71 now sick from Salmonella in Sweden linked to tomatoes

Outbreak News Today reports Swedish health authorities, or Folkhalsomyndigheten are reporting 17 additional Salmonella Typhimurium cases in the current outbreak, bringing the total outbreak cases to 71 since August.

The Swedish National Food Agency and the Public Health Agency continue to investigate the outbreak to identify the source of the infection. The investigation shows that small tomatoes are the likely source of the outbreak. The tomatoes are no longer left in grocery stores, the outbreak has subsided and the risk of being infected is very small.

Uh-huh.

Size does not matter: 21 sick from Salmonella linked to pet turtles

I want a new drug, or approach or message, rather than CDC sending out yet another warning about yet another Salmonella outbreak from kids kissing their pet turtles.

(And I can’t believe I’m quoting Huey Lewis and the News, one of my 1982 university room mates’ favorite bands, along with Hall and Oates).

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports:

21 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg have been reported from 13 states.

7 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback evidence indicate that contact with pet turtles is the likely source of this outbreak.

In interviews, 12 (71%) of 17 ill people reported contact with a turtle.

This investigation is ongoing and CDC will provide updates when more information is available.

Turtles can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean. These germs can easily spread to their bodies, tank water, and habitats. People can get sick after they touch a turtle or anything in their habitats.

People who own or come in contact with turtles should take steps to stay healthy around their pet:

Wash your hands.

Always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after touching, feeding, or caring for a turtle or cleaning its habitat.

Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.

Play safely.

Don’t kiss or snuggle turtles, because this can spread Salmonella germs to your face and mouth and make you sick.

Don’t let turtles roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens.

Clean habitats, toys, and pet supplies outside the house when possible.

Avoid cleaning these items in the kitchen or any other location where food is prepared, served, or stored.

Pick the right pet for your family.

CDC and public health officials in several states are investigating a multistate outbreak of human Salmonella Oranienburg infections linked to contact with pet turtles.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify illnesses that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet is the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC. DNA fingerprinting is performed on Salmonella bacteria isolated from ill people by using a standardized laboratory and data analysis method called whole genome sequencing (WGS). CDC PulseNet manages a national database of these sequences that are used to identify possible outbreaks. WGS gives investigators detailed information about the bacteria causing illness. In this investigation, WGS showed that bacteria isolated from ill people were closely related genetically. This means that people in this outbreak are more likely to share a common source of infection.

Ill people reported contact with red-eared sliders and other turtles that were larger than four inches in length. Previous Salmonella outbreaks have been linked to turtles with a shell length less than four inches. Due to the amount of Salmonella illnesses related to these small turtles, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned the sale and distributionexternal icon of turtles with shells less than four inches long as pets.

Regardless of where turtles are purchased or their size, turtles can carry Salmonella germs that can make people sick. Pet owners should always follow steps to stay healthy around their pet.

This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide updates when more information becomes available.

168 kindergarteners hit by possible salmonella in China

Cal Rolston of NCTY News reports 168 children were sent to hospital with possible Salmonella food poisoning in Dongguan, Guangdong Province prompting health authorities to shut down a kindergarten on Monday for two days. 

One hundred and three people, including 99 children, remained in hospitals in the city and neighboring Shenzhen, according to statements released by the Dongguan Health Bureau.

Nobody died or was critically ill as of Sunday midnight, the bureau said.

Just ill enough to go to the hospital.

Cherry tomatoes may be lined to Salmonella outbreaks in Sweden

SVT reports people have been sick with diarrhea between August 29 and September 14 with Salmonella Typhimurium. Anders Enocksson, infection prevention consultant at Region Halland.

In all, 11 counties are affected. Most cases are in Halland together with Dalarna, Jönköping and Västra Götaland, which P4 Halland was the first to tell . The infected are in all age groups, but just over half are 60 years or older. There are slightly more women than men.

The source of infection is not yet known, but there is suspicion of tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes. It is unclear where they come from. The investigation is allowed to show if it is correct, says Anders Enocksson.

How about Sweden: 36 stricken by Salmonella

Outbreak News Today reports that Swedish Public Health officials (Folkhalsomyndigheten) are reporting (computer translated) an outbreak of Salmonella Typhimurium since the beginning of the month.

To date, 36 cases from 10 counties have been linked with whole-genome sequencing. Most cases have been reported from Västra Götaland, Jönköping, Halland and Dalarna. Ill persons are found in all age groups, both among children and the elderly, and slightly more women (22) than men (14) have become sick.

The Swedish National Food Agency and the Public Health Authority together are investigating the outbreak to identify the source of the infection that is suspected to be a food that has been widely distributed in Sweden.

Next up: 200 sickened from Salmonella in tartar sauce causes outbreak in Belgian hotel school

Fresh tartar sauce is the source of the salmonella outbreak in the Bruges hotel school Spermalie in early September.

EN 24 News reports on Friday Sept. 6 and the following days, 200 pupils and teachers fell ill at the Spermalie hotel and tourism school in Bruges. Laboratory testing of stool languages ​​soon showed that Spermalie was affected by an outbreak of salmonella. The samples of the meals that were served in the school restaurant were then analyzed. An online survey of students and teachers was also launched to find out who had eaten what in which restaurant.

“All these elements together make us decide that the tartar sauce and perhaps more specifically the eggs used are at the source of this outbreak. Further research and typing of the salmonella strains will bring even more clarity on this, “says Liesbeth Van de Voorde, spokesperson for the FASFC food agency.

15 sick: Salmonella in raw egg hollandaise shutters Dubai restaurant

Sajila Saseendran of Gulf News writes Dubai Municipality has shut down an American restaurant after 15 people fell ill following a food poisoning outbreak recently.

The Food Safety Department of the civic body ordered the outlet to close and held its chef and Person-In-Charge (PIC) of food safety responsible for the salmonella infection that caused the outbreak, the municipality stated.

The department has downgraded the food safety rating of the outlet and revoked its PIC certificate.

The outlet in a Jumeirah mall will be under strict monitoring for the next six months once it will be allowed to reopen after the closure period to corrective measures.

The team collected samples and conducted internationally accepted tests following which they traced the infection to raw eggs used in hollandaise sauce, officials said.

It was found that the chef had used raw eggs in violation of the food safety rules.

Following this, the department issued a fresh alert to eateries preparing food with eggs reminding them about its ban on using raw eggs in ready-to-eat products.

In 2012, the municipality barred Dubai eateries from using raw eggs in ready-to-eat products after authorities found them as a cause of many salmonella infections reported here.

New regulations that restrict the use of raw and under-cooked eggs were introduced and it was also made mandatory to declare their use in food labels or menus.

4 sick: Salmonella outbreak at local kindergarten in Latvia

The Baltic Times reports the Sigulda Regional Council turned to the State Police (VP) about the infection of four kindergarten children with salmonella, Sindija Brikmane, deputy head of the Public Relations Department of Sigulda Municipality, informed LETA.

Investigating the causes of the disease, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDPC) has received information from a laboratory that four children from local kindergartens in Sigulda Region have been diagnosed with the salmonella bacterium.

The municipality has previously announced that if the responsible authorities confirm that the caterer is guilty of causing the disease, the municipality will immediately terminate the contract with SIA Baltic Restaurants Latvia.

The Sigulda Regional Council promises to continue to monitor the inspection services and inform the public and the parents of the children about the current situation and the results of the bacterial samples taken.

Yes Minister: Dozens of people stricken by Salmonella-infected British eggs

Dozens of people have been poisoned after consuming British eggs contaminated with salmonella, an investigation has found, despite recent government assurances that the risk had been virtually eliminated.

Andrew Wasley of The Guardian reports at least 45 consumers have fallen ill since January this year in a major disease outbreak health officials have traced back to contaminated eggs and poultry farms.

Despite outbreaks of this strain occurring for more than three years, the government has issued no public warnings about the safety of hens’ eggs. In 2017, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) told the public that it was safe for vulnerable people, including pregnant women and the elderly to eat raw, runny or soft-boiled eggs. At the time the head of the FSA said: “The risk of salmonella is now so low you needn’t worry.”

Internal records obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Guardian show that 25 egg-laying poultry flocks in the UK have tested positive for salmonella in 2019 so far, seven of them contaminated with the most serious strains of the bacteria. Two egg-packing factories – one that supplies leading supermarkets – have also been contaminated, records show.

Eggs produced by the infected poultry flocks were placed under restrictions, meaning they cannot be sold to the public and must be sent for processing to kill the bacteria or be disposed of – while birds from infected flocks were culled.

However, some contaminated eggs did reach the public, with PHE confirming that 45 people had become ill after eating eggs infected with salmonella since January. The exact route to the public is unclear.

The government records also reveal that in 2018, 28 flocks tested positive for salmonella, four of them with dangerous strains.

According to PHE a further 55 human cases prior to 2019 were also being linked to the outbreak.

The revelations come just two years after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) declared that almost all eggs produced in the UK were free of salmonella. A major health scare in the 1980s had led to warnings that vulnerable groups should not consume raw or lightly cooked eggs – or food containing them – because of the salmonella risk. The then junior health minister Edwina Currie sparked a public outcry after saying “most” British egg production was infected with salmonella.

But in 2017 the FSA lifted the advice, stating the presence of salmonella in eggs had been “dramatically reduced” and that “British Lion” eggs – which cover about 90% of UK egg production – were safe to eat.

Speaking at the time, the then FSA chair Heather Hancock said: “We are now saying if there is a British Lion egg, you’re safe to do that. The risk of salmonella is now so low you needn’t worry. And that’s true whether you’re a fit healthy adult, or whether you’re pregnant or elderly or young. It’s only people on strictly medically supervised diets who need to avoid those eggs.”

PHE stated that it had been investigating this strain of salmonella for three years, despite the FSA clearing eggs for consumption.

The British Retail Consortium said: “Food safety remains a top priority for UK retailers and all UK sourced eggs are produced to the Lion code of practice. Retailers will comprehensively investigate any safety issues in our food supply and will take swift action as necessary.”

Uh-huh.

Australia still has an egg problem: First court appearance for bakery owners that sickened 58 with Salmonella

In Feb. 2019, people started showing up sick with Salmonella at hospitals in Adelaide, South Australia.

Ultimately 58 people were sickened and health types linked the outbreak to a raw egg butter being served with Vietnamese rolls from three bakeries all owned by Angkor Bakery.

Last week, five people connected with the three Angkor Bakery stores, including two of the owners, faced the Elizabeth Magistrates Court in South Australia. They were charged with failing to comply with food standards and providing unsafe food products.

As my colleague Andrew Thomson of Think ST Solutions writes, outbreaks occur due to a systems breakdown: it’s a financial burden on everyone, including the broader food industry; it causes much pain and suffering for those involved and in legal terms a food business at the centre of an outbreak can be liable for injuries caused and prosecuted by health authorities for failing to provide safe food.

One of the bakery owners told awaiting media outside Court last week of the true cost of this incident to the business: lost public confidence and business sales and now the entire business concern is for sale; owners are unable to engage legal representation due to the financial cost; it has fractured the family.

Steve White from global insurance brokerage and risk management firm, Arthur J Gallagher (Australia), says the best way to protect your customers – and to avoid costly lawsuits, penalties and damage to reputation and business interruption – is to know your obligations, maintain food safety standards and have the right insurance.

The case has been adjourned until November.