38 sick, blame Germany: second Salmonella outbreak, this one linked to meat

The 38 human cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium detected recently in six Member States are likely to be part of the same cluster, a joint EFSA/ECDC report has found. Based on limited available information from food investigations, meat is the suspected vehicle of infection.

article-1282120789302-001a91c800000258-577370_304x156The recently detected 38 cases of monophasic Salmonella Typhimurium with MLVA profile 3-12-17-NA-211 and 3-12-18-NA-211 occurring in six Member States are likely to be part of the same cluster. Given the typing delay and the fact that not all countries are performing MLVA typing, the number of cases currently detected is most likely to be underestimated. These two profiles emerged simultaneously in several Member States in June and July 2014, indicating a simultaneous exposure to the clonal strain at several locations within the EU. Based on limited available information from food investigations, meats are the suspected vehicle of human infection at present. It is important to interview new cases to identify a common exposure and to report all new cases with matching MLVA typing results through the TESSy molecular surveillance service and EPIS FWD in order to assess the evolution of the cluster. There is a need to gather information on the findings of these MLVA profiles in feed, animals, and foods (of animal origin and non-animal origin) in order to narrow the hypothesis for further epidemiological studies. This cluster highlights the need to ensure a rapid exchange of information between the public health and food safety health authorities in order to assess the situation and the need for further epidemiological studies as quickly as possible.

‘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.

Leftover food sharing in Germany leaves a bad taste in my mouth

My role as dad and food dude has morphed in the past year –  I now do most of our food shopping and cooking. Two or three days a week I make meals with the plan that they will also be used for a couple of lunches. I get that this isn’t revolutionary (note the large market for Tupperware) but is new for me.2008_12_4-Leftovers2

There is apparently a subgroup of leftover-avoiding folks out there who are also concerned with food waste, leading to the development of a leftover sharing ap in the U.S. LeftoverSwap and now it’s German counterpart foodsharing.de.

According to NPR, child psychiatrist Vero Buschmann was looking for a way to get rid of leftovers without having to throw them away. And she was looking to create a community around similar food waste values.

She found a nonprofit website in Germany that allows her to do both. On a recent evening, her doorbell rings and she buzzes Franzi Zimmerman in to her fifth-floor apartment.

“I have a whole bunch of baked goods I just picked up from the baker,” Buschmann tells her 29-year-old guest. “You can take as much as you want!” She also offers some soup and chutney, made from her leftover produce.

Zimmerman laughs and replies: “Wow, that’s really great. Homemade soup? It doesn’t get better than that!”

Such exchanges between strangers are happening in more than 240 cities across Germany through Foodsharing.de (for English, click on the tiny British flag on the top left), a website that connects people who have free food to give away with people seeking those items.

Some 40 tons of food have been given away via the network since it began online 18 months ago. More than 41,000 people have signed up. The nonprofit website’s creators say their goal is to prevent large amounts of produce, bread and other perishable food from being thrown away.

Food waste is not just a German problem, says website co-founder Valentin Thurin. He’s a Cologne-based filmmaker whose documentary, Taste the Waste, lays out in jolting terms just how much food Europeans throw away each year – 90 million tons worth, to be exact. It’s a phenomenon that costs the European economy more than $130 billion every year — up to half of fruits and vegetables picked at harvest time, he says.

“With food, obviously there is a health risk associated, so we needed to establish some rules,” Thurin says. He says the Web team worked with lawyers to ensure the network didn’t violate any German or European regulations governing food.

As a result, it doesn’t offer meats or other products that have “sell by” dates, concentrating instead on food items with “best before” labels.

There are no inspectors checking on food offered through the network, but consumers are encouraged to go online and rate the food they’ve received, Thurin says.

After a quick review of the food safety guidance at foodsharing.de  there might be some stuff that is lost in translation. There is a listing of types of high risk foods (or extra delicate foods) and suggestions on transportation, refrigeration and cleaning and sanitation. The lack of safe endpoint temperatures and proper cooling guidance is a glaring omission.

 

157 sick: Norovirus in ice cream in Germany

According to Sudwest Presse (and something will probably be lost in translation) by Thursday afternoon, there were 157 reports of a gastrointestinal virus’ that were reported to the local health department. According to the Reutlinger Office noroviruses were Norochickdetected in the ice cream consumed.

A health department investigation revealed that the majority of people affected consumed ice cream last Sunday and started vomiting 24 hours later. A laboratory diagnosis of the patients is still pending.

11,000 sick with Norovirus in Germany, 2012, linked to frozen strawberries imported from China

That’s a huge outbreak.

German researchers report in today’s Eurosurveillance (Volume 19, Issue 8, 27) that from 20 September through 5 October 2012, the largest recorded foodborne outbreak in Germany occurred. Norovirus was identified as the causative agent. We conducted four analytical epidemiological studies, two case–control studies and two surveys (in total 150 frozen.strawberrycases) in secondary schools in three different federal states. Overall, 390 institutions in five federal states reported nearly 11,000 cases of gastroenteritis. They were predominantly schools and childcare facilities and were supplied almost exclusively by one large catering company.

The analytical epidemiological studies consistently identified dishes containing strawberries as the most likely vehicle, with estimated odds ratios ranging from 2.6 to 45.4. The dishes had been prepared in different regional kitchens of the catering company and were served in the schools two days before the peaks of the respective outbreaks. All affected institutions had received strawberries of one lot, imported frozen from China.

The outbreak vehicle was identified within a week, which led to a timely recall and prevented more than half of the lot from reaching the consumer. This outbreak exemplifies the risk of large outbreaks in the era of global food trade. It underlines the importance of timely surveillance and epidemiological outbreak investigation for food safety.

‘Oysters have to be alive or you’ll get food poisoning’ Porn trumps microbiology again

Everything I know about Germany I learned from South Park’s portrayal of Cartman’s mom and her involvement with scheisse porn.

I gave an invited talk in Berlin about 15 years ago; my parents advised that German’s have no sense of humor; I ignored them. I failed.

Hwan Nam-kong of Furusato, a Korean restaurant in Berlin says “The fact that Liane_Cartmanit is still alive on the plate is a sign of quality.”

World Crunch is talking about octopus moving around on the plate on its tentacles. The cook swiftly grabs it by its slimy head, pushes a skewer through the tentacles, wraps them around it – and voila, the Korean delicacy known as sannakji, served with chili sauce or a sesame oil and salt dip.

However, eating moving tentacles is not without danger: they can fix themselves to the inside of your mouth – or worse your throat – which could lead to suffocation and death. So if you order the dish in Korea make sure to chew well, advises Hwan Nam-kong. In her Berlin establishment, octopus is not served this way for the simple reason that it’s difficult to get live octopus in Germany.

She has heard that Germans believe that eating living things is a form of animal torture. “Every country has its own food culture that should be accepted by other cultures,” she says.

Koki Umesaka, a chef at Berlin’s Daruma Japanese restaurant, explains that with ikizukuri, a fish is served with its eyes, gills and mouth still moving. That’s not easy, he says. It requires a special technique, and a very sharp knife. Only very experienced chefs know how to do this, he says.

A similar side effect is attributed to another living food you can easily find in Germany – oysters. Greek mythology has it that Aphrodite, goddess of love, sprang from an oyster. Famed Italian seducer Casanova is said to have eaten oysters to maximize his staying power, according to Guillaume Boullay of the Austern Restaurant Meerweinin Hamburg.

If you eat raw oysters they have to be alive, otherwise you may get food poisoning, he says. The way to recognize a living oyster is by its shell clamped tightly shut, and the smell of fresh iodine when you pry it open with an oyster sydney.rock.oysterknife. You can also tell by the way the oyster inside moves if you touch it with the tip of the knife or squirt lemon juice on it.

I’ll continue to grill any oyster. My liver wouldn’t like Vibrio.

25 sick: beware anonymous sandwiches, may have rat poison

Twenty-five people have been hospitalized in Germany after eating sandwiches laced with rat poison, police said Wednesday.

So far none of those hospitalized has shown symptoms of illness but they are being kept under observation as a precautionary measure, said police
sq-willard-crispin-glover-rat-nl
spokesman Frank Soika.

The sandwiches and a note saying they were a gift had been left on the doorstep of an auto parts company in the northwestern town of Steinfeld on Tuesday.

Employees helped themselves to the sandwiches before someone noticed a strange substance on them.

A Berlin laboratory confirmed overnight that the food had been sprinkled with rat poison, Soika said.

11,200 sick; German norovirus outbreak linked to Chinese frozen strawberries declared over

Authorities in Germany have declared an outbreak of norovirus among schoolchildren, first noted in late September, officially over after an apparent failure by catering operators to prepare frozen strawberries properly prior to their consumption.

The strawberries in question had been imported from China and were reportedly supplied by a catering company – said to be a distribitor to foodservice giant Sodexo – in ten different locations across Germany.

The outbreak led to more than 11,000 people, most of them schoolchildren, falling ill as a result of acute gastroenteritis in Berlin, Brandenberg, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

Sources in the fresh produce trade indicated that lessons learned from the recent E coli outbreak in northern Germany had helped minimise the impact on the industry as a whole, with communication said to have been more coordinated and timed to reduce the spread of rumour and conjecture.

Comforting words for the 11,200 kids and their families who were barfing.

China’s quality watchdog maintains no disease-causing viruses were found on Chinese frozen strawberries.

8400 kids now sick in German outbreak; probably norovirus from single food source

Last year it was sprouts that sickened some 4,400 and killed 53 in an outbreak centered in Germany; now the number of children that have fallen ill with vomiting and diarrhea after eating food from school cafeterias and daycare centers has risen from about 4,500 to 8,400.

Authorities in Berlin and the surrounding eastern German states reported the new gastroenteritis cases Saturday, while laboratory investigations to determine the exact cause of the outbreak were still under way.

Berlin’s health department says the sicknesses are moderate and most children recover within two days without requiring to be hospitalized.

That’s nice.

In Saxony state, at least 16 cases of norovirus, a mostly food- or water-borne illness, were proven, according to German news agency dapd.

The government-affiliated Robert Koch Institute said Friday that all facilities where the illness occurred likely received food from a single supplier.

6500 German children sickened in outbreak of suspected foodborne norovirus

German health authorities say at least 6,500 German children and teenagers have fallen ill with diarrhea and vomiting that health authorities say has likely been caused by a foodborne virus in meals delivered to schools and daycare centers.

The Robert Koch-Institut says it was alerted to a sudden surge in gastroenteritis cases that began late Tuesday in Berlin and surrounding regions.

The institute said in a statement late Thursday that laboratory investigations are under way to determine the exact cause of the outbreak.