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.

174 sickened in Sweden from Salmonella in spices

From 24 December to 24 July 2015, 174 cases were reported in a nationwide salmonellosis outbreak in Sweden: 108 cases were connected to a single restaurant. A spice mix, containing dried vegetables from the restaurant tested positive for the outbreak strain.

salm.spice.swedenAdditional spice mixes with similar content from different suppliers also tested positive. The outbreak investigation suggests there could be a risk of contaminated products being also on the market in other countries.

Outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis phage type 13a infection in Sweden linked to imported dried-vegetable spice mixes, December 2014 to July 2015

Eurosurveillance, Volume 20, Issue 30, 30 July 2015

Jernberg C, Hjertqvist M, Sundborger C, Castro E, Löfdahl M, Pääjärvi A, Sundqvist L, Löf

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=21194

 

Salmonella: Stop kissing turtles and stop touching yourself

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that in May 2014, a cluster of human Salmonella Poona infections was identified through PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance.

turtleHistorically, this rare serotype has been identified in multiple Salmonella outbreaks associated with pet turtle exposure and has posed a particular risk to small children (1,2). Although the sale and distribution of small turtles (those with carapace [upper shell] lengths <4 inches [<10.2 cm]) is prohibited by federal law, they are still available for legal purchase online for “bona-fide” scientific, educational, or exhibition purposes, other than use as pets (3). In addition, small turtles are still available for illegal purchase through transient street vendors, at flea markets, and at fairs.

During April 26–September 22, 2014, a total of 40 persons infected with Salmonella Poona pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern JL6X01.0055 (the outbreak strain) were reported from 12 states. Patients ranged in age from <1 to 75 years (median = 5 years); 16 (40%) patients were aged ≤1 year, and 14 (35%) were female. Among 29 ill persons for whom information about hospitalization was available, eight (28%) were hospitalized; no deaths were reported. Among 28 ill persons who were interviewed, 13 (46%) reported exposure to turtles. Three ill persons reported the size of the turtles, and all identified turtles <4 inches in length. The outbreak strain was isolated from a pet turtle in a California patient’s home. Turtles had been obtained from several types of locations, including a carnival and a fair. The transient nature of turtle vendors hampered the traceback investigation. No other common food or animals were identified during the course of the investigation.

This outbreak demonstrates that turtles remain a source for human Salmonella infections, especially for young children. Because 40% of ill persons were infants aged ≤1 year and were unlikely to directly handle pet turtles, the potential role of indirect transmission in turtle-associated salmonellosis outbreaks should be considered. Turtles in the home could lead to environmental contamination with Salmonella bacteria and result in human illness. Educational campaigns directed toward parents of young children, in conjunction with the federal turtle ban, might help to prevent future turtle-associated salmonellosis outbreaks.

1Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC; 2Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC; 3California Department of Public Health; 4City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Long Beach, California.

Corresponding author: Colin Basler, cbasler@cdc.gov, 404-639-2214.

References

CDC. Eight multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections linked to small turtles (final update). Available at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/small-turtles-03-12/index.html.

CDC. Notes from the field: outbreak of salmonellosis associated with pet turtle exposures—United States, 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2013;62:213.

Code of Federal Regulations. Turtles intrastate and interstate requirements, 21 C.F.R. § 1240.62 (2014). Available at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=1240.62External Web Site Icon. 

Notes from the Field: Multistate Outbreak of Human Salmonella Poona Infections Associated with Pet Turtle Exposure — United States, 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Report

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6429a7.htm?s_cid=mm6429a7_x

$19,000 fine: Is this Australia’s filthiest restaurant?

A popular dumpling restaurant in Melbourne’s east has been exposed as a filthy cesspit, and its owner fined $19,000 after live and dead cockroaches, drain flies, rodent feces and filthy buildups of food waste, grease, oil and grime were found in the kitchen.

Raramen eatery in Glen WaverleyA Monash Council inspector made the discovery at the Raramen eatery in Glen Waverley, along with used drink bottles used to store sauces, meat sitting on a bench “for a couple of hours” and rice stored on the floor, plus wires and boxes that had been nibbled by rodents.

Astonishingly, the restaurant — which is still open for business — continued to be riddled with to insects and rodent poo on up to eight further council visits between March and July this year.

On July 10, Dumpling Hut Pty Ltd, the company which owns Raramen, and company director Siu Hin Yip pleaded guilty to 17 charges under the Food Act 1984 and the Food Standards Code. The charges related to inadequate pest control, unsuitable food handling, poor food storage and inadequate skills, among other issues.

5 now sick with E. coli from ND fair

A fifth case of E. coli possibly linked to the Red River Valley Fair was confirmed Tuesday by the North Dakota Department of Health.

red.river_The case joins four others that have been confirmed in the last two weeks. All five cases are from eastern North Dakota and four out of the five have been hospitalized, said Michelle Feist, an epidemiologist with the Health Department.

Feist said the investigation into the root causes of the E. coli outbreak is ongoing. She asks anyone who experienced illness after attending the fair, especially gastrointestinal illness like diarrhea or vomiting, to fill out a survey on the Health Department website to determine if their cases are related.

E. coli O157 gets a boost from downy mildew in lettuce

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is more likely to contaminate lettuce when downy mildew is already present, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists.

downeymildew150723Downy mildew, a lettuce disease caused by the fungus-like water mold Bremia lactucae, is one of the biggest problems that lettuce growers must deal with.

But microbiologist Maria Brandl, with the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s (ARS) Produce Safety and Microbiology Research Unit in Albany, California, has been investigating why so many E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks can be traced back to lettuce fields when E. coli O157:H7 sources are as diverse as undercooked beef, sprouts, raw dairy, shelled walnuts, fruits and vegetables. ARS is USDA’s chief in-house research agency.

Lettuce leaves are actually a harsh place for microbes to survive. But the epidemiological evidence is indisputable about how often lettuce is the source of E. coli O157:H7 contamination.

In earlier research, Brandl found that E. coli O157:H7 preferred cut, injured and younger leaves to undamaged and older ones. Then, she collaborated with ARS geneticist and lettuce breeder Ivan Simko from the Crop Improvement and Protection Research Unit in Salinas, California.

They found that under warm temperature and on wet leaves, E. coli O157:H7 multiplied 1,000-fold more in downy mildew lesions than on healthy lettuce leaf tissue. Even on dry lettuce leaves, where most bacteria struggle to survive, E. coli O157:H7 persisted in greater numbers when downy mildew disease was present.

The researchers also found that E. coli O157:H7 did not grow as well in downy mildew lesions on the lettuce line RH08-0464, bred by Simko and a colleague to be less susceptible to the lettuce disease, as the bacteria did on Triple Threat, a commercial variety that is highly susceptible to downy mildew.

The exact factors that caused less growth of E. coli O157:H7 in the more resistant line still need to be carefully explored. But if a genetic hurdle to E. coli O157:H7 colonization could be bred into commercial lettuce varieties along with downy mildew resistance, it would add a new defensive line to contamination of lettuce, helping farmers to improve the microbial safety of their crop as well as control their number-one plant disease problem.

Flies as a source of dangerous bacteria

Around the house, I’m known as the fly slayer, because in Brisbane at this time of year, we leave our balconies open.

FlyBut I can’t stand flies in my kitchen.

The mechanical transmission of pathogenic bacteria by synanthropic filth flies is widely recognized. While many studies report the fate and the temporospatial distribution of ingested foodborne bacteria by filth flies, there is little evidence about the transmission dynamics of ingested foodborne bacteria by adult house flies (Musca domestica) to their progeny.

In this study, we fed parental house fly adults with food contaminated with low, medium, and high concentrations of Salmonella enterica, Cronobacter sakazakii, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes and evaluated the probability of transmission of these pathogens to house fly eggs and the surface and the alimentary canal of their first filial (F 1 ) generation adults.

Results: All foodborne pathogens were present in samples containing pooled house fly eggs. The probability of transmission was higher after parental house flies ingested food containing medium bacterial loads.

Cronobacter sakazakii was 16, 6, and 3 times more likely to be transmitted to house fly eggs than S. enterica, E. coli O157:H7, and L. monocytogenes, respectively.

Only S. enterica and C. sakazakii were transmitted to F 1 generation adults and their presence was 2.4 times more likely on their body surfaces than in their alimentary canals. The highest probabilities of finding S. enterica (60Â %) and C. sakazakii (28Â %) on newly emerged F 1 adults were observed after parental house flies ingested food containing medium and high levels of these pathogens, respectively.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that adult house flies that fed from food contaminated with various levels of foodborne bacteria were able to transmit those pathogens to their eggs and some were further transmitted to newly emerged F 1 generation adults, enhancing the vector potential of these insects.

Understanding the type of associations that synanthropic filth flies establish with foodborne pathogens will help to elucidate transmission mechanisms and possible ways to mitigate the spread of foodborne pathogens.

Ingested Salmonella enterica, Cronobacter sakazakii, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Listeria monocytogenes: transmission dynamics from adult house flies to their eggs and first filial (F 1 ) generation adults

7th Space Interactive, BMC Microbiology 2015

Monica Pava-Ripoll Rachel Pearson Amy Miller Ben Tall Christine Keys George Ziobro

http://7thspace.com/headlines/514122/ingested_salmonella_enterica_cronobacter_sakazakii_escherichia_coli_o157h7_and_listeria_monocytogenes_transmission_dynamics_from_adult_house_flies_to_their_eggs_and_first_filial_f___________________1_generation_adults.html

Shiga toxin producing E. coli in raw milk cheese in Ireland

Corleggy Cheeses is recalling all batches of its raw milk cheeses due to the detection of verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) in two batches of its cow’s milk cheese.  The cheeses are supplied to some restaurants and retail shops.  They are also sold directly at food markets.  Consumers are advised not to eat the affected cheeses.

Corleggy CheesesVTEC may cause severe bloody diarrhoea and abdominal cramps, although sometimes the infection causes non-bloody diarrhoea or no symptoms. In some groups, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause a complication called haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in which the kidneys fail.

 

Largest botulism outbreak in 40 years in US: Botulism at church potluck in Ohio, 2015

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that on April 21, 2015, the Fairfield Medical Center (FMC) and Fairfield Department of Health contacted the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) about a patient suspected of having botulism in Fairfield County, Ohio.

cannedpotatoes20091-300x214Botulism is a severe, potentially fatal neuroparalytic illness.* A single case is a public health emergency, because it can signal an outbreak (1). Within 2 hours of health department notification, four more patients with similar clinical features arrived at FMC’s emergency department. Later that afternoon, one patient died of respiratory failure shortly after arriving at the emergency department. All affected persons had eaten at the same widely attended church potluck meal on April 19. CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile sent 50 doses of botulinum antitoxin to Ohio. FMC, the Fairfield Department of Health, ODH, and CDC rapidly responded to confirm the diagnosis, identify and treat additional patients, and determine the source.

A confirmed case of botulism was defined as clinically compatible illness in a person who ate food from the potluck meal and had 1) laboratory-confirmed botulism or 2) two or more signs of botulism or one sign and two or more symptoms† of botulism. A probable case was a compatible illness that did not meet the confirmed case definition in a person who ate food from the potluck meal.

Among 77 persons who consumed potluck food, 25 (33%) met the confirmed case definition, and four (5%) met the probable case definition. The median age of patients was 64 years (range = 9–87 years); 17 (59%) were female. Among 26 (90%) patients who reported onset dates, illness began a median of 2 days after the potluck (range = 1–6 days).

Twenty-seven of the 29 patients initially went to FMC. Twenty-two (76%) patients were transferred from FMC to six hospitals in the Columbus metropolitan area approximately 30 miles away; these transfers required substantial and rapid coordination. Twenty-five (86%) patients received botulinum antitoxin, and 11 (38%) required endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation; no other patients died. Within 1 week of the first patient’s arrival at the emergency department, 16 patients (55%) had been discharged. Among 19 cases that were laboratory-confirmed, serum and stool specimens were positive for botulinum neurotoxin type A or Clostridium botulinum type A.

Interviews were conducted with 75 of 77 persons who ate any of the 52 potluck foods. Consumption of any potato salad (homemade or commercial) yielded the highest association with probable or confirmed case status (risk ratio [RR] = 13.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.6–41.8), followed by homemade potato salad (RR = 9.1; CI = 3.9–21.2). Of 12 food specimens collected from the church dumpster, six were positive for botulinum neurotoxin type A; five contained potato salad and one contained macaroni and cheese that might have been contaminated after being discarded.

The attendee who prepared the potato salad with home-canned potatoes reported using a boiling water canner, which does not kill C. botulinum spores, rather than a pressure canner, which does eliminate spores (2). In addition, the potatoes were not heated after removal from the can, a step that can inactivate botulinum toxin. The combined evidence implicated potato salad prepared with improperly home-canned potatoes, a known vehicle for botulism (3).

This was the largest botulism outbreak in the United States in nearly 40 years (Table). Early recognition of the outbreak by an astute clinician and a rapid, coordinated response likely reduced illness severity and facilitated early hospital discharge. This outbreak response illustrates the benefits of coordination among responders during botulism outbreaks. Close adherence to established home-canning guidelines can prevent botulism and enable safe sharing of home-canned produce (2).

Acknowledgments

Fairfield Medical Center, Lancaster, Ohio; Fairfield Department of Health, Lancaster, Ohio; Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Bureau of Infectious Diseases, Columbus, Ohio; ODH Bureau of Public Health Laboratory, Reynoldsburg, Ohio; ODH Office of Preparedness, Columbus, Ohio; Franklin County Public Health, Columbus, Ohio; Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC; Strategic National Stockpile, Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, CDC; Office of Regulatory Affairs, CDC.

1Ohio Department of Health; 2Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC; 3Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Infectious Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC; 4Fairfield Department of Health; 5Fairfield Medical Center.

Corresponding author: Carolyn L. McCarty, wmw8@cdc.gov, 614-728-6941.

References

Sobel J. Botulism. Clin Infect Dis 2005;41:1167–73.

National Center for Home Food Preservation, US Department of Agriculture. USDA complete guide to home canning, 2009 revision. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture; 2009. Available at http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.htmlExternal Web Site Icon.

Sobel J, Tucker N, Sulka A, McLaughlin J, Maslanka S. Foodborne botulism in the United States, 1990–2000. Emerg Infect Dis 2004;10:1606–11.

*Botulinum neurotoxin and botulinum neurotoxin–containing species of Clostridium are subject to the select agent regulations (42 CFR Part 73).

†Symptoms of botulism include blurred vision, diplopia (double vision), dizziness, slurred speech, thick-feeling tongue, change in sound of voice, hoarseness, dry mouth, and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing). Signs of botulism include extraocular palsy (paralysis of eye muscles), ptosis, sluggishly reactive pupils, facial paralysis, palatal weakness, impaired gag reflex, musculoskeletal weakness or paralysis, and objective evidence of declining respiratory function.

QR codes for restaurant inspection disclosure in Sudbury

My sister, who lives in Sudbury (that’s in Canada), may be pleased to know the Sudbury and District Health Unit has asked restaurants to put new decals in their window. The decals include a code people can scan with their cell phone to access health inspection results.

UnknownThe Food Safety manager with the health unit said making restaurant cleanliness information easily accessible is important.

“[It gives] the consumer the information at hand to make the best decision possible [about] whether they choose to eat at that place or not,” Cynthia Peacock-Rocca said.

The decal program is voluntary for restaurants. She noted creating a mandatory program would have required legislative changes in all the municipalities the health unit serves.      

The results of inspection reports have been available on the health unit website since 2009.