Outbreak investigation of Salmonella infantis linked to Del Monte vegetable trays, spring 2019

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inspecting the Del Monte facility that produced vegetable trays that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services linked to an outbreak of salmonellosis. The facility is in Kankakee, Illinois.

On May 21, 2019, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced that vegetable trays produced by Del Monte Fresh Produce Inc. and sold at Kwik Trip convenience stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota are linked to three illnesses in Wisconsin and one illness in Minnesota.

According to Wisconsin authorities, these patients reported becoming ill between April 13 and April 27, 2019, and Kwik Trip has voluntarily removed all Del Monte vegetable trays from their stores.

The FDA, CDC and state authorities from Wisconsin and Minnesota continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak and the distribution of products.

This outbreak is not related to the Cyclospora infections linked to Del Monte vegetable trays in 2018.

Tangled up in blue: Finding food safety purpose

I used to write up the U.S. Centers of Disease Control with the enthusiasm of a teenage going on a date.

It was current, it was confident and it was cool.

Now, not so much.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m tired of watching Salmonella and other foodborne illnesses flatline, even if a Senator brings a day-old bucket of KFC into a hearing to make some sort of metaphorical point.

I’ll say the same thing I say every year: the numbers aren’t changing because the interventions are in the wrong place.

When national organizations go agenst the World Health Organization and don’t mention on-farm food safety, then they’re missing the source.

According to Food Business News, illness was more prevalent in 2018, according to preliminary surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) and Prevention. Incidents of Campylobacter, Salmonella and Cyclospora infections increased last year, according to FoodNet 2018 preliminary data released by the C.D.C. The increases were due, in part, to more infections being diagnosed using culture-independent diagnostic tests (C.I.D.T.s), but the C.D.C. noted the possibility that the number of infections actually is increasing.

Campylobacter infections were the commonly identified infection in FoodNet sites since 2013 with poultry being the major source of infection.  More infections are being diagnosed, the C.D.C. said, because more laboratories use C.I.D.T.s to detect Campylobacterand other pathogens. C.I.D.T.s detect the presence of a specific genetic sequence of an organism. The tests produce results more rapidly because they do not require isolation and identification of living organisms.

Reducing Campylobacter infections will require more knowledge of how case patients are becoming infected, the C.D.C. said. The pathogen can contaminate raw chicken or poultry juices, and cross-contamination can impact hands, other foods or kitchen equipment.

“Focusing on interventions throughout the food production chain that reduce Campylobacter bacteria in chicken could lead to fewer illnesses in people,” the C.D.C. said. “Whole genome sequencing might help us figure out the contribution of various sources and help target interventions.”

Salmonella infections, the second most common infection, also appear to be increasing, according to the preliminary report. The most common Salmonella serotypes were Enteritidis, Newport and Typhimurium. Additionally, Enteritidis infections are not decreasing despite regulatory programs aimed at reducing Salmonella in poultry and eggs.

 

FDA seeking source of imported melons in Salmonella outbreak

When Listeria killed seven people in Australia last year, linked to rockmelon (cantaloupe for you North American types) growers acted like it never happened before and just wanted to get product back on shelves.

They should never be cut in half, although all retailers do it, and it’s just greed over public health.

In the fall of 2011, 33 people were killed and 147 sickened from Listeria linked to cantaloupe in the U.S.

And it keeps happening.k on

 The number of people with salmonella linked to fresh-cut melons shipped by Caito Foods has increased, and the Food and Drug Administration has released a list of hundreds of retail outlets that received the products.

The exact source of the imported melons, however, has not been released, and the FDA continues its traceback investigation.

The FDA expanded the list of private-label brands in the outbreak, which was first reported by the FDA on April 12. In its first update on the outbreak, the FDA on April 24 posted the locations of almost 1,500 retail locations that received the fresh-cut cantaloupehoneydew and watermelon products from Caito Foods, Indianapolis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported April 24 that the number of people who have become ill has risen from 93 to 117 in 10 states. PulseNet, a national network that allows health and regulatory agencies to identify outbreaks, first alerted the CDC about the outbreak on April 2.

The CDC reported illness onset dates range from March 4 to April 8. No deaths have been reported; 32 people have been hospitalized, according to the CDC.

The type of salmonella in the outbreak, Salmonella Carrau, is rare, historically seen in imported melons. Caito Foods told investigators the melons used in the products were imported, according to the FDA.

Caito Foods was linked to a similar outbreak in 2018 involving Salmonella Adelaide in fresh-cut melon products.

69 sick from Salmonella linked to raw sprouts in NZ

If there’s one food safety types will not eat, it’s raw sprouts.

Costco and Walmart stopped selling them five years ago in the U.S.

It’s impossible to get a sandwich or salad in Australia without sprouts.

I’ve written chefs who should not be serving raw sprouts to immunocomprised people in hospitals.

They poo-pooed my concerns.

According to Outbreak News Today there are 67 confirmed Salmonella cases and 2 probable cases linked to sprouts consumption in New Zealand.  Illness onset ranged from December 23, 2018 to April 1, 2019. 66 of the cases became ill between January 23, 2019 and January 25, 2019.  17 people required hospital treatment.

In the wake of the outbreak, GSF New Zealand recalled certain Pams, Sproutman, and Fresh Harvest brand sprout products.  GSF New Zealand said the recall was due to a “production process concern.” Regarding the Salmonella outbreak, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health reported that “Salmonella Typhimurium phage type 108/170 was the causative pathogen identified from cases, sprouts and spent irrigation water tested in this outbreak. Subtyping using Multiple Locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat Analysis (MLVA) and whole genome sequencing methods were performed on isolates to confirm cases in the outbreak as well as the outbreak source.”

What to be of barfblog? Salmonella outbreak linked to Caito foods fresh-cut melons

When Chapman and I started barfblog.com on an airplane flight in 2005 (name credit goes to former student Christian), we thought it would last a couple of years.

It was supposed to be a mix of the personal, the pop, and evidence-based research.

I’ve quit many times, because, that’s what I do, but with my brain going, writing is about the only thing to keep me sane.

A month ago I said I’m out.

I say the same thing to Amy every few months.

I’m an idiot.

Amy told me to start a separate blog, dougsdeadflowers.com, and write whatever I want, but barfblog.com has become part of me for the past almost 20 years.

And then yesterday I saw a get-well message from a Canadian public health inspector who said, “you are our hero.”

Sure, I’m that vain.

I’m confused, and my brain ain’t working, so in the name of transparency, I throw it to my readers who have been there for 26 years:

  • should I stop writing
  • should I focus my available energy on a book
  • should I have a separate blog for personal stuff (which means barfblog.com would die, because Chapman is not a writer)
  • should I mix personal stuff in with the food safety stuff, or is that too narcissistic?

My inclination is to follow my Welsh roots and not go gentle into that good night, but that is hard on those I love.

And this is why Australian retailers should stop selling half-cut cantaloupe-rockmelons and others.

As soon as melons are cut, bacteria go to town.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Carrau illnesses linked to pre-cut melon products. These products contain cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon, or may be mixes of some or all of these melons and other pre-cut fruit.

Caito Foods, LLC, of Indianapolis, Ind., has recalled products containing pre-cut melons because they are potentially contaminated with Salmonella. Additionally, Caito Foods, LLC has temporarily suspended producing and distributing these products.

FDA worked with CDC and state partners to trace the distribution of pre-cut melon mixes from individual case patients back to Caito Foods, LLC. FDA is also continuing its traceback investigation to identify the specific source of these melons. Salmonella Carrau is a rare type of Salmonella but has been historically seen in imported melons. Reports from Caito Foods LLC indicate that imported melons were used in the suspect pre-cut melon mixes. FDA’s traceback investigation is examining shipping records to try to determine a country and if possible, a farm of origin for the melons.

FDA and Indiana authorities are currently inspecting and investigating, to include collecting samples for laboratory analysis, at the Caito Foods LLC processing facility where these melons were cut and packed.

Caito Foods, LLC was linked to a similar outbreak in 2018 involving Salmonella Adelaide in pre-cut melon products.

3 dead, 92 hospitalized, 555 sick from raw chicken thingies in Canada

In 2005, after Chapman was afraid he’d be eaten by bears in Prince George, BC (that’s in Canada) we met with Phebus at a pub in beautiful Manhattan, Kansas, and crafted a research project idea to see how people actually cooked raw chicken thingies (maybe it was 2006, my memory is shit).

The American Meat Institute funded it, we wrote a paper (which was not our best writing), but seems sort of apt now that 555 Canadians have been laboratory confirmed with Salmonella from raw frozen chicken thingies.

Jordyn Posluns of Narcity reports:

The Public Health Agency of Canada indicated that of those affected by the salmonella outbreaks, 92 individuals were hospitalized.  Three people have also died in connection to the outbreaks.

Like many infections, salmonella doesn’t discriminate those infected by the contaminated chicken products were Canadians of a wide range of ages and of different genders.

Direct video observation of adults and tweens cooking raw frozen chicken thingies

01.nov.09

British Food Journal, Vol 111, Issue 9, p 915-929

Sarah DeDonder, Casey J. Jacob, Brae V. Surgeoner, Benjamin Chapman, Randall Phebus, Douglas A. Powell

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewContentItem.do;jsessionid=6146E6AFABCC349C376B7E55A3866D4A?contentType=Article&contentId=1811820

The purpose of the present study was to observe the preparation practices of both adult and young consumers using frozen, uncooked, breaded chicken products, which were previously involved in outbreaks linked to consumer mishandling. The study also sought to observe behaviors of adolescents as home food preparers. Finally, the study aimed to compare food handler behaviors with those prescribed on product labels.

Design/methodology/approach – The study sought, through video observation and self-report surveys, to determine if differences exist between consumers’ intent and actual behavior.

Findings – A survey study of consumer reactions to safe food-handling labels on raw meat and poultry products suggested that instructions for safe handling found on labels had only limited influence on consumer practices. The labels studied by these researchers were found on the packaging of chicken products examined in the current study alongside step-by-step cooking instructions. Observational techniques, as mentioned above, provide a different perception of consumer behaviors. Originality/value – This paper finds areas that have not been studied in previous observational research and is an excellent addition to existing literature.

 

Did health-types get it wrong or a Canberra court: Ricardo’s Café cleared of Salmonella charges

The owner of a popular Canberra cafe has had charges against him dropped, relating to a salmonella outbreak that saw more than 100 people fall ill in 2017, and has also escaped conviction on an unrelated charge.

The owner of Ricardo’s, Rick DeMarco, 32, was cleared of the most serious charges spanning from an investigation in February 2017, which began after customers complained of food poisoning on social media.

The restaurant in Jamison was immediately closed after the reports and, in a statement at the time, Mr DeMarco admitted salmonella was found on a used dishcloth and tea towel, but nothing was found in any food or on any cafe equipment.

Hello? Cross-contamination? Epidemiology?

The ACT chief magistrate Lorraine Walker did not record a conviction against De Marco, after he pleaded guilty to one count of failing to comply with the food standards code.

However, the chief magistrate said there was no correlation between Mr De Marco’s plea of guilty to the individual charge and the salmonella outbreak.

The single charge against Mr De Marco related to breaches discovered by health inspectors. These were uncovered containers of food in a refrigerator and a single-use container being reused.

However, while the food was kept inappropriately, Mr De Marco’s defence barrister Jack Pappas noted the food was kept at the required temperature in the refrigerator.

He added that Mr De Marco’s two businesses, Ricardo’s Cafe and Space Kitchen in Woden, were significant contributors to the local economy by employing about 50 people and training apprentices.

Ms Walker said that the instances were not at the lowest end of offending, “they were pretty close”.

Ms Walker said it was an instance where, due to the nature of the breach and Mr De Marco’s good character, it was appropriate to not record a conviction.

There were 75 cases of salmonella confirmed by ACT Health during the outbreak in February 2017, with some people requiring hospitalisation.

Gross: Salmonella in fish mint

I loves me the fresh mint for the fish and the lamb, but whenever I grow it in Brisbane the bloody possums eat it.

The cats aren’t as useful as I thought they’d be.

I could put some protection around it, like I do with basil, and it is flourishing, but I’m sorta lazy.

Besides, birds and lizards and apparently fish and who knows what else crap on these things all the time.

Canada Herb is recalling Canada Herb brand Fish Mint from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination. Consumers should not consume the recalled product described: Fish Mint LOT: 1721-0060 13/FEB or all packages sold up to and including February 19, 2019.

Game meat: Because we do conference calls: Food poisonings prompt investigation after fundraiser feast

TV9 has learned the Johnson County Public Health Department and the Iowa Department of Public Health are investigating reports of food poisoning following an event in Swisher (interesting choice of graphic for game meat).

The illnesses have been linked to the Swisher Men’s Club’s Game Feast Dinner this past weekend. The group’s facebook page says the fundraiser has been going on for 15 years and features dishes that include meat from animals that are often hunted.

The health departments are looking for anyone who may have attended the meal to try to track down the source of the illnesses. It’s asking attendees to email diana.vonstein@idph.iowa.gov with their contact information.

Johnson County Public Health Director Dave Koch tells TV9 part of their investigative efforts have included taking part in a conference call with officials from the Iowa Department of Public Health on Tuesday.

Koch says part of the investigation will also include testing samples of the food that was served along with conducting tests on any individuals who think they may have contracted an illness.

Australia still has an egg probem: 51 sick from Salmonella at bakery

Brad Crouch of The Advertiser writes that raw eggs are to blame for a salmonella outbreak that so far has left 51 people sick including 19 admitted to hospital.

A SA Health investigation into the outbreak linked to three Angkor Bakery stores has found the likely source of contamination related to handling of raw egg products.

SA Health’s Acting Director of Public Health Services, Dr Fay Jenkins, said a number of food and environmental samples collected from all stores last week returned positive results for Salmonella.

 “Given the sample results and the strain of the Salmonella outbreak, it is most likely that the cause of contamination was related to handling raw egg products,” Dr Jenkins said.

“The owners of the Angkor Bakery stores continue to work closely with the local councils and SA Health to improve their practices, and all three bakeries closed voluntarily during the investigation.”

“Many food poisoning outbreaks have been associated with foods containing raw or partially cooked eggs such as aioli, mayonnaise, hollandaise or tartare sauce and mousse,” Dr Jenkins said.

“The external shell of eggs may contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella, and while eggs may not necessarily look or smell ‘off’ they may be contaminated.

“It’s important to check that eggs are clean and not cracked or dirty — and those that are should be thrown out.

Lakhina Eung, the shop owner of the bakery in Burton, told ABC News she was sorry to anyone impacted by the outbreak and hoped the community would still support the business.

“I couldn’t sleep for over three days now so it’s been stressful,” she said.

“I am really sorry to everyone that is affected and also I hope that the community will still be supportive to us and our customers [will] still support us.

“I hope that the public and the community still trusts us and we [will] try our best to do everything as the council and SA Health require.”

As soon as you learn some basic microbiology and don’t make customers barf.

A table of Australian egg-related outbreaks is available at https://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-5-1-17.xlsx.

And to Dave, Sophie and Carol, who told me in the past week to stop pissing in the wind, this is for you.