New Zealand Food Safety is, according to Outbreak News Today, warning consumers to thoroughly cook mussels before eating following 2 people reportedly becoming sick from Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the Nelson-Tasman region.
Paul Dansted, director of food regulation at New Zealand Food Safety said, “Vibrio parahaemolyticus is bacteria in mussels that may cause food poisoning if they’re undercooked or eaten raw. People with low immunity, pregnant, or elderly should avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish as the illness can be more severe.
“While the cause has not been established both people who became ill have reported eating mussels and as a precaution we are reminding consumers to cook mussels thoroughly before consumption.”
The recalled “Tahina” were distributed in Mediterranean food stores in Michigan and Chicago, IL. between April 2020 to October 2020.
Please do not consume the product and immediately dispose of the product or return to 32816 Manor Park Garden City MI 48135. Or to the place of purchase. And send us a note to the email: email@example.com with the return receipt and product purchase date for a full refund.
The product comes in 1lb, 2lb in plastic jars and the 10kg in metal can. There is only one lot distributed. With expiration date 07-01-2022.
No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with the problem.
The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing from samples in the stores by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD).
Production of the product has been suspended while the FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.
Great source of Giardi. The Centers for Disease Control writes:
What is already known about this topic?
Giardiasis is a diarrheal disease caused by the parasite Giardia duodenalis, the most common cause of intestinal parasite infections in the United States.
Reported giardiasis outbreaks (N = 111), by mode of transmission* and year of earliest illness onset date — United States, 2012–2017
What is added by this report?
During 2012–2017, public health officials from 26 states reported 111 giardiasis outbreaks involving 760 cases. Leading causes of outbreaks were waterborne and person-to-person exposures. Private residences and child care facilities were the most common settings of giardiasis outbreaks across all transmission modes.
What are the implications for public health practice?
To prevent and control giardiasis outbreaks, CDC recommends prompt diagnosis, maintaining good hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting home environments and child care facilities, and monitoring water quality in private wells.
Giardiasis Outbreaks—United States, 2012-2017
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Erin E. Conners, PhD1,2; Allison D. Miller, MPH1; Neha Balachandran, MPH3; Brittany M. Robinson, MPH1; Katharine M. Benedict, DVM, PhD1
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a relentless epidemic disorder caused by infectious prions that threatens the survival of cervid populations and raises increasing public health concerns in North America. In Europe, CWD was detected for the first time in wild Norwegian reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) and moose (Alces alces) in 2016. In this study, we aimed at comparing the strain properties of CWD prions derived from different cervid species in Norway and North America.
Using a classical strain typing approach involving transmission and adaptation to bank voles (Myodes glareolus), we found that prions causing CWD in Norway induced incubation times, neuropathology, regional deposition of misfolded prion protein aggregates in the brain, and size of their protease-resistant core, different from those that characterize North American CWD. These findings show that CWD prion strains affecting Norwegian cervids are distinct from those found in North America, implying that the highly contagious North American CWD prions are not the proximate cause of the newly discovered Norwegian CWD cases.
In addition, Norwegian CWD isolates showed an unexpected strain variability, with reindeer and moose being caused by different CWD strains. Our findings shed light on the origin of emergent European CWD, have significant implications for understanding the nature and the ecology of CWD in Europe, and highlight the need to assess the zoonotic potential of the new CWD strains detected in Europe.
Studies in bank voles reveal strain differences between chronic wasting disease prions from Norway and North America
Romolo Nonno, Michele A. Di Bari, Laura Pirisinu, Claudia D’Agostino, Ilaria Vanni, Barbara Chiappini, Stefano Marcon, Geraldina Riccardi, Linh Tran, Turid Vikøren, Jørn Våge, Knut Madslien, Gordon Mitchell, Glenn C. Telling, Sylvie L. Benestad, and Umberto Agrimi
I will, from now on, blame my early on-set dementia not on booze, or pucks to the head, many, many concussions. or gaslighting, but on the bacteria in my mouth.
Technology Networks reports the healthy human oral microbiome consists of not just clean teeth and firm gums, but also energy-efficient bacteria living in an environment rich in blood vessels that enables the organisms’ constant communication with immune-system cells and proteins.
A growing body of evidence has shown that this system that seems so separate from the rest of our bodies is actually highly influential on, and influenced by, our overall health, said Purnima Kumar, professor of periodontology at The Ohio State University, speaking at a science conference earlier in Feb.
For example, type 2 diabetes has long been known to increase the risk for gum disease. Recent studies showing how diabetes affects the bacteria in the mouth help explain how periodontitis treatment that changes oral bacteria also reduces the severity of the diabetes itself.
Connections have also been found between oral microbes and rheumatoid arthritis, cognitive abilities, pregnancy outcomes and heart disease, supporting the notion that an unhealthy mouth can go hand-in-hand with an unhealthy body.
“What happens in your body impacts your mouth, and that in turn impacts your body. It’s truly a cycle of life,” Kumar said.
When the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) themed this year’s annual meeting around dynamic ecosystems, Kumar saw an opportunity to put the mouth on the map, so to speak, as a vibrant microbial community that can tell us a lot about ourselves.
“What is more dynamic than the gateway to your body – the mouth? It’s so ignored when you think about it, and it’s the most forward-facing part of your body that interfaces with the environment, and it’s connected to this entire tubing system,” she said. “And yet we study everything but the mouth.”
Kumar organized a session at the AAAS meeting today (Feb. 8, 2021) that she titled “Killer Smile: The Link Between the Oral Microbiome and Systemic Diseases.”
The oral microbiome refers to the collection of bacteria – some helpful to humans and some not – that live inside our mouths.
Though there remains a lot to learn, the basics of these relationship between the oral microbiome and systemic disease have become clear.
Oral bacteria use oxygen to breathe and break down simple molecules of carbohydrates and proteins to stay alive. Something as simple as not brushing your teeth for a few days can set off a cascade of changes, choking off the oxygen supply and causing microbes to shift to a fermentative state.
“That creates a septic tank, which produces byproducts and toxins that stimulate the immune system,” Kumar said. An acute inflammatory response follows, producing signaling proteins that bacteria see as food.
“Then this community – it’s an ecosystem – shifts. Organisms that can break down protein start growing more, and organisms that can breathe in an oxygen-starved environment grow. The bacterial profile and, more importantly, the function of the immune system changes,” she said.
The inflammation opens pores between cells that line the mouth and blood vessels get leaky, allowing what have become unhealthy bacteria to enter circulation throughout the body.
Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious infection of cloven-hoofed animals that affects agricultural production and herd fertility. Global economic losses due to the disease have been estimated at between $6.5 billion and $22.5 billion each year, with the world’s poorest farmers hardest hit.
A team of scientists from the Leeds and the University of Ilorin, in Nigeria, has investigated the significance of the unusual way the virus’s genome – or genetic blueprint – codes for the manufacture of a protein called 3B. The protein is involved in the replication of the virus.
Researchers have known for some time that the virus’ genetic blueprint contains three separate codes or instructions for the manufacture of 3B. Each code produces a similar but not identical copy of 3B. Up to now, scientists have not been able to explain the significance of having three different forms of the protein.
In a paper, “Functional advantages of triplication of the 3B coding region of the FMDV genome”, published in The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, the Leeds researchers reveal the results of a series of laboratory experiments which has demonstrated that having multiple forms of 3B gives the virus a competitive advantage, increasing its chances of survival.
Dr Oluwapelumi Adeyemi, formerly a researcher at Leeds and now with the University of Ilorin and one of the paper’s lead authors, said: “Our experiments have shown that having three forms of 3B gives the virus an advantage and that probably plays a role in why the virus is so successful in infecting its hosts.
“It is not as straightforward as saying because there are three forms of 3B – it is going to be three times as competitive. There is a more nuanced interplay going on which needs further investigation.”
The paper describes how the scientists manipulated the genetic code, creating viral fragments with one form of 3B, two different forms of 3B and all three forms of 3B. Each was then measured to see how well they replicated.
They found there was a competitive advantage – greater replication – in those samples that had more than one copy of 3B.
Dr Joe Ward, post-doctoral researcher at Leeds’ School of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology, and second co-lead author of the study, added: “The results of the data analysis were clear in that having multiple copies of the 3B protein gives the virus a competitive advantage. In terms of future research, the focus will be on why is that the case, and how the virus uses these multiple copies to its advantage.
“If we can begin to answer that question, then there is a real possibility we will identify interventions that could control this virus.” The study involved using harmless viral fragments and replicons, fragments of RNA molecules, the chemical that make up the virus’s genetic code.
Amy Sowder of The Packer reports that Shenandoah Growers of Harrisonburg, Va., has recalled about 15,000 units of organic basil in select packages, due to a possible health risk from cyclospora.
The recall is limited and voluntary, according to a Food and Drug Administration news release.
These items were packed under branded and private label fresh-cut, USDA-certified organic basil clamshells at its Jefferson, Ga., facility and Harrisonburg facilities with 19 lot codes, all with the country of origin of Colombia.
Recalled products were distributed to retail stores between Oct. 20-30 in states including Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Washington, D.C.
No other Shenandoah Growers products are subject to recall, and the company has no knowledge of any illness reported or related to this product, according to the release.
The Shenandoah Growers recall includes only those clamshells of certified-organic basil clearly marked with the affected lot codes. The lot code can be found printed on each clamshell.
This recall stems from a package pulled by the Florida Department of Agriculture on Nov. 2, from a retail store in Florida that indicated the potential presence of cyclospora.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, both the Canadian, in early October, and the American, today, the last Thursday in November.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has finally found a consistent voice and has recommendations to make #Thanksgiving safer. Bring your own food and drinks, stay at least 6 feet apart, and wash your hands often. Choose outdoor or well-ventilated spaces.
Most importantly, CDC and others strongly recommend to celebrate only with those you live with, and use virtual gatherings with others (I am exceedingly thankful for the electronic toys we have to help weather the pandemic; 1918 and the Spanish flu would have really sucked).
Of course, the current White House occupant is planning on hosting several parties throughout the holidays. Please ignore Trump et al. and listen to the science.
To that end, the N.Y. Times surveyed 635 epidemiologists and found that most are staying at home, and that those who are gathering with family or friends are taking precautions or rethinking their holiday rituals altogether.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving my American friends and colleagues, and be thankful that someone will live with you.
Australia has somewhat enviable statistics related to this pandemic and the lesson that America is only beginning to grasp is this: go fast, go hard and go smart to limit the spread of coronavirus or any illness.
The parasite, Cyclospora, continues to provide illness and intrigue.
Florida-based Southeastern Grocers has issued a voluntary recall for its “SE Grocers Naturally Better Organic Fresh Cut Basil” following the detection of Cyclospora.
The company says the product was delivered through all of its distribution centers and sold in all its stores, including Winn-Dixie, BI-LO, Fresco y Más and Harveys Supermarkets. The basil comes in a 0.5-ounce container with UPC code 6-07880-20230-4.
The latest recall follows a summer outbreak of Cyclospora in the U.S. linked to Fresh Express and private label brand salad products produced at its Streamwood, IL facility that contain iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and/or carrots.
690 people with laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora infections and who reported eating bagged salad mix before getting sick weren reported from 13 states (Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).
Illnesses started on dates ranging from May 11, 2020 to July 20, 2020.
37 people were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
As of November 4, 2020, 370 confirmed cases of Cyclospora illness were reported in the following provinces and territories: British Columbia (1), Ontario (255), Quebec (105), New Brunswick (1), Newfoundland and Labrador (6), and Nunavut (2). Individuals became sick between mid-May and late August 2020. Ten individuals were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.
This method was used in our current investigation and may be instrumental in our efforts to better understand the dispersion of the parasite in the environment, which could help prevent future outbreaks. The collective work by public health officials to get these new findings demonstrates a commitment to innovation and science in the service of public health and the importance of strong federal and state coordination on food safety work.
Even as our agencies continue to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis, teams of experts from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have continued to respond to a threat of a different kind – a nationwide outbreak of Cyclospora illnesses. Cyclospora cayetanensis is a parasite that is so small it can only be seen with a microscope. It causes an intestinal illness called cyclosporiasis from the consumption of contaminated food, mainly fresh produce, or contaminated water.
Epidemiology linked the illnesses to bagged salad produced by Fresh Express. The number of reported cases of Cyclospora typically rises during May through August. Although CDC conducts surveillance for cyclosporiasis year-round, during the spring and summer months CDC conducts enhanced surveillance for cases of domestically acquired illness. In this outbreak, CDC has reported 690 cases across 13 states, with 37 hospitalizations and no deaths. Onsets of illness range from May 11, 2020 to July 20, 2020. Salads made by Fresh Express and containing iceberg lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots were identified as the food vehicle responsible for the outbreaks.
Traceback of cases with the strongest sources of information (shopper card info, etc.) revealed that bagged salad codes most likely to have resulted in illness contained iceberg lettuce from California and red cabbage from Florida. The FDA evaluated and investigated each of the ingredients in the bagged salads, identifying red cabbage from Florida and iceberg lettuce from California as those most likely in the bagged salads consumed by people who became ill. Traceback investigations are time-consuming work but are critical. In this instance, in the wake of traceback and collaboration with the retailers to recall product, FDA identified a noticeable decline in illnesses that matched the time period in which cabbage sourcing shifted from Florida to another area, providing a possible clue in the investigation.
Environmental sampling detected the presence of Cyclospora in the surface water of a canal near a farm suspected of being a source of the red cabbage. Two samples collected to the north and south of where the farm accessed canal water for seepage irrigation were found to be positive for Cyclospora cayetanensis. The farm that supplied red cabbage was no longer in production at the conclusion of the growing season, so it was not possible to sample product. Additionally, the farms growing iceberg lettuce in California were investigated and all of the samples collected in California were negative for Cyclospora.
Given the emerging nature of genetic typing methodologies for this parasite, the FDA has been unable to determine if the Cyclospora detected in the canal is a genetic match to the clinical cases, therefore, there is currently not enough evidence to conclusively determine the cause of this outbreak.
The FDA has pioneered ways to detect the parasite that have been employed in this outbreak investigation, developing and validating new methods to test for Cyclospora in produce and agricultural water. The first of these new methods was used in 2018 to confirm the presence of the parasite in a salad mix product tied to an outbreak that sickened hundreds of people.
In July 2019, the FDA made its second major advance in Cyclospora detection, completing studies that resulted in a novel, validated method to test agricultural water for the presence of the parasite. These new methods were developed by the Foodborne Parasitology Research Program that the FDA established in 2014 in our Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in part to break the cycle of recurring Cyclospora outbreaks.
Strong federal and state coordination on matters of public health are critical. In identifying clinical cases of Cyclospora, assisting in providing traceback records and completing investigations in processing facilities and growing fields, our state partners’ work has proven essential to this investigation. We continue to work to strengthen these vital public health partnerships and federal agencies continue to work together to advance additional tools needed to assist with these investigations. For example, CDC is piloting the use of a genotyping tool to help identify cases of parasitic illness that might be linked to a common source.
While we as public health agencies have gotten better at detecting foodborne illnesses due to Cyclospora, our ability to trace contaminated foods back to their source has lagged, and once again, our ability to trace has been a challenge in this investigation, due in part to the lack of modernized food traceability capabilities.
Moreover, the detection of the parasite in surface waters near where product was grown once again puts a spotlight on the importance of managing the quality of irrigation water used to grow ready to eat crops. We are working closely with our colleagues at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to investigate this issue further to prevent future occurrences.
These findings further emphasize the importance of industry’s role in ensuring that irrigation water is safe to be used on produce. Under the FDA’s recently released New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint, we’ll continue to remain laser focused on prevention. In the coming months, we will be issuing a proposed rule that will aid in achieving our goal of enhancing traceability to greatly reduce the time it takes to identify the origin of a contaminated food or ingredient tied to a recall and/or outbreak.
In addition, we intend to release a proposed rule in late 2020 to revise certain agricultural water requirements in the Produce Safety Rule and to address practical implementation challenges while protecting public health. We also plan to advance detection techniques that will help us pinpoint sources of Cyclospora outbreaks and to continue our research around water treatments for this parasite.
In closing, we believe the entire fresh produce supply chain from farm to fork can do better and we look forward to continuing our work with our public health partners, growers, processors, distributors and retailers in our shared efforts to protect consumers. Together, we’ll make progress on our overarching goal to give consumers the confidence they deserve to have in the safety of fresh produce.
In this very special pre-Thanksgiving episode, Don and Ben start with talking about Ben’s on-set experiences this week, which was like a food safety holiday. The guys then talk about the challenges connecting with entertainment producers and publishers around getting food safety messages into recipes and cooking shows. The conversation goes to pizza and COVID-19 (Australian and Jersey), Thanksgiving plans (or lack thereof) and eating just black licorice as nutrient source. The episode ends with a discussion about number and size of COVID-19 clusters of in various food settings.