And so it goes: at least 6 sick from Salmonella in frozen chicken thingies in Minn

State health and agriculture officials said today that six recent cases of salmonellosis in Minnesota have been linked to raw, frozen, breaded and pre-browned, stuffed chicken entrees. The implicated product is Antioch Farms brand A La Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast with a U.S. Department of Agriculture stamped cFunkyChickenHiode of P-1358. This product is sold at many different grocery store chains. Investigators from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) determined that six cases of Salmonella infection from August and September 2014 were due to the same strain of Salmonella Enteritidis. One person was hospitalized for their illness. “Our DNA fingerprinting found that the individuals were sickened by the same strain of Salmonella,” said Dr. Carlota Medus, epidemiologist for the Foodborne Diseases Unit at MDH. “The Minnesota Department of Agriculture collected samples of the same type of product from grocery stores and the outbreak strain of Salmonella was found in packages of this product.” There have been six outbreaks of salmonellosis in Minnesota linked to these types of products from 1998 through 2008. This is the first outbreak since improvements were made in 2008 to the labeling of these products. The current labels clearly state that the product is raw.  Salmonella is sometimes present in raw chicken, which is why it is important for consumers to follow safe food-handling practices. This includes cooking all raw poultry products to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. “The problem arises when consumers don’t realize that they are handling and preparing a raw product,” according to Dr. Carrie Rigdon, an investigator for the MDA Dairy and Food Inspection Division. MDA and MDH officials advised that consumers with these products in their freezers, if they choose to use them, should cook them thoroughly. Other important food handling practices include hand washing before and after handling raw meat, keeping raw and cooked foods separate to avoid cross-contamination, and placing cooked meat on a clean plate or platter before serving. Consumers can find more information about safe food-handling practices on the MDH website at: Symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramps and fever. Symptoms usually begin within 12 to 72 hours after exposure, but can begin up to a week after exposure. Salmonella infections usually resolve in 5 to 7 days, but approximately 20 percent of cases require hospitalization. In rare cases, Salmonella infection can lead to death, particularly in the elderly or those with weakened immune systems.

Direct video observation of adults and tweens cooking raw frozen chicken thingies 01.nov.09
 British Food Journal, Vol 111, Issue 9, p 915-929 
Sarah DeDonder, Casey J. Jacob, Brae V. Surgeoner, Benjamin Chapman, Randall Phebus, Douglas A. Powell;jsessionid=6146E6AFABCC349C376B7E55A3866D4A?contentType=Article&contentId=1811820
 Purpose – The purpose of the present study was to observe the preparation practices of both adult and young consumers using frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products, which were previously involved in outbreaks linked to consumer mishandling. The study also sought to observe behaviors of adolescents as home food preparers. Finally, the study aimed to compare food handler behaviors with those prescribed on product labels.
 Design/methodology/approach – The study sought, through video observation and self-report surveys, to determine if differences exist between consumers’ intent and actual behavior. chicken.thingies.raw.cook
Findings – A survey study of consumer reactions to safe food-handling labels on raw meat and poultry products suggested that instructions for safe handling found on labels had only limited influence on consumer practices. The labels studied by these researchers were found on the packaging of chicken products examined in the current study alongside step-by-step cooking instructions. Observational techniques, as mentioned above, provide a different perception of consumer behaviors. 
Originality/value – This paper finds areas that have not been studied in previous observational research and is an excellent addition to existing literature.

Australia still has an egg problem: report shows Salmonella surge in Australia in 2012

The ACT – that’s the Australian Capital Territory, similar to Washington, D.C. –recorded its highest ever number of salmonella cases in 2012, with a report revealing there were eight outbreaks between 2011 and 2012.

egg.farmThe ACT Chief Health Officer’s report, released on Friday, reveals there were 233 cases reported in 2012, a 47 per cent increase on the number of cases in 2011. The report is based on data collected between July 2010 and June 2012.

There were eight outbreaks of foodborne salmonellosis in the ACT during 2011 and 2012. More than 125 people fell ill and 17 were hospitalised.

Eggs were identified as the “probably food vehicle” in five of the outbreaks.

Salmonellosis, an infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella, can cause patients to become seriously ill with symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting. In serious cases the bacteria enter the blood stream and can cause pneumonia, septic arthritis and meningitis.

The report indicated there was a higher than expected number of cases, especially between January to May 2012 and a spike in December 2012.

“Increases in notifications are not unexpected at these times, reflecting both the seasonality associated with salmonellosis in Australia and its potential as an outbreak agent,” the report said.

Acting Chief Health Officer Andrew Pengilley said salmonella cases had generally increased around Australia.

“Most salmonella cases are not related to outbreaks and are individual, where people don’t have a clear idea where they might have contracted the bacteria,” he said.

“It can reflect food preparation at home or food transport issues such as food getting warm before it’s eaten. It’s important that people be aware of those risks in their own kitchen because that’s certainly another place you can get salmonella.”

The report also revealed there were 16 food-poisoning outbreaks between July 2010 and June 2012. Two were caused by food eaten at private residences, one each from a catered event and a festival, while the rest were traced to registered food businesses.

Maybe it’s the ridiculous desire of Australian food joints to use raw eggs. That kind of clear speaking ain’t going to come from Dr. Bureaucrat, and more people will get sick.

The figures in the report do not include salmonella cases for last year when Canberra had its biggest salmonella outbreak. About 140 diners fell ill and 15 were admitted to hospital after eating home-made mayonnaise – made using raw eggs later found to contain salmonella – at Copa Brazilian Churrasco restaurant in May last year.

A table of raw egg related outbreaks in Australia is available at

Survival of Enteric pathogens during Butterhead lettuce growth: Crop stage, leaf age, and irrigation

The survival of Salmonella enterica serovar Thompson and Escherichia coli O157 was investigated on growing butterhead lettuce plants in the plant-growth chamber and greenhouse. All inoculation tests were made under conditions that approximate the greenhouse conditions for butterhead lettuce cultivation in Flanders (Belgium). The survival and proliferation of the pathogens on the leaves was determined at days 0, 4, and 8 after butterhead.lettuce.jun.13inoculation using standard plating techniques on selective medium. In the growth chamber, the extent to which both pathogens were able to multiply on the lettuce leaves was influenced by crop stage and leaf age. On young plants, the older leaves supported pathogen survival better. On nearly mature plants, pathogen population sizes were significantly higher on the old and young leaves compared with middle-aged leaves (p<0.001). In the greenhouse, the environmental regimen with high fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity was less conducive to the survival of E. coliO157, though its survival on nearly mature lettuce was enhanced by overhead irrigation. The moist conditions between the folded inner leaves are likely contributing to the survival of enteric pathogens in the lettuce head. Butterhead lettuce grown in greenhouses with a sprinkle irrigation system may present a potential health hazard when contaminated near harvest. Experimental design (growth chamber versus greenhouse) largely influences enteric pathogen behavior on growing lettuce plants.

Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. June 2013, 10(6): 485-491

Inge Van der Linden, Bart Cottyn, Mieke Uyttendaele, Geertrui Vlaemynck, Marc Heyndrickx, and Martine Maes