14 sick: Philadelphia officials issue health alert over E. coli outbreak

Rita Giordano of The Philadelphia Inquirer writes the Philadelphia Department of Public Health on Thursday announced an outbreak of E. coli infections that has sickened 14 people so far.

In a statement, city health officials said their investigation “has identified a few shared restaurant exposures.” It did not name the restaurants.

All 14 affected people, ranging in age from 7 to 90, “presented with signs of acute gastroenteritis with bloody and non-bloody diarrhea,” according to the statement.

The cases have been reported since Aug. 30.

The health department said the illnesses were due to Shiga-toxin E. coli, one of five E. coli strains. Symptoms usually start with non-bloody diarrhea, which can progress to bloody diarrhea after two to three days. Severe abdominal pain and fever may also occur.

Exposure to the bacteria often occurs through contact with food or water contaminated by human or animal stool, or through contact with an infected person. Outbreaks have been associated with consuming undercooked beef, unpasteurized milk, or raw leafy vegetables, as well as exposure at petting zoos.

Nicole Sikora, 31, a performing arts administrator who lives in Northern Liberties, said a severe stomach ache and bloody diarrhea caused her to go to the emergency room of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital about a week ago, where she was told she was infected by E. coli. She said her fiancé, who had similar symptoms, was admitted to Jefferson last weekend and is still at the hospital, being monitored for dehydration.

They sought care when their symptoms didn’t seem to be easing at home.

“I didn’t know if I was going to get better,” Sikora said. “It was really pretty painful.”

Two children die from E. coli complications in Denmark

The Local reports that Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed, DPSA) has confirmed that two children have died as a result of complications related to E. coli poisoning. The two cases are not connected.

Two children – one on the island of Funen and another in the Copenhagen area – died due to a rare complication related to VTEC, a strain of the E. Coli bacteria.

Both children died of kidney failure, but the two tragic cases are not connected. A third child also contracted kidney failure but survived, DPSA said.

A consultant doctor and head of department at Copenhagen infectious disease research institute SSI stressed that the cases were not evidence of an outbreak and that the number of cases was not improbable.

The bloody diarrhea gives it away: UK family of boy hit by E. coli after Turkish holiday takes legal action

Julie Gilmartin, 39, said her son Matthew Bennett, 10, started to develop symptoms including diarrhea on the plane home from a week-long stay at the Bone Club Sunset Hotel & Spa, Antalya, at the start of July.

Stacey Mullen of the Herald Scotland writes the youngster, from Penilee, Glasgow, was then seen by a GP, who requested a stool sample after the boy experienced further symptoms, including severe abdominal pains and passing blood.

His health deteriorated and he was taken to A&E, where he was admitted to the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow for more than three days.

Following several tests, his mother was advised Matthew had been diagnosed with E.coli O157, a serious bacterial infection that can cause serious long-term complications and sometimes even death.

Ms Gilmartin, a customer assistant at Sainsbury’s, said: “Matthew went to the toilet a few times on the plane journey home, which seemed odd for him.

 “Then, as the days passed, there was clearly something wrong. He didn’t eat well and started to suffer from further issues, like stomach cramps.

“I ended up calling the NHS 24-hour helpline and was told straight away to take him to hospital. It was awful to see how the illness affected him and they [doctors] felt they had no choice to admit him. It was horrendous.”

Ms Gilmartin and Matthew, along with his father Henry and younger brother Ollie, arrived at the Turkish resort on July 6, after booking the break through Jet2. She added: “I was stunned to get the news that Matthew’s illness was E.coli.

“I’m just so frustrated we went away for what should have been a nice, family break, only for this to happen.

“It is awful and we deserve some answers as to how Matthew’s illness emerged and whether it could have been prevented.

“Although I had seen some concerning issues in relation to the cleanliness and hygiene in the restaurant, such as roaming cats and food sometimes being served lukewarm, I never thought I was at serious risk of illness. I dread to think that other children might be running the risk of also being affected.”

CFIA: Establishment-based risk assessment model for food establishments

Why do government-types never learn to write in clear and coherent sentences?

CFIA has been evolving the way we manage risk, to further support industry’s ability to compete globally, and embracing technology to provide more efficient and responsive services.

The Establishment-based Risk Assessment (ERA) model for food establishments is a tool developed by the CFIA to evaluate food establishments based on the level of risk they represent to Canadian consumers. The ERA model uses data and a mathematical algorithm to assess the food safety risks of food establishments under CFIA jurisdiction. It takes into consideration risks associated with a specific food commodity, operation or manufacturing process, mitigation strategies implemented by the industry to control their food safety risks, as well as establishment compliance information. The ERA model will be used, along with other factors, to inform where inspectors should spend more or less time and inform program planning, in order to focus efforts on areas of highest risk.

How does the ERA model for food establishments work?

The ERA model has already garnered attention on the international stage. Indeed, scientific journals dedicated to publishing the latest research on food safety and risk analysis such as Microbial Risk AnalysisFood MicrobiologyFood Control and International Journal of Food Microbiology have published articles detailing the development steps of CFIA’s ERA model.

Yeah, and I get quoted every day, but make nothing, whereas government-types have their salary and pension and endless meetings.

Raw is risky: Two more deaths from brucellosis in Africa

The current human brucellosis epidemic in Ath Mansour has again
claimed new victims. These are 2 citizens of Ath Vouali, hospitalized
Wednesday [28 Aug 2019] at the EPH Kaci Yahia M’Chedallah. The
affected subjects are a 40-year-old father and his 15-month-old son.
Met in the halls of the hospital, the father indicated that he and his
family have consumed raw milk from the farmer whose goats were
infected almost 2 months ago.

After these 2 new victims, 6 cases of human brucellosis have been
detected since last week [18-24 Aug 2019] in this commune and
hospitalized at M’Chedallah hospital. In this context, we learned that
a Daira commission, composed of a member of the APC executive of Ath
Mansour, the subdivisionary of agriculture of Ahnif, a member of the
prevention of the Ahnif EPSP and the M’Chedallah Civil Protection
Unit, was set up on the instructions of the Daira Chief.’

560 sick with tularemia: Significant rise in Sweden

Outbreak News Today reports that in a follow-up on a report about two weeks ago, Swedish health officials are reporting a significant rise in tularemia cases since the end of July.

As of Monday, about 560 human cases have been reported, much more this time of year than usual and even more than 2015 when 859 people across the country suffered  from the illness.

Most cases of illness are reported from central Sweden (the Dalarna region, Gävleborg and Örebro), but an increasing number of reports are also starting to come in from other regions, especially in northern Sweden.

Since the number of illness cases is usually highest in September in Sweden, the outbreak is expected to grow further in the coming weeks.

Infections in Sweden are mainly seen in forest and field hares and rodents, but the disease has been reported in several other species, including other mammals, birds, amphibians, insects, ticks and unicellular animals.

Tularemia, or harpest as it’s known as in Sweden, is one of the most common native zoonoses in people in Sweden. People are infected mainly through mosquitoes, but also through direct contact with sick or dead animals and by inhalation of, for example, infectious dust.

It’s a cookbook: Swedish behavioral scientist suggests eating humans to ‘save the planet’

It’s not a novel idea: humans have imposed their will on planet earth. But it is short-sighted in that technology, learning from nature, can create a space for billions.

Paul Joseph Watson of Summit writes that a Swedish behavioral scientist has suggested that it may be necessary to turn to cannibalism and start eating humans in order to save the planet.

Appearing on Swedish television to talk about an event based around the “food of the future,” Magnus Söderlund said he would be holding seminars on the necessity of consuming human flesh in order to stop climate change.

Environmentalists blame the meat and farming industry for a large part of what they claim is the warming of the earth.

According to Söderlund, a potential fix would be the Soylent Green-solution of eating dead bodies instead.,

He told the host of the show that one of the biggest obstacles to the proposal would be the taboo nature of corpses and the fact that many would see it as defiling the deceased.

There are issues with Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease and To Serve Man is really a Soylent Green cookbook, but why would such details matter when a behavioral scientist is gassing on.

Listeria warning after sliced pastrami products affected across South Australia

Emily Olle of 7 News writes an urgent warning has been issued by SA Health after listeria was detected in sliced pastrami purchased from a variety of Foodlands, IGAs, butchers, continental delis, bakeries, cafes and sandwich bars.

South Australians, particularly pregnant women, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, are advised not to consume the pastrami.

SA Health’s Acting Director of Food and Controlled Drugs Branch, Joanne Cammans, said as yet there have been no cases of Listeria infection reported to SA Health linked to the product.

Surveys still suck: Did the UK FSA discover that piping hot is a fairytale

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) have released their biannual findings from the general public attitudes tracker. This tracker highlights the behaviour, thoughts and reputation of food safety aspects throughout the year. Whenever there’s a scandal, a legislation change or a news piece surrounding the FSA’s points of interest, it’s going to have a public reaction. Whether good or bad, these reactions will shape and alter the way in which the public perceives food safety.

The FSA’s findings are based on 2,150 interviews from a representative sample of adults aged 16 and over across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Fieldwork was carried out between 8th and 26th May 2019, as part of the regular TNS Kantar face-to-face-omnibus survey.

Questions cover several topics of interest for the Agency, including:

concern about food safety issues

awareness of food hygiene standards

awareness of the FSA and its responsibilities

trust in the FSA and the food industry

confidence in food labelling.

At wave 18, a new set of questions were added to monitor the public’s trust in the FSA as well as the wider food system.

One of the FSA’s strategic objectives is to ensure consumers have the information and understanding to make informed choices about where and what they eat. To help monitor performance against this objective, respondents were asked about their awareness of hygiene standards when buying food or eating out. At wave 18, 52% of respondents reported always being aware of the hygiene standards in places they eat out at or buy food from, and a further 33% said they were sometimes aware.

It’s fair to say that the public is now taking a greater interest in UK food safety standards, meaning there is less margin for error in the food industry. With nearly 80% of the UK public being aware of food hygiene standards when eating out, it’s imperative that you get your standards right first time. Partnering with a food safety company like ourselves is one of the best ways of ensuring you meet your legal obligations as a food business. Our experts are some of the best in the business are available around the clock to coach, advise, audit and help your business reach the highest level of food hygiene.

Piping hot is not a standard.

Break out the cognac: 100 + sickened by Salmonella in Bosnia

Salmonella is the cause of massive food poisoning in Tuzla Canton in Bosnia, the Cantonal Institute of Public Health confirmed for Vijesti.ba news portal.

“This morning, we received an official confirmation from the Institute of Microbiology of the University Hospital Tuzla that in the isolate, ie for three hospitalized patients, Salmonella bacteria was found, which was our suspicion,” said Blasko Topalovic, an epidemiologist at the Public Health Institute of Tuzla Canton.

According to the data of this Institute, more than one hundred persons were poisoned by food in Srebrenik. Most were from the area of this municipality but also from Gracanica, Gradacac and Tuzla. Some sought help at municipal health centers and some at UKC in Tuzla.

From the day of the poisoning to the present, a total of 61 people have come to the Infectious Diseases Clinic.

Of these, 13 were withheld from clinical treatment. Five children and eight adults were hospitalized.