Seven EU countries imported salmonella-infected eggs from Poland

Seven countries in the European Union have imported eggs infected with Salmonella from Poland.

eggsalmonellaDutch authorities have reported the infected eggs to the European Commission, which oversees the quality of food and feed.

The threat is considered to be serious, the Polish PAP news agency has said.

According to Belgium’s Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain, “several shipments of Polish eggs contaminated with Salmonella” have been sent to seven EU countries, including hundreds of restaurants in Belgium, from “various Dutch suppliers”.

34 sick from Salmonella in backyard eggs, Poland, 2011

While Sorenne and I were up watching football at 3:30 a.m. local time (recovering from all the barfing yesterday), she was browsing through this week’s edition of Eurosurveillance and thought this abstract about backyard eggs and Salmonella would be of interest.

One of her teachers at school has chickens and ducks and provides me with eggs, and I provide her with cooked things.

But as I always explain to my 3-year-old sous chef, there are certain precautions to take with raw eggs, not just the undercooking but the cross-contamination, regardless of where they originate.

Abstract below:

Implementation of control measures in line with European Commission regulations has led to a decrease in salmonellosis in the European Union since 2004. However, control programmes do not address laying hens whose eggs are produced for personal consumption or local sale. This article reports an investigation of a salmonellosis outbreak linked to home-produced eggs following a family event held in a farm in September 2011 near Warsaw, Poland. In the outbreak, 34 people developed gastroenteritis symptoms. Results from a cohort study indicated a cake, prepared from raw home-produced eggs, as the vehicle of the outbreak.

Laboratory analysis identified Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (S. Enteritidis) in stool samples or rectal swabs from 18 of 24 people and in two egg samples. As no food items remained, we used phage typing to link the source of the outbreak with the isolated strains. Seven S. Enteritidis strains analysed (five from attendees and two from eggs) were phage type 21c. Our findings resulted in culling of the infected laying hens and symptomatic pigeons housed next to the hens. Salmonella poses as a public health problem in Poland: control measures should not forget home-produced eggs, as there is a risk of infection from their consumption.

Beware the botulism at Euro 2012

Headed to Poland to watch some footy in June? The World Health Organisation has some advice: beware the botulism.

The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine between June 8 and July, 1 2012.

WHO warns that Poland has a particularly high incidence of botulism, which can be foodborne if the dish is improperly canned or preserved.

Poland pulls food suspected of having road salt

What’s not to like about the Polskie Okorki?

And what about those cabbage rolls?

But with lorry salt?

Polish health authorities have ordered the withdrawal from the market of more than 230,000 kilograms (500,000 pounds) of pickles, bread and other food suspected of containing industrial salt, the latest development in a scandal raising fears about food safety.

Revelations that industrial salt was sold to food producers has prompted authorities to open a criminal investigation and arrest five people. More than 600 tests have also been carried out on food samples. The industrial salt was intended for deicing roads in winter.

With much of its territory devoted to agriculture, Poland produces everything from apples and beets to eggs and meat that gets sold to Germany and other neighboring countries.

Laboratory tests so far have found that the amounts of dioxins and heavy metals in the salt are minimal and unlikely to harm human health. Nonetheless, the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate ordered the withdrawal of suspect food as a precaution, its spokesman, Jan Bondar, said Friday.

The foods include vegetables that are preserved in salts, likes pickles and sauerkraut and beets, but also sausages and breads and other baked goods.

Even if the salt used does not contain anything harmful, it still is not enriched with iodine, as the law requires for food, said the inspectorate, which is a state body responsible for food safety and other public health matters.

The food producers that used the questionable salt have been told not to let the foods leave their warehouses.

Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki said he was worried that the scandal — which has received a lot of media coverage in Poland — is unfairly hurting the image of Poland’s food.

Poland: ‘We want to live in a country that doesn’t stink’

Poland’s soccer team may suck, but the co-host of the 2012 UEFA Euro championships wants to make sure the toilets sparkle.

Arkadiusz Choczaj, leader of the so-called "Clean Patrol" campaign, told reporters in Warsaw,

"Our toilets are better prepared for these championships than our football players.”

"Clean Patrols", made up of volunteer inspectors dressed in white overalls, recently sniffed around 200 public toilets in six Polish cities slated as Euro 2012 venues or back-ups. The "Clean Patrol" project was co-sponsored by CWS-boco, a sanitary products supplier.

Public potties were rated on accessibility, hygiene, smell and whether toilet paper, soap and hand towels were available.

Just one toilet scored a perfect 100 points, while a three-quarters majority rated 65 points, the basic acceptable standard.

Loos in airports, hotels, restaurants and cafes were rated the highest by both the patrols and tourists surveyed by the independent TNS OBOP pollsters. Poland’s tourist-magnet southern city of Krakow received the highest ratings.

At the bottom of the rankings were a quarter of public restrooms — in train and bus stations, on trains and in camp grounds — rated as danger zones by the patrols and foreign tourists alike.

Jan Orgelbrand, head of Poland’s Chief Sanitary Inspectorate said,

"Regardless of the Euro finals, we have to improve standards because, let’s face it, we want to live in a country that doesn’t stink.”

"Not every football fan or tourist will get to the stadium, but all will visit our public lavatories and their standard speaks about Poland as a nation."

Salmonella in Sweden: no “shit sample from the flock”

Sweden’s English language newspaper, The Local, reported today that 12 people in the Gävle region have contracted salmonella poisoning after eating infected eggs imported from Poland.

The story explains that as salmonella is common in Poland, a special certificate is needed when importing eggs to Sweden to prove that a particular batch is not infected with the bacteria.

Food administration inspector Pontus Elvingsson said tests are generally carried that include "shit samples from the flock."

Certificates obtained by wholesalers at Årstahallarna in Stockholm contained information that was false.

The administration believes that those infected in the eastern town may have fallen ill after eating mayonnaise made with the Polish eggs.

The National Food Administration (Livsmedelverket) said that eggs from the same batch have also been sold in Sollentuna, Botkyrka and Stockholm.