Sushi restaurant in Jerusalem closed due to Listeria risk

An immediate closing order was issued on Sunday by the Municipal Court for Local Affairs and the Health Ministry against Sushi Garden, a restaurant at 21 Rehov Yirmiyahu in Jerusalem’s Romema quarter. Ministry inspectors said the restaurant presented an immediate danger to public health if it remained open. As a result, municipal authorities asked for the urgent court order, which was issued on the spot.

Sushi-Platter-720x460Inspectors found that it was operating without a license and had very bad hygienic conditions. An epidemiological investigation by the ministry uncovered the case of a pregnant woman who miscarried after suffering from listeriosis. The ministry said there is a  possibility that the source of the bacterial infection was food made in the Sushi Garden restaurant.

Reports of Listeria more than double in Hong Kong

The annual number of reports of a deadly disease resulting from foodborne bacteria have more than doubled from 2011 to last year as people eat more pre-packaged food, doctors at the Centre for Food Safety said on Wednesday. 

listeria4A total of 26 cases of listeriosis, a serious bacterial infection that has a mortality rate of about 20 per cent, were reported last year and in 2012. In the previous three years, the annual average number of reported cases was 11.

The disease is caused by Listeria monocytogenes, a type of bacteria which thrives on pre-prepared food that is refrigerated for more than a week. 

Sixteen cases have already been reported in the first seven months of this year. The disease can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, blood and brain infections among high-risk people such as pregnant women, newborns and elderly people.

Some of the cases reported this year had resulted in miscarriages, the centre said.

We’re in waste managment: Liechtenstein thieves steal 1.3 tonnes of Listeria cheese

Germany’s food inspection office is concerned bad cheese will be sold either directly or indirectly, posing a health risk to anyone who consumes it, ATS reported on Tuesday.

sopranos.don't.fuck.with.usThe problem is the “Alp Sücka” cheese was found to be contaminated with listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that causes listeriosis, a potentially deadly infection.

Liechtenstein’s food office had banned the cheese but during a check discovered that 236 five-kilogram wheels of the dairy product had gone missing, ATS said.

They were probably stolen from open containers where they were stored temporarily before planned destruction, the news agency reported.

The country’s prosecutor has launched an investigation into the cheese’s disappearance.

Listeria concerns on the rise for pregnant women?

Listeria has always been a concern, but according to a NBC news affiliate, it’s new.

amy.pregnant.listeriaAnd people wonder why mainstream journalism is dying.

“While normally this is a bacteria our bodies can fight off, for expecting women, it becomes more difficult because of a lowered immune system. Additionally, there is concern that the bacteria could be passed on to the fetus.”


Seek and ye shall find; Listeria in smoked trout in Denmark

With 15 dead and 38 sick from a Listeria outbreak in Denmark, there’s probably more testing going on.

And they’re finding Listeria.

smoked.troutThe northern Jutland company Geia Food has recalled a batch of røget ørred (smoked trout) after Listeria was found in some samples, according to a release from the food authority, Fødevarestyrelsen.

The fish is sold at Rema 1000 stores under the Musholm brand with expiration dates 25 September 2014 and 29 September 2014.

Fødevarestyrelsen has advised customers to throw away the fish or return it to the shop where it was purchased.

Halibut, called hellefish in Danish, from Hjerting Laks should also be binned or returned to the Irma supermarket where it was purchased.

According to both Fødevarestyrelsen and Metroxpress, frozen fish from as far back as 1 June may be infected. Hjerting Laks has previously had problems with listeria infection.

However, Statens Serum Institute (SSI) said that it has not yet heard of anyone contracting listeria from infected fish.


15 now dead 38 sick in Denmark Listeria outbreak

A fifteenth person has died from the Listeria outbreak, the Danish State Serum Institute (SSI) confirmed on Monday.

rullepølserThe number of those affected has also risen to 38, SSI said.

The outbreak has been traced to the deli meat rullepølse produced by the company Jørn A. Rullepølser, which has been shut down.

A total of 30 products – including variations of rullepølse, salami and hot dogs – were recalled.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (Fødevarestrylsen) also warned on Monday of a listeria risk in halibut sold by the company Hjerting Laks that was sold in Netto, Irma and Føtex stores.

Fødevarestrylsen was criticised for not acting quickly enough in responding to the listeria outbreak, with the food and agriculture minister, Dan Jørgensen, saying that “serious mistakes” took place. 

14 now dead, 37 sick from Listeria in Denmark

Listeria found in rullepølser produced by the company Jørn A Rullepølser has now claimed its 14th victim

rullepølserAlong with the death toll, the number of those infected nationwide continues to rise. Statens Serum Institut (SSI) reports that three more people have been infected, taking the total to 37 people – 17 men and 20 women.

Over 40 companies have been too slow to remove possibly infected products from the shelves and have been fined up to 40,000 kroner.

Some of the companies involved have delivered meals to the elderly or to other companies, and the food authority, Fødevarestyrelsen, said that they were too slow withdrawing products. 

SSI said that rullepølser is not the only source of the bacteria. Salami and grilled sausages were also infected.

Investigation of Listeria, Salmonella, and toxigenic E. coli in various pet foods

The Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN), in collaboration with the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and its Microbiology Cooperative Agreement Program (MCAP) laboratories, conducted a study to evaluate the prevalence of selected microbial organisms in various types of pet foods. goal of this blinded study was to help the Center for Veterinary Medicine prioritize potential future pet food–testing efforts. The study also increased the FERN laboratories’ screening capabilities for foodborne pathogens in animal feed matrices, since such pathogens may also be a significant health risk to consumers who come into contact with pet foods. Six U.S. Food and Drug Administration FERN MCAP laboratories analyzed approximately 1056 samples over 2 years.

Laboratories tested for Salmonella, Listeria, Escherichia coli O157:H7 enterohemorrhagic E. coli, and Shiga toxin–producing strains of E. coli (STEC). Dry and semimoist dog and cat foods purchased from local stores were tested during Phase 1. Raw dog and cat foods, exotic animal feed, and jerky-type treats purchased through the Internet were tested in Phase 2. Of the 480 dry and semimoist samples, only 2 tested positive: 1 for Salmonella and 1 for Listeria greyii. However, of the 576 samples analyzed during Phase 2, 66 samples were positive for Listeria (32 of those were Listeria monocytogenes) and 15 samples positive for Salmonella. These pathogens were isolated from raw foods and jerky-type treats, not the exotic animal dry feeds. This study showed that raw pet foods may harbor food safety pathogens, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella. Consumers should handle these products carefully, being mindful of the potential risks to human and animal health.

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. Volume: 11 Issue 9: September 4, 2014

Sarah M. Nemser, Tara Doran, Michael Grabenstein, Terri McConnell, Timothy McGrath, Ruiqing Pamboukian, Angele C. Smith, Maya Achen, Gregory Danzeisen, Sun Kim, Yong Liu, Sharon Robeson, Grisel Rosario, Karen McWilliams Wilson, and Renate Reimschuessel

Danish processor pulls all smoked halibut from retail after Listeria findings

Danish seafood processor Hjerting Laks is assessing whether to resume its smoked halibut production after recalling products due to Listeria findings in two batches last week.

gravadlaks_hellefiskstorA decision on this will be taken next week, the company’s director Christoph Kjaergaard said in a response to Undercurrent News.

In a statement signed by Kjaergaard on Sept. 1, the company said it has recalled all its smoked sliced halibut products from retailers.

The company is now carrying out food analyses to assess whether to resume its production of sliced smoked halibut or remove it from its range, wrote the director.

Danish scientists uncover clue to Listeria’s toughness

Birgitte Kallipolitis, an associate professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Southern Denmark, and colleagues report their findings in the journal Nucleic Acids Research.

listeriaListeria, a bacterium that sometimes occurs in unprocessed and processed foods, causes an infection called listeriosis. Most infections only result in mild symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, which take about 3 days to pass and do not normally require treatment.

But in rare cases, listeriosis can spread to other parts of the body and cause severe conditions like meningitis, which is typically accompanied by severe headache, stiff neck and tremors.

Unborn babies can also contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that around 1,600 Americans fall ill with listeriosis and 260 die from it every year. In Denmark – a country with a population some 60 times smaller than that of the US – over the last few weeks alone, 28 people have fallen ill and 13 have died from listeriosis caused by eating processed foods bought in supermarkets. Prof. Kallipolitis says Listeria is notoriously difficult to fight because it is extremely able to adapt to changes in its surroundings. This was the subject of their study, which reveals some important clues about how Listeria manages to retain the ability to invade cells while at the same time escape the attention of the immune system.

For their study, they examined what happens at the microbiological level when Listeria is exposed to some of the substances known to be challenging to bacteria – such as antibiotics, bile, salt, ethanol and acid, many of which it encounters in processed and unprocessed foods in the human body and also in disinfected environments.

Prof. Kallipolitis says, “We knew that Listeria can resist these substances, but we did not quite know how.” She and her colleagues found the bacterium uses various strategies to resist the substances.

“Generally speaking, Listeria must be described as extremely adaptable. It is constantly aware of its surroundings and if the environment changes around it. It reacts instantly and has a number of strategies to withstand threats,” she explains.

Listeria infects host cells by producing special proteins. In order for infection to be successful, the bacterium must keep the production of the proteins under a certain level – for above this level the host immune system becomes aware of it and attacks the pathogen.

The researchers discovered that when they exposed Listeria in the lab to the various anti-pathogen substances like bile, salt, ethanol and antibiotics, the bacterium started releasing special RNA molecules, as Prof. Kallipolitis explains:

“With these RNA molecules the bacteria can adjust how much or how little to produce of various proteins. For example it can downgrade the production of the protein LapB, which it uses to enter our cells. If this production is not downgraded, the bacterium will potentially be detected and fought by the immune system.”

The team also found that these same RNA molecules help Listeria keep watch on its cell walls in the face of danger. Antibiotics work by attacking the cell walls of bacteria. But when Listeria is exposed to antibiotics, it rapidly detects the assault on its cell walls and sets about repairing them.

The researchers observed that in the lab, Listeria only produces the special RNA molecules when exposed to one of the challenging substances. The bacterium did not produce them when there was no challenge.

Prof. Kallipolitis says this “reveals part of the mechanism behind Listeria’s extreme adaptability.”

The team now plans to find out if removing the RNA molecules renders Listeria harmless.