4 dead, 23000 sickened in 2012 from Salmonella Thompson related to smoked salmon in the Netherlands

On 15 August 2012, an increase in the number of Salmonella Thompson cases was noticed by the Salmonella surveillance in the Netherlands. A case–control study was performed, followed by a food investigation. In total 1,149 cases were laboratory-confirmed between August and December 2012 of which four elderly (76–91 years) were reported to have died due to the infection. The cause of the outbreak was smoked salmon processed at a single site.

r-SMOKED-SALMON-SALMONELLA-large570The smoked salmon had been continuously contaminated in the processing lines through reusable dishes, which turned out to be porous and had become loaded with bacteria.

This is the largest outbreak of salmonellosis ever recorded in the Netherlands. The temporary closure of the processing site and recall of the smoked salmon stopped the outbreak. An estimated four to six million Dutch residents were possibly exposed to the contaminated smoked salmon and an estimated 23,000 persons would have had acute gastroenteritis with S. Thompson during this outbreak.

This outbreak showed that close collaboration between diagnostic laboratories, regional public health services, the national institute for public health and the food safety authorities is essential in outbreak investigations.

Eurosurveillance, Volume 19, Issue 39

Friesema I, de Jong A, Hofhuis A, Heck M, van den Kerkhof H, de Jonge R, Hameryck D, Nagel K, van Vilsteren G, van Beek P, Notermans D, and van Pelt W.

French court fines former owner, director of Marcel Baey for 2010-2011 Listeria cover-up

A French court condemned the former director of salmon smoker Marcel Baey on April 8 in relation to an investigation into unreported listeria occurrences and misleading marketing material at the company in 2010 and 2011, reported La Voix du Nord.

smoked-salmon2-265x268The court also imposed a fine of €50,000 on the company’s former owners. However, that money is unlikely to ever be paid considering Marcel Baey’s assets were taken over by from receivership Poland’s Suempol in July 2013.

“This case relates to events between 2010 and 2011,” Marcel Baey’s current production manager Romain Marce told Undercurrent News following the court ruling. “It does not concern Suempol but the entity Marcel Baey. It is therefore the liquidator who is concerned.”

The authorities which uncovered the malpractices at Marcel Baey from 2010 to 2011 stressed that these were in the past, and that the company and its owners Suempol are fully compliant with regulations.

According to La Voix du Nord, the court heard that Marcel Baey had dissimulated a sanitary crisis in 2010 and 2011. The Boulogne-sur-mer-based company was also found guilty of misleading promotion on its products.

The findings were uncovered by the French agency Direction departementale de la protection des populations (DPPP), which started investigating the company following hear-say from competitors.

2 sick; smoked salmon recalled for Listeria

Spence & Co Ltd, Brockton MA, a smoked salmon company is voluntarily recalling New York-Style Nova Lox, 4oz, Code/Lot: 9720704 because of possible contamination by Listeria monocytogenes.

Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant woman.

The recall affects a total of 1,563 packs of Spence & co Ltd New York Style Nova Lox Lot 9720704.

950 sick, 3 dead; full report on salmonella in smoked salmon

Who doesn’t love a leisurely browse through the weekly Eurosurveillance, along with some salmon and poached eggs, maybe some honeydew melon (which has yellow skin here but still green fruit on the inside).

Researchers this week report an ongoing outbreak of salmonellosis due to Salmonella Thompson is affecting the Netherlands. Between 2 August and 19 October 2012, 866 cases were confirmed. Their median age was 44 years (range: 0–95 years), 63% were female and 36% were hospitalized. A matched case–control study suggested smoked salmon as the vehicle. Salmonella Thompson was confirmed in four of nine batches of smoked salmon from one producer. A recall of all concerned smoked salmon products was executed starting end of September.

The complete report is available at http://www.eurosurveillance.org/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=20303.

950 sick, 3 dead, Netherlands: Safety council to investigate salmonella in smoked salmon

Dutch News reports the national safety council will investigate fish processors Foppen where the outbreak occurred earlier this month, as well as the role of the government. The aim is to find out how such outbreaks should be dealt with in the future. There is no question of apportioning blame, says Nos television.

The salmonella was eventually traced to one of Foppen’s production lines in Greece.

So far 18 of the people who contracted salmonella have joined forces to fight for compensation.

3 dead, over 1000 sick in Dutch Salmonella outbreak

I like salmon. There’s no wild salmon in Australia but it’s farmed in the cooler waters of Tasmania, and it’s an excellent product.

I used to eat a lot of smoked salmon, but that didn’t start until my 40s. Now, I can get better fillets and do it myself, although I do have the only kid at pre-school who has lunches of salmon, brie and baguette.

Sadly, smoked salmon has its risks.

Three elderly people have died and the number of those sickened by salmonella after eating infected smoked salmon has risen to 950, Dutch health officials said on Thursday.

Dutch food and consumer watchdog NVWA rang alarm bells earlier this month, pinning the outbreak on Dutch fish producer Foppen and advising all major Dutch supermarket chains to take the contaminated salmon off the shelves.

The National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) in the Netherlands.

added that around 100 people in the United States were also infected “by the same type of salmonella.”

Foppen, headquartered in the central Dutch town of Harderwijk in the meantime blamed a contaminated production line in Greece for the outbreak, Dutch media reported.

1 dead, over 500 sick in Dutch salmonella-in-smoked salmon outbreak

The Dutch public health watchdog says at least one elderly patient has died and more than 500 people have been sickened in a major salmonella outbreak caused by tainted salmon.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said in a statement Saturday tests have confirmed one death and another fatality is under investigation. Both victims were aged over 80.

The institute announced earlier this month that the outbreak had been traced to a Dutch company called Foppen and ordered its products pulled off shelves at stores across the Netherlands.

It now says the number of people sickened by tainted salmon before the recall has risen to at least 550.

CostCo Wholesale Corp., which sells Foppen products in the United States, also recalled salmon products.

300 sick with Salmonella in Dutch-US smoked salmon outbreak

AFP reports that hundreds of consumers in the Netherlands and the United States have been sickened by Salmonella after eating smoked salmon produced at a Dutch fish factory, health authorities said Monday.

In the Netherlands “some 200 people have fallen ill through contaminated salmon” while in the US about 100 people were infected “by the same type of salmonella”, said the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) in the Netherlands.

“The real number of infected people (is) likely to be higher,” the RIVM added in a statement, saying smoked salmon made by Dutch fish producer Foppen has been taken off the shelves and removed from storage fridges.

Foppen supplies smoked salmon to major supermarket chains including retail giant Albert Heijn, Dutch food and consumer watchdog NVWA said in a statement.

It warned consumers not to eat any Foppen salmon already bought at supermarkets, which had been advised to take the product off their shelves.

“An international recall is being prepared,” the RIVM added, referring to salmon sold in the United States.

The NVWA rang alarm bells Friday, issuing a recall and advising consumers not to eat smoked salmon produced by Foppen.

Listeria in BC smoked salmon product; Kevin Allen speaks again

Hockey goon and University of British Columbia by food microbiologist Kevin Allen found some listeria in samples of smoked salmon and said,

"A healthy adult … likely could consume it with no consequence. However, if I was going to feed that to my daughter or son, the answer is no, I wouldn’t."

And yes, kids eat smoked salmon. Almost-2-year-old daughter Sorenne especially likes brie cheese and smoked turkey breast, along with pickles and olives. Goofy kid (that’s in a loving way; she’s also apparently fascinated with money).

CBC News reports that traces of the bacteria Listeria have been detected in samples of smoked salmon bought at a Vancouver retailer.

Two contaminated samples — including one containing the potentially fatal strain Listeria monocytogenes — were found in chunks of smoked salmon, called salmon nuggets, purchased at Longliner Seafoods at the Granville Island Public Market.

A total of 53 samples of delicatessen meat and ready-to-eat seafood from nine stores around Vancouver were tested by Dr. Allen.

No Listeria bacteria were found in the deli meat .

The sample containing Listeria monocytogenes contained a concentration of bacteria that was below the federal threshold that would have necessitated a recall, but it is still a cause for concern, said Allen.

"It should definitely be ringing some alarm bells for these processors.”

People with compromised immune systems, including pregnant women and the elderly, are especially vulnerable to listeriosis.

Higher processing temperature may reduce listeria risk in smoked salmon

I’m a big fan of smoked salmon, especially the farmed kind – it’s more sustainable. The convenience and nutrients are hard to top – except maybe with a slice of tomato.

The problem with such refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods is listeria, the bacterium that’s everywhere and grows at refrigerator temperatures.

Last night, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Classic Smokehouse (2003) Inc. warned the public not to consume Classic Canadian Wild Sockeye Trims because the product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The affected product, Classic Canadian Wild Sockeye Lox Trim, was sold in 454g vacuum packages bearing UPC 3000550008256 and PACKED ON dates from MA 02 (May 2, 2009) to JL 28 (July 28, 2009) inclusive.

This product has been distributed in British Columbia.

There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of this product.

At least not this time.

Such listeria-related recalls are common, and why work continues to increase the safety of refrigerated RTE foods. A recent study from the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, determined that smoking salmon at adequately high temperatures is a step in reducing the risk of Listeria monocytogenes in the fish.

Researchers from USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Wyndmoor, PA, found greater inactivation rates of Listeria monocytogenes occurred in samples processed at higher temperatures and in samples containing higher concentrations of salt and smoke compound.  The inactivation rate increased tenfold when the temperature increased by 5° C, indicating that smoking temperature is a main factor affecting the inactivation of the pathogen.  In addition, salt and smoke compounds also contribute to the inactivation effect.

While such research continues, pregnant women should avoid refrigerated RTE foods like smoked salmon. Amy’s back on the smoked salmon, and this is her lunch for later today: smoked salmon and walnuts over spring mix, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (left).