68 sickened with Salmonella from a butcher in France, 2015

Thanks to my French friend, Albert Amgar, for sending this along.

traditionally-prepared-hamBetween Tuesday 1 September 2015 and Wednesday 2 September 2015, the health monitoring and emergency platform of the Regional Health Agency (ARS) of Haute-Normandie received reports of three suspected cases of collective food poisoning due to Salmonella.

These foodborne outbreaks were reported by local laboratories in the same geographical area of the Seine-Maritime (76) district. The first investigative elements contributed to identify that each of the three families had consumed traditionally-prepared ham purchased from the same delicatessen butcher within the 24 to 48 hours preceding the date of symptoms onset among the reported cases.

The epidemiological, microbiological and environmental investigations performed following this report identified a total of 68 cases, including 6 biologically confirmed cases. The results of the cohort study that followed indicated an association between the consumption of prepared meals which were purchased from a delicatessen butcher, and the risk of occurrence of salmonellosis.

Bacteriological analyses identified a strain of Salmonella typhimurium 4,12: i: – with the same Crispol type (CT 797), rarely identified until now. The veterinary survey highlighted several dysfunctions explaining a diffuse contamination of surfaces and tools in the premises and in the food produced by the butcher.

Investigation of a cluster of salmonellosis in the Seine-Maritime district linked to the attendance of a delicatessen butcher in September 2015

Rapport d’investigation. Saint-Maurice : Santé publique France ; 2016. 16 p.

N Nicolay, A Spillebout, M Blanchard, B Cottrelle



Listeria can be sticky

This study evaluated the occurrence of L. monocytogenes in the processing environment of a butcher shop, and the in vitro adhesion capacity and sensitivity of isolates to two sanitizers: A (Mister MaxDG1, chlorine based) and B (B-Quart Sept, quaternary ammonium based).

rolling_stones-sticky_fingersOf the total of 40 samples, 75% were positive for Listeria spp. and 22.5% for L. monocytogenes. 20 isolates were from serogroup 1/2c or 3c, with positive results for all tested virulence genes. All isolates presented adhesion potential. The evaluated sanitizers had the potential to inhibit isolates growth and adhesion, and removed formed biofilms. After evaluation, the sanitizers were adopted by the butcher shop in its sanitation routine, being effective against L. monocytogenes.

Collected data allowed identification of adhesion potential by L. monocytogenes and the effectiveness of the tested sanitizers to control contamination by this pathogen.

Listeria spp. contamination in a butcher shop environment and Listeria monocytogenes adhesion ability and sensitivity to food-contact surface sanitizers

Journal of Food Safety, DOI: 10.1111/jfs.12313, ahead of print

DAL Silva, AC Camargo, SD Todorov, LA Nero


Hygiene problems at Jamie Oliver’s London butcher?

Jamie Oliver’s exclusive butcher’s shop in London was closed for several hours in Jan. after inspectors found serious hygiene problems including mouse droppings, mold on carcasses and out-of-date meat.

Barbecoa Butchers, located near St Paul’s Cathedral, closed its doors after public health officers scored it one out of five in January, although a Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group spokeswoman said the closure was voluntary and not enforced.

Jamie OliverIt reopened within 24 hours after the issue was addressed.

Carcasses hanging in basement chillers were found to have mold growing on them, slicers and vacuum packers were left dirty and expensive wagyu beef, marrow bone, oxtail, onglet, and lomo de cana, a Spanish-style pork, was found to be out of date, The Times reported.

In one case chicken breasts which had been deboned were removed from their box, vacuum packed and relabelled with a date set for a week later, City of London inspectors said. There was no safety management system in place.

The butcher’s shop, which supplies meat for the restaurant upstairs of the same name, was found to have dirty fridge door handles, inadequate washing facilities for staff, poor lighting, damaged flooring and a “heavy presence” of mouse droppings.

The Times said it used a freedom of information request to obtain details of the extent of the hygiene problems.

However, a spokeswoman for the Jamie Oliver Group said mold on ageing meat carcasses is normal, and is always removed before it is served to the customer.

That doesn’t address all the other issues in the report.

40 sickened with Salmonella linked to Paris butcher

Our food safety friend in France shared a report that concluded from Dec. 24 2012, the Paris Child Protection Service reported several cases of salmonellosis cases in children hosted in 4 nurseries located in the 7th borough of Paris. In a second step, the National Reference Laboratory for Salmonella noticed an increase of salmonellosis cases in Paris in butcher-decade-e1302885066394December 2012 and for several cases, an until now rare Crispol profile was identified — CT51.

Investigations were performed and 40 cases were identified: 30 confirmed cases, 4 possible cases and 6 probable
 cases. They were 10 children hosted in 4 nurseries and 30 community cases. The outbreak was due to 2 strains of Salmonella: S.Typhimurium CT51 and S.4,12:i:-, a monophasic variant of serovar Typhimurium.

During the telephone interview of the cases, it occurred that most of the cases went to a butchery located in the 7th borough of Paris a few days before the onset of the disease. A random inspection led in the butchery by the Food Hygiene Service revealed many infringements to food hygiene. Some samples were taken in the butchery and 2 S.Typhymurium CT51 and S.4,12:i:- strains were found on the surfaces and in the food sold by the butcher.

This investigation emphasized the role played by observation and early reporting of the Child Protection Service. This report was the visible part of a larger epidemic event that included both cases living in institutions and in the community which occurred simultaneously.

UK butcher fined for risking E. coli outbreak

How many times have you walked into the local butcher to be greeted by a dude in a blood soaked apron, who fills your order of raw meat and then takes payment or worse, wants to shake hands.

It’s that trust thing.

The Ilkeston Advertiser reports that an Ilkeston Market butcher, who washed his hands on a bloodstained cloth, risked an outbreak of E. coli, a court has butcher-decade-e1302885066394heard.

Philip Whiting, 62, switched between cooked and raw meat although he was warned this could cause a food poisoning outbreak.

“It is lucky we are not here detailing some sort of outbreak of e-coli as a result of cross-contamination,” said Lisa Gilligan for Erewash Borough Council.

A £4,000 fine with costs of £150 and a £15 surcharge were ordered from Whiting. He admitted five breaches of food hygiene regulations on March 1 last year.

The JPs were shown photographs taken by environmental health officers who called unannounced at his trailer.

One picture was of a bucket of water – containing a bloodied cloth – where he used to wash his hands.

A cooked meat slicer was rusty and there was a dirty knife used for the cutting of cooked meats, the court in Derby heard on Monday.

Miss Gilligan said all butchers in Erewash were sent letters and a DVD after two people died in 2006 when there was cross-contamination of raw and cooked food. The visit was later made to Whiting’s trailer on the Market Place.

“There was an unacceptable risk of cross-contamination with Mr Whiting handling meat and moving immediately to serve ready-to-eat food like cheese, pork pies and cooked meat.

“Obviously there was a risk of cross-contamination and it was quite shocking to the council officers,” added Miss Gilligan.

Rob Langton, mitigating, said it was ‘ironical’ that Whiting had already ordered a new £15,000 trailer at the time of the council visit.

This arrived in May and is fitted with hand-washing facilities and storage allowing him to keep items apart.

8 sickened; 5 families sue butcher for Salmonella in sausages in Italy

Five households have banded together to pursue legal action against an Italian butcher alleged to have provided Salmonella-infested sausage.

The butcher is accused of manslaughter and trade of food substances harmful and leading to unintentional injuries.

The butcher’s shop is open after the premises were cleaned and restored.

Food safety failure: ‘let your butcher know you’re eating it raw and make sure it’s scent-free’

 Here’s an effective way to get at some of the 1%; bad food safety advice.

The Wall Street Journal ran a recipe extolling the virtues of steak tartare – “itsy bitsy pieces of raw red meat cling together and make for bold, blissful eating” – and came in with this nosestrethcher:

“It is critical to source your meat from a top-notch butcher. The chances of ingesting pathogens, such as E. coli, are higher than when eating cooked meat, so shop with care. Let your butcher know you’ll be eating the meat raw and make sure it is scent-free. Ask about who raised your meat—you want a purveyor known for extremely sanitary practices.”

Or a butcher with those UV-goggles that make dangerous bacteria visible to mere mortals. That’s an investment I could get behind, if it worked.

It doesn’t.

The disclaimer at the bottom of the recipe is probably as effective as those on restaurant menu; or on investment agreements.

“Note: The FDA recommends cooking beef to 145 degrees and avoiding food that contains raw eggs.”

Cross-contamination? We don’t got no stinkin’ cross-contamination; we’re British butchers; E. coli guidelines affect commercial viability

Six years after 5-year-old Mason Jones died a painful and unnecessary death and two years after recommendations from a formal inquiry, the U.K. Food Standards Agency has decided to publish additional guidance on cross-contamination.

The UK. Meat industry immediately complained.

In November 1996, over 400 fell ill and 21 were killed in Scotland by E. coli O157:H7 found in deli meats produced by family butchers John Barr & Son. The Butcher of Scotland, who had been in business for 28 years and was previously awarded the title of Scottish Butcher of the Year, was using the same knives to handle raw and cooked meat.

In a 1997 inquiry, Prof. Hugh Pennington recommended, among other things, the physical separation, within premises and butcher shops, of raw and cooked meat products using separate counters, equipment and staff.

Five-year-old Mason Jones died on Oct. 4, 2005, from E. coli O157 as part of an outbreak which sickened 157 — primarily schoolchildren — in south Wales.

In a 2009 inquiry, Prof. Pennington concluded that serious failings at every step in the food chain allowed butcher William Tudor to start the 2005 E. coli O157 outbreak, and that the responsibility for the outbreak, “falls squarely on the shoulders of Tudor,” finding that Tudor:

• encouraged staff suffering from stomach bugs and diarrhea to continue working;??
• knew of cross-contamination between raw and cooked meats, but did nothing to prevent it;??
• used the same packing in which raw meat had been delivered to subsequently store cooked product;? and,?
• operated a processing facility that contained a filthy meat slicer, cluttered and dirty chopping areas, and meat more than two years out of date piled in a freezer.

Prof Pennington said he was disappointed that the recommendations he made more than 10 years ago, following the E. coli O157 outbreak in Wishaw, Scotland, which killed 21 people had failed to prevent the South Wales Valleys outbreak.

In Feb. 2011, the U.K. Food Standards Authority issued guidance to clarify the steps that food businesses need to take to control the risk of contamination from E. coli O157.

On June 1, 2011, FSA published a Q&A document in response to feedback on its guidance on the control of cross-contamination with E. coli O157.

A few days later, the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders (NFMFT), warned that the cross-contamination guidelines pose a serious risk to the viability of small butchers and meat businesses.

Last week, the meat traders were back at it, saying some butchers have chosen to discontinue ready-to-eat food, as enforcement of FSA E. coli guidelines issued in February is getting tougher and this could lead to shop closures in the long-term.

Local authorities across the UK are increasingly enforcing the guidelines through normal inspection procedures, forcing butchers to alter their businesses. In order to comply with the requirement to separate equipment for raw and ready-to-eat food, some are using alternative vacuum-sealing techniques for prepared meat, but others have decided to discontinue it altogether.


And the term, cross-contamination, doesn’t capture the carnage that dangerous bacteria can wreak, moving from raw foods to hands, cooked foods, prep surfaces and in butcheries. Bug transfer? The sisterhood of the travelling poop? Suggestions?

British diner threatened to use knife on pub staff over ‘below par’ sandwich

A diner threatened to return to an English pub armed with a knife after being served a "below par" beef and onion sandwich, a court has heard.

Clive Davies, 54, left the White Horse pub in Cambridge and showed employees at a nearby grocery store a seven-inch blade he said he planned to use on the staff who had served him the unsatisfactory sandwich, the Cambridge News reported today.

Employees at the store called police and Davies, who has a previous conviction for manslaughter, was apprehended in another local pub, the Lion and Lamb.

He pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive language, possessing a bladed article in a public place, and possession of cannabis.