Cook it: Toxo in pork

Toxoplasma gondii is one of the leading foodborne pathogens in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that T. gondii accounts for 24% of deaths due to foodborne illness in the United States.

raw-meat-120607Consumption of undercooked pork products in which T. gondii has encysted has been identified as an important route of human exposure. However, little quantitative evaluation of risk due to different pork products as a function of microbial quality at the abattoir, during the production process, and due to consumer handling practices is available to inform risk management actions.

The goal of this study was to develop a farm-to-table quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) model to predict the public health risk associated with consumption of fresh pork in the United States.

T. gondii prevalence in pigs was derived through a meta-analysis of existing data, and the concentration of the infectious life stage (bradyzoites) was calculated for each pork cut from an infected pig. Logistic regression and log-linear regression models were developed to predict the reduction of T. gondii during further processing and consumer preparation, respectively. A mouse-derived exponential dose-response model was used to predict infection risk in humans. The estimated mean probability of infection per serving of fresh pork products ranges from 3.2 × 10−7 to 9.5 × 10−6, corresponding to a predicted approximately 94,600 new infections annually in the U.S. population due to fresh pork ingestion. Approximately 957 new infections per year were estimated to occur in pregnant women, corresponding to 277 cases of congenital toxoplasmosis per year due to fresh pork ingestion.

In the context of available data, sensitivity analysis suggested that cooking is the most important parameter impacting human health risk. This study provides a scientific basis for risk management and also could serve as a baseline model to quantify infection risk from T. gondii and other parasites associated with meat products.

Quantifying the risk of human Toxoplasma gondii infection due to consumption of fresh pork in the United States

Food Control, Volume 73, Part B, March 2017, Pages 1210–1222

Miao Guo, Elisabetta Lambertini, Robert L. Buchanan, Jitender P. Dubey, Dolores E. Hill, H. Ray Gamble, Jeffrey L. Jones, Abani K. Pradhan

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713516305825

But is it (microbiologically) safe?

Mangoes are coming into season.

Australian egg producers are flogging studies saying that eggs are OK to eat every day.

duhBut are they safe?

And the pork producers have a national 6-2-2 campaign:

Discover the secret to the perfect pork steak with our new 6-2-2 campaign.

  1. Take a 2cm pork steak (sirloin, leg, scotch fillet or medallion).
  2. Pre-heat a pan, griddle pan or BBQ plate just like you would for any other steak.
  3. Cook the pork steak on one side, without turning, for 6 minutes.
  4. Turn it over once and allow it to cook for 2 more minutes. This method will cook the steak to just white but if you prefer it cooked pink, just reduce the cooking time.
  5. Remove the steak from the pan and rest for 2 minutes. Resting allows the juices to settle and produces a more tender and juicy result.
  6. Remember the simple rule for next time: 6 minutes on one side, 2 minutes on the other and 2 minutes to rest = the 10 minute pork steak.

(No accounting for variations in cooking devices, just use a damn thermometer and take out the guesswork.)

All at the same time as Australia’s annual food safety week began with this year’s theme , raw and risky (sounds familiar).

The NSW Food Authority is throwing its support behind the Food Safety Information Council’s Food Safety Week 2016 that commences today Sunday 6 November, urging NSW consumers not to become one of the estimated 4.1 million people affected by food poisoning each year in Australia.

Dr Lisa Szabo, NSW Food Authority CEO, said the theme of this year’s Australian Food Safety Week “Raw and risky” is a timely and apt reminder that some foods carry more risk than others.

“Recent years have seen major food poisoning outbreaks linked to risky raw foods such as unpasteurised cow’s milk, raw egg dishes, bean/seed sprouts, frozen berries and lettuce,” Dr Szabo said.

Risk of Hepatitis E from pigs or pork in Canada

The role and importance of pigs and pork as sources of zoonotic hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been debated in Canada and abroad for over 20 years. To further investigate this question, we compiled data to populate a risk profile for HEV in pigs or pork in Canada.

pig-barfblogWe organized the risk profile (RP) using the headings prescribed for a foodborne microbial risk assessment and used research synthesis methods and inputs wherever possible in populating the fields of this RP. A scoping review of potential public health risks of HEV, and two Canadian field surveys sampling finisher pigs, and retail pork chops and pork livers, provided inputs to inform this RP. We calculated summary estimates of prevalence using the Comprehensive Meta-analysis 3 software, employing the method of moments.

Overall, we found the incidence of sporadic locally acquired hepatitis E in Canada, compiled from peer-reviewed literature or from diagnosis at the National Microbiology Laboratory to be low relative to other non-endemic countries. In contrast, we found the prevalence of detection of HEV RNA in pigs and retail pork livers, to be comparable to that reported in the USA and Europe. We drafted risk categories (high/medium/low) for acquiring clinical hepatitis E from exposure to pigs or pork in Canada and hypothesize that the proportion of the Canadian population at high risk from either exposure is relatively small.

Risk profile of Hepatitis E virus from pigs or pork in Canada

October 2016, Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, DOI: 10.1111/tbed.12582

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308961418_Risk_Profile_of_Hepatitis_E_Virus_from_Pigs_or_Pork_in_Canada

 

Orwellian: People are sick, but CFIA plays word games with E coli O157 notice

As usual, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency buries the lede at the bottom:

george-orwell-6“There have been no illnesses definitively linked to the consumption of these products.”

Yet the recall of Cantran Meat Co. raw pork and pork organ products from the marketplace due to possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination was triggered by findings of CFIA, Alberta Health Services, and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry during the investigation into a foodborne illness outbreak in Alberta.

Way to mention government agencies and snivel servants, way not to mention sick people.

The affected raw pork and pork organ products, supplied by Cantran Meat Co. Ltd., may have been transformed into raw muscle meat cuts, ground pork, sausages, and raw ready-to-eat products. The products, which have been sold fresh, have only been distributed in Alberta.

The affected products are known to have been sold or distributed by the companies from April 28, 2016 up to and including May 14, 2016. The products may have been sold pre-packaged or clerk-served, with or without a label. Consumers who are unsure if they have the affected products are advised to check with their retailer.

Was it the irrigation water? 206 sickened with Salmonella in central Italy

Monophasic variant of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium (monophasic S. Typhimurium), with antigenic structure 1,4,[5],12:i:-, appears to be of increasing importance in Europe.

salm.pig.italyIn Italy, monophasic S. Typhimurium represented the third most frequent Salmonella serovar isolated from human cases between 2004 and 2008. From June 2013 to October 2014, a total of 206 human cases of salmonellosis were identified in Abruzzo region (Central Italy).

Obtained clinical isolates characterised showed S. Typhimurium 1,4,[5],12:i:- with sole resistance to nalidixic acid, which had never been observed in Italy in monophasic S. Typhimurium, neither in humans nor in animals or foods.

Epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations were conducted to try to identify the outbreak source. Cases were interviewed using a standardised questionnaire and microbiological tests were performed on human as well as environmental samples, including samples from fruit and vegetables, pigs, and surface water. Investigation results did not identify the final vehicle of human infection, although a link between the human cases and the contamination of irrigation water channels was suggested.

Outbreak Of Unusual Salmonella Enterica Serovar Typhimurium Monophasic Variant 1,4 [5],12:I:-, Italy, June 2013 To September 2014

Eurosurveillance, Volume 21, Issue 15, 14 April 2016

F Cito, F Baldinelli, P Calistri, E Di Giannatale, G Scavia, M Orsini, S Iannetti, L Sacchini, I Mangone, L Candeloro, A Conte, C Ippoliti, D Morelli, G Migliorati, NB Barile, C Marfoglia, S Salucci, C Cammà, M Marcacci, M Ancora, AM Dionisi, S Owczartek, I Luzzi

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=21439

Food safety fail: Pork 6-2-2, use a thermometer instead

Australia Pork has apparently invested hundreds of thousands in a marketing message that is high on BS and low on credibility.

According to this advert, without taking into account variations in BBQs, cooking pork is simple (I’ve decided to start referring to Chapman as Stork, in all correspondence).

Only if a tip-sensitive digital thermometer is used.

Did you spot the cross-contamination?

Pork-linked Salmonella outbreak led to 192 confirmed illnesses

It’s MMWR day again. My favorite.

A few years ago we conducted a study in commercial kitchens where we acted as food safety voyeurs and watched 47 food handlers do their job for four days.

We counted and coded all the preparation actions we could see (in some kitchens we had 8 camera angles) and there was whole lot of cross-contamination.

One cross-contamination event per food handler.flyer_raw_pig

Per hour.

The MMWR note from the field detailing a 2015 Salmonella outbreak linked to a Washington State pork processor highlights the impacts of lots of cross-contamination.

A total of 192 confirmed cases were reported from five states; 184 (96%) occurred in Washington (Figure). Patients ranged in age from <1 to 90 years (median = 35 years), and 97 (51%) were female. Among 180 patients for whom information about hospitalization was available, 30 (17%) were hospitalized; no deaths were reported.

On the basis of cases investigated before August 2015, a supplemental questionnaire that went into more detail in addressing meat and livestock exposures was developed. Among 80 patients (42% of all confirmed cases) who were interviewed, 59 (74%) reported eating pork during the 7 days preceding illness. This was significantly higher than the most recently published (2007) Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) population survey of healthy persons, in which 43% reported eating pork in the week before they were interviewed (p <0.001) (1).

WADOH and PHSKC investigation into the source of pork traced the pork consumed by 35 (59%) of the 59 interviewed patients who reported eating pork back to a U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service–inspected pork slaughter establishment in Graham, Washington. During the outbreak period, the establishment distributed whole hogs and pork parts, primarily from five farms in Montana and one in Washington, to Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. Among the 21 interviewed patients who did not report consuming pork before becoming ill, 13 had eaten at one of two restaurants or had shopped at one market where pork from the establishment was served. During June and July 2015, PHSKC inspections of these three facilities identified potential opportunities for cross-contamination of raw pork with other meat and produce, including inadequate employee handwashing and insufficient cleaning and sanitization of food contact surfaces and utensils used for raw meat. Food and environmental sampling by PHSKC at all three facilities yielded the outbreak strains.

There’s a lot of pork cooked and consumed in restaurants across the U.S. daily. And Salmonella in pork is a known issue, but there aren’t reported pork/Salmonella outbreaks every day. My guess is that incoming pork contamination levels were out of the ordinary as well.

USDA consolidates trichinae regs for pork

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is announcing a proposed rule that would consolidate and streamline existing regulations for meat and poultry products. The rule would eliminate redundant trichinae control requirements for pork and pork products and consolidate regulations for thermally processed, commercially sterile meat and poultry products.

trichinosis.porkFSIS is seeking comment on this rule. This rule is a supplement to 2001 FSIS proposed rule that proposed to establish food safety performance standards for all ready-to-eat (RTE) and all partially heat-treated meat and poultry products.

Consistent with the 2001 proposed rule, this supplemental proposed rule, if finalized, will remove the provisions for the prescribed treatment of pork products. FSIS’ Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations require every federally inspected establishment to identify and control food safety hazards that are reasonably likely to occur, making prescriptive trichinae regulations no longer necessary.

Under this proposed rule, establishments will still be required to control for the risk of trichinae and other parasites. FSIS’ HACCP regulations require establishments to develop science-based controls for trichinae that are appropriate for the hazards identified for each specific establishment. Compliance with FSIS’ HACCP guidelines has proven effective at eliminating trichinae, and the risk for Trichinella infection associated with commercial pork has decreased substantially.

FSIS has developed a compliance guide for establishments to follow should this supplemental proposed rule become final. FSIS developed the compliance guide to help establishments, particularly small and very small establishments, in understanding the controls that are effective for the prevention and elimination of trichinae and other parasites in RTE and not ready-to-eat (NRTE) pork products. FSIS has posted this compliance guide on its Web page (http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulatory-compliance/compliance-guides-index) and is also requesting comments on the guidance. This guidance is consistent with international Trichinae standards including those developed by the Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Additionally, FSIS is proposing to consolidate the regulations on thermally processed, commercially sterile meat and poultry products (i.e., canned food products containing meat or poultry) and make minor changes that improve the clarity of the regulations. These changes will streamline and clarify the regulations without any reduction in the existing public health protections. Among the proposed changes, FSIS is proposing to remove redundant equipment descriptions, update wording to reflect FSIS’ current organizational structure, and clarify the regulatory requirements.

Comments are due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register, and may be submitted online via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov.

 

Check the pork; cluster of toxoplasmosis in Brazil 

It’s not just for cats anymore.

In 2012, Hip-music-listening, and general all around good guy Mike Batz (and co-authors) identified Toxoplasma gondii and pork as the second most burdensome food-pathogen combination, resulting in an estimated 35,000 illnesses annually in the U.S.

At least 20 Brazilian cases of toxoplasmosis have been confirmed with another 70 showing symptoms according to Folha Geral (some things may be lost in translation).pork

Five months after identifying an outbreak of toxoplasmosis in the premises of the Agronomic Institute of Paraná (Iapar), in the south of Londrina, the Department of Epidemiological Surveillance of the Municipal Health Department yesterday confirmed another outbreak, this time in the unit of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa), located in the district of Warta, in the north.

According to the manager of Epidemiological Surveillance Londrina, Rosangela Libaroni, 73 people showed symptoms of the disease transmitted by the feces of cats between the end of last year and the end from January. The tests confirmed 20 cases of acute toxoplasmosis and dismissed another ten. The rest of the cases still under investigation follows awaiting official reports. Three patients presented symptoms but were not contaminated.

The task force set up to try to identify the source of contamination has a partnership with the State University of Londrina (UEL). The head of the Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine UEL, Italmar Navarro, said the research follows in the analysis phase, but said that the contamination through the water was discarded. He also recalled that there was no conclusion about the focus of contamination that caused the outbreak in Iapar late last year after a series of laboratory tests.

Yesterday afternoon, the troughs of Embrapa who were sealed were reactivated. Already the cafeteria remains interdicted. Rosangela reported that all the people who have been infected will be heard to see if they were eating at the local cafeteria. “If it is not the water, suspicion falls on the food. We have to know the origin of this food, because of the outbreak of risk elsewhere in the city,” Rosangela warned.

17 sick (maybe) E. coli O157 scare triggers pork product recall from Calgary stores

They’re not scares.

Foodborne illnesses make people sick, not scare them.

Several pork and pork organ products sold in Calgary are being recalled because of possible contamination with E. coli O157:H7.

Hillview Meat ProcessorThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) says the meat products were supplied by Hillview Meat Processor.

The pork products, which were only distributed in Alberta, may have been turned into ground pork, sausages or ready-to-eat products, CFIA said in a release.

The recall was triggered by an ongoing investigation into a foodborne food illness outbreak in Alberta which has sickened at least 17, up from 14.

CFIA says these products haven’t caused any illnesses, but what means is CFIA is being double secret probation – and careful – about making a link.

The investigation is continuing and could lead to other products being recalled, the agency says (which has happened).

The products were distributed to the following Calgary companies:

Paolini’s Sausage and Meat Ltd — 5735 Third St. S.E.

Trimming Fresh Meats — 3, 6219 Centre St. N.W.

V&T Meats — 3111 17th Ave. S.E.

Leung Ky Meat and Seafood Ltd — 1919 31st St. S.E.

Community Foods —119, 3208 Eighth Ave. N.E.

Hungarian Deli — 4020 26th St. S.E.

Rocky’s Sausage Haus — 37 Fourth St. N.E.

Food contaminated with E. coli might not appear or smell spoiled but can still make people sick. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.