Plasmid way: E. coli be swapping genes

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 strain EDL933 harbors multiple prophage-associated open reading frames (ORFs) in its genome which are highly homologous to the chromosomal nanS gene. The latter is part of the nanCMS operon, which is present in most E. coli strains and encodes an esterase which is responsible for the monodeacetylation of 5-N-acetyl-9-O-acetyl neuraminic acid (Neu5,9Ac2). Whereas one prophage-borne ORF (z1466) has been characterized in previous studies, the functions of the other nanS-homologous ORFs are unknown.

bacterial_conjugation_charles_brintonIn the current study, the nanS-homologous ORFs of EDL933 were initially studied in silico. Due to their homology to the chromosomal nanS gene and their location in prophage genomes, we designated them nanS-p and numbered the different nanS-p alleles consecutively from 1 to 10. The two alleles nanS-p2 and nanS-p4 were selected for production of recombinant proteins, their enzymatic activities were investigated, and differences in their temperature optima were found. Furthermore, a function of these enzymes in substrate utilization could be demonstrated using an E. coli C600ΔnanS mutant in a growth medium with Neu5,9Ac2 as the carbon source and supplementation with the different recombinant NanS-p proteins. Moreover, generation of sequential deletions of all nanS-p alleles in strain EDL933 and subsequent growth experiments demonstrated a gene dose effect on the utilization of Neu5,9Ac2. Since Neu5,9Ac2 is an important component of human and animal gut mucus and since the nutrient availability in the large intestine is limited, we hypothesize that the presence of multiple Neu5,9Ac2 esterases provides them a nutrient supply under certain conditions in the large intestine, even if particular prophages are lost.

Importance

In this study, a group of homologous prophage-borne nanS-p alleles and two of the corresponding enzymes of enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) O157:H7 strain EDL933 that may be important to provide alternative genes for substrate utilization were characterized.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain EDL933 harbors multiple functional prophage-associated genes necessary for the utilization of 5-N-acetyl-9-O-acetyl neuraminic acid as a growth substrate

Appl. Environ. Microbiol. October 2016 vol. 82 no. 19 5940-5950, posted online 29 July 2016, doi: 10.1128/AEM.01671-16

Nadja Saile, Anja Voigt, Sarah Kessler, Timo Stressler, Jochen Klumpp, Lutz Fischer and Herbert Schmidt

http://aem.asm.org/content/82/19/5940.abstract?etoc

No cause IDed, but UK children told to get back to class after E. coli outbreak

There were 71 pupils absent at Carlogie Primary on Monday which was a fifth of the school roll of 346 with 46 being kept off as a precaution.

On Tuesday 57 were absent with 37 kept off as a precaution.

A spokesman for Angus Council said: “Members of the community are understandably concerned and have provided tremendous support in trying to minimise spread of infection and identify a possible source.

“The cases and contacts have now been identified and children should now be attending school or nursery unless they are symptomatic or have been formally excluded by the Health Protection Team.”

Part of Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells in Dundee has been set aside for confirmed and suspected cases in the Angus E. coli O157 outbreak.

NHS Tayside confirmed the move as part of what health chiefs described as an “evolving situation” in which a young girl also remains seriously ill in a Glasgow hospital.

The Peter Pan playgroup at the centre of the Angus investigation remains closed.

23 years late, Chipotle gets food safety religion (or so they lecture)

I just registered for an Ice Hockey Australia Level 2 coaching course.

The course is rarely offered, and there’s only a couple of level 2 coaches in Queensland. It will take 25 hours of training to complete.

dp-sorenne-becThat’s on top of the 16 hours I put in for Coach 1 in Australia, and recertification every two years.

It’s similar to the Intermediate Level Coach status I had in Canada back in 2001, which was required to coach a rep or travel team.

It’s a lot of time, sitting in a classroom, and on the ice.

I view it as my church, my community service.

So when Chipotle makes a big deal saying all of its managers will be trained in food safety the ServSafe way, I shrug, and ask, why weren’t they before?

How far was Chipotle’s head up its own moralistic ass that it paid more attention to food porn – like hormones and GE foods – than to food safety, the things that make people barf?

Great, you’re going to require training. Anyone ask if the training is any good? Third-party audits? Nice soundbite but they’re just a paycheck. Handwashing every thirty minutes? McDonald’s have been doing that for decades (you’d think Chipotle would have picked that up when they were partnered with McDonald’s, but no, there was food porn to peddle).

The Chipotle announcement reads like a moralistic lecture, and that no one had discovered food safety before.

A year after the outbreaks, Chipotle is now getting into standard PR – which it should have done months ago (Chipotle, your communication advisors absolutely suck). The full page ad, the video, the push for food safety.

Guacamole, for instance, now takes advantages of the cleansing properties of the lemon and lime juices in the recipe. Before getting mixed, the chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapeños are laid on top of avocados and drizzled with citrus juices in one last effort to ensure food safety.

Some scientists may question such tactics, saying they have been supplanted by newer methods. But Dr. James Marsden, Chipotle’s new executive director of food safety, who had recently retired from teaching at Kansas State University (and the father of the actor James Marsden, best known as Cyclops in the “X Men” film series) said he was confident in them.

“We’re doing research and are going to publish papers on what we’re doing, so people can see for themselves that it works,” he said.

That’s all good, but they’re still moralistic assholes who expect people to pay a premium for their food sermons (journos, contact me for Marsden stories).

Chipotle founder and Co-CEO stepped in front of a camera in a bid to win over weary diners that still aren’t hankering for the chain’s once-popular tacos and burritos.

In a video that the Mexican burrito chain unveiled on Wednesday, a contrite Ells admits that last year, the fast-casual restaurant chain “failed to live up to our own food safety standards, and in so doing, we let our customers down. At that time, I made a promise to all of our customers that we would elevate our food safety program.”

chipotleadContrite is not the word I would use.

Looking to revalue Chipotle’s share price is more accurate.

Chipotle initially blamed the Centers for Disease Control and Australian beef for its woes. Today, it blamed social media.

“No one has ever had this kind of a food safety crisis in the era of social media,” Mr. Ells said.

I could list hundreds, beginning with E. coli O157 in spinach in 2006, you arrogant poser.

“Jack In The Box,” — a burger chain where more than 700 people got sick in 1993 after eating E. coli contaminated meat — “never had to deal with Facebook and Twitter,” he said.

When I coach, I’m always telling kids, and adults, stop blaming the refs, go score a goal, stop whinging.

What is fresh? Australian beef in the U.S.?

Is this guy stealing from Trump’s playbook?

It’s slogans and hucksterism.

Which Americans seem to go for.

And Mr. Ells, since you seem content on lecturing Americans about food safety, while blaming others, here’s a history lesson.

In the Fall of 1994, Intel computer chips became scrutinized by the computer geeks, and then the public.

Intel had delayed responding to allegations, and Wall Street analysts at the time said it was the result of a corporate culture accustomed to handling technical issues rather than addressing customers’ hopes and fears.

On Monday, Nov. 12, 1994, the International Business Machines Corp. abruptly announced that its own researchers had determined that the Pentium flaw would lead to division errors much more frequently than Intel said. IBM said it was suspending shipments of personal computers containing the Pentium chip

Mr. Grove was stunned. The head of IBM’s PC division, Richard Thoman, had given no advance warning. A fax from Thoman arrived at Intel’s HQ on Monday morning after the IBM announcement, saying he had been unable to find Grove’s number during the weekend. Mr. Grove, whose number is listed, called directory assistance twice to ask for his own number to ensure he was listed.

After the IBM announcement, the number of calls to Santa Clara overwhelmed the capacity of AT&T’s West Coast long-distance telephone switching centres, blocking calls. Intel stock fell 6.5 per cent

Only then, Mr. Grove said, did he begin to realize that an engineer’s approach was inappropriate for a consumer problem.

Intel took out full-page ads, apologized, and did better.

That was in months, not a year.

Mr. Ells, you can claim you’re in uncharted territory, that no one has experienced the woes like you have, that fresh is a meaningful term.

But it’s just a repeat.

Customers may expect you to have the humility to admit such failings when driven by the hubris of your own beliefs.

But hey, anyone who can get Americans to believe that 1,000 calorie burritos are healthy can do anything you damn well please.

And customers will bow down.

Investors. I wouldn’t touch it. But I said that in 2007.

 

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

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

Seek and ye shall find: STEC in Ireland

The recent paradigm shift in infectious disease diagnosis from culture-based to molecular-based approaches is exemplified in the findings of a national study assessing the detection of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli infections in Ireland. The methodologic changes have been accompanied by a dramatic increase in detections of non-O157 verotoxigenic E. coli serotypes.

wgsChanging diagnostic methods and increased detection of verotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Ireland

Emerg Infect Dis., Volume 22, Number 9, September 2016, DOI: 10.3201/eid2209.160477

T Rice, N Quinn, RD Sleator, B Lucey

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/22/9/16-0477_article

Know thy suppliers: Seattle restaurant Matador reopens after E. coli outbreak

Following an E. coli outbreak that sickened seven people, the Matador is back open. The favorite Ballard restaurant opened its doors Saturday morning after a week-long closure.

matador-seattleOn Thursday, public health officials inspected the restaurant and found that it had been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

One of the E. coli victims is a 16-year-old girl who was hospitalized after becoming anemic and suffering kidney failure. Her family is suing the Matador for the outbreak.

Elisa Hahn of King 5 reports on Friday, Matador’s chief culinary officer agreed to allow our cameras inside and talk about the investigation.

“We’re proud of the way we operate our kitchen and the cleanliness and sanitation practices that have always been in place,” said Tom Small. “When something like this happens, and you realize there isn’t anything you can do to prevent it, it’s incredibly impactful.”

Back in the kitchen, the staff was deseeding jalapenos and roasted peppers. The prep work in a Mexican restaurant is a time-consuming process. Just like these jalapenos, Matador has gone through a gutting.

“We’re down to zero product, starting from scratch,” said one employee.

After grilling the staff about possible illnesses, investigators are now leaning away from blaming food handling, focusing more on products and suppliers.

Love it when regulators explain themselves: Scottish cheesemaker will go bankrupt as watchdog says all their cheese is to be destroyed

The family that produces the gourmet cheese at the centre of fresh concerns over a fatal E. coli outbreak say they will be made bankrupt after a food watchdog confirmed all its produce is to be destroyed.

cheese-2-png-galleryInvestigators confirmed that their probe has now been widened after two more people were identified as being infected bring the number who were ill to 22, of which 13 have needed hospital treatment.

They are also examining whether cases of E. coli O157 infection affecting children in the Angus area may also be linked.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) on Wednesday issued a blanket ban on the sale of all cheese from Errington Cheese, of Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, the producer linked to the outbreak which led to the death of a three-year-old Dunbartonshire girl.

FSS explained for the first time details of tests during the seven-week long alert.

It confirmed E. coli non-O157 was detected in one sample of Dunsyre Blue produced by Lanarkshire-based Errington Cheese which is considered a “serious risk to public health”.

It said 13 samples in different batches of Errington’s Dunsyre Blue and one of Lanark White have tested “presumptive positive” for shiga toxin producing E .coli and are considered to be “potentially hazardous to health”.

While E. coli O157 was detected in one sample of Lanark White cheese it was not shown to contain stx genes which were found in people who were ill. However a food examiner declared it was “potentially injurious to health and/or unfit for human consumption”.

All positive tests were still awaiting “further confirmatory testing”. It was not clear when the testing took place.

A multi-agency Incident Management Team (IMT), that includes Health Protection Scotland and Food Standards Scotland’s Scottish arm has been reconvened to deal with the latest developments.

Ten days ago the IMT had declared the outbreak to be “over” and that it had stood down leaving the FSS working with South Lanarkshire Council to continue food safety investigation.

And Professor Hugh Pennington, an expert on E.coli has questioned the proportionality of the food watchdog’s decision to issue a blanket ban on the sale of all cheeses from Errington.

e-coli-o157-cheeseThe emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, said FSS had come down “very heavily” on Errington Cheese, stating there is a “real possibility” the organisation was “over-interpreting scientific evidence.”

He said that the “jury was still out” and while there may be a “moderately strong” case on Dunsyre Blue, there was “no scientific evidence” on any of the firm’s other cheeses.

Humphrey Errington, owner of Errington Cheese insisted there is no evidence linking his cheese to the outbreak insisting investigators will not talk to them about the proof for the sales ban.

FSS deny this, saying all all results from samples were shared with Errington and insist decision take to recall Errington Cheese Ltd products are “evidence-based and informed by interpretation from experts including legally designated food examiners”.

“They have destroyed us, basically. We are completely finished,” said Mr Errington. “It’s a nightmare. Unfortunately, nightmares are things you wake up from.

“They are destroying cheese to the value of £300,000, there is no company of our size that can survive that. “Our reputation is completely destroyed and the family will be bankrupt.

FSS said: “Potentially harmful strains of E.coli and the shiga toxin (stx) genes that can cause illness in humans have been found in a number of different batches of different cheeses produced by Errington Cheese Ltd.

“This means that FSS is not satisfied that the controls and production methods used by the business are producing safe food. Furthermore, the reliance on a limited number of negative test results as evidence that the food is safe provides insufficient assurance.

cheeseheads“Throughout this incident FSS has taken a proportionate approach based on the evidence and it considers that the evidence now

IMT chairman Dr Alison Smith-Palmer said that the IMT has established that 19 of the 22 confirmed cases had eaten blue cheese prior to becoming ill.

Of these, 15 are known to have eaten Dunsyre Blue while others cannot be certain about the brand of blue cheese they have consumed. Investigations are ongoing on the other cases.

Food Standards Scotland stated that on 14 September 2016 Food Standards Scotland (FSS) issued a food alert for action (FAFA) for all products produced by Errington Cheese Ltd. That decision was not taken lightly. FSS is fully aware of the impact on the business, but its priority is to protect public health.

FSS’s primary focus is protection of consumers. FSS has made information available where this has been in the public interest, but it would not be appropriate to conduct an ongoing food safety investigation through the media.

The recent outbreak of E. coli O157 has now affected 22 people, 13 of whom have required hospitalisation, and tragically, one child died as a consequence. The multi-agency Incident Management Team (IMT) chaired by Health Protection Scotland concluded that, based on strong epidemiological evidence, the outbreak of illness in humans was linked to Dunsyre Blue cheese, produced by Errington Cheese Ltd. Of the 22 confirmed cases to date, the IMT has established that 19 had eaten blue cheese prior to becoming ill. Of these, 15 are known to have eaten Dunsyre Blue while others cannot be certain about the brand of blue cheese they consumed. Investigations are ongoing on the other cases.

Since the outbreak was declared over on 5 September 2016, two new cases have been identified with the same outbreak strain of E. coli O157 and the IMT has consequently reconvened. 

Errington Cheese Ltd. has undertaken two voluntary recalls of cheese, and Food Standards Scotland has initiated two further recalls – on 10 and 14 September 2016.

The FSS recalls have been initiated on the basis of evidence available to FSS and South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) as a result of sampling and testing of cheese produced by Errington Cheese Ltd and concerns regarding its Food Safety Management System and its ability to produce safe products, and in view of the new epidemiological information available concerning the two new cases.

Errington Cheese Ltd has publically commented that E. coli O157 has not been found in its cheese. This is inaccurate. Some samples submitted for testing by SLC have tested positive for E. coli O157 and for another (non-O157) strain of E. coli. These organisms are considered a serious risk to public health by the Food Examiner and the Scottish E.coli O157/VTEC reference laboratory. In addition, further samples have tested positive for shiga toxin (stx) genes. These samples have tested “presumptive positive” for shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) and therefore are considered to be potentially hazardous to health.

Analysis of samples taken by SLC has been carried out using accredited methods in official laboratories. All results from these samples were shared with Errington Cheese Ltd as soon as they were available. The decisions FSS has taken to recall Errington Cheese Ltd products are evidence-based and informed by interpretation from experts including legally designated Food Examiners.

  1. coli O157 and non-O157 have been detected in different batches of Dunsyre Blue and Lanark White produced by Errington Cheese Ltd. Batch numbers relate to the dates the batches were produced.

Batch F15 Dunsyre Blue: Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC) has been cultured and isolated from a sample taken from batch F15 (Dunsyre Blue). This sample has been confirmed as a non-O157 E. coli (STEC). This type of E. coli has been known to cause severe illness. Nine further samples were subsequently taken from this batch, and all have also been found to contain the stx2 gene and one for the stx1 gene (all nine samples are therefore considered presumptive positive for STEC), FSS is awaiting further confirmatory testing on these samples. This product has not been placed on the market.

Batch G14 Lanark White: E. coli O157 has been cultured and isolated from a sample taken from batch G14 (Lanark White). This isolate has not been shown to contain the stx genes and is undergoing further analysis. Stx gene negative strains of E. coli O157 have been isolated from cases of human illness consistent with E. coli O157 infection.The Food Examiner declared this sample to be “potentially injurious to health and/or unfit for human consumption”. Therefore this batch was withdrawn by FSS following the refusal of the food business to withdraw it voluntarily.

Batch E24 Dunsyre Blue: two samples from batch E24 (Dunsyre Blue) have been found to contain the stx2 gene – these samples would therefore be considered as presumptive positives for STEC whilst FSS awaits further confirmatory testing. This batch was withdrawn voluntarily by the food business.

Batch G12 Dunsyre Blue: a sample from batch G12 (Dunsyre Blue) has been found to contain the stx2 gene (a presumptive positive for STEC) and FSS is awaiting further confirmatory testing on this sample. This product has not been placed on the market

Batch H24 Lanark White: A sample from batch H24 (Lanark White) has been found to contain the stx2 gene. This sample would be considered a presumptive positive for STEC whilst FSS awaits confirmatory testing.This product has not been placed on the market.

Potentially harmful strains of E.coli and the shiga toxin (stx) genes that can cause illness in humans have been found in a number of different batches of different cheeses produced by Errington Cheese Ltd.  This means that FSS is not satisfied that the controls and production methods used by the business are producing safe food. Furthermore, the reliance on a limited number of negative test results as evidence that the food is safe provides insufficient assurance, as it is clear that multiple samples across different cheese batches have had positive results.

Throughout this incident FSS has taken a proportionate approach based on the evidence and it considers that the evidence now justifies a full recall of Errington Cheese Ltd. products to ensure the protection of public health. FSS has been in frequent communication with Errington Cheese Ltd. throughout these investigations both directly, through SLC and through the company’s legal representatives.

From the point of issue of the FAFA, all Local Authorities in Scotland will be seeking to ensure all products manufactured by ECL are recalled and held with a view to being destroyed. If consumers have any products from Errington Cheese Ltd. they should dispose of them or take them back to the place of purchase. ‎

Another Seattle restaurant fingered as new E. coli source, different from other one

JoNel Aleccia of The Seattle Times reports that for the second time in a week, King County health officials are investigating an outbreak of potentially dangerous E. coli food poisoning linked to a Mexican-style restaurant, but they say the incidents don’t appear related.

memos-mexican-foodAn outbreak of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli O157: H7 (STEC) sickened two people who ate at Memo’s Mexican Food in Seattle’s University District in August, officials with Public Health — Seattle & King County reported Wednesday.

Laboratory testing showed those illnesses were caused by the same strain of the bacteria.

But it’s different from the strain that has sickened 10 other people, including six who ate at the Matador restaurant in Ballard last month.

“These clusters do not appear related to each other,” according to a public health notice posted Wednesday.

An investigation on Monday revealed other factors that could have contributed to the outbreak at Memo’s, 4743 University Way N.E. Those included improper cooling, cold-holding, reheating of potentially hazardous food and the potential for cross-contamination. Because the violations were corrected on site, and there was not an ongoing risk, the restaurant was not closed. Inspectors will return in 14 days to ensure that the site remains safe.