Salmonella Dublin is nasty

Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin is a cattle-adapted bacterium that typically causes bloodstream infections in humans.

To summarize demographic, clinical, and antimicrobial drug resistance characteristics of human infections with this organism in the United States, we analyzed data for 1968–2013 from 5 US surveillance systems.

During this period, the incidence rate for infection with Salmonella Dublin increased more than that for infection with other Salmonella. Data from 1 system (FoodNet) showed that a higher percentage of persons with Salmonella Dublin infection were hospitalized and died during 2005–2013 (78% hospitalized, 4.2% died) than during 1996-2004 (68% hospitalized, 2.7% died). Susceptibility data showed that a higher percentage of isolates were resistant to >7 classes of antimicrobial drugs during 2005–2013 (50.8%) than during 1996–2004 (2.4%).

Epidemiology of Salmonella enterica Serotype Dublin infections among humans, United State, 1968-2013

Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 23, no. 9, September 2017, R. Reid Harvey, Cindy R. Friedman, Stacy M. Crim, Michael Judd, Kelly A. Barrett, Beth Tolar, Jason P. Folster, Patricia M. Griffin, and Allison C. Brown

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/9/17-0136_article

Silicon Valley pundit does not know chickens are Salmonella factories and neither does N.Y. Times

Of course, he works for Fox.

Nellie Bowles of The New York Times reports it’s not easy being the first and only Fox News host in Silicon Valley.

But Steve Hilton, a tech entrepreneur who was once chief adviser to former Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, added that role to his résumé in June.

Now every week, Mr. Hilton flies from the home he shares with his high-profile tech executive wife, Rachel Whetstone, in Silicon Valley’s billionaire enclave of Atherton, Calif., to Fox’s studios in Los Angeles to host “The Next Revolution With Steve Hilton.” Fox News markets the Sunday night program as exploring “the impact of the populist movement.”

All of which makes life complicated for Mr. Hilton in overwhelmingly liberal Silicon Valley, where supporters of President Trump are nearly nonexistent and few think populism would improve their lives.

For the past five years, Mr. Hilton has been quietly building a new life in Atherton, raising his two children with Ms. Whetstone, writing about how he has given up his cellphone, hosting annual Cinco de Mayo parties and tending a large flock of pet chickens (his favorite is a brown hen named Hermione). Last year, he published a United States version of his book, “More Human,” about the need for a populist revolution in government and business, and wrote favorably about Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign against Hillary Clinton.

He can be a brilliant political strategist or tech guy or TV host, but he knows shit about microbiology. You see a cute chick, I see a Salmonella factory: 372 sick so far this year.

The Australian Institute of Food Safety identifies five high risk food items for poisoning

In the UK each year roughly 20,000 people are hospitalised with food poisoning and 500 people die.
Symptoms are unpleasant and include vomiting, diarrhoea and a high temperature, according to the NHS.
There are a number of causes, including chemicals, toxins and bacteria.
While it’s almost always an accident, food poisoning tends to affect people after they’ve eaten particular foods.
According to the Australian Institute of Food Safety, this is because certain foods are more at risk of bacterial growth than others.
Poultry
Raw and undercooked poultry can be contaminated with campylobacter bacteria and salmonella.
According to the Australian Institute of Food Safety, the bacteria can survive up until cooking kills them – so make sure you cook it thoroughly and don’t contaminate surfaces with raw chicken.

Cook poultry to an internal temperature of 74C (165F) to ensure safety, forget the jargon “cook thoroughly,”doesn’t tell me anything.

Eggs
Last week it was revealed that Dutch eggs contaminated with insecticide may have entered the UK.
They can also sometimes be contaminated with salmonella.
You can avoid being affected by cooking eggs thoroughly, and avoiding foods that purposely contain undercooked eggs, like mayonnaises and salad dressings, according to the Australian Institute of Food Safety.

Leafy greens
Because they are often eaten raw with no cooking process, bacteria like E.coli can easily affect you.
However, according to the Australian Institute of Food Safety, washing them can reduce risk of harmful bacteria as well as chemical pesticides.

Well this all depends if the salad is pre-washed and labelled accordingly, if so, washing lettuce at home will only increase the risk of cross-contamination. Reducing the food safety risk with leafy greens begins well before it arrives in your home.

Raw milk
This is where milk is unpasteurised, meaning it has not been heated up to kill harmful bacteria.
It leaves you at a higher risk than regular milk of consuming bacteria like E.coli, salmonella and listeria.

Raw milk has always left an impression on me ever since I was a food tech in Alberta. The health department submitted a sample of raw milk from a community in Alberta where a significant number of kids became ill. I was responsible in analyzing the milk to determine the etiologic agent and I remember vividly looking at this black, overgrown agar plate, completely taken over by Campylobacter jejuni, poor kids.

Cheese
A bacteria commonly found in cheese is staphylococcus aureus.
It’s heat resistant, so the best way of avoiding cheese becoming contaminated is to store it at or under 5 degrees.

 

71 sick: Salmonella outbreak linked to Dim Sum chain in Shanghai

Results of test samples taken from a Hong Kong-style dim sum chain that was shut down last week over food safety concerns have found Salmonella to be present on some of the restaurant’s cakes.

Shanghai Daily reports that the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) ordered LIST to immediately shut down all nine of its chain restaurants, as well as its central kitchen.

This demand for hygiene testing came after customers who ate at the popular chain’s establishments complained of gastrointestinal discomfort after eating. 

At least 71 people suffered from food poisoning and received treatment at nearby hospitals. Most of the diners developed symptoms between July 16 and 18, though all are now said to have recovered. 

Further tests will be conducted on more food samples as the investigation continues, and SFDA has warned of “severe punishment” for the chain once the investigation is complete.

 

 

Supplier Food Safety- Frog in Salad

Health inspection of the implicated premise reveals no food safety infractions one week after an incident involving a frog in a woman’s salad. That really doesn’t tell us much, what about the suppliers? Was an investigation conducted, if so, what happened? This is not the first time people have found extraneous things like frogs in their salads and may not be the last.

Anastasios Manaras of the The Weekly Observer writes

A woman from California was shocked and angry when she found a frog inside her salad in a well-known restaurant.
Shawna Cepeda wrote a review of her restaurant experience on July 22, saying her salad was bitter. “I had eaten 4 spoons when I noticed it had a strange taste and I thought maybe the sauce was bitter and mixed the salad when I discovered a little frog.
He warned the restaurant manager, who brought her another salad. Customer satisfaction and quality control are our highest priorities. We take incidents like this very seriously, “said Gabriel Levin, head of the BJ restaurant chain.
He added that the company is conducting an internal investigation and will contact the suppliers “to make sure that something similar will not happen again in the future. Cepeda said she did not have to pay for her meal, but the restaurant asked her to pay for her drinks. The restaurant also gave her a $ 50 gift card.
“It seems inconceivable to me that it has passed through the suppliers and reached the final customer without any notice,” says Cepeda. Cepeda also bothered that the restaurant staff did not notify other customers that lettuce in their salads might be contaminated. 

“The restaurant was full. There were many children and I think that bothered me more. ” She added that after her meal in the restaurant she felt sick. On July 25, she visited a doctor who confirmed that she did not had salmonella, but she may had some bacterial infection and take antibiotics.

 

21 sickened with Salmonella from duck prosciutto at Australian restaurant, 2015

In June 2015, an outbreak of salmonellosis occurred among people who had eaten at a restaurant in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia over 2 consecutive nights.

We conducted a retrospective cohort study of diners who ate at the restaurant on 19 and 20 June 2015. Diners were telephoned and a questionnaire recorded symptoms and menu items consumed. An outbreak case was defined as anyone with laboratory confirmed Salmonella Typhimurium PT9 (STm9) or a clinically compatible illness after eating at the restaurant.

Environmental health officers inspected the premises and collected food samples. We contacted 79/83 of the cohort (response rate 95%); 21 were cases (attack rate 27%), and 9 had laboratory confirmed STm9 infection. The most commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (100%), abdominal pain (95%), fever (95%) and nausea (95%). Fifteen people sought medical attention and 7 presented to hospital.

The outbreak was most likely caused by consumption of duck prosciutto, which was consumed by all cases (OR 18.6, CI 3.0–∞, P<0.01) and was prepared on site.

Salmonella was not detected in any food samples but a standard plate count of 2×107 col- ony forming units per gram on samples of duck prosciutto demonstrated bacterial contamination. The restaurant used inappropriate methodology for curing the duck prosciutto. Restaurants should consider purchasing pre-made cured meats, or if preparing them on site, ensure that they adhere to safe methods of production.

An outbreak of salmonellosis associated with duck prosciutto at a Northern Territory restaurant

CDI, vol 41, no 1, 2017, Anthony DK Draper, Claire N Morton, Joshua NI Heath, Justin A Lim, Anninka I Schiek, Stephanie Davis, Vicki L Krause, Peter G Markey

https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cda-cdi4101-pdf-cnt.htm/$FILE/cdi4101d.pdf

Commun Dis Intell 2017;41(1):E16 – E20.

 

31 children get Salmonella from contaminated cordial in Australia, 2014

I didn’t know what cordial was until I came to Australia, and started drinking it as manufactured, when it is supposed to be diluted about 4:1. I prefer fizzy water with the lime cordial.

An outbreak of salmonellosis occurred following attendance at a school camp between 5 and 8 August 2014 in a remote area of the Northern Territory, Australia. We conducted a retrospective cohort study via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire that recorded symptoms and exposures to foods and activities during the camp. A case was anyone with laboratory confirmed Salmonella Saintpaul infection or a clinically compatible illness after attending the camp.

Environmental health officers from the Environmental Health Branch undertook an investigation and collected water and environmental samples. We interviewed 65 (97%) of the 67 people who attended the camp. There were 60 students and 7 adults. Of the 65 people interviewed, 30 became ill (attack rate 46%); all were students; and 4 had laboratory confirmed S. Saintpaul infection. The most commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (100% 30/30), abdominal pain (93% 28/30), nausea (93% 28/30) and fever (70% 21/30). Thirteen people sought medical attention but none required hospitalisation. Illness was significantly associated with drinking cordial at lunch on 7 August (RR 3.8, 95% CI 1.3-11, P < 0.01), as well as drinking cordial at lunch on 8 August (RR 2.1, 95% CI 1.1-4.2, P=0.01). Salmonella spp. was not detected in water samples or wallaby faeces collected from the camp ground.

The epidemiological investigation suggests the outbreak was caused by environmental contamination of food or drink and could have occurred during ice preparation or storage, preparation of the cordial or from inadequate sanitising of the cooler from which the cordial was served. This outbreak highlights the risks of food or drink contamination with environmental Salmonella. Those preparing food and drink in campground settings should be vigilant with cleaning, handwashing and disinfection to prevent outbreaks of foodborne disease.

An outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul gastroenteritis after attending a school camp in the Northern Territory, Australia

Commun Dis Intell Q Rep 2017 Mar 31;41(1):E10-E15. Epub 2017 Mar 31. Anthony Dk Draper, Claire N Morton, Joshua Ni Heath, Justin A Lim

https://www.pubfacts.com/detail/28385134/An-outbreak-of-Salmonella-Saintpaul-gastroenteritis-after-attending-a-school-camp-in-the-Northern-Te

Levine writes: Investigating shoppers’ perceptions of risk

Katrina Levine, extension associate and lead author of Consumer perceptions of the safety of ready-to-eat foods in retail food store settings writes,

While I was grocery shopping one day at my regular store, I noticed that one of the doors to the dairy refrigerator case was missing. There was no sign or notice to explain the gaping hole where the door should have been in front of the shredded cheese, nor was any attempt made to compensate for the absent door, such as by relocating the items in that section or putting up a temporary covering.

After first being a bit confused when trying to reach for a non-existent handle, these questions popped into my head:

• how can the food in this section be at a safe temperature, as well as the foods on either side of it? and,

• doesn’t this missing door affect the ability of the case to maintain its temperature?

I’m a food safety nerd. Most people just want to shop and get on with whatever they are doing, but I’m subconsciously always looking for food safety behaviors. The person standing behind me was probably more interested in which brand was the least expensive or which package looked the freshest, or just wanted me to get out the way so they could buy their cheese and leave.

Does the lack of a door on a normally enclosed refrigerator case pose a food safety risk for dairy the products in that case? Depends on whom you ask. The average consumer (interpret this as you choose) often doesn’t see the same food safety risks when shopping in grocery stores compared to food safety folks.

Our group from North Carolina State teamed up with John Luchansky and Anna Porto-Fett at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service to investigate this difference between consumers and food safety folks in food safety risk perception when shopping at grocery stores.  We conducted a national survey and several focus groups where, instead of just describing a situation, we showed pictures of a food safety situation someone could actually encounter while shopping. In addition to asking questions about whether each photo was safe or unsafe, we wanted to know about the actions, if any, people would take to do something about a situation they thought was unsafe. We prodded them further with questions about how their perceptions of safety would affect their shopping behaviors.

We found that consumers and food safety folks don’t always see the same food safety risks. There were some situations consumers perceived as risky but that weren’t actually risks, like seeing an insect on the floor. There were also some risks that food safety folks saw but consumers missed, like food not properly stored within the refrigerated area.

I was explaining our study to a friend the other day, and she flat out told me, “I look for food quality when I’m shopping – is it fresh, is there mold or signs of damage, does it look ok?” This is exactly what we found. Consumers are looking for those quality aspects, but aren’t always seeing the warning signs that the safety of the food could be at risk. The viruses, bacteria, and other things that cause foodborne illness such as Listeria monocytogenes, might be present on foods in the grocery store at high levels by not storing soft cheeses at the proper temperature, allowing bacteria to grow more quickly.

Our research team will be taking this one step further to better understand the mind of the shopper and see things through their eyes. Everyday consumers will become our secret shoppers, and we plan to arm them with the information they need to be food safety detectives every time they shop. #citizenscience for the win.

Consumer perceptions of the safety of ready-to-eat foods in retail food store settings

Katrina Levine, Mary Yavelak, John B. Luchansky, Anna C. S. Porto-Fett, and Benjamin Chapman

Journal of Food Protection

August 2017, Vol. 80, No. 8, pp. 1364-1377

DOI: doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-417

Abstract:

To better understand how consumers perceive food safety risks in retail food store settings, a survey was administered to 1,041 nationally representative participants who evaluated possible food safety risks depicted in selected photographs and self-reported their perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. Participants were shown 12 photographs taken at retail stores portraying either commonly perceived or actual food safety contributing factors, such as cross-contamination, product and equipment temperatures, worker hygiene, and/or store sanitation practices. Participants were then asked to specifically identify what they saw, comment as to whether what they saw was safe or unsafe, and articulate what actions they would take in response to these situations. In addition to the survey, focus groups were employed to supplement survey findings with qualitative data. Survey respondents identified risk factors for six of nine actual contributing factor photographs >50% of the time: poor produce storage sanitation (86%, n = 899), cross-contamination during meat slicing (72%, n = 750), bare-hand contact of ready-to-eat food in the deli area (67%, n = 698), separation of raw and ready-to-eat food in the seafood case (63%, n = 660), cross-contamination from serving utensils in the deli case (62%, n = 644), and incorrect product storage temperature (51%, n = 528). On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 was very unsafe and 5 was very safe, a significant difference was found between average risk perception scores for photographs of actual contributing factors (score of ca. 2.5) and scores for photographs of perceived contributing factors (score of ca. 2.0). Themes from the focus groups supported the results of the survey and provided additional insight into consumer food safety risk perceptions. The results of this study inform communication interventions for consumers and retail food safety professionals aimed at improving hazard identification.

1 dead, 46 sick: Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Kiambu linked to Maradol papayas

Mangos, I love; papayas, not so much.

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

A total of 47 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Kiambu have been reported from 12 states.

Twelve ill people have been hospitalized. One death has been reported from New York City.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 17, 2017 to June 28, 2017. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 95, with a median age of 27. Among ill people, 67% are female. Among 31 people with available information, 18 (58%) are of Hispanic ethnicity. Among 33 people with available information, 12 (36%) report being hospitalized. One death was reported from New York City.

Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence collected to date indicates that Maradol papayas are a likely source of this multistate outbreak.

CDC recommends that consumers not eat, restaurants not serve, and retailers not sell Maradol papayas until we learn more.

If you aren’t sure if the papaya you bought is a Maradol papaya, you can ask the place of purchase. Restaurants and retailers can ask their supplier.

When in doubt, don’t eat, sell, or serve them and throw them out.

Wash and sanitize countertops as well as drawers or shelves in refrigerators where papayas were stored.

This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

24 sick in 16 states: Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to clinical and teaching microbiology laboratories

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and public health officials in several states have identified a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to various clinical, commercial, and college and university teaching microbiology laboratories.

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet, coordinated by CDC, is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories. PulseNet performs DNA fingerprinting on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks.

Twenty-four people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 16 states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington. WGS showed that the strain of Salmonella Typhimurium causing illness in this outbreak is closely related genetically to a strain from an outbreak in 2014 and an outbreak in 2011, both of which were linked to microbiology laboratories. As a result of the 2011 outbreak, several laboratory professionals across the country developed a set of guidelines for handling microorganisms safely in a teaching laboratory.

Among people for whom information was available, illnesses started on dates ranging from March 17, 2017 to June 22, 2017. Ill people ranged in age from less than one year to 57 years, with a median age of 24. Seventy-five percent of ill people were female. Among 21 people with available information, six (29%) were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about different exposures in the week before they became ill. Nine (69%) of 13 ill people had laboratory exposures. Ill people in this outbreak reported behaviors while working in the laboratory that could increase the risk of Salmonella infection. These included not wearing gloves or lab coats, not washing hands, and using the same writing utensils and notebooks outside of the laboratory.

This outbreak highlights the potential risk of Salmonella infection associated with working in microbiology laboratories.

All students and staff in clinical and teaching microbiology laboratories should receive laboratory safety training. Either nonpathogenic or attenuated bacterial strains should be used when possible, especially in teaching laboratories. This practice will help reduce the risk of students and their family members becoming ill.