Fresh attitude brand baby spinach recalled due to Salmonella in Canada

Fairly sure I had foodborne illness the past few days.

And I live in Brisbane, Australia.

Probably some fresh fruit or veg I ate a week ago, felt nauseas Wed. and Thurs. of last week, OK Friday, but Saturday was a torrent of vomit, accompanied by a weekend of diarrhea.

I have multiple thermometers and temp everything I cook.

Today is Monday and I’m fine.

As another reminder that fresh product is fresh, and anything that comes in contact can contaminate, Vegpro International is recalling Fresh Attitude brand Baby Spinach from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination.

This recall was triggered by the company. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled products from the marketplace.

Recalled products

Brand Product          Size     UPC    Codes

Fresh Attitude          Baby Spinach            312 g   8 88048 00028 8         Best Before 2020 DE 04

Fresh Attitude          Baby

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

1012 sick in US: Salmonella infections linked to onions

This is over two months old, but should get it out there, because onions are an infrequent source of foodborne illness, despite being grown in the ground.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that onions supplied by Thomson International, Inc., or any foods made with recalled onions, should not be eaten.

As of August 31, 2020, a total of 1,012 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 47 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to August 11, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 40. Fifty-seven percent of ill people are female. Of 581 ill people with information available, 136 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 732 bacterial isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance in 730 isolates; one isolate had predicted resistance to ampicillin, and one isolate had predicted resistance to tetracycline. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing of seven clinical isolates by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory showed no resistance. This resistance does not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

Whole genome sequencing analysis shows that an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada is related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both of these outbreaks are likely to share a common source of infection.

Recalled onion types include red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow varieties.

Foods made with recalled onions, such as cheese dips and spreads, salsas, and chicken salads, have also been recalled. These foods were sold at multiple grocery store chains. View the list of recalled onions and foods

Check your home for onions and other foods recalled by Thomson International, Inc. and several other companies, including Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Publix, Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart.

If you can’t tell where your onions are from, don’t eat them or any food made with them. Throw them away.

If you used recalled onions to make any other food, don’t eat the food. Throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one got sick.

Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as countertops, storage bins, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards.

When you order food from a restaurant or shop for food, check to make sure they are not serving or selling any recalled onions, foods prepared with recalled onions, or any recalled foods such as salads, sandwiches, tacos, salsas, and dips.

If they don’t know where their onions are from, don’t buy the product or order the food.

Check the list of recalled products.

If you don’t know where your onions are from, don’t serve or sell them.

View the list of recalled onions and foods

A total of 1,012 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 47 states.

136 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback information showed that red onions are a likely source of this outbreak. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as white, yellow, or sweet yellow, are also likely to be contaminated.

On August 19, 2020, Hello Fresh recalledexternal icon onions received by customers from May 8 through July 31, 2020.

See the full list ofrecalled onions and foods

This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

Is your pet’s food making you sick? Study finds many don’t know the risk

I’ve bragged before about daughter Sorenne’s knowledge of pet food and treat microbiological risks. The same applies to my four Canadian daughters.

Even my French professor partner, Amy, has become knowledgeable in things microbiological.

I’m just really proud and full of love for all six of them (and they all play hockey, or did).

The last few months have seen numerous outbreaks or recalls related to pet food or treats.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) collaborated with provincial public health partners and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of E. coli O157 infections that occurred in three provinces. The outbreak appears to be over, and the investigation has been closed.

Based on the investigation findings, exposure to Carnivora brand frozen raw pet food was identified as the likely source of the outbreak. All of the individuals who were sick reported exposure to Carnivora brand frozen raw pet food, or to dogs fed this raw pet food, before their illnesses occurred.

In total, there were five confirmed cases of E. coli O157 illness linked to this outbreak in three provinces: British Columbia (2), Alberta (2) and Manitoba (1). The individuals were sick between early March and late May 2020. Two individuals were hospitalized. No deaths were reported.

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after feeding, handling or cleaning up after pets. Animals fed raw meat diets are more likely to be shedding harmful bacteria like Salmonella and dangerous strains of E. coli even when they appear healthy, compared to those fed commercial kibble or other cooked diets. Regularly clean surfaces that come into contact with pet food or pets.

When possible, store all pet food and treats away from where human food is stored or prepared and away from reach of young children.

In Nov., New Jersey-based Albright’s Raw Dog Food issued a voluntary recall for 67 cases of “Chicken Recipe for Dogs” because of Salmonella contamination.

The food was sold in 2-pound frozen chubs/rolls with the lot number C000185 and best-by date 19 May 2021.

They were sold between June 8 and Aug. 27 in 10 states, including New York and New Jersey.

One animal illness has been reported. Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic, have diarrhea, fever, vomiting or abdominal pain.

In Sept., Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ voluntarily recalled one lot of Billy + Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe dog food in 4 lb bags because of a possible Salmonella health risk.

Each year, more than 50 million Americans develop gastrointestinal issues that lead them to question the safety of their most recent meals. It’s entirely possible that their distress could be caused not by the food they have eaten, but the meals served to their furry friends.

A study led by Purdue University’s Yaohua “Betty” Feng, an assistant professor of food science, showed that many Americans don’t wash their hands after feeding or playing with their cats and dogs and aren’t aware of the risk of contracting a foodborne illness from those activities.

“Almost all dog and cat owners interact with their pets closely like cuddling, sleeping with them, kissing them, but after those interactions fewer than one-third of them wash their hands with soap,” said Feng, whose findings were published in the Journal of Food Protection. “They don’t really consider that they could get sick or that a foodborne pathogen could be transferred from their pet to themselves.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that pathogens such as E. coli and salmonella sicken nearly 48 million people, hospitalize 128,000 and kill around 3,000 annually. There is no data on how many of those come from pet foods, but there have been more than a dozen pet food recalls in 2020 due to the presence of a foodborne pathogen. Last year more than 150 people were sickened by salmonella in pig ear dog treats.

“Some dogs and cats do not have symptoms, even if they were contaminated with foodborne pathogens like salmonella. There’s potential for them to share those pathogens with their owners when interacting with them,” Feng said.

According to the survey of more than 1,000 cat and dog owners in the United States:

93 percent of pet owners cuddle their pets, 70 percent allow the pet to lick them, 63 percent sleep with their pets, and 61 percent kiss their pets.

Only 31 percent wash their hands after playing with their pets, and 42 percent do not wash their hands after feeding their pets.

8 percent reported eating pet food and treats themselves. 

The study showed that 78 percent of people were not aware of recent pet food recalls or outbreaks associated with foodborne pathogens in those foods. One-quarter of people do not consider dry pet foods and treats as potential sources of these pathogens.

Raw meat or raw animal product diets are growing in prevalence for supposed health benefits. The study showed that about 25% of respondents feed their pets raw foods, but about half of those people did not report washing their hands after those feedings and allowed their pets to lick them.

Feng said the results suggest that pet owners need more education about the safety of pet foods and proper handling of food and pets to prevent contracting an illness. She plans to develop materials that will address those issues.

Some tips to keep pet owners from getting foodborne illness include:

Wash hands with soap and water after preparing food for pets, petting or playing with pets, and before preparing food for people.

Avoid feeding pets raw meat.

Handle and store pet food carefully to avoid cross-contamination. 

Keep up with pet food recalls and keep records of pet food lot numbers and other information for potential tracking.

“We’re not saying you shouldn’t hug your dog, but you should know the risks and how to protect yourself against the possibility of contracting an illness,” Feng said.

ABSTRACT

Risk of Foodborne Illness from Pet Food: Assessing Pet Owners’ Knowledge, Behavior, and Risk Perception

Merlyn Thomas; Yaohua Feng

doi.org/10.4315/JFP-20-108

Pet food has been identified as a source of pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella and Escherichia coli. A recent outbreak linked to Salmonella -contaminated pet treats infected over 150 people in the United States. The mechanism by which contaminated pet food leads to human illness has not been explicated. Pet owners’ food safety knowledge and their pet food handling practices have not been reported. This study evaluated pet owners’ food safety knowledge and pet-food handling practices through an online consumer survey. The survey consists of 62 questions and assesses (1) owners’ food safety knowledge and pet-food handling practices; (2) owners’ interaction with pets; (3) owners’ risk perception related to their own health, their children’s health, and their pets’ health. The survey was pilot-tested among 59 pet owners before distribution to a national consumer panel, managed by Qualtrics XM. All participants (n=1,040) were dog and/or cat owners in the United States. Almost all pet owners interacted with their pets (93%) and most cuddled, allowed their pets to lick them, and slept with their pets. Less than one-third of pet owners washed their hands with soap after interacting with their pets. Over half (58%) the owners reported washing their hands after feeding their pets. Most pet owners fed their pets dry pet food and dry pet treats. Some fed their pets raw meat or raw animal product (RAP) diets because they believed these diets to be beneficial to their pet’s overall health. Many owners (78%) were unaware of pet food recalls or outbreaks associated with foodborne pathogens. Less than 25% considered dry pet foods and treats as a potential source of foodborne pathogens. The findings of this study indicated the need for consumer education about pet food handling. The data collected can assist in developing more accurate risk assessment models and consumer education related to pet food handling.

‘Remain humble’ Salmonella infections linked to peaches

In Aug. 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control warned consumers not to eat, serve, or sell loose or bagged peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona or Wawona Packing Company LLC.

Peaches were sold in bags and individually (bulk/loose peaches).

If you can’t tell where the peaches are from, don’t eat them. Throw them out.

Don’t eat food made with these peaches.

Check your kitchen and refrigerator for recalled peaches. If you freeze fresh peaches to use later, check your freezer, too.

Retailers that sold these peaches include Aldi, Food Lion, Hannaford, Kroger, Target, Walmartand Wegmans.

The recalled bulk/loose peaches were sold in grocery stores through August 3, 2020 in various ways, typically loose in bins for shoppers to select.

The peaches may have the following stickers with Price Look Up (PLU) numbers on them: 4037, 4038, 4044, 4401, 94037, 94038, 94044, 94401. However, not all peaches with these PLU codes are supplied by Prima Wawona. If you are unsure of the brand or variety of your loose peaches, you can contact your retailer or supplier, or throw them out.

Brands and product codes for recalled peaches sold in bags include:

Wawona Peaches – 033383322001

Wawona Organic Peaches – 849315000400

Prima® Peaches – 766342325903

Organic Marketside Peaches – 849315000400

Kroger Peaches – 011110181749

Wegmans Peaches – 077890490488

Wash and sanitize places where peaches were stored, including countertops and refrigerator drawers or shelves.

Restaurants and retailers, as well as suppliers, distributors, and others in the supply chain, should clean and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with recalled peaches, including cutting boards, countertops, refrigerators, and storage bins. If peaches from other sources were mixed with recalled peaches, all peaches should be discarded.Prior to the CDC announcement, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) warned warned the public not to consume and retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and nursing homes not to serve, use, or sell the products described below.

Prima Wawona, located in Fresno, California, has recalled fresh peaches with various brand names due to possible Salmonella contamination. Various importers in Canada are conducting a recall of the affected products.

Martin Wiedmann, a professor of food safety at Cornell University, told the New York Times, “The challenge with salmonella is salmonella can really enter or contaminate food almost anywhere in the whole chain. It could start from a field or an orchard, where salmonella could be introduced. It could be in a facility where the product is packaged. It could be from a human who carries salmonella.”

Customers who have the peaches at home, even if they are frozen, should not eat them and should toss them out immediately, the F.D.A. said. They should also throw away any items that were made with the peaches. Health officials also recommend cleaning and sanitizing the area where the fruit was kept, because it may have come into contact with and contaminated surfaces or containers.

This is important because, according to Dr. Wiedmann, salmonella is incredibly resilient.

“Salmonella is very good at surviving in the environment,” he said, “so there are examples where salmonella lived in an environment, a built environment — a processing plant or a building — for years.”

Food and Drug Administration official Mark Moorman told The Packer the “smarter” era of food safety has not yet arrived.

Moorman, director of FDA’s Office of Food Safety, spoke about the agency’s food safety goals on Aug. 20 at the U.S. Apple Association’s online 125th Annual Crop and Outlook Marketing Conference.

Recall of onions from Thomson International Inc., Bakersfield, Calif., were still occurring as of Aug. 20, Moorman said.

He reviewed the four pillars of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety:

Tech-enabled traceability;

Smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak rsponse;

New business models and retail modernization; and

Food safety culture.

He said the vision for the future is for a much more responsive food safety system, with end-to-end traceability.

“I want to be very clear with this group looking very hard and in our own culture and we are asking ourselves how do we influence consumer behavior,” he said.

Asked whether apples are low risk because they don’t come in contact with the ground, Moorman noted the current recall of peaches, which are linked to an outbreak of salmonella.

“I would agree in general that apples are a lower-risk (food), but all of us should remain humble, and recognize that the world of

Salmonella in cucumbers and cross-contamination during waxing

Cucumbers found in retail markets are often waxed to improve visual appeal and retard moisture loss. This waxing may affect bacterial survival and the waxing process may facilitate cross-contamination between cucumbers. This study assessed survival of Salmonella on waxed and un-waxed cucumbers and the potential for Salmonella cross-contamination during the waxing process.

Fresh waxed or un-waxed cucumbers were spot-inoculated with a Salmonella enterica cocktail. Three different wax coatings (mineral oil, vegetable oil, or petroleum wax) were manually applied to un-waxed cucumbers using polyethylene brushes. Salmonella transfer from inoculated cucumbers to brush or to un-inoculated cucumbers was quantified.

Higher Salmonella concentrations were observed on waxed cucumbers during the first 3 days of storage but the final concentration on un-waxed cucumbers was higher than on waxed cucumbers at the end of storage, regardless of storage temperature. Wax formulation did affect survival of Salmonella inoculated directly into waxes, with the significant decline in Salmonella populations observed in vegetable-based wax coating, but with populations unchanged over 7 days at 7 or 21 °C in mineral oil-based and petroleum-based waxes. Salmonella cells could transfer from inoculated un-waxed cucumbers to brushes used for waxing and then to un-inoculated cucumbers during waxing. Significantly higher log percent transfer to brushes was observed when cucumbers were waxed with vegetable oil (0.71 log percent, P = 0.00441) vs. mineral oil (0.06 log percent) or petroleum (0.05 log percent).

Transfer to un-inoculated cucumbers via brushes was also quantified (0.18 to 0.35 log percent transfer). Salmonella remaining on contaminated cucumbers after waxing could be detected for up to 7 days, and Salmonella survived better on cucumbers treated with a petroleum-based wax. These findings should be useful in managing risk of Salmonella contamination in cucumbers during post-harvest handling.

Quantification of survival and transfer of salmonella on fresh cucumbers during waxingJournal of Food Protection

30 October 2020

Jiin Jung and Donald Schaffner

https://doi.org/10.4315/JFP-20-375

https://meridian.allenpress.com/jfp/article-abstract/doi/10.4315/JFP-20-375/446920/Quantification-of-survival-and-transfer-of?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Don’t kiss: Hundreds sick, 1 dead in nationwide salmonella outbreak linked to chicks, ducklings

Chicks and ducklings kept in backyards are the likely source of a nationwide Salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 1,000 people and killed one person, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in late July. The outbreak nearly doubled in size since the CDC’s last report on June 24.  Sick people range in age from 1 to 94-years-old, and more than 150 people have been hospitalized.

“Don’t kiss backyard poultry or snuggle them and then touch your face or mouth,” the CDC says. “Don’t let backyard poultry inside the house, especially in areas where food or drink is prepared, served, or stored.”

Reported Cases: 938

States: 48

Hospitalizations: 151

Death: 1

Since the last update on June 24, 2020, 473 more ill people were added to this investigation.

That’s a lot of sick people, but Keith is the master of groove.

 

1 dead 7 sick: Salmonella outbreak linked to pig ear dog treats in Canada

11-year-old daughter Sorenne is training our pup, George. She knows how to use bits of dog treats as an incentive, and she knows to wash her hands after handing any dog or cat treat or food.

Why?

Because the heat treatment in many cases has not been scientifically verified to remove all pathogens. Cross-contamination with something else is also a possibility.

As of September 29, 2020, there were, according to Outbreak News Today and the Public Health Agency of Canada, eight confirmed cases of Salmonella Typhimurium illness in the following provinces: British Columbia (5), Alberta (2), and Yukon (1). Individuals became sick between late February and early August 2020. Three individuals have been hospitalized. In addition, one individual has died.

Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to pig ear dog treats has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak. Some of the individuals who became sick reported feeding their dog Paws Up! and Western Family brands of pig ear dog treats before their illnesses occurred. These brands are sold at Canadian Tire and Save-On-Foods. The outbreak investigation is on-going and it is possible that additional products may be identified.

On September 29, 2020, the supplying company, Masters Best Friend, voluntarily issued a Notice of Stop Sale for Paws Up! and Western Family brands of pig ear dog treats. These products were sold nationally.

Although products are no longer available for purchase in stores, they may still be in consumer homes. Given this, do not feed your dog any Paws Up! or Western Family brand pig ear dog treats. Always wash your hands right after handling dog treats, and ensure that all areas the treats have come in contact with are properly cleaned and sanitized.

Stick it in: Kevin McHale accidentally gives boyfriend Austin McKenzie Salmonella

My partner and American/Australian daughter have taken to watching reruns of the television show, Glee, during or after dinner.

Who knew there would ever be a food safety connection?

Turns out 32-year-old Glee alum Kevin McHale amusingly shared a series of tweets on Saturday night (August 1) in which he revealed that he accidentally gave his boyfriend Austin McKenzie salmonella due to his cooking.

“But have you undercooked chicken sausage (unintentionally) and then served it to your bf and then he got superrrrr sick and you thought it was covid and you got tested twice but nah you just fed him salmonella? He should break up with me. I would,” he tweeted.

When told that Austin needs to take his phone away, Kevin then added: “He’s asleep because I poisoned him!”

He then tweeted “Omg” when he realized that Austin hilariously changed his profile bio to: “I left Twitter many years ago. I’m back on now to monitor my thirsty boyfriend, Kevin Mchale, who ‘accidentally’ gave me salmonella 5 days ago.”

Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer. Any fans of McHale should mail him one (if the U.S. Postal Service still exists).

Over 500 sick from Salmonella in onions in Canada and US

I got weepy just thinking about Salmonella Newport in raw onions.

The initial public fingering of red onions from Thomson International Inc.of Bakersfield, California, was done by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Subsequently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  announced they were investigating an outbreak of Salmonella Newport illnesses that had a similar genetic fingerprint to illnesses reported in this outbreak.

In Canada, as of August 2, 2020, there have been 120 confirmed cases of Salmonella Newport illness linked to this outbreak in the following provinces: British Columbia (43), Alberta (56), Saskatchewan (4), Manitoba (13), Ontario (2), Quebec (1) and Prince Edward Island (1).

Individuals became sick between mid-June and mid-July 2020. Seventeen individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 3 and 100 years of age. The majority of cases (56%) are female.

CFIA’s advice is do not eat, use, sell or serve any red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow onions from Thomson International Inc., Bakersfield, California, USA, or any products made with these onions. This advice applies to all individuals across Canada, as well as retailers, distributors, manufacturers and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals and nursing homes.

Onions grown in Canada are not affected by this advice.

On August 1, 2020, in the U.S., Thomson International, Inc. recalled all varieties of onions that could have come in contact with potentially contaminated red onions, due to the risk of cross-contamination. Recalled products include red, yellow, white, and sweet yellow onions shipped from May 1, 2020 to present.

Onions were distributed to wholesalers, restaurants, and retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.

As of Aug. 3, FDA reported 396 illnesses in the U.S.

The onions were distributed in 5 lbs. carton. 10 lbs. carton. 25 lbs. carton. 40 lbs. carton, 50 lbs. carton. bulk, 2 lb. mesh sacks, and 3 lb. mesh sacks, 5 lb. mesh sacks, 10 lb. mesh sacks 25 lbs. mesh sacks, 50 lbs. mesh sacks under the brand names Thomson Premium, TLC Thomson International, Tender Loving Care, El Competitor, Hartley’s Best, Onions 52, Majestic, Imperial Fresh, Kroger, Utah Onions and Food Lion.

The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of contamination and if additional products are linked to illness. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

Salmonella and Army use of low-moisture foods

Non-typhoidal Salmonella is a foodborne pathogen that has one of the highest incidences of hospitalizations and deaths. The foodborne illness symptoms can include fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The high incidence of foodborne illness coupled with a large number of outbreaks in commercial low moisture foods LMF such as peanut butter prompted Army researchers to investigate S. enterica survivability in LMF rations.

The majority of LMF are not cooked prior to consumption so contamination at the time of manufacture could lead to illness when consumed by the soldier. In addition, military rations are prepositioned and can be stored for up to 3 years at various climate conditions therefore, this study evaluated various storage temperatures to simulate conditions in the field. LMF products in this study were chosen based on categories outlined by Institute of Food Safety and Health peanut butter, mocha desert bar, dehydrated egg, chocolate protein drink and cran-raspberry first strike bar.

Previous studies identified potential synergistic effect on S. enterica survival in high fat, low water activity foods such as peanut butter. This experiment expanded on these predictions and evaluated foods with varying compositions which undergo unique storage requirements prior to consumption.

Survival of salmonella enterica in low moisture military ration products

Army Natick Soldier Research Development and Engineering Center

Flock,Genevieve,  Richardson,MichellePacitto,DominiqueCowell,CourtneyAnderson,NateMarek,PatrickSenecal,Andy

https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/citations/AD1100853

03 June 2020