20 sick: Salmonella in Norway

Outbreak News Today reports the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) is reporting a Salmonella outbreak which is geographically spread over large parts of country.

Twenty cases have been reported–12 confirmed and 8 suspected cases. The same genetic profile have been detected in all 12 confirmed cases. Preliminary analyzes of samples from the 8 suspected cases indicate that these also carry the outbreak strain.

Those affected are aged from 11 to 91 years, median age is 59 years. 60% are women. 

“The infected live in many different counties. Therefore, we believe that they are infected through a food that is widely distributed”, says doctor Hilde Marie Lund at the department of infection control and emergency preparedness.

“Investigation work can be complicated and time consuming, and in many cases it will not be possible to find the source of the infection or to clarify whether it is a common source. It is too early to say whether this is a limited outbreak or whether it will increase in scope. We follow the situation closely”, says doctor Hilde Marie Lund.

Humans and animals both at risk from contaminated pet food

Some time about 2009, I was walking the dogs on a Sunday morning on the Kansas State University campus with a Canadian graduate student who was getting her MS degree at K-State, and we ran into University president, Jon Wefald.

We exchanged pleasantries, he was enamored by the dogs, and soon the conversation turned a pet food recall that had sickened dozens of humans with some bad bug.

Jon asked me, how are people getting sick from pet food and I explained the sometimes lack of process validation in pet food, the wonderful world of cross-contamination, of and that sometimes people ate pet food directly.

Jon was aghast.

I was, meh.

So that’ why these pet food recalls s are important, because the product can all to easily sicken humans along with their pets.

Bravo Packing, Inc. has recalled all Ground Beef and Performance Dog frozen raw pet food because it may be contaminated with bacteria like Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes.

No illnesses have been reported, but pets who eat the food and people who handle it can become sick with Salmonella and/or Listeria infections.

The recall involves Performance Dog and Ground Beef Raw Pet Food, which are both sold frozen in 2-pound and 5-pound plastic sleeves.

Bravo Packing issued the recall voluntarily after product samples of Performance Dog and a sample of Ground Beef tested positive for Salmonella and Listeria after an FDA inspection.

The FDA warns that pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, vomiting, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, or show no symptoms at all.

22 sick, 1 dead: Small turtles linked to Salmonella outbreak

I’ve written before about small turtles as my only pet when I was a young child.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that a Salmonella outbreak in seven states is being linked back to small turtles.

According to the notice posted on Tuesday, there have been 22 reported illnesses linked to the outbreak, including eight hospitalizations and one death.

The CDC says that pet turtles carry germs in their droppings even when they appear clean and healthy, which can spread in their tank and anything they come into contact with.

People can get sick from touching the turtle and anything in its environment after touching their mouth and swallowing the Salmonella germs, the CDC says.

The CDC also asks people to avoid kissing or snuggling turtles and to not eat or drink around them.

57 sick: Outbreak of Salmonella infections linked to eggs in Canada

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is collaborating with provincial public health partners, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Health Canada to investigate an outbreak of Salmonella infections involving Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia. The outbreak appears to be ongoing, as recent illnesses continue to be reported to PHAC.

Based on the investigation findings to date, exposure to eggs has been identified as a likely source of the outbreak. Many of the individuals who became sick reported consuming, preparing, cooking and baking at home with eggs. Some individuals reported exposure to eggs at an institution (including nursing homes and hospitals) where they resided or worked before becoming ill.

Eggs can sometimes be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria on the shell and inside the egg. The bacteria are most often transmitted to people when they improperly handle, eat or cook contaminated foods.

Illnesses can be prevented if proper safe food handing and cooking practices are followed. PHAC is not advising consumers to avoid eating properly cooked eggs, but this outbreak serves as a reminder that Canadians should always handle raw eggs carefully and cook eggs and egg-based foods to an internal temperature of at least 74 C (165 F) to ensure they are safe to eat.

PHAC is issuing this public health notice to inform Canadians of the investigation findings to date and to share important safe food handling practices to help prevent further Salmonella infections.

As the outbreak investigation is ongoing, it is possible that additional sources could be identified, and food recall warnings related to this outbreak may be issued. This public health notice will be updated as the investigation evolves.

As of February 18, 2021, there have been 57 laboratory-confirmed cases of Salmonella Enteritidis illness investigated in the following provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador (25), and Nova Scotia (32). Individuals became sick between late October 2020 and late January 2021. Nineteen individuals have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 2 and 98 years of age. The majority of cases (68%) are female.

Between October and December 2020, CFIA issued food recall warnings for a variety of eggs distributed in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The recalled eggs are now past their shelf-life and are no longer available for purchase. Some individuals who became sick in this outbreak reported exposure to recalled eggs; however, there are a number of recent ill individuals that do not.

It is possible that more recent illnesses may be reported in the outbreak because there is a period of time between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported to public health officials. For this outbreak, the illness reporting period is between three and six weeks.

Anyone can become sick with a Salmonella infection, but young childrenthe elderlypregnant women or people with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for contracting serious illness.

Most people who become ill from a Salmonella infection will recover fully after a few days. It is possible for some people to be infected with the bacteria and to not get sick or show any symptoms, but to still be able to spread the infection to others.

Raw or undercooked eggs and egg-based foods carrying Salmonella may look, smell and taste normal, so it’s important to always follow safe food-handling tips if you are buying, cleaning, chilling, cooking and storing any type of eggs or egg-based foods. If contaminated, the Salmonella may be found on the shell itself or may be inside the egg. The following food preparation tips may help reduce your risk of getting sick, but they may not fully eliminate the risk of illness.

  • Always handle raw eggs carefully and cook eggs and egg-based foods to an internal temperature of at least 74°C (165°F) to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Do not eat raw or undercooked eggs. Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm.
  • When purchasing eggs, choose only refrigerated eggs with clean, uncracked shells.
  • Always wash your hands before and after you touch raw eggs. Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand rub if soap and water are not available.
  • Eggs (whether raw or cooked) should not be kept at room temperature for more than two hours. Eggs that have been at room temperature for more than two hours should be thrown out.
  • Use pasteurized egg products instead of raw eggs when preparing foods that aren’t heated (such as icing, eggnog or Caesar salad dressing).
  • Do not taste raw dough, batter or any other product containing raw eggs. Eating even a small amount could make you sick.
  • Microwave cooking of raw eggs is not recommended because of the possibility of uneven heating.
  • Sanitize countertops, cutting boards and utensils before and after preparing eggs or egg-based foods. Use a kitchen sanitizer (following the directions on the container) or a bleach solution (5 mL household bleach to 750 mL of water), and rinse with water.
  • Do not re-use plates, cutting boards or utensils that have come in contact with raw eggs unless they have been thoroughly washed, rinsed and sanitized.
  • Use paper towels to wipe kitchen surfaces, or change dishcloths daily to avoid the risk of cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria. Avoid using sponges as they are harder to keep bacteria-free.
  • Do not prepare food for other people if you think you are sick with a Salmonella infection or suffering from any other contagious illness causing diarrhea.

Symptoms of a Salmonella infection, called salmonellosis, typically start 6 to 72 hours after exposure to Salmonella bacteria from an infected animal or contaminated product.
Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • headache
  • nausea
  • vomiting

These symptoms usually last for 4 to 7 days. In healthy people, salmonellosis often clears up without treatment, but sometimes antibiotics may be required. In some cases, severe illness may occur and hospitalization may be required. People who are infected with Salmonella bacteria can be infectious from several days to several weeks. People who experience symptoms, or who have underlying medical conditions, should contact their health care provider if they suspect they have a Salmonella infection.

The Public Health Agency of Canada leads the human health investigation into an outbreak and is in regular contact with its federal, provincial and territorial partners to monitor the situation and to collaborate on steps to address an outbreak.

Health Canada provides food-related health risk assessments to determine whether the presence of a certain substance or microorganism poses a health risk to consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency conducts food safety investigations into the possible food source of an outbreak.

Foodborne illness source attribution estimates for 2018 for Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter using multi-year outbreak surveillance data, United States, December 2020

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Dec.2020 that each year in the U.S.an estimated 9 million people get sick, 56,000 are hospitalized, and 1,300 die of foodborne disease caused by known pathogens. These estimates help us understand the scope of this public health problem. However, to develop effective prevention measures, we need to understand the types of foods contributing to the problem.

The Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration (IFSAC) is a tri-agency group created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS). IFSAC developed a method to estimate the percentages of foodborne illness attributed to certain sources using outbreak data from 1998 through the most recent year for four priority pathogens: Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter. IFSAC described this method and the estimates for 2012 in a report, peer-reviewed journal article, and at a public meeting. IFSAC derived the estimates for 2018 using the same method used for the 2012 estimates, with some modifications. The data came from 1,459 foodborne disease outbreaks that occurred from 1998 through 2018 and for which each confirmed or suspected implicated food was assigned to a single food category. The method relies most heavily on the most recent five years of outbreak data (2014 – 2018). Foods are categorized using a scheme IFSAC created that classifies foods into 17 categories that closely align with the U.S. food regulatory agencies’ classification needs. Salmonella illnesses came from a wide variety of foods.

More than 75% of Salmonella illnesses were attributed to seven food categories: Chicken, Seeded Vegetables (such as tomatoes), Pork, Fruits, Other Produce (such as nuts), Eggs and Turkey. E. coli O157 illnesses were most often linked to Vegetable Row Crops (such as leafy greens) and Beef. Over 75% of illnesses were linked to these two categories. Listeria monocytogenes illnesses were most often linked to Dairy products and Fruits. More than 75% of illnesses were attributed to these two categories, but the rarity of Listeria monocytogenes outbreaks makes these estimates less reliable than those for other pathogens. Non-Dairy Campylobacter illnesses were most often linked to Chicken. Over 75% of non-Dairy foodborne illnesses were attributed to Chicken, Other Seafood (such as shellfish), and Turkey, with Campylobacter illnesses most often linked to Chicken. An attribution percentage for Dairy is not included because, among other reasons, most foodborne Campylobacter outbreaks were associated with unpasteurized milk, which is not widely consumed, and we think these over-represent Dairy as a source of illness caused by Campylobacter. Removing Dairy illnesses from the calculations highlights important sources of illness from widely consumed foods, such as Chicken.

This collaborative effort to provide annual attribution estimates continues IFSAC’s work to improve foodborne illness source attribution, which can help inform efforts to prioritize food safety initiatives, interventions, and policies for reducing foodborne illnesses. These consensus estimates allow all three agencies to take a consistent approach to identifying food safety priorities to protect public health. For more information on IFSAC projects visit https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/ifsac/projects/index.html.

A reason to get married at City Hall: Dozens of guests at Jamaica resort sickened by likely salmonella outbreak

Lisa Fickenscher of the New York Post writes that an apparent salmonella outbreak at a resort in Jamaica in Dec. has ruined vacations for potentially dozens of holiday travelers — and now some sickened guests are considering legal action, The Post has learned.

“It was a nightmare,” Chantel Ele of Lincoln, Nebraska, told The Post of her experience at the Grand Palladium Resort and Spa, which was echoed by other people online. “I don’t know how many people go on an all-inclusive vacation and lose weight.” 

Ele and her husband, Justin, secured their room at the 537-room beachside resort, which boasts 11 restaurants, 17 bars and “one of the largest swimming pools in the Caribbean,” in February before the pandemic hit.

But the island getaway dissolved into severe stomach and body cramps and diarrhea within two days of their arrival on Dec. 13 — tethering them to a bathroom at all times, Justin told The Post.

Aaron Sutton and his fiancé Cheyenne also had trouble in paradise. The couple, who live in Pittsburgh, squeezed in about 48 hours of fun before they were both felled by unrelenting diarrhea and vomiting on Dec. 14, they said. They booked their $4,000 honeymoon trip to the Palladium resort last year after getting engaged in Jamaica, and held on to the reservation despite being forced to postpone their wedding.

“My fiancé was so weak and feverish, she could barely stand up,” Sutton told The Post.

Iwaspoisoned.com, a platform that tracks food-borne illnesses, has tallied the number of guests who have allegedly become ill at the resort in December at close to 100, said the site’s founder Patrick Quade, who based the tally on reports to websites like TripAdvisor, Orbitz, Booking.com and the resort’s Facebook page.  

Fresh attitude brand baby spinach recalled due to Salmonella in Canada

Fairly sure I had foodborne illness the past few days.

And I live in Brisbane, Australia.

Probably some fresh fruit or veg I ate a week ago, felt nauseas Wed. and Thurs. of last week, OK Friday, but Saturday was a torrent of vomit, accompanied by a weekend of diarrhea.

I have multiple thermometers and temp everything I cook.

Today is Monday and I’m fine.

As another reminder that fresh product is fresh, and anything that comes in contact can contaminate, Vegpro International is recalling Fresh Attitude brand Baby Spinach from the marketplace due to possible Salmonella contamination.

This recall was triggered by the company. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other products. If other high-risk products are recalled, the CFIA will notify the public through updated Food Recall Warnings.

The CFIA is verifying that industry is removing the recalled products from the marketplace.

Recalled products

Brand Product          Size     UPC    Codes

Fresh Attitude          Baby Spinach            312 g   8 88048 00028 8         Best Before 2020 DE 04

Fresh Attitude          Baby

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of these products.

1012 sick in US: Salmonella infections linked to onions

This is over two months old, but should get it out there, because onions are an infrequent source of foodborne illness, despite being grown in the ground.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported that onions supplied by Thomson International, Inc., or any foods made with recalled onions, should not be eaten.

As of August 31, 2020, a total of 1,012 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 47 states. A list of the states and the number of cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from June 19, 2020, to August 11, 2020. Ill people range in age from less than 1 to 102 years, with a median age of 40. Fifty-seven percent of ill people are female. Of 581 ill people with information available, 136 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Illnesses might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of 2 to 4 weeks. Please see the Timeline for Reporting Cases of Salmonella Infection for more details.

Whole genome sequencing analysis of 732 bacterial isolates from ill people did not predict any antibiotic resistance in 730 isolates; one isolate had predicted resistance to ampicillin, and one isolate had predicted resistance to tetracycline. Standard antibiotic susceptibility testing of seven clinical isolates by CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory showed no resistance. This resistance does not affect the choice of antibiotic used to treat most people.

Whole genome sequencing analysis shows that an outbreak of Salmonella Newport infections in Canada is related genetically to this outbreak in the United States. This means that people in both of these outbreaks are likely to share a common source of infection.

Recalled onion types include red, white, yellow, and sweet yellow varieties.

Foods made with recalled onions, such as cheese dips and spreads, salsas, and chicken salads, have also been recalled. These foods were sold at multiple grocery store chains. View the list of recalled onions and foods

Check your home for onions and other foods recalled by Thomson International, Inc. and several other companies, including Food Lion, Giant Eagle, Kroger, Publix, Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s, and Walmart.

If you can’t tell where your onions are from, don’t eat them or any food made with them. Throw them away.

If you used recalled onions to make any other food, don’t eat the food. Throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one got sick.

Wash and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with onions or their packaging, such as countertops, storage bins, refrigerator drawers, knives, and cutting boards.

When you order food from a restaurant or shop for food, check to make sure they are not serving or selling any recalled onions, foods prepared with recalled onions, or any recalled foods such as salads, sandwiches, tacos, salsas, and dips.

If they don’t know where their onions are from, don’t buy the product or order the food.

Check the list of recalled products.

If you don’t know where your onions are from, don’t serve or sell them.

View the list of recalled onions and foods

A total of 1,012 people infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Newport have been reported from 47 states.

136 hospitalizations have been reported. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic and traceback information showed that red onions are a likely source of this outbreak. Due to the way onions are grown and harvested, other onion types, such as white, yellow, or sweet yellow, are also likely to be contaminated.

On August 19, 2020, Hello Fresh recalledexternal icon onions received by customers from May 8 through July 31, 2020.

See the full list ofrecalled onions and foods

This investigation is ongoing. CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

‘Remain humble’ Salmonella infections linked to peaches

In Aug. 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control warned consumers not to eat, serve, or sell loose or bagged peaches packed or supplied by Prima Wawona or Wawona Packing Company LLC.

Peaches were sold in bags and individually (bulk/loose peaches).

If you can’t tell where the peaches are from, don’t eat them. Throw them out.

Don’t eat food made with these peaches.

Check your kitchen and refrigerator for recalled peaches. If you freeze fresh peaches to use later, check your freezer, too.

Retailers that sold these peaches include Aldi, Food Lion, Hannaford, Kroger, Target, Walmartand Wegmans.

The recalled bulk/loose peaches were sold in grocery stores through August 3, 2020 in various ways, typically loose in bins for shoppers to select.

The peaches may have the following stickers with Price Look Up (PLU) numbers on them: 4037, 4038, 4044, 4401, 94037, 94038, 94044, 94401. However, not all peaches with these PLU codes are supplied by Prima Wawona. If you are unsure of the brand or variety of your loose peaches, you can contact your retailer or supplier, or throw them out.

Brands and product codes for recalled peaches sold in bags include:

Wawona Peaches – 033383322001

Wawona Organic Peaches – 849315000400

Prima® Peaches – 766342325903

Organic Marketside Peaches – 849315000400

Kroger Peaches – 011110181749

Wegmans Peaches – 077890490488

Wash and sanitize places where peaches were stored, including countertops and refrigerator drawers or shelves.

Restaurants and retailers, as well as suppliers, distributors, and others in the supply chain, should clean and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with recalled peaches, including cutting boards, countertops, refrigerators, and storage bins. If peaches from other sources were mixed with recalled peaches, all peaches should be discarded.Prior to the CDC announcement, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) warned warned the public not to consume and retailers, distributors, manufacturers, and food service establishments such as hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, hospitals, and nursing homes not to serve, use, or sell the products described below.

Prima Wawona, located in Fresno, California, has recalled fresh peaches with various brand names due to possible Salmonella contamination. Various importers in Canada are conducting a recall of the affected products.

Martin Wiedmann, a professor of food safety at Cornell University, told the New York Times, “The challenge with salmonella is salmonella can really enter or contaminate food almost anywhere in the whole chain. It could start from a field or an orchard, where salmonella could be introduced. It could be in a facility where the product is packaged. It could be from a human who carries salmonella.”

Customers who have the peaches at home, even if they are frozen, should not eat them and should toss them out immediately, the F.D.A. said. They should also throw away any items that were made with the peaches. Health officials also recommend cleaning and sanitizing the area where the fruit was kept, because it may have come into contact with and contaminated surfaces or containers.

This is important because, according to Dr. Wiedmann, salmonella is incredibly resilient.

“Salmonella is very good at surviving in the environment,” he said, “so there are examples where salmonella lived in an environment, a built environment — a processing plant or a building — for years.”

Food and Drug Administration official Mark Moorman told The Packer the “smarter” era of food safety has not yet arrived.

Moorman, director of FDA’s Office of Food Safety, spoke about the agency’s food safety goals on Aug. 20 at the U.S. Apple Association’s online 125th Annual Crop and Outlook Marketing Conference.

Recall of onions from Thomson International Inc., Bakersfield, Calif., were still occurring as of Aug. 20, Moorman said.

He reviewed the four pillars of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety:

Tech-enabled traceability;

Smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak rsponse;

New business models and retail modernization; and

Food safety culture.

He said the vision for the future is for a much more responsive food safety system, with end-to-end traceability.

“I want to be very clear with this group looking very hard and in our own culture and we are asking ourselves how do we influence consumer behavior,” he said.

Asked whether apples are low risk because they don’t come in contact with the ground, Moorman noted the current recall of peaches, which are linked to an outbreak of salmonella.

“I would agree in general that apples are a lower-risk (food), but all of us should remain humble, and recognize that the world of

Salmonella in cucumbers and cross-contamination during waxing

Cucumbers found in retail markets are often waxed to improve visual appeal and retard moisture loss. This waxing may affect bacterial survival and the waxing process may facilitate cross-contamination between cucumbers. This study assessed survival of Salmonella on waxed and un-waxed cucumbers and the potential for Salmonella cross-contamination during the waxing process.

Fresh waxed or un-waxed cucumbers were spot-inoculated with a Salmonella enterica cocktail. Three different wax coatings (mineral oil, vegetable oil, or petroleum wax) were manually applied to un-waxed cucumbers using polyethylene brushes. Salmonella transfer from inoculated cucumbers to brush or to un-inoculated cucumbers was quantified.

Higher Salmonella concentrations were observed on waxed cucumbers during the first 3 days of storage but the final concentration on un-waxed cucumbers was higher than on waxed cucumbers at the end of storage, regardless of storage temperature. Wax formulation did affect survival of Salmonella inoculated directly into waxes, with the significant decline in Salmonella populations observed in vegetable-based wax coating, but with populations unchanged over 7 days at 7 or 21 °C in mineral oil-based and petroleum-based waxes. Salmonella cells could transfer from inoculated un-waxed cucumbers to brushes used for waxing and then to un-inoculated cucumbers during waxing. Significantly higher log percent transfer to brushes was observed when cucumbers were waxed with vegetable oil (0.71 log percent, P = 0.00441) vs. mineral oil (0.06 log percent) or petroleum (0.05 log percent).

Transfer to un-inoculated cucumbers via brushes was also quantified (0.18 to 0.35 log percent transfer). Salmonella remaining on contaminated cucumbers after waxing could be detected for up to 7 days, and Salmonella survived better on cucumbers treated with a petroleum-based wax. These findings should be useful in managing risk of Salmonella contamination in cucumbers during post-harvest handling.

Quantification of survival and transfer of salmonella on fresh cucumbers during waxingJournal of Food Protection

30 October 2020

Jiin Jung and Donald Schaffner

https://doi.org/10.4315/JFP-20-375

https://meridian.allenpress.com/jfp/article-abstract/doi/10.4315/JFP-20-375/446920/Quantification-of-survival-and-transfer-of?redirectedFrom=fulltext