Doug Powell

About Doug Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Download C.V. »

Raw is risky: Meghan Markle had to give up eating favourite food after marrying Harry

Australia has this weird love of everything royal – at least on the news.

If Harry farts, it’s reported; if one of the kids picks their nose, it’s reported.

And now, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has been told by Royal Butler Grant Harold, she will have to stop eating her most adored cuisine – seafood.

Mr Harold explained this is because the Royal Family don’t eat it due to food poisoning fears.

He told Express.co.uk: “It is a very sensible move to abandon having seafood when out and about on public duties.

“We don’t want a member of the Royal family having a serious reaction to food poisoning, especially if she is on an overseas tour.”

In 2013, Meghan revealed her “ideal food day” would consist of a “dinner of seafood and pasta” with a Negroni cap it all off.

But this isn’t the only fancy food off the table for the newest addition to the family.

The butler added: “As well as shellfish, it would also be quite appropriate for foods such as foie gras to be avoided.”

Prince Charles is said to have banned the delicacy from the palace in 2008 over animal rights concerns.

50 sick: Sweden investigating two salmonella outbreaks with source unknown

Joe Whitworth of Food Navigator reports Sweden is investigating two Salmonella outbreaks that have infected almost 50 people.

Authorities said they suspect both are foodborne but do not yet know the source.

Since the beginning of May, 13 cases of an unusual Salmonella type (S. Typhimurium MLVA 2-17-N-N-211) have been identified by Folkhälsomyndigheten’s (Public Health Agency’s) microbial monitoring program.

Family wins $1.9 million lawsuit after salmonella infected from chicken almost kills toddler

An Arizona federal court jury awarded a family nearly $2 million in damages after their toddler experienced a brain injury from a Foster Farms chicken tainted by salmonella.

Just days after his grandmother and cousin became sick from different strains of salmonella in late 2013, then 17-month-old Noah Craten suddenly came down with a fever, chills and diarrhea, according to the Arizona Republic. But doctors initially didn’t think the salmonella bacteria — one of the most common causes of food poisoning usually attributed to contaminated foods like eggs, poultry and meat— was the cause of his symptoms.

But just a few weeks later in October, Noah was admitted to the hospital after experiencing an extended fever, and after conducting scans, doctors found an infection in the front of his brain that had created an abscess, placing pressure on the rest of his brain.

“I lost it. I was hyperventilating and hysterical,” Noah’s mother, Amanda, told the publication. “I wanted someone to fix him and bring him back to me. I couldn’t see him like that.”

The young boy then underwent surgery to remove a portion of the abscess, and doctors soon discovered it was caused by a rare strain of multidrug-resistant salmonella known as Salmonella Heidelberg.

“When we found out the abscess was from salmonella,” she said, “I instantly lost my composure and cried my eyes out.”

At the time of the discovery, Foster Farms was experiencing an outbreak of the salmonella in its products, which led to the hospitalization of at least 241 people throughout the country. The outbreak began in March 2013, and wouldn’t be declared over by the Centers of Disease Controluntil July 2014.

Noah received antibiotic treatments for the following seven weeks to shrink the rest of the abscess, and while he eventually seemed to improve, the toddler began to show signs of developmental damage such as facial tics and a stutter.

“We were devastated,” Amanda told the newspaper. “It’s been slowly, like every six months, we have a new problem.”

After seeing the damage done to their boy, Amanda and her husband, James Craten, sued Foster Farms for negligence and liability in their part of the salmonella outbreak.

“Foster Farms had known for years that it had a problem with Salmonella in its raw chicken, both from its own internal testing and from prior outbreaks to which Foster Farms had been linked,” one of the Cratens’ lawyers, Eric Hageman, told PEOPLE in a statement. “However, it failed to take steps to mitigate or eliminate Salmonella in its chicken, primarily because the USDA does not have a zero-tolerance policy for Salmonella on raw chicken (as it does for E. coli in ground beef).”

On March 1, an Arizona federal court awarded the family $1.95 million based on epidemiological and microbiological evidence that pointed to the company’s role in Noah’s illness.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Foster Farms said that there was no evidence presented in the trial that showed the family had purchased one of their products leading up to Noah’s symptoms.

“Every consumer has the right to expect safe and wholesome food. Salmonella-related illnesses can trace to any number of causes, including chicken,” the company said. “During the course of the trial, no evidence was presented that demonstrated the Craten family had purchased Foster Farms chicken in the six months prior to Noah Craten’s illness.”

The jury valued the damage to Noah at $6.5 million, and deemed Foster Farms 30 percent responsible — coming out to $1.95 million — and the family 70 perfect responsible, as the food that infected Noah was likely not prepared correctly, as salmonella is typically killed while the food is cooked. The money will all be set aside for Noah.

It is still unclear whether Foster Farms will appeal the verdict, and the family tells the Arizona Republic that they’ll likely only be left with almost half of their award once they pay off fees.

45 sick from Salmonella in eggs linked to Rose Acre Farms

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports this outbreak appears to be over. Consumers and restaurants should always handle and cook eggs safely to avoid foodborne illness from raw eggs. Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw eggs with soap and water.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigated a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Braenderup infections linked to Rose Acre Farms shell eggs.

Forty-five people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Braenderup were reported from 10 states.

Eleven people were hospitalized, and no deaths were reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback evidence indicated that shell eggs produced by Rose Acre Farms’ Hyde County, North Carolina farm were the likely source of this multistate outbreak.

On April 13, 2018, Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Indiana, voluntarily recalled 206,749,248 shell eggs because they could have been contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. Visit the FDA website for a list of recalled products.

On April 16, 2018, Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. voluntarily recalled 23,400 dozen eggs purchased from Rose Acre Farms.

Consumers and restaurants should handle and cook eggs safely to avoid foodborne illness from raw eggs. It is important to handle and prepare all fresh eggs and egg products carefully.

Eggs should be cooked until both the yolk and white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.

Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw eggs—including countertops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards—with soap and water.

Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where recalled eggs were stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.

Raw is risky: ‘Not aware this was remotely possible’ Father of toddlers critically sickened by E. coli linked to raw milk in Tenn.

I started the Food Safety Network (the original FSN) as an incoming graduate student in 1993 in the wake of the Jack-in-the-Box outbreak, combining my science and journalism learnings, and because a constant refrain I observed was, I never knew foodborne illness could be so serious.

That’s why I continue to do it as a form of community service (I haven’t been paid since 2016).

There are now at least 15 children sick with E. coli in Tennessee that has now been linked to consumption of raw milk from French Broad Farm.

According to Kristi L Nelson of Knox News, Jordan and Stephanie Schiding wanted to give their children every health advantage.

That’s the reason the Schidings, two months ago, signed up for a local cow-share program after they read about the health benefits of unpasteurized milk.

Instead, 18-month-old Genevieve and 3-year-old Anthony contracted an illness caused by E. coli bacteria and ended up with kidney failure in the pediatric intensive care unit at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital — two of 12 local children hospitalized with E. coli since the end of May.

Knox County Health Department staff told the Schidings the E. coli infection was likely linked to the consumption of raw milk from French Broad Farm. On Thursday, the health department lifted its directive that requested French Broad Farm temporarily cease operations. But health department Director Dr. Martha Buchanan reiterated that consuming raw milk is always risky and health officials recommend the public consume only pasteurized milk and dairy products.

Jordan Schiding said he and his wife knew there was “potential” for food poisoning from unpasteurized milk, which both adults drank with seemingly no serious effects, but “we were definitely not aware that anything like this was remotely possible.”

The Schiding children seem to have turned a corner, he said, with Anthony discharged Friday afternoon and Genevieve still hospitalized but out of intensive care.

But what started as a supposed stomach bug May 31 turned into a terrifying experience that traumatized both the children and their parents, who had to watch them suffer.

Schiding said the family brought Genevieve to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital May 31 after she became seriously dehydrated with diarrhea and vomiting. As she was being admitted, Anthony also began vomiting.

The hospital rehydrated the children and discharged them a few hours later. Schiding believes they were among the first children related to the current cluster of E. coli cases to come to Children’s Hospital.

Two days later, after both children continued to get sicker, the Schidings brought them back to the hospital. This time, hospital staff took a stool sample from Genevieve, which tested positive for E. coli, and then from Anthony, who also tested positive. Both children were admitted, and Knox County Health Department contacted the couple the next day, he said.

The Schidings knew little about E. coli; certain strains produce a toxin, Shiga, that can cause a chain of reactions in the body — hemolytic uremic syndrome — resulting in clots in the small blood vessels in the kidneys that cause kidney failure. The very young, the very old and people whose immune systems are already compromised are more susceptible to HUS.

Four children admitted to Children’s so far have had HUS, including Genevieve and Anthony. Though Anthony wasn’t quite as sick as his sister, both had surgery to implant central lines so they could get fluids, dialysis and blood transfusions, Schiding said. Anthony had three days of dialysis, Genevieve seven.

In addition, Anthony’s central lines became infected with staph, Schiding said, but the antibiotics typically prescribed to treat staph are too hard on the kidneys to give a child with HUS, so doctors had to use a less common medication, which has seemed to work.

“Obviously, we were freaked out a little bit,” Schiding said. “It seemed like he had started turning the corner” until he spiked a fever of 104.9 and tested positive for staph.

Schiding said his family no longer will consume raw milk.

Shiga-toxin E. coli in dairy cattle near Brisbane

Sure it’s almost 20 years old. But a reminder.

Over a 12-month period, 588 cattle faecal samples and 147 farm environmental samples from three dairy farms in southeast Queensland were examined for the presence of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC). Samples were screened for Shiga toxin gene (stx) using PCR.

Samples positive for stx were filtered onto hydrophobic grid membrane filters and STEC identified and isolated using colony hybridisation with a stx-specific DNA probe. Serotyping was performed to identify serogroups commonly associated with human infection or enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli were isolated from 16.7% of cattle faecal samples and 4.1% of environmental samples. Of cattle STEC isolates, 10.2% serotyped as E. coli O26:H11 and 11.2% serotyped as E. coli O157:H7, and the E. coli O26:H11 and E. coli O157:H7 prevalences in the cattle samples were 1.7 and 1.9%, respectively.

Prevalences for STEC and EHEC in dairy cattle faeces were similar to those derived in surveys within the northern and southern hemispheres. Calves at weaning were identified as the cattle group most likely to be shedding STEC, E. coli O26 or E. coli O157. In concurrence with previous studies, it appears that cattle, and in particular 1-14-week-old weanling calves, are the primary reservoir for STEC and EHEC on the dairy farm.

A longitudinal study of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) prevalence in three Australian diary herds

Veterinary microbiology, Volume 71, Issue 1-2, Pages 125-37, Jan 1, 2000

https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/view/UQ:a5186cb

Raw is risky: Netherlands study finds STEC and Campylobacter in dairy goats and dairy sheep, shows importance of pasteurization

Researchers with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) shows that two types of bacteria that can cause diarrhea in humans ( STEC and Campylobacter) are common in dairy goat farms and dairy sheep farms, according to a RIVM press release (computer translated).

According to Outbreak News Today, in the animal study, 181 dairy goat farms and 24 dairy sheep farms were examined. STEC (Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli) and Campylobacter was found on most. STEC appeared on virtually all the farms studied. Campylobacter has been demonstrated in one out of three goat farms (33 percent) and almost all sheep farms (96 percent). These bacteria have found much less among cattle farmers and family members.

Listeria was less common, at about 9 percent of the goat and about 17 percent of the sheep farms. The bacteria was not found in the people studied. People run the risk of becoming infected with the listeria bacteria by eating raw milk soft cheese. The study also looked at Salmonella and ESBL-producing bacteria. These were not very common on the farms surveyed.

The results show that pasteurization of milk and hygiene after visiting a dairy goat farm or dairy sheep farm is important to prevent disease.

The bacteria found are in the intestines of the animals and thus enter the manure. A small amount of manure can contaminate raw milk or raw milk cheese. Contamination can be prevented by drinking only pasteurized milk or using it in other foods. In addition, people at a farm can become infected if they have contact with the animals or their environment. Visitors can reduce the risk of illness by washing their hands after contact with the animals or their environment.

In unrelated but related news, Brandon Macz of the Monroe Monitor reports that St. John Creamery in Monroe, Washington, announced on Thursday it is voluntarily recalling raw goat milk that may be contaminated with Escherichia coli (E.coli) bacteria.

A June 14 news release states the recall was initiated after “the presence of toxin-producing E.coli in retail raw goal milk dated 6/17” was discovered during routine sampling by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Included in the recall are half-gallon and one-pint containers of raw goat milk marked best by June 17-21.

Another Cyclospora outbreak IDed in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is investigating an increase in Cyclospora infections within the last month. To date, state health officials have identified two outbreaks together involving at least three dozen Minnesotans.

One outbreak has been identified among people who ate at Sonora Grill in Minneapolis in mid-May. To date, 17 patrons have reported illness. The restaurant is fully cooperating with the investigation, and investigators say they do not have any indication that there is an ongoing risk to patrons.

To better identify the source of infection, MDH investigators want to speak with people who ate at Sonora Grill over the weekend of May 18-May 20, regardless of whether they became ill.

“Even if you have not been sick, your information can help us identify what may have caused these illnesses and prevent future illnesses,” said Trisha Robinson, an epidemiologist supervisor with MDH. “If you ate at Sonora Grill during that weekend of May 18-20, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health Waterborne Diseases Unit at 651-201-4891.”

Infection with Cyclospora, known as cyclosporiasis, is caused by the parasite Cyclospora and is spread through consumption of imported fresh produce; it is not spread person-to-person. Washing of imported produce, or routine chemical disinfection or sanitizing methods, are unlikely to kill Cyclospora. Symptoms typically include watery diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, loss of appetite and weight loss. People typically become ill about a week after exposure, but this period can range from 2-14 days. Diarrhea can last several weeks or longer if not treated.

A second outbreak has been linked to Del Monte vegetable trays purchased at Kwik Trip locations. To date, 20 cases have been identified among Minnesotans in this outbreak. Cases report purchasing the vegetable trays at various Kwik Trip locations around the state. Kwik Trip is cooperating with the investigation and voluntarily removed the vegetable trays from their shelves. Consumers should not eat the following products:

Del Monte Vegetable Tray, containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dill dip, 6 oz.

Del Monte Vegetable Tray, containing broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dill dip, 12 oz.

MDH investigators are working with the Minneapolis Health Department and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) on the Sonora Grill outbreak and with MDA and other states on the Kwik Trip outbreak.

“We do not have any indication at this time that the two outbreaks are related,” Robinson said. “Besides these outbreak cases, there are other cases of cyclosporiasis that do not appear to be related to either of these outbreaks, which is not unexpected for this time of year. We typically see increases in Cyclospora infections from May through August.”

The global burden of crypto in children under 5

The protozoan Cryptosporidium is a leading cause of diarrhoea morbidity and mortality in children younger than 5 years. However, the true global burden of Cryptosporidium infection in children younger than 5 years might have been underestimated in previous quantifications because it only took account of the acute effects of diarrhoea. We aimed to demonstrate whether there is a causal relation between Cryptosporidium and childhood growth and, if so, to quantify the associated additional burden.

Methods

The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors study (GBD) 2016 was a systematic and scientific effort to quantify the morbidity and mortality associated with more than 300 causes of death and disability, including diarrhoea caused by Cryptosporidium infection. We supplemented estimates on the burden of Cryptosporidium in GBD 2016 with findings from a systematic review of published and unpublished cohort studies and a meta-analysis of the effect of childhood diarrhoea caused by Cryptosporidium infection on physical growth.

Findings

In 2016, Cryptosporidium infection was the fifth leading diarrhoeal aetiology in children younger than 5 years, and acute infection caused more than 48 000 deaths (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 24 600–81 900) and more than 4·2 million disability-adjusted life-years lost (95% UI 2·2 million–7·2 million). We identified seven data sources from the scientific literature and six individual-level data sources describing the relation between Cryptosporidium and childhood growth. Each episode of diarrhoea caused by Cryptosporidium infection was associated with a decrease in height-for-age Z score (0·049, 95% CI 0·014–0·080), weight-for-age Z score (0·095, 0·055–0·134), and weight-for-height Z score (0·126, 0·057–0·194). We estimated that diarrhoea from Cryptosporidium infection caused an additional 7·85 million disability-adjusted life-years (95% UI 5·42 million–10·11 million) after we accounted for its effect on growth faltering—153% more than that estimated from acute effects alone.

Interpretation

Our findings show that the substantial short-term burden of diarrhoea from Cryptosporidium infection on childhood growth and wellbeing is an underestimate of the true burden. Interventions designed to prevent and effectively treat infection in children younger than 5 years will have enormous public health and social development impacts.

Morbidity, mortality, and long-term consequences associated with diarrhoea from cryptosporidium infection in children younger than 5 years: A meta-analyses study

The Lancet Global Health, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(18)30283-3

Ibrahim A Khalil, Christopher Troeger, Puja C Rao…

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(18)30283-3/abstract#.WyQRPA3swGY.twitter

Funding

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

73 sick from Salmonella in kids’ cereal: Kellogg’s remains a food safety joke

Kellogg’s really sucks at the food safety thing.

After a bunch of their products were recalled in the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) shitfest of 2008-09, their president testified to Congress that they relied on third-party audits and wanted government to increase inspections.

Ha.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka infections.

There have been 73 ill people reported from 31 states, including 24 people who have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from March 3, 2018 to May 28, 2018.

On June 14, 2018, the Kellogg Company recalled 15.3 oz. and 23 oz. packages of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal. Recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal has a “best if used by” date from June 14, 2018 through June 14, 2019. The “best if used by” date is on the box top.

Consumers should not eat and retailers should not serve or sell recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal.

If you have recalled Kellogg’s Honey Smacks cereal:

Throw out the cereal or return it for a refund.

If you store cereal in a container without the packaging and don’t remember the brand or type, throw it away.

Thoroughly wash the container with warm, soapy water before using it again to remove harmful germs that could contaminate other food.

Kellogg says it launched an investigation with the third-party manufacturer who produces Honey Smacks immediately after being contacted by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding reported illnesses.

Our own Benji told Rachael Rettner of Live Science “A dry heat actually makes [Salmonella] more persistent in a food or ingredient,” Benjamin Chapman, an associate professor and food safety specialist at North Carolina State University, told Live Science in a February 2018 interview.

Outbreaks of Salmonella tied to cereal have happened before. In 1998, the CDC reported an outbreak of more than 200 cases of Salmonella tied to Millville brand plain Toasted Oats cereal. Salmonella bacteria are relatively resistant to drying processes, and can survive for long periods in dry environments such as cereal, the CDC said at the time.

Indeed, 10 years after the 1998 outbreak, CDC officials reported another Salmonella outbreak tied to the same cereal company. In that case, the officials hypothesized that a construction project within the manufacturing facility, which involved removal of a wall, may have allowed the reintroduction of the dried outbreak strain of Salmonella into the cereal production area.

That “outbreak highlight[ed] the resilience of Salmonella, suggesting that this organism can persist in dry food production environments for years,” the researchers concluded in a 2008 report.

When anyone from Kellogg’s talks about food safety, have a chuckle and move on; or tell them what dickshits they are and how they know nothing about food safety.

And take responsibility for products you put your name on.

Unless you strive to be the Donald Trump of food production.

Audits and inspections are never enough: A critique to enhance food safety

30.aug.12

Food Control

D.A. Powell, S. Erdozain, C. Dodd, R. Costa, K. Morley, B.J. Chapman

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713512004409?v=s5

Abstract

Internal and external food safety audits are conducted to assess the safety and quality of food including on-farm production, manufacturing practices, sanitation, and hygiene. Some auditors are direct stakeholders that are employed by food establishments to conduct internal audits, while other auditors may represent the interests of a second-party purchaser or a third-party auditing agency. Some buyers conduct their own audits or additional testing, while some buyers trust the results of third-party audits or inspections. Third-party auditors, however, use various food safety audit standards and most do not have a vested interest in the products being sold. Audits are conducted under a proprietary standard, while food safety inspections are generally conducted within a legal framework. There have been many foodborne illness outbreaks linked to food processors that have passed third-party audits and inspections, raising questions about the utility of both. Supporters argue third-party audits are a way to ensure food safety in an era of dwindling economic resources. Critics contend that while external audits and inspections can be a valuable tool to help ensure safe food, such activities represent only a snapshot in time. This paper identifies limitations of food safety inspections and audits and provides recommendations for strengthening the system, based on developing a strong food safety culture, including risk-based verification steps, throughout the food safety system.