E. albertii: Prevalence in retail raw meat in China

Escherichia albertii is a newly emerging enteric pathogen that has been associated with gastroenteritis in humans.

e.albertiiRecently, E. albertii has also been detected in healthy and sick birds, animals, chicken meat and water. In the present study, the prevalence and characteristics of the eae-positive, lactose non-fermenting E. albertii strains in retail raw meat in China were evaluated.

Thirty isolates of such strains of E. albertii were identified from 446 (6·73%) samples, including duck intestines (21·43%, 6/28), duck meat (9·52%, 2/21), chicken intestines (8·99%, 17/189), chicken meat (5·66%, 3/53), mutton meat (4·55%, 1/22) and pork meat (2·44%, 1/41). None was isolated from 92 samples of raw beef meat. Strains were identified as E. albertii by phenotypic properties, diagnostic PCR, sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, and housekeeping genes. Five intimin subtypes were harboured by these strains. All strains possessed the II/III/V subtype group of the cdtB gene, with two strains carrying another copy of the I/IV subtype group. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis showed high genetic diversity of E. albertii in raw meats.

Our findings indicate that E. albertii can contaminate various raw meats, posing a potential threat to public health.

Prevalence of eae-positive, lactose non-fermenting Escherichia albertii from retail raw meat in China

Epidemiology and Infection / Volume 144 / Issue 01 / January 2016, pp 45-52


People still listen to this guy? Jim Cramer says Chipotle will get past E. coli issue

Shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill were up over 5% Monday after dropping 12% Friday on news of another E. coli breakout. The stock received a number of downgrades.

chipotle.stock.nov.24The Street’s Jim Cramer isn’t surprised. The co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio said on CNBC’s “Mad Dash” segment investors are jumping in now to buy, buy, buy thanks to the recent drop in stock price. Chipotle stock trades around $564.

Cramer is confident Chipotle management will work through the current E. coli problems but it’s still unclear how long this issue will persist, which creates risk for investors.

“There’s clearly a problem,” Cramer said. Investors are trying to factor in the impact and decide if the latest selloff correctly prices in enough of the slowdown.

Cramer asserted that Chipotle has a very responsible management team, and the company has built up a lot of “good will” with its customer base. So when this issue is done, Chipotle should be able to recover fairly quickly.

Cramer said Chipotle should address the situation and let the public know if it has a handle on the problem or not.

Financial advisors know shit about E. coli.

And finance. Here’s Jon Stewart’s epic 2009 takedown of Cramer. For international viewers, here’s the CBS news summary.

A 50-something’s E. coli concerns for his daughter: Johnny Depp edition

I just spoke with my 20-year-old daughter – 4 of 5 and a better goaltender than I’ll ever be — when I read about Lily-Rose Depp, the 16-year-old actress and model daughter of Hollywood star Johnny Depp who publicly declared herself in August to be ‘sexually fluid’, meaning she does not regard herself as 100 per cent heterosexual, it caused a sensation.

courtlynn.hockey‘She’s got thousands of followers on social media, and they were all taken completely by surprise,’ says her father. ‘But not me. I already knew because she tells me everything – she’s not afraid to say anything to me. We’re super-tight and I’m very proud of our relationship. …

‘She’s got a sensible head on her shoulders, and I trust her to lead a sensible, responsible life, but I can’t ever see the day coming when I just switch off to let her make her own way in the world.’

Depp, 52, is possibly a little extra-protective of Lily-Rose because when she was seven, he and Vanessa nearly lost her to an E. coli infection, which she contracted while her father was filming Sweeney Todd in London. Her life was saved by what Depp has described as the ‘terrific’ medical team at Great Ormond Street Hospital. But as he remembers today, there was a period when they were not sure whether the little girl would make it at all.

‘They told us her kidneys had shut down and that she would be lucky to survive. For nine days we sat by her bed, and refused to move until she began to pull through.

‘Filming had to stop. Everything had to stop. It was three weeks before she was allowed to go home. I still think of that time when I’m playing an emotional scene in a movie – it’s something that, when you’ve been through it, you can’t help but tap into.’

But can she play goal?

21 sick: E. coli outbreak linked to Nevada restaurant

Health officials in northern Nevada are investigating more than a dozen confirmed and probable cases of E. coli that might be associated with a Reno restaurant.

twisted.fork.nevadaWashoe County Health District spokesman Phil Ulibarri says 18 of the 21 cases seem to be related to Twisted Fork Restaurant in south Reno. The restaurant’s general manager says it will remain voluntarily closed until an investigation is complete.

Authorities say health officials are working with Twisted Fork to determine the source and investigating food products, storage and preparation methods. The Health District says the restaurant is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Ulibarri says the health district was originally notified of eight E. coli cases on November 4.

Officials say these cases are not related to Chipotle restaurants or cases in el Dorado County.

E. coli O26 outbreak linked to Chipotle gets weird – and no one’s talking – but students and faculty still eat there ‘it’s life’ (sad)

It was 50 people confirmed with the outbreak strain of E. coli O26 on Nov. 12, 2015. Yesterday it was 37.

chipotle.ad.2No one knows why.

As reported on November 6, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control search of the PulseNet database identified one person in Minnesota infected with STEC O26 that has the same DNA fingerprint. This ill person did not eat at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in the week before illness onset. Minnesota’s investigation is ongoing. The illness does not appear to be linked to Chipotle Mexican Grill locations in Washington and Oregon.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview them. Updates will be provided when more information is available. Investigators are using whole genome sequencing, an advanced laboratory technique, to get more information about the DNA fingerprint of the germ causing illnesses in Washington, Oregon, and Minnesota.

As reported by The Traveler, for many University of Arkansas students, Chipotle Mexican Grill is life. When students get hungry, they can take a short walk down Dickson Street to get a burrito that pushes the boundaries of how much food can fit in a tortilla wrap.

chipotle.ad.nov.15“We have always strived to have the highest standards in the restaurant industry as far as safety goes for our customers and our crew, and we are just going to have continue doing what we do,” said Chris Garrett, store manager at the Dickson Street location. “I cannot predict the future, but all I can say is we have different distributors than the stores in Washington and Oregon did.”

Garrett also stressed the fact that many of the items used at the Dickson Street are locally grown products.

“The majority of our rice, bell peppers, onions, lettuce comes from local resources,” Garrett said.

“Of course avocados – those come from Mexico. There are not a lot of avocado farms around here,” Garrett said.


Water, conduit of bacteria to produce: Onion growers can live with FDA rule

Idaho and Oregon onion growers say they can live with the water quality provisions included in the FDA’s final produce safety rule, which was released Nov. 13.

onion.water.oregonTwo years ago, they were worried the proposed water quality provisions in FDA’s originally proposed produced rule could put them out of business. But industry officials said the FDA heard their concerns and re-wrote the rule in a way that onion growers are OK with.

To go from a rule that would have seriously impacted the economics of the onion industry “to a rule that’s livable for us and allows us to stay in business is a huge victory,” said Kay Riley, chairman of the Idaho-Eastern Oregon Onion Committee.

When FDA first proposed its produce safety rule in 2013, it included water quality standards limiting how much generic E. coli bacteria could be present in agricultural water.

If the water didn’t meet those standards, farmers had to immediately stop using it. Virtually none of the surface water used by onion growers in Eastern Oregon and Southwestern Idaho meets those standards.

The water quality standards still exist in the final rule.

But FDA altered them to allow growers to meet the standards, even if their water exceeds the minimum bacteria levels, if they can show through scientific evidence that bacteria dies off at a certain rate from the last day of irrigation until harvest.

The bulb onions grown in this region are left in the field to dry for a few weeks following harvest. Field trials by Oregon State University researchers have shown these onions will meet the so-called die-off provisions.

“The thing that’s great about it is they actually listened to us,” Riley said. “I would deem it a tremendous victory compared to what it could have been.”

But the final rule still requires farmers to test their water annually, even if they meet the die-off provisions. Onion growers say the testing will be costly and time-consuming and they hope to be able to skip them.

“They are still going to require testing and that’s going to be the hardest thing to deal with,” said Stuart Reitz, an OSU cropping systems extension agent in Ontario. “The final rule is not ideal but it’s not that bad. It’s one onion growers can live with.”

Dangerous E. coli in RTE foods in China

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) is an important foodborne pathogen that potentially causes infant and adult diarrhea.

green-beans-black-bean-sauceThe occurrence and characteristics of EPEC in retail ready-to-eat (RTE) foods have not been thoroughly investigated in China. This study aimed to investigate EPEC occurrence in retail RTE foods sold in the markets of China and to characterize the isolated EPEC by serotyping, virulence gene analyses, antibiotic susceptibility test, and molecular typing based on enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus–polymerase chain reaction (ERIC-PCR).

From May 2012 to April 2013, 459 RTE food samples were collected from retail markets in 24 cities of China. E. coli in general, and EPEC specifically, were detected in 144 (31.4%) and 39 (8.5%) samples, respectively. Cold vegetable in sauce was the food type most frequently contaminated with EPEC (18.6%). Of 39 EPEC isolates, 38 were atypical EPEC (eae+) and 1 was typical EPEC (eae+bfpA+) by multiplex PCR assays. The virulence genes espA, espB, tir, and iha were detected in 12, 9, 2, and 1 of 39 isolates, respectively, while genes toxB, etpD, katP, and saa were not detected.

O-antigen serotyping results showed that among 28 typeable isolates, the most common serotype was O119, followed by O26, O111, and O128. Many isolates were resistant to tetracycline (64.1%; 25/39), ampicillin (48.7%; 19/39), and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (48.7%; 19/39). ERIC-PCR indicated high genetic diversity in EPEC strains, which classified 42 strains (39 isolates and 3 reference strains) into 32 different profiles with a discrimination index of 0.981.

The findings of this study highlight the need for close surveillance of the RTE foods at the level of production, packaging, and storage to minimize risks of foodborne disease. 

Occurrence and characterization of Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) in retail ready-to-eat foods in China

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. -Not available-, ahead of print. doi:10.1089/fpd.2015.2020.

Zhang Shuhong, Wu Qingping, Zhang Jumei, and Zhu Xuemei


62 sickened with E. coli at North Dakota fair, no cause found

The North Dakota Department of Health says an investigation yielded no cause of an E. coli outbreak centered on the Red River Valley Fair earlier this year.

fargo.margThe final report says 62 people were sickened over the course of the Fair this summer. State health officials are unsure if the cause came from one of the food vendors or rather close contact with farm animals.

The report also says no investigation was conducted at the fairgrounds in West Fargo because the first symptoms came to health officials after the fair’s conclusion. Therefore, there were no food vendors or animal attractions still there to be looked at. However, all food vendors are inspected prior to the Fair’s opening.

Going public: Iowa paper says food-poisoning cases should result in more disclosure

I never liked Hy-Vee in Manhattan, Kansas.

They were sorta uppity and didn’t seem to know shit about food safety.

hy-vee.food.safeAn editorial in The Des Moines Register echoes those sentiments:

More than 50 people were sickened by cooked taco meat that was served to the staff at Des Moines’ Roosevelt High School last month.

The cooked meat was purchased from a grocery store shortly before it was served at the school as part of a staff luncheon. Subsequent testing detected a temperature-sensitive bacteria in the meat. The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals said the food was likely tainted during preparation at the store since the bacteria wouldn’t have had enough time to grow between the time the meat was purchased and the time it was served.

The official public report from the Polk County Department of Public Health said that while a “specific point” in the preparation and handling process couldn’t be identified as the culprit, food-safety and food-handling guidelines were reviewed “with those involved.” The state inspections agency said the store had given assurances the staff was being retrained.

The trouble is, the county and the state chose not to disclose the name of that store. Fortunately, community members stepped forward and identified the business as the Hy-Vee store in Windsor Heights. Had they not done so, the identity of the food supplier might still be unknown.

A Hy-Vee spokeswoman acknowledged the store provided the food, but denied that it was responsible for the food poisoning. She then appeared to cast blame on the store’s own customers, saying, “We can’t control how food is handled after it leaves our stores.”

That statement contrasts sharply with the state’s calming reassurance that the Hy-Vee staff is being retrained, and it only serves to underscore — perhaps unintentionally — the importance of disclosing the names of food suppliers in cases like this.

But public disclosure is traditionally the road less traveled in Iowa, a state where regulations are written largely to protect business and industry — even at the expense of the public welfare.

Our state law says public health reports should be written in a manner that doesn’t identify a business that may be at fault. It goes on to say that “information disclosing the identity of the business may be released to the public when the state epidemiologist or the director of public health determines such a release of information (is) necessary for the protection of the health of the public.”

In the Roosevelt High School case, state health officials say, no public health threat was identified, as only those people who attended the school luncheon were sickened. The logic in that position is hard to fathom, especially when one considers the volume of food a store such as this is capable of dispensing on any given day.

When public health officials identify a supplier of food that is later found to have sickened 50 people, that supplier should be publicly identified. People in the community deserve to know who may have been responsible — not so they can organize a torch-bearing mob, but so they can make fully informed decisions as consumers.

Going public: Chipotle involved in 4th outbreak this year that was kept secret

Lynne Terry of The Oregonian writes, Chipotle has had three known outbreaks this year, including the most recent one in Oregon and Washington. But there was also a fourth in Seattle that put two people in the hospital.

chipotle.BSIt was essentially kept secret. Health officials, who investigated the outbreak, did not inform the public.

“It took us a while to make the connection between the sick people and Chipotle,” James Apa, spokesman for King County Public Health, said in an email. “By the time we were able to make an association with Chipotle, the outbreak was over.”

A total of five were sickened after eating at a Chipotle restaurant at 1415 Broadway, according to Bill Marler, a Seattle food safety litigator representing one of those who got sick. He said his client only contacted him recently in wake of the latest outbreak.

Like the latest outbreak, it involved E. coli.

The five people dined at Chipotle in late July, Apa said. Health officials were never able to determine the culprit.

Restaurant inspectors found no problems at the restaurant.

Source food that is microbiologically safe.

And stop with the BS.