17 sick from hepA in Denmark linked to dates

Since the end of January, the State Serum Institute has investigated a disease outbreak of contagious hepatitis caused by hepatitis A virus infections. This indicates that the source of infection may be dates, and the case is further investigated in collaboration with the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration and the DTU Food Institute. The outbreak is the second national food-borne outbreak of hepatitis A in Denmark.

The outbreak thus includes 17 patients, nine women and eight men aged 17 years. Patients have become ill from December 2017 onwards. Patients are resident throughout the country and 16 have been hospitalized. Virus from seven of the patients has been type-approved for type 3A, and for the time being, genetic studies have shown that four of these are identical, which supports the suspicion of a common source of infection. It is still expected that more patients will come, as about four weeks from eating the contaminated dates until you get sick with hepatitis A.

To investigate the source of infection for the outbreak, the State Serum Institute has conducted extensive interviews with patients and made a so-called case-control study. During the initial interviews, dates, as several of the patients indicated to have eaten, were suspected. The correlation between dates and disease risk was then investigated in the case-control study. Here you compare how often patients have eaten a number of specific foods with similar information from a comparable group of healthy Danes. 

The results have shown that the source of infection was most likely to have been dates since patients had far more eaten this food than the comparable group of healthy Danes. The dates are described by most patients as soft dark stones with stones purchased in Rema1000. The results were handed over to the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, The importer and Rema1000 chose to withdraw the dates on 6 February .

The likelihood of infectious hepatitis infection caused by infection with Hepatitis A virus by eating dates from Rema1000 is considered very small. Therefore, there is no need to consult a doctor if you have no symptoms of hepatitis A infection.

If you have eaten Rema1000 dadels after 1 December 2017 and develop symptoms of hepatitis such as nausea, madness, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea or fever without any other obvious causes or yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, light colored dye and / or dark , porter-colored urine, consult your own doctor. 

1 dead, 5 sick from Listeria in cold-smoked salmon, 2017, Denmark

In Denmark, on 23 August 2017, Statens Serum Institut (SSI) identified a genetic cluster of four human Listeria monocytogenes sequence type (ST) 8 isolates by core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) [1]. The allele calling was performed in BioNumerics (v7.6.2, Applied Maths, Belgium). We initiated an epidemiological investigation and notified the Danish Central Outbreak Management Group (collaboration between the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA), the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and SSI). On 25 August, two additional human isolates were found to belong to the same genetic cluster.

Lox 014

A confirmed case was defined as a person clinically diagnosed with listeriosis after 1 January 2017 with laboratory-confirmed L. monocytogenes ST8 clustering using cgMLST (≤ 5 allelic distance, single linkage). Cases diagnosed before 1 January 2017 with an isolate belonging to this cluster were defined as probable cases.

As of 25 August 2017, the genetic cluster comprised six cases; five confirmed and one probable. Laboratory sample dates ranged from 25 October 2015 to 21 August 2017. The age of the cases ranged from 59 to 96 years (median 80 years) and four were women. All patients had underlying illness and no travel history. One patient died within 30 days of diagnosis. Epidemiological investigations including a standard questionnaire on exposures showed that all five confirmed cases had consumed cold-smoked and/or cured salmon in the 30 days before disease onset. Four cases had bought the salmon in retail chain X. No other food-item was reported as consumed in high frequencies among cases. Epidemiological follow-up for the probable case did not include information on fish consumption.

Cross-border outbreak of listeriosis cause by cold-smoked salmon, revealed by integrated surveillance and whole genome sequencing (WGS), Denmark and France, 2015 to 2017

Eurosurveillance, 2017, Susanne SchjørringSofie Gillesberg LassenTenna JensenAlexandra MouraJette S Kjeldgaard, Luise MüllerStine ThielkeAlexandre LeclercqMylene M MauryMathieu Tourdjman ,Marie-Pierre DonguyMarc LecuitSteen EthelbergEva M Nielsen, https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.50.17-00762

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2017.22.50.17-00762

Raw is risky: Norovirus in raw oysters sickens 10 in Denmark

Joseph James Whitworth of Food Quality News writes 10 people have been sickened by norovirus after eating raw oysters at Danish restaurants.

Fødevarestyrelsen (Danish Veterinary and Food Administration) said oysters are from Lemvig.

The agency has closed the area in Lemvig for commercial harvest of mussels and oysters and is monitoring it.

Illnesses can be avoided if oysters are cooked to an internal temperature of 90° Celsius/194° Fahrenheit for a minimum of 90 seconds.

Denmark: 1 dead, 4 sick from Listeria in salmon

Joe Whitworth of Food Quality News reports that four people have been sickened and one has died from Listeria in salmon processed in Poland and sold in Denmark.

Dansk Supermarked Group issued a recall after Fødevarestyrelsen (Danish Veterinary and Food Administration) detected Listeria monocytogenes in two packs of cold-smoked salmon.

L. monocytogenes was identified at 240 CFU/g in chilled cold smoked salmon.

Campy on the risin’ risin’

Lyrics to the Doors’ song below are sorta dumb, but a great guitar solo that still sends shivers up and down my spine. And Campy, it keeps on risin.’

Campylobacter is the most frequently occurring cause of bacterial gastroenteritis in Europe. Unlike other zoonotic diseases, European-wide incidences of Campylobacter infections have increased during the past decade, resulting in a significant disease burden. In Denmark, campylobacteriosis is notifiable by laboratory and a unique registration system of electronic transfer and storage of notified Campylobacter cases linked to the national person register of age, gender and geographical location allows collection of comprehensive case data.

Using national surveillance data, we describe Campylobacter infections in Denmark from 2000 to 2015, focusing on age-specific incidences, geography, seasonality and outbreaks. During the observed period, a total of 60,725 Campylobacter infections were registered with a mean annual incidence of 69.3 cases/100,000 population. From 2000 to 2014, the incidence of campylobacteriosis decreased by 20%, followed by an apparent increase of 20% from 2014 to 2015. Approximately one-third of cases were travel-related. Incidences were highest in males, young adults aged 20–29 years and children under 5 years of age. Generally, children under 10 years of age living in rural areas were at higher risk of infection. Infection patterns were seasonal with an increase from May to October, peaking in August. Outbreaks were identified each year, including four large waterborne outbreaks which all occurred following heavy rainfall events. For the most part, patterns of Campylobacter infection in Denmark during 2000 to 2015 remained remarkably constant and followed what is known about the disease with respect to demographic, temporal and spatial characteristics.

To establish better targeted prevention and control measures, the current knowledge gaps regarding both Campylobacter microbiology (degree of clonal diversity and clustering) and the importance of different risk factors (food versus environment/climate) need to be filled.

Epidemiology of campylobacteriosis in Denmark 2000–2015

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Kuhn, E. M. Nielsen, K. Mølbak, S. Ethelberg

DOI: 10.1111/zph.12367

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12367/abstract;jsessionid=B1876B46881FE2313CB2972DF3AA7AD3.f04t01

Marketing food safety: Denmark, schnapps and Salmonella

I’ve been a long-time proponent that those farmers, processors and retailers that are really good at microbial food safety should be able to market such evidence directly to consumers.

salm-free-chicken-denmarkThis has nothing to do with food safety being a non-competitive issue, or whatever else industry types claim: It has everything to do with providing a market-based incentive for those in the farm-to-fork food safety system to brag about what they do.

There are good actors, there are bad actors: if trade associations were really concerned about their customers barfing, they’d stop saying everyone cares about food safety and support efforts to make such information readily available at retail.

But such microbiologically-safe claims are only valid with publicly available data: And there’s no such thing as no risk – or no Salmonella.

As that foodborne Salmonella infections in Denmark reached a historic low, some Danish processors are, according to Steve Sayer of Meatingplace.com, claiming on labels their chicken is Salmonalla-free.

Right, is a retail package containing raw skinless/boneless chicken that was recently purchased in Denmark (DK) Europe.

The labeling on the package is claiming to Danish consumers (where there’s an orange drawing of a chicken within a round circle): “Dansk Salmonelllafri Kylling,” when translated means – “Danish salmonella-free chicken.”

The DK packer is Rose Packing that claims their chicken is “salmonella free” on their website.

The long and winding road that the Danes labored to lowering salmonella within their hatcheries, layer hens, broiler chickens and eggs are impressive.

In 2015 a total of 925 salmonella infections were reported among Danes, which is equivalent to 16.2 infected cases per 100,000 inhabitants. This is the lowest number of salmonella infections since 1988, which is the first year from which researchers at the National Food Institute have used data to map the sources of foodborne salmonella infections.

2015 is also the first year since the introduction of the salmonella source account that Danish eggs have not caused illness. There have also been no registered cases of infection due to Danish chicken meat, which has been the case in four of the previous five years.

“The good results regarding Danish eggs and poultry are very encouraging. However, salmonella still constitutes a risk. Therefore it is important to maintain the preventive measures that researchers, governments and industry have jointly implemented over the years to ensure that salmonella is kept out of Danish products,” Senior Scientific Officer Birgitte Helwigh from the National Food Institute says.

Campylobacter continued to be the cause of most of the registered foodborne infections in Denmark in 2015 with 4,348 cases of illness. This represents a 15% increase from 2014 and is the highest number of cases ever recorded.

denmark-chickenImprovements in the reporting system and changes in diagnostic methods mean that more cases of illness are registered than in the past. Therefore it is unclear whether more people actually got a campylobacter infection in 2015 compared to previous years.

In 2015, only 39 foodborne disease outbreaks have been registered. This is the lowest number of outbreaks since a nationwide database for food and waterborne disease outbreaks was established almost ten years ago. A total of 1,233 people have become sick in connection with the 39 outbreaks.

As in previous year norovirus was the leading cause of outbreaks (42%).

Fancy food ain’t safe food Denmark edition: Country’s only three-star restaurant fined £2,300 for hygiene breaches

Denmark’s only three-star Michelin restaurant on Thursday faced questions over hygiene after it was fined 20,000 kroner (£2,300) by the country’s food safety authority.

restaurant-geranium-iiGeranium, the first eatery in Denmark to receive top Michelin honours, had been storing fresh shellfish such as oysters, crayfish and scallops in temperatures that were too warm and over an extended period, the Danish Food Administration wrote after an inspection.

Two walk-in coolers also had “black, green and white splotches growing on the underside of shelves and on packaged pickled garlic”, according to a report dated 29 September but picked up by Danish media only on Thursday.

The regulator awarded the Copenhagen restaurant – which charges 2,000 kroner for a meal without drinks – a frowning “smiley,” the lowest grade of its four-tier system.

Geranium chef Rasmus Kofoed told Danish news agency Ritzau: “I do not agree with what is written. I believe that it is greatly exaggerated but I admit that there are some parts of the process where perhaps we have been a bit unattentive.”

geranium-denmarkLess talk, more action.

The restaurant had been using a computerized system to monitor food temperatures incorrectly, but fish and shellfish were always stored on ice regardless of the surrounding temperature, he added.

This year the Nordic edition of the Michelin Guide gave three stars to Geranium, but only two to Copenhagen’s celebrated Noma, which was named best restaurant in the world by Britain’s Restaurant magazine in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Noma too faced criticism from the Danish food safety regulator in 2013, when it was accused of not taking adequate action after a sick kitchen worker gave dozens of customers food poisoning.

The gift that keeps on giving.

smiley-faces-denmark-rest-inspection

First Denmark, now Norway for smiley-faced restaurant ratings

Nina Berglund of News in English.no reports inspectors from Norway’s state food safety agency Mattilsynet had little to smile about after their most recent visits to 1,100 restaurants in the Oslo area. Six out of 10 restaurants failed to earn the smiley face insignia that symbolizes good hygiene.

rest.inspection.smile.norway.aug.16Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Thursday that only 41 percent of the eating places inspected by Mattilsynet in Oslo, Asker and Bærum were awarded the smiley face, which means they met the authorities’ standards for good hygiene.

“We of course wished that the results were better, but we’re not surprised,” Marit Kolle, division chief at Mattilsynet, told NRK. The results show a decline from national inspections earlier this year, when more than 60 percent did well and received smiley faces.

Kolle said that half the restaurants inspected most recently were given a straight face, after inspectors found deficiencies and errors in hygienic routines. “Those establishments get a warning from us that they must improve their routines,” Kolle said.

Another 9 percent were hit with a sour face symbol, meaning they flunked the hygiene inspection. Inspectors can close them on the spot if the violations are severe, or fine them.

The system of symbolizing the hygiene of restaurants was launched January 1 as a means of advising patrons about food safety inspection results. After an initial round of visits to 2,279 restaurants nationwide, around a third failed to win smiley faces.

The restaurants are obliged to post the smiley-, straight- or sour-faced symbols at their front doors. NRK reported earlier this year that Mattilsynet inspectors claimed many were failing to do so, thus “sabotaging” the program.

Restaurant inspection results are also made public on the state agency’s own website, matportalen.no/smilefjes.

smiley.faces.denmark.rest.inspection

Denmark says; Give us your poop

They could have just gone to France. This is Sorenne beside a doodie at a subway stop yesterday.

sorenne.france.poop.jun.16Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen is looking for healthy faeces donors that can help build a stockpile of stools to be used to fight bacteria.

Faeces from healthy people has proven to be a good weapon against recalcitrant bacteria when typical antibiotics fail. Since 2014, over 60 patients at the hospital have been treated with faeces donated by family members to combat clostridium bacterium that often do not respond to common antibiotics.

Demand is increasing, so Andreas Munk Petersen, the chief physician at Hvidovre Hospital thinks it is a good time to get some poop on the shelves.

“There are some age limits, but if you are otherwise healthy and have no diseases and are not severely overweight, you be a donor,” Petersen told DR Nyheder.

The hospital hopes to develop a ‘faeces bank’ similar to today’s blood banks so that a regular stream of contributors are available to help spread the treatment method further.