From the duh files: Mice are full of Salmonella

Salmonella remains one of the most prevalent zoonoses worldwide. Although salmonellosis is commonly associated with the consumption of contaminated food, it has been estimated that up to 11% of Salmonella infections overall are acquired from direct or indirect contact with animals, including reptiles.

In 2016, an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis involving multiple cases, especially children, associated with reptile contact and contaminated feeder mice was reported in the United Kingdom. The aim of this study was to investigate Salmonella external and internal contamination of stored commercial frozen feeder mice used to feed reptiles and obtained from the same supplier involved in the outbreak. In this study a total of 295 mice were tested (60 pinkies, 60 fuzzies, 60 small, 60 large, and 55 extra large). In this study, both external (integument) and internal (selected organs) contamination were evaluated. Salmonella Enteritidis PT8 and PT13 were isolated from 28.8% (n = 17) of the 59 batches tested, with the exception of the large mice category. Positive mice were mostly contaminated externally (92.3% vs. 26.9% for carcass wash and viscera, respectively). All isolates were sensitive to all 16 antimicrobials tested. The high level of external contamination of the rodent carcasses might have played a role in the human outbreak in 2016. Reptile owner management of the rodent carcasses at home could be an important source of salmonellosis outbreaks.

Collaboration among public health officials, pet industry, veterinarians, and reptile owners is needed to help prevent the risk of salmonellosis associated with animal-based food intended for reptiles.

Commercial frozen mice used by owners to feed reptiles are highly externally contaminated with salmonella enteritidis PT8, 1 September 2018

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases vol. 18 no. 9

Clara Marin, Francesca Martelli, Andre Rabie, and Robert Davies

Doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2018.2295

https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/vbz.2018.2295

Raw is risky: Grapes pressed with infected mice caused tularemia outbreak at German winery

The consumption of grape must from fruit that had been accidentally pressed with infected mice appeared to be the cause of a small 2016 outbreak of oropharyngeal tularemia at a winery in Germany, investigators reported in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Animals — primarily hares, rabbits and rodents — often die in large numbers during outbreaks of tularemia, according to the CDC. Humans can become infected several ways, including through tick and deer fly bites, skin contact with infected animals or drinking contaminated water.

Six grape harvesters at a Rhineland-Palatinate winery were likely infected when they drank contaminated grape must, a juice containing seeds, stems and the skin of grapes, investigators said.

According to the report, the harvesters — two women and four men — suffered from symptoms of tularemia, including swollen cervical lymph nodes, fever, chills, difficulty swallowing and diarrhea. They tested positive for Francisellatularensis, the bacterium that causes tularemia.

The investigators discovered that wine made at another winery from grapes harvested by the same mechanical harvester used at the winery involved in the outbreak also tested positive, “a finding that suggests that the harvester was the source of cross-contamination,” the investigators wrote. They said vintners confirmed that mice were occasionally collected by the harvesters, along with grapes.

“This outbreak suggests that mechanical harvesting can be a risk factor for the transmission of zoonoses such as tularemia and that raw food stuffs should be treated before consumption,” they wrote. “All contaminated products were confiscated and their sale prohibited by public health and other local authorities.”

Everyone’s got a camera: Burger King edition

Tiffany Wong of Fox 8 reports a video of rats dashing around a French Quarter restaurant is getting a lot of attention online.

Pest control experts say it’s a common sight this time of year, and businesses can take preventative measures.

The Facebook video shows several rats scurrying over counter tops, a cutting board and plates after-hours in the eatery. Some seeing the video for the first time say it’s no big deal.

“I would take that with a pinch of salt. I mean, it is what it is. I wouldn’t worry about that. I would just go somewhere else, I’d walk by,” Sylvia Currie said.

“I mean, we live by the river. There’s river rats, and I’ve been to a restaurant that has like, you see a rat running back every now and then,” Stephen Medina said.

Others, however, say there’s no way they’d eat there.

“We’re spending our good hard-earned money and actually bringing our families here to eat, and that type of distraction I think would be a real big turn off to people,” John Haluska said.

The State Health Department said they would address the issue if they knew which restaurant it was. 

“Showing us the video of the rodents, yes, that can be shocking, that can be oh my goodness. It’s a shock value, but you’re not being helpful. You need to tell us where it is and then we can go in and do what we do,” said Tenney Sibley with the State Health Department. 

The department said it regularly inspects restaurants, depending on their risk factors.

“If we’re doing a regular, a routine inspection and we come across rodents or rodent droppings, or some kind of indications there are rodents, absolutely. That’s what we would call a critical violation,” Sibley said.

Patricia Talorico and Meredith Newman of Delaware Online report a video of rats scurrying among among hamburger buns at a Brandywine Hundred Burger King led to the eatery’s closure Friday and over the weekend “due to gross unsanitary conditions.” 

The video was posted at 7:53 p.m. May 31 by Wilmington resident Shantel Johnson on her Facebook page. It’s unclear how Johnson obtained the video at the store at 2802 Concord Pike. 

Her post said: “Don’t go to Burger King on 202 (rats are) running all over their buns … (at) Wilmington Delaware Concord Pike.”

The state Division of Public Health Office of Food Protection received a complaint on June 1 and video footage appeared to show rodents in bags of rolls at the Burger King at 2802 Concord Pike, according to Andrea Wojcik, spokeswoman for the Division of Public Health.

State health inspectors went to the restaurant at 11:45 a.m. June 1 to conduct a visual inspection of the premises and the complaint was founded, according to a report.

According to the inspection report, rodent droppings were found on and inside of the hamburger and chicken sandwich rolls. The plastic covering and the rolls themselves were chewed by the rodents. Wooden pallets that the rolls were stored on had droppings on them, the report said.  

Droppings also were found in the floor near the ice machine, the water heater, under dry storage, near syrup storage boxes and behind fryers, the report said.

Seven pallets of buns and rolls were discarded due to the contamination, the report said. The inspector noted that during her visit, chicken sandwich rolls were being used. They were then discarded. 

In addition to the rodent droppings, the restaurant’s ceiling was leaking in the kitchen near the storage and food line, the report said. Flies were coming from a drain close to where the rolls and buns are stored. 

Les Bubbles kitchen in Brisbane ça craint

A customer dobbed (that’s Australian for, to inform against someone) a popular Brisbane restaurant Les Bubbles to food safety authorities after a rat scurried past her during the dinner rush, a court has been told.

Melanie Petrinec of the Courier Mail reports embattled restaurateur Damian Griffiths was today fined $3000 and company Limes Properties Pty Ltd was fined $30,000 after pleading guilty to breaches of food standards.

Griffiths was overseas when the case was mentioned in the Brisbane Magistrates Court last week, and did not appear in person.

Instead, his lawyer made submissions in writing to the court to say Griffiths was “simply unaware of what was going on” at his former restaurant when the rat was discovered in October, 2016.

Les Bubbles is now under new management and a spokesperson says all checks and pest inspections were now up to date.

Brisbane City Council prosecutor Andrea Lopez said it was irrelevant if he was aware or not, and revealed it was a customer who raised the alarm with authorities.

“A live rodent during a busy dinner rush has actually run across the room in the restaurant,” she said.

“The rodent has been quite comfortable in the food business.”

Subsequently, food safety inspectors claimed to find dirty equipment and rodent droppings in multiple areas including under the kitchen bench, under a downstairs bar and near the dishwashing area.

Ms Lopez said the rat droppings indicated “quite a large presence of rodent activity”.

Everyone has a camera Toronto bakery edition: ‘Disgusting’ video shows mice feeding on pastry

CTV News reports the pastries in the window of a downtown Toronto confection shop were supposed to lure hungry humans, but they ended up attracting mice.

Mohammad Valipour captured the ravenous rodents on video as they nibbled on a tray of baklava visible through a window inside Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar.

He told CTV Toronto he believes he could also see feces around the trays. “It was disgusting,” Valipour said.

Co-owner Julie Kyriakaki says the building has a rodent problem but is adamant that none of the pastries that sit out for display are served to the public.

Kyriakaki showed off drawers full of desserts under the countertop that she says she and her staff use to keep the food safe from pests.

“Even if I didn’t have food here, the mice could still be on the window, because they go everywhere” she said. She also showed off mousetraps inside the store.

Meli Baklava & Chocolate Bar displays a green DineSafe sign in its window, indicating that it has met food safety standards outlined in the Ontario Food Premises Regulation and municipal by-laws. The sign shows the business was last inspected on Feb. 6, 2017.

The bakery has passed four inspections, the first in November 2015, according to online DineSafe records. It received two infractions in that time, one for failing to ensure the presence of someone who holds a valid food handler’s certificate and another for not having a test substance for ensuring utensils are properly sterilized.

The sweet shop, which is rated 4.5 out of five on the website TripAdvisor, is one of several food kiosks housed inside the Queen Live Fresh Food Market on Queen Street West.

Everyone’s got a camera: Mice run around Melbourne McDonald’s edition

Sophie Smith of the Herald Sun reports two videos showing rodents flitting freely around a busy McDonald’s restaurant in Melbourne’s inner-north have emerged.

mice1A disgusted customer, Firoozeh, claims she and friends saw several mice around a McCafe service area of the Collingwood restaurant at midnight on Boxing Day.

Footage uploaded to social media appears to show at least two vermin scampering along the floor between a service counter and a back bench with sink. Another shows one ducking in and out near a stool.

In another video, uploaded to Facebook by Todd Gilbey on December 2, mice scatter along the floor — and one even grabs a chip.

Firoozeh said there were “lots” of mice.

“It wasn’t like three or four mice,” Firoozeh said.

“We watched them for a while; they were coming in and out.

“There were so many and the guy was just coming and scaring them and telling us that, ‘You cannot take video’, because I asked to see the duty manager.”

Firoozeh, who asked the Herald Sun not to publish her surname, said the duty manager at the 24-hour eatery on the corner of Smith St and Victoria Parade became angered when she and her friends raised their concerns.

“He was aggressively stopping me from taking pictures and photos,” she said.

“I’ve never seen such a dirty McDonald’s.

“No-one is cleaning it and it’s supposed to be open for 24 hours. What’s going on?

“I don’t think it’s healthy at all. They were running around and no-one was doing anything.

“Children eat food there.”

UK McDonald’s forced to close after staff find dead mice

Josh Parry and Tyler Mears of the Mirror report a McDonald’s restaurant in Liverpool was forced to close this week after staff found dead mice at the branch.

mcdonaldsBosses confirmed the restaurant was closed for a “short period” after evidence of mice was discovered at the fast food joint.

They said the eaterie in Walton Road has taken steps to address the issue after they called in pest control.

They also insisted there was “no concern regarding food safety” and apologised for the temporary closure of the store.

Edmunds Fine Dining fined £5,300 for mice infestation

The company behind Edmunds Fine Dining has been fined £5,300 after a mouse infestation was discovered by health inspectors at its Brindleyplace premises.

Edmunds Fine DiningParent firm Casamou Ltd admitted nine breaches of food safety regulations at Birmingham magistrates.

Nicola Lea, prosecuting for the city council, said the restaurant now has a five-star hygiene rating.

But it was served with an emergency prohibition notice in January 2015 which had forced it to close for one day.

Ms Lea said environmental health officers had visited the restaurant on January 20 last year after receiving a complaint.

Officers found mouse droppings throughout the premises, a lack of effective cleaning and no evidence of a food safety management plan.

They also discovered out of date milk and cream in the fridges.

She added: “Officers served the notice on January 20 and returned to carry out a follow-up inspection on January 21 and the premises was allowed to reopen.

“There was a subsequent inspection in March 2015 and they now have a five-star rating.”

She added that a food safety management plan was drawn up after the visits and said there had been a high level of co-operation, including the steps to resolve the problems.

In mitigation for Casamou Ltd, lawyer Mr Smith described the incident as “very unfortunate” and said Edmunds had received a clean bill of health from a pest control company on the very same day of the visit.

He also said the complaint had been made anonymously and that the venue had been closed in the two days before the visit.

He said in those two days no cooking had taken place and any out of date food would have been checked and disposed of.

He added: “The visit took place on a Tuesday. The restaurant is closed on Sunday and Monday and a member of staff should have attended work to carry out cleaning duties.

“There was a system in place, but the system failed because the member of staff did not attend work. The company co-operated fully with the local authority and subsequently received a five-star rating, which is still in place.”

 

Poundstretcher in Belfast shopping center fined £1,800 over dead mice

Dead mice, rodent droppings and poor food safety conditions have led to a pound shop being fined a total of £1,800.

dedadmiceeeeeeeeeePoundstretcher, which owns an outlet at Connswater Shopping Centre in east Befast, was also ordered to pay court costs of £75 for three food hygiene offences.

Environmental health staff found fresh mice droppings, a strong smell of urine and two dead mice during a routine inspection on February 14 last year.

Food stuffs were not protected from risk of contamination and procedures critical to food safety were found to be inadequate.

A notice was served to prohibit the use of storage areas in the shop, but was lifted on March 11 after three consecutive days of no pest activity and all pest proofing work completed. The conditions have now been improved to Belfast City Council’s satisfaction.

Even further than a step behind: 20 sick from Salmonella linked to feeder mice in Canada

On May 20, 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 37 people were sick with the same strain of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to contact with frozen feeder rodents used to feed pet reptiles.

almost.famous.uncool.jpgOn June 2, 2014, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced 20 people were sick with the same strain of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to contact with frozen feeder rodents used to feed pet reptiles.