Croatian ag ministry fails to report new Salmonella case

(Something may be lost in translation)

Why did Croatian government services responsible for food control did not inform consumers that chicken fillets imported from Poland had salmonella in them before the European website RASFF announced on 11 November that chicken fillets that were on the Croatian market were infected with salmonella, reports Jutarnji List on November 16, 2016.

6f8fcda6bd385aa02b34590c17bec639_lAccording to the notice on the website, it is apparent that the laboratory analysis was conducted 20 days earlier, on 21 October. So, the obvious question is why was the finding sent 20 days later and why Croatian consumers were not informed about it.

The explanation was given by the Agriculture Ministry, which is responsible for informing citizens about possible withdrawal of food from the market. They said that Croatia, which is a member of the RASFF system, submitted information that one retailer conducted analysis of chicken from Poland (on 21 October) and that the presence of salmonella was found. “Even before obtaining laboratory reports, the meat was past its expiry date and therefore was no longer present in the market. That is the reason why the information in the RASFF system is classified only as a “notice of information”, and not as an “alert”. So, this chicken is no longer on the market in Croatia”, according to the Ministry.

However, while the reply states that the public was not informed because at the time when the report was finished the expiry date had already passed, it seems that the chicken was on the market while waiting for the findings, which realistically means that today someone might have in their freezer contaminated chicken which was bought in October.

It is interesting that the analysis which led to the discovery of salmonella in the chicken took place in the midst of another scandal with salmonella in eggs imported also from Poland. It is therefore worrying that this information was not officially released by the Agriculture Ministry.

It has been just over a month since a boy from Bregana, Mirko Vidović, died after eating eggs that have been infected with salmonella. Although the autopsy process has still not been completed, so the exact cause of death is not known, it is known that the eggs he ate were infested with salmonella. The eggs were withdrawn from the shops. Immediately after the Croatian case was reported to RASFF, it was discovered that several other similar cases were reported in the EU, all connected to a facility in Poland. At the time, as many as 12 other European countries reported salmonella cases as well.

Salmonella from organic sprouts, grown in China, sickened people in Finland

Two new cases of Salmonella enteritidis are being investigated in Finland after an earlier outbreak linked to imported organic mung bean sprouts.

Bean_sproutsAccording to the European Commission’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, an outbreak of Salmonella enteritidis in Finland appears to be caused by organic mung beans sprouts from China, via the Netherlands

The sprouts have been withdrawn from the market.

More details can be found in the Food Quality News article.

Italy blew 12 sanitary alerts due to excess coliforms in Galician mussel

FIS reports that up to 12 alerts has set off Italy on account of the Galician mussel since the start of 2016. Yesterday, E. coli was detected above the allowable level in several consignments of bivalve molluscs sent from Spain.

Galician musselAccording to the reports from Italian health authorities to the rapid alert system for food and feed (RASFF), some of the intercepted mussels doubled, tripled and even showed a seven-fold increase of the legal limit allowed of fecal coliform because there were alarms that detected levels amounting to 490, 700 and even 1,700 E. coli per hundred grams of meat, when the legally allowed limit is 230. There is no evidence that the product has reached the market and caused poisoning among consumers and in most cases the problem was solved with the purification of the product, or with the retention of the bivalve mollusc before reaching the market.

In Galicia, the Department of Marine Affairs is investigating the incident, while downplaying the role if these alarms. From the department, Rosa Quintana explained that the European Commission notifies thousands of food health alerts through the RASFF, “a system of health control authorities to exchange information on measures as carried out to settle the risks.” So, after one of these warnings, a check protocol is activated. And that is what Galicia has done, trying to ascertain whether, as Italy claims, the intercepted mussel did not meet the parameters of zone A (areas in which due to the level of coliform it is not necessary for the mollusks to go through depuration process) and had levels belonging to zone B (which do require this process before marketing the products as fresh). The reports from the department cast doubt on that view and alert Italy as to the polygons macrobiologically classified as areas A and also the Intecmar analysed the samples from these production to check whether they meet the requirements of this classification.