Not the 4-H: 21 confirmed sick with Salmonella in 8 US states from contact with dairy bull calves

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is working with Wisconsin health, agriculture, and laboratory agencies, several other states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) to investigate a multistate outbreak of multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg infections.

Portrait of the cute baby bull calf

Portrait of the cute baby bull calf

Public health investigators used the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may have been part of this outbreak. PulseNet, coordinated by CDC, is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories. PulseNet performs DNA fingerprinting on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these DNA fingerprints to identify possible outbreaks.

Twenty-one people infected with an outbreak strain of Salmonella Heidelberg have been reported from eight states.

Among 19 people with available information, illnesses started on dates ranging from January 11, 2016 to October 24, 2016. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 72, with a median age of 21. Sixty-two percent of ill people are female. Among 19 ill people with available information, 8 (42%) reported being hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.

WGS showed that isolates from ill people are closely related genetically to one another. This close genetic relationship means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings have identified dairy bull calves from livestock markets in Wisconsin as the likely source of infections. Dairy bull calves are young, male cattle that have not been castrated and may be raised for meat. Dairy bull calves in this outbreak have also been purchased for use with 4-H projects.

In interviews, ill people answered questions about any contact with animals and foods eaten in the week before becoming ill. Of the 19 people interviewed, 15 (79%) reported contact with dairy bull calves or other cattle. Some of the ill people interviewed reported that they became sick after their dairy bull calves became ill or died.

One ill person’s dairy calves were tested for the presence of Salmonella bacteria. This laboratory testing identified Salmonella Heidelberg in the calves. Further testing using WGS showed that isolates from ill people are closely related genetically to isolates from these calves. This close genetic relationship means that the human infections in this outbreak are likely linked to ill calves.

As part of routine surveillance, the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene, one of seven regional labs affiliated with CDC’s Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network, conducted antibiotic resistance testing on clinical isolates from the ill people associated with this outbreak. These isolates were found to be resistant to antibiotics and shared the same DNA fingerprints, showing the isolates were likely related to one another.

dairy-male-calves-salmonellaWGS identified multiple antimicrobial resistance genes in outbreak-associated isolates from fifteen ill people and eight cattle. This correlated with results from standard antibiotic resistance testing methods used by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory on clinical isolates from two ill people in this outbreak. The two isolates tested were susceptible to gentamicin, azithromycin, and meropenem.  Both were resistant to amoxicillin-clavulanic acid, ampicillin, cefoxitin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, nalidixic acid, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and had reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin. Antibiotic resistance limits treatment options and has been associated with increased risk of hospitalization, bloodstream infections, and treatment failures in patients.

Traceback information available at this time indicates that most calves in this outbreak originated in Wisconsin. Wisconsin health and agriculture officials continue to work with other states to identify herds that may be affected.

 

For those who like veal

During site visits of veal processors, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has reported processing deficiencies that likely contribute to increased levels of veal contamination. Here, we report the results of measuring aerobic plate count bacteria (APC),Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms (CF), and Escherichia coli during eight sample collections at five veal processors to assess contamination during the harvest of bob veal and formula-fed veal before (n = 5 plants) and after (n = 3 plants) changes to interventions and processing practices.

veal.slaughterHides of veal calves at each plant had mean log CFU/100 cm2 APC,Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli of 6.02 to 8.07, 2.95 to 5.24, 3.28 to 5.83, and 3.08 to 5.59, respectively. Preintervention carcasses had mean log CFU/100 cm2 APC, Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli of 3.08 to 5.22, 1.16 to 3.47, 0.21 to 3.06, and -0.07 to 3.10, respectively, before and 2.72 to 4.50, 0.99 to 2.76, 0.69 to 2.26, and 0.33 to 2.12, respectively, after changes were made to improve sanitary dressing procedures. Final veal carcasses had mean log CFU/100 cm2 APC, Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli of 0.36 to 2.84, -0.21 to 1.59, -0.23 to 1.59, and -0.38 to 1.45 before and 0.44 to 2.64, -0.16 to 1.33, -0.42 to 1.20, and 0.48 to 1.09 after changes were made to improve carcass-directed interventions. Whereas the improved dressing procedures resulted in improved carcass cleanliness, the changes to carcass-directed interventions were less successful, and veal processors are urged to use techniques that ensure uniform and consistent delivery of antimicrobials to carcasses. Analysis of results comparing bob veal to formula-fed veal found bob veal hides, preintervention carcasses, and final carcasses to have increased (P < 0.05) APC, Enterobacteriaceae, CF, and E. coli (with the exception of hideEnterobacteriaceae; P > 0.05) relative to formula fed veal. When both veal categories were harvested at the same plant on the same day, similar results were observed.

Since identification by FSIS, the control of contamination during veal processing has started to improve, but challenges still persist.

Contamination revealed by indicator microorganism levels during veal processing

01.aug.2016

Bosilevac, Joseph M.1; Wang, Rong2; Luedtke, Brandon E.3; Wheeler, Tommy L.2; Koohmaraie, Mohammad4

1: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, State Spur 18D, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933, USA;, Email: [email protected]: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, State Spur 18D, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933, USA 3: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, P.O. Box 166, State Spur 18D, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933, University of Nebraska Kearney, 905 West 25th Street, Kearney, NE 68849, USA 4: IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group, 15300 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park, Washington 98155, USA

Journal of Food Protection, August 2016, Number 8, Pages 1341-1347, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-15-572

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iafp/jfp/2016/00000079/00000008/art00006

‘Veal calves that regain the ability to walk after being warmed or rested may enter the food supply’ No more

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced changes today to improve humane handling inspections at facilities that produce veal meat.

265x184_veal_calfWith this change, FSIS will begin to require that veal calves that are brought to slaughter but cannot rise and walk be promptly and humanely euthanized, and prohibited from entering the food supply. Previously, FSIS has allowed veal calves that are unable to rise from a recumbent position to be set aside and warmed or rested, and presented for slaughter if they regain the ability to walk. FSIS has found that this practice may contribute to the inhumane treatment of the veal calves. This change would improve compliance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act by encouraging improved treatment of veal calves, as well as improve inspection efficiency by allowing FSIS inspection program personnel to devote more time to activities related to food safety.

Additionally, after review and consideration of comments to the proposed rule, FSIS is amending the regulations by removing a provision that requires ante-mortem inspection to be conducted in pens. This final rule makes clear that FSIS inspectors have the authority to conduct ante-mortem inspection and condemn non-ambulatory disabled veal calves the moment they arrive on the premises of the establishment.

“FSIS is dedicated to ensuring that veal calves presented for slaughter at FSIS-inspected facilities are treated humanely,” said Deputy Under Secretary Al Almanza. “Prohibiting the slaughter of all non-ambulatory veal calves will continue this commitment and improve compliance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.”   

Since 2004, FSIS has prohibited the slaughter of non-ambulatory cattle for human food because the inability to rise may be a symptom of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). While BSE is not a serious risk in cattle younger than 30 months of age, the regulations apply to all cattle, including veal calves. Currently, unlike adult cattle, veal calves that regain the ability to walk after being warmed or rested may enter the food supply. In 2013, FSIS granted a petition by the Humane Society of the United States asking the agency to remove this provision. This new rule will remove the provision, requiring that non-ambulatory calves be promptly and humanely euthanized, in keeping with requirements for adult cattle.

The final rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. A draft copy of the final rule is available here:http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/regulations/federal-register/interim-and-final-rules.

 

Warm water followed by acid spray reduces STECs on veal carcasses

Effective antimicrobial intervention strategies to reduce Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli (STEC) risks associated with veal are needed.

bob.veal.carcassThis study evaluated the efficacy of lactic acid (4.5%, pH 2.0), Citrilow (pH 1.2), and Beefxide (2.25%, pH 2.3) for reducing STEC surrogates on prerigor and chilled bob veal carcasses and monitored the effects of these interventions on chilled carcass color.

Dehided bob veal carcasses were inoculated with a five-strain cocktail of rifampin-resistant, surrogate E. coli bacteria. E. coli surrogates were enumerated after inoculation, after water wash, after prechill carcass antimicrobial spray application, after chilling for 24 h, and after postchill carcass antimicrobial spray application; carcass color was measured throughout the process. A standard carcass water wash (∼50°C) reduced the STEC surrogate population by 0.9 log CFU/cm2 (P ≤ 0.05). All three antimicrobial sprays applied to prerigor carcasses delivered an additional ∼0.5-log reduction (P ≤ 0.05) of the surrogates. Chilling of carcasses for 24 h reduced (P ≤ 0.05) the surrogate population by an additional ∼0.4 log cycles. The postchill application of the antimicrobial sprays provided no further reductions. Carcass L*, a*, and b* color values were not different (P > 0.05) among carcass treatments. Generally, the types and concentrations of the antimicrobial sprays evaluated herein did not negatively impact visual or instrumental color of chilled veal carcasses.

This study demonstrates that warm water washing, followed by a prechill spray treatment with a low-pH chemical intervention, can effectively reduce STEC risks associated with veal carcasses; this provides processors a validated control point in slaughter operations.

Evaluating the efficacy of three U.S. Department of Agriculture–approved antimicrobial sprays for reducing Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli surrogate populations on bob veal carcasses

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 6, June 2016, pp. 896-1055, pp. 956-962(7)

J. Sevart; N. Baumann; H.Thippareddi; T. A. Houser; J. B. Luchansky; A. C. S. Porto-Fett; D. B. Marx; G. R. Acuff; R. K. Phebus

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/iafp/jfp/2016/00000079/00000006/art00008

 

Effects of in-plant interventions on reduction of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli and background indicator microorganisms on veal calf hides

Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) serotypes in veal have recently been recognized as a problem. Because hides are considered to be the principal source of EHEC and hide interventions have been shown to be very efficacious in the control of EHEC in beef processing plants, various hide-directed intervention strategies have been implemented in several veal processing plants to mitigate contamination. We evaluated the effectiveness of three different hide interventions used at veal processing vealplants: A, a water rinse followed by a manual curry comb of the hide; B, application of 200 ppm of chlorine followed by a hot water rinse; and C, a 5-min treatment with chlorine foam followed by a rinse with 180 to 200 ppm of acidified sodium chlorite. The levels of total aerobic bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, coliforms, and E. coli, as well as the prevalence of Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, and non-O157 EHEC, were determined on hides pre- and postintervention. Interventions A, B, and C reduced indicator organisms (P < 0.05) by 0.8 to 3.5 log CFU, 2.1 to 2.7 log CFU, and 1.0 to 1.5 log CFU, respectively. No Salmonella was detected on hides prior to intervention. E. coli O157:H7 prevalence was observed at only one plant, so comparison was not possible. Other non-O157 EHECs (O26, O103, and O111) were observed for all interventions studied. Interventions A and B reduced culture-confirmed non-O157 EHEC by 29 and 21 % , respectively, whereas intervention C did not reduce non-O157 EHEC. Our results show that the most effective veal hide intervention for reducing indicator organisms and EHECs was the application of 200 ppm of chlorine followed by hot water rinse. These data provide options that veal processors can consider in their EHEC control program.

Journal of Food Protection®, Number 5, May 2014, pp. 696-863 , pp. 745-751(7)

Wang, Rong1; Koohmaraie, Mohammad2; Luedtke, Brandon E.3; Wheeler, Tommy L.3; Bosilevac, Joseph M.3

8 sick with E. coli O157 in Ontario, source unknown

Two weeks ago, Canadian bureaucrats said there was an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked with consumption of veal liver, but never did say how many people got sick or where.

Tonight, Grey-Bruce public health officials – that’s in Ontario, Canada — are trying to find a link in a cluster of genetically similar cases of E. coli O157 which has sickened eight people over the past several weeks.

Health spokesthingy Angela Newman said, "We’re looking at their food history, where they’ve been travelling, some of their activities in order to determine if there’s any linkage between the cases. At this point, we have not been able to identify any particular link.”

Those sickened range in age from six to 85. Some of the victims are still in hospital, but are "on the mend," Newman said. Some were "pretty ill."

No one seems to know much.
 

Canada-wide outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to veal liver; feds won’t say how many are sick

Once again, the communication geniuses at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have buried the lede, announcing halfway through a recall of veal liver that “there have been reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

“This is an ongoing food safety investigation. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is investigating a multi-provincial outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in collaboration with provincial health authorities as well as federal health partners including CFIA and Health Canada.”

That’s a lot of agencies. I wonder how many people are sick and where?

CFIA and White Veal Meat Packers Ltd. (Est. 412) of Toronto are warning the public not to consume the grain fed veal liver described below because the product may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.

The following White Valley brand Grain Fed Veal Liver products, sold in boxes weighing approximately 5 kg or approximately 25 kg are affected by this alert:

Format UPC Lot Distributed to:
1 individually vacuum packaged or 5 individually poly packed pieces per box 90059441201142 110601 British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec
1 individually vacuum packaged or 5 individually poly packed pieces per box 90059441201142 110603 British Columbia
5 individually poly packed, 1 pieces per box 90059441101145 110601 Quebec **

Retailers are advised to check the lot code on the packaging or with their supplier to determine if they have the affected product. Retailers may have sliced and sold the veal liver prepackaged or through the store’s meat counter.

Consumers who have purchased grain fed veal liver in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec or beef liver at the one identified Quebec retail location, between June 1st and June 14, 2011 inclusive, are advised to contact their retailer to determine if they have the affected product. Consumers who may have purchased this product and still have it in their freezers are advised not to consume it.