Smoked trout spread sold throughout Quebec likely to contain

I have this weird affliction (among many): Every time a food is involved in an outbreak or recall, I tend to crave that food.

Earlier in March, food safety officials warned the public about a possible health risk in consuming a smoked trout spread sold at several establishments throughout Quebec because it is likely to contain Listeria monocytogenes.

The spread, ‘Tartinade de truite fumee,’ was sold in 160g units and was produced by the National Herring Import Company Ltd. at 9820 Ray-Lawson Boulevard in Montreal. The units had a best before date of April 2, 2020.

The product was packaged in a clear plastic container with a black plastic cover and was refrigerated.

That’s not a trout lunch, this is, which I made yesterday (this not mine, but similar, because I forgot to take a picture).

Crypto in groundwater

Cryptosporidiosis is one of the leading causes of diarrhoeal illness and mortality induced by protozoan pathogens worldwide. As a largely waterborne disease, emphasis has been given to the study of Cryptosporidium spp. in surface waters, readily susceptible to pathogenic contamination. Conversely, the status of Cryptosporidium in potable groundwater sources, generally regarded as a pristine and “safe” drinking-water supply owing to (sub)-soil protection, remains largely unknown. As such, this investigation presents the first literature review aimed to ascertain the global prevalence of Cryptosporidium in groundwater supply sources intended for human consumption.

Thirty-seven peer-reviewed studies were identified and included in the review. Groundwater sample and supply detection rates (estimated 10–20%) indicate Cryptosporidium is frequently present in domestic groundwater sources, representing a latent health concern for groundwater consumers. Specifically, sample (10.4%) and source (19.1%) detection rates deriving from comprehensive “temporal” investigations are put forward as representative of a contamination ‘baseline’ for Cryptosporidium in ‘domestic’ groundwater supplies. Proposed ‘baseline’ prevalence figures are largely applicable in preventive risk-based catchment and groundwater quality management including the formulation of Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA). Notwithstanding, a large geographical disparity in available investigations and lack of standardized reporting restrict the transferability of research findings.

Overall, the mechanisms responsible for Cryptosporidium transport and ingress into groundwater supplies remain ambiguous, representing a critical knowledge gap, and denoting a distinctive lack of integration between groundwater and public-health sub-disciplines among investigations. Key recommendations and guidelines are provided for prospective studies directed at more integrative and multi-disciplinary research.

Cryptosporidium spp. in groundwater supplies intended for human consumption—a descriptive review of global prevalence, risk factors and knowledge gaps, 18 March 2020

Water Research

Chique; P. Hynds; L. Andrade; L. Burke; D. Morris; M.P. Ryan; J. O’Dwyer

DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.115726

https://www.x-mol.com/paper/1240684025098997760

UK Chinese restaurant had ‘worst standard of cleanliness’ food safety officers had ever seen

The kitchen at a North Wales Chinese restaurant had the worst standard of cleanliness seen by food safety inspectors, a hygiene report reveals.

Lydia Morris of the Daily Post writes that the Sleepy Panda in Wrexhamregained (gotta love the Welsh language) its long-held five star hygiene rating in January after it plummeted to zero following a grim inspection in October 2019 .

Despite requesting the inspector’s official report in November 2019 through the Freedom of Information Act, Wrexham Council denied the information.

However, it has today shared the document with North Wales Live , revealing the “extremely poor standard of cleanliness” that led to the temporary closure of the restaurant last year.

The town centre restaurant considered to be “one of the best in the area” has since reopened, and has held a five star hygiene since January 25 .

However, following the October inspection, food safety officials noted the restaurant had “almost total non-compliance with statutory obligations”.

“The standard of cleaning to the structure was extremely poor to the point where both myself and my colleague not seen a kitchen with such a poor standard of cleanliness,” the report says.

As well as cooked duck and other food items being stored on the floor, cooked rice was also found to have been left out at room temperature.

Cooked chicken, beef and duck were also being stored at room temperature – supporting what the report called “the growth of food poisoning”.

Careful with the Salmonella if you eat rattlesnake meat

Salmonella foodborne infections have been well described. Cardiac complications of Salmonella, including Infective Endocarditis (IE) however are very rare.

Case

50-year-old Hispanic male presented with chest pain, fever & septic shock. Troponin & ECG were unremarkable. Patient was started on empiric antibiotics. Blood cultures grew Salmonella species serotype H&O. TEE confirmed aortic valve vegetation.

Decision-making

Patient denied contact with feces-contaminated food or water with no obvious source of infection and negative immunodeficiency work-up. Therefore, we started looking for other sources of infection. Upon further history taking, patient was found to be regularly consuming dried rattlesnake meat preparations, a rather common practice in the Chihuahua desert region. Surgery was not indicated, and patient was treated with 6 weeks of intravenous antibiotics.

Conclusion

Ingestion of rattlesnake meat has been previously studied in populations residing in the United States- Mexico border region. Few case reports have shown a link between consuming rattlesnake meat with Salmonella bacteremia. We are describing a unique case of Salmonella IE in a patient ingesting rattlesnake meat. This case presents an opportunity for physicians to recognize rare sources of IE by looking deep into cultural exposures and practices.

Slither into the heart: Salmonella endocarditis following rattlesnake meat ingestion

Journal of the American College of Cardiology vol. 75 no. 11

Kunal Mishra, Cameron Cu, Mehran Abolbashari, Jorge D. Guerra, Sclaudia Didia, Chandra Prakash Ojha and Haider Alkhateeb

DOI: 10.1016/S0735-1097(20)33595-6

http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/75/11_Supplement_1/2968

‘Sushi parasites’ have increased 283-fold in past 40 years

I don’t eat sushi.

The combination of rice and raw fish sets off way too many risk buttons for me.

There was this one time, about eight years ago, I went to Dubai and Abu  Dhabi, to evaluate a graduate program and hang out at Dubai’s food safety conference.

A microbiologist from the University of New South Wales was also enlisted (and knew more about this stuff than I did).

One night, our hosts took us to dinner featuring a buffet overflowing with raw seafood.

He said, “Don’t.”

You don’t want to know the microbiological profile of that raw seafood, or something like that.

The University of Washington says, the next time you eat sashimi, nigiri or other forms of raw fish, consider doing a quick check for worms.

A new study led by the University of Washington finds dramatic increases in the abundance of a worm that can be transmitted to humans who eat raw or undercooked seafood. Its 283-fold increase in abundance since the 1970s could have implications for the health of humans and marine mammals, which both can inadvertently eat the worm.

Thousands of papers have looked at the abundance of this parasitic worm, known as Anisakis or “herring worm,” in particular places and at particular times. But this is the first study to combine the results of those papers to investigate how the global abundance of these worms has changed through time. The findings were published March 19 in the journal Global Change Biology.

“This study harnesses the power of many studies together to show a global picture of change over a nearly four-decade period,” said corresponding author Chelsea Wood, an assistant professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. “It’s interesting because it shows how risks to both humans and marine mammals are changing over time. That’s important to know from a public health standpoint, and for understanding what’s going on with marine mammal populations that aren’t thriving.”

Despite their name, herring worms can be found in a variety of marine fish and squid species. When people eat live herring worms, the parasite can invade the intestinal wall and cause symptoms that mimic those of food poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In most cases, the worm dies after a few days and the symptoms disappear. This disease, called anisakiasis or anisakidosis, is rarely diagnosed because most people assume they merely suffered a bad case of food poisoning, Wood explained.

After the worms hatch in the ocean, they first infect small crustaceans, such as bottom-dwelling shrimp or copepods. When small fish eat the infected crustaceans, the worms then transfer to their bodies, and this continues as larger fish eat smaller infected fish.

Humans and marine mammals become infected when they eat a fish that contains worms. The worms can’t reproduce or live for more than a few days in a human’s intestine, but they can persist and reproduce in marine mammals.

Australian rockmelon growers get best practice guide to help food safety

Really?

Are these guidelines actually going to make fewer people barf and die?

It’s all about the implementation and verification, but that’s expensive and rarely undertaken beyond soundbites.

When Listeria killed seven people in Australia last year, linked to rockmelon (cantaloupe for you North American types) growers acted like it never happened before and just wanted to get product back on shelves.

They should never be cut in half, although all retailers do it, and it’s just greed over public health.

In the fall of 2011, 33 people were killed and 147 sickened from Listeria linked to cantaloupe in the U.S.

And it keeps happening.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has released a best practice guide for rockmelons and speciality melons prompted by the 2018 listeria detection on a NSW farm which severely impacted the entire Australian rockmelon industry.

Domestic and export sales ceased for around six weeks. It has taken the following two years to regain market share.

To support rockmelon growers and combat foodborne illness risks, Hort Innovation launched a review of all industry food safety practices to strengthen food safety measures and provide training support for the industry.

Delivered by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), the project involved working individually with all Australian rockmelon growers to review and audit current practice and critical control points.

One-on-one food safety consultations with growers, managers and key farm staff also took place.

The project also developed a Melon Food Safety Best-Practice Guide and a “toolbox” for grower use including risk assessment templates, training guides, food safety posters and record sheets to support food safety programs.

Apocalypse is nigh and people are worried about what to wipe their asses with

That’s not sympathetic but encapsulates much and reminds me once in a fourth year university course in 1984, that was the first I really my brain into it, and would pronounce (and still do),  we’re all hosts on a viral planet.

I feel like U.S. talk show host, John Oliver: So much has happened in the past week, but we have to focus on something else, coronavirus.

And the best, most scientifically accurate coverage of coronavirus was Oliver’s satirical chat-fest last Sunday.

Global Cases   378,679

Total Deaths.  16,505

Total Recovered 100,982

What has startled me is how it traveled around the globe, the lack of verification or lack of efficacious testing, and the sheer virulence of the bug.

Kimberly Kindy of The Washington Post writes when Detroit restaurant chef Nik Cole gets sick, she pops a few vitamin C tablets, heads into work and then tops it off with Alka-Seltzer Plus so she can power through her day.

She is one of nearly 7 million food service workers in the United States who is forced to go without pay if she is too sick to work. Although 75 percent of Americans receive some paid sick days, government and industry data show that only 25 percent of food service workers have such benefits.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in five workers have reported working at least once in the previous year while sick with vomiting or diarrhea.

As the threat of the coronavirus grows in the United States, public health experts are concerned about it being spread by sickened food service workers who prepare, serve and deliver a significant share of the meals consumers eat each day.

Americans depend heavily on food service workers. Half of all the money spent on food in the United States is for meals prepared in restaurants, cafeterias, food trucks and delis, according to Technomic, a restaurant industry research group. That amounts to about one-quarter of all meals Americans consume.

Our lack of paid sick leave will make the coronavirus worse

The food service industry is already wrestling with the long-standing threat of another disease called norovirus, which causes nearly 60 percent of all foodborne illness outbreaks. Of the reported outbreaks, 70 percent are caused by infected food workers, the CDC says.

The methods used to reduce the spread of norovirus during food preparation are the same as they are for coronavirus: sanitizing surfaces, proper and frequent hand washing, coughing into an elbow instead of a hand.

But those procedures are either not being properly followed or they don’t always work. The norovirus annually causes millions of people to develop gastrointestinal problems, with thousands hospitalized and hundreds dying.

Benjamin Chapman, a food safety expert at North Carolina State University who studies norovirus and other foodborne diseases, said the good news for consumers is that coronavirus is much easier to kill with standard sanitation products and procedures.

“Norovirus is very resistant to disinfection,” Chapman said. “It can persist for months in labs.” Coronavirus, on the other hand, dies within two to nine days, preliminary research shows.

“Coronavirus has a unique quarantine and recovery period that transcends the traditional policy debates surrounding paid sick leave,” said Vanessa Sink, spokeswoman for the U.S. National Restaurant Association. “Tackling this challenge will require that employees, businesses and government officials come together and follow proven procedures to protect the health of employees, customers and communities.”

New research shows that laws requiring businesses to offer paid sick days to service workers may help. Two Cornell University researchers published a report last month that revealed that influenza infection rates dropped by 11 percent in the first year after legislatures in 10 states required employers to offer paid sick leave.

“All these arguments that employees take advantage of it and become lazy — we see no evidence of that,” said Nicolas Ziebarth, an economist and associate professor of human ecology at Cornell, who co-wrote the report. “They took an average of two days of paid sick leave after they had earned it. That is not a crazy amount of sick leave in a year. They are not shirking.”

 

Blue Bell ice cream licker goes to jail

In August, 2019, D’Adrien L’Quinn Anderson filmed himself licking a tub of Blue Bell ice cream before returning it to the store shelf.

He was sentenced to 30 days in jail for the stunt, which he filmed and put on social media, according to The Daily Mail. He was also given 180 days probation over two years as well as a $1,000 fine and $1,565 in restitution to Blue Bell Creameries.

Anderson was facing a maximum of one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines. He began his term behind bars immediately after his sentencing.

Back in, Anderson posted a 20-second clip to social media, which showed him cracking open a new tub of ice cream inside a Texas Walmart, licking it, sticking his fingers in it, then returning it to the shelf. According to the store’s surveillance footage, he proceeded to buy the ice cream.

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s office released a statement on their sentencing to KFDM, and said they “appropriately treated this incident as much more than a stunt.”

Four listeria deaths over three years traced to enoki mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms from South Korea have been recalled and investigators are linking them to a multi-year outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has killed four people.

The importer, Sun Hong Foods Inc., Montebello, Calif., recalled the mushrooms March 9 after Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development officials found two samples of the mushrooms were positive for the listeria strain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health agencies are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses linked to the outbreak, using “DNA fingerprinting” through whole genome sequencing. 

The agencies did not report when the deaths occurred. Patients in California, Hawaii and New Jersey died.

The cases traced to the mushrooms have a high rate of hospitalization, with 30 of the 36 patients identified requiring hospitalization, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which released a warning to consumers March 10 to not eat any enoki mushrooms from Sun Hong Foods.

Sun Hong Foods, Inc 1105 W Olympic Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640 is recalling All Cases Enoki Mushroom (Product of Korea) Net Wt 7.05/200g because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

CDC’s At A Glance concluded:

Reported Cases: 36

States: 17

Hospitalizations: 30

Deaths: 4

Recall: Yes

Outbreak investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Hard-boiled eggs (December 2019)

Why did Listeria appear in hard-boiled eggs? Insufficient cooking? Cross-contamination? Dirty pails? This report doesn’t say.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, CDC, and state and local partners investigated an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods’ Gainesville, Georgia facility. Almark Foods announced an initial voluntary recall of hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails on December 20, 2019, and then on December 23, 2019 expanded the recall to include all hard-boiled eggs produced at the Gainesville, Georgia facility. All recalled products are now past their “best by” dates.

CDC has announced this outbreak is over. FDA’s investigational activities, including an inspection, are complete. At this time, the firm is no longer producing products at this facility.

Recommendation

Recalled products are now past their “best by” dates and should be thrown away.

FDA recommends that food processors, restaurants and retailers who received recalled products use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with these products, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 8
Illnesses in 2019: 5
Hospitalizations: 5
Deaths: 1
Last illness isolation date: December 7, 2019
States with Cases: FL (1), ME (2), PA (1), SC (2), TX (2)
States with Cases in 2019: FL (1), ME (2), SC (2), TX (1)
Product Distribution*: Nationwide
*Distribution has been confirmed for states list, but at this time we believe the product was distributed nationwide. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

What Products are Recalled?

Recalled products include bulk product sold in pails, as well as products sold at retail. Companies who received recalled product from Almark Foods have initiated recalls of products containing these eggs. A list of all these recalls is available on the FDA website.