5 sick from Salmonella in tahini from Israel

Salmonella in tahini is nothing new.

But is always a reminder that microorganisms don’t care about your lifestyle, your politics, your religion, or your fucking annoyance to proclaim all the allegedly healthy foods you consume as superior – and therefore you are superior — to anything else.

Food porn.

The United States Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Concord illnesses linked to tahini imported from an Israeli manufacturer, Achdut Ltd., located in Ari’el, Israel.

Achdut Ltd. has voluntarily recalled all brands of tahini products manufactured from April 7, 2018 to May 21, 2018 with expiration dates of April 7, 2020 to May 21, 2020.  

The FDA is advising consumers not to eat recalled Achva, Achdut, Soom, S&F, Pepperwood, and Baron’s brand tahini with expiration dates ranging from April 7, 2020 to May 21, 2020. The product lot codes range from 18-097 to 18-141. Consumers should discard the product or return the product to the store for a refund.

Some brands of tahini manufactured by Achdut Ltd. may lack specific dates or may have labels that are written in Hebrew. Consumers who have purchased a tahini product and are uncertain of where the product was manufactured or cannot identify the brand by lot codes or expiration dates should use caution and discard the product or return the food to the store for a refund. More product information and pictures of the recalled product labels can be found in the firm’s recall announcement.

Retailers and restaurants should not use any of the recalled tahini manufactured by Achdut Ltd. at their establishments. Retailers and restaurants should throw the product out. 

Firms that may have used the recalled tahini (either repacked or used as an ingredient in a food without a kill step) should consider recalling their products. Recalls should be reported to your local FDA office. A list of recall coordinators can be found here.

CDC identified five ill people in the U.S. infected with Salmonella Concord that had the same genetic fingerprint as the Salmonella Concord found in tahini sampled at the point of import into the United States. Of the five U.S. cases interviewed, all five reported consuming hummus made with tahini; three people reported eating tahini or hummus made with tahini in a restaurant in the U.S., while the other two people reported consuming tahini or hummus made with tahini during international travel.

30+ sick from Listeria linked to Jerusalem Deli meats in Israel

Outbreak News Today reports that Israeli health officials concluded in a report that more than 30 listeriosis cases were reported to the Ministry of Health, some are severe and include invasive infection and fetus mortality, mostly in the southern region among the Bedouin sector settlements.

In food sampling carried out by the Southern District National Food Services according to information emanating in morbidity incidents investigation, Listeria monocytogenes bacterium has been found in “Jerusalem Deli Pastrami” and the “Jerusalem deli smoked salami” products in the 200 and 400 grams packages by Almadain Food Products Ltd. (Madco) Ltd. The manufacturing date of the products is 08/10/2018 and the expiry date is 07/01/2019.

20 soldiers sick with Salmonella in Israel

A good reason not to go to seminars: At least 20 soldiers were sickened with Salmonella in Jerusalem while attending a seminar.

One of the instructors of the seminar starting to receive reports of all new cases of the disease, realized that the cause must be one, and remembered the complaints of the soldiers the “disgusting food” and the “stinking fish.”

The administration of the Beit Ha-Hayal said that the results of the inspection of Salmonella in the kitchen of the institution is not discovered. However, the kitchen is closed, the contractor who supplied the food suspended, and the administration is looking for a new contractor.

10 family members sick with Salmonella in Israel: Probably raw egg mousse

The Yeshiva World reports that 10 family members, adults and children, visited the emergency room of Mayanei HaYeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak on Monday, 7 Teves, presenting with severe intestinal illness. Three of them were hospitalized in the pediatric ward. The illness began after eating homemade mousse prepared from raw eggs.

The microbiological laboratory at the hospital identified the suspicious growth as salmonella and tomorrow, Tuesday, the suspicions of doctors will be confirmed. For the time being, the family is ill and suffering.

11M eggs destroyed: Health types in Israel warn of Salmonella threat

Baltimore Jewish Life, one of my must-reads in the tub, reports the Israeli Health Ministry has called on the general public not to buy “Yesh Maohf” eggs with a ‘last date of sale’ of 20 October. Officials are also calling on the tzibur at large to destroy 11 million eggs.

 Officials do not want the eggs returned, for this will spread the infection. Consumers are instructed to take the loss and destroy eggs.

The Ministries of Health and Agriculture emphasize that it is forbidden to consume eggs that have already been purchased and that they must be destroyed by throwing them into the garbage can.

ProMed followed up on this, and was provided with a report from Israeli health types:

The Israeli Ministry of Health is investigating a recent increase in laboratory notifications of _Salmonella enterica_ serovar Enteritidis infections. During May-July 2017 at least 848 patients infected with _S._ Enteritidis were reported, compared with 294 cases in the same period in 2016 (2.9-fold increase). During this period _S._ Enteritidis accounted for 58 percent of salmonellosis cases in Israel which marks a major increase in this serovar. Salmonellosis cases were reported nationwide, with case clusters reported mainly from the Jerusalem and the Southern districts. About 2 percent of cases involved invasive infection.

Several outbreak clusters were reported and investigated during this period in kindergartens, hostels, and restaurants across the country. Epidemiology, trace back, and laboratory data have linked several of the outbreak clusters to eggs with hen farms and egg distributors identified as possible sources. PFGE [pulsed-field gel electrophoresis] analysis of isolates from most reported clusters revealed a shared pulsotype. Further analysis by whole genome sequencing and whole genome MLST (wgMLST) [whole genome multi locus sequence typing] identified several sub-clones. Of particular interest is the identification of a clone from geographically distinct salmonellosis clusters that were temporally linked with a common egg distributor (“Yesh Maof”). This clone has also been detected in the context of a kindergarten outbreak in Southern Israel in 2016. Notably, several disease clusters are associated with _S._ Enteritidis strains belonging to the same pulsotype but accounting for distantly related WGS-types [whole-genome-sequencing types]. Laboratory investigation is still ongoing. It is noteworthy that there have not been any reports of _S._ Enteritidis in any foodstuffs routinely inspected for _Salmonella_ in Israel during the respective period.

An outbreak control team has been set up by the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture. Joint trace back and trace forward investigations are being carried out in order to identify the source of infection. The Ministry of Agriculture has recently inaugurated a monitoring program for _S._ Enteritidis control in laying hen farms.

In the context of this investigation, enhanced environmental sampling of traced laying hen flocks and farms is being carried out. These activities have led to the detection of _S._ Enteritidis in flocks supplying the above-mentioned distributor and a subsequent egg recall and planned culling of implicated flocks. Additional public health actions include continued risk management and source control in farms or flocks that will be implicated in human infection and/or found to be contaminated, enhanced epidemiological investigations for salmonellosis cases or case clusters of gastrointestinal infection, intensified inspections by the National Food Service and risk communication to the public, with emphasis on the safe handling and consumption of eggs and egg-containing foods.

 

Power of going public: 30 children in Jerusalem daycare sick with Salmonella

Arutz Sheva of Israel National News reports that on April 30, a report was received from the mother of an infant enrolled in an Emunah daycare in Jerusalem claiming infants and toddlers in one of the daycare’s classes were suffering stomachaches and intestinal disturbances.

According to Ynet, an investigation by the Jerusalem District Health Office found the problems had begun several days earlier, in the daycare’s 2-year-old class, when 15 of the class’s 24 children became ill and one was hospitalized.

In the infants’ group, 15 out of 18 infants became ill, and one was hospitalized.

Last Wednesday, the Health Office received the results of the various tests performed, and found that one of the sick children tested positive for salmonella.

A district health supervisor was immediately sent to the daycare, where they found that both breakfast and lunch were served hot and made on the premises. The supervisor also made a list of health hazards which the daycare will need to fix.

During the visit, the supervisor took samples of food stored in the daycare since April 28. Though the samples did not test positive for salmonella, they did test positive for several other pathogens.

10 sick: Unpasteurized, this time ‘green for life’ camel milk in Israel

Ten additional people have come down with brucellosis after consuming camel milk, it was revealed today (Thursday, 8 Sep 2016) when the Ministry of Health extended the administrative closure of a business dealing with this product. A month ago, it was reported that 2 children were hospitalized in mild to moderate condition at the Ichilov Hospital [Tel-Aviv] with brucellosis resulting of drinking the said milk.

camel-milkConcurrently, the Be’er Sheva Magistrate indicted E.L., the manager of an enterprise engaged with the storage and marketing of milk and milk products “Green for Life” or “Genesis Milk” in Moshav Sitria, Shefela district. Prof. Shmuel Rishpon, Acting District Medical Officer [DMO] – Center District, signed today the extension of the closure order of the business, issued by the DMO/Center, Dr. Ofra Havkin, on 11 Aug 2016, for 30 additional days.

The Acting DMO’s decision stated that the closure order was extended because during an inspection/control visit to the enterprise, performed about 2 weeks ago, it was found that — in breach with the previous order — camel milk was encountered in the premises. Even worse, since the decree was issued last month, information on 10 additional brucellosis patients, infected by the consumption of the milk, has been obtained. “This situation is indicative of continued immediate danger to public health from the consumption of the camel milk,” Prof Rishpon stated in the issued order.

Listeria contamination suspected at Israeli cafe chain

The popular Aroma coffee chain has stopped selling two lychee-coconut iced drinks after finding possible listeria, the latest in a series of food health scares in Israel this month.

lychee-coconut iced drinksThe chain, among the most popular coffee shops in the country, said in a statement that it had stopped selling the drink after “a routine check found suspicion of listeria in one of the batches.” It added that it hoped to go back to marketing it after completing an inspection of the factory.

The Health Ministry said in a statement it had been informed of the possible outbreak Sunday evening and was carrying out a check of the product. It said the factory was being cleaned and disinfected.

Last week two salmon companies announced possible listeria contamination. The Neto Group, a large Israeli food conglomerate, said a shipment of salmon was found to contain the harmful bacteria. No fish from the tainted shipment made it to its factory, the company said, adding that all shipments are tested at the port before being released to the next destination.

Israeli dietician downplaying Salmonella in Unilever cereal also paid spokesthingy for Unilever

While Unilever told just-food.com that Telma cereal products “production and marketing continue as usual” despite controls from Israel’s Ministry of Health (MOH), Adi Dovrat-Meseritz of Haaretz reports that Olga Raz, a well-known dietician who has told consumers not to be overly concerned about the salmonella bacteria in their food, has also served as a paid spokeswoman for Unilever Israel, whose breakfast cereals sparked the scare.

olga-razRaz, a dietitian at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital and a senior lecturer in Ariel University’s nutrition department who has had popular radio programs, made two public appearances as a paid spokeswoman for Unilever and its Telma cereals in the last two years.

In an interview this week to the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Yated Neeman, she said, “There’s no need to panic … bacteria have always been there and always will be. … It’s true mistakes happen but big food plants are reporting and inspecting all the time. The real problem is restaurants, delicatessens and cafes, which are unsupervised and don’t test.”

Ariel University sent out a backgrounder to the media a week ago, citing Raz as an authority and a member of the faculty, without mentioning her Unilever connection.

In the Ariel backgrounder Raz also discounted the salmonella problem

In an interview with TheMarker, Raz said her relationship with Unilever, which goes back several years, doesn’t disqualify her to speak on salmonella or other issues affecting the company.

“I didn’t think about it then and even now I still don’t think it’s a problem. I only say things that are accepted by professionals in the matter of salmonella.”

No.

Professionals in the matter of salmonella would say finding it in cereal is a big problem.

Raz, stick to dietary con-games and industry flackery.

Leave salmonella to those who know.

 

Brucellosis linked to unpasteurized camel milk in Israel

Two patients have been hospitalized at Meir Medical and another patient at Schneider Hospital in Petach Tikvah, suffering from brucellosis linked to the consumption of unpasteurized camel milk produced by the dairy company “Genesis.”

camel.milkLast week, two children were hospitalized for mild to moderate condition at Ichilov Hospital, following a drinking camel’s milk marketed by the company. Following the admission office ordered destroyed four tons of camel milk.

Amir Shreibman (64) and his wife, Kfar Sava have suffered in recent weeks from a high fever. “Four months ago we started to drink camel’s milk of Genesis, after we were convinced that it had medicinal properties,” he said. “They told us that many people drink this milk, and everything was fine. We did not think anything would happen to us, even if unpasteurized milk.”