Probably the lamb: 31 sickened with Salmonella in late 2014 at Sydney sports club

A foodborne illness outbreak involving an elite sports team was investigated by a public health unit in Sydney, Australia. An epidemiological association was established between gastrointestinal illness and the consumption of food supplied by an external caterer, with a lamb meal most strongly associated with illness.

Genetically identical Salmonella isolates were identified from clinical specimens, residual food items, and an environmental swab taken from the catering premises. The training schedule and other club operations were significantly affected by this outbreak. Increased susceptibility due to regular shared activities and the potential for significant impact upon performance indicates that sports clubs must ensure that food suppliers comply with the highest standards of hygiene. Collaboration with public health authorities assists in source identification and prevention of further transmission.

Foodborne illness outbreak investigation in a high-profile sports club

Sports Medicine, 24 June 2017, 3:24, Kwendy Cavanagh, Travers Johnstone, Essi Huhtinen, Zeina Najjar, Peter Lorentzos, Craig Shadbolt, John Shields and Leena Gupta,

DOI: 10.1186/s40798-017-0088-x

https://sportsmedicine-open.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40798-017-0088-x

UK farm still owes £100k over E. coli outbreak at petting zoo

In April 2014, at least 15 people, primarily children, who visited a petting farm in Lancashire were stricken with E. coli O157.

lambing-live-prestonWhen the outbreak was first reported, the UK National Farmer’s Union reassured people that petting farms are safe as long as hygiene rules are followed and that they should continue to go despite the E. coli outbreak.

Not quite.

You people are assholes.

There have been outbreaks where pathogens have been aerosolized and that handwashing was not a significant control factor.

In 2014, a UK court heard that four children suffered potentially life-threatening kidney failure after an E. coli outbreak at a Lancashire farm shop.

Huntley’s Country Stores, near Preston, admitted health and safety breaches at a lambing event in April 2014.

The four children needed life-saving kidney dialysis with one needing three operations and blood transfusions.

The farming attraction was fined £60,000 and told to pay £60,000 costs at Preston Crown Court on Monday.

In total, 15 people were struck down by the bug – 13 of them children – with nine needing hospital treatment. A further 15 possible cases were also recorded.

The court heard the tragically typical litany of errors:

  • visitors allowed uncontrolled access to lambs – children could enter animal pens and roll in feces-covered straw;
  • during bottle-feeding, lambs were allowed to climb onto seats, leaving them soiled with feces;
  • pens had open bar gates allowing contaminated bedding to spill onto main visitor area;
  • animals were densely packed, allowing bacteria build-up; and,
  • hand washing basins meant for visitors were used to clean animal feeding dishes.

Juliette Martin, of Clitheroe, took her daughter Annabelle, 7, to the ‘Lambing Live’ event at Easter in 2014.

The youngster, who had bottle-fed a lamb, suffered kidney failure and needed three operations, three blood transfusions and 11 days of dialysis.

Mrs Martin said: “If we ever thought that by feeding lambs that our daughter would be fighting for her life we would never have visited Huntley’s.”

Now, while the company has “accepted responsibility in court for failings in the assessment of risks” it hasn’t paid up.

The latest count is more than 20 children ill from the 2014 visit, and the owners of Huntley’s Country Stores still owe more than £100,000 after being convicted of health and safety offences in December 2015.

Managing director Harry Wilson appeared before Blackburn magistrates to ask for more time to pay the financial penalties.

Magistrates were told that the outfit had repaid £14,800 of the court costs, leaving £45,120 outstanding. But the £60,000 fine was still owed, the court was told.

Mr Wilson told magistrates that the after effects of the publicity surrounding the E.coli case, which was brought by South Ribble Council, were still being felt by the business.

Questioned by magistrates about how the outstanding sums could be met, he said: “At the present moment we cannot afford any more because we are just starting to get the business going. It might be two years before we recover.”

Huntley’s had been previously ordered to pay £5,000 every three months.

Magistrates ordered that they should be required to find £1,000 every month instead, up to and including May 2017. The penalty would then resume at its previous rate.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx.

Lamb products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

PT Farm, LLC, a North Haverhill, N.H. establishment, is recalling approximately 15 pounds of lamb products that may be contaminated with E. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

hopkinsThe lamb products, a neck and one leg, were derived from a carcass produced on Sept. 6, 2016 and were shipped to a retail store in Somerville, Massachusetts and sold at their retail counter on Sept. 7, 2016.

The problem was discovered on Sept. 7, 2016 when the establishment was notified of an E. coli positive water supply sample result and resulting ‘water boil’ notice initiated by the North Haverhill Municipality Water Department located in North Haverhill, New Hampshire.

FSIS and the company are concerned that some product may be frozen and in consumers’ freezers.

Consumers who have purchased these products are urged not to consume them. These products should be thrown away or returned to the place of purchase.

But it’s such a cute lamb: 46 sickened with crypto at UK petting farm

A case-control study was conducted to investigate an outbreak of 46 cases of cryptosporidiosis in visitors to a petting farm in England.

amy_s_lamb_aug_12(1)Details of exposures on the farm were collected for 38 cases and 39 controls, recruited through snowball sampling. Multivariable logistic regression identified that cases were 5·5 times more likely than controls to have eaten without washing their hands [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·51–19·9, P = 0·01] and 10 times less likely to report being informed of risk of infection on arrival (odds ratio 0·10, 95% CI 0·01–0·71, P = 0·02).

An uncommon Cryptosporidium parvum gp60 subtype (IIaA19G1R1) was identified in a lamb fecal sample and all subtyped cases (n = 22). We conclude that lack of verbal advice and non-compliance with hand washing are significantly associated with a risk of cryptosporidiosis on open farms. These findings highlight the public health importance of effectively communicating risk to petting farm visitors in order to prevent future outbreaks of zoonotic infections.

Cryptosporidiosis outbreak in visitors of a UK industry-compliant petting farm caused by a rare Cryptosporidium parvum subtype: a case-control study

Epidemiology and Infection, Volume 144, Issue 5, April 2016, pages 1000-1009, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268815002319 

Utsi, S. J. Smith, R. M. Chalmers, and S. Padfield

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=10216122&utm_source=Issue_Alert&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=HYG

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health 62:90-99, 2015

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

petting.zoo_.guidelines

petting2

Food fraud: 20% samples had undeclared meat in UK lamb takeaway survey

The Food Standards Agency has today published the results of its survey of undeclared meat in lamb dishes from takeaway outlets across the UK. The testing was announced last year and was prompted by evidence of ongoing substitution of lamb for cheaper meats, such as beef and chicken.

sheep.wired.meat.feb.15Local authority trading standards and environmental health officers sampled 307 lamb dishes, such as curries and kebabs, sold from takeaway outlets. All were tested for the presence of undeclared species of meat. Dishes with sauces were also tested for undeclared allergens and the unauthorised use of additives.

Of the samples tested, 223 (73%) were fully compliant with food legislation, 65 samples (21%) failed because of the presence of non-declared meat, 12 samples (4%) tested  positive for the presence of undeclared allergens, including peanut and almonds proteins, and 7 samples (2%) were non-compliant because of the unauthorised use of additives.

The samples that tested positive for undeclared meat showed the presence of beef, chicken, and in one sample pork, although not sold as a halal product. Of these samples, 23 had levels of undeclared meat species below 1% which is more likely to indicate poor handling during processing rather than potential adulteration.

Local authorities have followed up on all samples where problems were identified and relevant action was taken including, in a number of cases, prosecution.

John Barnes, Head of Local Delivery at the FSA, said: ‘Consumers need to know that the food they buy is what it says on the menu or the label. The FSA is working with local authorities to identify potential problems and investigate. Where problems are identified, local authorities are taking corrective action, including prosecuting offending businesses where necessary. The FSA and local authorities are on the lookout for deliberate meat substitution and action will be taken to protect local consumers and legitimate food businesses.’

The FSA’s ongoing work to identify potential food fraud is being coordinated by the recently created Food Crime Unit. As part of this activity, the Food Crime Unit is working closely with local authorities, police forces, other Government departments, and the food industry to pool intelligence and take proactive action to protect consumers.

Taiwan FDA conducting meat probe

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday said that local health agencies are investigating the 117 restaurants and traditional market vendors that have allegedly purchased and used lamb mixed with pork.

frozen.lambFDA interim Director-General Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美) said the Greater Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office has provided a list of 117 stores to health authorities nationwide and that the agencies are verifying the quantity of the adulterated lamb they procured.

“The adulterated lamb is mostly frozen meat and must be removed from store shelves. Businesspeople who produce or sell adulterated or counterfeited foods are subject to a maximum fine of NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) and a prison term of up to five years,” Chiang said.

Chiang made the remarks one day after the Greater Kaohsiung Government’s Department of Health released the results of its random test on sliced lamb products in the city, with the test showing that two of the four lamb samples tested were found to contain traces of pork.

The department then referred the two meat vendors that sold the problematic lamb products — one in the city’s Fongshan District (鳳山) and the other in Zuoying District (左營) — to prosecutors for further investigation.

According to prosecutors’ preliminary investigation, the two meat vendors purchased the adulterated lamb from Kaohsiung’s Ching Lung Meat Co (金龍肉品) and New Taipei City’s Hua Yuan International Co (華元國際) respectively.

While Ching Lung simply mixed lamb with pork, Hua Yuan was found to have manufactured three different grades of lamb, categorized as Grade A, Grade B and Grade C, prosecutors said.

China farms push puts safety first

A giant Chinese meat importer has put food safety and quality at the top of its shopping list as it invests tens of millions of dollars in the Western Australia livestock industry.

amy_s_lamb_aug_12(1)Grand Farm president Chen Xibin said there was huge potential to build on WA’s reputation for producing safe food using modern farming methods and high standards in processing.

Brad Thompson of The West Australian reports that Grand Farm has started eyeing farms in WA as part of its history-making deal with South West meat processor V&V Walsh to secure huge volumes of quality lamb and beef.

Mr Chen arrived in WA late last week for meetings as part of the deal that will see V&V Walsh process an extra 500,000 lambs and 30,000 cattle a year.

Grand Farm, China’s biggest importer of red meat from Australia and New Zealand, is investing $1 billion in boosting supply and processing capacity with the backing of authorities in Inner Mongolia. Mr Chen said the company was considering all options for increasing supply out of WA, including buying farms, developing feedlots and live exports.

11 sick; It’d be better for us if we don’t understand; multi-agency investigation into E. coli O157 cases in UK

Not again.

Public Health England are investigating cases of gastrointestinal illness after a lamb feeding event at a farm shop and outlet village in South Ribble.

petting zoo 2To date we are aware of 11 laboratory confirmed cases of E. coli O157. Four people have been hospitalised with complications arising from the infection – one of whom has now left hospital and is recovering at home.

All cases had visited a lamb feeding event at Huntley’s Country Store, near Salmesbury in South Ribble over recent weeks. There is no longer any risk to the public as all contact between animals and the public at the premises has now ceased.

From North Carolina, U.S. to Brisbane, Australia, outbreaks of E. coli, Salmonella and other pathogens related to petting zoos or animal exhibits have been devastating to the families involved.

We wanted to provide a checklist for parents, and the teachers who book these events.

Two veterinarians from Kansas State University – Gonzalo Erdozain who completed his Masters of Public Heath with me and is about to graduate as a vet, and Kate KuKanich, an assistant prof with whom I’ve had the pleasure

of writing several papers with – joined with me and my BFF Chapman (until we have a fight over hockey) and we tried to produce some guidelines.

The uniting factor was – we all have kids.

We’ve all seen microbiologically terrible practices, and read about them from around the world, and thought, maybe we should try and provide some guidance.

Fourty-nine people got sick from E. coli O157 at the EKKA last year, the equivalent of the Texas state fair in Brisbane.

There has been no follow-up report.

North Carolina has had repeated and terrible outbreaks.

As a father of five daughters, I’ve had many requests over 20 years to go on a school trip to see the animals. As a food safety type, I’ve been routinely concerned about best practices. The other parents may dislike microbiology, but I’m concerned with the health and safety of the children involved.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

03.Apr.14

Zoonoses and Public Health DOI: 10.1111/zph.12117

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/update/2014-05-01/e-coli-outbreak-after-lamb-feeding-event-in-lancashire/

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

03.Apr.14

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. ‘It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the USA caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

Meat pumped with pond water in south China

Food processing is all about adding water and salt and charging more. That’s what a food science prof told me a long time ago.

But usually that water is clean or potable.

Reuters reports China has held seven people in southern Guangdong province for injecting dirty pond water into lamb meat to swell its weight and raise its price, state lamb.watertelevision reported in the latest food scandal to hit the world’s second largest economy.

The suspects slaughtered up to 100 sheep per day at an illegal warehouse, pumping bacteria-ridden water into the meat before it was sold at markets, food stalls and restaurants in major cities such as Guangzhou and Foshan, China Central Television (CCTV) said in a three-minute report.

Authorities raided the illegal lamb meat abattoir in Guangdong at the end of December, finding around 30 carcasses injected with water, 335 live sheep, forged inspection stamps, and equipment to inject water into the meat, the report showed.

Each sheep was pumped with up to six kilograms of water just after being slaughtered, to add extra weight.

Mislabeled NZ mutton latest China food safety screw-up

Shanghai authorities are testing mislabeled mutton from a wholesaler that supplies a chain of hot pot restaurants run by US fast food firm Yum Brands, the latest safety scare to taint China’s food industry.

TVNZ reports that acting on a tip, Shanghai food safety inspectors and police raided a wholesale market and found packages labeled “New Zealand mutton” gongura_muttonat one supplier that had no production date or list of ingredients, according to a report on the website of the municipal food safety committee.

Invoices indicated that some of the meat had already been sold to several restaurants, including outlets of Yum-owned Little Sheep, the website said. The meat was being tested and results would be available in about a week, the report added.

The mislabeled meat crackdown follows media reports last week that police had busted a crime ring that had passed off more than $1 million in rat and small mammal meat as mutton