‘Strict regulations’ with hundreds sick; European health types confirm Salmonella eggs from Germany

Sporadic or outbreak cases of Salmonella Enteritidis reported by Austria, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in addition to one case reported in Luxembourg in a patient residing in France, appear to be linked by time of symptom onset and microbiological characteristics of isolates.

Raw_eggCases in Austria, France and Germany share an epidemiological link to the same egg packaging centre in southern Germany. Isolates from contaminated eggs identified in France originating from the implicated German egg packaging centre share similar molecular characteristics to the human cases. Isolates from a sample of a Salmonella-contaminated strawberry cake, identified in Germany through an investigation unrelated to this outbreak, also share similar molecular characteristics to the human cases. Additional microbiological and environmental investigations could further strengthen evidence to support or discard the hypothesis of all cases being part of the same outbreak, and being infected after consumption of the same food (i.e. contaminated eggs produced in southern Germany).

 This is particularly unclear with regard to the outbreak cases in the United Kingdom. Investigations and actions taken by the food sector have supposedly stopped the distribution of the suspected contaminated food to the market. However, due to the delay in case reporting, it is still possible that more cases will be notified. ECDC will continue to closely monitor the occurrence of human cases through EPIS-FWD and Member States could consider enhancing their surveillance activities for this Salmonella serovar and specifically for the phage type 14b.

 It is noticeable that Salmonella Enteritidis-contaminated eggs have been able to reach the market, in spite of the strict regulations applying to table eggs for human consumption, and the success in reducing human and animal infections in recent years within the EU. EPIS-FWD and RASFF have been confirmed to be excellent tools for sharing information, identifying potential cross-border threats and linking independent investigations simultaneously occurring in different Member States.

Hundreds sick: that egg problem in Europe; apparently came from Germany

Sporadic or outbreak cases of Salmonella Enteritidis reported by Austria, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, in addition to one case reported in Luxembourg in a patient residing in France, appear to be linked by time of symptom onset and microbiological characteristics of isolates.

seasame.street.good.egg.projectCases in Austria, France and Germany share an epidemiological link to the same egg packaging centre in southern Germany. Isolates from contaminated eggs identified in France originating from the implicated German egg packaging centre share similar molecular characteristics to the human cases. Isolates from a sample of a Salmonella-contaminated strawberry cake, identified in Germany through an investigation unrelated to this outbreak, also share similar molecular characteristics to the human cases. Additional microbiological and environmental investigations could further strengthen evidence to support or discard the hypothesis of all cases being part of the same outbreak, and being infected after consumption of the same food (i.e. contaminated eggs produced in southern Germany).

This is particularly unclear with regard to the outbreak cases in the United Kingdom. Investigations and actions taken by the food sector have supposedly stopped the distribution of the suspected contaminated food to the market. However, due to the delay in case reporting, it is still possible that more cases will be notified. ECDC will continue to closely monitor the occurrence of human cases through EPIS-FWD and Member States could consider enhancing their surveillance activities for this Salmonella serovar and specifically for the phage type 14b.

It is noticeable that Salmonella Enteritidis-contaminated eggs have been able to reach the market, in spite of the strict regulations applying to table eggs for human consumption, and the success in reducing human and animal infections in recent years within the EU. EPIS-FWD and RASFF have been confirmed to be excellent tools for sharing information, identifying potential cross-border threats and linking independent investigations simultaneously occurring in different Member States.

European Food Safety Authority

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/supporting/pub/646e.htm

247 sick in UK and it is an egg problem: Salmonella outbreak across Europe may be caused by single batch of eggs

The national salmonella outbreak which has struck down nearly 250 people across Britain could be traced back to a single source of eggs, health investigators have said.

egg.dirty.feb.12Earlier this month, three hospital patients affected by the salmonella outbreak in Birmingham died. But the infection was not cited as a contributing factor on the death certificates of two patients and the coroner’s report on the third patient has not yet been delivered.

Health officials said there have been 158 cases reported in the past week alone – since August 15 – but said these are not new infections but historical cases and that the reporting of new infections had in fact slowed down.

The UK Food Standards Agency decided to remind caterers to:

• keep eggs away from other foods, when they are still in the shell and when you have cracked them open;

• don’t use damaged or dirty eggs;

• be careful not to splash raw egg onto other foods, surfaces or dishes;

• if you are breaking eggs to use later (sometimes called ‘pooling’) keep the liquid egg in the fridge and take out small amounts as needed;

• use all ‘pooled’ liquid egg on the same day and don’t add new eggs to top it up;

• cook eggs and foods containing eggs thoroughly (piping hot?);

• use pasteurised egg for raw or lightly cooked foods;

• always wash and dry your hands thoroughly after touching eggs or working with them;

• clean food areas, dishes and utensils thoroughly and regularly, using warm soapy water, after working with eggs (doesn’t have to be warm, just soapy); and,

• serve egg dishes straight away, or cool them quickly and keep chilled

In Denmark, food authority Fødevarestyrelsen has ordered Hedegaard Foods to recall eggs and a number of egg-based products following the discovery of Salmonella in some of its goods. 

According to a Fødevarestyrelsen statement, the company found the bacteria in cages during its own inspections at a farm in Grindsted in central Jutland.

Pasteurised egg products made by the company are also being recalled as Salmonella can survive pasteurisation.

Is it an egg problem? 156 sick: UK investigating national outbreak of Salmonella

Public Health England (PHE) is investigating a national outbreak of a type of Salmonella Enteritidis which has affected 156 people.

egg.farmTo date, 55 cases have seen in Hampshire, 25 in London, 33 in Cheshire and Merseyside, and 43 in the West Midlands. Cases have also been seen in Austria and France.

In England, the cases occurred as isolated clusters over several months and have been managed locally, but are now being reassessed as potentially linked under a national investigation.

Dr Paul Cleary, a consultant epidemiologist leading the PHE investigation, said:

We are working with our colleagues across PHE, the Food Standards Agency, in local authorities and with other public health organisations in Europe to investigate the cause of this outbreak.

2000 sickened: Salmonella egg victims sought by feds, 4 years later

In 2010, eggs produced by farms owned by Jack DeCoster in Iowa sickened at least 2,000 people with Salmonella. The companies recalled 550 million eggs nationwide.

eggsalmonellaIn June, 2014, Austin “Jack” DeCoster, 79, and Peter DeCoster, 50, agreed to pay $7 million in fines and forfeitures as part of a federal criminal case.

Prosecutors allege Quality Egg on at least two occasions in 2010, including April 12, 2010, offered money to a “public official with intent to influence an official act.”

On April 12, 2010, Quality Egg employees offered a USDA inspector $300 to release eggs for sale that had failed to meet federal standards, according to criminal charges filed in 2012 against Tony Wasmund, a former Quality Egg employee.

Wasmund, 63, of Willmar, Minn., pleaded guilty in September 2012 to conspiring to bribe an egg inspector. His sentencing has been rescheduled four times, leading to speculation prosecutors were using his testimony against the DeCosters.

Today, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa asked anyone from the public who got sick from the DeCoster- Salmonella eggs to come forward.

Anyone sickened by those eggs or otherwise hurt by the incident has the right to submit a Victim Impact Statement during the sentencing phase to explain how the crime affected them physically, emotionally or financially.  Impact Statements can be submitted online at www.justice.gov/usao/ian.

Australia still has an egg problem: report shows Salmonella surge in Australia in 2012

The ACT – that’s the Australian Capital Territory, similar to Washington, D.C. –recorded its highest ever number of salmonella cases in 2012, with a report revealing there were eight outbreaks between 2011 and 2012.

egg.farmThe ACT Chief Health Officer’s report, released on Friday, reveals there were 233 cases reported in 2012, a 47 per cent increase on the number of cases in 2011. The report is based on data collected between July 2010 and June 2012.

There were eight outbreaks of foodborne salmonellosis in the ACT during 2011 and 2012. More than 125 people fell ill and 17 were hospitalised.

Eggs were identified as the “probably food vehicle” in five of the outbreaks.

Salmonellosis, an infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella, can cause patients to become seriously ill with symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting. In serious cases the bacteria enter the blood stream and can cause pneumonia, septic arthritis and meningitis.

The report indicated there was a higher than expected number of cases, especially between January to May 2012 and a spike in December 2012.

“Increases in notifications are not unexpected at these times, reflecting both the seasonality associated with salmonellosis in Australia and its potential as an outbreak agent,” the report said.

Acting Chief Health Officer Andrew Pengilley said salmonella cases had generally increased around Australia.

“Most salmonella cases are not related to outbreaks and are individual, where people don’t have a clear idea where they might have contracted the bacteria,” he said.

“It can reflect food preparation at home or food transport issues such as food getting warm before it’s eaten. It’s important that people be aware of those risks in their own kitchen because that’s certainly another place you can get salmonella.”

The report also revealed there were 16 food-poisoning outbreaks between July 2010 and June 2012. Two were caused by food eaten at private residences, one each from a catered event and a festival, while the rest were traced to registered food businesses.

Maybe it’s the ridiculous desire of Australian food joints to use raw eggs. That kind of clear speaking ain’t going to come from Dr. Bureaucrat, and more people will get sick.

The figures in the report do not include salmonella cases for last year when Canberra had its biggest salmonella outbreak. About 140 diners fell ill and 15 were admitted to hospital after eating home-made mayonnaise – made using raw eggs later found to contain salmonella – at Copa Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in May last year.

A table of raw egg related outbreaks in Australia is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-3-3-14.xlsx.

Sydney has highest rate of salmonellosis in five years

Maybe it’s the raw egg concoctions?

Incidences of Salmonella rose by 13 per cent compared with the five-year average, according to NSW OzFoodNet figures obtained exclusively by The Daily Telegraph.

mayonnaise.raw_.egg_-300x225“There has been an Australia-wide trend of an increase in salmonellosis, which has persisted into 2014,” NSW Ministry of Health director of communicable diseases Dr Vicky Sheppeard said. “It is not clear why this has occurred.”

Raw egg smoothies, chocolate eclairs or profiteroles, beef tacos and fried ice-cream have emerged as the foods responsible for most reported admissions to NSW hospitals for cases of enteric disease.

Chicken burgers, Vietnamese rolls and beef and Guinness pies are other foods sending people to hospital.

The NSW OzFoodNet annual report blamed “a very hot and dry period in late September (2013)  which may have contributed to the highest ever number of salmonellosis notifications for the month of October.” Last year was the warmest on record for NSW maximum temperatures, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, and it has predicted a warmer than average winter this year.

With warmer temperatures predicted, Dr Sheppeard conceded they were “a potential risk for increased cases of salmonellosis.”

A table of raw egg related outbreaks in Australia is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-3-3-14.xlsx.

I wrote the Queensland Minister of Health to express my concerns a couple of  months ago, after 220 people were sickened and one died from Salmonella in raw egg dishes served at catered functions for the Melbourne Cup on Nov. 5, 2013.

No response.

2000 sickened: fines and possible jail for Salmonella-in-egg owners

In 2010, eggs produced by farms owned by Jack DeCoster in Iowa sickened at least 2,000 people with Salmonella. The companies recalled 550 million eggs nationwide.

Today, Austin “Jack” DeCoster, 79, and Peter DeCoster, 50, agreed to pay $7 million in fines and forfeitures as part of a federal criminal case scheduled for hearing Tuesday.

egg.farmProsecutors allege Quality Egg on at least two occasions in 2010, including April 12, 2010, offered money to a “public official with intent to influence an official act.”

On April 12, 2010, Quality Egg employees offered a USDA inspector $300 to release eggs for sale that had failed to meet federal standards, according to criminal charges filed in 2012 against Tony Wasmund, a former Quality Egg employee.

Wasmund, 63, of Willmar, Minn., pleaded guilty in September 2012 to conspiring to bribe an egg inspector. His sentencing has been rescheduled four times, leading to speculation prosecutors were using his testimony against the DeCosters.

The trial information also states Quality Egg knowingly sold eggs between Jan. 1, 2006, and Aug. 12, 2010, that were mislabeled to appear fresher than they were.

Who takes eggs through an airport? Alleged smuggler stopped in Sydney

Anyone who has been to Australia knows, don’t mess with customs folks.

A Czech man who allegedly tried to smuggle 16 bird eggs into Australia by hiding them in his pants has been charged.

imagesThe 39-year-old was frisked at Sydney Airport by customs officers after arriving from Dubai on Tuesday.

“Officers … allegedly found 16 small eggs concealed in his groin area,” Customs NSW commander Tim Fitzgerald said.

Government vets are trying to identify the species of bird.

Federal prosecutors charge Iowa egg company, 2 executives in 2010 salmonella outbreak

In 2010, eggs produced by farms owned by Jack DeCoster in Iowa sickened at least 2,000 people with Salmonella.

Federal prosecutors have now filed charges against disgraced egg industry titan Austin “Jack” DeCoster and his son Peter DeCoster with introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce, a misdemeanor.

egg.dirty.feb.12Their company, Quality Egg LLC, is charged with introducing misbranded food into interstate commerce, a felony. The document says Quality Egg sold products for years with labeling that “made the eggs appear to be not as old as they actually were.”

The company is also charged with bribing a U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector.

The charges were filed in a document called an information, which suggests they’ve reached plea agreements.