It was raw eggs in homemade tiramisu; 8 sick with salmonella in France 2009

In May 2009, diarrhea and fever developed in 8 persons living in southwestern France one day after they ate a homemade tiramisu prepared with raw eggs. Fecal analysis was performed on samples from 5 of the 8 persons. French investigators also cultured a sample from the tiramisu. In medical laboratories, the isolation was performed by using standard procedures (i.e., use of conventional selective media). Isolation from the food sample was performed as required by the current International Organization for Standardization ISO 6579:2002 (i.e., by 2 selective enrichment media). All cultures yielded S. enterica subsp. enterica 4,5,12:–:–.

An investigation at the suspected layer farm was conducted and showed the presence of 11 nonmotile Salmonella spp. isolates (with the same antigenic formula) in dust and feces collected from laying-hen houses. The layer farm, located in northwestern France, is a major farm that produces >32,000,000 eggs per year. All 17 isolates (5 from humans, 1 from the tiramisu, and 11 from the laying hens) were pan-susceptible to all antimicrobial drugs tested.

The authors conclude in Emerging Infectious Diseases that the nonmotile S. enterica 4,5,12:–:– strain involved in this outbreak has been present in laying hens in France for the past decade. Despite continuous advances in food safety and disease surveillance, control, and prevention, atypical pathogenic Salmonella spp. strains that bypass existing procedures do emerge. Foodborne bacterial infections remain a major public health concern.

This food poisoning outbreak also highlighted the need for a second selective enrichment media for Salmonella spp. detection not based on the motility in complement to the modified semisolid Rappaport-Vassiladis medium recommended as a single medium by the European Directive.

Complete paper available at

Wing Wah pays out £65,000 after 50 diners fall sick

The Birmingham Post reports that a Chinese restaurant in the U.K.’s Black Country – and I know what that means having now been there — is being forced to pay out almost £65,000 after nearly 50 of its diners went down with food poisoning.

Kwai Lun Chiu, a director of the Wing Wah restaurant in Oldbury, was also given a 12 month Community Order and told to carry out 100 hours community punishment.

The sick diners included a 22-month-old baby and an 80-year-old man, who had to spend 12 days in hospital.

They all caught salmonella after the buffet restaurant chefs used raw eggs in a tiramisu dessert, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Bad frozen dessert — and labels — on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving was a decidedly low-key affair this year. As the parents of a soon-to-be 1-year-old, we’re just tired. We’ve been to a baby shower, hosted a birthday party with too much good scotch (and turkey) and are driving to Missouri on Saturday, so we were all happy to hang out in our PJs.

Our friend Angelique came over for some Champagne, but the scallops and beef I made to top the pasta was far too salty. For dessert, it was the frozen kind from Target.

Amy got some frozen Tiramisu. And I had no idea what that was. But the label and handling directions were horrible. Thaw 6 hours before serving? And cut into 1-inch cubes and divide into 4 wine glasses, and then thread cubes and berries onto skewers?

Amy tried to zap it in the microwave. Didn’t work out so well.

Best of Thanksgiving from blue eyes.