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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.