Listeria warning after sliced pastrami products affected across South Australia

Emily Olle of 7 News writes an urgent warning has been issued by SA Health after listeria was detected in sliced pastrami purchased from a variety of Foodlands, IGAs, butchers, continental delis, bakeries, cafes and sandwich bars.

South Australians, particularly pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, are advised not to consume the pastrami.

SA Health’s Acting Director of Food and Controlled Drugs Branch, Joanne Cammans, said as yet there have been no cases of Listeria infection reported to SA Health linked to the product.

Listeria in Spain: 3 miscarriages, almost 200 sick

Lucy Domachowski of the Daily Star writes that three pregnant women have suffered miscarriages and nearly 200 people hospitalised with listeria as an outbreak of the infection grips Spain’s holiday spots.

A nationwide alert has been sent out after listeria, a bacteria which can cause a type of food poisoning called listeriosis, was suspected in packaged pork.

Two of the miscarriages happened in Seville and the other in Madrid.

One devastated mother lost her baby at 32 weeks, while the others lost their little ones just eight weeks into pregnancy.

Most of the 197 cases have occurred in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia but people have fallen ill across the country, from Madrid to the island of Tenerife.

Spanish authorities have said as many as five pregnant women may have lost their babies to the outbreak, and three people may have died – but stats are yet to be confirmed.

7 sick with Listeria in Canada linked to Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken: 2 dead 22 sick in US possibly related

As of August 23 2019, there have been seven confirmed cases of Listeria monocytogenes illness in three Canadian provinces: British Columbia (1), Manitoba (1) and Ontario (5) linked to cooked Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken.

The Public Health Agency of Canada notes Rosemount cooked diced chicken was supplied to institutions (including cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes) where many of the individuals who became sick resided, or visited, before becoming ill.

Individuals became sick between November 2017 and June 2019. Six individuals have been hospitalized. Individuals who became ill are between 51 and 97 years of age. The majority of cases (86%) are female.

The collaborative outbreak investigation was initiated because of an increase of Listeria illnesses that were reported in June 2019. Through the use of a laboratory method called whole genome sequencing, two Listeria illnesses from November 2017 were identified to have the same genetic strain as the illnesses that occurred between April and June 2019. It is possible that more recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because of the period of time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials. In national Listeria monocytogenes outbreak investigations, the reporting time period is usually between four and six weeks.

The U.S. CDC is also investigating an outbreak  of Listeria illnesses occurring in several states. The type of Listeria identified in the U.S. is closely related genetically (by whole genome sequencing) to the Listeria making people sick in Canada. Canada and U.S. public health and food safety partners are collaborating on these ongoing Listeria investigations.

CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid any particular food at this time. Restaurants and retailers are not advised to avoid serving or selling any particular food. We will update our advice if a source is identified.

Latest Outbreak Information

At A Glance

Reported Cases: 24

States: 13

Hospitalizations: 22

Deaths: 2

24 people infected with the outbreak strain of Listeria monocytogeneshave been reported from 13 states.

Of 23 ill people with information available, 22 hospitalizations have been reported.

Two deaths have been reported.

2 dead, 184 sick linked to Spanish listeriosis outbreak

Last Tuesday a 90-year-old woman passed away, becoming the second death in Spain’s burgeoning listeria outbreak linked to La Mecha branded ‘carne mechada.’

The outbreak has been traced to utensils (slicers? Something lost in translation) used in the preparation of the food products.

Now experts say the bacteria may be present in other products from the Magrudis factory in Sevilla. All its production has been recalled with experts saying at least two other products are at high risk of having been infected.

Medical authorities say this strain of the bacterium is particularly virulent, taking three days to incubate. Normally the incubation period is up to 70 days.

Celebrity chef to advise UK government on hospital food following Listeria deaths

Health chiefs are to set national standards for hospital food after the deaths of six people in a listeria outbreak.

Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith (right) will advise the Government review into bedside meals, amid growing criticism of patients’ food.

The “root-and-branch” probe, launched by the Department of Health today, will examine whether the number of hospitals doing catering in-house can be increased.

Prue said: “Millions of pounds are wasted in hospitals with food ending up in the bin – unpalatable food being the main complaint.

A hospital meal should be a pleasure and comfort, and it should help, not hinder, the patient’s recovery.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock called for the review in June when the six people died after getting listeria from prepackaged sandwiches and salads.

Hopefully there will be some Listeria scientists on the advisory panel.

Foodborne pathogen sheltered by harmless bacteria that support biofilm formation

Pathogenic bacteria that stubbornly lurk in some apple-packing facilities may be sheltered and protected by harmless bacteria that are known for their ability to form biofilms, according to Penn State researchers, who suggest the discovery could lead to development of alternative foodborne-pathogen-control strategies. 

That was the key finding that emerged from a study of three tree-fruit-packing facilities in the Northeast where contamination with Listeria monocytogenes was a concern. The research, done in collaboration with the apple industry, was an effort to better understand the microbial ecology of food-processing facilities. The ultimate goal is to identify ways to improve pathogen control in the apple supply chain to avoid foodborne disease outbreaks and recalls of apples and apple products.

“This work is part of Penn State’s efforts to help producers comply with standards set forth in the federal Food Safety Modernization Act, often referred to as FSMA,” said researcher Jasna Kovac, assistant professor of food science, College of Agricultural Sciences. “The Department of Food Science at Penn State, through research and extension activities, has an ongoing collaboration with the apple industry, led by Luke LaBorde, professor of food science.”

The research was done in collaboration with the apple industry, in an effort to better understand the microbial ecology of food-processing facilities. The ultimate goal is to identify ways to improve pathogen control in the apple supply chain to avoid foodborne disease outbreaks and recalls of apples and apple products. 

In the study, researchers sought to understand the composition of microbiota in apple-packing environments and its association with the occurrence of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Their testing revealed that a packing plant with a significantly higher Listeria monocytogenes occurrence was uniquely dominated by the bacterial family Pseudomonadaceae and the fungal family Dipodascaceae.

“As we investigated the properties of these microorganisms, we learned that they are known to be very good biofilm formers,” said lead researcher Xiaoqing Tan (upper left), a recently graduated master’s degree student in food science and a member of the Penn State Microbiome Center, housed in the Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. “Based on our findings, we hypothesize that these harmless microorganisms are supporting the persistence of Listeria monocytogenes because they protect the harmful bacteria by enclosing them in biofilms. We are testing this hypothesis in a follow-up study.”

The findings of the research, published today (Aug. 21) in Microbiome, provide insight into the Listeria contamination problem and may lead to researchers and the apple industry getting closer to solving it, Kovac believes. Equipment in fruit-processing plants — such as brush conveyors — have a poor sanitary design that makes them difficult to clean and sanitize, she pointed out. She and LaBorde plan to work with the apple industry to devise more effective cleaning and sanitizing strategies.

Camera 360

Researchers collected samples in apple-packing facilities in which Listeria monocytogenes has been persistent. They discovered that harmless bacteria may be sheltering the pathogens.

 “Following up on these findings, we are experimenting with some of the nonpathogenic strains of bacteria that are not harmful to humans to see whether they can be used as biocontrols,” she said. “Once applied on the surfaces of the equipment in these environments, they may be able to outcompete and suppress Listeria, thus reducing food-safety risks and potential regulatory action. We are still exploring that approach in a controlled laboratory environment. If it proves to be feasible, we would like to test it in apple-packing and processing facilities.”

The challenge presented by microbiota possibly sheltering Listeria monocytogenes is not limited to fruit-processing facilities or produce, Penn State researchers suspect. They will soon begin analyzing microbial communities in dairy-processing facilities to determine the microbial composition and ecology of these environments.

175 now sick with Listeria in Spanish outbreak

Jack Guy of CNN reports Spain’s health ministry has issued an international health warning over a listeria outbreak that has infected 175 people.

The bacteria was detected in a processed meat product manufactured in the city of Seville, in the southern region of Andalucia, according to an alert published Tuesday.

“My priority is to avoid the spread of the outbreak,” said Spain’s acting health minister María Luisa Carcedo, in a video watched by CNN. 

The country has informed the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Commission about the outbreak. 

It comes during peak tourist season in Spain, with Andalucia a popular destination among visitors.

Fifty people remained in hospital Wednesday, 23 of whom were pregnant women, according to Reuters.

80 sick: Listeria outbreak in Spain

Charlie Smith of The Olive Press reports 80 people have now contracted listeria in Andalucia, 15 of whom are pregnant.

The disease, which can be fatal, has hospitalised 56 of those who have been infected, according to the Junta de Andalucia.

Several of those infected are believed to have eaten the meat products of the Sevilla-based pork firm Magrudis.

The company’s star product, its meatloaf, called ‘Mecha’ has been widely cited by Spanish media as the source of the spread of Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

The family-run business, which launched in 2013, ceased production on August 15, while a spokesperson said: “I’m very sorry, from now on we are not going to make any more statements about it.”

It comes after the company admitted that over 2,000 packs of its meat products were infected with the bacteria.

Most hospitalised patients are in Sevilla, with 43 recorded so far in the Andalucian capital.

7 sick in Canada: Listeria infections linked to Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken

As of August 18, 2019, there have been 7 confirmed cases of Listeria monocytogenes linked to Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken in British Columbia (1), Manitoba (1) and Ontario (5). Individuals became sick between November 2017 and June 2019. Six individuals have been hospitalized. Individuals who became ill are between 51 and 97 years of age. The majority of cases (86%) are female.

The collaborative outbreak investigation was initiated because of an increase of Listeria illnesses that were reported in June 2019. Through the use of whole genome sequencing, two Listeria illnesses from November 2017 were identified to have the same genetic strain as the illnesses that occurred between April and June 2019.

It is possible that more recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because of the delay between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials. In national Listeria monocytogenes outbreak investigations, the case reporting delay is usually between 4 and 6 weeks.

If you have Rosemount brand cooked diced chicken meat 13mm – ½” (#16305), packdate – 01/21/2019 in your food establishment, do not eat the product or serve it to others

Secure the product and any foods made with the product in a plastic bag, throw it out and wash your hands with soapy water.

At least 30 sickened: Multistate outbreak of listeriosis associated with packaged leafy green salads, United States and Canada, 2015-2016

We investigated an outbreak of listeriosis detected by whole-genome multilocus sequence typing and associated with packaged leafy green salads. Nineteen cases were identified in the United States during July 5, 2015–January 31, 2016; isolates from case-patients were closely related (median difference 3 alleles, range 0–16 alleles). Of 16 case-patients interviewed, all reported salad consumption. Of 9 case-patients who recalled brand information, all reported brands processed at a common US facility.

The Public Health Agency of Canada simultaneously investigated 14 cases of listeriosis associated with this outbreak. Isolates from the processing facility, packaged leafy green salads, and 9 case-patients from Canada were closely related to US clinical isolates (median difference 3 alleles, range 0–16 alleles). This investigation led to a recall of packaged leafy green salads made at the processing facility. Additional research is needed to identify best practices and effective policies to reduce the likelihood of Listeria monocytogenes contamination of fresh produce.

CDC

Julie L Self, Amanda Conrad, et al

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/25/8/18-0761_article?deliveryName=DM4960