Smoked trout spread sold throughout Quebec likely to contain

I have this weird affliction (among many): Every time a food is involved in an outbreak or recall, I tend to crave that food.

Earlier in March, food safety officials warned the public about a possible health risk in consuming a smoked trout spread sold at several establishments throughout Quebec because it is likely to contain Listeria monocytogenes.

The spread, ‘Tartinade de truite fumee,’ was sold in 160g units and was produced by the National Herring Import Company Ltd. at 9820 Ray-Lawson Boulevard in Montreal. The units had a best before date of April 2, 2020.

The product was packaged in a clear plastic container with a black plastic cover and was refrigerated.

That’s not a trout lunch, this is, which I made yesterday (this not mine, but similar, because I forgot to take a picture).

Four listeria deaths over three years traced to enoki mushrooms

Enoki mushrooms from South Korea have been recalled and investigators are linking them to a multi-year outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes that has killed four people.

The importer, Sun Hong Foods Inc., Montebello, Calif., recalled the mushrooms March 9 after Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development officials found two samples of the mushrooms were positive for the listeria strain.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public health agencies are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses linked to the outbreak, using “DNA fingerprinting” through whole genome sequencing. 

The agencies did not report when the deaths occurred. Patients in California, Hawaii and New Jersey died.

The cases traced to the mushrooms have a high rate of hospitalization, with 30 of the 36 patients identified requiring hospitalization, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which released a warning to consumers March 10 to not eat any enoki mushrooms from Sun Hong Foods.

Sun Hong Foods, Inc 1105 W Olympic Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640 is recalling All Cases Enoki Mushroom (Product of Korea) Net Wt 7.05/200g because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

CDC’s At A Glance concluded:

Reported Cases: 36

States: 17

Hospitalizations: 30

Deaths: 4

Recall: Yes

Outbreak investigation of Listeria monocytogenes: Hard-boiled eggs (December 2019)

Why did Listeria appear in hard-boiled eggs? Insufficient cooking? Cross-contamination? Dirty pails? This report doesn’t say.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, CDC, and state and local partners investigated an outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections linked to hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods’ Gainesville, Georgia facility. Almark Foods announced an initial voluntary recall of hard-boiled and peeled eggs in pails on December 20, 2019, and then on December 23, 2019 expanded the recall to include all hard-boiled eggs produced at the Gainesville, Georgia facility. All recalled products are now past their “best by” dates.

CDC has announced this outbreak is over. FDA’s investigational activities, including an inspection, are complete. At this time, the firm is no longer producing products at this facility.

Recommendation

Recalled products are now past their “best by” dates and should be thrown away.

FDA recommends that food processors, restaurants and retailers who received recalled products use extra vigilance in cleaning and sanitizing any surfaces that may have come in contact with these products, to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Case Counts

Total Illnesses: 8
Illnesses in 2019: 5
Hospitalizations: 5
Deaths: 1
Last illness isolation date: December 7, 2019
States with Cases: FL (1), ME (2), PA (1), SC (2), TX (2)
States with Cases in 2019: FL (1), ME (2), SC (2), TX (1)
Product Distribution*: Nationwide
*Distribution has been confirmed for states list, but at this time we believe the product was distributed nationwide. Updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

What Products are Recalled?

Recalled products include bulk product sold in pails, as well as products sold at retail. Companies who received recalled product from Almark Foods have initiated recalls of products containing these eggs. A list of all these recalls is available on the FDA website.

 

Oh no, not the nuts: Listeria found in Superfood Smoothie Kits

From a company announcement (and stop with the super foods BS; food is food):

Blendtopia Products, LLC is voluntarily recalling 29,078 cases of 7 ounce frozen Blendtopia brand Superfood Smoothie Kits because of potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

The smoothie blends affected include: Blendtopia brand “Glow”, “Detox”, “Energy”, “Immunity” and “Strength” Superfood Smoothie Kits. The impacted product is labeled as “Best By July 2021, Best By Oct 2021, and Best By Nov 2021”. Product was distributed nationwide and is sold at select retailers and through online sales.

The company discovered the issue through its quality control processes. The issue is believed to be isolated to a supplied ingredient. The products are being voluntarily recalled as a precaution, with the health and safety of consumers as top priority and in full cooperation with the FDA. There have been no reports of sickness or illness to date associated with any consumption of products related to this recall.

“Food safety is our highest priority, and we’re committed to assuring consumers can have full confidence in our products,” said Tiffany Taylor, founder of Blendtopia.

Uh huh.

UK coroner blasts health bosses for ‘inexcusable delays’ in reporting listeria outbreak after grandmother, 81, died from eating infected chicken mayonnaise sandwich in NHS hospital

The headline sorta sums things up.

A coroner has slammed health officials for ‘inexcusable delays’ in reporting a nationwide listeria outbreak after a ‘much-loved’ grandmother died from eating an infected chicken mayonnaise sandwich while in hospital.

Alexander Robertson of the Daily Mail reports that Brenda Elmer’s family thought the 81-year-old was simply recovering from a recent operation, rather than battling the potentially life-threatening bacteria.

A coroner branded delays in reporting some listeria cases as ‘inexcusable’ and said it hindered the national response to last year’s outbreak of the infection.

An information ‘black hole’ also meant that warnings over the outbreak were delayed in reaching Mrs Elmer’s family, senior coroner Penelope Schofield said.

Mrs Elmer is one of five people thought to have died in last year’s national listeria scandal, linked to sandwiches that had been supplied to 43 NHS trusts.

It prompted a ‘root and branch’ review of hospital food in the UK by Public Health England.

But was the suspect mayo made from from eggs – a chef’s favorite but a public health nightmare – the story doesn’t say. And it was just as likely to be the meat rather than the mayo if the mayo was commercially prepared.

UK jurnos, I’ve given you some ledes, go find out.

Always question authority.

3 dead, one miscarriage, Listeria, ready-to-eat products, EU, 2017-2019

The European Centers for Disease Control reports patients had onset of illness between 2017 and August 2019. Three patients have died and one suffered a miscarriage due to the infection. The close genetic relatedness of the strains (≤3 allelic differences), and the temporal distribution of the cases suggest a prolonged, intermittent, common source foodborne outbreak which occurred in at least two EU Member States.

Nine isolates from six sliced ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products, produced between 2017 and 2019 by the Dutch Manufacturing Company A, were found to be contaminated with L. monocytogenes strains matching the outbreak strain (≤3 allelic differences). Although the exact points of contamination have not been identified yet, the results of the investigation suggest that the contamination may have happened at the Dutch Manufacturing Company A, which represents the only common manufacturing point of the contaminated products. The Dutch Manufacturing Company A distributed products to several EU countries as well as to countries outside the EU.

Following the detection in food of L. monocytogenes isolates matching the outbreak strain, and the discovery of the environmental contamination with other L. monocytogenes strains, the Dutch Manufacturing Company A stopped the production in October 2019, and finalised the withdrawals and recalls of all RTE meat products. This measure decreases the risk of new cases occurring possibly associated with products from this company.

Pregnant women, the elderly and immunocompromised people are at higher risk of invasive listeriosis, which is associated with severe clinical course and potential death. Therefore, specific attention should be paid to the administration of RTE meat products to people in hospitals, nursing homes and those belonging to vulnerable population groups.

We’re all hosts on a viral planet, even bacteria

Listeria monocytogenes may persist in food production environments and cause listeriosis. In Norway, a product of concern is the traditional and popular fermented fish product “rakfisk”, which is made from freshwater salmonid fish by mild-salting and brine maturation at low temperatures for several months. It is eaten without any heat treatment, and L. monocytogenes, therefore, poses a potential hazard.

We investigated the effect of salt and temperature on the growth of L. monocytogenes in rakfisk during the 91 days of maturation. The amounts of organic acids produced during fermentation were too low to inhibit growth of L. monocytogenes.

Temperature was clearly the most important parameter for controlling L. monocytogenes. At 7 °C, approximately 2 log growth was observed during the first 14 days of fermentation, and the level of L. monocytogenes thereafter remained constant. At 4 °C, only a little growth potential of the pathogen was recorded. We also investigated the effect of the anti-Listeria bacteriophage P100 on rakfisk with added L. monocytogenes. The phage was introduced to the L. monocytogenes-inoculated fish before fermentation, and an average of 0.9 log reduction was observed throughout the fermentation period.

This is the first study of L. monocytogenes behavior in rakfisk and points to possible measures for increasing the product safety.

Growth behavior of listeria monocytogenes in a traditional Norwegian fermented fish product (rakfisk), and its inhibition through bacteriophage addition

Foods

Lars Axelsson, Guro Alette Bjerke, Anette McLeod, Ingunn Berget and Askild L. Holck

https://www.google.com/url?rct=j&sa=t&url=https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/9/2/119/pdf&ct=ga&cd=CAEYASoTMTE1NzcxMjA4OTIyNjc2MTc3NDIaYmM3NzBmMDk3NWY0YjI4ZTpjb206ZW46VVM&usg=AFQjCNFJNVQuk-sddOTM-d7FT6mqcqo94w

White Castle frozen food division announces voluntary recall of a limited production of frozen sandwiches due to Listeria monocytogenes

Any excuse to write about White Castle means I get to recall the great movie, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle.

I had a hockey friend over for lunch one day, we ate steak and watched Harold and Kumar, and it was one of the best times ever.

White Castle has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited number of frozen 6 pack cheeseburgers, frozen 6 pack hamburgers, frozen 6 pack jalapeno cheeseburgers, and 16 pack hamburgers, 16 pack cheeseburgers for the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes. 

The voluntary recall will impact product on shelves at select retailers with best by dates ranging from 04 Aug 2020 to 17 Aug 2020. Any product with these dates on shelves is presently being removed. Any product with a best by date before or after these best by dates is not included in the voluntary recall.

To date, public health officials have not reported any illness associated with these products.

“Our number one focus is the safety of our customers and our team members, and as a family owned business, we want to hold ourselves to the absolute highest standards of accountability in all aspects of our business – and especially food safety,” said White Castle Vice President, Jamie Richardson.

Uh huh.

Outbreak of Listeria infections linked to hard-boiled eggs

Reported Cases: 7

States: 5

Hospitalizations: 4

Deaths: 1

Recall: No

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is concerned that bulk, fresh hard-boiled eggs produced by Almark Foods of Gainesville, Georgia, are contaminated with Listeriaand have made people sick. These products were packaged in plastic pails for use nationwide by food service operators. These products have not been recalled. However, because Listeria  can cause severe infections, CDC is warning against selling, serving, or using these eggs to make other food products.

Retailers and food service operators should know who supplies their bulk hard-boiled eggs. Consumers will not be able to tell if products they’ve purchased from stores contain these eggs, so it is important that people at higher risk for Listeria infections follow the advice listed below.

Retailers and food service operators should not use bulk hard-boiled eggs produced at the Almark Foods Gainesville, Georgia facility, regardless of use-by date.

These eggs were peeled, hard-boiled, and packaged in plastic pails of various sizes.

Food processors and manufacturers should not use these eggs to make ready-to-eat foods, such as egg salad, deviled eggs, or salads.

These fresh hard-boiled eggs were packaged in plastic pails and have a 49-day shelf-life.

UK: Health inspector warned hospital that listeria would grow on sandwiches in its broken fridges that were 5C too hot just three days before patient

The hospital where a cancer patient was killed by a listeria-infected sandwich was warned its fridges were broken and too hot several days before he died, it was revealed in early November..

Ian Hitchcock, 52, died in June after eating a contaminated meal – a scandal that appears to have claimed the lives of six people in the UK this year.

Today it emerged sandwiches at Royal Derby Hospital, where Mr Hitchcock was receiving cancer treatment, were kept in ‘ineffective’ fridges that warmed the food to above 8C – an offence under 2013 food safety laws.

The problem was found by experts inspecting the kitchen on June 4 and 5 where an environmental health officer said the broken fridges were serving food at illegal temperatures.

A report said the food was a particular risk to anyone with a weakened immune system, such as cancer sufferer Mr Hitchcock.

On June 8 he died after eating one of the pre-packed sandwiches.

Ian Hitchcock, 52, died after eating a pre-packaged sandwich while being treated for cancer at the Royal Derby Hospital last week. His death is being linked to an NHS listeria outbreak which has so far claimed five lives +2

Ian Hitchcock, 52, died after eating a pre-packaged sandwich while being treated for cancer at the Royal Derby Hospital last week. His death is being linked to an NHS listeria outbreak which has so far claimed five lives

In a letter, seen by the BBC, food safety inspector Jayne Hassall said ‘high risk foods’  such as sandwiches were ‘stored outside temperature control due to ineffective refrigerators’.