The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that as of noon, Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, 28 confirmed and 66 probable cases of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to consumption of chicken salad from Fareway (any store).
I have never fed any of my dogs or cats raw pet food.
They may eat each other’s poop, but I control what I can control.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners to a history of four recalls of and multiple complaints associated with Darwin’s Natural and ZooLogics pet foods, manufactured by Arrow Reliance Inc., dba Darwin’s Natural Pet Products, over the period from October 17, 2016 to February 10, 2018. In each instance, the company recalled these products after being alerted to positive findings of Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes in samples of their raw pet food products.
In its most recent recall, on February 10, 2018, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural recalled ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41957) and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs (Lot #41567) because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella and therefore have the potential to cause salmonellosis in humans and animals. The company states that it only sells its products online through direct-to-consumer sales.
The FDA has investigated six complaints of illness and death in animals that have eaten the recalled products.
Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has notified its customers directly of the recalls, but has so far not issued any public notification announcing this or any of the previous recalls.
This issue is of particular public health importance because Salmonella can make both people and animals sick.
As part of an ongoing investigation into complaints associated with products manufactured by Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural of Tukwila, WA, the FDA has confirmed that new samples of Darwin’s Natural Pet Products raw pet foods have tested positive for Salmonella. These raw pet foods include ZooLogics Duck with Vegetable Meals for Dogs Lot #41957 and ZooLogics Chicken with Vegetable Meals for Dogs Lot #41567.
The latest recall was triggered by a complaint of an adult dog that had recurring diarrhea over a nine-month period. The dog tested positive for Salmonella from initial testing by the veterinarian and by follow-up testing by the FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN). The Darwin’s Natural raw pet food that the dog had been fed was also positive for Salmonella.
Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural is aware of the dog’s illness and the positive results and initiated a recall on February 10, 2018 by directly notifying its customers via email. The firm has not issued a public recall notice.
Since October 2016, Arrow Reliance/Darwin’s Natural has initiated four recalls and had six reported complaints (some referring to more than one animal) associated with their raw pet food products, including the death of one kitten from a severe systemic Salmonella infection. The Salmonella isolated from the kitten was analyzed using whole genome sequencing and found to be indistinguishable from the Salmonella isolated from a closed package from the same lot of Darwin’s Natural cat food that the kitten ate.
In addition to reports of illnesses associated with Salmonella contamination in the products, the FDA is aware of complaints of at least three animals who were reportedly injured by bone shards in the Darwin’s Natural raw pet food products.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety (IDPH) and Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals issued a consumer advisory Tuesday for chicken salad sold at Fareway stores.
The chicken salad, which is produced and packaged by a third party for Fareway, is implicated in multiple cases of salmonella illness across Iowa. Preliminary test results from the State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) at the University of Iowa indicate the presence of salmonella in this product.
Fareway voluntarily stopped the sale of the product and pulled the chicken salad from its shelves after being contacted by DIA. “The company has been very cooperative and is working with IDPH and DIA in the investigation of the reported illnesses,” said DIA Food and Consumer Safety Bureau Chief Steven Mandernach, who noted that no chicken salad has been sold to the consuming public since last Friday evening (2/9/18).
IDPH is investigating multiple cases of possible illness associated with the chicken salad. “The bottom line is that no one should eat this product,” said IDPH Medical Director, Dr. Patricia Quinlisk. “If you have it in your refrigerator, you should throw it away.”
Minnesota health officials say two children in the Twin Cities area got sick from salmonella poisoning after coming in contact with tainted pet food.
The Minnesota Department of Health said Friday that testing found the same salmonella DNA patterns in the siblings. One of the children was hospitalized last month with a painful bone condition.
An investigation found the children’s home contained Raws for Paws Ground Turkey Food, and that the pet food was contaminated.
The contaminated raw turkey pet food was produced on Oct. 12 and sold online on the Raws for Paws website. The product was recalled Feb. 8, 2018, by the manufacturer.
The Tri-County Health Department said one person has died from salmonella poisoning related to eating at a restaurant in Aurora (not the Aurora, Ill. of Wayne’s World). The outbreak put three other people in the hospital.
The health department said lab tests show the family combination meal might have led to the poisoning. The meal includes ingredients such as meat, beans and cilantro.
But investigators could not pinpoint what started the outbreak.
The health department said the outbreak affected people who ate at La California from Nov. 4-26. Almost all of the people infected experienced diarrhea and abdominal cramping.
La California is at 1685 Peoria St.
The health department’s report said 13 of the 33 cases are confirmed, and 20 of the cases are probable for salmonella.
The illnesses involved 32 restaurant patrons and one employee.
Twenty-five cases had exposures at the restaurant with their meals within a five-day period from Nov. 10-14.
“It was significantly associated with the illness. But we couldn’t ID a single item in the family combo that was associated with the illness. … Everybody ate everything in the family combo,” Tri County Health spokeswoman Jen Chase told CBS Denver.
This is not surprising and with the amount of conflicting food safety information disseminated on the web, T.V., what are we to expect? It would be interesting to find out how many educational institutions teach food safety at school. There appears to be a significant push towards eating healthier which is great but is food safety discussed? When I moved out from my parents place, the last thing on my mind was food safety; as long as I had something to eat I was happy and looking back I took risks. I had the privilege of attending some prestigious schools during my youth, yet food safety was never discussed.
The Food Safety Information Council along with their member Cater Care are developing a poster highlighting food safety tips for young adults. I am not confident this will change anything, although I commend them for their efforts. Need to be more compelling and find innovative ways to grasp the attention of a young adult, a poster won’t do.
There are peaks of Campylobacter and Salmonella food poisoning cases among those aged between 20 and 25 years old, which is the age that many young people leave home for the first time. Food Safety Information Council consumer research shows young people are likely to have poorer knowledge of food safety basics such as washing hands, correct cooking temperatures, riskier foods and fridge safety. This is of particular concern as one of the part time jobs that young people are likely to take is working as a food handler.
Organisation/s: Food Safety Information Council
From: Food Safety Information Council
As the academic year begins, the Food Safety Information Council, together with their member Cater Care, have launched a food safety tips poster for young people leaving home to start university and college.
Council Chair, Rachelle Williams, said that young people are at risk of getting food poisoning.
‘While the highest recorded rates of Campylobacter and Salmonella cases are among small children under 5 years old there is also a peak for those aged between 20 and 25 years old which is the age group that many young people leave home for the first time.
‘Our consumer research shows young people are likely to have poorer knowledge of food safety basics such as washing hands, correct cooking temperatures, riskier foods and fridge safety. This is of particular concern as one of the part time jobs that young people are likely to take is working as a food handler.
‘Students also tend to live in shared accommodation where the hygiene of the communal kitchen and fridge is easily neglected. There are an estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year and a case of gastro can seriously ruin the fun of those first few months away from home.
‘By following these five simple tips, you can help ensure that you, and people you cook for, are safe from food poisoning:
CLEAN – wash hands with soap and running water before handling food, wash the dishes regularly and keep the kitchen clean
CHILL – keep the fridge at 5°C or below and clean it out regularly. Bring your takeaway straight home and refrigerate any leftovers within 2 hours and use or freeze them within 3 days
COOK – cook poultry or minced products to 75°C in the centre, be aware of the risk of raw or minimally cooked egg dishes.
SEPARATE – prevent cross contamination especially between raw meat or poultry and other foods that won’t be cooked like salads
DON’T COOK FOR OTHERS IF YOU HAVE GASTRO – you could make them sick too so ask someone else to cook or get a takeaway.
‘The Food Safety Information Council would like to thanks our member Cater Care for developing this poster which can be downloaded here, ’ Ms Williams concluded.
Expatica reports researchers raised fears Thursday that salmonella-tainted milk produced by French dairy giant Lactalis, which sickened dozens of babies, could have infected others over more than a decade.
The Pasteur research institute said Thursday that the exact same strain of salmonella sickened at least 25 others between 2006 and 2016 — and that the same Lactalis factory in northwest France was the likely origin.
Lactalis has been the target of heavy criticism after it emerged that the company’s own tests found salmonella at the factory in Craon, but it did not sound the alarm because it had not detected the bacteria in the milk itself.
That raised fears that contaminations may have occurred well before last year’s discovery but gone undetected, with critics pointing to an outbreak at the same production site that sickened 146 children in 2005 — before it was bought by Lactalis a year later.
“First we confirmed that the same type of Salmonella agona was behind the two outbreaks, in 2005 and 2017,” Pasteur Institute director Francois-Xavier Weill told AFP.
“So we asked ourselves where the strain could have been during the 12 years in between” those two scares, he said.
“The only possible hypothesis is that it remained at the factory in question.”
Although the institute could not definitively determine whether the sickened babies drank Lactalis milk, “the DNA evidence is very clear, and it points to this factory,” Weill said.
Lactalis CEO Emmanuel Besnier confirmed Thursday that tests between the two outbreaks had found the same salmonella at the factory, though not in the milk.
“We can’t exclude the possibility that some babies drank contaminated milk during this period,” he admitted.
The bacteria was found in a dehydration tower used to reduce milk, which Lactalis now plans to shut down for good, Besnier told newspaper Les Echos.
The company is facing several lawsuits over the outbreak, and police raided the group’s headquarters in Laval, western France, earlier this month.
It recalled 12 million packages of the affected baby milk, under brands including Picot, Milumel and Celia, across 83 countries.
Several retailers later admitted that they had continued to sell the products even after the recall was announced.
Investigators have opened a preliminary inquiry for suspected fraud as well as endangering health by failing to properly execute the recall.
I got invited by one of my former students to give a talk about food safety stuff at an American military base in Germany, about 2012.
Met a couple of lifelong friends, continued my work with the U.S. military, because those folks need to eat too, and learned that public bathroom in Germany is an oxymoron and people just piss at the side of the road (Australia has excellent public bathrooms, best I’ve ever seen).
After my presentation, one of my military friends said, guess you’re not a fan of Jimmy John’s.
I said, no, I’m not a fan of bullshit.
Before the U.S. government shut down, the folks at the Centers for Disease Control managed to publish the latest outbreak info of Salmonella linked to raw sprouts in Jimmy Johns subs, the preferred lunch meeting snack for Kansas State University food professors, who know nothing about safety.
An outbreak linked to raw sprouts in the U.S. that sickened 140 people occurred between November 2010 into 2011, involving sandwich franchise, Jimmy John’s (CDC, 2011; Illinois Department of Public Health, 2010).
The owner of the Montana Jimmy John’s outlet, Dan Stevens, expressed confidence in his sprouts claiming that because the sprouts were locally grown they would not be contaminated, although the source of the contaminated sprouts had not yet been identified (KRTV, 2010).
By the end of December 2010 a sprout supplier, Tiny Greens Farm, was implicated in the outbreak (Food and Drug Administration, 2010).
Jimmy John’s owner, John Liautaud, responded by stating the sandwich chain would replace alfalfa sprouts with clover sprouts since they were allegedly easier to clean (Associated Press, 2011c). However, a week earlier a separate outbreak had been identified in Washington and Oregon (still miss ya, Bill Keene) in which eight people were infected with Salmonella after eating sandwiches containing clover sprouts from a Jimmy John’s restaurant (Oregon Department of Human Services, 2011; Terry, 2011). This retailer was apparently not aware of the risks associated with sprouts, or even outbreaks associated with his franchisees.
The FDA inspection of the Tiny Greens facility found numerous issues which may have led to pathogen contamination, including “the company grew sprouts in soil from the organic material decomposed outside without using any monitored kill step on it,” mold was found in the mung-bean sprouting room, and the antimicrobial treatment for seeds was not demonstrated to be equivalent to the recommended FDA treatment (Roos, 2011).
Months later, Bill Bagby Jr, owner of Tiny Greens, was quoted as saying “after the changes we made, it’s next to impossible for anything to happen,” hindering communication efforts by being defensive and overconfident (Des Garennes, 2011; Sandman & Lanard, 2011). Bagby also expressed confidence in sprouts following the German outbreak, commenting that for many like him, the nutritional benefits outweigh the risk: “Sprouts are kind of a magical thing. That’s why I would advise people to only buy sprouts from someone who has a (food safety) program in place (that includes outside auditors). We did not have (independent auditors) for about one year, and that was the time the problems happened. The FDA determined that unsanitary conditions could have been a potential source of cross-contamination and so we have made a lot of changes since then.”
“We believe that their illness came from a produce item that was on those sandwiches that they ate,” said Alicia Cronquit, epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Cronquist said all eight cases were reported between October 18th and 22nd, and all of the people impacted ate at Jimmy John’s between October 7th and 15th.
The Department of Public Health has not closed down the three restaurants, and will not identify their locations because Cronquist says they do not believe the restaurants are at fault.
“Our leading hypothesis for what’s happened is that there was a contaminated produce item that was distributed to the stores,” Cronquist said. “We have not identified any food handling issues at the particular establishments that we think would contribute to illness.”
Raw sprouts are the poster child for failures in what academics call risk communication.
About 1999, graduate student Sylvanus Thompson started working with me on risk analysis associated with sprouts. He got his degree and went on to rock-star status in the food safety world with the implementation of the red-yellow-green restaurant inspection disclosure program with Toronto Public Health, but we never published anything.
I remember frantically flying to Kansas City to hang out with this girl in Manhattan (Kansas) I’d met a couple of weeks before, in the midst of the 2005 Ontario raw sprout outbreak that sickened over 700; Jen Tryon, now with Global News, interviewed me at the airport, with me wearing a K-State hockey shirt (that’s the joke; there is no hockey at K-State, and I was still employed by Guelph; and I was going to hang out with this girl).
After the German E. coli O104 outbreak, along with the ridiculous public statements and blatant disregard for public safety taken by sandwich artist Jimmy John’s in the U.S., I figured we really needed to publish something.
The basic conclusions:
- raw sprouts are a well-documented source of foodborne illness;
- risk communication about raw sprouts has been inconsistent; and,
- continued outbreaks question effectiveness of risk management strategies and producer compliance.
We document at least 55 sprout-associated outbreaks occurring worldwide affecting a total of 15,233 people since 1988. A comprehensive table of sprout-related outbreaks can be found here.
Sprouts present a unique food safety challenge compared to other fresh produce, as the sprouting process provides optimal conditions for the growth and proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. The sprout industry, regulatory agencies, and the academic community have been collaborating to improve the microbiological safety of raw sprouts, including the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), establishing guidelines for safe sprout production, and chemical disinfection of seed prior to sprouting. However, guidelines and best practices are only as good as their implementation. The consumption of raw sprouts is considered high-risk, especially for young, elderly and immuno-compromised persons (FDA, 2009).
In late December 2011, less than one year after making the switch to clover sprouts, Jimmy John’s was linked to another sprout related outbreak, this time it was E.coli O26 in clover sprouts. In February 2012, sandwich franchise Jimmy John’s announced they were permanently removing raw clover sprouts from their menus. As of April 2012, the outbreak had affected 29 people across 11 states. Founder and chief executive, John Liautaud, attempted to appease upset customers through Facebook stating, “a lot of folks dig my sprouts, but I will only serve the best of the best. Sprouts were inconsistent and inconsistency does not equal the best.” He also informed them the franchise was testing snow pea shoots in a Campaign, Illinois store, although there is no mention regarding the “consistency” or safety of this choice.
In spite of widespread media coverage of sprout-related outbreaks, improved production guidelines, and public health enforcement actions, awareness of risk remains low. Producers, food service and government agencies need to provide consistent, evidence-based messages and, more importantly, actions. Information regarding sprout-related risks and food safety concerns should be available and accurately presented to producers, retailers and consumers in a manner that relies on scientific data and clear communications.’
On Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, CDC along with public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Montevideo infections that has sickened at least eight people.
Illnesses started on dates ranging from December 20, 2017 to January 3, 2018. Ill people range in age from 26 to 50, with a median age of 34. All 8 (100%) are female. No hospitalizations and no deaths have been reported.
Epidemiologic evidence indicates that raw sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants are a likely source of this multistate outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Seven (88%) of eight people interviewed reported eating at multiple Jimmy John’s restaurant locations. Of these seven people, all seven (100%) reported eating raw sprouts on a sandwich from Jimmy John’s in Illinois and Wisconsin. This proportion is significantly higher than results from a survey[PDF – 29 pages] of healthy people, in which 3% reported eating sprouts on a sandwich in the week before they were interviewed. Two ill people in Wisconsin ate at a single Jimmy John’s location in that state.
Federal, state, and local health and regulatory officials are conducting traceback investigations from the six Jimmy John’s locations where ill people ate raw sprouts. These investigations are ongoing to determine where the sprouts were distributed, and to learn more about the potential route of contamination.
The information available to date indicates that raw sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin may be contaminated with Salmonella Montevideo and are not safe to eat. CDC recommends that consumers not eat raw sprouts served at Jimmy John’s restaurants in Illinois and Wisconsin.
Failures in sprouts-related risk communication
Food Control.2012. 10.1016/j.foodcont.2012.08.022
Erdozain, M.S., Allen, K.J., Morley, K.A. and Powell, D.A.
Nutritional and perceived health benefits have contributed to the increasing popularity of raw sprouted seed products. In the past two decades, sprouted seeds have been a recurring food safety concern, with at least 55 documented foodborne outbreaks affecting more than 15,000 people. A compilation of selected publications was used to yield an analysis of the evolving safety and risk communication related to raw sprouts, including microbiological safety, efforts to improve production practices, and effectiveness of communication prior to, during, and after sprout-related outbreaks. Scientific investigation and media coverage of sprout-related outbreaks has led to improved production guidelines and public health enforcement actions, yet continued outbreaks call into question the effectiveness of risk management strategies and producer compliance. Raw sprouts remain a high-risk product and avoidance or thorough cooking are the only ways that consumers can reduce risk; even thorough cooking messages fail to acknowledge the risk of cross-contamination. Risk communication messages have been inconsistent over time with Canadian and U.S. governments finally aligning their messages in the past five years, telling consumers to avoid sprouts. Yet consumer and industry awareness of risk remains low. To minimize health risks linked to the consumption of sprout products, local and national public health agencies, restaurants, retailers and producers need validated, consistent and repeated risk messaging through a variety of sources.
The withdrawal and/or recall of infant formula produced by a single French processing company will significantly reduce the risk of more infants being infected by Salmonella Agona, say EFSA and ECDC as a result of a rapid outbreak assessment.
An outbreak of S. Agona linked to the consumption of infant formula has been ongoing in France since August 2017. So far the outbreak has affected 37 children under one year of age in France. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis confirmed that a Spanish case is closely related to the outbreak in France. A probable case has been identified in Greece. The last case was notified on 2 December 2017.
EFSA and ECDC recommend that competent authorities in affected Member States keep sharing information on the epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations and issue relevant notifications in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) and the Early Warning Response System (EWRS).
To prevent infections using infant formulas, both in infants and caregivers, Member States should consider providing advice to the public regarding:
Not to use any of the infant formulas involved in this outbreak;
Hand washing before and after the preparation of the bottle;
Bottles should not be prepared in advance and the contents should be discarded if not consumed within two hours.
What is a rapid outbreak assessment?
In case of multi-country foodborne outbreaks coordination at EU level is important. A Rapid Outbreak Assessment is jointly prepared by EFSA and ECDC in close cooperation with affected countries. The ROA gives an overview of the situation in terms of public health and identifies the contaminated food vehicle that caused the infections. It also includes trace-back and trace-forward investigations to identify the origin of the outbreak and where contaminated products have been distributed. This is crucial to identify the relevant control measures in order to prevent further spread of the outbreak.
An outbreak of Salmonella Agona linked to the consumption of infant formula (powdered milk) has been ongoing in France since August 2017. As of 11 January 2018, the outbreak had affected 39 infants (children <1 year of age): 37 in France, one in Spain confirmed by whole genome sequencing (WGS) and one in Greece, considered to be associated with this event based on the presence of a rare biochemical characteristic of the isolate.
The date of symptom onset for the most recent case was 2 December 2017. Available evidence from epidemiological investigations in humans and traceability investigations in food identified seven different brands of infant formula from a single processing company in France as the vehicles of infection.
After receiving the first notification on 2 December 2017 of an unusual number of S. Agona cases in France, the French authorities carried out investigations at the implicated factory. On 4 December 2017, they notified the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) after confirming that some of the affected products were exported to other countries. Following investigations at the processing company, all products manufactured since 15 February 2017, including products other than infant formula, have been recalled and/or withdrawn, as a precautionary measure. The French competent authorities are verifying that the measures taken by the processing company in response to this event have been sufficient and appropriate. As of 15 January 2018, recalled products had been distributed to 13 European Union (EU) countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom) and to 54 third countries. Most of the batches involved in the investigation have not yet passed their expiry date. However, broad withdrawal and/or recall measures, export bans and a suspension of market distribution of these batches, implemented since the beginning of December 2017 by the French competent authority and processing company A, are likely to significantly reduce the risk of human infection. The possibility remains, however, that new cases may be detected. Third countries, where the recalled products had been distributed, have been notified by RASFF through INFOSAN. ECDC offers WGS services to EU/EEA countries that do not have the capacity for a timely sequencing and analysis as part of this investigation. A multi-country WGS analysis is under way at the Pasteur Institute.
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