A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Download C.V. »
Salmonella outbreaks in childcare facilities are relatively rare, most often occurring secondary to contaminated food products or poor infection control practices. We report an outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul at a pre-school facility in Ayrshire, Scotland with atypical clinical and epidemiological features.
(me learning to drive a tractor, about 4-years-old)
Following notification of the initial two cases, the multi-disciplinary Incident Management Team initiated enhanced active case finding and two environmental inspections of the site, including food preparation areas. Parent and staff interviews were conducted by the Public Health department covering attendance, symptomatology and risk factors for all probable and confirmed cases. Microbiological testing of stool samples and the facility water tank was conducted. Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) was performed for positive stool samples at the national reference laboratory. Infection control measures were introduced iteratively due to the atypical progression of the outbreak.
There were 15 confirmed cases and 3 children admitted to hospital during the outbreak. However, 35.7% of cases reported extremely mild symptoms. The attack rate was 15.2%, and age of affected children ranged from 18 to 58 months (mean 35 months). All cases were the same Multilocus Sequence Type (MLST50). Epidemiological investigation strongly suggested person-to-person spread within the facility. Existing infection control practices were found to be of a high standard, but introduction of additional evidence-based control measures was inadequate in halting transmission. Facility staff reported concerns about lack of parental disclosure of gastrointestinal symptoms, particularly where these were mild, with 50.0% of cases having attended while symptomatic against public health advice. Voluntary two-week closure of the facility was implemented to halt transmission, following which there were no new cases. WGS results were unavailable until after the decision was taken to close the facility.
This is the first reported instance of a Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak at a childcare facility, or where person-to-person transmission is indicated. Clinicians should consider the influence of parental under-reporting on gastrointestinal outbreaks in childcare settings, particularly where perceived severity is low and financial or social pressures to attend work may reduce compliance. WGS cannot yet replace conventional microbiological techniques during short, localised outbreaks due to delays receiving results.
Kristi Pahr of Yahoo writes that parents expect their kids to learn a number of things in preschool—the alphabet and number sense, maybe how to write their name, socialization and the beginnings of conflict resolution. But not many parents expect their kids to learn how to, ahem, wipe their butts in preschool. That’s usually the kind of thing we expect to teach at home. Handwashing? Yes. Butt-wiping? Doesn’t happen at my kid’s preschool.
A video, that appears to be of a classroom abroad, shared widely on social media showed us what we’ve been missing. This absolutely brilliant teacher came up with the best wipe-teaching hack ever. By attaching two balloons to a small chair, she showed kids the perfect front-to-back technique, while showing them how to balance on the potty. We all stress the importance of proper handwashing, cough covers, and nose-blowing and expect those to be, if not taught in preschool, at least brushed-up on and practiced. Maybe it’s time for bottom-cleanliness to take center-stage in American preschools as well.
The origins of the video are unknown, but various versions shared online have been fairly well-received, with parents around the Twittersphere acknowledging the sheer genius of the balloon models.
Emma Broadhurst was six months pregnant when she flew out to Turkey with friends for a 7-night stay at the Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa, east of the city of Antayla, at the start of September.
But, according to Andy Rudd of The Mirror, within days of arriving she fell unwell suffering from chronic diarrhea and became dehydrated and lost weight.
Just over 24 hours later her best friend’s seven-year-old son, Kailan, also fell ill with diarrhea and on their return to the UK his mum, Emma McComb, fell ill and Kailan was left ‘screaming in agony’ and projectile vomiting.
All three, who shared a room while on holiday, were then diagnosed with salmonella poisoning after stool samples were sent for testing by their local GP, claims Emma.
The friends stayed in the same hotel where two-year-old Allie Birchall and her family holidayed before little Allie was taken ill before passing away having contracted E. coli.
All members of her family, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, suffered from gastric symptoms including stomach cramps and diarrhoea during their 10-day stay with Jet 2.
Allie’s condition became so severe she was rushed to hospital after the family returned to the UK.
Her parents had to make the heartbreaking decision to switch off her life support on August 3.
Fun observation: Most people think it’s safer to buy deli meat or cold cuts, fresh at the counter, than the pre-packaged stuff, which is probably safer because it contains antimicrobials (in the U.S.) and doesn’t come into contact with all that slicer shit at the deli counter.
Follow up: What’s the difference between a clean and a deep clean? Phallic hyperbole.
Ready-to-eat (RTE) deli meats sliced at retail are predicted to cause 83% of deli meat-associated listeriosis cases annually. While Listeria monocytogenes is commonly found in delis, environmental prevalence varies by store (0–40%).
A deep clean sanitation standard operating procedure (SSOP) executed by a third-party cleaning service immediately reduced L. monocytogenes prevalence in delis, but reductions were not sustained over time. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a L. monocytogenes predictive risk model and a subsequent deep-clean SSOP (deep clean) conducted by store employees and management complemented with training and facilities improvements all aimed to reduce L. monocytogenes prevalence in stores with known high L. monocytogenes prevalence and evidence of persistence.
Fifty delis among six states were screened using a predictive logistic regression model that estimates the probability of high L. monocytogenes prevalence in a deli. The model identified 13 stores with potentially high L. monocytogenes prevalence; seven stores were confirmed and enrolled for further study. Retail employees executed deep clean; additional interventions (e.g., facilities improvements, training) were incorporated in stores. Environmental samples (n = 20) were collected immediately before and after, and for six months post-deep clean. Deep cleans immediately reduced L. monocytogenes prevalence in six of seven stores tested.
A total of 21/138 (15.2%) samples before and 8/139 (5.8%) samples after deep-cleaning were positive for L. monocytogenes, with a marginal 16.0% decrease on non-food-contact surfaces (NFCS) immediately after deep clean (p = 0.0309, αadj = 0.0125) and a marginal 10.8% on NFCS during follow-up (p = 0.0337, αadj = 0.0125). Employee executed deep cleans with training, education, and maintenance programs can reduce environmental L. monocytogenes prevalence in retail delis, a pivotal part of preventing subsequent cross-contamination to RTE deli meats.
Predictive risk models combined with employee-and management-implemented SSOPs identified and reduced listeria monocytogenes prevalence in retail delis
Outbreak News Today reports Swedish health authorities, or Folkhalsomyndigheten are reporting 17 additional Salmonella Typhimurium cases in the current outbreak, bringing the total outbreak cases to 71 since August.
The Swedish National Food Agency and the Public Health Agency continue to investigate the outbreak to identify the source of the infection. The investigation shows that small tomatoes are the likely source of the outbreak. The tomatoes are no longer left in grocery stores, the outbreak has subsided and the risk of being infected is very small.
Danielle Garrand of CBS reports that parents have been encouraged to check their children’s Halloween candy for years to ensure the tasty treats are safe for kids to eat. This spooky season, Pennsylvania police are urging caregivers to be on the lookout once again — for drug-laced edibles.
“During this Halloween, we urge parents to be ever vigilant in checking their children’s candy before allowing them to consume those treats,” wrote the department. “Drug laced edibles are package like regular candy and may be hard to distinguish from the real candy.”
The authorities included photos of the edibles labeled as “Nerds Rope” with warning labels dubbing the items “for medical use only.” The label also urged those who may use the product to “keep out of reach of children and animals.”
The candy manufacturer that produces Nerds, Ferrara Candy Company, issued a statement saying it is “working with the relevant authorities.”
Shortly after dinosaurs roamed the earth, I worked in a lab and we used a lot of liquid nitrogen to preserve the now dead plant tissues and their more interesting cells and components before we began our devious extractions.
That was the mid-1980s (we also used a lot of radioactive P-32 to mark DNA; prehistoric times).
Now food porn chefs use liquid nitrogen like a dipping area.
Maxine Shen of the Daily Mail reports a Florida woman is suing a hotel after she drank liquid nitrogen a waiter poured into her water glass, resulting in her needing to have her gallbladder and part of her stomach removed.
Except, wouldn’t it immediately freeze the water?
Stacey Wagers, 45, and a friend were celebrating her birthday with a dinner at Don Cesar Hotel’s Maritana Grille restaurant in St. Pete Beach in November 18 when she said she needed to be rushed to hospital after the incident.
Wagers told NBC News that she and her friend had just finished eating when they saw a waiter pouring a liquid over a dessert that made it ‘smoke’ at a table nearby.
Wagers said that her friend told the waiter that the smokey effect looked cool, so he poured what turned out to be liquid nitrogen – a freezing agent – into the women’s water glasses.
‘Of course I didn’t think it was dangerous at all,’ Wagers said, noting that the waiter ‘had just poured it on a dessert’.
When Wagers and her friend drank their liquid nitrogen-laced water, Wagers said she immediately fell sick.
‘There was an explosion in my chest,’ Wagers said, adding that it felt like she was dying and that she was unable to speak.
Wagers was then rushed to the hospital, where she had surgery to remove her gallbladder, as well as portions of her stomach which had been burned by the liquid nitrogen. She also had to stay in the ICU for several days.
In August 2018, the FDA issued an alert warning customers and retailers ‘of the potential for serious injury from eating, drinking, or handling food products prepared by adding liquid nitrogen at the point of sale, immediately before consumption’.
‘Liquid nitrogen, although non-toxic, can cause severe damage to skin and internal organs if mishandled or accidentally ingested due to the extremely low temperatures it can maintain,’ the FDA added.
Wagers’ lawsuit stated that she is suing both the hotel and the food and beverage director of more than $15,000 each and is seeking a jury trial.
Three people have died and one woman has had a miscarriage after eating cold meat contaminated with listeria, the public health institute RIVM said last Friday.
top view of round slices of smoked pork loin ham in transparent plastic tray packaging isolated on white background
Dutch News reports all are thought to have become ill after eating meat products from the Offerman company over the past two years, the agency said. In total, at least 20 people have become ill after eating Offerman cold cuts. The company issued a health warning last Friday and Jumbo, which stocks 135 different products from Offerman, ordered an immediate recall. Aldi too has recalled its Offerman products, which were also widely sold to company canteens.
The source of the infection was traced by the RIVM and product safety board NVWA after an analysis of the different types of listeria infection this week. ‘It has only been recently possible to use this technique and without it, we would not have been able to identify the source,’ the RIVM said.
The factory where the bacteria originates is located in Aalsmeer and has been closed pending a thorough clean-up, the AD reported last Friday afternoon. According to broadcaster NOS the NVWA had ordered Offerman to take extra hygiene measures because there were suspicions that something was going wrong. ‘But this would appear not to have done the job,’ a NVWA spokesman told the broadcaster.
Listeria is particularly dangerous to the elderly and pregnant women and can cause miscarriages. Every year about 80 cases of listeria are reported to the RIVM.