg yolks are less likely than whites to contain Salmonella because the antimicrobial properties of the white can reduce or eliminate the bacteria (Gantois et al., 2009). But if the shell has Salmonella and it comes in contact with the egg, such as when you crack it, you could contaminate the egg inside (i.e., cross-contamination). Washing eggs won’t help you – it actually makes contamination more likely (USDA FSIS, 2011).

Salmonella Enteritidis is found in an average of 1 in every 20,000 eggs (Ebel & Schlosser, 2000). Contamination rates are also influenced by percentage of infected hens in a flock and time between infection and producing eggs (Braden 2006).

The U.S. produces about 80 billion eggs for consumers annually, roughly 30% of which are pasteurized  (USDA NASS, 2014; USDA FSIS 2013). If 1 in 20,000 have Salmonella Entertidis, that equals about 2.8 million contaminated eggs, some of which may end up at bars, restaurants, or home kitchens.

Ok, so say you’re lucky #20,000. What are the chances you’ll get sick? It’s unclear whether the risk of illness is impacted by adding Salmonella-containing egg into an alcoholic drink. The literature suggests that there are at least a couple of factors that may affect survival and destruction of the pathogen: pH and alcohol content.

Consuming alcohol along with a pathogen may have a protective effect. Epidemiologists showed in a 2002 outbreak investigation report that there was a protective effect among people who drank more than 40 grams of alcohol (that’s about 2 pints of beer or 2-3 glasses of wine) (Bellido-Blasco et al., 2002). The infection rate of those who had more than 40 grams was 54%, compared with 78% and 95% for those who had less than 40 grams and no alcohol, respectively (Bellido-Blasco et al., 2002).drink

In 2008, researchers at Rockefeller University investigated whether spiking eggnog would kill Salmonella, but their results were inconclusive (and weren’t published in a peer-reviewed journal). Even though the drink was made with 14% alcohol, it was initially packed with bacteria, no Salmonella was recovered after sitting in the fridge about 3 weeks (Rockefeller University, 2008).

Yet another study on wine examined the antimicrobial effects of unadulterated wine and the role of some of its constituents – total phenols, ethanol, and pH – on antimicrobial activity (Boban et al, 2010).  They tested intact wine, wine with the phenols removed, wine with the alcohol removed, ethanol, a low pH, and ethanol and a low pH combined, against Salmonella Enteritis and E. coli (Boban et al., 2010). Even though the pH and alcohol content were similar among all samples, intact wine had the highest amount of antimicrobial activity, while non-intact versions had lower antimicrobial activity (Boban et al., 2010). Ethanol alone and low pH alone had negligible antibacterial activity, but when combined had a greater activity (Boban et al., 2010). While the alcohol content and pH seem to have some sort of effect on the antimicrobial effects of wine, the effect can’t be attributed to the alcohol, pH, or any of the other components specifically (Boban et al., 2010).

Acidity is also a factor. Salmonella won’t grow below a pH of about 3.6-4.0 (Lanciotti et al., 2001; Perales & Garcia, 1990), so the overall concentration and combination of ingredients in the drink would have to be at 4.0 or below to kill the bacteria.

Different forms of alcohol may be more or less acidic (Lazar, 2011). Grape-based forms, like sherries and vermouths, are more acidic, while distilled spirits, like gin and vodka, generally have a neutral pH, because the distillation process removes the acidity. Other additions to the alcohol can impact pH as well. Citrus ingredients like lemon and lime juices are by far the most acidic with a pH of about 2-3 (Lazar, 2011). Several experiments have mixed an acid, like lemon juice, vinegar, or citric acid, with mayonnaise made with raw eggs to see if it reduces Salmonella. Results show, though, that adding acid alone does not seem to reduce the bacteria to undetectable levels unless left to sit for at least an hour at 25°C (about 77°F) (Zhu, Li, and Chen, 2012). Warmer temperatures actually seemed to help kill more bacteria because cell membranes are more permeable, allowing more acid to enter bacterial cells (Zhu, Li, and Chen, 2012). Since most raw egg cocktails are kept cold and consumed quickly, a splash of lime juice probably wouldn’t be enough to lower the pH of the whole drink.

The bottom line is that the risk of getting a raw egg cocktail contaminated with Salmonella is low based on the egg contamination rates, but if you win the contaminated egg lottery, your grand prize could be a visit to the hospital. You’ll have to decide if you are willing to take the risk.

Opt for drinks that have already been pasteurized or that are made with a pasteurized egg product or pasteurized shell eggs – it’s the easiest way to reduce the risk of Salmonella.

References

Bellido-Blasco, J. B., Arnedo-Pena, A., Cordero-Cutillas, E., Canós-Cabedo, M., Herrero-Carot, C., & Safont-Adsuara, L. (2002). The protective effect of alcoholic beverages on the occurrence of a Salmonella food-borne outbreak. Epidemiology, 13(2), 228-230.

Boban, N., Tonkic, M., Budimir, D., Modun, D., Sutlovic, D., Punda‐Polic, V., & Boban, M. (2010). Antimicrobial effects of wine: separating the role of polyphenols, pH, ethanol, and other wine components. Journal of food science, 75(5), M322-M326.

Braden, C. R. (2006). Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis and eggs: a national epidemic in the United States. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 43(4), 512-517.

Chickens and Eggs 2013 Summary. USDA NASS. February 2014.

Ebel, E., & Schlosser, W. (2000). Estimating the annual fraction of eggs contaminated with Salmonella enteritidis in the United States. International journal of food microbiology, 61(1), 51-62.

Egg Products and Food Safety. USDA FSIS. August 2013.

Gantois, I., Ducatelle, R., Pasmans, F., Haesebrouck, F., Gast, R., Humphrey, T. J., & Van Immerseel, F. (2009). Mechanisms of egg contamination by Salmonella Enteritidis. FEMS microbiology reviews, 33(4), 718-738.

Lanciotti, R., Sinigaglia, M., Gardini, F., Vannini, L., & Guerzoni, M. E. (2001). Growth/no growth interfaces of Bacillus cereus, Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enteritidis in model systems based on water activity, pH, temperature and ethanol concentration. Food Microbiology, 18(6), 659-668.

Lazar, Michael. “The Electric Cocktail Acid Test.” Stirred, Not Shaken blog. December 28, 2011.

Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Enteritidis Infections Associated with Shell Eggs (Final Update). CDC. December 2010.

Perales, I., & Garcia, M. I. (1990). The influence of pH and temperature on the behaviour of Salmonella enteritidis phage type 4 in home‐made mayonnaise. Letters in applied microbiology, 10(1), 19-22.

Rockefeller University. “Rockefeller microbiologist tests safety of spiked eggnog.” December 19, 2008. http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/2008/12/19/rockefeller-microbiologist-tests-safety-of-spiked-eggnog/

Shell Eggs from Farm to Table. USDA FSIS. April 2011.

Zhu, J., Li, J., & Chen, J. (2012). Survival of Salmonella in Home-Style Mayonnaise and Acid Solutions as Affected by Acidulant Type and Preservatives. Journal of Food Protection, 75(3), 465-471.

 

 

 

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.

Fancy food ain’t safe food; Salmonella investigation at Delaney House in Massachusetts

The state and local health departments are investigating alleged Salmonella poisoning at a well-known restaurant in Holyoke.

delaney-housePeter Rosskothen, the co-owner of the Delaney House, confirmed for the 22News I-Team that there were approximately ten and possibly more, people sickened after eating at the Delaney House from November 11th – November 15th. He said that the state and local health departments are conducting a lengthy investigation, and have found no reason to shut the restaurant down.

They have been compliant with the investigation, and it seems the issue was isolated to that timeframe. Now, they’re trying to identify the source.

The Director of the Health Department in Holyoke, Brian Fitzgerald, also confirmed an investigation is underway.

British holidaymakers take legal action against Thomas Cook after father contracts Salmonella following stay at four-star Turkish resort

A family of five says its four-star holiday to Turkeyd was ruined by illness and one of them tested positive for Salmonella following their return to England.

TC_FC_2007_TURKEYrCheryll Jordan, 45, and her husband Ian, 46 have hired solicitors to investigate the cause of the illness and seek compensation from tour operator Thomas Cook if the hotel is found to be culpable.

The couple travelled with their three children to Hotel Marmaris Palace resort in Dalaman in June this year, expecting 10 days of sun, sea and relaxation.

But the couple say they are angry and upset after they and their seven-year-old son Lewis fell ill with sickness, diarrhoea and abdominal pains a few days into the trip.

It left them confined to their hotel room and still suffering symptoms four months on.

 Bailey, 13, and the couple’s other son Luckas, 5 were the only family members to escape illness. On returning home to Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, the family saw their GP and Ian was ‘appalled’ to be told he had tested positive for Salmonella.

USDA: Stop eating raw cookie dough

We don’t eat homemade cookie dough or cakes or cupcakes, like the ones Sorenne and Amy made for Sorenne’s birthday last night and delivered to her class this morning.

Australia has enough of a raw egg problem.

nestle.toll.house.cookie.doughAccording to Pete Kasperowicz of The Blaze, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued an order that millions of Americans will likely find impossible to carry out: stop eating raw cookie dough.

“Avoid raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, such as cookie dough,” USDA advised in an email over the weekend.

Carrying out that simple 15-word recommendation would radically change millions of lives, from families who routinely bake cookies and invite the kids to scoop batter out of the bowl, to people who scarf down pre-packaged cookie dough, to everyone who eats cookie dough found in ice cream.

Simply put, it’s not immediately clear that America is ready to take on USDA’s mission. But it’s also unclear if it’s necessary — there is something of a debate over whether it’s safe to eat cookie dough, or whether the risk of getting salmonella from raw eggs is too high.

cookiedoughSome, like FoodBeast.com, say it’s “actually really hard to get salmonella from eggs.” The site has an article up noting that bakers routinely eat batter and never get sick, and say the trick is in making sure the eggs are refrigerated.

And cookie dough found in ice cream is pasteurized, making it safe to eat, according to various online food experts.

But many still note the danger, and the 2009 recall of raw dough from Nestle that got dozens of people sick from E. coli. A Las Vegas mother died in 2013 of E. coli after eating raw cookie dough.

 

87 now sick with Salmonella from sprouts

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

  • As of December 2, 2014, a total of 87 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Enteritidis have been reported from 11 states.

      amy.sprouts.guelph.05   Twenty-seven percent of ill persons have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.  

  • 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.

  • 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, 42 (78%) of 54 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 thorough cleaning and sanitization and implemented other Salmonella control measures. On November 24, the firm completed cleaning and sanitization and restarted 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.

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