Are ready-to-eat salads ready to eat?

We investigated a nationwide outbreak of Salmonella Coeln in Norway, including 26 cases identified between 20 October 2013 and 4 January 2014. We performed a matched case-control study, environmental investigation and detailed traceback of food purchases to identify the source of the outbreak.

lettuce.skull.noroIn the case-control study, cases were found to be more likely than controls to have consumed a ready-to-eat salad mix (matched odds ratio 20, 95% confidence interval 2·7–∞). By traceback of purchases one brand of ready-to-eat salad was indicated, but all environmental samples were negative for Salmonella.

This outbreak underlines that pre-washed and bagged salads carry a risk of infection despite thorough cleaning procedures by the importer. To further reduce the risk of infection by consumption of ready-to-eat salads product quality should be ensured by importers.

Outbreaks linked to salads reinforce the importance of implementation of appropriate food safety management systems, including good practices in lettuce production.

Are ready-to-eat salads ready to eat? An outbreak of Salmonella Coeln linked to imported, mixed, pre-washed and bagged salad, Norway, November 2013

F. Vestrheima1a2 c1, H. Langea1a3, K. Nygårda1, K. Borgena1, A. L. Westera1, M. L. Kvarmea4 and L. Volda1

Epidemiology and Infection, Volume 144, Issue 8, June 2016, pages 1756-1760, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268815002769

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=10299069&utm_source=Issue_Alert&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=HYG

244 now sick with Salmonella from sprouts in SA

An extra five South Australians have tested positive to Salmonella Saintpaul after eating contaminated bean sprouts, bringing the total number of victims to 244.

SA Health announced the new figure on Wednesday after testing confirmed the link to the popular Asian garnish.

sprouts.raw.milk.barfWhile the source of the salmonella remains a mystery, the contamination has been linked to the consumption of raw bean sprouts sourced from Queensland and grown and packaged in South Australia.

A spokeswoman from the health department told The Advertiser investigations were ongoing.

One of the victims included a pregnant woman who was rushed to hospital after suffering abdominal pain about two weeks ago.

Usually, the state records just 15 to 20 cases of Salmonella Saintpaul annually.

SA Health chief public health officer Professor Paddy Phillips advised consumers — as well as restaurant and cafe owners — to cook all bean sprouts and avoid eating them raw.

“We are working closely with the producers, suppliers and handlers of the sprouts and (we) are continuing to investigate,” Prof Phillips said.

sprouts.barf“(We’re) doing forensic investigation of the factories to work out where in the processing the salmonella might be.”

It is the second salmonella scare to hit SA this year after dozens of people across Australia were struck down with Salmonella Anatum from eating prepacked leafy greens.

The lettuce, supplied by Tripod Farmers in Victoria and sold at Coles and Woolworths among other companies, was recalled from shelves across the nation in February.

An updated table of raw sprout related outbreaks is available at: http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Sprout-associated-outbreaks-4-27-16.xlsx

Diamond Pet Food, Costco pay settlement in Canadian Salmonella cases in pets

Diamond Pet Food and Costco have begun paying settlements to Canadian pet owners who say their pets required screening and/or treatment, or the pets died, after they were exposed to Salmonella in 2011 and 2012.

diamond.pet.foodA class action lawsuit was filed against Diamond Pet Foods and its distributor, Costco, after pet illnesses and some deaths occurred. While admitting no liability, the companies agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid lengthy litigation. The settlement was announced in March 2016.

Attorney Jeff Ornstein, who heads the class action firm, Consumer Law Group, said Costco is notifying 115,000 customers who purchased the pet food by an automated phone call, announcing that the settlement is available.

To be eligible, consumers must have purchased Diamond Pet Food, recalled on April 6, 26 or 30, 2012,  or on May 4-5, 2012, and did not return the recalled produced or exchange, and did not already sign a release with Diamond or Costco.

The amount of payment depends on the damages sustained and varies from the cost of replacing the pet food to larger amounts to cover the costs of veterinary care, or costs related to the death of the animal.

The class action filing says one consumer’s dog became extremely ill after eating Kirkland Signature Super Premium Adult Dog Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Formula – a Diamond Pet Food Brand made for Costco – and required treatment and lab tests by a veterinarian.

The companies told the consumer about the Salmonella contamination but would not compensate the consumer for the veterinary bills because the consumer did not have an empty bag or proof of purchase for the dog food.

Salmonella outbreak in Hong Kong: 22 sick

The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (April 22) reported an update on its investigations announced on April 19 into suspected food discovery.baypoisoning clusters in connection with a food premises in Discovery Bay.

Subsequent to follow-up investigations, the CHP identified six additional clusters affecting 18 persons, 10 males and eight females aged from 1-to-64. They developed diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting about five-to-63 hours after consuming food in the premises on April 15 and 16. Among them, 15 sought medical attention, one of whom has been discharged upon hospitalization.

All affected persons are now in stable condition.

Stool specimens of two affected persons tested positive for Salmonella.
This brings the total number of affected persons to 22 so far, comprising 11 males and 11 females.

“We have alerted the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to the incident and investigations are ongoing,” a spokesman for the DH said.

FDA warns ‘small family company trying to make dogs and cats healthier’ about Salmonella in its dog food

Federal authorities have notified a Berks County, Penn. raw-pet food producer that its dog food has been found to contain salmonella.

sadie.car.10A U.S. Food and Drug Administration “warning letter” sent last month to Lystn LLC, dba Answers Pet Food at 356 Maidencreek Road in Richmond Township, says the company’s Detailed Answers Chicken Formula dog food showed traces of salmonella.

The FDA letter says investigators found salmonella in its Detailed Answers Chicken, 8-ounce raw chicken patties and the 2-pound carton Detailed Answers Chicken Formula.

In a news release issued Wednesday and subsequent telephone interview, Lystn officials denied the company is introducing salmonella in its pet food or allowing product in the market “that could result in illness to animals or humans.”

Company officials also say they believe they have addressed the FDA’s concerns about its food processing and contend the agency has denied to address the company’s follow-up questions.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture allows a limited amount of salmonella in poultry and other food consumed by humans, said Jacqueline C. Hill, the company’s vice president of operations, product development and sales.

“But we’re not regulated by the USDA but by the FDA, and it says pet food can’t contain any salmonella,” Hill said. “We’re a small family company trying to make dogs and cats healthier.”

Lystn began selling raw pet food in 2010, said Hill, adding there are many advantages to feeding it to domestic animals, including helping to heal those with chronic health issues.

Raw is risky: 4 sick with Salmonella in Canada linked to raw pet food

Pet owners are being warned Saturday after an outbreak of Salmonella has been found in connection with raw pet food.

sadie.dog.powellAs of Friday afternoon, four British Columbians who feed their pets raw food diets have all become infected with the same strain of Salmonella. The BC Centre for Disease Control said the exact source of the Salmonella is unknown, but investigations are currently underway.

Australia sucks at food safety: 233 sick with Salmonella from sprouts in SA, warning only issued now

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from another satisfied subscriber – we’re over 70,000 now – saying why was I talking about the risk of sprouts; all those outbreaks were years ago.

sprouts.batzNow, the Department of Health in South Australia is warning SA residents not to eat raw bean sprouts following a big jump in the number of reported salmonella cases.

Over the past 11 days there have been 108 salmonella cases reported in South Australia, which normally sees around 15 to 20 cases each year.

Since the start of December, SA Health has been notified of 233 cases of salmonella. Of these 233 cases, 43 people have been hospitalised.

“Our investigations have indicated to us that it is likely that the consumption of raw beansprouts is contributing to this increase,” said SA Health’s chief public health officer, Professor Paddy Phillips.

Duh.

“As a result we are today advising South Australians to cook all bean sprouts and avoid eating raw bean sprouts.”

Duh.

U.S. has been advising that for a deade.

“We also want to alert food retailers such as restaurants and cafes not to serve raw bean sprouts until further notice. We are working closely with the producers, suppliers and handlers of the sprouts and are continuing to investigate.

jimmy.johns_.sproutsBut 20-year-old examples mean nothing when, it hasn’t happened here.

A table of sprout-related outbreaks can be found at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Sprout-associated-outbreaks-2-24-16.xlsx

And never underestimate the power of denial.

Erdozain, M.S., Allen, K.J., Morley, K.A. and Powell, D.A. 2012. Failures in sprouts-related risk communication. Food Control. 10.1016/j.foodcont.2012.08.022

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713512004707?v=s5

Abstract

Nutritional and perceived health benefits have contributed to the increasing popularity of raw sprouted seed products. In the past two decades, sprouted seeds have been a recurring food safety concern, with at least 55 documented foodborne outbreaks affecting more than 15,000 people. A compilation of selected publications was used to yield an analysis of the evolving safety and risk communication related to raw sprouts, including microbiological safety, efforts to improve production practices, and effectiveness of communication prior to, during, and after sprout-related outbreaks. Scientific investigation and media coverage of sprout-related outbreaks has led to improved production guidelines and public health enforcement actions, yet continued outbreaks call into question the effectiveness of risk management strategies and producer compliance. Raw sprouts remain a high-risk product and avoidance or thorough cooking are the only ways that consumers can reduce risk; even thorough cooking messages fail to acknowledge the risk of cross-contamination. Risk communication messages have been inconsistent over time with Canadian and U.S. governments finally aligning their messages in the past five years, telling consumers to avoid sprouts. Yet consumer and industry awareness of risk remains low. To minimize health risks linked to the consumption of sprout products, local and national public health agencies, restaurants, retailers and producers need validated, consistent and repeated risk messaging through a variety of sources.

 

50 sick in Australian Salmonella outbreak

An investigation into more than 50 cases of salmonella in Darwin and the surrounding area is currently underway, the Department of Health has confirmed.

darwin.crocSalmonella infection is often caused by ingesting food contaminated with the bacteria.

Dr Peter Markey, head of surveillance at the Centre for Disease Control, said it was too early to say where the outbreak started or how it spread.

He said the investigation was attempting to determine whether there had been a common food source at the root of the outbreak, and confirmed workers at the INPEX workers camp in Darwin’s rural area had been affected.

The Department of Health said while raw foods were a common cause of salmonella infections, environmental factors including geckos, frogs and family pets could also be a possible source.

Look at the raw egg dishes.

Was it the irrigation water? 206 sickened with Salmonella in central Italy

Monophasic variant of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium (monophasic S. Typhimurium), with antigenic structure 1,4,[5],12:i:-, appears to be of increasing importance in Europe.

salm.pig.italyIn Italy, monophasic S. Typhimurium represented the third most frequent Salmonella serovar isolated from human cases between 2004 and 2008. From June 2013 to October 2014, a total of 206 human cases of salmonellosis were identified in Abruzzo region (Central Italy).

Obtained clinical isolates characterised showed S. Typhimurium 1,4,[5],12:i:- with sole resistance to nalidixic acid, which had never been observed in Italy in monophasic S. Typhimurium, neither in humans nor in animals or foods.

Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations were conducted to try to identify the outbreak source. Cases were interviewed using a standardised questionnaire and microbiological tests were performed on human as well as environmental samples, including samples from fruit and vegetables, pigs, and surface water. Investigation results did not identify the final vehicle of human infection, although a link between the human cases and the contamination of irrigation water channels was suggested.

Outbreak Of Unusual Salmonella Enterica Serovar Typhimurium Monophasic Variant 1,4 [5],12:I:-, Italy, June 2013 To September 2014

Eurosurveillance, Volume 21, Issue 15, 14 April 2016

F Cito, F Baldinelli, P Calistri, E Di Giannatale, G Scavia, M Orsini, S Iannetti, L Sacchini, I Mangone, L Candeloro, A Conte, C Ippoliti, D Morelli, G Migliorati, NB Barile, C Marfoglia, S Salucci, C Cammà, M Marcacci, M Ancora, AM Dionisi, S Owczartek, I Luzzi

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=21439

Food safety fail: Pork 6-2-2, use a thermometer instead

Australia Pork has apparently invested hundreds of thousands in a marketing message that is high on BS and low on credibility.

According to this advert, without taking into account variations in BBQs, cooking pork is simple (I’ve decided to start referring to Chapman as Stork, in all correspondence).

Only if a tip-sensitive digital thermometer is used.

Did you spot the cross-contamination?