Raw milk cheese still risky – even in France

Raw milk cheeses are commonly consumed in France and are also a common source of foodborne outbreaks (FBOs). Both a FBO surveillance system and a laboratory-based surveillance system aim to detect Salmonella outbreaks.

In early August 2018 5 familial FBOs due to Salmonella spp. were reported to a regional health authority. Investigation identified common exposure to a raw goats’ milk cheese, from which Salmonella spp. were also isolated, leading to an international product recall. Three weeks later, on 22 August, a national increase in Salmonella Newport ST118 was detected through laboratory surveillance. Concomitantly isolates from the earlier familial clusters were confirmed as S. Newport ST118. Interviews with a selection of the laboratory identified cases revealed exposure to the same cheese, including exposure to batches not included in the previous recall, leading to an expansion of the recall. The outbreak affected 153 cases, including 6 cases in Scotland. S. Newport was detected in the cheese and in milk of one of the producer’s goats.

The difference in the two alerts generated by this outbreak highlight the timeliness of the FBO system and the precision of the laboratory-based surveillance system. It is also a reminder of the risks associated with raw milk cheeses.

Outbreak of salmonella Newport associated with internationally distributed raw goats’ milk cheese, France, 2018, 04 May 2020

Epidemiology & Infection pp.1-23

Robinson(a1)(a2)M. Travanut (a3)L. Fabre (a4)S. Larréché (a5)L. Ramelli (a6)L. Pascal (a6)A. Guinard (a7)N. Vincent (a8)C. Calba (a8)L. Meurice (a9)MA. Le Thien (a10)E. Fourgere (a10)G. Jones (a1)N. Fournet (a1)A. Smith Palmer (a11)D. Brown (a12)S. Le Hello (a4)M. Pardos de la Gandara (a4)FX. Weill (a4) and N. Jourdan Da Silva (a

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268820000904

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection/article/outbreak-of-salmonella-newport-associated-with-internationally-distributed-raw-goats-milk-cheese-france-2018/528E4E70FB25CDBB293627227740E39D
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13 sick: Salmonella outbreak in France linked to raw milk cheese

Outbreak News Today reports that since November 2019, Public Health France reports investigating 13 cases of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin (S. Dublin) reported by the National Reference Center (CNR) of Salmonella (Institut Pasteur) due to the fact that the strains belong to the same genomic cluster.

The outbreak has been linked to the consumption of raw milk Morbier (cheese), purchased from different brands, health officials note.

The cases are spread over 7 regions of the country. Three cases died, though its not clear if the salmonellosis attributed to the deaths.

The analysis by the Directorate General of Food (DGAL) of cheese purchases from case loyalty cards made it possible to identify that the Morbiers bought by the cases came from the same supplier.

Raw is risky: 179 sick from oysters in France

Outbreak News Today reports that French health authorities (Santé publique France) say since December 2019, 179 compulsory declarations (DO) of collective food poisoning ( toxi-infection alimentaire collective-TIAC) ​​suspected of being linked to the consumption of raw shellfish, mainly oysters.

The reports come from the majority of regions in mainland France.

Seventy-seven percent of cases occurred since December 23, with the peak of patients being observed around December 25-27.

The symptoms, mainly diarrhea and vomiting, as well as the incubation times, are compatible with infections with norovirus or other enteric viruses. Stool tests performed to date by the National Reference Center for Gastroenteritis Viruses have confirmed the presence of norovirus and other enteric viruses.

The number of TIAC suspected of being linked to the consumption of raw shellfish is significantly higher than in previous years. Each year between 25 and 120 TIAC suspected of being linked to the consumption of shellfish are reported to Public Health France, of which between 4 and 30 occurred during the December-January periods.

E. coli O111:H8: Chaource Lincet and Gaugry raw milk cheeses recalled in France

A few hundred Chaource raw milk cheese brands Lincet and Gaugry, sold throughout France, are subject to a recall procedure after the demonstration of the presence of Escherichia coli. A check has highlighted in these products, manufactured by the Lincet cheese factory in Vaudes in the Aube, the presence of Escherichia coli O111: H8, indicates the cheese Friday in a statement.

This bacterium is likely to cause serious problems in anyone consuming the product, she adds. Nearly 700 Chaource AOP cheeses of 500 grams raw milk, bearing the lot number 227.210 and with a deadline of consumption to 27 September 2019, are concerned, according to the press release.

Lincet brand cheeses have been sold in a variety of supermarket chains, both traditional and fresh, while Gaugry branded cheeses have been distributed in the dairy and market channels.

Someone was inpatient: Waiter shot dead by customer who waited too long for a sandwich in France

A waiter was shot to death in a restaurant just outside Paris by an impatient customer who lost his temper for having to wait for a sandwich, bystanders said.

The customer, who has not been identified, shot the waiter in the shoulder with a handgun after believing that the restaurant was taking too long to prepare his sandwich, according to several media reports.

Joshua Bote of USA Today  writes the restaurant, Mistral, is  in the Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand. The suburb is less than 10 miles east of Paris’ city center.

The waiter, 28, died on the scene.

The eatery, which mainly serves burgers and sandwiches, opened in March, according to its website.

The gunman has not been found as of Sunday.

Raw is risky: 19 children develop HUS in France from E. coli O26 linked to raw milk cheese

Gabrielle Jones, Sophie Lefevre, et al report in Eurosurveillance that from 25 March to 27 April 2019, 19 suspected Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) associated paediatric haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) cases were notified by French hospital paediatric departments to Santé publique France, compared with 5–10 cases during the same period in previous years [1].

Thirteen cases were confirmed as serogroup O26, with whole genome sequencing (WGS) underway for strain comparison. Initial epidemiological investigations using a trawling questionnaire identified the consumption of raw cow’s milk soft cheeses (Saint-Félicien and Saint-Marcellin) as the common link for eight of these 13 cases. Trace-back investigations using supermarket loyalty cards identified a common producer (producer A) of these cheeses for three cases and on the basis of this information a recall was initiated by French health authorities on 27 April 2019 [2]. As at 27 May 2019, investigations identified 16 outbreak cases including 14 paediatric HUS cases and two cases with uncomplicated diarrhoea (one child and one adult). Investigations are ongoing for one suspected case. The 16 outbreak cases reside in six administrative regions in France. All paediatric cases are under 5 years of age; the median age is 22 months (overall age range: 6 months–63 years). Eight cases are female. Date of symptom onset was between 31 March (week 13) and 29 April (week 18). All HUS cases were hospitalised. Thirteen cases received blood and/or platelet transfusion and seven underwent haemodialysis. Six cases had neurological complications, all of them received transfusions and three also had haemodialysis.

The families of all 16 outbreak cases and the suspected case were interviewed about their at-risk exposures during the 10 days before symptom onset. Families of 16 cases (15 outbreak cases and one suspected case) reported the consumption of Saint-Félicien or Saint-Marcellin raw cow’s milk cheeses by either the case (n = 12) or household members (n = 4). One outbreak case did not report consumption of these cheeses. For the 16 cases with reported consumption of these cheeses, trace-back investigations using loyalty cards and supply data from the different shops where the caretakers reported purchasing the cheeses identified a link with producer A for 13 (all outbreak cases).

Producer A manufactured only Saint-Félicien and Saint-Marcellin cheeses. To date, no positive STEC O26 cheese or milk samples have been identified. Investigations, including sampling of the cheeses and trace-back of the milk supply chains, are ongoing.

Four outbreak cases had not consumed the cheeses themselves but a household member had. This suggests the affected child may have been infected via cross contamination (knives, cutting board, hands, etc.). None of the household members reported symptoms of illness, indicating that the cases were unlikely to have been infected by person-to-person transmission. Investigations are ongoing in an attempt to further document the exposures of these cases (consumption of cheeses or other food items cut by the knives or on the same cutting board as the suspected cheeses). Only one in 16 outbreak cases reported a family member with self-limiting diarrhoea (no stool analysis).

Note: If that many people developed HUS, hundreds could have potentially been sickened.

Just cook it doesn’t cut it: 6-year-old in France dies from E. coli

(Thanks to our French colleague, Albert, who forwarded this)

Matthew, a child “full of life, very intelligent despite his disability ” according to his mother, Angélique Gervraud, died February 22, 2019 at the Children’s Hospital of Bordeaux. He had been sick for more than a month after eating an undercooked burger at the beginning of January 2019 says his mom in a forum posted on his Facebook page.

It’s probably poorly cooked mince that has contaminated Matthew, his mom is sure. “Matthew only ate that,” she explains. Matthew developed haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) usually linked to shiga-toxin producing E. coli.

And because food safety is simple – that’s sarcasm, which the French may not get —  the transmission of the disease can be avoided by simple actions, which advises the site Public Health France:

  • Cook meat thoroughly and especially minced meat at over 65 ° C(The Ministry of Health published a note to the attention of the professionals of the collective catering from February 2007, with the appearance of the first cases)
  • Avoid giving raw lai, and cheeses made from raw milk to young children. Prefer baked or pasteurized pressed cheese
  • Always wash your hands before cooking
  • Keep cooked and raw foods separately
  • Consume quickly and well warmed leftover food.
  • Do not give untreated water to children or the elderly.

In 2017, 164 cases of HUS were reported in children under 15 years of age. There are a hundred in France in general every year.

Jigsaw puzzle: France reports Salmonella poona cases in infants

Outbreak News Today reports that health officials in France are reporting four Salmonella Poona cases in infants whose strains are genetically linked.

The babies, two months to ten months in age, were sickened between the end of August 2018 and the end of December 2018. Three babies were hospitalized for their salmonellosis and all have been released.

Early investigations reveal a common food source with the four infants–powdered milk of the same brand produced by the same factory in Spain.

Investigations are currently being conducted with the Spanish authorities and the manufacturer to define the management measures to be put in place.

‘Something is going on’ Salmonella Typhimurium infections in France jump from 50 to 2500 per year in a decade

(As usual, something may be lost in translation)

Salmonella contamination, found in cold cuts, mainly pork, exploded in 10 years in France, because of the progression of a new strain, called “monophasic typhimurium variant”.

(I particularly like the graphic, right, of the pregnant woman, with five bottles of wine in the fridge and a couple of beers).

On October 30th, lots of dry sausages contaminated with this salmonella were removed from supermarket shelves. Withdrawals and recalls have already taken place in the spring, on sausages that had sickened a dozen young children in the south of France. Dry sausages were also concerned.

Dr. François-Xavier Weill, director of the national center of reference for Salmonella, at the Institut Pasteur, at the origin of this discovery with his teams . It is here, in Paris, that the bacteria are identified, after analysis of the samples sent by the analysis laboratories. This is how the rise in food infections has been spotted.

“While it was detected that about 50 in 2007, we are at 2500 per year now,” says François-Xavier Weill. As a result, this bacterium, which causes gastroenteritis and fever, which can reach sepsis in the most fragile, has risen to the third position of salmonella, which gives the most poisoning. “We sounded the alarm, we said we’re paying attention, something is happening”. 

“Manufacturers must continue their work to limit the risks of the farm to the fork, explains Nathalie Jourdan-da Silva, doctor epidemiologist at Public Health France, agency that gave the alert in 2012 in one of its publications. But there is no risk zero, especially since this salmonella, identified in the swine industry, has since expanded to the beef sector. 

And the father of Amy’s French family was in Paris the other day, and he looked up and saw Charlie Watts, the drummer for the Rolling Stones, so this song is in honor of the time the Stones moved to southern France as tax exiles from the UK and recorded Exile on Main Street.

14 sick from Salmonella in raw milk cheese in France

Since the identification by Public Health France of cases of salmonella infection of people who consumed reblochon raw milk produced by the company La Fromagerie La Tournette, health authorities in connection with the company are mobilized to take all necessary measures for the protection of consumers (something may be lost in translation).

Following the traceability survey that has just been conducted, it was decided as a precautionary measure to withdraw from the sale and recall some reblochons whole and half reblochons raw milk manufactured on this site (sanitary mark FR 74.128 .050 EC) whose expiry dates are between 17/11 and 16/12/2018. Epidemiological, environmental and food traceability investigations are continuing to clarify the origin of the contamination.