137 sick: FDA investigating contaminated pig ear treats connected to Salmonella

I’ve been told that pig ear treats are the equivalent of potato chips for dogs.

One of daughter Sorenne’s chores is to feed our two cats every night, with their special anti-neurotic food.

And every night I say, wash your hands.

Same with Ted the Wonder Dog and treats.

With the recent announcements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating contaminated Pig Ear Treats connecting to Salmonella, Pet Supplies Plus is advising consumers it is recalling bulk pig ear product supplied to all locations by several different vendors due to the potential of Salmonella contamination. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

There is now 137 sick with Salmonella from handling these things.

Testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that aging bulk pig ear product in one of our stores tested positive for Salmonella. We have pulled bulk pig ear product from the shelves at all of our stores and have stopped shipping bulk pig ears from our Distribution Center. We are working with the FDA as they continue their investigation as to what caused the reported Salmonella related illnesses.

FDA investigating contaminated pig ear treats connected to Salmonella

One of daughter Sorenne’s chores is to feed our two cats every night, with their special anti-neurotic food.

And every night I say, wash your hands.

Same with Ted the Wonder Dog and treats.

With the recent announcements of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating contaminated Pig Ear Treats connecting to Salmonella, Pet Supplies Plus is advising consumers it is recalling bulk pig ear product supplied to all locations by several different vendors due to the potential of Salmonella contamination. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Testing by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that aging bulk pig ear product in one of our stores tested positive for Salmonella. We have pulled bulk pig ear product from the shelves at all of our stores and have stopped shipping bulk pig ears from our Distribution Center. We are working with the FDA as they continue their investigation as to what caused the reported Salmonella related illnesses.

Papayas linked to outbreak of salmonellosis; over 60 ill

I really like fruits and berries. All kinds of fruits are my go-to snacks and over the past few years I’ve discovered how much I like tropical fruits like mango and papaya.

My favs aren’t immune from outbreaks. In 2017, an outbreak of Salmonella Anatum was linked to papaya.

And today CDC and FDA announced another outbreak of Salmonella (this time Uganda) traced to the fruit, causing at least 62 illnesses to date (with 23 hospitalizations).

According to the CDC release, there’s some notable stuff:

  • Of 33 ill people with available information, 22 reported being of Hispanic ethnicity.
  • The hospitalization rate in this outbreak is 66 percent among people with information available. The hospitalization rate in Salmonella outbreaks is usually around 20 percent.
  • Most of the sick people in this outbreak are adults over 60.

‘Dad a chick pooped on me’

Scott Weese of the Worms and Germs Blog, a prof, vet, from the University of Guelph, and more importantly, a dude I played hockey with all those years ago, writes, as I was writing the post below, my youngest daughter walked in the door and said “a chick pooped on me today.”

(He’s one of the bald dudes in this pic from 2005: hint, leave when you’ve won, and have a full head of hair, which I did)

It wasn’t a total surprise since I’d heard a vague statement from her about maybe having chicks in the class for the end of the year.

Is it potentially fun and/or educational?

Sure. If it’s done right.

Is it done right?

Doesn’t sound like it.

Chicks are cute and can be entertaining. They can also be educational. Yet, contact with them is clearly associated with disease. While I get an infosheet from the school and have to sign something every time one of my kids does any other type of activity, there was no notice about this particular activity, no information about risks and preventive measures, nothing about what to do if a child is at high risk for severe disease, or anything else.

Just my kid telling me she got pooped on.

I’m not overly concerned. She’s healthy, outside of the main high risk groups, and washed her hands after the incident. Yet, I don’t know (and doubt the school knows) whether that applies to everyone in the class or other kids that might have contact with the chicks. The chicks are also being kept in a classroom where the students eat.

A lot could be done to minimize and communicate the risks. We tried approaching the provincial Ministry of Education and school boards quite a few years ago to look into animal exposures in schools, and there was basically zero interest in the subject. Whether that’s because there was no awareness of the issues or no desire to find out what’s actually going on is hard to say.

Now on to the post I was writing…

CDC has related an updated investigation notice about Salmonella from backyard poultry. As of June 13th, 279 infected people have been identified in 41 states, with cases dating back to January 1st, 2019.. That probably means a few thousand people have actually been infected, since reported disease numbers are typically dwarfed by the real number of cases.

The strains that have been linked to the outbreak are Salmonella Agona, Anatum, Braenderup, Infantis, Montevideo and Newport

30% of infected people were children younger than 5 years old, which is the group that typically gets sick or seriously ill from Salmonella.

26% of people were hospitalized. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.

About 40% of isolates were multidrug-resistant.

77% of infected individuals reported contact with chicks or ducklings from places like agricultural stores, mail order supplies and hatcheries.

One of the outbreak strains has also been found in backyard poultry in Ohio.

I’m not against animals in schools or backyard poultry. I’m just against being stupid. There are lots of things that can be done to reduce risks, and too often those easy, cheap and practical measures are ignored.

E. coli found in Icelandic meat

Keeping with all things Icelandic, E. coli was found in 30% of lamb samples and 11.5% of beef samples in a test carried out by the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST). The particular strain discovered is known as STEC, or shiga-toxin producing E. coli. This is the first time lamb and beef have been screened for STEC in Iceland.

The testing was carried out on around 600 samples of lamb, beef, pork, and chicken of both Icelandic and foreign origin between March and December 2018. The purpose of the testing was to determine the prevalence of pathogenic micro-organisms in products when they reach the consumer, and for this reason the samples were taken from shops.

Campylobacter and salmonella were not detected in pork or chicken samples, with the exception of a single sample of pork from Spain. MAST attributes this to improved preventative measures in slaughterhouses.

MAST points to several ways consumers can reduce the risk of infection from salmonella, campylobacter, and E. coli, including cooking meat all the way through and taking care to avoid cross-contamination. Most E. coli is found on the surface of meat, and therefore is killed by frying or grilling, but when meat is ground, the bacteria is distributed throughout. Therefore, hamburgers and other types of ground meat should be cooked through.

But what does that mean?

Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer.

Australia still has an egg problem: Egg recall due to possible Salmonella

The NSW Food Authority advises that the following eggs are being voluntarily recalled by The Egg Basket Pty Ltd because they may be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis (SE):

Country Fresh Eggs Just Eggs, 600g, cardboard box

Chefs Choice Free Range, 700g, 30 pack tray

Chefs Choice Cage Free, 800g, 30 pack tray

The Use By dates are 14 June 2019, 20 June 2019, 24 June 2019, 29 June 2019, 5 July 2019, 9 July 2019 or you may identify the individual eggs through the stamp eb24449 on the shell.

The eggs were sold directly from The Egg Basket business in Kemps Creek, and at the Flemington Markets.

Consumers who may have purchased the eggs are advised they should not eat the eggs and to dispose of them in the garbage or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Proof of purchase is not required for recalled products.

CEO of the NSW Food Authority Dr Lisa Szabo said consumers may be aware of a higher number of SE related egg recalls in recent months due to a cluster of interconnected egg farms across the state.

“This recall is related to the detection of this particular organism”, Dr Szabo said.

As part of its response NSW DPI has increased surveillance and monitoring at poultry farms and where necessary has issued biosecurity directions to individual properties, including the quarantine of premises to stop movement of eggs into the marketplace.

Further information about how to reduce your food safety risk when consuming eggs can be found at www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/eggs

A table of Australian egg-related outbreaks is available at https://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-5-1-17.xlsx.

Brain cloud: UK former Royal Marine tells of holiday Salmonella nightmare that left him a shell of a man

When ex-Royal Marine Commando Steve O’Connell caught salmonella on holiday, he never foresaw it ruining his life.

Trapped in a world of constantly being tired, he turned to medics for help.

Lisa Hutchinson of Chronicle Live writes following the initial trauma from the salmonella, he was diagnosed with ME or chronic fatigue syndrome.

And while Steve struggled with keeping up with the running of his successful business, he would have done virtually anything to get his old life back.

Now, after teaming up with specialist body-worker Adam Foster who put Steve through his paces with his own created recovery model, Steve is now fighting fit again and is back to gruelling circuit training and five mile runs after years of pain and fatigue.

Steve, 47, who owns Advantex Network Solutions Ltd in Gateshead with brother Dave, said: “In 2008 I contracted salmonella on holiday in Turkey and shortly after my recovery I started experiencing excruciating pains all over my body that were not associated with any sort of injury. 

“I would get arthritic pains, my eye balls felt like they were been squeezed, my muscles felt like I had just finished a 10-mile run and I even had pains in my teeth, not tooth ache but pains in my actual teeth.

“I also became very lethargic and tired – I thought I’d become lazy as I couldn’t motivate myself to do anything beyond basic tasks and if I did it would knock me on my back for days.

 “The worst thing though was the brain fog, imagine not been able to hold a sensible or coherent conversation for more than a couple of minutes. 

“I would sit in meetings disengaged and dazed trying so hard to not appear disinterested, giving all my energy to meetings with clients leaving little or no ability to hold meetings with colleagues or talk with my wife and three children when I got home.

“I think it’s safe to say for 10 years they didn’t have the husband or dad I wanted them to have.

Bacteria flip an electric switch to worsen food poisoning

Salmonella bacteria flip an electric switch as they hitch a ride inside immune cells, causing the cells to migrate out of the gut toward other parts of the body, according to a new study publishing on April 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology by Yaohui Sun and Alex Mogilner of New York University and colleagues. The discovery reveals a new mechanism underlying the toxicity of this common food-borne pathogen.

Salmonella are among the commonest, and deadliest, causes of food poisoning, causing over 400,000 deaths every year. Many of those deaths result when the bacteria escape the gut inside immune cells called macrophages. Macrophages are drawn to bacteria in the gut by a variety of signals, most prominently chemicals released from the site of infection. Once there, they engulf the bacteria as a regular part of their infection-fighting job. However, rather than remaining there, bacteria-laden macrophages often leave the site and enter the bloodstream, disseminating the bacteria and greatly increasing the gravity of the infection.

Tissues such as the gut often generate small electrical fields across their outer surfaces, and these electrical fields have been known to drive migration of cells, including macrophages. In the new study, the authors first showed that the lining of the mouse cecum (the equivalent of the human appendix) maintains a cross-membrane electrical field, and that Salmonella infection altered this field and contributed to the attraction of macrophages. Measurements of the polarity of the local charge indicated that the macrophages were attracted to the anode, or positively charged pole within the field. Once they engulfed bacteria, however, they became attracted to the cathode and reversed their migratory direction, moving away from the gut lining, toward vessels of the circulatory system. This switch was driven by a in the composition of certain charged surface proteins on the macrophages; the mechanism by which bacterial engulfment triggers this change is still under investigation.

“Dissemination, rather than localized infection, is the greatest cause of mortality from Salmonella (and other food-borne bacteria), and so understanding more about this polarity switch is likely to help develop new treatments to reduce deaths from food-borne bacterial infections,” said Mogilner.

Looks like I missed this one too: ‘My mom’s death was needless’ Families want answers after Salmonella outbreak at Winnipeg care home

Tessa Vanderhart of CBC reported last month a Winnipeg care home where two residents recently died has confirmed it served frozen food from Thailand that was later linked to the Canada-wide outbreak of salmonella. 

Golden West Centennial Lodge executive director Joyce Kristjansson told staff and families in an email on Tuesday morning it had given residents cream puffs that are now on the recall list. 

Two residents at the 116-bed personal care facility in the Sturgeon Creek neighbourhood died in March, and a third was sickened. All three tested positive for salmonella.

The Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed the three cases at Golden West are linked to the outbreak which has struck 73 people nationwide. 

Investigators have linked the bacteria-caused gastrointestinal illnessto Celebrate-brand frozen profiteroles and mini chocolate eclairs.

Fancy childcare ain’t safe childcare Nebraska elite edition

Local media outlets report that the Douglas County Health Department is investigating a Salmonella outbreak linked to the Omaha-based Elite Childcare Academy daycare facility.

Candess Zona of Outbreak News Today reports the daycare has closed its doors pending the investigation. The number of illnesses and exact source of the outbreak have not yet been released. The agency’s representative, Phil Rooney, commented that the reason for the lack of information is because children may still be within the incubation period for Salmonella.

In the meantime, the health agency is having the daycare’s staff, parents, and guardians of the 100 or so children that are part of the agency complete surveys to determine the root source.