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.

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.

Bugs and Salmonella in pistachios

Keeping with the small-town southern Ontario theme (that’s still in Canada) Chris Sperduti, 29, from Bolton (not to be confused with Beeton) grabbed a handful of pistachios and was shelling them when he came across something that turned his stomach.

There were bugs nested in two of the shells. He could see holes in the nuts where the bugs had eaten some of his snack.

Karen Martin-Robbins of the Caledon Enterprise writes the Bolton man contacted Walmart in Bolton – not so small anymore if it has a Walmart — where he bought the product — the company gave him his money back and a savings coupon for more pistachios.

They also told him that with agricultural produce, you can expect to get some insects.

He was even more grossed out by that.

“When I’m eating pistachios, I expect to be eating pistachios. Not bugs,” he said.

Then, he went to Costco to buy his pistachios.

He found three more bugs in his first handful.

A quantitative risk assessment of human salmonellosis from consumption of pistachios in the United States

Journal of Food Protection vol. 81 no. 6

SOFIA M. SANTILLANA FARAKOS,1* RÉGIS POUILLOT,1 GORDON R. DAVIDSON,1 RHOMA JOHNSON,1 JUDITH SPUNGEN,1INSOOK SON,1 NATHAN ANDERSON,2 and JANE M. VAN DOREN1

https://doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-379

http://jfoodprotection.org/doi/abs/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-17-379?code=fopr-site

We developed a quantitative risk assessment model to assess the risk of human nontyphoidal salmonellosis from consumption of pistachios in the United States and to evaluate the impact of Salmonella treatments (1- to 5-log reductions). The exposure model estimating prevalence and contamination levels of Salmonella at consumption included steps in pistachio processing such as transport from grower to huller, removal of the hull through wet abrasion, separation of pistachio floaters (immature, smaller nuts) and sinkers (mature, larger nuts) in a flotation tank, drying, storage, and partitioning. The risks of illness per serving and per year were evaluated by including a Salmonella dose-response model and U.S. consumption data. The spread of Salmonella through float tank water, delay in drying resulting in growth, increased Salmonella levels through pest infestation during storage (pre- and posttreatment), and a simulation of the 2016 U.S. salmonellosis outbreak linked to consumption of pistachios were the modeled atypical situations.

The baseline model predicted one case of salmonellosis per 2 million servings (95% CI: one case per 5 million to 800,000 servings) for sinker pistachios and one case per 200,000 servings (95% CI: one case per 400,000 to 40,000 servings) for floater pistachios when no Salmonella treatment was applied and pistachios were consumed as a core product (>80% pistachio) uncooked at home. Assuming 90% of the pistachio supply is sinkers and 10% is floaters, the model estimated 419 salmonellosis cases per year (95% CI: 200 to 1,083 cases) when no Salmonella treatment was applied. A mean risk of illness of less than one case per year was estimated when a minimum 4-log reduction treatment was applied to the U.S. pistachio supply, similar to the results of the Salmonella risk assessment for almonds. This analysis revealed that the predicted risk of illness per serving is higher for all atypical situations modeled compared with the baseline, and delay in drying had the greatest impact on consumer risk.

Salmonella outbreak shuts down Stoney Creek Mexican restaurant

Stoney Creek used to be a sleepy Ontario (that’s in Canada) town at the top of Hamilton mountain, known for its brand of ice cream.

BJ Durant of Techno Stalls writes a Stoney Creek restaurant which boasts on social Websites that it is home to “Hamilton’s best tacos” was shut while health officials explore a salmonella outbreak that left many people ill.

How “Hamilton’s best tacos” became a thing, this local will never understand.

When I think of Hamilton, I think of a polluted bay, tough hockey players, and a girl named Bambi I dated once.

Ole Gourmet on Regional Road 8 had been closed on May 17 following four individuals with salmonella from meals prepared there.

The Restaurant was started the next day following a re-inspection that revealed it had been compliant with all Ontario’s Food Premises regulation, according to a press release from town officials.

Some folks may become really seriously sick. Said Dr. Ninh Tran, Hamilton Public Health Services.

However, On May 22 the other individual became ill of Salmonella and analyzing of 10 food samples shown three which were positive for contamination.

The restaurant was shut again on May 25.

60 sick: Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide infections linked to pre-cut melon

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports on June 8, 2018, Caito Foods, LLC recalled fresh cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fresh-cut fruit medley products containing one of these melons produced at the Caito Foods facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Recalled products were distributed to Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Ohio.

Recalled products were sold in clear, plastic clamshell containers at Costco, Jay C, Kroger, Payless, Owen’s, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Walgreens, Walmart, and Whole Foods/Amazon.

The investigation is ongoing to determine if products went to additional stores or states.

Do not eat recalled products. Check your fridge and freezer for them and throw them away or return them to the place of purchase for a refund.

If you don’t remember where you bought pre-cut melon, don’t eat it and throw it away.

Retailers should not sell or serve recalled pre-cut melon products distributed by Caito Foods Distribution, Gordon Food Service, and SpartanNash Distribution.

CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Adelaide infections in five Midwestern states.

60 people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported.

31 people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and preliminary traceback evidence indicates that pre-cut melon supplied by Caito Foods, LLC of Indianapolis, Indiana is a likely source of this multistate outbreak.

Most of the ill people reported eating pre-cut cantaloupe, watermelon, or a fruit salad mix with melon purchased from grocery stores.

Information collected from stores where ill people shopped indicates that Caito Foods, LLC supplied pre-cut melon to these stores.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 30, 2018, to May 28, 2018. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 97, with a median age of 67. Sixty-five percent are female. Out of 47 people with information available, 31 (66%) have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses that occurred after May 20, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks.

CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

A table of cantaloupe/rockmelon outbreaks is available at  http://www.barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Cantaloupe-Related-Outbreaks-3-8-18.xlsx.

124 sick so far this year: Seriously stop cuddling your chicks, they’re Salmonella factories

I’ve said it many times before, and will say it again: Stop cuddling your chicks.

The backyard chicken kind.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and multiple states are investigating several multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with live poultry in backyard flocks.

Several different types of Salmonella bacteria have made people sick: Salmonella Seftenberg, Salmonella Montevideo, Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Indiana, and Salmonella Litchfield.

As of June 1, 2018, 124 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella have been reported from 36 states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from February 2, 2018 to May 14, 2018.

21 ill people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

31% of ill people are children younger than 5 years.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings link these outbreaks to contact with live poultry, such as chicks and ducklings, which come from multiple hatcheries.

In interviews, 55 (74%) of 74 ill people with information available reported contact with chicks or ducklings in the week before their illness started.

People reported obtaining chicks and ducklings from several sources, including feed supply stores, websites, hatcheries, and from relatives.

Seventy outbreaks of Salmonella infections have been linked to contact with backyard flocks since 2000[PDF – 887KB]. In 2017, CDC reported the largest number of illnesses ever recorded linked to backyard flocks.

People can get sick with Salmonella infections from touching live poultry or their environment. These birds can be carrying Salmonella bacteria but appear healthy and clean and show no signs of illness.

Follow these tips to stay healthy with your backyard flock:

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching live poultry or anything in their environment.

Don’t let children younger than 5 years handle or touch live poultry without adult supervision.

Set aside a pair of shoes to wear while taking care of your birds and keep those outside of your home.

Do not let live poultry inside the house, in bathrooms, or especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored, such as kitchens or outdoor patios.

For a complete list of recommendations, visit the Healthy Pets, Healthy People website section on backyard poultry

And don’t sleep with your chicks.

52 sick from Salmonella linked to café in Poland

As evidenced by recent reports, Green Caffe Nero clients in Warsaw, Krakow and Wrocław have asked about the “Green Mosque” cake. Some of them are in hospital. Among the victims of salmonella raging in the famous coffee bar are children.

According to Warsaw’s “Metro”, 52 cases were reported in total. As many as 21 people required hospitalization, including three children. In total there are 6 children among the victims. Sanepid not only inspected Warsaw’s premises Green Caffe Nero but also cafes in Wrocław and Kraków . There were also infected cakes. Krakow inspection confirmed that she had four people suffering from salmonella after eating the “green moss” dough. At least one of the sick people was poisoned in Wrocław.

As the InnPoland.pl portal reported, the cafeteria did not hide its head in the sand and started the investigation itself. Without wrapping cotton, Green Caffe Nero took responsibility for itself. Although their managers still prescribe that salmonella was “slammed” into the cafeteria together with one of the ingredients from subcontractors.

Also 21 companies were inspected, where they identified the irregularities mainly concerned the breakdown of the cold chain for offered products. The network was also fined in the form of a fine for a total amount of PLN 4,800.

Lactalis of France ‘Salmonella was released from inside the buildings’

The head of the French company at the centre of an international baby milk scandal denied Friday that it was responsible for the contamination that triggered a recall of formula in over 80 countries, calling it “an accident”.

Lactalis, one of the world’s biggest dairy groups, was forced to recall 12 million packages of powdered baby milk in 83 countries in December and January after being linked to an outbreak of salmonella poisoning in children.

French officials began investigating the company after at least 36 infants fell sick from drinking milk sold under the Picot or Milumel brands. Cases of suspected contamination were also reported among children in Spain and Greece.

The outbreak was traced to a Lactalis factory in Craon, western France.

CEO Emmanuel Besnier told a French parliamentary inquiry that a renovation of the plant in early 2017 “released salmonella which was inside the buildings”.

“It was an accident. Nobody inside the factory was responsible,” he told lawmakers.

Lactalis has come in for heavy criticism after it emerged that the company’s own tests found salmonella on a production line but that it did not report the finding because the bacteria was not found in the milk itself.

The company is facing several lawsuits over the outbreak.