UK bride who suffered food poisoning on honeymoon now needs a feeding tube to eat

Adam Barnett and Katie Pearson report in the Mirror that a woman who fell ill with food poisoning on her honeymoon has developed a rare condition that “paralysed” her stomach so she can no longer digest food.

Jessica Heather, 30, from Wirral in Merseyside, who is studying design and innovation, might need a feeding tube for the rest of her life.

She caught the bug while on her honeymoon in Turkey with her new husband Wayne, 33, in July 2014.

The couple thought it was food poisoning.

She said: “I knew something was wrong when Wayne bounced back and I didn’t.

“I was seriously fatigued, forgetting people’s names and even how to talk.”

Ms Heather was hospitalised with severe stomach pains and bowel issues when she returned to the UKFinally last December she was diagnosed with Bechet’s Syndrome – a rare condition that results in the inflammation of blood vessels and tissue.

“It took six years until I was finally diagnosed”, she said.

“I still don’t know the cause, but doctors think it may have been something bacterial I picked up from my honeymoon.”

The Bechet’s Syndrome had attacked her stomach and left her with a gastroparesis – a condition that ‘paralyses’ the stomach and leaves it unable to digest food properly.

She said: “The condition had damaged a nerve connecting my brain and stomach so it couldn’t send signals properly.

“Food wasn’t being digested properly and just sitting in my stomach – causing me to be sick.”

Ms Heather is now unable to digest most fruits and vegetables and survives on a strict low-fibre diet.

Risk communication isn’t that hard

I don’t know why, but whenever me and my team gets cited once, twice, three times a day by another peer-reviewed publication, I get turned on.
Most of that stuff we wrote 20 years ago, but it still has relevance.
So here’s one that cited us and I wish they hadn’t.

Whoever wrote this abstract needs some communication training.
This report assesses peer‐reviewed and grey literature (WTF is grey literature?) on risk communication concepts and practices, as requested by the European Commission to support the implementation of a ‘General Plan for Risk Communication’, i.e. an integrated framework for EU food safety risk assessors and risk managers at Union and national level, as required by the revised EU General Food Law Regulation.
We conducted a scoping review of social research studies and official reports in relation to risk communication in the following areas: understanding and awareness of risk analysis roles and tasks, reducing misunderstanding of the different meaning of the terms ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’, tackling misinformation and disinformation, enhancing confidence in EU food safety, taking account of risk perceptions, key factors in trade‐offs about risks, audience segmentation and tools, channels and mechanisms for coordinated risk communications. We structured our findings as follows: i) definitions of key concepts, ii) audience analysis and information requirements, iii) risk profiling, models and mechanisms, iv) contributions to communication strategies.
We make several recommendations for consideration by the Commission, both in terms of actions to support the design and implementation of the general plan, and research needs that we consider crucial to further inform appropriate risk communication in the EU. EFSA carried out a targeted consultation of experts and a public consultation open to all interested parties including the general public, in preparing and finalising this report.

Technical assistance in the field of risk communication, April 29 2021
European Food Safety Authority
Laura Maxim, Mario Mazzocchi, Stephan Van den Broucke, Fabiana Zollo, Tobin Robinson, Claire Rogers, Domagoj Vrbos, Giorgia Zamariola, and Anthony Smith
doi: 10.2903/j.efsa.2021.6574
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8083185/

1442 sick: Salmonella in red onions

Chapman and I went on a road tour of farms and processing plants in 2000, and I remember one dude saying we blanch all the produce except onions because they’ve never had an outbreak.

Ahem.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, between June and October 2020, federal and state agencies investigated a Salmonella Newport foodborne illness outbreak associated with consumption of red onions from the Southern San Joaquin Valley and Imperial Valley in California. The outbreak, which caused 1,127 reported domestic illnesses and 515 reported Canadian cases, is the largest Salmonella outbreak in over a decade. This outbreak is also remarkable because the food vehicle, whole red onions, is a raw agricultural commodity that had not been previously associated with a foodborne illness outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), alongside state and federal partners, investigated the outbreak to identify potential contributing factors that may have led to red onion contamination with Salmonella Newport. While the Salmonella Newport outbreak strain (specific whole genome sequence [WGS]) was not identified in any of the nearly 2,000 subsamples tested, a total of 11 subsamples (10 water and 1 sediment) collected near one of the growing fields identified in the traceback were positive for Salmonella Newport, representing a total of three different genotypical strains (unique WGS patterns). Although a conclusive root cause could not be identified, several potential contributing factors to the 2020 red onion outbreak were identified, including a leading hypothesis that contaminated irrigation water used in a growing field in Holtville, California may have led to contamination of the onions.

While our investigation did not occur during any harvesting activities, visual observations of the implicated red onion growing fields suggested several plausible opportunities for contamination including irrigation water, sheep grazing on adjacent land, as well as signs of animal intrusion, such as scat and large flocks of birds which may spread contamination. Similarly, the investigation did not occur while packing activities were ongoing. However, visual observations and records review of packing house practices confirmed numerous opportunities for spread of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, including signs of animal and pest intrusion as well as food contact surfaces which had not been inspected, maintained, cleaned, or sanitized as frequently as necessary to protect against the contamination of produce. Thomson International Inc. cooperated with FDA throughout the investigation and is continuing to engage with FDA on the agency’s findings and recommendations.

Notably, Salmonella isolates from two sediment subsamples and two water subsamples collected during this investigation were found to be genetically related by WGS to clinical isolates from 2016 and 2018 foodborne illness outbreaks (Salmonella Muenchen and Salmonella Montevideo, respectively) associated with consumption of sprouts. This may be indicative of human pathogen persistence and distribution in this growing region (a concentrated area of seed for sprouting production), which could pose a risk of contamination for any produce commodity. FDA issued an assignment to follow-up at the associated firms. Sprouts are not a food vehicle of interest in the 2020 Salmonella Newport foodborne illness outbreak.

We urge growers to conduct risk assessments that include evaluation of hazards that may be associated with adjacent and nearby land uses—especially relating to the presence of livestock and wildlife and the potential for runoff into growing fields or water sources—and implement risk mitigation strategies where appropriate. FDA recognizes the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment when it comes to public health outcomes, and we encourage collaboration among various groups in the broader agricultural community (e.g., produce growers, those managing animal operations, state and federal government agencies, and academia) to address this issue.

This document provides an overview of the traceback investigation, subsequent on-site investigation, and factors that potentially contributed to the contamination of red onions with Salmonella Newport.

Factors potentially contributing to the contamination of red onions implicated in the summer 2020 outbreak of Salmonella Newport

13.may.21

FDA

https://www.fda.gov/food/foodborne-pathogens/factors-potentially-contributing-contamination-red-onions-implicated-summer-2020-outbreak-salmonella

Raw is risky: Maya Jama forced to miss bash after suffering food poisoning from raw tuna

I don’t know who TV star Maya Jama is but I do know food safety, and raw is risky.

raw tuna fish

The self-appointed epidemiologis shared on Instagram that she had been vomiting all day and felt ‘sad’ not to attend the bash at London’s Television Centre where she was due to present an award.

The 26-year-old already had her red carpet outfit picked out to hang with the stars, such as Oti Mabuse and Michaela Coel, on the night to celebrate the best and brightest in British TV.

The radio presenter wrote on Instagram on Sunday: ‘So saddddd I won’t be at the Baftas today,’ she wrote on her Instagram Story.

‘I ate that posh raw tuna s**t and have been [sick] all day. Was supposed to wear the dress of dreams also I might have to wear it to the shop next week to feel better.’ She also added a vomit emoji and three face palm emoji to hammer the point home.

It came out of the sky: Salmonella infections in Europe

In recent months, more than three hundred cases of salmonellosis have occurred in various European countries and Canada, which are linked to each other. In the UK the cases could be partly traced back to frozen breaded poultry meat. The cause was contamination with the bacterium Salmonella Enteritidis, which causes gastrointestinal inflammation. Salmonella is not killed by deep freezing and can remain infectious at temperatures below zero degrees Celsius. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the BfR are monitoring the situation together with the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL). In Germany, the number of reported cases has currently risen to more than 20 in six federal states. In 2020, there were a total of about 10,000 reported cases of salmonellosis in Germany, most of which were caused by the consumption of contaminated food. In principle, foodborne infections can be avoided by paying particular attention to hygienic care when preparing raw poultry.

Due to the measures taken to contain the COVID 19 pandemic, people are currently cooking more often at home and, in the course of this, convenience products such as frozen goods are also being used more frequently. Sometimes it is not obvious at first glance whether such products contain pre-cooked or raw meat. Sufficient heating should always be ensured during preparation, especially of products containing raw poultry meat. In addition, bacterial contamination of other dishes via the raw meat and breading is possible. “Especially for children and elderly people there is a higher risk of getting sick from salmonella,” says BfR President Prof. Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel.

Investigations by the official food monitoring authorities show that raw poultry and poultry meat products – including frozen products – can be contaminated with pathogens. In 2018, Salmonella was found in 5.6% of chicken meat samples examined and Campylobacter bacteria in every second sample. For this reason, the BfR encourages adherence to its recommendations on the handling and preparation of poultry and poultry products.

It is true that germs such as salmonella and campylobacter are killed during the preparation of poultry meat if the correspondingly high temperatures are reached during cooking. But by transferring these germs to hands, household utensils and kitchen surfaces, other food can become contaminated with these pathogens. If this contaminated food is not reheated before consumption, one can fall ill. Since salmonella can multiply in food at temperatures above 7 °C, there is a particular risk when eating food that is kept unrefrigerated for a long time, such as salads and desserts.

Therefore, the following general hygiene rules should be strictly followed when preparing raw poultry:

– Store and prepare raw poultry products and other foods separately, especially when the latter are not reheated

– Store fresh poultry at a maximum of +4 °C and process and consume until the use-by date.

– Defrost frozen poultry without packaging in the refrigerator (cover and place in a bowl to collect the defrost water).

– Dispose packaging materials carefully and discard defrost water immediately.

– Do not wash poultry, as the splashing water can spread germs; it is better to process it directly or dab it with a paper towel, which should be disposed of directly.

– Utensils and surfaces that have come into contact with raw poultry products or defrost water must be cleaned thoroughly with warm water and washing-up liquid before further use.

– Clean hands thoroughly with warm water and soap between each preparation step.

163 sick: CDC investigating new outbreaks of salmonella infections linked to backyard poultry

A CDC investigation notice regarding multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections has been posted: https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/backyardpoultry-05-21/index.html

Key points:

CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating multistate outbreaks of Salmonella infections linked to contact with backyard poultry.

There have been 163 people reported ill from 43 states.

34 people were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The true number of sick people is likely much higher than the reported number, as many people recover without medical care and are not tested for Salmonella.

One-third of sick people are young children under 5 years.

Interviews with sick people show that contact with backyard poultry is the likely source of the outbreaks.

Backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs even if they look healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread in areas where they live and roam.

Whether you are building your first coop or are a seasoned backyard poultry owner, know the risks of keeping poultry and the simple things you can do to stay healthy.

Steps to stay healthy around backyard poultry:

Always wash your hands for 20 seconds after touching the flock or flock supplies.

Keep flock and flock supplies outside the house to prevent spreading germs into your house.

Don’t let children younger than 5 years touch the birds (including chicks and ducklings) or anything in the area where the birds live and roam.

Don’t kiss or snuggle the birds, as this can spread germs to your mouth and make you sick.

36 sick: Salmonella braenderup outbreak in Sweden grows, part of international outbreak

Outbreak News reports that aIn a follow-up on the Salmonella Braenderup outbreak in Sweden, the Swedish Public Health Agency now reports a total of 36 confirmed outbreak cases reported from 13 different regions during the period 4 April to 15 May.

The cases of the disease are in the ages 0-95 years and 29 of the patients are women. The cases have been linked using whole genome sequencing (analysis of the bacterium’s genome).

The outbreak is international as several countries in Europe have identified cases of the same variant of salmonella. The source of infection is suspected to be a food that has been widely distributed both in Sweden and abroad.

The affected infection control units, municipalities, the National Food Administration and the Swedish Public Health Agency jointly investigate the outbreak at national level, while collaboration at international level is handled by the central authorities and coordinated by the European Anti-Infection Authority ECDC.

Warning not to eat certain melons due to salmonella contamination in UK

Buyers have been warned to get rid of melons sold this week in UK supermarkets, after certain types of fruit have been linked to cases of salmonella.

The Food Standards Agency issued an alert saying that “a large number” of stores were stocking the affected fruit, advising anyone who purchased it to wash their hands and affected surfaces thoroughly.

Customers should be able to identify potentially risky melons with stickers on the fruit, the agency added.

The possible source of several recent cases of salmonella in the UK is believed to be whole honeydew, cantaloupe and galia melons originating in Costa Rica, Honduras or Brazil.

These are likely to have been purchased by buyers on or before May 28, 2021.

The Food Standards Agency said: “If consumers are unsure of the country of origin of their galia, cantaloupe or honeydew melon, they are advised to discard the fruit as a precaution. “

The melons have been withdrawn from sale in stores, the agency added.

 

Face the face: Restaurant inspection adjudication

Administrative adjudication can serve as a quasi-judicial forum for resolving disputes resulting from government regulations. New York City recently required restaurants to post letter grades reflecting their compliance with food safety regulations and incorporated an easily accessible administrative adjudication system into its policy design. This study examines the implementation of this feature of the policy by using a regression discontinuity framework to explore the effects of the grading policy on adjudication processes and regulatory outcomes.

Quantitative data included 222,527 food safety inspection records (2007–2014); qualitative data included interviews, observations, and document review. Restaurants were more likely to have violations reduced and grades improved at adjudication when grades were at stake. Moreover, adjudication outcomes were highly sensitive to score differences near grade cut-points. Professional representatives helped restaurants to negotiate the interpretation of rules in the quasi-judicial proceedings, softening rigidity of regulations. Representatives’ expertise was consistent with being “repeat players,” which may distort the use of such forums to ensure justice and fairness.

This study illuminates the ramifications of including alternative dispute resolution systems in the implementation of regulatory policies.

By the letter of law? The effects of administrative adjudication for resolving disputes in NYC’s restaurant grading initiative, 27 May 2021

The American Review of Public Administration

Diana Silver, Micah Rothbart, Jin Yung Bae

https://doi.org/10.1177/02750740211016566

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/02750740211016566

Restaurant worker training effectiveness during covid-19

The restaurant business has turned into a dynamic and ever-growing industry. So, food safety must be a priority for these establishments, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of training intervention on the health and food safety knowledge, attitude, and self-reported practice (KAP) of restaurant food handlers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This quasi-experimental study was conducted on 159 restaurant food handlers in Tehran, Iran. The training intervention was developed based on the latest global guidelines. The KAP of the subjects was measured before and after the training. Fisher’s exact test, paired t test, and repeated measures ANOVA were used for statistical analysis. Data analysis was done using the IBM_SPSS software. The total knowledge scores of participants were low (17.6%), moderate (35.2%), and good (47.2%) before training, which were changed to 5% (low), 23.9% (moderate), and 71.1% (good) after training. The total pretraining attitude scores were 0.6, 77.4, 18.2, and 3.8% that were changed to 0% (strongly negative), 49.1% (negative), 33.3% (positive), and 17.6% (strongly positive), respectively. Also, the self-reported practice scores of the participants before training were 1.3, 56, and 42.7 that were changed to 0% (weak), 26.4% (acceptable), and 73.6% (desirable) after the intervention, respectively. Paired t test results showed a statistically significant increase in all scores. The interaction of training with age and education was statistically significant in increasing the knowledge and attitude scores of the participants by the repeated measures ANOVA.

Improving the KAP of food handlers by health and food safety training can improve the status of restaurants and minimize the outbreak of pandemic diseases, including COVID-19, which is an effective step in community health. Thus, it is an urgent need for policymakers to design an online system of continuous food safety training for food handlers.

A quasi-experimental study on the effect of health and food safety training intervention on restaurant food handlers during the COVID-19 pandemic, 25 April 2021

Food Science & Nutrition

Fatemeh Mohammadi-Nasrabadi, Yeganeh Salmani, and Fatemeh Esfarjani

DOI: 10.1002/fsn3.2326

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/fsn3.2326