Israel: Salmonella contamination eyed in Sabra hummus

Israel’s latest food to be found with Salmonella is last week’s production of Sabra hummus.

sabra-hummusThe popular ground chickpea dip is a favorite with Israelis across the country.

However, according to Israel’s Channel 2 television news, none of the product made it to the consumer shelves.

The Health Ministry was immediately notified by the company.

Cutters: Primary risk with produce

The influence of a selection of minimal processing techniques (sanitizing wash prior to packaging, modified atmosphere, storage conditions under light or in the dark) was investigated in relation to the survival of, attachment to and internalization of enteric pathogens in fresh produce.

breaking_away_promo4Cut Iceberg lettuce was chosen as a model for fresh produce, Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157) and Salmonella enterica were chosen as pathogen models. Care was taken to simulate industrial post-harvest processing. A total of 50 ± 0.1 g of fresh-cut Iceberg lettuce was packed in bags under near ambient atmospheric air with approximately 21% O2 (NAA) conditions or equilibrium modified atmosphere with 3% O2 (EMAP). Two lettuce pieces inoculated with E. coli O157 BRMSID 188 or Salmonella Typhimurium labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) were added to each package. The bags with cut lettuce were stored under either dark or light conditions for 2 days at 7 °C. The pathogens’ capacity to attach to the lettuce surface and cut edge was evaluated 2 days after inoculation using conventional plating technique and the internalization of the bacteria was investigated and quantified using confocal microscopy. The effect of a sanitizing wash step (40 mg/L NaClO or 40 mg/L peracetic acid + 1143 mg/L lactic acid) of the cut lettuce prior to packaging was evaluated as well.

Our results indicate that both pathogens behaved similarly under the investigated conditions. Pathogen growth was not observed, nor was there any substantial influence of the investigated atmospheric conditions or light/dark storage conditions on their attachment/internalization. The pathogens attached to and internalized via cut edges and wounds, from which they were able to penetrate into the parenchyma. Internalization through the stomata into the parenchyma was not observed, although some bacteria were found in the substomatal cavity. Washing the cut edges with sanitizing agents to reduce enteric pathogen numbers was not more effective than a rinse with precooled tap water prior to packaging.

Our results confirm that cut surfaces are the main risk for postharvest attachment and internalization of E. coli O157 and Salmonella during minimal processing and that storage and packaging conditions have no important effect.

Minimal processing of iceberg lettuce has no substantial influence on the survival, attachment and internalization of E. coli O157 and Salmonella

International Journal of Food Microbiology 238 (2016) 40–49, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2016.07.029

I Van der Linden, KR Avalos Llano, M Eriksson, WH De Vos, EJM Van Damme, M Uyttendaele, F Devlieghere

143 sickened from Salmonella-in-duck in Taiwan

Lee I-chia of the Taipei Times reports that a 15-year-old shop selling roast duck in Miaoli County’s Toufen Township (頭份) has been fined and temporarily shut after more than 140 people fell ill last week after consuming duck bought from the shop.

roast-duck-taiwanThe Miaoli County Public Health Bureau said that more than 140 people visited local hospitals after developing symptoms of food poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea or a fever, after consuming roast duck bought from the store on Sept. 10 and last week.

The hospital where some of the people were hospitalized found salmonella bacteria in their stool samples and reported the cases to the health bureau.

The bureau on Tuesday last week sent investigators to collect samples from the shop.

As of Monday evening, the bureau said it had received 13 case reports concerning 143 people — including several family groups — who had allegedly developed food poisoning after eating duck meat from the shop and had notified the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Lab test results received on Monday confirmed the shop’s duck meat was contaminated by salmonella bacteria and a sample collected from the shop’s cutting board had Bacillus cereus bacterium.

Raw milk cheese can really suck

Fresh cheeses are a main garnish of Mexican food. Consumption of artisanal fresh cheeses is very common and most of them are made from unpasteurised cow milk.

unknownA total of 52 fresh unpasteurised cheeses of five different types were purchased from a variety of suppliers from Tabasco, Mexico. Using the most probable number method, 67% and 63% of samples were positive for faecal coliforms and E. coli, respectively; revealing their low microbiological quality.

General hygienic conditions and practices of traditional cheese manufacturers were poor; most establishments had unclean cement floors, all lacked windows and doors screens, and none of the food-handlers wore aprons, surgical masks or bouffant caps. After analysing all E. coli isolates (121 strains) for the presence of 26 virulence genes, results showed that 9 (17%) samples were contaminated with diarrheagenic E. coli strains, 8 harboured non-O157 Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC), and one sample contained both STEC and diffusely ad-herent E. coli strains. All STEC strains carried the stx1 gene. Potential uropathogenic E. coli (UPEC) strains were isolated from 15 (29%) samples; the most frequent gene combination was fimA-agn43. Two samples were contaminated with Salmonella. The results demonstrated that unpasteurised fresh cheeses produced in Tabasco are of poor microbiological quality and may frequently harbour foodborne pathogens.

Food safety authorities in Mexico need to conduct more rigorous surveillance of fresh cheeses. Furthermore, simple and inexpensive measures as establishing programs emphasizing good hand milking practices and hygienic manufacturing procedures may have a major effect on improving the microbiological quality of these food items.

Mexican unpasteurised fresh cheeses are contaminated with Salmonella spp., non-O157 Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli and potential uropathogenic E. coli strains: A public health risk

International Journal of Food Microbiology 237 (2016) 10–16, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2016.08.018

R Guzman-Hernandez, A Contreras-Rodriguez, R Hernandez-Velez, I Perez-Martinez, A Lopez-Merino, MB Zaidi, T Estrada-Garcia

Crabs, marinade and pathogens

Knowing the survival characteristics of foodborne pathogens in raw ready-to-eat (RTE) seafood is the key to predicting whether they pose a microbiological hazard. The present study examined the survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium, Vibrio parahaemoliticus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aure- us in raw RTE crab marinated in soy sauce.

cartooncrab_1_jpg103a1464-d351-465e-90ed-f6ab47e3c8bboriginalInoculated crabs (initial bacterial population = 4.1–4.4 log CFU/g) were immersed in soy sauce and then stored at refrigeration (5 °C) or room temperature (22 °C) for up to 28 days. At 5 °C, all bacteria (except V. parahaemolyticus) survived in crab samples until Day 28 (counts of 1.4, 1.6, 3.1, 3.2 log CFU/g for E. coli O157:H7, S. Typhimurium, L. monocytogenes, and S. aureus, respectively). Howev- er, at 22 °C, all tested bacteria were more susceptible to the antimicrobial effects of marination. Regardless of tem- perature, foodborne pathogens attached to crab samples were more resistant to marination than those suspended in soy sauce samples; however, the survival pattern for each species was different. Gram-positive bac- teria were most resistant to marination conditions (high salinity, low pH), whereas V. parahaemolyticus was ex- tremely susceptible.

Marination is the only antibacterial step in the manufacturing processes; however, the results presented herein reveal that this is not sufficient to inactivate foodborne pathogens. In particular, the survival of pathogens on crabs at refrigeration temperature may pose a major hazard for the consumption of raw RTE seafood. Thus, appropriate decontamination methods and implementation of safety management practices are needed.

This study provides predictive microbiological information of foodborne pathogens in raw RTE seafood with margination.

Survival of foodborne pathogens (Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Vibrio parahaemolyticus) in raw ready-to-eat crab marinated in soy sauce

International Journal of Food Microbiology 238 (2016) 50–55, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2016.08.041

TJ Cho, NH Kim, SA Kim, JH Song

Whole genome sequencing to determine food sources of Salmonella

Salmonella Typhimurium (STM) is an important cause of foodborne outbreaks worldwide. Subtyping of STM remains critical to outbreak investigation, yet current techniques (e.g. multilocus variable number tandem repeat analysis, MLVA) may provide insufficient discrimination. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) offers potentially greater discriminatory power to support infectious disease surveillance.

wgsMethods

We performed WGS on 62 STM isolates of a single, endemic MLVA type associated with two epidemiologically independent, foodborne outbreaks along with sporadic cases in New South Wales, Australia, during 2014. Genomes of case and environmental isolates were sequenced using HiSeq (Illumina) and the genetic distance between them was assessed by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. SNP analysis was compared to the epidemiological context.

Results

The WGS analysis supported epidemiological evidence and genomes of within-outbreak isolates were nearly identical. Sporadic cases differed from outbreak cases by a small number of SNPs, although their close relationship to outbreak cases may represent an unidentified common food source that may warrant further public health follow up. Previously unrecognised mini-clusters were detected.

Conclusions

WGS of STM can discriminate foodborne community outbreaks within a single endemic MLVA clone. Our findings support the translation of WGS into public health laboratory surveillance of salmonellosis.

Whole genome sequencing of Salmonella Typhimurium illuminates distinct outbreaks caused by an endemic multi-locus variable number tandem repeat analysis type in Australia, 2014

BMC Microbiology, Published 15 September 2016, DOI: 10.1186/s12866-016-0831-3

http://bmcmicrobiol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12866-016-0831-3

2600 sick, 5 dead over 14 years: Stop kissing chicks

Backyard poultry flocks have increased in popularity concurrent with an increase in live poultry–associated salmonellosis (LPAS) outbreaks. Better understanding of practices that contribute to this emerging public health issue is needed.

chicken-south-parkWe reviewed outbreak reports to describe the epidemiology of LPAS outbreaks in the United States, examine changes in trends, and inform prevention campaigns. LPAS outbreaks were defined as ≥2 culture-confirmed human Salmonella infections linked to live poultry contact. Outbreak data were obtained through multiple databases and a literature review.

During 1990–2014, a total of 53 LPAS outbreaks were documented, involving 2,630 illnesses, 387 hospitalizations, and 5 deaths. Median patient age was 9 years (range <1 to 92 years). Chick and duckling exposure were reported by 85% and 38% of case-patients, respectively. High-risk practices included keeping poultry inside households (46% of case-patients) and kissing birds (13%). Comprehensive One Health strategies are needed to prevent illnesses associated with live poultry.

Outbreaks of human Salmonella infections associated with live poultry, United States, 1990-2014

Emerg. Infect. Dis., Volume 22, Number 10 – October 2016 [ahead of print], DOI: 10.3201/eid2210.150765

Colin Basler, Thai-An Nguyen, Tara C. Anderson, Thane Hancock, Casey Barton Behravesh

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/22/10/15-0765_article

Faster, better way to detect salmonella in meat, chicken

In a newly published study, researchers artificially contaminated food with salmonella. They then tested the food samples using Salmonella-specific antibodies combined with a unique signal amplification technique. Their test found salmonella present after 15 hours and removed other microorganisms that sometimes clutter laboratory results. This is shorter than the two to three days it takes to detect salmonella in a culture, the study shows.

salmonella“The test has great potential as a simple monitoring system for foodborne pathogens in food samples, which can improve food safety and public health,” said Soohyoun Ahn, a UF/IFAS assistant professor of food science and human nutrition and lead author of the study. “Even with all the strategies used to minimize contamination of beef and poultry, they are still one of the major food vehicles for salmonella.”

The test would be suitable for any government research laboratory or industry that routinely tests for Salmonella, Ahn said.

Ahn sees the salmonella test showing similar potential for faster detection of other pathogens you can get from eating certain contaminated foods. A similar test has been developed for E. coli in milk and ground beef, and it performed well, she said.

The study is published in the Journal of Food Safety.

 

Fewer people barfing? Pathogen versus illness reduction

I’ve commented many times on the machinations of Washington and other capitals, with their proposals, and lobbyists and general isolation from the reality of foodborne illness and ask a basic question: will whatever some social actor is proposing actually lead to few people barfing?

eintsteinquestioneverything(It’s like the question I asked my hockey club: do coaches run practice or do parents? They couldn’t answer so I stepped aside as head coach. Still coach kids and adults, but wearied of the bureaucracy; that’s for other people more skilled at it than I).

Dr. William James writes for meatingplace.com that it’s time for USDA to move from pathogen reduction to illness reduction.

Will requiring testing of an expanded array of products help us achieve a downward trend of illnesses from E. coli O157:H7? Some meat companies think not, because trim from these products is already tested.  FSIS thinks more testing might help because it claims these cuts are increasingly used for grinding by further processors, retailers, and foodservice customers.

In a puzzling statement, FSIS said it intends to focus on Salmonella Dublin. S. Dublin isn’t on CDC’s list of top 10 serotypes causing illnesses.  And according to FSIS, S. Dublin is reported to cause more severe illness than any other meat-borne Salmonella, but it “rarely infects humans.”

So, what is the plan to reduce Salmonella illnesses from beef? “[W]e think one way to get at that is through a performance standard,”Meatingplace.com reports FSIS as saying.

FSIS did mention they were looking at the presence of Salmonella in lymph nodes as a key to a new approach to controlling illnesses.  That’s encouraging.

The FSIS announcement for pathogen controls doesn’t have many new ideas, and is not likely to be effective.  We need a fresh approach.

The goal for FSIS needs to evolve from pathogen reduction to illness reduction.

24 sick: Babylon Pizza and Shawarma staff ‘concerned’ by cases of Salmonella

Jennifer O’Brien of The London Free Press (the Ontario, Canada, one) reports the area’s public health watchdog couldn’t pinpoint what caused a salmonella outbreak at a south London eatery, but an official says staff there have shown “knowledge of good food safety practices” and he’s confident “things will be good going forward.”

babylon-pizza-and-shawarmaOwners of Babylon Pizza and Shawarma were “very co-operative, very good to work with and very concerned” when they learned two dozen customers had been infected with salmonella last month, Dave Pavletic, the Middlesex-London health unit’s food safety manager, said Wednesday.

“After our consultations and followup visits, (the owners) really demonstrated knowledge of good food safety practices,” he said. “They’ve achieved what we wanted.”

Pavletic said inspectors couldn’t determine exactly what made 24 Babylon patrons sick in August — a month that saw an unusual spike in salmonella reports even without those cases — but there have been no reports of salmonella linked to the restaurant since Aug. 25.

While two eatery staffers hold food handling certificates, he said, it’s not unheard of for health officials to learn of occasional infractions at restaurants. “From time to time, infractions occur.”

The health unit received 37 reports of salmonella — including the 24 linked to Babylon — in three weeks last month. That compares to the August average of nine reports.

So far this month, the health unit has received nine more salmonella reports.

At the same time, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports that Bulk Barrel is recalling No Sugar Added Almond Butter Crunch from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described below.

The following product was sold in bulk from Bulk Barrel, 301 Oxford Street W, Unit 76C, London, Ontario, from September 2 to 7, 2016 inclusive.

Recalled products

Brand Name//Common Name//Size//Code(s) on Product//UPC

None//No Sugar Added Almond Butter Crunch//Variable//None//None

This recall was triggered by a recall in another country. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing recalled product from the marketplace.

Illnesses

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.