Fancy food ain’t safe food: Three Brit kids hospitalized after sickness bug outbreak at 5-star Menorca hotel

Charlotte Nisbet and Neil Murphy of the Mirror write that three British children have been hospitalised after a ‘frightening sickness bug’ outbreak at a five-star resort.

Louise Hunter, of St Helens, Merseyside, booked a family holiday to Insotel Punta Prima Resort & Spa, Menorca, Spain, with her husband Steven, 44, and their children Rosie, four, and Sarah, two.

Their trip quickly turned ‘hellish’ when Sarah woke in the early hours of the Sunday morning, May 3, having spent just one full day at the resort.

Louise, 36, says the toddler ‘projectile vomited in her sleep’ before both children became unwell with diarrhoea.

She claims both her children were later taken to a local hospital and given intravenous fluids and medication.

They consulted holiday illness compensation lawyers Hudgell Solicitors on their return after spending £2,000 on their all-inclusive holiday.

The legal specialists are now working with another family who have claimed they suffered a similar ordeal.

Jade Fulbrook, 33, booked her husband Dave and their family, a break for £2,800 between May 6 and 13 with their children, Zachary, 12, Buddy, six, Oscar 10 and three-year-old Bella, from Dorset.

Jade claims both herself and Oscar were hospitalised with acute gastroenteritis and dehydration after contracting a sickness bug at the resort.

The cause of the sickness bug is unknown, but solicitors are now investigating.

A TUI UK spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to hear of these customers’ experiences on their holiday. As this is now a legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further.

“We’d like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of our hotels in respect of health and safety, including hygiene.”

Large shigellosis outbreak at wedding

My cousin of Barrie’s Asparagus is in the midst of the annual crop in southern Ontario, and I know they have good food safety because my students have checked them out in years past and, I’m his cousin.

Unfortunately not all growers are as diligent and any commodity can get branded as shit.

Specifically, Shigella shit.

Findings presented at the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service, or EIS, conference last month found that contaminated asparagus was the likely source of an outbreak of shigellosis at a wedding party in Oregon that sickened 112 people.

The outbreak was caused by Shigella flexneri type 3a, which accounts for less than 3% of S.flexneri isolates in the United States, researchers said.

“This was one of the largest foodborne outbreaks of shigellosis in U.S. history,” Steven I. Rekant, DVM, MPH, an EIS officer with the Oregon Public Health Authority, said in a presentation. “It was the second largest ever attributed to Shigella flexneri and that type of Shigella flexneri, type 3a, is uncommon in Oregon.”

According to Rekant and colleagues, the Oregon Health Authority received reports of gastroenteritis among attendees at a wedding in August 2018 and identified S. flexneri type 3a in stool samples.

A total of 263 people attended the wedding, and 75% responded to the survey. The patients were aged 2 to 93 years, and 55% were female.

“Simply put, this was big outbreak — 112 cases were reported, with an overall attack rate of 55.7%,” Rekant said.

Of 95 patients with onset information, 97% reported illness 12 to 72 hours following the wedding. Additionally, 57 patients presented to a health care facility and 10 were hospitalized, including a 92-year-old woman. No deaths or additional cases were reported.

The investigators found that only asparagus consumption was associated with illness.

They pointed to poor hygiene on the part of the food-handler as the “likely cause of contamination.”

Rekant SI, et al. Shigellosis at a Wedding — Oregon, 2018. Presented at: Epidemic Intelligence Service conference; April 29-May 2, 2019; Atlanta.

After eating raw rodent’s kidney for ‘good health’ Mongolia couple died of bubonic plague

On May 1, 2019, a couple in Mongolia died from bubonic plague after eating raw marmot meat, sparking a quarantine that trapped tourists for days.

Ariuntuya Ochirpurev, a World Health Organization official, told the BBC.

Ochirpurev told BBC that the couple ate the rodent’s raw meat and kidney, which is believed to be good for health in the area.

“After the quarantine (was announced) not many people, even locals, were in the streets for fear of catching the disease,” Sebastian Pique, an American Peace Corps volunteer in the area, told AFP.

Bubonic plague can be transmitted via infected fleas and animals, like prairie dogs, squirrels, rats and rabbits, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Cryptosporidiosis in Norway associated with self-pressed apple juice

In the autumn of 2018, an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis affected adult employees from the same company in Western Norway. The organism was Cryptosporidium parvum, GP60 subtype IIaA14G1R1.

All those infected had drunk from the same container of self-pressed apple juice. Incubation period (1 week) and clinical signs were similar among those infected, although some experienced a more prolonged duration of symptoms (up to 2–3 weeks) than others.

The infections resulted after consumption from only one of 40 containers of juice and not from any of the other containers. It seems that although Cryptosporidium oocysts were detected in a sample from another container, the contamination did not affect the whole batch. This is perhaps indicative of a restricted contamination event, either from contaminated ground in the orchard, or during collection of the fruit, or during processing.

Although outbreaks of foodborne cryptosporidiosis have previously been associated with consumption of contaminated apple juice, most of the more recent outbreaks of foodborne cryptosporidiosis have been associated with salad vegetables or herbs. This outbreak, the first outside U.S. reported to be associated with apple juice, is a timely reminder that such juice is a suitable transmission vehicle for Cryptosporidium oocysts, and that appropriate hygienic measures are essential in the production of such juice, including artisanal (non-commercial) production.

Robertson, L. J., Temesgen, T. T., Tysnes, K. R., & Eikås, J. E. (2019). An apple a day: An outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Norway associated with self-pressed apple juice. Epidemiology and Infection, 147. doi:10.1017/s0950268819000232

http://www.bibme.org/bibliographies/228541420?new=true

Tangled up in blue: Finding food safety purpose

I used to write up the U.S. Centers of Disease Control with the enthusiasm of a teenage going on a date.

It was current, it was confident and it was cool.

Now, not so much.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m tired of watching Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses flatline, even if a Senator brings a day-old bucket of KFC into a hearing to make some sort of metaphorical point.

I’ll say the same thing I say every year: the numbers aren’t changing because the interventions are in the wrong place.

When national organizations go agenst the World Health Organization and don’t mention on-farm food safety, then they’re missing the source.

According to Food Business News, illness was more prevalent in 2018, according to preliminary surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) and Prevention. Incidents of Campylobacter, Salmonella and Cyclospora infections increased last year, according to FoodNet 2018 preliminary data released by the C.D.C. The increases were due, in part, to more infections being diagnosed using culture-independent diagnostic tests (C.I.D.T.s), but the C.D.C. noted the possibility that the number of infections actually is increasing.

Campylobacter infections were the commonly identified infection in FoodNet sites since 2013 with poultry being the major source of infection.  More infections are being diagnosed, the C.D.C. said, because more laboratories use C.I.D.T.s to detect Campylobacterand other pathogens. C.I.D.T.s detect the presence of a specific genetic sequence of an organism. The tests produce results more rapidly because they do not require isolation and identification of living organisms.

Reducing Campylobacter infections will require more knowledge of how case patients are becoming infected, the C.D.C. said. The pathogen can contaminate raw chicken or poultry juices, and cross-contamination can impact hands, other foods or kitchen equipment.

“Focusing on interventions throughout the food production chain that reduce Campylobacter bacteria in chicken could lead to fewer illnesses in people,” the C.D.C. said. “Whole genome sequencing might help us figure out the contribution of various sources and help target interventions.”

Salmonella infections, the second most common infection, also appear to be increasing, according to the preliminary report. The most common Salmonella serotypes were Enteritidis, Newport and Typhimurium. Additionally, Enteritidis infections are not decreasing despite regulatory programs aimed at reducing Salmonella in poultry and eggs.

 

‘Basically rotting alive’: Family shocked by massive bedsore threatening man’s life

When I spent my summer of 1982 in jail for killing two people in a car crash, I spent a couple of months teaching other inmates basic reading – from kindergarten level on up – and then spent a couple of months working the day shift at Participation House in Brantford, cleaning up patient’s shit.

When I got out of jail and went back to uni — on parole — I spent my weekends working at Participation House in Kitchener.

Typically, I’d work 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday, sleep in the office apartment or with some local girl, then work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, and then hitchhike back home to Guelph.

This is how quadriplegics empty their bowels: I would insert a suppository, chat with the dude or dudess for 20 minutes, then the poop would start flowing and I’d clean it up.

It was humbling work.

And we always worried about bedsores.

For months, Linda Moss and her two sisters took shifts at their father’s bedsides.

But while they sat and held his hand nearly every day, an unseen wound festered beneath his bed sheets.

(I’m not dying — yet —  but have made a special request for my wife to hold my hand; she’s not interested)

A bedsore had been silently forming on Bob Wilson’s backside, eating away at his flesh until it left a gaping hole bigger than a football.

Bedsores seriously under-reported, health-care experts say

Expert says pressure injuries such as bedsores are preventable

“We couldn’t believe what we saw,” Moss said.

“It was black, dead, rotted skin. He was basically rotting alive, and we had no idea.”

Eric Vandewall, president of Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, located about 60 kilometres southwest of Toronto, said he personally apologized to Wilson and his family for what happened, and staff are investigating.

“We are currently conducting a comprehensive and thorough review of Mr. Wilson’s care while he was at Joseph Brant Hospital and we will hold further meetings with Mr. Wilson’s family to share and discuss the results of our review,” he said.

‘It’s to the bone, and it’s pretty horrific’

Wilson, who is 77, fell in November and suffered a brain injury.

“It’s devastating,” said Moss. “It’s torture, and we felt a sense of guilt, because if [we’d known], we could have helped turn him, or something.

“What baffles us is how could a medical team and several people … put a Band-Aid over black, dead, rotted skin and not raise the flag?”

Vandewall said the hospital’s routine for immobile patients includes turning them daily and checking for pressure ulcers.

Um, we did that 40 years ago.

 

We’re all hosts on a viral planet

About 1986, I was a MSc graduate student working on Verticillium (that’s a fungus) in tomatoes), published a couple of peer-revived papers, and then became the editor of the student newspaper (circ 25,000) after writing a science column about cats for a year because they were the first warm-blooded pets I had ever had.

I think my friend Mary knows what I’m talking about.

I also spent a lot of time looking through the electron microscope, which was also a great place to have sex.

I had a lot of sex there.

Researchers in the Agriculturpal Research Service (ARS) Electron and Confocal Microscopy Unit can magnify a cell’s internal structures to 200,000 times their size, flash freeze mites in liquid nitrogen to create striking “snapshots” as they feed, and create color-enhanced images that show a virus infecting its host. The resulting images help scientists determine how agricultural pests and pathogens feed, reproduce, respond to threats, and survive.

A sampling of the unit’s digital photo album shows the eclectic nature of its efforts.

The team also has a unique 3D printing capability that allows them to transform the images they create into hand-size 3D models that are the most structurally accurate models of mites and other organisms currently available. The researchers hope that one day they will be able to upload the 3D files to an online database so that anyone with a 3D printer can reproduce them to use as instructional aids, in research, or for scientific outreach.

Raw is risky: Mongolia: Careful with that marmot, Eugene

Ryan Miller of USA Today reports a Mongolian couple died from the bubonic plague after eating raw marmot meat, sparking a quarantine that trapped tourists for days, officials said Monday.

According to AFP, the couple died May 1 in a remote area of the country’s Bayan-Ölgii province, which borders China and Russia.

A six-day quarantine of 118 people who had come in contact with the couple, including locals and a number of foreign tourists, had been lifted as of Tuesday, Ariuntuya Ochirpurev, a World Health Organization official, told the BBC.

Ochirpurev told BBC that the couple ate the rodent’s raw meat and kidney, which is believed to be good for health in the area.

“After the quarantine (was announced) not many people, even locals, were in the streets for fear of catching the disease,” Sebastian Pique, an American Peace Corps volunteer in the area, told AFP.

Bubonic plague can be transmitted via infected fleas and animals, like prairie dogs, squirrels, rats and rabbits, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

CDC doesn’t say this song is boring and self-indulgent, but I always liked the title.

Food Safety Talk 181: Hot Pants!

In this super long episode (sort of a double album) Ben and Don talk about their recent travels, PowerPoint as a performance and river cruising. The conversation takes a food safety turn into raw milk goat cheese, bull pizzles and veggie washes. They talk through some listener questions on surviving in the wild, foods they eat (and avoid) and pet food bowls. The show ends with some quick hits on phone cleaning, deli slicer-linked illnesses and geographical differences in pathogen exposure (and how the demise of the Aztec population is like Ontario beef farming).They answer the age-old question of what to do when there’s no paper towels in the restroom. They don’t talk about how the Toronto Maple Leafs are out of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Food Safety Talk 181:Hot Pants! is available on iTunes and here.

Show notes so you can follow along at home:

Dumbing down: Mark Bittman is starting a food magazine at Medium

Mark Bittman is a food safety idiot.

This is nothing new, he’s been publishing his microbiological rubbish about the glories of eating raw hamburger, not using a thermometer and other shit for decades and that someone would give him a new gig is baffling.

He’ll now head up a new online magazine, Salty.

Nice title. My kidneys can’t handle that.

We’re doing practical stories that will help people see food in a way they haven’t seen it before,” said Bittman.

If I was going to reinvent myself, this would be the least creative way to go.

Salty, which is making its debut on Tuesday, will comprise recipes, stories related to food and more.