To establish the agent responsible for a gastroenteritis outbreak in a hotel in Menorca (Spain) in September 2016.
The study included epidemiological and laboratory analysis. Environmental and stool samples were examined for bacterial and viral pathogens.
One hundred and fifty-one cases were detected, 123 among the tourists staying in the hotel and 28 affecting the staff. The presence of genotype 2 norovirus was discovered in the microbiological studies of patient’s faeces, as well as in the surface samples of rooms and common areas. The control plan implemented allowed for control of the outbreak.
This study on a genotype 2 norovirus outbreak reveals the importance of a rapid response for controlling these types of outbreaks.
Norovirus outbreak causing gastroenteritis in a hotel in Menorca, Spain
Salmonella is one of the most important foodborne pathogens worldwide. Its main reservoirs are poultry and pigs, in which infection is endemic in many countries. Spain has one of the largest pig populations in the world. Even though Salmonella infection is commonly detected in pig farms, its spatial distribution at the national level is poorly understood.
Here we aimed to report the spatial distribution of Salmonella-positive pig farms in Spain and investigate thepresence of potential spatial trends over a 17-year period. For this, data on samples from pigs tested for Salmonella in 2002–2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 as part of the Spanish Veterinary Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance program, representing 3,730 farms were analyzed. The spatial distribution and clustering of Salmonella-positive pig farms at the province level were explored using spatial empiricalBayesian smoothing and global Moran’s I, local Moran’s I, and the Poisson model of the spatial scan statistics. Bayesian spatial regression using a reparameterized Besag-York-Mollié Poisson model (BYM2 model) was then performed to quantify the presence of spatially structured and unstructured effects while accounting for the effect of potential riskfactors for Salmonella infection at the province level. The overall proportion of Salmonella-positive farms was 37.8% (95% confidence interval: 36.2–39.4). Clusters of positive farms were detected in the East and Northeast of Spain. The Bayesian spatial regression revealed a West-to-East increase in the risk of Salmonella infection at the province level, with 65.2% (50% highest density interval: 70–100.0%) of this spatial pattern being explained by the spatially structured component. Our results demonstrate the existence of a spatial variation in the risk of Salmonella infection in pig farms at the province level in Spain.
This information can help to optimize risk-based Salmonella surveillance programs in Spain, although further research to identify farm-level factors explaining this pattern are needed.
Spatial trends in salmonella infection in pigs in Spain, 23 June 2020
Eva Saiz of El Pais reports the owners of the food company responsible for the worst-ever listeriosis outbreak in Spain were arrested on Wednesday for manslaughter.
Since August, the outbreak has killed three people, caused seven miscarriages, and infected more than 200 people. The source of the bacterial infection was traced to a Seville-based company called Magrudis, which sold a contaminated pork loin product called carne mechada under the brand name La Mechá. Three more products produced by the company also tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
The owners of Magrudis, José Antonio Marín Pince and his two children Sandro and Mario, have been accused, to different degrees, of involuntary manslaughter, crimes against health and causing injury to a fetus.
“When the crisis broke, we reminded the business by email that one of their samples had been contaminated much earlier. Given that they did nothing, we passed on this information to the courts,” José Antonio Borrás, the owner of the Microal Group laboratory, told EL PAÍS.
The laboratory handed a report to the court in early September, and according to sources close to the investigation, the contents prompted Judge Pilar Ordóñez, who is overseeing the case, to take action on Tuesday.
Neither laboratories nor companies are legally obliged to warn the authorities if a product is found to test positive, but a company does have a duty to adopt measures to correct the problem. Investigators want to find out why the owners of Magrudis did not do this, and why, more importantly they hid the positive test results from health inspectors who visited the factory after the alert was raised. In public appearances, both Marín and his son Sandro claimed that the company had successfully passed all sanitary controls.
Traces of listeria were found in tests carried out on the Magrudis production line, including the oven carts used to transport the meat during the preparation process, and the larding needles used to inject the pork with fat before cooking. The crisis was complicated by the fact that the company’s products had been sold on to another firm and prepared for sale as an own-brand product in a supermarket chain without the proper labelling.
That safety is always going off. We won’t get caught. No one got sick yesterday, so there’s a greater chance no one will get sick today.
These basics of the human psyche continue to undermine tragedies from Bhopal to BP to the Challenger and food safety.
But with all the toys and technology, you’ll be found out – so act accordingly, even if decent humanity is not enough against the directive of profit.
What’s going on in Spain is strikingly similar to what happened in New Zealand in 2012. More about that later.
In Aug. 2019, an outbreak of listeriosis in Spain was detected and reported to theWorld Health Organization (WHO) on Aug. 16, 2019. To date, three people have died and more than 200 have been sickened from Listeria linked to chilled roasted pork meat products manufactured in southern Spain by Seville-based Magrudis Company and sold under the brand name La Mechá.
James Warren of EuroWeekly reports today that according to sources from Seville City Council and the Ministry of Health, the Laboratorios Microal sounded the alarm on February 18, 2019 after samples of the shredded meat product were sent to them for evaluation.
Mariano Barroso, the manager of the quality control and research at Microal, said that of the two samples that were submitted, one came back as positive.
A further test to determine the level of contamination was requested by the laboratory but the food manufacturer refused to agree to the tests.
Barrosco went on to clarify that the company did not inform the authorities as “in their line of work it is common to find forms of bacteria. It is the role of the manufacturer to remove the product from its production lines.”
The Hawke’s Bay District Health Board discovered cold ready to eat meats supplied by the company was contaminated in July 2012, after a number of Listeria cases had been linked to the hospital kitchen.
The outbreak claimed the life of 68-year-old Patricia Hutchinson on June 9 that year, and contributed to the death of an 81-year-old woman on July 9. Two other people were infected.
When the health board discovered a link between the infections and the hospital kitchen it sent 62 unopened plastic pouches of Bay Cuisine meat products to ESR for testing. All the pouches were found to contain Listeria.
A summary of facts complied by the Ministry for Primary Industries said the company had the contract to supply the hospital since 2002.
The summary states that on July 9, 2012 the DHB requested copies of all test results Bay Cuisine had carried out for Listeria. Production manager Christopher Mackie replied by telling the DHB a batch of corned silverside had tested negative for Listeria, when in fact it had tested “presumptive positive”.
The following day an officer from the Ministry, investigating the Listeria cases at the hospital, requested test results. Mackie sent these on July 13 but again omitted reports showing that some products had tested “presumptive positive”.
But analysis of cellphone text messages between MacKie and company director Garth Wise show that on the evening of July 12 Wise had sent a text to Mackie suggesting that he “hold back the presumptive listeria ones [results] as there is only 3 or 4 of them and we just send the good”.
A subsequent search of the Bay Cuisine premises by the Ministry found the company had not provided the original, correct spreadsheet to the Ministry. This spreadsheet showed positive Listeria tests for meat products on June 18 and July 10.
In 2009, the operator of a yakiniku barbecue restaurant chain linked to four deaths and 70 illnesses from E. coli O111 in raw beef in Japan admitted it had not tested raw meat served at its outlets for bacteria, as required by the health ministry.
“We’d never had a positive result [from a bacteria test], not once. So we assumed our meat would always be bacteria-free.”
Lucy Domachowski of the Daily Star writes that three pregnant women have suffered miscarriages and nearly 200 people hospitalised with listeria as an outbreak of the infection grips Spain’s holiday spots.
A nationwide alert has been sent out after listeria, a bacteria which can cause a type of food poisoning called listeriosis, was suspected in packaged pork.
Two of the miscarriages happened in Seville and the other in Madrid.
One devastated mother lost her baby at 32 weeks, while the others lost their little ones just eight weeks into pregnancy.
Most of the 197 cases have occurred in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia but people have fallen ill across the country, from Madrid to the island of Tenerife.
Spanish authorities have said as many as five pregnant women may have lost their babies to the outbreak, and three people may have died – but stats are yet to be confirmed.
Christina Vazquez of El Pais reports an investigation has been opened to determine the cause of death of a 46-year-old woman, who became ill after eating at a one-star Michelin restaurant called RiFF in Valencia.
A total of 23 other patrons, including the victim’s husband and 12-year-old son, also fell sick after the meal but their symptoms were mild and they have reportedly all recovered. The restaurant will be closed to the public until the cause of death has been established.
Everything appears to be normal and now analytical tests will be carried out on the food products
The case was confirmed by regional health chief Ana Barceló, who expressed her condolences to the family and said that an investigation was already underway.
Barceló added that at this point she could not confirm whether the sickness had been caused by morel mushrooms that were on the restaurant’s menu. “We will have to wait for the autopsy to be carried out on the woman before we can determine whether it was the ingestion of a food that directly caused her death, or whether it prompted a state that led to this fatal outcome, or if she had an exisiting condition,” she explained on Wednesday.
Forensic teams are working to determine whether she could have been poisoned by something she ate, or whether she may have choked on her own vomit.
In a statement, the owner of RiFF, Bernd H. Knöller, announced that the restaurant will remain closed until the cause of the food poisoning outbreak is determined and “activities can resume with full assurances for the staff and the patrons.”