Polio virus released into Belgian waters; The Netherlands issue shellfish warning

The Dutch Food Safety and Health Authorities issued a warning (computer translated) against the consumption of raw, improperly cooked shellfish (mainly oysters) harvested by individuals in the eastern part of the Westerschelde river in response to the 45 litres of concentrated live polio virus solution accidentally released into Belgium water sources by Glaxo SmithKline earlier this month.

Raw oystersThe Netherlands National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said in a release Monday (computer translated), The risk of infection with the poliovirus is very small. Since its release to the River Avenue, the concentration is diluted so much that the water itself is not a threat. However, shellfish filter water and the amount of virus can be higher than in the shell than in the water. Even then the chance to get infected even very small. But in the Netherlands, we are very cautious when it comes to polio. Along the Westerschelde are a number of municipalities with low vaccine coverage where many children are not protected against diseases like polio . When it comes poliovirus in such a community, there is great likelihood that many people get sick.

Belgium gave no such recommendations as the country’s polio vaccination rates are better than the Netherlands, according to the RIVM.

Prevalence of Arcobacter (close to Campylobacter) species among humans, 2008–2013, Belgium

We examined fecal samples from 6,774 patients with enteritis in Belgium, 2008–2013. Members of the genus Arcobacter werethe fourth most common pathogen group isolated, and the isolation rate was higher than previously reported. Culturing Arcobacter in a microbiology laboratory is feasible and should thus be tested for in cases of diarrheal disease.

ArcobacterCampylobacteriosis is the most frequently reported zoonosis in industrialized countries with an increasing incidence during 2007–2011 (1). In this study, bacteria of the Arcobacter genus, which is closely related to the Campylobacter genus, comprised the fourth most common pathogenic group isolated from stool specimens of patients with acute enteritis in Ghent, Belgium.

Volume 20, Number 10, October 2014

Anne-Marie Van den Abeele, Dirk Vogelaers, Johan Van Hende, and Kurt Houf


E. coli O26: goat’s cheese withdrawn in Belgium

The goat’s cheese product Crottins de Chavignol has been withdrawn from sale in Luxembourg following the discovery of Escherichia coli O26 H11 pathogens in different batches of the product.

Crottin_de_ChavignolThe Organisation for Security and Quality of the Food Chain (OSQCA) was informed by the RASFF European rapid alert system of a product recall regarding the dairy H. TRIBALLAT, situated in France, with the identification number FR 18.194.050 CE, due to the presence of a pathogenic strain – Escherichia coli O26 H11 – in different batches of Chavignol cheeses also distributed to Luxembourg.

All the products distributed to various European countries have the same FR 18.194.050 CE identification number.

The cheeses are sold at various major retailers in Luxembourg which have already been informed of this consumer recall. Stores concerned immediately withdred the cheeses concerned from the market. 

Retailer recalls oysters in Belgium amid norovirus concerns

Supermarket chain Carrefour has recalled oysters marketed under its own brand as well as the Cultimer brand after testing positive for norovirus.

The supermarket chain urges customers who ate ‘Normandy oysters’ and who SUN0705N-Oyster7display symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea and/or a temperature to see their doctor.

Restaurant inspection disclosure in Belgium

There’s something lost in translation in a story that food safety friend Albert Amgar provided, but I don’t want to bother him, but do want to publish the groovy graphic.

The story is about an interview with some group, and a person says, “Generally, the Belgians do not like to be regulated and controlled. This is even more true when it exercises an independent business. Today, belgium.rest.inspect.13many have realized that these controls are now part of best practices. And frankly, in Hainaut, inspectors are relatively accommodating.

“They are not to annoy or to prevent restaurateurs from doing their job. When they see that you are of good will, they show understanding. Of course, if breaches, hygiene especially its obvious, here it does not forgive …”


Belgium E. coli outbreak toll rises to 22

Two new cases of E. coli O157:H7 have been confirmed in Limburg Province. An elderly woman and a younger female have become the 22nd and 23rd victims of the bacteria in Limburg.

The Flemish Welfare and Health Agency and the Scientific Institute for Public Health is carrying out check on 500 people, including those infected to find out what they have eaten and trace the source of the infection.

19 still sick with E. coli in Belgium; slaughterhouse to increase testing

While the case count remains at 19 in the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in Belgium linked to américain préparé containing raw hamburger, the slaughterhouse that supplied the beef has pledged to increase testing.

Our French friend, Albert Amgar, wrote, it’s out of the ordinary to see a slaughterhouse communicate in such an open manner.

The abattoir in Genk (Limbourg province) is going to undergo even stricter testing following an infection of Escherichia coli from which 19 people were stricken in Limbourg this weekend. According the Federal Agency for the Security of the Food Chain (AFSCA), it is now certain that the infection came from this abattoir. The management of the slaughterhouse confirmed on their part that it is not out of the question that the victims kept the filet américain (that made them sick) in a place that was not sufficiently cold. But it also admits that the infection could have come from within the slaughterhouse, in spite of strict hygiene tests.

A French video can be seen at this link:


Thanks to Albert for finding the article and video, and Amy for translating.

Albert also had some sardonic words for the Belgian Minister of Agriculture, Sabine Laruelle, who attempted to reassure the public by reminding everyone that it was the common E. coli O157 strain and not the one that killed all the Germans last year.

19 sick, 3 HUS from E. coli in raw beef in Belgium

Nineteen cases of infection with E. coli O157 have been detected in Limburg, Belgium, of which three have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

The Federal Agency for Security of the Food Chain (AFSCA) said Thursday that all cases are related to the ingestion of filet américain (lit. American fillet) with onions and more seasoning than a normal steak tartare.

AFSCA launched an investigation and based on date of purchase, consumption and onset of disease, the suspect beef has been traced and initial sampling results were positive for E. coli O157.

Epidémie à shigella en belgique liée à un membre du personnel d’une cafétéria

Qu’est-ce que Shigella ?

• Shigella est une bactérie qui va d’une personne à l’autre via une contamination transmise par la voie fécale-orale (ce qui signifie la présence de selles dans les aliments, sur les mains ou sur les surfaces).
• Les symptômes habituels peuvent comprendre du sang et du mucus dans des selles fréquentes (diarrhée), souvent appelée dysenterie.
• Si une personne est malade, elle peut transmettre Shigella aux autres personnes longtemps après que les symptômes ne soient plus présents.
• Shigella peut être transmis même si la personne ne montre pas de symptômes.

Les manipulateurs d’aliments peuvent transmettre Shigella dans leurs selles sans même montrer de symptômes

52 cas de shigellose liés à un manipulateur d’aliments sur une période de 2 mois

Que pouvez-vous faire ?
• Si vous êtes malade avec des vomissements, de la nausée ou une diarrhée, ne manipulez pas d’aliments ;
• Les manipulateurs d’aliments doivent se laver les mains avant de préparer les aliments et après passage aux toilettes.
• Les étapes du lavage des mains comprennent :
mouiller les mains, appliquer du savon, frotter les mains, les rincer et se sécher les mains avec un essuie-mains à usage unique.

Une récente étude parue dans Epidemiology and Infection a rapporté une épidémie de shigellose liée à la consommation dans une cafétéria belge. Les enquêteurs ont examiné les situations possibles conduisant à la maladie, analysé les aliments et réalisé des prélèvements de selles du personnel. Après analyse des prélèvements et après enquête auprès du personnel de maladie et de voyage récent, un membre du personnel a été identifié comme la source de l’épidémie.

Les enquêteurs ont découvert que le manipulateur d’aliments impliqué s’était rendu au Maroc peu de temps avant que des cas de maladies aient commencé à apparaître chez les clients. Ce membre du personnel est revenu travailler après le voyage et ne présentait pas de symptômes de la maladie. Seuls 13 des 52 cas signalés ont été confirmés par coproculture. Sept de ces cas ont été découverts avec la même souche de la maladie comme cela a été vu au Maroc au même moment.

Pour plus d’information contactez Ben Chapman, benjamin_chapman@ncsu.edu ou Doug Powell, dpowell@ksu.edu

Brote de Shigella 
en una cafetería en Bélgica causado por un empleado

Traducido por Gonzalo Erdozain
Resumen del folleto informativo mas reciente:
– 52 casos de shigelosis conectados a un trabajador en un periodo de 2 meses.
– Preparadores de alimentos pueden transmitir Shigella 
sin tener síntomas de enfermedad.
– Si esta enfermo, y sus síntomas incluyen nausea, vomito o diarrea, no prepare alimentos.
– Preparadores de alimentos deben lavarse las manos antes de preparar/cocinar alimentos, y luego de ir al baño.
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