Just cook it doesn’t cut it: 283 sick from Salmonella in UK lamb

I’ve been in Australia for 7 years now, and while I once thought it was national duty to eat lamb, I could never get over the smell.

So guess we’re safe from the latest Salmonella outbreak linked to lamb in the UK.

Food Standards AgencyFood Standards ScotlandPublic Health England and Health Protection Scotland are reminding people to take care when handling raw meat and to cook it properly.

This comes as we investigate a rise in cases of a particular strain of Salmonella Typhimurium which have been linked to lamb and mutton. We first saw an increase in cases of this particular type of salmonella in July 2017. A number of control measures were put into place which led to a significant decline in cases at the end of that year. A total of 118 cases were reported up until May 2018.

Since June 2018, a further 165 cases have been reported (up to 19 October), which led us to put control measures in place. These haven’t led to the same decline in cases as in 2017 and so we are now reminding the public about how to cook and handle raw meat.

Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, PHE said:

The likely cause of the increased numbers of this specific strain of Salmonella Typhimurium is considered to be meat or cross-contamination with meat from affected sheep.

People can be infected with Salmonella Typhimurium in a number of ways such as not cooking their meat properly, not washing hands thoroughly after handling raw meat, or through cross-contamination with other food, surfaces, and utensils in the kitchen.

Prior to July 2017 only 2 cases of this strain (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism address 1.43.67.992.2703.3225. %) had been detected in England.

Between July 2017 and November 2017, the first increase in this strain was observed with 95 cases reported in England, Scotland and Wales. Control measures were implemented which resulted in a decline in cases.

Numbers of cases were at low levels from December 2017 to June 2018 (23 cases during this period).

In June 2018, the numbers of cases increased again and since June 2018 165 cases have been reported.

There was a death in which salmonella was thought to be a contributory factor related to this outbreak last year, but we are not aware of any deaths related to this strain in 2018

51 sick in Canada and U.S. from Salmonella linked to cucumbers

I’ve been waiting for more info on this outbreak but it’s not there.

Cucumbers have been linked to at least 45 Salmonella illnesses in western Canada.

A further six people in Washington state – that’s also in the west – have been stricken by what seems to be the same bacterium linked to cucs, sold at Costco.

8 in UK sick from Salmonella linked to Dr. Zak’s liquid egg white

‘Dr Zak’s Barn Farmed Liquid Egg White’ has been recalled by the UK Food Standards Agency.

Microbiological testing on a number of batches of the product has indicated contamination with Salmonella bacteria of the same strain as the bacteria causing infection in those affected.

Since mid-August 2018, 3 cases of salmonella have been confirmed in those who consumed the product and a further 5 cases remain under investigation.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, Public Health England, said:

Most of those affected have now recovered. However, Salmonella can cause a serious infection in those with weakened immune systems or in vulnerable groups including babies, the elderly or pregnant women.

We’re aware that the high-protein product may be purchased by people for bodybuilding purposes. Symptoms of a Salmonella infection include diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sometimes vomiting and fever.

There are simple steps to stop its spread, including cooking food thoroughly, washing fruit and vegetables and washing your hands after using the bathroom.

It’s oh so simple.

Fairytale.

44 sick from Salmonella Enteritidis linked to shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms

Amy and I helped make breakfast for 120 grade 4 and 5 school kids this morning.

The kids had their annual sleepover Friday night at the school, in tents, with activities and endless gossip until late night or early morning (that’s Hubbell being busy in the background).

We arrived about 5:50 a.m., ready to make breakfast.

The menu was bacon and egg sandwiches on rolls, brown beans, and juice, along with vegan and halal alternatives, reflecting the multi-cultural nature of our neighbourhood and Sorenne’s school.

Amy worked in the kitchen, prepping rolls and keeping things rolling, while me and another dude worked the grill.

We cooked the bacon we had, then cleaned the grill thoroughly out of respect for others, and then the eggs.

There were no runny eggs.

There was no cross-contamination.

There wasn’t going to be some sorta Salmonella outbreak on my watch.

And Australia still has an egg problem.

What you do at home is your own business, but when cooking for 120 children, risk management is a little different.

For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local partners, investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis illnesses linked to shell eggs.

As of October 25, 2018, there were 44 illnesses associated with shell eggs from Gravel Ridge Farms, in Cullman Alabama. The CDC has announced that this outbreak appears to be over.

The FDA advises consumers not to eat recalled shell eggs produced by Gravel Ridge Farms. Consumers who have purchased these products should discard the eggs or return them to the store for a refund. For a complete list of stores, visit the recall notice.

Consumers should always practice safe food handling and preparation measures. Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling raw eggs and raw egg-containing foods. Dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160° F. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is use either eggs that have been treated to destroy Salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method, or pasteurized egg products.

On September 5, 2018, the FDA and Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry began an inspection at Gravel Ridge Farms and collected environmental and egg samples for laboratory testing. The results were used to confirm that Salmonella Enteritidis isolates collected from environmental and egg samples taken at the farm were genetically related to isolates obtained from ill persons.

As a result of the outbreak, Gravel Ridge Farms voluntarily recalled cage-free, large eggs and removed the eggs from the shelves at grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail locations.

Twenty-six of 32 (81%) people interviewed reported eating restaurant dishes made with eggs. These restaurants reported using shell eggs in the dishes eaten by ill people.

The whole restaurant dishes-made-with-raw-eggs-thing, such as mayo and aioli is problematic. My 9-year-old knows to ask how the aioli is made if she gets fish, and the server always comes back and says, chef makes it only with raw eggs, and she knows enough to say no.

But we are the poop family (it’s on the front door).

I had a couple of thermometers in my back pack but were not necessary.

Cute guinea pigs or Salmonella factories

In December 2017, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported two human Salmonella Enteritidis infections in persons with exposure to pet guinea pigs. The guinea pigs had been purchased from two separate pet stores, belonging to a single chain, and supplied by a common distributor located in California. Clinical isolates were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), suggesting the infections were related. This PFGE pattern was previously seen in a 2010 multistate outbreak linked to contact with pet guinea pigs (1). An investigation was initiated to determine the number of patients affected and to identify the source of human illnesses.

A case was defined as Salmonella Enteritidis infection with a clinical isolate having an identical PFGE pattern to those from the Colorado isolates and closely related to a guinea pig isolate by whole genome sequencing (WGS), and with onset of clinical signs on or after January 1, 2015. State health departments were asked to review recent Salmonella Enteritidis illness records for patient exposure to guinea pigs. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories was queried for isolates from guinea pigs that matched the outbreak strain. All isolates underwent WGS using high-quality single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis. An isolate from the 2010 outbreak was sequenced for comparison. Guinea pig purchase invoices were used to trace guinea pigs with an epidemiologic link to human illness back to the distributor of origin.

Nine cases in humans were identified from eight states, including two cases in Colorado and one each in Iowa, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and Virginia. Five of eight patients reported exposure to guinea pigs. Onset dates ranged from July 15, 2015, to December 15, 2017. The median patient age was 12 years (range = 1–70 years). Five patients were female. One patient was hospitalized, and no deaths were reported. Six isolates submitted to veterinary diagnostic laboratories from ill guinea pigs and one isolate from a patient’s guinea pig were sequenced and found to be closely related to the outbreak strain. Including the 2010 isolate tested for comparison, all isolates were within 38 SNPs by WGS.

Traceback information was available for four guinea pigs purchased from two large pet store chains (Figure). The two distributors supplying guinea pigs to pet stores during this outbreak received guinea pigs from multiple wholesalers; however, a single common wholesaler was mentioned by both. This wholesaler also supplied guinea pigs that were associated with cases during the 2010 outbreak.

Following the 2010 outbreak, recommendations including environmental testing were made to the wholesaler regarding Salmonella prevention; however, the actions were not implemented. Failure to implement recommended prevention measures might have contributed to recurrence of the outbreak. To enhance compliance with recommendations made in this outbreak, CDC developed a document containing prevention measures aimed at reducing the prevalence of Salmonella in guinea pig colonies intended for use in the pet industry. Content was also posted on the CDC website to increase consumer awareness of risk for Salmonella infection linked to pet guinea pigs. Recommendations to pet owners during this outbreak focused on proper hand hygiene. Recommendations to distributors and wholesalers included routine monitoring of guinea pigs for Salmonella through diagnostic testing, recordkeeping to aid in traceback, and evaluating husbandry and environmental sanitation practices of guinea pig breeders to reduce the prevalence of Salmonella and other zoonotic diseases of concern to the pet industry (2).

1Epidemic Intelligence Service, CDC; 2Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, CDC; 3Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; 4Vermont Department of Health; 5National Veterinary Services Laboratories, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ames, Iowa; 6CAITTA, Inc., Herndon, Virginia.

References

Bartholomew ML, Heffernan RT, Wright JG, et al. Multistate outbreak of Salmonella entericaserotype enteritidis infection associated with pet guinea pigs. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2014;14:414–21. CrossRef PubMed

CDC. Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to pet guinea pigs.

Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2018. https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/guinea-pigs-03-18/index.html

120 sick from Salmonella linked to JBS ground beef

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections linked to ground beef produced by JBS Tolleson, Inc.

Reported Cases: 120

States: 22

Hospitalizations: 33

Deaths: 0

Recall: Yes

On October 4, 2018, JBS Tolleson, Inc., of Tolleson, Arizona, recalled approximately 6.5 million pounds of beef products, including ground beef, which may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport.

Recalled beef products were produced and packaged from July 26, 2018, to September 7, 2018 and were shipped to retailers nationwide under many brand names.

Products are labeled with the establishment number “EST. 267.” This is usually found inside the USDA mark of inspect

Sixty-three more ill people from 14 states were added to this investigation since the last update on October 4, 2018. Six more states reported ill people: Hawaii, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Washington.

As of October 23, 2018, 120 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 22 states.

135 sickened: Kelloggs returning Honey Smacks to shelves after Salmonella recall

Colin Kellaher of The Wall Street Journal reports that Kellogg Co.’s Honey Smacks cereal will begin returning to U.S. shelves next month in limited quantities following a nationwide recall over salmonella concerns.

Maybe the company now knows who makes the Honey Smacks.

The Battle Creek, Mich., cereal maker recalled more than 11 million boxes of Honey Smacks over the summer after a salmonella outbreak linked to a factory that produced the cereal sickened 135 people in 36 states. No deaths were reported in connection with the salmonella outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in September, and illnesses were reported between March and August.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a July letter that it found “serious violations” following an inspection of a Gridley, Ill., plant. The agency said the factory, owned by Wisconsin-based Kerry Inc., maintained unsanitary conditions and failed to comply with rules meant to prevent foodborne illnesses. A spokesman for Kerry told The Wall Street Journal in September that as a result of the FDA’s investigation, it has worked to improve sanitation and enhanced employee training among other changes.

Kellogg said cereal production for the Honey Smacks relaunch has been moved to a “trusted and tested” company-owned facility. The company also said it has updated its recipe for the cereal, using simpler ingredients. Boxes of the cereal will be labeled with “New Recipe” in the top left corner.

On Sept. 28, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration wrote the Centers for Disease Control, along with state and local officials investigated a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Mbandaka infections linked to Kellogg’s Honey Smacks sweetened puffed wheat cereal. The FDA worked with Kellogg’s to voluntarily recall Honey Smacks from the market and conducted an inspection at the manufacturing facility owned by Kerry, Inc., resulting in a warning letter identifying specific problems at the facility.

Safe food, farm to fork

It’s been my lab’s moto for over 20 years.

Nice to see the American Society for Microbiology catch up (nothing personal, Randy, just idle academic chirping, but at least you get paid).

Fresh produce supply chains present variable and diverse conditions that are relevant to food quality and safety because they may favor microbial growth and survival following contamination. This study presents the development of a simulation and visualization framework to model microbial dynamics on fresh produce moving through postharvest supply chain processes.

The postharvest supply chain with microbial travelers (PSCMT) tool provides a modular process modeling approach and graphical user interface to visualize microbial populations and evaluate practices specific to any fresh produce supply chain. The resulting modeling tool was validated with empirical data from an observed tomato supply chain from Mexico to the United States, including the packinghouse, distribution center, and supermarket locations, as an illustrative case study. Due to data limitations, a model-fitting exercise was conducted to demonstrate the calibration of model parameter ranges for microbial indicator populations, i.e., mesophilic aerobic microorganisms (quantified by aerobic plate count and here termed APC) and total coliforms (TC). Exploration and analysis of the parameter space refined appropriate parameter ranges and revealed influential parameters for supermarket indicator microorganism levels on tomatoes. Partial rank correlation coefficient analysis determined that APC levels in supermarkets were most influenced by removal due to spray water washing and microbial growth on the tomato surface at postharvest locations, while TC levels were most influenced by growth on the tomato surface at postharvest locations. Overall, this detailed mechanistic dynamic model of microbial behavior is a unique modeling tool that complements empirical data and visualizes how postharvest supply chain practices influence the fate of microbial contamination on fresh produce.

IMPORTANCE Preventing the contamination of fresh produce with foodborne pathogens present in the environment during production and postharvest handling is an important food safety goal. Since studying foodborne pathogens in the environment is a complex and costly endeavor, computer simulation models can help to understand and visualize microorganism behavior resulting from supply chain activities. The postharvest supply chain with microbial travelers (PSCMT) model, presented here, provides a unique tool for postharvest supply chain simulations to evaluate microbial contamination. The tool was validated through modeling an observed tomato supply chain. Visualization of dynamic contamination levels from harvest to the supermarket and analysis of the model parameters highlighted critical points where intervention may prevent microbial levels sufficient to cause foodborne illness. The PSCMT model framework and simulation results support ongoing postharvest research and interventions to improve understanding and control of fresh produce contamination.

Postharvest supply chain with microbial travelers: A farm-to-retail microbial simulation and visualization framework

American Society for Microbiology, 10.1128/AEM.00813-18

Claire Zoellner, Mohammad Abdullah Al-Mamun, Yrjo Grohn, Peter Jackson, Randy Worobo

Salmonella cases double in Denmark

Ben Hamilton of CPH Post reports there were twice as many salmonella outbreaks in Denmark in 2017 than in the previous year.

In total, there were 25 outbreaks, and 1,067 people became ill as a result.

The increase is partly blamed on improved ways of detecting outbreaks. ‘Whole genome sequencing’, for example, makes it easier to detect the same source of infection.

“We hope it can lead to a decline in salmonella cases in the long term,” noted Luise Müller, an epidemiologist at Statens Serum Institut.

“It should enable us to become better at deducing why some foods are more likely to make people sicker than others.”

Danish-produced pork was the biggest culprit, while there were no cases sourced to chicken.

Foodborne outbreaks in general are increasing. In 2017, there were 63, up from 49 in the previous year.

The biggest culprit is campylobacter, a bacterium that made 4,257 people ill in 2017.

5 confirmed sick from Salmonella at Wyoming fair

The Wyoming Department of Health has confirmed a Salmonella outbreak caused by a pig or pigs at the Johnson County Fair.

After a number of Johnson County Fair participants fell ill with stomach cramps and diarrhea, the Department of Health requested stool samples from five people and was able to confirm that all five were suffering from the same type of salmonella.

According to the department’s surveillance epidemiologist Tiffany Greenlee, when two or more people get the same illness from contact with the same animal or animal environment, the event is called a zoonotic outbreak. Greenlee said the pathology reports indicate that the bacteria was transferred from animal to person via pig feces.

“Salmonella lives in animal intestines and is passed through excrement,” Greenlee said. “At fair, people are around their animals extensively – washing and feeding and grooming, and it’s pretty easy to get animal poop on your hands. We believe people got it from pig poop.”