Salmonella in German eggs

According to information on a German Government-run site, a batch of organic eggs has been found to have been infected with Salmonella enteritidis.

The recall affects 11 German states and comes after thousands of Dutch eggs were recalled in Germany because of renewed fipronil contamination.

Some 73,000 Dutch eggs were withdrawn from sale in Germany after more fipronil contamination was found in eggs from the Netherlands – a year after the original scandal.

Fipronil has been found on two Dutch farms in the latest scare and the authorities expect that it will be confirmed on a third.

According to the German Government site, the salmonella contamination has affected the states of Baden-Wurttemburg, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. The infections were reportedly discovered during a routine testing procedure.

The infected organic eggs were stocked by several major German retailers, including Penny, Kaufland, Aldi Nord, Aldi Sued, Real, Lidl and Netto.

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.

Why quarterbacks should stick to football: New Oregon QB commit Cale Millen celebrates by chugging raw eggs with head coach Mario Cristobal

There’s nothing worse than athletes trying to speak.

Bull Durham captured it (below).

This ain’t Rocky, this is Salmonella.

Apparently, it was representative of Cale Millen’s dedication to the University of Oregon. The newest Ducks commit, a Mount Si (Wash.) three-star junior, announced his college decision on Sunday and celebrated by chugging a glass of three raw eggs with his future head coach, Mario Cristobal, as captured by The Oregonian Oregon beat writer Andrew Nemec.

If that sounds unhealthy, well, it is. Sure, raw eggs pack plenty of protein, but they also pack a risk of salmonella. Not a huge risk of salmonella, mind you (there’s actually a greater risk of salmonella on contaminated egg shells than eggs), but the risk is there.

Egg perfect protein (except when they have Salmonella) and inspections suck

Emily Hopkins of the Indy Star writes that at Indiana-based Rose Acre’s North Carolina farm, 3 million chickens produce about 2.3 million eggs every day, apparently under the watchful eye of a U.S. Department of Agriculture grader.

That grader is supposed to be at the farm every day. Which raises a question: Why did it take an outbreak of Salmonella, one that sickened 23 people in nine states, to alert officials to problems at the farm?

A USDA spokeswoman acknowledged to IndyStar that a typical day for a grader involves checking a facility’s equipment prior to that day’s operation. It’s at this point that any observed issues are addressed. After that, the grader will enter the grading booth to inspect eggs during the processing day.

“In this instance, our grader(s) did not observe issues that would have triggered a report to FDA inspectors,” the spokeswoman said via email.

But the USDA didn’t specifically address IndyStar’s question about whether a grader should have observed those issues.

According to an egg grading manual published by the USDA, graders must “continually monitor product handling and general condition of equipment, and housekeeping throughout the (egg processing) facility” and ‘identify sanitation problems requiring corrective action.”

That might have applied to the Rose Acre Farm, where many of the FDA violations were made in the egg processing building.

For example, FDA inspectors who visited the farm after the Salmonella outbreak foundthat the procedure for cleaning the egg “orientor” was not being implemented, and employees were observed cutting corners while washing the eggs. Water from the “ceilings, pipes and down walls” was found dripping onto production equipment, and dried egg and shells were seen to have accumulated on the same areas over multiple days.

There were other violations, including excessive rodent activity, that were noted, but those were observed in the farm’s hen houses, which graders typically do not have access to.

After eggs are washed in the processing facility, graders check the eggs for cracks or other outside imperfections. They’ll also take a look inside the egg using a process called candling. Once the eggs are deemed up to USDA standards of quality, they receive a USDA seal.

The value of the program, which is voluntary, is that it communicates to consumers that they are buying a product held to higher standards, according to Darrin Karcher, an extension poultry specialist at Purdue University. 

“It gives another layer of credibility to the consumer,” Karcher said.

Karcher, however, could not say whether in this particular case the USDA grader missed an opporutnity. 

A grader’s day starts with a visual check of the processing plant before work begins, the USDA spokeswoman told IndyStar. If issues are observed, the grader is supposed to work with facility management to correct them before operations start. 

“This is not a substitute for FDA’s more in-depth food safety regulatory examinations of an entire operation,” the spokeswoman said. “We take our responsibility very seriously and any time a significant issue is identified, USDA graders flag it for FDA through a formal process to ensure their regulatory inspectors are informed in a timely manner.”

This is one of the largest egg recalls since 2010, when 500 million eggs from an Iowa producer were recalled, and nearly 2,000 illnesses caused by Salmonella were reported. That outbreak spurred the FDA and USDA to issue a memorandum of understanding outlining information sharing priorities. The MOU authorizes USDA graders to withhold the seal if they believe that a facility is in violation of food safety rules or if the product poses a risk. 

After the FDA linked the pathogen back to Rose Acres’s North Carolina farm, the company issued a voluntary recall of more than 206 million eggs, out of “an abundance of caution.”

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

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.

 

What will I do with those tossed salads and scrambled eggs? Ditch them

Amy and I agree on this: If we need to fall asleep, put on an episode of Frasier.

Five minutes later we’re in la-la land.

Inspectors with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say they found dozens of rodents and poor worker hygiene at a North Carolina chicken farm operated by an Indiana egg producer that last week recalled more than 200 million eggs.

Vic Ryckaert and Holly Hays of the Indy Star report that according to a FDA report, inspectors spent March 26 to April 11 at the Rose Acre Farms egg operation in Pantego, North Carolina, and found “unacceptable rodent activity” and dirty equipment. They also noted employees touching dirty floors, equipment and their bodies without washing their hands.

The unsafe conditions allow “for the harborage, proliferation and spread of filth and pathogens,” inspectors said.

In an emailed statement, Seymour-based Rose Acre Farms said the inspection report “is based on raw observations and in some cases lack proper context.”

“It’s unfair to be judged on the farm’s operation without proper perspective or a chance to formally respond to an incomplete representation of a massive facility that houses more than three million hens,” the company said. 

Context this.

The company said it will make public its response to the inspection, which is due on April 26.

“Until then, we would urge everyone to wait until all the facts are presented before rushing to judgment,” the company said.

The FDA said at least 23 illnesses have been reported. The eggs were distributed to consumers in Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

FDA spokesman Peter Cassell declined to comment specifically about the Rose Acre Farms inspections but said the facility must correct the issues before the next inspection or face repercussions. Consequences could include product seizures or, in a more serious step, shutting down the facility. 

Cassell encouraged shoppers not to assume that they are not exposed to the recall because they are not geographically near the states where cases have been reported.

“Consumers should look for the brands and the lot numbers we provided,” he said. “We want to make sure that people are getting the right information.”

The recall involved eggs sold under the brand names Country Daybreak, Crystal Farms, Coburn Farms, Sunshine Farms, Glenview and Great Value. Also included were eggs sold at Walmart and Food Lion stores.

The cartons were stamped with plant number P-1065 and the Julian date range of 011 through 102.

The company’s Hyde County Egg facility in North Carolina produces 2.3 million eggs a day.

Inspectors found “insanitary conditions and poor employee practices” throughout the farm, according to the FDA report.

The inspectors’ observations in the report included:

Dozens of live and dead rodents, including baby mice, in chicken houses and manure pits.

Employees skipping steps in the cleaning process by wiping off detergent before allowing it to soak in the eggs.

Condensation dripping onto crack detectors, egg graders and other production equipment.

Water pooling on floors and forklift pathways.

Grimy, dirty floors, pallets and equipment. 

Farm workers touching dirty equipment and trash cans as well as their face, hair and “intergluteal cleft” before touching eggs or handling equipment that touches eggs without washing hands or changing gloves.

22 sick: Over 200M eggs recalled by Rose Acre Farms

Rose Acre Farms of Seymour, Indiana, the second largest egg producer in the United States, is voluntarily recalling 206,749,248 eggs because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella Braenderup.

The eggs were distributed from the farm in Hyde County, North Carolina and reached consumers in: Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia through retail stores and restaurants via direct delivery.

22 illnesses have been reported to date. 

The affected eggs, from plant number P-1065 with the Julian date range of 011 through date of 102 printed on either the side portion or the principal side of the carton or package.

The voluntary recall was a result of some illnesses reported on the U.S. East Coast, which led to extensive interviews and eventually a thorough FDA inspection of the Hyde County farm, which produces 2.3 million eggs a day. The facility includes 3 million laying hens with a USDA inspector on-site daily. 

Their own PR says 22 sick people, and then, “some illnesses.” Outpouring of corporate empathy there. And the USDA inspector on site means …?

Understanding egg nanostructure to enhance food safety

Fertilized chicken eggs manage to resist fracture from the outside, yet are weak enough to break from the inside during chick hatching. It’s all in the eggshell’s nanostructure, according to a new study led by McGill University scientists.

The findings, reported in Science Advances, could have important implications for food safety in the agro-industry.

Birds have benefited from millions of years of evolution to make the perfect eggshell, a thin, protective biomineralized chamber for embryonic growth that contains all the nutrients required for the growth of a baby chick. The shell, being not too strong, but also not too weak, is resistant to fracture until it’s time for hatching.

But what exactly gives bird eggshells these unique features?

To find out, Marc McKee’s research team in McGill’s Faculty of Dentistry, together with Richard Chromik’s group in Engineering and other colleagues, used new sample-preparation techniques to expose the interior of the eggshells to study their molecular nanostructure and mechanical properties.

“Eggshells are notoriously difficult to study by traditional means, because they easily break when we try to make a thin slice for imaging by electron microscopy,” says McKee, who is also a professor in McGill’s Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology.

“Thanks to a new focused-ion beam sectioning system recently obtained by McGill’s Facility for Electron Microscopy Research, we were able to accurately and thinly cut the sample and image the interior of the shell.”

Eggshells are made of both inorganic and organic matter, this being calcium-containing mineral and abundant proteins. Graduate student Dimitra Athanasiadou, the study’s first author, found that a factor determining shell strength is the presence of nanostructured mineral associated with osteopontin, an eggshell protein also found in composite biological materials such as bone.

The results also provide insight into the biology and development of chicken embryos in fertilized and incubated eggs. Eggs are sufficiently hard when laid and during brooding to protect them from breaking. As the chick grows inside the eggshell, it needs calcium to form its bones. During egg incubation, the inner portion of the shell dissolves to provide this mineral ion supply, while at the same time weakening the shell enough to be broken by the hatching chick. Using atomic force microscopy, and electron and X-ray imaging methods, Professor McKee’s team of collaborators found that this dual-function relationship is possible thanks to minute changes in the shell’s nanostructure that occurs during egg incubation.

In parallel experiments, the researchers were also able to re-create a nanostructure similar to that which they discovered in the shell by adding osteopontin to mineral crystals grown in the lab. Professor McKee believes that a better understanding of the role of proteins in the calcification events that drive eggshell hardening and strength through biomineralization could have important implications for food safety.

“About 10-20% of chicken eggs break or crack, which increases the risk of Salmonella poisoning,” says McKee. “Understanding how mineral nanostructure contributes to shell strength will allow for selection of genetic traits in laying hens to produce consistently stronger eggs for enhanced food safety.”

Not just rockmelon: Australia still has an egg problem

Sarina Locke of ABC News reports that raw and runny eggs are the strongest link to soaring salmonella food poisoning cases in Western Australia, compared to NSW, where the number has fallen.

In 2017 salmonella cases in WA were more than double the five-year average, according to the latest WA Health Department’s OzFoodNet report.

Eggs emerged as the key culprit for several salmonella cases in 2017:

  • a sloppy egg casserole at a child care centre, affecting 24 children and staff 
  • home prepared chocolate mousse with raw eggs made seven guests sick
  • a cafe serving aioli and mayonnaise made with raw eggs

To be safe from salmonella, Better Health Victoria, said eggs needed to be cooked until they are hot all the way through.

As meaningful as the Brits’ piping hot recommendation. Use a thermometer, especially for a casserole. Use pasteurized eggs if you’re going to serve the dish raw.

The Western Australian Department of Health’s OzFoodNet 2017 report has conducted an investigation on a cluster of salmonella typhimurium found between January 2015 and June 2017.

“Egg dishes have been the implicated source food in 17 of 18 point source outbreaks,” the OzFoodNet report stated.

“They included raw egg desserts, fried/poached eggs and, in 13 of these outbreaks, a specific egg producer was identified, that supplied the eggs for the implicated dishes.” 

Whole genome sequencing is just a technique, with pros and cons: Australia still has a (raw) egg problem

In Australia, the incidence of Salmonella Typhimurium has increased dramatically over the past decade. Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) is transforming public health microbiology, but poses challenges for surveillance.

To compare WGS-based approaches with conventional typing for Salmonella surveillance, we performed concurrent WGS and multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) of Salmonella Typhimurium isolates from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) for a period of 5 months. We exchanged data via a central shared virtual machine and performed comparative genomic analyses. Epidemiological evidence was integrated with WGS-derived data to identify related isolates and sources of infection, and we compared WGS data for surveillance with findings from MLVA typing.

We found that WGS data combined with epidemiological data linked an additional 9% of isolates to at least one other isolate in the study in contrast to MLVA and epidemiological data, and 19% more isolates than epidemiological data alone. Analysis of risk factors showed that in one WGS-defined cluster, human cases had higher odds of purchasing a single egg brand. While WGS was more sensitive and specific than conventional typing methods, we identified barriers to uptake of genomic surveillance around complexity of reporting of WGS results, timeliness, acceptability, and stability.

In conclusion, WGS offers higher resolution of Salmonella Typhimurium laboratory surveillance than existing methods and can provide further evidence on sources of infection in case and outbreak investigations for public health action. However, there are several challenges that need to be addressed for effective implementation of genomic surveillance in Australia.

Incorporating whole-genome sequencing into public health surveillance: Lessons from prospective sequencing of salmonella typhimurium in Australia

16 January 2018

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease

Laura Ford, Glen Carter, Qinning Wang, Torsten eemann, Vitali Sintchenko, Kathryn Glass, Deborah Williamson, Peter Howard, Mary Valcanis, Cristina Castillo, Michelle Sait, Benjamin Howden, and Martyn Kirk

https://doi.org/10.1089/fpd.2017.2352

http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/fpd.2017.2352

 

Looks like Chile has an egg problem: 174 sick with Salmonella linked to homemade mayo

The Bío Bío Department of Health has confirmed 174 cases of salmonellosis in people who consumed homemade mayonnaise in the local “Dulce y Salado” (“Sweet and Salty”) of Lota.

Among those affected are 25 hospitalized for severe dehydration, including a pregnant woman. There are also sufferers of all ages, such as a one-year-old baby and up to an adult older than 91.
According to the health authority, the number of patients should not increase substantially due to the number of days that have passed since the closure of the premises, on Jan. 3. 2018. Now it is expected that laboratories in Santiago will determine the serotype of the strain, which may allow them to fully define whether the raw egg was responsible for this outbreak.