14 sick: Farmed seaweed linked to Salmonella outbreak recalled

Following initial reports that at least 14 people were sickened with Salmonella linked to farmed seaweed from Hawaii,  Marine Agrifuture, LLC. of Kahuku, HI, is recalling its Kahuku Ogo, Robusta Ogo and Kahuku Sea Asparagus which were distributed mainly in Hawaii to seafood and produce distributors through direct delivery, but also to some customers in CA, WA, NV, and Tokyo Japan, and retailed at local farmers markets in Hawaii.

kahuku-seaweedThe Ogo products come in a plastic bag of various weights from 0.5 LB to 35 LB, which were sold from November 2, 2016 and prior, and the Sea Asparagus in 4 Ounce, 1 LB clear plastic clamshell or in a 5 LB of plastic bag marked with a tracking number stamped on the lids or bags, which were sold from November 8, 2016 and prior. The corresponding UPC number for 4 OZ, 1 LB, and 5 LB of sea asparagus are 897680001010, 897680001027, and 897680001041 respectively.

The potential for contamination was noted after special tests by the Hawaii Department of Health revealed the presence of Salmonella in saltwater in the farm production and processing areas.

Production of the product has been suspended while FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

14 sick with Salmonella from seaweed farm in Hawaii

Jobeth Devera of Hawaii News Now writes the state is investigating 14 cases of salmonella on Oahu that are believed linked to tainted limu from an Oahu seaweed farm.

limu-pokeIn a news release issued Monday, the Department of Health said officials have ordered the farm to halt operations and advise its customers to remove its product from sale immediately.

The problem seaweed came from Olokai Hawaii, a seaweed farm in Kahuku. The owner, Dr. Wenhao Sun, said tainted water used in aquaponics may be to blame. 

“I was really surprised,” he said. “I don’t know how this could happen.”

The state said the cases of salmonella were in children and adults. All of the cases developed diarrheal illness from mid- to late October.

Four patients required hospitalization.

Dr. Sun says in 10 years of operations, his farm has never experienced problems like this.

“We will learn more and we will find the problem,” he said. “Then we can move on so we will satisfy our customers and make sure all the food is safe.”
Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

17 now sick with Salmonella from Welsh laverbread outbreak

Five new cases of Salmonella with possible links to laverbread have emerged in the past week bringing the total number to 17, said Public Health Wales.

Tests are continuing to confirm whether they are all linked to the outbreak, which has nine confirmed cases so far.

laverbreadCases have been reported across south and west Wales.

Three people have needed hospital treatment, but have been discharged.

Health officials said a study has confirmed a strong association with laverbread from Penclawdd Shellfish Processing Ltd, probably produced and distributed between 5 and 8 March.

Last week, the company voluntarily withdrew its laverbread from sale as a precaution.

Samples taken from its Swansea factory have not shown any evidence of Salmonella in either food or in the environment, said Public Health Wales.

Laverbread is the boiled and minced laver seaweed, often fried with bacon and cockles as a traditional Welsh breakfast dish. The seaweed is eaten worldwide, especially in Asia, and is often used in Japanese sushi dishes.

NZ food poisoning survivor to farewell friend

Emma Langlands will farewell Sarah Carter who died while they and a third friend, Amanda Eliason, were holidaying in Chiang Mai.

The university friends, all aged 23, suffered food poisoning after eating from a market near their hotel.

Just two days later – on Waitangi Day – Ms Carter was dead.

Ms Langlands, who was the least affected of the group, is now back home in Hamilton.

Her father, Richard Langlands, yesterday told the Herald that his daughter would pay her respects at Ms Carter’s funeral.

Ms Eliason, however, will not be able to attend. She is still in Thailand and is not yet well enough to fly.

The three women, who travelled to Thailand for a short holiday, were admitted to Chiang Mai Ram Hospital last week.

It was first reported that they had become sick after eating toxic seaweed but their families later said they had ordered curry.

Ms Carter and Ms Eliason required emergency heart procedures but Ms Carter lost her battle.

A spokesman from the Chiang Mai public health office told the Herald that results sent to a laboratory for testing were not expected for another two weeks.

Seaweed delicacy in Thailand kills 23-year-old NZ woman, two others in hospital

The New Zealand Herald is reporting that a dream Overseas Experience has turned to tragedy for three young New Zealand women after food poisoning killed one and left the other two in hospital.

Sarah Carter, 23, died on Sunday, reportedly after eating a seaweed delicacy at a market in Chiang Mai, Thailand – just hours before her mother could get to her bedside.

Her friends Amanda Eliason and Emma Langlands, both 23, also suffered food poisoning and were last night still in Chiang Mai Ram Hospital.

Amanda remained in the intensive care unit while Emma was yesterday moved into her own room and was now eating.

"We’ve just been on a rollercoaster from hell," Emma’s father, Richard, said last night. "Three of them went over, but one’s not coming back. It’s just horrific. These girls are so beautiful, professional and sensible. It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy.

"I just can’t understand how this happened … they’re all such amazing, hugely intelligent girls."

The three friends – who were on their OE after finishing their studies at Wellington’s Victoria University – were rushed to hospital last Friday when they became ill after eating what is thought to have been toxic seaweed.

Two days later, Sarah was dead.

Yesterday her father, Richard Carter of Auckland, told a news website that his daughter had "touched the hearts of everyone she knew."

* There are several types of edible seaweed used in many countries.
* The high iodine content can produce iodine toxicity if large amounts are consumed.
* Rotting seaweed is also a potent source of hydrogen sulfide, a highly toxic gas which can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but is rarely fatal.
* Most edible seaweed is marine algae – most freshwater algae is toxic.While marine algae is not generally toxic, some do contain acids that irritate the digestion canal, while others can have a laxative effect.
* Is a staple food in most parts of Asia and is used in soups, salads and as a side dish.
* Recognised in many Western countries, as being used in sushi and in spirulina.