Chlorine is good: 4100 sick from NZ water, mayor says chlorination ‘will get a bloody good fight from us’

While his neighbours still suffer from the country’s worst case of mass water contamination, Napier Mayor Bill Dalton says his city will fight to keep chlorine out of its town supply.

bill.daltonLower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace is also rejecting calls for all town water supplies to be chlorinated in the wake of the Havelock North contamination crisis.

About 74,000 Lower Hutt residents from Pomare to Petone drink chlorine-free water sourced from the Waiwhetu aquifer. The rest of greater Wellington’s supply is chlorinated.

In Hawke’s Bay, Napier, Hastings and Havelock North’s town supplies have been chlorine-free but the chemical was added to Havelock North water to treat a campylobacter contamination on August 12, and to the Hastings supply as a precaution last week.

Water treatment engineer Iain Rabbitts said chlorination should be made mandatory to avoid a repeat of the Havelock North crisis, adding, “We knew this was going to happen at some point in one of the unchlorinated supplies in New Zealand and we all hoped it wouldn’t be too bad.”

But Dalton said Napier would resist a move to mandatory chlorination “incredibly strongly because one of the points of difference of Napier is our wonderfully pure, unadulterated water supply”.

He did not want the city serving up the type of chlorine-tainted water other cities, such as Auckland, had to endure, he said.

dumbass“The first thing we do when we’re heading north is we pick up heaps of bottles of water because we don’t drink the water up in Auckland because it bloody stinks.

“If the Government turns around and tries to play the heavy hand, then they’ll get a bloody good fight from us.”

The only thing bloody about this scenario are the asses of the sick from constant pooping.

Marty Sharpe of Stuff also writes it now appears all but certain that a routine test of the Havelock North water supply showed it was clear of E.coli when it cannot have been.

The same test procedure is used by councils around the country, and its apparent failure in Havelock North may result in a reappraisal of whether current testing standards are robust enough.

Those questions are likely to form part of the government inquiry into the outbreak, announced on Monday.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board chief executive Kevin Snee said on Monday that a survey of the 4500 residents affected by the campylobacter outbreak revealed they were most probably first exposed to the bug through their drinking water about Saturday, August 6, and that their symptoms first started showing on Monday, August 8.

But a routine test by Hastings District Council of the water supply on Tuesday, August 9, came back clear, showing no sign of E.coli. The test takes 24 hours, so the results came on Wednesday.

If they had shown positive at that point, the water system would have been chlorinated immediately.

The next routine test, on Thursday, August 11, came back on Friday as positive for E.coli. By that stage it was clear from DHB records that there was widespread illness in the area, and the decision was made to chlorinate.

E.coli, a common gut bacterium in warm-blooded animals, is used as an indicator of the contamination of water by excrement. It indicates there may be other pathogenic bacteria such as campylobacter.

Public Health Services drinking water assessor Peter Wood, who is in Hawke’s Bay working on the outbreak, said there could be situations of “sheer dumb luck” when E.coli was present in the water but not detected.

Handwashing is never enough: E. coli outbreak suspected at Oregon fair

Washington County health officials are investigating after cases of Shiga-toxin producing E. coli were reported after some attendants at the Washington County Fair became ill.

Microbiologist Mi Kang works to identify a strain of E. coli from a specimen in a lab at the Washington State Dept. of Health Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Shoreline, Wash. Chipotle's industry-leading commitment to tracking its ingredients from farm to table is being put to the test by an E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 37 people as of Tuesday, nearly all of whom ate recently at one of the chain's restaurants in Washington state or Oregon. Scientists also said that they identified the specific microorganism responsible, which they believe was carried on fresh produce such as lettuce or tomatoes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

No sources has been identified, but public health officials said that livestock at the Washington County Fair may have been a cause, as well as food items brought to the fair from outside.

According to Washington County, anyone who attended the Washington County Fair and has had, or develops, symptoms of stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting or fever, should call their health care provider.

“The best way to prevent getting STEC infection is by washing hands well with soap and water,” Baumann said. “It’s very important to wash your hands after using the bathroom or changing diapers, before preparing or eating food, and after contact with animals or their environments at farms, petting zoos and fairs.”

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-5-5-16.xlsx

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interations

Zoonoses and Public Health 62:90-99

Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman and D. Powell, 2015

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

 Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. ‘It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the USA caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

Hong Kongerers urged not to consume French raw goat milk cheese contaminated with E. coli

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department today (August 15) urged the public not to consume a batch of raw goat milk cheese imported from France as it was contaminated with Escherichia coli (E. coli). The trade should also stop using or selling the affected batch of the product.

e.coli.fromage-valencayProduct name: Valencay raw milk cheese

Product brand: Anjouin

Place of origin: France

Manufacturer: Fromagerie d’Anjouin

A spokesman for the CFS said, “The Centre received a notification from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) of the European Commission that certain batches of the above-mentioned raw goat milk cheese were found to have been contaminated with E. coli and the French manufacturer concerned has initiated a recall of the affected products.

According to the RASFF, some of the products under Lot No. V161 have been imported into Hong Kong.”

For those who like veal

During site visits of veal processors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has reported processing deficiencies that likely contribute to increased levels of veal contamination. Here, we report the results of measuring aerobic plate count bacteria (APC),Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms (CF), and Escherichia coli during eight sample collections at five veal processors to assess contamination during the harvest of bob veal and formula-fed veal before (n = 5 plants) and after (n = 3 plants) changes to interventions and processing practices.

veal.slaughterHides of veal calves at each plant had mean log CFU/100 cm2 APC,Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli of 6.02 to 8.07, 2.95 to 5.24, 3.28 to 5.83, and 3.08 to 5.59, respectively. Preintervention carcasses had mean log CFU/100 cm2 APC, Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli of 3.08 to 5.22, 1.16 to 3.47, 0.21 to 3.06, and -0.07 to 3.10, respectively, before and 2.72 to 4.50, 0.99 to 2.76, 0.69 to 2.26, and 0.33 to 2.12, respectively, after changes were made to improve sanitary dressing procedures. Final veal carcasses had mean log CFU/100 cm2 APC, Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli of 0.36 to 2.84, -0.21 to 1.59, -0.23 to 1.59, and -0.38 to 1.45 before and 0.44 to 2.64, -0.16 to 1.33, -0.42 to 1.20, and 0.48 to 1.09 after changes were made to improve carcass-directed interventions. Whereas the improved dressing procedures resulted in improved carcass cleanliness, the changes to carcass-directed interventions were less successful, and veal processors are urged to use techniques that ensure uniform and consistent delivery of antimicrobials to carcasses. Analysis of results comparing bob veal to formula-fed veal found bob veal hides, preintervention carcasses, and final carcasses to have increased (P < 0.05) APC, Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli (with the exception of hideEnterobacteriaceae; P > 0.05) relative to formula fed veal. When both veal categories were harvested at the same plant on the same day, similar results were observed.

Since identification by FSIS, the control of contamination during veal processing has started to improve, but challenges still persist.

Contamination revealed by indicator microorganism levels during veal processing

01.aug.2016

Bosilevac, Joseph M.1; Wang, Rong2; Luedtke, Brandon E.3; Wheeler, Tommy L.2; Koohmaraie, Mohammad4

1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, State Spur 18D, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933, USA;, Email: mick.bosilevac@ars.usda.gov 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, State Spur 18D, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933, USA 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, State Spur 18D, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933, University of Nebraska Kearney, 905 West 25th Street, Kearney, NE 68849, USA 4: IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, 15300 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park, Washington 98155, USA

Journal of Food Protection, August 2016, Number 8, Pages 1341-1347, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-572

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2016/00000079/00000008/art00006

Not a Letterman list: Top 6 STECs in Canada

The incidence of the top 6 STEC serotypes was determined in two beef slaughter houses. In total, 328 samples were taken of hides, de-hided carcasses and the plant environment. Samples were enriched in Tryptic Soy Broth containing novobiocin then screened using RT-PCR GeneDiskÒ system that targeted stx, eae and wzx genes.

top.10.lettermanIt was found that 92.5% (172 of 186) of the hide samples. 72.5% (29 of 40) de-hided samples and 84.3% (86 of 102) of the environmental samples returned presumptive positive results. Serotypes O103, O45 and O121 were most commonly encountered although all the Top 6 serotypes were represented within individual samples. However, attempts to recover the Top 6 serotypes by culturing proved unsuccessful despite screening up to 20 colonies per CHROMAgar® plate of enriched sample. The reasons for the discrepancy between the RT-PCR and culture methods were found to be due to low levels of the target in enriched samples, presence of virulence factors in different cells and also the transient retention of stx. With regards the latter it was found that strains harboring a full set of virulence factors (eae, stx) were more common in grown cultures held post-incubation at 4 °C for 14 days. Moreover, no stx gene was recovered when isolates were sub-cultured on TSA but was present in the same strains grown on CHROMAgar®. In total 39 STEC isolates were recovered with the majority harboring stx1, stx2, eae and hylA. Only 3 of the isolates had stable complement of virulence factors and were identified as O172:H28, O76:H7 and O187:H52.

Although no Top 6 STEC were isolated the presence of virulent strains on carcasses with the potential to cause Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome is of concern. The significance of those STEC that transiently harbor virulence factors is unclear although clearly impacts on diagnostic performance robustness when screening for the Top 6 non-O157 STEC.

Incidence of Top 6 shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli within two Ontario beef processing facilities: Challenges in screening and confirmation testing

AIMS Microbiology, 2016, 2(3): 278-291. DOI: 10.3934/microbial.2016.3.278

Bannon, M. Melebari, C. Jordao Jr., C.G. Leon-Velarde, K. Warriner

http://www.aimspress.com/article/10.3934/microbiol.2016.3.278

Testing beef trim: Yes, people try to do their best

The objective of this study was to determine the immediate source of Escherichia coli on beef trimmings produced at a large packing plant by analyzing the E. coli on trimmings at various locations of a combo bin filled on the same day and of bins filled on different days.

Beef-Trimmings-85-15Ten 2,000-lb (907-kg) combo bins (B1 through B10) of trimmings were obtained from a large plant on 6 days over a period of 5 weeks. Thin slices of beef with a total area of approximately 100 cm2 were excised from five locations (four corners and the center) at each of four levels of the bins: the top surface and 30, 60, and 90 cm below the top. The samples were enriched for E. coli in modified tryptone soya broth supplemented with 20 mg/liter novobiocin. The positive enrichment cultures, as determined by PCR, were plated on E. coli/coliform count plates for recovery of E. coli. Selected E. coli isolates were genotyped using multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA).

Of the 200 enrichment cultures, 43 were positive by PCR for E. coli, and 32 of these cultures yielded E. coli isolates. Two bins did not yield any positive enrichment cultures, and three PCR-positive bins did not yield any E. coli isolates. MLVA of 165 E. coli isolates (30, 62, 56, 5, and 12 from B6 through B10, respectively) revealed nine distinct genotypes. MLVA types 263 and 89 were most prevalent overall and on individual days, accounting for 49.1 and 37.6% of the total isolates, respectively. These two genotypes were also found at multiple locations within a bin. All nine genotypes belonged to the phylogenetic group A0 of E. coli, suggesting an animal origin.

The finding that the trimmings carried very few E. coli indicates an overall effective control over contamination of beef with E. coli at this processing plant. The lack of strain diversity of the E. coli on trimmings suggests that most E. coli isolates may have come from common sources, most likely equipment used in the fabrication process.

Spatial and temporal distribution of Escherichia coli on beef trimmings obtained from a beef packing plant

01.aug.2016

Visvalingam, Jeyachchandran1; Wang, Hui1; Youssef, Mohamed K.2; Devos, Julia1; Gill, Colin O.1; Yang, Xianqin3

1: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, Lacombe, Alberta, Canada T4L 1W1 2: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, Lacombe, Alberta, Canada T4L 1W1, Department of Food Hygiene and Control, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Giza 11221, Egypt 3: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lacombe Research Centre, 6000 C & E Trail, Lacombe, Alberta, Canada T4L 1W1;, Email: xianqin.yang@agr.gc.ca

Journal of Food Protection, August 2016, Number 8, Pages 1325-1331, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-598

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2016/00000079/00000008/art00004

E. coli free, Carbón Live reopens a month after outbreak

After more than a month, a handful of lawsuits and 68 customers affected from E. coli, Ashok Selvam of Eater reports Chicago’s health department has ruled that Carbón Live Mexican Grill can reopen.

Carbón Live Mexican GrillHowever, DNAinfo reported that the health department couldn’t determine the source of the bacteria that sickened customers. The Bridgeport restaurant had been closed since late June’s outbreak.

The owners of Carbón haven’t publicly commented since their restaurant closed, and there’s no mention on their social media channels. The health department did day that they fully cooperated with officials. They temporarily closed their West Town location and also withdrew as a vendor at The Taste of Chicago as cautionary measures.

Attorneys circled around affected customers, looking for new clients to represent in lawsuits against the restaurant. There haven’t been any updates on those cases.

People are sick: Michigan cheesemaker recalls 10 tons of organic product after STEC discovered

Jim Harger of MLive reports that Grassfields Cheese LLC, is conducting a recall of about 20,000 pounds of organic cheeses due to possible contamination with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).

Grassfields CheeseThe company is voluntarily recalling the cheeses “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a recall notice issued by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

“The potential for contamination was identified during an ongoing investigation of seven cases of human illnesses occurring between March and July 2016 caused by a same type of STEC,” according to the recall notice.

The department’s Geagley Laboratory confirmed the presence of STEC bacteria in a sample of Grassfields cheese collected by state food and dairy inspectors, according to the announcement.

The recall involves all types and sizes of organic cheeses manufactured by Grassfields between Dec. 1, 2015 through June 1, 2016 including: Gouda, Onion ‘n Garlic, Country Dill, Leyden, Edam, Lamont Cheddar, Chili Cheese, Fait Fras, Polkton Corners and Crofters. The cheeses were sold as wheels, half wheels, and wedges of various sizes.

grassfields-cheese-50b115a61d45e028a800028aThe recalled cheeses were sold from the firm’s retail store at 14238 60th Ave., Coopersville MI 49404, to wholesale and retail customers, and to consumers nationwide via sales through the firm’s website: http://www.Grassfieldsscheese.com/.

Owned by the same family since 1882, Grassfields Cheese switched from confinement farming to grass-based pasture farming in 1991. They added artisan cheeses and a farm store in 2002. And in 2007, they were certified as an organic dairy.

Not your parents wedding: Shotgun metagenomics for STECs in spinach

This from a poster presented at the International Association for Food Protection annual meeting this week in St. Louis.

shotgun_wedding-620x413-300x200Introduction: Consumption of fresh bagged spinach contaminated with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) has led to severe illness and death. Since not all STEC strains are considered human pathogens, virulence characterization of STEC strains is important. Shotgun metagenomics may provide a rapid method to detect, obtain virulence gene information, and determine strain identification and phylogenetic relatedness.

Purpose: The objective of this study was to evaluate the comprehensiveness of a metagenomics approach for detection and strain level identification of STEC on bagged spinach using pathogenic STEC strains of a variety of serotypes and Shiga toxin subtypes.

Methods: Bagged spinach was spiked with one of 12 STEC strains at a level of 0.1 CFU/g spinach and processed according to the U.S. FDA BAM protocol. Sequencing data generated from each sample was used to determine molecular serotype and STEC-specific virulence genes by BLAST analysis, identify the microbial communities present in the enriched sample using a discriminative k-mer method, and perform E. coli core gene SNP analysis on de novo assemblies of the metagenomic sequencing data.

Results: Bacterial community analysis determined that E. coli was a major component of the population in most samples, but molecular serotyping using the metagenomic data revealed the presence of indigenous E. coli in some samples. Despite the presence of additional E. coli strains, the serotype and virulence genes of the spiked STEC, including correct Shiga toxin subtype, were detected in 92% of the samples. E. coli core gene SNP analysis of the metagenomic sequencing data correctly placed the spiked STEC in a phylogeny of related strains in cases where the indigenous E. coli did not predominate.

Significance: Utilizing a shotgun metagenomics approach to characterize STEC contaminating bagged spinach may expedite the time necessary to ascertain the risk level to public health and response time during outbreaks.

 Evaluation of the use of shotgun metagenomics sequencing for detection and strain level discrimination of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli contamination on fresh bagged spinach

Susan Leonard, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, MD, Mark Mammel, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, MD, David Lacher, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, MD, Christopher Elkins, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Laurel, MD

https://iafp.confex.com/iafp/2016/webprogram/Paper11398.html